The purpose of Thrifty Thursday is to read a book which was free (at some point).

Kindle freebie on May 10, 2016  (currently 99¢ at Amazon as of writing this post)

Overall rating 4.24 with 127 ratings and 19 reviews

Thrifty Thursday: SHTF by Gillian ZaneSHTF by Gillian Zane
Series: NOLA Zombie #0.5
on December 22, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance
Pages: 130
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
One StarOne StarOne Star

It’s Friday night in New Orleans and Tim “Romeo” Voiter has the night off. A night of rest and relaxation is something new for the former Marine, and he’s looking forward to enjoying a fun night out with his buddy, Lucas Martinez. The two men try to ignore the emergency broadcasts and news about the spreading iKPV virus and just enjoy the evening. Romeo, true to his name, even hooks up with a hot redhead and plans on ending the evening at her place.

Plans come crashing down, though, as he comes face to face with what the iKPV infected really looks like-and it is not like any infection he’s encountered before. Knowing the media is sugarcoating the virus and things are about to get a lot worse in his city, Romeo talks his family into leaving their urban home and bugging out to a more secluded and secure area; the compound his employers own at the edge of the city, deep in the marsh that surrounds New Orleans. But, as the infection spreads and New Orleans begins to fall under the chaos of victims gone made with the virus, Romeo begins to realize that the “stuff” has hit the fan in New Orleans and things will never be the same for the Voiters.

SHTF  is a prequel of sorts for the series.  It is short, 130 pages, but more realistic than the next book, RUN, in the series. The shortness of the books mean there are less pages for developing the world or characters. It was written later than the next book and has different main characters.

“Romeo” is the main character, an ex-military man, who works for the security company.  He obviously has some security skills and experience.  However, he lets his judgement get clouded by entertainments or family guilt.  When the hot redhead’s roommate comes home infected, he sees how bad this is going to be.

He goes to gather up his siblings and head out to the compound.  Here is where things get unrealistic.  They grudgingly agree to go with him, but even when they see how things bad are, they don’t seem to be in enough of a hurry to get to the compound to me.

There are some open plot threads like what happens to Lena?  The next book, RUN, covers more of the team getting to the compound.

These are only Kindle freebies I get, or ones through author newsletters which anyone can sign up and get for free. I don’t include things like Kindle Unlimited or Prime Free Reading (I do have it). Both Tantor and Audible have occasional free audios (to anyone) and I do include those.  Since I one-click on 1-2 freebies a day or probably at least 5 a week, I came up with this feature to make sure I start reading them.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • COYER-20

This content was originally published here.

SHTFPreparedness may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

There are lots of statistics floating around the dental professional community, but the one that seems to stick out like a sore tongue is the fact that only around half of the people in the USA see their dentist on a regular basis.

As a practicing dentist in a rural community for the last 35 years, I would be inclined to disagree with that statistic. I’d guess that the number would be closer to 33%. However, it is pointless to argue facts and figures, The bottom line is that there are entirely too many people that are currently DENTALLY unprepared for potential long-term catastrophic events. Add to that the medical conditions that can arise from untreated dental disease, and you can see why there is increased concern for individuals that have neglected their oral health.

What can the SHTF Prepper do to protect himself (or herself) and their respective families? Obviously, the best defense against a wide array of oral problems is simple. Get checked. Get cleaned. Get treated. Now. Dental offices depend on electricity to operate the equipment that dentists and hygienists use on a daily basis. If the electrical grid goes off line, there will be a limited number of dental options available to the patient requiring even the most common procedures.

Once you have taken your mouth into the 21st century, you need to be aware that there is a product available on the market today that has shown some promising and encouraging results after short-term usage. Let me first state that I am not employed by, nor am I reimbursed for any comments I make regarding the company that manufactures and distributes this product. I am simply offering information to the SHTF Prepper that may be beneficial.

