Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Be Prepared: The Motto of the Boy Scouts of America

Our long-time friend, who is a CPA in Columbus, just sent me an e-mail (Dec. 2010), and this was his last paragraph.  I followed with my reply.

"On another note, I would like to compare notes/ pick your brain a little - Ruta and I are beginning work on a comprehensive contingency plan for what we think is going to be best case long drawn out " ground war" in our economy to worst case another depression /melt down that would involve riots/violence etc.  I think the next event is going to be currency bubble or a massive default in the muni-bond market.  We are thinking about putting together a comprehensive plan that involves 1) preparedness 2) protection 3) financial 4) education.  I think it is just prudent given how things are so fragile right now and like I said best case we will be in this ground war for a while.  Let me know when you have few minutes, I would be interested in your thoughts."


I have a Mormon friend who told me that his church recommends keeping a one-year supply of food on hand at all times.  He keeps a three-month supply, which is a lot for anyone.  There are places on the internet that specialize in disaster preparedness, and will sell you a year’s supply of food to store away.  This spring I checked prices at Sam’s Club on basics, like rice, flour, sugar, salt, beans, etc.  I checked again in November.  Rice is up 12%, sugar is up 29%, and wheat flour is up 21.5%, and our government is telling us that inflation is at normal levels.  You can’t put a trillion into a 7 trillion economy and not have inflation.  It will get worse.

Glenn Beck has an article on food storage (I think he’s a Mormon, too) that is a good start.   It’s good to know how to make bread from scratch and how to boil beans.  Those are basics.  I live near a small lake and can get water from there (I have several filter systems), but I also have a Water BOB ( that stores water in your bathtub.  Providing you have warning that water will be shut off, that’s fine.  Emergency water is also available in your water heater tank and in the toilet tanks.

I went to Lowe’s and bought a dozen of their gray 5-gal plastic buckets with sealable lids.  Then got oxygen absorber packets from USA Emergency Supply to put in them.   Next I went to Sam’s for the flour, salt, rice, beans, baking soda, freeze-dried coffee, etc.  One bucket will hold a 50-lb bag or two 25-pounders.  Label the lid, date, drop in the oxygen packs and seal.  I have them on two roll-around dollies in my basement.  You might also get one of the cooking with home storage cookbooks from this site.  The easy way is to just by the 1-, 6-, or 12-month supply of food from them.

I’ve also put together two “bug-out bags” that are filled with basic survival gear.  If we have to evacuate or run for our lives, these are two backpacks that I will grab first, then the guns and ammo, then food.  We have a couple cases of military MREs, too.  Google “bug-out bag” for a list of essentials.  Remember, if the electric grid goes down, you won’t be able to go to the gas station for gas (no power for the pumps).  I bought a Honda generator two years ago to power a freezer or refrigerator.  I have a 55-gal drum of gasoline in the shed and maybe 15 gallons of kerosene.  Get yourself a Petromax kerosene lantern.  They are essential  I have two Swiss military 250s and a 500 that we use when we go to Cook Forest.  You can also cook on them.  Know how to start a fire without matches; there are many ways.


Find a reputable gun shop near you.  Preferably one recommended by friends.  Ask about a concealed carry permit instruction course and sign both of you up for it ASAP.  They will usually provide a gun if you don’t have one.  This is the store where you will go to for advice, ammunition, holsters, etc.  I have two in the area that I use, and both know me well.

I bought most of my guns from gun shops, however, I buy most of my ammunition online. now offers ANY gun you might want for sale.  You just have to have it delivered to a licensed gun dealer near you to pick it up.  Some stores charge you a fee for this, and you should first ask if they will match the online price(s).  Often they will, except for ammo.  I would recommend a .45-caliber pistol, semi-automatic, because .45 ammo will always be available, as it has been around for over a century.  You can still buy WWII ammo in a sealed can!  I’ve also bought ammo from Sportsman’s Guide ( and found they have the best price on bulk ammunition.

How much is enough?  I told a friend of mine who has full-auto rifles and even a Thompson submachine gun (special BATF license required) that I had 3,000 rounds of ammunition.  He chuckled and said he wouldn’t feel safe with that.  I now have 16,000, most in .22 (.22 rifles will be gold, and so will the ammo to hunt small game), but 4,500 in .223 (for a Colt AR-15), and 3,600 in 5.7mm (I bought a FN Five-Seven pistol and FN PS-90 rifle this year.  Pistol holds 30 rounds, rifle 50.)  Buy a lot, usually in 500-round or 1,000-round batches for best prices.  Join Sportsman’s Guide Membership for further discount.

