The War Against Germs; Autoclaves

One thing is certain, when a world changing event happens, people may become migratory.  They may find the need to travel from place to place looking for food and supplies.  Some of these people, you may wish to add them to your community as valued members because of the skills they possess.  Unfortunately, they will also bring with them their regional germs.  It will be just like when you move to a new city and everyone in the family gets sick for the first month.  It will be like that, except a 100 times worse because there will be so many people, traveling from places far and near.  You can’t help but come in contact with them at some point.

Whether the contact be friendly or foe, one thing is for sure, germs will be transmitted in both directions.  If an outbreak occurs within your community, you will need to be able to sterilize your items because throwing them away just may not be an option, and neither may throwing them in the fire.  One can either boil items, or use an autoclave.  Boiling will kill anything that dies at 200° or below.  However, as in canning, you may need to kill germs that die only at higher temperatures.  In that case, you will need the autoclave.

Medical autoclaves are extremely expensive, and usually have a small capacity.  Larger ones can be prohibitively expensive.  There is another option.

Interesting enough, in Spanish, the word “autoclave” is the word they use for pressure canners.  Pressure canners will reach that magic 250 degrees that kills most nearly every living thing.  Perfect for sterilizing your items.  If you choose to use a pressure canner to sterilize items, you must bear in mind that you will not want to use that canner for food production.  It just ins’t good practice.  But, pressure canners are used all over the world to sterilize surgical equipment and other medical devices that can be sterilized by heat.

It is my opinion that pressure canners used as autoclaves should be the type that requires no rubber seal.  These are much better because it is screwed down and there is no wiggle room as there is with the rubber seals.  You will notice the price of the one pictured is not your average cheap pressure canner, and that it looks like a beast.  It is a beast.  It is also the best one for the job.
 It has a gauge so you know how much pressure is actually in there, as well as the weight to make sure you get the right pressure without going over and having it explode.  Don’t get me wrong, it can still explode if you have the heat too high, just like any other pressure canner.  One must always make certain to follow the manufacturers instructions for proper use and cleaning.  It has six screws to hold it firm and comes in a variety of sizes.  To date, I have never found one for a lower price than on Amazon, the link is in the picture.

I prefer the larger one as autoclave, even though it takes quite a while to heat to temperature, but it also will hold the most items so I don’t have to use it so often.

Remember, when handling contaminated items, to always use appropriate protective gloves and other necessary protective items.  Learn and follow appropriate protocols whenever possible to reduce the spread of outbreaks.
 

 

In a Post WCE, Where to get the Best Quality Seeds?

The simple answer is “from yourself”.  The only way this can happen is if you are already practicing the skills you need to secure the best possible seeds for next year’s crops.  Sure, many gardeners will tell you to choose the best plants to get the best seeds, but what they don’t tell you is how to consistently improve, over time, your ability to harvest the best produce possible.  As a matter of fact, you could produce a new variety of seeds through your efforts.

Start with the best quality seed you can get.  Seeds are expensive, so do your research.  Just because you have bought this or that brand for year after year does not mean you are in fact buying the best.

One of the most important things you can do is to keep a proper journal about your garden exploits.  Write down everything, every year.  Date every page.  Did it rain today?  How much?  Was it hotter or colder than normal today than last year on this day? Note it and log it.  What did you plant today?  Remember to log the germination rate each day.  There is no detail too small to consider adding to the journal about your garden or fields.  Why?  Because you will need that information after a WCE.  Then it will be too late to start gathering useful information for your region.  It takes years to gather what you need.  Some of it you can get from local garden experts, but your own experiences are more valuable than anyone else’s.

Test the germination rate for the seeds you plant every year.  You will know the rates for each company from which you buy seeds.  In this way you will better choose products that meet your needs best.  It is with these seeds that you will start your seed saving practices as well as your venture into creating a better and stronger variety of your favorite produce.

Since accuracy is important, keeping a separate journal for various produce so as not to get grape writings mixed up with apple writings might be a good idea.  Now for the good stuff.

When your plants are growing in the garden, continually watch them to see which are the best and worst.  When it comes time to harvest seed, choose only to harvest from the single best plant that has the best qualities you desire.  For the next planting season complete the steps over again.  Be sure to plant these seeds away from the possibility of pollination by any other source.

Each careful harvest gains seeds that are best suited to your environment and most resistant to the pests and diseases of your region.  In this manner you will create your own variety of plants and seeds.  Those, and your reputation for seed production will be valuable after a WCE.