Many of you may already be familiar with Xylitol. Although it has no magical properties that would enable you to reverse dental decay or to replace loss of supporting dental bone, the product nonetheless appears to be a potent preventative measure that could control rampant oral disease when used in conjunction with effective oral hygienic home care. It can be purchased in many forms…as a powdered sweetener, in flavored hard candies, and it has also been introduced in saline nasal sprays. Again, please do not misunderstand me, I am not recommending its use as a cure-all. The current research merely suggests that use of Xylitol MAY be favorable during extended times of challenging local or regional events that would preclude periodic visits to the dentist. We currently have a limited number of inexpensive samples available for purchase if you are unable to find the product near you.

It should be noted that Xylitol does have a shelf-life, and the effectiveness of the product can be diminished over a fairly long period of time. Accordingly, it would be unwise at this juncture to purchase large quantities. I would, however, urge you to at least try it.

Finally, it goes without saying that you should be stockpiling quality tooth brushes and tooth pastes. Utilizing dental floss is also highly recommended. In addition, it certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep away from storing the high-salt, high-sugar foods that can insidiously undermine good dental health. Stick with foods that contribute to overall good physical health, and that kind of diet will also help you avoid potential dental set-backs.

There are a plethora of dental and oral conditions that can often be treated on a temporary or intermediate basis with home remedies or over-the-counter concoctions and elixirs that you can make at home.

If you would like to read more short articles like this one, or if you have any questions, please let us know.

Yours in Good Dental Health,

Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food

Invented by the natives of North America was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.

Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.

Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It’s made of lean, dried meat that’s crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.

People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at .

These guys were the last generation to practice basic things, for a living, that we call “survival skills” now.

This content was originally published here.

SHTFPreparedness may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

There are plenty of reasons to prepare your house for an emergency or life change. In case of a catastrophe like an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, a bad snowstorm, or a simple power outage or frozen pipes, there are a lot of reasons one would need to focus on prepping their bathroom just in case. In the event of disaster, the bathroom can be a very important, and overlooked room of the house.

Prepping your bathroom is not just important in the event of a catastrophic emergency. Whether you are moving into a new home, , or preparing for an emergency, taking the time to prep your bathroom for what is to come is important and fairly easy. Most of these things are probably already in your bathroom, but ensuring that they are stocked and ready for an emergency is essential to being prepared.

In the case that your water and sewer lines have been disrupted, make sure you have enough usable water to thrive until the situation is over. Aim to store 1 gallon of water per person, per day, to use in the bathroom to ensure there is enough water set aside for flushing. If you are lucky enough that the water or sewer lines have not been disrupted you can flush your toilet as usual. If it’s not possible for you to store upwards of 20-30 gallons of water, depending on the size of your household, consider what you will do if you cannot use the toilet.

Waste Management

In the event that your sewer and or water lines have been compromised, have a backup option for properly disposing of waste. A sanitation bucket with a seat or medium sized plastic bucket with a tight sealing lid will work well. Make sure you are equipped with bags to collect waste properly and protect infectious material from spreading to your family or community.  Plan to use one bag per person per day.

Every time a person uses the bucket toilet, make sure to sprinkle some type of disinfectant on top of it. Pack a disinfectant like bleach, chlorinated lime, or even just baking soda. Human waste creates very high amounts of hydrogen sulfide which can not only smell bad, but can be dangerous if it builds up. Make sure to keep your portable toilet lid closed tightly. Flies and other unwelcome pests are attracted to this hydrogen sulfide smell and can subsequently pass any diseases on. Failing to properly store and dispose of waste in an emergency can be hazardous to not only your family but also your neighbors and community.

First Aid

Your first aid kit should be stocked up. Consider keeping a first aid kit separate from your normal medical supplies. This will ensure you don’t use up your tool kit before an emergency. Make sure you are fully stocked with: Band aids, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers, pain-relief medication, antibiotic ointment, safety pins, towels, instant heat and cold packs, flashlights, and extra batteries.

