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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
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12/09/2012 02:19 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making Ginger Beer

Ginger is one of those very simple to create beverages. It will be something that people will desire as a trade item.



To replace the lime juice, you could use an infusion of sumac berries that are strained to create a citrus note. Sumac can be found in most places since it's a plant that grows to take over a meadow and begin the transformation back to a forest.

Ginger can be regrown from an existing ginger root. See previous postings.

You can gather wild yeasts by allowing it to ferment on it's own, but you could also use raisins (see previous posts).

Isn't the Jamaican lady sweet in the video?
Anonymous Coward
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12/09/2012 07:24 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A different take on the Horde arriving in an economic collapse


Here's a video from southernprepper1. I've watched some of his work, and admired one so much that I included it here. He doesn't think that most people will flee an urban area and head to the country. He believes that they'll think that the government will take care of them.

I think what he has to say is reasonable, and including other's beliefs gives you more to think about. I'd hoped for people to challenge my beliefs more here.

He does think that the refugees who do leave the urban area that encounter the first rural towns will begin stripping resources and so other rural towns will create obstacles to their path by blocking roads into their towns. That's difficult to do, for unless it's a bridge, and there's no other way in (which almost always is not possible), then I think their need will help them find a way. [yet a true creator is necessity, which is the mother of our invention. Plato]

Most people will follow an interstate, and there's lots of farms which are on either side of interstates. This makes it relatively easy to veer from their path on an interstate, beg for food or a place to sleep in the farmer's environment, or simply squat (which is the most likely outcome). Squatting means NOT asking permission, for if you ask for permission, you might get and mostly will get denied. Since most farmers have shotguns, then I think there will be incidents. If you have 50 people squatting, and one family with shotguns, then most farmers will fire a warning shot, but most squatters will probably continue to challenge them. It's an ugly business, isn't it?

I encourage you to watch his videos. One minor note that's not a criticism. While it's common for people to talk about a Horde, he uses the anachronistic term “Golden Horde”. That's an old term for the enormous number of Asians in the world, a term that was used prior to Asian people being immigrants into various Western countries. I don't think he knows what it means here.
Anonymous Coward
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12/10/2012 01:57 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Help others prep now

If you Ladies and Gentlemen learned anything useful, then now would be a good time to mentor some people using the tips you learned and passing along your own carefully researched thoughts.

There's a lot of bad information on prepping. People assume things and "wing it". This is a very bad idea. When you're packing up food into canning jars or packing water for long term storage, then you should ensure that it is SAFE. You don't store it and "think" it will be okay. You follow directions.

There's practically an urban legend that it's safe to use fruit juice and milk jugs to refill water. I bet I've answered that question at least a hundred times. You never want to use milk jugs and really don't want to use fruit juice. Both will coat the jugs and will be very difficult to clean sufficiently, and that water will sit in there, and most likely create a nasty bacteria culture. Should someone drink it while immune depressed, then I can almost guarentee that they'll get sick. Dyssentery is no fun, under ideal circumstances.

[link to faculty.deanza.edu]

Please teach people TODAY how to drain their water tank and check for sediment. You want to make sure your family has that 40-50 gallons of water in case of emergency.
[link to www.diynetwork.com]

The knowledge you now know, is a good trade item. I'm hoping that you'll use those skills to help reestablish order in your tribe, but you know that you'll most likely need those neighbors to help you grow food, repel invaders, put out fires, watch your kids, educate children, lift tree trunks, help with building the well and cistern, etc.

We can't change everyone's minds. A lot of people will do what they think is fine and dandy. ARGH! However you might very well help the ones who are your friends and extended family.
Anonymous Coward
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12/10/2012 02:05 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
+1 on SouthernPrepper. He puts out some great videos. If u want an indication of what's coming down the pike subscribe to him.....
Anonymous Coward
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12/10/2012 04:15 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A surprising meal that you might not have imagined

I've discussed bread in a post-collapse world. Wheat is the most common prep supply. It's recommended by the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), as well as many other prepper groups. I've also discussed things like baking bread by collecting yeast from the air, as well as my personal preference of making pita bread. The latter is far more practical to cook. I also have mention hardtack since it's historically been used as a long lasting but awfully chewy bread. That bread is good for when you have stew or soup, and you can pour it over the hardtack and let it absorb the contents. And we've discussed panfortte, a precursor to modern day fruitcakes. It was eaten by the medieval crusaders since it lasted long and provided a mixed group of nutrients from nuts and dried fruit and preserved by rum or some other ethanol mix.

