Author Topic: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria  (Read 293259 times)

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #210 on: August 10, 2012, 11:41:09 AM »
I'm working on a "Gadget" article.  I got gadgets - you got gadgets?  Gadgets will make your life easier when TSHTF.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #211 on: August 11, 2012, 04:49:04 PM »

I got gadgets – you got gadgets?  Gadgets are smaller type tools that make doing a task easier.  Always thinking there won’t be power when the SHF, battery powered gadgets and non-powered except your hand, gadgets, move up in importance.  Generally speaking, gadgets aren’t expensive, likely none over $20.00 and most cost less.

Some of these gadgets came about as I got older and had less strength in my hands so they weren’t bought as a prep item, but they are.

Ring Pull Can Opener:  
The first gadget I think of is my lid puller for cans with the ring you grab and peel off the lid.  If I try to pull that lid off using that ring, it hurts my finger because I have to pull like crazy to get the lid off and am likely to spill some of the contents when the lid finally gives way.  In my opinion, those rings were made for a manly man to pull.  This gadget is just a piece of hard plastic with a curved end with a notch in it.  Put that end into the ring and pull back and off comes the lid.  I looked on the Walmart website and couldn’t find one but that doesn’t mean they don’t have it and they probably do.  These lid pullers are really cheap. There is one on Amazon for seventy-six cents but shipping is $4.99.  Look at Walmart first if you want a lid puller.  If you don’t find it at Walmart and there is a Kitchen Collection near you, try there as they have many gadgets.  Target is another option to try.  Many soups now have this pull off ring as do other cans. 

A Kitchen Collection store is to a woman as Home Depot/Lowes is to a man.  When I would buy something at Kitchen Collection, I would tell husband just like he had to have the right tools to build/repair, I needed the right tools in the kitchen to cook.  He would laugh and that was that. Say that to a husband who wants to give you trouble about buying something at Kitchen Collection. 

Regular can opener:  
If you use an electric one, it is useless without power.  Must use hand power to remove a lid or something that works with battery.  Prices for a manual can opener, go from maybe one dollar to as much as $20.  You don’t want one that is so cheap it’s hard to stay with it to open a can and it hurts your hand to do it.  Get one that is easy on your hand and cuts the lid easily.  I have two good ones and one is in my fast leave the house bag (BOB), and the other is in a kitchen drawer.  There is also one of the very cheap ones in the kitchen drawer and I don’t know how many years I have had that thing, but I don’t throw it away as it IS a can opener plus it has a bottle opener on it.

Another can opener and a bottle cap opener: 
I have a battery powered “One Touch” can opener for regular cans.  You put it on top of the can and punch the button and it opens the can.  Also have battery powered “One Touch” bottle cap opener.  Let’s think of a lid on a preserves jar or a lid on a bottle of spaghetti sauce.  Once again, most of the time, it takes a manly man to open those.  You put this bottle lid opener on the top of the bottle and punch the button and it opens that bottle cap.  In an emergency situation, I wouldn’t waste a battery on the can opener as I would use the good manual can openers, but I would keep a battery in the bottle opener because some bottles I just can’t open.  These two openers are of the “As Seen on TV” items.  Walgreens and Kitchen Collection carry these.  I feel sure they are also on Amazon but haven’t looked for them.  Each one will be $19.99.  If you have real trouble opening bottles, consider the bottle opener one.

Final choice of can opener:  
All the rest of your can openers don’t work or you are away from your house and must open a can.  Let’s just carry a can opener on our key chain or in our pocket or in a purse.  Wow, must be a heavy dude, right?  No, they aren’t, weigh next to nothing, and I bought 10 of them for $4.82 on Amazon.  Guess what my friends are getting for Christmas.  These are military can openers used by our military for many years.  They are GI P51 can openers.  Be sure to get the P51 as the P38 is smaller and more difficult to use due to being smaller.  There is a little notch on this opener and put that notch onto the rim of the can, then with a rocking motion, open the can.  There is a hole to put on a key ring or on something around your neck or attach to your backpack, etc.  No matter what happens or where I am, I have a can opener and you will, too, with this opener.  If you give them as Christmas gifts, be ready to tell them what it is and how to use it.

I have two kinds of special gloves – these gloves are not gadgets, they are serious preps.  One pair is to use when you are near a fire tending to the fire or food.  These are heavy suede gloves that come up the arm to protect your hands and arms from the heat.  They are 17.5 inches long and the brand name is SR.  I think I got them at  www.BESTOFBARBECUE.COM (that website name is on the package).  I remember I had to search for a long time to find some that would really work.  The other gloves are for handing hot meat, like a whole chicken or big chunk of meat, brisket, turkeys, etc.  Appears I got these at Best of Barbecue, too.  They are called, “Insulated Hot Food Gloves” and there is a picture of Steven Raichlen on the front (whoever he is).  They look like big, long, rubber gloves.  They can be washed off after using them.  I don’t remember the cost of either pair of these gloves.  If you have to deal with a fire and/or hot meat, these gloves will keep you from burning yourself.

Swiss+Tech UKCSB-1 Utili-Key 6-in-1 Keychain MultiTool $7.89 at Amazon:  
I was thinking of more Christmas gifts when I came up with this.  This will be on my key ring and one will be a Christmas gift.  The Leatherman multi-tool is a good thing but it is heavy.  This “Key” gives you fast tools you can use in an emergency.  It looks like a key and numerous people have gotten on airplanes with this but a few do get noticed and the passenger has to give it up.  It attaches to a key ring easily and is taken off easily.  You pull the key apart and there are the tools. Here are it’s tools:
1.   Straight knife blade
2.   Serrated cutting surface
3.   Flat screwdriver
4.   Phillips screwdriver
5.   Micro-sized screwdriver
6.   Bottle opener
Weighs 0.5 oz.
Don’t give this to a child or a grown-up who is a klutz.  When you pull the key apart the sharp knife is on one side and you have to be aware of this. 

CRKT Eat’N Tool, $6.17 at Amazon: 
Another Christmas gift but got one for me, naturally.  These come in silver or black non-stick stuff.  Here we have an ergonomic spoon combined with short-tined fork, bottle opener, screwdriver blade which is also a pry tool to open a canister,  three metric wrench openings.  Has a carabiner to snap onto a pack or whatever or carry in pocket or purse. It is four inches long and weighs 1.5 oz.  You will always have a spoon/fork/bottle opener/screwdriver with you.  How about you are using a plastic fork or spoon to eat fast food in your car and it breaks – no big deal because you have a solid spoon/fork with you.

The next article is about updating my BOB (bug out bag).  I did this before hurricane season got here this year and made it better.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #212 on: August 12, 2012, 03:12:21 PM »

This article became long, mainly because I put in personal experiences.   I think when I do that, it gives you more perspective as to what can go wrong and what can be done to make it better.

I have three bags, two are Live Gear’s Wings of Life backpacks and one is a rolling bag.  Your BOB will contain whatever you need for your particular needs, based on the emergencies you perceive would befall you.

I am not going to live in the woods, but I might have to leave my house fast which I have had to do before and I wasn’t prepared to leave.

My biggest danger is falling trees when a hurricane comes through.  There are two huge oak trees behind me but not on my property.  To me, they are as tall as the Empire State Building and the most weight of the trees is facing my house.  If one or both fall in a hurricane they will smash my house because they are so tall, hitting my bedroom first.  When Ike came through I was really worried about those trees.  A woman in this town was killed in her bed when a tree fell during Ike.  Survey your property to locate possible trees that could hit your house; try to determine where they would first hit your house so you will be aware.  If a tree on your property could hit your house, consider if it makes sense to remove that tree to eliminate that threat.

I have given this thought, and I will leave the house next time, going to a hotel a few blocks away, until the hurricane goes through.  Then, will go back to my house, hoping it doesn’t have trees in it.   If one or both trees fall, the electric wire will be taken down with the trees as that wire is in the path of the trees falling so there will likely be a live wire on the ground.

Live wire – true story:  Years ago, I lived farther south which means closer to a hurricane coming in at Galveston.  The electric wire serving my area went along the back of my house lot. A hurricane came through.  If you have been in a hurricane or know about them, you know the winds come from one direction, then there is a period of nothing happening, then the winds return coming from the opposite direction.  The living area in my house had a large expanse of glass along the back side, so I could see the whole back yard.  I was standing in that room looking out when there was a loud, cracking sound.  The electric wire had split and a loud whipping sound happened and those wires whipped around like crazy due to the tension suddenly being gone.

