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This diary is dedicated to the people who suffered the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, gun owners, and everyone who thinks the solutions are out there.

It's the first week of February. The Atlantic Hurricane season is now 4 months away. I live in New Hampshire, and the hurricane hit us as well, but obviously not to the degree it did New Jersey and New York. I lost power for about 18 hours. Prior to the storm I pumped about 300 gallons of potable water into various size containers. I did all the laundry I could, about 4 loads. I bought extra quick light firewood, some fresh batteries, and some gas for the generator.

I got the oil lamps out, rolled a couple of cigarettes and waited quietly with my cat. After the storm I was a good neighbor. I talked to all of the neighbors who are decent, and everyone was doing fine. They had made preparations too. They expect things can happen as well, because they lived it all before.

I am sure many of you are familiar with this lady:

I don't know this woman. I don't know her personal circumstances, then or now. What I do know, is that it was her sincere perception that she was in serious trouble, and was going to let Schumer have it. Needless to say, I think it's likely she didn't have any plan to deal with a world suddenly without electricity, heat, and grocery stores.

How many people do think are like this lady? Who want to tough it out, but haven't though about what that means?

You can empower yourself to handle your own needs for a time. That's what life should be about. In the same spirit of JFK, shouldn't we be our own best advocate by making some basic preparations?

New Jersey became a microcosm of what a large scale SHTF scenario can be. No power, heat, grocery stores. No running water. In some parts, rivers of raw sewage filling up basements. Gas shortages, with 8 hour waiting lines - and needing to staff the stations 24/7 with police.

New Hampshire even sent a trooper delegation down to New Jersey, to be sworn in, and relieve the local and state police of New Jersey. There were even reports of a very small area of New Jersey being under martial law.

Very bad indeed.

All of this is very public of course. Nothing covered up by the media as far as I can tell. The whole world was watching. We go through these events. We know they happen every year. And yet people don't prepare ahead of time.

I am not going to get in to that in this diary. In this diary I am going to talk about a very simple and affordable way to store some food that you can keep indefinitely, which should be part of your plan to deal with emergencies - which happen. They happen to everyone. Young and old, rich and poor, novice and veteran.

So let's talk about white rice. White rice is one of the great foods you can store long term, is very cost effective, and is fairly easy to do. Rice is not a great source of over all nutrition. Brown rice is better for you, but brown rice has a very short shelf life, because of the rice bran and oil in the bran. It goes rancid. Rice is the carbohydrate rich portion of your daily food requirement. It should not be eaten exclusively. But that's ok. During and after a major storm, chances are you are going to be burning a lot of calories.

But it is a good start for emergency planning.

To start with, you need some rice. This 50 pound bag of rice cost me 19.00 dollars at a warehouse club.

19 dollars is not a lot of money. I know people are struggling, but when it comes to your safety and your family's safety, don't you think you could set aside a 20 bill somewhere, and go to a warehouse club with a friend who's member?

To preserve it long term, you need to put it in a sealed container. In this case I am using mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. You could use mason jars with oxygen absorbers, or vacuum sealed mason jars. This is an extra expense, but the cost is pretty low per container. I use both mylar bags and mason jars, depending on what I am packing away and how much of it.

Quart sized mylar bag:

Oxygen absorbers:

Sealing up the 2/3rds full bag with a hot iron and old cutting board underneath:

 photo 20130203_125237_zps03e0afd7.jpg

Date your packages! And box them up before storing in a cool, dry place:

So what does this diary have to do about guns?

Well the answer is quite simple. There is much talk about who 'needs' what in light of the recent shootings. I want people to realize things can go from normal to a nightmare in the blink of an eye. And the only person who is going to be there for you, at least initially, is YOU. YOU need to empower yourself. YOU need to be the person who says I CAN do it.

How many people want to begging a burglar for their life? Do you want to be like this lady in the beginning of this diary? Would you like to go shopping and remain unmolested? Who is making sure that happens?

I recall from the testimony of one the parents of the Newtown massacre saying, "This is not the wild west, this is not Mogadishu." He is correct - most of the time. But yet, we have seen race riots like the Rodney King riots, we have seen people trampled to death over 3 dollar toasters on Black Friday. We have seen Hurricanes Katrina, Irene, and Sandy, just to name a few.

And yet the day before those events, everything was just fine. There is danger in life. We must face up to it. It is LAZY and SELFISH to demand the state be the primary provider of your health and well being.

"Mommy, I'm hungry, why don't we have any more food? Can't we go to the store?"
"Mommy, I'm cold, why is there no heat in the house?"
"Mommy, when will the lights come back on?"
"Mommy, there's a man looking in my window..."

What are you going to say? What are you going to do first? Do you want to be this person?

