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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Long Shelf Life Food

Even if your Urban (or Suburban) Survival Plan calls to implement a Bug Out or a withdrawal to a Safe Location, the Urban Survivor should consider stocking some long duration food items at his/her urban or suburban home.

We envision an undetermined “wait” period after an initial societal or infrastructure collapse. Most people will be waiting for some level of government to fix the problem and make it better. In fact, public radio or emergency broadcasts may be exposing patience, telling the people that things will get better soon. Human nature will be to believe and to wait. To be able to wait until the need to Bug Out becomes clear the urban Survivor will need to have a stock of food. Best case is if this food stock is compact and easily loaded and moved once the Urban Survivor departs his home for the safe location.

This means packaging food items yourself or buying packaged and prepared food designed for a long shelf life. We recommend both actions. Procure bulk items such as rice and beans and prepare/package containers of them yourself.

To package and prepare bulk food items yourself you will need containers such as 5 gallon buckets and lids – old paint buckets work well, Mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers. The Mylar bags are placed into the buckets, filled with rice or beans or whatever, then oxygen absorbers are dropped into the Mylar bag which are then ironed closed. The oxygen absorbers remove the oxygen in the bag creating a vacuum packed effect and allowing for long term storage, 10 years or so, in the right conditions. Oxygen absorbers need to be controlled in an air tight environment as they rapidly absorb oxygen when exposed to air and can become un-useable if not properly stored.

Prepared food items that can be purchased, are usually dehydrated, and can be divided up into two different types: single items such as dehydrated fruit, potatoes, eggs, etc; or, a meal type items such as dehydrated stew, soups, chili con carne, etc.

Our favorite packaged and prepared Survival food is Mountain House Food freeze dried meals in pouches or in #10 cans (coffee can sized). Mountain House Food makes meals from $3 to $6 per serving depending upon what you order. We use EarthWaveLiving (see the link to this company on the right side of this page) as they offer a large selection of Mountain House Food items in various configurations as well as other Survival and Self Sufficient items like solar panels, batteries, radios, water filters, grain mills, food dehydrators and heirloom seeds for food gardens.
The Urban Survivor should also consider stocking Salt, Sugar and other spices; bullion cubes would also be a good idea. Packaged in smaller Mylar bags, these items would also have a long shelf life, possibly 10 years or longer.

Just how much food should you stock? We think optimally you probably should not stock more than you can load in your vehicle if and when you Bug Out. However a six month supply of food, probably mixed between purchased prepared Survival Foods and bulk items you prepare yourself, is a decent concept that would allow you to get through a non-growing season into warmer weather where you could grow your own vegetables or otherwise procure food. Your six month supply will most likely be based on a reduced consumption level.

Long term storage food items are also an excellent barter item, so consider the possibility of bartering your long stay food for necessities that you may have forgot during your Survival Preparation.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Initial Considerations for a Longer Stay at Home

If you’re an urban or suburban dweller we think your first survival tasks are to plan and prepare for a withdrawal to a safe area – we have talked about that several times on this site. You can read about Jim, in the Chronicles of Jim, planning much the same. His Survival plan, in nut shell, is to be prepared to Bug Out from his home in the city to a remote area cabin.

Jim has prepared a basic Survival Bug Out Bag, procured a couple of firearms for survival and defense, planned routes from the city to the cabin and is in the process of emplacing some interim Survival Caches near the cabin.

The next question for him and us is how prepared are we to remain in our homes until Bugging Out is the only option? The two biggest concerns immediately following a societal collapse or TEOTWAWKI scenario would most likely be security and water.

Food is another concern. Most people or families could go to a minimal rations plan and ration their existing food supplies for a couple weeks. It would not be pleasant, but you do what you have to do.

Back to water. The Urban Survivor should have a Survival Decision Matrix or Plan that simply mandates specific actions based on the situation or indicators. If certain indicators are present then the Urban Survivor would do certain things like start stockpiling water. Five gallon jugs available at surplus stores or the ever present Wal-Marts can be stored empty, then filled when necessary, to prevent the water from becoming too stagnant,…or you can store water now and replace on a timetable. Consider a planning figure at 1.5 gallon per person, per day minimal.

Once the water is shut off you need to figure out just how long you can stay with your existing water supply. With just drinking alone, you are most likely going to consume ½ to ¾ gallon per person per day. Bathing, cleaning and using to flush toilets has got to be of much less importance.

Another thing you could, especially if you are a bottled water drinker, so is buy several cases of water at once, then routinely (say once a week), buy replacements for what you drink and rotate that case into your stock. Same with any other consumable, buy extra now then on your routine buys, rotate that into your stock and use the oldest first.

Security is more problematic. It will take a minimum of four adults to man a location. One on guard/security at all times, while the others are on rest cycle and completing survival tasks like cooking, procurement, security enhancements, radio monitoring, fixing things, etc. Certainly two people could manage security and survival tasks but only for a short period of time until their security became degraded and two people, and we talking trigger pulling capable adults, aren’t much of a defensive team against a group of bandits or a gang bent on taking what they think you have.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 8

This morning I woke up to a text message from Neomi to call her when I could.
I called Neomi 45 minutes later. She wanted to stop by and show me something on her way to work. So I frantically shaved my sand paper rough face, got dressed and awaited her arrival.

