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I'm new here. I live in the Pacific Northwest and am increasingly concerned about earthquakes, volcanoes, disease, etc. How do I begin to prepare? Money is tight, but I don't want to be caught off guard. Any pointers?
 

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I sold my soul to The_Blob. He had candy...
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Welcome!

I also work with a very small budget. If you google "food storage $5 a week", you will get some basic ideas. The best advice I can give is look at what your family eats, make a menu plan, use a grocery list, coupons, look for rebates, join all of those club card things the stores offer. If you use the $5 plans for a starting off point make sure you adjust it for what you will use.

Lots of them talk about buying wheat to grind your own for baking, I would not know how to grind or use it if someone gave me a free ton. (I really have to learn how to use that) So I buy AP flour and rotate it out quite quickly. Dry beans, my family will not eat them, so I would just be wasting money.

Make sure everything you buy has the longest "good/best/use" by date. Buy a lot of shelf stable things that require no refridgeration and are easy to cook. Pasta, rice, veggies can go a long way to filling up a hungry belly.

Cook as much as you can from scratch. Healthier and usually cheaper then prepackaged foods. Hamburger helper is $2 a box. Generic mac & cheese, tomato sauce- makes about the same thing for less then $1.

TVP- texturized vegetable protein- I have been substituting this for ground beef in tacos, chili, sloppy joes and as a stretcher in meat loaf for over a year and my family has not realized it yet.

Hillbillyhousewife.com has some great ideas and really good, basic recipes.
 

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Start with food and water.

You can store water right now from your tap. If you're buying water, save the bottles, refill them and store them in an out of the way place.
Every time you go to the store, pick up 1-2 extra cans of the things you would normally buy and eat. Spending a dollar or 2 a week shouldn't cut into the budget too hard. It takes a while but in a couple months you'll have some reserves. Don't forget the manual can opener!!

Some type of shelter could be added as the budget allows. It doesn't need to be fancy. Just a tent to help protect you from the elements. Look on craigslist classifieds: jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, events, forums. in the sporting goods section. A lot of people are selling things as the economy keeps sliding downhill.

No matter what you do, do something, no matter how small. It will put you ahead of 95% of the rest of the country. Like pdx210 said; read through the posts here, There is plenty of info in these pages. :)
 

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WELCOME, :welcome:pragmaticWorm from a long time preparer. Look forward to your replies and posts.
Take the time to read past threads and posts in this forum. Keep your gas tank filled, store water in your car(use old bleached out plastic milk containers), along with extra food, blankets, tools, first-aid kit and clothes. Very inexpensive and wise.
A good first start.
 

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Woodchuck
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I’ll add what I did. First take a look at your lifestyle as it exists now. What foods do you eat, what do you drink, clothing, housing, basically all aspects of your life. Start with housing, would your current home be able to survive your worries? For example a single story home would be better than a 50 story apartment building in an earthquake but not in a flood. Can your home hold enough supplies to keep you alive if need be and for how long? Food, what do you like that can be bought and stored in a reasonable space? Cans of soup, beans, vegetables can be bought as above, a little at a time and stored. Think of multipurpose foods like pancake or biscuit mix and some brown sugar or honey. Lots of different uses for one product. Do you have a place to garden? Fresh will always beat canned and with even some plastic you can extend the growing season. I like fruit juices rather than plain water so have cans of powdered drink mix.

Are you able to bug out or move quickly if something like a volcano threatens? Or will you have to hunker down and ride something out where you are? Being mobile takes planning as disasters strike fast and you most likely will not have days to pack, you will have minutes. My plan is to hunker down and stay put.

We all realize that in the event of a disaster or worse, our current lifestyles would change, perhaps drastically. My goal is to maintain at least my minimum acceptable lifestyle for as long and as comfortable as need be. Stock up on supplies towards that goal.
 

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YourAdministrator, eh?
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If I may add in my two-bits here.

Survival consists of several things. Air, Water, Food, Shelter - in that order. The way that I take care of those 4 key-points was simple.

