Survival Guide for Dummies – Surviving the next ten years in America

Survival Guide for Dummies – Surviving the next ten years in America

by Don Koenig – 2010

It seems that some people are very concerned about surviving what is coming in America over the next ten years. This Survival Guide for Dummies is written to teach things that people might need to know in order to survive the next ten years in America should a crises similar to any of those listed below actually become a reality. This guide does not apply to those that are very elderly, terminally ill, living in war zones or that have self destructive habits and life choices.

A crisis could come in the next ten years for many reasons, but my top seven picks are:

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) over the United States – Imminent danger to the U.S. # 1

Massive oil and gas disruptions – Imminent Danger to the U.S. # 2

Economic collapse in the United States – Imminent danger to the U.S. # 3

Coordinated Nuclear Terrorist Attack – Imminent danger to the U.S. # 4

WMD Attack on America by Russia or China – Imminent danger to the U.S. # 5

Break Up of the United States of America and Civil Upheavals – Imminent Danger #6

Cyber attack on our Infrastructure – Imminent danger to the U.S. # 7 – (DOD speech at CFR)

* The basic assumption used in this survival guide for dummies is that there is good reason to believe that a time will come when the power will be out for an extended period of time and that natural gas and propane would soon become unavailable.

Lesson one – Water — You cannot live without water for more than a few days so water is critical. Those that live in the country generally have access to water unless they are living in a desert but they probably have a well. If your living in a city your water comes from a utility or some water company. They should have a backup power source after a blackout so you most likely will have time to fill your bathtubs and sinks. Make sure that you have good plugs. Even without backup it will take hours for most public water lines to depressurize. Most houses also have about 40 gallons of water stored in their hot water heater. There is a drain valve on the bottom of the tank.

Soda pop, juice, etc., is mostly water so you might want to have a few months stock on hand of whatever you normally would drink anyway. I personally would not buy bottled water. Buying bottled water when you have good tap water is a waste of money and it is for dummies. If you want to store some bottled water fill cleaned out old two litter soda bottles or gallon jugs with tap water.

If the water you have to drink is not clean (perhaps because you do not clean your bathtub) just put a couple of drops of household bleach per gallon and wait a few hours. If there is an extended water outage I think there will be pumper trucks around within weeks. You might also think about how you can collect rain water if things really go critical.

If you live in the country your water probably comes from your own drilled well. In that case you will need to buy a 220/240 volt generator to run your well pump. Just run the generator long enough to fill up some large containers like your bathtubs or the horse trough that you bath in. If you’re a redneck, that swimming pool liner in the back of your pickup will do just fine.

You will need to have some fuel on hand to run the generator. If you only run your generator every few days for 30 minutes to pump water into your containers, five gallons of fuel should last you months.

Water is also available from that pond out in the back forty or down in that creek bed even if that means you have to walk an hour. You also can use that big water puddle that has been so good at breeding mosquitoes all summer because it never dries up. There are filters available in camping stores that will filter any water and make it potable. You also can build a wood fire and boil the water you intend to drink for 20 minutes (have a supply of matches). Again, bleach will also do the job killing the germs.

Lesson two – Food  — Not being able to get basic foods to survive on will probably be short term. Government does not like a lot of dead people laying around because dead people draw flies and do not pay taxes. Within a few months the people in charge will see to it that basic foods for survival are distributed. The Department of Homeland Security is preparing 15 regional centers for such a eventuality.

Food probably is not the critical element since most in America can go hungry for weeks thanks to that on-line food storage area that most people in America carry (A.K.A. our spare tire). Some basic life support will exist even after the worst scenario that you can think of. The critical thing is to have enough food to survive on until those rice and bean lines can be set up. I think three months food is quite enough unless you’re really planning to become the Lone Ranger living out in the wilds of Montana. If you tend to be the paranoid type you might be more comfortable with six months food but anything more than a few months supply probably will be confiscated anyway (when they do that house to house search with their food sniffing dogs).

