Post-EMP: How to Get Out of Dodge in the Snow

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 Evacuating during the harsh winter elements is already a difficult feat, but what if you find yourself in a post-EMP environment while driving and have to bug out in the snow? There is no vehicle to comfortably take you to your bug out location. For many, you will be on foot and all you have to get you through this disaster is what is in your car. Do you have the preps and the skills to make this icy trek?

Honestly, ask yourself, what will you do?  Well, there are some options, and we’re going to cover them.  Naturally, many of these will not apply if you live in a state that doesn’t receive much snow, such as in the deserts or the more “balmy” states.  Still, you may be able to take a few things away from this.  Let’s do it!

How to Get Out of Dodge in the Snow

First, are your “Go/Bug-Out” bags ready?  If you’re traveling somewhere together as a family and the distance is more than a few miles, emergency bags and gear should be in the vehicle for every member of the family: no exceptions!  We’ve covered bags until we’re blue in the face.  Here are some essential gear must-haves (just to “refresh” your memory):

Protecting Your Feet is a Top Priority for Winter Survival

Remember, your basic survival needs are your top priority when the conditions are harsh. Now, the snow!  Myself?  I cannot (repeat, cannot) go anywhere at all unless I have my snowshoes with me. Another option and one that I mentioned before is to find the kind of snowshoes made of durable plastic and either orange or yellow, used by the utility and electric companies for a song.  Yeah, they’re not exactly “tactical” in color, but if you desire, you can paint them with spray paint.  They’re that color to enable guys who are working to be able to find them after their lunch break is over, not to run with…but they work and are strong.

There are plenty of other “high-end” snowshoes, and you’ll have to shop the market.  You want a pair that can carry your weight and at least 20 lbs.  The contractor ones will do this, and they’re not very large or cumbersome.  Keep them together with 2 D-hooks, and throw them in the back of the vehicle.  Next, you need to practice on them.  If you’ve never done it, walking on the snow is a different task, especially if you’re carrying gear.

Winter Clothing

Gore-Tex is ideal for shielding your body from the relentless winter weather. A word to the wise – if you can cover yourself in Gore-Tex – do it! Just one below freezing night out in the backyard without it, and you’ll run to the store when the day comes.  That Gore-Tex enables you to stay warm and dry, and it “breathes,” keeping you from being a humidifier and soaked to the skin.  You need good, thick socks and quality boots…I recommend Rocky Gore-Tex boots with at least 1000 grams of Thinsulate, for starters.

On a side note, make sure a good ground pad is with you.  In the wintertime, you’ll need all the insulation that you can get from the ground.  I jump back to the toboggans again: if you have a light rucksack as a “go” bag, you may be able to tote it…and haul other stuff in the toboggan, such as tools, clothes, and have space for extra food and supplies you may pick up on the way.

Bug Out Considerations

There are a lot of considerations before you head out on foot. What’s your plan? First of all, keep a map of the area you’re driving, and have it handy before you go.  If things go south and the “S” hits the fan, you need all the intel you can get on site…where you’re located at the time it happens.  Knowing where malls, stores, gas stations, pharmacies and the like are will help, and you can mark them on the map.  Depending on where you are, you may choose to stay with the vehicle for a while, but if this is done?  You may want to get it off the main road and camouflage it somewhat.

We talked about a Toboggan before for a load around the house…but what about the vehicle?  Well, how about a kid’s sled/toboggan?  You can find some sturdy ones that can take a beating…use your own judgment.  If you have a big family, you may wish the one I recommended from Wal-Mart that is about $50 and can haul about 500 to 600 lbs.  This one is where you can put the gear inside and drag it behind you on a nylon tow rope that comes with it.  Strap it to the top of your vehicle, or throw it on the bed of the pickup.  The kid’s toboggan would be of use for 1 person or one for each.  The sides would enable the gear to be stowed without slipping off.  Drill holes in the sides and use bungee cords to strap the gear down all the same.  Better safe than sorry.

If you stay with the vehicle, make sure you have a plan: you can’t stay with it forever.  It may be good for a night or two to come up with a plan (especially if you have kids, to help them get over the initial shock and disorientation).  The “end of the world” is usually bad on the nerves.  Use that time to focus the family on what you will do.  You may have to leave the vehicle immediately, as you want to return home as quickly as possible.  The situation is going to be your call, and what you believe your family can handle…and how you function as a group.

Finally, don’t forget “Yak-Trak’s” or some other type of devices to slip over your boots to enable you to walk or run on ice.  They range in price and quality, but you should be able to find them in your sporting goods or big-box stores.  So, plan ahead, make evac from your vehicle in the winter a training priority, and stay frosty!  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading:

The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Guide

Winter Wilderness Survival: Take Care of Your Feet and Your Odds of Survival Increase

15 Items That Should Be In Your Vehicle During the Winter

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

SHTF Dental Care: These Are the Supplies You Need To Survive a Post-Collapse Dental Emergency

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As far as preppers are concerned, the majority of you guys and gals have already probably stored up about a half a pallet of toothbrushes and toothpaste for shtf dental emergencies.  Yes?  No?  Well, in any event we’re going to cover some field-expedient methods to clean up the teeth.  The reason for this is that it’s hard enough in a normal environment to keep those teeth cleaned and healthy.  In a grid down collapse, there will be no dentist and there are going to be a lot of problems that will affect the teeth and gums, so the more you know about oral hygiene now, the better.

Firstly, it is in your best interest to pick up the reference guide entitled, Where There is No Dentist,” by Murray Dickson.  It will be money well-spent, as it covers all of the different procedures to follow for abscesses, tooth extraction, and other “niceties” of oral care when you will not find a dentist, as the title suggests.  A manual such as this is just what your preparedness library needs.

