Affordable Nutrition: How to Start Sprouting at Home Today

Sprouting for Preppers

Sprouting is the process of growing vegetables and garden greens then harvesting them at the sprout stage of growth. 

Benefits of Sprouting

Sprouts are higher in nutrition than mature plants.  Sprouts are nutrient dense, which means the sprout stage of plant growth is where the most nutrients are present during the life of the plant.  This is why sprouts are extremely healthy to consume in the course of a normal food diet.

Sprouts are very versatile to cook with.  You can eat them by themselves, added to salads, on sandwiches, in tacos, burritos, pita bread, and also in soups, stews, and stir-fry.

You can sprout beans and grains to increase protein in your diet.  This is becoming more important as we see the powers that be begin to systematically reduce beef, chicken, fish and lamb meat production and consumption, by increase meat prices, and urging people to eat insects instead.  We are also beginning to see the inclusion of insect-based protein into processed foods.  If you want to control your own diet, ensuring only the cleanest foods to eat for you and your family, then sprouting can be a way to achieve it.

Sprouts don’t need direct sunlight.  This means you can produce crop after crop of fresh sprouts indoors and all year ‘round.  For those who are paying attention to how our nation’s food supply is being compromised in unhealthy ways, learning to sprout at home away from prying eyes, should be a top priority.

Sprouting doesn’t take much time from seed to harvest.   The sprout mix I use takes 5 or 6 days to produce the amount I need. 

Sprouts grown in jars are generally free from bug infestation.  If you grow edible plants indoors you may experience gnats and other nuisance pests, but sprouts grown in jars are a way to keep them at bay. 

In short, growing your own fresh sprouts are a nearly full-proof way to get cleaner organic food, more nutrition and protein into your daily diet.  A crop you control. 

To recap, if you are looking for a cheap and easy way to add more organic nutrients, fresh crunchiness or more protein to your diet, then learning to sprout is a great way to do this.  It is also much easier to do than normal gardening.  All it takes are a few inexpensive tools, sprouting seeds and a little knowledge, and you can become a proficient sprout farmer!

Tools Needed for Sprouting

There are many ways to learn to sprout, and many tools available to use, but I think the best and cleanest way is the simplest way.  After much experimentation, it is now the only way I sprout.

•         A canning jar (depending on your needs, you can use quart jars or the larger 64 oz. jars).  I use the 64 ounce jars, 1 or 2 at a time.

64 oz Ball Mason Jar for Sprouting

•         Drain lid(s).  These are available in plastic and also food-grade stainless steel for use with canning jars.  One can also use cheese cloth attached by a rubber band. 

I recommend the food-grade stainless steel mesh lids.  I bought these on Amazon.com for under $10.

Mason Jar Drain Lids that Can Be Used for Sprouting

  •       A way to prop-up your sprouting jar to drain water.  You can use almost anything to do this cost-free, but I did purchase these jar holders from Amazon.com, which do the job:

I place these holders in a seedling plant tray to catch any remaining water from each jar.  You can use a plastic lid, a plate, a bowl, anything to catch the remaining drain water from each watering.

Jar Holders that Can Be Used for Sprouting

•         Sprout seeds.  After much experimentation with different kinds and types of seeds, in various package sizes, at various price points, I’ve found a reliable source for my sprouting seeds at https://www.trueleafmarket.com/collections/handy-pantry-products.  Their #10 can of Organic 5-Part Salad Mix is the most balanced for my nutritional needs.  At a cost of about $57 a 5-lb. Can (plus S&H), I purchased a can last fall and I’m barely down about ¼ of the contents.  I figure one can will last me at least 1-2 years at the rate of my personal use.  It comes with a scooper.  I’ve learned that one 64-ounce canning jar of sprouts is completely full at 5 day’s growth if one uses a smidge more than ½ of the measuring scooper. 

The same source sells seeds in packages and lesser weights that are very affordable, but no matter who you buy from, stick with organic seeds only. 

You can spend a LOT of money buying sprout kits, trays, growth medium, fancy seed mixes, etc.  I do have many additional sprouting trays and growth mediums if I need to increase my production for any reason, but right now the simplest way is working very well for me. 

Just use a canning jar(s), a sieve lid, and a good organic seed mix and you really can’t go wrong.  This total investment really shouldn’t cost you more than $30-$50 to get started.  Seeds will be the most expensive item in sprouting, but I do advise you to start with small amounts of organic seeds first, until you find the seeds and/or seed mixes you and your family will enjoy eating. 

The Sprouting Process

I found this video particularly useful in teaching me how to grow clean, fresh sprouts.  He demonstrates using broccoli seeds, but the same technique works with my sald mix sprout seeds:

Here’s the process I use:

Day 1. 

Measure the amount of seeds you need into the size jar you use.  Place sieve lid on jar and tighten lid.  Using tap water, fill the jars about 1/2-3/4 way full swirling the seeds inside the jar, then drain the jar.  Do this twice, draining out as much water as possible over the sink. This will clean any processing residue off the seeds.  Then fill the jar half way and set aide on the counter.  Cover the jar with a dish cloth or towel to keep out the light.  Let the seeds soak over night. 

Day 2. 

In the morning, uncover sprout jar, pour out the water and fill with fresh water, swirling the seeds again,  then drain the jar.  Do this twice, draining out as much water as possible over the sink.  This keeps the seeds hydrated and fresh.  Prop the jar lid side down on a plate or tray to collect any leftover water.  Cover again and keep in the dark for a second day.  Do this in the morning, around noon and before going to bed.  Make sure you cover the jar again to keep it in the dark while it fully drains.

Day 3. 

Repeat Day 2.  During the 5 day process, you will keep the seeds covered and in the dark a full 2 days.

Day 4. 

Repeat the process (drain, swirling rinse, done twice) only this time do not cover the jar to keep in the dark.  Allow the existing light to reach the seeds.  Avoid direct sunlight.

Day 5. 

Repeat the process (drain, swirling rinse, done twice) only this time do not cover the jar to keep in the dark.  Allow the existing light to reach the seeds.  Avoid direct sunlight, but if the sprouts look yellow-ish and not a full green color, you can expose them to indirect sunlight on a table near a widow allowing some sunlight in for a few hours. 

Day 6. 

Repeat Day 5 if sprouts need additional time to “green-up.”  It shouldn’t take much longer to harvest than 5-6 days.

How to Harvest Sprouts

Make sure you hands are clean or use food-processing gloves. 

Step 1.  Pull sprouts out of jar and into a clean large mixing bowl.

Step 2.  Fill the bowl with water.  Agitate the sprouts by hand to allow the unproductive seeds to rise to the top.

Step 3.  Using a spoon, collect the floater seeds and throw them out.  Keep collecting floater seeds until nearly all are gone.

Step 4.  You can now transfer the sprout crop to a salad spinner or clean towels or paper towels to pat dry.  Try to get as much remaining moister out of the sprouts as possible.  Finally, transfer harvested sprouts to a large Ziplock plastic bag or clean sealed-lid container.

Keep sprouts in the refrigerator to keep fresh, just like any other vegetable.

For more about gardening and sprouting read – The Most-Important Last Ditch Prep To Start NOW (if you haven’t already).

