Skip to comments.Getting ready: Growing number of preppers work to ensure survival in case of societal collapse
Posted on 12/20/2011 2:25:49 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
At Carolina Readiness Supply in Waynesville you can buy freeze-dried macaroni and cheese by the 20-ounce can and a solar oven in which to warm it.
You can get a woven bracelet in a variety of fashionable colors that converts into handy lengths of cord. Then, in theory at least, you are prepared for almost anything: making simple repairs to your backpack, starting a fire with a friction bow or fashioning a ladder for an elaborate escape from some futureristic prison.
You can buy emergency kits that contain quick-assemble shelter and his-her hygiene necessities, water purification systems, lanterns of every type and variety, and 50 pounds of pinto beans packed for 25 years safe storage. You can outfit an entire library of books on survival subjects, from square-foot gardening to Bug Out: A Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophe.
At Carolina Readiness Supply, you can just as the store name promises get ready. For what exactly? Take your pick: Armageddon, if you choose; or just the winters inevitable big, electric-ending and roads-closing snowstorm.
Will you be ready when the lights go out? serves as the slogan of Carolina Readiness Supply, owned by Bill and Jan Sterrett. Its a question that many in the region, and the nation, are now trying to answer.
There is a word in our modern lexicon for the Bill and Jan Sterretts of the world. They are dubbed preppers. These are people who have been made uneasy, for a variety of reasons, and who believe they need to prepare for potential huge changes: A terrorist attack, a devastating plague, a national technology failure or, perhaps, biological warfare.
Some preppers store enough food, water and supplies to last a month or two; others have much bigger plans and fears. They want to survive in whatever new reality would follow a societal collapse. They see prepping as an insurance policy of sorts: protection for themselves and their families in the event of major catastrophe a catastrophe they hope never strikes. But if it does, they plan on being ready.
On the most extreme end, there are people in this region busy building and supplying bunkers. But the problem with bunker-builders, at least for the reporter writing on these topics, is that these are folks who arent particularly eager to clue others into their whereabouts and actual identities. After all, if theres a huge crisis, you dont exactly want to be the only place in the area identified as bunker-safe and food-ready.
Self-reliance is the goal
Bill Sterrett is a familiar figure in Haywood County. He retired in January 2007 as chief deputy for the Haywood County Sheriffs Department.
Sterrett does not strike an observer as the hysterical type. He speaks only after due consideration, and so softly that, in a conversation, you soon find yourself murmuring questions in return and leaning forward to hear his answers.
Sterrett described himself as a man who has a deep interest in the traditional ways of doing for oneself and ones family, and of simple living in general.
The economy started derailing not long after Sterretts retirement from law enforcement. Sterrett, like many in the U.S., looked to his investments and wondered what best to do. He had considered divesting himself of property, and of buying and working a small farm, but given ever-increasing financial restraints that dream seemed an ever more remote possibility.
I wanted to learn the old ways, and to be self reliant, Sterrett said in explanation. But the economy sometimes dictates what you can and cannot do. I grew concerned about the value of paper money in the bank, and felt that it would be better to convert our cash dollars into commodities.
That led to the idea of Carolina Readiness Supply. But his wife, Jan, wasnt exactly an enthusiastic participant in her husbands plans, at least not initially.
Im like, OK, whatever, she said. I told him, Go ahead, do what you want.
Then Jan Sterrett read One Second After by Montreat College Professor William R. Forstchen, a book she now sells by the hundreds to others off the bookshelves of Carolina Readiness Supply. This apocalyptic novel, a New York Times bestseller, tells the story of a man struggling to save his family and his small town in Western North Carolina after an electromagnetic pulse sends America into a post-modern version of the Dark Ages.
After that frightening, eye-opening read, Jan Sterrett was ready to get ready, too. For what, she wasnt exactly sure, but ready Jan Sterrett planned on being. Her husband no longer sounded a solo tune; One Second After resulted in a harmonious husband-wife duet.
