Wednesday, May 13, 2020

So Let's Talk Turkey

In this case, the 800-lb. turkey in the room.
As various levels of lockdowns, quarantines, safer-at-home, and other restrictions are lifted, some more wisely than others, it's time for a serious come-to-Jesus talk.

Some of you were ready, mostly.
Most of you were found to have your pants around your ankles.
A goodly number of the latter also were found to have heads inserted, to various degrees, up their own @$$#$.

And everyone knows what excuses are like.

The ones that were ready, mostly, will have a hard time ahead, because they're going to have to think, really hard, about where they might have failed, or would have come up short, for any number of "what if"s that didn't happen. Most of them will survive that trial handily, since they're pretty good at "what if"ing. But no plan of action survives first contact with the enemy, and it will still require diligent and careful consideration to be prepared for the next Problem.

And there will be a Next Problem, most assuredly.
(No small part of which is the follow-up to what has transpired this year, to date.)

That concludes their after-action memorandum, and being the ones who did OK this time, they're probably already working on doing even better next time. No one ever glides and coasts across the finish line in first place, and they already know that.

So the bulk of this little chat will concern the bulk of people for the past few months.

Bare Survival

You're here reading this? Congrats. You survived. So far. This always beats the alternative.


1) You thought to yourself, "Self: The Government will Never do X, Y, or Z."
I warned people waaaaaay back, because the CDC outright told you, they planned to do exactly the shutdowns that happened. I got told, online, and in person, "That will never happen, because reasons."
Well, sucks to be you, doesn't it?
They called out the National Guard. They shut everything down. Schools. Businesses. Courts. Government offices. Congress. SCOTUS. Every-damned-thing.
If you thought, to any degree, there was something they'd never do, you just got a metric fuck-ton of evidence that your head was one of those shoved in a dark, quiet place.
Welcome to Reality, Bucko!
Don't be That Guy ever again, please.

EVERYTHING is on the table, always, every time. Get that through your heads.
That foolish and short-sighted take cost some people their lives, others their livelihoods, and the reckoning on the final tally of damage will take a decade to properly assess, and there's no guarantee today that you'll be there for that final announcement.

2) Despite being told, any number of times, the sage advice of Ol' Remus, to
most of you couldn't, or wouldn't. Not "Run to the hills" necessarily. Most of you lost your complete shit at being told to simply stay home, and mind your own business. As if you'd been told to fly to Mars in a balloon. No plan. No resources. Little to no forethought whatsoever to that eventuality, judging purely by the pissing, moaning, and caterwauling, both here and a hundred other sites, leads me to believe you'd do even worse if it was anything worse than just going home, and effing off.

Resistance? Insurrection?? Civil war??? Pfft. You'd have been roadkill on Day Two.
Some number are anyways, right now. And you thought you were going to kick ass?

Sh'yeah. That stinging in the back of your head? That was Reality slapping you.
If this was news to you, I'm sorry to have delivered it.

3) Despite any number of times you might have heard it from me, The Other Ryan at the former Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest, or in Commander Zero's Notes From the Bunker, or from Selco, or Ferfal, you didn't - and DON'T - have a multi-month cash float of funds to see you through a crisis even as mild as the one we've just gone through.
"Oh, but, But, BUT...!"
Reality doesn't give a sh*t, Snowflake.
If you aren't homeless, in a box, eating from dumpsters, literally living hand-to-mouth 24/7/365, you had disposable income, and you foolishly and short-sightededly got a house mortgage, car payment, credit card balance, or any number of toys, geegaws, and other miscellaneous sh*t that you suddenly found burdensome, because you did not pay yourself FIRST and use those funds to establish a cash reserve sufficient for your normal expenses for three, six, or twelve months with no other means of support.

This has been commonsense advice from sites like Kiplinger, Motley Foole, Dave Ramsay, and about 1000 others for effing YEARS, man.

Isn't the back of your head really red and sore yet??


