Things you need before the trucks stop. I know now what the number one survival item will be. . .
When I wrote “When the Trucks Stop” ( https://handygranny.com/2016/07/02/when-the-trucks-stop/ ) I had just completed a self-imposed experiment. I went two weeks without the grocery store, living just with what I had on hand at the time with interesting results. Several commenters asked; “Having had this experience, what should be a stock up priority?” Ah, a thinking question, I love it. I took some serious time with this one.
So, here’s my list~~
Number one on every body’s stock up, survival , keep me and mine alive list are hard copy books. Cook books, how-to books, first aid books, all kinds of books that you can refer back to once the SHTF. You can’t read a kindle after a prolonged power outage, your books must be in your hot little hands and study them before the trucks stop.
I worked as a facilities manager for a not-for-profit women’s shelter for several years. Women and children of all ages, ethnic, stress levels and education stayed at our facility. There were very poor women with children, there were wealthy women, some with kids and others without. This facility has a common kitchen in this where women had access to all kinds of food and utensils to create meals for their self and their children during their stay. Our little community was great at donations and often we would get fresh garden veggies and venison from private citizens. Our pantry was almost always full back then.
I’m here to tell you that if food stuff didn’t come in a can or box and was microwavable it didn’t get used. Most of the women that stayed with us had no idea what to do with a tomato, fresh green beans or a zucchini. After two years of venison in our freezers it was considered uneatable and tossed out. None of the clients ever touched it and I couldn’t tell people this because our donations would dry up. It was so very sad. The rules of our facility were that every client had the responsibility to feed themselves and their own children with the food from our kitchen. However, many, many times I and another staff member ended up cooking for all the clients because something needed to be used up before it was no longer fresh. I got an overwhelming response one time when a local gardener donated a big bunch of zucchini. I sliced a good sized zucchini with a little onion for breakfast one morning and threw a fried egg or two on top. Za-zamm! A nutritious, great tasting breakfast that didn’t involve a box, a bowl and milk.
My point in the above story is that we have been systematically programmed OUT of our basic human survival skills. Most of the Millennial youth will be in a world of hurt when the trucks quit running. If McDonald’s closes up who is going to feed them? Yeah, I’m sorry, kind of snarky but you know.
2) Water, water, water. You shouldn’t even eat if you don’t have clean drinking water. Unless you have been through a crisis yourself, you may not realize how fast clean drinking water can become contaminated. Heck, even our pristine streams and creeks are polluted or just unsafe to drink. Look up water-borne illness like Leptospirosis and dysentery for some hair-raising facts.
Out here in the boonies we have a small trickle of water that meanders across our back 40. Mind you there are no people who use this because it is land locked. Hundreds of acres of woods with no people, just a little flow of clear, icy water. Out of curiosity Hubby took a sample of this small trickle of water and had it analyzed. He sent the sample in and a couple of weeks later got back the results. The lab results told us there was fecal matter and decaying animal bacteria floating around in our cute little stream. Not something I’d like to put my face in, eh?
So, the second part of number 2 would be some sort of water purification or filtering system. Also, in How to Survive and Thrive When the Power is Out I tell you how to filter water the natural way. Activated charcoal on hand would be a blessing.
A body at 2% dehydration, thirst is perceived.
At 5% dehydration, a person becomes hot and tired. Strength and endurance decrease.
At 10% dehydration, delirium and blurred vision becomes a problem.
At 20% dehydration, the person dies.
3) Good footwear, boots in particular. Could you evacuate your building or run for your life in flip-flops? How far could you travel in dress shoes or women’s high-heeled thingies? I rest my case. Oh, and a good knife. It is amazing how many life saving things you can do with a good sharp knife. I never leave the house without one on my person somewhere.
4) Food is fourth on the list because you can go a long time without it, especially if you know what to look for out in the wild, even in your back yard. You do know that, that pesky red clover that comes up everywhere is delicious, right? Makes wonderful jelly too and roasted dandelion roots make a passable coffee substitute, too.
But if the trucks stop in the winter in the northern half of the country, I’d have a shit ton of freeze-dried food tucked under the bed. Yeah, I know that stuff is so expensive. If you are interested, I could make a suggestion. An alternative to commercial freeze dried food could be to make your own food kits and hide them under the bed.
Here’s a recipe. You are only limited by your budget and your imagination.
In a zip lock bag, add 1/2 cup of rice, 1/4 lentils, 2 beef flavored bouillon cubes and a 1/2 cup dried vegetables. I dry my own broccoli, it holds up well. To cook; put 2 cups of water into a pan and dump the contents of the zip lock bag into the boiling water. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender and all the water is absorbed. These little goodies make excellent barter items as well, and they store very well for a long time.
I make sure I have plenty of salt for personal use and trade. Sugar too, oh if you only knew how much we humans depend on sugar! Seeds, you can grown so many things in pots in the bathroom window that no house hold should be with them. Again, excellent barter items, too.
Canned milk, jello and pudding, peanut butter, cooking oil and fats, popcorn, jerky stored in the freezer to prolong its freshness. Throw a box or two of brownie mix under the bed too. Nothing says happy like brownies from the oven.
Vitamins C, D3, magnesium, kelp tablets and other supplements that your family favors. Crystalized ginger root, great for just about anything that ails ya. Wonderful in stir fry and any Chinese type dishes.
Canned mandarin oranges and Tang for the kids. Those are a never fail for them, also, some Pedialyte.
Beef and Chicken bouillon cubes, lots of them for flavoring rice and soups. Honey, maple syrup, molasses. It is amazing what kids will eat if it is sweetened and honey and molasses,they last a long time. (You know, the plains Indians of 150 years ago killed a buffalo, dug and ate wild roots and survived long winters.)
I’d tell you to save instant mashed potatoes but they are almost all GMO’ed, so instead save up on sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are some of the most nutritious food available. Sweet potatoes are among those vegetables with over 600 different carotenoids, especially beta carotene and lycopene and other anti-oxidants. I store winter squash and pumpkins too, they keep for a long time over winter. Another plus is onions and garlic. They too keep for a long time and are great antibiotics keeping away illnesses. I stock up on garlic for the winter and eat it everyday. Last year I sat in the emergency room with a friend, twice, waiting to see a doctor and didn’t get that flu that was going around. I chocked it up to all the garlic I had been eating.
5) I can’t stress enough learning some survival skills and teaching them to your kids. Check in with Grams and Gramps. They would just love to tell you all they know. They’d be pickled tink to think that you considered there information important.
6) Lots of large and small plastic bags. Endless uses. Pinesol, many uses, even effective for wound irrigation in a pinch. Hot water bottles, woolie socks and long johns. A very large box of T-shirt fabric rags. Many uses, such as when the toilet paper and girlie products run out. And as snot rags when there are no Kleenex. Clean T-shirt material works wonders as a wrap for wounds, too. A must have on my list.
Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, find a farmer or farmers market vendor and become their best friend. Help out at their place once in a while, the farmer or gardener will appreciate it and most likely shower you with produce or farm fresh eggs.
That’s all that come to mind at the present, I’m sure I missed something. You’ll let me know, eh?