Here're a couple of gimmicks I used back in 1999 where a lot of folks thought there was a real chance of a worldwide infrastructure failure.
Spend about $30 for a queen-sized waterbed mattress; it'll hold about 120 gallons of water. Fill it and drain it a couple of times
to get rid of the polyvinyl chloride taste, then add a half-cup of sodium hypochlorite 5% (regular household bleach like Clorox) and fill it with tap
water and seal it.
Contrary to a lot of concerns, there have been extensive tests and neither the PVC nor the bleach, in the quantities you'd see from drinking this
stuff, will be harmful. I'd recommend a 2X12 pine frame for the waterbed. If you're already sleeping on waterbeds, then drain them now, refill and
drain a couple of times, and fill them again with the half-cup of bleach, not
the commercial antifungal you get at the waterbed store, and
you're good to go.
You can remove the PVC smell and taste (if it's noticeable by using an activated charcoal filter. for instructions on how to make one, including
construction diagrams, U2U me and I'll send you a set of plans for free. You can remove the bleach smell and taste by merely letting the water sit
in the sunlight for a half hour before drinking, and if you pour it back and forth between two containers, yo'll gete rid of the "flat" taste.
Two 40-pound bags of good charcoal and a couple of dutch ovens, supplemented by a Volcano
dutch oven stand, will be enough
fuel to cook for a family of four for four months or more, if you know what you're doing. And a dutch oven will do all your cooking for you. You
can bake bread, cales etc in it, and it also acts as a crock-pot. If you want more information on dutch ovens, go to the IDOS (International Dutch
Oven Society) website or the Lodge website at secure.lodgemfg.com...
Or, U2U me; I used to give
dutch oven demos at preparedness seminars and I wrote a couple of articles I'd be glad to send you.
Remember, though, that you'd be interested in "camp dutch ovens": the ones that have the three little legs and the rimmed lids. If you get the
other type, you can't use charcoal with them!
Start a fire
. It's amazing how difficult it can be to start a fire and keep it going, especially if your're outside and have a bit of a
breeze. I make firestarters from stuff lying around the house, and they work like a champ. Here's how: First, collect all the lint from your
dryer. Or ,go to a laundromat, and ask the attendant if you can get the lint, if you want to, (althought they'll probably thing you're crazy).
Stuff the dryer lint into the pockets of a cardboard (not
styrofoam) egg carton, and melt some wax (buy parrafin or just recycle old candles)
into the pockets. Voila! twelve waterproof firestarters, good to go.