The Survival Buzz #189: Preparing Like Crazy But What if Nothing Happens?

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 1, 2019



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Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps plus news and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

Lately I have been giving a lot of thought to various “what ifs”.  What if there is an earthquake or tsunami?  In spite of all of my preps, I may have to evacuate and the best laid plans to hunker down in place will be for naught.

What if there is a global economic collapse?  What will happen to my savings that have been so carefully set aside? Will a lifetime of frugality be wasted?

What If Nothing Happens | Backdoor Survival

And then there is this:  What if nothing happens?  What if there is no disruptive event; no urban chaos, and no worries other than those associated with getting through life one day and one moment at a time?

I bring this up today because unless you have been living in a bunker somewhere, the month of September was widely reported to become the month when doomsday occurs. In September 2015, the stuff was going to hit the fan in a major way and life as we know it would change.  Well guess what?  The world, as uncertain as it has been these last seven or eight years, is still uncertain but no more and no less than the previous month or any other recent month for that matter.

All of this is my opinion, of course, but I sense that there is a universal unrest afoot.  A bunch of new preppers got started this summer with the expectation that something big, something major, happening. Now they might be thinking us long-term prepper-types are a bits nuts.  That being said, regardless of where you fall along the prepper timeline, let me remind you that doomsday, if there is such a thing, cannot be forecast.  We simply can not pinpoint a speck in time where the world will fall apart.

Remember Y2K?  Much as we prep today as individuals, businesses and government prepped for Y2K for years in advance, and it is their work that possibly mitigated a major shut down of our infrastructure.  This is one area where I have first hand knowledge because, back in the day, I was a Cobol programmer and knew that the code (some of it my code from the 80s), would fail.

For those of you that might be thinking that September was a bust because nothing happened, please stay the course.  Prep a bit at a time at a pace you are comfortable with.  Store water, food, and first aid supplies, and learn old-time skills that will be needed if the grid fails.

This is insurance people.  As much as we don’t want our car to be wrecked, we have insurance to cover us if it does happen.  And thus it is with family preparedness.  Let us hope it is insurance we will never use other than to get us through those short term bumps in the road we call life.

Preps for the Week Ending on October 3rd

Speaking of prepping, I ordered some pantry supplies this week.  Honey is so very useful that I picked up 10 more jars of my favorite organic honey from Tropical Traditions and while I was at it, I added two additional gallons of coconut oil to my food storage.  You can read about both honey and coconut oil in these two articles:

20 Ways to Use Honey for Wellness and Survival
Every Prepper Needs Coconut Oil in Their Pantry

I also purchased some additional buckets with gamma seals and plan to use them to store some additional rice, wheat and other dry goods.  Although it is currently on backorder, I ordered one of the newer Volcano 3 Collapsible Stoves for testing purposes.  Everything in time.

While on the road, my portable survival kit came in handy more than once.  I used the flashlight almost daily as well as the lavender essential oil.  The latter helped soothe sunburn (I had forgotten that you could get sunburned through a car window), bug bites, and a headache from eating lousy food and not maintaining adequate hydration.

The car was hot but the lavender e.o. did not seem to suffer much if at all.  I really need to determine how best to test the affect of heat on essential oils. Common sense dictates storing them in a cool location for the long term but for some, that might not be an option.

That about covers it for me this week.  So what else is happening?  Let me fill you in.

Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips

There have been a lot of comments and emails related to this week’s article “What You Need to Know About Using Old Drugs for Survival“.  This particular question was so important that I felt it should not be buried in the comments.

“Urbanaucourant” asked:

Great article and thank you so much for addressing something that has been weighing on me and as you stated the prepper community for a long time.

One question, why would epinephrine be something not to take after expiration? My son has allergies and I am assuming the epi-pen would fall under that category and that worries me. Can you elaborate please?

