In parts 1 & 2, we looked at basic scenarios and general purpose weapons and ammunition requirements. This installment will look at logistical support requirements you’ll want to consider.
Food: All food considered for this sort of emergency planning must be non-perishable and easily transportable. Not necessarily very light (though that helps a LOT), but transportable, meaning compactable, easily packed, able to be put in other containers, water/moisture proof, etc. Power bars, granola, tuna kits (especially the foil packet), peanut butter, honey, dried soups, etc. Light is good. Heavy, not so much, but heavy food is better than no food. And, if you are sheltering in place, think ‘compact’ rather than weight. Also calculate that you want to build your pantry until you have at least 90 days of food for however many you have in your home. 90 days is the absolute minimum; more is better for the Shelter In Place option.
Consider also that you might be in a position that you have to transport on foot the things you need in order to stay out of the net cast by the nefarious elements in the scenario at the beginning of this series. For example, if you have the choice between canned soups that are ‘ready to eat’ and ‘condensed’ soups you add water for preparation, the condensed soups should get the nod, because you get relatively the same volume of soup for about a third of the weight. Taking that a step further, if you have dried soup mixes that are vacuum sealed and water tight, you should choose those because they’re about 5 to 10% of the weight of the condensed variety, and you can pack quite a bit more, which extends your ability to live without going to the store (which might not be an option, either). Get the picture? Here’s a good source recommended by JC Dodge at Mason Dixon Tactical.
You could also choose the ubiquitous “MRE” of military fame or the freeze dried foods mountain climbers use. You could choose to take your entire stock of canned foods in your vehicle (just make sure you use these first in case you have to abandon your vehicle and you don’t have a pack horse handy!). What is essential is that you have a average of 1700 to 2000 calories a day per person in your party for a minimum of 14 days especially if you have children with you. You’ll find you actually need more than 2,000 calories per day if you’re in survival mode (moving a lot, outdoors a lot, and under extreme stress while moving and living outdoors), or in winter conditions, but averaging 2K calories (not empty calories, either, like candy) comprised of a 1/3 balance of protein, natural fats, and carbohydrates will keep everyone able to do whatever needs to be done. If you were using full MRE packs, which would mean each person would have to be able to carry 14 MRE’s. That’s a case plus 2, which is a lot, and heavy. Don’t despair, however. Creativity counts here. Through experimentation, I’ve found that 4 MRE tubes of peanut butter and one MRE pack of “trail mix” (peanuts, raisins, and ‘chocolate discs’ (military jargon for M&M’s) equals 1350 calories. Add in a 400 calorie “energy bar” and a protein bar with 20 grams of protein, you have the 2000 calories for one day. This little recipe also has almost the perfect mix of fat, protein, and carbohydrates required for optimum nutrition for a limited time on the 1/3 rule. To be sure, you’re not getting natural nutrients that green leaf and other vegetables supply, but that can be overcome with a bottle of ‘Juice Plus’ or another brand of veggie or fruit supplements for each person. Weighs about 3 ounces and provides all the vegetable nutrients you need for 2 months by taking two a day (120 capsule size). You know what you and yours can and can’t eat (due to allergies or sensitivities). So you have to make the decision. The bottom line is that you need food for a couple of weeks (this is just travel food) and for at least 6 months (absolute bare minimum) in your pantry at home (or at a preselected location that you might be travelling to – which implies prepositioning of supplies which is a very good idea) against the possibilities of interruption of the supply chain.
Remember, our scenario here is national martial law reinforced by UN ‘peacekeepers’ which will profoundly impact the supply chain that operates mostly with over-the-road trucks, and a shut down of the interstate system would be just about required for this scenario to work. And that could easily happen if all they concentrated on were the truckers and requiring them to hold their cargo in place until ‘clearance’ came through. Something to remember is that our logistics system during ‘normal’ times is based upon BJIT (Barely Just In Time) methodology. That’s a real term used in any logistics or procurement organization. The idea is to get the items to be sold to the outlet just as the need is there. That translates to, at best, about 3 days worth of food/sundry items on the shelves at any one time. Throw in an emergency situation and panic buying topped off with trucks full of supplies held at choke points or not allowed into a particular area, and you’ll see very quickly that the things you might need at the store won’t necessarily be there, even if you get there at the beginning of the crisis. If the situation is exacerbated by, say, a power outage, unless you have a lot of cash, you might not be able to purchase anything, either. More on that later.