Air: As long as it is free, I will survive. I personally have no protection from chemical / biological / radiological / nuclear attacks (CBRN), but, where I am, those are not my primary concerns. I have basic air filters from the local "farm-supply" (Princess Auto) to protect against breathing stuff that I shouldn't when welding, grinding, burning, etc. I feel that these filters would protect me "enough" till I can get to an area where the air contamination wouldn't affect me.

Water: Stored tap-water, stored Gatoraid and Gatoraid powder, etc. Not much (compared with having my own well and filtration system), but, enough to do what I need. Also have a simple water-filter for cold-water springs and running-water filtration. Planning on expanding the system a bit for a "hard-mounted" filtration system in my camping trailer that should be able to filter all water from virtually any source.

Food: Canned, freeze-dried, dehydrated, vacuum sealed, frozen and as much of it as possible home-made. Planning to expand the home-made variety with own garden. Hunt and fish regularly to supply your freezer and dehydrator (smoker) with new meat.

Shelter: Camping gear / supplies would be where I would start (actually, that is where I did start). You don't need to go big, just comfortable. If you are a single-person, start with getting trek-gear for one person. Mini stove for cooking, small tent for sleeping in, the best sleeping bag for all weather, ground-mats (and ThermaRest). If you are an "average" family, then a simple tent-trailer with sleeping for 5 (or 6 people) would be good. Make sure that the tent-trailer is easily towed with your choice-vehicle (there are trailers to tow behind motorbikes and some need a massive diesel-truck). My dad has a motorbike-towable tent-trailer and my tent-trailer is towable with my Jeep TJ Unlimited.

Look at what your needs and capabilities are and go from there.
 

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You can find reasonably priced out door gear on ebay or in local Army Navy Stores. Look at garage sales and see if there are any out door clubs in your area that may have swap meets. You are probably doing better than you think, but keep doing.;)
 

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I invented the internet. :rofl:
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A lot fo good stuff here. Begin with a three day kit. (Enough to keep you and your family going for three days with no outside help whatever.) Next work on a bug-out-kit/bag which is essentially the three day kit contained in such a way that you can grab it and go. (Be sure you have someplace to run to!)

Go to the FEMA website for ideas of things you should have. Add a firearm for self-protection. From here continue on by purchasing just a little extra every time you go shopping. (Separate them immediately and store them.) Learn any skills you can that will help you survive. Keep reading this board and try out your preps periodically to look for ways to improve.
 

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If I may add in my two-bits here.
WOW. I missed the price increase on info. I've been trying to hold the line with my .02 :ignore:
 

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I am a little teapot
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He's using Canadian currency, don't forget...

Anyways...PragmaticWorm, there are at least as many (probably more) prepper newbies here rather than established, totally ready types. In fact, the more experienced on here (of which I am not one) will tell you that there is always more to learn and you are never really "there". There is always more to add to the shelf, always more to learn...Don't be afraid to open your mouth. If you are wondering about something there's a good chance someone else is thinking the same thing. The only stupid question on this board is one that is not asked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the info. I guess I'm a little scared to post here. I've been lurking for a while and reading, but there's so much information to take in. I'm scared to post because I'm not a Conservative like most of the posters seem to be, I'm a flaming Liberal compared to you people. Haven't got good responses to differing political opinions before. It is the INTERNET after all. :D

Anyway, food and water does seem the obvious way to start, now that everyone points it out. What is a good way to store them? I think that staying home will be my first option before heading "out." I'm more concerned about natural disasters than anything else, but who knows what will happen.
 

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Anyway, food and water does seem the obvious way to start, now that everyone points it out. What is a good way to store them?
Now it's time to dig deeper into the info that's already been posted. In the search feature near the top of each page, type in food or water storage. You will find that there are plenty of threads devoted to each. Happy reading. :)
 

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Thanks for all the info. I guess I'm a little scared to post here. I've been lurking for a while and reading, but there's so much information to take in. I'm scared to post because I'm not a Conservative like most of the posters seem to be, I'm a flaming Liberal compared to you people. Haven't got good responses to differing political opinions before.
Don't be scared to post or ask questions! Approach things with an open mind, and when you have an opinion that you feel the need to share, simply be sure that you can support it, but do so politely. I am definitely a novice in this whole sphere, but in my recent meanderings on the forum, I recognize a definite civility that seems to be missing on many forums.
 

