Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Roy who much to my amazement, said he composed this article entirely on his iPhone!
In studying everything I can out there, I have noticed a few things that a lot of preppers have not thought about or don’t mention enough. If a major SHTF situation occurs we won’t just be set back a hundred years, we will be set back to a time when basic trade of staple foods and other crucial items will be gone for many years. We also might want to rethink a few things we want to acquire for one reason or another. Here is a list everyone might want to think about.
Do we really want to invest in HAM or CB radio? Even short distance communications? The easiest way for our enemy to find us is by triangulating our position. That mean it puts us and our families at risk every time we break radio silence. We might have a list of reasons we need them for communication and security. I say base your use of radios on what type of situation exists. If it is a natural disaster, like a tornado, sure use them. If I knew it was a situation where the government was coming after your guns or foreign troops were on American soil, You might have to forget about using it for communication.
Note: You can use it to monitor and get news from other people broadcasting, but don’t touch that com switch.
Now I have seen where salt as a staple has been mentioned and that is great. But what if you didn’t store enough? if you live inland even 20 or 30 miles from a source of saltwater how are you going to get restocked. I know there are salt domes and other natural sources for salt, but who knows where they are located? If you don’t have salt how do you prep your meat or animal hides. How do you season your food? So put it on your list as an item to get large quantities of for multiple uses. I would suggest getting salt from your local feed and seed that is used for cattle. It is cheaper per pound and it can be used for non food projects. Some people say it is totally edible so use your own judgement.
Unless I have missed it, no one had addressed the issue of mason jar lids that are not reusable. If all you have, after the first few years, is spent lids you are going to have trouble canning anything. You can have the prettiest garden in the world and it won’t do you a bit of good if you can’t store it. You have to realize that even great grandmas could go to the general store and buy certain things. The difference will be that you will not have that option. How long? Only God knows.
It will take years before alcohol and other simple germ killing solutions can be made. I hear stories of people using it for cleaning and disinfecting, but you better keep it on hand for wounds and cuts. It should only be used to disinfect for surgical purposes. I would hate for someone to die from a cut on the arm because the alcohol was used to clean a counter-top.
Borax, Baking soda and soap
We can use these products for all our cleaning needs. That’s great but how could you possibly know how long it would last, unless we use it now for those needs. Again it might be a while before it is produced so never say you have enough.
The good with the bad. Have you ever been in complete darkness? If you have, you know that spotting light in the distance is so easy. If you have solar power and you are living off grid be mindful that a lit up house might put you in danger. If you stick out like a thumb you attract attention. Someone might decide they want what you have. I suggest having an after SHTF dark shielded room or rooms that allow you to use you lights without being in danger. For the first few years I would also suggest that you stay away from your power tools. It is easy to hear noise in a quiet world. I would also suggest that you hide your panels as much as you can. You want the sun to see them but not your possible enemy’s. I would also suggest that you have a safe place to store your panels during storms.
There is always a positive side to solar energy other than the obvious. Mental well-being is crucial to moral. Many people who are so attached to the grid will become depressed. Having the simplest creature comforts to keep your family going will be key.
How many times have I seen people include cell phones as part of a bug out bag. Yes they can have a library of survival books and saved articles. Compass and navigation apps to use. Creature comforts to improve moral. But is it worth the risk in a major SHTF situation. I say no. Weather you want to believe it or not, you are being watched. If you are deemed a threat because you had the audacity to prepare, you are a target. Your phone has a GPS chip in it and they have your number. Please don’t risk your life and use your phone for anything. A drone can lock in on you in a heartbeat. I hope it never comes to this but if it does and you foolishly hang on to idea that it can be used for your benefit, your wrong.
Revisit everything on your list
I would say it would be a good idea to revisit every item we have on our list and ask a simple question, “How long will it be till I can replace this item? “. Some things we can grow and make but other things could have to last a decade or more. Remember that we won’t have a store to go to for a long time. Society will always rebuild and people who survive will go into producing goods and services again but that will take time.
If anyone has links to answer any of the questions I have brought up please send them our for everyone to learn.