When I first began learning about survival topics like food storage and bug out bags, I knew I needed to begin building a library of actual books that could guide me through survival scenarios of all kinds. I began collecting books about gardening, household repair, first aid, military manuals, you name it. When possible, I […]
Men! They can be so hard to buy for. My own husband is possibly the worst. This year I bought him a beautiful menorah and, wouldn’t you know, he just happened to open that particular Amazon box — after I had spent weeks wondering what I should get him. Bah, humbug!! If you, too, are […]
I could hardly believe my eyes when I happened to see my book, Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios, is now on sale for the Kindle for just $1.99. That’s an amazing bargain.
- How to stock up on the right foods for your family
- How to safely store and purify water
- How to handle sanitation (think toilets, showers, laundry) when there’s little water or the power is out
- How to pack all types of emergency bags, even for kids and the elderly
- How to prepare yourself and your family financially for an economic set-back
- What items you should always keep in your purse
- How to set up a safe room in your house
- What principles to remember so you’re always situationally aware
- AND tons more!
I LOVED writing this book because it was from the perspective of a MOM, written for MOMS and families. It’s not one of those hardcore “if you’re not a Navy SEAL, you’ll perish!!” type of books! Maybe that explains it’s very, very long stream of 5 star reviews.
Now, the price of this book is set by Amazon and my publisher. I have nothing to do with it and have no idea when this price will end, but for NOW, it’s just $1.99!!
Of course I own a couple of hard copies of the book (you should get that, too!), but I actually bought the Kindle version because it’s so easy to search for what I want. And, since the book is a reference book, I’ve searched for things like “natural remedies”, “vehicle emergency kit”, and “hurricanes”. The hard copy has an awesome index, but the ebook version is even quicker.
By the way, it looks like the paperback price is also marked down — $13.80. Again, that price could change in a moment, but it’s usually at the $15-16 mark.
LINK TO BUY: http://amzn.to/2qb5nCF
To match this price, I lowered the price of my second book, this one is self-published, to $1.99 also! Emergency Evacuations: How to Get Out Fast When It Matters Most, digs deep into the whole evacuation event:
- What types of events might cause you to have to leave your home?
- How can you get out fast when you have little kids or a handicapped loved one?
- What should always be in your emergency kit/bug out bag?
- When you don’t have a “bug out location”, where else can you go? I think you’ll be surprised by some of my very creative suggestions!
- How can you keep your vehicles ready to go, at a moment’s notice?
- What if you have elderly or special needs loved ones to consider?
This book has also received a long stream of 5 star reviews on Amazon. It’s a quick read but I know the checklists and information will be invaluable.
LINK TO BUY: http://amzn.to/2rh2hNu
This one is also available in paperback at $8.99.
In case you’re thinking that ebooks are a waste of time, “when the EMP happens”, I can assure you that investing in dozens, if not hundreds, of ebooks is a smart idea. This article explains more.
Again, the price of Survival Mom could change at any moment, so get both books while you can — less than $4, or less than the price of one Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccinos!
A classic noven in the TEOTWAWKI* niche is Lucifer’s Hammer, published in 1977, by veteran science fiction writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. The story line is a classic end of the world scenario. A previously-unknown comet is discovered only months before scientists realize it is on a near-collision course with Earth. Naturally, virtually no one in the world is prepared when the comet breaks apart and strikes the Earth in several places. As the story continues, it focuses on the struggles of survivors, building into an exciting, good vs. evil finish.
Within this 600+ page story are 20 valuable, often universal lessons and principles worth examining
Things in the sky can be unpredictable
This story is based on a comet that crashes into earth; but there are other, more plausible hazards from space, foremost being electrical storms generated by the sun that can wreak havoc with our electrical grid as described in this article.
A U.S. Senator from California is one of the heroes of the story when he takes on the executive role, comparable to that of a Governor, when all other government structure fails. Even though he is hampered by a heart defect, he maintains the respect and loyalty of the group of people that gravitated to him. As a natural leader, he steps up in a crisis to do what he does best.
