Protecting Your Home or Camp with Early Warning Systems, Part 1

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early warning sytems

A good dog can be both an early warning system and a deterrent.

In a real emergency, it doesn’t matter whether you are bugging in or out, you may need to be warned of intruders.  Today many of us sit at home with the doors locked, window closed and air conditioning keeping the temperature under control.  After a disaster, we may have to keep all our window open, to try to stay cool.  This eliminates some of the security we normally have.  If you have people, who are trying to take advantage of the situation by looting you may need to rig up some early warning systems.

Fortunately there are many simple ways to give you early warning of intruders.  Dogs are great, one of the best early warning systems.  Often smaller dogs are more alert and will be quicker to bark.  Get your dog ahead of time and get to understand your dog’s reactions.  With a bit of training your dog can be a very effective early warning system.  In addition, depending on the type of dog they can discourage prowlers.

One of the simplest early warning systems is to set up tripwires.  Tripwire systems are very simple to put up and use.  You just have to be sure that the tripwires blend in well with the surrounding.  Some types of fishing lines works well, you can get fishing line in different colors.

early warning systems

Fishing line should blend in.

These can be used at your home, bugout location or in a campsite.  They can be as simple as a tin can hanging on a line with rocks in it and trip wires.  Because my hearing is not very good, I recommend cowbells.  You can often find them in thrift stores or garage sales and they make lots of noise.  I recently saw cowbells on sale at a local feed store for $2 each.  Depending on the size of the cowbells, they can be quite loud and may scare someone off.  Just remember if you have one tripped you need to make changes to your layout, they may come back.

Using YoYo fishing traps for early warning systems.

They are a spring-loaded wheel with approximately 12 ft of 60 lb test line with a swivel on the end.  For most uses, you tie the reel to a tree or other solid anchor point.  You then stretch out the line, which turns the wheel compressing the spring.  When you get as much line as you want out, there is a small latch that you place in one of the notches in the wheel.  When the line is disturbed, it trips the latch and the spring-loaded wheel reels in the fish.  You would normally add more line to the trap.

early warning systems

YoYo fishing reels or traps

However, they have an alternate use.  They will work well as early warning systems.  Simply take a can full of rocks and stretch the string across the area you wish to protect.  Set the string at ankle height so that any disturbance will trigger the YoYo fishing reel. You can add fishing line to lengthen the string.  When the YoYo fishing reel retracts, it will cause the can to fall or shake, warning you that someone is in the area.  There are many other ways that you can use this to trigger a warning, even using it to trigger electronic devices.

ealry warning system

A jar hanging from a door knob

Another simple alarm that can be used in your home or even a motel room is to put an empty glass jar upside down on your doorknob.  This will fall (and make a loud noise, except on carpet) should someone turn the doorknob. (Warning- the bottle can break leaving glass fragments on the floor).  A soda can filled with loose change balanced on the doorknob will make a lot of noise if someone attempts to enter.  Windows also easy to trap with cans of change or jars.

You will notice that these are all noise making devices; I am not recommending any devices that can cause bodily harm. These are just a few of the many possible ways you can rig early warning systems to help protect you from intruders.  Today we have just discussed low tech methods, in the future we will post an article on higher tech methods.



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This Is Not a Test… Understanding the Emergency Alert System

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This Is Not a Test… Understanding the Emergency Alert System If you are anything like me you hear that beeping over the radio or interrupting the television and it makes you shiver a bit. In the middle of the day you hear the beeps or you hear it as a big storm is approaching and …

Continue reading

The post This Is Not a Test… Understanding the Emergency Alert System appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

This Is Not a Test… Understanding the Emergency Alert System

This Is Not a Test… Understanding the Emergency Alert System If you are anything like me you hear that beeping over the radio or interrupting the television and it makes you shiver a bit. In the middle of the day you hear the beeps or you hear it as a big storm is approaching and …

Continue reading

The post This Is Not a Test… Understanding the Emergency Alert System appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Teaching History As Story

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Teaching History As Story

Real, vital historical understanding requires someone to bring the facts “to life” through the animating power of proper interpretation.

—E. Wayne Ross, The Social Studies Curriculum (2006)

One has to go back, behind what appear to be the “facts” of history … to a discussion of the meaning of history.

