Sometimes when I’m browsing through social media posts, I feel like I live in a different world than many of my fellow citizens, especially those a good deal younger. There is no denying we live in a world of contrasting opinions and worldviews. Modern technology has made it more convenient than ever to display our unique […]
Do a bit of research to find seeds of plants you’ll love. I go with heritage seeds but if you want to use hybrid and just stock their heritage seeds, that works too. Each year I mix up a few new varieties. I love the Black Krim Tomato it has an awesome sweet flavor. It’s […]
I was once a young wife and mother to a toddler. Hard at work learning to be a good wife and mommy. I got to stay at home which meant I made meals 3x a day for my family. I was a house wife. I had a food budget and yet I found myself calling my husband once or twice a week to pick up meals.
When I went to my Mommy & Baby group I found that several families with double the amount of kids had grocery bills less than mine! How could this be?
Frankly, I was confused. I didn’t know where I was going wrong. I had been raised in a variety of settings due to my parent’s divorce and remarriages. We always seemed to be learning to live somewhere new. I was never taught how to actually run a home.
It took time to admit it to myself but I was a food waster. I realized that I was making critical mistakes with our food starting with: what to feed my family: what to buy at the grocery store: how to cook at home: and very importantly how to put away our food.
What I did wrong-
1- I was wasting our food money. I am a cookbook hound. I love looking at the yummy recipes in those glossy books and trying to recreate them. That is nice but most call for food that is WAY outside the budget of a college student’s family. Instead of using that money more wisely and stretching it over the full month I was buying high priced items that cut days off how far our food budget would go.
2- I bought ONLY name brand items. This was a hang over from my upbringing when we could not afford name brand. Deep inside I saw being able to buy name brand as showing the world (or myself) that we had stepped up in the world. Again I was wasting our food money.
3- Cooking low-quality food. I had these lovely highlights of dinners that were great. But in order to get those highlights I had to skimp in other areas. That meant that Monday through Thursday meals was just scrapped together or Hamburger Helper type meals. Not healthy and not yummy. Made it that much easier to call for take-out when faced with day 2 of not so good food.
TIP- When you were growing up, did your mom ever tell you to make sure the things on your dinner plate were all different colors? There is a reason for that. Learn about the importance of eating a variety of healthy foods.
4- Cooking too much food for our size family. At the time I had no extra freezer and we really were 2 adults eating with a toddler just nibbling. I tended to cook for a much larger crowd. That meant we tended to overeat, not healthy. Also, there was a lot of food leftover. That food would generally go into the fridge and a meal of left overs might come from it but in general, it was shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten until it crawled out and pleaded to be put out of its misery.
5- Chaos is not a good form of organization. As you can tell from the food lost in the fridge my kitchen was in a state of chaos. There was no organization. I had no idea if cans were old or spices were out of date. You just pawed through the shelf in question until you found what you were looking for, or gave up and went out and bought it again. Yup, back to that wasting the food budget.
TIP- We’ve all heard the recommendation to create a one week meal plan and have a routine for your meals, but eating the same thing every single week sounds beyond boring. The solution to the boring aspect is simple: check out how to make a two week (or longer) rotation.
6- Using food to its greatest extent! I never thought to use the turkey bones and pieces leftover from Thanksgiving to make a broth. I didn’t use the ham bone to flavor a pot full of beans. When I was done with the meal immediately in front of me I threw out the rest and cleaned up for the night.
TIP- Learn the nutritional benefits of homemade bone broth.
7- The worst food wasting sin I committed was sheer laziness. There were times when I woke up the next morning and found that I had set last night’s leftovers aside but never put them away.
Acknowledging that I had these blind spots was the first step in correcting them. There is no shame in not having been told how to cook, maintain a home, raise a family, or homestead. Many of us have holes in our skills base. Consider how to run your kitchen, food budget, and food storage as another skill that needs to be worked on. Find a mentor. Search out a great blog or book. You can change from a food waster to a thrifty foodie mom!
Guest post by Heather who blogs at Prudent Pantry.
Even the most avid gardeners have a bad year! Any number of things can keep you out of the garden in April and May, weather problems, work commitments, family problems . . . we’ve all been there. But don’t give up on your summer vegetable garden just yet. There are still plenty of yummy veggies you can get planted now (in mid to late June) and get a nice harvest before the summer ends.
Let’s talk about what you can still get planted now and also talk about a few things that you can wait on and plant in about 5 or 6 weeks (Around August 1st for most of us).
Summer/Warm Season Veggies in Your Summer Vegetable Garden
No summer garden is complete without a few tomato plants and you can still get some in. Tomatoes are an important part of a food storage pantry. Hurry on this one! Most nurseries will still have a few tomato plants hanging around but they wont last much longer. (Don’t try to plant tomatoes by seed this time of year.)
This late in the year you want to be thinking about smaller, quicker maturing varieties. Try some type of cherry tomato (varieties to look for include Sun Sugar, and Sweet 100). They are relatively fast growers and should still give you a good harvest in September and early October.
You can also try some of the tomatoes that produce small to medium sized fruit. Think varieties like Early Girl, possibly Celebrity, or many of the Roma tomatoes. Try to find tomatoes that grow on determinate vines (vs indeterminate) as these will spent less time growing vines and more time growing fruit.
The 6 weeks you have lost in growing time means you won’t have a huge harvest this year, but if you get them in soon you should still have plenty for fresh eating and, hopefully, canning!
Zucchini and yellow crook neck squash are actually quite fast growing. Look for varieties that have a maturity date of around 60 to 70 days and you should still have lots of time to grow more zucchini than you can eat! You could also look for a patty pan squash with a short maturity date.
Most bush type green beans have a maturity date of around 60 to 70 days, so there is plenty of summer left for beans. In fact, I don’t make my last planting of green beans until mid July and still have a great harvest, incuding plenty to can following these easy instructions.
If you would still like to plant a melon, you have a little bit of time left, but choose the small “ice box” types as those take much less time to mature. You can also get cantaloupe planted now. Again, don’t expect a huge harvest this year, but you will still have a few melons that will be ready before the frost comes.
If you can find the seed still around at your local nurseries, there is time to grow a nice crop of potatoes. In fact, you could continue to plant potatoes until mid July in most areas of the country and still get a nice harvest of small roasting potatoes. This time of the year I would stay away from the big “baking” potatoes, like russets. You are running short of time to get them to maturity.
Cucumbers are a good late season planter. Again, you may not get the huge yields you are used to, but by planting seeds now, you can still have a fairly respectable crop.
If you can still find a package of onion sets at your local nursery, they will do okay this time of year. You won’t get a lot of large onions but you will have plenty of smaller onions and green onions. Don’t try growing onions from seed or starts this late in the year.
Many herbs will still do well if planted this time of year. It would be best to plant starts instead of trying to plant seeds.
Cool Weather Veggies
You can still have an awesome harvest of cool weather veggies by planning now to get them planted in late summer and early fall. Nearly anything you would normally plant in the spring time, you can also plant in the fall. A good, solid summer vegetable garden can extend into the cooler months, if you jump on it now!
These plants are broccoli, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi. If you grow your own seedlings, mid June is a good time to start a fall crop of all these yummy cool season veggies. If you plant any of the cole crops indoors now, they will be ready for planting out in the garden in about 6 to 8 weeks.
That means you will be planting them around mid-August, and they will mature in October when the weather has cooled back to those temperatures that cole crops love so much! You may find many of these veggies are even tastier in the fall because a night or two of frost helps to sweeten the flavor. If you end up with a lot of extras, try dehydrating them for quick meals, as in these instructions for dehydrating cabbage.
You can start replanting lettuce about 6 to 8 weeks before your first frost (for us that’s August 1 – 15). Fall planted lettuce can last unprotected in your garden until early December, depending on where you live.
Most people see spinach as a spring only crop, but it does very well in the fall! Again look at planting about 6 weeks before your first frost and you will be able to start harvesting in late October. Then cover those plants with a cold frame or hoop house and they will grow over the winter for an extra early spring crop.
Carrots, turnips, beets and radishes all do well in the fall and you can start replanting them around 6 weeks before your last frost.
So as you can see, all is not lost for your summer garden! Get out there this weekend to put some seeds and plants in your garden so you can still have an awesome harvest this year!
Guest Post by Rick Stone of www.ourstoneyacres.com.
Life can throw a lot of different situations at you in a hurry, situations you might never see coming. With the world in the state it’s in, it can be easy to get scared and start feeling like you need to be prepared for “the worst.” The secret to having some peace of mind is being prepared ahead of time for the unpredictable. Because the very worst that can happen is a disaster in which you are unable to care for yourself or the ones you love. That’s where having the best bug-out bag comes in handy.
Article Originally published by Kelli Warner
The best bug-out bag is ready when you need it and contains everything required for living away from civilization for at least 7-days. A bug-out bag assumes that there may come a time when, for whatever reason, you have to leave your home and not return for at least a few days. It also assumes that, should things be so bad that you have to leave your home, you won’t be able to drive down to the local Wal-Mart and stock up on everything you’ll be needing. So it’s important to spend some time ahead of the disaster, assessing your current situation and needs, as well as anticipating your needs down the road. Creating the best bug-out bag you can for your family
What Is A Bug Out Bag?
Several types of emergency preparedness kits are commonly referred to as a Bug Out Bag or BOB. Each serves a different, though sometimes similar, purpose in being prepared for whatever might come your way. An everyday carry kit contains emergency essentials that you keep on your person at all times. These are items that will help you survive emergency situations and daily challenges more easily. A get home bag is designed to do just what the name implies, to get you home. It contains more gear than you would carry on your person every day, and you would typically keep it at your office or in your car. A bug out bag is an emergency kit that provides everything you need to survive for up to a week without any outside contact or resources.
It may help to think of the three types of bags this way: In the event of a disaster, your everyday carry gear gets you from where you are to your get home bag. Your get home bag gets you to your bug out bag. And your bug out bag is designed to keep you safe for an extended period of time.
Identifying Your Needs
Different factors mean different needs. Things to consider when mapping out your bug out bag should include:
Where do you live? Living in a rural or urban environment will influence your needs during a survival situation. If you’re likely to face survival in a disaster-stricken inner city environment, you may require self-defense and demolition tools more than shelter and fire starting materials. However, most people will likely attempt to make it to a wilderness area to wait out whatever situation they’re getting away from.
Where would you go if your home were no longer safe? Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the land and map out various strengths and weaknesses. If you require a map for your chosen area, you’ll want to include one as you pack your bug out bag.
How will you get there? Depending on the type of disaster, there’s the possibility that you’d be on foot. You may need two destinations, one you can reach by car and another by foot. If you were able to “bug out” in your vehicle, all the better, but you want to pack your bug out bag with the thought that you’ll be carrying it a long way. Keeping that in mind will help you to make realistic weight limit decisions. You could always keep an extra bag of “nice to have” items close by to throw in the back of the truck or car if you can drive.
Who depends on you? Few people live in a vacuum. If disaster struck, who would look to you for help? Do you have children in the home? A spouse or partner you need to consider? Keep these people in mind when planning your bug out bag. Involve them in planning and have them, or help them, pack a bug out bag for themselves, as well.
Unique medical needs? Do you, or those you care for, have any unique medical needs that should be considered? Rescue medications like inhalers and Epi-pens should always have a priority place in any emergency preparedness.
Once you’ve identified your needs, along with the people who will need you, make a plan with your family or extended group. Choose an area where you’ll gather should the need arise. Each person should have prepared their own bug out bag and be able to get there independently. For parents with children, consider their age and capability when creating a family disaster plan.
What Should Go In The Best Bug Out Bag?
Water – the human body can only last up to 72 hours without water. You should plan for at least a liter of water, per day, per person. Carrying all that water may not be practical, but you should have at least some packaged water in your bag, as well as ways to sanitize water for future use. Water sanitation tablets or a simple filtration system can be the easiest and lightest to pack.
Food – You’ll want food you can eat now, and ways to get food in the future. Protein bars, MREs or other dehydrated meals, jerky are great. Canned goods may be considered, but they add weight and bulk. There are many pre-packaged emergency foods available commercially. When choosing food, remember to take into account any food allergies or severe sensitivities. One of the last things you want to deal with in the bush is a severe allergic reaction.
Food preparation – Don’t forget that you’ll have to prepare your food. Be sure to include things like:
- P-38 Can opener
- Metal pot or something else to cook in
- Portable stove
- Stove fuel
- Eating utensils and dishes
- Pot scrubber to clean up after
Clothing – This is a variable component, depending on your personality, region, time of year, etc. Layering is the name of the game. Some suggestions:
- Lightweight long sleeve shirt
- At least one pair of long pants – you might consider “zip off” convertible pants
- Hiking boots (on your feet) and an extra pair of shoes, if possible.
- Underwear – a change or two, it’s up to you
- Good socks – several pairs of moisture-wicking socks
- Fleece jacket – medium weight jacket for layering
- Hat with brim
- Gloves – winter or work gloves
- Neck protection – A scarf or gator, for sun or cold
Shelter and Bed
- Tarp – must have
- Tent – optional
- Sleeping Bag – must have
- Ground pad – optional
- Extra blanket – optional
Fire – You really can never have too many methods for starting a fire. Choose at least three to pack in your bug out bag:
Tinder – You’ll want to pack several types of tinder, just in case:
- Cotton balls coated with Vaseline (keep them in a baggie, or they’ll make a mess)
- Pine chips
- Cedar shavings
- Dryer lint
- Commercial fire starters, there are many
First Aid – There are several very good first aid kits available commercially. If you want to put together your own, you’ll need at least:
- Alcohol pads
- Band aids
- Bandages with tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Sunscreen – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and all that
- Insect repellent
- Super glue for closing wounds
- Medical needs – Inhalers, Epi-pens, blood pressure medications, etc.
- Wet napkins
- Hand sanitizer
- All purpose camp soap (dish soap or bar soap, whichever you prefer, or both)
- Mirror (hygiene and signaling)
- Small towel and a cloth
- Toilet paper (you’ll thank us later)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Personal hygiene needs – deodorant, feminine hygiene products, a brush or comb, ponytail holders if you have long hair, etc.
Tools – It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to tools. Because it’s important to keep the overall weight and bulk down, you’ll want to choose combination tools whenever possible:
- Survival knife – you may already have one as a part of your everyday carry gear, but make sure you have a backup.
- Multi-tool – there are many on the market, get one that gives you the most bang for your buck.
- Hatchet or machete – you won’t want to do everything with your knife, so taking something heavier makes sense.
Lighting – Always have at least primary and one backup light source:
- LED lamp
- Glow sticks
- Extra batteries
Communication – Consider that your cell phone may not work in an emergency. You might want to have a short wave radio, or some other means of communication with you, as well.
Cash – Travel funds. It’s a good idea to have some cash, and perhaps some gold or silver bullion coins, as well.
Local Map – Even if you’re familiar with the area take a map. Not having one could be disastrous.
Compass – you may already have a compass combined with your analog watch. If you do not, include one in your bug out bag.
Notepad and pencil – This is a good place to keep important numbers and addresses. Without a cell phone, many of us wouldn’t remember a phone number to call if we got the chance.
Self-defense – The need for a bug out bag implies that you are trying to survive. Take with you the best means of self-defense that you have. Include non-lethal means, in addition to whatever weapon you might choose to carry: whistle, pepper spray, etc. If you carry a gun, take extra ammunition, 25 rounds minimum.
Misc. items – Make choices based on your abilities, lack of ability, carrying capacity, space, etc.:
- Paracord – Must have – 50′ is a good start
- Bandannas – several cotton bandannas will come in handy for a variety of uses.
- Duct tape
- Garbage bags – 55 gal contractor bags are best
- Resealable bags – four or five, gallon and quart size
- Sewing kit
- Fishing Kit
- Face paint (optional)
- Snare Wire
How to Choose
The fact is, unless your bug out bag is a camper hooked to a truck, you just can’t take everything. That would be camping and not bugging out at all. So at some point you’ll have to make choices based on space and weight limitations. You’ll need to consider the distance you’ll be traveling, as weight can really add up over miles. Being able to get a pack on your back and walk across the yard is no test of your ability to get from point A to point B with it. Remember, the best bug out bag is the one you have when you need it. Having more than you can safely carry, could force you to make decisions about what to leave behind, while already under stress. That won’t set you up for success.
The weight recommendation for men is up to 20% of their body weight. This is an outside max, and assumes peak physical condition. Ten to 15% is a much more realistic weight goal. The weight recommendation for women is 10% to 15% max.
Everything has weight and takes up space. Refer back to your planning phase; remember to choose those items that you are most likely to need first, and add to it as space and weight allow.
Choosing a Good Pack
Keep a couple of things in mind: a compact bag, packed full, with no extra space, is going to be the easiest to carry. A larger, loosely packed bag, even with equal weight, is more uncomfortable. So choose the smallest bag that will still accommodate the volume and weight that you’re targeting. Remember, too, that the bag itself weighs something. Choosing a light but durable bag will be vital to having the best bug out bag possible.
Assembling Your Bugout Bag
Packing things flat, or rolled very tightly, will allow you to fit more in less space. Make a list of items along with their weight. Start packing the most important, keeping track of the overall weight as it grows.
Don’t overestimate your ability to carry your pack for hours at a time. This is a costly mistake that may land you without the survival gear you need. Once you’ve carried a too heavy pack as far as you’re able, you’ll have to lighten it beyond the recommended weight in order to finish your trek. That’s lose lose. Proper packing, keeping your weight limit in mind at all times, is a vital part of preparing the best bug out bag possible.
Be Prepared, Not Scared
Once you’ve packed your bug out bag, take it out for a weekend of camping and survival training. Practicing your survival skills in a non-stress environment insures that you’re ready, physically and mentally, when the challenge arises. Skills that are only in your head, may not serve you well in the field. After a weekend of surviving with your bug out bag, unpack, re-evaluate and repack. Did you find that you needed things you didn’t have? Did you have things you didn’t need, or that would have been better traded out for a different item? Preparing for the future, and whatever eventualities it may hold, allows you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy the here and now. If you’re prepared, you don’t
More and more people around countries who legalize gun ownership purchase their own guns. Some people have them for security purposes. It makes them feel safer knowing that they have a very effective way of defending themselves in case they encounter criminals or muggers. For hunters, having a handgun became very important due to the growing popularity of handgun hunting. Whatever your reason is, if you own a gun, you should be able to use it properly. However, shooting well and using proper gun technique is not as easy as it seems. A lot of things can go wrong. Are you having problems using your handgun? Are you owning a handgun for quite some time now but still can’t get the hang of using it? Feeling like there’s something wrong on how you handle your gun but can’t point out what it is? Are you bad at using a handgun? Let me give you 8 reasons you’re bad with a handgun.
# 1 – You’re Holding it Wrong
For you to have fundamental shooting skills, it is very important that you know how to properly grip your gun. How you grip your gun affects your aim, your balance, your ability to pull the trigger right, and your ability to receive the recoil with less discomfort. It also prevents you from “limp wristing” which is the tendency of your gun to jam because of a loose or weak grip.
One of the mistakes in holding your gun is what we call “tea cupping”. This is putting your support hand under the handle and holding it together with your shooting hand. This type of grip is unstable and will make it hard to control recoil.
Another is what we call the “crossed thumbs”. This is crossing your support hand thumb over your shooting hand thumb while placed behind your gun’s handle right under the hammer. This type of grip may seriously injure your thumb when the slide moves backward which is very painful.
Other wrong ways of gripping your gun are: holding your gun too low, wrapping your dominant hand around your support hand, interweaving your fingers, pointing your support hand’s index finger, and putting your support hand’s index finger in front of the trigger guard.
The best way of gripping your gun is what we call the thumb-forward grip. This grip allows your palms and fingers to be in contact with the entire surface of the handle. This grip gives you a good control of the muzzle and helps you to speed up your aim.
Let me explain to you how to do this. First, place your dominant hand high on the grip and hold it firmly. The “V” between your thumb and index finger must be positioned as high as possible in the back strap. This aligns the barrel with your forearm which reduces recoil. Your three remaining fingers, on the other hand, must be wrapped around the base of the grip just below the trigger guard. Next, wrap your support hand over your dominant hand while placing your support finger’s thumb right below but slightly forward to your dominant hand’s thumb and parallel to the frame. Your four other fingers must be around the base of the grip wrapped around your dominant hand’s three fingers. When you have perfected this, you will be ready to learn how to shoot a handgun.
# 2 – You’re Doing a Wrong Stance
Having a good stance allows you to acquire a strong and stable platform, proper sight alignment, and trigger control. This will help you manage recoil and shoot accurately. There is no one stance that fits all shooters, but there are wrong stances that prevent you from shooting properly.
One usual mistake some shooters make is leaning backward which puts them off balance as recoil comes. Another is having one of their arms dropping which will make it harder for them to absorb the impact of the recoil well. The proper way to do this is to slightly lean forward towards the target with your arms extended straight and leveled with your shoulders.
I won’t be talking about all the possible shooting stances in this article, but let me teach you the two ways of proper foot placement. I will leave it up to you to make the proper adjustments which will be dependent on your own features. The first one is having your strong leg placed at the back and slightly on the side of your weak leg, your feet, slightly extending outward forming an L shape. This stance lets you have a strong foundation. The second is positioning your feet parallel to each other and extending them slightly wider than your shoulder, your knees, slightly bent and your body, squarely facing the target. This allows you to get hold of the target faster.
# 3 – You’re Focusing on the Wrong Thing
When aiming at our target, there are three things that we consider: the front sight, the rear sight, and the target itself. However, it is not possible for us to focus on three things at a time. Some tend to switch their focus from the front sight, to the rear sight to the target, and back as rapidly as they can but this will still lead to focusing on either of the three in the end. Many naturally focus on the target since it is where we picture our bullet to land. The problem with this is that we leave both the front sight and the rear sight out of focus making it prone to misalignment. Some tend to focus on the rear sight because it is the closest to the eye. However, this leaves the front sight and the target out of focus.
The right thing to do? Focus on the front sight. Everything else will follow. Why? Because the front sight will be the final basis of the projectile. Just make sure that it is properly aligned.
# 4- You’re “Putting too much Finger” on the Trigger
Many shooters commit the mistake of putting too much of their finger in the trigger that it goes across the other side. Their tendency is that they pull the gun to their strong hand’s side. The result? Their bullet lands off target.
Before pulling the trigger, you must make sure that your finger is on the right placement. To do so, contact the facet of the trigger using the part of your finger which is underneath the nail bed. Together with the right stance and grip, you will now be ready to pull the trigger.
# 5 – You are “Jerking” the Trigger
Jerking the trigger means pulling the trigger fast and sudden. The tendency is that you put too much force in pulling the trigger causing your gun to move slightly and your bullet to land off target.
Pulling your trigger just right is critical for you to shoot accurately. To do this, you must squeeze your trigger with slow, steady pressure until you hit the trigger’s break point.
One reason that you are jerking the trigger is that you are anticipating the recoil or the bang caused by your gun firing. If you find it hard to avoid it, you can practice by dry firing your gun. And always remember, when squeezing the trigger, only use force on your index finger. Never apply force with your entire hand.
# 6 – You are flinching
Like jerking, your tendency to flinch is also because you are either anticipating recoil or anticipating a loud bang from your gun. It is our body’s natural reaction to the thought that we are about to receive an impact. However, in shooting, anything that causes us to lose our target should be gotten rid of.
If you want to avoid flinching, one thing that you can do is to concentrate well on your sight alignment and trigger squeeze that you will forget to bother on anticipating the recoil. However, this requires serious concentration. The better thing to do is to acclimate yourself to recoil. To do this, practice doing rapid fire. As time goes by, you will get used to the noise and pressure caused by your gun. And don’t forget to relax before starting to shoot.
# 7 – You are using the Wrong Gun
If you are following all of the things mentioned above and are still bad with your handgun, maybe you are using a gun which is just not right for you. Like having the best IWB holsters for your guns is the answer to your problem in quick drawing when in concealed carry, sometimes, choosing the right gun that suits you is also the answer to your problem in bad shooting. Mostly, the factor that is considered here is your size and your hand size. Maybe, your hand is too small to properly reach the trigger of the gun, or maybe it is too big that it prevents you from having a good grip. Maybe your figure is too small to take up the impact of your gun. Whichever it may be, you have to choose the gun that suits you and that you can handle.
# 8 – You need more Practice
Shooting is not an ability that you just get instantly. It is not a talent. It is a skill. It is acquired through thorough practice. You don’t purchase a gun and just use it when the need appears. Or you just learn the basics, try to shoot a few times, and that’s it. Practice is important. One thing practice does for you is that it allows you to familiarize yourself with your handgun. It gives you a feeling that your body – your arms, is one with the gun; it helps you to control it easier. It also builds your confidence knowing that you have more than just the knowledge in using a handgun. You have the experience. Another is that practicing allows you to be accustomed with the noise and impact caused by using a gun which will prevent you from problems like flinching and yanking the trigger. So practice. Practice with a dry fire. Practice with a smaller caliber gun. Practice with your handgun.
Many people are now owning a gun for security or hunting purposes. However, not all know how to use them right. Some people know that they are not using their handgun right or that they have a problem in using them but they somehow can’t point out where the problem is coming from. That is why in this article, I pointed out my 8 reasons why you’re bad with a handgun.
Did you like this article? If so, please leave a comment and share it with your friends. Thank you for reading!
Joseph Gleason is the founder of Captain Hunter. We provide guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader questions, and reviews of the latest hunting gear. We specialize in providing expert information that does exactly what it claims.
Our dedicated staff members are each seasoned professionals with a passion for hunting built upon years of in the field experience.
You can never be too prepared for an emergency situation. However, it is in such cases that you wish you had some survival skills on your fingertips. The ability to craft a survival bow is one such skill that could easily determine your fate.
Unlike other traditional weapons, a bow is a crucial resource as it increases the distance between you and the target. Another advantage is that it employs stealth, another important factor in survival. You will love to know that the steps you will learn here will equip you with the knowledge to make a survival weapon. These steps combined with some bow hunting tips can come in handy when you least expect them.
Picking The Best Wood
The very first step in your procedure is selecting the right wood for your bow. The best pick should be sturdy but not rigid. Therefore, when it comes to choosing wood, your ideal choice would be from hardwood. Some examples include Osage orange, black locust, beech, hickory, maple, yew, and Ash among others. For those who may be challenged identifying their trees, here is a criterion you can apply to come up with the best choice.
Take a small twig the size of your pinky finger. Bend it to some extent and allow it to snap back. As you do this, observe how it responds. Is it quick or sluggish? Next, bend your twig into a c-shape and see if it breaks or it remains intact. Lastly, break it. You will know if it is of high quality by how it breaks. If it snaps easily in two, it is of poor quality. If it fails to break completely but instead kinks, it is an ideal choice.
Parts of Your Bow
Now that you know the wood to use for your bow, you need an outstanding piece of it to make your weapon. This piece of wood is known as the bow stave. A good bow stave should be;
- At least 5 feet long and 2 inches thick
- Without side branches, knots or cracks
Next, you need to figure out the belly, back, and handle of your bow stave. How to do this;
- Set the stave on the ground upright and hold the top loosely with one hand
- Push the middle of the bow lightly and allow it to rotate revealing the slightly curved part
- The inner part of the curve makes the belly
- The outer part of the curve makes the back
To determine the handle, you need to find the center of the stave and mark three inches from each side of the midpoint. What you have in between is your bows handle.
Shaping Your Bow
This is the crucial stage where you give your bow stave its perfect curve. To do this set the bow on the ground, hold the top and push it slightly outwards. Your other arm can assist to push outwards from the belly side of the handle. You want to observe how the limbs bend. Start whittling away wood from the areas that do not bend easily while leaving the sectors that bend a lot intact. As you do this, remember that you are only working on the belly side.
Whittle away the wood slowly until the limbs are bending evenly. When you finish, your bent bow should assume the shape of a parabolic curve.
When you are satisfied with your bows curve, you need to carve small notches on the tips where you will tie the string. You do not want your bow cord sliding off when you aim. Therefore, cut a 45-degree notch not too deep on the top and bottom side of the limb ensuring not to touch the back.
Stringing Your Bow
Before you can add the bow cord, you need to find to find the ideal one as not any string can serve the purpose. Some good materials include; Rawhide, sinew, nylon rope, milkweed, dogbane, yucca, twine and nettle among others. You should know that any stiff synthetic cord will do the trick. An elastic cord will only interfere with your bow’s power. As you string the bow, ensure that you have at least five inches between your bow cord and the handle.
At this point, if you have some handy arrows and a few bow hunting tips, you can make your first kill. What’s more, with the best hunting rangefinder, you can easily spot and drop your target as you maintain your distance. Additionally, if you are not in a life-threatening condition, you can tiller your bow, check its draw power, sand the belly, or even apply some oil on it for longevity.
Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer, the founder of Deer Hunting Field. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else. He also occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. But more than anything, he wants to teach and educate about hunting …
If you really want to stock up on survival gear, then sometimes you want to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk not only allows you to purchase the right amount of equipment and supplies, but will let you do so at a discount. Rather than purchasing a large quantity of items from a typical store, you can purchase from wholesale companies that provide a discount since you are buying in bulk. Below are some great places that you can purchase plenty of survival gear online, and make sure you are ready for any disasters.
DollarDays – DollarDays is one of the largest wholesalers in the country, offering a wide range of products. While not focusing solely on survival gear, they nonetheless have plenty to offer when it comes to this department. On their website you’ll find essential gear such as waterproof matches, Mylar blankets, and medical supplies. While the options available are not as great as some other locations, if you need the basics, this is a great place to start.
Overstock – Another large company that offers more than just survival gear, Overstock is one of the most popular places to buy wholesale products. Overstock offers everything from medical supplies to camping gear to sanitation equipment to emergency power and more. All of this comes at the low prices you’d expect to get from any wholesaler. Overstock even offers free shipping to the Continental U.S for any orders over $45.00, allowing you to save a little bit more money.
Best Glide Aviation Survival Equipment – Sometimes you need more specific survival gear. If you need supplies for when you are out in the wilderness, or for anything to do with aviation, then you’ll want a wholesaler that can meet those needs. Best Glide ASE offers a wide range of products tailored to fit this exact group of people. On their website you will find supplies such as parachute cords, tracker buttons, and pre-made survival kits designed for the wilderness. If some of the larger wholesale chains do not have what you’re looking for, check out this one.
Bite The Bullet – For those of you who want a very specific product – namely, ammo – then you’ll want to buy right from the manufacturer. With companies like Bite The Bullet you can buy bulk ammo online, and have it delivered directly to your door. Ammo is typically used when loading up your survival gear, and if you think you’ll need a lot of it, you’re better off buying in bulk to save yourself some money. This website makes that easy, all without having to leave your home.
DHgate – Now, when purchasing survival gear, you’re probably not looking to sacrifice quality over cost. However, for those of you that want to spend the least amount of money, you can look to a site called DHgate. DHgate sells products directly from Chinese manufacturers and a very low cost. We can’t speak to the quality of every product on this website, but if you really want to save money, then it is worth taking a look at. Just be sure you do some research into what you are buying, and don’t purchase anything questionable if your life may depend on it some day.
Living Rational – Lastly, we have a wholesaler for those of you that are representing companies, schools or other organizations. If, as a part of your emergency preparedness, you need to order survival gear in bulk, this is the site for you. Living Rational offers survival kits for people of all ages and sizes, along with equipment for disasters such as floods or earthquakes. You’ll need to contact the company in order to get a quote on purchasing wholesale, but all the information you need is right on their website. Plenty Of Options To Buy In Bulk
When it comes to purchasing survival gear in bulk, you have a lot of options. No matter what kind of equipment you are looking to buy in bulk, there is a good chance that one of the above websites will have it for you. If not, there are plenty of other companies and websites out there, with the above list only being a small sample.
The post 6 Different Online Resources to Buy Bulk Survival Gear appeared first on American Preppers Network.
A Few Ideas on How to Prep When it’s Cold Outside
If winter and its freezing temperatures are making you depressed, I want to give you a few ideas on how to prep and help pass the time. No, this is not one of those “how to prep for winter” types of articles.
Instead, I’m going to give you a few ideas that don’t require you to go hiking, to go outside and build a solar cooker and test it. These are things you can do in the comfort of your own home, most with little effort, but they will give you that feeling that you’re productive. And you will be.
#1. Try making a clay pot heater
…or any other indoor project for that matter. Now, don’t get your hopes up, these heaters won’t be able to heat up a whole room, however, they will help in an emergency. If, for some reason, none of your other heating options will work, you’ll be able to use this heater to at least keep your hands and feet warm.
Warning: candles are a fire hazard so be sure to supervise the thing every minute it’s running. There are lots of youtube videos about clay pot heaters you can watch. (Editors note: Please watch this warning video about clay pots. They can be very, very dangerous.)
#2. Watch a movie
There are plenty of survival movies you can watch with your family and learn a thing or two. While many of them are full of errors, I still enjoy them and I’m sure many other preppers do. If your family is not on board with you with regards to prepping, this could be a great way to open their eyes, if only just a little bit.
Recommendations: History Channel’s Alone series (not a movie, a TV show but really good), The Way Back (2010), Children of Men (2006), Volcano (1997).
#3. Make Plans
Don’t stop to making survival plans. Winter is the perfect time to plan for the year ahead, set goals and think of ways of achieving them. Of course, making or refining your survival plans should be a top priority.
If you’ve already done your basic planning, consider improving them by:
- figuring out how to make more room for your increasing stockpile
- reviewing your gear to see if any of the items you have are low quality
- printing better/more maps of your area and re-adding the points of interest with a marker
- prepping for disasters and emergencies you haven’t yet considered
- finding your blind spots and making plans to improve them (e.g. if you’re not prepping to bug out, you should definitely start planning for it)
#4. Perform a full inspection…
…of all your gear, your food, water and meds stockpile, your bug out bag, even of your EDC!
- that your electronics are still functional
- for leaky or discharged batteries
- your propane heater
- your generator
- that your hand-crank devices are still functional
- that your fuel tank is full or almost full, and make a mental note to always keep it full
- the gear inside your car
- Your medical equipment (ever tested your newly bought thermometer, for instance?)
Pay particular attention to items that have never been used. You definitely want to put them to the test more than a few times, to ensure they’re going to hold up in a survival situation.
Inspecting your stockpile can save you money by not having to throw away food that would otherwise spoil. If a tuna can is close to its expiration date, you may want to take it out, eat it, and re-add to your shopping list.
#5. Learn how to use your gear
Come on, admit it: you have at least one piece of gear you don’t know how to use. Wouldn’t this be a great time to play with it a little bit and see how it works? Well, you won’t be able to test everything indoors (some items are fire hazards) but you can safely play around with:
- Paracord (try to make some knots)
- HAM radio
- emergency radio
- …and so on.
Survival and preparedness are complex and, as a result, they have a lot of issues and controversies. The more you read, however, the closer to the truth you’ll get. The bugging in versus bugging out dilemma, what things are found in water that filters can and cannot purify, whether or not you should tell others about your preps, how to handle cashiers when they ask you why you buy too much of one thing – these are just some of the things that’ve caused heated debates (and still do).
Knowledge is power, so take advantage of all the free info out there, read it all and make up your own mind.
Even the most experienced campers make mistakes when exploring the great outdoors. In a minor case, you forget an essential item like your toothbrush, but some can even lead to Camping Catastrophes at campsites or in surrounding areas. To avoid the worst ones, follow these five tips when preparing for your trip.
Train for Emergency Situations
Many campers are ill-prepared to handle emergencies. Set up all your camping gear in a yard or living room with your fellow campers and run through emergency scenarios, including how to deal with a spreading camp or forest fire, and certain types of dangerous wild animals and medical events. Assign people with emergency positions, such as camp firefighter, medic, or walkie talkie operator, as dictated by their skills.
Give Someone Your Plans
Another common problem is that many campers fail to have outside help on standby. Arrange backup with someone who lives or works within short driving or flying distance. Give them the dates you plan to be away, directions and a map to the campsite, and your activity schedule. This person’s job is to contact authorities if you fail to check-in at prearranged times.
Bring a Fire Extinguisher
Unbelievable as this may sound, many campers fail to take a small fire extinguisher with them. A lot of wilderness explorers believe they only need water and dirt to put out a fire, but campers can’t always deploy these types of fire suppressors fast enough when dealing with spreading fire.
Buy Appropriate Environmental Gear
Some campers risk their lives by using the wrong gear. Always take a tent, sleeping bags and blankets, clothing, and tools that have been crafted specifically to deal with the environment and climate of the area you plan to visit. For example, if you decide to go to a region that sometimes experiences flash snow fall or high winds, do not take thin, less sturdy, mild weather gear.
