Prepping For A Week Of Trading

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Getting Started: Prepping for a Two Week Power Outage

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By Daisy Luther

If you’re new to preparedness, you may be reading some of the excellent and informative websites out there and feeling quite quite overwhelmed. While many sites recommend a one year supply of food, manual tools, and a bug out lodge in the forest, it’s vital to realize that is a long-term goal, not a starting point.

A great starting point for someone who is just getting started on a preparedness journey is prepping specifically for a two-week power outage. If you can comfortably survive for two weeks without electricity, you will be in a far better position than most of the people in North America.

Even if you aren’t convinced that hardcore preparedness is for you, it would still be difficult to argue against the possibility of a disaster lasting for a couple of weeks. Major natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy down to lesser storms like last year’s derecho in the Metro DC area are incontestable – storms happen and all you can do is be ready to weather them. As well, a large western US power company recently announced that they did not foresee the ability to keep up with electrical demand this summer, and may institute rolling blackouts to cope with it. If you are prepared for two weeks without power, you are prepared for a wide range of short-term emergencies, including quarantines, interruptions of income, or civil unrest.

To prepare for a two week emergency, think about what you would need if the power went out and you couldn’t leave your home for 14 days. Once you begin creating your plan, you may be surprised and discover that you already have most of what you need to batten down the hatches for a couple of weeks. It’s just a matter of organizing it so you can see what you need.

Use the following information to create your personal 2 week preparedness plan. Modify the suggestions to adapt them to your particular home, family, and climate.

Water

Everyone knows that clean drinking water is something you can’t live without. In the event of a disaster, the water may not run from the taps, and if it does, it might not be safe to drink, depending on the situation. If there is a boil order in place, remember that if the power is out, boiling your water may not be as easy as turning on your stove.

Each family should store a two week supply of water. The rule of thumb for drinking water is 1 gallon per day, per person. Don’t forget to stock water for your pets, also.

You can create your water supply very inexpensively. Many people use clean 2 liter soda pop bottles to store tap water. Others purchase the large 5 gallon jugs of filtered water from the grocery store and use them with a top-loading water dispenser . Consider a gravity fed water filtration device and water purification tablets as well.

Food and a way to prepare it

There are two schools of thought regarding food during a power outage. One: you need a cooking method that does not require the grid to be functioning. Two: you can store food that doesn’t require cooking.

If you opt for a secondary cooking method, be sure that you have enough fuel for two weeks. Store foods that do not require long cooking times – for example, dried beans would use a great deal of fuel, but canned beans could be warmed up, or even eaten cold.

Learn more about building your pantry HERE.

Click HERE for a short term food storage list

Click HERE to find a list of meals that require no cooking.

Heat (depending on your climate)

If your power outage takes place in the winter and you live in a colder climate, heat is another necessity. During the first 24 hours after a power outage, you can stay fairly warm if you block off one room of the house for everyone to group together in. Keep the door closed and keep a towel or blanket folded along the bottom of the door to conserve warmth. You can safely burn a couple of candles also, and in the enclosed space, your body heat will keep it relatively warm. As well, dress in layers and keep everything covered – wear a hat, gloves (fingerless ones allow you to still function), and a scarf.

Click HERE to learn how to stay warm with less heat.

However, after about 48 hours, that’s not going to be enough in very cold weather. You will require back-up heat at this point in certain climates. If you are lucky enough to have a source of heat like a fireplace or woodstove, you’ll be just fine as long as you have a supply of wood.

Consider a portable propane heater (and propane) or an oil heater. You have to be very careful what type of backup heat you plan on using, as many of them can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if used in a poorly ventilated area. Also invest in a CO2 alarm that is not grid-dependent .

Learn more about off-grid heat options HERE.

Sanitation needs

A common cause of illness, and even death, during a down-grid situation is lack of sanitation. We’ve discussed the importance of clean drinking water, but you won’t want to use your drinking water to keep things clean or to flush the toilet.

