I'm a new prepper from Texas & need help getting started.

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Ally Oakley

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I am new to prepping. I am 47 years old, my husband (53) and kids 19, 23 & 27 all still live at home. We have decided to bug in if something happens but my inlaws do have a remote nonworking farm an hour away if we need to bug out. Their well is electric and if power goes out, there would not be a water source. It is also far away and we are usually within 15 minutes of our home, so getting back to our home is never a problem. We live across the street from a large lake, so we decided that with water, fish, wildlife and firewood sources nearby that it would be best to bug in if possible. We have started buying firearms and ammo. My husband and I also obtained our CHL's. Two of our kids are well trained in firearms and will be getting their CHL's as well. Our son wants to become a gunsmith and works on our guns. We purchased fishing equipment & fishing licenses and are well stocked in that area. Our daughter is an EMT/CNA specializing in pediatrics and is also a former pharmacy tech. I study orthomolecular and natural medicine. We are well stocked for most medical situations and are adding to our stock of medical supplies on a weekly basis. I have been learning to can and bought both a water bath and pressure canner. We put in a garden but I suck at it and almost everything died. We are going to try again and after become better educated in gardening & starting a compost bin. We bought a chicken coop for four chickens but are not sure our HOA will like us having chickens. We may get them anyway and pray they don't find out. Next on our list is water storage and purchasing water filteration/treatment equipment. We will also add two rain barrels to our home. We are adding to our food and cleaning/hygiene supplies weekly. I am now making my own laundry detergent and learning to make other types of cleaning and toiletry products. I am going to try to get large pieces of plywood so that I can at least cover my lower floor windows for security if needed and we will be adding security film to our windows and reinforcing our exterior doors. I am also going to be buying and storing propane BBQ tanks. We have also discussed buying enduro motorcyles for transportation in case we need to bug out. We are also on the lookout for a couple of port-a-potties and used solar panels. We are looking into getting our ham radio license as well. I don't know where to go from here. Any ideas?
 

Gazrok

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Welcome! Sounds like you've got some solid plans, but in an HOA, you're going to really have to worry about your neighbors. They could become your worst enemy in a SHTF situation. You certainly have the medical thing covered.

not sure our HOA will like us having chickens. We may get them anyway and pray they don't find out
Don't get a rooster then...but they will still likely find out. Just takes one, you know that.

How trustworthy is the water from the lake? (and how do you intend to get it to the house). Remember, you'll be competing for it with any other survivors in the HOA. My suggestion here is to get a couple of rain barrels to collect rainwater. (and some storage barrels to hold any water you get before the event, or from the lake).

As for the well at the farm, there's a $15 bucket you can use to access modern wells' water in the case of no power. Personally, I'd recommend the rural location, but I can understand the urge to stay home too. But, may be a good idea to get that bucket if you do need to head for the farm.

An old-fashioned outhouse may be a better solution than the port a potties. Check into it. In an HOA, I wouldn't recommend building it, but have the materials onhand and precut, so post SHTF, it could be assembled and used. ;)
 

Ally Oakley

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The likelihood of us being able to make it to the rural area would be really hard. We actually live on our preps and rotate them, so we would have to store up a lot at the in laws and then continually go out there and add stock and pick up groceries to live on. They are getting older and have sold all their livestock and let the tank dry up. I would just hate to have all my provisions out there, not be able to get out there and be screwed. After we do what we can here, we have discussed setting up a bug out location out there as a #2 BOL. We bought one of those vintage canned ham campers and put it out there and we will be restoring it, adding solar panels, a battery bank and propane appliances. Our HOA will not let us store it at our home, so we have to leave it at the farm. If we had to use it for a mobile BOV, we could but it would be hard with 5 adults and a 100 pound dog. We would ultimately like to sell our home in the city and relocate to the country but we can't at this time. One of my biggest concerns is that it gets really hot here (up to 110) in the summer and if we have to keep our windows and door closed while we are without air conditioning, I don't know how we will survive. I am looking into solar panels and hoping that there would be enough power to run at least one window unit and preferably two. I am just afraid that the noise will attract people to the fact that we have power and make us a target. I am wondering how expensive and difficult it would be to put solar panels on my roof. Is it something that I could do myself? As far as getting water, we could just put 5 gallon buckets in our wagon, fill them up and bring them back home. It is literally at the end of our street. I don't want to rely on doing that but if we had to, we could. The lake is fed by the Trinity River which is the main water source for this area. It would have to be treated but is totally drinkable. I will have to look into building a privy if we need it. All I do is keep thinking about what I haven't done or what I don't have covered. On top of that, I don't think any of my extended family have done a damn thing to prepare. I am sure all of them will try to come here. My husband will feel sorry for them and let them stay, I'm sure. It is hard enough to prepare for the five of us. If 20 people show up, we're screwed.
 