Neomi pulls up, parks her car, which is Mazda Miata – hardly suited for bugging out of the city on dirt roads nor packing a lot of gear. Anyway, Neomi comes into the house toting this big sports gym type shoulder bag. She was excited and wants to show me her Survival Bug Out bag. I was happy to see her dressed in her business attire as I did not need to see the hot looking and scantily dressed Neomi this early in the morning. But I digress,…….

I told Neomi that a backpack style pack or Camel-Bak type unit, such as Camel-Bak BFM or Mother Lode style packs, or, the Spec Ops Brand T.H.E. PACK, would work much better as a Survival Bug Out Bag, but was glad to see she has taking Urban Survival and the Bug Out preparation seriously. Note: As you may remember I bought a Camel Bak Talon pack for my Bug Out Bag. Anyway, she said she would look around and buy one soon.

She shows me the contents of her Bug Out Bag which include:

Rollup Gortex jogging style tan colored rain suit;

Extra socks, underwear, t-shirts, a sweat shirt and a pair of jeans;

Two Nalgene bottles which she tells me are her “canteens”;

Two boxes of granola bars;

3 packs of 4 each “AA” batteries – but the non-rechargeable type;

Garmin Etrex GPS;

One twenty round box of .30-06 ammunition and one box (50 rounds) of .38 Special;

Plastic zip lock bag containing a box of wooden matches and a couple fistfuls of dyer lint which she tells me her ex-boyfriend taught her are good for fire starting;

First aid kit with 3x3 inch gauze pads, anti-biotic cream, medical tape, band aids, an eye patch and three small bottles, one each of , Aspirin, Tylenol and Motrin;

AA Battery powered Flashlight;

Seeing her First Aid made me remember that I did not plan for a first aid kit for my Survival caches near the cabin, so I quickly jotted down a list: Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide, 3x3 inch gauze pads, self adhesive ace bandage type wraps, medical tape, assorted bandages, Neosporin anti-biotic ointment, and some bottles of Aspirin, Tylenol and Motrin. Which I’ll buy and put into the ammunition boxes I plan on caching this weekend.

I suggested that she buy a lightweight earth tone color tarp, maybe 5 feet x 7 feet, as well as a Survival Water Filter. She also needs a decent knife – so I directed her to the Urban Survival Skills posts on folding knives.

Although Neomi wasn’t interested in doing the Survival Bug Out route rehearsal, she did say she would look to start stocking some long shelf food at her house. And she would think about the Survival Cache thing.

We talked for a few minutes of the different ways for us to linkup if we had to get out of the city then promised to have dinner within the week to discuss further.

Moving forward. Jim

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Urban Survival Tool – Survival Rifle

We want to orient this site to people who are just now starting to realize they need some level of preparation in case of an incident that changes our lives drastically,…call it TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) or by it’s shorter acronym, TSHTF. It would be easy to us to post unrealistic preparation measures, expensive firearms procurements, massive freeze dried food buys, etc. In fact, all of us writing these posts have all that and more, but realize the most people thinking of Survival Preparation are doing so more out of minimal insurance type of thing or just a “check the block”.

We are working with Jim, whose Survival Chronicles you read on this site. When we met Jim he didn’t own a gun let alone think about what would happen if somebody turned off the lights and the water spigot not to mention what if the trucks carrying groceries to our stores just stopped coming. Look at how far Jim has came in a minimal time at minimal expense. We realize Jim has bought a .22 handgun and a 12 gauge shotgun, but we’re not really happy with Jim putting off buying a rifle. Some of that is due to costs,…some of that may be due to a purchase of really suitable rifle such as an M-4 carbine or (our favorite) an M-1A type rifle is akin to stepping past the point of no return.

Anyway, we think we can get Jim to buy a rifle, not a battle rifle, but a survival type rifle, in .22 caliber, that would be easy for him to carry in his Survival Bug Out Bag, use to procure small game, use to practice marksmanship cheaply and be fun, as well as give him another option if pressed into a Survival Defensive mode.

Henry Repeating Arms is now manufacturing a new version of the famous U.S. Air Force AR-7, now known as the Henry U.S. Survival rifle. This is really a handy little Survival Rifle. Lightweight at 2.5 pounds, this rifle’s design allows the rifle to break down into three pieces in seconds. This enables the barrel, action and two 8-round magazines to fit inside the ABS synthetic waterproof stock in a 16 inch length. No tools are required. We think it’s a perfect design for the Bug Out Bag. Plus the gun, when folded with float. Well, Golly!

The barrel and receiver are coated in Teflon, helping greatly with bad weather resistant. A picatinny type rail on the top of the receiver makes it easy to add a scope if needed. Priced around or slightly less than $250 retail we think this is an excellent buy for a guy like Jim. We would suggest a small lightweight scope and several extra magazines.