A dozen things you might have forgotten in your preps

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by fortunateson, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    1. Sewage treatment. If you’re on a municipal sewer system, you’ll be out of luck if power goes out for an extended period of time. They rely on pumps to get the waste to treatment plants. Without the pumps, it will eventually back up and flushing your toilet will be out of the question. If you’re on a septic system, when was the last time you had it pumped? Put yourself on an accelerated schedule so that you’ll have extra capacity should TSHTF. Where is your septic drain field. If it is uphill from your tanks you have an electric sewage pump that must have power provided to it at least a few times per week.

    One solution to these problems is the old fashioned outhouse. The basics of which are a 3’ x 3’ x 5’ pit. The rest is pretty obvious. Outhouses are an efficient and environmentally safe way of disposing of waste.
    Another option is a composting toilet. Have any 5 gal. Buckets lying around? That, sawdust and a compost heap is another way of efficiently getting rid of your human waste. Here’s a great resource: Build a Composting Toilet: Information and Plans | Toilet Composting

    Garbage disposal. What will you do when garbage collection stops? Trash lying around can cause vermin infestation, a serious problem. Unless you plan ahead, you’ll likely be carting off your own trash. This is a wasteful use of your fuel reserves.

    A solution to this is the “burn barrel”. A burn barrel is simply a 55 gallon steel barrel with an open top and air holes cut in the bottom. Throw in your trash and a match and in a few minutes it’s all but gone.

    Now before you cancel you’re regular trash pickup, there are a few things you should know:
    Burning plastic is highly toxic. Make sure your burning activities are situated well away from your residence and smoke drifts away rather than towards you.
    Burning trash is highly illegal in most residential areas. Reserve your trash burning for desperate times only.

    Pumps. You may have a plan to store water or obtain water, but unless you are on a private well and able to power your well pump, you will have to move that water somehow, and water is HEAVY. You’ll need buckets of the stuff to drink, cook with, wash dishes, clothes, people and possibly flush toilets with. Make sure you have plenty of 5 gallon buckets handy. Also plan for an alternative to all that carrying. Hand pumps are a cheap and easy way to empty barrels. For longer distances, a powered pump is called for. Gasoline powered pumps generally have 1” or greater inlet and outlets. You’ll need specialized hoses for these and the water will move FAST. Small electric pumps are available that use either household current or 12V DC. Many of these hook up to ordinary garden hoses and provide manageable levels of pressure. Although inexpensive, “drill pumps” are usually disappointing. Carefully read the specs on the pump you plan to purchase. Many have stated ratings on how high they can pump and how deep they can pull. Plan ahead on how you will power any of these pumps by storing plenty of fuel. Those of you with private wells should have a backup plan. Another well pump or if your well is shallow enough, an old fashioned hand cranked pitcher pump as well as a way to harvest surface water.

    4. Bug repellant. The more primitive our situation becomes, the more time we will necessarily spend outdoors. Aside from the nuisance factor, bugs can create serious health problems. Ticks carry Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus. Stock up on solutions containing DEET as an active ingredient. Some natural products containing Citronella and other plant extracts can work well in some climates. If you ever find yourself out of repellant, try this messy but proven solution:
    Lather up with soap and let it dry on your skin. Bugs will stay far and cleaning up is as easy as rinsing yourself off!

    5. Sunscreen. While we’re on the subject of the great outdoors, let’s talk about the sun and its effects. Sunburn can cause permanent skin damage including cancer. Make sure you stock away plenty of sunscreen. Sunglasses that are rated to block UV rays will help to prevent retinal damage and cataracts.

    6. A bicycle. You can go far on a bicycle and expend much less caloric energy than walking the same distance. It’s fairly fast too. Fuel and auto parts may be hard to come by and it’s a mode of transportation that’s proven itself in many countries where automobiles are considered a luxury. A mountain bike will be better suited for deteriorated roads. Make sure you have a spare set of parts. The easiest way to accomplish that is to buy another bike of the same make and model.

    7. Can openers. You may have one laying around in your kitchen junk drawer, but what will you do when that breaks? Buy a few manual can openers. The electric types will be good for nothing if TSHTF. You say you don’t stock cans? Well you might find yourself changing your mind when fresh food becomes hard to come by and refrigeration spotty during extended power outages. Both can openers AND cans make an excellent barter item.

    8. A wind-up watch. Ah ha! Yes! That analogue clock ticking along on your kitchen wall is powered by a battery. Same thing with your wristwatch. Sure. Those batteries last for a few years at a time. But then what? The few wind-ups in production nowadays mostly come from Switzerland or Russia. The former being much more expensive. If neither of those options fit the bill, look for used wind-ups on Ebay.

    Pest control. I’m talking about the stuff you put on your corn and potatoes. Now organic gardening is a noble cause and definitely the preferred method of survival crop production, but it can be a challenge in the best of times. If you don’t have proven experience with organic gardening you’d better have a few “chemical weapons” at your disposal. Sevin dust and liquid work great. Make sure to follow application instructions.

    Duct tape. The veritable “do-all” of your toolbox, duct tape can be used to mend hoses, bandage wounds or hold just about anything together temporarily and sometimes permanently. Stock plenty of it.

    11. Bleach. Great for general disinfecting duties. To use for water purification, add 8 drops of bleach per gallon of water. Shake and wait 20 minutes. If a bleach smell is apparent, the water is ready to drink. If not, repeat the process until it is. Be sure to filter as many solids as possible before treating. Always use the cleanest water available.

    Entertainment. Count on video games being a thing of the past. TV and radio may not be available either. Batteries die, electronics fry. Perhaps not at first, but eventually, you may find some time for entertainment between foraging, scavenging and making due. Books. The ones made out of paper, can still be had, despite the success of Kindle et al. Find a used book store and buy by the carton. Board games, cards and dice all require no electricity and stimulate the brain cells while passing the time.
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    On sewage and people on municipal sewer systems that plan to bug in. Once the system starts to back, the sewage will start to flow backwards into your toilets and other drains. You cannot stop this because you'll be fighting gravity.

    I suggest you install a shutoff valve/ballcock in main drain pipe in your cellar, crawlspace or basement now while their is no pressure. You won't be able to use your drains after you decide to shut off the pipe but at least you wont have raw sewage from your neighbors backing up in your sinks, bathtubs, showers and toilets. I'm talking backup like uncontrollable backup. Nothing worse than deciding to bug in in the city and find yourself 3" deep in sh**.
  3. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Great idea about the isolation valves, melbo. Also, check out a book called the Humanure Handbook.
  4. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

    Very nice! Thanks!
  5. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I like it Fort.
  6. oscar615

    oscar615 Monkey+++

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