Prepping for biological disaster

m1west

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More supply chain problems, Safeway grocery store warehouse just closed down due to COVID with one death in Turlock about 50 miles from here. Also being told in a subtle way to expect shortages. Although I went to the grocer up town this morning, They had everything. I bought them out of chicken breast, I got enough of everything to last about a month. They even had T/P but no paper towels, I'm ok on those as I was able to get them form Costco delivered. I keep hearing about supply chain but it keeps coming. ( for now anyway ). What worries me the most is a Depression and civil unrest in my golden years. My dad lived one when he was a kid and looks likes I'm going to live one in my senior years. I don't see at this point how we are going to come out the other side intact. Not only are we set up to lose everything the Country is split down the middle and un able to communicate. Things could be worse than 1929.
 

EastTexFrank

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Man, you paint a pretty dreary picture but it may well come true.

My wife went to town today for the first time in two weeks. She had to go to the bank and the grocery store. The bank wasn't a problem but she was shocked by what she found at the grocery store. Nobody was wearing gloves. Okay, East Texas grocery stores have asked people to stop wearing them and use hand sanitizer instead. Masks? The only people wearing masks were the old people, 65 and older. People from 60 on down to teenagers didn't wear masks at all. That pretty much reinforces what I saw yesterday on my quick trip tp town. Everybody was out and about, especially the young people who were congregating in bunches all over town.

It would seem that the quarantine, except for the old people like me, is effectively over. People want to get back to their lives or maybe they are tired of having their kids at home all day, every day and are throwing them out of the house.
 

m1west

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GOLD Site Supporter
Man, you paint a pretty dreary picture but it may well come true.

My wife went to town today for the first time in two weeks. She had to go to the bank and the grocery store. The bank wasn't a problem but she was shocked by what she found at the grocery store. Nobody was wearing gloves. Okay, East Texas grocery stores have asked people to stop wearing them and use hand sanitizer instead. Masks? The only people wearing masks were the old people, 65 and older. People from 60 on down to teenagers didn't wear masks at all. That pretty much reinforces what I saw yesterday on my quick trip tp town. Everybody was out and about, especially the young people who were congregating in bunches all over town.

It would seem that the quarantine, except for the old people like me, is effectively over. People want to get back to their lives or maybe they are tired of having their kids at home all day, every day and are throwing them out of the house.

Same in my town of a few thousand, No one likes to be controlled, but I'm not sure going back to daily life right now is a good idea either. I have to go to the field and deal with jobs. I try to be safe, but there is always someone wanting to get to close. I have a good friend of mine that thinks the whole thing is bullshit and we should have just plowed right through it. That would have been one way to deal with it but I'm not sure what that would look like in real life. I don't see normal life on the horizon for some time.
 

TiredRetired

Mr Lovable
SUPER Site Supporter
More supply chain problems, Safeway grocery store warehouse just closed down due to COVID with one death in Turlock about 50 miles from here. Also being told in a subtle way to expect shortages. Although I went to the grocer up town this morning, They had everything. I bought them out of chicken breast, I got enough of everything to last about a month. They even had T/P but no paper towels, I'm ok on those as I was able to get them form Costco delivered. I keep hearing about supply chain but it keeps coming. ( for now anyway ). What worries me the most is a Depression and civil unrest in my golden years. My dad lived one when he was a kid and looks likes I'm going to live one in my senior years. I don't see at this point how we are going to come out the other side intact. Not only are we set up to lose everything the Country is split down the middle and un able to communicate. Things could be worse than 1929.

Man, you paint a pretty dreary picture but it may well come true.

My wife went to town today for the first time in two weeks. She had to go to the bank and the grocery store. The bank wasn't a problem but she was shocked by what she found at the grocery store. Nobody was wearing gloves. Okay, East Texas grocery stores have asked people to stop wearing them and use hand sanitizer instead. Masks? The only people wearing masks were the old people, 65 and older. People from 60 on down to teenagers didn't wear masks at all. That pretty much reinforces what I saw yesterday on my quick trip tp town. Everybody was out and about, especially the young people who were congregating in bunches all over town.

It would seem that the quarantine, except for the old people like me, is effectively over. People want to get back to their lives or maybe they are tired of having their kids at home all day, every day and are throwing them out of the house.

If this country does not get open soon it is going to be much more than just a dreary picture. It is going to be an unmitigated disaster for everyone.

We still have people here that have been waiting 4 weeks now for their unemployment checks and no idea when they are coming.

