The Overlooked Gold Mine of Post-EMP Survival

Rich M.
By Rich M. May 31, 2018 07:25

The Overlooked Gold Mine of Post-EMP Survival

Life was very different 100 years ago. If you think about it, the Model T Ford, the car that made automobiles common on American roads, didn’t hit the market until 1908. Over the next 19 years the Ford Motor Company produced 15 million Model Ts – but, with 119 million people in the United States, the vast majority of the people still counted on good old hay-burning horse power to get them from one place to another.

The Overlooked Gold Mine of Post-EMP SurvivalNot only did our great-grandparents have horses to pull the family wagon or buggy, but they probably had a cow as well. The family cow, back then, was just about as common as the family dog today. While people didn’t bring their cows into the house and let them jump on the sofa they did keep a cow out back in the barn, so that they could have fresh milk.

Many people say that if an enemy were to attack the United States with an EMP, we would be back to living like those great-grandparents and their parents lived in the 1800s. I don’t think so. How many people do you know who have a barn behind their house? How many have horses? How many have a cow?

The truth of the matter is, we are not at all prepared to live in a post-EMP world, even those of us who are preppers. Oh yeah, we’ll be better off than the rest of the country – able to live off of our food stockpiles for a while, and hopefully able to raise enough food to keep us going after that. But that’s not to say that we’ll be doing good. We’ll probably just barely be squeaking by; surviving.

Related: 7 Things That Will Survive an EMP

We just don’t have the training, tools and lifestyle to live in a pre-industrialized world. Back in the 1800s the United States was still an agricultural society, with most people living on small family farms. That’s why they had that cow. Today, we’re used to living in suburbia and there are few family farms anymore. In fact, the vast majority of farmland in the United States is now owned by large, corporate farms, not by individual families working their own land.

To survive in that post-EMP world, we’d need to make a lot of changes. More than anything, we’d need to truly become self-sufficient, just like those farm families in the 1800s. As part of that, one of the best things we could have is a cow.

In India, they worship the cow as a god. While I don’t agree with their religious beliefs, I can understand where they come from. The cow gives us a lot of useful things, namely milk. But it doesn’t stop there. Cow manure has long been used as fertilizer. The meat of the cow is the most commonly eaten meat in the United States, besides chicken. And the skin of the cow can be tanned, making leather for shoes and other uses. All this, and they will keep your lawn trimmed neatly too, converting that grass to milk.

The Overlooked Gold Mine of Post-EMP SurvivalGranted, if you eat the cow, you don’t have a cow anymore. But cows are a renewable resource. The average cow will give birth to one calf per year, usually having two to four calves before they are slaughtered. With an average cow giving almost 500 pounds of boneless trimmed beef, they will reproduce more beef per year, than you will consume, with care.

It’s hard to say whether the meat from the cow or the milk is more useful in our diet. Milk has long been called the most complete food, containing a combination of protein and fats. It can also be made into cheese, butter and yoghurt, helping to ensure that not one drop of precious milk goes to waste.

Clearly, one cow would go a long way towards providing your family with the food they need in a post-EMP world. While it can’t provide everything they need alone, the addition of even one cow to whatever gardening you plan to do would make a huge difference. The leftover greens from the garden could even be used to help feed the cow, recycling those nutrients back into fertilizer. Over time that one cow could become a small herd with proper management, forming the basis of a new post-EMP wealth.

But there’s even more that a cow could do for you in a post-EMP world. Cows are strong, and their strength could be harnessed to the plow, helping you to farm the land. Granted, cows were not normally used for this purpose; oxen were. But oxen are castrated bulls, more commonly referred to as steers today. So, while a milk cow may not have as much strength as an oxen, it would have enough strength to be used for plowing.

Related: 14 Preppers Speculate What an EMP Would Look Like in America

Again, careful management would be required, so that the cow didn’t become overworked. This would be especially critical during the cow’s pregnancy. But what is excessive work for a cow is much different than what is excessive work for you and me.

The problem for most of us is that we can’t keep a cow in our backyard. At least, we can’t keep a cow in our backyard now, during normal times. If we were to try, the city code enforcement officers would surely drag us into court for violations of the zoning laws.

The Overlooked Gold Mine of Post-EMP Survival

But that doesn’t mean that it is impossible to own cattle, even today. One of my neighbors owns a 500-acre ranch outside of town where he keeps cattle. As part of that, I have two cows on his ranch as well. I bought them as calves and am allowing them to grow on his range. When they becomes old enough, I will have them butchered for meat.

I’m doing this more for the savings on the cost of meat that it provides me. At the same time, those two cows are part of my survival plan. Should something major – like an EMP – happen I will have cows, which I could move to my home to provide my family with meat. Properly handled, I could breed at least one of those cows before butchering it, providing us with milk and another calf to raise for the next year.

Of course, our actual plan is a touch more complicated than that, because my neighbor and I will be working together to raise enough meat and vegetables to feed our families. Nevertheless, without the cows, our chances of doing so would be much slimmer.

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Rich M.
By Rich M. May 31, 2018 07:25
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  1. Hoosier Homesteader May 31, 12:13

    In the world after an EMP, if you have large animals like cattle and horses, you will be in a minority. If you’re fortunate enough to be in this minority, then security better be at the top of your priority list. We can only imagine what that world will be like; probably worse than we think.

    Reply to this comment
    • SHEEPHERDER May 31, 15:56

      Being a former Hoosier myself, between Gary and Chicago, I both agree and disagree with you. Yes, you would be in the minority where you reside. A goat or two would be much less obvious. Where I live now, out west, cattle is king. Only hobby farms have goats. If an EMP hits nothing would change too much. Horses and livestock outnumber people here and just about everyday is farmers market day. Good luck.

