Nancy Levant

Emergency Preparedness and Single Women

Emergency Preparedness and Single Women

One of the things I’ve noticed about prepping strategy sites is that they regularly forget that 53% of adult-aged women in the U.S. are unmarried. Prepping without male strength and traditional male skills is never discussed, but it is an enormous drawback to women like me and many others. At age 61 and 5’2”, I am not a pillar of physical strength but far more akin to the strength of an eight-year-old. Such reality sucks, but is none the less reality. Equally real is the fact that most single women in the U.S. are poor, especially if they are raising children or are senior-aged, and today many, many young women, even with college and university degrees, are part-time employees at best. Nearly 1,000,000 grandparents are also raising and are financially responsible for their grandchildren. Another thing to consider is that women of my era were the first to attend college in large numbers. However, pay for professional women in the 1970s and much of the 1980’s was low, really low. I didn’t break into a five digit income until 1985. People should remember this when considering Social Security for women. Forthcoming checks will absolutely not be enough for women to live on, period. Source:

Having prepped for many years, I can assure that even on shoestring budgets, prepping is expensive, labor intensive, and at times very difficult. However, it must be done, because as world history proves, women are vulnerable in unimaginable ways during times of crisis when people panic and fall to grouped animalistic behaviors including but not limited to the greatest mass of unprepared people, opportunistic criminals, soldiers, law enforcement soldiers, mercenaries, and all politicians and people of absurd means who will, as we know, turn their backs on ordinary people to protect themselves and their assets.

Though there are many gun owners in the U.S., most are men. This is not good in a society where 53% of women are single, many of which living alone or with children. Guns are the best defense which is why criminals, law enforcement and soldiers carry and use them. Owning one or several guns with a good supply of ammo is absolutely necessary for single women.

Minus myself, I do not know one single woman who has stored water. This is one of the easiest prepping mandates where only containers are needed. Potable and non-potable water is necessary to store, and there is no such thing as too much water storage. Think two gallons per day per person, bare minimum, and then think of a six month supply. The blue 55 gallon drums are good, and so are a multitude of 5 gallon containers (Coleman). Buy 6 one gallon jugs every week. Rule of thumb: Thirst will kill you first.

As for food, look for the non-perishables you can stomach, such as:

·         Canned soups (buy by the case, vegetable beef, cream of chicken, tomato)

·         Chicken broth – as many as possible

·         Canned raviolis (buy sales and by the case)

·         Canned chicken, ham, and corned beef or sirloin hash (by the case)

·         Jerky/beef sticks

·         Peanut butter – (don’t buy clear plastic jars; look for largest size with full label x 5)

·         Jellies and Jams – 10 (buy any kind on sale, off-brands are fine)

·         Boxed cereals – (dollar stores, off brands, buy whole grains)

·         Bottled juices (most of which can be cut 50/50 with water)

·         Tea and instant coffee (you will drink less coffee with instant)

·         Instant cocoa mix – can’t have too many

·         Instant powdered milk – 4 large boxes

·         Crackers – 10 boxes

·         Oatmeal – can’t have too much

·         Pop tarts and breakfast bars – can’t have too many

·         Canned veggies – buy by the case

·         Canned potatoes (white and yams) – buy by the case

·         Canned beans including pork and beans – buy by the case

·         Dry beans and lentils – work toward 100 pounds

·         Rice – work toward 100 pounds

·         Boxed instant stuffing mixes – 15 (Look for generic Stove Top Stuffing in dollar stores.)

·         Canned fruit and applesauce – buy by the case

·         Nuts (in bulk)

·         Hard candies and mini Tootsie Rolls (also in bulk).