The end of the wire down on the ground on my lot appeared to be dead.  I could see the other end was live and it was hitting the top of the garage of my neighbor, whipping back and forth with massive sparks/fire flying off.  I thought it’s going to catch that garage on fire.  In a fairly short time, there was a fire truck outside that house.  It didn’t stay long and left.  The lull in the hurricane was there so the winds had died down.  I walked over to the neighbor and he was beside himself.  He said the fireman told him they couldn’t do anything until the garage actually caught fire and to call them if it started burning.  They said call the electric company.  Calling the power company made sense but it didn’t seem right the fire truck left when the garage could start burning any second.   

He had called the electric company.  I went back home so I would be inside when the winds started again.  Some time passed with the wire still whipping around on the garage, then there was a knock on my front door.  It was the electric company and they had to go through my house to get to the line on the ground behind my house.  These electric wiremen took over my house.  The front and back doors stayed open as they went back and forth dealing with the wire out back.  They had cut the power to the live line that was on the garage.  The garage was saved.

You never know what can happen during a storm/tornado of any kind if there are strong winds.  You know to watch for live wires and don’t let your children charge outside as soon as a storm is over if your power has gone out.  Survey the area for live wires before letting children go outside.  I was glad the live wire was next door instead of the one on my ground being live.  I would have been a nutcase if that one had been live whipping around.

The other danger I have is a tornado close to my house which would do the same thing the hurricane would do if it took down those trees.  Of course, if my house was badly damaged by wind and not trees, or a tornado tore it up, I would have to leave.

These are my dangers, what are yours?  What could happen that would force you to leave your house?  What would you need if you had to leave?
The first thing I did was buy two Life Gear backpacks.  I found them sold on the Walmart website for a cheaper price than anywhere else.  They were $67.74 each.  I got one for my husband and one for me.  I keep one of these backpacks in the trunk of my car and one is in a safe room bathroom.
When there is a tornado warning, I grab big cushions, put those in that bathroom and grab Prissy and in we go and shut the door.  What is it that kills more people in a tornado than any other reason?  A head injury.  Under the sink in that bathroom is a motorcycle helmet for me to put on if this is a severe tornado warning and I have done that a few times.  Protect your head in a tornado and get where broken glass cannot get to you.  Why is a bathroom safer than any other regular room?  It is the pipes in the walls and/or overhead that make that room stronger.  Of course, a basement is the ultimate place but here in Texas we don’t have basements.  Our water table is close to the surface and digging underground will give you a water well instead of a basement.  Perhaps that is not true in west Texas but I think they don’t have many basements.

Where should you hunker down if you don’t have a safe room like a bathroom with no windows?  I studied that and if you crouch behind a large piece of furniture, like a sofa, if something falls down from above, the item hits the seat or the top of the sofa and it is deflected from that space directly behind the sofa.  I saw demonstrations of that and that space stayed clear.  I actually did that when I went through a tornado.  There was no safe place in that house, so I crouched behind a sofa.  The noise was definitely like a train roaring through.  I had another Yorkie then and she stayed in my lap not making a sound.  Finally, I thought the wind wasn’t as bad, but I knew it was okay to get up as the Yorkie started moving to leave the back of the couch.  She knew it was over before I knew it.  That was the worst one I’ve been through and there was much damage to houses and a number with trees in their houses.  The house I was in had shingles stripped from the roof. 

Back to the backpack.  What items came in this backpack?  Here is the description of the bag and its contents by the manufacturer:

Life Gear's Wings of Life survival backpack provides the ultimate in survival preparedness. It is a complete three day survival kit with food, water and essential survival gear. The food and water have a shelf life of five years, and can withstand a temperature range of -40 to +120 degrees F. Detachable wings of life help keep things organized, accessible and easy to find in stressful situations.

Life Gear Wings of Life Survival Backpack

Sleeve system for storage of food and water
Cell phone/walkie talkie carrying case
Water reservoir pocket
Multifunction tool sleeve
Cushioned shoulder straps
Lightweight ergonomic design for children and adults
Back ventilation system for cool air flow
See-through pockets for quick access to items
Ring hooks for added attachments
Two side pockets for storage of a personal safety device and bottle
Durable construction for long life
Backpack includes:
Waterproof tarp
Thermal blanket
All weather poncho
Hygiene kit
First aid kit
Multifunction tool
Leather work gloves
Respirator mask
Signaling whistle
Red emergency flasher
Waterproof document/cash bag
Signaling mirror
Writing pad & pen
6-page disaster preparedness action guide
Emergency food rations:
Made in USA
Meets US Coast Guard standards (160.046/23/0)
Meets Department of Defense regulations (SOLAS 74/83)
5-year shelf life
Non-thirst provoking
Withstand temperatures of -40 to 300 degrees F
Ready to eat: each package contains 9 pre-measured 400 calorie meals
Individual portions eliminate messy breakup
Contains no cholesterol or tropical oils
Enriched with vitamins and minerals, exceeding RDA requirements
Emergency water packets:
Made in USA
US Coast Guard approved
No oxygen transfer (no chance of bacterial contamination)
Pre-measured packets make water easy to dispense
Easy to transport; no cups needed
Withstand temperatures from -40 to 210 degrees F
5-year shelf life
Model No.  LGDLBPK01   
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 10.2   
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 13.0 x 6.0 x 19.0   

What needs to be added to one of these backpacks?  There is enough room to add a change of clothes, medicines, make-up, other small items, and a flashlight or small battery lantern of some kind.  Their hygiene kit has toothbrush and toothpaste.  It also has toilet paper but I have mashed a roll and stuck it in there.  There is a place to put your water bottle on the outside of the pack.  I got a water bottle from them that has a light in it so you can find the bottle in the dark.

Between the two packs, there are enough small water packages for six days.  I would empty  water packages into the water bottle to make it easier to use.

For my purpose of staying away from my house until a hurricane passes, I would have the backpack that is already in the trunk of my car, and I would have the one in the bathroom and take that one.  This would be staying in a hotel until the hurricane passed.  If the house was damaged so badly I couldn’t stay in it, then that is a longer hotel stay.  That hotel is not going to have food available – a hurricane is coming!  I’m taking everything I need for me and Prissy until the storm passes and enough for days after that if the house is badly damaged.  At the point I can get back in the house just to get supplies, I can get more stored food out of there.

Food:  Those backpacks together have enough food bars for six days.  I don’t want to eat cold food bars unless it’s absolutely necessary.  That is why I have a rolling bag to also take with me.

In one of these articles about food, I said I didn’t have any MREs because they are expensive and I didn’t need them.  I also said the only reason maybe to have them was to have if one had to leave his/her house.

So, when I re-did my rolling bag this spring before hurricane season, I decided to get MREs with the heater included in each box.  I got 12 of them (3 a day for 4 days) and they are in the rolling bag.  Twelve of those together are heavy.  I couldn’t carry them if I didn’t have the rolling bag.

I just looked up the company where I got the self-heating MREs.  It’s  Twelve cost $58.95 for the “EX” model.  The “EX” means it has extended storage.  I just got one out of the bag.  It is Southwest Style Chicken with rice and beans (I also see corn in the photo).  These MREs mean a hot meal instead of a cold food bar.

I must have coffee, right?  There are two cans of canned heat and the small folding Sterno stove in the rolling bag.  There is a small can of regular coffee, the Melitta plastic filter and paper filters and small plastic bottle of creamer.  Packages of instant oatmeal are in there as well as a small pot to heat water.  There is a plastic bag with plastic spoons/forks/knives.  But, I also have the metal spoon/fork gadget for definitely having a spoon/fork at all times.  I took some paper towels off a roll and put those in there.  There are paper plates, bowls.  There is a plastic bag with Purell sanitizing packets and the two restroom potty packets, one for liquid and one for solids.

There are doggie potty pads, and dry dog food.  I need to put a couple of small doggie toys in there.

There is another box, a metal one that is fire resistant, in the safe bathroom.  All important papers are in that box.  That box goes in the car if I have to leave.

Oh, yes.  After I got Prissy, because she would need water if we left, I bought a box of individual small water boxes.  Think there is 24 of those.  That box also needs to be taken to the car.  That, along with the water packets in the backpacks will be enough water for a number of days.

The total is 4 items to put in the car: backpack, rolling bag, case of water boxes, metal box.  And my purse with cash and change in it and the usual items it has in it including two cigarette lighters.  The small metal spoon is in there, military can opener is in there, and the key with tools is on my key chain.

I never let my car get less than half a tank of gas in it.

Are you ready to leave your house right now and have what you need for several days?

Offline chad

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #213 on: August 19, 2012, 06:40:47 PM »
Thanks Victoria.

Between you and cedar I've learned a lot
About prepping, thank you, for helping me help myself.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #214 on: August 19, 2012, 08:43:46 PM »
Chad, I'm glad the articles helped you.  It's easier to prep when you know how others did it so you can make your own plan.  Happy prepping.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #215 on: August 23, 2012, 07:47:58 PM »
I did it - got a portable oven.  Tomorrow, I'll write about why I did it, tell you about the oven, and write two stories of foul ups - one I didn't do and the other I did.  Please, no laughing when you read the foul-ups - stuff happens. :D


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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #216 on: August 24, 2012, 05:35:55 AM »
Victoria, I've very much appreciated everything you've share (so far) in this thread. Thank you.

