{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1John
December 3, 2010 at 6:42 am

Most hospitals in the U.S.A. have adopted just in time ordering also, and only stock of few days worth of medicines, bandages, and just about every other disposable supply. Plus, many supplies and instruments are one-use only disposable, because it’s cheaper to buy disposable equipment than have someone wash and sterilize it for re-use. Anyone who thinks the U.S. healthcare system is ready for a widespread epidemic or attack is delusional.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 3, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Thanks for bringing that up, John. It’s not only hospitals, but every segment of the medical system that has shareholders or taxpayers to answer to for how they spend their money.

Excess inventory and a slow turnover of products looks very bad to beancounters.

This also includes nursing homes, pharmacies, and ambulences.

Of course, since you’ve read this far, you’ve probably realized how widespread this vulnerability is.


Vote -1 Vote +1patty t., alabama
December 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm

add Home Health agencies to that list also.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Joyce G
December 3, 2010 at 6:59 am

Your article is right on target, for folks who live in areas similar to you. We live on a two hundred acre farm, so our “plans” are far different than yours. Yes, we have stockpiled our food and water supplies for emergencies. We live near the coast, so hurricane season has always forced us to do these things. But the most important thing that we have done is stockpile our SEEDS, Heirloom seeds. We know that we will have to be able to eat, help our neighbors, etc, once the stockpiled food runs out. We will be able to hunt, to fish and forage our forest. I have spent a great deal of time learning to recognize and categorize our local wild eatable plants. We have plenty of wood for fires to cook and to keep us warm. We have an old free flowing well on our property, plus the wells that supply our water now. Plus, we are learning about emergency medical techniques that will, hopefully, take care of us if a accident happens. We are also going to be growing medicinal plants for use for health. God’s speed to us all.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 3, 2010 at 9:14 pm

That’s great, Joyce!

Although I wrote it for people who live in the sticks as well. Actually, I wrote it for anyone who has a continual debate in their head about how primitively they should live today…especially if they don’t have a passion for living primitively.

On your seeds, even though they are heirloom seeds, it’s a good idea to try to avoid planting the same crops as your neighbors unless you know that they are planting heirloom seeds as well. The big exception to this is if you’ve got a greenhouse and can protect your seeds from cross pollination with the hybrid seeds.

Also on the seeds, if you want to produce enough food to be self reliant and sustain your family, you might want to look into hydroponics and/or aeroponics. The technology is commonly associated with growing marijuana…and funding for R&D for the technology has benefited as a result. That being said, it can help you harvest many TIMES more produce per square foot than growing in soil.


Vote -1 Vote +1Valerie B
December 3, 2010 at 7:27 am

I completely agree with all you said (as I do 99% of the time David!) I guess I am somewhere in between. I have not bought any electrical gadgets for my home in a few years. First of all I am a “tree hugger” lol without being a crazed nut about it but I also don’t want to be dependent on a bunch of appliances. I have non-electrical back ups for most of the stuff in my kitchen. For example I have a hand mixer, a hand meat grinder, a tortilla press (because even if we are living in a cave by God we will have mexican food!) etc. I have slowly weaned myself off a number of other things around the house as they have broken down. I have all hard woods now so only need a broom and mop. I use only baking soda, salt and borax to clean and make my own laundry and body soap. Plus I have stocked up on these items so I can keep this going if I am unable to buy them. Another thing that doesn’t seem to be discussed much is clothing. I know food, shelter, etc are the first items to secure but in my part of the country (MO) it gets really, really cold. So when anyone in my family is cleaning out closets I save the jeans, warm shirts and jackets which I put in totes in my garage. So far I still have room and will continue to do it. I feel that way my family will have clothes and it would make a great barter item and something I could do to help my community. I too will be very surprised if there is no SHTF event in my lifetime. All the signs are there and our “beloved leaders” just keep pushing us down that road. I have really been pushing my family especially on the food scene. All you have to do is be aware of food prices and how much they’re going up. I encourage everyone to be a “pebble” in their lives (as in when you through a pebble in a pond and the ripples that happen). I appreciate you being a pebble for us David and the ripples you are creating that we are all hopefully passing on as I believe it’s the only way our country will be able to come out the other side of this mess it’s in now. Have a great day everyone!


Vote -1 Vote +1Doug
December 3, 2010 at 12:46 pm

OMG, I hadn’t thought about tortillas! Good (and funny) point.
I live alone on a cattle feedlot in the county about 20 miles from the larger cities. I actually feel more like a target, should SHTF. It’s tough to do this alone, but some friends are starting to think about the issues and see their dependencies on “the system”.
Until then, I make sure to actually live life.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 3, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Thanks, Valerie 🙂

If you’re in a stage of your life where it makes sense to live primitively and you love doing it, then it’s awesome that you are doing it.

The people reading this range from “completely self-reliant” families living off the grid and using a satellite internet connection to read it to the owners of mid to high 8 figure businesses living in major cities across the world using every possible “efficiency” available to them.

I see VERY compelling reasons for people to be at both ends of the spectrum.

But while I see a big reason for tech savvy people to continually learn and practice primitive skills, I really don’t see much of a reason for people living primitively to use any more technology then they enjoy.

Thanks again.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
December 16, 2010 at 2:54 pm

On the matter of clothing: It is easy to go overboard since in any event that causes much of a die off there will be clothing left by the deceased. Food and fuel are much more critical issues.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Elton Yancey
December 3, 2010 at 7:45 am

Great info.I believe we should enjoy what we have but be prepared for anything in the future.Know what’s going on in the rest of the world.Stay Free.


