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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1496915
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08/08/2011 12:09 AM
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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
There are many free homeschooling sites with pdf files. It would be great to have them just in case there are issues.

Get medications that your kids need. See if your doctor will prescribe 3 months supplies for them.

Get some presents tomorrow for Christmas. Little gifts that you could give out not only then, but throughout the year as incentives. They'll really appreciate them.

Children can thrive in the woods as long as they have calm parents. They cannot keep up with your pace up and down tails. You've got to plan adequately if you do have to walk some.

Kids are used to incorrectly using a backpack since kids at school wear them in the wrong fashion, which adds too much stress to their lower back. You'll have to reteach them how to buckle it properly and position it higher than they used to wearing it.

Try to make gathering wood into a game. Teach them as much about nature as possible. Being quiet is as important as talking.

Kids love open fires. Tell stories. It can simply be times when they did wonderful things when they were younger. They love hearing how much you love and adore them. Even teens.

Hug and kiss them often. Be generous with your affection. Lavish it on them
The Guy

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08/08/2011 12:13 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I've taught them what plants are safe, and that they can eat pretty much any animal if it's well-cooked.
It's good to be open-minded, just don't let your brain fall out.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/08/2011 12:20 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Children will eat alternative meats when hungry, but they will also eat things they're not used to like lamb or deer or rabbit when you act as if it is perfectly normal.

They're conditioned by other children, but in the absence of schools, they'll look to your response.

I can tell you honestly and from experience that I've no trouble feeding many many children alternative meat like lamb when they were conditioned to eating it as if it were the most ordinary meal.

Kids will become very bored without cell phones, the Internet, TV, electronic games, DVDs, etc.

Kids are far more hungry for your attention though, and if you'll find time to play games with them, exercise together,and really talk, that boredom will pass.
Anonymous Coward
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08/08/2011 12:21 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
equip your kids well with harnesses for carrying ammo
Keep Looking Up

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08/08/2011 02:03 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
good post op, things that need to be considered.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/08/2011 02:51 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF


Worth watching from Robert Kiyosaki about a month ago.

Today, get out some money. If things work out, then you simply have some cash on hand. Do a little grocery shopping, get only food that you will consume. No matter what having two weeks of food on hand is a prudent thing to do.

For about $200, you can buy a portable solar collector from some place like a discount tool shop. Get an inverter too. I bought mine a long time ago for half of that. Hook up the collector to trickle charge a battery, and then use the inverter to convert dc to ac. Practice doing this. You can use it to charge up the battery in your car very easily, but ideally a marine battery will last longer. This will allow you to recharge batteries for electronic devices, for things like flashlights, radios, but more importantly a laptop computer.

Use a laptop, or something cheap like a Kindle to store pdf files like home schooling material. Kindles or alternative readers can display those files, but you'll need some means of storing them like a USB hard drive. A laptop is a multi-use device. Think how great it will be to listen to music on rare occasions, or watch a DVD if there is no power.

This is a very small investment for your family.

What will tell you that things are reaching a critical point? If you enter a store, and they won't take your credit card or debit card. That's when things will be getting bad. We're clearly not there yet. If you wait until the last minute though, then you will not be able to create a portable resource for teaching your children and yourself.

There are many free resources on old skills on the Web. Now would be a great time to stop downloading useless things, and download some practical information to help your family just in case.

Have some cheap way to store water just in case. Strong and cheap plastic bins will work in a pinch, and can do double duty by storing things in the interim. A better way is to buy food grade buckets with lids, or even better a food grade 55 gallon drum. More if you can afford it.

I know these sound extreme. Believe me, if things do go bad, even for only two weeks, and you have food, clean water, a means of maintaining normalcy like music, videos, and education for your children, then things will go much smoother.

Everyone should have a backpack even a cheap by strong daypack will be extremely helpful should you have to bug out. Bugging out should be your last resort if things are bad all over. You are prey because likely any highways that you would travel upon would likely be closed off by citizens in those remote rural towns, as well as controlled by National Guard units seeking to control an influx. Someone desperate will want to take any supplies you have as they will be much more valuable than your money.
Anonymous Coward
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08/08/2011 02:55 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Kids, as well and pets, will feel your energy and if you're stressed they will be too.

Just sitting down in a circle and reading a book to the little ones or telling a cute story will keep them calm, and You as well. What you give you get.

A box of good old crayons goes a long way. Remember, they no nothing of stock markets, inflation, and wars, strife. Just as you did not know anything either when you were a kid. You were happy to ride your bike, catch fish and bugs and whatnot, oblivious to domestic and world events that affected your parents.

We're all in this together so stay as calm as you can, it's also necessary if you want your intuition to speak to you and guide you.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/08/2011 03:59 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Security

If things get dire, and people are desperate, they will make foolish decisions, which will only exacerbate the situation, spinning it out of control, and rioting will occur.

