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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:59 am 
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Hello everyone.

I'm very new to prepping, as in about 2.5 months now. I've done some basic research and have some (a lot of) supplies in transit.

I am a single mother of three younger girls (10 months, 8 years, and 12 years). I do have a bf but he has not made a commitment and not to sound mean but when it comes down to it, I am the one responsible for my children and refuse to rely on anyone else. I am not saying that he wouldn't be there for us but I know for sure I am. I feel that being prepared is the only way to be able to do so. I haven't told anyone outside my family what I am doing simply because I don't want to become a target when something does happen. The response I got from every one of them was that I had lost my mind and gone crazy. I'm wasting my money (I have a small income). Then they asked me if I was going to build a fort like the Doomsday People? A TV show I guess. Once again, media giving something positive a bad rep. But to each their own. I guess they have their reasons and their ways. Good for them, it's just not for me.

I really don't know what I'm doing but I started with food (freeze dried, Emergency Ration Bars, and dry milk substitute-whey), water pouches, and water purification tablets the first day I did my research. The Postmistress just thinks that someone is getting a lot of Christmas gifts via mail. Great story so I went with it! So far I've got backpacks. All the backpacks look like ordinary hiking bags. Nothing special. Nothing bright, camo, or military. I don't want to draw attention with bright colors but at the same time I don't want to look like I've prepped and use camo or surplus or military style. All four are different - style and brand. I want it to look like I shoved clothes in them, a few things I already had, and ran. I've also got emergency blankets, tube tents, tarps, wool blankets, ground pads, fire kindle, 3 ways to start a fires, multi-tools, knives, axes, pocket saws, folding camp stoves and brick fuel, bowls, cups, utensils, crank flashlights with am/fm and weather band, light sticks, first aid items, iodine tabs, sewing kits, fishing kits, hygiene kits, paracord, whistles, compass, maps, waterproof card deck, zip ties, duct tape, and some personal items.

I plan on making 4 BOBs, one for me and my 10 month old, one for my bf, one for my 12 year old, and one for my 8 yr old. I'm wanting each BOB to contain the basics for 3 days or more. Ideally a week because simple storms in my area knock the power out for days on end. An actual disaster where we would have to leave would be chaos and I want no part of that.

I keep a full tank of fuel in my car most all the time. It would get us 300+ miles without traffic jams. It is a hybrid, so it would run out of fuel much slower in a traffic jam than others in the same situation. If debris or obstructions were the problems, from our current location (Pike, Illinois) if we actually have to travel by foot, one location is 25 miles away and another is a little over 100 miles away and crosses a major river (if that would even be possible). These are highway miles not crow. If we didn't have to go far away I have several local spots that we are both familiar and comfortable with.

I'm just not sure what specifics I should be prepping for. I know we have floods and severe storms. Other than that, I really don't know. Economic? Nuclear? Terrorist? Fire? I don't want to make the packs heavier than they need to be because that will slow us down but at the same time I don't want to leave something out that we might need. I would like to get something like a garden/yard cart in case we had to abandon the car. If my baby wants to nap we could carry our packs and lay her down. When she wanted to sit we could put a pack or two in it with her. Use a Hoola-hoop or something similar and a tarp to make a canopy for shade/wind block/weather block. It would make travel much easier and faster but at the same time would it draw more attention?? I've put a lot of thought into it.
Just to make it clear... a storm knocking the power out is not what I would consider a grab and go situation. This would be a normal spring. I have a house box for this. I have had one of these for years. The idea of trying to wrangle all the kids and supplies that I would need for an outside situation is what I'm having a problem with. Specifically in the winter. My babies freezing terrifies me. We are not nature people. I would need to pack and carry EVERYTHING, and this most likely includes at least one of them.

Books with pictures of edible plants will most likely not be helpful if it is color dependent. I am partially color blind.

We are going to use some of the supplies in a couple of weeks in our back yard to familiarize ourselves with them. We are going to eat the food and drink the water, put up the tent. The whole thing. I'm making it an outdoor activity. My girls are excited about it and it's a learning experience for all of us. That way we can work the kinks out before the need to use the products arise. And see what is/isn't useful and what's missing.

Thanks to an idea from a movie I watched Smoke Jumper...
To say the least I found out how horribly out of shape I was in the past 2.5 months. I grabbed an old backpack from a yard sale. In the first week I, by myself without a pack, was doing good to walk two miles at a fast pace. I guess 12 years of desk work, 3 kids, and not thinking I have time to exercise in any way, did that to me. Slow progress but still progress. I can now hit 5 miles at a fast walk with 34 lbs (I use bags of cat food). I know I most likely won't be moving this fast with 3 kids but I'm trying to be able to carry more in my pack without tiring as quickly. And the more I can pack the more we have. Once we have everything we need, I can start taking the non-essentials from the kids packs and remove some of their weight. I would like to make it to the 50 lbs goal plus carrying my 10 month old's weight.