Okay. So you're now an American't, instead of an American. Enjoy the welfare dime, suckle up to government's cold, hard teat, and may your chains rest lightly upon you.

If, however, you "coulda, shoulda, woulda", but didn't, then just own up to that error, and correct it, FIRST CHANCE YOU GET. Not next year, next month, or next week, but next paycheck. And every bit you can, FIRST, until you've got money you can lay hands on, even if the house burns down, even if the bank is closed, even if the power grid goes down and there's no ATM, no Internet, and no financial system, so that next time, you're not That Guy.
If you have nothing, work on a week's pay. When you get a week, work on having a full month. When you get a month, work on three. When you get to three, work on six. When you get to six, work on a year. At least 90% of all problems that aren't global zombie apocalypse can be readily solved with a passport, a credit card with a high limit, and/or a fat envelope of cash. If you want to get to more than a year, good for you. If you want to diversify from fiatbux greenbacks into other currencies, as well as gold and silver PMs, great for you.

And nota bene if you run a business (RUN, not "work for") the same should be true of your business emergency contingency fund. If you can't do that, you're a failed business, and skating along the edge just ensures you'll be the first one over the cliff at the first sign of trouble. Some of you have already discovered that.

Your parents and grandparents, who went through the Great Depression (which was anything but Great) knew this in their bones. Now you do too. The Gods Of The Copybook Headings just called to say "Hi!"

4) Three days food (and other necessities of life) is a joke. One told by FEMA and the Red Cross, mainly to people for whom 1 day's extra anything is something their tiny minds never thought of. Three days' stored food just means that on Day Four, you're in a FEMA camp, as a refugee.

No sh*t. All it takes is the barest planning ahead. I had a month on hand, for two, in a one-bedroom apartment, when the Northridge Earthquake hit. We did fine. I upped it to six months since then. In this non-event, I've yet to crack a single can of that. But I'm working on making it a year before the next annoying little PITA comes along.

5) And my TP "hoarding" consisted of buying exactly one extra package, before it became a thing, because I already had months of that laying around stored too. Ditto for damned near everything else. I'm working on the same for meds and other supplies. You? Probably not so much, right?

6) Not living on land I own, water is only ("only") a couple of months, plus about nine ways to purify all I can gather and store. By year's end, I'll be at six months. 

7) Power/heat is something to work on, but I can cook for several months ("Several", because I need to see how long a fraction of what I've got stored works, and then see how long everything I've got stored extrapolates to.) Heat here is only a problem a few months a year, worst case, and mostly solvable with warmer clothes. Handled. But adding a small capability for renewable power for a fridge/freezer, and brief use of a couple of appliances, was on this year's list anyways. It has moved higher since January.

8) Any problem that lasts more than a year has gotten beyond mere survival, and become an extinction event. Aim to be able to handle that, too, eventually. But more guns, and more ammo, aren't going to feed you, because anybody worth robbing has probably already gotten there ahead of you, along with a lot of people who think they'll be doing the robbing. Even during the height of the German Occupation, the French Resistance, small and humble as it was in reality, never seemed to lack for enough guns and bullets. Neither will you, because at some point, the people who have them become a supply point for everyone who doesn't. You only need a knife, or a rock, or a few feet of stout wire, to start leveling up.
Stop focusing on weapons, and start looking at tactics, strategy, and logistics. Starving people never won a war in recorded history, and even modern society, fat as it is, hasn't managed to eat itself quite to death yet. Calories are more important than gun racks, in the grand scheme, though you'll always need enough of everything.

9) Communications, with PACE, were a minimal concern in this Lilliputian problem. Next time, they may feature more heavily. You might want to get on that.
Just saying.

10) Medical?

"What's a virus?"
"What's PPE?
"What's handwashing?"
"What masks work, at all? Good? Better? Best?"