Social Media and Preppers

Some people can’t stand to be disconnected from their social media for even a few minutes.  They carry to their laptops and tablets in handy bags. Cell phones are nearly glued to their heads or hands.  Most of their socializing is done online and on phones.

Admittedly, many adults from 40 to 60 are also doing a large portion of their socializing in the same manner.  Why?  Inclusion.  A recent report said the fastest growing population on FaceBook is adults ages 40 to 60, it makes it possible for parents and grandparents to keep up with their children and grandchildren as well as their friends.  They get to see more pictures and and see their posts.

But what about if you are alone or in very small groups with little or no interaction outside the group?  Not so difficult for those of us who grew up before the phone went out the door with you.  We learned skills that are not taught to our young people these days.

We learned how to talk, hold conversations, even start conversations about any number of things.  We learned the difference between the different types of conversation groups such as young adults, married, and seniors.  We also learned about same gender verses mixed company conversations.  Then, just when we thought we had the art of conversation down pat, our elders taught us about “polite company” and “forbidden topics”.  We learned to mind our Ps and Qs.

Certainly, in a bug-in situation it will be a big plus if everyone involved had those skills.  They would know what to say and when to shut their mouths.  To paraphrase Joyce Meyer, they would know not to voice an opinion where they have no responsibility.

Sure, over time they would learn these skills after great pain and suffering for all parties involved.  Wouldn’t it be better if they started learning now?

Just to drive the point home, consider the youth of the world.  Most of us have seen this video, but just in case you haven’t, take a look below.  How would these same young people handle a situation in which they could no longer contact their social media buddies?

Preppers Paradigm: Re-Evaluating Your Health and Conditioning

Mexico recently surpassed the United States as the most obese nation on the planet, according to a report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. The near 32 percent obesity rate in America means that the epidemic touches every faction of the population, including preppers. Buying firearms, canned foods, batteries, generators and even Roadpost.com satellite phones are all necessities in the minds of the diligent prepper. But few take into account the only means of conveyance they’ll have during a world changing event: their own bodies.

Whether you have to squeeze into a small space, hike several miles into the woods or run from whomever and whatever, your physical conditioning will determine your level of success. Though it certainly wouldn’t hurt, you don’t necessarily have to be an Olympic-level athlete to be ready for anything. But making subtle changes to your everyday routine should be a vital aspect of overall preparations.

Wean Off Of Medications

An astounding 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and nearly half take at least two, according to a report published by the Mayo Clinic. It is never a good idea to simply stop taking a medication that you’ve been on for a long time. But you can always ask your doctor about gradually lowering the dosage while trying to find natural alternatives.

For those who take daily blood pressure medication, for instance, garlic is an excellent alternative. Allicin, an ingredient found in garlic tablets and raw cloves, has been found to lower blood pressure by 10 percent in three months or less, according to a report in the U.K. Daily Mail. Cooking the garlic destroys much of the allicin, so eating it raw is the only way to reap the benefits.

The New York Times reported in August that one in 10 Americans are on some kind of antidepressant. Pharmaceutical-grade St. John’s Wort and 5-HTP are natural alternatives that can be used while weaning off your prescription.

Do A Little Exercise Daily

It should be no surprise that 8.3 percent of Americans are diabetic, due to the overall obesity rate. While insulin is used to treat most types of diabetes, the best natural remedy is exercise. A study published by the American Diabetes Association found that cardiovascular disease causes 75 percent of diabetes-related deaths in the U.S. You can improve cardiovascular health significantly with 30 minutes of vigorous exercise per day. This can include a brisk walk, a bike ride or a trip to the gym for the highly motivated prepper. Losing weight also reduced new type 2 diabetes diagnoses by nearly 16 percent over an eight year period, according to the study. Again, you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, but doing something is better than nothing.

Change Your Diet

Physical Health infographic: physical activity, good nutrition,The saying goes, “You are what you eat.” An adequately prepared prepper cannot be made of McDonald’s, candy and cupcakes. Make subtle changes that you know are benefiting your overall health and well-being. Eat more low-fat meats like chicken breast and fish, as opposed to pork. Replace soft drinks with water, and coffee with green tea. You don’t have to do anything radical, but subtle changes will go a long way when your body needs a little something extra.

