Monday, March 7, 2022

What have I been doing as the war in Ukraine drags on?

By Tim Gamble

Well, the war in Ukraine continues. The good news is that so far the war has been limited to a small regional war (meaning it is taking place in a single region and mostly between two countries, although both are getting some aid from others). The bad news is that the longer the war drags on, the more likely that other countries get actively involved in the conflict, and the greater the risk that things spin out-of-control. Even if the war stays contained to Ukraine, the longer it lasts, the more impactful it will be on worldwide supply lines and fuel prices, among other things.

Given the situation, many of my long-time readers may be interested in what I am actually doing right now to up my preparedness and survival. Luckily, I have been a prepper / survivalist for about 20 years now, so much of what I need to do is already mostly done. But there is still plenty I am doing. Some examples:

>>  I've spent a lot of time over the past week getting the garden ready for this year, including expanding the area I've set aside to grow food. I've also planted many of the early corps (lettuce, onions, early peas). The garden will continue to occupy much of my time and effort.
>>  I've kept my gas and gas storage topped off and rotated. I don't let my vehicles' tanks drop below 3/4 full before I top them off. This means extra stops at the gas station, but I would rather "waste my time" doing that, then to have my vehicle be almost empty when the gas stations run dry. 
>>  I've kept my food supplies topped of and well-rotated. I've even added to my canned meats and to my stored grains (oatmeal, cereal). Ukraine is a MAJOR grain producer, and its production will be mostly off-line this years. Expect global supplies of grain to be reduced and costs to increase in response. 
>>  I've added to my stored ammo, mainly because I found some at a surprisingly good price over the weekend (which means I am out looking for deals on useful stuff).
>>  I've reviewed materials and my plans for what to do in case of a nuclear event, including re-reading the article Minimum Pre-Crisis Preparations for a Nuclear Event. By the way, you can download a free .pdf copy of Cresson H. Kearny's Nuclear War Survival Skills at the link given in that article. This excellent book is also available in paperback on Amazon for $14.29 currently. It is good to have a physical copy of this book, in addition to the .pdf copy.
>>  I've also watched the videos on nuclear preparedness that Southern Prepper 1 has uploaded to his You Tube channel. 
>>  I bought some extra plastic sheeting, tarps, and gorilla tape to use as dust barriers from potential nuclear fallout. Dust kicked up by nuclear explosions can travel great distances, but the good news is that the fallout dust is contaminated by gamma radiation which quickly degrades very rapidly. You will need to protect your homes/shelter, and especially your skin, eyes, and lungs, for the first 48 to 72 hours after a nuclear event.
>>  N95 masks and even those ear loop facemasks we all have now are actually good for protecting against fallout dust (dust being considerably larger than viruses). Long pants, long sleeves, shoes, safety glasses, ski masks, and gloves also work. Reduce the amount of exposed skin as much as possible. You don't have to have really expensive gear. If you do want to go the extra step, check out protective suits and N 95 masks on Amazon. 
>>  I've located my previously purchased Potassium Iodine (KI) tablets (I actually had more than I realized) so that I know where they are in case we need them. I've also reviewed instructions on how and when to use them.  
>>  In case you don't know, KI is used for radiation poisoning. They are not expensive, and are available without prescription. Click here to find them on Amazon (there has been a big run on KI so prices are going up quickly and supplies are running low). According to the CDC "People should take KI (potassium iodide) only on the advice of public health or emergency management officials. There are health risks associated with taking KI." Learn more on the CDC website by clicking here.  
>>  I've also taken some cash out of the bank to keep on hand in case cyberattacks (or a nuclear event) knocks the financial system off line for a few days or longer.
>>  For similar reasons, I've also made paper copies of recent bank and financial statements in case the electronic systems go down. 
>>  Finally, I have reviewed with my household what our plans are in certain eventualities. Everyone needs to be on the same page, and know what to do.  
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