Is this a viable preparedness strategy…

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by jafl, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. jafl

    jafl Well-Known Member

    Assuming that a nuclear war is the worst that could happen and basing all of your plans and preparations on it? If you are prepared for a nuclear war, would you be able to deal with anything else? What should you do if you are in a situation where you cannot prepare for such a massive, long-term emergency?
  2. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Well-Known Member

    For the most part, it will work. Most disasters create very similar needs, with each one needing something a bit different. All out nuclear war covers most of them, including special shelter that can be made to incorporate shelter items that other types of disasters call for. The need for clean water, plentiful food, protection and so on. As you begin to prepare, you will see where the other needs are required and adapt your plans accordingly.

    I don't think anyone can be prepared for everything that could happen. A person prepares the best he or she can, within the limits of their budget, either for major events in general, or for specific things local to where you live.

  3. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    Yeah. That pretty much covers everything.
  4. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    I would agree with you Jerry, some events I wonder if I would want to survive.:confused:
  5. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    For me - I would prefer to paint a giant red X on the top of my house. If there was going to be a nuke going off, I would prefer to be pulverized instantly - not killed off slowly and painfully.
  6. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

    I'd say not entirely. For example, your underground radiation or blast shelter may be perfect for a tornado, I don't think I'd want to be in it in the event of a hurricane or flood. When the storm surge hits, all bets are off.

    Also, if you're prepared for a nuclear war, how well prepared are you for a Great Depression scale event (no, what we are in is not comparable). In that case, the most important thing would be to be debt-free, have several reliable sources of household income, have food that you're willing to eat seven days a week for six months or a year stored (have you ever actually tried to eat MREs for a week?), and have a large garden (and perhaps some small livestock) so you can supply a large portion of your own food.

    I think Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast has some very valid points when he talks about the relationship between the probability of disaster and the scale of the disaster. What's the most likely disaster to happen to you? How about the loss of your job? That's probably number one. How can you be prepared? Be debt free, have 3-6 months savings, have 3-6 months of food stored, be able to supply your own food, and have a diverse set of skills. If you have food stored that you'll actually eat, it will help you stretch your money supply out, which buys you time to find another job. The next most likely thing is a local neighborhood-scale disaster. This could be a wildfire, flooding, weather event, etc. You may be on your own for 2-3 days without power. Then you go to regional, like a large tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or pandemic flu. Help is going to take longer to get to you, but some services may return sooner or later. Can you heat your home in the dead of winter for 10 days? Can you keep your family comfortable in 100F heat in the middle of summer if the power is out?

    Anyway, the point is that those events are much more likely to hit you in your lifetime than a nuclear war. While I'm not saying a nuclear war won't happen, if you focus on what's most likely first, you'll be better prepared for everything.
  7. jafl

    jafl Well-Known Member

    If you live in an area that is prone to flooding and you cannot build a dyke or a drainage canal around your property all bets would be off. Even if the water isn’t so bad that you have to evacuate, you would be hard-pressed to protect your emergency stockpile. And if you do have to evacuate you will be able to take only so much of your stockpile with you. Essentially there is no way to prepare for a prolonged water-based emergency. And for much of the country, i.e., people who live in urban areas, you would likely have to evacuate in the face of a pending nuclear war so you would be in the same fix you’d be in with a flood- you cannot keep your stockpile of supplies secure.

    My thinking would be to prepare for at least several years where you would be somewhat isolated in a post-attack environment. If you can feed, clothe and house yourself and your family/group following a nuclear war you could feed, clothe and house yourself during a bad economy. Debt would be the biggest issue; for most Americans it wouldn’t take a great depression for them to be done in by their debt.

    I would actually put more emphasis on being able to produce my own food than I would on having money. You could have all the money in the world and still starve if there is no food to buy. And you also have to consider that money in the bank is no safeguard against inflation. CD rates since last fall have been less than 2% so with a historic average inflation rate of 4% you cannot put money in the bank right now without having it lose value.

    Where I live you’d better be able to go without power for at least a week. The last hurricane to come by in 2004 snapped the top out of a pine tree and it landed on the power line to my house. The storm didn’t come within 100 miles of here, but local utility crews had been sent downstate. It was 6 days before the utility company came to cut the power so we could even remove the tree and fix the power line.

    In Florida? Get real.
  8. Chieftain

    Chieftain Citizen, At Large

    There is an old military maxim that says "No plan survives first contact with the enemy", and the same thing goes for survival plans.

    In my view, I think we are past the era of Mutually Assured Destruction, and unsurvivable nuclear attack. However there are other threats out there and any number of ways for civilization to fall apart for a period of time.

    I am making my plans, assuming that my house is left relatively intact after a major disaster, and that we are able to "survive in place". The last thing I want to do is be forced into a refugee camp, so I have been quietly stockpiling "commodities" that will store well and feed us for a period of time if things ever went really bad, including hyper-inflation.

    I believe that my best assets in an emergency are my home and everything in it. Even if the house was partially destroyed, I would rather try and make repairs and tough it out right here than leave and try to make it with nothing but a tent and a ration card in a refugee camp somewhere else.

    Again, it depends on actual circumstances....

