If you've landed on this blog by mistake, please follow this link:


Please update your bookmarks and the links on your sites.

Join our forum at:

Friday, October 30, 2009

When Did You Become A Prepper?

I had a discussion with a couple of people that were just getting into prepping. They asked me when I first became a prepper. I normally answer that I started back in the early 1970s.However, I made a trip to a gunshow a county or so away today and while I was driving home I got to thinking about prepping and when I started. What prompted those thoughts was seeing a single canteen setting on a table for sale. It reminded me of the old World War One (dated 1918) surplus canteen that sits on the floor beside me as I type this. It was the canteen that my grandfather always carried in his truck on every trip we ever took. After he died I took the canteen and carried it in my vehicles for a lot of years. I replaced the old worn out canvas cover that it originally had with a “newer” World War Two cover.

I realize now that making sure that canteen was full and in the truck was preparedness. I can still hear my grandfather saying to me, “Have a drink on me.” as he would pass me the canteen while we were driving to any of the camping or fishing spots we traveled to while he was alive.

We traveled Michigan a lot back then. Back in the day there was a spring next to the road on M-66. We always stopped there on our way north and filled the canteen with that spring water, after we had both drank our fill from the spring. (Michigan decided to tear out the spring and let a high school get built there instead.)

Having a canteen of water was a very small thing, but it was an important part of our trip preparations none the less. I now look back on that as the roots of my preparedness beings. I guess the steps I took in the 1970s were just a maturing of the canteen and expanding to making sure I had a lot more bases covered that just water. All an eight year old boy needed back then was a canteen of water and his grandfather.

I even laugh at myself when I think about what I did for preps back in the 1970s. I sure had a long way to go before I could be considered prepared based on what I did then. One big step for me then was to acquire 100 rounds of ammo for each of our rifles and pistols. Today at the gunshow I picked up an additional 40 rounds of .30-30 and 50 rounds of an oddball pistol round, both for a very good price.

Being a prepper is not only storing away ammo and filling a canteen of water. It is gathering skills and knowledge, materials and supplies, building a strong network of friends and family that are like minded, and having faith in God and yourself that you /WILL/ pull through any coming calamity. Hopefully that is why you come here and check us out, so you can help yourself prepare. When you started does not matter as much as the fact that you are now walking the walk. Just keep the faith and keep prepping. It can start with as little as a single canteen.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Supply Depots After TSHTF

Ok, the fan was thoroughly and squarely hit and life changes forever. Your idea to shelter in place or bug out worked like a charm and you are now relatively secure for the time being. However, you discover that Murphy is a survivalist too, and his law jumps up and bites you in the butt. You discover that several tools or supplies you thought of before the fan got hit were never put away for later use or broke, or the kids left them out and they are ruined. Where do you get them now? Face it, every store, shop, big box store and hardware place will be wiped clean. Trucks will not be supplying replacements.
I would suggest that you think outside the box. (Yeah I know, I hate the phrase too, but it does convey the message.) I work in an office building. You know the place, desks, phones, file cabinets, and more paperwork than you can shake a stick at. I am the maintenance guy. I move the desk and files around when needed and fix the plumbing, repair the electric, and solve problems. You might be surprised to see the amount of tools and supplies that are stored in the maintenance area. Since we have trees and brush on the grounds I have saws and axes. There is copper plumbing and fittings, roof patching material, and hand tools of all kinds.
Almost every large office building has a maintenance shop and guys that do the work. I have discovered over the years that even people at work in the building are surprised we have so many supplies. Janitorial has their supplies too, soaps, toilet paper, cleaners and the like. These are items that a year after TEOTWAWKI will be useful. I am willing to bet that most readers never thought of those places for getting supplies.
Understand one thing up front. I am not talking about going in and stealing from work. What I am saying is that there might be places overlooked by MZB and looters that will allow you to help yourself out when TEOTWAWKI hits.
Since I am the maintenance man I have made a list of items that I have at work that I might need. The list is in the back of a notebook I keep in my desk. I have the list so I don’t forget something or if I need one item I know it is there and where to find it. I included supplies from the nurse’s station too.
I would never jeopardize my job of 25 plus years for a few thousand dollars worth of supplies, but if we have full blown TEOTWAWKI then I have a place to acquire supplies for use or barter. Go look up your maintenance guy, buy him a coffee and ask him to show you his workshop. You may be surprised at what is there.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Have you looked around work?

In my last post I mentioned being prepared at work for an event that might “lock you in.”
I have touched on that theme several times over the years. It seems that a lot of preparedness minded folks skip over the idea of being prepared at the workplace. Oh, they have their BOB in the car, but they do not necessarily have items in the BOB that will work for sheltering at the workplace.

Think of it this way. I will bet that you built your BOB around the idea of walking home if TSHTF while you were at work, correct? You have a map and compass, several fire starters, shelter cover of some kind and a cooking kit with some trail food. How close am I? Hell, folks that is basically my BOB too.

