The threat of nuclear war has been lingering for several years. From the US to Russia to others around the world, we continually hear how nuclear war can be a reality as tensions seem to rise. While it is unsure if these threats are something to be taken seriously or something just the media is […]
A survival kit is stocked with the basic necessities you’ll require to stay alive and keep your family safe while you await or prepare a more permanent living situation. While each person’s idea of “necessities” might vary, these tools are universal in nature and can prove immeasurably useful in an extreme situation where your survival depends on your preparedness and resourcefulness.
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We already know the situation in Venezuela is bad to say the least but it is now reaching what truckers call “Mad Max” violence. Trucks with food are being attacked on the road before they reach the stores. Cars with armed, desperate people attack and close around the trucks like “wild animals”. What are these people stealing? Potatoes, sugar and milk, basically any kind of food.
The situation has been critical for a long time and people are now just desperate, escaping the country along the borders any way the can, forcing the countries next to Venezuela to tighten the border controls. Over 2 million have already escaped the country.
In a desperate attempt to keep people from leaving, the Venezuela government is making it increasingly difficult for people to get their passport. They claim lack of paper and other nonsense. The truth is that a passport can go up to 6,000 USD. Given the out of control inflation, this is something most Venezuelans don’t earn in years.
The INCH bag list for your average Venezuelan?
2)Money (USD or Euros)
3)A place to go to.
What else would you wish you had if you were stuck in Venezuela? maybe trying to escape?
I know we have readers here from Venezuela. Please feel free to leave your comments below.
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”
7 Quick Tips to Help You Survive an Earthquake This year is going to be a rocker. Its a serious issue that you are going to see happening even early in the year. The slowing of the earths rotation has been noticed by scientists. In 2017 we talked about hurricanes and our world was rocked …
“It Looked Like A Battlefield” – Photos Show California Mudslides’ Devastating Aftermath Nature is not playing games lately. It would appear that we are on the verge of yet another adaptation to survive on this planet. All through our history the world has placed barriers before us and we have been forced to hurtle those …
Strong Earthquakes Hit San Francisco And Mount St. Helens And Experts Warn They May Be Foreshocks For ‘Something Larger’ It looks like its going to be a shaky year. Not just socially but physically. It would seem that the slowing rotation of the earth is triggering more seismic activity. Of course, this is going to …
Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, come down with the flu after their successful appearance at the SHOT show in Nevada, just one of 47 states reporting widespread outbreaks of influenza. Find out how hard it is to escape becoming a victim, even if you walk around with hand sanitizer in your pocket all day! Nurse Amy gives her advice for speeding recovery and Dr. Bones talks about the anti-viral drug Tamiflu and how it works to shorten the duration and severity of the illness.
Also, Dr. Alton was the first physician to write about the use of fish and bird antibiotics as a survival tool, but this stuff isn’t candy, and has to be used wisely if at all. Having a supply, however, may avoid the preventable deaths from infected cuts and other minor ailments that could become big trouble in hard times. Some general advice regarding appropriate usage is given, and a useful antibiotic called metronidazole (Flagyl, Fish-Zole) is spotlighted.
All this and more in the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP!
To listen in, click below:
Follow us on Twitter @preppershow, FB at Doom and Bloom(tm), and YouTube at DrBones NurseAmy Channel!
Joe and Amy Alton
Learn more about respiratory infections, anti-viral drugs, and antibiotics in the award-winning Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook, The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way.
A very interesting article about how people are running their own cities and territories as the central government of Mexico fails to deal with the drug cartels and widespread corruption.
Losing Faith in the State, Some Mexican Towns Quietly Break Away
The article is well worth your time but what I take from it is how complex these situations can be. At the end of the day when the government leaves a void regarding safety people have to defend themselves any way they can. Even then, it is not the safe utopia many survivalists often envision in their fantasies:
Monterrey: ‘They Destroyed the Whole Thing’
If Tancítaro seceded with a gun, then the city of Monterrey, home to many top Mexican corporations, did it with a Rolodex and a handshake.
Rather than ejecting institutions, Monterrey’s business elite quietly took them over — all with the blessing of their friends and golf partners in public office.
But their once-remarkable progress is now collapsing. Crime is returning.
“I’m telling you, I have a long career in these matters, and the project I am more proud of than anything is this one in Monterrey,” said Jorge Tello, a security consultant and former head of the national intelligence agency.
“It’s very easy to lose it,” he warned, adding that it may already be too late.
Monterrey’s experiment began over a lunch. Mr. Tello was dining with the governor, who received a call from José Antonio Fernández, the head of Femsa, one of Mexico’s largest companies.
Femsa’s private security guards, while ferrying employees’ children to school, had been attacked by cartel gunmen, he said. Two had died repelling what was most likely a kidnapping attempt.
In many cases the already existing socio-political structures can be used at a local level, but self-governing rather than taking orders from an incompetent and corrupt central government.
It also helps if the region is economically self-sustainable.
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”
I saw this article today, and it really made an impact on me regarding the hyperinflation occurring in Venezuela.
– How 20-bolivar bills are left behind by looters because they are worthless.
– How the official exchange rate has nothing to do with real world costs.
– That prices are roughly doubling every month, and wages can’t keep up.
– that, “Tuna holds its value. Money doesn’t.”
I remember the school lessons on the crash of the Deutschmark after W.W. II, but this is much more real because it is happening now. In the aftermath of war, there is reconstruction; what can be done about the devastation caused by governmental corruption and mismanagement on a massive scale? This is tragic.
The situation in Venezuela is just terrible.
Very similar to Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe where paper currency pretty much lost all its value and you needed carts full of the stuff to buy a loaf of bread.
I can sure relate to the value of a can of tuna. In countries like Venezuela, and even in Argentina during the worst period after 2001, a can of tuna is something pretty special.
No, hold on, don’t laugh!
You have to go through it to understand it. Do you have any idea what it means to buy something that you know will go up in price %500 or more before it expires?
That little can of tuna is practically magic.
It’s meat you can store meat without refrigeration. Something very important with rolling blackouts.
It lasts for years.
It’s precious meat protein.
It goes very well along with most other staples like rice or pasta.
It may not be available next time you’re at the grocery store…
You end up treasuring those things. Believe me.
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”
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com If you haven’t done is already, now is a good time to build your “grab and go binder.” This is your handy document keeper that you keep in a safe but accessible place that you can easily grab in the event of a dire emergency and you need to run out of the house. If you’ve already got one, it’s time to review and update it. Lots of new documents may have been […]
So many medical experts are predicting that this season’s flu will be the worst in history.
This is because the main flu strain for 2017-18, known as the H3N2 virus, is more deadly than the swine flu of 2009. To make things even more complicated, traditional flu vaccine is not very effective because of the virus mutation.
All this taken into consideration, its better to remember some effective, common sense advice from the CDC for dealing with flu.
1)Avoid catching flu in the first place by avoiding crowds and keeping your distance from people as much as you can. Careful with touching surfaces in public places, offices, schools, etc.
2)Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.
3)Wash your hands often, especially before eating. My wife and I (and our kids) we keep alcohol-based hand sanitizer handy.
4)If you’re sick, stay home so as to avoid spreading the disease to others.
5)Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
Also, even if not very effective for this season’s flu, consider getting flu shots, especially if you are in a High Risk Group:
Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
Adults 65 years of age and older
Pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum)
Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
American Indians and Alaskan Natives
People who have medical conditions including asthma, neurological and neurodevelopmental, chronic lung disease, heart disease, weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids). Check the link from the CDC for more information.
CAN YOU SURVIVE A MUDSLIDE?
Southern California can’t catch a break. Enjoy a sunny climate, get wildfires. Wish for rain, get mudslides.
After record-setting wildfires that lasted all the way to late December, the first rain in Southern California in months caused a major mudslide that killed more than 15 people, injured others, and destroyed several dozen homes. Rescue teams are still searching for survivors in the wreckage.
I probably should write more about landslide events. We live part-time in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with a mountain home overlooking town and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As such, we live on a slope. How much of a slope? Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to take a dive off our deck.
A mudslide, sometimes called a “debris flow”, is a landslide with a high water content. Mudslides act like a river that, if the mud is thick, has the consistency of wet concrete. Mud, rocks, trees, and other large objects are carried along and can cause homes to collapse and a huge amount of traumatic injury to residents.
Another type of landslide is a “mud flow“, which is characterized by a very rapid flow of water and debris. A mud flow is more “liquefied” due, at least partially, to a lot of rain in a short period of time. A third of the rainfall in Southern California when the rains finally came occurred in five (yes, five) minutes.
In the U.S., 25-50 deaths occur on average as a result of landslides.
Mudslides occur for a number of reasons: Periods of heavy rainfall or snow melt saturate the ground and cause instability in sloping areas. Areas prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters are especially susceptible. In the case of the California mudslide, soil which had been charred by recent fires made the it less absorptive; as such, water that couldn’t get through hard earth quickly formed a flash flood that cascaded down slopes, picking up soil and debris to become a mudslide.
CAN YOU PREVENT A MUDSLIDE?
Humans contribute to the risk of mudslides by planning poorly: Roads cut into hills and mountains and scenic mountain homes make mudslides more likely. River retreats at the base of a hill or mountain (in the “holler”, as we say in Tennessee) are also vulnerable.
Once you’ve built that home on a hillside, there’s a limited amount of preventative measures that can be undertaken. It’s a different story, however, when planning out that dream home:
- -Beware of steep slopes, natural or man-made runoff conduits, or eroded areas.
- -Have the county Geological Survey specialist assess your property for possible mudslide risk.
- -Consider flexible pipe fittings (installed by pros) less prone to gas or water leaks.
- -Consider building a retaining wall in likely mudslide channels.
- -Avoid areas that have experienced mudslides in the past.
- -Plan out an evacuation route.
- -Have a battery-powered NOAA weather radio.
- -Have a medical kit with items to deal with both traumatic injury and water sterilization.
WARNING SIGNS OF A HOME AT RISK
Sometimes, pressure from unstable earth may give you a hint that trouble is on the way and give you time to evacuate. Mudslide prone areas will begin to show signs of strain:
- -Cracks develop in walls, flooring, paving, driveways, or foundations.
- -Outside structures (for example, stairs) begin to separate from buildings
- -Doors and windows start becoming jammed.
- -Utility lines start breaking.
- -Fences, trees, and utility poles start tilting.
- -Water starts accumulating in strange places
- -Roads and embankments along slopes start breaking off at the edges.
- -The Terrain starts to “bulge” or starts slanting at the base of the slope.
DURING THE EVENT
- -Turn on the NOAA radio and listen to warnings as they are reported.
- -Warn your neighbors!
- -If a mudslide is imminent, get out of Dodge if at all possible, with the understanding that roads may be washed out. Stay away from mudslide areas; new mudslides may still occur.
In some mudslides, as in Southern California, things happen very quickly and you don’t have time to evacuate:
- -If you stay home, get to the second story if you have one.
- -Watch for and avoid downed power lines.
- -As the slide passes through, get under a table and curl into a ball, protecting your head.
- -If you’re trapped in the mud, survival rates go up if you can form an air pocket around you.
- -it’s a good idea to carry a cell phone with you at all times in case you are trapped in the house.
Mudslides, like wildfires, leave scars on the land but are part and parcel of living with Mother Nature. Plan before you build, know the danger signs, and hit the road if at all possible in the face of an imminent threat.
Joe Alton MD
Fill those holes in your medical supplies with some of Nurse Amy’s kits or individual items at store.doomandbloom.net.
This is an interview with Joe Wolek, the American stabbed during a robbery in La Boca, Buenos Aires. The man got stabbed ten times, twice in the heart, but miraculously survived. (mostly thanks to the surgeon also being interviewed who he later befriend)
The interview starts at about 32:10. The TV show is in Spanish but Joe speaks in English and the questions are translated if anyone wants to check it out.
Joe says: “I was there in the early morning to avoid the crowds that happen in places that are for tourists”
When you avoid crowds in dagenrous places you are therefore left alone in those dangerous places. Bad idea.
Joe says “I was walking along the train tracks, photographing the various graffiti.”
La Boca is already a high crime area. The train tracks is probably the worst place you could think of.
3) Joe says he started feeling “punches” in his chest, he thought he was being punched. He says “ I didn’t feel the knife until I looked down and saw the blood. “
Punches often get confused with getting stabbed. With smaller blades and especially with poor light (night) this happens often. Many survivors mention this exact same thing, confusing stabs with punches and not realizing there’s a blade used in the attack.
4) Nothing is worth getting stabbed over. Or getting shot. When caught off guard, let go of your stuff. Joe says “When I saw I was being stabbed I let go of the camera. I was holding on.”
5)Never chase after to attackers that just stabbed you through the heart.
Joe started running in the same direction the attackers went. This is again, a very common reaction, to chase after who attacked you or stole your property. Again, not worth it. It is common for criminals to stop and shoot your way if you follow them.
6)Not much blood was showing. Although Joe saw blood, bystanders he tried to ask for help didn’t realize how badly wounded he was because there wasn’t a lot of blood.
Puncture stab wounds may bleed internally or not bleed much at all, or it may bleed a lot. Its all about what gets cut.
7)Joe was not aware of the specifics of the crime rate in Argentina. He says “I was warned about La Boca. I’ve been to a lot of places in the world, some dangerous places, so I took my chances. “
The specifics matter a LOT. As they say, the devil is in the details. A dangerous “touristy” place like La Boca, it’s one thing when full of people and it’s another when deserted. You may get your bag snatched when there’s a crowd around you, but being there when there’s no one around just isn’t the smart thing to do.
8) Bad advice. Minute 46:53 this woman talked to Joe before the incident and when asked about crime in Argentina, she told Joe that he could get his camera stolen, but nothing would happen to him, that his life wouldn’t be at risk. This is in fact BAD advice. People get killed during crimes DAILY in Buenos Aires so saying it’s just crime like in any big city is in fact incorrect. Important lesson right there: know your sources, know who you’re getting your advice from. An airhead model/tv presenter may not be the best person to consult about crime and security.
9)Joe does say that after his attack he is more aware of people walking behind him a bit more and lets tem pass, what we would call watching your six.
10) Besides the obvious, avoiding dangerous countries and dangerous places, my advice for anyone traveling to areas where crime is a serious problem is to prepare accordingly. Avoid when possible, but if that’s not an option get an actual guide, either individual or along with a group. Its money well spent. Keep your plane ticket, passport and cash in a travel money belt, well hidden under your clothes.
Criminals will not strip you naked when attacking. They’ll just take your handbag or wallet. As for camera, don’t bring anything you’re not willing to part with in a split second. You may want to leave your fancy cell phone behind and get around with a cheap one too.
Survivalism, Prepping, and OPSEC: An Alternative View OPSEC or operational security is one of the things that preppers can lose a lot of sleep over. It’s the idea that we must be secretive about what we do and what preps we have on hand. Many people believe this to be the only way they will …
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6 Important Things To Know To Help You Survive A Home Fire
At least 12 people, including four children, were killed, with several others injured, in a massive apartment building fire in the Bronx, NY this week. Although the circumstances are unclear, it appears that it was started by a child playing with a stove.
170 firefighters were dispatched to the four-alarm fire, located in a five-story walk-up in the Bronx, just a block from the world-famous Bronx zoo. The crews (the first of whom arrived in three-five minutes) worked to control the blaze in 15-degree temperatures.
Having written about the recent wildfires in California, the story made me think about what you should do to protect your family from becoming victims of a building fire.
New York City, which has many older buildings, has been the site of winter fires causing multiple casualties in the past; I wrote about one in 2015. Gas leaks and frayed wiring are often the culprits, as well as inappropriate use of space heaters.
6 Things To Know About The Nature Of Home Fires
Every year, millions are at risk for, and thousands of people are killed or injured by, fires in the U.S. Many of these deaths and injuries can be prevented with some knowledge of the nature of fire. You must understand the following six points:
1) Most people who die in fires don’t die because of burns as much as from asphyxiation (suffocation). Fire consumes available oxygen that you need to breathe, and produces harmful gases and smoke. Inhalation of even a small amount of these can disorient you and affect your ability to respond appropriately. Even if there is little smoke, some poisonous gases are invisible and odorless. Some people who die in bed appear to have not woken up at all, most likely a result of toxic inhalation. That doesn’t mean the bodies can have burns on them, but they are often not the cause of death.