Vote -1 Vote +1Marcia
December 3, 2010 at 9:20 am

Thanks David, another very informative article. I guess we lie in the middle also. We have been preparing for about 3 1/2 years. We just purchased another large portion of freeze dried food that has not yet arrived due to the great demand right now. I guess that is a good thing because it shows people are indeed preparing. We are nearly done with stock pliling extra clothing to be worn when what we have is no longer wearable. I am not sure if you are ever really done though. It seems every time you think you have it all, you read or hear about something you had not thought of yet. We are just doing the most we can with the budget we have so we feel pretty good about that. Medical training is something we have not done yet and need to find out where we can do that in our rural community. That would make me feel much better. Looking forward to the rest of the comments to come.


Vote -1 Vote +1Ben Martino
December 3, 2010 at 8:27 pm

A good place for a beginner to start is with the classes given by your local Red Cross…. a lot of them are free, or very reasonably priced…. Look up wilderness first aid training on the internet too, maybe you can find a place that isn’t too far from you…

Many local community collages also have EMT programs…. not everyone needs an EMT program, but the basics is a good place to start…. then even if you got advanced books on the subject, you’d be more inclined to understand them because you already knew the basics…
Hope this helps…


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Two others are the American Heart Association and your local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)


Vote -1 Vote +1An American Woman
February 20, 2011 at 7:13 am

Hi David:

I have called & e-mailed the Red Cross (for information) on their many types of classes like CPR for adults, kids & infants because I really want to add to my skill set.

(They don’t call or e-mail you back.) I guess they are so busy they can’t.

Hopefully this means there are a lot of people out there (taking these classes) and learning the survival skills needed to help others in emergencies.

Somehow I just think they don’t answer their phones anymore. lol Keep up the good work because we are truly benifiting from you doing all this—Thank you & God Bless,


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1electra
December 3, 2010 at 10:51 am

You are spot on. It is clear more people are getting the message — just look at the mainstream vendors of emergency food like Cosgtco and WalMart. Their supplies have incrreased in price recently which is an indicator of demand. I am seen more of a visionary and less of a nut job these days. I am strongly thinking of starting house parties to share information on preparedness based on knowing the more of us that are prepared the safer we are. Best, we can speak more openly of preparedness without being labelled in a derogatory way because FEMA is pushing it. Katrina taught people you can’t count on the government to save you. Avoiding a stampede is as good a reason as any to urge everyone to be prepared.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jack
December 3, 2010 at 11:17 am

Hi David – I have a dilemma that is causing me untold sleepless nights. I am Canadian, and live in Calgary – 40 mins from the Rockies. I am a prepper and have about 1 years supply of food and emergency items, seeds, ammo etc, for my wife, 4 kids and myself… I own a normal sized home in Calgary (not big), but believe that being close to, if not in the mountains yet, when SHTF day comes, I’ll have access to fuel (wood), food, clean water (relatively) and shelter.

Having said this though, I’ve just moved back up here to Calgary from Houston, where i have a number of prepper friends, and where I now have another job offer to return.

In there is my dilemma…. Do I return to Texas to live and work (in the event SHTF day never comes), or should I remain, live and work in Calgary (in the event SHTF day never comes)?

What is my survive chances here as opposed to Houston for my 4 little kids, wife and I?

Ii am truly struggling with this because I LOVE Texas and America (as long as Obama doesn’t manage to make it a communist state) , but *think* that maybe our chances are better here in Calgary beside the mountains…. but that day *might* never come…

Can anyone help a Brother weigh this out? I’ve made so many mistakes in the past, I’d prefer not to do it again 🙂




Vote -1 Vote +1Doug
December 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I grew up in rural Iowa and really feel sorry kids that never leave the city (or maybe the couch). Life will be going on no matter what happens.

Where to you want your kids to grow up?
What kind of people do you want to be around?


Vote -1 Vote +1Mr. Eric
December 3, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Just wanted to echo what Mr. Doug said as my kids’ futures depend on my decisions whether the SHTF or not:

Where do you wish your kids to live life with you with much zeal and learn the virtues and values important for a successful, flourishing life?

Who do you trust enough in your networks that enhance your lives who hold similar values and can help out if you get hit with a manhole cover? 😉

I think anyone can survive anywhere with the mindset and resolve to do it as there are enough snakes, worms, bugs, pine needles in both places and methods to use to procure water in those places until some sort of equilibrium or restoration of order takes place. However, you might have to trade opposum stew for armadillo chili. I recommend Making the choice conducive to the flourishing life, refrain from the choice produced from fear. Fear saps your will! 😉


Vote -1 Vote +1Mike Andreasen
December 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Jack, Live for today and prepare for tomorrow. Are you really living if you prep for disaster at the expense of living life to its fullest.?

You should learn to survive in the area you live in. You should live in the area you love living in. Do what make sense for your current situation, but prepare for situation changes. That is what Survive in Place is all about, being able to survive where ever you happen to be.

I know I could survive comfortably at my current home, but, economics and changes in our current situation are requiring me to leave the place I grew up in and love, a place where survival would actually be easy due to my knowledge of plant life, and other geophysical factors. I will make the move, start learning the new area I’m moving to, and change what prep plans I have to accommodate my new circumstances. This is really no different than if the SHTF and I had to change for it. In short, live your life as best you can and prepare as best you can, but do not short change your life because something bad may happen. Live life to the fullest now.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry
December 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Jack, I can certainly understand your dilemma. It is not an easy decision to make.