It’s best to stay with one or two calibers to simplify your ammunition purchasing and confusion.  I have .22, .223 (5.56mm), 5.7mm, .32 H&R, .380, .38, .44 Mag., .45 ACP, and .45 Colt.  It can get confusing if you are not fully aware of what they are and in which gun they go.  I will soon add 12-gauge shotgun to the list.

Gun brand is personal preference.  In .45 semi-auto pistols there are HK, Glock, SIG, Colt, and many others.  Glocks are pretty durable and dependable.  I have an HK USP Compact .45 for traveling, and usually carry a SIG P238 .380.  Paula keeps a Glock 21 .45.  I used to carry a Walther PPK/S .380, but the SIG is much lighter.  I have an inside the waistband/belt holster that rides just ahead of my right hip.  A lot of people carry in the small of their back either inside or outside in a belt holster.  I just find it harder to reach back there.

Glocks have an integral safety set in the trigger, so there is no lever to look for to flip off (especially good for people who are unfamiliar).  You don’t put your finger on ANY trigger until you are ready to fire, so that is one of the first things you learn.  You’ll get yelled at in the Concealed Carry course for having your finger on that trigger.  With the Glock, when you put your finger on the trigger you first depress a lever in the trigger, then begin to pull the trigger itself, so there is no other safety lever to flick off, like on nearly all the other semi-autos.

If I have to choose a minimum defense package, I’d probably go with the two FNs (pistol and assault rifle) and a 12-gauge shotgun.  The pistol is to buy time to get to your rifle, and nothing impresses an intruder more than a shotgun.  But I’ll have a .45, too!


If you remember your history, when inflation takes off your paper money will soon be worthless.  Gold and silver will be the only true currency, other than barter.  Read “One Second After” by William R. Fortschen or “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank for examples of what life might be like.  Pretty lawless.  Also watch “The Road” and "Book of Eli."

I’ve just bought bouillon, no collector coins.  If you are buying things you will only get what the gold or silver is actually worth, not what someone thinks it is worth.  Juni Banico at Bowers and Merena Galleries lets me know when  he has Krugerrands, Maple Leafs, and other bouillon coins for sale.  I’ve bought silver coins through him, too.  Right now I’m waiting on a shipment of silver 1 oz. rounds from Northwest Territorial Mint that are pre-scribed to break or cut into quarters.  Shipment has been delayed twice and I’m looking at mid-January.  You just have to compare commissions and markup to find the best buy.  Volume brings the percentage down.  I’ve also bought from Lakota Bank, but paid more.   Nevertheless, the way things are going, I’m making money every day.


I’ve had a lot of basic survival education through the Air Force, but you never have enough.  I took a winter survival course at YSU in their ROTC curriculum, so you might see what’s available near you.  There is also unlimited information online.  When you find a site, look at their links for more.  Again, learn how to make fire several different ways.  Many people will die just because they can’t.  Twenty-five percent will be gone the first year, by most estimates.  Not from a bomb, but from survival of the strongest.  If you’re diabetic, make a will.  Those on dialysis will be gone in a week.

You might be referring to home schooling, too.  Again go online for information, but you might put together an “essential” library of your own; something of an investment anyway.  It might even be something to pass down to your grandkids.  You can choose the titles, and even get out of print copies through Advanced Book Exchange  This is a huge co-op of book stores around the world.  It would be the best way to put together a library at minimum cost.


If the SHTF, trying to survive by yourself with just your family will be tough.  If you have good friends, a group is more likely to survive roaming bands than a single family in a house.  We live on a cul-de-sac that I am looking at for defending.  It has Mill Creek Park wrapped around it with just one road behind us and then the lake – natural obstacle.  But we need maybe a dozen adults to protect it.  I’m talking 24/7 guard duty.  It would be great to have our two Dobermans again, too.  Dogs are better than any alarm system (remember, no power, no alarm system).  You have to feed them, too, but you can also eat them if need be!  (Yes, I would have a hard time doing that.)

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