21st Century people are used to going to the grocery every three-four days to re-supply. Supply chains allow this to occur as restocking happens continually, but mostly during off peak times. If there are issues with supply chains due to uncertainty, then there may be issues with pricing. Retailers will have no idea how high to price their items, but price controls might initially be imposed, which will ultimately be ignored. If people have no money and no credit, and supplies are limited, they will eventually riot.

Under such conditions, sleeping patterns will have to change in order to protect family members. Initially husbands can undertake to take most of the burden, but all people must sleep, and sleep deprivation will take its toll in anything more than 72 hours.

Taking watches is recommended. Families who band together are fortunate as people can get more uninterrupted sleep.

If this is not possible, then letting your wife take the earlier watch will no doubt be easier for her, and for you in the long term.

Securing all the doors and windows is crucial. These only keep out honest folks. It is far simpler to put everyone in one central location, but of course this will alarm older teens as it is not normal. You should discuss this with them separately prior to making a family announcement. Let them be part of the team. Teen maturity is highly variable initially after this kind of scenario. Ultimately they can learn to control their own sleepiness and can help, but that may be well into a month.

Whoever is awake must be taught what to do, how to check, and how to wake people up, and in the right order based on threat level. Waking up the whole family sleeping in a central location too often will of course dramatically and unnecessarily raise stress levels.

Develop a plan for checking the perimeter. Have people sleep wearing clothing and shoes if possible. Have items that they might need during the night close at hand in a location known to parent and child. Discuss with them how to go to the bathroom without disturbing those around them, and notifying whoever is on watch that they are up. This is common sense, but then few of us have ever had any need to consider these kinds of issues.

Don't allow open flames within the house late at night. Fires can start very easily as tire people forget a candle is burning. LED lamps are great, but solar powered ones are infinitely better due to low power usage and no fire hazard.

The prime time to attack might come in the early morning ~3am as people are in their deepest sleep, but also primary times for people to wake to use the restroom. Security must exists at all times as one's guard goes down with relief during early morning hours when you "feel" safer in the sunlight.

Any knock at the door should be taken with the strongest alertness. Attacks will no doubt come from multiple entrances.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/08/2011 04:39 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Water sources

If you have a sense that your water supply may be compromised or shut off soon, you can of course use these methods to prepare in advance with minimal preparation. This is not ideal, but will work.

Bathtubs should never be used as a way to catch water. Neither should sinks. Both will end up containing huge bacterial counts, which will eventually make your family sick.

Discarded milk jugs contain small amounts of milk protein and will be terrible ways of storing water. They only serve as incubators for bacteria as well.

Learn how to draw off water from your hot water heater. If it is electric, then of course the power must be turned off to it, and usually there is a marked breaker or electrical disconnect nearby. Find it now, rather than when hurried and confused.

If it is gas heated, then of course you need to know how to shut off the gas.

You never want to siphon off water from a hot water heater without ensuring that it is not heating the water. Dangerous things could happen.

Many times the drain will be placed very close to the floor, and hence gathering water from it is not simple, but will result with a lot of spillage.

In the USA, many tanks are 40 or 50 gallons. That's a very minimal amount for a family of four calculating 2 gallons of water per day per person. It's not just for drinking, but cooking, cleaning up too. Calculate it out, and adjust you water reserve needs.

Waste water can be saved for flushing only. Well as long as the sewers work.

In a pinch, though not recommended, if your washer is clean and pristine, then you could fill it up as a reservoir, then carefully yourself ladling from it for family use. This will be difficult to do hygienically, and if not pristine could result in too much chlorine or soap contaminants.

I personally wouldn't draw off water from toilet tanks. For anyone who's done minimal plumbing, you've no doubt found black residue from the plumbing fixtures and flapper plug. You'd have to be desperate to use that.

Drawing off water into hastily thrown together pots and pans will have to be put somewhere. A real mess. Avoid that if you can.
Anonymous Coward
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08/08/2011 04:48 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
They can help look for fire wood and stack it up.

There will be plenty of new things to learn...

:)
drinking buddy

User ID: 1288791
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08/08/2011 04:56 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
You mentioned entertainment..I agree that is big for kids, but they have great imaginations and you can make so many things into a game! Also, having a musical instrument and knowing some songs goes a long way...I recommend 'Rise Up Singing' for a lot of fun family songs [link to www.singout.org]

A deck of cards and some classic board games are good to have around as well.