Remember Your Field Guides
Skilled hunters, hikers, and other types campers with years of experience under their belts know that it is impossible to memorize everything, and that it is all too easy to forget what you do know during an emergency. Take pocket field guides about regional plants and animals, medical emergency treatments and survival tips. Injury lawyers in Castle Rock say you should also think about looking into bringing some first aid and medical kits.
These tips can help reduce the risks of camping on your own. Do not leave home unless you have followed them and know the risks of your campsite.
Prepping for the Long Term With Christina Moore
Most preppers focus on the short term. They stock up on goods and supplies but limit themselves to a few months’ worth of storage. This is understandable: most new preppers don’t have a whole lot of storage space and very few can afford to drop a wad of cash on the storage space and supplies and prep for the long haul. Our emergency response systems are also fairly sophisticated. Even massive disaster zones get at least their basic resources back within a few months. Limiting yourself to a few months with the assumption that you simply won’t need more than that makes sense.
With the increasing volatility of the world, however, it’s worth exploring your options for long-term prepping and future homesteading. If you’re used to thinking short term, however, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything you think you’ll have to do. Here are some tips for where to focus your efforts.
Prevailing wisdom says that the best source of power when you’re forced (or choose) to live off-grid is solar energy. They are definitely better and more sustainable than fuel powered generators (fuel eventually runs out, sunlight is always available). Of course, there will be times when your solar generators run out of juice so it’s good to have a backup system.
Most short term homesteaders focus on stockpiling batteries for their backup power. Unfortunately, most of our devices are built to run on AC power and lack a battery powered option. This is why one of your first purchases should be a sine wave converter. These are machines that convert the power output of batteries into AC power. These off-grid inverters act like generators but they’re smaller and easier to transport.
In the short term, a stockpile of bottled water is likely fine and should last you for a while. Eventually, however, those bottles are going to run out. In the event of an emergency or disaster, finding potable water is going to be challenging. This is why having a reusable filtering system is important.
You can make your own water filter using buckets, charcoal, charcoal, gravel, and sand. These will work well if you’ve set up camp somewhere with easily accessible water sources nearby. If you’re traveling, though, or if your closest water source is a long way away and you’ll need drinkable water for the journey there and back, you’ll want something that you can take with you.
For those who are planning on staying in their current homes, it seems like you’ve got this taken care of already. But what if you can’t? What if something happens to your home? Or what if circumstances force you to leave it for safer ground? In the event that this is you face this scenario, you’ll want to have some form of shelter that you can take with you. It needn’t be fancy but it does need to be easily portable. In most cases, a tarp or large piece of canvas can be sufficient (if you know how to use the materials around you to fashion it into a shelter–we’ll get to that in a minute). Alternatively, a small tent should do the job (one for every person in your family).
So far, we’ve focused on physical supplies that you’ll need but it’s important that you have a good set of survival skills. We don’t mean just that innate fight or flight response with which we are all born. It’s also good to know a few things about fending for yourself off the grid.
Do you know how to build a fire without matches? Do you know how to build a shelter out of natural materials? Do you know which kinds of shelter work best in cold environments (as opposed to warm environments)? Do you know how to track an animal? Do you know how to hunt–with and without a firearm? Do you know how to field dress something you’ve hunted? Heck, do you know how to tell the difference between plants that are edible and plants that are poisonous? Can you mend clothing without a sewing machine? Do you know how to dress basic wounds? These are skills every prepper should have. Take a wilderness or survival skills class so you can get some field practice. It is important to hone these skills before you have to use them.
Prepping for the long term can be incredibly overwhelming, but as long as you’ve got your basic needs covered you should be able to build from there. Focus on the basics: power, water, shelter, food, and basic survival skills. Use the tips we’ve shared here as a starting place for these things. The rest of your prepping should flow naturally from there.
Emergency, like natural calamities such as flood, typhoon or hurricane, and earthquakes are a dangerous situation, requiring an immediate and fast response to avoid unwanted results ̶ injuries or death. Being able to make sure that you are safe before, during, and after any disaster is needed to counteract or respond effectively. What is needed is preparedness. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the U.S., it means a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating and taking corrective actions in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response. Emergency Preparedness can save your lie or your loved ones lives.
Now, that sounds really intimidating. But we cannot just depend on all, everything, every time to the government agencies for security and emergency, or a non-profit charity organization such as Red Cross. We too must take our part, be on a mission to help ourselves during these times.
Nothing beats Planning and Preparation
- Discuss within the household the type of emergency and how to respond to them, that may occur where you live, work, and your children (if any) attend to school and play. Include in it the roles and responsibilities of each member and how everybody will work together as a team.
- Take a Drill. These agencies have for sure guidelines for families on how to prepare before and during an emergency that is short on time but essential. Here is some few advice from them:
- Get a Kit. Purchase an emergency preparedness kit.
- Discuss on the Kit Rules. Make sure that every member in the household knows where it is placed aside in the house and that is to be used for emergency only. Also, identify the uses of each item inside the kit. You may personalize the Kit also. You can add canned foods and other personal items in the kit. Below are the following items that should be available in your kit.
At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day good for three days: for drinking and sanitation
- Food (non-perishable), at least a three-day supply
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towels, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Extra Cash
Consider also the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games (toys) and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl) – for those with pets
- Extra set (back-up) of car keys and house key
- Matches or lighter
- Rain Gear
- Make an Evacuation Plan. Have your own map and determine two or three destinations of evacuation areas and routes to go there. In your map, it is recommended to highlight them for an easier look at the event of the emergency.
- Be informed. Information is essential, especially on a calamity hitting your area. Right at the beginning, knowing what natural disasters may or can affect your location and what to do helps to you keep heads up of the possible scenarios during the disaster. It is already recommended to stay updated on the weather forecast news if a typhoon or hurricane may hit your area. Follow the advice of local authorities if they are telling you to evacuate.
- If away from home, ensure you know the hotline numbers, if possible write it down and have each member in the household has their own copies. Ensure that you have the contact numbers of the people close to you, like family. They must know how to reach you and you know how to reach them.
Keep it current and keep it with you. Information may include:
- Emergency hotlines, like 911
- Local Government Emergency and Safety Unit (hotlines and trunk lines)
- Local RED CROSS hotline
- Family phone numbers
- An out-of-town contact (a close relative, friend) – Name and phone or mobile numbers
- Common family emergency meeting place or evacuation area
- Learning Hands-Only CPR. This skill is absolutely necessary. You can save a life from a cardiac arrest. Furthermore, also consider learning skills on First Aid.
- Get connected. Keeping your data and devices available will keep you connected to the social media world, and post status updates (needed) on the current happening in your area or situation during the emergency. On the verge of no electricity, keep at reach your power banks, loaded enough to get you throughout the day/s so that when batteries of your smartphones are empty, it is there ready to back you up.
For the First Aid Kit
It is equally important to know how to treat minor injuries and how it can make a difference in an emergency. Below are the following items should be available in your kit:
- Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves
- Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
- Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towels
- Antibiotic ointment
- Burn ointment
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
- Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminate
- Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine, and asthma inhalers.
- Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
- Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
Other first aid supplies for Emergency Preparedness:
- Tube of petroleum jelly or another lubricant
- Oil Liniments
Having and knowing all these guidelines on emergency preparedness, it is an important reminder that we need to be ready to respond to natural or even man-made disasters ̶ always. Because disaster can strike at any time of the day, so it’s important to have a planned response whenever we are at work, on vacation or on the road.
Shared with APN by Jennifer Moran at TheBerkey.com
Unfortunately, in today’s society, there are times you may be confronted with violence at work, as illustrated by incidents such as the on-air shooting of reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward, the San Bernardino shooting and the Orlando nightclub shooting. An average of 551 workers a year are killed as a result of workplace-related homicides, according to the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2010, 78 percent of these homicides involved shootings. The risk of being shot at work raises the question of how concealed carry policy should be applied in the workplace. While gun control advocates may reject the idea that concealed carry has a place at work, preppers know that concealed carry may be your best defense against a disgruntled and armed employee or customer. If you’re considering implementing a concealed carry policy at your workplace, here are some guidelines for pursuing your policy safely.
Check Your State Laws
The first thing to do is check your state laws in consultation with your company’s legal team, since laws regarding concealed carry and an employer’s legal right to determine concealed carry policy vary by state. State laws seek to balance a citizen’s constitutional right to bear arms with an employer’s right to control policy on private property and their responsibility under OHSA to maintain a safe workplace environment. Some states prohibit retaliation against gun owners for bearing arms and limit an employer’s right to search employee vehicles. Others allow an employer to prohibit guns if they post certain notices.
As of June 2015, employers in Maryland were allowed to restrict concealed carry in parking lots and on premises, while those in California were not, and those in Florida were allowed to restrict concealed carry on premises but not in parking lots. Some states also allow exceptions to these rules. For instance, Utah allows employers to restrict concealed carry in parking lots and on premises, but there is an exception for federal and state workers.
Check to see what legal options are available to you under your state laws for determining your company concealed carry policy. Knowing your state’s laws can help you in formulating your policy by letting you know what options are legally excluded.
Consider Your Corporate Culture
Beyond legal considerations, your concealed carry policy towards your employees can also impact your brand reputation with your customers, points out the Society for Human Resource Management. One key issue that impacts your brand is whether the same policy you apply to your employees also applies to your customers. For instance, Starbucks has drawn criticism for asking customers not to bring guns into their stores even if they have a concealed carry permit. Similarly, businesses can draw criticism for restricting self-defense rights of employees.
Apart from concerns about criticism, there is the more fundamental issue of how your gun policy aligns with your corporate culture. How do your company’s vision, values and mission statement inform your gun policy? For instance, consider your company’s overall policy toward your employees and customers, and develop a gun policy that embodies this stance, communicating how allowing concealed carry advances the safety and well-being of your employees and customers.
Who Can Conceal Carry Guns?
The question of whether your gun policy towards your employees extends to your customers broaches the broader question of who can carry guns under your corporate policy. What about part-time employees? Independent contractors? Hired security personnel? Visitors? Are any categories of workers required to undergo any type of safety training to be allowed to carry guns at your business? Will you run any background checks on employees and contractors who may be carrying guns to ensure that you meet OHSA standards for maintaining a safe working environment? Also consider how you will handle employees who have been recently terminated or otherwise involved in workplace confrontations and may have guns on their person or in their vehicles as they are exiting the building in a bad mood.
Where Are Guns Allowed?
Another issue your policy should address is where guns are allowed. As noted, some states have different restrictions for parking lots and premises. Additionally, there may be areas of your premises that are not entirely owned by you and may be shared with adjacent businesses. Within the legal guidelines of your state laws, you should develop policies that clarify what is allowed in each of the areas of your workplace. This will enable you to respond to employees who ask where they can store their guns.
What Kind of Guns are Allowed?
Another question to consider is what kinds of guns and gun supplies are allowed, suggests workplace law firm Fisher Phillips. For instance, definitions of “assault weapons” vary from state to state, which has contributed to media and public confusion over this term. Clarifying what types of weapons fall under your gun policy can help you if you become embroiled in a public relations battle over an incident at your workplace. Likewise, you may want your policy to clarify your stance towards semi-automatic versus automatic weapons. If deer hunting is popular in your area, you might also want to lay out a policy for rifles. Similar considerations hold for ammunition and accessories for different categories of weapons that fall under your policy.
What about Other Weapons and Dangerous Objects?
Some company gun policies also address the use of other weapons and potential weapons. For instance, knives can be classified as weapons in some contexts, but if your business is a restaurant, you obviously need certain types of knives to operate. Other objects such as boxcutters are not designed as weapons but can be used as such. You may wish to consider how your gun policy addresses these.
Notifying Employees of Your Policy
After developing your policy, it’s also essential to make sure your policy is communicated to your staff and other relevant personnel. Develop training procedures to make sure that your staff is aware of your policy. Ideally, these should be part of broader training in workplace violence policy and management. If you require any firearm safety procedure training, include this in your policy. Check your state’s policy for your obligation to post signs and make sure you are in compliance with these requirements.
The post How Concealed Carry Policies Can Keep You and Your Employees Safe appeared first on American Preppers Network.
One of the scariest things that can happen when you’re in the back-country is an injury. Even a small blister can upend a backpacking trip, but imagine facing something more serious, like a broken leg, an allergic reaction, or a burn from the campfire, and not knowing where to start. Suddenly it’s abundantly obvious that getting to a hospital isn’t as simple as calling 911, and you wonder where you packed the first-aid kit – you did pack a first-aid kit, right? Having a first-aid kit and knowing how to use it are important parts of making any trip to the back-country. Here are some tips to get you started in wilderness first aid.
Take a Course
If you plan on spending time in the backcountry, it’s important to take a course in wilderness medicine. You have three options when choosing a course.
Wilderness First Aid (2–3 days)
This course provides an overview of wilderness medicine, and it is designed for people who plan on taking mostly weekend trips. You’ll learn how to check for threats to life, how to care for wounds and fractures, and how to deal with an emergency in a deliberate way.
Wilderness First Responder (~10 days)
This course is usually required for people who want to work in the outdoors. The material is presented more thoroughly than the material in the short course, and the course covers a wider range of common wilderness injuries.
Wilderness EMT (one month)
If you want to be a ski instructor or expect to bounce between EMT work and time in the backcountry, this is a great option. In addition to the national EMT curriculum, the Wilderness EMT includes a component designed for providing remote care.
Don’t be intimidated by the fact that these are all classes; most wilderness medicine courses involve a lot of hands-on learning and scenarios, which provide plenty of chances to practice your skills. Be sure to take a class from a reputable program and keep your certification up to date. Most certifications have to be renewed every two to three years, and most of them include a CPR component. Renewing your certification may seem like a hassle, but it’s a great way to brush up on rusty skills and learn changes to the curriculum or protocols.
- Gloves (2–3 pairs Latex or nitrile gloves are essential for anyone treating a patient; pack a few pairs so you won’t run out.
- Band-Aids (10–20): These are great for small cuts and scrapes.
- Ibuprofen and acetaminophen: Sometimes referred to as “Vitamin I,” ibuprofen is great for treating everything from headaches to aching feet.
- Antihistamine and an EpiPen: Allergic reactions happen fast, so make sure you know where the EpiPen and Benadryl are located so you can retrieve them quickly.
- Tweezers: Tweezers are great for removing splinters and ticks.
- Moleskin (2 sheets): These are great for preventing and treating blisters.
- Molefoam (1 sheet): Molefoam provides a fast way to pad a blister.
- Athletic tape (1 roll): Athletic tape can be used for a number of injuries, including twisted ankles and blisters, and it can be used to tape gauze over larger wounds.
- Duct tape: Instead of packing a roll, unwind some tape and wrap it around itself so you can remove pieces.
- Gauze pads (2–3): These are perfect for burns and big cuts.
- Gauze roll: Having two types of gauze may seem redundant, but the roll can be handy for wrapping any number of injuries.
- Antibiotic ointment (3–5 packets): These come in small packets, which are a nice, lightweight option.
- Ace bandage: These are bulky, but they are great for wrapping around splints if you’re dealing with a fracture or simply supporting a rolled ankle.
- Trauma shears or a pocket knife: Scissors aren’t lightweight, but they are indispensible if you need to cut molefoam or remove clothing around an injury. If you opt to leave them behind, be sure to carry a pocket knife.
- CPR face shield: This is a lightweight version of a CPR mask.
- Paper and pencil: These are vital for recording information and taking notes on your patient.
- Plastic bag: These are always useful, but if you’re disposing of biohazardous material, it’s especially important to have one in your kit.
Source: Fix.com Blog
One of the first things you learn in first-aid training is how to assess a situation to ensure your own safety and that of potential victims. When someone gets injured, your instinct will be to rush to help, but it’s important to take a minute to size up the situation first. These five steps will help you quickly gather important information about the situation before you approach the injured party.
1. Make sure the area around the patient is safe for you, the rescuer. This may be a quick decision if the patient simply fell, but consider the scene after an avalanche, a lightning strike, or a bear attack. If the thing that caused the injury is still a danger to others, keep yourself safe by waiting to approach the patient. There’s no sense in creating more patients.
2. Make a quick determination about what happened to the patient. This isn’t a diagnosis but an observation based on what the scene looks like.
3. Put on gloves! It’s crucial to ensure that none of the patient’s fluids (like blood) get on your skin. Gloves are the easiest solution for protecting your hands, and you should wear them at all times while treating a patient.
4. Make a quick scan of the area to count how many patients you’ll be treating. Maybe you’ve stumbled upon a boating accident with a raft full of people, or maybe you’re hiking with a friend who stumbled and fell to the ground.
5. Is the person alive or dead? This may seem basic, but it will give you a lot of information about what your next steps will be and how fast to make them. Sometimes you have to get closer to the patient to see if they are alive, which is why this step is last.
First-aid 101: Blister Prevention
Blisters are a much more likely to occur on a hiking or camping trip than are some of the other incidental injuries a person may incur. Learning how to treat them is a valuable skill that will pay off in dividends. Blisters are essentially burns caused by friction, and they are incredibly common on backpacking trips, especially if you’re wearing brand-new boots. The pre-cursor to a blister is known as a “hot spot.” It’s best to catch blisters at this stage, when they’re easily treated.
If you or your hiking partner discovers a hot spot, stop and take a look at the foot. Hot spots are usually red, and they will be slightly painful to the touch. They’re caused by the foot rubbing against either the boot or the sock, so to treat them, you need to relieve the friction. This is easy to do with moleskin. Simply cut out a circular piece about the size of the hot spot and tape it in place (athletic tape works well for this).
Have the person remove their boot and sock. Take out a square of Molefoam and cut a circle that covers the entire blister, plus a little extra. Round pieces are best because they don’t have any corners, which will peel.
Once you have a circular piece cut, fold the piece in half and cut out the middle, creating a foam donut. The inside hole should be large enough that it covers the entire blister.
Place the foam donut over the blister. If the extends out further than the foam, make a second donut and place it on top of the first. The goal is to create a ring around the blister that will protect it from rubbing against the boot.
If the blister has popped, apply some antibiotic cream inside the donut. If it hasn’t popped, leave it intact. A popped blister is no longer protected by the cushion of the fluid, and it’s an easy access point for infection-causing bacteria. Once the blister is surrounded by the donut of foam, wrap the area with athletic tape to keep the bandage in place.
Source: Fix.com Blog
Now that you know some of the basics, sign up for a wilderness medicine class in your area. Start by checking these three schools that offer nationally recognized certifications.
Many preppers conclude the economy in the U.S. will collapse gradually, rather than overnight due to some cataclysmic event. Either way, your ability to find and secure meals for you and your family becomes the difference between life and death for your family. So, how do you prepare to survive in a world where food is scarce, and money is tight?
Following a SHTF event, the only certainty will be unpredictability. Depending on the event, your location, and how long it takes for the country to recover your options for cooking and food storage will change. Practice making a variety of different cheap survival recipes so that no matter what type of situation you find yourself in, you are ready to put a meal together that will satisfy your family. Below are several different ideas for your survival meal arsenal:
Chicken livers come in a carton and cost around $1.00. Boil with salt and pepper in either water or chicken broth. The beneficial thing about chicken livers is just a small amount with some whole grain bread, and a cup of milk will stave off hunger for several hours.
Pouches of instant potatoes are relatively inexpensive, typically under $1.00 at the local Walmart. Ramen Noodles are another very inexpensive food; you can buy six to 12 packages for under $2.00. Both are simple to cook as they require only boiling water. For variety, mix the instant potatoes with the ramen noodles to create a high- energy food called “ramen-bombs.”
Pasta is a great food staple to have on hand, and it can be used to create a variety of meals. Cook pasta and drain. Fry several eggs over medium and sprinkle with salt and pepper if you have it. Combine the eggs with the pasta and throw in cooked veggies, cheese, or meat. You can also mix cooked pasta with any salad dressing on hand and add fresh vegetables for a great pasta salad that will fill you up.
DIY Survival Recipes
If you are lucky and are thinking ahead, you will have the time and resources to create dirt cheap survival recipes to have on hand when SHTF. Sometimes, survival is about preparing to think or in this case, cook, outside the box.
You’ve probably made toast in a toaster at some point in your lifetime, but have you ever thought to try grilled bread? Use your barbecue grill or even a campfire with a grate. Grill the bread till it’s golden brown. And if you have cheese on hand, you can melt it between two pieces of bread and make a really tasty grilled cheese sandwich.
If you correctly store cornbread mix, you can make delicious johnnycakes or cornmeal hoe cakes in a skillet of cast iron over a campfire or even on the hot rocks of a fire. Add some syrup or sprinkle with sugar for an extra treat. If you must stay on the go, put leftovers in a zip lock bag so you can carry them with you as a snack on the road.
Native Americans relocated their camp several times a year as they followed the animal herds. They carried Pimikan, typically made from dried powdered meat such as elk, bison, moose, or deer, it was a portable food adopted by fur traders in later centuries who called it. Pemmican. Practice making this cheap survival food and add it to your stockpile. It needs no refrigeration and when properly made, can last for decades.
Include corn in your garden, or in a pinch scavenge ears of corn from a roadside field, wrap in aluminum foil with some butter and cook in the coals of a fire. If you prefer a grilled taste, soak ears of corn in water and cook on a grate over the fire to grill it. You can cook with the husks on or remove before cooking depending on your preference.
Stock up on those Pillsbury cinnamon rolls or biscuits in a can. When the power goes out, simply wrap the dough around a stick, and pinch the ends so that it won’t fall off. Hold the stick over your BBQ grill or campfire until the dough is a golden brown. Slather with butter and enjoy a tasty treat that you can carry as you eat it.
Include heavy duty aluminum foil in your stockpile of supplies. When SHTF, lay out a large section of foil and add chunks of potatoes, onions, or whatever vegetables you have on hand. Top with a chunk of butter and a little salt and pepper and then wrap it all up and cook over hot coals or the BBQ grill.
When SHTF, you may have food available that you can cook but will need to think outside the box a little when it comes to cooking without your traditional stove or oven. Planning ahead and knowing how to make some of these cheap survival recipes will help sustain you and your family whether you bug in or are forced to bug out.
Alternative Backcountry Food Options
Shared with APN by: authorizedboots.com
You never know when disaster may strike, from a flat tire on an abandoned stretch of highway to a long-term power outage; emergency situations are always stressful, but you can help reduce some of that stress and maximize your potential for survival with these 43 fantastic prepping tips. So, read on to get ready!
43 Fantastic Prepping Tips
1. Emergency Kits
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number one cause of death among children and teens occurs from injury. Reduce the consequences of injury by carrying an emergency kit in your pocket or purse. We recommend at the minimum to keep alcohol swabs, bandages, lighters, and key chain flashlights, prepping an emergency kit won’t take more than ten minutes and could save your life.
Here is a broader list of emergency essentials for survival
2. Safety in Numbers
Another way to reduce the ramifications of injury is to make sure your emergency kits have back up. For example, a few alcohol swabs are useful but adding a mini bottle of rubbing alcohol will make that kit even more effective; especially in an emergency where supplies may be hard to come by.
3. Road Side Assistance
You should also be prepared with a large bug out bag (BOB) at home and in the car. The DMV highlights how important this preparedness tip is with an official list on their website of what to carry specifically for road side emergencies, saying, “Such protection is something that every vehicle should have…”
* Here are some tips on what to put in your bug out bag.
4. Don’t Get Trapped
Another good place to keep a specific emergency kit is under the bed. This kit should include things like a flashlight, a spare set of house and car keys, and an extra cell phone to call for help. This kit is useful in case you get trapped and have to exit from an upstairs window. You should also keep a spare set of clothes, and shoes along with a blanket packed in a suitcase somewhere outside, like in a shed.
5. Create Charity Kits
If you have the means to set aside a little extra in your prepping budget make small kits designed for short-term assistance. Things like travel sized shampoo,hair elastics and vitamins can really help out a neighbor and create goodwill.
6. Stay Warm
Being prepared to escape fires is crucial but starting them can be equally as important. Saving your dryer lint or dipping cotton balls in petroleum jelly, makes for great kindling that will burn red hot for a while; perfect for a source of heat and a method of cooking.
7. Keep Matches Handy
Matches are essential to any BOB as they provide the best combination of ease, use and reliability. Strike-anywhere matches are useful because you don’t need a special striking surface to ignite them. However, these matches have been made illegal in certain areas because of the concern that they can ignite by accident. Kitchen safety matches require a special striking surface but in an emergency situation sand paper will work just fine. Gluing a piece of sandpaper to the inside lid of a mason jar and filling it with matches is an instant way to waterproof your matches and make sure you have a proper striking surface.
8. Water, Water Everywhere…
Based on the Palmer Drought Index, 22 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the moderate to extreme drought category while severe to extreme drought affected about 7 percent of the US, this year. The most important thing to have in a survival situation is water. Store clean water any way you can, from canning it in mason jars to re-using empty soda bottles, you can even buy extensions for the gutter down spout and use it to fill full sized barrels.
9.…But Not a Drop to Drink
If you find yourself in an emergency situation where no clean water is available then knowing how to distill water will literally save your life. Distillation can be done in several different ways but mainly it involves boiling water to produce vapor. When the water vaporizes entirely, it will leave contaminants behind, once the vapor condenses back into liquid form it will be safe to drink. You can distill water from plants, snow and rain, or even use this process to desalinate seawater. Distillation can be done with a stainless steel pot, on a grill or with glass bottles. They do sell distillation kits or you can opt for the many DIY resources online.
Another way to ensure you aren’t caught without a drinkable source of water is to purchase a large bottle of five to ten percent iodine solution. Pour the iodine into travel sized spray bottles for easy storage in your emergency kits. A few drops per liter of water will act as a purification system. Plus, iodine comes in handy for disinfecting cuts and will keep your thyroid functioning in the absence of iodized salt.
Be prepared with a DIY toilet that uses a five-gallon joint compound bucket and heavy-duty plastic bags to collect the waste; or invest in a camping toilet which is as lightly more sophisticated variation of the DIY model and costs less than $40. For some circumstances, a more advanced toilet may be suitable. Toilets made for RV’s are designed to use very little water and can be connected to an external tank for increased capacity. They can be battery operated and powered by a car battery.
* If you’re looking for a camping shower tent, just click here.
It doesn’t matter how much credit you have if the emergency situation affects the power. Store some cash in a hidden place inside your house and keep some spare change in your car. You never know what you might need to purchase in a pinch, but we do know cash is always accepted.
Invest in a Propane Heater
A source of heat is incredibly important for survival if you live in a part of the world where temperatures drop below zero. Investing in a propane heater is a small cost for safety. Propane is your best bet because wood takes months to season and butane freezes. Just remember that even on the coldest nights you still need to keep a window cracked for proper ventilation.
Keep Food Cold
In hotter parts of the country keeping yourself and your food cool is very important. Not only is it a good idea to make sure you stock your freezer with bags of ice but you can also freeze and store milk in its container. Frozen milk will help keep the contents in your fridge cool for up to twelve hours at 60F. Once it defrosts you can drink the milk. Use semi-skimmed milk so the fat doesn’t separate when it defrosts.
Keep Food Safe
Instead of bags of ice bought from the store you can also freeze jugs of water. This tip is extra useful if you are going on vacation. Fill a 2 liter bottle about 1/3 full and make sure it freezes upright. Once it is frozen lay it on its side. If the water ends up frozen sideways at the bottom it indicates the power was off long enough that your food may be unsafe to eat.
Tarps and Tents
Carrying a tent in your BOB isn’t always feasible but a good alternative is carrying a tarp tent. Tarps can be used for many things such as, making a shelter, catching rainwater, making a hammock or making a litter for an injured person. Keeping a tent at home is important because when the grid is down sleeping in a tent in your house is a good way to cope with extra cold temperatures.
Keep your Medication Up to Date
If you have important prescription meds ask your doctor to prescribe a few extra days worth. Stash these in all the important places like under the bed, in your car and in your purse. Every three months rotate the extra supply so you’re aware of where everything is stored and how long until it expires.
Every week take ten minutes to do a quick check of your food supply. Rotate canned goods and other food items so the ones expiring soonest are at the front. After you’ve done your check add items you are running low on to your grocery list. You can even add $5 to $10 worth of extra non-perishable food items every time you go grocery shopping to make sure you are always fully stocked. Store some of the extra supply under your car seat. Don’t forget a manual can opener so you have something to eat that doesn’t involve cooking no matter where you are.
* Here is a list of the Best Food for Emergency Storage.
When we think of non-perishable food we automatically think of cans. However, eating only canned goods adds a lot of extra sodium to your diet that can be unhealthy, and it’s just plain boring! Diversify your diet with a variety of canned, dry, and freeze-dried foods.
* Here’s a tips on how to freeze dry food at home.
Food isn’t the only important supply to be keeping track of; hardware can also be essential in an emergency. Just like you might do for food, every time you have a DIY project add some extra nails, lumber, screws etc. to your order. If disaster strikes you won’t have to worry about getting to the hardware store before you can begin repairs.
Take Stock of Batteries
While you should take stock of your food supply every week, you should take stock of your battery supply every three months. Keep a list of all the items that require batteries. Every quarter add new batteries to your prep kits and use the older batteries from the prep kits to power all the items on your list. This will ensure you have working batteries in all the important places.
Use Solar Power
Another way to prep for power outages is to stock up on high quality, small solar chargers, solar batteries and solar powered lanterns. You can even invest in lights that use strontium aluminate, a photo luminescent phosphorous material that absorbs photons & UV rays to charge. These lights charge well in low-level indoor light conditions and last forever.
Stock Up on Specialties
If you have children stocking up on entertainment options is still important. Make sure to have books, cards and crafts at the ready. This will not only help your kids stay calm while you think, but can serve as a morale booster for the whole family.
Stock Up on Toilet Paper
Another important item you’ll want to be stocked on in a disaster is toilet paper. Not only is it useful for it’s intended purpose but can double as napkins and be used as kindling. To ensure you’re never without toilet paper, store 4 rolls in a large Ziploc freezer bag. Then place a bag under each sink in your house, in the car and near any of your emergency kits.
Detect Carbon Monoxide
Even in small doses carbon monoxide can be harmful resulting in 15,000 emergency room visits and an average of 430 deaths per year, according to the CDC. Carbon monoxide is almost impossible to identify without a proper detector. To be properly prepared a carbon monoxide detector should be placed on each floor of your house and outside the doors of any bedrooms. Investing in a permanently installed battery-operated unit is the safest option as it will work even in a power outage but you could opt for a plug-in detector with battery back up.
Learn Your Equipment
Having special equipment for disasters like a crank radio or solar powered oven can ease the burden of any emergency, unless you don’t know how to use it. Practice makes perfect, so invest a few minutes of your time daily or weekly to familiarize yourself with how everything works. It will be much easier to deal with an unforeseen snag when you’re calm than in the midst of the actual crisis.
I don’t know about you but I like to keep a spotting score or something similar on hand because if you can’t see it, you can’t prepare for it. Always imperative to know as much about your surroundings as you can.
* If you’re looking for the Solar Hand Crank Radio
Plan to Get Home
Use Google maps to print a map of your area,identify choke points where congestion from traffic and people might slow or stop you from getting home. Choke points include bridges, tunnels, canyons and spots that could be closed during an emergency. Then identify where large groups of people might gather in an emergency for food and water. Circle all the choke points and places like churches, grocery stores, hospitals, schools etc. Once you’ve highlighted all the areas you want to avoid, plan your route home in a way that minimizes passing by any of these hazards.
Practice Your Plan
Fight-or-flight syndrome occurs when the body overproduces the stress hormone cortisol. This creates a reaction in the brain that causes the amygdala to take control, the part of your brain where emotions come from. Clearly approaching an emergency situation emotionally rather than logically puts you at a great disadvantage. However, because this is our body’s natural reaction staying calm in an emergency and increasing your chances of survival requires practice. Enlist the help of a prep buddy, call each other at random on a monthly basis and give each other surprise emergency drills.
Include Your Family
Only repetition will help prepare your family for real-life disaster. After you’ve completed your map and planned multiple escape routes, give your family a schedule to practice each plan for different scenarios. Once they’re familiar with each plan, spring some random drills on them allowing them to get a feel for being prepared without being able to prepare.
Join a Preparedness Meet Up Group
Joining a group or connecting with another like minded prepper won’t just allow you to practice your emergency drills but will also be useful in trading skills and forming alliances during a disaster. For example, you could teach someone how to do basic car repairs in exchange for learning how to make soap.
Can You Carry It?
Make sure your emergency prep kit is unique to your living conditions, your body weight and which disasters are more likely to occur in your area. As a rule of thumb your BOB should weigh 15 to 20 percent of your body weight. No matter how many useful items you put in there, if you can’t carry it it’s no good. It’s always a good idea to keep a few tactical bags on hand for short distance gathering missions when there’s limited options for resources.
* Here’s a tip on How to Create a Bug Out Bag.
Divide and Conquer
As mentioned above, an emergency bag that’s too heavy only hinders you. If you require heavier equipment for longer survival time, one way to minimize the load is to include some freebie cloth satchels with handles. This way if you’re with a few people you have the option of divvying up the weight without sacrificing essentials.
Protect Precious Memories
In today’s technological world there is no reason for disaster to affect your important documents or family photos. In addition to a USB or external hard drive, back up all your documents and photos with free cloud storage. You can even create an email account specifically for this reason and email all your photos and documents to yourself. This way if disaster strikes and destroys your home you can still access all the important stuff from any computer in the world.
Two Way Radios
Maintaining communication in a disaster is your only way of knowing what’s going on and what to do next in an emergency. Cellphones are not a reliable method of communication because cell towers could go down with heavy winds or flooding, and mobile phone batteries won’t last you in a power outage. This is why survival radios are a top priority for being prepared in any situation.Regular CBs can become clogged with radio traffic so it is a good idea to opt for a GMRS/FRS radio. A good model can even provide encryption for a private family discussion.
* We’ve listed for the Best Two-Radio for Families
TTY Text Telephone
Another effective mode of communication if cell and internet service goes out is the TTY machine. Generally used for the hearing or speech impaired, this machine enables a regular landline phone to send and receive text messages and many 911 services are set up to use these machines. Even if cell service is available, a working TTY machine, will get around overloaded cell towers and can help get you important information by calling official government lines or friends and family outside the area.
Special Needs Alert Radios
Investing in the Special-Needs NOAA Weather Radio is an amazing way to prepare anyone with special needs for an emergency. This radio receives National Weather Service (NWS) warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day. It comes with accessories that will vibrate your pillow or shake the bed to wake hard of hearing individuals when an alert comes in. It also provides strobe light alerts for when the person is awake. Furthermore this radio can be equipped with special adaptions that convert the weather messages into large print and/or Braille version for anyone who is visually impaired.
Keep your Service Animal Safe
If you use a service animal, contacting your local animal shelter or emergency management office before disaster strikes is an important way to stay prepared. This will help you determine which shelters are most likely to accept service animals without hassle. Moreover, make sure all vaccination and registration paperwork is up to date and at the ready. This is where tip #33 comes in handy!
Prepare your Pet
While stocking up on food for your family don’t forget extra cat or dog food. Additionally, stock up on kitty litter, flea treatments/flea collars, grooming supplies and toys. It’s also a good idea to keep recent photos of your pet handy in case they get lost during the disaster and you need help locating them.
Keep Your Clothes Clean
Purchasing a washboard, using a special washing plunger or investing in a non-electric portable mini washing machine are all great ways to ease the burden of keeping your clothes clean during a disaster. If all else fails you can use rocks along a stream to scrub your clothes clean.
Keep Yourself Clean
Staying clean is extremely important to your survival. Stocking up on hand sanitizer is essential for diminishing the spread of germs transferred by your hands; using soap and a wet cloth to sponge bathe is a good alternative when there is no running water, and in worse case scenarios where no water is around at all, remove as much of your clothing as possible and expose your body to air for minimum one hour.
During a disaster people are more susceptible to break-ins and burglaries. Fortify your house with these added measures. Install battery operated alarms on all entry points along with a wireless alarm system that sounds an alarm and automatically calls for assistance. Use outdoor sensor that will alert you when someone is approaching your home and get a guard dog.
Bug In When Possible
Bugging out should be a last resort! When you bug in you know the people, the land, the resources, the evacuation routes, etc. Plus if you followed the tip above, your home is fortified. Additionally you can join forces with your neighbors to exchange resources and manpower. This will help keep your area protected and safe from things like looters, increasing your chances of survival.
Find Food in Nature
If you absolutely have to bug out then increase your chances of survival by knowing how to find food in nature. Hundreds of plants, fruits, and vegetables grow naturally throughout the USA. Find out which ones are available in your area, then go hiking and try to find them. It’s fun, it’s free and you’ll be honing your survival skills.
