Stopped in and visited with my Brother-in-law this weekend. I write his name as Bill because spell check drives me nuts when I write Bil. Besides, it is a good Opsec name for him. He has become more and more preparedness minded over the years and now figures his sister’s husband is less nuts than he first thought.
When I stopped by he was just getting ready to burn up a bunch of downed limbs from last weeks hail storm. He also burns all of his mail that has any personal or account numbers on it. He feels no one else needs to know any of his account numbers. We talked about the different ways we keep our numbers private and how we sort to burn. He has one waste basket all his stuff goes in and he burns it in an outdoor fire ring. I put all my “to be destroyed” envelopes and documents in an empty dog food bag. When it gets full I take it out and burn it in the burning barrel. That way I can not make the mistake of tossing it out as garbage. I know a couple of guys that run everything through a shredder before it leaves the house. Regardless of the method used, make sure you keep your account numbers and SSN to yourself. Always think Opsec.
Bill asked me to take his propane tank to be filled. He lives in a bigger town and it cost nearly $20 to fill a twenty pound tank. My rural company fills mine for just over $12. That is a big savings. He also told me he was on the lookout for one more tank. He has two now but felt he should have a third in case he needs one for cooking during a power outage or some other reason. I told him I had just acquired an empty one that he was welcome to if he wanted it filled. Made him happy and I was glad I could help him out.
Bill also told me that he found some larger cans of chicken on sale for a dollar a can. He put ten cans back in his food storage so he had some protein put away. We talked about several ways to prepare it so it didn’t get boring eating it as a survival food. Bill is a great cook and has good ideas on survival cooking.
We had a nice visit around the fire with an absolutely clear blue sky overhead. It was a beautiful morning for us and pleasant to exchange some ideas and information. He has always said that he plans on coming to the farm when TSHTF. Knowing he has a solid plan of action, knows what to bring, and that he will be an asset makes him more than welcome.
On that same line of thought, I emailed my cousin that lives in Roanoke, Virginia today and asked what preps she had taken for the visit of hurricane Irene. My cousin is not prep minded and I figured her answer would be a good counter point to my consent prepping thoughts.
Part of her reply was this: I have had my basement waterproofed since water leaked in 5 to 10 yrs ago with another hurricane. As far as provisions, I keep a couple gallons of water and otherwise plan to hunker down with one of a few friends who are “prepared.” Oh, yes, and I have also had all my trees trimmed so that hopefully, unless blown really far, no limbs will fall on the house.
I suspect that her couple of gallons of water is just that, two gallons. She did not mention food storage at all. No back up lighting, no way to heat if needed, toward the end of her e-mail came the conformation I expected: In case of long term power outages, my prepared friends have generators.
It gets mentioned on preparedness blogs a lot; open up a dialog with your friends and family about prepping. Her preps are to go live with someone else that she knows does prep. How many of your friends and family have that exact prep in mind? Your thirty day food supply could fall to a week in a hurry if several people come to your retreat. I feel very fortunate that my friends and family are at least somewhat prepped. I know that my wife’s brother is not only prepped but has a plan to show up with food, arms, and prepared to help defend the farm. I learned all that because I opened up dialog with and spent time visiting Bill.