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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Prepper: How to Stock an Emergency Food Pantry for Less Than $60

Prepper: How to Stock an Emergency Food Pantry for Less Than $60
Do you have enough food for an unexpected snowstorm? Are you ready for a natural catastrophe? If not, now is the time to start. FEMA recommends that you have at least 3 days’ worth of food and water stored. But that is not enough, because in a crisis it may take weeks to get the food back on the grocery store shelves and for power to be restored.



For less than $60, you can feed a family of two adults and two children for 30 days.
Sound impossible? It’s not! With just a few ingredients and two easy recipes, you and your family can survive a disaster.
7 Foods For Survival
Here’s what you’ll need to get:
  1. 10 lbs. of cornmeal
  2. 20 lbs. of white rice
  3. 16 lbs. of dried mixed beans
  4. 2 lbs. of granulated chicken flavored bouillon
  5. 1 gallon of pancake syrup (or honey)
  6. 1 lb. of salt
  7. 2 lbs. of vegetable oil
A few weeks ago I bought most of these items at Walmart and Sprouts, and it cost me less than $60 for everything. I found 20 pounds of white rice at Walmart for only $8, and Sprouts had a sale on dried, mixed beans for less than $1 per pound. And I also got a gallon of pancake syrup from Walmart for only $8 because it’s much cheaper than honey. But if you don’t mind spending more money, honey will be more nutritious and will usually last indefinitely.
Rice and beans will last the longest when stored in food grade enamel-lined buckets with a Mylar lining that will provide an airtight environment. It also helps to add a few crushed bay leaves. To store cornmeal, put it in the freezer for a few days to kill any bugs. Then store it in a bucket with Mylar lining. And don’t forget to use oxygen absorbers, too. Grains stored this way should last anywhere between 20-30 years!
Cornmeal Mush
Want a warm, filling and inexpensive breakfast? Try cornmeal mush. This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings. And of all the breakfast foods that you can buy, this one is the cheapest.
Ingredients:
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot water
survival pantry
Directions: Combine the cornmeal and cold tap water in a bowl to keep it from getting lumpy. Meanwhile, in a pan, combine the salt and hot water. Bring it to a boil over high heat. While the water is heating, add the cornmeal mixed with the cold water. When the water and cornmeal boil, reduce the heat to low. Allow the mush to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it is nicely thickened.
Spoon mush into bowls and serve with pancake syrup or honey, if desired. Don’t forget to set aside the leftovers to go with lunch and dinner! To fry, pour mixture into a loaf pan and chill completely. Remove from pan, slice and fry in a small amount of oil over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Fried cornbread tastes great with soup!
Survivor Soup
Rice and beans are a survival staple. After all, they’re cheap and provide carbohydrates and protein. This soup is very hearty and filling. It costs just pennies to make, and it will give you enough energy to sustain you during a difficult time.
Ingredients:
1 cup of rice
2 cups of dried, mixed beans
1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)
1 tablespoon cumin (optional)
Bouillon (season to taste)
Directions: Add first six ingredients to a large kettle. Pour two quarts of water. Add bouillon to taste, chili powder, and cumin (if using). Bring to a boil and simmer for two hours. This soup is thick and hearty, and should be enough to feed four people for lunch and dinner.   
Although this soup is often bland by itself, it’s easy to add more ingredients. I usually add two cans of tomatoes, one diced onion, three diced carrots, two diced celery stalks, and two diced potatoes. It tastes great with canned chicken, ham and Vienna sausages for extra protein. And it makes a great meal when served with fried cornmeal mush.
I also like to top it with one of the following toppings:
  • Sirachi sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Jalapenos
  • Tortilla chips
Other Survival Supplies
Cornmeal mush for breakfast and “survival soup” for lunch and dinner will help to provide enough food to feed your family for 30 days. I also recommend that you stock up on canned fruit and canned vegetables to supplement your diet. To help with any vitamin deficiencies, make sure that you have enough multivitamins for each person in your family. And make sure that you have some extra prescription medicine set aside, as well as pet food to take care of any animals.
Don’t forget to have plenty of water set aside. You’ll need at least 120 gallons for a family of four for 30 days. One of the cheapest ways to store water is to purchase a bladder that you can use in your bathtub.
If you have a fireplace, it’s also a good idea to have plenty of firewood set aside to heat your house and cook your food. But if you don’t have a fireplace, you can purchase a small gas burner and have plenty of propane to cook meals.
During times of economic uncertainty, it’s essential to be prepared. And if you buy these 7 foods for survival, you’ll be much more prepared in case of an emergency.
God’s Word shows us the importance of planning ahead. Proverbs 27:12 says: A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.”

