Check the Self Reliance in the Valley website for the next Expo data.

What are we prepping for? Let your intuition be your guide. Some worst case scenarios:

  • Financial collapse:  no banking, no credit cards, no government assistance programs. Changes could be slow or sudden.
  • Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from our sun: If the pulse is strong, electronic devices, including automobile computers, could be permanently damaged.  The electric grid could be down for years.
  • Civil unrest, civil war, War III (economic war is currently under way).
  • False flag events.
  • Grocery stores closed, many people without food.
  • Weather events.
  • Earthquakes.
  • Fracking and ground water contamination.  Wherever there is a pipeline, fracking for corporate profit may be only one well paid politician away.
  • Quarantines, Ebola, marshal law.  How long will your current provisions last?
  • Wood may be the only plentiful fuel available for a while.
  • Schedule, duration and severity of future event is unknown.


  • What resources are you willing to share?  Make a list.
  • What resources will you require? Make a list.
  • Who will help you with your needs?  Do you expect government to provide for your needs?
  • Why is community so valuable?

Priorities: Water, shelter and food.  Which is #1?

Water  (If you don’t have clean water, in 3 days many will need nothing else)

  • 3 days without clean water and only the athletic and healthy will be able to function, although function poorly.
  • If you have access to a clean spring or well, you are very fortunate.
  • How far must you travel to a water source?
  • How much can you carry?  Do you have suitable containers available?
  • Water access: manual pump or inexpensive well bucket? (video) (video)
  • Filters: Sawyer Point One (rated for 1 million gallons)(video), Big Berkey (video), Berkey Sport (video), Life Straw (video), etc. (Filters are an absolute necessity)


  • Barter: What has value during a collapse? Food? Precious metals? Barter items?
  • If grocery stores are closed long term, who would trade a can of beans for a gold coin?
  • Real Economic News – Jim Sinclair, Greg Hunter, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
  • Debt leads to slavery, by design.


  • Staying put or leaving? If leaving, better to be 6 hours early than 6 seconds too late.
  • Cities are a trap.
  • Building new, away from the cities? Off grid cabin? Walk-in basement with South facing glass?
  • Camping trailer? Tiny house on wheels? Compare the investment.
  • Small is good. No mortgage. Energy efficient.
  • Do you have a bug out plan?  Bug out bag (BOB) (videos)?  Get home bag (GHB) (videos)
  • If you are bugging out, where are your bug out supplies? Already positioned at your destination or traveling with you?
  • Will you show up somewhere, asking for refuge without bringing your own food and other needed resources?


  • Benefits – security in numbers, shared skill set, support.
  • Are you willing to defend your family and others who depend on your support?
  • Challenges – group decisions, how to handle dysfunctional behavior?
  • Learn how to support each other.  Maybe the reason why we are here.

Space heating options

Food Production

Stocking Up Food – Where to go shopping

Preserving Food

Commercial Packaging

  •  Super Pails (Mylar bags (oxygen removed) inside 5 or 6 gallon buckets) are better purchased locally to save freight charges .
  • #10 cans of ready to eat meals, veggies, fruits and more.
  • Complete meals in small Mylar bags for 1 or 2 people.  Just add boiling water and wait 10 minutes.

Home Packaging and repackaging larger containers once opened – container options.  Food must be vacuum packed.

  • Mason jars (inexpensive, heavy, subject to breakage)
  • P.E.T.E. Jars (more expensive than Mason jars; no breakage; light weight).
  • Mylar bags.  (Vacuum packed plastic bags are somewhat porous and not a good option for long term storage.)
  • Electricity required if using a Foodsaver vacuum sealer.

Vacuum packing – repacking opened containers.  The enemies of food storage are moisture, oxygen, heat and sunlight.


  • Outdoor fuels: wood, charcoal, solar.  IMPORTANT – In a long term grid down situation, wood may be the only fuel available.  All other fuels need to be stocked up before the SHTF.
  • Indoor fuels: propane, alcohol, butane, Sterno.  The gas line anti-freeze Heet in the yellow container is one of many sources of alcohol. (video)
  • Starting a fire without matches or a lighter.
  • Portable stoves
  • Solar ovens (video)
  • Saving energy, cooking in a Thermos or hot box
  • Instructional videos for dehydrated foods: Tammy (Dehydrate2Store.com), Chef Tess
  • Avoid food fatigue by using a variety of seasoning.  Make the same food taste different.