Knowing and preparing for effective hygiene in an emergency is important to maintaining the health and safety of yourself and your family. The best way to prepare your bathroom for an emergency is to focus on preparing a hygiene kit. Doing so can help ease the stress of an emergency situation. Knowing where everything is can help you relax and deal with what is at hand. Make sure that the kit you pack is sustainable for 7-10 days. Consider packing the following:

When things go wrong, it’s nice to know you are prepared for when SHTF. Having a plan to keep your bathroom stocked with the important things you’ll need to survive will help make your emergency situation more manageable.

Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food

Invented by the natives of North America was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.

Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.

Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It’s made of lean, dried meat that’s crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.

People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at .

These guys were the last generation to practice basic things, for a living, that we call “survival skills” now.

This content was originally published here.

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

by Daisy Luther

There’s something incredibly important for your survival that a lot of folks aren’t doing. I’ve written before about overriding your body’s natural urge to freeze in panic when something terrible happens, but there’s an additional step you must take. You need to know the horrible truth about the SHTF. The ugly, brutal truth.

Because as much as we stockpile, go to the shooting range and shoot stationary objects, can vegetables from our gardens, and raise chickens in our backyards, it only prepares us partially.

From my many interviews with guys like Selco and Jose, I know for a fact that an all-out collapse is a dirty, terrifying, and brutal matter of life and death every single day.

As much as we wish it was, the SHTF is not about you being in a bubble, peacefully working in your vegetable garden while the world goes to hell around you outside the bubble. The darkness can reach you wherever you are.

We’re seeing this in cities around the country right now. Read this first-hand story of a National Guard member in Seattle and this eye-witness account of the riots in Kenosha. Look at the violent plans of wealthy young people arrested for rioting in New York City. Think about this hotly contested election. We’re beginning to see armed conflict right here in the United States of America.

Think about these things and recognize that many parts of our nation are right on the brink of all-out disaster.

Ask yourself whether you’re really, truly prepared for that.

Why is it so important to know about the bad stuff?

Many of us try to insulate ourselves from the dark things going on in the world. I know that I stay away from social media beyond what is required for work because I’m sick of the arguing and the hatred. There are certain articles in the news I hesitate to read because I know they will haunt me. This is human nature – we avoid things that scare us, sicken us, and make us unhappy.

But there are some exceptions to this rule that you should make.

It’s incredibly important to know about the horrible things that could occur when the SHTF well before it happens. I asked Selco about this in a conversation we were having when he wrote his first paperback,   I asked him why people needed to know about the horrors he faced. He replied,

So you won’t be shocked and so you can shorten adapting period while you are shocked.

Generally speaking, there are lot of sick and bad and dangerous people. We just do not see them because the layer of civilization and the system covers it. And of course, if I had known, I would prep more but in the way that I would invest more in skills. Much more than in equipment.

Everything is much more mobile and fluid then people expect, but if you understand this, you will be able to move with it faster and sooner.

And that makes sense. I write a lot about the importance of adaptation. I constantly remind people that the three steps of survival are to Accept, Plan, and Act. But trust me when I tell you, if something truly horrifying happens right before your eyes, it’s going to be a heck of a lot harder to “accept” that if you never even dreamed that such an awful thing could happen in real life. But if you’ve contemplated it, if you’re aware of the possibility, it will still be horrible but you’ll be able to keep moving. You won’t be frozen in shock.

You need to train yourself not to freeze.

Many people freeze in a disaster situation.   It’s human nature, but the ability to break this paralysis is paramount to your survival. You can train yourself not to freeze by exposing yourself to the things you may experience while in a safe environment.

“Freezing” is called “tonic immobility” in behavioral science and it is a biological impulse.  A study exploring the “freeze response” to stressors, describes the reaction:

Part of Barlow’s (2002) description of an adaptive alarm model suggests that a freeze response may occur in some threatening situations. Specifically, freezing — or tonic immobility — may overwhelm other competing action tendencies. For example, when fleeing or aggressive responses are likely to be ineffective, a freeze response may take place.