A bread though that you'll be eating, maybe once a day, is a crepe. I bet you never expected that. A crepe is a very good way to blend your acorn, corn, cattail pollen, clover or pine cambium flour, among all of the various kinds. Why? First, no doubt you'll be wanting to whip up something quick from time to time. Since it's a flatbread, there's no need to wait for it to rise or to mold it into something that you can easily cook. It's made deliberately thin, and that means it's easy to make several, and even eat them later at lunch or dinner. Sure, you'll be using honey or maple or corn syrup for a treat, but often the crepe can soak up the grease from animal fat, and so nothing is wasted. The crepe will be used to gather up that last little morsel on your plate. They also make a decent sandwich or a rollup.

In an ideal world you have some milk powder or powdered eggs to make something heartier. Still, it's remarkably easy to make a thin batter. Sometimes cutting the blended flours this way tastes better than trying to actually make them into a bread. It's a way to use up little dabs of this or that.
Anonymous Coward
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12/10/2012 09:51 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
In a recent WND poll, people were surveyed as to the potential effects of an EMP weapon. In the short minutes of the interview, most people concluded the dearth of their preparedness, that most would die even in two months, and that over half of them would be willing to kill to protect their family from attack.
[link to www.wnd.com]

Do you see any issues with their response?

Are you like those people: ill-prepared, rational enough to reach a proper assessment, willing to kill?

It's a very volatile mix, isn't it?

The healthy response to reflection is preparedness. It's gathering resources as a means of cushioning the fall of any disaster. It's about having or learning skills to make your life easier. It's having all of that, then only if absolutely necessary being willing to defend your family and domicile.

It's madness not to prepare. While an EMP attack seems remote, it's actually possible given that form of attack protects the infrastructure and natural resources in that form of warfare. A solar flare in history has knocked electronics. It could happen again.

What's far more likely is a bad storm that knocks out electricity in Wintertime. If you've ever seen a bad ice storm, the weight of the ice causes trees and power lines to tumble. If it's sustained over many days, then it's very possible for one to cripple a zone. No power in Winter could result in extreme exposure from a prolong loss of heat, an ability to cook, a loss of controlled refrigeration, an inability to wash, a loss of lighting, etc. Imagine the difficulties of a massive ice storm on the supply chain that brings in food and drugs, not to mention reduces the effectiveness of ambulances, fire departments, police, utility crews, etc.

If you think that it's possible, and you know you don't have supplies, WHY ARE YOU NOT PREPARED?
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 02:17 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Why Gold is a bad idea for barter, but a decent idea for preserving wealth

Some of you have invested in physical gold coins. It's a good idea to preserve wealth in a time of uncertainty. Because the value of gold will rise a lot at first leading up to a collapse and in its immediate aftermath, it's also a good reason to have some gold.

In a barter situation after a collapse, it's not very practical. Since a single gold coin might be worth a fortune, it would take a lot of trades to equal the value of a single gold coin. Probably. If you're starving and dehydrated, wouldn't you trade it away cheaply? Probably. Most smart gold investors have both gold and supplies. There's a scene in Time of the Wolf, a French film, and people are trading away their jewelry for clean water, and it's definitely not an equitable trade.

For barter, you want a new “currency”. Some people think for the first decade of a collapse that paper dollars will still be exchanged. They're not easy to counterfeit, so they'll be practical as all currency is, and so useful. Personally I think .22 ammunition will be very useful as will matches. Both don't take up much space, and will be in high demand. Salt is also a useful barter item, but must be packaged versus matches.

Very few other things can be so light, portable, and practical. You want to think in terms of easy to trade items desired by most people. Having some cigarettes is difficult for preppers to store long term in air tight containers. Unless you smoke regularly, I wouldn't store too much of this. If doom were right around the bend, then having some would be useful. Tobacco seed has previously been discussed, as has marijuana by another poster.
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 02:47 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making lime

Today, we purchase lime to sweeten the pH of our soil (make it more basic)to arund 7.0 . We also might need it to accelerate the digestion of composting manure. Post-collapse, we won't have those methods.

If one has a abundance of shells, say river mussel shells or seashells from an ocean proximity (like clam shells), then you can use the method in the link to liberate the calcium carbonate from them. Otherwise follow the simple instructions to liberate that from heated limestone.

In all likelyhood, this would practically result annually doing this with seasoned firewood, based upon deciding upon need versus using up a valuable resource of lumber, and deciding upon that need versus say growing Shitake mushrooms on that lumber, or making wood planks for construction, or the heat generated, blah blah blad.