—Cornelius Van Til, The Psychology of Religion (1961)

Why History Matters

Teaching and learning history once stood near the very heart of education.  The study of history provided perspective, context and meaning for the rest of the curriculum.  It was a road map to show students the origins and growth of Western civilization, or better, of Christendom.  Only the study of theology provided the super-structure necessary to insure a cohesiveness that supports all learning.  After all, theology itself has its roots in Holy Scripture, the inspired history of God’s covenant dealings with men.  From Augustine to Newton, those who wrote histories in terms of God’s kingdom either began with or assumed the history and chronology taught in Scripture.  This allowed Christian writers to move forward with a kind of metaphysical confidence and certainty when it came to telling all stories … great and small … that always assumed the present reality of Christ’s reign in history.

Since the Enlightenment, however, the concept of “social studies” has replaced history classes in almost every school in America. (Christian and Government) Social studies, in theory, are supposed to draw from the unbiased, objective work of social scientists working in sociology, economics, political science, anthropology and the like.  Social studies, for the most part, is designed to prepare students for the fight against Christianity.  In fact, many educators see social studies as a means of transmitting values and culture from one generation to the next.  The goal is to create good citizens who are socially competent and politically correct.  Other educators see social studies as a means of teaching students to question and critique the culture of their parents, their church and their forefathers.  Here the goal borders on social revolution.  But in either case, the values of the educators, like those they hope to inculcate in the students, come from what they call “empirical sciences” … not from Bible.  These are usually urgent, pragmatic and utilitarian.

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Oddly enough, the use of social studies in the classroom to brainwash America’s youth toward a social revolution has been met with limited success.  There are likely a number of reasons for this.  For one thing, social studies is just plain boring.  Charts and tables and random facts pulled out of historical context really don’t encourage learning or excite learners.  For another, social studies classes attempt to impose empirical sciences on human psychology … at least in theory. Thus, it lacks any sense of transcendent purpose, direction or meaningful theme.  The whys and wherefores are missing – leaving us with “so what?” reactions.

Now, don’t get me wrong, history can be boring, too.  History classes and history books also can suffer from a lack of plot and purpose.  Only if we tell stories from history for what they really are — in the context of God’s great story of creation, fall and redemption – does history make sense.  In this case, God’s narrative of mystery, action and even romance becomes the truly challenging, exciting and meaningful communication it’s meant to be.

Here, then, are some aspects of storytelling that anyone teaching history needs to presuppose and actively confess as we tell God’s Story to the next generation.

Creation, Sovereignty and Providence

We must presuppose and teach the biblical doctrine of creation (creatio ex nihilo).

The Triune God of Scripture made the whole universe of time, space and matter by His sovereign word.  Without this ontological starting point, there’s no framework for the Story.  Rather, the divine Story Teller becomes completely immersed in the Story, and the Story itself becomes a complete illusion without significance or real development.  We are left with pantheism or materialism (atomism).  There is no history and no Story — only fluctuations in a semi-sentient monistic reality or in the chaos of meaningless energy particles in motion.

The doctrine of creation always leads us to God’s providence.  So, it’s important that we presuppose and teach the sovereignty of God in all of history.  God has decreed from eternity all the details of history.  And by His providence He executes His eternal plan and personally causes all things to work together for His glory and for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom.  God’s providence was at work when, for example, Washington and his army escaped from Long Island under the cover of fog.  It was also at work when Washington’s doctors bled him to death.  God works all things together for His people’s good.  There is no chaos and no accidents, only eternal purpose.  But God’s purposes are deeper than mortals can imagine. 

Sin and Redemption

Teaching History As StoryBecause history is real, we must teach it in terms of chronology, beginning with that presented in Scripture.  Chronology is order and sequence.  It is the backbone of plot and story and, therefore, of identity, both personal and communal.  Without chronology and sequence, we don’t know our story and we don’t know who we are.  Secular chronologies are horribly askew for the times before Christ.  We must reject them for the explicit and implicit teaching of Scripture.

Now that we have the scaffolding of chronology, order and sequence, we can look at plot and theme.  We must teach the reality of sin and the nature of divine redemption in Christ.  Think about it: Every story rises out of some type of conflict.  The nature of the conflict, then, determines the task of the hero and the nature of the resolution.  Adam’s covenantal rebellion brought sin and death to the whole human race.  Adam’s fall was ethical, not ontological.  That is, he broke God’s covenant law.  God’s salvation is therefore covenantal … it is judicial and Spiritual.  It addresses both man’s legal guilt as well as his need for a new ethical nature (his need to love and serve God).  Jesus died as an atoning sacrifice, rising again in the flesh to restore believers to obedience and covenant fellowship with God.  Through Christ, God justifies and sanctifies His people so they can meaningfully participate in His program of evangelism, discipleship and stewardship.  Salvation isn’t escape from history but the redirection of history toward the kingdom of God, the New Jerusalem (Isa. 60; Rev. 21—22).

