Tier I Preparedness

No matter if it is the current “Great Recession”,  riots or earthquake in LA, the   Katrina disaster, the Swine or Bird Flu pandemics, watching the tsunami in Indonesia, Greece’s financial disruption, or various other man-made or natural disasters I realize that things can go from “normal” to “really bad” really quick.   We can really help ourselves, family, friends and neighbors out by simply doing some very basic stuff to prepare for when and if TSHTF.  I call an event that causes services such as power, and food delivery or  law, and order to be impacted for approximately one week a Tier 1 Event.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that Americans are able to last for three days[i] without outside.  With all respect to the federal government I consider a week a much more reasonable minimal.

I also believe that being able to support yourself for approximately one week can be a fun and family / friend building process.  Most of this is NOT highly costly, but simply looking at things differently and becoming more active.  Here is a good “how to start” http://www.survivalblog.com/newbies.html  Also here is my thoughts here is some Tier 1 things to think about.

It takes about three seconds to die without thinking
It takes about three minutes to die without air
It takes about three hours to die without shelter
It takes about three days to die without water
It takes about three weeks to die without food
It takes three months to die without hope

Try to have a backup of a backup for each of the above[1]

  1. Getting right with The God.
    1. I remember when my grandparents talked about the Great Depression they talked about their Faith, how it was a source of strength when they were going through some serious stuff.   I really believe that if TSHTF, you are going to need a serious moral, faith and character strength.  You may need to do things that you don’t believe you can do.  You will need to have Faith in yourself and others.  I really encourage people to re-connect with their traditional Christian faith.  I truly believe when you are living better, you feel better and you can do more.
    2. Simple.  Learn to live more simply.  Do we really need to clutter our lives with all we have?  Can we actually scale down a little bit, go out a little less and save up a little more?  Before what some are calling the Great Recession American’s were saving a net -1%, we are spending all we made and going into debit.  Now the savings rate is approaching 6%, as massive change in less than 5 years.   Find how to do something that takes physical effort and forms callous on your hands such as fixing a car going hiking or growing a garden.  Very simple low cost stuff.
  1. Getting right with The Man.  Do you have a will?  Where does your non-marital property go if you die?  If it goes to children who manages the estate?  Who takes custody? etc.
    1. Personal Documents.  Get original copies of important documents into a place that you feel safe.  Some people put them in safety deposit boxes, others keep them securely at home, but get them, no where they are and how to get to them.  That is your original SSN card, original birth certificate, passport and things like the title to your car(s).   Get a will, get a living will.  If you live in the militant atheist progressive People’s Republic of California you can download one here for FREE http://www.californialivingwill.org/.  Seal it in an envelope give the sealed envelope to a few people you trust (like the person in the Living Will) and an unsealed copy to your doctor, you can even register it with “The Man.”
    2. Home insurance policy.  Do you have your insurance policy where you can get to it?  Do you have a your life insurance policy.  Do you have other critical documents.  BTW, a nice scanner and digitizing these documents onto a CD-ROM / DVD is not that bad of an idea either.
    3. Getting right with Yourself.
      1. Work off the gut.  This goes without saying.  Many of us can’t walk 5 miles!  That is ridiculous.  Some of us live in the tsunami zone (less than 25 miles from the coast less than 200 feet above sea level.  This means between the earthquake on land or sea (tsunami), flood or a wildfire for people who live further out, we may need to hike out of your home during an emergency.  This normally means walking / hiking.  A “normal” healthy person can walk three miles (4.8 kilometers) per hour.  You can expect to be carrying a 30 – 50 pounds pack (flash light, blanket, sleeping bag, medical kit, food & water, a 5 pound pistol).  You are should be able to carry 50 pounds and move at more than three miles per hour for more than eight hours.  That is not easy, but it will put you ahead of a huge percentage of people.
      2. Get out and walk.  See above.  Go camping, fishing and hunting regularly enjoy the wonderful outdoors that God the First Engineer built for you.  If you have kids consider enrolling them in Cub / Girl Scouts which provide skills for a life time.  NRA also has gun safety and junior hunting experiences that are very low cost. Note, Boys Scouts is a great organization, Girl Scouts is not.  Be very careful when working with this very liberal organization about what they are presenting to your daughter.  If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t enroll her.  The NRA needs to create a Girl’s Scout competitor.
      3. Get out of debit no taxes.  When the Great Depression hit, one of the things that was amazing was there was little relief for the American home owner.  The banks did not care, and “…wanted their money…”  People don’t “lose their homes” the banks foreclosed on them.  What debit relief have most American homeowners and tax payers received?  None.  What can you expect?  None. Inflation, which must happen eventually says that our money will be worth less in the future.  The most dangerous debit is debit that adjust with interest rate such as credit card debit and second mortgages.  Focus on paying that adjustable debit off.
      4. Water
        1. The critical resource.  A typical healthy human being will die in one or two days without the intake of water, assuming sea-level altitude.   One adult probably minimally needs about one fluid liter of water per day.  What you would like is to provide;  men approximately 3.3 liters per day and women approximately 2.2 liters per day.  Stock water and find out how to get some more around your home and clean it.   Cleaning water is easy with Chlorine dioxide or you can boil it.  Remember you cannot carry a lot of water if you must walk somewhere.  Travel should be approach as moving from water source to water source.
        2. Food.  Stocking food can be a very easy process simply buy more of any food you normally buy that stores well.  For me this is shelf life over 5 years.
          1. A typical healthy human being will die in several days (3 -5) without food.   A typical healthy human can survive on as little as 300 calories per day but you are in “slow starvation” mode.  Your body needs approximately 1,200 calories per day.  Buy canned goods that you CAN use.  Don’t buy stuff that you will not use. Maintain a First In First out (FIFO) cycle that keeps the age on the shelf low.  Find a Mormon friend.  Ask them to introduce you to the local LDS canning school.  They have them for FREE, and allow non LDS in on a “space available.”
          2. Medical supplies. Are you and your friends certified in CPR and basic know first aid?  Do you and your family / friends know what to do if you have a heart attack?  Does you know to feed the person who may be having a heart attack aspirin?  Do you carry aspirin with you?  What do you do if one of the kids falls and breaks their arm?
            1. Primarily this is getting a set of skills, not equipment.  Although a basic first aid kit is great, what to do with it, is even more important.  Do simple stuff like volunteer at a hospital where you can learn basic first aid.  Get free CPR lessons[2] at various locations You can also get basic supplies, band aids, penicillin and other basic supplies.
            2. Medicine.  Begin stocking any medicines you need.  Getting them from an online pharmacy normally allows you to buy 90 days of medicine and investigate getting low coast generics that have a decent shelf life.  Getting to diabetics in Katrina was a problem.
            3. Travel.  Have at least one will maintained car.
              1. Can you and your wife change a tire and jump your car? Do you have a “safety kit” in your car including jumper cables?  Does the jack in your car work?  Are all the parts there?  Is your spare good?
              2. Basic outdoor stuff.  Do you have tents (that you know how to set up), sleeping bag(s), fishing rods, backpacks?  Do you have decent boots, do you know your area?
              3. Travel. Have a well maintained vehicle, that at the first hint of something you keep full.  Keep empty gas cans at your house that at first hint of something you can fill up, or if you are more paranoid, you keep them full.
                1. Get a emergency kit for the car including medical.
                2. Do you know how to change a tire?  Do you have a “safety kit” in your car?  Does the jack in your car work?  Are all the parts there?  Is your spare, good. I bought one of those 3-in one jumper cable/ battery (can jump without another car), air compressor.   May be worth considering.
                3. Communication
                  1. Get a CB radio for short distance and learn how to use it.  Get a HAM receiver and the skills to use it,.  There is a lot that can impact the power grid and cell or landline phones are no longer 100% backed up.  When the power goes out land line phones and cell phones will go out.  How will you provide basic communications?  Citizen Band (CB) and Ham radios can be fun, and the groups that are into it normally provide the training for free.