Any and all suggestions would be much appreciated.
Keep in mind I am a newbie. I don't know the terminology. Explain as if I were a child. I won't take offense.

Could anyone tell me about the durability of the folding garden carts and if they tip easily? One brand is New Mac.
If the cart is durable and useful, would it draw too much attention and make us a target? Defense is not a great skill set of mine. I want to blend not stand out. But at the same time, if I get where I need to go faster...
Am I overthinking all of this? Underthinking all of this? Doing it all wrong? On the right track?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:28 am 
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When I started prepping (or at least made a conscious effort of it), I was in a similar situation (no children, but small budget, and my ex didn't work at the time). I started with the basics, what do we eat now, where can I find it for cheaper/discounted prices. Once I got about a hundred pounds of beans and rice, I started with canned veggies. Looked at all the coupons and ads for cheap canned/frozen stuff, when I got around 2 months of canned and about a weeks worth of frozen veggies I switched to canned meat. Meat is difficult because it is expensive, you can get tuna for cheap but cheap canned tuna I just have no taste for, so I started watching the canned meat area when I'd go to the store. Every month or so they drop the canned chicken tins to about $1 per, I'd pick up $10 worth ($10 was my weekly budget for prepping to begin with because I could generally afford that). Water was both easy and hard. I have access to nearly unlimited supply of 1.5L bottles of water, so I'd ask every could days if I could have 2 or 3, 99% of the time they'd ask if I'd like 4-5 (woooo!), the down side to water is that its BULKY especially when in 1.5L bottles. If you can get access to containers like 2L soda bottles those work great wash them well with soap and water and fill them up with tap water. I just did a test of some that I had filled with straight tap water and tasted just fine, no funky smell, nothing growing in side (I actually poured it out and cut the bottle open and checked the inside)

When starting to prep, I think everyone goes out to build a BOB, they are important no doubt, but in my 32 years living on this planet I've never had to leave anywhere because of a disaster. So my worry wasn't with that. I wanted my food and water down first. I think with your limited budget that will be your best bet, especially if you can rotate it. If you can pick some things your family likes, and stack it deep and constantly have a 1 month supply, you will be ahead of 99.92% of people out there.

Also welcome to the forums, you brought up some great questions. I'm a long winded kinda person and could easily ramble on about everything you brought up. But I'll let others answer things because, I still feel I'm a complete novice to prepping myself.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:42 am 
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As for the survival issues involving staying home we have a pretty good supply. We live in a rural area and I don't want to say that I hoard or stock pile per say but I hate going to the store. So when I do make trips I make them count. I buy in bulk to get the discounts and try to plan around to get the best sales or warehouse deals. Usually around holidays. We normally have 3-6 months of meat in the freezer after deer season, etc... We don't hunt but we know of people who only hunt for sport and we take advantage of that. We show them the area, let them keep the rack, take the photos, mount the head, and we get the meat processed and keep it. I personally think it's a shame to let it go to waste. Then again, it's one less I hit with my car.

At any given time we normally have 3 months of food on hand in our home. So long as we have power. The only thing we don't have in abundance is stuff like milk because we don't like the dry or care much for milk after it's been frozen. Other than meat we have 3 coat closet sized pantries for canned and boxed food.
Our close neighbor has a huge (commercial) generator and an extension cord. We feed them and use their power. That's our deal for short term power outages. They like power outages. They eat steak every night. We tend to work on more of a barter system in our area. Staying home would be ideal for everyone.

Another reason I want 4 complete packs is I could always use one to trade for something like a ride two hours away that would take days to walk.

Okay now that I've said all of this it sounds a bit off. I never considered any of this prepping. I just hate constantly going to the store for a days worth of meals or a weeks worth of meals. It's a hassle with three kids. And I'm not the typical female, I just hate shopping.

The actual BOB itself I believe as a survival aspect, is where I'm having a difficult time. I know it's only meant for 3 days but it would take us possibly much longer to get where we need to go if we are on foot.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:12 pm 
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mns473k wrote:
...I don't want to say that I hoard or stock pile per say


Remember you're on a site that's dedicated to surviving the zombie apocalypse..... Hoarding and stockpiling food is encouraged here.

