Doomsday preppers

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Doomsday preppers

Postby Skippy » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:33 pm

This programme has been showing on National Geographic over here recently and I recorded the series and am slowly working my way through them.It's an American series and features all Americans so presumbly it's already been shown over there although there has been a one off set in the UK.
I reckoned that the basic premise of prepping would have similiar groundings to the general feel on this forum.
Preppers are people who look at possible senerios that will change the society that we live in and they are taking action to survive in this post apocoliptic world.Possible doomsdays include ecomomic collapse, pandemics, oil crisis, and polar shifts.
I did assume that being able to provide for themselves and their families would be high on their list of things to do which it is but it did seem to me that most of it is quite a short term outlook. There were some who planned to grow their own food , fuel and so on but the majority seem intent on simply filling their homes with canned and dried goods , indeed one family said they had over $100,000 worth of food in their home.
The other thing they seemed quite intent on was collecting as much firepower to fight a small war. Houses were stocked with handguns, rifles and assault rifles and thousands of rounds of ammo and it really is a bit of an eyeopener to see what is available to the man in the street on the other side of the pond. Over here we'd be lucky to scrable together a shotgun and a carving knife taped to a broom handle.
Anyhoo interesting watch up to a point.


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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby marshlander » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:10 pm

Not preparing for doomsday but keep much more food in stock than most I suspect. I buy staples such as sugar, flour, pulses and the like in 25kg sacks, dried fruit & nuts in 3kg, rice in 5kg and break them down into usable sizes myself. Although I grow a lot of tomatoes many get eaten fresh, bottled or frozen and I never have enough so I buy tinned toms by the dozen. I also keep powdered milk, dried and tinned pet food, loo rolls and any non perishables that I've bought on offer.

My pantry is about 12ft x 7ft with floor and base cupboards both sides. The washing machine and 2nd freezer are in there too. I have been trying to think of ways to do without the 2nd freezer but it full of home grown fruit & veg and I much prefer the taste and texture of frozen over dried or bottled and it's very convenient. It's also 'how I've always done it' and how my mum & gran did it. It's hard to change and I know it's costing around £8 + month in electric.

We have our own water and an emergency electric generator. We only keep a couple of gallons of petrol though so it would only have to be used to pump water if it was an emergency.

We have been 2 days without electricity after a storm. After that the elec company brought in a mobile generator. We have been snowed in for 2-3 days but effectively it was over a week as we didn't dare drive down the lane as we have very deep dykes both sides of a very narrow lane and couldn't see where the road ended and the dyke started!

If we had a hurricane sandy type event and the house was ok but no food in the shops or power to the house I'm confident we'd be fine for at least a month.

Funny enough I have seen several preppers sites while blog-hopping. Not sure I would want to go so far and find it hard to contemplate a senario in which I would have to protect me and mine with weapons. Didn't someone say on another thread that if it came to it our livestock would be stolen and eaten and our veg raided rather than people just sharing knowledge?
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby diggernotdreamer » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:51 pm

I used to buy a lot of stuff in bulk, but at the moment living in the tin box, there is not much space, but as soon as we are in the house I can start buying in bulk again. We live in the hills, we were snowed in for three weeks in the winter of 2010/11, no water, luckily we had a bit in for christmas and I melted snow for water for everyone, so we survived ok and I had bought in extra feed for the livestock. That would be my only motivation for stockpiling stuff to survive through a period of severe weather again.

When I lived in England, during the lorry drivers strike, I began to realise that the shops were starting to really run out of stuff, I lived in the middle of a town and had a large garden with polytunnel, veg beds, chickens and ducks and an allotment down the road, I started having these visions of people coming over our fences to steal our hens and ducks and the produce in our garden, some allotments had already been robbed of bits and pieces. Had the lorry drivers strike lasted much longer, how would people have reacted when faced with shortages, how long would it have been before my daydreams came true. It turned out that England was days away from running out of many basic foods, now that everything is on the move, there are no big distribution warehouses any longer that hold stocks.

I am not sure that if there was some big apocolypse, that I would want to survive it, desperate people behave in very bad ways and even though I live in quite a remote area, people would migrate away from cities to find what they could in the countryside.