Be careful who you trust
The millionaire amateur astronomer who first discovers the comet, has a caretaker maintaining his mountain observatory. It’s stocked and ready to go as his personal bug out location. When disaster strikes, the caretaker and some friends decide they need the property more, and turn the owner away at gunpoint. The astronomer had placed all of his preparedness eggs in that basket, and was turned away with nothing but the vehicle he was driving.
Love may have to wait
Romance becomes much more complicated when your social circle shrinks. Within the Senator’s tight-knit survivor’s group, two alpha-males seek the attention of the Senator’s beautiful daughter. For political reasons, one of the men is strongly advised not to pursue her in the interest of keeping the group together. Personal relationships are difficult to cultivate and maintain in a big enough crisis.
Denying what’s in front of you can get you killed
One of the more memorable characters is a rural mail carrier who gets caught mid-route by the comet strike. Even in the face of extreme rainstorms caused by the comet, he presses to finish his mail route and is almost washed away. Salvaging as much of the mail as he can, he presses on and is shot at by predatory teens. He eventually accepts the dangers of the new world and obtains a pistol for self-protection. Realities may change and they may change drastically. Survivors will be those who can accept and adapt quickly.
Impending doom can embolden bad people
A paroled rapist realizes that even if he indulges his homicidal sexual fantasies, he won’t be held to trial. He unleashes his urges on a young woman and is arrested for her murder. Later after the comet strike, he is the recipient of “frontier justice” from a jailer who releases lesser criminals but can’t bring himself to let the rapist go. This is a lesson to add self defense and home defense to your list of prepping priorities. Learn self-defense through martial arts (learn how to choose the best dojo), as well as teaching everyone in the household to use a firearm safely and accurately.
The right vehicle can save your butt
In 1977, the do-all, off-road truck was the International TravelAll, equivalent to today’s Chevy Suburban. In Lucifer’s Hammer, the TravelAll lived up to its reputation by getting characters through floods and mud, pulling down trees, and being reliable all the time, every time. In the real world, having a tough, reliable vehicle is just as important. This article shares tips for getting your vehicle ready for the end of the world, and it’s not as expensive as you might think.
You don’t have to know everything, you just need to know where to find it
Dan Forrester, Ph.D., is an Astrophysicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California when the comet strikes. He has the foresight to conceal reference books that turn out to be important in getting accepted into the Senator’s survival group. Later, these books become key in defending the good guys and restoring civilization. It also inspired me to get the books, How Things Work, Volumes 1-4, which are difficult to find, but a very good substitute is The Way Things Work Now and, for homesteading and rural basic skills, the Foxfire books.
Politics are a big part of disasters
As Lucifer’s Hammer progresses, comet survivors look to existing remnants of government to guide them. The lesson? Strong politicians and their supporters will have more influence over what happens following a disaster than they did before the disaster. Face time with politicians at all levels or campaign contributions before the disaster go a long way.
Adversity Forces You to Grow Up Fast
Several of the characters in the book have sons in Boy Scouts. The parents’ plan to send the Scouts up into the mountains for their safety backfires when the kids have to take on adult roles. While somewhat immature, the boys had the skills they needed to survive and survive, they did. Survival skills should be taught at all levels, and this list provides a good place to start.
The Keepers of Secret Knowledge are worth their weight in gold
Engineers, physicians, mechanics, machinists…these will be the modern-day alchemists who will salvage the remnants of the disaster and start to rebuild. Guards at roadblocks had lists of desired skills that could pass through to safety. Others were out of luck. The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm is a must-read for more information in this area.
Medical problems before become severe after
Dr. Dan Forrester, savior of the good guys has Type 1 Diabetes, a dangerous affliction to have in a post-disaster situation. He eventually loses his source of insulin and dies. However, all may not be lost in our more modern era. Read this article written by a prepper mom with a Type 1 child for practical tips to prepare for such an event. For the rest of us, it’s vital to become as healthy and physically fit as possible now, both as a prep for future hard times as well as a way to improve quality of life.
Hard decisions will have to be made
As it often happens in a sudden disaster, needs outstrip resources very quickly. Both the good guys and bad guys have in-depth discussions about available food, restrict adding new outsiders, and predict the severity of the winter soon to come. Do they feed strangers now, just to watch their own children starve later? Moral dilemmas will become one of the most difficult aspects of surviving, as Survival Mom explains in this BuzzFeed article.