We must, then, teach the Advent of Christ as the most important turning point in all of history. That means all ancient history was preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ.  Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension marked the end of the Old Covenant age and made possible the coming and spread of God’s kingdom to all nations.  All history since Christ’s advent must be understood in terms of Christ’s advancing kingdom and its final victory described in biblical prophecy.  (See Ps. 2; 72; 110; Isa. 2; 60; Mic. 4; etc.)

But until the end, the conflict continues.  So, we must speak of the ongoing conflict between Christ and Satan when we tell stories.  History is a spiritual and cultural war between the Serpent and his seed and the Church and her seed (Gen. 3:15).  Though Christ has in principle won the battle (Rev. 12), His people are still engaged in the “mopping up” operation.  The conflict continues, and involves every area of thought and life.  And so our studies of history must pursue this conflict … through wars, discoveries and revivals as well as times of cultural decline and rebirth.  We must tell stories about art, music, science, mathematics and economics.  All of man’s experience are defined by this great divide … this great Antithesis … but the final outcome is certain.  Jesus wins in time and space.

The Kingdom of God

Now that we understand the nature of the conflict, it’s important to teach the central role of God’s covenant people in history.  National Israel is not the center, and neither is Europe nor England.  Neither is America.  We must be very clear that God’s “holy nation” is His people … the Church, and that is where our main historical concern must primarily lie.  We are tracking the City of God in its conflict with the City of Man.  Man’s kingdoms, empires and republics come and go … and yet the kingdom of God endures.

We must measure the success of God’s kingdom and its representatives in terms of God’s Word.  Christ’s kingdom advances through the preaching of His word.  Sound doctrine and the preaching mission of the Church are key factors in the development of history.  Because of this, the orthodoxy or doctrinal soundness of key figures within the Church matters greatly.  Not everyone with a reputation for piety has, in fact, been a blessing to Christ’s Church.  Specifically, we need to give a high place to the Apostles, the more orthodox Church Fathers, the first six ecumenical Councils, the pre-Reformers, the Reformers, the English and American Puritans, and the Presbyterian and Reformed theologians of the 19th Century.  But we must also confess that even the most faithful of Christ’s servants have come short of His glory and often in very significant ways.

As we consider telling stories with the backdrop of Christ’s growing kingdom, we should especially emphasize the key role of the gospel in shaping Western civilization (Christendom).  God’s grace is, by definition, discriminatory.  He gives it to some and withholds it from others based wholly on His sovereign will.  And, so far in history, God’s redemptive grace and the fruit of the gospel seem to have been most evident in Western culture than elsewhere.  (Then, again, we generally define the West in terms of the influence of orthodox Christianity.)  This westward spread of the gospel owes nothing to race or ethnicity or bloodline and gives us no reason to glory in the flesh or presume upon God where the future is concerned:  History isn’t finished.  But it would be gross ingratitude and blindness not to recognize what God has, in fact, done in our history.  We must acknowledge cause and effect.

More generally, our teaching must link ideas to their consequences.  We need to teach the connection between Christian doctrine and Western liberty and culture on the one hand, and the connection between humanism in all its forms and tyranny and cultural decay on the other.  We need to emphasize the great intellectual, doctrinal and cultural movements in history, connecting root and fruit.


We must also remember that we may not be standing at the end of history.  Since the Church hasn’t yet fulfilled the Great Commission, it makes it hard to believe that history will end any time soon.  That means we may not be facing “the end” of all that God has been doing.  Even in drawing “end times” time lines, it might be wise to extend them beyond our present time lest we give the wrong impression:  that we absolutely know when the end will come. (Only the Father knows this after all) Who knows … maybe the best may be yet to come.

History, then, is the development and ripening of cultural fruit toward the great harvest.  But there’s more. Earth’s history is a winnowing process.  Christ’s kingdom grows and develops over time.  We can’t expect the Church of the past to know everything we know today.  We can’t return to the past … to Camelot, or the Reformation, or colonial America.  Indeed, we shouldn’t want to do so.  The New Jerusalem lies in the future.  We learn from the past, but in doing so we shouldn’t try to repeat what doesn’t work.  This is an age of differentiation and polarization … the tares becoming more obviously tares, the wheat more obviously wheat (epistemological self-consciousness).  When harvest comes, when Jesus returns, everything will be black and white without exception.