Businesses here are now being told the Paycheck Protection Program is out of money so all these businesses that applied and kept people on in the hopes of getting the money and following all the rules so the loans would be forgiven are now being told to lay them off or continue to pay them for not being at work at company expense.

Landlords are suffering because April rents checks are not there and in a few weeks May checks will be defaulting as well. Stimulus checks helped, but too little too late in many cases.

Lines at food shelves are longer by the day and running out of food.

Meanwhile Congress is doing nothing, Pelosi is showing off her $100.00 a half gallon of gourmet ice cream collection while people are suffering. Let them eat cake.

Yeah, it is one fucking dreary picture for many folks and getting worse by the day.
 

Bannedjoe

Active member
If this country does not get open soon it is going to be much more than just a dreary picture. It is going to be an unmitigated disaster for everyone.

We still have people here that have been waiting 4 weeks now for their unemployment checks and no idea when they are coming.

Businesses here are now being told the Paycheck Protection Program is out of money so all these businesses that applied and kept people on in the hopes of getting the money and following all the rules so the loans would be forgiven are now being told to lay them off or continue to pay them for not being at work at company expense.

Landlords are suffering because April rents checks are not there and in a few weeks May checks will be defaulting as well. Stimulus checks helped, but too little too late in many cases.

Lines at food shelves are longer by the day and running out of food.

Meanwhile Congress is doing nothing, Pelosi is showing off her $100.00 a half gallon of gourmet ice cream collection while people are suffering. Let them eat cake.

Yeah, it is one fucking dreary picture for many folks and getting worse by the day.
Someone needs to tell the Clinton's that Pelosi said they have bad breath.
 

m1west

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Well, there is not much more need to prepare for the virus as the country is set to reopen in the coming weeks. Now it is time to prepare for what that opening looks like. Some will go back to work, some have no jobs to go back too. People will have to find new hobbies as Gyms, and all contact sports will take a while to normalize. What is the economy going to look like going forward?
Myself I just turned 62 and literally was just about to drop my retirement papers in the mail when this happened, the language in my union retirement package says they can make adjustments to payments for up to 5 years after retirement so I held them back.Are we headed for a recession or worse a depression? Lots of small business will go belly up. and we just spent a couple trillion and are looking to spend more?? The whole world just got screwed.
 

EastTexFrank

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You all are going back to work. Me? I'm staying home until I'm sure this whole thing is over.

The whole world did possibly just get screwed. It'll be interesting a few years down the road to see if this was the biggest scam ever foisted on humanity.

I'm still in the, "I don't know what to believe camp". There is just too much misinformation and disinformation out there for me to reach any clear, logical conclusion or course of action.
 

pirate_girl

Infirmière essentielle
GOLD Site Supporter
You all are going back to work. Me? I'm staying home until I'm sure this whole thing is over.

The whole world did possibly just get screwed. It'll be interesting a few years down the road to see if this was the biggest scam ever foisted on humanity.

I'm still in the, "I don't know what to believe camp". There is just too much misinformation and disinformation out there for me to reach any clear, logical conclusion or course of action.
I'm right there with you, Frank.
(Besides the staying home part).
 

m1west

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
You all are going back to work. Me? I'm staying home until I'm sure this whole thing is over.

The whole world did possibly just get screwed. It'll be interesting a few years down the road to see if this was the biggest scam ever foisted on humanity.

I'm still in the, "I don't know what to believe camp". There is just too much misinformation and disinformation out there for me to reach any clear, logical conclusion or course of action.

I hear what you are saying. one report says after testing the death rate is the same as the flu, then another I just watched on the news says it causing heart disease and kidney problems. if you get it it never goes away and can come back when it feels like it. Also read it will not be going away with summer. It is hard to deal with a moving target. The US hit 40,000 deaths today, that is the population of the county. I still plan on doing what I am doing for a while before getting to cocky.
 

EastTexFrank

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
My wife and I are still sitting up on our little hill and watching the world go bye. Every 10 days or two weeks she'll make a run to the grocery store for fresh veg but apart from that we are suffering no hardship what-so-ever. Last week when she made a grocery run she brought home a ton of fresh fruit. She was craving fresh fruit. I really think that was the main reason she went in to town.

Today it was a thunder and lightening day, not too severe. I was sitting around thinking that this thing may be over in a couple of months but it may fire up again in the fall. I know that I have enough to get through another couple of months quite comfortably but I'll need to restock before the fall. What would I do differently if anything? Would I get more freeze dried stuff? We haven't used any so far. Would I get more canned stuff? We haven't used any of that either. I'm thinking that it would just be more of the same, fill the freezers with more meat and frozen veg, sit back and enjoy.