2) Fire spreads rapidly. A small fire can go out of control in less than a minute if not extinguished rapidly. Many house fires occur at night when everyone is asleep, making it possible for smoke and flames to engulf the entire building before you are even aware of it. Sometimes, rooms can combust all at once, a phenomenon known as a “flashover“. Opening hot doors can cause a fire effect called a “backdraft“, which appears similar to an explosion.
3) The environment in a fire is likely to be dark, not bright as you might think. Black smoke can easily make it impossible to see clearly as well as cause eye irritation. This leads to confusion as to where the best avenues of escape might be.
4) Heat from a fire can burn you, even if you’re in a room that isn’t on fire itself. Breathing in super-heated air can burn your lung tissue and is more lethal than burns on the skin.
5) Hot air rises. Most people understand this concept, but not the extremes you’d experience in a fire. Air that is just hot at floor level becomes much hotter at eye level. This is why you should stay close to the floor as you make your way out of the building.
6) Fire needs fuel (and oxygen) to survive and grow. People unwittingly feed fires by keeping all sorts of flammable clutter around the house. Don’t collect old newspapers or other combustibles, especially near heaters or stoves.
What To Do In A Fire
A plan of action made before a fire occurs will greatly increase the chances for survival. Here are some important considerations:
- Make it clear to everyone that there’s a fire. Hit the fire alarm or loudly yell “Fire!”. You should have previously identified at least two exits and conducted fire drills with your family so that they know exactly what to do.
- Get the heck out of there if it’s clear the fire isn’t the kind that can’t be doused easily by your fire extinguisher (you should have more than one placed in susceptible areas). Don’t wait to grab personal items, you might have only seconds to safely leave.
- Get down low and crawl to an exit to be least exposed to heat and smoke. Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth if possible. Authorities often suggest wetting it, a good idea if you can do it quickly without delaying your leaving the building. Covering your body with a wool blanket is an option, but don’t use a wet one; when wet, wool will conduct heat more quickly and cause burns.
- Once you’re at the exit, touch the doorknob or the door itself before opening. If very hot, leave it closed and pick another exit. If the door isn’t hot, open it slowly; close it if fire or heavy smoke is present.
- Call 911 as soon as you exit the house. If you are missing someone, tell the firefighters where they might be located in the building. Same with pets. Returning to a burning building to search for someone may be heroic, but it is also extraordinarily dangerous. One person was killed when he re-entered the building in the Bronx fire to look for more victims.
- If someone catches fire: stop, drop, and roll. Stop them immediately, drop them to the ground, and roll them until the fire is out. Smother the flames with a thick towel or blanket if available.
Trapped in the Building
Many peoples’ worst nightmares involve being stuck in a burning building. There are a number of things, however, that you can do that will give you time until help arrives.
First, stay calm. People who are agitated may panic and make decisions that lead to very bad outcomes.
Do everything possible to let rescue personnel know you are there. If you can communicate with firefighters, let them know where you are, using either your cell phone or by signaling for help from a window. If possible, hang a sheet out to make it obvious where you are.
Speaking of windows, tear off any window treatments, like curtains. They are flammable and might prevent you from being seen. Make sure that your windows are not secured in a fashion that prevents opening them in an emergency.
If there’s a bathroom or sink, fill it with cold water and soak whatever cloth items are available. Use them to block the ventilation duct (turn the system off) and the spaces under and around doors. If you’re in a bedroom, soak the mattress and put it up against the door; secure with a chair.
If there’s a bathroom, there’s likely to be an exhaust fan. If it works, you can clear some smoke with it.
If you still can’t get out of the building and smoke is building up, wet a towel and cover your nose and mouth with it. Grip the towel with your mouth and breath through your nose (it’s a longer route to your lungs). Get down low to the ground, as mentioned above.
Many deaths and injuries from fires are preventable with a little planning and quick action. Be aware of fire hazards in your home and work to eliminate them before a disaster strikes.
Joe Alton MD
P.S. I have great respect for the firefighters who fought this huge blaze is such difficult conditions. They are true heroes.
Find out more about fires, burns, and 150 other topics in disaster settings in the award-winning Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way.
Hurricane Maria sent Puerto Rico back to the Dark Ages and three months later half of Puerto Rico is still without power and struggling badly. What’s it like to live without power, how people cope and what challenges they face.
Like our previous post, the linked presentation below is also worth the time.
Nothing like hands on accounts of actual events to understand for real what SHTF is like.
Notice that in general the areas that struggle the most are the more isolated ones and the ones further away from the main power grid. It is logical that these would be the ones where it is harder to re-establish power for. This contradicts the common “preper” advice of living away from main urban areas.
In the real world there’s no easy, black and white answers. The reality of such events is far more complex, what can be a benefit in some aspects can be a big handicap in other areas.
The trick is to know how to balance and prepare accordingly for whatever compromises you decide to make.
Have a great weekend folks!
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”
Hellfire on Earth: How to Escape & Survive a Wildfire Last I heard the wildfire in California is the size of Delaware. The whole state! It has already cost about 6.9 billion dollars in damage to the infrastructure. What more could come of this terrifying fire? These are questions all people are asking themselves. They …
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Article on Venezuelan prepper
Thanks Gary, a fantastic read.
I get some emails from people there and what they are going through is just terrible.
Venezuelans have lost in average 19lbs because of the extreme poverty and lack of food.
So that you know, in general it’s the other way around: In developed countries poor people tend to be more overweight than the more affluent segment of society. They can afford a better lifestyle, exercise, education on what to eat, buy more expensive healthy food rather than just junk food.
When a society becomes so poor that they end up losing weight, then you’re talking about an extreme SHTF situation.
Do yourself a favour and read the article linked above. Its worth every minute of your time.
At the end of the day it’s a similar situation to other worst-case, large scale disasters. The only right answer is to just get the hell out of there. Most of the rich and middle class have left Venezuela already.
Of particular interest is the part about Christmas and toys. People that are literally starving will still do an extra effort to get their kids something for Christmas, something to put a smile on their faces.
It reminds me of Argentina in many ways.
Right before we left we sold a lot of our belongings. I remember posting how toys brought in a lot of money. They sold at a premium. My kids had many I had brought from abroad, US and Europe. I explained to them that we couldn’t take most and they were more than happy to sell them and then go to the toy store to buy new ones after we left. Many sold for even more money than what I paid for them, even after being used for some time. I know, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it? And preppers will rarely mention stuff like this. In theory its all tools, guns, knives, bullets and food. Well, in the real world it turns out that for millions that are going through a real, long-term SHTF, a nice toy for their kid is a ray of light in their otherwise dark existence.
Hope everyone had a great Christmas.
Urban Prepping: 6 Places You Didn’t Know You Can Stash Stuff The urban sprawl will be filled with more resources than the wilderness. It will be filled with more threats and more people looking for those resources. That doesn’t make it easy. Still, you could have a situation where things are going to work out …
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SURVIVAL MEDICINE HOUR #368
Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP welcome Anthony Furey of the Sun Newspaper Chain to discuss his new book “Pulse Attack: The Real Story Behind the Weapon that can Destroy North America”.
Both the Altons and Mr. Furey are concerned about the risks associated with electromagnetic pulse attacks, when a nuclear weapon is detonated high in the atmosphere. Once thought to be the stuff of post-apocalyptic fiction, North Korea has recently acknowledged the usefulness of such an attack against the United States, and they ability to initiate the event.
Plus, wildfires in California are devastating a quarter million acres of forest, as well as destroying homes and causing casualties. What would you do in a wildfire, and can your home be saved? Is there any way to defend against it meanfully?
All this and more in the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton MD and Amy Alton ARNP! To listen in, click below:
Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,
Joe and Amy Alton
Don’t forget to check out the Alton’s 2017 Book Excellence Award Winner in medicine, The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way!
A natural disaster could knock you off the grid for a time and make it difficult to keep your family healthy. Imagine, then, what the effect of an electromagnetic pulse event, especially one perpetrated by one of the world’s rogue nations, on the health of the entire continent.
In his latest video (a companion to a recent article) Joe Alton MD discusses the risks of EMPs caused by a low-yield nuclear weapon detonated in the atmosphere. Once thought highly unlikely, it’s now an official part of North Korea’s plans for the U.S. Find out what we’ve done (or not done) to harden our electrical grid against EMP attacks.
To watch, click below:
Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,
Joe Alton MD
Still have holes in your medical supplies? Fill them up with kits and supplies from Nurse Amy’s entire line at store.doomandbloom.net!
There are many types of Preppers, but most of us find that we don’t have enough time, skills, or money to be truly prepared on our own or with immediate family. Most people are better off joining a survival community with professional staff and a good facility—providing economies of scale with large numbers of members to share the overhead costs of the facility, equipment and staff. More people means more skills, more hands to do the work, more guards and security.
Fortitude Ranch (FR) is a large survival community that can keep members spread out (when virus protection is needed) with sufficient size to deter/defeat marauder attacks and raise crops/livestock. Fortitude Ranch does not use expensive deep bunkers with blast doors—most residences are shallow underground shelters and basement rooms that have several feet of earth to protect against fallout radiation. FR has large walled compounds with many guard posts which provide the security needed in any significant event. Fortitude Ranch locations are situated in remote forested areas next to large areas of public forest providing access to thousands of additional acres for recreation and enjoyment in good times, and resources in bad times.
Another valuable feature of Fortitude Ranch (FR) is that it is both a survival community and a recreational facility. Members sign up for times to vacation, hunt, fish, hike and recreate during good times. Indeed, for the price of a vacation you can join FR and vacation at their facilities (members can sign up to vacation at any FR location, not just their “home fort.”) Many members come out to use our firing range on weekends. We operate a Bed and Breakfast at our WV location. Fortitude Ranch is especially popular during hunting season since we are next to public forestland without nearby public access.
FR uses an affordable “country club membership” format: a low upfront fee to join and then quarterly payments. FR membership costs about $1,000 per person a year. While we have full time staff in charge of security, we rely on all members to serve as guards, cooks, keeping woodstoves stocked, and other work during a collapse—keeping costs down and members busy (and psychologically healthy) during such an event.
FR has two facilities now, located in West Virginia and Colorado, and is raising funds for expanding to a dozen locations across the U.S. FR facilities are equipped to survive any type of disaster and long-term loss of law and order, managed by full time staff.
Fortitude Ranch (FR) CEO is Dr. Drew Miller, an Air Force Academy graduate, retired USAF Reserve Colonel and intelligence officer, with a Masters Degree and PhD from Harvard University. Dr. Miller served in the Institute for Defense Analysis, the top DoD think tank, and in the Senior Executive Service in the Pentagon. A former Vice President at Securities America, Drew has published articles and spoken at national conferences on major threats we face today, including bioengineered viral pandemics and our very vulnerable electrical system.
FR is doing an advance sale of memberships to fund expansion using a “cryptocurrency” token, called a Fortitude, that gives you a discount price on Fortitude Ranch membership, protection from membership price increases, and priority in joining FR when there is a wait list. The funds raised will pay for building out the WV and CO sites and adding new sites. Fortitude token buyers will vote on what places they prefer for our next location. By owning Fortitudes you can buy into FR at a discounted price and have first place in line when there is more demand than we have room for.
During a major crisis or media reports on developing threats, demand for membership in FR will surge beyond our capacity, and the price of Fortitudes will likely spike since those who want to get in will need Fortitudes to have priority to join. Because FR is offering a utility token with no equity features, it does not have the security regulatory risks associated with many other “Initial Coin Offerings.” Advisors on this fund raise include Larry Hall, the CEO of Survival Condo, the most successful survival services company.
While the discounted price is a major advantage of buying Fortitude membership tokens, the more important benefit is to be sure you can have priority to join when a crisis is brewing and we cannot handle demand. You can vote on recommendations for future FR locations. If you later decide you have other reliable means of protection you can sell your tokens on a cryptocurrency exchange. You can buy Fortitude tokens with dollars on line—you don’t have to be a cryptocurrency expert.
Watch the following video on Fortitude Ranch and our “Initial MemberCoin Offering”
You can also learn more about FR at www.fortituderanch.com. You can download the White Paper on the Fortitude token offering at https://www.fortituderanch.com/initial-membercoin-offering/
You are also welcome to email Dr/Col Miller, CEO of Fortitude Ranch, at email@example.com We hope you will consider joining our facility to enjoy the good times, and survive the bad.
Note: “This blog post relates to a product advertised on the APN website. APN does not endorse or guarantee any products or services advertised on our website.”
I got word a water powered Flashlight was heading my way for a product review & immediately pictured a contraption with a propeller to dip in a running stream, or some penlight hooked up to a water bottle. Instead, I got the Hydra Light, a foot long, rubber-coated, yellow & black plastic cylinder, looking every inch a serious lighting device. It sported some heft to it too, but strangely, no propeller or water tank. Instead, inside it was a long white cylinder where a battery would be, with two metal ends and holes along the length of it’s sides.
|End-cap with fold-out hook|
The end-cap flares out forming a stable base with a recessed fold-out plastic hook to hang it upside down. (Although I doubt the hook will hold up long.)
At the business end, a clear plastic lamp bezel sports a mirrored concave top cover, and an aperture in the center. Around the single white LED inside the bezel, was more mirrored plastic.
The bezel does double duty. Slide the bezel fully extended, the light is configured as a lantern. With the bezel retracted, it becomes a directed flashlight, projecting the light out the end through the aperture.
So far, it LOOKS like a flashlight. But now what’s up with this white plastic can-like tube inside, where a proper battery would be? It looked intriguing.
|The fuel cell of tomorrow?|
I learned it’s the fuel cell that relies on a process of Ion Transfer involving oxygen as fuel. The Hydra-Light fuel cell has a generous heft to it. It rattles, which I assume is something that somehow reacts to moisture.
I began to figure out that this ISN’T a water POWERED flashlight as the advertising implies. Instead, water is used another way, as a CONDUCTOR.
A chemical reaction occurs when two dissimilar forms of metal interact with each other. It’s called ELECTROLYSIS. Simply put, molecular ions from one metal flows to another metal when a current path between the two is present. A common example of electrolysis is galvanic corrosion…how Iron becomes rusty when exposed to oxygen. All it takes is a conductor. It just so happens WATER is a conductor, and it’s conductivity is greatly increased when MINERALS are dissolved in it.
It clicked…(like a light bulb over my head). Inside this moistened fuel cell container, enough electrical current is generated when the contents of the fuel cell is moistened and exposed to oxygen, causing Ions to flow from one metal end-cap to the other .
Even though it only takes water to create electrical current, there’s not a whole lot of electrical current being produced. There’s another component in this that makes it work… a super efficient LED!
|The star of the show is this LED|
LED’s have revolutionized lighting. Light Emitting Diodes have become very efficient after years of development, all but replacing the incandescent light bulb. Being able to radiate bright white light from very little energy, modern LED’s are now the ideal low cost, low maintenance, long-life light source.
And it’s a single LED that makes everything happen.
Now…Something needs pointing out.
While this Ion transfer process results in electrical current being generated, there isn’t a LOT of electrical current. So while the LED is efficiently producing light, it’s not the brightest of lights. The Hydra Light isn’t meant to blind, it’s made to produce light, JUST using water!
Within these narrow constraints, the Hydra Light DOES IT’S JOB, LIKE NO OTHER!
The Hydra Light is ideally suited as a emergency light source, one that can provide light with just water, without ANY other technology. I get that, and anyone who is desperately NEEDING light when ALL ELSE FAILS would get that too.
The Hydra-Light boasts up to 100 hours of continuous service. One short dunking of the fuel cell in water is all it takes.
THAT I put to the test.
I dipped the power cell in a glass of tap water, shook out the excess water, slipped it in the Hydra Light, and turned it on. The LED immediately produced a bright blue-white light. As a flashlight it threw a very impressive beam. As a Lantern the single LED was able to light up a totally dark room to a respectable level, not super bright, but still bright enough. Then I left the Hydra Light on and started the clock.
72 hours later (that’s THREE DAYS), the light was noticeably dimmer, and it went dark while I was away at work at day four. at least 90 hours total. That’s close enough for me.
Again, this is just dunking the fuel cell in water, shaking out the excess and turning the lamp on.
Pretty darn impressive IMHO.
For the Hydra-light, the duration test is more of showing how long the fuel cell will conduct current until the fuel cell dries out. Of course, normal battery powered flashlights can last 100 hours, (often brighter too.) But after that, you just need to briefly re-moisten the fuel cell of the Hydra Light, & the light can stay on for 100 hours more. (Do that with other flashlights.)
