We all live in areas that could face unique types of disasters. Some of you may be preparing for a flood, ice storm, forest fire, earthquake, volcano, tropical storm, tornado, food shortage, riots or any other type of disaster.
We all hope that our supplies will last until the disaster is over and things get back more or less to the way they were. What if things didn't go to plan and you actually ran out of supplies?
Perhaps your crops are contaminated, animals get sick and die, storage shed burns down, army unit or police unit confiscates your supplies, you are over run by looters, biological, radiation, or chemical contamination, or are forced off your land by a natural disaster that you can't prevent.
You are left with only as much gear and food as you can carry. You have to leave your property. You have no gasoline or oil. Where do you go and what do you do to feed and supply yourself on the way?
I live 15 minutes (by car) or an hour or so by horse from a lake, 5 minutes from the national forest and I'll be taking with me one tent, and all the supplies I can load on 3 horses ( two are for us to ride) and I will take at least one gun and fishing equipment. and I know what wild foods are safe to eat. and I will hunt or fish and I will survive.
But I also live in an area where there isn't much happening. What would have to happen would be extremely significant. As in something like a super volcano erruption or a nuclear bomb. This is not the type of place for riots, or looters or most natural disasters. We get a few heavy snow storms and that's it. No tornados, no earthquakes, and my property is protected from wildfires through my active efforts to keep it that way.
I'm most likely able to stay put for most anything that goes on.
Dunappy - I like the horses. Sounds like you're well situated. Wild food is awesome. I love the taste of deer meat. I have a friend who hunts and brings me some on occasion. I'd take fresh food over packaged any day of the week. Thanks for the input!
I hike. I cycle. I x-country ski. I snow shoe. I roller-blade.
The worst that would happen is I get too much exercise, barely enough water or food .. and I head 800km west or north. I have places that I can go and live. I would prefer to drive - but - I can do it. I have done it.
My dad for his 55th birthday rode his bicycle 775km to see a concert (that was ~5 years ago). In 1988 my dad rode 1100km to pick me up from school .. and that trip only took him 2 weeks.
It took me just under 2 weeks to cycle my way 650km - easy riding over mountains and taking in the sights (vacation). If I had to be somewhere, I would not stop till I absolutly had to. I have x-country ski-tour'd at 8+ hours per day before setting up camp - and then continue again the next day. In two weeks we completed just under 200km of ski-trails. No - its not fast, but - again, I have done it
So far we have horses and bikes. If it comes down to survival of the fittest you'll win. I can't think of anyone fitter. It sounds like a disaster would just be a good excuse to get off work and ride. I'm imagining your dad in 1988 on his road bike wearing 1980's neon spandex. Fast and very 80's.
Unfortunately, the poll ignores my first choice given the parameters. My church is very well organized, and in such a catestrophic eventuality, I see us banding together, pooling resources, and making do. Many of us have adquate supplies put up, but even if the house burnt down, we are not above helping each other out. I cannot realistically imagine the disaster that would wipe everyone out equally, with no outside assistance available... at least not the survivable kind. A nuke, of course, would end things quickly, but that's a whole 'nuther bag of apples.
First off I would make SURE all my supplies had REALLY been destroyed.
Then I would head off with what I could carry to join up with my team.
We have disscussed this before and agreed if one or more of us for one reason or another or our families are forced out of our property, supplies exausted etc..... we will join up with the others and continue on with life.
And no.........I would have no problem with taking something I needed from an abandoned building but I draw the line at a home unless I knew FOR SURE the former owners were either never coming back or they were beyond coming back.
Getting feedback from everyone is making me feel a lot better about my fellow man and woman. I was expecting people to be far more aggressive. Instead I'm hearing a lot of kindness and compassion. Or maybe it's that people in the country are much nicer than people in the city. I'm confronted with lots of aggressive behavior in the city every day.
Thanks backwoods. I can always rely on your for realistic take on things.
I'm with Smithy, my church is well stocked and pools resources.
I am guilty of living in a McMansion on 5 acres on the grid. My neigbors have boats and all the McToys. I have an orchard, a chicken coop, a 1/4 acre garden and next summer I am putting in a cistern and the following summer a well. In my garage window I have a coleman solar panel hanging to charge up my battery bank. This year I put in a wood stove and put up 4 cords of wood. Next year I will put up 8 cords of wood. In my freezer I keep a can of garden seeds and in my basement a year supply of dehydrated canned foods. My wife and I can foods. I am reforesting my property to provide a long-term source of firewood.
We may be the neighborhood McCrazies. But we live a comfortable and stressfree life. We smile and wave and serve our neighors in need.
Only an Earthquake could get us, we are in a safe out of the way area in the Pacific Northwest.
I plan to stay away from those who are looting unless everyone is dead anyway. I don't trust anyone who keeps looking over their shoulder. By the time my supplies run out I will have established mutual links with other surviving locals (Read the books ALAS BABYLON and MALEVIL)
If I get chased off my property I will just go RED DAWN on their ass. WOLVERINES!
Hard to answer with so many diverse possible scenarios... except to say that I would try really really hard to do the right thing. Maybe it sounds stupid but I'm not sure I'd want to survive by doing the wrong thing.
The question is length of time the disaster goes on and if you have supplies to last for that time, or a contingency plan to get supplies restocked. Two situations I am most concerned with due to perceived likelihood (supported by stats someone posted here) are blizzard and flood. With blizzard it is doubtful it'd last long enough that we'd run out of food and water, but there are ways to improvise I think, at least for water. For flood, I think the key is to go somewhere where there are supplies that can be provided and/or bought.
Flounder- I've added several types of tools to our stash that we can use "just in case." I talked with my wife about the possibility that our supplies might run out and that we might be forced into a situation where we need to take them to survive.
We wouldn't want to break into occupied buildings but we did buy a pair of the largest bolt cutters, pry bar, axe, and sledge hammer. We both don't like the idea of it but we decided to have the equipment and at least have to option to make the decision if we have to.
This is why I'm planning on putting in some caches. First, I don't like the idea of all my eggs in one basket. If I have a year's worth of food at the house, but my house gets burglarized, burns down, or is in an evacuation zone, I'm back at zero for preps. If I call 911 for a kitchen fire and the fire department reports that I have suspicious items in my kitchen like a food dehydrator, grain mill, wheat, and a solar freezer, I don't want to have to explain when the cops come back to talk to me and they find that I have a year's worth of food, fuel and ammunition. Even if it's legal, it makes the papers and that makes me a target of both ridicule and crime.
My goal is to spread out. I want to have enough at home to get through a long, harsh winter, but I see real benefits to getting anything more and caching it off site. Some stuff I'm planning on storing in a friend's basement. Other stuff may end up buried on public lands.
Ultimately, I'd like two kinds of caches, resupply and restarting. Resupply would be the obvious, focused on food, batteries, and other consumables. Restarting caches would assume that either my home was destroyed or I could never return. That would mean I'd need to the tools to rebuild some reasonable quality of life. Obviously food is important, but shelter is critical. Having somewhere I could start over with the tools to build a cabin, till the land, seeds to grow crops, and materials to barter would be better than having nothing at all. If I get to the point of putting together a restart cache, I'd want it out of the area entirely. Ideally in opposite directions since I may not know now which direction I may need to get out of dodge.
I've started a few lists of items I'd consider valuable for each type of cache and if there's an interest, I'll post them. But I'd be interested in some feedback on the whole concept of caching first. Obviously there's risk that a cache could get stolen (although there's some obvious precautions to minimize the risk), but so could everything in your home, especially in an urban/suburban setting.