Playing Hide-And-Seek With FEMA? Here’s How To Win

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When food shortages come, and you can be sure that they are going to come, FEMA has the authority to take control of all food supplies and distribute them to the needy.

You may be one of the lucky ones who gets overlooked in their search for food, but I doubt that there will be any of us who escape their search for guns.

I’m sure that when that executive order was signed, it was with the intention that they could seize stocks in warehouses, so that they would have food to distribute in the case of an emergency. However, like any law or regulation, if there is a way to misuse the authority, someone will eventually do so.

Since there is no limitation on that executive order, FEMA also has the right to enter your home and my home, stealing our food stockpiles for “distribution” to those in need. In other words, they have the authority for redistribution of wealth.

So the question is, what are you going to do when FEMA shows up at your door to take your guns and food? Better yet, what are you going to do beforehand?

Keep reading to find out the tricks of winning when playing hide and seek with FEMA guys.

Find out more on how to improve your home defense to survive disaster! 

Tricks for Playing Hide-and-Seek with FEMA

The only way you can keep your food and firearms is to make sure that they can’t find them. Any home has a myriad of potential hiding places that will at least suffice for an initial search of your home.

For this, we’re going to depend upon a little bit of psychology. Whoever ends up doing the searching is probably going to have a long list of houses to search. While they may do a thorough job on the first two or three houses they search, the more searches they do, the lazier they will get.

The flip side of that coin is that the more searches they do, the better they will get at doing it. So, while you need to hide things, you need to be sure that they aren’t hidden in places which are common or obvious. So, hiding things under the bed or in the bottom of a dresser drawer are probably out.

There are two basic types of searchers; either they’re searching your home because they’re searching everyone’s home, or they are searching your home because they have a tip that you have something worth seizing. Either way, the searchers are expecting to find something.

Give Them Something to Find

You can play a very effective trick on them by making them think they are smart. Everyone loves to feel like they are smarter than the average bear, so let them think that they are smarter than you. All you have to do to accomplish this is give them something to find. Once they find it, they’ll be convinced of their prowess in defeating you and probably go away happy.

Of course, you don’t want them to get everything, so you need to be careful about how you do this. If it is out in the open, they won’t think they’ve found anything. On the other hand, you don’t want it so well hidden that they end up finding the rest of your stash while looking for it. So, pick a place with that in mind and make it look like a poor concealment job, while everything else is well hidden.

Have enough in this decoy stash to make them think that they’ve found your main stash. They’re not going to go away if they think that you’re pulling the wool over their eyes, so build your decoy stash with enough food to look like it is your main supply. Just make sure that it is inexpensive enough food that losing it doesn’t hurt you that much. Never put anything critical in this stash.

Guns have to be treated differently. You don’t want them to find any of your hidden guns. On the other hand, if they come asking for your guns, they’re probably going to have a pretty good idea of what you have. Even though the law says that the federal government can’t build a database of gun ownership, you can be sure that they have one.

So, when they come asking for your guns, make sure that you have enough guns to give them, so that they think they’ve gotten them all. You can explain away a few guns that are missing by saying you sold them; but you can’t do that with everything.

Of course, if you have guns that are “off the books” because you inherited them or you bought them privately, that’s not going to be a problem. You could always give them the ones that you bought from where you had to fill out the paperwork, and keep the privately purchased ones hidden in your stash, where they don’t know about it.

Be careful about this and think it through well. You need to have your story well planned, so that you know what you are going to say when they show up. You also need to watch out for ammunition. If you tell them you’ve sold your M1911 A1, but still have 500 rounds of .45 ammo, they’re not going to believe you. Everything has to match up with your story.

16 Places to Safely Hide Your Stash

Instead of finding one area to put everything (which is more obvious and easy to find) you’re going to be better off with a few small hiding places. If they do find one of your small hiding places, the rest of them may still manage to escape detection.

The best possible hiding places are those that are totally sealed off, denying anyone access to them: buried in the garden, inside the walls, or hidden rooms. While this means that you won’t have access to them on a regular basis, you will always be able to get to them in case of emergency.

Attics and basements are the first to be searched, but they still offer a plethora of useful hiding spaces disguised as other things:

False Ductwork

If your home is heated by forced-air heating, you can easily add some false ductwork to hide things in. Use the same type of ductwork as the existing and connect it to the ductwork that is already there; however, it doesn’t have to be open to the existing ductwork for air to pass through. Most people don’t know enough about HVAC systems to tell that you’ve added ductwork.

False Drain Pipes

Toilet drains are four inch PVC pipe. Like HVAC ductwork, most people don’t know enough to tell if it is real or fake. You can add additional drain pipes that go from ceiling to floor, without connecting them to the home’s existing plumbing. You will need a flange at both ends to hold it in place.

Above Basement Ceilings

Most people use suspended acoustical ceilings when they finish their basements. If you have this, you can remove the ceiling tiles and attach shelves to the sides of the joists to store things on. With the tiles in place, you can’t tell they are there.

Below Attic Floors

Most people’s attics aren’t finished in any way. If you add a plywood floor to part of your attic, you can store lightweight items under it. Please note that those things will only be supported by drywall, so you don’t want a lot of weight.

Hiding in Plain Sight

The typical attic or basement is at least partially filled with boxes of grandma’s old quilt and baby clothes that you’ll never use. You can store some of your stockpile in these boxes, below the existing items. Just make sure that the boxes that have your stockpile in them are not easy to get to.

Video first seen on HouseholdHacker.

Inside Other Items

If you have unused furniture, kids toys or any other large items in your attic or basement, you can always hide something inside them.

The main living area of your home offers a number of possibilities as well, although things may not be quite as well hidden or as hard to find:

False Heat Registers and Electrical Outlets

It’s easy to add false heat registers and electrical outlets into walls. All you need to do is to cut a hole and mount them with the included screws. Since the inside of the wall is hollow, you have room to store whatever you want. Just be careful to place the outlets and registers in places that look like they belong. Behind furniture works extremely well. 

Under the Stairs

Many two story homes have a closet or other storage space under the stairs. However, this usually doesn’t use all the space, but only the space that is high enough for a closet. You can open up the lower part, fill it with food and put a piece of drywall over it to cover it. This drywall doesn’t even need to be well finished, as it will be hidden.

Inside the Washer and Dryer

Washing machines and dryers have extra space inside the cabinet, which is not taken up by the drum and mechanism. You can use this space to store food, as long as you make sure that it won’t interfere with the movement of the mechanism.

Inside Furniture

Most furniture has some wasted space in it. Dressers will have wasted space at the bottom. Sofas have wasted space under the cushions and in the back. The space in the bottom of a dresser can be accessed by removing the bottom drawer. To access the dead space in a sofa or upholstered chair requires removing the dust cover on the bottom. Likewise, the box springs for a bed has a lot of dead space, which is only covered by a thin dust cover. Remove the cover, build a place to store food and put the cover back on.

Bathroom Cabinets

The drawer front on a bathroom cabinet or kitchen sink cabinet is false, only there for appearances. There isn’t enough room for a drawer there. However, there is a small amount of room between that drawer front and the sink. A small shelf can be installed there to store things.

Above Closet Doors

Most homes have closets with bifold or sliding doors. People rarely look up when they look in those closets. A shelf can be mounted above the door, inside the closet and things stored there. While it plain sight, few searchers will see it.

Under the Floor

A small storage area can be made by peeling up a corner of the carpet and cutting a trap door in the floor. This works best when a piece of furniture, such as an end table, will be sitting over that corner, keeping the carpet in place.

The soffit over kitchen cabinets

Many kitchens have a built-in soffit over the kitchen wall cabinets. This is dead space, built more for decorative purposes than any other reason. A hole can be made in the soffit and it can be filled with food or other items. The hole can be closed by installing a heat register, making it look like the soffit is part of the HVAC system.

The Toe Kick under the Kitchen and Bathroom Base Cabinets

It hides about four inches of dead space, all the way to the back of the cabinet. This can be removed and reinstalled with spring catches.


If your home has two stories with dormers, there is a considerable amount of dead space in the eaves. The only problem is installing a hidden access to the eaves. You will also need to floor over the joists, as the only existing floor is the drywall to the ceiling of the rooms below.

Video first seen on JLaservideo.

The Secrets of Burial Vaults for Storage

If you are going to bury anything in your back yard, you need to make sure that it is well sealed to protect it from moisture. Most containers, even plastic bins, don’t offer this type of protection. However, it’s really not all that hard to protect them.

The easiest way to protect things you want to bury underground is to buy a bunch of five gallon buckets with lids. Try to buy the kind that doesn’t have a bung in the lid (opening for pouring out of), as these will seal better. Also check to make sure that the lid has a rubber seal in the groove that snaps onto the bucket. Without this seal, the bucket is not moisture proof. Take heed, not all have this seal. Be sure to use new lids, as they will seal better.

Another way you can make storage vaults is with four inch PVC pipe. You can either glue the caps on the ends or glue a cap on one end, with a screw-on cap on the other. I prefer the glue-on cap, as the screw on ones can be as hard to remove as the glue on ones are. This isn’t the type of container that you’re going to be opening regularly, so you don’t really need that screw-on lid. Just be sure that you have a few saws hidden in different places to get the caps off with.

One nice thing about using PVC pipe to make storage vaults is that you can easily make holes in the ground to hide them with a standard post-hole digger. Burying five gallon buckets requires a bit bigger hole. If you have hard ground, you might have trouble burying them.

Make sure that you clearly define the location of your buried vaults in some secret way that only you will know. Use more than one point of reference, as your favorite tree may die, eliminating it as a point of reference.

As you can see, the list is nearly endless. Use your imagination and seek out all the unused areas of your home. Look at things to compare the usable space inside to the physical space it takes up. For example, when you look at a dresser, you see that the drawers aren’t as wide as the cabinet. That means there is space on either side of the drawers; space that you can use to hide something.

You are the one who’s able to find the best hiding places in your home, you just need to keep in mind the tricks for a good hiding place.

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This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia. 

The 7 Rules Of How Not To Become A Target

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There’s a military axiom which says,“The best defense is a good offense.” I have my own, modified version of this. It goes, “The best defense is not becoming a target.” What I mean by that is that if nobody has a reason for attacking you, you won’t have to worry about being attacked.

You’ve got to realize that in the aftermath of any crisis, people are going to be on the prowl. You’ve seen it on the news reports; people looting, stealing, breaking into homes, even rooting around in garbage dumpsters for the things that they need to survive.

You’re going to see it again; only this time, you’ll see it much more up close and personal. That’s why you need to learn how not to become a target.

While there are no accurate figures as to how many preppers there are in the United States, estimates put it at somewhere between two and three million people. The rest of the people out there are expecting FEMA to come to the rescue, riding on a white horse and with federal government funds (otherwise known as your tax dollars) in their hands to solve all their problems.

Since most people only have less than three days’ worth of food in their homes, it won’t take long for all those millions of people out there to get desperate. Then they’ll start hunting. They’re first stop will be the stores, which will be cleaned out of anything useful. Then, they’ll start preying on each other.

There will only be two basic ways to prevent being attacked. The first is to look so strong to the attacker that they decide to leave you alone and find somebody else to pick on. Not only is that rather expensive to accomplish, it’s just about like putting up a billboard on the roof of your home that says, “Preppers Live Here!”.

The other way is to fool people into thinking that there’s nothing to be gained by attacking you. Poor people generally don’t think of stealing from other poor people, unless they see that the other poor person has something that they want.

The general assumption is,“They’re as poor as I am, it’s not worth attacking them.” Instead, they go looking for somebody who’s going to have something worth stealing. That somebody else is you, unless of course, they don’t realize that you have anything worth grabbing. Therein lies the secret; making it look like you’re not worth bothering with.

You’re home defense problems are going to be greatly lessened if they don’t come to attack you. So, it’s important to do everything you can to make sure that they don’t know who you are, what you have, or that you are living any better than they are.

If you’re living like everything is hunky-dory, that will be like putting up that billboard again. Many of the things that you are doing to prepare for a disaster can very easily make you and your home stand out, making you into the target that you don’t want to be.

Even while you’re enjoying your stockpile of food and drinking from your well, using the light produced by your solar panels, you don’t want others to know.

Find out more on how to improve your layered home defense to survive disaster! 

How Does OPSEC Help You?

All this is called Operational Security, or OPSEC. In the military, it’s the idea of denying the enemy information about who you are, what you’re doing, what your capabilities are and what your plans are. That’s really no different than what you need to do with your prepping. You need to deny the same information to all the people around you who might want what you have.

Light Discipline

One of the easiest giveaways that you are in better shape than your neighbors is having lights shining out of your windows, when everyone else’s power is out. Most preppers have alternate sources to provide their home with power in the case of an emergency.

Even so, if people see that light shining through the windows, they’re going to be wondering where it is coming from, and why you are the only one who has electricity. To stay safe, use low wattage electric lights, that won’t be so obvious.

If you have a battery backup system, you can run wires through your house to run 12 volt automotive lights. These may not be as bright as what you’re used to, but they will provide enough light for most activities.

The best thing to do is to install blackout curtains. These are dark, heavy curtains, which are designed to prevent light from escaping through the windows. They need to be made of heavy fabric and be larger than the window, so that they cover the window and can seal the space around it.

Don’t forget about flashlights either. While there will be other people with flashlights, the longer the disaster lasts, the less batteries there will be available for them. If you have to use a flashlight, use it sparingly, and do whatever you can to hood the light and keep it from being obvious.

In the military, they use a red lens on flashlights, with a light blocker behind it. The light blocker is a solid plate, with just a pinhole in the middle. Between the two, very little light escapes, keeping it from being seen from far away.

Video first seen on SensiblePrepper.


Unless you’re one of those fortunate people who has a propane stove or a cast-iron one, you’re probably going to be doing your cooking outdoors, which means cooking on your grille or in a fire pit. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a good alternative for when your kitchen is out of order, but there is a very high risk that your neighbors are going to know exactly what you’re cooking. If that’s a pot of beans and rice, it won’t be such a big deal, but if you’re cooking steaks every night, everybody will know about this.

The longer you go without power, the greater a problem that’s going to be. The first couple of days after the power goes out, you’re probably going to smell a lot of steaks on the grille, as people try to use up what they’ve got in the freezer before it can go bad.

But once that first few days are over, there won’t be too many people with steaks to grill.

This is one of those cases that you can cover up with a bit of subterfuge. Hopefully, you’ve got a good enough relationship with your neighbors, that you’ll be helping each other out in a crisis.

So, if you go hunting and get a deer, it would seem normal that you would pass on some meat to your neighbors. Hopefully, the next week one of them will go hunting and share with you as well. If everyone in the neighborhood is grilling meat outdoors once a week, it won’t seem all that strange. The rest of your meat can be turned into jerky, and used in soups and stew that way.