I knew we had to do something, Jan Sterrett said. We had to.
Jan Sterrett, in turn, sent the book to her trauma-surgeon son, who lives in Pheonix, after he asked skeptical questions about his parents plans post-Dads retirement.
He called back after reading it and told me, Now I understand, Jan Sterrett said, adding that her son and his medical partners are now, too, getting ready.
Troy Leatherwood might not be the exact textbook definition of a prepper, but hes a fellow with an abiding interest in living off the land. His family did just that for six generations on their property in Jonathan Valley in Haywood County. The 56-year-old licensed contractor has subsequently made a professional living elsewhere, including selling real estate in Balsam Preserve. His brother, John, still farms the family land.
Together, the brothers want to convert part of the family spread into a subdivision for others interested in living off the land a prepping place, if you will, for preppers.
The Leatherwoods, Troy Leatherwood said, want to form a community of like-minded individuals. People who want to learn the old ways through classes on topics such as blacksmithing, gardening and so on.
Leatherwoods idea was rooted in observations from the Internet. He noted that a particular survival blog was receiving an amazing amount of weekly hits, and that a lot of the stuff on there was what mountain people grew up with.
A light-bulb moment, of sorts, occurred.
We should sell and market what we know, Troy Leatherwood told his brother, and fill an obvious and growing business niche. Make some money and help some people at the same time, he said.
John Leatherwood was agreeable. The brothers are now using 16 acres of their familys land, divided into 10 lots. They plan on having irrigated raised beds for gardening, plus other homesteading-oriented amenities. Theyve planted fruit trees, and move-ins can help and learn on the familys currently operating, neighboring farm, Troy Leatherwood said.
The Leatherwoods plan to work on the property over the winter. They are accepting applications now, however.
Troy Leatherwood emphasizes that he isnt a doomsayer. But he believes even harder times could come to the U.S., and that it would be foolhardy for people not to prepare, not to be ready.
I call it being smart enough to realize that there are real dangers out there, he said, adding that more and more technology means an ever-increasing risk of dangers.
Demand is huge
The demand for goods sold at Carolina Readiness Supply seems to be increasing. Jan and Bill Sterrett moved recently from a previous location on Depot Street because they outgrew the space.
From the looks of it, they might soon outgrow the floor space of this newer store, too. The Sterretts would like to add a line of woodstoves to their offerings, and possibly other readiness supplies as well.
Jan Sterrett said that to her knowledge, theres not another store in the Southeast quite like Carolina Readiness Supply. And the growing customer base seems to confirm that a guestbook used to build an email network for the store indicates people coming to shop here are from across the region. But they also hail from other neighboring states: Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia.
The Sterretts are clearly enjoying their new line of work. Bill Sterrett said they are learning, too, through researching new products and determining how best to use them. It isnt exactly the small farm he once dreamed of working, but Carolina Readiness Supply, Bill Sterrett said, is fulfilling a dream that he never quite before knew existed.
What it takes to prep for disaster
Heres how much food an average family of four would need to last a year.
Wheat 175 lbs
Flour 20 lbs
Quinoa 30 lbs
Rolled Oats 50 lbs
White Rice 80 lbs
Pearled Barley 5 lbs
Spaghetti or Macaroni 40 lbs
Dry Beans 45 lbs
Dry Soy Beans 2 lbs
Dry Split Peas 2 lbs
Dry Lentils 2 lbs
Dry Soup Mix 7 lbs
Peanut Butter 1 qt
Almond Butter 1 qt
Nonfat Dry Milk 14 lbs
Granulated Sugar 40 lbs
Molasses 1 lb
Honey 3 lbs
Beef Gelatin 1 lb
Salt 8 lbs
Dry Yeast 0.5 lbs
Source: Good Earth Health Food store
I think id pick some better food than that.
Wise words, so one doesn't get caught up in getting it "perfect".
