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What Do You Think Is Essential?

Discussion in 'Emergency Preparedness' started by so lucky, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Oct 30, 2013
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    This was the original question asked by the OP. It has little to do with preference or surviving...merely what food items would we (I take that as a collective we) need, and I believe the prescribed time was 6 mo or more, that would be unavailable to you in an emergency situation?

    That should narrow the list down a good bit because it's a need, not a want situation and it's "we" as a populace, not individual homes. What will the general populace be most likely to need in the way of food if they cannot obtain it from stores? At least, that's how I understood the OP's original question...I could be wrong here, so some clarification may be needed.

    In light of the original question, my answer was:

    Oils/grease~basic cooking, can be used to preserve~difficult to obtain by foraging, as most wild animals don't have the fat levels of domestic livestock.
    Salt~preservative, basic need for body's survival~difficult to obtain via foraging.
    Wheat~Can be planted to yield more and also can be eaten in various ways, though not as easy to grow as beans and corn.
    Beans~Same as wheat but with much more nutritional benefits and growth potential.
    Dent corn kernels~Same as wheat.
    Clean water~most essential of all for survival, can be used to ferment grains for increased nutrient levels, cooking.

    In countries who experience disasters in a wide area, it seems they express a need for clean water the most.
     
  2. Oct 30, 2013
    Icu4dzs

    Icu4dzs Almost Self-Reliant

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    Before I got into a "voiding contest" with FarmerChick, I did make a statement regarding the difference between "Surviving" and "Living". I stick by that. Surviving is a normal short term approach to an abnormal set of circumstances, be they catastrophic on the planetary scale or regionally such as Hurricanes, etc. I could mention the severe blizzard in South Dakota which killed many thousands of cattle (meat, leather, etc) but don't see FEMA trailers being rushed to the Black Hills.

    Living on the other hand is the NORMAL response to the NORMAL circumstances and some abnormal circumstances of life and the manner in which we choose to lead that life. My understanding of the purpose of this forum was to share and distribute mutual assistance and fellowship to others who choose that independent style of living, quite unlike what you might see on any television (assuming you have one, that is)

    In either case, we might ask ourselves the basic question regarding "survival" and that is: When does survival end and Living begin once again? At what point does the interface between the two occur? Obviously, if there is a global catastrophe (nuclear holocaust, etc) living will begin at different times and phases after the "survival" has been assured. How long that is expected to take is anyone's guess but the difference is that the transition needs to be made by those who do in fact, SURVIVE! That is where all those skills I learned in the Special Forces and Marines come into play. After that I want to go home at night, take a hot shower and have a hot meal and rest till I have to do chores again in the morning... What I hated most about the war was that it just never quit. You couldn't go home at night and forget it. You stayed out in that jungle and waited for it to happen again...no hot shower, no hot meal and no flush toilet...

    What I imagine we all consider when we debate what is "essential" could be summarized as what we feel we would need to adapt to living after "surviving" (assuming of course that we are the ones who actually do survive.) However, on the other hand, there are so many variables regarding that transition that this is one area for which none of us has any true experience or comprehension considering the fact that it has not happened before (at least here in the CONUS).

    This has been one of the better debates found on this forum because it truly examines the question of what it means to be SS. If we look at the issues before us, what we see are a variety of approaches, some of which neglect the question I raised above about the interface between "survival" and "Living".

    To me, being SS has several strong differences as compared to Surviving a catastrophe. Some of those are:
    1 "for what period of time can I live with what I have "RIGHT NOW" and continue to enjoy living?
    2. What adaptations would I need to make in order to make the transition from what I have "right now" to dealing with the probability of global catastrophe and the chaos that would ensue. (Let's face it, the Zombies will be violent and ruthless. You'll be shooting them like that game where you hit the prairie dogs on the head only you'll have to dispose of them as well. That does not purport to be a good or enjoyable time.)
    3. Am I able to adapt to a life "without" the many luxuries currently available to us in this nation and in many places in the world?
    4. How far back in history am I willing to live based on what I currently know (science, engineering, agriculture, etc)?
    5. How will society that currently exists, adapt to major changes in numbers of people and the contributions that each of them was making to create the society we currently enjoy?
    6. What will the priorities of those who remain after a catastrophic (global in this case) be with respect to the basics of human society, such as education, medicine, public infrastructure; law/order; trade, etc.? Will we help each other once most of what we know is destroyed or not? My guess here is that the True American Spirit will "kick in" and we will bond together to "rebuild" our nation. I for one, am not interested in seeing chaos reign. I think we need to consider these things now and have a plan about what to do to get out of that mess and get on with "LIVING".
    7. What permanent changes in the Earth as an organism will occur? The type of catastrophe will have a great deal of influence on this. Radiation causes a lot of problems for living systems such as humans, mammals, etc.
    8. What will we "believe" once everything we have ever known or understood is irreversibly damaged or destroyed?
    9. What comes NEXT?

