100th Post! Mar. 7, 2011

We've Reached a Milestone

Survivalist. Prepper. Homesteader. Paranoid. A little of column “A,” a little of column “B.” Uncle Sam now encourages people to have 72 – hour kits and emergency plans. What does all that mean to me?

With those words I started this blog in May of last year.  I planned to write something once a week or so, and if I could reach 100 people, I'd have been pleased.  That's about how it went until Jan. 1st.  I've been making daily posts since then.  Readership has skyrocketed.  I've got 223 fans of Facebook.  I've got some fantastic sponsors who believe enough in what I'm doing and the wonderful readers to put their money down on advertising.  I'm supremely grateful for all of it.  This is my 100th post, and I'm committed to bringing you daily quality posts for a long time to come.  Thank you very much!

My Great-Grandfather Prepped

As we head into the future with If It Hits The Fan, I thought we'd take a look at the past.  My Great-Grandfather died several years before I was born, but from what I've learned about him, he was an interesting man.  He had two master's degrees, one from Davidson College in North Carolina, and one from Yale.  My Grandmother was born in Texas in 1919 while my Great-Grandfather was a professor at Austin College.  He brought the family back to Richmond and left academia to become an accountant.  Fast forward to 1961.  He was retired and concerned about the Red Menace.  Like much of America at the time, he decided to build a fallout shelter for him, my Great-Grandmother, my Grandparents, my Mom (who was in college) and my Uncle (in high school).

I have a folder with his notes, some articles, and his inventory.  Take a look at it and see what you think of his level of readiness.  Compare the items on his list to yours.  Don't compare the prices, it might make you cry.
Who knew that General Mills made survival food?  I think I'll have to pass on the Multi-Purpose Food, though and stick to the THRIVE or Wise.  How about those Vitamin C wafers?  Anyone have anything like that in their preps?  Do they still make those?

Do you have a personal radiation meter?  Personally, I carry a Nuk Alert with me at all times.  What about building your own out of common household items?

Do you have a shelter?  Do you have a way to provide ventilation?  Great-Grandfather did.

This came from Civil Defense, and seems like a good basic ventilation chimney.  From more recent things I've read, this should be perfectly adequate for keeping fallout particles out of your shelter.  I don't know that Fram and Purolator still make filters for it, though.

Here's his handwritten inventory:
Nearly everything on this list can be found in the pantries of today's survivalists.  I don't think mac & cheese comes in cans anymore, nor the juices.  The Pepsi and 7-Up I believe would have been quart sized back then.  I can't make out the item after the instant coffee, anyone have any ideas?  I hope no one has 1,000 tabs of saccharine anymore.  Fifty gallons of water for 5 adults and a teen boy?  I don't know how long he was planning for; it's hard to figure out from his food and drink choices.  I think the water is one place I'd have to suggest Great-Grandfather up his quantities considerably.

So, how much did all of this cost him?  I can tell you that it was all paid for in cash.  He was not one for credit.  Here are his notes:

Just over $1,134 and every penny accounted for.  Notice that he also did it all, from contracting and building the shelter, to buying the food and supplies, in just over two months.  The supplies are all things we should have in our larders (maybe except the DDT).  He accounts for food, water, hygiene and waste, and even entertainment.  I'd have liked to have known my Great-Grandfather and spoken with him about his preps.  But you know, I think I'm pretty lucky to have these notes.  Francis Gary Powers, Jr., the son of the U2 pilot shot down and captured in the Soviet Union, is in Virginia, and he is the director of the National Cold War museum up in DC.  Perhaps I'll donate these if he is interested in them. 

As a kid, I remember seeing newspaper clippings of an article in the Richmond News Leader about Great-Grandfather's basement shelter.  He followed OpSec and kept his picture and name out of it, but photographs showed the interior of the shelter and told how he did it.  No one in the family knows what happened to the clippings, but I'm still trying to hunt them down.  When I find them, I'll put them up here for you.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this bit of survivalism history.  You can see that I come by it honestly!


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Again, thanks to you for taking the time to visit and read my blog.  I never forget that the reason I am here is because of all of you.  Thank you!

My Wife

I owe a huge thanks to my wife!  Without her support, help and patience as I spend so much time on the computer, none of this would have happened.  She is the reason I prep, and I'm grateful for such a wonderful reason.


  1. I believe after instant coffee it says Creamer.

  2. Congrats on your 100th post!

    That notebook is a very cool find, thanks for sharing.

  3. Congratulations!
    Keep up the good work.

    Michael in NC

  4. Thanks, Chris and Michael! Army Wife, I'm not sure about creamer. I think the first letter is P - it matches the P in Pepsi above it. Creamer makes a lot of sense, though and he doesn't have it anywhere else...

    Update - I just looked up non-dairy creamer on Wikipedia and found the first one was Pream, introduced in the 50's. So, Pream it is, and Army Wife was certainly on the right track!

  5. This is really a treasure! How fun that you have it in your family history.

    And if you search google images, you can find pictures of cans of Pream as well. Fun stuff.


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