TOTM March 2020 - Pandemic

Discussion in 'Survival Topic of the Month' started by Dunerunner, Feb 29, 2020.

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  1. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Although I do not believe the corona virus is much of a threat to the heath of Americans, it does bring to light our need, as preppers and survival monkeys; to evaluate our level of preps in the event of these types of incidents.

    The question for discussion this month is, after you have secured yourself and your families well being; how long can you maintain your secure, self sufficient, isolation before you will be forced to venture out into a world of infestation to replenish your food stores, meds, personal hygiene items, heating or cooking fuels.

    I'm looking at two months, right now and then I'll have to get out and find food and other supplies. I would like to double that to four months. I will run out of fuel for my generator, pellets for my stove, meds and food.
  2. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    It depends on if electric, water and natural gas stay on. If they do I am good for a few months at least. I’ve got the mortgage prepaid by a month and want to increase that. I only have a small portable solar set up not a whole house system that I want to buy. If the gas stays on my back up generator stays running. I want to get the conversion for propane so I can use tank backup but haven’t done that yet either. Depending on how much longer we have I will get done what I can done. If water goes off I will need to go out eventually and refill the drums. Unfortunately I don’t have a spare well like we did in our old house. If this gets bad we will have to make do with what we have. We have good supplies and equipment for staying safe around others if we had to and the training to use it correctly. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
  3. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I thought about having one person who can be isolated (quarantined) as the designated provider. Full or partial ABC gear to gather supplies, if any are available, in areas where there may be contamination. Then my thoughts went to having decontamination space for that person and what they bring back.... Makes me feel woefully unprepared.
  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    We are fairly well set. Biggest danger may well be the government and our neighbors and their wish to "share" our preps. Could go about a year for food, 3 for firewood, water is ok for long term. Medicines and such are good for a few months and then we would find out what we really need and what the drug industry has convinced us we need. See some indications of early panic at our local supermarket. Inexpensive brands of spaghetti sauces, dried spaghetti, dried beans, dried soup mixes, some canned meats and tuna, dried milk, dried potatoes, etc , were out of stock as well as some bulk foods. Store personal didn't know when they would be getting more. Looked at Pleasant Hill Grain and they were out of some of the 5 gal pails of wheat, rice, beans, buckwheat, etc, and didn't know when it would be in stock. If you are going to panic, do it early and do your best to store it in a safe place, the he** with the mice or insects, watch out for hungry neighbors and local government. Big question, do you put the oldest stock in the caches, keep best for use early in the event and take the chance of losing it, or do you want to store the freshest in the caches, longer storage life and better tasting if you do need them later. We are going thru all of our long term storage food, some being rotated to front, short term food being labeled and rotated to front and dated, new stock being dated and placed in back, and short term food up to 6 months for us before we have to touch long term. As we age, 82 for me and 80 for wife, we find a lot of food that is sort of between. Dry soup mixes, instant potatoes, packaged rice meals, macaroni and cheese mixes, frozen pizza's, muffin mixes, home made "meals in a jar" etc, that are quick and easy to make, small enough amounts for 2 people, cheap and fairly good tasting and the wife knows how to add spices, hot sauce etc, to make them taste good too. For the dry mixes we keep them in a wallies world tote in a cool bedroom, sorted in order, and rotated thru by date, and it would make a lot of meals for little money, tuna helper is a bout $1.25 and with a can of tuna, a little mayo, some onion and a can of peas, makes a good meal for the both of us. If we had to, could grab it and have a few weeks survival food. Still have onions and carrot in ground in greenhouse and should start to get greens in about another 6 weeks or so.

    Does anyone else take Bob's Red Mill bulk soup mixes etc and repack them into individual amounts, repack them into zip lock bags, and store in freezer. Wife does and it works out very well, don't know if need to be frozen, but tucked here and there in freezer they don't take up much room and we have used 4 year old ones that were just as good as new. My fault for not rotating them. One package of soup mix and a wood stove to cook it on slowly, makes a lot of soup that would feed you for several days. Mom used to keep it on back of stove so it wouldn't spoil and add all the leftovers into it until it was gone.

