For years, my writings have contained pleas to prepare for hard times by storing food as well as repeated warnings of coming famine. If you have not heeded those warnings, I want to urge you once again to quickly begin preparing for the coming disaster. If you have begun storing food, I want to offer a word of encouragement to ramp up your preparations. And, if you have so far ignored this counsel, I want to impress upon you how much you will one day regret it.
Let’s be realistic: You can’t eat money. You can’t cook up a Rolex watch. You can’t consume your big house, speedboat, or fancy car. Your smartphone won’t fill your belly. You can’t melt down and drink your gold and silver coins. As wealthy and materially-blessed as you may be, the man with food is far richer than you unless you also have food.
The great religious Pioneer leader Brigham Young once chided the self-righteous slackers in his community:
“How many of you have had wisdom enough to procure and lay up for yourselves produce enough to last until harvest? You may call this a small matter. How many of you have wheat or flour to last you a year? If you are without bread, how much wisdom can you boast, and of what real utility are your talents, if you cannot procure for yourselves and save against a day of scarcity those substances designed to sustain your natural lives? You wish to come here and preach to the people, when you have not knowledge to sustain yourselves temporally, to say nothing of a spiritual salvation. You cannot save yourselves, a wife, and a child from starvation, unless someone takes you by the hand and leads you; and yet you want to make us believe that you are almighty big men. I exhort the brethren to seek unto the Lord for wisdom. If you cannot provide for your natural lives, how can you expect to have wisdom to obtain eternal lives? God has given you your existence—your body and spirit, and has blest you with ability, and thereby laid the foundation of all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, and all glory and eternal lives. If you have not attained ability to provide for your natural wants, and for a wife and a few children, what have you to do with heavenly things?
People today are in the same boat – the same dilapidated, leaky, sinking boat. We are apt to believe “it can’t happen here” when we see earthquakes in Japan, wars in Europe, or famines in Africa. Yet, crises can and do happen here. I need only say the word “Coronavirus,” to say nothing of Hurricane Katrina, scorching fires in California, killer tornadoes in the Midwest, and power outages in Texas, to remind you of how ever-present peril is.
Estimates are that 1 in 10 American homes were hit by natural disasters in 2021. That means tens of millions of your countrymen suffered crises. Add in man-made disasters, like the COVID-19 bioweapon release and vaccine genocide, to say nothing of Marxist Black Lives Matter riots and Antifa terrorism or increasing criminality, and the number of crisis events skyrockets. The fact is that every family will one day face a crisis of one degree or another. The smart strategy, then, is to prepare.
Besides drawing close to the Savior Jesus Christ and conforming to His exalted teachings, perhaps the greatest thing you can do for your family is to store food for the coming days of famine and cataclysms. Ezra Taft Benson raised his prophetic voice to all Americans when he counseled:
“It would be well if every family have on hand grain for at least a year. And may I remind you that it generally takes several times as much land to produce a given amount of food when grains are fed to livestock and we consume the meat. Let us be careful not to overdo beef cattle and other livestock projects on our welfare farms.
“From the standpoint of food production, storage, handling, and the Lord’s counsel, wheat should have high priority. Water, of course, is essential. Other basics could include honey or sugar, legumes, milk products or substitutes, and salt or its equivalent. The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.
“President Harold B. Lee has wisely counseled that “perhaps if we think not in terms of a year’s supply of what we ordinarily would use, and think more in terms of what it would take to keep us alive in case we didn’t have anything else to eat, that last would be very easy to put in storage for a year … just enough to keep us alive if we didn’t have anything else to eat. We wouldn’t get fat on it, but we would live; and if you think in terms of that kind of annual storage rather than a whole year’s supply of everything that you are accustomed to eat which, in most cases, is utterly impossible for the average family, I think we will come nearer to what President Clark advised us way back in 1937.” (Welfare conference address, October 1, 1966.)
“There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food, even if it is only a garden in your yard and/or a fruit tree or two. Man’s material wealth basically springs from the land and other natural resources. Combined with his human energy and multiplied by his tools, this wealth is assured and expanded through freedom and righteousness. Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of each of these particulars.”
I want to underscore one line in particular: “The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.” This was said in 1974, but it seems more relevant today in 2022 as we see:
• Plagues shutting down the supply chain • Red China hoarding over 60% of the world’s grain • War hampering food exports • Nations suspending trade, grain exports, and fertilizer sales • Major countries being unable to plant their winter wheat due to unnaturally wet conditions • Unnaturally dry conditions plaguing farms in other parts of the world • The biggest drought in over a millennium hitting North America • The United States digging into its oil and food reserves to stave off rapidly rising inflation and public discontent • Massive fires stopping the regular farming cycles in some parts
These and a hundred other hindrances make us easily see how having a year supply of food could be as crucial to us as being on Noah’s ark was when the Lord sent down His rains to cleanse the earth.
Bearing all of this in mind, you may be wondering how to begin gathering a food storage to feed your family when it all hits the fan. I want to present a succinct methodology for getting the food you need, including what you should put in your storage.
A general rule of thumb is that you should store the things your family normally eats. Why would you store giant buckets of oats if your family doesn’t eat oats? Store what you eat. That’s sound counsel. However, considering the lateness of the hour, I don’t think it is the wisest approach.
If you haven’t started preparing, or if your supplies are lacking, then my recommendation for you is to immediately buy those things that will sustain life during a crisis. If you don’t normally eat oats, so what? You’d be grateful for them in a catastrophe. If you don’t eat a lot of rice, suck it up. You’d be grateful to have a supply of it to fill your belly. If you don’t usually eat lentils, I don’t think your children would complain too much if you were able to prevent them from starving by dishing them up some. It’s better than eating bugs or killing your neighbor for food!
Some may reject this advice, but I stand by it. If you don’t know where to start, simply start by getting anything that you can eat – anything that will sustain you. Canned foods are a great option. The food is already prepared and it often has a shelf life of several years. Just open and serve. Canned meats like tuna, sardines, corned beef, and SPAM variations are great to have. Tuna is particularly versatile and can be blended with many other foods and spices and is good cold and hot.
You can even can, pressure cook, or preserve your own meat if you prefer. Nearly anything can be preserved – chicken, pork, fish, ground beef, and so on. If you’re legitimately interested in preserving your own food, I recommend watching two informed presentations by Wendy DeWitt which can be found here and here.
Canned vegetables – corn, peas, beets, asparagus, beans, mixed, mushrooms, etc. – should also find their way into your storage. What veggies do you like? Grab a few cans of your preferences each time you go to the store. Incrementally, you can build up a large store of food in no time. Can you afford five cans of food this week? Could you afford it every week? What about every other week? Throw in a 5 lb. bag of rice and a couple bags of lentils each time you pick up your five cans and you can see how quickly you can build up a food storage for a fairly low cost.
Grains are crucial for your storage. That’s why I asked, Got Gain? The most readily available grain is probably rice. It’s inexpensive and plentiful. The price varies by location, but it’s still a cheap commodity at the moment. On the Walmart website, a 5 lb. bag of “Great Value” long grain white rice costs $2.58. My wife and I shopped yesterday at a local store, buying an extra 30 lb. of rice for our storage. We didn’t spend more than $2 per bag. We even picked up a bag for $1.76 of a brand we’ve never tried. Is there any excuse not to throw an extra bag of rice in your cart each time you shop?
