This page was last updated on Thursday, 04 September, 2014.

The Prepper

Steve Whitman
01 September, 2014

Sitting in a bar in northern New York state, Harry is relaxing with a drink with some of his friends after a hard day at the office, listens to the TV and comments, "Heh guys something is going on......looks like the market had a rough day fell almost 450 points." Since all his buddies are invested in the stock market, this grabs everyone's attention. Tom, his next door neighbor for many years, a good and trusted friend, quickly interjects with, "'s been really up and down lately....looks like we might be in for a rough time ahead." "Don't worry about it", Jack another neighbor says, "it always comes back....we'll be just fine." Harry listening to his buddies and pondering on their attitudes responds, "some people are preparing for an economic collapse.....or even something worse”...... Harry then takes another sip of his black Russian and continues.....“They are buying and stocking up on all kinds of things, I guess....maybe we should too." Tom looking at Harry with disbelief, "They are all a bunch of whacko's,.....what a waste of money and time....nothing like that can happen here......the government would never allow it." Harry finishes his drink, and as he gets off his bar stool, says "well you guys do what you want.....but me....I am going to look into this and start getting some never know about these things......I'll see you later." As Harry walks away and looks back at his friends at the bar, they are all smiling and laughing at him with some of them calling him "the worry wart" and "chicken little." He just shrugs his shoulders and gestures with a wave of his hand and leaves to go home.

"You know those prepper shows that your brother talks about Lisa", Harry says to his wife as he gets undressed, "I think we should do something too." Lisa combing her hair, looks up at him, "sure, if you want to honey.....times are really weird now and to have a little something stored away for a rainy day won't hurt by any means." Harry is surprised by his wife's response and reaction, thinking he would have to really sell the idea before he could get the go ahead. "Ok...I will start looking up and ordering some stuff on the Internet tomorrow", Harry responds, "And it's not only us but our two kids we need to think about as well." Lisa with a content look on her face, looks into her husband‘s eyes, "just do me one favor Harry and talk to my brother about it; he has been doing this for a long time.....he knows things and can help us." Harry grows a disgusted look and tosses a shoe off, "That guy....he's totally nuts.....his family goes with out all the time while he spends all his money on really ridiculous fact, they haven't been on a vacation together as a family for almost three years now......all because they can't afford it.....don't worry.....I know what supplies we actually need and where to get them......tomorrow I will start working on it." Lisa knowing she can’t win the argument, “well ok long as you know what’s good for us....I am really glad you are taking the initiative in protecting our family.” As Harry shuts off the lamp on his night stand and lies in bed, he mumbles to himself, "Once I start getting some supplies, we will be alright"...and he drifts off to sleep.

First things first....we need to get some protection in this house.....our neighbor down the street, Bill, has been after me for a year to purchase his AR-15 with a scope, I think we should get that”, Harry says to his wife while sitting at the breakfast table. “He says he’s got about 100 rounds of ammo for it too and will throw that into the deal. He only wants $800.00 for the lot so I will give him a call today and pick it up.” Lisa looks

up at Harry with a puzzled look on her face, “what about me?....shouldn’t I have a gun too?” Harry quickly blurts out, “No.....I don’t think so.....if we have this rifle it should be enough protection.....after all they use this gun in the least that’s what Bill tells me.” Lisa sighs, “Ok Harry, you know what’s best.”

As the weeks pass, Harry continues on his mission to acquire food for storage in the cellar. At the bargain basement supermarket, he buys many canned goods of ravioli, spaghetti, meat balls, and lasagna. “What a great deal”, he thinks, “I am going to buy as much as I can and load the car.” When Harry gets home and places them on the shelving down stairs, he is extremely content that he is saving money and on the way to being prepared. “This will keep my family in food and secure, if an event does occur”, Harry mumbles to himself while grabbing some more cans. After doing some research on line, he decides to buy a few 5 gallon pails of rice to supplement his stash. Additionally, he purchases some cans of spam, energy bars, and some MRE’s (meals ready to eat) that he found at the local flea market and while piling his new found supplies into his car thinks, “This is the way to prepare and save some money to boot....Lisa’s brother doesn’t know what he is doing....but I do....and this just proves it.” As Harry is stocking the shelves back at his home, his wife Lisa comes downstairs, “gee Harry.....looks like you got quite a stockpile going here....but I do not see any meat or vegetables....what about those?” Harry sweating profusely, looks up at his wife, “well, maybe you should be in charge of that kind of stuff....I think it's a great idea...but, our freezer in our refrigerator upstairs is not big enough..... If a food shortage goes on for a few months we will need a lot more than we can store now.” His wife smiles, “Jack's wife, Tina, told me last week they are selling their large chest freezer for $100.00....they don't need it anymore because all of their kids have moved out of the house." Harry grabs some more canned goods and looks at Lisa, " her today and I will go over and pick it up." As Lisa grabs some canned goods to help, she smiles at her husband, "plus the grocery store is having a big sale this week .....I will get some frozen stuff tomorrow honey and start loading up the freezer.” Harry with a big smirk on his face grabs his wife and gives her a kiss and a hug, "You see....we have a plan....and with a plan comes good things....the Trent household will be fine."

A couple of weeks later, Harry sees his neighbor cutting his hedges, and waves a big hi to him. “How’s it going Tom?” His neighbor looks up, “good’s your so called prepping going?” Harry anxiously responds, “really good....been getting in a lot of supplies lately....why don’t you come on over and see for yourself.” “Think I will”, Tom responds, “I feel like taking a break from this anyway.” The two friends walk towards Harry’s bulkhead and head down his basement. Tom walks around the cellar and carefully takes notice of the loaded shelves, “Wow... have been stocking up....looks like you are really prepared....there’s a lot of stuff down really have taken this seriously haven’t you?” Harry smiles and grabs a can of meatballs and sauce, “you betcha....I got all ends covered....including this AR-15 rifle....what do you think of this?” as he passes the gun to Tom. “Oh boy.....this is a real beauty.....but do you really think you are going to need something like this?” Harry takes the gun from Tom, and holds it in the firing position from the hip, “it has a 30 round clip.....nobody is going to hurt my family.....nobody.” Tom notices the huge chest freezer and walks up to it and opens the lid; it is chucked full of steaks, chicken and assorted packages of peas, carrots and other vegetables. He jokingly asks Harry, “Looks like you can go for months with all of this sure you have enough? Harry as he puts the AR-15 back in its place on the make shift gun rack near the oil furnace quips, “Well there are four of us you the kids eat more than their fair share all the time!” As both men climb out the cellar through the bulkhead, Tom turns to Harry, “we never thought you were this serious about all this.....wait till I tell the boys about what you are doing.....they will be impressed.” Harry, proud with his chest sticking out like a strutting rooster in a hen house, “Yep......bring it on....I am ready for anything.” As Harry turns and closes the bulkhead, Tom grabs his shears and walks back to his house, “well...breaks over...time to get back and finish my morning take care Harry.....don’t buy too much more stuff....your basement is packed like a sardine can now!” Both men have a laugh and go on with their daily business.

