What should you be stockpiling right now in order to avoid the need to go to a temporary emergency FEMA camp or to meet your family’s needs while attempting to avoid being ushered gratefully to a permanent FEMA resettlement camp? Water, long-term food storage items and plenty of ammo are three of the most important and obvious choices, but there is much more you will need to survive a lengthy disaster.
You do not have to be a millionaire to garner all of the food your family will need to survive a disaster. Growing your own groceries and taking advantage of long-term food storage sales help keep the budget in check. As noted in part 2 of the FEMA camp series, working with your neighborhood and community to better prepare the town for a disaster has a lot of advantages. OPSEC is not one of those advantages and perhaps you live in a more rural or isolated remote area, with the nearest neighbor living (at least) 50 acres away. Working with extended family and friends to create a mutual assistance group (MAGS) or a tribe, as I prefer to call it, can achieve the same (or perhaps, even better) preparedness result.
Disaster supplies are essential, but so are skills. Learning sight, sound and smell discipline will help keep your food preps from being discovered from the marauding hordes. Knowing how to start a fire with damp wood, being able to find your way in the woods and brewing up natural home remedies to combat common ailments are also skills which will enhance the chances of survival.
Medical preps are almost always considered the most difficult aspect of completing self-reliance goals. Even during a short-term disaster, the need for advanced first aid and replacements for lost prescription medications could quickly become an issue. When the mobile FEMA camp centers arrive in your town, do not stake your life on the staffers coming with diabetes medications and antibiotics.
Dr. Joe Alton, more commonly known as Dr. Bones from Doom and Bloom, Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy fame, shared his medical prep tips and insight with eFoodsDirect to help others become better prepared to survive a disaster.
“Even if you have stored or are successfully growing food, you may still wind up in a FEMA camp if you’re not prepared to deal with injuries and illness that could occur in a disaster. Few people have enough medical knowledge or supplies to deal with these issues. If the grid is down, improper sterilization of water or preparation of food can lead to a number of diseases that, without proper treatment, may be life-threatening. Increased physical exertion during activities of daily survival can lead to lacerations that could become infected if antiseptics aren’t available. Simple sprains could worsen without splints and wraps to immobilize the damaged joint. A supply of antibiotics might prevent minor infections from becoming major ones that require FEMA’s intervention.”
Alton also believes that skill-building is key to preparing for and surviving any type of disaster.
“Obtaining knowledge is the key to medical self-reliance. Consider taking first responder courses offered by municipalities to learn how to stabilize victims with injuries. Put together a good “survival” library that can serve as a reference for situations when a disaster makes you the highest medical resource your family has. Books like the Physician’s Desk Reference will have information on drugs; others that cover family medicine and first aid will be useful. There are few medical books that are willing to assume that modern medical assistance is no longer an option. One that does is The Survival Medicine Handbook. Its focus is to teach the average person how to deal with injuries and illnesses in disaster settings where emergency services are not on the way. Your medical supplies will be the tools that you will use to keep your family healthy and out of FEMA camps. A good kit will have plenty of bandages, antiseptics, orthopedic supplies, antibiotics, gloves, masks, and much more. From a medical standpoint, the more knowledge and supplies you have, the more likely you won’t need FEMA’s help to stay healthy. Our ancestors were self-reliant, and it’s time that we take steps to re-learn lost skills that they used in everyday life.”
Dr. Bones medical supplies list includes not just commercial medical preps but also highlight a host of homemade remedies that will likely be useful both now as when times are good as a natural alternative, and after the SHTF.
“If you’re already growing food, why not have a medicinal garden as well? It pays to use all the tools in the medical woodshed,” Dr. Bones added. Dr. Joe Alton’s advice goes hand-in-hand with the survival gardening tips offered by bestselling author Rick Austin.
Rick Austin, who I affectionately refer to my “weeds are good pal” for his old-fashioned way of gardening which totally flipped out my seasoned gardener father-in-law, is passionate about growing all the food your family will need in a small space, and plant it so it hides in plain sight.
“You can grow as much food as you can consume in a survival garden format. The crop grows seven times more food than a traditional garden, and don’t’ need a lot of space – you grow in three dimensions. You are even concealed when picking the food, people can’t see that you are in there. In a typical row garden format you are up above it all, people can see you, you’re a target and so is your food.”
The Secret Garden of Survival bestselling author went on to note that when the marauding hordes or even neighbors, can see your garden, they also know that the house had food – making none of your preps safe. Austin and his wife, Survivor Jane, also have an orchard, vineyard, berry farm growing area on their property. The older the fruit trees and bushes get, the more they produce. One less than half an acre, Rick and Jane grow more food than a four-person family can eat in a year, beginning with the very first harvest.
Prepper families who are stuck in suburbia where restrictive HOA mandates are in effect can also grow the food their family will need to survive without experiencing fines and dirty looks from their neighbors. Rick Austin’s guild gardening style and the Secret Greenhouse of Survival tips offered in his second book, should comply with nearly all local ordinances and not attract unwanted attention from hungry passersby during a disaster.
The secret greenhouse concept appears to be just an add-on enclosed porch. You can grow crops year around, even those not native to your environment.
“We pick three to four different plantings each year. The typical seasonal planting and then replenish, porch greenhouse, year around three to four different plantings, typical seasonal planting and then replenish. The shade offered by the design makes it cooler by about 20 degrees in the summertime. This allows us to grow plants in the middle of the summer which would normally wilt, like lettuce and spinach. Think preparedness in the long term. If you live in Ohio you wouldn’t ever see oranges again. Oranges lemons, coffee, all those daily staples and potentially great barter items, would no longer be available. Little things, like a cup of coffee in the morning, will make a huge difference in morale during a disaster.”
Rick Austin also shared his thoughts on FEMA camps, he beliefs on the subject are as strongly held as his views on survival gardening.
“FEMA camps will have barbed wire pointed inside, like prison, not refugee camp. Fencing like that is designed to keep people in and not to protect from outside attackers. Why would anybody in their right mind, who has done any kind of research whatsoever, want to go to a FEMA camp? It will not be a voluntary entrance, they would take you by force. Look at history. The Jewish people in Germany and Poland just could not fathom what was really waiting for them and the end of their train ride to the Nazi camps. Surely their own government was not going to harm them. They all naively packed their bags and ultimately walked to their own deaths. Horrific and heart-wrenching photos of the walls of gas chambers inside Nazi concentration camps show distinctive fingernail claw marks. By the time the Jewish prisoners realized what was happening, it was too late. The only way I would wind up inside a FEMA camp would be on my back with no pulse.”
Austin is also a big believer in self-reliance and preparedness skill building to enhance the overall chances of living through a TEOTWAWKI scenario. Rick highly recommends attending the annual Prepper Camp in Saluda, North Carolina to learn and hone your survival skills. Prepper Camp is a 3-day total immersion in preparedness.
“At Prepper Camp you get to meet speakers face to face, and sit around campfire with the speakers and others interested in self-reliance. The event is a lot more than just someone standing up in a classroom. At Prepper Camp 2015 we have at least 64 classes, with eight classes going on every single hour – including a night vision class that is actually held outdoors when it is dark so you can actually see how thermal optics work. The camp is a family affair with entertainment, and good food offered as well.Folks which are extremely serious about preparedness attend from around the country. Being a part of the event and learning the skills necessary to help their loved ones survive is so important that many of our attendees are willing to take an entire week to journey here, absorb all of the offerings, and then head back home.”
What do you think FEMA camps, the mobile help offered by FEMA during a disaster, and the need for survival education?