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7 Things I'm Doing To Prep Right Now

7 Things I'm Doing To Prep Right Now

Seven Things I'm Doing To Prep Right Now

Location

For starters, let's identify my location. I live in a rural area of TN and I prep accordingly. If you haven't read my last post yet, it might help with determining your plan, which is the most important thing to do before you start buying supplies.

https://www.vigilanceelite.com/blogs/vigilance-elite-blogs/7-things-to-consider-before-you-start-prepping

Prep Slow and Steady

If you buy all of the supplies at once, you'll likely get overwhelmed and then have a ton of assets with no systems in place. The idea is to know how to use all of the gear and have organized systems for the supplies. Also, try not to fall into panic buys if you do not absolutely need the items immediately. The goal is to consistently build resources over time and to maximize your budget.

This post will cover seven things I'm doing right now to prep circa late summer 2020.

Here is a link to my Amazon shop that has my prepping shopping supplies list as well as some other gear. 

https://www.amazon.com/shop/vigilanceelite

1. Food

Freezer

Food storage is one of the cornerstones of prepping. A good freezer is a great prepping asset. You'll be able to store more immediate use food items on hand.

Shawn Ryan Freezer

Right now freezers are hard to come by online and many stores are backordered. I searched online at the beginning of the pandemic but everything was out of stock or a long backorder. I lucked out and happened to run into one in stock at Lowes a few months back.

What if you can't find a freezer in stock?

If items have limited availability, check used outlets like Craigslist, Ebay or even yard/estate sales. You might get lucky.

I load my freezer with two key food groups: protein and vegetables. Ideally, I'd have a freezer for each staple food group but it is not in the cards or the budget for me at the moment.

Slow and steady is the recurring theme of this post. I did not immediately pack this freezer the week I got it. I saw good deals here and there at the store and stocked up accordingly.

Connecting with local farmers is also a great way to load your freezer. They often have great deals on meat and fresh produce. This food is often better than what you'd get at the grocery store too. Look for the farmers markets and butcher shop sales.

Chickens

Katie Jean and I also decided to get chickens this year. It took about six months for them to start producing but when they are laying, we get about an egg a day per chicken. We feel pretty solid with eight chickens on the farm.

Shawn Ryan Chicken Coop

Having chickens also comes with the responsibility of caring for them. Nothing like seeing your birds walking around outside of your fence and having to chase them down! We built a coop first and are now building a run to help keep from losing track of them.

Shawn Ryan Chicken Run

We're still learning but, so far, we love having the chickens on the farm.

Long Term Food Supply

In addition to the freezer and the chickens, I've also added an emergency food supply to my prepping. After a good amount of research, I landed on Nutrient Survival for this supply.

Shawn Ryan Nutrient Survival

Nutrient Survival was based on the Zone Diet and has a 25 year shelf life. This stuff has the proper nutritional values to keep your body and mind sharp when you need it most. This was a key factor in my decision.

The Specs on Nutrient Survival (from Nutrient Survival)

Protein

Think of protein as your body’s building block for muscle. But it’s not just your muscles’ best friend - every part of your body, from cells to bones and skin to hair, contains protein and it’s a major player in repairing tissue. The average person's body weight is made up of 16 percent of protein - it’s mainly used for growth, health, and overall body maintenance.

Exactly how much protein you require daily can be calculated by multiplying your weight by 0.36, or about 54g for a 150lb person. Keep in mind: more protein isn't necessarily better. Overconsumption can lead to weight gain, intestinal discomfort and even kidney damage, so make sure you aren’t overdoing it.

Vitamins

There are 14 vitamins your body needs to thrive and it’s best to get them through your food rather than swallowing a bunch of pills. When you smell and taste food, you trigger your digestive enzymes to get ready for what’s coming! It’s like priming the pump for the best absorption possible. When you swallow vitamins, you bypass this amazing stage of digestion.

