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Small things to do before the world descends into hell

This is not going to be a bitching-about-how-things-are post. I’ve done a lot of those lately — with plenty of obvious reason, as we all know — but I don’t like feeling so moved to grouse.

Grousing is popular, and good grousers who write well and warn us of the perils we’re in deserve their rewards. It’s just a pity that the faithful doers and how-toers and other problem solvers (like those publishing the daily details of prepping) don’t usually draw as large an audience. Or they draw an audience that does a quick skim, tells itself, “Oh yeah. I’ve gotta do this. I’ll bookmark the page and come back later.” “Later,” of course, is crickets.

And I know this because I’m as guilty of it as anybody. But who has time for all those projects while life and trying to earn a living goes on?

As a blogger, I am not the fantastic freedomista prepper-doer, canning a thousand pounds of tomatoes while planting acres of fruit orchards while building underground bunkers while raising five children under the age of five (Yes, you know who I’m talking about, don’t you?).

But nor do I want to be the strident doom-cryer, sitting at her desk, scanning for nooz, sizzling mad over a new crisis every week or so.

It’s simpler in my mind: We’re doomed. Face it. Go on from there.

Do practical (and impractical) things. Prepare for what’s coming, but don’t neglect to LIVE in the meantime.


Now having said all that I’m (briefly) going back on my word. I have a small, personal doom moment to convey. It was a mere inconvenience for me, but quite telling about the mess we’re in.

A portion of the digital display on the dashboard of my KIA got wonky. I took the car to the dealer, and of course it couldn’t be anything as simple as bad wiring. Nooooo. The entire instrument cluster was slowly committing suicide.

And there was — in the entire U.S.A. — just ONE (unused, KIA-manufactured) part, clear on the opposite coast — ONE part, singular and unique — available to repair my car. And my car is a KIA Soul, one of the most popular vehicles in the country. Parts should be a dime a dozen. But nope. ONE. In the entire country of 330 million souls and probably hundreds of thousands of Souls.

Every one of you has stories equivalent to this. Half a dozen stories, maybe.

You and I also know that the infamous “supply-chain problem” is much more than a mere supply-chain problem. It’s a symptom of much bigger things. And those infamous, if not infinite, problems are getting bigger, worse, and more dangerous.

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.”

Fact: The S has already HTF. All that’s left is for the blades to spin faster.

So yeah. We’re doomed. Face it. Go on from here. As usual.

Except. Because the blades are spinning and the you-know-what is already splattering, even the best of us (a category far above me) need to polish the preps, batten down the attitudes, spark up the security measures, and do some essential, if not existential, deciding.

I’m assuming most people reading this have already been prepping to one degree or another for a long time. Good. I love knowing that many of you are better prepared and more resourceful than I am. But I don’t know a single person whose preps are perfect — or always perfectly doublechecked and maintained. Heaven knows my own fall short.

So here are a few things we should all be doing to the best of our ability while the fan blades are still turning slowly and key items are still available for purchase.

Following those practical practices, I’ve got some impractical thoughts on other things to do now and I’ll be asking you for your suggestions.

Practical small things to do

1. Go through existing stocks — whether of storage foods, ammo, or something else — checking condition, expiration dates, quantities, auxiliary supplies, and your knowledge on how to use the items. Use up marginal items and replace — if we still can — any missing essentials.

2. Top off and treat stored gas supplies. Prices are high now, but it might be best to bite the bullet and do it before things get worse. (I need to do this, myself.)

3. Check go-bags, get-home bags, emergency road supplies, etc. Replace any dubious items, add and subtract items for usefulness.

4. Update medicines, laying in extra if you can (they’re making that harder now, I know), and ensure that you can keep them in appropriate conditions through a long emergency. Check first-aid supplies.

5. Check and update food, meds, and other preps for pets and livestock.

6. If you’re concerned about the prospect of nuclear war but don’t have time or funds to build and equip an underground bunker (and who does?), you can still get potassium iodide, buy plastic sheeting and duct tape (to keep out radioactive dust), set up emergency wash stations, and take other measures to protect yourself and your family. One of the biggest measures is to know how to act in the immediate aftermath of a blast.

7. Get your tools and equipment in good shape. Know where they are (I am personally missing a hand grain mill and dread going into the attic to hunt for it). Have extras if you can.