What do you have now Harry?.....where did you find that?” Lisa asks while Harry is unloading his car. “It’s a propane heater...I picked it up at a yard sale down the never know if we will be able to get fuel it will come in handy to supply us heat in our he had an extra 20 lb. tank so I bought that too and had it filled as a spare.....what a bargain only set us back $15.00 for everything.” Lisa ever so curious looks in the other card board boxes in his car. In them there is an old white gas lantern, a tent, some old blankets, air mattresses, a small hatchet, a partially full first aid kit and an electric chain saw. “What the hell do we need this stuff for?” asks Lisa. “This is going to be part of our bug out know...if we ever have to leave our home and go somewhere else if the situation ever arises....we‘ll just throw this stuff in the car and make our way out of of my buddies at work read about this sort of thing in a magazine”, Harry responds as he lifts one of the boxes out of the car and heads for the bulkhead. “But Harry, where will we go and how do....?” Harry quickly interrupts her as he grabs another box, “Does it really matter?....we will just head for somewhere safe.....that's the main thing.” Tom yells over while weeding his garden next door, “More stuff Harry?” Harry seeing his neighbor hard at work responds, “ to keep building the stash you know.” Tom laughs and says in a sarcastic voice, “well the market fell another 350 points better get your butt in gear....the world’s going to end next week you know!” Harry pretends he did not hear the last comment and goes on unloading his car. Lisa lifts the tent and underneath is a small gasoline generator. Lisa with a sarcastic voice, “So now...we are going to start generating our own power?” Harry with a puzzled look then realizes what Lisa is looking at, “No....this is mainly for keeping the freezer going if we lose power for more than a day......we want to keep our food frozen......if we don’t ....the food will spoil....and we do not want we?” Lisa surprised at her husbands logical answer and showing admiration, “good thinking have thought of everything...haven’t you?’ Harry feeling like a king and the ruler of the pack, exclaims, “This is what we have to do.....we need all of these things and I have more materials coming from the internet that I found family is going to be ok....not like the others.” As Harry picks up another box and heads for the house, he looks at Lisa and gives her a wink, “stick with me honey and you will be in good hands.”

Several months later, at their weekly Friday after work watering session at the local bar, Jack says to the group, “Looks like we have a survivor man in our company....Tom has been telling us that you have bought enough stuff to go on safari know it’s a big waste of money.....everybody is talking about it.” Harry, looking at the six of them and sipping his drink calmly says, “things are not good better get ready.....cause it’s coming fast....and when it gets here we are all going to be in a fix.” “Give me a break”, Jack counters, “the whole system is too big to fail....there are checks and balances in place....the powers to be will never let failure occur...they have too much to lose.” All the men agree and jeer each other jokingly about “being ready”. Harry ignores them and remains in his own little world, while sipping on his “peace of mind”. He concludes they are a bunch of fools and he alone will be the survivor, while the rest of them will perish when the time comes. As Harry leaves he says to the group, “Ok guys...think what you family has enough to go for over a year and that’s what you need....they’ll be no starving for the Trent family and we will be comfortable too.....good luck.”

The next morning, "Harry ...wake should hear this”, Lisa says while shaking her husband from a sound sleep. Harry awakens to hear the news caster explaining that a new world reserve currency has been put into effect by Russia and China, which will eliminate the U.S. dollar. Several countries have followed suit and have accepted the new world currency known as the “rubelong” which will be backed by gold. As a result, gas prices in the U.S. have skyrocketed to $12.00 a gallon overnight, fuel oil is now averaging $15.00 per gallon, and food prices are on the rise as well. A gallon of milk is now $9.00 and a dozen of eggs are $7.00. The news caster says "there is no end in sight” as the value of the U.S. dollar plummets and the DOW futures are down 1500 points before the opening. “Oh my’s happening”, Harry says, “we are in deep, deep trouble now....this is not good.....get the kids up.....we need to prepare.” Lisa awakens their two children Marty and Susan ages 13 and 15 respectively, tells them to get dressed immediately and to come down stairs. Harry is already up, dressed, and has the TV on in the living room. ”Riots and looting has broken out in several urban areas”, the news caster goes on to elaborate, “Retail stores and grocery chains are being broken into in many places ....this footage exemplifies the chaotic events that are going on throughout the country.” Watching the video footage, Harry sees stores and houses burning; people ran sacking super markets, police in full riot gear trying to quell the violence and just utter chaos. Many people are carrying guns and are taking things by force from others. It seems like the attitude and the new "rule of law" with everyone is "If I don't have mine....then I will take yours." is in full effect. Looking out his kitchen window at the street, he sees no activity, just normalcy. “I guess it hasn’t hit here yet”, he thinks to himself. Harry tells his family to get into the car, “We are going to the supermarket to get some things before all the crap hits here.” Lisa and Harry get their kids into the car and head down their street. The local grocery store is only 4-5 miles from their home and he figures they can get in and out fast without any confrontation. Harry in a calm manner says, “Everything looks normal......we should be kids when we get there, get a cart and pile anything you like to eat into it....your mother and I will meet you at the check out counter to pay for everything...ok?” Both kids nod their heads and as the car rounds the last corner before the market, there is activity in the roadway and parking lot. Many people are exiting the store with carriages loaded and heaped with produce and heading for their cars. The parking lot is full and people are every where. “Come on ....lets get started” as Harry parks the car at the end of the lot, “we can’t waste anytime.” The Trent family piles out of their car and they head for the store, passing them are people with loaded carts. One of the customers says “you better hurry; there is not much left on the shelves.” Harry taken back by this statement, thinks to himself how can this be? Already, the shelves are bare? That can’t be possible. As they enter the store, there are hundreds of people trying to get anything they can and suddenly, a fight breaks out between three men along with two women. A gun shot echoes within the building, and a lone gun man is standing over a body of a middle aged man, “you see...that’s what you get when you mess with me!” A full scale panic erupts, with additional gun shots, Harry looking at the shelves being almost bare says to his family, “let’s get the hell out of!” As they are running for the car, more gun shots are heard, a women falls that is running beside them, as her grocery cart crashes into a parked car. Harry running for his life, looks behind him and sees another women holding a pistol who takes the woman’s cart with her groceries in it. Suddenly, several police cruisers show up with several officers exiting with their weapons drawn and several more gun shots are heard. Harry grabs his kids and throws them into the back seat, while his wife Lisa is trying to get the passenger door open. As Harry looks up, he sees the parking lot turn into a battlefield with several officers and citizens shooting at each other with bodies starting to litter the pavement. Harry yells at Lisa, “Get the hell into the car!”. Lisa’s door is not even shut, when Harry peals out from the parking lot, side swipes a parked car and goes up and over the concrete median to exit the parking lot. “Everyone has gone crazy...they are not people anymore....they’re just animals now”, Harry says to his wife as he drives down the street at more than 60 mph. “We have to get home ....this is only going to get worse.....god help us”, as he looks at Lisa who is welling up with tears. Lisa screams, “Harry...go faster....faster Harry.....Harry get us home.” Harry looking at Lisa, nods, and pushes the gas pedal to the floor and accelerates down the street at more than 80 mph towards their home. Suddenly, entering a sharp curve at an intersection, another car appears and Harry cuts the wheel to avoid the oncoming car. He loses control as the car goes into a full tail spin and slides into a huge oak tree, crushing the passenger side door, blowing out the glass and coming to an abrupt stop. Harry cries out, “Is everyone ok?” He looks over at his wife on the passenger side and sees she is bleeding from a severe gash in her forehead, but the kids in the back seat seem to be ok. Harry opens his door and grabs his wife and slides her across the seat. “Harry, go easy with me, I really hurt”, she says. “We have to get time to lose....come on everyone”, Harry commands, “You help your sister Marty and I will take mom.” Harry looks over at the other car which has crashed into a guardrail on the opposite side of the street and ricocheted into a person’s porch. The car is bellowing white steam from the demolished front end and there are no signs of life. Harry looking at his bleeding wife surmises, “Let’s get the hell out of here....they will have to help themselves”. The family of four leave their totaled vehicle and start for their house. Lisa, who is having difficulty walking, “Harry ...I think I am going to....” Lisa passes out and Harry catches her and picks her up into his arms, “Thank god it’s just around the corner”, Harry thinks to himself, “We just need to get home now.”

