3 Ways to Use Your Swimming Pool for Emergency Preparedness

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There are plenty of warnings not to drink pool water, but would the same advice still apply in an emergency situation? The fact is pool water is not potable and contains many different chemicals, but despite all that, a swimming pool is one of the best things to own during an emergency. The average 20 ft by 40 ft inground swimming pool can provide access to up to 34,000 gallons of water at a time when getting it from the tap or well may not be feasible. Here’s how to prepare to use this valuable resource in a SHTF scenario.

Use Pool Water as Gray Water

Pools contain chlorine to keep them pristine, but when the electricity goes down and the pumps stop running, the automatic filtration and treatment system stops too. That can be a good thing as chlorine dissipates over time into the air. Thus, there is less and less of it. You may even notice algae starting to grow, which is also a beneficial sign that the chlorine is about gone. Then, you can use the water as gray water to do laundry, flush toilets, and take baths. The amount of water you use from the pool can keep your potable water stores from being wasted and used on those activities that do not require the absolute best filtration or water treatment.

To Stay Cool in Hot Situations

One of the most dangerous times for the power to go down is in the heat of summer. Luckily, if you own a pool, you won’t be one of those people who might end up with heat stroke. A pool isn’t just handy for jumping into when the temperatures get too high, but it can also be used for 12V battery-operated evaporative coolers, so you can sleep well at night. You can opt for the DIY option of a swamp coolers which works by cooling very dry areas down by spritzing water on them. However, there are also battery-operated swamp coolers on the market. Evaporative cooling is an ancient technique to keep buildings cool, and if you have an area with brick, you can even spray water on it and let the natural evaporation cool that space down.

You Can Drink It (With Some Cautions)

You probably are very aware what goes into your pool water, when it comes to additives and chemicals. Many pool builders might even be creating salt water pools for the neighbors or treating them with heavy metals, though. Thus, you might not know exactly what is in everyone’s pools, but you do know your own. It will need to be filtered and protected, to try to maintain some of the chlorine to avoid contamination. Cover your pool with a cover at the first indication that you are undergoing a long-term emergency. This will not only keep the sun from breaking down all the chlorine, but it will also keep debris out of the water. Use a swimming pool test kit to check the chlorine levels and once it goes below 4 ppm, it is safe to drink (assuming no other harsh chemicals are in it). You will still want to use a biofilter to remove any potential bacteria and additional chemicals before giving it a swig. If you have access to a solar still, this is the best way to treat pool water before drinking it. Do not drink pool water for more than a few days, just in case you’ve missed something. Also, don’t drink pool water from a different person’s pool because they might not know how it’s been treated and what is in the water. If you decide to build your own pool, you can run a quick search of “pool builders near me and ask for information regarding pool water as well as what designs best fit you.

Get Your Own Pool for Emergencies

Having your own pool is the best assurance of what goes into the water prior to an emergency. In the event of an emergency, you don’t want to rely on the kindness of your neighbors to offer up some of their pool water and then find out it has been harshly treated with too many chemicals or salts to make it drinkable. Instead, treat your pool with chlorine and have a plan to protect it and use it appropriately when the time comes.

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How City Dwellers Should Prepare for an Earthquake

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What would you do if an earthquake struck your city?

 

If you don’t have an answer to that question, stop what you’re doing and grab a notebook and pen (not your phone, you’ll want this information to be available even if your city’s power lines are compromised). Here are some tips that all city dwellers need to know when the ground begins rumbling.

 

The rumble of shifting tectonic plates sends shivers down spines worldwide–the fear of earthquakes is understandable; they have ravaged countless cities the world over, long before recorded history.

 

It’s urgent that people learn about earthquake preparedness in their cities, sooner rather than later; the information may even save your life.

 

3 Steps to Remember

If you’ve taken fire safety courses, you’re no doubt aware that you should “stop, drop, and roll” if an item of your clothing catches fire. With earthquakes, city dwellers need to remember to Drop, Cover, and HOLD ON. As in, “Drop to the ground, seek cover from falling objects, and do your best to stay still.”

 

Your Home or Apartment’s Safest Areas

Scout out areas in your home where you’ll be safe from any falling objects–strong earthquakes can loose mirrors and light fixtures from your ceilings and walls; a quake can even topple bookshelves or entertainment centers. As such, you should find your home’s “safe spaces”. This might be under a bed, in a closet, or in a largely unfurnished room.

 

Finding Out the Specifics for Your City

Every city has a different design; consequently, we can’t tell you precisely what you should do in the event of an earthquake affecting your city. Fortunately, your local government can. Through Ready.gov, the government’s disaster preparedness website, you can find the localized information you need.

 

Developing the “Prepper” Mindset

Angelo_Giordano / Pixabay

Chances are, you have at least one friend who’s interested in survivalism or even considers themselves a full-blown “prepper”. We’re not saying that you need to fill your crawlspace with cans of Spam and other non-perishables. However, you can learn a lot from these survivalists.

One of the best ideas prepper culture has borne is the idea of the “bug out bag”. While bigger versions exist, the 72-hour bag has become the standard for beginners. When it’s fully packed, it will contain a flashlight, first-aid kit, waterproof matches, and many other tools you’ll need if an earthquake renders your home, or even your city, unlivable.

 

When it comes to your health and sustenance after an earthquake, you should store plenty of clean, bottled drinking water, as well as (at least) a week’s worth of non-perishable food items.

 

Your Personal Health

Thrust into a survival situation, you’ll need to be in good physical condition to survive and prosper. If you’re over your ideal weight, it’s important to start eating a little healthier and exercising more each day. Likewise, if you’re a smoker, you might find that a tobacco harm reduction product (such as an e cigarette starter kit, otherwise known as a “vape pen”), or another tobacco alternative can provide you with a greater level of freedom.

 

Further Information

We apologize if the tone of this piece ever struck you as alarmist–we don’t want to scare people. Our goal is to make people–especially those living in cities–aware of the steps they need to take to be disaster-ready. If you have any questions, comments, or additional information you’d like to add, feel free to comment below or send us a message. Stay safe!

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Just spent Six days without Power: 12 things I learned

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So one of those once in a lifetime mess-ups left us without power for almost a week. One guy messed up and didn’t present the paperwork he was supposed to, the power company did its thing, then fixing it all with a weekend in between was even more time. At the end of the day we were left without power until the mess was sorted out.

I’ve been without power for a few days before. In fact in Argentina power would go down almost every day for a few hours some years ago, especially during summer. I’ve been a day or two without power more times than I can remember and even longer too. Can’t remember if I ever did six full days though.

Anyway, not the end of the world but it is an experience in which you get to see what works, what doesn’t, learn a thing or two or just refresh or remember some of them, so here it goes:

1)Not having power sucks. I gets boring after a day or two. I like watching a movie with the wife after the kids go to sleep. We missed that, of course no internet, tablets and wifi for the phones. Not having rooms as well illuminated is pretty depressing too, especially after a few days. At first the kids run around with flashlights having fun, after the 3rd day they cant stop asking when is the power coming back. We have board games, card games but we didn’t get to use them because we were still pretty busy. It’s a good idea to have them and put them to use though.

Tip: Try finding other things to do, and most of all, if you can, get of the house as much as you can. It really helps fight the gloomy blackout feeling.

2)Preparedness helps. It makes a very big difference if you know what to do. If the blackout lasts for a few hours then just waiting it out with a flashlight will do, but for several days you actually need a game plan, a strategy to get by. How are you going to heat your home, how are you going to heat water, cook food, illuminate the house, keep the fridge going, get work done. All of these need to be addressed and if you haven’t prepared ahead of time and know what to do then everything gets a lot more complicated.

3)Flashlights. Lots of flashlights. I have a ton of them. I buy them, I get them for free to review. They all came in handy. A small Fenix that my oldest son keeps was his personal light to get around when going to bed. My wife kept the Lumintop Copper Prince (best looking flashlight we own!) she keeps as her own. I made good use of the Thrunite TN12s that I have.

Those 1000 lumen lights come in very handy. Using them in candle mode, standing on the tail and pointing towards the ceiling, in their medium modes of 300 or so they would run for a few hours illuminating the room quite well, especially for showering and preparing dinner they were extremely handy.

4)Headlamps. Oh how I love those things. The ability to have both hands available for use while directing light with your head is priceless. If I could only have a light, it would be a headlamp. During those days I picked the head band of my Zebralight H52W and kept it in my pocket as my EDC, using the head strap when getting things done inside the house. Get yourself a good headlamp. The cheapo ones are ok but a nicer one is a valuable asset during extended blackouts.

5)Cat 32 stoves. You remember that post some time ago about making stoves with small tuna and cat food cans? The first day without power I used one to boil some water for breakfast. It worked beautifully.

After that I went for the butane camping stove and left that in the kitchen. If you don’t have one of these yet, just go and buy one. Not the mini  backpacking one but the cheap, large one used of camping. Its far more stable and convenient for blackouts. The one I have is just like this one, the Coleman Butane Stove. Bottles of gas are 2 bucks although its not hard to find them for one dollar when on sale. Stock up. I used a canister every two or three days. This was cooking lunch and dinner, heating water throughout the day for coffee, tea and mate. Stock up and keep a couple weeks worth of gas. It’s cheap enough, extremely handy for these kind of situations and can be used safely in any kind of house or apartment.

Coleman Butane Stove $15.21

6)If you have a car you already have a generator that can run most appliances in your home, one or two at a time. All you need is an inverter. My 500W inverter allowed me to turn on the wifi, use my laptop and charge the cell phones. Careful not to abuse it, you don’t want to end up with burned cables or a dead car battery. These days even fuel efficient refrigerators can be run with a 500W inverter. I would run it for couple hours at a time, get some things done with the laptop before going for running errands and recharging the battery. If you’re going to use the inverter for something more than running a laptop for an hour or two you want to keep the car running so as to avoid draining the battery.

Tip: The advertised power of these car inverters is usually exaggerated a bit. For charging a small laptop and little else a 300W inverter is fine, connected to the 12V lighter. Anything more than that and you’ll probably start blowing fuses in the car. Better yet, get a 500W to 1000W inverter that connects directly to the car’s battery. The bigger the car and the battery the better. Still, Check the wattage and try sticking to half of the max. wattage of your inverter.

 

 

BESTEK 1000W Power Inverter Dual AC Outlets 12V DC to 110V AC Car Inverter $69.99

7)Ice bottles. Put a few bottles of water in your freezer and use it as an ice box for a couple days, maybe 3 or 4 days in winter. Cover everything with a plastic tarp in there for extra insulation. Don’t expect any miracles, but using this technique it will give you enough time to eat any perishables you may have in there before they go bad.

8)Rice, pasta, canned tuna, canned vegetables, lentils, the more shelf stable food you have the easier it is. We are used to eating these things already during “normal” times, so its already easy for us to stop using the fridge and stick to these shelf stable foods. Sure you miss a cold drink in summer, but you get by none the less.

Tip: For rice and especially lentils, pre soaking saves a lot of fuel when cooking. Don’t forget the lid too!

9)Gravity fed city water saved us. If you’re on a well and need to pump water, prepare accordingly. Basically you want to look at your situation and have plan B or even plan C for everything. Cooking? I use electricity. If that goes down I have the butane stove. If that doesn’t work I have the Cat32 alcohol stove which also works. I also have LPG gas bottles used for the water heater, which ca be used for cooking with the right burner. If you have a well, you maybe want a manual pump in case the electric one fails.  Having a plan B, and even plan C for the more critical systems saves the day when SHTF.

10)Living next to town made many things easier. Sometimes you picked fresh food and cooked it right away, buying things you needed, dropping by laundry. Even simple things like having a pizza delivered (even if I usually make my own) it just means you have more resources available and more at hand. Even my neighbour offered several times to hook me up to his grid if I needed it. I don’t like asking for favours or even accepting them when offered, but it was nice knowing that it had been offered.

11)Location, location, location. Living in an area with tropical climate means that when these things happen chances are you’ll get by more easily. In colder climates staying warm is a top priority, especially in winter and a blackout complicates this a lot. The backup systems are crucial in this case. In more benign climates though you just don’t worry about that sort of thing. In sunny places, even lighting gets easier, with daylight up to 9PM in some cases.

12) Batteries, chargers and cables. You need several of these, just like you do with flashlights. You need batteries for your flashlights of course, both primaries and rechargables. Li-ion ones are especially useful for those larger Lumen LED lights. They are brighter and run for longer periods of time. Battery banks and solar panels are also useful. The Waka Waka Power battery bank plus charger worked great yet again. Highly recommended. Keep a lighter plug for the car that has two USB outputs. This means you can charge two phones at a time when running. When there’s a blackout, this is very convenient. A good working solar panel is worth purchasing. I’m considering the one by Goal Zero Nomad 20W  given the positive reviews it has.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

More dead in Venezuela as violence continues

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caracas reuters violence over venezuela s disputed presidential ...

It’s been several days of protesting, rioting and looting in Venezuela, claiming several fatal victims every day.

More than two dozen people have been killed in less than a month and young people keep leaving the country.

People are starving, protesters are getting gunned down by the police and Maduro supporters and it seems that Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship is running on fumes.

Even people with jobs are  looking through garbage to find food. Inflation has spiralled out of control long ago and the lie that is the Venezuelan government can’t keep food on the shelves.

An interesting fact and important reminder: Less than Lethal 12ga ammo (plastic buckshot) CAN be lethal at very close range. Gruseny Calderon was killed by rubber bullets that pierced his lung and liver.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

North Korea to use Chemical and Biological Weapons Against the US

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Too many Americans are completely detached from the horrors of war as the US has enjoyed an unprecedented period of peace within its continental borders.  The ability to not know

Don’t Forget to Include this Essential Ingredient in Your Food Storage

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Besides basic things like food and water, we take for granted many other items we use on a daily basis such as toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, trash bags, clothing, etc.  One item that came to mind is salt.  I decided we need to store more salt:  it is inexpensive and plentiful now, but if we were to run out, we would really miss it.  For hundreds of years, salt was not readily available […]

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Probability for the use of nuclear weapons during the next four years nears 80%

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I hate to continually bring you doom and gloom, but in short, the probability that nuclear weapons will be used within the next four years has spiked to its highest

10 Steps To Be Ready For A Flood

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PeteLinforth / Pixabay

Are there ways to stop your home from getting carried away from a flood, or to protect you and your loved ones? Yes, there are. Preparing for a natural flood is something every household needs to consider, especially in this era of weird weather. Here are ten things you’ll need to do.

Get flood insurance

Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding. You need separate flood insurance for that. Yes, it will cost extra money, but might be the only thing that can keep you afloat after a major flood. Disaster relief funds from the federal government are actually a loan you have to pay back, so don’t rely on those.

Build a flood kit

Any standard bug-out bag will work for a flood, but you should make sure you have two extra things. First, you need enough water for everyone in your family for at least three days. Second, a hand-crank radio will help you know where to go. Floods are unpredictable and you won’t know which roads will be out. Consider a paper map as well. Expect to be out of your home for 3-7 days. Floods longer than that are rare.

Know where your shelters are

If you know where the shelters are, you can head there immediately if you have to abandon your home. Talk with your local disaster planning officials to know where to go. By knowing in advance you can practice going there before the flood comes.

Store valuable or important items high

If you have a second floor, keep your important papers and precious items up there. They will have the greatest chance of surviving if you keep them above the flood waters. You should also have copies in your bug-out bag. You don’t want to be caught without identification and insurance paperwork.

Know the weather warnings

Floods use the same warnings as other weather patterns. A watch means you should be ready to flee if necessary. A warning means there is a flood and it’s time to either leave or shelter in place depending on your local situation. However, if there is a flash flood warning and you believe you are in the way, you must flee. Flash floods are the most deadly kind of flooding and can wash a house away in an instant.

Learn how to sandbag

If you’re going to use sandbags, here’s what you need to do. Fill them only two-thirds full of sand, fold the end over then place it with the open end down on the ground. Stack them like bricks. Place them in front of doors, foundation entrances, and garages. For one door, arrange the bags in a ring so you can open the door after the flood. Sandbags swell and get very heavy when wet. The time to put them out is when there is a flood watch.

Check your sump pump

If you have a basement, you need a sump pump. Check it monthly to make sure it works by pouring water down into the sump hole. Also, make sure it works on battery power.

Install a backflow preventer

Depending on the size of the flood and your town’s sewer system, water may try to back up through your pipes. By installing backflow preventers on your drain lines, you can stop this from happening. Consult with a plumber for proper installation.

Avoid touching flood water

You should do your best to avoid wading in flood water or driving through it. Your car is no protection when driving through flood water. In fact, many deaths from flooding happen because people try driving through it. Flood water also carries unknown contaminants as it flows. Avoid touching it as much as you can.

Know what to do after

Keep the number of a plumber, your gas company, and a water damage repair company in your area with your bugout bag in case you need them. Also, keep a camera so you can photograph any flood damage for your insurance company. Call them first after the flood for instructions.

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6 Reasons Archery Features in your Dystopian Future

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You’re preparing for the end of the world right? Or at least some sort of cataclysmic event that changes the game completely. Maybe a horde of blood-thirsty, bone-crunching zombies surrounds you. You’ll have to fight your way out. Luckily, you have your trusty handgun with you. You take it out, aim, and click. No ammo. No headshot. No you.

You should have chosen a bow and arrow instead.

You laugh now, but you won’t be laughing when your precious shotgun fails you, jamming up in the humid air caused by hyper global warming, failing to protect you and your store of canned goods and bottled water as you are besieged by your crazed neighbors, all signs of decency gone since the complete collapse of American society, probably caused by a particularly nasty Presidential Tweet, or PNPT, as it shall come to be known.

No Infrastructure Means No More Guns

Look, I’m not saying I don’t like guns. Of course I do! I’m not against firearms of any sort, just strongly against their misuse in the wrong hands. What I’m saying here though is once we go through armageddon or some sort of radiation-based apocalypse, guns are going to be hard to find. They’re already hard to find in some parts of the world like the UK. Unless you own a manufacturing plant or live in a foundry, you probably don’t have the means of producing a gun on your own. Once society breaks down and all the WalMarts and Cabellas have been raided and their contents stashed by the greedy, what happens? Sure, the ones you already have will still be there, until they get taken from you or need replacement parts or become damaged, without a solid government and clear social structure I doubt anybody is going to be making and supplying you with any more.

You Can Make Your Own Bow (and Ammunition)

There are lots of different bow types available today, but it is completely possible to make your own bow. How do I know? My 8-year-old nephew made a long-bow in an after-school class called “Crafts for Boys.” It used a length of PVC pipe for the bow and paracord for the string. Shot pretty decently, too. If you don’t have PVC pipe, and you find that all hardware stores have been commandeered by a soviet regime and will no longer sell you supplies, you can also fashion a bow from oak, lemon tree, hickory, yew, teak and many more hardwoods and you’ll need nothing more than a sharp knife to help you. For the string you’d be able to use rawhide, thin rope, hemp cord, fishing line or just ordinary twine.

Arrows are nothing more than sharpened sticks sometimes hardened in fire and the art of fletching them (adding the feathers) is entirely optional depending on how far and accurately you’re trying to shoot. Making your own arrows is also a pretty simple job.

You can find instructional videos to take you through the process. If you’re smart, you’ll watch a YouTube video about how to do it right now. I’m pretty sure the internet won’t be working when most of our infrastructure has been disabled or destroyed.

Hunting!

Hungry? Can’t go to Chili’s; it’s been overrun by mutants with a taste for Southwestern food and your blood. Guess you’ll have to strike out on your own. A bow would be perfect for this situation! You can hunt all sorts of game with a bow, birds, deer, your neighbor’s dog (hey, it’s the end of the world, remember?), all of which will cook nicely on a spit over an open flame. Modern bows with broadhead arrows (lethal looking things, look them up) have been used to takedown elephants, and that is no easy feat, but it shows you the versatility of the bow and why it shouldn’t be discounted.

Ever heard of Bow Fishing?

Live near a stream? If you’ve done your target practice, you’ll be able to spear a fish on the end of an arrow. You can just shoot the thing right out of the water, and the arrow may even stick into the river bed, allowing you to easily retrieve your dinner (Let’s see you do that with a .22). If it doesn’t, no bother really, the arrow will be easy enough to find and if you’re lucky to have the kit handy modern bows like the Sabercome with all the necessary fittings for bowfishing reels which allow you to reel in a freshly speared fish, just like a fishing rod. But with bowfishing not only fish are on the menu, if you can find them in the shallows or some clear water you can hunt eels, alligator, ray even small barracuda and shark all with the same bow and arrow.

Let’s get this out of the way, it’s an armour piercing weapon!

Personally I like to think that due to the fact that archaeologists discovered what they believe to be the first signs of actual bow use somewhere in a well preserved encampment in northern Europe (Stellmoor), and that the signs pointed to those bows being used to hunt reindeer, that bows were developed primarily as a tool to aid in hunting. However, should you need to defend yourself from a swarm of undead, a bow will help you out in that department as well. Just don’t eat your kill in that case. Ew.

A decent broadhead is a lethal and dangerous thing, with modern technology they are surgically sharp, but even a slimmer bullet or field point will pierce soft shell armour, and well…. just who knows exactly what you’ll be up against. I remember once reading a sci-fi book where the protagonists were protected by force fields that no metal or energy based weapon could penetrate and the only thing that would get through was a good old fashioned wooden arrow. That was a long time ago back in school, but the image never left me! I just wish I could remember the name of the book!

The Noise!

When you go to a shooting range, you wear ear protection. (And if you don’t, you really should. You’re damaging your hearing when you don’t.) But let’s say you don’t care about your ears right now because you’re fighting for your life. You’re up against one of them and they’re after you and yours… you shoot it with a firearm. Maybe it goes down, maybe not. But guess what? You’ve attracted the attention of everything within a pretty sizeable radius out there, and they’re now headed your way! In end-of-days scenarios, you always want the most silent weapon. Don’t mess with a gun and a separate silencer. A bow is naturally quiet, the truly silent-but-deadly choice. You can even silence a bow using special string silencers that help to calm the vibration, making you even more undetectable.

In The End

If you agree or disagree feel free to let me know! If you’ve any sense you’ll at least entertain the idea of learning the skill of shooting a bow, and possibly take a look at some of the best beginner recurve bows available in the market today. Who knows where you’re going to be living and just what you’re going to be up against!

The post 6 Reasons Archery Features in your Dystopian Future appeared first on American Preppers Network.

A few thoughts about today’s Terrorist attack in London

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London terror attack: Four dead and 20 injured

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39359158

In case you haven’t heard, there was another terrorist attack today in London, leaving behind five dead so far and 40 injured. Not much details yet but apparently an SUV was used to plow people and a police officer was stabbed to death.

A few thoughts:

1)Be prepared. Carrying an EDC bag with Celox gauze and tourniquet may seem excessive.. that is until you’re bleeding to death on the sidewalk.

2)As for strategic relocation, it’s yet again another main capital that got hit. NY, London, Paris. Im not saying don’t go there, just be a little extra careful and if possible don’t live in key terrorist target locations.

3)Awareness. When I lived in Buenos Aires I made sure not to wear any headphones. In places with such high crime you need all your senses. Listen to screams, quick footsteps behind you, speeding cars, even shots. In this case a speeding car may have been heard, and someone listening to music may have been completely unaware of it until it was too late.

4)A machine that weights half a ton or more and can move at +100mph can be a terrible weapon. We’ve seen it before with even worse results and we’re likely to see it again. A car, let a lone a truck, in a crowded area can be devastating.

5) The ISIS terrorist magazine “Inspire” tells its followers to do attacks exactly like these. Grab a big car and just plow people. Its easy, simple and any fool can take numerous innocent lives with this kind of attack. It’s reasonable to expect more of these kind of attacks in key western cities.

6)Not pointing any fingers at anyone, or yes maybe I am, but why is it that when terrorist attacks occur there’s always a “religion of peace” representative involved? Just saying.

FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Bugging Out, Passports and Cash

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Image result for passports and cash

Hi Fernando,

Thanks for your blog!

Here is a link that I thought you might find helpful for your blog readers.  Good reminder to have an updated passport while times are good!

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-10/millions-venezuelans-try-flee-country-they-run-problem

Tomás Páez – author of “The Voice of the Venezuelan Diaspora” – told Bloomberg that since Chávez took power in 1999 nearly 2 million Venezuelans have fled the country and hundreds of thousands are marking their time until they obtains the funds and the passport that will allow them to leave.

Maduro has acknowledged the issue of the chronic shortages in passports and last week launched a new “online” option that will rush a passport to customers within 72 hours for about double the price of waiting in line. The website, however, has crashed numerous times and it is unclear how many passports have been expedited through this process. Saime has stated that the backup in processing passport applications is because the agency lacks enough “materials,” but did not specify what that means. Observers say that while the government may not be able to afford the paper to make the passport. Paper products in the country, including toilet paper, are in short supply in Venezuela. But skeptics think the Maduro government may also be trying to keep people from leaving the beleaguered nation.

Karyn from California

Hello Karyn, thanks for your email.

Indeed, passports and money (a good bit of it in cash!).  I’ve explained many times before how these two are the most important assets to have when bugging out abroad.

The thing with passports is, timing is key. In most countries getting a passport takes time. If you want to apply for a second one due to family ancestry it may take years.

The lesson folks is get your passport and keep it updated even if you’re not planning on going anywhere.

Also, if you think you may be able to apply for Irish, British or any other second citizenship, don’t waste any time, contact the embassy and get it done while you can. It can one day be, by far, your most valuable asset… or your grandkids.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

REPOST: SurvivalRing Guide #1: Five Most Important Skills for New Preppers…Set Your Foundation First (plus bonus Bug-out section)

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“Hello…We’re the Preppers…” The “Prepper” movement has grown exponentially in the last few years, thanks to reality TV shows such as “Doomsday Preppers” (aka DDP), and all the knockoff shows and repeats on many other networks, as well as online TV show services like Hulu and NetFlix. Mainstream print and online media is following in […]

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How to Control Rodents as Disease Vectors

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rats-in-a-trap

Brown rats may reach 16 inches in length, including tail

 

in survival settings, it’s been said that rats will do a better job of surviving than humans. Rats, mice, and other rodents are well-known causes of “zoonotic” infections.  A zoonotic disease is one that can be transmitted from animals to humans.  The animal in question may not have symptoms of the disease itself, but may serve as a “vector”; that is, it carries the disease to a human target.

