Linda Brady Traynham

The interesting excerpt from Trace Mayer’s book made me smile ruefully because his solution to the problem is better than mine. He wrote the book first, so references to Chapter Six make it clear that this isn’t all he knows about the subject. He has the luxury of not attempting to explain everything in the time it takes the bar on the right to hit the bottom. “Silvery” laughter, because my system IS to start with an idea or facts and write until the ball drops in my version of Times Square. At that point I start guiltily, try to come up with a zingy one-liner, and quit.

I have been a “prepper” (a less loaded term than “survivalist,” which has picked up pejorative connotations of rednecks with missing teeth brandishing large firearms in open revolt against government) for three and a half years, now, and as Trace notes that can become a very resource-consuming operation if pursued to its logical conclusions. If there were a Preppers Anonymous, the meeting would start, “My name is Linda and I’m an addict. You think you can take tractors or leave them alone, then decide that just one more John Deere and another ton of rice won’t hurt, until mania has taken over your life.”

I applaud his suggestions for preparing for suburbanites, with the proviso that they are against two very different events. (I suggest reading the rest of his book because I am certain he makes that clear.) Just in case you have never considered “prepping,” let me see if I can eke out a hit to bring home at least one of the runners on base.

Three months’ food for family and pets is extremely sensible if what you are guarding yourself against is a comparatively short-term period when the “just in time” food distribution system breaks down BUT there is no loss of order in the area in which you live. It also saves money by keeping you out of grocery stores when you run short of just an item or two, which also encourages rotation of stock. A major mistake most make is far too frequent trips “to town,” instead of saving time, gasoline, and money by letting errands stack up until one of them is urgent.

The 72-hour kit is very wise IF what concerns you is the possibility of an emergency of short duration which will require fleeing your home before, during, or after a tornado, hurricane, flood, tsunami, or the loss of the local team in the Final Four.

“It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it,” is a splendid philosophy that is very hard on apartment dwellers. No, even a gated storage facility is not a safe place to put supplies likely to be the difference between at least comfort and misery and quite possibly between life and death. I know that most of you cannot retreat in good order to the country now and many of you would be horrified by the retirement lifestyle which we find deeply satisfying, with chickens scratching in the pastures and baby goat girls calling, “Maaaa! Daaaa! Want baaa milk NOW,” while we watch the pasture art (horses), admire glossy black cattle, and instruct the two and a half hands and their assorted delightful college friends who hang out here just for the fun of it.

The most simply I can put complex variables is that the US faces one of three futures, one of which (#2) cannot be prepared against. Those are:

  1. The Greater Depression, which might last as long as Japan’s, now rising two decades.
  2. Dictatorship.
  3. The complete breakdown of the economy and any sort of cohesiveness or order, which James Howard Kunstler refers to as The Long Emergency, Rawles covers in Patriot, and is the theme of similar works of semi-fiction such as The Day After and Lights Out.

If you want to make easy, relatively inexpensive, minimal preparations, I concur with Trace, with one addition: pick up an old, but serviceable, motor home which will probably run you a couple of thousand dollars, or an old travel trailer if you have a van or truck that will pull it. Use that to store your food supplies, your “Bug Out Bag” (BOB), and such luxuries as you can fit in, including clothing for both hot and cold weather. The reasoning is obvious: it makes no sense whatsoever to leave your emergency food supplies behind, and if time is critically short almost everything you need is already packed. We live in an increasingly violent world, and if you evacuate for what you think will be a short period, either you could be wrong about the duration or you could return to find your home had been raided, trashed, or even destroyed by those who hadn’t bothered to prepare and helped themselves to your possessions. A Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) may be the last coach out of Dodge, and if you have a place to store it on your property without raising the ire of your Home Owners’ Association I wouldn’t even license or insure it. It is portable storage, and if you ever need it no one is going to be fussing about current registration. If I lived in the suburbs I would buy such a motor home/travel trailer FIRST and stock it bit by bit. If you ever need it you will REALLY need it, and your safety will depend upon being out of the city/suburbs before the area is cordoned off or the roads are no longer safe. “If” the worst occurs, those who are most likely to survive are those who have prepared and those who get away from “civilization” as quickly as possible. If you were homeless due to riots or “civil unrest” you would be far more comfortable with your own turtle shell rather than in a shelter, internment camp, or wandering the byways begging for food. The purpose of insurance is to guard us against the unlikely but possible.