8. Have or acquire all the spare parts you can manage for crucial machinery (cars, trucks, tractors, generators, tillers, etc.). If you can’t get, and wouldn’t be able to install, some arcane computerized thing like my KIA’s instrument cluster, you can still get spark plugs, air and fuel filters, belts, battery minders, and other inexpensive and doable items.

9. Make sure you’ve either got plenty of clean water stored or that you have an ensured supply of it on or near your property. Check the condition of your filters and purifiers, just in case.

10. Take a look in your medicine cabinet and around your bathroom. How are you fixed for toothpaste, toothbrushes, antacids, everyday pain-killers, feminine hygiene products, stool softeners, enemas, Pepto Bismol, Immodium, and the like? Good news; you can still reliably get most of these things. For now.

11. Keep your friends close — and your enemies closer. And good luck always recognizing the difference.

Yeah, I said I’d be talking about small to-do items, and cumulatively I realize the above aren’t small. But there they are. Better to accomplish a few things than to shrug off the coming sh*tstorm and be caught wanting as those fan blades go into high gear.

“Impractical” things to do

Start thinking, if you haven’t already, about the small pleasures and everyday necessities of a bleak future. They might make all the difference between surviving and thriving.

1. Make sure you have plenty of herbs and spices for those buckets of stored lentils. Also things like sweeteners and cooking oils and cooking wine.

2. Treats like dried fruits, fruit rollups, chocolate bars, and snack nuts are nice, too.

3. Got board games, playing cards, and puzzles? Lovely to have for adults or kids when power is iffy. Often available cheap at thrift stores.

4. Toys. Music. Gadgets. Batteries for same.

5. How are you set for other personal adult pleasures and/or trade goods? I’m thinking wine, spirits, cigarettes, cannabis products (only where legal of course 😉 ), condoms, lubes … well, you can think of more.

And finally, dear wonderful people … don’t forget today. Don’t get so fixated on preparing for disaster that you fail to notice that the sun is shining, the dog is inviting you to play, the flowers are blooming, your significant other is making sexy eyes at you, a delicious dinner is on the table, there’s a fun festival in town, or there’s great company to be had on your own street.

It’s going to be up to us to make sure life is still worth living after whatever happens … happens.


But of course all this merely touches the surface. And the needs are different for everybody. So what practical — or impractical — actions are you taking right now, or hoping to take soon, to complete preparations for the survival and “thrival” (H/T Silver) needs of you, your loved ones, and your tribe?


  1. Granny
    Granny April 6, 2022 12:50 pm

    Well said and totally relevant. The things I have not done have to do with the little car that should last for over another 100,000 miles. My To Do list was so long initially that it could be paralyzing if one doesn’t cut the long list up into categories such as you’ve done. Tried to knock off one category at a time – food and water first. The other thing I haven’t been able to do yet is get some alternative power going. Yes, I can cook off grid but I have some things that need the grid. Would I die without them? Maybe not. But I sure would be miserable.

    Now, for the not so important stuff. I stocked up on chocolate and cocoa powder. LOL. I just popped some double chocolate muffins into the oven – better than Costco – because guests are coming to see me.

    I know some people whom I love dearly who cannot see what is going on and have done zero “preparations”. They don’t want to hear about anything “negative” because “God is going to take care of them.” That’s a whole ‘nother topic! I’m practicing not saying I told you so because that’s really not helpful in a shtf scenario.

  2. StevefromMA
    StevefromMA April 6, 2022 1:19 pm

    It’s amazing how far and fast and in so many areas the S has HTF and 99.9% of our fellow citizens are clueless. There are already 11 countries in hyperinflation according to my source, the usual suspects but still…we are all in a rough spot and with the dumbest and most corrupt “leaders” around the world. There are many ways I am unprepared…a clueless spouse I should have left years ago who thinks we are nuts but is too anxious to consider the facts, no friends in area due to number of factors, number of other factors though no compadres is the most serious. Near a grade A nuke target. No grid would be a death sentence for us…too cold and too old, LT meds not available. I never really thought it would come to this in my lifetime, a form of denial, I guess. I’m afraid that the only perspective I keep in mind is that I’ve lived during maybe the apex of society and we all die sometime.