7 Overlooked Forms Of Shelters When Society Collapses

7 Overlooked Forms Of Shelters When Society Collapses
Image source: Pixabay.com
Most of us are planning on “bugging in” when a disaster strikes. Generally speaking, that’s a much more practical solution for people who don’t have a survival retreat off in the woods somewhere. Not only does your home provide you with shelter, but it has all of your survival equipment and supplies, as well as your other possessions. But what do you do if something happens to your home?
There is always a risk of your home taking a hit during a natural or man-made disaster. Some disasters, like earthquakes and tornadoes, are known for destroying houses. If that should happen to you, then you will need an instant replacement. If you haven’t thought about it beforehand, then you might not have an idea of where to go or what to do.
To start with, evaluate the condition of your home. If part of it is still standing, then you might be able to take shelter there, at least on a temporary basis. You only want to do this if the part that is standing is structurally sound, though. If it is likely to fall, you don’t want to be trapped inside.
If you find that you have to abandon your home during a societal collapse, there are a number of places around you, many of which may very well be excellent shelters to use. While they may not be as nice to stay in as your home, neither is a makeshift shelter or a tent off in the woods somewhere.
1. Outbuildings
If you have outbuildings on your property, that might be a good starting point. Surprisingly, a shed or detached garage might survive a situation in which the house is destroyed. While that building may not be as well constructed as the home was, it might have been sheltered by the home itself.
7 Overlooked Forms Of Shelters When Society Collapses
Image source: Pixabay.com
Granted, a shed or garage isn’t a very comfortable or even nice place to lay your head to rest, but it has the advantage of being close to your home. That means you can stay close to your possessions. If you are going to begin salvage operations — to get what you can out of your damaged home — then it helps to stay close. Besides, those salvaged items can be used to make your temporary shelter more comfortable.
2. Your place of business
If you own a business, then you probably have an alternate shelter that you have legal title to, even if it is rented. Your office or store may very well survive something that damages your home, simply because commercial buildings are often stronger than residences. Their simpler construction, lack of windows and need to support more weight on the floor leads to a more robust building design.
If you have such a place, it would be good to stock some emergency supplies and equipment there, so that in the case of a disaster, it’s easy to move your family to the workplace. While you probably won’t want to abandon the equipment and supplies you have at home, what you keep at your business will help your family to survive while you are salvaging whatever you can.
3. Abandoned homes
Whatever makes your home uninhabitable may make it so that many other people flee. If that happens, then there will probably be a good assortment of abandoned homes available in the neighborhood. (Note: Use this option only as a last resort in a societal collapse.) The problem with this is that you would technically be trespassing and if the person came back, the situation could become a bit sticky. For this reason, I wouldn’t be too quick to move into someone else’s home.
If forced to move into someone else’s home, it is wise always to treat it as if it were theirs and not mine. In other words, I would take care of their home, leaving their possessions alone as much as possible. While I would use their furniture and kitchenware, I wouldn’t remove anything from their home or rearrange things any more than absolutely necessary. That way, if they were to come back, I could at least show that I’ve cared for their home.
Having said that, moving into an abandoned home is probably the most comfortable option you have for an urban survival shelter in an emergency situation. While it wouldn’t be your home, it would be a home, with all the comforts to be expected.
4. An abandoned business
There are always abandoned buildings around that were once stores, warehouses and other businesses. Any of these provide the basics necessary for a shelter. They can keep the weather out and protect your family. At the same time, businesses usually have a lot of open space, which you can configure as you need for your family. They also often have bathrooms, which might still work if there is water service.
While I wouldn’t hesitate to use an abandoned business as a survival shelter, I wouldn’t expect much more of it than it to be something to help protect me from the weather. I would operate under the assumption that anything I need would have to be brought in.
7 Overlooked Forms Of Shelters When Society Collapses
Image source: Pixabay.com
One nice thing about abandoned businesses is that you can pre-plan. Just by keeping your eyes open for businesses that close in your area, you can know which businesses would be available in the case you need an emergency shelter. A little further investigation could show how you can get into those buildings if you have to use them as a shelter.
5. A vehicle
This may sound a bit unusual, but survival situations are unusual. A vehicle can actually be a fairly good, although small shelter, in times of need. I lived in a motorhome for a number of years, traveling the country. Although the space was limited, I had everything I needed. In a pinch, I could have lived in a much smaller vehicle if needed.
A prepared vehicle is easier to live in. But even if your vehicle isn’t prepared ahead of time, there are things you can do to make it work. Adding a shell to the back of a pickup or removing the back seats from a van creates a living space. A mattress in that area makes a comfortable sleeping area. Camping equipment, such as a camp stove, can quickly turn that makeshift vehicle shelter into something rather comfortable and workable.
6. An abandoned basement
Basements are the part of any structure that are most likely to survive. As such, they can be used as a place of refuge, even when the rest of the building has been destroyed. Often, the floor above the basement will remain intact even when the rest of the building is destroyed. That can turn the basement into an underground home.
During World War II, much of Europe was destroyed. As the various armies battled across the landscape, defenders would take refuge in buildings, using them as makeshift pillboxes. The attackers then had to destroy those buildings, clearing out the soldiers. The residents of those buildings often took refuge in the basement.
While a basement isn’t a very comfortable shelter, it worked for the Europeans. At a minimum, it protected many of them from being killed by shrapnel and gunfire. Once the fighting moved on, many stayed in the basements because the houses and apartments above were destroyed. While it wasn’t as comfortable as home, it was shelter.
7. The underground
Speaking of basements, underground structures of many types have been used as shelters at one time or another. The catacombs of France are probably the most famous of these. But those aren’t the only underground shelters that have been used. Governments often build underground bunkers to hide activities, simply because they are well hidden.
Of course, you won’t be able to get into an underground bunker that the government is using, but many cities nevertheless have some sort of underground. This could be a storm sewer system (like the catacombs) or a subway system. Some cities even have commercial areas that are underground. Regardless of why the structure is underground, it is much more likely to survive many a calamity than anything above ground is. That makes it possible to use as an emergency shelter.