My preparations are based upon the premise that the economy will collapse and that there will be a period of violence in the cities culminating in those who survive spreading out over the land like locusts. My plans are to be as self-sufficient as possible, to go to town as seldom as possible as frustration, fear, and envy becoming increasingly dangerous to those who can pay for filling shopping carts (at ever higher prices), and to evade the locusts by pulling out in assorted motor homes for the duration, having most of our dense supplies either with us or cached. Eventually, in scenario three, the population will have been reduced considerably and it will be relatively safe to return home, cry and rage about the senseless destruction, and start over.

I am at the opposite end of the spectrum from concern over the levee breaking or earthquakes, holding we need to prepare for anything other than dictatorship and Executive Order 11921, which allows the government to confiscate everything we have for “the general welfare.” I know how fortunate I am to have modest capital and the dearest man in the world at my side. If there is “only” a lengthy depression without looters and rioting on a large scale we can do quite well with what we grow and raise and with our pensions. However, giving the vast increase in population, the reduction in small farms and ranches, declining levels of civility, and some 40% of the population on the dole, I doubt that we can have a nice, quiet depression in modern day America.

If the emergency is reasonably short we should be fine, and in both events what we have built will support on-site caretakers after we are gone until the children are ready to live here, at least thirty years from now. Bill Bonner wrote yesterday, on The Daily Reckoning, that the preponderance of older people are spending what they have as though we were still living in the Eighties or even the Nineties, indulging themselves with vacations, new cars, and similar material luxuries. He said that few have more than $40,000 in savings and at least a quarter of those have less than ten thousand in the bank! (Not that I consider banks good places to have money.)

All of us have had “If only I had…” moments in our lives, and many will rue the day they decided that their pensions were adequate, refusing to consider rampant inflation, the destruction or devaluation of the dollar, or the possibility that pension funds will fail. SS just went in the red, six years before anticipated; that is a predictable consequence of tax revenues being down close to 20%. There is a hold for three years (at present) on COLA increases, Obamacare will probably hit us for about three thousand a year for fewer services, the age of eligibility continues to climb, and Congress is eying “means testing” lasciviously. If you never remember another thing I say, remember this advice: do NOT start drawing Social “Security” until you have no other choice. Refusing to accept SS when my husband died, when I was about 63 1/2, and holding out for a couple of years when I did not need the money made a difference of an additional third in what I receive now. Learn the rules and analyze your financial situation carefully. How long will it take to amortize the SS you forego? The traditional guideline few can reach is that you should leave your widow 80% of your income before retirement. And we all have spasms. Not at .25% interest, you aren’t likely to.

Your future is a very personal issue that only you can–and must–prepare for. My darling Charles and I have bet the ranch, literally, will be our salvation AND be able to sustain our children if options one or three come to be. It preserves their inheritance against all save dictatorship, ensures that there will be meat, eggs, milk, and vegetables at least in season on our table, and keeps us “young” and vibrant because we have so many exciting plans and projects. We’re amused every time we buy cattle or machinery from those who are retiring “from” ranching, our idea of bliss being to retire “to” ranching.

I was touched by a response Mr. Mayer got from a couple who had made preparations to live in a remote locale and realized they weren’t prepared to go it alone. A hundred years ago 85% of the population lived in rural areas. Today those proportions are reversed, and most Americans have no grasp of how different life in the country is. Her main point was more practical: a couple or a small family could find it difficult to defend their home, something which is also true in the cities and in suburbia. Even those who are able economically and concerned about the socioeconomic situation enough to do something about it would do well to consider the possibilities of finding others to share mutual defense, and those in the suburbs and even apartment buildings might be able to put together neighborhood watches. The best compromise for those nearing retirement age is probably moving to a small town, one of perhaps two thousand people. Most of those are far enough away to be safer from violence spilling over from the cities, but small enough so that peer pressure is conducive to better behavior. I think I put that once as, “Everybody knows whose son shouldn’t be allowed to date your daughter and who it is safe to lend your lawnmower to.” I hope my thoughts will make it easier for you to decide how thoroughly you need to prepare and where you hope to be if it all falls apart on us. Hope for the best, but prepare for the possibilities you see.