      Reply to this comment
    • gale June 1, 02:12

      I believe that all animals will be killed for food, by the hordes of people that will survive for the first month or so, and trying to protect your animals will probably just get you killed.

      Reply to this comment
      • red April 27, 05:24

        Good luck finding most animals. Animals in lots, yes, but pastured animals know the sound of a gun, know stranger equals enemy. Retinta (T. Longhorns, corrientes, and so on) are still ladino cattle, sly like a deer. When the spanish invaded the southeast coast, they left behind a lot of bodies and a lot of livestock. Cattle were traded as far north as modern New York. In Penna, after Native Americans were run off or killed, a lot of cattle and hogs went wild. In the 30s and 40s people could still find tracks from feral animals, but rarely found the animals themselves. New York, BTW, has a feral hog problem. niio

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  2. Marie Terrell May 31, 13:38

    Dear Claude , i love your posts but…….
    You have an ad on the right hand side that shows a tick like bug burrowing into gum of a ‘dog???’
    This picture grosses me out……freaks me out! I would NEVER open such a video. The picture is counterproductive for your website and the sellers product.

    Reply to this comment
  3. gc May 31, 13:53

    The starving hoards will kill and eat all the farm animals they can find. I doubt such animals will go entirely extinct, but you will have to keep them in your barn a lot. Maybe full time.

    Reply to this comment
    • Claude Davis May 31, 15:16

      Yes, that pretty much goes without saying. Livestock is just as much of an asset as your food stores and water supply, and it’s going to need to be protected the same way. The problem is it’s easy to stash food in a root cellar and minimize the signature of a well, but pretty hard to hide cows. This is something you’re going to have to plan for.

      Reply to this comment
  4. left coast chuck May 31, 16:09

    Sorry to rain on your parade, Claude, but having a cow isn’t the start of a dairy herd. It’s just a little more complicated than that. First of all, before the cow can have a calf you need a bull. Most bull owners require some kind of payment for their bull to service your cow. Secondly, just because your cow has a calf doesn’t mean automatically that the calf is going to be a heifer. It might indeed be a male. In fact, your cow might only carry male calves her entire life.

    While posting the idea is good, the devil is in the details. As gc posted, I fear that most domestic animals will become short term solutions to a long term problem. Most people won’t be able to see that it is better to find a different food source than to slaughter Old Betsy who is carrying a calf. Betsy, Old Dobbins, Mary the little lamb and old Yeller will all go in the stew pot before the short-sighted humans realize they have doomed themselves to eventual starvation.

    In addition, you are assuming that your friend on the ranch who is friendly and taking your money when times are good will remain so friendly or even alive when TSHTF. If he isn’t around, what do you know about assisting in the birth of a calf? Do you know when you can start to milk a cow right after it gives birth to a calf? Do you even know how to milk a cow so that you don’t injure her udder and infect it so that not only do you lose the milk but lose the cow too? I understand the theory but certainly lack hand on practice.

    As I have often stated in the past, if we get dropped back into the early 19th century or late 18th century we are going to be quite adrift due to our lack of practical husbandry knowledge.

    Reply to this comment
    • Bill May 31, 20:18

      I agree with you Chuck. You’d be shocked at how many people think a cow is a grass eating, milk making machine.

      I was born at home on a dairy farm in northern Wisconsin, and I’ve milked a cow or two, and I’ll say this, when your life is on the line, OJTing it on a farm is not where you want to be.

      In all honesty, you’re much better off making a plan with a REAL PROFESSIONAL farmer who knows what they’re doing and they have ALL the equipment and tools to farm, and working together at the end of the world.

      A prepper knows things a farmer will seriously need when the lights go out and the farmer has what a prepper needs to survive. The best thing a prepper can do is to make themselves valuable and an asset to the farmer and not try to learn to be a farmer themselves, which by the way is not a skill, it’s a 100% life style commitment.

      Learn and have a ton of 1st aid it items, find out where a doctor lives and keep that info and pay them a visit when the lights go out and workout a deal with them at that time, learn where all the county and state fuel dumps are, and have a plan to get that fuel, have a crap ton of heirloom seeds and let the pro plant them NOT YOU, have as much food as you can on hand to help the farmer and his family survive with you, have a crap ton of arms and ammo to protect what the farmer has, maybe invest in a small EMP proof old time tractor or find out where those are in collections around your area as well as implements to go along with those smaller tractors, DO NOT use your cow to pull a plow or you’ll end up with no cow and a field that still needs plowing, have a crap ton of all soap, toothpaste, TP, and things like that to bring to the show for the farmer, have an old wood cook stove, have a lot of tire repair items and a vehicle batteries as farmers are forever repairing tires and needing a battery but they ALWAYS call the CO-OP tire man to come and do it for them because they just do not have time to do things like that for themselves anymore, have a big set of QUALITY tools because a farmer has a hammer pliers and a welder and if it needs more than that they call the CO-OP, have solar panels and even a solar generator that you can bring to his place and provide electricity to keep a few things running and you don’t need to burn fuel to do so.

      I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Have valuable info about docs, dentists, fuel, and buy things that you can use now for yourself, but can easily be moved out of your suburb and out on the farm to make his life easier and you very valuable to the farmer.

      Stay within who you are, not someone who you have to try and become to survive. We’re preppers and probably not farmers, doctors or anything else like that, so prep and plan and let others be who they are.

