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Purchasing Post Disasters!
Editor at Large
One of the VERY valuable lessons that I learned post Hurricane Katrina was that buying anything was a problem.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, all of the electricity for the entire New Orleans metro area failed.
Then the levees broke and the flooding started. It did not flood where I worked in the central business district. Neither did my residence flood. Both were high and dry.
However, all of the main branches of ALL of the banks in New Orleans were flooded and without electricity. This had more of a far reaching effect than I had ever imagined.
Everyone that stayed in the New Orleans area, post Hurricane Katrina had the same problem. Because ALL of the branches of ALL of the banks in the New Orleans metro area did not have electricity and/or were flooded, this placed ALL of the banks computes systems underwater and/or without electricity to power their computers.
No merchant could confirm that you had any money on deposit with the bank that you used. This meant that NO business would take ANY credit card, ANY debit card or ANY check because there was no way to verify how much money you had on deposit with your bank. The only thing that any merchant would take was CASH! If you did not have cash, you were not able to buy anything.
Another problem was that because payroll checks, Social Security and retirement checks, etc. was electronically deposited into our bank account, there was no way to confirm that any funds were on deposit in your bank account. So, NO auto bills were paid from our checking accounts, making all of those bills delinquent.
I found one gas station that had a generator powering one gas pump. I tried to use silver, U. S., one once, American Eagle, coins to purchase gas. The manager told me he had no idea what the coin was worth. The station manager then told me that it said “one dollar” on a one ounce silver U.S. coin and that is what it would buy, one dollars’ worth of gas. I had a 32 gallon gas tank. You can figure out how many one once, silver, American Eagles it would have taken to fill my gas tank? To the gas station manager, it was just a U. S. dollar coin.
DO NOT store only gold and silver coins for emergency purchasing purposes.
I HIGHLY recommend that along with your emergency supplies, you keep some cash money in varied denominations. If you decide to do this, store only one, five, ten and twenty dollar bills. That is all merchants would accept without any problem.
Bartering is another way to obtain items. However, that is the subject for another article.
Quote of the day: “Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”
By Harold, Editor-At-Large
July 4th every tenth year, we have a family reunion on my Dad’s side of the family. This year, I happened to be the oldest survivor, (There were a couple of cousins-in-law that were a couple of years older than I, but I was the oldest direct descendant at 70.) remaining of my Dad and his brother’s families. I had several younger second cousins and the conversation got around to the world situation and our economy and how we felt for the coming future.
In Defense of Survival
They were aware that I have long advocated keeping food in reserve to weather the hard times, not because I am religious, but because our first years of marriage were hard times indeed. When pressed to define my mindset, I was a bit cautious because how I feel about myself and my description has been so bastardized in the media and public just as the word gay is now used to describe homosexuals and has no bearing as a descriptive factor.
I told them that I considered myself a survivor, equipped in both mind and possessions and even though I now have health issues, I intended to survive as long as possible no matter what happened. I had repeatedly stressed that the media had misconstrued the “survivor” tag as some mentally defective person who was a threat to society and this was not what I was. I have long advocated keeping your skills up-to-date, learning new skills and keeping a supply of goods on hand to enable you to become a survivor when the rest of the world goes down.
After being bombarded with a lot of ballyhoo, I issued a challenge to one of the second cousins and two of his sons. This cousin was in his forties and one son was in his twenties and the other nearing the end of his teenage years. I have a small patch of woods immediately adjacent to my property and I challenged them to spend a night in the woods with me, within sight of my house using only things they could gather in fifteen minutes and be limited to what they could carry on a web pistol belt or in a shoulder bag. A pack was not permitted and fifteen minutes was all the time allocated.
We had been in the basement for several hours rotating my stock and restocking in a different manner since my survival strategy has switched from bugging out to bugging in and as a consequence a lot of the material I will no longer need and will probably either sell it to relations or swap for something more usable. They were free to pick from the supplies I had on the table to spend the night.