I will close by saying how much I appreciate the privilege of writing for you, and how very pleased and moved I am by the mail I receive. Please respond to my articles, and don’t think, “Oh, Linda must have so many e-mails she won’t want to take time to read mine.” My mail is a joy and I have accumulated more wonderful friends than I have had in the rest of my life through your letters. I’m tickled that you refer to James Howard Kunstler by his full name, but call me “Linda.” Y’all do that, because I take my research and analysis seriously, but not myself.

Regards,
Linda Brady Traynham
Whiskey & Gunpowder

April 1, 2010

Linda Brady Traynham
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  • Phillip

    Linda,

    Enjoyed the article. No arguments from me on the prospects of the future. My wife and I have been working to make our place self-sufficient, fruit, nut trees, 1/2 acre garden, chickens, ducks, geese, cows, goats, and pigs. If we turn out to be wrong then we have a great supply of heatlhy food, if not, well so be it.

  • Shelby Chambers

    Linda,
    I am a prepper and enjoyed your atticle as well as all that appear at the bar. I am 75 years on and live about 30 miles out of a large city. I estimate I have a good 5 year food supply on hand but not enough ammo. My fear now is of the people that have not prepared. I have decided to prepare my home as well as possible rather than run. Although I do have a large utility trailer if I have to move. How do we prepare if we decide to stay put?

  • http://n/a James the Wanderer

    “If you never remember another thing I say, remember this advice: do NOT start drawing Social “Security” until you have no other choice. Refusing to accept SS when my husband died, when I was about 63 1/2, and holding out for a couple of years when I did not need the money made a difference of an additional third in what I receive now. Learn the rules and analyze your financial situation carefully. ”

    Might have to quibble with you a bit on this part, Lady.

    I am 51, and will likely never draw SS. It will go under, totally, as soon as the current mal-Administration decides that it could use the money better elsewhere. YES, the seniors will revolt, but to what effect? Gonna go down to the local SS office and plug a few of them? They weren’t the source, and really had no more choice than you will.

    Suppose someone will say “the Imperial Federal Government will fund SS until they have no ability to do so. To do otherwise would risk imminent electoral defeat, and cause a popular rejection of everything they have done in the last many years.” So what? They are PLANNING on a trillion-dollar-per-year deficit for the next DECADE; there is no way the system can support this. So we are looking at:

    (1) Default – “We really didn’t mean it; your SS is bankrupt, and we can’t cut you elders any more checks.”

    (2) Inflation: “Here’s your million-dollar SS check. Better get it spent, bread is $350,000 per loaf and rising!”

    I suggest you would be better off retiring ASAP and getting SOMETHING back from what you put in, rather than waiting and getting (less / none). Hug a goat for me, gotta go be a lab rat for a while.
    james

  • John

    Hi Linda,
    What my wife and myself and a few close friends find completely frustrating is that we can not get any of our other friends or co-workers to see the obvious. That bad things, very bad things are coming!
    I started to see the light, the truth, around 2002 when I first heard the term “peak oil” during a talk about energy on the radio. While researching all I could on this subject, I started to come across other things that were as equally concerning. What we discovered after hundreds of hours of reading and research is that there are some very troubling times and events on the horizon that are going to effect all of us. Anyone that had done their research or paid attention to what is going on around us knows what Im talking about. We exited the stock market just in time for the last crunch, we postioned our assests for better protection. we paid off the little debt we had. We started purchasing gold and silver, mostly silver, when gold was around $255 and silver was around $7 an ounce. We own a small farm and got serious about our infrastructure, tools, equipment, green houses, fuel storage, energy, gardening, seed saving and the big one, security. Our goal has been to simplify our lives to the point that we are not dependent on anyone if push comes to shove. We figure that if we are wrong { and I dont think we are} about the future, then we have set our family up for a simple, healthy life style in the years to come.
    I feel so fortuniate that we opened our eyes and were willing to listen and learn and we now have a better understanding of the challenges ahead. We have gone through all of the emotions from disbelieve, rage, sorrow and acceptance. This is not going to be easy, especially for those that are not prepaired. We feel that its going to take 20-35 like minded people banded together to ride out the storm.
    The most troubling thing we find about all of this is our leadership and their lack or inability to be up front with the American people. This is where the rage comes in. I am 100% convinced that our down fall, the worlds down fall, is fiat money, the banking systems, the central banks and the Federal Reserve. These are some truely evil people that dont give a hoot about you or I.
    Keep the articles coming and try to reach as many as you can. Thanks, John

  • Essie Feldhacher

    Hey, Elle! Trying to respond again…just for the ‘ell of it.