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Lessons and Frustrations – 7 Days Without Power

This is an accompanying list of items based on Episode 818.

Video of how dark it turned when the Derecho was rolling in.

Resources that I Have Purchased for Hurricanes, Storms and Blackouts

DuroMax XP13000HXT 13,000-Watt 500cc Tri Fuel Gas Propane Natural Gas Portable Generator with CO Alert, Black/Blue – I made a mistake on how much I paid for this. I actually paid under $2,000. I thought it was under $1,000. Still well worth it!

24FT 3/4″ ID Natural Gas Hose with Quick Connect 3/4″ ID Natural Gas Hose with Quick Connect Fittings for NG/LP Propane Appliances, Grill,Patio Heaters,Generators(One Year warranty) – the 24 FT hose is not available at this time. – The 36 FT is $147.

UL Listed 50 Amp 25 Feet Generator Extension Cord, NEMA 14-50P Male to SS2-50R & CS6364 STW 6/3+8/1 AWG 125/250V Generator Power Cord Twist Lock Connectors for Generator to House – $119.

Midea Duo 12,000 BTU (10,000 BTU SACC) High Efficiency Inverter, Ultra Quiet Portable Air Conditioner, Cools up to 450 Sq. Ft. – $599.

Articles that Will Help in Blackouts, Power Outages

Get Your Backup Power System Now: Comparing Gas-Powered Generators vs Solar-Powered Battery Generators for Blackouts and More!

Options When You Encounter a Battery Shortage.

Read the Nasty (Frustrated) Replies from Residents without Power

Watch News Video of Destruction from the Derecho

See the mangled transmission linesCLICK HERE.

Peace,
Todd

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From Side Hustle to Survival: Skills to Monetize for the Apocalypse

skills for the apocalypse

When the power grid goes down and stays down, local economies will focus on the basics, and trade goes low-tech.  NOW is the time to think about how you will be able to manufacture goods or offer services from home that you can use for income or barter today or for future survival, if necessary.

The purpose of this list is to get the reader thinking about ways to earn income or barter with such skills should the need arise. The ideal side gig is one that has a low or no start-up cost, won’t take long to learn to do, and can be earning immediate income in a variety of ways (including using online platforms), yet can be adapted easily and continued in a grid-down or societal collapse scenario.

Here is a list of 50 modest side gigs you can begin now, earn extra money, and be ready to go low tech if and when the time arrives.

1.  Sell firewood. Everyone will need a way to cook their food and keep their dwellings warm. Contact the local US.  Forest Service office and inquire about getting a permit to harvest downed trees. Take a truck and a chainsaw and you’re in business.  Cut the logs, split it, stack it, and season it. You can sell by the cord, or by the bundle.

Another way to meet the same need:  Recycle paper into “fire bricks.”  You can use these for fuel to heat a space, for cooking food, or use as fire starters. Here’s a YouTube video on how one family does it: 

2.  Laundry/ironing service. Before electricity gave rise to clothes washing machines and dryers, people hand-washed their apparel, hung them outdoors to dry in the sun or on indoor racks, and pressed clothes with irons heated on top of wood stoves. This is a business you can start today with all-electric tools yet can adapt beautifully to low-tech tools in a flash. Be prepared by acquiring a washtub, wash board, and a wringer to pass clothes through to eliminate excess water. Put up a clothesline or find a drying rack and find an old-fashioned iron. Secure a good supply of laundry soap such as Zote or Fels Naptha.  Practice using these low-tech tools and you will have an important skill to sell or barter.

3.  Sewing and alterations service. You’d be surprised how rare a business like this is becoming. Back in the day, being a seamstress or tailor was steady work and your family didn’t starve. Start low tech like the Amish. Get a treadle or hand-crank sewing machine, because electric-powered machines won’t work. Stockpile fabric, thread, notions, needles, sewing patterns, and replacement parts for your machine.  Concentrate on learning how to re-size items and do repairs on coats and jackets.

grid down

4.  Learn to knit or crochet. Start small to gain your skill, then concentrate on making warm hats, mittens, sweaters and socks. Stockpile yarn and anything made of wool that you can unravel and re-purpose or mend and use for barter. You can find bulk yarn at retail stores when such items are on sale, in thrift stores and garages sales.

5.  Recondition and repair shoes and boots. When the electricity goes down, how will the gas pumps run?  Walking will become the primary mode of transportation, shoes will take a beating, and people will be more mindful of taking better care of their footwear.  Start now to gain the skill to recondition and do small repairs to sneakers and boots.  Stock up on polish, leather cleaners, dyes, buffers, Shoe Goo, and all kinds of shoelaces.  Since this kind of work is all done by hand, it’s a perfect side gig to learn in stages, yet still earn income before and after the grid goes down. There are people who find quality men’s shoes in thrift stores, recondition them and then sell them for top dollar on platforms like Poshmark, Mercari or Etsy. Why not earn as you learn and do the same?  You’ll be ready when the grid goes down and trade this skill for other things you need.  Here’s a free reference tool that details shoe repair back in the day – Home book to learn expert shoe repairing.

6.  Sharpen knives and scissors.  With a small investment in proper tools and training, this type of business never goes out of style. Start by sharpening your own knives and scissors and practice using modern as well as “old school” tools. Set up routes to professionally sharpen kitchen knives at cafes and restaurants and sharpen the scissors and clippers at beauty salons and barbershops. This is not as easy as it seems, because high-end knives and scissors need to be maintained at a higher level and require a professional’s skill with a pro’s tools. Yet, having this skill will be valuable in a grid-down economy, when people will need such a service.

7.  A related but separate skill would be to find old top-quality kitchen knives, hunting knives and pocketknives to restore and sell. There is a huge marketplace for these older, well-made knives at many gun shows, online sales platforms and the market demand is growing. If you can restore these older knives, you can sell them now as a side-gig and have a ready supply of valuable and barterable items.

8.  Recondition used bicycles, mopeds, scooters, and learn how to motorize bikes. When gasoline costs skyrocket or altogether disappear, bicycles will be THE mode of human-powered transportation. Learn to recondition and repair them now and be ready. If you can also do upgrades to the average bicycle, your service will be gold! It’s possible to install solar-powered electric engines on bikes to help those who can’t pedal everywhere (the elderly, differently abled). It might be useful to learn how to take small gas-powered lawnmower engines and adapt them to bicycles, turning them into motorized bikes. These types of engines can run on alternative fuels, the manufacture of which will also become a cottage industry. Inventory will be the tricky part but start by scouring neighborhoods on trash collection day. Free is the best price!  Scrap collectors find bikes put out in the trash all the time. Or scout the freebie section of Craigslist and buy as many as you can at the lowest price you can, at garage sales.  Offer to upgrade bikes by attaching a basket in front and back, turning a regular bicycle into a bike that can haul necessities.

9.  Blacksmithing. For many, this is a personal hobby used for purposes around their homestead, yet this profession was the heart of every community before the gas-powered engine displaced horsepower. In an extended grid-down scenario, the blacksmith and his forge will be very busy.  