Post-collapse, this is a very organized community activity since you want the process to be efficient and to share the workload. This means a lot of planning to determine the best time and not take away from other activities and being able to feed the workers and having the lime ready for use for sanitation and soil application in the Spring.
[link to digital.library.okstate.edu]

Since lime is a component of cement, and you'll need that for repairwork, all communities will have to carefully discover sources of limestone, and then transport it. That's extremely difficult, requires horses and probably oxen, wagons, feed for those animals, you get the idea.
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 03:51 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
My experience

It's been my experience that despite all my best efforts, probably less than 1% will actually do many things as a result of anything I say. While I can communicate in the most persuasive manner than I know how to do, and they'll agree that what I say makes sense, they won't commit to the time and effort and wealth to follow through.

10% will prepare somewhat. They see the value in doing a little since it will help some. They may but more food and put back a little (less than three days worth) of water.

20% will nod and do nothing.

20% will think I'm a kook. The remainder couldn't be bothered to read past the first sentence. They want a summation, or better they'd rather I did the work for them.

For the 1%, I applaud you for listening and then doing your own research and carrying the baton. Basically, you're one in a hundred, and the main reason I bother to write.
old guard

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12/11/2012 06:42 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making lime

Today, we purchase lime to sweeten the pH of our soil (make it more basic)to arund 7.0 . We also might need it to accelerate the digestion of composting manure. Post-collapse, we won't have those methods.

If one has a abundance of shells, say river mussel shells or seashells from an ocean proximity (like clam shells), then you can use the method in the link to liberate the calcium carbonate from them. Otherwise follow the simple instructions to liberate that from heated limestone.

In all likelyhood, this would practically result annually doing this with seasoned firewood, based upon deciding upon need versus using up a valuable resource of lumber, and deciding upon that need versus say growing Shitake mushrooms on that lumber, or making wood planks for construction, or the heat generated, blah blah blad.

Post-collapse, this is a very organized community activity since you want the process to be efficient and to share the workload. This means a lot of planning to determine the best time and not take away from other activities and being able to feed the workers and having the lime ready for use for sanitation and soil application in the Spring.
[link to digital.library.okstate.edu]

Since lime is a component of cement, and you'll need that for repairwork, all communities will have to carefully discover sources of limestone, and then transport it. That's extremely difficult, requires horses and probably oxen, wagons, feed for those animals, you get the idea.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734


You can also use sheetrock, chopped up, and tilled into the soil. The process takes longer, but does the same thing.
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 07:46 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making lime

Today, we purchase lime to sweeten the pH of our soil (make it more basic)to arund 7.0 . We also might need it to accelerate the digestion of composting manure. Post-collapse, we won't have those methods.

If one has a abundance of shells, say river mussel shells or seashells from an ocean proximity (like clam shells), then you can use the method in the link to liberate the calcium carbonate from them. Otherwise follow the simple instructions to liberate that from heated limestone.

In all likelyhood, this would practically result annually doing this with seasoned firewood, based upon deciding upon need versus using up a valuable resource of lumber, and deciding upon that need versus say growing Shitake mushrooms on that lumber, or making wood planks for construction, or the heat generated, blah blah blad.

Post-collapse, this is a very organized community activity since you want the process to be efficient and to share the workload. This means a lot of planning to determine the best time and not take away from other activities and being able to feed the workers and having the lime ready for use for sanitation and soil application in the Spring.
[link to digital.library.okstate.edu]

Since lime is a component of cement, and you'll need that for repairwork, all communities will have to carefully discover sources of limestone, and then transport it. That's extremely difficult, requires horses and probably oxen, wagons, feed for those animals, you get the idea.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734


You can also use sheetrock, chopped up, and tilled into the soil. The process takes longer, but does the same thing.
 Quoting: old guard


Hmmm, interesting. I don't think that is correct. See:
[link to www.lawn-care-academy.com]

The gypsum is composed of Calcium Sulfate. Calcium is a salt and easily breaks upon mixing with water. That will liberate the sulfate which will be acidic and therefore won't help adjust the soil to acheive a pH balance of 7.0. I believe that gypsum won't help.

While it's a benign material, when you break it up, it will liberate the silica, and you should wear a mask or it has the potential to be inhaled. If you know any workers around silica mining, they sometimes get silicosis. The tiny microscopic abrasive dust get inhaled, and the lung develops scar tissue around the silica dust, so that part of the alveoli is permanently damaged.

