This day in Preparedness
As Dr. Martenson said in the Crash Course, we all agree that something is going to happen that will disrupt our way of life.
To what degree, is the constant question – and the answers are endless.
What I’d like to do here is have an ongoing journal for all the members here to present and discuss what they’re doing to prepare for the coming changes; no matter how infrequent.
This way, we can learn from each others experiences, collaborate on new ideas, and perfect old ones; support one another in difficult, long-term goals and offer suggestions as well.
Feel free to discuss anything – from financial matters to physical fitness.
Anything that you believe is helping you to be stronger and more prepared today than you were yesterday!
You need to put out a "page a day" preparedness rip off calendar!
I have used the page a day zen calendar for years. Of course, I’m still not enlightened…
I think this is a good idea. There is a similar thread (what I did to prepare today) over at LATOC and it’s nice to pop in and get a quick read for ideas. Here’s something I’ve added previously on this website that I’ll say again. Antibiotics!!!!! What is prep without them when a simple infection can kill within days (gets into the blood stream)? Fake a sinus infection if you have to (I have no shame in doing this). For my kids, a negative rapid strep test just means antibiotics now "please" and we’ll discontinue them if the strep test does not turn positive on the cultured test (then it’s a virus and not bacterial) but I tell the pharmacy to put it in two bottles and to not hydrate one of them. Mark the bottle with the prescribed use, ie; sinus, strep, infected toe, what ever, so you don’t misuse beyond intended use. Any doctor feed back on this would be welcomed but don’t tell people not to do this because we may not have access to pharmacies when we need it.
Just my little tidbit for the day.
I’m purchasing extra bike tubes and bike tires this week. I’m also trying(stress, trying) to shift more of my focus away from the markets/economy towards food and community. I’m scouring around cm.com for some good books to read.
See how to best store those rubber bike items. I was told that they dry rot over time; if you find any info, please let us know.
Without a long term plan the U.S. is flying blind in the night.This applies to the State of Minnesota. That’s most likely how we got
to this place. If the politicians are serious and do not want a full
scale uprising on their hands because people are cold, starving and fed
up then they need to look a little deeper.
Our long term plan
needs to include preparation for climate change events like droughts in
areas where food production comes from – like we are seeing in
California, Florida and Texas. Likewise, we need to think in terms that
Climate Changes will affect our own climate in more severe ways – more
tornadoes, longer winters or more flooding can occur.
need to take into account the long term energy needs as countries like
Mexico and Venezuela become unstable political hot houses and are known
to be in a peak oil production (meaning it is only a matter of time
before they can no longer maintain high levels of production and
require oil fields to "rest" before drilling deeper). If we don’t
address these issues asap we will be paralyzed like deer in headlights.
fact that there are vulnerable people not ready for these budget cuts
and future events makes Minnesota particularly alerted to the need to
prepare meticulously, rather than throw money now at short term money
I have lived in poverty as a single parent and so this
issue is close to my heart. I was able to fight my way out of poverty
with an education but I think this will only be part of the future long
term solution for the present economic landslide.
These are the list of items that need to be addressed:
in MN now means investing local food sources – promote local food
sources by integrating children with gardens, food plots and orchards.
Built perimeters around schools and churches of orchard trees and
un-used lawn space into permaculture gardens. The used lawn areas can
be planted with low maintenance grasses like the no mowing grasses for
future low energy consumption. The idea that young low-income children
will bring home food for their family will create a greater sense of
self-worth for the children and the family than any hand-out can give
them. This should create 1 leadership position per grade school/ middle
school per state. During the Great Depression – some estimate 5 million
died in the US of starvation. This issue needs to be addressed before
it comes up on the horizon.
Teach low income gardening skills
via every community’s gardening club or Farmer’s Market. As a matter of
fact, Farmer’s Markets could be an avenue for which training is done
through internships so the population has a higher percentage of people
capable of food production as an insurance measure to Climate and
Energy changes. For more information on Permaculture (permanent food
gardening) See Rob Hopkins Transition Towns as he is promoting the U.K.
to prepare for the transitions ahead. This will create jobs for lower
income people, reduce dependency on food lines and help create
Minnesota’s independence. This means developing greenhouse food
production in every city in MN and "food farms" instead of mono-crop
farms need to be promoted. This could create 100 jobs per 1,000.
needs 100% of all it’s buildings insulated to reduce energy
consumption. (See Albert Bartlett’s youtube video he made in Colorado).
