I feel like I’m speaking out of turn in writing such a post as this, what with so many refugees being on foot at this moment, exposed to the elements, having gone without food, dying of wounds from bombing. If we prep in these ways it’s just being prudent while hoping and praying that a nuclear winter might not come our way. The only reason I can imagine ever being a refugee is because of a radiation event that’s too close to home to survive, but even then, why should I run. Are there not those who would be dying and needed the last rites? But try to hunt them down, they might already be on the road.
I’ve not considered a “bug-out-bag” for what’s below. A but-out-bag is a whole different universe. And where would you go? To another area where there’s also been a nuclear event too close? The totally out of the way place that I’m already in is where people bug out to, not run away from.
For those already in terrible situations: Hail Mary…
- Religion: We’ve ordered some extra altar wine for Holy Mass. That would be particularly hard to come by. Another priest agreed with that bit of prudence. Altar breads can be made from regular unleavened wheat-flour (only) and water (only). And believe me, my parishioners have stated many times that, no matter what, they want to keep coming to Mass and receiving the Sacraments. Do you have a Rosary to pray in times of trouble and right now?
- Water: About ten years ago, when yours truly was at the hermitage, a 275 gallon IBC tote came my way. That’s pictured at the top of the post above. It was filled with rain water at the time. It’s been sitting dormant now for years. I sprayed it out, filled it with city (chlorinated water), and poured in about 1/3 cup of regular bleach (not scented, not non-splash, just plain). I didn’t screw the top cover on, wanting both the city and personally added bleach to evaporate (which it does quickly, in about 30 mins.), but meanwhile the bleach kills any microscopic beasties that might be hiding inside. It’s up on cinder blocks so that a five gallon bucket might slide under the spout at the front bottom edge. In case we’re without the grid for awhile, the gutters can be redirected to get rain water from the carport roof. This water will have to be re-purified (lots of bird dew on roofs), and for that my method is still bleach when it gets in the house (1/2 teaspoon per 8 gallons). The CDC has a great document on emergency purification of water. in emergency situations: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, Russian shutting down the grid…
- Food: It’s been a few months now that I’ve been starting to collect some foods with long-term shelf-life, rice, beans, and such. Even if you have no heat to cook these, they can be soaked (but you gotta use salt and change the water regularly). In talking with others about this I find out that pretty much everyone has been doing this as a matter of course for years. I’m like the only one who is imprudent. There is one person I know only has a supply for a week or so if the power goes down. Perishables will be lost within a day or so even from unopened fridges and freezers. I’m not going to bother with generators. Too much work. And too much of an advertisement to home-invaders, and their tribe would increase in difficult days.
- Heat: Some generous souls came to church one day with a very small portable propane heater and some camp-stove propane bottles, just for emergencies, they said, if we’re without power and it’s way below zero, and the grid goes down. I know how to deal with the extreme cold. I’m not afraid of it. When I was a kid up in northern Minnesota there was one time it got really cold, -74F below zero real temperature, -104F below zero wind chill. Loose layers for clothing and some well rated sleeping bags, one inside the other. Limit yourself to one smallish room. Pets like my Shadow-dog will provide extra body heat. Etc. But the little propane heater will be great for as long as it lasts, and I’m very thankful. I’d like to get a wood stove installed this summer, for which the bishop already gave his permission, and there’s an extra benefit of exercise during the summer procuring the wood cut just for that size stove. A flat-top wood stove that isn’t insulated with fire-brick on top (some are, which is crazy), provides heat for cooking, which is nice if ever there’s any meat or fish available. There would be hot water for washing, or just for some tea, or coffee. But if that turns out to be a no-go from the diocesan insurance-czars, a rocket stove might be just the thing, not for heat, but just for cooking, as that, obviously, has to be outside.
- Meds: Basically, all pharmaceuticals in the world are made in China, even those in India, which also gets everything from China. For me, I’d have to learn to wean myself off of some meds that I need to live, slowly. I have enough for that process right now. Not that it would work. But heaven is what we want, right?
- Defense! In any difficult situations, defense against unjust mortal aggression already being delivered against self or others might well see an uptick. People get nervous, get cabin fever, lose it. Look at the stats just in times of Covid oppression. If you’ve had the wherewithal to enjoy the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, you might want to spruce up Second Amendment tools. When’s the last time, for instance, that you’ve cleaned and oiled up what you hope and pray you never ever have to use? Have you done some target practice, at all? Do you have ammo? Perishable skills perish.
- Emergency radio: I used to have one of those windup ultra-super-cheapo type. I was using it a bit in the hermitage when tornadoes were passing over. I forgot to take the batteries out. Sigh. I had to throw it away a couple of years ago and never replaced it. Just wondering if anyone has any advice on such things. I’m not particularly enthused about becoming acquainted with the work (however advanced it is these days), of Hyman, Almy and Murray (H-A-M), early radio guys. But maybe a regular radio would be helpful. We do have a couple of static-ridden stations, with the signal always dropping depending where you are, or if you hold the radio out the window, or move your arms, or pretend you can add wires to whatever useless antenna. But maybe an emergency radio is important. I remember President Trump had a couple of emergency notifications sent to al private cell phones. The first one didn’t work, but the second one did. Dunno how helpful that is if your battery is dead. Batteries in radios last really a lot longer.
- Making friends: It’s so important to have good friends, trustworthy neighbors. If you needed some medical help, could you ask them to help? Are you ready to help them? In my neighborhood, about 90% of residents have changed occupancy recently or are doing so right now.
- Preparing for those who are unprepared: Let’s take care of the widows and orphans and elderly and sick and those in dire straits. That’s means we have to prepare for them as well.
I’m sure I’m missing a lot here. I’m just starting into this world of preparedness. Perhaps some of you have ideas that any of us might benefit from. Remember the whole of Chapter 31 of Proverbs? I like this verse especially:
- “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31:25)