About the Author:  Joel Johnson is a military veteran with 8 years of service and spent over three years deployed to Iraq. He used the skills that he learned in the infantry to prepare for what is coming. He is a father with a love for football and his children.

http://www.roadpost.com/Iridium-Phone-Subscriptions-P705C280.aspx
http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2013-rst/7543.html

Chemical Purification of Fresh Water

Luckiamute Falls

Our packs are packed, kayaks and fishing gear ready, and our camping supplies are always ready. It’s not only in case we have to evacuate, but also to take planned or unplanned trips.  Part of those supplies include water purification systems.

While we won’t swim where we know we can’t drink the water, it is nice to know that should public water sources not be available, we can still enjoy the great outdoors.  Even during a world changing event, being prepared for the worst will make camping with our family and friends seem less traumatic and stressful for everyone.  Distillation is our preferred water purification method, having the proper water purification chemicals will go a long way towards providing peace and security if you can’t use your stove.

If you plan to use freshwater sources not part of a public water supply, be sure to contact your local fish and game department or department of state parks to find out which lakes and rivers are closed to swimming or fishing.  Chances are you won’t want to use the water for drinking either.  Some times part of a lake is closed due to algae blooms or other reasons.

It is impossible to tell by looking if water is contaminated. Water purification tablets can be used as a last resort, for a few days, when other methods are not available. Chemical purification systems are used to kill bacteria and viruses in drinking water, especially giardia and cryptosporidium. Use chemical purification tablets when no other method is available and for no longer than five days.

The two chemicals most people choose are:

  • Chlorine dioxide tablets (or droplets)
  • Iodine tablets (or droplets)

These chemicals are cheap to purchase and light weight to carry in a pocket or backpack.

Choosing the freshwater source:

Water should be moving, as in a stream or river.  Or, in the case of lakes or ponds, examine it carefully.  If a lake or pond might be unsuitable in one location, try another location.  The larger the body of water, the more likely at least some part of it will be suitable for chemical purification.

Never use water from any source with dead fish or animals, any odor coming from the water, and algae blooms. The water must not be stagnant nor have a foamy surface. These waters may not be suitable for chemical purification systems.

How to use chemical purification systems:

Follow package instructions at all times.  Failure to follow the instructions exactly as listed could lead to severe illness or death.

Pour clear water into your container.  If you have to use muddy water, strain through fabric until it runs clear.   Add chemicals according to package instructions. For maximum effectiveness, the ideal water temperature is 80ºF. If using chlorine dioxide, wait at least four hours, longer at temperatures below 62ºF. When using iodine, use a dark container and do not use under 68ºF, wait 30 minutes. Chemical purification is completely ineffective near 35ºF.

Pros and cons of  each chemical system:

Chlorine dioxide is most effective against cryptosporidium. The municipal water taste dissipates when left open for an additional 30 minutes.

Iodine does not kill cryptosporidium, and leaves a foul taste to be neutralized with vitamin C.

Women over 50 and persons with certain allergies and health conditions should not use iodine.  Consult your physician for your situation.

Iodine has a long shelf life.

Shelf life of products:

Chlorine dioxide has a long shelf life. Once opened, chlorine dioxide tablets lose potency within a few days. Visually examine previously opened tablets before use. Gray or brown discolored tablets may retain some effectiveness. Tablets with a green or yellow discoloration should not be used. Some brands of chlorine dioxide tablets are packed in waterproof foil sheets.

Store chemical purification systems under controlled temperatures between 68°F and 86°F. Protect them from light or replace yearly. Check with the manufacturer for information about how the production date is displayed on the package before purchase.

 

Bonfire, Campfire, or Cooking Fire?

Bonfires are big fires that attract a lot of attention both day and night.
This fire attracts all kinds of attention, as does its smaller version, the campfire.

Frequently people comment that they will kill a rabbit, bird or deer and just cook it over a fire.  It’s pretty obvious that they have visions of putting the animal, or parts of the animal, on a stick and cooking it over a bonfire, afterwards they will lay down next to the fire and sleep for the rest of the night with a full belly.

Okay, cooking the meat that way will happen in a survival situation where there is no danger of someone seeing their smoke in the air or smelling the food.  But, if they build the fire in the conical shaped way most people build a fire, they should be prepared for the burning pieces of wood to tumble as the flames eat them.  For safety a person shouldn’t be within 10 feet of it.  A campfire doesn’t provide much warmth at that distance.

Eventually people cooking their food over a campfire will get tired of meat on a stick.  They will want to use indigenous plants for seasoning and nutritional needs.  They might even want to add water and make a soup or stew.  If you are the camp cook, you need to know how to make the right kinds of fires for the types of cooking you have to do.

