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Posted: 5/16/2002 7:51:50 AM EDT
Been reading and thinking a fair amount about SHTF scenarios lately, primarily a WMD on a major American city and the economic disruption that would cause here and around the world.  With the inticate, just in time nature of our economy's production and distribution systems, the effects on individuals could be severe and prolonged in terms of interrrupting access to food.

I need suggestions as to good references that detail basic survival skills for practical family survival for 6  months - equipment lists, food storage, water filtration methods and equipment, hunting skills, first aid, etc.

I am an Army vet and experienced long distance hiker, so I have camping and surplus items, but not pulled together in an organized manner.  Food is lacking, as is water filtration.  I have started pulling together weapons and ammo.  I really need to start addressing the big items first - water filtration, food, and critical tools.

Any suggestions are appreciated.  It would be nice to have a dedicated SHTF forum.

Thanks to Tatjana for her comments:


I have admired the Swiss for their survival ethic.  Her comments are a timely reminder.
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 8:20:19 AM EDT
lots of good stuff at Captin daves survival center

Link Posted: 5/16/2002 8:30:19 AM EDT
Your profile does not show where in the country you are located. Your location would have an impact on your plans and inventory. Try this
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 11:10:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 1:06:10 PM EDT
I think its about time the principals created a SHTF forum.  [^] Don't you?
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 1:27:23 PM EDT
[URL=http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php]Frugal Squirrels[/URL]

[b][red][i]Libertas an Mortis!![/b][/red][/i]
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 1:32:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 2:27:51 PM EDT
No, I mean we need our own, one with an AR15.com spin to things . . . Understand?
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 2:55:57 PM EDT
I think its about time the principals created a SHTF forum.  [^] Don't you?
View Quote
They already did. [url]www.Assaultweb.net[/url]
View Quote

Too funny DoubleFeed. LMAO!
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 4:27:26 PM EDT

I too like sharing this SHTF fan info and I tend to agree that if it ever happens, the scenario will be similar to what you have said. Chaos and disorder will result from some sort of natural or man-made disaster. That's why I am interested...I want to be prepared for anything that causes a disruption in getting necessary supplies.

Now that we have recognized that conditions exist in the world today that could cause such a disruption (i.e. terrorists who do nothing all day but think of ways to kill us all), we need to think of what we really need to survive.

First and foremost is water. Other than oxygen to breathe, water is most needed to sustain life. We can live without food much longer. There are many filitration systems out there as well as water purification tablets. Most of these are good, but keep in mind that the filters need replacing and the tablets will lose their effectiveness as they age. I keep a few of these laid back. A low cost alternative (and what I use) is tap water. When I use up the contents in these 2 liter soda bottles, I rinse them and save them. Once I get a good amount of them, I fill them with tap water and add a couple drops of non-scented bleach to them. This will keep the water safe for a pretty good amount of time. But even water can go bad over time, so empty, rinse, and re-fill about every six months. I label mine with packing date so I know what is fresh and what isn't.

Link Posted: 5/16/2002 4:31:32 PM EDT
Now on to food. Many of these survival websites offer freeze dried and foods sealed (with oxygen removed) cans that offer up to 10 years shelf life. While these are great, I find one problem with them.......cost. It isn't practical to stock a years supply of this food, especially if you have a large family. It would cost about $1000 per person!