And now I'm looking forward to reading about this oven...

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #217 on: August 24, 2012, 11:10:36 AM »

If you still lack having most of the preps you need to be secure, don’t buy an oven as an oven by itself can’t keep you alive but your water and food and other necessary items will.  As you have read, there are numerous breads to cook on a stove top so you can do fine without an oven.

Years ago, I had a portable oven and it was the only kind available.  It sat on whatever type grill was available but it was inefficient and was dropped off a high porch and that destroyed it.  I gave up the idea of an oven then.

I have two rather expensive items and one is useless without an oven and the other one was bought with an oven in mind.  I got these back in 1998.

Family Grain Mill:
$140 today at Pleasant Hill Grain – this is the hand crank model.  If I bought wheat, which is fairly cheap at Walton Food, sealed for long storage life, 20-25 yrs., I could grind it with the mill and have good flour – and I could bake bread if I had an oven.

Back to Basics Dough Maker:
I can’t find this on the web anymore.  I think I got it at Lehman’s those years ago.  I believe it was about $60-$70.  It was, and is, used by the Amish.  This is a 10 qt. metal bucket with a hand crank that kneads the dough.  Crank from 3-5 minutes and the dough is kneaded.  Then, it’s left in the bucket to rise.  I don’t know about you, but my kneading skill is the pits.  That’s why I got this dough maker.  Ha, ha, just turn the crank and it’s done!  There are hand cranked dough makers today but they look more modern than this big bucket.

See, I had the mill and I had the dough maker, but I didn’t have an oven.  So, toward the end of last week, I started researching portable ovens available now.  There is the Coleman Camp Oven, but it’s one of those to sit on top of a grill.  That cannot be heat/fuel efficient and a fluctuating heat isn’t going to bake bread very well.  That is my opinion and I could be wrong but I don’t trust that method for bread.  I also wanted the oven to be self-contained, not having to depend on a grill being present.

I wanted a small oven that would bake efficiently and bake a loaf of bread and other baked goods like pies, casseroles, cakes and cookies so it had to be big enough to do that.

I decided on the Camp Chef Junior and it uses a small bottle of propane or it can be hooked to a larger tank.  I got it from Walmart on line because it was cheaper there.  The cost was $116.52 with free shipping.  I saw this unit on other websites up to $170, which is ridiculous.

I’m listing the oven description because it is meaningful to understand it’s capabilities:

Camp Chef Oven Junior:
Portable oven
Cooks easily with 9" x 13" pan
Bakes pizza, pies, bread and more
Completes any camp kitchen
Removable baking rack
Glass window
Built-in temperature gauge
Uses 1 lb. propane bottles
Can be adapted to bulk tanks with optional HRDSP hose
Inside dimensions: 10"L x 16"W x 10"H
400 degree max temp
3,000 BTU output
Weighs 18 lbs.
Model# COJR

Note the dimensions are the inside ones for the unit is larger than that due to insulation to hold the heat in and keep it steady.  Also note it reaches 400 degrees which is excellent.

What does it look like?  It looks like a toaster oven with the glass in front.  It’s bigger than a toaster oven but the configuration is very similar.  It weighs 18 lbs. so it’s not light weight like a toaster oven.  This is a serious piece of equipment.

I should have this oven next Tuesday or Wednesday.  I’ll hook it up and bake a cobbler and send you a bowl of cobbler for you to evaluate.  I can send a bowl through email, right?


Here are two stories to add some “humor” time.  The first one was not my fault and was years ago.  The second one was my fault and it happened last week.

The phone line years ago: 
Sometimes things just screw-up on their own.  I was in my home office working and got a phone call.  It was 911.  The guy wanted to know my emergency.  Said I didn’t have one.  He said I did as I just called 911.  Said I didn’t call 911; he said I did.   He finally believed me and hung up.  Then, my husband returned home from work at his office.  He had an older daughter and called her.  I didn’t know he called her as I was still in my office.  Then, I got another call.   

It was 911 and the man said, “Please tell your husband to stop telling dirty jokes as calls from your house are being broadcast over speakers in the police department, 911, and fire department.”  I was stunned and speechless.

He said the phone lines must have malfunctioned and a crew was going out to dig up the line and fix it.  He said not to call out until he called me back when it was fixed.  When we hung up, I went in the next room and told my husband he needed to clean up his jokes as they were broadcast over speakers in the police department, 911, and fire department, and don’t make another call.  He started laughing and thought it was great.  Men.  I never knew what joke he told because I didn’t want to know.  The moral of this story is – there isn’t one, it was just a freak happening.

Okay, you can laugh now.

Emergency services last week:
Since I now live by myself with my little dog, my family is sure I’m going to fall down the stairs or somewhere else in the house and need an ambulance with medical people to help me.  I had a system that would call 911, but it wasn’t hooked up.  There was a pendant for me to wear in case I needed to punch the button for the unit to call 911.  The engineer husband of my sister-in-law got right on the job with this unit and set it up the way he wanted it.  Along with calling 911 and my voice telling 911, I need help and giving my address, it calls my friend in this town so she will know something is wrong. 

The pendant to wear around my neck has two buttons on it.  Punch the larger button and the base unit calls 911 and calls my friend.  If you accidently punch the larger button, punch the smaller button and it turns the thing off so 911 isn’t called.

So, that night I watched a late night movie and went to bed at 3 am.  At least, I tried to go to bed.  I took the pendant off and dropped it on the bedside table like I always do.  In a few minutes the phone rang.  It was my friend and she was in Austin.  She asked me what was wrong.  I said I was fine and why was she calling me?  She said she got an automated call telling her to call me.  Oh, no, the pendant must have done it.  I apologized for her getting a call at 3 am, then said I hope the ambulance wasn’t called.  We hung up, and I started downstairs thinking the base must have called 911.  I had the pendant in my hand.

I was half way down the stairs when there was a loud knock on my door.  I hurried to the door, and opened it.  Oh, my, what a sight outside my door.  Bright lights were everywhere on numerous emergency vehicles.  There was a fire truck, two police cars, and an ambulance and about 10 emergency people standing there, ready to charge into the house.  It looked like Christmas out there with all those lights rotating on those vehicles. 

I held out the pendant and said, “I am so sorry.  I dropped the pendant on the bedside table and it must have hit something that punched the button.” Once they were sure I was okay, the procession of emergency vehicles began to leave.

I felt so bad about that.  Because I dropped the pendant on the table instead of carefully sitting it down, I woke up my friend in the middle of the night in Austin, and my house was assaulted with emergency people ready to break in the door to save me.

My friend thought it was funny and now I am Comedy Central for her to tell the story over and over.

The base unit is downstairs and I was upstairs so I didn’t hear it call 911, didn’t hear the 911 person answer, so the 911 person thought I couldn’t talk and I must be a serious condition.  If I had been downstairs, when 911 answered, it’s automatically on a speaker and I can speak to the 911 person from anywhere in the room.  I could have stopped the response then, but I was upstairs and didn’t know 911 had been called.

The moral of this story is: DON’T DROP THE EMERGENCY PENDANT!  Be very careful when you sit it down.

Okay, you can laugh now.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 11:25:13 AM by Victoria »

Offline monkeyboyf

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #218 on: August 24, 2012, 09:04:26 PM »
As usual, your post really hits home.  I simply have to have one of those ovens. Your experience with the emergency alert pendant just cracked me up.  My family keeps suggesting I get one since I am so far out in the country. Can you imagine a 911 call from  that thing sending emergency crews from 30 miles away (45 minutes) because I screw it up?  He,he, I think I'll take my chances with my ever-present cell phone and calling my nearest neighbor.  :D

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #219 on: August 24, 2012, 09:53:26 PM »
Monkey, then make sure the cell phone battery stays charged and always carry it around the house on your person.  The first time you don’t, that will be the time you break your hip.  Story about hip:  when I was training to be an EMT, I had to work in an emergency room for a period of time.  I had learned in class how to know if a hip was broken, but I saw it myself there.  A woman was brought in and her right foot was turned completely on its side, flat on the table.  Try to do that and you can’t – unless your hip is broken.  She had no control of that leg/foot due to the broken hip and it was flat on its side.  I immediately knew this woman’s hip was broken.  She wasn’t leaving that hospital until she had hip surgery.  She had fallen at her house and she wasn’t going to walk again until the hip was fixed.

Maybe I need to write an article about “balance”.  Why we have balance instead of toppling over and what can happen so we don’t have proper balance anymore, so we fall.  Yes, I’ll write about that.