Another useful activity is sewing or knitting. Kids can do it and be productive! Boys too..did you know that the Highlanders knitted their own socks as they marched into battle and in the evenings around the fire.
To have done anything just for money is to have been truly idle.
-Henry David Thoreau
drinking buddy

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08/08/2011 04:59 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Also Tom Brown's book for kids is a great tool...
[link to www.amazon.com]
To have done anything just for money is to have been truly idle.
-Henry David Thoreau
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/08/2011 05:08 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
All of the Tom Brown books are excellent. He even wrote one on practical urban survival, though it must be out of print since it is so old.

Water collection from natural sources is highly complex and difficult for a variety of reasons. People are not used to doing it, and as you can imagine, no water can be extremely serious.

If you have a way to purify it, as in a camping filter, then most likely for security reasons you're collecting it unfiltered, hauling it back, and then filtering it at home. Why? Because your filter will be like gold. Even your water jugs and transport system will be a commodity, so you most likely will have to send two people, most likely strong people, to collect and haul it back. Water is difficult to transport, sloshes around, and is heavy.

Water flows down, but then so does agricultural runoff as well as livestock fecal matter. People in suburbs use lawn fertilizers that no doubt chemically polluted any close lakes. This is very difficult to filter out, if not impossible.
Anonymous Coward
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08/08/2011 05:12 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Water sources

If you have a sense that your water supply may be compromised or shut off soon, you can of course use these methods to prepare in advance with minimal preparation. This is not ideal, but will work.

Bathtubs should never be used as a way to catch water. Neither should sinks. Both will end up containing huge bacterial counts, which will eventually make your family sick.

Discarded milk jugs contain small amounts of milk protein and will be terrible ways of storing water. They only serve as incubators for bacteria as well.

Learn how to draw off water from your hot water heater. If it is electric, then of course the power must be turned off to it, and usually there is a marked breaker or electrical disconnect nearby. Find it now, rather than when hurried and confused.

If it is gas heated, then of course you need to know how to shut off the gas.

You never want to siphon off water from a hot water heater without ensuring that it is not heating the water. Dangerous things could happen.

Many times the drain will be placed very close to the floor, and hence gathering water from it is not simple, but will result with a lot of spillage.

In the USA, many tanks are 40 or 50 gallons. That's a very minimal amount for a family of four calculating 2 gallons of water per day per person. It's not just for drinking, but cooking, cleaning up too. Calculate it out, and adjust you water reserve needs.

Waste water can be saved for flushing only. Well as long as the sewers work.

In a pinch, though not recommended, if your washer is clean and pristine, then you could fill it up as a reservoir, then carefully yourself ladling from it for family use. This will be difficult to do hygienically, and if not pristine could result in too much chlorine or soap contaminants.

I personally wouldn't draw off water from toilet tanks. For anyone who's done minimal plumbing, you've no doubt found black residue from the plumbing fixtures and flapper plug. You'd have to be desperate to use that.

Drawing off water into hastily thrown together pots and pans will have to be put somewhere. A real mess. Avoid that if you can.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1496915


I keep 30-gallon stackable bins that fit inside of each other on hand. Figure I can give them a quick chlorox bath if needed and fill them up. They take up minimal room when empty and we use them to store out of season clothes. Figure I can empty those real fast, bleach them out, and fill them. Wont' be able to move or stack them once they are full, but we have room to store them.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/08/2011 05:35 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I also believe in the bins idea, see one of my earlier posts, but it's not ideal as normally you have things in them, in my case my survival cache items. If filled with water, you cannot stack them due to weight.

1 gallon of water weighs approximately 8.35 lbs. Do the math. 30 gallons x 8.35 = 250.5 lbs. That is very heavy for a bin, and not manageable for most folks to move, not without spillage, and most likely will result in tipping over stacked bins. They weren't made for that use, but if placed on the ground, they of course that will work. Not ideal at all.

In a pinch, a strong cooler can hold a lot of water, but most likely has old food particles in it, and will need bleaching too.

People always bring up rainwater collection. This is highly complex to purify, collect, and relocate. Not much rain in winter, so that's a big concern.

Some people foolishly talk about harvesting snow into potable water. This is enormously labor intensive as 8-12 inches of snow is equivalent to 1 inch of rain, and still must be melted which takes time, energy, and most likely a lot of labor. Might work well for very northern climates, but then they have heating issues too.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/08/2011 06:40 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Carrying capacity

Carrying capacity is the maximum amount of a species that can indefinitely live within an area. In this case, humans are the keystone species, at the apex ordinarily of its niche.

We live in a civilized world, often urban, in very high concentrations that ignore carrying capacity. Why? Because all of the materials, food, water, medicines, etc are shipped in.

How is this possible? Specialization. Your personal skill sets add to the collective, and generate fiat money which is then exchanged for goods and services.

Without constant trucking in of supplies, most groceries have three day inventories under ordinary store traffic and normal purchasing.