Spices are another thing that can give away your abundance of food. When people are eating the most basic of foods, their sense of smell for well-seasoned food can actually be increased. If they smell well-seasoned food coming from your back yard, that will serve as another indicator that you have food.

I firmly believe in stocking spices, and I like well-seasoned foods. However, if my spice rack is going to cause me trouble, I’ll put a padlock on it and throw away the key. My family’s survival is more important to me than having gourmet meals.


Simple things can give everything away, especially to people who are looking for them. If you have a bunch of trash piling up at the curb and somebody is going to take a look in it and find a bunch of empty food packages, they’re instantly going to know that you have food while everyone else is starving.

The easiest way to solve the problem is to burn your trash. You’ve got to be careful about that, though, as burning trash could be a give away in and of itself. However, if you’re cooking outside over a fire, there’s nothing to say that you can’t use your trash to start the fire and burn some more of it as fuel. That will serve two purposes for you; get rid of the trash, and save your stock of fuel.

The same can be done if you’re using a fireplace to heat your home. Since you’ll be burning wood in it anyway, throwing some packages in there as well won’t be a problem. Once again, this can serve to dispose of the trash, while helping provide heat to your home.

If there’s no other possibility, then hide your trash in your basement or backyard, being sure to separate edible garbage from trash. The edible garbage can go into a compost heap, eliminating it, which will also help cut down on the stench from storing so much trash.

Appearance of Your Home

If you are in an area that was hit by a hurricane, there will be a lot of damage to homes and other buildings. While there might be a few which avoid any major damage, they will be few and far between. If your home is the only one in the area which doesn’t look like it sustained any damage, then it might look suspicious to people passing by. Likewise, if you manage to get it repaired faster than anyone else.

An easy thing that you can do to make your home look more damaged and increase your physical security in other ways, at the same time, is to put plywood over your windows. Some people who live in hurricane prone areas have pre-cut pieces which they can install whenever needed. If you have these, or can make some out of plywood, it will help make your home appear abandoned.

At the same time, those pieces of plywood will prevent anyone from seeing what’s going on inside and help keep any light from your lamps indoors. Should anyone decide to attack your home, plywood is fairly hard to break, making it harder for them to come through your windows.

Any gardening for fresh vegetables or livestock you have needs to be hidden in the back yard, preferably behind a privacy fence. If people don’t see it, hopefully they won’t think it’s there.

Noise Discipline

Noise can be another dead giveaway. The average person doesn’t realize how much noise they create, just doing everyday chores. That noise will show that your home is occupied. If you want to appear like an abandoned home, you’ve got to control the noise.

Even besides that, if you’re not trying to present the image of being an abandoned home, you still want to watch your noise levels, especially any sounds made by electronic devices.

If you have music playing in your home or your kids are watching a movie on the TV, it can probably be heard from outside your home. People hearing it will wonder how it is that you have electric power, when they don’t.

It’s not too much of a leap of imagination from there to wondering what else you might have that they can use.

Kids can be a real problem when it comes to noise discipline. If you have children, especially small ones, you’ll need to watch them constantly to keep them quiet. The best way to do this is to keep them busy with tasks that don’t make a lot of noise. Get them to help you and your wife around the house as well, making them a part, rather than just leaving them to play.


You’re going to be more physically active in the aftermath of a disaster, than you are today. Just trying to survive is going to keep you and your whole family busy.

Pretty much everything you do will have to be done manually,without the benefit of modern conveniences. That’s going to be a lot of hard physical work.

Trying to hide all this activity will be virtually impossible. Even so, there are a few things that you can do to camouflage your actions. More than anything, you can try and make your actions look like those around you. They’ll be busy trying to survive as well, so your actions to look like you are trying to survive shouldn’t look all that different.

Many things, like going to collect water from a nearby stream or lake will be the same as your neighbors are doing. Here again, you have a great opportunity for cooperation. If you can work together to collect and haul water, then you’ll just be part of the group.

You’ll also make the job easier for both of you, as you can help each other out. Of course, you’ll be the one with the water filtration system, so maybe you can help them out with that, in exchange for them helping you out in other ways.

Keep as much of your survival activity in your house or backyard as you possibly can. That will limit the number of people who can see what you’re doing to your immediate family and your immediate neighbors.

Here again you can co-opt them in your plans, by helping them. If they see you working in the backyard, growing vegetables, offer to help them get their garden started too; possibly in exchange for some labor.

Personal Appearance

With food shortages all around you, there’s a good chance that people are going to be losing weight. If you’re not, this could be another sign that you’re in much better shape, supply-wise than anyone else. In a town full of malnutrition, a chubby person is going to stand out like a sore thumb.

Of course, if you’re already thin, you’re not going to have a problem with this. It’s only those who are currently a bit on the heavy side that are going to end up looking a bit strange to others. They might want to go on that diet that they were talking about for years, as part of their OPSEC routine.

In addition to weight, there are other considerations about your appearance that you should keep in mind. Clean clothing, shoes that are in good condition, shaving, haircuts, and nail polish are all things that will stand out like a sore thumb, if nobody else around you has them.

Once again, this is one of those things that’s going to get worse with time. At the beginning, everyone will look fairly normal. But as the lack of soap and water make an impact, people will wear their clothes longer, even though they’re dirty, wash their hair less frequently, and let their beards grow.

To some extent, you can get away with not looking like everyone else in this case, as long as it is easily explainable to the people around you. If they see you hauling more water than anyone else, they won’t have a problem with you wearing clean clothes.

If they see your wife cut your hair, they won’t think much of it. As long as there’s an explanation, they won’t worry about it.

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This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia. 

9+ Essential Items For Your Bedroom Survival Kit

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Survivopedia 9+ Essential Items For Your Bedroom Survival Kit

We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so there is a good chance that you will awake to some sort of emergency at some point, if you haven’t already.

There you are, sound asleep until you are jolted awake by a bump in the night, a deafening siren, the rumbling of an earthquake or the shouts of a loved one. How prepared are you?

The purpose of the gear you have bedside should be to get you oriented and situationally aware and then get you to a safe room (often the master bedroom closet). This will delay attackers and provides hard cover as well as structural support against disaster to keep you safe and give you time to communicate and ready an appropriate response whatever emergency you are facing.

Situational Awareness

As you start awake, the first order of business is whether this is like a thousand other times you have awakened and gone back to sleep or whether this time is different.

Since you may be making that determination in a state of sleep drunkenness, it is to your benefit to make use of tools that can improve your situational awareness.

1. Worn Equipment

I make a habit of wearing an ordinary-looking necklace that has a small LED on it and some restraint escape tools inside it. This way I can always find my way in the dark, start a fire and have a shot at escape should I be unlawfully detained, even if I am hauled out of bed in the middle of the night in my underwear or otherwise caught at a disadvantage.

I started wearing it because I travel to places where the kidnapping of US citizens is a significant threat, but I found it so useful to always have an LED handy that I just kept wearing it. I vary its configuration depending on where I am and what I am doing.

The Survival Necklace

You can purchase a basic necklace pre-tied from Oscar Delta or contact them and ask if they’ll build you a custom model that meets your needs and level of training, which may require that you email them from a DOD or Department email, depending on what you want, since they are in the UK.

I suggest that you learn to tie and build your own so you can customize it as your environment and needs change and because survival is the king of all DIY pursuits. If you need help, just ask.

Survival Necklace

I’ll list the contents of mine as it is today, but I change it as needed and tie new ones as old ones get worn out in life or used in training.

  • Technora 200 Friction Saw – Cut zip ties, flex cuffs, rope.
  • Zirferrotech Zircon Ceramic Microstriker Bead – Great ferro rod striker and breaks tempered glass (side & rear car windows) with surprisingly little force both due to its extreme hardness. Your car door could be jammed in a crash, you could need to exit the rear of a vehicle when the locks have been disabled or you could need to safely break auto glass to rescue someone else. Non-ferrous.
  • Tungsten Carbide Microstriker Bead – Like the wheel on a lighter. Breaks tempered glass.
  • Large Fishing Swivel – I could have used any number of snap hooks but wanted mine to be able to pull double duty as fishing gear if needed. I just smooth any sharp edges.
  • SO LED – Red or White light models made by CountyComm. Availability is spotty but very inexpensive so buy a bunch if you find them. The slide switch is easy to actuate with one hand. Positive on/off. Simple design. MOLLE/snap clip accessory for bags and gear.
  • Silicone Tubing – Fuel line tubing conceals handcuff key and bobby pin.
  • Advanced Handcuff Key 3 – Matches the tooth spacing for TOOOL’s ultimate handcuff key. SnakeDr removed some metal from the barrel on this model so it works with the maximum number of high security handcuff models possible and still opens standard handcuffs.
  • Bobby Pin – “Reach around” tool for the handcuff key in case you get illegally detained in handcuffs with your fingers away from the keyways. Handcuff shim, lock pick, lock tension tool, sharp bit of metal to work knots or duct tape, etc.
  • Ferro/Magnesium Toggle – I use Availability is hit and miss, but they are the best performing ferro rods I have tested to date and I have tested dozens. The bond between the magnesium and ferro rod is probably as strong as either and this combination gives magnesium to use as tinder which is a big plus in the Rocky Mountains in winter or in 99% humidity in the Brazilian jungle.

2. Light and Footwear

If you are jarred awake by an earthquake or similarly destructive event, your bedroom windows may be all over your bedroom floor, making footwear necessary to prevent injury.

When you wake, your eyes are adjusted to the dark, but you need enough light to orient yourself and grab what you need without making racket.

I prefer an LED with a low red setting work setting to save my night vision while I get my bearings when I wake up in the night. I tried the Streamlight Sidewinder Compact Military IR but it turned out to have a design flaw.


The switch takes a lot of force to turn and is just soldered to the circuit board without any load bearing support to the housing so they end up breaking after a year or so of moderate use.

I replaced it with the Petzl Strix IR, which has been rock solid to date. It has an IR IFF strobe, but lacks a visible strobe. I guess Petzl decided that was outside the scope of use for this type of light.

3. Cell Phone & Charging Cradle

Your smart phone can be a powerful tool for situational awareness, but the problem is that mobile voice service is often the first thing to stop working in a major emergency, so be sure to choose emergency notification services that notify you via text messaging.

If you haven’t yet, check out the National Weather Service page if you are in the USA or the equivalent in other countries and choose SMS notification services that are the best fit for the risks you face based on your location, climate, employment, etc.

Most of the notification services are free, but you can always pay for more features. Get the FEMA app if you are in the US (I haven’t had any black helicopters come for me yet) and any other notification services that apply to you.

Just keep in mind that these notification services are third party and are no substitute for All Hazards Weather Radio. The technology necessary to run the cellular phone network makes it inherently fragile. Because the All Hazards Weather Radio system is much simpler, it is much less fragile.

4. Public Alert Certified All Hazards Radio

Midland WR-120 Public Alert Certified RadioEvery survivalist should have one of these radios!

They can notify you of severe weather alerts, large scale disasters alerts such as earthquakes or any event warranting notification of the public and has saved my bacon more than once.

Given that most of us spend a third of our lives sleeping, without something to wake us up in an emergency, we very well may sleep right through the first crucial hours of an emergency. In an emergency where it is necessary to bug out to survive, you very well may miss your window.

As I consult with survivalists, I often find that they have spent thousands of dollars on 4-wheel drive vehicles and bug out bags and made elaborate preparations to bug out, but don’t have a $30-$60 Public Alert Certified radio that close a chink in their armor that leaves them exposed 33% of the time.

It’s good to have that warning the other 67% of the time that you are not sleeping as well.

There are two types of All Hazards Weather Radio:

  • NOAA Certified
  • NOAA Public Alert Certified.

Here, we are focused on the later. Many radios are NOAA certified, but not Public Alert Certified. They will receive NOAA alerts and can listen to weather radio channels but lack many of the features of Public Alert Certified radios, which are programmable with codes for each county to only receive alerts for the counties you specify.

They are programmable by severity, have a “wake up” feature that allows alerts to turn on the radio, display information important about the threat as a banner in their LED display, and have ports to attach external notification devices such as strobe lights, sirens or pillow shakers to help notify the hearing impaired and talk to other equipment.

To clarify, the words “Public Alert Certified” only appear on the programmable radios with external notification and auto wake up. If possible, you want a radio that is not programmable to your county, type of threat and threat level. Otherwise, your radio will constantly alert you to events that will not affect you.

By telling the radio what you are and are not concerned about (programming it) you can eliminate false alarms.

5. Security System Reporting Mechanisms

If you have a home security system, make sure that you have reporting mechanisms at your bedside. Many older alarm panels will tell you which zone was breached, but this will not be of any help unless you have a panel installed beside your bed so you can see it.

Many newer systems can send notifications and even real-time video to your cell phone, but may need Internet access to do so. Make sure that all alarm sensor and reporting has battery backup all the way from every sensor to the panel to your hub, switch or router to your cell phone.

If your system includes Dakota Alert MURS sensors, you will want a MURS radio receiver on your nightstand.

History has many survival lessons to teach on the subject of situational awareness sans electrical grid.

In the 1800’s in Utah Territory, there lived a man named Orrin Porter Rockwell.

Depending on who’s account you read, Porter Rockwell was an outlaw, a lawman, a bodyguard, a tracker and a scout in the Nauvoo Legion that waged a guerrilla campaign of harassment, robbing and burning supply trains, and preventing resupply of the US Army in the Utah War.

Porter was as famous as famous a gunfighter as Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Bat Masterson or Tom Horn in his time and killed more men than all of them combined.

Between the friends and family of those he killed, upstart gunfighters looking to make a name, the men he jailed and those he fought against in the Utah War and other skirmishes, he certainly had to watch his back.

His employment had him on the trail tracking outlaws and guiding parties West to California during the gold rush which had him returning to the Salt Lake Valley alone and sometimes sleeping off a night of drinking on the trail, so Porter developed a strategy to give him some warning.

You might expect a man like Porter to have a large ferocious dog, but as many miles as he made horseback in a day would have killed most domestic breeds. Instead, he chose a little white dog that could ride with him horseback, behind his saddle.

He trained the dog to lick his face to wake him instead of barking when someone approached his camp. Porter’s portable biological alarm system helped him to die of old age instead of a bullet and is easily duplicated today and even easier if you don’t travel on horseback.

6. Smoke, Flammable Gas and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It is easy to plan for the spectacular but improbable (based on history) threats and neglect threats that cause a lot of death and suffering. Make sure you have detectors throughout your home and in your bedroom.


Situational Awareness Is Key Gear Can't Help You If You Are Asleep

So, you are now awake at bedside with your headlamp and footwear, have identified a threat or possible threat and it’s time to act. For most threats, you will sound an alarm (if necessary, to alert other members of the household) strap on your home defense waist pack and make for your safe room.