I don't recommend using sheetrock.
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 08:09 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The Pioneer method of soil amenities for adjusting quality

[link to www.pallensmith.com]

During pioneer days, of course a small family didn't have a means of generating lime very easily. The most common material they had was wood ashes from cooking and for heat from their wood stove. These can placed on the soil and worked in, but only after carefully testing the soil to determine the pH. They had to guess. I'm researching ways that one could determine the pH without a test kit, as I think that would be useful for people to know.

Wood ashes sweeten the soil slowly versus using lime. Sweeten means to adjust the soil pH higher. Low pH is acidic, high is more basic. We want 6.5-7.0 for most plants to grow well. Some plants prefer more acid soil.

If you mess up and spread too much of an amenity, then you could get the pH out of whack, and ruin a whole season while you're attempting to get it back where it needs to be. That could kill you. Gardening post-collapse is a serious buisness.

Pine needles were often used to lower the pH, but it's a temporary effect. Think about it, it takes a lot of them to create tannic acid, but then it leaches away with rain. Rain in some parts of the country is acidic from coal burning utility plants. The emissions get into the clouds and fall as acid rain. It's why some outside statues actually deteriorate.

Sand placed spacers in clay soil. Only use river sand. Obviously there's salt in ocean sand, and that salt will ruin the land. The sand breaks the plates that are created by clay's compactibility. Adding some each year until you make the soil as friable as you need it to be, and then it will encourage root growth.

Biochar is the process of adding true charcoal (not charcoal bricket remnants!) into your garden. See this pdf for more information:
[link to www.ctahr.hawaii.edu]

Be careful. Too much will make the soil too high in pH (too alkaline).

Composted cow and horse manure added to the soil not only adds nitrogen, but also sweetens the soil (raises pH), but of course is used up. It also adds humus. Never ever add fresh manure to a garden as it will bind up nitrogen beside also being full of dangerous parasites.

Here's a list of veggies that like acidic soil. What you can do is a add a little pine needles around the plants. Obviously NOT fresh pine needles as that will bind up the nitrogen in the soil.
[link to www.ehow.com]
It's the most common ones like potatoes, tomatoes, and squash that form the basis of the garden.

Think outside the box, and plant some things like milkweed which is a very delicious plant from shoots or pods.
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 08:17 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Determining the texture of the soil


This very simple method will determine the clay, sand, or loam or silt quality of the soil.
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 08:26 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Determining the pH of a soil without a pH soil kit

This is one method. Of course you use a LITTLE amount, not waste anything, especially post-collapse. You can make vinegar (see previous postings) to test if it reacts with your soil. If it bubbles, then the soil is basic. If you had some baking soda, you'd add that to some soil to see if it reacted to see if the soil was acid.


Since wood ash is basic, you could use that instead. In either case you make a very wet mud and add the material to test it.
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 08:36 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Testing soil quality and pH by observation

I've previously discussed a very useful way to create clay by immersing soil in water and allowing the clay to settle, and removing the actual soil humus. That's naturally a way to determine the clay content besides being a way to make better pottery.

Here are two articles which discuss reading the soil and perceiving the quality of the soil based upon the species that are growing there naturally.

Certain "weeds", really herbs grow in meadows based upon the soil conditions. The soil favors their growth, so when birds fly over and deposit a seed in a turd, then it will grow easier than others. Seeds also get dispersed by being carried by squirrels or even dogs in their coats, or by wind. In any case, the ones thta thrive will tell you a range of the pH and the general quality of texture of the soil.
[link to www.gardenswag.com]

[link to www.gardeningknowhow.com]

Of course the problem is most meadows have many herbs in them, and they grow in ranges, and sometimes these ranges can be quite wide.
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 08:53 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Plant disease as a result of soil defficiencies

If your soil is missing adequate macronutrients or micronutrients, it will develop certain blights or other diseases as a result. Here are several pdf files which explain that.

Once a plant disease takes hold of the soil, then it can be terrible and can become persistant. It's important to carefully clean your gardening tools, especially post-collapse, for you could easily spread the plant disease from field to field, and that will be a disaster.
[link to ipm.missouri.edu]
[link to www.ces.ncsu.edu]
[link to www.public.iastate.edu]
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 08:55 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Identifying a plant disease with pictures

Observation is the primary method of determining a plant disease. Often a pest will be a vector of the disease, or the pest will attack a plant that is under siege by a disease. Then a rust, smut, rot, mildew, mold will take over.