    Been reading ads for a device to allow you to use a window air conditioner and a super insulated room to make a 34 degree or so storage room. Has any one tried it or something similar. Had cold storage rooms at ag college and while the food wasn't always the greatest, it was very usable well into the spring. Sort of a high tech root cellar on steroids, 34 degrees and 90 % humidity for somethings and 34 and 35 % humidity for others and 50 degrees and low humidity for some herbs and squashes. One size does not fit all.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
  5. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Sounds like you are referring to the KOOLBOT and yes I have extensive experience with them. I have two 12x14 walk in coolers cooled by them that stay a consistent 33-34 degrees and humidity controlled by venting specific to which vegetables are being stored. A very reliable Technology as well installed my first one in 2010 and second in 2012 no problems with either. Install was brain dead simple. I did change the AC Unit on the 2010 to 15,000 LG and the same went into the new unit. Keeping the filter screen clean is the most important thing in running them. If not cleaned at on the 3rd or 4th day you start seeing the temp in the cooler go up 1-2 degrees per day until the screen is cleaned. Not a bad idea to soap and hose the fins out every 45-90 days as well as over time they collect dust that makes it past the screen and with the KOOLBOT running it eventually turns the AC into a block of ice. They are great alternative to conventional walk in cooling systems, but do require more AC maint. in the form of filter and fin cleaning. Have not noticed them causing any more wear and tear on the AC than occurs during unmodified use of the AC unit. I do believe most of the AC Manufacturer Warranties are Voided if you install a KOOLBOT or knock off device.
  6. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I've built an insulated room 10'X22" at my son-in-laws primarily to store his extensive beer collection, but; my daughter uses it as a cold room pantry. Over the door is a 110VAC 5,000BTU A/C unit. To keep the space cool we set the thermostat on the unit to the lowest setting and installed a remote thermostat within the room that controls the low temperature limit. Keeps the room at 40 to 45 degrees.
  7. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    The Wife and I just finished our new year inventory today and did the restock and rotate thing, for food, fuel and hard supplies. Figure we are good for 5 years on Food, Toilet Paper and Soap. 20 years base medical supplies. Wet Med supplies Pills, Potions and cure alls 3 years. Hard supplies like Ammo, N and P 100 respirators and cartridges and N95s guess it depends on how often they would be used and needed. Gas 3 years and Diesel 5 years under normal use much longer if rationed to must use status.
    SB21, mysterymet, Gator 45/70 and 2 others like this.
  8. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Thank you, yes that was one brand. Ag school coolers, with air lock, used very little electricity once the contents were cooled down. They did have about 10 in of foam as they were old CA experimental units that the grad students repurposed to store as much of the food we raised on the college fields as we could. Dairy made different cheeses, spices, chocolate, more types than just chedder as they were teaching how to make it and such and it aged well in those units as well. With the price of solar panels and such, would be interesting to see how much it would take to run one. Always loved the old style milk coolers, they had a center tank with water and froze it into ice over several hours, then when the fresh milk was added, the ice melted to take out the body heat and they were able to use a much smaller refrigeration unit. Wonder if you could use water to hold cold at night instead of batteries and compressor. So many things to try and so few I am doing anything about.
    DuxDawg, Dunerunner and Gator 45/70 like this.
  9. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Same here I can't see this as a big event but at the same time there is something with a distinct rotten fish smell about it. I would rather be wrong and error on the side of caution than do nothing and pay the price for not being cautious. 2016 I contracted MRSA that lead to pneumonia and ultimately Sepsis and left perm. Scarring in my lungs and took me right up to deaths front door. I lost about 40% of my lungs efficiency and sound like Darth Vader when I breathe now. The last thing I need is Corona Virus that by all accounts leaves perm scarring in the lungs. I announced this morning that the Farm after Sunday is putting the rest of the world in quarantine until this Virus burns itself out. People I like will get one warning shot, people I don't like......... well it just depends on my mood at the moment. JUST DON'T COME OUT TO THE FARM. I have no intention of leaving the Farm until this is all passed over.

    And a side note I noticed today that Rural King Locally still has N100, P100 (Nose and Mouth $36.95 and Full Face $117.95 (Honeywells) and N95 basic mask respirators (10- $22.99) in stock in the paint section and a secondary stock of them by the shop vacs. I bought a couple of spar N100s Nose and Mouth and a Couple of the Full Face). DOn't think most people will think of looking at RK for the mask and respirators.
  10. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    I can't do much experimenting due to having to stay within what my health department will allow. I was actually amazed the inspector passed the KoolBots for commercial kitchen use. But as he said "they are keeping it within safe temps so they are good with me." Now if they would just make a AC that could bring it down to -10 for the meats LOL. MY electric bill for running those two units is literally the same as running two un-modified window ACs in the Cabin.