And on and on and on and on, ad infinitum.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

My Porcelain Thinking Room catalog library shows N95 masks, which don't expire, were going for $1.49@ from Major Surplus as recently as 2018, in 10-mask boxes. IOW, for $150, you could have put on a new one every day from the beginning of the lockdown to now, and still had masks left over. That'd be good for decades if you never used them. But more than a few people bought a ninth handgun for three times that price, that they never used this time around. If you have a gun collecting itch, fine. I do. I could arm enough people to take over most countries south of Mexico without breaking a sweat. But let's call your fetish a fetish, and not confuse it with anything but a nice inheritance for your heirs when you die of old age. I'm closer to the end of my life than the beginning, and I've used the medicine cabinet far more than the gun cabinet, to date. Both are good, and even fun, but one has a wee bit more utility in the long haul, and should be accorded a higher precedence if you're using your big head to work your way though a problem, instead of the little one. Get smarter about that, get trained, and get the supplies that can support your training, and vice versa. If you can deliver babies, birth cattle, and safely remove an appendix, with what's on-hand at home, you're the exception that proves the rule.

Almost none of you are there, nor anywhere close, and very few really want to be, until it's far too late to fix. I've made a tidy sum over the years on those people. Ask me how I know.

We could go on, but won't.
I hope you all enjoyed your free trial of communism, and I hope you all manage to bounce back and thrive coming out the other side, whenever this current sh*tshow all ends finally.
But you shouldn't have been setting your hair on fire nor sh*tting your pants about anything that happened. And you wouldn't have been, IF you'd been more than half-assed totally unprepared for it.

You just got the world's most annoying fire drill. You're not on fire, as it turns out. So go forth, and learn the goddam lessons you should have already learned, instead of going back to sportsball, mall therapy, and general obliviousness, so that the next one doesn't kick your ass like the last one did.

And please, by all that's good and true, remember this nonsense the next time some government-paid tool tells you "Don't worry. This will never happen. It will happen, but not here. But if it happens here, we'll crush it. We're ready for this. We've got this. We'll do fine."

Instead, worry a little bit.
It will happen.
We won't crush it.
We're not ready.
They don't "got this".
You won't do fine.

Remember that, and nothing else they say will concern you much, as much as make you laugh at them. And hopefully, inspire you to take a wee bit more personal responsibility for your own safety and security, to the extent possible, rather than bitch at the government for telling you lies, or bitch at other people for telling you the truth. You come off looking poorly in either case, and none of the BMWing helps with your ultimate problem.

The harder this little note made you cry and want to hissyfit and tantrum, the more it applies to you. Best wishes in your future endeavors, but Denial isn't just a river in Africa, and Hope still ain't a plan.


FredLewers said...

Nice AAR. Maybe we'll have time to apply the lessons learned from this fiasco. Thanks for the confirmation of reality.

ADS said...

The biggest shock to my family has been the reduced variety of fresh food. After a trip to the grocery store we have a week, stretchable to two, of fresh fruits, veggies, and meats. Past that we're onto canned and frozen which is not nearly as satisfying. Not a lot we could do about that, our ability to have fresh out of season crops is an artifact of a fine tuned global distribution system. The kings and queens of old didn't eat as well as we do. Nothing to do but suck it up.

I'm going to the grocery store every two weeks for the duration of this. If prevented we could last 3-4 months on our stockpile of canned and frozen. We could get to the 1 year mark on rice, beans, and corn that I've vacuum sealed and put away in 55gal barrels. Wouldn't be pleasant but beats starving.

I don't keep much cash on hand. If the banks go down the mortgage company is probably down too and they can go screw. I have no precious metals, if things are so bad that cash doesnt work nobody's going to want silver dollars. I have food, weapons, ammo, and meds to barter instead.

5 months expenses in savings, haven't touched yet but probably will need to as I work in aerospace and we're taking a beating. 15% of our normal volume. I'm assuming the job will be shot out from under me but I'm "flying the plane all the way into the crash" and not jumping to another industry unless I have to. A huge +1 for having a fat savings account, I'd have ulcers right now without that padding.

