Authors: Ron Foster
Donald turned his truck out onto the highway and
began his short 40-mile trip to his new house and a new
beginning. Because of his elevated mood and excitement
on this fine day, it seemed to him just somehow a bit
brighter and warmer than a normal sunny day in south
Alabama during January. This was it, the big day he had
been anticipating and yearning for, ever since he finally
signed all the papers at the lawyer’s office for his new bug
out location on Dec 28, 2011 and started his mental
countdown to Dec. 21, 2012. The end of the Mayan
calendar was not far off and he didn’t know quite what for
but he was getting prepped for better or worse. He didn’t
really hold with any of the prophecies or theories that were
making the rounds on the internet and in the media, but he
sensed something was going to happen this year, so
better safe than sorry.
He had been calling his new place everything
under the sun in front of family or friends. To some, he
referred to it as his prepper shack, to others it was his
farmstead, farm or just his little new house in the country.
Whatever he called it, he knew it for what it was to him, his
very own bug out location! And he had the keys!
This was to be his last big roll of the dice to get out
of the city and to get the house and himself ready for the
solar storms that he felt reasonably sure were going to
take out the electrical grid sometime this year. Troubling
times lay ahead and he was bound and determined not to
be caught short when the black swan flew and the circuit
At age 53, he had been through a lot of life’s and
the economy’s ups and downs and so he had been
encouraged somehow or forced to move back in with his
elderly mother for a while as an interim check gap, while
he added to his education and simultaneously built up his
preps and got back on his feet again. He scrimped and
saved from his school loans, and with a few odd jobs had
finally managed to painstakingly scrape up $5,000 as a
down payment on a bug out location. A bit of luck was on
his side and with this weird going to school money saving
strategy, he was able to put a down payment on an owner
financed tiny two bedroom home. The house sat on
approximately 3 mostly wooded acres and he had jumped
at the prospect of buying it, even if it was a wee bit
overpriced for what it was.
The real estate ad for it had read that the owner
wanted $8,000 down and $500 a month for 12 yrs to equal
out to the price of $52,000. He offered the owner 42 grand
for it after looking it over and noticed it was a small trailer
someone had added to and basically turned it into more of
a house. He bought it and the land for $380 a month
owner finance and he was very happy with his new
The payment was very affordable, he hoped, and
pretty easily doable on his small royalty incomes as a
science fiction writer. He had decided that even if the shit
didn’t hit the fan anytime soon, it was high time he had his
own place in the country again.
The college degrees he got had not done him any
good what so ever in finding a job in this rotten economy.
He had been lucky enough to reinvent himself once again
and apply his intellect to something more productive and
fulfilling by working for himself as a post-apocalyptic writer.
He had already made several trips to his place
while moving his preps out of a mini warehouse he had
leased along with his small stockpiles of prepper stuff he
had stored at friends’ houses and was really elated to get it
all together in one place now.
He was sure glad that he had the use and
possession of the two 24 x 12 portable metal buildings that
had come with the property. One of them was filled full of
boxes from the very first day from his U- Haul truckload of
preps he had brought up from the city.
Organizing it and putting together shelves, etc., had
taken him three more days, but you could now easily walk
around inside the shed. He still had lots to do in there, but
things were coming together nicely in what he called his
He moved all his garden tools and regular tools into
the other building he called the garage and was still
dragging things in, or acquiring them and the place was
pretty much in managed disarray. When he got his next
royalty check, a Troy Built tiller was at the top of his list of
“to buy”, got to have it things.
This place is sucking the life out of my finances.
Don mused, not entirely put off at the notion of how many
unexpected or more expensive than he had thought
improvements and preps were needed to get his place in
proper prepper working order.
Don had defiantly hit the ground running in Jan
2012 working on his place in a whiz-bang flurry of activities
that helped to assuage his mind somewhat of the nagging
notion he had less than a year to get ready for some type
of calamity? He wasn’t exactly sure what, but something
foreboding seemed to have taken over his psyche as well
as many other “Preppers” worldwide. It was like a mass
awaking of the populace to prepare for some known or
unknown disaster these days, as more and more people
joined the ranks of the prepper community and shared
what disaster and when you think it
might happen, is a different notion or worry amongst all
preppers. But prep they all did and usually in the extreme.
Don’s disaster he was prepping for was the mega solar
storm NASA had predicted for 2012-2013, but that was far
from the only thing he had worries about. Economic
collapse, terrorism, natural disasters, you name it; they
were all subjects he studied and reviewed and prepped for
Donald Dupree was a bit of an enigma. He had
been everything from a construction worker, soldier, fine
jewelry manager, and an entrepreneur in more things than
he dared to relate on a resume.