Disaster Preparedness for the Apocalypse: How to Prepare for any Disaster

The Need for Disaster Preparedness

The Walking DeadThe possibility of a Zombie Apocalypse, like the one portrayed in “The Walking Dead,” is pretty much zero, right? I know. It’s disappointing. I mean who wouldn’t want to walk around annihilating re-animated dead people with a kick-but crossbow or a couple of Katana swords. Heck yeah!
Okay, not really, obviously. So, let’s get real for a moment. While others may find false comfort in the fact that a major disaster hasn’t hit yet, or perhaps, become complacent and foolishly rely upon someone else to take care of them when it does, the Sheepdog Man know’s better. He is ready. He is driven.He is prepared. (What is a Sheepdog Man? Read more here.)

To Protect and Provide for Loved Ones.

That’s the crux of it right there. If you take the commitment to protect and provide for your family seriously, you will do it now, when all is well, and also prepare to do it then, when the proverbial SHTF.

The Historical Default is Chaos

Sadly, many people now suffer from normalcy bias. They don’t think that anything bad will happen because it hasn’t yet, and since we have enjoyed an unprecedented level of peace and prosperity since World War II, they believe that peace and prosperity is the norm. It’s not! I will never forget what one of my professors said about history, he said,
“If you look at the history of the world, the default has been, chaos, famine, and violent war. It’s only a matter of time until we enter the default again, and if you look at much of the world today they are still presently experiencing the default.”
National catastrophes such as an EMP, solar flare, nuclear war, viral outbreak, asteroid, currency collapse or hyperinflation could happen at any time. Additionally, small local catastrophes such as a flood, hurricane, earthquake, extreme cold, or civil unrest are possible. Likewise, personal catastrophes like sickness, injury or job loss can occur.
Therefore, the Sheepdog Man, understanding the historical default, and because of his love for family and community, prudently masters the art of disaster preparedness.

Starvation and Dehydration are Bad Way’s To Die

Let’s take one of the scenarios listed above as an example.
You are racing home with your kids because there is a hurricane warning. It’s only been thirty minutes since you had lunch, however, one of the kids in the backseat yell’s out, “Hey Dad, I’m hungry!”
Now fast forward to three days since the hurricane hit. You’ve run out of food, the electricity is still down, and you are almost out of drinking water.
Jump to two weeks since there was anything in the grocery store. One week since you realized it was too dangerous to go seek help from FEMA.
You, my friend, are in a world of hurt.
You start to wonder, “How long can we survive without food and water?”
Remember the rule of 3. Most people can live 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter (in a harsh environment), 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. Despite this possibly helpful rule, some people have survived up to 10 days without water, and others have survived up to 73 days without food.

Dehydration and Sickness from Contamination are Serious Threats

More important than food, clean drinking water is an essential of life. One hour without water, the body becomes thirsty. Twelve hours without water, dehydration has begun to set in. Twenty-four hours without water, mental capacity weakens. Three days without water and you can perish.
Potential contamination dangers include Cholera, Hepatitis A, Giardiasis, and chemicals polutants.