Rats and mice belong to the order Rodentia, from the latin word rodere (“to gnaw”).  This order contains various families, including beavers, porcupines, squirrels, and gophers.  As you are unlikely to have an infestation of beavers in your home, we’ll concentrate on rats and mice. Ai pair of rats could produce 1,500 offspring in one year if they all reproduced. Most rats and mice that cause issues for humans come from the “Old World”.  These include:

Brown rats (rattus norvegicus): Also called Norway rats, although they didn’t originate there (Norway has no more rat issues than other countries). Brown rats may reach 16 inches (including the tail) and are good swimmers; the term “sewer rat” was coined for them.

Black rats (rattus rattus): Thought to have introduced the Plague to Europe through their fleas. The black rat, also called the “roof rat”, is slightly smaller than its brown cousin and is an excellent climber.

House mice (Mus musculus): Used to living in close quarters with humans, mice are “nibblers” and can contaminate an entire pantry by taking a few bites out of multiple food items. Mice and other rodents can also chew through electrical wiring, thereby constituting a fire hazard.

Rats and mice are some of the world’s most invasive species. Every year, a percentage of the world’s food supply is contaminated by their droppings, urine, and hair. These items, known as “fomites”, may contain disease-carrying organisms and, as such, render food unfit for human consumption.

hooded rats

Long-Evans hooded rats I worked with in labs help further medical research

Before I go further, let me tell our readers who have rats and mice as pets that they (the pets, not necessarily the owners) are generally clean, intelligent creatures.  I have had the privilege of working with them in university laboratories as a student.  Despite this, it is indisputable that the diseases they may carry are cause for concern.

MEDICAL ISSUES CAUSED BY RODENTS

From a medical perspective, what diseases might one contract from a rodent or its droppings?  These include:

Plague:  The Plague is caused by a bacterium known as Yersinia Pestis. It is carried by fleas. The black rat’s arrival in Europe in the Middle Ages (and with it, its fleas) caused pandemics of the disease that wiped out a third of the population. Even today, Plague exists in developing countries and, there have been hundreds of cases in the U.S. over the past three decades.

Hantavirus: Hantavirus, transmitted by mice in urine, droppings or saliva, causes a serious lung disease that may become fatal without the availability of intensive care.

Leptospirosis: Caused by consuming food contaminated by rat urine, Leptospirosis causes a flu-like syndrome that progresses to kidney and liver failure if untreated.  This disease can also be carried by certain livestock.

Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis Virus (LCMV): LCMV may be contracted from mice urine or droppings or from pets in contact with mice, such as hamsters.   It causes a flu-like syndrome that occasionally causes complications in the nervous system, especially in people with weakened immune systems or pregnant women.  LCMV may cause miscarriage or birth defects.

Salmonellosis: Infection with the bacteria Salmonella may occur as a result of handling of pet rats or mice, especially if they have had diarrhea.  It causes severe diarrheal disease in humans, and is one good reason for owners of rats and mice to wash their hands after handling.

Rat Bite Fever: Infection with the bacterium Strebtobacillus occurs from rat bites and scratches or from ingesting food or water contaminated with rat droppings. Abrupt onset of fevers, rashes, vomiting, and headaches are noted at first, with general deterioration afterwards. If untreated, there is a 10% death rate.

RODENT-PROOFING A RETREAT

homestead-cabin-pixabay

rodent-proofing

It’s simply common sense to take measures to prevent rodent infestation in the home and to eliminate those already there. Once an infestation has occurred, much more effort is required to dislodge these unwanted guests. Rodent-proofing a home requires careful evaluation for points of entry from the level of the foundation to the roofline.  This includes sewer lines, bathroom vents, pipes and gutters, doors and windows, and vegetation near concrete slabs.

Some rodent-proofing techniques for homes include:

  • Sealing cracks in building foundations, walls, siding, and roof joints with, for example, mesh hardware cloth or concrete patching. Rodents only need ¼ inch of opening to gnaw their way into your home. Metal mesh scouring pads or galvanized window screening (not steel wool, which quickly deteriorates) may be stuffed into crevices as a temporary solution.
  • Installing vent guards in bathroom or washer/dryer vents.
  • Placing barriers to prevent climbing rodents from going up pipes or gutters.
  • Trimming trees so that branches don’t come close to the roof.
  • Contacting the utility company for strategies to prevent rats from traveling along power lines to your house.
  • Preventing rodents, especially rats, from tunneling under the foundation by placing flat concrete pavers or gravel for the first 3 feet from the base of the house.

Rodent control also involves careful attention to both indoor and outdoor sanitation.  Here are some suggestions for the wise homeowner:

  • Never leave food or water out overnight. Keep your countertops clean and disinfected.
  • Breadboxes may seem old-fashioned, but they are there for a reason: To keep the bread away from rats and mice.
  • Never leave pet food outside, clean all bowls daily, whether they are used inside or out. Rodents love to eat dog and cat food.
  • Clean under kitchen appliances. Even a few crumbs will make a meal for a mouse or rat.
  • Keep garbage disposals and sinks clean with a cup of bleach once a month.
  • Never flush grease down the sink drain.
  • Keep toilet lids down until needed.
  • Store dry foods, even pet foods, in sealed containers at least 18 inches off the floor.
  • Construct barriers around birdhouses and bird-feeders to prevent seed from being accessible to rodents.
  • Remove any fruits or vegetables from your garden that you won’t use.
  • Keep garbage can lids tightly closed.
  • Keep the side and back yards free of debris that might serve as shelters.
  • Deny access to water by fixing leaky faucets.
  • Avoid putting animal products in your compost bin.

IDENTIFYING INFESTATIONS

Rodent droppings

rodent droppings (source: city of Berkeley, CA)

If you’re not sure that your home is currently rodent-free, you might consider:

  • Looking for any partially eaten food, gnawed containers, or nesting material.
  • Inspecting your home’s interior at night with a flashlight; look especially closely at the bases of walls, as rats and mice prefer to travel along them. Little used areas of the home should be especially targeted.
  • Looking for rodent droppings. Mice and rat defecate 50 times a day; if they are in your home, you should be able to find their feces along floorboards, in attic crawl spaces, and in basements.
  • Setting out a thin layer of flour or talcum powder by areas through which rats and mice might enter your home. Place some, as well, along floorboards; rodents prefer to travel along walls. The rodents will leave tracks which will prove their presence.
  • Having cats and dogs as “mousers”. They may or may not be efficient, but they usually will alert you when a rodent is near.
  • Listening for squeaking and scrabbling noises inside walls at night.
  • Check for unusual smells. If there are a lot of rats in your home, you may notice an odor from their urine.

ELIMINATING THE PROBLEM

rats as food

A method of rodent control not discussed in this article

Once you have made the determination that you have rats or mice in your home, it’s time to reduce the population.  It should be noted that long-term control will be difficult if you haven’t followed my earlier suggestions for indoor and outdoor sanitation.

There are myriad mouse and rat-traps on the market and a number of poisons available to kill rodent invaders. It makes more sense to use traps, in my opinion, as poisons may leave you with a bunch of dead, rotting animals inside your walls. The stench may last a month or more, and sometimes deodorizer is needed to be inserted through a hole drilled in the wall.

If you have a lot of rats in your yard, you shouldn’t use poisons, as they may be ingested by neighborhood pets or even children. You should, however, consider trapping boxes. These can be snap traps, electronic “zappers”, glue traps or even catch and release versions. Both rats and mice will readily go for a small amount of fresh peanut butter as bait. Advice to the soft-hearted: Brown rats, black rats, and house mice are not native wildlife; besides other damage, some will cause casualties among endangered songbird eggs and young if released.

Glue traps are popular but controversial.  They are better weapons against mice than rats. Unfortunately, they usually leave you with a live animal to kill.  If you must use them, euthanize the rodent by throwing the trap and animal into a bucket of water or by striking it with a stick several times just behind the head. Another disadvantage of the glue trap is that it loses effectiveness in dusty areas or in extreme temperatures.

Snap traps should always be placed in perpendicular fashion, with the bait side against the wall.  Never use just one trap: Place a number of them several feet apart in the rodent’s usual path. Traps can be fastened to pipes with wire or thick rubber bands.

When cleaning out a building that has been infested with rats or mice, specific safety precautions should be followed to avoid infection. First and foremost, remember that you should never handle a wild rodent, alive or dead, without disposable gloves. Masks should be worn when cleaning. Other steps to follow:

  • Open windows and doors before cleaning to allow it to air out, then leave for an hour.
  • Avoid raising dust if at all possible.
  • Steam-clean all carpeting and upholstery.
  • Clean all surfaces with a diluted bleach solution or other household disinfectant, soaking areas that held dead animals, nests, or droppings.
  • Wash all bedding linens, pillows, etc. and use the high heat setting on your dryer.
  • Eliminate any insulation material contaminated by rodent urine, feces, or nesting material
  • As ultraviolet light can kill viruses, place contaminated items that cannot be thrown away (such as important documents), outside in the sun for several hours. If this isn’t possible, “quarantine” the items for a week in a rodent-free area.  This should give enough time for viruses to be inactived.
  • Dispose of any contaminated items or dead rodents in a plastic bag, and then place them in an exterior garbage can.
  • Thoroughly wash hands after cleaning. Consider showering with soap and hot water.

We share our world with many other creatures. Some of these creatures invade our homes and can damage our possessions and, more importantly, our health. With careful attention to sanitation and the occasional surgical strike, we can eliminate unwanted guests and make our homes safe environments for our families.

Joe Alton, MD

JoeAltonLibrary3

Dr. Alton

Learn more about animal-borne diseases and 150 other medical topics in the Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, now available at Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Build The Best Bug-Out Bag

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Life can throw a lot of different situations at you in a hurry, situations you might never see coming. With the world in the state it’s in, it can be easy to get scared and start feeling like you need to be prepared for “the worst.” The secret to having some peace of mind is being prepared ahead of time for the unpredictable. Because the very worst that can happen is a disaster in which you are unable to care for yourself or the ones you love. That’s where having the best bug-out bag comes in handy.

Article Originally published by Kelli Warner

The best bug-out bag is ready when you need it and contains everything required for living away from civilization for at least 7-days. A bug-out bag assumes that there may come a time when, for whatever reason, you have to leave your home and not return for at least a few days. It also assumes that, should things be so bad that you have to leave your home, you won’t be able to drive down to the local Wal-Mart and stock up on everything you’ll be needing. So it’s important to spend some time ahead of the disaster, assessing your current situation and needs, as well as anticipating your needs down the road. Creating the best bug-out bag you can for your family

 

What Is A Bug Out Bag?

Several types of emergency preparedness kits are commonly referred to as a Bug Out Bag or BOB. Each serves a different, though sometimes similar, purpose in being prepared for whatever might come your way. An everyday carry kit contains emergency essentials that you keep on your person at all times. These are items that will help you survive emergency situations and daily challenges more easily. A get home bag is designed to do just what the name implies, to get you home. It contains more gear than you would carry on your person every day, and you would typically keep it at your office or in your car. A bug out bag is an emergency kit that provides everything you need to survive for up to a week without any outside contact or resources.

It may help to think of the three types of bags this way: In the event of a disaster, your everyday carry gear gets you from where you are to your get home bag. Your get home bag gets you to your bug out bag. And your bug out bag is designed to keep you safe for an extended period of time.

 

Identifying Your Needs

Different factors mean different needs. Things to consider when mapping out your bug out bag should include:

Where do you live? Living in a rural or urban environment will influence your needs during a survival situation. If you’re likely to face survival in a disaster-stricken inner city environment, you may require self-defense and demolition tools more than shelter and fire starting materials. However, most people will likely attempt to make it to a wilderness area to wait out whatever situation they’re getting away from.

 

Where would you go if your home were no longer safe? Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the land and map out various strengths and weaknesses. If you require a map for your chosen area, you’ll want to include one as you pack your bug out bag.

How will you get there? Depending on the type of disaster, there’s the possibility that you’d be on foot. You may need two destinations, one you can reach by car and another by foot. If you were able to “bug out” in your vehicle, all the better, but you want to pack your bug out bag with the thought that you’ll be carrying it a long way. Keeping that in mind will help you to make realistic weight limit decisions. You could always keep an extra bag of “nice to have” items close by to throw in the back of the truck or car if you can drive.

Who depends on you? Few people live in a vacuum. If disaster struck, who would look to you for help? Do you have children in the home? A spouse or partner you need to consider? Keep these people in mind when planning your bug out bag. Involve them in planning and have them, or help them, pack a bug out bag for themselves, as well.

Unique medical needs? Do you, or those you care for, have any unique medical needs that should be considered? Rescue medications like inhalers and Epi-pens should always have a priority place in any emergency preparedness.

Once you’ve identified your needs, along with the people who will need you, make a plan with your family or extended group. Choose an area where you’ll gather should the need arise. Each person should have prepared their own bug out bag and be able to get there independently. For parents with children, consider their age and capability when creating a family disaster plan.

What Should Go In The Best Bug Out Bag?

Water – the human body can only last up to 72 hours without water. You should plan for at least a liter of water, per day, per person. Carrying all that water may not be practical, but you should have at least some packaged water in your bag, as well as ways to sanitize water for future use. Water sanitation tablets or a simple filtration system can be the easiest and lightest to pack.

Food – You’ll want food you can eat now, and ways to get food in the future. Protein bars, MREs or other dehydrated meals, jerky are great. Canned goods may be considered, but they add weight and bulk. There are many pre-packaged emergency foods available commercially. When choosing food, remember to take into account any food allergies or severe sensitivities. One of the last things you want to deal with in the bush is a severe allergic reaction.

Food preparation – Don’t forget that you’ll have to prepare your food. Be sure to include things like:

Clothing – This is a variable component, depending on your personality, region, time of year, etc. Layering is the name of the game. Some suggestions:

  • Lightweight long sleeve shirt
  • At least one pair of long pants – you might consider “zip off” convertible pants
  • Hiking boots (on your feet) and an extra pair of shoes, if possible.
  • Underwear – a change or two, it’s up to you
  • Good socks – several pairs of moisture-wicking socks
  • Fleece jacket – medium weight jacket for layering
  • Hat with brim
  • Gloves – winter or work gloves
  • Poncho
  • Neck protection – A scarf or gator, for sun or cold

Shelter and Bed

  • Tarp – must have
  • Tent – optional
  • Sleeping Bag – must have
  • Ground pad – optional
  • Extra blanket – optional

Fire – You really can never have too many methods for starting a fire. Choose at least three to pack in your bug out bag:

Tinder – You’ll want to pack several types of tinder, just in case:

  • Cotton balls coated with Vaseline (keep them in a baggie, or they’ll make a mess)
  • Paper
  • Pine chips
  • Cedar shavings
  • Dryer lint
  • Commercial fire starters, there are many

First Aid – There are several very good first aid kits available commercially. If you want to put together your own, you’ll need at least:

  • Alcohol pads
  • Band aids
  • Bandages with tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Vaseline
  • Sunscreen – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and all that
  • Insect repellent
  • Super glue for closing wounds
  • Medical needs – Inhalers, Epi-pens, blood pressure medications, etc.

Hygiene

  • Wet napkins
  • Hand sanitizer
  • All purpose camp soap (dish soap or bar soap, whichever you prefer, or both)
  • Mirror (hygiene and signaling)
  • Small towel and a cloth
  • Toilet paper (you’ll thank us later)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal hygiene needs – deodorant, feminine hygiene products, a brush or comb, ponytail holders if you have long hair, etc.

Tools – It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to tools. Because it’s important to keep the overall weight and bulk down, you’ll want to choose combination tools whenever possible:

  • Survival knife – you may already have one as a part of your everyday carry gear, but make sure you have a backup.
  • Multi-tool – there are many on the market, get one that gives you the most bang for your buck.
  • Hatchet or machete – you won’t want to do everything with your knife, so taking something heavier makes sense.

Lighting – Always have at least primary and one backup light source:

  • Flashlight
  • LED lamp
  • Headlamp
  • Glow sticks
  • Candles
  • Extra batteries

Communication – Consider that your cell phone may not work in an emergency. You might want to have a short wave radio, or some other means of communication with you, as well.

Cash – Travel funds. It’s a good idea to have some cash, and perhaps some gold or silver bullion coins, as well.

Local Map – Even if you’re familiar with the area take a map. Not having one could be disastrous.

Compass – you may already have a compass combined with your analog watch. If you do not, include one in your bug out bag.

Notepad and pencil – This is a good place to keep important numbers and addresses. Without a cell phone, many of us wouldn’t remember a phone number to call if we got the chance.

Self-defense – The need for a bug out bag implies that you are trying to survive. Take with you the best means of self-defense that you have. Include non-lethal means, in addition to whatever weapon you might choose to carry: whistle, pepper spray, etc. If you carry a gun, take extra ammunition, 25 rounds minimum.

Misc. items – Make choices based on your abilities, lack of ability, carrying capacity, space, etc.:

  • Paracord – Must have – 50′ is a good start
  • Bandannas – several cotton bandannas will come in handy for a variety of uses.
  • Duct tape
  • Garbage bags – 55 gal contractor bags are best
  • Resealable bags – four or five, gallon and quart size
  • Sunglasses
  • Sewing kit
  • Fishing Kit
  • Binoculars
  • Face paint (optional)
  • Snare Wire

How to Choose

The fact is, unless your bug out bag is a camper hooked to a truck, you just can’t take everything. That would be camping and not bugging out at all. So at some point you’ll have to make choices based on space and weight limitations. You’ll need to consider the distance you’ll be traveling, as weight can really add up over miles. Being able to get a pack on your back and walk across the yard is no test of your ability to get from point A to point B with it. Remember, the best bug out bag is the one you have when you need it. Having more than you can safely carry, could force you to make decisions about what to leave behind, while already under stress. That won’t set you up for success.

The weight recommendation for men is up to 20% of their body weight. This is an outside max, and assumes peak physical condition. Ten to 15% is a much more realistic weight goal. The weight recommendation for women is 10% to 15% max.

Everything has weight and takes up space. Refer back to your planning phase; remember to choose those items that you are most likely to need first, and add to it as space and weight allow.

Choosing a Good Pack

Keep a couple of things in mind: a compact bag, packed full, with no extra space, is going to be the easiest to carry. A larger, loosely packed bag, even with equal weight, is more uncomfortable. So choose the smallest bag that will still accommodate the volume and weight that you’re targeting. Remember, too, that the bag itself weighs something. Choosing a light but durable bag will be vital to having the best bug out bag possible.

Assembling Your Bugout Bag

Packing things flat, or rolled very tightly, will allow you to fit more in less space. Make a list of items along with their weight. Start packing the most important, keeping track of the overall weight as it grows.

Don’t overestimate your ability to carry your pack for hours at a time. This is a costly mistake that may land you without the survival gear you need. Once you’ve carried a too heavy pack as far as you’re able, you’ll have to lighten it beyond the recommended weight in order to finish your trek. That’s lose lose. Proper packing, keeping your weight limit in mind at all times, is a vital part of preparing the best bug out bag possible.

Be Prepared, Not Scared

Once you’ve packed your bug out bag, take it out for a weekend of camping and survival training. Practicing your survival skills in a non-stress environment insures that you’re ready, physically and mentally, when the challenge arises. Skills that are only in your head, may not serve you well in the field. After a weekend of surviving with your bug out bag, unpack, re-evaluate and repack. Did you find that you needed things you didn’t have? Did you have things you didn’t need, or that would have been better traded out for a different item? Preparing for the future, and whatever eventualities it may hold, allows you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy the here and now. If you’re prepared, you don’t

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Oroville Dam: Have you bugged out already?

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You may want to if you haven’t done so already. It can be nothing, or it can get biblical over there folks.

According to Los Angeles Times, more than 100,000 people were ordered to flee to higher ground Sunday afternoon after the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam developed a hole, prompting fears it could collapse. With rain expected later this week, things can get really bad really fast.

Now this isn’t a storm or winter blizzard we’re talking about. If the dam collapses and you’re down range its bye bye. With such high-stakes I at least wouldn’t be risking it and would get the hell out of there until the crisis is resolved. After all this is precisely the kind of thing we prepare for. Taking such risks makes no sense if it can be at all avoided.

Oh, remember what I always say about bugging out and bugging in not being a matter of choice? well… this.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

SurvivalRing Radio Talk -Survival, Preparedness, and Self Reliance – 02/10/2017

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Here’s today’s episode of SurvivalRing Radio. Today’s Topic?  The Basics of Self Defense Techniques, What a nuclear attack on the USA might look like, FREE fallout shelter plans, putting in your own well, News & more…all things you need to consider in building YOUR situational awareness lifestyle. http://www.freedomizerradio.com/blog/2017/02/survivalring-radio-talk-survival-preparedness-self-reliance-02102017/ Survival…what it takes, what you need, and how to become […]

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Brazil SHTF: Police Strike allows for “Purge” type Chaos

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Police go on strike in Brazil, cities being wiped out in “Purge” fashion

Police in Brazil have gone on strike, leaving the country unarmed and left in a “Purge” like chaos. In 30 cities across Brazil, militarized police are refusing to do their jobs. According to an anonymous source in the city of Espirato Santo, Brazil, the chaos can be comparable to the 2014 thriller “Purge”, with people running rampant with guns and machetes, stealing from malls, and even dead bodies lying in the streets. As buses are set ablaze on night streets, and people crawl for shelter covered in blood, Brazil is slowly becoming overtaken by it’s people.

“A pm is on strike and the thugs are randomly shooting at anyone who passes the street in Espírito Santo, my God what is happening” says one Brazilian resident.

“I won’t even leave my house today,” one Brazilian resident in Espirito Santo told Political Outsource. “things are absolutely crazy, there are people running around with guns in pretty populated areas, dozens of people stealing sh-t from malls, even dead bodies on the streets!”

In another interview with Political Outsource, one resident in Espirito Santo said in a phone interview; “It’a f–king mess what’s going on here. The worst part is the regular citizen can’t have a gun to defend himself!”

This same thing happened in Argentina a couple years ago and left many dead behind. Now its happening in Brazil with similar consequences.

Lesson Learned I: When cops go on strike all hell breaks loose and you better be well armed in a defendable position. Yes, like in the movie.

Lesson Learned II: The day cops go on strike is not the time to go buy guns and ammo, let alone the time to train and learn their proper use.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Doomsday Preppers? You’ve GOT to be kidding me…

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This post was written exactly 4 years ago, on my Facebook page. I still stand by it. Rich Fleetwood – February 7, 2012 · Riverton · Watching “Doomsday Preppers” on NGC this evening, with an as objective as possible viewpoint. I’ve been doing this stuff myself for 20 years, and in my position and experience, with the […]

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10 Emergency Uses for Your Smart Phone

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A couple of nights ago, my beeping phone alarm woke me up at 2:30 a.m.  At first I was annoyed about getting woken up, but when I checked what was going on, I found out there was a good reason.   The Weather Service issued a tornado warning in our immediate area.  Sure enough, the winds had picked up considerably.  When I turned on the TV news, the pictured showed the path of the […]

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Lessons Learned from J20 Protests at Trump Inauguration

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Before the Inauguration of President Trump fades into memory, I wanted to capture some the important lessons learned.  Please feel free to post on chat boards and begin discussions because

Video: Surviving a Building Fire

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wildfire21

Joe Alton, MD’s latest video discusses some tragic building fires, especially in public venues. He examines what happens in a fire, how fire behaves, and what you can do to increase your chances of surviving the conflagration.

 

To watch, click below:

 

 

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

 

Joe Alton, MD

joealtonlibrary4

 

Find out more about house fires, wildfires, burns, and much more in Joe and Amy Alton’s Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, available at Amazon.

How the super-rich are preparing

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An armed guard stands at the entrance of the Survival Condo Project, a former missile silo north of Wichita, Kansas, that has been converted into luxury apartments for people worried about the crackup of civilization.

Interesting article.

Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich

These guys have:

*Money, both cash and funds in accounts across the world.

*Well set up Bug out locations, both local and abroad.

*Means to get there. Most of these guys have their own plane, boats, can pay for private jets, tickets, etc.

*Intel and connections. By the time you read about SHTF they’ll already be in some safe location.

All we can do is try to get as close to such a setup as possible. One of the toughest parts for most people being having the money do move around like that, and maybe even harder to get, connections with true insiders that warn you ahead of time.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

 

President Trump’s First Major International Test could lead to Nuclear War with North Korea

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Much has been made of President Trump’s proposed domestic policies as he was sworn in today as the 45th President of the United States.  However, as all eyes are focused

Bank Payments and Having Children when SHTF

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Image result for greece financial crisis

Hi ferfal my name is Aris from Greece I am 31 years married no children yet. I had send you before an e mail many years before but didnt get an answer its ok I had your book for guidance hope you are ok.

I know you are very busy so I’ll make it quick.

I have a question need your advice .

What did you do in Argentina with banks? my father has a  house loan and till now we pay it  many people here dont paid the banks because they waiting bankrupsy and to come drachma alredy the banks here make some cut to the loans if someone  has 10000 euro loan and can afford to pay the say pay us 5000 euro cash and we are ok.

Many clever guys took advance of this so me and my father feel like suckers that we struggle  to be ok with our payments.

questions

1 shall i stop paying the bank and keep the money in offshore or as we say in the matress waiting?2 keep paying ?

Thanks.