It sounds like you have the food down, that's great! See you're more prepared than most! As for BOB, they are pretty easy, 2 changes of clothes, some sort of shelter (tent), some sort of sleep system (sleeping bag), fire starter, water tabs/filter, food, some sort of stove. That would be a good basic BOB. of course with a 10 month old you'll want a tactical diaper bag too something didicated to wipes, diapers, 4 or more change of clothes, formula, food, all that stuff you need for kids (no kids here so I may not be the best person to help with that)

It sounds like you are asking the right questions, this site has TONS of info. Take some time to look around I cant remember the way to use google to search the forums. TacAir knows the google key to search the forums, he'll probably be along here shortly. I know I've read a few threads on baby/children bugout bags.

Good luck

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:01 pm 
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I started with the CDC site. So it's not really a prep thing but it's a good place to start if you don't have an idea of how to prep for disasters.

http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/
This site breaks everything down into easy baby steps as they call them and have a lot of organization tools to help figure out evacuation plans, food storage, and if you follow their site they come with exercises like use this weekend to pretend that you have no power and you can only use what you have in storage. Then you can share your experience with others who also did the exercise.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:18 pm 
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I agree with Halfapint - you've got a lot of things well done or well begun. (I think being a mom, being rural, and being on a budget all actually help with having a prepared mindset, imo.) Just some thoughts based on things you've said...

I'm in east central IL, with 200 miles and a 2 different rivers between us and the BOL (Bug Out Location) (aka my folk's place). I have similar concerns about foot travel in winter. I know budget can be an issues, but I try to have good winter gear for my girls (11 and 6). Some of it's as simple as making sure they've always got non-cotton long underwear (pajamas or base layer so it does get used) and good fleece shirts and sweat pants, as well as the usual snowpants/hats/gloves. Also one pair of good fleece or wool socks. None of it's dedicated "bug out gear" so it really doesn't require explanation, and it gets used so it would hopefully fit into the normal clothing budget. If not, I've found that clothes and even "camping gear" are stuff that family is frequently happy to give the kids as presents. I save the older girl's gear for the younger one to grow into as well, obviously.

You mentioned that you're not "nature people." Which is fine, on the one hand, you're still already better prepared than most if you get dumped into nature on short notice. On the other hand, practice and experience matter to make sure you can use your gear - and may very well make you feel a lot better once you see that you've got a solution which will keep everybody alive and not-frostbitten. The fact that I can start a fire a couple different ways and have done so, over the years, in some not-fun conditions makes me feel better, because once I can do that I can heat water/food to put inside the kids, and fill their nalgene's with boiling water (put 'em in a sock so nobody's skin gets burned) to tuck inside their sleeping bags/coats/debris pile. This won't keep us alive in every situation ever but it will help a lot. So practice fire building in the back yard (or in the bbq grill on your balcony, or in a nearby park), you don't have to go into the wild for that. Your backyard camping test is a fantastic idea, my kids absolutely love that. (I recommend liberal application of hot cocoa and s'mores. I usually don't do so much sweets but it makes my kids love camping and in the event I won't care anyway.)

I've picked up a lot of my camping stuff off craigs list and tag sales over the last 4 years or so. I know when I started formally "prepping" that it seemed like I needed to be ready for EVERYTHING, RIGHT NOW. In reality, especially on a budget, it's better to do your research and planning and wait a bit because there are some really lucky finds out there.

There's a couple threads somewhere about bug-out plans with small children, I'm on a mobile so I am having trouble with the links. As a fellow ZSer wisely said (I think it was Kutter?) "Mechanized infantry is the way to go" with small children. Or words to that effect. I would absolutely have a cart/wheeled option if possible - but also have a backup plan in case you have to ditch it. My plan involves putting the bikes on the rack on back of the car, (and the bike trailer, which collapses) driving as far as possible, then biking as far as possible, then walking only if we have to. If we get to the walking, life is just going to suck, but the goal at that point is just not to die before we get where we're going.

I am assuming, based on your location, that you've got a destination that's on the other side of the Mississippi. I've got a little boating experience, and there's no way I'd try to get us across the Mississippi in a boat at that area unless it was the absolute last option. If you've got experience boating on the Mississippi, then that's different. You might make a 3rd plan for evacuating in case you can't cross and can't go to your close location. (It's not your first choice, obviously, but if it comes to that it's better to have thought it thru rather than planning from scratch on the fly.)

And yeah, this is the last place in the world you'll need to apologize for stockpiling food or any other necessary supplies (like toilet paper, kotex, and diapers!) You mentioned not being sure what you're prepping for - I'm guessing your likely disasters are similar to mine - power outage (especially winter outages), storms, tornados, flood. And while being prepared for New Madrid to cut loose with the big one is a challenging and sorta-fun goal, it's a LOT less likely than job loss or other income interruption - you may already have 3-6 or more months of living expenses saved up but if not it's probably the most important prep forgotten or forgone by many people. Likewise, flood insurance and an earthquake endorsement on your homeowners isn't as fun as camping stuff, but might be more valuable. As the breadwinner-mom for my family, life insurance and a will to address my kids care is probably the most important prep I've done, even if it's not as "cool."