All you really need to survive is a good sized pantry of canned, dried and packaged goods. Keep it stocked up with the stuff you usually eat anyway. Your beer and potato chips might qualify but you’re not going to be in the mood for any tailgate party. You might get a bit squirrelly after a while so have a nice store of canned nuts squirreled away somewhere. If they are vacuumed packed they will keep for years. Case in point – have you ever seen a malnourished squirrel where nuts are available?

If it is winter and it gets below freezing in the house, move the stuff that will freeze to the basement. If you do not have a basement put all the stuff in one closet and keep a few candles or an oil lamp burning there whenever it gets below freezing in the house.

Lesson three – Safety — Guns are a deterrent to certain criminals, so you might have one or three around. I don’t suggest you try to use them against whoever is in control of your area – be it the police, the military, or even some gang. If you are of the mindset to use guns against a much superior force you probably will not survive the next ten years so you can stop reading this survival guide now.

There are certain people in the inner cites that will loot and riot on any pretense. Then once the riots get going others will join in because taking care of number one has become a postmodern intercity code that overcomes the natural law of negative consequences. The best security will be to stay off the streets as much as possible and to form an alliance with any sane people that live around you.

Forget about trying to protect stuff like cars, big screen TV’s and even your money. Protecting these things might get you killed but they will be rather useless for surviving a national crisis in America. Within a week it is very likely that police and military will restore order by use of deadly force and within days there will be nothing much left in the stores worth looting and burning anyway. So the worst of the riots will last for days not months.

If you live in the country, a gun will be very useful for game and for protecting your home or your territory against bandits or some common enemy. I suggest a .22 rifle, a shotgun and some kind of high caliber rifle. Don’t forget to get a good supply of ammo.

If you are on prescription drugs get some extras and start rotating a few months supply.

Have a couple of flashlights and extra batteries. The LCD flashlights will shine for a long time on batteries but they do not put out enough light for some purposes. You also might think about getting one of those wind up flashlights from an Amish store.  You also will need a battery powered radio unless you can come up with the bucks for the crank up powered radio.

Lesson four – Shelter — If you have a roof over your head you should survive the cold. Homeless people survive more often than not even without a roof. In cold climates you will need some good winter clothing. If money is a problem you can get second hand clothing in thrift stores for almost nothing. There even are free stores in some areas. If you have winter clothes and stay out of the wind and stay dry and you should survive the cold.

It is not going to get as cold in your house or apartment as it will outside. During the night time or when it is cloudy out it will be warmer if you are below ground level but it might also be damp. A better way is to put everyone in one room like the kitchen and seal it off from the rest of the dwelling. People put off quite a bit of body heat by just living. If you have the family hot head in your room, all the better.

You can use candles, oil lamps, alcohol burners etc., in small doses for heat and light while people are awake but be aware of the carbon monoxide dangers in burning some of these products. If people in the room start developing dull headaches and dozing for no reason that is probably the cause. It is time to air the room and save the heat for another time.

Cars loaded with three or four people will stay relatively warm. It might be wise to crack a window. Have a sleeping bags rated at 20 degrees F. or below for every member of your family if you do not have down or wool bedspreads. Don’t use un-vented heat sources at night or you might wake up dead. You can use those 99.9 percent efficient vent-less catalytic type heaters if you have the fuel.

If you live in a very hot climate you will need to rest in the heat of the day as much as possible. Do whatever you need to do that takes physical effort at night or early in the morning. If you are in a fairly dry climate and you’re really hot, put on wet clothes and it will cool you off just fine. If it is humid like the deep South find a breeze if you can. Otherwise try to imitate the family on those old Hee-Haw reruns.

Lesson five – Hygiene — People have survived for thousands of years without running water and you can as well. If you live in the city take sponge baths. In the country you might look for a water hole occasionally.

Your toilet in the city might work for a few days if the sewage is going downhill or they have backup but you will need to flush it with a bucket of water. If they cannot keep the sewage stations up you are going to be told not to use your sewage system. In that case, you’re going to have to dig a trench wherever feasible if the government has not already dug in to help. Keep in mind that the military in the field does not have flush toilets and they know how to take care of business. On the other hand, I have seen military people use modern toilets for two weeks on a base in Nam where the water system had failed. Believe me, you would not want to take your business there.