Those with skills will fare better
This one is distinct from the “Keepers of Secret Knowledge” because it relates to everyone. Can you ride a horse? Drive a car with manual transmission? Use a two-way radio? Defend yourself with a handgun/rifle/shotgun? Have prior military or law enforcement experience? You will fare better than others if you said yes to one or all. Check out the section, Skill of the Month, for some ideas to build your skill/knowledge repertoire.
Civilization is fragile
Few businesses are able to maintain large inventories of items, including food. Our modern computer-managed inventories and just-in-time reordering means that when a sudden disaster hits, stores run out of items quickly. After about 12 hours, we are back to 1930’s level society, or worse.
Disabilities are magnified
When society is reduced to day-to-day survival, many with emotional or mental disabilities exceed their ability to cope and succumb to their disorders. The inability of many persons with disabilities or access and functional needs to pull their own weight can subject them to the cruel calculus of survival. Families with loved ones in these circumstances should consider and plan now how they will continue caring for them. One example of a family with an adult Down’s syndrome child is detailed in this book.
The Art of the Deal is real
Successful survivors must have the gift of gab…the ability to sell one’s self and trade valuable information for food or protection is vital. Persuasion is a skill worth its weight in gold and the ability to trade and barter, priceless.
Be prepared to use what you find
You can’t open a soup can or wine bottle without an opener or a drain a gas tank without a siphon hose; opportunities may present themselves along the way and some planning and forethought can make a difference.
Information is valuable, and organized information is priceless
In our everything-is-available-on-the-internet world, something as simple as a paper road map can be incredibly useful post-disaster. Annotating that map with notes about bridges out or roads blocked consolidates multiple sources of info in a more valuable way. Collecting detailed maps of your area and surrounding states is an inexpensive prep.
The Road is not where you want to be
Every society needs a justice system with consequences for violating rules. In Lucifer’s Hammer, the good guys hanged those who were sentenced to capital punishment; short of hanging, the next most severe punishment was being banished to The Road. Being evicted meant you were no longer able to share food, protection, and fellowship with the good guys. The Road almost surely guaranteed slow starvation and death from lack of food or from marauders.
The Most Important Lesson
Lucifer’s Hammer is just a story, one that The Survival Mom and I both enjoyed. You have the opportunity to write your own story, for the most part. Have a plan, stock your home, have some way of protecting yourself, and you and your family may live happily ever after.
*The End of The World as We Know It
Here’s Lisa’s video review of Lucifer’s Hammer.
Skills and knowledge trump gear and miscellaneous stuff when it comes to survival, and this brand new Back to Basics Bundle will provide you and your family with hours and hours of great information related to many different areas of being prepared.
WHAT IS A BUNDLE? With the popularity of ebooks and online courses, “bundles” have become a hot trend. A bundle is simply a collection of related ebooks, online magazines, e-courses (online classes) and, occasionally, collections of podcasts. You pay a single fee for access to the entire lot and then can download it to as many computers and other electronic devices as you wish.
This Back to Basics Living Bundle is impressive. When I first took a look at the ebooks and contributing authors, it was a “Wow!” moment. There is so much great information in this bundle and best of all, it’s not just for preppers. There’s something for everyone with:
- 70 ebooks
- 1-year subscription to Molly Green membership (regularly priced $29 per year)
- A homeschool planner
- Gardening coloring book
- 3-month membership to SchoolHouseTeachers website, with over 300 online courses!
- 52 week preparedness guide
- …and my NEW BOOK! “One Second After the Lights Go Out” — full of practical tips for surviving a long-term power outage from the very first second you realize the power’s off and won’t be coming back on for a long time. This book isn’t published anywhere else, yet.
The price is $29.97, which is the best bargain you’ll get all year!
Get instant access as soon as you pay for the bundle!
It sounds amazing, but what if…
The power goes out! What good is an ebook then?
Excellent question! The beauty of ebooks is that they can be stored on multiple electronics, including one or two you might put in a Faraday container. If you have an old cell phone that can hold downloaded pdfs, why not store some of these on that phone and keep it in a Faraday container or Faraday bag? As well, you can print out these ebooks as many times as you like and organize the hard copies in files or binders.
It’s hard for me to download anything with my slow internet speed.