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:48 pm 
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You're already getting some awesome advice. I'm very encouraged by your willingness to do research on topics rather than just throw money at the situation!

I'm going to try and take post bit by bit, that will make it long because you said a lot of great stuff!


It seems like you're falling into a common mistake (I certainly did it myself)! You're on a budget. You want to get covered. You're getting easy inexpensive versions of things ($5 here, $10 there). It seems like you may want a little more information before you make more purchases, because in some cases you may be spending $10 that you will need to replace with something else as soon as possible. This makes it easier to spend $20 on the right thing, rather than spending $10 on a placeholder item, then another $20 on the right thing. If you talk in more detail about the things you have, it will be easier for the community here to explain the realistic effectiveness of those items.

A book I cannot possibly recommend highly enough: Handbook To Practical Disaster Preparedness For The Family by Arthur T Bradley. The book is extremely accessible. The book is not suggesting you abandon your job and friends and family and live in a remote cabin in the woods completely cut off from society 'cause commies and secret aliens are out to get us. The book provides multiple ways to solve for common issues and lets you as the reader decide what will work for you.

One of the most important things you can do in your preparedness planning is gaining skills. Much more important than your ability to buy 1,000ft of paracord is your ability to do basic first aid (for example). Another example would be: you have maps and compass, do you know how to read a map and navigate through woods with one? It's harder than reading a map when you're driving. You have axes, and pocket saws and more, but, can you build a shelter or process wood for a fire? Classes are offered on these skills and a lot more. It can be daunting to set aside a weekend and spend the money to learn first aid and CPR, but you need to have a foundation of information to make use of the tools and resources you plan to gather. If not the tools are all expensive paper weights. I'd suggest a first aid class, a navigation class, a class on primitive survival skills. I'd also suggest spending time hiking/camping every few months. Many sporting good supply chains (like REI) will offer basic classes every month and are generally very local.

You do not have a lot of resources (read: money) available. Your boyfriend is not a permanent member of your family. Let your boyfriend build his own BoB with your help as an information base. You don't need to pay for his supplies.

A suggestion for your BoBs. You have stated that you want your bags ideally to be good for a week. Start by planning your food and water. It can be very difficult to fit that much food and water into a bag. If you go by the basic idea that a person requires a gallon of water per day you need 7 gallons of water per adult (8 pounds per gallon means you have just over 55 pounds of water weight per adult and zero other supplies).
My suggestion is this:
Set your BoB up to function for three days unassisted (this will not include 3 gallons of water). There are very few things you'll need to stretch that from 3 days to a week (very, very little other than consumables like food/water). Place those extra items in a separate container (or multiple containers). Store the containers in the same location. If you need to evacuate it becomes much easier to pick up extra containers to leave the house and be more prepared.

You may want to research backpacking as a hobby. These are people who carry everything they need for days at a time on their back and walk for miles and miles each day. This may take you to the following sub categories: ultralight backpackers, through-hikers, bushcraft/minimalists. You'll see that when people plan to be out for a week, they pack very specific kinds of things, and it differs GREATLY from what you will see in most Bug Out Bags. And, yet, these are all of the things this person will need for days and days of living unassisted outdoors. As an example, you have a goal of being able to carry a 50lb pack plus your 10 month old. Many backpackers are able to function for days with a pack base weight of 20 pounds. You can absolutely make do with less stuff when your comfort levels increase.

What to prepare for:
What has caused evacuations with 200 miles of your home within the last 100 years? I don't know exactly where you are or what may have happened. But, the odds of you dealing with a fire or a flood are likely thousands and thousands of times higher than you needing to deal with a dirty bomb or an EMP or terrorist attacks or catastrophic solar flares or total collapse of our government or an economic collapse.

Start by preparing for things that are reasonably likely to happen. When you go to an ocean to swim you wear sunscreen, but you don't wear a shark proof suit. That's because you're more likely to burn than be eaten by a shark. When you go for a drive you buckle your seat belt, but you don't wear a fire retardant suit because car crashes happen daily, but cars don't burst into flames very often. The very basics of your supplies will carry over from one type of disaster to the next.

