Suburban Prepper Conference

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Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
Suburban Prepper Conference

This last weekend I attended the Suburban Prepper Conference in Lexington, SC. I thought I would give you all a report, and share what I learned there. Much of it is covered in other places in our forums; some of it is new. Important new information will be broken out into its own forum topic, or added to existing threads. Much of what they were trying to do we are already doing at CM. I sent a lot of folks here: why reinvent the wheel?

The event was not well advertised by design: they only wanted serious preppers, not newbies: people who could be used to teach and reach out to people newly-awakened to the need to prep. There were about 900 people there, including vendors and speakers. Most folks who came were very local. But there were a good number of attendees from N. Carolina and Georgia, and a scattering of attendees from TN, AL, IN, & KY. It was an all-day conference that ran from 8:30 AM to 6 PM Saturday. Here is the list of speakers and topics.

1. "The Wheel of Survival", The Plan. by Solarchef1 (YouTube link, Solarchef1's website is here but is under construction at the moment). This was very similar to our WSID series. The PLAN is the center, and the points making up the Wheel are Water & Food, Security, Skills & Equipment, Shelter & Heat, Medical, and Recovery. Recovery is what she calls rebuilding society after a crash of some sort.  I particularly liked how she brought up the Rule of 3s: you can live for 3 seconds without air, 3 minutes in a fire, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 months without food. The Wheel of Survival will be up on her new website in a week or so. Downloadable planning forms are also coming soon. She was the person who organized and ran the conference, and acted as an emcee. The Wheel was the framework for the conference.

2. Water & Energy by Scott Hunt ( website This was a fantastic session. There was a guy talking about solar energy later in the day, so he mostly  focused on water.  I wish we had heard of this guy before: we would have saved a lot of money. His concept of community well drilling, where members of a community chip in to buy an $1100 well-drilling tool to share the cost and then do the wells barn-raising style is inspired. He runs a consulting form to help you get the most out of your prep dollar, has a series coming on National Geographic (they were there, doing casting calls for Doomsday Preppers) and let me tell you I was impressed with his talk. Scott has a technical background but is a serious prepper.  His suggestion of thinking about a adding a heat pump to your water heater (to add to your solar hot water) will be a discussion for a new thread. We were offered info on use and storage of pool shock to purify water, with handouts. We bought an alternative to the Berkey water filtration system from him after the conference: it has a cleanable (with a toothbrush) ceramic filter and a washable cloth filter ($75). They ran out of the solar cell phone and small electronics charger ($15) or we would have bought one of those, too.

3. The Big Three of Medical Prep by The Patriot Nurse. This gal has worked in third-world countries and is concerned that we will have 3rd world medical services after a crash. What is most likely to kill you if the healthcare system goes down? She based her talk on the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics for what kills third-world kids. The big three killers are Respiratory, Digestive, and Wound Care. She put a huge emphasis on preventative care. What makes you sick is lowered immune system function (or a really, really nasty bug). How do you increase you immune response? Hydrate (and the reason children and the elderly are more vulnerable is they have less fluid reserves), Sleep (and the reason we sleep more in the winter is to make up for less immune help from sunlight), and Sunshine (I had no idea that sunshine boosts immune response but apparently it does). The big Respiratory issues are TB, Influenza, and pneumonia. She recommended a non-drug therapy called percussive therapy to loosen phlegm before it pooled in the lungs and could cause pneumonia. She also cited a study where Tamiflu takers did worse than the control group and does not recommend storing it in your preps. She recommended probiotics instead. Preventatives also included hygiene: thorough and often hand-washing with plain soap, "elbow sneezes" to keep germs from going aerosol, adequate ventilation, sleep, sunshine, and healthy eating. She also touched on the role of stress in lowering immune function and suggested you do what you can to de-stress. One treatment option she mentioned that I had never heard of is oil of oregano.

The big Digestive diseases are Cholera (white in stools), Dysentery (blood in stools), and Typhoid. They spread quickly via contaminated water, contaminated food, or non-hygienic food preparation. Clean water and hygienic food prep are essential. She recommended A rather shocking chart from that source:

Causes of Child Death in Low-Income Countries (Source: WHO, World Health Statistics 2011)

Diarrhea and vomiting are huge killers in the 3rd world due to loss of fluids, use of energy and loss of food, acid base imbalances (you lose stomach acid and go alkaline- she recommends having bottled lemon juice on hand). Note: rectal rehydration has the advantage of not needing to be sterile. TO AVOID digestive diseases have readily accessible clean water, proper food storage and disposal, double check your canned food before eating (smell and visual check after listening for the seal pop), breast-feed you babies

Wound Care: this includes rashes, blisters (have good, broken-in shoes), cuts & scrapes, burns, puncture wounds, and gunshot wounds. Gunshot wounds need specialized training (Google on "gunshot wounds training" in your area). Basics otherwise are get it clean, keep it clean, and facilitate healing. Wash wounds with CLEAN water & soap--rubbing alcohol is good for surface wounds but can dehydrate deep tissues - use saline--booze is an antiseptic, boil any tools like tweezers used to take out embedded objects. She mentioned the fancy "slap it on once and forget it for a week" bandages you can get online: not a good value. Just store cotton dressings: about 4 times what you think you will need. Wound drainage guidelines: puss is not good (obviously)...and document the condition of the wound at each dressing change in case someone else has to continue the care. Write down time & date, appearance of surrounding tisue (color), and the amount and color of drainage. NOTE: recovering from burns requires massive amounts of extra protein in the diet. She does not recommend suturing since it can cover up bleeding and infection: store sterri strips/butterfly closures.