      Reply to this comment
      • Hoosier Homesteader June 1, 03:47

        Bill, you’re “The man with a plan!” I have twenty five acres and I intend to grow just about everything that I can store to eat, and hopefully more. I can barter what I grow with my neighbor, who happens to raise cattle, but has a tiny garden. And, I have a lot of tools and other handy whatnots stowed away that will come in handy if necessary. Cows, even old Betsey, is a powerful animal that could injure you, unintentionally. I’d rather not get stepped on, or squashed between it and the stall wall. At my age, I can’t afford a bad injury. I’ll “waise wabbits” and let my neighbor handle the cattle!

        Reply to this comment
        • Bill June 2, 12:42

          Hi Hoosier Homesteader,

          With 25 acres, you’ll do very well to provide for your family, in fact many families.

          You’re right about cows being a powerful animal. I remember back in the late 70’s or early 80’s, we had one cow that was a VERY skittish animal, and when the vet came one time to check her out, I said be careful because she’s pretty jumpy. He was the condescending type and said I’ve been around cows my whole life and jabbed his stethoscope into her belly and she kicked so dang fast and took his legs out from under him and she was the type that did NOT stop kicking and stomping.

          Long story short, I pulled him out and over into the next stanchion, while trying not to get kicked myself and and he was hurt. He was in the hospital for a few weeks and did not return to his office for 6 or 7 months.

          If you don’t know what you’re doing, just try milking a first calf heifer who has never been milked before. You know you’re in for a ride when she’s leaning into the stanchion, ears back and her back legs are on her toes and shaking like a dog crapping peach stones. All the corn in the world in front of her will not distract her from you.

          A good cow will give you and a few families all the milk you can drink and once you’ve had real milk straight from the cow, milk from the store is like water. I know we used to get around 9,500 to 10,000 pounds of milk every day from around 190 to 210 cows milking at any given time.

          Reply to this comment
      • Timo June 1, 04:57

        Hi Bill, well said. I have been tossing this idea around for a very long time and given all the repeated concerns over the issue of whom to trust, few people seem to consider organizing or consolidating our skills, tools and efforts to have much worth. I am no expert by any means but it seems clear to me that if or perhaps when our social fabric collapses, it will not be the “stand alone” preppers who will survive the longest but rather those communities that can learn to work together and share. The concept of “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” seems to me to be applicable for survival as well. Thanks for sharing. I so enjoy this site.

        Reply to this comment
        • Bill June 2, 13:20

          Hi Timo,

          I really do not see how anyone can make it long term doing the lone wolf thing. I guess that would work for a while, but after several months or so, you’re going to need help.

          I just think that now is the time to start making those connections with a farmer for instance.

          I know many people live in areas where meeting someone like a farmer, is very hard to do considering the distance to them. There’s no easy answer, but at some point we all have to decide what’s best or us.

          I know I decided to move from norther Wisconsin to Louisiana because o the winters. I heated with wood my whole lie and I know for “ME” trying to do that after the end of days, is just not feasible for long term survival.

          Yes, we had wood, and a wood stove, but you can’t burn wood without the blower going and that means you need power 24/7. You burn wood in a wood stove without that blower blowing and cooling off the stove, you’ll wrap and crack that stove in no time and it’s worthless. Not to mention cutting and splitting all that wood while trying to keep a garden going so you can eat, along with taking care of other live stock. Burning wood is a lot of hard work.

          My solution, move to where it’s warmer and tip the odds of survival more in my favor. I did lose good friends who had skills and resources, but I made new friends and connections with rice and sugar cane farmers. Making friends is a survival skill people really need to work on now, not when everyone’s life is on the line and trust is even harder to come by.

          Going out now and making a plan to meet people who would be very valuable in the future does not cost any money, only time and effort.

          Relocating 1,200 miles away is hard to do, but trying to stay warm in the winter is even harder. I guess it comes down to just how serious and committed you really are to doing everything you can now, to give your family the best chance to survive.

          My decision took me a couple years to figure it all out and make happen, but I did it on my terms, which I feel is much easier to do, than under the stress of, “We have no choice” type of situation.

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck April 17, 02:33

            Bill, I don’t know if you are going to read this or not, but before homes had electricity there were no electric blowers and certainly in some areas, there was no coal because the farm was located quite some distance from the nearest railroad. In the winter in Kansas, Nebraska and Alaska and probably lots of other places too, they kept the wood stoves burning 24/7 in the winter. The steel wasn’t as good then as it is today, but somewhere in my pea brain the idea kicking around is that stoves in the 19th century were cast iron. Assuming that is not totally incorrect, do you think the reason the pioneers could keep the stove burning 24/7 was because they were cast iron and not sheet steel?

            If you are in the Yukon and it is the dead of winter, even three dogs are not going to keep everything in your cabin from freezing solid.

            Building a stone fireplace with a chimney that will draw correctly is a skill and stone masons who can build a stone chimney that will draw used to be scarce and I imagine today it is easier to find a hen’s tooth than it is to find a stone mason who can build a chimney.

            My father had a huge stone fireplace in a house that he built and I know 60 years ago he had a hard time finding a stone mason who could do the job and it cost him more than he originally thought he was going to spend.

            Reply to this comment
      • Dale June 4, 23:26

        Bill, I just googled county fuel dumps and couldn’t find anything. Where can you go to find this information? Great advice. I was born and raised on a farm and have never milked a cow, but do remember how to raise and doctor one. Remember things like meds for your cow, especially udder balm and a place to keep them out of the mud as they will get diseases and teat ‘rot’ if they’re left out in the mud for any amount of time.

        Reply to this comment
        • Bill June 5, 01:52

          Hi Dale,

          I’m sorry, I should have been a little more clear.