After a few dips in water, the efficiency of the fuel cell diminishes. Still, that’s remedied by simply adding salt to the water. The saltier the water, the brighter the lamp will glow. According to the maker, more fuel cells are available. But generally speaking, the whole idea of a emergency light source that can be left on a shelf for decades, & still be able to produce light after just a dip in some water, is just the thing to have when all else fails.
And for that, I TOTALLY approve.
We live in the shadow of the sun, which gives us, well, shadows, but also bathes us in huge amounts of electromagnetic radiation. Luckily for us, the earth has a magnetic field as a shield against cosmic rays; thanks to it, the human race survives solar storms and other cosmic phenomena.
The sun is a natural source of electromagnetic radiation, but there are un-natural sources as well. The proliferation of nuclear weapons has given us the potential for ending society, not just from physical blasts, but also from electromagnetic pulses.
A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP) is a burst of radiation created by the detonation of a nuclear weapon high in the atmosphere. Higher up, there are less blast effects on humans but more severe effects on certain equipment. The flood of electromagnetic energy can produce surges that instantaneously damage electrical grids and electronics, perhaps permanently.
What experience do we have with nuclear electromagnetic pulses? Precious little. In 1962, the U.S. tested a 1.4 megaton device 240 miles over the South Pacific (“Operation Starfish Prime”). It unexpectedly affected street and traffic lights 1000 miles away in Hawaii. There were other surprises, as well: 6 satellites were damaged by the radiation, which spent months in space due to the high altitude of the detonation. All eventually became inoperative. Concern over these effects resulted in the 1963 ban on nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere.
The military has since taken measures to “harden” strategic defense systems against NEMPs; little has been accomplished, however, to protect civilian infrastructure in a nation increasingly dependent on the grid and delicate electronics.
The consequences of a successful nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack could, therefore, be devastating, knocking millions off the grid in an instant and causing widespread chaos. Even though a detonation 300 miles up in space won’t kill people from the blast, you can imagine the challenges related to keeping society stable and people healthy in the aftermath.
Once upon a time, a nuclear EMP was considered to be an event with a very low likelihood of occurrence, but recent advances in weapons technology by the saber-rattling regime of Kim Jong-Un in North Korea begin to make even skeptics realize that NEMPs may become a major concern in the near future.
The rogue nation is now able to send an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as far as the U.S. capitol. Although they are not yet perfected, these missiles carry a significant payload and have the capacity to deploy decoys that might confuse our missile defense systems. In addition, North Korea has been successful in launching satellites that currently fly over U.S. territory every 46 minutes. At the rate that they are advancing, North Korean satellites with the ability to carry low-yield nuclear weapons may soon be a possibility.
To be honest, we don’t have a clear picture of the effects of a NEMP on heavily populated areas. Some believe that the risk to the electrical grid and electronics is overblown. Others, however, feel that an unprotected grid struck by an electromagnetic pulse event could take years to restore in worst-case scenarios, and cause widespread civil unrest and panic even if a limited event.
Regardless of your estimation of the severity of NEMP attacks, you probably would agree with me that there should be someone in charge of protecting us against them. Despite this threat, and 15 years of recommendations from a national EMP commission to harden civilian infrastructure, we still have no definitive oversight body with any real regulatory or funding power to protect the grid. What we’ve done instead is disbanded the EMP commission entirely, allowed needed legislation to die in committees, and left our energy corporations and utilities to make their own decisions. These organizations, and the private North American Energy Reliability Corporation, are more concerned with protecting the grid from the more common natural disasters than nuclear ones.
The EMP commission estimated that it would cost at least 20 billion dollars to harden our civilian infrastructure against EMP attacks. I believe it’s money well spent, but funding alone isn’t enough. Responsibility for grid protection must be assigned to a single body; one that can oversee, not only security, but also recovery in the aftermath of an attack.
We tend to react to disasters after they happen rather than take measures to prevent their consequences. This is bad policy for the medic, and worse national policy when it comes to hurricanes and wildfires; it’s disastrous when it comes to EMPs.
Joe Alton MD
Follow Dr. Alton on Facebook at Doom and Bloom(tm), Twitter @preppershow, and YouTube’s DrBones NurseAmy channel. Don’t forget to check out Nurse Amy’s entire line of medical kits and individual supplies at store.doomandbloom.net!
Be Honest About Your Current Communications Plan For most preppers quantifying is a problem. We buy stuff and we store stuff, but do we have a true definition of what “prepared” is? The truth about being prepared is that we cannot quantify what we will need. I will let you in on a little […]
The post Have You Considered Your SHTF Communications Plan? appeared first on Preparing for shtf.
Stealth Camping in the City This article is an incredible look at what the author calls stealth camping. Now, when I see stealth camping I think of some serious uses. This is an urban survival powerhouse. One of the most dire understandings about prepping is that there are urban environments filled with millions of people …
Treating Wounds With Honey And Sugar Although modern medicine is increasing our life expectancy, we shouldn’t take it for granted. In fact, mankind managed to survive using alternative healing methods. These first aid techniques can be used even today when there is no doctor around. You should learn how to treat wounds with items you …
Long Term Food Storage Methods Going hungry during a crisis is not an option, and nothing brings you down like the lack of food and water. Running out of food is something all preppers think about, no matter how full their pantry is. All humans have this fear of hunger, and it’s something embedded deep …
What I Learned Living Through Harvey Easily the most effective study on preparedness in American the recent hurricanes have changed everything. There were an in depth look at how the U.S Government and the people of the nation would react to serious disasters. If we learned anything it’s that now is the time to start …
A natural disaster can disrupt the lives of average citizens, and having the right supplies when it hits can mean the difference between life and death. Assembling these supplies in advance is the key to success.
If you’ve ever lived in a community that was in the path of a hurricane, you’ve seen the empty shelves and crowds at local supermarkets. Panic buying is a poor alternative to an organized plan of action, with many supplies unavailable by the time you get to the store.
But where to start? Lists of recommended items are long and sometimes so detailed that you mind just explodes at the thought of gathering it all. You can’t finish if you don’t start, however; begin to accumulate a few items each month and you’ll be much more likely to weather the storm.
I split my personal supplies into three types: short-, medium-, and long-term. A typical short-term event would be, say, a blizzard or other event that takes you off the grid for just a few days or not at all. A medium-term event could be the aftermath of a major hurricane, where weeks may go by without electricity. A classic long-term event would be an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), where years may go by without power.
Preparing for any emergency involves knowing who you will be responsible for. If you have family with special needs, consider extra supplies tailored for them. Infants and children require even more thought when gathering supplies, like formula and diapers. Older members of your family may need items to keep them safe and healthy, like extra medications, adult diapers, or walkers.
The categories of items you’ll need (called “preps”) don’t really change with the length of time off the grid, but the quantities and variety do. The amount you stockpile depend upon what event your community is most at risk to experience.
Just the mere fact of not having enough drinkable or “potable” water puts you and your family in danger. Knowing how to turn unsafe water into drinkable water may save your life. Knowledge is the greatest power, but having supplies will make that knowledge work much better.
If you need to leave your house, consider making “go bags” for each member of the family, including pets. Keep them lightweight and easily carried. Look for compact items, like energy bars and small water filters (Lifestraw and Mini Sawyers are examples).
Here’s a list of useful items grouped by category:
- Water: Just the mere fact of not having enough drinkable or “potable” water puts you and your family in danger. Knowing how to turn unsafe water into drinkable water may save your life
To avoid dehydration, have at least 1 gallon of drinkable water per person, per day. Have a way to store water and methods to make water safe to drink through filtration, and purification. You can use plain, non-scented, household bleach, at 12-16 drops per gallon, to help purify water (filter first if needed). Be sure to wait 30 min for the bleach to take effect, then shake to aerate which makes it taste better.
- Food: Most municipalities recommend you have at least 3 days of food. This is somewhat arbitrary; I suggest at least 7-10 days, as loss of power can easily last longer. Get non-perishable food and have a manual can-opener. Some freeze-dried foods come in packets that last for 15-30 years and only require boiling water to prepare.
- Warmth and Shelter: Have ways to start fires (outside only) to stay warm, cook food, and boil water. Get tents, tarps, rope and paracord. Learn how to make shelters and seal off roof or window leaks. Have extra plywood for doors and windows in case of a hurricane; taping windows is no longer recommended.
- First Aid: Have at least a basic first aid kit and OTC medicines to deal with common injuries and illnesses seen in the aftermath of disasters, such as cuts, bleeding, sprains and strains, diarrhea, pains and aches, colds and flus, etc. Don’t forget prescription medications for those with chronic medical issues.
- Hygiene: In order to stay healthy, you must keep your family clean. Get extra toilet paper, paper towels, buckets for washing, moist towelettes, feminine supplies, and supplies for waste disposal (like garbage bags and ties).
- Lighting: Have ways to light up the night. Get flashlights, of course extra batteries (rechargeable are better), solar lights, crank powered lights (power discussed later). The medic should consider a head lamp to keep both hands free.
- Whistle or Loud Sound Producing item: Have a method to make a loud noise to alert emergency response personnel to your whereabouts.
- Tools: Get multiuse tools, like the Swiss army knife and Leatherman. Have a wrench to turn off utilities, some duct tape, an axe, and a saw. If you are in a flood zone, place the axe and saw in your roof space to aid you in escaping to the roof.
An escape ladder may be necessary if you are getting out of a roof or higher than a 1-story building. Make sure you know where the fire extinguishers are and that they are not expired.
- Communication: Text messages will be delivered easier than voice in some circumstances. A CB radio, Ham radio (you need a license), and two-way radios are good to have. To keep updated on the news and emergency bulletins, have a battery and hand-crank radio with NOAA Weather tone alerts. Don’t forget the extra batteries.
- Power: If the electricity is out, you will need a way to recharge batteries and other items. Solar panels along with a solar storage “battery” can help. There are several on the market. Small solar charged battery storage products are lightweight and can recharge a cellphone or power a radio. These may be best for your “go bag”.
Generators that use gasoline must be outside and far away from open doors and windows, to avoid being overcome by fumes.
- ID and Important Document Storage: Back-up all computers on external hard drives (more than one). Put important scanned documents on an icloud account (which you can then access anywhere later), and on memory USB sticks (several).
Place them in different locations like a water/fire-proof safe, in a bank safety deposit box and mail to a trusted relative). Store documents in small waterproof containers for your “go bag”. Include insurance policies, driver licenses, passports, birth certificates, and photos of every room of your house (for insurance purposes).
You can also email these scanned documents to yourself for later printing. Don’t forget ID and passwords for accounts, I write mine in a way only I can interpret (for safety).
- Money: When we talk about a power outage, there may be another loss of power: purchasing power. If the electricity is out stores will not be able to process credit cards or make change. Have cash on hand in small denominations. Keep small bills and coins in a waterproof case/bag, and consider a little silver as well.
- Evacuation: Your GPS may not function, so have maps and a compass to help guide your escape. You may end up in an area you are not familiar with.
Plan routes of escape for fires and flooding and make sure each family member practices drills and has a specific meeting point. As mentioned earlier, each person should also have their own personal “go” bag with appropriate items, including the kids and pets.
- Writing Tools: You may want to document events or communicate with others, so having pens, pencils (and a sharpener) and notebooks should be considered.
- Distractions and Fun: Stress is not good for people long-term. Get some playing cards and a book with rules for lots of different ways to play games. Put an extra toy or favorite stuffed animal in your child’s “go bag”. Get some board games, puzzles and hobby craft supplies. (Don’t focus on the disaster and all the horrible details with your children; keep it light if you can.)
- Pets: Have extra pet supplies including food and medications. Have a way to get them out of the house safely if needed. Few people know that hotels cannot refuse to rent you a room during officially-declared states of emergency just because you have a (small) pet, but don’t expect them to let your family goat or chicken in the room. Have a plan for larger pets if possible.
Knowledge is power, but having supplies will make that knowledge work much better! Have a survival library in print books (not digital) with the knowledge you don’t have right now; A flashlight or fire is all you will need to read them in the dark.
Amy Alton, ARNP
Find lists of medical items you should have, and a lot more information, in the 2017 Winner of the Book Excellence Award in Medicine “The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way”.
By: Tom Chatham Many people that want to be prepared for disasters hesitate because of the potential cost of many items. This is because many people look at the ideal amount of materials to have on hand instead of starting with the basics and building on that over time. How many people have you seen […]
Dear FERFAL: Have you keeping up with the Puerto Rico disaster?.
1) Bug out
2) Have a lot of liquid assets available (Cash)
3) Generator, runs out of fuel, then you have hundreds of thousands of individuals with the same problem!
4) You can’t have enough food or water.
5) You may think that you’re prepared, but nearly a meter (39 inches, for my fellow Americans)of rain change all that. Look at number one.
6) In one evening your back in the early 1900.
7) Save your money for bugging out.
8) Just bug out!.
I’ll keep you posted.
Hello Maria, thanks for those points.
Not surprised to see you mention and insist on the importance of cash and bugging out to safety.
These are essentially the two biggest points during these worst case scenarios. Supplies are important, food, WATER, generator, fuel, but when that water keeps raising and destroys everything in its path you just understand your life may be the next thing you lose.
So when it comes down to it, it’s a)Bug out! And save your life and the life of your loved ones. b) Have the cash to get back on your feet. That money is all too important for rebuilding, getting things fixed and pay for those million things you just couldn’t prepare for.
For getting ready to bug out and evacuate when these disasters hit, when you have hours, minutes or just seconds to escape, check out my book “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying Put is not an Option”. Floods, fires and a variety of disasters affect people that believe they have prepared, but in fact they only prepared for what they HOPED they would be facing one day rather than true disasters.
Since we’re talking cash. How important was cash in Puerto Rico? Well, it was so important that extra cash had to be rushed to meet the surge in demand. “Demand for cash is extraordinarily high right now, and will evolve as depository institutions regain power, armored car services are able to reach branches, and ATMs are once again active,” said the spokeswoman of the New York branch of the U.S. central bank.
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com This year’s hurricane season has been one of the most active we’ve seen in years. And it’s not even over yet; hurricane season ends November 3oth. Well after the news have stopped covering the area, many people in Houston are still unable to return to their homes and are still suffering from the after effects of Hurricane Harvey. All we can do is remember lessons learned and continue to be prepared in case […]
The post Hurricane Preparedness: 6 Tips from a Hurricane Survivor appeared first on Apartment Prepper.
Community Projects for Disaster Preparedness The greatest prep that is lying just under the radar are the communities across the nation. Who suffers when disaster strikes? Who are the first people to help? Your neighbors, right? They are more your disaster allies than anyone from FEMA. That is not to knock the government agency but …
Lessons learned from California wild fires. Getting the message to evacuate.
Multiple fires started at night on October 8, 2017 and were driven by high winds. As of this writing 42 people are reported killed but many more are missing. The link below is informative on emergency alert/ evacuation notices and the realities for people on the ground. I believe there are several lessons to be learned from this tragedy:
• There are multiple alert warning systems. Be aware of them and register where needed to get the alerts.
• If fire fighters have to go door-to-door telling people to evacuate they are not fighting the fire.
• Reverse 911 systems can be the most effective alerts but you must be registered. www.safetyinformed.org can help
• If you have elderly or impaired relatives register to receive Reverse 911 alerts for their home address. When you receive the alert you can take action to ensure they evacuate.
• No alert system is perfect. Always be aware of your surroundings.
• Have a plan. Know what actions to take when your day comes in an emergency.
Good reading on the realities of an emergency evacuation: “How do you know when to evacuate from a wildfire? Not everyone gets the message in California alert system.” story on desertsun.com: http://desert.sn/2wMXdzu
After witnessing the impacts of hurricanes, tornadoes and severe storms in the South for many years and then moving west to witness wildfires and river floods, Steven knew that far too often people suffered tragic avoidable loss. Your awareness, knowledge and preparation were the keys to better outcomes. He started SafetyInformed in 2013 to help as many people as possible register for Reverse 911 ENS alerts and to provide free safety and emergency preparation content. An approved nonprofit, SafetyInformed is supported by user donations.