I felt bad when all those emergency people showed up, but I’m in the middle of town so they didn’t have far to go to get here.  I would have felt better if I could have offered them some fresh hot coffee or something to make up for that fast trip here.   If I lived where you do and they have to travel that long distance, I think I would have hidden under the furniture.

I wish you lived closer so we could have a drink (and I’d have a cigarette, too), and we could solve the world’s problems or decide they aren’t worth solving.  I guess we need to meet in some state and everyone who has posted on this thread could show up.  Technology is a wonderful thing to be able to talk to people anywhere on this planet.

Nicodemus hasn’t posted on this thread in a while but I know he’s out there.

Offline monkeyboyf

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #220 on: August 26, 2012, 08:18:01 PM »
Waiting for your post on balance. That should be a good one. Oh, I live about 5 hours from your area, so some day we will have to meet for that drink and many smokes, I smoke,too,lol.I talk to Nico on chat every few nights.  He's been made a Global Moderator.  Big shot now,hehe.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #221 on: August 27, 2012, 09:30:01 AM »
I don't know the pecking order on this forum so don't know what a global moderator does.  Nico has a good sense of humor and I'm sure he will do well with that responsibiity. 

I'm working on the balance article.  Falls send older people to the hospital more than any other reason.  A fall during an emergency would be tragic.

Something else:  As I thought, the Florida WaterBob company who makes WaterBobs is sold out.  Isaac was coming to Florida so people bought all the WaterBobs.  The other company, where I bought mine, still has some.  Many people in Florida are without power.  That may be restored today.  As this storm comes into the other states, power is going to go away there.  Power is man made and nature events can wipe it out.  I don't trust man made anything to work so I have back ups when it doesn't.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #222 on: August 27, 2012, 01:55:26 PM »

I know a lady who, if she stands up and closes her eyes, she will fall on the floor.  Even with her eyes open, she cannot walk a straight line.  When she walks, she veers to the right.  If you are on her right side, she will walk into you.  If she uses a cane, she will walk almost straight.  If she wears shoes with a heel over an inch, she will fall.  If she looks up, she will fall.

If a cop stopped her car and decided to give her a sobriety test, he would put her in jail because she can’t walk a straight line at all – she is going to fall if forced to try that.  If the cop said close your eyes and touch your fingers together, she couldn’t do it because she would fall when she closed her eyes – forget putting her fingers together, she would be on the ground.

Who is this person with these balance problems?  It is me.  I began to fall all the time in my house.  I documented what I was doing at the time when I fell.  Then, I did research to find out why I was falling. 

The next time we went to our pain doctor for my husband’s appointment, I explained what was happening.  He had me stand up and close my eyes.  I said okay, but I’m going to fall.  He said he would catch me.  I closed my eyes and tried my best to figure out where up and down was, but I felt like I was floating in air and had no idea where up and down was, so I fell.

I am not falling now because I know my limitations and what will make me fall and how I can prevent it and I know the reason for my falling.  I would still fall if I did what I wrote in the first two paragraphs.
The above is why I know about balance.  I had to find out why we have balance and why it can go away.  I had to do that in order to help myself.

Does any of the above sound like what you do?  Do you lose your balance and have to grab something to keep from falling?  Is your balance not as good as it used to be?  What changed to cause this?  We need to go back and understand why we had balance and could walk straight in the first place.

A baby learns to pull up on something and stand.  Eventually, the baby tries to stand without holding onto something and plops down on the floor.  Body parts that contribute to balance are gradually being coordinated so the balance parts work together and the baby can stay upright and walk without holding on to anything.  That’s about the time of the “terrible twos”, when the baby is now a toddler and he/she wants to take everything in the world apart and eat it.

Main balance parts:  inner ear, eyes, touch, bottom of feet, deep sleep, connected by nerves to the brain which coordinates the systems.  If any of these parts fail, your balance is off to some degree – either just a bit or a lot. 

Inner ear:  The inner ear helps you know where up and down is.  If you get an inner ear infection, you experience dizziness and your balance is off.  You have probably experienced this in connection with a cold/flu.  You’ll probably be in bed until you stop feeling dizzy and you have to hold onto furniture to help you get to the bathroom.  There is medicine to help you get over this problem.  Also, as you get older, the vital parts of the inner ear may not function as well as they used to and you may get dizzy and lose balance.

Eyes:   Your eyes reinforce where up and down is – your eyes see large pieces of furniture or other large objects and that communicates where up and down is.  Your eyes see your large car and that reinforces where up and down is.  You see houses and buildings and that tells you where you are in relation to other objects.  If you close your eyes, that reinforcement is gone but you have the other senses that keep you upright.

Touch:   Touching a piece of furniture like a table or chair or other stationary object reinforces your brain to recognize stability.  You feel “grounded” (center of gravity) when you touch something large that is steady/not moving.

Feet:   The bottom of your feet are sensitive to what is under them – you can feel your shoes that are on the floor and know that is down.  You know feet are sensitive because someone in your life has tickled or tried to tickle the bottom of your feet – there are many nerves there.  Your feet help you feel grounded – they tell you where down is.  If the bottom of your feet have become numb for whatever reason (diabetes or fibromyalgia, etc.), you can’t use them to find down.  Your other senses keep you upright. 

Deep Sleep:    If you don’t sleep, you will die.  I won’t go into all the phases of sleep but there is REM sleep where dreams occur and REM is thought to reinforce, in the brain, what you learned that day.  Deep sleep is different than REM sleep.  Deep sleep is rejuvenation/repair sleep that keeps body parts working and that includes nerves.  Without enough deep sleep, nerves can have electric “shorts” in performing their task.  Balance can be affected if nerves don’t transmit signals properly.

There are various diseases that can affect balance parts such as a tumor in the brain, Parkinson’s disease (neurological), multiple sclerosis (neurological), and Fibromyalgia (neurological ) and others.  I have neurologist diagnosed Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia has made the bottom of my feet mostly numb.  Fibromyalgia kept me from getting deep sleep – my brain would not shut down.  My inner ear seems to be okay because I’m not dizzy.  My touch is okay.  My eyes are okay.

I keep from falling by using my eyes and touch.  I can hold onto something and close my eyes and not fall but I cannot stand by myself and close my eyes because I fall.  So, I can’t walk into a dark room because my eyes can’t tell me where up and down is and I fall.  I can hold onto something solid and look up but if I look up without holding onto something, I hit the floor.

I now take a mild sleeping pill that allows me to have deep sleep.  My balance got better after I started having deep sleep.  I sleep from 6-7-8 hours a night now getting deep sleep.  I take two meds – one calms down nerves from firing all the time, and another does that plus helps keep muscles from contracting too much which was causing tremors.

Looking at me, you wouldn’t see anything that says my balance is screwed.  However, if we walk into a dark hall and I can’t see, I’m not going in there until I am standing by the wall and touching it.  I will keep touching that wall until I am in the light again.  I know totally dark means I’m going to fall unless I use touching to keep me upright.  I could also use a cane and walk through the dark hall.  The cane touching the floor tells my brain where down and up is.

Now to you.  Are you falling?  Do you know why you fall?  Have you checked to be aware of what you were doing just before you fell?  Can you stand by yourself and close your eyes and not fall?  I remember what I did to check that.  I stood by my bed and closed my eyes and I did fall on the bed.  Put yourself in a safe place when you check that so if you fall you don’t injure yourself.  Or, if someone lives with you, have that person stand by you to catch you if you fall.

Older people tend to fall in the shower.  Why is that?  Because they close their eyes and shut off a sense to tell them where up and down is.  I never close my eyes in the shower unless I am touching the side of the shower with my arm so I know where up and down is.  If you do that, you likely will not fall in the shower.

Are your feet slightly numb, mostly numb, or completely numb?  If so, your feet can’t do their job of telling you where you are.  It has become automatic with me to glance at my feet to see where they are.

Use all your senses to stay upright.  Don’t go downstairs without holding onto the bannister.   That is touch to reinforce your stability.  If you are not sleeping well, see your doctor to determine if a sleeping pill will help.  You must have quality sleep.

Story about falling that would have meant total embarrassment :  My husband and I went to Austin to the governor’s mansion as we were having a Republican gathering there.  So, it is outdoors under a big tent.  The grass was cut high and I couldn’t see my feet.  The only thing solid under the tent were a few small tables not where we were.  I was standing a few feet from my husband, and on my other side the state attorney general and the governor and a few other state office holders were standing.  I didn’t know where up and down was, couldn’t see my feet, had nothing to touch, and fell into my husband.  He grabbed me which kept me from falling directly in front of the state office holders!

I had him walk me to a chair and I didn’t move until we left.  When we left, I held onto him until we got out of the grass onto concrete so I could see my feet and know where down was.

When we would go where a large group would be walking in the same area, such as a state convention, in the halls, I took one of my canes so I would walk straight and not bump into people.