After doing some research, here was my response:

After reading your comment, I found this study online: //

Here is what this study from the National Institutes of Health says:

“For prehospital treatment of anaphylaxis, we recommend the use of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr auto-injectors that are not outdated. If, however, the only auto-injectorr available is an outdated one, it could be used as long as no discoloration or precipitates are apparent because the potential benefit of using it is greater than the potential risk of a suboptimal epinephrine dose or of no epinephrine treatment at all.”

So, if using an outdated epi-pen is your only option in a survival situation, then by all means, use it. Better to have a 50% chance of living than a 100% chance of dying IMO

Along similar lines, it is better to consume outdated food than to starve. I have had a number of questions about that as well and will be addressing them in an upcoming article.

Current Backdoor Survival Giveaway

I have a full lineup of giveaways planned between now and the end of November.  Holy smokes; I have everything from solar gizmos, to emergency food, to duct tape.  I know how you love the Friday giveaways so be sure to check back each week.  Up first is this fantastic Survival Shovel from Sports Tek.

In the meantime, this giveaway is currently active.

Prepper Book Festival 9: The Pantry Primer + Giveaway

With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.  Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article.  This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.

Essential Oils Tips: How to Combat Nail Fungus

Nail fungus is stubborn as heck to get rid of.  That said, here is an effective treatment that I know has worked for many, and it is so much better than OTC remedies.  All you need to do is apply daily and be patient. It takes several weeks but it does work!

Nail Fungus

For you essential oil needs, consider Spark Naturals where you always enjoy an additional 10% off using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.

Other Announcements

On October 1st, Backdoor Survival reached a significant milestone: 20,000 email subscribers.  What can I say?  Thank you thank you thank you.

For those of you that do subscribe, I want to remind you that you have an option of receiving emails as new articles are posted or just once a week.  You can change your delivery option at any time by going to the bottom on the email and clicking on “Update Subscription Preferences”.  Another thing you can do is return to the signup form, enter your email address and other required fields, then submit the form.  A message will appear giving you an opportunity to update your profile.  I realize this is a lot of steps but this is required in order to ensure the security of your profile.

If you are not a subscriber, why not join us?  Here is a link and once you are confirmed, you will receive a free copy of my eBook, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


The Final Word

I must confess that being away from the comforts of home was both a blessing and a curse.  The blessing part was that there were no chores.  The curse part was that the chores did not get done.

I would not call it a chore per se, but emails with questions have piled up and it may take weeks to catch up.  Interestingly enough, there were a rash of questions about food storage including some that will take some research to answer.  Was this part of the September doomsday blitz?  One thing for sure is that food storage is at the forefront of everyone’s mind and even the companies that sell food storage have many items on back order.

Has anyone tried to purchase hard white wheat lately? Prices are up and supplies are down; something to think about.

That about wraps things up for me this week.  So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?  Have you finished preserving your summer harvest yet?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!


The ALMOST FREE Department

It is time for a Survival Buzz “Almost Free” item. Shelly found these on sale recently. It is a great deal given that the match holders alone are worth the cost.

Trying to Drown Matches in Salt Water - Backdoor Survival

Wind & Waterproof Survival Matches: 2 Packs of 20 + Holder

When I tested these matches last summer, I tried to drown them in salt water first; both inside and outside the waterproof plastic case. They really are waterproof!  As of this writing, $2.29 with free shipping.


Spotlight Item:  Hot off the press is the latest book in Ron Brown’s Non-Electric Lighting Series.  This time it is Book 6: Kerosene Pressure Lanterns.  What is a pressure lamp?  Think Aladdin Lamp – without the genie.

Seriously, this book will take you down the history of the Aladdin Lamp as well as other pressure lamps.  At 200 pages give or take, it is longer than the other books in the series and chock full of useful information.  I wrote the Foreword so what can I say?  I am biased.

It is currently for sale in the Kindle format but should be available as a print book within a week.

Here are a selection of items related to today’s Survival Buzz

Cyberstorm:  I just finished the audiobook version of Cyberstorm. Oh. My. Gosh. If you think you are prepared for urban chaos, read (or listen) to this book then double check your preps. I don’t want to be a spoiler but let me say that all is not what it seems. Highly recommended.

Volcano 3 Collapsible Cook Stove:  I wanted a Volcano Stove that burned propane as well as wood and charcoal so I ordered this one.  I am looking forward to reviewing here on the website.  That being said, I love my older Volcano 2 that burns just wood and charcoal.  Here is a review:  Review: Volcano Collapsible II Stove.

Bucket Kit, Ten Multi Colored 5 Gallon Buckets with Matching Gamma Seal Lids:  When I stack buckets, I limit them to two high and in doing so, have never had a problem with cracked lids.  Gamma lids are great because you can get into your bucket without prying off the top.  To learn more, read: Survival Basics: Buckets, Lids and Gamma Seals.

blocklite flashlight

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: This is the flashlight I keep in my portable survival kit.  It is small, yet powerful and fits in a small tin quite nicely. These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.

Lavender Essential Oil:  Over and over again, lavender essential oil has proven its worth.  As you know, I prefer essential oils from Spark Naturals (use code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off) but for the budget minded – and especially for use in cleaning supplies – consider Lavender EO from NOW Foods.

Coconut (Fractionated) Carrier Oil:  Once you start using coconut oil, you will be hooked.  This is the liquid form of Coconut Oil, also referred to as FCO.


Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival

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Updated Jul 1, 2019

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25 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #189: Preparing Like Crazy But What if Nothing Happens?”

  1. My father was an insurance salesman, so I think if he were here today he would wholeheartedly support my preparations. If nothing happens thank The Lord above, if it all goes bad and you are prepared thank The Lord above! In one of my favorites movies ( Clint Eastwood fan in the house!) is a famous line I use as a mantra for my life, “endeavor to persevere” !!!!

  2. In my life, I’ve beem affecyed by major winter storms that left us without powwer for 8 days, tornadoes, 10 inches of rain in 48 hours that left areas flooded,a d job loss during the recession with no jobs to be found. I had plumbintg that needed to be fixed so had to learn to live without runninhg water for a while. I added a lantern, batteries, tp, comfort foods and harvested the rest of my small garden.

  3. As to whether nothing happens, this is indeed a contingency we must be prepared for. Your points on this are well made.

  4. We’ve been prepping for a while now, had canned food that was so outdated, we didn’t trust it, replaced it etc. Last night our electricity went out for number of hrs. Out to the garage to get the lanterns – only to discover we hadn’t checked them in – who knows how long – guess what – they didn’t work – so we looked for the battery operated one – batteries were dead — Guess we became just a little to lacks in our prepping, and haven’t made sure everything was current — on today’s list check thing that we’ve let slide!!!!

    • Don’t be to hard on yourself, Rita. It happens to all of us from time to time. In my case it is not that things no longer work (or have dead batteries), but that I have forgotten how to use my devices.

    • It’s hard keeping up with rotating shelves full of cans and after having to do yet another purge this summer I finally convinced my wife to let me buy a can rotation system. It’s an awesome rack where you setup rows on each shelf to the size of your cans and then fill it from the top of the row and watch it roll down to the bottom. When you go to use it you take it from the bottom of the row and the rest of the cans roll down to fill in the gap. The system I bought can come with various height racks and the rows can easily be adjusted from tuna can width to #10 cans. I got mine with all small height shelves and really packed in the cans – Campbell soups, tuna, Progressive soups, canned ravioli, canned chicken broth, baked beans, refried beans, canned chili, etc.
      It was a pain in the neck sorting my cans by date, but now that I’ve done it it’s simple to read the labels on each row to find the oldest of each type of can and use that. And as I finish a row, I can move the labels because I put labels on little magnets so I can shift them around easily. This allows me to stock what I eat and eat what I stock (well, I do stock #10 cans of freeze dried stuff that I don’t bother rotating, since 30+ years is a long time out for someone my age and those commercial rotation systems are darned expensive!)
      For folks who can’t afford to buy a commercial system but are handy with power tools, there are a lot of DIY projects that show how to make rotation racks – I’m just not that handy and wanted a system to be easy AND sturdy, hence the commercial rack for me.

