This is the time for all of us to learn something abut “Building a community”. We have done our best to be prepared to survive and to continue to enjoy an acceptable good life, and provide for the present and for the future. Time surely appears to be getting very short. Now is the very best time we will ever have to ready ourselves to rebuild our community and provide the services and protection that we will need.
We sincerely believe that our post-SHTF life must be more than simple survivalism, more that just having enough basic food to survive at a lower calorie count, more than simple security from the Golden Horde. Life must continue to be about improving one’s self. Life must be about enlarging God’s kingdom here on earth. Life must be about creating strong love for families. Life must continue to be about helping those who truly cannot help themselves.
We have envisioned being able to help our very small town of about 500 population, to be a tight knit community of survival oriented family units working together to provide for our selves and others as may be needed. Our small town consists of about 125 homes with a terrific grouping of skill sets plus a 153-year history of working together on common interest projects. The nearest larger town is about six miles in one direction with another even smaller town about fourteen miles further up the road. A large segment of our town already strives to set aside a 1-2 years supply of basic food, fuel, and medicine.
Yes, about 60% of our little country town is Mormon and about half of them actually go to church with us. That is not the important thing. What really counts is that the folks around here are personally experienced in droughts, flash floods, forest fires, landslides, economic downturns, and just plain bad luck on occasion. In actuality we have experienced all of these disasters in just the immediate past 12 years. All of them! And FEMA and the Red Cross didn’t show up until the third day after the flood!
As for my family, we are actually two retired couples,, ages 72-72-61-62, plus four small dogs and two large cats, residing in a spacious shared home. . We have agreed that we are going to stay here when the SHTF. We are long-term (20 years) close friends and have learned to trust one another. We have compatible skills and experiences. Yes! two women can share a kitchen and stay friends. Actually sisters in every sense of the word.
Our location is in rural southwest Utah and is centered on a very wide valley mouth (about 4 miles), and next to and above a usable small river. There is an all year creek feeding the river right in the center of town. There is plenty of drinkable irrigation water. We have a two lane state road passing through and only two other roads coming into town. We can be very security oriented immediately! We have a goodly number of retired military and police individuals who are ready and committed to help as needed.
Many of our folks have large gardens and grow wholesome food. There are very large pastures in the immediate area currently used to graze horses and cattle. Many of the ladies here in town raise chickens and are bartering eggs already.
We, as a community, already know mostly who will need medical help, as well as who can probably help to “pull the wagons “when needed.
As for our combined four retirees family, we are fortunate to share a very large well situated home with ample auxiliary power, good water, and a large septic system. A twelve panel solar array (2.3 KW) and a thirty-foot wind turbine (1.6KW) will provide plenty of power as needed during the “hard times”. A Taller pole would be much preferred. We can heat the entire house with wood easily.
Our alt electricity system is a grid tied 48-volt system with 16 gel deep cycle 6-volt batteries. The batteries are situated in the garage and we are safe from battery fumes because of their gel configuration.
The turbine is good for our situation and our location. It is a FALCON MACH 5 from Missouri Wind and Solar. Good people to work with! They carry all of the miscellaneous parts needed to make the power system perform to our specs.
Our electric power situation is not the only one in town. Two other families also have solar power arrays. However, we do have the only wind turbine. We will be able to provide recharging for the many kindles, notepads, laptops and battery powered small appliances we all seem to need so badly.
Our home is now plumbed to filter the local irrigation water to the kitchen for drinking and cooking. In addition to watering the garden, we can use that water for showers and to flush the toilets. We have a roof mounted solar water heating panel. The small twelve-volt glycol fluid pump at the water heater tank in the garage is powered by a roof top tiny ten-watt solar panel.
I have spent nearly twenty years building an excellent library of specific topic books and videos so that what ever breaks down, disappears, wears out, or proves to be inadequate to our needs, will be rebuilt, repaired, replaced, or expanded. We will do whatever it takes to make it work! We have the specific knowledge needed to do the job. And we can teach others as well.
We have recently made a small investment in Kindles and an exterior hard drive for data storage. Nearly every day one of us downloads and/or copies data from another source into the kindle. Amazon.com has a huge list of EBooks available for free and a great many for just 99c.
Additionally there are 40,000 free eBook’s available from Project Gutenberg. No fee or registration is required. It is fabulous.
Another good site for free EBooks may well be your favorite university. Here is a search result from Google looking for “free university EBooks”.
A great place to find very good quality new and used books and videos is Half Price Books stores. We paid $9.99 for a box of CDs covering 1890 to 1995 National Geographic magazines. Every word, every photograph, every map.
Our personal main physical library has roughly five types of books. We work on expanding these regularly. Where do we find books and videos?
