{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1cappy martin
February 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

I have found family and friends more receptive when I said I am stockpiling against inflation. I still get odd looks at Sam’s with my flatbed cart and am often asked if I am with a restaurant.

A serious topic I would like you to cover in the future is the ant and grasshopper senerio. One of my greatest dilemmas is the starving family and children at your door. I am a Salvation Volunteer (SAWA). During the Katina, I took in a refugee family of 5, plus the cats, dogs, and birds.

How do we deal with our hearts, help others, but still keep our safety? Once people “know” that you “have” they will come back, possibly with friends.


Vote -1 Vote +1Marcia
February 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

Thanks David for another great article. I love the idea of getting a monthly “hard copy” newsletter. I am signing up for it.


Vote -1 Vote +1Todd
February 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm

David, thanks for theinsightful article on what can be a sensitive subject (speaking from experience). I’m curious, you mention a big search engine blocking unacceptable searches such as “preparedness”. Care to share what search provider that is? Also, if you’d like some assistance w/ email redundancy, let me know and I can perhaps point you in the right direction. One simple way is to setup your primary email to auto forward a copy of emails to another mailbox (I know gmail allows this for free, not sure about others). if you have copied your contacts as well, then you have a second email account that is ready w/ all of your prior messages go in case the primary is down for some reason. Even Google Gmail is only up about 99.9% of the time. If you prefer to keep mail on your local computer (not recommended unless you have a solid, tested backup in place) downloading to outlook/outlook express will give you what you need, then you just need to aim the outlook client at a different email server to send outbound. Chances are that your ISP has a smtp server that may not require authentication to send through, or if it does, you can get those credentials from your isp to have just in case. You have more options if you own your email infrastructure, but for a free solution, this may be all that is needed for that extra layer of redundancy. For extra internet security, check out privacygirl.com, she was motivated to learn and has some good info I’ve followed myself. The site is incomplete but what is there is useful.


Vote -1 Vote +1James
February 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I learned you cannot save the world while working with refugees in Viet Nam during 1966-1969, and I had the resources of the U. S. Army supporting me. As harsh as it sounds, in a real emergency of some duration, the decision must be made. Do you want your group to survive and are you prepared to do what it takes to defend what you have? If you try to help the most pitiful types, it will threaten your own security because you will be mobbed with people who are not really in need but want all they can get. The instant you give to one, you have zipped the bottom out of the bag. Your supplies and your safety is on the way out the door. When I needed it, I had troops with fixed bayonets to control the greed. We will not have that luxury in extreme circumstances. Personally, I keep my preparations close to the vest and will simply be “out of everything” when the grasshoppers arrive at the door, no matter how pitiful. And I will be prepared to use deadly force if required to defend my group.


Vote -1 Vote +1Ben-USMC
February 11, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I agree with you,

In a serious emergency condition that lasts for more than a week you can be
sure that those who didn’t prepare, couldn’t prepare or just didn’t think such
a terrible disaster could happen will be knocking on your door with their hands
out. Once you open the bag the only way you will be able
feed and protect those with you will be by force. You will have to stand guard over what you have. Especially after dark. It will not be fun, it will
be a serious responsibility for all those with you to share. Let your guard
down and the mob or thugs will be in your house in a second.


Vote -1 Vote +1Bill Meyer
February 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Hi David
we are probably a lot better off than a lot of others as we still live on our farm we have a diesel generator, our own well, we do use natural gas for heat, if failed we do have 2 fireplaces and a lg stock pile of wood. as well as diesel, also approx 6 mo of groceries, dry beans, rice, spagetti, canned veggies, canned milk ect and some cash . there are 2 of us at home 4 kids and familys strung over 4 differant states that think we are a little nutty and really unwilling to act, they just say if something happens they will come to mom and dads (us) if they could even get here, at present we rotate through our food supply has not to let it get real old but need to think about the kids which would make it a lot more difficult to rotate, do I just lay in more suppies.
I do have an ace up my sleeve as a kid growing up we ate boiled cracked wheat for breakfast with milk aqnd sugar, which living on a farm we can always lay our hand on whole wheat, I bought a grinder to crack it, and it does fill the hole.
not where I want to be yet but getting closer thanks to you
God Bless you and yours


Vote -1 Vote +1StrictlyStock
February 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Hope you have a HUGE supply of wood if you plan on using a fireplace. Those with a heatilator are at best 15% efficient, and most are truly worthy of the term: “wood waster”.
You might consider a modern wood stove. The best are manufactured in the NW US.


