7 Tips for Avoiding an Urban Terrorist Attack

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Although technically a terrorist attack can happen anywhere, it is far more likely to happen in an urban area. In addition, it is more likely to happen at a large gathering such as a concert or sporting event. So whether you live in an urban area or just visit one occasionally to see a singer […]

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6 Ways to Keep Your Food Cold Without Electricity

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We are right in the middle of summer, and it’s a hot one. Parts of the United States have seen record high temperatures, and in Phoenix, nearly 50 flights were canceled because some planes can only operate in temperatures of 118 degrees F or less. Of course, the heat is no big deal if you […]

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7 Ways to Prepare for a Financial Crisis

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The Great Recession officially ended in June of 2009–over 8 years ago–and since the United States has never gone over 10 years without a recession, something tells me hard times are just around the corner. If you’re not prepared for a financial crisis, it’s time to get started. And even if there’s never another recession, […]

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5 Things You Need to Survive a Nuclear War

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Of all the disasters that might happen in the near future, a nuclear war is the one I fear most. Not only are tensions between the United States and Russia higher than ever, the increasing number of Jihadists–who are not deterred by the threat of mutually assured destruction–means we are in more danger every single […]

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This Storm Shows Just How Easily You Can Be Cut Off During an Emergency

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Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall in the United States on Thursday and left plenty of devastation in its wake. Nine people have died including a 10-year-old boy, and emergencies have been declared in Alabama and Louisiana. Evacuation requests have been issued in several states, and multiple levees have been damaged.

But perhaps what’s most worrisome, is how many roads have been closed due to rising floodwaters.

Meanwhile, authorities in the small town of West Alton, Missouri, urged residents to evacuate Wednesday and shut down traffic along a busy section of the Missouri River as a downpour of rain continued to flood parts of the Midwest.

Authorities said Wednesday that it’s unclear when traffic would be reopened along the closed 14-and-a-half-mile stretch of the Mississippi River. The passageway vital for transporting goods and agricultural products was closed by the U.S. Coast Guard due to high water and a swift current…

…According to Missouri transportation officials, I-55 was reopened Thursday after rising water levels on the Meramec River forced its closure.

A 57-mile stretch of I-44 from central to southern Missouri is closed, along with a 23-mile stretch in suburban St. Louis, according to the AP…

…More than 270 roads remain closed across the state Wednesday, Missouri transportation officials said.

Keep in mind that this storm was relatively small. It was substantial, but it was no Hurricane Katrina. When it made landfall, the wind speeds were significantly less than what you’d see in a category 1 hurricane. And yet it still managed to damage levees and shut down large stretches of roads, as well as vital waterways.

And that’s important for preppers to keep in mind because as you all know when the trucks stop delivering food, medicine, and fuel, everything grinds to a halt. And if blocked roads hinder our transportation system for too long, our modern society will disintegrate. Obviously, most storms aren’t capable of doing that, but it just goes to show how easy it is to disable our transportation system.

Our society is extremely reliant on the “just in time” delivery of goods. Our grocery stores and gas stations aren’t designed to store large amounts of supplies in case of an emergency. They’re designed to supply your immediate needs, and they rely on daily deliveries to remain operable. That’s why when disaster strikes, there are almost always shortages.

So don’t be unprepared for the next disaster, whatever it may be. Have a plan for any situation, and maintain a diverse supply of survival foods. Because when the trucks stop delivering, there’s no telling where your next meal is going to come from.

Read More:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

When The Trucks Stop Delivering ‘The System’ Will Collapse

25 Must Have Survival Foods: Put Them In Your Pantry Now

Learn How to Properly Sandbag Your Home Before the Next Storm Arrives

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Worst American States To Be In During a Collapse

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There are many different disasters that would be catastrophic to the United States. An EMP attack that causes the power grid to collapse, a huge natural disaster, or a complete economic collapse far worse than the Great Depression are just three such disasters that would take years to recover from. What many people fail to […]

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What to Expect from the Government After the SHTF

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In the face of any real disaster, the government is going to take steps to manage it. Some of these steps will be policy driven and others will happen out of necessity. Let’s look a little closer at what to expect from the government in time of disaster. What We Know The best place to […]

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10 Things That Could Cause the S to HTF

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SHTF is by far the most popular acronym in the prepper community, but what exactly would cause SHTF? What sort of crises should we be on the alert for? In this video by Reality Survival, JJ Johnson talks about 10 realistic disasters that could happen at any time. If nothing else, this list will remind […]

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11 Facts That Prove The Economy Is In Far Worse Shape Than It Was In 2016

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The economy is a tough thing to keep up with. If you don’t have irons in the fire and allow much of your investments to be handled by others, understanding the economy is just a dog. It’s hard for people to get the whole picture and that’s not getting around all the contradictory views and […]

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9 Steps to Finding Local Disasters

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9 Steps to Finding Local Disaster Information for your area of the USA | PreparednessMama

Do you know what to prepare for? I used to live in the Pacific Northwest, where there is a real chance of major earthquakes. Most residents are aware of it and smart ones will, at the minimum, have an earthquake kit under their bed. Then I moved to Texas and needed to learn to prepare […]

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8 Alternatives for When Technology Fails You

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Modern human civilization has become so reliant on technology that we almost can’t cope at all without it. When was the last time you had to deal with a power outage, and how long did it last? A phone with a cracked screen or terrible phone reception when you really needed it? While technology has […]

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7 Things You Need To Survive An EMP

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Though stories have been pouring out for at least 5 years about the weakness of our power grid, we are still woefully unprepared. And one of the most effective ways our enemies could cripple our power grid is with an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). It would require a tremendous amount of energy, usually from a high-altitude […]

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7 Dangerous Events That Could Lead to Martial Law

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For most of humanity’s existence, entire countries were run by little more than glorified warlords. Although today we take the concept of individual rights for granted, the vast majority of people had never heard of such a thing until a few hundred years ago. As democracy began to shape the face of the Western world, […]

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The First 10 Foods That Disappear From Store Shelves During Disasters

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The First 10 Foods That Disappear From Store Shelves During Disasters

mage source: Flickr / Chris Waits / Creative Commonsf

I live in a hurricane zone. While we don’t get a lot of hurricanes that actually hit us, we do get a lot of threats from them.

So, I’ve seen how people react to them, time and time again. The funny thing is, the same people go to the store and buy the same things each time one is heading for us. They never seem to prepare or even improve upon their last-minute preparations.

Setting aside the lack of wisdom that goes with their decisions, there’s a huge problem with how they are approaching disaster preparedness. That is, they aren’t thinking ahead.

Their lack of planning explains, at least a little, the poor decisions that they make. When you’re in a hurry to make a decision, the natural tendency is to fall back on the things you know the best. That can be rather problematic, especially when you consider that the things which we would normally use when everything is going fine are not likely to be all that useful when the power is out. As we all know, whenever there is a disaster, especially a natural disaster, one of the things you can count on is for the lights to go out.

Knowing how people react, the local stores have made their own provisions. When a hurricane warning comes, you can see the local Walmart stores rolling out pallets of flashlights and batteries. Extra shipments of some food items come in, and emergency items are “stocked to the roof” in anticipation of extra sales. Even so, they still sell out of the same things every time.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Of course, the biggest thing that people are stocking up on is food. But, since they haven’t planned it out, they usually buy the wrong things. I’ve seen it over and over.

Here are the first 10 foods that tend to sell out in the stores when a disaster is imminent:

  1. Water
  2. Bread
  3. Beer & alcohol
  4. Canned fruits & vegetables
  5. Canned soups
  6. Peanut butter
  7. Eggs
  8. Meat
  9. Coffee
  10. Frozen prepared foods

If you look at that list, you can spot a number of very important errors. First of all, the meat and frozen prepared foods require refrigeration. Likewise, bread won’t usually keep more than a few days without going bad. Yet, the one thing we can always count on is the power going out. So, what they are doing in buying those foods is either preparing for a feast or preparing to throw the food away.

On the other end of the scale, there are some things on that list that really make sense. Water is going to be the number one “food” need for most people, so stocking up on it is always a good idea. Unfortunately, the stores never have enough water and sell out of it quickly. Only the first 100 or so people to get there manage to buy water.

Soup, peanut butter and other canned goods are always good survival food — the types of things that most preppers stock up on. However, most last-minute shoppers don’t buy enough of them, so it won’t be long before they’re scrounging for food.

Finally, we find beer and alcohol rather high up on that list. Contrary to Maslow’s Hierarchy, most people put their vices before the basic needs for survival. This is especially true in times of crisis. Many people drink to forget their problems, and a disaster definitely qualifies as a problem. So, they’ll stock up on beer (and cigarettes too, but we’re talking about food here) to make sure that they have enough to keep themselves distracted from the destruction all around them.

Do you agree with our list of 10 foods that disappear from shelves first? Share your observations in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

7 Tips For Surviving Radiation Exposure

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The world is making an increasing move towards sustainable energy sources like nuclear power, and while it’s reported a lot safer than in the years of the Chernobyl Disaster (1986), exposure to radiation is still a concern for many. Radiation leaks at Japan’s Fukushima plant – the country’s number one producer of nuclear energy – […]

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8 Things To Do NOW Before The Economy Crashes Again

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The stock market has seen nearly perpetual success over the last eight years. The country is also carrying 20 trillion dollars in debt that will expand exponentially in the coming years. Worse than that, many Americans are so woefully unprepared for an economic downturn that if we see something like a derivatives bubble burst, most […]

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The 4 Levels Of Preparedness You Should Know

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The 4 Levels Of Preparedness You Should Know Back in the 90s, general preparedness was a normal activity. People were stockpiling food and water in order to be prepared for whatever reason. Nowadays, preparedness is seen as something extreme by the mainstream society. Many people have no idea what it means to be prepared and …

Continue reading »

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10 Essential Tips for Surviving a House Fire

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In a normal survival situation, fire is something you need for things like light, heat, protection, and the ability to cook food. But in the event of a house fire, it can become your biggest enemy and something you need to escape from immediately. Many people have tragically perished in house fires, and if you […]

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8 Signs Of Terrorism To Watch Out For

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In my opinion, terrorism is a problem that is only going to get worse. Maybe if the United States stopped giving foreign aid to countries that fund terrorism, but that’s a subject for another article (on another site). The point is, even though it’s been over 15 years since 9/11, there is just as much […]

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Carry These 11 Items In Your Car to Survive a Wildfire

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items-in-car-survive-wildfireI’ve been watching recent video from the horrific wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Friends of mine owned a home there, now destroyed by wildfire, and many other friends and acquaintances enjoyed the area during family vacations. As of this writing, there hasn’t been much relief in the way of rain to put an end to these firestorms.

This video gives a vivid picture of how quickly these fires grew, as this man drives through them to safety. Wildfire safety is no easy matter, as I explain in this article.

(Warning: Strong language.)

In a Facebook discussion about the video and the fires, a reader, Carolyn, commented on having a couple of items in the car to help deal with the heat and smoke. I began thinking along those lines and came up with this list of items, all on the small and inexpensive side, you should keep handy in your vehicle, especially if you live or travel in areas that are prone to fires or could become that way due to drought conditions.

Driving through a fire like this is very, very dangerous. Smoke and fumes can quickly fill a vehicle and rubber tires can melt on the hot asphalt. As important as it is for all passengers to remain calm and with a face mask, even a wet bandana tied around the nose and mouth is better than nothing, it’s even more important that the driver be able to maintain his or her focus.

Just as flight attendants instruct parents to first put on their own oxygen mask in case of an emergency, the driver of a vehicle must protect his or her own eyes and respiratory system, in particular. A Readi-Mask is one product that does both, is one-use only, and so compact it fits just about anywhere. Respirator masks are more bulky, range in price from quite reasonable to very expensive, and most will not include eye protection. However, a pair of swim goggles or tightly fitting shooting-range goggles work very well for this purpose.

If the vehicle’s air circulation system begins to allow in too much smoke or fumes, you can close it down and use a small battery-powered fan to move air around. In the case of this video, the driver’s dog was beginning to show signs of overheating. Between the flow of air and water to drink, or squeezed with a cloth over an animal’s tongue, a pet will have a better chance of surviving the very hot environment.

At one point in the video, it appears that the driver has to get out and move branches. Between eye protection, a respirator, heavy work gloves (this pair is also fire resistant), and a sharpened ax or hatchet, there’s a good chance this type of road clearing can be done quickly. However, again, the driver should remain in the best of health since the survival of the entire party depends on it, and the task of clearing a road may best be left in the hands of another able bodied adult.

Many of the items typically carried in an emergency kit can help with wildfire survival, and those kits should already be packed somewhere safe in each vehicle you own. I prefer to make my own kit and assemble it from products I know are all high quality, but a Mombies bag, which I’ve owned for a few years now, is unbeatable for women. Otherwise, well-equipped bags like this one can be found online and in retail stores. Just be sure to check out all the items and add anything specific to your own family’s needs.

Fires invariably darken the sky and turn daylight into night. A few LED flashlights are a necessity and can be used to signal rescuers, if necessary. At least one headlamp would allow you to use your hands and should also be included.

Finally, be aware that elderly people, those with chronic health issues, and very young children and babies will have the most difficulty with breathing in conditions caused by a wildfire. Take time to insure you have well-fitting facemasks for them. They should spend some time wearing a face mask, even if it’s one that is a simple dust/particulate mask, to get used to the sensation. Many people feel suffocated wearing something over their nose and mouth, so it can take some getting used to.

In the case of the Gatlinburg fires, a combination of multiple arson-set fires, dry conditions, and hurricane force winds combined to create a lethal scenario that caught even emergency responders by surprise. Typically, wildfires are tracked for hours and days, giving residents ample warning to evacuate to safety. However, as we’ve learned from similar fires in Israel, fire can be utilized as a weapon to destroy and terrorize. This article explains how wildfires can endanger your preps, your family, and your own life, and this book is a complete guide to planning and carrying out an emergency evacuation.

If you find yourself driving anywhere near a wildfire, have the radio tuned to an emergency news broadcast. There are handy police scanner phone apps that will also keep you up to date, and the American Red Cross Wildfire app comes with active wildfire warnings and survival tips. Not being at the wrong place at the wrong time is the best prep of all.


Get Family & Friends On Board With Prepping

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Whether you are forming a small neighborhood group, a disaster preparedness club or a prepper group there are 8 steps which will help you get started and begin the path for the success of your group.

  1. Before beginning you need to define what area you want to organize your group in. It could be a housing development, an apartment complex, a city or county boundary or a one block area. When you have defined your boundaries, check to see if there has been a neighborhood group before. You do not want to duplicate what is already being done or cause confusion with any other groups. This inquiry will give you information about those in your city who can help you as you help others prepare. Make telephone calls to the local Red Cross office, the County office of Emergency Services, local fire department and Humane Society, along with the closest chapter of RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services). http://www.usraces.org/  These organizations can give you information about the communities’ emergency operation plan. They may be happy to attend your meeting and share some of their advice.
  2. Select a location and time for your first meeting. Choose a place and time that will be convenient for most people to attend. If you are holding a meeting for the neighborhood, find a neighbor who is willing to have it held in their home. If it is a community type meeting, find a public place, like a community center, restaurant or conference room in a library. Making the first meeting casual helps make others feel at ease and openly talk. Offer snacks and a drink. It makes it less of a business meeting.
  3. If it is a small group of people, hand deliver the invitation. If it is a larger group, send out fliers, use social media, local newspaper and magazine advertisement. Many are leery of the phrase “prepper groups”. Unless that is what you are really trying to create, use phrases like self-sufficiency, self-reliance or family preparedness. It is less intimidating to beginners.
  4. Have people sign in beforehand and let people socialize a bit. To begin, introduce yourself and share a story about your interest in disaster preparedness. If you do not feel like your story is compelling enough, invite someone in advance who can share their experience. You want others to feel a desire to prepare themselves, but not fear it. People remember stories. If available, have the local fire department or someone from the office of emergency management come and speak.
  5. Have information packets available to all who attend. Whether they come back to another meeting or not, you have given them valuable information that they can use. They may run into the packet months later and decide to get involved. Becoming prepared is a personal decision and you cannot force others to participate. Keep the person updated with any new information that they may find helpful.
  6. With your group, discuss their concerns and establish preparedness goals. Involve any in the group that have helpful skills. Most people love to teach others a skill they are good at. Not only have you created a group of volunteers, you have found a way to create a closer group.
  7. Do not forget those with special needs. The disabled, elderly, single parents, ect… Remember that everyone has different needs and may not be able to prepare at the same pace as others.
  8. Decide with those attending what the next steps are and when the next meeting should be. Find others who are willing to help you with the next meeting, be a liaison with community services and reach out to those who were not able to attend.


Helpful hints for having an effective meeting-

  • Maybe half of the people you will invite will show up. Do not get discouraged. Just walk into this endeavor knowing this. You can invite more people, see who shows up, adjust your expectations or expand your target area. The attendance may fluctuate in the beginning. Hang in there, so not get discouraged. After some time, you will know the approximate number of your attendees.
  • Keep sign in sheets and notes from all of your meetings. They will help you know what to tweak to make future meetings even better. You can track attendance and topics discussed.
  • Once you have found a day, time and place that works for your meetings, keep it. Be flexible in other things, but not the meeting schedule.
  • Keep the meetings on track. One crazy story or odd comment can derail the meeting. Learn how to get the topic back in a polite manner.
  • Share what you envision this group to accomplish, but keep the details open. You will want the ideas of your group. People want to feel like their opinion is heard and validated. They will keep coming to meetings if feel useful and that their contributions are valued.
  • Everyone is part of the group. If a neighbor invites a person outside of your designated area, it is okay. Be thankful that someone is interested and willing to contribute or learn.
  • Do not have the meetings go over 90 minutes. People may lose interest or feel that they don’t have the time to attend meetings if they are long.
  • Be sure to thank those who may have helped you. The home owner where the meeting was held, any volunteers with food, hand outs and those who were invited to speak.
  • Send a letter and contact those who were so willing to volunteer to help as liaisons or in any other capacity. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and needed.
  • Reward your hard work! Have a one year party of your group, have a small celebration or BBQ together when group goals have been accomplished.

If you are asked by someone to prepare a group or do a preparedness presentation, many of the above advice will still apply. But when asked, it means that you have someone who may have something specific planned.

  1. Whether it is a church, club or business you will be helping, find out what the main goal is. Is this a one-time presentation, a monthly or yearly meeting? Is there a certain topic that need to be taught or discussed? Will follow up meetings be needed?
  2. It is important to know about those you will be speaking/training? Seniors have different preparedness needs than college students. The disabled may require different solutions for their questions than a soccer mom.
  3. Know the area you will be helping in. Big cities, rural areas and suburbs have different community services, transportation, communication methods and resources. Adjust your information according to the area where you are going to be at.
  4. Ask if there is specific material that you should be using as resource or should be handed out to your group. You may be required to gather your own information. Use reliable resources. You may be able to ask other local experts to contribute.




10 Widespread Disasters That Could Happen At Any Time

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When preparing for a widespread disaster, it’s helpful to have a specific type of disaster in mind. Envisioning a particular survival scenario helps you to be more focused and think of preparations that might not have occurred to you otherwise. How would a pandemic play out in your town? Or a terrorist attack? Or an […]

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50 Interesting Facts About Life In The Great Depression

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Although the Great Recession is officially over, our economic problems have just begun. Wall Street and the Federal Reserve essentially papered over the systemic problems that led to the stock market crash in 2008. They may have kicked the can down the road, but they are almost out of road. I believe shortly after the […]

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Mother Nature and Disasters

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Mother Nature and Disasters Bob Hopkins “The APN Report” Listen in player below! This week, Mother Nature takes center stage in a horrible way with Hurricane Matthew turning a mild hurricane season into one of devastation & carnage. We will broadcast live from coastal South Carolina DURING the storm, as it heaps heavy winds, rains … Continue reading Mother Nature and Disasters

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4 Overlooked Crises You’re Probably Not Prepared For … But Should Be

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4 Overlooked Crises You’re Probably Not Prepared For … But Should Be

Image source: Wikimedia

It seems that preparedness is like fashion. At any point in time, there’s one disaster that seems to be in the spotlight more than others. I would say the “disaster of the moment” is the fear of an EMP, but others are not far behind.