Never Ration Water – the effects of dehydration far outway the benefits of saving water for later. Sometimes the effects of dehydration can overtake a person so swiftly they have no time to react. There have been reports of people dying from dehydration with a full water bottle right by their side. A state of unconsciousness can occur with little warning. Don’t guzzle, drink in sips, be methodical and if you do find water after being hydrated drink it slowly. Drinking too quickly can cause your stomach to go into convulsions and you will lose more fluid by vomiting. Stay hydrated my friend!
Bottom line everyone needs water, and while the human body is able to do some amazing things to keep going without food, you really don’t want to go without food for very long and here’s why:

The Effects of Starvation

6 HOURS AFTER EATING
After we eat, our bodies digest food and break down glycogen, which are the molecules that store energy. This process produces glucose — a molecule that is used as a major source of energy and absorbed into the bloodstream.
Glucose is used as our primary energy source if we’re on a normal eating schedule. This keeps us feeling well-fed and happy, because glucose goes to our liver and muscles, and fatty acids get stored for later use. Glucose fuels us for about six hours, and once it runs out, we begin to feel that “hangry” state when we’re hungry and grouchy.
STARVATION MODE: 3 DAYS OF NO FOOD
Your glucose stores may last you for up to 24 or 48 hours, though they will mostly be depleted after six hours. Then, not only will you be hangry, but your body will be entering a state of ketosis, which involves elevated levels of ketone bodies in your system. Ketone bodies are produced from fatty acids when liver glycogen is entirely depleted, and are used for energy. Typically, if you’re fasting or starting a keto diet (a low-carb diet), your body enters ketosis. Sometimes this diet is used as a medical intervention to treat intractable epilepsy.
However, your brain can’t be fueled by fatty acids as its only source of energy, so it will continue to use the last remaining glucose stores in your body. Your brain actually uses 120 grams of glucose every day, which is a significant amount — so when glucose is depleted, your body has to figure out a back-up plan for the brain.
On day three, your brain will turn to the energy from ketone bodies — getting about 30 percent of its energy from them. By the time it’s day four, however, your brain will be getting nearly 70 percent of its energy from ketone bodies.
EATING NOTHING FOR OVER 72 HOURS
The rough part happens after 72 hours of no eating — this is the stage of autophagy. Once the fats are broken down, your body turns to breaking down protein in muscles, essentially wasting away your muscles. At this point, your brain’s requirement for glucose will have dropped from 120 grams per day to only 30 grams. But your brain will need to start getting energy from protein next. Breaking down protein and releasing amino acids into the bloodstream will produce more glucose; this transformation takes place in the liver, and your brain will be fueled by its much-needed glucose once again. Regardless, though your brain will be able to survive from protein, your muscles will slowly disappear.
Interestingly, the greatest amount of protein loss occurs during the first 72 hours. Afterward, the body adapts to conserve protein. Essentially, your metabolism slows down so much to the point that your body uses the smallest amount of energy as possible.
[source: medicaldaily.com]
Okay, enough of that starvation crap, let’s look at some general disaster preparedness stepsthat you can take now to prepare for any disaster.

