Are You Ready?

The best way to prepare for disaster is to start as soon as you wake up in the morning. When I refer to disaster, I am referring to many possibilities. Power outages, CME’s, EMP’s, volcanic eruptions that cause nuclear winters, earthquakes and some man made ones.

This is how I started my list of things that I would need to have or do should we lose access to everything.

My situation is much different than those that live in the city. The islanders depend on underwater pipelines from the mainland for water and electricity so if a disaster strikes, we don’t have a backup system and are in essence cut off from civilization. Also, because it is a very small island, we have septic tanks and have to maintain them. The island only has one doctor on duty so if they are unable to arrive or can’t leave, we’re in trouble. No power, no fuel, no ferry sailings, no food delivery. Pretty simple.

So, each to his own, but I chose a Sunday to wake up with a writing pad on the nightstand and started to proceed. My partner was away for the day so it was just me, the cats and our dog Max. I checked on my cellphone for messages and turned it off. I then went downstairs and turned off the switch on the control panel so that I didn’t cheat with electricity.

I can’t start the day without coffee, I think that I could starve to death easier than go without my cup of coffee so that was the first thing on my mind, but I first had to go to the bathroom and do my thing. Oh oh, no water, need a bucket of water to flush the toilet. I made a mental note on that one because it’s not something I have to purchase, only an extra function or job to do for using the toilet.  My first stop normally would be the kettle to start the water for coffee but this morning, I took out the pot, poured water from the tap mentally noting that normally I would not be able to do that but would have to find the jug and pour from there. I make coffee with a French Press and our stove is propane powered so nothing changes much there. As I was waiting for the water to boil, I made a note of getting extra extra propane tanks. One tank will last me at least 2 months up to 3 months depending on the season. Summers last longer because we grill more but in order to have a supply for a year, I need at least 4 tanks and have to think about where to store them. I don’t feel they are safe in the house yet they have to be out of the heat as well. Will think about that one later.

After making my coffee, I felt grateful that we can use our fridge and freezer if need be because we have a few solar panels just enough to power them. Although they are not reliable in a disaster because without sun, there is no solar energy.

Since I don’t buy magazines or newspapers because we have the internet, I pulled out a book and sat down with my coffee. It felt unusual to do this because I’m used to going over to my desk and checking mail, reading some news headlines and then start the day.

We take everything for granted but the fact is I could not take a crap this morning unless I had a bucket of water to flush it down. No power means no water delivery to my pipes so not only do you need the water, but you need to ration it because you don’t know how long the survival mode will last or how long it will take for the power grid to come back up. I can wait for the rain but how do I know we would get it when we need it? Drinking water is crucial, but for washing and flushing the toilet it doesn’t matter. I even thought about making a portable seat directly over the septic tank opening but that can be dangerous, someone might fall into it at night or probably myself~!

I found myself restless while drinking my coffee because I was already feeling out of sync. How are my kids in Canada? Did I get any emails? Is my girlfriend arriving today from Germany? I had no answers and couldn’t find out because I turned the power off and I can’t cheat. I wanted to FEEL what it was like to live all day without electricity. I started to think about lunch and it seemed pretty standard. The gas stove and our fridge function just fine or can exchange for washer or boiler to heat the water up. The only drawback on this one is that if we don’t get sunshine like in a volcanic eruption/nuclear winter scenario, then solar energy is useless.

So this is how I made the list, just going through the day as if there was no power which there wasn’t. The first thing I noticed is that it became very quiet. Even though we live outside the village and it’s never loud, I could feel the difference when all electrical appliances don’t work, I didn’t hear the buzzing of frequencies at all. It was deathly silent.

Washing clothes was a challenge because I had to heat some water on the stove, soak the clothes, then I forgot about them and by the time I came back to them, the water was cold. I washed them, poured the soapy water out into a bucket for the toilet flushing and the rinse water can be used for washing floors or even plants in the house. Basically, you keep a large bucket for these things, nothing gets poured out and wasted.

While cooking, I couldn’t use the fan so the kitchen got very steamy and I put a propane camping stove on my list so I can cook outside in the summer time. In the hot summer and without A/C, it’s probably better to cook outside.

The day is short in the winter, the sun sets at 5:45 so I had to think about wood for the stove. Also, I took out one lamp to place by my chair for reading and when I returned with the wood and turned on the lamp, I realized it wasn’t even bright enough to read under so I made a note to get a few high powered lamps for reading or playing cards. Candles are ok but you need to have a huge supply of them. I found these wind up solar lamps to be great but like I said, they are not very bright.

I now understand why my ancestors woke up at sunrise and went to sleep at sundown. For starters they were peasants and worked in the vineyards, the olive groves, their huge gardens, they had to gather wood and bring it home on donkeys and they didn’t have books to read because most of them were illiterate.

