As word of the sharp declines of China’s stock market spreads, a certain amount of panic has followed. Some of the warnings come from the expected quarters: news outlets fixated on dramatic, terrible news, conspiracy theorists, and those in love with survival like a dog loves a particularly meaty bone. However, some warnings are actually originating with those immersed in the stock markets: analysts and strategists, among others. Those well-versed in the nature of the stock market, those who have spent their careers reading between the financial lines, as it were, they are beginning to sound a warning of their own, one with a simple, common thread: be prepared.
Their warnings cover the expected bases of preparation from water to canned food without touching on other aspects of survival, such as first aid, firearms, and the ongoing treatment of current medical conditions. If disaster struck, could you survive without whatever medications you’re currently taking? Would you be able to defend your family? Could you feed your pets? There are many layers to true preparation, and with all this talk of possible doom via financial apocalypse, it seems it might be time to talk about a bit of prepping once again.
The Rules of Three
When it comes to survival, there are basic guidelines that are good to remember. The Rules of Three are among the most important and are as follows: the human body can survive approximately 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. Those circumstances depend, of course, on factors such as an individual’s health and the environment around them – the more extreme the environment, the less time you’ll have. There’s another “three” rule often forgotten in this recitation, and that is the need for shelter. If the environment is extreme, three hours may be your maximum for finding or creating shelter. Being constantly exposed to weather can be debilitating and, if that weather just happens to be snow or barren desert sun, that exposure can turn deadly faster than you might think possible. For the sake of this particular argument, let’s assume you’re fairly safely ensconced within the walls of your home, covering at least the physical portion of the shelter problem. Why only the physical? Because the ability to use your central air, keeping your house cool or warm as needed, will be gone, fast, without the electricity needed to operate the system.
The usual suggestion for water is to have at least one gallon of clean, purified water on hand per adult, per day. Many city and county sites will simply suggest you be prepared with a three-day supply of water, but if you head on over to Homeland Security news and tips, you’ll find that suggestion raised to two weeks. If you talk to most preppers, you’ll find the suggestion increases to three months – or more. And while it may seem rather daunting to stockpile that much water, it’s a suggestion that should be taken quite seriously. Water is the basic necessity we all need; no matter what, you cannot survive without water. Even having some water, but not enough, isn’t going to cut it: lack of water makes it hard to think and difficult to function, among other things.
There’s more to storing water than just grabbing a bunch of plastic gallon jugs off your grocery store’s shelf, too. Those plastic jugs sitting on the shelves for around one dollar each are made with material that’s permeable, meaning vapors from outside sources can leech into the water. That includes pesticides and gasoline you might store nearby, so take care when storing your water not to place it in the vicinity of substances that could contaminate it over time. Also be sure your water is stored in a cool, dark place.
When it comes to frequency with which you should rotate bottles out, the general rule of thumb is one year, but keep in mind it may have been sitting on the shelf for awhile before you got to it. Before purchasing water, check the date stamped on the jug, and purchase the freshest water possible. Of course, you can also purchase containers specifically meant for water storage. If you opt for the big 55-gallon drums, make sure they’re rated for food and water storage by checking for the HDPE stamp along with the number “2” inside the recycle symbol. HDPE stands for High Density PolyEthylene and is FDA-approved for food storage.
This part might seem rather obvious. Food stored in case of disaster – including economic collapse – should be non-perishable, and that often means canned. However, there are other options – let’s not forget the joys of MRE’s – and there’s more to stockpiling food than just dumping a bunch of random cans in your shopping cart and calling it a day. Taking the time to collect foods that are high in particular nutrients and those that are capable of providing the calories needed not just to stay alive, but to function, is important. All too many inexperienced preppers select canned foods at random – witness the utterly barren shelves during any threat of disaster of any kind – and while it’s true that some food is better than no food at all, if you prepare in advance you’re able to plan ahead properly.
