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What are you doing to prepare other than food


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Everyone knows that they need to stock up food to try to keep ahead of inflation.  But what about other things?  How are you prepared for that?

Electric goes out for weeks:  What would you do? 

There are a lot of options for this:  Solar, generator but how would you get gas for it. Propane same as gas, can you get your tanks refilled.  If it is really cold outside, do you have options to heat your house if so, what are those options.  

Things that come to mind on that is lots of blankets to keep warm and a way to keep at least one room warm but how to keep pipes from freezing. One is to insulate the pipes that are on the outside wall as best you can. Another one is keeping the cabinet doors open where the sinks are as well. One of my thoughts on this is also taken a clay pot and using them to make a heater under sinks using the small candles. You would have to be very careful with this as those clay pots will get hot. I am going to be testing this out as I saw it on Pinterest. You can also buy up as many gas cans as you can afford and fill up with gas, for both car and generator but need a safe place to store it as well as having the stabilizer to add to it for long term storage. I have 15 gals stored now.  Kerosene is another option for the kerosene heaters but unless you can store that properly as well you will run out and not be able to get that either. 

What about in the summer when it is so hot. How will you keep your food cold, how will you keep cool enough as not to have heat stroke? One of the things I am thinking of is what they call a cooler root cellar. You bury the cooler and I have seen people on U-tube and Pinterest use old freezers and fridge for this. You do have to drain the antifreeze out of them for this. Bury them under ground and things will keep cool like a root cellar.  It is much colder under my house during summer months than I thought, and I can store canned goods under there if need be but need to work on that. I don't climb under houses at my age.

These are some of the things I am thinking about if current goes out for extended period of time. But have to think beyond what happens when you start to run out of things and can't get them replenished. 

What are your thoughts on this?

 

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Yes, LS, prepping is more than just food :) and is something we all need to ponder from time to time.

 

Good suggestions on some Plan B's, C's and D's!

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TMI.... We prepped for our young (8 and 9) DDs coming of age.

 

It's not that much further in advance, but oldest DD is getting married in July. We are getting as much as we can for that now, including having the marriage license ready. If the stuff hits sooner than July, they'll get married right away with whoever is here, and she'll move in with him at the house he's rented in our small town. Who knows how long they would have there before needing to move back with us, so any time on their own would be precious.

 

We're getting games. Went to garage sales and bought a few, some educational, even!

 

I feel like I'm just sitting here, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Any day now.

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I was thinking also that water could become a big issue with lakes and rivers drying up. Drought can become a huge issue.  Other than wells and rain barrels, how would you store water for all your needs.  Wells in a drought can dry up so something to keep in mind. 

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Posted (edited)

Good question Littlesister. I've been at prepping for so long that I have most of the non-food items that I'm going to need to get me through for a very long time. For winter I have plenty of heavy blankets for the bed and windows. Also sleeping bags. I can hole up in one bedroom with the bathroom and try to keep from freezing that way. Also letting the faucets drip so they don't freeze up. My second garage has a built in gas wall heater that I could use. I could stay out there. I keep forgetting about that. Even if I didn't have electricity for the blower, the garage is small enough that it would probably stay pretty warm out there. I need to put a couple of chairs out there. And some curtains. 

 

The summer wouldn't be as much as an issue. If I can have a fan on me while I fall asleep I'll be fine. Hopefully I'll have some sort of solar generator where I can keep the refrigerator cold. I have a dorm size one that I could keep drinks and lunch meat and cheese etc. in. I also have a portable ice maker. Those along with coolers and I could be fairly comfortable. For some reason there is always a breeze blowing at the Indy house. Must be the flat open land out there. But it stays pretty cool out there. I really need to save up for a solar generator. Son has a gas one. 

 

I have a well out there but as you say, what if it goes dry? I suppose I can pack water from sons house. I'm around 10 miles from two great lakes so assuming I can make a round trip there with the Jeep, I have lots of containers and 5 gal. water bottles to fill. I have a Big Berkey and 6 extra filter sets.