Just realised I sound quite paranoid :shock:
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby Mithril2 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:08 am

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Last edited by Mithril2 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:22 am

We have a "zombie cupboard" in case there an attack of zombies, which seems to happen a lot in fiction, or strikes, poor weather, etc, which disrupt France on a periodic basis. There's probably about two-weeks worth in there in addition to what we normally hold. We turn it over every year.
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby Green Aura » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:31 am

I'm not preparing for any doomsday scenario but I do have a fear of being cut off in bad weather.

One of the first things we did when we moved in here was turn a big cupboard into a pantry. We buy flour, oats and sugar (for homebrew) in bulk and I have a squirrel's stash of nuts, dried fruit and pulses. The freezers - we have three, one chest, one under-counter and one fridge/freezer - are full of meat, cooked pulses, stock, milk and a few homemade ready meals. I also have wheat and buckwheat for grinding, so I have the reserves to make many kilos of flour. The polytunnel and garden provide us with a few bits (still not up to full production mode :roll: ) and I sprout seeds for winter salads. And we have around 30 gallons of homebrew, in various guises, so even if the water was cut off we'd survive for a while:drunken: :lol:

My fears that we might be cut off in severe weather have thus far proved unfounded - the harsh winter a couple of years ago tested our stores only a little. We still managed to get down to Inverness about once a month, so nothing different there. And my rational head (I don't wear it often :lol: ) tells me that isolated rural communities like ours would have supplies dropped in by helicopter if necessary. The local shop did start to look quite sparse at times though!

The one thing we have been looking at a lot recently is a generator. We've had a few short power cuts this autumn and, being near all-electric, it's a bit scary. The boiler (coal-fired) goes crazy after a short time and, although its days are numbered, we need something to keep it going. I found an on-line calculator to work out what size genny we'd need and even keeping things down to a minimum (central heating, freezers, lighting and my aged mother's electric fire) it reckoned we need 5KW and blimey they're expensive! But not as expensive as the turbine and solar panels that I'd rather install!
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby Skippy » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:52 am

Riff raff , as an aside I've taken part as a zombie in a "zombie battle" and a good laugh it was too, as long as it's not looked at in any depth. Goodness knows what a social worker would have thought about a 10 year old standing above my prone body hitting it with a plastic sword and screaming "Die Die".
Still back to the subject.
On one program there was one man who was building up a bank of seeds , he had thousands of species and this seemed like a good idea in the long term to restart agriculture after most people had either died of starvation or killed each other looking for food.
There were as I have said some who are self sufficient or close to it now and these store their own food largely in kilner jars or by drying. I suppose freezing food has the problem of being reliant on an electricity supply which as has been pointed out is a rather more difficult proposition than food production.
We store a certain amount of food although it is water storage that lets most people down. I've got six barrels for rainwater in the garden(and the potential for several more) that could be cleaned I suppose but precious little fresh water in the house .
Going back to storing your own food can anyone recommend a decent website with clear and consice information about the preserving of food without refrigeration?

Looking forward to the world not ending
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby safronsue » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:14 am

living on the fringes of a greek village where some families are already desperate and where crime has started to creep in where up til now there has been ZERO crime, apart from opportunistic gypsies, i guess we are looking at economic breakdown this winter.
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby gregorach » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:16 pm

Skippy wrote:There were some who planned to grow their own food


Hilarious! If there's one thing that you really need to get on with, it's gardening... No point having a stash of seeds that you plan on breaking out if it all goes pear-shaped, you need to practice! I did pretty well in my first couple of years on the allotment, but if I'd been needing it to survive, I'd definitely have starved this year.
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby diggernotdreamer » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:22 pm

I can remember before there was the internet and google. My nan died and while my relatives were cleaning out the house, they asked me if I wanted anything, I got a few bits and pieces and a book called The Radiation Cook Book (sounded a bit dangerous), which was what came with her new world gas cooker. Inside that book was information on how to bottle and preserve in your new gas cooker, so I had a go at it and have got quite proficient now 25 years later at bottling. I have collected a few old books over the years from charity shops etc, which provide concise information on all kinds of preservation, plus a few new ones. I like books, they are there all the time and when the electric goes off during the apocolypse, I still have all the information stored in my bookcase
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:13 pm

safronsue wrote:living on the fringes of a greek village where some families are already desperate and where crime has started to creep in where up til now there has been ZERO crime, apart from opportunistic gypsies, i guess we are looking at economic breakdown this winter.