    During WW2 my late father who served developed an intense dislike for Spam (canned meat). I am developing a similar intolerance for W&G’s Spam Filter. LOL. I think the Spam Filter has something against me personally, heh, heh, as it tosses out remarks and input guaranteed to make you laugh (whether a silvery tinkle of laughed, or a thigh-slapping guffaw) or even pique you to turn your mental powers to address other issues. Re. Failure I’ve always had a pick-yourself-up-and-try-try-again philsophy. This Spam Filter Situation at W&G is causing me to consider mentally ‘footnoting’ it in the future to address the responsorial system here, and understand there are a few rare times when it behooves one just to… GIVE UP!

    As for city-dwellers and prepping. My heart absolutely aches for them. The window of time and financial ability to GOOD is one fast-closing for many. It’s uphill work all the way. And about all they can do is ‘the best they can do” and consider it good enough. There’ll be outright misery – but miracles a-plenty, also, IMO.

  • Lynne

    Shelby, you are way ahead of most folk with the food. I know Linda is a big fan of the get out of Dodge idea but for myself it’s not workable as I’m 100%disabled. So you have to start building a support network now! In Argentina after the 2001 collapse and in Chile after the earthquake nieghbors joined together to protect themselves and there property.
    On the ammo arout 1000 rounds should be your min. for each weapon. Great news is the mad ammo rush is tapering off and prices are starting to come down.
    I agree with the RV/Motorhome idea with Linda as a BOV. If you are using a utility trailer I’d ask if it’s fully enclosed? If enclosed you could make your own travel/camp trailer. If not go for an RV. I got a real nice 76 24′ RV with new Oven and fridge for $3200.00. You can find some great buys right now with the gas prices going up again.
    Preparing at home is a large topic to cover. But stick with the basics to start. Food, water, sanitation, shelter and security.

  • Essie Feldhacher

    Lynne’s advice, as always, is absolutely excellent. She and myriad other Preppers are definitely on the same page. Remember: KISS – Keep It SIMPLE Sweethearts, and prep accordingly. There are certain must-have items to sustain life and health. Due to a phenomenon known as “Brain Drain” to those of us who are “ruralites” many of our sharp, industrious, hard-working offspring have wound up in cites and major metropolitan areas. I know that applies to Dear Linda as well as to us. These kids transplanted to the city often have inborn survival instincts fostered by tornadoes, ice storms, and other natural events that can fracture society and befall folks in the hinterland. Like riding-a-bike…the upbringing of rural-hicks-cum-city-sophisticates does “come back to them”. There ARE savvy people in the city with strong survival instincts. Some of them will become “leaders” whether it is their choice or not. Everyone can prepare with ‘things’ but among the most valuable survival ingredients are knowledge of how to ‘do stuff’ and taking a moment to do a self-inventory of YOUR strengths and what YOU have to offer to your fellow man to make a community of like-minded individuals “work”. Recently I read somewhere about a prepper in a wheelchair, I believe in a city, and between the lines it sounded a bit forlorn. I’ve thought of that today as I’ve tromped around doin’ scutwork. And someone in a wheelchair with a sharp and trivia-loaded mind, with the ability to sit and do mending, peel potatoes, read to or teach youngsters, or countless other tasks for the movement impaired I have faith CAN and WILL find a place whether at home or elsewhere. You only have one chance to make a good first impression”, so keep that in mind: I can foresee a time when there’ll be “entrance exams” (as there was in the book LIGHTS OUT! by Half-Fast an on-line novel) so you need to…mentally “prepare” and learn how to “sell yourself”!

    This prepping business and space and storage requirements are something I’ve covered over on Linda’s Other Home, and Dear Lynne has added some wonderously insightful comments. http://thetexasring.com/category/authors/essie-feldhacher/

    We’ll NEVER be finished prepping…but IMO we can “finesse” our prepping even as we’re awayre ’twill never be done.