I have only outlined a few challenges but food and water is our primary concern. I have learned how to make Indian Rotti bread that doesn’t require yeast or an oven to bake in. It can be made in a few minutes and tastes just as good as normal bread. This year, I’m going to can my vegetables from the garden because I always have that fear that the freezer won’t work and everything will melt and rot. Canned foods last longer anyway.

I found that I spent most of the day working on water, food and cooking fuel. Although I don’t need wood for cooking, I still have to know where to get it because if I run out of propane then I have to revert to cooking on the wood stove. I don’t have a problem wearing dirty clothes or going to bed at sundown but natural resources are not guaranteed. No rain, no water. No hand saw and axe, no wood for heating. How do I get wood home when we have to travel 2 km to our land to cut the trees down? If cars don’t run or work, what other means can we use to bring the wood home? In the olden days my ancestors used donkeys to carry wood and water home.

I have a lot of items/supplies that I can trade with. In a disaster period I would become the local doctor anyway and since I have stocked up on Colloidal Silver that I produce myself, DMSO, Pottasium Iodide and other natural remedies that I made, I can trade them for wood delivery. I was forced to think about a lot of things just living one day without electricity. Since our garage door is electric and remote controlled, it took me an hour trying to figure out how to open it manually. I realized my bike would become a prized possession in times when cars no longer work and it’s a good thing that I purchased special tires that don’t puncture so easily.  My bike has 2 baskets so it will serve well in transporting things.

It’s a nice feeling to know that should a disaster strike we can survive somehow. How long I don’t know. We don’t know what will cause a disaster if it does happen. It can be natural or man made such as nuclear wars. It can be a CME or EMP or pole shift or Nibiru arriving, a list of possibilities that we need to prepare for. The only thing I can’t prepare for is a nuclear attack, in other words, building a nuclear bunker on the island is not really smart or safe as a pole shift or earthquake could crack it and flood it. In that scenario, well, we all go together and I have something to end my suffering quickly should that happen. I don’t think that anyone should suffer if they know there is no chance of living any longer. I’m not talking about suicide, I’m talking about being so radiated that your body is literally falling apart, in that scenario, I would end it.

I imagine that people living in cities, especially those in townhouses or apartments would have it really difficult. In nature I can at least collect water, grow food if possible, collect wood and medicinal plants. I have a greenhouse so with a volcanic ash fallout (we have 2 huge potential volcanoes in Italy our neighbor), the plastic might protect the soil and plants but without sun nothing would live very long either. The benefit of city dwelling is the close knit community that will help each other but here in the country and sparsely populated island, we are each to our own. Winter population here in 6 villages totals 1200 people.

From what I see on TV and read; Americans get violent in disasters. They loot stores, damage properties, set things on fire and even kill each other over small things let alone when hungry. That would never happen here in my part of the world. It’s just unthinkable. We have people so proud they will die of hunger before asking for help let alone steal anything. Theft laws are very lenient so that even if you got caught stealing a loaf of bread, the owner would just give it to you out of pity knowing you’re hungry. It’s a totally different culture here. After a few wars, people have learned to stick together and help each other out. Neighbors and friends take care of the sick and children first. Adults don’t eat until all the kids have been fed first. I think that should a disaster strike that store owners would just give out everything to people and people never think about stealing anything here.

Preparing for a disaster doesn’t have to be expensive or a huge financial burden. Each time you go shopping make a point to pick up an extra item that you need. Forget those companies that insist you need expensive nutritious freeze dried or flash dried foods. I don’t believe that crap. Look, you need energy, calories give energy. You need to feel a full belly so rice, flour and beans are basic ingredients to survive on. When you’re hungry, a slice of bread can be a treat. It’s not forever and your body can survive on that for a year or so. Or get a few items that are highly nutritious like dried fruits and jerky; use them as treats once a week but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on those ‘survival’ foods.

Have these companies tested their foods on humans for a year? In other words, did anyone just live off these survival foods for a year and then get blood tests to see how their bodies reacted to that? I don’t think so; so we really don’t know their claims are true nor do we know what long term effects these packaged foods have either.

I have large quantities of flour, sugar, yeast, varieties of dried beans and rice, cube spices that will make soup for 6 people or use as broths, lots of different pastas, olive oil and spaghetti is a decent meal so like I said, you don’t need to spend a lot and just start buying and collecting.

Here in Croatia, pate’s are very popular like ketchup is to Americans. You can get them in 1 oz or 2 oz or bigger containers. One small container can be enough for 2 people and a loaf of bread. Price is so cheap like 10 cents for the small packaging so I have boxes of those. What’s wrong with canned spaghetti sauce? Who needs that expensive survival spaghetti sauce with cooked noodles in it already?