If I had that situation before me I do believe I would move back to Texas, however. That said, allow me to present some of the rationale behind that ‘decision.’ First, WTSHTF I would rather be in a US political climate than a Canadian one. While in the US we are rapidly loosing our freedoms there is much more of a sense of ‘rebellion’ to this loss in the US. There are efforts being taken to legally, lawfully and peacefully to reject what is going on at the federal level here in the US. I do not see this ‘rebellious mindset’ in the Canadian culture. I believe it will continue to grow in the US, though I do not know what it will eventually become. It will come to a head and – at least a portion of the US – will ‘regain’ its freedom. TX, OK, and AZ are the tip of the spear in that rejection of the progressive agenda and the loss of personal and national freedoms and the regaining of our freedoms.

Secondly, while your ability to survive due to remoteness may be better (now) by living in Calgary, your ability to survive in Texas can become even better by appropriate preparation. A) take the assets and resources you have available and transfer your real estate to cash and, B) locate (a second ‘residence’) in a remote/semi-remote location in Texas; this will be better in the long run. While the proximity of thousands may present more of a problem in Texas, that can be mittigated, C) if you locate onto an acreage in rural TX with likeminded people around you. That ‘community’ can serve as a security force for your protection. Remember, it is not wise to ‘go it alone.’ A Lone Ranger mentality is not good.

Third, TX offers a wider option of growing your own food, in both variety of foods you can grow and length of season. Some places in rural TX you can grow foods throughout the entire year. You cannot do that in Calgary. Remember that water can be an issue in TX, so locate your remote site carefully,

Fourthly, I live in Alaska, but recognize that when ‘The Stuff Hits The Fan’ game animals will be shot out within days, or a few weeks at best. Don’t count on living off the land for your meat. The number of game animals you can keep on your 200 acres is zero to none. They wander, and the first time they cross the neighbor’s boundary line they’re dead ‘meat’ (pun intended). You may be able to live off of the 200 acres foraging for plants, but again, only for a few months out of the year in Calgary. In TX you can grow more than what you need on 10 – 40 acres and have some sense of privacy as well. More so if you have neighbors who are ‘like minded’ living around you.

Fifth, heating and cooling may be more of an issue in TX, however – though you can adequately prepare for that as well. Cooling with long porches and overhangs (shade), grass and shade trees can help. In certain wooded areas of TX this is less of a problem. Getting wood for stoves and/or other fuel can be an issue but can be overcame by good fuel planning.

Sixth, security needs can actually be enhanced if you live in an area where there are ‘likeminded’ neighbors. Living alone on 200 a. with your wife and children do not present you with sufficient security resources WTSHTF. A better possible scenario is to find others who will go together with you and buy a good size ranch, dividing it off into 20 – 40 acre parcels with strong covenances regarding who the property can be sold to. Otherwise, get a half dozen “friends” who think like you and buy a chunk of a ranch that is already being divided. Thus each of you will have his/their 20 – 40 acre piece and you can work to help each other before and after TSHTF.

Seventh, remember that it is the Lord who ultimately is your security (Prov. 3.26) All your preparation is good, but I have come to the realization (due to a VERY limited income) that all my preparation will never be TOTALLY enough. There will always be something I forgot, didn’t realize I needed, couldn’t get or afford, and/or… the list goes on. The Lord can provide your needs, move to cause you to be overlooked by authorities, protect you and your family, divinely provide food/water and otherwise providentually care for you when human effort and resources fail. With good compatriots and God on your side you will not fail.

This is only some issues, and I trust that you prayerfully consider them for the future of your precious wife and children. You exist (in part) to be a safety net for them and to help prepare them for the future and provide a safe place (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) for them to grow. May you continue to take that responsibility seriously, as I perceive you are doing by the questions you are asking.




Vote -1 Vote +1Rick
December 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Excellent reply, Jerry!! You gave me a few more things to think about. . .


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 3, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Jerry…your comments are great.

Jack, no place is perfect on paper…it’s a big cost/benefit analysis and the final answer depends on how you weight each factor.

We lived in Texas for over a decade and may very well end up back there. Despite being close to the border, the front lines of the drug war, killer bees, mosquitoes, fire ants, hurricanes, 110% humidity and LOTS of illegals, Texas is still full of Texans.

Another thing is that Canada and the United States are VERY different in their core view of the relationship between individuals and government. Their equivlent to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is “Peace, Order, and Good Government.”

But really, Jack, if you’re considering a situation like an EMP that will lessen national influence and increase local and neighborhood influence, then you really need to base your decision on the particular places you’re considering and the people who will be there.

And, like Jerry said, this is something you’re going to want to put to prayer.


Vote -1 Vote +1Loren Estes
December 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. Really good information. I support you all the way through with the reminder that President Bush signed into law the military commission act of 2006 that has this nation under marshal law. No rights for us now because they are gone now. So if the USA has a rebellion attitude, they better star flexing their muscles now or for ever hold their peace. Hope to see you on the other side. Semper FIe .


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
December 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm

In point of fact we in the US have been under martial law for quite some time now . . . since A. Lincoln. Hence the government edicts called ‘Executive Orders’. Corraling all of the Americans would still be very difficult and expensive.