    I can go on asking questions but the issue (as I mentioned before) is can we, by living as SS as possible, avoid the physical, psychological and social devastations in the event of global catastrophe so we just keep on going the way we have been with a minimum of inconvenience because we have "previously adapted" to an "earlier time in history" with the advantage of retaining the important knowledge of what we have learned as a human race?

    We need to decide now what kind of world we are going to leave to our descendants. Living a SS lifestyle is important to us, but will it be to them? My daughter loves living in the city, using mass transit to commute 2 hours a day to another city, etc. "This farm is YOUR THING, DAD; NOT MINE" She is a millennial child, I am a "boomer" child. We lived through different times so we have different perspectives. We want to provide a good world for our children but there is no law which requires them to be like us, do what we do or conform to our standards, whatever those might be.

    Obviously, in the event of global catastrophe, everyone will have to adapt, but then isn't that the essence of "essential"?

    Everything on this string so far "sees with the eyes of the mouse" and not "the eyes of the eagle". We have to look at a much larger picture in order to differentiate what is "essential" now as opposed to in the future, depending on what the future presents.

    So when one of you asked "What are you preparing for?" it is important to address that question before you can even start to plan for it. As a young officer we were trained to plan with the end in mind. Decide on an outcome and plan to reach that outcome.

    Frankly, I don't give a rip what FarmerChick eats or doesn't eat. That is her business.

    What I care about is living. While I am Living, I may have to do some "surviving" but I plan to go back to living again as soon as it is possible and intend to make it as comfortable to do as I can, with the knowledge I have now and what is stored in books (not the internet). I can make electricity. That makes me handy to have around cause I'm not handsome (with apologies to Red Green)

    I still say my favorite all time TV show was "JUNKYARD WARS" because that to me epitomized the mindset of returning to living after surviving.
    YMMV

    Saepe Expertus, Semper Fidelis, Fratres Aeterni
    Trim sends
    //BT//
     
  3. Oct 30, 2013
    wooddustmaker

    wooddustmaker Lovin' The Homestead

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    This is the "emergency prepardness" thread, so I think it is only natural for people to look at it in that manner. Emergency prepardness has a different meaning for each individual.

    As was stated earlier, you can "survive" or you can "live". Both very true statements. I feel that there is another category, and that is to "exist". If you do survive whatever you may be preparing for, what is your plan after that? Will you than "exist" or will you "live"? If you have not tried to take any steps to prepare yourself, if you do "survive", you will most likely "exist" for a period of time. What do you choose to shoot for?

    This is the "Sufficientself" forum. We are all here for one reason or another. One thing that did bring us all together here was to share ideas on how we can do more for ourselves, by ourselves, to better ourselves. That is a different mission for each of us. Some of us have apartments in a city, some of have a city lot with some ground, and some of us have acreage, be it small, or large. We are all looking to be self sufficient, but sometimes that crosses over to the emergency prepardness thing.

    We choose to live a simple lifestyle. For us that means not so many things that I would consider to be luxuries. We don't have cable tv, don't eat out, shop thrift stores, garden, can, raise some of our own meat, eggs, and whatever else we can. Depending on the crisis, we wouldn't skip a beat. We are readdy more for some things than others, but the way we live is what we want, and love. It may not work for everyone else.

    I would like to think that we are all adults here, and can have an adult like conversation. You may not agree with what I think, and vice versa. We all came here to learn something, and that can be done. If there is going to be constant arguements over points of view, people will quit contributing. A good debate is a good thing. It can get a person to thinking.