If you're going to consider evacuating on foot, you need to prepare for walking with your gear. That means you and your family need to be in the right physical shape to actually walk with weighted packs for miles. You can start by getting everyone together putting on your packs and walking around the block a couple of times. Walking with your gear will REALLY help you learn about the weight you (each of your family members) are carrying and if you can manage it. This is particularly challenging because so much of the country is obese and out of shape (totally not trying to say that you are! just speaking in generalities). When you start doing this the idea of carrying multi-tools, and knives, and axes, and folding saws will really quickly start to sound less appealing.

If you're going to consider bugging out and sleeping outside you and your family will want to practice these skills (I'm glad to read that this is on your list of things to do!). Put your gear to use and spend time outside overnight (both in the winter and in the summer, emergencies don't wait for good weather). Will you and your family eat the emergency food you have? Can you erect your shelter? How comfortable are your supplies? Can you start a fire? How does your water filter system work for everyone? Hoping that your tube tent, wool blanket, and emergency blanket will keep you reasonably safe at night is one thing. Actually trying it and knowing for certain you will survive is another. Look at it like having a fire drill. The more you actually put yourself in a similar non emergency, controlled situation the better your chances of dealing with an emergency will be.


When you increase your comfort level with being outdoors, you WILL find that you will need less "stuff." When you increase your comfort level the idea of bringing a cart to haul more stuff won't be as appealing. You need less than you think you do.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:48 pm 
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Welcome to the forum! :D

Honestly based upon what I have read you are actually better prepared than many people I know. That is not say all is well and you have nothing to improve but rather that you have many bases covered.

My key suggestion though is in this question of yours. "I'm just not sure what specifics I should be prepping for. I know we have floods and severe storms. Other than that, I really don't know. Economic? Nuclear? Terrorist? Fire?"

Most people when they start prepping they start buying things before they decide what risks they face. The things may or may not address the risks they actually face or most likely to face. For instance you mentioned buying freeze dried food. This is a great prep item but it is expensive. A more cost efficient approach may be to buy canned food. However if the risks you face require mobility then the freeze dried food is a good trade off of less weight/bulk for the cost.

That said until you do a risk assessment you cannot be sure of that.

This is a long way of saying the next step you need to do is to sit down and logically come up with probable threats to you and your family. Once you have identified these risks you can decide how best to cost efficiently address the risks.

So for instance you say you live in a rural area that is subject to power outages.

Here are typical risks that you may face.

Wild Fire
Flooding
Earth quake
Hurricane
Tornado

Financial costs from the above risks.
Financial cost of unemployment.
Prolonged illness of the main bread winner(you)

Single parent Risks:
Child care in the event of illness or death
Economic impact from not being able to work because a child is ill.

Remember many of the most common risks are not TEOTWKI events but their impact on you care sure change your world.

A lot of the above risks can be addressed in part with insurance. Insurance I would note is a bona fide prep item if it mitigates a significant risk.

There are of course more low probability but high risk events.

Nuclear event (fukashima)
NBC/HAZ MAT event (train derailment)
Pandemic (flu/ebola)
Localized Disorder (a.k.a. Ferguson)
Extended power outage

You should sit down and assess exactly what you think your exposure may be and what resources you have to address the risks to which you assign a very high probability. Then determine what you need to address the risks that remain.

This really is something you have to do since you are the one most knowledgeable about you and your family. You obviously are welcome to ask for insight and assistance but in the end the decisions should be yours.

The above not with standing. The key basic items I always suggest are:

1) 6 to 12 months of living expenses in the bank.
2) A minimum of two weeks of food, thirty days is better (canned goods are fine BTW).
3) A minimum of two weeks of water. (If you use tap water and recycled containers the cost of this should be negligible).
4) A basic means of self protection ( a suitable firearm, ammo and training/practice)
5) Basic first aid supplies appropriate for the family.
6) insurance to cover household goods for likely events (wind, flooding, theft, fire).

This is a link to an index with a lot of "getting started" threads.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=79725

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Quote:
I am a single mother of three younger girls (10 months, 8 years, and 12 years). I do have a bf but he has not made a commitment and not to sound mean but when it comes down to it, I am the one responsible for my children and refuse to rely on anyone else.


And there you have it.

Quote:
I am not saying that he wouldn't be there for us but I know for sure I am. I feel that being prepared is the only way to be able to do so. I haven't told anyone outside my family what I am doing simply because I don't want to become a target when something does happen. The response I got from every one of them was that I had lost my mind and gone crazy. I'm wasting my money (I have a small income).


I'd go slow an easy and budget items as they come. If you all celebrate Christmas that can be expensive but also a good time to get some prep gifts. A single shot .22 or a nice back pack for the twelve year old for example might be a present.
Quote:
Then they asked me if I was going to build a fort like the Doomsday People? A TV show I guess. Once again, media giving something positive a bad rep.