Lesson six – Develop a basic skill that would still be needed in a national emergency — The best security in a crises is having a skill needed by the government and by others. If you are involved in some way with the recovery effort you can be assured that you will receive your script and rationing coupons. If you have a skill needed by others you can be sure that they will exchange things they have for your service.

If you have no skills you might just become a good trader (not traitor). Many people make a living off of trading used stuff today. You just trade something that you got for a bargain to someone who really wants it more or needs that item right now. A lot has to do with knowing a good deal when you see it and putting in the time it will take to become the local trading store.

If you raise sugar, sugar beets, grapes, corn, potatoes or have a fruit orchard available it might be worthwhile for you to learn how to distill alcohol. Alcohol is a clean burning cooking and heating fuel, not to mention its well known medicinal qualities.

Lesson seven – Stock up now on some things to barter with —- Buy up extra stuff that you will eventually use anyway when that item is on sale. Think of products that will be in demand during a infrastructure failure and products that will last in storage for years. Just a few examples are common caliber bullets, alkaline batteries, spirits, pure or denatured alcohol, vacuum packed foods, toilet paper, matches, candles, insect repellents, women’s hygiene items, and plastic storage bags.

Lesson eight – Learn to grow your own produce and can it — A 30′ x 60′ well planned garden will keep you in all the vegetables your family will need for a whole year. Some things like winter squash and potatoes will keep all winter. Can or dry more than what you need until the next season. You can barter your surplus goods for other things or still use it the following year. Use only seed that will reproduce more seed. Let a few plants of each species that you want to plant next year go to seed. Then dry the seeds and store the seeds in a plastic bag in a dry place.

Lesson nine –  Shop at garage and moving sales as much as possible —– The cost of many things you might need for survival will only cost about 10c on a dollar there.

Lesson Ten – Get a Bible and learn understanding about the truth found between the two covers — The truths in the Bible will help you to get through the storms of life. Although, I have listed this lesson last in this survival guide for dummies, it is by far the most important survival lesson of all. Hope of your salvation in Christ is more valuable than having all the stuff in the world. If for some reason you do not survive the next ten years in America you take hope with you that although you die you will continue to live a more abundant life with Christ in eternity.

Summary – Surviving the next ten years  is not as difficult as those selling survival products would like to lead us dummies to believe. You can survive the next decade by just doing some common sense preparations. Your own ancestors knew how to survive without today’s modern infrastructure. They prepared for winter and they planned in advance for a possible crop failure.

For some reason we think living in modern times makes us more secure, but our total dependence on electricity and electronics makes us even more vulnerable than they ever were. So doing a small amount of preparation to deal with the unexpected is a wise course to take. As our world continues on its present path of insanity we should be aware that the unexpected should be expected within the next ten years.

Much of what you need to survive the next ten years should not cost you that much money. Most food products that you will need to survive are now sitting on store shelves. These are the same items that you will need to buy in due time anyway. So the money spent on extra food and common supplies will not be wasted. You really will just be filling a rainy day piggy bank called a stocked pantry. The items saved in that food bank will keep up with the real rate of real inflation and cost of living to boot. The money you have in the bank today will not, and any increase will be taxed.

Apart from the pantry items, the other things you will need can often be found at very low cost at moving sales, garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores. Used clothes can often be purchased for almost nothing. Other critical items can be bought used at half price at pawn shops and through Penny-Saver type ads. I bet someone will even give you a Bible for nothing, if you ask.

The key to surviving the next ten years in America is taking a common sense approach to prepare for the winter storms that we know are coming to this nation. We should see that it is late fall in our nation. So, it should be no huge surprise when we wake up one morning and the lights do not turn on and we find ourselves in a declared state of national emergency.

* Caution Use this Survival Guide for Dummies beyond the next 10 years at your own risk. Sometime in the next decade, if not before, there is a really good chance that you will be living in a post Rapture world. After that, all the common sense rules of survival will become meaningless because evil in the world will not be restrained by God.
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 Don Koenig founded website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.


22 thoughts on “Survival Guide for Dummies – Surviving the next ten years in America

  1. i like the last paragraph in bold letters, some people who are reading this might be left behind, including me, u never know.