Lock all the windows and doors“, Harry orders his family as they arrive home, “and make sure they are all secure too.” He examines Lisa who is bleeding heavily from her head wound, “Susan, get the first aid kit” Harry says as he lays his wife on the couch. Susan runs from the kitchen, “Here it is dad.” Harry opens the medical kit and discovers there are no gauze bandages left and no medical tape. “I should of looked at this more closely....damn it!”, he thinks, “get me some clean towels from the kitchen Susan.” She replies, “There are none dad...they’re all dirty” Harry with a deep sigh, “well get me the cleanest will have to do”. As Harry finishes wrapping Lisa’s head with pieces of a dirty towel she becomes conscious, “Don’t worry honey....this will stop the bleeding....I will be right back.” He runs down stairs to get his AR-15 and grabs some loose ammo. When he gets back upstairs, Lisa is listening to the news, “marshal law has just been declared by the president of the United States. A strict curfew is in effect. All citizens are to remain in their homes. Immediate arrest or lethal force will be applied to anyone found looting, committing property damage, or interfering with the law. There will be no exceptions. Stay tuned for further announcements and instructions.” Harry and his family look at each other in amazement. Overnight, their quiet neighborhood has become a battle zone. Looking out the windows they see people running from house to house, cars racing down the street, followed by police cars with sirens blaring. Harry looking back at his family sitting on the sofa couch, “This is nuts....yesterday was a normal it’s anything but!” Lisa, looks up at Harry and says, “well least you have taken the steps to keep us safe...we have food to last us a long time....and we still have our home to stay in ....we can live here just fine.” Harry looking out the window turns and faces his family, “yeah...but for how long?”

Well...the gash looks pretty good Lisa”, as Harry removes the towels from her head a few days later, “but you might get a pretty good scar from it though”. Lisa with a disappointed look in her face says to Susan, “get me a mirror honey... will you? Her daughter hands her a mirror and as Lisa examines the wound, a tear runs down her cheek and she looks at her husband, “with no stitches....I guess there will be a huge scar....but maybe I can hide it with my hair”. Harry feeling like a failure because of no available stitch material, touches her on the shoulder, “We had no suture material ....and I wouldn’t have a clue on how to stitch a wound anyway......doctors do that”. Lisa stands up and as she walks away says in a antagonistic tone, “well if we hadn’t gone to the stupid market, this wouldn’t have happened.....would it?” Harry quickly responds, “give me a break why don’t you.....who would of known what was going on when we left for the’s a miracle that we made it happy that we are alive”. Lisa picks up a dirty dinner plate, turns and throws it at him, Harry ducks at the last second avoiding the missile as it crashes into the hutch behind him.. “Well you scarred me for life Mr. Harry can live with that!”, As she runs into the bedroom Harry yells, “and who told me to go faster?....the tooth fairy?” Lisa spins around at the door opening and looks directly at her husband, “Go to hell Mr. Trent!” and slams the door. Harry is left standing there in front of his kids, who are silent, and looks at both of them with sympathetic eyes. The kids not saying a word, just walk away to their rooms leaving him alone.

As the weeks past, the Trent family stays in doors and abides by the marshal law order. Venturing out at this time anyway would be problematic. Occasionally, sirens can still be heard, and with an occasional gun shot echoing some where in the neighborhood, especially at night, reminds them of the potential danger. “Well, it’s been over a month and the rioting is getting much worse rather than less....look at that....the cities are a mess”, Harry comments, as the pictures and video on the 6:00 news runs across their TV screen. He continues in a comforting way to his family who is sitting down for dinner, “Never mind if you can afford to buy anything, but finding it is another matter.....there’s nothing everybody is starting to go hungry......Look Lisa... at all the buses provided by the government to take people to the FEMA camps ...according to the radio they are being taken there and will be provided with housing and food.......looks like a pretty good deal but we don't have to go.... at least not yet.....we have a freezer loaded with stuff”. “Yes honey“, Lisa says, “we are very fortunate....and it’s all because of you.” Suddenly, the TV station becomes a wave of white static noise and then the power goes out, leaving the Trent household in total darkness. Harry in a calming voice, “Hold on everybody.....I will light a candle.” As the single candle lights the room, Harry sees the look of terror in everyone’s faces, “don’t worry....this won’t be for long.... I’m sure they’ll get it fixed....but to be on the safe side I will get the generator going.” Harry looks at Lisa, “light a few more candles and why don’t you call the electric company and report the outage. They probably know about it anyway...but we should call.”

Harry instructs his family to go on with their dinner and for Martin to turn on the AM/FM radio to find out what’s going on while he walks down stairs to get the 2000 watt generator. He places it outside the bulkhead and connects an extension cord to the freezer. The generator starts on the first pull, which causes Harry to smile, “well...our food is safe....good thing I picked this up when I did.” He shuts the bulkhead and walks back upstairs and sits down for dinner. Harry looks around the table at everyone and he says to Martin “what did they say on the radio?” His son looks up and with a mouthful of food replies, “no good dad, the batteries are dead and I can’t find any ones to replace them with.” Turning to Lisa, “how did you make out with the electric company? Lisa walking back to the table, “the phone is dial tone.” Harry with a very disgusted look on his face and in deep thought, looks up suddenly, smiles and proclaims, “well our food is still frozen...and that‘s very see.....nothing to worry about....all is ok.”