    The KoolBots have really became popular with many of the Market Farmers and Gardeners over the last 5 years. ANd Yep one of Creameries is using one for their Cheese Cave.
  11. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Thunder5Ranch, since you are so far ahead of most of us in storing food short to medium term with your farm to market experience, what do you find that works and what doesn't"? My limited experience has shown me that in New England, if you are going to survive on a limited amount of land, you have to have season extenders, hoop house, low tunnels, greenhouse, pick you choice, and canning, drying, root cellars are necessary, but what works best before it all collapses, although Zerohedge was showings hundreds lined up to get into Costco in New York area so it may be to late to panic early.
    Ganado, Dunerunner and Gator 45/70 like this.
  12. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Hydraulic fluid and spares for the Ranch equipment.
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  13. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    I have 30x96 high tunnels, with 18" raised beds. One of them I use primarily for starting plants early. I use the film from prom cover changes to make low tunnels or caterpillar tunnels on top of those raised beds. Basically a artificial environment within a artifical environment. On a 30 degree day the temps inside the main tunnel run 55-60 degrees depending on wind, humidity etc. The average temp inside the low tunnels inside the high tunnel on the same 30 degree day run 70-75 degrees. That is without artificial heat. I use 80% Light transmission film so after filtering through two layers runs 60%-70% according to the light meter on a sunny day. on cloudy cold days I will run salamanders to maintain 70+ in the low tunnels. The raised beds in that tunnels are filled with course river sand and composted manure tilled in. Due to being on top of a shallow aquifer that literally seeps water to the surface December through usually late April I put a drain tile under each raised bed, but that is a localized challenge for me on that section of the property. I use 1/2" CPVC pipe to make the hoops for the low tunnels.

    I get real technical about seeding....... I use a bow rake and run it down the beds and sprinkle the seeds in the furrows and then flip the rake to lightly cover them. I have enough upward moisture I don't need to water them. I start all of my tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, Onions, cabbage, broccoli, Cauliflower etc in these beds and then transplant the cream of the crop into 72 cell flats and move into the actual greenhouse or into shelves with grow lights in the warehouse. Or into my home brewed cattle panel low greenhouses on pallets. From the 72 cell flats the plants either get transplanted into the field or into 4" pots to be sold at market as potted plants or into the other high tunnels. I usually fill the other tunnels with peppers and tomatoes and on a good year can extend their production into December. Always nice having vine ripened tomatoes on Christmas :)I don't do the year round winter market thing anymore so don't bother going beyond November or December when they eventually get frosted and die.. Can't justify the wood or fuel expense for heating January through March in those tunnels.

    I Can/Jar around 400 quarts of Tomatoes, Tomato juice, green beans, peas, sweet corn, new potatoes and carrots. I Do dry Large Lima Beans, Black Beans, Pintos and Black Eyed Peas usually 200 pounds combined. I grow Blue Dent Corn, I have my neighbor plant and harvest two acres of it for a specialty contract and to make my own blue corn meal and flour, We split the profit from that 2/3-1/3 since he does all the planting and harvesting and we both make out like bandits on that deal. I freeze around 300 gallons of tomato juice and another 300 gallons of stewed tomatoes. I Can around 200 quarts of salsa, Blanche and freeze around 500 pounds each of Cauliflower, Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts. I have a 14' x 46' portable building in the woods under heavy shade that I keep air cond. and heated to maintain 50 degrees year round. That is where all of the Quart Jars and Dry goods go for storage. I also have a reinforced 42 foot shipping container buried with a 4' artificial hill on top of it, that maintains 50ish degrees and store potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Onions, Carrots and Garlic in it.

    I also sun dry and dehydrate quite a bit particularly apples, peaches, beef jerky, turkey jerky, various peppers both hot and sweet, a whole list of herbs like rosemary, sage, chives, dill, oregano. That all gets portioned and nitro packed in vac bags.

    My scale is considerably larger than a home garden. My personal Garden is not even 3/4 of an acre but I steal from the commercial gardens and fields as needed :) If you are interested in the money end of it. The Production tunnels average $22 per square foot in net profit over the course of year. Some years low in the $11-$12 range and other years can get into the $35 range....... LOL I should get pot head grower license and jump that into the $1200 per square foot profit margin. More money in getting people high than producing their food.