          You’ll want to search BULK FUEL SUPPLIERS or CO-OP’s and then you can go one step further and ask who supplies them.

          For me, the bulk suppliers all have a couple hundred thousand gallons of fuel for farm and heat, and they get supplied from a large depot about 40 miles away and they have several multi million gallon tanks.

          There’s usually many many small fuel dumps with a couple hundred thousand gallons spaced all around the large main fuel depot.

          Yes, cows do get mastitis in one or more quarters and we always treated in with penicillin shots right in the teat. The bad thing is you can not run that milk into the bulk tank for several weeks because people who are allergic to penicillin, that tiny amount is way too much.

          If you did run it into the bulk tank, the whole tank has to go for grade B milk and not grade A, and if you think you’ll sneak it in, think again because the milk hauler takes a small sample from EVERY tank on EVERY farm and if that hauler dumps contaminated milk in the creameries main tank, they will find it then when they test that tank and then they go to each sample and find the guilty farmer and you do NOT want to be that farmer. They put you on grade B milk for a looooong time and that’s serious money you’re losing, but the risk of someone getting penicillin is a serious one. They also test for excessive water in the milk, as some farmers have been caught running a water hose in the bulk tank to up their milk weight a few hundred pounds.

          You can go to any farm store and get all those meds right over the counter.

          One that is cheap and something preppers seem to be buying like crazy, are those blood stop or clotting agents. We always used blood stop for dehorning cattle. It works and it’s dirt cheap. You can google it and see it’s just a few bucks per pound.

          If you’ve ever dehorned a calf, you know how much they bleed and you need to stop it. That artery that feeds and grows that horn is fairly good size.

          It’s nice to have some thing like this on hand, without paying the big bucks that they charge for those other blood stop products, that…….well let’s just be honest, we’ll probably NEVER need or use.

          Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 17, 02:41

          If your county has an equipment yard, I can guarantee they store not only gasoline and diesel, but all the other P.O.L. products that are necessary to keep a fleet running. Our county yard is at least 25 acres and maybe even more. I have never walked it, just driven by and eyeballed it. I am sure I haven’t seen all of it. All the county vehicles are serviced there and all the trucks remain overnight there unless they are a pickup assigned to someone to take home. Even so, they still return to the county yard to get gas unless they are too far away to return before running out. The county employees are strongly encouraged to gas up at the county yard because the county gets it gas cheaper in bulk than they do buying it from the local USA gas station — or even Costco.

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    • Dirtdiva April 16, 18:17

      And if Claude’s 2 cows are beef cows and he decides to breed one, good luck with trying to milk that. and yes, I have tried. Right now I am milking a half Jersey, half beef, and she has some of the ‘beef’ attitude. It takes knowledge of some of the old time tricks to handle a cow like that. And if Claude decides to breed his beef heifer to a Jersey bull…well…good luck finding one first off. They are so dangerous that hardly anybody has one these days.

      Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper May 20, 03:53

      left coast chuck,

      Sorry to rain on your parade, Claude, but having a cow isn’t the start of a dairy herd. It’s just a little more complicated than that. First of all, before the cow can have a calf you need a bull.

      Yep. Like any mammal, mom only has milk after delivery, meant to feed the kid; however, most bulls never even see the cows they will mate with, since artificial insemination is more reliable and safer for both animals.
      For some more information, search for Select Sires, a company only about 25 miles from me. We BTW have about 15-30 Holstein ladies in waiting on the property, all owned by a neighbor.

      Secondly, just because your cow has a calf doesn’t mean automatically that the calf is going to be a heifer. It might indeed be a male. In fact, your cow might only carry male calves her entire life.

      While I don’t know all of the details, Select Sires and other similar companies do have ways of ”sexing” their product to ensure a high probability of the sex required.

      Reply to this comment
  5. lraude May 31, 18:07

    I actually think we will be set much farther than one hundred years. After all do you know how to make a sewing needle? Do you have the materials needed to make a needle? How about metal to make tools? I realize some will still be around for us to use, but what about when they wear out? And everything else for that matter.
    Personally think we will fall back as far as the 1300s or there about. Some folks will be better off than others, and it is the others that I would be worried about.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck May 31, 19:43

      I tend to be an optimist. There is no question we will not have the infrastructure that existed in the 18th or early 19th century. For instance, any village of any size had a blacksmith. Do you know where you local blacksmith is?

      There is a whole list of skills that we don’t have that I have mentioned in other posts past that were everyday skills that even children possessed in those times. As a quick for instance, when was the last time you killed, plucked (or skinned) and gutted a chicken, pig, steer, sheep? For some who have the good fortune or misfortune, depending upon your viewpoint, to live in the country, the answer may be “Last week.” For those of us who live in suburbia or inside city limits, the answer probably is “never.” And let’s face it, most of us live in either suburbia or the city. That’s where the population is these days.

      Establishing a relationship with someone in a rural area is good long range planning, whether it is paying them to look after your livestock or just visiting them and being friendly. However, just like who you invite into your prepper circle, you have to be careful whom you select to befriend. He may not be Friendly Farmer Brown, he may turn out to be Evil Ivan Brown when the world turns upside down.

      Reply to this comment
    • Bill May 31, 20:38

      I don’t think we’ll be back to the 1300’s, but who knows. I think we have more than enough know how, to keep us within a 100 or so years of where we are now and we don’t have to relearn things like basic 1st aid.

      I mean I seriously doubt we’ll be blood letting to cure infections and diseases or calling lack of rain because so and so is a witch.