    This post can be taken however the reader chooses to take it. We are all individuals with our own thoughts. We should be free to express them.
     
  4. Oct 30, 2013
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    I agree!

    How about we take that one step further and move from the eyes of an eagle and move to the eyes of God? The larger picture at that time would be much larger than trying to eek out a mere "existence" on this Earth as if this were the final place of destination. At that point, what mere humans consider "essential" aren't really all that essential after all...merely to exist here on Earth is such a paltry goal and is indeed from the eyes of a mouse, or even smaller.

    I agree that the question, "What are you preparing for?" is the single most important question one can address in this life and, for me, planning for the end of this current, Earthly existence is the goal...and after that? What then?

    So, when deciding on goals and planning to reach the outcome, one might consider that trying to "survive" here is very short-sighted as no one ever really survives here~ except one Individual~ and we are all dying every second of every day, so the decided outcome will not actually be decided by us, but rather has already been decided and the goal, in light of eternity, would be where one would spend that period of time that stretches beyond this Earth?

    When one looks at it from that perspective, then everything else at that point is a short term goal and the place of eternity is the long term goal. It makes things like the subject of this thread so very much simpler to contemplate when one doesn't expect to survive Earth, nor do they really want to do so for there is a far better place that stretches out before us when we leave this three dimensional, limited kind of life.

    And that, my friends, is why I no longer dwell upon self-sufficiency and I no longer plan for surviving here...this is not my home and will not be my final place of residency. What am I preparing for? Eternity...because nothing else short of that even really matters, is a blip on the map of time and has no bearing on my life..my true life. Everything I do now in life is not for surviving here, but is to plan for living there...that is my planned outcome.

    Everyone's long term goals are a tad different. ;)
     
  5. Oct 30, 2013
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Great post, Bee!

    However, just in case I'm one of those folks that God has decided will be on this earth for awhile - despite disasters, man-made or natural, I'm going to use my God-given intelligence, strength, and perseverence to try and make my life, and the lives of my loved ones as comfortable as possible while we are on this earth. (whew...run on sentence, lol)

    I am reminded of the story of the man in a flood who is waiting on God to save him:

    "A man is sitting on his porch as flood waters rise. A woman floats by in a boat, asking if the man needs help. "No, thank you," says the man, "I'm trusting in the Lord." The waters rise higher, sending the man upstairs. A raft full of people floats by his second story window. "Get in," they say, "there's plenty of room." "No thanks," says the man, "I'm trusting in the Lord." The flood waters keep rising, pushing the man up to the roof. A helicopter swoops in, lowering its ladder for the man. "Thanks anyway," shouts the man, "I'm trusting in the Lord." Finally, the man is swept away in the torrent and drowns. At the gates of Heaven, the man asks God, "Why didn't you save me?" "What do you mean?'' replies God, "I sent two boats and a helicopter."

    Do I have animals, water collection, a well-stocked pantry? Yes. I won't watch my children or grandchildren suffer if I can prevent that. I don't think I'm obsessive, or 'over the top' I just hope that I can make lives a little easier in the event of a major challenge.

    I know we have drifted off topic a bit here...this topic is about what food stuffs we think are essential:
    Water, salt, sugar, honey, booze (for barter and other different and various reasons, lol). Staples such as rice, pasta, beans. We don't eat much bread so I wouldn't add wheat to my list. I don't particularly love canned food, but I do buy some to keep on hand. I have a nice garden, and I do can the produce, but some years are better than others. Some powdered milk even though I have goats because they might not be lactating or they might not survive a disaster. :( A small amount of packaged potato products...some canned meat. Even though I absolutely barf at the thought of Spam in most instances I will tell you that a skillet full of fried potateos, onions and Spam can be might tasty cooked over a campfire! Canned fruit and juices for a treat. DH and I don't normally eat 'em, but if fresh were unavailable some canned fruit (packed in water or natural juice) would be nice. I rotate my stock when the grandkids come by making fruit salad for them. They're young enough that if you put some whipped cream on top they'll eat anything, lol! Canned soups because they are a meal in a jar/can. We have homemade and commercial soup on hand.

