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ma & pa steel

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Ok, as I just described in a recent post, I am very new to this whole survival thing. I never paid any attention to it, but after an experiance this summer when we had to flee the house with no warning with only the clothes on our backs, I am serious about GETTING prepared. But I don't know where on earth to start. Can some give some advice or some links for the total novice (who needs some hand holding LOL) to get me going without getting so overwhemed in information that I spin my wheels. Another incidence just comes to mind, my husband was in a near fatal accident a year ago, it sure would have been nice if I had been prepared to allow him to take a year off to REALLY recoup instead of him having to go back as soon as workers comp says "Your'e fine, go back to work"

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Hi Goatlady, it does look like a daunting task, getting prepared, but most of learned that it quickly happens when we set our minds to it. Buy a little extra every week, and buy variety so your diet doesn't become too boring. If you can, invest in a couple of 50 lb bags of flour, sugar and pasta, and beans....whatever you eat. Those foundation items can become alot of different meals.


Start putting away water, whether it be bottled water or 55 gallon drums, and rotate it. Determine if your primary objective is to shelter at home or bug out, and plan accordingly. Your most immediate needs are water, shelter, food, and heat. You probably already some alternative cooking methods at your home...gas BBQ, charcoal BBQ, camping stove, wood stove, etc.


Work on the basics first. You'll see how fast it accumulates. Oh, and keep quiet about what you are doing. I'm sure someone else will offer even more detail. Happy to have you here.

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Hi Goatlady. It does seem a bit overwhelming when you first start. Hopefully, when we get the Mrs. S Manual done it will be the perfect help for people just starting out. In the mean time, we'll help you all we can. Nana's $20 a week post is on the Are you Really Ready forum I belive. There is also a good post right here by Lois on small vehicle packs.


Start small at first. A good way is to get the bug out bag or bags, preferribly one for each person in the family, started first. It helps to make a list of what you might need next time you dash out of the house in a hurry. Decide on how many days you might need to use them for and plan accordingly. Usually at least three or four days.


Look at the list for a vehicle pack and then consider adding a change of clothes to that so that you would at least have extra there if needed. It's surprising how much you can put in a small bag if you use your imagination.


Once you have the immediate evacuation needs met then you can start on your home preps.


Good luck and don't give up thinking that it's too big a task. It's really not once taken in smaller steps.



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Something that I usually tell newbees is to buy 2 of whatever you are going to buy this week. Say you are going to make ham, au gratin potatoes, and peas one night. You can buy 2 canned hams or spam, 2 boxes of instant au gratin potatoes and 2 cans of peas. I usually only mark the month and year on the top of the can or box 01/06. That way if somebody shuffles my stuff around, I still know which is the oldest one and can use it next. If you can do this with everything for one month, you will have a month's worth of meals in storage. Do it for a year, and you have a year's supply.


Some things that you normally buy like bread, milk, and butter will have to be stored in a different manner. Like storing flour or grain (if you want to grind your own), yeast, salt. Milk, you can buy instant or regular dry milk. Butter, you can bulk buy butter powder or use molly mcbutter to season the veges you store. I really like the Mormon monthly list and the $20.00 a week list on this site. Every item that you store is one step closer to where you decide you want to be.


When you can't purchase anything...store water...at least it's another step. An the minimum is 1 gallon a day per person. That's just for drinking and cooking..you will need more for washing and laundry. You may have a day or two in your hot water heater.


My personal plan is to bulk buy once a year as much as I can afford to buy...we do this after we get the refund back from our income tax.


Good Luck and take it one step at a time.

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Hey there! I'm still new to it too, but isn't it alot of fun learning all this great stuff


I'd like to recommend two books for you to read - Crisis Preparedness by Jack A. Spigarelli and The New Passport To Survival by Rita Bingham. I've found these both to be very helpful. The Crisis Preparedness book is still new to me, just started reading it but he covers just about everything imaginable. It also has charts to figure out how much food/water you'd need for the size of your family. HTH!