Everywhere! Yard sales, consignments, public libraries, Craigslist, etc.
Our favorite topics are mainly these:
History - American
Medical - “how to do it “
Drugs - Essential oils, homeopathic health care
Food - storage and usage
Farming - anything we can find about non-electric farming
Military – Army-USMC infantry low to mid level skills and leadership
Biographies - great men and women who built this nation
PLUS … K-12 BASIC LITERARY AND MATH SKILLS!!!
These information jewels are of tremendous value now, and even more when we start to rebuild our lives after the onset of chaos resulting from the loss of power, or the loss of financial systems, or the loss of regular food deliveries to our stores.
How will we use these data banks? Simply put, they are our DIY “how to” tools. We will build up a community known locally for good individual and town security, good medical care, good solutions to problems, great barter items, education for the children, gunsmiths, charged 12 volt batteries, protected trading fairs, barber and beauty shops, and nothing for free.
We will start with the community we already live in and know well. We will work with people we know and have learned to trust !
I am a 72-year-old diabetic with COPD and I need a regular supply of meds and a supply of oxygen 24/7. We were able to get a used Oxygen Concentrator from the local company that provides my bi-weekly liquid oxygen restock. A patient had passed away and that person’s concentrator was then considered unusable. The delivery tech cut off the power cable and gave the used concentrator to me. They wrote it off as destroyed.
I replaced the power cable and put the unit in the garage stores room as my backup. Further, I was able to obtain a supply of reserve air filters for the unit and extra tubing parts in order to be prepared when the O2 deliveries stop.
COPD is now the #4 killer in the nation. These oxygen usage situations are everywhere and are very serious. Many persons with various serious medical situations keep that knowledge to themselves. Finding them is important. Helping them to help themselves and others is critical.
A simple web search for “ Used Oxygen Concentrator” will produce more information that anyone may want or need. Three things are important. #1. Free to low cost shipping costs, #2. 30 plus days of warranty, and #3. a 5 liter per minute flow. Do not buy under 5 liter flow. Here is a link from the web search I did for these facts. There are many others available. http://www.dotmed.com/ The companies selling new ones all have good used stock as well. These same factors apply to obtaining other diagnostic and treatment equipment.
You can do a web search for companies selling new units and just make a list of their names and phone numbers. Do about 10 of them. I suggest that you make a list of questions with ample space between them to write the answers. Make enough copies so as to have a page for every company you are going to call. Now work the phone and make good notes about the answers to your questions. Always note the name of the person you are talking to. This is always a good research method for just about any important inquiries you might have.
As a diabetic I am concerned about safeguarding my insulin and keeping it cool. There was an article published in this blog site on 12-19-12 about a non-electric “zeer pot”. It is simple and it works. Look it up for yourself.
In our town we have at least 4 elderly widows who now live alone. Surly there are others. When the SHTF we will try very hard to enable them to move in with a “compatible” family who has room for them. Every family needs a grandma, especially one who brings food, blankets, books, smiles, and experience with her. This will reduce the levels of community needs for winter firewood, summer cooling, childcare, etc. And we will all be happier!
Why do we believe this type of community care is important? Experience and history both teach us that if we do not care for those who “can not take care” of themselves, then no one will be cared for. We will succeed, or fail, together. If we do not take care of each other, no one will be taken care of.
Another element that we should keep in mind is, how should a community deal with strangers wanting help coming to one’s door, especially if they have children? We all know that we must make difficult decisions well in advance before the situation occurs. So be smart! Make these types of decisions before you are stressed. Should you have to turn someone away, I suggest that you provide to them a small amount of food. One simple meal of beans and rice in amounts as needed. Send them on their way With a stern warning to not return.
A simple solution to future problems is to decide how you will respond to a situation in advance. And then perhaps agree in advance that the only new folks who will be accepted into your community are the family members of current residents. But first, I would require the current residents to commit to sheltering and feeding their newly arrived family member.
The newbies will need to be “thoroughly interrogated” as individuals, one at a time, and questioned separately as to skills and education and especially their background. Then the resident family will need to be questioned to assure that all of the family’s answers are the same. Do not be reluctant to say no!
Perhaps these suggestions are not exactly what you need. Talk about and make the decisions the decisions in advance. Be very careful whom you invite into your town, your secrets, your homes, and your hearts. Your worst enemy will be someone who will turn on you out of envy!
What about non-family exceptions? Keep in mind that your community will surely need some specific skills. Perhaps you need a plumber or a carpenter or a nurse or a teacher. Ask questions about skills and experience. Just what are the skills you will need almost immediately? Most likely it will be Military and Police. These two are fully separate responsibilities. They should work together, each within the parameters of their specific tasks.