Also a personal  question my wife and I want to make a child start a family but situation here is very bad economical shall I wait for better days or to start having children, how was in Argetina the birth  rate after the economic collapse?

I try to buy the new book of you but don’t have money right now waiting the summer for work. I love my country and I don’t want to leave.

Thanks for all the advices from the first book sorry for my english!!!

-Aris

Hello Aris,

I’m sorry I didn’t reply to your previous email. Some days it piles up and if the following day I also get a bunch its sometimes hard to keep up. Sometimes they end up filtered as spam for whatever reason.

Regarding your first question. What you certainly DON’T want to do is to lose your house to the bank. You need an advisor to go over your contract and make sure that whatever it is that you do, you do not endanger that.  Having said that, yes, many times you pay every month and then comes this guy that hasn’t paid a cent all year and gets a bigger discount than you. Banks are all about making money, not being fair, let alone being your friend. If they can charge you 2x they will, and if they believe they can only get 1x out of another person then they will go for that. In Argentina its common practice to pile up property municipal fees and wait for some payment scheme that offers a bigger discount to debtors. In that case yes, the person that paid in time feels like a sucker. After making sure you are not endangering possession (don’t know how this works in Greece) maybe you can save up that money in an offshore account. If you have to make the payment you still have the money, if eventually a better deal can be made and save money then you can try that too.

As for your question regarding children my advice is to go for it. I had my first boy right after the  big collapse of 2001. It wasn’t easy, as you say money was tight, but it was worth every second and I’m glad we had him back then rather than wait. As I explained in my previous post, you have to live today, not plan to live 5 years from now and this is especially true with having kids. Have them young, enjoy them. In Argentina birth rates went up soon after the crisis. This is pretty common, for people to invest more in family when times are tough.

FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Prepping for the Long Term

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Prepping for the Long Term With Christina Moore

Most preppers focus on the short term. They stock up on goods and supplies but limit themselves to a few months’ worth of storage. This is understandable: most new preppers don’t have a whole lot of storage space and very few can afford to drop a wad of cash on the storage space and supplies and prep for the long haul. Our emergency response systems are also fairly sophisticated. Even massive disaster zones get at least their basic resources back within a few months. Limiting yourself to a few months with the assumption that you simply won’t need more than that makes sense.

With the increasing volatility of the world, however, it’s worth exploring your options for long-term prepping and future homesteading. If you’re used to thinking short term, however, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything you think you’ll have to do. Here are some tips for where to focus your efforts.

Powering Up

Prevailing wisdom says that the best source of power when you’re forced (or choose) to live off-grid is solar energy. They are definitely better and more sustainable than fuel powered generators (fuel eventually runs out, sunlight is always available). Of course, there will be times when your solar generators run out of juice so it’s good to have a backup system.

Most short term homesteaders focus on stockpiling batteries for their backup power. Unfortunately, most of our devices are built to run on AC power and lack a battery powered option. This is why one of your first purchases should be a sine wave converter. These are machines that convert the power output of batteries into AC power. These off-grid inverters act like generators but they’re smaller and easier to transport.

Safe Water

In the short term, a stockpile of bottled water is likely fine and should last you for a while. Eventually, however, those bottles are going to run out. In the event of an emergency or disaster, finding potable water is going to be challenging. This is why having a reusable filtering system is important.

You can make your own water filter using buckets, charcoal, charcoal, gravel, and sand. These will work well if you’ve set up camp somewhere with easily accessible water sources nearby. If you’re traveling, though, or if your closest water source is a long way away and you’ll need drinkable water for the journey there and back, you’ll want something that you can take with you.

Shelter

For those who are planning on staying in their current homes, it seems like you’ve got this taken care of already. But what if you can’t? What if something happens to your home? Or what if circumstances force you to leave it for safer ground? In the event that this is you face this scenario, you’ll want to have some form of shelter that you can take with you. It needn’t be fancy but it does need to be easily portable. In most cases, a tarp or large piece of canvas can be sufficient (if you know how to use the materials around you to fashion it into a shelter–we’ll get to that in a minute). Alternatively, a small tent should do the job (one for every person in your family).

Survival Skills

So far, we’ve focused on physical supplies that you’ll need but it’s important that you have a good set of survival skills. We don’t mean just that innate fight or flight response with which we are all born. It’s also good to know a few things about fending for yourself off the grid.

Do you know how to build a fire without matches? Do you know how to build a shelter out of natural materials? Do you know which kinds of shelter work best in cold environments (as opposed to warm environments)? Do you know how to track an animal? Do you know how to hunt–with and without a firearm? Do you know how to field dress something you’ve hunted? Heck, do you know how to tell the difference between plants that are edible and plants that are poisonous? Can you mend clothing without a sewing machine? Do you know how to dress basic wounds? These are skills every prepper should have. Take a wilderness or survival skills class so you can get some field practice. It is important to hone these skills before you have to use them.

Prepping for the long term can be incredibly overwhelming, but as long as you’ve got your basic needs covered you should be able to build from there. Focus on the basics: power, water, shelter, food, and basic survival skills. Use the tips we’ve shared here as a starting place for these things. The rest of your prepping should flow naturally from there.

 

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Prepare to Help Your Community in an Emergency

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com There have been several large disasters in recent memory – Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, the 2016 Louisiana floods, tornadoes, ice storms, where hundreds of people lose vital infrastructure, or are displaced.  It take several weeks or months to recover.    Even though a state of emergency is declared, sometimes even ahead of the event, people bemoan the fact that the government wasn’t around to provide much needed help.  Well, the truth of the […]

The post Prepare to Help Your Community in an Emergency appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

SurvivalRing Radio – 1st Live 3 hour call-in Talk show this Friday

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My good friend and radio show cohost James “Doctor Prepper” Stevens has retired from the Critical Preparedness Resources Talk Radio show as of last Friday. He is moving on to other consulting ventures, but will occasionally drop in to the new show taking moving into his time slot, when he has the time. The last […]

Russian and Argentine Collapse: Similarities, differences and lessons learned

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Image result for USSR collapse food

Folks there’s this fantastic thread over at ar15 survival forum where member Gyprat posts about his experience the Soviet Union during its socioeconomic collapse. I encourage you to follow the link and read the entire thread.Gyprat’s insigths into societal collapse

Here are some thoughts and notes I took about parallelisms, similarities and some differences too with what I saw in Argentina.

1)” One day I remember well was in August of 1991, when communists attempted a government takeover coup. I was in Moscow that day. Everyone was scared and confused. Nothing was on the news. Oil pump quit in my little Lada’s engine and I was not far from one of the busiest intersections, where tanks were taking positions to fire at something. I was lucky to have tools and skills to pull the oil pan off and to make a temporary repair to the oil pump shaft to get us back home.”

The Lada comment and car problems right in the middle of chaos, protests and social unrest. This means no one to call to tow your car, no help, no insurance or breakdown cover, you have to fix it yourself. In my case it wasn’t a Lada but a Renault 9. A reliable, but mostly simple carburetor engine vehicle that was easy to work on and parts easily available. Dear God I’m no mechanic by any stretch of the imagination but I knew that car well and could fix little problems with my Leatherman, some wire and duct tape. At times that made the difference between having a vehicle when SHTF all around you or not. Today, the lesson for me is keeping my Honda well equipped and well serviced in an official Honda shop.

2) The rumours, lies and misinformation. Understanding that the government lies, that companies lie (yes, for profit! Unbelievable!) , that the media owned by such companies lies as well. Lies and social engineering, how people’s opinion is “shaped” and they don’t even realize it. Maybe this is one of the most important, key aspects taking place today. Alas, 99.9% of people, even those that consider themselves “conservatives” don’t even realize they’ve been manipulated in such a way.

3)” Monetary system? Everything was cash based.”

Yup, indeed it was. Cash is king. Even when devaluating it’s still king. You have to be careful and watch before things go Venezuela or Weimar republic on you (meaning cash becoming practically worthless)  but cash gets things done.

4)” Some people had savings accounts in the only available, government owned bank. Once the inflation hit, savings accounts were frozen by the government. People had to stand in long lines to get a limited amount of money out. I can’t remember all the details but the inflation hit very hard.”

Oh I sure can relate to that.

One of the most powerful tools that I’ve mentioned here before (even if some of the “experts” here have mocked me for it) having an off shore bank account and second nationality. When everyone in my country was struggling to get 300 pesos out of an ATM, I could go to a local branch of my off shore bank, use their ATM and get 1000 USD out of it, cash. Then go to an “arbolito”, street currency dealer, and turn that into 4000 pesos. Only Gyprat here understands what that means. To have your money safely abroad, and access it, while everyone else a)Lost 66% of their savings b) will keep losing more to inflation c) cant even access what’s left of it.

5)” I could barter almost anything for alcohol.”

Alcohol is always a valuable barter item, especially in times of war, but I believe its also very much cultural as well. A bottle of vodka sure has more of an appeal in a place like Russia than in South America. I my experience it was always cash the nice thing to have and most often used in bribes. Gyprat mentions cash bribes as well, I think it’s the “safest” route for something that has universal appeal. Maybe in USA a box of ammo has somewhat of a similar appeal, especially in more pro gun areas. In general though, if I had to advice anyone I’d say go with cash if you have to buy your way through trouble.

Regarding bribes, it sure is illegal and you shouldn’t do it, but then again sometimes you do NOT have an option. I know because I’ve been in such situations before. Sometimes it culturally accepted, (even if it wasn’t not long ago) and sometimes it’s so accepted that it’s expected of you, and not doing what’s expected of you when dealing with corrupt people with power gets you in very serious, life threatening trouble. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never been in that position, but know that some of us have.

6)” Medical services were free.”

Free in Argentina too, although not nearly as good as having private cover like I had. One of my grandparents died before his time because of poor public cover. I will admit though that poor public cover is better than no cover, and that with the new government in Argentina the free public healthcare is doing much better once again. Turns out that when politicians aren’t stealing 90% of the people’s money, it’s much easier and cheaper to get shit done! If I was poor and suffered health problems, I’d rather be in Argentina today than in USA. Healthcare will be a main topic to work on for American survivalists in the future. You just have to check GD forum here to read up on some horror stories. Make it a priority to have as good health cover as you can afford, and as always options, options, options. The more the better.

7)” Water was another story. We live near the highest spot in the whole city. Water pressure was always low and we only had water from 6-9 AM and back at 5 through 8PM. That’s it. Water quality was terrible too.”

Yup, little water and of poor quality. By code, homes in Argentina have at least a 1000l tank. That means the tank gets filled up during the times of the day that you actually have water, and you use the 1000l during the day. With a bit of careful use you can get through a couple days or more, but the problem is that people forget about the automated system and only realize theres something going on when they run out of the reserve tank which is no longer being refilled.

Poor water quality means a good water filter is essential.

“Natural gas, on the other hand, was always there and was almost free.”

Yes, natural gas is generally pretty reliable if you have a city connection. Its also much cheaper than buying bottles, another advantage of being closer to a town that actually has NG. Ironically enough, people that live further away, in many cases poor people that live in less consolidated areas, they have to pay a lot more for gas used for heating.

8) I was just telling my oldest son about the time my grandparents lost everything. They had been successful business owners, both of them. My grandfather had a large carpentry shop, half a block workshop, my grandmother had a successful bakery, also pretty big. They made very good money. Because of the increase in crime and a couple armed robberies my grandmother sold the bakery. They still had my grandfather’s business. My aunt convinced my grandfather that he was already a successful businessman, to just sell his company and live off interest and investments. So he did that. Sold it, put the money in the bank and bought a couple small rental flats. Then came the hyperinflation in the later 80’s. My father, an accountant and executive in a large bank, told them to take the money out of the bank ASAP. They didn’t listen, my aunt told them it would be all right. It wasn’t and they lost everything. The retirement collected each month was pitiful and really the rentals were the only thing keeping them afloat.

I remember it was the first time I heard my father shout so much. My grandparents were crying in the kitchen, asking him “what do we do now!?” My dad was so pissed, he shouted back “Nothing! now you’re fucked! Why didn’t you listen to me!?”.  Sometimes people self-destruct like that. You know what’s better for them, you try to make them understand but they just don’t listen. Of course it’s much worse when its people you care for.

9)” This meant that everything was tied to a real market price, tied to the real currency exchange rate. Prices skyrocketed. People were walking around in shock and disbelief after they saw new prices on food and everything else. It was like 10, 100 or 1000 times more than a month earlier. Yes, food was readily available but people could not afford much because they were still getting paid very little..”

Amen to that. This is what folks sometimes don’t understand. Cash is king, yet you have to be careful with hyperinflation. If a banana costs 1000 USD, does that mean the USD is worthless? Well, not if you need that banana and you have those 1000 bucks. “So I should stock up on bananas/tools/stuff! Sell it after the collapse!” Well… no. There’s lots of “stuff” floating around, the price will rarely be as good as you hope. Only certain items at a certain time keep up the price. In my case it was foreign currency, what Gyprat calls “real market price”. In the case of Argentina I know gold and silver stayed in that “real market price” too and that’s where I see Americans finding a safety net in such an economic disaster takes place there. Even if bananas cost 1000USD each, I don’t see 1oz gold coins selling for 2000 USD, the price will most likely than not go up just like the price of bananas did.

10)” Food was number one priority back then. Like I said previously, people were not really starving but they were not eating as good as what’s considered normal here in the US. I often laugh when I hear on the news about people who “starve” here in the US. How is this possible when food is so cheap and available everywhere? Perhaps they call it starving when they can’t afford to eat out everyday? Obviously they have no clue about basic things like cooking. Yes, it’s nice to have pork chops or a steak every day but it costs a lot too. Why not make soup? It’s relatively cheap and will feed a family for several days. A 50 lbs. bag of rice can be purchased at Costco for around $15 and will last for a long time. You can make a lot of mouth watering dishes from potatoes only. How can you go hungry in this country???”

Regarding food and eating habits it was as bad or even worse in Argentina in terms of eating habits. Argentines eat meat, and meat in Argentina means beef. An “asado” often mistaken with a BBQ, is not about grilling a few burgers or hotdogs. Its about getting all sorts of cuts from a cow, preparing the organs and eating it all. Any Argentine male worth his salt knows how to prepare a fire and cook everything inside an animal on it, most know how to ID each cut of meat and organ. We had to adapt and understand that in spite of our cultural tradition food didn’t mean a pound of beef in each plate. You had to stretch it, lots of rice, pasta, make soups, cook lentils. That same pound of meat that used to sit in a single plate now went into a big pot along with rice, vegetables etc and fed the entire family.  Sure this means learning to cook for those that don’t know how to do it already.

11) “My grandparents shared a lot stories about the WW2 with me. I sure learned a lot of valuable lessons from them. My grandmother told me stories about people trading everything they had, including gold and silver for a piece of dry bread so their children would not die of starvation, or at least live another week. This was true survival. Food was very important. Alcohol and tobacco were very valuable items as well.”

My wife’s grandparents went through WWII in Italy. Her grandmother had a big chain of gold and would go to town to sell a few link to buy whatever they needed. By the time they left Italy and moved to Argentina that neck chain had lost so many links it was now short enough to be a bracelet. My wife still has that bracelet. While I see how in some desperate situation you may end up trading precious metals at a great loss, in general I would say that with enough time and know how you can put precious metals to very good use, especially in countries where there’s already a culture and understanding of what precious metals are, how to ID them and their overall value.

12) “The supply line was always overloaded in summer months. Forget about running a hair dryer or any high wattage appliances. It was enough for lights and maybe for a TV. We were the only ones who could watch TV because my dad installed a CVT to keep the voltage close to 220V. Our neighbors were lucky if they got 160 Volts in the evening and it often sagged down to below 140 Volts and could spike to above 260V, early in the morning. It was enough for lights but not enough for a TV or any other appliance. The electrical company was owned by the government and could care less, like every other organization back then.”

This I can completely relate to and experiences the exact same thing. In my case, in Buenos Aires, we rarely had spikes, and it seemed that year round, other than in winter when AC weren’t used as much, you had 150V-160V instead of 220V. This isnt enough to run a microwave and the AC barely works or doesn’t work at all. I fixed it by installing a voltage elevator. That thing cost me a good bit of money but was worth every cent. Loved that thing. When I left I gave it away to my brother in law. He didn’t seem to care though, and in spite of being a pretty good electrician he just left it there in the house. By the time he could be bothered with picking it up someone else took it. Some people just cant be helped.

13)” One thing that was always available was bread.”

Probably strongly linked to the Soviet communist system. Its good that they managed to keep bread supplied but I certainly wouldn’t expect it in other countries. Even in current Venezuela its clear that they can’t keep people fed. Having flour and bakeries all over the country ready to supply the population on demand even when little else is working in terms of infrastructure is a serious achievement. Indeed, a person can live on bread and water, but I wouldn’t count on it in most countries if there’s a socioeconomic collapse.

14) “Having a vehicle for transportation is essential for living in this country. I did not need a car when I lived in Russia because everything was close and there was good and affordable public transportation in most Russian cities and even outside of city limits. American cities are spread out and it’s nearly impossible to get places without a vehicle.”

This is another American-specific issue to prepare for. In Europe you can move around most countries without a car. Even with a car public transportation is very good and at times even more convenient. Why drive somewhere, park and such, if an air conditioned train gets you there faster without you having to drive? It is true that in certain small towns public transportation isnt as good but in America you are always expected to drive places rather than catch a train or bus. You need a car and you need one that works well, and is affordable to fuel and maintain. Heck, its so important you probably need two so as to have at least one backup.

“I would probably trade my new 4runner for a 4×4 Dodge 2500 truck with a Cummins diesel or another vehicle that runs on diesel fuel”

I just refilled my diesel Honda CRV. What was it? 30 bucks? I came back from Sierra Nevada just a few days ago. Round trip about five hours driving time and I still had fuel to drive around town and then some, about 44 mpg is I remember right. Diesel is just fantastic. Its not only cheaper, it just gives you a lot more range on these little engines, all while giving twice as much torque compared to gasoline.

15)” The city we lived in (Tula) was about 100 miles south of Moscow. Moscow, being the capital, always got much, much better food availability and selection than any other city in the country. Most government officials lived in Moscow and obviously they made sure that their city was supplied better than anywhere else. They also wanted to show off to some foreigners who visited the capital”

So much for large cities being the first place to burn down, refugees pouring out of them into the countryside!

It is indeed typical for collapsed countries to keep their capitals and other major cities strong. Its a practical decision (x money servicing a larger number of people) a strategic one (capitals are usual government headquarters) and psychological (the capital, the “head” of the country and what it stands for).

16)” Crime was getting worse by the day. Armed robberies became a new norm. People no longer trusted wooden entry doors with regular locks. My friend’s company built new, hardened metal doors, locks and hinges that guaranteed to turn your apartment into a fortress. The doors were bullet resistant and guaranteed to stop a 7.62mm AKM round fired at a close range.”

Exact same thing in Argentina. Most houses have armoured doors. Not having one is practically asking criminals to rob you. Not kidding here, if you don’t have one and you get robbed people will go “what do you expect? Did you see that stupid flimsy door he had?”

17) “Moving to another country would be an ultimate test of your flexibility and ability to adjust to new conditions and culture.”

And I would add, it’s the ultimate solution to a large scale SHTF that affect a country or region.

It’s the one thing Gyprat and I have in common. We left the mess behind and found greener pastures. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side but it is if your side is collapsed Russia or Argentina. After years of researching disasters and survivalism I can say with confidence that when it gets THAT bad, you better move somewhere else. That’s the ultimate solution. Study, have skills, get an education, for God’s sake learn a second language and If you can get a second citizenship, don’t let such an opportunity go to waste if you happen to have it.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Survival Medicine Hour: Vehicular Terror, Hangovers, RP Ruggiero of Brushfire Plague

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The Survival Medicine Hour, with Joe Alton,MD aka Dr. Bones and Amy Alton, ARNP aka Nurse Amy, wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year on this last day of 2016. With holiday parties all around us, some will find themselves with a celebration full of alcohol and perhaps a hangover to remember the night before. Before you attend that party, you should listen to this podcast for tips to both prevent and cure that aweful hangover.

Amy Alton, ARNP, interviews the author of the Brushfire Plague Trilogy series after he has recently completed the third book. Mr. R.P. Ruggerio lives in Colorado with his wife and two sons, and spends as much time outdoors as possible. He strives to live by Robert Heilein’s credo ” Specialization is for insects.” The Brushfire Plague trilogy are novels grounded in neighboorhood defense duringa devastating plague. Brushfire Plague, according to R.P., “also has useful lessons about the value of being prepared for possible disruptions to our normal way of life woven into the fabric of the story.  One unique aspect I focus on is the interpersonal dynamics one will be forced to deal with in any crisis situation.  This adds a lot to the drama and storyline and enhances the realism of the novel.”

Vehicular terror is the new blueprint for those wishing to cause mass casualties. Simple to obtain compared to guns and bombs, we can expect more events like the Berlin Christmas Market truck attack. Find out what you need to know to stay safe in these troubled times.

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2016/12/30/survival-medicine-hangovers-rp-ruggiero-vehicular-terror

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Joe and Amy Alton

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See more information about RP Ruggiero’s books at http://brushfireplague.com/? and at Amazon http://amzn.to/2ilH0e7?.

Don’t forget to follow us on our store, facebook, and twitter:

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Serious Survival: How much food should you stockpile?

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It seems that for every blogger or forum member there’s a survival expert as well. That’s great because there’s such wealth of information and you can learn from different experiences and accounts.
Then again the downside… every blogger and member thinks he’s an expert.
You see, for realistic survival and preparedness it’s crucial to differentiate the “I think” and “I believe” from the “this is how it went down” “this is why”.
We all know that food is essential for survival. No food and you won’t last long. Same goes for water (and I see it overlooked more often). Keep in mind that while a day without food may suck a bit, but a day without water will be tough indeed. In certain warm climates it can be downright dangerous.
We all get how important food and water is, but then there’s the classic survival question: How much food should you have stored for emergencies?
Doomers say you need years worth of food. Decades even. After all you die if you don’t eat. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are famous for their year worth of food approach, although many have far less than that.
Officially speaking, what would a real expert recommend? Ready.gov says to have 3 days worth of shelf stable food and bottled water. That may seem as very little but in general most emergencies are either resolved within that time frame or help becomes available. Still, tell this to anyone that spent a week or more snowed in during a storm and he’ll find it lacking.
So how much? A Week? A Month? A year?
The first piece of advice is one you’ve probably heard before and that it is to store what you eat. If your kids don’t even know what rice looks like then having buckets full of the stuff isnt that much of a good idea. Either store something else or actually start eating rice.
There’s two very important reasons for this.
First, if you don’t rotate your food supply it just becomes one of those “just in case” things, and you’ll find yourself throwing food away every few years. This makes keeping large quantities of food stored a great waste of money. Second, if you store what you eat there wont be any difference between emergencies and “normal” times, at least food wise.
In our home we love rice and lentils and prepare rice and lentils stews often. Its tasty, very healthy, stores well for years and its pretty affordable too. Some canned tomato and vegetables and you have all you need for a great nutritional meal.
Another important point is understanding how much calories you actually need. The standard reply here is 2000 calories. Sure, if trekking the north pole you’ll need 5000 instead but even if some manual labour may be needed during disasters there’s people that stay healthy AND active with a lower caloric diet. 2000 will do well enough.
OK … SO HOW MUCH DO I NEED?
The 3 day recommendation by ready.gov is based on a rather optimistic government recommendation. If they have said instead to have 7 days immediately people would be wondering “Wait, so you’ll let me hang there for an entire week?!” People don’t react well to uncertainty and avoiding panic is a government’s #1 priority. Two weeks worth of groceries is just common sense. It doesn’t put a significant dent in your wallet if done correctly, and yes, it is true that it will cover 99% of the disasters and emergencies you’re likely to face in your lifetime.
I already imagine people thinking “but I want to be ready for SHTF, a worst case scenario, the real end of the world stuff!”.
OK, lets do that. Lets say it’s a worst case, total SHTF scenario. But lets keep it real and look how does it actually play out in the real world rather than fantasize about it.

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Lets say you have 2 years, no, 10 years worth of food. Lets say you have that plus means of producing more, a fully working farm.
Now lets suppose you have your ten year supply of food, plus a farm, plus a pile of guns and ammo… and you’re sitting in Eastern Ukraine when the Russian troops roll in. Or Aleppo when they are levelling every structure around you with barrel bombs. Or in South Africa when white farmers were exterminated and kicked out of their homes. Or in Fukushima when the tsunami destroyed everything and the radiation scorched the land. Do you see a trend here? More food, or a bigger farm would have done you no good. In all of these sometimes like more cash or gold to take along with you when you bug out or even better money in an offshore account would have been far more useful.
“But… I want the end of the world to be more convenient…”
Ok, what about Venezuela? You have out of control inflation, out of control crime and poverty with people starving. Even farmers starve there(posted about just this a few weeks ago), just like Irish farmers starved during the genocide known as the Great Famine or Ukranian farmers died during Holodomor, reduced to cannibalism. Yes, sometimes its natural disasters, but in others its lack of means of production, and an authoritarian government ensure that people starve in spite of having land and the knowledge to work it.
In my experience after the collapse of Argentina’s economy I would say it was somewhat similar to Venezuela during the times of Chavez. By this I mean horrible inflation, but not reaching the levels of food poverty seen today in Venezuela. Food was available, just two or three times more expensive than before. Just imagine how you would deal with such a scenario if you woke up to it tomorrow. Indeed, we all wished we had more food stocked up, and we rushed to buy more right away desperately trying to beat the nonstop inflation. I sure kept several months worth of food stockpiled. But still, at the end of the day if you had money you ate.
I stayed for over a decade after the collapse of 2001. In retrospective I probably should have left sooner. Personal circumstances, heck, life I guess, made us delay our departure. Still, we always had the resources to leave ASAP if needed. This is more than what most people in Venezuela can say.