Gazrok

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Yep, I figured it was like that. Sounds like you're doing great though already, as you can in that area. Just don't underestimate the neighbors if things get desperate. Lucky for you, the odds of them being armed and prepared for anything are pretty slim. Solar can be expensive, but can be done yourself (and in stages). The real expense (besides equipment) is in the batteries, and in a pro hooking it up safely to provide some power. I feel you on the A/C. Here in FL, we need it too, but luckily, out here, if some windows are open, we'll get by. We have 5 people here too, but I prep with at least 12 in mind (as some will join us, and bring valuable skills and manpower to the table). They'll be bringing stuff too at least, like weapons, even body armor. (one's a cop).

I mean it on having the water barrels though. A couple months ago, we had a water leak, and got a first hand trial of the no water challenge, and those barrels saved our butts.
 

Ally Oakley

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Yep, I figured it was like that. Sounds like you're doing great though already, as you can in that area. Just don't underestimate the neighbors if things get desperate. Lucky for you, the odds of them being armed and prepared for anything are pretty slim. Solar can be expensive, but can be done yourself (and in stages). The real expense (besides equipment) is in the batteries, and in a pro hooking it up safely to provide some power. I feel you on the A/C. Here in FL, we need it too, but luckily, out here, if some windows are open, we'll get by. We have 5 people here too, but I prep with at least 12 in mind (as some will join us, and bring valuable skills and manpower to the table). They'll be bringing stuff too at least, like weapons, even body armor. (one's a cop).

I mean it on having the water barrels though. A couple months ago, we had a water leak, and got a first hand trial of the no water challenge, and those barrels saved our butts.
 

Colt 1911

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Welcome aboard !! Sounds like you have things covered and way ahead then most. On the water issue, don't forget you can boil and maybe think about personal filters for your family members. Life straws are like 20.00 bucks and are pretty small and lite. I am not saying in-place of your other system it's just a thought.
 

Ally Oakley

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Welcome aboard !! Sounds like you have things covered and way ahead then most. On the water issue, don't forget you can boil and maybe think about personal filters for your family members. Life straws are like 20.00 bucks and are pretty small and lite. I am not saying in-place of your other system it's just a thought.
I will look into those. Any thoughts for what kind of filtering/treatment system I should get for our home? I want something that doesn't require electricity of course. Also so many different views on what firearms to buy. Is it okay to list what I have on here and ask advice on what I should add to it? Or should I just keep my trap shut about what I have? ; ) How much ammo is enough? My husband, son and I all have fixed blade knives. My son and I carry them at all times. Husband can not have it on him or in his vehicle at work since he works on federal property. Not loving my knife. Need advice on what I should get to replace it. So much to do and it can be so overwhelming. Cleaned out pantry today and realized I didn't have as much of certain things as I thought I did. I know organization is going to be key.
 

Altani

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Welcome! It does seem like you've got a great start. I've got some family down in your neck of the woods but they aren't really into prepping.
As far as potties, there is another option. You could always try to build a composting toilet. I've been trying to research that a bit. Good news is it gives you fertilizer for gardening too.
I'd be really worried about the air conditioners being loud but I do understand. Like I said, I have family down there and I know how hot and dry it can be. That's why I very much agree with the water storage suggestion for you guys especially. Not sure what else you could do to stay cool except maybe have some kinda plan to make your place VERY dark during the day and vent/let in cool air at night. This could be an issue as far as not getting enough sunlight if you hole yourself inside for too long though.
Nonetheless, welcome to the forum! It's a good place to get ideas and suggestions!
 

Colt 1911

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I will look into those. Any thoughts for what kind of filtering/treatment system I should get for our home? I want something that doesn't require electricity of course. Also so many different views on what firearms to buy. Is it okay to list what I have on here and ask advice on what I should add to it? Or should I just keep my trap shut about what I have? ; ) How much ammo is enough? My husband, son and I all have fixed blade knives. My son and I carry them at all times. Husband can not have it on him or in his vehicle at work since he works on federal property. Not loving my knife. Need advice on what I should get to replace it. So much to do and it can be so overwhelming. Cleaned out pantry today and realized I didn't have as much of certain things as I thought I did. I know organization is going to be key.
Well as for the knife I go with a Swiss Army knife a folder and a multitool. For fix blade Roninsensei is the one to ask, hundred bucks he says Cold Steel. He will help you out no problem. I will find the thread on filters and send it to you.
 