Free Emergency Preparation Workbook
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night hearing emergency sirens. In confusion, you get out of bed and peek out the window. You don’t see anything and brush it off as an emergency that’s taking place far away from the comfort of your home. So, you climb back in bed and boom! Your eyes open wide in disbelief as you start to feel your home move from side-to-side vigorously. The kids start to scream in panic, and you jump to your feet rushing to their bedrooms, grabbing them one-by-one. As you try to find a safe place for you and your kids to hide in your home, the residue from the ceiling starts to fall. To make matters worse, the windows begin to crack, and light structures outside of your home have gone out, leaving the neighborhood in complete darkness.
Aside from being woken up from your sleep in a panic, phone towers are down, so it’s nearly impossible to call for assistance. You finally manage to collect your thoughts and realize that this is an earthquake, a big one at that. Perhaps the worst part, however, is that you never thought this day would come, which is exactly why you never took the time to prepare for this natural disaster.
The truth is, we should all prepare for emergencies, especially families. Which is why creating a family emergency kit is essential to a successful emergency preparedness plan. Despite being highly emphasized by multiple organizations, most of us would agree that our homes aren’t equipped enough to survive a disaster; and because of this, people could suffer catastrophic losses and be totally blindsided by an unexpected earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado, or man-made disaster.
Preparing for the Worst & Creating a Family Emergency Plan
Sign Yourself Up for Emergency Alerts: Although this would have been difficult task three decades ago, technology has made it a lot easier for us to prepare for disasters. This is due to the fact that technology has helped pave a way for users to communicate with one another easily and globally. Platforms like social media, the news, television, and blog post, are all great ways you can stay up to date before, during, and after a disaster strikes near you. Furthermore, public safety officials will also do their part in keeping you and your family up to date, alerting everyone when it’s safe to return home, and when it’s safe for residents to evacuate. You can typically count on constant news being reported every 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how serious the situation is.
Build a Kit & Know How to Properly Use It: According to Power Scout, the average daily electricity consumption of an American household is approximately 30 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Which means if your family’s left without power after a disaster and you aren’t prepared, trying to find an alternative power source likely won’t happen.
So, you see, being prepared for a disaster means having all the right tools near you just in case of an unexpected emergency. That’s why it’s important to keep your emergency supplies in an easy-to-carry supply kit. One that allows you and your family to use it at home or on the road in case you’re forced to leave the comfort of your living environment. The question, however, is “What all should be in an emergency kit?” and truthfully, it varies depending on the size of the family, special needs, accessibility and/or resources.
Generally speaking, though, a supply kit should have the following:
- Canned food
- Medical supplies (Like extra asthma pump inhalers, bandages, alcohol wipes etc.).
- Birth certificates, passports, and social security cards.
- Games & fun activities
Make Sure Your Kids Are Well Informed: As parents, teachers, child caregivers, friends, and neighbors, you hope emergencies and disasters never happen, especially around little ones. But trying to shelter children from the world during a disaster could do more harm than good.
When it comes to natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, it’s important to remember that children handle each situation differently. In other words, they’re much more likely to get sick or injured during a disaster like earthquakes. Their bodies are smaller, thinner, and much more fragile, making them more susceptible to bodily harm after a disaster than most adults. That’s why it’s important to communicate to your child, and let them know what’s going in the world around them.
Take Emergency Training Classes (If Possible): Right now there are countless nurses out there in the world who are responding to crisis situations around the world. But what if there isn’t a nurse near you after an unexpected emergency? Well, that’s when your parenting expertise kicks in. Every parent fears the unknown when it comes to their child. That’s why being able to identify and treat certain injuries, symptoms, and markings is vital. Remember, kids don’t like to stay put and enjoy roaming around, even after a disaster hit. They’re essentially fearless, which means that they can come in contact with something deadly and think nothing of it. However, knowing how to treat minor injuries, and how to prepare your child for the world around them can make a difference in their judgment. If possible, consider getting CPR & First Aid certified.
In the end, you should include your neighbors and other relatives in your disaster plans. Let them all know what you’re doing to keep your family safe and show them certain designated meeting locations just in case communication fails and of course, encourage them to design their own plans. No matter what the emergency may be, it’s better to be an overachiever than underprepared.
Thanks for the read! Did I miss anything important? What are some other important factors that go into family emergency preparedness? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Davis enjoys exploring the outdoors. If you can’t find him online, you might be able to catch him at the gym or watching sports (Go, Broncos!). Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241. Thanks!
Floods, and EMP attack? South Korean ‘Preppers’ are Bracing for The Real Thing Apparently, Americans aren’t the only ones seeing the light when it comes to both the threat of North Korea and the instability in the world. These are all serious issues that we must take heed to. That said, I didn’t think I …
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I always try to find an angle,, something to learn from but its hard to get past the raw evil and hate displayed in this case. Some people were calling this an act of terrorism. Well, even terrorism has its own agenda, as evil as it may be. In this case I don’t think there is one, although investigations are still ongoing. Similarities are there though: an attempt to cause as much harm, to kill as many people as possible.
So in my life long obsessive compulsive approach to these events, I keep asking myself “what could have been done to improve my survival odds?”
Not much. Let me say that. A terror attack can happen in such a way that you can’t do anything about it. From a bomb going off to a plane crashing or some random stranger stabbing you or shooting you without warning. Its up to you to decide if you will stop living your life your way simply because this can happen. Keeping that in mind, here’s three points to remember:
1)Masses of people. Having said that, terrorists and mass killers often choose iconic locations and capitals, and they try to target large masses of people to maximize casualties. Shooting people during a concert (or bombing one), or running over them in a busy boulevard in France, Spain or UK. I try to live and enjoy life as much as I can, but if I can avoid masses then I’ll do that too.
2)Awareness. Being extra aware when in such places, avoiding the most concentrated spots and trying to stay as close as possible to exit points.
3)EDC. My pocket EDC goes with me at all times and have proven its worth time and again. When I go a bit further way or I’m planning on traveling a bit more, a day out or such, an EDC bag goes with me with extra gear. Part of that gear is a good first aid kit and some extra supplies such as a CAT tourniquet and Celox gauze. It has been reported that during the shooting, people desperately tried to plug bleeding bullet holes with their fingers. Celox or even a simple tourniquet can save a person’s life in such an event. Where legal, a good CCW should be part of your EDC as well.
The worst mass shooting in US history took place last night. A sad, tragic day indeed.
Take care people.
Use A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance as the language of long term food storage – defining and clarifying terms, product options and related information
As the awareness and motivation to store food provisions for extended periods of time grows with every alarming headline, I have been asked to once again post one of the important 15 Foundational Articles. This is valuable basic overview of long term food storage issues.
I am frequently asked, especially by newer preparedness planners, for a concise overview of food storage basics. I am thankful for many new readers that have found this blog in the last few months, and I feel that this article: A Comprehensive Primer on Long Term Food Storage is so important that I am posting it again as we approach critical times. It is directed towards the serious planner who requires information that summarizes the key points of the food storage process.
With so many preparedness websites and blogs and so many instant experts it becomes increasing difficult to know who to trust and what to believe. This is by no means an easy task. It takes serious research and asking the right questions – and expecting accurate answers – discerning the truth is challenging and daunting. I know this is difficult because I not only receive numerous phone calls for help, I personally have seen and heard distortions, inaccurate information and blatant deception.
For over 42 years I have been intimately involved in the preparedness, outdoor recreation and natural foods industries – as a retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, educator and consultant. You are invited to read any of the articles at this blog that relates to your interests and be serious about answering the many questions posed and researching what I have conveyed. I hope you will trust my experiences and insights.
Cook versus No-cook
A primary decision needs to be made, as it relates to the specific long term food provisions that you want to procure. Do you want foods that require cooking or do you want foods that require no cooking – or perhaps some of both?
Cooking required food reserves are simply foods that need to be cooked – boiled, fried or baked – in order to be eaten. Examples include: traditional grains and beans, pasta, bread – egg – pancake mixes and some soup and stew mixes.
No-cook food reserves are foods that can be eaten as-is, or after hot or cold water is added to the foods, and being reconstituted for a short time, are then eaten. Examples include: freeze-dried and some dehydrated ingredients, meals and mixes, granola, supplements, fruits and powdered drinks.
- Readily available
- Low cost
- Familiar to those currently cooking from scratch
- Basic unprocessed foods
- Requires a significant supply of water and energy (heat source – gas – electricity – wood –etc.) – both of which may be in short supply during emergency conditions especially in vulnerable locations
- Requires time to prepare – could be a significant disadvantage during the chaos of an emergency
- May be difficult to prepare if one lacks cooking and recipe creation skills
- Beware of so called “long term” pouch food companies that use the marking line of “just-add-water” and “freeze-dried” meals. Many companies use these terms to give the impression that their foods are easy to prepare and have freeze-dried ingredients which have a positive reputation. Read the labels carefully! Many companies market their meals as “freeze-dried” yet they contain no freeze-dried ingredients! Also, you must cook these meals in order to prepare them.
- Small amount of water required to reconstitute ingredients and meals
- In emergency situations, freeze-dried foods can be eaten as-is
- Pre-blended meals are familiar and nutritious if manufactured by reputable companies
- Minimum time to prepare – could be a significant advantage during the chaos of an emergency
- Easy to use
- Higher cost for food preparation technologies utilized
- Food ingredients are processed to some degree
Pouch versus Can
These can be commercially available dried food products packed in pouches and cans, or empty pouches and cans for do-it-yourself packing. Pouches referred to in this section are ones that have a good quality metal foil barrier with an adequate thickness as one of the components in the layering of the pouch (3 or more layers required). Metalized, transparent or plastic only pouches are not suitable for long term storage of food. Cans are rigid-wall metal cans with the proper seal.
- Convenience of smaller units of product for storage
- Empty pouches are readily available online for do-it-yourself
- Relatively inexpensive
- Easy to use
- A good variety of meals and ingredients are available from established and reputable manufacturers
- If properly sealed with an oxygen absorber and stored properly, shelf can be 5 to 10+ years
- Very susceptible to puncturing and pin-holing (rough handling, squeezing, bending and forcing a pouch into a container may create very small holes in the pouch). This compromises the integrity of the seams and pouch material resulting in the loss of an oxygen free atmosphere.
- No protection from animal destruction or penetration
- Must have quality materials used in pouch construction – difficult to ensure if buying empty
- Many commercial pouched foods are low quality and use questionable materials – must do research
- If do-it-yourself, pouch must be sealed properly
- Must be stored properly or there is a risk of damage
- Beware of companies marketing their pouches as 20 – 25 – 30 year shelf life – this is a scam
- The most reliable for long term food storage – 10 to 25+ years
- Properly sealed cans with oxygen absorbers, can create an oxygen and moisture free atmosphere for a very long period of time
- Rugged construction – can not be penetrated by animals (except maybe a hungry and aggressive bear)
- Easy to store and handle
- Increased cost for dried foods commercially packed in cans for long term reserves
- Not practical for most of the do-it-yourself packers – cans and sealing equipment are not easily obtained – when they are available they can be more costly than pouches and to be cost effective empty cans need to be purchased in large quantities
NOTE: If protected from potential breakage, properly sealed glass canning jars – quart to 1/2 gallon – with an added oxygen absorber, can be an excellent container for smaller quantity dried foods. Glass and metal are the only materials available with a zero gas transmission rate – required for long term storage.
Calories versus Servings
A common marketing tactic used by many food companies today is to promote a given number of servings in an assortment, and sometimes to even state that an assortment is good for a given period of time with a given number of servings. In the preparedness market place today, where people may have to depend on daily food rations for their nourishment, only knowing the number of servings in an assortment is close to meaningless and the information insignificant . Why? Because a “serving” quantity and quality can be anything the company wants it to be. You need more information.
The standard for comparing one reserve food product with another has traditionally been to compare the number of calories of similar products or meals. This is done by comparing the calories by either: knowing the stated calories and the weight in a given serving of a product; or the number of calories of a food product in a comparable sized pouch or container. This enables comparisons of similar items from different companies – comparing apples with apples. Even the government on their mandated nutritional information requires the calories be listed – and the source of those calories.
How many calories does the company recommend one should consume per day, and how many of their servings will it take to achieve this number?
Now you can do the math and compare the real cost and value of one companies products to another. What is the cost per quality calorie? What is the cost for supplying the proper number of calories for the time period in your emergency scenario? Don’t forget it is the quality of the calories that is critical. Sugar is not quality calories!
Here is the important issue: The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for the average adult person is 2,000 calories a day (reputable companies generally allow 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day in formulating their assortments). There are companies who promote a 500 to 1000 calorie per day allowance!
Generally long-term refers to a time period of three – four years or longer. Many seek food products with that will last up to 30 years. In the real world there are few situations where one would rely on 30 year old food, however with the application of the proper technology and storage conditions it is possible to still consume 30 year old food. Boxed, wet pack, frozen, high moisture foods and canned grocery items are not considered long-term for purposes of this primer.
This term refers to the viable and reasonable life that can be expected of a food product in storage. During this time the food product must still have significant nutritional value and be palatable and acceptable.
The 7 factors that effect shelf life and stability are: temperature – moisture – oxygen – infestation – handling – light – time
Simply stated, food storage refers to food provisions that one stores for a long term. These food products usually have a long shelf life and can be relied upon during times of need or emergency. There is a diversity of different foods in various forms that can be utilized for a proper food storage program.
This can be cost effective, customized, fun to do, involve friends and groups, localized and creative. Before you start packing your foods, be clear about what it is you want to store and for how long. Are the foods appropriate for your plans? Do you know how to prepare them? Do you have an adequate quantity? Do you have all the equipment necessary to prepare your foods? What is the nutritional quality? Are the containers you are using effective for long term storage?
Nitrogen/oxygen free atmosphere
Basically there are 2 reasons for wanting to store food in an oxygen free environment – (1) eliminate the possibility for infestation and contamination from insects and microorganisms, and (2) control oxidation, which leads to the rancidity of fats and oils, foul taste, off color, and nutritional deterioration. The lower the oxygen levels – the more effective in preserving the integrity of the foods stored. Lower oxygen levels are directly related to shelf life.
Some foods are more susceptible to oxidation deterioration than others. It is important to know how susceptible the foods you are storing are to oxidation, because as you will see the type of container you store your foods in may at some point no longer be an adequate oxygen barrier.
The serious and conscientious preparedness planner is encouraged to carefully and honestly answer these 12 crucial questions. These questions apply not only to long-term food storage planning, but also all preparedness planning.
- What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
- How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing?
- What attitude are you willing to embody and express during the uncertainty and stress of the emergency scenarios you have determined may exist?
- What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing?
- During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends?
- Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur?
- Do you have a list of essential supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency?
- Do you have an understanding of the financial implications of your projected emergency scenarios?
- What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely?
- In your expected emergency scenarios will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate?
- What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate?
- In your expected emergency scenarios what transportation options will be necessary and available?
Evaluate the entire list at 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning
The first step in the preparedness planning process is the acknowledgment that you have made a wise and sound decision and have chosen to take responsibility for you and your family, and to be prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Be encouraged to continue this process with diligence, motivation, and discernment.
This process is basically undertaken in three phases – each one of which will take as much time as you wish to devote, and the degree of urgency you are experiencing.
- First, there is an initial assessment necessary to determine the direction you are heading.
- Second, there is further evaluation, research, and planning required to develop a firm foundation for the third phase, and to develop the clarity required for appropriate and accurate decision making.
- Third, there is taking action and assembling the appropriate provisions and critical information you have determined are necessary for your security and peace of mind. This phase is ongoing as you continue to evaluate, research, and build up your supplies and information.
The initial assessment
This consists of 6 basic questions that you are encouraged to answer that will lead you along the matrix to your destination:
- What is your attitude concerning emergency preparedness?
- What are the circumstances or scenarios and their severity you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
- What is the length of time you will be affected during these scenarios that you will be required to rely on your preparedness supplies?
- For whom and how many are you preparing?
- Where will you be?
- How serious are you and how much time, effort, and money are you willing to devote to research, planning, and action, and with what help?