Let me quickly interject that rationalizing your procrastination only prolongs your worry and ensures your eventual suffering. Just throw the $2 bag of rice in your cart! What? You don’t have $2? Do you really need the Pringles and Pop-Tarts? I enjoy dill pickle-flavored Pringles as much as the next guy, but are they really a necessity?
Learn to forego things you want for things you need. You might want that sugary cereal, but you don’t need it. On Walmart.com, a 12 oz. box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch costs $3.28 – nearly a dollar more than that 5 lb. bag of rice! Who will argue that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is more nutritious or beneficial than a bag of rice?
A word more about grain. Rice is the easiest, but it’s not the only grain. Wheat is another. Most flour is made from wheat. Flour is used to make bread, pasta, and a host of other common items. If you’d like to eat bread during the apocalypse, make sure you have some flour or some wheat. You can buy a 10 lb. bag of all-purpose flour for $3 at Walmart. True, bleached flour may not be the healthiest, but it’s better than nothing in a pinch. If you prefer unbleached, it’s just a few cents more. If you want whole wheat flour, which is obviously healthier, you can buy a 5 lb. bag of Gold Medal brand for just $4.38.
If you prefer to make your own flour, or to have wheat on hand for a variety of purposes, you can purchase a 45 lb. bucket of hard red wheat from Augason Farms is about $45. Maybe that seems like a hefty price tag, especially if you don’t have a lot in the bank right now. But what’s the price of your life? What is peace of mind worth? What is the value of your children’s survival? Alternatively, how much does one trip to McDonald’s cost your family? In 2020, the average McDonald’s meal for a family of four cost $28, more than half the price of forty-five pounds of wheat, yet the dividends are nil in comparison.
Oats are another excellent item to store. Oats aren’t prohibitively expensive, though, like everything else, they were cheaper in the past. Right now, through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you can buy a case of six #10 cans for $35.20. Oats can be stored for decades. They’re a great thing to have in your storage.
Think of all this food you’re going to store. How will you cook it? Probably some type of oil. But how much oil do you have on hand? Is it a sufficient amount for a prolonged period of time? If you’re like most people, you probably guzzle cooking oil like water. Despite the health dangers, you will need something to cook the food you meticulously store. Make sure you have it. Also, be sure you have a way to make fire.
Dear reader, take an inventory and see how much food you have sitting in your house right this very moment. If the stores all closed tomorrow due to war, pandemic, or a natural disaster, how long could you survive on what you have on hand? A week? A month? Longer? Don’t sugarcoat the reality. Take an honest inventory and see where you lack. If you don’t have, or aren’t trying to get, a year’s supply of food and water, then I think your supplies are lacking.
For a variety of reasons, religious and practical, I recommend at least a one-year supply. Don’t say you can’t do it; you can. Don’t say you have nowhere to put it; you’ll find space if your priorities are right. Don’t make excuses; your families deserve better than that. Your children look to you for guidance and protection. Safeguard them. Give them a future. Give them a chance to survive the coming famines and crises.
Make 2022 the year when you finally prepare and secure your home against what’s coming. Bad omens portend famine and scarcity. Inflation will continue to skyrocket. Commotion will become more widespread. But having a food storage to feed your family will give you confidence and a palpable peace of mind.
When someone asks you, “Got Grain?”, an affirmative answer is the only tolerable reply. The only thing more important to your future survival is affirmatively answering, “Got God?” Get grain and God and you can weather the coming storms. And they are coming quickly. May God bless you.
*This article was originally written and published mid-2015 via the Independent American Party. It no longer exists on their servers, so I’m uploading it here. I’ve made a few minor changes to the content, corrected some typos, and added some pictures, but it remains essentially the same as the day I first published it. Enjoy and please heed my plea to prepare*
I want to devote this article to the topic of food storage. This topic is, in my opinion, absolutely crucial. I don’t believe a person can claim to be fully prepared for the future if they don’t have, or at very least are working towards getting, a substantive food storage. My desire here is to inspire you with an urgent feeling of the necessity of food storage and other forms of personal preparedness. I will first discuss my motivations for pursuing this subject and then I will discuss what a person should be storing and how to go about it.
Above all else, the thing that motivates me to pursue a food storage with vigor is the fact that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As such, I believe in modern, current, and living prophets and apostles who guide the Church through inspiration and revelation adapted to current circumstances. God has always operated in this manner with His children.
Indeed, our Savior has promised us through His servants that His Church would be built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 4:11), that it would be led by continuing revelation (Amos 2:7), and that men and women would see visions and dream dreams (Joel 2:28-29). These modern apostles of the Lord have counseled for a hundred and fifty years on the necessity of gathering food storage and of being personally prepared for the promised times of tribulation. I want to quote several examples of the general counsel they have given because doing so will help convince you that preparation is simply good advice, and also so that you will better understand where I am coming from.
In 1860, President Brigham Young asked Latter-day Saints a few tough questions. Said he:
“I wish to ask the strong-minded men – the talented men . . . How many of you have had wisdom enough to procure and lay up for yourselves produce enough to last until harvest? You may call this a small matter. How many of you have wheat or flour to last you a year? If you are without bread, how much wisdom can you boast, and of what real utility are your talents, if you cannot procure for yourselves and save against a day of scarcity those substances designed to sustain your natural lives? . . . If you have not attained ability to provide for your natural wants, and for a wife and a few children, what have you to do with heavenly things?”
George Q. Cannon stated the following in November 1891:
“It seems scarcely possible, in so fruitful a land as America that there should be famine; yet we have good reason to believe that sooner or later even this country, now so bountifully supplied with every product of nature, may be visited by famine; and we should not waste the bounties of the earth because of their abundance and their cheapness. We should garner our grains and fruits of the earth and preserve them so that we may have on hand sufficient to meet our wants should crops fail for one or more reasons. This is true prudence on our part and should be acted upon by every wise man and woman in this country, especially those who have faith in the predictions of God’s servants.”
In April 1937, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., made the following wise recommendations:
“What may we as a people and as individuals do for ourselves to prepare to meet this oncoming disaster, which God in his wisdom may not turn aside from us? First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously. . . . Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow. Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little. Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.”
On October 6, 1973, presidents Harold B. Lee, N. Elder Tanner, and Marion G. Romney released a statement in which they quote President Clark and added their own warning:
“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and where possible fuel also, for at least a year ahead. Planned storage in the home will assist the membership to be self-sustaining in times of need. . . . The likelihood of such eventualities as accidents, illness, and underemployment face nearly every family at one time or another. Wars, depressions, and famines, as well as earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes, loom as possibilities to be considered in looking ahead and planning for the care and protection of the family.”