Similar to the flight/fight response, a freeze response is believed to have adaptive value. In the context of predatory attack, some animals will freeze or “play dead.” This response, often referred to as tonic immobility (Gallup, 1977), includes motor and vocal inhibition with an abrupt initiation and cessation… Freezing in the context of an attack seems counterintuitive. However, tonic immobility may be the best option when the animal perceives little immediate chance of escaping or winning a fight (Arduino & Gould, 1984; Korte, Koolhaas, Wingfield, & McEwen, 2005). For example, tonic immobility may be useful when additional attacks are provoked by movement or when immobility may increase the chance of escaping, such as when a predator believes its prey to be dead and releases it.

Some of our data suggested that reports of freeze were more highly associated with certain cognitive symptoms of anxiety (e.g., confusion, unreality, detached, concentration, inner shakiness). This leads to some very interesting speculation regarding whether freeze responses are also manifested cognitively (i.e., the cognitive system, together with the behavioral system, being shut down). There has been some speculation that a form of cognitive paralysis occurs due to immense cognitive demands that occur in the context of life-threatening situations or stressors (Leach, 2005).

So, in the context of this particular study, the freeze response could be related to an overload of stimuli because of the demands of creating your plan.  By having thought through various situations and getting into the habit of quickly developing plans, you can override your body’s natural desire to “freeze” and you can take definitive, potentially life-saving, action.

By exposing yourself to the darkness, you don’t inoculate yourself against the horror – that’s impossible to do through simply reading a book. But you do take away a little bit of the shock that can cause you to be paralyzed.

What made Selco realize that the SHTF was actually there?

We’ve all read and learned a great deal from Selco and he shares his stories with such calmness that sometimes you don’t fully grasp the horror of what he lived through. I asked him what the event was that opened his eyes to the fact that he was stuck in Hell on Earth, and his answer was chilling.

When I saw people killing for fun. Killing without reason. Killing with no concerns about punishment or the law. Throwing others from 10 story buildings out of curiosity, to see if they’d live – while taking bets on it. Of course they were sure they were gonna die, but they said” I bet you’ll survive and if you do we’ll let you go.” It was a “joke” to them.

That’s when he knew that everything had changed and that there were new rules to living. It was simply not the same world he’d woken up it a few days before.

A while back, I asked Selco to send me a copy of everything he’d ever written so that I could pull together a reality check for the rest of us. Over the years, he’s written nearly a quarter of a million words of memories, articles, and advice. Together, we selected the things that provided a glimpse into the day-to-day events of the SHTF. You can learn more about the result of that here in his books,  and

Back on topic.

Do you have a potential predator living next door?

Do you know people in real life who you think would turn into predators if they knew that there was no risk of punishment? If they knew that they wouldn’t go to prison because the prisons were gone? If they knew there was no 911 or law enforcement to help their victims?

I do. I’ve known people in the past that I’m quite certain would be the kind of animals who kill men and cage their women and daughters for their own sick amusement if they thought they could get away with it. I’ve had people write to me about their plans to take other people’s preps or to “take care of someone” who had done them wrong in the past when it all hits the fan.

They’re out there. They are our neighbors. Our coworkers. The random guy who is in town on business. The person with such strong political beliefs that he sees people who think differently as the enemy.

They may not even realize that they’re waiting for this chance but when the opportunity presents itself and there’s no real risk to them, you can be sure they’ll jump at it with glee. 

And you want to be ready for them.

A lot of us were unpleasantly surprised by what we learned about those near us during the lockdown. And we still had a functioning system at that time. Now, the system is crumbling rapidly, and the last deterrents are disappearing in some areas.

There are different levels for which we prepare.

Are people going to be running around brutally slaughtering their neighbors the next time we have a snowstorm or a hurricane? Of course not. Because we still have the veneer of civilization – and it isn’t going to shatter over a weather event when help is just a few days away.

There are many different types of events for which we prepare. We as preppers want to be ready for everything from

We aren’t like the folks on that show Doomsday Preppers who are presented as only preparing for a giant meteor or a deadly pandemic that will wipe out 98% of the earth’s population. We are the people who want to be ready for everything.

Up to and including SHTF.

Sometimes I think we’re on the brink of darkness.

We’re at a dark point in American history right now. I’m not gazing into a crystal ball and predicting that we are about to face a civil war like the one that Selco endured. But I’m also not saying that we are free of any risk of such a thing.

