Okay, so there are a lot of thoughts about survival and being prepared. I will share some thoughts here and expound at a later date. Reading up on survival is a very interesting read. Advice ranges from surviving for 3 days without electric to heading out to the woods due to the apocalypse. Disaster scenarios range from lack of power due to fuel shortages to a nuclear attack to collapse of the US dollar as the basis of the world’s currency. Let me state here and now that I am not able to nor will I try to predict which scenario is going to happen. I will not even commit to if one of the scenarios will happen, just that I merely believe that there are many events along the path of life that can catch us by surprise. It never hurts to think through the possibilities and prepare for the future, yet it is vital to always trust in God along the way.
My role is as the primary provider for my family. Part of this role that I have taken on in a more serious manner lately is that of being prepared. I have spent time researching those scenarios that are listed above. I have been a part of a five family group that has banded together to gather information. We have each branched out a bit depending upon our interests and unique talents. A lot of what you see going on at Heritage Breed Farms is the result of this pursuit. I am by nature a dreamer, so I tend to look at the long-term possibilities. My ADD seems to rear its ugly head at many inopportune times, but we seem to get past that and refocus.
I will say that I believe the first step in this process is to find a group of local, like-minded families and/ or individuals. I do not subscribe to the ultimate survivors’ scenario that we must go it alone. In fact, I think this is very unreasonable and non-Biblical. I believe that God has created each of us with unique interests and talents. In a situation that is extreme (EMP attack, Nuclear attack, collapse of the US Dollar), I believe that we will need to band together to help each other thrive. I happen to have skills in the medical field (well mainly with animals, but hey we are all just big animal, right?) . I have friends who are more skilled in hunting, engine repair, cooking, knitting, and many other areas that I am not blessed in.
The second step, IMHO is to develop a list of needed items. These can be found easily on the internet. I will perhaps post a list of my own at some point, but not here and now. A basic list will include water supplies, food storage, perhaps monetary planning, various tools, medical supplies and the intangibles of acquiring skills and knowledge. I have started out from a very unprepared standpoint and have been able to accumulate items while keeping costs as low as possible. I suggest looking at garage sales. Keep your eye open for tool sales and the like at local hardware stores. Lowe’s, Home Depot, TSC, Rural King, and many other stores have weekly sale ads that can help you to add to your tool collection. Home defense means fortification and perhaps some sort of firearm. I am considering a shotgun with two barrels, this way I have one barrel for home defense and the second barrel for hunting if necessary.
The Third step is to develop skills that may be necessary. In the late Fall, several of us received a call that a local farmer had a heifer with a broken leg. He already had enough meat in his freezer and was unable to sell a downer cow. So began the adventure of humanely euthanizing the heifer and the processing her remains. By going through this process with my group, we learned a lot about processing our own beef. We made ground beef, as well as collecting various cuts of steaks. We learned what to do (and some of what not to do). At that time I added a hand powered meat grinder to my list of items.
The fourth step is to acquire knowledge. This is maybe not the fourth step, as it is necessary for many of the steps above. Knowledge is crucial. Keep in mind that many scenarios that may require action also include power outages and disruption of the supply of electricity. Even if you are completely off-grid, an EMP has the potential to wipe out all electronics. Why is that important? Well digital lists and information will no longer be accessible. The World Wide Web will no longer be at your fingertips. (I know that you would be crushed without this particular blog, but I digress)
The fifth step that I took was discussing things with my extended family. While there may be the need to abandon our property, I feel that we are uniquely positioned to be a safe house for people that we know and love. I feel obligated to be able to tell people that they can stay here if they can get here. I have family members that are in large cities, where perhaps the danger is more imminent than here in the country. I have advised each of them to have an escape plan. I advised them to keep food storage in large containers that they can easily grab. They may want to consider having 5 to 10 gallons of extra gasoline handy in case they have to quickly leave. Perhaps for them, they would want one or two easily transportable guns, but not a bunch that would have to be left behind. Though I have not directed them on weapons of tools, I may try to guide them toward pistols or shotguns similar to my own in order to have extra parts and ammunition. Keeping their sleeping bags and extra warm clothes near to their extra food may be wise.
I should also state that we have taken a “live for today, be prepared for tomorrow approach.” I call it practical preparation. By this I mean that we have not gone out of our way to over prepare, but instead have purchased items that make sense in the here and now, yet can play a part if necessary later on. (E.G. we added a supplemental wood burner. This would allow us to heat the house and boil water if needed, yet it helps save money on propane in the here and now). I also designed a fencing system that is based on high tensile electric fencing, but would potentially hold in most animals without the use of electricity. I will probably post a fencing article soon.
Well, I guess I went into a bit more detail here than I had originally planned. Hopefully you found this helpful in amongst my ramblings. I do not intend to focus this blog on the disaster scenarios, but feel compelled to share what I know and how I have prepared. At a later point in time, I will try to get that list ready. I will also make some specific suggestions and maybe some reviews of particular items.