Questions for Big Data

Click here to view the original post.

binary_data_illustratio_450

I am a huge fan of social media and an even bigger fan of emergency response.

And, as capabilities expand in the realm of social media, I’m beginning to struggle with the role of big data in emergency response.

Yes, every day, we have increasing access to types of data as emergency response agencies.

We have GIS data layers that cover many different types of layers from critical infrastructure to vulnerable populations. We have cameras that monitor public spaces. We have river sensors that report flooding. You name it, a data layer can be created for it.

The problem is our humanity. How much information is too much? What is the span of control on the human brain? What decisions will require human-level involvement versus decisions that can be automated?

I work in a 911 facility where our dispatchers already monitor at least 5 large screens of data (and that is simply to manage voice-based communications coming over telephones and radio traffic). In most public service agencies, we have a customer service model that answers each individual 911 call and seeks to provide direct response.

In the future of data management, a 1:1 response ratio will be impossible to maintain in our emergency service structures. No agency has the resources to manage this type of customer service model. And when there are conflicting demands on resources from differing types of data inputs, how will we prioritize the true threats occurring in any incident?

While I see a lot of emergency response programs interested in mobile apps that aim to engage the community in emergency response (like Red Cross and PulsePoint), the emergency response community must begin to have serious conversations about how to unify around several applications, because as the app market continues to proliferate (being over a million apps today), it won’t help any agency to have 1000 people using 100 different apps.  There needs to be some unity of message and use among emergency response agencies so that we can collectively learn to act together during a response and not all be off doing different things. That risks replication of work across the board.

Here are a couple of thoughts that we need to consider as these conversations evolve in a variety of disciplines (most notably, 911 and Emergency Management):

  • What data is really required to make emergency response decisions at local, state and national levels?  Are the data requirements different and why?
  • What are the time constraints on that data? How quickly must the data be obtained in order to effectively impact emergency response?
  • What role should local, state, federal and community relief organizations have in working with the technical communities? How can we define a strategy so that we are not all trying to solve the same problems?
  • Who should be engaged in the conversations? Right now, I see a lot of siloed conversation in the realms of Emergency Management and 911 (as it revolves around Next Generation and FirstNet initiatives), but these two professions will ultimately create information-flow channels that need to work in harmony with each other.
  • How and who should be responsible for collecting the data required? Are government organizations responsible for bringing these capabilities in house or should they be partnering with a community-based organizations.  And while currently, there are many groups evolving out of both technical communities (Crisis Mappers, Geeks Without Bounds, Standby Task Force) and emergency response community support organizations (Crisis Commons, Red Cross Digital Advocates, VOST, Humanity Road), partnership with and among these organizations is often loosely structured and results in EM programs that partner out of convenience or who they find first.

These questions can be overwhelming, but there are decisions that will be made shortly in the 911 community, relating to Next Gen 911, that will impact the Emergency Management communities.  And, if the decisions are made without thinking about the whole emergency response cycle from “first report” to “community recovery,” we may find that the haystack of data makes for a particularly messy emergency response system.

There is meaning in the quote “united we stand, divided we fall” ….and, we need to ensure that there is unity of effort at all levels of government before data becomes our dividing force.

Unique Gift Ideas From PrepareDirect

Click here to view the original post.

By Denis Korn

During these uncertain times giving the gift of Peace of Mind this holiday season – or any time – is a noble action.  Here are suggestions from our product site PrepareDirect for your consideration.

All of these recommendations and unique gift ideas are personal favorites and are highly endorsed.

SURVIVAL CUBE – A PrepareDirect exclusive   CLICK HERE  Survival Cube

This collection of vital supplies for emergency and survival preparedness provides a valuable foundation for the necessities required during any emergency. Being properly prepared for the unforeseen delivers real peace of mind. Prepare your kits and provisions for the security and well-being required for you and your family during an emergency.  The contents of this assortment have proven reliability in the field, and are provided by established and trustworthy manufacturers.

All American Sun Oven Prepared Family Christmas Combo
w/Dehydrating & Preparedness Accessory Package and Cloudy Day Cube Stove Kit
  CLICK HERE christmas2014promo2

The new All American SUN OVEN® w/Dehydrating & Preparedness Accessory Package has retained the best qualities of the original Global Sun Oven and added many more user friendly features to create America’s most efficient hassle free solar appliance. Everything you need for cooking, dehydrating, roasting and water purification!  Includes:

  • The All American Sun Oven® Solar Cooker
  • Cloudy Day Cube Stove w/2 Fuel Disks (multi-fuel options)
  • Multi-Level Dehydrating & Baking Rack Set (set of 3 racks w/1 roll parchment paper)
  • Two Easy Stack Pots w/interchangeable enamel and glass lids
  • Two Loaf Pans
  • Multi-Fuel Water Pasteurizing Indicator (WAPI)
  • A totally new computer CD with over 600 SUN OVEN®recipes, solar cooking tips, FAQs, operating instructions, and a video series on how to best use a SUN OVEN® and emergency preparedness tips
  • Includes shipping to the continental US

 

Survival Still Non-Electric Portable Water Distiller Plus Top & Bottom Pot   CLICK HERE steelspout

The Survival Still never needs filters. It’s designed and made in the USA with heavy duty stainless steel and it has no moving parts to break down, which means that if you take care of it, it should last you a very long time. It’s small and compact and is designed to be used in conjunction with standard size pots that you have in your home. The Survival Still is the ultimate emergency drinking water system available today.  This package comes with: A stainless steel Dutch Oven bottom 5 quart pot AND glass lid; A stainless steel 12 quart top Stock Pot AND a stainless steel lid.  Permanently supplies high-purity, sterile drinking water.
• Extremely effective against all types of contaminants.
• Kills and removes bacteria, viruses and parasites.
• Is a permanent solution for purifying sea water.
• Does not need filters, maintenance, infrastructure or a supply chain.
• Distillation is recommended by FEMA and the Red Cross!

FoodBrick Food & Supplies 3.5 Gallon Container   CLICK HERE FoodBrick_10_Pack_9_23_2014_2

FoodBrick Stackable Green Food Storage Container: 3.5 Gallons container holds up to 27 Pounds (264 Adult Servings) of Dry Foods. Made of rugged, high density polyethylene (HDPE). These unique food containers, unlike any other, can hold food and other life essentials while adding value by cross stacking up to 4 feet for maximum efficient storage.  Emergency food shortage is often contained in bulky and awkward storage devices, not ideal for emergency situations.  You need to be able to access your survival food storage quickly, and you need to be able to take it with you if the need arises to move to a safer location. It also must keep your food supply clean; you don’t want the safety of your food compromised. For those looking for an ideal emergency food storage solution, the FoodBrick line of storage containers that are easy to transport and safely store your emergency food supply for years.

C. Crane Observer Wind-up Radio with Solar Panel   CLICK HERE  cc-solar-observer

The Observer is a simple, affordable and compact radio with enhanced reception and audio performance. For emergency use it can be powered in four different ways and can charge many different USB type devices such as cell phones.  The CC Solar Observer is a C. Crane-designed, wind-up and solar emergency radio with AM/FM and Weather Band. They made sure that it has good AM reception and an LED flashlight that is built into the end of the radio. In case you’re wondering, along with good AM reception, you also get FM and the Weather band — which comes in really handy if you’re using the radio during a power failure. The CC Observer has a built-in 2-inch speaker, or you can plug in your headphones for private listening.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

Berkey “Go Berkey Kit” – Gravity Water Purifier – Sport Purifier Bottle – Carrying Case   CLICK HERE                                  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The all new Go Berkey® Kit is the designed for backpacking, hiking, camping, college students, emergency preparedness, world travel (business or vacation), on your desk at work or hundreds of other activities. The generic Sport Berkey® portable water purifier bottle is perfect for when you are out on the trail and the Go Berkey® system works great for passive purification back at the campsite, lodge, etc. The Generic Sport Berkey® portable water purifier bottle can also be used to prime the Black Berkey® Purification Element when water pressure isn’t available. Constructed of highly polished AISI 304 stainless steel the Go Berkey® Kit comes complete with one Black Berkey® Purification Element, one Sport Berkey® portable water purifier bottle and a vinyl carry case This system has a storage capacity of about 1 quart (.95 liters) and when in use it stands 14” in height with a diameter of 4”. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 10” in height. Weighing a mere 2.4 pounds the Go Berkey® Kit is lightweight, easily transportable and perfect for active people on the go.

Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight    CLICK HERE torch250

The most reliable emergency LED light for any situation.  Boasting a powerful, 4,400mAh lithium battery, 250 total lumen output, a 1.5A USB port to charge your gear, as well as a built-in solar panel and hand crank, this multi-function flashlight is the only piece of gear you’ll need in an emergency. Red light for emergencies, and USB port to charge your phone.  There are 3 ways to charge the Torch 250 Flashlight:

The Sun
The Torch 250 Flashlight can be charged by the solar panel located on the back of the light. Or by connecting a compatible solar panel such as the Nomad 7 in about 7-14 hours.

USB
The Torch 250 Flashlight can also be charged by being plugged into a USB power source in about 7 hours.

Hand Crank
The Torch 250 Flashlight can be charged using the hand crank. 1 minute of cranking can generate about 2 minutes of light.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern   CLICK HERE  lighthouse-250standing

Light up any situation with 250 lumens of bright LED light, or use the dimmable, DuaLite™ Directional Lighting feature to extend runtime. Recharge from USB, external solar panel or the included hand crank. The Lighthouse 250 includes a built-in USB port to power small handheld devices to keep you connected to the ones who matter most. The Lighthouse 250 Lantern & USB Power Hub is the only lantern you will need.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Filter and Purifier   CLICK HERE  lifestrawfamily-web-optimized

LifeStraw Family, the award-winning and internationally recognized water filter & purifier, is now available in North America. LifeStraw Family is a point-of-use microbiological water purifier capable of removing viruses, bacteria and protozoa (parasites) to protect against waterborne diseases. It filters up to 18,000 liters of water, enough to supply clean drinking water for a family of five for up to three years.
LifeStraw Family is a large volume water purifier providing up to 4750 gallons or 18000 liters of water, enough to supply a family of five with clean drinking water for up to three years. It’s useful to have at home to purify contaminated tap water in the event of boil water advisories or emergency situations. In a worst-case scenario, you can rely on the LifeStraw Family to purify water from any freshwater source near your home.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

GoSun Sport ProPack – Solar Stove & Accessories   CLICK HERE  propack

GoSun Sport solar cooker is the world’s most practical and efficient solar oven on the market today. GoSun’s parabolic, tubular design works effectively in retaining 80-90% of all sunlight that is caught in its footprint. Cook a meal in less than 20 minutes, using no fuel – only sun.
The GoSun Sport Pro Pack includes everything you get with the GoSun Sport and more! Package includes one GoSun Sport solar cooker (includes cooking tray and cleaning scrubby), plus Padded Carrying Case, an extra Cooking Tray and Serving Spoon/Fork.  The standard package includes a durable borosilicate, evacuated glass tube cooking chamber, two foldable parabolic reflectors that protect the tube like a clamshell, a stainless steel cooking tray with handle for getting food in and out, a rugged cleaning scrubby (attaches to the end of the tray, to double as cleaning tool), and a carrying handle that unfolds to become a set of support legs, which can be used to adjust the tube to face the sun in any position along two axis’.