In an October 1973 talk entitled “Prepare Ye,” Ezra Taft Benson made the following recommendations for good preparation:
“Concerning clothing, we should anticipate future needs, such as extra work clothes, and clothes that supply warmth during winter months when there may be shortages or lack of heating fuel. Leather and bolts of cloth could be stored, particularly for families with younger children who will outgrow and perhaps outwear their present clothes . . . Wood, coal, gas, oil, kerosene, and even candles are among these items which could be reserved as fuel for warmth, cooking, and light or power. It would also be well to have on hand some basic medical supplies to last for at least a year. I have seen a hungry woman turn down food for a spool of thread. I have seen grown men weep as they ran their hands through the wheat and beans sent to them from Zion – America.”
In April 1976, President Spencer W. Kimball counseled:
“Brethren and sisters, we’ve gathered here this morning to consider the important program which we must never forget nor put in the background. As we become more affluent and our bank accounts enlarge, there comes a feeling of security, and we feel sometimes that we do not need the [food] supply that has been suggested by the Brethren. It lies there and deteriorates, we say. And suppose it does? We can reestablish it. We must remember that conditions could change and a year’s supply of basic commodities could be very much appreciated by us or others. So we would do well to listen to what we have been told and to follow it explicitly. . . Develop your skills in your home preservation and storage. We reaffirm the previous counsel the Church has always given, to acquire and maintain a year’s supply –a year’s supply of the basic commodities for us.”
In October 1980, Ezra Taft Benson pleaded:
“Obtain food storage. Plan to build up your food supply just as you would a savings account. Save a little for storage from each pay-check. . . . Make storage a part of your budget. . . . If you are saving and planning for a second car or a television set or some item which merely adds to your comfort or pleasure you may need to change your priorities. We urge you to do this prayerfully and do it now. I speak with a feeling of great urgency. Be self-sustaining during days of tribulation. The Lord wants us to be independent and self-reliant because these will be days of tribulation. He has warned us and forewarned us of the eventuality. For over forty years . . . members of the church have been counseled to be thrifty and self-reliant; to avoid debt; pay tithes and a generous fast offering; be industrious; and have sufficient food, clothing, and fuel on hand to last at least one year. Today there are compelling reasons to re-emphasize this counsel.”
Finally, in October of 1987 President Ezra Taft Benson said simply: “The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people of Noah.”
Any informed person will notice the wisdom inherent in the above statements and counsel. Whether religious or not, a person can see the necessity to prepare for the future. Preparation was so normal in the days of our forefathers that many of them took it for granted. Today, however, personal preparedness is abnormal. The media looks down on “preppers” and society considers us bizarre or paranoid. But who is wiser, the person who prepares for a disaster beforehand or the person who gives disasters no thought at all and does not prepare? The answer is obvious. We all need to be in the former category and do all we can to prepare for disasters both man-made and natural, both wars and depressions as well as floods and earthquakes.
Think of your region. What types of disasters would be possible there? If you live in Utah, you live in a major earthquake zone. Are you Utahns prepared for a major earthquake? If you live in California, are you prepared for the “big one” you know will one day rock your state? Are you prepared if the drought worsens and famine strikes? If you live in Florida, are you prepared for hurricanes and floods? Are you Texans and Louisianans ready to cope with flooding, tornadoes, or erratic weather? Are you New Yorkers prepared to endure harsh winters and biting blizzards? Are you Alaskans prepared for bitter cold, earthquakes, and tsunamis? Are you Washingtonians, Oregonians, and Wyomingites ready to deal with volcanic eruptions? If you live in Missouri or Tennessee, are you prepared for the devastating earthquake and flooding that would result if the New Madrid Fault became active? I think my point is clear. How much thought have you given to the unique challenges of your specific area?
No matter your area-specific challenges, everyone is susceptible to the eventualities of war, disease, and economic depression. Serious famine or drought would affect almost everyone as would a major blow to our nation’s power grid. Yet, there are ways to minimize the influence many of these disaster will have on you and your family. This is where good preparation comes into play.
If you want to avoid the ravishes of war, would you be more successful living in the big city or the countryside? If you want to avoid rioting and mobocracy, would you be more successful in Dallas, Texas or in Manti, Utah? Would you feel the sting of famine more in San Francisco, California or Kalispell, Montana? Would economic collapse hurt you more living in a metropolitan area or in rural America? Could you fend for yourself and live off the land more easily in the city or the countryside? The answer is obvious.
So, rule number one for great preparation is to get out of the major cities. At the very least, move to the suburbs and develop a plan for leaving if disaster strikes. Avoid population centers. Population density is one of the gravest threats during a crisis. Humanity turns to mobocracy with its attendant rioting, looting, pillaging, lawlessness, and savagery during a disaster. Though nowhere is immune, this is far less likely to happen in a small town. Any honest person must concede that fact. So, when considering where to live, I recommend making the sacrifice to live in a smaller, more rural community. Be smart about it and don’t pick up and move without a plan. However, if you move with purpose, you won’t regret it – and, in fact, such a decision might just be the difference between life and death one day.
Next, you can mitigate the effects of economic depression by doing several things. One, you can make every effort to get out of debt. Debt is bondage and the freer you are, the more likely to survive tough times you are. Two, try to own your own home. Where would you go if the money stopped flowing in and you could no longer pay your rent and were evicted? This is a serious possibility for an increasing number of people as conditions worsen. Three, having a food storage will put you in an advantageous position if employment suddenly ends or depression forces millions to take to the streets. Four, living in a rural area will allow you to avoid many of the challenges that city-dwellers will be affected by during a depression. These things are easier said than done, yet they are necessary if you want to be prepared. Start developing a plan today.
I have mentioned developing a plan. Contingency planning is so very important. In fact, it just might be the most valuable skill I will discuss in this article. We have to learn to start thinking strategically. This comes naturally to some but not for others. Those who don’t have the natural inclination need to devote time to learning the skill. Being able to think on your feet is crucial. Being able to judge a situation and respond in a measured, reasoned manner is invaluable. And being able to view the course our society is taking and make preparations for combating the threats is vital. In a word, I am asking you to develop the skill of discernment. Pray for this skill and try to exercise it regularly. With time your ability will increase as you exercise it and pay it heed.
The first step in contingency planning is to start pondering on the subject. You can’t plan for something you’ve never considered. As I’ve written above, consider the various threats you face in your area. Consider what would happen if the economy collapsed. Buy a detailed map of your local area and trace escape routes if you suddenly needed to leave it. I also recommend that you have on hand multiple maps detailing not only your local area, but your state and perhaps surrounding areas and states.
Think about which items you would need to grab if some situation required you leave your home immediately, and then prepare these items in advance in a survival pack or bug-out bag. Whatever you do, start thinking about the realistic threats facing you and start planning ways to survive them. Whether Mother Nature or your fellow man is the cause, you will face crises in the future. Will you be prepared? Will you have taken the time to plan in advance for such situations?
Along with your other storage items, you might want to consider storing some of the following: bolts, nails, screws, tools, cloth, tape, sewing needles, string, rope, tarps, shingles, roofing, wood, pencils, paper, etc. Why would you want to store these items? Simply because they will be in demand during a crisis when trucks aren’t running and store shelves aren’t being stocked. Items that now seem mundane will be worth more than gold in a catastrophe. If you have an abundance of these things, you will be in a position to barter and trade with others. Also, you will be in a position to share, give charity, and lend a helping hand to others in need.