Vitamin A - supports a healthy immune system.
Vitamin C - an antioxidant powerhouse, necessary for the growth and repair of all body tissues.
Vitamin D - this sunshine vitamin keeps your bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
Vitamin E - helps reduce the aging process of your cells and UV damage to the skin.
Vitamin K - promotes stronger bones and better cognitive and heart health.
Thiamin (B1) - turns carbohydrates into energy. It is critical for muscle function.
Riboflavin (B2) - an energy producer that is necessary for proper cell function.
Niacin (B3) - lowers cholesterol and boosts brain power.
Pantothenic Acid (B5) - turns food into energy and is necessary for making oxygen carrying blood cells.
Pyridoxine (B6) - linked to happier moods and a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s.
Biotin (B7) - a beauty booster that converts nutrients into energy and promotes healthy hair, skin and nails.
Folate (B9) - makes and repairs DNA and produces red blood cells.
Cobalamin (B12) - keeps nerve cells healthy.
Choline - essential to a healthy nervous system and supports a healthy metabolism.

 

Minerals

The human body requires a perfect balance of 14 minerals like iron, potassium, and the one that gets tons of attention - calcium. Just like vitamins, it’s best to get them through your food instead of pills. Prime that digestive system for best absorption!

Calcium - a bone strengthener that keeps your heart, muscles and nerves in excellent condition.
Chloride - works with potassium and sodium to maintain the proper balance of body fluids. Note: most people get too much of this mineral due to salt levels in processed food.
Chromium - helps metabolize nutrients and improves the body’s ability to lower blood sugar levels.
Copper - supports your immune system and protects against cell damage.
Iodine - plays an important role in thyroid health and improves brain function.
Iron - increases energy levels, focus, and strengthens your immune system.
Magnesium - regulates muscle function and creates and repairs DNA.
Manganese - supports bone health and regulates blood sugar.
Potassium - regulates fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals.
Phosphorus- keeps bones and teeth strong and healthy and helps manage energy.
Selenium - a powerful antioxidant that boosts your immune system and may protect against heart disease, mental decline and certain types of cancer.
Sodium - an electrolyte that assists nerve and muscle functions. Note: most people get far too much in their diet, which can cause high blood pressure.
Molybdenum - activates enzymes that help break down harmful sulfites and prevent toxins from building up in the body.
Zinc - boosts immune health, reduces inflammation and keeps your skin, eyes, and heart healthy.

 

Omega-3
Omega-3 is an essential body and brain health booster and should be part of your daily diet - most people get too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3. It’s a major inflammation fighter and provides support for brain, heart and eye health. It can also curb arthritis, depression, asthma, ADHD, Alzheimer's and dementia.

 

Fiber
Your #1 ally for digestive health, fiber is the key to feeling full for long periods of time. It can reduce the risk of chronic disease, slow the rate that sugar is absorbed into your bloodstream, and keep your colon clean and in good working order.

 

Keeping your body fueled with the proper nutrition will also help keep your mind sharp. This is extremely important when the chips are down because stress will be high. You don't want to be loaded on junk food or empty carbs if you have a choice.

2. Medical

If the luxury of an available hospital is suddenly off the table, you will want to have as much basic medical resources on hand. One thing beyond the basic first aid kit that I opted for was an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Shawn Ryan AED

I always see TCCC pushing to the front of my feed on the subject of medical training on social media. I get it. It's tacticool. However, I would like to give you some food for thought when prepping medical.

There are approximately 1.5 million heart attacks/strokes in the US yearly.

There are approximately 36,000 gun related deaths and approximately 22,000 of which are suicides. Meaning about there are approximately 14,000 non self-inflicted gun related deaths per year in the US.

What I'm getting at is that you are far more likely to encounter the need for an AED than your tactical blowout kit for treating a GSW. Stress will be high and that increases the odds for heart related issues.

Also, think of your family members who may be prone to health complications. This device just might save your life or your loved ones.

The cool thing about the AED. You open the box, push the button and the automated instructions begin.

Am I saying don’t get a TCCC kit? Absolutely not. I think those kits are also a valuable addition to your preps. The reason I'm bringing up the AED is that it might very well be more important than the next tactical purchase. It's all about priorities and probability.

