Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Lady Survivors

After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria

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Victoria:
Here's a truism - when trucks stop, it's over.  That's the bottom line - doesn't matter why the trucks stop, our existence (unless you live on a farm with garden, animals, etc), depends on trucks.  Case in point:  Consider hurricane Ike.  I live 100 miles from Galveston where it came in.  Before it came in, took only two days to empty every grocery store and gas station in my town.  I wasn't in those grocery lines due to my always there preps - only needed to fill up cars with gas which we did days before the rush.  Went to out of the way Mexican grocery to get ice the day before the storm came in.  Identify small stores to buy last minute items - let the rest of the population hit the major stores. (I prep - husband goes along, then enjoys the results.)

Power was off five days.  No trucks of any kind could get to my town since there was no gas to be had to in my town or for many miles around - unless trucks can refuel, they aren't coming.  When gas finally came back after that five days, only then could food trucks begin to come back.  It was interesting that bread was the last food item to come back, a few days after food trucks started coming back.

Years ago when I began to prep, I developed a plan to have three ways to accomplish warming/cooking food, staying cool, staying warm, staying safe.  Consider warming/cooking food: if you only have one way and that doesn't work, you have no way.  If the second way works but you run out of fuel for that way, you've got the third way to keep going.  Redundancy in methods can save your life.

(I'm a psychotherapist/psychological examiner so evaluating human behavior is automatic with me) -  I think the hierarchy of needs/convenience is slightly different for women.  Consider urination - where would a man rather do that - outside in the grass - or off the porch into the grass.  Ask any man and that's generally what you'll find if he's telling the truth.  Where would a man rather cook - in a charcoal grill.  That's a poor choice - you need a steady flame for regular cooking, like a pot of coffee or a pot of beans.

About having running water when there is no running water:  Women want running water - right?  I'm assuming you have stored water.  All you need for running water, even warm/hot water, at your kitchen sink, your bathroom sink, in your tub for a shower, is inexpensive camp showers.  These are plastic bags with a shower head on the end of tube coming out of the bag, with a cut off switch.  The new ones even have a temperature gauge on the side of the bag - put it in the sun and when the gauge measures the amount of warm/hot water you want, you've got it.  Three of those takes care of the kitchen/bathroom/tub.  Our Texas sun means fast warm/hot water.  These bags also save water since you have control of it coming out of the bag.

Consider the saving of water in the bathroom with shower bag over sink and in tub: Brushing teeth: a bit of water on your toothbrush, turn off water, add toothpaste, brush your teeth, turn on water; a bit to rinse mouth, wash toothbrush and you're done.  Shower: Wet body with running water, turn off water; lather body, rinse with running water and you're done.  Washing hair is the same; wet hair, turn off water, apply shampoo and add bit more water then turn off water, scrub scalp, turn on water and rinse.

I'll start from the beginning and post as I complete a section.  If you have ideas, jump in and tell me.

Victoria:
At the beginning, in 1998, I realized my existence depended on others and vowed to change that.

One morning, I got out of bed with pen and paper and recorded every single thing I did that day that depended on power.  After this research, would find a way to duplicate living with reasonable comfort when there was no power.   

This was winter so it would be cold in bedroom and house, needed heat.  In summer, needed cooling.

Then, the bathroom.  No power means no running water so no working potty, no water at sink, no water in tub.

Kitchen: needed ways to cook, more than one way, at least three to be able to keep cooking for months, years?  Yes, needed running water at sink.  Water, that's a biggie, gotta have it, at least 1 gallon per person per day, and 2 is better - a gallon of water weighs 8.34 gallons - how much of that can you carry?  Forget the fridge, it wouldn't work.  Food would have to be prepared and eaten in one or two meals, three at the most for food to remain safe.  That meant not cooking huge amounts.  Don't buy big cans of perishable food unless you can consume it all quickly if there's no fridge.  What kinds of food to store, how much?  Man, this was getting involved, and it was only the beginning.  But there are answers for all this.

Living room:  no TV, no radio, nothing.  Needed radio that would work without plugging in wall.  That meant batteries - but batteries die - then what?  There's an answer for that.

It's still cold or hot in the house - there's an answer for that.

Suppose someone gets hurt?  Need medical supplies and information.  I was an EMT at one time, so I had knowledge and some basic supplies, but didn't have all the supplies I needed and it wasn't put together in one place.  I had to get organized physically and mentally to think through this whole survival problem.  Once the emergency happened, couldn't run to the store to get what I needed.

Clothes:  Sure, I had clothes - were they the right kind - could they keep me warm or cool?

Coat:  how warm were my various coats?  Warm enough?

Shoes:  Sure, I had shoes - well, I was ahead here - had my Texas cowboy boots with flat heels and warm snow boots, plus two pair of good walking shoes. 

Well, I'd put this on hold until I washed some clothes.  Rats, how would I do that?

Try going through a day, every task you perform, and think "no power".  It will get your attention.  If there's no power, stores won't open, banks won't open, money can't be had, gas can't be had, those trucks that supply us won't come.  You are on your own.  Water is next.

LvsChant:
I'm really enjoying this... please continue on, Victoria. I love your practical method of determining what you needed...

mamabear:
I'm loving this too! I'm gonna take a leaf out of your book and get my notebook out and follow your process. I think it will be a real eye opener. I know that we sit and think about it and sometimes we have a couple of days without power, etc, but I think seeing it all written down will make all the difference. Please do keep your information coming. LVSChant is right. It is very practical and easy to understand.

Nicodemus:
Good stuff, Victoria!

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