The worst-case scenario dramatization slash documentary After Armageddon aired January 5, 2010 on the History Channel as part of Armageddon Week.
After Armageddon presented a picture of the breakdown of society after a worldwide pandemic flu. See Armageddon Week Starts January 3 on History Channel for more information. The dramatization was interspersed with expert opinion who presented step-by-step what could happen in the event of a worldwide apocalyptic event. In this case, a deadly flu virus caused death and a domino effect that led to an end-of-the-world or at least end-of-civilization world where survival is the only goal.
Expert commentators proposed that pandemic illness would lead to power grid failures due to lack of manpower, the failure of the world wide web and eventually the end of civilized society.
After Armageddon supposed that when workers become sick and/or die from disease, their jobs are unfilled which leads to services such as garbage pick up, electricity, water, food deliveries and other basic utilities ending.
After Armageddon experts pointed to Hurricane Katrina as a picture of how quickly civilization can turn to anarchy. One expert stated that it took four days for New Orleans residents to go feral in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The scenario proposed by After Armageddon reminded viewers that ultimately, the survival of they and their families will depend upon planning ahead for the possibility of disaster – whether disaster comes from pandemic illness, natural or manmade disaster.
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Prepping your Home Base
As with everything in the realm of disaster preparedness, it’s best to start and stick with the simplest concepts. We already know the basic necessities of almost any survival situation: Fire, Water, Food, Shelter and Security.
In an urban environment, or any environment that involves our home, we can break these 5 necessities down in several different ways, and in doing so the essential concepts expand just a little bit into sub-areas. I like to break it down as follows: Water, Food, Heat/Cold, Power, Communication, Light, Health and Security.
As an example of this break-down of needs, rather than just the basic necessity of “fire” we ideally need to be able to both heat and cool things like food or possibly even our living environment.
Water: This is one of the areas where many people miscalculate, and it is really one of the simplest and most crucial needs. My advice is to tackle the issue of water before you try to take on anything else, because it is so easy to take care of and doesn’t require a lot of financial investment. The biggest mistake most people make is that they woefully underestimate the amount of water they need because they don’t take into consideration exactly how much and for how many things we use water. a. Water to drink – This is of course the most obvious need. But how much, exactly? Plan on a minimum of 1 gallon per day, per person for your hydration needs. This is probably more than you need to survive at a bare minimum inside your home base, but plan on using that much drinking water anyway.
Firstly because it doesn’t take that much room or money to plan for that amount and also because you’ll be glad you overestimated a little.
As an additional backup water plan, you should also invest in at least one water filtration system (for example: Berkey water filters), and also invest in one or more of the numerous and inexpensive, portable bugout-bag type systems.
However the first and most important necessity to start with is having a supply of water that does not need filtration or purifying. It is very simple to buy several 55-gallon, food-grade plastic barrels. The prices for these range from about $25 – $50, depending on whether they are new or used, and also depending on whether they already have a spout installed at the bottom or not.
Alternatively, the 5-7 gallon plastic water containers you can buy for under $10 will work as well. They are usually square and stack neatly.
Food: Disaster food prepping should be thought of in at least two categories. Short-term and long-term food supply. By “short term” I am talking about time periods of two weeks or less. What a lot of prepper-type suppliers will try to sell you on is the concept of MRE’s and freeze-dried food-storage solutions like Mountain House for your home food supply.
While it’s true that these have calories to keep you alive for a short-term disaster (less than a few weeks) they are not any kind of real food for the medium or long haul. The only real advantage you get from those short-term foods is portability and weight. So I’d recommend having Mountain House or MRE’s in a small supply that you can either pack into your car or bugout bag very quickly (if not already pre-packed), in case you have to become mobile. Otherwise use real food for your home-base prepping and stay away from prepackaged food entirely for that purpose.
You can very easily and inexpensively take care of all of your food supplies. Start with extremely inexpensive with foods like beans (red beans, lentils, etc.) and rice. Then build up from that starting point by using food drying (dehydrators like the Excaliber brand, for instance, can be bought starting at around $100) dry canning, wet canning, mylar and food-grade storage buckets to package and store your food. The important thing is to store your long-term food in vacuum sealed containers that will allow your food supplies to keep for several years. Storing your food in this manner is a skill, but one that is very easily learned. We teach these skills at my school, but you can also learn many of them on your own through “YouTube University” or through good books.
Creative Ways to Garden
Some of the related subjects (and of course also subjects we teach at my school) are: Raised bed gardening, “guerilla” gardening, wicking beds, aquaponics, permaculture, vertical and forest gardening. If you are interested in herbalism, I highly suggest you start growing those kinds of plants as well, while also learning to identify those that grow naturally in your surroundings whether urban or rural. I also talk (and interview many other experts) a lot about herbalism and growing your own food, urban survival and a myriad of other preparedness topics on my podcast,, if you are looking for more information on these subjects.
Power: Power is very useful for at least four very important things, which are all part of the sub-necessities I mentioned earlier in this article. Heat, cooling, light and communication. While you are thinking of the power-related ways to take care of these necessities, bear in mind that for most of them, there are non-power methods of taking care of these necessities as well. They might not work as well, but they are good backups.
a. Heating and Cooling: Start here with backup methodologies for heating and cooling your food that do not require power. This way you always have something to fall back on if everything else fails. For instance, examples of non-power sources of heating would be outdoor BBQ grills, fireplaces, fire pits & burn barrels. Examples of non-power sources of cooling food are root cellars, clay pot evaporative cooling, natural water or cooling (streams, creeks, springs, snow, etc.) and easy/cheap variations of underground food storage such as buried 55-gallon drums.
Then work on setting up at least one power-related backup source, such as generator, wind, solar, hydroelectric, etc. This subject alone is the material for many books. A generator is of course the simplest way to start, but don’t assume that will take care of your needs indefinitely. There are many considerations even with something as simple as a generator such as fuel (gasoline, diesel, tri-fuel, propane, etc.), decibel level, fuel storage and so forth. Don’t let the size of any task outlined in this entire article seem daunting to you. Remember, big tasks are nothing more than a lot of small tasks all piled into one stack. Just work on one small piece at a time and make sure you have your most basic and simple elements taken care of first.
After Armageddon also reminded viewers that in order to prepare for disaster, it will be important to be aware that you will need to defend yourself and understand that survival may require force and violence. When people move into survival mode, they do not as they normally would – civilized and peaceful.
One expert on After Armageddon surmised that foraging after a disaster would become a necessary part of survival. As he stated, foraging is a nice word for looting. This illustrates that disaster changes people and changes their behavior – a common theme in After Armageddon.
Another expert said it best: “We like to think that moral progress has made us nice people. We’ve heard that our distant ancestors were mean and cruel and ruthless, and we can’t imagine that we would be such people – but we’re nice mainly because we’re rich and comfortable. And when we’re no longer rich and comfortable, we won’t be as nice.”
Disaster preparation has received a lot of attention in the recent past. In fact, people who live in every corner of the world prepare for various disasters such as famine and war. Some of them even prepare for zombies. It is always better to prepare to face disasters as they can hit us at unexpected times. However, it should be done according to a plan. That’s where The Lost Ways comes into play. This guide follows a scientific approach to help people prepare for disasters. In fact, it would let people know about the secret methods followed by the ancestors to survive disasters. They include a variety of disasters such as droughts, diseases, financial crisis, wars, famines and everything else life threw at them. For More Information about The Lost Ways Survival Guide Click Here