Thoughts on preparing for tomorrow in the Garden State...

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Your Library

Just a quick post to share some links. Your library will be your biggest source of info outside your HAM radio when a disaster hits. Particularly if it's a long term one. I'll share some links with you for manuals and such......

Random Manuals and How To's

The - there is a lot of data here from firearms manuals to Army TM's and FM's. Some data is old, but there is plenty to chose from.

Survival & Self Reliance
- A nice source to keep handy, good rading and plenty of How-To Info.

Librum Reading Room - A Library on line. Books include many building, gardening, and Farming/Homesteading materials.

As you can guess, this list can go on for as long as the Internet is wide. I'd appreciate suggestions to add to the list.

What have you done today to prepare?

Ammo, the new currency and how to store it.

There are plenty of folks who say that Ammunition will become the best barter currency around in a Post Apocalyptic World. This may be true and in that case, you'd better have a lot of it lying around. With that in mind I asked a few friends how they store their ammo and I got pretty much the same response from them all. Ammo boxes. They are cheap, readily available from surplus stores, and can hold large amounts with out breaking. You should also think about magazine storage. A friend of mine was quick to point out that storing your ammo in loaded magazines is a good idea, just buy lots and lots of them, load them up and put them on the shelf. the wear and tear on a spring in the magazine comes from constant loading and unloading of the spring, not from being in a compressed state fro long periods of time. So consider that with your bulk storage options as well.

A few things to remember when preparing for storage:

  • LOW Humidity: If you are storing open ammo then there is little problem. But if you are storing it in it's cardboard box inside a metal ammo box, then you need to have the cardboard box sit next to a dehumidifier for awhile.
  • Temperature: This shouldn't be a problem unless you are planning to keep it in the oven, most ammo will survive a wide range of temperatures from -65 F to 122F. That's not to say that Ammo doesn't have an optimal temp range, but for storage most anywhere dry will be ok.
  • Rotation: Date the boxes when you put them in storage and rotate them so you are always using the oldest first. Dating the box will also help remind you of how often you need to purchase to keep your stock levels at a comfortable point.
  • Inspection: Check your stock every 12-24 months, just a spot check will do. Random boxes checked for the proper humidity levels and look for any type of corrosion or rust.
  • Clean: Make sure the ammo is clean and wiped off if you touch it before you close up the box.
I found a nice little project for you that is incredibly easy to make and cheap too! The guys over at Front Toward Enemy (where I got the idea for this post) provide nice instructions and pictures for a Single Lock Locker Box using a 40MM Ammo Can. The lock is a necessary touch, and they also reccomend a Humidity cards or discs placed inside together with a desiccant pack. The Humidity card or disc will give you a real quick way to see if you are at the 30% level, this makes your inspections fast and easy.

One final point I'd like to bring up about Ammunition storage. Keep it locked up and safe from the kids or other unfavorables who would like to relieve you of having to keep it. As always with your firearms, safety is point number one.

Front Towards Enemy, We the Armed: Ammo thread

Sunday, March 22, 2009

How about a Root cellar?

I got plans to build a root cellar this summer, I mentioned the little book in a previous post, so feel free to check it out. I had the idea of a root cellar because I need a place to store vegetables over the winter without having to bring them indoors where, I swear, all the field mice in NJ come to eat. Anyway, in looking at the multiple ways to store food outdoors I was amazed at the variety of ways to do it. This included leaving some specific crops in the ground and mulching heavily over them, which would work in NJ for sure, but is probably not advisable for northern climates.

I got onto this idea after watching an episode of the Discovery TV Series The Alaska Experiment In which one of the couples were trying to find ways to store food, and honestly they had good ideas but poor execution. Their Idea was to bury a can in the ground and take advantage of the earths natural ability to provide a steady temperature. Good idea right? I thought so too so I found a nice diagram of the proper way to do this, and it's available over at I also found a neat "pallet root cellar" HERE, very clever, easy, and larger than a buried garbage can.

The most important thing when storing your food underground is to keep it from getting wet, wetness equals rot and rot equals no food. So a few things to remember when deciding what kind of crop to place in your new underground storage unit are as follows:

Root crops including carrots, beets, turnips and parsnips all adapt to storage well and do best at near freezing and a relatively high humidity. Onions will need less humidity to discourage neck rot.

Leafy crops like celery and cabbage will store as well, but they have to be separate from root crops as they give off a gas that is harmful to other crops.

When selecting vegetables for storage throw away (or eat) any that is remotely close to turning or unsound. If they are allowed to be close to other crops they will affect them.