  3. Fred M
    Fred M April 6, 2022 1:47 pm

    Good thoughts Claire. I would also emphasize what you need to do when there is no doctor or dentist available. How would you treat burns, puncture wounds, deep cuts, and so forth. You don’t need to be trained, but it helps to have the necessary books and tools to take care of medical emergencies. We also need to stock up on antibiotics and vitamins and bandages. One good source is Dr. Joe Alton of Doom and Bloom. He and his wife have dozens of downloadable videos and discussions on the medical side of business. The best thing we can do right now is to take stock and prepare for the future!
    Be well, be safe,

  4. RW
    RW April 6, 2022 1:49 pm

    “Sokath – his eyes uncovered. “

  5. Grant Davis
    Grant Davis April 6, 2022 3:14 pm

    I am of the mindset that simple is generally better. In the case of antibiotics, my choice is colloidal silver which I make myself using either 90% silver quarters and half dollars or bullion silver coins. In the case of serious wounds, cayenne powder will staunch a wound safely and it also reduces chances of infection. Potassium Iodide is nice, but really is only an issue with a reactor meltdown. Other nukes have other radioisotopes as their fallout rather than Iodine 131 which has a half life of only 8 days. I much prefer Lugol’s 2% Iodine solution which has a triple benefit. It disinfects water, protects the thyroid, and will disinfect and speed the healing of wounds. I purchase it by the quart on ebay and decant it into 1 or 2 ounce brown glass bottles I get at the health food store. Iodine deficiency is linked to breast and prostate cancer as well as to hypothyroidism. Most Americans are Iodine deficient. Food wise, I suggest a good supply of Coconut oil as a healthy energy source which directly feeds the brain with MCT oil. It also is an excellent skin cream and even a “personal lube.”
    Chia seeds are an excellent survival food which a complete protein complement.
    Activated charcoal will help clean water and air, and even simple homemade charcoal crushed would serve. Charcoal will also serve to clear intestinal problems.

  6. Toirdhealbheach Beucail
    Toirdhealbheach Beucail April 6, 2022 8:17 pm

    Claire, those are all excellent suggestions (I have done some, I need to do more). I am looking to expand my gardening space – it is in the backyard, so less likely to draw attention.

    You know my response, of course: books. Get the books you need on any subject you may need it on: medical, gardening, food preparation, mechanics, gunsmithing, how to build a flamethrower (not sure that last one is a book, but who knows). And get the books that you need but you do not know you need: the classics, the wisdom of the ages, religious texts, whatever will feed your mind. Not only because in a world with heavy spinning blades about, things like InterWeb access and electronic can be dicey, but because it is a good cheap form of entertainment (ever so useful in an inflationary world) and after all, somebody is going to have build things back after this is all over. Better the educated ones.

  7. Miguel, the brazilian dude
    Miguel, the brazilian dude April 6, 2022 9:25 pm

    Hello, Claire! It’s been a time since my last visit to your blog but always I read (again then again then again) your delightfully awesome “101 things to do until the Revolution”, I come back here.

    I’m quite worried about these recent world dramas, and it’s even harder when you’re brazilian. Brazil is far from being as rich as USA, so supplies aren’t easy to get obtained. But the good news are my previously government cattle family is slowly awakening from their state induced coma. And it’s beautiful! It’s like watching my future kids starting walking. But fuel is still high, food is still expensive… But we resist.

    Keep safe and healthy! God bless you.

  8. Randall Pool
    Randall Pool April 7, 2022 4:42 am

    Claire, the obvious solution to your car woes is to buy one from a wrecking yard and do it yourself. Please post photos and include any and all expletives for our utter enjoyment.

  9. stryderoftheuplands
    stryderoftheuplands April 7, 2022 6:41 am

    “And finally, dear wonderful people … don’t forget today. Don’t get so fixated on preparing for disaster that you fail to notice that the sun is shining, the dog is inviting you to play, the flowers are blooming, your significant other is making sexy eyes at you, a delicious dinner is on the table, there’s a fun festival in town, or there’s great company to be had on your own street.

    It’s going to be up to us to make sure life is still worth living after whatever happens … happens.”
    Boiled down, this is the best part of the message, no matter what happens, don’t forget to live!

  10. Jolly
    Jolly April 7, 2022 8:59 am

    I’ve concentrated on re-using ancient tech that does not rely on modern electric grid. It gets REALLY cold in the winter up here in Cow Hampshire, but we’re good for a minimum of two full winters using fuel oil and 90 year-old Perfection oil furnaces. I accidentally got TWO of them. We’ll have adequate lighting, heat, and cooking that do not require electricity.

    My son is a literal Eagle Scout, and he has taken the scout motto: “Be Prepared” very seriously. Just his equipment and skills alone will yield all kinds of benefits around here with the saws and axes and so-on that he has acquired.