Back 2 Basics has a solution you’ll love. For an additional $25, you’ll receive a flash drive loaded with everything, delivered to your door. This allows you to quickly download the books onto multiple computers and then have the flash drive for long-term storage.
I tend to buy things and never use them!
Boy, can I relate! Even if you only use the free Molly Green membership, that includes dozens more ebooks, 60 digital issues of their gorgeous magazine, planners, printables, beautiful graphics for your computer desktop…it’s a huge, huge bargaiin. Use only these resources and you’ll break even! Read my new book, One Second After the Lights Go Out, and you’ll have more than your money’s worth, plus there are 69 other books and online courses just waiting for you, and they’re yours, permanently!
I prefer using my Kindle instead of reading PDFs on my computer.
Quick answer: follow these online instructions to transfer these ebooks to your Kindle!
Just through the end of National Preparedness Month, my newest book, Emergency Evacuations: Get Out Fast When it Matters Most, is only 99 cents on Kindle.
This book is a short, entertaining read with checklists, real life stories, and even help for families with special needs loved ones. In an emergency, no one should be left behind, and I’ll help you figure out how to do that. I’ve also provided you with a list of more than a dozen options for bug out locations when you don’t have one and how to keep the little ones entertained when you’re stuck somewhere, far from home.
If you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry. Just download the Kindle app either to your smartphone or your computer, and you can read directly from there. Lately, that’s how I’ve been doing all my Kindle reading — directly from my phone.
You may be someone who just prefers actual books printed on paper! If that’s the case, the paperback version is just $8.99.
Here are the links you’ll need:
Buy the book for 99 cents and download: http://amzn.to/2cwSaIn
I hope you aren’t ever in a scenario that forces you from the safety of your home, but if you are, I know this book will give you the information and tools to get out fast when it matters most!
This discount ends at midnight on September 30.
P.S. You really MUST have a copy of my family survival manual, Survival Mom. It’s more than 300 pages of helpful tips for preparing for emergencies of all kinds — and, it’s a fun read!
One of my life-long loves is that of books. Amazon Prime and I are best of friends, and I have an enormous stack of books, most of them unread. When I was younger, an unread book was an item of shame! Today, I chalk it up to being a busy mom whose love for books outweighs the time she has for reading.
I’m thrilled to begin this new quarterly feature on my blog, Lisa’s Stack of Books, as a way of sharing some of the newest books that come my way, either through my own purchases or from authors and publishers who want their books featured on my blog. I’m picky about which books I’ll profile, though.*
I hope you enjoy reading about the following books from authors Linda Loosli, Bernie Carr, Melissa K. Norris, and Toni Hammersley. I selected these books because they represent different aspects of preparedness: basic survival, frugal prepping, organization, and homesteading/spiritual encouragement. If you read any of these books, give me your own review in the Comments section!
Note that after each book review, you get a chance to win your own copy of the book! Each book has it’s own entry, so make sure you don’t miss any of them if you hope to win all four.
I would love to live Toni Hammersley’s life, or at least the one portrayed in this stunning, colorful book. Perhaps a better idea would be to have her come to my house and re-create it with all the savvy and style she exhibits in her new book. The Complete Book of Home Organization is a gorgeous book, just the type that catches your eye at a bookstore and finds its way to the cash register and your Visa card!
My daughter, age 16, is the primary promoter of organization in our household, and her eyes lit up when I handed her this book. We both settled down to enjoy the glossy photos of kitchens, closets, bedrooms, and even refrigerators, and the quick suggestions for transforming our own home into one of calm and clutter-free order. Toni’s practical and simple tips for organizing even the smallest spaces in your home are easy to follow, without the necessity of having to make expensive purchases at The Container Store.
One of my favorite features of the book are the Before and After photos from other home decor and organization bloggers. It’s inspiring to know that I can take a cluttered area of my house and transform it, too. I also appreciated the organization challenges and checklists. If your home is in need of some organization, this book will inspire and motivate you to action!
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I’ve been friends with Melissa K. Norris of Pioneer Living Today for three years. Melissa was a very successful host on The Survival Mom Radio Network, and her listeners loved her homesteading tales and words of encouragement. Last month when I opened my mail and held this beautiful new book in my hands, it was an emotional moment. I was so proud of Melissa and her accomplishments. She always talks from the heart and shares the ups and downs of her own life as a modern-day homesteader.
