Guest article by ” RWT “

Personally, I view this episode of our history as a great dry run that we could control. If “10” is a true blackout across the globe then this is a “1”.  My reasons are outlined below, and my lessons learned along the way. What about yours?

Now, that being said, I slept better knowing I’ve been following this blog for a few years and I knew what to expect after reading “One Second After” (view book on amzn).   I consider myself between Kens’ level 3 and 4 on the preparedness scale. 

I have accumulated doubles of most items that I need to maintain a comfortable existence. Food for at least 6 months for the entire family, if not longer, without buying anything. Meds for 3+ months. More tools than a big Orange Store. A BOL with 7000lbs of beef on the hoof. A ½ acre tank stocked with fish.  Water treatment and containment for the entire family as long as we have average rain. Fuel for a month and solar as a back-up for smaller needs. An expandable garden, general knowledge of trying and failing with it and a solid seed bank with library.   

(All my personal defense items suffered a tragic boating accident years ago so I am relegated to pitch forks and torches.)

The Lessons I Learned

The lessons I learned from this event are numerous. 

I’ll outline a few and I am curious to hear those of the group. 

My family will adapt slowly.  The DW was happy I had prepared, however, still slow to conserve as she is a stickler for expiration dates.   She relented a little on the milk and bread; still she would not budge on meat or canned items. 

I still need many items in quantity. I have enough for this short event and can complete the majority of the tasks I want to.   Many tasks revolve around expanding the garden and solidifying the food supply longer term.

More lumber for building longer term projects such as a chicken coop or rabbit hutch. I can also go scrounge and scavenge the constriction sites if it was that bad. 

More wire for the garden, fruit trees, coops and hutches.   Fighting nature is a full-time job and every critter in the area wants what I have in my garden.   The 4×4 covered garden produced enough for our small family to augment our needs.  Now a 12×12 is required IMO.  

More tarps.  I never expected a hail storm so I had to cover the garden with what I had.  Plenty of tarps to complete the task, but they wont last more than 1 or 2 storms at best. 

More bug/ant poison.  Just keeping the ants down with all the spring rains is a chore.

More medical supplies. The non-digital thermometer I had as a back-up did not work and I had to break into the last bottle of Benadryl.   

Fresh produce will be the most difficult to come by.  I failed to plant the fall garden due to changing the entire program for the spring and we just started the spring garden when COVID hit.

I never realized how many paper towels we went through.  Luckily TP is not an issue as I listened to NRP.   Grey hair and experience are invaluable as I have lost the tops of many a hunting sock over the years so I stocked up. 

You can never have enough batteries; goodness knows why I ordered 144 more.  I told myself it was to keep the 7 game cameras operational.

Bread is a huge need.   The DW baked a loaf when we were short and couldn’t find any in the store.   Luckily, she had enough yeast.  I now see this as the Achilles heel of our bread situation.  How to store yeast or bake bread without it.   I need to find Kens article on it, print it and try it.

[ Read: How To Store Yeast ]

Keeping a better library of articles on “how to” for items I am not familiar with. Baking bread without yeast is an example.  I can camp cook and make meals decent enough for me.  Try convincing a 10 yr. old when “food” doesn’t look like what they are used to.   I know the growling stomach will turn that around, but as a father I want to do everything in my power to not be in that situation.  Luckily, my 10 yr. old has as much of a brain as they can at this age.  They ate what was in front of them. 

Family and friends turned to me for advice. Some were more adaptable than others.  I also learned who not to trust during our conversations as they are running around town without a mask or being just clueless. I know who is not allowed at my home or the BOL and I already had the HARD conversation with them about how their selfishness has changed our relationship, regardless even if they are your own parent. 

This is just a short list of thoughts.  I’ll tighten up my preps and adjust my needs based on this event. 

Now let’s hear from you. Are there areas you have gained a new perspective on?

This content was originally published here.

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