    Daughter is a Registered Nurse, so first-aid is covered.

    Off-the-shelf meds – we’ve been getting stocked-up on analgesics and such from Costco for quite a while. Anti-biotics and such – from Tractor Supply. Prescription meds – welllllll, having an issue with that now. Working on it.

    We don’t expect to do much traveling as we’re living in our rural bug-out location, and have a second rural bug-out location if necessary about 30 miles from here.

    I think we’re pretty lucky.

  11. Claire
    Claire April 7, 2022 9:42 am

    Randall Pool — Hahahahahahaahahahahahahaah.

    Thanks for making my day. Yeah, that repair would get particularly interesting when I had to reprogram the odometer on the new cluster to match the old. Assuming I ever got that far. Which … yeah.

    No need to post expletives. I’m sure everyone can accurately imagine them.

  12. Claire
    Claire April 7, 2022 9:58 am

    Toirdhealbheach Beucail — a HUGE amen, of course. How-to books, books of classical literature and art, old atlases, old dictionaries.

    I had a interesting encounter yesterday. In a thrift store I haven’t visited in a while, I picked up a book called Adventures in English Literature, a treasury covering selected works from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf. The cover picture is Queen Elizabeth II, looking about 15 years old. Grabbed it, of course.

    When I took it to the check-out counter an acquaintance, a school teacher, was there. She exclaimed, “I’ve been debating for months about buying that book, myself. I’m so glad you did.”

    I assured her the book would be in good hands, along with art books and so on — which led to a discussion of other books we were both looking for, specifically because their like was no longer being published or taught.

    It also turned out that the volunteer clerk was the former high school librarian who had donated the book.

    Small world.

    I’m looking forward to reading old favorites and pieces I’ve missed. But I also have to laugh. The wokesters are wrong about nearly everything. But when it comes to “colonial” attitudes … Among the “English” authors included are: Yeats, Shaw, Thomas, Eliot, Synge, and Auden. Three Irishmen, one Welshman, one Englishman who became an American citizen, and one American (who at least did become an English citizen eventually).

  13. Claire
    Claire April 7, 2022 10:03 am

    Miguel — It’s good to see you again, even if it’s because times are getting weirder and scarier. Good news about your family and what sounds like growing resistance.

    Even though we Americans tend to be pretty focused on our own troubles — which in this case pale before what much of the rest of the world might suffer — I have been thinking about what’s happening, or might soon be happening, is places that are already more corrupt or more precarious. We all know that while we complain here about missing items on store shelves, millions of people elsewhere could be facing famine.

    If you want to share any reports from Brazil, we’d love to hear. Ditto if any readers out there are from anywhere in the southern hemisphere or any place that’s truly teetering on the brink.

  14. Toirdhealbheach Beucail
    Toirdhealbheach Beucail April 7, 2022 10:11 am

    Claire – Bless you for saving that book (and I am intensely jealous, although I hardly have room for more!). The reality is that too often we are not saving books like that. I suspect that there are many former teachers, librarians, et al in my age bracket or older that realize what is happening and are appalled by it. Our youngest, Nighean Dhonn, is by the most prolific reader of my children and although she reads a lot of modern works, she reads a lot of older works as well (I catch her now and again putting something back on my bookshelf or suddenly I realize something is not there).

    I hope someone is saving the art too. Not having any art sense, it would be hard for me to know what to save.

    That is an astute observation about the authors. A little history, in this case, would go a long way.

  15. Claire
    Claire April 7, 2022 10:32 am

    Jolly — Some luck, I’m sure. But it sounds as if you’ve done a thousand things right.

    Now, if you just didn’t have to live in a place that tries to kill you every winter. But hey, can’t have everything.

  16. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge April 7, 2022 10:51 am

    Claire – Yes, Yeats ROCKS! I patterned some of my own (amateur) poetry after his and Lt. Harry “Breaker” Morant’s. It helped to keep me from going nuts in my most hellish years of government school babysitting.

  17. James
    James April 7, 2022 7:34 pm

    I would like to add to all the thoughts/ideas here for those who have not prepped,well,though late to the game you still can do it till you can’t>Start with water/food and work from there,you have ?’s,ask here and many other sites as there are great folks around willing to help out folks new to the game!
    You can do this!

    I though prepping in many ways for years am as always feeling needing a lot more in the way of supplies and skills,just keep trying to work on them as at moment time permits this.

    Best to all in whatever the future has in store!