For cleaning, reduce your need to wash things. Stock up on paper plates, paper towels, and disposable cups and flatware. Keep some disinfecting cleaning wipes and sprays (I don’t recommend using antibacterial products on a regular basis, however in the event of an emergency they can help to keep you healthy.) Use hand sanitizer after using the bathroom and before handing food or beverages – there may be a lot more germs afoot in a disaster.

Look at your options for sanitation. Does your toilet still flush when the electricity is out? Many people discovered the hard way that the toilets didn’t work when the sewage backed up in the highrises in New York City in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. At our cabin, the toilet won’t flush without power because the pump is electric.

If you are on a septic system, with no risk of the toilet backing up into the house, simply store some water for flushing in the bathroom. (At the first sign of a storm, we always fill the bathtub for this purpose.) Add the water to the tank so that you can flush.

If this is not an option, another solution is to stock up on extremely heavy duty garbage bags (like the kind that contractors use at construction sites) and kitty litter. Place a bag either in your drained toilet or in a bucket. Sprinkle some kitty litter in the bottom of the bag. Each time someone uses the bathroom, add another handful of litter. Be very careful that the bag doesn’t get too heavy for you to handle it. Tie it up very securely and store it outside until services are restored.

Light

Lighting is absolutely vital, especially if there are children in the house. Nothing is more frightening than being completely in the dark during a stressful situation. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest things to plan for, as well as one of the least expensive.

Some lighting solutions are:

Tools and supplies

Some basic items will make your life much easier during an emergency. Here are some things that are essential in the event of a power outage:

If you’d like to expand on the basic supplies, a more detailed list of tools and hardware can be found HERE.

First Aid kit

It’s important to have a basic first aid kit on hand at all times, but particularly in the event of an emergency. Your kit should include basic wound care items like bandages, antibiotic ointments, and sprays. As well, if you use them, keep on hand a supply of basic over-the-counter medications, like pain relief capsules, cold medicine, cough syrup, anti-nausea pills, and allergy medication. Particularly important if sanitation is a problem are anti-diarrheal medications .

If you want to put together a more advanced medical kit, you can find a list HERE.

Special needs

This is something that will be unique to every family. Consider the things that are needed on a daily basis in your household. It might be prescription medications, diapers, or special foods. If you have pets, you’ll need supplies for them too. The best way to figure out what you need is to jot things down as you use them over the course of a week or so.

Get started today

You can start right now – this very minute – all you have to do is grab a pad of paper and a pen.

  1. Begin by personalizing the suggestions above to fit your family’s needs and make a list of your requirements.
  2. Next, do a quick inventory – as I mentioned above, you may be surprised to see that you already have quite a few of the supplies that are recommended.
  3. Make a shopping list and acquire the rest of the items you need. If you can’t afford everything right now, prioritize the most important things first.
  4. Organize your supplies so that they are easily accessible when you need them.

The peace of mind that comes from being prepared for a disaster before it happens cannot be measured. You won’t have to fight the crowds or be faced with empty store shelves. You won’t have to sit there, cold and miserable, in the dark. You won’t be hungry or thirsty. You will be able to face the event with the serenity that readiness brings, and this will also make it less traumatic for your children when they see that you aren’t afraid.

If you’ve dealt with a long term power outage, what were some of the items that you found the most important?

All Of A Sudden, People All Over America Are Prepping Like Crazy

I can’t remember a time when we have seen such widespread “panic buying” all over the nation. Today I spoke with someone that just visited the closest Wal-Mart in this area, and I was told that there are empty shelves all over the store. There are very few canned goods left, some of the most essential medications have been cleaned out, and there was nothing left in the long-term storable food section at all.

Of course similar things are being reported at major retail stores all across the United States. All of a sudden, fear of COVID-19 has motivated thousands upon thousands of Americans to start prepping like crazy. But most of the population is still not taking this crisis seriously enough.

As the number of confirmed cases all over the world continues to rise at an exponential rate, what are the stores going to look like when most of the country finally realizes that they should be prepping for an extended pandemic?