Turn the TV off. Get up off your knees. Take a good look around. It's all up to you.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Self Sufficient -------------- Survivalist Nutter (11+ / 0-)

    There's a wide gulf between being a self-sufficient person, family, and/or neighborhood - and being a paranoid nutso survivalist/post-apocalypse militia person.

    The first says:  "I have mine and enough to share."

    The second say:  "I have mine, and will take yours too.  With luck I can take it by force and feel strong, empowered, invincible."

    That plan works, right up until the first person says: "like hell you will", and puts 1 ounce of shotgun pellets in his engine room.

    The Survivalist always expects to be the only one armed. Top Predator.  Have the Sheeple do the hoard and carry, the provisioning.  Then all you need to do is TAKE what you want, when you want, how you want.
    Thinking "that's the definition of rapist"?

    Fuck begging them to leave, for what's not theirs to take.

    •  I like your insight (7+ / 0-)

      I hope this diary changes the conversation a bit on gun ownership, and why it might be a choice someone makes. Even if it is a very scary looking black gun.

      I don't know which lie to believe anymore.

      by Captain Janeway on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 12:44:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh good Jeebus. So obviously the media IS (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, Sharon Wraight, wilderness voice

        covering up the bands of looters who roamed the streets of New Jersey and other affected areas, raping and robbing and pillaging.

        Look at actual disasters.

        From what I read, Katrina was a nightmare for many reasons, some unique to New Orleans.

        People on the East Coast knew FOR DAYS this was coming. You are suggesting there should have been a run on guns instead of filling up their bathtubs and doing laundry?

        Flooding of the Red River of the North a few years ago? People helped each other, and that's a rural area with a fuckton of guns. I don't recall hearing of any massacres.

        Rodney King riots? California has enough guns, see how much they helped in the riots.

        If someone wants to live in a defensive mode, go file a claim in Alaska. While I do believe neighbors will be helpful in a pinch, you will have plenty of opportunity to take care of yourself.

        *There are two sides to every horseshit.* Kos

        by glorificus on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 02:56:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Strawmen, flippant answers (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, Tom Seaview, theatre goon

          Yep, passes the glorificus litmus test.

          I never claimed there were bands of looters. Strawman.

          I am suggesting you have every tool in your toolbox you can.

          I never said natural disasters cause massacres. Another strawman.

          Flippant answer on the riots. Not worth my time.

          You can live however you want. Myself, I will stand up on my own two feet for long as I can.

          I don't know which lie to believe anymore.

          by Captain Janeway on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:57:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  43N, agreed, that's why I have enough for my (10+ / 0-)

      next door neighbor and myself.  Not much but enough to get through a couple weeks.

      In Oct '06 we had a "Winter Storm" that dumped 4 feet across WNY. Leaves were still on all the trees and they came down cutting power to hundreds of thousands of people.

      Life takes on a completely different aspect when you can't turn the water or the lights on for 11 days.

      "Society" is only civil when everything works as it's supposed to.

      I do wonder though, how many of us are of the first type, "self-sufficient"?

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 01:35:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The scouting programs and camping used to (6+ / 0-)

        help us develop these skills in our kids.  Urban life made self-sufficiency more difficult because natural elements are not at hand: no wood, no foraging for food, no open fires for cooking and warmth, etc.
        One has to look at all events as providing teachable moments, and the weather systems have provided many.  But simple things like locating the exits to any place one enters are seldom taught anymore.  Those of us who grew up during the Civil Defense era in the forties and fifties understand the importance of situational awareness, preparedness and safety drills.

        Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

        by judyms9 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 03:00:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  My B-I-L is prepared for the Apocalypse (6+ / 0-)

      Not for religious reasons, just because of pessimism... he lives with my sister on the side of a mountain, and they are quite well-prepared to survive without supplies or utilities for long periods.

      Except they don't have guns.
      So, if things really get bad, someone with guns is going to come along and take their supplies & live on their land.

      We live down here in Suburban Sprawl. He asks me, "What will you do if the power goes off, and doesn't come back on for months... or ever?"
      My response: "After a few days, we'll bug out, head up there and stay with you."
      "Oh, cool. Then we don't need guns, because you'll be bringing plenty."

      They'd better hope we lose power at the same time, or maybe a few days before, they do... because, while we might possibly take their land back from whoever took it from them, they would probably not be around to thank us.

      Things are more like they are now than they've ever been before...

      by Tom Seaview on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 02:57:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree about sharing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher, gerrilea

      I like to have some basic supplies on hand, and I tend to think in terms of having enough for me, my best friend (who lives half a mile away but isn't into storing rice or spaghetti), and a little to give to a neighbor.

