Everyday there is someone predicting doom and gloom coming our way in the near future. Actually, it is only doom and gloom if they do not tell you how to prepare for and survive the coming catastrophe(s). Recently, I have heard people, whom I respect, such as Gerald Celente, Max Keiser, Rick Wiles and others, say that they feel that there is a catastrophe looming on the horizon, Not Later Than the end
of April 2013. News like this kind of makes you wonder what Noah was thinking 7 months before the flood. One thing I do know about Noah, he is the patron saint of preppers by the way, is that until the rain started falling he was working his butt off. So shouldn’t we be doing the same? You bet!
What Should I Be Doing Right Now? As you can imagine I get asked this question quite often as of late. Since everyone’s circumstances are different it is hard for me to just give them a list, pat them on the head, and send them away. Many of you are still tied to a 9 – 5 j.o.b. (it is a dirty word to me so I spell it just in case there are children reading this article.) so your time is very precious to you and if it is not, then you had better make it that way. Every minute you do nothing you will never get back in the future. Time is a diminishing resource that most cannot afford to waste. “Spend” your time wisely.
Instead of giving you a list of what you should do, let me give you a list of what Von and I are doing. Admittedly our preparations and level of readiness are not the same as everyone else’s but some of the things on the list will apply no matter what your skill level or level of preparedness:
- Buying new tires for all vehicles, including spares. It would be
terrible to jump into your Batmobile when it is time to bug-out and then find out your tires won’t get you out-of-town much less out of trouble. Inspect your tires and see if you have 10,000 miles or less of tread left on them. If you have less than 10,000 replace them. (You can bring your vehicle to a tire shop and have them measure the depth of the tread or you can go to Auto Zone, O’Reilly’s or some other auto parts store and buy your own tread gauge.) I also replaced my spares because both truck spares, even though
they possess almost new levels of tread, are 13 and 15 years old and have cracks in the sidewalls. Von’s car has a doughnut and so I picked up an extra.
- Change all fluids and filters on the vehicles, especially the oil, air and fuel filters. Also, we have spares of each for each vehicle just in case something happens on the road.
- If you have a “newer” vehicle with a serpentine belt always,
always carry a spare. To do this change the old belt and if it is still in good condition stow it behind the seat in your truck, toolbox or in the trunk of your car. Each time you replace the belt (consult your service manual that came with your vehicle for suggested replacement times) keep the old belt stowed safely away. If that belt breaks you are dead in the water. I have had this happen on multiple occasions, twice because an alternator locked up and the belts burned, once because an idler pulley locked up and burnt the belt and twice because a water pump locked up and burnt the belts. Of course, this is over many years and literally millions of miles.
- Practice loading and bugging out. To do this have a friend call you at any time of the day or night and just shout “Bug-out” over the phone and then hang up. Note the time from that moment until you put the key in the ignition and pull out of the driveway. Ideally, this time should be 10 minutes or less. Von and I do it consistently in 3 minutes but we do not have children to wake up and dress. Teach your older children to help the younger children to get dressed and ready.
- Clean, inspect all weapons. I have gone through all pistols, rifles
and shotguns cleaning, re-lubricating and unloading magazines and loading fresh magazines. I do this to make sure that our weapons are ready for any emergency. Also, it is a good time to check all your edged weapons and make sure they are sharp.
- Inspect and rotate your medical supplies. Make sure that
the medical kit hasn’t been used for an at home emergency and the gauze, tape, bandages, etc. were not replaced as it should have been. Also, make sure that your prescription medications in your bug-out bag or medical kit are fresh. You don’t want to have angina or a heart attack only to find out that your nitroglycerin tablets have fallen to pieces because they were too old or moisture got to them and ruined them. This also goes for Lotrimin, antibiotics, pain relievers, vitamins, coumadin etc. If you need the medication to stay alive make sure it is still good so it will perform its function.