  9. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    there's an e-book out there called:

    In The Wake: A Collective Manual-in-Progress for Outliving Civilization by Aric McBay
    in the Tools for Gridcrash series

    also there is:

    The Day After: Action in the 24 Hours Following a Nuclear Blast in an American City by Ashton B. Carter, Michael M. May, and Willaim J. Perry

    there are plenty of .pdf format books available for free on the net
  10. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

    My point was that people who focus on being prepared for a nuclear war often miss a lot of critical things in their planning or they're a bit tin-foil. Energy is better focused on what's most likely. Anyone who thinks it's a good idea to be ready for roving zombie hordes and nuclear annialation by putting it on their Visa or Mastercard is an idiot. The single most likely catastrophe to hit any single individual is a loss of their job in a down economy. Unless you're sitting on a quarter million dollar trust fund, getting into prepping take time, planning and small step toward improving your place in life. Do I think urban or suburban survival is ideal? Heck no, but the cities is where the good paying jobs are and if my ultimate goal is to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible, I need to earn as much as I can now so I can build toward my long-term goals.

    My long-term goals include:
    Becoming 100% debt free
    Continuing to gain self-sufficiency in my current home through energy efficiency, production, water collection, and gardening
    Buy a vacation/bug out/retirement property that's 150-250 miles from my current home
    Use the property for vacations and make constant improvements to the structure, energy production, and food production of the land
    Gradually transform the property with permaculture so 5-20 acres can produce a surplus of food with minimal time and energy going in
    Retire on the property with it entirely paid off, then sell my city home (which should also be paid off by then) for money to live off of
    Continue to acquire precious metals as a safegard against economic events
    Maintain at least 12 months of food for me and my family along with 2-3 years of herloom seeds in the freezer (currently at 15 months and 4 years of seeds with a garden already in this year)
    Improve my hunting odds by doing more scouting trips year round to know where the game is

    Do I feel ready for a nuclear war? Probably not, but I'm probably more prepared than 99% of our society. I've been prepping since 1985 and for me it all started with nuclear war preparedness, but now I focus on the practical and developing a lifestyle that lets my prepping work for me. Preparedness should save you money, not cost you more. With unemployment at 9.4%, which is more likely; nuclear war or unemployment? If I became unemployed tomorrow, how would I fare? It would be rough, but I have one debt right now; a mortgage which is less than 20% of my monthly post-tax income, so I think I'd fare better than most. But if I were to decide that my top priority was to prepare for a nuclear war, I'd just make myself more vulnerable to a more probable threat.

    In two to three years I hope to own the land. Within five years I hope to have a structure on it and a living fence line that's producing 500-1,000 pounds of food a year without turning a shovel once it's in the ground. I'll expand and improve the structure over time, starting with a small cabin and eventually (perhaps 10 years?) going with something similar to the earthship homes in the New Mexico and Arizona deserts. I hope I can manage to put in three to four 4'x8' raised beds a year and after a decade I should be producing more food than my family can eat if I'm there year-round. Initially it'll be vacation property where I hope to spend my weekends and perhaps a week or two each year. After that, depending on how things go, where it is, and what's going on in the world, I might move there as my primary residence, telecommuting two or three days a week and possibly selling my city home and getting an apartment in the city for the core days I have to be in the office.

    Currently my search is for the ideal location. There's several areas of interest for me, but I need to spend the time there to get to know the individual nearby communities, learn the hazards, and see if the local politics are what I'm looking for. Sure beats buying a pre-fab bomb shelter and burying it in the backyard!
  11. jafl

    jafl Well-Known Member

    In other words you have little respect for the rule of law. Even if you found your utopia, what makes you think the local demographics won’t change over time? Consider New Hampshire. For decades this state was conservative, but since the 1990s large numbers of liberals from Massachusetts migrated into NH and now NH is pretty much as left-wing as Massachusetts is.
  12. lanahi

    lanahi Well-Known Member

    I do hope you have that much time to prepare.
  13. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

    @ lanahi, I'm better prepped currently than 99 out of 100 people for what I foresee as the most likely near term events. What I'm not ready for yet is peak oil, nor do I feel most preppers are. It's one thing to be able to go without power for a few days, a week, or a month, but being able to heat your home indefinitely when you won't have gas to run a chainsaw or fuel your pick up truck takes an entirely different degree of planning. The good news is that it's not something that is going to happen suddenly. However, I see it as more likely than nuclear war (although it may trigger the use of nuclear weapons in the wars over the last easily available oil), meteor strikes, super volcanoes, and gawd knows what else some folks think are coming.

    To me, the key is prepping debt free and not putting your family at even greater risk of a more likely disaster (job loss with 9.2% unemployment). Right now I have 15 months of food cached, a solar freezer ready to toss a deer into (just got my antlerless deer tag for second season this week), have four raised beds producing perhaps 30-40% of my summer food supply, and I have 4-6 months of savings in the bank with no debt besides my mortgage, which is less than 1/4 my post-tax income.

    My current property has the weakness of being too small to produce more than I can consume in the summer even if I plowed under my entire lawn. On the other hand, my mortgage is cheap, I live in a great community, and if gas hits $5 a gallon again, it won't phase me because of my short commute and easy public tranportation. There's a value to recognizing the strengths and weakenesses of your current situation, understanding where you want to be in five or ten years, setting landmarks, and moving in that direction. It sure beats spending a bunch of money today that you don't have for something that may not do you a bit of good with what's coming down the pike.

    It is interesting how many newer folks are quick to criticize on this forum without actually talking about their current situation, their own plans, and how they're going to get there. It certainly helps credibility when you can speak from examples or elucidate on your experience and the source of your knowledge base.