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Be Prepared

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Be Prepared

Post by assassin on Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:04 am

With world events in uncertainty and Brexit uncertainty it is prudent to be prepared, but what and how can I simply do this? essentially the same format is followed if you are on benefits or on an excellent slary and here are a few suggestions for people to follow.

Food - there has been fearmongering about food shortages and if we leave the EU they will cut off certain foods just for spite, simply adding a couple of extra tins of food to the weekly shop will build up your stocks, if you grow your own then tinned meats are best but tinned fish is another option, if not you can add many tins of various vegetables and fruits to your list to build up your stocks. If you grow your own food you can bottle it and freeze it, always build up a good stock over time and rotate your foods to ensure those with the longest dates are the ones in stock, freezing and bottling methods can be found online if you don't know how to bottle or freeze correctly. Basically you add a little each week to your stock and as it nears its date you put it into your general stock and replace it with replacements with long dates.

Grow Your Own - if you grow your own it may be prudent to get a good stock of seeds as by having a good stock of seeds you give yourself security, if it looks as if there is going to be food shortages there will be a mad rush of people stocking up on both foods and seeds if they think they cannot get what they want, and decide to grow it, many will and this will lead to a seed shortage. Stick to essential crops and where possible stick to rapidly growing crops which will easily store, onions are a good example of this as they can be tied and hung somewhere cool and will last for a long period, and use more self sustaining crops such as kale or chard as these can have their outer leaves picked and they regenerate themselves and give a prolific crop from a very small area, basics such as cabbage, carrots, and many other staple foods can be consigned to larger growing areas as these come in a variety of types for all year round growing.

If you dont grow your own it would be prudent to begin with some simple container gardening, during the warmer months you can grow salad items such as lettuce, radish, spring/salad onions outdoors as these grow quickly in containers, but never fall into the beginners trap of planting a full packet of seeds and getting a full crop at once as most of it will be thrown away, learn to phase your planting and grow a few, regularly and often and waste nothing. If you have a greenhouse you can plant your tomatoes, chilis, and peppers as well as many other things.

Water - this is an essential of life and food, harvest and store water from your house and any outbuilding roofs as you can water your plants and if water is restricted or cut off you can clean and purify your stored water very easily using things such as sand, leaves, and charcoal which you can make yourself from materials you can readily obtain such as semi burned wood which is burned with a lack of oxygen, and then boil the filtered water ready for drinking. Many filtering methods are available to study online and are practical and resourceful with a little simple knowledge.

Heat - if you have an old open fire you can press this into service and you do need to prepare and this means periodically cleaning the chimney using nothing more than drain rods and buying a chimney cleaning brush for it, take an ond sheet and cut a slit into it, screw the brush onto a drain rod and push the rod through the sheet and tape it over your fireplace, add rods and brush the chimney all the way up until the brush comes out of the chimney and draw it back down slowly and remove the rods one by one. You will need to smoke bomb your cleaned chimney to ensure it will draw and let the gases escape and these are simply placed in the hearth and lit, you watch the smoke and ensure it goes up the chimney and not into the room. Many birds will nest in a disused chimney, some chimneys may be capped on the roof, and ensuring they are clean and draw are essential.
If you have a log burner than installing it is a good idea, or you can make one if you have basic fabrication expertise and making one ready to insert is a good idea, you will also need a stock of dried logs and for a modest log burner you will need at least 5 tonnes of logs per year, getting a stock is essential and having somewhere to store them under cover is a must do.

Log burners are a great way of heating as you can cook on them, you can boil water on them, and many people have found that by a little effort of collecting and cutting logs they can run them during the autumn and spring periods to heat their homes and cut their energy consumption tremendously, many people cite a 50% saving on gas as fairly typical as they light them in the evening and run them until bedtime and bank them up to run through the night until they go out, this keeps the homes warm and many houses retain this heat. During winter months it still saves on gas bills as the log burner produces a lot of the heat and the central heating only kicks in to supplement it.