Over the past several days, this coronavirus outbreak has escalated significantly.

From Saturday to Sunday, the number of confirmed cases in Italy jumped by 50 percent…

Italy reported a 50% increase in coronavirus cases Sunday, as the US further restricted travel and the famed La Scala opera house closed.

Italy’s Civil Protection Authority reported the country now has 1,694 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from 1,128 confirmed cases on Saturday. Thirty-four people have died.

And in Germany, the number of confirmed cases actually doubled in just 24 hours.

Here in the United States, confirmed cases are now popping up all over the nation, and we are being warned to brace for a “boom” of confirmed cases…

A “boom” of confirmed cases of the coronavirus that has now killed more than 3,000 people around the world — including two in the U.S. — could already be racing across America despite ramped-up efforts to contain the outbreak, experts say.

The spread of the virus by “community transmissions” is an indication that we could indeed be looking at the tip of the iceberg,” Ogbonnaya Omenka, an assistant professor and public health specialist at Butler University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, told USA TODAY on Sunday.

Overall, the number of confirmed cases outside of China has more than tripled over the past week. If we continue to see that sort of a growth rate, there will be more than a million confirmed cases outside of China just five weeks from now.

I don’t think that it will happen that quickly, and let us pray that we don’t hit that number at all, but right now this outbreak is starting to spiral out of control.

As fear of this virus rises, grocery stores from coast to coast are stocking up on essential supplies in an effort “to prevent shortages”…

Now grocers are working to prevent shortages and preparing for a spike in demand for disinfectants and long-lasting items such as pasta and canned food. Some are ramping up orders from suppliers.

“This is like a natural disaster, but it’s an illness,” said Doug Baker, vice president of industry relations at FMI, a trade group for food retailers.

In the short-term, hopefully things won’t be too bad.

But without a doubt global supply chains are becoming extremely strained due to the widespread shutdowns inside of China, and that has led one analyst to predict “empty shelves in Target and Walmart as early as April”…

“Literally, empty shelves in Target and Walmart as early as April,” predicts David Iwinski, a local China business consultant who once ran a factory in China.

Most retail stores are likely to have shortages because the coronavirus in China is hampering the manufacture of products shipped to America.

If there are things that you need to go buy, you need to do it now, because thousands upon thousands of Americans are already storming the stores.

In Los Angeles, a local Costco was quickly raided of the most essential supplies when the store opened on Saturday morning…

At a Costco Wholesale market in Los Angeles Saturday morning, a swarm of shoppers loaded up carts with essential items to prepare for a possible period of quarantine.

According to the chain, water, paper towels and Clorox disinfecting wipes were the most in-demand products.

And up in northern California, photos of completely empty shelves over the weekend were rapidly shared on social media…

On social media, residents further north shared shocking photos and videos from Costco centers in San Francisco.

Shelves were depleted of tinned food, while some shoppers climbed up onto shelving in order to reach remaining supplies of rice.

Of course the exact same thing is happening in other states as well.

In Washington, one local resident claimed that “thousands of people” have been descending on the local Costco centers…

I live in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Washington State. My advice for those elsewhere – go to Costco now. Thousands of people at local stores yesterday – not where you want to be if there is a virus spreading. Glad I went a week ago.

And one video that has been very widely shared shows hundreds of people lined up at a Costco in Brooklyn before it even opened in the morning.

Up to this point, only six people have died from the virus in the United States.

So what will things look like if thousands of people start dying?

Already, there is a worldwide shortage of protective face masks. In fact, things have gotten so bad that Surgeon General Jerome Adams posted a tweet demanding that people stop buying them…

The surgeon general has a message for people who want to run out and stockpile masks to combat the coronavirus – don’t.

“Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS!” Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted. “They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

Personally, I don’t understand his logic. If the masks are not effective, then why do healthcare providers need them?

Yes, the masks have limited effectiveness against a virus that is so easy to catch. But at least they are better than nothing.

The time of “the perfect storm” is here, and this virus has the potential to greatly accelerate our problems.