As far as medical, I could always be better. I only have red cross first aid + cpr certs. Hard truth of the matter is in the collapse if you get sick or badly hurt you probably die. That's the historical norm. Appendicitis can happen to anyone and kill you right quick, and we can't all do a self-appendectomy like that one hardass russian surgeon in the Antarctic.

Dad said...

Bad timing here. Recently relocated from the formerly great Northeast to the glorious south, still haven't sold the house up there; moved 99% of our supplies to our new redoubt, and almost got stuck in the north with no supplies, while getting the house ready to sell.
Meds are very important, we overstock at all times and watch our expiry dates as our lives depend on them. Calories are great, and limited space is no excuse to not have a lot of them waiting for something like this.
With all the differing opinions on what's going on out there it's a yank back to reality when I stop by here.

Bee Ess said...

My biggest prepping hole is "B"andages. I simply haven't done the proper research to find out what all i *really* need. Does anyone have a good link to someone who clearly lists and explains the most important stuff to be stocking? I'm talking off the shelf walmart, pharmacy store, etc. I've done my best to get the no-brainer basics.

Knightsofnee said...

Yup, after 2009 and a personal great depression, lessons learned. No debt, 1 year's worth of savings and a deep pantry. Austerity.

Folks I know, some family, are freaking the #!ck out right now.

Buyers remorse on many levels.

Badjake said...

Thanks for the site and the great advise. Being one that was prepared for what is still ongoing, I used some of my time to fill a blank area with solar power (generator fuel storage is mostly limited).

mobius said...

We did run to the store.
It was a nice wake-up call for my better half. She finally figured out more is better and has been having a ball shopping online. Still weak in some categories, though.

Reltney McFee said...

"Bee Ess", wander through our bloghost's archives. He has had verranahz outlines of training and stocking. Myself, I might, maybe, coulda sorta match his clarity or thoroughness, but it's be a stretch.

Here it is, already curated for you, By Aesop, and G-Man:

Allen said...

My biggest hole was in documentation. Everyone needs to know what goes where, how many times, and so forth. You might not have the time to explain everything. A well prepared operator's manual is invaluable to the unskilled.

Reltney McFee said...

Or, perhaps more permanently, this:

Nick Flandrey said...

I think it may be a bit early for an 'after' action report, but it is a good time to sit down and make some notes.

I've been introducing canned food to our regular meals starting over two years ago for veg or beans, or even potatoes, or red beans and rice. I increased the frequency over the year, and I'm still increasing thru this lockdown. It helps that I'm the cook and grocery shopper. Like most people, we prefer fresh. But we all prefer eating to starving. It's really helpful to have a couple of favorite/familiar items on the table when you add a new one to the meal. Look for a recipe book ( that has all the 'best' recipes from the backs of cans. The maker knows how to get the best taste out of their product after all. I also like the recipe book, A Man, A Can, and a Plan. Getting the most out of canned foods takes practice and our ancestors knew it. If you can get out, thrift stores and estate sales often have church or service organization cookbooks, put together by their members. Any of those predating the 70s will have a lot of recipes that use canned products. Some in 'creative' ways :-)

WRT stocking your medicine chest, I believe our host has a number of posts that address the issue. I started with an industrial "all hazards" first response bag, and built off that. Wound wash, AB cream, bandaids (real bandaid brand, flexible fabric), and a SHITTON of wound care are a good place to start. ANY wound worth bandaging eats supplies like a mofo. Kerlix, gauze pads, non-stick pads, tape, conformal wrap, and gloves in case quantity. Just covering my little girl's bad knee scrape used more kerlix than I would like. NB too, stuff is getting short. Bandaid brand Pain Free AB wound wash with lidocaine is sold out, except on ebay. I'm sure that's not the only thing sold out.