    One high tunnel on a small tract of land of a couple acres can do all of same things my bigger operation does just at a much smaller scale. A 30x72 high tunnel kit can be had for $5000-$7000 new or a used one for less than $2000 and if you use the high tunnel grant they will still give you the money for buying a new one even if you buy a used one....... I used the Grant on the first one and decided I did not like the NCRS and FSA that far up my back side and even deeper into my business. So gave them the $12,000 back and told them to stick it up their back side. Minorities get considerably more per Square foot to purchase the tunnels than white folks do.... thus $12,000 instead of the $9,380 LOL can't help it that everyone in this low pop Country knows I am a filthy half breed, Rez Born, Mud Blood, wagon burning very white looking brown boy. I did not check the Injun box the NCRS Lady did.

    For this year and possible fallout from the KungFlu get yer seeds ordered and started and the garden ready. Might go heavy on early crops like radishes, lettuce, green onions, new potatoes, snap peas, mustard, spinach, swiss chard and if you can stomach the garbage......kale. None of those are hard to grow, can get in early and produce early as well as some being very nutritionally sound like the Spinach and Swiss Chard....... ANd the Kale if you can consider it as food instead of a garnish. If you have not noticed I very strongly HATE Kale. When I grew it people would ask what it taste like and I would say "Composted grass clipping from a dog crap infested public park!" And I still sold a lot of Kale LOL. But those early crops can put decent food on the table probably end of April to early May in New England (Just my guess) I don't know much about New England Climate and Weather.

    You can raise quite a few chickens on a small piece of land for meat and eggs and letting them run during the day to forage makes a whole lot better egg and keeps the bugs down as a bonus. I personally raise Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds, both very good dual purpose birds in the 250 eggs per year per hen range. I keep a few select roosters for breeding and butcher the rest at 18-20 weeks get a 3-3 1/2 pound broiler out of each and tender enough to fry or bake and not be eating Rooster Leather. Spent hens get butchered at 2-3 years old and make the stew and Chicken and Dumplings. For Market I have to raise and sell the Cornish Crosses, people have been trained to eat those 5-7 pound break their own legs when they run things. BUT they are ready to butcher Starting at around 9-10 weeks if you pump the feed to them. I have had some limited success in Cross Breeding Cornish Cocks with Barred Rock Hens and Plymouth Hens that made 4-4.5 pound dressed birds at 12-13 weeks. Not really worth the time and effort though and personally I like Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red Meat and its flavor much more than the mutant Chickens :) But Chickens can put the protein on the table fairly fast and at 6-7 months in be producing eggs dependably.

    Pigs are my main thing and TBH it is cheaper for someone to buy a butcher hog from someone like me than to raise their own. A lot of us around the Country sell for $1.80 -$2 per pound hanging weight and processing varies wildly, the packing plant I use myself and recommend to butcher hog customers charges .75 cents per pound hanging weight, another one down the road 20 miles charges $1.45 and pencils in another .40 cents per pound on top of that and does inferior work. Or if you have the stomach for it buy it on the hoof and butcher it yerself not that hard to skin and break a hog carcass down. I gave up scalding and scraping hogs 20 years ago. I can kill, gut and skin one out in about 20-30 minutes and have it broke down, cut up and heading to the freezer in another 90 minutes. For commercial though I have to have it processed in a IDOA or USDA inspected plant with the HACCP paper trail. I am not real big on pickled pigs feet....... Pickled pork chops on the other hand I LOVE and the more fat on them the better they are.

    I do ferment some things Kraut being the main thing. Kraut and Pork go together as well as pork and Garlic or Pork and Sage :) Fermenting and getting it right is very much a learned skill. LOL there is a fine line between fermented and rotten ;)

    I don't get into the freeze drying stuff, every time I do the math on it it looks like a losing deal to me.

    Life span of a high tunnel is officially and according to the USDA and NCRS 3 years. NO it is more like 30-35 years for the frame, the Cover Film has a rated life span of 3 years, some 5 years. I typically get 5 years out of the 3 year rated before it starts getting brittle in places and ripping in others. When I replace a Cover I always order two new ones and stick one still in its protective covering in a barn corner on a pallet. It is good to have one or two spares just in case the wind gets under the cover just right and destroys yer brand new cover 2 days after you put it on. Grumbles about putting two covers on a tunnel in 3 days time.............. In a ideal world and great wealth I would use H channel, screws and triple wall poly sheets to cover the tunnel and not have to mess with film and the problems that come with it for 25 years! But it takes a lot of really expensive poly sheets to cover a 30x96 tunnel and the wallet always vetoes that idea.