Would any of you guys do anything differently on the second go around?
 

Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
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My wife and I are still sitting up on our little hill and watching the world go bye. Every 10 days or two weeks she'll make a run to the grocery store for fresh veg...

... but it may fire up again in the fall...

... What would I do differently if anything? Would I get more freeze dried stuff? We haven't used any so far. Would I get more canned stuff? We haven't used any of that either. I'm thinking that it would just be more of the same, fill the freezers with more meat and frozen veg, sit back and enjoy.

Would any of you guys do anything differently on the second go around?

Darn good question.

I'd probably buy a 3rd freezer and pack it :hammer: But I would probably throw in a bunch of dozen pizza. Some frozen oriental foods. Some frozen prepared meals of some sort. I'm not complaining about having a freezer packed with meat, but sometimes I like to go to a restaurant and get stuff we don't normally cook. Having a 3rd freezer, and packing it with stuff that we enjoy but perhaps don't know how to make, or just to add more variety, etc, that would be great.

CANNED FOOD: We use very little canned food, but we do use some. I think I'd probably buy more canned stewed tomatoes, canned beans for chili, and of course Mary Kitchen Corned Beef Hash! We have more cans of sweet corn than I can eat. Plenty of green beans but more people eat green beans here than canned corn. So 2 cases of canned corn should have been 1 case. I did buy a few cans of several types of things like Chef-boy-r-dee Mini Ravioli, Beefaroni, etc. Most of that remains untouched, but every once in a while I've found an eaten can in the trash. I might have added to that trash once or twice too. Canned SOUPS are sitting on our shelves, we mostly use those for casseroles, might be time to make some?

FRUIT: I like fruit in my oatmeal. But I don't need fresh fruit. I'm happy with freeze dried strawberries, bananas, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. They can be used in smoothies and even in vanilla ice cream to make flavored ice cream. Some stuff is available as Dehydrated, other stuff as Freeze Dried. Freeze dried is crazy expensive by comparison, but it tastes better and reconstitutes better, if budget is no object, I'd buy bulk freeze dried berries, apple slices, banana chips. I'd buy dried apricots, mangos.

Probably going to run out of maple syrup. So I'd buy more pure maple syrup. I'm eating a lot more oatmeal lately. I like a shot of syrup in my oatmeal to give it a bit of flavor, along with the fruit.

PACKAGED SIDE DISHES: 1- POTATOES, We have boxes of Scalloped Potatoes (and other varieties). Basically just boxes of cheese mix + flavor mix + dried potatoes. In normal times we eat a box of those a month. I'm finding they are over-loads of cheese. We have some boxes of stuff that contains NO CHEESE, they are more like a skillet fried potato mix. I prefer those. Probably get fewer of the cheesy type, more of the skillet type. 2- RICE, again we normally eat rice dishes periodically, I prefer red beans & rice, or Cajun Dirty Rice, even Rice-a-Roni is OK. I think we've made it once since we've been locked down. Got lots of it. 3 - CAULIFLOWER 'rice' is more popular because its lower calorie and low carb (Melen is diabetic) but its difficult in normal times to find shelf stable packages. We have a bunch of frozen cauliflower (I broke down heads, individually froze the pieces, and then vacuum packed the pieces) but it seems like we use this more than either rice or potatoes so I'd probably have more.

BREAD MIX has been a blessing. Not only does homemade bread taste really good, and make the house smell great, it just makes us happy. I bought 4 or 5 different varieties of and bought several boxes of each mix (probably 36 total boxes). We also have various things like 1 pound bags of flax, pumpkin, poppy, etc seeds that we can use to modify the bread mixes. These are things we normally have in the pantry, but not normally in such large quantities.

NUT BUTTERS: I didn't realize my daughter eats so much peanut butter. I buy the natural stuff. 1 jar will last us a full year. Melen has been locked in the house for over a month and we are now on our 3rd and last jar of peanut butter. She also eats Almond and Cashew butter, but I didn't have any of those so I guess that explains why the P.B. is moving faster. Realize she has been away from home since starting college so I didn't realize some of the foods she is eating.

I still have a few dozen eggs, and a can of powdered eggs. I guess the powdered eggs are overkill. They will be used for baking/cooking.

We ran out of lactose free milk. We started in on the 'shelf stable' milk. It comes in 8oz containers. We have 23 of those 8-oz containers. They are not lactose free so I'm using Lactaid if I have things with milk. I would source a lactose free version of the shelf stable stuff. It is available, but difficult to find in normal circumstances.