[link to www.gardeners.com]
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2012 10:37 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Drought and its effect on animal populations
[link to columbustelegram.com]

The Great Drought has had an effect on the deer population in Nebraska. The receeding water mean two things: an increase in the density of herd populations (and therefore an easy transmission of disease) and a increase in insect vectors like the midge which is a vector for the hemorhagic disease that killed those deer.

Some deer in Kansas were also found.
[link to www.salina.com]

A lot of people have been saying that if there's a collapse or a major disaster, "No problem, there's plenty to hunt." I don't think they're taking into account many of the factors previously discussed within this topic, particularly overhunting and drought.

Watch for more animals deaths. Already there are reports that snow melt will not really help enough through the winter. It won't add to the soil wetness, but run off into the rivers. That will help the animals some, but it will be most likely be too little too late.

Last Winter was very warm. If we have another warm winter, then it's possible we'd get higher than normal rain amounts. I hope so.
Anonymous Coward
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12/12/2012 02:41 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Redundancy

I know money is tight for all of you. Not only is the economy abysmal, but also it Christmas time. You don't want to spend extra money, not if you can help it. If you've been reading my posts for any length of time, you know that saving money is a big aspect of what I write about.

That said, redundancy is an important aspect of preparedness. Whenever possible to minimize downtime of equipment or the ability to perform an essential skill, you need to have redundant equipment.

If you're counting on hauling a lot of water and you have a wagon to perform that task, the ideal would be to have a backup method of hauling the water, or even a 2nd wagon. Of course, usually one part of it will break or need to be repaired, and using your brain, you can figure out what's the most likely aspect of its operation that could be hindered or falter as the result of a broken part.

This means storing parts and learning the skill of repairing things. Since we're not wealthy, we must learn how to repair things.

Not only this, but later as we begin salving through the old civilization, we'll come across lots of replacement parts. This means knowing how to replace things on a routine basis. Learning about how to repair things also means learning the value of a replacement part. Since you want to spend minimal amounts of time in certain zones, you have to quickly assess the value of items in some areas, have the tools to dismantle items, or have a wagon to carry away parts and then disassemble them back home.

There are often special tools which make disassembly easier. Sometimes it's worth the cost of a tool, or post-collapse looking for certain tools to speed along the recovery of your tribe.

All things break in time. Often there a duty rating on a machine. It's a guesstimate of how long a machine can reasonably be used on a continuous basis before maintenance is required. If you can lubricate parts, check for wear, and perform preventative maintenance, then the whole machine will run better. Since tribal people typically work sun-up to sun-down for 90% of activities, then preventative maintenance and pure repair work will occur at off-peak times. Eventually you'll develop a maintenance crew that will be your engineers and mechanical workers performing this essential tribal responsibility.

You can definitely overload a machine by abusing it. Since machines can't be replaced post-collapse, it's a sin to do this. For example, really humping it to create a laundry system ends up saving the tribe a lot of wasted hours. If someone abuses the machinery, then the entire tribe will suffer and will have to redeploy people to do something, which means lots of things are not getting done. This is why the maintenance crew is essential as well as trained operators. In a tribe, there will be lots of people cross-trained on machines, but there must be one main operator who is constantly and lovingly inspecting the machine for wear. If you're the operator, you have to be vigilant. If you're the maintenance person, you have to be listening to the operator. You can't afford downtime.

If you work with machines any length of time, then people will get hurt by accidents. Accidents can really be dangerous and can severely injure even maim an operator or a maintenance person. Never ever fool around on the job. It's almost always when the accident occurs from a lack of protocol and discipline. If a machine is unsafe in any way: sharp edges, no safety cover, lots of pinch points without guards, etc then the operator should work with the maintenance crew to fix those before some untrained person accidentally loses a hand.
Anonymous Coward
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12/12/2012 04:02 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The goal is NOT survival for the Self

I think a lot of people haven't meditated upon the true goals of life.

The basis human need is to survive, but that is not the goal of a shaman. A shaman is attempting to transmit skills, culture, history, art, spirituality, healing, etc to the present and future generations of the tribe.

When a disaster strikes, and rescue workers enter into a burning building, if their goal was to preserve the Self i.e. their own lives, then they wouldn't go into the building. That would be the 100% means of preserving life for themselves.

When a soldier team goes in to rescue a hostage, their goal is not to stay safe and healthy. It is to put themselves in harms way to save one person. Many enter knowing that some will die but one will be saved.