Goal Zero Lighting Bundle w/Nomad 7 Solar Panel  CLICK HERE   torch250nomad7-new           lighthouse-250standing                                   

A very useful and dependable combination of Goal Zero’s newest hand cranked lights the Torch 250, Lighthouse 250 and a foldable Nomad 7 Solar Panel. 

Get the most reliable emergency LED light for any situation with the Torch 250 Flashlight. Built-in USB charging cable, solar panel and hand crank for bright light anywhere. Red light for emergencies, and USB port to charge your phone.  Boasting a powerful, 4,400mAh lithium battery, 250 total lumen output, a 1.5A USB port to charge your gear, as well as a built-in solar panel and hand crank, this multi-function flashlight is the only piece of gear you’ll need in an emergency.

Light up any situation with 250 lumens of bright LED light, or use the dimmable, DuaLite Directional Lighting feature to extend runtime. Recharge from USB, external solar panel or the included hand crank. The Lighthouse 250 includes a built-in USB port to power small handheld devices to keep you connected to the ones who matter most. The Lighthouse 250 Lantern & USB Power Hub is the only lantern you will need.

The Nomad 7 delivers an ultra-compact yet powerful solar panel that enables you to charge your handheld devices directly from its USB and 12 Volt DC charging ports.

Sampler Pack – AlpineAire Foods Mixed Entrees Case of 12  CLICK HERE       sampler12

An exclusive PrepareDirect offering of a select sampler pack of 12 delicious AlpineAire Foods in convenient foil pouches. Use this selection for sampling some of the nutritious products included in the canned longer term food systems, and/or for discovering the great taste of popular AlpineAire delights.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

  1. Forever Young Mac & Cheese, 7 oz
  2. Leonardo da Fettuccine, 5.5 oz
  3. Mountain Chili, 6 oz
  4. Sante Fe Black Beans & Rice (2), 6.5 oz
  5. Black Bart Chili w/ Beans, 6 oz
  6. Creamy Beef & Noodles w/Mushrooms, 5.5 oz
  7. Southwestern Style Masa w/Beef, 6 oz
  8. Chicken Gumbo, 5.5 oz
  9. Pineapple Orange Chicken, 7 oz
  10. Mesquite BBQ Seasoned Chicken w/Beans & Rice, 7 oz
  11. Pepper Beef w/Rice, 6 oz
  12. Wild Thyme Turkey, 6 oz

The post Unique Gift Ideas From PrepareDirect appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Eating Our Own Dog Food

Click here to view the original post.

dog service trayThis week, Americans have been indulging in the annual food extravaganza known as the national day of Thanksgiving. People have been baking pies, roasting turkeys, and stuffing themselves with stuffing. We took part in the festivities, too, but in the couple of weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day we’ve been eating our own dog food.

Not literally, I’m happy to say.

“Eating your own dog food” is a slang expression that means personally using the same products and practices that you recommend to others. If we don’t do what we encourage others to do, why should anyone?

In our case, we’ve been preparing meals using long-term storage survival food from a one-month kit that we bought from Augason Farms. We don’t want to give you the impression that we’ve been living on survival food exclusively. Far from it. (You can read our introduction to this experiment here.) But we thought it wise to sample a variety of long shelf life food and learn how to cook it and make meals with it before we found ourselves in a situation where we absolutely had to use it to survive.

Going into this experiment, we had a lot of the same questions that anyone would have about food they aren’t familiar with:

  • How is it different from what we normally eat?
  • How does it taste?
  • How easy is it to prepare?
  • Could we really live on a steady diet of this stuff?
  • What would we miss from our regular diet?

The one-month food kit that we were working from is largely a collection of ingredients that you combine to make recipes, rather than pouches or cans of just-add-water freeze dried entrées. We own and have tried some of the ready-made entrées. They’re quick and easy to prepare, and are quite tasty. They’re also relatively expensive, so we gravitated toward the much more affordable ingredients approach. Most of the ingredients are dehydrated, but some were the more expensive freeze dried varieties. Besides, if you buy a freeze dried beef stew entrée, what can you make with it? (This isn’t a trick question.) The answer is “beef stew.” But if you have all the ingredients you need for beef stew, you can use them to make beef stew or many other dishes. Consider Taco Bell. They’ve built a fast-food empire by coming up with different combinations and preparations for about six basic ingredients.

What have we eaten?

The kit from Augason Farms came with a booklet with 54 recipes. There are also recipes on each of the cans. Using the booklet as our guide, we’ve made:

  • Creamy Corn and Potato Chowder
  • Pancakes
  • Chicken Noodle Vegetable Casserole
  • Creamy Wheat Cereal
  • Scrambled Eggs with Bacon Bits
  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • Mashed Potatoes

We should note here that one category of food that is glaringly missing from our list is desserts. We haven’t sampled any of the desserts or drinks yet. The pictures of milkshakes on the box look delicious. How do they taste? We don’t know yet.

How is it different from what we normally eat?

That’s a very personal question and your answer will undoubtedly be different from mine, but my answer is that it’s not drastically different from what I normally eat. Providing familiar foods that people already eat and enjoy is one of the major goals of a long-term storage food vendor. In this regard, Augason Farms was on the money. Dehydrated foods are a part of the dining landscape more than we realize. Grocery stores sell a lot of products that include dehydrated or freeze dried ingredients. The quality of these kinds of products has increased a lot over the years, and these are the same kinds of foods that come in the cans of long shelf life survival foods.

One major difference from my normal diet is that survival food won’t provide large portions of meat, fish, or poultry. No thick, juicy cheeseburger. No platter of fried chicken. No big honking slice of ham. I grew up in an age when kids heard a lot (at least from our parents at the dinner table) about the people starving in China. Real oriental food (not the Americanized stuff we get at carry-out restaurants) traditionally used proteins sparingly to flavor a dish, almost as a condiment. Rice or noodles and veggies were always the bulk of a dish. You’ll need to adopt that kind of mindset when you use your survival food.

How does it taste?

Having said that the foods are familiar and tasty, I’d like to add here that many of them are much higher in sodium than I am accustomed to, especially the soups, which are a staple in the survival menu. That’s bad news for anyone on a reduced-sodium diet. The good news is that the soups are flavorful enough that you can use them as a topping for potatoes, rice, or noodles. This practice will stretch your food budget while cutting back on your salt intake.

Another note on taste is that since you are preparing the recipes, you can modify them to your liking. The first meal that we made was the Creamy Corn and Potato Chowder. It was OK as is, but we had some leftover chicken that we added to it. Adding the little bit of chicken made it less like a soup and more like a meal. The pancakes were fine as is, but we tossed some frozen blueberries into the batter and kicked it up a notch. On another occasion, I made a sauce for baked potatoes by mixing some of the Broccoli Cheese Soup with just enough water to make it a sauce consistency and added some of the TVP Bacon Bits (a vegetarian soy-based bacon replacement) to give it a smoky kick. (Prepper Fun Fact: A little bit of TVP bacon bits goes a very long way. Use them sparingly.)

Of course you can also modify a recipe by leaving out things that you don’t like. Augason Farms’ recipe for Scrambled Egg with Bacon Bits included adding dehydrated chopped onions. We obediently followed the recipe, even though we don’t normally put onions in our eggs. We were open to trying something new, but the result was that the eggs were pretty strongly oniony. I was OK with the novelty of it, but Sandy didn’t like it at all. It wasn’t just the oniony-ness of the eggs, that Sandy didn’t like, though. She found the powdered eggs less than desirable in general. She’ll eat them in an emergency, but she won’t be pulling them out to make a meal when we’re out of eggs.

One of the questions we asked as we ate each meal was “would we serve this to guests?” In many cases the answer was “yes.” The creamy corn and potato chowder or broccoli cheese soup would be totally fine to serve to guests on a “come on over for soup and sandwich” night. Having friends over for breakfast? The pancakes would be fine, as would the creamy wheat cereal. The cereal is especially good with some raisins or other fruit thrown in. Of course, be sure to stock cinnamon because your cereal will come alive with some cinnamon. The biscuits were good, but the texture was a little off. We want to experiment with them a bit more before we serve them to friends.

Having said that, we’re thinking a “Prepper Food Tasting Party” might be a great way to introduce some of our friends to the prepper lifestyle.

How easy is it to prepare?

Most of it is just add water, simmer, and stir. Sandy, who does very little of the cooking in our house because she truly hates it did most of the cooking during our experiment. So I’m seeing a real benefit to adding some prepper food to  our diet on a regular basis!

The Chicken Noodle Vegetable Casserole was more involved. You simmer some ingredients for 20 minutes, then combine others and bake it for 15 minutes. The result was a real casserole-style dish, but for a survival situation it was too energy intensive. I don’t want something that I have to both sauté and bake. Too much heating. One or the other, please. Still, having the capability provides nice variety. Maybe we’ll splurge on energy usage for a special occasion!

Could we really live on a steady diet of this stuff?

It has suitable nutrition and caloric content to sustain life. It tastes OK — sometimes better than just OK. We’ve become spoiled by abundance and variety. Of course we could live on it.

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter full of joy to his friends in the church in Philippi. In it he said, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13, NIV)

Sandy and I have been broke many times in the course of our 36-year marriage. Going broke is a good thing, if you know the secret of being content in any and every situation. It develops an appreciation and a gratefulness for the simplest of pleasures, the most basic of necessities. None of these are guaranteed in life. Entitlements are a man-made fiction. Can we live on a steady diet of long-term storage survival food? It might not be our first choice, but when it becomes our only choice I suspect that we will be quite happy to have it.

What would we miss from our regular diet?

My mother (who would have celebrated her 100th birthday this month if she were still on this earth) grew up dirt poor in the hills of central Tennessee. She told me that her favorite Christmas gift every year was an orange that she would get in her stocking. Not a pony. Not an iPad. Not a trip to Paris. An orange.

In a prolonged period of austerity, there are things that each of us will miss. We each need to give this matter some serious thought and plan accordingly. We might only be able to get fresh fruits and vegetables when they’re in season locally, which is a major change from what we’re accustomed to now. Learning to can and store those items would be helpful. We’ve also mentioned that large portions of meat might become a thing of the past. Those can also be canned. A lot of people store bulk quantities of wheat, but are they also storing baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and all of those other “minor” ingredients that we take for granted?

Sandy and I consider our experiment of “eating our own dog food” to be a success, but only a preliminary success. We’re going to make this an on-going part of our preparations. We will continue to learn to cook with food storage items and practice cooking on camp stoves and rocket stoves and maybe a solar oven. Food preparedness is about more than just hoarding. It’s also about knowing how to use what you’ve stored.