Step One: Create a Water Access Plan

A retired military man when asked why he was moving out of town said, “I am moving so that I can have access to a well. If I don’t control my own water, I don’t control my life.”
He’s right. How long can you survive if your city water is shut down or contaminated?
Access to good, clean drinking water is an essential part of any disaster preparedness plan.

Potential Water Sources.

  • Water storage.
  • Wells.
  • Lakes, ponds, rivers, streams.
  • Rain.
  • Trees, plants, the air.

Water Storage

Plan to have a number of water storage solutions in place as well as the ability to take some water with you in a bug-out situation.

How Much Water is Needed?

In keeping with the FEMA guidelines, store one gallon of water per person per day, with a minimum of two weeks supply. WOW!
Some simple math to put things into perspective.
1 gallon of water = 8.36 lbs. So if you wanted to store 8 weeks of water you would need: For One Person: 56 gallons = 468.16 lbs. Two People: 112 gallons = 936.32 lbs. Four People:  224 gallons = 1872.64 lbs.
The standard bathtub, which measures 60 inches long by 30 inches wide, holds approximately 35 to 50 gallons of water. This means that if you have a chance to fill your entire bathtub before an emergency hits, 1 person can survive 8 weeks, two people 4 weeks, and four people 2 weeks at best.
Let’s just say you want a 3 month supply for four people. You need approximately 448 gallons of stored water.
Clearly, storage is great for short term situations, however, long term situations will require a better source.

Small, transportable, bug-out ready options.

Foil Water Packets
Foil Water Disaster Preparedness Packets
Foil Water Bags. These little bags are fantastic for medium to longer term storage. On a recent hunt, we ran out of drinking water and decided to try a few – they had been in our camp box for a couple years. They tasted great. The foil is thick and there is enough room for expansion when frozen. They’re great for throwing in packs, the glove box or to simply store in boxes. Recommended shelf life is 5 years. However, they will still be safe well beyond that – though the water will probably taste like metal.
The FDA does not require an expiration date on water. The “use by date” is something manufacturers put on by choice because they are concerned with users “enjoying” the taste. But who the heck cares about taste if it saves your life.
At 64 packs for $28.95, a 2 weeks supply (for one person) or 448 packets (14.77 gallons) =  $202.65. You can get them here.
Blue Can Disaster Preparedness Water
Blue Can Disaster Preparedness Water
Blue Can – Premium Emergency Drinking Water. With a shelf life of over 50 years, these cans are fantastic for long term storage. They are hermetically sealed, tested BPA Free, No Chlorine or Flouride purified with 12 step filtration, reverse osmosis, and UV light treatment. 
At 24 cans for $47.95, a 2 weeks supply (for one person) or 168 cans (15.75 gallons) =  $335.65.

Larger, tap water options.