A shaman is not a rescue worker or a soldier. They might be wearing many hats, but in all likelihood they are attempting every day to pass along information and wisdom in such a way as to preserve life for the tribe. It would be far easier to sit by quietly and simply be, but then if all shamans in history did that, then there wouldn't be new shamans, nor would most tribes survive.

All tribes need people who are willing to be rescue workers, soldiers, and shaman. Many cannot take on so much responsibility. They will merely be workers and artisans. Some of those two groups will also decide to fulfill other roles.

Many people who are not affiliated with tribes think only of themselves. They see things in the news and feel in their gut that things are getting worse. They often live in urban areas and feel they must do something to survive. A lot of times their choices are half-measures that are feeble attempts to survive.

In most cases, if something bad were to happen, their half-measures would doom them. It was a selfish goal anyway. It was the very least that they could do.

Do something more noble then self-preservation. If a fire is burning and you hear or know someone is inside, if you do nothing, then you will have to live with the sound of their screams for the rest of your life. If a disaster strikes, and you have knowledge that could save many, and you don't help transmit that knowledge, then you will not only doom yourself, but many. If you have the chance to defend a tribe, and you decide to run to escape and live another day, then you will doom them, most likely the young and defenseless, and then live alone.

If all you are imagining to do in a disaster is to bug-out, then I can teach you nothing. Your head is full of nonsensical ideas, and my ideas cannot penetrate them.
Anonymous Coward
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12/12/2012 10:20 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Having $500 in cash is a very smart way of prepping

Even though $500 is not that much money anymore, having that much in cash is a wise thing to do. In the event of a disaster when debit/credit/EBT cards might not work, if you have that amount of cash in small denominations then you'd be able to purchase things while others cannot. Having $30 in coins is also wise.

I seriously expect for an emergency to happen at some point and for there to be chaos as people make last minute preparation at retail stores, drugstores, and gas stations. Most of the people will not be able to buy anything, and the store owners will be unable to make change or even to open their cash registers, but still if you have my recommended amount of cash, then you can pay for your last minute items and get out reasonably quickly.

This will probably be the last time you visit a store under normal circumstances so choose wisely. Already have in mind what you're going for. It's highly likely that people will have filled up baskets of the most essential supplies, and will be waiting in line at the checkout area, and then will be told that they can't purchase anything. That means that much of the supplies will be there and NOT on the shelves. This means if you know that, you can look around the front of the store and assess what is going on, and maybe get in and out faster by merely heading to the line and paying for some quick things and getting out.

You can imagine the open hostility when you end up being one of the sole people to buy things, especially from their baskets. You need to buy things quickly and leave. The only way to successfully do this is to have at least two strong guys with you for security. Then to wisely make your way to your vehicle and get the heck out of the store parking lot.

Hopefully you didn't purchase basic supplies. Those should already be at home. You're buying something that you were remiss in preparing for. Something that is important but not what most people are thinking of. Something like lime for the garden or seeds or a garden tool like another shovel or axe. Maybe an extra recurve bow and some arrows.

Even if you don't use that cash for a last run to the store, in the first barter day (see previous postings) people will take cash in the first initial months after a collapse. A lot of people will accept them despite the fact that cash has no intrinsic value. Cash will be a form of currency that isn't easily duplicated and hence will probably still exchanged as an interim transaction for what few goods are still being bartered. It's highly likely that prices will be very inflated or deflated based upon whatever disaster has struck. That means you can still trade some of that cash away and make some final trades. Eventually it will have zero value.
Anonymous Coward
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12/12/2012 11:41 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Turn off your heat and practice living with the cold

I know this will sound extreme, but most people have never experienced a power outage in Winter. They think, “I'll manage just fine...”, but then when it happens, they're shocked by how bitterly cold it is and how lethargic they feel when trying to rouse themselves from their beds.

You should have already carefully cleaned your chimneys...you did right? You have plenty of seasoned firewood? You've split some to use for kindling?

If you practice with the cold at least once, then you'll see deficits in your preparation. You'll find out just how cold your home can get in a short amount of time. You'll see issues like food left out being snapped by the cold, or potentially frozen water lines.

Now is the time to carefully inspect these areas. Put up some shrinkfilm on your windows to keep out the cold as best as you can. Locate extra blankets in your attics and basements and have them ready. Purchase space blankets to reflect as much body heat as possible. Make sure you know where all of the winter caps and gloves and balaclavas are. Make certain you have long underwear for everyone. Have at least one pair of winter coveralls for working outside. Then if you get hot, you can strip off the layer.