The post Eating Our Own Dog Food appeared first on The Approaching Day Prepper.

Are Fellow Preppers Your Friends? Or Foes?

Click here to view the original post.
Think carefully before revealing your preparations, even to apparently like minded fellow preppers.

Think carefully before revealing your preparations, even to apparently like-minded fellow preppers.

Conventional wisdom maintains that preppers need to group together so as to have better odds of surviving in a future challenging situation.  We don’t disagree, indeed, quite the opposite – we strongly urge you to do exactly that.

At the same time, we also anticipate that should the rule of law and society in general, break down at a future time, then some of the quickly starving and deservedly panicked vast majority of the country are going to have no choice but to come after us and our stocks of food and demand we share with them.  Indeed, a demand that we share our food is probably close to a best case scenario!  Roving gangs of marauding looters who selfishly take all they can carry with them, and senselessly destroy anything they leave behind, is a far grimmer but also realistic future to consider.

Let’s think about the group of people who will pose the greatest threat to us in such a future situation.  They will be people with firearms, some skills, and who know to quickly evacuate the major cities and head out into the countryside.  These people will have the ability to survive at least to the point where they can then start to look at somehow creating a new living environment for the future.  These people – and while we don’t like it, we have to understand the motivation and accept the reality of it – will not hesitate to demand and require us to share what we have with them.  They might even demand we share our shelter as well as our food – they might say ‘there’s plenty of room in your retreat for us to join you’, and that’s assuming they’re as kind as to allow us the option to stay in what was formerly our retreat and share it with them!

Now think some more about the profile of this type of person.  While hopefully the truly lawless members of roving gangs who will gleefully and wantonly rape, pillage and plunder their way through the countryside are not people we come into daily contact with, this other type of person might well be people we already know.

If you think about it, we are describing ‘wanna be’ preppers, aren’t we.  People with a few spare cans of beans, an extra container of gas for their vehicle, some outdoor clothes, a firearm or two, and several boxes of ammunition.

We were guiltily reminded of that, ourselves, when a neighbor was proudly showing us his basement wine cellar.  To get to his wine cellar, we walked through a walled in semi-finished extension of his sub-grade basement, and at the end of it, we went through a door and into the wine cellar.  All the way through this extension, he had built shelving and it was reasonably full of stored food and assorted other things.  A great suburban prepper set-up, enough to get him through a week or two or three of problems – a Level 1, trending towards a Level 2 situation, in other words.

Good for him.

Two thoughts flashed through our mind.  The first was one of delight – ‘Aha!  A fellow prepper.  Wait till we impress him with what we have in our house, next door!’.  Sure, he had us beat when it came to wine collections, but we figured we were far ahead of the game with stored food and other supplies.

The second was a wry naughty thought ‘We’ll know where to go if we run out of supplies ourselves or if they’re not at home WTSHTF’ and accompanied by a subtle scan of what he had, looking also for any evidence of self-defence capabilities.

But then, the mirror image of the second thought hit us, and we realized ‘We have more stuff than him, and if we now show that all to him, he’ll know where to go when he runs out’.

We also realized that if we tell him about what we have, then the next time he proudly shows someone his wine cellar and they say ‘Wow, John, we never knew you had so much food stored down here’ then what will he say?  In a sense of false modesty, he might say ‘Well, if you think that’s a lot, you should see what Dave has next door’.

Not only will he know about our stored supplies, but so too, over time, will any number of other people, unknown to us.

So we held our silence and said nothing.  If things go bad in the future, we can group together with him – or not – on our terms, and in a controllable manner.

The same is even more true if you have a rural retreat.  You probably can’t and don’t want to obscure the fact you have a nice countryside second home, but have it planned so that if (when) you invite friends to come stay with you for a weekend, it looks like a generic regular country home, not a hardened retreat stocked full of supplies of every possible type.

Don’t boast about your ‘off-grid’ capabilities.  Play down how effective your solar cells are, and make them seem like a grid-tied system – ‘Yes, they help a bit, but they’re older generation and don’t make much power, and only do anything in the brightest sunlight anyway, plus the crazy way it is wired up, if the utility’s power goes down, ours goes down too’.  Have your storage rooms locked off and not obviously taking up lots of space.  Talk about how cold it gets in winter because it is poorly insulated.  And so on.

Another thing not to show would be any firearms you have, or perhaps, at least don’t show more than a normal number of firearms and a limited supply of ammunition.  If someone does decide to pay you a ‘surprise visit’ subsequently, it is better they think you are reasonably defenseless, unaware, and easy to surprise and overpower.  That way, they’ll be less stealthy and more overt when they appear on your doorstep.  But if they think you’re fully equipped with firearms and have the skills to use them effectively, they’ll seek to surprise you, or pick you off, one by one, in the fields.

Your plan should be to identify like-minded people who you might wish to invite to join you in the future, and to identify people who have some degree of preparedness.  But think carefully before revealing too much about your own situation any sooner than you must.  In a future chaotic collapse of everything, you just don’t know who your friends will be, and you want to be able to select such people on your terms, not on their terms.

Unless you have people who are equally invested in the success of your retreat, you don’t know what to expect from others.  People with greater capabilities than you might decide they want to grow their supplies by picking off smaller less strong retreats and their inhabitants, and for sure, people with less resource than you will be desperate to beg/borrow/steal whatever they can from wherever they can.

You can only plan on the support of people who are mutually invested in a shared success in the future where what is good for you is good for them and vice versa.  This might be adjacent retreat owners – by grouping together you create a stronger community and a shared regional defense force.  It might be selected friends and family who would have nothing if they weren’t a part of your group – but you always need to be careful, when inviting such people to join with you, that they don’t in turn bring along their friends, who in turn bring their friends, and so on, such that you’re not only overwhelmed with additional guests, but it becomes ‘their’ retreat by simple weight of numbers, rather than yours.

In the case of my neighbor, he’s sadly an unrealistic liberal.  Doesn’t like firearms, and if there’s a problem, he’ll probably not only volunteer to share his food, but will then of course insist that we volunteer to share our food too.  Would he fight to save himself, his family, and his provisions?  Almost certainly not – I can just hear him and his wife proclaiming ‘Nothing is worth sacrificing a human life for’ without realizing that by allowing their provisions to be taken from them, they have just sacrificed their own lives for no good purpose.

So now I know where to go if I run out of wine.  But he doesn’t know where to go when he runs out of food.  That’s the way I like it.

One other quick example.  The people several houses over are very like-minded folks, although they have little stored up as preps.  But WTSHTF, they’ll be the family I turn to for mutual support, not the neighbor with the wine.  The other family has what it takes to survive and win – they’re tough-minded realists who would be prepared to fight to protect themselves and those they are allied with.  But they don’t know we plan to invite them to come join forces with us if we’re somehow stranded in the town rather than able to get to our retreat.  We’ll tell them that if and when it becomes necessary and appropriate, and not before.

Until that time though, we’ve done a few things together – we’ve taken them to a local gun range and helped them with their skills, and we’ve discussed, over a few beers, what would happen if things went wrong.  So we’re laying the groundwork, but not revealing anything that would limit our options.

You should do the same.

The post Are Fellow Preppers Your Friends? Or Foes? appeared first on Code Green Prep.

Versatile Off Grid Room

Click here to view the original post.

Have you ever considered which room in your home would make the best Off Grid Room in an emergency?  After reading Fernando Aguirre’s book, The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse, I began looking at my living space with a new perspective.  The book is based… Read More

The post Versatile Off Grid Room appeared first on Preppers Survive.

The Ultimate High Power Rechargeable Prepper Light

Click here to view the original post.

Snapshot 1 (11-27-2014 9-50 PM)

Preppers should take advantage of technology. One example is in the lighting arena. LED’s are constantly being improved to the point that some flashlights put out 10 times what an incandescent bulb does and runs longer as well.

Right up there with the big one’s; Water, Food, Shelter is lighting. People neglect this incredibly important prep, and if the SHTF, there will be a lot of preppers (and citizens) that will regret not having enough light.

I have dozens of LED flashlight and each new one is usually an improvement so I am hard to impress. Color me impressed, Ryobi just put a 20 Watt hybrid super bright LED lantern on the market and it is a preppers dream. This beast is a retina searing, high output rechargeable flood lamp that looks like stadium lighting.  Check it out  HERE

Preparedness Holiday Gift Guide to Stuff You Actually NEED

Click here to view the original post.

Preparedness & Survival Holiday Gift Guide

Let me help you out!

Are you tired of lame gifts each year, or do you struggle with what to give? Anyways, I’ve got you covered.

I’ve rounded up 30 of the most popular emergency preparedness & survival items that people can’t live without and compiled them together for you. All you need to do now is email this list to your mother-in-law, or tape it to your husbands computer and you’re set – well almost!

Preparedness Resources


BOOKS & RESOURCES:


food-storage-made-easy-2Food Storage Made Easy Binder 

This is the very first binder I bought when I decided to start taking food storage seriously! They’ve since made it even better and have turned it into a 3 PART FOOD STORAGE PROGRAM containing – Babysteps Checklists, Food Storage Made Easy Encyclopedia, and a Recipe Appendix. 50% OFF until 12/1

sensible-food-storage-wendy-dewittSensible Food Storage: Storing the Foods You Love to Eat

Wendy DeWitt’s video changed the way I viewed food storage entirely! She doesn’t waste time with excuses, but shows you EXACTLY how to be prepared! After watching her presentation, I was finally able to create a plan for my family and stick to it.

the-practical-prepper-kylene-jonathan-jonesA Common Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies

This book is just what it says it is! It outlines each step of emergency preparedness covering everything from cooking in a crisis, to home security and protection, to emergency water disinfection. Read my full review here.

at-home-canning-kendraAt Home Canning for Beginners

*Use Code for $5 off: LEARN2CAN*
I was scared for my life when I canned for the first time – but it doesn’t need to be that way. Kendra walks you step-by-step through the canning process so you’ll be confident and ready for whenever you take on that big scary canner 😉

food-storage-for-self-sufficiency-and-survivalFood Storage for Self-Sufficiency

This book covers pretty much everything you need to know about food storage! It goes into detail about food storage options, planning methods, using your food storage (before it goes to waste), water storage, canning & preserving, and so much more! Read my full Review here.

Water Filters and Storage


WATER FILTERS & STORAGE:


lifestraw-personal-water-filterLifeStraw Personal Water Filter

I recently bought one of these for each of our Emergency Bags. You can only carry so much water when you’re on the go and these make it possible to drink water from other sources. It removes 99.9% of waterborne bacteria & parasites, and filters up to 1000 liters.