Ally Oakley

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Well as for the knife I go with a Swiss Army knife a folder and a multitool. For fix blade Roninsensei is the one to ask, hundred bucks he says Cold Steel. He will help you out no problem. I will find the thread on filters and send it to you.
Thanks guys. Any thoughts on firearms and ammo?
 

rudyc

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You can buy a power inverter that can hook up to your vehicle's battery and power the water well, if a generator is too costly.
 

Ally Oakley

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You can buy a power inverter that can hook up to your vehicle's battery and power the water well, if a generator is too costly.
I am going to suggest that to my in laws. I many even buy an inverter to keep here at our home. We are on the lookout for a generator but don't want to rely on one if we can help it. I still think we will bug in for now and not go to the in laws' farm. Hopefully we can purchase a few acres soon and build our own homestead. We had considered putting all our resources into the farm and doing more of a co-op kind of prepping effort but no one else in our family takes prepping seriously. It is very frustrating to do all the work and make all the financial sacrifices so that dozens of other people can continue blowing money on crap and then reap the rewards of our sacrifice. My sister in law actually told me last weekend that if SHTF, she was coming to my house because they hadn't done anything to prepare. I didn't even know what to say. All I know is that when SHTF, I will put my husband and kids first. Then, I will help our elderly parents. The rest will be on their own. I do not have the room or provisions to take care of dozens of people. If our parents insist that we let the rest of the family come in, I will put them out too. Hate to be mean but people see what is coming. They have the ability to prepare and they aren't. They are going on vacations and buying new cars instead. Sorry to rant.
 

Gazrok

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I was originally looking into generators earlier this year, but have to put it off until later in the year. I've pretty much decided to go with a diesel one for a few reasons. Last longer, typically quieter, and can use a variety of fuel. I do like the inverter idea for the well, but the tricky part is that a) these are usually hard-wired, not a plug, and b) usually the higher voltage amount vs. 120. There is a $15 bucket (shaped like a big Tylenol capsule) that can be used to get water out of modern wells, so that's good in an emergency (but won't give you running water).

They have the ability to prepare and they aren't. They are going on vacations and buying new cars instead.
No doubt, they feel it isn't going to happen in their time, so they are enjoying it while they can. They may be right too, but doesn't help you much. Personally, I doubt it will happen in my lifetime (or if it does, maybe when I'm older), but I do hope that I can install the basic idea well with the kids (even though new adults really), and give them the skills they will need. In addition, they'll inherit the ranch, complete with all planned preps done, so really, they won't have much to do but maintain it.
 

Ally Oakley

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I was originally looking into generators earlier this year, but have to put it off until later in the year. I've pretty much decided to go with a diesel one for a few reasons. Last longer, typically quieter, and can use a variety of fuel. I do like the inverter idea for the well, but the tricky part is that a) these are usually hard-wired, not a plug, and b) usually the higher voltage amount vs. 120. There is a $15 bucket (shaped like a big Tylenol capsule) that can be used to get water out of modern wells, so that's good in an emergency (but won't give you running water).



No doubt, they feel it isn't going to happen in their time, so they are enjoying it while they can. They may be right too, but doesn't help you much. Personally, I doubt it will happen in my lifetime (or if it does, maybe when I'm older), but I do hope that I can install the basic idea well with the kids (even though new adults really), and give them the skills they will need. In addition, they'll inherit the ranch, complete with all planned preps done, so really, they won't have much to do but maintain it.
Who knows. We have water main breaks and tornados regularly around here. Just makes me crazy.
 

Ally Oakley

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I just have a hard time pouring my money into someone else's property and then I won't even know if I can get there in a bug out situation. I am doing everything I can to turn my home into a fortress now. Then when I get my own homestead in the country, I can just move all my provisions there and start turning that piece of property into a more self sufficient homestead with a well, stock pond, chickens, livestock and greenhouse. Will also put in a bunker of some kind. My philosophy is to make the best of the location I have now and save for a place in the country. If something happens to my in laws and we inherit their farm, we would pour everything we could into it but right now, it isn't ours. The kicker is that many of our family members talk about when SHTF. They know it can and will happen. They even say they think it is happening soon. They are just lazy. Like most people.
 

old_anorak

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Welcome to the forum. You've got a lot on your plate and it sounds like you are addressing the issues as they come up. One thing for an outhouse... if you are allowed to have a shed in your back yard, just put it in the shed then no one has to know.
 

Ally Oakley

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Welcome to the forum. You've got a lot on your plate and it sounds like you are addressing the issues as they come up. One thing for an outhouse... if you are allowed to have a shed in your back yard, just put it in the shed then no one has to know.
Thanks. I looked into the composting toilet and I think we are going to go that route. We will be building a large compost bin too.
 

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