We also have a #10 can of powdered milk that is unopened. It works fine for baking, cooking, etc. We will save the 8-oz shelf stable milk for when we really need milk for drinking?

SNACK FOODS: Dark Chocolate, small portion snacks, lower calorie snacks. I'm happy to snack on sardines, Spam, smoked oysters, etc. I normally have a half dozen cans of each in the house. I have sardines and Spam but no smoked oysters. I also like to snack on pickles. I had several jars that we canned ourselves, and I bought a half dozen jars at the store, but currently I'm probably down to the last 3 or 4 jars. I do like pickles. I bought a couple cases of individual serve bags of low calorie pop-corn and a couple boxes of OREO "2 packs" and both of those snacks have helped ... but Melen baked scratch made chocolate chip cookies last evening.

I would have more PUZZLES in the house. I don't make them but the girls do.

We found 2 plastic bins of YARN in our pile of craft supplies. That has occupied hours of the girls time and has been a blessing for them.
 

TiredRetired

Mr Lovable
SUPER Site Supporter
Would any of you guys do anything differently on the second go around?

1. More Mountain House. I want a 90 day supply of the stuff for two people. It has a 30 year shelf life so it will outlive me and son will inherit it.

2. More canned food. I am a big canned food fan. It lasts a long time. The best use dates on the can are just that, best use. In reality most canned goods with the exception of high acidic products last well past the due date. I just used a quart container of Vegetable Broth. to make a Vegetable soup. that was dated 3/15/18. It passed the smell test, taste test for both of us. It was fine and made a great soup. That was 4 days ago and we are not dead yet. No issues.

Canned meats are high in salt, but that keeps them going for a long time in the can. Spam, Corned beef, chicken and turkey breast and Tuna are my favorites. I will get more of those as I find them on special. Not paying panic prices right now, do not need to.

3. More vacuum lids for my 1/2 gallon canning jars. I use fermenting lids as you can reuse those to release the vacuum and re-pump them up after you use some of the product. I store 3 types of flour in them, regular, bread and self rising, pasta and rice in them. I need to do more of that.

4. Dinty Moore Stew. Crazy long best use date, right now out to 2024. A very versatile food. Great on rice, potatoes, egg noodles or just plain in a bowl. We currently only have about a dozen cans of this and should have more.

Ideally I too would like two of those commercial grade freezers in the basement running 24/7 off a small solar array that would also run the small 10 cubic foot spare frig and the kitchen fridge. That would be an ideal situation for us and I am going to look into that once it is feasible.

Lots more things I could mention and Bob brought up lots of great stuff too. In reality I missed lots of things and could have done better in many areas but overall we are still in a very small group that saw this coming and prepared better than most
For that we are thankful. :clap:
 

m1west

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
My wife and I are still sitting up on our little hill and watching the world go bye. Every 10 days or two weeks she'll make a run to the grocery store for fresh veg but apart from that we are suffering no hardship what-so-ever. Last week when she made a grocery run she brought home a ton of fresh fruit. She was craving fresh fruit. I really think that was the main reason she went in to town.

Today it was a thunder and lightening day, not too severe. I was sitting around thinking that this thing may be over in a couple of months but it may fire up again in the fall. I know that I have enough to get through another couple of months quite comfortably but I'll need to restock before the fall. What would I do differently if anything? Would I get more freeze dried stuff? We haven't used any so far. Would I get more canned stuff? We haven't used any of that either. I'm thinking that it would just be more of the same, fill the freezers with more meat and frozen veg, sit back and enjoy.

Would any of you guys do anything differently on the second go around?

Between the first wave and the second wave I think I will pick up a dedicated freezer. The one on the fridge holds a months worth. I learned thats not enough as I want to minimize trips and there can be shortages.
My 30 year and canned food are stocked up and I have not gotten into it. Some more medical supplies and masks. I fell down on my trailer and without the supplies I had on hand I would have been forced to go to a hospital. It would also be nice to have more medicine on hand like antibiotics and anti viral. I am on a well so as long as I can get or make electricity I got water. We planted many fruit trees about 3 years ago that are now baring fruit and I am planting the garden. Maybe stock up on building materials for the work cabin I am going to need and building supplies in general for repairs. Oil, grease ,filters, spark plugs etc. for the vehicles and equipment around here. I still have the Diesel and gas I stored. Im sure there are other things I will think of but I feel I have a good start.
 