Without an influx of supplies, residents would depend upon the ordinary carrying capacity of water, lumber, food items such as they naturally found within the localized area of your city. Even those must be distributed in some fashion.

Certain people within the community will have certain skill sets that will be of limited value within a SHTF scenario. They will be unable to generate needed items, not only to take care of themselves, but to barter for other needed items outside of their personal needs.

Hunting, trapping, and fishing is not at all like our ancestors would have experienced. There are not abundant species of animals to procure, other than perhaps initially pets...a gruesome concept.

Even if one had the ability, the idea of suddenly even small numbers of hunter-gatherers harvesting from local wildlife areas would strip out species of varying ages and no doubt dooming future generations of animals. Plants too.

Even still, the ability to properly take down, butcher in useful amounts meats, and then prepare them under hygienic amounts, and in sufficient caloric intake would be daunting. Spoilage would occur as meats without refrigeration would soon go bad, and without proper canning tools, or the ability to properly dehydrate meats, there most likely would be spikes in meat availability. What would you trade for access to food in the absence of money?

So you can see the issue of bugging out versus bugging in. Most of live in urban areas of such size and a lack of supplies could rapidly descend into anarchy. Citizens of large towns would probably decide en masse to relocate to smaller towns, with the perception that their money would procure goods and services there in that new locale.

How do you think that would play out?

Do a quick internet search of the sex offenders that are situated within a 5 mile radius of your home. Do another search of prisons. Consider the amount of ex-offenders also located within a 5 mile radius. Pretty scary, no?

Now is the time to plan what you would do if you had to leave. What route would you take? When would you leave? Where would you go? How much could you take with you? What would it be?

This has been discussed numerous times and scenarios analyzed. The general consensus is to go South for warmer climates and to smaller rural areas. I'll leave you to make your conclusions about that. I doubt that those folks will want an influx of visitors. Local weather patterns may influence your decisions too.

Other people have discussed Western areas and hence lower population density, higher availability of wildlife, and a higher than average survival mentality i.e. LDS folks. The availability of water sources is a chief concern.

There are more questions than answers on the subject. As any parents know, travel is extremely expensive. Friends and family may be willing to assist you in rural regions.
Whiskey Brother
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08/08/2011 06:45 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Make sure they can shoot straight, with a rifle and shotgun. Teach basic little skills like cooking and sewing. Make sure they understand a compass and map. How to purify water, and identify poisoness plants and animals. How to find shelter, and how to make a fire.

Make sure they know how to read, both books and the land.

And always tell them you love them and will have their back.
Anonymous Coward
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08/08/2011 06:48 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Bible predicts people will be eating their kids so stock up on seasoning.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/08/2011 07:35 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Obesity

Obesity is defined generally as having a body mass index of 30. By definition, a BMI of 18.5 is considered undernourished. What this means is that many of us are carrying a food supply with us.

Let's look at an average American male weighing 170 lbs. If obese, they are carrying fat reserves of 51 lbs, but they need to maintain 18.5 percent to stay healthy, so their ideal weight is around 135 lbs.

Fat can be catabolized into energy, but it's not a straight forward process. While a healthy person can go upwards of three weeks with a severely reduced intake under stringent medical supervision, a lack of adequate blood glucose will result in losing consciousness.

Still, for the first few weeks of a SHTF scenario, most of us can manage quite tolerably on a reduced diet of 1500 calories. A normal diet for men is 2300 calories for maintenance. Most people do not eat a maintenance amount of calories especially when stressed. They eat far more and this is a major consideration for SHTF scenarios. You do not want to cut calories much lower than this. Food spoils easily, and it is more efficient to eat it, than carry it, within a rational level of consumption.

A problem is that while people are generally sedentary, under a stressed situation, they likely are increasing their caloric needs from exertion. Chopping wood is a labor intensive activity.

Very careful measurements of food servings will have to be done based upon the caloric needs of you family, and taking into account exertion and stress. We will all be a lot thinner.

In a perfect world, we would lose fat first. That is not the case. The first weight loss is from water and muscle tissue. Dehydration is a concern in the absence of clean water. Most people are out of touch with their normal thirst mechanism. Dehydration in hot climates, dry climates, even during winter time (low humidity) can significantly affect the diet and overall health.

Children will of course be our primary concern. Their bodies are growing, and any nutritional deficiency will become evident in their behaviour, skin, teeth, and hair in a very short amount of time. You must watch this carefully.

Pine needle tea can be consumed to prevent scurvy or a lack of Vitamin C. There is not much excuse for a lack of Vitamin C. Just about everyone can identify it and prepare it. Teeth can become loose, gums bleed, and wounds don't heal.

Hair loss is indicative of low protein consumption generally. The hair will become brittle and break easily.