Alternatives to Toothpaste

That being mentioned, what about things such as toothpaste and floss?  Well, many of your aromatic mints can be crushed up and used as toothpaste, such as spearmint and peppermint.  Follow this up with baking soda, and you’ll find a good clean set of teeth after brushing.  Charcoal powder is also an excellent dental cleanser, as well, a strong salt water solution will also be of use.  Cloves, in particular are good for swollen or abscessed gums, and clove oil itself can be used as a topical analgesic with excellent results and can easily be made.


To Make Clove Oil: Dried cloves can also be chopped up to be placed in a jar with 50% ethyl alcohol.  Make sure you cover over the pile of chopped cloves by about ¼ inch.  Tightly close the jar, and shake it vigorously several hundred times a day, once in the morning and once at night.


Keep the clove mixture in a cool, dark place, and after two weeks, you’ll have your solution.  Cloves contain eugenol, which is both an anesthetic and an antimicrobial.  Don’t drink it.  Use it as an oral rinse: a more effective one than most supermarket-brand mouthwashes.  It can also help to prevent and to aid with swollen gums.

Keep this rule in mind: The main causes for tooth problems are poor nutrition and then poor hygiene. 

This does pose a problem, and there are certain foods that can do a number on your teeth. This will be a challenge for you to be able to find not just food, but healthy and nutritious food after a collapse.  Vitamin C is necessary to prevent scurvy, a disease of the gums that eventually leads to tooth loss if unchecked.  Protein deficiencies are also a big problem that can cause teeth to loosen and gums to rot.  Clean water is very important, not just for the care of the teeth, but also to prevent any microorganisms from entering an already unhealthy oral cavity post SHTF.  Boil the water for at least 3 to 5 minutes after you have strained and filtered it in every way that you can.

How to Make Your Own Toothbrushes and Floss

Toothbrushes can be fashioned out of sticks with the diameter of a pencil.  Notch the ends and then hammer the end, spreading out the wood and softening it somewhat.  With these you’ll have to be a little more careful, as there not your “Oral-B” store-bought toothbrushes.  Floss can be made from cotton or nylon thread that you can wax beforehand to strengthen it somewhat.  Just take the start of your thread and press your thumb on top of it, crushing/pressing it into the wax, and then just pull the thread through.  Do this several times to give it a light wax coating that smooths out the thread through the teeth and strengthens the fibers.

Above all else, make sure you have some post-collapse dental supplies. Anything that you can pick up before the disaster is a plus, and you may wish to practice with several of these techniques to find out which are the best for you personally.  The reason is that everyone’s mouth is different, and genetically many are predisposed to having either teeth without a long lifespan or other problems.  As well, have an understanding of how to mitigate dental pain should something arise in a disaster. Prior to taking any actions here, consult with your friendly, certified, government-approved dentist for his or her friendly approval.  Take care of those teeth, and stock up on stuff you need…before the SHTF.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Best Advice in Preparing for Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

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While forecasting methods and emergency procedures for tropical storm systems and hurricanes are constantly improving, there is substantial risk that still remains for those who continue to build structures along the coastline. With Hurricane Matthew causing immense destruction and loss of life across Haiti, the Bahamas and much of the eastern U.S. Coastline, reaching as far as North Carolina, it is of great importance to learn when and how to be prepared for this kind of disaster. Matthew claimed 44 lives in the US, according to ABC News, and vast amounts of flooding was seen across 4 states, with over a thousand houses submerged in water in the days following the Hurricane’s end on October 9. Having a plan for the next hurricane or tropical storm can be the difference between life and death.

Pre-Season Preparations are Ideal

There are a number of pre-season preparations that you will want to take into account long before any storm arises. It is imperative that you know all available evacuation routes in your area. The main roads and highways will likely suffer delays due to heavy traffic flow, so you will want to plan multiple alternative routes in order to ensure that you are not trapped in a flood while attempting to flee the storm. Prepare multiple first aid kits in your house and vehicle. You will want to keep at least a 3 day supply of water, amounting to 1 gallon per person per day and a 3 day supply of non-perishable food that does not require cooking. Seeds, such as flax seeds or hemp seeds, can provide worthwhile nutrition and are easy to store. Of course, you should pack at least a 3 day supply of any medication that may be required for those in your household. Also, make sure to have a NOAA-enabled radio to receive emergency broadcasts and multiple flashlights with extra batteries for each device. You will likely want to fit storm shutters to your house to mitigate damage as the storm passes.

When a warning is issued, it is important to keep in mind the nuances of the region in which you live. Low lying areas nearest the coast are particularly susceptible to flooding. For instance, New Orleans sits 8 feet below sea level and was almost completely flooded in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina struck. The nearly 1,500 lives claimed by Hurricane Katrina could have possibly been saved by immediate evacuation.

Make sure to secure outside objects and cover windows with plywood, if they are not already covered by storm shutters, in order to  protect those inside from broken glass and other objects that may be thrust toward the house. Evacuation may not always be necessary, but make sure to listen for a call for evacuation on the radio or otherwise, and be prepared to take your supplies with you.

It is important to establish a secure room in your house to which you will retreat when there is no time for evacuation. A basement room or a room with few windows, nearest the center of your home, would be the best option for a secure space. This room would be the best place to keep your supplies should you be trapped for any extended period of time. If you have a need for light, flashlights should be used instead of candles, because a lit flame could possibly cause a fire if a gas leak is caused in the destruction left by the storm. While you wait for the storm to clear, monitor your radio for updates on the storm’s location. When the warnings stop and the storm appears to have gone, proceed with caution. Make sure that the storm has completely passed before leaving your house.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition