While I don’t expect much violence in my area, there could be some supply issues that might happen considering how much stuff comes from the West Coast. It is also moving into winter with snow in the mountains and dropping temps. So prepping for storms is on my ToDo list.
I had a problem with freezer burnt food and tossed out a lot of old/out of date frozen food. I got lucky and bought a the small 8 inch wide Foodsaver for $65.00 along with a few bags to practice sealing up frozen foods. I packaged up two family sized packages of Sirloin steaks $2.77 per pound, one family size package of chicken thighs .77 per pound and large package of pork chops .99 per pound. I used up all the quart size bags and about half of the roll of make your own sized bags that came with the Foodsaver. The packages are a good size for 1-2 people but if you have a family of 3 or more I’d recommend getting the full size 11 inch wide Foodsaver.
I ordered 2, 8 inch x 50 foot rolls of the bags from Amazon for $18.00 because Fred Meyers wanted $45.00 for 2, 25 foot rolls. You will want to shop around for the lower cost bags/rolls. Fred Meyer had a good sale on chicken, some chuck roast/steaks, and I got 10 pounds of 80/20 hamburger from Cash & Carry. I have more meat to seal and add to my freezer. I bought 4 bags of block ice to put on the floor of my big chest freezer. The Blocks of ice, make it easier for me to reach items in my freezer, helps fill up the freezer so the freezer works more efficiently keeping temperature and if the power goes out I have ice in the freezer to keep food frozen/cold for a couple of days.
Fuel: Staying warm and cooking food if I need to be off-grid. I have a wood stove and several cords of wood to stay warm this winter. My wood stove can heat water but it is not good for cooking/baking. I have a couple of different campstoves that run on butane, propane or a mix fuel. I have a good Weber grill with a couple of propane tanks and charcoal BBQ along with 100 pounds of chunk charcoal, hardwoods for cooking/baking. I have cookware that can take direct flames/heat. Cast iron is great and a “dutch oven” and a 10-12 inch frying pan with lid will handle most cooking chores. A copper or aluminum pot to boil water and you can cook pasta, ramen or heat up a can of soup. Making coffee is easy if you have a French press and tea is easy with a tea bulb/bags and hot water.
If you don’t have back up heat source I’d recommend the Mr. Buddy type heaters. I have done tests on those heaters and they will warm up a small house (1200 sq.ft.) from 45 to 65 degrees F. in about 45 minutes when it is 10-20 degrees F. overnight. Propane is a relativity safe fuel to store and the Mr. Buddy heaters have built in sensor for low Oxygen and a tip over sensor. For cooking I’d recommend the butane burners that caterers and restaurants use as they are safe indoors and you can use normal cook ware to cook your meals. If you choose to heat with propane always turn off the heater while you sleep. It will be cool when you wake up but that little heater will heat up a room very quickly. Plus you will save on fuel usage.
Cars and generators fuel: I topped off of my mini van this weekend, added some oil and windshield washer fluid along with checking all the other fluids. I’ll filled the 3 gas cans with ethanol free gas and added Stablil. I have never had to use my generators and yes I have 2 just in case I need backup electrical power. I have 6 quarts of oil so I can keep the generators running a couple of days or a week if needed. The electric grid here is solid. The longest my power has been out in my 17 years of living here was 3-6 hours and I have not needed a generator to keep appliances running. That could change, so with 2 generators on hand, extension cords and fuel/oil just in case things go sideways. I should be okay. One nice thing about winter is it easier to to keep foods cool or frozen outside.
I know some people are recommending some hard core “disaster prep” for the “election season”. I always think it is a good idea to have water and long term food storage. Few preppers mention it, I think 2- 5 gallon Igloo type jugs are great for filling up at the last minute because Igloos keep cool water cool and hot water hot or at least warm for 24-48 hours. You can fill them ahead of time with either cool or hot water when you get a disaster/emergency warning and you can use that water for everything from cooking, to washing dishes or washing up. I don’t know about you but I much prefer washing up with warm water compared to using cold water.
Pet food : I have a good dry cat food mix for my 3 cats but they get some canned wet food every evening. While my cats could do okay with just the dry food, they get little wet food snack is part of their routine. When stocking up on prescriptions don’t forget you pet’s prescription and medications. Make sure your pets are up to date on their shots for the year.
Clean your house and get those fall maintenance jobs done.
Having hot water and electricity makes cleaning a home much easier! Anything that requires power like vacuuming a carpet to doing a load of laundry is much easier if you have power! Most of my yard tools are either battery or electrical. I will be charging up all those batteries for the tools and the small power packs so I can keep my cell phone and kindle charged up just in case there is a power outage.
I would not freak out about the election, just do your winter preps in general and perhaps be ready for winter by Nov. 3rd! If you are not ready just keep working on it. We did not all die this summer from the great toilet paper shortage of 2020!