If you have a tendency to fall, get a cane.  See if using the cane helps you stay upright.  When the cane is on the floor and your hand is on it, signals go to the brain transmitting where down is.  If I had taken a cane to the gathering in Austin, I would not have fallen if I kept it on the ground.
In summation, if your balance is off, do some evaluation to determine why you are falling and use your other senses to stay upright and use a cane if that helps.  If you need to go to a doctor, do it.

Offline monkeyboyf

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #223 on: August 27, 2012, 07:01:05 PM »
Thank you! Excellent info.  Very helpful. We treasure you so much for all your posts.


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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #224 on: August 28, 2012, 05:52:09 AM »
(another) excellent post Victoria. Thank you.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #225 on: August 28, 2012, 09:11:28 AM »

Other balance suggestions:

Don't walk around your house with houseshoe slide on slippers on.  Only use those a short time in your bedroom at night and in the morning.  When you dress, put on regular shoes that are comfortable.  Slide on shoes come off easily and you are more likely to fall wearing these.  If you slightly lose your balance and lift your foot quickly to move to grab something, that slide on shoe can easily come off or your foot can slide sideways in the shoe and you will likely fall.  Don't go down stairs with slide on shoes on.  Wear a pair of regular shoes that will stay on your feet.  That helps your brain feel grounded and feel solid on the floor.

You have on shoes that won't fall off.  Now, you are going down the stairs.  You hold onto the banister, but you are not doing that right to prevent falling if you trip on the stairs.

Hold the banister the US Navy way.  I learned this from the engineer husand of my sister-in-law.  He was positive I was going to fall down the stairs.  Remember, he is the one who set up the 911 unit for me and insisted I wear the pendant all the time.  He found out how to go downstairs without falling from a US Navy guy.  There are many stairs on a Navy ship and sailors have to go down these stairs fast and they can't afford to fall and have injury.

Here is how the US Navy hold works:  Right now, you are putting your hand on the banister with your fingers facing DOWN to the bottom of the stairs.  If you trip some how on the stairs and fall forward, your hand will be jerked off the banister and down you go.  Change the way you put your hand on the banister -place your hand so your fingers are pointing UP the stairs.  That will feel awkward to you for a while but do it anyway.  If you start to fall forward, you have a grip on the banister with your hand facing up the stairs and your hand won't be jerked off the banister, so you don't fall.  It works for the US Navy and it will work for you.

PS:  Thank you "hoarders" for taking back the cans of Progresso Chicken Corn Chowder soup to my Kroger store.  I went there yesterday and there were many cans of that soup so now I have some.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 09:24:27 AM by Victoria »

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #226 on: August 28, 2012, 05:51:31 PM »
Next is MONEY AND BARTER.  Maybe I'll have that ready to post tomorrow afternoon.

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #227 on: August 29, 2012, 03:51:39 PM »
I need more time for the barter part.  Through the years, I've kept lists of things to use for barter and I have many items.  The question is, to barter or not?  It could mean risking your life to barter.  One needs to know the risks of bartering when you are faced with a long term emergency.  I promise to get this written by tomorrow or the next day.

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #228 on: August 30, 2012, 12:37:15 AM »
Take your time. It will be worth it.  ;)

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #229 on: August 30, 2012, 06:57:15 AM »
Bartering is an interesting subject, and I look forward to seeing your take on it, Victoria.

I started bartering a lot recently, and I'm beginning to find out that a lot of folks are currently in it for "The Big Score". This is a situation where a person is trying obtain something that is many times the value of what they themselves are trading. While such a thing may work in an economy where they never have to deal with the same person twice and barter isn't necessary, this kind of trade ethic could cause problems in an emergency situation. Word will spread that the person is not worth dealing with and someone will step in who is willing to barter in a friendlier manner.

Someone is always going to get the better deal in a barter situation, but as long as both parties walk away satisfied that they made a good deal it won't be an issue.

In the current situation we live in as long as you barter for something considered of equal value, there's no need to involve the tax man.

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #230 on: August 30, 2012, 07:46:08 AM »
Thanks for all the updates, Victoria... I have been busy lately (we're building a house), but am trying to catch up on all my favorite threads...


Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #231 on: August 30, 2012, 04:44:26 PM »

Do you have any cash money on you or in your house now?  I was in the habit of not carrying cash.  It wasn’t a conscious decision, I just had no use for it and change would be heavy in my purse if I did use cash.  My money was in plastic cards so I had money but couldn’t see it.  If I did need cash, an ATM machine would give it to me.

I carried a couple of checks and one deposit slip in my purse just in case I needed those, plus both types had my account number on there  and I don’t know what it is unless I have a check or a printed deposit slip to tell me.  Have you stored your bank account number in your brain?  If you have, you’re in better shape than I am – I need to do that.  Checks are also money but I can’t see that money.

I just didn’t think much about cash and change.  There was one special happening that would make me think of cash and change.  When  a hurricane was coming, I would go to the bank and get small bills because I knew power was going off and there would be no cash money to be had and no ATM card would work, either.

I think it was when the last hurricane, Ike, came through that I gave some thought to cash.  Why did I wait until a hurricane was coming, to get cash?  Why didn’t I always have cash in case power went off for some other reason?  That had happened one time when power went off and no one knew why and we left the house.  My husband had cash money.  He was the opposite of me – he carried cash and every day dumped change in a decorative ceramic “house” I had on a shelf fairly close to the front door.  That ceramic house change would amount to several hundred dollars eventually and he would take it to the bank and run it through a machine and get dollars. He isn’t here now so very little change gets put in that little house.

I had to adjust my ways.  I had to get cash so I would have some.  I keep some in my purse and some in my house now – it’s a reasonable amount, not a huge amount, mainly ones, a few fives, and change, mainly quarters.  How much cash you need is up to you as your circumstances and need wouldn’t be the same as someone else’s.  However, cash money may not be able to buy much in the circumstances we are considering.  When stores start functioning again, may be the time you need cash before everything is just swell again.

If you have no cash right now, fix that as soon as you can.  It’s an easy thing to put off doing.  I had to make myself think of doing it and then do it.  My bank is right next door to me on the corner, just a short walk if I wanted to do that.  If power goes off, it doesn’t matter if it is that close to me – I can’t get money out of there.

After Ike came through, there was one place to spend money and you had to have cash.  Shipley’s Donuts place cooked with gas so they were still turning out donuts and rolls of all kinds.  They had candles for light in the place.  Their parking lot was full.  It was a short distance from my house so my husband was the same as the other guys showing up there.  We had hot coffee due to canned heat and a Sterno stove and the Melitta filters, and warm cinnamon rolls from Shipley’s.  If you had no cash, you got no rolls.

Paying bills when there is no power in a long term emergency:
Paying bills?  How do you pay, say the electric bill or phone bill or water bill, if there is no power?  If you have them on automatic pay, the bank isn’t open to process it.  You can’t mail checks because mail won’t be delivered.  You can’t go to the power company, phone company, water company, and pay, because they aren’t open.  It would be the same with any monthly bill.  See, without power, the whole economic web fails.

You can’t use cash to buy groceries after a very short time, like one or two days, because there aren’t any left to buy.  The grocery stores were emptied fast and no trucks can bring more.  The food in your house and everything you have is what you have until this long term emergency is over.  You might barter for some goods later.

Is your money safe if you leave it in the bank during a long term emergency?   I don’t know.  I do know history tells us when a bank is known to be going under, a rush starts as people take all their money out.  People did that in Greece a few months ago.  That is a personal decision.  If you don’t trust that money to still be there after banks come back (how long would that take? I don’t know), then take out your money before everyone else tries to do that.  What do you do with it?  Find a place to hide it.  Macho guys tend to put it in a box and bury it.  Don’t come to my house and start digging up my back garden because I don’t have any in a buried box - the money is still in the bank and I won’t be into digging holes.  Actually, a bank doesn’t have a lot of money there.  The amount of my money and your money is written on a computer – they don’t have enough money to cover all the money people have put in there.  That is why a run on the bank is a bad thing for a bank – they have to get actual cash delivered to them to pay everyone.

Consider all the above when determining how much cash you want to have.


Bartering in general, when to consider it: 
When a major emergency begins, stay where you are if that is your house or you have gone to your bug-out location (if you have one).  At the beginning of such an emergency, there will be panic and you don’t want to be in that or near it.  Check your preps, getting them started such as having your guns where you can get to them, wear one on your person, get your backup light started, your cooking method in place, etc..  Let the lawlessness happen without you in it.

