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Survival Guides

Are You Prepared?

Are you and your family prepared to survive a natural or man-made disaster?

Disasters happen. That is a fact of life.

Natural events such as floods, earthquakes, and major storms and also unnatural events like terrorist attacks of all kinds may disrupt the the grid.

What exactly is the grid? It’s the regular distribution of electricity, food, fuel, goods, and services. When any one of these essential services are interrupted you will feel it.

If things get bad enough we call that SHTF (Sh*t Hits The Fan). That’s when normal life as you know it is disrupted for days, weeks, or even years.

Can You Survive?

If a major hurricane or other event (natural or man made) were to disrupt the grid in your community or nationally, would you be ready? Could you survive?

How would you and your family make it if you could not purchase any food, water, or gasoline?

No one really knows what the future holds and no one can predict what tomorrow will bring. You can’t possibly plan for all possible scenarios, and believe me there are a million different scenarios you could prepare for.

But if you’re smart you will have a plan for the most likely possibilities, and store at least a few basic supplies for emergencies.

The Good News – The “Prepper’s Cheat”

The good news is there is a simple “prepper’s cheat” that will ensure you are ready for just about anything. It’s a few simple principles that ensure you’re prepared for pretty much all possible scenarios.

What is it? It works like this: If you prepare to have zero access to the grid for a set amount of time you will be prepared for anything. This includes the whole grid – electricity, food, fuel, goods, and other services.

Basically if you can live without flipping a switch for electricity, turning a knob for water, pumping gas at a station, or buying food on a shelf…. you are well prepared for anything that comes your way.

You might prepare to have no access to the grid for a day, three days, a week, a month, or even a year. The longer the better, but the exact length is a personal choice.

Evaluate Your Needs

In our article Your First Preparedness Task – Sit And Think we discuss how your first action as a prepper should be evaluating your own particular needs and goals.

Below we offer some guidance on planning for a both short and long-term event.

are you prepared disaster

Get a pen and paper, sit down some place quiet, and then ask yourself the following questions.

  • What natural hazards are there in my area?
  • What man-made events could happen that would affect me and my family?
  • Have I taken precautions to protect my home?
  • What is my potential for being caught in a significant earthquake, flood, hurricane, or tornado?
  • How long do I anticipate that I might be without access to the grid?
  • If the electricity goes out for an extended period of time, how will I cook, heat, and light my home?
  • Do I have supplies and training to deal with medical emergencies alone?
  • If I must evacuate, do I have portable emergency supplies readily available to bring with me?
  • How many people do I wish to store supplies for? What about my friends, neighbors, or relatives?
  • Do I have pets that I wish to feed and care for?
  • Do I have small children or infants with special needs?
  • Do I require prescription medications or are there any addictions (sugar, coffee, tobacco, etc) I wish to provide for if the grid goes down for a period of time?

Final Words

We are living in an era of megastorms, international terrorism, and increasingly destructive events. Market crashes, water storages, solar storms, oppressive governments, and dirty bombs seem to lurk around every corner.

Is it foolish to assume that one day in the not-too-distant future your access to the grid will be interrupted? Of course not. In fact it’s foolish to believe that life will forever continue just as it is today.

Remember, when electricity stops flowing, everything in our modern lives stop working.

Without electricity, most municipal water treatment and waste removal systems, cell towers, gas stations, and grocery stores will soon shut down and emergency medical services will be severely limited.

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Sergeant Survival

I spread the news of disaster preparedness and homesteading skills to the masses. My mission is to teach the keyboard commandos out there some real life skills.


  1. I live pretty close to a military base. If TSHF it will likely be a target. So I have supplies to last quite a while, I really need to stock up on water. What are the best food items to stock long term. I have a stock pile of canned food, as well as side dishes what should I get.

    1. Good question. The #1 rule is to stock what you eat now. Buy a little extra every week and put it up, then rotate it with new stock before it expires. This way nothing is wasted and you know you’ll like it.

      You won’t go wrong buying a few cans of low salt soups and stews and some boxed foods ready to cook if it is things you’ll eat now. This assumes you’re staying put and won’t be on the move.

      If you’re staying put, grain should also be at the top of everyones list just because it is so versatile. Wheat, sorghum, etc.

      After that think about dry foods and legumes that you can buy in bulk. Most preppers stock up on rice and various beans, but be careful eating tons of rice exclusively because its hard on your insulin.

      Powdered milk, powdered butter (if you can find it), oil, freeze dried meats, dehydrated fruits and veggies, and spices of different kinds will provide a well rounded diet and plenty of flavor.

      Learning how to grow your own vegetables and store food for the long term should be the ultimate goal.

  2. I would like to see some information on what you can store in a place like a backyard storage building or an attached storage room, i.e., places that are not climate controlled. I know that you would want medicines and most foods “in the house”, but what about water and foods that take up a lot of room like vinegar or cooking oil or bulk items like flour? Or stuff like bleach or shampoo? I don’t have room in the house for everything unless I want to look at it everyday. No basement available. Basements in Arkansas are usually swimming pools.

    1. They get hot, around 110-120F in the middle of summer. That’s bad for just about anything that goes in your body (as a general rule). You can vacuum seal it in mylar and pack it in buckets to provide a lot of protection, but even then foods will not do well in a hot environment.

      Water will tend to grow algae, anything with fats in them (brown rice, cooking oils for example) will go rancid quickly, and flour (or salt, sugar, or any powder) will absorb humidity and smells. Keeping vermin and insects out will be a major challenge too.

      Bleach and other such items should be ok, and as long as the product doesn’t get hot and expand to cause a leak, most toiletries will be fine. Anything in a pressurized can could leak or worse.

      Sheds are fine to store most gear, but remove any batteries because they will swell and corrode.

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