3. Water Filtration

Clean water is going to be vital in a survival situation. I'm a huge fan of the LifeStraw and have many of them in my current systems.

When the Covid-19 pandemic began, I started to wonder if my water filtration systems filter viruses. They do not.

This led me to look for a more sterile system and I landed on the KATADYN Pocket Microfilter. This unit isn’t cheap by any means but the enhanced filtration capability gives me peace of mind.

Shawn Ryan Water Filter

Specs on KATADYN Pocket Microfilter (from KATADYN)

  • Redesigned with a comfortable pump handle grip and outlet tube for increased ease of use
  • Durably constructed for a lifetime of use
  • Removes particles, bacteria, cysts and parasites larger than 0.2 microns, including protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidia
  • Comes with 2 abrasive pads to clean the pores of field-maintainable ceramic filter
  • Ceramic filter is silver-impregnated to inhibit bacterial growth inside its pores
  • Katadyn Pocket water filter includes a case and output hose

4. Generator

Shawn Ryan Generator

Wattage

A sufficient power source is a must to maintain a good quality of life. A generator is a big plus if you can afford it. I talked with an electrician and was told a 7,500 watt output would do it for a small house but a 10,000 watt output is preferred for a normal household.

Gas, Propane or Both?

Propane burns cleaner than gas but gas might be what you have available to you in a SHTF situation. I went with a generator that could do both gas or propane. Versatility is valuable to me when prepping.

You’ll also need to decide whether or not you want to go with a mobile or fixed unit. I went with mobile because I figured I might need to move it to another location. Mobile is also easier on the wallet.

5. Propane

I like to have propane on hand in addition to gas. As mentioned previously, it is cleaner burning. It is also a good backup if the power goes out. It can be used to provide heat and also for cooking.

At my house I have an electric range and a propane grill. I also have a gas fireplace. It is good to have options in place in case one system fails. Either way we’ll be able to have heat and cooking capabilities.

If all else failed there, I could cut down a tree in the backyard and go primitive.

6. Books

100 Deadly Skills Survival Edition

If the Internet goes down, you won’t have access to the plethora of resources for information. It is a good idea to have books on hand or an offline electronic source. Think of the materials that would be useful to you if the how-to sources from search engines were no longer available.

Here's a list of books I recommend. 

7. Organization

This might be the most important part of prepping. Label your containers and know what you have and how to use each system. This is something that I’m constantly pushing for in my own systems. The gear is pretty much useless if you cannot access it when you need it. I mentioned it already in this post but it’s important enough to mention again, slow and steady wins the race.

Shawn Ryan Label Your Supplies

Organize and master your systems as you build up your preps. Storage containers and a label maker are your friends.

Prompt Family

One thing I would like to add in closing is it might be a good time to prompt your family if they do not prep. Even if it is just keeping more basic first aid and a basic disaster kit, it’ll be better than nothing. 2020 has been a strange year so far to say the least and more people are warming up the idea of prepping now than before.

Delivery

Your delivery is a key takeaway in this action. You do not want to come off like a doomsday prophet. Being genuine and encouraging will likely be much more effective than the gloom and doom approach. Remember, you want them to prep because you care about them. The goal is not to start an argument at the dinner table.

Comments on this post (29)

  • Sep 10, 2020

    Great article – have been prepping for hurricanes (Florida Keys) since I was a kid – have published two guides and done seminars since 2006. It’s time for Americans to become resilient and ready – free basics at PreparedForBear.com, no data collection – nothing for sale – just a free resource. Thanks Shawn! Love your podcasts.

    — Matt Lawrence

  • Aug 24, 2020

    So I’ve lived and been a lot of places that seemed like they were actively trying to kill me. That’s where I’m coming from with this.

    Good list but let me say this: Many people get lost and forget details.