He had always been a prepper though, in some
form or another, and when he came up with a plan to go
back to school at 47 he had two goals in mind. Get his
degree so that maybe he could get a decent job in a new
profession and build up his preps in the meantime for the
day he got out of school or 2012 hit, which ever came first.
He was becoming pretty adept at doing the professional
student thing for a while.
Moving back home allowed him to save on his
expenses immensely and he had been able to fill up a 10 x
8 ft. mini warehouse unit to capacity unbeknownst to his
non- prepper Mom. He had managed to buy quite a bit of
preps every semester from his financial aid refund check
and some money he earned off odd jobs.
He had studied emergency management while in
college in hopes of increasing his prepper knowledge and
thought that this new career path would have been an
ideal job to apply his talents to. However, he soon realized
that without work-related experience or being a younger
man that qualified for some intern program, he couldn’t
find a government or state job in that field and had applied
his knowledge of disasters to helping non-profits do
business continuity plans until they themselves soon
buckled under the financial pressure and closed their
doors due to a failing economy and lack of charitable
His preps had been accumulated after years of
study and contemplation. When he had first started down
the road of prepperdom he made the usual newbie costly
mistakes he had learned from. His final preparations had
been now refined carefully and were the best quality
available he could afford.
He had his own way of doing things when it came to
food storage, that might not make sense to those that think
the pundits and gurus in the survival blogs can’t be wrong.
For example, that only store what you eat crap they
advise, went out the window with him a long time ago.
He had been investing in Mountain House and other
brands of freeze dried food for the last 5 years pretty much
This type of food storage lasts 30 years he had
figured and if the crap hasn’t hit the fan by the time I am
80, that is if I make it that far, well I probably will have
already got in it to supplement my non-existent retirement
or something so I can feed myself
It was his meager retirement and insurance plan
and totally self-directed. He had seen his food preps go up
in price around 40% since he had started socking away
this expensive type prep a few cans or a case here and
there. But he didn’t start on it until after he had already got
his ready-to-eat normal kitchen type preps in order.
Hell, he had three cases of MH chicken that used
to be $25.00 a can that was now $46 to replace it. While
others lost their 401k investments, he was doing ok in his
own meager way and had also started to amass a small
stash of silver that he had bought over a period of time.
Don was quite pleased he had stored over a years’
worth of food for one person as well as plenty of guns,
ammunition and other prepper paraphernalia, so as soon
as he moved in to his new home he was basically ready
for what ever may come down the pike.
Today his thoughts were more about long-term
sustainability, though. He had to get his land ready to help
him be self-sufficient for the coming hard times. Stored
food preps run out eventually, game gets scarce and
besides, this place was also where he was going to retire
at. He didn’t want to lose one summer of a tree growing or
planting long term crops like asparagus etc. for a lifetime
of enjoyment and food.
He had gotten an estimate to clear the trees off a
couple places on his property so he could put in a raised
bed garden and have a small orchard. A trip to Lowe’s to
have a look at current lumber prices had surprised him
when he saw that they were already selling fruit trees to go
in before spring.
He had resisted the temptation to buy some trees
and blueberry bushes and instead had gone home and
spent countless hours on the internet weighing the pros
and cons of different varieties, as well as buying the plants
local. Those seed catalogs are awful tempting but good
sense had prevailed based on his past bad experiences
with mail-order plants and he had decided on mostly
buying what he could inspect locally and just pay a bit
more for plants in his own community.
Today he was going to the small town about 12
miles from his house and then going to Wally world and
Lowe’s to purchase trees and berry bushes before they got
picked over. He had looked at nature’s signs for planting
and checked the farmer’s almanac and all the indications
said early spring and no late frost, so he committed himself
to taking the next big plunge.
At $15- $25 a pop for fruit trees this was no easy
choice. He had contracted for the timber crew to do his
land clearing in a week for $1800 dollars which was $600
more than he had estimated. He could have cut a lot of
those trees himself, but after reflecting on it, he was not
going to save that much by doing it, because a lot of the
expense was bringing in the big machinery to haul it off
and he wasn’t no spring chicken anymore to wield a
chainsaw all day, he had opted to get the professionals on
the job for speed and safety.
He was still grumbling about the landscapers’ price
however, because that high price was with leaving the
stumps in the ground and the fool of a woodcutter was
telling him that although it was good timber he couldn’t sell
it because the local mill was shut down. Oh, well time was
not on Don’s side so “get her done” had become his new
expensive mantra when a quick decision had to be made
and the money was available. He just jumped in and did it
by throwing money at a problem.