Fuels - many people use many differing fuels and gas and electricity is the norm, if you are a camper. caravanner, hiker, boater or motorhome user you will be used to cooking on botttled gas cookers, simply getting a couple of meduim sized gas bottles and a cheap camping cooker will give you two or three gas burners to cook on, if you store it away and periodically use it for testing and then clean it you have a means of cooking.
Vehicles need fuel and diesel and petrol are the usual fuels and simply filling a can when you fill your vehicle means you have some fuel to store away, diesel does not go off and is reasonably safe to store and as for petrol, you have to make your own judgement on that one, but bear in mind that you may have a chainsaw for cutting logs and this requires petrol and dont forget the 2 stroke oil and chain oil which is also needed. Keeping a stock means you can use your vehicles and tools and anything such as generators if you have one, for at least the period of your fuel stocks.
Electricity can be produced by simply having a small and cheap wind turbine and a storage battery, as a minimum it will recharge rechargeable torches and other equipment if the turbine is attached to a shed or outbuilding as the windiest weather is in winter when more lighting is needed, having two batteries is another option as with some LED lighting you can light a couple of rooms and run lighting for hours by using one battery and charging the other, if you are a camper you may have a gas lantern and getting a stock of the disposable cylinders means you can have portable light.
You can recycle waste paper for fuel, tear up paper and put it into a bin, add water to break down the fibres mix well after a few days and compress into pucks for fuel logs, if you add 2 parts paper, 2 parts sawdust, and 1 part horse pr cow muck and pulp this and add to a mould and compress this into pucks with a hole in the middle they last much longer and give out more heat and once you dry them out you can put them into bags and seal them up.
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Re: Be Prepared

Post by daveiron on Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:56 am

Just to add ,re container growing. Due to a hip injury I grow everything in containers .for example you can grow 50 carrots in one bucket ( £1 each in all hardware shops) use a seed planter ( £1.50 ) and sow each seed individually ,sprinkling is very wasteful .I buy my seeds from a seed merchant on ebay 4500 carrot seeds ( 99p) .I start sowing early spring and sow more every couple of weeks & i'm still sowing. i've had no damage due to frosts, when ready bring a bucket near kitchen door and just pull as and when required.
For those containers not being used in the winter,empty the soil into those 1 ton bags from builders merchants the containers will stack neatly together out of the way until needed again .No digging ,to avoid weeding also cover area with heavy duty membrane. The disadvantage with container growing is that they can dry out quickly and in hot weather you may need to water up to 3 times a day.

I have a couple of emergency led lights ,consisting of a bulb about 2.5 mts of cable and a solar panel about the size of a postcard ( 2 for £11.00 ebay) they are supposed to run for about 3 hours . However if when being used at night ,
point the solar panel facing the bulb and they will still be going in the morning.
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Re: Be Prepared

Post by assassin on Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:01 am

You can get kinetic energy systems Dave, the most common ones are the wind up items which use capacitors and not batteries, although some are using a combination of the two now. 1 minutes steady winding for 3-5 hours of light is very little winding for an evenings light, you can even get lanterns and radios powered by kinetic but you do have to search for them as there is more money and profit in rechargeable and disposable battery powered items which is why they are the predominant items.

I am glad I installed a water powered generator so I have mains power even when the grid drops totally, or is deliberately turned off.
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Re: Be Prepared

Post by Lopsum on Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:41 am

we now buy bulk rice and dried foods like oats , a 5kg bag of rice will last 3 people at one portion per day 2 months .
found this portion guide which helps you plan by weight and generally for dried foods the portion weight is about the same . 75g . So a 5kg rice and a 5kg oats would be good things to have in emergency . Olone that would be rations for 2 months.
https://www.cookipedia.co.uk/recipes_wiki/Portions_per_person
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Re: Be Prepared

Post by assassin on Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:43 am

We buy in bulk also, we get several bags for the village, rice, oats, sugar, flour, and anything else we need.
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