    STHF one of the first things you’re likely to do is assess what’s going on around you as best you can. That may take time. Days. Small details make this easier. Things like clean clothes. A car with gas in it. Not having bulbs/oil/tires/whatever to change on your home/car/other vehicle. Other minor home/vehicle repairs. That small piddling stuff that we sometimes put off but when it’s 20 minutes until the metal meets the meat you realize does actually matter.

    I can’t tell you the number of people I saw after hurricanes in the Caribbean say things like “Well, I’ve got the 500/1000 gallon propane tank topped up but GeBe (a power company) says it could be a long time before power is reestablished to our part of the island. I don’t want to waste propane on running a washer/dryer but we have no clean clothes” literally two days after the storm passed. Really? You didn’t do laundry for two weeks when you knew a hurricane was coming? No, they didn’t. They were too busy buying groceries, plywood, helping their neighbors etc. They didn’t see the trees because they were focused on the size of the approaching forest.

    IOW/TL:DR: Keep up to date on small stuff/chores that many people let go for two weeks. SHTF last night is not the time to figure out that all your socks and underwear are dirty or wrapped up in a nice wet ball in the washer, that the spare you’ve been meaning to air up is still flat or that the oil you meant to change hasn’t been done. Now you’re looking at a wet ball of socks, flat tire or oil filter and new oil and kicking yourself.

    — Wilson Gulick

  • Aug 24, 2020

    Great list, my only critique would be to list what kinds of foods contains the vitamins and minerals you mentioned are essential

    — Michael Gerges

  • Aug 22, 2020

    Excellent list. I would add a few things.

    Katadyn filter: amazing piece of kit, but the case is pure garbage. The tongue on mine came off many times making it very difficult to open. Water is too important to overlook this. dr7a1 on eBay makes a proper upgrade case.

    Books: I would add SAS Survival Handbook. The pocket editoion in particular is great for tossing in a bug out bag. Medicine/drugs might be sold out so natural remedies could become paramount & well as reference guides. The Green Pharmacy, The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies, The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook are all excellent! Tying in with books: a mortar & pestle, seeds. Seeds are selling out quickly, but Fedco & Seed Savers exchange are your best bets to find what you need! GOD bless! 🇺🇸🙏🏻

    — Peder

  • Aug 22, 2020

    Great information. I appreciate the fact that you are a bad ass you stay humble and practical. Keep it coming my 2 favorite sources are you and mike glover stay safe out there!

    — Stephen Doyal

  • Aug 22, 2020

    Great list. I would add a small stock of vice and necessity for barter when shtf. Also silver, ammo and cash are all incredibly useful. Gold is a great place to store large amounts of money but impractical for many daily trades/purchases.
    Love all the comments, good to get additional insights from people who are preparing.

    — John Galt

  • Aug 22, 2020

    Solid list. With respect, I’d reccomend spending the money an AED costs on other medical items. Without ACLS drugs or a cath lab to correct the underlying problem, all you’d be doing is shocking someone into a rhythm they can’t sustain and they’d code again. Other items to consider are things like if you have a wife or daughters in the house you should be able to have the items to deal with a UTI or yeast infection. Not the sexy TCCC part of medicine but when your young daughter is crying because it hurts to pee you’ll be wishing you could fix it.

    — Rob Morrison

  • Aug 22, 2020

    Outstanding as always. I know about being prepared. You always bring out the best and I learn to be better, every time.
    Thanks,
    Bill

    — Bill Petitt

  • Aug 22, 2020

    Great post! I would like to add that a good idea also to remember is to have a mobile contingency in place. I’m in Florida and if a CAT 4 or 5 hits, we gotta head north. Having a way to transport an preserve is also something to keep in mind. Look into local natural plants that grow for medicine, antibiotics, and insulin. Having the mind of a scavenger is just as important as storing up. Prepping never ends, keeping busy and steering away from complacency is key. Also, sometimes have preps that you won’t necessarily use yourself, but would be hot ticket items for barter. Cigarettes and alcohol would be huge. I could sell a pack of smokes for $15 in the Marines because I knew most people do not prepare accordingly. Outstanding post. Semper FI