To the Woods
In seventeen minutes, we left the house and entered the woods to spend the evening. The two boys soon consumed the trail snacks they had grabbed and one of them even had an empty canteen. I had my web pistol belt with the old army suspenders we used in the 60′s that had the two magazine pouches on the front of the suspenders. I had a sheath knife, a handi tool, a quart stainless water bottle in the round carrying container that has the extra pouch sewed on it and inside the container is a small pot on the bottom, the bottle and then a cup on top. In the small square pouch, I had my little knockdown hobo stove, some soup packets, zip lock bags, cordage, tea and sweetener packets and a small first aid kit in one of those aluminum wallets they sell in wallyworld. On the back of my belt, army style like we used to do, I had a light weight poncho, a blanket, two 55 gallon garbage bags and a full mosquito net all folded neatly together and draped over the belt secured by small bungee cords. I had also gathered up a gallon jug of water and an inflatable cushion because I have a prostate condition requiring this.
We entered the woods at around six pm and the mosquitoes were very intense and voracious. One of the cruelest things about nature, is the stinkier and dirtier you get, the more the insects and other vermin will let you alone. I discovered this the hard way as a boy when I would go to the woods after chores (milking cows, feeding pigs, chickens, gathering eggs, etc.) for the day to cut timber to fulfill a contract for bridge flooring my Dad had with the county. When I started out clean and fresh from a shower, the mosquitoes would really be hungry. By afternoon, they did not bother me so much. One evening I watched one try to impale my arm and after several tries when it could not penetrate my skin and I killed it. Still had to have my shower in the evenings (after we had running water and a dip in the creek before that) just to be able to live with myself.
Dealing with Mosquitoes
I pulled several dryer sheets I had grabbed from the laundry room and stuffed in one of the magazine pouches along with a can of beanie weenies and two of the mountain house pouches with scrambled eggs, ham and peppers. I still had room in the other pouch for some other incidental items I took, like my glucose tester and diabetes pills. I had immediately hung a dryer sheet on my shirtfront when I entered the woods and the mosquitoes were leaving me alone. I set up my little stove and gathered a large pile of dry twigs and small branches from the litter on the floor of the woods, (I try and leave it in it’s natural state as much as possible) and got a fire going in a few minutes and then threw some green leaves from a black walnut tree in the woods and smoked the area good. I suggested they stand in the smoke until it saturated their clothing and then the mosquitoes would leave them alone.
Axes, Bow Saws and Safety
One item to add in this little posting was this is the same second cousin who a year or so ago, bought an axe and promptly nearly cut his leg off. He said he knew not to cut green growing trees, but thought since the tree was dead it would be okay. It was a hickory and hitting a dead hickory is just like hitting a spring. Ax rebounded and cut his leg badly just above the boot. I told him never to do that and to only use wood that is already broken up and lying freely on the floor of the woods. His statement was that you could build a cook fire for several months just on what was scattered on the floor alone. I told him that while that was true, the need to keep your fire area completely clear of clutter, leaves, dead wood, etc, was imperative because of that factor of burning for quite some time.
I know he learned a lesson on proper use of an ax since he wanted to know how I cut my wood and I took the bow saw frame out of the scabbard, put it together and set the blade in it and cut wood three times as fast as you could chop it. He said, I guess you don’t take an ax to the woods with you then and I told him not since I was a young man lopping tree branches off the downed trees so we could cut them into logs and had the bow saw been invented then, I would have used it. I carry it with frame dismounted and two extra blades (3 in all) in a machete scabbard and it weighs less than a hand ax.
Before I even fixed myself some soup for my evening meal, I had to apply some Vicks vapo rub on one of the boys’ neck and face to keep him from getting further eaten up by the mosquitoes. I graciously allowed the one with the empty canteen to fill from my gallon jug and when I took the pot from under my water jug and fueled the fire with good dry large twig pieces, letting it burn down to coals and then put the pot of water on to boil and added the Mrs. Grass’ double noodle soup to the pot, they were ready to eat their belts. I went ahead and ate my soup and then told them that if they wanted to share the other packet of soup I had and the can of beanie weenies they could go ahead and fuel the stove and cook the soup. That was the fastest soup job I ever saw.
As it got darker, I shook out the mosquito net and using some of the cordage, I tied it to several of the saplings in the area and piled up some dry leaves inside and threw the light blanket I had in the roll on the leaves and crawled inside the mosquito net after I had hung a dryer sheet inside it for some time. I only had one mosquito to kill during the night and I could hear them constantly slapping the mosquitoes most of the night.