*If you have more $$$ to spend, check out the Katadyn Pocket Filter – it can filter up to 13,000 gallons!

jerrycan-water-filterJerryCan by LIFESAVER Systems

This is actually on my wish list. All my friends (at least the prepared ones), have been purchasing these. It can hold up to 5 gallons so you can take the water with you, and the best part is it can filter up to 20,000 liters (which is enough water to sustain a family of 4 for nearly a year)!

big-berkeyBig Berkey Water Filter

The Berkey system is ideal for everyday use, especially where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available. The Big Berky can purify 3.5 gallons per hour and hold up to 2.25 gallons. You can also exchange the filters so it will last a lifetime.

water-brickWaterBricks – Stackable Water Container

These are a great option for small spaces! It holds 3.5 gallons which is small enough to carry, place in the refrigerator, or even put under the bed.  You can also stack and interlock them up to 4 feet high, making them versatile too!

260-sure-water-tank260 Gallon SureWater Tank 

If you have room & money for something like this – get it! It’s the cheapest one I could find that held a LOT of water, was simple to use, opaque, and took up the same amount of space that my 55 gallon tank did (but holds 5 times more water)!

I went ahead and purchased a Drinksafe Hose to reduce the bacteria when filling the tank. Also, if you use a Water Treatment Kit it eliminates the need to rotate the water for 5+ years – definitely beats changing it out every 6 months!

*There is also the 525 Gallon SureWater Tank for the extra thirsty & prepared 😉

Preserving Food Storage


PRESERVING FOOD STORAGE:


foodsaver-vacuum-sealerVacuum Sealing System

This is great for long-term storage of meats and fish in the freezer, but my favorite way to use it is to vacuum-seal items with higher sugar and fat content (chocolate chips, nuts, chips, etc.). You’ll need to make sure you have either the Wide-Mouth Jar Sealer or Regular-Mouth Jar Sealer to fit your jars.

using food stored in bucketsBuckets & Mylar Bags

One of the cheapest ways to preserve your dry goods long-term is to put them into buckets! What you need is a bucket, mylar bag to fit inside, oxygen absorber, and if you’re really fancy a hand-held sealer (love mine & so does everyone else)!

water-bath-cannerWater Bath Canner

A Water Bath Canner is a great way to preserve all your fresh fruits and vegetables at home.  My family gets really excited when I use it to make jam or can peaches. Here are some essential canning tools you’ll need & these JarBoxes help keep your jars from breaking.

all-american-pressure-cannerAll American 921 Pressure Canner

If you ever plan on preserving chicken, beef, or other meats (which I highly recommend) you’ll need a pressure canner! This one even fits on my Camp Chef Stove if I want to cook outside, or if if I’m ever without electricity!

bosch-meat-grinderBosch Mixer with Attachments

Whatever you do, don’t get a KitchenAid (unless all you care about is looks 🙂 You want the stronger motor that the Bosch offers so it can handle more than one batch of cookies. The Bosch will not only mix a quadruple batch of bread dough at one time, but it can also convert into a meat grinder, a sausage stuffer, and so much more!

Ideas for Surviving Without Electricity


WHEN THE POWER IS OUT:


manual-hand-washing-machineLaundry – Manual Hand Washing Machine

I got one of these for my birthday – Yes! You heard that right! I’m a dork 😉 It’s something I’ve been wanting in case the power goes out. It can also come in handy if you actually attempt to do laundry on your camping, fishing, or hunting expeditions.

emergency-toilet-seatToilet Seat Cover on 5 Gallon Bucket

Now this I really never want to use, but it would definitely come in handy if you ever needed a back-up toilet. You can use the bucket the toilet seat goes on to store some extra hygiene supplies too – toilet paper, trash bags, poo-wipes, hand sanitizer, menstrual cup, etc.

hand-grain-mill-wheat-grinderHand Operated Grain Meal (Wheat Grinder)

If you have wheat stored, then you better have one of these stored too. Ok, you don’t have to, but it will be a life-saver if the power ever goes out. You’ll still be able grind your wheat and eat something besides wheat berries 😉

bosch-mixer-hand-crankHand Crank for Bosch Mixers

I can’t knead dough to save my life, so for me this was a MUST! The hand crank allows me to easily finish kneading my dough even if there is a power failure. A lot of appliances offer powerless options, so look into the ones that you use on a regular basis and consider getting a back-up.

duro-max-gas-generatorGenerator & Pri-G Fuel Extender

And when all else fails, plug it in to a generator 😉 Generators can be wonderful, but they’re also usually expensive, noisy, and not a long-term solution – so plan accordingly. If you do have one make sure to have extra fuel that is treated with a fuel stabilizer so it can last indefinitely and help keep your generator running smoothly.

Alternative Cooking Methods


ALTERNATIVE COOKING:


IMG_9778The Rocket Stove

My favorite powerless cooking method by far! The rocket stove can cook an entire meal using only a handful of twigs! You can make it for practically free using only a few cans, or buy one of the cool designs that are already made.

wonder-ovenWonder Oven

This is like a crock-pot, but without the cord. It can keep Hot things Hot, or Cold things Cold. To cook with it you bring your food to a boil then snuggle the pot into the center. Your food will continue cooking until it’s done! There are patterns to make one, or you can cheat like me and just buy one!

global-sun-ovenSun Oven

All you need to be able to cook in the Sun Oven is – yep – the SUN! It doesn’t matter what the weather is outside as long as the sun is shining. On cloudy days you’ll have to find another alternative, but otherwise this should do it’s job!

4-2-HERC-Oven-300x213HERC – Powered  by Tealight Candles

This is one of the few alternative cooking methods you can use indoors. All you need is 10-20 tealight candles depending on the size oven you have. The design is absolutely ingenious – you’ll be amazed at everything you can cook with it!

volcano-collapsible-stoveVolcano Collapsible Cook Stove

The Volcano wins the most versatile award! You can grill, stack-up to 5 Dutch ovens, bake bread, cook with your Wok, or even roast marshmallows with it! Not only that, but it can cook with either propane, charcoal, or wood. Pretty amazing – I don’t think there is anything it can’t do!

Favorite Preparedness & Survival Stores


FOOD STORAGE & SURVIVAL STORES:


Nearly all these stores are going to have some amazing Black Friday Sales going on – so be sure to check them out when they go live!

emergency-essentialsEmergency Essentials

Emergency Essentials has practically everything you need to be prepared – from food storage to survival and everything in between!

 

lds-cannery-labelsLDS Home Storage Centers

The Home Storage Centers have a lot of the basics for getting started with food storage for great prices. They’ve updated their policies, but still offer most of the food in #10 cans.

 

shelf-reliance-under-the-bed-food-storageThrive Life

Thrive has quality freeze-dried foods that can last 30 years and sometimes longer. They also have the very popular food rotation systems (this one is my favorite) that works wonders in keeping everything organized!

 

Zaycon Foods

Zaycon offers quality Chicken, Beef, Seafood and much more in BULK at LOW prices. Read more about what I do with the meat HERE.

 

amazon

Amazon

And for everything else, there’s Amazon! You can find almost anything on Amazon and often times for the best price!

Preparedness & Survival Holiday Gift Guide

(CONTEST CLOSED) – Congrats to our Winner – Comment #6!!!

amazon-winner

Have a Very Happy Thanksgiving!

The post Preparedness Holiday Gift Guide to Stuff You Actually NEED appeared first on Prepared Housewives.

11 Skills You Need When Forming a Survival Team

Click here to view the original post.

While it is always a good idea to learn as much about survival as you can, trying to survive solo is a much bigger challenge than trying to survive as part of a survival team. Surviving solo not only depends on you having all the necessary survival skills necessary to do everything on your own, but that you actually do it.Team Concept

This puts the burden of a lot of different tasks on you as an individual.

The survival team greatly increases your chances of survival by sharing the tasks necessary for survival. It also provides you with a larger self-defense force if you are attacked. With a number of people working together, you gain the advantages of synergy, making your work more effective and if something should happen to one member of the group, there are others to care for them until they are better.

There is no ideal size for a survival team, as each situation is different. The mix of skills and personalities is much more important than sheer numbers. You can actually have the right mix of skills in a very small team, which might make it easier for everyone in the team to be in agreement and work together.

So, what skills would be needed in the team?

  • Leadership – Every team needs a leader and even a second-in-command. While there are several different leadership models which can be used, servant leadership would be better than a militaristic authoritarian leadership creating a friendlier, cooperative environment.
  • Medical – Survival offers many opportunities to become injured, more than to become ill. The team needs someone with the necessary medical training to care for those members of the team.
  • Survival skills – While everyone in the team should know basic survival skills, there should be one team member who is a true expert. This will be the person who will direct the efforts of the team in purely survival related tasks, as well as training the other team members.
  • Hunter – At least one and preferably two team members should be experienced hunters. I’m not talking about the type of hunter that puts feed corn out there as bait and waits for the deer to arrive, but those that know how to go out and find the animals.
  • Gardener – A vegetable garden will probably be a major part of your survival strategy. At least one team member needs to have a truly green thumb and be able to instruct others in how to work in the garden.
  • Animal husbandry – If you are going to raise any domesticated animals for food or labor as part of your survival strategy, you need at least one person who knows how to care for those animals.
  • Communications – You’ll need to know how to communicate with each other, as well as reach out to the rest of the world to find out what’s going on. Someone with more communications experience than using a cell phone can be very useful. A ham radio operator would be even better.
  • Engineer/Repair man – Things break and you’ll need to repair them. You’ll also need to be able to make things that you don’t have. A good jack of all trades, who can repair just about anything will be worth their weight in gold.
  • Child care/Teaching – At least some of your team members will have children, who will need to be taken care of and educated.
  • Defensive coordinator – Someone needs some military experience, preferably in the infantry or special forces, so that they can be your military commander and coordinate your defensive efforts.
  • Wise counselor – While this may not seem to be a survival skill, it is probably the most important skill on this list. As long as people are working or living together, there will be conflict. It is this counselor’s job to keep everyone on an even keel and help them to work through emotional difficulties and conflicts.

Each of these specialists will be the main person responsible for taking care of that area. Of course, others will have to take part as well. Some tasks, such as defense and gardening will probably require the effort of the whole survival team.

Team members can fulfill more than one of those rolls. However, if the burden requires more time than there are hours available, they should have an assistant. Assistants are a good idea anyway, as it provides an excellent opportunity for training other team members, helping to ensure that the skills are never lost from the survival team.

The other big problem in forming a survival team is ensuring that everyone in team can get along together and work together. Friction within the team can’t be allowed, as it affects everyone. Finding team members who can work and live together, without conflict, is probably the hardest part of putting a survival team together. A couple of pointers which can help with this:

  • It is always easier to work with people who are forgiving and mellow, rather than those who insist on being right and having things their own way.
  • All team members should be “like minded” in the most important areas that affect your groups survival. On areas of disagreement, they should be people who can discuss their differences and agree to disagree if they can’t reach agreement.
  • It can help to have people of like faith, as many of the biggest arguments in history have been over differences of faith.
  • Everyone needs to have a good work ethic. The fastest route to strife is to have people who aren’t pulling their own weight.
  • People are usually either givers or takers. Those who are takers can cause a lot of jealousy and resentment in the team. Avoid them as much as possible.