    Small 14x18 ish green houses are really of limited use, they are good for starting, growing and supplemental food production. Handy to have but I would not bet my future on one feeding me. Upside to them that supplemental food is nice, they are easily heated by a number of methods over the winter and they don't have a 2,880 square foot footprint.

    And I really did not mean write a book in this post ;)
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  14. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Thank you very much, just what I wanted and in New England and on a much smaller scale and more into hydro, a lot of which I am doing.(y)(y)

    Always a lot more interesting from those doing it than those being paid to play at the college. Kind of like the differences in hunting techniques between the wild animals that either kill something or starve and the pets who go out and hunt and if they get nothing, go home, eat, sleep, stay warm and dry and go out again another day and over a period of time sterilize an area around their houses of game or those in farming that try to convince the world that only their system works.GM vs non, till methods, use of chemicals, more systems than ticks on a dog and almost all are true believers that do their best to ignore any facts that may be presented.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
  15. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    What works 1 or 10 very often does not work for the next 50. Wish more people understood that their one size fits all glove really does not fit most others. Shame so many have to try and force their one size fits all glove onto everyone else.
    3cyl, duane, techsar and 1 other person like this.
  16. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I'm more worried about the freaked out leftists and government quarantines than the virus.
    The quarantines will keep those who've prepared in place so that they can be plundered by those who did not.
    And what cop is going to risk infection in order to stop it?

    Time to look real hard at the BOL. This is one of the main reasons for it.
  17. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    The plundering by the "golden horde" if it all turns to turds is actually one of by larger concerns. We're within long commuting distance of two moderate sized cities, ( I do deal with the commute, although only to the outskirts), although the accident generated gridlock in shtf scenario will stop most surface traffic rather quickly. I can block our road easily with a couple of dropped trees, and the "driveway" entrance looks like one of thousands of hay field turnoffs. BOL is currently to the in-laws another 30 miles out on a larger property.
  18. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    I'd come up with something better than dropping trees - screams last minute desperation - a heavy chain & padlock would be better than that >>> if you have access to tractor towed gear like a plow or disk - that doesn't get dragged tooo eazy ..
    any chance of hiding/disguising the driveway entry?
    Dunerunner and Gator 45/70 like this.
  19. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    I have a cattle gate with a chain and padlock in place already, with the posts set in concrete. Just like hundreds of other pasture turnoffs around here. The entryway is also crested enough that a person cannot see the buildings from the roadway, and the gravel driveway has a significant tree obscured bend to help with the cover aspect. So it's relatively well concealed as it is. But it only takes bolt cutters to get through a chain, so a few logs at the entry might help deter mounted intruders. And logs are easily removed as needed by the tractor forks. I've considered just picking up the dilapidated shed that's been moldering away near the entry for 20 years and just dropping across the entry, but it would probably fall apart even with forks.
    We also have another, much more, "challenging" exit from the property should it come to that - all wheel drive required...
    What I've also been working on is getting the hedgerows around the place thoroughly overgrown with some choice plantings such as mock orange, blackberry canes, and poison ivy. But that takes time. As it is now we can let the geese and dogs run without worry they'll get off the property, and they're excellent alarms.
    Gator 45/70, Yard Dart and Dunerunner like this.
  20. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    and here I was wondering if thinking home food delivery by WallMart would be a good thing...

    Just for the record, the Kung Flu has been circulating around Seattle for 'at least weeks' before the first case ws bad enough to report.

    If you are old, very young, or are compromised (AIDS, cancer, etc) this is worrisome. For the vast majority, this is going to be inconvenient.

    Compare this virus to The Spanish Flu. It is estimated that approximately 30 million were killed by the flu, or about 1.7% of the world population died. Other estimates range from 17 to 55 million fatalities Estimated fataluites because health care and record keeping was pretty sketchy at the time

    Why the flu of 1918 was so deadly

    Why the flu of 1918 was so deadly

    This outbreak has been so politicized, it is disgusting....
  1. Dunerunner
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