An economic collapse, major natural disaster, terrorist attack – all of these are feared by the vast majority of those in the preparedness community, who go to great lengths to prepare.

But there are other disasters that they should be thinking about. In fact, the number of unique disasters and critical events that could affect us in this day and age are around 100, by my count. In this article, let’s examine the ones that are often ignored. No, I’m not talking about zombies and asteroids. Bear with me, and you’ll see that preparing for them won’t change your survival plans that much — and it won’t break the bank, either.

1. Electric shocks

When a hurricane or strong winds knock down the power lines and either you or a family member accidentally touches them, what should be done?

Before you help someone, you have to make sure you’re not in danger of getting in contact with electricity yourself. At high voltages, electric current will travel through air and shock you.

(As a side note, I say “shock” and not “electrocute” because electrocution is actually the death resulting from an electric shock.)

Learn The Secrets and Tricks Of The Word’s Top Survivalists!

The first thing you should do is break contact between the person and the power line. Use a pole or something similar made out of non-conductive material such as wood or plastic. Note that you can’t use gloves or a cloth, as the current will go right inside you.

The second step is to either give first aid or call an ambulance. If you don’t know how to give first aid, you should call 911 immediately.

2. Job loss

Why on earth would anyone list a job loss as a crisis? Because this is something that can affect anyone, and it could take months before you find another one. And most Americans already are living paycheck to paycheck. What will you and your children eat in the meantime? Why, your stockpile, of course! Enough said.

3. Death

It surprises me how many people don’t prepare for the actual and very unpleasant event of them dying. Granted, we don’t talk about death much, and we’re optimistic by nature … but there’s a question you need to ask yourself:

What will your family do without you?

This Cool-To-The-Touch Lantern Provides 100,000 Hours Of Emergency Backup Lighting

Some of the things you can do just in case it happens include:

  • Writing a will.
  • Making arrangements with a relative or friend to take care of your children or pets.
  • Teaching and training your kids to survive without you.
  • Mentally preparing them by openly talking about death.

4. Pickpocketing/robbery

Be honest with me, here: Are you really looking out for thieves when you’re in a crowd – or are you looking at your phone? If you’re not looking out for the bad guys, then you definitely need to work on your awareness, because no matter how careful you are, they’ll always find a way to steal your wallet.

It only happened to me once. I actually felt the guy trying to reach for my wallet inside my messenger bag. He was really smooth, I’ll tell you that.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

6 Things That Can Happen During Martial Law

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In case you don’t know, martial law is when the government takes over a designated territory, suspends constitutional rights, and enforces authoritarian power with the use of the military. Basic civilian rights such as a trial before imprisonment and other democratic processes are limited or suspended completely. Every democracy has the potential for martial law. […]

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Nature’s Calling: Preparing For The Worst

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Nature’s Calling Preparing For The Worst By H.D. Imagine yourself at home in the living room, relaxing while listening to the news. During the broadcast, you hear one of the anchors say, “The state has officially issued a tornado watch and warns all residents to be prepared in case they have to evacuate.” You glance … Continue reading Nature’s Calling: Preparing For The Worst

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Hoboken New Jersey Train Crash Injures 100 or more

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More than 100 people were injured this morning and at least one dead in a Hoboken New Jersey train crash.  The commuter train crashed during rush hour impacting the terminal at full speed, breaking through a wall, and collapsing the roof of the building.  Authorities still have not determined the cause of the crash.

Witnesses say that the train did not even appear to slow down before reaching the terminal. “It never slowed down” one passenger said.  “We all went flying” said another.  After the impact passengers and bystanders in a panic rushed to exit the train and terminal. Some were still trapped from the fallen debris. 

From Fox News:

One emergency worker described a “horrendous exploding noise” and said passengers were crawling from the scene on their hands and knees. “We ran over and there were a lot of people kicking out windows trying to exit the train,” the man, identified only as Mike, told WABC. “…The second half of the first car was completely destroyed.”

Emergency Workers At The Scene of the Hoboken New Jersey Train Crash

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10 Lessons From Venezuela’s Economic Collapse

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Do you remember the days when a vacation to Venezuela was one of the best prizes you could win on The Price Is Right? If so, you may be surprised that such a thriving nation could be brought to its knees almost overnight. Sadly, if the wrong combination of events line up, even the greatest […]

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10 Martial Law Survival Strategies You Should Know

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Martial law is actually more likely to happen than most disasters. The reason is because it could be declared during any number of disastrous events: earthquakes, hurricanes, economic collapse, widespread terrorism, etc. So if you’re going to prepare for those things, you should definitely prepare for martial law as well. In the article, Bob from […]

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13 Catastrophic Events Which Could Lead To An Apocalypse

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I don’t normally post doom-and-gloom articles. In my opinion, constantly obsessing over disasters that could happen is a waste of energy. You’re better off focusing on your preps and enjoying your life. However, I think it’s a good idea to poke one’s head up every now and then and see what’s going on. And over […]

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Here’s What Movies Forget to Mention About What Happens After Society Collapses

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urban ruinsPost-apocalyptic movies are popular for a reason. We live in a world that is brimming with long lines, bills, traffic jams, bureaucracy, and stressful jobs. So even though we intuitively understand that living in an apocalyptic hellscape would be an absolute horror show, in the back of our minds we kinda wish that we had an excuse to blow off all of our modern responsibilities.

In that sense, post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows provide the perfect fantasy for us. They give us loner protagonists wandering through the quiet, windswept ruins of our cities, scavenging for food and fighting off zombies instead of working day jobs. These films try to convince us that post-apocalyptic living is an arduous but simple feat, in much the same way that Old Western movies romanticized the pre-modern world.

In short, these films depict the death of everything we hate about modern society, while downplaying the consequences of that state of affairs. They portray the leftovers of our society as a playground for charismatic misfits, but neglect to inform you of a very important detail. If the modern world falls apart, never to return, it’s going to leave behind an abundance of ticking time bombs in its wake.

They don’t show you what will happen to millions of our abandoned pets, who will revert to their wild instincts after we stop feeding them, and begin competing with their former owners for food. These films don’t show you what it’s like to walk through an abandoned suburban city, where ten thousand swimming pools have turned into breeding grounds for disease carrying mosquitoes.

They rarely mention the dozens of nuclear power plants that litter the United States. If no one is there to operate them, how long before they melt down and bury millions of survivors under a radioactive cloud?

Then there are the 12,000 facilities around the country that store large quantities of toxic or flammable chemicals, and reside close to residential areas. 2,500 of these sites contain chemicals in quantities that, if a catastrophic accident were to occur, could affect 10,000 to 1 million people each. And let’s not forget the 2.5 million miles of oil and gas pipelines that can be found in every state. They suffer hundreds of leaks and ruptures every year, and are much more likely to explode when they aren’t maintained. That detail seems to be conveniently forgotten by post-apocalyptic films.

And finally, most post-apocalyptic movies will forget to mention what happens when there aren’t any functional fire departments. Aside from the obvious consequences, like whole neighborhoods routinely burning to the ground, who’s going to put out landfill fires that are occasionally radioactive?

Another product of the modern world is the poor management of our national parks and forests, which has laid the groundwork for some of the largest and fastest burning forest fires in history. Even with the help of firefighters, these conflagrations routinely burn more than a 100,000 acres at a time. How many rural Americans are going to have to flee their homes from the veritable tidal wave of wildfires that would scorch the landscape?

Frankly, this is just a short list of some of the unexpected disasters that will be waiting for us if society collapses. There are probably plenty of others that we haven’t even considered yet. So the next time you’re enjoying a post-apocalyptic feature of some kind, try not to get too wrapped up in the fantasy it provides. If the world falls apart, traveling through the ruins of our dead civilization will be less like a whimsical action packed adventure, and more like traversing a mine field without a metal detector.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What’s In Your Emotional Backpack?

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What's In Your Emotional Backpack via The Survival Mom

All of us have dealt with a backpack at some point in our lives. Remember loading up that crisp new back pack in fall, with anticipation for another school year. Backpacks are used to pack up emergency supplies as demonstrated in this article, camping gear and they are even popular to use as a diaper bag.

One backpack we may not realize we carry is an emotional backpack. What is an emotional backpack? Picture yourself carrying around an invisible backpack, every day. Inside that backpack are all of your life’s experiences. Some of these items are positive and light, while others are negative and heavy. What is in your backpack and how heavy is it? This is a particularly important consideration when it comes to survival, since a big percentage of surviving is mental. This lesson really hits home in one of my favorite survival books, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why.

If you picture life as a long journey, your emotional backpack is right there, hanging off the back of your shoulders every day, no matter where you go. Your responsibility is to keep the backpack light enough for you to keep moving and progressing. Easy enough right? Not always so. We encounter personal setbacks, illness and death of loved ones, difficult co-workers, rude neighbors, unforeseen disasters and struggles in relationships. These things tend to weigh us down if we do not handle them when they happen, as my family did a number of years ago when we hit rock bottom. It seems easier to stuff them down in the backpack and worry about them later. This makes our packs heavy and our journey slow and miserable. We are not able to help ourselves or others if we are overloaded and miss out on the everyday joys of life.

To keep moving and be prepared for anything life throws at you, a light backpack is a must. Let’s look at what you should have in your emotional backpack.

  • A good support system. Friends, a spouse, family or pastor. Surround yourself with people that share the same values that you do. These people should be someone you can confide in when needed. Their advice would aligned with your beliefs and they would have your back in a crisis. If you have a hard time making and keeping friends, this book by one of my favorite psychologist authors, John Townsend, may help. Making close friends isn’t an easy thing for most adults.
  • Healthy habits. Getting proper sleep and nutrition keep your body and your mind running in top shape. Find an exercise or activity that you enjoy doing. Some examples could be nature walks, biking or yoga. This will clear your mind and give you energybut are also vital components of being a prepared person. Get as healthy as you can and as quickly as you can before any type of disaster strikes. By the way, a sound night’s sleep is a vastly under-appreciated component of being survival-ready.
  • Uplifting books and music. Have some reading that is positive, educational, and enjoyable — not just survival and prepper manuals! Reading can be a healthy escape from the stressors of life. Science has proven that music can alter our moods and brain activity. Upbeat music can give motivation and momentum, tranquil music can calm when anxiety creeps up and the simple act of singing will lower blood pressure, reduce pain and give a boost to the immune system.
  • Develop an attitude of hope, in all things. Life may not work out the way you wanted it to, but it will work out and will get better. Many find hope in God and through prayer. Go back to the basics of your belief. Lean on your faith. Look at the positive things working around you. Focus on what is going right and the opportunities that are around, then build your hope on that. One wise pastor said, “When nothing in your life is making sense, go back to what  you know for sure.” Is that the love of your husband or wife? The close relationship you have with a friend? The fact that God loves you? Whatever it is, go back to what you DO know for certain and spend time deeply appreciating those facts in order to get grounded so you can move on. Spiritual resiliency is a huge factor in who survives and who doesn’t.
  • Have hobbies. Whether it is cooking, crocheting, shooting or fishing. Discovery an activity that relaxes you and makes you feel a sense of accomplishment. Not only will you have a skill to lean on, but you can teach others. Invite family, friends to do the hobby with you or join a group that participates in the same activity. The Survival Mom Skill of the Month page will give you dozens of ideas, if you’re not sure where to start with choosing a hobby that is both fun and practical.

You cannot avoid heavy items in your backpack from past, deep hurts, rejection, and traumatic events. They are a fact of life and will be dropped into your backpack, sometimes when  you are least prepared for them. If you do not put them there, someone or something else will. The goal is to not let them stay there.

  • Take any heavy item you are dragging around and analyze it. What do you need to do to make this light? Some things we have control over, others we do not. Be careful to only invest emotion and time in something you have some control over. After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of families moved to other states. Many of these families embraced this move as an opportunity to go back to school, learn a new trade, create a new start or be closer to extended family. In one instance, a refugee from Katrina founded an incredibly successful business in Houston, his new home. They could not control the hurricane, they could control how they viewed their opportunities. Show kindness to those who offer help you. Teach your family to look and acknowledge the good that is around.
  • Accept and adapt. Be willing to take a look around at your new reality and just accept it for what it is. This is where you are now. How can you make the best of it? Survival Mom liked this saying so much that she created a t-shirt just to remind herself how to handle tough situations!
  • Bless and release. There will be people and situations that bog you down because of a past experience. In one case, a former friend suddenly cut off her contact with me. I never knew what had happened, reached out once or twice but got very curt responses. So, I played and replayed in my head what I wanted to say to her and how I would defend whatever it was that had caused the distance. After a few months, I decided enough was enough. I wrote a short email, wishing her the best and letting her know, nicely, that I was moving on, and guess what? She hasn’t crossed my mind since — until I was writing this article! We can bless and release those in our lives who bring nothing but negativityand pain. We no longer have to be the monkey in their circus.
  • Dumping a heavy item might require you to mend a relationship, apologize or forgive someone. The relationship may not be as it was, but you have done your part to make it better. Just forgiving a person, even if it just in your heart, is healing. Sometimes the heavy item that needs to get dumped is a person. Toxic and negative people can be one of the heaviest items you drag behind you. They have little regard to your emotions and their influence in your life. In fact, one author calls them “emotional vampires.” If a person is continually causing emotional turmoil, it may be time to decide if that person should be in your life.
  • Bad experiences. We have all laid in bed at the end of the day and played out in our mind what we would do or say differently, if given another chance. Unfortunately we cannot go back in time, but we can learn. To lighten your load, take tough experiences and make it your best teacher. Learn everything you can from trials and stumbling blocks. Journal about it, share what you learned with a close friend, glean as much knowledge as you can from the experience. Try to compare it to other times in life where you have been given a lesson and did not learn it the first time. It is so much easier to learn from the mistakes of others, but if you are going to make your own, and you will, you might as well learn all you can from it. The knowledge you gain will be beneficial in your future, and you can pass it on to your kids. Maybe they’ll listen!!
  • We are all subject to stress, it is the overwhelming stress that does us in. Learn how to recognize it when it shows itself. Note the physical reactions you have and pay attention to the thoughts that go through your mind. Some people carry stress in their lower backs, some in their necks, shoulders, or stomachs. Most daily stress can be worked off at the gym or by other means. It is the larger stressors and circumstances in life that require more effort. When the big stuff happens, you will need to rely on the positive items in your emotional backpack. They are what is going to get you through. Call a friend that you feel comfortable talking with or read about people that have gone through a similar circumstance. Have your backpack full of “tools” to help you deal with the big pressures of life.
  • Develop a list of personal priorities. Determine what is important to you. Picture yourself on your death bed. What would your thoughts be about? Who or what would you want to be surrounded by? That is your priority list! If something isn’t on your list, it is probably not that significant. This list is a guideline for your and where your priorities are. The items on the list are where you put your time and energy. Don’t spend your effort on things that don’t give enjoyment or benefit back to you.

Remember, this backpack is yours, not anyone else’s. Protect yourself by protecting your pack. Do not allow anyone else to dump their anger or nastiness into it. Handle issues when they first happen. Look to others for help if needed. As you travel through life, if you keep your backpack light and care for it, you will develop self-reliance and a resiliency that will help you with the heavy items that will certainly come along.

What's In Your Emotional Backpack via The Survival Mom

21 Things To Do Before and After a Flood

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Recently I was reading about the flooding in Louisiana (which is now considered the worst US disaster since Hurricane Sandy), and it occurred to me that my site doesn’t have a single article about how to deal with floods. Well, I’m fixing that right now. There are bound to be plenty more disastrous floods in […]

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5 Ways To Hide Your Guns During Martial Law

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: disasters are when you need your firearms the most! During major disasters, police are stretched to the limit while desperate people loot their neighbors’ homes and criminals take advantage of the lack of law enforcement. Robberies, assaults, and murders skyrocket during such times, which is why […]

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15 Things To Do When The Power Goes Out

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When the weather is bad–rain pounding the roof, wind shaking the windows, thunder rumbling through the air, lights flickering off and on–you know the power could go out any minute. Other times the power goes out with no warning, and there’s no telling how long it will last. Most people have a mini panic attack […]

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Natural Disasters; Are you Ready?

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


Planning For Any Disaster

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

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

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


Preparing For An Earthquake

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

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

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


Preparing For Hurricanes

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

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

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

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

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


Planning For A Tornado

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The post Natural Disasters; Are you Ready? appeared first on American Preppers Network.

The Ultimate Guide To Hurricane Preparedness

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Hurricanes are easily one of the most destructive natural disasters in the world. In fact, only large earthquakes and volcanoes are capable of inflicting more damage. The largest hurricanes can cause tens of billions of dollars in damage and claim thousands of lives. In the United States, the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico […]

The post The Ultimate Guide To Hurricane Preparedness appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Define Your Disaster

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define your disasterUntil I seriously became a prepper, the most likely disasters in my life involved my nail tech quitting or my husband insisting on a homemade dinner! How times have changed. Now when I think of disasters, I’m thinking more along the lines of The End of Days scenarios with an unsettling feeling they could happen now, in my lifetime.

For which disaster, or disasters, should I prepare? These days of hard, uncertain times it’s a little like playing the odds. Hmmmmm, should I prepare for a nuclear attack? If so, I’ll need an enormous amount of sheet plastic, duct tape, and I read somewhere that you’re better protected from fall-out if you have a few feet of earth piled up against your outside walls. Our HOA would just love that!

But, really, is my very first concern a nuclear attack? No. The odds are much better for a dramatic increase in crime and riots in certain parts of our city or peaceful protests that suddenly become very violent. Even better odds favor a continued deep decline in our incomes, higher taxes, and possibly losing our home to foreclosure. It just makes sense to, first, define the most likely disasters, and then prepare for each as best you can. A comprehensive survival guide like this one makes this easy.

Define your disaster with this first step

Since the catastrophic event most likely to affect us is loss of income, that’s where my focus has been. Some time ago, I turned our spare room into a pantry, and my goal has been to store at least six month’s worth of food. This translates into a 6 month margin in which I wouldn’t have to spend money on groceries. I’ve also fought hard to save every penny I can.

If we lived in an area prone to earthquakes, that would be near the top of my priorities. Urban dwellers may put personal and home protection at the top of their lists.

If you’ve been into the survival mode for a while, life changes over time and so will your concerns and priorities. It’s worth taking a second look, now, to see if your prepping needs adjusting.

Here are a few possible disasters to consider.  Which ones are most likely to affect you?

Natural disasters — Mother Nature at her worst: wildfires, floods, earthquakes, drought, hurricanes, and more

Personal disastersloss of job, decreased work hours, illness or injury affecting your ability to work, your mother-in-law moving in

Nuclear events — including, but not limited to, an electromagnetic pulse and actual mushroom clouds

Terrorist attacks — use your imagination. Terrorists certainly do!

Social unrestriots, car-jackings, increased violent crimes of all types, prison escapes

War of any kind

Biological catastrophe — spread of diseases, either purposely or the natural spread of something contagious like Ebola

After thinking it over and talking with my husband, here is the list I wrote for our family.

1.  Loss of income
2.  Loss of home
3.  An event of any kind that occurs while my family members are scattered at different locations around the city
4.  Violent crime against my children, my husband, or myself
5.  Flooding
6.  Massive failure of the power grid

With some planning and prepping, you realize you have more control over how these events will affect your family than you might think. The key is to identify likely calamities and then take action. Fortunately, prepping for one event gives you a head start prepping for additional events, thus saving money and time.

Simply taking this step puts you light years ahead of millions of people, and I believe it will give you and your family some peace of mind no matter what happens.

What is Number One on your list?

Take this 5-Question Threat Assessment Quiz

Click here to download and print this assessment. This will walk you through the steps of identifying which disasters are top priority for you and then narrow them down to which one you should prepare for first. By the way, this assessment is just one feature offered at Preppers University. Click here to learn more and sign up for our next course!


Start getting prepared by defining the disaster that most threatens you and your family. 5-question quiz included.


10 Non-Edibles for Your Emergency Stash

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non edibles emergency stash

While not exactly edible, stocking up on these ten items will make everyday life more comfortable, whatever your emergency.


Picture this.  You’ve been in your bunker for three weeks.  Sponge baths are a rare treat.  Then you remember your stash of Secret anti-perspirant.  Ahhhh….. instant morale booster, especially if shared.

Feminine products  
Periods don’t stop for something trivial like a nuclear war.  A six month’s stash of tampons, especially o.b., won’t take up much room, and will greatly improve your quality of life. However, a much better option, by far, is a menstrual cup, such as the Diva Cup that I review here.

Small items for entertainment
Choose multi-use toys and games.  Playing cards or Play-Dough, for example. Yard sales, dollar stores, and thrift shops are all very good places to buy these. They’ll keep kids busy during stressful times and will provide diversions for the adults in the group.

Bar soap

In a pinch it can be used for shampoo and even laundry. Buy a variety of soaps, including some that do not have a lot of extra dye or perfume added. You should also stock up on classic laundry soaps, such as Zote or Fels-Naptha. These are terrific as stain removers and as an ingredient for homemade laundry detergent.

Zip-Loc bags of all sizes

These can’t be beat for everything from a tooth for the Tooth Fairy to containing nuclear waste, aka dirty diapers.
Rope for a clothesline and clothes pins.  Air-dried laundry smells and feels so clean and crisp.  It may become your preferred method of drying, even after the electricity comes on, and of course there’s the added benefit of being oh-so-Green!

A pack of never-before-opened underwear for each family member

This is something that most folks will overlook in their zeal to stock up on freeze-dried food and ammo, but sooner or later, the kids are going to outgrow theirs and mom and dad will appreciate having a nice, fresh set. Ditto for bras.

Battery-powered CD player & CDs
There’s just something about beautiful music for defusing tension and calming nerves. I put this in the category of “Sanity” when it comes to packing emergency kits and making survival preps at home.

Tylenol PM
Seriously.  Do you really want to be 100% conscious wrapped up in your silver emergency blanket, huddled in the back seat of your mini-van for hours?

Toilet paper

While it’s true you can’t stock up on enough toilet paper to last indefinitely, but you can stock up on a year’s worth. I’ve done it. Use coupons and store sales to bring the price down. Keep track of how many rolls your household uses in a month, multiply by 12, and you’ll know about how many rolls you’ll need. Some have argued in favor of using cloth wipes in lieu of TP, and this isn’t a bad idea in general, but it will require the ability to bring a few gallons of water to a boil at least 2-3 times per week, and then dispose of the resulting “black water” in an area that won’t contaminate ground water or growing, food-bearing plants.

Preparing for natural disasters, nuclear war, complete societal breakdown, doesn’t mean we have to lose our sense of humor. In fact, your sense of humor should be #1 on this list! Don’t ever hunker down in your bunker without it!

This article was originally posted in June, 2009 and has been updated.

non edibles emergency stash (2)

5 Scary FEMA Camp Facts You Should Know

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One reason I’m a prepper is because I don’t want to end up in a FEMA camp during a disaster. I’m sure plenty of FEMA workers mean well, but they are underfunded and woefully incompetent. If you think they screwed up during hurricane Katrina, just imagine what a mess things will be during an even […]

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Surviving a Terrorist Attack: 5 Things You Need To Know

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Terrorist attacks have become a common occurrence–not just in the Middle East, but all over the world. From the notorious disaster on 9/11 in 2001 to the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels to last weekend’s murder of 49 people in Orlando, it seems terrorists have the ability to strike anywhere at anytime. The only […]

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18 Tips To Prepare For Hurricane Season

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Hurricane season has officially begun. Meteorologists are forecasting an average season with 12 named storms and the potential for a few major hurricanes in 2016. But just because they’re expecting an average season doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother preparing. There were only 6 named storms the year hurricane Andrew destroyed much of South Florida. Considering […]

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Calling for Backup: How to Stack the Deck in Your Favor When a Disaster Strikes

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disaster survivalFor many of us, it’s hard to ask for help. We pride ourselves in our preparedness for emergencies; in many cases we are the go-to people in our social circle for what to do in case of…fill in the blank. Or at least we know who to ask or where to look up the answer. But as strong as we are, there are many things in nature and in our industrialized world that are much stronger. In some cases, we need to call for help…for backup.

It’s OK to need some backup!

Remember that every day, police and fire departments send their people out to dangerous situations. In most cases, one unit (police car, fire truck, ambulance) can handle the situation by themselves with little problem. If you think you have a hard time asking for help, just imagine the egos needed by cops who respond to an armed robbery, or firefighters entering a burning building. In those lines of work, you only ask for help if you really need it: ask for it too often or unnecessarily, and you get a bad reputation.

But when they do really need it, calling for backup allows that first responding unit to stay at the scene and finish the job…with a little help (sometimes with a lot of help). In some cases, that first unit can anticipate trouble before it actually happens and ask for backup as a precaution. For instance, a cop might pull over the car of a known felon, on parole for assaulting a police officer. Common sense would be to call for backup, knowing this person is a high-risk contact.

In a different case, back in the day when I was a street cop I was driving through town on a two-lane road when an old El Camino heading toward me in the other direction suddenly lost its load of furniture into the road right as I passed them. I turned on my red and blue lights and did a U-turn, pulling in behind them where they had already pulled over on the shoulder. I called in the license plate and location to my dispatcher and got out of my car to talk to the occupants, a couple in their 30’s. Having moved many times in my life, I wasn’t in an enforcement frame of mind; I just wanted to make sure they could safely load their cargo back in the car. Our conversation was friendly and light.

Just about the time that I looked in the car and saw the screwdriver sticking out of the steering column, my dispatcher notified me that it was a stolen vehicle and sent another unit toward my location for backup. With a smile on my face, I quickly handcuffed the male and sat him on the curb about the time that the backup car arrived. In this case, a seemingly innocent contact unexpectedly became potentially dangerous, justifying the backup.

Not Just for Cops and Firefighters

Now that you understand what I mean by “backup,” let’s apply the concept to surviving disasters. Most preparedness advice treats each family as an individual unit, but the truth is that most of us have a network of neighbors, friends, and relatives that could potentially help us in various ways in a disaster. And each of us can make a real difference providing backup to our social circle when they are jeopardy.

RELATED ARTICLE: “Where Do You Start When Everything Has Been Lost?

In general, there are two categories of disasters:

  • No-notice disasters like earthquakes and train derailments
  • Prior-notice disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires

There are some calamities like floods that can fit in both categories (i.e. flash floods vs. slow-rise floods), but those tend to be location-specific. You generally have one or the other in a particular place.

Prior-notice Disasters

Let’s talk about prior-notice incidents first, because planning a backup strategy for them will yield an easy approach to no-notice backup. We want our backup to be able to provide help when we need:

  • Sandbagging to keep water out from a flood
  • Flammable items removed from around the house as a fire approaches
  • Hurricane shutters put up
  • Babysitting, so parents can do important tasks
  • Supplies or messages delivered when phone service is out
  • Water removed from a flooded basement

No-notice Disasters

The preparation that you put in place for prior-notice emergencies will really pay off for no-notice incidents. No-notice events will often cause communications difficulty when they suddenly occur, because the natural reaction of most people is to immediately call their kids or other loved ones. Cellular networks quickly become overloaded with voice traffic, but they can often still accommodate text messages. With a critical contacts list, your group should be able to gain awareness of everyone’s circumstances, and learn who needs help.

Before a disaster strikes, put a critical contacts list together.
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The Critical Contacts List

This contact list is simply a list of who you might want to call on to help in an emergency, but it’s not enough to just put these names and phone numbers on paper. It’s very important to have a conversation with each individual. Once you have a fairly solid list of people you think would be willing to help in a disaster, host a dinner party or potluck (at least with those within a reasonable distance) where you can not only continue the conversation with individuals, but foster connections among the group.

As a personal example, I had no idea that my second cousin was a fairly serious ham radio enthusiast. I found out by chance at a family get-together. Talk about a valuable skill set in a disaster! This would be a great resource to foster communications within the family during an emergency and to keep tabs on info from other hams. The point is that you won’t know if you never ask.

The Agenda, and the List

Before the main course is served at your dinner party, make sure you give each of your guests an agenda of what you hope to accomplish, and a list of contact info for all of your guests. It may seem over the top, but it will focus the group and show them what you want to do. Keep it short and to the point. You can joke with the group that you’re holding dinner hostage until the task is complete. The most important thing is to state your interest in helping organize your neighbors, family and friends to be able to help each other in emergencies.

The contact list is a critical part of your effort; even if an attendee doesn’t enthusiastically buy in to your suggestions, chances are they will hang on to the contact list. If you put forth a little more effort and make it into a laminated card, those odds go way up, as do the odds that the list will be available to each member of your group when it hits the fan. A laminated card, small enough to fit inside a wallet, helps insures that everyone has those important contacts no matter where they are.

One Last Thought

Just as my dispatcher sent backup to me whenever I was anticipating problems, you can anticipate many problems yourself (or even as a group). Most weather-related problems have some warning time, and with all of the warnings available from the National Weather Service and various phone apps, you should have time to alert your people. Think you’ll need backup? Time for a slumber party at your place. Get your crew together, make a plan, and you’ll be more ready than 99% of your neighbors.

A few more resources for disaster survival

disaster survival

Paranoia in prepping good or bad?

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Paranoia in prepping  good or bad? Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” We often get called paranoid and crazy. We also get told that nothing will ever happen, we will be fine, and we do not have to worry about anything. I am sure the people who suffered Katrina, or Fukushima thought the same thing till disaster hit … Continue reading Paranoia in prepping good or bad?

The post Paranoia in prepping good or bad? appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

After the Pacific Ocean swallows villages and five Solomon Islands, a study blames climate change

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After the Pacific Ocean swallows villages and five Solomon Islands, a study blames climate change.

10 Most Useful Items In A Nuclear Emergency

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When you think about prepping, what sort of disasters come to mind? In my experience, most preppers think about severe weather, extended power outages, economic crises, and so forth. But only a few think about nuclear disasters, and one reason is because of a misconception that nuclear disasters are practically impossible to survive. This isn’t […]

The post 10 Most Useful Items In A Nuclear Emergency appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Where do you start when everything has been lost?

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Where Do You Start When Everything Has Been Lost-

Again and again, whether by fire, flood, or natural disaster, individuals and families face the challenge of starting their lives from scratch when their homes have been destroyed. Piles of debris are all that remain of homes and lifetimes of memories.  In the initial hours and days following such a disaster, what do you do?  Where do you start when everything has been lost?

In a crisis, it’s easy to lose perspective and fear causes us to, quite literally, not think clearly.  A “To Do” list is needed.  Here are a few tips from my book.

  • You need help! Check to see if a relative or a  friend can provide temporary housing for your family. This is no time to be proud. You need help, and your true friends will be more than willing to do anything they can to help.
  • Wherever and whenever help of any kind is offered, take it!
  • If a Red Cross or FEMA shelter isn’t an option, you’ll have to stay in a hotel or a tent. If you’re a timeshare owner, this might be a good time to use up some of those banked weeks!
  • Access your important documents in your Grab-n-Go Binder, or the one you have stored with a trusted friend, and begin to contact your insurance companies.
  • Move quickly to rent a car, file with your insurance, or get a hotel. Within hours, these resources will be flooded with people in your same desperate situation.
  • Acquire heavy duty gloves, closed-toed boots and work clothes to wear as you sift through debris. This will be hard physical labor, but it will also be emotionally draining to see the ruins of what was once your family’s home. Take plenty of breaks as you search for salvageable belongings and be ready to call it a day when fatigue begins to set in.
  • Kids are going to have a particularly rough time of it. If possible, designate an adult to keep watch over the kids in a location away from your ruined home and keep them distracted with videos, read-alouds, and playground time. This would be an ideal time for a longer-than-usual visit to grandma’s house.
  • It will take time, perhaps a lot of time, before the insurance company evaluates your losses and cuts a check, so be prepared to wait.
  • In the meantime, there will be dozens of decisions to be made. Where will you stay for the duration? Will the kids be able to continue with their schooling or will you need to homeschool for a while? Do you know of reputable disaster recovery companies? Reputable contractors? Roofers? Electricians? If you don’t have these names and phone numbers in your Grab-n-Go binder, now would be a good time to add them.
  • Quickly access any funds you have in your banking account(s). Remember, in an emergency “Cash is King!” If the power is out, chances are that your debit and credit cards will be useless, and vendors may not be willing to accept checks.
  • Use your cell phone or digital camera to begin documenting the damage to your home, vehicle, and property. E-mail the photos to yourself, so you’ll have easy access to them in the future and will be able to forward them to your insurance agent.
  • Depending on the time of year and weather conditions, elderly family members, infants, and anyone with chronic health issues should probably relocate somewhere less stressful, where medical facilities are easily accessible. Summer heat and humidity affects them more than anyone else.
  • Now, more than ever, spend time with people who lift you up and always seem to see the silver lining behind every cloud.

Above all, guard your mental and emotional health.  Be willing to seek out a pastor, counselor, or mental health professional and understand that it’s okay to cry and grieve.  Recovery, in every sense of the word, is going to take time.

You really need to become a prepper

Becoming a prepper may have never crossed your mind. Perhaps, thanks to shows like Doomsday Preppers, you associate being prepared for a worst case scenario with paranoid mouth breathers, basements filled with freeze dried food, and families scrambling for hazmat suits.

Well, I’m a prepper. I homeschool our kids, am an avid bicyclist, and love Mexican food and Lord of the Rings! Almost no one in our circle of friends know that we prep because we are just like them — busy with kids, sports, yard work, and job. What makes us different, though, is that, over the past 7 years, we have become better and better prepared for life’s curve balls.

That hardly makes us paranoid nuts!

Just one real life example of losing everything

This video, from the immense wildfire that hit the town of Fort McMurry in Alberta, may change your mind if you’ve never heard of prepping, have slowed down with your own preparedness (after all, life does have its many distractions), or have thought prepping just wasn’t for you.

This cozy living room, complete with a pristine fish tank and cozy pillows and blankets, could be yours or mine and yet, within minutes, it was consumed by fire. I can’t imagine the heartbreak the homeowners felt as they watched this video.

Getting started with prepping is as easy as buying a few extra cans of soup or tuna the next time you’re out grocery shopping. Take that first step!

Here’s just one resource I have for you, as a beginner.

And, here are a few more…

This article was originally posted in March, 2012, and updated.

Where Do You Start When Everything Has Been Lost-2


45 Things People Will Say After The Grid Goes Down

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I recently came across a very haunting post on PreparingWithDave.com. He made a list of things the average person would say if the power grid went down. The first few are pretty banal, like “I’m cold” and “I’m hungry” and “This soda is warm.” But further down the list are scarier things, like “Why isn’t […]

The post 45 Things People Will Say After The Grid Goes Down appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Tornado in Uruguay Strikes Small Shop

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Tornado in Uruguay

Insane footage captured on CCTV

In Dolores, Uruguay, many of the residents were going about their day as if it were like any other day. Many were working at their jobs, others at home watching their favorite TV show, but a piece of footage from a department store in Dolores shows leisurely shoppers being anything but.

The surveillance camera shows a few people walking toward the front door, wondering what the loud, train-like sound was. Suddenly, a frantic woman ran into the store from outside shaking and quivering. You can’t hear what she’s saying the cameras have no audio, but she began pointing outside. The noiseless audio footage more people gathering closer and closer to the entrance of the shop as the woman continues to point.


Suddenly two women along the side of the camera’s shot covered their mouths and grabbed each other in a panicked state as if they could be crying. The train-like sound the citizens had heard was actually a category 4 tornado, which is one of the strongest categories on a scale of 5.

The power went out and everyone scattered throughout the darkness, the tornado clearly coming near. The frantic woman continued to point as she leaned outside the doorway. Meanwhile, the rest of the store’s patrons ran into the store.

The three people that were pointing and staring at whatever it was they were staring at then froze in a state of shock, suddenly jolting into the store just like the rest did.

In less than seconds, debris started flying through the stores; glass, electrical poles, even cars were tossed throughout the streets as the nightmare the shoppers imagined came true – the category 4 had touched down right above the store they were in. Thankfully, no one was injured in the harrowing experience. Once the storm passed, the shocking surveillance camera even showed a small street dog running along the debris-littered streets.

Watch Video of Tornado in Uruguay Below

(click here if video doesn’t display)This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license.  All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.


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8 Diseases To Beware Of After The SHTF

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After the SHTF, there are going to be many challenges. Our generation has been rather spoiled with easy access to clean water and modern medicines that help fight infections. After a major disaster, clean water will be extremely limited, sanitation systems will be down, and waste disposal companies […]

The post 8 Diseases To Beware Of After The SHTF appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

17 Best Jobs To Have When The Economy Collapses

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An economic collapse, like the one many of us remember in 2008, can have a devastating ripple effect across the entire world. When things start to slow down, people have to tighten their purse strings. And when that happens, businesses struggle and start laying off workers. That results […]

The post 17 Best Jobs To Have When The Economy Collapses appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Ways to Stay Calm in the Aftermath of Disaster

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Many Ways to Stay Calm in the Aftermath of Disaster

There’s going to be enough going on without another person going crazy with fear, anger, screaming, yelling, and more. Let’s look at some ways to stay calm and avoid unnecessary drama….

Stop fearing death…when it comes, it will come. Especially if you believe in any conception of the afterlife.

Stop fearing harm…just try to give more than you get when threatened. We will always fear, but the more you become strong and fight ready, the more confidence will aid in your resolve to exist.

Focus on one task at a time in order to prevent overloading mentally.

Prioritize your needs and goals to be realistic with your daily schedule.

Avoid setting unrealistic expectations with any thing, any place, or anyone.

Practice healthy procrastination. If it isn’t serious and necessary for survival, let it go if you are feeling overloaded.

Accept your reality as where you were meant to be at this moment in life.

Seriously…have an attitude of gratitude for everything you have and receive through your efforts or from others.

Seek to help others from the the perspective of gift giving…give and let go of the gift. This way you avoid resentment.

Anger is danger. Avoid it as much as you can. All anger is a response to fear. void fear, avoid anger. To avoid fear, accept everything and merely take appropriate action. Let it be this disconnected from anything but appropriate action and reaction, without anger.

Love all people in your heart, even if their actions lead to it being necessary to smash them. While it may be necessary to smash others that attempt to cause you or loved ones harm, there’s no reason to make it more than it is in reality. Just an appropriate defensive action.

Make sure you allow yourself enough rest. The strongest and most defensively sound shelter, that is well hidden, can give you the most confidence for a restful sleep. Feeling safe will allow you to rest deeply. Rest is extremely important for survival. High levels of stress cause higher levels of dehydration.

Avoid medicating with drugs or alcohol. This will chemically alter your brain and cause unnecessary hormonal spikes. A sober mind and healthy body is the best tool in readiness. The healthiest people of mind and body can handle stress much better.

Be a competitor against adversity, but also be a good sport. Accept that you will fail in some endeavors. Any successful person can tell you of their many failures along the road to success.

Seek as much comfort as possible, but also accept discomfort as part of survival if you are removed from everyday conveniences.

Avoid the negative, internally and externally. Don’t speak it, engage it, or think it. Stay positive and accepting of whatever the situation, so your mind stays clear and prepared for the solution that may come as you calculate your environment in order to overcome adversity and improve your situation.

Be creative, rather the destructive. Put what you have to good use, and utilize everything you can find. You might find something that can easily be made into something that merely gives you amusement every time you see it in action. This will give your mind distraction from a harsh environment. Always seek happiness, no matter what the situation. The mental state of happiness is always an internal choice, no matter what the external situation.

Make a Faraday Cage For Just a Few Dollars

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There are many potential disasters to prepare for, but perhaps the one that deserves the most preparation is an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). If you’ve done any previous research on prepping for disasters, then you’ve undoubtedly at least heard of EMP’s, and for good reason. An EMP attack would […]

The post Make a Faraday Cage For Just a Few Dollars appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

65 Pieces Of Survival Wisdom From The Great Depression

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Although many people like to point out all the similarities between The Great Recession and The Great Depression, there’s really no comparison. It’s true that Americans have faced hard times in recent years, but The Great Depression was far worse than what we’ve experienced in recent years. Many […]

The post 65 Pieces Of Survival Wisdom From The Great Depression appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

6 Tips To Help You Survive a Blizzard

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Editor’s Note: I know it’s a little late for an article about blizzards, but they’ve been known to hit up North in the middle of spring. And it will be snowing in Australia in a few months, so for my readers down under, here go you. With every […]

The post 6 Tips To Help You Survive a Blizzard appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

10 Things You Must Do To Survive Martial Law

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I’ve long maintained that the United States will be ground zero of the next economic collapse and that it will be even worse than the one in 2008. When that happens, many parts of the country will descend into chaos as people become desperate for food and water. […]

The post 10 Things You Must Do To Survive Martial Law appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

A Disaster Professional’s Nightmare Scenarios

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nightmare scenarios

I have to admit that I’ve been resisting writing this article. Maybe it’s that superstition that says if you can think about it and describe it, it’s more likely to happen. But my friend Lisa, The Survival Mom herself, is persistent and she finally talked me into revealing my ultimate nightmare scenario.

Jim Acosta's DMAT team logo

Jim Acosta’s DMAT team logo

Why me? I currently work for a large state’s emergency services office, in a very large metropolitan area. I’m being a little cagey about exactly who I work for because I’m speaking here for me and not for my employer; I’ve worked in one aspect of the emergency services field or another for over 30 years. I still drive a car with red lights and siren at work every day, but most of my work is behind-the-scenes, supporting local governments that are experiencing a disaster and helping them plan for disasters in calmer times.

Influence of Hurricane Katrina

It’s been 10 years since Katrina devastated the Gulf coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi; like many in my field, I had the privilege of responding to the aftermath and helping our fellow Americans who were in need. While the more recent experiences with “super storm” Sandy have caused us to adjust our emergency response procedures, Katrina remains the benchmark for a catastrophic disaster in the United States.

Katrina was unique to me because two weeks after the flooding I was able to drive the deserted downtown streets of New Orleans, the lower ninth Ward, and the Port area without seeing anyone on the street. With the exception of the tragedy at the convention center and other areas where survivors were not able or willing to evacuate prior to the storm and flooding, everyone else was gone. My federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team was assigned to rehab and reopen the emergency room at the Kindred Hospital in downtown, but our only customers were other first responders who were assigned to get New Orleans back on its feet.

The Shakeout Scenario

In 2008 I was fortunate enough to be involved in the writing of the Southern California Catastrophic Earthquake Plan, or “Cat Plan”. The United States Geological Survey had spent the better part of two years assembling experts in many fields including engineering, police and fire, social services, and economics and asked them to calculate the effects of a Magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Southern California.

What resulted was The Shakeout Scenario: over 700 pages describing the catastrophic results of this earthquake affecting seven counties and 20 million people in Southern California. I was so profoundly moved by the predicted mayhem in this document I wrote a book to help my family and friends understand the threat and prepare to survive this type of earthquake.

The Devil Is in the Details

The Cat Plan describes what actions the state and federal governments will take in response to such a powerful earthquake: Utilities will be repaired, food and water will be brought to the area, and survivors will be rescued and medically treated. In all, it is a fairly comprehensive roadmap for responders to follow to assist the affected communities.

But as the years have gone by, I have been able to integrate my prior disaster experiences with the framework within the Cat Plan. Unlike Katrina (and Sandy), there would be no significant warning of such a large earthquake, and therefore there would be no evacuation of the population possible. In a matter of minutes, millions of people would be cut off from food, water, communications, and transportation; and suddenly the New Orleans Convention Center becomes 1000 Convention Centers, spread over hundreds of square miles.

The only thing that will not be in short supply are news crews, filling the 24-hour news cycle with the death, destruction, and human misery that will result. Cascading effects, where for example the loss of electrical power also causes the loss of communications and water system capabilities, create huge obstacles to keeping survivors healthy and making progress on recovery.

Just as the California drought has demonstrated the folly of bringing water from hundreds of miles away to keep millions of water hungry lawns healthy, I believe the human need will greatly outstrip governments’ ability to maintain a population of millions in the midst of a catastrophic disaster zone. This is my nightmare: Millions of my fellow Americans reduced to the status of war zone refugee, the strong overpowering the weak in a daily competition for necessities.

As a professional, I have reflected on other scenarios that would result in similar catastrophic effects, some with prior warning like a hurricane, and some with no warning like an earthquake. Civilization is a fragile thing.

Electromagnetic Pulse

An electromagnetic pulse is no longer just a fantasy of the paranoid. With the proliferation of nuclear weapons among many countries, the ability of an enemy state, or non-state terrorist group to inflict an electromagnetic pulse on at least part of the United States is a very real threat. While not having the effect of collapsing buildings like an earthquake, damage to infrastructure in every aspect of our lives would be even more complete: Collapse of the electrical grid and interruption of control of the generation of power, pipelines, water systems, and traffic control systems both roadway and air would paralyze our society.

Nuclear Detonation

Nuclear detonation-Jim Acosta

Nuclear detonation-Jim Acosta

Next in my nightmare scenario list is the detonation of an improvised nuclear device in the United States. In the immediate vicinity of the blast, damage is similar to an earthquake, but with the additional problems of radioactive fallout and associated health effects.

While a significant number of blast survivors may experience radiation-related health effects, many times that number (“the worried well”) will seek medical attention due to lack of knowledge or misunderstanding of their risk. These people will overwhelm local health and medical systems, making it more difficult for those actually affected to get care.

Meteor Strike

It’s hard to beat “Extinction Level Event” for a cool-sounding catastrophe. A popular subject of recent movies, the impact of a meteor in a populated area of the United States would easily be a catastrophic event. In my opinion, the best description of the effects of an object striking the earth and the aftermath is in the Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle novel Lucifer’s Hammer. Hint: It’s really, really bad.

The Good News

In my field of Emergency Management, we take all of these scenarios seriously, and there are often alternatives to what appear to be unsolvable problems. For instance, rather than fighting a losing battle trying to keep a population of millions supplied in the middle of an earthquake zone, relocating a significant number of the survivors to an area unaffected by the earthquake would greatly simplify providing them sufficient care and shelter.

Another strategy to keeping survivors supplied with food and other needs is to prioritize restoration of power and other services to significant community businesses, such as supermarkets and big-box retailers. Not only do they have established logistics chains, they supply important economic support to the affected community such as jobs, access to banking services, and other ancillary services such as serving as heating or cooling centers during periods of extreme weather.

My advice to the non-professional is to keep doing what you’re doing in terms of your preparedness, but if you’re locked into the idea that three days of supplies will get you through a disaster you’re wasting your time. In a truly catastrophic incident, you will want to have at least two weeks of supplies, and if you can swing it, three weeks is even better. Also, have a plan to take your supplies with you if you are forced to evacuate. Remember, civilization is fragile.

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Would a Long-Term Blackout Mean Nuclear Meltdown?

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Would a Long-Term Blackout Mean Nuclear Meltdown? via The Survival Mom

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, there are 61 active commercial nuclear plants spread across the United States. A question on the minds of many is, what would happen to those plants if the nation experienced a widespread, long-term blackout? Would there be a nuclear meltdown? Let me start by saying that there is a quite a bit of misinformation on the web about this subject, so my advice is to be careful about what you choose to believe.

Many of you may know that I have a background in science and engineering (Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering), so I believed that if I could talk with a knowledgeable person working in the nuclear power industry, I could get to the bottom of this question. To find answers, I consulted Jim Hopson, the Manager of Public Relations at the Tennessee Valley Authority. As readers may point out, it was in Mr. Hopson’s interest to assure me that nuclear plants are safe, but to be fair, I found him to be forthright about the industry’s safeguards and vulnerabilities.

How nuclear plants operate

Probably the best place to start is with a basic discussion of how a nuclear power plant operates. There are two types of reactors in the U.S., boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). For purposes of our discussion, the differences in their operation aren’t terribly important. Nuclear reactors use an atomic process called fission to generate heat. The heat is then used to create steam that turns large turbines to generate electricity. The steam is later condensed and returned in a closed-loop process within the reactor system.

The nuclear reaction itself is beyond the scope of this brief write up (and my expertise), but the gist is that an energetic neutron is absorbed by a uranium-235 nucleus, briefly turning it into a uranium-236 nucleus. The uranium-236 then splits into lighter elements, releasing a large amount of energy. The physical system inside the reactor consists of tens of thousands of nuclear fuel rods placed into a water bath. The rods are essentially long metal tubes filled with ceramic nuclear pellets that are bundled together into larger assemblies.

Trivia bit: A nuclear fuel pellet is about the size of a pencil eraser but equivalent in energy to one ton of coal.

Preventing a nuclear meltdown

The risks of nuclear power are many, but two stand above the rest. The first is that the fuel assemblies in the reactor might overheat. That would only occur if the fission process became uncontrolled or if the cooling system failed.

Should overheating occur, the fuel rods’ zirconium cladding and nuclear materials could both melt, resulting in a nuclear sludge akin to molten lava. That slag would be so hot that it might melt through the bottom of the reinforced reactor. Eventually, it would cool enough to harden, but not before it had spewed nuclear contaminants into the air. Melting zirconium also releases hydrogen, which could lead to an explosion that might actually expel the nuclear material into the surrounding area—think Fukushima.

The good news is that nuclear fission can be stopped in under one second through the insertion of control rods. Those control rods are automatically inserted near the fuel rods either by a hydraulic system or through the use of an electromagnetic dead man switch that activates when power is removed. That means that when the electrical grid goes down or an emergency shutdown is initiated, fission would automatically stop one second later.

That’s a good thing, but it doesn’t make the reactor inherently safe. Even without fission, the fuel rod assemblies remain incredibly hot, perhaps a thousand degrees C. If they were not actively cooled, pressure and temperatures would build in the reactor until something breaks—not good. After three days of active cooling, however, the reactor would be thermally cool enough to open, should it be deemed necessary to remove the fuel rod assemblies.

The second major risk has to do with cooling of the spent fuel rod assemblies. Nuclear fuel rod assemblies have a usable life on the order of 54-72 months (depending on reactor type). Every 18-24 months, the reactor is brought down and serviced. While it is down, the fuel rod assemblies are removed, and 1/3 of them are replaced with fresh assemblies. Think of this like rotating cans of food in your emergency pantry.

In the U.S., fuel rods are not refurbished like in other countries. Instead, they are carefully stored in giant pools of water laced with boric acid—imagine a swimming pool at your local YMCA that is 75-feet deep. Those spent fuel rod assemblies are still incredibly radioactive, and they continue to generate heat. Water in the pool must therefore be circulated to keep them cool.

How long must the fuel rods be cooled? According to Mr. Hopson, the answer is 5-7 years. After that, the rods are cool enough to be removed and stored in reinforced concrete casks. Even then, the rods continue to be radioactive, but their heat output can be passively managed.

Emergency systems

Nuclear plants obviously require electricity to operate their cooling pumps, not to mention their control systems. That power is normally tapped off of the electricity that the reactor generates. If the plant is offline, the power is provided by the electrical grid. But what happens when the grid itself goes down? The short answer is that large on-site diesel generators automatically activate to provide electricity. And if those should fail, portable diesel generators, which are also on-site, can be connected. Recent standardization has also ensured that generators can be swapped between plants without the need to retrofit connectors.

There are also a couple of additional emergency systems that can be used specifically to cool the reactor. These include the turbine-driven-auxiliary-feedwater pump, which uses steam generated by the reactor to power a cooling turbine. The pump requires an operator, but it runs completely without electricity. This system, however, is meant only for emergency cooling of the reactor during those critical first few days when the fuel rod assemblies are being brought down in temperature, not for long-term cooling.

And finally, in the worst case, most plants have a method of bringing in river or ocean water to flood the reactor. This typically damages the cooling system, but again, it helps to cool and cover the reactor core should all else fail. Unlike in other countries, permission from the federal government is not required to flood the reactor.

Worst-case power-loss scenario

With backup systems to the backup systems, it would seem that there’s nothing to worry about, right? Under all but the direst of circumstances, I think that assessment is correct. However, one could imagine a scenario in which the grid was lost and the diesel generators ran out of fuel.

Speaking of fuel, how much is actually stored onsite? It depends on the plant, but at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, for example, there is enough fuel to run the emergency diesel generators for at least 42 days. I say at least because it would depend on exactly what was being powered.

Once the reactor was cooled down, a much smaller system, known as the Residual Heat Removal System, would be all that was required to keep the fuel assemblies cool, both in the reactor and the spent fuel rods pool. The generators and onsite fuel supply could power that smaller cooling system for significantly longer than if they were powering the larger reactor cooling system. Even if we assumed a worst case of 42 days, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which that would not be enough time to bring in additional fuel either by land, water, or air. Nonetheless, let’s push the question a little further. What would happen in the unlikely event that the diesel fuel was exhausted?

Even with the reactor having been successfully cooled, the biggest risk would continue to be overheating of the fuel rod assemblies, both in the reactor and the spent fuel rods pool. Without circulation, the heat from the fuel rod assemblies could boil the surrounding water, resulting in steam. In turn, the water levels would drop, ultimately exposing the fuel rods to air. Once exposed to air, their temperatures would rise but not to the levels that would melt the zirconium cladding.

Thankfully, that means that meltdown would not occur. The steam might well carry radioactive contaminants into the air, but there would be no release of hydrogen and, thus, no subsequent explosions. The situation would certainly be dangerous to surrounding communities, but it wouldn’t be the nuclear Armageddon that many people worry about.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that in the event of a long-duration blackout, several things would need to occur for a nuclear meltdown.

First, fission would need to be halted by the insertion of control rods, a process that takes less than one second. Next, the reactor would need to be cooled for at least three days using the large diesel engines to provide electrical power. After that, the fuel rods would be cool enough that the reactor could be opened, and the plant’s Residual Heat Removal System could be used to provide cooling. That smaller system would need operate for 5-7 years to ensure that the fuel rod assemblies, both in the reactor and in the spent fuel rods pool, didn’t overheat. Only then could the fuel rod assemblies be moved to concrete casks for dry storage and final dispositioning.

During those 5-7 years, electricity in one form or another would be required. If it was not maintained, radioactive contamination could be released into the air, but the temperatures of the fuel rods would not be high enough to cause a complete meltdown or the dangerous release of hydrogen.

The point of this article wasn’t to convince anyone that nuclear power generation is safe or that a nuclear meltdown could never happen. I would argue that history has already proven that it comes with some very serious risks. Rather, it was to discuss the impact of a long-duration blackout. Specifically, it focused on the safeguards that are currently in place, and more importantly, discussed the magnitude of the catastrophe that might result if we allowed those safeguards to fail.

Guest post by Arthur T. Bradley, Ph.D., author of the Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family, 3rd Edition, Prepper’s Instruction Manual: 50 Steps to Prepare for any Disaster, Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms (Expanded Edition), and the Frontier Justice (The Survivalist Book 1), website: http://disasterpreparer.com

Would a Long-Term Blackout Mean Nuclear Meltdown? via The Survival Mom

Using the ‘Cloud’ in Survival Situations

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Using the 'Cloud' in Survival Situations via The Survival MomEvery survival situation we prepare for is unique. No two house fires – or tornadoes or evacuations or hurricanes or earthquakes – are exactly the same. We should never rule out any tool to help us be prepared, since true survival depends on adaptability and versatility more than any single piece of gear. One cyber tool, called “the cloud,” lends itself well to providing vital information at a moment’s notice, anywhere, 24/7. Using the cloud in survival situations is smart and doesn’t have to be risky.

What exactly is the cloud?

The cloud is actually a tangible thing. It is an off-site storage area for your data. You can connect to the storage area securely over the Internet and then access it anytime through the Internet. There are many companies that offer cloud storage – Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Flickr, Evernote, Dropbox, etc. If you can create your own server, you could create your own “cloud.”

The main benefit to utilizing the cloud for information storage is that your data is not “stuck” on one device, but is accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection. Gone are the days of those frustrating moments, “Darn! My resume is on my desktop computer and I’m out of town!”

Before the cloud, most people used FTP to share large files and data across the Internet. Now, it’s as easy as sharing a single link.

It’s possible that you have been using the cloud without realizing it. You probably already use a type of cloud for downloading apps and updates for your phone or laptop. With that, you are accessing files someone else has put on a server. Some people use companies to sync or backup entire computer or phone systems. You can opt to only have certain files sent to that kind of cloud.

The cloud isn’t always secure

The downside to cloud storage is that it cannot be 100 percent secure. Data can be hacked and servers can crash – people have had data lost or stolen. If you’re going to use cloud storage, files should be backed up somewhere else. It’s no fun to lose photos or important data in a hack or crash.

Sensitive files should also be encrypted so there is less of a chance of the information being compromised if the data was stolen. Be careful with names and file data. File data can tell a person where, when, and who made a document.

If you do put any names or phone numbers in cloud storage, use encryption or develop your own code for family and close friends. “Mom” is something everyone knows but “Buzz” could be anyone. Think of childhood nicknames or family references that no one else could possibly know about.

To encrypt files, you want to use a public key encryption. Several companies offer online services or software to encrypt your files, such as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), BoxCrypter, CloudFogger, and SecretSync. There are also cloud companies that offer encryption as part of its services. Encrypted files need a specific decryption tool with your password to view the files.

There is free software available for encrypting files. Read, “The top 24 free tools for data encryption.”

So, why would a prepper want to put anything out there in the cloud?

Preppers are very security minded, sometimes to the point of paranoia, but you know what they say: It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you! Over the past few years we’ve learned that even our own home appliances, cell phones, and laptop cameras can spy on us. So, why put personal, important information out there where it could be accessed by others?

The main reason to consider and use cloud storage is that we don’t stay home all the time, which is where most, or all, of your information is probably stored. Emergency scenarios of all kinds pop up quickly and unexpectedly, leaving us often to wonder, “If I only had my first aid book with me,” or “Where’s that list of essential oils that helps with stomach aches?”

I’ve found myself at the grocery store, wishing I could remember the ingredients to a family recipe. I’ve watched a severe nose bleed happen right in front of me and tried to remember, “Do I tell them to tilt their head backwards or forwards?”

The answers to those questions and thousands more can be stored in the cloud, accessible from a smartphone, tablet, laptop, even a borrowed or public computer. If you lose power and can’t access your computer, your smart phone could access the files you have in the cloud as long as its battery is charged.

Books, manuals, tips, and recipes can reside in a virtual library, if you think of the cloud as your library. Store reference material in the cloud and access it from anywhere in the world. Who cares if you’ve stored a list of sunburn remedies in the cloud or a list of different ways to start a campfire? By all means, store your kid’s summer reading list, names and addresses of pet-friendly hotels, and checklists for various emergency kits. So much of the information we rely on is anything but classified, and yet without it, life suddenly becomes a little more complicated and unsure.

What to store in the cloud for survival situations?

Consider this: If you are evacuated quickly from your home- fire, flood, terror threat- you will not be able to grab everything from your house. What would you still want access to? Perhaps that information should be stored in the cloud, where it will always be handy.

An earthquake or tornado can easily destroy your home and computer in a matter of seconds. Any files you have in the home would probably be destroyed, too. Having your reference material in the cloud means that information is still there for you. If you find yourself having to evacuate, most hotels have at least one computer, with a printer, available for hotel guests.

Store Recipes

If you are visiting a friend’s house and want to share a recipe, you can go grab it off the cloud. Just set up a file called “Recipes”, store your favorites, and have them available, always. Perhaps add another file, “Solar Cooking Recipes,” or “Off Grid Recipes”.

Store Important Contact Info

Sooner or later, you’ll need the phone number of a handyman, your insurance agent, a good roofing contractor, or your doctor. That information isn’t security sensitive, so why not include it in a Note or Folder labeled, “Contacts.” Unless it includes your bookie’s email and phone, there’s nothing incriminating!

Entertainment & Education

If you’re stuck in traffic or at the airport, you could access something in the cloud to keep the children entertained, such as knock-knock jokes or favorite short stories. You could also store spelling lists, book lists, and links to educational websites.

A Solution to a Bad Memory

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for our small electronics to go missing. If you’ve forgotten important phone numbers, dates, your schedule — it can all be accessed on the cloud using a friend’s cellphone. I use Google Calendar, which I access from many different sources and have connected my husband’s calendar as well.

TIP: If your smartphone is rendered useless and you keep reference material on it, simply go to your computer and access those files via Dropbox, Google Drive, or some other cloud storage and then restore all of it to a new phone.

Small Business Owners

Use the cloud to store employee contact information, names of vendors, schedules, reference materials, tax documents, and even employee time sheets.

Other types of information that aren’t of a sensitive nature:

  • Recipes
  • Manuals
  • Medical information
  • Gardening tips
  • Music
  • Weather information
  • Puzzles
  • Movies
  • Smart prepper tips
  • How-to articles
  • Pet information
  • Weapons manuals
  • Directory of repair companies
  • Maps
  • Craft ideas and instructions
  • Knitting and crochet patterns
  • Reference books
  • Insurance companies contact information
  • Downloadable resources from favorite websites and blogs (Read 16 Tips for Finding Reliable Survival Information on the Internet to learn how to find good sources online.)
  • Service manuals
  • Home remedies
  • Essential oil reference materials
  • Lists and photos of edible plants
  • Homeschool material
  • Canning advice
  • Sewing patterns
  • Children’s growth stages
  • Coloring sheets
  • Jokes
  • E-books
  • Foreign language lessons

I can’t say putting information out there on a cloud is for everyone, but it is something to consider. A situation may arise where it would be to your advantage to access information from anywhere in the world. What you store in the cloud and what files you encrypt is up to you.

If you decide the cloud is not for you, make sure you have files backed up in a drive that you can grab easily if you need to evacuate. Consider storing essential documents on a thumb drive or in a binder in a trusted family or friends’ safe in case you can’t get yours from your own home.

SURVIVAL MOM’S NOTE: I use Evernote constantly for immediately accessible online storage. It allows me to “clip” articles from the Internet and store them in one of my Evernote Notebooks. I have a few favorite websites and can file all clipped articles in separate Notebooks, one for each site. I have a Recipe Notebook, a journal, Goals Notebook, and several more. It’s a great resource.

Using the 'Cloud' in Survival Situations via The Survival Mom

How To Prepare And Survive In Case Of A Hurricane

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The U.S. has had its fair share of hurricanes in these past decades. Hurricanes Sandy, Rita and Katrina have hit pretty hard. They took so many lives and the process and produced massive infrastructural damage. No matter how far we’re willing to go as far as preparations go, we will never be completely safe from nature’s wrath. But every precaution can be a small battle won and +1 when it comes to our chances to survive in case of a hurricane. In order to beat the storm and come out on top, we must understand what a hurricane actually is. Hurricanes are immense storms that cover great areas. Because the winds blow in a swirling motion, powerful air currents are created that can be strong enough to pull out trees out of the ground, lift cars and even lay whole cities to the ground. Wind speed is a major factor in considering how devastating the hurricane is going to be; according to wind speed, hurricanes fall into the following categories:

  • Category 1: winds reach speeds of 74 mph – 95 mph
  • Category 2: winds reach speeds of 96 mph – 110 mph
  • Category 3: winds reach speeds of 111 mph – 129 mph
  • Category 4: winds reach speeds of 130 mph – 156 mph
  • Category 5: winds reach speeds of speeds of over 157 mph

Hurricanes will most likely form over warm ocean surface, and they sometimes have the tendency of going towards land. When this happens, it also sends a wave formation (storm surge) towards land alongside heavy precipitation. These two combined can cause major flooding to urban or rural areas. Even though hurricanes cover large areas at a time, the intensity of the storm is not constant throughout the entire area, but it’s rather varied from zone to zone. Based on intensity, hurricanes are comprised of the following parts:

  • Zone 1: the eye of the hurricane is the portion in the middle of the stormy area (central zone); it’s the zone that’s least affected, where wind and precipitations are at their lowest
  • Zone 2: the eye wall is a circle of thunderstorms that swirl around the central zone (the eye); the wall is where storm activity is at its highest, with heavy precipitations and strong winds
  • Zone 3: rain bands stretch from the eye wall towards the outside; they’re a weaker reflection of the eye wall, comprised of storm clouds, precipitations and possibly tornadoes


Preparing for an incoming hurricane

As I’ve said before, there is nothing you can do that is 100% hurricane proof, but every measure of precaution you take might just be enough to save you or your property. First and foremost, my main advice is to consider of building your very own underground bunker or disaster-proof room somewhere in the vicinity of you home and have it filled with as many provisions as you can. Just be sure to consider flooding and the need for oxygen. If such a room would be too much trouble, you can also reinforce a room in the house (possibly the basement), turning it into a safe room and hope for the best. If you want to save as much of your property as possible and limit the damage, cover your windows with special, permanent storm shutters; if you can’t find any in your vicinity, just use some plywood instead. Roof straps will reduce the damage and maintain the structure of the house as whole as possible. Trimming your bushes, trees and shrubs around the house will make them less likely to fly off and damage or even kill somebody; the trimmer they are, the less “grabby” their surface will be when it comes in direct contact with the wind. Rain gutters should be unclogged, in order to fight off flooding.

What to do during the storm

If there’s a massive storm coming your way, you need to stay informed. Follow any sort of alerts and directions the authorities issue on the tv, radio or internet. Secure your house as best as you can by closing all the doors, even those inside the house. The less the air flows through, the safer you’ll be. Any sort of small object left in your shed or front lawn should be moved in the house. If they get picked up the storm, they could become serious projectiles that can do permanent damage or even kill. When the storm hits, turn off all the utilities and keep away from the phone as much as possible. Propane tanks should be switched off, as well as the refrigerator. If things get serious, go to your panic room or your provision room. Keep enough food and water supplies. You cars should be fully fueled, because if the opportunity should arise, you must be able to drive without stopping as far as you possibly can. Also keep cash on you; banking and ATM systems will most probably be shut down. If you’re eager to evacuate, take a moment and think things through; acting on impulse might cost you your life. Wait for things to settle down a bit and listen to the directives given by the local authorities.

Dealing with a hurricane is a stressful and life-threatening situation. Take all the necessary precautions you can in order to limit the damage, but remember that nothing’s more important than saving your life. You safety should come first, before everything else. So if you’re taken by surprise, flee for safety and don’t waste any time in securing your property.


By Alec Deacon




The post How To Prepare And Survive In Case Of A Hurricane appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

4 Of The Largest Handguns In The World

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This is not the first time I get to talk about guns, that’s true. Every time I’ve covered the subject I’ve tried to be as pragmatic as possible when it comes to the usage of firearms in a survival situation. I’m talking a different approach this time. Not that carrying a largest handguns caliber could not serve you well in a SHTF scenario; if it’s one thing they do well, is to obliterate everything that stands in your way. A single shot fired is more than enough to stop even large animals in their tracks. They might not be as easily concealable or maneuverable, but there’s something really intriguing (almost poetic) about owning your very own hand cannon. Maybe it has something to do with the “bigger is better” mentality, who knows? All I know is that there is no such thing as “too big” when it comes to firepower. And I’m sure that many of you share the same exact belief. Let’s have a look at some of the best of the best in the field of “heavy artillery”.


The Desert Eagle .50 Caliber Handgun

The Desert Eagle .50 is one of the most notorious handguns in the world. Commonly known as “the 50 caliber”, it was developed by the Israeli military with the aid of Magnum Research in 1972. It’s the largest magazine-fed handgun in the world and despite its age, this old timer is considered (still) to be one of the best looking handguns on the market; especially the versions that come in chrome or titanium gold plating. When it comes to firepower, only one word comes to mind: annihilation. The .50 projectile packs such a heavy punch that made it feared and respected across the map, and won fans from both sides of the law. It’s just as lethal as it is beautiful. It has a capacity of 7 rounds and it measures a total length of 10.75 inches (with a barrel length of 6 inches).


The Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum Revolver

This particular handgun was firstly introduced to the world by Clint Eastwood and his infamous character by the name of Dirty Harry. This revolver gained so much in popularity that Smith and Wesson was not only able to sell this particular model, but hat to release “improved” version to meet the demand. It’s not a large enough of a gun to cause your body spinning in the air several times before you hit the ground, as seen in the movies, but it’s powerful enough to end a life instantly. It’s 11.63 inches in total length (the barrel measures 6 inches) and it’s about 49ozs heavy. Not the most practical gun in the world, but nothing compares to shooting a .44 Magnum.


The Smith & Wesson’s 460XVR Revolver

You might look at this particular Smith and Wesson model and think “overkill”. When I look at it I see “beauty”. This handgun was introduced in 2005 and the XVR stands for “Extreme Velocity Revolver”. It shoots fairly well, especially at a distance bellow 125 yards; when this distance is exceeded, the trajectory of the projectile tends to get curbed, thus losing accuracy. It’s really noisy, so for those of you that do not enjoy the “music” made by the 460XVR, I recommend you bring along muffs or ear plugs. It has a capacity of 5 bullets, weighs about 75ozs and the barrel length comes in various sizes: 83/8 (standard), 35/8 inches, 6 inches, 7½ inches and 10½ inches. The finish is stainless, which makes it one of the most beautiful handguns in the world.


The WTS .50 BMG Pistol

This is a fully German product. And once again, when it comes to technology, Germany seems to push the barrier just a bit further. Although the WTS .50 BMG (the BMG stands for “Browning Machine gun Cartridge”) is technically a pistol, it weighs about 15.87lbs, which is as heavy as an ordinary riffle. Not to mention that the ammo in question, the .50 Browning Machinegun cartridge, was primarily used to pierce heavy armor and take down tanks and airplanes. Imagine how ridiculously power drunk you would feel to unleash all this power from a “pistol”. Shooting flesh with a WTS .50 BMG can make it disintegrate into thin air… literally! This monster measures 24.21 inches in length (16.92 inches in barrel length), it has an adjustable trigger mechanism and grip safety. Is it practical? Probably not. Is it glorious? Yes.

Getting a big handgun for survival purposes would not be practical for so many reasons that would take forever to explain. There are way better options for a TEOTWAWKI scenario, that’s true. There are lighter, faster and more maneuverable options on the market for preppers and survivalist. But nothing feels quite like shooting a powerful handgun, even if it’s just for target practice. It will be heavy to carry, almost impossible to conceal and the recoil and the noise might sometimes feel like it’s just too much. But if you’re ever in trouble, a big caliber handgun will do its job and stop anybody or anything that threatens your life.


By Alec Deacon




The post 4 Of The Largest Handguns In The World appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Disaster Declared: How Authorities Respond

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disaster declaredWe’re all familiar with how Police and Fire Departments respond to a car accident here, or a house fire there. Police Officers and Firefighters go through months of training as emergency responders, and they do it day in and day out. Cops are good at cop stuff, Firefighters are good at what they do.

But what about those who respond to disasters of all types? How do they determine what their priorities are in the midst of a major catastrophe? Governments, from federal to state to local all have limited budgets and do provide a level of emergency services  but it’s almost never enough to respond to a disaster.

The Next Level

The larger full-government response to a disaster is much more complicated. Even the relationships between cops and firefighters are not always positive: In 2014 in the San Diego area, a California Highway Patrol Officer arrested a firefighter because he would not move his fire engine from a freeway lane while responding to a traffic accident. So imagine during a disaster, adding together a bunch of others that normally don’t work together, like Public Works, the Red Cross, Animal Control, tow services, etc. Personalities, egos, and previous relationships can affect how well these people work together. It can go really well, most of the time it goes OK, but it can go very badly. Like cops arresting firefighters.

In the chaotic first hours of a disaster, the staff on shift are overwhelmed; 911 centers try to keep up with the volume of calls, supervisors try to call in as much off-duty personnel as possible, but in most disasters there is a period of hours-to-days that victims need to do the best they can to take care of themselves. As time goes by, staffing improves and outside resources arrive to assist victims, and local authorities are able to get a handle on things.

Of course, the disaster victim doesn’t care how “hard” it is for the responders. They are hurting or have suffered material losses, and they just want help, the sooner the better. Time slows to a crawl…the normal events of the day like work and school shift to the back burner. Attention to things like salvaging family pictures and putting tarps on the roof tend to isolate the victim from what is going on in the big picture. It’s easy to become so focused on survival that recovery seems a distant fantasy.

Never assume someone else will pay

In general, Disaster Relief is provided to keep you alive, not to completely make you and your property whole. It is only in the most severe disasters that financial grants are provided to victims; in the great majority of small and medium-sized disasters, only loans are available for residents and businesses. The surest financial resource in the short term is good homeowners insurance.

Who is on your side when a disaster is declared?

The last thing you want to be in a disaster is anonymous. You must make your needs known quickly ad with multiple organizations and individuals. Local governments conduct “Initial Damage Estimates” within their jurisdictions. If you are in need, and are not confined to a hospital bed, you need to get the word out to as many people as possible. Use this checklist:

• Your elected reps: City council/Mayor, County Supervisor or Judge, State/Federal reps
• Local American Red Cross
• Your nearest VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters)
• Local Emergency Management/Emergency Services Office
• Your insurance agent
• 2-1-1 is a national number and web site www.211.org to help find community resources
• Local news shows often have consumer assistance phone numbers that may lead to help.

These folks are often in close contact with each other after a disaster, and if you are known to be in need (mud in your house, debris in your yard, you’re disabled living in your damaged house) often volunteers are available to help out. For example, volunteer groups like Team Rubicon and Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief  travel to disaster areas at the invitation of locals to help victims clear their property and mitigate flood damage, free of charge. But they have to know you need help so make sure you make your needs known.

Who is ready to take advantage of you?

In disaster after disaster, predators delight in taking advantage of the chaos to separate you from your money. Building repair scams are epidemic…here are things to avoid:

• Never pay cash, always have a paper trail (check, money order)
• Always document the work to be done in writing (a simple contract is better than none).
• If someone solicits you door-to-door, be very suspicious.
• Check with neighbors, friends and relatives for recommendations.
• Never pay 100% up front, split up the payments based on work completed
• Take photos of damage before work begins in case insurance or disaster relief will pay for repairs

TIP: Right now, make a list of various tradesmen and companies you are familiar with or have been recommended to you and their phone numbers/websites. Include: electricians, roof repair, storage unit company (in case your home is uninhabitable and you must store your belongings somewhere), tree service, plumber, etc. Keep this information in your Grab-n-Go Binder and on a thumb drive or stored in the Cloud via Dropbox or another online service.

The Bottom Line

In most cases, you are very much in control of your destiny in disasters. You can research risks in your area, build your home preparedness supplies, and get a good set of insurance coverage. Keep aware of the weather, sign up for emergency alerts in your community and monitor the Twitter and Facebook posts of your local police and fire departments. And don’t be anonymous!

disaster declared

Emergency Evacuations!

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Emergency Evacuations and Lisa Bedford
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live

Emergency EvacuationsEveryone wants to know when is it time to “bug out”? Leaving too soon could cost you your job or reputation. Leaving too late could cost you your life. While every circumstance is different, Lisa gave this question its own chapter and covered the topic in an orderly, logical manner.

Lisa Bedford’s new book would benefit prepper and non-prepper alike. Lisa will be giving away a copy of Emergency Evacuations during the live broadcast. In order to win, you must be in the chat room while the show airs, which is also a perfect opportunity to ask Lisa questions about the bug out scenarios that concern you most.

It is exceptionally practical, logical, and a grounded approach to preparing for very tense situations. Lisa’s book lacks the overly dramatic, doomsday feel that many prepper books have. While Emergency Evacuations addresses long term bug outs, the focus is on the most likely evacuation scenarios, such as a house fire and natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. This makes her book ideal as a gift to non-preppers, and a gateway to other survival conversations.

12-6-15 lisabedfordLisa Bedford is the owner of the very popular preparedness website, TheSurvivalMom.com. She is also the author of the Amazon best selling preparedness book, Survival Mom: How to Prepare You Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios. Her latest book Emergency Evacuations: Get Out Fast When It Matters Most is sure to be a repeat of this success. Get the book HERE!
Herbal Prepper Website: http://www.herbalprepper.com/

Join us for Herbal Prepper Live “LIVE SHOW” every Sunday 7:00/Et 6:00Ct 4:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Emergency Evacuations and Lisa Bedford” in player below!

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The post Emergency Evacuations! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

4 Best Shotguns For Home And Self-Defense

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Let’s have a look at some of the best shotguns that money can buy because there’s no survival or home invasion scenario that a shotgun can’t get you out of. Maybe you won’t even get to use it, as the sound of pumping your shotgun would be enough in sending chills down the spine of whomever means you harm. But if this fails, know that the large caliber ammo in use is more than enough to even stop an elephant in its tracks; what it’s capable of doing to a human assailant is not even worth mentioning. But shotguns come in a great variety of shapes and sizes and you’ll need to be aware of the differences before getting your own. Maybe the most important criteria to consider is the firing
method, as you can get a pump action or a semi-automatic. Length is also important, as it makes for greater maneuverability in certain situations, not to mention that a more compact one would be easier to carry
around all day as it will most probably be lighter.

The number of rounds that it can hold is a big deal, especially for those of you who aren’t good shots. It deals a world of hurt, it’s true, but you’ll need to hit your target; so the more chances you can take at gunning down your target, the better. The grip shouldn’t be overlooked either. Most shotguns come with a standard rifle-like grip, but some have a grip similar to pistols.


Remington 870 Express Tactical

This is not state of the art when it comes to shotguns, but it’s still one of the most used shotguns out there. It’s made a name for itself, and its capabilities are undisputable. This is a 12 gauge destroyer that has a capacity of 6 + 1. Its reloading system is based on pump action and it measure 18.5″ barrel. For precise aiming (as precise as aiming can be) it comes equipped with a fully adjustable XS Ghost ring and a removable front sight. It uses a SuperCell pad which can reduce recoil by about 40%-50%, depending on the situation. The whole body is covered in a weather resistant Carakote coating, which makes it perfect for those that are used to wandering outside in all sorts of weather conditions. It’s not a cheap shotgun, as it costs around $500, but it doesn’t cut corners in quality and precision.


Beretta AL391 Teknys Gold Target

This is a 12 gauge shotgun that is very well built and it’s fairly easy to shoot. It weighs at about 8lbs 11oz and when it comes to autoloaders, it’s simply one of the best (if not the best) you can find on the market. It has a 30” barrel and it might seem a bit heavy considering its weight, but it doesn’t feel heavy at all while you’re shooting. It has a removable recoil reducer in the buttstock, and if you’re eager of making it lighter, you can simply take the recoil down and drop about 0.5lbs from the overall weight. The self-compensating gas system it’s equipped with runs very smoothly and it reacts very fast, making the shooting process feel incredibly comfortable. It costs $1,200, and in my own personal opinion, you can’t get anything better in this price range.


Winchester SXP

This particular 12 gauge shotgun produced by Winchester has the latest and greatest when it comes to pump technologies, meaning that the SXP pump systems are extremely diverse and reliable. It has aluminum oil receivers, which are lighter and cheaper than steel ones; and despite popular believes they work perfectly. You can get a barrel length of maximum 30” and as far as looks go, there’s a great variety of models to choose from: camo, wood-stocked and synthetic black with chromed elements. It comes equipped with cross-bolt safeties, an Inflex pad that mitigates a great deal of recoil and a rotating bolt head with four locking lugs. This should cost you about $470, and if you ask me, it’d be money well spent.


Mossberg 930 SPX

Moosberg are well known for the quality of their products, and they’ve certainly made no exception to the rule when it comes to the 930 SPX. It’s a 12 gauge shotgun that has an 18.5″ barrel and a capacity of 7 (+ 1). It’s not exactly a cheap shotgun (considering you’ll need to throw away about $700 to get one), which won’t seem that much if you take into account that it’s a semi-automatic we’re talking about.  The top of the gun is equipped with a rail that allows you to fit any sort of aiming system you find compatible; you can install a red dot, a scope or even a holographic site. Loading the magazine is very simple and It can be done very quickly: open the bolt lock, place a shell in the ejection port and push the bolt release.

There’s nothing more to be said about shotguns. We all know them, and we all love them. All you have to do now is find the one that works best for you. Usually prices vary from a couple of hundred $ to many thousands. It’s up to you on how much you’re willing to spend. But just know that if there’s ever the need for it, a shotgun will save the day.


By Alec Deacon



The post 4 Best Shotguns For Home And Self-Defense appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Best Binoculars For Survival Purposes

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Owning a pair of binoculars for survival in a TEOTWAWKI scenario is not only meant to make every day life easier for you, but it could also save your life. Most binoculars are very precise and will let you spot from afar all sorts of dangers that might be coming your way, leaving you with enough time to react. It could also be used for hunting (spotting wild game), guarding your property or simply scouting new territory. So no matter the scenario, binoculars would be always welcome. A good pair of binoculars (and a bit more expensive one) will work fine even in low light or moon light. There are plenty of companies on the market that have specialized in making quality products and are well-known for it, like Olympus, Pentax, Steiner, Brunton, Carson, Zeiss, Leica, Nikon and more. There are plenty of counterfeit products (coming mostly from China) that cost far less but are worth less than the plastic they’re made up from, so stay away from such devices.

To fully understand the importance of such a device we must comprehend what it is and how it works. There various types of binoculars for survival on the market and they come in a great variation of shape and size, but in principle they are all the same:  they’re comprised of two telescopes that are linked together by an adjustable mechanism. The most important factor you have to consider when buying your own binoculars is a sequence similar to, for example, 9×35. These numbers are giving you a lot of information on the capacity of the product, as the number before X (9 in this case) is the magnification factor. A 9X binoculars means that the image will appear to be 9 times closer than it actually is. The number following X (35 in our case) is a specification of the front lens, which is responsible for the light intake capacity. The greater the light intake capacity, the clearer the image is going to be.  So the bigger the number following X is, the more suited the binocular will be for lower light conditions. The RBI (the relative brightness index) is responsible for image brightness. It’s determined by a simple mathematical equation. First we need to figure out the exit pupil in our case, for the 9X35 mode we used as an example. The exit pupil is 35 / 9 = 4 (roughly). The RBI is the square of the exit pupil: 4 x 4 = 16. It’s commonly known that the best binoculars for low lighting conditions are those that hold an RBI bigger than 25, so our example wouldn’t do so well outside proper lighting conditions.

Lens coatings are responsible for light transmission; they’re purposes is to prevent hazardous light reflection and to deliver a clear and focused image. There’s single coating, or a single layer of antireflective coating (Coated), the whole lens to lens surface is coated (Fully Coated), some surfaces have multiple layers of coating (Multi-Coated) and last but not least, all surfaces are covered in multiple antireflective coating layers (Fully Multi-Coated).  Now that we covered the basics, let’s see some of the best binoculars for survival scenario.


The Olympus Outback 10×21 RC 1

This particular model by Olympus is one of the best binoculars you can find if you consider the quality / price ratio. It’s only about $125, and it’s not much if you consider its capabilities. Its field performance is simply outstanding, as it can produce superior imagines to those of binoculars that are twice as big or pricy. It has great sharpness and definition thanks to its high quality roof prism, which is made out of a very high quality optical glass. But like most 10x devices, it requires a steady hand for maximum efficiency, because it also magnifies movement. If you’re interested in buying or finding out more, you can click here.

The Carson Raven RV-826

The Raven RV-826 is real bargain and possibly the best deal for budget preppers. It’s an 8×26 binocular that despite its tiny size, (4.5 x 4.25 inches and 10oz) it delivers quite a clear and steady image. It’s perfect for hikers who simply want to observe their distant surrounding or for people that are out nature watching. It will allow a steady and focused image without making your presence known to the animals you’re watching. These tiny binoculars are really tough and resistant; they come with a waterproof housing that is just impenetrable. And as a bonus, you also get a microfiber cloth for lens cleaning. If the Raven RV-826 is the right tool for you, know that it’s no more expensive than $79 and that you can find it here.

The Brunton Eterna Compact 10×25

The Eterna Compact 10×25 by Brunto is worth mentioning because of its image clarity and focus despite its tiny frame. Despite its small carcass, it’s pretty heavy, weighing in at 1lb 1oz. The excessive weight seems to justify if you consider the toughnes of the Eterna Compact 10×25. It has neoprene lens covers that are easily removed (even if you’re wearing gloves), it has a padded neck strap and a very efficient and functional focusing dial. What sets it apart from regular, cheaper binoculars is the adjustable diopter setting for each eye that allows precision focusing for maximum clarity. It’s not a cheap device (it costs about $360), but it’s precise, well built and durable. Those that are interested, click here.

There are many options, and the prices vary from tens to hundreds of dollars. What you ultimately buy is entirely up to you. Just know that for survival purposes you don’t need the latest and greatest, so you don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money. You can find good binoculars even on a tight budget that, if need be, we’ll undoubtedly provide you with an advantage in a SHTF scenario.


By Alec Deacon




The post Best Binoculars For Survival Purposes appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

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We’re all aware of what a gas mask is; at least we have some idea about them. Gas masks (aka. respirators) are heavily used in society. The Police force has them, the Special Forces have them, the firefighters have them, spray painters have them etc. The basic use of a gas mask is to serve as filter for the air you’re breathing in and to stop possible irritants and noxious substances from getting into your respiratory system and affecting you general state your health.

The best gas masks (or respirators) are based on the same principle: the air is pulled into the canister that has a filtering system (on 3 layers: aerosol filter, charcoal filter and dust filter) and then is released towards the interior of the mask; the filtered air is safe to breathe.

The air is sucked into the canister as the wearer breathes. There are also battery operated gas masks, equipped with a fan, that will syphon air inside, but become useless when the batteries die out. There are also some that work just like a scuba breathing system: they don’t have a filtering canister, but a pressurized air canister, that is completely sealed.

A gas mask is a real asset for any serious prepper. It’s an absolute must-have in case of a chemical or biological attack. Works just as well in a combat zone, as it’ll filter out heavy smoke and even dust clouds. There two main types of masks: half masks and full mask. I half mask will cover your mouth and nose only; they’re used in spray painting and are recommended only if you know what contaminant you’re dealing with. In case of an extremely dangerous contaminant or if you simply don’t know what you’re facing, a full gas mask is the way to go. Not only will it cover your respiratory system, but I’ll also protect your eyes and face from dangerous agents, like Anthrax etc.

Israeli Civilian Gas Mask

This gas mask was issued by the Israeli government, is NATO approved and it’s perfect if you consider the quality / price ratio (it costs about $80). Because of the relatively low price and good features, it’s regarded to be as the standard gas mask for civilian protection. It’s best used in an evacuation scenario from a contaminated area. The mask itself is made out of a soft but durable rubber that covers the whole face (full mask); it offers great protection not only for the respiratory system, but also for the entire face. It has extremely efficient filters (NBC filters) that will keep you safe from almost everything, from nuclear and biological agents (like Anthrax) to chemical agents. This particular gas mask comes in both adult and child versions.

M61 Finnish Gas Mask

The MA61 model was developed in Finland and it’s meant to be used as a heavy-duty gas mask. It’s a side-mounted mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask, rather than in the font. The rubber it’s made from is extremely durable, but rather soft flexible at the same time. Its flexibility means that the mask will incase the face of the wearer perfectly, making it airtight, so that noxious fumes or chemical agents won’t find their way inside. It uses a twin goggle system rather than a single visor. The exhalation system has a plastic valve with an integrated speech diaphragm, for better communication.



The 1000 CBA-RCA mask is 100% American and it was developed based on a US Military design that was used by the USAF during the Operation Desert Storm. It has a Hycar face piece which is about 40% lighter than most full gas masks and also a customizable fit. There’s also a standard nose cup to eliminate visor fogging and a mechanical speaking diaphragm. The visor is a one piece that’s extremely tough and offers great field of vision. The canister can be mounted on both the left and the right side and it’s effective against all sorts of biological and chemical agents, like Mustard, Lewisite, GA, GB, GD etc. The head harness is adjustable and stable. There’s also an ID tag attached and it includes a CBA-RCA canister. The whole package comes at about $300.

There are plenty of models that are available on the market, it’s only a matter of personal choice. The price of a certain gas mask does not necessarily reflect its quality, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good product that will filter well and fit great. But you’ll need to educate yourself in the matter a bit so you won’t throw your money out the window. Luckily there’s many manufacturer’s and sellers and price ranges vary from one to the other. So keep hunting for bargains, you’ll most likely find them.


By Alec Deacon



The post Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Survival Footwear : Choosing The Right Shoes For The Right Situation

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Those of you out there who have done hiking before or any sort of expedition, be it on moderate or rough climates and settings, will no doubt understand why having the right shoes in a TEOTWAWKI situation could mean the very difference between life and death. If you’ll find yourself obligated to travel a lot and carry heavy stuff with you, you’ll need to have the right provisions and gear for the job; and the right pair of shoes or boots is no exception. When it comes to survival footwear, wearing the right pair of shoes or boots will spare you a lot of trouble. There is no universality in this case, there is no one pair of shoes or boots for all scenarios and settings, but rather specialized products that will suit the wearer’s needs based on terrain, weather and distance. When choosing yours, looks will be the last thing to consider. You’ll have to take into consideration insulation, durability, shoe size (make sure you get the right size or walking in the wrong size shoes will take itstoll very soon), the type of socks you’ll be wearing (normal or hiking socks), the terrain and weather conditions you’ll need the shoes or boots for and ultimately the fact the sturdy footwear will need to be broken in. They might not feel comfortable at first, but in time, you’ll get used to them. Price is also an important issue, especially for tight budget preppers like me, who never feel like spending more than they absolutely have to. There many products available on the market and the prices vary a lot. But know that “expensive” is not necessarily equivalent with “best” when it comes to survival footwear, so you won’t have to sell your soul just to afford a pair of trail shoes or boots.


Hiking boots

Hiking boots are the right shoes bring along for planed trips, especially if you’re planning on staying a bit longer outdoors; they work extremely well and will be very comfortable if you’re dealing with moderately rough terrain. They should be well built, fairly insulated and if you’ll be carrying some weight, they’ll be the best option you have. The sturdier the boot is, the more resistant it will be in the field. The taller boots are usually more durable and will offer better ankle protection. The best ones are partially waterproof and will be as comfortable as possible even after long walks on rough terrain. The Durand Mid WP is what I’ve been using lately and it’s probably the best pair I’ve had so far: it’s waterproof, breathable and it has an integrated heel cushion and midsole for better comfort.


Heavy duty hiking boots

This particular type of hiking boots takes the hiking game to a whole new level. They’re the best option for those who spend more time on the go then they do in their homes. They’re generally used for cross-country backpacking, be it on normal or very rough terrains. They might not be as light as regular hiking boots, but they’re the better option, as they’re tougher and better for people that are carrying heavy loads throughout rough terrains and settings. Choosing a pair of heavy duty hiking boots will require a great deal of attention from your part. These types of boots don’t necessarily feel comfortable at first, you’ll need to break them in first. So try them on carefully before purchasing and analyze whether they’re worth the money or not. The most serious stores have small areas that will simulate the boots performance on various terrains. The Asolo backpacking boots, with Gore-Tex inserts and Vibram outsoles are some of the best heavy duty hiking boots on the market; they’re pretty light too, as they weigh less than 2lbs.


Mountaineering boots

They’re the epitome of survival footwear, and  the first clear sign you get is in the price, as even the cheapest pair of mountaineering boots will cost no less than a couple of hundred bucks. As the name clearly shows, they’re suited for hiking in extreme and rough alpine terrain, at high attitudes and low temperatures.

They’re built to be heavy and rigid, but with good reason. Even the standard models have very stiff soles and shanks (in order to provide maximum protection to your feet and ankles), a multi-layered build comprised of rigid shanks for stability and protection, an insulating inner lining and a waterproof lining. The soles are very thick and rigid, built for maximum grip even on slippery surfaces. The Nepal Evo, by La Sportiva, is everything I just mentioned and more, with durable leather and metal lace loops and with an impressive overall built that will make it suitable for even the roughest conditions.


If what we’ve been looking at so far is a bit much for you, worry not. If you’re nothing more than an amateur hiker that goes on light hikes only, you can always buy a simple pair of regular hiking shoes. These are nothing more than improved sport shoes that will do well on regular strolls in the wild.

Unless you’re facing rough terrain on bad weather, you’ll have nothing to worry about. But whether you’re considering buying the simplest pair of hiking shoes or a state-of-the-art mountaineering boots, always try them on before buying. Unlike regular pairs of shoes, hiking footwear will require some wearing arround the house before you’ll get completely used to them.


By Alec Deacon




The post Survival Footwear : Choosing The Right Shoes For The Right Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life

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Let’s assume for a moment that you’re out hiking or exploring. Or even a worst case scenario: you’ve been stranded due to an unfortunate accident or event into an unknown place, far from civilization. Even if you’re a bit familiar to the wilderness or have a clue where you are, it’s still bad; not knowing is even worse. The first reasonable thing to do is to try and locate where you are and start moving towards a safe zone. Many of you will consider the modern approach to navigation, based on a GPS system. But what if your electronic device (phone, tablet, GPS device) gets damaged or it simply runs out of battery? You should be fine as long as you remembered to pack a survival navigation tools, a map and a compass as a backup. Every serious prepper should have a compass in his private survival kit. There’s a great variety of compasses on the market, to suit the needs of even the keenest explorers. The beginners or light travelers could always get a basic compass, one that’s cheap, works great but it doesn’t have some bonus features, such as a mirror or a declination adjustment etc. For the more serious hikers and preppers, there are more advanced compasses, with many additional features (magnifier, mirror etc.) that make navigation easier and are perfect for those who wonder regularly into unknown territory. It all comes down to choosing the one that works best for you. Let’s have a look at what’s available on the market.


How a compass works

A compass has a tiny plastic bubble filled with liquid, a damping fluid, which is mostly oil based and treated with antifreeze so the compass can work even in low-temperature environments. Its role is not only to protect the pointer needle from outside interference, but also to prevent the needle from excessive jiggling and trembling caused by the magnetic forces of the earth. If you find yourself in a cold environment or at high altitudes, the liquid will contract creating a bubble inside the plastic casing, but this won’t affect accuracy. When you return to normal conditions, the air bubble will disappear.

The magnetized needle encased in the plastic liquid-filled transparent bubble is the one that’s responsible for telling directions. It has 2 pointy sides, one of which is strongly attuned to the earth’s strongest magnetic field, generated by the magnetic North Pole. So at any point, this needle (which is normally red) will point north. However, the magnetic north is different from the geographic north. The magnetic north is situated in a chain of islands in the Canadian Arctic. So you must compensate and calculate the differences when traveling by map and compass.

There are also electronic compasses available on the market, which are easier to read thanks to their displays. But they’re less reliable than traditional ones for the same reasons every other battery operated GPS device is: they’re fragile and are dependent on an external energy source that will run out soon or later.

Compasses to consider

The Suunto A-10 field compass is a very simple and efficient compass that works great.  It’s lightweight, made from a scratch-resistant and shock-absorbing transparent material and it has an ergonomic design which makes it easy to hold and handle or to fit in a small pocket; it also comes equipped with a detachable snap lock. It supports a two-zone reading (covering the entire north hemisphere) for an extra accurate reading, which can be done in both inches and centimeters. The needled is not flooded in liquid, but this doesn’t seem to affect the overall performance of this compass in any way.


The Cammenga Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lensatic Compass is a very established name in the field. It’s a very sturdy field compass that is completely waterproof and it’s has a very tough aluminum frame. You can carry it tied to your wrist, clipped securely to your belt or just have it sit in its own carrying pouch. It weighs about 8 ounces and the dial includes both degrees and miles. It has phosphorescent paint to make for easy readings at night and for those who don’t mind spending twice the money, there is also a tritium version available. This tiny navigation gadget has been approved by the DoD, so that tells us a lot about its quality and efficiency.


The Suunto KB-14 360R Pro Compass it’s absolutely state of the art as far as accuracy goes. It’s a professional compass, which means great investments have been made and excellent materials went in the making of this particular model. It’s extremely accurate, down to a third of a degree or 0.5 degrees when it comes to graduated intervals. The shell is made from a durable anodized light alloy, it has superior damping fluid (which stay consistent even in extreme conditions) and a nylon pouch for protection. This model is highly used by professional cartographers, surveyors and foresters. It’d be the perfect compass if it had the declination correction feature; luckily this feature is available on the improved (and more expensive) KB-14D model.

There are still plenty of models out there for you to check out and chose from. But make no mistake about it: we’re far from that technical breakthrough, when electronics can replace classical gadgets in a survival scenario. I’m not saying that the GPS systems are completely useless, far from it. But when the computer systems fail, you’ll need to revert to a simpler way if you want to survive.


By Alec Deacon



The post Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

5 Of The Best Radios To Stay Connected In A Survival Situation

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Believe it or not, no serious prepper should go without one of the best radios in his personal survival kit. And this is because when modern society fails and crumbles (and our means of communications will be amongst the first to go) or if you simply find yourself stranded, you’ll need to keep in touch with the latest news. Information will be vital for your very existence in such a scenario, and you very own survival radio device will get the job done. So whether hostile armed forces are marching in towards your location or whether a natural disaster is heading your way, you’ll hear it all and have enough time to take whatever precautions are necessary. Choosing a radio for a SHTF situation won’t be as easy as choosing one for everyday life.

These tiny gadgets can be very complex, but their complexity is a plus if anything. You can have radios that are set to pick up certain wavelengths that transmit the status of natural disasters. Some support multiple power sources, some can charge your small appliances (phones, etc.) and others have a crank system that will allow them to work when there is no energy left. Here are some of the best choices that are available on the market.

The American Red Cross FRX3 is a radio made to work indefinitely, despite the fact that there might be no electrical power running through the plugs anymore. Of course, it does have the capability to stay plugged in, but when the plugs fail to deliver, you can use the crank shaft to power up its internal NiMH battery. And if your hand gets tired, you can just point it towards a strong enough light source and the solar panel will do the rest. It’s not just a radio, it’s an intricate device that gets AM / FM bands, all the NOAA (National Weather Service) bands, has a flashlight attached and a USB port to charge up other devices. If you’re the type of person that often losses things, you’ll be happy to know that the Red Cross FRX3 is very hard to misplace, as it has a glow-in-the-dark locator and a flashing red beacon.

American Red Cross FRX3

The Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager is a radio that is very light, well built and comes with many gadgets that can prove very useful in all sorts of situations. It has many choices when it comes to power sources (AC, Battery, computer, hand crank and solar), ensuring its autonomy in all sorts of environments. The solar panel is situated at the top of the device and it’s adjustable at a 180° angle. This feature is very convenient, as you won’t have to turn the whole device towards light sources. But its strongest feature by far is the array of lightning options you get with this radio device: a flashlight, a red strobe and if these weren’t enough, it also has 5 LEDs for reading light. It gets all sorts of wavelengths (even shortwave broadcasts). And for those of you for whom esthetics matter just as much as anything else, the radio comes in black, red, blue, green or yellow.

Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager

The Grundig S450DLX is an excellent digital radio device, very strong and reliable. It’s very good especially when it comes to shortwave signals. It has a preset channel function that will allow you to preset you favorite radio channels and to access them with the push of the button; you get 50 slots for preset channels (10 per each band). The large LCD display is clear and easy to read and the knobs work perfectly (both the normal tuning and fine-tuning). It receives a high quality signal, with very little background noise, mainly thanks to its excellent anti-interference. And if somehow you’re still having trouble getting a clear signal, you can attach an external antenna. Aa a power source, it uses DC IN (9V) or 6 D batteries.

Grundig S450DLX

The Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio is a radio similar to the model used by the Red Cross, except theirs is smaller. Personally, I’m having doubts whether this is a radio or a flashlight first, as the 3 LED lights fitted on this device are very powerful. As power sources, the internal batteries can be charged by USB, hand crank or through the solar panel. The display is easy to read and the radio picks both AM / FM bands, as well as all 7 NOAA weather bands. Most of the device is incased in a rubber-like housing, which acts as a shock absorbent and also waterproofs the circuits.

Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio

The Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum is one of the most versatile tiny radios on the market. It’s small, very light and you can carry it around everywhere by either throwing it in your backpack or a pocket, or simply by keeping it tied to your wrist. It has an incredibly large number of features such a small device: it has LED lights (low beam / high beam), emergency flash (bright red), 144mm diameter compass (oil based), crank charger, USB charger, security alarm (that’s motion activated) and state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries. As you can plainly see, it has EVERYTHING except the kitchen sink. But that’ll hopefully be included in the next model.

Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum

Staying in touch with the world is a must for all of us. But a simple radio just won’t do. As you can see, there are plenty of choices out there for preppers when it comes to survival radios. And there are plenty more models to check out in order to find the “perfect fit” for you. But get your very own radio, and fast. You’ll never know what’s going to happen next.

By Alec Deacon

The post 5 Of The Best Radios To Stay Connected In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Start prepping… I have no idea what to do???

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how to start preppingSo you want to delve into the world of preparedness? Welcome… and prepare to be overwhelmed. It is not your fault. We have all been there. With good intentions, you will plan and plot to prepare yourself for any disaster your imagination can contrive. Like you, we had no clue what to do.

Do not distress! Below are four easy steps to get you started.

1. Do a personal risk assessment

Domestic risks: Look at your home and home life. What are the possible events that could occur? Some examples may be a health crisis of elderly or disabled family members, a medical emergency, or unemployment. Consider safety in your home. Carbon monoxide, fire, property damage from fire, burst pipes, etc.
Geographical risks: Where do you live? Tornado alley, hurricane territory, fire or earthquake areas, maybe areas of extreme heat or cold? Check to see if you are at risk of mudslides, overflowing rivers and dams.
Local risks: Observe what is outside of your home. What disasters could happen in your area? Consider civil unrest, chemical plants, refineries, hazardous materials transported by rail or road.

2. Food and water

Even if it is enough to get you through 72 hours of any emergency, go get it. Water is an inexpensive, yet life essential. Use your risk assessment as your guide. Purchase food that you will be able to prepare and eat according to your possible risks. Don’t forget food for any pets you may have. They will be hungry too.

3. Medical and personal items

• Start with those in your home with medical or health issues. Take into consideration, medicine and medical supplies. In addition to specialty drinks/food and equipment, this may include incontinence supplies and other daily disposable items.
• A good quality first aid kit also needs to be on hand. It should cover the basic OTC medicine, along with bandages, gauze and medical tape.
• If you have a baby in the home, remember to have extra diapers and wipes. Also stock up on additional menstrual supplies.

4. Basic survival

• Basic items would be toilet paper, batteries, flashlights, a radio, matches, and cash. Again, go over your risk assessment and decide what you will need.
• Have fuel on hand. Make a habit or filling your gas tank when it gets to half empty. Have fuel on hand to cook with, heat your home and any light source.
• Make copies of important papers. Prescriptions, family contacts, insurance information, doctors’ numbers, etc.

These four steps can get you off to a good start into a prepper’s world. You will have some peace knowing that you can get through a small emergency. All of these steps can be looked into at a more expansive and deeper level. As you continue to work on being prepared, you will develop skills and confidence you did not know you had.
how to start prepping

Earth Changes Accelerate As 12 Major Earthquakes Hit Chile Within The Last 24 Hours

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Earth Globe Water Fire - Public Domain

By Michael Snyder – End Of The American Dream

Something strange is happening to our planet.  Over the past 30 days, there seems to have been much more “shaking” than normal, and this is particularly true along the Ring of Fire.  This afternoon I visited the official website of the U.S. Geological Survey, and I discovered that Chile had been hit with 12 major earthquakes within the last 24 hours alone.  The smallest was of magnitude 4.4, and the two largest both measured magnitude 6.9.  We have also seen dozens of volcanoes erupt recently, including the incredibly dangerous Mt. Popocatepetl in Mexico.  Fortunately we have not seen a major disaster that kills thousands of people yet, but many believe that all of this shaking is leading up to one.  In addition, the weather all over the world continues to get freakier and freakier.  Just today, Yemen was hit by a second major tropical cyclone in less than a week.  Any one of these strange disasters in isolation may not seem like that big of a deal, but when you start putting all of the pieces together it starts to become clear that something really significant is taking place.

So why are all of these things happening?  Well, some experts point to the sun.  In recent years there has been a tremendous amount of hype about “global warming”, but the truth is that evidence is starting to emerge that indicates that our sun might be heading into a period of “hibernation”

The sun will go into “hibernation” mode around 2030, and it has already started to get sleepy. At the Royal Astronomical Society’s annual meeting in July, Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University in the UK confirmed it – the sun will begin its Maunder Minimum (Grand Solar Minimum) in 15 years. Other scientists had suggested years ago that this change was imminent, but Zharkova’s model is said to have near-perfect accuracy.

And what did we see last winter?  It was a very cold, bitter winter that set new all-time records all over the planet.  Here is more from that same article

Continue reading at End Of The American Dream: Earth Changes Accelerate As 12 Major Earthquakes Hit Chile Within The Last 24 Hours

About the author:

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

Read his new book The Beginning of the End

Filed under: Earthquakes, News/ Current Events, Science, Space Weather, Volcanic Activity

Violent Shaking Along The Ring Of Fire Continues A Progression Of Disasters That Began In September

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The Ring Of Fire - Photo from Wikipedia

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse Blog

Have you noticed that seismic activity along the Ring of Fire appears to be dramatically increasing?  According to Volcano Discovery, 39 volcanoes around the world have recently erupted, and 32 of them are associated with the Ring of Fire.  This includes Mt. Popocatepetl which sits only about 50 miles away from Mexico City’s 18 million inhabitants.  If you are not familiar with the Ring of Fire, it is an area roughly shaped like a horseshoe that runs along the outer perimeter of the Pacific Ocean.  Approximately 90 percent of all earthquakes and approximately 75 percent of all volcanic eruptions occur along the Ring of Fire.  Just within the last 24 hours, we have witnessed a 4.4, a 5.4 and a 5.7 earthquake in Alaska, a 6.8 earthquake in Chile and 20 earthquakes in Indonesia of at least magnitude 4.3.  And as you will see below, this violent shaking along the Ring of Fire seems to continue a progression of major disasters that began back during the month of September.

For whatever reason, our planet suddenly seems to be waking up.  Unfortunately, the west coast of the United States is one of the areas where this is being felt the most.  The little city of San Ramon, California is about 45 miles east of San Francisco, and over the past several weeks it has experienced a record-breaking 583 earthquakes

A total of 583 small earthquakes have shaken San Ramon, California, in the last three weeks or so – more than five times the record set 12 years ago, according to the latest US Geological Survey updates.

“It’s the swarm with the largest number of total earthquakes in San Ramon,” said USGS scientist David Schwartz, who is more concerned about the size of quakes than he is the total number of them. Still, the number tops the previous record set in 2003, when 120 earthquakes hit over 31 days, with the largest clocking in at a magnitude of 4.2.

Could this be a prelude to a major seismic event in California?

We shall see what happens.

Meanwhile, records are being shattered in the middle part of the country as well.

For instance, the state of Oklahoma has already set a brand new yearly record for earthquakes

Continue reading at The Economic Collapse Blog: Violent Shaking Along The Ring Of Fire Continues A Progression Of Disasters That Began In September

About the author:

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

Read his new book The Beginning of the End

Filed under: Earthquakes, News/ Current Events, Volcanic Activity

Disaster Preparedness: What You Need to Know

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Disasters are events that occur in nature and affect the life and homes of people and their environments. Natural disasters can strike anytime, anywhere in the world, many times to unsuspecting people. It is vitally important that everyone have an emergency plan in place, even if you live in a part of the world where disasters are uncommon. Part of a successful disaster plan includes ensuring you and your family knows what the plan is. For example, in case of a disaster, you should already have a pre-determined and agreed upon place to meet in the event you are separated. Every family member should know where the local emergency shelters are located. Every home should have an emergency kit available with necessary supplies and everyone should know where the kit is located. The following are three examples of disasters, including what to do and ways to prepare.

earthquakeEarthquake– an earthquake occurs when plates in the Earth’s crust shift and move. These movements generally happen along fault lines, or where the Earth’s plates meet with each other. Earthquakes can happen anywhere in the world at any time. There is no warning and immense devastation and loss of life is possible.


What to do During an Earthquake– if you are inside, get on all fours. If possible, crawl underneath a desk or table as close to the ground as you can. Attempt to grab a pillow or blankets and cover your head and neck. This may protect you from falling or flying debris. Avoid standing next to outdoor walls of your home, as they may fall. It’s best to get to an inside wall that offers more stability. If you are outside, try to get inside somewhere safe. If this is not possible, get on the ground and avoid power lines, buildings and telephone poles, as those may fall. Try to cover your head and neck. If you are in your car, stay in the car. Do not attempt to drive. Avoid overpasses, ramps and bridges as they may collapse.

floodFlood-this event happens when too much rainfall accumulates faster than the ground can absorb the water. This may happen during heavy thunderstorms, hurricanes and monsoons. Flooding may also occur during a tsunami. Flash floods happen everywhere and can occur at any time. Weather forecasters have gotten better at predicting these events through advanced warning systems and radar. However, this sometimes is not enough.


What To Do during a Flood– Whether inside or out, head to higher ground. If your house floods, go to the highest level of your home. It is important to unplug electrical devices and disconnect gas lines to avoid electrocution and explosions. Outside, it is important to avoid driving or walking through floodwaters. It is possible that even a few inches of water may be enough to sweep you down into a current. Do not move until help arrives.



Tornado-a tornado occurs when a strong electrical storm forms a rotating funnel cloud. The cloud touches the ground and moves at very high speeds, destroying anything in its path. This may include homes, cars, and roadways. Tornadoes may occur anywhere, but the most frequent occurrences for tornadic activity happen in the Midwest portion of the United States. Tornadoes provide little to no warning and are extremely dangerous and destructive.



What To Do during a Tornado– keep your eye on the sky for rapid changes in the weather. Often a black, low-lying cloud will appear first. Sometimes it is quiet right before a tornado occurs. If you see or hear the “roaring” sound of a tornado, seek shelter immediately. If you are inside, get to the most interior room in your home, especially if it is windowless. Often, bathrooms are the safest place. If you are outside, find a place low to the ground, preferably below the street level such as a canal or ditch and cover your head. Watch out for flying debris.


What Should I Have in My Home?

The key to surviving a disaster is being prepared. No matter what type of disaster occurs, you should have the following things in your home:

An Emergency Kit– This should include enough drinking water for every person in your home (one gallon per person per day), three days’ supply of non-perishable foods, a manual can opener, a whistle (You can signal for help), waterproof matches, a flashlight and an emergency radio with extra batteries, garbage bags and wipes (for sanitation), a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit. The first aid kit should include bandages, tape, anti-bacterial cream, gloves, tweezers, and medicines for headaches, diarrhea and upset stomach.


Anyone can find himself or herself in a disaster. Planning ahead for emergency situations and good communication is the key to making the best of a bad situation. Pay attention to local and federal agencies for emergency information, instructions and suggestions when an emergency strikes.


About the Author:

Kelly Ray is a student from Washington University, where she consults students with different questions about education, everyday life and preparedness process. You can check her blog about essay writing topreviewstars.com and follow her on Facebook and Google+

This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license.  All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.


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Long-Term Fuel Storage for Preppers

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When it finally happens and the proverbial “stuff hits the fan,” it’s probably going to be bad. Say “goodbye” to fully stocked shelves at the grocery store, readily available medical care, and just about every other modern comfort you can think of. Everything as we know it today will change in the blink of an eye.

I’m not saying that overnight our society will be transformed into a post-apocalyptic scenario like in Mad Max where we all become War Boys scouring the wastelands looking for fuel and supplies while screaming, “For Valhalla!” I’m just saying it’s not going to be pretty, and preparation will be key when everything comes crashing down.
As in most apocalyptic movies there are usually three crucial things that every person needs to survive in a catastrophe: food, medical supplies, and fuel. I’m assuming most people are already aware of the need to stockpile food and medical supplies, but fuel is often overlooked. Many people are unaware of the need to store fuel. Not just for the family van, but for heat, cooking, electricity, and of course transportation. When I say fuel storage, I am not just talking about gasoline. We also have to consider kerosene for heating, propane and butane for cooking, and diesel and gasoline for generators and transportation.

Storing Kerosene
Kerosene should be stored in a container that is approved for this specific fuel. I’m sure you’ve seen the different colored gas cans in the hardware stores. There is a reason for the different colors; it isn’t just to make them look pretty. Blue is the color container that is earmarked just for Kerosene. Therefore, if you need a storage container for this fuel, you will need to purchase a blue-colored container.
As with most fuels Kerosene will start to degrade after about three months of normal storage. This degradation can be postponed though by following a few guidelines. First, when filling the container leave a little air in the top for fuel expansion from changes in temperature.
Always avoid using open containers. An open container can lead to water contamination and oxidation resulting in bad or poor performing fuel. You always want to store Kerosene in a cool and dry location. The use of fuel additives can also greatly extend the life of Kerosene. A fuel stabilizer such as PRI-D will extend the life of this fuel from several months to even years if the fuel is re-treated with a fuel stabilizer periodically.

Storing Propane and Butane
How do you store Propane and Butane? Aren’t pressurized containers dangerous? They can be very dangerous if you don’t know how to store them. Propane should always be stored in a dry and well ventilated area, preferably in a storage shed located away from residential areas. Never store propane containers in an area where there may be a source of ignition such as garages or a well/pump house.
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You also want to be sure that propane and butane storage containers are not kept in any areas that may cause the container to rust. Butane specifically requires a cool and dry storage location, but it must also be stored indoors at all times and never placed in direct sunlight for any length of time. Be sure to watch for possible ignition sources with Butane such as electrical outlets, stoves, and other heat sources. Improper storage of these pressurized containers may result in an explosion, a runaway canister, or a dangerous gas leak.

Storing Gasoline and Diesel
Probably the most commonly used fuels we need are gasoline and diesel. It can be difficult to determine how much of these fuels you should store. Usage factor is determined on an individual basis. A single person may not need as much gasoline as someone with a family of six. I can get buy on a relatively small generator to power what I need, but someone with a large family may need a lot of gasoline or diesel to power a larger generator to meet their needs.
Storage of gasoline and diesel is very similar to that of kerosene. They must be stored in a location that is dry and cool to maximize the storage life. Remember, it is vitally important to keep condensation away from any fuel you are storing. Water and air don’t play well with stored fuels. Also, don’t forget to store gas and diesel in their appropriately colored containers. Red is for gasoline and yellow is for Diesel.
Gasoline can normally be stored for up to three months before it begins to break down and lose its effectiveness. Diesel can typically be stored for up to six months. As with kerosene, gasoline and diesel can benefit from the addition of a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers such as STA-BIL Storage and STA-BIL Diesel can keep fuel fresh and ready for use for an extended period of time.
Unfortunately, we can’t keep gas and diesel fresh indefinitely. The best way to keep a fresh supply of fuel is to use what we have stored when it is close to going bad and then replenish our stock. With proper rotation of stored fuel and proper storage techniques we can easily be prepared for just about any situation.

By Alex Vanover

Alex Vanover is an auto industry professional and avidly writes about the advancements and new technologies in today’s automotive industry. He is also the purveyor of Motorcycle Trading Post. In his spare time he enjoys reading, first person shooter video games, and riding his Harley Davidson.



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Home Essentials You Need for Survival

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With so many daily work, family, and personal distractions, it’s no wonder so many of us remain unconcerned and unprepared for a potential disaster to strike. But they do strike often, all around the world, and assuming you and your family will be exempt could endanger your lives.

Even though it takes thought and investment, preparing your home and your family for unexpectedly harsh conditions is well worth the sacrifice. In fact, the peace of mind alone might be worth it. If you don’t know where to get started, Modernize offers up a list of home essentials to build off of as you collect survival supplies.

Flashlights, Lanterns, and Backup Batteries
When anticipating a disaster, the last thing you should rely on is electricity. And there’s nothing more frightening than thinking of trying to keep your family safe in total darkness. Make sure flashlights and lanterns are handy in several rooms of the house, and always keep a good stock of backup batteries and bulbs. Solar flashlights are also a great addition, especially if you’re going to need to be on the move.

Hand Crank Radio
Staying tuned in to what’s going on could mean the difference between life and death. Procure a solar hand crank radio that will keep you updated on the news and weather while you keep your family locked up safe.

How To Survive A Permanent Power Outage

Solar Oven and Freezer
Nobody hopes that the aftermath of a disaster will be long-term. But it’s best to prepare for a longer time without electricity than you would like to imagine. Solar ovens are simple, effective, and can cook food in a variety of ways. Ready-to-go, just-add-water meals are very handy for a short term emergency. But a solar oven and a solar freezer to store your food stock could work in tandem to keep your family eating well in spite of the circumstances.

Coats and Boots
Being prepared for inclement weather is essential. Heavy-duty raincoats, winter coats, hiking boots, and rain boots will help keep them warm in dry in case of flooding or freezing weather. It will also help them travel more easily if traveling becomes necessary.

Water Purifier
Aside from shelter, water is the most immediate and vital need in many emergency situations. If you are not prepared to convert unsafe water into potable water, you’re not truly prepared at all. You need to both have ways to filter water and purify it. While you’re thinking of your water needs, it never hurts to set up a rain catchment system that will allow you access to running water—though you will still need to treat rainwater to make it potable.

First Aid Supplies
A well-stocked survival first aid kit will include gloves, surgical shears, antiseptic wipes, bandages, pain relieving medication, antibiotic ointment, cotton-tipped applicators, sterile
gauze pads, a thermometer, tweezers, and several other items.

Make sure to thoroughly research and go beyond the basics for your first aid kit.

Pet Supplies
No one overlooks their kids when they plan for a disaster, but a pet isn’t always foremost on everyone’s mind. Pets need their own survival supplies including food, blankets, bowls, a leash, their own first aid supplies, and anything else you determine your individual pets’ need.

Sanitary Supplies
While weather disasters are more common in America these days, epidemics also pose a danger—as do unclean condition potentially caused by natural disasters. Supplies that would come in handy during a dangerous outbreak include: adhesive sealing masks with eye shields, anti-bacterial and anti-virus lotion, anti-bacterial wipes, bio hazard bags, bio hazard suits and gloves, and a supply of antibacterial soap.

Hygiene Essentials
Comfort and cleanliness isn’t usually the first thing on your mind in a survival situation. But if you prepare ahead, you can be more thorough about what your family needs and wants. Items like soap, toilet tissue, toothbrushes and toothpastes, feminine products, deodorant, and razors will come in handy even after just a day of relying on your survival supplies.

Sleeping Bags
Reflective sleeping bags that are cushy and can withstand harsh weather could mean the difference between a safe and good night’s rest and many sleepless, anxious nights. To protect your family from hypothermia, select sleeping bags that offer heavy insulation, fully waterproof materials, and low temperature ratings.

70 howtos for your preps

Emergency Preparedness Guide
No matter how much you prepare yourself and your family, any type of emergency or disaster is bound to come with surprises. Instead of relying completely on your supplies and knowledge, make sure you have the educational resources anyone in your family would need to know how to deal with in difficult disaster-related circumstances.

Multi-Tool Knife
Weapons are certainly an important aspect of a home survival kit, as are tools. Combine them into one item for optimum efficiency and ease of use. You never know when a screwdriver, pliers, or a mini saw could come in handy.

These are simply the foundational items for a home survival kit. Build off of your family’s anticipated needs and show them how to use the supplies in case of an emergency.  


By Mary Saurer

Mary Sauer is a writer who has been published by Babble, Mom.me, and What to Expect. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters.


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Signaling For Help In Distress

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When we think of signaling for help in distress, we tend to think of fires and smokes. That’s why most of us are loaded on fire-starting devices – from primitive ones like sticks and stones, to modern ones like instafire and waterproof matches, we have them all stocked in our ultimate bug out bag.

Yet when things get tough, fire can turn out to be a heartbreakingly inadequate signal; you could be stocked on sticks and stones for a blazing beacon, and find out the weather’s too wet to get a fire going.
That’s why knowing alternative methods to call for aid is such a valuable skill to have, when disaster strikes. The tools you can use to signal for help are various, and your survival kit should include more than one. Here are five tools that can help you signal distress, when the most widespread fire-creation techniques fail.

  1. Whistles

Whistles make for one of the best audible distress signals in existence – they’re light, they’re loud, they’re long-lasting, and they hardly take up any space in one’s survival bag. Follow the internationally-recognized rule of threes when using a whistle: three short blasts, spaced five seconds apart for effective reach. You might want to attach your whistles to rings or clips to make sure you don’t lose them. Make sure to choose vibrant whistles that can be spotted easily if accidentally dropped, just in case you still lose them!

  1. Mirrors

A historical staple, the hand-held mirror is a simple but highly effective signaling device. Aimed right, it can create a beacon as long as 10 miles, catching the attention of people and aircrafts. It’s also a good way to scare off creatures that fear the light, especially when you can’t get a fire going. However, using a mirror to create a flare is a skill you need to practice in advance, to make sure you use it right when things get tough.

  1. Pen flare

Replace your regular pen with a pen flare, and you never know when you’ll be glad you made the small but significant lifestyle change. In terms of signaling distress, the pen flare offers an excellent combination of effective audio and visual signaling –  when fired, the pen-shaped device sounds like a pistol, while flashing a fire up to 150 meters high. The pen flare’s lanyard can even double as tinder, if you need to start a fire when in a tight spot. That’s thrice the protection, in an item that takes up very little space, and is light enough to even be worn around your neck!

  1. Waterproof strobe light

A midsized or pocket strobe light is always a great addition to a well-planned survival kit. Leave it switched on, and this lightweight device will create continuous flashes for hours, even while you rest or sleep. Depending on the model, strobe lights can even last for a couple of days when fully charged. Make sure you purchase a waterproof strobe light, making it an ideal addition to your survival kit for the literally rainy day.

  1. Cellphone with a power-pack

This might sound somewhat unconventional, but today’s smartphones can do a lot more than just make and receive calls – they can save your life when you’re in a pinch. If fire fails you, just turn on your phone torch; in 2012, a Maryland man actually used his iPhone’s flashlight app to help police find him in the pitch dark, after the rescuers had spent four hours searching for the missing man to no avail. Your cellular phone can also help you pin down and track your location through GPRS, as well as forward it to others.  Of course, your phone won’t be much use if it isn’t charged. So always carry a fully-charged power-pack, to make sure your communication gadget’s life-saving powers can last!

With these five additions to your bug-out bag, you will have a personal protection kit that won’t fail you when you need to signal for help, come hell or high water. Rain, slew, snow, heat, and zombies – together, these five items can fight them all. When the going gets tough, the tough get going; so add these items to your survival kit right now, and ensure you’re prepared to handle the worst of times, well in advance.

By James Smith

Author Bio:
James Smith is a survival expert, who loves to write about survival skills and techniques that can be extremely helpful and can prevent any bad situation in becoming worse. Follow him on twitter @jamessmith1609.


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4 Signs That Prove World War III Is Coming

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It’s seems that the state of general peace is getting harder and harder to keep these days. Between the economical global instability and religious fundamentalism, there’s very little room left for human decency and peacekeeping. Just as before, during the World War II period, the gap between the radical oppressive political systems and the peace-loving, democratic ones is growing with each passing day. Animosity arose and swords started rattling for a long time now, and it’s only a matter of time before the World will generate a 3rd massive war.

This will divide people into 2 distinct sides: the Good (peace-keeping, freedom-fighting and God-loving) vs. the Evil (tyrannical, oppressors and bearers of false religions). It’s only a matter of time now, before the first official decree is released. As the land of the free and home of the brave, America will once again have the sacred duty of carrying the flag into battle, in the name of all that’s good and holy on God’s green Earth. This all might be avoided in the end, but the chances are slim to none, as the wheels have already been set in motion.

1 – Global recession

In a time of fluctuating economies, all the World’s superpowers will search for all sorts of allies in order to help their cause, be it just or unjust. The previous World Wars did not have much in common with each other except this single similarity: before each war broke out, many of the countries involved had been hit by recessions. Before World War I America was recovering from a 3 year-old recession, and prior to World War II, many countries were recovering from the Great Depression. What’s going on today is very similar to what happened before the 2nd World War. A very possible starting point could be the debt that the US owes China, which rose to about $17.5 trillion. And China too is finding itself during an economic crisis, so it’s only a matter of time before they start pressuring the US government on the subject of the unpaid debt. If things spiral out of control and it comes to armed conflict, China will have no problem in finding allies like Russia and North Korea, which don’t need much of an excuse to go to war against America and its allies.

2 – Russia’s claim over Ukraine

Over 7000 Russian troops have invaded the Crimea peninsula, on February 27, 2014, which was officially Ukrainian territory. Such an outrageous and intrusive act culminated in overthrowing Ukrainian authority from the territory, by overtaking official government buildings, airports, communication centers and military bases. Under the false pretext that Russian forces have intruded in order to free the Crimean people from an oppressive regime is as far from the truth as it could possibly be. Crimeans weren’t enslaved or oppressed in any way by their existing government. But they are now, due to Russia’s intrusion, which resulted in uncontrollable violence, tortures, beating and murders. As a result for their unjustified actions, the US and Europe have ceased economic trades and imposed drastic sanctions that hurt the invaders economy by a 20% deficit .Despite the obvious violation of human rights, Russia’s official stand is that there is nothing abusive about their actions, as they have not entered Ukraine’s whole territory, but only what they consider to be rightfully theirs. Ukrainians have responded and met violence with violence, as guerrilla wars and bloody protests continue to this day on Ukrainian soil.

3 – Iran is posing a direct threat

In mid January, 2014, Iran dispatched a fleet of battle ships in US territorial waters. In early February, 2014, Iran’s military chief , general Hassan Firouzabadi, stated that Iranian military forces are determined to go toe-to-toe with their American counterparts in military strategies and weaponry. The US Senate reacted, and fearing for the worst, stated that military action is imperative in order to stop Iran from developing its illegal nuclear program. The White House did not back up the Senate’s bill, as the ships were involved were not posing a real threat to US territory and general’s Firouzabadi saber rattling has happened many times before without direct consequences. But this doesn’t mean the threats fell on deaf ears. Intelligence shows that Iran 13 million trained soldiers, ready for combat at a moment’s notice. The number is impressive, but an upcoming war will most probably be technology-based one, heavily dependent on aerial and tactical strikes, rather than closed-quarter combat. But the Iranian air force is one of the most numerous and heavily trained in the world, with about 30,000 men, over 1,000 planes and armed with cruise missiles (that have a range of about 1240 miles, more than enough to hit military bases set in the Gulf).

7 Factors That Are Destroying The US Economy


4 – Japan and China’s dispute over air space

Just like Russia, China’s trying to push everybody’s buttons, hoping to get a reaction or a response. Chinese officials stated that China is changing its air defense strategy, by increasing their zone by overtaking part of Japan’s, South Korea’s and Taiwan’s airspace. The intruded Japan’s space as far as Senkaku Islands, and are planning on pushing the Japanese as far back as possible. South Korea answered by intruding Chinese airspace. If hostilities begin in the area, the US obliged to help the cause of South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, in accordance to a pact signed in 1951. The blood is already boiling and it will take very little to light the spark that could plunge the whole world into an unavoidable war.

It’s plain to see that the machinations to set World War III in motion have already begun. It won’t be long until the first shots are fired or the wrong turn is taken and the world will go to war again. Technology will make the weapons more powerful than ever before and the consequences of war even harsher. When the fighting begins, society could be changed forever. Stay alert, and take whatever precautions are necessary so you can survive during the dark times ahead.

By Alec Deacon



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The Militia and the Reality of the 2nd Amendment

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Militia Reality

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,

the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Now let’s break it down…

What does “well regulated” mean? It’s means that the government regulates this small, local army of honorable citizens. It’s what was the norm before The National Guard was created. The militia back then, respected and government body that was at that time, fairly respectable, honorable, while being for the people and by the people. There is an oath taken by all those that join the Militia. It is the same oath taken by those that serve in the regular military, whether they are in the reserve or active force. Therefore, the militia would come under the direction of the government, through the activated National Guard commanders. If you do not believe me, research it.

What does “being necessary to the security of a free State” mean? This was in a time where there was separation between state governments and the federal government. The states represented themselves, and were independent financially and legally from the federal government. This does not exist anymore, except on very old paper for people to postulate on and dream of times long past. Regulations in the form of agreed upon laws have been passed to supersede state regulations and authority. The federalization of America has been successfully created through the processes of taxation by the states, passed on to the federal government, and then returned in the form of highway and other funds in a motion of hostage for money. The money is the taxes that were paid, and the hostage was the independent rights of the states which the federal government now owns BY LAW.

“the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Well everyone knows that part of the 2nd Amendment has been raped so many times that it is near death, except for the political militia of many gun advocate groups that are fighting to keep the right to own and carry a firearm for protection, anywhere and everywhere. If the shit hits the fan anywhere, The National Guard can be ordered to confiscate any and all firearms from the citizens, in a direct violation of the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. Only the State Militia may be able to stop it, with the assistance of Oath Keepers. All of them will face possible death or incarceration, with loss of position and title.

See what happen in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina:


My simple questions to many different people and organizations are as follows:

Are you training to repel such an illegal action?

Are you supporting and electing oath keepers that will not follow illegal/unconstitutional orders?

Are you playing weekend warrior games, or seriously training?

Do you still believe you are free?

Do you want your state independence back?

I ask you to vote for leaders that believe in The Constitution and The Right To Keep And Bare Arms. Please do not sit back and feel there is nothing you can do. All good-people must be constantly active in order to keep from losing their natural rights.

Physically Train Hard!

Vote Appropriately For Rights, Not Handouts!

If You Want Independence, Be Independent!!

The Hayward Fault & It’s Influence on All Faults on the West Coast

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California Fault Threat

Every bridge in the SF Bay Area could be damaged severely in one major earthquake on the Hayward Fault, except for the Golden Gate Bridge. It might be spared if a major earthquake in magnitude and duration strikes on the Hayward Fault. This is because the energy would be spread out into all the associated fault that splinter off from it. The Hayward and San Andreas Faults are separated by a large sandy area that makes up the bay waterways. The tectonic pressure forces pass under and then create the Diablo Range that connects to the San Andreas south of the bay.

Many of the associated faults are named differently, but they are all connected. Therefore, if the Hayward Fault experiences a massive movement, all the associated areas will as well. If the Hayward Fault moves on the western side, the Golden Gate could be affected. If the movement is mostly on the eastern side, then bridges and levees would be affected severely, leaving highways and byways impassible.

This means emergency service would be inhibited. Helicopters would have to be used to evacuated injured. Commuters would be stranded everywhere. Commerce throughout the state and on the entire west coast would be halted. Communication lines would be damaged. Water supply lines would be ruptured, along with gas pipes. Power lines would be down. Fires would rage everywhere, with no water pressure to fight them with. Levees would most likely fail, flooding even the state capital under many feet of water.

Any large earthquake on the Hayward Fault would possibly lead to large movements on other faults in the Bay Area, too, including anyplace along the entire length of the San Andreas Fault and The Cascadia Subduction Zone.

See here how the faults are all associated like the wrinkles that form if you push on your own skin: Fault Zones

We as Californians, along with everyone in this nation and the world, are someday in for a wild ride of survival. State Government Leaders should take heed of this warning and prepare appropriately with plans to mobilize fire-boats, helicopters from civilian and military positions, along with preparing all citizens to be as independent as possible in the event of this future event. That way, more people may survive, and the emergency services will face the least amount of strain on their resources and personnel.

Everyone, everywhere on this planet that is able, should have an emergency pack with them at all times, for their own personal benefit.

National Preparedness Month is September!

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National Preparedness Month is Here.

National Preparedness MonthIf you haven’t recently, now might be a good time to access your overall preparedness during National Preparedness Month.  With so many reasons to have some of the essentials you’ll need on a daily basis at your disposal, it makes sense to take some time to do a needs assessment.  Unfortunately, this is something we should all be doing on a regular basis and not just in September.  But for those who are fairly new to self reliance and preparedness it’s a start.

Most of the time “Preppers” are not thought of as anything more than crazy people preparing for the end of the world by the media as we have seen on television.  However, being prepared or prepping is not defined by “Doomsayers” but actually includes over 3 million Americans from all walks of life and from every corner of the country.  Why is this you might ask?  There are a few good reasons that prepping is growing and it has mostly to do with living a more sustainable lifestyle and getting back to basics while realizing the government isn’t going to be there to help  when a major disaster strikes.

Amazingly, according to a new survey conducted by the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation, 55 percent of Americans believe that the authorities will come to their rescue when disaster strikes. We have news for you,  FEMA is not going to come to anyones rescue anytime soon if disaster strikes.  If we think back to Hurricane Katrina of any other natural disaster in recent memory, or consider some of the potential scenarios including a major financial collapse, It’s time to get prepared so you can take care of your own family if need be.

So what are just few of the things you and your family can start to do today?  We compiled a short basic list to help you to start to get your “Preparedness”  house in order.

Air> Air is the most important thing we need to survive.  It is said that you can live “four minutes without air, four days without water, and forty days without food.”  So, are you CPR certified?  Can you help someone if they stopped breathing? If not get certified.  Here is how to get certified 

Water > Water is an essential to have on hand.  30 gallons per person (2 gallons per person per day for 1 week). This might sound excessive, but look at your water bill this month! This figure assumes that when at home, you will occasionally want a sponge bath, or to cook something like pasta or rice. You might even wash your hair or clothes, and will eventually flush a toilet. Large food grade 55 gallon plastic drums are ideal for bulk water storage. A good location is in your detached garage. Remember that your water heater in the house is typically 50 gallons, and may be used if your dwelling survives. Additional water may be purchased in single use plastic bottles, and should be stored away from the house or garage. Remember that these water bottles will need to be rotated out since they have a limited shelf life unless water treatment is used.  A portable water filtration system is a must.  These systems can provide a very high quality of clean fresh water.  A good water test kit is also recommended so you can evaluate your stored water on an on-going basis.

Shelter > Where would you go if a disaster struck and left you without your home?    FEMA recommends that you know that information now as well as some other important evacuation routes in your area. Do you have a temporary shelter at home that you could use if needed?  If not get one and keep it dry and easy to get too.

Fire > We have all seen survival television shows and each and every time lighting a fire is paramount to survival over the long haul.  We may need it to keep warm, to cook, to disinfect water, for light and protection.  Can you light a fire if needs be?  How to build a fire so it will light – survival 101

Food > If you’re considering a food storage system at your home, than a food storage calculator is going to be required so you have the right amount to meet your families needs. The type of food you store can vary but it might include canned foods long term food storage systems to MRE’s, grains, legumes and alike canned fruits and veggies from your own garden.  Cooking and heating tools for survival incase of a disaster or emergency are easy to use and not very expensive to get.  Wondering how much grain to store? You might be surprised.  Read more at http://www.preparednesspro.com/do-you-have-enough#u1fS0AHFwQfYJ2vg.99

First Aid Kit > A good first aid kit could save a life during a disaster  Make sure you have a good one.   Off Grid Survival recommends “30 Things you Should Have in Your Medical First Aid Kits

Survival Kit > A survival kit is a short term kit of essentials to last you approx three days.  It can be kept in your car incase you get stranded in an emergency. > Learn more

BOB or Bug Out Bag > A Bug Out Bag is more of a long term survival kit designed to help you get out of town or “bug out”.  It would include all of the above mentioned items to a greater or lesser degree plus much more.  Some examples of items included might be weapons, shelter and bedding, clothing, a heat source and tools to name a few.  A good example can be found right here.


There is so much more that you can do to get your self prepared both in the short and long term but this will be a good start.  Remember the Internet is a great source of information on all things “Preparedness”.

If you start today you will be better off than most Americans are in case of a natural disaster or National emergency.

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Jeff “The Berkey Guy”




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