Campfires are a gathering place, like the family kitchen.
This is a collapsed conical shaped campfire.

The bonfire isn’t a cooking fire.  It is a signal fire, or for generating heat, sending large amounts of smoke high in the sky, and for roasting marshmallows and hot-dogs or some other meat on a stick.  Bonfires are dangerous when the logs start to cave in on themselves or collapse outside the fire.  When they cave in or collapse, people can be injured by burning wood or flying embers.  Sleeping near a fire that has this type of splash effect is dangerous.  Build this type of fire only when you need to show someone your location.

A campfire is a smaller version of the bonfire.  It’s useful for meat on a stick and marshmallows. Many people think digging a fire pit and putting rocks around it means they have a cooking fire.  In order to use this type of fire they need a grate or spit.  They are shocked, upset, and sometimes injured when their cookware and food fall into the fire.  If you look in the background, you will see that this fire also has a bench too close to the fire.  Care must still be taken that it doesn’t cave in or collapse causing the splash effect of the bonfire.  People can still get burned and sleeping bags and clothing can catch fire by flying embers and burning wood.

This fire is dangerous because there is no restraint for the burning wood, flying embers and ash.  It is dangerous to restock the wood in this fire.
This fire is dangerous because there is no restraint for the burning wood, flying embers and ash. It is also dangerous to restock the wood in this fire.

Cooking fires are different from the two conical shaped fires above.  These fires are built in a cross patch pattern overlapping them in such a way that the top forms a level sturdy surface for your cast iron cookware.  Cooking fires allow you to control the temperature for cooking so you don’t have burned outside and raw inside foods.  Your meal should be completed and the pans “cleaned” by the time the wood burns through.  These fires collapse into the center and rarely does wood fall away from the fire.  However, embers are and ash are not predictable so don’t sleep too close to the fire.

Knowing the difference between these fires is important.  Each requires a different

This fire set up is great for cooking.  However, they are using finished wood.  Finished wood has paint or other chemicals you should not use for cooking, or for any other purpose that requires you to breathe the smoke.
This fire set up is great for cooking. However, they are using finished wood. Finished wood has paint or other chemicals you should not use for cooking, or for any other purpose that requires you to breathe the smoke.

amount of resources and attracts attention in different ways.  If you are worried about being seen, all fires produce smoke, so you need to build the smallest fire possible for the immediate purpose.  Building fires during daylight makes the smoke easily seen from a distance.  Smoke is more difficult to see at night.  Building the smallest cooking fire possible will reduce the possibility of the flames being seen from a distance.  Building the fire in a deep pit will make it possible to conceal most of it, but if the pit is too deep the fire won’t burn well.  When you are finished, extinguish it as soon as possible.  Preparing all the items you are going to cook before starting the fire will reduce the amount of time the fire is lit.  If you do not want the location of your fire to be found, be sure to bury it completely when finished. Even so, an experienced tracker may still find the location.

To practice these skills, go camping in campgrounds that allow campfires.  A future article with a pictorial illustration of how to make a proper cooking fire will be posted soon.

Is your cup half empty or half full?

  Is your cup half empty or half full?

Prepper Encouragement

We have all met people who go through life complaining or whining or feeling sorry for themselves.  These cup half empty folk never see the blessings in their life. If we listen too long, this kind of person or persons can depress  or poison us with their sour attitudes. On the flip side, I’m sure you’ve met the half full individuals as well. These are those who look for the bright side and thank God even in the darkest of days.  They lift us up with their positive attitude and give us hope.

I bring this up because as we prepare for hard times ahead, many only see the difficulties and obstacles ahead. Some of these are budgeting in order to afford the necessary items when our finances are already stretched to the max.  Storing more food, collecting the seeds, learning skills like canning and preserving or sewing…you name it they worry about it. They have questions like: Will we be ready when the day comes and things crash? Will we be able to protect our families from those who didn’t prepare and want to take what we have? Will we have enough to get us through the dark days?

I want to take this opportunity to remind you God is with us. He will never leave or forsake us. We can trust Him to care for us. When you are overwhelmed with worry or general concerns…do what you can do and leave the rest to God. Worry is not trusting that God can or will take care of things. It is looking to self, seeing our inadequacies and not turning to the one who can help. Don’t get me wrong, we still need to do our part. Just don’t worry about it. Slow and steady preparation is the key.