The Made-from-Scratch Life is a book that prescribes living a simple life, moving from store-bought products to healthy and homemade versions and provides practical tips for gardening, canning, raising livestock, and preparing for tough financial times. Along with plenty of homey advice, Melissa includes some of the simplest and most delicious recipes you’ll find. Her ham and bean soup with parsnips is one of my favorites.
Melissa shares stories of how she learned to make the transition to a simpler life herself, with plenty of mistakes along the way. She shares Bible verses, inspiring quotes, recipes, a planting chart, and plenty of recipes. She’s convinced that a simple, back-to-basics life is soothing to the soul and this guide is her way of walking side by side with you as you, too, take the road less traveled to a made-from-scratch life.
When you purchase Melissa’s book, not only do you get all of this helpful information, but she also gives you some special bonuses as a thank you. The Made-From-Scratch Life Companion Guide and Workbook, the 5 Day Made-From-Scratch Life Bonus Fast Track e-course and The Amish Canning Cookbook Sampler by Georgia Varozza will help make your transition to a simpler life, well, simpler.
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If you’ve been a prepper for very long, you know the overwhelming feeling that comes with being faced with long lists of expensive survival gear the experts claim you must have: Berkey water filters, a year’s worth of freeze-dried food, a hidden bunker, and on and on and on. Few of us can afford top of the line gear, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a chance to survive!
Author of The Prepper’s Pocket Guide and blogger at The Apartment Prepper, Bernie Carr rejects the notion that only the rich will survive and in The Penny-Pinching Prepper, she shares hundreds of tips for preparing, and surviving, on a small budget. You’ll love the compact size of her new book, its handy lists, and simple, budget-friendly DIY projects, such as an Easy Fireless Cooker.
From her advice for raising money for the purpose of prepping to hygiene, evacuations, safety tips, and even recipes, this book is packed with information for preppers who don’t have a dime to spare and even those with piles of cash in their stash!
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Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready For Any Emergency or Survival Situation by Linda Loosli
In the hyped-up world of survival and preparedness, it’s always refreshing to find a sane, calm voice that says, “Ignore the loud, scary voices. Here’s what you need to do…” That voice would be Linda Loosli of Food Storage Moms fame. In her new book, Prepare Your Family for Survival, Linda did not disappoint. Her book is a large, colorful volume, filled with illustrations, checklists, and attractive graphics that made reading it a pleasure.
This is one of the best all-around family preparedness manuals to hit the market in a while. Disaster preparedness is a huge topic and Linda has managed to break it into do-able chunks in an eye-catching design that makes the book hard to put down. I’m so proud of Linda and all the work she put into making this book practical and family-friendly.
One feature that I haven’t seen in similar books are her lists for health remedies using apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, Epsom salts, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide. Too often we see these listed as must-haves, but when you have a real emergency on your hands, you’ll need to know exactly how to put the to use. This book belongs on your survival bookshelf!
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Kudos to all!
Congratulations to these four authors for their vision, perseverance, and plain old hard work in producing these books. I’ll have another set of book reviews and giveaways coming up in May.
A major component of being well prepared for whatever life may bring is building a repertoire of skills and a bank of knowledge. If you’re on a journey to enrich your own life and become better prepared, check out this new book series by Liz Long, a long-time contributor to The Survival Mom blog.
26 Basic Life Skills is the first book in a new series (Survival Skills for All Ages) that covers important skills to survive and thrive in life. Some, such as trusting your instincts, are really the same in every day life as well as in an emergency. Others, like doing laundry, can change drastically in an emergency. A few, such as staying warm when your heating system goes out, can be an emergency in and of themselves.
Beginning with 26 Basic Life Skills and then continuing through the additional books in the series, each skill is covered first from the point of view of every day life, then from how it might be different in an emergency. Even something like having your heating system go out can either be the result of your furnace being broken or a complete power outage, leaving you with no on-grid way to stay warm and no way to use any other electrical device or appliance.