Vote -1 Vote +1Dan
February 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Great information. I always tailor it for me…and IMO the best way to do it is cheap:
1. Get the wife to stock up on food and supplies using the coupon techniques to get it almost for free, marginal quality foods taste better when the stores are empty (chili, powder milk, mac and cheese….)
2. Don’t pay off all your bills at the expense of cash. In a major event, stores check your wallet not your credit score. So get debts manageable and into low interest accounts. Keep lots of cash on hand and in bank.
3. Silver – 1 oz when silver prices drop, I plan to buy $100s of dollars of silver 1oz, 10oz is not easily changed…but you can buy most anything you want with 1oz ingots when inflation is wildly out of control. Remember, a 25lb bag of rice might cost 3 1 oz ingots, or 1 10 oz ingot as you don’t get change. 100 ingots might cost $700 when silver is down to $7 an oz. Don’t buy it now, you will lose your A$$
4.Make tough decisions early, if you are having financial problems…rent out the spare room to a friend or a professional…that $500 a month will do miracles for your long term financial health ($6000 a year) free income. Don’t spend all your money on your kid who won’t get a job at 24, 30, 45.
5. Coordinate your circle of influence early. Find those who support your ideas and will work with you on your survival.
6. Consider buying some cheap acreage with water nearby. If you own property you are fleeing too, it will matter less if you have a house there to the roadblock then if you can prove you own land there…don’t admit it does not have a home on it already. Some acreage good enough to build shelter and grow garden can be had for $2000 an acre…a couple acres is plenty.


Vote -1 Vote +1StrictlyStock
February 11, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Do you really believe silver will drop to $7/oz? I just cannot see how that is going to happen with the escalating prostitution of our currency. If anything, silver may be undervalued vis-a-vis gold.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1captain mike
February 12, 2011 at 6:11 am

It could go to 7 – but I’m betting it hits 70 first.


Vote -1 Vote +1Dan
February 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm

whoops, after re-reading, this section was directed to in home crises such as job loss, and I agree with much of what was said…food reserves come in very handy when there is no paycheck coming in.
But I believe that keeping reserve money is more important then paying down debt…depending on interest rates. The 0 balance cards are not going to pay the house payment or utilities.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 24, 2011 at 12:46 pm

My wife always had issue with me for keeping a BOB, and some other reserve stocks. Thankfully she just let it slide. Then we had a house fire, with me in it. Kicked out the AC with the puppy in my other hand, but I was hurt…3rd year on disability, all of that.
Well, the credit cards went with the house, the red cross put us up for two days at a local hotel, we lived out of that damned bag for almost a week before all of our cards were replaced. Oddly, we lived out of it fairly well. But I just keep food that we eat regularly in the BOB. I now keep a few bucks in the BOB, but otherwise, she’s way more on board than she used to be.
We are by no means rich, barely middle class at this point, but the writing is clearly on the wall.
Thankfully I had the habits that I did or we would have been good and truly screwed.


Vote -1 Vote +1Twistytreeranch
February 11, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Thanks for this week’s valuable info. The reason I purchased your survival package was because the info was up to date with current events. I’m very glad to see that each new week of info is right up to date–even to the very day world events occur. Thank you for your hard work.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Kathy Casey
February 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I have had to give up on my entire family as far as getting them to believe they should be getting prepared. When a beloved sister called me paranoid and confused, I had to quit. I will continue my prepareing as I have been, but simply can’t try to convince anyone else anymore. That broke my heart and I won’t mention it to any family member again.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1notforsale
February 11, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I hear you . . . and in many ways I AM DONE trying to inform many friends. My friend and I were talking about food storage and preparation the other day and she stated: I’m just going to hand them (the “head in the sand” friends) some packets of vegetable seeds and wish them luck!

Otherwise, I have been taking the inflation approach – just pointing out how much more expensive food has gotten over the past year with tremendous hikes on many food items from one week to the next. If for no other reason, buy ahead when things are on sale to save money before the next grocery run.


Vote -1 Vote +1captain mike
February 12, 2011 at 6:32 am

Sad but true. I have stopped talking to most people about it. OP SEC and all that.
If it comes up again you just ay “yeah, you’re right. Things can’t really all that bad.