The next morning, Lisa tells Harry to go downstairs and get some sausages from the freezer for breakfast. As Harry opens the freezer lid to gather up some food, he notices condensation beneath the cover. In fact there is moisture all over the meats; he then realizes the power is off to the unit. “The generator must of run out of gas during the night....better fill it”, and he grabs the gas can and heads for the bulkhead. Walking up the concrete stairs, and opening the bulkhead doors, he gasps, “The generator is gone.....where in the hell did that go....” Harry frantically looks around the yard for the generator but there is no sign of it. “Someone must have taken it....the lousy bastards”, he thinks, “Now we are in a real power means spoiled food and with that comes no food......only canned stuff.....well at least we still have that.” As he heads back to the house, a man on the sidewalk hollers to him, “Heh mister, can you help a fellow neighbor?....we don’t have much.” Harry keeps walking and pretends to ignore the man, but he is persistent. “Come on...give us something....just a little bit to tide us over.” Harry finally turns and yells, “we don’t have anything bug off!” The man becomes enraged and shakes his fist at Harry, “you’ll be sorry...we will take your stuff then..... you cheap son of bitch....and we‘ll get it all!” Harry is amazed and angry at the same time on the stranger’s response, “You just try it....just try’ll be the one that is sorry!”, and with that said, Harry disappears down the bulkhead.

Marty rubbing his hands across his chest, “Heh dad, this house....sure is cold....what’s wrong with the heat?” Harry quickly turns to his son, “We have no power, so the furnace is out....don’t worry I will get the propane heater going.” Harry goes out into the garage and grabs a 20 gallon tank, the heater and sets it up in the living room. He turns on the gas and attempts to light the burner, but no gas seems to be coming out of it. After fiddling with it for a while and tapping the regulator with a hammer, he starts to smell propane gas. “Good”, he says, “looks like I have some gas finally flowing.” He grabs his Bic lighter from his pocket, but it will not ignite. So he walks to the kitchen to get some matches, comes back and attempts to light the burner again. Suddenly a loud pop and flash occurs which singes the hair off Harry’s arms and eyebrows. The burner becomes totally engulfed in six foot high flames, Lisa screams, “Harry, you are going to burn the damn place down!” Without thinking, he quickly shuts the valve off at the heater rather than the tank and badly burns his right hand in the process. As he watches the flames start to die and holds his right hand upright in a protective position, “Well.....I guess that’s why the son of bitch sold it to me much for that....we will have to make do without it.” Lisa shakes her head in disgust, “well get rid of it Harry...before you blow us all up....just look at your need some burn cream” and walks to the linen closet to get the first aid kit. As she coats his hand with the cream, "I will wrap it in some torn bed sheets.... that should take care of it". Harry with a look of affection towards her, "Thanks honey, now you are the one taking care of me".

The next morning, “What are we going to do now Harry? Our food in the freezer will only last a few more days without power and we have no heat”, Lisa says to him as she is piling laundry to be hand washed in the sink. “We’ll just have to depend upon the canned stuff for now, until we can find something else”, Harry replies, “we still have that.....enough to last several more months.” Lisa turns the tap on to get water for her clothes washing and nothing comes out. Along with that, Susan comes running down the hall, “heh dad, the toilet won’t flush.....something’s wrong with it.” Lisa abruptly turns to her husband, “we have no water.....did the town shut the water off for some reason?” Harry dazed and confused by yet another problem yells, “For heaven's problem at a time....go do some homework or something.” Susan replies, “Homework? What good is that?...there hasn’t been school for over a month now....where have you been lately?.. On another planet?” Harry becomes red with anger, loses his temper and slaps his daughter across the face, “I am sick of your back talk....go to your room.” As Susan runs away, Lisa shocked by her husband’s behavior says, “I can’t believe you....what the hell is wrong with you?.......are you losing it Harry?” He walks away from Lisa into the living room, but Lisa will not be denied an answer and quickly follows him, “look at me Mr. Harry Trent......are you going off the deep end? you need some help?” Harry sits on the couch, buries his head into his hands, and murmurs to his wife. “Just leave me alone....go and fix some dinner....just leave me alone......." Lisa looking down at him and turning to walk to the kitchen, “ sit here and wallow in your self pity then....I will take care of things from now on.” Harry red faced with anger quickly jumps to his feet, and snaps back at her, “You go get supper ready and shut your face.....I’m the boss of this place and don’t you forget it!” Lisa afraid and scared by her husband's reaction, something she has never seen before, quickly heads for the kitchen and shuts the door. Harry sits back down on the couch, looks at his badly burnt hand and weeps.

A few days later, "my hand is killing me", Harry says to his wife, "we better take a look at it". Lisa sits down next to her husband and begins to unwrap the sheeting which has become caked onto the wound. Lisa trying desperately to remove the sheeting without hurting him says, "I can't get it's stuck Harry". He looks at her, "It's like a piece of gauze tape, you have to just rip it off ...quick". Lisa grabs the end of the cloth and with a quick and forceful yank rips the sheeting from the wound. Harry screams in agonizing pain, as the well formed scabbing comes with it and reopens the wound. Blood and puss ooze from the wound and begins to run down his arm. "Oh my god Harry....the burn is all red and looks like it's starting to spread up your arm" , as Lisa looks for some disinfectant in the medical kit. "This will help....but it might burn a little". Lisa takes the iodine and pours it over the wound, Harry leaps off the couch, screaming, and trying to shake the pain from his arm, "I can't believe this....does that hurt!....I will kill that son of bitch who sold me that heater....I swear I will!" After a few moments, Harry lays back down and Lisa lifts his feet onto the couch. Lisa in an effort to comfort her husband says, "There need some will be alright now", and she kisses him on the forehead and walks away leaving him to rest.

