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The Boy Scout motto Be Prepared is probably considered evidence of terrorist (or at least extremist) inclinations in the USSA Today. I wont even get into the parts about hiking in the woods, carrying knives and practicing survival strategies. In my day, we even had a merit badge for marksmanship with a gun.
But, weekend camping expeditions aside, how to be prepared in situ? In your home? For when the SHTF?
Guns (and ammo) are obviously good things to have. And every person who wants to be prepared for a possible fecal-flinging scenario ought to have them. So also food supplies and medicine. Check.
Then I got to thinking about related stuff that is arguably just as essential which some be prepared people may not have taken into consideration but really ought to.
A heat source, for example.
Not just for cooking, either. What if the SHTF in winter? If the utilities go down, and stay down, how will you keep from freezing? How will you keep the pipes in your house from bursting? Imagine three or four months, potentially, of freezing winter weather on your own. Some people heat with natural gas, propane or oil the latter two of which, not being dependent upon a grid pipeline, can supply you for a few months if need be. I however prefer old school.
I prefer wood.
For one, it is free (provided you have some land which you ought to, if you took steps to Be Prepared) and doesnt require you to leave your place to obtain it or even to deal with the outside world at all. For two, it is simple and (if you get a good wood stove/insert) extremely efficient. You might even look into something thats very popular in my neck of the woods: An outdoor wood stove. It heats your home and your water, too. The other advantage to these puppies is you only have to feed them wood twice a day. Theyll slow-burn all night. And they run on other fuels, too such as pellets. (See here for an example.)
Provided you planned ahead and bought a least one top-drawer chain saw (I recommend Stihl) stored up a few spare chains and a sharpening tool for it, plus plenty of chain lube and treated gas (two five gallon jugs will last a long time) youre covered and wont freeze or have to eat cold food. Since we bugged out to the Deep Country, I have made it policy to cut and split wood at least one year in advance. So right now, I am working on wood for the winter of 2013-2014. I already have the winter of 2012/2013 covered.