Vote -1 Vote +1AutumnGal
February 12, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Kathy, I just have to comment…. first let me say.. I am so sorry. Family is the hardest of all to persuade and can hurt us so deeply.
Please don’t stop sharing with likeminded individuals… So often this is the way it works… doesn’t make sense to us AT all 🙂
Please let me encourage you to release the hurt and reach out to another more receptive person, both for your sake and theirs……And don’t be surprised if a total stranger is able to convince your sister of the very thing she refused to hear from you….


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dean
February 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

More sound advice! I am constantly amazed at the enormous amount of people wearing rose-colored glasses in these alarming socio-economic times! Wake up and smell the gunpowder!


Vote -1 Vote +1Jeffrey
February 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm

DEAN, I am on your side and have plenty of powder, as well as 2 wonderfulllll children. I have passed this site to many from my BROTHERHOOD IN THE U.S.M.C. and even my civi buddies, thank u very much! I’m done here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Vote -1 Vote +1mike
February 12, 2011 at 9:33 am

Jeffrey, SEMPER FI, Marine. I’m in full accord with your comments, as well as Dean’s. Seems that people are just totally oblivious to what is happening around them…and most certainly , if and when the inevitable leaves them “unprepped”.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jim Waller
February 12, 2011 at 11:28 pm

SEMPER FI MARINE!! I am with you all the way!! From a Navy Doc.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Army Infantry and such myself, and of course I agree. What I find worse is the general level of apathy sweeping this nation, a sort of can’t win don’t try attitude that I’ll admit I find offensive.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1krys
February 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Nicely done David –
Never been disappointed on anything , I know your Lamplighter Report will be as exciting as the rest I have learned from you.


Vote -1 Vote +1Sue, the frugal survivalist
February 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I live in Sacramento. It’s the U.S. city most at risk for major flooding. Still most people here have given little thought to preparing their families for a flood. Some areas would be under more than 20 feet of water should a levee break during high water flows in our rivers. Other neighborhoods would be cut off from grocery stores and we could lose power and water service. Our city encourages us to prepare for three days . In a 500 year flood, it could take 200 days for the waters to drain away.

When I discuss emergency supplies, I always bring up the flood threat in our area. Unfortunately, most people assume they’ll be able to evacuate. The freeways would all be flooded ( they are two stories below ground level at many places ) . After I point this out, they begin to think about what they would need for their families to survive a catastrophic flood in the Sacramento valley. I’ts going to be much worse than Katrina…


Vote -1 Vote +1Mary
February 13, 2011 at 12:45 am

Hey there, Sac!,
I am in Marin County. Rt 101 through the entire county is at high risk for liquifaction during a major earthquake. There is no other way North or South! SIP may be our only option 🙁


Vote -1 Vote +1hardcase
February 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Hey Sue,
I am about 35 miles north of Sac and have been through floods in ’86 and ’97. First time I took flight, but next time I was wiser and was a refugee center of sorts. We had 21 people (friends and family) at our house for 5 days and never ran out of food or water. It was very organized and peaceful… not even a fight in the kitchen =)


Vote -1 Vote +1StrictlyStock
February 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I question the wisdom of stockpiling fuel; at least if it’s gasoline. Stored far from a house, might be safe, but very inconvenient as well as vulnerable. But the stuff goes bad after a number of months, and the rotation of stock every other month seems to demanding of time and effort.


Vote -1 Vote +1captain mike
February 12, 2011 at 6:08 am

I have a short to medium view of the effectiveness of ANY preparedness startegy. If we get global thermonuclear war, worldwide pandemics, or an asteroid strike, a few cans of bean don’t make much difference. But my deep pantry and utility savvy have already been of great use in severe winter weather here in the Atlanta area several times. I look at gasoline the same way. I’m an avid boater and I have had great experience with fuel preservatives. You can store gas for 6 months easily. My boat is a 25 gal reserve tank, and I have a few jerry cans stored as well. About two yeras ago we had a weird “gas shortage” here – some combination of refinery blowouts at the time they were switching to the summer formulation (dang EPA nonsense). Out of the blue gas stations were running dry and lines were out into the streets for hours. This went on for a few weeks. Fortunately I had no problems eeking my way through it with the gas on hand with just minor attention to driving economy. Those jerry cans paid for themselves. The value of preparedness can pay off in surprising ways.