Think about paper for a moment. People are going to want to record their experiences. Some will want to write to take their minds off of things. Others will want to send messages or to teach their children. If you have a store of paper and pencils to sell, barter, or share, people will flock to you. The same can be said of all the items I listed and countless other I have not.
Now I want to circle back around to food storage. You can have all the gold, guns, tools, paper, and warm clothes in the world, but you are going to die without food and water. If you store no other thing, store food and water. Sometimes people look at food storage as a daunting task. I disagree. My own experience has taught me otherwise.
About two years ago, as a poor college student living from paycheck to paycheck, I was able to finally achieve a full year’s supply of food. All-in-all, it cost me somewhere in the ballpark of $600 dollars. This was for two people, so the costs would naturally be higher for larger families. However, if struggling college students with only part-time work and no extra funds can complete this task, I think you can.
You might need to reshuffle your priorities. You might need to make sacrifices or go without some luxury. You might need to forego that next family vacation or not spend the money to pay for your kids to play sports one summer. Whatever the sacrifice, the prize is worth it. With a food storage comes peace of mind and security. And, for me, I received the satisfaction of knowing that I fulfilled what I consider a commandment from God.
People are often puzzled at which food items to store. My response is to store the necessities of life. Even if you don’t eat beans and rice regularly, you would be most grateful for them in a crisis situation –and they would sustain you. Ideally you would store the same types of foods that you normally eat. However, focus on the necessities of life first and on the easier-to-gather items. After you have your basic year’s supply of food, then you can start adding a larger variety which includes more delectable items.
Another helpful suggestion is to start introducing bulk foods such as beans and rice into your diet to acclimate your body. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that your store’s shelves will always be stocked with fresh produce and an endless variety of products. Start thinking strategically and realize that you very well might need to live off of the bare staples one day. Additionally, where possible, become self-sufficient by planting a garden and growing fresh fruits and vegetables free of harmful pesticides.
So just what are the necessities of life? Traditionally, most cultures have considered grains, rice, and legumes their staple foods. The Iroquois tribes in the eastern United States subsisted on three main foods which they deemed the “three sisters” – corn, beans, and squash. Roots and tubers are staple foods in many portions of the world. Potatoes, fruits, and beans are staples of South America. Rice, soybeans, bamboo, yams, and various fruits are staples of Asia. Wheat, rye, and beans are major staples in Central Europe. Wheat, yams, and millet are staples of Africa. Rice is a major staple on the Indian subcontinent.
This is a small smattering of the staple foods of various regions of the world, yet you can see a general pattern. When everything is accounted for, the average diet world-wide consists of approximately 50% cereals (whole grains, wheat, barley, oats, corn, millet, etc.), with roots and tubers (potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.), then meat and milk and eggs (including legumes), then vegetables following.
Beyond the staple foods, make sure not to neglect items such as cooking oil. Coconut oil is one of the best for this purpose, not only because of its health benefits but because it stores far better and for far longer than regular vegetable or olive oil. Natural, healthy fats like tallow and lard should also be high on your list.
Also don’t forget spices. Think of how valuable a cabinet of spices would be if you had to subsist on beans and rice for a long period. Pepper and salt will be priceless commodities during a crisis, as well as cayenne, paprika, cumin, and others. When choosing salt, be sure not to store your regular table salt which is devoid of iodine. Himalayan pink salt is, according to my research, probably the best salt you can find.
Honey is another item which should be near the top of anyone’s list. Like salt, make sure you pick the right kind of honey. Pick raw, unfiltered, unheated, pure honey rather than filtered and processed honey. Agave is also becoming a popular substitute for honey or sugar. Honey lasts quite literally forever and contains essential nutrients that can keep you going in a crisis.
You can supplement the staples with canned goods. You may can many foods ranging from apples and apricots and peaches to tomatoes and beets and corn. Meat can also be canned and stored for long periods. Not only tuna, sardines, and Spam, but chicken, beef, etc.
Learning to make different types of bread out of the grains you store will be vital. It’s a skill our ancestors all knew. It’s a skill that will keep you alive as long as you have grain on hand or know how to grow it.
And don’t forget foods which can break the monotony such as chocolate or hand candies. These comfort foods will add variety to your storage. They will be little reminders of civilization. You might say they’ll be symbols of hope.
Though there are many specialty stores and websites which sell food storage and food storage packages, I recommend shopping for food storage at your grocery store or local market. Food is much cheaper at the grocery store than at a specialty store. I recommend buying in bulk. You can normally find a twenty-pound bag of rice or beans without much difficulty. Many stores, particularly out west, sell bulk buckets of grains, oats, potato flakes, etc.
What is stopping you from throwing an extra 20-pound bag or white rice into your cart the next time you’re at the grocery store? Surely the meager cost isn’t stopping you. You’re already spending the money on food – why not spend a few dollars extra to buy a bulk bag of beans for your food storage? Forego that next fast-food stop or pizza run and buy yourself a couple bulk bags of rice and beans. You can start a food storage that easily.
If you don’t feel you have enough money to go for a 20-lb. bag just yet, then throw in an extra can of corn the next time you shop. Let that one can of corn be the foundation for your food storage. And the next time you go to the store, add another can of beans to the mix. You would then have two cans of food in your storage. Then the third time, grab a 5-lb. bag of rice. Within just a few weeks you will have several cans of vegetables and a bag or two of rice or beans and you will be on your way to achieving a respectable food storage. Make a commitment today to begin storing food the next time you shop, even if it’s just one single can of corn.
As far as the actual storage process goes, I won’t say much here. But be sure to consistently rotate your food supply. Make sure that you’re storing your food at proper temperatures. For instance, you normally want to keep canned goods at temperatures of 50 degrees or lower for extended storage duration and, ideally, in darkness. Canned items will keep for several years in these conditions before their taste begins to deteriorate and usually are fine past the expiration date. Beans and whole grains will last for a good many years in proper conditions. Rice has a shorter shelf life, but will still keep well for an extended period. There are many helpful resources online which will delve into the specifics and how-to’s of proper food storage.
On top of store-bought items, make sure to invest time in learning how to locate and acquire wild fruits and vegetables in your local area. Knowing which mushrooms and berries are edible might be a life-saving skill one day. There are many fantastic books on food identification available. I would recommend finding one that has information on the wild foods that grow in your region. Practice identifying these mushrooms, berries, roots, and other items ahead of time so that when disaster hits, you’re not fumbling around trying to figure it all out.
A last helpful suggestion on food storage. I recommend going to this website. At the site, you will find a food calculator. If you have no idea how much food to start storing for your family, this will give you a general estimate. Simply use the calculator to type in how many family members you have and their ages and the calculator gives you an estimate of how much food and water you will need for a year. The food is broken into categories such as grains, legumes, sugars, water, etc. I have personally found this tool very useful and commend it to you.
Now a word on water. For me, the hardest aspect of food storage is storing water. Why? Because it takes a lot of space. Humans need a massive amount of water to keep them functioning at an ideal level (as a side note, I challenge people who consume little water to substitute water for soda or other beverages and watch the amazing health results that follow). While I do absolutely recommend acquiring large drums of water, I place a more immediate emphasis on water filtration.
