Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More On Suburban Survivialists

I received quite the feedback on my post suburban survivalists, I myself consider myself one of these new breed of "survivalists". Almost all of the feedback, as I predicted, was positive. The fact is that most people for some reason or another just cannot move out to the sticks and build a retreat.

I felt it was necessary to add a bit more substance to what I do in my preparations and what an ideal suburban survivalist situation would be to me.

I don’t have a lot of land, approximately 1/3 of an acre, but I really don’t think you need to have 5 or 10 acres to make your homestead productive. The one thing I do regret was buying property that is managed by an HOA; they can really limit what you can do with “your” land. I highly recommend you look somewhere else if the property you are looking at is managed.

On your small slice of land there are several things you can do to start to make your situation better:

1.) Gardening, start a vegetable garden and make it as large as you feel comfortable managing. Plant vegetables and herbs, find out what thrives in your area of the country and get your garden started as soon as possible. I have not only my raised gardens but I have a dozen pots scattered around areas of my backyard with additional plants and herbs. We also have an herb garden indoors in the sun room.

2.) Plant a fruit tree or two this will generate a fairly good crop of your favorite fruit, and will give you something to practice your canning on.

3.) Get a few chickens and rabbits they really don’t take up a lot of room and if you are not interested in breeding the chickens you don’t have to deal with a noisy rooster. You would be astounded by the egg production of just one chicken. At their prime a chicken can lay and egg a day easily.

4.) Get a food storage program going as soon as possible. I recommend buying what you eat and just buying more of it. Doing this will enable you to build a stock pile of food you know you will eat, just be sure to rotate as you add to your store. I suggest you enhance this program with your garden and small live stock (chicken and rabbits). You can also supplement your food store with some freeze dried food or MRE's (or both); I just don’t recommend you base your entire plan on these.

5.) One final suggestion in the area of food is that you get yourself a pressure canner and learn how to use it. You can preserve your fruits, vegetables AND meats with this type of canner. They are completely SAFE if you follow the instructions. This is something EVERYONE should learn today. It is cheap, fun and canned food can last years if done properly.

Everything I have just mentioned doesn’t require acreage or a retreat and can be done right in your backyard. I am doing all of these except for the chickens and rabbits because of my HOA, between you and I though (SSSHHHH!!!), I will be starting a rabbit hutch in the future (they are quiet and can be kept under wraps). My neighbors would probably notice a bunch of chickens wandering around in my backyard.

One project I am currently working on is rain collection. My goal in the next month or two is to have 2 – 55 gallon drums collecting water from my down spouts. The goal is for me to be able to irrigate my garden using that water.

The next area of concern that usually is faced by people in the suburbs is about defense and what type of protection they should have. I usually recommend a good defensive sidearm like an S&W M&P, Glock, 1911, or something like that. I also recommend a good shotgun (like a Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500) and a hunting rifle. If you have that trio you are in some damn good shape.

Finally, I have a few remaining recommendations that I want to outline:

1.) Have a BOB (Bug Out Bag) packed and ready for each member of your family and keep it packed and ready to go always. Make sure you have the proper equipment like flashlight, tents, sleeping bags, etc. You should be able to live out of these for up to a week.

2.) Get yourself some backup power in the form of a generator (diesel, gas, propane).

3.) Get yourself a propane grill and store a few FULL propane tanks for it. This will be your primary means of cooking if you lose power and gas.

4.) Have an emergency stash of cash that is ready to go at a moment’s notice and add some silver and gold to that stash to hedge against something that may make money worthless. Having duplicate equipment would also be good as you will be able to barter these items.

5.) Lastly have a WELL stocked medicine cabinet full of medicines and medical supplies.

The whole purpose of this post is to give folks some perspective on the FACT that just because they are in a populated area, all hope is not lost. Doing the things I describe above will put you head and shoulders above most folks out there. This is a simple suburban survivalist plan that I have outlined. You should take what I have said and modify it to fit your needs. This is by no means exhaustive and you should use it as a stepping stone to start your own survival plan.

Repeat after me (I am going to make this my quote of the day one day I promise):"A suburban survivalist is a person who has researched and executed a plan to prepare his or her family for unexpected scenarios which could change their happy and comfortable circumstances into miserable ones for an undetermined amount of time."

Yes...it is that simple.

...that is all.

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  1. What are your HOA rules on pets? Rabbits are pets, right? Some people keep chickens as pets, too.

    Keeping the cage areas clean to keep the smell down will go a long ways towards keeping the neighbors from complaining. I've found that rabbit urine has a very strong odor and they make a lot of it. Hens are generally very quiet if they aren't disturbed. Most of them don't mind being in a fairly small cage.

    I hope everyone in the city does what you are doing.