The growing demand needs to be addressed by conservation. We can’t tell
people how many children to have in this country so we need to be
prepared by converting present buildings to total energy conservation
as soon as possible. This can also be done by offering training to low
income people and teaching them the principles of conservation and how
to convert present buildings to streamline modern living spaces. Areas
to address in a 5 week training: all windows need insulating window
coverings for the night cold, insulating building walls and roofs,
sealing up leaks, audits of energy consumption and using Hy Tech paint
additives to create thermal shielding. With energy conservation as a
main theme, farmer’s producing soy for insulation will benefit, people
will benefit through lower energy consumption and the hard times might
not (at least) seem so cold. This should create 20-30 jobs per 1,000
people in the state.
Wind Generator Installation training is
another great job we need through out the mid-west wind belt. There are
so few great training places for this and the transmission of power.
Ditto for solar installation. We actually have huge solar gains here in
Minnesota once the snow is down. Snow bounces light like mirrors and is
a great source of heat in south facing windows in winter (and can cause
snow blindness) but the development of harnessing this energy when heat
is needed most is not an idea beyond comprehension and is a technology
that we could spread throughout the other northern states.
"internet education courses" for most general educational activities.
This will lower the cost of education by nearly 30% of the present cost
and make it more affordable. Should this extend to high schools, the
buildings could be converted to house and care for elderly – which is
expected to become a growing issue as us baby-boomers age.
government costs: Encourage internet county services (apply online) and
reduce county inefficiency by 50%. Use the savings from both education
and county internet moves to improve health care and services.
Likewise, cut government Senator, Congress-person’s, Representative and
all legislative pay by 10% a year for 3 or more years. Make taking
lobby money by special interest groups in MN a crime.
"ideas" on increasing our tax base without increasing home owners,
income or people’s taxes in general: tax churches 2% of all donations.
Yes, yes, yes, I know we have a separation of church & state but in
turn, give them deductions when they do their part in serving the
Increase energy tax through consecutive years – as the state becomes more conservative- increase the energy use tax.
we can build roads in Minnesota, assuming the average person will be
able to afford gas when it gets to $200/barrel (and it will one day).
Or, we can develop alternate transportation via more long distance
regular rail trains and between town buses. The Personal Railway
Transport System should be put on hold until the US can afford such
luxury travel and the average person would not afford it’s use for
another 25 years.
We do need more free clinics for basic care
for everyone. As a small business owner – health care is my biggest
financial issue . . after getting through this economy.
need endless supplies of heating gas in Minnesota so make it mandatory
for all sewage facilities to cap gases for methane production to be
used in public buildings and then any excess sold at competitive rates.
Another option for this unlimited resource is to compress the gas for
liquid gas similar in hydro-carbon value to gasoline and can be used as
a substitute with little engine modification. Add in ethanol to the mix
of energy resources and Minnesota could be an energy producer and
exporter instead of a dependent energy state like California. And, this
concept reduces costs (verses the present way sewage is handled) AND
Hold off on increases taxes until
hyper-inflation kicks in somewhere around the time Mexico and Venezuela
reduce gas/oil imports or sooner if the political scene doesn’t
straighten out and the cost of energy increases before 2011. (See
theOilDrum.com for peak countries). The reasoning is – when energy
increases – so does the cost of everything associated with it (as we
saw last summer when gas went to $4). Hyper-inflation also makes debts
"locked in" – for example: if you bought a house in 1970 for $7,500 and
that house is valued in 2000 at $200,000 and you payment is still $75 a
month – your debt has been "locked in" but your income has most likely
increased with inflation. This means it makes sense to lock into
certain debts now as we can be sure hyper-inflation will kick in when
energy costs rise (and we know that will be by 2011 as Mexico peaked
production in 2004). Therefore, it makes sense to have some debts now
to offset the future costs of energy both from lack of production and
These are the top of my head thoughts, I’m
sure there are many more greater thinkers out there who are looking
further than I am but without this kind of thinking – Minnesota (and
the rest of the country) will remain flying blind in the night. We need
to remind ourselves the the Former Soviet Union were not adequately
prepared when they were "too big to fail" and we should not find
ourselves in the same position.
We are an Aussie couple (30-32) living in Southern California for a couple of years. Because we are heading back to Australia eventually, we are preparing in place. We have a small urban lot, but have identified plenty of spare growing space and located all the established fruit trees in our neighbourhood.
We only watched CC about three weeks ago, but we’ve already made some big strides towards preparedness.