Devices such as the LifeStraw are invaluable, in my opinion. I recommend that you have at least one such device in every survival pack you own as well as with your regular food storage. Chlorination tablets are also a good thing to have on hand. Water bottles with built-in water filtration straws or similar technology are useful. Having a rain water collection system goes hand in hand with these filtration devices.
I want to now discuss medicine. I believe that God has placed everything naturally on earth to heal any sickness we may have and to keep us strong and healthy. But how many of us really know what natural remedies exist? Our society is addicted to prescription drugs and artificial medicine. Our nation’s health is being ravaged by today by the medical establishment which prefers profits over actually helping people become and stay healthy.
I would advise you to immediately begin weening yourself off of prescription drugs and to start taking your health into your own hands. Our bodies have been designed by an all-knowing Creator. In His genius, He created us with self-healing and regenerating bodies. You can correct most of your health issues by proper dieting and nutrition. You can heal your teeth, for instance, through proper nutrition and intake of supplements. The same is true of a host of other maladies ranging from basic sickness to allergies to tooth decay.
The reason you need to start managing your own health independent of doctors and dentists is simply because you most likely will not have access to doctors, clinics, dentists, and therapists in a crisis. If you haven’t learned to take care of yourself, what will you do when you are suddenly bereft of these crutches you’ve been leaning on? If you have depression and are on antidepressants, what will you do when your supply of drugs runs out and your mind suddenly goes into withdrawal? If you have allergies for which you take prescription medicine, what will you do when the pharmacist closes his doors and you’re left without?
I recommend that you not only take a more holistic approach to medicine and learn natural remedies for illnesses and conditions, but that you also begin stockpiling basic medicines, supplements, and first-aid gear. Everyone should at least have a first-aid kit handy, but ideally you will have much more in your supply. You should have, for instance, basic trauma gear, surgery equipment, etc. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamins and nutrients. Turmeric can help with inflammation and arthritis, cod liver oil can help your teeth, vitamin C can boost your immune system, cayenne can help relieve headaches and fight fevers and heal wounds, etc. There is a rich literature on holistic and natural healing methods. If you drink deep from this fountain of knowledge, you’ll be better prepared for the future. When no doctor is available, you will become the doctor. Will you be prepared to help yourself and others should the need arise?
I next want to stress the need to acquire useful skills. These skills can include first-aid skills, hunting, construction skills, food canning know-how, basic evasion techniques, firearms training, knot-tying skills, ham radio ability, small engine repair skills, gardening and farming, etc. A basic rule of life is that we should always be learning and growing and adding to our knowledge bank. Being able to think on your feet is absolutely essential. Being able to read a map, read terrain, read someone’s body language, speak coherently, negotiate, skin an animal, plant a crop – these are all valuable skills. In a word, we need to become independent and self-reliant as our forefathers once were.
One of the final recommendations I want to offer here concerns networking. Having the ability to fend for oneself is a blessing, but having a network of family and friends whom you can trust will be increasingly valuable as our society continues to plunge ever downward. Imagine if our country was thrust into war, our power grids were down, communications were cut off, and you found yourself alone in a rioting city. Now imagine yourself in that same situation but with a like-minded network of family and friends who have prepared and planned for such an occurrence and who have each other’s backs. Which boat would you rather be in? A team united with a singular purpose can almost always get more done than a lone wolf.
I’m not suggesting that you go door-to-door in your neighborhood asking for team members. In fact, it would be wise to keep most of your important preparations on the down low. But you should be feeling out people when you meet them, looking for possible allies and people you can trust. These individuals can often be found at your local church. I also recommend enlisting reliable family into your network. At the very least, know who in your community and among your circle of family you can trust enough to show up on their doorstep if the situation turns serious and you need a place to lay low or hide. This will be more important than most people realize as our government increasingly persecutes anyone who loves Freedom, who is religious, who believes in conspiracy, or who wants to be self-sufficient. Preparing a network to cope with such circumstances would be very wise.
In conclusion, I want to ask you to open your eyes and look at our world. People are confused and scared and increasingly wicked and immoral. Basic human decency, manners, and brotherly kindness are falling by the wayside. Self-centeredness and pride are all too common. Society has gone off the tracks and has abandoned the safe moorings of religion and virtue.
Drought is worsening, disease and illness are increasing, the weather is becoming erratic, natural disasters are increasing in frequency, the economy is plummeting, debt is skyrocketing, tensions between nations are worsening, war is raging, people are losing faith in God, education is worsening, unemployment is growing, profanity and promiscuity are more and more accepted, and conditions on planet earth generally are worsening according to almost every metric available.
And on top of it all, the forces that run our government are following a deliberate plan to enslave us under their absolute control. They are openly pushing for world government and have done everything they can to destroy the Constitution and consolidate power in the federal government. They have harnessed international banking and big business interests to support this plan. Everything they do, every policy they pursue, every law they pass, is designed to strip us of our God-given Liberty.
Remember Thomas Jefferson’s logic in his document entitled A Summary View of the Rights of British America. He reasoned:
“Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate and systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.”
The American People have suffered one abuse after another after another after another for well over a century. Indeed, since the days of Lincoln, the federal government has been attempting to subjugate the citizenry, strip states of their powers, and consolidate control. This subjugation began in earnest during the Woodrow Wilson administration with the passing of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments and the institution of the unconstitutional and privately-owned Federal Reserve system. Republicans and Democrats alike follow the same policies, increase our debt, take us to war, erode our sovereignty in favor of international organizations, and trample the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution. It is time to use Jefferson’s solid logic and recognize that our leaders have betrayed us and that a plot is being followed which will bring us into bondage.
This path we are on will only lead to war, civil unrest, economic collapse, lawlessness, hatred, destruction, and misery. Ought we not to prepare ourselves for such eventualities? All Christians should be preparing for the harsh judgments decreed in Matthew 24 by our Lord. And all rational people everywhere should be watching world events with a wary eye and plan accordingly to meet additional war, economic depression, and an influx of disease and famine.
The sane response to our world in commotion is to begin preparing for you and your family’s temporal needs. You need a food storage – I urge you to store at least a year’s supply. And the best time to get one is before a disaster, and preferably while prices are still relatively low. You will need additional skills – medical, survival, etc. You will need to develop a network of trustworthy family and friends to help you through the coming hardships. You will need to relocate out of the cities to safer areas, or make contingency plans to do so as soon as disaster hits. And you need to humble yourself before God and live His commandments and His standards.
When all is said and done, the safest path is obedience to our Creator’s eternal commands. We should also listen to the advice of wise men and to the lessons of history. When disaster strikes, whether it comes in the form of an earthquake, a famine, disease, an economic depression, government persecution, or world war, I pray that you will have prepared beforehand so that you will be ready to face it with confidence and faith. God Bless.
See two additional articles I’ve written on preparedness here and here.