A Practical Conclusion

Finally, we need to tell the Story of history as a real story, making use of all the enthusiasm, imagination, oratorical skill and preparation that story-telling actually demands.  Story-telling can be hard work.  It requires us to be well-read, to have our thoughts and facts in order, and to be genuinely passionate about our material.  It’s imperative that we love and respect our audience. This perspective allows us to genuinely demonstrate a desire to inspire, educate and even entertain.  After all, any stories we tell are woven into the fabric of the greatest story ever told — and all efforts of this nature deserves our best efforts.

Surviving A Market Crash

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Ross Powell of is on the show today. We talk about the bloodbath in the markets last week, what caused it, and how you can prepare for more volatility.


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Danny and Alisa’s lives are turned upside down when Danny begins having prophetic dreams about the judgment coming upon America. Through one of Danny’s dreams, they learn about the imminent threat of an EMP attack which will wipe out America’s electric grid, sending the country into a technological dark age. If they want to live through the most catastrophic period in American history, Danny and Alisa will have to race against time to get prepared, before the lights go out.


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Why must gun owners be punished for the actions of crooks?

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But yet again, no mention of why flintlock muzzle-loading pistols are on a restrictive H class licence?!!! Crooks don’t use these at all!!!
Firearms associations have failed Australian gun owners! We don’t ask much, we just want a fair go & sensible gun laws that DO NOT punish/penalise law abiding gun owners.

Survival and Self-Reliance Skills to Learn

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Everyone in the survivalist community seems to accept the maxim that “knowledge and skills beats lots of stuff every time.” But what knowledge and skills do you and your family/group need? Here is my listing of survival and self-reliance skills to learn (in no particular order. However, the last one listed is the most important, in my opinion):

  • Situational Awareness & OODA Loop (link to my article)
  • Shooting & Self-Defense
  • Home Security – more than just guns (recommended book
  • Gardening & Permaculture
  • Beekeeping (book recommendation for beginners)
  • Animal Science – care & husbandry
  • Canning & Food Preservation
  • Herbal Medicine & Lore (recommended book)
  • Foraging for Wild Foods (recommended book)
  • Water Collection & Purification 
  • First Aid & CPR – essential skills for everyone
  • Budgeting and Personal Finance (link to my article)
  • Living Within Your Means
  • Negotiating & Bartering
  • Weather Forecasting (link to my article)
  • Hunting & Fishing
  • Camping & Hiking
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Auto Maintenance & Repair (link to my article)
  • Farm Mechanics (recommended book)
  • Small Engine Repair
  • Carpentry & Woodworking
  • Home Repair and D.I.Y. Skills
  • Plumping & Electrical Work
  • Knife Sharpening & Tool Maintenance
  • Sewing and Clothes-Making
  • Accepting Personal Responsibility for Your Own Life 

Its impossible for one person to have all these skills, but between all the members of your family or group you can hopefully cover most of them. This list is not complete. There are many other skills that can be added. Suggestions? Please leave a comment below.

Privacy in the survivalist world

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You know Joe Blow. One day, Joe Blow says “Hey, a buddy of yours from a while back called me looking for you. He said he was your roommate in college. I gave him your [number/address/email].”

Joe Blow has no idea if that guy was really your roommate or your girlfriend’s crazy ex-boyfriend. And he handed him your personal info.

Don’t be that guy.

From time to time, someone will ask me if I know someone who has a particular gun or similar item for sale. I’ll say yes and they’ll ask for that person’s contact info. I never give out anyone’s personal info. Instead, I’ll tell the person to give me their info and I’ll pass it along to the other person and they can make contact if they are interested. In this manner no one’s personal info is ever out of control. The buyer controls whether they pass on their info or not, the seller’s info is never out in the open unless the seller chooses to contact the buyer, and little ‘ol me is the cutout. You may notice, at this point, I have the contact info for both parties. True. But…I only have it because both parties willfully provided it to me.

Folks like you and I have a lot of reasons to be private. We have stashes of..well… lotsa stuff .. that makes us high-value targets for everyone ranging from neighborhoodlums to cops looking for a quick boost to their stats (or egos).  Unfortunately, ‘networking’ is tough to do when you have to worry about the risk of every potential new contact.This is why it is so hard to meet other like-minded individuals. It’s also why, in my experience, your most likely candidate for a new survivalist buddy is probably someone you already know.