Image result for irish great famine
In such a complex situation would a 10 year supply of food, or a farm, made much of a difference? Not really. The food would have been nice, but the money to buy it was just as good besides having a conservative stockpile. A farm? Maybe more of an anchor to the country at a time when leaving was the clear path. A farm in a place like Venezuela, where you cant sell it, or if you do you don’t get anything for it, really does you no good.
So, start with a couple weeks worth of stockpiled food. Work towards a month. Then 6 when you can afford it and have the room for it. 6 to 12 months is the maximum I would recommend, with 6 months being the most realistic objective for most people. Six months of food gives you plenty of time for things such as unemployment, family problems. 12 months helps greatly when dealing with inflated prices, food shortages, and overall instability in the country where you maybe spent several months maybe saving money and looking for a job abroad, for a way out of the country entirely.
The lesson being, If you need more than 12 months worth of food, then more food will do you no good because what you really need is to get the hell out of there!
Take care folks,
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Flash Flood: What happens if you get caught

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floodcar

I found this car just a couple streets from mine, right after the storm and flood I talked about in the previous post.

The difference between making it home all right or drawning is in these details, in having the right vehicle for what you are dealing with, in that extra inch of water that causes your vehicle to float, lose contact with the pavement and turns your car in the worst boat in the world. Ultimately, its about knowing when to turn around and not risk your life.

And again, the best 4×4 in the planet wont do you any good in the garage if you drive a Prius to save gas as your daily driver. Chances are your daily driver is what you’ll have to face these situations when SHTF.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Prepping for Nature’s Worst

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Within the past ten years alone, over eighty hurricanes have occurred throughout the world, leaving thousands without electricity and running water or homeless. During the most recent hurricane in Florida, many were forced to pack up some belongings and evacuate their homes. Hurricanes aren’t the only natural disasters that can occur, though; typhoons, floods, tornadoes, wildfires, blizzards, and more can happen at any time. Here is a guide that will help you gather all the supplies you’ll need to be able to survive nature’s worst.

Prepping for Nature’s Worst

Food and Water

So, this may seem obvious, but it’s crucial to your survival. Ready.gov, the official website for Homeland Security, suggests having three days of non-perishable, canned food on hand, enough for each family member (and don’t forget the manual can-opener). Also, you should not eat home-canned food or jarred food because the seal won’t be as tight. If you lose electricity, you can still eat frozen food if it has ice crystals or is cold to the touch by cooking it over a Sterno stove. (You’ll also need cooking and eating utensils and disposable plates).

Remember that bacteria can form quickly, so be careful about what you consume. Also, have at least one gallon of water per family member per day for drinking and sanitation. We recommend a personal water filtration system, contained in a water bottle, which removes bacteria in water without the use of chemicals.

And don’t forget about your furry friends! Keep pets’ food with you and consider getting a gallon of water for them for drinking.

Light

Be sure to have a flashlight and extra batteries for it. Also, for other sources of light, you can purchase a hand-crank lantern or you can have emergency candles on hand – just don’t forget the matches or a lighter. In a pinch, a crayon can burn for thirty minutes. It’s also a good idea to have a battery-operated radio for weather updates.

Clothes and Shoes

Have up to three days of clothing for each family member, including coats and shoes. It’s also wise to have leashes for your dogs handy and carriers for cats.

Be sure to have one blanket per family member and sleeping bags if possible.

First Aid

You should keep a First Aid kit stocked and ready to use. If anyone in your family is on medication, keep that on hand. They also suggest buying dust masks to protect against air contaminants and plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a makeshift shelter.

Sanitation

Keep a stock of garbage bags, moist towelettes, and plastic ties for sanitation (in the event your plumbing doesn’t work).

Tools

Every survival kit needs a pocket knife, especially if it has a can-opener on it. You should also consider a survival fixed blade knife (i.e. a Bowie knife) or machete.

Emergency Contact

Have a solar powered charger on hand for your cell phone. More suggestions for contact are a whistle or solar flares.

Recreational

Fun might be the last thing on your mind, but especially if you have kids, you’ll need something to keep busy while waiting out the storm (or whatever it might be). Coloring books and crayons (which double as a light source), decks of cards, books, magazines, and board games are all great ideas. For the adult smokers, this would be a good time to try out a vape starter kit as an alternative to smoking.

Other

Keep important documents (birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage license, etc.) and family mementos (i.e. albums) with you, along with extra cash, credit cards, and a local map. If you have a baby or toddler, make sure to have formula, diapers, and toys for them.

Surviving a disaster isn’t impossible, but keep in mind that this list is made for surviving indoors, in your basement or shelter. (To survive outdoors you would need much more supplies). Just follow the guide above and, with some planning and preparing, your family will be able to survive whatever nature throws at you.

 

 

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Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Electrical Generator

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I’m a pretty jaded type. I don’t often get excited, but I was all “a-tingle” when I got word of what was heading my way for review.  Most of my reviews are of small items, handheld radios, machetes, hand axes, not 200 lbs. of high-end, high power solar generator.

Needless to say, I was as giddy as a little school girl.

You see, any serious prepping plan needs a foundation based on sustainability. You need to work from a sustainable supply of anything to hold your own, whether it’s a supply of beans, bullets or banjo strings. This applies especially for electricity.
The ultimate goal is to live comfortably “off grid”.  Unless a life of a wilderness mountain man with flint & tinder is your bag, if you want electric lights, air conditioning & internet, you’ll need a powerful electrical generator.

The HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Powered Generator.

Just like it’s name, this solar-powered electrical generator is made to supply a entire household with clean, continuous electricity, for totally off-grid living.

Four heavy boxes arrived from Point Zero Energy by ground freight, with two large deep cycle 12V DC batteries, the inverter/generator unit, unit base, cart wheels & handle. Plus two pairs of solar panels, with two 100 watt panel built into sturdy frames with hinged supports & carry handles. Total capacity of the included solar panels came to 400 watts. Also included, was an assortment of parts including a heavy duty battery charge controller, three heavy-gauge jumper cables & connecting cables for the solar panels, along with an illustrated manual & instructional DVD.

Assembly was straight forward… the generator  bolts to the flat metal base with welded axle for the two wheels. At each side of the generator sits the two 12VDC batteries, on top of the generator a heavy duty handle is bolted on. Everything can be pushed around like a hand truck. The two batteries get wired in series to the generator to supply 24 Volts DC. On the front face of the Inverter/Generator are four 110VAC outlets, two USB outlets & One 220VAC outlet. There’s also a power & standby toggle switch and an LED Display that shows battery status & output voltage.

With the large capacity deep cycle dry cells & heavy duty inverter, the Homegrid™ 5000HD is capable of 5000 watts of continuous 110 & 220 AC Power, and a whopping 22,000 watts of peak surge power. Read that again…TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND WATTS Surge power.  Meaning the generator can easily power multiple home appliances simultaneously including refrigerators, freezers, microwave ovens, and cooking appliances. It’s pure sine wave power output will safely run power tools, electronics, and medical equipment.

A “Mac-Daddy Cadillac” Solar Generator, perfect for off-grid living. Two things make it deliver… Massive Dry Cell Batteries with tremendous capacity & a robust DC/AC inverter, built to take tremendous demand. The 220 Volt output, wired to a household circuit breaker system can give household appliances clean dependable electrical power day & night.

For my test, I plugged into my house transfer switch circuit, specifically to isolate my home off the Utility Company power meter, (and avoiding back feeding). There was no noticeable difference to the house load. The TV worked fine, my computers booted up, lights came on through the house, the refrigerator & microwave ran without a hiccup. Even my water well, with it’s 220V AC motor did it’s job. Then I ran some power tools… my chop saw & band saw in the shop, they all cut wood with no telltale difference in performance.
Overall, the power draw on the generator was usually less than 2500 watts, most often less than a thousand watts. It was when the refrigerator compressor came on, or when the well pump kicked on that power surged. Throughout my test, the generator was loafing along, operating well under capacity all day & even all night. One exception though, my house AC unit wasn’t in the transfer circuit. When I wired up my transfer switch, I didn’t include it in the circuit so I couldn’t put it to test. Still, the AC is rated to draw 1500 to 3000 watts when operating, the HomeGrid™ 5000HD has the capacity to handle the load.  Through the night there wasn’t much demand, just the few lights I had on, my computer & TV, and the refrigerator… altogether, no more than 1000 watts. By next morning, the battery status indictor showed less than one quarter depletion, and within the first hours of daylight, the system had regained a full charge by the solar panels.

Using the 400 watt solar panel array, the generator’s batteries can easily be topped off throughout the day letting the system handle the heavy lifting alone only during the night. The generator can also accommodate a second 400 watt array as well.  Typically the deep cycle battery service life offers 7 to 8 years of reliable service.

Granted, my review was a weekend of use test, and in the long term, my energy demands would widely vary from day to day & seasonally. However, with some reasonable budgeting on the amount of power use, the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™5000HD could give me a totally off grid existence right out of the box. Just by adding additional batteries & solar cells, the well of electrical power I’d have on tap would be far more than my modest needs. The great news is the HomeGrid™ 5000HD is easily expandable & PORTABLE.

My only gripe isn’t really a gripe at all.
I was staggered by the weight the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™5000HD.  Although designed & built to be portable, you’d be smart to have a couple of stout helpers to pitch in moving the generator & battery unit. By myself, it was a task. The solar panels are not a problem, but you certainly work up a sweat horsing the generator unit & batteries around. Imagine taking a hand truck and deadlifting a small refrigerator up some stairs.  Again, this isn’t really a gripe against the gear, more it’s against my own lack of strength. The weight is actually a good testament of the sheer ruggedness built into the unit. Point Zero Energy isn’t building wimpy gear here, it’s high quality, high capacity & highly reliable power generation equipment. It’s well worth the sizable investment to insure safe, reliable, & dependable electrical energy to live totally off-grid, yet still enjoy modern electrical appliances in your household.  Until Doc Brown & Marty McFly shows up with a Mr. Fusion home reactor, the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD is anyone’s ticket to an off-grid lifestyle. Now that I’ve experienced life off-grid, I’m striving for more.
Pay a visit to Point Zero Energy’s website to learn more about the complete line of HomeGrid™ Solar Powered Electrical Generators.

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5 Emergency Food Mistakes Preppers Make

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

One of the first things that people tackle when beginning to prepare for emergencies is food storage, and rightfully so. But there’s a lot more to it than stacking buckets of wheat in the garage or stockpiling bottled water.

If you’re going to take the time and money to prepare for the unexpected, get informed about the do’s and don’ts of proper food storage. Here are 5 mistakes that preppers often make when starting to build their emergency food supply, and how to fix them.

Storing food you don’t like, or don’t know how to prepare

Many people will buy a bucket of wheat, throw it in the closet, and call it a day. But they don’t know how to turn that wheat into bread, or if they’ll even like it if they do. Make sure you store food that you eat on a regular basis. Try making a loaf of bread from some wheat one day (you’ll feel like a superhero, promise), and use those dry beans and rice in your everyday meals. That way, when the day comes and you need to survive off your food storage, it doesn’t flip your world upside down. In an emergency, eating food that you’re already used to is beneficial to your mental health. Don’t add to the stress of such a situation by suddenly having to prepare and eat food that is completely new to you.

Rice and beans are a prepper staple and a great option for emergency food storage, but make sure you have variety or family might balk.

Rice and beans are a prepper staple and a great option for emergency food storage, but make sure you have variety or family might balk.

And if you choose to buy pre-packaged emergency kits, many companies sell samples of the meals that are included, so you can give them a taste before you stock up. Use the same rule of thumb here too, and rotate a packaged dinner into your meal planning every couple of weeks, so you’re used to preparing and eating your food storage. Using these pantry staples will also cut down on your grocery bill, too, which is a great added bonus.

Storing food improperly

Are you stockpiling cans in the attic or out in shed? Almost any food that you plan on storing for longer than 6 months should be kept at stable temperatures and humidity levels, which makes both of those places poor options. A cool, dark place like a basement can work great, but be careful if your basement is damp or prone to flooding. The best location for your food storage is on the main level of your home, where the temperature and moisture levels are controlled. Also, try not to keep all your eggs in one basket – have several different locations where you can store food, in case one area becomes compromised.

moldy_food

Food would ideally be stored in a cool, dark place like a basement

Also make sure that your food storage is packaged in a way that deters pests and moisture. Buckets and #10 cans are great ways to store long-lasting food supplies. Food packaged in their original boxes or bags can work fine as long as they are rotated and used regularly – just keep an eye on those expiration dates and make sure your storage area isn’t accessible to mice or other pests.

Not having enough variety in your storage

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Both for the sake of flavor as well as nutrition, make sure that you store a wide variety of food in your supply. Many novices stock up on carbohydrates like wheat and rice but forget to include other essentials. Make sure you’re covering all the necessary food groups – there are a lot of great ways to store protein, dairy, fruits, and vegetables as part of your storage staples. You can easily purchase freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, and even meat in #10 cans or buckets, and dry milk is a great way to make sure your dairy needs are met. Pre-packaged meals also offer an easy way to incorporate variety into your food storage.

Forgetting “the little things”

Things like salt, spices, oil, and condiments make food storage more enjoyable to eat, and baking ingredients such as baking powder, yeast, and eggs are essential to cooking even the most basic recipes from your supplies. Some of these things can be purchased in long-lasting forms, but a great way to make sure you have them on hand is to simply buy a little extra each time you shop. Next time you need a bottle of vegetable oil, just buy an extra and put it with your food storage. Little by little, you can build up a stockpile of these “little things”, and with proper rotation for freshness, you’ll always have a little extra of everything on hand.

Remember to store things like desserts and candy bars, too. When an emergency situation hits, sweet treats are a great way to keep life feeling as normal as possible, especially if you have children. You can buy a #10 can of something like brownie mix, or simply use the method above to always keep a few boxes of treats rotating through your regular storage.

Not rotating food or letting it go bad

If you use everyday foods in your storage, make sure to rotate them properly and use them before the expiration date.

Buying an extra can of soup and sticking on the shelf for a decade is not a wise food storage solution. If you use everyday foods in your storage, make sure to rotate them properly and use them before the expiration date. Rotating food storage simply means using the oldest item first, and putting the more recently purchased item at the back of the line. For longer term “store it and forget it” options, you can purchase meal packs contained in buckets that store for 20 years or more. We recommend using a combination of both practices for a well-rounded supply that will be both easy and safe to use in an emergency situation.

Food storage can seem intimidating at first, but if you’ve got a handle on each of these areas, you’re well on your way to having a great emergency food supply that will last and serve you well, regardless of what life throws at you. Having a supply of familiar and delicious food on hand will give you an immense feeling of relief and safety. You can start small, and begin today!

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What Do You Know About Maps?

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It is not be that long that we’ve had smartphones and GPS enabled devices, but for many it’d be unbearable to live without them and getting lost would be a daily pain. Not so long ago we were completely reliant without this technology.

There are still going to be times that it wouldn’t be that bad to know how to use a map or other navigational techniques. It doesn’t even have to be in a scary situation but due to everyday circumstances. There’s the possibility you’ll need to navigate without GPS.  You might find you have no Internet access, the battery has gone out or you’re in a foreign place with no streets.

 

Mastering the Map

There are a large variety of maps out there that have differing uses. There are road maps for people driving through the city or other residential and country roads. They have maps for famous tourist attractions that are good for sightseeing or famous landmarks. Then there are maps for hikers and anyone out exploring the country. We’ll explore all of these maps and what works best for you.

Many people are familiar with the all-popular Google Maps, that isn’t always available though without the Internet connection.  You’ll have to learn a few things about choosing a map and picking the one that best suits your environment.

Check the map’s orientation. Most maps are drawn with north located at the top.

Sometimes this may be depicted using a compass rose. Or, it might simply be stated to be the assumption of the map. If there is no indication to the contrary, presume it is north at the top.

 

Mapping the Journey

All maps have key figures to take note when you’re going to be using them. All maps should have a legend. These legends are a key of symbols denoting things on the map itself. So they’ll be different if you’re traversing the wild in a car like the Jeep Renegade or heading down a bustling street in the city.

Lines can depict roads and routes from a side street to major artery of a highway. They’ll vary in size and color depending on the environment.

 

Natural & Artificial Topography

Forests, parks, and grassy areas will be denoted in green. The same goes for the symbolic relation between bodies of water and other natural objects. Cities are usually shown in shades of grey and black tones.  It’s always a good idea to keep a backup map in your car or offline version on some kind of device for whatever environment you may be entering into. If the place isn’t familiar then you can’t rely on just the map forever.

By driving around without GPS you can then use the technology and eventually paper or offline maps for reference.  It really comes down to knowing what type of map you need, being able to understand the symbols and finding your way around by current location and being able to check out the area around you beforehand.

  

Julian Mitchell is the king of gadgets, be the internet enabled or more old-school; he couldn’t live without his Swiss army knife! Julian writes about technology, apps, and all the clever-but-never-used-again gadgets certain humans seem to collect!

 

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We Finally Found The Best Gas Masks On Amazon

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You can survive 2 weeks without food, around 4 days without water, and only minutes without air.

So if you’re looking for reasons to have the best gas mask on hand to save your life or just need one for home projects, you only really need one, and that’s your life my friend.

But where are you going to find these masks with the best quality and also for the best price? Also how will you know that what you’ve paid is really buying the best? After all, you’ve probably never bought gas masks before, so we’ve done the research for you and polled buyers who shared the good the bad and the ugly to tell us which gas masks were the best!​

Quick list of what we’ll be looking at

Why would you need a gas mask?

That might be a naive question, but it’s one you should ask yourself if you’re willing to spend the money on one, right? So why do you need one, are you preparing for biological warfare, volcanic ash covering the earth, wildfires polluting the air? You need to know these things in order to make the best buying decision. 

Everyday chores/work

​We forget that us humans can do a lot of stuff to mess up our breathing quality. Whether that’s woodworking in a not so ventilated area, doing inspections in places that are less than sanitary, or painting the inside/outside of the house with a spray gun.

Having a gas mask can come in handy if you’re a handy man ;)​

Biological warfare

This is the most pressing of all the possibilities of needing a gas mask. With the invention of mustard gas in the first world war, the deadliness of man made gases hasn’t subsided much.

And with the development of technology there are some pretty nasty things that can be done with a gas canister. From planting diseases, causing blindness, and a host of other unpleasantries, a gas mask would be a handy thing to have just in case.

Volcanic Ash/Soot

Among all the natural disasters that loom over our heads on a daily basis, the threat of a volcanic explosion or sulfuric geyser going off in certain parts of the world are a threat to the air we breathe. Literally. 

Just the explosion from one of these natural forces would be enough to decimate a population surrounding it, but it’s the after effects that the majority of the world needs to be ready for.​ Because these forces will spout all sorts of noxious fumes into the atmosphere, the winds will carry them far and wide, and before we know it the air is so thick with soot or gas that we can’t breathe to save our lives.

Wildfires

If you’re a firefighter of any kind (thank you for your service first and foremost!), you know the dangers of smoke inhalation. The masks the firefighters wear aren’t to keep their faces cool or just to complete the outfit, their masks supply life giving oxygen because the air has been sucked out by the fire or the smoke is too thick to breathe.

Yes it is attached to an air tank, but for a brief time you’ll be able to survive with a mask filled with condensed air.

And since our planet is starving for water more and more each year, the threat of wildfires is increasing exponentially.​

What makes a gas mask the best?

There’s a lot to consider when buying your mask, and the fact that movies and tv have made them almost comical and a parody makes it hard to find one that actually works and isn’t just a prop. However, there are a few things that are easily distinguishable when surveying the best ones.

Make sure it’s NBC marked/approved

NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) approval is paramount when buying your mask. As we said earlier, most masks are just props now so make sure yours meets these requirements. If it is truly NBC approved there should be designated spots for WORKING respirators. 

If there’s just a solid case, then you know you don’t have the real thing.​

Ease of use to use a gas mask

This sounds basic, but it’s important. There are parents in the gulf war who killed their children because they didn’t realize they had to remove the cover on the carbon filter of the mask.

You don’t just strap it on when you think one of the kids are sick, even though we’ve all been there, but you keep it safe and decontaminated so it’s ready for when it really counts. Like when it’s been broadcasted that a natural disaster has happened miles away and you have time to prepare.

One thing to keep in mind is that the gas mask won’t work if you’re already exposed before you put it on in a chemical warfare situation.​

Does your mask have a one use filter?

To keep masks from becoming contaminated after use, some producers make these masks for one use and that’s it. While that’s smart it might not be that cost efficient for the consumer. So when you’re shopping around make sure you find masks that are reusable.

Obviously all the masks that we will be recommending are for multiple uses.

Our recommendations

SAS Safety 7650-61 Opti-Fit Full-face APR Respirator

For most people, the silicone finish on the sides of the face piece sealed the deal for comfort when wearing the mask for long periods of time. The nose guard helps to reduce the fogging in the face mask. This is an extremely popular choice if you’re doing some DIY stuff around the house, when it comes to saving your life in a natural disaster, there’s been no real tests done.

The debate on if this mask is truly a comfortable fit while wearing glasses rages on, but from what we’ve seen from those who’ve bought it, the overwhelming majority haven’t had a problem with the fit while wearing glasses. Click here to get yours

3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6700, Respiratory Protection

When it comes to reusability and an increased field of view, no one does it better than 3M! The wrapped shape of the mask surrounds your face and makes peripheral vision a possibility when wearing a gas mask. Also the facets for air filters on either side allow you to just switch filters when needed, and not replace the whole mask.

While the shape contours to your face, the mask itself can be rather stiff. Not so stiff that it’s meant to fit only one person, but stiff enough to cause some discomfort and make the seal around the face compromised. Wearing glasses with this mask is not recommended with the stiffness.​ Click here to get yours.

SGP Israeli Style Civilian Protective Gas Mask 

The israeli style gas mask is usually what people think of when they think disaster preparedness. For one it’s one of the most popular because of the price. At under $20, whereas most useful masks are over $100, the israeli gas mask is the bare bones in functional gas masks. And if you’re goal is to terrify the neighbors then this should do the trick!

One problem people have been having when they buy these masks from amazon is that the air filters are expired. Which isn’t good business, but also doesn’t render the mask useless, all you have to do is go buy a new air filter which should cost less than the mask itself. Click here to get yours

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12 Important Tips to Survive Brexit

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Image result for poverty britain

I’m getting lots of emails and messages from readers in UK really worried about the ongoing situation. My experience in Argentina is actually pretty relevant, especially regarding inflation, devaluation and banking. My blog is packed full of information, use the tabs and search window. If you haven’t read them already, my books (The Modern Survival Manual, Bugging Out) will provide very valuable information. I’ll try covering more Brexit advice in future posts and videos in my youtube channel.
As for now, you need to understand the following:

1)More Poverty, more unemployment. Preparedness is mostly about getting ready for what is likely. Snowstorms happen every winter in certain areas, so you prepare for those. But sometimes preparedness is also about what’s possible, even if unlikely. If you would have told me just a year ago that the British Pound would perform worse than the Argentine Peso I would have told you to stop smoking crack, explain how bad that stuff is for your health. Today the Pound is the worst performing currency in the entire planet. This isn’t some anecdotic piece of news. This is staggering. Inflation will occur, people’s purchasing power will drop, imports will become more expensive, there will be less money, worse infrastructure, less investments, therefore less jobs. Basically a significant share of UK middle class will become poor and those that are already low middleclass/poor, well, you’re looking at a VERY tough situation ahead of you.

2) Inflation. With the worst depreciation in 31 years the consequences are just unavoidable. Prices will go up. They will go up A LOT. You don’t just lose 21% and just pretend nothing happened. I’ve seen it first hand and know very well what you will be seeing in the years to come. Chances are you wont hear much of a buzz in the news, and only certain media will report it. But you’ll notice it soon enough. Mark my words one day you’ll be leaving Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Asda, you’ll look at your trolly (Cart for Americans) and ask your husband or wife “dear, how many pounds did we just spend? 150?”. You’ll think “hey, that doesn’t look like 150 quid worth of grocery…”. Understand this, the media will try to hide it and marketing will try to do the same. Unless you check the net content they’ll trick you with their “new and improved” packaging. Fuel will be another issue, already going up in price.

Everything is linked and UK simply isnt much of an industrial country. If its not imported then it’s using imported parts or materials in its production. After years of being part of the EU, this was simple, cheap and straight forward for companies but not anymore.

3)Even worse medical care. The NHS was very bad already but believe me when I say it will get even worse. People already died of illnesses that other developed countries detected and treated in due time. It’s a disgrace to read time and again about people being sent home with a golf ball lump under their skin and be told its nothing by their GP. With NHS women hardly get an Pap Smear and even for women with a family history of breast cancer they just get check after 50… every three years. Shameful.

4)More Xenophobia and hate crime. One of the ugly sides of the Leave campaign was to subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) appeal to the racism and xenophobia some people have in UK, with hate crimes going up 57 to 147%. It’s amazing given that London is such a multicultural city but we’ve witnessed truly pathetic scenes such as Brit teen telling a Latino looking man to go back home (turns out the man was an American army veteran, living in Britain for more years than the teen has been alive). In many cases its just people harassing other just because of an accent or skin color. There’s this elder German women that lived in UK for over 20 years, all of a sudden being told by her neighbours to go back to her country.

The survival lesson is: If you’re not white, if you’re and expat living there or just happen to have an accent, you will be less welcomed in UK today that you would have been just a few months ago and it will get worse. Official stats are showing just this, and its really no surprise because it is in fact a government policy implemented years ago to make the country less appealing for immigrants. If this happens to be your case, I’d say it’s a big factor to take into consideration. Think if you’re willing to put up with it, if you’re willing to have your family, maybe your children suffer it as well.

5)Media censorship. Its already quite noticeable, the BBC of course but most British mainstream media are heavily controlled and report little actual news. You need to understand this, understand that there’s a political guideline which they follow, the way they report news and even which news even gets reported. The Guardian and Independent seem to be more likely to report the negative news which other official or non official but government aligned agencies are likely to avoid.