AQUATANK2 Water Storage Bladder. These bad boys are available in 30, 60, 150, and 300 gallons. They are super durable, a great way to transport water, work well under the seats of some vehicles, and can be thrown in the bed of a truck or even on a roof rack (if you’re careful). BPA free with an inner lining made from 100% Food-Grade TPU (Polyurethane) and an Outer Shell of Durable Nylon you can’t go wrong with these.
waterBob Emergency Drinking Water Storage. In the opening scene of The Road, the main character begins to fill the bathtub with water. His wife asks why he’s taking a bath and he simply says “I’m not.”
While filling the bathtub and anything else you can in an emergency situation is a good idea, it’s not the most sanitary. Water stored in an open bathtub, with dirt, soap film, potentially harsh cleaning chemicals,  and exposure to debris will spoil and become useless. The waterBob solves these problems and provides an easy way to fill the tub with up to 100 gallons (most tubs hold 35 to 50 gallons) of clean water that can be used for drinking, cooking, washing and flushing. It keeps water fresh and clean for up to 16 weeks and includes a siphon pump to easily dispense the water into jugs or pitchers. Pretty sweet, don’t you think? 
The waterBob is a must in an apartment or anywhere else storage is limited.
waterBob - disaster preparedness water storage solution
The waterBob provides a safe and easy way to fill your tub in an emergency situation.
Water Barrels.  For those who have space, these 55-gallon, food-grade, water barrels are an affordable way to store a large amount of water for long-term disaster preparedness. It is recommended that you replace the water every 5 years.
At 55 gallons per barrel, one barrel will last one person 55 days.
To store water in the barrels properly, be sure to use a food grade hose when filling, add water preserver (some say it’s not necessary if using city water which already has chlorine). Don’t forget a pump and smaller bottles such as the Aqua-Tainer for transport.

Wells

When it comes to a sustainable, long-term, stay-in-place water source, a good well is the best possible scenario. If your pump requires electricity, be sure to have a solution for a grid-down situation. Get a good hand pump and invest in a generator, or even better, solar power to run your electric pump.

Lakes, Ponds, Rivers, Streams

Depending on where you live, you might have access to natural water sources like lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. If you do, figure out where they are and how you can access them now. Remember that it is never safe to drink from these sources without first purifying the water, and make sure you think about how you can transport the water from the source to your home.

Trees, plants, the air

These are last ditch options. But hey, if you find yourself dehydrating to death, they are worth trying.
TREES AND PLANTS
To gather water from trees, tie a plastic bag around a branch or couple of branches with leaves and let sit overnight. In the morning collect the water that has built up inside the bag from condensation.
Collect morning dew from trees and plants by wiping dew from wet surfaces with an absorbent cloth, and then wring the water out. You can also tie cloths around your ankles, or even use clean socks, then walk through wet grass to quickly collect water.
There are a number of plants that contain water, such as agave, aloe, and most species of barrel cacti. Learn which of these plant exist in your region now.
THE AIR
Wait a second. You’re saying I can get water from the air. Yes, sir. You can. There are at least two ways to pull water from the air.
Solar Still
Okay, so a solar still doesn’t exactly pull water from the air, but it does use the process of heat transfer from the sun and evaporation and cooling to distil water from the ground or other contaminated sources of moisture. Here is a simple method to build such as till.
Dig a hole, as large as you can to accommodate your tarp or sheet of plastic when laid over the hole.  Put any available contaminated water in the hole as well as any other sources of moisture such as leaves or grass. Place a cup or pan in the center of the hole, and throw a tarp or piece of plastic over the hole. Secure with stakes or rocks. Put a rock or other weight directly over the cup so that when the water evaporates onto the bottom surface of the tarp it will run down to the center to the weight and drip into the cup below.

