The Semi-Prepper – Part 2, by Francis

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)

In addition I stress myself at the range by exercising when I get there (running, pushups, jumping jacks.)  The idea is to degrade my performance by tiring and winding myself, which will show me how I will shoot under stress. Since I’m now in my 70’s, I feel the best home defense weapon is a rifle. Semiautomatic pistols are great but a rifle with its’ longer sight radius leads me to be more accurate. Also as I get older I am concerned about the complexity of the “manual of arms” for the AR-15, especially under stress and pressure and am now relying on the lever gun, Henry Repeating Arms, a great American company, they are simple, with no detachable magazine load or drop, no bolt release, no charging handle, and no safety to switch. There is a safety but no switch. They are not complex–just work the lever and trigger to use–and quite accurate. I understand they are limited in number of rounds but that is a tradeoff that I’m willing to take. Mine are tube fed. I’ve made (out of plastic pipe) a quick feeding device similar to the other tube feeding devices, but not as slick as commercial ones.

I have an M1 Garand, caliber .30-06. Note that the Garand should not be fired with today’s civilian .30-06 cartridges as modern day soft nose civilian hunting cartridges generate too much pressure. But there are cartridges made today that are suitable for the Garand. I generally shoot Greek Army surplus ammunition. My shoulder does not like the recoil so I used a Limbsaver recoil pad. It really does help. I also put one on my AR-15 and the results are great.

Some time ago, the surprise came to me when a friend stopped on the way to Florida. He wanted to shoot the M1 so we went to the range. I had won a steel target and target stand made for larger calibers on a stand so we shot at 110 yards. I did not expect him to shoot as well as myself and he did kick up some dust near the target. When we went to retrieve the target, the steel target was missing some paint but the stand had holes in it. The steel for the stand was ¼ inch thick. The AR-15 we shot barely scratched the stand. So with that we went to more than one rifle that will shoot the .30-06 cartridge. The target is a Shootsteel, Inc. Magnum Autopopper. They are very well made, and fun to use.

I reload and only buy in bulk for defensive ammunition.


More than 10 years ago (remember the financial crisis of 2008?) I purchased some long term storage food. A few days ago, I tried some of the food from 10 years of storage. It was not delicious but easy to eat over five days and it did not upset my stomach but…

We have grandchildren and I doubt if they would eat it happily. Thus a word of caution, if you intend to use it, I’d use it as a supplement, one or two of the long term food meals per day and regular food for the rest of the day. The packaging states a low calorie count, but it is filling.   We are now looking into long term storage of foods such as flour, rice, beans, and vegetables.


We have a nice new home built in 2012. To meet the Energy Plus goal it has an instantaneous hot water heater, thus no water storage so we have 100 gallons in two food grade barrels in the garage. They are overed by the boxes they came in. We also rotate some bottled water. There is a significant reservoir about 2 miles from us. I have started to look into water purification. I’ve decided to assume the municipal water system may not get the chemicals needed to treat the water properly or fail in some other way. Therefore I will be looking into water filtration to include viruses. We have a generator and water pump so I can fill as much as I want.


As I mentioned we have a generator: it’s small on purpose as it uses little gasoline and it is easy to move if we have to bug out. It certainly will not provide power for the entire house but rotating between circuits will cover hot water, heat, refrigerator and freezer and some lighting. I installed a transfer switch in the garage. Loss of power won’t put us out of electricity. We have extra gasoline stored and rotated. A note here: The generator is for loss of power. It is for bare bones operation, not “whole house”. By being small, it uses a lot less gasoline and we will not be running it 24/7. It is an emergency generator.


Our house is a standard residential home, nothing special. We use two independent camera security systems and a good independent alarm system tied into the police. I reinforced our front door with extra metal in the door frame (purchased from Lowe’s) and will be adding a second bolt lock, keyless from the outside, with removable key on the interior. We have fenced in the back yard with ornamental fencing with spikes that are vertical. The two gates are locked. We have to look into the strength of the rear door as we’re not satisfied with its strength. The exterior doors are where I feel someone will most likely attempt to break in.


One serious condition: I have asthma and through careful planning we have over one year of a breathing drug, which I can stretch to two years. Since we are in the warm South, a power loss will leave me in incredible heat which is not healthy for me. We’ll be buying a small room air conditioner soon which will run off of the generator.

We have added some of the usual: aspirin, Tylenol, medical kits, etc. We also have some prescriptions that we did not use. We have other medicines that are for animals but will work well for us.


We are retired with what I consider a good income. Though we have some money in the stock market, we also have gold and silver coins, savings in banks and other assets (you have to diversify your finances). But here we got caught: Wells Fargo shut down the branch where we have some of our gold, silver and jewelry and we could not get to the branch until they opened again on May 11 by appointment only. This should serve as another caution: Spread your assets around and assume in a financial collapse you won’t be able to get to all of them or that some of them will plummet in value. Look what Greece did. Folks had a significant amount of money and assets in the banks, they were limited to very small maximum withdrawals, this was in 2015. In 2013 the banks in Cyprus, were forced by the EU agreement to stop withdrawals, cut 10% of the deposited value and after that depositors were charged 20 to 25% taxes on interest earned. Unfortunately, I do not trust the banking system or the federal government to be honest and fair.


We have shortwave radios as do our children. The Federal government can broadcast emergency information to every phone in the country. (Read about the President’s ability to send a message or note to you). What this really means is the government, with the help of the phone companies can shut down all communications at any time by broadcasting garbage or directing the phone companies to only allow specific phones to work. We have plans, set up rendezvous times and places for our family members if needs be. We are to act on these plans in the event of a Communications blackout or other problems.


Read: Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse by James Rawles. This is the best of all the series. Its is an outstanding book for learning what you don’t have and how to get it. I’ve read it several times and have/should/would like to act on many of the things he discusses but we don’t have the money right now. It is absolutely prescient for today when you think of the money the government is printing, the attitude of many of our “leaders”, globalism, etc. It is also specific as far as many of the preparedness items I’ve discussed here. In several cases I’ve glossed over and not even discussed action items we took from this book because of OPSEC. Also, I’ve recently lent it to friends who gave it to other friends. I also have a digital copy.

Read: The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It’s interesting and at times funny. He holds no punches about banks and the government. Applying his thoughts to our lives leads me to know we’ve had many Black Swan events in our personal lives and in our country’s and did not realize it. We have to somehow prepare for another unforeseen negative event……how to do that? Cover all bases as much as possible, do some critical thinking.

Read: One Second After by William R Forstchen: Great book for learning what you don’t have as things go bad.

With all of the foregoing, I’m not providing just this information as an update or a blueprint as to what to do. Please provide comments as to where our holes are within the parameters that I’ve discussed (i.e. we are probably not moving, heading out of town or temporarily relocating, our age, closeness to our children, etc.) and where you think we are doing well.

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