As long as you are working with people, there are no guarantees. Everyone has to be committed to the team and be willing to work together to make sure that everything works out to the group’s mutual benefit. This is literally going to be a voluntary socialist living experiment and so every needs to understand that they are making a commitment to do everything they can for the team’s benefit, not their own.

While this is a survival team, it can be extremely helpful to work together on projects, as well as socializing together, before any survival need. That will give the group the opportunity to learn of each other’s strengths and how to work together.

 

Interview with Glen Tate: Author of 299 Days Books

Click here to view the original post.

Today I’m joined by 299 Days book series author Glen Tate, for a power hour (almost) of goodness. Or, if you just want to skim some of the high moments, you can skip through this playlist: For those of you who aren’t familiar with Glen or the series, there are a handful of really cool […]

The post Interview with Glen Tate: Author of 299 Days Books appeared first on THE DAILY PREP.

Preventing The Apocalypse: Experts Plan Asteroid Early Warning System

Click here to view the original post.

The threat of an asteroid colliding with Earth is a real danger, as indicated by a large fireball and explosion over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in early 2013. An early warning asteroid strategies report has been released. The report has been released as a public document following a workshop hosted by Secure World Foundation in September. However, […]

Safety Tips For Cooking a Holiday Turkey — Gobble Gobble!

Click here to view the original post.

Post image for Safety Tips For Cooking a Holiday Turkey — Gobble Gobble!

No Gravatar

Don’t you love Thanksgiving and Christmas?

No other time of the year brings with it the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of the holidays.

But be aware, there is Turkey danger lurking. Over the Thanksgiving holiday turkey fires are “twice as likely to happen” than on any other day of the year.

Christmas will be a close second. We love to abuse our Turkeys! We love to grill it, smoke it, fry it, bake it, stuff it, and do just about every kind of “it” to it there is. The new trend in deep frying our Turkeys has brought with it new fire dangers.

Although most of us have the commonsense to avoid careless mistakes, we are distracted this time of year. We forget to prepare and get the information we need to safely abuse our Turkeys.

Safety Tips For Cooking a Holiday Turkey — Gobble Gobble!

1) Clean Your Oven Before the Big Day — dried on cooking oil, grime and other food particles are fuel for a oven fire. Take a day or two before major cooking to put your oven on the “self clean” mode to burn off leftover grease or do a overnight clean.

2) Never Put Water on an Oven Fire — if one should spark, close the oven, turn it off and get your fire extinguisher which should be in the kitchen.

3.) Don’t Leave Your Bird Unattended — most of us want to pack in as much as possible, so leaving the bird cooking may seem like no big deal and even smart time management. But take no chances, make sure an adult is present and that they know how to shut the oven off and to locate and use a fire extinguisher.

The best place to keep one is near or in your kitchen since most fires occur there. If you are not familiar on how to use a fire extinguisher, check out this helpful guide P.A.S.S. reminder.

Pull Pin. Aim at base of fire . Squeeze handle. Sweep side to side.

4.) Make Sure Your Pans Properly Fit — We’ve all cooked with pans that don’t fit properly. Avoid grease drippings by using large enough pans to hold excess fluid and oil. This makes a difference.

5.) Deep Frying Requires EXTRA Care –If you must deep fry your Turkey, then keep in mind it is dangerous.

People have severely burned their children, themselves, their home and yes, charred and blown up the Thanksgiving and Christmas Turkey all in hopes of getting a taste of that deep fried goodness. Yes, Turkeys can blow up!

Experts claim that alcohol, frying an unthawed Turkey, oil spillage and placing a hot fryer on a wooden deck are the biggest no no’s for safety. Keep it simple and remember to READ and FOLLOW the cooking directions!

FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS: BLOG SKILL SERIES: Jam Knot

Click here to view the original post.

Remember these cool shelters that Joe, Opie, Zach and I built in the river valley?

shelter-circle

One very important part of building this shelter is the bed frame similar to what I’ve shown below. 3-4″ diameter logs are stacked log cabin style to build a frame that can contain bedding materials (leaves/boughs/branches/grass,etc) and help brace the arch-style roof.  The logs are lashed together using the JAM KNOT.  I love this knot and it’s one of the most useful outdoor knots I know and I’d like to use this opportunity to teach it to you.

bed-frame

I’ve never been a big fan of teaching knots with the written word or photos so I’ve filmed a short video where I describe how to tie it step-by-step.  Below is the embedded video and here is the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQxPvWTT3PM

It’s such a simple knot to use and works perfect for bed frames to contain loose natural insulation.

creek-stewart-bug-out-book

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

SWISS CHEESE CHICKEN: A Must-Have Meal for Your Freezer & Food Storage!

Click here to view the original post.

Swiss Cheese Chicken Freezer & Food Storage Meal

Wow! It’s been way too long since I’ve shared a recipe! You probably think I never cook (and depending on who you asked, you might be right 😉

I may not have time to make a gourmet meal every night (or ever), but I can always whip up this Swiss Cheese Chicken in no time flat! I thought this meal was great for Thanksgiving too since it uses Stuffing Mix, and even more importantly leaves you plenty of time to shop those Black Friday Sales!

You’ll notice below that along with showing you how to turn this into a freezer meal, I’ll also show you how to incorporate it into your food storage plan – because after you make it once, you won’t ever want to go without!

Cooked Swiss Cheese Chicken

I’m a part of a freezer meal group in my area, and they’re probably ready to kick me out because I bring this meal to exchange all the time – but it’s just soooo good I can’t help myself.

I feel like I’m cheating a little, because it’s almost too easy to make! This week we held our exchange and I made 8 of these meals in less than 30 minutes (yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s cheating)!

Swiss Cheese Chicken is also one of those meals that’s great to take to new moms or picky eaters, because it doesn’t have any of the common “I HATE THESE” ingredients in it – like mushrooms, onions, sour cream, or anything green (the things my kids complain about most). But don’t let me stop you from throwing broccoli in or anything else that makes you feel healthy!

All right, let’s get cooking…

Swiss Cheese Chicken

This meal consists of just layering ingredients! If you have a few kids hanging around, have them join in and form an assembly line! You’ll be done in no time!

Layer Ingredients:

  • Cover bottom of pan with Chicken. You can leave the breasts whole, or cut as small as you like. You can even make this with about 2lbs of canned chicken  – it’s not as scary as it seems 😉
  • Layer 6 slices of Swiss Cheese on top of the chicken (I actually tried out Pepper Jack this time, so feel free to mix it up too)!
  • Mix the Cream of Chicken with 1/4 cup of Milk – You can also add more milk to have more of a sauce, whatever you prefer.
  • Pour the Cream of Chicken Mixture over the Cheese.
  • Sprinkle Stove Top Stuffing Mix over the top!
  • Drizzle 1/4 cup melted Butter over the Stuffing mix!

Step by Step Swiss Cheese Chicken

That’s it! Now you throw it (or place it gently) in the oven and bake it uncovered at 350 for 45-60 minutes (or until the meat is cooked through).

Bake the Swiss Cheese Chicken

Once it’s done cooking, serve over rice and eat until your tummy’s happy!

Make it a Freezer Meal:

If you want to turn this into a freezer meal or be a super-mom and give it to someone, make sure to STOP after you put the cream of chicken mixture on top. You don’t want to put the Stove Top Stuffing Mix on or it will get nice and soggy while it sits in the freezer.

If you’re an over-achiever make sure to add some rice to the meal with the directions on it 😉 Nothings more annoying then making a meal and realizing you’re missing a key ingredient.

You could also substitute the rice for noodles, or even omit it completely.

Make it a Freezer MealQuick Tip: If you make freezer meals a lot, I love these disposable pans & lids! They stack great in the freezer, are the perfect size, and look great too!

The ones I use are:

  • 4 Pound Aluminum Oblong Pan – 11.5″ x 7.5″ x 1.5″
  • 4 Pound Foil Board Lid – You can’t forget the Lid, that’s what makes them stackable (and of course pretty)!

P.S. Please ignore the fact that my freezer needs a major defrosting party (unless you’re volunteering)! 

Organized Freezer Meals

Don’t forget to attach the cooking directions so others can make Swiss Cheese Chicken too!

Or even better, print off the recipe below and tape it to the pan – otherwise they will be hunting you down for it 😉  – That’s what I had to do to get this recipe in the first place!

This post was originally shared on Or So She Says

Swiss Cheese Chicken
 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 Chicken Breasts (or enough to fill pan)
  • 6 Slices Swiss Cheese
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Stove Top Turkey Stuffing (about ½ box)
  • ¼ c butter

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Cover bottom of pan with chicken.
  2. Lay Swiss Cheese over chicken.
  3. Mix 1 can cream of chicken soup and ¼ cup milk.
  4. Pour mixture over chicken.
  5. Top with ½ bag (or more) of Stove Top Turkey Stuffing.
  6. Drizzle ¼ cup butter on top.
  7. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.
  8. Serve over rice.

NOTES:
FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS – After pouring cream of chicken mixture over chicken go ahead and freeze. When you are ready to cook it, pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge (preferable overnight). Then complete the rest of the instructions (top with stuffing/butter & bake).

3.2.2802

Make it a Food Storage Meal:

With a few minor adjustments, you can incorporate nearly any recipe into your long-term food storage plan. Here are some suggestions to make sure you can eat Swiss Cheese Chicken all year long 😉

First, know the shelf-life of the ingredients you are storing, or ways to extend it. My rule of thumb is I look for alternative options for anything that won’t last me at least 3 years.

Second, figure out which option or method you will use to store your food. It doesn’t have to be just one either, you can combine a few different options depending on how often you are rotating through your food.

Swiss Cheese Chicken Ingredients

Ingredient Options With Longer Shelf-Life:

  • BUTTER
    • Once again you can freeze butter (at least I do).
    • Use a Butter Powder (3 year shelf-life)
    • Or Get Canned Butter (2+ year shelf-life)

Baked Swiss Cheese Chicken

How to Calculate a Year Supply of Ingredients
for Swiss Cheese Chicken:

Now that you know what ingredients you want to use, it’s time to figure out how much you need of each!

Depending on the amount of mouths you are feeding and how often you want to eat a particular meal, be sure to customize the amounts to your family’s needs and tastes!

I don’t want to eat the same meal more than once a month, so I get enough ingredients to make each meal 12 times, but you could do more or less – totally up to you!

A Year Supply of Ingredients for
Swiss Cheese Chicken
Ingredient &
How it’s Stored:
Shelf-Life: 1 Meal 12 Meals 24 Meals
Chicken
(canned chicken)
3+ Years 2 lbs 24 lbs
(24 pint jars)
48 lbs
(48 pint jars)
Freeze-Dried Cheese
(FD #10 cans)
20 Years 2 cups 24 cups
(3 #10 cans)
48 cups
(5 #10 cans)
Cream of Chicken
(cans)
3 Years 1 can 12 cans 24 cans
Milk
(powdered milk)
25 Years 1 Tbsp 12 Tbsp 24 Tbsp
Stuffing Mix
(boxes)
3 Years 1/2 box 6 boxes 12 boxes
Butter
(canned butter)
3 Years 1/4 cup 3 cups
(3 cans)
6 cups
(6 cans)
Rice
(#10 cans)
30 Years 2 cups 24 cups
(2 #10 cans)
48 cups
(4 #10 cans)

Once your list is finished all you have left now to do is go shopping!