When it comes to news, you just need to understand who is reporting it, who owns the given media corporation and what their interests are.

What to do:

1.buy yourself a gun. NOW

Firearms are already heavily restricted in UK and this will only get worse after Brexit. The UK has been asking for tougher gun laws and nearly all other EU countries have more permissible ones, allowing handguns and semi auto rifles in most cases.

The reasons for owning a firearm are numerous, and indeed you just don’t know what may happen one day. What I do know, without a shadow of a doubt, is that if the day ever comes and you do need a gun, you won’t have time to wait for several weeks. You will need it right then and there. With the chances of tighter regulations plus the likeliness of post Brexit social unrest, I can only recommend getting yourself a shotgun, a quality semi automatic one would be my preferred choice. Get your Firearm Certificate or shotgun licence, join a club and practice. Ideally you would join a club and get involved in shotgun practical shooting, which is the closest you can get to defensive shooting skills in UK. Listen, as of today its simple and straightforward enough. Tomorrow it may not be. This would be my number one priority if living in UK right now.

2.Open a bank account offshore while you still can.

Now this is something I was told about in Deutsche Bank here in Spain, just today. UK is now considered a “high risk” country for money laundering, along with several third world countries. You can imagine how ridiculous this seemed and I said so to the clerk. The bank lady agreed, but she said that since they are leaving the EU they understand there’s a much higher chance that, as of right now, some people from UK would try to open accounts abroad for money laundering. In any case, as of today you should be able to find a bank in an EU country other than UK to open an account. Do it while you can. This is a key asset to have.

3.Buy Euros. NOW.

The Pound keeps dropping like a rock and this WILL NOT IMPROVE. You are losing money, and right now you can do something about it, you still have the option to go to any bank and get as many Euros as you can. From now on until article 50 is triggered it’s a no brainer. Some will hold until the last minute refusing to accept article 50 will be effectively triggered. It will, and when it does you’ll see the pound drop even further. If you have most of your money in Euros, it will be a lot less painful. If you opened your account abroad as recommended, you can easily send some of your savings there in Euros, move your money back and forth as needed.

4.Stock up food and medical supplies

I cannot emphasize this enough and it involves preparedness on several levels. First and obvious enough, food will get more expensive. They will try to hide it as much as they can but it’s unavoidable. If there’s shortages, problems with supply (Britain is an island after all) having a supply of food stocked is essential. If you lose your job, a stash of food will give you some peace of mind. You’re going to eat anyway. Remember to store what you eat. Try sticking to shelf stable food and canned produce. Rice, beans, dry pasta, properly stored they will last for years. Canned sausages are pretty common. Canned beans are a waste of money in my opinion but some people like it. Try them out now, see what you like and stock up.

5.Thousands in UK are already applying for Irish citizenship

This would allow them to stay in the EU, travel, work and study in EU in spite of the UK leaving. Having seen this first hand, if this is an option you want to do this ASAP. Soon enough waiting periods will increase considerably and as always you just never know if new restrictions are implemented eventually. Being an island with a bunch of countries right in front of you means you have options, but only if you have the right to work, study and reside there. I believe many folks just took that for granted and don’t fully understand how much their options will be reduced once that right is lost. Again, If I was in UK and had the option to apply for Irish or other EU country citizenship, I would do it immediately.

6.Keep a cash stash, including Euros and precious metals.

These are complicated times. You are looking at a period of instability and uncertainty in which problems with the banking system and cash availability are a possibility. As the pound keeps devaluating so does your savings. In my case I have some GBP in my cash stash, just in case. I felt the sting of seeing it lose value to the Euro. I can only imagine how much worse it would have hurt if all of my savings where in such currency.

My standard recommendation is to have at least a month worth of expenses in cash, just in case. In the case of UK, I would go for at least two months, and you probably want at least half of that saved in Euros. There’s little doubt that the pound will keep dropping.

Silver is another asset to consider. UK has Britannia silver and gold bullion. I’d look into setting aside some as insurance for a worst case scenario. Junk silver is also an option with pre 1920 British coins being sterling silver (92.5% silver) and pre 1947 coins being 50% silver.

Check with your insurance company to see how much it covers worth of cash, bullion and antiques & collectibles (junk silver) In many cases the amount of cash covered is pretty low but it can be increased if you have other forms of wealth which is yet another reason for having them.

7.Try staying healthy and get private medical cover.

The NHS being what it is its important to avoid it as much as you can. Stay slim, fit and healthy. If you do this you’re already avoiding a fair share of medical complications. If you don’t have private medical, I would recommend getting at least their basic plan. UK is moving towards private medical care and if you happen to need it I at least believe its money well spent. The NHS will not cure, they will just distract you until you die.

Staying healthy also means your medical premiums will be much lower, saving you money.

These are complicated times. Some of the problems ahead are obvious and unavoidable, the impact of others may be reduced with good policies but still common sense preparation is highly recommended.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

UK no longer a great place to live

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Message:

Hi Fernando, I have been reading your blog and books for quite some time now. They have been a great source of information and have helped me to take a different view on many important issues. Thanks for your insight into your experiences. This is what has prompted me to contact you today. From reading both your books I have started to see some worrying trends here in Scotland (UK) where I currently live.

Despite what the media say we are seeing a sharp rise in the price of essentials like food, fuel, clothing and petrol. There are a lot of people out of work and there are hardly any jobs, those who do have jobs are having things like sick leave changed to being unpaid from paid, and there are much less staff to do more work and for longer hours with no extra pay. The media (mainstream) are being censored more now than ever. We are one of the most watched countries in the world yet we are told we are still at imminent danger of a terrorist attack. Our children are being taught terror drills in school. We are now at a point where if you speak your mind too much your sanity is questioned and you are placed in a mental health facility for treatment. This is especially true if you happen to be questioning government, police, courts etc. Our wages continue to stay at the rate they have been for years and yet everything we rely on continues to rise. Banks have made it near impossible to get a mortgage for the average person, and there seems to be more and more security to take out your cash. The other thing I’ve noticed is shortages of items like baby milk. The media claim this is because people are buying bulk to send to China, we are now limited to buying only 2 cans at a time.

Having read your books there seems to be some similarities here. The news this morning claims it’s set to get worse as fuel is to go up another 5p per litre by the end of this month and food and clothing are to increase in price again. Also things we used to get on the NHS at our GPS etc are now no longer available for example I called for an appointment for a general health check after having a baby 6 weeks ago, they told me that service no longer exists due to cutbacks. My friend was recently declined by GP to check blood pressure (he has heart issues) they told him they no longer offer that service its too costly to keep checking everyone. Do you think the people in Scotland and the rest of the UK could be facing financial collapse?. What advice would you give me at this time?. What are the best things I cando at this moment to help myself and my family? (I have 5 young children). Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards

Ashley

.

Hello Ashley,

Thanks for your email. I’m sorry to hear about the ongoing situation in UK. I do know it’s pretty complicated and in all honesty its about to get worse. There’s just no other way. If there’s one thing I know it’s the calamities high inflation brings with it. If your currency drops 10%, 20% or more… there’s just no way around it, the standard of living for most of the population will drop accordingly. More middle class will become poor and those that were already struggling will fare significantly worse.

I was just working on an article regarding advice for post Brexit UK. My books (“The Modern Survival Manual” and “Bugging Out and Relocating”) have information which will come in handy no doubt, keeping in mind the different context there are still similarities as you have noticed. You are already seeing some similarities like the cuts of spending and therefore worse healthcare, inflation, “new and improved” items and products getting smaller while going up in price and the media covering it all up.

For now let me just say this. Yes, I think UK will go through some very complicated times to say the least, as you are already noticing. I’ll try finishing the article and posting it tomorrow, with some advice for you and other readers living there.

Kind regards,

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Top 4 Best Emergency Foods And Kits To Stockpile For An Emergency

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Are You Storing The Right Foods As A Prepper?

When it comes knowing the best foods to stockpile or bug out bag food for an emergency being a prepper means you kind of have to have this information locked down. But if you don’t then you’ve come to the right source my friend!

We’re going to go over the best foods to keep on hand for an emergency, and why they should be a staple in your house hold. Also at the end we’ll give you two ways and resources to make your own dried food for storage.

What’s the best way to store meals long term?

Well this all depends on what you’re storing, but we’re going to look at this question from a general bird’s eye view. We’re going to assume you’re storing pre packaged meals that were shipped to you, or that you’ve canned some food and it’s air tight.

The reason you need to store the food air tight, is because oxygen is what is used to feed molds and plant life that doesn’t need to be living in your food before you use it. So you’re going to need to do something to remedy that, whether it’s using a vacuum sealer, or oxygen packs to remove the air, it needs to happen.​

Mylar bags for dry foods (grains, berries, etc.)

Mylar bags are great for storing dry foods like rice, flour, dried berries, and the like. These bags are more space efficient than jars, and can hold more as well. And when it comes to ease of sealing the mylar bag is the king!

All it takes to seal your bags is an iron most of the time. All you do is leave about 6″ above the food and iron it like you would a shirt, and there you have an air tight seal!

All you have to do is add some oxygen packs inside or use your sealer to pull the air out before you iron that bad boy shut.​

Clever storage for prepackaged emergency food

Depending on which is more valuable to you, time or money, will determine if you choose to buy pre packaged foods from emergency food storage companies. 

If you’re someone who chooses to purchase their food instead of making it themselves, you’re going to need to get a little more creative, since most of those products aren’t exactly built to save space. So finding hiding spots in your house is going to be optimal.

What determines the BEST purchasable emergency food?

This term is thrown around a lot on the internet, the best this or the top that, but what does that mean and who gets to decide it?

Well we want you to be educated before you spend your money, so we’re going to go over OUR criteria for the best emergency food storage options.

Does it require reheating?

Science has come a long way, and with all the advances there are ways to not have to microwave or heat your emergency food over an open flame to enjoy a hot meal. Some companies have found a way to use chemical reactions to get your food piping hot with just water!

That’s right, what’s used to usually cool stuff down is causing your food to be heated.

This may not be a huge necessity to all, but the moral boost that comes with a hot meal is worth the extra expense in our opinion. I mean who wants to have spent a whole day in a bad situation, and sit down to a cold or room temperature meal?? You’re going to feel much better if you’re able to have a hot to warm meal at the end of a long day.

How many ingredients?

It’s not a good idea to get anything that takes more than water and some time to make.

If you’re spending money on these products you want to know that they’ve taken the hardest part about preparing a  good meal out of the equation, finding the right combination of flavors. You want to just add water and be good to go.

#1 Pre Made Dehydrated Meals

we’re going to start with the most obvious of facts, if you have food on hand that tastes good then that’s what you want to go with. And if your looking for a supplier of emergency foods then we recommend prepare wise food storage, you’re not going to beat the taste and price with a stick!

#2 Dehydrated Foods

You might say to yourself that you can’t afford dehydrated food supplies, and that’s true for most people right now. Thankfully later in this article we will show you how to freeze dry your own foods to get the best flavor and nutritional value.

Just know that there’s nothing better and cheaper to keep on hand than some home made dehydrated meats, fruits and veggies!

#3 Meal Replacement Bars

I’m going get a few sideways looks from others in the prepping community for saying this, but I’ll say it, MEAL REPLACEMENT BARS AREN’T THAT BAD! I’m not sure why people try to convince others that a product with a multiple year shelf life is such a bad thing to stockpile for emergencies.

It has everything that you’ll need and takes up less space than a can of pork n’ beans. Our favorite is the cookie dough quest bar.

#4 Canned Food

This should be your last alternative, not just for health reason but for the fact that store bought canned food takes up more space than it’s worth. If you want to keep canned food in the house then that’s fine, make sure you can it yourself and get the most out of every jar or can. But it’s still not that great of an idea.

Mainly for the fact that should there be any bacteria in can and it’s not sealed air tight, then the food you’ve just worked so hard to preserve is now going to be useless or harmful if ingested.

I’m sure the question that looms in the back of ever prepper’s mind at some point or another is the thought that you might run out of food, or that the food you’ve worked so hard to preserve has spoiled and you’re now starting over. To avoid this sinking feeling we’re going to go over the facts with you that we’ve gleaned from experts in the field, such as offgridsurvival.com and survivallife.com. So get ready for another incredible and informative article!

Sun Drying Foods To Preserve Them

The recent article published by offgridsurvival.com on sun drying foods is one of the most useful resources we’ve found lately when it comes to using natural resource to preserve food. Along with being very low cost, this method is also pretty hands off, all you have to do is wait for a nice sunny day. Now you’ll need to invest a little time and resources to build a suitable sun drier to accommodate the produce and meat you’ll be preserving, but other than that all this requires is patients.

See the article here for an in depth look into the process and how to of the sun drying process. But just know that this is a fantastic way to bring out the flavors in your food when preserving them, and not having to spend time and money on vacuum sealing jar after jar will save you a lot of back ache! As always the authors over at offgridsurvival.com are on point with their opinions and facts of what will and won’t work. These aren’t just whimsical notions of what would be nice to do, these are tried and true practices to ensure that you and your family will have food when the time comes!

How To Cook And Store Food Outside

This amazing resource from survivallife.com is just what the modern outdoor bushman ordered! Not only will you learn how to cook in the first place, which is nice considering that most men nowadays don’t know how to properly grill a hamburger, but you’ll learn the steps to preserve the meat that you prepare and ensure that you and your family will have it when you need it.

In this book the author from Survival Life goes over how you’ll learn to cook and preserve ANY type of meat out there.How to build your own solar oven, which come in real handy when the grid goes down and you don’t have any way to cook some of the larger items you might find, like a turkey from a looted grocery store or a large animal that you were able to bring down. Unless you take the time to learn from the resources in this book all the raw meat in the world wouldn’t make much difference to yours and your families survival.

So how much are your families lives worth to you?

Are they worth enough to get you off your butt and take some action to make sure that when the grid goes down or the money runs out, that you and your loved ones won’t have to worry and fear like everyone else? If their lives are worth anything then hopefully you’ll go visit these experts and put the practices they suggest into action to create a better future. As always it’s a pleasure to serve you, have a great day!

The post Top 4 Best Emergency Foods And Kits To Stockpile For An Emergency appeared first on From Desk Jockey To Survival Junkie.

5 Apocalyptic Realities In A Country That’s Out Of Food

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Hi Fernando,

The link below relates to an article regarding the current food crisis in Venezuela.

http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2379-my-mango-tree-could-kill-me-life-when-food-runs-out.html

It is a very interesting read.

Have a good day.

-Kevin

.

Thanks, very interesting read.

Some thoughts I’d like to point out:

1)Even a simple fruit tree can be a key asset with food supplies running so low.

2)You can get attacked over a fruit tree.

3) When points one and two are about to become a reality, it means you should have left the God forsaken place a LONG time ago.

4) People are starving while a loaf of bread costs 0.50USD. The problem is that due to hyperinflation, a single dollar is a fortune and few can afford those prices. This is how the rich in Venezuela feast in country clubs while the rest, poor and former middle class, starve.

5) Properly arm yourself NOW. You don’t want to be the guy defending his mango tree (let alone his life) with a crossbow pistol.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Hurricane Matthew: Ready to Bug Out?

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161005100748-42-hurricane-matthew-10-05-exlarge-169

Hurricane Matthew: Evacuations begin as deadly storm nears

If it’s necessary to do so, don’t wait until the last minute. Mandatory evacuations are already being ordered for residents of Merritt Island and other barrier islands. Residents were ordered to leave starting 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Lines at gas stations are already long, but they will be worse tomorrow. Hopefully you already have gas stored.

If you need to get any last minute preps, better do it now. Ready.gov has some good tips to follow.

Stay safe folks!

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

5 Tips: How to (not) run over BLM protesters

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Image result for blm protest run over

As America keeps changing into whatever it has been becoming during these last few years, incidents like the ones seen recently are likely to become more common. People rarely find themselves in this kind of volatile, extraordinary circumstances and often don’t know how to react. I’ve been in them more than I care to remember so what I say comes directly from years of experience, at times coming across riots, protests and especially roadblocks on daily basis, some of them more violent than others.

This is the advice I have for you.

  • Lives DO matter.

Do NOT run over people. I’m not saying this as a disclaimer alone, I really do mean it. I fully understand how sensitive people are these days, the politics, the racial tension. Still, every single life is precious in its own way and no car, no paint job is worth a human life. I’m tired of reading about folks in the forums joking about running over BLM or whatever other activist of any kind, no matter how much you may disagree with them or not. I doubt many of them have run over people before. I can tell you one thing though: Hitting an innocent person with your car is one of the most horrible feelings you can experience. The only time I felt worse was when my then three year old son nearly died in a hospital bed. It’s that bad. People say taking any life will cause endless nightmares. I don’t know about that because it is different when some scumbag is actively trying to kill you, its you or him in which case I have no regrets. I do know that believing you just killed a person that you know wasn’t trying to kill you back messes you up. Unless you are a monster, no good person wants to carry that weight.

  • Stay informed and avoid whenever possible.

In my case it became somewhat of a daily morning ritual. I would turn on the TV during breakfast so as to know what roads or parts of town to avoid before I hit the road. At times it was just easier to use public transportation, but its not always an option and its not always safer. If I was taking my car I would turn on the radio to listen to the news in case new roadblocks were popping up while driving. In some countries you have Apps that inform you about them too.

If you know there’s trouble, avoid it at all cost. Not only are you risking getting stuck for hours, you risk getting attacked and mugged as well. It just isnt worth it so take an alternative route. I didn’t use one back then, especially because I knew most of the city like the palm of my hand but get comfortable with your GPS.

If you happen to see a roadblock forming right in front of you, act fast. Sometimes you can drive around them quickly before they close in, sometimes you can make a quick U turn and get the hell out of there. In those moments, a second too late makes all the difference between making it home in 5 minutes or getting stuck there for hours, or worse. An agile vehicle is great for such situations. I learned to appreciate SUVs for their better than sedan ground clearance and off road capability. I don’t need to cross the nearest national park off road with it. But if I can go off the road to avoid the roadblock for a bit or go over a sidewalk or boulevard to do so, then yes I can appreciate that. This is why my daily driver is a Honda CR-V.

  • Remain calm and stay in the vehicle.

It is easy to get scared, its easy to get angry. In both cases you’ll just make it worse. If you are scared you may panic, floor the pedal and run over a bunch of people. If you get angry you may get out of the car to confront the people blocking your way. This is a very typical reaction and one you certainly would regret. You start thinking about your rights being just as important as theirs. You think about the wasted time, about wanting to get home after a long day, about why can’t you move around like the free person that you are. You get out of the car and you are surrounded and outnumbered. It only takes one or two cowards to strike you from behind, crowd dynamics say you’re likely to get stomped on once you fall, maybe beaten to death. If you are carrying you may start shooting. Either way we go back full circle: Just don’t get out of the vehicle.

  • Move slowly.

Don’t floor it, don’t speed up, just keep moving slowly. Its easy to get nervous with all the screaming, with hands and maybe sticks hitting your car. Stay cool, keep moving slowly. This one time I had people start pushing and rocking the car as I made it through the crowd. It felt like being in a boat. Sometimes there so many people you can’t even see the road, see if your about to hit the curb. You have to focus on getting out of there, know where you’re going and keep moving slowly, at walking speed.

  • Do NOT stop. Whatever you do, when surrounded by protesters and otherwise angry people, do not stop. Especially if they block your view as in the photo above, keep moving.  If you stop you just encourage them to pile up in front of your car. They may climb on top of it. Its easier for them to break your windows, open doors and even pull you out. The responsible citizen will keep driving at a very slow speed doing his best to slowly push people but no one can ask of you to stay in a place where your life may be at risk. Even if you accidentally hit or run over someone keep driving. If you get out to check on the protester you hit there’s a good chance you’ll get attacked and in such number your life is clearly at risk. Just keep driving slowly, get yourself to a safe area to ensure your safety and then contact the authorities to let them know what just happened.

Riots and roadblocks can be dangerous and they certainly are stressful. Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with one but if you do these five tips will help you get through it.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Update, Content, News, and months of podcasts.

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Well, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted here on the blog of SurvivalRing, and I do apologize. Life has been rather full outside the front door, and the moments in front of my computer (normally plural…the laptop is still down with a *Windows 10* infection) have been focused on research, online radio work, and […]

Prepper Relocation Part V: The True Best Places to Relocate

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Over the past two weeks, I have released a series on prepper relocation that completely changes the old conventional theories that drove prepper relocation strategies (See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/?s=prepper+relocation).  The key takeaway

Beginners Guide To Surviving

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Submitted By H.D.

What is it that makes a natural disaster so dangerous? Is it the fact that, we can’t prevent it from happening? Or does it have to deal with our inability to recognize the signs? The answer is neither. The reason why a natural disaster is so dangerous, evolves around preparation. To put it another way, they’re dangerous because we don’t prepare for them. A large percentage of the American population goes throughout their day-to-day lives without ever thinking of a natural disaster occurring. A beginners guide is something we all need to make us aware of what we need to do.

With that being said, ask yourself, “How can we survive something we’ve never prepared for?” it would be equivalent to taking an exam in a subject you’ve never studied for. The answer is simple, you can’t! This is why earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornado’s rip cities apart, taking thousands of lives and causes billions of dollars in damage.

According to DoSomething.org, between the years of 2000 and 2012, natural disasters caused $1.7 trillion in damage and affected 2.9 billion people. The researchers later discovered that, 2012 marked the third consecutive year worldwide natural disaster damage exceeded $100 billion.

Believe it or not, natural disasters like wildfires can strike at any time, without warning. In other words, even if we tried to recognize all the signs before a disaster hit, one could still strike unexpectedly. Those are the ones that cause the most destruction.

 

Here are some things to keep in mind before a natural disaster hits your home.

 

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

 

  1. Preparing For A Flood

 

Like most natural disasters, flooding can affect anyone, regardless of where they live. Within the United States, it’s actually the most common type of natural disaster. As a result, flash-floods has caused about 200 deaths annually, according to LawHelp. In order to make sure you’re protected, get to higher ground. Don’t attempt to operate a motor vehicle no matter what – otherwise you risk the chance of getting stuck, or even swept away by fast moving water.

 

Ways To Protect Your Home

  • Seal the basement walls with waterproof compounds.
  • If possible, have a sump pump, as well as a backup one that operates on batteries.
  • Check and make sure that all electrical components are no less than 12 inches above any assumed flood levels. This will help prevent you from getting electrocuted.

 

  1. Tornado Watch

A tornado is a combination of wind and water that can travel anywhere from 250 to 300 miles per hour. Needless to say, a tornado can destroy any and everything it comes in contact with. Turning everyday household objects into dangerous projectiles that can kill people and damage property. Before strengthening your living environment, check and make sure your home is out of harm’s way. To emphasize, make sure you live somewhere that isn’t within arm’s reach of the windstorm.

 

Tornado Proof Your Home

  • If you live in an area that’s prone to tornado’s, make sure you cover your windows to protect them from shattering. Garage doors should also be checked and reinforced. Just because it’s one of the heaviest and most powerful pieces of machinery in your entire house doesn’t mean it can’t be blown away by a twister.
  • Schedule a home inspection to have your house and roof checked.
  • Make any repairs necessary in order to ensure your safety.

 

Despite the fact that tornado’s are commonly known to occur in the springtime in areas of the U.S. known as “Tornado Alley,” the truth is, tornadoes have been known to occur in every state and in every month.

 

  1. Hurricane Season

 

Anytime a hurricane is approaching the coast, you will more than likely witness people scrambling to hardware stores buying whatever they can get their hands on. Although this may sound like a good idea, the reality is if you wait until a “hurricane watch” has been issued, you’re too late. During a hurricane, homes might get damaged or even destroyed by high winds and high waves. Meaning that, windows will be shattered and homes can even fall to the ground if they’re built on a weak foundation in extreme storms, like Hurricane Katrina.

 

Don’t Waste Time

  • First and foremost, don’t wait until a “hurricane watch” has been issued to the public before grabbing the hammer and nails.
  • Remove weak and dead trees or tree limbs located on your property.
  • Have a backup plan in case you have to evacuate your home. Also set aside some cash, and make a “grab” and “go” bag that has all your important paperwork, and personal information stored inside.
  • Lastly, make sure you have a battery-powered radio, so you can keep up with the latest news.

 

  1. Tectonic Plates Shifting (Earthquake Preparation)

 

Let’s be honest, if you’ve ever experienced an earthquake you know how scary it can be. According to Ready.gov, earthquakes are defined as sudden rolling or shaking events caused by movement under the earth’s surface. These events happen along cracks within the earth’s surface called fault lines resulting in a release of energy that causes the earth to shift and move; shaking buildings, bridges, and homes. In the United States, earthquakes are more commonly known to occur throughout the western region, however, other states have been known to experience this disaster as well.

Since earthquakes are unpredictable, make sure your home is sturdy enough to withstand intense shaking, no matter where you live. In the case of an earthquake, it’s always better to assume the worst and have too much rather than not enough.

 

Don’t ignore the signs.

 

  • For heavy items that can fall over, secure them to a wall or floor.
  • Breakable items should also be moved closer to the floor or placed on lower shelves as well.
  • Check your foundation for cracks, and any loose wires that may cause a fire. Unlike other natural disasters, earthquakes come without warning. Therefore, you should make repairs to your home immediately after inspection.
  • For families, make sure your children and other loved ones know the earthquake safety drills.

 

  1. The Do’s & Don’ts For All Natural Disasters

 

 

Do Don’t
●       Stock up on food.

●       Don’t forget to purchase lots of water.

●       Assemble a first-aid kit for cuts and bruises.

●       Pack spare clothes in case you’re away from home longer than you expected.

●       Sanitize whatever items you use properly.

●       Drink water you think might be contaminated.

●       Forget to wash your hands as much as possible.

●       Hold on to food items that may have come in contact with contaminated water.