7. Home Defense Pouch

A standard preparation that I recommend is to seek professional self-defense, firearms and legal training and then put together His & Hers’ home defense waist packs as-long-as it is legal for you and your spouse to carry concealed weapons in your home.

If you carry openly, a belt can serve the same purpose. The idea behind this approach is that you can grab a single piece of gear, buckle it on and have the basic tools of self-defense at your disposal. I recommend keeping this in a hidden and locked safe that can be accessed quickly and in the dark.

I am not alone amongst firearms instructors in recommending this approach. Should you come out on top in defending your life, a second battle begins, one that will determine your liberty.

Consider your jurisdiction, the laws and how officers, prosecutors and judges may apply them. Depending on their dispositions, you may have a better chance of not going prison if you use ordinary-looking equipment and firearms than if you sleep with full battle rattle at the side of your bed.

Self Defense Pouch Contents & Training Gear for Drill with Hand to Hand

The main purpose of the home defense pouch is to give you the tools you need to fight your way to the cover of a safe room.

Click here to get your Green Beret’s Guide To Combat Shooting Mastery & Active Shooter Defense!

8. Home Defense Waist Pack

  • Centerfire Pistol with tritium sights – You need to be able to see your sights. You can keep a sidearm in the waist pack or place your sidearm in the waist pack when you take it off at the end of the day.
  • Spare Magazine or Speed Loader
  • Tactical Flashlight – You need to clearly identify intent, ability and opportunity and see what is behind your attacker.
  • Knife – Will never experience a stoppage and won’t run out of ammunition until you stop swinging.
  • Less-lethal Option – Lethal force is not always the best solution.
  • Compact GSW Kit – Any time you strap on a firearm you should also strap on a trauma kit.
  • Cell Phone – You are not going to want to have to go looking for a cell phone if you need to use this waist pack.

9. Turnout Bag

You may have seen firefighters using turnout bags to get ready quickly without forgetting anything. Under the stress of a life and death emergency, we are more likely than normal to forget things.

Checklists and turnout bags help mitigate this risk. It is important for survivalists to include checklists in turnout bags because we need to include ID, passports and other items that we can often only have one copy of. I keep these items in an EDC valet and check them off as I turnout.

The turnout bag concept lends itself handily to the Modular Survival Kit Model as turnout bags and specific ensembles can be layered on top of turnout gear as needed based on threat, mission, environment, climate, mode of transport and other relevant factors. You can read more about turnout bags and checklists here.

Common Types of Turnout Bags and Ensembles

  • Covert (Everyday) TOB – Normal “gray” concealed carry clothing in earth tones.
  • Overt TOB – Minuteman bag with overt camouflage.
  • First Responder – If you work or volunteer as a first responder (or plan to) you will need a dedicated turnout bag for that.
  • CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Ensemble – These threats require specific personal protective equipment and training.
  • Extreme Cold Weather Ensemble, Covert
  • Extreme Cold Weather, Overt

Safe Room

A safe room provides a protected area to shelter in place or to get ready out of your turnout bag before grabbing your bug out bag and proceeding to an assembly area in the event that your home becomes unsafe.

Many families decide to locate safe rooms in master bedroom closets or adjacent to them. Locating it at ground level or above gives heavier-than-air gases someplace else to go, but requires more shielding to protect against radiation if it is planned to also serve as a fallout shelter.

Safe Room Features

  • Turnout Bags
  • Hard Cover – Protection against small arms. If you lack the funds, you can measure between studs and pour steel-reinforced concrete panels to install between them.
  • Structural Reinforcement – Protection against earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes.
  • Reinforced Locking Steel Door – To slow down aggressors.
  • Alarm Panel
  • Monitor – For cameras so you can monitor the situation outside. Lacking money for this for my first safe room, I installed a framed one-way mirror which worked well and didn’t require power.
  • Long Guns with Lights – Don’t forget spare ammunition and a PC way to carry. Carrying it in a satchel instead of a plate carrier may avoid the appearance that you were hoping to need it.
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Escape & Utility Shutoff Tools – The rubble you escape from may not resemble the home you live in today. Windows and doors may jamb or be blocked.
  • First Aid & Trauma Kit – Include gear based on your family medical needs and risks such as Epi-pens, inhalers, insulin or Naloxone which can save lives.
  • Concealed Emergency Exit
  • Water & Food
  • Blankets & Pillows
  • Portable Toilet
  • Bug Out Bags
  • Materials to Flag Your Home – Flagging your own home can save time and may keep Search and Rescue personnel from breaking into your home to search it if you decide to evacuate. I will write an article describing how to do this.


Independent of what preparations you decide to implement, training will help iron out the kinks.

Start the drill in bed, dressed as you normally sleep. Don’t cheat and think you have it down because small details matter here and differentiate your precise situation, equipment and body from everyone else’s.

Note the time and kill the lights. Choose a few different emergency scenarios based on the types of emergencies you believe to be most probable. Run through the most probable. Note the time when you finish.

Debrief afterwards nothing what worked smoothly and effectively and was less effective than you would like and make changes. Running the most probable scenarios in sets of three times each will give the best return on your skill training.

When you are comfortable with the drill, work it in as the first step in a timed bug out drill. There is no substitute for experience, but stressed, timed training is about as close as you can get without responding to real emergencies.



This article was written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.


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10 Secret Ways To Turn The Panic Room Into A Bunker

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Panic Room

Even if you travel to the ends of the Earth to reach the perfect bug out location, or you think you have everything accounted for in a bug in scenario, your survival may depend on  the contents and security  of a single room.

Some people feel panic rooms are useless, or that escaping is always a better option, but a panic room is really useful until immediate dangers pass.

When used with awareness of the pitfalls of panic rooms and within the context of a comprehensive survival plan, panic rooms can save your life. Here are the right answers  that will help you turn your panic room into the safest location on earth.

You Need Safe Entrances and Exits

Some preppers disregard the usefulness of panic rooms because once you go into the room, there is usually no other exit. If someone that intends to cause you harm finds the entrance or manages to break in through some other part of the room, you will have no way to escape.

Is there any way to solve this issue? I think there are some ways you can try to mitigate this problem and still have a panic room located close enough to where you live. Here’s what to do:

  • Have at least two entrances or exits to the panic room.  One should be well hidden in a wall or some other area where it will not be easily found.  The other entrance should lead underground or through some other route that would not be easy to follow.
  • Both entrances should be booby trapped so that they are destroyed once you pass through them (use the traps only if you want to prevent others from reaching you.) For example, if you have an entrance behind a closet in your home, set traps so that the building or parts of it near the entrance collapse. Even if someone enters the home looking for you, it may take a few hours, or even a few days before they are able to find the doorway or the panic room. If you must exit the panic room by the second doorway, make sure that no one can follow you by setting the entire room to collapse.
  • If you are escaping through an underground tunnel, or moving from tunnels, through crawlspaces, or other unusual routes, do not forget to booby trap them as well. Remember, you won’t be trying to go back along the way you came, but you may need to slow attackers down as they pursue you.
  • City dwellers and others that rely on building shafts or underground tunnels should travel through these areas at least 3 – 4 times a year. Make as many diverse routes and maps as possible, plus be aware of all risks associated with being or surfacing in certain areas.

Get Electronic and Manual Surveillance

If you are going to box yourself and your loved ones into a room, you still need to know what is going on in the world around you. Cameras and surveillance equipment may seem important, however, they can fail at the wrong moment, be tapped into by adversaries, or even alert others to the fact you may be hiding somewhere nearby.

That’why, before purchasing and setting up these devices, always make sure that you know what their vulnerabilities are, and whether or not you can get around them.

Rather than rely solely on electronic surveillance equipment, consider some manual methods that can be used regardless of the situation. When building your panic room, look into different natural acoustic systems that will enable you to pick up different sounds around you without revealing your presence.

Use these listening posts in combination with dogs, insects, or other animals that will either make noise, or stop making noise when someone else is around. You can also use mirrors set at different angles to see further into nearby rooms that are located near the entrance of your panic room.

Don’t Forget About Secure Communications

Great care must be taken when choosing communications equipment for the panic room. Not every situation will be one in which you don’t want others to find you.

For example, if there is a tornado or other natural disaster, you’ll need to be able to call out to rescue teams or anyone else that can get to you, so keep a cell phone with  you, and also a ham radio.

When setting up the panic room, make sure that you can get a signal out so that you can call for help. Or you can install phone lines and other communication lines in such a way that they won’t be destroyed in a disaster scenario.

Considering the way the world is going these days, there may be times when you need to reach out to other survivors without drawing attention from rioters or others that might harm you.

In these cases, cell phone, radio, and most other signals can lead attackers right to you, so you could try using trained carrier pigeons or other animals that can be relied on to deliver messages. It will take more time than you like, but it may be better than doing nothing at all.

Depending on  the distances involved, spark gap generators combined with unique codes similar to Morse Code may be of use.  If there are other survivors that may take to panic rooms in your local area, you can set up acoustic pathways between buildings or along underground paths that can be used to transmit tapping or banging sounds.

Trained animals may pick up these sounds at greater distances and be used to draw other survivors to a place where they can better hear the signals being sent.  Just remember that prospective attackers may also have trained animals available to pick up sounds. This is why working out a unique code that is only known to those you trust is very important.

How To Build A Panic Room

Basic Daily Living Need Supplies to Store

Food, water, hygiene products, medications, first aid kits, clothing, and other basic items are important to be stored in your panic room.  Since you may be staying in for days, weeks, or even months, there are some other things that could help you survive:

  • Blankets and other equipment that you can use to keep warm or cool off
  • Weapons for your defense
  • Verified safe mushroom starter kits for mushrooms that will mature in just a few days or weeks, and seeds for sprout gardens
  • Insect farms and necessary eggs for growing and maintaining successful colonies
  • Lighting and soil sufficient for growing key herbs that can be used to manage medical and first aid needs.
  • Zeer pots and ice/salt chests that can be used for refrigeration. You might be preparing most of your foods from fresh sources, and you’ll need at least some refrigeration onhand.
  • Printed reference or “how to” materials that can be used to help you manage different needs while in the panic room. Since modern computers and cell phones all contain tracking chips, keep them off and with the power source (including backup batteries) disconnected to protect your location. Rely on printed materials as opposed to looking them up on an electronic device.
  • Fire starting and other basic emergency gear that you can take with you if you have to leave the panic room.  Try to fit everything into a single “bug in” bag so that you can live mainly from that bag and travel at a moment’s notice.
  • Simple hand tools such as screw drivers, hammers, nails, wrenches, measuring tapes, sewing kits, wrenches, crowbar, ax, and saws, and maybe goggles, ear plugs, and dust masks. You probably won’t be doing much with these tools while you are in the panic room, but they might become useful if you have to plan your way out.

Is It Secure From Information Gathering Methods?

One of the most important things about a panic room is that it must be difficult, if not impossible to detect. Unfortunately, most people stop at sound proofing and do not consider other technologies that can be used to find panic rooms above and below ground. Since this technology is always changing, do you research to figure out how to best secure the room.

For example, not so long ago, an underground bunker or panic room was considered best because few things could detect the outline of the room or what was inside. Today, ground penetrating radars can easily reveal the location of a panic room and also the exact location of the exits.

If you decide to have the panic room above ground, be aware that there are now systems that can “see” inside houses and reveal the presence of guns, people, and anything else of interest. Make sure that the room will not reveal itself on thermal imaging sweeps as well as ones designed to pick up different kinds of objects within a location.

In just about every case, the way things are distributed through the room will be a key factor. For example, if you have water stored in the panic room, break up the locations so that the box-like shape of the cases doesn’t register. Always try to make everything either look like a natural formation (for the setting in question) or so small that a single item would be mistaken for some kind of debris or simply  seem to belong there.

Make the size and shape of the room as irregular as possible. For underground panic rooms, study how underground caves and caverns look. Think about how entrances, exits, and tunnels can be disguised so that even if they are detected with various kinds of equipment, they will be overlooked.

If the panic room is located in a wall or some other part of a building, make it look like a space that no person would be living or hiding in. If necessary, store your caches of equipment in different areas that you can get to easily enough. Make sure that all paths between caches are also protected from different kinds of surveillance equipment.

Choose Walls, Floors, Ceilings, and Doors that Cannot Be Breached

Do you fear the panic room won’t resist? Here are just a few things that the walls of a panic room must be able to withstand:

  • Bullets, grenades, or any other propelled munition –  sand bags, earth, and thick layers of cement may be your cheapest and best options.
  • Nuclear radiation – earth and water will be your two cheapest options.  While lead can also stop nuclear radiation, it takes very thick walls to be useful.
  • Electrical discharges or EMP waves – surround the room with a Faraday cage.  Contrary to popular belief, underground rooms can also be susceptible to electricity. When hunting for earthworms, all you have to do is stick electrodes in moist ground, and the electricity will cause them to surface.  If someone is determined to harm you or drive you from the panic room, consider that they may decide to use high voltage.
  • Flooding – in a natural disaster or some other situation, flooding may be the biggest threat to your safety. Make sure the room is waterproof and can also withstand large amounts of water flowing around it.
  • Mechanical force – no matter whether your panic room is in a building or underground, earthquakes, bombs, or other powerful mechanical forces can easily cause everything around you to crumble.  The panic room needs to be well fortified so that the walls, ceiling, and floors do not give way.  If at all possible, try to make the outer area of the room somewhat egg shaped and not tethered to anything around it.  At the very least, if something comes crashing down or around the panic room, it may be pushed out of the way instead of absorbing the entire crash. You can also use extended walls as energy absorbers much like the way crumple zones are used to absorb the force of a crash in modern cars.
  • Temperature fluctuations – when you are stuck in a room with no place to go, it may be harder than expected to control the temperature.  Choose materials that insulate well so that you need as little fuel as possible to change the temperature.  Together with that, at least the inner layers of the panic room walls, ceiling, and floors should be able to disperse humidity that gathers up in the room.  You may want to keep the humidity in the room and condense it to form water, or let it escape through an intermediary layer in the wall system.  Aside from being very uncomfortable, excess humidity can also lead to the buildup of mold, mildew, and algae.  Making sure the walls can vent properly is very important if you wish to stay healthy while in the panic room.

Capacity to Renew and Recycle

One of the most important, but overlooked part of panic rooms is the capacity to renew and recycle everything that is used or produced in the room. Water, food, and medicine usually run out sooner than later.

You must be able to grow your own foods, produce herbal medicines, and produce water. As icky as it may sound, that means you will need to be able to recycle urine and feces as opposed to simply looking for ways to dispose of it.

Learn about different composting systems and also water purification methods, which includes making sure that you know how to eliminate pathogens, and also work safely with waste materials. If at all possible, put an annex onto the panic room where you can take care of these matters.  Some other things you should be able to do in the panic room include:

  • create compost from cooking waste and scraps
  • make paper from scraps and bits
  • use tin cans, plastic bottles, or anything else found in the room to your advantage.