From prepping on a budget to ten-minute tasks there are many small things we can incorporate daily that will make a big impact should disaster strike. Protecting ourselves and our loved ones in today’s world isn’t crazy, it’s smart! Remember, if you prepare for the worst and nothing happens you’ve lost nothing, but if you don’t prepare you could lose everything.
Why should I spend my time learning a traditional skill – bow hunting – while we’re living in an era where we have powerful tools for survival such as firearms and the like?
This is a question that goes in the mind of preppers every time the idea of bow-hunting crosses their mind. If you also tend to undervalue the use of bow hunting for survival due to its antediluvian nature, pause and think again.
Acquiring bow hunting skills is as important as I was centuries ago. You never know when you’ll be left with no choice but to use what nature provides a method of hunting. When you’re stuck in the wilderness survival situation, you can bet on a bow and a set of arrows to save you.
Indeed, there are many more benefits that come with learning archery skills for hunting.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the Top reasons why should start learning this valuable skill today…
SIX Reasons Why You Should Start Learning Bow Hunting For Survival Today
- Bows Operate Quietly
In most hunting for survival situations, silent weapons are always the best. For instance, you don’t want to shout your location to fellow survivalists as they might follow run with your catch you get on it. For this reason, we highly recommend you to consider using bows which guarantee you of 100% noiseless operation. What’s more, they’re as deadly as the modern day, high-tech hunting tools and will take down your target with a single blow.
- Bows Are Economical
You can acquire a simple takedown bow at a reasonable price of several hundred bucks. One interesting thing about bows is that if you get a high-quality, well-made bow, it will serve you for a lifetime – making your investment worthwhile. Other than the bow, the arrows are also cost-effective; when you’ve polished your archery skills, you’ll find it easy to retrieve and reuse your arrows again and again. Besides, you can also learn to craft your arrows using natural wood or wooden dowels-another quite affordable option.
- Enjoy High Degree of Versatility
The modern day bow has undergone tremendous changes over the past years, centuries, to give you the best regarding performance. You’ll find the modern-day carbon-fiber arrow is incredibly lightweight and features a versatile tip that can accommodate different hunting tips. In other terms, you can use an extensive collection of different tips (including the small game stunner tips, standard practice tips, and so on) on the same arrow for various hunting games.
- Bows Are Incredibly Portable
Look at a simple take-down bow – it only weighs several pounds which make it extremely lightweight for transporting to your hunting spot. The tale gets better when you learn that you only to turn some lug screws to take down your bow. A typical bow comes with three main parts: two limbs and a middle grip section. This further enhances the portability of your bow – you can easily pack it in your survival backpack alongside several arrows (say 5-6).
- Multi-Purpose Weapon
Yes! A bow is highly versatile in the sense that you can use it for various things other than hunting. Simply disassemble the bowstring and use it different situations such as bow drill (for making a fire), make traps and snares, trot line fishing, and so much more.
- Extremely Careless Weapon Laws
And given that the rules and regulation of using these weapons are pretty lenient, you’re freed from the ordeal of the cumbersome paperwork and permits required for other hunting weapons such as guns and pellets.
Expert Tips on How To Get The Most Out of Bow Hunting For Survival
Now, allow me to share with you some great bow hunting tips and strategies that will help you hunt with your bow successfully…
– Strive to be an efficient hunter (that is, know where and when to hunt, and where to keep off). They might sound simple, but if you follow these things, you’ll experience significant changes in your hunting exercises. If possible, use trail cameras to help you determine the hot zones for hunting. This will magically increase your hunting success rates
– Develop patient skills; Bow-hunting is simply a waiting game. Preparation and constant practice will make a huge difference, but if you can’t develop this simple attitude, you might not be one of the best bow-hunters.
– Practice like you’ve never done before. Practicing shooting arrows at a fixed target in your backyard as you sip some beer or smoke a cigar isn’t enough. You need to get real-life shooting experience that will adequately prepare you for a real-life situation. Try to practice out of your comfort zone at all times – instead of shooting 30 yards, do 60. While still at it, it’s important to make ever shot count by being as much accurate as possible. Using a single pin bow sight is one of the coolest ways of dramatically increasing your accuracy!
– Learn to make target acquisition a few seconds exercise. Don’t take more than 4-5 seconds to settle your pin and shoot the target. This is all that matters in real-life hunting situations. Practice holding your bow at full draw as long as you can to prepare yourself to confront that deer the moment it shows up!
– Never wait for the deer to come to your stand. Go where they are. Always be versatile, even if it means putting extra effort. You might even need to climb trees or hide behind logs but know that you’ll be handsomely rewarded at the end of it all.
– One more tip: when hunting try to find hidden food sources of food of the game you’re chasing. If you locate carrots, you’re guaranteed of finding the rabbit there as well. Remember that using lures to draw in the game always work like a charm, so try to be as much imaginative as possible while in the wilderness.
Bow-hunting for survival is a vital skill every survivalist should have at their fingertips. Your guns and rifles might fail, but if you’ve got these skills, they will save you in any survival scenario. Although bow-hunting requires perseverance, lots of practice for you to master it, it’s worth doing all this. It will make you the most skilled prepper who can easily survive in almost any wilderness out there.
Assuming you’ve got the right choice of the bow with you, follow the above bow hunting tips and strategies, and you’ll have a successful hunt!
Jennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!
Guest Post Written By: Eileen O’Shanassy
Sports That Teach Survival Skills for a Lifetime
Sports can certainly increase a child or teen’s interest in exercise, sense of well-being, and foster a respect for teamwork, but did you know that some sports also work to instill survival skills and have been practiced since ancient times? Here are six sports that teach some survival skills that, with practice, will remain for the rest of your life.
Whether you use a compound bow, a simple longbow, or an Olympic re-curve, archery is simple: use a bow and arrow to hit a target at a predetermined distance. If you can make a bow and arrow in a survival situation, you can potentially use your marksmanship skills to bring down large or small game to survive. It’s a great skill to have and a great way to exercise arm strength and coordination.
Track and Field
Cross-country running, the 100-meter dash, hurdles, and other track and field events promote cardiovascular fitness and breath control while under constant stress, which can keep you motivated and active in any survival situation. It’s important to be able to exert yourself for long periods without losing energy, even though in the wilderness you should try to conserve energy by moving as little as possible. Running is great for overall endurance and can help work to make your body ready for many kinds of stressful situations.
Depending on the type of martial art, these forms teach different fighting skills that can be used to protect yourself from an attacker. When learning martial arts, it’s best to focus on schools and styles that emphasize sparring as well as forms. In an urban environment, martial arts could potentially help defend against a mugger.
Competitive swimming emphasizes speed, efficiency, and proper technique when moving through the water. If you should find yourself in the ocean or other body of water during an emergency, you can use some swimming skills to keep yourself afloat until help arrives or get yourself to shore.
Weight lifting isn’t just about raw strength, it’s about proper breathing and coordination of muscles. Ensuring that all parts of your body can work together in harmony can help you carry heavier loads. There’s also the strength-building aspect to consider in this exercise form.
Competitive fishing, especially for bass, can give you the skills to catch an evening’s dinner from a nearby river if you’re out in the wild and have the necessary tools. At least, competitive fishing will hone your angling skills. Cleaning and cooking the fish is its own skill set that you must work at.
There are many different types of exercise and training that can help prepare your body to be ready for anything, but a few can also help with practical survival skill as well. You can click here to learn more about different coaching and exercise methods and how to use them in your life for skills that last you a lot longer.
By far the biggest issue when it comes to the items we carry with us on a daily basis is the location. We want to be as mobile as possible and we sometimes find it hard to fit everything. There is a simple answer to concealing and carrying your EDC items.
Many folks replace them with smaller items in order to do that… and that works, but it’s easier to simply figure out more places to store these items.
Inside Your Pockets. Duh!
But are you buying clothes that have more pockets? You know, like cargo pants? Of course, it’ll be a pain in the you-know-what to move them around, but you can just buy more of some of the cheaper items.
What if you don’t want to buy new clothes? Well, you may not know this but you can actually add pockets on your own. Sewing is an important survival skill, by the way, so it wouldn’t hurt for you to learn it.
Get a Bigger Wallet
Lots can be said about edc wallets… water resistance, number of compartments, size… Up to you which one you want, so long as you store the items in a way that won’t raise any eyebrows. If you work in an office, it might be hard to explain why you carry a Fresnel lens with you all the time, so look for wallets with lockable compartments.
Get a Messenger Bag
If you’re a lady, carrying a purse is normal, but if you’re a guy and you want more EDC items on you, you might be stuck getting a man-purse or a briefcase. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which one you should choose, but know this: such a bag will allow you to carry A LOT more items with you. And that’s a good thing… just remember that, if your bag is lost or stolen, you’ll have to start all over again.
This is why it’s important to do your homework when purchasing survival items: you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on expensive gear that you can lose. No matter what edc item you’re looking to buy, there will always be cheap yet quality items for sale.
Wear Things AROUND Your Body
Lanyards, belts and backpacks are great ways to carry things while keeping your hands free. And since fashion is probably not your main concern, don’t let anyone stop you from wearing all three of them if you want.
Now, I don’t know about your health conditions but wearing a backpack on your back is a great work-out for your body AND good practice for when you’ll have to evacuate with your BOB.
Camouflaging Your Items
As I mentioned before in this article, you don’t really want other people to know you have all these things with you. Sure, some people don’t care but others still want to keep their job and friends. I can understand both points of view and, since I’m a problem solver, the solution I came up with is to try and camouflage these items.
I talked before about wallets with lockable compartments, so that’s a good start. But if we focus on the definition of camouflage, one way to do it is to hide your survival items among the “innocent” ones.
For example, you may want to keep some maps or emergency phone numbers in the notebook you carry with you at all times. You may want to keep 1-2 band-aids in your wallet, behind your id card. You may want to keep some tinder along with your medication in a waterproof storage container around your neck, and so on.
It is not be that long that we’ve had smartphones and GPS enabled devices, but for many it’d be unbearable to live without them and getting lost would be a daily pain. Not so long ago we were completely reliant without this technology.
There are still going to be times that it wouldn’t be that bad to know how to use a map or other navigational techniques. It doesn’t even have to be in a scary situation but due to everyday circumstances. There’s the possibility you’ll need to navigate without GPS. You might find you have no Internet access, the battery has gone out or you’re in a foreign place with no streets.
Mastering the Map
There are a large variety of maps out there that have differing uses. There are road maps for people driving through the city or other residential and country roads. They have maps for famous tourist attractions that are good for sightseeing or famous landmarks. Then there are maps for hikers and anyone out exploring the country. We’ll explore all of these maps and what works best for you.
Many people are familiar with the all-popular Google Maps, that isn’t always available though without the Internet connection. You’ll have to learn a few things about choosing a map and picking the one that best suits your environment.
Check the map’s orientation. Most maps are drawn with north located at the top.
Sometimes this may be depicted using a compass rose. Or, it might simply be stated to be the assumption of the map. If there is no indication to the contrary, presume it is north at the top.
Mapping the Journey
All maps have key figures to take note when you’re going to be using them. All maps should have a legend. These legends are a key of symbols denoting things on the map itself. So they’ll be different if you’re traversing the wild in a car like the Jeep Renegade or heading down a bustling street in the city.
Lines can depict roads and routes from a side street to major artery of a highway. They’ll vary in size and color depending on the environment.
Natural & Artificial Topography
Forests, parks, and grassy areas will be denoted in green. The same goes for the symbolic relation between bodies of water and other natural objects. Cities are usually shown in shades of grey and black tones. It’s always a good idea to keep a backup map in your car or offline version on some kind of device for whatever environment you may be entering into. If the place isn’t familiar then you can’t rely on just the map forever.
By driving around without GPS you can then use the technology and eventually paper or offline maps for reference. It really comes down to knowing what type of map you need, being able to understand the symbols and finding your way around by current location and being able to check out the area around you beforehand.
Julian Mitchell is the king of gadgets, be the internet enabled or more old-school; he couldn’t live without his Swiss army knife! Julian writes about technology, apps, and all the clever-but-never-used-again gadgets certain humans seem to collect!
Written By Mike Harris
With the Holidays fast approaching I know how frustrating it can be trying to get loved ones the perfect gifts that is not only practical but will benefit them in ways a flashy pretty piece of jewelry or a cool video game can’t. Having first hand experience with getting high dollar prepping items for non-preppers who not only don’t appreciate them but also shake their head in disdain is a feeling all to familiar to me. So here I have compiled a list of 11 gift ideas under $50 that can put that loved one in a better predicament of preparedness without them even knowing it. This list is non-excusive that will make for great gift ideas for both guys and gals of all ages!
- Portable Power pack
Portable Power packs come in all shapes, sizes, colors and capacities. I have found these not only extremely well received by non-preppers but unprecedented by most in the overall preparedness value it brings. The typical IPhone battery is about 2,000 mah of power. With power packs ranging from 2,000 mah to the 50,000 “All Powers” external power pack. The user can charge their portable electronics many times over. Not only are their uses for small electronics great but also they provide so much diversity in regards to their many colors, sizes and applications. Giving your loved ones the ability to meet all their small electronic needs is a huge prepping multiplier! We all know inclimate weather, terrorism, earthquakes, accidents, and overall disaster will happen it’s never been a matter of if but when. According to Current statistics there are over 260 million cell phone users in the United States of America! With this knowledge in mind equip your loved ones with the ability to send that text message, write that tweet, updated that Facebook status, hash tag their ideas, post that controversial idea, record that memorable moment. But most importantly give them the life saving power they need to get in contact with Emergency services and loved ones in the event something goes wrong! You will be happier and can rest assured knowing you have set them up for success.
- Foldable solar panel
Small foldable solar panels are not only “hipster and progressive” in many aspects but provide a wealth of preparedness capabilities unparalleled in many respects. Not only do these solar panels provide an unlimited amount of electricity when the sun is out but are very easy to store and user friendly to use. Requiring virtually no maintenance upkeep, they can be that lifeline you can depend on when everything around you is falling apart. They can be used and implemented anywhere at anytime as long as there is light. Even under bad forecast they can provide you the life saving power you or someone you know may need in the event of a disaster. Now couple this with an external power pack (Apple Product Power Pack) and now you have an unlimited power source that can keep you off grid indefinitely! You will be hard pressed to find something that brings more independence and stress free living then being able to personally provide for all your small electronic power needs free from the power grid!
- Solar flash light/ Lantern
Light more often then not is something that is taken for granted by the average person. Fortunately most of us live in a world where we can flip and switch and magically we have light. While this is ideal it’s not always the case when disaster strikes. Solar Lighting not only gives the user the ability to have light where they may otherwise not have it but also allows them to have lighting abilities indefinitely because they are not susceptible to depleted disposable batteries, or oil sources like what we see with traditional flashlights and oil lanterns. Natural sunlight light can be taken advantage of during the day and can be used at night. Also like the already mentioned items many of them have the ability to be also used as an external power pack giving them more then one use. We don’t realize the importance of light until the light goes out and we hear that boom in the middle of the night! Remember two is one, one is none. To see the capabilities these light devices have check out my product review.
- Cutting Tools
When you say cutting tools you are referring to a broad diverse spectrum of “sharp objects”. This was done purposely every one is different and requires different types of cutting tools. What I would give a college sorority girl that drives a Toyota corolla and has no preparedness inclination versus an avid hunter that drives a lifted 4×4 truck and stays off the beaten path for days at a time is going to be different in style and ergonomics; but the methodology and application will be very similar. Examples for a self-defense situation I would be more inclined to give a college sorority girl a “Honeycomb Hairbrush concealed stiletto dagger” or a “Cat personal safety key chain”. They are complete concealable very fashionable that can go with any purse or outfit. These items will provide a quick control for an unprecedented attack while serving primarily as an everyday use item. While for my avid hunter, Military, or EMS person I might give a “SOG Fast-hawk Hatchet” that can be used as a self defense tool, extrication device, wood cutting tool etc. As you can see cutting tools have a wide range of styles and uses that can serve a diverse array of preparedness needs without coming across as such.
- Portable water filter
Portable water filters are one of those small cheap out of sight out of mind water applications that quite frankly will at a minimum sustain life! These make a perfect gift for all people regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle. I can say from personal experience being well traveling around the world these have been a game changer. Being in other countries where the tap water was considered unsafe due to viruses and bacteria I never had to worry about where I got my drinking water. Especially with products like the “Sawyer mini Water Filter” that will easily screw onto any commercial water bottle I was able to fill up my bottle (from any local water source) attach the filter and keep moving without any fear of contracting any water borne illnesses. Most commercial portable water filters on the market today will remove over 99% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli and remove over 99% of all protozoa elements such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. The “Sawyer Mini Water Filter” Claims it can filter up to 100,000 gallons and weighs only 2 ounces. According to science the average adult human body is 50-65% water. On average the every day American family uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day. While this is taking other water usages into calculation one can still see the importance of water especially when considering that in a disaster the average person will be expending more calories and using more water. No matter where you are whether that be in a local park, traveling in another country, or in the safety of ones home drinking clean potable water is an absolute necessity and water is unequivocally the giver of life! Make having clean and potable water a necessity!
- Waterproof speakers with external charging capabilities
The waterproof speakers with external charging capabilities are what gets the person from the sidelines into the action in regards to preparedness. This is a gateway preparedness gift. Regardless if you are an NCAA Cheerleader, Surfer, camper, Military Service member, or the everyday person the ability to access to and have all their music and electronic needs met is an extremely good selling point. According to a Nielsen’s Music 360 2014 study, 93% of the U.S. population listens to music, spending more than 25 hours each week jamming out to their favorite tunes. The waterproof speakers encourage the user to take their lives off the beaten path, to push beyond the realms of their typical everyday habits. The external charging capabilities give the user an added layer of support and comfort being outside in those environments. Now add a foldable solar panel and the possibilities for adventures off the beaten path are endless. It’s much easier to engage someone in a “what if” scenario or talk about preparedness if your already off the beaten path, outside the “safety confines” of the power grid simultaneously creating your own endless energy while listening to their favorite music. I’m just saying!
- Seed Bank/Plant
Seeds and plants are one of the only prep “gifts” that will give back in dividends that will exceed the initial cost. Being able to take a handful of seeds or a plant and create an endless life-sustaining ecosystem is truly beyond words. Permaculture does more then just provides a means by which to feed ones self. Permaculture in many respects is one of the most rewarding pursuits we can do as human beings. Giving us the ability to create and take care of life, being independent of the corporate bureaucracy of Big Ag, and allows one to create their own sustainable paradigm. The lessons gained from the successes and losses of growing. Not to mention the invaluable skill set that has been slowly taken out of our modern day society. Living in a day and age where we have become so dependent on a system that could careless the consequences of their actions and practices should worry us all. So stay one step ahead of chaos get someone you care about a small seed variety pack, or a tomato plant. If you really like them get them a moringa tree!
Multi-Tools are invaluable to anyone, they provide hundreds of functions and are more compact then wallet or small makeup case. Yet it provides the essentials to most day-to-day maintenance. Whether we are talking about opening a bottle or performing a plumbing task using pliers and a cutting tool. The Multi-Tool is a silent hero; it can be carried as an EDC or left in the glove box of a vehicle until needed. It’s a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. You won’t necessarily build a house with it but it can get you out of pretty much any tight situation you might find yourself in. To top it off, in modern day 2016 Multi-Tools are no longer big bulky steel bricks carried in the same old leather or webbing straps. They come in all styles, colors, and designs. They even have bracelet Multi-Tools
- Hand-Crank Emergency Power Source
I’ll let you choose what features are important to you but having a power source independent of another source but your will is absolute by its own definition! We don’t get to choose when disaster will strike, or how it strikes, or what is affected. What we can do is decide for ourselves how prepared we will be. Having the ability to provide an indefinite amount of light, power, and communication etc. day and night is what preparedness is all about. How many times have we looked down at our cell phone and realized we at minimum battery life now, now throw a wrench in your charging plan. That’s where these device swoop in to save the day. Many Hand-Crank Emergency Power Sources charge at the same rate as plugging it into a wall outlet. So in a few minutes you can bring a phone back from the dead regardless of the time, emergency, or situation you find yourself in!
- Emergency Car Kit
Do you know a loved one with a vehicle? Do they have an Emergency Kit in their vehicle? If they don’t they are wrong and so are you! In the United States alone, approximately 7 tire punctures occur every second, resulting in 220 million flat tires per year. Approximately 50% of Americans don’t know how to change a tire. I could talk to you for days on this subject but at the end of the day one must ask him or her self some simple questions. In an emergency situation will you depend on technology (AAA), the kindness of a stranger, or empower your self and loved ones to be self-sufficient? I can’t tell you how many people I have helped that have found themselves broke down on the side of the road. It breaks my heart because I know somewhere down the line they were failed! Don’t fail your self or your loved ones. Give them and yourself the tools for success and most importantly train them to do the basics!
Last but certainly not least we have candles and fire starters. I put these two in the same category because they go together very interchangeably. For the record U.S. retail sales of candles are estimated at approximately $3.2 billion annually, excluding sales of candle accessories (Source: Mintel, 2015). Candles are used in 7 out of 10 U.S. households, and are seen as an acceptable gift by both mean and women. Not to mention Candles come in an endless variety of shapes, sizes and uses. We see this from votive to floating candles to those that are used in religious and ritual like settings.
Regardless of why or how you use candles the ability to hold a flame is paramount in a disaster situation! So if holding a flame is paramount starting a flame is essential. Now I’m not advocating going out and getting everyone a Ferrocerium rod bush craft kit with char cloth all included. Nor am I saying go out and get your 19 year old college sorority daughter a pack of cheap plastic Bic lighters either. The great thing about fire starters now-a-days is that they come in all styles and colors. You have the Colibri Scepter lighter that looks like a tube of lipstick for the ladies to the custom Harley Davidson zippo for the seasoned veteran biker. In my humble opinion I would say that candles and fire starters are not only the easiest, and least expensive gifts to give but will arguable be, the first thing one reaches for in the event of a disaster. The ability to have a lite candle not only helps our physical needs in regards to light and heat. But the psychological ones are just as important if not more. The flame’s soft illumination reaches the soul; it can deliver hope and instill a calming relief. This coupled the aromatherapy of a scented candle can literally make all the difference in a disaster setting!
This completes my Top 11 gifts for your non-prepper friends and family. While the old slogan “it’s the thought that counts” may resonate with a lot of people it’s important to realize that your feelings and thoughts won’t be the deciding factor in who lives and who dies. Their ability to react logically and swiftly with the right tools will be the deciding factor. While you may not be able to control ones actions you can equip them with the right tools and get the brain working in the preparedness mindset without them even realizing it and that is the purpose of this article.
I can tell you from personal experience when I realized this reality. I was there when the May 3rd Tornado hit the Midwest in 1999. Not only do I remember the destruction that it left in its wake in my small Cleveland County, Oklahoma town. I remember my mother reaching under the bathroom sink to grab three candles so she could provide just a little light to her 3 confused and frightened boys. I remember her lighting these candles she had received as a gift. I don’t remember who gave them to her, but I can tell you I will never forget the smell of that first apple cider candle she lite, nor will I forget the impact of what a simple candle can do for a small frightened family in a ravaged home. I don’t personally think that individual who gave us those candles envisioned the scenario that they would be used for. Nor do I believe they knew the impact that such a small gift would have on someone’s life. But what I can say unequivocally was that small flame ignited hope, determination, and most importantly a quenching desire to seek knowledge on all that is preparedness and to teach others everything I can. So wherever you may be, wherever life might I have taken you I want to say from the bottom of my heart; Thank You.
I hope you guys enjoyed this article, I hope to bring you more content in the future.
Mike Harris is a full time RV’r spending the last couple years traveling not only the country but all over the world. Being a 4th generation sailor he has not only operated all over the world but grew up experiencing the rich diversities that make this world great but also a dangerous place. He is still Active duty he is a Search and Rescue Corpsman (Flight Medic) and an Aerospace Medical Technician. His preparedness and desire for sustainability are deep rooted in reality. Having to endure and face catastrophe is not just a job description but also his personal mission. He has trained both local and federal agencies as well a foreign. He done real life missions he was there during hurricane Sandy and was also apart of the 2515th NAAD. When not working or prepping you can find him traveling the country in his RV, hiking off the beaten path or enjoying much needed catch up time with friends and family. You can catch his adventures on his YouTube channel.
No matter where you live, your home is at risk for some kind of natural disaster. Whether you’re on the earthquake-prone west coast or right in the heart of tornado alley, it’s crucial to learn how to prepare your home and family for possible disaster. Disaster preparedness is crucial when it comes to taking care of your family. Here are a few ways to ensure your entire family stays safe in the event of a weather emergency:
- Make a family emergency preparedness plan.
Not only is it important to sit your family down and discuss exactly what to do in the event of an emergency, it never hurts to have a tangible copy to refer to in the moment. Natural disasters are hectic and panic has a way of making you forget what you’re supposed to do, so having a reference is always a good idea. Create an emergency preparedness plan with your family that covers all the potential disasters for your area. Where should your kids take cover in the event of an earthquake? Does your spouse know where the emergency flashlights are? Do you have a designated emergency contact your children can reach out to if you’re unavailable when disaster strikes? Keep hard copies for emergency reference, but make it a constant conversation to refresh everyone’s memories.
- Take special considerations for children.
You’ll want to make sure your kids understand the gravity of a true emergency and the importance of acting quickly and appropriately. If you live in the country, your kids should know that the second they hear tornado sirens while in the backyard playing, they can’t waste a single second in dashing to the basement. If you live in the city, talk about “safety spots” near their school — like a trusted friend or family member’s house — they can go in case getting home amid the chaos simply isn’t possible. Make sure they understand that their safety should never be compromised under any circumstances; not even to save your garden from ferocious hurricane winds.
- Buy a few medical books.
You never know what injuries may occur, so stock up on some emergency medical books — don’t rely on a smartphone’s access to the internet or a tablet having enough charge to pull up the information. A few books on basic first aid, sterilization, and emergency care, as well as any applicable pet emergency care literature should be enough to keep you prepared. This is especially important if you live in a secluded, rural area and rescue crews may take longer to reach you in an emergency. One of the best medical books you can add to your household is “The Survival Medicine Handbook” by Dr Joe Alton and Nurse Amy Alton. Also known as Dr.Bones and Nurse Amy they focus on teaching people how to deal with emergencies in laymen terms so we all get it.
- Prepare your pets.
Ideally, your pet is micro-chipped with up-to-date information, but never underestimate the power of his collar and ID tags; these items can be a major help to getting him back if he runs away or becomes lost in a crisis. Keep in mind that even if you live in a residential suburb where most people know your pet, he could wander farther than you expect and without tags, a rescuer may assume he’s a stray. You should also make sure his leash and carrier are somewhere easily accessible should you need to evacuate the house in a hurry.
- Practice, practice, practice.
Practice safety drills in your home on a regular basis. Switch up the times of day and situations in which you alert your family to a practice emergency, including during meals and smack dab in the middle of game night. Go over what to do in situations away from home so that even if you’re somewhere unfamiliar on vacation, everyone will know what to do should emergency strike.
When it comes to floods, hurricanes, blizzards, and all of their havoc-wreaking cousins, there’s no such thing as “too prepared”!
Submitted By H.D.
What is it that makes a natural disaster so dangerous? Is it the fact that, we can’t prevent it from happening? Or does it have to deal with our inability to recognize the signs? The answer is neither. The reason why a natural disaster is so dangerous, evolves around preparation. To put it another way, they’re dangerous because we don’t prepare for them. A large percentage of the American population goes throughout their day-to-day lives without ever thinking of a natural disaster occurring. A beginners guide is something we all need to make us aware of what we need to do.
With that being said, ask yourself, “How can we survive something we’ve never prepared for?” it would be equivalent to taking an exam in a subject you’ve never studied for. The answer is simple, you can’t! This is why earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornado’s rip cities apart, taking thousands of lives and causes billions of dollars in damage.
According to DoSomething.org, between the years of 2000 and 2012, natural disasters caused $1.7 trillion in damage and affected 2.9 billion people. The researchers later discovered that, 2012 marked the third consecutive year worldwide natural disaster damage exceeded $100 billion.
Believe it or not, natural disasters like wildfires can strike at any time, without warning. In other words, even if we tried to recognize all the signs before a disaster hit, one could still strike unexpectedly. Those are the ones that cause the most destruction.
Here are some things to keep in mind before a natural disaster hits your home.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
- Preparing For A Flood
Like most natural disasters, flooding can affect anyone, regardless of where they live. Within the United States, it’s actually the most common type of natural disaster. As a result, flash-floods has caused about 200 deaths annually, according to LawHelp. In order to make sure you’re protected, get to higher ground. Don’t attempt to operate a motor vehicle no matter what – otherwise you risk the chance of getting stuck, or even swept away by fast moving water.
Ways To Protect Your Home
- Seal the basement walls with waterproof compounds.
- If possible, have a sump pump, as well as a backup one that operates on batteries.
- Check and make sure that all electrical components are no less than 12 inches above any assumed flood levels. This will help prevent you from getting electrocuted.
- Tornado Watch
A tornado is a combination of wind and water that can travel anywhere from 250 to 300 miles per hour. Needless to say, a tornado can destroy any and everything it comes in contact with. Turning everyday household objects into dangerous projectiles that can kill people and damage property. Before strengthening your living environment, check and make sure your home is out of harm’s way. To emphasize, make sure you live somewhere that isn’t within arm’s reach of the windstorm.
Tornado Proof Your Home
- If you live in an area that’s prone to tornado’s, make sure you cover your windows to protect them from shattering. Garage doors should also be checked and reinforced. Just because it’s one of the heaviest and most powerful pieces of machinery in your entire house doesn’t mean it can’t be blown away by a twister.
- Schedule a home inspection to have your house and roof checked.
- Make any repairs necessary in order to ensure your safety.
Despite the fact that tornado’s are commonly known to occur in the springtime in areas of the U.S. known as “Tornado Alley,” the truth is, tornadoes have been known to occur in every state and in every month.
- Hurricane Season
Anytime a hurricane is approaching the coast, you will more than likely witness people scrambling to hardware stores buying whatever they can get their hands on. Although this may sound like a good idea, the reality is if you wait until a “hurricane watch” has been issued, you’re too late. During a hurricane, homes might get damaged or even destroyed by high winds and high waves. Meaning that, windows will be shattered and homes can even fall to the ground if they’re built on a weak foundation in extreme storms, like Hurricane Katrina.
Don’t Waste Time
- First and foremost, don’t wait until a “hurricane watch” has been issued to the public before grabbing the hammer and nails.
- Remove weak and dead trees or tree limbs located on your property.
- Have a backup plan in case you have to evacuate your home. Also set aside some cash, and make a “grab” and “go” bag that has all your important paperwork, and personal information stored inside.
- Lastly, make sure you have a battery-powered radio, so you can keep up with the latest news.
- Tectonic Plates Shifting (Earthquake Preparation)
Let’s be honest, if you’ve ever experienced an earthquake you know how scary it can be. According to Ready.gov, earthquakes are defined as sudden rolling or shaking events caused by movement under the earth’s surface. These events happen along cracks within the earth’s surface called fault lines resulting in a release of energy that causes the earth to shift and move; shaking buildings, bridges, and homes. In the United States, earthquakes are more commonly known to occur throughout the western region, however, other states have been known to experience this disaster as well.
Since earthquakes are unpredictable, make sure your home is sturdy enough to withstand intense shaking, no matter where you live. In the case of an earthquake, it’s always better to assume the worst and have too much rather than not enough.
Don’t ignore the signs.
- For heavy items that can fall over, secure them to a wall or floor.
- Breakable items should also be moved closer to the floor or placed on lower shelves as well.
- Check your foundation for cracks, and any loose wires that may cause a fire. Unlike other natural disasters, earthquakes come without warning. Therefore, you should make repairs to your home immediately after inspection.
- For families, make sure your children and other loved ones know the earthquake safety drills.
- The Do’s & Don’ts For All Natural Disasters
|● Stock up on food.
● Don’t forget to purchase lots of water.
● Assemble a first-aid kit for cuts and bruises.
● Pack spare clothes in case you’re away from home longer than you expected.
● Sanitize whatever items you use properly.
|● Drink water you think might be contaminated.
● Forget to wash your hands as much as possible.
● Hold on to food items that may have come in contact with contaminated water.
● Forget to protect important documents. After all, once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!
● Store food outside.
As a final point, even if a natural disaster isn’t threatening you or your family, it’s still a good idea to stay prepared for whatever comes your way. If you live in areas that are prone to disasters, never second guess leaving your residence if you have to. A home can be replaced, but a life can’t.
Be safe out there!
Thank you again for taking the time to read my article. I would like to know, have you ever experienced a natural disaster before? Or, do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’ll be checking for comments, so feel free to express your thoughts on today’s article.
H.D. loves taking advantage of the sunny weather outside. If you can’t catch him online reading whatever he gets his hands on, you might be able to catch out playing football with friends, or cheering on the Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241.
Knowing how to forage and select edible plants from your yard and surrounding areas is a vital skill for a survivalist, but it’s not necessarily an easy one to master. That’s because, though many backyard edible and highly nutritious plants grow all around us, some have poisonous look alikes.
Mistake poison hemlock for wild carrots, for example, and you may find yourself on your deathbed, which will not be the first time that’s happened to someone. Most places try to keep poison hemlock under control, since it’s also toxic to animals, but other common foraging mistakes are easy to make.
Here are a few essential things you need to know about plants when you hunt for a meal in the underbrush.
The Right Rhubarb
Rhubarb is very familiar, even among urban dwellers, because many people put it in strawberry pies and jams. What many may not know is that people typically eat only the stems.
That’s not just because the stem tastes better than other parts of the plant, but also because rhubarb contains oxalic acid, a toxin that’s most prevalent in the leaves.
You wouldn’t normally have to worry about the amount of oxalic acid in rhubarb, even in the denser leaves, but when food is scarce, steady consumption of the leaves, even at moderate levels, would cause illness.
About 11 pounds of leaves can be fatal for a 145-pound person and far less than that could provoke serious illness.
You Say Tomato
Tomatoes come in many shapes and sizes, and in color may be anywhere from green to purple, depending on the variety and ripeness. But you should be familiar with their toxic copycat, horse nettle.
Like many of the members of the nightshade family, horse nettles are poisonous to humans. Though they’re not likely to kill you, horse nettles can lead to stomach problems and heart and respiratory issues when consumed, so skip those maybe-tomatoes in favor of a plant you’re more certain is safe to eat.
Berries are among the most dangerous — and the trickiest — potential edibles out there, partly because there are so many kinds of them. Sure, even little kids know they should avoid the red berries on their neighbor’s bushes, but what about beautiful purple pokeberries?
Pokeberries grow from a remarkably bright pink stem, which sets them apart, but seen in isolation, they closely resemble blueberries. However, just a handful of pokeberries can kill a child, and since we often eat delicious berries by the bushel, even adults can too easily swallow a lot of this tempting fruit.
The same goes for wild cherries, an appealing but toxic version of a summer favorite. In general, beware of berries, especially if you haven’t picked them yourself.
Roasted Over Fire
Chestnuts! What a lovely tradition: a meaty nut roasted during the holidays and shared with family. While these nuts have a special place in the compendium of Americana, the same isn’t the case for buckeye.
The best way to distinguish poisonous buckeyes from other nuts is by cracking them all the way open. Buckeyes cause confusion primarily when foragers aren’t sufficiently skeptical.
From the outside they look like chestnuts, which is to say shiny, and from the inside they look more like walnuts or pecans, with a lot of texture. If the nut doesn’t match one you know all the way through, toss it; it’s probably a buckeye.
It’s essential to practice foraging when you’re not in a crisis situation; that is, when you have the leisure time to do some research on the plants involved. Learn about what grows near your home, and commit what you learn to memory.
Some of the worst mistakes come from assuming a familiar plant grows nearby, when only its lookalike is common to your region.
Your experience outdoors can always be fun depending on how prepared you are in the wilderness. Some people might complain of experiencing the worst hiking trip while it is their fault for not having the essentials for such a trip. Below you will get to learn about the essentials needed for wilderness survival.
- Water bottle and water purifier
It is not always that you might end up with clean water in the wilderness. So, you have to be prepared to keep yourself hydrated while outdoors. Carry a water bottle full of water and additional collapsible reservoir of water. You still need to have a water filter or purifier that will help purify the water for drinking once your reservoir is empty.