Vote -1 Vote +1Gary b
December 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Jerry I also live in Ak would like to meet you, I have been a prepper for some time now and am very careful who knows this. But I also think two heads are better than one. If you are interested email me . Gb


Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry
December 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Ok, Jack….here’s my 2 cents….stay put…..if the ball goes up…..the government will lock down the cities and let them burn. They won’t have complete control of the country, but the majority of population will reside in New York, Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Denver, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, El Paso, and yes, even David’s city of Salt Lake City. I know I missed a few of the major sites of heavy population, but you get the general jist of what I am implying. Also, David said,”there are 9 meals on the shelves at any given time”, wow….we’ve dropped from 72 hours to 48? That is a significant reduction if this is true and it’s an indicator that there is getting to be fewer resources then what we have had in the past. I ‘ve noticed recently when I visited “Wally World” that they don’t massively overstocked shelves and endcaps. This is another indication of dwindling resources and available “spendable” income. When you are out in public, pay attention to how merchants stock their shelves and watch what others buy. It will tell more than what the chowder-heads on the 5’oclock news could ever surmise(even with all of their advanced degrees!). Of course…this is just my 2 cents.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry
December 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Ummm…I’m another Jerry(and yes, I live in Texas and I was born in Alaska)!!??


Vote -1 Vote +1Sam
December 4, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Uh, nine meals IS 72 hours (24 hours in a day, you know).

How do you know this present administration will let the cities burn? You HAVE heard of Janet Napolitano, haven’t you? How preppers are domestic terrorists? How do you know that this present administration won’t seize preppers and LDS stores in the interests of enforced “sharing?”

Are you prepared to enforce Rule 308?


Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry
December 9, 2010 at 11:45 am

Duly noted Sam. My stash is relatively well concealed and not easy to find. It is also in multiple locations so I won’t be compromised. If one site is discovered, I have another to fall back to. Neopolitician might work for the Obummer, but she doesn’t have all the inside info. She’s probably just as clueless as most of those in Washington d.c. who have “It’s us against them” mentality(which is what THOSE PEOPLE inside the beltway have always had). They may have at one time been part of the normal Americans, however, power, greed and corruption make up their personalities today. None of these folks can really be trusted. They brand us domestic terrorists??!!! Wow! I didn’t see that one coming…..even more reason to put a big distance between us and them. I’ve always considered these folks to be the biggest danger to America and it’s constitution.


Vote -1 Vote +1Ruth
December 3, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Here is something to think about. The prophets are saying to get off all the coasts due to the judgments on America (because America has forsaken God) that will greatly effect the coasts and make them unsafe to live on. If you are interested in reading further you could go to these 2 websites: propheticwatchmanvine.com which is the website of Matthew Stephen plus you could put the name Stephen Bening in your search engine and pull up his website as I can’t remember the webaddress. Matthew has a webcast on Saturday at 7:00 est which you can access through his website and on Sunday at 6:00 pm est and 6:00 pm est on Wednesday where they discuss many things the Lord has told them and they then speak about these things on the webcasts . I believe they are true prophets and God is using them to warn us so that we prepare and can survive these things that are already starting.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 3, 2010 at 10:10 pm

I get real concerned about people who claim to be prophets of God. Deuteronomy 18 sets out guidelines for true and false prophets and true prophets must be 100% correct 100% of the time.

Any less than that and what they’re saying is partially or completely theirs, not a prophecy of God and Deuteronomy calls them a false prophet.

I just encourage you to thoroughly test anything that anyone claims is prophecy and not to take it on blind faith.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jr.
December 4, 2010 at 3:51 am

Dave, and Ruth,
I also have read of the various visions of the coastlines disappearing.
I also have been reading prophecies on various sites
There have been visions by many Christians of America being sneak nuclear attacked by Russia, and invaded by Russian and Chinese troops.
There are many here regarding America’s Doom.
Everyone please find a Bible and read Dueteronomy 28.
Print it out, if you have a problem looking at the Bible regularly, and refer to it, and see what God said would happen to those who reject Him, and His Ways.
It tells of the Blessings and Curses of a nation that does, or does not obey God.
God is speaking to the Israelites here, but this can apply to any nation.
Dave I have your course, but have not finished it yet.
It’s very good.
I am glad you are a Christian, so you have view on things from a Biblical perspective.
God Bless!
America repent!!!!
God is our only hope!
He really is!


Vote -1 Vote +1Larry
December 4, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I always have wondered if these”prophets” would be as willing to “prophesy” if we still used the same penalty for false prophets as in Old Testament days(death)!


Vote -1 Vote +1Mongo
December 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Obviously, the choice of where to live is yours. However, remembering what happened to Houston as fallout from Katrina, I wonder why anyone would want to place themselves in a known epicenter that has to repeatedly endure disaster?. Also, are you going to be able to maintain a satisfactory level of preparedness?

Most importantly, are you and your family happy where you are? Keeping the cash flow is important, but isn’t being where you’re happy even more important?

Don’t worry about mistakes. Mistakes are all part of the learning curve, so keep trusting your judgment. When you make a decision, it will be the right one for you. Don’t forget that you have a wife, and she’s an important part of the decision making process also. The two of you will figure it out and do what’s right.


Vote -1 Vote +1Silverman
December 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm


I have family in Calgary, my old stomping grounds.. we are east of you in SK now, moved from the E’Ville city north of you.. here now..prepping… I’ve never been to Texas, cant attest to the conditions there. The other posters make excellent comments and everyone has different levels of awareness regarding these matters and their personal situations. I certainly concur with the idea of living in a warmer climate, I’d personally love that…. global warming? Bring it on! I could use a longer growing season..