Tensions (as I write frequently) are at a real high right now. Our socio-political scene is a true nightmare studded with extremists who sincerely see the “others” as the enemy. They surround the homes of spokespeople and threaten their families. They rally, united in hatred against one another. They battle it out for and against the admission of immigrants and things are increasingly heated.

Every time there is a questionable verdict, we’re on the brink.

Every time there is an appointment to offices in Washington, DC, we’re on the brink.

Every time there is an election, we’re on the brink.

Civil debates are a thing of the past. People are enraged when others disagree with them and they react with hatred, not discussion.

Our nation seems to be headed to a very dark place. And if this is the case, you’re going to want – no, you’re going to need – to be prepared for the ugliness and brutality that comes with that.

Knowing just how bad things can get will prepare you to take the steps that you must to survive. Knowing how twisted and evil people can be will help you to take the necessary steps to protect your family. Knowing what to expect when you defend yourself with necessary force can help you to carry through if it is something that you must do.

Check out Selco’s books,  and

And keep reading, because this is the stuff you need to know if you want to survive the increasing violence.

This content was originally published here.

Coffee and tea are both things that should be in your food stockpile. A short to long emergency can be hard enough without being forced to do without something you are used to having. Consider that coffee and tea are also excellent for trade if you are looking for barter items to put back.

I had been considering adding a quality peculator to our preps. While we have a French Press, that is not the same thing. We have found that French presses take more coffee to get the same flavor. Stanley recently had a sale that allowed me to pick up one of their quality percolators for almost half the price it normally sells for. I trust Stanley products so it was just too good to pass up.

The percolator is 1.1 liters so it makes enough coffee for several adults to have a few cups. I like that my Stanley is stainless steel and not aluminum like a lot of percolators out there.

French Press

This is a french press that actually may change my opinion of them. While writing this post I actually found a larger stainless steel french press. The 51 oz capacity is much better than the 34 oz of most and it is stainless steel rather than fancy plastic or glass. If you do want a french press, this is the one I would recommend getting for household use.

Coffee Options

Matt and I have been buying green coffee beans and roasting our own for many years now. It saves a lot of money over buying quality coffee at the grocery store and we get to roast it to a precise level we like rather than having to settle for beans that are often too dark. It seems like a lot of coffee brands have decided to go with a darker roast even if the bag says it is a medium roast.

Buying green coffee beans allows one to experience greater variety. Coffee has a lot of complex flavors. The region and variety of coffee as well as the harvesting and packaging process of the green beans all have an impact on the final flavor.

For green or roasted coffee beans, I recommend Coffee Bean Corral or Fresh Roasted Coffee. Coffee Bean Corral just sells green coffee beans while Fresh Roasted Coffee sells both roasted and green coffee beans. If you are unsure of what types of coffee you want to put back, Coffee Bean Corral has some very affordable sampler packs.

Whole Bean Roasted

Getting beans that are roasted but not ground is another option for those that want some coffee that doesn’t go stale in the bag as fast as ground coffees.

Ground Coffee

While this is very convenient, it doesn’t have the flavor and the shelf life of whole bean coffee. At the same time, I think ground coffee that is sealed in #10 cans is not a bad thing to have as part of your stockpile. It is inexpensive and does the trick.

Green coffee beans lose up to 20% of their weight when roasted. It is usually lower but it does vary based on the variety of coffee and how dark you like to roast it. This is important to keep in mind when buying green beans and calculating how many you need to put back to meet your long term food storage goals.

Deals On Coffee In Cans and Sealed Bags

I am going to include a few options here that my Dad likes. While we roast coffee and take it to him, he gets nostalgic for some brands. I have not tried these brands myself but I trust his opinion on this one. I do have to say he likes coffee with chicory in it sometimes. It is a bit of a French and Southern thing so I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of chicory coffee.

