How to prep for the end of the world as we know it (EOTWAWKI) if you aren’t a “prepper”
This is a completely fictional representation of a real-world possible situation, and I’m no expert, this is just me regurgitating things based on reading hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books and trying to filter down all the data into a few concise pages. Note that some of the scenarios I present are very remote and probably won’t happen. Long story short, this short work is for entertainment value only, do NOT use this as any formal guide.
Questions to ask yourself. You need not be an expert, but basic understanding of these concepts will vastly increase your survivability:
1) Do you know how to make clean drinking water?
2) Do you know how to hunt/trap/fish or at least have a basic understanding of it? Also, how to dress a killed animal?
3) Do you have a basic understanding of how to build a shelter?
4) Do you understand the basics on self-defense?
5) Do you know how to dress a wound? Prevent infection? Set a broken bone? Without modern medicine. Many wild plants have antibacterial and pain-relieving properties. Understanding how bacteria and infections work at a basic level will most definitely save your life in a wide array of situations.
6) Do you know how to identify wild edibles? Or, albeit much more risky, but at a minimum have a paper book with high quality images for reference?
7) Do you have fire starting tools that don’t rely on fuel? (I.E. do you have a striker tool?) or know how to start a fire without fuel.
8) Do you have or have easy access too weapons and (if necessary) enough ammunition for an extended period?
9) Do you have enough training for the above weapon in order to use it to hunt or defend yourself?
10) Do you have a location that is away from large populations and sustainable with hunting/fishing/foraging?
11) Do you have transportation that doesn’t rely on modern technology (computer chips)? I.E. pre-1980 vehicle, a vehicle with no computers at their core, or a bicycle.
12) Do you have a manual emergency radio or Ham radio that doesn’t rely on a computer chip? Alternatively, do you have an EM shielded box big enough to store basic hand-crank or solar electronics, and are those electronics IN the faraday box?
13) Do you understand the basics of wind/turbine/solar technology? Could you set up a solar panel if you needed to?
You don’t need to store tons of food and water and have a fully built bomb shelter in order to be prepared, answering yes to some or most of the above questions will make you an asset at the least to any group looking to survive dooms day. If you said yes to most, then you’d most likely be able to make it on your own without any outside help at all, given a bit of luck.
The first month after a wide scale dooms day event is the most critical. ½ the population will die off within 3 months. But within one month, the country, world, or region will be in chaos, violence and misery will push people to do unspeakable things to “protect themselves and their families”, and those who rely on modern society will quickly die.
It’s estimated that more than 30 million US citizens alone have diabetes. The more severe cases will last 1 to 2 months without fresh insulin and a stable cold location to store it, the rest may last 6 months if they have access to cold storage methods (a mountain stream for example). There are currently approaching 100 million US Citizens that rely on either drugs or hospitalization regularly to survive. They will all die when the power goes out. This isn’t being cold or crass, it’s the honest truth. The other 250 Million Americans will quickly, over the course of 3 to 6 months, resort to one of a few specific scenarios:
1) Larger population areas will become battle zones as people scrounge for food, begin to starve, and resort to violence and territorial tactics to survive. Human brutality will become commonplace as those who recognize the situation faster gather power to themselves either by force or cunning.
2) Smaller population areas, and areas that are more accustomed to manual labor will group into communities. They will fair far better than larger urban areas, but their success will depend on the individuals and their knowledge of pre-modern techniques, and later in the process, their proximity to urban areas may well define whether they survive. A small hamlet 30 miles outside of Atlanta, for instance, may survive quite well for the first 6 to 10 months, but once resources in the urban areas run out, those brutal gangs that survive will start sending out raiding parties to the countryside. Depending on the organization and weaponry of the hamlet, they may or may not fight off the intruders.
3) Rural and woods areas will have the highest survival rating, with those having a warmer climate being better in most circumstances. Rural homesteads, especially well-established ones that rely on wood for fuel and a pump for water will be well prepared. The residents of these homes can concentrate on collecting food, canning food for winter months, and establishing or expanding gardens in order to be fed throughout the winter. The downside of these smaller homesteads is the lack of protection. There’s a tipping point of number of people. Too many strains the food source, too few creates gaps in security and can allow unwanted trespassers to show up.
So how does one Survive after the lights go out and people start killing each other for a box of twinkies? Some basic planning goes a long way. A little training (no need to become an expert mind you, you’ll have plenty of time for that once it happens, as long as you know how, and you’ve done it once or twice to make sure you understand, that’s enough.). You may not like the idea of hunting deer or Moose or Elk, but you’ll like the idea of starving much less. A few days without substantial food and you’ll be happy to put one in the chest of that fat doe, no matter how much she looks like Bambi. Learning how to field dress an animal may not be appealing to you now, but knowing how to dress a deer to keep from ruining the meat could help you survive after the grocery stores are long gone and your only means of sustenance comes from nature.