The next day, Harry is awakened from a sound nap, “Harry!” Lisa yells “this canned spaghetti does not look very good and it tastes horrible....I think it’s spoiled.” Harry, burning up with a fever, gets up off the couch and hobbles into the kitchen, there on the table is the empty can of canned spaghetti, with a bulged top and bottom, and there is evidence of rust along the rim of the can as well. Harry feeling dizzy and confused says, “That can doesn’t look right....better get something else”. Lisa replies in a soft voice, “Mostly all the other cans look the same...a lot of them have rust along the seams of the cans....what are we going to eat now?” Harry with a rejected and beaten look along with cold beads of sweat on his forehead, “I don’t know....I simply don’t have a clue what to power, no water, and now no food.....what else is left?” Suddenly, a brick smashes through the picture front window, causing splinters of glass to fly everywhere. Harry yells to his family, “Get down everybody.....lay on the floor... now!” As Harry hits the floor, he notices Susan still standing next to him looking at everyone. Harry hollers at her, “I told you to get down!”, and he grabs her by the arm and forces her to the floor. “Who‘s out there Harry?”, Lisa asks. Harry gestures with his hand in a downward movement, “Everyone be quiet...very quiet“. A few seconds past, “We know you’re in there.....give us what we want and no one will get hurt”, a man yells from outside. Harry crawls to a front window and looks out, about 8-10 men, one who looks a lot like Jack, are standing on his front lawn with guns, appearing like a bunch of mercenaries ready to do battle. Harry yells back at them with a desperate voice, “We have nothing....just like you....please leave us alone.” The man counters, “Oh noooo....we know you have plenty of food.......give it to us and we will go away.” As Harry looks at the terrified faces on his family, a familiar voice bellows out, “’s Tom.....Tom Ringle....come on Harry.... share with us......we all know you have some extra supplies.....we are starving.....all we are asking is for you to spare some.” Harry can’t believe his ears, “it’s Tom my next door so called friend....he’s ratted us out.....Martin......go downstairs and get my rifle and all the ammo.” Lisa with a horrified look on her face, “what are you going to do Harry? can’t fight them all....give them some food....some of it has gone bad anyway.” Harry shakes his head side to side vigorously, “no way....we need what’s left.....most of the canned goods are bad but we need anything that might be still we still have a few MRE‘s....they‘re not going to get them either.” Martin returning upstairs slides the rifle on the floor over to Harry along with two boxes of ammunition. Just then, another brick smashes through an adjacent window, scattering more glass across the living room floor and onto the Trent family members. Susan screams, “daddy....make them go away....please daddy”. Harry awkwardly loads the magazine with the .223 shells, looks at his daughter and whispers, “don’t worry Susan, they will be gone soon”, and hammers the “mag” into the rifle. “This is your final warning”, a voice yells. Harry takes his AR-15 and looks through the scope in the direction of the men, “I can’t see a damn thing....they’re too close.....can’t use the scope....and the scope blocks the open sights....what good is this gun?.....Bill sold me a piece of crap”, Harry mumbles to himself, “well maybe this will scare them off.” Harry points the gun out the broken window and randomly fires aimless shots until the magazine is empty. Dead Silence comes over the Trent property. Martin whispers, “What’s going on Dad?” As Harry peeks outside through the broken window, “I don’t know son....everybody seems to be gone....looks like they split....I better reload just in case.” Harry grabs a box of ammunition and tries to reload the magazine, but he discovers that his arms are shaking so badly and with the burn injury to his right hand, it is almost an impossible task. Martin stands up and says, “Dad...let me help you” and walks towards him, suddenly a shot rings out and Martin drops like a sack of flour to the floor with a shot to the head, killing him instantly. Lisa, horrified, shouts “Martin“, jumps to her feet and runs to her son. Several more shots ring out and she crashes into the coffee table and falls to the floor with several gun shot wounds to her torso. Screaming in agony, her daughter Susan tries to comfort her. Bleeding profusely and succumbing to her injuries, Lisa murmurs, “Dear god, they are going to kill us all.” Harry seeing his family being taken from him one by one hollers, “you bastards....I will kill every one of you!” He points the gun out the broken window and fires wildly a bunch of shots out at the front yard, cutting his left hand badly in the process on the broken glass. He looks around and grabs a doily off the end table and tries to wrap his left hand, but with both hands injured now, he is unable to do so. Hearing no response from his barrage of shots, he scans the front yard, but he sees no one, the yard is empty with no signs of anyone. Harry can’t understand it, where are they? Where did they go? Harry with blood running down his left arm, seeing his wife lying motionless and knowing she is dead, waves to his daughter, “Susan, come me wrap my hand....” As she runs towards to assist him, several more shots ring out, she is hit several times and falls to the floor in a pool of blood next to him. Harry grabs her in his arms, but it is of little use, as she is already gone. Harry grows a blank stare, lays her back down and with blood soaked clothes begins to load the rest of the ammo, staring off into space, and oblivious to anything. His injuries mean nothing to him now as there is no pain, for all the pain has left him. The adrenaline is flowing throughout his arteries like a speeding locomotive that is out of control. All human characteristics are now gone from him. All that makes us different from any animal species in the world, no longer lives in Harry, for now he has become a savage with one sole purpose in life and that is to kill. No emotions, no feelings, he is just a vessel containing pure hatred and revenge. He slowly rises off the floor and looks around at his once peaceful living room that he and his family had so many good times together. All that remains now is broken glass and broken memories as he gazes at his dead blood spattered family laying about the room. Tears run down his cheeks as he walks towards the front door. He throws it open and steps outside onto the front porch, “You killed my family....take this you sons of bitches!” He lifts the semi automatic rifle to the hip position and fires randomly at the houses and cars across the street blowing out their windows and pulverizing everything else in site until the gun clicks and is out of ammo. An eeriness envelops and overcomes the Trent property. No one fires back and Harry is left standing alone and he sees no one. Total silence blankets his neighborhood and there is no movement. His eyes are scanning every where like a mad man with his mind full of rage and anger. But there is no one one at all......he listens intently......there are no sounds....just complete and utter silence... ..then a familiar voice comes out of no where and simply says “Harry”.....he turns his head to the right and sees Tom about 10 feet away with a .45 pointing it directly at him....”Tom, you son of a.....”....Harry sees a bright flash of white light......then nothing.

Although the above scenario is strictly fiction, it can be a useful tool for preparedness. Before you read on, take a few minutes and determine what you consider major and minor mistakes by Harry and the Trent family. Some of their mistakes may seem obvious, but others are not. Consider all aspects of their attempt to “be prepared” and make a list of their short comings. What would you have done differently?.....How would you have reacted to the financial crisis?.....What materials and additional items would you have considered getting? Would you have attempted to go to the local grocery store? Would you have shared your supplies instead of hoarding them like Harry? Would you have left the home and bugged out?

This article’s purpose is to introduce some of the basics of prepping and in no way represents a complete and final answer. Personal finances, individual competency, geographical location and over all knowledge on the prepper’s part will dictate his or hers course of action. We would all love to build an impregnable concrete bunker that is a mile underground, have 4-5 years of food storage, an arsenal of weapons and ammunition, a huge stash of gold and silver along with a pile of tradable (bartering) items at our disposal, etc. but for most of us that will simply not be the case. Reality is sometimes very difficult to contend with, but in essence, it is the truth and what we all have to deal with and live within.

The following list of items or actions, in my opinion, is what Harry and his family should of done and can be construed as a basic prepping “laundry list.” of do’s and don’ts.

  • Secrecy - First and foremost, your prepping is your business. Do not show or tell anyone of your private storage of food, supplies, guns, or actions. Harry found out this the hard way.
  • Firearms and ammunition - At a minimum, the prepper should have three weapons in his “arsenal“. The first is a good rifle with open sights. Rifles in the .308, 30-06, and .270, are all excellent calibers. My personal preference is .308 and this is available in the H&K G3 or M- 14 rifles. Both are excellent long range weapons and capable of holding large magazines of more than 10 cartridges. With the popularity of the AR-15 assault rifle, the .223 caliber is owned by many and is very adequate, but is not my personal first choice. Firing a much smaller bullet (55 gr. v.s.165-180 gr. in the above weapons), the .223 round will still cause devastating damage to human targets. If the rifle has a scope, then it must be mounted correctly allowing usage of the open sights as well. In the above story, Harry found out how important this is. Each rifle should have at least 6 spare magazines which are PRELOADED.
Second, a pistol of .45 or .40 caliber is a good choice. If you have women or young adults on the team, a 9mm may be more suited for them. My article So you want to carry a gun goes into more detail on caliber selection and will not be discussed here. Stick with a well made hand gun such as Colt, Glock, Springfield, Beretta, H&K, or Sig Sauer. By all means, do not buy cheap and have extra magazines, at least 4! And looking at it in the box or in the safe does you no good at all. So above all,..... practice....practice....practice!