·         White flour – work toward 50 pounds

·         White sugar – work toward 50 ponds

·         Brown sugar – work toward 50 pounds

·         Salt and pepper – 10 each

·         Onion and garlic powder, Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning, chili powder, cayenne pepper – buy dollar store spices, many each

·         Cinnamon – dollar store, many

·         Cooking oil – 3 gallons (vegetable or olive oil)

·         Crisco – 6 smaller cans

·         Hot sauce - many

·         Ketchup - many

·         Mustard – many

·         Honey – dollar stores or raw honey

·         Freeze dried (no. 10 cans): strawberries, blueberries, bananas, spinach, broccoli, butter, onions, celery, carrots (as many as possible. I like Augason Farms freeze dried products.)

·         Soup bases: ham and chicken – 5 each

·         White vinegar – 5 gallons (for cleaning and cooking)

This list is by no means exhaustive, but begin collecting the items on this list. All canned good should be bought by the case (watch for sales in the fall), and dry beans, rice and oatmeal should be bought 20 pounds at a time until you’ve accumulated 100 pounds each.

Paper and Personal Products:

·         Toilet paper (150 rolls)

·         Paper napkins ( 9 500-count)

·         Paper Towels (36 rolls if used sparingly)

·         Paper plates, bowls and cups (can’t have too many)

·         Disposable flatware (save all from take-out)

·         Dish soap (8 large bottles)

·         Toilet bowl cleaner (Comet or Barkeeper’s Friend are less expensive than liquid cleaners.)

·         Spare sponges, dish rags and dish towels (look for used towels)

·         Extra pot holder gloves (heavy duty)

·         Shampoos - 10 (buy sales, any kind)

·         Conditioners – 10 (any kind)

·         Bar soaps – 60 (any kind/buy sales)

·         Rubbing Alcohol – 10

·         Hydrogen Peroxide – 10

·         Benadryl – 2 boxes

·         Bee sting kit

·         Ace bandages and Band-Aids

·         Latex gloves and N95 masks

·         Potassium iodide tablets

·         Neosporin – 3

·         Cough drops – 6 bags

·         Fever reducers (Advil) – 5 large bottles

·         Multi vitamins – 5 bottles

·         A quality First Aid kit

·         Work and winter gloves (3 each)

·         Waterproof winter boots, rain boots, and bulk socks (look for bulk sales on socks on Ebay)

·         Hot and cold weather underwear

·         Layering clothing

·         Extra blankets and sheets (buy used)

·         Menstruation supplies for women and girls (buy sales/any kind)

·         Tooth paste (buy sales/any kind)

·         Extra tooth brushes

·         Q-Tips – 4 large boxes

·         Trash bags: outdoor, kitchen size, and bathroom size (can’t have too many)

·         Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, wax paper (can’t have too many)

·         Gallon and quart-sized zip lock bags (can’t have too many)

·         Metal nail clippers, nail files and tweezers (several of each)

·         Cotton balls (10 bags)

·         Petroleum jelly – 5 tubs (cotton balls rubbed with petroleum jelly make great fire starters)

·         Good scissors – several sizes, one for hair

·         Bleach – regular – can’t have too many gallons (10 is good, 20 is better)

·         Laundry soap (buy cheap/on sale) or make your own (Borax, Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha or Zote bar soap; many recipes online)

Miscellaneous supplies:

·         Box matches – 10 boxes

·         Butane lighters – 10

·         Long handle butane lighters – 4

·         Oil lamps and 3 extra glass globes (good price at Kmart or on Ebay) – 6 (ventilate/open windows a crack when lit)

·         Oil lamp wicks – 24

·         Lamp oil – 5 gallons

·         Flash lights – multiple sizes

·         Batteries (can’t have too many/check expiration dates)

·         Emergency NOAA radio – a must have

·         Pens, pencils, and writing pads – many

·         A plastic box with lid for important papers

·         Candles – carriage candles, taper, tea, and pillar (can’t have too many)