Think, how would you wash up in a freezing home? What would you store food in? (I've previously discussed using an attic as a temporary root cellar.) How would you cook? Do you have fuel for it? Do you have dutch ovens for cooking outside? How will you insulate your water bottles to keep them from freezing?

What about cold and flu medicines? What about vitamins? If someone had frostbite, do you know how to treat it at home? What about trenchfoot? If there's a collapse, you won't have an ER to run to.

What if you had a fire and had to live outside? Do you have a tent? Where would you put it so it's best for your family? What additional things would you need if living outside?

Have you considered what to tell your children if there's a collapse? How about your spouse or significant other? What are you going to say and do so you're a shining example for them and a rock to which they can cling to and rely upon?
Anonymous Coward
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12/14/2012 04:36 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Now is the time to learn how to cook

Most people don't think of cooking as a preparedness skill. That's actually pretty foolish. Cooking is one of those arts that takes mundane ingredients with a variety of flavor, texture, spice, sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness, savoriness, and combining grains, vegetables, starches, meats, poultry, fish, insects, fruit, etc and creates unique meals.

When there's a collapse, much of your life will be a grind of sameness. In the midst of that, if you are blessed with ingredients and a good chef, then your food will add both calories and joy to your mundane experience.

You're going to miss all the variety that we have with rare ingredients and with foods outside of season. Today we can get anything practically anything save that which is most perishable. There's not too many fiddleheads in the midst of winter, nor succulent white flesh peaches, but we have just about everything now. In a collapse, unless you prepare well with a variety of ingredients and work with your cook, then you will be devastating morale unnecessarily.

You wait until there's no any fresh fruit at all until Autumn, and you'll be so glad you have canned and fruit preserves saved up. It will make a WORLD of difference.

The cook that can preserve food by dehydrating, canning, pickling, etc will be a godsend. No one will mess with a good cook when the only thing that's keeping harmony is mealtime. Likewise a poor cook will be completely reviled.

Most people have no idea how many steps of loving attention goes into a good meal. Because of that, it's good for anyone in leadership to understand the sacrifice. It's also good for the chef and leader to figure out how to find a middle path to make something edible and delicious by minimizing the time needed for preparation.

A lot of foods are especially prepared: sauteed, braised, baked, cooked in a double-boiler, steamed, roasted, grilled, fried, boiled, etc. It will be difficult to do many of those, but clever people will eventually discover ways to vary their diet...it's that or being terribly bored.

Spices are vital to your sanity. For me personally, fresh baked bread and fresh well cooked rice and beef curry are essential to my composure. I have eaten things that “would make a billy-goat puke” [see First Blood] but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy eating a fine meal as much as the most discerning epicurean. You'll note that I've tried to include what things taste like that might be unusual fare to you like wood lice or snails or whatever. That's because I've eaten a lot of unusual things. Believe me, if you're sick of eating noodles, and you miss some seafood, and you come across some wood lice, then you'll be glad that since they're crustaceans that they make a shrimp-like flavor.

A good cook not only makes something delicious, they also study what components are in the food and determine the number of calories and vitamins and minerals. That's important in a collapse to ensure people are not vitamin deficient nor getting low blood sugar. They also can take a handful of ingredients that most people would scratch their head about, and make something delicious and novel.

A good cook is not a miracle worker. In a collapse, the easiest thing to do is eat everything you have, and if you do that, you'll eat one boring meal after another of sameness. If you can rotate and save and have surplus, then you can mix and match up ingredients. You'll make time even when weary to catch a fish, find a rabbit, knock down some hazelnuts, etc. All of that time drying food and keeping it safe from the elements and from critters will be worth it.

Please don't delay in learning this skill that is as important as making a fire.
Anonymous Coward
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12/14/2012 05:00 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Caffeine Tablets

For about $6 (US) you can purchase 100 tablets of caffeine at a dose of 200 milligrams. That's equivalent to 2-3 cups of coffee. It would be extremely wise to have this on hand as making coffee may not be an option but you badly need to stay away or keep going. Taking it on a regular basis has a diminishing effect. Don't take it unless you need it. It's one of those preps that people don't think about. It would be extremely valuable post-collapse.
Anonymous Coward
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12/14/2012 05:25 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A different take on the Horde arriving in an economic collapse


Here's a video from southernprepper1. I've watched some of his work, and admired one so much that I included it here. He doesn't think that most people will flee an urban area and head to the country. He believes that they'll think that the government will take care of them.