How long will lawlessness last?  It depends where you are.  Lawlessness in cities and towns will begin shortly after the emergency happens.  The lawless will loot stores and kill each other.  After finishing off the stores, they go to houses.  I think, in Texas, when they start going to houses, many bad guys will be shot and killed.  Most people here have guns and we have a law that says a person can use deadly force if the person feels his/her life or property is in danger.  If your state does not allow you to have a gun, bad guys are going to be around longer.  Here,  I think the lawless will leave cities/towns sooner rather than later after stores are stripped, and head to rural areas where they mistakenly think food is growing behind every house and the places have water.  Most people in rural areas don’t grow gardens (the grocery store is their garden) and if they have a well, it takes electricity for it to work.  Unless these people are preppers, they have little for bad guys to get but the lawless may kill you anyway.

So, lawlessness will start soon after the emergency starts in the cities/towns and will start later in the rural areas.  If you live within a gas tank away from a city/town, you will be hit with the lawless when their car runs out of gas.  If you live more than 10 miles away from the last tank of gas, it will take a while for bad guys to get to you.  If you live many miles away from the last tank of gas, it could take months for bad guys to find you.  There will also be less bad guys at your place because, by then, many of them will be dead.

Consider where you live and estimate when you might have “company” you don’t want.

After a period of time, there will be a “new normal”.   Many people will be dead, both good and bad people, and there will still be some lawless around so one still has to be aware of his/her surroundings.  At this point, bartering might be considered.
It is my opinion, there are two types of bartering.  The types are, bartering with people you absolutely trust, and bartering with people you don’t know.

People you absolutely trust, you thought:  Let’s say you know the “Smiths” down the street really well, you trust them to be good people.  However, they are happy go lucky people with no preps.  You have preps.  If they have no water, they will attack you in three days and they don’t care if you die – they have to have your water to stay alive and if they have children, you can double their determination to get water.  Hmm, the bar just got raised to determine who you absolutely trust. 

You can (probably) absolutely trust other people who have enough preps to stay alive for a year (I’m leaving out the six months people just in case).  If they have done that, they are responsible people.  Note, I stuck in “probably”.  It is impossible to know how someone will react until you see the behavior.

Personally, I don’t trust people who NEED stuff, as opposed to WANT stuff.  If they don’t have an item that is vital to life, they likely need a lot of vital things.  If you have what they need, desperate people will take yours.  People who are prepared, may like to have an item they don’t have and barter could happen with these people.

If you barter, don’t do it inside your house.  What you have inside your house is no one’s business, plus you don’t want a gun battle inside your house if things go sour with the bartering. 

If the area has some order, there may be bartering areas set up.  This should be fairly safe as a place to exchange goods.  Maybe there will be some kind of security there.  However, be aware of your surroundings, who is there, how they are acting.  Keep your gun easy to get to.  At this point, I don’t think concealed carry laws will be observed.  It could be, everyone there has to check their guns and pick them up when they leave if this is an organized, safe place.  Make sure you are home before darkness comes.

Consider people who have no food:  If you give them food, they will come back for more.  Now, you are in trouble.  You cannot feed the world so you don’t want to give them food at your house.   

Items for Barter:
Years ago, when I began to study barter items, ammunition was almost always at the top of the list.  As years went by, I noticed ammunition started dropping off the list.  Many lists still have it there.  I would not give anyone ammunition unless it was someone helping me defend the “fort”.  You give bullets to someone and those bullets may come back to kill you.  You make the decision, whether you know this person well enough to give him “a” bullet.  I have not put ammunition on the list.

The cost of barter goods:  I’ve lost count of the number of articles I have written here but most of them involve cost and when you add it up, it’s a lot of money.  Don’t spend a bunch of money per item for barter goods – use inexpensive ones that people will want and the item will have more value than you paid for it because it’s not being made/sold anymore.  You see, value changes in this situation.  You don’t think of the cost of a cup of water when you drink it now – how much will a cup of clean water be worth then?  If a person is dying from not having water, how about he gives you his house for that cup of water?  His house is worth nothing to him if he is dead.  You have to adjust your thinking when considering barter goods.  You will note nothing (except liquor), is a higher dollar item on this list.

1.  A skill to use for trade.
What can you do that would have value to someone else?  Maybe a skill you learned due to your job.  Maybe a housekeeping skill.  Maybe a hobby skill that has value to someone.  You know what skills you have.  Try to turn that skill into trade if you want certain goods.  Hopefully, you won’t need an item that you must have to live as you have prepared for that.

2. Food stuffs:
I am listing Maruchan Instant Lunch cup first in food.  Why?  Because at my Kroger store, it is 28 cents and it’s probably cheaper at Walmart.  What is it?  It’s a packaged Styrofoam cup with noodles and a few dried veggies and a bit of soy protein.  Fill the cup with hot water and you have a substantial amount of food to eat.  If you have no water, it can be eaten dry.  You get a bit of protein and lots of carbohydrates to give you energy and it is tasty, has flavor.  Doubt you can feed a person for less money than that.  I guarantee you, if these cup packages are for barter, people will want to trade stuff to get them – it’s easy to carry food, easy to fix, and has taste.  That 28 cent or less investment will turn into a high value item.  They are easy for you to carry around for barter as they aren’t going to break or come apart and spill.

These cups traded at a bartering place don’t tell anyone you have a large amount of regular food at your house.  That makes them fairly safe to trade.  The selection is Roast Chicken Flavor, Chicken Flavor, Beef Flavor, and two types of Shrimp Flavor.  If you want a fast food item at your house to eat, here it is.

Other food stuffs (don’t trade anything you may need later):
Tea bags
Instant coffee
Quick 5 min. oats
Powdered milk – 1 qt. package
Instant rice
Instant mashed potatoes
Hard candy – candy has sugar which is energy.
Vegetable oil for cooking
Add any inexpensive food you think should be on this list.  (I didn’t put dry beans on here as that requires a good bit of water to make.  Add them if you want as some people could have plenty of water and want them.  Small packages of beans would work.)

3. Non-food Items:
Hand sanitizer packets
Band aids
Fishing line and hooks – buy small rolls of fishing line and hooks - a person
can feed him/herself if there is any body of water with fish around.
Kitchen trash can size plastic bags – trade by individual bag.  The use of these is many – even a way for a person to carry their “purchases” from the bartering center.
Men’s throw away razors.  They won’t be automatically thrown away anymore.
Ladies sanitary pads – These pads, individually packaged, are used by EMT people for large wounds.  If you don’t have some, get them.  Only trade these items if you have plenty.
Needles and thread
Pencils, paper, note pads
Toilet paper
Tooth paste
Soap – these would include little soaps you got at hotels plus you can buy cheap travel size personal items at Walmart.
Shampoo – from hotels and small travel bottles at Walmart.  This is liquid soap – people can use it for hair, clothes, dishes.
Body lotion – from hotels and travel bottles at Walmart.
Duct tape
Aspirin – trade per individual aspirin
Liquor  - This costs a fair amount of money.  Don’t store beer for trade as, over time, it goes flat.  Hard   liquor lasts forever but it has a fairy high cost compared to these food stuffs.  It’s your choice to buy liquor or not for trade (small bottles).  You need some for your own consumption as a pain killer or just because.
Large coffee filters – people can use these to filter dirty water as well as for coffee.
Manual can openers – buy a bunch of military openers at 10 for $4+ dollars on Amazon.
Aluminum foil
Paper towels
AA batteries
Bleach – used for purifying water
Baby wipes
Disposable lighters
Plastic sheeting
Nails and screws
Vegetable seeds (heirloom)
Men will likely trade large tools for other large tools, hand tools for other hand tools

You will probably think of other cheap items to add to these lists.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #232 on: September 03, 2012, 11:00:06 AM »
I just found out the elder President George Bush said he is falling all the time - that he is "always looking for a good place to fall".  I'm writing another article on balance/falling and why older people are discarded as knowing nothing when they become old.  At what age does "old" start - when are you discarded on the dirt heap of old? 

If we have a long term emergency, it will likely be older people who will live better than younger people.

Offline monkeyboyf

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #233 on: September 04, 2012, 11:00:57 PM »
I too have noticed the attitude of the general populace of discounting the value of the older folks.  Having just turned 69 in August, it seems as if everyone thinks my life is suddenly fragile. My health is good, other than smoking too much, but suddenly it seems people think I am ready for the ash heap, lol. Family worry that I can't take care of myself, suddenly. We just have to do things smarter and a little differently.  Being helpless is not in my plans. Thank you, Victoria, for addressing this for us seasoned citizens. :)

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #234 on: September 05, 2012, 03:58:35 PM »
Was out yesterday getting annual car inspection sticker.  Have spent all day today on dirt heap of old - will finish it tomorrow some time.  Being determined to be old is what other people see and think, plus when the federal governemnt determines you to be old, and those two measures of old may be totally different.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #235 on: September 06, 2012, 11:45:13 AM »

A few days ago, I saw a short film of the elder President George Bush and was surprised to hear him say he is falling all the time.  He said he was always looking around ‘to find the best place to fall”.  I suppose he meant he would walk toward that place so maybe that’s where he would be when he fell.  It was sad to hear he had resigned himself to falling as though there was nothing he could do to prevent it.