Power and Lighting

If you build your panic room to be as secure as possible, chances are there won’t be any windows, so you will need a secure and renewable source of lighting that does not include making fires.  Here are some things you can try:

  • Generate electricity using exercise equipment, body motion gear, and gravity fans.
  • Know how to use tin foil and other reflectors to concentrate light so that you can grow a larger range of plants.
  • Keep LED bulbs on hand and make sure that you have the proper sockets and power supply boards for them.
  • Make sure that everything in the room can run on 9 volts or less.  You should also know how to make earth batteries and other low-tech batteries

If you can make light and mirror tunnels, maybe you can get light from the outside into the panic room. Remember that even one small mirror or what looks like an air or access shaft can give away your presence or allow toxic fumes, pathogens, or other dangerous materials into the panic room.

No matter how secure you feel about your store of flashlights and batteries, make sure that you can improvise every single part of a lighting system from within the panic room.   Light is absolutely essential for plant growth, and also for carrying out many daily activities.

Along with electricity, you may need some other fuels for cooking and keeping the room at a comfortable temperature.

You Need Air Purification

No matter how large or small the room is, you must be able to renew oxygen levels in the room, otherwise you will suffocate.  Use multiple methods so that if one fails, you have another means to achieve this goal:

  • Choose plants that absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen regardless of whether it is day or night.
  • Use a combination of ventilation shafts and filters so that you can remove contaminants from air that will be released into the room.  You can study the filters used in biohazard, nuclear, chemical hazard, and dust respirators to see which materials to use in the air purification system.  Since many of these materials need to be replaced on a routine basis, you should either know how to recharge the materials or make replacements from scratch
  • Keep chemicals on hand that will release oxygen when mixed. This would be an emergency system that may give you a few extra hours while you repair other systems or prepare to exit the room.

Remember that oxygen concentrators do not produce oxygen. Rather, they take oxygen from the air and deliver it through narrow tubes so that more reaches the person in need of extra oxygen.  In an airtight panic room, an oxygen concentrator will not be of use unless it can actually produce more oxygen, and then release it into the room.

It Has to Be Defendable

The basic idea of a panic room is that you will be safe from anyone that might try to harm you.  On the other side of the equation, thousands of people that have hidden out in panic rooms have been captured or died because the location of the room was discovered.

As a last ditch resort, you should have some kind of weapons on hand so that you can stave off attackers long enough to escape, or take out as many as possible before they capture or kill you.  You will also need weapons that can be used once you leave the panic room. Here are some things that may be of use:

Since the panic room is going to be fairly tight and cramped, you will need to lead intruders to kill zones where you either have traps set up, or where you can attack with ease.

A low caliber handgun may be more useful than a rifle or other gun with more stopping power. Remember that if the walls, doors, ceiling, and roof are well fortified, bullets are also likely to ricochet off them.  You can try building in a bullet absorbing layer, however lower caliber rounds may still be your best option.

Have bullet proof helmets, vests, and other gear for you and everyone else in the room. If you do have to shoot, or you wind up being shot at, this gear may keep you from getting killed.  If you are hit while wearing bullet proof gear, you can expect bruises, broken bones, and other injuries.

Swords, knives, spears, bow and arrow, slingshots, monkey fists, axes, poison darts and other hand combat weapons may be of use.  Be sure to carefully study different kinds of bullet proof and weapon proofing gear so that you can get through any kind of armor with your weapons.

Depending on your outlook, you may also want to rig the panic room up so that it will blow up and take everyone with it.  As a last resort, if you cannot escape, and do not want to be captured, this may be your last and final option.

A number of things must be carefully considered when building a panic room, where you can recover, regroup, and gather strength after a major disaster.  A panic room can also be a serious liability if you do not prepare for all the problems that can occur. From mold build up on the walls to cell phone signals revealing your location, even the most minute details can spell disaster.

If you do decide to build a panic room, try living in it for hours, days, weeks, and months.  Once you know that you can live in the room for extended periods of time, and escape if needed, the room will truly be a key survival asset instead of just providing a false sense of security.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

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Rural Bugging In: 10 Problems And How To Solve Them

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rural bug in

It is fair to say that as a rural town dweller, or someone that lives on a farm or in an off grid setting, you already have an expanded set of survival skills. On the other hand, no matter how much you think you may be isolated from problems caused by social collapse, you may be surprised at just how many situations can go wrong and lead to a loss of life or wellness.

Here are ten problems that you may not even give much thought to now that may lead to severe problems after a crisis occurs.

1. Lack of Key Supplements for Livestock

Modern farming methods often make it possible to feed livestock any number of things that might have been out of the question in the past. For example, today, many farmers think that it is safe to feed alfalfa to cattle because they also include a supplement in the feed.

Without this particular supplement, cattle and other sensitive animals will suffer from stomach bloat and die. No matter how much of these supplements you stockpile, eventually you will run out of them. Therefore, it is very important to know:

  • Natural nutritional needs of all livestock in your care
  • Exactly why you are giving various supplements to livestock.
  • Make it a point to see if you can replace these supplements with something you can make on your own or find out how to eliminate them altogether
  • Adjust farming methods so that you no longer need antibiotics or other chemicals that may no longer be available after a crisis hits. Not only will your animals be healthier, you will also enjoy better health because your body won’t be absorbing all those chemicals and toxins through animal based meat, milk, and eggs.

2. Insufficient Genetic Material for Plant and Animal Based Sources of Food

If you do some research, you will find that may animal based industries are already having problems with lack of sufficient genetic variation. For example pedigree dogs and thoroughbred horses are rapidly becoming a point of scandal and derision because of the serious genetic defects that lead to disease and early death.

Now consider a situation where you have just one bull and 5 or 6 milk cows, and that the cows are from all different blood lines. Even though the bull may be different from them, within just a few generations the animals produced will be sicker and weaker.

No matter whether you are raising chickens, cattle, goats, sheep, cats, dogs, horses, or other animals, make sure that you have enough genetic variation in both the males and females. While one gender may not be as valuable as the other in terms of producing meat or eggs, the genetic variance is truly far  more important than the inconvenience of keeping a few extra animals for the sake of genetic diversity.

This is also very important to consider when growing plants for food. Always use heirloom seeds, and try to get them from as many different places as possible. As long as the species and strain are the same, you can keep the plants strong and genetically viable from one generation to the next. The last thing you will want to do is be ten, or even twenty years into a survival scenario only to realize that major staple plants are less robust or becoming weaker despite proper care of the water and soil.

Needless to say, you should also store away triple, or even quadruple the number of seeds that you plan to use during an active crisis scenario. At the very least, if genetic viability proves to be a problem, you will still have some to start over with, and then look for resources in other locations. This may include studying wild plants in the local area and cultivating them on a larger scale if needed.

3. Inadvertent Hybridization of Key Food and Medicine Bearing Organisms

If you currently use hybrid seeds because they offer more disease resistant plants or other benefits, you may not be thinking about the long term consequences of hybridization. Unfortunately, a hybrid is defined as a cross between two species that are close enough to produce viable offspring, however the offspring usually cannot produce a viable next generation.

For example, if you have two fields of heirloom corn or plant two strains close together, hybridization will occur. From there, the next year’s crop may grow, however, the seeds for the third year may not even sprout let alone produce a mature plant.

When growing plants, be very careful about where you plant different strains as well as which pollinators can create hybrids without your knowing. This includes bees which can carry pollen for miles as well as the wind itself which can transmit pollen from one field to another. If at all possible, only grow one strain of a plant per year. It is also very important to be aware of:

  • Wild plants from a related species that might provide pollen
  • Plants grown by other survivors in the area that may be of a different, but related strain

4. Loss of Soil Fertility

Together with soil erosion, loss of soil fertility is a huge problem and apt to get worse in a survival situation. Unfortunately, many farmers today rely on a range of fertilizers to enhance the soil.

While this may produce edible plants, the lack of micronutrients is showing up in poor health and increased risk for disease for consumers. Since you will be using the same soil over and over again to grow foods, this problem may cause serious health problems sooner than expected.

Take the time now to know how the soil on you farm differs from undisturbed land nearby. Make sure that you know how it differs in key nutrients that you expect to absorb from the foods. If you find lacking nutrients, then look for ways to naturally recondition the soil in order to restore those nutrients. Some options may include:

  • Expand the types of plants used on composting to include wild plants and leaves from surrounding areas
  • Find ways to add animal bones and other parts in order to create a natural fertilizer. For example, eggshells are an excellent soil conditioner that you can get from chickens being raised on the farm
  • Research safe ways to compost human excrement. It should be noted that there is a good bit of controversy on this matter as human feces and urine carry diseases that have left your body. While animal excrement can also be very dangerous to your health, at least the pathogens are not already established and accustomed to the human immune system, and therefore readily able to evade it.

Video first seen on Dippin Dakota

5. Loss of Key Species Due to Overhunting or Overfishing

Many people think that as long as they live in a country setting, all they will have to do is go out into the woods and shoot a deer or some other animal for food. Aside from the fact that larger populations of people will easily cause animal depletion, there are some other problems with this idea:

  • Overhunting and over fishing can also occur when injured animals get away. Not only is the meat from them lost, the hunter will more than likely go out and shoot at one or more animals until they catch one. If the person in question is not a very good hunter, this means dozens of animals may be knocked out of the gene pool and also made unavailable to people that need the food from these animals. As the gene pool of target species becomes less diverse, illness and fewer offspring will result. Just take a look at the changes in deer spot patterns and white deer that signal pending collapse of a herd.
  • Unknown stresses from social collapse may impact vital species. Consider a situation where you are in a rural area that is surrounded by mines or factories. Even though they may appear far enough away to prevent damage to the land in your area, they can still pose a hazard during a collapse. In particular, waste from factories and mines can be carried for hundreds of miles down a river, or seep into the air and soil via other means. Once these toxins get into the deer, rabbits, and other animals of interest, these animals will die off and leave you with very few, if any to hunt.

In order to mitigate these problems, you must always be aware of how many animals are being taken from the land for food as well as make sure you know how many got away and were never found. It is very important to keep security patrols going through hunt areas so that you can stop strangers and prevent them from interfering with the wild herds you depend on.

You should also have longer ranging scouts take periodic trips to factories, rivers, and other water features that may impact your local area. At the very least, if you know that a mine or factory has released a dangerous toxin, you may just have enough time to drive animal herds to another area where they can continue to live and reproduce.

6. Loss of Key Habitats

No matter whether you chop down trees to provide wood for fires or use a nearby pond for potable water and irrigating crops, your activities will change the land around you. This, in turn, can lead to the loss of forests and other key habitats that you depend on for raw survival materials.

As rural families expand or more people find their way out of the cities, this problem will get even worse. You have only to look at the mess of an inner city to see what becomes of areas that were once as filled with trees and other natural landmarks.

As with protecting wild animals used for food, you must also protect the trees and other natural resources that you rely on. Do your best to patrol areas where loggers or scavengers may be looking to cut trees and take them away.

Make sure that you know who is coming into the local area and how to keep them away from valuable land so that it is not destroyed. While you may be inclined to share some of your resources, remember that you can never truly own a tree or the land it grows on. Be careful with these resources so that they will be available to future generations.

Since clearing land is unavoidable, you must replace what was taken. For example, if you cleared some land for farming, look for abandoned areas nearby that no longer have trees or other plants. You can always take tree seeds or even hand started seedlings and plant them in these areas.

If the soil in these areas is toxic or has many contaminants, you can try growing carrots, certain mushrooms, and conifers to clean the soil as quickly as possible. Once the soil is cleared of heavy metals and other contaminants, then you can plant maple trees or other forest bearing trees that will be of use to you.

7. Inadequate Sewage and Sanitation Systems

If you currently have a septic tank and leach field, then you may not realize just how easily your sewage system can become useless in a crisis situation. Among other things, if you don’t have a pump system to clean out the tank, then backing up toilets, sinks, and tubs, can easily force you out of your home. Some things you can do to avoid these problems include:

  • Keep a good supply of sludge destroying organisms on hand. These can eat way materials that do not go out into the leach lines and buy you at least a few years before the next cleaning is required.
  • Have an outhouse and other outdoor plumbing ready for use
  • Know how to make slit trenches and other short term sanitation options
  • Do some research on composting toilets and how best to use the materials from it.

8. Lack of Common Vaccines

As with people trying to survive in a city setting, you will also be faced with a lack of vital vaccines. This includes those used to fight off tetanus and diphtheria. Sadly, many people today are misinformed about vaccines and believe that all of them are bad.

While many vaccines use Thimerisol as a preservative (which contains Mercury), that does not mean every single person that gets the shots will be poisoned or rendered permanently disabled. In fact, thousands of people (including members of the military) take dozens of vaccines at a time without many long term problems. On the other hand, if you contract tetanus, it will kill you despite access to the best modern medicine.

It is very important to make sure that tetanus, diphtheria and other critical vaccinations are kept up to date. Aside from that, if you are part of a survival community, or have a survival doctor as a friend, ask them to store away these vital vaccines for long term needs.

Even though these vaccines supplies will run out one day, they can still be very important. In addition, you can also do some research on how Jonas Salk and other early vaccine developers created their products. Some of those methods may be within reach of local doctors that may be able to use them in a time of need.

9. Lack of Fuel for Farm Equipment or Other Vehicles

As a prepper, you are sure to be very aware of the problems associated with loss of gasoline and diesel supplies. On the other hand, if you have been putting off converting your farm equipment to run on natural gas or biodiesel, then you may not be as ready as you thought you were.

It is also very important to note that biodiesel and natural gas options aren’t completely free of problems. This includes creating long lasting and viable storage solutions as well as making sure that you have enough plant matter to make fuel. If you have been following the ethanol saga, then you may already know that the loss of arable farm land for the sake of making fuel can be a huge problem.

Aside from expanding the range of fuels that your farm equipment can use, it is very important to have alternative farm equipment on hand. This includes plows and other equipment that you can pull on your own or use a horse, donkey, or oxen to pull them.

Even if you never use these tools, they may still be of use to future generations that may not be able to produce farm equipment to replace machines that wear out or break down.

Here are some other things you can do to manage the lack of fuel problem as well as some others that are likely to come up over time:

  • Consider building either a hydroponics or aeroponics farming system. You can usually grow a good bit of food in a very small space without the need for complex farm equipment. Since water and air based growing systems require very little soil, you can also have peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to worry about soil depletion. If you choose to use fish as the source of nutrition in the hydroponics system, then you can also use them for food once they become large enough to eat.
  • Look for ways to reduce plantings only plants that will be needed for making new seeds. Instead of allowing so many plants to reach full size, you can get a good bit of benefit from consuming micro plants. Not only will this make it easier to grow food indoors, you will also have access to more nutrients in a limited space.