  18. John Wilder
    John Wilder April 7, 2022 9:03 pm

    As usual, sage advice.

  19. Mike H
    Mike H April 7, 2022 9:08 pm

    “Top off and treat stored gas supplies.” Re: that, the best fuel additive/restorer/stabilizer is Star Tron, which a friend of mine who owns and runs a farm-supply store told me about a while back. I’ve used it in everything from Harleys to weed-whackers to…well, every ICE I run, basically. It’s good stuff.

  20. Charles Swoboda
    Charles Swoboda April 7, 2022 10:44 pm

    So what do you need enema gear for? Is this to detox yourself of radiation or something same with stool softener. I HAVE NEVER had to do either, so I don’t know…

  21. Centurion_Cornelius
    Centurion_Cornelius April 8, 2022 2:21 am

    To Our Dear Friend,

    Yours truly is a ‘shade-tree mech.’ For your Kia Soul cluster: A) boneyard is your friend; grab one at the local junkyard, B) search ye olde eBay or C) many, many outfits re-hab instrument clusters (yeah–takes a few days, shipping, blah-blah. Search the web for instrument cluster re-builds. viz:

    Then, just hire a local to pluck out the offending one and then to install the new one.

    Good read that you gave us. Thanks!

    Now, ponder: the world is full of felines, canines, bovines, equines and we “Humines.” Each and every, all and sundry have experienced sadness, tragedy, loss, even death–but through it all:


    Keep your SPIRIT up. You’ve got to be mentally prepared for what has already broken upon us. Many avenues and methods here–take your pick–as the Monte Carlo croupier announces: “Faites vos jeux.”

    My boss is a Jewish carpenter….proven track record going back a mite.

  22. Mike in Canada
    Mike in Canada April 8, 2022 4:08 am

    Here in rural Canada, we are sufficiently far from any urban setting that the issues (other than those of supply, y’unnerstan’) encountered by others are more concepts than daily elements (for now, at least). This happy circumstance is deliberate, of course.

    We have been prepping for years, so in large part our efforts now are those of duplication and depth (also, how best to address two growing children and their needs for the next several years…hmmm).

    On thing that we have done recently is to move to a location still convenient to work (while that lasts) but off the beaten path and not nearly as visible to the casual passer-by. Now that this minor hell has been seen to, we are watching the news, listening to the wise, and planning the garden while we unpack, arrange, and organize.

    Thank you, Ms Wolfe, for this reminder that, in all things (and especially in unpleasant things), balance is key. I shall take the liberty of sharing the above with those whose interest I value.

  23. Simon
    Simon April 8, 2022 5:32 am

    My first priorities were to get up to date on the dentist and then to get an appointment for a new set of glasses. Not sure how long that will be so simple.

  24. Claire
    Claire April 8, 2022 5:32 am

    Charles Swoboda — Initially I was just listing random OTC health care items one might find in a bathroom. But in times of hardship (with diet change and eating what’s available rather than what we’re used to), we can expect digestive problems of many interesting varieties. I wasn’t aiming for a comprehensive list of remedies for them, but if I had been I would have added items like electrolyte powders or electrolyte solutions, among other things.

  25. Claire
    Claire April 8, 2022 5:33 am

    John Wilder — Thank you for (yet another) kind comment. You are far more of a sage than I am.

  26. Claire
    Claire April 8, 2022 5:34 am

    Mike H — I’m unfamiliar with Star Tron. Thanks for the tip. I’ll look that up.

  27. Claire
    Claire April 8, 2022 5:47 am

    Centurion_Cornelius — First, thank you for the shade-tree mechanic advice and the link. I am out of my depth on this subject. I’ve shopped wrecking yards and eBay before for simpler parts with mixed results & I used to have a local shade-tree guy who helped me with the old beaters I drove (also with mixed results).

    Unfortunately the two shade-tree mechanics in or near my town have both closed up shop and I don’t know of a good replacement.These days, and for a tricky part like this one, I do go to a dealer. Yes, it’s a luxury. But I’m blessed to have a dealer that doesn’t price gouge and that shoots straight when it comes to advice. So that’s where things stand. I am looking at your link and other online sources, though.

    And … the rest of your message, about SPIRIT, is a thing of beauty in a world full of risk, pain, and destruction. Thank you.

  28. Claire
    Claire April 8, 2022 5:50 am

    Mike in Canada — Like Jolly (earlier in comments) you seem to have engineered your life pretty darned well. Now good luck with those children and with settling in and with spreading the word.