●       Forget to protect important documents. After all, once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!

●       Store food outside.

 

As a final point, even if a natural disaster isn’t threatening you or your family, it’s still a good idea to stay prepared for whatever comes your way. If you live in areas that are prone to disasters, never second guess leaving your residence if you have to. A home can be replaced, but a life can’t.

Be safe out there!

——-

Thank you again for taking the time to read my article. I would like to know, have you ever experienced a natural disaster before? Or, do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’ll be checking for comments, so feel free to express your thoughts on today’s article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H.D. loves taking advantage of the sunny weather outside. If you can’t catch him online reading whatever he gets his hands on, you might be able to catch out playing football with friends, or cheering on the Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241.

 

 

Sources:

 

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Prepper Relocation Part IV: The Fatal Error of Relocating to an Isolated Region

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One of the single biggest mistakes preppers make is that they buy into the myth that relocating to a small region in the North West corner of the United States

Protecting Yourself and Family is Key!

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triad1We know that the big one is coming. We prepare ourselves to survive by having enough food & water, medical supplies and other things on hand but we also need to protect ourselves from all.

Protecting yourself and your Family at home from violence, intruders, Terrorist groups and more has become one of the highest priorities these days. So what areas should one begin to protect? Entry ways & Windows! There are various ways intruders can penetrate a home or business but most common are Doors and Windows. Violators will most likely act quickly by blasting down a door or shooting down windows. It is important to know what economical Bullet Resistant materials to use and how to easily install them. Here is what you can use to make a normal door Bullet Resistant.

Triad Security Solutionstriad2 has developed a UL Level 3 Bullet Resistant Door Guard that can be installed on any normal door in 15 minutes making it bullet resistant. The BR Door Guard covers 75% of a standard size door and covers the most important areas that a gunman will most likely shoot at. The BR Door Guard shown below absorbed 120 bullets shot from a 38 special, 9mm, 357 mag, 40 caliber, 44 mag and 12 gauge slug and pellet. None of these rounds penetrated the BR Door Guard.

 

This same product has been made available to public and private schools, colleges to protect the students and teachers from a Gunman.

triad3

Triad Security Solutions also outfitted the cabin area with the same Level 3 Bullet resistant material for Jim Delozier’s well known

“SURVIVOR TRUCK”

triad4

Triad built the BR Door Guard to be affordable for everyone. Unlike Level 3 Bullet Resistant Doors that cost from $4,500 – $7,500 installed, the BR Door Guard retails for $1,399.00. The Door Guard comes with (10) TamperPruf Security Screw and (10) predrilled holes for easy and quick installation. Wood grain laminate is used to cover the BR Material and can be painted or stained to fit home or office décor.

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As an introductory offer Triad is offering American Preppers Network members a 10% discount ($140.00) and FREE Shipping ($100.00).

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What news sources can you trust?

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Hi Fernando, love your book and blog. What sources of news do you trust and follow for international and US news?  Same question for economic information. Thanks  -Rick

.

Hi Rick. Thanks, glad you liked my book.

I try to read several news outlets so as to gather information as objectively as possible. Every news source has its own agenda, some more noticeable and more extremist than others. This chart gives you an idea of what to expect.

Pew political charts

http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-the-most-and-least-trusted-news-outlets-in-america-2014-10

Usually I start with a news widget in my cell phone that shows me headlines from various outlets including CNN, AP, CBS, Slate, Fox and Yahoo News just to mention some.

In general I balance CNN, BBC, Fox, but also check RT and Al Jazeera along with local media sources from wherever it is that I am. I can’t say I trust much any of them. It’s the collection of them which I try to look through to learn the truth of whats going on out there.

You have to know what to expect from each one, know their bias. That way its easier to distil the actual news.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Prepper Relocation Part III: A Letter to the Prepper Community

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Before I post Part IV, I want to pause and recap the huge amount of ground already covered in parts one and two of this series (See links below to

Prepper Relocation Part II: The Myth of a 300 Mile Radius and the Golden Horde

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In part one of our series on “Prepper Relocation,” I directly addressed a common false logic amongst preppers that led to bad conclusions regarding why one should relocate to Idaho. 

Video: Wildfire Safety Tips

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wildfire

Wildfire Safety

The West coast has been in the grip of several wildfires that have caused millions in damage. In a companion video to a recent article, Joe Alton, MD discusses strategies that might save your home (and your life) in a wildfire.

To watch, click below:

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

Joe Alton, MD

JoeAltonLibrary4

 

Get medical preparedness tips for any disaster by checking out Joe and Amy Alton’s brand new third edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is Not on the Way.

Prepper Relocation Part I: Questioning the Common Logic

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I routinely read articles online where individuals pontificate about where the best places for preppers to live or relocate too are.  What I don’t usually see is any real cognitive

Solar Generators Vs Fuel Generators

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In the past 10 years, many companies have tried to develop a new way of powering our lives. Most of them have placed their bets on solar energy. Sun provides so much energy in one minute that it can power the entire Earth for one year. Learning to harness that energy would bring so many changes, starting with the cost of electricity bills. But are solar generators the future, and can they replace fuel generators? Which one is better and provides more energy? Let us break it down and judge them based on their performances.

“Free energy”

The concept of free energy is pretty simple. Sun is there for a reason, and we might as well utilize some of its energy. There are plenty of reasons one should install solar panels: they will generate so much energy in the upcoming years that you will never have to pay for electricity again. Yes, they can be a bit expensive to start with, but the prices of solar panels are dropping every year and very soon they will be available even for the “common people”.

Solar generators rock!

These little wonders are very simple to use. Just place them somewhere safe, and let their photo-voltaic (PV) panels do all the work. The PV panels will transform the sunlight into electricity and send it to be stored inside the batteries to be used later. Once the batteries are full, the inverter will take direct electricity (DC) and convert it into alternative electricity (AC). If you are up camping in the wild, you can use these and get all the electricity needed for powering your favorite gadgets, charging your phone and even some more complicated devices. On top of all that, they are Eco-friendly and will not release any chemicals or gases. Your home value will skyrocket and if you ever decide to sell it, buyers will offer more only for the solar panels and generators.

Their performance compared to fuel generators

Yes, fuel generators are known to produce electricity a bit faster, but they require much more to start with. They require fuel to power the generators without which they are useless. In case you go out of fuel, you will also be left without electricity. Another downside of fuel generators is that they create a lot of pollution by releasing chemicals in the air. They are portable just like solar generators, but their function depends on having enough fuel to power them.

Preppers choose solar power

Since the technology is developing so fast, preppers can now safely rely solely on solar power. Designs such as goal zero yeti 400 generators have proven to be more than enough to power an entire house in case something “unexpected” happens. There is a chance that one day, something bad may happen to the world. It could be a nuclear strike, a zombie apocalypse or a virus outbreak. If that occurs, electricity will be almost unaffordable and the only remaining source of energy will be the Sun. So we might as well prepare?

Time to go solar

If you haven’t done it by now, do it as fast as you can. It will most likely be the most reliable source of energy in the near future and it will save you a lot of money if you invest now. With solar panels and grids set, you can become completely energy independent. Yes, there will be days when the clouds will cover the sky and you will collect less energy, but the Sun as we know it won’t leave us any time soon.

Verdict: fuel generators are old fashioned. Yes, they also collect and produce energy but free will always be better than the one you have to pay for.

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2 Years with a WORX 14″ Electric Chain Saw

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There are times when “You get what you pay for“, doesn’t hold water.
In the case of a 14″ Electric Chainsaw by WORX, you get MORE.

Well into a 2nd. year of hard service, buying this wood cutting powerhouse was money well spent. I had my doubts on a electric chainsaw, surely it can’t hold up too long, but after several good-sized tree-falls, and yards of firewood, the saw is just as sure & efficient as the day I pulled it out of the box.
My yard is full of trees. That means I’m cutting up deadfalls, loping off branches, and harvesting firewood a lot. Over the years I’ve burned out two gas chainsaws, each time cussing them for the aggravation.  Unless I was using the gas chainsaw daily, (which I wasn’t) a year of use & storage was enough to turn a $100 investment into a crank pulling, blister-raising, pain in the butt. It got so I had to spend a whole day just getting the chainsaw running, to spend another full day using it.
When the second gas chainsaw died, I had had it. Worse, I had a big Bradford Pear split in half on me, leaving me a backyard FULL of fallen timber to cut up. I needed a chainsaw, & needed it right NOW!
That’s when I decided to take a chance on this WORX 14″ Electric Chain Saw. I figured at half the price of a gas chainsaw, even if I only got a year’s use out of it, at least I’m not out all the aggravation AND cost of a gas powered saw. Besides, with most of the work I needed to do… small branches with some thicker timber up to 20″ thick… I figured I could knock out the small stuff, and even if the saw puked on the bigger stuff, at least most of the cutting got done pretty cheap.

Surprisingly, that was TWO YEARS & more than three TREES AGO!

The WORX 14″ saw is just as powerful, just as sharp, just as instant-on reliable as it was when I brought it home. No mixing gas, no priming, no choke, no yanking on a starter rope over & over & over. Lay out an extension cord, plug in & GO.

The WORX has an easy chain adjustment too. A twist of a knob snugs up the chain to proper tension, and just a top off of chain lube is all that’s necessary for a full day of cutting.

It certainly doesn’t beat you up like a gas saw will. The motor is far quieter, the lighter weight of the saw is far less strain on your arms & back. I was totally surprised with the saw’s cutting performance.
If your needs for a chainsaw is for light to medium yard work, mostly small diameter branches with the occasional larger log, the WORX 14″ saw will do you very well, better than what you’d expect. Although tied to a electric power source via a plug in cord, you can kiss bye-bye all the starter rope pulling, spark plug fowling, gas mixture mess & smoky engine exhaust & ear ringing noise of a gas powered saw.
This has turned out to be one of my SMARTER investments.

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Complete Water Analysis Test Kit / APN Product Review

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It’s not often when worry is put to rest, especially when it comes from playing in water.

A prime reason I chose my home was because it had a Water Well, a key item in maintaining independence from outside resource. Without need of a municipal water supply, I can live on my property without worry of  water suddenly not being available. I only then needed to worry about it being drinkable.

Test Assured’s Complete Water Analysis Test Kit

That’s why I took on the task of doing a review of Test Assured’s Complete Water Analysis Test Kit with enthusiasm.  I knew I had good tasting well water at my taps, but all the same, I wanted to know chemically how well my well water really was. (Say that 5 times fast.) Most importantly, I wanted to put to rest worries that there could be something in it that could potentially make me sick.

If you can follow directions how to mix cake batter, you can do all of the tests without messy eggs, butter, milk & stuff. It’s simply fill a vial, dip in a test strip & compare colors from a chart. If I can do it, you can too.

The Complete Water Analysis Test Kit  is 10 tests in one.  Ten of the most common contaminants you need to be concerned about if you intend to use water to drink, cook or bathe.

Alkalinity: Water with low alkalinity can be corrosive and irritate eyes. Water with high alkalinity has a soda-like taste, dries out skin and causes scaling on fixtures and plumbing.

Hardness: The amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals. When using hard water, more soap or detergent is needed to get things clean, be it your hands, hair, or your laundry.

pH: An index of the amount of hydrogen ions (H-) in the water. When water has a pH that is too low, it can lead to corrosion and pitting of pipes in plumbing and distribution systems.

Chlorine: A highly efficient disinfectant added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing pathogens. But too much of a good thing is not necessarily good. Too much can burn & kill.

Copper: Reddish metal that occurs naturally in rock, soil, water, sediment, and air. New copper pipes leech copper into water which can be harmful for babies. Older pipes not so much, because of the natural patina that develops on the metal surface.

Iron: Water high in iron may taste metallic, be discolored and appear brownish, Iron leaves red or orange rust stains in the sink, toilet, bathtub or shower.

Nitrates & Nitrites: Naturally occurring chemicals made of nitrogen and oxygen. The primary health hazard occurs when nitrate is transformed to nitrite in the digestive system. The nitrite oxidizes the iron in red blood cells to form methemoglobin, which lacks the oxygen-carrying ability of hemoglobin. Too much nitrate & nitrites in drinking water can cause serious health problems for young infants.

Lead: If you don’t already know how dangerous consuming lead is, go back to eating your paint chips. Lead poisoning is a real concern with older homes with leaded plumbing.

Pesticides: Commonly caused by ground water contamination. Just where do you think the bug spray your neighbor uses winds up?

Bacteria: The most worrisome fear,  pathogens in your water that can make you REALLY sick. This test requires 48 hours for results.

The testing was easy to do. The kit is packaged well & clear in it’s instructions. It makes me wonder if this is EXACTLY what is used by “Professional Water Testers” who charge $$$ for the convenience.

Is it worth it?

The results largely confirmed what I already knew… I have safe, clean well water.

Test results showed that my water is clear of Chlorine, Iron, Nitrates, Nitrites, Copper, Pesticides or Lead. Further, (and most importantly), my water is Bacteria Free.

The test kit did show that Alkalinity is right in the target range for drinking water at 80 to 120 ppm. (parts per million). Hardness, in the moderate to hard side, with approximately 100 to 200 ppm. And the pH right in the ideal range of 6.5 to 8, (7 being neutral).

The bottom line… A water softener could be a smart purchase, otherwise I should fill a tall glass & toast myself for having good water coming from my well.

I highly recommend getting the kit. Get several, since each kit is single use. It’s pretty smart to test your drinking water whenever large weather events occur, which can effect your regional water supply. Or if you travel, and want to be sure the water that’s available is safe.

I suppose I could get an independent lab do the same tests for comparative results. But unless folks buy a kit or two from this AMAZON LINK, I don’t see me shelling out the $$$ for that. However, just by testing regularly once a year, I can determine what may have changed. The kit makes doing that very affordable. (Way cheaper than hiring it done)

Add the Complete Water Analysis Test Kit  to your Prepper Needs List.  If you seek to know just the Lead content, Test Assured offers a separate test kit for that as well.
For more information about this product & other products by Test Assured, visit their website.

 

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3 Levels of Disaster Preparedness

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

There are at least three levels of disaster preparedness that you need to focus on before you can be confident about your chances of survival against disasters and natural calamities. Here is a guide to help you go through them one by one

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Items You Should Hoard for a Disaster

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Your top priority as one concerned about preparedness is to make sure your family has enough food and water to survive during an emergency or disaster. While you won’t get far without this, exclusively storing food and water may leave you without key essentials in a disaster.

There are hundreds of items you could collect for every possible outcome. But to maximize time, money and space, you should think strategically about what you can reasonably store and even take with you if you need to bug out.

Items You Should Hoard for a Disaster

To help you get started, here’s a list of 27 items to consider adding to your stockpile. You may not need them all, but even a few can help you be better prepared.

Guns and Ammo

  • Guns and ammunition are critical to protecting your family and supplies. Consider getting a large bore handgun and a shotgun, plus at least 500 rounds of ammo. Don’t forget cotton cloth and cleaning solution to keep your guns clean and in working order.

Fire Starters

  • Lighters, matches and magnesium sticks are all essential survival tools, whether you’re trying to cook, stay warm or even send a rescue signal. You may also want to include charcoal and lighter fluid.

Fuel

  • Propane and gasoline will be very valuable for cooking and transportation. For safety, store these away from your house, such as buried in your backyard.

Radio

  • A crank-operated radio provides access to information such as where to get help, areas to avoid and incoming weather. Look for a radio that can charge other electronic devices.

Flashlights

  • Make sure you have a working LED flashlight for each family member (plus extra batteries). These will help if you lose power or to get the attention of rescuers.

Tent

  • A tent is a must for your bug-out bag. A lightweight backpacker’s tent or military pup tent won’t take up much space, and you can even use a tarp (which has other uses) with a taut line stretched between two trees.

Fire Extinguishers

  • Since you can’t count on emergency services in a disaster, make sure you have several fire extinguishers on hand to put out fires at home.

Water Purification

  • You’ll need a supply of iodine tablets to ensure you have clean water in an emergency. These could save your life if your water filter stops working.

Knives

  • Knives are essential items for your stockpile. A fixed-blade hunting knife with a six-inch blade and a sturdy sheath is a great option, and you’ll probably also want a pocket knife.

P-Cord

  • Parachute cord is an incredibly useful tool. This lightweight, durable material can do everything from binding logs together to pulling heavy objects to making a splint.

Backpack

  • You’ll need a sturdy backpack if you have to bug out. Look for one that’s water resistant with a reinforced bottom, plus wide straps that won’t hurt your shoulders.

First-Aid Supplies

  • Your first-aid kit should include bandages, gauze, medical tape, burn ointment, aspirin, ibuprofen, anti-diarrhea medicine, different types of splints and cotton balls. Vicks VapoRub is also useful for various ailments and can ward off bugs.

Lip Balm

  • In addition to preventing chapped lips, this handy little item can be rubbed on hot spots to prevent blisters from forming. You can also use it to prevent rust on blades.

Compass

  • Having a quality compass is essential if you need to bug out. You’ll also want several maps of the area, and you should practice how to navigate with them.

Bandana

  • Bandanas are a multipurpose item for many situations. A bandana can become a sun shade, a dust mask, a towel, a sling and even a pot holder, among other uses.

Poncho

  • A poncho can protect you against the elements and can also be used to keep other items (like firewood) dry as well. They fold flat, so they won’t take up much room.

Duct Tape

  • Duct tape does just about everything. You can use it to repair a tent, waterproof or patch shoes, keep gauze on a wound or even make a cup. It takes practically zero space if you wrap a length of it around your water bottle.

Super Glue

  • You can use super glue to repair things like a water bottle or knife handle, or even to seal up wounds and blisters.

Sunglasses

  • Sunglasses are an absolute must to protect against snow blindness when hiking in winter. Look for polarized UVA or UVB shades, and consider also storing a pair of safety glasses.

Baking Soda

  • Baking soda can extinguish a fire without wasting valuable water. It also neutralizes many odors, from trash to sanitation and even your shoes.

Garbage Bags

  • Heavy-duty garbage bags are a multipurpose item you can use to store gear, provide shade, protect you (or your backpack) against rain and even make a flotation device.

Coffee Filters

  • Coffee filters can become toilet paper, plates and paper towels, also working as a food cover to keep insects away.

Aluminum Foil

  • Foil is useful for storing cooked food, cooking over your campfire and keeping bandages clean.

Dental Floss

  • Floss is essential for preventing tooth infections, which can kill you. It can also be used as cordage.

Hygiene Products

  • Feminine products will certainly be in high demand in a disaster, including as a bartering item.

Can Opener

  • You’ll need a way to get into your canned food, and you’d be smart to have a few backups as well.

Kitty Litter

  • Cat litter is useful in many situations, including getting a car unstuck that’s bogged down in mud, sand or snow. You can also sprinkle it in your emergency toilet to absorb odor.

While these items are helpful for survival and bartering, it’s important not to tell people about your stockpile because it could make you a target. There’s obviously a limit to how much anyone can reasonably store, but the more you have now, the better off you’ll be if (or when) disaster strikes.

Frank Bates, founder of 4Patriots LLC, is a contributing writer to Patriot Headquarters, a website featuring hundreds of articles on how to be more independent and self-reliant. He also offers Food4Patriots, a supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage, survival and emergency preparedness.

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Preparing for the Big One!

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First Aid and Other Supplies You’ll Need When Preparing

Make no mistake about it: The Big One is coming. This isn’t an irrational fear promoted by extreme preppers or the companies that market to them. It is a real fear that is fueled by real science. And, while many preppers are mistaken for people who believe that the Walking Dead could really happen, what we know is that our infrastructures are simply not built to withstand major earthquakes or other disasters.

On the West Coast, for example, Cascadia isn’t a rumor or an urban legend; it is a reality that is no longer a matter of “if” but “when.” And when that quake happens, the roads, the electrical grid, the municipal water supply, internet connectivity–they are all going down. Some experts say that it could take more than a year to simply get the basic necessities back into place. Estimates on life getting back to “normal” (like we take for granted now) say it will take a lot longer than that.

So: while a giant meteor strike or nuclear Armageddon might feel a little far-fetched, for a lot of our readers, the possibility of being cut off is something that must be dealt with. The best way to deal with that reality is to make sure you are prepared.

Experts agree that, at minimum, you should have enough clean water and food supplies on hand to last for six months to a year. You should also make sure that you are stocked up on first aid supplies and other necessities like comfortable and durable clothing, shelter supplies, etc.

If you are new to prepping, this can seem incredibly overwhelming. The good news is, you don’t have to go overboard with your disaster prep right now. We recommend building up your supplies slowly over time. Here is a tip list on how to start preparing for the worst:

1. Water

It is vital that you have enough clean water on hand to get you through at least a few weeks of living once disaster strikes. Remember, this water won’t just be used for drinking. You’ll also use it for cooking, bathing, etc. Collect enough for your entire family, both humans and pets. The simplest way to do this is to buy 1-2 five gallon drums of fresh water every time you go to the grocery store.

You will also want to purchase a portable filter and supplies for making polluted water drinkable. These will come in handy if and when your clean water supplies run dry.

2. Medical Supplies

Those cute little first aid kits that you keep in your bag or your vehicle are great for minimal needs, but you’ll want to step that kit up a few notches for your emergency supply. You are most likely going to want to stock up on disinfectant supplies and sterile bandages. After that, you’ll also want to keep basic sewing supplies and gauze in your kit, creating a small surgical kit of sorts. And, of course, this is a good place to store some extra matches–in addition to sterilizing instruments; fire can also cauterize deep wounds.

With all of this in mind, you might want to spring for a course on some basic medical training that you can use in the field. Sign up for first aid and CPR classes. Make sure you know what to do when you can’t call an ambulance, as being able to reach emergency personnel will be out of the question.

 

3. Food

Focus on non-perishables that don’t require cooking in order to be edible. Canned beans,  dried fruits and veggies, are a just a few examples. Add a few family sized cans to your cart every time you go grocery shopping to build up your supplies. There are some great checklists available that detail the types of food you’ll most want to have in case of emergency.

 

 

4. Shelter

You will want to be sure that you are sheltered from the elements in the event of an emergency. You don’t necessarily need to have an expensive or expansive tent, but a tent that can shelter your family and can be easily assembled and disassembled is recommended. Be sure to practice putting up and taking down the tent a few times to ensure that you know what you’re doing. Taking a wilderness survival skills course that will teach you how to build shelters “from scratch,” how to tell good plants from bad, how to make snares to catch small pretty, etc. will only further increase your chance of survival.

The main reason to do all of this, of course, isn’t to be the King of the Mountain once disaster strikes, but to simply survive long enough to have normalcy return. Having supplies on hand and knowing how to use them will help you stay calm in an emergency. Your calming presence, more than anything else, will help you keep you and your family alive in scary and dire situations.

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Natural Disasters; Are you Ready?

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When natural disasters comes to your town, what do you do? Most people aren’t prepared. And, because of that, they’ll suffer catastrophic losses and be totally blindsided by the fact that they don’t have electricity, clean water, and probably food. Here’s how you can prepare yourself so you’re not caught out in the unprepared.

 

Planning For Any Disaster

You’ll see common preparedness tips for every type of natural disaster, which is why a disaster preparedness plan makes sense. Most natural disasters will knock out, or limit access to, essential services. Services like police, fire, and rescue, but also services like food, water, and shelter.

You should be familiar with a disaster before it strikes. Because once it does strike, the only thing you can do is “press play” and carry out whatever plan you have in place. For most people, a basic survival plan includes a “bug out bag” or a “bug in bag,” which includes basic safety supplies, 3 ways to make a fire (including waterproof matches), waterproof clothing, a rain slicker, some food (freeze-dried or canned with a can opener), and a first-aid kit.

You will also want some basic tools like a hatchet, pick, walkie-talkies, and multi-tool. You need enough materials so you could survive for at least 72 hours alone, if you had to. If you want extra protection, give yourself a week’s worth of supplies and stock 2 of everything.

 

Preparing For An Earthquake

This is one of the hardest things to do, because of the nature of the disaster. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you already know. If you’re not sure, use the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program and the U.S. Geological Survey to map out where the high risk areas are. The USGS also uses a live map so you can see up-to-the minute activity.

There’s nothing you can do to avoid a quake, but you can give your home an earthquake checkup. Check for disasters, fasten shelves to the wall studs, and store anything breakable in a safe place. Store poisons in cabinets that latch shut. Put heavy objects on low shelves and secure heavy furniture. Practice earthquake drills with your family.

The most important thing you can do is get underneath something sturdy and find an open space. Most deaths caused by earthquakes come from flying debris and falling objects. Collapsing structures and walls are also dangerous. Your first priority is to minimize personal injury. Finally, avoid damaged or falling structures.

 

Preparing For Hurricanes

Like tornadoes, hurricanes produce very severe and fast winds that are damaging to people, buildings, vehicles, and the natural environment. The benefit is we often see them coming from many miles away and have technologies to detect them easily.

Hurricanes bring on flooding, fires, and other secondary disasters. They also bring on sustained winds and rain. Board up the windows and doors with plywood, install storm shutters, and secure your roof and siding. Bring in outdoor furniture.

Check the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood map database. If you have to evacuate, shut off your utilities, including the main power switch. Check with the local authorities about a main evacuation route, and practice it with your family.

Hunker down and evacuate when ordered to do so. Even weak hurricanes can kill. And when it’s all done, flooding cleanup may not be completed for days, meaning you’re stranded in a flooded area.

So, it’s usually best to evacuate, since rescue may not be able to get to you in time, and you won’t have anywhere to escape to.

 

Planning For A Tornado

A tornado can come on fast and be quite unpredictable. Tornados don’t just happen in the Midwest either. They can happen in the south, north, and west — basically anywhere in the U.S.

Anywhere a thunderstorm can form, a tornado can too. The amount of concentrates damage they cause is astonishing. Like most storms, the best way to handle one is get out of the way.