The 26 chapters are divided into 5 parts, or categories. Every chapter ends with an activity to help practice that skill, a five question True/False quiz, and a series of resources to deepen your knowledge. These resources include online articles, books, related Scouting badges (BSA and GSUSA), and videos that provide more detailed information and fun activities to reinforce the topic.
To give you an idea of what you’ll find in this new book, here’s a sneak peek:
Part 1: Basic Survival Life Skills
These life skills are so basic, almost no one talks about them. Trust your instincts. Know who to trust. Be aware of your surroundings (situational awareness). Practice problem solving and plan ahead. Dress for the weather. Stay physically fit.
Situational awareness and staying fit are both discussed a lot in prepping, but not necessarily in practical terms for regular people. Situational awareness is about more than recognizing someone trying to steal your purse or break into your compound. It’s about being aware of what is going on around you, in general, and noticing things that are out of the ordinary.
Rather than just talking about the need to move and be healthy, the focus on physical fitness from a survival stand point is on activities that can help you get fit and be better prepared for emergencies at the same time. Activities like hiking, biking, and backpacking are all fun, enhance fitness, and are good for emergency preparedness.
Other basics discussed in this chapter are learning to trust your instincts and knowing who to trust. What I was impressed with was how thoroughly each skill is covered, with examples from Liz’s own experiences and family life.
Once you cover these basics, it’s time to move on to what most consider the basics: Food and water.
Part 2: Food and Water
As much as we all want to believe we never have to worry about safe drinking water, the news periodically proves that is not true.
- Flint, Michigan – Improperly treated water.
- Charleston, West Virginia – Long-term chemical dumping.
- Colorado, Utah…– Dump of toxic water from a gold mine.
- New Jersey / New York – Hurricane Sandy.
- Florida – Hurricanes can interrupt regular utilities.
- California – Earthquakes can interrupt regular utilities.
Learn about important fundamental skills in these chapters. Does your family know how to determine if water is (or can be made) potable? Do you know uses for non-potable water? What about skills needed to grow food and then preserve it for future use?
Now that you have food and water, do your kids know how to make it into a meal?
Part 3: Cooking and Cleaning
The first step in making a meal isn’t cleaning or cutting up the food. It’s meal planning – deciding what to have, preferably in advance. This task doesn’t sound like much fun until you realize that whoever plans the meals knows that they will like (or at least not hate) what’s for dinner!
The next concern is food safety. Food must be kept at a safe temperature and handled with care. An oft-forgotten part of food safety becomes very important in an emergency situation: Recognizing and disposing of spoiled food. Of course, hygiene and sanitation are part of this as well.
Once you have the meal planned and understand basic sanitation and food safety, it’s time to actually prepare the food. Do your kids know something as simple as how to measure food without making a mess? Do they know the difference between chopping, dicing, and mincing? Can they use basic hand tools such as a whisk or an egg beater, or kitchen appliances such as a slow cooker or food processor? I have used a whisk for decades, but I still learned something new while writing this book from a video that demonstrates how using a side-to-side motion is more efficient than a circular one. For the many people who rely on electric appliances, this is a good refresher on basic hand tools in the kitchen.
The life skills in this section can not only be useful in everyday, non-emergency life, but should be used in everyday life. Kids may not be planning meals for the whole family but there is no reason they can’t plan their own lunches. Even kindergardners can choose from a list of choices to build their own menu and look at the school menu to decide what days they really want to buy lunch.
Anyone who messes up on basic sanitation or disposing of spoiled food may end up sick. How do you handle that?
Part 4: Health and First Aid
In this section, chapters 17-20 detail basic and not-so-basic skills that help insure safety and good health.
Calling 911 seems so basic that including instructions for it must be a joke, but consider this: What do you tell (and not tell) the operator when they pick up? Do your kids know what to say? Many cell phones automatically call 911 for the area closest to the billing address. What do you do if you are traveling?
Do your kids (and your spouse) know about family medical issues? Can they rattle off a list of who is allergic to what and how they respond (rash, anaphylaxis, etc.)? Do they know where to find this information in case of emergency? Do they know where to find critical medical items including epi-pens and insulin?
Many home remedies, and a lot of basic first aid, are so simple even preschoolers can handle them. Aloe vera for a burn, cayenne pepper for a heart attack, Epsom salts for sore muscles: These are just a few of the many easy, proven home remedies everyone should know.