- Inspect your bug-out routes, especially if you are in a city or suburbs, to make sure that the routes you intend to use are
clear of construction that will cause delays and/or are not closed because a bridge is out or being repaired. Many states and local county or parish governments have phone numbers and/or websites so you can check on the status of each road. Very important, prepare as many backup routes as possible, not just three as some would say. What happens if you are trying to get out of Dodge and all three of your routes are jam-packed with traffic? Have as many routes as you can find readily on your bug-out map. Highlight each route in a different color. Also, paste a 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper with the directions clearly written so that you can have access to the instructions at a glance and won’t have to stop your vehicle to follow the blue line or red line to safety. Color code your instructions in the same color as the highlighted route. This will eliminate needless searching and reduce confusion. If it is time to bug-out you won’t need or want any more confusion than what you are already experiencing.
- Practice convoying or caravanning if you will bug-out with others. My family has practiced this technique numerous times over the
years and we have grown to almost anticipate what the other vehicle’s driver is going to do before they do it. Also, a good CB radio will help should you get separated for any reason. DO NOT rely on cell phones because A) cell phones may be out-of-order due to a catastrophe or B) cell phones can be tracked by Uncle Sam and others so why lead Uncle Sam and his cronies to your hideout? Also, upon arrival at your refuge disconnect the battery in your vehicle(s). If you have a newer automobile with a computer (generally 1995 or later) then your vehicle can be tracked using the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Since the VIN is tied to your registration and license plate number the DOT can access your VIN quickly and easily to locate you if they really want to. Unlikely? Maybe, but would you bet your life on it? How about the lives of your family?
- Check all your food supplies to make sure they are still fresh
and that Rover, the dog, or Tom, the cat have not discovered them and used your food to supplement their diet. Also kids can find those energy bars you “hid” and supplement their diet as well.
- Rinse out and refill all your water containers including your hydration bladders, i.e. Camelbacks, canteens and water bottles. We use empty 2 and 3 liter soda bottles for water bottles. These bottles have been pressure tested and are very rugged.
- Inspect all clothing and make sure it is in good repair and suited to the coming weather. The last thing you want is to have to go a distance on foot and find that all your clothing in your bug-out bag was shorts and Tee shirts. I am not very fashion conscious so I am going to wear the same thing fall, winter, spring or summer. The only thing I add to my ensemble is wool socks and long sleeve shirts for the winter. These stay in my pack year round. While most of the Midwest suffered with 100+ degree heat in July and August I had night-time lows in the 40’s and 50’s in the mountains of New Mexico.
- I will pick up extra eyeglasses for myself. Von only uses glasses to read. I read easily without glasses but need them for everything else.
- We are scheduling our dental checkups.
- I wear hiking style boots or shoes everyday. When I bug-out it will be in boots and shoes that my feet have painstakingly broken in so that I can walk in comfort. The problem is that I wear these boots out on a routine basis so I must keep spares all the time. I rotate my boots and shoes everyday. This week I replaced a pair of very comfortable shoes, the sole separated from the upper shoe, and i wore the replacement pair for the first time. I have blisters on the tips of my big toes on both feet. I will wear these shoes twice a week in order to break them in. After that, once per week will be enough to maintain them. Why do I change boots and shoes everyday? If you ever have to live in the same pair of wet combat boots for 30 days at a time, after a while, the object you remove from your boot will neither look nor smell like the foot you remember placing inside of the boot. Change socks regularly and bring along foot powder to dust your feet every time you change socks or take a long break.
- Inspect all your gear to make sure that all the snaps, belts and buckles work and are in good repair. Also insure that you do not have any holes in your pack(s). Repair or replace any broken or malfunctioning equipment NOW!
- For those of us bugging-out with animals don’t forget your pets.