Low blood sugar will result in stuporous behaviour and poor judgment. You have to watch for this as local sweeteners, fruits, and normal sugar in the diet will be severely curtailed.

A rapid reduction in normal caffeine consumption will cause withdrawal due to a chemical mechanism. Severe headaches can result and irritability. Many children consume a lot of caffeinated beverages, and these new symptoms could be this, or something far worse, but should be easy enough to identify based upon the time period they occur. Knowing this, if coffee is in short supply, you will want to ration it to avoid this issue.

Spicy foods are more satisfying, so adding more may stave off hunger at least at first. Make one pot meals. Think camping meals. You need to minimize the amount of dishes to wash anyway. Ramen noodles are cheap, add fat calories, filling, and are pre-flavored with bouillon. Hamburger Helper or mac and cheese can be also used to make a simple dish. The Italians say, "Good food praises God." I know it adds an enormous morale factor, so take the time to eat together and talk, and do your best to make the meal, such as it is, enjoyable.
Anonymous Coward
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08/08/2011 07:50 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
My heart goes out to all parents, if you have the thoughts i have in regards to an event like a financial collapse, then you know what i've been thinking. My children are 12 and 5, and i am scared to death to think about them going without meals, medicine, or just a normal structured life.

I'm sure alot of us will be able to get by without starving to death, if the doom comes, and it may very well build some character that maybe we have lost over the generations. But it will not be in any way fun, and we will lose some of our loved ones, but we as a nation can rise from the rubble, and stand proud once again.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/08/2011 08:37 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I think we could lose up to 90% of the population in some areas due to hunger, illness from a variety of causes, lack of medicine, hygiene, stress, and accidents. We are not pioneers or well adapted to living without a lot of support. Our towns are not set up for the carrying capacity of the amount of their population.

[link to www.pbs.org]
If you can, watch this series. Your public library no doubt has it on DVD or VHS. Most of the pioneers failed in the American West. Simply cutting enough firewood to survive the Winter was a major issue. Not putting up enough feed hay was another. A simple error could be disastrous. This show is highly recommended of all the survival series, as they actually lived out there as the Pioneers did. Some very real stress resulted with at least one divorce happening.
Anonymous Coward
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08/08/2011 08:48 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
bump
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/08/2011 10:05 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
So where is the good news in all the doom?

In the short term, things could become dire. But generally, in spite of all that is wrong with the world, despite the terrible darkness in our souls, and cruelty in our hearts, there is Hope.

Most of us can be selfish, but very few of us who have been parents or love children can sustain that selfishness. We hunger to love and be loved, and when we find someone to love us, and children come into our lives, we tap into a well of Hope that is so deep and profound that at times it seems inexhaustible.

It is a Source of Goodness, how ever you define it. I cannot do it. I won't do it here. But it is an awareness that there is something beyond us. We only love because of it. It transcends this Life and perhaps gives us a glimpse of something far far greater.

That Goodness is our only Hope. It ultimately will be the only thing that will save us. Politicians will fail us. Big business and any employment that pays us cannot give us security. No military might can protect us.

What will you do? Will you choose to tap into that Goodness, or not? I think most will in the end, but they will need help and persuasion.

It's like Maslow's Hierarchy of Need. A person looking for sustenance and eeking out day to day survival cannot find self-actualization. We cannot expect that.

So since things may truly be totally broken for a time, the only way we can make it, is to dig down deep, or reach out far to the ends of the universe for that Goodness, however you perceive it. Some find the answer within. That voice is so feeble and almost powerless against the brunt of random violence, that I cannot believe it will be enough. But the other, the Source, that I believe is inexhaustible.

So avoiding all of the issues that defining what that Source is, or how it manifests, or even the history of believing in it, or the cruelties inflicted on others who did not believe in it, what can we do next?

After the Fall, we must come back together. All of us have skills, abilities, gifts. The Source makes no junk. No one is totally without gifts or cannot learn new ones. We are the creatures that can learn. And we shall again.

Completely illiterate people with limited awareness of the outside world learned how to gather plants, collect their seeds, plant them again, and harvest them. They didn't see an oak, a maple, a hickory, a pine. They saw wood for handles, for tools, medicine from roots and leaves and berries.

These tribal people didn't see a bass, a deer, a bear, a snake. They saw meat in their seasons, fur for warmth, leather for coverings, bones for tools.

They learned and taught each other. They were not selfish in this, but they expected the people they taught to listen enough to take the initiative and apply it. They expected them to pass it on.

So, even if things get bad, some of us will have knowledge. Some will have wisdom. Some will have strong backs. Some will make us laugh. Some will love. Some will be the greatest of friends. We will learn again to carry each other's burdens enough to teach, but not to carry them so much to enable their lack of knowledge into a handicap.

We can rebuild our society, but sometimes things have to break down so profoundly in order for that to happen.