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Dear Phillip: “Good on you!” as the Aussies say. It sounds like you’re in great shape and I know you didn’t get there in two weeks. IF we’re wrong, we still have fresh meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and dairy product free from toxic chemicals and industrial contamination, and the very real pleasure of our self-sufficient lifestyles. Good luck. Linda

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Dear Shelby: Hurrah for you, too, and why don’t any of you great readers ever live near where I do? Terrain and location may be your best defense. Yours are problems we all share–to stay or to go? Can we find others to join us who add more than they eat? There is no way to predict exactly what we may face, how many it will take to protect our homes, or how much ammo is “enough.” Some recommend as little as a thousand rounds per gun, others ten times that, and some figure it is best to buy all you can find and afford since at the very least it will make great trade goods. I wish I could be of more help…Linda,

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Dear James: Look for an article soon entitled “I Stand Corrected!” How could I fail to have realized that some of you within a few years of “retirement age” might well do better to take less SS now while it is being paid than find that SS is no longer being paid or is being means tested when you are older? I feel really dumb, analyzed the problem, and said to do the math yourself or consult a good financial analyst. How dense can I be?! When I’m shedding FRN as fast as I can, how could I not have seen that less income NOW may be more valuable to others than possible later gains during high inflation or devaluation? MANY thanks to you and others who pointed out my blind spot. Hugs, Linda

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Essie, Sugar, some day we won’t have spam filters and the mailer daemon…because we won’t have Internet. Your last paragraph is a real winner: “As for city-dwellers and prepping. My heart absolutely aches for them. The window of time and financial ability to GOOD is one fast-closing for many. It’s uphill work all the way. And about all they can do is ‘the best they can do” and consider it good enough. There’ll be outright misery – but miracles a-plenty, also, IMO.” Even now, it is not too late to begin storing food and THINKING. If the best one can do is is a month’s food and 10 gallons of gas in cans in the trunk of the biggest vehicle and an absolute committment to Getting Out Of Dodge at the FIRST sign of riots anywhere, that will be far better than nothing. Be prepared to leave, have a destination in mind, set up a rendezvous point 50 or more miles out, and leave before the “hurricane” hits. Call in family favors…talk to your friends…turn your $$ into items with intrinsic worth, cut expenses to the bone and do your best. You and I have been working on this for years–with the downside that a lot of people know it. The rest of you keep a low profile, and if you have to live in your car for a month in the middle of nowhere but survive, that’s the important part. Linda

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Lynne, you are an inspiration and your advice is always good. Congratulations on your RV, which will have it all over tent cities. Your body may have failed you (it happens to all of us…) but you are farsighted and you have the heart of a lioness. With you as the leader, a small colony (however informal) should be just fine, since I imagine you have recruited a couple of strong backs with willing hands. You have my address, so if you want to tell me where you live, perhaps I can suggest another reader to consult. I cannot overemphasize how important a DESTINATION is, and someone who can feed her crew and help out other ways should be able to find someone to bond with. I haven’t managed it, yet, but I’m still looking. Lack of personnel is the major reason (other than a disinclination to face a thousand starving townies) that my plan is to load up and take evasive action if towns become untenable. Oh, to be able to think of Easter Egg hunts, instead. Gentle hug, Linda

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Now you see why Essie is such a favorite over at http://www.thetexasring.com, if you didn’t know already. Wonderfully said, dear. When times are bad CHARACTER and the ability to face adversity without complaining (smiling is optional) are worth far, far more than muscles or money. We can work on being tough mentally now. Simply planning ahead and deciding what you think the signal to leave or to fort up is will probably be worth more than cases of MREs. What I would give to live near Essie, James the Wanderer and TN James, as well as Lynne and several other regulars here. I haven’t come up with a good way to locate other preppers in my area, and I have a disturbing instinct that says the ideal colony is somewhere between a minimum of eight and twice that. Keep on thinking, writing, and sharing ideas. Hugs, Linda

  • Lynne

    I do live in a great are here. Good nieghbors,(Surprising how far a little smoked brisket or home-made bread can go in making a relationship) religious folks (Mormon, Adventists,and Nazerenes). Most have prep as a part of the religon. I have a hunter who wants some wild game smoked 2 houses away and lots of family around. So my network is pretty solid.
    Mom and I are going hunting for a bugout area this spring and summer. Someplace we can have a creek and will be a long term survival area.
    Wheels within wheels. Plans within plans