10.  Gunsmithing & Reloading. These two skills are incredibly important because guns are tools that help put meat on the table. Yet, without bullets, a gun is useless. So, if you are serious about maintaining your own firearms, and learning an in-demand skill, then either or both these skills will be invaluable in a future grid-down economy. You will certainly be able to provide for yourself and others if you can do them.

11.  Food production. In a grid-down and supply-chain down scenario, food production becomes life or death important. There is a learning curve to all types of gardening, so you better start now to learn how to raise fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Learn the easiest gardening by knowing how to sprout seeds to produce greens for salads and sandwiches. If you can learn sprouting, you can also learn to grow micro-greens at home. Many who started out simply to learn how to sprout and grow their own micro- greens, have developed their own sprout and micro-green business and sell their crops to local grocery stores and restaurants. This is a way to become a farmer without owning farmland. Plus, you can do a business like this anywhere. All it takes are a few relatively inexpensive items and the space to set them up. One can start such a business for as little as $300 – $500.

  In addition to learning how to garden, there are attendant skills which involve processing food items for consumption, such as:

12.  Do you own a dairy cow?  If you own a dairy cow, learn to make butter, cheese, and yogurt and sell it fresh. Even if you don’t own a cow, can you get access to a cow and/ or purchase milk for creating these dairy products?  If you own a goat, you can also harvest the goat milk and turn it into other products like cheese and yogurt. Or get access to goat milk for such purposes.

13.  Do you own egg-laying chickens?  If you own chickens, you can sell the extra eggs.  You can also sell the hens who no longer produce eggs, as meat chickens.

14.  Do you know how to water-bath can and/or can use a pressure cooker for long-term food preservation? You can teach it to others now and offer it as a barter-able service to others and help them preserve the produce of their own gardens.

15.  Do you know how to make flour from wheat berries, and flour from other grains and dry legumes?  Do you have the manually powered tools to hand-grind corn?  Pair this with learning to bake bread from scratch, and you will have a wonderful skill to enjoy both now and into the future no matter what comes.  The Amish sell home-made breads in their stores and have the skills necessary to grind their own flour, if needed be.  You can learn to do this, too.  If you have the means, you can scale the milling of grains and dried legumes into a larger business, just like our pioneer ancestors did with water-powered mills.

16.  Another interesting thought would be to find a manually powered corn shelling machine, (if it is old, restore it to good working order), then offer that service to a local corn grower in exchange for other food items they may grow. Corn shelling machines were used to separate the dried kernels of corn from the cob. The kernels would be used as seed corn for future crops, as farm animal feed, and could be processed into corn flour for breads like cornbread and tortillas.

17.  Start a produce business. Start as a middleman and buy from a produce wholesaler in your area, then resell at retail prices. Don’t forget many down and out people sold apples during the Great Depression to make ends meet. This is an easy business to start because you can buy bags of apples and oranges and start selling them at flea markets, door to door, on street corners or at the farmer’s market. Develop routes for personal deliveries of produce. Take bags of fruit and veggies and drive through campgrounds and RV parks and sell from your vehicle. Make sure you are not violating any local soliciting laws. If you go through campgrounds, ask permission of the park manager first. This business can be adapted to benefit people who will be growing much of their own food and need a way to barter with it (which you can supply) and can be re-tooled to go low tech through distribution by bicycle.

18.  Save vegetable seeds and sell them. Get heirloom varieties that are hardy and save enough seeds to put together packets to sell before the next growing season. Be sure to save enough for your own needs but set aside enough to sell or barter. This works especially well for people who can grow very large gardens, but even a small plot or container garden can grow food enough to save and sell seeds.

  You can start and continue various food production businesses like these regardless of what happens in the future, because food products and their attendant skills, are the ultimate barter item(s).

19.  A food-related skill, but with a broader usage is learning to identify rare or native edible plants in your area. Our ancestors knew how to identify and forage for foods that grew in abundance in the woods and along streams and lakes. Many of these native plants would be used as herbal medicines, teas, and seasonings in cooked dishes. Start by reading books in your local library about native food plants in your area, then find the field guides that you can use as references. You can find local experts in this field and learn from them, so that in time, you will be able to teach others to do the same, as well as forage for those plants that can be legally harvested, then cultivated, and propagated into more plants to consume, and to sell or barter. So, as you see, there are many ways to capitalize on this skill.

20.  Learn to harvest fish, and snare small birds and animals for food. Good fishermen know the secrets of their favorite fishing holes. The use of simple snares has caught many a meal, but can you gut and clean the fish?  Can you kill a snared animal, prep and cook it? These are very important skills to have in the short term after a grid-down or societal collapse.  Yet, how soon will the lakes, rivers and streams be stripped of aquatic life, and forests made quiet by the disappearance of animals as famine stalks the land?  We have all read the stories of how even the zoo animals disappeared in the Socialist takeover of Venezuela.

21.  Can you clean and dress a deer or elk?  Can you butcher a steer or pig?  These are very important skills to know because, so few do them now. And if the grid goes down, there will be no grocery stores, so where will people get meat?  People will be raising farm animals for food production, so it’s a natural service to offer or pair with ranching and hunting.  You can find an independent butcher in your area and ask if he will teach you.  Perhaps you can reach a proficiency level where he will expand his hours and pay you, which can be a nice part-time job now, but even more valuable if the grid goes down, at least until the natural food supply is depleted.

22.  Make Safe Drinkable Water. If the power grid goes down, electric pumps at water treatment plants will stop running. Even with a back-up generator, that, too, will eventually stop due to lack of fuel. At the very least, the production of safe drinking water will be drastically reduced, and this will cause much hardship, and an opportunity for trade and barter. You can help the situation by preparing beforehand.  Learn how to provide safe drinking water now with a myriad of tools and skills you can access now. 

Having a way to properly remove contaminants from various water sources like rivers, ponds, lakes, or rainwater collection, will be a high-priority and greatly valued. Many people already have water treatment tools like a Berkey filter which they use to remove chlorine and other chemical contaminants which are already found in municipally- treated water. Most water filters are expensive, yet you can find less-expensive ways to filter water using 5-gallon buckets, and charcoal filters you can purchase in bulk.  With regular cleaning, most charcoal filters (also called “candles”) will filter up to at least 2000+ gallons of water.  Stockpile these while you can, and set-up systems you can use to have access to untreated water, which you can treat for safe consumption.  These systems may involve installing a well in your backyard, so you will need to purchase a home well kit and the tools to maintain your well properly. You could make a side income by building, and installing a rainwater catchment system for others, or create a digital download or print-out with instructions on how to source and purify water in a grid-down situation. If you can provide safe, potable water and/or the means to purify it for others, you will have a sure-fire product to sell or barter.

23.  Learn to make useful items from local sources such as wood, and clay. Learn to carve bowls, cups, and utensils from wood, and to make cups, plates, bowls and pitchers from clay. These products have always had a great appeal to people who appreciate the potter’s and woodcarver’s craft and will still be sought after in the future.