Do plenty of research on curing the different types of crops for storage. This is a science that is easily learned and there is plenty of online help available. The more I research, the more I learn and the more excited I am to give it a try. I am sure I'll make mistakes, but remember: Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

A few good food storage links:

Washington State University : Storing Fruits and Vegetables at Home

Cornell Cooperative extension: Storing guidelines for Fruits and Vegetables

Mother Earth News: Build a basement Root Cellar

Hobby Farms: Produce bound underground

Within 36 hours of a natural or man made disaster the food shelves at the local stores will be bare, if there are serious disruptions to the delivery system, they will stay that way for long periods of time. Prices will skyrocket and chaos will be the order of the day. With a little effort we can all make sure we have at least a 2 week supply stored for our families and with a little diligence, maybe more.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Water Storage

I'd like to talk about water storage today because I think many of us don't think about it at all. I have mentioned previously that you would need a gallon a day per person to be comfortable, but you would only need a quart a day to survive. Very different numbers and two very different ways of looking at your storage amounts.

So lets do some math: Family of four(4), one (1) gallon per person per day, fourteen (14) days minimum for your average emergency and bam you need to store 56 gallons of water, potable water no less. Now, how do you store that much water? A great way is to use food grade barrels available at plenty of on line retailers, just search for Closed Head Polyethyene Drums. A drum like this will store your water for a year before you have to empty and clean it.

When we talk about water most of us just seem to take for granted that clean water is everywhere, but as most disasters show us, clean water can be pretty darn hard to find when you need it most and boiling it will only kill bacteria not remove poisons or heavy metals. So the next thing to address is filtration. Filtration can happen at the lowest level while you are backpacking with a device such as THIS , or you can have an elaborate setup such as THESE. But whatever you choose you have to address the need for more filters, mobility, and the amount of water you want to store, a couple canteens, or 2 weeks worth.

Water is essential to life and in our gloomy future wars will be fought over it. But god always seems to drop some on us every once and awhile, might as well catch some for future use, know what I mean?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hello everyone, i want to commend jay on the articles he has been posting. I wanted to give everyone a little help on obtaining some of the information jay has been posting. What made me think of this was the post titled Preparedness in Print. Jay listed some books and manuals that would be good to add to your arsenal, Basically to get to the point you can find just about any document, book, movie, etc... for free and completely legal. I like to use two different methods, the first is a file sharing program . once you download this program you can use any file sharing site that you prefer. I did a quick search on and found two out of four instantly. Now all i have to do is download them and then that's it, they'll be on my computer anytime i wish to view them. You can also type in the search for ex. "survival" or "plants" after that it's pretty much take your pick on what you want to download. Now to get on with this, The second site i like is - this site is loaded with just about any document or book you can think of. If you want to download you have to register, but registration is free as are the above sites completely free. I dont know how computer savy everyone is so If anyone has any questions please dont hesitate to contact me I'd be glad to help. Keep up the good work jay, talk to everyone later

Organic Gardening

This year I have set as one of my goals, to learn the art of canning. when I was a kid my mother and grandmother always "put up" fruit and vegetables for the winter, and I distinctly remember my Aunts basement lined with Jars of everything from Tomatoes to apples. So instead of growing a garden and giving away all the extra stuff, I want to make every effort possible to save it for the winter, or what ever befalls us in the next year.

I have to admit that I was led to this task by reading a book by an author that I share absolutely no political beliefs with, but this book isn't about politics, it's about living free from corporations and the government intervention of our food supply. The book is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver and the purpose of the book was to show how to break your cycle on corporate farms and the constant screwing around that the government does with our food supply. The author tracks her family's quest to become totally self sufficient on producing their own food for 1 full year. This is, to me at least, a survivalist's dream and the books actually provides a wealth of information on how to move in that direction. Planning, canning, storage of all sorts, plus a ton of knowledge on things like bio-diversity in crops and livestock. There is a reason Monsanto wants to control all of your grain foods you know.

Anyhow, I though I would pass on a few items for the readers that will help them get moving towards a life of a "Locavore" (A person who eats only what they can grow or purchase locally). Ms. Kingsolvers book is a good start, but you also need to know where you can get heirloom seeds and ways to get your garden moving without the use of over processed fertilizers or non-organic stuff beign absorbed in your food supply. Take a look at the links below, I have used them all over the past few years so I feel they have some value.

Get those Tomato Seeds started!!!

Heirloom Tomato Seeds - Over 700 varietes of Heriloom Tomato and Vegetable Seeds

Garden State Heirloom Seed Society - Great source of information for people wishing to grow organic heirloom vegetables

Organic Gardening - Grow your food without poisons injected by corporate over the counter junk.

New Jersey Eat wild - your source for safe, healthy, natural and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork, dairy and other wild edibles.

Know how to Can - And of course, know how to store all those great vegetables.

Plus you can just type "Food Storage" into Youtube and a whole day of viewing pops up.

What have you done to prepare today?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

James Wesley, Rawles Fans

For you fans of the book Patriots: Surviving the coming collapse, did you know the Author has a blog? Yep, you can check it out HERE and while you are there make sure you check up on his list of things like Trades, Tools, and your Firearms battery.