You can’t really prepare your home for a tornado, since they’re so damaging. Some homes are built to withstand tornado winds, and are protected by special shutters and siding, but even then there are no guarantees that the tornado wouldn’t destroy everything.

Tornadoes are accompanied by strong winds and storms. The wind might pick up for a while and then suddenly die down. Watch the sky. It will get dark and suddenly, you might hear a loud rushing sound, like a roar. Be on the lookout for clouds that rotate in a circular pattern. They strike quickly, and the trademark funnel cloud is a good sign but may not appear until debris is already picked up.

Listen to NOAA emergency Weather Radio, because severe storms will be reported here first. Listen for emergency broadcasts if conditions look right for a tornado. If one strikes, stay low and get to a place in the basement. Ideally, you will be on the lowest level of your home. If you’re in a highrise, try to get down to the lowest level quickly.

But, stay away from windows and outside walls. If you’re in a vehicle, this might seem scary but get out of it. Vehicles can be picked up and flung very easily by tornadoes. Get out and lay face down in a ditch or a very low area. Stay away from bridges and underpasses as the wind can be very harsh under them.

 

Charlie Lucas lives in a flood zone and has seen his beloved home, and possessions, destroyed by flood waters once already – He takes every measure he can so it doesn’t happen again and warns others too.

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Video: Situational Awareness in Terror Attacks

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Boston Marathon

Terror events: Part of the New Normal

In this companion video to a recent article, Joe Alton, MD tell you how being “situationally aware” could save your life in a terror event. It seems that a day doesn’t go by without some heinous action by terrorist cells, and this video discusses how we can replace a culture of victimization with one of readiness for any disaster. We now know that terror events can happen anywhere, anytime: Malls, schools, nightclubs, holiday celebrations, and more. Throughout the world, no one who ventures into a crowd is safe anywhere. It pays to be aware of your surroundings. Situational awareness could save your life.

To watch, click below:

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

 

Joe and Amy Alton

JoeAmyLabcoatSMALL300x300

Joe and Amy Alton

Do You Have Asbestos in Your Home?

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Every family should be prepared for a major catastrophe. And while most families have some sort of plan in place for natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, or floods, very few are adequately prepared for asbestos exposure. However, it’s imperative that you understand how to respond.

Five Things You Should Do

Hundreds of thousands of homes around the country have asbestos lurking behind the drywall and hiding in the insulation. And while it’s typically fine when left undisturbed, things happen, and it’s not uncommon for it to be released.

  1. What to Know if Your Home Contains Asbestos

Everyone wants to know what they should do if their home contains asbestos. The best answer is to proceed with the utmost caution.

“If the structure was built in the 80s or prior, it’s best to assume there’s asbestos in the drywall and other building materials,” leading law firm Bergman Draper Ladenburg points out. “This means that you shouldn’t do serious renovations without professional help. Intrusive sanding, cutting into walls or ceilings to install fixtures or outlets, removing or cutting down walls in renovations all have the potential to sicken your family.”

If you want to be certain that your home does or doesn’t contain asbestos, then you can have your walls tested. There are both DIY and professional test available.

  1. Know Where it is Found

While most people are aware that asbestos is found in insulation, did you know that it can also be present in other home construction materials? It is commonly found in steam pipes, boilers, furnace ducts, cement sheets, resilient floor tiles, shingles, siding, and more. It’s also found in old vehicles – specifically in brake pads and gaskets.

  1. If Asbestos is Disturbed…

The unfortunate reality of the situation is that you probably won’t know if asbestos is disturbed. However, if you suspect that it may have been released in the air – perhaps due to tearing through drywall – then a calculated response is necessary.

For starters, you should immediately use a respirator to avoid breathing in the fibers. Next, you should seal off the affected area to prevent fibers from traveling to other areas of the home. It’s also smart to cut off the HVAC in order to kill airflow.

Remove your clothing and leave it in the affected area and then call a professional to assess the situation. A professional can determine if there’s an  exposure risk and take any necessary action. Should the professional determine that the area needs to be cleaned, he will use a respirator, HEPA vacuum, and disposable clothing.

  1. Have a Method for Evacuating

It may seem like overkill to have an evacuation plan for asbestos, but it’s better to be prepared than to end up with a health crisis on your hands. With this being said, an evacuation plan is a smart idea.

An evacuation plan should account for multiple exit points and a plan of action for gathering important items – such as keys, clothing, and more. Generally speaking, you can use the same evacuation plans for things like natural disasters.

  1. Don’t Reenter Until the Problem Has Been Reversed

After exiting your home, you should get in contact with the appropriate parties. They have all of the right equipment to handle the situation. Never personally reenter the home until the issue has been identified and fixed.

Don’t Let Asbestos Sneak Up On You

The likelihood of asbestos entering your home and harming your family is quite low. However, in homes that were constructed prior to 1980, it’s entirely likely that asbestos is lurking behind walls. Therefore, being prepared is a smart decision.

 

The post Do You Have Asbestos in Your Home? appeared first on American Preppers Network.

EMP: Electromagnetic Pulse (Part One)

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By Bobby Akart, six-time bestselling author and founder of Freedom Preppers

Albert Einstein once wrote, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

I believe that Einstein envisioned a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world without  power. In poll after poll, one of the threats that concerns preppers is the use  of a nuclear-delivered electromagnetic pulse weapon to cause a grid-down  scenario. There are many bad actors on the international stage. Each one is capable of wreaking havoc in the United States by shutting down our power grid  and enjoying the resulting chaos.

What is an electromagnetic pulse?

Let’s get technical, so bear with me for a moment.

An electromagnetic pulse—EMP, is an intense burst of electromagnetic energy caused by an abrupt, rapid acceleration of charged particles, usually electrons. An EMP can contain elements of energy over a large part of the electromagnetic spectrum, from very-low-frequency radio, to ultraviolet, wavelengths.

A typical example is a lightning strike that produces a localized EMP. As the lightning makes contact, it can direct a large electrical current in nearby wires. A single current surge can damage sensitive electronic circuitry, such as wires and connection contained in computers and ancillary equipment.

By definition, an explosion results from the very rapid release of a large amount of energy within a limited space. This definition applies to a lightning strike, a conventional explosive like dynamite, as well as for a nuclear detonation. However, the energy produced by any one of these explosions results from different means. Understand that all explosions are relative. The effects of the shock wave are directly proportional to the amount of electromagnetic energy associated with the detonation. Its force and effect depend on the quantity of energy associated with the explosion.

Which brings us to the principal differences between conventional weapons and a nuclear EMP is the powerful electrical currents created by the blast. For that reason, the effectiveness of the conventional bomb and a nuclear EMP differ because the target is vastly different. Conventional weapons seek out hard targets—a surface burst. Nuclear EMPs seek out a high-altitude location above the Earth’s surface—an air burst.

What’s the difference between a nuclear delivered EMP and an electromagnetic pulse caused by a Coronal Mass Ejection?

The simple answer is that a Coronal Mass Ejection originates from the Sun when enormous quantities of solar energized paritlces envelope Earth and causes a disruption in the Earth’s magnetosphere. These energized particles are an EMP. In part two of this discussion, which will be published in a week, we will
discuss solar flares and CMEs in depth.

Regardless of the source of an electromagnetic pulse, the impact upon our nation could be catastrophic. Recently, the constant barrage of cyber intrusions into the public and private sector have captured the news headlines, but it is time to refocus on the threat an EMP poses for our nation’s critical infrastructure.

Senator Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, began hearings in the summer of 2015 on the threat of an EMP detonation over the United States.

The witnesses included, among others; James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence, Joseph McClelland, Director of the Office of Energy Infrastructure Security at FERC, and Christopher Currie, Director of Homeland Security and Justice with the Government Accountability Office. Their conclusion: The threat is real, and the need for the U.S. to prepare for this eventuality is critical. Chairman Johnson, in his opening remarks, stated that although the issue of EMP has been on the government radar for years, it has largely gone ignored. He pointed out the fact that not one of the suggestions put forward by the congressionally mandated EMP Commission, formed in 2002, has been put in place.

The science behind an electromagnetic pulse might be considered complicated and frightening to some. An EMP event can occur either naturally, (through solar flares, as discussed above) or artificially, as the result of a high-altitude nuclear explosion. The high-energy particles from such an explosion would cascade down to Earth, interacting with the planet’s magnetic field and destroying the electronic systems below. The resulting pulse of energy could destroy millions of transformers in America’s power grid, as the pulse travelled along transformer lines.

The possibility of man-made EMP events has grown in relation to the technological sophistication of America’s adversaries. It is a widely known fact, that both Russia and China already have this capability, and both countries have carried out serious work relating to the generation of EMP in recent years, as part of their respective military modernization programs.

Now, America’s enemies like Iran and North Korea may not be that far behind. Iran, for example, is known to have simulated a nuclear EMP attack several years ago, using short-range missiles launched from a freighter. In 2015, the Iranians fired a medium-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. North Korea, meanwhile, has acquired the blueprints to build an EMP warhead. In July of 2013, a North Korean freighter made it all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, through the Panama Canal, carrying two nuclear-capable missiles in the ship’s hold.

All of these countries have successfully orbited a number of satellites that could potentially evade U.S. early warning radars. The Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars, as former President Ronald Reagan once called it, was widely panned as bizarre by political opponents and the mainstream media. Today,
satellites carrying nuclear warheads are at the ideal altitude to generate an EMP across the entire continental US. Perhaps, President Reagan was right.

Scientists concur that such an attack, if it occurred, would have devastating consequences. A nuclear warhead detonated three hundred miles above St. Louis, Missouri, could collapse the entire nation’s power grid. According to the EMP Commission, the recovery time from such a nationwide EMP event might be anywhere from one to ten years. In the meantime, ninety percent of Americans would likely
die from starvation, disease, or societal collapse.

Are the threats to our critical infrastructure from an EMP attack and Cyber Warfare mutually exclusive?

Not necessarily. North Korea’s recent nuclear test and dictator Kim Jong Un’s claim that he has a hydrogen bomb, has shifted focus away from the cyber threat and onto EMP once again. Although the focus of attention has shifted, at least temporarily, away from cyber threats, the North Korean nuclear threat is just another dimension of the threat from cyber warfare.

Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea have all adopted an asymmetric warfare capability. Cyber warfare is not limited to computer viruses and hacking but is a combined-arms operation that includes the coordinated use of physical sabotage and an EMP attack. Our enemies consider a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack as the ultimate weapon. North Korea’s recent low-yield nuclear test, and its claim that it has a hydrogen bomb, are confirmation of the Congressional EMP Commission’s findings that North Korea is attempting to acquire a super-EMP weapon —a low-yield hydrogen bomb.

There are solutions, and the clarion bell has been rung. Our nation’s leaders have a duty to protect the homeland.

What if the preppers are right?

Further, if the threat is real, and most preppers acknowledge that it is, how do you prepare?

Where do you begin in formulating a Preparedness Plan? An entire preparedness guide, hundreds of pages long, may still not adequately cover the elements of a comprehensive preparedness plan. The numerous disaster preparedness guides, blogs, and professional videos are all excellent resources. But where do you start?

Essentially, it all boils down to: Beans, Band-Aids & Bullets

Well, of course there is much more to developing a preparedness plan than the big three, but all preparedness experts know these are the basics. Many preppers are well organized and rely heavily upon checklists. We urge you to review the following link to a FREE PDF DOWNLOAD of an extensive preparedness checklist. Preppers constantly update their checklists to insure they didn’t overlook anything. You will as well.

As you review the following, keep in mind certain basic principles when preparing your plan.

The survival rule of threes: You can only live three minutes without air; three hours without shelter in extreme conditions; three days without water; and three weeks without food. This helps you prioritize your preps for a post collapse survival situation.

The prepper rule of redundancy: Three is two, two is one, and one is none. When your prepper supplies run out, you can’t drive down to Wal-Mart and restock.

Building your prepper supplies to an acceptable level for long term survival requires baby steps. Thus, survival planning starts with the perfect trinity of prepping—beans, band-aids and bullets. Clearly, an oversimplification of what a preparedness plan entails, but it is a pretty good reflection of what you better have covered. This is a well known expression within the prepper community as it outlines the essentials that you will need in the event of TEOTWAWKI—the end of the world as we know it.

In summary, beans will include your prepper supplies, the items in your prepper pantry and water. Band-aids will refer to all things medical. Bullets represent the weapons and ammunition necessary to protect yourself, your family and your preps.

I wrote EMP: Electromagnetic Pulse to be a primer on the threats we face as a nation from an attack delivered by an Electromagnetic Pulse weapon. This book is intended to raise awareness of the threat, and provide the reader with preparedness solutions. EMP: Electromagnetic Pulse will also help you answer the question:

What if?

EMP: A threat from above to America’s soft underbelly below.

The clock is ticking. One second after. One year after.
~ by Bobby Akart, Contributing writer to the American Preppers Network and GaltStrike. He is the Amazon Top 100 Author of his best-selling

The Boston Brahmin Series and the Prepping for Tomorrow series.

Bobby is the best-selling author of the epic series of novels entitled The Boston Brahmin Series. Political suspense collides with post-apocalyptic thriller fiction as nine Bostonians whose lineage dates back to
the American Revolution navigate the societal and economic collapse of America. Can The Loyal Nine save the republic while protecting the interests of their mysterious benefactors — The Boston Brahmin? Learn more at  www.TheBostonBrahmin.com.

He has also written the Prepping for Tomorrow series, which has achieved three #1 bestsellers in twenty-nine non-fiction genres on Amazon. His attention to detail and impeccable research is critically acclaimed. Visit www.BobbyAkart.com to learn more.

Because you never know when the day before … is the day before.
Prepare for tomorrow.

For more information, visit  BobbyAkart.com

Follow him on Twitter: @FreedomPreppers and @BobbyAkart

Follow him on Facebook: FreedomPreppers and BobbyAkart

Listen to his weekly radio program – Prepping for Tomorrow – on Prepper Broadcasting.com

The post EMP: Electromagnetic Pulse (Part One) appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Are you prepared for the “Day of Rage?”

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Tomorrow, Friday July 15th has been announced as a “day of rage” to protest perceived social injustices across the nation.  Most major metropolitan areas have been identified as areas targeted

Preppers are waking up to the survival myth of the “solo prepper”

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This week I read a piece by “Mac” MacWelch of Advanced Survival Training (http://www.advancedsurvivaltraining.com/).  In it he argues that the lone wolf survivor is a myth.  Unless preppers set aside

PRK or LASIK eye surgery for Survivalists

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I just begin reading your book surviving economic collapse. On page 33 you mention LASIK and referred to the US Navy and Air Force.

I have personal knowledge knowing Air Force surgeons and having been an opthamologist that the procedure recommended is not LASIK but thermal keratoplasty.

The difference is that thermal keratoplasty  uses the laser to modify the corneal shape without slicing through the cornea like LASIK.
The sliced flap can be dislodged rendering the vision in the eye completely blurred.

Thermal keratoplasty is more uncomfortable than LASIK but has equally good results and less risk.

That being said you’re better off with LASIK than glasses for your purposes.

Thanks for all your insights.

Robert McBratney
retired Ophthalmologist

.

Thanks for your email Robert. You are right. Keratoplasty is the recommended procedure when possible for patients that are likely to suffer trauma, such as military personnel and of course survivalists as well. At the time I wrote that it wasn’t as common as it is today and LASIK had become a procedure accepted by the Air Force for their pilots.

LASIK involves the cutting of a small flap while keratoplasty shapes the eye surface itself, without the cutting of a flap. The flap may be completely cut off during surgery by accident or become detached by trauma. Keeping things in perspective, its very unlikely to suffer accidental flap detachment during surgery and even in thousands of cases of very strong trauma flap loss is a very rare incident.
Having said that, indeed, if I was doing it today I’d go for Keratoplasty. Its cheaper, safer, and there’s no flap to mess up in the first place.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Alpha Bravo Creations: Tactical Hand Signals & Phonetic Alphabet Flash Cards

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I’m to review Flashcards teaching Army Hand signals & the Phonetic Alphabet?

When I received this assignment, I was skeptical. Certainly, communications modes are a specialty I’m familiar with, but I’m no Platoon Leader, and my days of playing Army Man is a bit behind me. Besides, this is a review of kids flashcards, my last dealing with was in learning math in grade school.

But I was surprised when I examined the deck of cards of the Phonetic Alphabet, I immediately got the concept & it’s potential. Then, when I tried out the deck of Army Hand signals & American Sign Language, it struck me that these flashcards are invaluable for not just kids, but for adults too.

Communication in it’s purest sense is simply transferring information from one place to another by any means necessary, either verbally, or non-verbally. So while from the standpoint of preparedness, the ability to convey information clearly & accurately is paramount, the ability to also do so silently can be vital.
So here’s where these flashcards come in handy, (pardon the pun).
Use of hand signals offers clear communication totally unspoken, as any misbehaving youngster frozen in mid-frolic by Mom & Dad pointing at them can attest. Message CLEARLY conveyed.

Each flashcard offers a term or statement with an illustration of it’s accompanying hand gesture. There’s also directions on how to do the gesture.  By learning to recognize the gestures and connect it to the word or statement, standard terms & gestures can be strung together to make whole sentences or concepts. By repetition of using these cards anyone can become proficient in using hand signals.
Like I said… very handy.
It didn’t take long at all for this old dog to learn some new tricks, not long at all.
Hand gestures are useful…(bet you thought I’d say HANDY again), if ever I’d be in a situation where I NEED to communicate without speaking a word. Serious stuff, like  HURRY! THIS WAY to the RALLY POINT.

While Alpha Bravo’s Hand Signals for Kids helps kids add realism to their playacting, what you can learn from them can be a vital aid for anyone in a disaster to emergency.

 
http://www.alphabravocreations.com/military-phonetic-alphabet-flashcards/

Next came the deck of flashcards teaching the Phonetic Alphabet.

If you’ve ever seen a Cop show on TV or a Hollywood Blockbuster War Movie, someone is always talking over a mic saying stuff like”Foxtrot Uniform Bravo Alpha Romeo“…or some sort of drivel. It’s not heatstroke that’s got the actor talking gibberish, it’s the PHONETIC ALPHABET, used to verbalize individual letters using spoken words. Tango is the letter “T”, India the letter “I”, Charlie the letter “C”, and so on.

Using phonetics is handy when noise conditions make it hard to discern single letters. Sounds like “Eee” & “Tee” &”Cee” can often be misheard in a noisy location. So by attributing a word starting with the letter, it’s easier to understand, because you’re more likely to hear parts of a word and mentally fill in the blanks.
With the Phonetic Alphabet Flashcards,  Alpha Delta Creations has presented each letter with a picture symbol depiction of the word, as well as it’s corresponding Morse Code symbol.


HUH! What? Morse Code? Hams do Morse code! Heck, even Rambo tapped out Morse code to send a message in one of his movies! Morse Code is HANDY!

While not a requirement any longer to know Morse Code, it’s still a widely popular mode of communication in Ham Radio, the dots & dashes able to be heard & deciphered, when signal conditions are so poor that vocal speech is “in the mud” & unrecognizable.

I know very well the phonetic alphabet, but I never acquired Morse Code. So now, armed with a set of flash cards depicting them, I’ll bet picking up the code could be just as easy as picking up these cards.

Dare say it… it’ll be CHILD’S PLAY.

My review started out skeptical, but I quickly came around. I seriously suggest getting your kids these flashcards & using them yourself. Who says kids get to do all the fun? In fact, make learning how to do Tactical Hand Signaling AND the Phonetic Alphabet & Morse Code a family fun project. One that may pay SERIOUS dividends later.
(I almost forgot… did anybody catch the reference of “Foxtrot, Uniform, Bravo, Alpha, Romeo”? Learn the Phonetic Alphabet & watch Saving Private Ryan till you do. )
LEARN MORE or ORDER a set of flashcards, visit Alpha Bravo Creations Website. www.alphabravocreations.com

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The Top Choices In Light Weight Survival Gear

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An emergency can strike at any moment, from a natural disaster to crime and panic in the streets. In order to always have the tools you need on hand to survive, it’s important to focus on lightweight survival gear to keep from weighing you down as you make your escape.

What Items To Consider and Why

You could build your own survival kit, but it’s easy to forget something important. Luckily, there are a variety of kits out there that can help you get started creating your bug-out bag with lightweight survival gear already included.

This gives you a good foundation for a survival kit and you can always add more later. Here are five essential elements to include in your survival gear for almost any emergency.

Here are the items we’ll be reviewing later

An “All-in-One” Survival Kit

There are a variety of items that can help make life easier in an emergency situation. Think about what you will need for the top four needs: food, shelter, water, and fire. While having a fully stocked bunker may be out of reach for some to get ready, a simple all-in-one survival kit can go a long way to helping one get ready for apocalypse and is infinitely cheaper.

For instance, making a fire can be easier with waterproof matches or a lighter or even a flint. You can include one or all three, in the event that one method fails, and barely put a dent in your budget. The kit should be small enough to carry in a vest pocket and black in color to make it more stealthy as well.

You don’t want other people to know that you are prepared when they’re not as it can make you a target for theft and violence. Include items to help you catch fish or trap animals and to light fires, stay warm, to fix things, and get help when needed.

It should include a compass so that you can get your bearings and know which way to head out of an emergency situation.

Maps are also helpful.

Just about anything can be included in a survival kit, although then it might not be as compact as necessary to be a kit you can carry everywhere with you. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth carrying iodine pills in case of radioactive fallout or water purification tablets or filters in it too.

It’s also a good idea to have more than one survival kit.

One for the car. One to carry on your person at all times, and one in your home. You have no idea when you will need any of the items in it, and it should be tested out long before the emergency strikes to make sure it will work when it must later on.

A Lightweight Hatchet

If you want something that you can go at it double-fisted to fight Zombie hordes, then a lightweight hatchet can do the trick. It works double duty by being a weapon as well as a way to cut kindling for fire wood.

You want it lightweight enough to keep you from wasting precious calories using it and you want it sturdy and sharp enough to do be able to do the job.

It should come with a lifetime warranty, although should society collapse, it’s unlikely anyone will be around to honor it.

To keep it super-sharp, make sure you get an ax and knife sharpener too, as this will undoubtedly be hard to come by as well. When it comes to tools, nothing beats a good survival knife or hatchet. You will want to consider how easy it is to sharpen, to fix, and to maintain in order to keep your tools in optimum condition.

Some survivalists want a knife or hatchet that attaches to the outside of a pack so that it is easily retrieved in an emergency. One with a loop can be handy for this reason. It should be lightweight to make it easier to carry, if you end up on foot on your way out of a problem zone. It should also be balanced well, so that it splits wood easily.

A compact size can make it easier to carry, but can also affect how much wood you can split at one time.

Survivalist Tent

Every emergency situation is different and requires a strategy to make sure you come out alive. In the case of a natural disaster, you’ll want to be as visible as possible so that rescuers can find you and aide you quickly.

However, if you’re sleeping when they’re going by in helicopters overhead, they may not notice you on the ground. An orange tent can help increase the chances of being spotted in the case of natural disaster and one that is lightweight can be less than two pounds to carry.

If you’re trying to hide away from hordes of starving survivors, then one that blends in with the environment would be better.

However, pick one that has some insulation in it to keep warm, which has sturdy tent pegs so that it doesn’t break if you find yourself without help longer than you desired. It should be easy to pack and carry and easy to assemble. You don’t want to waste too much time trying to figure out how to set it up in the event of an emergency, especially when it is pouring outside and every minute counts to stay warm and dry.

Our Top 3 Choices For Each Category

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit

This kit has been very well thought out. It comes with a survival blanket, a Gerber miniature multi-tool, fire starter, a snare wire, fishing and sewing kit, and a Bear Grylls Priorities of Surivial pocket guide.

It is packed in a lightweight nylon bag and weighs only 9.4 ounces. It has a knife, a small reflective mirror, waterproof matches, and hand saw.

Although it is water resistant, it’s not exactly waterproof. As a starter kit, it’s an excellent choice because it is an “out-of-the-box” solution. However, for more advanced preppers, it might seem like it’s missing a few important elements.

Here’s the run-down on the pros and cons:

Pros

Small and Lightweight – It has a small compact size and it is easy to carry on your person anywhere you go.

“All-in-One” Starter Kit – You don’t have to assemble your own kit since it’s done for you and includes many items that are essential in a survival situation.

Water-Resistant – The kit is water-resistant, in the event you’re bugging out during a light rain storm.Inexpensive – The kit is cheap enough to buy two or three at a time.

Cons

No Compass – This is a major faux pas in terms of trying to find out where you might need to head in the event of an emergency. If you were to create your own survivalist kit, it’s certainly something you would include on your own.

No Water Storage – Unless you’re counting on the ziplock bag to be your permanent portable water storage container, you’re simply out of luck. Since it’s essential to carry water at all times, this is also another item that should be included in the kit.

Not Watertight – If you end up in a severe downpour or in a river, odds are your kit will end up waterlogged.

Items Picked For You – The quality and durability or even practicality of the items in the kit is determined by someone else. If you want a higher quality knife, it has to fit in this compact arrangement, making it hard to modify the kit to your liking.

Fiskars 14-Inch Hatchet

If the Indians carried them, it sure makes sense for a survivalist to have one handy.

Unlike their tomahawks, your’s is a more modern version that should be ergonomically suited to do heavy work, even as it is light and easy to carry. It should be able to cut wood easily and repeatedly.

Here are the pros and cons of this choice:

Pros

Rubber Handle – Unlike more rustic versions, the rubber handle makes it more comfortable to hold and easier to grip.

One-Piece So Head Doesn’t Rattle – It is not an ax head mounted on a handle. It’s all one-piece, making it unlikely for the head to come loose or break easily.

Wedge Shape – The shape is excellent for splitting kindling.Extremely Durable – Due to the design and material, a forged carbon steel, it is extremely durable.