Food Security: When it comes to food in your pantry, or ‘larder’ as I call it, a quick word of caution: Do NOT tell everyone you know what you’re doing!! ESPECIALLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!! Especially if they’re not ‘like-minded’! Keep your preparations to yourself, even from your extended family unless they’re doing the same thing you are. Even then, keep information disclosure minimal. If emergency conditions do occur, the unprepared will remember and either show up at your door demanding what you have or they’ll turn you in to the “authorities” for ‘hoarding’ to gain favor or food. Nothing turns an unprepared person into a rat-fink quisling faster than coveting what you’ve got and prepared for that they didn’t! Know now that these people, no matter how ‘nice’ they seem, will turn on you in a New York second. Think about the image below for a minute. Nice looking family. And in an emergency when they’re hungry, they’ll do literally anything to take what you have, including turning you in to local authorities up to and including injuring or killing you and yours. Do you think that the Dad and Mom pictured are going to let their kids starve if they can get what they need from you? Not a nice thing to think about, but it’s the way things will be….
Now, to continue, make sure you have things like cooking oil, flour, dried beans, yeast, and sea salt (great natural mineral supplement that will not induce high blood pressure) in addition to the various canned and comfort goods. One way to increase the size of your larder so it’s not noticed by anyone, including store employees wondering why you have 5 shopping carts full of canned goods, would be to added 4 to 6 items of whatever to your ‘normal’ list each shopping trip. Or, start shopping at the various ‘clubs’ such as Sam’s, Costco, and others that routinely see people buying large amounts of foodstuffs. As you go through and categorize your items at home, cycle through them, using the oldest first and replacing those with ‘new’ items with much later expiration dates.
Lastly, water, and/or the tools with which to produce potable water, has to be added to the food category, as many meals, especially those with dried ingredients, require the addition of water for precooking preparation or rehydration (in the case of some beans, soup mixes, or other dehydrated offerings). In “normal” circumstances, people use several gallons a day for hydration, hygiene, and cooking purposes. In a scenario such as the one we are planning for, this is one of those things that must change immediately! Chances are that water could/would be cut-off as a measure of control or as a result of utility workers not being allowed or able to reach their workplaces. The bottom line is that to depend upon a municipal water system in our scenario is just asking for trouble! To mitigate that possibility, two water sources must be developed.
The first, for the home, is stored water. Storing water isn’t difficult or very expensive at all. All you need to do is go to your local discount house and get one 6 gallon water container for camping (you know, the one’s with the spigots?) per person. They’re about $12 each. The cost for the ubiquitous American family of four would be under $50. Once at home, take ¼ cup of unscented chlorine bleach and ¾ cup of water, mix it, and rinse out each container. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, then rinse again with clean water and let it dry. Now fill it to the brim and add 8 drops of the same unscented bleach per gallon (48 drops from an eyedropper for a 6 gallon container) and fill it up with water to the brim! Try not to leave any air bubbles. Put the lid on it snugly, and keep it in the basement out of the way. Just as it is, this water can be used for two years with no ill effects for anyone who drinks it. If in doubt, you can always add 8 more drops of bleach per gallon after the first year, year and a half or so has gone by and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before you consume it. A smart move is to rotate the water out once a year (if things don’t go South before then!). Take the old water and use it for whatever you want. I personally water my wife’s flowers and the vegetable garden. You can also get something called, ‘Stabilized Oxygen’ and add it to suspect water, about 10 drops per 8 ounces, wait 5 minutes, and drink it with no ill effects. The oxygen that’s in it attacks and kills all bad things swimming in it. I’ve used it on pond, stream and lake water, and have had no ill effects. It costs about $20 a bottle on Amazon. The brand I use is from ‘Dexterity Health’. I also put 120 drops in my camelback when I fill it and it keeps well. I recently used the camelback for a weekend with water that had been in it for a year, and it tasted great and again, no issues.
In reserve, if things get really bad, you always have your hot water heater to drain as well as your pipes once the water supply is cut off. The key is to drain from the lowest point in your house as soon as you know you’ve lost water pressure (usually your basement). Then, turn on the cold water and fill up your containers until the water runs out. Don’t turn on the hot water! Not yet, anyway. Wait until you know for sure the supply of cold water is not coming back anytime soon. In the mean time, get a section of hose with the female end; 8 feet is more than enough. Attach it to the bottom of your hot water heater. You now have a way to drain your hot water heater into a container as you need it. Most homes have 30 to 50 gallon (or even larger) water heaters, which are a superb reserve that will extend your range of comfort, nutrition (cooking water), hydration, and hygiene for quite awhile, relatively speaking. Apartment and condo dwellers, unless they have individual water heaters, only have the option of getting to the lowest spigot in the facility and getting extra water that way.
What about if you move out? You need something to ensure any water you forage is safe to drink. First, forget the hype about filters that have filter openings larger than 0.1 microns. Larger micron openings are not guaranteed to purify your water at all. So you need something a bit better. This option is the best option currently available today, but it is relatively expensive – almost as expensive as your rifle. But look at it this way: This system guarantees at least ONE MILLION gallons of purified water from any source. The risk of cooking, drinking, and washing with contaminated water is virtually nullified!