    Thank you for your kind comments.

  29. Claire
    Claire April 8, 2022 5:55 am

    Simon — Yes, good to-do items. I’ve also been trying to fit an optometrist appointment into my schedule and my budget. I think that’s a very good thing to do right now (local appointment; glasses purchased online because, sadly, glasses from the local shop are 4x more expensive; or buy own frames and bring them in to have lenses fit).

    Also save older glasses and keep them with the bug-out bag, in a pocket in the car, in a travel kit, or other places where they might come in handy.

  30. Otis Donkey
    Otis Donkey April 8, 2022 6:08 am


    Same here. Only my spouse unit (i’m female ) is enmeshed in the psychosis of the ‘whitehats are coming to save us’ because of the auxillary psy ops working on the other part of the population that doesn’t believe the other covid-hoax psy ops. it’s an app that you download and it shapes your perception that things are being worked out behind the scenes, no need to do anything or be worried.

    This is well thought out, in ways that you don’t even realize, until you listen to people. How many karens (I call them NPD’s because they all have a narcissistic personality disorder or traits) have completely destroyed their family because they can’t handle the stress of competition from the feral gubmint that is working on the psyches of all of us. The entire country IS the concentration camp.

    Kudos to everyone that hasn’t crumbled in the face of this. It’s a hard burden to carry.

  31. Claire
    Claire April 8, 2022 6:17 am

    James —

    I would like to add to all the thoughts/ideas here for those who have not prepped,well,though late to the game you still can do it till you can’t>Start with water/food and work from there,you have ?’s,ask here and many other sites as there are great folks around willing to help out folks new to the game!

    VERY true and thanks for bringing that up.

    I assume most people hereabouts are already prepped to the best of their ability. It’s definitely late to start. But heck, even a few weeks worth of grocery store canned foods and a few gallons of stored water is better than nothing.

  32. Jolly
    Jolly April 8, 2022 6:20 am

    So, Otis – would that be a “Psy-App” then?

    I actually look forward, in some ways, to losing the internet – it’s my profession, and I admit I’m getting a bit fatigued at this point. Chopping wood, and assembling chicken coops sounds relaxing to me.

    And – well – the coops may survive a little while. My software – most of it already is obsolete and doesn’t work on modern computers.


  33. E M Johnson
    E M Johnson April 8, 2022 7:22 am

    1 item I like to mention is have a plan and materials to manage your waste and your pets. plus alt methods if hold up inside post nuke event. second common oversight is body and clothes cleaning

  34. just waiting
    just waiting April 8, 2022 8:24 am

    Something of equal importance but overlooked in the conversation, your location. There was a nuclear war map posted somewhere recently that showed blue circles of the fallout zones. Anywhere near the cities is a bad place to be. Being in a place that does not fall into one of these circles is a critical step in any preps.

  35. Saber 7
    Saber 7 April 8, 2022 8:37 am

    When we put money in the banks they own it. Look at how the folks that gave $ to the Freedom Truckers movement were treated, accounts closed, accounts un-accessible. What good or worth is a dollar in the future? What good are tangibles now or in the future? What happens if opportunities to purchase tangibles is missed, can we “Circle Back”, I think not. With this in mind, I have started to spend like a drunk sailor. I am asking friends if they need help with their preps. So one couple got a Berkey, and some ammo, medical supplies, and more. I am asking others for shopping lists for a south of the border med run. When the banks close and keep our money, my bank will have much less of my hard earned money. Better buy tangibles while the trucks are still running folks. “Spend till it hurts”, think I heard that one years back from CPT James Rawles over at Survival Blog. Got the link to your article here from WRSA.

    Got to go, my boss the Jewish Carpenter and his Helper are calling for me!!

    Saber 7, out.

  36. Dr. Lon schultz
    Dr. Lon schultz April 8, 2022 8:53 am

    Great article, you are a shining light in these doomy days!

    Having been a prepper and homesteader for fifty years, I will make a few comments.

    First, while small hand grinders are essential, having used one for year or so, they are too much hard work. I finally bought an electric one, but this required a back up generator and gas.

    I have heated with wood fifty years as well. This requires a chain saw, a spare blades and of course gas. Running my house on the back up generator a week takes about thirty gallons of gas! Too much gas, storage problems and cost.

    About forty years ago I started getting solar, first for rudimentary lighting. These days I run two referigerators, two freezers, all the house lights with LEDs, communication gear, batteries for the electric chain saw and of course the electric wheat grinder.