I don’t hang around with anti-gun people, leftists, socialists, morons (“But I repeat myself” – M. Twain), statists, and that sort of ilk. So, whom I hang out with is, naturally, probably going to fall into that set of people who do share my interests. After that, it’s a Venn diagram of ‘likes guns, personal freedom, fiscally conservative, well-read, intelligent’ and a few other features. Point being, the choices you’ve made for the last several years (or decades) about who you hang out with have probably already naturally landed you in a pool of people that have a much higher than average likelihood of being like-minded individuals.

But all it takes is one mistake to undo a lot of plans. “Hey, you’re a survivalist? I am too! Show me your gun collection!” is not the smart way to do things. And it goes past that… maybe this person is exactly the sort of person who want to bring into your private world of freeze drieds and silver coins. But what about their friends? What about their spouse? What about their blabber mouth kids? Or their brother with the meth habit and need to sell other peoples expensive gear to fund it? What about the people who intersect their life?

It’s a challenge to try and juggle the need for security and avoidance of risk with the desire to expand your network a bit. Most of the time we humans are social critters and as much as we may like to think we don’t need other people, it is kinda nice to have someone you can talk to and do this sort of stuff with.

I started this post with an example of how many people betray other peoples privacy. Anytime you meet anyone, survivalist or not, you have to keep in mind that whatever information they choose to share with you is between the two of you unless explicitly stated otherwise. “Hey, can you give me Joe Blows phone number?”, “No, but if you give me yours I’ll ask him to call you.” That sort of thing. It’s a balancing act because you don’t want to be rude, and you don’t want to call the other person out on being nosy, but privacy matters.

I get this on the blog once in a while. Someone will email me and ask if I can give them someone’s email address or somesuch. No. Never. I’ll pass your contact info to them but that’s as far as it goes.

It isn’t always this awkward though. My friend whom I eventually figured out was on the same page eventually introduced me to his friend who also had the same inclinations we did. Since I trusted my friend, and my friend trusted his friend, there was already a high level of trust in place. (And this is, in fact, how it works in the mob when you want to meet someone.)

So the thought for today is that privacy is paramount. And trust comes slowly but when it does come it is worth maintaining. Sadly, the corollary to that is that once trust is broken you have to disengage and disconnect immediately and irrevocably. And that can be a major pain in the ass if you’ve trusted someone with the location of the Batcave. So…always protect your own privacy but be just as vigilant with the privacy of others. In this way we’ll all prosper and have better experiences with each other.

Food Storage Recipe – Multi-Cheese Macaroni

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* 1 tbsp vegetable oil

* 1 (16 oz) package elbow macaroni

*  1 stick of butter, melted

* 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

 * 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

 * 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

 * 1 1/2 cups half-and-half

* 8 oz cubed Velveeta

 * 2 eggs, beaten

 * 1/4 tsp salt

* 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

  Set oven to 350° F.

 Cook pasta al dente, drain, and reserve in pot.

 Add 8 tbsp melted butter to pasta.  Stir.

 Combine cheeses (except Velveeta) in a large bowl and mix well.

 Add 1.5 cups cheese mixture, Velveeta, and eggs to pasta mixture.  Mix ingredients and add pepper and salt.

 Transfer mixture to a cooking sprayed 2.5 qt casserole dish.

 Cover with remaining cheese mixture and 1 tbsp butter.

 Bake up to 35 minutes until dish bubbles at the edges.

 Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (1/27/18)

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Here are the Top Prepper Website Articles (by clicks) that appeared over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks. But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 1/21/18 – 1/27/18




The Dichotomy of the Sheepdog

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The Dichotomy of the Sheepdog So what in the world is a sheepdog? There are a few websites that have this word in the name and focus on this idea of being a sheepdog. For those who don’t quite get it, it can be confusing. There are really two trains of thought at this point. …

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How to Assemble an Ultimate Survival First Aid Kit

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Do you have the right medical supplies and equipment on hand to take care of yourself and your family if the SHTF? If you answer anything except a highly confident, “absolutely,” then you are not prepared. Don’t let a simple cut, sore throat or something far more severe take you out. Create an ultimate survival first aid kit. The […]

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G.O.O.D. Game Bugging Out!

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G.O.O.D. Game Bugging Out!
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below!

Do you remember the fun you had as a family while playing a good game of Monopoly or Sorry? We all remember that one family member who made a spectacle of yelling ‘Yahtzee’ at the dinner table. Playing board games with friends and family is a fun and important part of psychological wellness. In a grid down or SHTF scenario, we are all going to be under high stress.