No, it doesn’t have to be nutritious because it’s temporary. Although I can grow vegetables, no guarantees because like I said, it all depends on the disaster effects and if we don’t get rain, plants can’t grow.

Each has to put their own list together and go through the routine that I did because even though I had already prepared by just making lists of things I need to buy; it was totally different actually living the event. I learned that the lamps I bought were not powerful enough and that I need to get a few that are brighter for reading or playing cards. In long winter nights you’re not going to go to sleep at 5 p.m. but you need light to just sit there.

You will feel a lot more secure if you know you have food and water for some period. I know a lot of people that haven’t started because they think they have to spend a lot of money they don’t have because the Emergency Food/Survival Food Companies have sold this bullshit that you need them and that you need nutritious foods to survive. Of course it’s ideal if you can have nutrition everyday but we’r talking about survival and temporary conditions. The body can adjust. Most people today live on fast foods, take out, instant foods and microwaved foods anyway. That’s not nutritious either but they manage to live for years without problems.

Get a food dehydrator and dry your own foods if you can’t afford to buy them ready made. I don’t know if we will be able to catch fish and eat it here if the waters are toxic, so I have prepared as if I can’t leave the house and must live on the supplies I have on hand. If I can grow food or go fishing that’s a bonus and my reserves will last  longer too. I can survive on my supplies for about 6 months so if I can grow food and catch fish, that will double my survival time providing we have sunshine and rain of course. These are the unknowns that nobody knows and that’s why we have to plan as if we only have our stored foods.

I have started this trading process with my clients years ago. Many of my clients produce something so rather than paying me cash, I will tell them to bring me olive oil or whatever it is they have of equal value that way I have a lot of supplies they pay with that I can use for trading.

Some folks will make fun of me for using a pendulum and dowsing but one day it might be a gift from God when we are left without diagnostic technology or need to find water underground. We’re all good at something and have something to contribute to so if you’re in a good community, each has their part to contribute to. Living in Croatia on this island has taught me how to use nature to work for me simply by observing it, learning about all the plants and sea life available. Some folks laugh at me for growing organic food using permaculture methods because it takes a lot of work. They got lazy with fertilizers and one day  might not able to buy it anymore. Their soil will be too toxic and won’t be able to grow anything, whereas mine will be rich and good for growing. I make my own compost and each jug that I empty out, fill with water and store in the attic.

Sometimes we don’t get rain for months. In the old days people used wells before the water pipelines arrived. Each home has a well and there is also a community well that are just collecting bugs and dust but they can be revitalized if we need to use them again.  Behind my house are the remains of a stone circle where horses used to pull a stone wheel to grind wheat. These families passed their knowledge down so if we need to use them, they can show us how.

It’s a matter of survival, don’t worry about having nutritious foods, like I said, you can dry your own with the sun without fancy appliances and so these are subjects to look for when buying books. Even better, go to a second hand book store and buy those old books on canning and survival.

The most expensive investment I made was a Medicinal Plant Bible. It shows me how and what parts of the plant to use, when to harvest and how to prepare teas, tinctures, wound salves etc. It’s invaluable should I have to depend on nature 100% to survive.  We simply can’t remember everything so these are kinds of books you want to have on hand.

In the end, don’t listen to the so called experts in survival. They want to sell you something. It’s important that you have a plan. Plan A is remaining in your home and how to survive in it. Plan B is leaving your home and surviving on the move. Both require you to act them out so that you know what you will need for your circumstances. Each person/family is different with different needs. There is no ONE rule for survival. I watched many survival shows but none of them reflected my part of the world.

Experts will have you believe that you need to drink at least 2 L of water daily. Where the hell are you supposed to get that much water for year? That’s just 700L for drinking? It’s ideal of course but a person can survive on one glass of water so long as you don’t sweat too much. You can even drink your own urine, it’s highly nutritious and probably more nutritious then the expensive freeze dried foods. You can use it as a fertilizer, amazing isn’t it? So you save your piss and drink it or water your plants with it.

A good doctor in the house book is good to have as well. Many things you can use baking soda for. Did you know that?

Observe your surroundings or the place that you plan on going to. That’s the best way to adapt and learn to make that list that suits your survival plan. These survival companies scare people into buying their crap they don’t need; especially foods. Water is more important. You can go without food for a month, but can die in a week without water and you don’t need 2 L of water to survive either. Right now I have 500 L of drinking water and much more of non-drinkable water for washing and bathing. You don’t need to soak your body in a tub to wash. You just get a pan with a wash cloth and wipe yourself clean. Use that left over water to flush the toilet or water your plants. Nothing gets wasted. The test run turned out great and gave me more ideas to prepare for. It’s not that hard and it may save your life.

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