One or two of every OTC med for each of the major categories, INCLUDING stuff like Prep H and lice treatment.... even if you wouldn't normally use them. The may not be there when you do need them.

Oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte, or the stuff to make your own from the WHO recipe.

Adult diapers and puppy pads. You might be too sick to get up, or you ALL might be sick at the same time. Puppy pads go on the bed, or under a limb during cleaning and treatment. Much nicer than messing up momma's towels.

"Fish meds" are one of the things that might be a 'bridge too far' for most preppers, and they are currently mostly gone daddy gone anyway. Keep your eyes open though. Some sellers might have some remaining stocks and if you want them, there might be some available. No recommendations though.

The first tropical depression of the season is possibly getting ready to form up in the Atlantic, so no matter what wuflu and the coming collapse have in store, mother nature is warming up for hurricane season.

It's always something.


Aesop said...

"Too early???"

Col. John "OODA Loop" Boyd farts in your general direction. :)
It's never too early to correct what you're doing and blow your problems out of the sky.

FOGBANK said...

We need to chat.
Long ago I learned from people a lot smarter than I about the supply chain and its precarious dependency on electrical power. Particularly, the grid kind. It is now well within the ability of a growing number of countries that don't like us to turn off our power for one to two DECADES. That means that if you have followed the prevailing wisdom of 3 days, 10 days, 365 days of food and water reserves, you're not going to see the other side of a real crisis. Did I mention that power also equals drinking water for 330 million people? Uh.
If you try to gut it through a no-power emergency that never ends in the city, you're not going to do well at all. As one of my friends at a national laboratory said, "The cities will die. GET OUT." Even my city's water department knows this. And they admitted it without blinking an eye.
Costco sells white rice by the pallet- if you aren't in the middle of an emergency. I know, because I've bought several over the years. Don't worry, it will last at least 30 years. So will beans, wheat, dried corn, salt, sugar, the basics. Buy it by the ton. Not the grocery sack.
I can feed ALL of my family for 8 years. It won't be lasagna, but it will be better than what most of you will have a year after the power went out.
My truck has nearly a half million miles on it. I fix it when it breaks and don't waste money on a new one every two years. Without a $2,000 a month truck payment, I figure my fuel is free. And I have a year's worth of that, too. Diesel is safe and easy to store. Meds, soap, disinfectants, the whole schemer. Yeah, if you're confident in your sexuality, you can drive an old truck.
But you can't store all of this in a city. Which brings up the rural property thing. Get some. And gets some of your own electricity and water, too. Just sayin'.

Aesop said...

FYI, the average wound takes one-two weeks to heal. (If you have no wound healing issues, and don't live in the semi-tropics - Hawaii, the Gulf Coast, etc. - regarding heat and humidity.)
Figure out what you're worried about, and multiply what you need for that X 14, or multiples of it.
Betadine, BZK, and Neosporin will kill a lot of problems too.
But you have to stock it deep.
Kerlix is okay, but bear in mind, only dressings need regular changing. Coban (or Vet Wrap) can be re-used, and both gauze and ACE wraps can be washed or boiled and re-used, since they're bandages, not dressings.
Bandages: hold dressings in place. Re-useable.
Dressings: cover and protect wounds, and absorb seepage. Single-use.

Nick Flandrey said...

Touche' ! "Point" taken. No need to wait for the accident review to pull up when the cockpit is yelling "Terrain! Terrain! Terrain!"

I'll add a few then...

I bought about 100 pounds of potatoes and 30 of onions mid-March. I'm in Houston, but they were stored in as cool and dark a place as I could outside my home. I've had more spoilage among the onions than I expected. They were VERY bruised from handling. Once I got the spoiled ones out, they've been very stable since. Some of the same happened with the potatoes. Costco had a bin of 5# bags, but they were so bruised and beat up, I didn't bother adding any to my pile. I've never seen such poor quality at Costco, but for some folks, some was definitely better than none. Potatoes and onions are versatile and tasty and CHEAP.