He said he has Parkinson’s disease (neurological disease) in his left leg.  Also said his Secret Service men help him and he can lean on them.

Based on what we know about balance now, wouldn’t you like to know if he has any feeling on the bottom of his feet?  Is his right leg okay since his left is not?  Does he have trembling anywhere else besides left leg, due to the Parkinson’s?  Would he fall for sure if he closed his eyes?  Is his inner ear okay (it probably is or they would have found that due to the dizziness it causes)?  His touch is probably intact unless the Parkinson’s has numbed his fingers.

If we knew the answer to those questions, we might be able to help improve his balance by suggesting how to use his other senses to keep him upright and explain why a cane would help – not just to lean on it but for his brain to know where down and up was by his touch on the cane – to use it every time he stands, not just when he walks. 


The above thinking is why older people keep falling.  It is my opinion, the medical community has that mindset – if you are old, you’re going to fall and that’s just the way it is.  You and I know better than that.  There has to be a reason why a person falls and it’s not just old age – it is a part of the body used for balance (knowing where down and up is) not working right and when that is identified, sometimes it can be helped with medication based on what part isn’t functioning correctly, and balance can be helped by using other senses to stay upright.  It is true as a person gets older, some of these balance parts may not work as well, but it’s not “old equals automatic falling and nothing can be done”.

My husband was in the hospital one time last year when I saw signs everywhere in the hospital that said, “Don’t Fall”.  They were meaningful to me due to what I had gone through with falling.  I asked a hospital nurse why those signs were everywhere.  She said they were having “Don’t Fall” month at the hospital.  I didn’t talk to her about falling, but I thought they could put up a million signs and they would mean nothing.  That also told me the hospital people didn’t have a clue about falling.

When I was falling a lot in my house (that started in 2003) before I knew why, if there had been a person standing there yelling, “Don’t Fall!”, I would likely have hit that person over the head with a lamp – I didn’t have a choice to fall or not at that time.  If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have fallen.  Telling me not to fall when I had no idea where down and up was, would surely have gotten that person a lamp in the head.


I don’t know why I came up with the words, “dirt heap of old”.  I think I was so ticked off about the junking/discarding of someone because he/she is thought to be old, that those words fit for me.

I live two lives.  In one, I’m accepted as “not old”, am a person of worth and my words are to be considered, and in the other one, I’ve been junked on the dirt heap of old.  Because I’m in both worlds, I am very aware of the different treatment.   

Not Old and Old:  Looks vs. Federal Government

My “not old” life:   I don’t look old.  A dermatologist told me it had to be genes, plus I stayed out of the sun.  The first time I went to him, he was shocked I was that old (I had heard it for years so that wasn’t new to me).  My skin hasn’t wrinkled.  My hair is blonde, not gray, but I do use a blonde 10 minute hair color to prevent the gray showing.  People think I’m in my 50s.  It ticks me off because people treat me as a real person and someone younger than I am (but they have some wrinkles and some gray or white hair), as someone with little worth.

Two stories:  Several years ago, I had knee surgery.  I had to get an EKG before the surgery.  So, this lady technician  had my body bare from abdomen to my head.  Now, I hadn’t had an EKG for many years and I wondered, and was a little concerned, if my heart was okay. 

The technician hooked me up, turned on her machine which she kept watching, except one time she did stare at me for a period of time.  Then she looked back at something and said, “No one would believe it!”  I thought, well, I’ve had it, my heart must be a wreck.  I said, “What’s wrong?”  She said, “No one would believe you are this old!”  I thought well, I know that, been told that many times.  I said, “So, my heart is okay?”  She said it was fine.  The woman scared me to death and it was just my skin to which she was reacting. 

A few years ago, guess I was 76 then, I stopped at a Subway to pick up a sandwich on my way home.  When I got to the money register, I saw a sign that said seniors got a discount.  When it was my turn, I said I was a senior.  The man said I would have to show my driver’s license because he didn’t believe I was 65.  I asked him how old he thought I was.  He said I didn’t look as old as his aunt, who was 60.  There was a man behind me who was listening to this.  As I was getting out my license, I said, “I am 76.”  The man behind me burst out, “No way!”  I was carded at age 76 to prove I was at least 65.

My family doctor (don’t have this one now) would laugh about this because I didn’t look like what I was.  He knew the secret, that inside my body I’m 79, will be 80 next month.  I told him I’m running for Miss America when I’m 90.

So, I am a fake out in public - I walk around in disguise.  What they see is not the real me but they treat me as one of them – not old.  The public reacts to what they see and they have a predetermined idea of what “old” looks like.  If they see a person with a wrinkled face and some gray or white hair, that person is old and they treat that person as such.  Normally, they are very kind to these “old” people.  However, their kindness is due to the fact they have the predetermined mindset that “old” people are washed up, done, finished, addled, confused, to be pitied, and dead but not certified dead yet, and they mentally send these people to the dirt heap of old.  The word for their treatment of the supposed old person, is “patronizing”.   They don’t give your words much consideration because you can’t possibly know what you’re talking about.  Numerous times I’ve been in a check-out line and people perceived to be old are treated one way, and I’m treated another way.

If you have played golf for years in the sun, you may have a wrinkled face at 40 and if you have some gray or white hair, you’re old in the eyes of the public – you are prematurely sent to the dirt heap at 40.  And, if, looking like that, you use a cane for a recent sprained ankle or something, you are ancient and definitely sent to the dirt heap of old.

So, the public reacts to your looks to determine if you are old.

My other life – the “old lady” on the dirt heap of old:   My family doctor left to go to a new group and I had to get another doctor.  This was just a few weeks ago.  I got a form letter about this and I was without a doctor that day.  If I got sick that day or had an accident,  I had no doctor.  I called my friend and asked about her doctor.  She gave me his name and I called that office.  Things were going great with this office person.  Then, she asked me what insurance I had.  I said Medicare and a Medicare supplement.  She said she was sorry, they don’t accept  Medicare.  I was suddenly old – tossed on the dirt heap of old.  I hung up from that call and was totally ticked off.   

At that moment, because the federal government said I was old, I had been dumped – I still had no doctor.   Due to a retired doctor I knew, I called the one he suggested and thank goodness, that one accepted Medicare.  That doctor would take this old lady who was on the dirt heap of old.

Anytime I deal with anything medical for myself on the phone, the person sees “Medicare patient” and I have to project being a strong minded person who makes sense because their first reaction is to know I am federally stamped “old” so must not have a brain left. 

If I am there in person, for the first time, they get confused because I don’t look like what I am.  I am not kidding, they will double check the paper work to make sure they have the right file, that I am that person with Medicare.  When they are sure I am that person, and old because I have Medicare, I get the patronizing responses from them.  It goes something like this:  “Now, Hon, we need you to fill out this form.  It’s not hard to fill out.  Your name goes here and make check marks here, then sign you name right here.  If you have trouble, I will help you.”  I’m thinking, “I can think circles around you, little girl.”

So, a Medicare card is the determining factor for “old” in medical care.  The most important service you need is medical care and if you are 65 or older, you have no other option for insurance except Medicare.  Medicare doesn’t pay doctors much (so not all doctors take Medicare – can you say “discrimination”),  so when you go to one, you are generally rushed through with little time with your doctor.  They need to get Medicare patients out fast so more patients with regular insurance which pays more, can be seen.

So, as a Medicare patient, you likely won’t get adequate time with your doctor as you are on a Medicare conveyor belt to get you out fast.  That is one reason why you need to have your personal medical records with you.  We covered that in an earlier article.  And, if you have numerous questions for the doctor, have them written down beforehand or you will surely forget some of those questions as you are hurried through the visit.

I am sure there are some doctors who will spend more time with you and I hope you have one like that if you are on Medicare.  I also hope if you are falling, your doctor will spend enough time with you to find out why you are falling.  You may be able to tell HIM why you are falling if you have evaluated what is happening when you fall.

Another story to make a point:  My husband was in a rehab. hospital one time last year (one of 5 hospitals he was in last year) and it was also a retirement home for people who needed care, and when I would go there, I saw many old ladies in wheelchairs.  One day it hit me I was older than some of these ladies, maybe many of these ladies.  I thought they were old and I was not.  Realizing that, I was thankful that I could walk/run, I was moving, and they were not.

Old according to what people think about themselves:  Just as I thought the ladies in the wheelchairs were old and I was not, most people think they are not old, no matter how many years old they are, but they think other people are old.  How many times do you say, “that old lady”, or “that old man”, and you are older than person?   I have done that many times.  I am very likely older than any of you reading this.  Please do not dump me on the dirt heap of old.