      We have a lot more common sense now, so that is in our favor, and once the dust settles and people start to see we HAVE to work together again, recovery will be much faster since we don’t have to relearn many things, we “JUST” have to start working together to recover.

      I say “JUST” because the snowflakes and liberals will feel entitled more than ever that “SOMEONE” needs to come to their rescue and you HAVE to share and give to them because that’s “JUST” the way it is.

      Preppers will be the new evil wall street people or rich bankers or elites who have a lot and must give what they have. It will be the new tax the rich theme as preppers will be the new kings.

      Reply to this comment
    • SZ June 1, 02:24

      A yucca plant leaf tip is very sharp. Some of the leaf can be shredded into thread. This could be used as a needle and thread. The yucca plant is common through out much of the USA

      Reply to this comment
      • Graywolf12 April 16, 18:28

        Last week I did not see a Century plant leaf under some weeds. It went 1.5 in into my finger and broke off. There was enough for me to grasp and pull out. Went to Doctor and was cleaned up, put on antibiotics, and cancelled a trip we were going on to shoot at targets. I cut it down, because it was near the street where children walk to and from school. I did not know they were so deadly.

        Reply to this comment
  6. Bill May 31, 21:38

    I totally agree with left coast chuck’s response to this article. I’m a 67-year old former Indiana farm boy who spent a good portion of his first 20 years on this crazy third rock from the sun working on our family farm that produced corn, soybeans, hard red winter wheat, cattle, hogs, chickens, rabbits and vegetables from a large garden. When I was too young to operate a tractor and farm equipment, I churned butter with a hand-cranked churn, gathered eggs, fed and watered all the livestock, helped plant, till, and harvest the garden vegetables, and helped mom can or freeze much of the garden produce. In the 50’s, ’60’s and early ’70’s, I was doing many of the things you describe in a number of your articles as “things our grandparents did every day”.

    If you have sufficient land to support a milk cow’s feeding and grazing requirements, or, like you, have a neighbor/friend who will “rent” land to you on either a cash or food product basis, to begin and continue the production of milk from that cow in the coming years, either, an A.I. (Artificial Insemination) service with a successful service record and properly stored semen from bulls with proper conformation for their breed, excellent physical health, and documentation that both the cows in their genetic bloodlines and the cows they have serviced have been superior milk producers, have high conception and calving statistics, and a history of siring (fathering) more heifer calves than bull calves, or, having access to a live bull with those same high quality characteristics, will be an absolute necessity. You can’t just “flip a switch” on a milk cow and start her milk production whenever you want. A bull or the A.I. service takes care of that when the cow is in season and ready to conceive. Without a bull or A.I. service being included in the milk production equation, a milk cow’s production of milk will decrease, then stop.

    I agree that there are far too few people alive in this country who have the skills or knowledge to live (survive) in a 1900’s agricultural environment. There aren’t enough horses alive who are trained, or fit, to harness to a cart or wagon to provide transportation or pull tillage equipment, let alone enough of the correct harness or horse-drawn carts, wagons, or farm tillage equipment in existence, or people alive who know how to correctly train and harness a horse, or horses, to provide needed transportation or pull anything.

    Finally, unless the milk cow, or herd of cattle, is being kept in a very remote location, left coast chuck’s concerns regarding security of the cattle from the starving hordes, made up of people fleeing dying cities and suburbs and non-agricultural people who work in the city but prefer living in the country, seeking anything to eat following an EMP event shutting off their convenient supply of food is probably more accurate than the post-EMP “gold mine” scenario described in your article, which made for good reading. But as left coast chuck observed, the devil is in the details, which were sorely lacking in the article.

    Reply to this comment
    • Bill May 31, 22:38

      While I agree with you about the article sorely lacking, let’s just look at this from the point that the writer is TRYING to do some thing positive now, and how difficult it truly is to get “IT” right in good times.

      Think how much harder it will be in bad times. The writer is far ahead of most.

      People have to realize that you garden as a hobby and to have fresh tomato’s but you farm for a LIVING.

      Two very different things, and you should not try to fool yourself into thinking that you’ll just scale things up and all is good.

      The worst thing a prepper can do, is to try and fool themselves into thinking that some how, some way, they will just HAVE to make it work, because they talked about this and read about this and hey, I’m a prepper so it HAS to work.

      I remember one thing my father told me growing up, he said son, your survival is still not mandatory because you feel you have thought about and prepared for bad times.

      Don’t try to become a farmer, try to befriend a farmer. I know that’s hard for most people because with social media, making friends is becoming a rare of a skill as farming is. People’s best friend is a cell phone, and cell phones die and so will you……right along with your best friend.

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  7. IvyMike June 1, 03:47

    The WW2 siege of Leningrad lasted 900 days. At the height of the siege, in the winter of 42-43, there was absolutely no food or fuel in the city for millions of civilians. Hundreds were arrested for cannibalism, hundreds more for murdering people for their military ration cards (the military ration was a couple loaves of bread that were 40% sawdust). That winter 100,000 people starved or froze to death each month. Almost all of them died quietly in their homes. Survivors say there was not a rat, rabbit, pigeon or a blade of grass left in the city. That is as close as history gets to the SHTF scenarios we can imagine. I don’t like me no Donald Trump but all my prayers and hopes and good wishes are going out to him in the upcoming talks with the NOKOs. Pray for Peace.