4. Solar by Bruce Woods. Most of what he talked about was covered in other CM threads: lowering your usage, figuring out if you want an emergency or replacement solar system . . . he was thorough. One thing we enjoyed was the history of solar power, and how much less expensive it has gotten in the last 20 years (and why Solydra and others failed: they were using the older techniques and materials). Our main takeaway was that a solar system for our  house would cost about $30,000 but there was a $9,000 federal tax credit and a $7,500 state one that would bring our ultimate cost to $13,500. Since our electricity is about $200 a month, the 25-30 year system would pay for itself in 6 years. We have the monies available in a trust and will probably break it open for this.

5. Security by Southernprepper1 who is former military like our Aaron Moyer; click on the link to hear his actual presentation. I absolutely LOVED the term "bugging in" for digging in for long-term survival in place. Bugging in makes more sense than "bugging out" especially if you've worked on community building. He is a big proponent of Neighborhood Watch as a means of building community. There were great ideas to make your home visually normal but in reality very much safer: adding cover if you need to shoot, removing cover for the bad guys, fences, shutters, things like that. He touched on safe rooms as a way to keep kids who are not old enough to shoot but are old enough to open, shut and lock a door - safe. He touched on communications (like Scott Hunt he recommended MURS radios for your community or at least CB/shortwave monitoring of police and emergency channels) - and wireless Dakota Alert equipment.  Not making yourself a target by being a "grey man"  (i.e. normal and invisible - drawback, seen as vulnerable) was discussed, including light discipline and trash discipline (oh, look sez the dumpster diver - they have food - here is the can the beans came in!) . You can also be a "black and blue man" who looks like he will make anyone who messes with and blue. He suggested solar powered motion detection external lights, a dog, and non-lethal rubber shotgun pellets. You can tape red duct tape on the non-lethally loaded shotgun to differentiate it from the lethal one, and feel better knowing you tried to stop folks with that or pepper spray and only used deadly force as a last resort.

Having an emergency pantry is a security issue as it keeps you out of potentially dangerous last-minute panics at stores. And he talked about setting up bucket brigades - have buckets positioned near a swimming pool, for example. Finally he talked about having a written plan for emergencies so that the kids and spouse will have less time to panic because they have something to do  like: Contact family members fill up the bathtub with water, charge last minute items while the grid is up, top off gasoline, wash clothes, make ice, add meds and spare glasses to your bugout bag, ready personal protection devices, close drapes & shut shutters, etc. 

For organizing your neighbors he also recommends walking in your neighborhood, with a dog or for exercise. Plan to protect your entire neighborhood, if you can. Those handmade  "If you loot, we shoot - no exceptions" signs you see after a hurricane might come in handy.  then he went over the military acronym OKOKA, which stands for Observation (and fields of fire - can I stop a threat?), Cover (and concealment), Obstacles (to slow the bad guys down or funnel them into where you can deal with them), Key terrain (a place in your neighborhood that is an advantage to anyone who controls it like maybe the top of a hill), and Avenues of approach (roads, paths, waterways, open areas.)  People in the country have dense-in-depth: space to react. Suburbs do not have that. Slowing the badg guys down with obstacles gives you more time.

6. Food Storage/Sanitation/Hygiene by Solarchef1 and my friend, the SouthernBellePrepper.  VERY informative. I especially enjoyed all the ways to find food storage room in your home. Those who live in trailer homes might want to know about her idea for storing food in between the joists and behind the paneling (I hear someplace sells shelves for that purpose) . She had practical ideas to earthquake-proof your canned food, especially the glass jars, and weird ideas like not just using the space under the stairs but under each stair tread. She's with the LDS and gave me the scoop on why the LDS pantries needed to go to accompanied-only non-LDS users: some jerks were reselling the LDS food at a profit. At any rate, we saw three LDS boxes of canned food covered with a cloth and a mirrored top and lamp: voila! End table. Food goes under the bed(s) better with adjustable bed risers.

We had a nice presentation on pressure canning meat, and I want to buy a wood-burning rocket stove to do that outside since our glass cooktop (God, I hate that fancy thing) will break at pressure-canning temps. Note that rabbit does not have enough fat to depend on it as a sole protein source.

7. Recovery. All paritcipants were in on this one, each with a word on their own personal plans on how to deal with a post-crash situation and then for a Q&A session. Anyone looking for a good post-crash career should consider what will be needed then. The format made it practical and non-contentious.

Scattered throughout the sessions there were lots of door prizes. We won a really great backpack bugout bag, and I gave away half of the heirloom corn Robbie Robinson sent me while telling people about CM. After it was all over we had an hour to hang with the vendors, who were folks like a local granary, sellers of premade pantry foods, survival books, water tanks, solar products, ad bugout bag gear like light sticks and MREs. It was a very long day! If they have one next year I will post about it here in advance.

Poet's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
Thank You

Wow, SafeWrite!

Thank you so much for sharing. That was chock full of useful information. You're like the lab partner who took awesome notes when we couldn't go.


Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
 I am so excited that you

 I am so excited that you did get to go !  Glad it was so informational .. I was afraid it might be a let down for you  although I follow some of the quite regularly .

    I too thank you for sharing .



Ayala's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 24 2010
Posts: 23
Thank you, that was awesome

Safewrite. I thank you for taking the time to write all that out and to provide the Youtube links. That was really awesome of you. Your writing was also impressive. I only wish there was more to read!

Now I've got to find one of those meetings in Maryland. You sold me. 

Rector's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 7 2010
Posts: 518


Thank you so much for putting this together.  I found the medical part particularly helpful as that is where I am concentrating right now.  Really appreciate the effort.


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