Video first seen on Dippin Dakota

10. Lack of a Bug Out Plan

Today, the vast majority of preppers tend to see forests, farms, and small towns as the ultimate bug out location. If you are already in this type of setting, then you may also feel that there is no place else to go.

Unfortunately, if you do not have a viable bug out plan, then you may be at a bigger disadvantage than expected. No matter whether you need to navigate to another rural area, or to a smaller city that has little damage from a large scale crisis, you will have a lot of problems without a well designed bug out plan.

Here are some things that you should at least have on hand in case you need to leave your bug in location:

  • A bug out bag that includes a complete navigation kit
  • Maps and other materials that can help  you get from one place to another as quickly and safely as possible
  • Some means of transport other than a motor vehicle and a cart for carrying your bug out supplies.
  • A radio and means of communication so that you can always know what is going on in the area you are about to enter. From military patrols to roving bands of thieves, you are best served by knowing where the highest risks are so that you can skirt around these areas instead of going through them.

Before a crisis hits, it is very important to have reliable sources of information. This goes well beyond how to carry out certain tasks or manage any given project. Rather, you will need real-time information from people in areas you intend to enter. This includes information on the nature of the crisis in the area, how badly it is damaged, and what the biggest threats are.

If you need to build a weapon or change your travel plans, it is best to have up to date information that will help you make the best decisions. Invariably, there is nothing like trusted contacts in the location to tell you what is really going on.

There is no question that many people see a return to nature or homestead farming as the ultimate form of prepping. On the other hand, a nuclear bomb in the right place, a hurricane, tornado, or even an earthquake can make all your hard work go to waste.

These are just a few reasons why you need to consider more than basic survival when planning for rural area bugging in. At the very least, if you consider the ten points listed in this article, you will have a chance to avoid them, and also use them as a basis for looking into other parts of your bug in plan that might need some additional work.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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9 Threats Of The Urban Prepper

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BIG Urban PrepEven though you may have a well-tested food and water production system, medical alternatives, and adequate security for your bug in location, that doesn’t mean you are truly prepared for anything that can happen.

No matter whether you get caught in the crosshairs of an earthquake, flood, hurricane, or military takeover, a simple problem can quickly escalate into a life threatening one.

Here are nine additional special situations to consider if you are bugging in. They may seem “normal” or relatively easy to solve now, but they won’t be the same during a catastrophic collapse.

1. Fires

apartment fireFrom kitchen fires to cigarettes left burning in bed, there are many ways that a fire can get started and then escalate out of control. At this moment, chances are to call the fire department and get professional help as quickly as possible.

EMP attacks that result in massive stranding can prevent fire trucks from getting through, while hostile takeovers are likely to target fire, police, EMTs and other community stabilizers. Also, an increase in the number of fires caused by various means will lead to much longer waiting time, because crews are already at their limits or beyond.

Can you prevent these fires? Yes, you can, and here are just a few ways to prevent fire crews from reaching your bug in location:

  • Get a fire alarm that does not rely on batteries or microchip circuits. You can convert a LED based sensor to incandescent bulbs and tubes, however it can be complicated and expensive. Alternatively, store away several smoke detectors in an EMP proof bag or Faraday cage so that you can take them out and use them as needed.
  • Always know where fuse boxes and other key electrical nodes are in your home. If there is an electrical fire, the first thing you will want to do is shut off power coming into your area.
  • When dealing with a fire that may involve electricity (for example if an electric stove or even something powered by batteries) never try to put the fire out with water. Instead, try to suffocate the fire with a towel. When you spray water into a flame, live wires that have been compromised can cause the electricity to arc right through the water and into your body.
  • Keep a few fire extinguishers on hand. Keep them up to date and make sure that you know how to use them.
  • Take courses in fire prevention and practice all skills that may require using fire.
  • Keep a respirator and fireproof garments on hand in case you need to leave the building.

2. Power Is Restored but Your Building Has Hidden Wire Related Damage

Many experts believe that once the lights go out, it is not likely that they will ever be turned back on. Never underestimate power companies that are constantly looking for ways to upgrade and better manage any given crisis situation.

While some areas may take months or even years to recover, there are still others that might get power back in a matter of days or weeks. At face value, consider yourself lucky if power comes back right away because you think that you will be one step closer to resuming a normal life.

Now consider a situation where you are in the outer bands of a major earthquake or hurricane, you may actually get power back within one to two weeks. During that time, you may not realize that rains and shifting land masses can have a devastating effect on foundations, walls, and other parts of the building you are living in. Even though the buildings have survived, wires running inside the walls might have been stressed or damaged in some way.

And once the power goes back on, loose connections or other hidden damage on wires that feed the heating and cooling systems, or high voltage usage areas may not be obvious until it is too late. Once sparks start flying or parts start overheating, a fire is likely to occur. Unlike fires that start in a kitchen or other obvious location, you may have little or no advanced warning.

If you are in a major crisis situation, the best thing to do is immediately pull all the fuses or throw all the circuit breakers. No matter how long it takes after the power is restored, do not re-install fuses or reset the breakers until the building has been cleared by a licensed electrician.

While there are many parts of survival scenarios where you can get by on DIY and home based solutions, checking out the wiring in your building isn’t one of them. This is one area where you will need professional help that cannot be obtained through any other channel.

3. Under-City Collapse Zones

urban tunnelMany people are unaware of it, but the tunnels and conduits under the cities are actually in far worse shape than the roads and bridges. Some experts say that this problem can actually trigger an enormous social collapse or other major crisis within the next few years.

As long as these underground passages continue to wear and erode, it becomes harder and harder for them to support the weight of heavier cars, increasing amounts of traffic, tar and asphalt.

After an earthquake or flood, these areas could easily collapse and take out roadways and foundations of city buildings. In fact, even if the building you are in is relatively new or well maintained, there may still be forgotten tunnels or other underground structures nearby that have the potential to undermine the foundation of the building.

The best way to prepare for this problem is to avoid it altogether by getting out of the city. If you can’t do that, then prepare a bug in /out bag and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, or if you must, stay in a damaged building until you can make your escape. Learn how to get out of stuck elevators, navigate through rubble, avoid electrocution from live wires in the rubble or hanging from the walls, and test floors for safe passage.

It may be helpful to attend city planning meetings and study the city budget and maintenance projects. Demand repairs to underground passages and help others in your area get together and demand politicians to fund these projects.

If you find politicians that resist because of the “cost”, then do not hesitate to have their salaries, expense accounts, and pet projects investigated, as well as the expense accounts and salaries of anyone under them. Chances are, you will find more than enough money to repair these underground passages if other things are put aside.

4. Air Quality Problems

If you think smog and other air quality problems are bad now, expect to get worse after a major crisis. While vehicles may not be running, there are bound to be more fires that are not brought under control as well as all kinds of toxins released into the air from industrial complexes. They can spew all kinds of poisons into the air if those supervising the machines are unavailable. Smoke inhalation is just one aspect of poor air quality. Odorless toxins disrupt lung tissue and lead to serious injury and death.

You need a good respirator on hand and sufficient replacement cartridges for the filter system, which should be capable of filtering out micro spores, dust, and most other particles. There are all kinds of oxygen concentrators available on the market, but not all of them are EMP proof, and a decent sized, durable unit will take a good bit of electricity. Concentrators are still useful to store away in an EMP proof box.

Also look for a system that will neutralize toxic gasses. In some cases, these filters use activated carbon, which you could replace or recycle once you know how to get into the cartridge and restore or refill the charcoal within.

If your budget is very tight, there are some other DIY filtering mediums that you can try: layering coffee filters and activated carbon to make a mask that covers your nose and mouth. While this mask can be very uncomfortable, it will still reduce your exposure to a number of dangerous air pollutants.

Try to make a filter from the best air filters on the market for heating systems, they can filter out just about every particle that is in the air. While these filters may cost 2 – 3 times as much as the cheaper ones, they are well worth it. As with using coffee filters, try adding a layer of activated carbon for protection.

Regardless of the DIY respirator that you choose to make, it must seal properly with your face without getting stuck permanently, so you could breathe comfortably through the filter.

5. Tetanus and Other Vaccine Covered Diseases

vaccineNo matter whether you step on a rusty nail, get bitten by a dog, or suffer from some other type of puncture wound, tetanus will always be a concern. Fortunately, this fatal infection is easily prevented by a simple vaccine that you must have every 5 – 7 years.

While this may seem relatively easy in the pre-crisis world, tetanus shots and other important vaccines may not be available once society collapses. Sadly, this is also the time when you are likely to have more injuries that will lead to exposure to deadly diseases such as tetanus. For right now, the best thing you can do is make sure you are always up to date on your tetanus shots.

It should also be noted that diphtheria, polio, and many other diseases have vaccines that are given during childhood and offer lifetime immunity. Chances are, you have heard many things about these vaccines carrying mercury and many other harmful substances.

Before you believe these claims and avoid vaccinating your children, stop and think about how deadly some of these diseases are in these days, and how much worse and more prevalent they will be in a crisis situation.

There may well be vaccine alternative forms that might be safer, however you will have to do some research to find them. For example, if a child is allergic to a certain ingredient in any given vaccine, it may be possible to formulate a vaccine that does not have it.

6. Vermin Control

If you live in a city or inner city area, then you are probably well acquainted with the local vermin control companies. This includes those who visit once a month to get rid of bedbugs, roaches, and other insects, as well as those who lay down traps and poisons for mice and other vermin.

You may be only slightly annoyed by an occasional rodent or insect in the pre-crisis world, but these animals will quickly overrun the area because there are no natural controls (such as birds, snakes, and cats) to get rid of them.

Some people think it is inhumane to kill vermin and that they prefer to use live traps. Some say that the vermin are just passing through, attracted to food, or are looking for a safe place to shelter. Until you’ve been bitten by a rodent that was supposed to be just “passing through”, you may not realize just how serious this problem can be.

Consider that rodents entering your home may very well be carrying rabies, the bubonic plague (it still exists today), and many other pathogens. Even if the animal itself is not infected with a particular disease, they may still be carrying fleas, ticks, and mites that harbor other dangerous diseases. For example, ticks may be carrying Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and even if the animal appears healthy, it can still be a Trojan horse.

When it comes to urban survival scenarios, there is no doubt that some people secretly believe they can hold their noses or something while noshing down on stewed or roasted vermin that they caught within their apartment. Sadly, these are the very same people that may become extremely sick because they consumed infected meat.

In short, if you think the current food supply is deadly, you simply haven’t seen anything until you have a look at the diseases that can be transmitted by inner city and city rodents and other vermin. Needless to say, pets that consume these animals or come into contact with blood from them will also be sickened.

Since the presence of vermin presents a serious danger without providing any benefits, you will need to know how to keep vermin away as well as eliminate those that make their way into your living area. Here are some methods that you can use:

  • Use peppermint, spearmint, and hot pepper to deter rodents
  • Make sure that food and water are tightly covered so that vermin don’t smell it and try to get at it.
  • Learn how to use a rat/mouse trap and keep a hammer on hand. No matter how much you may hate the idea of dispatching rodents, it is absolutely necessary to make sure they are dead before you put them in the trash. You should also keep rubber or latex gloves on hand so that your skin never comes into contact with the varmint or its fleas, ticks, or mites.
  • There are many different ways to trap mice including using water filled pails and planks. Be sure to find a method that works for you and then make sure you have at least 5 – 10 traps plus supplies on hand so that you can eliminate vermin as needed.

7. Loss of Vital Information and Communications

In their finer moments, many people who are tired of the rat race somewhat mischievously say that they will bug in during a major crisis because without communication devices, they will finally get some peace and quiet. When you can’t communicate with the outside world, you also cannot get help to manage fires and other emergencies that are more likely to come up. In addition, if you have survival stores and tools on hand, but don’t know how to use them, proper instructions may not be available.

Practice with all of your tools and supplies can mitigate these problems, but the loss of conventional communications can still create a very dangerous situation. At the very least, you should keep a signaling mirror on hand and know which pipes in the area can be banged on to draw as much attention as possible from the outside. Learning Morse code and other simple signaling languages may also be of some help.

8. Exposure to Unexpected Toxins

toxins exposureWhen you live in an apartment building and have no access to the boiler room or other maintenance areas, then you truly have no idea how many toxic chemicals may be around you. Aside from airborne toxins and fumes, there are also ones that may seep into any water that makes its way to shower and sink faucets.

These toxins can easily cause physical symptoms as well as mental ones. You can use the guidelines above for air quality to avoid airborne toxins. If water is still available, do not drink it until you have run it through at least activated carbon and bone char filtration.

Do not simply assume that boiling water will remove chemical toxins. At best, if you boil water, the toxins will leach into the air and then wind up getting into your lungs each time you breathe.

If the toxins have heavy metals or other are not readily boiled off, then they will simply concentrate more and pose more of danger after the water is boiled. In all scenarios, boiling water should be the last step in the purification process as it is used as a means to get rid of bacteria and other pathogens.

9. Personal Mental and Emotional Faculties

Have you ever watched an action or thriller type movie or TV show and admired the bravery and resilience of the characters? Now stop and think about what real people in real situations suffer emotionally and mentally during dangerous situations.

For example, even the best trained soldiers, law enforcement officers, and medical professionals suffer from PTSD and other disorders that stem from being in a major crisis situation. Do not simply assume that you are “tough enough” or “strong enough”, etc. to get through a crisis without major changes happening to your perceptions and ability to accurately evaluate and then appropriately respond to the world around you.

At the current time, there is very little tangible information related to emotional and mental prepping for a crisis situation. Without a doubt, if testable and viable means existed, chances are soldiers, law enforcement personnel, and other people in high stress occupations around the world would already have this as part of their training.

The fact that so many do suffer from PTSD and other disorders says there is not any effective solution. As such, you will need to do some experimenting. Some modalities that may be effective, but often scoffed at by the scientific community include prayerful meditation, binaural music, self-hypnosis, reiki, and NLP training (neurolinguistics programming).

It is fair to say that once society collapses, you will find it fairly easy to look back and see where your plans were not sufficient, and what you should have done. By then, it is more than likely to be too late.

If you are bugging in and live in a city area, the best thing you can do is constantly be aware of things that you currently take for granted and make sure ou know how that all will change in a crisis scenario.

While the ten situations listed in this article are not inclusive of every problem you will face (aside from the most major ones), they do give you a starting point for fine tuning your bug in plans.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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City vs. Rural Bug In: How Do You Handle Your Reserves?

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City vs ruralIf you happen to be a city dweller and love it, then you may not understand why others would not get caught in such a setting if their life depended on it.

By the same token, people living in rural areas may see no point to bugging out to the city, let alone moving to another rural area. 

No matter how these perceptions involve you decision to bug in, you have to realize that each group of survivors will meet some unique challenges based on the population density of the area in question. While both parties will need to meet the same basic needs for food and water and even health, skills required may be a bit more different than expected.