  • Essie Feldhacher

    Surviving is also a State of Mind. For those in suburbia it may not be as easy as for some who own lots of land somewhere semi-or outright remote. Do what you can do. Make friends with and get to know your neighbor. You might be surprised that someone living nearby is more in tune with you that you’d ever believe. Many of us have adult children living in the city, kids who do some prepping, but are likely to “pay attention” and have the instincts of when it is time to Get Out Of Dodge (if it comes to that.) Such children have already ‘asked permission” if it gets bad – can they come home to the family homestead. (They think they need to ask?! But of COURSE. Although it’s a sign of good breeding and mannerly raising that they DO ask and don’t just assume.) These same children IF they become friends may end up with an almost open-door policy to bring along a few select persons – especially if traveling as a unit increases their chances of making it home to Mama and Dad’s sheltering arms and abodes. Now, City Dwellers, do NOT “lay down in the traces” (pun intended – it’s an old horse/mule-farming day’s term that means to stop doing a dang thing and just cease and desist and lay down and not move a muscle.) Keep ON prepping as you can. BUT when it seems overwhelming, realize there are a lot of back-woodsy type folks, who are kind-hearted and aware, and realize there WILL be “refugees”. They are doing the prep bit for themselves and their own famiies, but some who have the outbuildings and storage space are boxing and tubbing up “stuff” to give to strangers who might literally flee with the clothes on their backs. We have friends who own a Resale Shop and after six weeks’ if merchandise isn’t sold, and the owners do not come and retrieve it, said items are Dumpster Bound. Well, not always: there are several pastors I’m aware of who take cast off clothes, coats, shoes, towels, bedding, and stash in church storage for future refugees, and some individuals do it, as well. One childless elderly woman even went so far as to purchase one of those semi-trailers, 53 ft in length, and she takes all the free decent clothing the resale store can supply her with and boxes it up – as in her heart she feels the day is going to come when she’s taking care of a lot of…orphans. Some might think she was delusional, of course. IMO her heart and labor is in the right place. I suggest you get to know your neighbors. Block Parties work well in suburbs, and pool parties in apartment complexes, to foster an attitude of community. To have friends one must BE a friend. Get rid of any stereotypes. Rural “Bubbas” a term used affectionately – at other times delivered in a derisive manner – could one day determine if you make it or not. To have friends one must BE a friend – that’s how Bubbas think and respond – and put your best foot forward with Manners Y’er Mama Taught You. Or Google Good manners on the Internet and Go-From-There if she didn’t….People skills will stand you in good stead. Posting this here rather than Mr. Trace’s article and maybe it’ll go through.

  • Essie Feldhacher

    Surviving is also a State of Mind. For those in suburbia it may not be as easy as for some who own lots of land somewhere semi-or outright remote. Do what you can do. Make friends with and get to know your neighbor. You might be surprised that someone living nearby is more in tune with you that you’d ever believe. Many of us have adult children living in the city, kids who do some prepping, but are likely to “pay attention” and have the instincts of when it is time to Get Out Of Dodge (if it comes to that.) Such children have already ‘asked permission” if it gets bad – can they come home to the family homestead. (They think they need to ask?! But of COURSE. Although it’s a sign of good breeding and mannerly raising that they DO ask and don’t just assume.) These same children IF they become friends may end up with an almost open-door policy to bring along a few select persons – especially if traveling as a unit increases their chances of making it home to Mama and Dad’s sheltering arms and abodes. Now, City Dwellers, do NOT “lay down in the traces” (pun intended – it’s an old horse/mule-farming day’s term that means to stop doing a dang thing and just cease and desist and lay down and not move a muscle.) Keep ON prepping as you can. To be continued…Maybe Spam Filter Being Cordial, LOL.

  • Essie Feldhacher

    BUT when it seems overwhelming, realize there are a lot of back-woodsy type folks, who are kind-hearted and aware, and realize there WILL be “refugees”. They are doing the prep bit for themselves and their own famiies, but some who have the outbuildings and storage space are boxing and tubbing up “stuff” to give to strangers who might literally flee with the clothes on their backs. We have friends who own a Resale Shop and after six weeks’ if merchandise isn’t sold, and the owners do not come and retrieve it, said items are Dumpster Bound. Well, not always: there are several pastors I’m aware of who take cast off clothes, coats, shoes, towels, bedding, and stash in church storage for future refugees, and some individuals do it, as well. One childless elderly woman even went so far as to purchase one of those semi-trailers, 53 ft in length, and she takes all the free decent clothing the resale store can supply her with and boxes it up – as in her heart she feels the day is going to come when she’s taking care of a lot of…orphans. Some might think she was delusional, of course. IMO her heart and labor is in the right place.

    I suggest you get to know your neighbors. Block Parties work well in suburbs, and pool parties in apartment complexes, to foster an attitude of community. To have friends one must BE a friend. Get rid of any stereotypes. Rural “Bubbas” a term used affectionately – at other times delivered in a derisive manner – could one day determine if you make it or not. To have friends one must BE a friend – that’s how Bubbas think and respond – and put your best foot forward with Manners Y’er Mama Taught You. Or Google Good manners on the Internet and Go-From-There if she didn’t….People skills will stand you in good stead.

  • Essie Feldhacher

    IF this uploads it should’ve been before the earlier post!

    Surviving is also a State of Mind. For those in suburbia it may not be as easy as for some who own lots of land somewhere semi-or outright remote. Do what you can do. Make friends with and get to know your neighbor. You might be surprised that someone living nearby is more in tune with you that you’d ever believe. Many of us have adult children living in the city, kids who do some prepping, but are likely to “pay attention” and have the instincts of when it is time to Get Out Of Dodge (if it comes to that.) Such children have already ‘asked permission” if it gets bad – can they come home to the family homestead. (They think they need to ask?! But of COURSE. Although it’s a sign of good breeding and mannerly raising that they DO ask and don’t just assume.) These same children IF they become friends may end up with an almost open-door policy to bring along a few select persons – especially if traveling as a unit increases their chances of making it home to Mama and Dad’s sheltering arms and abodes. Now, City Dwellers, do NOT “lay down in the traces” (pun intended – it’s an old horse/mule-farming day’s term that means to stop doing a dang thing and just cease and desist and lay down and not move a muscle.) Keep ON prepping as you can.

  • Essie Feldhacher

    This Spam Filter’s Startin’ to Make me Angry! Anyway, this should’ve gone before the half-post it DID upload: Surviving is also a State of Mind. For those in suburbia it may not be as easy as for some who own lots of land somewhere semi-or outright remote. Do what you can do. Make friends with and get to know your neighbor. You might be surprised that someone living nearby is more in tune with you that you’d ever believe. Many of us have adult children living in the city, kids who do some prepping, but are likely to “pay attention” and have the instincts of when it is time to Get Out Of Dodge (if it comes to that.) Such children have already ‘asked permission” if it gets bad – can they come home to the family homestead. (They think they need to ask?! But of COURSE. Although it’s a sign of good breeding and mannerly raising that they DO ask and don’t just assume.) These same children IF they become friends may end up with an almost open-door policy to bring along a few select persons – especially if traveling as a unit increases their chances of making it home to Mama and Dad’s sheltering arms and abodes. Now, City Dwellers, do NOT “lay down in the traces” (pun intended – it’s an old horse/mule-farming day’s term that means to stop doing a dang thing and just cease and desist and lay down and not move a muscle.) Keep ON prepping as you can. BUT when it seems overwhelming, realize there are a lot of back-woodsy type folks, who are kind-hearted and aware, and realize there WILL be “refugees”. They are doing the prep bit for themselves and their own famiies, but some who have the outbuildings and storage space are boxing and tubbing up “stuff” to give to strangers who might literally flee with the clothes on their backs. We have friends who own a Resale Shop and after six weeks’ if merchandise isn’t sold, and the owners do not come and retrieve it, said items are Dumpster Bound. Well, not always: there are several pastors I’m aware of who take cast off clothes, coats, shoes, towels, bedding, and stash in church storage for future refugees, and some individuals do it, as well. One childless elderly woman even went so far as to purchase one of those semi-trailers, 53 ft in length, and she takes all the free decent clothing the resale store can supply her with and boxes it up – as in her heart she feels the day is going to come when she’s taking care of a lot of…orphans. Some might think she was delusional, of course. IMO her heart and labor is in the right place. I suggest you get to know your neighbors. Block Parties work well in suburbs, and pool parties in apartment complexes, to foster an attitude of community. To have friends one must BE a friend. Get rid of any stereotypes. Rural “Bubbas” a term used affectionately – at other times delivered in a derisive manner – could one day determine if you make it or not. To have friends one must BE a friend – that’s how Bubbas think and respond – and put your best foot forward with Manners Y’er Mama Taught You. Or Google Good manners on the Internet and Go-From-There if she didn’t….People skills will stand you in good stead.