I'd just drop it with them. Once an event occurs you might bring it up again but until then there is no point. The truth is that most people waste money on stuff like cars and boats and whatnot and then to feel better about themselves they pick on someone else about doing it.

Quote:
I really don't know what I'm doing....

....I'm just not sure what specifics I should be prepping for.


Don't put the cart before the horse. Figure out what you are preparing for and they do that. No point in preparing for a Hurricane where you are but an ice storm? Probably so. Extremely low probability events like A nuclear or terror attack are expensive and difficult to prepare for but basic preparations for weather events or whatever will put you worlds ahead in the event of a tougher event.

Quote:
The idea of trying to wrangle all the kids and supplies that I would need for an outside situation is what I'm having a problem with.


Strategies vary but in my case leaving the homestead is a last resort and probably because it is on fire or irradiated. Having all your stuff and not having to carry anything is the best plan IMO.
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To say the least I found out how horribly out of shape I was in the past 2.5 months.


This is one of the cheapest thing to fix and only costs a good pair of running shoes. :D

Sounds like you are well on your way. Three months supply of food on hand is more than a huge portion of the population.

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Hi and welcome,

To be honest I had no time to read all answers so if I sound like I am repeating already said do not mind, on this site there is plenty of useful info. Now being that you are mom of three you are already in preper mindset, time management there is never enough of food stockpiled or extra cash on the hand, from zombie outbreak to hurricane and snow storm to most common danger illness or temporary unemployment .

Good luck and everything the best.


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I've used some of the MAC wagons before. They're pretty good on pavement but not really off-road worthy. They're kinda flimsy and I wouldn't load it with kids. Boxes and bottled water would be a good use for it. I think they range from $49-$99.

I would personally recommend it only if you're not weighting it down or sticking to paved surfaces, you maybe able to swap the tires for some pneumatic tires and take it off road.

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One thing I'm very glad to see is that you're not being bombarded with self-defense and gun advice. This phenomenon is a red flag when it comes to survival forums, and I'm glad that it doesn't happen here. There's a place for that here though, if you're interested.

It is beneficial to do a risk analysis for your specific situation to set priorities where you need them. What is you most plausible emergency situation? Is it job loss? How about a medical emergency? Do you live somewhere prone to a specific natural disaster? Which one/s? Pick the top two or three likely situations and focus on those - they're the most immediate concerns.

To give an easy definition of preparedness, think about it as living now. After your predetermined "most immediate concerns" occur, you still need shelter, water, food, communication, and a means of self-maintenance/protection (generally in that order.) Build a list of things that you will need to stockpile, things that you'll need to learn how to do, and start making it happen when and where you can.

A book I highly recommend is the Survival Mom's book, even for the Dads out there. It's good stuff, and covers most everything pretty thoroughly.

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You have a good bit going seems to me. As someone rural also my very very last option is bugging out, I would focus more on what you can do to make your self more self supporting from your land. For instance do you have a well or septic system? How about a vegetable garden? Can you have livestock like goats, chickens etc? Do you have a root cellar and do you know how to can foods? Especially with kids and small ones it would take a serious area disaster before I'd consider bugging out. I would look at the questions I've posed and see what you can do right there at home. Consider a small generator to run the well if you have one, a firearm and training to defend the home and hunt for supplemental food if necessary.

If you do have to bug out think cars! If on foot however those jogging strollers are far easier to push than a wagon or cart on uneven ground. Look at topographic maps and find water sources on any proposed rout too. Take a few camping trips to a state park with the kids and find out what works for you camping. That can be fun for the kids as well as an eyeopener as to what actually works and whats a gimmick. Learn to use your fire starting equipment in adverse conditions. Rain can really be a bitch and so can snow or ice to start a fire in and that can be when you most need it. Those kind of things can be incredibly difficult to do when your exhausted and cold or wet. Especially with kids standing around whining because their tired and cold.

Keep asking questions here too as well as reading.

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LJ126 wrote:
One thing I'm very glad to see is that you're not being bombarded with self-defense and gun advice. This phenomenon is a red flag when it comes to survival forums, and I'm glad that it doesn't happen here. There's a place for that here though, if you're interested.

It is beneficial to do a risk analysis for your specific situation to set priorities where you need them. What is you most plausible emergency situation? Is it job loss? How about a medical emergency? Do you live somewhere prone to a specific natural disaster? Which one/s? Pick the top two or three likely situations and focus on those - they're the most immediate concerns.

To give an easy definition of preparedness, think about it as living now. After your predetermined "most immediate concerns" occur, you still need shelter, water, food, communication, and a means of self-maintenance/protection (generally in that order.) Build a list of things that you will need to stockpile, things that you'll need to learn how to do, and start making it happen when and where you can.