Food Gathering and Storage

City/Inner City

If you live in a small apartment in the city, there will be very little, if any room available to store and grow food. This, in turn, means that you will most likely not be able to go on consuming the foods you are accustomed to and must look to some other options. This includes learning how to grow and prepare micro plants and raising insects.

Both options provide nutritious foods, can be raised in very small spaces, and are prolific enough to sustain you for quite some time. While these options may not seem palatable, they are better than starving to death or risking having stored goods stolen just because others know you are stockpiling.


On the surface, it is bound to look like rural areas will have far fewer problems with gathering and storing food. Among other things, you may have a larger home and even a cellar or other location to stockpile foods. In addition, you may be part of a tight knit community where hunting and sharing food are the norm rather than the exception.

You may also have more access to clean waters filled with fish that you can catch and consume in time of need.  Today, it is commonly thought that many survivors will take to rural areas and live off the animals and plants that form the wooded urban areas.

Unfortunately, all of these plans can be easily dashed by the following (and likely problems):

  • Waterways may already be contaminated with industrial toxins that will make it impossible to consume fish and animal that rely on the water. Unless you demand cleaning up these areas now and a stop to the pollution, these resources will not be safe for you to use in a crisis situation.
  • Public lands supposedly set aside for camping, hiking, and general public use have long ago been (via both democrat and republican support) secretly sold or leased to miners, oil drillers, and renewable fuel developers. If you do some research, you will be amazed at the millions of acres routinely sold or leased right out from under you via the BLMs “multiple land use” doctrine.  Do not assume that once the government collapses, you can simply go to these “wilderness” reserves and hope to live there in peace and safety. It is far more likely that you will be met by industry paid and government paid thugs that will kill you just as quickly as they would kill indigenous people in South America that stand in the way of industrial development in those areas.
  • Nuclear missile sites, nuclear power plants, and illegal nuclear dumping sites may already be contaminating the air, water, and land that you rely on for daily survival. Not only can this become more dangerous in a crisis situation, it may be killing you and your loved ones right now.
  • As people migrate out of the cities and into the rural areas, they will also bring crime and disease. No matter how many arms and defensive strategies you have, some of these criminals are going to stay around and may well establish sufficient power to make it very hard for you to gather or grow food without their interference. Even if you have a stockpile and land to hunt and grow on, never assume that you will be reduced to the same kinds of problems faced by city dwellers who choose to bug in.

In rural areas, it is more important than ever to get past the idea that “money and jobs” is more important than sustaining life. Don’t let the media and its fake behavior shaping “value of social status” agenda overwhelm you or prevent you from making demands to oust, recall, or ban anything that damages land, water, or air that you know would be, or can be made/restored  to be of value for survival needs. Money means nothing when there is no safe water to drink, no safe food to eat, and no safe air to breathe.

How You Can Prepare for Both

To begin, the best thing you can do is be aware of the problems in your geographic area. For city dwellers, there isn’t likely to be much you can do before a crisis hits. Some options may include demanding that landlords allow for rooftop gardens or look for other ways to demand the development of food growing areas within the city.

There are many ways to grow food indoors and underground that can be used in these areas. Not only will this make it easier to build community cohesion, it may just help reduce violence and other problems plaguing the local area at the current time. As previously mentioned, rural area dwellers must also demand that food growing areas be kept safe, or cleaned up so that they are safe to take food from.

No matter where you are bugging in, learn how to grow and safely use micro plants (essentially seeds that are allowed to sprout and develop up to one set of leaves) and small, rapidly multiplying insects.

Remember that ants, crickets, and a few other common insects are actually far more nutritious than conventional meats. If you raise these insects yourself, you will not need to worry about all the hormones, toxins, and carcinogens that are currently found in the meat that you have been socially conditioned to accept as more appealing than insects.

For city dwellers, it may seem like a waste of time to keep some fishing gear and hunting tools onhand. Nevertheless, if you have to move to a rural area later on, at least you will have some tools to work with. Take the time now to practice with these tools so that you can use them effectively and efficiently in time of need.


City/Inner City

Considering the way city governing bodies tend to force people to pay a water tax, it should come as no surprise that many have outlawed the use of wells, and may even have taken steps to make sure that existing wells can no longer be used. In a crisis situation, the government’s inability to deliver water will spell death and disaster for millions in just a matter of days.

This is just one reason why you will need to be able to produce water from moisture held in the air or store that provided through rainfall. There are a number of dehumidifier systems that can accomplish this task. Make sure that you also know how to use low tech methods for doing the same job. From there, you will also need to be able to purify water.

Make sure that you know how to make a basic sock filter that utilizes activated carbon, bone char, and sand. Surprisingly enough, you can reuse these items once they become filled with contamination, so your stockpiles may not need to be as big as you think.

It is also fairly easy to make carbon. While it takes a higher temperature to make bone char, if indigenous people throughout the world can achieve this goal, you can too. It may also be of some help to make sure that you can distill water to remove any contaminants left behind by the sock filter.


Many people feel that if they already have access to private wells and other sources of water, it will be possible to pretty much go on as usual. On the other hand, it is also important to realize that water pumps will eventually fail. If you already have an old or worn pump, that time will come sooner rather than later.

Now would be a good time to look for hand operated pumps that can be used to pull water from shallow wells as well as ram pumps that can easily deliver water uphill. If you are looking for a good project to work, building your own ram pump may be useful and cost effective. Individuals that have access to a pond or river may also want to utilize an Archimedes Screw for both power generation and water pumping.

As people move from the city to rural areas, they are going to bring with them a tremendous thirst for water right along with crime and disease. Therefore, when it comes to preparing your bug in location, it is very important to make sure you know how to secure water and prevent unwanted intruders from accessing it.

On the surface, this may not necessarily be a concern if the water is plentiful and you have the idea that it is Ok to share such a plentiful resource. On the other hand, there are people in the world that are already very greedy, or they will become greedy because they have insecurity issues after a major crisis. In these situations, large groups may just decide to take over the water resource and prevent the rightful owners of it from using it.

In some cases these situations can be headed off using community structuring and shaping that are aimed at reducing insecurity and recognizing, then curtailing greedy actions as they surface.  Unfortunately, there may also be times when you will need to use weapons, traps, and other devices to defend your water supply and access to it.

Just make sure that you know which situation warrants a specific action so that you do not inadvertently harm people that may have a lot to offer you in terms of long term survival and the opportunity for the next generations to find suitable mates.

How You Can Prepare for Both

Both rural and city bug in survivors can store away rain barrels that can be used to catch water on a regular basis. Since social collapse is apt to come with increasing levels of pollution and water contamination, you will also both need to know how to purify water using relatively simple filter mechanisms.

Rural bug in survivors may also want to consider having a dehumidifier system on hand just in case they cannot access wells, or have to go underground where it may be impossible to access ponds, rivers, or other readily available sources of water.


Medical Needs

City/Inner City

When space is limited for growing herbs or storing medicines, you will need to choose carefully between many different options. Start off by making sure you have a good idea about your current medical needs and projected future ones.

Next, study human anatomy and physiology, and then take some courses in herbal remedies. Finally, choose at least 10 – 15 herbs that you can grow in a small area and store away heirloom seeds that can be grown at any time.

Make sure that you also know how to pollinate these plants without bees so that you can replace plants as they are used or die off as a natural part of their own life cycle. It is also very important to know how to propagate these plants from roots and cuttings.


As a member of a local community or someone that lives relatively isolated from others, you may already be aware that people in more populated areas have far more access to conventional medical care. As such, you may already know a good bit about emergency medicine simply because no one else is on hand to meet your needs in a timely manner.

You may also know of a number of herbal remedies to manage a range of ailments, and thus have no need for more modern drugs. In this case, all you need to do is expand your knowledge and herbal list to include plants from other parts of the world that may be more effective at treating a wider range of diseases.

It may be of some help to consult with a conventional textbook on human anatomy and physiology, and then take courses on herbal remedies. These studies should provide at least some information on Ayurvedic and Chinese herbal medicines that feature plants you can grow in your own home.

Since a number of diseases can be mitigated or even cured by meditation, reiki (which is being increasingly recognized by conventional medicine as an effective and safe pain management system) and binaural music, do not hesitate to explore these modalities and learn how to use them for yourself and others.

How You Can Prepare for Both

Make sure that you know readily growable herbal equivalents to any medicine that you are taking. Work with a doctor that is willing to monitor and help you as you experiment with different herbal solutions in order to find one that works for you. Next, seek to grow the herbs that are of most value to you.

During this process, you will never go wrong by learning as much as possible about how the internal body organs are placed and how they work. You may also want to study textbooks on clinical medicine so that you know as much as possible about how to manage a range of situations.

Oddly enough, these books may also be of value because they can help restore vital technologies and learnings to future doctors long after vital medical technologies and drug formulations are lost during the crisis.

It is fair to say that human beings have the same basic needs no matter where they live. On the other side of the equation, any number of social values and customs can become deeply ingrained because people in the local area know that is what works for them.

Try working with some of the suggestions in this article to see if they will meet your needs, or expand on them as you gain experience and skills that will make it easier to survive a disaster in any location.

Interested in long-term survival? CLICK HERE to find out more!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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10 Things To Prepare For When Bugging In With Children

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Bugging In KidsNo matter whether you have a new baby, a young child, or teenagers living with you, they will depend on  you in a crisis situation. If you have decided to bug in instead of move yourself and your family to another location, it may be weeks or even months before they can resume any kind of normal activities.

Needless to say, during that time, you will need to find ways to meet their basic needs as well as others that you take as a matter of routine. Here are some very important areas to consider that go beyond the basics of food, water, clothing, and shelter.

Failure to take these matters into account will invariably make it harder for children to cope during a crisis situation and may also do serious damage to their long term well being at many levels.

Keeping up With Education

readingIf you look back at hurricane Katrina and the earthquakes in Fukushima Japan and Haiti, it becomes readily apparent that educating children tends to be one of the first things that becomes disrupted in a crisis situation.

Community based education also tends to be one of the last things restored in the post-crisis world. For school age children and teens school routines are a normal part of life, and as such, they provide the comfort of “normalcy”.

Do not underestimate the power of school routines or providing an education during a crisis. Here are some things you can do to make sure your children focus at least some of their time on studies:

  • Because current text books tend to be very expensive and constantly moving from school to home, it is impossible to say which ones your children will have on hand prior to and during the crisis event. Rather than try to guess, you can purchase older textbooks online that have similar information. For example, if your child has a brand new 10th grade math book, you can purchase books from as far back as the 50’s and 60’s for just a few dollars. Just make sure that the topics covered are the same. Aside from providing a fresh perspective on these topics, your children might just enjoy the novelty of working with a different text book.
  • Make sure that you are always up to date on what your children are learning and what kind of homework they are doing.
  • Have a few age appropriate novels or classics on hand for light reading. Aside from getting all kinds of classics for free via Project Gutenberg and other free ebook sites, you can also print them out and store them away.
  • Know how much learning includes computers, calculators, and other electronic aides. In instance where computers or other devices are required, make a list of ways to manage this type of learning without these devices. Even if you can provide power for a tablet, calculator, or other device, that does not mean you will necessarily want to log into the device or use it. At the very least, if you have paper based methods ready and waiting, then your children can go on learning without the need for electronic aides.
  • For math and science – obtain a slide rule that is suitable for both routine and complex math calculations. You can start teaching your children how to use the slide rule before a crisis so that they are accustomed to it. If your children protest using a slide rule, remind them that the United States successfully sent astronauts to the moon, and that those involved in the project relied on these relatively simple devices to get the job done.
  • Purchase a few science fair projects or other exploratory kits that your children can use to build things and learn about the world at the same time. This is especially important if you have young children or teens that like to work with their hands or tend to be experiential learners. Even if your child has a hard time focusing on a textbook, sometimes these building kits can make an enormous difference
  • Perhaps most important on this list, make sure that you can teach all of the lessons in the textbook if needed. Do not be afraid to spend extra time yourself with alternative text books while your child is at school in the pre-crisis period.

Social Development

This will be one of the hardest things to manage in a bug in situation. You child may not be able to communicate with friends or other family members. Over time, lack of contact with others can make it very hard for your son or daughter to reconnect with others.

Even a normally outgoing and well adjusted child can become shy or develop other problems. Unfortunately, once the crisis event happens, you won’t be able to change this.

Take the time know to fully understand how much contact your child needs with other people to feel comfortable and secure. If you have a naturally outgoing child or one that likes to be in groups, then you will need to spend a lot more time with him/her in the post crisis world.

pizzaMake sure that you have plenty of activities that require at least two people. This may include everything from involving your child in cooking, cleaning, and tending other basic needs. Just remember that it may not be enough to assign your child a task, you will also have to socialize and interact with them at these times.

Perhaps it may seem strange, but children that tend to be shy or loners also need a good bit of socialization in the post-crisis world. If left to their own devices, these children can slip even further into their own little world. This, in turn will make it even harder for them to shift the gears as needed to engage with other people.

Utilize games and other activities where your child can interact with you and preserve at least some sense of being around others. Books and novels that focus on social interactions may also be of some help since they can provide models that will be remembered. Make sure that these books are based on constructive social interactions instead of destructive ones.

Managing Emotional Trauma Symptoms

If you think that social collapse and short/long term crisis will change your life forever, then you should also understand it will also change what the future holds for your children. Career choices that were once possible may no longer be open while all sorts of other plans and preparations will be more or less useless.

Under those circumstances, your children will be very confused and need more emotional support than usually. Here are some things you can do to prepare your children for managing these issues now, as well as enable them to cope better if a crisis happens to wipe out everything they have grown accustomed to:

  • Go back to fundamentals and basics as a way of life. Refrain from modernizations that may not be available after a crisis occurs. This includes everything from video games to fast foods.  Instead of fast foods, prepare meals at home. If you have a specific food plan for bugging in, try utilizing that plan at least once a week. Not only will you and your children have  a chance to adapt to these alternative foods, they will become commonplace to the point where it will not be such a harsh transition on top of everything else that happens in a social collapse or other major crisis.
  •  Make sure your children know how to hunt, fish, prepare food, and manage the basics of living without modern conveniences. The more you can teach children about basic survival in a range of settings, the better chance they have of avoiding panic, anxiety, and other emotional problems that tend to occur in a crisis situation.
  • Make sure you know the signs of emotional trauma and how to manage them without medication or other forms of conventional medical support. Take the time now to learn how to de-escalate situations instead of resorting to punishment or fighting.
  • When it comes to emotional distress, there are many ways that therapists use various tools to help both children and adults regain control of themselves and their lives. These tools include guided meditations and making use of objects that can be associated with safety and wellness. Together with that, you may also want to try binaural music  and other alternative therapies.  To use the binaurals, you will need to store an mp3 player with the appropriate files and earbuds/headphones in the EMP proof section your bug in bag. I personally recommend the older style mp3 players that accept AAA batteries as opposed to the players that have the battery built in. Not are the older players much cheaper now, they last longer and it is very easy to use them with rechargeable batteries that are readily available.