24.  Learn basic carpentry skills, especially how to source and provide wood for repairing existing homes if the power goes down. This will require specialized tools like a variety of manual handsaws, having solar-powered tools and battery or electric powered chain saws you can hook-up to a solar battery. Pick a specialty that serves more than one purpose, like learning to build storm shelters/root cellars. Install them yourself for others for income now or put together DIY kits and sell and deliver those as well. You can also create a printed version of the plans for DIYers and sell them as digital downloads online. Learn to make bricks from dirt, sand, and straw or cob and make these items to sell or teach others how to make them and build with them.  

25.  In a societal collapse, people will be trying to get home or to reach family. The roadways will be busy with people walking. Think about what they might need for the journey. Why not create portable bedrolls?  With very low start-up costs, you can make the ground cover which can be rolled-up, slung across the body and carried as you walk.  Learn how to make this for sale or barter.  See how they are made, here:

Pair the ground cover with a blanket along with a small pup tent or plastic tarp which can be turned into a tent, and you have very useful items to sell or trade. Keep your costs low by finding these extra items on sale in retail stores, thrift stores and garage sales.

26.  Find used kid’s wagons and recondition them. Think Radio Flyer. Or make your own and sell them. You can re-purpose wheels off baby carriages, hand-pulled golf carts, and old bikes. Attach them to a wooden box you build, and you have a cart someone else can use to haul things. These will be like gold for people who need to shuttle anything around. Connect them to bicycles so that they can be pulled behind one, and they become even more useful. You can pair a bike with a cart and offer to shuttle things for people who don’t own these tools and can’t do it themselves.

27.  Learn to make large baskets or tote bags, from free or discarded materials. Without gasoline to power vehicles, people will be looking for ways to tote and carry goods on their back or by hand.

28.  Make candles from other candles and resell them. In our modern world, unless you raise your own farm animals, making candles from rendered tallow may be nearly impossible in a grid-down scenario. Instead, buy up candles at thrift stores and garage sales, melt down the wax and pour it into molds, recycled food jars, or canning jars.  Sell or barter with the candles. Stock up on wicks, and anything that can be used as a wick, like shoelaces. Please note: You can use regular recycled glass jars, but be extra-cautious, as sometimes they can shatter due to heat.  To avoid this, heat them up (in an oven or other heat source) before you pour the melted wax inside.  Canning jars are made to withstand high temps, which is why many home candle makers prefer using them.

29.  Know how to make bar soap from scratch. Get a copy of “Primitive Soap Making.”  If you can’t make soap, make sure to stockpile it.  Great barter item!

30.  Learn leather working and recycle leather. Re-purpose old leather purses, and turn them into cast iron skillet handle covers, oven mitts and potholders. In a societal collapse and reorganization, people may not need a wallet, but they will need cast iron handle covers because more of them will be cooking over an open flame.  There is always a need to make and repair leather belts, slings, straps and shoelaces for boots.  Recycle old leather and turn it into a cottage industry.

31.  If you are serious about leather working, become a tanner. Study how human beings used to make leather through primitive tanning methods. The need for leather will never end, and you can learn this skill, teach others, write a DIY book about it and earn a side income. Your skill will be valuable in a world without electricity or steady and reliable power.

32.  Stockpile and recondition garden tools. [This is HOT!]  Buy them at farm or estate auctions, garage sales, thrift stores. Clean them, sharpen them, restore them, and sell them.  Familiarize yourself with the better brands so you know their true value. If you get the cheaper tools, fix them to last longer, as they will become worth their weight in gold. People are becoming anxious about access to food and millions more will start gardens this Spring. Watch for the price of rakes, shovels, hoes, trowels and tillers to skyrocket!

33.  Buy, recondition and sell used cast iron cookware. Watch YouTube videos on how to clean, restore and recondition old cast iron skills, and pots. Sell these online on eBay, Etsy, or in your own online store. This can make you a nice sideline business and there will always be the need for good, durable cookware. You can also sell cookbooks specializing in cast iron cooking, and accessories for cast iron cookware like chain mail scrubbers and stiff brushes for cleaning cast iron after everyday use. When the grid goes down, you have valuable merchandise with which you can trade for other goods.

 34.  Start collecting items now to be a “General Store.”  Collect items like patch kits, tools, blankets, warm coats, hats, scarves, flannel shirts, cast iron pots, skillets, and dutch ovens.  Portable shelters like lightweight pup tents and tarps will become very valuable.  Collect ropes of all kinds and for different uses. Stockpile handkerchiefs, bandannas, new combs and hairbrushes, matches, Superglue, bungee cords, duct tape, and long- handled cafeteria-style serving spoons (both metal and wooden). If you prefer to specialize, pay attention to what folks want but are getting too expensive to buy. These are items there will always be a market for, but no one will be able to provide, unless you plan ahead (alcohol, cigarettes, pipe and chewing tobacco and smoking accessories come to mind). These are heavily taxed products and will become rare and in high demand after the stores are looted.  If you can supply these items, you are in business.

35.  Open a coffee stand and stockpile green coffee beans. Learn to roast them without electricity over an open flame. Grind them in an old-fashioned manual coffee grinder.  Can you imagine what a single cup of fresh-brewed coffee will cost in a possible future where society is re-organizing after a collapse?  Green coffee beans in air-tight cans have been available for a number of years, but the cans are small. Find a source for bulk green coffee beans and dry can them in 64 ounce canning jars.

coffee for shtf

Coffee beans will not store for long periods of time because they are oily and go rancid, but you may be able to extend their shelf life to 5-7 years if you dry can them and remove oxygen from the jar. You might consider stockpiling freeze-dried instant coffee and store it in a cool, dark place like a dry basement. Stockpile sugar and coffee creamer as well. Learn how to make your own teas from native plants before the coffee beans run out.

36.  Learn to Build Small Solar Power Units. First, learn the basics of portable solar power then begin acquiring small units you can recharge by direct sunlight. Solar power is now making it possible for many to build homes and live off-grid, and the demand for small but powerful solar units will continue to be high in the future. If you can put together solar backup systems and install them or can sell “how-to” plans for DIY-ers, you have a way to earn money now and to sell or barter with in the future.

37.  Put together a solar power station and offer a recharging service. People will own plenty of electrical items that use batteries, and/or can be used if recharged directly plugged into a power solar-powered source. You can use such a system for your own personal needs now and offer this service in a grid-down scenario as a means to trade for the things you will need. If you start collecting battery-powered drills, chain saws and other tools, you can rent them out now for extra cash now, and be able to use that service in trade, if need be.

38.  A related service for a recharging business would be to acquire several portable DVD players, those which could be plugged into your solar powered system or run on recharged batteries.  Start by learning to repair these smaller DVD players, stockpile parts – and even flip them on eBay now to earn extra money. By learning all you can about how these DVD players operate, you can stockpile many now, along with as many DVDs you can find at thrift stores and garage sales. When there’s no more power grid, what would people be willing to trade for a chance to watch a beloved movie?

39.  Study how to generate electricity from small water and wind power systems. Build a home-made system and implement it and offer this service as a consultant or hire yourself out to others who want a water or wind system built and installed for their home use. Research the topic on YouTube, Popular Science Magazine, and other alternative energy sources.

