The-End-is-Near-2Imagine you wake up tomorrow and there is no electricity, no natural gas, and the stores are shuttered. A crisis has struck while you slept. The government has declared a state of emergency. Landlines do not work no Internet and no cell phones. It is dark and you are already hungry.

Some people are oblivious to their surroundings, and if they wake to a cold dark room, they panic. They may not survive because, they immediately deny the facts and some, will succumb to fear and perish quickly. Training and practice stifles panic. Knowledge gives you the confidence to meet any crisis. Because of the crisis, you must begin gathering and preparing food for a prolonged period. Begin training yourself today about environmental awareness.

Bottom line is:  Do not panic, and pay careful attention to what is around you.

The First Day

Take inventory, and begin gathering all non-perishable food.  Frozen foods will stay frozen for another 24 hours if you do not open the freezer door.  Consider the fact you may have to leave your home, so gather all the backpacks, as well. Keep in mind your neighbors or even strangers may be in panic mode and will be desperate.  They are not hungry yet but are in a high state of distress. Be careful and begin hiding some supplies away from the home. People may attempt to ransack your home for food or other supplies, so remove all essential items as quickly as possible. Bury as much as you can and mark the locations. Once settled after the initial shock, usually the next day, began preparing any frozen foods you have.

Unless you have stockpiled food for weeks or even years, you may enough for a week, maybe even less. Food is a priority and it must be prepared safely. You do not have electricity, and the propane or natural gas stove is inoperative. You must build your own stove and it must be outside. Never start a fire inside of any structure. Canned foods can be consumed without cooking, unless it is otherwise stated. Never consume raw meat.

Day 2 Already Feels Like a Lifetime… but It Is Just the Beginning

Depending on the crisis, the stores in the area may have already been looted. You must survey your area for farms, and look for domesticated farm animals and garden plots. If you live in an urban area, look for patio gardens and or community gardens depending on the season. You may have to hunt wild game or gather farm animals for a sustained crisis if you live in a rural area. For your own survival you may have to, shall we say, borrow items that may otherwise go to waste. If the entire country is a crisis, you will have to gather items from abandoned stores, warehouses and other homes. This is a fact that you must deal with quickly. There is no one to call, and you must move quickly and make decisive decisions.

Build a Stove

Manmade bricks, cinder blocks or natural stone can be used to build a cooking stove. The design must be such that it contains the fire and allows you to place grates across it for pans or for laying meat. Everyone has seen the shows where the survivalist bites the heads off snakes or frogs without cooking them first, bad idea. All meats must be thoroughly cooked to kill all bacteria in the meat. The internal temperature must reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You may not have metal grates but you can use wood. Trim some hardwood branches such as oak, maple, ash or hickory. The wood must be alive, or in other words, green. Lay the sticks across the pit so they do not touch the flames. The green wood will not burn unless it is in direct contact with the flames. Therefore, you must build your stone fireplace high enough to allow room. You will cook from the heat and not the flames. Never burn treated lumber for cooking, or any non-wood item at all. Use only hardwoods for cooking fires. Use pine as a last resort. Non-wood items may give off toxic fumes. Treated lumber uses arsenic in it preservation process, so never burn for heat or cooking.

Proper Cooking Is Essential To Maintain Health

Cook all raw meat at once. Cooked meat will last several days without refrigeration whereas; fresh meat will spoil in a matter of hours. You can smoke meat to preserve it, as well. Cut the meat into strips and build a platform high above the flames to lay the meat on. Forked sticks at either end of the pit can be used. Place several long branches across the pit using the forks as a support, and lay the meat over the branches. Build a fire and use green wood to create smoke. The smoke, and not the heat, is what will cure the meat. Make sure the smoke from the fire encompass the meat at all times. It will take up to 24 hours to cure the meat. Meat can also be placed in salt for preservation; salt will draw all the moisture from the meat. This is called salt cured meat and you can cure fish with salt, as well. Dried meat does not have an environment that allows bacteria to grow. Bacteria will cause meat to decompose, or in other words, spoil. Whether you are smoking or salting meat, the objective is to get the moisture from the meat as quickly as possible. Bacterium needs moisture to live. Think of beef jerky.

Think About What You Are Doing At All Times

Do not drain the liquid off canned goods. You can consume the liquid to help prevent dehydration and to conserve your fresh water supply. Save the empty cans to use as cooking pots. You can also boil water in cans. Keep in mind the cans are sealed with solder in some cases, and prolonged contact with heat will render them useless. However, they can be used for one or two meals.

If you butcher wild game or farm animals cut the meat into sizes that can be handled easily. Begin cooking the meat or preserving it immediately. Rinse the meat in clean water if it is available. Soaking wild game in salt water will reduce the game taste. Use this method only if you have an adequate supply of drinking water. Water is a very critical component of survival.

When preparing wild game, remove the liver and heart and save. Rinse if possible, cut up and place in a pot of water. Allow to simmer to provide a high protein broth. Your digestive system may suffer after a few days. You will need adequate fiber. Fiber can be obtained from oatmeal, leafy greens and beans. You can also take a few tablespoons of cider vinegar daily to aid in digestion. Distilled vinegar is acetic acid, or in other words, fermented alcohol. Cider vinegar when consumed will also ward off biting insects. Your body will secrete the acid when you sweat, which repels insects.

There Are Certain Conditions You Must Create

Bury all food waste away from camp or your structure. The entrails and scraps will attract predators and create odor, as well as, allowing a breeding ground for bacteria. Blood from wild game can be consumed. The drained blood must set a few hours to allow it to separate. Once you see clear liquid on top drain off and discard the liquid. What is left is a high protein concentrate that can be used as a drink after boiling. You can also use it to as a cooking base, just add vegetables or meat.

You must maintain discipline within your family or even if you are by yourself. Begin establishing duties. Someone must be in charge of gathering and you must assign cooking duties and so forth. Gathering and preparing food will be a full time job.

On the job, training is not an ideal situation during a crisis. Being prepared before the crisis will greatly increase everyone’s chances of survival. You cannot afford to experiment with your food or water supply. Begin now gathering the essentials that will allow you to gather and prepare food so it is safe to eat. Practice and training is not a waste of time, because you never know when you may wake to darkened room. The crisis will strike without warning. You must be prepared to sustain life for a prolonged period. You will only have yourself and family to rely on.

If you a looking for other practical preparedness tips, get a free annual subscription to PREPARE Magazine.