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    • left coast chuck June 2, 17:04

      I have read that people were reduced to peeling wallpaper off the walls to get the glue which was made from flour to make soup with. They boiled their belts and pieces of shoe leather to make soup. And still they starved or froze to death. Yes, you are right, The Leningrad siege was truly an EOTW situation for the Russians trapped in the city. If they fled east they were shot by Russian soldiers to prevent them from escaping. If they flew west the same thing happened from the German soldiers. With combat raging in the city death from gunfire or high explosives was a daily occurrence. The lucky one were killed immediately. The unlucky ones were badly wounded to die from lack of medical care.

      Good analogy, Mike. Want a preview of what LA or NY or any other large U.S. city will be like after an EMP orCME, read about the siege of Leningrad or Moscow in WWII.

      Reply to this comment
      • Hoosier Homesteader June 3, 12:51

        If all people knew the suffering that occurred in Leningrad or Moscow, the world would be a safer place. People ought to get down on their faces every day and thank God Almighty for what they have, even if it isn’t much. Even the poorest of the poor in this country have it better than the people of Leningrad and Moscow in the siege.
        As it has been said, make your friends now. Then pray to God to protect this nation from those who wouldn’t hesitate to push the Button.
        Claude, maybe you should give some thought to posting articles that describe situations like the sieges in WWII. Not only would they be educational and eye-opening for many, they might even get some of the arm chair preppers out of their living rooms to take steps toward self sufficiency.

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  8. Oldprep June 1, 05:43

    A lot of good thoughts and advice here. But I think the transportation factor is being over looked. For starters, when the SHTF, I believe that most people will be in the dark as to what happened and what they should do about it. That is, there water and sewage(?) might last for a day or 3, along with their immediate house hold food supplies. For most people it will be after that before they start getting restless and by then, any cars still running will be low on gas. This means they will mostly/virtually all, be on foot.

    Question then is how far can one walk carrying a meager supply of necessities, including water. On a hot day the best of them might make 20 miles – most 5. And that is, if they are not robbed along the way. Living in Los Angeles, that will not even get you to the edge of town. Then you would have to travel more to find that well stocked farm, etc. And, how many people know of a farm, etc., that would have some of the survival stuff one needed? Like, how would they know where to even try for? And be within walking distance.

    I’ve had these discussions with friends and neighbors in our small rural town. The edge of the nearest significant size town is about 65 miles away. My question is; how many people are going to make it here on foot with no resupplying along the way? Even if their car was running with a full tank of gas – why would they waste that resource coming here? How would they know that we’re not just as bad off as they are?

    If one has a friend several hundred miles away that wants to join you when the SHTF, thinking through the challenges, the trip will be practically impossible.

    Yes, there will be some occasional stragglers that make it, but I claim not hordes of people. For those with some prepper insights, they will know that when the SHTF, one needs to leave for their chosen location immediately. Before most others even figure out what happened. That will minimize the gauntlet one runs along the way.

    For a full blown SHTF, I don’t think people will move much from their present location. They’ll be too busy cannibalizing their local resources (speaking of cities). In rural/farm settings, people will be staying put.

    On a more positive note, if one lives within walking distance of their plane at the airport, and they get under way ASAP to their previously planned location, they could easily cover 500-1,000 miles or more quite safely (skipping details). Sooner one could get off the ground the better.

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  9. CJ June 1, 12:01

    The notion of sticking a cow in your backyard is rediculous. There is not one word in your article about how you’re going to feed it. I’ve raised everything but cows, so I can tell you feeding that cow, besides keeping it safe, will be next to impossible. In the event of an emp, farm equipment will be useless as well as anything to haul feed to your cow. You will be spending all of your time just trying locate, harvest, and haul feed. Rabbits are a much more practical idea, IF you have a ready source of vegetation to harvest for them, and that includes making hay. Rabbits are quiet and easy to hide. And easy to butcher.

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  10. Bobby June 1, 13:19

    In spite of the practical and logical suggestions here, I see things quite differently should SHTF. In my opinion, any scenario in which society totally collapses will be biblical in nature – in other words, I believe we are close to the end of this world as we know it.
    The Bible describes that time not as one in which society gets rebuilt by homesteaders, preppers and farmers but instead it will be a time in which the antichrist rules via a one-world government.
    Forget your ideas of being left alone to farm and blacksmith. It’s not gonna happen. Everyone – and I mean everyone – will become a “zombie“ of the state except for the isolated individuals who refuse to take the Mark of the Beast. It will be a time of pain, despair, fear and grief for those who refuse the Mark.
    This is not to say that you shouldn’t prep. But prepping should be focused on stockpiling and evading the agents of Satan’s World Order, not rebuilding civilization. The Bible makes it quite clear that those who refuse to become a part of that Order will be completely cut off from the economy and society and will be systematically hunted down and killed. You will not be left alone to farm and rebuild society.
    Unless you plan on knuckling under to the antichrist, that is.

    Reply to this comment
    • Bill June 2, 12:03

      Hi Bobby,

      Seriously, what you’re saying is really what I think will be the big end of world event we’re planning for.

      As far as taking the mark, chip or whatever it will be, I really do not see the government actually forcing this on people.

      This is how I see it playing out, but again, what do I know.

      I see it happening like this, big box stores like Walmart, will start to have a Walmart card and if you use their card, you will save say an extra 5% of your purchases and people will scoop up those cards.

      Next they will be pushing the “MARK” or chip or whatever it is and all in the name of “SAFETY and SECURITY”.

      To sweeten the deal they will say you now get 10% off when using this new form of buying, but you can still use cash at this point for the hold outs.

      A year or two down the road they will say that the added cost to handle cash is costing them money, so they will start their push for a cashless Walmart, and they may sweeten the deal even more by saying if they can eliminate cash altogether, they can save everyone 15% on all purchases, but until that happens they can’t do that.