Speaking of Firearms and related topics. I am not an expert on anything more than using my weapons safely. BUT if you are into guns, ammo, the various laws governing them and all that "Gun Porn" then I suggest you visit We The Armed. Their mission on that message board is to become the preeminent source on all things related to personal defense.

Another note for you New Jersey Gun owners, or wannabe gun owners. This website NJGuns is an awesome resource for people trying to navigate the guns laws in our over-regulated state. There is even a list of Attorneys that will help with Gun related issues. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Preparedness in Print

Heres a couple of books I have acquired in the last 2 months. Keep in mind that the books you choose should have far reaching purpose, by that I mean they will provide you with information in the Post Apocalyptic environment, not just in preparation for it.

Build Your Own Underground Root Cellar
Author: Phyllis Hobson
This is a small 32 page book that gives some pretty good detailed instructions on a root cellar.

Handy Farm Devices: And how to make them
Author: Rolf Cobleigh
A handy book but the instructions are small and not to detailed. It's more of an idea book from way back in the day. When there are no more hardware stores, this book will be handy.

FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual
Ok, so I've had this for awhile, since 79 to be exact when they issued it to me. The stuff in there will NEVER get old. You can get this at Barnes & Nobles now, saw it there on display in front of the store and thought that was kind of ominous. There are plenty of knock off's with names that come close, so be wary.

Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use--Includes How to Make Ferrocement Water Tanks
Author: Art Ludwig

This is an awesome book. I was looking for ways to store large amounts of rainwater for my garden and this did it. The projects range from small to crazy large, but you need to learn to store large amounts of water if you are to survive. 1 gallon per day per person is the recommended amount just to stay alive, cook, and be healthy. What about your food source? The garden needs water too.

I try to buy my books used on Amazon, or at local used book stores. You can also try the couple of on line book trading sites as another source.

The Survivalist

M.D. Creekmore over at The Survivalist Blog has put together a nice list of Barter Items you should think about having around should the Collapse of our markets occur.

Read more Here. I like his point about bartering Ammunition.

Get Trained

CPR, Basic First Aid, Food Storage, Water Collection, Growing Food, all of these points are critical to long term survival. How much training do you need? How much can you get? How much does it cost?

Back in 2002 when then President Bush was looking for ways to organize volunteers, he created the Citizen Corps Program and from that rose the Community Emergency Response Teams here in Jersey. Now, I have my reservations because CERT is a government program, so of course right away I think red tape and wasted money. BUT by joining a local CERT organization, you can get some really good training:

From the CERT website:

If you join a CERT, you will receive basic-level training in the following areas:

  • Basic First Aid
  • Family Disaster Preparedness
  • Disaster Fire Suppression
  • Medical Operations
  • CERT Operations
  • Disaster Mental Health
  • Basic Emergency Management
  • Disaster Simulation -- Skills Review

Total training is usually about 18 hours, scheduled in 2-4 hour modules, over a period of weeks or months, in order to address the scheduling needs of team members. It's held in the community where you live.

Training courses, student materials and equipment are provided free of charge.

Of course, taking the training you have an obligation to the program, and truth be know, there is strength in numbers and being in a community of people that are trained and prepared will always be a good thing. The longer you can survive without depending on the government, the better off you will be.

What have you done to prepare today?

Something as simple as...

A Home First Aid Kit.
I was helping my son with his First Aid merit badge last night and I thought about just how many people have prepared for the small problems, forget the large ones. So lets start small. And build yourself a First Aid Kit for your home or car.

The Red Cross recommends that you carry a kit or "Know when and where to find one." Right, in the event of a emergency or disaster, you and the other 400 people in your vicinity can all fight over the first aid kit. Better to have your own squirreled away for you and your family. Below I listed the essentials of a Home or Car First Aid kit along with some links that will help you in getting prepared. This kit is suitable for a family of four.

  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 blanket (space blanket)
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydro cortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
  • Scissors
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet
Customize this kit to your needs by adding things like personal medications, phone numbers, and a flashlight with extra batteries. Check the kit twice a year for expiration dates and fresh batteries, do this around the time that your clocks change so you get used to doing it in the spring and in the fall.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Why prepare?

Why prepare? I hear that question all the time from friends and family, heck I've even asked it myself back when I was younger. But ask yourself this: Have you ever lost power and were frustrated for days because you got no answer from authorities regarding repairs? Have you ever been stuck somewhere in the snow and wondered if you were going to be safe? Or how did you feel watching all those people in New Orleans after Katrina hit on '05?

When you consider preparation for long term disaster, or short term trouble, remember this: It's up to YOU to survive, don't make the mistake of thinking the government is going to help you first. They'll get to you sooner or later, but be sure, it's going to be later so YOU need to be ready, YOU need to be prepared.

Ask your self this question every day : What Have I done to prepare today?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coming Soon...

Jay will be operating New Jersey Preppers Network. Welcome Jay! If anyone would like to be a Team member and contribute, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail to:
New Jersey Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. New Jersey Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.