Don't give up. Be part of the solution even when tempted to seize another's resources.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/09/2011 08:37 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The Others

We can control our emotions only when we feel safe and human. We lose our humanity when we feel threatened and then adjust whatever we previously held as morals in the fight or flight response.

The riots in London, and now elsewhere in England demonstrate this. However it started, based on a perception of injustice, it will soon spin out of control, like an all consuming fire. People can turn into mindless zombies ignoring reason and turning to senseless violence. If it happened there, it can happen here. Don't fool yourself.

A fire like that, will consume everything in its path, not discriminating based on race, religious beliefs, or sex. Don't get caught up in it, or become a victim.

It will not spontaneously begin. It takes time for a mob to assemble and ramp up into a frenzy. Have a little common sense if you see this happening, hear of it happening nearby, or watch it on television.

Ultimately the police investigate crimes AFTER they happen. We haven't invented a force yet that can effectively anticipate criminal behaviour. That said, in your gut you know what you must do to protect yourself. Not prepping in the area of home defense is foolish.

There's a scene in the movie Aliens where the combat squad is told not to use their weapons for fear of another potential danger. One soldier says something like, "Gee Sarge, what are we supposed to use? Harsh language?" There's a lot of wisdom in that scene. When people become an assembled mob, they do not listen to reason, pleading, or bribery. They respond to an effective deterrent and FEAR sent back in there direction.

Your children and spouse is counting on YOU to protect them.
Carol B.

User ID: 1265827
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08/09/2011 08:45 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
5 stars and a pin request for you OP.....this is important stuff to think about now.
k_t_09

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08/09/2011 09:23 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Great post OP! A great help to us parents. 5* and pin from me too!! applause
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/09/2011 10:20 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
After the initial FALL

After things go belly up, people will be extremely nervous about going out. They'll have to, as it will be certain that most people didn't plan, and hence they'll be hungry, thirsty, scared, and in need of answers. Remarkably, that hunger for information will be a stronger compelling force than the other three.

We are only strong together. The earliest societies figured that out. A single family poses no threat to outside invaders. NONE.

What can you do to make the neighborhood safe again?

First, you've got to get people trusting again. It's dangerous to go door-to-door, but someone must do this.

Approach houses cautiously, calling out with your hands held at your sides and open clearly demonstrating a lack of threat. Have someone stand behind you, but far enough away that that person has some distance from the neighbor you are approaching. They should be armed, but not you. This requires bravery and diplomatic finesse.

Say, "I am not seeking anything except to talk. I don't want anything. I am only checking to see if YOU need help." If they don't immediately shoot you or threaten you, then continue. "I need you and you need me. We cannot make it alone in this neighborhood." If you have a little food that you can spare, it will go a long way to beginning the parlay.

Always keep your front facing the person you are talking to. Others are watching you from their windows, either within that person's home, or from neighboring windows. They are all scared, and may react in bizarre ways. You must stay vigilant. This is not an activity for wimps.

Try to organize by going to the most rational and well-liked people first. Popularity will help.

The first order of business is a neighborhood watch. This helps everyone. Try to get volunteers to check on the elderly or any children who might be alone. A parent who is medically fragile could have died, leaving children helpless.

If the trust level is high enough, some of the stronger men may volunteer to help set up a watch. Be judicious in setting it up as some people are power hungry and trigger happy. If you can, block the roads with cars to minimize outsiders coming in. It will help minimally. The watch can man stations to control entrances. No one will like it, but it will help.

Identify who in the neighborhood has a criminal record. Watch carefully for rumors. In the absence of knowledge, rumors spin out of control. Despite that, you must know where any risks might come from.

If the water is not working, it will be the first order of business. It takes a lot of strong people to gather water and transport it to where it is most needed. Organizing a crew to do this will help everyone out. Someone will have something to transport it like containers, wheelbarrows or garden carts, or ideas about filtration.

Set up a market day. Find a central location. Have people bring things they don't need as much, and wish to trade. It's an opportunity for people to start trusting again.

Someone in the neighborhood may be good with children or be a teacher either past or present. Try to organize something akin to a school.

Someone in the neighborhood may know something about medicine. Organizing all the medical supplies in one location will allow for a quantum leap in saving lives.

Spirituality will help as will tolerance in equal measure. People align themselves on a long continuum on the priority for these things. Do not impose your beliefs. Your actions are far more important than your words.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/09/2011 11:21 AM
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How things will spin out of control

If rioting begins to happen in multiple cities, there will be citizens, business leaders, and politicians calling for order. This means activating the military and transporting them to localized hot spots. This takes time, and anticipating how many and to what locations.

If there are many riots, they may activate National Guard units. This takes even more time as many are already activated and deployed.