Couple considerations I always think of….

population density of each location? In the event of “anything”, I want to be with my loved ones as far from population as possible.. disease, competition for available resources are my primary concerns for this..

Infrastructure collapse potential and survivability?

The 5 main infrastructure components I have observed that dictate city life, water, sewer transportation, power, and food…What is my survivability in the event these are disrupted?

More importantly, I’ll probably survive, but what the hell will I have to do to enable these things in my life?

Its not just about surviving, but thriving.. hey, if crapola happens, I dont just want to survive, struggling day to day, like I saw the people in Afghanistan do.. I want to thrive.. more like the peasant type people in Egypt currently do. they have food, shelter, communications, transportation, family, they still have to work hard, but they are more optimistic.. … .. they have some joy in their lives…some happiness dispite the difficulties, because every day is not a life and death issue..

David’s advice in this article is very sound.. use the tools.. to build, store and create the tools you need to survive, but the best tool you have is your attitude.. tough, strong, resilient, flexible..

I saw Rick Hillier on TV the other night on Strombolopolis… He was talking about never questioning his decisions, because he always made the best decisions possible with the information he had at hand at the time.
Before you make a big decision like this… pray, and open your heart up to listen to Yahweh’s word for you.. perhaps he is speaking to you about this matter…… ( if he does speak to you… tell him I’m still waiting to hear from him… )



Vote -1 Vote +1Clive
December 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Hi, Jack –

Another alternative is to invite your Texas friends to move to Western Canada. We need all the free market, independence-minded folks we can get. I think the “Free State Project” is a good idea; the “Free Country Project” is even better. Western Canada has a small enough population that a few million liberty minded people could make a big difference. Check out the Western Block Party, essentially a Free Country Project.

Given the shape the US is in these days, it is obvious they aren’t using their Constitution. Invite those who love the Constititution to bring it to Western Canada, where there are many liberty minded people who already have a high regard for the Constitution that lies in tatters in the US.


Vote -1 Vote +1Sam
December 4, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I love my Constitution, but I ADORE my 2nd Amendment. Your country doesn’t, and I prefer to defend myself from all comers.


Vote -1 Vote +1DanielInOhio
December 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Thanks for a great article David. I am 52 and have been preparing to one extent or another since childhood. I am an Eagle Scout and I have always lived my life by the Scout Motto “Be Prepared”! I have had temporary lapses in my preparations and came close to paying a very high price for it on a couple of occasions. Keep the warning alive! It does provide me with a little more hope fopr our nation when I see others are of a like mind.
Thanks again!


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 3, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Thanks, Daniel. Once a scout, always a scout 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1Mark B
December 3, 2010 at 12:38 pm

You have hit the Mark once again. I have traveled worldwide as part of my lifestyle and career’s. The presence of the American and Upgraded lifestyle has made our populace dependent on vendors and supplier oriented institutions. The cost of our products is as you state accelerated pricing to cover margins (cost & profit); smaller packages and amounts; cost of utilitilties, etc. The pesent satatus of our banks, markets and interests reminds me of the 70’s and 80’s in Germany, they had major banking crisis and economic problems, very similiar to our’s of today. The collapse of the EURO enrichment is the present crisis, very similiar to our present U.S. crisis; except our’s is driven by polotics, big business and margins, etc. The ONLY way to survive is to be prepared, stocked and trained in many fields, basic medical, foos storage and canning; alternative means to produce family and individual needs. As a retired military Engineer I cannot express how readiness is key to survival. I have reviewed weekly newsletters and the Urbn Survivl Program and recommend it to all; the survival of the fittest is the rule to follow, BE Prepared and Trained.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Thanks, Mark…and thanks for your service.

There’s a ton to learn from other countries and history…if we choose to see it.


Vote -1 Vote +1[email protected] End
December 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Great article David…
I am an Old Guy and still have the books, tools and some supplies from the 1970’s. Grain Mills, Dehydrators, hand powered tools, Alladin Lamps, etc. last indefinitely. We still have sealed 5 gal pails with Hard Red Winter Wheat packed in nitrogen. We trained our children in the old ways of living, cooking, foraging, building,etc. Some of our children departed from the self sufficient life style, some have continued and have trained our grandchildren.. Knowledge is power. A good library is a must have for self sufficiency. Practice makes perfect.

We have moved several times and have moved our tools, food, books & etc. each time. We currently live on 5 acres with an Artesian Well, stocked pond, and abundant wildlife. We have wood to burn for heat and cooking.
One of our greatest assets is our neighbors.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Hey Jim,

Moving for the prepper is no picnic, is it? 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1Bob Giese
December 4, 2010 at 10:02 pm

P.S. – If you learn how to shoot, the decision you will have to make is whether to shoot. Shooting someone is a life-changing decision not to be taken lightly. While a person learns how to shoot, this decision should always be under consideration. Let the bad guy live (you are shooting to wound, you understand?) or let your family live? Seems pretty simple to my military mind, but some are more “squishy” than I.


Vote -1 Vote +1Bob Giese
December 4, 2010 at 10:03 pm

That should say… “You are NOT shooting to wound…


Vote -1 Vote +1Bob Giese
December 4, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Jim, and anyone else for that matter,

One thing I recommend is to use the internet to it’s best advantage. Find the information you need about whatever subjects you need to know when SHTF. But don’t store it there – Print in and save it in a large three-ring binder. When the SHTF there likely won’t be any electricity and you won’t have a computer at ready access.