    These days solar pannels are cheap, however the batteries are not. I have about two KW of solar, fifteen sets of six volt deep cycle batteries. This gives me about 3500 AH or so of storage, which will run the system for three days or so. I enlarged this system over five years and spent a thousand or so each year, (I am retired and on SS). Solar is great but you must have battery storage also, if the grid is down so are you, at night.

    One nice thing about solar is you can start out small, only a few hundred sollars, for one pannel, a battery and a inverter! Then expand as you can. I am not off the grid, but I can be with very little pain.

    One final bit of advice, I put in a propane stove top and have a few years of propane stored.
    I wish I could have affordrd a wood cook stove but never managed it.

  37. Jolly
    Jolly April 8, 2022 9:35 am

    To add to Dr Schultz’ post – it’s amazing how much use you get out of a tiny bit of solar.

    My son is currently living in a cargo trailer camper while attending welding school in Vermont. He has a mere 100 watts of solar on his roof which is attached to a Jackery 500 “Solar Generator.”

    He is able to charge that and a separate deep-cycle AGM battery used to power his diesel heater. He is also able to use lights, recharge his laptop, iPad, and phone while simultaneously using the laptop online.

    We’re adding a second 100 watt panel – which will be sufficient to run an Iceco 46(?) quart refer / freezer AND recharge the Jackery. The second AGM battery will be used far-less in summer, so it won’t need charging as much.

    In addition, he can recharge batteries for his Ryobi power tools. He uses these as extra lights, a fan, a small inverter / USB charger, and – for tools.

    This is all pretty far north in Burlington, Vermont, in winter / spring. WithOUT directional tilts on the panels. We are using high-quality “Rich Solar” panels.


  38. Comrade X
    Comrade X April 8, 2022 9:42 am

    I agree the S Has Hit the Fan, and I do think more S will be going through that Fan before what comes next comes; TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt; TEOTWAWKI, so I kinda look at life like steps, one at a time too, first step SHTF, how do you get through that, but also during SHTF you better be preparing for TEOTWAWKI too, and during TEOTWAWKI how do you get through that and maybe we should be also preparing for the third step, I like to call that the Phoenix rising. I’m not smart enough to think beyond 3 steps yet.

    IMHO the most important thing about all this is your mental attitude. I remember once reading about a fellow who survived the Hanoi Hilton, he talked about those that did not, he said the optimist was the type that lost it first, so methinks being a realist might be important, reviewing your situation with not an eye to what you want it to be but what it is. i’ve also remember a saying about why people give up and die in the wilderness, one word, Shame; which brings me back to that realist thought, embracing what you are and have and not being ashamed of what you aren’t and don’t have, might be important too, so that you can take those steps to make it to the next step.

    In your SHTF preparations not only think about what you need but also what others may want, Barter will be big in TEOTWAWKI methinks. Things that have multiple uses and store well over time like honey might be important, thoughts like even if you don’t drink or smoke others do, a biggie IMHO is heirloom seeds for TEOTWAWKI.

    Then what about what might be coming to visit you in TEOTWAWKI? you know things like those pesky Cartels or EBT zombies how do you deal with that?

    May I recommend for everyone reading pleasure;

    you can download it free with a trial subscription on Scribd.

    And for the proper mindset, what better way than to learn from someone who has experience SHTF and even TEOTWAWKI; Selco Begovic, read what he said it took him to survive and you may be a lot better prepared.

    One thing for sure, survivors don’t do one thing;

    GIVE UP!!!!

    I totally agree with Claire, that it is of the upmost importance that we smell the roses before they start growing on top of us,

    here another poem by Kipling I try to live by, not always successfully but it’s the trying that is important methinks;

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools…………

  39. Prepperdaddy
    Prepperdaddy April 8, 2022 11:12 am

    Finally, a to-do-before list and I have everything covered – woo woo! I have been prepping from the day Bill Clinton was elected. What I am not ready for, is anybody?, is a massive EMP event. I do have some of my electronics in ammo can Faraday cages but that won’t save my generators or chainsaw or electric drill or my solar generator or any of the hundreds of things that I would need to stay out of the dark ages…..anybody know how to stack 2 IBC totes on each other and reliably construct a Faraday cage…that is a YouTube video I would like to see.