A discussion of common first aid classes rounds out Part 4.
Part 5: Miscellaneous Survival Skills
Like most of the life skills in this book, these are skills most of us need in daily life. Sewing, swimming, safe knife use, and surviving without any heat in the house are clear examples of this.
Sewing can be as simple as re-attaching a button or fixing a tear, or as complex as a beaded, multi-tiered custom wedding gown, but it all starts from a few basic skills. There is no need for fancy, expensive machinery. Remember, the complex gowns of the late 1800s were all created with, at most, a very basic machine.
Safe knife use may not seem like an important skill in daily life if whittling and outdoor use are the only things that come to mind. When you consider how much we use knives in the kitchen, it doesn’t take long to see how important it is in daily life.
Other skills covered in this final chapter are how to build survival packs and how to safely and appropriately react to the sound of gunfire — a skill that is sadly needed in today’s world.
These 26 basic life skills aren’t complicated or exotic, but they are important in everyday life and emergencies. I recommend 26 Basic Life Skills: Survival Skills as a manual that can guide you and your family toward better preparedness. It’s well researched and provides lists of additional resources for deeper learning. Add this one to your family library of survival books!
Want to win a copy for yourself?
Every survival situation we prepare for is unique. No two house fires – or tornadoes or evacuations or hurricanes or earthquakes – are exactly the same. We should never rule out any tool to help us be prepared, since true survival depends on adaptability and versatility more than any single piece of gear. One cyber tool, called “the cloud,” lends itself well to providing vital information at a moment’s notice, anywhere, 24/7. Using the cloud in survival situations is smart and doesn’t have to be risky.
What exactly is the cloud?
The cloud is actually a tangible thing. It is an off-site storage area for your data. You can connect to the storage area securely over the Internet and then access it anytime through the Internet. There are many companies that offer cloud storage – Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Flickr, Evernote, Dropbox, etc. If you can create your own server, you could create your own “cloud.”
The main benefit to utilizing the cloud for information storage is that your data is not “stuck” on one device, but is accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection. Gone are the days of those frustrating moments, “Darn! My resume is on my desktop computer and I’m out of town!”
Before the cloud, most people used FTP to share large files and data across the Internet. Now, it’s as easy as sharing a single link.
It’s possible that you have been using the cloud without realizing it. You probably already use a type of cloud for downloading apps and updates for your phone or laptop. With that, you are accessing files someone else has put on a server. Some people use companies to sync or backup entire computer or phone systems. You can opt to only have certain files sent to that kind of cloud.
The cloud isn’t always secure
The downside to cloud storage is that it cannot be 100 percent secure. Data can be hacked and servers can crash – people have had data lost or stolen. If you’re going to use cloud storage, files should be backed up somewhere else. It’s no fun to lose photos or important data in a hack or crash.
Sensitive files should also be encrypted so there is less of a chance of the information being compromised if the data was stolen. Be careful with names and file data. File data can tell a person where, when, and who made a document.
If you do put any names or phone numbers in cloud storage, use encryption or develop your own code for family and close friends. “Mom” is something everyone knows but “Buzz” could be anyone. Think of childhood nicknames or family references that no one else could possibly know about.
To encrypt files, you want to use a public key encryption. Several companies offer online services or software to encrypt your files, such as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), BoxCrypter, CloudFogger, and SecretSync. There are also cloud companies that offer encryption as part of its services. Encrypted files need a specific decryption tool with your password to view the files.
There is free software available for encrypting files. Read, “The top 24 free tools for data encryption.”
So, why would a prepper want to put anything out there in the cloud?
Preppers are very security minded, sometimes to the point of paranoia, but you know what they say: It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you! Over the past few years we’ve learned that even our own home appliances, cell phones, and laptop cameras can spy on us. So, why put personal, important information out there where it could be accessed by others?
The main reason to consider and use cloud storage is that we don’t stay home all the time, which is where most, or all, of your information is probably stored. Emergency scenarios of all kinds pop up quickly and unexpectedly, leaving us often to wonder, “If I only had my first aid book with me,” or “Where’s that list of essential oils that helps with stomach aches?”