Just because you are older, does not mean you can’t think, that you are mentally addled, confused and know nothing anymore. 

Older people preppers are my favorite preppers – why is that?  Because they know stuff no younger person knows.

I would rather be with an older person during an emergency than a younger person.  A younger person would require teaching but an older person would not.  An older person would know of the days when there was no fancy running water, no air conditioning, no fancy gadgets like a microwave.  They would know hand skills and the younger person wouldn’t.  The older person is likely to have better gun skills than a younger person as older people are more likely to be ex-military.

Here is an example of one thing, one small thing, I know because I am so old I experienced it.  There was no power in my grandmother’s house in Arkansas when I was a small child.  It was bitterly cold in the winter when we would go there Christmas.  There was no heat in the bedrooms.  They would heat iron flatirons (used to iron clothes), in the fireplace, then wrap cloth around them and put them in the bed where I was going to sleep.  The flatirons warmed the sheets, then I went to bed in a warm bed.  In today’s world, heated bricks would work just the same.  Would a younger person know how to warm a bed?  The electric blanket isn’t going to work.

An older person will adjust faster when all modern conveniences are removed.  They are also less likely to depress themselves. 

Finally, really, how many years does it take to be “old”?  I will be 80 next month and I AM NOT OLD.  Have you got that – I AM NOT OLD.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #236 on: September 06, 2012, 04:18:53 PM »

No matter how you look, how old you are, how much stuff you have or don't, who becomes President of the US or doesn't, whether or not the world's poles flip on Dec. 21, or what you get or don't get for Christmas, the US is about to collapse on so many fronts I labeled it "everything".  Now, I have to prove it to you.  No problem.

Offline monkeyboyf

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #237 on: September 06, 2012, 08:19:05 PM »
OMG! As usual, out of the ballpark with that one. I keep telling people in this body is a mean 12 year old trying to get out,lol.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #238 on: September 06, 2012, 08:53:27 PM »
"I keep telling people in this body is a mean 12 year old trying to get out,lol."

It's a paradox - one part looks old (based on the public perception of what looks old) but the mind that people can't see, is totally active, so that doesn't compute.  All the valuable learning you got during the years is up there in your brain.  That is so valuable and the public automatically dumps you and that valuable information, based on what they see.  When a person dies, so much valuable information is lost.  It took a lifetime to aquire that and then it's gone.  It is especially gone if no one aquires it from that person before they die.

I appreciate what is in an older person's brain and maybe that's why I get so upset when I see them treated as less than the person they are.  (And, I'm NOT OLD).

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #239 on: September 09, 2012, 07:39:34 PM »

This article is going to be long and the first action from now is September 12-13.  Therefore, I will write this article in segments so I won’t write about something after it happens.

Every day, unless I have to leave the house for something, which I try not to do in this Texas heat, I sit in my recliner, most of the time with Prissy on the chair with me, and use my computer to read and study what’s happening in the world and that includes economic news/reports. stock market, political news, farm news, fuel news, religious news, and foreign news regarding Israel, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Egypt, Russia, China, India, Greece, Spain, and European countries. 

I also check the news articles on the Free Republic forum.  Plus, I watch or listen to Fox News and CNN news for various views on whatever, and I check the Weather Channel for weather across the nation.  In my spare time, I read books on my Kindle – prep books and fiction disaster books.  I also watch movies.  If there is a disaster or zombie movie, I’m watching it, but I do watch other kinds. 

With all that input of information, what have I learned?   I can say the news in all those areas is volatile every day.  Steady and predictable no longer exists and that isn’t “normal”.  Rats, that means we must be in “not normal” times.  Where have we heard about “normal” and “not normal” (known as the “normalcy bias”?  Oh, yes, I wrote about that.

When I fold the facts together from all those sources, some radical changes may/will soon happen bringing the country closer to reaching critical mass - chaos.  What is the final flap of the butterfly wings that stop trucks from delivering life sustaining goods? 

First, let’s look at when chaos happens – when critical mass comes together, creating chaos that can’t be stopped.  It’s called flaps of butterfly wings.  A very small thing happens, no different than one flap of butterfly wings, so no one gives it any thought.   That small happening happens again, then again, then again, over and over until critical mass is reached and the explosion happens creating chaos.  Chaos is defined as “disorder: a state of complete disorder and confusion”.  That’s when trucks stop.

I have watched, over the past few years, the compilation of butterfly wings flapping until I think critical mass is near.

Starting from right now, what is the next butterfly wing about to flap to add more weight to the mass of butterfly wings we already have?  It is the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve meets September 12-13, this week:    
What is the Federal Reserve?  It’s some men who think they can direct the monetary system of the US so that everything is hunky dory (that means fine).  Ben Bernanke runs the Federal Reserve.  Due to poor job creation in this latest report plus other poor economic trends, it’s thought by economists that Bernanke will advise the Board to announce another “quantitative easing”, or “QE3” at the end of this meeting.

Quantitative easing is another way of saying put more Federal Reserve Notes (that’s money) into circulation.  I started to write that circulatory system and decided against it – the point is, more money is available for borrowing and buying goods of all kinds.   More money to lend to businesses.   

What’s wrong with that?  More money is good, or maybe it isn’t.  Each piece of money is worth less than it was before since there is more of it.  Because it is worth less, businesses, including your grocery store, and fuel companies, raise their prices.  That is called “inflation”.  Your money now buys less than it did before.

This mass confusion of moving money around is kind of, sort of, something like this: if the Fed does this,  they buy US Treasury notes to get this money to distribute.  They can sell these treasury notes to other countries, like China and others who still have some money left.  We pay these countries interest on these notes – that’s why China and others buy them, to get that interest and have a safe place for their money.  Our debt is now 16 trillion and grows by millions every day due to that interest. 

At some point, China and others aren’t going to trust the US to pay them back, so they will stop buying that debt paper.  They can also sell the mega amounts of paper, many trillions of dollars now, back to us and there isn’t enough money for the US to pay it.  That’s like a run on a bank.  That is a final flap of the butterfly wings - can you say “US bankruptcy”?  Critical mass has been reached and chaos happens.  It won’t be long after that until trucks stop.

We are already bankrupt, but to stave off the bankruptcy, we keep borrowing money every month (again from China and other countries) to pay government bills, like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the military, etc., etc.  If foreign governments stopped today buying our debt paper, the government would stop running in a month or two. 

What a feeling – our government doesn’t have enough money to pay our monthly bills.   If you had to borrow every month to pay your bills and couldn’t pay back the money you were borrowing, pretty soon the bank or wherever you borrowed, would stop lending you money.  At that point, you have debt and bills you can’t pay because you can’t get any more money.  Our government is still able to borrow but one day, no one/country is going to buy any more debt paper.  That is the last flap of the butterfly wing – there is chaos.  You may not get your Social Security check, your disability check, your food stamp money card, you may get nothing.  Medicare can’t pay your doctor.

When people’s food stamp cards can’t have any more money put on them, those will likely be the first people to riot and rush grocery stores to get food.  That makes total sense.  If you aren’t working for whatever reason (you can’t work, you don’t want to work) or your income is so low you qualify for food stamps, and the only way you can have food is that food stamp card, called an “electronic benefits transfer” card, an EBT card, you are going to do something to get food.  The store has food and you will get it by walking out the door without paying.  Then the store erupts in a riot.

As of June this year, there are 46.7 million on food stamps – 1 in 5 adults.  Since October, 2008, the number on food stamps has gone up 51%.  You can’t miss being around people using a food stamp card.  There is no way to know how many people who frequent your food store are using them.  If you could tell, you could estimate what your level of threat might be if these cards didn’t work. 

There are nice people and bad people (just like our regular population) using food stamps so this is not a complaint about people being on food stamps – the concern is what behavior do they have when those cards no longer work?  As described above, it would not be a good thing to be in stores when this happens.  Be aware of your surroundings when government programs stop. 

Which states get the most government money which would cease if there was no more money in the US Treasury?  This list is of today.  Of these ten states that get the most money per capita, the state at the top gets the most and it goes down from there.

1.  Alaska
2.  Virginia
3.  Maryland
4.  Hawaii
5.  New Mexico
6.  Kentucky
7.  Alabama
8.  West Virginia
9.  Connecticut
10.  North Dakota

It stands to reason, these states would be hurt more than other states if federal dollars didn’t get to these states.  There may be more public disruption in these states.

We will see this week if the Fed decides on QE3.

I have company coming on Tuesday and leaving late Thursday, so it will be Friday before I can start the next section which is about the Palestinians and Israel.  We have the Palestinian government asking for statehood at the UN in September.  We have Israel considering when to attack Iran and that could be in September.   We need to look at these possibilities and what that could mean in terms of more butterfly wing flaps.  These flaps keep building up.