You don’t have to be a micro-biologist to understand that water born bacteria and parasites can kill you just as dead as a bullet to the head, and it’ll be much slower and more painful. Often leading to flesh eating bacteria or dehydration and death. A plastic two-liter bottle, some washed soil, some sand, a little grass, and some rocks creates a great heavy metals and dirty water filter. Boil that water for 3 minutes and you have yourself plenty of fresh drinking water. No Iodine pills needed. Other things you can do is add small amounts of bleach or chlorine tablets to water basins after basic filtering. Places like pool stores and industrial laundry mats may be very low on the “looting” list, so you could probably stock up on bleach or other “poison” cleaning materials for months after the event. Do so, 10 or 20 gallons of bleach will be enough for 1 person for years of clean drinking water. A few 20 lb. buckets of chlorine tablets similar to what you use in a pool will also save you time and effort (they can perform similar functions of killing off bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in the water) and are perfectly safe to drink in small quantities (if they weren’t, every one of us with a pool would be in deep trouble). A side benefit of bleach is it’s general purpose uses, it’s a great way to keep tools and cooking areas clean, and even keep small cuts from becoming infected (although not the best option for that as it will irritate wounds further, better to have some kind of antibacterial antiseptic if possible).
One big thing to do is never underestimate the amount of prep you should do. If you think 3 months of food will be enough, make your goal 6 months, if 100 gallons of fresh water is enough? Prepare 150 or 200 gallons. If you think 1 cord of wood should get you through the winter, cut 2. You get the point. More is always better when you have no backup plan.
Once you have your basics in place, I.E. shelter, enough food for a while, adequate protection (weapons, defenses, warnings), and clean water, you should begin planning for the long term. As soon as possible start collecting things you think may be useful. See an old generator in an abandoned farm? Get it, throw it somewhere and hide it at the least, you can come back for it later. See solar panels on an abandoned house? GET THEM. Solar will allow you to rebuild better than anything else. 8 or 10 panels will allow you to run a radio or two, maybe an electric heater in the winter, any number of things, and to go along with that, scavenge batteries from boats if there are none with the solar panels. Marine batteries are deep cycle and store the right kind of power to use with solar, car batteries do not, they are for a quick electrical surge, not a long-term power delivery. Having batteries will allow you to electrically heat your home in the winter without the need for wood or allow you to boil water without a fire. Both highly beneficial if you don’t want outsiders alerted to your presence from a distance.
Seed banks are a must. You don’t need a ton of seeds, but having a few pounds of seeds, freeze dried, and ready to plant are very important. If you’re going to your local gardening or hardware store to buy seeds, know that the ones in the paper bag are only good for about 1 to 3 years (they may last far longer, but 3 years is about as long as I’d risk it, less if you are able) and you should always look for heirloom or at least open-pollinated seeds to make sure the next crop you plant using the seeds of what you harvested this year will still be good enough to use over and over. I would recommend researching which crops work best in your environment and which ones offer the best nutritional value for you. High yield crops such as corn and soybeans are great if you need calories, but they leave gaps in your nutritional requirements that you must fill or risk becoming sick. Take that into account when you store seeds. Don’t forget to write down when you should plant what, and the correct planting and watering for each crop. It’s little things like this that will save your life in the long run. Taking twenty minutes to write down the instructions in a notebook will save you from a ruined crop next year.
If you do no other bush craft research, learn what plants in your area have anti-bacterial properties. Little things like a small cut today may seem like nothing. But cut yourself after the world has collapsed, and you’re risking bacterial infections that can kill you in days or weeks. There are dozens of plants and trees, in almost every environment that things grow in, that have anti-bacterial properties, getting to know them, learning how to make them usable, and learning how often and in what amounts to apply it will most certainly be beneficial in the after. For example, Common Barberry and Birch bark (white or “Paper” birch) contains betulinic acid, which has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Learn how to use them and you’ll be able to survive the nicks and scratches you’ll surely get.
All of this stuff being said. If we get to this point in the world, I’m sorry to say, you’re probably going to die. No matter the reason it happened, if the world goes to shit and we lose the ability to produce electricity, for whatever reason (other factors aside), about 80 to 90 percent of the population will die off over a five year period. I’m not saying this to alarm you, its just the truth of the matter. Maybe you’ll make it, maybe you won’t, but the one thing I’ll say for sure, you most certainly will die if you don’t have a large majority of the above skills.
I probably will write more on this when the mood strikes, things like building proper shelters and insulation, ancient irrigation techniques, even weapons and security. But for now, I just wanted to write down what I was thinking on paper because… stuff.
The End of the World As We Know It (EotWAWKI)
How to prep for the end of the world as we know it (EOTWAWKI) if you aren’t a “prepper”