Cookbooks for preppers.  Check out the reviews on Amazon.com.

Cook stove fuel options

  • Outdoor fuels: wood, charcoal.  IMPORTANT – In a long term grid down situation, wood may be the only fuel available.  All other fuels need to be stocked up before the SHTF.
  • Solar  (Only on CLEAR days)
  • Indoor fuels: propane, alcohol, butane, Sterno.  IMPORTANT – Must be stocked before the SHTF.

Cooking accessories

Fire starting

Helping neighbors and travelers with inexpensive care packages.  Just add boiling water, stir and wait.

  • Rolled oats (oatmeal), raisins, dehydrated apples, dehydrated milk, all in one package.
  • Beans and rice.  Precooked beans are faster.
  • Dehydrated soups.

Composting (or Sawdust) toilet (only needed if you have both water and food)

Prepping on a tiny budget

  • Hand tools for a garden.
  • Seeds (not hybrid)
  • Pick up an extra item at each trip to the grocery store: canned soup, dehydrated soup, dehydrated items, oatmeal, rice, beans, canned food, etc.
  • Water filter


  • Advance planning very important before communications get interrupted.  Make sure all family members know the meet up plan in the event of a sudden emergency while the adults are at work and the children are in school.  Have a plan and a contingency plan.
  • If cell phone towers remain operational, have a way to charge your phone if the electric grid goes down.
  • Cell phones will be the first communication devices to fail.
  • If cell phone towers remain operational, have an alternate way to charge your phone if the electric grid goes down.
  • Governments have turned off cell phones towers in the past.
  • EMP, charging, privacy issues, intentionally turned off
  • Amateur radio, FRS, CB – last to fail.  Solar charger is needed.  Get an Amateur Radio Technician license.
  • If you must watch TV or read mainstream news, recognize:
    • The news is something someone else wants you to believe.
    • The news is frequently a scripted and edited distraction, not the unvarnished truth.
    • Did the government mandate digital TV because they wanted you to have a better picture?  Is there another reason?

Solar Energy for the home

  • Propane appliances: refrigerator, cook stove, space heating, clothes dryer
  • Lifestye changes and lessons learned while living in my first solar powered home.
  • Lessons from Cuba  Lessons learned from Cuba’s peak oil experience.
  • Generator backup: gasoline or propane?

Hot water

Preserving assets

  • Nothing is safe while hidden in the home.  Location diversity can be very important.
  • Mylar bury bag for non-food items.  Inside dimensions approximately 63″ x 11″, $14 at East Coast Food Storage.
  • Fiat money, durable goods, food, precious metals.

Emergency lighting



  • Where are you planning to go during a grid down situation?  Traveling could be very dangerous.
  • Do you have a bicycle for local travel?

Self defense

  • Be part of a community (neighbors, family or tribe).
  • Bear spray (more capacity) vs pepper spray (less capacity), both a dispersed fog, very limited range.
  • Wasp and hornet killer, exits in a narrow stream, long range.
  • Non lethal methods
  • If you choose to own a firearm, get quality training and practice.  Know your local laws.


  • Knowledge
    • Youtube, internet searches. Incredibly valuable resources.
    • Research – How does a poor Mexican live? What skill sets do they have that we don’t.
    • Discussions with friends.  Brainstorm.
    • Contact Bob Snow for free group tours of East Coast Food Storage.  Smallest tour is 6 people.  Best tour is 10 to 12 – max 17
    • East Coast Food Storage is planning free evening classes.  Contact Bob Snow for the topics and schedule.
  • Security
    • Do not share information with people who are not in your trusted local community.
    • Items hidden inside your home are not safe from thieves.
    • Do not hide everything in one place.
    • How far are you willing to go to protect your children, family, close friends or yourself?  Decide now.
  • Community
    • Prepare to help your neighbors and your family.
    • Skill diversity is important.  No one has all the skills and knowledge.
  • Mental preparedness
    • Biggest stumbling blocks are denial and fear.
    • Follow *your* intuition.
    • Relax.  Stay calm.  Take action.