I lived in China for a year and as a prepper I was fascinated by the things the average person there does that could be beneficial in a SHTF situation. I have compiled a list of these things and included ways that the average American can learn from the Chinese.
Most food in China only travels about 100 miles to reach market. I challenge you to make a concerted effort to eat locally. This will prepare you for a SHTF situation where transportation will break down and you can’t go to the store in the middle of winter and purchase an orange or other fresh produce.
Another interesting thing about food in China is that all parts of an animal are eaten, this includes things like; duck blood, chicken feet, pig feet, the intestines, tongue, fish head, pig head, and bones are used to make stock for soup.
Try to eat more parts of an animal, not just the chicken breast, or the salmon fillet. A Chinese relative of mine traveled to Alaska and was appalled at the fact that they wasted so much of a salmon when cooking and serving it. In a SHTF situation fresh meat will be a luxury, there is no need to waste any of it. The Chinese also eat a wide variety of foods that most Americans wouldn’t eat. This includes things like pigeons, yes pigeons, eel, squid, octopus, and many many types of small river fish.
Try to step outside your comfort zone. This might mean going hunting for a small game that you usually don’t eat and trying it, i.e. rabbit, squirrel, muskrat.
In the time that I lived in China, the power went out three times. These outages ranged between six hours and a full day. Two of these happened when the temperature outside was well over 90 degrees. You should try to plan a weekend or even a one day power outage at your house. Flip the main breaker and see if you can make it through the outage and still be relatively comfortable. Does your water still work? Does your gas still work? How will you cook? What about your refrigerator?
For whatever reason, Chinese people don’t like to use air conditioning or heat their homes and businesses, even when the power is working. Because of this they have developed interesting ways to keep cool and stay warm. In the summer people use sheets and couch covers made of bamboo, actual bamboo not a bamboo fabric. I had never seen this before but it actually keeps you cool. In the winter, people wear layers and layers of clothing to stay warm. What would you do if your AC went out on a 100-degree day? What if your heater went out and it was -20 outside like happened in Butte, Montana a few winters ago.
The Chinese have had numerous pandemic scares already such as SARS, bird flu, and swine flu. Because of this, the average citizen in China is familiar and aware of what to do in a pandemic situation. People are aware of how to self-quarantine and protect themselves from transferring disease.
With the recent Ebola situation would you be ready to impose a self-quarantine for 21 days? What would you need in order to do that? Food, water, and possibly a way to store your waste if it turns out our sewage treatment plants can’t handle Ebola waste.
Many Chinese walk or bike to where they need to go. Another portion use electric scooters or cars that run on compressed natural gas (CNG), the smallest portion of transportation is done by driving an automobile running on gasoline.
What would you do if you couldn’t buy gasoline tomorrow because it wasn’t available or it was too expensive? How would you get around? Do you have a bike? Can you walk to the nearest store or work? Try to go a day or a weekend without driving. Can you do it?
These are just a few of the things I learned there and brought with me when I moved back to the U.S. There were also many things that I saw there that I would NOT do, however that is for another article.