The third would be a shotgun, preferably in 12 Gauge. A very good choice and one of my personal favorites is the Remington 870 pump which is easy to operate, load, and above all very dependable. If you want to step it up a bit, then my personal selection and weapon is the Bennelli Super 90 Tactical shotgun which is semiautomatic and can be equipped with “ghost ring” sites and a pistol grip. Hands down, in my opinion, it is the ultimate choice in defensive shot guns. Capable of holding with an extended tube up to 10 shells (slightly less with 3” magnum shells) with an additional one “up the pipe” it is truly a devastating weapon. It is a little on the expensive side but excellent!

Ammunition for all? The very basics would be 1000 rounds of rifle ammo, 1000 rounds of pistol ammo, and 500 rounds of 12 gauge shot gun consisting of 250 rounds of slug and 250 rounds of 00 buck. All your ammo should be factory fresh with no re-manufactured rounds or reloads. No matter what weapons you ultimately choose, training on the range and becoming familiar and proficient with them is mandatory and absolutely necessary. Knowing how to break them down, clean, and to remove a jammed cartridge are all important skills as well. The following statement really goes without saying, but here it goes anyway......all of age family members must be comfortable with and be able to use any of the firearms in the preppers home.
  • Food - There are so many opinions on the amount of food that should be stored that taking a stance on one specific time period would be foolish in my opinion. But as a minimum, one year is a good start. Frozen foods should be considered a luxury item and not counted in your calculations. Canned goods are alright, i.e. spam, sausages, tuna, ect., but they must be monitored and swapped out on a regular basis. Expiration dates can only be used as a guide in your selection and determining your rotation schedule. Do not buy from “bargain basement” facilities as Harry did. Their food is usually near their end dates and will have a poor shelf life. Tomato based products are ok, but only for short term purposes. These cans have a relatively short storage capability (about 2-3 years) due to their acidity and will spoil quickly. (if you see bulged tops and rust discoloration on the outside - get rid of them) Home canning products are good and cheap but must be done carefully and properly or botulism maybe on the way for you. It can be, if ingested, a real painful way to die. Freeze dried and dehydrated foods have come a really long ways in their shelf life and taste. You can obtain just about anything you like to eat in this manner and they should be considered the main stay of your food locker. Proper storage in a dry environment of 50-55 degrees can greatly enhance the shelf life of these products to more than 15-20 years. Additionally, 5 gallon sealed pails of rice, beans, flour, lintels, and pasta are readily available and excellent sources of sustenance. Also, they are cheap and easy to prepare. Power or energy bars are a good source of energy and they can actually substitute for a quick meal if you are in a real pinch. Finally, MRE’s (meals ready to eat) are good too. They are compact, light, and usually very complete in providing you a balanced, nutritional meal that you can easily transport, if the need arises. A balanced selection of all the above, will give you and your family their needs to “weather the storm.” Above all, buy all your food products from reputable manufactures with long and obvious expiration dates.
  • Water - Without a very short time (days).....we die. Long term storage can be accomplished with polyethylene 35-55 gallon barrels treated with the proper dosage of bleach. Be sure to wash and rinse any container you use with soap and water. Plus, disinfect the container by thoroughly washing the inside with at least 1 teaspoon of plain bleach with each quart of water and let it stand for about 5 minutes before rinsing. For long term storage, about 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops) of plain bleach is good for each gallon of water. All stored water should be rotated and replaced at about 6-8 month intervals depending on the type of storage environment. Cool, dark places are best. Do not store water in direct sunlight.
Access to water needs to be a top priority. Whether it's from a dug well, stream, lake, or other source, it must be fit to drink. Water purification tablets are good, but the boiling process will accomplish the same goal if the water is not chemically contaminated. How much water to have in long term storage? This really depends on where you live (climate) and your immediate access to drinking water if a “shut down” condition occurs. Hotter climates require more water for each individual due to perspiration. For general purposes 90 gallons per person which is about 3-4 months of usage(about a gallon per day per person), is a good rough estimate. Collection of rain water, desalination of sea water through boiling and condensation, are some of the additional methods of obtaining this valuable resource. Devices to perform these functions are easily made and should be on the prepper’s shelf, if the need arises, “ready to go to work”.

  • Standby Power - There is no question that our society has become power dependent. Without electricity, the basic idea of living, according to most people, is no longer tolerable. But, is it absolutely necessary to really survive and live? The answer is no, but to have power is a definite plus and can not go unaddressed. The one question the prepper must ask himself, “What do I absolutely need to electrically operate in order to make my life reasonably comfortable?” Once that is determined, the size in KW (kilowatts) of the generator can be calculated. Heating furnaces, air conditioners, well pumps, ranges and stoves are the biggest users of electricity. Harry forgot all about these when he selected a 2 KW (2000 watts) generator capable of only running his freezer and maybe a single light bulb. Also, no matter what generator you select, it must be secured, as Harry found out, because vandalism is always a problem. If you locate it in a garage, then it must exhaust to the outside because of the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning which is fatal. Sounds simple doesn’t it? About 5 years ago, in my hometown and area in Massachusetts, we had a severe ice storm in December. We lost power for almost 2 weeks and generators were almost impossible to find. For the people that were able to locate one, there were many cases of theft and carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper use and ventilation. Also, I personally witnessed a fight that had broken out at a gasoline station between several men who were trying to get gas for their generators. They were actually beating each other with fists(not just wrestling around) and it showed how quickly things can get out of hand. That was after five days without power, one can only imagine the problems if electricity is lost for months or longer! Gasoline or diesel generators are ok for the short haul but propane units have the advantage of long term fuel storage. Gasoline is so poor in quality these days(ethanol causes a lot of problems) that even with stabilizer added, it has a very short shelf life. If you must store and treat fuel, Star Tron, in my experience is the best. We have used this extensively at the marina and since we started using it, we have had no water in the fuel problems. Also, it will actually rejuvenate old fuel and eliminate carburetor varnish issues. The alternative is aircraft fuel which is extremely expensive (more than $7.00 a gallon).