One Gone By Morning
One of the boys, the youngest, gave up around midnight and returned to the house. At first they were not going to let him in, but they finally relented. This camp out was taking place about seventy-five feet from the house and my woods patch is seventy by one hundred forty in area.
When we woke up the next morning, my second cousin asked me if I was going to take pity on them and let them go to the house for breakfast. I told him no, that I thought it was a twenty four hour period we were going to experience. He really had a glum look on his face until I pulled out the pouches of breakfast. After getting a fire going again and boiling the water to add to the breakfast pouches, they were in a lot better mood. About noon, we called it quits after I had spent the morning on lectures and demonstrations and we went back to the house.
But They Are Willing To Learn
They spent the next two days with my literature and me and looked over what I had planned. Now they want to go spend a week this fall in an eighty-acre patch of timber my brother-in-law has down on the river that is pretty isolated for this part of the country, since my brother-in-law’s house at a mile and a half distance is the closest inhabitant to the area. The plan is to take only what can be carried in a small backpack and pistol belts, no firearms and eat at least one meal a day from what we can gather in the woods.
To tell the truth, I am looking forward to it and if they learn half as much then as they did a couple of days ago, they will be very much the better for it. The younger son of his will not go, but there is another distant cousin who wants to go along with us. I told him that I had treated them no differently than I had my boy scout explorers back in 1958 and the only thing new I had used since then was the Bic lighter to start the fire instead of the Zippo I had back then, and the water bottle, cook pot and the dehydrated rations. I told them that I had used some C rations back then and the beanie weenies were exactly the same as they had been in 1958.
The Old Dog Teaches
I guess us old dogs can teach the younger generation a thing or two still, if they would just listen and utilize this knowledge I try to pass on while I am still here. When I am gone it is gone also and I tell them this.
I may have stepped into something deeper with this than I intended. Cousin now wants to know if they can bring other people along on the week jaunt and if I would consider doing overnight seminars several times a year for small groups. I had to reluctantly inform him that the property we are going to use this fall belongs to a brother-in-law and it is his coon hunting preserve and I was doubtful if he would go along with using it constantly notwithstanding that constant use would rapidly cause deterioration from its natural state. Added to that is my physical health is not good enough to do something like that on a regular basis. I then asked him where he was when I was much younger and could have used the extra help when we did live in the woods and had to do this stuff just to eke out an existence. I told him that if he could make arrangements with property owners that had decent sized woods to conduct such experiments in, I would consider stopping in as my health permitted for several sessions, but would have to be assured of liability insurance being provided for something like that. It is a shame that such a requirement has to be now days due to our litigous society.
It is with deep regret that I have to say that I was unable to finish this week in the woods this past fall due to health limitations. I sure wish I would have been able to do so.
By servantheart, Editor-At-Large
Sometimes, when I just need to find a way to express myself from deep somewhere within, I write poetry. I never said I was any good at it; I simply said I write it, a cathartic exercise, you know.
Just a few short days ago, I was worried about my gardens, so worried; I wrote a little poem to relieve my worry:
Oh, Sweet Mary, so water wary
How shall we make this garden grow?
With recycled things that imitate spring
‘til the weatherman calls for less low.
We’ve had so much rain in the Deep South. Our back yard is “stepped”; the upper level does fine, as it drains well –right into the lower level! The bottom part of the back yard, the lower level, has stayed wet since January, and, it is still wet. Yep. You guessed it. More rain coming. Woo. Hoo.
I was sinking in two inches of muck every time I walked across the lower level of the back yard. It was very difficult, and very frustrating, to try to work my gardens.
Guess what? The solution was FREE! Yep. Free. Sturdy wooden crates from the garden center and some given to me by the guys replacing roofs from that awful hail storm last month. But, hey! It works. And it was free. It doesn’t get any better than that!
This is the lower garden, btw, I have such a big problem with snails and slugs; or, well, I did – until I set out the beer traps! Man, do those things work! The snails/slugs love the scent, crawl right in and drown! Just change the beer every day or so; even cheap beer works well. I used the plastic tubs from my favorite greek yogurt as “beer pools”. Natural; cheap; and it works!