*I originally wrote this article in September, 2014. It featured on the Independent American Party’s website and was later picked up by the Independent Political Report. Since it apparently no longer exists on those platforms, I’ve decided to republish it here. I’ve edited it slightly for punctuation, but it’s essentially intact and unchanged from seven years ago. There are a few things I might say differently if I was writing it at the present time, but I trust you’ll glean the benefits and timeless principles*
In the parable of the Ten Virgins told by our Lord, we are taught the virtue of being prepared. The parable is focused primarily on spiritual matters, but the temporal applications are also plain. Our world is turbulent and the need to prepare for contingencies and disasters of all types – whether man-made or natural – has never been greater. September is national preparedness month and therefore I am devoting this article to preparedness. I will briefly discuss food storage, relocation, contingency planning, and survival. I will also provide a basic list of useful items which one might use as a starting point in their own personal or family preparations, as well as helpful links (see the bottom of page) to other good sources of related information. This article will not be an exhaustive study, but rather a starter’s guide.
Perhaps the most important temporal preparation an individual can make is to gather a substantial food and water storage. Without these basic necessities of life, even the most astute “prepper” or experienced survivalist will die in a major disaster scenario. A lack of food or water can bring any nation – yes, even the United States – to its knees in a matter of days. Without food and water, society and civilization break down and anarchy ensues. It should be clear to any thinking person that a supply of food and water is paramount when speaking of preparedness.
Before I move on to the details of food storage, I want to address one prevalent myth that swirls around survival blogs and preparedness websites. Many folks erroneously believe that as long as you know how to hunt, you will always be able to obtain food and therefore do not need to store any. Similarly, I hear people boast that they don’t need to store up food because they have a garden or farm on which they can grow all the fresh food they will ever need. What such well-intentioned, but erring, people do not seem to grasp is the concept that society will more than likely not be running in an ordered, regular way in the event of a major disaster.
Those with gardens and farms might be forced to relocate or evacuate their homes without notice due to war, fire, flood, approaching plague, sudden drought, terrain-altering earthquake, or any number of other cases. A serious drought might dry up the water supply and make gardening or farming impossible. An exceptionally harsh, early, or long winter could destroy the harvest. Those who have staked their survival on the ability to hunt would likewise suffer in a disaster scenario. The food supply – whether it be deer, ducks, squirrels, or some other game – would dry up quite rapidly if everyone was suddenly forced to hunt for their livelihood. A drought or bad winter could also seriously affect the available food supply. But even in the best of times, hunting is never a totally reliable art because of factors outside of the individual’s control.
Gardening and hunting are incredibly important skills, and I will touch on them later, but both require a fairly stable set of conditions in order to produce a beneficial outcome and therefore cannot be relied upon completely. Trying to transport a full food storage in the event of a relocation or evacuation scenario might also be difficult and is not 100% reliable either, but it is, in my estimation, more reliable than depending on the elements or on wild game for food in a disaster.
How much food is necessary to store? You will hear different recommendations from everyone. Some say one month, others three months, and others plan for longer. However, I emphatically recommend that you have at least, as a minimum, one year of food and water. On the face of it, getting a one year’s supply of food might seem like an impossible task logistically. It also might seem like overkill. Yet I believe that a one-year supply will be vital to our survival in the dark days I foresee approaching.
I highly recommend that you visit this website to find what is referred to as a “food calculator.” This food calculator allows you to type in the number of people in your family and their ages and then it approximates how much food storage you need. It breaks down the list into many categories and gives specifics on how much wheat, flour, honey, legumes, water, etc., that you will need. I have found their approximations incredibly accurate. Overall, it is a great resource.
Using the food calculator at the above link, one person will need the following to make a one-year supply of food. I will not list specific food items (which the food calculator conveniently provides), but will simply give you the amount that you will need for each broad food grouping:
As you can see, gathering a true food storage is no small task. It will take time, money, and storage space. Many companies offer an entire one-year food package that you can order online or out of a catalogue. However, this is far from the most economical way to go about getting food storage. The cheapest way to get a food storage is to go to your local grocery store and simply buy bulk items such as 20 lb. bags of rice and beans or 45 lb. buckets of wheat and oats.
An effective way to start building food storage is to simply buy an extra item each time you go to the grocery store. For instance, if I need a bag of dried beans, it is just as easy to grab two bags. If I’m already looking for some rice, why not throw a second bag in the shopping cart? If I am buying canned vegetables, I would throw an extra can or two in my basket. If an item is on sale, pounce on it. In all reality, it does not take much effort to collect a food storage, but it does take time unless you happen to have hundreds of dollars sitting around to devote to food forage at the drop of a hat. By buying your food storage a little at a time and in logical increments, you won’t feel an exceptionally heavy drain on your wallet. The key is to get started today. I first got my year’s supply of food as a 26-year-old broke college student. If I could do it, you can, too.
A word on water. Even more important than food, is water. A human can go longer without food than without water. Water is vital. In a crisis scenario, water – especially clean water – will be a priceless commodity which is far more valuable than gold, silver coins, or physical objects no matter how fancy or high-end they may be considered now. A person needs to drink approximately one gallon of water every day. The exact amount will vary from person to person, but you will want least one gallon per person, per day. Then you need to think about cooking, cleaning, and other functions for which water is necessary. When you really sit down to think about it, the amount of water one needs to store is staggering. But store it you must.
Though I recommend storing all the water you will need for at least a year, I highly encourage folks to invest in various water purifiers. I think that everyone should have always one, preferably multiple, LifeStraws in your survival gear or bug-out bag. LifeStraw is simply a water purifier built into an easy-to-use straw format which weighs barely over an ounce. You open the ends, stick it in the water, and drink. This device is designed to be used in muddy, bacteria-infested, dirty water. LifeStraw has been used in water polluted with feces and other harmful elements. LifeStraw will filter about 264 gallons, or approximately one year’s worth. It truly is a wonderful invention and something I deem vital for anyone seriously contemplating preparedness and survival. Other companies, such as Frontier or AQUAGEAR, make quality products that are similar to LifeStraw. Whatever brand you go with, make sure that you include some type of water filtration device in your water storage.
Entire books have been written on food and water storage, so I am, naturally, leaving a lot of information out. I want to share one final thought on food storage, however. Our forefathers all stored food – often many years’ worth. It was so fundamental that no one questioned it or thought twice about doing it. Today, however, those of us who prepare for future eventualities are called paranoid, extremists, or foolish. Despite these criticisms, we must do the right thing and prepare ourselves and families for the disasters which will strike at some point. Noah built his ark over a span of decades, during which time his neighbors and friends mocked him. However, when the rain started to fall, Noah and his family were the only ones spared the deluge that followed. The point is that it is better to be prepared years too early than one day too late. When the crap hits the fan, will you want to be the one who had pointed the finger of scorn at those crazy “preppers,” or one of those “preppers” who gathered a food and water storage and was ready to meet disaster? No one can make that choice for you, but I plead with you to begin to prepare now. Your future life may very well depend upon your present preparations.