- Navigation tools
In the wilderness, you might not get the best cell reception to use your Google maps, this means we have to go old school. You will need a map and compass as your navigation tools in the wilderness. You can always toss in a GPS and wrist altimeter as additional navigation tools to help with moving around. Make sure that you can read the map and compass or else they would be useless out there in the wilderness. If it is a hunting trip, make sure that you actually get to use an updated map with any additional features you need to know. GPS navigation could still be useful to help get back to the starting point with the logged GPS coordinates.
- First aid kit
It is no brainer that accidents sometimes happen while in the wilderness without even really hoping for them. The worst would be when you have no first aid kit to help with the preventing bleeding or easing the pain. If you are going to carry the first aid kit, just make sure that the medicine is still viable and the bandages too still work. Some of the things to include in the first aid kit are adhesive bandages, gauze pads, disinfecting ointment, pain medication, gloves, adhesive tapes among many other important supplies.
- Illumination tools
It will get dark some point in the wilderness, so you always have to be prepared. This calls for having illumination tools to light up your way. The common source of light would be a headlamp, flashlights and packable lanterns. The headlamp is liked by many as it allows for hands free operation and also have a longer battery life. The headlamps, often come with the strobe mode, which is important in emergency situations. The flashlights on the other hand have gained popularity too. Many people would comfortably buy a flashlight knowing it will have powerful beams important for the wilderness maneuvers.
- Additional clothes
Other than your hunting gear or clothes, you still need to have a supply of clean clothes. This is for those who are looking to spend more time in the wilderness. The additional clothes can include jackets and hats that should help to keep you warm during the cold weather at night. Keep in mind only to carry the necessary clothes for the trip, carrying too many clothes might make your bag too heavy for the trip.
Food is crucial for any survival in the wilderness. You would want to make sure that you have enough food to last you for a few days if you are going to stay for longer in the wilderness. This is great to keep you going before you can start relying on the food you get after hunting. Just make sure that the food does not need a lot of preparation since you will be still in the wilderness. Freeze-dried meals would be ideal in such situations.
- Knives and Repair multi tool
It is not always that something will end up breaking, but having a repair multi-tool sometimes should be great to repair the component to its working status. You are likely to find the repair multi tool to have components such as blades, screwdrivers, can openers, scissors, wrenches among many others. You simply need to compare between various models of multi tools to find the best for your activities in the wilderness. Never forget the duct tape as you might be surprised just how useful it can get whenever you are outdoors. The knives also fall into this category and can never be left behind. The right knives will always be important to get you surviving in the wilderness.
The night can get chilly sometimes in the wilderness. You will need to have a fire to keep you warm at all times. This means you need to have several matches with you. Make sure that the matches are waterproof and should also be stored in a similar waterproof container. This means that should be able to handle the wet or damp conditions of the wilderness. You can still use a mechanical lighter in the wilderness, but just have the matches as your backup fire starting method. In some cases, the campers can use a Firestarter. This is simply a device that helps the camper to jump start the fire while in the wilderness.
- Sun protection
If you are going to stay in the wilderness for a long time, chances are that you would be exposed to the harmful sunrays. You will need protection such from UV rays, which might cause conditions such as skin cancer. You can use the sunglasses to protect your eyes from the UV rays. Using the right sunglasses model, you can block 100 percent of the UV rays. Another way for sun protection would be using sunscreen. Choose sunscreen with at least an SPF rating of 15 for better protection.
- Shelter building material and tools
Of course, you would need to have a shelter over your head at some point. This will mean you need all the necessary shelter building tools for the trip. If you are unsure of what to choose for the building materials, visit a camping shop and ask for help from the vendor. You will get to learn more about what to expect in such a shop.
Author Bio: Roy Ayers, Hunter and Survivalist
Thanks for stopping by to learn more about hunting and surviving in the wilderness. I am a dedicated and a full time survival author, editor and blog writer on hunting. Over the years, I have managed to work on various article and blog series that all talk about hunting and surviving the wilderness. I manage to do this because of personal experience outdoors. This has always helped me to having an easy time crafting the articles for my audience over the years. Keep on reading my articles and blogs to get the useful tips and guides important for outdoor survival and hunting. Come back more often to my website to update yourself on the best new hunting and survival tips.
When preparing food for long-term storage, consider how much is required, how long it needs to last, its nutritional value, and the resources available for preparation. Depending on your goals, there is a long-term food storage method for you.
- Depending on the emergency, freezing may be an acceptable option. Storage times vary depending on the type of item and its packaging, but meats can last up to two years when frozen properly. Blanch fruits and vegetables to halt quality-compromising enzymatic processes before freezing them. Most of the nutritional content remains stable when frozen items are stored in air-tight packaging.
- Dehydrated items maintain much of their nutritional content. Herbs, which are both beneficial to health and flavorful, are good candidates for dehydration. Fruits and vegetables also store well when dried. Blanch vegetables and fruits first to extend their shelf life. You can use a dehydrator or your oven on low heat to dehydrate items.
- The key with dehydration is to ensure that all of the moisture has been removed. Food fresh off the dehydrator may still feel soft or moist. Follow instructions for each food, and take a sample off the dehydrator to cool for a minute or two in order to test its dryness. Dehydrated items should be stored in cool, dry, dark places. Use glass jars and vacuum-sealed pouches to extend the life of dehydrated foods.
- The curing process harnesses the power of salt to eliminate moisture and prevent the growth of bacteria. Curing can be time intensive at the outset, but it will enable you to preserve flavorful meat for extended periods of time.
- Dry curing involves coating a cut of meat in salt and other herbs and letting it set for an extended period. Smoking is another method of curing which adds flavor to meats. Brining is a wet curing method in which meat is soaked in a salt-rich solution. Research instructions for dry curing, brining, and smoking before using any of these methods. If cured incorrectly, items can harbor botulism, which can lead to food-borne illness.
- Canning is a time-tested method for preserving fruits and vegetables. The acidity of the food will help you determine how to process it. Most jams and tomato-based products are safe to prepare through boiling. Low-acid vegetables and meats necessitate the use of a pressure canner. It is wise to look for updated canning recipes to ensure that new food safety measures are included in the instructions. Once food is canned, check to make sure that the jars are sealed. Store canned items in a dark, cool, and dry environment. With regard to shelf life, items with a high acidity can last one to one and a half years. Foods with a low acidity can last up to five years.
- Fermented foods have been making a comeback in recent years. Their popularity is likely due to the health benefits associated with consuming them. Items like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and pickles are rich in pro-biotics. During a disaster, the benefits that fermented items have on the immune system make them must-haves.
- The fermentation process involves many considerations. Fermenting can extend the life of your foods for months or years. While the items may be safe to consume after extended periods, their health benefits may decrease as they age. Using a fermentation pot is the most common way to get results.
- Vacuum sealing may be performed on nearly any food. It is important to remember that vacuum sealing is most often used as an adjunct to other preservation methods. For example, you may vacuum seal meat, but you will still have to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer in order for it to be safe. Jerkies and dried fruits and vegetables may also be vacuum sealed to increase their shelf lives.
- Vacuum sealing can be accomplished with equipment such as the Food Saver, but Mylar bags may also be used without a special machine. If you are not using a machine to suck the air out of the packaging, oxygen absorbing pouches can be used to achieve the same effect. This method is great for processing bulk grains. Vacuum sealed bags can be placed in five-gallon plastic buckets to make them easy to store and protect them from pests.
There are so many options for long term food storage. A conscientious prepper will take advantage of multiple food preservation methods in order to reap the benefits of each type. With proper research about storage environments, recipes, and food safety guidelines, it is possible to maintain a safe, balanced, and flavorful food supply – even during a disaster.
In a dangerous situation, being able to fight back can potentially save your life. These five easy self defense moves are so effective and simple that almost anyone can use them to defeat an attacker even if they are not very strong or fast.
Stop a Strike
To keep an attacker from hitting you, have your arms out and keep your elbows slightly bent. As your attacker tries to hit or slap you, bring your forearm inside the attacking arm and push outwards. While blocking a strike, you can use the other hand to jab your attacker in the jaw, nose, or throat.
Get Out of a Bear Hug
If an attacker is trying to subdue you, the attacker may put their arms around your upper torso and squeeze tightly to restrict your arm movements. If this happens, squat down quickly to lower your center of gravity, lean slightly to the side, and use your hand to hit the attacker’s groin. This defense will usually make them release their grip.
Hit Weak Spots
Form a proper fist by curling your fingers towards your arm and putting your thumb on the outside of the fist. The thumb should lie across the middle and pointer fingers, stabilizing them as you use them to punch the attacker. Aim for the groin, knees, throat, ears, eyes, and nose to weaken your attacker with a well-placed punch or kick.
Escape a Wrist Grip
If an attacker is trying to restrain you by grabbing your wrist, do not try to pull away. Instead, step towards the attacker slightly while bending your elbow and bringing your wrist towards your body. This will make it harder for the attacker to keep a grip on your wrist.
Unbalance the Attacker
Use your foot to kick the attacker in the knees or the ankles. The leg has more impact power than the shoulders, so you may be able to damage a joint, making it difficult for the attacker to remain upright. Once the attacker is off balance, flee or try to incapacitate them further.
With these five moves, you may be able to escape or subdue someone who is attacking you. Even smaller people can use these moves to defend themselves because they do not rely on excessive strength. Consider taking your skills to a whole new level with an online masters in criminal justice. Pursuing a career in detective, investigator or police work provides a sense of civic duty unlike any other profession.
When natural disasters comes to your town, what do you do? Most people aren’t prepared. And, because of that, they’ll suffer catastrophic losses and be totally blindsided by the fact that they don’t have electricity, clean water, and probably food. Here’s how you can prepare yourself so you’re not caught out in the unprepared.
Planning For Any Disaster
You’ll see common preparedness tips for every type of natural disaster, which is why a disaster preparedness plan makes sense. Most natural disasters will knock out, or limit access to, essential services. Services like police, fire, and rescue, but also services like food, water, and shelter.
You should be familiar with a disaster before it strikes. Because once it does strike, the only thing you can do is “press play” and carry out whatever plan you have in place. For most people, a basic survival plan includes a “bug out bag” or a “bug in bag,” which includes basic safety supplies, 3 ways to make a fire (including waterproof matches), waterproof clothing, a rain slicker, some food (freeze-dried or canned with a can opener), and a first-aid kit.
You will also want some basic tools like a hatchet, pick, walkie-talkies, and multi-tool. You need enough materials so you could survive for at least 72 hours alone, if you had to. If you want extra protection, give yourself a week’s worth of supplies and stock 2 of everything.
Preparing For An Earthquake
This is one of the hardest things to do, because of the nature of the disaster. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you already know. If you’re not sure, use the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program and the U.S. Geological Survey to map out where the high risk areas are. The USGS also uses a live map so you can see up-to-the minute activity.
There’s nothing you can do to avoid a quake, but you can give your home an earthquake checkup. Check for disasters, fasten shelves to the wall studs, and store anything breakable in a safe place. Store poisons in cabinets that latch shut. Put heavy objects on low shelves and secure heavy furniture. Practice earthquake drills with your family.
The most important thing you can do is get underneath something sturdy and find an open space. Most deaths caused by earthquakes come from flying debris and falling objects. Collapsing structures and walls are also dangerous. Your first priority is to minimize personal injury. Finally, avoid damaged or falling structures.
Preparing For Hurricanes
Like tornadoes, hurricanes produce very severe and fast winds that are damaging to people, buildings, vehicles, and the natural environment. The benefit is we often see them coming from many miles away and have technologies to detect them easily.
Hurricanes bring on flooding, fires, and other secondary disasters. They also bring on sustained winds and rain. Board up the windows and doors with plywood, install storm shutters, and secure your roof and siding. Bring in outdoor furniture.
Check the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood map database. If you have to evacuate, shut off your utilities, including the main power switch. Check with the local authorities about a main evacuation route, and practice it with your family.
Hunker down and evacuate when ordered to do so. Even weak hurricanes can kill. And when it’s all done, flooding cleanup may not be completed for days, meaning you’re stranded in a flooded area.
So, it’s usually best to evacuate, since rescue may not be able to get to you in time, and you won’t have anywhere to escape to.
Planning For A Tornado
A tornado can come on fast and be quite unpredictable. Tornados don’t just happen in the Midwest either. They can happen in the south, north, and west — basically anywhere in the U.S.
Anywhere a thunderstorm can form, a tornado can too. The amount of concentrates damage they cause is astonishing. Like most storms, the best way to handle one is get out of the way.
You can’t really prepare your home for a tornado, since they’re so damaging. Some homes are built to withstand tornado winds, and are protected by special shutters and siding, but even then there are no guarantees that the tornado wouldn’t destroy everything.
Tornadoes are accompanied by strong winds and storms. The wind might pick up for a while and then suddenly die down. Watch the sky. It will get dark and suddenly, you might hear a loud rushing sound, like a roar. Be on the lookout for clouds that rotate in a circular pattern. They strike quickly, and the trademark funnel cloud is a good sign but may not appear until debris is already picked up.
Listen to NOAA emergency Weather Radio, because severe storms will be reported here first. Listen for emergency broadcasts if conditions look right for a tornado. If one strikes, stay low and get to a place in the basement. Ideally, you will be on the lowest level of your home. If you’re in a highrise, try to get down to the lowest level quickly.
But, stay away from windows and outside walls. If you’re in a vehicle, this might seem scary but get out of it. Vehicles can be picked up and flung very easily by tornadoes. Get out and lay face down in a ditch or a very low area. Stay away from bridges and underpasses as the wind can be very harsh under them.
Charlie Lucas lives in a flood zone and has seen his beloved home, and possessions, destroyed by flood waters once already – He takes every measure he can so it doesn’t happen again and warns others too.
4 Wild Edibles, Their Nutrition and How to Find Them
Submitted by Marlena Stoddard
If you’re lost in the woods without any food, how can you keep yourself from starving while waiting for help? Sometimes unlikely sources of food can be the most nutritious. These four wild edibles will give you all the nutrients you need to stay alive when scrounging.
Cattails are the survivalist’s best friend. Cattail roots have plenty of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and vitamins A, B, C, and K.
Cattails can be found in any wet, marshy area, including drainage ditches alongside the road. You can also dig up the roots in the winter. Clean the roots before boiling them. You can also harvest starch from them or grind them to make flour. Eating them raw won’t hurt, either, but it can give you a stomachache.
A cup of stinging nettles has almost 40 calories and nearly half of your daily recommended dose of calcium. It also has so much iron that it’s sometimes used to treat iron deficiencies.
Nettles grow anywhere that grass or weeds can. Look for their slightly hairy, serrated leaves—just make sure you wear gloves before you touch them.
Don’t eat raw nettle leaves—it’ll hurt! Blanch or steam the leaves to remove their sting. You can also use their leaves to make a very nutritious tea.
Grasshoppers and Crickets
Grasshoppers and crickets have a surprising amount of protein and are tasty when fried in butter or oil. Though, according to a Bethesda, Maryland, pest control company, you’ll probably want to remove their wings and spiky legs before you fry them up. In just 100 grams, these bugs can contain up to 20 grams of protein. That’s almost as much as ground beef. They also contain lots of calcium, iron, and fat.
Crickets and grasshoppers can be found in tall grass. Just listen for their telltale chirping. Grasshoppers are more nutritious but can be trickier to catch because they can fly. You may need a quick, silent approach or a net to catch them.
Bee and Fly Larvae
Larvae taste good baked or fried and have life-sustaining protein, amino acids, and fat.
You’ll find bee larvae if you break open a beehive or honeycomb. Honeybee larvae will also be surrounded by honey and royal jelly, which can provide even more nutrients. Getting stung can sometimes be life-threatening, though, so think twice before raiding a hive. On the other hand, fly larvae can be found anywhere there is decomposing material or manure. Once they’re cleaned off, they’re ok to eat.
Surviving Off Your Back Yard
Nature has everything you need to forage for food as long as you know where to look. Keep an eye out for wild edibles and do some research to find which plants and insects are native in your area.
Backyard Edibles was Shared by: Jennifer Bridgeman
What would you do if grocery stores ceased to exist? Would you and your family be able to survive? Where would you go for food? Have you considered wild edibles?
A good place to familiarize yourself with isn’t that far away—it’s your very own backyard. There, you’ll find a host of edible plants that can provide filling, nutritious meals and additions to your daily eating. And you don’t have to wait for a crisis to start looking for and eating them.
Moreover, plants that thrive in bad conditions, such as driveway cracks or barren soil, are loaded with phytonutrients and phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids. Plants produce these chemicals to protect themselves from insects, disease, ultraviolet light, bad weather, and animals. And wild plants need more protection than the domestic plants humans carefully tend and protect. Weeds send strong taproots deep into the soil to draw minerals into their leaves, so they’re also packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, and trace minerals. Lamb’s quarters, for instance, have three times as much calcium per serving as spinach.
Start with the ones you probably already know about—the dandelion. Then, move onto those that might be familiar but you’re not quite sure about—broadleaf. Along the way, you can start to figure out what’s poisonous and what you should avoid.
Are you ready to take advantage of the bounty of highly nutritious, free food that’s available steps from your back door? First, you must learn to identify plants with absolute certainty. Get started with these common edible plants that grow nearly everywhere, perhaps even in your own backyard.
Here’s how to start on a more self-reliant, edible journey close to home.
Source: Fix.com Blog
If you’ve been prepping for any length of time, you undoubtedly have several pounds of wheat berries stored away. You may also have experimented with making your own wonderfully delicious breads. The downside of long-term prepping and bread making is keeping active yeast on hand. The average “best by” date on yeast is 2 years. Once opened, it must be kept cool and dry. In a refrigerator, yeast can remain good for up to 4 months; in the freezer for 6 months.
Occasionally there are people who have had success with older yeast, but the bottom line is that store bought yeast is for short-term. If you have store-bought yeast, stored longer than the above mentioned time frames, follow this simple test to see if it’s still active. A container of yeast that isn’t active anymore should be thrown out.
How to proof yeast
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1/2 C warm water from the tap. Between 110°F-115°F is most effective. The only way to really be sure about the temperature is to use a thermometer. When it doubt, the water from your faucet should be warm but NOT hot to the touch.
Stir in your dry yeast, either one 1/4 oz. packet (7g) or 2 1/4 tablespoons of granulated yeast. Most people say that the yeast should be brought to room temperature first, but I have always had good luck when using it straight from the freezer.
It only takes three or four minutes for the yeast to “wake up” and start to rise. After ten minutes, the surface of your yeast-water mixture should have a foamy top. If so, then congratulations! You have active yeast! It should be used immediately. Most recipes take into account the liquid needed to proof yeast. If yours does not, deduct 1/2 cup of liquid from your recipe if you proof yeast with this method.
A good way to tell if your yeast has risen sufficiently is to use a 1 C measuring cup. If the yeast foam reaches the top, you’re good to go. If your yeast has an insufficient rise, it will not be any good for baking. Best to throw out the entire container.
Learn how to make your own yeast
If you can’t get to a grocery store for Fleischman’s, what’s the alternative? Try growing your own yeast! Here are a few methods that should fit most needs and skill levels. Depending on the availability of the items listed below, choose one that best fits you, your region, and your personal stockpile.
Raisin / Fruit Yeast
- Clean Glass jar. (24oz. or larger) Sterilize in hot water and allow it to dry.
- Water. Clean, filtered, or bottled is good. Tap water can be used, depending on your local conditions. Warning: Too much chlorine in your water, or water that is too basic, can kill the yeast.
- Raisins or other fruit. Most fruits have traces of yeast on their skins. Note that you may not get as good of a result with fruit that has been washed and waxed.
- Place three to four tablespoons of raisins in your jar. Adding a few tablespoons of honey or sugar will facilitate the fermentation process.
- Fill the jar ¾ full with water. Place the lid on the jar lightly. Do NOT tighten the lid – you will want to allow some air to escape.
- Place jar at a constant room temperature. Do not allow the jar to get cold. This will kill off the yeast and stop the process.
- Stir at least once a day for three to four days.
- When bubbles form on the top and you smell a wine-like fermentation you have yeast. The raisins, or fruit, should be floating.
- Place your new yeast in the refrigerator.
Yeast from Grain/ Sourdough Starter
Yeast is already present on grain. All you need to do is to cultivate it in a manner similar to the above instructions. Here is a basic recipe for sourdough starter.
- 1 1/4 C unbleached all purpose flour or milled wheat berries
- 1 C clean warm water
- 1 sterile jar with cheesecloth or lid
- Mix the flour and warm water, and keep at room temperature.
- After several days, the mixture will start to bubble and will begin to rise.
- Keep your starter in the refrigerator when not in use. Use as you would any sourdough starter.
Yeast from Potatoes
The starch in potatoes make it another prime candidate for yeast production.
- 1 unpeeled medium-sized potato
- 4 C warm water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 quart jar
- Rinse your potato to remove dirt, but don’t scrub it too much.
- Cut it into pieces to facilitate cooking, then boil until cooked through.
- Drain, and save the water.
- Mash the potato and add sugar and salt.
- Allow mixture to cool until it is at room temperature.
- Add water to the potato mash until whole mixture equals 1 quart.
- Cover and let sit in a warm place and allow it to ferment for several days.
Feeding the Starter
Once you have created your own yeast, you need to “feed” it regularly. This means adding 1 cup flour and 1 cup water to the mix so that the yeast can keep growing. You will need to feed the starter daily if it is at room temperature, or weekly if it is in the fridge. If you don’t bake bread that day, you will also need to toss out one cup of the starter after feeding so that the ratios stay the same. This is an important step, and can be a great motivator to bake regularly so that none of your hard work goes to waste! Yeast starters are one thing you will not want to throw in the compost pile, as the bacteria can grow out of control and give you a very unpleasant result.
No matter which method you choose, making your own yeast is a skill that dates back thousands of years. Continue researching the sources provided to find other ideas, methods, and tips. Begin practicing and post your results. Feel free to add your own ideas and advice in the comment section below.
WANT MORE “FROM-SCRATCH” RECIPES? Download Survival Mom’s free ebook, “Switch From Store-Bought to Homemade.”
This article, written by Right Wing Mom, was originally published in 2011. It has been updated and revised.
5 Things You’ll Need in an Emergency
Unfortunately, there are variety of disasters or that could strike at any moment. It is smart to be ready for am emergency by stocking a variety of important staples while prepping. Some of the most critical items are the most overlooked and taken for granted, so here are five essential things ready to go in case a major crisis happens.
Items for Cleaning and Sanitation
Staying clean and sanitary is something people often take for granted and forget when preparing for a disaster. It is entirely possible for plumbing to get destroyed during a disaster, so keeping cases of garbage bags for human waste is essential. Bleach and other cleaning supplies like brooms, mops and towels should be stocked up on too.
Items for Cold Weather
Extra bedding and enough clothes to layer up is crucial. These are another set of items beginning preppers tend to forget about. Dying of exposure is a reality in certain climates, and winter can be very unforgiving. The bedding will come in handy on a cold night, and layering clothing is a great way to combat the cold when moving around during the day.
As controversial as they may be, guns are something every prepper should have to defend what they worked so hard on building. A long range rifle can quickly turn into a necessary tool for hunting, and pistols can go a long way in deterring burglary and stopping harm in its tracks. Needing something for defense from looting and rampant crime is an unfortunate reality.
Access to an Abundant Water Supply
It is essential to have five years’ worth of drinking water available, and the best way to fortify property with enough water is to make sure it has access to an onsite well or cistern. Contact a well company like Candescent Well Service, LLC to begin your preparations. Be sure to have plenty of purifying tablets and an emergency water filtration system as well.
Sources of Light
Electricity is a luxury. If the power goes out for any amount of time or reason, then alternative sources of light need to be available for use. Matches, lighter fluid, candles and batteries are the backbone for a good kit. Alternative energy tech has gotten more advanced too, so items like solar powered chargers can be added as well for common battery sizes.
These are just five of many key things to have available if disaster strikes. Focus on making sure there is a versatile set of supplies for survival. There are different types and degrees of devastation, and it is best to be ready for anything. Having enough of a variety could be what separates life and death following a terrible event.
Guest Post by : Dixie Somers
Re-hydrating Survival Food Tip #1
Using the Correct Amount of Water
Haha….your kidding, right? Nope, not kidding. This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many times people guess at how much water to use when they don’t have a measuring cup around.
Using the correct amount of water is easy when you are at home and have a measuring cup available. But what about when you are camping or you are in a bug-out situation?
The solution? Scratch a mark on your cooking vessel for the correct amount of water needed before you pack your gear. For example, when I go kayaking camping or backpacking I use a stainless steel cup that I have scratched a mark on to indicate the 2 cup level as my backpacking meals require 2 cups of water. If you have a non-stick cooking pot or some other type of cooking cup with a non-stick surface scratch your mark on the outside rather than on the inside if you are concerned about scratching the finish.
By doing this you will make things a lot easier on yourself. I have personally seen someone at a campfire guess at how much water they needed. After the water came to a boil they added the food only to find out they didn’t have enough water. Then they had to add more water to the food which cooled the food and water down. Now they have to reboil and hope that they have enough water. Guess what? They didn’t get it right the second time either. This can be very frustrating after a long day on the water or trail. Measure and mark your cooking vessel before hand to make things a lot easier on yourself.
1. Freeze Dried Food package indicating how much water you need, measuring cup, cooking vessel.
2. How much water do you need?
3. Add correct amount of water.
4. Scratch a mark to indicate the correct amount of water needed.
About the Author: Darren Gaebel is a U.S. Army Veteran and has a decade of experience with natural disasters as a catastrophe claims adjuster. During Darren’s catastrophe experience he has seen the toll it takes on families who are unprepared. For this reason he created this blog (blog.UrgentSurvival.com) to help educate and spread awareness for disaster preparedness. Darren also created UrgentSurvival.com to provide a way for individuals, families, and disaster relief organizations to have access to a stress free solution for getting prepared. A portion of all proceeds from the website are donated to non-profit disaster relief organizations.
Tools You Will Want in an Outdoor Emergency
When preparing an emergency kit for the car or camper, or for a compartment in your backpack, keep in mind that usefulness must be combined with situational likelihood. If a vehicle malfunction leaves you stranded on a forest service road in the mountains, you may need certain items that aren’t all that necessary if your car breaks down on the interstate highway. Likewise, if you’re on a backpacking trek, you might need to fend for yourself for longer than if you encounter bad weather and flooding at a campground.
In addition to the obvious inclusion of energy bars, dried fruit, Mylar thermal blankets, rain jackets, and matches, consider packing some special tools that will come in handy. The following list contains essential items that you may want to keep in a separate duffel bag in your car or SUV, or in a special container stowed in a larger backpack.
1) LED Flashlight
These are lightweight, the battery lasts far longer than a light with an incandescent bulb, and most of the outdoor-suitable models are practically unbreakable. In fact, it’s a good idea to have at least two LED flashlights on hand, one of which is head-mounted for hands-free use.
2) Collapsible Shovel
The best models are the ones that have a simple, pull-out handle that is then fixed tightly with a twist mechanism. The shovel head should be made of high-strength steel. This tool can be valuable if your car gets stuck in thick mud or gravel, and it can also be used to dig a fire pit. Choose a model that fits into a stowaway compartment on the SUV or laid flat in the bottom of an outdoor preparedness duffle.
3) Lighters and Fire-starter
Several disposable lighters should be packed in a watertight compartment in the emergency kit or in a zip-loc style bag in a backpack. In addition, invest in a Magnesium Fire-starter. These come as two blocks that are struck together and come on a chain. Make sure to practice using it before you head out into the wilderness. (APN recommends these fire starters. Jalapeno Gal has one and it is her personal favorite.)
4) Multi-Purpose Knife and Fixed Blade Knife
A Swiss Army knife or similar model is one of the most invaluable tools you can have with you should you become stuck in the wilderness. It only takes a little practice to memorize where the various blades are located. Make sure the model chosen has a mini-sized saw blade, a small pair of snippers or shears, and a metal file. Keep a fixed-blade knife with at least a five-inch blade in the emergency kit in addition to the folding knife.
5) Stainless Steel Water Bottle
It’s important to have plenty of water, and most of the supply can be stored in plastic bottles. However, keep at least one steel water bottle in the emergency kit as well. It can serve as a container for boiling water if necessary. Stainless steel has naturally occurring anti-septic properties that will keep your pumped water cleaner than most other bottles.
6) Outdoor Wallet
Although fashionable to carry in public, a camo wallet is actually designed for easy location of cards, folded maps, and small tools. Some of the best dual- and tri-fold styles have separate cash pockets and checkbook inserts. When taking one with you on a trip, keep a list of map directions to nearby destinations inside. If your phone or GPS goes dead, you’ll be glad you did.
7) Map and Compass
You might not think of these as tools, but they can save your life. Don’t rely on GPS devices if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Make sure you have a paper map that shows the area where you are traveling, and download a map onto your smartphone as well. Keep a compass in the emergency kit, separate from those you carry on your person. Remember to keep the emergency kit compass in its own container, and don’t store it next to anything else that is magnetic.
Outdoor enthusiast, turned blogger Rhett Davis brings his passion for all things outdoors into everything he writes. Rhett’s perfect Saturday is a morning on the lake, afternoon with the BBQ and an evening with family.
Nursing Home Evacuations – Making a “Security Blanket”
Guest post donated by Urgent Survival
In the past we’ve talked about the importance of having an emergency evacuation backpack ready to go at a moments notice for various reasons. We’ve covered getting you prepared and getting your kids prepared but what about your loved ones in the nursing home?
As many of you are aware several parts of the south got hammered again with buckets of rain causing more flooding. Watch this video of Engine 31 from the Klein Fire Department evacuating nursing homes in the Houston area. Notice the looks on the elderly folks faces as they look scared, sad, and confused. What could be done to help Grandma and Grandpa feel more at ease when going through something like this?
Notice that many of the evacuees aren’t carrying anything with them. No bags or purses on their laps, just the clothes on their backs. What if they had a go-bag or an “evacuation kit” if you will? Something small that will fit in their lap and make them feel more at ease and connected with the ones they love. This could make their evacuation experience a bit less frightening when they have their go-bag (a physiological security blanket) with them.
We really aren’t looking for literal survival items as they should be well taken care of by the staff and the first responders. The residents will be taken to a place that will take care of their food, water, and shelter needs. The nursing home staff should also have a list of everyone’s medication needs and should bring the medications along to the new destination. Remember, this go-bag’s main purpose is to have a physiological “security blanket” effect during your loved one’s evacuation experience. The secondary purpose is to make them feel more at ease and comfortable when they arrive at the new destination.
Pretend you are a resident at a nursing home and you have to leave at a moments notice. What would you want to take with you that would make you feel more at ease and connected to your loved ones? Would you include wallet sized pictures of your kids and grand babies, your favorite book, a list of phone numbers so you can contact your loved ones to let them know you are OK, religious items like your rosary or the family Bible, a lap quilt that you made or that was made by a family member, deck of cards, a trinket that reminds you of a great memory? Now the next time you visit your loved one talk to them and ask them what they would want to include in their go-bag. They may have a hard time coming up items to include but this is where you can help them come up with ideas.
If you are having trouble figuring out what items are near and dear to your loved one’s heart then scan the room. See what items are sitting out on top of the dresser or on the shelf. Items that are special to them won’t be buried in a drawer, they will be out on display.
Think about some moral boosters as well. Some simple personal hygiene items and some small beauty items like a tube of lipstick or a comb can go a long way. Beauty items may sound unnecessary but these moral boosters can help raise spirits tremendously. I’ve seen elderly women whose #1 priority is their hair or makeup. There are also a lot of elderly men who want to look good for the ladies too. So a comb, tube of lipstick, etc. may be enough to lift their spirits once they get settled into the evacuation destination.
When making the go-bag you aren’t going to take items or pictures that your loved one has on display and stuff it in a bag and put the bag away somewhere. This defeats the purpose of having those items on display in the first place. So what to do? Designate a bag as the “go-bag” and then inside the go-bag include a list of all the items to be included when an evacuation is in order. Then when the time comes your loved one can grab everything on the list and put it in the bag. If they are unable to physically grab everything themselves then they can give the list to a staff member and the staff member can help to include everything. If your loved one suffers from any type of memory issues then let the nursing home staff know your plan. Let the staff know that you have made a list, put it in the go-bag, and where the go-bag is located.
About the Author: Darren Gaebel is a U.S. Army Veteran and has a decade of experience with natural disasters as a catastrophe claims adjuster. During Darren’s catastrophe experience he has seen the toll it takes on families who are unprepared. For this reason he created this blog (blog.UrgentSurvival.com) to help educate and spread awareness for disaster preparedness. Darren also created UrgentSurvival.com to provide a way for individuals, families, and disaster relief organizations to have access to a stress free solution for getting prepared. A portion of all proceeds from the website are donated to non-profit disaster relief organizations.
9 Great Military Leaders of the Past
Winston Churchill famously remarked that “battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.” History has seen some extraordinary military figures, but these leaders are as yet unmatched in the legacies they left behind.
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
King of Macedonia, Alexander personally lead the military campaign that created an empire stretching from the Ionian Sea in the west to India in the east, with his greatest victory being the Battle of Gaupamela (modern day Iraq).
Genghis Khan (c.1162–1227)
Known as the founder of the Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan united the nomadic tribes of the Mongolian plateau to create the largest land-based Empire in history, controlling between 11 and 12 million contiguous square miles at the peak of his leadership.
William the Conqueror (c.1028-1087)
Often credited as the man who forged the Britain of today, William defeated the Normans in the 1066 Battle of Hastings, employing 600 transport ships carrying 7,000 men, 3,000 of whom were cavalry.
Hannibal Barca (247-183/182 BC)
Dubbed “the father of strategy” by his peers, the Carthaginian general fought against Rome during the second Punic war, gaining unprecedented fame for his crossing of the Alps with 100,000 troops and approximately 40 war elephants.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)
A trained artillery officer and the first Corsican to graduate from the military academy in Paris, Bonaparte quickly rose to superior rank during the height of the French Revolution, conquering Europe and North Africa in an astonishingly short period of time.
Julius Caesar (100 BC-44 BC)
General, lawgiver, builder, and politician, Caesar conquered Gaul (now modern day France, Switzerland, Belgium, and northern Italy) and was the first Roman emperor to lead a military expedition of Britain.
Attila the Hun (c.406-453)
Ruler of the barbarian Huns who terrorized the Roman Empire, Attila lead an infantry army that differed from other barbarian tribes on the Roman frontier in their ability to conduct successful sieges of fortified cities.
Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769-1852)
Largely responsible for defeating Napoleon and ending 23 years of war, Wellington is said to have won all 44 engagements as commander between 1809-1815.
Though each of the aforementioned leaders exercised varying tactics and degrees of diplomacy, they all shared the unique ability to unite their troops as a single force, and adapt mid-way through a battle to secure victory. Many of the military strategies first employed by these eight men are still in use today and most military history degree programs go into more depth as to why these men succeeded where others couldn’t.
There is a great deal of confusion about Faraday cages. Not only about how to build them, but also what they actually protect against. In this article, Dr. Arthur Bradley, author of Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms, answers a few basic questions and perhaps debunks a few myths.
What is a Faraday Cage?
A Faraday cage (a.k.a. Faraday shield) is a sealed enclosure that has an electrically conductive outer layer. It can be in the shape of a box, cylinder, sphere, or any other closed shape. The enclosure itself can be conductive, or it can be made of a non-conductive material (such as cardboard or wood) and then wrapped in a conductive material (such as aluminum foil).
What does it do?
A Faraday cage works by three mechanisms: (1) the conductive layer reflects incoming fields, (2) the conductor absorbs incoming energy, and (3) the cage acts to create opposing fields. All of these work to safeguard the contents from excessive field levels. A Faraday cage is particularly useful for protecting against an electromagnetic pulse that may be the result of a high-altitude nuclear detonation in the atmosphere (a.k.a. EMP attacks).
Despite rumors to the contrary, a Faraday cage is not necessary to protect against solar coronal mass ejections because the frequency content of such disturbances is at much lower frequencies—they don’t couple energy efficiently into small-scale electronics, except through conducted paths (e.g., wires coming into the system). A better precaution against solar events is to unplug electronics and use quality surge suppressors.
How does field cancellation work?
Field cancelation occurs when the free carriers in the conductive material rapidly realign to oppose the incident electric field. If the cage is made from something non-conductive, the free carriers are not mobile enough to realign and cancel the incident field.
How thick should the conducting layer be?
The conductive layer can be very thin because of something known as the skin effect. That term describes the tendency of current to flow primarily on the skin of a conductor. As long as the conducting layer is greater than the skin depth, it will provide excellent shielding because the absorption loss will be large.