    • I would love such a system myself. What did you get and where did you get it?

    • Didn’t want to go brand name dropping, but since you ask….I got the Harvest 72 but with six small shelves rather than a mix of shelf sizes. Bought it from ThriveLife at //

      Funny story. I tried to order it online at first on a Friday, but the website didn’t let me finish the transaction. So I called them on Monday and ordered over the phone and the unit had gone on sale that day, so I saved $75! Website glitches aren’t all bad. 😉

      To make labels I bought a 100′ roll of magnetic strip off of Amazon, 1/16″ thick, 1/2″ high – cuts easily with scissors. //
      I then printed labels on our P-Touch label maker and cut segments of magnet strip to match. The resulting labels stick easily to the all metal rack, but can be pulled off and moved around as needed. And I still have over 95′ of magnetic strip left for other projects…was thinking about making poetry fridge magnets as gifts for Christmas….

    • Nice!

  5. For the toenail fungus I would try colloidal silver alternating application with the essential oils (e.g. do one in the morning and the other at night). I haven’t tried this (I don’t have toenail fungus), but I have used colloidal silver on athletes foot fungus with better outcome than the over the counter medications so it is logical that it would help with the toenail fungus, too. Some companies have a silver gel, like this one: //!/ASAP-Ultimate-Skin-&-Body-Care-Gel/p/54840035/category=0 which stay on better than just spritzing with straight colloidal silver.

  6. What is the value of peace of mind? If something bad happens, it is best to be prepared as possible. If nothing bad happens, then be happy that you live during a time of peace and stability. Anyone who has lived during a time of strife and unrest will tell you that it is not something that you really want to see.

  7. If nothing happens, so what? I’ll still have food to eat when we get another ice storm and I can’t get to the store for a few days. I’ll still have flashlights for light when the power goes out for a couple hours (but I haven’t checked the batteries lately so maybe not!). Etc.

    My parents were children during the Great Depression. When I was growing up we always had a large pantry stocked with canned goods and dry goods. We weren’t preppers, we weren’t worried about whether or not an apocalypse was going to happen, but from their experience as children my parents recognized the value of having a little extra saved up, just in case.

  8. Spent the day going thru kitchen cabinets straightening things up and taking inventory. Pitched some items that were not completely used up but expiration date was over a year ago. Now I have plenty of room for more items I may want to keep in the kitchen. Husband informed me after we burn up this load of seasoned wood he wants to wait a year or so before we purchase next load. Free to a good home, one idiot husband!

    • LOL. Not sure he would be such a bargain amongst this crowd. Joking, of course

  9. Deborah, trade you mine for yours, LOL.
    Mine doesn’t think anything is (ever) going to happen.
    Just teasing, he’s a good’en and supports me in my endeavors but thinks I’m a bit loony tunes.

  10. I think the prepping items we gather are even better than car insurance. You can’t use your car insurance unless you do have an accident. But you can use your preps anytime the need or desire arises. At least that’s what helps me justify the cost when money is a bit tight.

  11. There will be those who believe nothing bad can happen to them. This is a mortal or human condition. Usually as we gain years of experience, most of us learn one way or another that good AND bad things happen from which we can learn. I have heard it said often after a crisis…”I never thought it would happen to me. This happens to other people.”
    I’ve learned we can make the information available but it’s not up to us to MAKE anyone do anything about it. When I speak these days, I use the cascadia quake possibility as a calamity and a simple accident with hazmad spill or a fire OR the loss of a job to talk about preparedness.
    Over the last two weeks here, I’ve listen to a local tv channel talk about the risks and preparedness needed for the quake.
    Our local public broadcasting station has broadcast this show on what can happen just within Oregon. It stated that the infrastructure will be so damaged, that Portland and Salem (our capital city) won’t have water online for more than 1 year. Given that water is so needed for survival,and these cities can’t bring it back online for year. Makes one wonder about any other help for formal govtmental agencies will come back and when. O and that 72 hour pack? It said better to plan for a 2-3 week emergency food/supplies because Katrina, Sandy and Japan has shown us 72 hours won’t be enough.
    That people question? Of course! That people will still expect government help? For sure…even to making the changes the state mandates. One example given was a mayor saying if the state mandates, it should provide the $$$. Yet another example of a school principal talking and she didn’t ask for government help…she went to the teachers and parents…together they were able to gather the money to make the school earthquake proof. What a place for these families to use as a gathering place when something does happen.
    These is good info no matter what the natural disaster here> //