  2. Don has blogged a couple times (that I know of) on the EMP danger and I posted a few of my “faraday for dummies” techniques on the last blog – an electronics stockpile or two could prove useful, if for no other reason than barter; Chances are, your local hardware and grocery stores won’t be restocked any time soon (not just electronics, but all the things listed above);

    A low tech vehicle might prove useful long term (post-EMP et al) – we used to be able to work on our vehicles, remember?

    Lesson 10 – confess and repent (daily)… doesn’t matter if anybody else knows, only that Jesus does; I am looking forward (forward: another hijacked word… hmmm) to the rapture.

  3. i hope the rapture happens soon because this economic collapse has taken my dream away, i was supposed to start working and making 90,000 a year in nyc and now im struggling to find a job that pays 8 an hour.i honestly have no mercy for those people who did this, my future is in jeopardy because of their evil greed and im only 25. i hope god comes quickly.

  4. The Rapture of the Church is not some substitute for your material needs.

    This economic collapse was coming for a very long time. I wrote about the world debt collapse that was coming ten years ago.

    The people you have no mercy for are most of the American people. In general they are your parents. We collectively have been living beyond our means. Also the American people have been electing people to government that encouraged government to spend beyond its means. Further, the American people continue to elect to office those who do the will of the world globalists.

    The housing bubble was created by the American people. That speculation bubble just became the straw that broke the camels back. It was liberal spending for decades and departing from the Constitution that put us here.

    These globalist liberal polices also allowed and encouraged our manufacturing to be shipped overseas to spread the wealth around. Now you have a problem getting an $8 an hour job because third world nations can dump their products here and still undersell us at even $8 an hour.

  5. The housing bubble could not have happened without a central bank (Federal Reserve). But I’m with you Don on the American people have no morality (liar and ninja loans). The Fed created the moral hazard, then the people ran with it. Sad.

  6. Because the restrainer of the evil one and evil is the Holy Spirit that dwells within the Body or Bride of Christ. When the indwelt Church goes in the Rapture He that restrains evil is taken out of the way and Satan with all his wickedness prevails on the earth.

    Of course even though evil or wickedness will prevail on the earth God still knows how to deliver His predestined. Some will overcome the evil world but it will cost them their physical life and a remnant will be protected through the fires.

    2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
    4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
    5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
    6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
    7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
    8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
    9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

  7. I was thinking about going to medical school to be a doctor. This is one of a couple career choices I decided on but then I started thinking about the economy and where we are headed. Ik getting out of debt is one of the best things you can do in a crisis and if I chose that profession I would be around 150k in the hole by the time I was done. Now I’m considering not doing that for that reason. Good advice don on the article. It sounds like even in an emp situation life will be quite manageable with just common sense and a few months of supplies.

  8. You might look at this way. If you are $150,000 in debt and the dollar becomes worthless your debt is erased. Also, there are many under served areas where the government will pay off your loans in a few years. So I think debt should not be the major consideration.

  9. Another survival guide idea: I’m thinking of getting hard copy “do it yourself” books… I’m not sure the ones to get though…

    small home electronics would be good; I’d like to know how to convert an appliance in to running order by circumventing the (otherwise dead) digital controllers; Some carpentry would be good; Maybe a book on basic chemistry might come in handy; Small home medical (and dental) might be good;

    I found something that looks useful for roughly $800 – “nature’s head”, a composting toilet; It comes in a relatively small box and I would simply stow it away in the attack; It can last months, depending on use, on one peat bag load (I’ve got an old fish pond I’ve been filling with composting leaves that would do);

    Definitely things in the “creative resourceful” department;

    My brother has several very interesting water filter contraptions, including one where you can drink directly from a pond or stream that will filter out chemical / sediment to around .02 microns, IIRC;

    I plan to get a hand pump installed on my well come spring; I sure hope (pray) the Lord gives us a half more year or so to continue to get our act together; I’m just not where we need to be; I just converted a utility room to a laundry room and thus created a pantry in the wake; I’d say I have one month of food stockpile (this effort was put on hold to get all this house-prep work done); Deep breath;