We live in a time of unprecedented options and potential scenarios that could create challenging and disruptive circumstances. What is required is serious evaluation of current events for taking effective action. The delivery of essential goods and services is so interdependent on a multitude of diverse factors, that a breakdown in any one area can have severe consequences on our daily life. Here are some potential scenarios for your consideration:
Acts of God – Man made disasters – Earth Changes: Earthquakes – Government Regulation/Control – Catastrophic Weather – Flood – Martial Law – Asteroid/Comet – Fire – Food Shortages – Pole Shift – Hurricanes – Societal Breakdown – Solar Flare/CME – Storm/Ice/Snow – Civil Disobedience/Riots – Tribulation/Religious – Tornado – Medical Emergency – Severe Earth Changes – Drought – Economic Emergency/Collapse – Power Outage – Major Accident – Mud Slides – Terrorism Attack – Tsunami – Biological/Chemical/Radiological Attack – EMP (Electrical Magnetic Pulse) Attack – Personal Issues – Bombing – Job Loss – War – Illness – Cyber Attack – No Internet – Unforeseen Emergencies – Financial Loss – Famine/Food Shortages – Grid Breakdown/No Electricity
Trusting Suppliers – Food & Supplies
Preparedness planning is a prudent and wise action to take. This search for provisions however, can create a dilemma – Who do you trust? Remember, you and your family are relying on preparedness products, especially food and water options, to sustain you during critical times. Some situations can be so catastrophic as to have life or death consequences. It is this very real potential scenario that compels me personally to take the process of emergency planning very seriously.
Numerous preparedness dealers and websites have recently appeared on the scene, and many are claiming the virtues of their products and are hoping to take advantage of current demands. I have been in this industry for a long time, and I have seen numerous companies come and go as political, economic, or prophetic issues dominate the news. With the advent of the internet, it has become even more difficult to assess the reliability of online companies.
Many companies are conscientious and dependable – as a previous manufacturer of food reserve products I have had business relationships with a number of these companies over the years. Unfortunately many are very questionable. I have examined their products, their data, and the accuracy of their information – it ranges from inadequate, to unclear, to erroneous. It is hard to believe that businesses promoting products and information essential for survival in an emergency can be fraudulent and dishonorable, however there are companies who prey on fear and greed and are not principled nor respectable.
To package meat products legally, shelf-stable food manufacturing establishments must be federally inspected to comply with the strictest USDA standards for truthfulness in labeling, ingredient conformity, wholesomeness, and cleanliness.
NOTE: The six conditions listed are chosen because these are factors in which we have the control to optimize for the longest reliable shelf life. TIME is the one factor that we can not control – and it does have a significant effect on the shelf life of various foods. Nutritional value is lost with many foods over time. To know with certainty the viable nutritional value of all food reserve items at any given time after a lengthy period of storage – is at best complex or most likely mere conjecture and guesswork. What we can do is to apply proper planning procedures – do your research with trusted resources, rotate and consume your storage foods, and be realistic about how long you will really need the foods you choose to store.
- Temperature– This is the primary factor affecting the storage life of foods. The cooler the better. 40 degrees-50 degrees would be great. Room temperature (65 degrees-72 degrees) or below is generally fine. Avoid above 90 degrees for extended periods of time. The longer food is exposed to very high temperatures the shorter the edible life and the faster the degeneration of nutritional value. Note: There are some “foods” available for emergency preparedness that are known as “emergency food or ration bars.” These products are generally referred to as “life raft bars” because they were originally designed for life rafts and can withstand high heat for extended periods of time. They primarily consist of white sugar and white flour, and were not meant to be the sole source of nutrition for a long period of time.
- Moisture– The lower the better. Moisture can deteriorate food value rapidly and create conditions that promote the growth of harmful organisms. The moisture level contained in foods varies depending on the type of product it is. Have foods in moisture barrier containers (metal, glass) in high humidity areas. Note: Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 5 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers. Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors. Note: Be careful where you store dry foods in cans. Very cold flooring or any condition where there is a dramatic temperature differential may cause a build up of condensation inside the container.
- Oxygen – A high oxygen environment causes oxidation, which leads to discoloration, flavor loss, odors, rancidity and the breakdown of nutritional value in foods. It also allows insects to feed on dried food reserves. Without oxygen, insects cannot live, nor can aerobic (oxygen dependent) organisms. Whole grain and beans have natural oxygen barriers and can store for long periods of time in low humidity and if free from infestation. All other processed grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. must be in a very reduced (2% or less) oxygen environment for long term storage. Note: Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 5 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers. Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors. The best long term storage containers are glass and metal.
- Infestation – Examples include rodents, insects in all their stages of growth, mold, microorganisms, and any other creatures that get hungry – large or small. The proper packaging and storage conditions are required to control infestation and not allow critters to both get into the food, or have the necessary environment for them to flourish if they are sealed into a container – such as in the form of eggs or spores.
- Handling – Rough handling can not only damage the food itself, but it can also adversely effect and compromise the integrity of the container in which the food is stored. Glass of course can break; any pouched item can develop pin holes, tears, or cracks. The seams on buckets and cans can be tweaked, twisted, or damaged to allow oxygen to enter the container.
- Light – Food should not be stored in direct sunlight. Both for the potential of high temperature, and its affect on food value. Sunlight directly on stored foods can destroy nutritional value and hasten the degeneration of food quality, taste, and appearance. Foods packed in light barrier containers do not pose a problem with the affects of light.
This is a specific technology that refers to foods which have been frozen and dried at low temperatures in a vacuum chamber. Moisture is removed by a process known as sublimation. The term “freeze-dried” is often used to designate a dried food product that requires no cooking. Some meal blends will contain a variety of no cook, freeze-dried, dehydrated and other drying technologies.
Unfortunately, there are currently unethical preparedness food “marketing” companies that claim to provide “freeze-dried” foods, however their foods either need to be cooked and/or contain little or no freeze-dried foods at all. Buyer Beware – read ingredient declarations and preparation instructions.
- Foods retain the highest nutritional value, taste, texture and appearance.
- Foods do not “shrivel up”, therefore retaining their original shape.
- Foods reconstitute easily in hot or cold water- can be eaten dry if necessary- no cooking required in preparation.
- The only method used to dry meat products for long term shelf life.
- The chosen method of drying by the military, pharmaceutical companies, supplement manufacturers, and those concerned with nutrition and flavor.
- The lowest moisture content obtainable- resulting in long shelf stability.
- Excellent for fruits, vegetables, and meats.
- Very lightweight.
The Benefits of Freeze-Drying – From a Major Processor’s Site
- Retains original characteristics of the product, including:
- Reconstitutes to original state when placed in water
- Shelf stable at room temperature – cold storage not required
- The weight of the freeze-dried products is reduced by 70 to 90 percent, with no change in volume
- The product is light weight and easy to handle
- Shipping costs are reduced because of the light weight and lack of refrigeration
- Low water activity virtually eliminates microbiological concerns
- Offers highest quality in a dry product compared to other drying methods
- Virtually any type of food or ingredient, whether solid or liquid, can be freeze-dried
- Retains original characteristics of the product, including:
- Energy intensive- requires special equipment.
- Higher cost.
- Limited number of processors.
- Note: There are many newer technologies which can dry specialized foods such as grains, beans, pastas and some vegetables and still retain taste, nutrition and “no cooking required” reconstitution- at a low cost.
This is a general designation for all foods that have had water removed. It includes a number of different products and dehydrating techniques. Methods of drying include:
- Air drying
- Spray drying
- Drum drying
- Belt drying
- Most commonly “dehydrated” refers to: vegetables, fruits, spices, and beans.
- Spray dried items include- milk powder, dairy and cheese powders, fruit powders, vegetable powders, egg powders, and oil powders.
- Most “dehydrated” vegetables and fruits are dried at high temperatures for short periods of time.
- Reduced weight
- Long shelf life
- Lower cost
- No waste- compact
- Easy to use- large variety
- Many suppliers
- Many products like corn, peas, and green beans have to be cooked to reconstitute, resulting in increased time and loss of nutritional value.
- High temperature drying of some items reduces nutritional value and taste.
- Texture of some products is altered from original.
The items in this category are wet packed in foil or plastic “flexible” packaging. MRE is a military term that stands for “Meals Ready to Eat” and was designed as combat rations for the military. Retort (available in many grocery stores and catalog companies) refers to the heating process, which give these products a longer shelf life. Self-heating meals are packaged entrees that contain everything necessary to have a hot meal anywhere. The individual flameless heaters were developed for the military.
- MRE’s are complete meals- entrees, side dish, dessert, drink, and condiments- all in one large pouch.
- All items in this category require no refrigeration and have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years. MRE’s can last 3- 6 years if stored in cooler temperatures.
- MRE’s were designed by the military to be eaten for no longer than one month at a time. Extended reliance on MRE’s exclusively could cause digestion issues.
- Items are excellent for immediate use and easy preparation of familiar foods.
This category includes dozens of varieties of grains, beans, legumes and seeds, and can be utilized in numerous forms such as; whole, cracked, flaked, instant, flour, pasta and sprouted.
- Very economical- little cost for significant nutritional value.
- Easily obtainable.
- Stores well for long periods of time.
- Versatility of preparation options and diversity of uses – many can be sprouted.
- Historically relied upon during emergencies.
- Reproducible – grow new crops.
- If prepared and utilized properly, can fulfill total nutritional needs for some time.
- Can require large quantities of fuel and water to prepare.
- Requires significant preparation time to utilize all the diverse benefits.
- Susceptible to infestation if not properly stored.
- Requires preparation knowledge. Most people do not know how to prepare basic commodities.
- If not prepared properly or suddenly introduced into the diet in quantity, grains and beans can cause significant digestive problems.
- Heavy- Not easily transported if you need to be mobile.
- Many people have allergic reactions to foods in this category.
- If you rely on only grains and beans for nourishment for an extended length of time, you may have problems digesting these foods; especially if you don’t normally incorporate them into your diet. Preparation diversity is critical.
- It is essential that those who choose to rely on commodities know how to properly prepare and use them. It is important to obtain good cookbooks and product information before you buy. Do not count on only a few grains and beans- diversity is very important.
- Smaller grains (such as millet, amaranth, quinoa, and teff) and smaller beans and legumes (such as aduki, lentils, split peas, mung, and small whites) will require less time, fuel and water to prepare. Most are great for sprouting
- Combine like sized grains and beans when cooking for a complete protein meal.
- Pressure cookers and pre-soaking of most beans will significantly reduce the cooking time of grains and beans.
- Newly “rediscovered” ancient grain varieties such as amaranth, quinoa, kamut, teff and spelt, are highly recommended because of their superior nutritional value, unique taste and preparation convenience – available at natural food stores.
- To reduce cooking times for whole or cracked grains, try adding a handful to a thermos, or similar insulated container, add boiling water and let sit all day or overnight. (Use at a ratio of one part grain to one +/- part water by volume). Add dried fruit, nuts, sweetener etc. and enjoy a no cook hot cereal.
- Uses for wheat:
- Whole grain, cracked, flaked- cook for a hot cereal or side dish.
- Flour- baking, pancakes, sauces.
- Sprouting- eat raw or add to bread.
- Soaked wheat (rejuvelac – a cultured sprouted wheat drink) – soak cleaned wheat in pure water 1-2 days. Drink water and eat wheat.
- Gluten for protein source- rinse flour many times to produce gluten product. Cook in recipe.
- Wheat grass juice- grow wheat in shallow trays with soil or outdoors in the ground, cut at 6″-10″, juice wheat grass, mix small amount with fruit or vegetable juice.
- Diastatic malt- ground and powdered dried wheat sprouts, a natural sweetener.
This is the category people are most familiar with and the one most will start with when beginning a storage program.
- Store products you are familiar with.
- Shelf life varies. If possible contact manufacturer. Generally canned items will last 1-4 years, glass jars 6 months- 2 years, boxes and packages 6 months- 1 year. Many folks believe quality canned foods stored in cooler conditions will last years beyond ‘best used by’ dates.
- Buy extra each time you shop.
- Buy case quantities.
- Rotate supplies.
- This category contains items that will complement and supplement other food reserve programs.
- Mark date purchased on container
During emergencies it is important to have foods available which are special treats and personally satisfying. These include:
- Fruit drinks- sodas (all natural of course)
- Candy- crackers- chips- cookies (also all natural)
- Chocolate- drinks and bars
- Puddings- cake and muffin mixes
- Dried fruit and nut mixes
- Teas- herb teas- coffee
- Meat Jerky’s
It is not only a good idea to eat fresh sprouts normally; it is an essential during any prolonged emergency where fresh vegetables are not available. Sprouts are live, highly nutritious, nutritionally dense foods that contain essential elements for healthy living. They contain enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and much more. In an emergency it can be your only source for important nutrients. They are easy to grow and cost very little for so much value. You can sprout grains, beans, seeds and nuts.
- Get a good book on sprouting.
- If possible, use only non-sprayed, pesticide free seeds – preferably organically grown.
- Sprouting equipment is easily assembled with household items such as glass jars, screening, cheesecloth, or you can buy a number of different sprouting kits.
- Sprouts are usually eaten raw, and some sprouts can be lightly cooked like beans or used in baking like wheat and rye.
Very important in emergency situations when a nutritional diet may not be available.
Many products have 2 to 3 year shelf life.
- See your natural food store for details.
- Many products can prevent health problems and illness naturally.
- Whole food green concentrates are highly recommended. Also, multivitamins, green products, B-complex, vitamin C, seaweeds and immune system strengtheners.
With an abundance of fresh foods always available, canning and drying your own is very cost effective.
- Obtain books and literature on canning and drying.
- Take classes and talk to experienced individuals.
- Get the proper equipment or learn how to build you own.
- Know how to properly store canned and dried foods.
- Canning supplies can be scarce in an emergency. Stock up on jars and lids.
If the scenarios you anticipate to occur indicate a disruption of normal food supplies for a long period of time, then you will want to consider planting and maintaining a garden. Obtain quality, non-hybrid, organic if possible, fresh garden seeds. Get good gardening books and equipment. Learn how to properly store seeds – this is critical – for next seasons planting. Different seeds have varying viability and germination rates over time.
- It is always a good idea to know basic gardening techniques. If you have a long term planning strategy, gardening is a must for a continuing supply of fresh and nutritional foods.
- Identify the best foods for your local growing zone.
- Consider building a green house.
- Learn how to compost.
- Use non-hybrid- open pollinated seeds. You can then harvest seeds for the next season.
- Learn how to save seeds properly. Store seeds in as cool and dry a location as possible.
- In an emergency situation emphasize “whole plant varieties”. These are plant varieties that can be eaten whole at any point in the growing process. Examples include:
– Carrots – Cauliflower
– Beets – Chard
– Lettuce – Dandelion
– Cabbage – Kale
– Broccoli – Celery
– Radishes – Herbs
– Save seeds of wild edibles.
- Using shallow trays with a thin layer of rich soil, learn how to grow wheat and barley grass for juice (highly nutritious!), and unhulled sunflower and buckwheat for fresh salad greens
Appliances/Equipment- Food Preparation
- Cooking pots/utensils
- Solar oven
- Alternative stoves- grills- grates
- Portable stoves that use twigs, pine cones and small wood pieces
- Fuel- gas/diesel/propane/wood/charcoal/fuel oil/kerosene/shelf stable additive for gas or diesel
- Sprouting jar/rack
- Wheat grass juicer
- Canning equipment/supplies
- Pressure cooker
- Cleaning supplies
- Food containers- plastic/glass/plastic bags/foil
- Package your own- equipment/supplies
- Camping equipment
- Non electric can opener
- Clean water of course is essential for survival. While it is possible to go for weeks without food, after 3 days survival is at great risk without water. Make absolutely sure you answer the following questions.
o How much water do you have available to you in an emergency?
o Will you have enough to clean foods you have stored?
o Will you have enough to cook foods that require lengthy boiling (beans, grains, pasta)?
o What quantities will you need to reconstitute “no cooking required” freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?
o Will you want to wash pots and utensils?
o Do you know how to obtain, store and/or purify water?
o Will you have enough water for sprouting and/or gardening?
- Plan on at least 1/2 gallon a day per person to survive. One gallon a day per person is considered minimum for drinking, basic food preparation, and basic hygiene. Two gallons for basic bathing, laundry, and cleaning.
Water Sources – Storage – Treatment
- Ponds, lakes, streams, springs, rivers, ocean (use desalinators or distillers only)
- Know all local locations before an emergency and check quality.
- Have non-electric collection options available – hand pumps, special buckets, and solar pumps.
- Bottled , commercial
- one to two year shelf life – Rotate.
- Around the house
- Pools, spas, waterbeds, hot water heater, toilet tank, hoses, pipes – purify before drinking.