I also second the comments above about learning how to can (pressure cooker and water boil methods,) smoke cure, salt cure, etc. Learn how to build a smoke house, but be prepared to guard it. The smoke will draw bad guys. So will the smell of baking bread. So will looking fat and sassy when everyone else is starving. So care is the watchword.

Ensure you have plenty of ammo for whatever calibers of rifles, pistols and shotguns you have. You do have more than one of each, don’t you? How much ammo is adequate? I don’t know but you can bet that when the SHTF the Constitution will be suspended as we will all be under martial law. Ensure you have a good place to hide your guns (but easy to reach) because someone may come looking for them in order to confiscate them – remember New Orleans? They’ll have metal detectors so you’ll need to be creative. The courts did not rule until after the disaster was pretty much over that the N.O.P.D. seized guns without authority to do so, and in the meantime, those who needed them for protection no longer had them. Then, if you have guns, KNOW HOW TO USE THEM and ensure every capable adult in your family knows how also. That means trips to the gun range at least monthly to become proficient in their use (or empty cans sitting on a log, whatever.) Although in my Navy career I learned how to shoot rifles and pistols well enough to earn Expert, I had hardly ever fired a shotgun when I inherited two. A few trips to the local gun range and a knowledgeable instructor and a few thousand rounds down the barrel and I got to be pretty good at shooting skeet. It isn’t hard, just don’t lead the clay.

But most of all, if you can get out of the big cities, get while the getting is good. The big cities will be filled with bad guys who are not preppers, thinking they can just take what they want from whomever has it. Believe me, they will be vicious and not hesitate to do bad things to good people who let them. Get armed, get proficient, get ready.



Vote -1 Vote +1Rebecca
December 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Prepare for the worse and expect the best!


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
December 3, 2010 at 10:38 pm

You need to try out your plans, for example, if you have propane to back up your natural gas furnace, do you have the right piping and flex tubing to make the switch, and the different orifice needed and know where it goes in the burner control? A winter’s supply of propane would be a very large tank, we lived thru 2 winters in a 2400 SF house in Reno and used over 100 gallons of propane a month.

Same for other plans, will your refrigerator start on your inverter or will it just trip out on overload because the reserve amperage needed to start the compressor is too much for the inverter, or the extension cord is too small a wire size (big number). The only way to know for sure is to try it. If you have a big inverter, will clamps work for the 12V (very high amps) or do you need terminals on the cables to make a direct connection at the battery terminals. Can you make a direct connection or is it a one piece terminal? Things I have learned by testing. Maybe others can benefit from my experience.

Is/when SHTF, you won’t be able to use the internet and may not even be able to access your own hard drive if you don’t have clean power so build your library, as someone noted above.


Vote -1 Vote +1Joyce
December 3, 2010 at 10:43 pm

In my mid twenties lived 18 mi outside of town without benefit of the modern amenities. Had to haul in water, no electric, no bathroom and no vehicle. Lived that way for 7 1/2 yrs. It was a very steep learning curve the first year. I have no doubt that if I was thrust into a simular situation today I could survive. It is not an easy life, but it is do-able. Friends and neighbors are an invaluable asset. Remember water discipline and keep your gun handy. Once you have graduated from the school of hard knocks the lessons are always there to draw on. But boy am I appreciative of the conveniences I have today. I will wallow in the lap of luxury as long as I can, but stand ready to return to the austerity of doing things ‘the old way’ without a hitch in the march. The voice of experience looking back 30 yrs.


Vote -1 Vote +1southernpatriot
December 3, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Your right once a scout always a scout. Prepare in advance will probably save your live. We finally paid off old debts give to our church and help locally those in need. Purchase can food and freeze dried from Wall-Mart,have a pool for water, LP generator. While I’ll continue to stock up, I’m going to clear my mind and enjoy the good things in this country to still enjoy. You can get over-whelmed and think about nothing more than the bad stuff. God Blessing to everyone. Take care of yourselves. Southern Patriot P.S. One question I have built a green house out of old sash windows,bult an A- frame and screwed windows to the outside of the 2×4’s. What’s the best way to heat it on the cold nights. I’ve run a power cord and have a small space heater to keep temps from freezing. What do you think. Thanks


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
December 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm

The best way to heat your greenhouse at night is to put much thermal mass (drums of water) inside and cover it with a blanket at night. Covering it with a sheet of greenhouse film is also a good idea since this will give 2 layers of glass / plastic to make it warm better since the windows will not then be cold. If you put too much gas or electric energy into your greenhouse then you will only raise VERY expensive food!


Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry J.
December 3, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Interesting take on the healthcare situation. I have worked in healthcare now for the past 17 years. What I see too much of…..people come to the E.R. with a cold….demanding we make them better. Sorry folks, the rhinovirus is just that….a virus. Antibotics are useless and poor placebos to boot. I’m a Radiology Technologist and let me say….x-rays do not make you feel better…… Too many folks think that running to the Hospital is the cure that they need…..too bad I can’t bottle snake oil…I could make a killing! Educate yourself…..the continuous overuse of antibotics is becoming the perfect breeding ground for the Superbug which will probably wipe out half of the earth’s population. Make yourself a proper medical kit from store shelf items. The Red Cross offers a great course in basic first aid! What are you folks going to do when the system crashes? Remember, Luke was a physician before he was a disciple. What better quote then the one he said,”Physician…heal thyself.” Learn alternative forms of medicine…..besides physical, you have emotional and spiritual aspects of healing to make your body whole again.