These are a few of the better canned foods to stockpile:
Salmon, specifically Alaskan Wild Salmon- This is where you get those frequently-discussed Omega 3’s and healthy fat and protein. It’s true this is not an inexpensive item, which is why some choose to simply buy a can or two here and there, storing as they go. Salmon is an excellent source of nutrition in any situation, and in case of disaster it’s one of the best canned options out there. Tuna fish, mackerel, and sardines are also worth adding to your stash.
Vegetables- While this might seem obvious, there are specific veggies it benefits you to choose over others. Going for green is always wise, and choosing foods such as green beans and spinach are great for fiber and iron, respectively. Carrots are also a good source of fiber and Vitamin A.
Tomatoes- So why do canned tomatoes get their own headline? Because they can be used as the base for quite a few recipes, and you may find yourself feeling more than a little desperate for variety when you get down to plowing through your canned goods. Tomatoes don’t last as long as other canned goods, though, so take care to pay attention to those stamped-on dates. They also provide a fair amount of fiber and Vitamin C among other things (don’t forget lycopene, which increases with the heat of canning).
Fruit- Gone are the days when nutrients were effectively stripped from fruit in the canning process. Just like vegetables, fruit is still good for you when it’s canned – just try to avoid syrup-packed fruit, going for water-packed, instead. Peaches and apricots are good, but look for canned berries, because they pack a better antioxidant punch than other fruits.
Chicken- Yes, chicken is a good idea and, if you take a look at labels, you might notice a large number of manufacturers fill those cans with breast meat.
Beans- You can certainly stockpile dried beans, but canned are also an option. Pinto beans retain most of their nutritional value when canned, and kidney beans are another decent choice in the bean lineup.
Dried foods- brown rice (yes, brown; it’s much healthier than white) is a good thing to keep on hand, as are the aforementioned dried beans. Rice offers the carbohydrates you’re going to need as you burn energy at a higher rate than you probably did prior to whatever disaster strikes. Living in post-crash/disaster/apocalyptic times requires more calories than sitting at a desk does. Pasta can fall into the dried category and also provides a lot of carbs. Its shelf-life tends to be right around five years. If you store dried beans and rice properly, sealed in big buckets with a chunk of dry ice, they can stay fresh for as many as ten years.
Peanut butter- It’s a fantastic source of protein and calories, as well as a good way to get an energy boost, fast.
Baking-type goods- This is the category for flour, corn meal, sugars, and spices. Unfortunately, flours and corn meal don’t have incredible shelf-lives, so you’ll need to be sure you rotate them out for use, replacing them with new bags as needed. Sugars last much longer; when stored properly, sugar can last up to ten years. The basics – think salt and pepper – will go a long way when you find your taste buds getting bored. Salt lasts almost endlessly, making it a nice addition, and it can be used for everything from seasoning dishes to curing meat. With that in mind, take the time to properly store some new containers of spices, just pay attention to expiration dates. You’ll be grateful when the time comes.
This is by no means an exhaustive list – you’ll want to include dry milk, coffee, honey, and other items – but it’s a good starting point. And, of course, there’s more to survival than food. You’ll want to put together a comprehensive first-aid kit, supplies for family pets, and some basic items to keep your shelter safe, secure, and warm during the winter months. That means taking the time to build up your ammunition stockpile and making sure you have a few odds and ends to keep your firearms running smoothly.
If you’re concerned with how you can possibly have a sufficient stockpile in time, well, take heart in the reality that no one knows when or if the time will come that these things are needed, and start with the most important necessities. Rather than panicking or throwing your hands up in frustration, take it a little at a time, buying a few things here and there, adding on to your collection bit by bit until it becomes what you need to keep you and your family safe, should the time come.
Watch for future installments where I’ll cover the basics listed above, going into a bit more detail regarding the kinds of firearms considered the best for survival situations along with detailing just what a proper first-aid kit includes. There’s no harm in being prepared; in fact, being prepared can give you and your family peace of mind when things turn a bit rocky as they have during this recent mini-crash in the stock market. As sixteenth-century Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes once said, “Forewarned, forearmed: to be prepared is half the victory.”
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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