 

To be honest most of my house is on it's way to being set up to be lived in if a disaster hits. I have lots and lots of clothes and HBA/OTC supplies. Thanks to g-son lots of toys and entertainment. Plenty of hand tools. Simple extra Jeep auto parts.

 

 

Wait. I'm not finished. It posted too soon!  :gaah:

 

What I was going to say is I still have a lot of holes to plug though. I only have one room of furniture. That isn't exactly a need but it sure is inconvenient. I need all new garden tools. I have no water/rain barrels outside. I still need a gas grill and a new fire pit.  I need some sort of solar generator set up. 

 

Something we might have overlooked is the shape our window screens are in. No use having your windows wide open in the summer if there are holes in the screens letting the flies and mosquitoes etc. inside. I noticed all of mine have small holes in them and they all need replaced. Easy enough to DIY. All you need is new screen wire, a tool that looks like a dull pizza cutter and maybe some new spline. I've done it. That means you can too. It's that easy. Youtube it if you are unsure. Also some sticky fly paper things while you are at it. 

 

 

Edited by Jeepers
It posted too soon
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I live in an apt in a "rural" setting, so solar panels are a no-go. I do have a back-up battery, but it is only sufficient for powering my CPAP and possibly charge up my "emergency button" (medic alert for falls, etc.).  I can recharge my phone and my hearing aids in my car - as long as I have gas! I have bottles and gallons of water stacked up in my bedroom, and I am working on getting a Berkey. I have permission from the apt office to have a propane/butane stove (needed because the fuel is "volatile") but I am not sure how "safe" it would be to use outside. I would definitely have to use the propane outside, but the butane can be used inside - it's the same set-up that is used for catering, etc. My apt is pretty snug as far as temp is concerned, even though I am on the end of the bldg. Fortunately the outside wall is where the hot water heater for the building is housed, so there is a lot of insulation that way. I am in a bottom unit so my roof/ceiling does not get direct sunlight which keeps it "cool(er)" in the summer than some of the other units. The other main wall is shared with the other apt, so there is insulation that way too. Final small wall window faces the parking lot and gets sun, but I can close that door if I need to contain heat,etc. I suppose I could huddle in there if necessary. Biggest concern is probably dog food. :blush:

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Jeepers that is all a great start.  But!  with no electric there will be no gas at the pumps for gas for our cars. Natural gas will be out as it needs electric for the regulators and to pump the gas through to the houses that have natural gas. Also, if your well pump is electric, you cannot use it unless you have a hand pump.  I too am looking to save up for a solar generator.  I need one to at least run freezer, and one fridge. I have 2 fridges but could just use the one. Propane will be impossible to have refilled so having a few tanks would be good along with other ways to cook other than an outdoor propane grill. It gets hot here close to 100* sometimes and I have those water bottles with a small fan that runs on batteries. Yes, I do keep lots of batteries on hand. I am thinking water barrels but also kiddie pools for water when it rains. Ways to wash clothes is another set up I am working on. Washers will not run without electricity.  Also, you can set a tent in a room that will hold heat and use the clay pot candle to keep tent warm. 

I am looking at worse case scenarios. Having to live with very little water, no electricity, no natural gas, no way to fill the cars and trucks as there will be no gas nor diesel. So, no gas station can pump gas. 

Yes, I am making this one hard and trying to get everyone thinking of what could happen and how will we deal with all these issues. And yes, praying it never comes to that. 

I am going to get my wagon out of shed and clean it up, paint it and get GS to help me build up sides on it so we can carry water from down the road if need be. Taller sides on wagon would make it much easier to carry stuff. 

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Solar cookers of various kinds and sizes will be vital.   Firewood is great to cook with, sure, and we have eight acres, largely wooded, but it's not a managed woodlot--picture the difference between milking a dairy goat and milking a sow.  Right.  So, solar.  We have several different kinds of cookers and patterns for cookers.  We practice with them.  