Very Sharp – The edge can be sharpened down to make wood shavings too.Lightweight – It only weighs 1 lbs 14 ounces. It’s lightweight enough to carry one in each hand.

Inexpensive – For this type of durable, reliable, hatchet, the price is a total bargain.

Cons

Cutting Face Small – The compact design also means the cutting face can be smaller than needed for larger jobs.

Blade Cover Takes Up Too Much Space – The cover is plastic and bulky. It can, however, be easily replaced with a leather cover.

No Way To Fasten It To The Outside of a Pack – If you’re going to replace the cover, you might as well add a loop to carry it outside your pack for easy access.

SE ET3683 Emergency Outdoor Tube Tent with Steel Tent Pegs

This is a tube tent that you have to set up with sticks or in between two trees. It does not come with tent poles. The aluminum-coated interior is supposed to insulate the tube tent, but it’s not an all-weather tent. If you’re looking for shelter in a pinch, though, it does the job.

Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons:

Pros

Orange Color – This makes it highly visible and rescuers can have an easier time locating you. On the other hand, if you’re trying to fly under the radar, it could be a con.

Lightweight – It weighs 1.6 lbs.Insulated – The aluminum-coated interior is a type of insulation that can keep your body warm in chilly or somewhat damp weather.

Water Resistant – It can help to keep the drizzle out too.

Steel Pegs – The pegs are not going to break or fail you.

Inexpensive – It is easy on the budget compared to other tents.

Cons

No Tent Poles – This can make it more compact, but also harder to assemble.

Can Be Hard to Set Up – It depends on if you can find good sticks or two trees close to each other to get the tent up with the small cord available.

Cord Is Short and Poor Quality – You’ll need to get a larger portion of paracord to make sure you have enough length to set up the tent and that the cord will last.

A Bit Bulky To Pack Small – This isn’t suitable for carrying in a small pack on your person. It’s more a tent that you can store in your car.

Conclusion

While all this gear can help in an emergency situation, the clear winner is the lightweight hatchet. With it, you can defend yourself and you can make kindling for a fire. As any good survivalist knows, you can make shelter with sticks, moss, and a hatchet can make short work of that project too.

Even though a tent is a good idea, it has to be available to a person to make use of it. If it’s stuck in your car and you have no way to get to it, the hatchet that is available will be of more use. The survivalist kit, while a great runner-up, has the disadvantage of not being able to pick and choose the quality of those items, like the knife or the cords. It’s likely you’d want to upgrade those to top-notch quality, like the hatchet.

Also, it does not come with water storage capabilities or even water purification or filtration, which is the most important survival item you must locate and obtain after safely getting out of an emergency.

Thus, if this was a situation of what item would work best in a survivalist situation, the hatchet would be the first choice for its top quality and the ability to use it for hunting, tool-making, fire and shelter building, and, finally, defense. It will get you out of a sticky situation, and then you can have time to hunt down the water.

The post The Top Choices In Light Weight Survival Gear appeared first on From Desk Jockey To Survival Junkie.

Tuberculosis is reemerging as a major health threat in the US

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Following up to my previous articles on antibiotic resistant bacteria, Tuberculosis (TB) has reemerged as one of the major antibiotic resistant disease threats to the public.  TB in particular is

Age of the Super Bug has dawned: Are you ready for a bio-catastrophe?

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Why should you care about what I am writing about today?  “Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to

Great Forest Fire article

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This is a great article about first-hand experience with forest fires.

It’s a two part article. Here are the links.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/off-grid-and-freethe-terror-of-forest-fires-part-1-zbcz1605.aspx

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/off-grid-and-free-the-terror-of-forest-fires-part-2-zbcz1606.aspx

Many times people move to a house in the sticks and think that’s it. They’ll never have to worry about anything because they “already bugged out”. Wrong. First, wherever it is that you live, that place can no longer be your bug out location. By definition a bug out location is the place where you go when your main place of residence is compromised, so it can’t be both at the same time. Second, living in the sticks doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen. There’s a number of things that can go wrong forcing you to either evacuate or rearrange your lifestyle due to personal circumstances like sickness, family, employment, etc. Forest fires are a good example, and these affect a lot of people every year. As always, a bit of preparation goes a long way.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

5 Things You’ll Need in an Emergency

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5 Things You’ll Need in an Emergency

Unfortunately, there are variety of disasters or that could strike at any moment. It is smart to be ready for am emergency by stocking a variety of important staples while prepping. Some of the most critical items are the most overlooked and taken for granted, so here are five essential things ready to go in case a major crisis happens.

Items for Cleaning and Sanitation

Staying clean and sanitary is something people often take for granted and forget when preparing for a disaster. It is entirely possible for plumbing to get destroyed during a disaster, so keeping cases of garbage bags for human waste is essential.  Bleach and other cleaning supplies like brooms, mops and towels should be stocked up on too.

Items for Cold Weather

Extra bedding and enough clothes to layer up is crucial. These are another set of items beginning preppers tend to forget about. Dying of exposure is a reality in certain climates, and winter can be very unforgiving. The bedding will come in handy on a cold night, and layering clothing is a great way to combat the cold when moving around during the day.

Firearms

As controversial as they may be, guns are something every prepper should have to defend what they worked so hard on building. A long range rifle can quickly turn into a necessary tool for hunting, and pistols can go a long way in deterring burglary and stopping harm in its tracks. Needing something for defense from looting and rampant crime is an unfortunate reality.

Access to an Abundant Water Supply

It is essential to have five years’ worth of drinking water available, and the best way to fortify property with enough water is to make sure it has access to an onsite well or cistern. Contact a well company like Candescent Well Service, LLC to begin your preparations. Be sure to have plenty of purifying tablets and an emergency water filtration system as well.

Sources of Light

Electricity is a luxury. If the power goes out for any amount of time or reason, then alternative sources of light need to be available for use. Matches, lighter fluid, candles and batteries are the backbone for a good kit. Alternative energy tech has gotten more advanced too, so items like solar powered chargers can be added as well for common battery sizes.

These are just five of many key things to have available if disaster strikes. Focus on making sure there is a versatile set of supplies for survival. There are different types and degrees of devastation, and it is best to be ready for anything. Having enough of a variety could be what separates life and death following a terrible event.

 

Guest Post by : Dixie Somers

The post 5 Things You’ll Need in an Emergency appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How to protect your home from rioting mobs using fire as a weapon

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As the presidential political landscape takes shape, even a passive observer can tell it is looking like a violent year.  I have been taking careful notes on these developments and

Post-Election America: My advice for older people

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Hi Fernando,

I just finished reading your book published in 2009 It was very eye opening to say the least, and I can see some of the events happening here that you described in Argentina back in 2001.  I am considerably older than you and not exactly in “fighting trim” as they say, but am contemplating what steps I should consider to prepare for the possible future.

I live in a resort community and own a small resort motel that is now only open half the year.  My boys are now grown, so only my wife and I still run the place and in the past 35 years I have had various jobs to make ends meet, but now rely on SSI to do the job.  I am very concerned about the future of America, especially if Trump loses the election!  So I will be very interested in what thoughts you may have.   Thank you for your kind efforts on my behalf

Regards,

Tom

Hello Tom,

I’m glad you liked my book. In it I explain the steps to take so as to prepare for a socioeconomic collapse and following the advice in it will serve you well in case of a worst case scenario in America or even for the slow slide into a 3rd world version of itself. This last one seems to be the current trend and what is most likely to continue.

In your specific case I have the following advice:

1)Try not to worry too much, but do try to keep a tight budget, save as much money as you can and keep working hard. Trump or anyone else, I personally don’t believe it will make much of a difference. I honestly don’t like ANY of the candidates and believe all of them will keep the current trend, benefitting the ones that already have the most while subsidizing the gained wealth of the elite by squeezing the poor and middle class through various methods including one that is particularly vile which is inflation. Inflation is particularly hard on those relying on SSI. In your case you own your own company which is always good so keep it up. A place like that also means you have room for family and friends in case you want them close.

2) Get the necessary tools in case things don’t work out that great. You already have my book. If I may say so myself it’s a great first step to prepare for this kind of thing, including information regarding what you should get. Stock up on food and don’t forget water, medicines and other emergency supplies. Work towards improving your home security, upgrading it as much as you can so as to make it a “hard target”. Having a gun is important, but it’s just as important to learn to fight with it. I already mentioned saving money. You want to have at least a month worth of expenses in cash at hand. Two would be even better.

You mention not being “fighting trim”. That’s ok, none of us will be 20 years old forever. This only means its even more important to be armed and it would be good to get used to carrying concealed if you don’t do so already. One thing I’m planning on doing when I’m older is getting used to walking around with a good dog. A good guard dog can help you compensate for age, visibly turning you into a harder target in the eyes of criminals. Walking the dog also helps you exercise and stay fit which brings me to point three.

3) Last but most important. Take care of yourself, body and mind. Be in good terms with your loved ones, enjoy your life as much as you can. Sounds silly but these days so many people forget to just live, always worried about work, money or other personal goals.

Take care of your body. It’s your most important tool and the only one you’ve got. Go for walks, exercise and most of all eat healthy. If your mind and heart are in the right place, and you take care of your body by staying slim and fit, the rest falls into place rather easily.

Good luck and thanks for your email!

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

3 Toilet Paper Alternatives That Will Get You Through The Collapse

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toilet paper wikimediaIn modern America, going without toilet paper for even a single day is unfathomable. The thought of it is cringe-worthy to most people. That’s why any time a major storm is about to hit, and everyone rushes to the store to buy up supplies, one of the first items to run out is toilet paper.

However, for any situation that results in the break down of society and lasts more than a couple of weeks, stocking up on toilet paper is not a viable option. The average family of four goes through about 240 rolls of toilet paper per year. So unless you have a large home, keeping anywhere near that much toilet paper is only going to take up precious space that would be better used for essential survival supplies.

As sacrilegious as it may sound, toilet paper is not essential to your survival. In fact, it’s only been in common usage around the developed world for over a century. Many of the alternatives that humans have been using for thousands of years are, shall we say, unpleasant. However, a few of these old school methods are bit more palatable, and much more sustainable, such as:

Reusable Cloth

In the past, it was typical for the wealthy to use strips of wool, hemp, or cotton to clean up after a bathroom visit, while the poor were stuck using, hay, moss, or even stones. The most obvious advantage to using these fabrics, is that they can be cleaned and reused. But more than that, they’re also more comfortable and provide a thicker barrier for your hand.

From a prepping perspective though, there is one downside to this idea. Cleaning these reusable wipes would require a considerable amount of water. Unless you have a well on your property or live near a river or creek that flows year round, reusable wipes are not economical. If on the other hand you do live somewhere that has a natural source of water, you do have another viable alternative to toilet paper…

Another alternative would be to repurpose old bits of cloth that have been tattered or torn. This gives the cloth a new purpose and can help you conserve your preps. Many old-timers have been collecting these strips of cloth and saving them in their “rag bag.”

Water

One of the most common methods of cleaning your rear throughout the world, is to simply rinse it with water. In India, the vast majority of the population will simply rely on a splash of water or a hose, while the Japanese and the Europeans use bidets. Since you’re preparing for a situation where running water may be out of the question, you’d have to rely on the Indian method of scooping water out of a bucket and repeatedly splashing it on your behind. Not exactly sophisticated, but it is somewhat effective. At the very least it could help prolong what toilet paper supplies you do have.

Leaves

For thousands of years humans have been using leaves in lieu of toilet paper, and in most parts of the US, you’ll find leafy plants that can provide one of the best alternatives to toilet paper almost year round.  Unless you live in the heart of a city where plants need to be constantly maintained and watered to survive, you won’t have any trouble finding trees and bushes that provide an abundance of leaves after any prolonged collapse.

That of course means that, unlike the other two toilet paper alternatives, this one won’t suck up your water supplies. Leaves are clean, abundant, disposable, and quite effective. The most common plants that are used as a toiletry include Mullein, Corn Lilly, Thimbleberry, Large Leaf Aster, and Wooly Lambs Ear. However, pretty much anything that doesn’t cause rashes and isn’t abrasive, will work. If you do happen to use the wrong leaf, here are 5 natural remedies to soothe rashes.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Essential Elements of Preparedness

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By Denis Korn

There is an extraordinary fixation in our current culture with all the trappings of physical survival – given the perception of imminent collapse, chaos and oppression.  The degree of hysteria and response to this phenomena is unprecedented in the 41 years I have been in the preparedness industry.  I am not a prophet – just an experienced observer of the times and peoples reaction to the radical shifts taking place in our society.  The events that will unfold in the very near future may be catastrophic as many believe or just extremely uncomfortable – we shall soon find out.  It is my belief that the most essential and foundational elements of preparedness are attitude, critical thinking, knowledge, trust in God, appropriate emotion and spiritual awareness.

The heightened sensitivity to the uncertainty of these times has obviously motivated many to a preparedness/survival mindset.  While so many folks writing articles and blogs are focusing on the myriad of aspects of physical readiness, and a boatload of preparedness/survival websites and advertisers are intensely promoting all the stuff required to survive, I feel the most important elements of preparedness/survival are often overlooked.  This brings our attention to the spiritual and emotional components of preparedness.

In a previous post I talked about Normalcy Bias – the mental state by which people cling to perceptions that are familiar and comfortable – and because of this state they can be in denial of the reality of the circumstances around them.  In some situations and contexts Normalcy Bias may be appropriate; however, in planning for emergencies denying the truth can be disastrous and often deadly.

In the 7 years of posting articles on this site, one of the most popular posts has been Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions for Reflection.  While I believe that developing critical thinking skills is essential in all aspects of our life, it is especially important when you are evaluating and determining sources and provisions for emergency and disaster preparedness.  Your comfort, health and survival depend on appropriate, sensible and accurate decisions.  The correct and proper decision making process relies on essential critical thinking skills.  Knowledge and discernment competency are vital to the emergency preparedness process.

What is Critical Thinking?

“Critical thinking is the careful, deliberate determination of whether we should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim – and of the degree of confidence with which we accept or reject it.  The ability to think critically is vitally important; in fact, our lives depend on it.  The way we conduct our lives depends on what we believe to be true – on what claims we accept  The more carefully we evaluate a claim and the more fully we separate issues that are relevant to it from those that are not, the more critical is our thinking.”

“We do not do our critical thinking in a vacuum, of course.  When we are confronted with a claim, usually we already have a certain amount of information relevant to the topic, and we can generally figure out where to find more if we need it.  Having both the desire and the ability to bring such information to bear on our decisions is part of the critical-thinking process.  Critical thinking involves a lot of skills, including the abilities to listen and read carefully, to evaluate arguments, to look for and find hidden assumptions, and to trace consequences of a claim.” (From Critical Thinking, Sixth Edition – Brooke Noel Moore, PhD & Richard Parker, PhD)

After acknowledging that there are mental states and attitudes (see Attitude is a Decision) that are necessary to properly plan for emergencies and catastrophes, I want to address the emotional and spiritual aspects of emergency and disaster planning.  Most of the information, guidelines, lists and resources for preparedness focus exclusively on the physical “stuff” required to be adequately prepared for an emergency.  While this is obviously important, it is only one component in the preparedness process when looked at from a holistic perspective.

What is emotion? The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives us this definition:

2 a : the effective aspect of consciousness  : FEELING  b : a state of feeling  c : a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.

This is very pertinent as you engage in planning for emergencies.  The relevant point here is that the preparedness planner experiences a conscious mental reaction experienced as a strong feeling that is accompanied by a behavioral change.  While this appears rather self-evident, it must be pointed out that the emergency planner must be aware of their feelings and behavior and its impact on the decisions made on the physical component of the process.

What are the effects of one’s emotional condition and the correctness of their actions? I have talked with many folks about this issue and have seen and heard of the unfortunate results of decisions made that were a result of not being conscience of the influence of their emotional state.  Understanding the power of one’s emotions and acting responsibly can have a positive impact on taking correct action – losing control of one’s emotions and behavior can be destructive.

As I have discussed so often while teaching Critical Thinking in the college classroom, people habitually react to a challenging situation rather than critically evaluate and reflect appropriately.  The quality and effectiveness of their decisions is often significantly compromised.  Essential attributes in the preparedness planning process are DISCERNMENT AND INFORMED JUDGMENT!

What is the spiritual component? The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives us this definition of spiritual:

1 : of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit  : INCORPOREAL  [spiritual needs]   2 a : of or relating to sacred matters  [spiritual songs]  b : ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal  [spiritual authority]  [lords spiritual]   3 : concerned with religious values  4 : related or joined in spirit  [our spiritual home]  [his spiritual heir]   5 a : of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena  b : of, relating to, or involving spiritualism

For many the spiritual factor is the most important facet of preparedness and the point from which one begins the preparedness process.  One’s spiritual faith and belief forms the foundation for action.  Reliance on God in the decision making process is primary – trust in God’s guidance in making one’s decisions is fundamental and essential.

So why is Self-Reliance idolatry?

It is the worship of the “stuff” of self-reliance and the worship of “self” as the primary focus of the actions taken. We have placed our stuff and ourselves as the object of primary worship and reliance. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the ultimate reliance is on God. While we have a duty to be prepared, we are commanded not to idolize and exalt our provisions and personal position in the preparedness process above absolute reliance on God. During a serious disaster when emotions are intense and fear rules one’s reactions, it is a challenge to rely on a higher power for the supreme guidance and insight on the actions to take.  It is not only a challenge, it is a necessity to rely on the greatest ally you can have – Divine guidance.  Where does your faith reside – in the Divine or in the human condition?

While I recommend and encourage taking effective physical action to provide the essential provisions, I have been explicit in my teachings that one’s attitude is essential in overcoming and surviving a serious catastrophe. This requires embodying the attitude of God-Reliance first – follow His instructions, assurance and power before we rely only on our self.  Self-reliance without God-reliance is what I refer to as “The Idolatry of Self-Reliance.”

I am well aware of the difficulty and struggle involved in understanding, expressing and putting into action the balance between reliance on God and reliance on ourselves – both are essential! This requires prayer, serious reflection, critical thinking and common sense – as does all aspects of effective emergency planning.

I believe the spiritual component encompasses the following aspects:

  • The ultimate outcome of the emergency scenario is in God’s hands
  • In a mysterious way God directs the process
  • We often focus our most important priorities in the wrong direction
  • The purpose of the disaster or catastrophe is of a spiritual nature
  • The difficulties and suffering in a disaster affords one the opportunity to choose to come closer to and rely upon God
  • One’s faith and trust in God is tested, and gives one a chance to assess their relationship with the Divine
  • We are not to rely on our own understanding
  • We are not to cling to the notion that our material possessions are the most important factors in our lives
  • The importance of earnest prayer is profoundly evident
  • Catastrophic events are a result of spiritual warfare of which we have no control
  • We are to love, support, assist, provide for, console, teach and inspire our family, neighbors, friends and strangers during the most trying of times
  • We are being required to ask – and answer: What are the fundamental truths I must learn, and who do I  truly trust during trials and tribulation?
  • Why are you being called to prepare and for what purpose?

To believe that being prepared is just a matter of having all the right provisions safely stored away is, in my opinion, overlooking the most important factors in survival, resiliency and effective preparedness.  We must not get caught up in the perverting media frenzy of perpetuating fear and anxiety to such an extent that clear thinking is obliterated.  Successful preparedness – and daily living for that matter – is a balance of physical, emotional and spiritual elements.

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5 Things to Include in Your Evacuation Plan

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5 Things to Include in Your Evacuation Plan

While it may seem unlikely that something like a flood, hurricane, tornado, or wildfire would impact your neighborhood, the rate of natural disasters is actually increasing. While you can’t prevent a disaster from impacting your region, you can plan your response and evacuation plan in advance.

Your Family Needs a Plan

It doesn’t matter if you live on the East Coast, West Coast, or smack dab in the middle of the country, disaster can strike anywhere. From earthquakes on the West Coast and hurricanes on the East Coast to tornadoes in the Midwest, a natural disaster is always a possibility. Throw in things like floods and wildfires and your life very well may depend on how prepared you are.

Specifically, your family needs a disaster preparedness plan. To help keep your family safe and prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way, let’s highlight some of the things that need to be included in this plan.

  1. Have an Evacuation Plan

The first key to any disaster preparedness plan involves having a specific and clear evacuation plan. This is especially true when it comes to flooding.

“Know your neighborhoods safe routes and the surrounding area,” says Lani Testa of My Plumber CA, an industry leading company with more than 25 years of experience. “Draw or write up an emergency evacuation plan and go over it with your family. Don’t forget to include your pets in your plan!”

The best way to find evacuation routes is to walk around your neighborhood and make note of elevation changes, pathways, and key intersections. If your property is located in a low area, knowing the quickest way to higher ground can literally save your life.

  1. Give Everyone Responsibilities

Every member of the family needs to have specific responsibilities during a disaster. For example, one parent may be responsible for getting the children ready, while another may be tasked with packing a bag and gathering the pets. Children can have responsibilities, too. When everyone has a role, the evacuation goes much smoother.

  1. Know Where to Go

Evacuating your home in the event of a natural disaster is one thing, but where will you go? The most irresponsible thing you can do is leave home without a plan for finding shelter and safety.

In your evacuation and preparedness plan, identify locations of nearby shelters, safe houses, and hotels. And don’t rely on GPS to get you there. Since cell phone towers and data networks may be down during a disaster, you’ll need physical maps and addresses.

  1. Take Special Needs Into Account

Sometimes evacuating your home isn’t straightforward. “Kids, infants, people with disabilities and seniors may all need special considerations while planning for an emergency,” says Katherine Boehrer of The Huffington Post. “If you or a family member need medication or special equipment, make sure you have a plan to bring it with you. Talk to your neighbors about how you can help one another in a disaster, and check on each other in case of an emergency.”

  1. Contact Information

As mentioned, your cell phone and internet-powered devices may not work during an emergency. As such, it’s important that you know the contact information of friends and relatives – both locally and out of town – so that you can reach out to them if need be.

Keep Your Family Safe

It’s your responsibility to protect your family, even in the wake of an unforeseen emergency or natural disaster. While you can’t stop a disaster, you can control how you respond. By developing a disaster plan and teaching your family how to respond, you can ensure your family is prepared for whatever happens.

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5 Assumptions People Make in a Doomsday Scenario

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5 Worst Assumptions People Make in a Doomsday Scenario

Is it going to be some kind of nuclear holocaust? Are zombies going to start rising from the dead? Will there be a mass infection that wipes out the bulk of our species, or a spiritual rapture that leaves only a handful of us on the Earth?

These scenarios don’t seem especially likely, and they seem even less likely when you consider the sheer number of times people have predicted the end of the world that turned out to be false. Still, the curious and most prepared among us always keep the prospect of a “doomsday” in the backs of our minds, considering how we’d survive in a post-apocalyptic society. Some of us even have shelters or supplies stashed away, just in case—but there’s a problem with these doomsday preparations. They’re almost always based on a number of false assumptions.

The Dangers of False Assumptions

All forms of preparation rely on some assumptions; this is unavoidable. However, when most people picture a “doomsday,” they approach it with a set of preconceived notions that they’ve gathered from books, movies, or ideal projections of what the apocalypse might be like. If these assumptions are incorrect, you could end up preparing wrong, reducing your chances of survival and making all your efforts worthless.

The Worst Assumptions You Can Make

These are some of the worst—yet most common—mistakes you can make about the ambiguous coming “doomsday:”

  1. Some forms of technology will still work. We’ve come a long way in terms of being able to protect our data and protect our devices against natural elements and disasters. But on a big enough scale, it’s unlikely that any of our technologies will survive a massively destructive event. That means all forms of Internet and electricity will become unusable, and even portable, analog devices like radios might be useless. Does that mean you shouldn’t include a radio in your emergency stash? No—it might still come in handy. But you shouldn’t plan for it to work, just like you shouldn’t plan for cars, phones, or any other form of technology to work. Count on absolutely nothing surviving, and you’ll be prepared no matter what.
  2. You’re more likely to survive than someone else. This is an assumption most of us live with, and we can’t really help it. Imagine you’ve just learned that a new illness is going to wipe out 95 percent of the U.S. population—you’ll imagine yourself as part of the 5 percent who survive, even though this makes little logical sense. You can’t really plan on dying, though you do owe it to yourself to be more realistic about the scenario. Even if you survive the initial effects, the aftereffects (think: secondary infections, nuclear fallout, etc.) could catch up to you.
  3. Your supplies will be safe. When most of us prepare for a doomsday scenario, we focus on physical goods, sometimes going overboard with the amount of supplies we store. All of this is usually based on an assumption that we’ll be able to keep these supplies safe and available for our own use. In reality, having this many supplies is probably going to make you a target rather than providing a cushion for your lifestyle. In reality, it may be wiser to only store what you absolutely need for survival.
  4. Supplies matter more than skills. This assumption also involves our tendency to horde supplies; people generally assume that as long as they have the right materials, they’ll be able to survive. And it’s true that additional food and water can keep you alive for longer, but it’s more important in a post-apocalyptic scenario to have the skills and abilities necessary to support your own continued survival. It’s the “teach a man to fish” moral, but applied to post-doomsday survivalism. Instead of spending more money on supplies, spend money on survival training and experiences that will keep you alive.
  5. Short-term survival is what really matters. Most people end up planning for a few weeks of survival after a doomsday event. Some go nuts and plan for a few months. But the truth is, your body will probably be able to survive for a few weeks on its own, without much need for additional resources. If you really want to survive after a doomsday event, you need to think in longer terms. How are you going to survive in a year? In five years? In ten?

Predicting the Unpredictable

Even though this article has been centered on false assumption, it’s probably making some false assumption of its own. Why? Because by its very nature, a doomsday scenario is unpredictable. It may never come. It may come tomorrow. And if it does come, it could take any one of an infinite number of forms. It’s impossible to prepare for everything, so the best you can do is prepare for the greatest number of possible events, and prepare yourself—mentally and physically—for the most demanding situations you can.

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