Additionally, if you own your storage tank, propane can be purchased from any vendor at the lowest price. Plus, you can have a 500 or 1000 gallon storage tank(s) that will last for many months depending on the size of your generator and with conservative usage, it can last even longer. Naturally, if you can afford it and have the ability, underground tanks are the way to go for security and the prevention of vandalism.
  • Heating - If propane or fuel oil becomes unavailable, especially for those living in the northern climates, heating of our living areas will be a great concern. There are only a limited amount of natural resources that can be stored for a very long time. Wood and coal are good examples. Propane and electrical heaters are ok, but their short comings are evident. Forget wood pellets, under a tragic event they will be in limited supply in a very short time. If you do not have a wood or coal stove (some will burn both), then get one as it may save your life. They come in various sizes with a range of BTU ratings. A typical 2000 Sq Ft. home can be "adequately" heated with a 40,000-50,000 BTU stove. Plus, wood or coal will never go bad, as long as it is stored properly, and both can be stockpiled ahead of time.
  • Finances - If a major catastrophe, especially an economic one occurs, the value of paper money will be doubtful. But, in the beginning of the disaster, at least for a little while, cash will be needed. Store as much cash as you can afford financially in small bills. Credit cards and checks will probably be useless as well. Forget about turning your stock certificates in for cash, they will be almost worthless too, but silver and gold have always had some value for thousands of years. Silver in 1 oz coins or bars and gold in 1oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz. sizes should be acquired and stored. This will come in handy when paper money goes bye bye. How much? Well that is up to you and your wallet.
  • Bartering Items - There is no question when paper money becomes useless and food becomes in short supply, other forms of “trading” or “swapping” will become the new norm. After all, you can not eat gold to live. Bartering items will become extremely important in our daily lives and should be gathered. Items such as liquor, cigarettes, coffee, sugar, spices, ammunition, gun parts, medical supplies, tooth paste, toilet paper and dental floss are just some of the stuff that will become invaluable to most people. They’re relatively cheap now (except ammo and cigarettes) and available, so stocking up on this kind of stuff is a good bet! No matter how bad things become, people will always enjoy and crave a good smoke or drink.
  • Bug out Bag - This is a real pet peeve of mine and I know many preppers will disagree with me on this subject. A bug out bag is something that you can carry with you (knap sack or back pack) loaded with supplies and materials to last you for several days if you have to leave your residence in a hurry and “bug out.” Well, ok it may be a good idea to have something like this packed and ready.....but when the time comes where are you going to go?....especially in the northern climates during winter. I have camped out many times during sub zero weather and believe me it is not a joy ride, it’s anything but. If you are ever thrown into a situation like this, unless you have extensive survival training and experience at this sort of thing, most of the general population will likely die. If the weather conditions and exposure do not get to you, then the psychological damage due to the pain and suffering that you will endure will probably cause you to go "off the reservation.” Leaving a defensive position (your home) and venturing out into the wilderness may sound adventurous and cool, but in all likely hood it will cause your death. So I guess what I am trying to get across to the reader is, “Stay home...Stay is your best chance of survival by being in a defensive position and not going into an offensive one....only leave when death is immanent if you stay.” Your home is your “castle” and you might discover it may mean a little bit more to you, if you ever try and leave it. Perhaps a bug out bag should be kept in your car or by a student away at college, etc. Then the bug out bag would be extremely useful in sustaining an individual in order for him or her to get safely home. But when all is said and done, home is the place to be.

If you feel that you must have the ability to bug out, then a comprehensive plan and destination must be thought out before hand. Your “safe haven” must be in the plan and it must have several access routes that you have determined as potentially viable in an emergency. As mentioned previously, this option is only acceptable when you have no other choice and you must leave your home because death is certainly on the way.
  • The Energy Cleaner - In this basic preparation article, I decided because of it’s importance, in my opinion, to give the Energy Cleaner it's own separate sub heading. This relatively simple device, which is very easy to use, is almost a necessity in a disastrous event due to it's truly amazing healing powers. It is not the complete answer or cure all to optimal health but it is damn close to it. Of course, you have to follow a reasonable healthy diet to supplement the Energy Cleaner to receive its maximum benefits. You do not have to turn into a “Saint” and eat like a “rabbit“, but you need to follow a somewhat healthy life style including some activity such as exercise and not just sit on the couch eating “Bon Bons” everyday.

I have used this device to treat blood blisters, cuts, and abrasions by wrapping the area with tin foil and attaching the Energy cleaner to it. Amazingly, it has cut the healing time in half in most cases. Of course, there is my recent experience of gunshot wounds healing almost miraculously on my own body and helping my bad back that I had for more than 20 years which I have previously written about in “Winning Life‘s Lottery”. Additionally, using it for seed germination, I have witnessed the incredible acceleration of plant growth in vegetable seedlings which will be invaluable for providing additional food during hard times. All of this was accomplished by utilizing the Energy Cleaner.

Since, medical services will be at a premium during a tragic event, anything that can assist the prepper in providing medical treatment will be "worth it's weight in gold." It will be hard enough to go through every day survival life without having to deal with feeling sick, tired, and being rundown too. Optimum physical health and well being though these tumultuous times will be a “golden key” to survival. So be smart, get one, and use it. It has helped me beyond belief and it just may do the same for you as well.

  • General Supplies - There are a lot of books and videos on the market outlining what a prepper should have on this subject. Some of them are just off the wall and way out of reach, due to financial restraints, of the average person. However, there is a mandatory list of basic items (considering finances) that are truly necessary to survive off the grid even in your own home. They are; candles, matches(water and windproof), magnesium blocks for fire starting, axe, shovel, buck saw, two man saw, wood splitting maul, knives, a leather man or facsimile, a good complete first aid kit and comprehensive medical manual, a set of quality flashlights(mag lite or equivalent), with extra batteries (both non and rechargeable), small propane stove (single or double burner) with additional propane canisters(as many as you can afford), patrol type cooking kit (pots, pans, utensils, etc.), a good quality sleeping bag, a small portable generator (2-3KW) that will run on both propane and gasoline(if yours only runs on gasoline-a conversion kit can be purchased), cleaning kit for your weapons, old fashion wash board and tub with detergents for clothes, kerosene lamps with extra fuel, spare rags, a good quality AM/FM radio(preferably the cranking power kind), faraday cages and Mylar bags for EMP protection of electronic devices, space age blankets, rope and parachute cord, tarps, personal toiletries, prescription medications, iodide pills(for radiation poisoning), hand held (portable) water purifier and purification tablets, two gallons of plain household bleach(for water storage and disinfectant), survival books, Gore-Tex rain suit, and adequate clothing and foot gear. The above supplies should be considered as only a very basic list of items that you will need for survival and it can be expounded upon through the prepping process.
  • The Niceties of Survival Life - For those of you with the financial resources and who want to live in a “life of luxury” during a disastrous ordeal, the following should be added to the list; chain saw with extra bars, chains, sharpening files, gas, oil (both for mixing with gas and for the bar). A carburetor rebuild kit for your chain saw(to have a back up saw is a good idea too), books and board games for entertainment, electric portable heaters(if you have a sufficiently big enough standby generator), solar powered water heater, as much ammo and guns as you can possibly afford and store, solar powered battery charger, reloading press(a Dillon Precision progressive press is superb - model 650XL shown) and supplies including bullets, primers, powder and accessories, spare gun parts, extra oil and filters for your vehicles including air cleaners, spark plugs, fuses, spare tires along with a good tire plugging kit for flats, a highquality air compressor, power and hand tools, electrical test meter for batteries and circuits, HAM radio base set up complete with a probable 50 foot tower and a minimum 300-400 mile radius capability, mobile radio unit for bug out vehicle, two way hand held radios(5 watt) and programmed to receive/transmit to repeaters on the HAM radio system network, a video surveillance system, a solar and generator battery backup system, 14 KW standby generator(for typical house hold - depending on your specific load requirements a 20 KW maybe necessary) with automatic transfer switch to run the entire home, biological suits, full face gas masks with extra filters, and body armor for everyone (minimum type 3-A, preferably type 4 which can stop a rifle slug).
  • Security - Unfortunately, this subject is often neglected by the basic prepper. As mentioned previously in this article, “privacy” and “keeping your business to your self’ are principles that can mean the difference between life and death. There is no doubt, when fuel, food, and shelter becomes scarce, the populace will not be a friendly crowd. As I witnessed the fights breaking out at the gas station and heard through a couple of local cops that I know quite well, that at a local Dunkin Doughnuts, the clubs came out by citizens over a cup of hot coffee, just shows what can happen even in a very minor event such as loosing power for a few days. Don’t worry, the mob mentality will be out there when times get tough and if they know what you have, you will be a target, hands down. So what should a prepper do? Keep his mouth shut for one thing and trust no one. But should you go it alone? Hopefully, you can gather through very careful selection a small group of people that are trustworthy and loyal to your way of thinking and “the cause“. With a well thought out defensive plan, all of you can band together and live by the old adage, “there is safety in numbers.” This is not an easy task and must be done cautiously, giving a lot of thought to the process and by all means knowing the persons that you are dealing with. Harry’s so called “good and trusted friend” next door showed how important this part of prepping can be. Of course, to compliment your storage of valuable goods, a good quality safe(min. fire rating of 4 hrs.) with a tumbler combination (not electronic - they are easier and faster, but with an electro magnetic pulse (EMP) or failure of batteries - might just have another problem on your hands), is mandatory and the more safes the better. Outside video surveillance has come a long ways these days and it is very affordable. An excellent complete wireless system (4-5 cameras) can be purchased and installed by yourself for about $1500-$1800.00 and if you want to skimp a bit, you can easily get a system for under $1,000.00.