Solar is also useful for cleaning water, up to about a quart at a time.  Imagine how tiny an amount a quart is to wash the dishes.  So, multiple solar cookers just for water.  Then one or two for fast-cooking things like rice and cornbread and canned-stew-to-reheat, plus one or two for slow-cooking things like stew-to-cook--a quart at a time.  More than a quart's mass is not always going to cook through in a reasonable amount of time. 

A solar cooker is a CrockPot set on Low for most of the day. 

How many family members can you feed with the contents of a piping hot quart jar?

How many solar cookers do you need?  Have you printed out patterns for a couple?  Have you practiced with them? 

Do you have reflectors or Fresnel lenses to speed things up, and can you deal if they are broken or stolen?

 

 Do you live in a state where it's legal to collect the rainwater that runs off your roof?  Have you recently scrubbed/bleached your rain barrels?  Are the mosquito screens on them (or whatever you use) in good shape for the summer?  (Guilty here--my rain barrels have not been scrubbed in a couple of years ... drinking out of them would take a lot more work and filtering than it would if I'd taken time to scrub and bleach them.)  Filters--what do you have to filter your water?  That Berkey will last so much longer if the water is filtered through a pipe stuffed with sand and charcoal, and the pipe-filter will work longer if the water is pre-filtered with a piece of cloth.  Quilt batting jammed tight-tight into narrower pipe and left to drip slowly is a pretty good filter.

Think about what you're trying to filter out.  First is things you can see--dirt/sludge, bits of twigs, whatever gives it that brown or green or yellow color.  Physical filters like sand, charcoal, quilt batting, cloth remove those pretty well.  Boiling kills germs, bacteria, those kinds of living things, but doesn't remove dirt or chemicals.  Chemicals are much harder to filter than dirt, but some chemicals will come out if the water is trickled through enough charcoal and sand.  Other chemicals come out with more technically sophisticated filters, but the best way to remove most of them is to distill the water.  Distillation is a slow process you might, practically speaking, have to reserve for cooking/drinking/medical water.  Note that if your problem is gasoline or other petrochemical contamination of the water, removing it with charcoal is a lot easier than with distillation.  Filtering, especially petrochemicals, "uses up" your charcoal over time, but I don't know the math of how fast it does. 

Basically, know what you are filtering out, and you will be a lot happier with the work to output ratio.

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Oh, We are going Mad Max? In that case I'm loading up the family and using our stored gas and heading to Ambers house. :happy0203:

In the mean time I'm taking serious notes!

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MIL was telling her neighbors today, I stock WAY too much, when they saw the 4 boxes of Cheerios I brought back with us, for her.
 

“Oh, No, we keep a weeks worth of food, any more than that is wasteful, and you get in the habit of being a hoarder.” was their comment.

 

She told them I’m always canning stuff… “Really?  Why, when you can just go to the store and buy it?”  

 

:shakinghead:

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Annarchy, that actually hurt my heart. I'll bet there are thousands of people out there (our neighbors?) who actually think that way. 

 

I just bagged up 16 boxes of cereal. Guess I'm a hoarder extraordinaire. It's okay. G-son and I won't starve. I'm glad we have this site to come to vent and to help each other. 

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3 hours ago, Annarchy said:

MIL was telling her neighbors today, I stock WAY too much.................

 

Loose lips sink ships. I hope you and she don't have to be there if the :smiley_shitfan:

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On 5/8/2022 at 9:31 AM, Joyfilled said:

TMI.... We prepped for our young (8 and 9) DDs coming of age.

 

 

Buying/making supplies for them to use or explaining things to them?   I'm asking because my DD is the same age.   We have homeschool stuff ahead and clothing ahead, but today some other things I should buy ahead are starting to suddenly occur to me. 

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Annarchy said:

MIL was telling her neighbors today, I stock WAY too much, when they saw the 4 boxes of Cheerios I brought back with us, for her.
 

“Oh, No, we keep a weeks worth of food, any more than that is wasteful, and you get in the habit of being a hoarder.” was their comment.

 

She told them I’m always canning stuff… “Really?  Why, when you can just go to the store and buy it?”  