The black bins with yellow lids are NOT GOOD for any long term or even medium term storage outside, or where there is humidity and wide temperature swings. Water will condense inside them and ruin whatever you have there. The more thermal mass, the faster this will happen. Pity, because you can fit between 100 and 150 cans in one. DON'T DO IT though, unless it's in a temperature controlled area.

Hand and foot warmers will work as O2 absorbers for your buckets if nothing else is available. Do a test. You are looking for the bucket to 'crush' slightly after a day or so.

Bar soap! Lasts indefinitely, available cheaply with AB properties, and seems to keep vermin out of my bins when I put a package in with food.

I wear my hair short in a clipper cut, so getting clippers and a set of guards was a no brainer. Get some barber scissors too. Practice helps, and I can truthfully say "It looks good from the front!"

I'm not using any of my stored bleach, nor the disinfectant cleaners since I'm not actually going out much. I AM using spray disinfectant faster than I thought. I'm spraying mail, packages, and the bottoms of my shoes if I've been on surfaces other people might be spitting or hacking on.

Oh, and Aesop, now that you've gotten rid of your vermin, get a couple of the electronic ultrasonic anti-vermin chaser things and plug them in. They're cheap insurance and seem to work.


Cable guy said...

Store your masks in an airtight container. They will pick up smells from the air. I have some that I bought about 10 years ago and I can tell where they were stored by the slight smell when I first put it on.
I have gone from thinking "I will get it when I need it" to "if I think I will ever need it, get it now"

Great Scott said...

Please explain the semi-tropics comment. I'm medically ignorant.

RandyGC said...

The 3 day food and water recommendation is really intended to get most "normal" folks to have something on hand so as to give Emergency Management (local, not FEMA)and first responders time to assess and get something set up in relatively minor local emergencies. It's also about as much as you can convince the "normals" to build up before getting push back.

The ant is never going to convince the grasshopper to take disaster planning seriously, but I doubt you have too many grasshopper readers here.

One of my favorite (and about the only one I remember) phrases that came out of the 80's survivalist types was "Don't worry about having a fancy gun. With a .22LR and the proper combination of skill and ruthlessness you can get any gun you want after Der Tag".

OvergrownHobbit said...

These are the essays that keep me coming back to your site.

Nice kick in the pants, thank you.

Aesop said...

@Great Scott,

If you've ever been to Hawaii any time, or Louisiana or Florida in August, (or garden spots like Okinawa, Fort Benning, Fort Stewart, Fort Rucker, Fort Polk, Fort Hood, Swamp Lejeune, Parris Island, etc., let alone anywhere between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn (the actual geographical tropics), you get it.

Heat and humidity, to an infection, is like honey to bears. People in the South Pacific, Vietnam, India/Burma, South America, or Africa got and continue to get infections that just won't quit, because everything rots in the tropics, including you.

Conversely, at altitude, where it's cold and dry, and the solar UV is off the chart, infections disappear like a miracle has happened. The high desert is a close second for that.

Nick Flandrey said...

Happens that I put this up elsewhere today, but I'll put it out for consideration here too.

"Check your stock of normal things that aren’t food. Do you have bandaids? Razor blades? Cosmetics and soaps? Gauze, nonstick pads, wrap, tape? Wound cleaning liquids? How about sewing supplies? Got needles and thread? Fusible liner? You might need to repair your high speed low drag web gear if the zombies beat you up. Is there something you usually just order when you need it? Time to check and see if it’s available.

Do you have some repair supplies in general? Crazy glue in different viscosities? Shoe Goo? 5 minute epoxy? Wood glue? Duct tape? Cellotape? Electrical tape? If we really are headed into a big downturn, repair and reuse is going to be important. How about expendables for your vehicles/mowers/garden tools like wipers, belts, air/oil/gas filters, a replacement pull rope? Oil, additives, Sta-bil?