This is another old Southern brand of coffee that is a bargain and a lot of people seem to like. You can get big cans of it online at Wal Mart. There are many roast styles and blends available so you may want to try out a few before you stock up. The Wal-Mart cans I just linked to are really inexpensive. You get 2 cans at 37 oz each for just $20 at the time of this writing.

Let’s talk about tea for a minute.

A Kettle or Two

A good teapot is important. While I like an electric kettle, a good stainless steel tea kettle or a cast-iron kettle that is lined with ceramic is a better option for an SHTF situation. If you have the space then I don’t blame you for having both.

While us preppers talk a lot about situations where the grid is down, the truth is that plenty of bug in situations and emergencies happen and the lights stay on. If you have some backup power like a Jackery you can also run some things a few times a day.

My mother in law gave me this exact electric kettle because it was a spare she had. She actually bought it used too. This is a real workhorse. I have used this kettle so much because it heats water up fast. When we were unsure about our supply of propane, I used it to get water boiling before using it for cooking foods on our electric hotplate.

I also use it to get water to boiling to pour over dry beans that I want to cook in our crockpot slow cooker. It gets the bean cooking process going a lot faster and is great for when you forget to put the beans on soon enough or want to give soup a headstart.

This is the tea kettle I am after. I like it because it can double as a steamer for our wood stove and it comes with a built-in strainer so using bulk teas is really easy. This pot is cast iron. Some cast-iron kettles are just designed to add humidity when using a wood stove. They don’t make great tasting tea. We were given a kettle that was just cast iron and it always seemed to give off an odor. It was labeled as not suitable for water used for consumption You can get cast iron and ceramic lined kettles in many different sizes too if you prefer something that is tough but not just metal.

These devices allow you to buy bulk teas. Buying tea by the pound is so inexpensive compared to tea bags. It is actually shocking how little tea is in a box of 20 or 100 bags. A lb of organic green tea on Amazon from Davidson’s Tea is under $10. To get that same amount of product in a premade tea bag, you would need to spend more than $50. While there is nothing wrong with having some tea bags on hand especially if you just have some that you like to drink occasionally and not regularly, for SHTF tea stashes, most of your tea stash should be bulk tea if you plan on drinking it with any regularity during the course of a long emergency.

Tea Bags

As said before, it is a good idea to pick up a few hundred of these. They are very convenient and allow you to enjoy a cup of tea when using a tea ball or strainer is not convenient or possible. Tea bags are easier to throw in a kit or bag for use when traveling.

I buy Luzianne sometimes but tend to go with Newman’s Own Green Tea Bags. Black tea in the morning is a bit hard on our stomachs so we tend to drink green tea unless it is later in the day.

While writing this article I saw an interesting video from my friend Modern Refugee. Brick tea is an interesting historical method of tea storage. Be sure to subscribe to his Youtube channel. He has a lot of very interesting videos for those that like bushcraft and prepping topics.

Roasting Coffee

I have a previous article that talks about roasting green coffee beans but I have to say that since that article was published, Matt and I have found an easier way to roast coffee. Due to the pandemic we decided to get a quality toaster oven that has a convection setting. This was a big game changer because it roasts coffee perfectly and you don’t have to babysit it the whole time.

The article I wrote on roasting coffee explains how we use a cast iron frying pan. This requires a lot of stirring and watching the pan and it creates more smoke. We have a standard exhaust fan above our stove. Nothing fancy. It does vent out which helps but it can still be a bit much. The plus side is that you can roast more coffee in a huge cast-iron pan than a single sheet pan in the toaster oven.

To roast coffee in a toaster oven with convection, do the following:

Grinding Coffee

If you go the whole bean route then you are going to need a grinder. Now the small electric ones are the way to go if you have electricity or even a very small amount of back up electricity. We ran our coffee grinder at Prepper Camp last year with no problems using our smaller Jackery.

I recommend having an inexpensive electric grinder and a hand crank option. We have a hand-cranked grain mill we used to use for coffee when we first started roasting.

How much tea and coffee should a prepper plan for?

While a lot of preppers get portrayed in the media as planning for decades, the truth is that the vast majority of us don’t have the space to plan more than a few months or a year. You need to prioritize your prepping space and be honest with yourself or you will run out of space and be lacking some essentials while having too much of something else.