I think what he has to say is reasonable, and including other's beliefs gives you more to think about. I'd hoped for people to challenge my beliefs more here.

He does think that the refugees who do leave the urban area that encounter the first rural towns will begin stripping resources and so other rural towns will create obstacles to their path by blocking roads into their towns. That's difficult to do, for unless it's a bridge, and there's no other way in (which almost always is not possible), then I think their need will help them find a way. [yet a true creator is necessity, which is the mother of our invention. Plato]

Most people will follow an interstate, and there's lots of farms which are on either side of interstates. This makes it relatively easy to veer from their path on an interstate, beg for food or a place to sleep in the farmer's environment, or simply squat (which is the most likely outcome). Squatting means NOT asking permission, for if you ask for permission, you might get and mostly will get denied. Since most farmers have shotguns, then I think there will be incidents. If you have 50 people squatting, and one family with shotguns, then most farmers will fire a warning shot, but most squatters will probably continue to challenge them. It's an ugly business, isn't it?

I encourage you to watch his videos. One minor note that's not a criticism. While it's common for people to talk about a Horde, he uses the anachronistic term “Golden Horde”. That's an old term for the enormous number of Asians in the world, a term that was used prior to Asian people being immigrants into various Western countries. I don't think he knows what it means here.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734



Small town and "rural" people are some of the biggest lowlifes in the world.
Anonymous Coward
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12/14/2012 10:13 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Small town and "rural" people are some of the biggest lowlifes in the world.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 19982367

Well since you didn't bother to put up any evidence, describe why in depth that you believe that to be the case, tried to be persuasive, or anything, made a ridiculous sterotype, then I have to guess that you just wanted to vent. Feel better?

whatever

Watch this very practical video from the PatriotNurse on the inside scoop of Hurricane Sandy and modify your preps accordingly.
Anonymous Coward
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12/14/2012 11:52 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Herbs are NOT a replacement for your medications

Let's understand this up front...herbs, food products, and wishful thinking are not going to replace your medications. Those medications are among the greatest life-savers that modern technology has to offer. If they're important now and sustaining you, then when you don't have them, there's a very good chance that not only will your symptoms return, but they may come in such a force as to overwhelm you.

All along this last year and a half, I've been asking people to get at least a three month supply of their medications if possible. Some people actually order theirs from foreign countries in order to get more than this.

During a collapse, you're going to have to deal with bad health. You'll be like people prior to 1920 and trying to use herbal medicines to alleviate your symptoms. I've mentioned some things that were historically used. They may help, but they will not specifically treat your condition better than what you have now.

Herbs vary based upon the plant and the amount of sunlight, nutrients, water, method of harvesting, timing of the harvest, and preservation involved in saving it. That's a lot of unknowns.

Most of us have mistreated our bodies since we were children. There's a price to pay for that neglect. Of course, some things just happen by accident, but usually that high blood pressure happened because we ate too much, exercised too little, and mistreated our bodies all along with substances we shouldn't have taken, or were exposed to toxins that affected our health.

The consequences are that we will have shortened lifespans with out medicines.

Realize this: when the collapse comes, you won't be sleeping as much or as well, you won't be drinking as pure water as you are now, you won't be eating as varied a diet as you are now, and you'll be doing bone grinding labor. You'll have all of your current health issues PLUS have issues because of the these things. Your health will likely be worse unless you're young and you have skills, supplies, and seed and the hard work and exercise and new diet agrees with you. That's a small percentage of the population of survivors.

There isn't an alternative to herbs other than prayer. You'll be trying a lot of things to make yourself feel a little better and using whatever methods you can muster to improve your health. When the medicine runs out in a collapse, there's a 99% chance that you'll never be able to take your routine medicines again.
Anonymous Coward
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12/14/2012 11:54 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.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1496915


LAMB is an "alternative meat"?!
ParallaxPam

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12/14/2012 11:57 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Seriously? If things get that bad why would you want your kids to live in a world like that?

If my daughter was still young (she is 20 now) and we had to "survive" and fight for our lives I would seriously just kill her and then myself. That would be more humane than to subject her to the crazy unknown savages that deem themselves "human".

And I would hope she wouldn't get reincarnated until the world sets itself right again.
Anonymous Coward
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12/14/2012 12:14 PM
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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.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1496915


LAMB is an "alternative meat"?!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 3756790


For that matter, you consider deer and rabbit to be alternative meats? Where the hell do you live...inside a Wal-Mart?

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