I want to challenge you to be a half, three quarters, or full cup individual. Don’t look at the challenges ahead with dread. This is a time to share our faith in God and His great love. We can share our concerns with those who will listen, band together with like-minded people and plan together for the future. We should encourage one another and share information. We need to vote for more candidates who are in agreement with our views. Last, but not least, we  pray God will give us the discernment with whom to align ourselves with and resources to prepare in a wise manner.  It’s my hope this short note will give you nuggets of wisdom.

Campfires: Cooking on an Open Fire

Round CampfireCooking on a campfire is a skill every prepper should master.  Hopefully you will never be in a situation in which you will be forced to make a fire and cook your fresh kill.  Surprisingly, many people think it’s simple.  Build a fire and start cooking, right?  Not at all.

Skills to cook on a fire are important because you many not always have the items you need to make campfire cooking easier and safer.  Big ones, small ones, burning coals, you name it.  Each fire has a different purpose and requires skills for those purposes.  Fires are not just to boil water and heat canned goods.

Can you fry fish on an open fire?  Why is that important?  Because frying over an open flame can be dangerous at best and disastrous at worst.  If the flames lick up in the pan your frying fish may just become an exploding fire bomb that can cover anyone standing near enough with flaming hot oil.  It can also start a forest or range fire.  For this reason, children should never be near the fire!

Cooking over an open fire is not as easy as it might seem.  A skilled camp cook is a must.  Fortunately, almost everyone can gain those skills.  It just takes practice.  Start in a camp ground that allows camp fires, ask if there is water at each site, and bring your garden hose.  You must ask specifically if they allow camp fires.  Starting a camp fire in a location other than in designated areas could have serious consequences.

If you already have, or know how to use, a gas grill, you are a bit ahead of the rest of the class.  But, using the gas grill for this project won’t work.  Gas grills are pretty much just cooking on a gas stove top.  As a matter of fact, that pretty much goes for charcoal grills and smokers too.  Those are all well controlled systems for cooking.  If there’s a flare-up simply take the food off the grill, turn off the gas or put a lid on the pan.  With an open flame, your only options are to put a lid on it and taking the food out of the fire.

Okay, lets begin with choosing a location.  It needs to be:

  • away from buildings and structures
  • away from trees and brush
  • not in a “red flag” region (burn ban)
  • in an appropriate fire pit (dig a hole and place the dirt pile close to the fire)

When practicing, safety requires you have a garden hose handy in case your fire climbs out of the pit.  Remember, fire can double in size very quickly.  If your fire gets out of hand, go for help immediately.  Do not stay.

How you build your fire is as important as where you build it.  That’s why they say “build” a fire.  First, dig the pit six inches or more deep and twice the diameter of the intended fire.  It should be at least 12 inches deep on windy days.  Clear the area twice the size of the pit around the pit to stop any hot embers or flames from starting a fire outside the fire pit.  For us, a three foot square fire has an additional ten feet of cleared space around the fire.  The fire area is the size of a 12 x 12 room with the fire in the center.  No children and unskilled persons allowed!!  Kindling is placed first and the fire started.  This is a good place to put the bark if you choose to strip it from the wood.

Gradually adding larger and larger pieces until the fire is the the size you need for cooking.  Logs are skillfully placed in an arrangement that allows flames to form in a controlled pattern according to the purpose of the fire.  Logs must be placed flat so they support the pan well and so that when they burn through they fall into the fire pit instead of out of the pit.  

The fire in the picture above is a typical cone shaped fire.  To cook on a campfire without a grate, you need a flat fire, square or rectangle shaped fire.

The trick is to keep the flames small and shallow while providing enough wood to keep the fire going for the amount of time you will be cooking.  Too much wood on the fire causes larger flames.  Flames should never lick up the side of the pan.  This is unsafe as well as too hot and will burn your food even if you don’t have a flare up.  If your fire does flare into the pan, put the lid on it immediately.  If you are unable to put the lid on the pan, go to a safe distance until the fire subsides.  Your dinner will be ruined, but the fire should remain within the pit and cleared area.

How to practice?  NEVER camp cook alone!  You many need help for any reason or emergency!!  Get out your well seasoned cast iron dutch oven set (with stabilizing lid lifter) and use it on the fire to prepare all manner of foods not using a fat or oil for cooking.  When you can prepare foods without burning or scorching them, you are ready to to try frying.  Practice with small amounts of food, just enough chicken to make one small layer on the bottom, and just enough oil to make a 1/4 to 1/2 inch layer on the bottom of the pan.