Another aspect of security is fortifying your home and increasing its defensive capabilities. Harry never thought of or did anything about this aspect of prepping.  Also, with no defensive plan or drill conducted, in the event of an assault, no one knew what to do or to expect. Everyone should have a plan in place, specific to your location and type of home(structure) that you live in. Barricading, creating defensive positions by boarding of windows or usage of steel plating, etc., escape routes(if it comes to this) are just some of the topics that need to be addressed. There are several books available on this subject and the prepper is encouraged to read them.

  • Emergency First Aid - This is an extremely important subject that everyone should have basic knowledge in. A simple 4-8 hour course can give the prepper some basic treatment practices which may possibly save a loved one. In the story, Harry's medical kit is not complete and he soon discovers the problems associated with that. A full and comprehensive medical kit is vital! Additionally, his wife puts "burn cream" on his injury after the stove incident which is not the proper way to treat a burn. Simply applying ice to the wound immediately will greatly reduce the swelling and blistering, which is far more effective. Of course, wrapping it was another big mistake and later finding the "tell tale" red line going up his arm and him having a fever probably indicated a deadly staff infection. Without powerful antibiotics, Harry was probably a goner anyway! Plus ripping the make shift bandage from his hand instead of soaking it off was another huge mistake. These are only a few examples of knowledge that a first aid course can give to the prepper. Shock, heat exhaustion/stroke, hypothermia, extensive bleeding control, are just some of the other areas covered in a basic seminar. Do yourself and your family a big favor, take a course and it may just save someone's life not just in a prepper situation, but in the course of daily life as well.

Another really important substance to add to the medical kit is colloidal silver.For the past year, my wife and I have been using this for prevention of colds, treatment of cuts and burns, and for overall health. The healing process along with the Energy Cleaner is greatly accelerated and possible infection is prevented. It’s great stuff and should be in everyone’s kit!

  • Mind Set - Without a doubt, your emotions and way of thinking in a crisis situation will be crucial for your survival. As our bodies degrade and become tired and worn out, tempers will flare and arguments will prevail as in the story. This is natural and is to be expected if we are not constantly aware of this potential problem. In particular, Harry did not work on this and fell totally apart when the crap was coming down on him. How can we prepare our psyches for this? That is a very good question and one everyone should ask him or herself. It is one thing to buy a bunch of supplies and prepare for a disaster but actually living through and surviving one is another matter. When there is limited food, water rationing, and a decreased/increased environmental temperature due to lack of heating or air conditioning respectively, decision making and overall coordination (motor skills) of any individual will greatly suffer. Dehydration, lack of energy, severe stress and hypothermia will be all too common as well. This will require all of us to settle and prepare our minds for what is to come. Stress alone can be a “killer” and can be devastating causing mental and physical harm to all of us. Keeping ones head together with emotions under control will be a critical factor in directly influencing our capability of making correct decisions and problem solving. The old adage, "Only the strong survive", can be used by all of us to get our minds in order for what is to come.
  • Knowledge - In my opinion, this is the most important subject that requires all of the prepper’s undivided attention. I call it the RLS system of prepping.... Read, Listen & Survive......There are so many resources these days on prepping, that to be ignorant on the subject, there simply can be no excuse for it. Shows like John Moore’s The Liberty Manand Tim Spencer’s website, “RuralSurvival.Infoare just two of the excellent sources of “Knowledge” and “How to.” Books, videos, articles, talk and TV shows, manuals, and brainstorming in your select group of preppers, are all  excellent means to further your knowledge and get you in the right direction on prepping. The more you can learn and improve your skills, the more chance of your survival and that is definitely not a bad thing. “Knowledge is power” and with what is coming down the road for all of us, we could all use a little more of this priceless commodity. Remember, no matter who you are and where you have come from, you can always learn something new and “Prima donnes” or people who are “500 years old” will likely perish during these hard times.'

  • Final Exam - Ok you have bought all your stuff, stocked your shelves and all things are in their place. In your mind you are “fixed and ready” for the big event. But, are you truly prepared? Are you really all set and good to go? Well, here is a simple test to see just how prepared you are. For a 72 hour period(3 days), go to your main electrical panel and throw the main breaker off, turn off the water coming into your house, and eliminate your heat and air conditioning. Live the entire time period during various seasons of the year without the above conveniences and utilize/depend on everything you have in your supplies and storage to live on. Open up your food locker, cook your meals, wash your dishes and a few clothes, heat your living space, prepare for an onslaught on your home, etc. and just live out the three days. You might just find out that even during this very short period of time, a few things may need a “little more attention” and “fine tuning”. Try may open your eyes a bit.
Yes, we are headed for tough times; there is no doubt about that. When will the crisis hit? Well, no one knows....that’s for certain.....but you can be assured, it is sooner rather than later. We can only go on with our daily lives, prepare and not live in fear. Develop a plan, a proper mind set and live by it. Prepping never stops or ends, it is a continuous life style and journey. There is always something more you can add to your supplies or learn to provide an additional skill as time goes on The main thing is, when our structured way of living "goes down the tube", you and your family will be prepared and ready to “endure the ugliness”.

Always remember when our society crumbles and anarchy has broken out, the populace mentality without a doubt will be, “If I don’t have mine, then I will take yours” will become "law".

I have always tried to remember the following simple words and they have pulled my butt out of the fire a few times and I leave you with them;

Always prepare for the worse.....ready your mind and body for the fight".......And to paraphrase Sean Connery in the movie The Rock......"losers do their best"......"winners go home with the prom queen"℠ (Right-side navigation page SSI insertion)