A book I highly recommend is the Survival Mom's book, even for the Dads out there. It's good stuff, and covers most everything pretty thoroughly.


Before I settled with ZS I joined a number of other forums and it seemed they were the "firearms preppers" I hated that. There is nothing wrong with firearms in anyway, but in my 32 years I've never been in a situation where I look back and think "shoulda had a gun". I can look back however an say "shit, I really could have used more beans, rice, and a freezer full of meat"

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Quote:
Before I settled with ZS I joined a number of other forums and it seemed they were the "firearms preppers" I hated that. There is nothing wrong with firearms in anyway, but in my 32 years I've never been in a situation where I look back and think "shoulda had a gun". I can look back however an say "shit, I really could have used more beans, rice, and a freezer full of meat"[/quote]


HalfaPint:

I fully agree. Of all of the personal disasters that I have suffered as an adult since leaving the Army, proper insurance and a emergency fund would have solved all of them. Had plenty of guns. Still have yet to need any of them.

Odinsown

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The most important part of prepping is a plan.

The mistake that most new preppers make is that they start randomly making lists and buying stuff without ever identifying exactly what they’re prepping for or formulating a plan on when and how these preps are going to be used.

You don’t want to be trying to figure things out as the shit is hitting the fan, or taking your gear out of the box for the first time when you’re already under duress.

You also want to make sure you’re allocating your resources properly. Prepping is one big cost benefit analysis. While I’m sure we would all love an off-the-grid cabin in the woods with a well-stocked bunker, but for most people that’s just not a practical use of resources. You need to make sure that you have addressed the most likely scenarios first before you direct resources where they’re less likely to be utilized (i.e. there’s no point in prepping to fight zombies if you’re not ready for a blackout).

So first and foremost, you first need to sit down and write a plan: “If A happens, I’m going to respond by doing B, and using preps X, Y, and Z to do it.”

When my wife and I started, we wrote a list of all the things we thought could go wrong. The list included everything from “winter storm,” and “power outage,” to “losing a job” and “getting cancer and dying.” Then we listed them from “most likely to happen” (power outage) to “least likely to happen” (alien invasion). Then for each item, we listed what we would need to safely and comfortably negotiate each scenario. Then we started at the top of the list and worked our way down.

We’re not there yet. If power goes out for a week, we’re fine. If there is a nuclear blast, we’re probably fucked. But I’m okay with that, and you should be too.

As you do this, keep in mind that not all disaster scenarios involve natural disasters and civil unrest and zombies. The most likely disasters are personal, like losing your job, getting sick, or dying. Make sure you’re prepared for situations like that first, and have preps like a healthy savings account, health/life/disability insurance, proper estate planning (will, medical proxy, durable power of attorney) and retirement savings in place. These things can be expensive, but trust me, they’re far more important than camping gear in a bug out bag.

Also, be practical, and be wary not to get caught up in the ‘pop culture prepping.’ Popular culture would have you think the focus on prepping is all about bug out bags and wilderness survival, and a lot of the preps you’ve listed reflect that. First of all, bugging out is mostly a myth - 99% of the time you’re going to be better off staying in your home, and your preps should reflect that. A basement full of batteries and flashlights, blankets, your kids favorite snacks and a half dozen cases of water will go much further than water pouches and emergency ration bars (seriously, don’t buy that crap, there’s plenty of good food out there with a reasonable shelf life, buy stuff you and your kids would eat anyway).

The only time you should leave your home is if it’s become dangerous/untenable. If that were to happen, remember that Pike County, IL is not exactly desolation wilderness. If you had to bug out, you’re far more likely to end up in a motel or government shelter or on somebody’s couch than camping in the woods. I’d be more concerned about having things like cash and an emergency credit card, cell phone chargers and toiletry kits than a lot of the stuff you described.

Last but not least, don’t sacrifice future stability for prepping. The most likely scenario is that there is no disaster, and life goes on as usual, and you have to prep for that first. Make sure you’re saving for retirement, you’re not taking on consumer debt, and you’re not spending so much time obsessing over prepping that you’re not enjoying life.


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zero11010 wrote:

One of the most important things you can do in your preparedness planning is gaining skills. Much more important than your ability to buy 1,000ft of paracord is your ability to do basic first aid (for example). Another example would be: you have maps and compass, do you know how to read a map and navigate through woods with one?