We still don’t know if this will be the great global pandemic that so many have warned about, but Bill Gates certainly seems to believe that this may be the “once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about”…

Billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said the coronavirus that has killed at least 2,859 people and infected more than 83,700 globally may be the “once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about.”

“I hope it’s not that bad, but we should assume it will be until we know otherwise,” Gates wrote in an article published Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Personally, I am still hoping that this outbreak will start to subside once warmer weather arrives.

But so far nothing is slowing this virus down. As I mentioned above, the total number of cases outside of China has more than tripled over the last seven days, and that is a huge red flag.

If you need to get to the store, do it now. Because at the rate that people are raiding the stores, there could soon be shortages of some of the most important supplies.

How To Easily Build a 2 Week Emergency Food Supply

By Alan 13 Comments ✓ This post may contain affiliate links*

If you are brand new to prepping and want to start stockpiling food, it can be very difficult to get started. They say you should store what you eat, but what if most of what you eat is fast food, frozen meals, and other foods that have to be kept in the refrigerator? Won’t that be a problem if the power goes out?

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That is just one of the many overwhelming thoughts that new preppers have to deal with. They have to find foods that are affordable, have a long shelf life, and won’t be too difficult to cook in a grid-down scenario. It’s easier said than done if you’ve never thought about it before.

In my opinion, a good way to get started is to simply copy what someone else has done. Get two weeks of food in your pantry ASAP (because you never know when a disaster will strike), and later you can start tweaking your food supply to better fit your family‘s needs.

City Prepping came up with a list of two week’s worth of food, and I think new preppers who don’t know where to begin should follow his example. The foods are easy to cook, easy to store, and provide plenty of nutrition.

  1. Rice – 20 pounds
  2. Beans – 20 pounds or cans
  3. Canned meat – 20 cans
  4. Canned fruit – 20 cans
  5. Canned veggies – 20 cans
  6. Canned soup – 20 cans
  7. Powdered milk – 1 box
  8. Cereal – 2 boxes
  9. Oatmeal – 5 pounds
  10. Peanut butter – 2 jars
  11. Pancake mix – 10 pounds
  12. Honey/Jam/Syrup
  13. Pasta – 20 pounds
  14. Spaghetti sauce – 12 jars
  15. Salt – 1 large jar
  16. Oil such as olive oil
  17. Coffee or tea
  18. Spices and condiments
  19. Nuts such as mixed nuts
  20. Packaged meals

Watch the video below to find out why he chose these particular foods along with some additional considerations and how to go beyond two weeks of food.

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Comments

Chuck Monroe says

In view of the expanding coronavirus epidemic, I’m starting to stockpile.

Barbara J Rooney says

What supplies do you keep Chuck? I mean besides food and water. Flashlight, candles, matches and what else? TYIA.

I’ve been stocking on medical supplies and over the counter medicines/vitamins. We’re already seeing a shortage on things like dust masks, nitrile gloves, and sanitizers. These were plentiful just a few weeks ago. I expect other items will follow. Whatever you see in stores right now that you are using, buy more than two of.

Jeremy Burrage says

Whoever you are you turned out to be right!

My hubby used to work for the Post Office and every 3 years their contract was renewed. There was always a chance that the Union could call for a Strke.
So I had one corner base cupboard that i would buy xtra canned goods to put away. Had enough for a month of food for four.
It was so easy and painless. A really easy way to get started. Store what your family will eat.. not just follow someone else’s list.

MIKE HEFLEY says

MAYBE I WAS ONLY PERSON TO NOTICE, BUT MOST OF THE FOOD ITEMS PICTURED WERE “ORGANIC”. SMART MAN!! YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY PLANNING TO LIVE LONG. JUST SO EVERYONE KNOWS, U DON’T DIE IF U DON’T EAT 2,000 CALORIES A DAY. IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION HALF THAT WILL WORK GREAT. AMERICA IS A COUNTRY OF FAT PEOPLE, WE NEED TO LOSE SOME POUNDS ANYWAY!