One of the most dangerous and incomprehensible tendencies of modern society is to group into cities. Cities are inherently dangerous and naturally lead to corruption, vice, and a collectivist mentality among their inhabitants. I believe, as did Thomas Jefferson and many others, that cities sap the strength out of a nation and individuals and are anathema to Freedom. I would not want to be caught anywhere near a major city of metropolitan hub in the event of economic collapse, civil war, invasion, martial law, serious plague, or major natural disaster (for instance, the earthquakes which we know will someday hammer the Wasatch Front in Utah, the New Madrid Fault area along the Mississippi, or the multiple fault areas of California). Large population density is perhaps more to fear even than nuclear weapons or the wrath of Mother Nature.
I believe that world war is virtually inevitable and that the next war will reach our soil. In the almost certain event of a major war with Russia and China, for example, I would not recommend that anyone be anywhere close to major military bases and installations, major ports, or strategic cities. Seattle, for instance, is close enough to the Bangor submarine base that it will undoubtedly receive direct fallout in the event of a nuclear attack. The same goes for San Diego, Los Angeles, Ogden, UT, Baltimore, Albuquerque, Charleston, Cheyenne, WY, Great Falls, MT, Colorado Springs, Denver, Norfolk, and many other cities – some of which will likely receive direct hits owing to their proximity to strategic military targets.
But even if war were to never occur, civil unrest or economic collapse could result in mass rioting. Would a rural town devolve into riots? Perhaps on occasion, but its overall stability would be far greater than in a city. In the event of a trucker strike, cities could be without food. Again, if the power grid collapsed, it would be a matter of hours before total chaos and anarchy ensued. In every major hurricane or natural disaster, store shelves are emptied within hours. The L.A. Riots proved the danger of cities, as have multiple other riots and protests over the years. Police will not be able to maintain order, and may in fact instigate confusion, and cities will quickly divide into gangs or tribal groups. We arrogantly think that it could not happen here, yet history defies and rebukes such a claim. Just the simple fact that do many people are piled on top of one another in cities guarantees that fighting will eventually happen. Human beings are naturally selfish and will go to inhuman extremes to protect themselves, indulge their lusts, or survive – and much more so when they get into large groups. American cities would turn into chaotic, tribal war zones within days in a major crisis.
Cities are unhygienic and unhealthy places which invite disease and provide juicy targets for governments or nefarious groups to launch a plague or bioweapon. If such a naturally occurring or man-made plague hits, are your chances of surviving better in Boston, Dallas, Seattle, or Salt Lake City, or in a rural community that no one has ever heard of? The answer is obvious. Furthermore, a mass pandemic would likely result in forced quarantines or rounding up of the sick or potentially infected. In such a scenario, you would be better far away from the cities. Even after Hurricane Katrina people were herded into the Super Dome and imprisoned there, often suffering horrible abuses and not allowed to leave for long periods of time. And Hurricane Katrina was a minor incident compared to what I am envisioning.
Maneuverability is also severely restricted in a city, whereas living in a rural location, small town, or outlying suburb would provide ample opportunity to avoid mobs, stay out of sight, slip into the woods, escape, evade detection, or flee to a designated retreat or hideout. If war hits this country – whether civil war or foreign invasion – smaller outlying areas will not be primary targets. And again, an invading army would likely bypass a small farming community off the beaten path whereas a large city situated on a highway is a prime target for subjugation. Refugees moving from city to city can also become like swarms of locusts devouring everything in their path. In any scenario, being in a smaller town somewhat off the beaten path will give you greater chances of survival than any city ever could.
If the above is true, then it follows that relocation out of the major cities is wise. And if such a move is wise, then doing so sooner than later can only be a good thing. You cannot cut ties to the world and leave on a dime, however, but rather you should develop and follow a plan for moving, establishing a lifeline in a new location, and setting down roots. The best guide on this process in existence is the third volume of Joel Skousen’s book Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places. I cannot recommend Joel’s work highly enough. His political analysis is superb and his preparedness advice is unsurpassed.
If you want to know more about the concept of relocation, why it is important, and where some of the safer locations in the country (and in your own state) are, then buy Joel’s book. For my part, I want to add that I believe the single safest area of the country is the Intermountain West. The general nexus of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana is a great area. I independently have pegged this area as the safest area of the nation, but other experts such as Joel Skousen (http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com) and Jim Rawles (http://survivalblog.com) have confirmed this view in my mind. You can find pockets of safety in most areas of America, but the Intermountain West is your best bet for long term survival through the storms that are approaching. Whatever you do, you have got to start thinking strategically and making preparations now.
One of the vital things that many otherwise preparedness-oriented folks overlook is strategic planning. Yes, you may have a food storage, but do you have a detailed plan to escape your city or town if you need to? Have you thoroughly considered and mapped escape routes, alternate or back roads, retreat locations, or meet-up spots for your family? Have you thought up a multitude of scenarios spanning from martial law to invasion to earthquake to famine? You must think about these things and make preparations.
One of the most critical aspects of strategic thinking is to really get to know your local terrain inside and out. You need to know back roads in case an earthquake severs the main highway of a military blockade stops traffic on Main Street or a raging wildfire is crossing through town and shutting down normal routes. You need to know who you can trust in your locale, which areas of town might be conducive to concealment, which spots would make for a good defense ice stand, etc. you should become familiar with the physical terrain – rivers, streams, hills, canyons, forests, valleys, etc. Knowing your terrain might one day allow you to escape an enemy, evade capture, outwit a mob, defend against criminals, keep your head low, or outrun a raging fire. In any case, you have to be prepared to roll with the punches –and preparing in advance is the best way to do that.
Like food storage, contingency planning could be the sole topic of a lengthy book. Suffice to say that we need to decide BEFOREHAND what we will do in a given scenario. Will we run and evade threats or will we stand and fight? Will we conceal ourselves and wait it out or will we flee to a secondary retreat location? Will we and together with other like-minded families or will we go it alone? Will we stand for our principles and beliefs or will we sell ourselves and our family and friends out in a moment of trial? These are all things we must think about, plan out, discuss, and decide before disaster ever rears its head.
One of the important things that we must all begin to do is to develop skills which will be useful to ourselves and to others in the event of a crisis. I can’t cover everything here, but I will give a few suggestions to hopefully stimulate your own thoughts.
Basic and advanced first aid is a valuable skill and one which may save your own life or the life of a friend, relative, or simply of a fellow human in need. There are many modern aids to help with this next skill, but starting a fire is something we should all know how to do. Hunting is an important skill, as is gutting and butchering an animal once killed/trapped. Gardening is a skill we can all develop now and one which will yield delicious and healthy dividends long before a crisis. Knowing how to tie knots and handle ropes is valuable. Being able to utilize a map and a compass might come in handy if/when technology goes down. Knowing how to use a knife, an axe, a saw, a chainsaw, and various other tools might become vital. Knowing how to weld, do carpentry, or basic construction will likely be very important. Speaking a foreign language or two might not be necessary, and is not normally associated with survival, but who can doubt but that it would be valuable in many situations both presently or during a collapse scenario? Knowing how to build a shelter, particularly a concealed one, may very well save your life. Knowing how to identify edible herbs, mushrooms, roots, or berries might save your life as well. And don’t forget to learn natural and traditional medical remedies instead of relying upon the often-dangerous drugs and pharmaceuticals dished out to the population today. All of these skills, and many more, are things which would certainly help you of society were to go south. I will leave it to your judgement to decide which skills will be necessary for you to acquire, but I do know that having a varied skill set will not only benefit yourself but those around you.