Continue reading G.O.O.D. Game Bugging Out! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2018-02-10)

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  This weekly post is an open-forum, though preferably focusing on what we all did this week for our prepping & preparedness. Comment and voice your thoughts, opinions, accomplishments, concerns, or questions for others on any general topic of preparedness. Lurkers? Let’s hear from you too!   For off topic conversation: Articles posted during the week – we appreciate that you stay on-topic. For off-topic comments, post them here, the most recent Saturday open-forum: What did you do for your preparedness this week? Recent comments list from ALL articles: Recent Comments   Sponsors of MSB Important: Please take just a

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Survival Medicine Hour: Nosebleeds, Pregnancy Complications, Flu Recurrence, More

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Cauterization with silver nitrate sticks

Cauterization with silver nitrate sticks

You might not think it’s possible, but there are enough different flu viruses circulating this season that you could actually get the flu again before Spring! H3N2 is the most common form around this year, but late season flus like Influenza B could bring you down again before things warm up. Joe and Amy talk about their recovery from a nasty case of the flu and give you some important advice.

Plus, how to deal with nosebleeds with limited supplies. Nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis can occur in young or old, and for a dozen different reasons. Learn all you need to know about this common, but scary, medical problem.

pregnancy complications off the grid

pregnancy complications off the grid

Also, survival settings require your people to be at 100% efficiency, but what happens when people get pregnant? Back pain, nausea and vomiting, and much more can intervene to take out a productive member of your crew. Dr. Alton tells you about some of the issues that might complicate what is usually a normal and natural process.

All this and more in the latest Survival Medicine Hour Podcast with Amy Alton, ARNP and Joe Alton MD!

To listen in, click below:

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Joe and Amy Alton

The Altons

The Altons

To learn more about survival medicine, get a copy of the award-winning Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook!

Third Edition

Third Edition

Disaster Preparation: How to Prepare Your Home For An Emergency

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest post from Herman Davis to The Prepper Journal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today! 

As most people know, disasters can strike without warning in a matter of minutes. In 2011, for example, the United States set a historic record for disaster alerts, according to the Homeland Security News Wire. The article also reported that each disaster that occurred that year was valued at approximately $12 billion in damage. This means that throughout 2011, the total damage accounted for was about $53 billion.

With that being said, disaster-proofing your home allows homeowners to prepare ahead of time — avoiding the worst possible outcome like losing prized possessions, or fatalities. So by preparing your home in advance, homeowners will be able to strengthen the foundation of their home and be better able to withstand the harsh environments natural disasters bring, enabling you and your family members to take the necessary actions needed to ensure you both survive the battle.

Although it’s nearly impossible to fully mitigate the dangers brought on by natural disasters, there are steps families can take towards reducing the amount of internal destruction done — both mentally and physically. Preparing ahead of time will not only protect your home, but protect your finances as well.

Getting the Right Kind of Protection: Although filling a property insurance claim might seem straightforward, if you wait until after a natural disaster to research the ins and outs, you might very well find yourself in a frustrating insurance battle.  Perhaps the most important step is making sure you’re covered before disaster strikes. Once you’ve had the opportunity to take a good look at your homeowner’s insurance policies and speak with other residents in the area, you might soon realize that the plan you chose isn’t beneficial for your family.  When it comes to natural disasters – like flash floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes —  the type of insurance plan available is essential to your homes well being. In this case, it’s always better to have too much protection and not use it than to have not enough and need it later on down the road. That said, it’s never a bad idea to purchase additional coverage – if it fits within your budget – to cover your home from all the different potential dangers out there. Also note that items like expensive jewelry, art and furniture need to be specified in the coverage and documented with photos and receipts. That $95,000 Steinway Concert Grand piano in the Music Room could translate into a used upright in the flash of an eye.


Generally speaking, earthquake insurance can cost anywhere from $100 to $3,000 depending on where you live. Flood insurance, on the other hand, usually costs about $570 annually. If you do decide not to purchase additional coverage, just make sure that you’ve saved a fair amount of money for out of pocket expenses on your home in the aftermath of things.

Make Good Use of Extra Space: Learning to think outside the box is critical when it comes to disaster-proofing your home. Normally, when most people think of emergency supplies for disasters, they typically go for the water containers, canned food, and clothing items. They don’t, however, think about the possibilities that can happen around the house. Power outages, for instance, are a common occurrence when floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and even earthquakes strike, and not having power can become a problem if the temperature outside is too hot or too cold.