      Please visit:

      by Noisy Democrat on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:58:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  vacuum packing (10+ / 0-)

    I vacuum pack brown rice and other grains in mason jars; it lasts for years without going rancid.  I know this because stock is constantly being eaten and replenished. I buy in bulk and do this for economy. The equipment for this costs <$200. Disaster preparedness is a bonus.

    Mason jars are well worth it to insure protection against pests.  Also vacuum packing or oxygen absorption is required to keep insect eggs from hatching from within, even in wheat bran!

  •  Captain Janeway, thank you for the informative (5+ / 0-)

    and realistic diary.

    How many people do think are like this lady? Who want to tough it out, but haven't though about what that means?
    Many people here in WNY will "stock up" on supplies when we know a storm is coming and do you know what is gone within a day first?  Beer, chips/snacks, milk, soda and batteries.

    Question: I have over 150#'s of rice and have it stored in my basement, in the original bags.  I was always under the impression it can't go bad unless it gets wet.

    You mentioned it going rancid. Could you explain this a bit for me?  How do you know it's bad?  Smell, taste, color?

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 01:42:43 PM PST

  •  Oatmeal, Powder Potatoe, Lentils, Couscous, Barley (3+ / 0-)

    All cook up pretty fast, are more nutritious than rice, and keep for years.  Not as cheap per calorie as rice, but you can use them regularly.

    It's important to have practice cooking with a camp stove and back that up with a small hobo stove.  Keep a saw and hatchet handy.

    This guy is on the right track - all he'd need to go first class would be some bricks and a grate to elevate the pot.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 02:11:27 PM PST

  •  I'm plenty well prepared (3+ / 0-)

    for hurricanes. I've never needed a gun or wanted one.

    Of course, if your house is swept away, all the vacuum-sealed rice in the world isn't going to help.

    But for a normal hurricane or any sort of emergency, yes, we should be able to have a few days worth of food and water on hand, stock up on gas for the generator, etc.

    If we have the money to do all that. Your $20 bag of rice ended up costing quite a bit more after all that fancy packing. And there have been plenty of months where I didn't have that $20 or the money to stock up on fuel.

    Yes, normal people can take reasonable precautions and make some plans. After a very short period of time, though, most people are going to need help, organized government-level help.

    •  I hope you never need to use a gun (7+ / 0-)

      But that doesn't put you in any less potential danger from the people that don't prepare at all.

      I don't know which lie to believe anymore.

      by Captain Janeway on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 02:28:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're exactly right about one thing: (9+ / 0-)
      After a very short period of time, though, most people are going to need help, organized government-level help.
      If it shows up, you'll be fine. If not, you may have other problems. (Ask the good folks of New Orleans, or Staten Island, about the timeliness of "organized government-level help.")
      The diarist does not advocate violence, but does point out the need to be prepared in case violent people come to visit.

      My family has tools & equipment to deal with all sorts of emergencies. We have enough vehicle cargo capacity to get ourselves and our key belongings out of the area if needed (we upgraded that capability after Katrina, and again in 2012). We are equipped for reasonable loss of power and other utilities. We have tools to make plumbing, carpentry, electrical, and other repairs... not that we want to, but we can and we know how.
      And we have tools that we really don't want to use, other than for punching holes in paper targets, but we can and we know how.

      If you don't have the tools to cope with an emergency, you can wait for "organized government-level help." I suggest you call 911 (if your landline works, or your cell phone is still charged). While you're waiting, the people who just burst into your house from the dark, cold, hungry & crowded neighborhood a few miles away will certainly refrain from harming you and yours... if only out of courtesy, right?

      Things are more like they are now than they've ever been before...

      by Tom Seaview on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 03:24:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When the HUGE ice shelf in Antarctica (4+ / 0-)

    breaks off, drifts out to sea & melts...
    The seas will rise 3 to 10 meters

    Sooner than anyone thinks

    Who is mighty ? One who turns an enemy into a friend !

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 03:39:51 PM PST

  •  You can buy long grained white rice in 25 lb tins. (7+ / 0-)

    I have several.  

    Many hands make light work, but light hearts make heavy work the lightest of all.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 03:56:08 PM PST

  •  Free Mason Jars From Costco (5+ / 0-)

    Costco sells the Classico spaghetti sauce in 3 packs of real mason jars.  

    Their salsa comes in plastic mason jarrs that are excellent for storing grains, sugar, grease etc.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:42:28 PM PST

  •  Mason Jar Oil Lamps (5+ / 0-)

    This guy's a doofus, but he's showing the mason jar lids that are threaded to accept oil lamp burners.  These are available from Lehman's.

    The nice thing about this is that you can keep your lamp oil in mason jars for storage and just switch the burner to a fresh jar of oil when needed.  Get the good brass burners which burn with a bright steady flame, not the cheap brass plate burners.  