Vote -1 Vote +1McClarinJ
December 4, 2010 at 6:47 am

Hi David,

I’ve stocked up on long-term storage foods, weapons and ammo, extra clothing, first aid and medical supplies, and a couple tanks’ worth of gas for my vehicle. I have a working solar electric system with panels that I built myself, and several more panels’ worth of solar cells I bought on ebay. However, it is not my hope to bunker down here.

Last January I bought land in Ecuador and plan a return there to slice up some downed trees on the property (with an Alaskan chainsaw mill) into lumber that can cure till I’m ready to build. The location solves a number of survival problems: year-round growing season, 60 – 80 degree weather at my elevation so no heating or cooling required, lots of rainfall so plenty of water. My elevation also negates many dangers of the tropics; it’s too high for poisonous snakes, scorpions, termites, and tropical diseases. Some of my future neighbors have mini-hydro-turbines for electricity and most grow much of their own food. It’s a fairly self-sufficient region with low population density.

My initial idea for the move was not survival-related but retirement and hobby related. My passion is finding and documenting species new to science and there’s reason to believe there are plenty available in eastern Ecuador. (I discovered one on my last visit.)

Yet the survival potential is undeniable. Even if the S doesn’t HTF, the climate, the low cost of living, the low, low, low property taxes, and the small size of government are big attractions, as is the cost of land. I bought almost 25 acres for $5,500. Ecuador is self-sufficient in petroleum and natural gas, forest products, fruit, and starchy tubers. The Andes are the ancestral home of the potato and scores of varieties are grown there.

Due to the lack of winter there I plan to build a continuous-feed methane digester system to handle human/kitchen/garden wastes. The digester will need to be insulated and heated using a small fraction of the methane it produces for optimum performance but I should be able to produce enough fuel for hot showers and cooking and have a nitrogen-rich effluent. The systems are in wide use in India and China. For water I plan a rain run-off catchment system but may also drive a sand-point well as I expect the water table is high on my land. Together with solar-electric system and back-up generator I should have a comfortable off-grid existence.


Vote -1 Vote +1Bob Giese
December 4, 2010 at 9:59 pm


My only reluctance to do what you intend is that Ecuador already has a socialist government. I don’t know how they feel about Norte Americanos in their country, but I do have a friend who lives there. I’ll have to pick his brain.

Having sailed the San Blas Islands with a friend in his 62′ sailboat (I don’t know what kind is was, sorry) I can attest that the locals are very creative in their attempts to live a better life. We dropped anchor in one cove for the night, and, after dark, we saw a flickering light on the shore. Wondering what it was we investigated the next day. It was a black and white TV owned by the San Blas indians who lived in the hut. They had a solar panel on the top of the thatched roof, collected energy during the day that they stored in a battery and watched TV at night. Very nice folks, too.

So who wants a hot shower while in the tropics? You’d never guess. But we had them on the sailboat, using an insecticide pressure sprayer. We’d fill it with fresh water every time we took on stores, hang it in the sun, and viola! Hot water anytime we wanted it.

I think the key to survival is be prepared and be creative when the time calls for it.

Good luck


Vote -1 Vote +1McClarinJ
December 5, 2010 at 8:15 am

Hey Bob, that pressure sprayer is my fallback shower plan. I won’t always be able to count on sunshine in the rain forest though. As for “tropics,” yeah I’ll be right on the equator but the elevation makes for good hot shower temperatures.

I don’t like the leftist orientation of the government there but I’ll do my small part to advocate for government remaining small in Ecuador.


Vote -1 Vote +1john
December 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm

hi from el paso texas jerry is right we are nine meals away from anarchy and they will defintly lock the cities and let them burn. with the real riots that will happen and then the shtf and those that are not properly armed will be at the mercy of the criminals or the govenment. when the nopd were forcing people to give up their guns with out cause and some were not aware of their rights then gave up the guns with out a fight. in this country the second amendment gives up the right to protect ourselves and the bleeding bum liberal socialist are will cry up a storm that guns are dangous yes they are in the wrong hands and in the right hands they will save lives. the problem is americans have become to pussy wimped about guns and not having one makes you a victim. THIS COUNTRYS MOTO IS THE LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE BRAVE but we have forgotton that and second of all lets prepare and when the rest tear eachother like a bunch of punks then we will separate the adults from the punks till later bye


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 6, 2010 at 10:22 am

Hey John,

It’s not quite as the picture you paint. There are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of good people who won’t let rabble burn down our cities.

The problem is that, in the US, the only riot/burning situations that we’ve seen have been in places where the police “were in control.” Because of good peoples’ respect for law and order, they didn’t take the law into their own hands. It was the awkward scenario between relative calm and complete chaos.

But if you think for one second that if law enforcement got overwhelmed that good people would sit idlely by and watch…I believe you’re going to be in for a surprise.

Katrina was horrible, but it woke up a nation. It FORCED average families to face the decision of what they would do if the police got overwhelmed in their area and they had to defend themselves.

And, we have Obama to thank for some of the most brisk firearms, ammunition, and firearms training sales by citizens in the history of the world.

In short, more good people are armed, more good people have struggled with their response to breakdowns in civil order, and more people are trained now than ever before.

Cities will NOT burn. Some parts of some cities definitely would, but if law enforcement doesn’t enact curfew, community groups will.

