Nine Ways To Be More Self-Sufficient (Even If You Live In The City)

Many people are intimidated by the idea of becoming more self-sufficient or preparing for disaster because of the misconception that you have to live in the country or at least have a bug-out location in order to do so. This simply isn’t true. There are many things urban or suburban dwellers can do to improve their chances of surviving or even thriving in the event of a disaster when leaving is not an option. A little thoughtful preparation can prevent you and your loved ones from becoming victims in an unstable situation, even if you live in the city and don’t have a lot of room to spare.

Here are nine ways you can make yourself more self-sufficient; less dependent on frequent trips to the grocery store; able to take care of injuries and illnesses in an emergency; and defend yourself, your family, and your property. Even if you can only do a couple of these things right now, you’ll still be ahead of the game while you work toward implementing the others:

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First Things First: Key Questions Facing The Beginning Prepper

[Editor’s Note: While there may be three million Americans preparing for a paradigm shift which promises to change our very way of life, that leaves roughly 99% of our population that has failed to take any serious steps to insulate themselves from catastrophe. Earlier this week we asked “How Horrific Will It Be For the Non-Prepper?”, in which we detailed the disastrous consequences that await those who will get blindsided by a widespread natural or man-made disaster. Hopefully, that articlewill be enough to convince some “non-preppers” to start putting their well-being into their own hands by developing personal and familial preparedness and response plans for far-from-equilibrium scenarios that may strike at anytime.

As Norse Prepper points out in the article below, one of the key motivators for ramping up your personal larder, supplies and skill sets is to avoid ever putting yourself and family into a situation where you are left with no choice but to tell your loved ones that you’re, “going to get us some food and will return with it or die trying.” In a scenario like that your odds of survival diminish significantly.

If you’ve turned the corner, or been ‘awakened’ as we like to say in alternative media, then the notion that the system as we have come to know it could fall apart around us without warning can be very overwhelming at first. So, too, is the daunting task of determining what steps to take next and how to go about creating your own personal preparedness plan to shield you from whatever may befall us.

The following questions, suggestions, considerations, and topics of discussion are a primer for those who have chosen to take control of their personal safety and security, and may help to point beginning preppers in the right direction.]

Inspired by the article regarding “How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper?“, I thought I might also submit the following article on what it is like to be a new prepper. The purpose of this article is not to tell my story, but to give perspective on how overwhelming it was for me as a beginning prepper.

With the amount of knowledge that readers at this website display, what could I possibly add?

My answer to that is perspective.

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Live Like a Prepper but You Don’t Have to Be a Prepper: A Tale of Two Cities

[Todd’s note: Follower’s of this blog know that I am a lover of unconventional wisdom when it comes to health, nutrition, and fitness… which I consider your most important prep. I discovered Dr. Dan Stickler (Paleo Doc) in his post at SurvivalBlog a few years ago. His advice confirmed my Primal prepping lifestyle. He graciously agreed to write this article for Survival Sherpa readers. Thanks, Dan! Enjoy! To connect with Dr. Stickler, see his bio below.]

I live half of each week in Asheville, NC and the other half of the week in Charleston, WV, these cities are of similar size but the mindset of each group is very different. Asheville would be a wonderful place to be if there were an “event” that took society back a century or two. The population of Asheville has the mindset that makes them a great prepper society. Many people raise their own chickens, have permaculture yards, have gardens, and there are many small farmers. You have people with bees, people making butter, old-fashioned soap makers, and even people making clothes. These are just some of the things you can find at any of the five or so farmers markets that are going on around town on various days of the week. People here are also very environmentally conscious and active in promoting it.

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What Would You Do For “Truth”?

I closed a recent post by saying this:

If you’re not willing to suffer for your beliefs, you’re not much of a believer.

To that I will add that the statement remains true, no matter what types of beliefs we’re talking about. Either we have the guts to stand by our beliefs or we don’t. (Which is why a lot of people avoid them – they haven’t the guts to choose.) Holding to our beliefs under fire is the crucial test – not of our beliefs, but of ourselves.

Anytime you move the world forward in some way, you will receive a backlash. In a world like ours – a world neurotically devoted to stasis – that is almost unavoidable.

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Sniper Basics For The SHTF Survivalist

God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best – Voltaire

For a long time sniper tactics have been considered by many, even in the military, to be akin to a kind of state designated “murder” rather than a legitimate combat strategy. Only in recent years has sniping achieved a certain level of recognition. Centuries of warfare have passed in which snipers were happily recruited for their skills, and then quickly swept under the rug and forgotten once conflict was over. Daniel Morgan and his crack-shot riflemen were instrumental in America’s revolutionary victory over the British. U.S. sharpshooters rained hell down on German troops from over 900 yards during WWI. Snipers have dominated the battlefield in every modern conflagration. Yet, regimented sniping schools were not standardized in the U.S. Army until 1987. All previous schools were abandoned within a few years of their establishment.