Swiss Cheese Chicken Food Storage MealAre there any meals you have in your food storage that you love?

P.S. Want other simple and easy meals like Swiss Cheese Chicken? Those are the only kind I know how to make 😉 Feel free to check-out my FAVORITE RECIPES  –  the best part is most of them can be made from ingredients already in your pantry! 

The post SWISS CHEESE CHICKEN: A Must-Have Meal for Your Freezer & Food Storage! appeared first on Prepared Housewives.

Just Finished Your “2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Preppers”

Click here to view the original post.

Are you guys gift shopping for a prepper this Holiday season? I just finished putting together a pretty sweet holiday guide for the 2014 season. This year it focuses mostly on the funny, “gag” gifts for preppers, but towards the end of the guide, I give you guys a handful of REALLY legit ideas for […]

The post Just Finished Your “2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Preppers” appeared first on THE DAILY PREP.

Bugging Out or Bugging In – What You Need To Realize

Click here to view the original post.

There’s a lot of talk today about bugging out in the event of a crisis. It seems like everyone and his brother has a bug out bag and is making plans to head for the hills at the first sign of trouble… at least, it seems that way within the prepping community; I’m not so sure about the rest of the world.d0637dc8-ac9f-4f4e-9b52-b1d0484cc85e

There are times when it might become necessary to bug out of your home; especially if confronted by a natural disaster or severe violence. But that doesn’t mean that any and every disaster requires bugging out. In fact, I’d venture to say there are actually very few circumstances in which you’d be better off bugging out, rather than bugging in.

Let me explain.

Why Not Bug Out?

We have to start by realizing that there are different types of bug outs:

  • Bugging out in a general evacuation – This generally means bugging out to a government shelter; not a great idea.
  • Bugging out to a prepared survival retreat – This is the ideal; the proverbial “cabin in the woods.” Unfortunately, few can afford it.
  • Bugging out to a rural location – This would require some preparation, scouting and preparing a location, but wouldn’t be as costly as a survival retreat.
  • Bugging out into the wild – Let’s play mountain man and live off the land… if we can.

If you’re one of those small minority of preppers who has the money to build yourself a prepared survival retreat, then more power to you. You have what the rest of us dream for, someplace where you can be secure. In that case, I’d take just about any excuse to bug out, just to get away from the city and enjoy my cabin in the woods.

But those aren’t the people I’m really talking to. I’m talking to the rest of us; those who can’t afford that bug out retreat but are still contemplating bugging out. For us, there isn’t a stockpile of supplies waiting in our cabin. In fact, the only supplies we are likely to have are those we can carry on our backs. That’s not as attractive a picture.

You see, no matter how big or strong you are, you really can’t carry that many supplies on your back. So, you’re going to run out of food rather quickly, leaving you with the problem of feeding yourself from nature; not something that’s all that easy to do.

Many people think they’re going to take their car or truck on their bug out. I’m sure they will; but that doesn’t mean they’ll get all the way to their bug out location in that vehicle. There’s a good chance that the roads will turn into a parking lot, from all the people who don’t have their gas tanks full and their car’s properly maintained. In a general evacuation, you’re probably going to end up stuck in traffic. If that happens, your choices are to sit there and run out of gas, or head out on foot.

Why Stay Home?

Let’s take a look at the flip side of the coin; a disaster happens and you decide to stay home, rather than bugging out into the wild. What happens then?

First of all, by staying home, you have access to just about everything you own.

You have shelter, tools and whatever supplies you have stockpiled in your home. In other words, while it may not be perfect, you have a survival retreat right there in your home.

Your chances of survival will be much greater, surrounded by your home, tools, equipment and supplies, than they will be just about anywhere else. So, unless you really have to bug out, you’re probably a whole lot better off staying home and bugging in.

There’s another major advantage of staying home, as well.

That’s the advantage of emotional comfort. Dealing with a disaster is bad enough, without being uprooted from your home. Being able to weather the storm from the comfort of your own home is much easier, emotionally speaking, than being thrust into a new situation and a new location all at once. Your family will have an easier time staying home than bugging out.

Of course, there are some times when you absolutely have to bug out. When Hurricane Katrina was heading for New Orleans, there really wasn’t any other choice. Those who tried bugging in ended up being rescued from the rooftops, or ended up dying in the storm. You’ve got to know when it’s time to go.

So, if you’re going to bug in, then you need to make the appropriate plans for it and make sure your home is as ready as possible for it. Build your stockpile, find a way to get water and put in some alternative electrical power. At the same time, build your bug out bags, make your plans and be ready to go, if the circumstances warrant it.

Whichever situation you find yourself in it’s important that you have enough food and water available to keep your family.

Click here to download my book – “Survive The Food Crisis” now.

Household Disaster Kits

Click here to view the original post.

Use this list to easily pack household disaster kits and elminate some of the weight of your B.O.B. Store bulky items inside a large, portable, watertight container in a safe, accessible location.

MOST Americans NOT Prepared for a Disaster — Here Come the Zombies

Click here to view the original post.

No Gravatar

Why do Americans continue living under a cloud of a false sense of security.

According to newsday, American’s continue to believe that preparing for a disaster is worth their time.

I want to come at it from another perspective. It is from that of a safety worker. If you area firemen, medical professional, police officer, volunteer worker or other worker trained to support a community in times of a disaster, you are at risk of those of us who simply ignore the warnings.

 

http://www.newsday.com/news/health/many-americans-not-prepared-for-disasters-poll-1.3850888

Survival Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide

Click here to view the original post.

No Gravatar

Hydrogen peroxide can be a great tool in your emergency pack. It has hundreds of uses that can help you clean and disinfect along with dozens of medical uses.

It is a very overlooked, underused, ignored and bypassed home remedy that gets modest attention next to the hype of overpriced survival products we think are somehow better.

Not true. I am all into all kinds of simple and Hydrogen peroxide is that “simple” I love. My favorite use is to gargle every night with it for sterile breath, whiter teeth and the ability to kill millions of troublesome bacteria that wreck havoc on your health. Your mouth is a superhighway of health and Hydrogen peroxide is a match made in heaven for the mouth. The sweet, over colored mouth wash does little to truly heal your mouth and health other than make you believe you have done something good when all you have done is spend too much. For pennies on the dollar you can improve your health and smile.

What Exactly is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide has the chemical property

H2O2

It is a strong oxidizer and is often used as a bleach or cleaning agent. You can also use it to whiten clothes, fight infections, make your own toothpaste, etc. My favorite is use is as a mouthwash. It won’t leave your mouth “minty” fresh but it will kill bacteria, bad breath and help whiten your teeth. And, did I mention it costs considerable less than mouthwash.

Check out these ideas below on how you can use hydrogen peroxide for multiple purposes around your home.

Purchasing Hydrogen Peroxide
When you’re purchasing hydrogen peroxide, you have a few different options. Hydrogen peroxide comes in a few different grades, the most common being 3.5% Pharmaceutical grade. This is sold in your local drug stores and supermarket and should not be ingested.

6% grade is used in beauty shops to color hair and shouldn’t be used internally. Higher grades like 30-32% are used to clean electronics and cars.

35% grade is the only grade that is approved for internal use. It’s used in the production of eggs, cheese and other food items.

The only other grade higher than 35% is 90% and is used as an oxygen source for rocket fuel! Ya, don’t eat that either.

Remember that using items over again and finding multiple uses is a great way to save money and help you become more self-reliant and self-sufficient.

Whiten Clothes
Add a cup of peroxide to your laundry as they wash. It gets rid of stains in clothes and carpet. Just pour directly onto the spot, let it sit for a few minutes and then rub and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.

Foot Fungus
Have a nasty itch on your feet? Hydrogen peroxide can help. Simply spray a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on them every night and let dry.

Infected Cuts
Soak the cut in a mixture of 3-5% hydrogen peroxide for five to 10 minutes several times a day. People have reported that soaking their wounds in hydrogen peroxide has healed gangrene, boils, and skin infections.

Sinus Infections
A tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide added to 1 cup of water (non-chlorinated) can be used as a nasal spray. For more severe sinus infections, increase the amount of hydrogen peroxide in the mixture.

Toothpaste & Mouth Care
Hydrogen peroxide is a great tool for mouth care. You can use it to create mouthwashes, relieve toothaches and make your own toothpaste. Start with a bit of baking soda and slowly add hydrogen peroxide until it creates a paste. Hydrogen peroxide is antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal, so it makes a very efficient toothpaste. However, some people have reported that the hydrogen peroxide reacts with amalgam fillings in their mouth, so be careful.

Food Cleaner
Some people add ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide to a full sink of cold water and allow their vegetables to soak and clean before preparation. You can also rinse your meat off before cooking.

Clean Mold
Use a hydrogen peroxide spray to wipe up mold in the fridge or in your house so that it doesn’t spread. Since hydrogen peroxide is anti-fungal and antibacterial, it should stop the mold in its tracks!

Disaster Tip of the Week: Self Cleaning Oven Fumes Make You Sick

Click here to view the original post.

No Gravatar

It was a productive morning and starting my oven on “self clean” seemed important as I noticed grease building on the  bottom.

Eager to get least favorite job done while the kids were at school. Our household cooks a lot and with Christmas behind us it was time for some early spring cleaning.

I wanted also wanted to practice what I preach and do the necessary things to keep my family safe.

My recent article also spoke of the dangers of leaving grease on the bottom of the oven while cooking. I had accumulated a significant puddle of grease from all of the Christmas dinners and festivies.

Eager to catch up on my blog, facebook and emails, I knew it was important to always keep doors and windows open and the home well ventilated while working.

However, I truly started to feel ill even though I took precaution. My head was starting to hurt and I was concerned about our pet. It wasn’t too much longer before the end of the clean cycle that I decided to leave.

This got me wondering. I had heard somewhere that bird, pets and even people can get sick from the toxic fumes coming from the teflon material within the oven.

After a bit more research, it was apparent that “self cleaning” ovens can make you ill from toxic fumes.

Here are some helpful tips to keep toxic free this Christmas season.

1.) Keep It Natural — instead of of using chemicals or your oven’s “self clean” mode, consider using baking soda and vinegar instead.

 

Disaster Tip of the Week: How to Keep Coyotes Away!

Click here to view the original post.

No Gravatar

This weekend is my son’s 14th birthday and I will be celebrating with family and friends in the hills of Los Angeles, California, near Griffith Park. But before I can celebrate and have peace of mind I want to know more about the growing coyote population I see each time I visit.

Recently, I visited my mother’s grave near the area and a large, very bold Coyote, decided to walk right past me without a flinch as it prowled the area for its next meal.  With no where to run or hide, I slowly moved toward my car in the open field. Years of seeing them around didn’t particularly panic me but I was cautious.  I alerted another woman nearby as well.