Vote -1 Vote +1Gab
February 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I have been using gas stored for up to two years. Treat with fuel saver and keep in a cool dry safe location. I also keep boost available to add to any stored fuel. Often it will even turn to a rootbeer color. But it has run everything I ever used it in.Diesel fuel will grow fungus if left unused for long periods but there are additives that will clean it up and improve it for use. Gb


Vote -1 Vote +1Mike
February 13, 2011 at 8:26 am

Any input on how long diesel will last untreated? Can you use treatment after the fact to make it useable?


Vote -1 Vote +1hardcase
February 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I have been using Marvel Mystery Oil as a fuel stablizer for 12 years. I put 2 oz. in 5 gal. gas and it has stored as much as two years. One good tip is to store all your equippment with a full fuel tank. Less air in the tank prohibits the evaporation process which leads to the breakdown of fuel and the varnish residue (you know, the stuff with the rancid smell?)
I have quads, chipper, mowers, DR trimmer, weed eater, water pump, wood splitter, generators, etc… All that have never failed to start from bad gas in 12 yrs. And Marvel is about half the price of custom fuel stabilizers =)


Vote -1 Vote +1Kim
February 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

I can’t agree with paying off all debts. For instance, credit cards are not legal contracts, only unilateral agreements that shouldn’t be paid off. Ever. Better to max them out. Use that money for saving and buying essentials.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 13, 2011 at 6:40 pm

You’re playing with fire if you think credit cards are a unilateral agreement. If you run up credit cards with the pre-meditated plot of defaulting on them, it is dishonest, immoral, and illegal. This is completely different than not being able to pay debts after an unforeseen change in your financial situation and it casts a bad light on anyone who borrows and HURTS people who honestly got into trouble.


Vote -1 Vote +1Kim
February 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Ron Paul constantly reminds us that money is created out of thin air, which is to say it’s an illusion. Therefore, debt must be an illusion too, correct?

Credit cards are a scam to make us debt slaves to the banks.

Our government, controlled by the banksters and big business is dishonest, immoral and illegal. They bailed out the banks with TARP (erased their debt) but left all Americans with their debts with dishonest, immoral and illegal interest. I did not set out to default on any debt, nor do most people. But TPTB have been stealing our country’s wealth for a long time, and millions of people have no other recourse.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm

The fact remains that every time you use a credit card, you either intend on paying it back or you intend on defrauding the bank that you accepted credit from. Did you get yourself in a pickle or did you intentionally steal?

If you got yourself in a financial pickle, justifying walking away from it because the banks are evil is a copout. That’s not new information. Keep in mind that as long as you accept US dollars for compensation, and as long as you give them to other people in exchange for their labor or the fruits of their labor, then you’re a willing participant in the system.

If you don’t like the system, then fulfill your obligations and stop using the system or get involved politically to fix it. But stealing from the people around you who are playing by the rules by sticking it to your banks doesn’t help anyone.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Mary
February 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Amen, David. I agree with you completely. The old adage still stands. Two wrongs do not make a right. We have paid off our debts and closed all accounts except one credit card that we keep in case we need to travel in a hurry and don’t have the cash on hand for flights. Some of those accounts were due to poor choices to purchase things we wanted but didn’t need. They were our decisions and we had an obligation to fulfill our end of the contract no matter what the bank did.