To begin cooking, place the clean, dry pan in the heat just until it is hot enough to “bounce” droplets of water off the dry pan.  If the water bounces, remove it from the heat and set it somewhere safe and let go of the pan.  If the pan is too hot, the oil may catch fire immediately when you put it in the pan. If this happens, put the lid on and wait until the pan cools.  Poor off the oil into a safe disposal area.  You will need to clean the pan before you can begin again.  Once the oil is in the pan, add then the chicken legs and return to the fire and turn the chicken to brown both sides.  Remove the pan it when the chicken is as done as you like.

Now that the cooking is done, you will want to clean the cooled pan.  This is the best part about cooking over a fire.  Empty to cooled oil to a safe area.  Grab some leaves and sticks to remove most of the oil and any “crumbs” in the bottom of the pan.  turn the pan upside down and place in the fire.  Allow to cook just until it stops smoking, just a few seconds or minutes.  If you leave it too long you will damage the pan.  Remove from flame and check for cleanliness.  If it needs to be cleaned again, let it cool and start the process again.

Once you are finished with the fire, douse it with water if available, then cover with the dirt from the hold you dug to ensure the fire smothers and does not escape the pit.  The pit will remain hot for a long time if it is not completely doused with water, so be careful where you walk.

Before you start practicing, read more information about the topic before you start.  Find someone who practices campfire cooking skills and ask them teach you.  If your teacher does anything that goes against the safety practices in the articles you read, do not use them as a teacher.  Only learn from the very best camp cooks.  D.P.N. assumes no responsibility for anyone who is learning this skill.  

Preppers and Veterinarians

Preppers and Veterinarians Make a Good Team.While prepping, most of us make sure we have enough supplies for our family, including furry friends.  That supply of pet meds and animal food is important to the well being of the whole family.  Dog and cats will bring in fleas and ticks, among other parasites if left untreated.  So, what about the relationship between a preppers and veterinarians?

Some animal parasites can be transferred to people, a lesson very well learned from watching Animal Planet’s “Monster Inside Me”.  Perhaps someone to have on your prepper team is the local veterinarian.  Even the American Veterinary Medical Association agrees having a veterinarian during an apocalypse is a good idea.  While veterinarians are best trained for the zombie apocalypse, they can transfer those skills over to any other doomsday event.

From their website:

Now, under normal circumstances, of course, we would never recommend that a veterinarian treat a human, but in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, well … physicians might be hard to come by, governing boards and malpractice laws are out the window, and if one of your party is bleeding to death, a veterinarian just might give that person the best chance of survival.
It makes sense.  The article is entertaining, but still practical in a quirky way.  Finish reading it here.

Recycle and Reuse Series: Metal

Scrap Metal RecyclingNot everyone has a junk heap in the back yard or a pile of metal scraps out behind the barn.  But if you do, you know the value of metals.  That’s why you put each piece of metal in the pile.  You know it’s good for something, but you didn’t quite know what for, yet.  And so the pile grows.

If, on the other hand, you are the person who cleans out the shed or garage every now and then and hauls stuff off to the dump, stop and take a second look.  What in that pile is made of metal?  If you find you have thrown out metal objects take it back off the truck!

Ok, got that straightened out.  Now, what to do with that pile of junk?  First, sort it according to type of metal (iron, lead, steel, nickel, aluminum, other particular alloys).  Be sure to wash after handling lead and batteries.  Sorting metal is important because it is easier to find what you need when you need it; and if you sell it you will get more for it if it is already sorted.  Metal recycling companies pay less per pound if they have to sort it.

If you want to get fancy you can build bins to store it.  The bin would keep sharp edges inside, protecting people who pass by from potentially harmful cuts and scrapes.

Now for the tough decisions.  Almost every city with a population of 250,000 or more has a recycle company that buys all kinds of metal.  Some will even come get it without charging you for it.  But, as a prepper, do you want to sell it?  Selling the metal will give you extra money for purchasing preps or just paying the bills.  Keeping the metal should mean you have the equipment and skills to refashion the metal into something you need, or you know someone who will.

Once you have decided to keep the metal, it is important to make sure it won’t rust or corrode in it’s storage container.  Some climates, especially coastal regions, are hard on metal.  The salt air is continually at work to destroy some metals.  Paint and varnish fumes would be a problem if you need to apply heat to the metals.  Grease and oil  each provide a suitable barrier to protect your metals from corrosion and rust but will need to be washed off prior to use or applying heat.

Happy Prepping!