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Surviving A Global Depression – Rural Survivability

Updated on January 25, 2009

Once you’ve found a location, it’s time to stock it. You’ll be astonished at how much you’ll need. Let’s assume you are planning for four months of isolation at a time between restockings. The amount of food required for this length of time is going to be gargantuan. Find a bulk store that will give you a volume discount, or call around to find food wholesalers who will cut you a deal. Don’t worry too much about having the best quality or your favorite foods. You may not have much lobster and lots of canned beef stew, but you can treat yourself once the depression has subsided.

It’s important to plan nutritionally balanced meals featuring reasonable levels of protein, carbohydrates and fat that are calorie-controlled to compensate for your lower activity level. You shouldn’t need more than 1,800 calories a day for men and 1,500 for women. Most of the time you are going to be sitting around and won’t be burning up many calories. Canned, jarred and dried food is best. Don’t stock anything that won’t last four months without refrigeration, so foodstuffs like strawberries and fresh meats are out. There are lots of canned meats, fish, vegetables and fruits available and various dried meats and fishes that are delicious and packed with nutrition. Rice, cereals and pastas are lifesavers. Don’t bother with refrigerated foods and forget frozen foods, because if the electricity supply fails for a day you’ve wasted it all. Try to avoid alcohol and narcotics. You will need your sobriety for the challenges ahead.

For each person you will need to take along 360 meals. That’s a lot of food! Three meals a day for four months. Forget large cooked breakfasts. You can settle for cold cereal and sterilized or canned milk. Eat simply and wholesomely. Try to create menus that don’t require cooking, or if they do, can be prepared simply in a single pot. Fuel for cooking may become a problem. Plan out each and every one of those meals so that you have absolutely everything you need. You won’t be able to just run to the corner store for some ketchup.

Water is the single biggest need you’ll have. If you are lucky enough to have found a house with a stream nearby you can always have a fresh supply. You’ll have to boil every drop first, even for bathing, but if cooking fuel is not limited that is by far the best way to get your water. If you don’t have this optimal situation, then you need to store your own water. You cannot rely on the utilities staying on. There may be no water, gas or electricity for some or all of the time you are battened down. Be ready.

You’ll have to allow for about 12 quarts or liters of water per person per day. And that’s just for drinking, cooking and sponging yourself down. No baths, showers or toilet flushing. That’s a huge amount of water over four months. Over this period, each person will need 1,440 quarts (1,362 liters) of water, which will take up 48 cubic feet (1.36 cubic meters). That’s a lot of space. It’s like a column of water 2 feet (61 centimeters) wide, 3 feet (91 centimeters) deep and all the way from the floor to the ceiling. If you are planning for six people to last out the depression you will need enough water to fill a small bedroom right up to chest level.

Next: Surviving A Global Depression – When Cash Becomes Worthless

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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Absolutely. Groundwater and springs can harbor thousands of carcinogenic et al. chemicals. The really nasty part is that these chemicals can often survive boiling, filtration, bleaching, or darn near anything you can throw at them. :(

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Good point. I had never considered chemical contamination, since I can usually find a spring head to get water from, but not everyone lives in such a place.

      I suppose wells are at risk also, from chemical contamination?

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Bleach disinfection is good for organic contaminants, but chemical contaminants will be unaffected by the bleach, and many of them can't even be filtered out by activated charcoal. You have to take into consideration that at a time of general anarchy, no one would be able to ascertain exactly what has been dumped upstream of you and the time to find out is not once you've ingested it and get sick,

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      True, but combine with boiling and a drop or two of bleach, water can be made safe. It is the method we use when camping.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      A water purifying system is by far a better choice, but the reason I was concentrating on stored water is that there are various contaminants that are not readily handled by even the most sophisticated personal purifying system, and those can be quite lethal.

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      A water purifying system, that can be worked by hand may be better than trying to store four months work of water. There are several varieties that work with a five gallon bucket, and are used in third world countries. Another suggestion, get use to simpler foods now, so you are not learning in the mist of disaster.

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