Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The 21 Day Challenge Starts Now!

There were great comments yesterday.
Beginning today I am hosting a 21 day challenge. Frau has dubbed the idea behind it as "the ticking time bomb" scenario.

The idea is this: You have received an insider's tip that there is 21 days until TSHTF and all will be in turmoil for 6 months. Now you do not know the exact nature of the urgency but assume the source of the tip has a history of accurate predictions and isn't a total crackpot. As to the nature of the event to prepare for, assume that it is a combination of financial collapse, weather, and military (or science gone wrong).

If you are in, you want to plan for a convergence of worst case scenarios. Remember, it may be several things coming together and your goal is to be ready to take it as it comes. Plan on a disruption of transportation, communication and infrastructure and the resulting chaos (including large amounts of dead).

Please note: only God knows the future, no human can say what will happen. Therefore you do not be concerned with whether this is real or an exercise in preparadness. If something were to happen you would be better prepared, if the only thing that happens in three weeks is that the leaves change color in VT, then you will be on target for an emergency another time. I assume anyone reading this blog is a preparer anyway. Sorry, no cute little banner - there's no time for that!

Remember, we are all operating in an imperfect world - I planned on taking time off work to preserve the harvest and order my house. But by Monday evening I learned of a large funeral I had to do on Friday, my assistant is in the hospital, and and my cat came home injured and needing a vet this morning. We all have to go to work, add financial constraints and family issues and you have the real world. But that doesn't change the deadline. Tick Tock

If you are still with me, inventory your preparations and begin to prioritize what is the most critical. To get you started, I would say that the most critical element is water - you should have some stored no matter where you live - more if you don't have access to a natural source and a filter. Think it through: If you have a well, does it require electricity and do you have a back-up? You can get 'gerry' cans at any camping supply store and larger tanks at feed stores or industrial supply stores.

Since the comments yesterday, what are your priorities? Are you equally prepared along all fronts or are there gaps in your preparations?


MeadowLark said...

The ticking clock certainly does set one's heart a pounding.

I'm not ready. I'll fill some more jugs tonight, print out the "how to's" on emptying the hot water heater. Make a trip to Dufur to Azure Standard. Check out my woefully inadequate first aid supplies. Buy a case of paper and start printing the "how to's for a third world country" that I have as pdfs. Get a solar charger for laptop so I can access said pdfs. Pray. Propane. Chainsaw chains and sharpener. Gasoline. Another water barrel. Cash. Nag family. Stockpile watermelon bubblegum and liquor. Check out library books that I'll never return. Hide a few bottles of champagne because there will be cause for celebration at times. Dental floss.

Crud. I'm so not ready.

Anita said...

First off, John would pull the well pump and replace it—it's been limping along all summer, and that's the next thing on our list anyway. It's electric, we have a generator and some gas, but it also has a manual pump which isn't working and we aren't sure whether it's the pump or the water table dropping. We're pretty OK with stored food (and we have several gallons of water, but I'd *really* like to have a rainbarrel, but I suppose I'll just buy some more water for now). We just bought winter hay, so that's OK, but we'd need some more chicken feed (we usually buy a month at a time since it's gotten so expensive) and several more big bags of cat food (and a metal can to store it in). Once those are squared away and everything has food and water stored, we can work on the rest.

Hausfrau said...

I can feel the adrenaline surge already! I'm going to get out the spreadsheet now. And thanks for the water reminder - I have had 7 gal. plastic cans sitting around for months now but have not filled them up!

Christy said...

This is a great exercise. We are moving at the end of October so I've been putting off a lot of my prep stuff until after we move so we don't have to move it all. I sure hope we have more than 21 days!

Christy said...

Meadowlark - is there a place to download these how to for a third world country? They sound like they could be very useful.

MeadowLark said...

When I get to work tomorrow I'll look for the address. Basically, it's a site that keeps the pdfs of books and stuff online so that the information can be used to better the lives of others. I also think it would come in handy for bettering the lives after whatever comes to pass.

The only one I have here with me is which I actually bought paper and printed out as a reference. It's a different kind of source though.

Verde said...

Great everyone here we go! Meadowlark is there somewhere we can access those lists?

Anita, which is your blog?

mid-life rookie said...

Ummm. This sounds much like the preparations my extended family has been doing over the last few weeks in relationship to hurricanes. Thankfully few deaths, but you can go get ideas from the news about how people are coping in Houston, Galveston, and Port Arthur.

MeadowLark said...

Found some here at home:

A lot of it is focused on the tropics, but content is everything from small animal husbandry, simple rope pumps, soap making, etc etc etc... quite extensive, I thought.

Anita said...

Here I am:

Also: make sure cats (or whatever) have up-to-date rabies shots. Ours are due the end of this month . . .

MeadowLark said...

Sorry. Wish I could consolidate these.
It truly was a task, slogging through all of these to decide what to download. This page gives a better overview, but I think it's only a partial list.

Peace to you.

d.a. said...

21 days? Get the whole house generator, purchase trailer hitch and small trailer for the car, top off the propane tank and set up solar for the well pump. Oh, and buy a few month's advance supply of food for the critters. We've currently enough food for about six weeks, maybe three months of we eat mindfully/lightly.

Huh... had been feeling stuck on what next steps to take, think this challenge just got me unstuck! :-)

LisaZ said...

Ooh, thanks for the challenge Verde!

Here's what I'll do:
-triple our water supply (I only have about 15 gal. stored now)
-get 4 backpacks and fill w/ bug-out gear
-buy one more gas container and fill both of them
-set up a better 1st aid kit
-buy stove fuel
-finish window quilts (and buy materials, maybe velcro, to hang them)
-buy 100 lbs. chicken feed
-and a metal trash can to hold it
-maybe buy pieces to make a chimney for the wood stove in the shed (that's iffy--going very far IMO)

21 days! I'll do it.


Verde said...

Meadowlark, thank you for those links there is a lot to be gleamed there.

Anita, I remember your blog now.

Great ideas here. Lisa, good point that anyone might need to bug out.

Wendy said...

The next twenty-one days will be an incredible adventure of planning and preparing, and since we've been warned, taking action will trump any fears we might have ;).

Collapse: T-Minus 21 days ... and counting!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the challenge. I needed something like this. I was getting stuck and just couldn't do anything. Now I am set to go. I have been making a list of to buy and to do while I have been reading the posts and comments. I think we need more rain barrels. We have been trying to hand drill a well to attach a hand pump to, but it isn't going well. We need to try again. Do metal garbage cans really keep the mice out of the chicken feed? I do have mice in the chicken shed, so I keep the feed in the house. I need to get my kerosene lamps working.
Cindy in FL

Anonymous said...

I have to say that the area that we are furthest behind is in water. We did choose the area we moved to for the water sources (springs), but I think we should get a filter.

I also need to build on our first aid supplies. Doctor in the house and our supplies are horrendous!
1 - allergy meds (for all ages)
2 - eye drops
3 - bandages
4 - hydrogen peroxide

I need to ask DH what else we need. Yes, we do have a general first aid kit, but there are things that are missing.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

I feel we are pretty well prepared, but it has always seemed like this was off in the distant future somewhere. Our concerns would be keeping our cattle herd safe from mauraders and the like.

But, being a procrastinator I think I will never be totally prepared. Thanks for the great post!

Chile said...

I'm late but I'm in. Tick tock tick tock tick tock...ACK!

Anonymous said...


Aimee said...

In 21 days I can be pretty well prepared - mostly because I have spent the last two years making preparations at a leisurely pace. I have 2,000 gallons of water storage capacity, and live in wet climate so I can assume on refilling as needed as long as I conserve.
Before the SHTF, I will be stocking up at Costco on staples (rice, dried beans, wheatberries, etc), and buying enough garden seeds to see me through the next several years.
I'll put in as much hay as I have storage for - say, 200 bales.
Buy plenty of rennet, cheesecloth, pectin, canning lids and rings, stuff like that. Oh yeah, bleach for water purification. Medicines, aspirin, bandaids, etc.
My husband makes biodiesel and we have lots of veggie oil stored, but I'd like to fill up on the chemical inputs.
A few gallons of vodka (good for making herbal medicines as well as getting stinkin' for tooth pullings and the like)
a serious whetstone for knife sharpening.
hand grinder for wheat, meat, and suchlike.
plenty of rechargeable batteries. Already have a solar/dynamo battery recharger, radio, lantern, etc.

extra warm clothes in sizes going up a few years for the kids.

I'm sure I could think of more in 21 days