- Collection ideas
- Snow, rainwater, dew.
- Survival techniques
- Plants, underground sources, moisture collection, solar still – get a good survival manual.
- Specially packaged purified water
- Water in small foil pouches or aseptic fruit juice like boxes – 5-year shelf life.
- Blue Can canned water – packed in specially lined aluminum cans with at least a 50 year shelf life.
- Large containers
- Food grade plastic, concrete, water bladders, cisterns – above or below ground.
- Small containers
- Food grade plastic – new is best, numerous types available (If previously filled with food or beverage, used containers can impact tastes and odors), glass. Never use container that held chemicals or cleaners.
- WaterBrick water storage containers in 3.5 and 1.6 gallon size containers are highly recommended.
- Portable hand operated purifiers- when rated as a “purifier” the device will kill viruses and filter bacteria and protozoa. Limited types available.
- Portable hand operated filters- will filter out most bacteria and protozoa. Many types available.
- Drip/gravity filters and purifiers – counter top transportable units that filter water slowly by gravity.
- Bottle purifiers- Easy to use, just fill and drink from bottle.
- Pen like devices- Insert in a glass of water. Utilizes ultra-violet light as a purifier.
- Desalinators- manual and electric. Removes salt from seawater.
- Distillers- electric and non-electric available. Steam distills and purifies any contaminated and salt water.
- Survival Still Non-Electric water distiller is highly recommended.
- Kitchen units- usually requires water pressure and uses carbon filter element. Some units can be modified to manual use.
- Boiling- kills viruses and bacteria after 10 minutes (add one minute for every 1000 feet above sea level). May not however kill cysts such as Giardia.
- Solar ovens can boil water
- Liquid chlorine bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite – only ingredient) – 6-8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) per gallon of clean water, double for cloudy water. For 5 gallons-1/2 teaspoon for clean water, 1 teaspoon for cloudy water.
- Iodine (2%)- 12 drops per gallon for clean water, double for cloudy water. Has distinctive odor and taste. Not for pregnant or nursing women or those with thyroid problems.
- Purification tablets- Iodine or Chlorine- Follow instructions on package. Some brands may not kill Giardia.
- Stabilized oxygen- A relatively new method of purification. Many swear by it, do your research.
- Katadyn Micropur (Chlorine Dioxide)- Effective against all microorganisms. Meets EPA purification guidelines.
- Colloidal Silver- New and becoming more widely available. Worth investigating. Reported to eliminate numerous harmful elements.
Water Storage Tips
- Store water in a cool, dry, and dark location.
- Store away from odors, waste products, and petroleum based products (if using plastics – plastic containers can absorb odors).
- Periodically check containers (6-12 months) and add additional additives if necessary.
- Water preservatives in liquid form are available.
- Rotate containers if possible with new water.
- Don’t use metal containers for long term storage.
- Use water filters on water stored for long periods of time.
- How much and what kind of fuel is available in your local area?
- If you want hot meals, boiling water or hot water for clean up you must have a fuel source. If the foods you store require cooking to make them digestible (grains, beans, etc.) you must have fuel to boil water. Sources include:
o Wood, pellets, pine cones, plants.
o Paper, trash, cardboard, cloth.
o Propane, butane-bulk and in small canisters.
o Natural gas.
o Heating oil.
o Kerosene, gasoline, diesel.
o Candles, paraffin, fuel gel.
o Coal, charcoal.
o Rice hulls, corn cobs.
o The sun- solar ovens, cookers.
The post A Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Food Reliance appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.
Emma Kelty, a former headteacher from London, was murdered during a solo kayaking trip in the Amazon jungle.
Ms Kelty had posted frequent updates on her journey in northern Brazil on Facebook.
‘In or near Coari (100km away) I will have my boat stolen and I will be killed too. Nice,’ she wrote, joking about the danger she faced.
You see, this is what many people in developed countries don’t understand. Even in our community, many preppers don’t understand this either: The difference between fantasy and reality. A little tip people. When someone in the Amazon jungle is out there to kill you and steal from you, you take it seriously. You don’t assume its some empty threat and carry on.
For example, if you have half a dozen guns and over a thousand rounds of ammo “for when SHTF” and you don’t have body armor, then my friend you’re living in a fantasy world. No one shoots a thousand rounds of ammo at an enemy without getting returning fire. Heck, if you empty a full mag its probably because you’re in a fight for your life too.
Bug out bag with snares “for trapping” but no cash? Nope, not realistic.
This woman had lived a sheltered life. She had gone on adventures in the 3rd world before, she hadn’t lived in them though. For her it was living out what she otherwise saw in Discovery Channel. She saw the amazing jungle (and it is amazing) but she didn’t see the drug smugglers, slavers, pirates, the illegal gold miners, the jungle natives that have a VERY different concept of right and wrong. Not to mention the dangerous animals and diseases.
The danger in these places is extremely real. They are places of amazing beauty and fantastic people too, but also very dangerous.
I don’t mean to insult the memory of this poor woman. In fact I congratulate the courage to go live life in her own terms. But these are the kind of mistakes you only get to make once in those parts of the world. They don’t care about political correctness. They don’t care if you mean them no harm. All they care about is that they have someone to steal from, rape and kill, and some of the most brutal people will do all three without a second thought.
In preparation for this dangerous trip, Emma Kelty had taken self defense classes in London. She wanted to learn to fight and “disarm” potential attackers.
How can anyone possibly think this prepares you in any way to deal with people that live in the jungle, swinging machetes all day, stronger, tougher in every way, not to mention armed?
We need to keep it real folks. Not doing so gets you killed.
By: Tom Chatham The recent disasters around the world have shown most people are ill prepared for sudden disruptions to normal life. Just as there was a lack of imagination that allowed 9/11 to happen, the population suffers from a lack of imagination that allows them to suffer from sudden occurrences. Survival favors the prepared […]
I have been reading your blog for about 3 years now and I thank you very much for your efforts.
I live have lived in Miami and Fort Lauderdale Florida my entire life and I have a lot of family in the Tampa area that have been there for at least 20 years.
There are 2 things that are simply wrong in the post that I wanted to comment on, but my comment doesn’t display, so I thought I would email them to you.
1) There hasn’t been an earthquake in the Tampa/Pinellas County, FL area since 1931 and likely never. I think the 1931 number I find when I search on the internet is simply when they started writing this stuff down for Florida. We simply don’t get earthquakes in Florida. So that part of the post is wrong.
2) This is the more serious point that I hope you relay on your blog. The myth of cracking windows open during a hurricane/tornado is dead wrong. This myth has been debunked and is simply dangerous. You can find the research that Texas Tech did in 1977 easily on the internet about this myth.
The second item is the only reason I am writing you. I just don’t want people thinking that this is something you should do in a hurricane as the poster is dead wrong on it and it could result in others doing it in the future.
Have a great day
Hello Chet, thanks for your email. Mark had some great points and I really do apreciate it. That piece of advice did sound a bit odd. For what its worth, Snopes also says its a flase myth. http://www.snopes.com/science/hurricane.asp
Still, I do appreacite everyone imput, especially those hard earned lessons and after action reports.
Take care everyone and thanks!
I live in a condo on the Pinellas County peninsula, west from Tampa across the bay. I have endured three tropical storms and an earth quake since moving here 11 years ago. This was the first storm I had been preparing for since reading your blog. There is no replacement for actual storm conditions to test preparedness so here is what I learned.
1. Do NOT believe the Weather Channel
They ALWAYS exaggerate their predictions to sow fear and terror. Knowing that once the hurricane hit dry land its force would diminish, so I rode the storm out at my condo unit with no fear and knowing I was prepared. So by the time it hit Tampa it was downgraded to a Tropical Storm. Still fierce and dangerous but no 100 mph winds and no storm surge to flood us. Note; I live 50 ft. above sea level and am not in a flood zone.
Which leads me to the following…
2. Do NOT buy the Crane CC Solar Observer for your emergency radio
They must have a great copy writer because they sound like the be all end all of portable emergency weather radios. I bought this used for the NOAA Weather broadcasts and solar power and crank power extras and found it almost totally useless! 7 separate channels to find a local broadcast of current NOAA weather info and all I could get was an indiscernible murmur! The AM/FM radio was fair, the solar cells useless in cloud cover and I used the flash light mostly to conserve my iPhone battery as its light was far brighter. I need to do further research on what would be useful in this situation when I’m toally out of power.
As a side note, I got ALL my storm and weather info from a web site; VentuSky.com. I saw this on a friends cell phone and dialed it in immediately before the storm. It gave me a visual and number read-out by location of wind speed, storm track, temp, waves and just about anything else climate wise. This site really refutes Weather Channel in up-to-the-minute weather data and I use it almost daily. I saw and confirmed my understanding that the storm would die down as it got onto land and decided to stay put and not evacuate.
3. ALWAYS leave some windows open, even a crack, during a Hurricane or Tropical Storm
This I learned from being an Insurance Adjuster in the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki in Hawaii in 1992. Many homes had roofs totally blown off into the neighboring yards due to keeping all the doors and windows shut. The storm is a low pressure weather phenomena and locking up a building tight creates a high pressure in the dwelling. The roof can’t hold the pressure and it pops off. I am on the bottom floor so I told my upstairs neighbors to kept their kitchen door window open a bit and one of the back bedrooms open a bit. Our building had no problems, but one of the other buildings had the roof blown off and onto the cars parked in front.
4. Just because you had power during the worst of the storm, don’t expect it to be on after
And it follows that …
5. … with power down, don’t drive at night unless you have to.
With power down there were no street lights nor traffic signals. In other countries that is standard every-day life but here in the US when you can’t see anything due to pitch black accidents can occur. I had to slow down at intersections as many people ‘assumed’ it was natural to just go through, like they had a green light. The next morning I saw broken glass and plastic at almost every intersection, by then the police had put up temporary stop signs and had traffic officers directing traffic at main intersections.
6. Be smart where you park your car
Tropical Storms can have 40-50 mph winds with gusts up to 80 mph. That can blow down trees, fences, telephone poles, street lights and communication antenna. I had my car in the condo parking and I somehow lost a head lamp cover! The lamp works fine but is now exposed to the elements. Other condo dwellers are snow birds that come for the Fall-Winter-Spring and leave for summer. They usually have cars wrapped in some canvas and wheels on boards (the summer heat can melt the asphalt and melt the tires and ruin the wheel). Most had the covers were blown off and one under a tree had branches knocking dents in them. The city parking structures were open during the storm and next time that happens is where I’ll keep my vehicle.
7. ALWAYS check your supplies and equipment well before the storm hits
This goes to most of the above but here is what I did wrong and right.
As my cell phone battery ran down I tried to charge it with a cigarette lighter charger. IT DIDN’T WORK! It had worked in other cars but Apple can be finicky when it comes to non-standard adaptors.
My food and water were adequate for a storm like this but I will check if there is anything past its expiration date. I had quart containers of frozen distilled water in my fridge freezer and that kept my perishables quite fresh when the power went off. I would like the 3 months standard you have but with the small space I have getting 90 gallons of water stored will be a challenge.
I found that the stores and gas stations closed up within 3-6 hours once the state authorities said to evacuate. So once the storm is headed your way you should have already stocked up if you are going to. And we had plenty of warning but I noticed the shelves of water and canned goods went fast a day before the store closed. I shrugged and got what dry food others missed as far as that goes.
I found I also needed more flash lights. I used to have two small Cree flashes and because they were so small I tended to loose them unless I kept them in my EDC. My near useless radio had at least had some utility.
Medical supplies, I had enough to get me through but I have a prescription to self catheter 3-4 times a day and if I don’t I can’t control my bladder. I have been slowly increasing my supply every month so that I have 4 weeks in back stock but my target now is now 3 months. As for anti-bacterial I have one gallon of distilled vinegar and one quart of raw apple cider vinegar. That will kill most pathogens and for the rest I have lots of soap and that with hard scrubbing will handle anything else. I also found small tubes of antibiotic ointment that I carry around in my EDC that has been quite useful.
The Tampa Bay area is in the sub-topics and one must be aware of that at all times. On top of my regular supplements and cell salts for heat exhaustion I always have some sort of Vitamin C with me for urinary infections . What with cathetering I find that no matter how careful I am cleaning myself before hand, I can sometimes get those urinary infection symptoms and I have found ANY vitamin C taken will clear up symptoms within 30 minutes.
I’m sure some other things will pop up as I get on with my life but I made out Ok and will be better prepared for whatever comes next.
I was reading about this in a forum. The guy lives in South Carolina, spent a lot of his money over the years prepping his home yet when evacuating because of Irma all he actually ended up putting to use was the gas (and vehicle). He mentioned that he felt he failed at prepping because he didn’t build his house of reinforced concrete.
I don’t know all the details of this particular case, or even if it’s true at all, but I do understand what it means to put all your eggs in one basket and see it disappear right in front of you. I’ve never suffering such a thing myself, but I get emails often enough, mostly from people that lost everything due to fire or floods. Sometimes it personal financial or family disasters (divorce).
My point is, yes, your home is important. It’s your shelter, it’s your castle. It may even be what puts food on the table, at times literally speaking. And this is indeed a great asset. To produce at least some of your food, to have a workshop for projects, to run a business. I get it.
I also get it that SHTF and worst case scenarios are precisely about what isn’t convenient and what’s uncomfortable to even think of. Loosing it all to a flood, yup, that’s not the kind of thing anyone looks forward too. Yet thousands have gone through just that these last few days. For others it was fires. For someone else, in some other parts of the world, it was war or social unrest.
You need to plan for what’s likely, but you also need to think about those worst case scenarios. A worst case scenario isn’t bugging in in your retreat just in time, full of supplies, in some idyllic location along with your best buds (who also happen to be Navy SEALS, all of them) and all of them married to hot models that are also brain surgeons and homesteaders (wait, isn’t the divorce rate among military kinda high?) and everyone happens to get along just perfect without personal interests getting in the way of the finely tuned harmony of the survival retreat. Oh, you also beat the UN which happened to invade your county for some reason.
Seriously. SHTF is about when things DON’T go as planned. When that you’d rather not even think of ends up happening. Losing your farm sucks? Many have gone through just that these last few days alone.
This needs to be planned for. As I say in the cover of my second book “Bugging Out and Relocating”. You need to know “what to do when staying is not an option”.
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Over 100,000 apartment units were flooded during Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. With Hurricane Irma now approaching Florida, many apartments are at risk for wind damage and flooding. Here are five things to know about what you can do if your apartment becomes flooded. Rent Hurricane Harvey drenched Houston on August 27th. In the ensuing days, an unprecedented amount of rainfall caused massive flooding, rendering many displaced residents. The 1st of September arrived […]
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a major hurricane and extensive flooding in Texas, wildfires in California and Oregon, and now a Category 5 hurricane is threatening Puerto Rico and Florida. September happens to be National Preparedness Month and it is very timely to discuss various aspects of preparedness. Communications is Crucial In an emergency, it is important to have a way to communicate – you need it to contact emergency services as well as with friends and […]
With Hurricane Irma just around the corner( to hit Florida as early as Sunday morning), Gas is becoming harder to come by as prices go up. Meanwhile Florida’s Governor is warning. “We can’t save you”.
Plywood and bottled water are also in short supply and highly sought after.
I’m preaching to the choir but it had to be stated. If you take a look at what is going on right now in Florida it is a classic case of why preparedness should be a critical part of one’s life. Folks are lined up around the block for bottled water that they will never get a chance to buy because the shelves are already empty, the next opportinuty to collect supplies probably coming when the National Guard sets up a distro point.
Think about these components of preparedness and how they could apply in this situation.
Bugging In: Having the necessisary supplies (food, water, even gasoline) on hand to stay in place for weeks even without power and without having to rely on outside sources. Even if the water supply became unusuable for a period of time it would not be a major factor.
Bugging Out: Having all of the necessary supplies to quickly displace, be self sufficient while on the move knowing that critical items were along for the ride. Ability to move without having to stop to refuel until out of the danger area, secondary location already identified and ready / willing to accept visitors.
Security: Understanding that in long term power down scenarios there will be no shortage of folks looking to take advantage of thin law enforcement coverage. Having a security plan in place in order to address this.
First Aid: Folks could get hurt, not only having the equipment on hand (not just a first aid kit, but things like IFAKs, IV kits etc) but the training in order to employ these properly.
Communication: Cell phone coverage most likely will go down, having a secondary and tertiary plan (HAM radio).
I could go on and on but the main point is this: taking initiative and remaining proactive while times are good so that when the tough times come, the only difference is this is now a time for execution and not rehearsals. I’ve stated this many times, if one is primarily prepping for EMP strikes and WW3 / Martial Law, priorities are misplaced! The greatest threat all of us face come in the form of localized or even wide spread natural disasters. Hurricanes, flooding, tornados, wildfires, earthquakes etc. It’s too late for the folks who are just now lining up hoping to catch a case of bottled water at the grocery store but hopefully many will learn from this experience….sadly most will not.
1) This is why we prepare. We prepare because it allows us to better overcome these challenges in life, some more unexpected than others. Sometimes being prepared means we deal better with less serious inconveniences and we end up looking like the “handy” guy in the group. Sometimes it’s a serious as it could possibly be. The difference between life and death.
2)Location, Location, Location. These last few days I kept hearing terrible stories of loss, of people that had lost everything, people that have lost their lives even. Some of them said this was the second time in 10 years that they had to start over. That right there is maybe the most valuable lesson. Areas that have flooded in the last 10 years, 50 years or 100 years are likely to flood again. Areas that have never flooded before but are in proximity of such areas are likely to get flooded next for the first time, simply because the growing urban footprint doesn’t leave enough absorbing surface to avoid flooding. True, these CAN indeed be prevented with responsible development and proper infrastructure as the urban setting expands, instead of just thinking of building and flipping houses without caring what happens to them a couple years later. But that’s a topic for another discussion.
Know where you live. Know where you’re moving next. When I moved to Ireland, floods were one of the first things I looked into. It took some digging but I ended up finding maps of past floods going back over a hundred years. Guess who didn’t get flooded when it eventually happened a couple years later?
3) It’s not just the city and urban areas. The countryside gets flooded too. It gets flooded a LOT. You build your house in the middle of nowhere thinking it’s an ideal location an later on if you didn’t do your homework you realize your house is at the bottom of a lake. Be careful yet again with developers. A nice new subdivision can be built in an area that is likely to flood. Maybe that’s why it was cheap in the first place.
4) What killed people during Harvey? In 3rd world countries the main causes of death would be the spread of diseases after the disaster itself, but in a developed country it’s often people making bad decisions. Getting caught inside the houses when the water raises. Above all, its people “bugging out” and getting their car carried by the current, rather than staying put and waiting to be rescued. This isn’t anything new. That’s why before Harvey hit I advised readers precisely about this.
5) People are good. We often focus on the worst mankind has to offer. I do that more than most, and I’ve seen this myself more than enough. But at the end of the day for every scumbag looter there’s two folks willing to give their neighbour a helping hand. There’s random strangers forming a human chain to pull someone out of the water, even risking their own well-being for that stranger.
Be smart about it and remember the saying about loose lips sinking ships, but be kind to your neighbours and the people around you. They will be the first responders when you need help the most, even if you’re not the kind of guy that likes being helped.
6) How many of these people never thought of leaving “because we already live in our bug out location”. How many people focused on “stuff” and “gear” rather than skills, flexibility and mobility? Putting all your eggs in one basked is just a bad idea. A flood, a fire, even a home invasion can leave your with nothing. Ask yourself this: What would I do, where would I go and how would I get back on my feet if my house burned down with everything in it? What would I do if a flood destroyed all my property, destroyed my homestead and my crops along with my gear? 80% of the people in the flooded areas in Texas did not have flood insurance. ( and before you say it, if a company isn’t even willing to insure you that should be the huge red flag that tells you to get the hell out of there!)
7) What if you can’t move at the moment and you know you’re in an area that is likely to be affected? Well, plan for that as well. How high is water likely to get? What if it’s double that next time? What kind of house are we talking about? Do you have a plan, a route, a place to go to when you have to evacuate? Do you have a camping trailer you can use? Do you have the gear you want to salvage ready to go? Do you have a boat in case you don’t make it out on time? Do you have personal flotation devices and helmets for the family? Is your EDC cellophane waterproof? It’s little details like these that make the difference between life and death when you’re hanging for dear life from a tree and all you have to call for help is your dead non-waterproof phone (yes, sometimes you do have a signal, or you can at least send text messages).
8) Got pets? Prepare for them as well. I heard over the news that people were abandoning them. Rescue teams specifically looking for pets were breaking into houses to rescue them. They were being left at shelters. Plan for your animal friends too. Recently we had our own little storm warning around here. It barely rained at all eventually but I did notice I was running low on dog food and would have had to improvise something in the middle of the storm if it had hit. A large extra bag “for emergencies only” is cheap insurance and handy for when caught without at inconvenient moments too.
9) You can’t drink flood water folks. Can’t use your well, your tap water or even your lake. Get a quality filter, but also get enough bottled water to make it through. I keep two weeks of bottled water. Not just a few gallons, but two weeks’ worth of what my family honestly consumes. Talk about cheap insurance, bottled water is maybe your cheapest, yet most vital prep when forced to do without.
10) Like in boxing, protect yourself at all times. We saw scenes of looting. Looters went around looking for places to pick. People defended their property. We saw that looters don’t like getting shot at (an universal fact of live, for all countries it seems) If you stand guard armed chances are they will go looking for easier targets, but expect them to be armed and ready to shoot as well. In this case a long arm provides extra firepower. This would be also the time to done your body armour and night vision. We saw people in boats helping the victims. Many of them would jump from the boat to the houses or vehicles dragged by the current rescuing folks. In that case you can’t go around with your rifle across your back bumping into everything so once again your handgun becomes your main gun. You rifle stays in the vehicle or boat, maybe the person driving the vehicle keeps an eye out with the long arm ready in case there’s trouble.
11) Remember the part about cash being king? After the storm many stores had “cash only” signs. As stores start opening again, you don’t want to be that guy without cash.
12) Besides having a plan and even if you’re not evacuating, supplies are essential in times like these. Again, the stuff we talk about here all the time. As mentioned before, water is a key supply people amazingly still overlook. But there’s also food supplies, means of cooking such food, disposable plates, cups and cutlery. Properly stored gas for your vehicles and generator. Batteries, lots of batteries and flashlights. Medical supplies, both prescription and first aid. All sorts of supplies disappeared in a matter of hours after the storm was announcement. Bleach, soap and cleaning supplies in general. This is important to avoid diseases after the water goes down.
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”
Hope everyone is sheltered-in-place already and prepared for Hurricane Harvey. You should already have plenty of stored water, food and other essential supplies.
Try to stay put, stay off the roads, make sure everything it locked and tied down to reduce the amount of flying debris out there.
Any updates you want to share with the rest of us leave your comments below.
Good luck everyone and stay safe!
You probably know by now that a van plowed into the crowd on Las Ramblas avenue in Barcelona, killing 13 and injuring 100 people.
As soon as I heard about the attack I called my brother who was visiting family in Barcelona. Fortunately he left yesterday, a day earlier than expected. He had been thinking of staying another day. He easily could have been caught walking La Rambla if they had stayed another day.
Another terrorist attack, another lunatic picking a big vehicle and just mowing people.
What can you do?
You can’t do much to stop these events because cars are readily available and it takes very little research to figure out the most packed locations.
You can do something about letting known terrorist out and about. You can deport know radicals rather than give them some slack and just hope they don’t murder innocent people.
Above all, you can remove every single mosque that doesn’t publicly condemn these attacks and cooperates with authorities 100%. The number of imams that refuse to do so is astonishing and getting rid of those would be a big step forward in getting rid of their most visible and obvious indoctrination centres. It seems though that not enough blood has been spilled to overcome political correctness.
What can you do on a more personal level?
1)Know where they attack. They usually go for high profile targets. Large, emblematic cities, attacking in their centres.
2)Avoid these potential targets, especially at time of peak activity with target rich locations. Concerts, festivals, peak holyday season. Wherever you have a lot of people packed together, that’s an ideal target for a terrorist. I’m not saying not to live your life, just understand the risks when it comes to terrorists.
3)Awareness. Mind your surroundings. Look ahead of you and behind you. What’s going on 100 yards ahead and 100 yards behind. LISTEN. This is usually a great indicator of trouble. Shots fired, screams. In my experience you usually hear trouble before you see it.
4)Take action. Avoid being the deer caught in the headlights. When you see, listen or feel something is wrong, do something. In most cases that “something” should be start moving towards a safer direction, either getting behind cover, avoiding a speeding vehicle or attacker heading towards you.
5) Carry your EDC kit, especially a first aid kit in your EDC bag when at high risk locations as the ones mentioned above. Celox gauze, a tourniquet. Add a blow out kit if you got trainning on how to use it. Don’t forget your EDC, a knife can be used to cut open clothes, remove cords or clothes or seatbelts wrapped around people’s neck. Heck, I used my knife today to help out a baby girl in the street (more on this tomorrow) Where and when legal, you should carry your CCW too.
You never know when an emergency situation may occur. According to FEMA, 80% of Americans live in a location that has been impacted by a disaster related to weather. However, you can do your best now to plan for as many types of disasters as possible. While there are several different components to an emergency plan, let’s take a look at a few universal items that everyone needs to be ready for the worst.
Make Sure That You Can Communicate
It is critical that you have the means to communicate with your family members in the event of a fire, flood or other emergency. Therefore, you should have a cell phone that is fully charged and has plenty of minutes on it. You may also want to have a set of walkie-talkies available in case the cell tower in your area is destroyed and calls cannot be made. Prepaid phone cards may also be ideal in the event that you have to make or receive calls from a public phone.
There Should Be A Designated Safe Zone
In the event of an emergency, there isn’t a lot of time to think about what it takes to get to safety. Therefore, you want to have a designated safe place where everyone can go to ride out the storm or until the fire can be put out. This could be a neighbor’s house, a relative’s house or a public place like a grocery store or bank that is easy to get to. As part of the plan, everyone should wait there until all family members are accounted for or until rescued by emergency personnel.
Make Use Of Your Medical Training
As part of an emergency plan, you should have some sort of first aid kit that can be used to heal cuts, scrapes or other minor wounds. However, it is also critical that you have the training necessary to treat injuries properly and safely. One way to improve your odds during an emergency situation is to receive basic first aid training. Training courses may be offered for free or at a discount, and they will also help you learn what to do in the event that trying to help on your own may actually make things worse. If you enjoy the healthcare world, you may also consider receiving additional medical training. Not only could it end up being a rewarding career, like a doctorate of nursing practice, but the additional lifelong skills you would gain would be invaluable.
There is nothing scarier than being put in a situation where you or your loved ones are in danger of being hurt or killed. However, with good preparation today, you may be able to take steps during a crisis to get yourself and your family out of harm’s way.
The post Preparation Planning: 3 Essentials To Your Family Emergency Plan appeared first on American Preppers Network.
Some people commented regarding my post about escaping a building during a fire with traditional climbing gear and noted that the rope can burn.
Of course this is a possibility. The fire on some of the lower floors may even burn yourself as you rappel down. The point is we’re talking about a desperate, last resort situation here. During the London tower fire some people climbed down using tied bed sheets to make a rope. I’ll take an actual harness and rope over sheets any day.
But I did look into it a bit more and there is a product specifically designed to escape high rise buildings during fires, terrorist attacks or other emergencies.
As strange as it looks, it does seem serious and apparently it works as intended.
On the down side it is very expensive at 800 bucks or more depending on how many feet you need.
On the up side, it requires no rappel knowledge, no particular physical strength or dexterity and allows you to safely jump off the window and safely reach the floor. The cord seems to be steel, which is of course safer and less likely to be destroyed by fire and debris.
Happy 4th of July everyone!
Hi there Fernando
while some people are still recovering from the aftermath of the London fire, we have witnessed right next door, the devastating effects of another terrible fire this time in Portugal.
According to the news at least 30 people died in their cars while trying to escape from the flames (probably too late).
I think this reinforces the message of how important it is to read the (get out of dodge) situation, and is better to leave and come back during a false alarm than to lose your life…
I enclose a link (in spanish) La carretera de la muerte
Sorry for the delay in replying.
Yes, I saw the news. It’s just terrible. This yet again goes to show: living in more isolated areas does not mean you’ll never have to bug out.
Also, know your threats. Some areas are known to be affected by wildfires, if it happened once, you can be sure it will happen again. Especially in wooded or grassy areas you have to role play the situation and imagine what you would do if it catches fire.
Watch the clip below, its just terrible.
You need a bug out plan, and a good strategy with alternative routes is crucial here.
Also car selection. I would want a truck or at least and SUV, something with AWD or 4WD so as to go off road if needed when escaping. Also a good car kit, with food, water and clothes, especially good shoes for walking.
Above all, staying informed and taking action. I believe that in this case reacting in time would have been the difference between life and death.
Yet again it’s always easy when you’re not the one trapped in that inferno and you only read the news after it happened.
Would you list basic rappelling gear? how many sets are needed for a family? i stay on the first or second floor of hotels, and keep a flashlight in case the electricity fails. you never know! i keep water and protein bars and toilet paper in the car. anything else you recommend? these are silly questions to people with common sense but i have none and would appreciate some advice. many thanks to you.
That’s actually a great point.
I’m by no means an expert on rappelling (and those that are please comment below). I have done it a few times though, enough to know it’s easy enough and you can learn the basic technique in one session.
You’re basically looking at four items you need, at the very least: a climbing rope, harness, carabiner and figure 8 descender. How advanced each item is and how much extra equipment you add is up to you. A helmet for example, would be considered essential safety equipment for climbing.
The good news is that if you want a basic kit, rope, harness, figure 8 and carabiner, you can have a basic emergency set for relatively little money. A harness can cost as little as 29 bucks in Amazon, a rope can go for a little over twenty. This is the cheapest stuff around but it sure beats tying a few bed sheets in a borderline suicidal attempt to escape burning to death. Even this basic kit can make all the difference between life and death.
For those living long term in high-rise buildings I would suggest spending a bit more and buying brand name such as Petzl or Black Diamond, which goes for a bit more money but you can use with confidence, even use once or twice a year in a safe location to properly practice rappelling. For rope, get proper ‘dynamic’ climbing rope.
Petzl Volta 9.2mm Rope $129.95
We recently learned the terrible fate dozens suffered in the tower that burned in London. That example alone is good enough, but there’s also home invasions, terror attacks, earthquakes, or a shooting in your work place, anything that forces you to escape out of your residence or work place.
When you are prepared for an emergency, it makes the situation much easier to handle. To be on the safe side, you should have an emergency supply kit in your home that you can call on to get you through any emergency. You have to pack your emergency preparedness kit carefully to ensure you are ready to handle any contingency. The right supplies will ensure you can ride out emergencies when they occur. Here is a guide to packing your emergency supply kit so your home will be ready when disaster strikes.
Most people always think of food first when they put their kits together, stocking up on things like canned goods. Really though, the first thing you need for survival is water. You need to gather at least three days’ worth of water for your kit. It is even better if you make that a week’s supply of water. You will need one gallon of water per day for each person in your household. A gallon is enough water to take care of your drinking and sanitation needs.
While you could ride out a week-long disaster without food as long as you had water, you will be much better off if you fill your disaster kit with non-perishable food items. Make sure to choose food items that your family will actually enjoy eating. Canned goods that are high in water content are an excellent choice. You want to avoid foods with high-salt contents so you can avoid getting thirsty. Salt-free crackers and whole-grain cereals are fine choices. Nuts, peanut butter and protein bars are also good choices for your emergency prep kit.
Power outages and disaster often go hand-in-hand. You need to make sure that you have all the light sources you need when the electricity fails. Fill your emergency prep kit with plenty of flashlights and electric lanterns. Stock up with lots of extra batteries. Make sure you avoid falling prey to the sentimentality of using candles for light during an emergency. The last thing you want to do is start a fire during a disaster situation because you thought it would be romantic.
You want to have the medicine you need in your emergency supplies. Standard medications you should include are pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen, antidiarrheal medications, antacids and laxatives. You also want to have a good first-aid kit as part of your emergency supplies. Make sure to include a supply of any prescription drugs you are taking as well. You may want to think about adding an e cig charger for your electronic cigarette to use as a tobacco alternative which you could carry in your emergency kit.