So, if you have empty space around your home, freeze water when the power’s no longer accessible. If it’s extremely hot outside and the powers out, gather the ice from the freezer and place it in a bag to help you cool off. It might just help avoid a heat stroke.

Prepare a Family Emergency Kit: According to Eastern Kentucky University, over 139 million are affected by natural disasters. That said, it’s important to keep enough supplies in your home to meet the needs of you and your family members for at least 72 hours. Assembling an emergency family kit with items already stored in it is essential for everyone in the house in case you’re forced to evacuate the area immediately. Make sure you store your supplies in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container, like a suitcase, duffel bag, or storage container. You should also make sure that your container is able to carry the minimum:

  • Water (two gallons per person)
  • Food for at least three days
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight with extra batteries – this will help signal for help if you’re stranded
  • Pet food and extra water
  • Important family documents
  • Cash

Inspect the Parameters Around Your Home: In order to make sure your home is completely disaster proof, it’s best to secure the outdoor items – like bicycles, lawn furniture, and playground equipment. That’s because when objects are thrown around from high winds generated from the disaster, they can cause damage to the home by breaking windows, lights, and possibly even hit someone.

Check Your Generators: If you’re looking to rent or buy a generator, you should first get yourself familiar with it. While generators are important to have when the power goes out, it’s important to know that they can’t survive everything. That said, when it’s not in use, make sure you remember to unplug it. This will help prevent premature wear-and-tear on the equipment and lessen the risk that it becomes a causality of the disaster.

In the end, don’t always expect everything to go according to plan. In fact, you should always set aside other alternatives just in case the first option doesn’t work out. Remember to always be on guard when it comes to protecting your home and your family. That way, you won’t have any regrets later on.

Thanks for the read! With so many things to consider when preparing your home for a disaster I couldn’t possibly list them all. So, I turn to you, the readers. What are so other ways homeowners can prep their homes for an emergency before it’s too late?

Herman Davis loves exploring the outdoors and being active. If you can’t catch him online reading, you might be able to catch him out playing football with friends or cheering on the Boise State Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241. Thanks!

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Physical Fitness and Survival: Why Your Body Needs Recovery Time

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We often focus on tasks to do: physical exercise, and numerous physically-demanding work, such as woodcutting, building, gardening, snow removal, and so forth.  I have written in several pieces about the importance of recovery, but I am emphasizing it here in-depth.  Most people are so busy in the course of the day that they neglect to take the time to physically recover from what they have done…and recover properly.

Your Body’s Recovery is Important

Such a recovery means more than just simple rest.  It entails nutrition and understanding how the human body’s physiology works.  As I have stressed in the past, your protein intake is critical to tissue repair.  I also emphasized how you must take in protein and carbohydrates within a ½ hour at the conclusion of demanding physical exercise that lasts one hour or more.  You may also have to increase that protein/carbohydrate intake more frequently.

If you have worked a physically-demanding occupation, you may have a good basis for understanding already of these concepts and it may just be a matter of touching upon some of the finer points.  Construction workers put in 8, 10, or 12 hour days with only a couple of short breaks and a lunch break in the middle.  A tremendous amount of hydration is required during their day.  Your muscles are 80% water.  Stands to reason that dehydration means a loss of muscle tissue.

Remember glycogen that I mentioned in earlier articles?  When you work hard physically or exercise, glycogen is converted into glucose to fuel your body.  This is taken directly from stores in your body.  After that glycogen is depleted and you’ve “hit the wall,” then your body will break down its own proteins in the form of muscle tissue and converts those proteins to glycogen.  For every half hour of extra physical labor you perform without replacing lost glycogen, protein, and carbs, your body will take 5-6 grams of proteins from out of your muscles to do the job.  That is referred to as “cannibalism,” which is where the body “eats” its own proteins in order to compensate for loss or deficiencies.

What does that mean to you?  Knowing this, you must continually replace those substances in the form of food and water as you work periodically.  Then when the work is completed, you must nourish yourself fully and get the proper amount of rest you need.  A high-quality protein powder is worth its weight in gold in this manner.  It is simple to use and quick as well.  You can expect to spend about 75 cents to a dollar on a serving, but it goes right to your cells and starts the repairs on the cellular level.

Rest is Key

When you’re done with the work (which is a workout, as I’ve mentioned previously), you need to head first to the chow hall and then to the couch.  Sleep is very important.  One of the things I do is to take a shake about a ½ hour before bedtime, and my evening vitamins as well.  While you’re sleeping, your body metabolizes the nutrients more slowly, and the “uptake” is better as you’re resting.  If your work is not going to take the entire day, then try to break it up and give yourself an hour of lunch and another hour to just relax.