I use a different system than this...and a much cheaper one. Buy regular canned food from your grocer! Look at the date on the cans and pick the one with the longest date possible. This food should remain good for some time, but it is best when eaten in a year of purchasing. It tends to lose nutritional value as it ages. But as far as spoiling, it should last several years. My method of keeping the supply fresh is by eating what I have in my storage as it approaches a year in age. I then replace it with new stuff. You need to but food anyway, so why not just get a little more than you think you will need and be ready. I buy this stuff from the discount supermarket type places. The brands are generic but taste almost identical (if not better) than the brand names! Get stuff like soups, pastas with meat, chili, beef stew, pinto beans (great source of protein), tomato sauces, vegetables such as peas, green beans, spinach, yams, potatoes, and fruits of all types. Also buy canned meat products such as tuna, salmon, jack mackeral, sardines and even Spam. This selection gives you somewhat balanced nutrition which will be needed in a SHTF situation. Now we need a few more food items. We haven't yet covered breads and grains and this we'll get to now. Buy some food grade storage buckets (these range from around 4-5 gallons). They can be found by doing a search for them at Yahoo or wherever. You can get them from restaurants, donut shops, etc. Make sure they have the lid with seal. Now, buy a bunch of flour, meal, rice, oats, instant milk powder, etc and place this loose into the bucket. You can buy this stuff in bulk and save money. Now just take a small candle and place it into the loose grains (leaving top part sticking out) and light it. Yes, a candle! Then quickly place the lid on the container and seal it shut. The candle will continue to burn as long as enough oxygen is present. When the oxygen is used up, it will go out. That's the purpose of the candle. To get rid of the oxygen that destroys food. Now you have a product that should store up to 2 or 3 years. I think some people here still have stuff stored in this manner back from late 1999 when the Y2K deal was in swing. Pretty cool and inexpensive huh?
and of course if you have access to fresk veggies and fresh fruits, you can can many of your own things if you have the skills and desire.

Link Posted: 5/16/2002 4:34:34 PM EDT
I would also consider adding some multi-vitamins and protein supplements. If you are a smoker or a snuff dipper, or whatever...you might also consider stocking up on some of these items. And if you like coffee, get some of this for your kit. I like to buy some Kool-Aid packets and store these too. Sure would add some variety to your water after a few months.

A medical kit would also be a needed item. Keep emergency gear and such just in case. There is a big thread on this forum already about first-aid and medic packs. If you aren't a trained EMT or medic, either take a first aid class of some sort and or buy some emergency manuals found in various places. There is a book called, I believe, Where There Is No Doctor that details obtaining cheap medicines (used by vets) for treating people at low cost in third world nations. Should provide valuable info. Another good book and companion video is Ditch Medicine. There are many, many other good manuals on this topic available as well.

Now what about gas masks and the nuclear threat? This may depend on where you live. I live way out in the country and I'm not too concerned about gas masks. But if you live in or near a larger town or city...I would have one for each member of my family. In fact, I do anyway, just in case. If you buy one of these get a good one. A good one will most likely cost about $150 each or more. And remember extra filters. Now with the threat of dirty bombs and nuclear power plants being a part of the terrorist threat, we may need some protection for that too. There is a little known chemical pill called Potassium Iodate (KI) that can be used to save us from much iodine radiation exposure. It gives us a safe iodine to fill up the thyroid gland and this keeps harmful iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid which is the most iodine sensitive part of the body. This stuff is credited with saving many near Chernobyl during that disaster. Keep in mind KI will not protect you from all radiation types but will still be a tremendous help if you are somehow exposed to it. This is the same thing that the government is stockpiling for the same purpose...although their supply may not be enough for everyone or may not reach all affected areas soon enough. If interested, you can buy this for $22 per bottle at [url]www.baproducts.com/ki.htm[/url].

Link Posted: 5/16/2002 4:35:52 PM EDT
Now that we have all of our stuff, where are we going to keep/use it? If you live in a city do have a place to go to away from such large groups of people? Family, friends, a vacation home, a cabin out in the woods, etc? If you already live in a good spot, great. Make provisions for heating, cooking, bathing and such also, as chances are there will be no power during such a SHTF situation. A good wood stove and a generator would be nice to have.