Managing Mental Trauma Symptoms

It is very important to realize that in the days after a major crisis, your child may have difficulty focusing, remembering, and engaging in other mental activities at a normal level. Since you may also be having similar problems, it is important not to judge or push your child excessively beyond his/her limits.

Always bear in mind that any person can and will most likely have problems after a crisis situation. Even though reduced capacities may exist, that does not mean the responses are abnormal. Rather than judge or punish, try to look for ways to help your child return back to, and then beyond his/ her former mental function level. Some things you can do include:

  • Focus more on art or building related activities instead of purely mental ones. As time goes on, increasing attention spans and focus can be gradually shifted back into books or more academic tasks.
  • Give you child chances to feel confident of his/her abilities as opposed to constantly supervising. You can try assigning chores as well as longer range goals that your children can work towards.

Health and Physical Wellness

As may be expected, providing adequate food, water, and clothing is extremely important and may well be the priority you think about most in a time of upheaval. It is also very important to think about medications for pre-existing conditions as well as any injuries that may occur.

It is very important to realize that many children today are over medicated and may be in far more need of a proper diet and exercise than they are of pills that only make them sicker. Take the time now to see what kinds of natural remedies are available for diagnosed illnesses as well as suitable dosages.

If you cannot find a pediatrician to help you, do not hesitate to look at the side-effects listed on any drugs that you child is already taking.

When you find cases where these drugs may cause sterility, cancer, heart disease, or symptoms that your child is experiencing, you can try contacting the state licensing board, a lawyer for the purpose of starting a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company and the doctor, parental rights activist groups, natural remedy activist groups, and the media.

Sadly, in today’s world, parents are often superseded by doctors and school administrators simply because they do not know how to use the legal system to stop the harm being caused their children.

Not only is this important to consider in a time of crisis when routine medications may not be available, it is very important to your child’s well being and capacity to bring forth the next generation regardless of what happens to our society.


karateWhen it comes to teaching children self defense and giving them the confidence and strength to believe in themselves; there is nothing quite like the martial arts. No matter how close a social collapse may seem, it is very important to enroll your child in a good quality dojo.

It does not matter which form of martial arts your child studies as long as he/she gets good quality training and a range of physical, mental, and emotional skills that will last a lifetime. In fact, if you are debating between buying yet another batch of video games and other things to “amuse” your children, it is much better to send them for martial arts training.

Aside from helping your children defend themselves in a crisis, martial arts training will also help them if society does not collapse. If you do some research, you will find countless stories of teens and youth whose lives were turned away from mayhem by martial arts training.

In that respect, you will truly be preparing your child to live a good life with character as well as the capacity for self defense in the time of major upheaval.

Boredom and the Need to Play

hand-1008103_1920Chances are you have heard the saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. While modern schools constantly limit lunch breaks, recess, and gym time, children must develop as whole beings.

This includes time for developing physical skills as well as mental ones. Play time and unstructured time are extremely important for healthy development. Sadly, video games and other forms of electronic entertainment only serve to keep children focused on goal acquisition or focusing concentration in pre-defined pathways instead of letting them expand and develop on their own.

You can start reversing this process now by limiting, and then completely eliminating video games and other forms of electronic entertainment.

Encourage your children to engage in real, tangible social activities with their friends as well as pick up hobbies they can work on at home while alone. This should include hobbies that can be worked on if you are bugging in and have no place else to go. Some activities (based on age) might include:

  • Working with building blocks and tinker toys
  • Model building
  • Science fair projects
  • Sculpture oriented arts
  • Building electronic devices without the use of transistor or resistor based parts.

Special Needs for Infants

Even though babies may not need much in the way of toys and complex educational materials, they still have some special needs that may suddenly be impossible to fill in a crisis.

For example, if you are currently feeding your baby infant formula, it may be impossible to supply that, let alone make a suitable replacement with the foods you have on hand.

If you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant, it may be worthwhile to consider breastfeeding. At the very least, you can have some assurance that you baby will get some nutrition if a disaster occurs before your baby completes this stage of development.

Other than eating and sleeping, your child will also produce a fair amount of waste. Oddly enough, cloth diapers may not be the best single option to have on hand because there may not be enough water, disinfectant, and soap available to wash them.

It may be to your advantage to store away at least some disposable diapers as well as cloth ones so that you can use them as needed. Needless to say, it will also be important to store away baby safe washes as well as learn how to make them on your own from any plants that you choose to grow.

Special Needs for Toddlers

It is no secret that telling a toddler what to do is about as useful and effective as trying to do the same with a cat. Unfortunately, if a toddler has a screaming tantrum or decides to start a game of “catch me if you can” when thieves are lurking outside, or during some other crucial moment, it can spell disaster for everyone.

Oddly enough, this is one of the few situations where a soundproof safe room may come in handy. If you suspect something is going on outside your home, or a situation is ongoing, place your toddler in the room.

You will also need to be sure that zones of fire around the safe room and your defense abilities are sufficient to prevent invaders from getting to your child. It is up to you to decide when and if you will go to the safe room during a direct confrontation with invaders.

Special Needs for Teens

At times, it may seem like teens are even more stubborn and determined to do what they want than toddlers. On the other hand, teens are usually much easier to manage when they have an important task and feel good about themselves.

During a bug in situation, make sure that teens have enough tangible tasks to keep them busy. Try to work with them as equals, yet give them enough guidance so that they are not left trying to think 100% for themselves. In preparation for this time, make sure that you understand how your teen’s mind and emotions work, and how to bring out the best in them.

Some teens may be relatively easy to steer into productive ventures while others may take a bit of extra work. Finding the best paths and options now will ensure you know what to do in a crisis. It may also make your pre-crisis household far less chaotic and filled with stresses that go with the teen years.

If you have children, then you are likely to be aware of how important it is for the next generation of humans to grow up and take their place in the world. During a major crisis situation, it can become all too easy to forget that personal survival also equates to the survival of our species and its progression through time.

Aside from giving your children all the love and care they need now to thrive, make sure that you are as prepared as possible to take on extra duties during a survival crisis in which neither they nor you can have normal contact with the rest of the world.

Interested in improving your EMP survival skills? CLICK HERE to find out more!

This article has been written Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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5 Fatal Mistakes To Avoid When Bugging In

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Bugging inThere is no question that the decision to live off the grid will present many challenges, as will bugging out to a survival group or other safe location. Interestingly enough, it can also be very hazardous to stay at home during and after a major crisis or upheaval.

Ultimately, there are five, relatively simple but often overlooked things you should try to avoid at all cost. While it may take a bit of work to ensure you do not fall into these traps, it can save you time, money, and well-being in the long run.

1. Lack of Awareness about Your Surroundings

If you have been actively prepping, then you are always thinking about ways to improve your situational awareness. As with so many other things in life, sometimes it is very hard to distinguish between routine background elements of your life that won’t matter in a crisis situation, and those that will.

Some areas where you may be blindsided include:

  • Overall suitability of the land and building where you will be bugging in
  • An accurate and thorough assessment of risk of exposure to rioters
  • An accurate and thorough assessment of how government and first responders will respond to the crisis and post crisis period
  • How your personal advantages and limitations will change over time
  • Lack of knowing how zoning laws and other regulations will either prevent you from making viable prepping plans or even prevent you from doing what is needed after a crisis occurs

Today, many people that are working on their survival plans figure that if the situation is bad enough, local, state, and federal governments won’t be around or able to enforce the kinds of regulations that make it difficult to store and operate necessary survival equipment.

These very same people are unaware that we are living in a world with a global government that can and will send troops, and other forms of “support” to governing bodies that can no longer control or manage any given situation.

2. Believing You Will Always Be Safer in Your Own Home

floodNo matter what happens in life, chances are you will just want to be in your own home where you can get something to eat, go to bed, or take a shower.

Your home isn’t just a place where you carry out the daily tasks associated with taking care of yourself, it is your ultimate safe haven. In fact, even when people are very sick and need extensive care in a hospital, they always tend to feel safer at home and want to return as soon as possible.

On the other hand, there can be any number of situations where being at home can pose more of a risk than being somewhere else. In a post crisis world, it is anyone’s guess which option will be better for you.

Even in a flood, earthquake, or hurricane scenario, the house next to you may be demolished while yours remains relatively unscathed. Never simply avoid looking at the fact that your home may be too dangerous to stay in before, during, and after a crisis period.

Here are just a few things that should alert you to the fact that you may have some problems if you choose to bug in:

  • The floors, walls, or roof are in disrepair. Chances are, you would be amazed at how many people have enormous credit card, mortgage, and car payment loads even as their home is propped up on jacks or they need 5 gallon buckets to catch leaks from the roof when it rains. A home that is in this condition may seem like “home” to you, and impossible to leave, however it can spell death for you in a crisis scenario. While you may feel “at peace” with that kind of ending, you may find yourself thinking and feeling differently when you or a loved one are pinned under a beam and screaming for hours or days for help that may not arrive.
  • Your debt profile and how it impacts where you live. There is no question that many people quagmired in debt would not necessarily mind an upheaval that essentially causes all debts to be excused. Waiting for such an event and thinking that you can survive in your current home is about as rational as believing drinking poisoned Kool-Aide will get you to the promised land courtesy of Hale Bopp. Make sure that you understand how your debt and income profiles affect your ability to bring your home up to suitable standards or how your finances prevent you from getting into a safer apartment or neighborhood. If you need to let go of other prepping activities in favor of focusing on these matters (and resolving them), then do not hesitate to do so. You can always go back to more conventional elements of prepping once you have secured a safer home for bugging in. That being said, while you are tending financial matters, you can still be amassing information and fine tuning your plans so that you know what to buy, where to get it, and how to use it.


3. Insufficient Training and Knowledge Development

Just because you start each day off with a shower and a decent breakfast, it does not mean that you know enough to survive a major crisis scenario staying at home. In fact, many of the habits you take for granted may prove fatal in certain conditions. Consider a situation where you are decided to bug in during a hurricane or other massive flooding.

Chances are, if you live in a city or town, then you will also be relying on municipal water or other local water supplies that may have been contaminated by sewer system overruns. As strange as it may seem, when people hear a “boil water” advisory for cooking, they will still hop in the shower and assume that the water is clean enough to wash their bodies with!

Not only will you run the risk of exposing yourself to raw sewage and all kinds of dangerous chemicals, but you may also wind up being exposed to any number of deadly diseases.

This is just one example of insufficient training and knowledge development in areas where you may feel confident of your skills. Other things that people bugging in may overlook as they make their plans are:

  • How bathing and other hygiene protocols will change in a survival scenario. Even being a frequent camper and outdoor activity person cannot truly prepare you for days on end where you will need to conserve water and must use bath wipes and other resources to keep your skin and teeth in reasonably good condition.
  • Changes in cooking and food preparation routines. If you are the type that stores up and stocks up on frozen foods or pre-packaged meals, everything will be lost when there is no power to run refrigerators and freezers. To add insult to injury, if your cooking skills don’t go much beyond the coffee maker and the microwave, you will find it very hard to safely manage a propane stove or an open fire. Needless to say, if you decided on bugging in so that you could avoid “outdoorsy” scenarios, then you may find yourself at a distinct disadvantage even though you are in your own home.
  • Changes in how you manage medical conditions and needs. Even though you can buy a virtual pharmacy of useful herbal remedies, the vast majority of people don’t know how to choose good quality products let alone use them to their best advantage. To make matters even worse, there tends to be a distinct lack of interest in topics such as bystander CPR, general and advanced first aid, and emerging trends in medical technologies. While you may have no interest in being a doctor or other type of medical provider, that does not mean you should avoid learning how to splint a broken bone or stop excessive bleeding. It is also very important to keep up with new learning in the field of medicine. Many things that were thought to be true about various conditions are being disproven. As a case in point, do some research on leaky gut syndrome and find out about all the conditions it can lead to. If you are suffering with any of these conditions, you can put yourself at an advantage by looking for alternatives that will restore your well-being instead of hoping that your medicine stockpile will get you through a crisis situation.
  • The words “situation awareness” often bring dark alleys, gun shots, and martial arts smooth moves to mind. Sadly, the more active your imagination may be on this matter, the less prepared you will actually be to defend yourself or escape during a house invasion or riot. No matter how calm and cool you think you will be in a situation, rest assured that adrenalin alone will have you shaking as every thought flees from your mind, and your punches and kicks seem to be moving through some weird goo and miss their target. If you have never been in a real street fight or had to pull a knife/gun or use it on an attacker, then you truly don’t know what is involved let alone how to defend yourself and your home from multiple attackers. Never assume that being in your own home will mean you are safe regardless of the condition of society.
  • Dedicating the term “situation awareness” to self-defense alone. This particular term can be applied to just about any area of life. Invariably, the more you know about what is going on around you and within yourself, the more you will discover needs to be done.
  • Lack of structuring your home’s internal landscape. Regardless of the neighborhood or how nice you want your home to look, there are some disastrous orientations of furniture that will make it very easy for attackers to get in and take over your home. Make sure that you know how to use fields of fire and how to direct invaders to locations where you can deal with them more easily. Do not assume that this is sufficient. If you have a gun, practice hitting targets in these areas with the laser sights, throw knives, shoot soft darts, and practice with rubber arrows. The more muscle memory you have and the more confidence you have in the fields of fire within your home, the better chance you will have of defending it and yourself.
  • An accurate understanding of human behavior and intentions. In crisis scenarios, it is all too easy to become paranoid and lose all sense of how people can work together to overcome a crisis. Always make sure that you know when to defend yourself with words or how to shift a situation to your advantage. Simply “shooting and asking questions later” can easily leave you as a target for gangs and just about anyone else that sees you as a threat. This in turn, can make it difficult, if not impossible to get out of the situation alive, especially as others begin working together and rebuilding the area.

4. Lack of an Exit Plan

emergency exitThere are many situations where you may decide that you would simply rather die in your home than face all that goes with trying to bug out. As many people in 9/11, hurricane and tsunami zones have learned, you don’t always have a choice about whether or not you will survive the actual crisis event.

No matter whether you stepped away from your home at a critical moment or some other event leaves you as a survivor, you may well find out that you are alive and relatively well, but can no longer live in your home.

Lack of an exit plan from this type of situation can prove worse than fatal. Never forget that others around you that may have passed on or been badly injured would give anything to have what you have now.