40.  Learn how to salvage gold and silver and other precious metals from old computers and other electronics.  Watch YouTube videos to see how others are doing this. You can start this as a hobby and save all the gold, platinum, silver, copper, etc.  you extract from the computers you “mine.”  This is one way to stockpile real money, as you can have your precious metals cast into measurable small bars or coins for use. You can acquire old computers from thrift and resale stores, garage sales, and from county dump sites that separate electronics from other scrap (some counties allow this but check first). You can do the same with copper, by collecting the power cords from discarded large appliances and then selling them by the pound to scrap metal yards.

41.  Start a General Metal Scrap Business. Watch YouTube channels of metal scrappers to learn the basics and get started. This can be part-time or full-time, as you wish. It helps to have a sturdy truck or cargo van to do your metal scrap collecting, and to research the days the garbage is collected in various neighborhoods near you. You will need a magnet to know what metal you’re taking and if the scrap yards will accept it.  Also, you will need some basic hand tools and rope for tie-downs. Make sure to know where the metal scrap dealers are in your area, so you know who pays the best, and to get paid the same day you do a “scrap run.” 

42.  Converting scrap metal into cash doesn’t stop by selling to a local scrap metal dealer.  You can sell many items made from metal or mostly metal, which most people leave alongside their garbage cans for collection. Look for discarded used lawnmowers, golf clubs, and bicycles, (all have high resale value, to name a few) which you can recondition and sell on Craigslist, eBay, or several other online sales platforms to earn a side income now.  Anything made from metal that can be reconditioned and resold is valuable. You can also flip them for quick cash, to others who just want to recondition and sell them without sourcing them. In a grid-down scenario, scrap metal can be bartered with or sold to the local blacksmith, who will melt the metal down in order to make new useful things.

43.  Learn to cut hair. If I was just starting out after high school today, the only formal training I would even consider would be to go to barber or beautician school and learn to cut hair. This is an evergreen profession and regardless of how bad society becomes, people always need haircuts. You can earn a living all day long with this skill, no matter what the future holds.

44.  Learn how to re-purpose things that will be in great demand in a prolonged grid-down situation. For example, people who live in colder climates are concerned about how fragile their power grid and home heating oil/natural gas systems are, given today’s politics between nations. They are looking for ways to heat their homes in winter should their home heating oil and natural gas distribution systems collapse.  Watch videos on YouTube that “hack” ways to generate free heat by recycling metal canisters, wheel rims, and old metal barrels, and turning them into wood stoves. Also turning clay flowerpots into candle heaters.  Make these today and sell them. Another “upcycle” would be to learn how to turn a bicycle into an electricity generator by learning how to connect it to a car generator to make electricity to power lights, small fans, etc.  There is a ready market today of people who are looking for these kinds of “upcycled” systems or the plans on how to make them.

45.  Sell books or create courses that teach. One can make a nice side income from buying used books and reselling them at a profit. But what if you specialized in buying books which taught many of the old ways of doing things – ways of making the things people needed before our modern systems were in place?  These types of non-fiction books that teach such things are valued now but will become even more valuable when the lights go out. As always, when sourcing such books, buy low and sell higher to make a profit. If you build your own personal library of such books, you can barter with them if you have to.

46.  Modernize ancient weapons like slingshots, bow & arrows, crossbows, and spears from scrap wood and plastic components. There are many YouTube videos made by people who have taken the basic idea of such weapons and turned wood and plastic into some pretty lethal weapons!  The plans for these could be sold today, and you could make them in the future for sale or trade. Make sure to stockpile the parts you need to make them, so that you can continue to make them, and find their natural counterpart you can use when your stockpile runs out. Design them with improved performance in mind.

47.  Buy and sell used hand tools. Concentrate on the harder-to-find manual wood drills, good saws, and axes of all types. Be sure you also get the stone sharpeners and files necessary to maintain the tools. Buy top quality hand tools at garage and estate sales, thrift stores and when they’re on sale at retail stores. Check for the brands that sell for the most money on eBay and develop a list of the exact tools most-sought-after, or rare the most. Concentrate on finding these tools, as well as having an extensive collection of the most-used tools most people take for granted. Recondition the older tools and sell them online for income now and use them for trade if needs be.  Create your own personal “tool stash” and rent them out for trade or barter in a post- apocalyptic culture.

48.  Learn home brewing and distilling. These are popular hobbies now and there are many sources of information on how to brew your own kombucha, beer, lager, stout, fruit cordials and moonshine. While distilled alcohol is a state-regulated industry, consult your state laws to see what you are allowed to do. Distilled alcohol made from grains will be very valuable in a grid-down culture for medicinal purposes. Learn this skill now, become an expert, and earn a side income by teaching it to others, writing a book about it, selling the necessary tools to make it, and concentrate on how it was done at home before it all became state-regulated. Stockpile the tools and supplies you need, and source ways to continue making it when your supplies run out.

49.  Learn First Aid, primitive-style. If your local hospital or clinic is closed, and the pharmacies have been looted, medicine becomes a DIY project. A good medical kit will have herbs and other ingredients to make basic medicines, and survivalists can also use leaves and twigs to make bandages, splints, and more. Take advanced training now to learn skills such as setting a broken bone or popping-back dislocated joints, delivering a baby, amputation of a limb, etc. Study the old ways, home remedies and Native American medical lore. These are all valuable skills now and will become all the more so in a dystopian future.

50.  Learn Home Dentistry. Teeth and gums are a different health concern. Back in the day, loss of teeth and poor gums would lead to infection and early death. Without access to proper dental care in a societal collapse, this will be the case again. Don’t think you can do the job by just reading When There Is No Dentist, but that’s a start (Google When There is No Dentist to find a free copy). If you are so inclined, investigate survival dentistry and begin acquiring the proper tools and skills you will need. Study more primitive ways to prevent germ transmission between patients through dental tools.  Learn proper and safe ways to use herbal tinctures to relieve pain. Write a book or put together a course on Emergency Dentistry when there is no dentist and sell it online for a side income.

As we have learned, the future is all about the SKILLS you know. Start now and make it a goal to learn the skill(s) which will aid you in a grid-down, societal-collapse scenario. Most of these skills are usable to earn money today, yet their value will increase if the worst happens. Be prepared.

This is a guest article by PJ Graves.

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Get Your Backup Power System Now: Comparing Gas-Powered Generators vs Solar-Powered Battery Generators for Blackouts and More!

Backup Power System

Does Anyone Even Care About Our Grid?

Our power grid is alarmingly fragile. As preppers, this concern has persisted over time, yet nothing has really been done to remedy the situation. But our aging infrastructure extends beyond just the power grid; our roads and bridges also suffer from neglect. Instances of bridge collapses serve as stark reminders of the urgent need for investment. Instead, significant financial resources are directed elsewhere, to other countries. 

Consider the recent allocation of billions of dollars to Ukraine!  Reflecting on past discussions regarding the EMP commission, it’s evident that relatively modest funding could substantially enhance our grid’s security. Why hasn’t this been prioritized before allocating funds elsewhere, especially if national security is at stake? It’s a question worth pondering.

So How Fragile is Our Grid?