  12. I’ve always been a saver and a planner, so we have food, water purifier and water supply and cash hand. My biggest concern is having the SHTF when we go to visit relatives in another state, because they are not as well prepared and it is 1200+ miles from home

  13. I remain puzzled why so many people don’t believe crisis happens. History is full of them. I understand the ones who expect the gov or parents will take care of them but even they should realize one day that may not be the case. I’ve had discussions with a lot of people and many are amused by it so I haven’t discuss openly in a long time.
    I’ll just keep prepping and keep quiet. The Grey Man is seldom seen, let alone challenged.

  14. All one has to do is look at the flooding on the east coast, were some of these people prepared? I’m not seeing much preparation on TV of the thousands of people stranded in their homes with a boil water order. They have no electricity, how can they boil water, roads and streets are flooded and stranded over 1400 vehicles. If they don’t know enough to not drive through flooded streets, what makes me think they planned at all since they live on the coast and flooding is an issue.
    I feel for their loss, many have lost their homes and will struggle to rebuild their lives.
    What we do as preppers is plan for an emergency, better to have and not need, than need and not have. My parents and grandparents lived this way, I’m just carrying on the tradition.

  15. It isn’t about pinpointing a date. It is about rather we think teotwawki will occur in our lifetime or not. In my case, and I’m over 60, I’m convinced it will. September could in no way live up to the hype surrounding it. Big Deal! Russia is in Syria, China is on the way to Syria, Putin just announced he is sending in Spetnaz troops to take out any opposition that causes any trouble at all, our navy is sending warships to patrol the Spratley Islands, the Russian navy just put their largest nuclear powered, nuclear armed submarine on patrol in the Pacific, and Obama may issue an EO making gun ownership illegal, millions of Mulsim immigrants are either already in Europe or on the way, and it’s a proven fact that ISIS is coming across our southern border, just to name a few. Bluntly, a person would have to be brain dead with an incurable death wish to not see what is happening worldwide. It isn’t about this September, it is about rather we will live to see another September. And remember the crash of ’87 didn’t happen until October. The Yom Kippur war and our first oil embargo didn’t happen until October of ’73. We are living on borrowed time and the very idea that we need to explain to, or apologize for someone as to why we prep when nothing is happening is absurd. So there!

  16. Gaye, I’am thinking of storeing food in Mylar bags, then putting the bags into a chest type freeze,The freezer no longer works. Will the food store ok inside this type of freezer?

  17. That sounds like a fantastic idea, Curtis! Your no-longer working freezer will serve as a huge bucket! I love the idea.

  18. I Now Am One Of 250,000 That Have A Pace Maker… I Have Worked all My Life To Be Prepared And Survive… How Do I Keep My Pace Maker Going During And After An EMP…

    Thank In Advance….

    • The only research that I could find online that addresses this is a 24 year old military report at //

      Although it indicates a high rate of survivability, the testing was just with EMP simulators not a real world test.

      There is also a forum dedicated to pacemakers and one page there asks a similar question and lots of people (with unknown credentials) chime in both positively and negatively: //

      Personally I think that unless you’re willing to always wear a chainmail t-shirt as a pseudo-faraday cage I think the best you can do is prepare your loved ones to survive if you don’t make it, but don’t count yourself out until the worst happens. As this blog entry says, maybe nothing happens. Or maybe something happens but it’s not bad enough to fry your pacemaker. I don’t have a pacemaker, but all my preps are made in mind that my family might have to survive without me. I try to make sure instructions are kept with the various preps and that they know the basics of what to do if I’m not there to help. Basically, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

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