10. Protection

  1. After all of the above you want to address your own personal safety.  If TSHTF, and you actually have a little squirreled away that you are not starving immediately, someone who doesn’t have may notice.  Have the ability if it comes to it, that you can protect yourself, your loved ones or other innocent people.  Imagine what our area will turn into when people realize that the police are not going to come.  Gather the skills to clean and maintain a firearm.  Basic recommend is the simple 12-gauge shotgun, $270 at Wal-Mart and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.  Many people have guns fewer people have adequate ammunition.  1,000 rounds of buckshot ammo should be consider the minimum per shotgun.

The primary purpose of a bug-out bag is to allow one to evacuate quickly, or shelter in place if required if a disaster should strike.  It is therefore prudent to gather all of the materials and supplies that might be required to do this into a single place, such as a bag

Adventuring Backpack



Shotgun,  Mossberg 500 pump action 12-gauge $270
Ammunition,  250 rounds $200
Backpack, ALICE pack and ALICE frame $60
Sleeping bag, Guide Gear® Minus 15 Degrees Green $56 7lb
Tent, three season Gigatent Recon 2 Backpacking $44 12lb
Tarp, Dry Top 410129 10-by-12-Foot, Green $14 2.8oz
Rope, Paracord, Rothco 550lb, Type III $7
Fire starter, Emergency fire starter $5.00
Matches, Waterproof $4.00
Food & Water  
Sardines in Water, 24 pack of 3.75 oz cans
Emergency Food Rations, Mainstay 3600 9 bars $9.00 2 lb
Water Purifier, SteriPEN Adventurer Handheld $98
Water Purification, Polar Pure Water Disinfectant $10
Bottles of water qty 5 $5
Radio, Eton FR500 Solarlink solar powered $50
Compass, Brunton Lensatic Military Style Sighting $14
LED Lantern, Solar Powered Camping Lantern $22
Solar Power, Brunton Portable Power Device $90
Map, Benchmark California Road & Recreation Atlas $16.47
First aid kit, Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Series $60.00
Multi-vitamin, one bottle $5.00
Sunscreen, one bottle $2.00
Ibuprofen, one bottle $3.00
Aspirin, one bottle $3.00
Benadryl, one bottle $3.00
Utilities & Misc.  
Knife, one each $20
Knife sharpener, DMT Crystal Saver – Diamond file $20 3.2oz
Mosquito repellent, Cutter Backwoods Unscented $9 6 oz
Toothpaste / toothbrush / floss $5.00
Spare prescription glasses, as required
Prescription medicine, as required
Feminine-hygiene supplies
Manual, US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76 8.00
Socks, two pair wool
Hat, Boonie, one $8.00 >1oz
Duct tape, one roll $6.00 4 oz
Rechargeable batteries AA
Low self-discharge nickel-metal hydride batteries
Pen, Sharpie permanent marker $5.00 4 oz
Paper, Rite in the Rain –  Green tactical notebook $5.00 5.6 oz
Cash & Documents