The concerning state of affairs doesn’t end with aging and deteriorating infrastructure; now, there’s also vulnerability to cyber threats and terrorist attacks. This isn’t new; we know and talk about this in the Preparedness Community!  Then, there are the simple mistakes, like forgetting to flip a switch or leaving behind a USB drive plugged in that could wreak havoc and cause entire cities to lose power.

In addition to the challenges posed by failing infrastructure and malicious actors, there are natural disasters to contend with—hurricanes, winter storms like Yuri, and more. The repercussions of a widespread power grid failure are daunting. 

Recently, in the RYF Exclusive Email group online meetup, the question arose: How long would it take to restore power if such an event occurred? Would it be a matter of hours, days, or even weeks? The implications are scary. Imagine weeks without electricity amidst an otherwise seemingly normal environment. During winter storm Yuri, authorities warned that the grid was on the verge of collapse, with estimates suggesting it could take up to 30 days to fully restore power.

Thirty days is a significant amount of time. Considering all these factors, what would you do in such a situation? Given the current state of affairs in the world, it’s not difficult to envision such scenarios.  A bad situation can spiral out of control quickly.

Lots of Loss If the Grid Goes Down

The risks associated with power outages are multifaceted. First, there’s the immediate threat to life. Hospitals, for instance, rely heavily on continuous power to sustain life-saving equipment. During natural disasters, most hospitals manage to maintain power due to backup power systems. However, if an entire grid or region were to fail, even these backup systems would eventually go down, resulting in many lives lost. Patients on life support, as well as those dependent on medical devices at home, would be at grave risk. Without power, even calling for emergency assistance could become impossible in most cases.

Furthermore, extreme weather conditions exacerbated by the lack of power pose additional dangers. While one can endure a certain degree of cold by bundling up, regions like Texas, unaccustomed to severe winter storms, lack the necessary infrastructure and preparedness. The loss of life due to extreme temperatures, coupled with inadequate insulation and clothing, in a grid-down situation will be really bad! 

Then you have the spoilage of food due to prolonged power outage.  This would compound the challenges faced during such crises. I have two refrigerators, each equipped with a freezer, and an additional standalone freezer. I’ve invested a significant amount of money in the food stored in these freezers, and the last thing I’d want is to lose it all. Especially in today’s economic climate, many people would suffer financial losses due to spoiled food in their freezers.

Then there’s the impact on employment and income. Consider how much of our work relies on electricity nowadays. From using phones connected to the internet for communication to accessing essential information and interacting with colleagues, electricity is integral to many job functions. Imagine working in a warehouse where visibility and operations depend on electricity; it’s clear that power outages pose significant challenges.

Scenarios You’re Not Thinking About

Now, let’s entertain the scenario of intermittent power outages lasting a day or two. Imagine that the government announced that only certain parts of the grid would have power on certain days! If such situations become recurrent, what would employers do? Would they continue paying employees despite the lack of productivity during outage periods? Or would they opt to send employees home without pay and only allow them to work when their part of the grid had power? 

In a scenario like mentioned above, businesses reliant on refrigeration and freezing capabilities would face significant challenges during power outages. Without the ability to maintain cold storage, they would be forced to replenish their stock with fresh items more frequently, which is neither practical nor sustainable. Then consider shipping and trucks that need to deliver supplies are not able to because no one is in the warehouse to receive deliveries due to the power outages.  

Imagine the implications for you if your employer were to announce a temporary closure due to power outages, resulting in unpaid leave for employees. While some companies may initially promise to compensate employees during such times, financial constraints could force others to implement unpaid leave policies, leading to job insecurity.

Then there’s the issue of comfort. Let’s be honest—who doesn’t get grumpy when it’s too hot or too cold? Prolonged discomfort can lead to irritability and tension, impacting interpersonal relationships. Consider the loss of everyday comforts like adjusting the thermostat to your liking or enjoying entertainment options such as television and video games. The absence of these conveniences can exacerbate the frustration caused by power outages.

Don’t Kid Yourself – We are VERY Dependent!

We’ve grown accustomed to the convenience of flipping switches and leaving appliances running, but the fragility of our dependency becomes evident in moments of grid failure.

Our heavy reliance on the grid underscores the need for a contingency plan in case of disruptions. A backup power system is essential, no doubt about it. However, it’s crucial to understand that relying solely on backup power is not a viable long-term solution. I cannot stress this enough: backup power is not a sustainable fix for a total grid failure, especially in an “end of the world as we know it” scenario.

When we talk about long-term power outages, we’re not referring to a few days without electricity during a hurricane or similar event. We’re talking about a complete collapse of the grid, where sustaining your current lifestyle becomes impossible. It’s essential to recognize the limitations of backup power systems. There’s only so much fuel you can store, and generators and solar battery systems have finite lifespans. Even if you’re resourceful and handy, eventually, these systems will fail.

Temporary Portable Backup Power Systems for Grid Down Situations

Now, let’s delve into the realm of temporary backup power systems solutions, which can be a lifesaver during emergencies. Generators and solar battery generators are the two primary options worth considering. Gas-powered generators, or fuel-powered generators, offer versatility with options like gas, propane, or natural gas. On the other hand, solar-powered battery generators, like you can purchase from Jackery, Bluetti, or EcoFlow, harness solar energy to charge, providing a convenient and portable power source. (I’m an affiliate for the solar battery backups listed)

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each. 

Comparing Gas and Solar Powered Generators

First, let’s talk about cost. Gas-powered generators typically have a lower initial investment but incur ongoing fuel and maintenance expenses. You’ll need to budget for fuel, gas tanks, propane tanks, and oil changes, which can add up over time. On the flip side, solar battery generators come with a higher upfront cost but require minimal ongoing expenses. Once purchased, they operate almost cost-free, aside from occasional maintenance or additional solar panels.

Now, let’s consider the environmental impact of these power solutions. When we talk about environmental impact, we’re not just talking about emissions; noise pollution is also a significant factor. Gas or fuel-powered generators are notorious for generating high levels of noise pollution, necessitating outdoor operation due to emissions and fumes. On the other hand, battery-powered generators offer a cleaner energy alternative, emitting no emissions during operation and producing minimal noise, allowing for indoor use.

Another consideration is fuel availability. With fuel generators, such as those powered by gas, propane, or natural gas, access to fuel may be limited during emergencies, depending on the situation. While local gas stations might still be operational during certain disasters like hurricanes, a complete grid-down scenario would restrict access to only stored fuel. Conversely, solar battery generators rely on sunlight for charging, making them highly dependent on weather conditions. In areas with limited sunlight or frequent cloud cover, this could pose challenges in maintaining power supply. While advancements in solar panel technology have improved charging capabilities, unrealistic expectations about charging times still persist. It’s important to acknowledge that solar panels may not fully charge large batteries in exceptionally short timeframes, despite manufacturers’ claims.

Beyond environmental considerations, there’s also the operational security (OPSEC) aspect to think about.  Fuel generators are notorious for their loud operation, which can disturb neighbors and draw attention to your location. If you’re a light sleeper, dealing with the noise can be challenging. On the other hand, solar battery generators operate silently, offering a discreet power solution that enhances operational security (OPSEC). While lights may be visible, the absence of noise ensures minimal detection.