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Dear Lynne: Thanks for the great report on your circumstances, and I am pleased but not surprised. You have never told us what “100% disabled” means, but your writing always shows gallantry, gaiety, determination, and common sense, and those are far better survival characteristics than are to be found among the professional welfare class. (THERE goes any chance of getting a job with the government. How fortunate that I don’t want one.) Where do you plan to look? We have regulars spread around the country who would surely be glad to make suggestions. Happy Easter!

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    GREAT comments, Essie. You are kinder than I, because I’m still in “what I have may be all there ever is” mode. I can’t bear to throw anything good out! (Essie has several super articles on storing and organizing at http://www.thetexasring.com.) I’m trying to harden my heart to refuse to take any refugees who do not have skills which will be worth what it “costs” to feed them, and know it isn’t really safe to talk to anyone in circumstances which may come. Those who have traveled in Latin America, Italy, or Egypt (and many other locales) will tell you that you dare not give anything to even one begging child or you will be overrun by other beggars. PERHAPS it would be safe to put a few items by the road every day, but I doubt it. No matter what our personal beliefs, how far is charity fair to our families? What will sustain one person for a month will only last a week for four. Heavy sigh. It HURTS me to say that, but it is true.

  • lynne

    Well Linda I’m doing pretty well I can take care of myself at home but can’t work a “real job”. I have CIDP which means my immune system attacked my nervous system. Symptoms are mostly in the arms and legs but the back can get involved. It’s the chronic version of Guillame-Barre syndrome. I was knocked down pretty far, when you can’t pull your own undies up or go to the potty by yourself you have to learn humility. But I’m doing pretty good I can putter around the house, bake and cook with the help of technology. The one thing I worry about the most is I’m on a fixed income and if that gets cut off things will be ruff. But I’m buying silver and looking at some home business ideas for myself.
    Momma taught me well life isn’t fair and God or the universe doesn’t hate me. I am just trying to bullet-proof my situation and plan for the future like most folks. I’m reminded of a person that was disabled that said “Why me?” Well why not you?.
    I’m not special just to damn stubborn to give up when that’s the easiest thing. My family is German, Irish and Native American (Cherokee &Comanche) I have fighting the good fight in my genes. Not big believers in hopeless causes. It’s only hopeless if you give up hope.

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Lynne, you are an inspiration to all of us, and I suppose you have looked into nutrition and alternative therapies? Don’t be too proud to ask for help, and let us know if there is anything we can offer other than prayer and emotional support–maybe keep an eye out on our local Craig’s Lists for something you need? In this rare instance I hope you are doing everything possible to benefit from every possible government program. You are a gallant lady, sugar, and we’re pulling for you. Hugs, Linda

  • lynne

    Thanks Linda, I’ll take all the prayers and good wishes that you offer. It never hurts to get some extra juice to the Big Guy.
    I’ve done well to get my van and my house set up. I have all the major things I may need like a walker and wheelchair Got new gutters installed and the house painted last year in a city project called Brush up the Town. Gosh the volunteers were great.
    Dad’s hoping to to get the metal roof installed this summer. Got to have the house ready for anything.
    Also I have a probably the best VA Hospital in the USA and a great doctor at a VA annex.
    I’d like to get a few things I like to have, but no real needs that I haven’t covered. I’m saving up and investing in silver because I believe a lot of people will sell off stuff to get out of debt and for cash in hand.
    We have such graet folks around here. When the find out about a need they always give of their time, money, energy and spirit. I’d say I have a lot of faith in the folks around here but faith is the belief in things unseen and I have seen these folks in action. I have been truly blessed.

  • http://stovehospital.com Emery

    In my retirement I run a small, very small, business in which I restore antique wood/coal kitchen ranges for other folks and also to sell . I am buried in work at this time. All over this country people are quietly getting ready for whatever comes along. They are stocking food, ammunition, and securing the means to take care of themselves in the murky future. They are not agressive but want to be able to make it on their own and be left alone. Two years ago these same people would never have thought they needed to get ready, but today they are convinced that the three possibilities in your column will be upon us soon. Three months ago the average customer was scared. That first turned to discust and now is rapidly headed for anger. Believe me, people are listening to your words and there are more of us preparing than anyone would ever believe. Emery

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