The cure could be worse than the illness.

You must stay on top of information. If things are out of control, and things are getting that way i.e Philadelphia, then they may try to control media coverage or the Internet. You may be quite blind in any normal intelligence gathering as the ordinary immediacy of information will be cut off.

Do you have a radio? AM radio stations carry long distances. They may be the best source of information, as may shortwave receivers. Crank (dynamo) powered radios are available, and will be priceless. Having a chart of AM and shortwave frequencies may be extremely valuable versus random searching based on broadcast times.

In the event of martial law, it will take time to deploy them, and a huge amount of time to disband them.

Curfews are the first way to organize restrictions in movements. Next come “unlawful assemblies”. Essential movement restrictions based upon dangerous activities. Restrictions based upon name at certain times of the day. Ultimately travel will be restricted. Exits from highways may be blocked as may bridges. Gasoline may be commandeered for military use. The decision to bug out may not be an option, especially if you wait too long.

The media will not like or support a suspension of civil liberties or the flow of information. There will be issues of reporters being detained. People will be rounded up as persons of interest.

People who post on the few internet websites will be heavily criticized for instigating rumors. They may become the de facto reporters of the new era. The easiest thing to do is control the domain lookup protocol, and hence when you type in a website, you may have great difficulty actually getting your browser to that domain destination.

Authorities may try to shut down the most vocal posters by identifying IP and MAC addresses.

Posters may attempt to discover personal information in order to identify you.

Paranoia and fear will make posters scared of their own shadows. Part of that will be justified.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/09/2011 12:42 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Special Needs

Elderly
Many elderly folks are on multiple medicines to control any health issues. If you end up taking care of an elderly parent, make certain you know their medical schedule. Don't ration medicine. Keep them on it, and pray that somehow you'll be able to acquire their prescriptions. Polyphamacy is complex. They take those medicines in a proper order: with food or not, timing based on best absorption, as needed, etc.

When elderly folks get out of their homes and into a new environment, confusion will often result. They are disoriented by the surroundings. This will right itself by YOU doing things to “center” them. Putting familiar items from their homes in their living space, talking about fond memories, keeping them on a schedule, etc will all help. The situation will no doubt make them feel helpless, and it's possible to see tempers flare, mental instability, and open anger.

Elderly folks are often a wealth of knowledge. They have sometimes lived through harsh times, and or have experiences with older knowledge that could be very useful about ways to cope in the future. You should tap that knowledge. Really listen to them.

It goes without saying that special events could occur. Things like incontinence from the disturbance in their normal cycle. Falling down when getting up in the middle of the night in a strange place. Some elderly are closet alcoholics. They may have been abusing quietly to cope, and now in a strange place and without their normal defense mechanism, may go into withdrawal. It frequently manifests in hospitals, but is not generally well known. Watch for it.

Wives
Women have had an enormous breakthrough in personal liberties compared to people in survival situations. That liberty may be quite curtailed by all sexes. A real adjustment in the ideas of freedom may occur, and the sudden mind-shift may result in all kinds of emotional manifestations. Be tender and understanding. Most women seek love and support and protection and then return affection.

Husbands
Men think that they are in control and strong. Most are sadly NOT. The mind-shift will result in foolish and belligerent behaviour in order to assert dominance. It's wasted energy and rage turned inwards and outwards. Watch for it. Most men seek respect and affection and only then return love and support.

Most people react to new situations, and deal with the consequences later. That's not a pioneer way to deal with a SHTF situation. Be deliberate. If it's emergency, respond appropriately with enough force as necessary to adequately deal with it. Don't overreact scaring your family needlessly.

If dealing with a violent situation, don't waste a lot of time with words. Evil violent people know that normal reasonable people waste times with words and will take advantage. It goes without saying that this is the height of stupidity.

More than likely you'll be dealing, not with an evil person, just a desperate one.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/09/2011 02:35 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Using up food items

When a situation becomes unstable, the folks that control our utilities like the gas, electricity, water, phone service, the internet, etc may get nervous themselves. Their jobs will be relabeled as critical infrastructure, and it's always possible that they may not be allowed to leave their posts since they might not return. The same is very true of police officers or medical staff.

It would take real anarchy to exist for essential water and electricity services to go out.

If this occurs, then you'll be in a situation of having no refrigeration and clean water. I've already touched on clean water and its importance.

We're the microwave generation. We thaw and reheat. Many don't cook. Many are used to eating out or eating carry out several times a week. None of those things will be options.

The first order of business ,in the absence of power, is determining spoilage. What will go bad, stale, or spoil due to a lack of refrigeration?

The foods that you are used to, the order that you eat them, the manner in which you do it, and the variety will all be severely limited.