    I don't have years and years worth of stuff on hand. My basic preps are for small, local type challenges that are usually weather related. I don't forsee a breakdown of society of major proportions in my lifetime (I know, I know - rose colored glasses here). But I fear for my kids and especially my grandkids.

    I can't even try to prep for something as major as a nuclear disaster - so in that case I wanna follow Bee's lead and be prepared for eternity. Well, I try to prepare for that daily - no disaster needs to threaten for that. I try to live my life every day as if it could be my last. Our community lost a child this week. That's a tragedy, but even worse is that she and her mom were fighting - she left the house angry and was walking to her aunt's house when she was struck by a car. Her mom - knowing that her last words to her daughter were spoken in anger - had to make the decision to remove life support from her child. I cannot imagine the pain and anguish that mother is going through. My heart goes out to her.

    What this comes down to is that I'm simply doing as much as I can do to try and keep my family comfortable in an uncomfortable time.
     
  6. Oct 30, 2013
    wooddustmaker

    wooddustmaker Lovin' The Homestead

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    A couple of great responses since I last posted. Two opinions, but carried out adult like. That is a good thing.

    I got to thinking about it, and recalled that I had seen the original question posted on another forum. I did a search, and here is the list that I found. I don't know where they found it, or if it is even the list in question. Look at it, and do what you may with it.

    This is his list of 37 items.

    Water, pasta, rice, Canned soups, meats, veggies, fruit.

    Popcorn, salt, milk (condensed or powdered), cereal, beef jerky, grains.
    Cooking oil, sports drinks, nuts, pickles, dried fruits, spices, honey, crackers.

    Baking essentials, power bars, instant rice, coffee, alcohol.

    Hard candies, dehydrated canned entrees, juice powders, protein drinks, peanut butter, Long lasting treats ( twinkies, etc.)

    Salsa, Ramen noodles, fresh fruit, baby food and pet food.

    As far as that list goes. I would bet that he figured he could sucker some people into giving him money, thinking he really had something, and some did. I would not have been happy to have paid even a penny for this list.
     
  7. Oct 31, 2013
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    ...and vinegar.... and baking soda...

    Both can be used for cooking and cleaning and lots of other stuff. :) Can't believe I didn't remember hard candy and CHOCOLATE!
     
  8. Oct 31, 2013
    wooddustmaker

    wooddustmaker Lovin' The Homestead

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    I would bet that for the purposes of this list, those would fall under the "baking essentials" catergory.

    I am not sure that I have ever seen a "dehydrated canned entree". Maybe Cup o noodles is what he means there?

    Not to start an argument with anyone, but to possibly promote some thinking, I do see one thing that is a major flaw with this list. Maybe it is the lack of one word, but it could be important. I am more than willing to share my thoughts, but am curious as to what others really think of this list.

    Hope everyone has a great evening!
     
  9. Nov 5, 2013
    snapshot

    snapshot Farmwife

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    This will supply nearly 2,000 calories/day for one year with adequate protein and fat. If you know what wild foods to forage for greens or can grow a small patch of greens, you can provide vitamins at no additional cost. You will also need salt and will want some other seasonings. You may be able to grow or forage for fruits, nuts, peppers etc.

    This is prob one of the more boring diets in existence, but my mother told me this is the diet that kept her family alive through the depression and WWII. They did have a garden and grew lots of collards.

    1. Pinto beans, 50 pounds at Sams Club for 25.43 1500 cal/pound = 75,000
    2. Field corn, 50 pounds at Feed Store for 6.50 1500 cal/pound = 75,000
    3. Bakers liquid shortening 35 # at Sam's 22.49 3500 cal/pound = 122,500 calories

    Buy one container liq shortening $22.49, 2 bags of beans $50.86, 6 bags of corn $39.00, Total 112.35



    This was posted in 2008 by a friend of mine. Prices are probably up some.
     
  10. Nov 5, 2013
    Icu4dzs

    Icu4dzs Almost Self-Reliant

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    Nice work here. This particular post is succinct and attainable. The volumes are within reach of even the smallest apartment.
    It may be "boring" but life can continue in a normal manner this way.
    Great post!
    Trim sends
     

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