I bought plenty of water !! For drinking n cooking . Plenty of can beans . Sanitizer everything u need buy it !! Nothing will go awaste buy plenty so u can help others … candles lighters matches ! Buy buy like if it was gonna last for a while ! First of all accept Jesus in your heart! Repent from all sins .. pray for everything u buy so GOD can BLESS U .

Now that you know what to do, don’t wate for a push from mother nature , or who knows what can happen.do it then relax,you will have other things to worry about.

People listen to him, he said this is for a family of four. Also remember he’s not rationing for a real emergency. The last thing you want is hungry kids when things are uncomfortable. Bettering to have a bit more than absolutely necessary.

Good list. The most important thing to remember is to store what you like. For instance, my family is lactose intolerant, so mac & cheese is out. I have a small amount of powdered milk to mix with mashed potatoes. Another tasty trick is to add things to soups you already like. Most soups come with an excess of liquid broth; fill it up with rice or small pasta. This gives you a lot more good food.

Agree with the above comment from prsmith. With respect I started adding up the approx. calories but then just started adding the listed weights in pounds. Where the weight is listed there is 75 pounds of food! That is an amazing amount of food for two weeks. Unless this list is for a number of people.
Plus a lot of the list is dehydrated. I know this is a list of food but please include a statement about the amount of water needed just to dehydrate the food.
Also just listing “beans 20 pounds or cans” appears to be simplistic as there is a world of difference between dried beans and canned beans.
Also what prsmith said is spot on. To begin prepping, look at what you normally eat, work out if it can be easily stored, and buy a few more of it every time you go shopping. If it can’t be easily stored then modify your purchase and start introducing that to the diet. Breakfast cereal easily stored so buy a few more packets. Milk ditto but in powdered form or long life milk (UHT). So keep buying fresh milk but buy some long lasting milk.

With all due respect, I can’t help but wonder how many people he’s feeding if that’s a two week list? Geeze, the pasta and sauce alone would feed a person (poorly) for a couple months and you’d still have a ton of pasta left.

What I don’t see in his list is a bottle of quality multi-vitamins/multi-minerals and I’d add fermented foods such as pickles/relish, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc. for gut health. I love Tuna salad with sweet pickle relish, onions, garlic and mayo (get the single serving packets) on crackers, another great survival food. Add noodles, a can of peas and some powdered cheese and you’ve got a complete meal but I digress.

Dehydrated fruits, vegetables and meats (in addition to the milk, cheese, butter) in both single serve pouches and large #10 cans for non-perishables is a great way to go to prevent food spoilage (who can eat a whole jar of spaghetti sauce with pasta?)

The way to prep is to add two to ten cans of food from a list like the one in this article to your shopping list every time you go to the store and tuck it away until you reach your goal. Pull from your stores for everyday needs but always add that amount to your REGULAR shopping list. Calculate your needs based on a 2,000 calorie per day per person requirement. 2,000 calories x 14 days x 1 person = 28,000 calories per person. Three meals of 670 calories or four at 500 including snacks. Plan around your five or six favorite, EASY recipes. Concentrate on cold foods like Tuna/Chicken salads, Spam/Vienna Sausage on crackers w/fruit & mixed nuts, etc. Once you hit your two week goal, set a new goal like two months. Once you get used to the process, Don’t Stop! until you run out of storage space (including multiple, one month outside caches in case your primary cache gets stolen or confiscated).

Projects: Build Hobo/Rocket Stoves, Build a Sun Oven. Make parabolic mirrors from an old cable TV dish or trash can lid to heat black pots. Look on YouTube for videos or google for plans, photos..

Needs: Several quality, manual can openers, manual meat/grain/seed grinders, campfire cooking utensils, hand tools (whisks, mixers, choppers). Try going a week without any electric appliances and you’ll know what to buy.

Jeanne Leger says

prsmithsays: He said that was for a family of four! You may be surprised how much kids eat and how often they are hungry.

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