As a child, we could scare them easily. We use to shoot them with BB guns or throw rocks at them.  It was all part of a day’s work in my world and we knew they were afraid of us! Today, environmental groups would jump out of their skin thinking a wild dog could possibly be hit with a harmless pellet while domestic pets are regularly attacked.  Sadly, many pets are carried off and eaten.

But the problem is growing.  Griffith Park has changed since I was a child and coyotes are more emboldened. Their numbers are increasing and they sometimes travel in larger packs. We have always had to be cautious with our pets but now they will howl outside my parent’s door in the evening for hours when we visit with our pet.  They sense fresh meat and if we carelessly leave a door open or forget to lock the gate, our dog will be the evening meal.

My concern is not only for pets but also for small children.

In recent years, there have been several coyote attacks on adults. Nothing serious but enough to make you wonder what can a Coyote or a pack of them do to a small child given the opportunity.

According to the Los Angeles Times, pets are taken daily.  “But almost every day someone’s losing pets to coyotes.”

 “A 2004 study by the University of California’s Hopland Research and Extension Center found coyote aggression and attacks on people and pets on the rise in the state, particularly in the Southland’s “suburban-wild land interface” areas.”

In an NPR article, this was noted. “Authorities have documented only one fatal coyote attack—a California toddler in 1981. Attacks are more common now, though, as coyotes adjust to being around humans, often because people feed them.”

If you will be in coyote country, keep in mind the following tips offered in the Los Angeles Times article. 

Do Coyotes hunt only at night?

Most people believe they hunt mostly at night. However, coyotes are opportunists and will hunt either in the day or night. If there is an easy meal, scraps of food around or a pet vulnerable, they will not miss their chance.

What can I do to keep coyotes out of my yard?

Food and water lure coyotes. Don’t leave pet food or water outside. Cover your compost and keep trash in clean containers with tight-fitting lids. Keep barbecue grills clean, limit the use of bird feeders, and pick up fallen fruit. Install motion-sensitive lighting and coyote-proof fencing if they continue to be pests. I have had friends personally tell me that coyotes were able to jump their fence, grab their pet, and jump back over so if this is a problem make sure you research the proper kind of fencing for your area.

How can I keep my children and pets safe?

Never allow young children to play outside unsupervised. Don’t leave pets outdoors unattended, especially cats and small dogs. If you must keep them outside, confine your animals in sturdy kennels at least 6 feet high.

What should I do if a coyote approaches my home?

Immediately take pets and small children inside. Then make loud noises — perhaps by banging pots and pans together — or spray the animal with a garden hose or throw rocks toward it. That probably will drive the coyote away and help it retain its natural wariness of humans. Do not become friendly or feed them if they visit your property as they will continue to visit your home and will becoming aggressive for food.

 

 

6 Simple Ways to Stay Warm Without Central Heat

Click here to view the original post.

With the ever-rising costs of gas and oil, the question often comes up – can we stay warm while keeping heating costs down? More than that, can we stay warm up here in the “frozen North” of Canada? Over 3 million Canadian homes use wood as their primary or secondary heat source. There are wood […]

The post 6 Simple Ways to Stay Warm Without Central Heat appeared first on Just Plain Living.

Gag Gifts for Preppers – The 2014 Holiday Guide

Click here to view the original post.

For the past few years, I’ve pulled together the best gifts for preppers I can think of, to help you in your Holiday purchases. This year, I thought it would be fun to put aside some of the more regular stuff that we always talk about, and give you guys some amusing and down right […]

The post Gag Gifts for Preppers – The 2014 Holiday Guide appeared first on THE DAILY PREP.

Why Normal Firearms Training Isn’t Enough

Click here to view the original post.

Of the many different subjects contained within prepping, firearms are the most controversial. That’s merely a reflection of how they are viewed by society and the controversy surrounding their use. I don’t want to debate that here, because that’s best left to another forum. For the sake of this article, let’s just agree to the assumption that firearms can help you defend yourself and your family.Shooting and Weapons Training. Outdoor Shooting Range

Firearms have been called “the great equalizer.” That’s because of all the different weapons available, they can be used by anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are strong or weak, male or female, old or young; you can still use a firearm, with very little instruction.

The problem is that pretty much anyone who has ever handled a firearm thinks that they can use it well enough that they can defend themselves and their family, regardless of their level of firearms training. They don’t take the time to learn and practice, because they don’t think they need to. After all, just point and pull the trigger; seems simple enough.

Basic Firearms Training

While the basics of firearm use are fairly simple, to use them well is another story entirely. Effective firearm use requires extensive practice, after getting trained on the basics. By effective, I mean being able to shoot what you want to, without the risk of accidentally shooting something else.

To start with, you have to learn the basics of shooting and get good at hitting a target. By good, I’m most concerned with being able to shoot a small “group.” That means the distance between your farthest shots. Good and consistency are somewhat synonymous in firearms training; so the size of the group says more about your ability than how many hit the bulls-eye. Of course, having a small group on the bulls-eye is the best.

Most people think that’s enough; but in reality it’s only the beginning. You see, I don’t see any situation where you or I are likely to be attacked by a dot at a pre-determined distance. Any attackers are going to do everything they can to make it so that they aren’t that dot sitting there at the distance you’ve been practicing at. So, your practice will end up being only somewhat effective.

Going on From There

What you need is tactical firearms practice. What’s that? It’s the type of practice that police and military units do, so that they will be ready to face true enemies on the field of battle. It differs from basic firearm training about to the same degree that grade school and the university differ.

Tactical training includes a number of elements to simulate an active shooting scenario. You have to overcome the additional difficulty that these elements add to the situation and still hit the target, and you have to do it rapidly. A real-life shooting situation isn’t going to give you a lot of time to think about it, you’re going to have to react and do so quickly.

So, what can you expect in tactical shooting training?

  • Shooting at multiple targets – Bad guys, like coyotes, tend to gather in packs.
  • Shooting at multiple distances – Those bad guys aren’t going to be lined up in a neat little row, like ducks in the carnival.
  • Moving targets – It’s a whole lot harder to shoot at someone who is moving, then someone who is moving. You can’t count on the bad guys to hold still for you.
  • Shooting while moving – If it’s harder for you to shoot the bad guys while they are moving, then it will be harder for them to shoot you while you are moving. This adds another layer of complexity, as you are no longer a stable platform for your gun. But you still need to shoot accurately.
  • Low light – Many confrontations happen at night, when it’s harder to see the target and to see your gun’s sights. Tritium sights help, so does practice.

Many shooting ranges offer tactical shooting events, where you can get the opportunity to practice shooting in this manner. They run it as a competition, so that you have the pressure of competing against the clock. This is wonderful practice and will help you tremendously.

Let me warn you though, the first time out, you’ll do horrible. I can shoot a one inch group fairly regularly with my pistol. But the first time I went to a tactical shoot, I hardly hit the target; and they were using larger targets (silhouettes) than I’m used to shooting at. What’s the difference that makes it harder? Everything I mentioned above.

In conclusion

Anyone who is planning on using firearms to protect their family from attack, whether in a crisis situation or just from criminals doing a home invasion, needs to get some tactical training and practice. The time spent shooting in a more realistic situation, even though simulated, will make it much more likely that you’ll be able to hit the bad guys and not some innocent bystander, should things ever turn real and you have to use that gun in self-defense.

If you’re interested in an excellent self defense course to help you protect your family click here now.

Why You Should Be Reading The Common Sense Homesteading Blog

Click here to view the original post.

For the last 3-4 weeks, I have been absolutely blown away by Laurie Neverman’s Common Sense Homesteading blog. Plain and simple, if you’re an aspiring homesteader like me, you need to be hanging out there (and taking notes!). Why? The site is a mega portal of homesteading information, categorized by specific topics–animal husbandry, gardening, natural […]

The post Why You Should Be Reading The Common Sense Homesteading Blog appeared first on THE DAILY PREP.

Things You Should Definitely Add To Your Bug-Out Checklist

Click here to view the original post.

Before choosing a bug out bag, it is important to have the items that you needed first. Knowing what you need and making sure that it will all fit in a single bag is more important than buying the bag just because you like its color. In choosing the best bug out bag, 4 things should […]

The post Things You Should Definitely Add To Your Bug-Out Checklist appeared first on The Home For Survival.

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away | Serious Eats

Click here to view the original post.

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away | Serious Eats: Seasoning is actually not a thin layer of oil, it’s a thin layer of polymerized oil, a key distinction. In a properly seasoned cast iron pan, one that has been rubbed with oil and heated repeatedly, the oil has already broken down into a plastic-like substance that has bonded to the surface of the metal. This is what gives well-seasoned cast iron its non-stick properties, and as the material is no longer actually an oil, the surfactants in dish soap should not affect it. Go ahead and soap it up and scrub it out.

The one thing you shouldn’t do? Let it soak in the sink.

How to Prepare for Winter Storms

Click here to view the original post.

Winter storms: How to prepare before, what to do during. If you live in an area that has four distinct seasons, then preparing for winter storms is important. Weather typical in Texas and much of the south is freezing rain (I know – I lived there way back). Sleet, blizzards, and just tons of snow is typical weather in much of the northern half of the U.S.

DIY Small Scale Artillery – A Black Powder Cannon

Click here to view the original post.

My father, “Pops”, was a welder by trade, as was his father. Both did far more than just weld, being from the same stock that built this country into the great powerhouse that it once was. Rare was the time either my dad or granddad would call out someone to repair or build something for […]

Righteous Anger – The Victorious Warrior or The Compromising Whelp

Click here to view the original post.

ray-gano-medIn my past articles I have taken on some topics that over the years, the feminized emasculated church has turned from.
Because we do not take the time to really read the bible, but instead listen and watch all the famous preachers, teachers and such. Today they tell us what is in the bible instead of us finding out on our own.
Well over the years we have had a more feminine influence than we have had of biblical masculinity. Thanks to this softer, more “caring” and “loving” ideas (which is total bunk by the way) we now have a more emotionally, experience driven church than one that relies solely on God’s Word.
It is God’s Word plus experience, feeling, leaning on our own understanding, and the list goes on.
Like it or not, these are all feminine traits. Women base a lot of their “truth” on feelings and emotions. This is a fact.
Men base their “truth” on logic and plain “yes” or “no”, mission oriented results.
Like it or not, this is how God sees things as well. God is very binary, yes – no, black – white. There is no gray area and in fact God’s Word warns about this.

James 1:8 (KJV) A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Speaking of the Laodicean church today Christ said –

Revelation 3:16 (KJV) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.