Make sure you have everything you need for their health and well-being. Also, remember if you are taking horses with you in a trailer that you need to stop periodically to let them out and rest. You will see rest stops in New Mexico that have areas for horses to rest, be fed and watered. I do not know how many other states have these areas. If your horses are part of your escape plan, if you don’t stop and rest them as you should, when you open the gate on the trailer you may find your horses dead or crippled.
- Rotate all of your batteries in your bug-out bag(s). This would include those in your flashlights (torches), communications equipment (walkie talkies), multi-band radios, E-O Tech and similar sights (If you don’t have rechargeable CR123 batteries get them and a charger now) illuminated optics of all kinds. If, in your bug-out bag you have the following, electric toothbrush, battery-powered personal fans and/or electric socks, you have bigger problems than TEOTWAWKI.
- Buy enough fuel so that you can reach your refuge without having to stop for fuel. If you find an out-of-the-way gas station and gas is still affordable buy more as you empty your gas cans so that you will have enough to run your generator or car as needed for power.
Is this all that you can do? No, especially for those of you who have done absolutely nothing to prepare at this point. If you are in a state, city or country that does not allow you to own a firearm you should also be making weapons to defend yourself, your family and your supplies.
Google search for “Making a bow” or “Do it yourself bow making”. But bows are not the only weapons you can make at home nor is the bow the only “deadly” weapon you can make. One of my favorites is the sling, used by King David to kill lions, bears and Goliath. The bolo has been used by the gauchos of Argentina for hundreds of years to capture or kill effectively. Don’t forget the atlatl or spear thrower. You can find plans on the internet to make your own crossbow, a weapon so deadly that it was banned from warfare by the Pope.
Many years ago (about 45 or 50 years ago) I purchased a slingshot from a company called Wham-O. The slingshot was called the Wrist Rocket. I have used this slingshot and my own cast slugs to kill rabbits, squirrels and a multitude of birds.
Some people will not believe this but the people who have seen it will. I have killed mostly rabbits but also birds, squirrels, raccoons, armadillos, possums with not only a throwing knife but also a tomahawk and a double bit axe. My favorite throwing knife, made by H&B Forge somewhere in Ohio 45 years ago, has fed me many, many times.
Don’t forget air rifles. No, I am not talking about BB guns, I am talking about serious air rifles, like Dennis Quakenbush’s .458 Outlaw that has taken black bear, a 2000 lb. bison and 330 lb. boar hog. Follow this link to read more: http://www.quackenbushairguns.com/ . Not to be outdone Crosman, a venerable manufacturer of air rifles has introduced a new line of high-powered air rifles suitable for taking most small and even some big game animals in America. Follow this link: http://www.crosman.com/hunting/ .
Many people have tried and become very proficient with blow guns. I made one once using some 1/2″ thin wall conduit. I used the rubber boot that covers the ball joint on a Volkswagen Beetle as the mouthpiece. I used a hot plumb bob to make the cones for my “darts” by pressing the plumb bob when hot into milk jugs and 2 liter soda bottles until I formed a cone. This cone was then cut from the “stock” and then I inserted a very sharp piece of bicycle spoke metal into the cone and then used silicone to seal the hole on the cone and also seal around the boot and the thin wall conduit. It worked quite well and i did kill a rabbit or two with it but I was better with a knife so I gave it up. If you use your imagination there are a multitude of weapons that you can fabricate, at home, without special tools or materials.
How long do we have to prepare? Quite honestly, I don’t know and do not know of anyone who does with any certainty. But don’t let this fool you. It is getting late in the game and if you are not prepared you may not survive. The next item you need is to is have faith. People tell me all the time “Codger, I just can’t believe in something I can’t see or experience.” Faith is simple. Everyday, most people get into an automobile or an airplane. They never saw who extracted the raw materials or who formed them into components. Most people will never see an assembly line, yet day after day, people have faith that the plane will not crash and burn or the car burst into flames and roll over and kill everyone inside. These things were made by people, the world was made by God. What is so hard to believe?
Good luck and God bless.