Solar Still

Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers actually do pull water from the air. They begin by using a fan to draw in ambient indoor air. This air runs over a condensing coil, which, like a glass of cold water, pulls moisture from the air by means of condensation. The drier air is then passed through a warmer coil that returns it to approximately room temperature. The accumulated liquid condensation, called condensate, is collected in a bucket or piped outdoors through a tube.
Please keep these issues in mind when considering the use of a dehumidifier. First, you will need electricity. Secondly, the water from a typical dehumidifier contains contaminantes and must be purified. Thirdly, distilled water contains no minerals which may not be the healthiest for long term use. You may want to add minerals back into the water.
There are systems available on the market which do produce safe drinking water. Two such models suitable for home use are Air2Water’s dolphin line, which the company claims can produce clean water at a cost of $0.16 to $0.52 per gallon, and RainCloud’s C-15, which costs about $1,000 wholesale.

Rain

Rain Barrels. What better way to collect water than from the sky. Whoda thunk? It’s great to know that nothing nasty has been added. And it’s free! Once you have the equipment.
 100-gallon Barcelona Barrel from Algreen.
100-gallon Barcelona Barrel from Algreen.
We recommend a diverter like the Rain Barrel DiverterPro Kit from Fiskars. The Diverter channels rain barrel overflow away from your house to protect the foundation, offers improved rainwater capture rate during heavier rains, allows installation of rain barrels on both sides of the diverter, and filters debris so they never reach your rain barrel.
If you are the kind of person who cares your barrel’s being attractive and conspicuous, check out the 100-gallon Barcelona Barrel from Algreen. 
Because the water is collected from the sky, runs through your rain gutter system and is collected in a barely-protected barrel outside, it’s a good idea to filter and purify the water before drinking. Some people simply use the collected water for watering their garden and plants.
Many preppers include barrels in their disaster preparedness plans primarily as a non-drinking source.
Whatever the case, keep in mind that some drought-prone states have regulations on methods and require permits, and some states (like Texas) actually give a tax credit for buying rain collection equipment. Be sure to check the regulations for your state.  

Water purification methods.

Distillation Illustration
DISTILLATION
If you have a highly suspect source of water, use distillation. Distillation is the only method that will remove microorganisms, as well as heavy metals, salts, and most chemicals.
Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt or most other impurities. To distil, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water), and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.
Another way you can distil water is to boil the water in a large pot, cover the pot with a clean cloth so it catches all the steam. If you don’t have a cloth you can also use moss. From time to time wring out the cloth or moss into another container.
BOILING
When distilling is not an option, and there isn’t as much concern about dangerous chemicals, boiling is the next best thing. Make sure you have a backup plan that includes pots, pans, and a propane stove or some other way to boiling water.
When boiling in a large pot or kettle, bring water to a rolling boil for 1 full minute, keeping in mind that some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking.
Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it by pouring the water back and forth between two clean containers. This will also improve the taste of stored water.
Boil in paper bag for disaster preparedness
If you find yourself in a scenario where you have a paper bag but not a pot in which to boil water in…I present to you a life hack from a 1950s issue of Modern Mechanix magazine.
CHLORINATION
Potable Aqua purification tablets
Potable Aqua
You can use household bleach to kill microorganisms. Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 to 6.0 percent hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, color-safe bleaches, or bleaches with added cleaners. Because the potency of bleach diminishes over time, use bleach from a newly opened or unopened bottle.
PURIFICATION TABLETS
Store some iodine and sodium chlorite tablets for purification as well.
FILTERS
Royal Berkey Water Filtration for Disaster Preparedness
Royal Berkey
There are many excellent filtering options available. We recommend starting with the smallest, easily transportable options such as the LifeStraw Steel and the Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter for you bug-out-bag. Moving up from there to the LifeStraw Mission High-Volume Gravity-Fed Water Purifier or the DayOne Response Water Bag for base camp or short-term water filtration needs.
For a long-term, stay in place, everyday solution nothing beats the Berkey systems.

Step Two: Create a Food Access Plan

Second only to water is food. Let’s examine some options for you food disaster preparednessplan.

Potential food sources.