What to prepare for:
What has caused evacuations with 200 miles of your home within the last 100 years? I don't know exactly where you are or what may have happened. But, the odds of you dealing with a fire or a flood are likely thousands and thousands of times higher than you needing to deal with a dirty bomb or an EMP or terrorist attacks or catastrophic solar flares or total collapse of our government or an economic collapse.

Start by preparing for things that are reasonably likely to happen. When you go to an ocean to swim you wear sunscreen, but you don't wear a shark proof suit. That's because you're more likely to burn than be eaten by a shark. When you go for a drive you buckle your seat belt, but you don't wear a fire retardant suit because car crashes happen daily, but cars don't burst into flames very often. The very basics of your supplies will carry over from one type of disaster to the next.



2nd this

when I first started prepping I was a uni student with no money, establish some action plans first as everything else builds upon those plans (plan A, Plan B etc). once the plan is worked out sort out everything you need to enact the plan, this might only include a day of supplies, 1/2 a tank of gas etc but you'll see if your plans work. once you can enact your action plans, then start by building up everything else

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mns473k, you've come to the right place. People in this forum are incredibly knowledgable and helpful when it comes to information-sharing. And we all started off as newbies, except for Woods Walker who I'm pretty sure came out of the womb with a Swedish FireSteel clutched in his tiny fist.

The father in me (two teenage daughters) says bilge the BF and look for someone who's commitment to you and your girls will be unquestioned. In a SHTF situation men's role as provider and protector is going to come to the fore - and people are going to become who and what they really are, for better or worse.

Perhaps the most important thing is not to get overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. Yes, there are definite reasons to prep, but there is also a tremendous amount of fear-mongering by the media and people trying to sell you something. Cover the essentials first, then add as your means permit. Seek out like-minded people, but beware the strange rangers who often gravitate to the "survivalist" scene. Preppers & "survivalists" are not the same. Most genuine preppers are going to have a concern for their neighbors as well as themselves.

As far as friends & family questioning your decision to prep, you have to become impervious to the scoffers and willfully ignorant. I've tried for years, unsuccessfully, to get my siblings to see the light, to no avail. Normalcy bias is strong and even longtime friends who are worried about the various natural or man-made disasters that could befall us show an incomprehensible (to me) inertia and complacency.

Firearms are a must if you intend to deter or defeat potential threats. Obviously, with children in the home, you need to ensure the gun is there when you need it but out of reach of children (and educate your girls who are old enough on the critical importance of gun safety). You can usually get good deals on "scratch and dent" firearms, as below:

http://palmettostatearmory.com/deals/sc ... -sale.html

Here's a good, 25-lb (manageable) bug-out bag set-up that might work well for you, or some variant thereof. ZS has a great section on member bug-out bags, but you'd have to be an orc to carry some of them.

http://graywolfsurvival.com/66545/how-t ... d-bug-bag/

Here is a practical list of some must-have items to keep on hand, if you decide to hunker down in place.

http://survivalcache.com/37-things-you- ... bly-arent/

Quality lanterns - not Wal-Mart Chinese knockoffs prone to leakage - are a must. For my money, the German-made Feuerhands (factory seconds) are second to none. Just make sure you get proper lantern fuel (Lowes carries it) not Wal-Mart kerosene in the blue bottles, which is too smokey.

https://www.vermontlanterns.com/content ... actory-2nd

Fenix flashlights and camping lanterns just flat-out rule. My favorites are the LD22 (uses AA batteries) and the CL25R camping lantern. You can get a substantial discount on their sale items. They offer a lot of good EDC items as well.

https://www.fenixoutfitters.com/sale-items/

Am also partial to Swedish Trangia alcohol stoves (the genuine article, not the Chinese knock-offs). Simple, easy to throw into a BOB.

https://www.campsaver.com/trangia-spirit-stove.html

All the best,
AB


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absinthe beginner wrote:

BF BoyFriend :mrgreen:
SHTF = Shit Hit The Fan a.k.a. disaster
preppers = people who prepare for natural and manmade disasters disasters
bug-out bag = BOB ..... a collection of essential items to help you get home or get away from home if you suddenly have to evacuate
EDC = Every Day Carry .... things always in your pockets/purse/pack


fixed it for you

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Well you guys must have been so helpful she got all the info she needed with just her two posts and has not logged back on since 2014. :mrgreen:

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flybynight wrote:
Well you guys must have been so helpful she got all the info she needed with just her two posts and has not logged back on since 2014. :mrgreen:


Or not enough info and the zombies got her years ago.... in memorium mns473k...

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flybynight wrote:
Well you guys must have been so helpful she got all the info she needed with just her two posts and has not logged back on since 2014. :mrgreen:



We don't discriminate against the living, the un-dead or the dead :rofl:

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Spammer bumped it up.
They do that.

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