 

:shakinghead:

:hug3:    I think people like to throw around the H-word anytime it is something they don't see the value in.  We bought a very nice oak bookcase.    We were all very thankful for it.  DD and I spent a great deal of time organizing books on it, most of which had been packed away.  (She really likes helping with this!)    DD was excited to show it to a visiting relative  "Here's the history section, and here's gardening and science books, this is my shelf, that shelf up there is Hentys..." until relative made a comment to me about us, the H-word and having too many books.  :o    Books that, we enjoy reading, we will be reading, we refer to, we will be using homeschooling, books neatly on a bookcase.     But they don't place value on any of that, so it's the H-word.

Edited by out_of_the_ordinary
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14 minutes ago, out_of_the_ordinary said:

Buying/making supplies for them to use or explaining things to them?   I'm asking because my DD is the same age.   We have homeschool stuff ahead and clothing ahead, but today some other things I should buy ahead are starting to suddenly occur to me. 

It's a fun age....a lot to learn! We got reusable period stuff (sponges and underwear) for them. We have homeschool stuff ahead too, but clothing is a hit or miss. My 8 yo is bigger than my 9 yo, and having the right size for the right season has proven difficult. I need to look more, though....we've got coats for next year, so at least we have that! We also keep a bunch of craft supplies and of course, books....lots and lots of books. But that just makes us a normal homeschool family, doesn't it? :lol:

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I try to cover the main areas- water purification (Berkey and extra filters)

Shelter- keeping our home in good condition - having to work on this one as fast as I can fixing up "new" antique house :D

Heat- will have to restore the fireplace but may not be able to do that for a bit so looking at a kerosene heater as an emergency backup for next winter or other heat source. For now I have lots of blankets and we can all pile into a small room and put up a tent inside the house and huddle together for warmth. It wouldn't be fun but I think we'd survive.

Alternative way to cook- I have a coleman dual fuel camping stove  we can use and an outside grill which will work in a pinch. Just need to stock up on charcoal briquettes and fuel since we couldn't transport any fuels in our move

Clothing- I buy at least a season ahead for my 11 yr old and he's big enough now that I could alter adult clothing items to fit in a pinch. I buy shoes 1-2 sizes ahead too so he has something. Comes in handy too when he outgrows things. We have a variety of items in all seasons on hand enough to last years

Fabric and sewing items-  years ago I bought a pound of pins and a pound of needles to have as trading items if needed. Abigail Adams taught me that one as she used them as barter items :)

Pet food- I keep an extra bag ahead at all times as well as several containers of cat litter.

Paper products- I keep at least 6 mo supply of paper towels and TP and feminine products at all times and thankfully due to COVID I know 2 packs of Costco TP will last me a year. i bought that much Feb 2020 and never had a shortage and also didn't contribute to the shortage because I had stocked up before that happened. Now I just buy to maintain my current supply level.

Light- Batteries for flashlights, battery powered lantern, candles and matches I have plenty on hand

Small portable Solar charger- for my phone

Backup battery for DH's CPAP machine kept charged (and a small solar panel to recharge this)

Medical items- I have a basic first aid kit, extra meds for me and DH that we have built up a supply of slowly. I am working towards a 6 month supply. I help myself by filling the earliest day I am allowed, and paying cash for mine so that I can get in 90 day increments. Then when I changed Dr's I asked them to send me a refill to pharmacy right away. Only costs me $45 for a 90 day supply so that's worth it to me. it actually costs me less to do it that way so I get a supply and pay less and also don't have to go pick them up as often - Win/Win!

Became a nurse so I could learn valuable medical skills. Remember skills are maybe more important than stuff. You can't always take things with you.

Books- Lots of books on self sufficiency and subjects like gardening, home-repair, homeschool books, classics and novels, etc.

Entertainment items- games, art supplies, cards

I'm sure there is a lot more but my brain is tired so will end here :)

 

 

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I am trying to cook and can down the freezer. However, when a hole appears, it seems to magically refill itself.  :laughkick:  I was doing great until our friend gave us about 8 dressed rabbits. He laid all of them into a long box and froze them together.  :gaah:  :0327:  He's a retired bachelor.  :whistling:  The box takes up an entire shelf in the freezer and I just don't have the time right now to thaw and process them.  :0327:  Besides, the canning jars are becoming more scarce and I don't want to buy them at $10-$12 dozen.