EastTexFrank

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Thank you guys. You have given me quite a few things to think about. We are both in our 70s and it has been surprising just how little we actually eat in a day. Not at all like the old days when it used to be 3-squares a day.

I'm diabetic so there is never any candy or cookies in the house. My wife does have her hidden stash of cookies that I will raid once in a blue moon. There have been occasions though when I've had the longing for something sweet. I usually satisfy it with coffee laced with zero calorie Skinny Syrup.

We have 2 jars of peanut butter and haven't touched either. Like Bob, my snacks tend to consist of canned fish, spam and the like and I still have plenty of those. I did run out of Bumble Bee tuna and chicken salad lunch packs.

I think that I need to build up my freeze dried foods to last about a month. For us using it would be a last resort but it would be comforting just to have it sitting there. Like TR, I saw this coming and stocked up on bread. We don't use a lot of bread but need it for sandwiches and the like. It would be nice though if we had some of those frozen biscuits, rolls and things in the freezer. My Wife swears that she can bake bread but I've never seen her do it. Just in case I started researching bread making machines and low carb bread mixes.

We are a potato and pasta household. We still have plenty of low carb pasta but being Scottish I can't live without potatoes. I did look at the boxes of instant potatoes and decided to give them a pass. I won't do that next time.

I drink lots of zero calorie sports drinks. I never appreciated just how many. I will have to address that or substitute water. That should be easy enough.

All in all, we've come through the last 5 weeks with little or no difficulty but I am ready for it to be over.
 

m1west

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GOLD Site Supporter
While we sit here still pretty comfortable and slightly inconvenienced most the rest of the world is in dire straights. Countries that are perpetually teetering on the edge are now going over the edge. As this thing goes on I ask myself is this going to be our future if this thing just keeps going and going. Like the frog in the pot with the water heating up are we going to wake one day to 1929. I can remember having conversations with my dad as an adult about the Great Depression, how quickly everything changed then stayed that way for a long time. Someone straighten me out if I am missing something but the parallel is frightening. Experts are predicting up to 1/2 of all small business may fail, while statistics say that small business employs 60% of Americans so right there that is 30% unemployment. In the Great Depression it was 25%. The country is broke and owes trillions and so does most of our citizens. Before this more than 1/2 couldn't deal with a $1000.00 emergency. Essential businesses are being decimated financially, Farms, travel, restaraunts you name it. What is happening now is deflation because there is no demand for manufactured products and what can come next is hyper inflation on essential products like food and medicine because when most everything goes under production will stop there will be shortages.Then maybe none at all. I know its doom and gloom but a possibility that needs to be thought about.
 

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TiredRetired

Mr Lovable
SUPER Site Supporter
Interesting. I had my annual physical on March 12. Just so happened it was the last day my doctor was doing physicals due to COVID. We touched base a little about preparing for what was coming and he told me to call him anytime and he would write a RX for a 6 month supply of my meds. Of course, I would need to pay out of pocket for that as the insurance would not cover that, of course.

Still thinking about that.

We are working on that six month food prep as well. Already started as a matter of fact with more coming in tomorrow and still waiting on our latest Mountain House shipment we placed 4 weeks ago.
 

EastTexFrank

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My wife went in to town today in the rain. She went to the vet to pick up a 3-month supply of allergy meds for one of the dogs.

While there she swung by the grocery store as the carpark was empty due to the weather. I love it when she comes home from the grocery store. For me it's like Christmas morning waiting to see what she brought. Mainly it was green stuff and salad dressing although she did pick up more cans of beans and things that I have ever seen her buy.

Coming home she stopped by Mineola Pack to pick up our order of small filets, NY strips and ground beef. We're having one of the strips for dinner tonight.

At the beginning of this I thought that I had about 3 months of supplies on hand. We're almost 6 weeks into this thing, I'm losing track of time, and I still think that I have easily 3 months of stuff left. Since we could be doing this for another 6 weeks we may need it.

Something that Melensdad said made a lot of sense to me. It involved laying in a stock of food that you like but don't necessarily cook at home. Something like pizza. We never eat pizza at home because my wife's and my taste in pizza differs so much but half a dozen differing kinds would be an occasional treat. Likewise prepackaged frozen oriental dinners. We have some of those because that is one of her go tos when I'm having chicken for dinner but more wouldn't hurt. I'll have plenty of time to give this some more thought.
 

Bannedjoe

Active member
It's not that hard to make a pizza from scratch, esp if you have a bread machine.
I do it rather often.
It just takes time, and who doesn't have a little extra of that these days?
 
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