Portability is another key factor to consider. Fuel generators, particularly larger models, tend to be heavier and require transportation of fuel, adding to the logistical challenges. Solar generators, on the other hand, are typically lighter and easier to move around, offering greater flexibility in placement within your home.

Security concerns arise with generators. Locking down your generator with heavy-duty chains and locks is crucial to prevent theft. Instances of theft during power outages are not uncommon, as opportunistic individuals target unsecured generators for their own use or resale. Protecting your investment ensures that your generator remains available when you need it most.

In terms of reliability, well-maintained fuel generators are known for their dependability, provided you have a steady supply of fuel. On the other hand, solar generators’ reliability is contingent upon weather conditions. While they excel at holding a charge, they rely on sunlight for recharging, making them susceptible to weather variations.

However, in situations where grid reliability is sporadic rather than catastrophic, solar generators offer versatility. For instance, if your workplace has power while your home does not, you can use your solar generator at home during the evening and recharge it at work during the day. This flexibility allows you to adapt to changing circumstances and make the most of your backup power system resources.

Homemade Solar Battery Generator Options

One notable advantage of solar battery generators is the possibility of constructing one independently. Although homemade versions may lack the all-in-one appearance of commercial models like Jackery, Bluetti, or Ecoflow, they are capable of fulfilling the intended purpose effectively and at a fraction of the cost. By following instructional videos or articles, individuals can assemble their own generators using separate solar panels and other components, offering a budget-friendly alternative to pre-assembled systems.

In situations where short-term power outages are common, we can navigate through them with relative ease. However, in the event of a catastrophic scenario, such as an “end of the world as we know it” scenario, having reliable power will only last for a short time.  

My primary goal is to ensure continuous access to power, particularly to preserve the contents of my freezer and refrigerator until the food is gone. With significant investments in food stored there, maintaining their functionality for as long as possible is crucial. While I’ll be canning and barbecuing, the ultimate goal is to sustain the freezer and refrigerator operation until they inevitably cease functioning.  After that, what power I have will be used for lights, charging power tools, and helping to provide some comfort on hot Texas summer days!

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Portable Battery Banks for Small Device Charging

I’ll introduce a third option for short-term power solutions. However, depending on your needs, it might not serve as a viable alternative. I’m referring to portable battery banks, the compact devices designed to charge your electronic devices on the go. Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of these gadgets, having purchased some and received others as gifts. The remarkable decrease in prices has made acquiring high-capacity models affordable. Initially used primarily for charging phones or tablets, modern battery banks now support a wide range of USB-powered devices. From fans for cooling to various lighting options, the versatility of these devices has expanded significantly. If you find yourself in need of illumination or a cooling breeze, a portable battery bank might offer a convenient and compact solution.

As I mentioned already, my primary goal is to navigate short-term power outages without compromising the food stored in my freezer and refrigerator. In the event of a more catastrophic scenario, such as a prolonged grid failure, my preparations should provide a temporary solution until resources become scarce. Here’s what I’ve set up:

My Fuel Powered Generator Setup

I currently own two Duromax generators. One is a smaller dual-fuel model that runs on propane and gasoline, while the other is a newer triple-fuel version, capable of utilizing gasoline, propane, and natural gas. The XP 13,000 HKT, as it’s known, boasts significant power output and portability, resembling a whole-house generator in functionality. However, due to the varying wattage produced by different fuels, I can’t rely on it to power my entire home continuously.

For instance, using gasoline or propane could potentially support running my entire house, including central air conditioning. However, the usage of standard 20-pound propane tanks isn’t feasible due to propane leaving the tank so fast and causing the tanks to freeze. Natural gas is my preferred option, but it might not provide sufficient wattage to start the central AC unit without risking damage. Consequently, my plan involves using a window unit for cooling during short-term situations.

I recently took proactive measures by installing a gas line extension from my main line and incorporating a quick connection for natural gas usage. I had an electrician install a transfer switch and a safety switch to ensure proper handling of power distribution during generator usage. Additionally, I acquired the necessary cords and connectors to seamlessly link the generator to the transfer switch.

I tested the generator with my electrician to confirm the system’s functionality, providing me peace of mind without encountering any actual power outages yet. I’ve ensured that everything is in working order and readily available for deployment when needed.

My Solar Battery Generator Setup

On the solar battery generator front, I’ve invested in several units, including a Jackery and an EcoFlow. While the Jackery tends to be more budget-friendly, its batteries differ slightly from those found in models like the EcoFlow and Bluetti. Despite potentially shorter lifespans, Jackery’s still offers around 1500 charges, which is ample for occasional backup scenarios, such as short-term power outages and camping trips. 

When considering a purchase, thorough research is key. Each brand, including EcoFlow and Bluetti, offers various battery options, catering to different needs and preferences. From basic lighting and fan power to whole-house capabilities, there’s a wide range to choose from. 

I can vouch for the reliability and performance of both Jackery and EcoFlow, having used solar panels with both setups. Although solar charging isn’t as speedy as direct grid connections, it’s a dependable option. When it comes to purchasing solar battery generators, I strongly recommend sticking with reputable brands like Jackery, EcoFlow, or Bluetti. While cheaper alternatives may seem tempting, they often lack the quality and reliability needed for long-term use.

Jackery Power
EcoFlow Power

Using an Inverter with Your Vehicle for Power

In addition to solar setups, I’ve also employed an inverter, particularly during past hurricane seasons. Using a 1500-watt inverter from Harbor Freight, connected to my truck’s sizable gas tank, I could power essentials like freezers and refrigerators during power outages. This setup, while simple, proved highly effective and has remained functional over the years. Such measures, along with prudent purchasing decisions, ensure preparedness for short-term backup scenarios.

Power for Your Preparedness Priorities

Again, my primary focus centers around ensuring the safety of our food supply, especially considering we have two freezers. These freezers hold a significant investment in meat, condiments, and perishables stored in the refrigerator. Preserving these items is paramount to me. In short-term power outages, I strive to maintain power to sustain these appliances. Moreover, in worst-case scenarios like an apocalyptic event, I aim to utilize the stored food efficiently to minimize waste.

Conversely, my wife emphasizes the importance of comfort, particularly maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. We’ve made arrangements to cool down our living space using a portable AC unit and partitioning the living room using plastic sheeting to concentrate cooling efforts in our main living area. This setup ensures we can rest comfortably, avoiding the sweltering Texas heat that often prevails.

These two concerns—food preservation and comfort—are currently at the forefront of my preparedness efforts. However, as circumstances evolve, additional considerations may arise. Regardless, I have peace knowing that I’ve taken proactive steps to address these potential challenges.

This article is based on the Ready Your Future podcast episode 812 that referenced the article, “Amid explosive demand, America is running out of power.

Listen to the full episode – CLICK HERE.

Peace
Todd

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Dealing with Fear and Anxiety in Your Preparedness and Survival

fear management tips for preppers

Dealing with fear is important to discuss and understand because it is probably one of the main reasons many start in preparedness.  It’s not the only reason, and many might not admit it, but something, somewhere concerned you enough to the need to get prepared.  While fear may drive us to action, it’s crucial to explore strategies for overcoming fear in prepping to ensure a balanced approach.