How many people you have in your household that drink tea and coffee must be considered. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, a pound of roasted coffee will make 48 cups with a cup being 6 oz. I really dislike how coffee and tea are calculated in 6 oz cups. I have never met anyone that uses a 6 oz coffee or teacup. 12 oz is more in range or maybe 10 oz. At that rate, you can expect to get 24 mugs at 12 oz each or close to 29 mugs at 10 oz.

12 oz mug x 2 adults x 2 mugs each x 7 days=28 mugs or around 1.2 lbs of coffee per week

52 weeks x 1.2 lbs=62.4 lbs per year

62.4 lbs of coffee doesn’t take up as much space as you would think.

I understand that space is limited, but a 10 lb bag of roasted coffee will keep two adults drinking their 2 mugs per day for about 2 months and won’t take up more space than a bag of rice or beans. If you are buying green coffee beans, remember that the beans lose some of their weight in roasting so you would need a little more.

Tea Calculation

A single lb of bulk tea will make 181 6 oz cups. This is based on using 2.5 grams of tea per 6 oz cup. So you would get 90 mugs at 12 oz each. A lb of tea, especially if you vacuum seal it using a Foodsaver or similar, takes up hardly any space. While tea has less caffeine than coffee, it does store in less space so for some folks, it may be a better choice for having an extra caffeine stash for SHTF. 4 lbs of loose bulk tea would allow for a single adult to drink a 12 oz mug each morning for a year or two mugs for 6 months.

Quick Note on Shelf Life

Tea can be sealed and kept in jars for a really long time. In Modern Refugee’s video on brick tea, he mentioned sealing tea in a jar for a decade and it being just fine. Some people like to say that coffee will only keep a few years even when stored as whole green beans.

I do not think that is true at all. If you vacuum seal green coffee and keep excessive heat, moisture, and vermin out, it should last for a decade or more. I cannot be sure exactly how long but there is really not that much in green coffee that can go bad unless exposed to the things I just mentioned. Staleness should be minimal as well if you have truly vacuum sealed it.

Tea Additions and Non Caffeinated Options

Having a tea ball or strainer allows you to create your own tea blends on demand if you want. I keep Hibiscus Flowers, Peppermint, and Raspberry on hand for this purpose.

Chamomile and other herbs can be bought in bulk and used for herbal teas. Of course, you can also buy herbal tea blends by the pound and put those back if you want some soothing non-caffeinated options.

For those that want to make custom blends but want the convenience of a teabag, you will be glad to know that you can get bags that you can fill yourself. Here is what I found on Amazon.

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
When thinking about survival items, pocket knife, flashlights, water filters and the like are the first items that come to mind. But prepping for disaster means utilizing as many items as you can find in your house to ensure survival. Here are some items you may have lying around the house that have surprising survival value. (h/t to

1. Heavy curtains

In a post-SHTF world, your privacy will be more valuable than ever. Add some thick, dark-colored curtains around your home to keep anyone from spying on your activities.

Heavy curtains can also help regulate indoor temperature when you can’t use too much electricity to cool everything down.

2. Metal detector

In a post-SHTF world, you may be forced to live off the land. Having a metal detector on hand can help you forage for useful items and metal scraps, which, with the right tools, can be repurposed into survival items.

3. Plumbing

In a post-SHTF world, conserving water is a top priority. Make sure to have regular maintenance on your house’s plumbing before SHTF.

If you have your own deep well, you can use a generator to run the pump and keep water flowing in the house. If there is a well nearby, you can extract your water using a hand pump.

Additionally, invest in a good working toilet and bidet to save from stocking up on a lot of toilet paper, which can be hard to get during a disaster.

4. Power banks

In this digital age, a lot of products, services and information are acquired through laptops, tablets and smartphones, so having access to power in the early days of a post-SHTF world will be invaluable. In order to keep your communication lines open in such a crucial time, invest in a couple of power banks that can keep your electronic devices running.