Here’s my compost bin, made from FREE oak pallets. They’ve been in use for three (3) years now, and still going strong. DH simply lashed them together, 4 to make a “box”. We always have a good assortment of “critters”, including big, juicy earth worms. We keep it moist, but not wet; we feed it with kitchen scraps (all but raw eggs, any meat, or dairy foods) and yard cuttings (chemical free), plus leaves every Fall. Yes, some of the compost material “escapes”; I just pitchfork it back in every now and then. The screens help hold it in place, and the cover on top is held in place by an old tire because the raccoons were able to lift the 3’ long 2×6 board we were using to hold the cover in place! Tires were “free” in the sense that we took them off a car when we had new ones put on. Fiberglas cover was leftover from a greenhouse build project in another part of the yard. The black plastic box to the left is our first compost bin; it did not hold up well ($50), especially as it filled up; we have plugged the openings from the inside with more of our window screens picked up in a yard sale for seventy cents each, and we keep twigs and starter wood in it now. EVERYTHING can be repurposed. There is rarely any reason to put anything in the land fill, y’all. But our wood pallet system? It works well; it holds tons of compost, and it was free!
The gray grid-like things (back – hard to see) are refrigerator parts I “rescued” from the dump; my cucumbers like to grow across the tops.
The DS brought home something from work the other day that will work great for our melons to climb up and then rest across the top as the melons ripen; and it was FREE! (My favorite 4-letter word!). It’s in place in the garden, though you can’t see it here – a two-story, very sturdy powder-coated metal “cage” display thing that, otherwise, would be in the landfill now.
And then there’s my potato bucket. I bought this container at Lowe’s last year for $5.00; DH drilled holes in the bottom; I put in a layer of stones for drainage, and I can’t keep a fresh layer of growing soil on these ‘taters fast enough! They are popping up like crazy. I bought SMALL red seed potatoes, because I did not have time to cut and cure the seed potatoes for two weeks, so I planted them whole. Man, are they growing! And, another one of my seventy cent yard sale screens at work here.
So, this is my garden, such as it is. Cucumbers, squash, tomatoes (4 varieties!), and concord grapes (out front). The lower level contains brasilicas and beans, but, not showing them off just yet. I will be filling in all those “holes” in cinder blocks and growing companion plants; I have done this before and it worked out very well; so, these small raised gardens CAN produce a tremendous amount, if we utilize every available space for growing in them.
Grace and Truth, John 1:14; 1:17; 2 John 1:3 Sha’alu Shalom Y’erushalayim (Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem)
Prepper List Part #3 (see Part #2 - http://seasonedcitizenprepper.com/?p=3057)
by MsKYprepper, Editor-at-Large
Starting Your Ark
If Noah had waited for the rain to start building the ark, the world would be very different today.
Don’t get caught in the rain; get moving with this short list of To-Do’s to quickly get your arc in shape.
|Prepper List Part #2
by MsKYprepper, Editor-at-Large
See Part One ….http://seasonedcitizenprepper.com/?p=3049
How does your gut feel? Sometimes “Gut Feelings” are God’s way to get us moving. If you are feeling unsettled, like you should be doing something – but don’t know where to start, here is a short list to get you moving. Most are low cost, some only require that you spend time.
Most can be done in a few hours.
Prepper List Part #1
by MsKYprepper, Editor-at-Large
Need help with New Year’s Prep Resolutions? Make 2013 the year you get better prepared. Here are 10 projects to launch you into action. Each is low budget; some require nothing more than your time. Most require no more than a weekend to complete.
- Get organized! Begin a 3-ring binder to organize notes; this will be your Emergency Binder. Use it to consolidate your preparations notes and lists in one place.
- Research on Google Earth the area around your house. Get to know your danger areas. Where are the “choke points” for escape via automobile? Where are the natural water supplies? Where are the risks? Make notes for your Emergency Binder.
- Using Google Earth, find three different routes from work to home, from home to your safe place and other places you may need to travel. (pick up children from school, etc.) Identify possible problem areas. Update your Binder
- Buy a detailed laminated paper map of your city and county. Store in your Binder.
- Begin to accumulate $200 in 1-dollar bills. Store in your waterproof, fireproof, secret compartment place in your home. When able, increase to $500.