Here is the difference. I have loose items in the truck for just such a case as getting stuck at work for a couple days. I carry a sleeping bag in the truck that I would not hump on a trek home in an evacuation. I have several meals, MREs, cans of soups and beans, and a few items of clothing to change into if need be. When I was stuck in Detroit for three days I did not have a change of socks. By the third day I hated my socks but could not wear my work boots without them. Now I carry spares of those and a few other items. (I am also smart enough to wash them out a night now too.)

I have a steno notebook in my desk at work that has a list of all the items I know are there that I might need come TEOTWAWKI. I always have to explain that I keep the list in case the world goes to crap and I need supplies and I have a shot at getting them from work. I would never, ever steal those supplies from work. My nearly thirty years of employment is not worth risking over a few hundred dollars worth of goods. I have the list for a TEOTW situation, or if I get stuck at work.

Let’s say a train derails near your worksite and your company is forced to shut down all the air intake equipment and the police seal the building from the outside and quarantine the whole place for 72 hours. Drat, my example just stopped me from going out to the truck for my BOB! Ok, now what?

Have you really looked around where you work for survival items? How about that fire blanket, would it keep you warm enough to sleep? Can you get water from the drinking fountain or do you know where the water jugs for it are kept? Is there a nurse’s station, first aid cabinets, or first aid kits around? Who has access? Is there any way to get food other than breaking into vending machines? Are there coffee filters around that can strain water if need be? The questions go on and on.

You should give work a good going over and see what they have in case you ever need to hunker down there for a few days. Remember that in a Michigan winter you will want warmth long before you want food. It doesn’t matter what survival situation you are in, the rules of three always apply.


Next Friday I will re-post my original work place post from the April ’08 Bison.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why I Would Not Serve

I was at work the other day and one of the managers asked me about joining a county wide committee that would cover emergency preparedness. I told her no. She of course asked why, after all I had completed over a dozen FEMA courses, was a qualified CERT Instructor, and seemed to be knowledgeable on the subject. I told her that those were the reasons I couldn’t serve on that committee.
I have been into preparedness since the 1970s. I have read and written on survival for a long time. I have very clear goals and plans for survival. If we get snowed in at work I can stay for two to four days just on the supplies in my truck. I have already scoped out my workplace for water supply, food supply, off grid heat and light, and know where I would go during everything from tornado to nuke attack. (I assume you have also done this at your place of employment?)
When I hear the county talk about preparedness they are never thinking of the individual, but rather ”the people”. They talk in terms of shelters, not sheltering in place. They talk about Red Cross shelter management and food service, not off grid cooking. They want to take care of the most people they can at one time, not help each family be prepared for self-reliance. I am a self reliance guy, I would much prefer to see everyone take care of themselves as they see fit, not move to a shelter for someone else to take care of. My kind of thinking does not go over well at those meetings, I know because I did sever on that committee several years ago.
As I talked to the manager about my thoughts on preparedness and the priority list I would approach I saw her eyes glaze over and her mind wander away. I do not know how to write this without it sounding way too egotistical, but I know too much about preparedness to serve on a committee like that.
If we got snowed in at work most of the office wonks I work around will be breaking into the vending machine for food thinking that is ok. I will dig out my BOB from the truck, my sleeping bag, and a few other items and go out to the maintenance barn and cook my dinner and go to sleep warm and comfortable. I will of course be an A-hole for doing this because no one else has planned for just such an event. They know that those things just don’t happen and they will always be able to get home to food and shelter. They should have been with me when I got snowed in at work in Detroit many years ago.
I made a list of events that I have seen happen in just the last decade. I could go back to the 70s for my list, but the truth is the list about repeats itself every ten years or so. Just a few of the local events I listed are:
Black out and power grid loss in Eastern US
Major snow & ice storm that shut down schools and work for two days
Train derailment that caused evacuation of houses for more than one day
A riot in the town I work and at my son’s college
Major flooding that caused loss of life and homes and closed many businesses
Factory accident that caused chemical release that evacuated homes
And from around the country and the world:
Tsunamis that wiped out coast lines. (Do you think the Great Lakes can have a tsunami, we are on an earth quack fault line you know?)
Wide fires that burned out of control for days
Hurricanes that wiped out major cities
Bombing and terrorist attacks
Ok, so just which of those events is the county committee suppose to prepare for? Hell, which ones are we to prepare for? As a preparedness type individual I know I can prepare for all of those events and be ready to bug out if I need to. The county templates are open shelters and provide food. Past that they do not have a clue. How can they? They have not read what we read nor thought about much past the cost of housing and feeding the multitudes.
Every one of the preparedness folks I know all have the same goal, protect their family and shelter from the storms of life. Oh, some want to head for the National Forests and live off the land and others want to set up a small compound where they are king, but even those do not want or need the county, state, or federal government to help them.
How about you? Do you want help from the county or would you rather handle it yourself?

MichiganPreppersNetwork.com Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Michigan Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.