To read more on this, check out an article that I wrote earlier this year: https://secretsofurbansurvival.com/140/when-the-shtf-cities-will-burn-not/


Vote -1 Vote +1Jeff W
December 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm

From the sound of the just in time supply chain any one who plans on looting to survive could be in for a very big surprise if and when the big one hits. I have always known we had a 3 day shelve supply but to here tht it is down to 2 days does not suprise me one bit i wonder how meny people have less than that on none at all in there homes? those of us who at least have any were from some to a lot are going to be far better off then most of the others in there country. looks like I need to keep putting stuff away for a rainy day.


Vote -1 Vote +1Dee
December 6, 2010 at 5:49 am

We have only recently begun our preparations and are worried about surviving where we currently live. We live in Orlando, Florida in a nieghborhood that is a melting pot of nationalities. While there are some really nice people who live here the neighborhood is also known for gangs, and criminals. Our block is a great one and we look out for each other.

We are in our early 60’s, husband is disabled and we live on a fixed income so money is tight. Our daughters live close by. We believe our biggest challenge is going to be safety and security and seriously doubt our chances in our current location. Our weather is another concern. It gets very hot here and worry about food storage/shelf life of our food should we be without electricity for a long period of time.

As your article advises, we are enjoying life today but want to be prepared if/when the SHTF. Could really use some of the knowledge that is so abundant here.

Anyone in Central Florida out there?

Thanks so much for what you do.


Vote -1 Vote +1KS
December 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Good stuff again David. Tell us more about your EMT training- what levels and was it worth the cost in time and money, in terms of how it helps your family?

I’ve taken and taught some of the American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid course. Its okay as far as it goes, but not much more than basic first aid with a few common sense outdoors applications- and like CPR, or Basic First Aid, everyone should have it, but understand the end point is to stabilize the patient until pro help arrives.

Neil Strauss wrote about taking courses and working as an EMT- as part of his research for his book “Emergency”. Entertaining and wacky, and if true- quite a commitment- one that I suspect most of us dont have the time or money to make, but I’d be interested in a practical 2-3 day course with materials that provides enough to survive at least making it home, absent first responders.

What I am looking for is something in between- enough to get home, and possibly save a life, to set the bone, stop the bleeding, stitch up the cut, apply the medicine and administer the IV as required, to last that 2-3 weeks we might be hunkered down, in the “waiting for FEMA” in the event of a one-step removed from total TSHTF.

I see Gunsite has a new class that looks interesting.

Any thoughts/suggestions from the rest of the readers?


Vote -1 Vote +1MR
December 9, 2010 at 11:34 am

This article is good. But, leaves me feeling depressed as I don’t think most things I can do, except store food under my bed. It gets very hot here, so don’t know how long these items would be good. I’m a nearly 70 year old widow with a physically and mentally handicapped child. We live on social security with no other income and can barely put food on the table sometimes. We live in a small home on 1/5 of an acre in a closely controlled housing development. We have no fireplace, or gas to use. We depend on elecricity for all our needs. Have city water and sewer. I feel so vulnerable.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry J.
December 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I know that preparation is “key” to survival, however, you cannot prepare for every given situation(from which there is a plethora to chose from). Massive flooding, civil unrest, tornados, earthquakes, wildfires, extreme blizzards, tsunami’s, insect infestation, extreme droughts…..the list is endless. I’m 52 and I can remember when I was a kid growing up, my mother always took me to my little aunt’s house during the late summer. Mind you that is here in central Texas when temperatures were in the 100’s and my aunts and my mother would proceed to do canning!
When we would go to the grocery stores(not Mega-a-Lo Marts mind you, just the local grocery store…..I never saw my mother buy can vegetables. She bought fresh made bread(because there was a local bakery, fresh eggs from a local farm, and milk which came from a Ft. Worth Dairy producer). Meat was bought locally by the store and The “Butcher” prepared the freshest cuts to sell every day. I have been recently to a Kentucky Fried Chicken and bought a meal…I was shocked at the size of Chicken Godzilla’s thighs and legs! Needless, to say the cat beside my truck got a sumptuos meal that night. I didn’t feel right about eating something the size of a turkey! I remember when I would visit my Aunts and Uncles farms. They raised pigs, chickens, cows, corn, string beans, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, pumpkins, watermelons and more than I can remember! They had limited electricity. The kitchen was were the family spent a good part of their time. There was a single light bulb that hung above the kitchen table and the family played dominoes, cards, monopoly and other games to occupy their time. No computers, televisions, mp3’s, ipods, etc. Just an old a.m. radio to listen to the news and football games on Friday nights. The only time you went to the doctor……when you were really sick! Back then money wasn’t plentiful so any kind of service was an expense or a luxury. Today, folks don’t know about that lifestyle or have forgotten it. That back then was called “Being prepared!”


Vote -1 Vote +1Shayne
December 11, 2010 at 3:01 am

Re the National Australia Bank computer system glitches – not all customers were affected – in fact less than 50,000. What was the big issue was that many people who were not NAB customers were also affected. This number was far in excess of the number of NAB customers affected. Staff of business who banked with NAB did not get paid, businesses who had customers that banked with NAB etc all suffered as a result. For many they had no alternative means of purchasing food etc. I wonder how many will learn from this or just assume it was a one off.


Vote -1 Vote +1Richard Woodard
December 31, 2010 at 2:35 pm

No kidding! I was planning on writing something very similar at my site, but instead, I’ll probably just link back to you.


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