The lists by Nana are great for the $20 week storage plans!



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Hello ladies of Mrs.S!


Goatlady, I totally understand feeling overwhelmed, however, you CAN take care of your family...with a plan. I used the LDS prep list to start my storage at the end of '04, and bit by bit have managed to stock alot of food and hardware supplies. We have had to tap into it several times, and have depleted sugar, oils, chocolate chips, tomato products and flours over and over! This tells me that I really need to boost up in these areas. I try to rotate my stock, and go through it every 6 months thoroughly to make sure that my counts (i write everything down) are accurate. It's actually kind of fun!


There are tons of recommendations on this site as far as prep lists go. I think LDS is listed as well. The best advice I have is to make sure that you don't just follow these lists blindly. Think about what your family WILL EAT. If you don't like Spam...don't buy it! It is not a good investment of your precious $$$.


My family loves anything with corn...so I have tons of creamed corn, corn meal, grits, corn flour, etc. The only beans we will eat are Black Beans...so pintos, kidney, lentils and others are out. Have lots of honey, molasses, cane syrup, maple syrup, sugar, brown sugar, yeast, flours, chocolate, baking powder, salt...these always are in demand any time of the year, and can really help with morale when living off of storage. Add some peanut butter, dried fruits and nuts, and you have the type of detoxifying energy breads that are fun, tasty, and healthy.


You can do A LOT on $20 a week...


Many like to buy in bulk. I do this when I can. However, what good is 50# of wheat flour if I don't have the misc. baking supplies to turn it into bread, torillas, indian fry bread, pitas, cakes, pies, ect? Variety helps with that dilemma.


It was suggested to you to buy double what you purchase while grocery shopping. This has worked for me also...especially when I'm buying sale items. If I'm buying a pork roast, I'll either buy 2 and freeze one, or I'll exchange it with a long lasting meat substitue...like TVP granules, tofu that doesn't need refrigeration, canned tuna/salmon, etc. Then you know that you are purchasing complete balanced meals as you add to your supplies.


Good luck! You can do it!



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lets get you focused on "flee the house with no warning" as Summer is coming up.


you need 1 back pack per person. Back Packs are easy to grab, hold alot (get the biggest ones you can find) and cheap (get the cheap ones to start)


EACH BACK PACK should have....


Look around the house.. got a pair of really comfy tennis shoes or walking chooes? ready to buy a new pair? (shake your hear up and down) now take the old comfortable pair and tie them to your back pack!


Look around for an old sweatshirt or warm longsleeve shirt, have an old pair of comfortable but rugged pair of pants (jeans are best)... shove them in the back pack! throw in a couple pairs of socks and a pair or two of undies. You might need shorts and t-shirt to throw in there.


As time goes on, you will find the best clothes that fits your needs and eviornment.


Now to important papers. Make a copy of.. Birth Cert. your Social Secruity number, important phone numbers need also be put in your back pack.. place in a ziplock bag incase your back pack gets wet. Also think about a copy of driver's license and the kids school id's also in your and DH back pack. The children should have a copy of their ID as well as your name and perhaps cell phone numbers, maybe a copy of your Driver's license. could all be copied on one sheet of paper. Any medical problems or allergies should also be included for everyone. The parents need everyone's, the kids need carry only theirs.. incase they get seperated.


If you want to include any homeowners documents, insurance papers, or any papers you think are important.. but carry copies.


each pack should have a few bottles of water and in my opinion.. energy bars. I prefer to use the ones body builders use.. complete nutrition. Each person needs 9 bars.. 3 a day for 3 days.


If you have children.. a second favorite doll or toy or blankie. Something comforting.


Now that isn't too overwhelming.. right?


Children can only carry so much so make sure their load is lighter then say, yours. Adults and older children can split what the little ones can't carry.


Now work on, matches, camping gear so you grab and throw in car and go. View it as a backpacking trip and buy accordingly. I remember when people made tents over their cars by using a tarp, poles and rope.


The food .... just buy a couple extra cans of what ever you eat.

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