General Preparedness Topics Relating to your Family
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I live in North Dakota, about 70 miles west of Minot Air force base. My primary reasons for prepping are for a nuclear strike on that base (they are part of the 815th nuclear battalion tending to 116 nukes in the area). I am also in need of prepping for the frequent winter storm and infrequent tornadoes. My idea is to just get prepared for these three situations first before I tackle any larger-scale, apocalyptic events. My prep is based on the assumption that I might have to fend for myself for up to six months before governance is reestablished (not like a TEOTWAWKI situation).
To start out, I want to wall off a portion of my basement and put in a second staircase that I can conceal behind a coat closet leading to a steel door into my bunker room. In my bunker room I want to store 500 gallons water, 6 months of dehydrated food for myself, lithium battery powered lanterns in case the power goes out, battery supply, .22 Rifle, 9mm glock, .410 shotgun, with ammo. NOAA radio, basic first aid supplies, The bunker room would have a bed, toilet, shower, foldup table and chairs, camping oven with a standard propane tank, kerosene space heater (with 40 galls kerosene). I wouldnt be able to run a generator from inside the confines of the bunker room, so I'd have to live without that until the fallout/tornado/intruder danger has passed, but I do want to get one and store gasoline for it too.
I bought my property from a farmer about 5 miles from the nearest town, and fenced in my acre plot. Theres really only enough trees for a windbreak so anything with wood is out of the question. I have a drilled well on my property and septic tanks. I live alone for now but might get a housemate (coworker) once I finish my bunker room. My ideas for prepping for long-term situations include a garden (seed bank first), rabbit farming, solar and wind power, rain catchment & filtration, and a library with books about homesteading, electrical work, and other skills I could learn. I haven't given thought to any bug-out plan because I'm in the countryside as it is. I want to be able to live out of the bunker room for at least 3 weeks, then be able to secure the rest of the property if it still stands.
What does everyone think so far? Remember, I'm not looking for an indefinite solution, just long enough to survive independently if I have to for a few months. (That will come later as I accrue more $$$) My biggest concern is security since my area has seen an increase in crime with the recent oil boom. Its not as bad as it is in Williston, 75 miles west, but it could make its way here.
Welcome from South Carolina. It sounds like you have a good plan in place.
SC District 5
When a defining moment comes along, you define the moment… or the moment defines you.
The west side (upwind) is better than the east side (downwind).
Everything sounds good except the 6 mos of dehydrated food. Buy some and try it before you buy in bulk. A lot of it doesn't taste so great, tastes worse if that's all you have, there's a lot of soy in it, and it tends to constipate. And it's expensive.
The usual rule is "Store what you eat, and eat what you store".
If the SHTF, you'll want familiar foods, not strange, unfamiliar stuff. And that would be a bad time to find out you're allergic to one of the common ingredients, too. I'm not saying don't get any, but using it as your main food supply could be a bad idea.
Make a list of what you normally eat for a week. Then pick out all the ones that don't need refrigeration until after opening. Make a written list (nobody's memory is that good). Buy a week's worth, then another week's worth. Rotate it, eat it, buy more.
A neighbor showed me her simple, clever "rotation" method for her long, skinny pantry: She uses 12 flaps from cardboard boxes and marks them Jan thru Dec with a large felt-tip marker. She gathered all the packaged foods that she normally eats (root cellar is separate) for a month, and started near the door, placing the first flap (say June) there. When she started July, she slid the JULY flap between the end of the June foods and the start of the July foods. And she kept going. When she finished eating the June foods, she started putting the new foods there. This way, she didn't have to move all the cans and packages, just the flaps.
Cooking and heating that won't take a lot of fuel (your propane won't last forever: Here's a 17-brick (no mortar) rocket stove that only burns twigs and small pieces of wood: http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2012/04/build-a-brick-rocket-stove-for-6-08.html
How about a water filter? Have you had that well water tested? Mostly, when you take water in to have it tested (about $12), they normally just test it for fecal coliform bacteria. Ask them if they have complete water reports for that area, and if they do, could you have a copy. Full water reports for bacteria, heavy metals, farm chemicals, industrial pollutants, etc are very expensive. Look online or in the phone book for something like County Water Board, or Water Commission, etc.
Does that area flood? If you're not sure, call your insurance agent. Most offices have a NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) agent, and they can take your address and tell you what kind of flood zone you're in. Generally speaking, A & B are poor (more likely to flood), C and X are good (not likely). If it does flood, that basement idea might have to be killed.
Welcome to the concept of taking care of yourself.
If your main concern is nuclear, in addition to the planning you outlined, I'd also suggest looking into adding radiation dosimeters and a detector so you know what level of danger you're dealing with in that environment. Potassium Iodide tablets are a preventative to avoid radiation caused thyroid cancer. Also consider personal protective equipment (e.g.- filter dust mask or respirator, disposable clothing) and items for decontamination staged in an entrance area outside your basement room, especially as you plan to venture out to secure the rest of your property. Also consider the ramifications of fallout potential to contaminate the soil of the future garden. Perhaps you can explore and incorporate some indoor growing alternatives and sprouting in your plan.
Sounds like you have a good plan thought out and there have been some good suggestions so far.
The only things I'm going to suggest is to add something in your bunker from going crazy. Add to your reference library works of fiction as well, along with pen and paper to keep a journal. If you do get a roommate then add some games like chess/checkers/cards.
The other is to invest in some sort of communication with the outside world - CB or HAM radio, and a pair of walkie-talkie's.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure. - General Colin L. Powell
Welcome to the forum, bisonfan! Since you are looking for suggestions, go to the "Getting Started--the Basics" thread in the New Members section. There is a LOT of great information there that will help you get started.
Fussyold Hen. Thanks for that link on the brick rocket stove. So simple. Some kind of aluminum wind shield would help stop the flame from blowing around.
Matthew 25:42 "for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink."
Matthew 25:45 "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me."
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