Who is in charge? Perhaps an administrator, or mayor, or chairman. The actual title of the community leader really is not important. It just needs to be one that everyone understands who is the boss.
Your community leader will most likely perform best if he/she has two associates who work with him/her as counselors and surrogates with specific areas of authority and responsibility. One should be responsible for everything concerning medical and health. The other should be responsible for everything concerning food and supplies. Both will most likely have other areas of responsibility. Before management decisions are final they would need to be very sure that they are both ready to support the leader.
Your military commander should be, if possible a combat veteran, responsible for every thing concerning security outside of your local area boundaries. Your police commander should be an experienced lead officer, and be responsible for the community security inside your boundaries. Both should report directly to the leader. Neither should be a counselor. You will have enough to worry about without a mutiny.
These tasks are going to be much the same in every sized group and in every type of location. Yes! There will be differences, just be flexible and understand that not everyone will immediately agree with you. Be patient and teach through honest dialogue and skilled questioning. The best leader is usually the best listener.
Now back to our basics, books and videos. We do not want to reinvent the wheel. This wonderful web site has a terrific suggested book list of lists readily available to you. Use it first! SurvivalBlog.com blog.
Below we have a list for you of some of the books on our shelves. Some of the choices we have made for ourselves may well be nothing like what you feel that you need. No matter! You’re in charge. Smile anyway! Just do a list and get to work before the SHTF.
Our single expensive knowledge tool to date is the “Appropriate Technology Library” on four CD’s. The cost about six years ago was huge, $400. The four CDs contain 1,050 books. That’s about 49 cents per book! They cover everything anyone would ever need to know to start or to restart civilization, or just to build or repair a community infrastructure. The pricing has increased a little and the material is now available on two DVDs. Their web site is
REMEMBER THAT ONLY CORRECTLY APPLIED KNOWLEDGE IS REAL POWER!
Here we go. Already on our book shelves as I write this, from among the suggested titles on the Rawles gigantic list of lists: -
When there is no doctor * When there is no dentist
The encyclopedia of country living * Nuclear War Survival Skills
Ball Blue Book of Preserving * Boston’s Gun Bible * Tappan on Survival
Physicians desk Reference * The Merck Manual * LDS Preparedness Manual
Alas Babylon * Lucifer’s Hammer * One second After * Earth Abides
Molon Labe * The Postman ( book & video) * Out of the Ashes (1 thru 12)
Unintended Consequences (see warning) * Tunnel in the sky * Footfall
Atlas Shrugged * Jim Rawles Books ( All of them)*
Plus twenty-one more from the Jim's lists.
I am only including a selection of our other books that we have actually read, and there are many more just waiting to be picked up and gently used. As a rule, strictly reference books are stored in place, to be used as needed by someone to successfully complete a task or to teach a topic. Our total count in the library is in excess of six hundred plus the 1,050 on the CDs.
Farming 1918 Edition / Four Volumes Set - Sears & Roebuck
Farm Knowledge – Illustrated – pre-electricity -2,000 pages
American Survival Guide – 120 issues ( 10 years )
Medical / drugs Essential Oils by Bowles / Barron’s
The PDR Family Guide by Three Rivers Press
Acupressure’s Potent Points by Michael R. Gach
AMA Family Medical Guide by Random House
The Green Pharmacy by James A. Duke
Everyday Health Tips by Prevention Magazine
The Botanical Atlas by Daniel McAlpine
Prescription for Nutritional Healing by P. A. Balch
Armageddon Medicine by C. J. Koelker, MD
History Rights of Man by Thomas Paine
Original Intent book * Wall Builders DVDs by David Barton
Patriots of the American Revolution by Richard Dorson
Military Expertise: Company Commander by Charles McDonald
Company Command by John G. Meyer
Army Officers Guide by L.P. Crocker
On War by Clausewitz
Command in War by Van Creveld
West Point by Bruce Galloway
Citizen Soldier by Robert Bradley
Total Resistance by H. Von Dach
Biography Roosevelt F.D.R. & Teddy
Franklin * Churchill * Washington
Adams * Jefferson * Monroe
Food My wife has more than 40 books on everything imaginable
Concerning buying, storing, preserving, canning all types of Food. And that’s not counting her cookbooks & videos.
One more thing, no one should rely on the Internet for information because when the power fails, the Internet will die! It will be too late to get the information you will need.
It is our sincere hope that our readers will give serious thought concerning the timing and extent of your preparations in the areas of helping others and building a good life after we have survived the major disaster we are all facing. We are sure that Almighty God does answer our prayers for direction and decisions. Please refer to James 1:5 for this assurance.
We are passionate in teaching others the concept of making difficult decisions well in advance.
Remember Winston Churchill’s advice to the graduation collage class during the worst moments of WW2 “ Never Give Up."