 

The next few weeks will be set-aside for cutting firewood. We burn through about 8 cords a year, and we're not quick and nimble anymore.  :imoksmiley: We like to keep 1.5 years worth of firewood under a cover especially in the frigid north. If we get a few more windows replaced this year, the need for firewood decreases dramatically.  :thumbs:

 

I'm also looking at updating my seed inventory. Many of the older packages didn't have a very high germination rate this year. The more I can collect and save out of the garden, the less I have to purchase. :hi:  I also have friends giving me extra plants from their perennials.  :hug3:  I love propagation and generally have a very high success rate with homemade potting mixes and rooting compounds. 

 

I'm hoping to have some time to do fruit tree grafting this year. DH bought me the tool several years ago for Christmas but mama came to live with us and everything else flew out the window.    :wave:

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Wow, these are all great.  Everyone is really getting it together with things other than food. Homeschooling will be a much-needed area to prepare for as well as buying clothing of different sizes for children. 

Right now, I am looking into security doors as I need badly to replace the old worn-out storm doors. I am looking into the steel doors. Also looking into getting the well repaired and a new pump that will run off solar and for just pumping.  Looking into fencing the yard but I keep reading up about how a privacy fence would make the bad guys think you are hiding something and would break into those houses faster than no fence. That I question but still looking into a fence. Maybe a security fence like you see around gated apartments. Depends on the price on that one. I have many ways to cook but have not tested them all out yet. And yes, I do have a Fresnel Lense and it works. I have already tested that one out. Got a good fire going from that. Working on best ways to store seeds for long term. I will have to buy my firewood but there are many places here that I can buy from. Right now I have over 1 and a half cords of firewood and though I won't be using that except for a small amount for the firepit. I am going to buy another 2 cords this fall. Looking into getting those rain barrels as well as a couple of kiddie pools to set in yard to let rain fill up for watering garden in dry spell if needed. I do have a Berkey system and lots of filters and thinking of buying another one. With canning, the extra one will come in handy for that. Need to inventory my canning jars. I keep buying them when I can find them and just bought a couple of sleeves of lids. Going to be buying more of the tattler lids as well. 

Now that my GS is living with me, some of my prepping has turned toward his needs. Though his plan is to be moved into his own place in a couple of years. But he will need things to get him set up and started.  Need to get my books organized but need a couple more bookcases. So will be looking around for those and hopefully used ones cheap. Will have bookcases in different rooms of house as that is the only way I will be able to use them. I have 3 bookcases now that one is being used to house GS's clothes right now till I can get him in bedroom after they finish the house. The other 2 have books in them. I have a lot of books, so I guess that makes me the H word. Most are packed up in boxes do to construction right now. Had to go dig out a couple of them already. Though I did get rid of a lot of cook books and I hope I don't regret that. But I didn't use those in years. 

All your post gives everyone great ideas if they haven't already thought about some of the things listed. 

Keep them coming. It helps us all to think beyond the box. 

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On 5/12/2022 at 11:12 PM, Becca_Anne said:

 

Medical items- I have a basic first aid kit, extra meds for me and DH that we have built up a supply of slowly. I am working towards a 6 month supply. I help myself by filling the earliest day I am allowed, and paying cash for mine so that I can get in 90 day increments. Then when I changed Dr's I asked them to send me a refill to pharmacy right away. Only costs me $45 for a 90 day supply so that's worth it to me. it actually costs me less to do it that way so I get a supply and pay less and also don't have to go pick them up as often - Win/Win!

 

Becca_Anne, be sure to turn it in at the end of the year on your taxes for a deduction. Any out of pocket Rx and co-pays can be turned in along with dental and eye care. I turn in everything medical that I pay for. At the end of the year I just go to the pharmacy and they print out all of the Rx I've spent my own money on and the pharmacist signs it. Prescriptions not OTC. 

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