The skin depth is a function of the frequency of the wave and the conductor material. As an example, consider that for a frequency of 200 MHz, the skin depth of aluminum is only about 21 microns. EMP pulses can have frequency content that ranges up to 1,000 MHz. Therefore, wrapping a box in a couple of layers of heavy duty aluminum foil (typically about 24 microns thick) provides the necessary conductor thickness to protect against high-frequency radiated fields.
Does it matter what type of conductor is used?
Not much. The conductivity of nearly any metal is good enough to allow the carriers to easily realign to cancel external fields. For example, if silver (the best conductor) is used in place of aluminum, the skin depth at 200 MHz is reduced to about 4.5 microns. Of course, the high cost of silver would prevent using it for such a purpose.
Can a Faraday cage have holes?
Yes, as long as the holes are small with respect to the wavelength of the incident electromagnetic wave. For example, a 1 GHz wave has a wavelength of 0.3 meters in free space. As long as the holes are significantly smaller than that dimension (i.e., a few millimeters), they won’t let in much of the incident wave. This is why fine conductive mesh can be used when constructing a Faraday cage. In practice, the cage’s lid or door usually causes the most leakage. Taping the seam with conductive tape helps to reduce this leakage.
Can you use existing conductive enclosures?
Yes, there are many conductive enclosures that can be used, including ammo cans, metal garbage cans, anti-static bags, and even old microwave ovens. Each has its own level of effectiveness as covered in my book, Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms. The key criterion is that the gaps and seams remain very small.
Must the cage be grounded?
There is a great deal of confusion regarding grounding of a Faraday cage. Grounding of the cage (i.e., connecting it to some Earth-referenced source of charge) has little effect on the field levels seen inside the box. Grounding primarily helps to keep the cage from becoming charged and perhaps re-radiating. The bottom line is that an ungrounded cage protects the contents from harmful electromagnetic fields as well as a grounded one.
Anti-static bags are readily available to protect electronic components against electrostatic discharge. They can be purchased in many different sizes, including some large enough to hold radio equipment. While they do offer shielding from EMP, not all products are created equal.
Testing confirmed that products certified to MIL-PRF-8170 and/or MIL-PRF-131 offer the greatest protection from an EMP. The results from testing three different types of bags are provided in Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms. When selecting an ESD bag, consider not only the shielding effectiveness but also the physical ruggedness of the bag. A tear or large hole can compromise the bag by allowing EMP energy to enter.
Larger Faraday Cages
Storing a larger set of electronics might require an entire room. Engineers who work in electromagnetics often use “shield rooms” to conduct experiments because they do an excellent job of filtering out interfering signals, providing in excess of 100 dB of shielding. A poor-man’s shield room can be made by lining a small closet with heavy-duty aluminum foil, covering all four walls, the floor, the ceiling, and the inside of the door. Overlap and tape the seams using either conductive or regular cellophane tape.
There can be no conductive penetrations into the room, or it will seriously degrade the shielding. Cover all electrical outlets, light switches, etc. with aluminum foil. Do not plug anything into the electrical outlets. Also, lay a piece of plywood or cardboard on the floor so that it can be walked on without damaging the aluminum foil. Rooms built in this way have been shown to offer more than 50 dB of shielding up to several hundred MHz.
For More Information
- How to Make a Faraday Cage
- What’s in Your Faraday Cage?
- Why and How to Protect Your Gear From EMP
- EMP Survival & The First 15 Things You Must Do Immediately After an EMP
Written by Arthur T. Bradley. For more information about Dr. Bradley’s books, see DisasterPreparer.com. To sign up for his free Practical Prepper Newsletter, Email: email@example.com.
Family Earthquake Preparedness Plan
Do you have a family earthquake preparedness plan? Are you prepared to be self sufficient for days, weeks, or even months depending upon the severity of the earthquake? Do you ignore earthquake dangers because you think you aren’t at risk? Check out the article below – you may be more at risk than you previously thought. The first half of this article talks about what is currently going on in one part of the country and is a good example of why you may be at risk where you live. The second half of the article talks about the most important items to include in a preparedness plan.
In February we posted an article about Oklahoma’s dramatic rise in earthquakes and that residents should prepare themselves for more earthquakes to come. We also touched a little on whether or not the quakes are human-induced or a result of mother nature. Well, it happened again, more earthquakes have struck this area and other areas of the country are now at high risk according to the Unites States Geological Survey (USGS). Now is the time to come up with a family earthquake preparedness plan before the “big one” hits.
Early on Easter Sunday morning (March 27th) three earthquakes shook the ground again in northern Oklahoma at a magnitude of 2.7, 3.3, & 3.6. Then on the next day, Monday the 28th, the USGS released the first-ever hazard map for human induced earthquakes. Then the day after that on Tuesday the 29th, there were two more earthquakes (4.1 & 4.2 magnitude) near Crescent that were felt in Oklahoma City & in Tulsa.
This is unprecedented. Never before in our recorded history has there been such a large scale upsurge of continuous earthquakes and never before has the USGS released a human-induced earthquake hazard map. Right now the quakes are still relatively minor in terms of the magnitude it takes to create a major disaster; however, some experts believe these quakes are the warning signs (like the rumbling before an erupting volcano) leading up to a major catastrophic event.
If a major earthquake does hit, it is likely to cause catastrophic damage to the major metropolitan areas of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Wichita, and all areas around these cities, especially within the triangular shape that these three cities create (see the red area on Oklahoma & Kansas in the map above).
During the past couple years there has been a lot of debate on what is causing the sudden surge of quakes in Oklahoma and Kansas. According to some articles there has been enough science that suggests that the upsurge in quakes is human-induced mainly due to waste water injection wells from the sheer volume of oil & gas fracking in the area combined with high-angle faults.
If theses earthquakes are human-induced as a result of waste water injection wells from fracking then this problem could be silently growing in other parts of the country as oil & gas fracking is now the industry standard. There are shale formations all across the country that contain prime reserves of natural gas. Many of these shale formations have already been tapped into and others will be getting tapped as the years go by.
Major quakes can make country roads impassible.
City highways and overpasses collapse making travel impossible.
Lets not talk about the devastation and the doom and gloom that follows a major earthquake, but rather about how this will effect you directly and what you need to do to be prepared. If you live anywhere near an earthquake risk area, your family earthquake preparedness plan will need to include three basic but very important items – food, water, and shelter.
A major quake will make many of the roads impassable and the power will be out for a long period of time. You will not be able to travel to find supplies and stores will not be able to restock their shelves as the supply trucks can’t get through. With the road infrastructure damaged and power grid down it will be a while before stores will be able to provide basic supplies to the general public. This is why it is so important to have your own source of food, water, and shelter.
Dehydrated/Freeze Dried Food vs. Canned & Boxed Food
So, what kind of food should you have on hand? The first thing that usually comes to mind is canned food and boxed goods from the grocery store. This may be a cheaper short term fix for the time being but will end up costing you in the long run. You will want to spend a little extra money for dehydrated and/or freeze dried food as it is well worth it. Canned food and boxed goods typically expire within a few years and don’t contain much in the way of nutrition due to the canning or manufacturing process. Dehydrated & freeze dried emergency food retains most of it’s original nutritional value as only the water is removed from the food items. Dehydrated & freeze dried foods can also last up to 25 years when stored properly vs. canned or boxed goods that expire within a few years.
Water Filtration vs. Water Storage
What about water? You will need to be prepared with water filtration or water storage options. If you live within walking distance to a water source (creek, river, lake, pond, etc.) you can simply filter the water as you need it. If you are filtering your water you’ll need to use a water filtration system that effectively removes biological pathogens (giardia, cryptosporidium, etc.), chemicals (toxic chemicals, pesticides, detergents, etc.), and dissolved solids (arsenic, lead, mercury, heavy metals, radiological radon 222, etc.). If you do not have access to a body of water then you will need to either stock up on bottled water or store a supply of water in water storage containers such as in 50 gallon water storage containers. The CDC recommends 1 gallon of water needed per person per day for preparation of food, drinking, and personal hygiene. It is a good idea to have water stored away but to also having a water filtration system as a backup in case you run out of water. If water filtration is your primary water option then be sure to have a second water filtration system on hand in case the first one gets damaged or malfunctions for any reason.
If your home is severely damaged and is unsafe to live in you will need some type of temporary shelter. Chances are that if the roads are impassible you will not be able to travel to a community shelter facility and even if you did it may be full by the time you get there. So then what? Have you ever been camping? Tents are a cheap, reliable, and effective means of temporary shelter. If you haven’t been camping then pick up a tent and take your family camping to get a feel for it. You need to see what works and what doesn’t work. Your tenting accommodations need to be somewhat comfortable so you don’t end up pulling each others hair out. Be sure to camp at a site that doesn’t have running water or electricity as this will mimic a realistic survival situation. This is extremely valuable as it shows how much or little water you will really need. You can get an idea of what it is like to try to conserve water when cleaning dishes, brushing your teeth, personal hygiene, etc. During your camping trip take notes on things you need to work on or other supplies you may need to make life more comfortable for you.
So there you have it – your earthquake preparedness plan needs to include food, water, and shelter. These three key items are the most basic but also the most important in terms of survival.
About the Author: Darren Gaebel is a U.S. Army Veteran and has a decade of experience with natural disasters as a catastrophe claims adjuster. During Darren’s catastrophe experience he has seen the toll it takes on families who are unprepared. For this reason he created this blog to help educate and spread awareness for disaster preparedness. Darren also created UrgentSurvival.com to provide a way for individuals, families, and disaster relief organizations to have access to a stress free solution for getting prepared. A portion of all proceeds from the website are donated to non-profit disaster relief organizations.
German Chocolate Upside-down Cake
German Chocolate Upside-down cake is a huge hit in our household!!
- 1 ¼ of cup water
- ¼ cup of butter (Powdered butter may also be used. Conversion chart below.)
- 1 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1 cup of flaked coconut
- 1 cup of slivered almonds
- 1 boxed German Chocolate cake mix
- 1½ cups of mini-marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Not necessary to grease pan.
- In a saucepan, combine 1 ¼ cup water and ¼ cup butter or margarine. Heat until butter melts, stir in brown sugar and coconut. Pour into ungreased 9×13 inch pan. Sprinkle marshmallows and nuts over top. Set aside.
- Mix the cake mix according to package directions. For our high altitude, add 1/3 cup flour to your cake mix and decrease the oil to ¼ cup. Carefully spoon the batter over coconut marshmallow mixture in pan.
- Bake 28-32 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Place pan on rack to cool for ten minutes, then invert onto platter for serving.
Sheri Bogden’s Bio
Sheri Bogden and her husband Mike moved to Island Park, Idaho four years ago to explore a simpler lifestyle. Log cabin-living in the picturesque forest community bordering Yellowstone requires a monthly trip to the “city” to stock up on supplies. Sheri began trying new recipes to avoid meals from becoming monotonous. Friends began requesting her recipes and for the past three years, the local paper has been publishing her weekly recipes. Sheri’s goal is to find healthy dishes that can be made with ingredients that are inexpensive and readily available.
Dollar Store Prepping
Most of us don’t have a ton of extra income, so when it comes to prepping, it often takes a back seat to every day expenses. After all, Jay Leno used to have a segment called “Things found at the dollar store”. There were creepy toys, and my favorite, a small toilet, that when you lifted the lid, had lip gloss in it!
Dollar store items are often overruns, have minor defects, and often are major brands. Here is a list of things to look for in dollar stores.
- Over the counter medications. Why spend five dollars or more when you can get aspirin. Acetaminophen, allergy medications, Imodium, triple antibiotic cream, (We even found some with zink and some with silver.) and more for a dollar! Here is where a smart phone comes in handy. You know that for a dollar you aren’t going to get 100 pills, sometimes only a few, so check the prices and compare with other stores.
- Band-Aids, gauze, tape, elastic support bandages, wrist, ankle and knee supports. Don’t forget the icy hot muscle relaxing pads. I keep them in my suitcase, for when I overdo when I travel, and my bug out bag, too.
- Security items: Door stops can keep, or delay people from entering a door. I use them in hotels as well as putting Band-Aids over hotel room peep holes so no one can spy on you.
- Board games. Yep, checker, backgammon, playing cards, and balls. Boredom is bad, especially when there are kids.
- Hoola hoops and jump ropes are good exercise in a small space, like a bunker or a tent.
- Clothes line is good for more than clothes.
- Plastic tubs galore! Good for storage, washing yourself in, washing clothes and dishes…
- Cleaning supplies of all kinds.
- Zip lock and other plastic bags
- Blanket and garment storage bags.. not very thick but they keep the bugs out.
- Duct tape, electrical tape, wire, nails and screws, screwdrivers and wrenches, flashlights, little pocket fans, garbage bags.
- Small bags and even kid sized backpacks.
- Food! I have found tuna, salmon and spam in foil pouches, which are great for bug out bags. Protein in a lightweight, slim pouch.
- Boxed milk. Yes, it’s real and tastes good. Their expiration dates are months away, unlike regular milk, does not require refrigeration, but don’t get them hot, and they even last longer in the fridge when opened. I keep it around for when I don’t want to make a trip to the store.
- Condiments: all kinds can be found here including sea salt, mustard with turmeric, hot sauce, spaghetti and sauces, parmesan cheese, ( check the cellulose levels ) spices..food boredom is bad for people in survival mode. Ever gone to the kitchen hungry and just didn’t want anything you had on hand? That’s food boredom. So when you prep, remember to get a huge variety of things you and/or your family, eat every month, like Mexican, Asian, Italian. Juices, powder drink additives..avoid ones with equal! (aspartame) and spices to pep the taste buds.
- Clothes: Think socks, gloves, and hats.
- Little miniature cloth wash cloths shrunk to the size of a small block, that when placed in water, spooing! (often called towels and have cartoon and super heroes on them.)
- Pets: Food, collars, leashes, litter, pee pads. Which are great for kennel liners.
We have seen lots of brand name food and merchandise at dollar stores, sometimes it was made for a foreign country and did not sell well. We have gotten t-shirts, towels, lots of kitchen stuff, aluminum pans.
The cooking bags you sometimes see during the holidays can be used as crock pot/pot liners for easy cleanup. Really good when water is in short supply.
And speaking of the Holidays..seasonal items are always a time to get deals, like nuts for cheap, $1.00 solar yard lights, etc.
Things not worth getting:
- Potting soil, you get about 5lbs for a dollar when Lowes and Home depot have 20lbs for less than $3.00.
- Seeds..I have bought them several times and never had anything produce. So, poor quality seeds.
Never knew you could get so much eh? And different locations of the same stores will often have different items, check out stores around you and when you travel. Dollar Tree stores have where you can order cases online, and have them shipped for store pickup, for free.
Now grab those dollars and go shopping!
Guest post by Gwen!!
Preparing for people with severe disabilities is a topic that isn’t covered much, because I feel like the general consensus is that the sick and disabled will, in fact, be the most susceptible and first to go.
I have twins with cerebral palsy. One son is highly functioning, and if something were to disrupt his care, the worst that would come of it is that the bracing we have to continually re-adjust would not be done and he could wind up with less than perfect growth, but he could live and survive.
The other is another story. He is total (think nursing home) care. We’ve worked hard to stock additional supplies, back up for electric and electronic supplies. We have started buying more of our equipment as permitted financially, but that is mostly preparing for a rationing of care type situation. I know that because he doesn’t “add” anything back to society, he will be one of the first to have services and supplies cut, when/if that happens.
5 Tips for Prepping for Severe Disabilities
To anyone who is preparing with family with limited functions, I have very few words of wisdom other than these.
1. Stock up on medications – I have as many generic medications as I can get. Insurance will only permit a refill every 25 days on most (14 days on respiratory treatments), so I fill as often as I am able, and rotate what medications I can purchase (yes you can purchase additional refills. The limit on refilling is only limited to what you file through your insurance). My pharmacy works with me to work out a rotation plan. The reason I give them is that I want to have a 30-60 day on hand supply in case of tornadoes/heavy snow/ice. They understand and appreciate my forethought in this so there is less pressure on them in an emergency situation. Might I recommend a small locally owned pharmacy? They are usually easier to work with in these instances.
2. A Nursing Med book – Get one so that you can properly ensure you administer any stocked up drugs… or maybe that fish-mox you picked up in your preps.
3. Medical supplies– Anything you need to care for your loved one. For us, it’s pulse-ox probes and 4x4s and gloves, and diapers and feeding tubes (with foley caths as backup to mickey buttons for feedings). Set up with a durable medical supply to auto fill those EVERY month. You might not use all of it every month, but that is how you start your surplus. I currently have 20 boxes of both medium and large medical gloves. You can NEVER have enough.
4. Our insurance replaces our nebulizer every 5 years, and I do that faithfully. I also stock up on nebulizer masks (They are like $3 in most drug stores, or at least they are where I live.).If your insurance gives you 4 a month, try to make do with 2 (you can soak them in a vinegar/water bath to disinfect them) for a few months to have a back up. We can make ours last A LONG TIME just by taking care of them. Find out what your insurance will allow to be replaced and how often.
5. Try to find natural alternatives to medications, how to grow them and how to create the medication out of the plant. This is where I am now. I can puree regular food down and put it down a tube for him (have 2 years worth of tubes backed up), so right now my focus is getting a handle on what herbal remedies and medicines I can obtain and use.
One other thing I’ve done is look for acceptable alternatives. For example, Dylan (my more profound boy) is on Pediasure, but I looked into the nutritional content of Ensure, and in a pinch, I could use it. The reason I looked at Ensure is that it comes in a powder formula, where Pediasure does not. For his 72 hour kit, I packed Ensure powder (in case I am not able to grab a case of Pediasure on my way out the door) and the Sawyer water filter kit so that I know he has nutrition.
As far as our family is concerned, I know the above things to be true and these are the things I have done. I can’t speak for other states, or even counties within my state, or all insurance companies. Please don’t take this as hard and fast truth for you. I just know these things have helped us in our plight to be able to take care of our family. These are merely suggestions to get you started, thinking strategically, figuring out ways to make do with what you have to stock up for the future.
Guest post by avgokiemom.
Home Made Booby Traps
Over at survivethewild.net we’re all about taking the 9-5 prepper who is getting started prepping in their spare time, and transforming them into a survival junkie. Which is why we’re honored to be here with you on the American Prepper Network! We love this site and the amazingly valuable articles, so it is beyond a privilege to have some time with y’all.
Now let’s make some booby traps!
We’re not talking about pulling a lever and some looney toons style chute opens up to whisk your annoying neighbors away (although, if amazon sold those I’m pretty sure I’d have one at every door). We are going to go over practical ways to booby trap your house to add another level of safety.
Again, let’s bear in mind that we are not going to have elaborate chutes and ladders set up. These are going to be very accessible ways to protect your home. We’re not looking for ways to “eliminate” the enemy, just hinder them physically and mentally. And for someone who’s just getting started and doesn’t have much time or resources, this will be a great first step.
We’re going to break this into steps so it’ll be easier to follow
- Step 1: Justify what you are defending and what are your space restraints
- Step 2: Don’t shoot yourself in the foot, or face (make it avoidable to those that know it’s there
- Step 3: Your booby trap options
What Are You Defending, & What Are Your Space Restraints
It only makes sense to justify what you’re about to spend time and money on to defend. If it’s a double wide trailer with a limited edition Nascar table set you might as well leave your doors unlocked all the time. However if there’s a secret cache of weapons and resources under said Nascar table set, then you have a good reason to take some precautions in protecting your stuff.
Don’t make the mistake of having these traps just because they’re something cool.
If you’re dedicating the time and resources to make these things happen then make sure you’re protecting something that will last and be of value later.
Next you need to measure the space you’re working with to set up a booby trap. This should be as easy as getting a tape measure and measuring the dimensions of the rooms leading into the danger zone. Make sure there are ways to set up trip lines, hang things from the ceiling and any other restraints, but we’ll get into more detail about the traps later.
For now just get accurate measurements of the space you’re working with.
In the end booby traps will most likely be used to slow an intruder down long enough for you to get to something that can help you, whether that something has bullets or a cellular connection is up to you.
The booby trap won’t incapacitate an intruder; rather they will inflict enough damage to make them think twice about moving forward. That’s the magic of a booby trap, it usually only takes one! Imagine you go to walk through a door and you get shocked to death from touching the wrong thing, you’re going to be paranoid of EVERYTHING after that and moving much slower and cautiously!
Make Sure The Traps Can Be Safely Removed Or disarmed With Ease
For God’s sake, please don’t set these things up and forget they’re there when you ask someone to go check on your house. The last thing you need is someone calling you saying they have a monkey fist with nails impaling their shoulder. Be considerate and make sure these traps can be taken down or avoided by those who know they’re there.
The traps that we will show you are meant to be easily disarmed for the safety of those using them, and those who might be unwilling “testers” of these traps.
These traps are meant to be in an almost obvious place, but to someone who’s moving fast and never been through your home, they will be most likely to get caught in these. Please keep that in mind.
And these booby traps don’t need to be all over your house. They only need to be in the most valuable areas, like where you keep your weapons. Medical resources and highly valuables. What you don’t want to do is set one up around your bug out bags and get yourself or a family member caught in one in an already dramatic situation.
Before you set up a single trap, you need to have a way to dismantle or disarm it within about 4 seconds. And if it’s a gun rigged to shoot as soon as you open the door then I guess just kick open the door, that would be the fastest and most fun way to do it J. But in all seriousness, you need to have a plan in place with those around you to be able to take these bad boys down in a dire situation
Also you don’t want to set something up that’s going to be worn down by time, or even worse, one that needs to be changed every day. Which is why we will bring you the best ideas later in this post for booby traps that are best for the 9-5 prepper, or the person who doesn’t have all the time and resources at their disposal.
Booby Trap Options
This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for, and it would be kind of funny if I just posted screen shots of Looney Toons traps, but I’m not that mean. So here’s the best booby traps that require minimal maintenance, are easiest to set up and take down and most of all are pretty affordable to set up time wise and money wise.
A Trip Wire
Yup, old faithful. This is the one that I use in my home, it’s the easiest to set up and you can’t do much harm with it to any well meaning people who stumble on it(quite literally stumble haha). It’s just enough to buy you a few precious seconds to get to a safe room, or give you the upper hand in a struggle for your home.
Connecting this trip wire to a c4 charge…KIDDING, connecting this wire to an alarm system will add more protection. Yes you could connect this trip wire to more lethal things, but for the sake of others involved in your life, don’t do it!
Thumb Tacks and Razor Blades
When someone your chasing slams a door shut behind them what do you think the pursuer will do, well reach for the handle of course! But what if that handle has a razor blade mounted to the inside of it? Again this isn’t an extremely technical or elaborate trap, but will buy you enough time to get to what you need, and will hinder your intruder in a pretty serious way depending on how hard they went for the handle.
You can dismantle the handle, make cuts in the handle and place the razor blades in the cuts to make it less noticeable than the handle shown above. However, when someone is chasing you, it’s not like they’re going to be familiar enough with your house to notice that there’s something off about this handle.
Tasers & Door Handles
This one can be a bit dangerous, so only set this up if you have a way to break the circuit (by flipping a switch or something on the other side). This involves running a wire from an electrical source, either a taser or a small battery, to the door handle. There are ways to mount these wires into the door frame and set it to a wall mounted switch. That way all you have to do is shut the door behind you, flip the switch and there you go!
Also the switch adds another level of safety for the non intruders, just make sure there’s a sign or something on the switch!
That’s it folks!
Sorry we didn’t show you how to blow your sister’s head off with an IED for your door, but seriously these types of traps are all you really need. The purpose of a booby trap in a home is not meant to eliminate the target, but to stun them and hinder them enough to slow them down and make them vulnerable mentally and physically.
These traps are simple and effective, which is perfect for the 9-5 prepper who has little time to spend rigging and un rigging traps going to work and coming home from work. Which again is what we cater to at survivethewild.net. We want you to benefit from the knowledge of other preppers.
Prepping- A Beginners Story
When I first started learning about prepping I was scared to death. There was so much to learn and I really had no place to start. My parents were preppers of a sort. My dad fished, hunted and we ate a lot of our own foods. My mom was a stay at home mom that canned often with my Nana and we always had a home cooked meal. There were always “supplies”, my dad used to call them camping supplies hanging around the house. We were prepared for just about anything. My dad even made his own ammo and has an impressive arsenal.
When I started prepping I was going off of a lot of what the media was telling me, it was right around the San Bernardino attacks and I was petrified that the earth was going to stand still. I raced out to the Dollar Tree and bought everything I could get my hands on for a reasonable price, next stop was the gun store right down the road. I began canning and stockpiling different things that I thought our household would need. I planned on bugging in, bugging out just wasn’t an option. I couldn’t phantom leaving our home, but then I got a reality check. Watching people in flooded areas sitting on roof tops, wars in other countries, people begging for help and I just didn’t want that to be us. So, I made a plan and I’ve stuck by it for the most part. I’ve made revisions on how I do things and I’m always learning something new, but that’s the fun part of prepping!
As you can see, I wasn’t being very realistic. Had I done my research, read what seasoned preppers do and have done I wouldn’t have found myself in a jam I now have to find myself out of. Believe it or not, there is a way and an order to prep and if you do things wacky you won’t be ready when the time comes.
See I prepped in the wrong order. I went for supplies first, protection second and food last. But there is so much more involved in prepping that I had no idea about and no idea how to go about doing it. That’s when I started doing research. Reading up on different prepping techniques, learning proper food storage, packing a good bug out bag and preparing to carry with me my EDC (every day carry) every day was just a few things I needed to learn and teach myself.
I researched websites like the American Preppers Network
I stayed away from government websites like FEMA. Their suggestion for preparation is about three days. The problem with this, it’s going to take about that long for them to set up a FEMA camp or fence off your hometown. Three days to bring in the rations of food and water and three days for people to be scrambling to the backs of the trucks that are handing out the food and water. Three days before chaos breaks out.
Those websites were and have been very helpful in showing me what I needed to do to get myself together and get prepping the proper way.
I don’t want to see others go through what I did. Everyone preps differently, but I am a firm believer that there is a way and an order to prep, at least for my family.
Here’s how I should have done it:
- Shelter – You just can’t survive the elements and even if you decide to bug in, you should have a plan to bug out and shelter is top priority. Things happen and you may have to leave the comforts of your home. Carrying a tent isn’t going to be practical. You have to worry about the bulkiness of it and the metal rods used to hold it up. It won’t fit in your bag at all. Use a tarp and some Para cord.
- Food and Water– When it comes to food try to have at least a 3 month if not more of food. I’m aiming for a year and I’m slowly getting there. It takes time, but it can happen. As for water, have one gallon of water, per day, per person and if you have pets you need the same. Don’t forget to stock up on pet food as well. If you are bugging out having a Lifestraw will enable you to drink straight from a stream, creek, lake, etc. without any boiling. It filters the water already for you. I would suggest carrying two water bottles in your BOB and keep them filled up as you come across a water source.
- First Aid– I lacked horribly here. I had nothing that could even wrap a wound. Once I got it together it was one of the first things I bought. Now I couldn’t get a bullet out of a person, but I could at least dress the wound. You don’t need a huge first aid kit, just one that fits in your BOB (bug out bag) or in your linen closet. I recommend one for each bug out bag in case you get separated.
- Protection– You need to be able to protect yourself. I’m not about to tell you how you should do this. For some it’s a gun and for other’s it’s a knife.
- Bug Out Bag– You can find a checklist of things you need for this bag HERE. You’ll need this packed and ready if you ever have to leave your home for an emergency.
- Heating and Cooking – Finding an alternative heating and cooking source is important. You can’t run an electric stove if the grid is down. A wood stove is ultimate, but if you can’t afford one or live in housing that doesn’t allow one you can always use a kerosene heater. It will take longer to cook, but it will work. Cast iron skillets are important for this. There is always the option of a grill or solar stove. I picked a kero heater so I could heat my home at the same time.
- Plan and Drills– It’s imperative to have a plan in place for every scenario you can think of, from home invasions to nuclear war. Practice drills with your family so no one has to guess what needs to be done in the event of an emergency. Everyone in the family should have a job and everyone in the family should know what to do. When things get chaotic people tend to forget. The point is to go over and over on the drills so it becomes automatic. Keep everyone updated on your plans as well. I suggest keeping a family binder with this information in it.
- Never Stop Prepping– There is always something you can be doing to prepare for an emergency. Stocking up on fuel, stocking up on food, stocking up on water, downsizing what you don’t need, drills, plans, keeping a journal.
- Fortifying your home– Make sure doors and windows are secure and there are no entry points that someone could gain entrance to if they realize you have something they want.
You can do a little of each as you go. You don’t have to work on one thing at one time. This was the lesson I had to learn. I was so bent out of shape after what happened in California I insisted we try to do everything right away. You simply cannot work it out that way. Most people’s budgets don’t allow for it and we can miss a lot of stuff doing it all at one time. You can work on each thing a little at a time with some budgeting and DIY work. If you have to, make a list and do a little bit each day. Budget in a little extra water when you shop. Learn how to can food so you can have a supply of your own food and you don’t have to depend on grocery stores or your freezer. Learn to garden and grow your own herbs. There is always something you can be doing to help prepare you for an emergency. Check out Facebook free sites, Craigslist and flea markets. I have found some awesome deals going this route and has helped me stock up on my supplies.
As always, thank you for reading! I’d love to hear your comments and please share to Facebook!
According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, there are 61 active commercial nuclear plants spread across the United States. A question on the minds of many is, what would happen to those plants if the nation experienced a widespread, long-term blackout? Would there be a nuclear meltdown? Let me start by saying that there is a quite a bit of misinformation on the web about this subject, so my advice is to be careful about what you choose to believe.
Many of you may know that I have a background in science and engineering (Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering), so I believed that if I could talk with a knowledgeable person working in the nuclear power industry, I could get to the bottom of this question. To find answers, I consulted Jim Hopson, the Manager of Public Relations at the Tennessee Valley Authority. As readers may point out, it was in Mr. Hopson’s interest to assure me that nuclear plants are safe, but to be fair, I found him to be forthright about the industry’s safeguards and vulnerabilities.
How nuclear plants operate
Probably the best place to start is with a basic discussion of how a nuclear power plant operates. There are two types of reactors in the U.S., boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). For purposes of our discussion, the differences in their operation aren’t terribly important. Nuclear reactors use an atomic process called fission to generate heat. The heat is then used to create steam that turns large turbines to generate electricity. The steam is later condensed and returned in a closed-loop process within the reactor system.
The nuclear reaction itself is beyond the scope of this brief write up (and my expertise), but the gist is that an energetic neutron is absorbed by a uranium-235 nucleus, briefly turning it into a uranium-236 nucleus. The uranium-236 then splits into lighter elements, releasing a large amount of energy. The physical system inside the reactor consists of tens of thousands of nuclear fuel rods placed into a water bath. The rods are essentially long metal tubes filled with ceramic nuclear pellets that are bundled together into larger assemblies.
Trivia bit: A nuclear fuel pellet is about the size of a pencil eraser but equivalent in energy to one ton of coal.
Preventing a nuclear meltdown
The risks of nuclear power are many, but two stand above the rest. The first is that the fuel assemblies in the reactor might overheat. That would only occur if the fission process became uncontrolled or if the cooling system failed.
Should overheating occur, the fuel rods’ zirconium cladding and nuclear materials could both melt, resulting in a nuclear sludge akin to molten lava. That slag would be so hot that it might melt through the bottom of the reinforced reactor. Eventually, it would cool enough to harden, but not before it had spewed nuclear contaminants into the air. Melting zirconium also releases hydrogen, which could lead to an explosion that might actually expel the nuclear material into the surrounding area—think Fukushima.
The good news is that nuclear fission can be stopped in under one second through the insertion of control rods. Those control rods are automatically inserted near the fuel rods either by a hydraulic system or through the use of an electromagnetic dead man switch that activates when power is removed. That means that when the electrical grid goes down or an emergency shutdown is initiated, fission would automatically stop one second later.
That’s a good thing, but it doesn’t make the reactor inherently safe. Even without fission, the fuel rod assemblies remain incredibly hot, perhaps a thousand degrees C. If they were not actively cooled, pressure and temperatures would build in the reactor until something breaks—not good. After three days of active cooling, however, the reactor would be thermally cool enough to open, should it be deemed necessary to remove the fuel rod assemblies.
The second major risk has to do with cooling of the spent fuel rod assemblies. Nuclear fuel rod assemblies have a usable life on the order of 54-72 months (depending on reactor type). Every 18-24 months, the reactor is brought down and serviced. While it is down, the fuel rod assemblies are removed, and 1/3 of them are replaced with fresh assemblies. Think of this like rotating cans of food in your emergency pantry.
In the U.S., fuel rods are not refurbished like in other countries. Instead, they are carefully stored in giant pools of water laced with boric acid—imagine a swimming pool at your local YMCA that is 75-feet deep. Those spent fuel rod assemblies are still incredibly radioactive, and they continue to generate heat. Water in the pool must therefore be circulated to keep them cool.
How long must the fuel rods be cooled? According to Mr. Hopson, the answer is 5-7 years. After that, the rods are cool enough to be removed and stored in reinforced concrete casks. Even then, the rods continue to be radioactive, but their heat output can be passively managed.
Nuclear plants obviously require electricity to operate their cooling pumps, not to mention their control systems. That power is normally tapped off of the electricity that the reactor generates. If the plant is offline, the power is provided by the electrical grid. But what happens when the grid itself goes down? The short answer is that large on-site diesel generators automatically activate to provide electricity. And if those should fail, portable diesel generators, which are also on-site, can be connected. Recent standardization has also ensured that generators can be swapped between plants without the need to retrofit connectors.
There are also a couple of additional emergency systems that can be used specifically to cool the reactor. These include the turbine-driven-auxiliary-feedwater pump, which uses steam generated by the reactor to power a cooling turbine. The pump requires an operator, but it runs completely without electricity. This system, however, is meant only for emergency cooling of the reactor during those critical first few days when the fuel rod assemblies are being brought down in temperature, not for long-term cooling.
And finally, in the worst case, most plants have a method of bringing in river or ocean water to flood the reactor. This typically damages the cooling system, but again, it helps to cool and cover the reactor core should all else fail. Unlike in other countries, permission from the federal government is not required to flood the reactor.
Worst-case power-loss scenario
With backup systems to the backup systems, it would seem that there’s nothing to worry about, right? Under all but the direst of circumstances, I think that assessment is correct. However, one could imagine a scenario in which the grid was lost and the diesel generators ran out of fuel.
Speaking of fuel, how much is actually stored onsite? It depends on the plant, but at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, for example, there is enough fuel to run the emergency diesel generators for at least 42 days. I say at least because it would depend on exactly what was being powered.
Once the reactor was cooled down, a much smaller system, known as the Residual Heat Removal System, would be all that was required to keep the fuel assemblies cool, both in the reactor and the spent fuel rods pool. The generators and onsite fuel supply could power that smaller cooling system for significantly longer than if they were powering the larger reactor cooling system. Even if we assumed a worst case of 42 days, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which that would not be enough time to bring in additional fuel either by land, water, or air. Nonetheless, let’s push the question a little further. What would happen in the unlikely event that the diesel fuel was exhausted?
Even with the reactor having been successfully cooled, the biggest risk would continue to be overheating of the fuel rod assemblies, both in the reactor and the spent fuel rods pool. Without circulation, the heat from the fuel rod assemblies could boil the surrounding water, resulting in steam. In turn, the water levels would drop, ultimately exposing the fuel rods to air. Once exposed to air, their temperatures would rise but not to the levels that would melt the zirconium cladding.
Thankfully, that means that meltdown would not occur. The steam might well carry radioactive contaminants into the air, but there would be no release of hydrogen and, thus, no subsequent explosions. The situation would certainly be dangerous to surrounding communities, but it wouldn’t be the nuclear Armageddon that many people worry about.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that in the event of a long-duration blackout, several things would need to occur for a nuclear meltdown.
First, fission would need to be halted by the insertion of control rods, a process that takes less than one second. Next, the reactor would need to be cooled for at least three days using the large diesel engines to provide electrical power. After that, the fuel rods would be cool enough that the reactor could be opened, and the plant’s Residual Heat Removal System could be used to provide cooling. That smaller system would need operate for 5-7 years to ensure that the fuel rod assemblies, both in the reactor and in the spent fuel rods pool, didn’t overheat. Only then could the fuel rod assemblies be moved to concrete casks for dry storage and final dispositioning.
During those 5-7 years, electricity in one form or another would be required. If it was not maintained, radioactive contamination could be released into the air, but the temperatures of the fuel rods would not be high enough to cause a complete meltdown or the dangerous release of hydrogen.