·         Candle holders with attached trays and handles

·         Several 12” x 12” ceramic tiles

·         32 red bricks to make a homemade Rocket Stove

·         Metal grate for rocket Stove

·         Fire ring or rocks to make a fire pit

·         Metal grate for fire pit – large

·         Several cast iron pots and skillets for fire pit cooking

·         Pot for boiling water + enamel campfire coffee pot

·         Tarps – several large and medium

·         Bungee cords – multiple sizes

·         Several sizes of carpet (buy remnants or used – two 6 x 8, two 4 x 6, several 2 x 3s

·         Several mud trays for boots

·         Tree limb hand axe - 2

·         Tree limb saw – 2

·         Rope – 200 feet

·         Clothes pins – 100

·         Shovels – garden and snow – 2 each

·         Standard tools including nails, nuts and bolts, screws, hammers, screw drivers, etc.

·         Electrical tape, duct tape, scotch tape (can’t have too many)

·         Spare faucet aerators, spare faucets (buy cheap)

·         12 furnace filters - buy the cheap ones

·         Replacement metal screens (buy in rolls), spline (plastic cording), rolling spline tool, utility knife

·         Tent for four with metal stakes

·         Sleeping bags

·         Pad or cot for sleeping bags

·         Several large coolers

·         Several buckets

·         A burn barrel (look for free stuff on Craigslist)

·         Drip coffee filters – 6 packages (helps with water filtration)

·         Supplies for pets (During a crisis pets are burdens minus large dogs for safety.)

·         Get into the habit of budgeting to keep your car always on full.

I know this seems impossible for women on low incomes, so ask friends and family for needed items (give them copies of this article), and also watch garage sales and large church rummage sales. For birthdays and holidays, ask for items from these lists or gift cards from gas stations and dollar stores. Equally, women are America’s primary consumers, but they often buy foolishly and for others. Instead, buy with security in mind and buy for you. Once you have collected even one month’s worth of food and water, you will feel better and safer. Once you’ve accumulated three months’ worth of food water and supplies, you will never go back to habitual or frivolous spending. Women can immediately see the benefit of “storing for a rainy day”, which their grandparents and great-grandparents knew and always practiced. Technology is fine and dandy, but it won’t feed you, eliminate your thirst, and it rarely protects you in spite of all propaganda to the contrary. We have been repeatedly warned that our technology won’t work during a real crisis, cell phones included.

I recommend living in houses vs. apartments and living away from urban areas. That doesn’t mean you have to live in the sticks, but having a yard for gardening, burning trash, having a dog, and having extra storage space makes far more sense from a security standpoint than an apartment full of strangers and with others who have keys to your apartment.

I would also recommend that you share this article with single friends and family members, and also with your single male friends. I write not to discriminate against men, but rather to draw the nation’s many single women into the prepper discussion and community.

Many people you know have guns, and someone will be willing to give or sell you a long gun for a good price or trade. Most of the food on this list is available at dollar stores, and many other items are available in second-hand stores. In essence, think water, food, heat, light, sanitation, and personal security. Also, keep all metal, glass and plastic containers. Even plastic milk jugs are good for storing non-potable water. Just wash them with soap and water, fill them, and add a few drops of bleach. NEVER throw away 2 liter pop bottles. Wash them and fill them with drinking water.

Find friends to join you in the effort and with which to make emergency plans. Also, remember that women often have bartering talents such as sewing, teaching, gardening, child care, medical skills, cleaning, organizing, canning, and cooking; all needed during emergencies. Most of these skills have been provided as free services throughout history. During an emergency, all skills are valued and worth money or barter/trade goods.

Finally, single women should consider house sharing with men and women within the prepping community. You need a group. Putting several preppers together will quickly produce a year’s supply of necessary goods and a combination of important skills and talents, with some of the most skilled and talented being seniors who know more about basic survival, building, and mechanical maintenance than today’s younger people. However, the young are strong and able-bodied, and their individual skills are also critically important, particularly their training in coordinated group work and projects.

Ending with political incorrectness, cigarettes and alcohol remain some of the best barter items. If you can store them without using them, do so. Also, do not become pregnant during emergencies.

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