Attention! Be Prepared for Urban Survival

bare grocery shelves, empty shelves

It seems that things around the globe head to panic over any number of things. Does that mean you need to panic? NO. However, you do need to be prepared. This last weekend, people panicked and whole entire store shelves were emptied, right down to toilet paper was not to be had. So, what would you do if the food supply were interrupted and you could not get out?
Few of us can afford to straight out buy 3 months supply of food. My grandparents, though certainly not wealthy, always had at least a year’s supply of food on hand. Though some today might accuse them of hoarding, they would have told you it is simply wise to have extra on hand. It helps with the unexpected pot holes one goes through in life.

So where to start? Start with the essentials. We make sure we have plenty of extra water on hand. You could use a Berkey gravity fed water filter if you have a good water supply.  The Berkey filters, remove almost all possible contaminants. We have used this system since 2007 and absolutely love it. It costs at the beginning, but saves you lots of money over time. You could also have extra 5 gallon jugs of water that you store in a back room.


Be prepared in regards to water.

Related article: How to Make Pumpkin Pie From Scratch

Berkey water filter, kitchen water filter
The Berkey Water Filter is a durable, high volume filter, good even for everyday use.

Get Prepared a Little at a Time.

It is wise and feasible for just about anyone to buy a couple of extra items every time they shop until they have enough for three days, a week, a month, 3 months etc., up to a year. Store things in big plastic tubs that mice etc.are not going to get into. It would be terrible to find you to buy paper products for instance and then find that mice had a hey day with it and everything is unusable. At the moment, there seems to be a shortage of toilet paper in the U.S. and Mexico at the very least. What are some clean alternatives? You can purchase a bidet that attaches to your toilet.
They come in a variety of prices. However, there are more alternatives one could consider. You could cut up some rags into the size of wash clothes. Then have 2 baskets by the toilet. One basket is for clean rags and the other for dirty. Then throw the dirty ones in the washer on a daily basis.

Make Your Own Laundry Soap.

We make our own laundry soap, cheaply and in quantity. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha that we shred with a knife and put into a small sauce pan of water.
  • Heat that until everything is dissolved.
  • Add Borax about 1/3 cup and about ½ cup of washing soda.
  • Mix everything in a 5 gallon bucket and add warm water to fill the bucket.
  • Let it set and cool off.

It all turns to gel. Cost? Less than $5 for 5 gallons of detergent. If I couldn’t get the washing soda and Borax, I would just use the Fels Naptha soap.

Be Prepared in Regards to Food.

What to do about the unavailability of food? Honeyville sells all sorts of freeze dried food as well as things like 50 lb. sacks of oatmeal etc. What is nice is that you can buy 1 item, or whole cases of things. Freeze dried things come in #10 cans that are sealed and keep for the next 25 years if unopened. We have been using Honeyville since about 2005 and really enjoy their products. Their products re-hydrate really well. Their freeze dried fruit is amazing. We have a military person in our family and when they were serving in Iraq, We were able to send a whole case of Honeyville’s dried fruit to Iraq without a problem.

5 gallon bucket of oats, oats in a bucket
We purchased oats in bulk at a great price and are still eating it 8 years later! Almost finished…

Know How To Prevent Bugs in Stored Dry Goods.

When you buy these things, put them in a large zip lock in their original containers. If they don’t fit in a zip lock, use a trash bag and a twisty to seal things off.Then, put it in the freezer for three days.  After three days, you can take it out of the freezer again. Wait to open it until everything is at room temperature again. (If you open it when you first take it out, the coolness will cause condensation on your food and possibly ruin it all due to mold.)  Then you can open it and store it either in a glass container that seals, a 5 gallon bucket with a gamma seal lid or a plastic storage container. It lasts for years. I bought 50 – 100 lbs of oatmeal  in 2012 just as an experiment. We’ve almost used them up. We’ve never had a single bug anywhere. With sugar, just store it in a container that seals so that ants can’t get to it. It lasts forever.

Even Salt Has Storage Requirements.

Moisture easily gets into salt if you leave it on the shelf. It makes it into a salt block which is still usable but a real bother. Store your salt someplace airtight. I’ve had pasta last 10 years without a problem using this method. The thing of it is this, if you develop a lifestyle of building up a reserve, you will find life a lot less stressful. If a storm rolls in and everyone is without power and can’t go anywhere all of a sudden, you are fine. If work goes south, pull out some steaks, and enjoy a nice meal. When everyone else is stressing over no toilet paper, or no bread etc. on the shelves, you can go home and enjoy your family. The key is to purchase that which your family will use, and then systematically use things.

Being Prepared Relieves Stress!

Speaking of which, it is also important to be prepared to care for our minds especially in times like these. We can make things an adventure. For instance, put a big piece of paper on the fridge and leave something to write with nearby. Make a running list of all the things you are grateful for. With your family, break the list into a list for each person and see how many positive qualities you can think up about each one. Put it where everyone can see. With no sports available, take time to play together. If you don’t have games, make some up. If you don’t have books, make up stories. My Father in law used to delight everyone with his “Wolly Golly” stories. Make up your own funny plays. Take the time to reminisce about fun times and funny things. Make the time of uncertainty and stress into a positive memory of overcoming and resilience. C.S. Lewis’s take on things long ago is still true today.

Related Article: Survival Seed Vaults are A Waste of Money

Related Article: Home Meat Production: Rabbit or Chicken?


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2 thoughts on “Attention! Be Prepared for Urban Survival”

  1. That was great advice, Jerreth.
    In times like these, maybe a few people will finally take that advice to heart. My grandparents were the same as you described. Grandma’s cellar was stacked full of home-canned garden goods. She canned everything, from cabbage to carp. She canned her own cooked sausage patties, her own fish patties, sauerkraut, every kind of pickle imaginable, even pickled beets, pickled green beans, and pickled baby corn. She spent every day of summer, canning jellies, and putting away vegetables for winter. She baked profusely, always keeping vast amounts of flour, sugar, cornmeal, and lard on hand. I have her old Hoosier Cabinet with the pullout- 50-pound flour dispenser, roll-top spice and utensil storage, and a mouse-proof tin bread drawer.

    Being born in the 1880s, they survived World War One, The 1918 Flu Epidemic, The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl years, and World War Two, with no electricity. They never had electricity until 1954. I still remember their old gas engine washing machine, the hand wringer, the clotheslines, the cast iron boiling pots for linens, the kerosine refrigerator, the hand pump at the well, the galvanized bathtub and water heating buckets, the kerosine lamps and lanterns, and the outhouse that they had until 1970, when they got their first indoor plumbing. I mowed their yard many a time with only a hand-powered push mower. The kind with no engine and a wooden push handle.

    We’ve got it easy nowadays, with only slight restrictions on when we can go to town because of the quarantine. At least we have electricity, indoor plumbing, and a car. My grandparents drove a wagon to town until after World war two. When Grandpa died, they still only had the old 1939 Chevy. It was the only car they ever had. Grandma never learned to drive, so after Grandpa passed on, she just rode to town whenever family or friends would stop by. She would never ride in the front of the truck; she would always ride in back with us kids, sitting in her rocking chair with a quilt top across her lap. Back then, seatbelts were unheard of. Kids never rode up front, not even in the dead of winter.

    My mom got sick with cancer when I was 14-years-old. She only lived another year and three months after she became sick. So, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, learning how retirement should really be lived. There was such peace there, never a worry, always prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. It was a good way to live. There is no reason we should not all live that way still.

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