The point of this article wasn’t to convince anyone that nuclear power generation is safe or that a nuclear meltdown could never happen. I would argue that history has already proven that it comes with some very serious risks. Rather, it was to discuss the impact of a long-duration blackout. Specifically, it focused on the safeguards that are currently in place, and more importantly, discussed the magnitude of the catastrophe that might result if we allowed those safeguards to fail.
Guest post by Arthur T. Bradley, Ph.D., author of the Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family, 3rd Edition, Prepper’s Instruction Manual: 50 Steps to Prepare for any Disaster, Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms (Expanded Edition), and the Frontier Justice (The Survivalist Book 1), website: http://disasterpreparer.com
Medical planning and training is a huge subject among preppers, and with good reason. In a large-scale disaster or worst case scenario, medical treatment may be impossible to access. Preppers, as a group, know more than the average person, but there is one area that very few preppers even seem to notice: Homecare Nursing.
I am a Licensed Practical Nurse, EMT, Wilderness EMT, phlebotomist, and CPR/ First Aid instructor. I also instruct disaster medicine with a well known firm and am currently working on my RN. I work full-time as well and have done this over the last several years. In addition to this training, I have had the opportunity to care for two relatives on hospice.
I have noticed that many preppers want to know how to suture a wound or remove “the bullet” or some other “glamorous” task. But the more training I receive and practice in the field, the more I realize how much I do not know, in spite of all my training and experience. That concept really scares me but it’s a healthy fear. Preppers will benefit from that realization as well. Learn the basics. Have the proper supplies ready. And then take the next step to learn how to suture a wound or remove a bullet.
The most ignored area in medical training that I have seen in survival circles is homecare nursing. I know it may be a boring subject, but it’s an absolute necessity to keep your patient alive and viable. It is sad when I deal with a person (young or older) who has contractures, bed sores, develops pneumonia, or just fights to maintain some level of independence because no one in their life provides basic homecare nursing skills.
A basic overview of the skill set necessary
Good basic patient care can be learned and mastered by becoming a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). The job of CNAs is to take temperatures and blood pressures, give bed baths, turn, and feed patients. They help monitor for bed sores, pressure areas, changing incontinent patients, and providing basic necessary care. It may not have the glamour or prestige of removing a bullet, but basic patient care is actually more necessary.
Not everyone understands that a person cannot lie in bed for hours, days, or even weeks without someone really involved in their care. An immobile patient must be turned and checked every two hours. If you turn them and see a red mark on their side, butt, or back, you are probably looking at a bedsore very soon. Bedsores can kill patients!! I have seen Stage 4 pressure ulcers that go to the bone. Do not let that happen. Patients need to be clean, dry and intact – always!
Bed-bound patients need to be exercised daily to help prevent contractures, a shortening or distortion of muscle or connective tissue. Contractures ultimately have the patient going into a fetal position. In nursing school we have worked with patients that required four adults to just change them and get them out of bed. Very, very sad.
This exercise involves having the patient move all their joints through their full range of motion. One or more caregivers may have to help with this. Start with the head by going side to side and rotations, move to the neck, shoulders, arms, fingers, knees and toes.
I also use incentive spirometers for lung exercises. This can help prevent pneumonia. If that is not available, try chest physiotherapy. Try cupping your hands and have the patients on their side. Use your cupped hands and tap on the patients back to loosen anything in the lungs. Do not use too much pressure but tap several times a day.
- Gloves – No latex. I prefer Nitrile for durability (available at Costco). It is impossible to have too many. I personally have 10 –12 cases. Each case has 10 boxes of 100 gloves. (Latex allergies are fairly common; there are nitrile allergies but they are far more unusual.)
- Bed pan
- Urinal – Male and female.
- Wash basin
- Emesis basin
- Bed pads for incontinence – Reusable or disposable. The reusables are strong and can be used to help turn/ reposition your patient
- Incontinence briefs (diapers) and pull-ups
- Baby wipes – You can never have enough.
- Thicken – Makes liquids thick for people with swallowing difficulties.
- Nosey cups – Plastic cups with the nose section cut out to help with liquids for patients with limited mobility
- Incentive spirometers – Lung exercisers.
- Cane – Carbon Fiber is far lighter than other options.
- Bedside commode
- Gait belt – Assistive belt to help a patient ambulate.
- Blood pressure cuff and stethoscope
- Manual wheelchair
- Hand Cleaner
- Clorox and sprayer
I designed a “raised platform bed” for homecare nursing because I could not justify a hospital bed with hand cranks. The raised bed allows me to care for the patient without killing my back.
This is just a starting point to help you begin to think about skills and supplies you may want to add to your repertoire. It is far from complete but should give you an idea about needs for your patients. The American Red Cross may offer classes in your area to provide more training.
Remember, everyone in your family or group will need training and practice. Someday, the patient may be you, and these simple procedures may save a life, including your own. Also and most important, many of these tasks are not fun. Many are done for infants and young children without any thought. Please be kind and offer privacy and dignity to your patients. Treat them as you would want to be treated.
Guest post by Dave, LPN, EMT, WEMT. Originally published February 3, 2011 and updated.
Cool Survival Tips
No one wants to imagine something going wrong during exciting travel or vacations, but it’s an unfortunate fact that sometimes accidents happen and we find ourselves caught with limited resources in the wilderness for a few days. These events don’t have to be catastrophic, though, and with a little foreknowledge, you can face up to any challenge. Here are ten cool survival tips we found that anyone can do!
*Here is a link to a broader list of essential survival tips
- To start a fire, you need kindling – logs and branches will not start to burn easily on their own. Kindling in the wild, however, is not hard to find at all. Dry pine needles make excellent kindling, as well as the wispy seeds from a thistle plant. Some fungi that grows on fallen dead trees can also be fibrous and easy to burn. For this, look for Coal Fungus (like little black lumps of coal) or Horse’s Hoof Fungus (named for it’s shape and similarity in appearance to a horse’s hoof). These can be used to help start your fire, providing warmth, light, signal, and a way to cook.
Keeping Warm with Foliage
- Warmth is important – hypothermia can be deadly. If you find yourself lost during the cooler months, you can help insulate yourself by stuffing dry – must be dry, this is important! – leaves between layers of clothing. You can do the same between your bedroll and the ground – or your body and the ground, if you don’t have a sleeping bag – to keep off the cold ground through the night.
- Water is one of the most important needs you have, and you’re not always lucky enough to get lost beside safe, flowing water. It is possible to find water – especially after a rainstorm – that is safe to drink by squeezing out moss. It won’t taste amazing, but it will be fresh, and will keep you hydrated. Another option, early in the morning, is to tie fabric – like a shirt that is mostly clean – to your ankles and walk through dew-covered grass. The fabric will collect the dew, which you can squeeze to store and drink.
Daytime Signal Fire
- Obviously one of the biggest goals when lost is to be rescued. Fires tend to have less visibility during the day. However, with green branches – that is, branches that still have green leaves on them, or are green in the stem when you break them from the tree – can help increase the daytime visibility of your signal fire by producing a lot of smoke. Green branches smoke more than brown ones because of the water content contained within. A second perk of smoke from green branches – the smoke can help keep some of the bugs away.
- Food, while not as important as water or shelter, is still a need, especially if you find yourself having to travel long distances. There are a few wild resources available, however, that can provide some sustenance. The dandelion, for example – it grows in a large number of places, and the entire plant is edible. It can be eaten just like a salad.
- Acorns can be eaten, but should be boiled first – acorns produce tannin, and when boiled, the tannin leeches into the water. This water – a sort of tannin tea – can be drunk to help ease stomach troubles (such as diarrhea) but should be used in moderation.
- “Berries” are often a quick go-to, but some are poisonous, even deadly. There is a rule of thumb to remember – “White and yellow, kill a fellow. Purple and blue, good for you. Red… could be good, could be dead.” While not completely foolproof, it provides an easy-to-remember guideline.
Cattails – Nature’s Walmart
- If you can find Cattails, you are doing great! These beauties are known as “Nature’s Walmart,” because of the multiple uses provided through the entire plant. The woody tip is filled with fibers that can be used for kindling, and the stalk and roots are edible.
Tinfoil and Cleaning
- If you have to get lost, getting lost with tinfoil is the way to go. Tinfoil has many uses, but the one we’re going to cover here is one that many people don’t think about – keeping cookware clean. This is important because it helps prevent mold growth – which can be very dangerous. A small balled-up piece of tinfoil can be used as a scouring pad to clean any cookware or dishes. without wasting precious water. With this, your cookware or containers can be used for as long as you need them while lost, without having to worry as much about mold-caused illness.
Counting Daylight Hours
- Traveling at night can be particularly dangerous, but there’s a way to find an estimate of how many hours of daylight remain. Hold your hand sideways, flat, with your palm facing towards your face and your thumb tucked in, the base of your pinky at the horizon line. Each finger represents about one hour – if the bottom of the sun is touching the top of your hand, there are roughly four hours left.
Directions with Analog Watches
- You don’t always have a compass along when you wind up in a scenario where you need one. Most everyone knows the simple direction-telling “Sun sets in the West and rises in the East.” If you need slightly more specific directions or are having trouble locating where you are, there’s a way to create a makeshift compass using an analog watch – specific to which hemisphere you find yourself in. In the Northern Hemisphere: Hold the watch face up, parallel to the ground, with the hour hand facing the sun. It doesn’t matter what time it is, as long as the hour hand faces the sun. Halfway between the hour hand and 12 marks South – directly opposite is North. It will be the smaller of the two angles – the direction with the shortest distance between the hour hand and 12. The Southern Hemisphere is almost identical, except it’s 12 that you will be facing towards the sun, with the point between 12 and the hour hand being North.
Getting a Spark – Cell Phone Battery Uses
- These days, almost everyone has a cellphone, while lighters are often in shorter supply. Not everyone knows how to start a fire using other means, either, and the sticks rubbed together we see in movies is actually quite difficult. It’s possible to get a spark using your cellphone battery that can start a fire, though. Using your cellphone battery and a piece of conductive material (such as that tinfoil, or a knife) over a bed of prepared, dry kindling, you can get a blaze going. Just connect the positive and negative terminals of the battery with the conductive material, and it will do the rest.
No one wants to have to face survival with limited resources, or being lost in the wilderness. It’s important to be somewhat prepared though, and having knowledge can help you survive in situations where otherwise it might be difficult. Travel is fun, worthwhile, but sometimes accidents happen – that doesn’t mean that you can’t more than rise to the occasion.
Hi, my name is Alex and I am the owner of Authorized Boots. I am a blogger in the survival/prepper space. Recently, I have had the pleasure of posting on Survival Life.
7 Urban Shelters to Keep You Safe (Plus an Unconventional 8th)
The idea of urban shelters may seem far-fetched to some. After all, cities are no place to wander around once disaster strikes. Theory says you either bug into your apartment and wait for the whole thing to be over or you bug out before everyone else.
Theory and practice, however, don’t always match. Keep in mind you may not be at home when it happens and, more importantly, that you may not be able to get home. Whatever the case, I suggest you put some thought into what you’d do if your apartment building became unavailable and you’d be unable to bug out.
#1. A Space Blanket
Can this be considered a shelter? Definitely. Anything that can keep you warm can. Obviously, this won’t protect you from rain or snow very well but, still, it’s a good thing to have inside your get home bag or even your everyday carry. Your purse or laptop bag surely has enough room for one. It’s small (when packed) and lightweight. (a smaller, purse size emergency blanket.)
#2. Cardboard Boxes
Sure, there’s also the possibility of you finding a large cardboard to fit in, but the most likely scenario is that you’ll need to assemble several of them together. You’re gonna need a few tools to do it, such as a knife and duct tape. If you live in the city, chances are you won’t have a fixed-blade survival knife on you but you might have a pocket knife.
To make sure your shelter lasts well if it rains, you may want to add an outer layer of plastics (such as trash bags). Another thing you can do is use your emergency blanket we just talked about to insulate your cardboard shelter.
This is by far the best article on urban cardboard shelters you can find.
#3. A Dumpster
Yeah, I can sense the smell just by thinking about it too, but you may not have a choice. Careful, though. If you’re too close to the action, angry mobs may want to set your shelter on fire to prove a point to local authorities or law enforcement.
Needless to say, you’ll want to clean it before you use it.
#4. Your Car
Obvious, right? If you have a properly equipped car, you can spend weeks or even months inside and you don’t have to worry about rain, hail and so on. Now, this doesn’t mean your car can withstand any adversity but it’s a lot better than sitting inside a cardboard box.
The biggest when it comes to sleeping in your car is in regards to carbon monoxide intoxication. You may be tempted to leave the engine on to stay warm but this could be fatal if your car has certain flaws. This is even more dangerous if the car inside a garage or some other closed space. There have been cases of people dying like this. Besides, you’d just be wasting fuel you’d otherwise use to get home or to bug out.
Much better to stock up on things that can keep you warm such as:
- wool blankets (wool is great because it allows your body to breathe, making it better than polyester)
- hand warmers
- hats (much of the heat released by the human body goes through the head)
- tea candles (careful about lighting candles inside your vehicle) or some other type of emergency candle
- extra clothes
#6. Abandoned Buildings
Yes, there are safety concerns if you go down this route. People might already be inside (you won’t be the first one who’s thought about it), maybe someone will come and surprise you at a later time… you don’t really know what can happen. Still, this could work as long as you do your due diligence.
One of the things you can do today is to walk around your neighborhood and spot any abandoned buildings. If you make a mental note of each, you can check them out every once in a while to see if they’re truly abandoned, maybe even go inside to see what it’s like and spot all the potential exits.
#7. Bivvy Bags
Think of bivvy bags as weird hybrids between tents and sleeping bags. An ultralight bivvy bag, on the other hand, can be added to your get home bag. On the other hand, if you have access to your sleeping bag, you’re either at home or you have your car, in which case you probably won’t have to sleep on the cold, wet streets of your town or city.
Well, there you have it. 7 great options for urban shelters in case your home is compromised and have no way to go. Speaking of which, there’s also an 8th one: your actual home… even if it’s already been destroyed! Provided the danger is over, nothing should stop you from making shelter inside your own home.
I realize most survival and preparedness articles don’t talk about urban scenarios, though the vast majority of the population (around 80%) lives in cities. If you’re looking for more urban tips, you can check an older (yet still valid) article I wrote that has some pretty good tips.
Bartering for Survival in a Post-Collapse Society
By Frank Bates
It’s easy for people to think they don’t need to worry about preparing for a disaster because they have the financial resources to carry them through tough times. They’ve become accustomed to relying on money to take care of their problems, assuming their finances will help them weather any storm. What about bartering?
The truth is, no amount of money will protect you if the U.S. suffers a total financial collapse, something many experts believe could happen in the near future. Peak oil, currency collapse, an EMP attack—any number of events could easily bring the country to its knees, decimating our savings or keeping them locked up in banks for months or even years. There’s also the very real possibility of inflation making our currency virtually worthless.
No matter how fat (or slim) your bank account may be, it’s critical to recognize there may come a day when currency is unavailable and/or completely useless. If our economic system collapses, it’s likely that the goods we’ve stockpiled and the skills we possess will be the only things that hold any real value. In this situation, many of us will have to barter these goods and skills to survive.
To see this in action, you don’t have to look farther than Greece, where many now rely on bartering after the country’s economy came crashing down in 2015.
“In Greece there’s a major liquidity problem,” butcher Thodoris Roussos said in a recent New York Times article. Roussos trades his meat for items like tires, part of an online bartering system that’s helped him stay afloat during the crisis. “People are finding it more convenient to trade because money is not readily available,” he adds.
Of course, there’s no guarantee we’ll have the Internet or even electricity in a post-collapse society, so protecting yourself in such an event means two things. First, you need to make sure you have the necessary supplies for your family’s survival. Then you’ll want to stockpile additional supplies for bartering.
For your personal stockpile, start by storing enough food and water for your family for 72 hours. Once you have that, you can graduate to storing enough for one month, three months, six months, one year and even longer. You’ll also want to collect as many non-food items as possible, such as clothing, blankets, flashlights and batteries. It’s important to stockpile these items in at least two locations, in case you’re forced to flee your home.
When you’ve covered your own family’s needs, you can start stockpiling items and acquiring skills likely to help in a post-collapse society where bartering is the only form of commerce.
Which items should you hoard for bartering? The list is limitless, but you’ll do better to focus on those items that will give you the biggest return on your investment. That is, choose items with a long shelf life that are likely to be very valuable later compared to their current cost.
The most valuable items in a post-collapse society will likely be food and water. However, trading any extra essentials from your stockpile is risky, given that we won’t know how long it will be before we can buy those items in stores again (if ever). Instead, you’ll be better off stockpiling things that others haven’t but will be in high demand, like coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and candy.
Some other items that could be valuable include:
- Gasoline and oil
- Tools, nails and other hardware
- Reading glasses
- Personal hygiene products
- Toilet paper and paper products
- Lighters, matches and other fire starters
- Flashlights and batteries
- A wide variety of non-GMO seeds.
In addition to supplies, you’ll want to consider which skills you currently have or would like to develop that would be useful in a post-collapse society. These may include:
- Medical services
- Construction and carpentry
- Gun repair
- Small engine repair
- Appliance repair.
Finally, it’s critical that you take steps to protect what you’ve stockpiled. That means making sure you’ve stored up enough weapons to protect your store, and never revealing the extent of your supplies to those you barter with. If you do, you run the risk of getting robbed.
We need only look at what people endured during the 20th century’s world wars to see that when supplies get tight, people have little regard for the law or human life. In this kind of situation, you simply can’t rely on money. You’ll only have your wits, your skills and whatever you had the forethought to store ahead of time.
Frank Bates, founder of 4Patriots LLC, is a contributing writer to Patriot Headquarters, a website featuring hundreds of articles on how to be more independent and self-reliant. He also offers Food4Patriots, a supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage, survival and emergency preparedness.
Car prep for winter is very important. Though winter may be taking its time with its arrival, it most certainly will be here soon. With winter comes snow and ice; particularly on roads which may accumulate faster than it can be cleared. This might be one of the most common or realistic emergency situations that you may find yourself in. There are numerous ways that your car can cause you issues: spinning off the road, getting stuck in a ditch, getting stuck in deep snow, running out of gas, or just plain freezing up. No matter the situation, if your car becomes immobilized in one way or another, you may have to spend a little extra time in your vehicle than planned. How should you better prepare yourself for this freezing hazard? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing your car for winter. Keep these items handy in your vehicle in case they might be needed if you have to survive out of your car in the winter. Make sure they are not in your trunk unless you have access to your trunk from the inside of your car. Below are the top 20 items to have in your car during the winter:
- Some kind of flashers, flares, or reflectors
- Food and drink
- Extra phone charger
- Snow Gear (Hat, gloves, snowsuit, coat, etc.)
- Blanket, sleeping bag, hand warmers, etc.
- Jumper cables
- Road salt, kitty litter, sand
- First aid kit, extra required medication
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Windshield scraper
- Battery powered radio
- Windshield de-icer
- Tow chain or rope
- Knife (pocket knife or fixed blade)
- Small tool set
- Tire sealant
- Matches, lighter, candles
- Cash money
- Tape (such as clear packing tape)
Burying The Dead At Home – What You Need To Know
For many people, burying the dead at home is a perfect way to say goodbye, keeping their remains where they lived. For others, it’s simply a practical way to avoid expenses, especially with the rising costs and demand for cemetery space. Of course, there are a few legal issues attached to such an option, so here’s what you need to know.
Is It Legal?
- In most states, home burials are perfectly legal, allowing you to arrange the funeral yourself. However, there are a few states – specifically, Indiana, Connecticut, Nebraska, New York and Michigan – which require a funeral director to oversee the process at some point. This will vary from state to state and, while it may not necessarily restrict your ability to have a home burial, it will add to the costs.
Is Any Home Suitable?
- It goes without saying that a garden is required but, even then, many states often have strict limitations on what properties can and cannot be used for home burials. In many areas, this is restricted to rural or semi-rural locations, making town and city homes near impossible. Even then, there are a few obvious health and safety risks one should be aware of. For example, if your garden is near a municipality service then there may be some additional issues, and some situations may require the land to be of a certain minimal size before burials can be approved.
Who Do I Contact?
- As expected, you will need permits from a local government representative, typically the town or county clerk. This may involve further restrictions, such as how deep the body needs to be buried, as well as any relevant permits or licenses. Your local representative will also likely acquire a declaration of use, showing just where the body is buried in the plot itself. As for the land, it may also have to be registered as a family burial site or plot. Just like the rest of these permits, this all needs to be done in advance of the funeral itself.
The Immediate Steps
- After somebody dies, you can’t simply bury them straight away. Legally, the government needs to know a citizen is deceased, so a death certificate is still required. This will typically be a hospital and after this point you will need a burial transit permit. This document is what a funeral director would normally acquire to obtain the body from the hospital prior to the funeral and, in the case of home funerals, you will still need the same document.
Preserving The Body
- A large part of funeral care often focuses on preserving the body but, for the most part, few of these areas are legal. For instance, there is no legal requirement to embalm the body so you can avoid this cost altogether. Depending on the state you live in, the same might be true of other areas, such as vaults. For many, this allows people to bypass the high costs of a funeral director and focus on the things they want, such as a casket or local service.
Dealing With Funeral Directors
- If you live in one of the states that requires a funeral director to oversee the funeral, bare in mind this does not automatically stop you from having a home burial. Many directors can oversee the process within your own home, although they may offer their own cemetery. These states often just require a professional to oversee the process. Again, they may offer additional services, such as embalming, but this is not legally required. Many cemeteries, for instance, require you to purchase a vault but when it is on your own home a funeral director cannot insist this upon you.
Who Can I Ask For Help?
- Funerals are not something people are always prepared for, so it’s always useful to have somebody to turn to. In the case of home funerals, their growing recognition in America means that help is available. Specifically, the National Home Funeral Alliance cannot arrange or plan your funeral, but may be able to offer advice and specific legal information for your area. This also includes any local home death guides, unofficially known as death midwives, whom can also help you with such information. Data and laws can also be found on your local governments website, although these aren’t always easy to navigate.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to home burials, but the process is far from outlawed. In fact, with growing support from officials and organizations, as well as its ties into green funerals, many are already finding it a more suitable alternative to traditional cemetery services.
Robert Bruce has a passion for lending his voice towards multiple issues involving the funeral and memorial industry. When he’s not working with Great Lakes Caskets, he enjoys his hobby as a writer.
Getting prepared for a disaster ahead of time is the best decision you can make for you and your family. Whether you are going to buy gold for saving or to buy guns just in case something bad happens, you have many options to choose from. However, one of the most important things to think about is your child. If you are a millennial, you probably have a family right about now. This means that there are going to be extra lives to think about when preparing for a possible disaster.
A disaster could come in many forms. Not all of them are natural. Most of these aren’t even life-threatening in the conventional way. Instead, you are going to have to find shelter from the figurative storm that is the crumbling economy of the present day. If you have been watching the market in recent days, you know just how unstable the global market in currency is. The dollar is plummeting towards a dark pit from which there is no escape for it.
Money means nothing
If you are really concerned about the security of your finances in these troubled times, simply having a retirement plan is not going to be enough. You need to make sure that they are protected against the possible crises that could arise over time. There are so many risks when it comes to your funds. If you lose them, you lose years of hard work and savings. While it isn’t going to literally be stolen from your account, if the economy gets too bad, there is a possibility that your money will be worth nothing.
This is a very real scenario. Money is nothing but paper which the government says has a value. If the economy collapses, so will the government and that will result in you owning money that could be used as toilet paper instead. However, there is a solution out there for this problem. People seem to have forgotten that before paper money existed, metals were used with different values. One of the prime examples of this is gold.
Gold is a metal that has retained its value over the years. This hasn’t been a small amount of time either. The metal has been in demand since it was first mined and discovered. Before modern plumbing and building came into play, gold was being mined and used to create jewelry and artefacts. A good example of this is the golden calf in the Bible! It has been shown not to reduce value over time, regardless of what the current market is like. It is independent of the market and therefore the perfect investment to protect the funds in your rainy day accounts.
In the event of a complete market collapse, you would then have the precious metal in your hand. This is going to be far more beneficial to you than a wad of worthless printed paper which used to be the trendiest thing around.
What You Need to Know About Eating Insects for Survival
By Frank Bates
More than 2 billion people worldwide eat insects on a regular basis, from toasted ants served like popcorn in South American movie theaters to centipedes sold on a stick as street food in China. But for most of us folks here in the U.S., just thinking about eating a bug is enough to quash an appetite. Then again, we might feel differently in a survival situation, where insects could be the only thing standing between us and going hungry.
Of course, it’s not as simple as chowing down on whatever bugs you can find. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to stay safe (and maybe even enjoy your food) if you’re ever forced to eat insects for survival.
What to Avoid
For starters, you obviously want to avoid poisonous insects, which could leave you worse than just hungry. How can you tell which are toxic? Short of learning how to identify poisonous species, paying attention to nature’s signals can tell you a lot.
For example, if you pick up an insect and notice a nasty smell, you should take that as a warning sign that it may be poisonous. And just as the bright colors of Amazonian poison dart frogs act as a warning for predators, you’d also be better off avoiding brightly colored insects and caterpillars.
Other signs of danger include hairy bugs and those that bite or sting. That means leaving spiders alone, as well as disease-carrying insects like ticks, mosquitoes and flies. Also, you’ll have to find another food source if you’re allergic to shellfish, which are related to insects.
What to Seek
Luckily for us, there are plenty of insect species good for eating. You might find they don’t taste that bad if you can roast or even fry them first.
Ants are a popular food in many parts of the world, but you should avoid fire ants (which can bite back). Just put a stick into an anthill and wait for ants to crawl all over it, then shake the stick off into a container.
Larvae, grubs and termites are also great sources of protein. You won’t have to dig too deep in the dirt to find grubs, and you can easily find larvae and other insects by looking under rocks, decaying logs and loose bark.
While not technically an insect, earthworms are edible and easy to spot. You’ll find them after a good rain. When it’s wet, just dig a small hole and wait for the drowned earthworms to collect in it. Some say worms taste like dirt and sand (that’s what they eat, after all), but you can make them more palatable by squeezing out the dirt with your fingers and/or cooking them before eating.
Some of the most popular edible insects across the world include grasshoppers, crickets, locusts and cicadas. They’re best roasted, but feel free to remove their heads, feet and wings first because the protein is mostly in the abdomen.
Finally, June bugs are also a safe choice. Since they’re larger, they tend to have more protein than smaller insects.
How Many Do You Need?
An important thing to remember when you’re foraging for bugs is that while they’re rich in protein, they’re also very small. That means you’ll need to eat more than just one or two to stave off hunger and weakness.
The average person needs roughly 50 grams of protein daily if they aren’t doing a lot of physical activity. What does that amount to in bug terms? You would need to eat 20,000 ants, while you’d only need to eat a dozen or so grasshoppers or two dozen earthworms. So, while it may be harder to stomach the bigger insects, you’ll end up needing to eat fewer of them.
If you’re totally disgusted by the idea of eating insects, just remember – we all eat bugs every day, small amounts of which are allowed by the FDA in everything from chocolate to fruit juice to canned vegetables. Plus, you’ll pay big bucks for steamed lobster in a fancy restaurant, but you can eat all the wild insects you want for free.
Frank Bates, founder of 4Patriots LLC, is a contributing writer to Patriot Headquarters, a website featuring hundreds of articles on how to be more independent and self-reliant. He also offers Food4Patriots, a supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage, survival and emergency preparedness.
This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license. All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.
Basic Survival Gear
There are some simple, basic items you need to maintain safety and health while out in the wild. The next time you’re planning an outdoor adventure, include these basic survival tools for emergency preparedness and survival.
The best tool for survival is YOU and your mind! Make sure you understand the basic survival concepts. The foremost skill in survival is to ensure that bad situations don’t escalate to worse situations. To deal with any emergency situation you must be able to make quick decisions, improvise and stay calm.
A survival manual can help you cover most survival tactics. Manuals like the SAS Survival Guide or The Army Survival Guide (FM 21-76) can provide assistance with survival topics such as water, shelter, food, first aid, navigation, psychology of survival, identifying edible and medicinal plants, and much more.
Navigation gear is vital, even if you are in a familiar area. You can get turned around in the forest, and have no idea. Keep maps and a compass handy, because there might be times that your cellphone doesn’t have signal or the battery has gone dead.
Protection from the Elements
The lack of sun protection can lead to a serious medical emergency. Overexposure to the sun and heat can put your health in jeopardy. Ensure that you carry sunscreen, a hat and a water purification system so you can keep hydrated with safe and clean drinking water.
Keep abreast of the weather. Check your local weather forecast before heading out on the trails, and monitor the conditions via a radio or with an application on your smartphone. Knowing of an approaching storm or cold front will help you prepare in for potential weather issues.
With insect borne diseases like Lyme Disease and Chagas you can’t afford to skip the insect repellent. Toss a couple pouches of insect repellent wipes in your car and backpack right now, so you’ll never be without it!
Even if you’ve managed to setup your camp by nightfall, you’ll still want to have a flashlight or headlamp handy to navigate around the campsite. A headlamp allows you to remain hands-free while hiking or finding a spot to relieve yourself, when nature calls.
First Aid Kit
A good first aid kit is another survival must-have; a well-stocked first aid kit will keep you to prepared for injuries and emergencies. The contents should be updated to match where the kit will be stored and how it will be used.
You might be awesome at starting fires, but what about when the wood’s too wet or too green? Carry a lighter then have firesteel or waterproof matches as a backup and have fire starting tinder to get your kindling going.
Tarp and Blanket
A tarp is another multipurpose item that can help keep you warm and dry. Use it as a tent in inclement weather, to cover your food or as ground cover. Bring along a wool blanket to ensure a good night’s sleep and sufficient warmth.
Knots and lashings are useful in your camp and in many survival situations, to construct an improvised shelter. The right knot can save your life. If knots aren’t your forte, keep some laminated knot cards in your pack.
Even if you’ve packed food or are fishing and hunting for your food, you may need to offset your diet by foraging for wild edible.
Before you sample any wild fruits or vegetables, identify and verify they are truly edible by using a manual on wild edibles.
Even wilderness experts can experience mishaps in the outdoors that can cause their adventure to turn sour. Make sure that you have the basics you need, as well as the supporting equipment or tools. The items you bring with you will change depending on the season, your destination and the length of your trips. Take time to consider your needs for the season and the region you’ll be in so you can prepare accordingly.
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Zombie Apocalypse. Are You Financially Prepared?
The Importance of Cash
Cash, or the standard physical medium of exchange issued by our government, is used to convey a certain amount of value, or purchasing power, enabling you to purchase goods and services. But we live in a time when the need of having and holding currency in the physical form is diminishing due to the more prevalent use of debit cards and new smart banking apps. The checkout line seems to stop these days when someone pulls out dollar bills because now that unfortunate cashier has to go through the process of making change. If this trend of going digital continues, would you be prepared if an economic, biological, or natural disaster impacted your ability to purchase items needed in a crisis? Will your digital assets be available if there is no electricity? Previously, I wrote on the importance of accumulating good capital when taking the necessary steps to survive a zombie apocalypse. In it I discussed the importance of possessing physical currency in a post-apocalyptic world. This includes how much cash we should accumulate and where we should keep it. These are important questions that every prepper needs to consider.
First, I will give the standard financial planning answer when considering emergency funds with or without a zombie apocalypse. It is highly recommended that each household should maintain at least three to six months’ worth of total monthly liabilities in liquid assets. In other words, total what you must have in order to pay all your monthly bills, and make a plan to accumulate three to six times that amount. Liquid assets means having your cash in a form that you can get access to quickly and easily. This is just wise advice no matter what you think the future may hold. My recommendation is to put one third of your liquidity needs in short term CD’s/savings, one third in a checking account, and I recommend you put the last third in actual cash, in the form of bills and coins, locked in a safe or a secure hiding place in or around your home.
Why Holding Physical Cash Is Important
If there is ever a catastrophe that somehow launches us into a zombie apocalypse, having immediate access to at least some of our cash could be the difference between life and death. There is a reasonable likelihood that in the initial throes of a crisis electrical power generation could be sporadic. As a result, access to bank accounts or the use of credit cards most likely would be limited. Or, if a global pandemic has us all quarantined, where will the bank tellers be? Quarantined in their homes. In that moment when things go from bad to frantic confusion, having real dollars in hand might be the difference between getting a full tank of gas and getting to your bug out spot, or finding yourself standing there with an unusable credit card. If a customer can show the person at the gas station the greenbacks, there is a much higher probability that somebody will find the means of getting that petrol out of the tanks and into his car. I’ve been there. I’ve walked into a grocery store when the power was off with everyone just standing around not knowing what to do. Having cash in hand during an emergency provides the power to grab a manager and say, “Here is real money. Can I buy this?” With just a debit card the answer would undoubtedly be no!
Having physical cash in your hand grants you immediate purchasing power. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, currency, along with its purchasing power, deflated due to numerous bank failures. These failures made cash under the mattress a very real concept to many of our parents or grandparents. In a digital world, an EMP burst could just as easily wipe out our bank balances, for a while anyway, but it cannot erase those coins under our beds.
A Simple Way to Start Saving Cash
Currency, in the more durable form of coinage, has been around for thousands of years. I actually purchased, for less than twenty-five dollars what would have monetarily been the equivalent of a Roman penny from the second century C.E. that still looks somewhat close to the way it looked the day it was minted. Since this Roman penny has survived almost 1,800 years, coins in particular seem to be durable vehicles to store and save your emergency cash.
Here is an easy idea to start our cash savings. Use a coin jar, what we all typically use to drop loose change into at the end of each day. When it’s full, don’t just go to a coin machine to exchange the coins into bills. These coins should continue to be accumulated until we find ourselves with a nice hefty collection of coins. Over several months fifty to a hundred dollars in loose change can be painlessly accumulated with little to no effort at all.
Why Would Having Coins Be Useful
As I said in my prior article, it’s my belief that a post-apocalyptic world would not be inflationary, but highly deflationary as the apocalyptic crisis causes the population to decline rapidly, eviscerating debt based assets due to defaults. A rapid die off means fewer people left to pay taxes, debts, and mortgages. When you can’t pay your debts, the underlying loan becomes bankrupt, or worthless. The result would be that the monetary value of that loan is lost and literally disappears from the money supply. That is deflation, a rapid decline in the money supply. So, if you think our collective ability to repay the trillions of dollars of government debt is at jeopardy, investing in treasuries or anything the government guarantees, even with Bank FDIC protection, is not a logical long term investment strategy.
This kind of dramatic deflation can be hard to grasp. It is the opposite of the slowly growing inflation to which we have all grown accustomed. As a child, I can remember going to the store with fifty cents in my pocket and being able to purchase what seemed like mountains of candy. Today, it would be rather difficult to even buy a single candy bar for fifty cents. This is what inflation has done over the last fifty years as we have watched the slow decline in the purchasing power of our currency. On the US Government web site of The Bureau of Labor Statistics there is an interesting calculator. It shows that one dollar in 1965 had the same purchasing power as $7.55 does today. Looking back retroactively, this means that the candy bar that cost $1.00 today would have only cost 13 cents then. If we continue to experience inflation, along with our currencies correlative decline in purchasing power, it would be a total waste of time to save coins because those coins would buy less each year.
But, as in all things, we must remember not to overdo it. Having thousands of dollars in loose change in jars hidden under the bed may do nothing for us at all right now. Because of the effects of inflation, currency of all kinds is a wasting asset that will continue to depreciate. For this reason, I believe the prudent thing is to limit this emergency cash fund to one third of our three to six-month liquidity needs.
As an investment professional, my advice is to not only be prepared to survive a zombie apocalypse but to thrive financially after it is over. I believe, in financially difficult times, cash is king, and having available cash will be extremely important in surviving the beginning of a crisis. I also believe having cash even to the extent of accumulating loose change, just might provide some easily transferable capital allowing us to thrive after the crisis is over. Finally, the win-win here is we win from the benefit of having little to no debt and a nice emergency fund, so no matter what happens we will be prepared to face the normal challenges of life, or we win if we financially survive a zombie apocalypse.
Either way, you are prepared.
If you would like to follow Tom’s daily investment thought and links to interesting articles, Like his Facebook page Private Asset Management LLC.
This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license. All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.
Calm Before the Storm
Everyone is always calm before the storm hits, but when there’s a storm on the way, most people freak out. They load up on water, batteries, flashlight, and canned foods. But, what about the home? If you’re the type of person who likes to be fully prepared, here’s what you need to know about protecting your fortress.