I’ve found myself at the grocery store, wishing I could remember the ingredients to a family recipe. I’ve watched a severe nose bleed happen right in front of me and tried to remember, “Do I tell them to tilt their head backwards or forwards?”
The answers to those questions and thousands more can be stored in the cloud, accessible from a smartphone, tablet, laptop, even a borrowed or public computer. If you lose power and can’t access your computer, your smart phone could access the files you have in the cloud as long as its battery is charged.
Books, manuals, tips, and recipes can reside in a virtual library, if you think of the cloud as your library. Store reference material in the cloud and access it from anywhere in the world. Who cares if you’ve stored a list of sunburn remedies in the cloud or a list of different ways to start a campfire? By all means, store your kid’s summer reading list, names and addresses of pet-friendly hotels, and checklists for various emergency kits. So much of the information we rely on is anything but classified, and yet without it, life suddenly becomes a little more complicated and unsure.
What to store in the cloud for survival situations?
Consider this: If you are evacuated quickly from your home- fire, flood, terror threat- you will not be able to grab everything from your house. What would you still want access to? Perhaps that information should be stored in the cloud, where it will always be handy.
An earthquake or tornado can easily destroy your home and computer in a matter of seconds. Any files you have in the home would probably be destroyed, too. Having your reference material in the cloud means that information is still there for you. If you find yourself having to evacuate, most hotels have at least one computer, with a printer, available for hotel guests.
If you are visiting a friend’s house and want to share a recipe, you can go grab it off the cloud. Just set up a file called “Recipes”, store your favorites, and have them available, always. Perhaps add another file, “Solar Cooking Recipes,” or “Off Grid Recipes”.
Store Important Contact Info
Sooner or later, you’ll need the phone number of a handyman, your insurance agent, a good roofing contractor, or your doctor. That information isn’t security sensitive, so why not include it in a Note or Folder labeled, “Contacts.” Unless it includes your bookie’s email and phone, there’s nothing incriminating!
Entertainment & Education
If you’re stuck in traffic or at the airport, you could access something in the cloud to keep the children entertained, such as knock-knock jokes or favorite short stories. You could also store spelling lists, book lists, and links to educational websites.
A Solution to a Bad Memory
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for our small electronics to go missing. If you’ve forgotten important phone numbers, dates, your schedule — it can all be accessed on the cloud using a friend’s cellphone. I use Google Calendar, which I access from many different sources and have connected my husband’s calendar as well.
TIP: If your smartphone is rendered useless and you keep reference material on it, simply go to your computer and access those files via Dropbox, Google Drive, or some other cloud storage and then restore all of it to a new phone.
Small Business Owners
Use the cloud to store employee contact information, names of vendors, schedules, reference materials, tax documents, and even employee time sheets.
Other types of information that aren’t of a sensitive nature:
- Medical information
- Gardening tips
- Weather information
- Smart prepper tips
- How-to articles
- Pet information
- Weapons manuals
- Directory of repair companies
- Craft ideas and instructions
- Knitting and crochet patterns
- Reference books
- Insurance companies contact information
- Downloadable resources from favorite websites and blogs (Read 16 Tips for Finding Reliable Survival Information on the Internet to learn how to find good sources online.)
- Service manuals
- Home remedies
- Essential oil reference materials
- Lists and photos of edible plants
- Homeschool material
- Canning advice
- Sewing patterns
- Children’s growth stages
- Coloring sheets
- Foreign language lessons
I can’t say putting information out there on a cloud is for everyone, but it is something to consider. A situation may arise where it would be to your advantage to access information from anywhere in the world. What you store in the cloud and what files you encrypt is up to you.
If you decide the cloud is not for you, make sure you have files backed up in a drive that you can grab easily if you need to evacuate. Consider storing essential documents on a thumb drive or in a binder in a trusted family or friends’ safe in case you can’t get yours from your own home.
SURVIVAL MOM’S NOTE: I use Evernote constantly for immediately accessible online storage. It allows me to “clip” articles from the Internet and store them in one of my Evernote Notebooks. I have a few favorite websites and can file all clipped articles in separate Notebooks, one for each site. I have a Recipe Notebook, a journal, Goals Notebook, and several more. It’s a great resource.