Do not waste the good fortune that you have if you survive a major crisis by not developing a viable exit plan just in case you cannot bug in. Some basic things that your plan should include are:

  • The names and locations of friends or relatives in near and distant locations that can give you a place to stay in time of need. Often, the hardest part of bugging out is the fear that you will have no place to go. At the very least, if you have a person or location in mind, then you can focus on that goal and use it as a means to get started moving out of the crisis zone.
  • A bug out bag that has the tools required for navigation, food gathering, food preparation, water purification, and basic medical supplies. If you are traveling to an area with a different climate, then be sure to wear layers of clothes that will enable you to avoid common pitfalls. This may include clothes that will help you stave off frostbite as well as ones that will help prevent heat stroke and dehydration.
  • The financial means to support yourself once you are outside of the crisis zone. If you are in a fairly localized situation, it may still be possible to gain access to debit cards and other bank funds. To maximize your chances of getting at these funds, make sure that you have at least one pre-paid debit card that is backed by a bank large enough to have branches all over the world. As may be expected, cash or coins are always the best option if you don’t want to be tracked, however then you will still need to be able to defend yourself from various thieves and other criminals.
  • A list of skills and knowledge that you need to acquire. Make it your business to learn how to hunt, fish, build a shelter, purify water, tend basic medical needs, navigate, and defend yourself. You should also make it a point to learn at least one extended trade that you can use for barter as you move from one area to another. Even if you wind up remaining in your local area, these skills will still help you as you interact with others trying to overcome the same nightmare scenario.

5. Not Having a Bug in Bag

As you read the term “bug in bag” you may find yourself wondering why you would want to pack a set of essential gear when you have your whole home to survive in.

Basically, any given scenario may make certain rooms inaccessible or other problems may limit you to a very limited space. At the same time, if you need to leave, you can cut several hours off your time by having a bag with everything you need for long term survival.

Your bug in bag can be limited to essential tools that you will need to obtain water and purify it as well as tools for obtaining and preparing food. In some cases, you can follow guidelines for a bug out bag, however bear in mind that limited traveling distances and your neighborhood features may make some things useless unless you are going to bug out.

For example, a classic bug out bag might include fishing gear. If you are living in an inner city, chances are you won’t be going fishing let alone catch anything that is safe to eat.

On the other hand, you might find it more practical to have a paper list of all food pantries or other food preparation locations where you can get something to eat, plus seeds and suitable containers. While this won’t provide food immediately, eventually you will be able to feed yourself at home.

Over the years, many preppers that have studied a wide range of scenarios conclude that it will be easier, cheaper, and safer to bug in. Sadly, these same people may be lulled into making some fatal mistakes simply because they are planning to remain in known territory where they feel safe. A crisis situation can turn even your home into a nightmarish, strange, and dangerous landscape.

Take the time now to make sure you avoid these mistakes and you will have a better chance of thriving on your bug in plans.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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5 Reasons To Make A Bug In Bag

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Bug in BagEven fans of Home Alone can tell you that when your home is your castle, you don’t need to worry about trying to live out of bag. But there is a huge difference between a problem that lasts only two or three days and a complete social collapse.

More, the kinds of situations that lead to a major social collapse are also likely to render at least some parts of your home inaccessible. For example, in a major flood, you will need to shelter upstairs, while a nuclear explosion or tornado coming through will dictate moving into the basement. 

While caching a limited number of supplies throughout the house may be of some help, there is still a core of tools and vital materials that should be with you at all time.

Read the following article, and have a look at some other reasons and ways that a bug in bag can be very useful in a time of need and even now as you begin preparing for total collapse scenarios.

Easier to Hide Away and Protect From Home Invaders

Consider a situation where you live in an area where your home is constantly being broken into. To add insult to injury, you may not be able to get a gun because laws in your area favor criminals instead of good and honest people.

Needless to say, in a crisis scenario, any rogue that decides to invade your home will have plenty of time to go through everything and take what they want. Under these circumstances, you may not even want to think about how much worse the situation will be in a total social collapse.

You may also be feeling very frustrated because you already know that storing away goods and supplies to help you during an emergency will be virtually impossible. On the other hand, a small bug in bag weighing less than 30 pounds may be fairly easy to tuck away in a place that would be overlooked by home invaders. As long as you are able to keep it hidden and secure, then you can have confidence in knowing that you can get by until the situation resolves.

In a home invasion and crisis situation you may have one psychological advantage in the sense that you know what you are guarding and how important it is. If you have followed advice about keeping a low profile and creating optimal fire zones, then you may just be able to protect your bug in bag or escape with it before the situation gets worse.

Even if you cannot  have or get a gun, there are plenty of small things that are far more lethal that can be placed in your bug in bag. Just look at how easy it is to make a Molotov cocktail or other lethal explosives. While you may not relish the idea of basically exploding a bomb in your home, it may be just enough to enable you to escape or encourage those home invaders to leave.

Reduce Immediate Budget Strains Associated with Prepping

If you do some research, you will find that in some areas, the price of bottled water is doubling and tripling. By the same token, failing crops and other problems are also sending food prices upward. Aside from these basic budgetary problems, you will also find that the best and most recommended survival gear tends to be very expensive.

No matter whether you are talking about independent power generation, suitable clothing, guns, ammunition, or storage containers, each item can cost well over 100.00. When you can barely afford to pay the rent or put food on the table, chances are you also won’t have money for the more conventional purchases associated with prepping.

On the other hand, a well designed bug in bag can cost well under 250.00, including all of the tools and supplies. Here are some other ways that focusing on building a bug in bag can help you save money now and in the long run:

  • A bug in bag can be as simple as a regular backpack that can carry 30 – 50 pounds of weight. I have been known to take a 15.00 backpack and use it for years on end to carry heavy items. While some people would never attempt this without a bar system on the back part, you can still use a basic backpack for a bug in bag and be able to mobilize with it if needed. As an added bonus, choosing a backpack without rails will make it much easier for you to fit into the landscape of people. Without a question, if rioters or thieves see you running around with a more expensive backpack, they are sure to think you have something of value in it. On the other hand, if your bug in/out bag looks old or “regular” they won’t think you have anything of major value in the pack.
  • Focusing on small tools can save money and give you a wider range of versatility. As a prepper you may spend a good bit of time in the tool department. While you are wandering around, you are sure to appreciate all those battery operated power tools (even though they don’t work nearly as well as corded ones!) and boxes of fancy screwdriver, pliers, and multi-piece tool kits. On the other hand, my personal tool kit that I have used for an endless variety of chores and projects can fit into a much smaller space. For example, my screwdriver kit includes a regular sized ratcheting handle and a second one for smaller spaces (each one cost about $3.00 and came with a bunch of bits). Bits for these screwdrivers can be purchased for about a dollar a dozen, or upward depending on the quality of the bits. As an added bonus, I also have sockets, star bits, and a few others that can be used on just about any fastener. A monkey wrench, coping saw, mini hacksaw, metal cutter, two regular pliers, one needle nose pliers, tweezers, hammer, level (you can get one for about a dollar and then take it out of the frame), floral wire, multi-meter, composite file, 2 xacto handles plus blades, and tape measure round out my basic tool kit. Even at today’s inflated prices, you can build a mini-tool kit like this one for well under 30.00 and have no problems carrying it around in your bug in bag. In fact, even when I was commuting long distances, this exact kit served as a main part of my auto emergency kit and went with me no matter where I went.
  • A bug in bag gives you a focus point to start with and the flexibility to change your plans if needed. When you only have a few dollars to work with, it can be very frustrating to purchase something and then realize that it won’t suit short term, let alone long term survival needs. At the very least, if you start off with a bug in bag, you can test out each piece and see how it fits into your pre-crisis lifestyle as well as how you will use it during and after a major crisis scenario.
  • Creating a custom bug in bag is cheaper and better than buying a pre-packed kit. For example, if you buy a bug out bag, it may contain all kinds of hunting and navigation gear, and perhaps even some toilet paper and a transistor radio. On the other hand, these same pre-assembled bags may not include good quality tools or other resources that you can purchase for less and store away in a bag of your own choosing. As you develop your own bug in bag, you will also get to know how to use every part of it and actually practice enough to feel confident of your skills no matter what happens.

You Can Live in a Smaller or More Limited Space if Needed

Depending on the situation, the building you are living in may still be in relatively good condition after a major crisis occurs. Sadly, supporting community systems such as municipal water, gas, and electricity may all be temporarily or permanently disrupted.

To make matters even worse, structural damages to the building you are in may not be severe enough to warrant repairs, yet still limit your ability to use certain rooms. Under each of these circumstances, you may wind up having to bug out.

Even if you can travel to a friend or family member’s house, it may not be possible to take along a large stockpile. At the very least, if you have a well stocked bug in bag, you can live in your home for as long as you choose or bug out at a moment’s notice. Here are some other ways that a bug in bag can help you survive in a smaller space:

  • A small, alternative powered dehumidifier can provide enough water for cooking and cleaning even if no other water is available. This is especially important if you already suspect that your home will be one of the first that rioters and looters will come to visit. In most cases, if you have water on hand, they will take that first. As long as they don’t see or know about your bug in bag, they will not be able to steal the dehumidifier that has far more value than the water they just stole.
  • Solar power packs can be used to generate enough electricity to charge batteries or directly power a range of devices. If you do choose to purchase a solar power pack, make sure that you can also charge any batteries that may be used in medical devices.
  • A box (after you unfold it) and some tinfoil can act as a solar oven that can be used to prepare food or heat up a room.
  • Seeds packed away in the bug out bag can be started and eventually produce crops that can be consumed for food and medicinal purposes. If you need food within a few days, do some research on beans and other plants whose seedlings can be consumed after sprouting. In some cases, these sprouts can be started in little more than a moist paper towel and be ready to consume in under 48 hours. Chances are, you will be amazed at just how many sprouts you can get from a pound of alfalfa, cress, or bean seeds! Just make sure that you store away plenty of viable seeds so that you have enough to last several days plus enough seeds to produce a harvest.
  • You can also store away ant eggs and other insect eggs that can be used to raise edible insects. Depending on what you choose, an area as small as a shoebox can be used to raise these insects. Aside from increasing your range of foods, insects are some of the most nutritious, protein rich foods that you can consume. Once you get past the “ick” factor, you may just decide that you never want to go back to commercial meat and all its toxins. As with a dehumidifier, rioters and looters may not think seriously about a bug farm sitting in your living room or other areas.   In fact, if you really want to stir up rioters and other hostile invaders, it may be to your advantage to raise some stinging insects or others that will attack as soon as rioters are foolish enough to disturb their home. No doubt, if you have ever seen fire ants swarm, or other insects that attack en masse, then you can truly understand how these insects can help you fend off invaders while others can be used for food.
  • When used in conjunction with fire zones, pen guns, darts, poisons, rope, wire, and other small weapons can be of immense value. A good array of these weapons usually weight less than a pound and can fit into something as small as a salt box. Not only will you have the element of surprise if someone invades  your home, you can build all of these devices for just a few dollars.  As an added bonus, no matter how much anti-gunners try to limit your access to conventional guns, there is nothing they can do about non-metal bearing weapons that you build at home and in complete privacy.
  • A backpack with two side pockets offers the perfect way to make cheap, lightweight Faraday cages.  These side pouches can be used to store away tiny FM radios and smaller sized smart phones that would otherwise be destroyed in an EMP blast. If you have a lot of information stored on your computer, a good quality unlocked WiFi phone with expandable memory (don’t forget to copy all your files onto the chip that you will use with the phone) can be used to store and access this information. Even though you should always strive to learn as much as possible and remember it all, it never hurts to have a backup data source. Just make sure that you choose a phone that can be switched out to a custom Linux variant. This will help improve your overall security and make it harder for others to find you.
  • If you make a list of the basic needs of daily life, you are sure to find cheap, small devices that will fit into a bug in bag and make it entirely possible to live for weeks or even months without ever leaving the building.  While this is sure to be psychologically taxing, at least you will be able to weather the weeks and months after the post crisis period with as little contact as possible with others who may be carrying dangerous diseases or exposing yourself  to other problems.


Try out Different Tools and Equipment to See What Works Best

Have you ever purchased a clearance sale first aid kit or something else that looked like it might be of use some day? Did you get a nasty surprise when you opened up the kit or actually tried to use what you bought in an actual situation.

If so, then you can well understand what it will be like when a crisis happens and you try to use an array of items and tools that either don’t work, or you have no skill with using. In this case, a bug in bag can help you practice with a relatively limited number of tools and supplies. If something doesn’t work, you can do some more research and find something that will.

Ultimately, you should make it your business to try and live for at least 3 months exclusively on the resources housed in your bug in bag. Once you find things that work, you can always replace what you use, or better yet, in the case of plant seeds and insect eggs, simply store away extras from your harvests.

When you start using the tools and supplies in your bug in bag before a crisis happens, you may also find that it will change your life and daily habits. For example, after a few months of eating plant sprouts from heirloom seeds or insects that do not contain all kinds of commercial meat hormones and toxins, you may be looking and feeling much better than expected.

If you find something that works well for you, there is no need to go back to other food sources that cost a lot of money and rob you of your good health at the same time.

By the same token, as you become more adept other tools in your bug in bag, you will have more confidence in your ability to take care of household repairs. Once again, not only will you save money, but you will also be able to streamline and simplify your life in some very satisfying ways.

Important Items Will not be Overlooked if You Must Leave

No matter whether you have to take refuge in an attic, basement, or closet, chances are you will still panic after a major crisis occurs. Under these circumstances, you may forget even the simplest things that will not be easy to gather up once you go to a safer location within your home. On the other hand, if your bug in bag is within easy reach, all you need to do is grab it and take it along with you.

It should be noted that the bulkiest part of your bug in bag is going to be dedicated to clothes. This will also be the most expensive part of your kit since you will need to focus on thin fabrics that either keep you warm or help you stay cooler.

Oddly enough, many people give very little, if any thought to how they will manage clothing during a crisis. Consider a situation where you need to leave town quickly. As you look through your wardrobe, it is very likely that you will pull out (and pack) the worst possible clothes.

For women, this may include high heels, dresses, and other fancy garments that are completely useless for hiking, climbing, kicking, punching, and running. By the same token, men may be tempted to pack hats, ties, and other clothes that are relatively useless outside of a particular social context.

When you have a few basic garments stashed away in your bug in bag, at least you won’t have to worry about trying to dig through your wardrobe, the clothes you just washed, or the laundry hamper.

There is no question that bugging in can take a lot of work and preparation. All of that can go to waste if rioters and looters get into your home and steal everything before you have a chance to use it up in the post-crisis world. By the same token, structural damage, loss of utilities, and other factors can make it even harder to bug in without having a good quality bug in bag.

By outfitting a bug in bag now and practicing with it, you can be assured that you can live just about anywhere, including just one room or part of a room within your home. Why should you go through all the trouble of making sound and reasonable bug in plans and then overlook one part of the prepping process just because it is traditionally associated with bugging out?

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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