So to reiterate, you shouldn’t stay in that state of fear as you continue on your journey to be better prepared!  You need some fear management tips for preppers!

Understanding Fear in Preparedness

This applies to everyone who is currently prepping.  It might be most relevant to those who are newer to preparedness, but I have heard from preppers who have been prepping for a while and could use more of this information in their life.

And if that is you, you might get a little frustrated with me because you still see the concerns that led you to prepping still out there.  

But those outside forces are not things that you can control anyway.  We should be focused on what we can control and what we can do to mitigate the craziness from impacting us in a way that wrecks our lives!

Fear-based prepping comes into play when we realize how fragile the world around us is.  It could stem from economic turbulence, political upheaval, job loss, health concerns, natural disasters, or just concern over the zeitgeist, which is the spirit of the age. 

Physiological Impact of Fear: The Amygdala and Fight or Flight Response

Fear impacts you by taxing you not just mentally, but physiologically too. Understanding how fear impacts us physiologically is the first step in overcoming fear in prepping.  Fear is based in our amygdala, the part of the brain that we share with many animals.  It is called the lizard brain.  And it is responsible for our fight or flight reflexes.  

When things get too stressful and overwhelming, our response is to leave the situation (flight).  Many people do so when they put their heads in the sand to not deal with the troubles in this world.  They just don’t want their way of living disrupted, including the lives of their families.  

Some fight, where we could consider the place where preparedness falls in, where we are doing something about whatever is causing us to fear.

But again, the problem is when we stay in the fear!  Notice that an animal who is in a fight or flight situation doesn’t always stay there.  We are not supposed to stay in fight or flight or fear all the time.

Practical Fear Management Tips for Preppers

To deal with fear, the prepared should understand and nail down a few things

Ask yourself, “What brought you to preparedness in the first place?”  What was the reason?  Did you deal with that specific thing already?  Have you mitigated the situation?

For example, if you first came to preparedness because you experienced a week-long power outage after a hurricane, have you worked through how you manage that now if it happened again?

If you haven’t, then start doing that now!  It isn’t hard to get this figured out!

If you have, then you can feel proud that you conquered that fear.  Now you might not feel like you did, but you were concerned about a week without power and then you figured that out.  There is no need to stay in fear because of a power outage now!

Now if you are concerned about an EMP or Solar Flare, I’m sorry, you can’t ever get fully prepared for that!  To me, that’s not where you should be focusing on your preparedness.  But I digress.

When you start dealing with your legitimate concerns, plan and prepare to mitigate those concerns.  Your fear levels should decrease and eventually go away!

Moving Beyond Fear: Building Resilience in Preparedness

Fear comes into play when you really haven’t done anything to mitigate your true concerns.  

So for your sanity and quality of life, you need to handle fear and remove what you can from your thoughts.  

Some people are just worriers.  I get that.  But only worrying, doesn’t cause you to change or do something productive.  

Think back to a time when you worried about a big project you needed to get done.  Think about the feeling after you completed the project.  

And, I will speak from experience, many times your worry isn’t even justified!  A lot of time and energy is wasted on fear and worry that could have been put to use somewhere else!

Shifting Mindsets: From Fear to Empowerment

Here is something you should do.  Start writing down the things that you fear.  Put a name and a “face” to it!  Write down the reason why it causes you to fear!

This should be the start or beginning of dealing with your fear.  Because once you know what you’re dealing with, you can start to address it and it doesn’t continue to be this big ugly monster under your bed that you don’t know what to do with!

Conclusion: Embracing a Balanced Approach to Preparedness

Ok. To recap, fear is a driving force behind many individuals’ preparedness, yet it shouldn’t be the sole motivator or a state where one remains stagnant. 

Fear-based prepping often stems from acknowledging the fragility of our surroundings, however, it’s essential to recognize that staying in a perpetual state of fear is counterproductive. By identifying the specific fears driving preparedness and actively addressing them through planning and mitigation strategies, individuals can alleviate anxiety and build resilience. This process involves understanding the root causes of fear, confronting them head-on, and gradually reducing their impact on your daily life. Through proactive measures and a shift in mindset, overcoming fear in prepping is achievable. By embracing fear management tips for preppers, individuals can navigate the uncertainties of preparedness with confidence and resilience.

preparedness guide

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End of Year Emergency Plan and Simple Checklist

Emergency Plan

Whether you are new or experienced in emergency preparedness, the end of the year brings a time to reflect on and update your preps. Having an emergency plan, so you are prepared for disasters or crises should be a top priority. Don’t get caught off guard – follow these simple steps to make sure you and your family are ready to handle whatever might come your way in the new year! Below you will find a free checklist you can download and other resources that you might find valuable!

Review and Update Your Emergency Plan

Make sure your plan accounts for any recent changes in your household and that all family members are familiar with it. Include important info like contact numbers, insurance policies, prescription medications list, etc. ReadThe Best Preparedness Gift You Can Give Your Loved One

Check Your Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Take inventory and replenish any depleted items in your emergency supply kits. Have enough food, water and other essentials to sustain your household for at least 72 hours. Read – 50+ Basic Preps You’re Probably Not Thinking About

Inspect Your Home’s Safety Features

Install smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and inspect for any potential hazards. Secure heavy furniture and ensure escape routes are accessible. Read – Real Preparedness:  Understanding the Significance of Shutting Off Utilities

Learn Key Skills

Consider first aid, CPR training, self-defense techniques, gardening, food preservation or DIY repairs. These can be invaluable during crisis situations.

Stay Informed

Follow news and official outlets to receive real-time alerts and updates on potential threats in your area. Early warnings are crucial. Read – Striking a Balance: Staying Informed, Prepping, and Living Life!

Have Backup Communication Methods

From phone calls to walkie-talkies, establish alternate communication channels to connect with loved ones during emergencies when traditional means may be unavailable.

Designate Meeting Points and Evacuation Routes

Ensure your whole family knows where to meet up and how to get there if you ever need to evacuate your home. Practice these emergency drills together.

Stock Up on Essential Emergency Items

Non-perishable food, water, first aid kits, flashlights, batteries, blankets – these are just some must-have supplies to include in your emergency kits tailored to your region’s likely hazards. Read – Do This With $100 NOW

Learn Survival Skills

From emergency response training to basic first aid knowledge, useful skills can make all the difference during disasters. Never stop expanding your emergency preparedness education.

Document Important Info

Make copies of crucial documents like ID papers, insurance policies and financial info to have ready to take at a moment’s notice during rapid evacuations. Listen to this Episode – Bugout Docs

Connect With Your Community

Building relationships and support networks in your neighborhood can boost resilience during local crises. Get involved in community emergency readiness programs. Join the Exclusive Email Group

Review and Practice Your Plan

Once you’ve made an emergency plan, occasionally review it and practice evacuation drills with your family to keep it fresh. Update as needed and replace used supplies.

Final Word

Everyone can take small steps to keep their household safe in the event of a natural disaster, outage or other regional emergency. Have a plan and supplies ready to go – the more prepared you are, the better you’ll weather any storm!

End of Year Emergency Plan and Simple Checklist Read More »

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