The basic model costs $52/ If you have an extra $125, get the Sawyer Point ZEROTWO™ Bucket Purifier Assembly Kit
This small, lightweight filter kit can provide up to 170 gallons of clean water per day. Assembly Kit Includes: Hole Cutter, a Sawyer Point ZeroTWO™ 0.02 Micron Absolute Inline Water Purifier, adapter, hose, Filter Cleaner, Filter Hanger, and detailed instruction book. All you have to provide is a 5 or 6 gallon bucket and assemble it. Talk about mobile! Here’s the link: http://www.greatlakesurvival.com/water-purification-products.html
Caution: Don’t fall prey to the idea that “doing it on the cheap” will be just as good as spending everything you can afford to spend. Cheap is as cheap does! You get what you pay for! You skimp, you lose! This would be the time, if you didn’t have the cash, to use your credit card or savings. This is THE rainy day you’ve been saving for! Get the very best you can afford! Get the picture?
Medications: Everyone needs to know that they should always have on hand at least a three month supply of required medications for any emergency! To do otherwise is risking certain death, especially in the scenario we’re operating under. Whatever it takes to get your med supply up to par, do. If you have refills, get them as quickly as possible and keep the spares in a “go kit” that you cycle through, just like your larder. Aside from those meds, put a large bottle of aspirin, a large bottle of multi-vitamins, a super-sized box/package of mild laxative, a super-sized package of Amodium AD, 3 large tubes of Neosporin Plus (this has pain reliever), a couple small bottles of Oil of Cloves (dental pain reliever), 100 yards (do the math) of unwaxed dental floss, 1 pound of sea salt & 1 pound of baking soda (best tooth paste when mixed 1 to 1 and can be used to augment food supplies), a large box of assorted band aids, and 2 large bottles of hydrogen peroxide. Why peroxide? It is a superb disinfectant and can be used to treat most foot related problems (athlete’s foot, etc), periodontal disease (rinsing daily for five minutes – don’t swallow, though!), disinfecting small & large cuts or abrasions, etc. Spend $167 on this item:
FAMILY SIZE M17 FULLY STOCKED TRAUMA MEDIC BAG
The Large M17 Medic Bag is a great bag with a very nice set of contents. The G.I. style issue bag itself can be carried by the carrying handle or the back pack straps. The bag folds out three ways for easy access to all the contents.
The FA110 measures 16”x10”x13.5” and weights 12.25 lbs.
Color for this bag is Olive Drab
Contains 320 items, including:
5 Skin and Eye Wash,1 Skin Probe, 1 Hand Sanitizer, 1 Scalpel handle #3, 1 Hand Soap, 2 Scalpel Blades, 1 Calamine Lotion, 6oz., 1 Pen Light, 1 Burn Spray, 2 Suture Sets, 1 SAM / Universal Splint, 1 EFA – First Aid Book, 4 Multitrauma dressing, 6 Safety Pins, 2 BleedStop Bandages , 2 Pill Bottles, 4 Bandage Gauzes, 2”x5yds., 6 Pairs , Latex Examination Gloves, 2 Elastic Bandages, 6” , 14 Pain Relievers, 12 Elastic Bandages, 2” , 1 Tourniquet, 4 Sterile Pads, 4”x4”, 2 Irrigation Syringes, 10 Sterile Pads, 2”x2” , 4 First Aid Cream Packages, 10 Abdominal Pads, 5”x9” , 4 Triple Antibiotic Packages, 2 Eye Pads, 2 Burn Aid Packages, 2 Triangular Bandage, 5 Tape, Rolls, Adhesive, 1”, 100 Bandage Strips, 1”x3”, 15 Alcohol Wipes, 5 Butterfly Strips, 15 Iodine Wipes, 10 Bandage Strips, 2”x3”, 15 Antiseptic BZK Wipes, 10 Knuckle Bandages, 15 Clean Wipes, 3 Instant Ice Packs, 6 After Bite Wipes, 1 Stethoscope, 2 Ammonia Inhalants, 1 Lip Treatment, 1 CPR Mask, 1 EMT Shears, 7.25”, 2 Airways, 2 Stainless Steel Hemostats, 2 Tongue Depressors, 1 Pair of Tweezers, 1 Box of 100 Cotton Tips, 1 Petroleum Jelly
Here’s your link: http://www.greatlakesurvival.com/medical-rescue-kits.html
Lastly, as it will save you some emergency treatment, if you’re still of child bearing age and you will have intimate relations with someone who could get pregnant or make you pregnant, get a good supply of condoms or a cervical cup. You don’t want a pregnant woman trying to deliver a baby in a bad situation!
Next installment: Transportation, cash, and navigating…see you then.