A day of complete rest during the week will help you to “reset” everything and to jump back up on the grinding wheel just that stronger and more invigorated.  It’s a matter of time management and knowing when to divide the time between labor and the recovery that you need.  It will take some practice, but you can help yourself out in a few ways:

  1. Always have a good supply of drinking water on hand that you can partake often. Remember: Thirst is a late sign of dehydration, and you need to consume (on average) about a gallon of water per day.
  2. Take sandwich bags and measure off a scoop/serving of your protein powder. Then throw it in the jar later with your milk and mix it up…keep your milk/fluid in a cooler where you can get it and employ it quickly.
  3. Keep batches of good snacks on hand: sunflower seeds, beef jerky, fruit (fresh or dried), nuts, and so on to help give you those quick bursts of food and energy to carry you through.
  4. Supplements: I use ginseng and Vitamin E throughout the day (see my articles on both), as well as other supplements and vitamins.
  5. Nervines: for the evening…tea of chamomile, catnip, or peppermint to relax you. I also recommend Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) to help your sleep be more full.

Your body is a machine that you have to maintain.  Rest and recovery are just as important as the work you’ll be performing.  If you plan your recovery time, it gives you something to shoot for, a goal to look forward to at the end of the day.  It is all about discipline and maintenance.  Take the time to get into a good routine for yourself in everything you do and it’ll take the guesswork out of it.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

WOW! Ultra-clean, ultra-efficient, ultra-sustainable winter heat!

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So I was going through some of my old YouTube videos and came across this video of me talking with Paul Wheaton about rocket mass heaters:

I had honestly forgotten some of the statistics on this thing, but it’s pretty incredible:

  • If you use a rocket mass heater instead of a wood-burning stove or fireplace to heat your home this winter, you’ll use 1/10th the amount of firewood.
  • Since the rocket mass heater captures smoke and uses it to produce heat, you’ll be releasing 1/100th to 1/1000th the amount of smoke into the atmosphere.
  • The core of this thing reaches about 3,000°F, versus the 600°F or so generated by a fireplace.
  • This is the perfect DIY project. You can build it yourself in a weekend.
  • It’s inexpensive to make. In fact, some folks build theirs out of cob, discarded pieces of ducting, and old 55-gallon steel drums … for less than $20!
  • And–here’s the kicker–many people heat their homes with a rocket mass heater using nothing but the branches that naturally fall off the trees in their yard. (In fact, one guy made it through the winter on just junk mail!)

Rocket Mass Heater 1

Because rocket mass heaters are so awesome in so many ways, I got in touch with Paul and worked out a special deal for you on the 4-DVD set you hear about in the video:

Better Wood Heat: DIY Rocket Mass Heaters
(Click here to buy now.)

In this 4-DVD set, Paul shows you:

  • DVD 1: “Building a Cob-Style Rocket Mass Heater”—Two separate designs using cob (one in a log structure, and one in a teepee)
  • DVD 2: “Building a Pebble-Style Rocket Mass Heater”—Three pebble-style rocket mass heater designs, including information on building on a conventional wooden floor
  • DVD 3: “Building a Rocket Mass Heater Shippable Core”—Covers building several different styles of shippable cores
  • DVD 4: 2014 Rocket Mass Heater Innovator’s Event—Covers the most difficult part of any rocket mass heater build (the manifold) and shows several new designs from the Innovator’s Event, including a rocket mass heater that doubles as a cooker and smoker; the cleanest rocket mass heater design ever; and an indoor rocket griddle, oven, and water heater

Rocket Mass Heater 2

As part of this special offer, Paul has agreed to give you instant online access to streaming of the 4-DVD set in HD

… plus access to 20 hours of presentations from the 2017 Wheaton Labs Permaculture Design Course (including the 5-hour tour of Wheaton Labs)!

If you’re ready to learn how to put this extremely efficient, ultra-clean, highly sustainable heating method to work for you, click here to buy the 4-DVD set (and get your bonuses!) for just $79, including domestic shipping. (This link will take you straight to PayPal, which is Wheaton Labs’ preferred payment method.)

Rocket Mass Heater: "Better Wood Heat" 4-DVD Set

Look what just arrived in the mail!

(And yes, I bought this set for myself … and actually for several of my team members, too! The information in it is just too good to pass up!)


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