Hiking Foods

(I forget where I got this from) Number One – gorp.  All of our editors agreed that gorp was the best food on the trail. Also known as trail mix, the entire staff also agreed that the best way to get gorp was make it yourself with your favorite foods. A combination of any of your favorites including M&M’s, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, Cheerios, Chex cereal, raisins, peanuts, cashews, and dried coconut were among the suggestions we received. Low cost considering you probably have most of the ingredients sitting on the shelf at home, no trash to speak of, tasty if you make it from your favorites, and bullet proof, gorp is the perfect food when you’re out on the trail.

Number Five – beef jerky. When we talk about beef jerky we don’t mean going to the local convenience store and getting a SlimJim. Not that we have anything against GoodMark Foods, but you haven’t had beef jerky until you have had REAL beef jerky. Our editor in South Dakota got us hooked jerky from My Favorite Jerky LLC, out of Red Oak, Iowa. It has an intense beef flavor, is very tender and was voted the best tasting jerky in 1999 and we have to agree. Beef jerky is almost bullet proof, extremely lightweight, and offers a very good balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. If you have the time and a food dehydrator, consider making it yourself.

Breakfast Backpacking Foods

· MaltOMeal® (add raisins for more bulk)
· rice (add raisins and dried milk)
· granola (with dried milk)
· fruit cocktail (small cans)
· pancakes (need small pan,spatula, low-heat option on stove, lots of fuel, syrup in small container)

Lunch Backpacking Foods (many of these items are great for quick no-cook breakfasts)

· bagels (cream cheese)
· Pita bread
· Logan Bread
· granola bars
· candy bars
· dried fruit
· GORP (nuts, M&M’s raisins, yogurt peanuts, crackers, dried fruit, etc)
· Pringles
· crackers (the dense kinds at health food stores)
· Wheat Thins
· Cheeses (string cheese, blocks of mozarella, etc)
· Tuna (sold in pouches now)
· lunch meat

Dinner Backpacking Foods

· Cup O Soup
· Cup Noodles/Ramen
· Lipton Rice or Noodles
· vegetable soup
· potatoes and gravy (3-5 minute gravy mix)
· potatoes and peas
· couscous with dried veggies
· ramen with dried veggies
· spaghetti with dried veggies(use 6oz
· can of tomato paste to make sauce)
· burritos(toritillas, refried beans, cheese, peppers, salsa, onions)
· canned soups, etc (if you don’t mind the weight)


· hot cocoa (add marshmallows)
· apple cider
· teas
· powdered lemonade or Crystal Lite (masks bad-tasting and/or iodine-treated water)

Shotgun: Wal-Mart

Ammunition: http://www.ammoman.com/index.htm
Misc. gear: http://www.bisonpress.com/amazonproducts.html
Hiking food: http://www.wildernessdining.com/

Survival list on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Survival-Supplies-For-The-Apocalypse/lm/R3MF0D3UJJZ50K/ref=cm_lmt_fvlm_f_3_rlrsrs1

Cool Tools list: www.kk.org

6 thoughts on “Tier I Preparedness”

  1. Eve Berkson said:

    Could you team up with Outward Bound and create the kind of organization for girls that you are looking for.

  2. Thank you for this, and thank you for your site. I am adding you to my blog roll. GE.

    • The Bard of the American Redoubt said:

      You are welcome and thank you for the link. I need to create Tier II now that I have a good idea on what it is.

  3. This is GREAT!!!!! Enjoyed reading, thank you 🙂

  4. Anonymous said:

    If you are concerned about the liberalism in Girl Scouts (as we were), check out the American Heritage Girls for a Christ-centered girls’ scouting program that is welcoming to both Catholics and Protestants.

    • We checked out both, but neither was active in our school / parish. Not only the liberlism of the Girl Scouts, the fact that they don’t _do_ any thing. I mean I am trying to build my daughter up to know she can walk out the door and get back. They “camp” in basically rented rooms. They don’t have that outdoor “spirit.” However we will look more closely at the American Heritage Girls, perhaps they are more active now.

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