Earth Changes · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

Things that Disappear First After a Disaster

This bears repeating over and over. If you don’t own it before the disaster, you’ll pay hell getting it after the disaster.

I’ve told this story before but it is the way too many people see things yet today that warrants repeating.


Dearest daughter marries her college sweetheart. They put up a mobile home on our back forty. If you have followed my blog posts, you will remember that we live in the woods in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Cold, dark, icy, wind-swept, winters, followed by mildly warm, breezy summers.

They moved in during the early summer months when the bad spring storms had given way to bug season. All went well for the newlyweds that first summer but when fall approached I knew that a sudden very wet, heavy snowfall was not out of the ordinary and it usually took out the power for a day or so when it hit.

“So,” I asked dearest son-in-law, “you kids got water and an auxiliary heat source set aside for winter incase the power goes out?”

Dearest son-in-law looks me square in the eye and says, “Yep, we’ll be ok, we have an electric blanket. And I think we have a bottle of water in the frige. Oh, wait, I think I drank that. Eeeh, we’ll be ok.”

Well, as luck would have it, we had one of those heavy, wet snow storms that took out the power that cold, dark, fall. The power had been out for about 3 hours when dearest son-in-law and daughter showed up at our place asking to use our landline telephone and warm themselves by the woodstove.

“I am goin to call the power company and demand that they turn our power back on.” He said adamantly, thinking the power company must have done this dastardly deed. And by now he was in a panic, “what about all the old people? Someone needs to do something about all the old people that don’t have heat too.”

Of course, I had to ask about the electric blankets. “How they workin’ for ya?” My bad!

It was the first crisis these kids had faced on their own. Up until their marriage someone else had taken care of their welfare. Dearest son-in-law had lived with his parents before attending college as well as our dearest daughter.

They now have a copy of my book, How to Survive and Thrive When the Power is Out. I wonder sometimes if I was  ever that slow on the uptake? Naaaaaa

The point here is if you know some people like this, young or old, make a copy of the following list, look them square in the eye and hand it to them.

Things that disappear first after a disaster. (Non-looted items.) Not in any particular order.

Food- bread, milk, eggs, peanut butter, tuna fish, Speghetti O’s, etc.

Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, instant coffee, soda and bottled water

Candles, flashlights, oil lamps, matches and lighters

Toilet paper and feminine products and condoms

Hand can opener

Sugar and Kool-Aid, kids juices

Coleman camp stove, propane cylinders and white gas

Baby supplies, diapers, wipes and formula

Charcoal and lighter- grills


Water hauling containers

Paper plates, cups, bowls and silverware

Trash bags

Water purifiers and filters

Insulated ice chests and bags of ice

Sleeping bags and blankets


Candy, popcorn, hot chocolate, tang etc.

Kids games, coloring books, crayons, reading books and card games

Radio, shortwave, walkie-talkies

Dish soap, bath soap, shampoo

First aid kit

And, you know, if a guy were smart, he’d have a few of these on hand ahead of time.

Believe it or not, the best survival item is your own brain. A few hard copy how-to books in a library wouldn’t hurt either, I’d say.

Excellent videos from 2013 is as important today as then. Brad and Kelly and their two young boys put these out. Like their videos to see more.
















camping · homesteading

While Driving through Chicago

They call this civilization?

One of the first things one discovers living in the woods for any length of time is that once you step outside the piney forest, it’s freaking noisy. I hadn’t ventured far from my wooded homestead in 3 years. It was again time to visit family in other parts of the state. Forgoing the expense of a motel and putting a burden on family we chose to stay at a centrally located campground. As it turned out, some of our family members had chosen that weekend to go camping at the same campground. Ah, terrific I thought, we can kill two birds with one stone.