I fear that it there is anywhere where a cold winter could really tip the balance then it is Greece.

We're seeing an increase in property crime in France too. In the past it was pretty rare in the more rural areas, and when it did happen it was stealing for cash to buy aspirational stuff or drugs; now people are actually stealing food.

The school canteen was broken into - none of the equipment was taken (the gendarmerie said that this was almost certainly because it would diminish the seriousness of the crime in the eyes of the court, if it came to that) but the freezers were emptied. The only thing left was the creamed spinach, which was a clue: it meant that whoever the perpetrators where, they had eaten in the canteen in the past because the spinach is notoriously vile. And so it proved to be - a group of early 20s, unemployed, living in social housing in the village and completely broke, some of whom had been to the village school.

A neighbour had a dozen meat rabbits stolen from his garden. In that case, the bunny-napper dropped his i-Phone (that didn't go down too well locally) and he was caught in the act of skinning them.

Travellers have found it impossible to get the casual work around here that used to sustain them, so they are increasingly lifting stuff - a group were arrested only a few days ago for breaking into outhouses to drain down heating oil tanks. The rules pertaining to scrap metal transactions are actually being enforced for once following a rise in metal thefts, which was blamed on travellers, but personally I ha' m' doubts on that score.

I can't see things improving in the near term. A friend of ours heads up a Catholic charity in the Vendée: he's never seen such a demand for their services (food, warm clothing & bedding, for the most part). They are pretty well funded but he's concerned that he's going to run out of money in the next 4 months or so, and then what? They don't turn people away, whoever they are, which means they see a lot of illegals and people who just don't appear on the social security radar. Not good.

Skippy - I'm impressed! My children love apocalyptic films & books. They're not quite old enough for "Shaun of the Dead", but I await the day when they are with anticipation.
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby prison break fan » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:34 am

My daughter and I also watched this series, and whilst we laughed at most of it, I found the actual preppers quite scary! Particularly the hippy group, were they going to sing their way to a new civilisation? Don't wish to be rude to Americans, but the gun culture really worries me. I try to be sensible about keeping a well stocked larder and freezer etc, but don't think I would want to be one of a handful of survivors in this village, particularly if it included my neighbours!. pbf
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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby Skippy » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:34 pm

I've not seen the singing one yet so I must get round to it , sounds a tad odd. I tend to agree about the gun thing and can't help but wonder how much their ideas have been shaped by hollywood zombie , mad max and end of the world as we know it films.
Gregorach, the guy who had the seeds stored did plan to grow them and had purchased a couple of tents that he called his "biodomes" or something like that in which to grow them although it was clear that the limited size was going to seriously restrict him. He was worried about nuclear fall out from Fukashima and was also planning to break water down to provide clean fuel and water for these plants which of course would need electricity which he seemed to think he could generate by burning the hydrogen.Best of luck with that one.
I tend to think that whilst the world will change it's not going to do so overnight barring any sort of nuclear war or asteroid strike.


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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby Skippy » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:12 pm

I suppose that it is only fair to post a link following the recent shootings in America. It's an interesting article which perhaps does highlight the gun problem but I'm not going to point any fingers , make up your own minds ,they could have blamed her dath on her being a Red sox fan or any number of things really.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/world ... story.html


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Re: Doomsday preppers

Postby demi » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:47 pm

We've been watching this series too, Americans really are bonkers.

The gun crime is awful, 4th in the world for gun crime death rates, not including the middle east just now of course. Guns should be banned like thay are in the UK. There are too many loonies and bad people in society to allow everyone 'the right' to bear arms.

The program is of course very over the top, but we can relate to the self-sufficient aspects of it. We try to grow and store as much as possible to see us though the year, but same as Dunc, if the world descends into chaos tomorrow we don't have enough to last us till next harvest. Although my cherry tomato cuttings i took in the beginning of October and now starting to flower! :iconbiggrin:
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