Flints for lighters, butane, lighter fluid? Baling wire? Twine?

Further down the list but important, this home isolation looks like it will be continuing for a while yet, even if things don’t go to sh!t. Do you have playing cards, board games, dice? How about a Hoyle’s book of card games? Pens, pencils, paper? Art supplies? Software to replace something you play online? (My dad loved to play spyder solitaire on the pc, but win10 made it online only. I had to figure out how to install the games pack from win7 so he could play what he was familiar with.) Wife got out the watercolors and did some painting with the girls today for ‘art class”. We love puzzles, so I buy them at Goodwill if they are unopened. The mom’s club in the neighborhood has a puzzle swap going on for those who were not prepared. I find puzzles to be very soothing.

There’s a million things our grandparents or even parents would have kept on hand, just to save a trip to the store, if for no other reason. Think about your tool box or junk drawer, or anything you’d like to do if you had some extra time on your hands. Might want to get that stuff now, if you have the time and funds, and your “sustain life” stuff is all in order."


Michael said...

Aesop assuming your not planning to die in the harness during a real disaster have you given thought to a sailboat as a home-survival pod? When I was working in Seattle a place well known for terrible non-emergency traffic issues I had a swing keel trailer sailor 24 foot Macgregor. I choose to keep the boat looking a bit grungy as not to attract the thieving eyes. I kept it at a low budget marina that provided good security, electricity and a shower-laundry mat. With my old bicycle w/trailer I could get to work and do my light shopping even in hilly Seattle. If things got sporty I figured if I wasn't trapped in the Hospital I could bicycle to the boat and set off until the city stopped burning. I had some buried 40 gallon plastic olive barrel screw tops for longer term resupply near places I noted a natural water source. When I was working Johns Hopkins Baltimore I did much the same thing. Gave me peace of mind AND a nice hobby to relax.

I just looked at LA Craigslist and you can get much the same for sub 6K.

Just a thought from a fellow hospital worker who has worked in "interesting" times and places.

Great Scott said...


Karl said...

Always re-assessing, but breezed through this one.

Was in LA for riots in 92. Guns and ammo supplies have been so steady since that I have sold 4 guns since covid.

Was on top of Northridge 1994. Have had at least 14 days of water per person since.

Thanks to this blog and others, was way ahead of the curve with covid. So far ahead, my only shopping activities in February and March were related to having a good quarantine supplies of booze and cigars.

N95 masks? Had them since 2012. Bought more last June on a whim.

Can always improve, and will. Thanks for the steady posts here!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

All prudent and good advice Aesop.

This has been a useful wakeup here as well. Working on improving the base.

Jester said...

I've two thought processes going here, and always have. The first is to those clowns that depend on the just in time resupply of their larders that claim they do it because they can't afford to do more deserve what they get. Nearly every one of those folks started to increase what they bought when this shit kicked off. There is only a few very destitute people that run that way due to no choices of their own. While right now panic buying can curtail folks can spend the next several months bumping up their normal shelf stable food purchases. Spend 100 bucks? If you can spend that 10 dollars more if you must to slowly build up your food bases. As this kung flu showed however not a lot of folks thought that far ahead.

The second point is that you should have enough food, sanitary supplies, cleaning supplies, and medicines/prescriptions (Prescriptions may be difficult depending if it's a narcotic rx or not..) to last every single person in the household for 14 days with out a single thing being resupplied. 30 days is more optimal. 3 months is far better. 6 Months, now we're talking. That is for -everyone- in the house with 0 resupply.

This could start to have a pretty heafty foot print in a home, especally so if you're buying pampers for children but you can't depend on the just in time supply method for a pandemic as we've seen because, yeah duh your packing plants and supply warehouses are going to have a difficult time keeping up both with demand and their workers who are stacked up on each other going offline due to illnesses. The actual long term effects you're just distantly hearing about. Farmers plowing under crops or destorying lifestock so that they will never get to market due to no one able to take it that far.

