Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Letters to My Sister: Things to Read, Buy, Learn and Do to Prepare

Dear Sister,

It has been a while since I wrote you a letter. I have learned some more stuff about the topic of preparedness, and so I thought I would pass some gems to you. I will share some things I think you should consider buying, learning and doing to be prepared for the calamities that are coming in these the last days. Random note before I get started: *There are no affiliate links in this post. Probably should consider doing that some day.*

Preparedness Items to Consider Buying:

Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places (3rd Edition) By: Joel M. Skousen
I have not seen anything like this book in all my preparedness learning. It is truly a unique and invaluable resource. The author has consulted people for 40 years on preparedness/self-sufficient retreat locations and construction. This book has information about how to choose bug out locations, and permanent land, as well as how to get out of less safe locations in a disaster situation (like for example, NEVER driving on main roads or freeways to get out of dodge). Joel rates every state in the country on a 5-star scale and includes a write up explaining why - as well as the pockets for safety in each state. It includes information on climate, population density, cost of living, private land availability, building permits, land and urban planning, food production, health environment, traffic, politics, taxes, corruption, crime, personal liberty, gun liberty, alternative medicine, home schooling, military targets for every state. This is the ultimate Prepper's map. It is helpful in the short and long term planning. It includes many helpful maps and charts as well. A true gem. Please, please get this book. Here is a video documentary about the book to give you an idea of what is in it and the approach to the political climate Joel has. I'm not sure I care too much for Alex Jones' fanatical tone (or his voice) but I appreciate him hosting Joel on the show to make the documentary.

The Secure Home: Architectural Design, Construction and Remodeling of Self-sufficient Residences and High Security Retreats (3rd Edition) By: Joel M. Skousen
The Secure home is an incredible resource for planning a self-sufficient and safe home. Not only does he have amazing ideas for how to build (or remodel) a safe and self-sufficient home, I found the other information in this book to be quite valuable - like good nutrition and exercise approaches, how to discipline your children, how to develop a sensitivity to conscience, skills to learn and such. The thing is just an amazing resource - it includes building plans as well. The recommended equipment and sources section in the back of the book is worth its own weight in gold. For anyone just starting out in prepping, this is a great one to get their feet wet with the whole idea. I whole-heartedly recommend it. It is also quite enjoyable to read as well.

A Berkey Water Filtration System (a royal suits our family best, but you could also choose another size). 
This does not use any power to filter the water. It is a gravity water purification/filtration system. These are the best water filters I have found. The videos on these things are amazing. Like this one for instance. These people have tested pond water, rain water, 5 year old water they had stored in 55-gallon barrels in their garage, water with a bunch of red dye. . . It filters it all! It filters and purifies 6,000 gallons before needing to be replaced so you won't need new filters for 6-10 years depending on how you use it. You can also purchase fluoride/arsenic filters to have them filter that out for you if you have fluoride being added to the water in your area. It is attractive and looks nice on your kitchen counter. It is also portable. An essential tool to have and use with your water storage.

A Monarch Electric/Wood/Coal Stove.
This is an antique that is no longer in production. You have to go to an appliance junkyard to find one of these, but it would be very helpful to own in the event of an EMP or even just a regular power outage. If you get one that is not just wood/coal powered, you could use it with electric when times are good. I am hoping to acquire one of these to have a separate covered porch canning kitchen one day.

Freeze Dried Fruits and Veggies
I suggested you purchase some THRIVE products. I have recently learned about another good brand of food storage: Auguson Farms Brand. They are cheap and are sold in grocery stores in Utah. 

Additional Barterable Items/Supplies (also for helping others!)
There are lists all over the internet about this sort of thing. Here is a quote from Joel Skousen's book on pg.#89 of his Secure Home for an idea of the kinds of things that might be helpful to store up for barter:

"1. SOAPS (bath, liquid detergent, laundry detergent)
2. CHEMICALS (rubbing alcohol, bleach, paints, paint thinner, insect repellant)
3. FUELS (gasoline, propane, diesel, kerosene)
4. HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS (toothbrushes, razors, toilet paper, foil, light bulbs, matches, tape, needles, thread, zippers, buttons, safety pins, canning jars/lids, shoelaces, cord, rope, medicines, knives)
5 BUSINESS SUPPLIES (computer and xerographic paper, pens, pencils, forms, paper clips, staples, envelopes)
6. TOOLS & EQUIPMENT (generators, batteries, watches, guns, ammunition, wire, glue, tape, screws, nails, wrenches, solder, welding rod, hand tools)
7. CLOTHES (stockings, socks, underwear, winter clothes, coats, blankets, sheets)
8. FOOD (wheat, rice, beans, coffee, teas, vitamins, minerals, herbs)"

Books with information you would need if you didn't have the internet available.
I mentioned a few books I have purchased in the last blog post. I have also purchased books about other Homesteading-type topics. Here is a list of book that collectively I and the other ladies in my prepper group own to give you an idea of the kinds of books I am talking about. These are not all personally recommended books - just an idea of what you might like to get for yourself:
Things you should consider learning to prepare:

There are all sorts of skills that should be developed to be prepared. Incidentally, most of them are just nice to know and will help you to live a more full and frugal life in general, so they are beneficial both in and out of emergencies. Here is a list of things Joel recommends learning how to do in his book The Secure Home on pg.#17-18 (he has a list of recommended books on these subjects in the resource section of his book - seriously buy his book!)

"Technical Skills:
  • Appliance and electronics repair
  • Electrical house wiring
  • Auto mechanics
  • Metal working
  • Home Construction (framing, plumbing, masonry)
 "Outdoor Skills:
  • Camping
  • Hunting, fishing, trapping
  • Arms, munitions
  • Mountaineering
  • Primitive survival skills
  • Canoeing, rowing, sailing
  • Skiiing, showshoeing
"Homemaking Skills:
  • Gardening, farming
  • Canning, dehydrating, freezing, preserving
  • Sewing
  • Weaving, crocheting, knitting
  • Leather tanning
  • Cooking (buttermaking, cheeses, yogurts, breads, etc.)
  • Candlemaking
"Medical Skills
  • First Aid
  • Nutrition (diet and vitamin supplements)
  • Holistic healing (herbs, homeopaths, cleanses and other therapies)
  • Natural childbirth"
 Here are some other random things I would add to the list:
Things you should consider doing to prepare:
  • Get in great physical shape. Lose all extra weight and learn to manage your appetite. I am no where near a perfect example of this, but I am working on it. Having optimal health and physical condition is often overlooked when preparedness is discussed. The healthier and more fit you are, the better off your body will be when stressful times come. Also, exercise and healthy eating is a good way to develop self-discipline. The benefits will be many.
  • Prayerfully study the Second coming in the scriptures, and the words of the modern-day prophets on the subject. Write down and follow the impressions that come to you.
  • Be a kind neighbor. Make friends with those who live around you. Help them to prepare for emergencies as well. Also be discreet - follow the promptings of the spirit to know how and what to share with others. In my opinion, the best way to help spiritually prepare others for what is to come, is to share The Book of Mormon with them.
I hope you enjoyed this post little sister. Until I write again . . . Happy Prepping!



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