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:52:52 PM PST

  •  5 years ago I stockpiled some spaghetti (8+ / 0-)

    About 20 pounds, in 1-lb packages, in a plastic storage bin, the ordinary kind you can get at Target. As it happens, I ran out of "current" spaghetti so tonight I cooked some from my 5-year-old food stash. Tasted fine. I couldn't taste any difference, in fact.

    Please visit:

    by Noisy Democrat on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:56:58 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the reminder and the ideas. (3+ / 0-)

    We're pretty well covered for short term emergencies, but I will be looking for supplies of rice and a few other things.  

    Love the mason jar converters, even though we have a number of oil lamps and various LEDs.

    The small solar lamps you put by walkways make good emergency lamps if brought inside.

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 07:36:45 PM PST

  •  Did I wake up in a 1950s FreeRepublic nightmare? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prairie Gal


    A scare-mongering prepper diary on DailyKos? With various implications that this somehow relates to current debates over gun-violence? With veiled hints about vigilante justice, following natural disasters? All of it fitting a right-wing (Lakatos) discourse?

    Yes, most of us have supplies in our pantries, that we refresh on an ongoing basis, usually enough to last a couple weeks, so there's no need to hermetically seal things for 10 years (and not enough room in my apartment for such dead-storage). Yes, my family is stocked with career Army, Scouts, backpackers, hunters, fishers, wild foragers, etc. And none of us supports this kind of claptrap.

    No, most of us are not going to live through a Katrina/Sandy type of disaster, and even if we do we're not likely to be victims of looting. (And if someone comes to loot my pantry for food, no, I won't kill them for it.)

    (McCarthyism against Hagel/Gore, duck-and-cover on DailyKos -- what decade is this?)

    Join us at RASA: Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment. (Repeal will not ban guns, just help regulate them.)

    by Sharon Wraight on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 11:25:05 PM PST

    •  I sealed up bags of rice 3 years ago... (6+ / 0-)

      I recently looked up the shelf life of rice - 25 to 30 years.

      I was surprised. Some good information here i.e. plastic containers, other long-lasting foods.

      And the poeple bowed and prayed To the neon god they made...

      by third Party please on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:17:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How many strawmen can you pack in one comment? (9+ / 0-)

      Scare-mongering? Strawman. What a load of crap. I am making a point about being prepared and not depending on others for your well being.

      Vigilante justice? Strawman. I said no such thing.

      Hermetically sealed? Strawman. I said no such thing.

      You live in an area with no hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or power outages? Sounds like Shangri-la to me.

      Attacking Hagel/Gore? Strawman. I said no such thing.

      Duck & cover? Strawman.

      This is the 21st century. And yet there are still very old fashioned natural disasters. Imagine that.

      This diary is obviously not for you. I suggest you ignore it and rely on whomever for your personal well being. You have it all under control. I can sense it.

      I don't know which lie to believe anymore.

      by Captain Janeway on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:50:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why are you attacking the diarist? WTF??? (7+ / 0-)

      "FreeRepublic"??? "scare-mongering prepper"???

      "veiled hints about vigilante justice'???

      You do understand there are many of us here that believe a firearm is like any other tool that one should have in their tool chest?

      Or is this framing too mundane and non-controversial so you had to create these strawmen arguments to attack to "spice it up a bit"???

      If as you've claimed that your family is stocked with x,y and z. Do any of them own firearms? Because that's what you want to debate here isn't it? NOT the substance of this very informative diary.

      What's the longest you've ever lived without power, water, heat?  Katrina woke many Americans up, myself included.  I was one of those "happy-go-lucky" individuals that never realized the frailty of our "just-in-time" supply chain.

      You do know we only have enough National supplies for 72 hours, right?  We once had over 7 yrs of grains and food stuffs.  72 hours!

      What you fail to understand here is the diarist pointed out that $20 worth of rice packaged properly can be stored and forgotten, IF AND WHEN the time may come one might need it.

      She's presented us with Food Safety Procedures that accepted as the golden standard in the Food Industry.

      Why are you feigning some other intent here?  The Amish know how to do all this and more, are they "scare-mongering" too????

      I was taught by my mother and father how to farm and can food.  ARE you trying to make that knowledge and experience forbidden?  Why?

      Oh, right, "redstate prepper mentality".


      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:35:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your post... OMG... (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:

      Things are more like they are now than they've ever been before...

      by Tom Seaview on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:13:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Self-defense, and defense of essential.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theatre goon

      survival supplies, is NOT "vigilante justice".

      The rest of your hyperbolic "clap-trap" is similarly nonsense.

      Good word, by the way, thanks!

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