    — Jonathan rose

  • Aug 22, 2020

    This is fascinating, especially for those in colder climates. Hopefully, you’ll take the time to check it out.
    https://greenhouseinthesnow.com/

    — Kenneth Hutson

  • Aug 22, 2020

    I like your well thought out posts. As an urban survivalist (😂) I would like to point out that although having a yard with grass looks nice, it ain’t worth a ,shee-it when you’re hungry. Consider growing fruit and nut trees, bushes, etc. A garden comes next, but there’s more labor involved. If you’re not into it, have seeds on hand if it should become a necessity. Consider trying a gutter grow system to start out. There’s an initial start-up, but the idea is minimal effort afterward. I would also consider underground cistern for water storage.

    — Kenneth Hutson

  • Aug 22, 2020

    Thanks for the post. Practical information and useful to everyone. I read a book several years ago that had a lot of great info and ideas in it by J.W. Rawles entitles “Patriots”. He was an Army intelligence officer turned novelist. The good was a novel with a good story line but more over a comprehensive look at preparedness and what if scenarios. If you get a chance I’d recommend it.

    — David

  • Aug 21, 2020

    First, let me thank you sir, for your service to our country. Extremely good info for the prep..
    Times will get crazy and I’m trying to hard to get my family ready. Being a country boy from Kentucky, I will survive.
    Thank you so much for taking time to help all of us. Keep the faith brother.
    SG

    — Steven Gipson

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Great information! Definitely has me rethinking a few things. Thank you!

    — Frank Furtado

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Shawn,
    All great stuff but lets talk bug out, house on fire from M-cocktails, etc. Do you have the NSN# for sherpas?
    My ol AF supply listings first 3 pages are torn out, wouldn’t ya know it, that’s where the stock#s were for untrained indigenous meateaters was!
    Seriously, tips for a smooth larger than 3 day pak move would be appreciated. If Shinola hits da rotary oscillator we wont be getting any Air Mobil Resupply i feel (feelings….nothing more than feelings….lol)
    We can use alittle more than “toss dat shyte on the truck” to make it a successful move.
    Any tips?
    Godspeed brother

    — Jon Christopher Andrews

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Been half ass prepping, thanks for the education. Huge fan of of your interviews, thank you for your service.

    — John Wiltrout

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Thank you for this helpful (not hyped up fear porn) post! God is using you & your wife to help a lot of people during this time of uncertainty. Stay calm, trust God, but be prepared.

    — Sandy

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Incredibly grateful for insightful advice. Please know how impactful your work is. Keep it coming.

    — Peter Brown

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Sean
    Simply OUTSTANDING TUTORIAL !!!
    Thank YOU !

    — Anthony Adams

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Thanks for the info. It’s never to late to start prepping. Things aren’t getting any better right now and self sustainability is just the smart play. Anything could stop the food supply completely and after the food stops, the power and utilities are next and then the violence really starts. I moved my family to East Tennessee a couple years ago because I saw all this coming a long time ago and I wanted to live in my “bug out” location. God bless ya brother for all you do and have done for your country and please keep the videos coming because you are helping more people than you know!!

    — Tennessee Serenity

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Thanks for this blog. Very insightful and full of good information. I really enjoyed reading it.
    Your content is the best!! Take care and best wishes to you.

    — Stephen Sosa

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Appreciate the insights and emphasis on the basics / practicality. A little planning goes a long way when you are on your own

    — Dave Pooley

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Excellent read Shawn I also live in the sticks here in southern Oklahoma my wife and I are both retired and we started prepping a few years ago . We are by no means experts but we learn all the time and filter out the bullshit you touched on several things that a person should do including myself thank you and God Bless .

    — Steve Biffle

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Good stuff .I am sixtyalmost two and have a stent in my heart after an attack 9 years ago.could you tell me what a AED costs and where would I find one . Thanks and thanks for serving our country.

    — John mctighe

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Thanks for a thoughtful, well written post.

    — David A Stockton

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