When the power is off for several days, it is nice to have an alternative power source to charge up your cellphones and other electronic devices. There are loads of incredible solar chargers on the market today that you can use to power your electronic devices. Of course, the ultimate way to solve power issues during an emergency is to get solar panels installed on your roof.
It is critical that you keep the important papers you need in your emergency kit. You should have copies of your health insurance cards. Maps of the area are also necessary. Of course, you should have a supply of paper cash in case you need it. You should also have a copy of your family’s emergency plan, including where to meet in case you are forced to leave your home.
If the power goes out, a radio may be your only way to stay connected with the outside world. You should get a radio that is battery-powered, but make sure to get a model that can also powered by a hand crank just in case.
If you put together these supplies, you will have a well-stocked emergency prep kit. Remember to add in supplies for your pets if you have them. When you have these emergency supplies, you will be ready for anything. That gives you tremendous peace of mind.
The post What to Remember When Packing Your Emergency Prep Kit appeared first on American Preppers Network.
You probably read the news already but in case you didn’t a 24-storey building, Grenfell Tower, turned into an inferno last night. At around 1AM the fire started in the 4th floor and spread all over the building in 15 minutes. This morning, firemen were still struggling to put out the fire. So far there are 12 confirmed dead victims but there are dozens missing still.
According to witnesses, there was a baby dropped from the 10th floor that was caught by someone below and managed to survive. Ropes were made with sheets to climb down, children in flames simply jumping from the building. It must have been a terrible scene to witness.
But then we think of it from the preparedness point of view. I never felt comfortable in high-rise buildings and have avoided them all my life. When in hotels, I try to be as close to the ground floor as possible, which is actually a good habit to incorporate when booking a room.
If I had to live in one, I would get climbing gear and enough rope to rappel down. Oh sure, it sounds silly, that is until you jump out of your window to avoid burning to death. Its not just fires. I know of several cases in Argentina in which people panicked during home invasions in buildings and jumped out of the windows several floors high. What about working in one? Yes, I’d like a way out as well. Fires, earthquakes, even active shooters this is the kind of thing that can save your life in a worst case scenario. Rappelling is simple enough it can be done by people of all ages and the equipment isnt that expensive either unless you want some high end gear.
Of course you have a number of other preparedness related topics involved here.
What have I said a million times about bugging out? Its not a choice, when you have to leave maybe you do it with nothing but your underwear. Many people learned that last night. Have a plan, have a place to go if your home is no longer an option. Have a VIP bag to grab and go if you only have seconds, have a bug out bag if you can carry it.
If you read my book “Bugging Out and Relocating” you know that a small satchel with your very important papers and documents (VIP bag) is important in case you can’t carry an actual BOB because you needs to help yourself or help others evacuated. Well, last night a woman evacuated from one of the higher floors with her six children… by the time she made it outside she only had four kids left. This is EXACTLY what I mean when I say sometimes even a backpack impairs your ability and needs to be left behind, so only a small satchel can be taken.
How about having a bug out plan, having prearranged place you know you can go to and have some clothes and supplies already there? Another point I made in “Bugging Out and Relocating”, you don’t need a cabin in the middle of nowhere, sometimes all you need is to crash in your parent’s house or your sister in laws just a few blocks away. In fact being near by makes life easier for kids going back to school, going to work, etc.
These are just a few of the thoughts that crossed my mind today as I watched the news.
What we do here is important. Preparedness is important. Of course it makes life easier and better regarding the little things in life, or even some habits that have lifelong repercussions like staying in shape and eating healthy, but it also means that preparing properly makes all the difference in the world when the unexpected happens and your home literally burns to the ground in front of you.
Preppers believe in planning for the worst scenarios. No challenge is too much with the right supplies and some ingenuity. Preppers are family-oriented but wise enough to understand that leisure and luxury mean nothing compared to preserving their loved ones and a certain quality of life. They intend to persevere, no matter the circumstance. Here are some essential technologies that can make that much easier:
1. Get Portable GPS
A stand-alone device is much better than a mobile phone that can be monitored and tracked to locate you wherever you are. If you’re willing to invest in quality, you can get a model that provides stunning 3-D maps of areas all across North America. Many of them allow you zoom in, search for various landmarks, and mark and plot your own locations. You can also take photos, making it easier to find and navigate to what matters for your family.
2. Carry a Satellite Phone
For the reasons mentioned above, you’re probably better off without the cell phone. A satellite phone can allow you to stay in touch from almost anywhere on the planet. The military uses the same satellite technology so the service isn’t going anywhere. The ability to reach out to compatriots for assistance or advice could make all the difference.
3. Buy a Solar Charger
Carrying a big supply of batteries is out of the question, so you need a way to power these devices for the foreseeable future. You never know where or when the electricity will fail, so your best options is a solar charger that’s compatible with your other devices. On a sunny day, you may be able to recharge your electronics in a single hour. Many are waterproof, dustproof, and light enough to carry in a backpack with no trouble.
4. Use Infrared Cameras
These devices can detect a wide spectrum of heat signatures in even perfect darkness. Moving bodies, whether vehicles, human, or animal, can be detected instantly to give advanced warning or spot food sources. Varying heat indications can also give you a good idea of when equipment was last used. A company, like Infrared Cameras Inc, who specializes in infrared technology can provide you with just the right imaging device for your needs.
The right technology can give you advantages that increase your odds of overcoming challenges and staying safe and healthy for the long term. From a pocket knife to an infrared camera, it’s about having the right tool for the right job.
The post Techy Survival: 4 Technologies Every Prepper Should Invest in appeared first on American Preppers Network.
I was going through some of my old photos, found this one from back in Argentina when there was shortage and rationing of certain staples in stores.
1 kg of sugar per family group. 1 unit. And it cost almost the equivalent of 2 USD back in the day. For a country in which the average person was making well under 500 USD that was insane.
It’s amazing how close we came to ending up like Venezuela, in a country that produces food to feed ten time its own population.
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.
The post 3 Ways to Use Your Swimming Pool for Emergency Preparedness appeared first on American Preppers Network.
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
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.
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!
The post How City Dwellers Should Prepare for an Earthquake appeared first on American Preppers Network.
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.
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.
It’s been several days of protesting, rioting and looting in Venezuela, claiming several fatal victims every day.
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.
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 […]
The post Don’t Forget to Include this Essential Ingredient in Your Food Storage appeared first on Apartment Prepper.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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”.
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!
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.
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”.
“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 […]
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Life can throw a lot of different situations at you in a hurry, situations you might never see coming. With the world in the state it’s in, it can be easy to get scared and start feeling like you need to be prepared for “the worst.” The secret to having some peace of mind is being prepared ahead of time for the unpredictable. Because the very worst that can happen is a disaster in which you are unable to care for yourself or the ones you love. That’s where having the best bug-out bag comes in handy.
Article Originally published by Kelli Warner
The best bug-out bag is ready when you need it and contains everything required for living away from civilization for at least 7-days. A bug-out bag assumes that there may come a time when, for whatever reason, you have to leave your home and not return for at least a few days. It also assumes that, should things be so bad that you have to leave your home, you won’t be able to drive down to the local Wal-Mart and stock up on everything you’ll be needing. So it’s important to spend some time ahead of the disaster, assessing your current situation and needs, as well as anticipating your needs down the road. Creating the best bug-out bag you can for your family
What Is A Bug Out Bag?
Several types of emergency preparedness kits are commonly referred to as a Bug Out Bag or BOB. Each serves a different, though sometimes similar, purpose in being prepared for whatever might come your way. An everyday carry kit contains emergency essentials that you keep on your person at all times. These are items that will help you survive emergency situations and daily challenges more easily. A get home bag is designed to do just what the name implies, to get you home. It contains more gear than you would carry on your person every day, and you would typically keep it at your office or in your car. A bug out bag is an emergency kit that provides everything you need to survive for up to a week without any outside contact or resources.
It may help to think of the three types of bags this way: In the event of a disaster, your everyday carry gear gets you from where you are to your get home bag. Your get home bag gets you to your bug out bag. And your bug out bag is designed to keep you safe for an extended period of time.
Identifying Your Needs
Different factors mean different needs. Things to consider when mapping out your bug out bag should include:
Where do you live? Living in a rural or urban environment will influence your needs during a survival situation. If you’re likely to face survival in a disaster-stricken inner city environment, you may require self-defense and demolition tools more than shelter and fire starting materials. However, most people will likely attempt to make it to a wilderness area to wait out whatever situation they’re getting away from.
Where would you go if your home were no longer safe? Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the land and map out various strengths and weaknesses. If you require a map for your chosen area, you’ll want to include one as you pack your bug out bag.
How will you get there? Depending on the type of disaster, there’s the possibility that you’d be on foot. You may need two destinations, one you can reach by car and another by foot. If you were able to “bug out” in your vehicle, all the better, but you want to pack your bug out bag with the thought that you’ll be carrying it a long way. Keeping that in mind will help you to make realistic weight limit decisions. You could always keep an extra bag of “nice to have” items close by to throw in the back of the truck or car if you can drive.
Who depends on you? Few people live in a vacuum. If disaster struck, who would look to you for help? Do you have children in the home? A spouse or partner you need to consider? Keep these people in mind when planning your bug out bag. Involve them in planning and have them, or help them, pack a bug out bag for themselves, as well.
Unique medical needs? Do you, or those you care for, have any unique medical needs that should be considered? Rescue medications like inhalers and Epi-pens should always have a priority place in any emergency preparedness.
Once you’ve identified your needs, along with the people who will need you, make a plan with your family or extended group. Choose an area where you’ll gather should the need arise. Each person should have prepared their own bug out bag and be able to get there independently. For parents with children, consider their age and capability when creating a family disaster plan.
What Should Go In The Best Bug Out Bag?
Water – the human body can only last up to 72 hours without water. You should plan for at least a liter of water, per day, per person. Carrying all that water may not be practical, but you should have at least some packaged water in your bag, as well as ways to sanitize water for future use. Water sanitation tablets or a simple filtration system can be the easiest and lightest to pack.
Food – You’ll want food you can eat now, and ways to get food in the future. Protein bars, MREs or other dehydrated meals, jerky are great. Canned goods may be considered, but they add weight and bulk. There are many pre-packaged emergency foods available commercially. When choosing food, remember to take into account any food allergies or severe sensitivities. One of the last things you want to deal with in the bush is a severe allergic reaction.
Food preparation – Don’t forget that you’ll have to prepare your food. Be sure to include things like:
- P-38 Can opener
- Metal pot or something else to cook in
- Portable stove
- Stove fuel
- Eating utensils and dishes
- Pot scrubber to clean up after
Clothing – This is a variable component, depending on your personality, region, time of year, etc. Layering is the name of the game. Some suggestions:
- Lightweight long sleeve shirt
- At least one pair of long pants – you might consider “zip off” convertible pants
- Hiking boots (on your feet) and an extra pair of shoes, if possible.
- Underwear – a change or two, it’s up to you
- Good socks – several pairs of moisture-wicking socks
- Fleece jacket – medium weight jacket for layering
- Hat with brim
- Gloves – winter or work gloves
- Neck protection – A scarf or gator, for sun or cold
Shelter and Bed
- Tarp – must have
- Tent – optional
- Sleeping Bag – must have
- Ground pad – optional
- Extra blanket – optional
Fire – You really can never have too many methods for starting a fire. Choose at least three to pack in your bug out bag:
Tinder – You’ll want to pack several types of tinder, just in case:
- Cotton balls coated with Vaseline (keep them in a baggie, or they’ll make a mess)
- Pine chips
- Cedar shavings
- Dryer lint
- Commercial fire starters, there are many
First Aid – There are several very good first aid kits available commercially. If you want to put together your own, you’ll need at least:
- Alcohol pads
- Band aids
- Bandages with tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Sunscreen – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and all that
- Insect repellent
- Super glue for closing wounds
- Medical needs – Inhalers, Epi-pens, blood pressure medications, etc.
- Wet napkins
- Hand sanitizer
- All purpose camp soap (dish soap or bar soap, whichever you prefer, or both)
- Mirror (hygiene and signaling)
- Small towel and a cloth
- Toilet paper (you’ll thank us later)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Personal hygiene needs – deodorant, feminine hygiene products, a brush or comb, ponytail holders if you have long hair, etc.
Tools – It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to tools. Because it’s important to keep the overall weight and bulk down, you’ll want to choose combination tools whenever possible:
- Survival knife – you may already have one as a part of your everyday carry gear, but make sure you have a backup.
- Multi-tool – there are many on the market, get one that gives you the most bang for your buck.
- Hatchet or machete – you won’t want to do everything with your knife, so taking something heavier makes sense.
Lighting – Always have at least primary and one backup light source:
- LED lamp
- Glow sticks
- Extra batteries
Communication – Consider that your cell phone may not work in an emergency. You might want to have a short wave radio, or some other means of communication with you, as well.
Cash – Travel funds. It’s a good idea to have some cash, and perhaps some gold or silver bullion coins, as well.
Local Map – Even if you’re familiar with the area take a map. Not having one could be disastrous.
Compass – you may already have a compass combined with your analog watch. If you do not, include one in your bug out bag.
Notepad and pencil – This is a good place to keep important numbers and addresses. Without a cell phone, many of us wouldn’t remember a phone number to call if we got the chance.
Self-defense – The need for a bug out bag implies that you are trying to survive. Take with you the best means of self-defense that you have. Include non-lethal means, in addition to whatever weapon you might choose to carry: whistle, pepper spray, etc. If you carry a gun, take extra ammunition, 25 rounds minimum.
Misc. items – Make choices based on your abilities, lack of ability, carrying capacity, space, etc.:
- Paracord – Must have – 50′ is a good start
- Bandannas – several cotton bandannas will come in handy for a variety of uses.
- Duct tape
- Garbage bags – 55 gal contractor bags are best
- Resealable bags – four or five, gallon and quart size
- Sewing kit
- Fishing Kit
- Face paint (optional)
- Snare Wire
How to Choose
The fact is, unless your bug out bag is a camper hooked to a truck, you just can’t take everything. That would be camping and not bugging out at all. So at some point you’ll have to make choices based on space and weight limitations. You’ll need to consider the distance you’ll be traveling, as weight can really add up over miles. Being able to get a pack on your back and walk across the yard is no test of your ability to get from point A to point B with it. Remember, the best bug out bag is the one you have when you need it. Having more than you can safely carry, could force you to make decisions about what to leave behind, while already under stress. That won’t set you up for success.
The weight recommendation for men is up to 20% of their body weight. This is an outside max, and assumes peak physical condition. Ten to 15% is a much more realistic weight goal. The weight recommendation for women is 10% to 15% max.
Everything has weight and takes up space. Refer back to your planning phase; remember to choose those items that you are most likely to need first, and add to it as space and weight allow.
Choosing a Good Pack
Keep a couple of things in mind: a compact bag, packed full, with no extra space, is going to be the easiest to carry. A larger, loosely packed bag, even with equal weight, is more uncomfortable. So choose the smallest bag that will still accommodate the volume and weight that you’re targeting. Remember, too, that the bag itself weighs something. Choosing a light but durable bag will be vital to having the best bug out bag possible.
Assembling Your Bugout Bag
Packing things flat, or rolled very tightly, will allow you to fit more in less space. Make a list of items along with their weight. Start packing the most important, keeping track of the overall weight as it grows.
Don’t overestimate your ability to carry your pack for hours at a time. This is a costly mistake that may land you without the survival gear you need. Once you’ve carried a too heavy pack as far as you’re able, you’ll have to lighten it beyond the recommended weight in order to finish your trek. That’s lose lose. Proper packing, keeping your weight limit in mind at all times, is a vital part of preparing the best bug out bag possible.
Be Prepared, Not Scared
Once you’ve packed your bug out bag, take it out for a weekend of camping and survival training. Practicing your survival skills in a non-stress environment insures that you’re ready, physically and mentally, when the challenge arises. Skills that are only in your head, may not serve you well in the field. After a weekend of surviving with your bug out bag, unpack, re-evaluate and repack. Did you find that you needed things you didn’t have? Did you have things you didn’t need, or that would have been better traded out for a different item? Preparing for the future, and whatever eventualities it may hold, allows you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy the here and now. If you’re prepared, you don’t
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.
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”.
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 […]
The post SurvivalRing Radio Talk -Survival, Preparedness, and Self Reliance – 02/10/2017 appeared first on SurvivalRing.
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.
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”.
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 […]
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 […]
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
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.
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.