LSP said...

I like this post a lot, not least for the awesome Tom Petty. Nice one.

David Spence said...

I sincerely appreciate your early warnings on this one. I went from unprepared in February to at least moderately prepared in March. Of course it took several $800 grocery store runs but I haven't had to touch the stash. When my co-worker's complained about there being no rice on the shelves, it was hard not to tell them about my 30 lbs. neatly stored in food grade 5-gallon buckets. I did get some odd looks from the wife when she found 10 jars of petroleum jelly and a couple thousand cotton balls in the hall closet.
Thanks again-it takes strong words to get through thick skulls!

tweell said...

My cash and bank balance was not where it should have been. My house had a major problem with black mold last year, my savings went to fixing the bathrooms/kitchen and replacing the floor. Such is life. Was still able to handle family 'refugees', and am stashing money away again.

Food became somewhat of an issue. Years worth for one becomes a few months when four more people are there to eat it. I've seen what got drawn down and have replaced it, am now buying more. Gardening and preserving food as well.

Water always worries me, living in the desert. I have some, but it's never enough without building a pool, which isn't going to happen. Still haven't managed to move to where the water is. Sigh.

Isolation gear wasn't a problem, as I had laid in a stock in 2014 and then bought more to deal with the mold. I have basic medical supplies and reference books a la Aesop, was happy not to have to use them. More training and such is needed there, talking to sister (retired AF nurse) about that.

My folks brought various electronic toys to stay occupied, it worked well enough. I did have to boost my data limits, which doubled that bill. Ugh.

Comms weren't needed, but I'll renew my ham radio license next year anyways. Better safe than sorry.

Bee Ess said...

Thanks for all the info and links everyone!

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

Thank you Aesop. Not the smartest tool in the shed but early February blog posts began me thinking and my biggest worry was economic shit storm. Look where we are, and piglosi wants to add another 3 trillion to our kids and grandkids debt laden future. Please people bitch at your politicians and tell them no more. Yes I get it politicians, voting and such. If we sit here and take this shit sandwich like 2009 God help us all. The last box will be the only option since the voting box got us here. If we Americans don't rise up screaming there will be the boxcar available. Finished a project yesterday. Starting another one today. My ole bones talk to me continuously but my education on the depression motivates me to soften the next one for my family and compadres in the AO. I still hate the fact I had to reference it to my offspring to help wake them up as most of us have never wanted for much. Adversity is the best teacher in the end and they will learn one way or the other.

Off The Wall said...

Nick wrote "The black bins with yellow lids are NOT GOOD for any long term or even medium term storage outside, or where there is humidity and wide temperature swings."

I can confirm this, bought a bunch in March when I moved off the farm and put everything in storage. The black bins don't like cold, and they shatter under pretty light loads.

Tucanae Services said...

"Starving people never won a war in recorded history, and even modern society, fat as it is, hasn't managed to eat itself quite to death yet. Calories are more important than gun racks, in the grand scheme, though you'll always need enough of everything."

Short form -- "He who eats, Wins."

Wyomarine said...

I really feel for all of you so inconvenienced by the lack of fresh food.
Field soldiers have been known to spend weeks eating from little green cans, and now, foil pouches. I sure did.
If these last 2 months were rough on you and yours, can't wait for the big one to tip over your cart. Get a grip on reality, this was just a training run, learn from it as Aesop says.

elysianfield said...

I am a bit ahead of the curve. There is little you might find to criticize in my preparedness...location, food, water, fuel supplies, skid mounted diesel generator, huge producing orchard, garden...not to mention the tools and skills able to defend same. Problem is that, at 74, I will be unable to learn to sleep with one eye open. Probably won't last two months when things get sporty.

Oh yeah, and "That Would Be Telling" quickly saw through my façade and recognized the Jerk and Troll that I apparently am. Go figure.