In fact we are warned but trusting our emotions (heart). God says that the heart (our emotions) are deceitful above ALL THINGS.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Yet we are where we are today because we have feminized the church and gone against God’s Word and its teachings.
Because we (most men) have lost the testicular fortitude to do what is right and stand our ground, we now have the touchy feely sugar coated church today.
No one is willing to call a spade a spade.
In the past articles I showed where Christ himself got angry, wielded weapons, took on soldiers and bowled them down, got in people’s face and yes called them names the described their true selves.
In today’s world Christ would be called intolerant, hateful, mean spirited, and all the other names that the emasculated feminized church likes to toss around out there today.
Christ was a man’s man, not this Brad Pitt effeminate looking sissy boy that so many put out there today representing Christ.
If men stood their ground, remained being grounded in God’s Word and retained the boldness, I believe that our nation would be a different place than what we have today.
So what do we have today?

starbucks-reprobate

Starbucks Produces Sicko Sodomite Cross Dressing Commercial

As reported by Christian News Network…

“Starbucks has released its first homosexual-themed commercial this week, featuring two crossdressers.
In the one-minute commercial, Starbucks Corporation featured the top two contestants from RuPaul’s “Drag Race” season six: Adore Delano and Bianca Del Rio.
Starbucks has been a long-time supporter of homosexuality.”

I do not know about you, but this is sick, I mean really sick.
But where is the righteous anger over this?
I can hear all the feminized pastors out there saying, “oh we just need to love them into heaven.”
What a stupid thing to say.
Folks, these people are morally and spiritually depraved via their own free will. These people are reprobates, they are now enemies of God. They know of God, His saving grace and His Son Jesus Christ. In fact, they go to gigantic extents to spit in God’s Face to the point of making “sex toys” in the image of Christ, Moses, and the Cross.
So this idea that these reprobates do not know about God is sugar coated thinking and an unwillingness to do what is right and call these people reprobates. We then need have nothing todo with them what so ever.
I look at other things going on out there. Both sides of the political idea has no back bone and both settle for milk toast than be men and leaders as they were voted in to be.
Where is the righteous anger in the church today? Have we been hammered down (Stockholm’s syndrome) so much that to think anything negative is all of a sudden hate speech?
I guess to talk about this, we need to define what righteous anger is.
First – Righteous Anger reacts against actual sin. We are called to define the sin/ true evil biblically. Males who stick their appendages into other males backsides are called Sodomites. This act is in violation of God’s Word. But thanks to the effeminate emasculated church today, we are welcoming these people into churches today and even preach from the pulpit instead of recognizing reprobates and enemies of God. These people do not want to change, they force their sin upon us and force us to accept and change. Righteous Anger says NO MORE and puts the foot down and boldly speaks up.
Second – Righteous Anger focuses on God, His Kingdom, Rights, and Concerns. NOT on our little kingdoms, rights, and concerns. Yep, this is a biggie to many. See we like to blur that line and make “our” rights, concerns and such the same as God’s. Our anger needs to be God centered and not self-centered. We need to have Godly motives based on His Word. But because we lack knowledge of His Word or rely on some watered down bastardization of His Word, then it is natural that we are ignorant of truly what is Godly motives and not. The key is to accurately viewing things as offensive is not enough. We must view things primarily as offending God and not ourselves.
This is why I say that I am not going to spend another penny in Starbucks ever again. If enough people truly had the fortitude to stop going to Starbucks and give up their caffeine addiction then how much money would Starbucks loose? Let me remind you that the sodomite community that they are pandering to is only what.. 2% – 3% of the population? The only reason they are where they are is the old adage… the squeaky wheel gets the grease. They have allowed their evil anger to drive them and they have won. Where we have allowed our Righteous Anger to be subdued and therefore we have lost.
Third – Righteous Anger is accompanied by other Godly qualities and we express it in Godly Ways. This is the tough one, because we can allow the flesh gain control in the blink of an eye. See, Righteous Anger retains self-control. We must keep our head and wits about us without cursing, screaming, raging, or flying off the handle. We must remember that we are always God’s Ambassador.
In some of my studies I talk about duels, when we are exercising our Righteous Anger we are at that time in a duel. Not only are we battling ourselves remaining focused and sharp, but we are also battling the other person and the moment that we do lose our cool and stoop to the level of the heathen, then we have lost.
I am all in favor of being stern, identifying people by their true character(calling a spade a spade), even defending myself if the person wants to get physical. But I will not cower, and I will stand in the duel. People know truth and justice when they see it. They also know evil and perversion when they see that as well.
People to this day still fill movie theaters where it is good vs evil and the masses are always glad with good prevails over evil.
To do this at times, Righteous Anger must be involved and we must be willing to stand our ground.
no-compromise-warriorThis is why it is critical that we be in God’s Word and truly know right from wrong, good from evil and those gray areas that the enemy likes to throw into the mix. When we know God’s Word and educate ourselves we are able to fight those who wish to oppress us with their evil and expose the darkness to the light.
But as long as there are emasculated, effeminate, spineless, willing to bend at sin men who refuse to stand for what is right and show a little righteous anger. We will never gain the high ground that we have lost over these years all because we did not have the testicular fortitude needed to do the right thing in the first place, not advocate the chain of command that God put in place.
But we are where we are because man basically wussed out and did not want to do the hard work anymore. Today men want to sit in the lazyboy and watch sports all day wasting all that time on their sports addiction instead of studding God’s Word?
So many men have lost their way because the lack the knowledge of God’s Word. They have accepted these watered down churches and watered down bibles. Instead of being real leaders, it is easy to just go with the flow and accept these sugar coated bastardiaztion of what Church and the Bible should be.
No wonder we have no Righteous Anger, we have no power of God what so ever and no I am not talking about this so called Charismatic voodoo garbage people equate to God’s Power.
I am talking about the fortitude and courage that allows us as Christians to stand for the truth. And until we get back to the real Word of God (The Authorized King James Bible) we will continue to be worthless whelps accepting the sugar coating instead of doing the right thing and being those true Godly Leaders that the world so desperately needs.
IF I have made you mad, good, maybe it will wake something up in you where maybe you will start standing for truth, justice and everything right again, instead of just going with the flow and accepting it.
The word for that is compromise.
Compromise is for the emotional person not willing to draw the line in the sand.
Compromise is for the person that does not want to get involved.
Compromise is for those people who like having their heads buried in the sand as the world pass them by.
Compromise is for the lazy and unwilling, thinking that they have paid their dues in life and now life owes them.
Compromise is for those who do not want to rock the boat.
Compromise is for those who do not have the courage to do what it takes, especially when times get tough.
Compromise is for those who would rather let the world win than stand for God, even when it isn’t the popular thing to do.
I can go on, but you get the message.
We no longer have Righteous Anger because so many people have compromised themselves with God.
What would have happened if Jesus Christ compromised instead of dying on the cross for our sins, where would we be today?
We need to cowboy up and suck it up. The world is a filthy horrible place today. Instead of sitting on the sidelines compromising, we need to get back in the game again.
It means getting angry at what angers God.
It means having courage to shine the light on the evil that is so prevalent today.
It means drawing that line in the sand and not going to Starbucks anymore no matter how much you like that coffee and need that caffeine fix.
It means being willing to righteously angry and to fight the compromise that has become the terminal cancer in the churches today.
William Burke is attributed to saying “ For evil to prevail, all a good man has to do is nothing.”
Well, that “nothing” has been going on now for a very long time. We have lost our country to these stinking reprobate enemies of God. Now we can either continue to compromise or we can start doing something about it.
As long as we are here, we are accountable. We will have to stand before him for our complacency. Those of us who boldly stood, we will be rewarded well with crowns and mansions. Those who did not have the fortitude and courage to stand for God, scripture says they will get sticks for their eternal reward. If you think God is going to give the compromiser the same rewards as those of us who had the courage to stand when it was tough, think again.
It is time for the righteous anger to rise up and we need to stand for what is right again in light of God’s Word and not based on our own fleshly feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
We need to drop the whole touchy feely thing and get back on the hard narrow road.
What will be interesting is to see how many will accept the hard challenge and how many will continue their compromising ways.
When we get to Heaven we will see who the true warriors were and who were the whelps that came up lacking.
Makes me wonder, how many people will be in heaven wishing they had the fortitude to show righteous anger and stand for the truth? How many will have made it in by the skin of their teeth knowing they wasted so much time here on earth compromising on God, His Son, The Gospel and His Word?
What sort of person will you be when you get to heaven?
Will you be the victorious warrior or the compromising whelp?
ray-gano-med

Politics & Social Media

Click here to view the original post.

politicsYes, this blog has been quiet.

No, that doesn’t mean I’ve wandered away from social media.

For the past 2 months, I’ve been living behind a Facebook Page alias and supporting a local political campaign.

And, if you really want to know what managing an emergency might feel like on social media, join a locally controversial political campaign. It can be difficult to simulate the amount of traffic, engagement and rumors when you are preparing to handle emergency events, but politics can provide an excellent microcosm of a crisis environment.

Some of the key things that you will learn are:

  • Coordinating messaging between different levels of a campaign can be tough. Everyone has an opinion and way of saying certain things. And unlike emergency response, which has a very defined chain of command, community organizations may not have a similar organizational structure.
  • Developing a battle rhythm across week and months, to build momentum, is very important. You are aiming to mobilize both volunteers and the action of people voting. A simple post every few days won’t accomplish an engagement goal. You must be timely, relevant and connected the current events in order to grab someone’s attention. This requires very focused thinking and planning to ensure that people remain solidly engaged.
  • Different types of posts will garner different types of engagement. People will like pictures, but often won’t comment on them unless they have a personal connection to the picture.
  • Controversy sparks conversation, but you have to be cautious about whether your base is open and welcoming enough to provide space for newcomers. If your goal is to get new people to vote, you have to be careful that you don’t always have the same 10 people commenting on your posts, giving the appearance of a closed environment.  It is okay to allow both positive and negative comments, but establish a decent take-down policy for what goes against how you define “civil discourse.”
  • You will become an expert at managing trolls.  There will be people who do not care what you say or do in a political campaign. They will be opposed to your position and won’t be changing their mind. They may also focus on spreading discontent on your campaign page.  Usually trolls use two different tactics which include repetition, off-topic posts or good, old-fashioned name-calling. If you see this behavior, call it out (in the voice of the page) and delete the offending comment. People will choose either to self-moderate their own behaviors or will continue to behave in a similar manner. If your goal is to maintain open and civil discourse, it is vital that you decipher between people disagreeing over facts and those that are relying attacking the people involved. Most differences of opinion are just that and can be left on your page. Attacks, however, should be eliminated.  Even in a controversial campaign, people will usually behave with warnings and as they observe the moderation / elimination of caustic comments.

So, how does this relate to emergency environments?

Everything I just noted also occurs during good public education campaigns AND during emergency response. The only luxury that you have, in emergency response, is that you typically aren’t aiming to keep up a battle rhythm to generate interest in your information. People are usually clamoring for it because they crave information in order to make their own decisions effectively. Regardless, you’ll need to set some type of rhythm to be sure that you are communicating often enough…..because without information, rumors will spawn rapidly. You must feed the information beast regularly.

As you become more comfortable in using social media, look for unique ways to get involved. And then, step back and reflect on how applicable your experience is to emergency management.  Likely, you will learn more than you realize.