Once you have all of your stuff, you may be concerned about how you would protect it in a crisis. My minumum here for myself would be one semi-auto rifle...either an AK-47, AR-15 or an SKS type rifle. Also, minimum of 1,000 rounds of good ammo for it. One good handgun, either a .45 auto or a .357 Magnum if you don't like autoloaders. I would keep anywhere from 100-250 rds each per handgun. And finally a police type shotgun with 18 or 20" barrel. Stock up on plenty of 00 Buck and maybe a few slugs if you feel inclined. Nothing more awesome at close ranges than the power of a shotgun. If you plan to retreat with friends, you can always include extra guns and ammo for them if they are ill-equipped. The SKS would be a good choice here as the ammo, stripper clips and rifle itself is cheap and reliable. Keep plenty of extra mags, stripper clips and ammo for all.

This is all I can think of off the top of my head but I think I covered most topics. If I left out any important info hopefully someone else will catch and add it. Just about all of this info I just tossed out came as a result of stuff I learned here before. I do take notes! I am glad to be able to share this now with other members here. But most importantly, I hope none of us ever have to use this information. But I would better be prepared than not. The chances of  a SHTF is low, but the severe conditions caused by such a situation are too severe for me to ignore.
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 4:41:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 4:46:58 PM EDT
[url]www.fema.gov/library/emfdwtr.htm [/url]


Link Posted: 5/16/2002 5:15:04 PM EDT
If you take SHTF to mean protecting yourself and your family from natural or man-made disasters, or self defense......I don't see the problem with having a forum for discussion. To me and most here, SHTF has nothing to do with a revolution. A revolution is the last of my worries.
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 6:36:43 PM EDT
Yea, no shit, I second what Charging_Handle said.  It sometimes seems like some of you boys WANT a revolution.

If any of you ever had the unfortunate experience of firing your weapon in self-defense (to save your own life or that of someone else), you'd know how utterly self defeating it is to WISH FOR revolution.  Does anyone REALLY think societal break down is a good thing?

Constantly preparing for a "worse case" scenario: YES  Wishing for one: NO

Some of you need to get your head out of your 4th point of contact!!!
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 7:02:55 PM EDT
Thanks for all the references and suggestions so far.  The info I get here and some books I ordered should make for a good start.  There seems to be a bit of a gap in the literature - either live in a cave with a Rambo knife or hit the road in your bug out vehicle a la Mad Max.  I am thinking the more realistic scenario is dealing with disruptions to critical services and supply channels (the capuccino machine at the corner 7-11 not getting restocked for a few months).  Since I live in a suburb outside of Birmingham, Alababma I don't expect to get nuked, gassed, or bugged.  But the disruption caused by an attack elsewhere could interrupt energy, commodity, and finished good supplies for a while.  And we have been shut down for 2 major storm events here in the last 10 years (blizzard of 1993 and ice storm in 1995).  A child on the way is focusing me a little more.  I have no intention of going anywhere unless forced to by circumstance.  Ensuring clean water, food, some basic first aid supplies, necessary tools (ever notice how often you have to sharpen an axe?), and a minimum of comfort is my duty as head of the household.

But, first things first.  Thanks to Tatjana, I now have my first priority taken care of.  The Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie is in place and functioning perfectly.  Now on tv Tom Daschle is revealed as his true self - Jabba the Hutt's evil twin!

Link Posted: 5/16/2002 7:19:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 7:50:21 PM EDT
Yea, no shit, I second what Charging_Handle said.  It sometimes seems like some of you boys WANT a revolution.

If any of you ever had the unfortunate experience of firing your weapon in self-defense (to save your own life or that of someone else), you'd know how utterly self defeating it is to WISH FOR revolution.  Does anyone REALLY think societal break down is a good thing?

Constantly preparing for a "worse case" scenario: YES  Wishing for one: NO

Some of you need to get your head out of your 4th point of contact!!!
View Quote

Revoulution isn't the same societal break down. Maybe it is in the short run, i.e. during the war, but the idea is to replace the corrupt tyrants with something better. Some people would be willing to go through the hell of war in order to end tyranny. There just aren't very many of them, so they won't get anywhere.
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 10:33:37 PM EDT
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