Why did it take so long for the sniper to be recognized as essential to victory? Perhaps because snipers are TOO effective, to the point that they become frightening to the establishment.

During the Finnish “Winter War” against the Soviet Union in which they were vastly outnumbered and outgunned, guerrilla tactics, which they called “Motti tactics”, were used to excellent effect. The Finnish devastated the Soviets using hit and run attacks, homemade and improvised weapons, and snipers. The most famous of these snipers was Simo Hayha.

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Drought. A Letter

Dear James,

The biggest current threat to the U.S. food supply is the extraordinary drought that has had a relentless grip on the western half of the country. If you check out the U.S. Drought Monitor, you can see that drought conditions currently stretch from California all the way to the heart of Texas. In fact, the worst drought in the history of the state of California is happening right now. And considering the fact that the rest of the nation is extremely dependent on produce grown in California and cattle raised in the western half of the U.S., this should be of great concern to all of us.

According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. interior west is now the driest that it has been in 500 years. Snowpack in the Sierra’s is 15% of normal.

California already lost 40% of the citrus crop due to the freeze in December. Driving into Fresno you can see much of the orange crop still on the trees rotting. Without the income from the crop, the farmers can’t pay the workers to pick it.

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The Importance of Being Prepared

Former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once said, “I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best” ( Some people falsely believe that being prepared is the sort of thing that is only reserved for fear mongerers and doomsday enthusiasts. However, being prepared does not mean that you want the worst to happen. On the contrary, it means that, although you hope for the best, you are simply ready for anything that might come your way. In the same way that you get insurance in case your health declines, it is important to take out your own “insurance policy” for every area in your life. This might include food storage, home repairs, budgeting, or any number of tasks.

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Pros and Cons of Freeze-Dried, Dehydrated, MRE, Canned, Food-Bars, Grains-Beans

A pros and cons list of the various methods and types of food for storage that you may consider in your overall preparedness plan.

Add your own to the list…

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Event Phases : Understanding The Progression to Collapse

My proof reader, harshest critic, and prepping partner (my bride of 45 years) read my first cut of this article and told me that it was interesting …….. but boring! She may be right, but I still think it’s worthy of a few minutes of your time to read. The points I make may be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer but, even if that’s the case, they just might offer some guidance to help us better understand the timeline of how things might shake out ……….. and how that will affect our actions. If we understand the structure of an Event cycle it might help us to prepare more effectively. In this post I have used the word “Event” to describe anything we would otherwise refer to as “SHTF” or “TEOTWAWKI”. The term “Phase” describes distinct (although variable) blocks of time before, during, and after an “Event”.

As I go through my routines of prepping the topic of this article kept popping into my mind. For me, and I suppose for all of us, prepping is a constant cycle of reviewing my plans and evaluating priorities for the purchase of goods we still needed. That and trying to figure out how much is enough keeps me busy! I find that attempting to balance the issue of available funds (we’re retired and on a fairly fixed income) versus the timeline of how soon the items might be needed is an almost daily task. Our “prepping” priorities can quickly change as U.S. and World events mutate and continue to degrade. Decoding the available information regarding world affairs (in an effort to make intelligent decisions) can drive a person to distraction. Even so, we must keep our focus on the reality of our own situations. I guess it’s a matter of trying to productively function somewhere between Chicken Little’s “the sky is falling” and a more complacent attitude of “watch and wait”.

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The Top 12 Things to Disappear from Stores During an Emergency: And Why You Shouldn’t Care

There was a post from Tom Sciacca, owner of the Camping Survival site back in April of 2013 that listed the Top 50 things to disappear from Store shelves during an emergency. This post was compiled from a poll that Camping Survival ran on their Facebook page. In this poll, they asked all their fans what they felt the emergency supplies were that shoppers would swipe up first in an emergency. Tom compiled all the answers, broke them into categories and created this pretty informative list. This list has been reposted on several other blogs and if you are looking for a shopping list of items that people purchase it is a great guide.

In looking at the list though I had another thought and that was with the exception of articles designed for emergency power or light, this shopping list looks just like any other shopping list my wife would make up on any normal day. I am not discounting the work Tom did to create this list, nor am I saying his Facebook fans are wrong. I believe this list is probably very accurate. This got me to my point though and that is we as preppers should never be running to the grocery store during or immediately after a crisis for anything on this list. To us, lists like this shouldn’t matter because during a crisis, my plan is to be home with my kids, not going to the store to pick up some last-minute items.

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