  40. dvc45acp
    dvc45acp April 8, 2022 1:13 pm

    Claire, lots of good advice. We miss you out here in the big empty. It’s been blowing for 3 days and as you used to say, the insane asylum is starting to fill Your old shooting pal, Ed

  41. Dr. Lon schultz
    Dr. Lon schultz April 8, 2022 5:35 pm


    An old old generator or welder generator is very likely to be ok, especially if it is disconnected, as it has no solid state parts! The old generators have a large round generator section not a small square one and they are very heavy. An old kohler would be great!

    I am not too worried about small motors, but if you are worried, store them in a metal trash can.

    A metal trash can with electronic devices wrapped in tinfoil, should work fine for EMP protection. Microwave ovens are a good farady cages, just don’t turn them on and keep unplugged. The ammo cans have rubber insulators in the lid, so wrap electronics in tin foil.

    Solar PV panels are pretty tough, but it would be good to put surge protecetors and fuses on the line. The charge controller would likly be damaged, but the system can be run manually with a switch and old fashoned volt meter. Connected inverters would likely be damaged, so have spairs! Keep spare LED lights stored with other electronics. Your big batteries are really tough, so dont worry. If at all possible keep your PV system disconnected from power grid!

    I think a EMP nuke is very likely and effective during any conflict!

  42. Arthur Murray
    Arthur Murray April 9, 2022 10:02 am

    I agree that the S has hit the fan, but so far it’s just a slow drip causing minimal splatter. The big flow that the fan spreads everywhere is coming, just not quite here yet. Your KIA spare parts experience has been fairly common for the past 18 months, and it will get worse. Much worse, and not just for automobiles.

    I preach SWOT Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A good SWOT Analysis will require days to do correctly, sometimes weeks, it cannot be done in 30 minutes because of the amount of detail involved, and the amount of “skull sweat” required. It should cover absolutely everything, including stuff that is beyond, often well beyond, one’s ability to prepare for, because even if it’s “out of scope” financially, socially, skill-wise, etc. Knowing about it is awareness and awareness supports being able to cope with it; coping is a Mental State that will become a critical skill best mastered beforehand, not “on the fly;” a lot of people need to learn Flexibility, and best to get the topic introduction before crisis demands it.

    I used to recommend reviewing one’s SWOT Analysis annually, then revised that to semi-annually about 2 years ago.

    I am now recommending reviewing it monthly, and reviewing it every two weeks is not at all unreasonable.

    Strap in and hang on, the ride gets really bumpy from here on.

  43. Granny
    Granny April 9, 2022 11:07 am

    My grandchildren were visiting recently and per the usual, one of them got sick – vomiting and fever. I suddenly realized that my medicine cabinet was not stocked for the wee ones who visit often. I have remedied that. There are also certain foods that the wee ones will *always* eat (mac n cheese). I like to stay far away from processed foods, but having saltine crackers on hand was a life saver for this little one who couldn’t keep anything down. It’s the little things. I use each experience as a teacher and try to remedy it as fast as possible.

    I have it on my To Do list to go down to the local thrift/antique store because I noticed a lot of books in a dark corner – a potential gold mine. I’m also looking for some sturdy, used, furniture. I have found many things there that are very useful.

  44. OtisD
    OtisD April 10, 2022 3:07 pm


    I just realized it’s communist propaganda.
    the siren song of the utopian paradise if you just _______, this appeals to the slothful, ignorant, …yeah says a lot about my spouse unit.

    whiplash, a podcast the X something and Q.

  45. John Wilder
    John Wilder April 11, 2022 2:08 am

    And you set the stage for nearly all of us writing today about freedom.

  46. Chris Mallory
    Chris Mallory April 14, 2022 12:15 pm

    I would move spices to the practical list.
    Wars were fought over the spice trade and salt. Europe conquered the world looking for access to spices.

  47. John in Indy
    John in Indy May 4, 2023 1:57 pm

    Great article and comments. Thanks all. Lots of things for me to go over and to check on.
    One concern not mentioned is the possibility of a .gov agent / organization “gathering resources” from “Kulaks and hoarders” to share with the less fotunate. Eg: the crickets.
    From what I read on Canadian news and blogs, this seems mire likely than Mad Max raiders coming out to the remote country looking for Christmas presents at your house.
    That said, it may be useful to know of, find, or organize a local assistance group centered on a church or civic club, so that you are not the resource that the general populace looks to for salvation from their own folly.
    P.S. I read Canadian and European news / blogs to get advance warning of what policies and impositions will soon be tried in the US. 🙁
    John in Indy

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