You must eat those things that will go bad first. For anyone who's grilled outside before, you know that meat takes time to thaw. Frozen meat is usually thawed inside a refrigerator, hopefully not in the open air, since it's a perfect medium for bacteria.

Food should ideally be well-done not rare at all. I know, sorry, I love my meat rare or medium rare. Getting food poisoning in an already weakened state could be disastrous, especially for children.

Try to catch as much of the fat drippings as possible as those are calories you need! Make a gravy, add it to the stew, whatever.

Once you get a fire hot, and we're probably talking a wood fire, then you want to cook all your meat since you're going to lose whatever is in the refrigerator or freezer, and you also don't want to start a fire three times a day to grill it. Pray a power outage happens in winter as we might be able to save some freezer items.

If you have charcoal or gas grills, there will be a real temptation to use that material. You may wish to wait on using them up as wood may be in short supply as your neighbors gather it up. Chances are they will use up their charcoal and gas up first. See?

If there is a power outage and you cannot consume all of your grilled meat, then try to barter it. Throwing a block party and trying to organize them might work well at this point. Your generosity will not go unnoticed. Trading grilled meat, which might be hard to acquire, for other food items or necessities is a very good trade.

If you're a canner, and you have the ability, know how, and materials, then by all means can it.

Next come foods that will go bad from becoming stale. Use those items like baked goods next. Fresh fruit and veggies without refrigeration don't last long. Even questionable veggies that are a little off will work fine in a stew or soup.

Canned goods should be used last. Don't be tempted to pull from them first.

Breadmaking

All people can easily make bread. It just takes practice. The pioneers used recipes that worked from starter. Do a google search. There's lots of recipes. Generally they begin with yeast, in a modified dough, that you keep adding and subtracting from to get your leaven.

There are recipes for getting a bread dough going in the absence of leaven. Yeasts are in the air in our area. Great French wines happen due to the local yeasts in their climates.

Most bread requires a warm place to rise. Think where you could locate your rising loaves. Cooking it will require modification in the absence of ovens. You might have to use a dutch oven or something you rig up. Pita bread is not too difficult to do and far easier and in small daily potions. Research this. Personally I think it's ideal.

If you are making bread everyday and so is your neighbor, well that's pretty foolish, isn't it? It's a lot smarter to work out a division of labor. Pool your resources if you can.

Most recipes only require flour, water, salt, and yeast. It may seem totally daffy, but I think a desire to make an excellent delicious loaf is actually another ingredient too. Almost everyone I know that eats a fresh bit of warm bread immediately relaxes. It is truly a gift from the Source.

Waking up to prepare a meal.

Our ancestors modified their sleep cycles since they didn't have artificial light. In the absence of alarm clocks, the first week of getting up, especially without coffee or tea, will be terrible. An easy way to waken is to drink a lot of water, and timing it to coincide with when you wish to rise. Your bladder will wake you.

If it's cold, the lack of fire will no doubt wake you.

It goes without saying that having everything ready the night before, instead of stumbling in a dark kitchen, and trying not to disturb your family, is far superior. Better to make one really good meal once a week under these conditions with storytelling and laughter, then killing yourself to make too complex meals and grumbling and dour environments. Can I get an amen?

Get out a garbage bowl to minimize constant walking back and forth. The amount of food that you throw away will have radically changed by this point anyway. Most of that will go into the compost pile. Some may be used for any animals or pets.

Note that despite Madison Avenue, pioneers didn't eat eggs and bacon or large breakfasts. This is an idea created by marketing and adverting agencies to sell bacon. That said, a big breakfast can satisfy one's hunger in a deep way, and makes for a much more pleasant home environment.

If it's at all possible, make something sweet at least once a week. When people get together and the guests praise your cooking, they usually remember bread and desserts. Your morale will soar as will your family. It will make everything seem more normal. A little cinnamon and sugar will seem priceless.

If traveling, it is much more prudent to eat 5 small meals to prevent any cramping while walking a 5-10 mile hike. Eating induces sleepiness since it shunts blood to the stomach for processing. If someone takes the watch, and you can get folks to take a nap, you'll get far more work done. A nap, when so much hard labor is happening, will seem like the greatest blessing. A rested wife is far more affectionate.

Eating a huge meal, and stretching out to enjoy it, will induce so much sleepiness, that you've got to be careful about doing so. It can be terribly imprudent.

Naturally, the evenings are the times when a bigger meal should be served to get little ones to tun down for the night. People taking watch should be careful about eating too much as it may interfere with their responsibilities. Making them a special potion to eat after their watch is over will be an enormous treat.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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08/09/2011 02:45 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
[link to www.amazon.co.uk]

People have gotten very focused on the sale of baseball bats in the UK. Note all of the items. There's a lot of camping gear in there too, a fact that should be noted NOW by Americans.

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