      The Walmart faithful will start screaming that the hold outs are costing them money and the masses will scream for the gooberment to do something.

      That’s when the gooberment will do what they do best, OVER REGULATE and we will see them say that in 2 years all cash will be completely phased out and we’ll be going to a completely cashless society, and this will be much more secure and save people money and it will be a great thing. Your smart phone will scan your mark or chip and you can buy online and scan your hand or forehead at Walmart or the gas pump or Starbucks and the transaction will be completed.

      It will not be forced on us, the masses will be begging for it and wanting it, and they will get what they want. Americans hate to be told what to do, so they will create a situation where the people will want it and beg for it.

      Then again, what the heck do I know.

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      • left coast chuck June 2, 16:56

        Bill: I hate to contemplate it, but I think your prediction of a “cashless” society is dead on. There is a great tide toward it right now with using your cellphone to make purchases, the affinity cards where if you don’t have a card or “belong” to the club you pay more, the membership warehouses where your “membership” card is scanned for every purchase you make even if you pay cash.

        How easy will it be for the snoops whoever they might be to track your every move when every purchase is made electronically. Will cash become the new criminal offense? After all, it was in 1935 that Roosevelt made holding of gold specie and/or non-jewelry gold a crime. Why was that a crime? Why wasn’t it challenged in court? Suddenly overnight holding any kind of non-jewelry gold became a federal felony.

        I can easily see a similar pronouncement that holding monetary coin and paper money is now a federal felony. Every transaction must be conducted with a government pin number.

        I’m so old and have had my social security card such a long time that it has in large letters on the front “Not For Identification Purposes”. That went by the wayside many years ago. No cards say that now. The social security number was resisted by many who foresaw a new society where one was identified by number only. The government in order to allay that resistance insisted that the number would “never” be used for identification purposes. Apparently the government “never” is about as long as a Sears “lifetime warranty”.

        That is a truly scary idea but one that I am certain is already a done deal. Sorry, Bill, but that thought which hadn’t occurred to me just ruined my day. It did, however, change a plan of action that I had in play for some time. I now have to reconsider that plan and modify it. Sincere thanks for posting that thought. I mean that. It is not sarcastic. It has opened my eyes to something that had not occurred to me.

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        • Bill June 2, 21:57

          Yes Chuck, in all honesty and in “MY OPINION” I believe the whole FORCED healthcare crap was some what of a trial run for things to come.

          I really do not think they expected the people to react the way they did and elect Trump over Klinton.

          They really don’t care who does or doesn’t have healthcare or what it costs, and they were caught saying they would have to lie about it to get it passed.

          I also believe what the bible says, God takes what is meant for evil and turns it into good. They screwed us over with 8 years of Obama, but God used that to wake people up and put Trump in office and now President Trump has moved our embassy to Jerusalem and moving us closer and closer to fulfilling bible prophesy.

          I know we talk about EMP a lot, but again, in my opinion that will NEVER happen, because that runs the risk of our masters, as you’ve said before, losing control over the slaves. That’s some thing they will never allow to happen as part of the plan, at least not at this stage of the game.

          Now that doesn’t mean it won’t happen, as I’ve said before, what the heck do I know. I do know this, when it comes to government and politics, very very few things happen by chance, and Trump was one of those rare things.

          My father used to tell me that when we try to make prepping plans, we have to change our thinking altogether when we think about what will happen and the government. He said the normal person thinks in terms of years, like in 2 years we can get a new car, or if we rent and save our money, in 5 years we can buy a home…..things like that for the most part.

          Now when it comes to the powers that run the world, we have to think in terms of generations, not years. For example, they think like this, if we can get EVERYONE a SSN now, our grandchildren can use it to control people in the future. It’s passed as being a “SAFETY” net for people, but quickly turns into your “SLAVE” number and it’s no longer for “SAFETY” as much as it is for controlling.

          Very little happens by chance, and EVERYTHING that does happen has an objective, but will be passed off as it’s for your “SAFETY” and “SECURITY”, and the sheep nod and agree and look back down at their smart phone all happy that their shepherd is watching over them.

          This is also why they made it illegal to own gold. Gold is REAL money and always holds its value.

          Just think about it….120 years ago you could take a ONE OUNCE $20 gold piece and buy a complete suit and tie…, a $20 paper bill won’t even buy the tie, but that one ounce of gold will still get you that suit and tie.

          Just go back to 1969….you could buy a new Ford Mustang for around $3,500 or about 85 ounce of gold at $41 an ounce. Today, that $3,500 is barely a down payment but 85 ounces of gold can get you that same Mustang and then some.

          The price of things really has not changed all that much, what has changed is the value of paper, and you can see how real money, gold, holds its value.

          I do believe that the reason they wanted to get off the gold standard was to control money right away and their long term goal was to create a debt based or fiat money system which will ultimately bankrupt any country that’s on a fiat money based system. Thus making way for a one world currency which is even easier to control. Anyone can see that controlling one money system has to be easier than trying to control the money systems of 150 to 200 countries.

          All fiat money systems fail and they’re designed to do so, and to rob people of their wealth slowly over time.

          The next step is a cashless system and that will be the ultimate in control because with one push of a button, you could be broke when just a second before, you had $20m in your account. There’s no stashing cash or emergency money some where in the house, because we gave that up all in the name of “SAFETY and SECURITY”.

          I also don’t think having a lot of gold or silver on hand to buy and sell with for long term is a good idea either. It will work in the beginning, but when examples are made of people who are caught with gold, it will not take long for people to say it’s not worth the risk having gold.