Another important part of survival is getting and staying in shape. You will be at a disadvantage if the need arises to survive in harsh crisis conditions of you are obese, out of shape, or sickly. You need to eat healthily, give your body the proper vitamins and essential minerals it needs, exercise regularly, drink a lot of water, and remain active. Most jobs nowadays require us to sit at a desk for hours on end. Science and good old fashioned common sense both prove that sitting, on average, shortens life span, creates complications in your health, and increases your susceptibility to disease. Simply put, you don’t need to be competing in marathons, but you need to keep active and moving. You need to work on losing weight if you are too big. Respect for your body – which is shown by taking care of it – is important. A strong body also makes for a stronger and more alert mind – and you need to have your wits about you in a dangerous situation. You can begin this process by abandoning soda, coffee, power drinks, and pure junk food, and by getting enough water, rest, and exercise. You will quickly see improvements in your health, mental acuity, perceptiveness, and energy levels if you will follow these steps.
Next, I would like to talk about what type of gear you might want to put in a bug-out bag, 72-hour kit, or survival pack. Once again, people will give different recommendations, but I will discuss what I deem important to have. I will give an explanation followed by a list of items.
First off, I believe that second only to a one-year food and water storage is the need to store warm winter clothes, blankets, etc. I foresee a time when the power grids in the United States are knocked out, whether through an EMP attack, a solar flare, or as a result of war or harsh weather. Imagine the frightful scenario if an EMP attack were to destroy the power grid in mid-December. Last year the winter season broke literally thousands of records for cold temperatures, amount of snow, etc. The winters appear to be growing colder. What would happen if your city’s power went out suddenly during the winter? Would you be equipped to survive? Would you be able to keep your family warm? What if America were invaded during the winter time and you were forced to evacuate your town on foot – would you be warm enough to make the journey? If a natural disaster leveled your city, destroyed the roads, and forced you out into the cold, could you survive negative temperatures? These might seem like far-fetched scenarios, but they really are not.
I believe the need is great – no matter whether you live in sunny Florida, California, or Texas, or in Fairbanks, Alaska, Kalispell, Montana, or New York City – to have warm clothing, a nice winter coat, a sturdy pair of warm waterproof gloves, winter boots, a warm face mask or hat, thermal undergarments, warm socks, and thick winter clothing. You will find varied opinions about which coat or gloves or boots work best or are the warmest, so I suggest that you do research and test out various products. I will end by repeating my feeling that the need for warm, waterproof, wind resistant winter clothing is dire. In fact, I would label winter clothing a necessity.
Apart from winter clothing, you will want a wide variety of gear and items ranging from emergency blankets to solar/crank radios to first aid kits to paracord to potassium iodide tablets to a breathing respirator to a saw, etc. Directly below I have provided a list of what I currently have in my own survival/bug-out bag or which I am in the process of adding to it. I should first of all explain that I favor a slightly larger style of pack rather than a smaller backpack style. My current pack is a “K-Cliffs Catlespine Internal Frame Backpack.” I won’t bother with specific brand names in most cases, but here is what I have packed inside my pack:
– LifeStraw – first aid kit – 50 ft. of paracord – rope – ThyroSafe, Potassium Iodide Tablets (I currently have 2 boxes of 20, 65 mg tablets) – mess kit – portable stove – multiple boxes and books of wind/waterproof matches – waterproof fire sticks – fire lighters – windproof lighter – hatchet – saw – shovel – pocket saw – knife – machete – four function Life Gear flashlight – headlamp – hand warmers – waterproof gloves – sleeping bag – tent – tarp – hat/beanie – thermal undergarments – extra socks and underwear – MREs with heaters – pens, pencils, and a notepad – Havalon Piranta surgical steel knife (I highly recommend this scalpel-like knife to hunters) – pocket knife – map of your region, state, and specific location (I have individual maps of Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming as well as Idaho-specific locations and one of the Spokane, WA area) – Duct Tape – Moleskin – face mask – commercial-grade paint respirator – Frontier mini filtration straw – AQUAGEAR water filtration bottle – whistle – compass – fire starter (flint) – a hook and fishing line – 8.45 oz boxes of water – Kaito solar/crank/battery-operated radio with flashlight – Datrex emergency ration bar – Mainstay food bar – SOS Food Lab, Inc. food bars – extra batteries – vitamin C – Blistex chapstick – sunglasses – Aloe Vera ointment – insect repellent – sewing kit – deodorant – toilet paper – toothbrush and toothpaste (non-fluoride) – biodegradable soap – nail clippers and file – bandana – binoculars (having worked with optics, I absolutely recommend Vortex above all other brands) – two-way radios – pepper spray – handgun with box of ammunition – silver coins – pocket Constitution and Declaration of Independence – Citizen Rule Book – scriptures (last, but certainly not least)
If you are not satisfied with my list, here are several other lists that others have compiled. You will find variations, but the core items are virtually identical in all lists:
Whatever you put in your pack, make sure it is specific to your circumstances (i.e. terrain, environment, etc.) but yet versatile enough to use in many conditions. Even if you cannot afford to purchase a nice pack or new gear, start by putting something together. Whether you have to use an older backpack or a duffle bag, start gathering up household items which may be useful (painkillers, tape, extra batteries, an extra knife, etc.). It is not difficult to throw together a decent survival pack fairly quickly once you begin seriously considering the matter. Once you get your initial pack, continually improve upon it as your circumstances and means allow.
In summation, the key to getting prepared is to start now. Unless you have hundreds of dollars laying around which you can plop down today, you will need time to gather all the necessary supplies and to develop plans for future scenarios. I have provided a very basic outline for preparedness – it is up to you to take that outline and build upon it and tweak it to meet your family’s needs.
If you have made it to the bottom of this article, I take it that you are truly concerned, as am I, about the future of this country. If so, you already have a leg up on most other folks. The first step to preparedness is a desire to prepare and an awareness that there is a need to prepare – even if you do not know exactly how to go about it. I hope that my article gave you a few bits of advice. Others have devoted much more time to this up subject than I have and have put their work online, in books, etc. Below this article I have provided a list of website links to look up. You will find many archived full of information about all things survival and preparedness. I recommend that you take some time to go through them and glean out the information pertinent to you. As I have repeated often, the key to preparedness is to start. Start today in some way, shape, or form and you can get the ball rolling.
As I close, I want to share one more admonition and bit of advice. No People can survive as a free, prosperous, peaceful, and happy nation if they do not worship God, live His laws, and live a moral life. The same is true of individuals. Many political fixes need to be made in our bloated statist system, but the only true remedy for our nation’s problems is found not in D.C., but in our hearts. We must repent as a nation and humble ourselves before our God. Even if our once great Union does not follow this course, we will be blessed individually if we do. Center your life on the Gospel of the Master and He will be with you no matter what storms and tempests you are called to pass through. May God help inspire you in your preparations for our turbulent future.