Clean Out Your Gutters and Downspouts
Clean out your gutters and downspouts, because this is where water will back up and cause flooding right at the foundation of your home. Once you’ve had a thorough cleaning, it might be time to consider shielded gutters, which will resist leaves and other debris. They will keep your gutters clean, while also allowing rainwater to safely drain away.
Inspect Your Roof and Skylights
Ferguson Roofing Company contractors can inspect your roof and skylights. And, you should probably have it done every year or at least every other year. Skylights are notorious for leaking, so pay extra special attention to them. Gravity often forces the seal on internal glass packs to fail.
Because these glass packs use metal spacer systems, and because heat is constantly rising out of the home, it’s also not uncommon for skylights to fail in the fall, winter, and spring, when the outdoor temperatures may be significantly warmer than the indoor temperatures. The heat coming from the attic will cause the metal and glass to shift and expand, while the cold air coming from above will cause the glass and spacer to want to contract. The result is seal failure of the glass pack.
Replacing skylights with newer systems using “warm edge spacer” technology might help reduce the risk or incidence of failure, but there are usually no guarantees. So, all other things being equal, buy the most expensive skylight you can afford, and make sure the company backs the product with a warranty – lifetime, if possible.
Roofing materials wear out, so you should have them periodically inspected, especially after a storm, which can reduce the roof shingles’ useful lifespan. Butterflying, torn, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately.
Moisture that works its way under the shingles, and is allowed to sit, will rot out the decking underneath, which will then need to be replaced.
Test Smoke Detectors At Least Once Every 6 Months
Test your smoke alarm at least once every 6 months. As long as the batteries are working, you should be fine. However, you may want to test it with a little smoke. If you don’t smoke, buy a pack of cigarettes or some incense.
Light up, and wave the smoke in front of the detector. If it goes off, it’s working. If it doesn’t, it’s time to replace the device or check the batteries.
(Editors Note: Do Smoke Detectors wake up your kids?)
Prune Back Trees and Shrubs
Prune back trees and shrubs so that they are not blocking windows or hanging over your roof – especially large trees with branches that could break off and crash through your roof, damaging it.
Check Weather Stripping
Check weather stripping on all doors and windows. Weather stripping is usually not something that will fail quickly and catastrophically. It usually fails over time, wearing down from years of use. Rubber on the seals may rot or dry out, become moldy, or develop micro-tears. Replace any damaged weather stripping, and seal all doors and windows as needed.
Get a Soil Study Done, and Have Your Foundation Checked
Bring in a soil engineer and have the soil tested for porosity. Then, check your foundation. This will help you better understand the risks of flooding in your foundation. Flooding can cause foundation and structural damage, which is expensive to repair. The engineer will be able to give you guidelines to prevent damage and fix any problems you’re having now with flooding.
Stock Up On Survival Food
Canned food is OK, but dehydrated survival food is real food, and it won’t make you feel like you’re eating out of a can. Plus, not all canned foods are “balanced” in the sense that you’re not always getting balanced nutrition.
Most people don’t worry about this because they don’t expect to be out of power for more than a day or two. But, even if power is restored within 24 hours, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to go to the store during that time.
If roads are blocked off, or if there is some other reason that supplies can’t be brought in to your area, then you will want to have food that only needs to be re-hydrated and constitutes a full, balanced meal.
It might be a step or two more complex than canned foods, but you’ll probably enjoy it more and be better prepared if you go this route.
Of course, you will also need to buy a water filter capable of filtering non-potable water – water that may contain viruses, bacteria, and other critters you wouldn’t want to ingest.
These filters aren’t sold in your average grocery store. They are, however, available in camping and sporting goods stores, online, and through various “prepper” and survivalist-themed stores.
Matthew King is part of a property maintenance team and likes to offer his insights on keeping your home in top shape. He is a regular contributor for a number of DIY and home websites.
Disasters: 5 Items That May Save Your Life
Things can change drastically in a minute and with times changing, it is expected of us to be vigilant as well as prepared when disasters have called on you to do so. Today, it’s not enough to know basic precautions; we need to be ready with items that will also help us stay alive.
One thing we can easily do ahead of time to prep for the unexpected is have a supply kit on hand. Here are some of the tools that you need to prioritize in acquiring to be better equipped for an impending disaster.
- Self-powered Flashlights
- Have enough self-powered flashlights with you. In any disasters that may happen, this tool will prove itself to be very useful especially when all electrical outlets are down and batteries are running low. You will need these flashlights to help you get across any dark spaces. You wouldn’t need batteries to be able to use them, some of these flashlights are powered by sunlight, and some are charged manually which are called mechanically powered flashlight which you can then charge by muscle power.
- Updated Set of Maps
- Even though you’ve been living in an area for God know how long, it would be safe to pack a set of maps other than your area. This will be essentially helpful if you have to evacuate your current area and it is easier to take note of all the routes and detours you need to take in case of emergencies.
- First Aid Kit
- First Aid Kits are a must for many types of disasters and don’t you forget it! In dire situations, this will be the most necessary tool kit to have with you. Having this is a matter of life and death and who know the outcome if you do not have one of these with you when a disaster strikes. This kit will improve your chances in survival and staying alive.Your first aid kit should have the following items: Gauze pads, cleaning agent or antiseptic, at least three (3) pairs of gloves, Towelettes, sterile dressings and bandages, Pain relievers, ointment for burns, Tweezers and Scissors, Medical Tape, Hydrogen Peroxide (this is quite useful and it is also effective in carpet cleaning), Prescription Medications and over the counter medications.
- Self-powered Radio
- Assuming that you all have your phones charged to the fullest capacity, another advantage to have with you is a self-powered radio. This is something that you will need to have since it can give you information on the current events happening during the disaster and an emergency event. Most times, your phones will fail especially in a storm since it requires communication lines depending on your location. Radios are a good tool to have at home to relay information as it will act as an emergency communication services. Usually in a calamity or disastrous event, most people rely on their radios instead of their phone for updates and news.
- Your multi-tool has the same importance as your first aid kit and most multi-tool kits include a folding knife, matches and lighters, small saw and wood saw, hole punch, Philips and flat head screwdriver, pliers, wire cutter, sturdy scissors, and duct tape.
- Batteries? Check.
- Phones charged and ready? Check.
- Clothes? Check.
- Whistle? Check.
- Copies of your personal documents and enough cash? Check.
Aside from the extra set of non-perishable food and a gallon of water stored as rations, these five things will also be very helpful in preparation for a disaster.
Randolph Hoover and his family were originally from San Diego California but he is currently studying Business Administration in Umea University in Sweden. Aside from being a student, He also helps his parents with their home maintenance business in their home in Umea. He is also one of the marketing guys for Electrodry.
This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license. All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.
Should You Prep For Bartering?
I guess you could say my wife and I have been “preppers” for several years. We have always believed in a debt-free lifestyle, and except for a couple of home mortgages decades ago, that philosophy has served us well. My wife and I both have had steady jobs through the years and never fell victim to the conspicuous consumption routine of “keeping up with the Joneses”. (That alone keeps a lot of stress out of family life.) Without going into details, I can say that my spouse and I are fairly comfortable with our preparations for most things old man Murphy could throw at us, short of something like a nuke or serious asteroid strike close to our home. Water? Got it. Food? Got it! Defense? Got it! PM’s? Got some! BOV and camper? Got it! Remote bunker? Working on it! We even have a friendly and supportive MD and have managed to get important medications (thankfully we don’t need many) stocked up.
During the course of reading up on prepping, talking to others, listening to “experts”, etc., the issue often comes up about acquiring goods for “barter” in the wake of some wide-spread calamity. This got me thinking. Should anyone deliberately acquire goods they know, or at least are pretty sure, they themselves won’t use but are just acquired for trading purposes?
This begs a couple of questions.
First, how do you KNOW you won’t need something? After all, circumstances change, and what is prepping all about anyway but preparing for the unexpected? Like it or not – we don’t know what we don’t know.
Second, should you spend your limited resources acquiring things you believe will be important to others but which you presume you will have little or no use for yourself? And, which “others”? If the time comes, the line of “others” is apt to be quite long, diverse and needy.
Let’s play pretend for a minute. Here are four possible scenarios which, I hope, will help illustrate the point.
- You are a tea-totaler! You have no use for alcoholic spirits. Since you have stocked up on disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, soap, topical antibiotics and other medical supplies, alcoholic spirits are irrelevant to you. But one of the most common barter items mentioned by preppers far and wide is booze. In normal society, alcohol is widely available, relatively cheap, has a long list of uses other than just for drinking, and has a tremendously long shelf life. After any significant catastrophe alcohol will likely disappear within hours. Demand is certain to outrun supply many times over. Should you purchase a supply of booze as a trade good?
- As a prepper you have a comfortable (at least to you) supply of firearms and ammunition. At a garage sale you find several hundred rounds of XYZ ammunition, and for an unbeatable price. You do not have a firearm that uses XYZ ammo, you don’t know anyone who does, and you have no intention of getting one. XYZ is not one of the top popular calibers, but it is somewhat common. Do you purchase the ammo, knowing that, for you, it’s only a trade good?
- Here’s a tougher one. You are allergic to penicillin. Do you stock up on Fish Mox, (Amoxicillin)?
- In several recent inner-city riots, news reports usually focused on liquor stores as targets of looters. Since we considered alcohol in the first scenario let’s move on to another item pretty high on the list of looter targets. (Guns, cash, and jewelry are of course top targets of looters, but these things are more easily removed from view, already protected with infrastructure or receive extra protection from security forces.) Believe it or not – disposable diapers. OK! You do not have diaper dependent toddlers in your group. Do you buy some anyway?
No doubt you can think of dozens of other scenarios and items based on your unique view of the world. And there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to acquiring goods solely for barter. Google “preppers and trading” and you will get hundreds of suggestions about what to stock up on now to trade after TEOTWAWKI. Some lists are well over one hundred items long. As none of us has unlimited resources, it’s a fool’s errand to try to acquire some of “everything”. So what should you do?
In the minds of some, I’m going to touch a third rail here. My advice is no. Don’t do it. Do not deliberately acquire preps just for barter.
The typical prepper (is there a “typical” prepper?) has a limited horizon of people and assets to protect. As altruistic as you may be, you cannot save the world. Your first and highest priority is to those you choose to throw your security blanket over. Thought, effort and expense devoted to trade goods diverts resources from your primary goal of protecting loved ones. Anything you envision trading for after the fact should already be on your ‘A’ list.
And what about storage space? A place to put all those trade goods may be of no real concern for a suburban homeowner with rooms to spare, but for some, storage space is limited. If you are an apartment dweller do you really want to use some of what little space you have to store things you might, someday, somehow, be able to trade for something, maybe, you are not sure what? All those trade goods will have to be put someplace; protected from weather, deterioration, theft, etc.
Consider also that in the event of widespread calamity; most of the needy will likely have little to barter with. You could well find that most of your trade goods will acquire next to nothing in return, thus making them nearly worthless in their ability to improve your situation. Even worse, your barter goods could make you and your family an even greater target of violence. If someone or group wants what you don’t need you may decide to give it away to avoid confrontation. Paradoxically, giving away goods, even things you don’t want, can make you an even greater target than before. Reference the many suggestions that for your own safety you should distribute welfare through front organizations such as churches – not through your front door.
I have nothing against bartering. It is a time honored tradition and a textbook example of a free market. When two people freely exchange goods, both gain. But bartering should not be a strategy depended on in the early/middle stages of a catastrophe. Successful bartering needs a relatively stable economic and social environment; something unlikely in the early/middle stages of the kind of event most preppers envision.
In defense of barter as a tool, it is likely that many preppers will make mistakes in their acquisitions. I know I have. Most of us will over-prepare in some areas and under-prepare in others. Still other items or categories may be completely overlooked. Nobody has a crystal ball that says you will only need this much X, and that much Y. Who among us can foresee every need? Careful bartering after some calamity may have a place but it should be practiced the way porcupines mate – very carefully!
My guess is that most people who talk about bartering after TEOTWAWKI envision something like a friendly get together at a flea market type environment where everyone has a good time and goes home with goodies they didn’t have before. If that is how you see post-apocalyptic trading taking place, I strongly suggest you take off the rose colored glasses and start thinking realistically. It may take months or even years for that kind of order to be restored. Bartering in a disorderly lawless world is apt to be a very dangerous activity. Tempers will flare and you may not be able to safely ‘back away’. Someone who envisions themselves or their family desperately in need of something you have is probably going to be pretty insistent. Wouldn’t you? When order and some semblance of civilized society return, barter will probably flourish, but for now, the longer you can stay away from it – the better.
Realize also that historically, bartering goods and services is cumbersome, inefficient and a tremendous drag on individual and societal economic improvement. Even under ideal circumstances bartering is a slow hit and miss proposition. That’s why money was invented. Money speeds up a society’s improvement in lifestyle and security. Consequently, in any post-apocalyptic environment, some type of “money” will eventually emerge. Some will be tempted to think they know what that form of money will be. I have no idea what it will be, but I do know most who guess will guess wrong. And that thought leads to my concluding advice.
By all means – prepare. But do your homework. Spend your resources on things you are sure or reasonably sure, you and your group will need. To do less is to waste precious time, money and energy on a “hope”. Hope is not a strategy. Remember, anything you envision trading for after the fact should already be on your ‘A’ list. If the time comes and you find yourself “over prepared” with some items, you may find a way to carefully barter some away for things you do not have. But be extremely careful when doing so.
Your list of necessities will not match mine, your neighbor’s, or some armchair expert’s list. Don’t let that weigh you down with doubt. Learn from others. Listen to their ideas. If invited, and you are so inclined, share your ideas with them. Adopt good ideas from others and discard bad or irrelevant ones. Learning what others are thinking will pay off in ways you would never think of on your own.
Be a positive force!
The Retired Professor
The “Retired Professor” signature is correct. I was a college Professor for many years, teaching Finance, Economics, and Management. During that time I also spent 15 years as a LE firearms instructor. Now happily retired in Utah pursuing several hobbies, including prepping.
Tips on Making Char Stuff with Mikhail from EmberLit
Tyler: “Hey this is Tyler with T Jack Survival and I am here at the preparedness fair and we’re gonna learn really quick at the booth. Hi Guys. Back here with the Ember Lit we’re gonna learn really quick how to make some charred punk wood so stay tuned”
Tyler: “So what are we makin?”
Mikhail: “Ok. Well we are here in our booth and I am just doing a demonstration on some of the options that you have with steel and flint fire. A lot of people think you have to have charred cloth to catch a spark which is somewhat true. You have to have charred material. Any sort of charred biological material.”
Tyler: “Biological like what plant?”
Mikhail: “Plant. Yeah. People won’t work obviously lol organic material I guess you could say, and so, one of the things that from what I have learned, again YouTube is a wonderful resource. This is punk wood. Dry rotted cottonwood. Its very, very light and spongy. It’s a lot like Styrofoam. It works wonderfully catching a coal. What I did with this is I had another fire going obviously. You have to prepare your tinder with fire ironically, but I charred this punk wood and once it was charred I just smothered it inside the tin. And now it should catch a spark. Lets see if I can get lucky on the first try. I never do lol.
Tyler: “Well when you’re suddenly filming its suddenly like, you’re killing me.”
Mikhail: “Yeah. So what we’re gonna do is a lot of people, well, not a lot of people, but one method is when you’re holding your char cloth on the stone you’re actually striking down with the striker, but I wanna drop a spark onto that piece of wood and it’s to bulky to hold in my hand so I’m gonna flip my hands over. And I am now gonna hit the stone against the steel and see how I’m dropping sparks downward? So that’s just another method to put the sparks where you want. So if I can hit it in the right spot on the piece of wood it will turn it into a piece of ember. So here we go. …Oh there it is.”
Tyler: “Daaang a shower of sparks. That is awesome.”
Mikhail: “So the idea being, you know the people that depended on this method of fire, cloth was a commodity. It was hard to get and was expensive. And so like me, they would wear their clothing and it was literally tattered. They would try and mend it as best they could. They would use it until it was no longer functional as clothing and after it was no longer good for clothing they would turn it into rags. And when it was no longer good for rags they would turn it into those rag carpets. Or ya know even worse uses and then finally they would char it and use it as tinder to start their fire or they would keep it in the house or where it was convenient to start a fire for the cooking in the kitchen or warming the home because it was very easy to use and again it was a valuable commodity. So when they were out in the field or traveling rather than using that nice cloth they would just continue to collect punk wood like this. And this is kind of old but it will work. This is everywhere and it is free and you just take a chunk of this and toast it like a marshmallow over the fire and put it back in their char tin. As you can see this stuff smokes really well and it keeps going.
Tyler: “Doesn’t it keep the mosquito’s away to?”
Mikhail: “Yes it will keep the mosquitoes away but another thing, if your making beef jerky, like traditional beef jerky, smoked meat or something outside. Ya take a chunk of this and put it under your tripod where the meat is hanging and it will smoke and smoke and smoke. and it does a wonderful job. Gives it good flavor honestly. Yeah its called punk wood or touch wood and its just dry, rotted cotton wood. Ive seen it at work with other species but this is my favorite.”
Tyler: “How do you make this stuff?”
Mikhail: “How do we prepare what? The punk wood?”
Tyler: “Yeah. So we collect the punk wood. Do we have to prepare it?”
Mikhail: “Yeah. We do we do”
EmberLit: “Just like you saw me do where I was taking one coal and transferring it to the un-charred punk wood. And now I am stuffing it, what we charred, to prepare the next bunch.”
Mikhail: “So it’ll, you just keep putting fresh pieces in there and that coal will catch that coal and so forth. You want to do a big piece really quick, just to start off with, if you have a camp fire you can take this thing and hold it over the campfire until its engulfed in flames. Or you can take this magic lighter and…lol”
Tyler: (Laughing) shhh don’t tell.
Mikhail: “No cheating! No cheating!”
Tyler: “Well, if you’re gonna prepare it this is good to know.”
Mikhail: “Well the thing is you have to prepare charred cloth with fire. So the idea being, if you’re starting with nothing, get your bow drill, or your hand drill or whatever get a fire going and then char some punk wood and the next time you have to start a fire it will be infinatly easier. So all I gotta do is burn it black like that. Now I’ll let it go and you’ll notice that, see where its turning red? Those are the best parts. Whew. And since its punk wood it won’t go out. It will continue to smolder like that. So in order to put it out properly..”
Tyler: “You have to suffocate it.”
Mikhail: “You have to suffocate it, because if you crush it, it’ll ruin the ability for it to catch your coal. You want that real fluffy carbon made. I would imagine if you looked at the punk wood under a microscope it would look like a mesh screen. So it’s it’s got structure, but allows oxygen to get in there. It’s the same thing with char cloth. If you made it with some jeans or tightly wove fabric, dropping a spark on it you won’t have as high a chance a chance unless you prepare the edge.
Tyler: “So this is the jean material here. So you have to separate that so there is more oxygen getting to the fibers.”
Mikhail: “Yeah right along that ragged edge is usually where the spark will catch. Otherwise if you try to drop a spark on to it it’s such a tight weave it’s just going to bounce off.”
Tyler: “Why don’t you show em?
Mikhail: “Well I don’t have a big enough piece, but uh, ok. Anyways, Lemme show em this though. So this right here, that is the piece that we just chard. Its ready to go and I will show you. So I grab my stone and my..”
Tyler:”What kind of rock is that? What kind of characteristics are we looking for?”
Mikhail: “You know, honestly, I don’t know what this it. It might be jasper, it is pretty. What I have found in general, I look for a rock that has a ceramic consistency to it.”
Tyler: “Ceramic like?
Mikhail:”Like glass, like clay, its big.”
Tyler: “Like your coffee cup”
Mikhail: “Yeah. Like you know it has to have, if it looks like its made out of sand it’s not going to work very well at all. Like it’s aggregated it’s not going to work. It has to be very hard, glassy. And I found with that I get about 80% success rate. I’ve found some that are really brittle and that doesn’t work. But I don’t even know what stone this is but it works really well so I’m gonna drop a spark right there. There we go, got two spots.
Tyler: ” And it’ll spread like wild fire.”
Mikhail: “Literally. And then that’s all it will take. And so ya know, I can have, whats nice and what I like to do anyways is I got my tinder tin and I got my big chunk of charred punk wood and I don’t want to put it in my tinder tin because it’ll burn all up. So what I’ll do is I’ll break another piece off or take another piece out of the tinder box and then that’s all I need right there. Now I can set this aside honestly. Put this out before the fire alarms go off.
Tyler: “That would be awesome.”
Mikhail: “Yeah. Fire marshal would be like that’s pretty cool but here is your fine. Anyways, so this little piece is still going so I can use that little piece and put it in my tinder nest and blow it into a flame without having to use up the rest of my nice charred punk wood. It’s just a very versatile thing. And its everywhere. Its free ya know and there’s a lot of material like this that work in nature that work this way. This is just the best one I’ve found so far.”
Mikhail: “Yeah cottonwood. Just dry rotted cottonwood and box elder gonna be the magic”
Tyler: “And what was the other one?”
Mikhail: “Box elder.”
EmberLit: “You can do white pine, water birch, any of the softer woods but they have to be dry rotted in order to get this structure.”
Mikhail: “Yeah and this stuff is like balsa wood, you can see how easy it is for me to just stick my fingernail through it.”
Tyler: “Nice. A lot of stuff around rivers essentially.”
Mikhail: “Yeah. I found a log of it like this over at the park. I just picked it up and walked out with it. It’s everywhere, its abundant, its free. Now with char cloth I wanted to show you the whole. So this is a piece of jean char cloth and what we were saying is dropping a spark onto the char cloth like that and you’ve seen that method where people try to use the back of their knife..it can be difficult if the material has a very tight weave. And so, ya know, whats going to happen on camera here is I’m gonna get it lit on the first try and totally throw everything I’m saying right out the window. lol. But generally speaking, ya know.”
Tyler: “Lol Yeah you can see one there but.”
Mikhail: “See how their not catching?”
Tyler: “Yeah that should of absolutely gripped it.”
Mikhail: “And you know what? If you had a lighter weaved material like muslin, or cotton-ball that you charred, that would definitely work better so what I do with these, these stubborn char cloth is I tear them. And then I go back to the “holding it” method on the stone because what I want to do, where I’ve torn it those ragged edges, those are fluffy enough. Those have enough surface area to catch. Bam, there we go see. Its a little guy but it’ll get bigger but it’s consistent. So that is all it took but it’s because I prepared the edge of it. You always have to prepare your tinder even if its char cloth. Some you have to prepare more than others. So ya know, I’ve seen people that are experienced and they know how to do this. It’s just that when they are presented with some char cloth they’re not use to, they had trouble getting that to light because again, it was a very tight weave and you have to tear it to get it to go. So it’s it’s just a game thing, pay attention to your tinder and realize that nothing is automatic with fire making. You’re going to have to adjust and roll with the punches.”
Ember Lit: “You can’t give up. That’s the thing about it. Any kind of permanent fire skills.”
Makhail: “Stop when ya got a fire.”
Tyler: “Alright so where can we get some of those strikers?”
Mikhail: “Ya know, you can get some on our website EmberLit.com. And they’re kind of fun. We have a bunch of different patterns and the whole idea behind the different patterns is only because they are cool.”
Tyler: “I like it because it looks like the old school Trojans.”
Mikhail: “The knuckle duster. The reason why I don’t like this one per se is because my fingers..”
Ember Lit: “He’s got gorilla hands lol”
Mikhail: “Yeah I got sausages for fingers lol you got little girl hands like me lol.”
Tyler: “Yeah lol”
Mikhail: “So I personally like the long ones like the dragon or our spartan helmet but I like to hold it gentle like this and strike it this way.”
Tyler: “Show me again.”
Mikhail: “I’ll hold it like this and strike straight down.”
Mikhail: “And it’s the same with any of the pendant style. Like the owl. Just strike straight down. Even if I have the knuckle duster I rarely put my fingers in it. I hold it like so because it’s a finesse thing it’s not, you get people like..it’s not working, why isn’t it making sparks and really if you get the right angle and a really sharp edge. All ya gotta do is get it just right see? I’m throwing sparks and I am barely putting any pressure. It’s all function and speed. So that’s a lot of sparks but I’m not beating the crap out of it. So it takes some precision and practice which is what we tell everybody. Then again that’s what is fun about making fire making tools.
Tyler: “A little bit of art in it.”
Mikhail: “A monkey could do this (striking a lighter). That’s what I tell people, you give them a lighter to start a fire and they sit there and hold it under the log and nothing will happen because they don’t have the learn.”
Tyler: “Yeah they don’t understand the concept of drying out the fuel before..”
Mikhail: “Well they don’t understand how to make tinder. They think oh I got a flame so I’ll just put this big log on there and I’ll light it. But you teach them this..spark base, you gotta have really fine tinder for ignition, then kindling. All the steps to building a proper fire.”
Tyler: “It’s like getting a train going, give it a little push and then it gets bigger and bigger.”
Mikhail: “And that’s the thing, ya make everything to easy and they don’t have that desire to learn how to do it properly.”
Ember Lit: “It’s like what Mars Cohansey said, a person would be a fool if they went into the woods without matches and a lighter because all of these skills are fun and a back up.”
Mikhail: “But again the problem is that people think modern technology will solve all their problems and so they go into it not even knowing how to use a lighter so I teach people this so they can learn how to appreciate a lighter and a match.”
Tyler: “Well not everyone has a lighter on them when they need to make a fire. So having that as back up is great.”
Mikhail: “So you want to see a fast way to make char cloth?”
Tyler: “Do it! Fast way to make char cloth.”
Mikhail: “You got that magic fire device? lol If you wanted to wipe out an indigenous population all you have to do is say “Look, I have fire” and give them a case of these and in a year when they burned out they don’t know how to light fires lol”
Tyler: “That’s horrible lol”
Ember Lit: “It’s actually true that Ray Meres went down to south America and they did not know how to do friction fires anymore. He sat there and taught them.”
Mikhail: “I gotta get something a little tougher than my finger.”
Tyler: “lol a little less fire proof.”
Ember Lit: “You need a book?”
Mikhail: “Naw I’ll just smother it under here.”
Tyler: “Stop drop and roll.”
Mikhail: “Yeah. Bam. Char Cloth.”
Tyler: “Don’t even need a tin.”
Mikhail: “Now grab a stone, find a good edge with concavity.”
Tyler: “Every time you light a fire all I can think is “Eww that smell.”
Mikhail: “There ya go, char cloth.”
Tyler: “Real quick, I’m just assuming everyone watching this knows what to do with ember once they get it. What comes next.”
Mikhail: “What comes next is you better have a fire pit prepared long before you even try to get ignition. I learned that the hard way. When I got my very first bow drill coal, I was on my deck, I was huffing and puffing and sweating. lol If you look at the time stamp on the picture it took a long time lol. But I finally got a coal and I put it in my little tinder nest and I blew on the flame and I had know idea where to put it lol. I was like, now what? So I was sitting there holding this thing as it’s running down my arm. In fact those scars right there is where it burnt holes in my arm. As I’m holding the flaming ball of debris and my wife is running at me with a fire extinguisher I’m thinking shes about to hose me down. lol Luckily the BBQ was there and I got my wits and threw it in the BBQ. A valuable lesson in that. When you are going to go through all the work and effort to actually get ignition you better have some place to put it. Once you have a spark, once you have an ember and once you have ignition then you better have your tinder bundle right here. A big ball of grass and bark and debris and you put it in there like a little squirrel and you wrap it up and wanna keep warm. You make sure he’s covered but you don’t want to suffocate him. So that’s kind of the thing and then you blow on it and you can hear it getting hotter and you can hear him moving but if you’re not keeping him warm it will blow out, and if you’re suffocating it will blow out to. It’s balance, keep him warm and give him air then all of sudden you get a flame, throw it in the camp fire with larger sticks and off ya go. And that’s a whole other section. Learning how to get proper tinder nest and keep it lit from spark base ignition. That’s the next step but uh this step, you got the flint steel.”
Tyler: “Alright guys.”
Mikhail: “Thanks for watching T Jack Survival. If this was useful to you and you liked the video please consider subscribing and come check us out at Emberlit.com. We have out own little YouTube channel with a bunch of silly stuff. Anyways thanks for watching, this is Mikhail.”
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What is your excuse for not preparing for emergencies?
Americans Need a Disaster Reality Check
A recent survey by Chapman University found a serious lack of personal preparation for emergencies and disasters by Americans. They found 56% of people fear they will experience a natural or man-made disaster and 86% believe an emergency kit would improve their chance of survival but 76% have made no effort to assemble a kit. Their definition of a kit is the basics recommended by FEMA and the Red Cross of food, water, prescription medications and other supplies sufficient for at least 72 hours. Although a kit is only one step in being prepared, it provides a good example of what people are not doing. Good preparation includes being informed, a making a plan and gathering essentials.
The real story is the excuses given for not preparing.
51% believe emergency services will come
40% just don’t have the time
33% just don’t want to think about it
28% don’t know what to do
These are excuses you may have used and undoubtedly you have heard from others. It is an unrealistic belief that First Responders will reach everyone immediately after a disaster which is why FEMA and the Red Cross recommend a kit and other preparations. As quoted from Chapman’s lead researcher Ann Gordon, Ph.D “We found a major disconnect between people’s expectations of what would happen and the reality of a disaster’s aftermath.”
Emergency planning and preparation are safety steps for every family. Fortunately they do not require a lot of time and there is great guidance available. An easy first step is to register for your local Reverse 911 link service, specific guidance and updates from first responders can be sent to you cell phone. Go to SafetyInformed.org for links and guidance.
Examine your excuses for not being prepared and start today. Share this article with your family and friends then talk about their excuses and help them get started too.
The post What is your excuse for not preparing for emergencies? appeared first on American Preppers Network.
Different geographic regions are more prone to certain types of natural disasters. For example, earthquakes are a continual threat for West Coasters, while hurricanes are a staple for East Coasters. In the Midwest and South regions, tornadoes and hurricanes are all too frequent. Drought, flooding and forest fires also wreak havoc across the country from time to time.
As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to prepare your business, your staff and yourself for the possibility that a natural disaster could impact your company. This post identifies the key things to take care of now – before disaster strikes – and how to respond once the disaster has passed.
Maintain Appropriate and Adequate Insurance
First things first – it is critical to maintain the right type and adequate amounts of insurance. You will need insurance to protect your property and inventory. If your area is prone to specific types of natural disaster – for example, flooding, you will want to carry insurance for this as well.
And if your business is interrupted by the disaster, business interruption insurance will help your company stay afloat while it cannot operate.
Ensure Sufficient Emergency Supplies and Rations on the Premises
Sometimes natural disaster strikes so suddenly there is no time to evacuate. If this is the case, you will need to develop an emergency response plan that includes the possibility of remaining with your staff on the property until it is safe to leave.
So here you will want to stock up on emergency food and water, extra paper goods, first aid supplies, batteries and flashlights, blankets and other supplies to tide you over until the danger passes.
If there is time to evacuate, then you will need to have a plan in place for how to alert employees and direct them to exit the premises safely. This should include a facility map so it is clear where exits are located and the fastest route to reach them. If you have staff at multiple sites, you will need to develop and routinely practice your emergency notification system to be sure it works properly at all locations, and ensure they have accurate posted facility maps with exit directions as well.
Have a Post-Disaster Cleanup and Recovery Plan in Place
Even if you have comprehensive insurance coverage in place, it can still take some time after a natural disaster to have the insurer complete their assessment and issue your claims funds. In the interim, you will want to have your own plan to initiate post-disaster cleanup and recovery so you can get your business up and running once again.
Your first step will be to ensure the property is safe and habitable for staff and customers to return to. For example, you will need carpet cleaners to clean and disinfect water-impacted carpeting, fans and air spray to air out and freshen a damp interior, brooms and mops to clean floors, new filters to replace waterlogged ones, paper goods and cleaner sprays to disinfect surfaces and a list of local repair facilities where you can find materials to replace damaged or broken glass, wood and bricking.
You will also want to keep a file folder with warranty and insurance information for both your property itself and individual components that may need to be repaired or replaced. By knowing in advance what you will have to pay for out of pocket and what may be covered by a warranty or insurance claim, you can put aside some funds each month towards a “natural disaster emergency fund” you can use if the need ever arises.
Planning for the possibility of a natural disaster may take a bit of time away from your day-to-day business operations now, but you and your staff will appreciate your advance preparations in the event your company is affected by a natural disaster in the future.
The post How Small Businesses Should be Prepared for Natural Disasters appeared first on American Preppers Network.
Transcription provided by American Preppers Network
Number of speakers: 1 Craig Turczynski
Duration: 5 min 08 sec
Pasture Raised Pigs
“Ok, this is our pig paddock. You can see here it is a portion of the pasture that has been fenced off with electric fence. It’s a temporary electric fence so it can be taken down and put back up if we need to. We utilize the forested areas of the pasture for the pigs. Because it’s of little value to the cattle since there’s not a lot of grass growing and the interior portion and we are utilizes Joe Saltines philosophy out of Virgina. It is a concept where the pigs are brought in and they provide an adequate amount of disturbance to the soil. Essentially tilling it as well as putting down fertilizer in their droppings and with the right amount of disturbance, not to much that is, you end up with an improvement actually to the ground. So after we take the pigs off of here they will give the pasture a rest and they will be, this ground will be allowed to grow back up with natural grasses before they will be brought back in again.”
“You can see here that they have a little mud hole that they use here by the water that was created by us providing fresh water to them everyday. We also sprinkle them down when it’s really hot and so we have the barrel that has what we call a hog nipple on it. You can see here the pig drinking from the hog nipple. Then we have the tubs that we actually flush out and clean out and replenish about twice a day so they have plenty of fresh water. Studies have shown that animal livestock that get pure water equivalent to what humans like to drink actually improves their production.”
“So, if you want to take a walk with me down to the rest of the pasture here. This is where their fed. We do feed them by hand twice a day so we can monitor the amount of feed that they’re getting and you know, making sure that their all healthy and their appetites are good. You can also see here that we have an adequate amount of forage still for them in this pasture. You can see the hog droppings. Of course it’s been really dry here. We haven’t had rain for a good month and a half. You can see how cracked the soil is here.”
“So they have all of this area. We are a small operation so we probably have maybe a dozen pigs per acre. This area, again, depending on the conditions, how much rain we’re getting, what the temperature is, we rotate them accordingly to other areas so they don’t overly disturb the soil. This is the pond area that they have. You can see it gives them plenty of area to wallow and to cool themselves during the hot afternoons.”
“Again, an electric fence is all we use to keep the pigs in. Relatively easy to use and inexpensive. You can see again here that we have plenty of forage for them still. In most of the pastures.”
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Disinfecting Cleaning Solutions From Scratch
Commercial disinfectant products consist of many chemicals that may cause allergic reactions, vomiting, respiratory problems, irritation of skin, and may pollute the air in your home. Moreover they are expensive. You need to take care for you and your family’s health. There is no need of unpleasant situations because of a cleaning product. So the safer method is to make a cleaning detergents by yourself. They are made by cheap products such as vinegar, baking soda, water and etc. and are strong competition to those that are bought from the shop.
You do not need to disinfect every room and every day, but disinfection is a necessity in the bathroom and the kitchen. Here are some DIY disinfecting cleaning solutions from scratch to keep it naturally.
If you want to kill the germs off the surfaces in your home, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, here is a recipe for a home-made disinfecting cleaner.
- Half cup of white vinegar
- One tsp baking soda
- Ten drops of tea tree oil
- Spray bottle
Direction: Mix them in a clean spray bottle with 400-500 ml of hot water. When you spray on the surfaces, let the liquid sit for ten minutes and then wipe it off. You can say goodbye to the germs.
Here is a another recipe for disinfectant that is most commonly used for the bathroom. What do you need?
- Clean an old spray bottle
- Half cup of both white vinegar and vodka
- Ten drops of both lavender and lemon essential oils
- Half cup of hot water
You can spray any surface of the bathroom and let the DIY product sit for about ten minutes. If you want to do it the right way, use different microfibre cloth for sink, mirror, shower, tub and toilet. There will be no germs.
Another way to deal with the germs is this recipe for disinfecting. Mix in a bucket…
- Three quarters cup of chlorine bleach
- 1 tsp laundry powdered cleaner
- Gallon of hot water
Leave the liquid for a little more than five minutes. After that you can rinse and wipe off the surfaces with a sponge or a microfibre cloth. You can disinfect, deodorize and clean tubs, sinks, showers, porcelain, ceramics, chairs, diaper pails, tables, garbage cans, fridges. Do not use it on trim or aluminum surfaces.