Vote -1 Vote +1USATitanic
February 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I would advise being very careful whom and how you try to help be prepared. If you get negative feedback at your first attempt to help those you love and care about, be careful as to how you proceed. I tried to get my fiancé and two best friends on board with me. They rebuffed anything I had to say. One of those best friends owned a cottage and some farm land with me in Canada. Since 2007 I have been trying to get the cottage winter ready and the farm planted with a sustenance crop. I was having to do it alone, as my fiancé and her kids refused to come up and help or even just come up for a vacation, in fear that I might coerce them into helping. The ex-friend would only come up with his family for vacations, break everything in sight and leave. At the same time the fellow who owns the property with me in Canada was busy calling anyone we jointly knew and berating me as having a bunker mentality, etc. Finally, during my last trip to Canada, while I was gone and unbenounced to me, my fiancé moved out of my home, taking with her all of her assets, and any of mine she wanted. As well she teamed up with both of my ex-best friends, who 18 years ago we had started a company together. Those two owned 2/3 of the company stock, but had done nothing for the last 15 years. I had run the company with the assistance of my paid fiancé. She apparently convinced them that I was too busy getting prepared, and she had been running the company single handedly for the last several years. Therefore in their minds, since I was obviously nuts, and she had run the company (according to her). I was no longer needed, and they called a special meeting of the shareholders, removing me as a director. Then immediately removed me as president of the company and thru me out of the company, keeping my ex-fiance on to run the company. Both of my ex-friends make well into the 6 figure incomes from their respective jobs. The company we jointly owned was the majority of my income. So quite frankly, I believe that the ex-friend I jointly own the property in Canada with is purposely trying to force me into bankruptcy, knowing full well that if I am forced into bankruptcy, no one will want to buy a ½ interest in the property and he will be able to snatch up my half interest in a bankruptcy sale for very little. The combination of the two properties are worth about $500,000.00 Canadian. So there you have it. Exposing your desire to be prepared, and trying to convince those you love and care about, can ultimately backfire and enable them to justify in their minds that you are nuts, and thus they are justified in fleecing you for your life’s work. I’ll have to tell you it really hurts, but God works in mysterious ways, and I guess from their actions, that he is saving me from being stabbed in the back by them when the SHTF.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry
February 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Remember one of the first commandments,”Thou shalt not steal!”…the Government hates competition. Ok, first off….yes, it is correct to assume that our “paper”money is fiat currency…..it has only our faith in it. It won’t take long after the economy goes to “he double toothpicks” before most merchants wise up and turn it down….they might accept payment in gold and silver for a short period of time as well……this really has no practical purpose as well since you can’t eat it, shoot it, or clothe in it. Stcoking up on cheap coffee, cheap beer, cheap tobacco, cheap liquor will go much farther. Batteries can be bartered, rice, wheat, flour, tea….these are staples and will trade much more readily. I have stockpiled 22 ammo, 12 ga ammo,…these are the most common and readily available forms of ammo. I have a stash point off of the grid. I know they various and diffent routes to the location of where I need to be.. I’ve tried for years to tell others of what is coming down the tube…..they think I’m crazy and a threat. Now I keep my mouth shut and just smile…..you can’t save the truly stupid……besides…..not everyone is going to make it. The way I see it…..I’ve got a 50/50 shot at surviving. Probably better than most who haven’t even prepared.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry
February 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Pardon my grammatical errors…I’m usually better at this….


Vote -1 Vote +1Randy
February 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm

I tried for many, many months to get my wife on board with a plan of preparedness to no avail. Since all I get is funny looks when I mention it, I have decided that I will prepare w/o her help. When I go to the store I usually pick up some extra non-perishables and throw them in the basket then wait to hear “we already have 3 bags of that at home, why do we need more?”

I firmly believe that many people (too many!) do not understand that it is not a matter of if, but when. They do not prepare because they think that the government will ride in on white stallions and save the day. I live in the New Orleans area and saw first hand how the government handled Katrina. We were w/o electricity for 10 weeks. There were no white stallions, believe me. And, when SHTF the government will be severely delayed, at best.

I agree with Jerry. Even being prepared we have a 50/50 chance of survival. Those who do not prepare have much less. What a way to trim the gene pool.


Vote -1 Vote +1LiLBKP
October 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Due to the problems on wall street and the losses we sustained during the 2008 meltdown my husband and I decided to remove money from 401K. We purchased 20 Acres with a stream, and a small fishing boat. We added an office trailer, sewage systems, and power. The land is considered a tree farm, so we have added fruit trees for tax records. We refinanced our home and lowered out house payment by $400 per month. We have been paying extra on all debts each month. I have been unable to convince my husband that we need to prepare, however he is willing to humor me. He agrees to allocate $100 per month to be used for emergency supplies. I try to purchase low cost items with every grocery purchase so that I’m building my supplies in every possible way. I “easily” talked my husband in to purchasing security items for each of us. My husband loves hunting and fishing, so when I suggest that he get an extra this or that in these catagories it happens easily. We are in a hurricane zone, so I use that as a means to prepare my family. My husband is not fooled by my approach, however he understands my need to have enough food for my family should an emergency occur. I also use my birthday, mothers day, christmas holidays to purchase the expensive items on my survival list. Just recently purchased Pressure Canner, with jars, and books for canning (birthday gift). I try not to talk survival, everyone shuts down. However, when I talk about being prepared should we have an emergency those around me just think I’m being a Mom.


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