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Back in the 1970's I spent a lot of time reading Mother Earth News and studying the habits of people.  Always wanting to be out in the country on a few acres to become self-sufficient.  Years later I am living on a few acres out in the country but not quite off the grid. 

I spend a lot of time helping folks who are looking for their ideal spot that matches their intent. 

In the coming weeks I will be adding information I"ve gleaned over the years about where, what, and whys of safe, self-sufficient living.

Please check in from time to time for new items and properties.  *JK

If you would like to know when updates occur, you can follow me on Twitter @jimkettler .


Location, Location, Location

Quite a few years ago I was sitting in a surburban subdivision, after a hurricane, waiting for the electricity to be restored.  It was the middle of the summer just outside of Houston, and we were without power and water for over two weeks. 

It was then I began wondering what I would do if power was never restored.  Where would I get water, where would I get food, how would I cook my food, etc. 

Living in a subdivision surrounded by hundreds of other people in the same predicament as we, I began considering where would THEY get water, food, and other items neccessary for living.  The answer was not comforting.

Knowing many of my neighbors to be kind and considerate people, some we even went to church with, it was still not hard to imagine parents doing whatever necessary to get what their kids need, or spouses doing the same.

I remember reading in Mother Earth News a few years earlier about creating a supplied safety zone.  Here are some of the criteria put forth:

Find a location at least a 3 day walk from any city with a large population, which equals about 100 miles.

Most people are going to wait for the Powers That Be to restore the basic utilites, as I was doing.  But if they are not going to be restored (and who would know if communication was not available) most peole will stay in place for 2 weeks, waiting, or until their food and water runs out.  Then they will start walking. 

Since most people are not familiar with harvesting their own food, or getting safe drinking water, they will go in search for it.  Since many will be walking hungry and thirsty, they will not make more than 15 - 25 miles a day (on average).  A person can live approx. 3 weeks with out food, and only 3 days without water.  3 days at an average of 25 miles per day equals 75 miles, puting them well outside the 100 mile range.  If they go get water, go without food, and make the 100 mile range they will be in a weakened condition, presenting them with a less than favorable situation for overpowering and taking anothers food. 

For this reason I have always looked at land beyond the 100 mile range.  This is one the strong points for living in and around Palestine, TX.   Palestine is located over 100 miles from Houston, Dallas, Shereveport, and Austin.  Centrally located so we can drive to a major metropolitian area within 2 hours, but very few would be willing to walk here.


Update: 1/8/12:

Finding the right place (or a place) is a first good step toward security for you and your family.

One of the next things is make a Plan.

We all need a plan for an emergency or Natural Disaster where communications or travel may be hindered.

Here is FEMA's webpage for making a plan: PLAN

Since emergencies are not convenient you will want to set up a place for all family members to meet. Make sure that everyone knows, no matter where they are, they must make it to the meeting place, usually it is home or Property depending on age of children and any elderly family members.

My wife and I keep a small backpack in the trunk of our vehicles that has a 3 day supply of water, food, shelter, fire making equipment, and shelter. It is amazing what you can fit into a small backpack. A few food bars, several bottles of water, an inexpensive aluminum blanket, a knife, and matches or butane lighter. These are alwasy in our cars and ready if needed. Our plan is with these we can make it back to our house if we are caught out in an emergency.

If you are meeting at home with the intent of moving to another location, what is your plan to get there? Which route will be the safest and quickest?

Anyone who has been on the Gulf Coast during a hurricane knows the difficulty of getting out of town when everyone else has the same idea. It is a good idea to map out your route and drive it once or twice to get familiar with landmarks. Become familiar with backroads.


Update 1/18/14

Plan for the worst and hope for the best. 

No one is ever totally prepared for what they encounter in life, but if you are conscious of potential problems or hazards you may be better able to cope with the dangers of discomfort they may present.

Having like minded friends and family are the best prepping tools at your disposal. 

While prepping has taken on forms from having a little extra water on hand to the creation of compounds and communities, everyone can find folks who are interested in the same level of involvement.  Never worry what others think about how you plan to protect or secure your family, it is your responsibility, not theirs.