Something is always better than nothing, and even if one is relatively poor (like me) one should always work at "improving your position", even if it's just baby steps.
A little ammo here, a few canned-goods there, and steady, slow progress gets you in a better position than you were last month.
One quart of peanut butter?
When my three boys were home that amount might last a week.
The list of suggested food items & amounts is way below what a family of four would need to sustain life for a year.
How you feeling these days? Good, we hope.
Merry Christmas, my friend.
I have at least five quarts of pb in our stock. It’s both filling and very nutritious, makes a quick meal, and keeps well. I get the Smuckers natural because most others have partially hydrogenated oils added.
I think I'd pick some food that isn't dry or dehydrated. Water is first and foremost. While it's wise to not put all your eggs in one basket, I'd go with canned goods first.
I love brussel sprouts, wax beans, liembeurger cheese, and every other food except one-peanut butter.
I’m screwed !
PB will go rancid so keep up with the best by date.
Me too! Live chickens, goat, soup, seeds, and fattening boxed meals. Beans are great, but damn, that would get old. I need meat, veggies, ammo, and plenty of stored firewood..
It has to do with growing up in a poor family. Often there was only peanut butter if supper wasn’t enough for a growing boy.
Anything that smells like PB (pecan,almond,etc) makes me ill.
BTDT, back in the day, most everyone I knew got government pb. The school even put it on our lunch trays every day. Pecan butter smells nothing like pb.
It does to me.
I hate it,hate it, hate it.
Leave me and my phobia alone.
Black clouds cover the horizon, the lightening is flashing and there is the distant sound of thunder! The storm flags are going up, who you heed them?
I am very aware that if its the great end that there is nothing I can do to stop or change it, but history is full of instances and times when man or nature have caused such a calamity that people have cried out and begged God to end it all.
The bible has many verse such as this:
A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
NIV Proverbs 22:3
This verse and others are there for a reason and I urge all to take heed of them, because we are clearly on the edge. Everyday there is a new story about the Yutes who grow more restless everyday and when you add the fact that because of the economy people are already on edge it wont take much to set things off.
Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Siege of AR-558 (#7.8) (1998)
Quark: Let me tell you something about Hew-mons, Nephew. Theyre a wonderful, friendly people, as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers, put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people... will become as nasty and as violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon. You dont believe me? Look at those faces. Look in their eyes.
Today we have yutes who roam our streets who are with out morals, without respect for law or life itself. They will look are you with the same doll eyes a shark does before he eats you and they will feel no more compassion than the shark does.
That will be the test of many. Most preppers I know are Christian people and they will hesitate to do what they might have to do to stop the yutes. On the other hand the yutes wont think twice nor lose a minute of sleep, in fact they will smile and laugh about it.
For those who are just starting or are old hands at prepping you may find my Preparedness Manual helpfull. You can download it at:
(NOTE THIS DOWNLOAD IS FREE AND I DO NOT MAKE A DIME OFF OF IT. ALSO NOTE THAT THE MANUAL IS CLEARLY MARKED AS NOT BEING FOR SALE. I PUT TOGETHER THIS MANUAL FOR ONLY ONE PURPOSE AND THAT IS TO HELP FELLOW PATRIOTS TO PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR WHAT I BELIEVE IS COMING.)
For those of you who havent started already its time to prepare almost past time maybe. You needed to be stocking up on food guns, ammo, basic household supplies like soap, papergoods, cleaning supplies, good sturdy clothes including extra socks, underwear and extra shoes and boots, a extra couple changes of oil and filters for your car, tools, things you buy everyday start buying two and put one up.
For a somber, yet realistic look at what SHFT is like read some of Selcos post:
If you like to read more about what SHTF in Bosnia was like take a look at this post on Bosnia War Survivor Selcos Blog at:
There is no greater disaster than to underestimate danger. Underestimation can be fatal.
As the LDS say When the emergency is upon us the time for preparedness has past.
IIRC, you can buy it in cans.
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