We (husband, 40 year old son and I) decided to travel light and bring a large tent and only what we needed to make a comfortable 3 night stay. We arrived first and set up camp close to the reserved spots where family were to stay. Slowly they trickled in. Each one had a huge 3/4 ton pickup hauling a 30 foot 5th wheel. It is nice that they can do that. They are young and I don’t begrudge them their payments. After all they have children, the washer and dryer in the camper comes in handy. I’m old school, I see their campers as a luxury resort on wheels.  So much comfort makes people soft, I thought. Even at my advanced age, I personally do enjoy the grounding effect I get from sleeping in close contact with the earth. There is nothing more refreshing/rejuvenating and I feel sorry for those who never get to experience it. Early humans had it going on, no wonder they were healthier than modern people.

We had other family to visit, a birthday party to attend and dinner with other cousins too, so we weren’t around much. I do feel badly for that. Seems there just is not enough hours in the day sometimes. Please forgive us, you guys, eh? I so enjoyed seeing all the little children. I got lots of hugs, which made the whole trip worth it.

Handy Granny has left the woods

Driving south to lower Michigan, you have two choices. You can drive 10 hours and cross the Might Mac (the way I prefer) or you can drive 7 hours (depending on backups) and drive through Milwaukee and Chicago. Our son was driving, so he took us the fast path. Now, mind you, the last time I was in Chicago was 30 years ago. I drove and it didn’t bother me in the least. Two to three lanes in and two to three lanes out. Easy as pie, then. On our return trip all 6 lanes of traffic are moving at a pretty good clip. Our truck driver son comments on how smooth the flow of traffic is moving. Express lanes are closed, but construction and detours are at a minimum.  Going through on Thursday was a lot more hectic, and for the most part I sat in the backseat and held my breath. Needless to say, I didn’t see much.

What I noticed this time through Chicago and Milwaukee was how many people are texting or talking on their cell phones in heavy traffic. It was amazing that there aren’t more traffic crashes than there are. And people waiting for the commuter train that runs parallel to the highway in Chicago, all of them standing alone. There weren’t too many but the ones that were there were alone and looking down at their phones. Every last one of those people were looking at a phone at every loading point.  City life must be so very lonely, was the thought that ran through my head.

Crunching the numbers

commuter train

Wrap your head around these numbers for a moment;

Milwaukee Wisconsin- 600,000 residents inhabit this city
Madison Wisconsin– 250,000
Chicago Illinois– 2.7 million
Detroit Michigan– 700,000
Flint Michigan– 100,000
Total population— 4.3 million– 4.3 million–4.3 million

And those numbers don’t reflect the people living in out laying areas. To me that’s a whole lota family, eh? Sure is a whole bunch more than the 400 families in my township.

Yes, there is a point to all this. While riding in the backseat, I’m out of my wooded box.(I never, ever sit in the back seat. I probably should sit back here more, you can see so much.) My thoughts turn to; how can this many people survive if we should suddenly have an EMP or solar flare? If there is no power. . .
Then this one shows up on face book. (If you are open, the universe gives you hints)

Explosions rock Michigan neighborhood as US Army urban military training exercise begins

The media only gave residents 3 hours notice. Remember, Michigan is an open carry state. Someone could have gotten seriously injured or worse here. Or maybe that was what they were hoping, to winnow out militia types? I was really hoping to stay away from this kind of article in my Handy granny blog. But this tuff is getting so in your face that it is hard to ignore. And again, my attention was directed to this one.

Back to the drive through Chicago, I remembered reading an article awhile back  and suddenly food shortage articles were popping up every where. My thoughts wandered; if even half of what the alternative media is writing comes true, just how quiet will our home turf be then? Is this Jade Helm 15 just ahead of something big?

Back home

Normally, when I go to see family I take the slow route and rarely see the larger cities. This has been an
eye opener for me. As I sit in front of my computer and listen to the woodland birds singing their “come fly with me” melody, I’m in quiet anxiety. Impressed with human ingenuity but I’m terrified of it’s ignorance. There is a heavy, evil cloud hanging overhead, destroying our brotherhood. I could feel it. Is this the cycle of civilization coming to an end? Will evil win?

History is written by the winners. I plan on keeping a journal of events to pass down to whomever. Hopefully they can read English in the future.

Update— 30 minutes after publishing my article, I find this
and this