It may also serve you well to invest in a solar charger to charge your power banks, especially since the power grid will most likely be affected by disasters. (Related: Doomsday report warns Americans to prepare for six-month grid-down scenario filled with chaos and disruption.)

5. Smartphone

Besides serving as a communication device, your smartphone may come in handy during disasters because of certain apps that can help you keep track of time, access a compass or have a flashlight on hand. You can also download digital guidebooks on foraging edible plants or the basics of surviving in the wild.

That being said, if you are to use a smartphone for post-SHTF scenarios, make sure you choose a model that is tough and durable. To keep your communication lines open a little bit longer than a traditional smartphone, purchase a satellite phone as well.

6. Smart security

You may think that “smart” devices or “smart” homes have no real use in a post-SHTF world, but they can actually be practical in the event of a disaster.

Take smart security. Knowing that your house can automatically lock itself down in moments of danger can be a comforting notion. Moreover, if you can keep the power running throughout the house, your security cameras and alarms can continue to function.

Whatever unusual item or tool you have, it always pays to look for the survival value in everything you own. Learn more about repurposing items into survival tools at

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From a reader…


The most recent podcast with Ann Barnhardt was on the topic of prepping — HERE — and since the Church in the US might be needing to go underground sooner than we think one of the things we’ll need is supplies on hand so that underground priests can travel light and not carry full kit with them everywhere they go.

What are the minimum essentials to have a Mass if it’s an underground situation? Can a hand-missal be used if all of the Latin is there? Can a votive Mass be said on any day if there’s not access to a proper Missal (eg: print and laminate all the prayers for a full votive Mass to have on hand with wine and unconsecrated hosts)? What’s the best preparation we can make now to support underground priests (to the best we can make predictions about the future)?

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Firstly, I answer those few questions.  Then I will add some other comments.

Yes, a hand missal can be used.  In a pinch, such as we are talking about here, a hand-held device, screen-device, could be used.  Say you have one in “Farraday” cage or bag against the day when the coronal mass ejection hits and triggers a Carrington event, or an EMP from a foreign power.   Have your sacred books as PDFs (they are available) loaded.  Have physical books if possible.   Remember: if you are networked, more people can share the expense of getting concrete sacred books.    Not every group will need a Pontificale Romanum (for bishops), but the Missale Romanum and Rituale Romanum are indispensable.

Yes, in the situation you describe, when prepper conditions are engaged, sure.  Why not?  It would be great to have the Mass propers for, say, St. John Eudes.  However, if what you have is a set of cards with a couple of Votive Masses, such as of the Blessed Virgin or of the Holy Spirit, sure!   Use a Votive Mass!   And say you want a Mass of the Virgin, but you only have an old set of BLACK vestments.  In those conditions… who cares?  Use the black when “saying the black”.  Have only green but it is Christmas?  Use green!  And laminating is a good idea.  Hard lamination.

Definitely have wine squirreled away.  That might be the toughest aspect of all of this.   As a matter of fact, there is a way to make wine from raisins that would be valid matter for Holy Mass.  So, not only wine, but raisins and the know how to do it.   Flour and water and heat can make a valid host for Mass.  They don’t have to be pretty.  However, there are available for sale host irons.  US HERE – UK HERE  You would not need a high watt machine, since your power could be limited anyway.

What support?

  • Firstly, a place to stay that is safe where he can let his guard down and really sleep for a change.
  • Enough supplies to get to his next destination.
  • Antibiotics and vitamins, first aid stuff.
  • A working “ham radio” station (power, transceiver, antennas(s)).
  • Perhaps stock up on stuff that someone who is itinerant might need: changes of boots, clothes, etc.   Send him on his way refreshed.
  • Ammo: self-defense and also small game (which will be “money” if things get bad enough)
  • Olive oil.  You might ask priests to give you their old oils (SC, OC, OI) at the end of a year and then freeze them or store them in a dark cool place.  Or ask a friendly priest to request extra oils and then do the same.

In the past I have written about

ASK FATHER: Priest’s “Bug Out Bag” for TEOTWAWKI

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