          I think booze will be the new liquid gold along with TP and things like that, and maybe some tobacco seeds and papers and farm those as well or use them for trading. I’ve never heard of anyone putting back tobacco seeds, but I could see the value in doing so.

          When all this happens though, I believe our days are numbered and the number is low before the return of Christ. Without getting into the rapture and per or post tribulation, I think if you have 4 to 5 years worth of food or the ability to grow your own for a few years, and a couple years of stored food, and you keep your head VERY low, who knows….you might have a shot.

          To have this sort of power, they can not run the risk of an EMP, but again what do I know.

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    • wal June 5, 12:25

      I agree, with a caveat. I think there are two possible (broad) scenarios. One is as you stated, the SHTF situation being the culmination of the “end times”.

      The other however is less contemplated by most, I believe, because of our modern hubris based on living in the most wealthy, powerful, prosperous nation in history. And no, I’m not bashing that or wanting us to be more like Europe or Venezuela. But in discussion of the end times, I’m not certain that this nation will still be noteworthy, if still standing. It’s very possible, if not probable from a prophetic standpoint, that The USA will be a third world nation or the newest extension of China when the end times culminate, which could also be decades or centuries away (nobody knows).

      Because that’s a distinct possibility in my book, the idea of prepping for an extended doomsday scenario is viable. We might all be under the thumb of a new totalitarian leader, or we might be living in a land hat has been discarded after it’s been bombed into oblivion. Or an EMP situation could wipe out power across multiple powerful nations leaving Madagascar the power hub of the world. The point is the same as the old salvation-through-Christ question. If I’m wrong, I lose nothing. If you (unprepared people) are wrong, you lose everything.

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      • Wannabe June 7, 01:42

        We are already cashless. The amount of the money in all our bank accounts are just numbers in a computer. Money transfers are just numbers in a computer. Swipe a debit card, credit card, or use a check they are all numbers in a computer. Quite cashless already.

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  11. Oldprep June 1, 18:39

    Bobby’s report on the end times might be correct. But the bible also says that no one knows when the end times will happen. As bad as things look like they could be now, we still don’t know if this is the final SHTF event. According to history, many have previously predicted the end of times only to find that they were wrong. So why not prep now while our living conditions make it fairly easy, just in case this is not the final blow. If the worst happens, the least one would probably realize out of their prepping is a bit longer of a life.

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  12. Up North Gal June 2, 19:19

    “The devil’s in the details,” comment is dead on, yet all the comments to that still fall so short of how reality will/may play out. None of us were alive in the late 19th, early 20th century to know how or what an everyday life looked liked. Even with all our dairies, novels, documentaries, how too’s… the “details” of those lives moment to moment aren’t there. We get the highlights of their lives but not the little mundane details. Our box of know-how and details is largely lacking at best. Unless one is actually living like a “pioneer” right now, not just practicing a new skill, everyday, day in and day out, we really have no idea what it takes. Just the basics of cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, planting, harvesting, animal husbandry, maintaining health, safety, wood supply…the list goes on and on. We don’t even have resourses available…like how many heirloom seeds are actually available, which are only true producers for not only planting but seed saving? How many farmers even keep a bull cow anymore when AI is cheaper, safer, higher quality, redially available? And when electronics fail how is all of the high quality semen going to be kept alive so in the end we have milk and meat on our tables?There are so many “details” we don’t even know we should be thinking about. We don’t even know what work really looks like. We’re so soft, even if we go to Planet Fitness 2x a wk, run on our tread mill, jog the block. Hard labor, in the hot sun, pouring rain, freezing cold, for hours on end…we don’t even think prisoners should do hard labor, as it’s not humane. We could spend every day, all day and come up way short. I do agree we should do our best to prepare, but one’s best bet is put your trust in God. As a prepper, prepare your heart, your relationship with Christ, prepare your family with the promises of the Bible, giving you God’s faithfulness, His love, His strength and above all Hope! Having the ability to endure whatever calamity that may befall us with sanity, in kindness, gentleness, patience, joy, peace, love, goodness, faithfulness and self control. Only possible in Christ Jesus…and our Hope for Eternity. I can’t even imagine facing the future without my relationship with Jesus.

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  13. Mic Roland June 2, 19:43

    I don’t think the post author was advocating for ‘Get A Cow” so much as using that as an example of productive self-sufficiency. It could be goats or rabbits or chickens or ducks. The point was to recognize that a grid-down world would require home-production.

    It was interesting that you said an EMP would put people back in the 1800s. I recently wrote a blog post about that very topic. Link:

    Up North Gal is right that 21st century Americans are generally too soft and lazy to live the 1800s life (easily). Farming and animal husbandry aren’t ‘common knowledge’ anymore, but that doesn’t mean we’re doomed. We can learn. Start small and grow. It’s a lot of work, yes, but better than accepting being doomed.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck June 2, 22:43

      Mic: I skimmed through your article. Well written and points out in detail what I have been saying on this site for some time. I plan to re-read it again at least once more. I highly recommend it to all who follow this thread. Mic has some very valid points he makes.

      In my opinion, this website has been very valuable, not only the lead in articles but the posts by intelligent, thoughtful folks who have given some thought to the problems that might face us and who have some actual practical solutions.

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  16. Ben April 18, 13:30

    Protecting our property should already be a priority but it isn’t. In a post-EMP world, we will have to do like our ancestors did back when the West was wild and untamed. We will have to literally bunk (live) with our large animals. Simply putting an animal in the barn, and go to the house and fall asleep will not work. Also, chicken thieves will make a comeback. If we want to live through a post-EMP world, we will have to be on our guard 24/7.

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