BARTER AND THE PURCHASE OF FOOD FROM NEIGHBORS.
While this should be part of your plan, it will not be the most reliable source. Many variables will determine whether or not acquiring food from neighbors is even possible. Lack of Security, lack of items to barter with and lack of the availability of food from neighbors are unknown variables that make placing to much stock in this option unwise. That said, do your research in advance. Learn where the farms, gardens, and neighbors with food near you are? Store small items that will be good for barter. Consider what items those who have a surplus of food might want, need or be willing to trade for.
HUNTING, TRAPPING, FISHING, AND FORAGING.
This should also be part of your disaster preparedness plan. However, the opportunity and safety of doing these things will depend significantly on where you live and what skills you have acquired. Once again, this is not the most reliable source for consistent food. That said, learning these skills in advance is prudent. Learn now how-and-where to hunt, trap, fish, and forage. You will not be able to acquire these skills or the equipment they require on-the-fly.
FARMING, GARDENING, AND RAISING LIVESTOCK.
Get out there and plant something. Don’t wait until you “have to.” Don’t have farmland? Start a garden, or look into chickens, rabbits or fish-farming. At some point –  in the event of a very long and disruptive disaster – farming, and raising livestock will have to become the primary “long-term” food production plan, but even in the event of a short-term small event like a job loss, gardening and small food-source animals like chickens and rabbits can go a long way to help mitigate food costs.
FOOD STORAGE.
Finally, food storage should most definitely be part of your disaster preparedness plan. In fact, for most people, this should be the primary part of the “short term” plan, and that is why it’s number one. It’s easy, safe, and anyone can do it.
So let’s dig a little bit deeper into food storage.
Ther are many questions to consider when planning food storage. We can’t cover them all, but here are some important things to factor: shelf-life, the number of people to feed, nutrition, transportability, are water and cooking needed, and can this food actually be palatable for a sustained period of time?
Additional food storage facts to consider.
Freeze-dried food has a very long shelf life.  Typically 20 to 30 years. The process removes 98% of the water content from food and retains 100% of the nutritional content. Freeze-dry at home with this Instructable.
Dehydrated food does not last as long as freeze-dried food. Typically 1-8 years. The process removes only 75% of the water content. The remaining water reduces shelf-life. Therefore, manufacturers often add salt, sugar, and other preservatives. Of course, if you are dehydrating at home you may or may not use additives. The process removes 50% of the foods nutritional content (because of the heating).
Vacum-Packed and naturally long lasting dry foods will last many years when properly packaged and stored. These items include rice, beans, sugar, flour, salt, pepper and dried herbs.
Canned Food can last a very long time. Typical suggestions are 1 1/2 to 5 years. However, just how long canned food will actually be safe to eat is a little bit of a debate. In this article from NPR, it is suggested that it is most likely still safe to eat very old canned food. And the FDA consumer published this story in 1990,
“The steamboat Bertrand was heavily laden with provisions when it set out on the Missouri River in 1865, destined for the gold mining camps in Fort Benton, Mont. The boat snagged and swamped under the weight, sinking to the bottom of the river. It was found a century later, under 30 feet of silt a little north of Omaha, Neb.
Among the canned food items retrieved from the Bertrand in 1968 were brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables. In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (FPA) analyzed the products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier.” (read full story)

Canned Food Tips

  • Check the best by date, or even better get your canned food online.
  • Canned meat tends to have the longest shelf life.
  • Never buy dented or damaged cans.
  • Store in a cool (40 to 70 Degrees Ferenheight), dry, dark place.
  • If the can is bulging, if it spurts when opened, if there is a bad odor or mold, throw it out.
An essential item is a quality can opener. We highly recommend the (Made in the USA) EZ-DUZ-IT 3028 Deluxe Can Opener $8.99. We have been using this can opener for many years and can guarantee it is well worth the investment. Get two or three. Throw one in the bug-out/camping box.
And now for the most important step of all.

Step Three: Start Your Diaster Preparedness Now! Don’t Wait!

Step Four: See Step Three

One other thing.

Don’t Wait!

Well, that’s a wrap on the Sheepdog Man disaster preparedness guide.