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I invented the internet. :rofl:
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“Really what people need is water, non-perishable food, warm clothes, and medicine,” says Aredano. “Help is arriving, but only a bit at a time. It should have come more quickly. That’s why people got so desperate and started looting supermarkets.” (Yahoo news regarding Chili's earthquake victims.)

This is common in every disaster. You might add sanitation supplies (at least a five gallon bucket or porta-potty of some kind), a way to cook food and batteries/fuel for flashlights and/or lanterns.
 

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YourAdministrator, eh?
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This is common in every disaster. You might add sanitation supplies (at least a five gallon bucket or porta-potty of some kind), a way to cook food and batteries/fuel for flashlights and/or lanterns.
I have two porta-potties (bucket-style and holding-tank style) that I have for my camping trailers. Both can be setup inside of privacy-shelters quickly and easily if the situation warrants it. I would expect that if someone has camping gear for deep-woods camping that they would have the means of collecting and disposing of human-waste.

A very good book about collecting / disposing of human waste is reviewed here in our review's section: http://www.preparedsociety.com/forum/f49/book-htsitw-1637/
 

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Thanks for all the info. I guess I'm a little scared to post here. I've been lurking for a while and reading, but there's so much information to take in. I'm scared to post because I'm not a Conservative like most of the posters seem to be, I'm a flaming Liberal compared to you people. Haven't got good responses to differing political opinions before. It is the INTERNET after all. :D

Anyway, food and water does seem the obvious way to start, now that everyone points it out. What is a good way to store them? I think that staying home will be my first option before heading "out." I'm more concerned about natural disasters than anything else, but who knows what will happen.
No worries - there are probably more liberals around than you think...just QUIET liberals, that's all :D I am pretty liberal, though I live in a really ******* area. I have agreed to disagree on many issues...

About storage...if you are on a budget, don't worry about gamma seal buckets and mylar bags and such to start with. You are better to get going on some sort of actual stash.

Canned goods can go on a shelf in your pantry/kitchen/basement with no problems for a couple of years. Look up 'FIFO' (First In First Out) or rotating stock...basically you want to keep using stuff so that the oldest cans of stuff get used first. I just put the newest cans to the back of the shelf.

Dry goods need to be kept dry, and sealed against mice and bugs. I keep a lot of dry goods in glass jars on my counter...it's decorative, too. I have begged food grade buckets (margarine containers) from a local restaurant, and used them with regular lids to keep vermin out. i store grains in galvanized garbage bins (keep them off the floor on a couple of 2x4's), but I don't have to worry about moisture where I am. rubbermaid containers are also your friend...

Storing water is a bit more problematic, as washed-out bottles will grow algae after awhile. I have stored them in the freezer to avoid this, but it limits the amount you can keep on hand. Now, I just buy the water cooler refill jugs (about 20L), as they are pretty cheap, and pre-sealed.

Good luck in your storage! It is overwhelming at first, but you will get the hang of it in no time!
 

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I don't think disposing of human waste in an emergency is the best option. Collecting yes. Disposing no. You might not think it but your crap is a useful resource.

You need to remember that this is a survival situation and not a camping trip. Human waste, toilet paper, food scraps, and other biodegradable items will break down and create methane. That methane can be collected and used to your advantage. Wastewater, urine, dog crap, cow crap, everything. Just throw it in there and let nature do it's thing.

And after the waste has completely broken down, you will have an almost odorless fertilizer for growing crops with.
 

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Water, Food and Get out of Debt! In that order. With debt, you can't survive. When the SHTF, it will likely clear up at some point, but then you will be left with tons of bills from the disaster, plus the irresponsibility of large debt beforehand. Especially the evil credit cards.
 
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