- Scan your personal documents and copy to a thumb drive. Store the thumbdrive in a save place. Include social security cards, passports, birth, driver’s license, marriage, divorce decrees, insurance and title documents, deeds and contracts, bank account numbers and charge cards, (including lost or stolen notification numbers), stocks and bonds, wills, medical information, prescriptions, etc.
- Scan head-and-shoulder photos of each family member. Save to your thumb drive. Print a copy for your Emergency Binder. If family becomes separated, a recent photo may help.
- Video or scan still photos of your home contents. When disaster strikes, having a home inventory will help with insurance claims. Copy to your thumbdrive.
- Start saving plastic 2-liter pop bottles (not milk jugs, they decompose). Sanitize and fill 1 with ¾ with water. Use it to fill any empty space in your freezer. If your electric fails, this ice jug will help keep food preserved in the freezer as well as being a source of drinking water. If space permits, have a least 1 2-liter bottle in the freezer per person.
- Ask friends and family members to save soda bottles for you. Lie about your intentions, (tell them it’s a school project for little Johnny). Sanitize the bottle, lid and threads. Fill with tap water. Your goal is to accumulate 30 bottles per family member and large pet. Store them easily with a DIY bottle rack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuJNQdE3tro
- This one is for you – now that I’ve got you thinking about low-cost prep’s you have probably already thought of something else you want to do. Go for it!
Car Alarms as defense, offense and for personal safety.
Quote of the Day
“Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.”
Take Your Car Keys to Bed with You
By Bev Sandlin
Way back when, before there were car alarms, 3 blasts of a vehicle horn on the homestead meant “Come a runnin’! EMERGENCY.” It could be animals out or wounded, you crawled back to the vehicle with a sprained ankle and needed help, stuck in a snow bank (again), fire, whatever. But you had to be able to get to the vehicle first.
This showed up in my email box and made so much sense that I have to share it with you!
A smile for you…
Military Common Sense Rules
A lot of life’s problems can be explained by the U.S. Military and its applications of common sense…
1. “Sometimes I think war is God’s way of teaching us geography.”
2. “A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what’s left of your unit.”
(Army’s magazine of preventive maintenance).
3. “Aim towards the Enemy.”
(Instruction printed on US M79 Rocket Launcher)
4. When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.
(U.S. Marine Corps)
5. Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs always hit the ground.
(U.S. Air Force)
6. If the enemy is in range, so are you.
7. It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.
(US Air Force Manual)
8. Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.
9. Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo.
10. You, you, and you . . . Panic. The rest of you, come with me.
(Marine Gunnery Sergeant)
11. Tracers work both ways.
(US Army Ordnance)
12. Five second fuses only last three seconds.
13. Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last, and don’t ever volunteer to do anything.
(US Navy Seaman)
14. Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.
15. If your attack is going too well, you have walked into an ambush.
16. No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.
17. Any ship can be a minesweeper… once.
18. Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.
(Unknown Marine Recruit)
19. Don’t draw fire; it irritates the people around you.
20. Mines are equal opportunity weapons.
(Army Platoon Sergeant)
21. If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn’t plan your mission properly.
22. Your job is to kill the other person before they kill you so that your national leaders can negotiate a peace that will last as long as it takes the ink to dry.
23. In the Navy, the Chief is always right.
(Written on the door into the Chiefs quarters)
One of the most valuable tools in your preparedness system is not what you might think. It is a notebook and a pen or pencil.
You see, planning is very valuable when it comes to preparedness. Sitting down and answering a few questions on paper can quickly put into focus what priorities must be had.
Here are a few questions:
- What am I preparing for?
- Will the electricity be out? If so for how long?
- Will the food supply be interrupted (stores closed)? If so, for how long?
- Will medical services be interrupted? If so, for how long?
- Will communication methods be interrupted? If so, for how long?
- Would you expect lawlessness? If so, for how long?
- How much food do you have currently in days? Be realistic.
- Do you have back up power? Do you have emergency lighting methods?
- Do you have several alternate methods to cook?
- How much water do you have?
- Would sanitation be effected? Washing clothes? Washing yourself? Washing dishes? Disposing of trash? Going to the bathroom?
- Do you have a method of defensing yourself?
There are many more questions to be answered and possibilities to be considered. Putting them all together and then prioritizing a list of things to do/get to gradually or rapidly improve your readiness is what this is all about.
Got some paper?