For the next recipe you will need:
- 2 tablespoons of borax
- Three cups of hot water
- Four spoons of white vinegar
- Spray bottle
Shake the substances. Now you have a powerful disinfectant and every single germ will be eliminated. When you spray on surfaces, leave the product for 5-10 minutes. Then rinse carefully and dry it.
Another easy and natural way to disinfect the bathroom and the kitchen is by mixing equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol. Spray wherever it is required and leave it for seven-eight minutes. Then rinse and wipe off with a cloth. Notice that you need to clean the surfaces first, and then to disinfect them. It is a part of the cleaning process, not the cleaning process itself.
Using natural products is much more safer and does not cause health problems. They are as effective as the commercial ones, but less dangerous and cheaper. Keeping you and your family safe is your main purpose. Disinfection is essential and necessary, but it does not need to be chemical and toxic. Killing germs in the eco-friendly way is the better way for you and your beloved.
The article is contributed by Edna Thomson. She is the manager of a cleaning company called SW6 CleanersLondon.
DIY Health Options Keep the Doctor Away
By Frank Bates
There was a time when doctors had their patients’ best interests at heart. You could count on getting an honest – and, for the most part, accurate – diagnosis based on your symptoms, as well as an effective treatment plan.
Hopefully you still have a doctor like that, but in reality, there are too many people in the medical profession these days whose jobs depend on making money for their employers. As a result, far too many expensive tests are ordered and far too many unnecessary drugs are prescribed.
Even if doctors know that natural and healthy alternatives would be better for you, you won’t necessarily hear about them. They and the pharmaceutical companies have no qualms about draining your resources while weakening your system with potentially harmful drugs.
The single most important thing we can do to combat this problem is to discover and use alternative health options. This starts with staying as healthy as possible in the first place. Make natural, common sense decisions, including…
- Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables every day.
- Make sure you get plenty of Vitamin D for your bones and blood vessels, and B vitamins for breathing issues including asthma and wheezing.
- Eat walnuts to help lower your cholesterol, relieve your arthritis and battle depression.
- Drink coconut water for asymptomatic infections and take iodine for your thyroid and your circulation.
- Drink a little red wine for your heart and eat blueberries to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
- Drink apple cider vinegar and honey. In a 10-ounce glass of cold water, stir in two tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of raw wildflower honey. Drink it as is or heat it up and drink it as a tea.
Because moods can affect how we feel physically, it’s also important to use natural means to remain as upbeat as possible. For mild depression, try some of these natural remedies:
- Consume fish oil and Vitamin D. Both are directly tied to emotional health. Eat fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon. Also, get 30 minutes of sun on your face and arms daily.
- Eat more protein and fat, and less carbs and sugar. Sugar can lead to chronic inflammation and suppress healthy proteins. Focus on organic, animal-based foods, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
- Consume herbs. Two herbs that have been shown to have beneficial effects on mood are Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) and St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).
- Fast now and then. Fasting for a day or at least skipping a meal here and there helps your body digest and eliminate cellular debris. It’s a good way to clean out your system and elevate your mood.
- Exercise. Patients with depression improve as much as those treated with medication when they stick to an exercise program, according to studies.
- Laugh. Laughing lowers cortisol, the hormone associated with stress. The effect can continue hours after you’re finished laughing.
Frank Bates of 4Patriots LLC is the editor of the Patriot Alliance Messenger, as well as the content writer for blogs and articles at Patriot Headquarters. He is also the creator of Power4Patriots, a series of DIY solar videos and manuals; Food4Patriots, the supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage; Water4Patriots, featuring the Alexapure Pro tabletop water filtration system; SurvivalSeeds4Patriots, maker of the Liberty Seed Vault; Patriot Power Generator, a portable solar generator; and other products.
Preparing Your Emergency Storage
Emergency survival preparation can vary a lot from situation to situation, depending on what is being prepared for, and who is doing the preparing. There are some essentials that work across the board, however, and there are also many unique items that can help any situation out. Read on for five unique items that would make any emergency situation safer and easier for you and your family.
- Incredibly useful and hardy ties primarily used by electricians for securing cables together, zip/cable ties can perform in so many other ways. They are excellent fasteners and although they can only be used once, they last pretty much permanently, and can stand up to the elements. You can use them to build shelter out of a tarp with grommets, or to secure stakes and poles together. They are an excellent, small, and lightweight thing to throw into your repair kit.
- Another unique item with many uses. Survival Bandanas can be used not only on your head for warmth or as protection from sunburn, they can be worn around the neck for warmth or as a sweatband in the heat. They can also, however, be used in a medical situation as a bandage or cleaning implement, or as a sling or tourniquet. Highly versatile, keeping several around your kit are a must-have.
- Regardless of how dire the emergency that you might end up in is, you will need to at some point keep clean. It is important in the psychological aspect of staying human. Washboards are surprisingly effective at cleaning even the toughest stains. They are inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to use and keep around.
- These are excellent for wound management. Even the military uses them to treat and clean bullet wounds. Tampons fit into a bullet wound and expand as they absorb blood to fill the hole and keep it plugged until it can be treated properly. Pads can help staunch heavy bleeding. Keep several in your extended medical kit, and stockpile more than a few to have when in need. (Editor’s Note: I highly recommend using Olaes or Israeli Bandages in you kits so you are able to treat all wounds with proper dressing. Tampons are good in an emergency but they are not sterilized.)
- This is an item that is a relatively recent addition to camping/outdoors/survival situations because of its modernity. It is highly useful and compact “pen” with a light bulb inside, which when immersed into water, purifies it through the action of UV light which kills all bacteria and viruses. Water is vital for survival, and this pen is the perfect addition (either as primary or back-up water purification system) to ensure that you and your loved ones have enough drinking water. While this high-quality product can be costly to your wallet, search online for the product and consider using available Brownells coupons at Discountrue.com to help you save money.
Emergency situations can only be manageable with proper thought given to preparation. By obtaining these items, you will be more prepared than the average person to meet the struggles of emergency survival.
Disasters are events that occur in nature and affect the life and homes of people and their environments. Natural disasters can strike anytime, anywhere in the world, many times to unsuspecting people. It is vitally important that everyone have an emergency plan in place, even if you live in a part of the world where disasters are uncommon. Part of a successful disaster plan includes ensuring you and your family knows what the plan is. For example, in case of a disaster, you should already have a pre-determined and agreed upon place to meet in the event you are separated. Every family member should know where the local emergency shelters are located. Every home should have an emergency kit available with necessary supplies and everyone should know where the kit is located. The following are three examples of disasters, including what to do and ways to prepare.
Earthquake– an earthquake occurs when plates in the Earth’s crust shift and move. These movements generally happen along fault lines, or where the Earth’s plates meet with each other. Earthquakes can happen anywhere in the world at any time. There is no warning and immense devastation and loss of life is possible.
What to do During an Earthquake– if you are inside, get on all fours. If possible, crawl underneath a desk or table as close to the ground as you can. Attempt to grab a pillow or blankets and cover your head and neck. This may protect you from falling or flying debris. Avoid standing next to outdoor walls of your home, as they may fall. It’s best to get to an inside wall that offers more stability. If you are outside, try to get inside somewhere safe. If this is not possible, get on the ground and avoid power lines, buildings and telephone poles, as those may fall. Try to cover your head and neck. If you are in your car, stay in the car. Do not attempt to drive. Avoid overpasses, ramps and bridges as they may collapse.
Flood-this event happens when too much rainfall accumulates faster than the ground can absorb the water. This may happen during heavy thunderstorms, hurricanes and monsoons. Flooding may also occur during a tsunami. Flash floods happen everywhere and can occur at any time. Weather forecasters have gotten better at predicting these events through advanced warning systems and radar. However, this sometimes is not enough.
What To Do during a Flood– Whether inside or out, head to higher ground. If your house floods, go to the highest level of your home. It is important to unplug electrical devices and disconnect gas lines to avoid electrocution and explosions. Outside, it is important to avoid driving or walking through floodwaters. It is possible that even a few inches of water may be enough to sweep you down into a current. Do not move until help arrives.
Tornado-a tornado occurs when a strong electrical storm forms a rotating funnel cloud. The cloud touches the ground and moves at very high speeds, destroying anything in its path. This may include homes, cars, and roadways. Tornadoes may occur anywhere, but the most frequent occurrences for tornadic activity happen in the Midwest portion of the United States. Tornadoes provide little to no warning and are extremely dangerous and destructive.
What To Do during a Tornado– keep your eye on the sky for rapid changes in the weather. Often a black, low-lying cloud will appear first. Sometimes it is quiet right before a tornado occurs. If you see or hear the “roaring” sound of a tornado, seek shelter immediately. If you are inside, get to the most interior room in your home, especially if it is windowless. Often, bathrooms are the safest place. If you are outside, find a place low to the ground, preferably below the street level such as a canal or ditch and cover your head. Watch out for flying debris.
What Should I Have in My Home?
The key to surviving a disaster is being prepared. No matter what type of disaster occurs, you should have the following things in your home:
An Emergency Kit– This should include enough drinking water for every person in your home (one gallon per person per day), three days’ supply of non-perishable foods, a manual can opener, a whistle (You can signal for help), waterproof matches, a flashlight and an emergency radio with extra batteries, garbage bags and wipes (for sanitation), a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit. The first aid kit should include bandages, tape, anti-bacterial cream, gloves, tweezers, and medicines for headaches, diarrhea and upset stomach.
Anyone can find himself or herself in a disaster. Planning ahead for emergency situations and good communication is the key to making the best of a bad situation. Pay attention to local and federal agencies for emergency information, instructions and suggestions when an emergency strikes.
About the Author:
Kelly Ray is a student from Washington University, where she consults students with different questions about education, everyday life and preparedness process. You can check her blog about essay writing topreviewstars.com and follow her on Facebook and Google+
By Tom Hatton
I am a financial adviser with over 30 years of investment expertise under my belt, and like many of you I’m worried about the future. In fact, I believe we could be heading for what some call a zombie apocalypse, not because I believe in zombies, or that it’s time for the apocalypse, but because there are a growing number of potential crisis driven scenarios taking place right now that could lead us to the same conclusion. Being a fiduciary, I have an obligation to provide the best advice I can for my clients. So, in addition to investing my clients in high quality blue chip stocks, I have also read volumes on how to store food, get guns, build bunkers, assemble bug-out bags, and purchase rural property, all of which I recommend to them, up to a point. After all, I’m an Eagle Scout and being prepared is still my motto. If you agree with me that the canary in the coal mine has stopped singing and in fact is looking pretty sick, other than those constant and obnoxious commercials hyping gold, I have found very little useful advice on how to prepare financially for that potential societal unraveling.
What I have read is pretty gloomy, assuming we will fall into decades of pre-industrial age kill-or-be-killed, Mad Max type of existence where barter, weapons, and anarchy will rule the day. But is being thrown back into the financial dark ages inevitably going to be the case? I don’t think so. In fact, I believe the standard post-apocalyptic gloom and doom could be all wrong. In order to better understand where I am coming from I think we need to break a zombie apocalypse into two phases, first the crisis phase, and secondly life after the crisis has passed.
When the major global disruption occurs I anticipate a window of six months to a year of total disorder. This is exactly what we are prepping physically for. In a crisis our current dependency on a just-in-time food delivery system will guarantee failure taking just days for the stores to be emptied. Then there will be panic, anarchy, and murder when people realize the government will not be riding over the hill to save the day. Rich and poor, neighbors, friends, brothers and sisters will find themselves effectively zombie-like, meaning desperate people wandering the streets not necessarily looking for brains, but for food and water as they struggle to survive. And because they are not prepared, many will not.
There is actually a historical precedent for a rapid die off like this. It was the plague that gripped Europe during the Dark Ages. Societal devastation arrived quickly and within a few months between thirty to forty percent of the population of many communities were gone. But here is the important point, and a lesson of hope that we can and should learn from history. Scientists who have studied pre-plague bones of average people and compared them with post-plague bones see a remarkable difference between the two. The bones of the post plague survivors and their families appeared to be much healthier on average than the bones of those living and dying before the plague. In other words, scientists could tell from the bones that the health and well-being of Europeans improved dramatically after the plague.
With a significant portion of the population gone, every survivor becomes a valuable community resource. Land was readily available, and when food production did kick in it was plentiful because of the reduced population. So for those lucky enough to have survived the plague, life was pretty good. Especially for those who understood what was happening and had means to marshal together resources to utilize for their benefit after the plague was over.
Remember, if a zombie apocalypse happened today, the cars do not go away. The power lines and cell phone towers will still be here. Flat screen TVs will remain on the walls of abandoned houses, and the first thing that will probably turn on after the electricity is the internet. Just think about all of that accumulated stuff in garages across America, wasting space right now where the cars should go. All of that stuff will be available to the survivors, very cheap, and probably on some E-Bay type site. This means a post-apocalyptic world would be extremely deflationary, meaning there will be too many goods available to a very few people, and prices of everything will drop precipitously. So the key of success in a deflationary world is to own the right kind of capital, and understand the concept of purchasing power.
What is the right kind of capital? Good capital maintains some purchasing power, meaning even though people will have fewer dollars to buy it, they still want, need, or recognize the value that is there. So as long as there are people alive, there will be marketplaces to trade and transfer your good capital into other forms of tradable commodities. Importantly, good capital should be completely in your name, because you should be able to verify ownership of it, and should not be encumbered with debt. Good capital consists of things which are useful or needed, scarce or difficult to come by. Bad capital disappears in a crises, like what will happen to the value of the equity in a home with a large mortgage, or bonds, annuities, or any other leveraged or debt based assets.
People can also be good capital. Capital can be a network of friends possessing the skills to make products or services that other people will desperately want or need. Intellectual capital, or knowing how to rig electrical systems, provide health care, fix plumbing, dig wells, fix cars, or grow food could be more valuable that gold. Any useful survival skill will be marketable to someone who wants to survive, and this is the kind of capital you want to accumulate now in preparing yourself for a crisis.
What is so important about purchasing power? Purchasing power is a reflection of what you can buy for a dollar. Our lifetime has been mired in an never ending spiral of inflation, meaning your dollars each year buy less. In deflationary times the opposite is true. You can buy more with a dollar, but dollars are harder to come by. So here is an example of what I mean by owning assets that can maintain purchasing power. If your stock portfolio is worth $500,000 before the crash, and only worth $50,000 after the crash, the number of dollars reflected in your assets has declined and are now worth ten cents to the dollar. But have you lost any purchasing power? Not if that empty house that used to be worth $250,000 can be purchased for $25,000, or that relatively new car could be picked up for $500 when there are thousands of relatively new cars sitting around unowned. There are fewer dollars around, but everything cost so much less your purchasing power has actually maintained itself. This is why I believe a diverse portfolio of blue chip stocks has a very good chance of surviving a crash and maintaining some form of purchasing power after the dust settles and the new economy takes off again.
You need to know that timing is also important. Early on the best capital to own could be food, fuel, ammunition, toilet paper, cigarettes and alcohol, working cars and equipment that are easily trade-able and will help you survive. But as the economy recovers, and it will, our amazing capitalistic system will reward businesses with good cash reserves so they can shift into production and start to bring us back from the brink. The reality is most of our immediate needs could be met fairly quickly once workers return to their jobs. Remember the comparison of the plague? Once willing hands put their fields into production food became plentiful. Many of these initial survival items that were so necessary during the crisis will start to rapidly accumulate and as a consequence drop in value. So don’t overdo it. The factories and the ability to produce things in mass quantities are still there and will be available to meet the post-apocalyptic demand. They will simply need people to realize the end of the world is not quite here and go back to work.
If you truly believe in being prepared, don’t just prepare to survive the first stage of the zombie apocalypse. You should focus some effort and energy into accumulating the right kind of capital in order to thrive after everything settles down. But here is the kicker. Unlike bad capital, good capital has utility no matter what happens. So accumulating good capital now assures you with some success if we miraculously avoid a zombie apocalypse. But if everything does fall apart, good capital retains purchasing power and eventually there will be markets trading it. This is the financial perspective I prefer. A win-win proposition. You win if you are right, and you win if you are wrong. So do not hesitate in accumulating good capital!
Born in 1957 and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Hatton graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University in Family Financial Planning and Counseling. This major combined a business management minor with marriage and family therapy coursework and was modeled around the curriculum of the College of Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado.
Mr. Hatton has been actively involved in individual stock and bond portfolio management, financial planning, trusts and estates, and investment research for over thirty years. In the first twenty years of his career he worked at Bank One as a Senior Vice President and Alternate One Group Fund Manager, Community Trust Bank as a Vice President and Senior Investment Officer, and as a Senior Trust Investment Officer and Branch Manager of Raymond James Brokerage at Ohio Valley National Bank & Trust Company.
In 2000 Mr. Hatton left banking and started his own investment company, Private Asset Management. Mr. Hatton has specializing in individual stock and bond portfolio management for private individuals and is the President and owner of Private Asset Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisory in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Mr. Hatton can be reached by simply calling his cell phone. 270 860-0109. If you have a question you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The post Are You Financially Prepared For A Zombie Apocalypse appeared first on American Preppers Network.
Disaster preppers and the like believe on the importance of self-reliance, which is initially a necessary attitude in life since we need to be able to prepare ourselves not just for disastrous events but for an impending economic collapse as well.
For one, many people consider being prepared firsthand for all situations an advantage for when there is shortage in supplies; expect that prices will skyrocket as well. Most times we take a second look on cleaning supplies, but here in this article you don’t need to buy so much of the commercial cleaning solution.
Here are some of the natural liquid cleaning solutions that can be of much greater use.
Distilled White Vinegar
White vinegar is popularly known as ythe all-purpose cleaning ingredient and a neat trick on carpet cleaning in Brisbane is that they mix vinegar with water as their cleaning base. This ingredient has proven that it has countless uses for you in your household other than cooking; and with that reason it should hold the top spot for your essential ingredients to have as a priority item when restocking items.
Another acidic ingredient that proves its versatility is the cider vinegar. From cooking, beautifying up to disinfecting as well as cleaning, cider vinegar should be one of the things that you need to include in your everyday stock of supplies. In addition, it also has helpful health benefits since it aids in digestion, and bloating while also curing sore throats and nasal passages for when you are experiencing coughs and colds.
Lemons, limes, and oranges! These citrus fruits work wonders for your stainless steel kitchen stoves, kitchen sink and even kitchen counters. Naturally, their acidic elements known as citric acid or citric acid crystals are a great disinfectant which kills bacteria and germs 99% of the time. It is commonly used in removing grimes and rusts from sinks and faucets.
This liquid solution should be added to your medical supplies as well since not only does it help in cleaning and disinfecting your wounds, it also a great green cleaning addition to the household. You can use it anywhere, in cleaning your cutting board and the interior of your refrigerator and dishwasher. Because this ingredient is non-toxic, hydrogen peroxide is mostly used for cleaning storage spaces where you place your dishes and food.
Water and Baking Soda Mixture
One of the primary ingredients may not be liquid but it works just as effectively when mixed with water. In addition you can also add a bit of cider vinegar for this and it doubles the efficiency of disinfecting the dirty countertops and works well as a substitute for laundry detergent. Adding ½ cup of baking soda with water for your wash is a natural way to deodorize the clothes and neutralizes the odor from all your clothes.
We need to teach ourselves and take a disciplined action of making plans to keep their food supply stocked and their essentials in top condition. We will never know what the future brings us but it never hurts anyone to be prepared for such events.
Randolph Hoover and his family were originally from San Diego California but he is currently studying Business Administration in Umea University in Sweden. His reason for writing is to redeem the uplifting feeling reminiscent of a swallow fluttering through the skies while the cold breeze of the alps flow through him as he wins a writing competition he joined back in junior high, or to stop conversing with his pet dog Munchkins during night time. He does freelance work for several clients such as Electrodry and others. When he’s not busy, he spends quality time with his family and friends during the rest of his time.
The post 5 Liquids That Can Be Used as Alternative Cleaning Solutions appeared first on American Preppers Network.
By Michelle Foster
So you’ve got the food and you’ve stored the water. You have bug out bags and a resupply plan. You have learned how to bake bread and have chopped your firewood. Great! You’re way ahead of the game. May I suggest another skill you might want to add to your repertoire? Try sewing!
Sewing is an often overlooked skill that is very handy to have. Whether you just want to make repairs, hem a pair of pants or sew an entire outfit from scratch, you have to know how to sew. With a little practice, you can make quilts to keep your family warm, repair a tent to stay dry, craft curtains to stop drafts or make pillows for a sick room. Knowing how to sew can mean the difference between staying warm and comfortable and being miserable.
While you can certainly sew by hand, it’s a lot faster and easier to use a machine. If you live off-grid or if the grid is down, your best bet is a treadle sewing machine. Many of these iron ladies are going on 100 years old but still can provide reliable service in almost any environment. I have seen costumers for re-enactment groups drag them into field tents so repairs can be made on-site. They are made almost entirely of cast iron and are extremely durable. They are easy to use and maintain and require very little care. Interested? Here’s how to get started:
You’re first job will be to find a treadle sewing machine. Etsy, Ebay and Craigslist are all good places to start. You can also try flea markets, thrift stores and antique markets. Take your time and you should be able to find the complete package of legs, cabinet and sewing machine for less than $100. Many cabinets have been destroyed so that people could make tables with the legs. Often, the machine itself was just discarded. Finding a complete set can be tricky but is often easier than piecing together all the components you need a bit at a time.
There are a few things to consider while you are shopping. Make sure you pick a well-known brand that was popular. Singer and White are both good choices. Choosing a popular brand ensures that you will be able to find replacement parts and accessories. Try to get a machine with a bobbin, not a shuttle. Shuttle machines are quite a bit older than bobbin style machines and can be hard to maintain. Try to get one without too much pitting or rust. Push the treadle and see if it still moves and turn the wheels to see if they move. Avoid anything that is too bound up.
Finally, look for machines with straight, low-shanks. What is a shank, you ask? It is the bar that sticks down out of machine itself that you attach sewing machine feet to. Most Singers and White are low-shank machines. Feet are attached with a thumb screw from the side. Avoid slant shanks (running at a diagonal) and machines that have feet that snap on from the back. Both are very hard to find feet for.
After you find a sewing machine and bring it home you’re going to need machine oil, some rags and maybe some kerosene for the clean-up. You can buy the machine oil at a fabric or craft store or you can buy 4-in-1 oil at a hardware store. First, dust the machine, cabinet and legs well. Use a stiff brush on the treadle to dislodge any dirt or chunky stuff. Put some machine oil on the rag and rub onto any metal you see in little circles. Resist the urge to use stronger household cleaners! These will ruin the finish and lead to more problems down the road. Use orange oil or another moisturizing product on the wooden cabinet.
If the machine is really dirty, you can use kerosene to clean it. You can moisten the rags and rub the machine just like you did with the machine oil. Or, if it is filthy, take it out of the cabinet and soak the entire thing in a bucket or tote filled with kerosene for a few days. No, I am not kidding. I have seen this method recommended on a number of sites as well as in Singer sewing machine manuals from the time period. Once everything is cleaned, make sure each joint is oiled well.
For ongoing use, you are going to need a small screwdriver for adjustments, two pairs of small pliers (one with smooth jaws and one with teeth), extra bobbins, a package of rubber O-rings and a length of leather sewing machine belt. An awl would also be handy. You should be able to find everything except for the belt at a craft or hardware store. I had to order the belt for my Singer 66 from Amazon. For most machines, you will need a belt that is 3/16” thick and rounded on both sides. If you have room to store it, you can buy a 100’ spool of belt for a very good price. The belt should come with some hooks you can use to attach the cut ends of the belt.
- The basics
A treadle sewing machine only does one thing: make straight stitches. You accomplish this by pushing the treadle up and down with your feet. This moves the large wheel attached to the legs which, in turn, moves the small wheel on the sewing machine itself. The first task you must accomplish, then, is to figure out how to put the belt on and connect these two wheels. In general terms, you wrap the belt around the large wheel, feed it through some guide holes on the top of the cabinet and around the little wheel on the right hand side of the sewing machine itself. Punch holes in both ends of the belt and feed the hook through. Test for fit, crimp down the ends of the hook and you should be in business.
The second thing you will need to do it learn how to oil your sewing machine. Put a drop or two of oil on every joint you can see. Don’t forget the treadle! There are also little holes along the top of the machine and on the flat bed that are for oil. Put a drop in each hole. If you aren’t sure where to put the oil, you can use Google to find the manuals for most sewing machines. These manuals should show you what to do. Make sure you keep extra oil on hand since you’ll be using it a lot. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of oiling each time you have finished sewing for the day.
Another task you will need to perform on a regular basis is to run bobbins. In case you are a complete novice, here is a brief explanation: a sewing machine has two threads, one on the top and one of the bottom. The bobbin goes on the bottom. Whatever machine you buy, make sure you learn how to run the bobbins and use the bobbin winder. I recommend you buy extra metal bobbins, not plastic ones. The plastic ones crack and break too often for my taste. There are bobbins that are flat and those that are slightly domed so make sure you get the right ones for your situation.
There are a lot of extra things you can buy for your treadle sewing machine once you have the basics down. There are lots of different feet for different purposes and accessories that will expand greatly what you can do on a treadle machine. These extras can usually be purchased at the same store you bought your sewing machine from. Some of the most popular feet include zipper, cording and quilting feet. There are also hemming feet that are great for finishing edges. A company called Griest makes a very nice set that is appropriate for most people.
There are also more complicated “feet” called attachments. These include zig-zaggers, buttonholers, darning attachments and more. Most people will probably want to get a buttonholer and a zig-zagger because they are used so frequently and on so many sewing projects. One word of warning: attachments and feet are made for particular shank styles. Make sure that you know what kind of shank your machine has before you shop for any extras.
- Parts and service
As I mentioned above, there are some supplies you’ll want to keep on hand. These include oil, tools, belts, O-rings and extra bobbins. These are just the basics. Having a treadle machine won’t do you any good if you don’t have the consumables. Keep a selection of items in your sewing kit to be prepared for a variety of tasks. At a minimum you’ll need thread in a variety of colors, fasteners like snaps, buttons and zippers, interfacing, a seam ripper, scissors, replacement sewing machine needles, hand needles and a decent how to sew book. It might also be a good idea to keep some extra bolts of an all-purpose fabric on hand along with some patterns for basic pieces of clothing.
I also recommend that you stock a few replacement parts. One way to do this is to buy a second machine that is identical to your primary machine. Then you can just switch out parts. If you don’t have the space for this, another option is to order parts and keep them in a box in a closet. If you choose this option, I would recommend getting extra tension discs and springs, clamp washers (inside the little wheel on the sewing machine), a few thumb screws, feed dogs and an extra bed slide. You will not find these at your local fabric store but there are places you can order replacement parts online. Just Google vintage sewing machine parts to find dealers.
If you are lucky enough to have a local sewing machine repair store or sewing center, they should able to service almost any vintage machine. You might get some odd looks but most technicians can handle the kinds of repairs you would need. For the purpose of being self-sufficient, though, I really recommend that you try to figure out problems yourself. One nice thing about old sewing machines is that they are relatively simple. If you are patient, you can usually locate and correct most problems.
I hope I have convinced you of the value of keeping a treadle sewing machine on hand and given you the basics you need to get started. They are awesome, hard-working machines that are great for everyday use. They will work in any environment and require only minimal maintenance. Consider adding one to your household and you will be rewarded with years of happy and reliable sewing. If the worst happens, you will have the means to cloth your family and will have a skill to barter with. With a little practice and a little patience, you will be churning out projects on your vintage machine in no time!
Bio: Michelle Foster lives in Kentucky with her husband and cats. She has been sewing most of her life, thanks in large part to her patient mother. She takes great pride in cultivating old-school skills like sewing, knitting and cooking. She has written a book called Sew Like Your Grandma: Using the Singer 66 that is available on Amazon and provides more details on using and serving a treadle sewing machine.
If you are looking for the ideal bug out vehicle, you really need to consider much more than just the vehicle brand, whether or not it’s a 4×4, and other common considerations. One thing that most people tend to overlook is the type of fuel the vehicle uses. In other words, should you go with a bug out vehicle with a gasoline engine or one that uses diesel? Diesel powered vehicles have quite a few advantages over their gasoline powered brethren. It is these advantages that make them ideally suited for bug out vehicles. Let’s take a look at these advantages.
First, it’s important to realize that diesel fuel will keep for a longer period of time than gasoline. If stored properly in a clean, cool, and dry location, it will stay fresh for up to a year without the use of fuel stabilizers. Diesel fuel may be stored for as long as five years if proper fuel stabilizers are used such as Diesel STA-BIL and STA-BIL Biocide. Gasoline, on the other hand, will only stay fresh for a few months when stored in a gas can. Of course, the life of the gas can be prolonged with the use of fuel stabilizers. The longer gasoline is exposed to air and higher temperatures, the shorter its shelf life will be. That’s the reason why so many people have to put fresh gasoline in their lawnmowers after being stored for the winter.
Another advantage to consider is the fact that diesel engines deliver up to 40% better fuel economy than their gasoline powered counterparts. And better fuel economy means you can go much further on your fuel reserves. Diesel engines are also considered to be much more reliable than gasoline engines. This is one of the reasons why most large trucks are powered by diesel engines. It is not uncommon for a diesel-powered rig to accumulate over 300,000 miles before needing an engine overhaul. And not only that, but there are many trucks that have had their diesel engines overhauled several times and have accumulated over 1,000,000 miles on their odometers!
Diesel engines produce more torque (or pulling power) than gasoline engines. This is another major advantage they have over gasoline powered vehicles and is also one of the main reasons why heavy equipment and trucks use diesel engines. It’s all about the power.
One of the primary reasons why diesel engines are more reliable is that they have fewer parts overall than gasoline engines. They are much simpler engines. Diesel engines, for example, don’t have ignition systems. They have simple glow plugs that heat the diesel fuel to burn it instead of the complex spark/ignition systems that gasoline engines use that utilize carefully-timed sparks to ignite the fuel each time it enters a fuel chamber. The simple design also allows diesel engines to run much cooler than gasoline engines. It is the simple design of the diesel engine that makes it so reliable.
If a major catastrophe happens, gasoline will most likely sell out much more quickly than diesel fuel. This is because the vast majority of vehicles sold in the United States are powered by gasoline due to the stringent EPA exhaust requirements. Diesel passenger vehicles make up approximately 2.88 percent of all vehicles in the United States. In a major national or world emergency, everyone will be racing to fill up on gasoline, and not necessarily diesel, leaving plenty for those with diesel engines.
Diesel fuel is much safer to store than gasoline. One of the reasons for this is the fact that diesel fuel does not emit vapors like gasoline does. Also, keep in mind that diesel fuel does not explode like gasoline does. Diesel fuel burns. If a spark lands on some diesel fuel, it isn’t going to explode. It still might ignite and start burning, but that’s a preferable alternative to a large explosion, which is what could happen if a spark landed in a container of gasoline.
Diesel engines also allow for the use of a broad range of fuels, not just the diesel fuel you buy at your local gas station. Diesel engines can run on different blends of bio-diesel, home heating oil, kerosene, jet fuel, unused vegetable oil, used vegetable oil, motor oil, automatic transmission fluid and hydraulic oil. Many people who own diesel-powered vehicles make arrangements with local restaurants to collect their waste vegetable oil and make bio-diesel out of it for pennies on the dollar. And still others power their vehicles with straight vegetable oil, after carefully filtering it. Yes, it does require some of your spare time to make bio-diesel, but you can literally save many thousands of dollars in fuel costs over the life of your vehicle.
It’s important to realize that diesel engines do have some negative aspects that you should consider. First, diesel engines are more difficult to work on and parts may be more difficult to find than gasoline engine parts. Diesel engines are more difficult to work on because they rely on high-compression cylinders, whereas gasoline engines use cylinders with much lower compression ratios. Also, because so few engines in the United States are diesel-powered, replacement parts are not as plentiful and will be more difficult to come by.
Another negative aspect of diesel engines is that they can be noisier than gasoline engines. Not all of them, though. Some of the newer diesel engines are just as quiet as gasoline engines, but there are still plenty on the market that are louder.
Yet another negative thing about diesel engines to consider is that diesel fuel can be very messy. If you’ve ever gotten some diesel fuel on your hands, you surely know how difficult it is to remove. It is greasy, smelly, and requires multiple hand washing to finally feel free of the diesel funk. If you get some gasoline on your hands, in contrast, it quickly evaporates, leaving a gas smell that can be easily washed off with a couple of washings. Diesel fuel, however, is very thick (like syrup) and can be very difficult (if not impossible) to remove from clothing.
Although the diesel engine is not without its negatives, the positive aspects of the engines make it a strong contender for any bug out vehicle. It’s positive attributes are so strong, in fact, that many motorcycle owners are now switching out their gasoline bike engines for aftermarket diesels.
If you are in the market for a vehicle you plan to keep for bug out purposes, definitely consider one with a diesel engine. They are powerful, fuel efficient, and are very reliable. And you can even make your own bio-diesel fuel. What’s not to like about that?
About the Author: Alex Vanover is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and has spent the greater part of his life riding and writing about motorcycles and the auto industry. He is also the purveyor of Motorcycle Trading Post. An online classified ad listing site.
The post Should You Get a Bug Out Vehicle With a Gasoline or Diesel Engine? appeared first on American Preppers Network.
A vegetable garden is the perfect example of a sustainable resource. By growing your own crops, you can continue to develop food and cultivate seeds for future growth and expansion. For eager preppers, vegetable gardens ensure you always have food growing, helping you to rely less on supermarkets and even more on yourself and your land. Here’s a quick guide on how you can start harvesting your own vegetables!
When most people think of a vegetable patch, they only consider digging into the earth itself. While it’s good to get in the weeds and experience nature up close, a higher or raised vegetable bed is easier to reach. This also helps separate your actual crops from the ground, avoiding contamination from the likes of weeds. As we’ll soon discuss, this also helps you regulate the individual PH levels for each bed too. These beds can be easy to make, as they need only be large containers, wide enough to plant crops and deep enough to allow roots to spread happily. A good example should be something waist high and these are typically made from wood or other sustainable materials.
Depending on what you want to grow, you will need the right PH levels. In nature, everything is either acidic or alkaline. If the PH level is over 7 are alkaline (the higher the number, the more alkaline it is) while things lower than this are considered acidic. For truly sustainable crops, you need to match the crop to the soil. Potatoes, for instance, thrive in a lightly-acidic soil between 5.3 and 6.0 PH. As such, there are various ways to improve the quality of your soil, including composts and mulches, to either add or subtract the relevant acids or alkaline substances.
A good prepper knows to never throw anything away until it loses all value. When it comes to the garden, nearly all organic matter can be used in some fashion. Compost is the easy to make, while mulch can be made through similar means. Depending on the materials and properties of the waste used, this can even influence the PH levels and add vital nutrients. This makes your home more sustainable overall and you can even use leftover clippings, dead plant matter and more from the garden to sustain the next generation of vegetables! The same goes for leftover food in the home – today’s dinner really can be tomorrow’s fertilizer!
As already mentioned, it’s quite easy to support your production with organic, natural boosts. A key part of sustainability is only using organic materials, so as not to provide further damage to the environment. Compost is easy to make, while wood chippings, grass cuttings and other mulches can all be used to provide the added boost. Don’t buy calcium powder in the shops, for instance, when bone meal is readily available elsewhere! If you can’t make something yourself, there’s always someone with excess materials (many butchers and abattoirs have plenty of bones they can’t use, for instance!) so don’t be afraid to ask. It might cost a small amount but most people will be happy to let you take their excess waste off of their hands and, in return, you get to stay green and organic.
Save and Store Seeds
They say you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket and you shouldn’t plant all your seeds in one garden, either! Another key part of sustainability, as well as being prepared for anything, is expecting the worst. What happens, for instance, if you have a bad harvest and lose many of your plants? For this reason, it’s worth setting up your own seed bank. The majority of garden plants produce more than one seed – while others such as tomatoes and potatoes can be cultivated without seeds at all – giving you amply opportunities to gain additional seeds. Don’t plant all of these straight away! Store some of them in a safe environment. These will help you when you urgently need to plant new crops, or perhaps help a friend or even donate to a larger, national seed bank when you have some spare!
As you can see, it’s a lot to take in at first, but the basics are quite simple. Learn what soil your plants need, dedicate an area of your garden to it and use organic means to grow and develop your supply! There’s no need to panic, as vegetables take a while to grow, giving you plenty of time to learn and develop your gardening skills.
Tim Sparke is the CEO at 4pumps and for several years, he has been an active advocate of organic farming and sustainability. He also has a passion for writing and he writes the blog at 4pumps.
The post How To Start Your Own Sustainable Vegetable Garden appeared first on American Preppers Network.