  10. Jim,

    I just watched a video (link below) presented by a doctor who claims that if Obamacare isn’t repealed, come about the year 2013 over 40% of the doctors in this country will quit. I don’t know how much weight you can put on this claim, but if true, your job description will be in huge demand. Or, you might side with that 40% and find it isn’t worth the effort to conduct business in this country under the socialist shackles doctors will find themselves. Of course, other countries — especially 3rd world countries — will welcome your expertise. Wait a minute. 3rd world country. Isn’t that where we’re heading? 😉


  11. yes,its good advice.i yself have been stocking up on water…filling milk jugs & such.I know that great earthquake God talks about is just around the corner & living near the New Madrid faultline brings a little extra concern.I’ve got 7 dogs,3 horses,a donkey & a goat.Transportation on wheels will ne nil to nonexisting so if i survive i plan to make use of my horses.Yes,we should all be prepared for the tribulation because we are the generation that is living in it.God bless everyone

  12. Thanks for your comment, but actually you only will be living in the tribulation and the time of the great earthquake if your not in the Church. That does not mean that the New Madrid fault-line cannot produce a local great earthquake before the tribulation.

  13. Don, great advice. Well written and thought out. It’s quite clear that 99% of the people you see out there haven’t the slightest idea of what is coming to America. America, is finished, notwithstanding the most recent elections (admirable as they may be).

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way for America to survive is that while we still possess some semblance of military might to just default on our obligations to bond holders (think GM) and start over. Hunker down and prepare to just defend liberty. All the debt we’ve saddled ourselves and future generations with have stolen, or will steal, our liberties anyway. It wouldn’t be pretty. But given the alternatives what else have we?

    Obviously this won’t happen. We will continue to slide, a slow methodical slide into debt enslaved oblivion.

    However…keep in mind…there’s still time (perhaps not for America as a nation, but for us as persons) while we’re in this slide…to come to the realization that as Psalms 139 says, “Thou compassest my path, and my lying down… Thou hast hedged me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me…Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? (please go to it and read the rest of it. It’s a great text)

    It’s why Don’s Lesson 10 is so very key. In fact, the key to survival itself, not of this life but life eternal.

  14. Hi, on the subject of how much to stockpile… So, one thing I’m thinking about is my neighbors… They are most likely to scoff at the prophecy, at least not take any of this seriously (so as it was in the days of Noah…).

    I figure I (we) need to stockpile for not just our immediate families, but also for those neighbors adjacent to us et al; I even had it in my head that if a neighbor wanted a can of food or use the well (I plan to get a hand pump… I know the water is drinkable as it was our only source of water for the first 15 years the house stood), then they have to listen to me read (preach) from a chapter of the book, primarily the new testament; Maybe lesson 10 will be preached and accepted, who knows?

    Now, there’s a part of me that says “Live Free Or Die” and thus I wouldn’t need the bulk of the “lessons”, but, in the moment, I seem to do the right thing, so I figure I might as well live now as if I will be standing, part of the band of survivors (Twila Paris), as Jesus snatches us in the twinkling;

    Take care

  15. Ken C, you are correct the most painless way will be to default now. Those that invested in our overspending habits make a bad investment. Otherwise hyperinflation will become death by thousand cuts and it will bring us and the world down at a time when we are military weak.

    Craig, do what you think God is leading you to do.

  16. Don, what do you think the economy and job prospects will be like after we have a depression and the worst is over? You think it will rebound and the economy will thrive or will it just continue like the way it is with no real recovery?

  17. I think the fall of the U.S. will occur in this decade and by sometime in the following decade the whole world will be within the biblical end times scenario. So no, I do not see any long term recovery in the U.S. as a whole. But, there could be regions like the mountain northwest and the food producing plain states that will be doing reasonably well right up to the great tribulation.

  18. Great article!! I have been checking websites for survival foods and they are very expensive – I esp. like the filling jugs with water! Will also invest in a water purifier (we have a garden pond) So, according to this, it doesn’t take as much preparation as some articles and books are saying – just common sense! Even if this is not the biblical end of the world, I do think we should be prepared because of our Government! I put nothing past the one in office now!

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