  2. Unfortunately Bitmap, I know they are not doing what I am doing.

    Most people just don't care enough until it is too late and the emergency is upon them.

    To be honest I may try the chickens before the rabbits. I really want the fresh eggs. I am doing some more research and may visit some folks I know from a more rural area to see how they do it and gain some experience with them.

    I am very good about keeping things clean so I think I will be ok there, especially if they aren't very noisy.

    Thanks for the input!

  3. It is unfortunate how most of us are "trapped" in suburbia, or worse, in cities. There is a way out, but most folks are unwilling to try. Prepping all you can is all you can do in that situation, and that'll put you miles ahead of the "competition"......

  4. I'm proud to be a suburban survivalist! Good post Flea.

    Kentucky Preppers Network

  5. Making the best of any situation is sometimes the way to go, in fact the BEST way to go.

    Just keep on doing what you can with what you have...that's what it's all about!

  6. Good post. Too many people get sucked into thinking about what they will do when they can get a bunch of land (they may never be able to) and rest complacently on there behind till that time.

  7. Check the Post and Courier, there is a guy selling the 55 gallon blue barrels 20$ ea. in the classifieds. Not sure what the history on them is but he claims 'pet safe'. A good flush, and a date with the Berkey should get you good to go.

  8. Have you searched urban chickens? There are a number of chicken houses that don't look like coops at all. You could easily keep some in a space the size of a dog run & much less smelly. Also http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/ has chickens & pictures are helpful. Check out their gardens as they are in Pasadena & produce thousands of pounds.

  9. TOR,

    Thanks bud.


    I will check it out, thanks for the heads up! Even if I have to scrub them $20 is a pretty good deal.


    No I haven't but I will now :) Thanks for the tip!


  10. Mayberry and Jim,

    AMEN, doing SOMETHING is a start at least. Doing nothing, to me, is not an option.


  11. A pot bellied pig is also becoming more common in the suburbs as pets. They taste really good. Just don't let the kids get attached.

    Also important: for those guns you mentioned, here are a couple of other tips:
    1. Get the handgun in 9mm. This is the military standard throughout almost the entire world. This ammo will never run out. .45 is second.
    2. Get the rifle in .223 (5.56 NATO). This is the military standard throughout the western world. It is EXTREMELY accurate and can be used to hunt game up to the size of deer. Hunting will become more important if the EHTF (Excrement Hits the Fan). Preferably an AR15 -type rifle. The hold a lot of ammo, are fast in follow up shots, reliable with maintenance and accurate. Larger calibers to consider for guns: .308 Winchester (7.62 NATO, prolific, powerful, and accurate round. and 7.62x39 (Kalashnikov round - powerful and found throughout the world, good for defense, though not as accurate for hunting).
    make sure to stock plenty of ammo.
    3. If you're looking for a cheap hunting/defense gun, purchase a Mosin-Nagant bolt action -- you can get them for around $89-120. They are Russian surplus from the early 1900s, but they are accurate, durable, require little maintenance, and the 7.62x54r round is VERY potant for large game, and home protection.
    4. This might sound harsh, but if the EHTF and our country falls USSR-style, the guns that you choose will: a) protect you and your loved ones from those that will try to take what you have. b) provide for your family if you have nothing and someone else has excess (hey, I put my family first, before anything.)

    Worst case scenario is one in which our government infrastructure falls and we have anarchy - i.e. somalia. In that instance we could have different factions trying to seize power with us all in the center. It think there's .001% chance of that happening. But everyone says that before their country falls.

  12. Anon,

    "A pot bellied pig is also becoming more common in the suburbs as pets. They taste really good. Just don't let the kids get attached."

    THAT IS CLASSIC! I can just picture having to tell your little one...sorry honey daddy has to take "Fluffy" out back and set her free ;)

    and BTW we are having pork chops fer dinner...

    I am actually doing what you said, my two main defensive side arms are both 9mm and my two main rifles are 7.62x39. I also have some 22lr weapons. Ammo commonality is a good thing.


  13. I would also fall into the category of "Urban Survivalist". After spending 14 years in the military a lot of this is second nature to me and my wife seems to be amused by it. We had two back to back catastrophic typhoons in Manila (where I live) and the only complaint my wife had was that there was no TV or Internet. Most people in my neighborhood were caught short even though they were not flooded out like so many others. No power but we had no lack of "Hot food" and "Clean Water". In the event of the worst our BoB includes all of our vital records (Birth, Marriage certificates etc..) It isn't paranoia, it is called being prepared. I do not own a gun (yet) but I do have a kriss sword. Anyone who wants to laugh just needs to know I studied Kendo for three years while I was living/working in Japan. I hope to see more post like this!