- Last week I pulled the last of my money out of the stock market. Yes I took quite a loss, but I would rather have access to as much of my own funds as possible over the next few years.
- I’m prioritising paying off the debt that was associated with the purchase of those stocks *sigh* We have been living well below our means and should have that debt cleared by September. At the moment I’m leaving the cash in a mortgage offset account so I can pull it out if I need it, but it still reduces the interest in the meantime.
- I have left most of my funds in Australia. I have about 6 months worth of expenses here in the US, so we could get by if my pay suddenly stopped arriving from Australia. (assuming we can still purchase stuff 🙂 )
- We’ve stocked up on bulk foods (i.e. oats, flour, beans, rice, sugar etc), but I still think we should get more. We really need to analyse how much we would need to get us through as least a month or two.
- We’ve been catching some rainwater, but I want to get a better system implemented. We do have a few ponds a couple of blocks away where we could get water if we needed.
- We’ve purchased heirloom seeds and planted a vegetable garden in our front courtyard.
- We’ll soon be setting up a compost system to help with our organic gardening.
- We’ll be implementing a dog-waste composter which would double as an outdoors septic system if sewage stopped working.
- We’ve changed the way we eat. We hardly eat any processed food. Most of our meals consist of staples and produce from the local farmers market. Our meat consumption has halved. DH bakes bread and other goodies. I think this change has been one of the most important parts of preparedness: the ability to make do with the basics and enjoy it.
- We only have one car and hardly drive it. I ride my bike to work and we walk to the grocery store and ride to most places in our community. We will quite easily do without gas.
- DH is already a handy guy, but he’s been learning how to fix more and more things. We scavenge our neighbours old electronics and he pulls them apart and fixes them. I think he will be a handy guy to have around.
- We are learning more about renewable energy and want to implement some little projects later this year.
- We are trying to build community. It’s hard talking to friends about this stuff. I’m sure they think I’m a little crazy, but with carefully phrased discussions we are finding more like-minded people. We are also attending more events such as renewable energy and composting workshops which have allowed us to meet more like-minded people. I hope to get people in my office involved in my composting and gardening. If I can convince them to bring their food scraps in and in return I bring in edible vegetables, hopefully people will start thinking.
- I have made no security preparations (other than having a large guard dog), but we have only two entry and exit points to my community which I think would make it a little more difficult to get to us. We also have a military base close by, but I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing.
wow….That was longer than expected. I’m amazed we’ve done all this in less than a month. After watching CC I felt so overwhelmed, but baby-steps get you a long way if you make them consistently.
Is there anything anyone thinks I’ve missed?
Sounds good to me and you helped increase my resolve to develop a raincatcher and composter.
I live near a military base, a nuclear reactor, and a jail. I’ll swap you the reactor or jail for your base; you can just have the soldiers report here.
Get some of those bags you can suck the air out of with a vacuum cleaner. Store the rubber items (boots soo!) in these bags, in THE DARK.
Oxygen and UV light is what kills rubber.
My last 30 days in preparedness:
1. Set aside storage food (some freeze-dried/dehydrated stuff)
2. Began stockpiling canned goods (putting aside about US$25/week)
3. Got serious about learning about firearms (have a good, trustworthy friend who’s a serious deer/bear hunter — he’s gonna clue me in before I make any purchase but the process is underway)
4. Setting aside cash (as much as we can afford each week)
5. Compiling master list of Stuff To Get/Skills To Acquire and then organizing them into a hierarchy of urgency
6. "Coming outta the closet" to people in our community vis-a-vis getting them to prepare, too (I think that should be a first-order-of-magnitude item)
7. Deep into planning the (yugely expanded) garden. (Just learned about sorrell, garlic chives, and Jerusalem artichokes [all edible plants that you put in and then they generally take care of themselves and come back year after year — NICE!].)
8. (And perhaps the most challenging of all…) Getting the wife fully on board. She’s come a long ways in the last month, but is still somewhere in the Denial/Overwhelm loop… She *almost* started watching the CC yesterday…
9. And I started an e-mail convo w/my extended family, noodging them to think about what they’re doing in response to the current sitch. Out of about 2 dozen people, 3 have responded w/substantive thoughts, and another 3-4 have responded that they’ll respond soon. All the rest — silence. Dang.
This week will be largely more of each of these. About a month out is actually *doing* the garden. And I’m talking to a buddy who’s a CC fan about putting on a public viewing/talk in our community. Talk about coming out…!