6 Lessons to Learn from the Oroville Dam Disaster

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Have you ever pictured what it would be like to be ordered to immediately evacuate your home because of an impending emergency? Imagine only having enough time to grab your pets and your children and head for the hills. While many believe there is adequate advanced notice in evacuations, this isn’t always the case.

As many of you know, due to the higher than normal rain levels in California, water levels at Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest dam, were so high that an emergency spillway was used for the first time. Initially, dam officials believed the measure worked, but were soon disappointed Sunday afternoon, as more water from record storms flowed into Lake Oroville. This is when officials detected a hole in the emergency spillway. Officials put out an evacuation order Sunday afternoon telling around 200,000 people the emergency spillway at Orville Dam could fail within an hour. With no time to lose, panicked residents quickly left the area scrambling to get out of harms way. As evacuees made the mass exodus, they sat for hours in gridlock hoping to get to their destinations in time.

While the dam break is slightly diminishing and the mandatory evacuation order has been lifted, many residents are thinking twice about going back due to another series of storms that will hit the Oroville area over the weekend and are threatening to dump 10 more inches in water. One resident states, “I don’t want to live in Oroville anymore,” said Shelly Clarke, 52, who fled her home with her husband and slept in her car overnight. “After this, I’m afraid of the dam.” Source

When I wrote The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster, I emphasized that every disaster teaches us another lesson in how to be better prepared and this one is no different. This essential survival guide stresses how important is to have plans and supplies in place in order to be better prepared for the disasters that are on the horizon.

6 Lessons to Learn from the Oroville Dam Disaster

Keep the following in mind the next time you think you don’t need to prepare or evacuate.

1. Evacuations can come at the very last minute and many may not be prepared in time.

image source: http://www.sacbee.com/

The mandatory evacuation order came Sunday afternoon and 200,000 residents were given one hour to leave. Even if you are given short notice to evacuate, it is very difficult to get your belongings in order under the stress of a mandatory evacuation. One Oroville resident recollects how most people barely had time to grab their kids and pets before leaving in all directions. Some fled on foot. Some fled without shoes. Deyan Baker, 19, Anthony Rhoads, 21, and their 2-year-old daughter, Rylee, of Oroville, had no car, so they ran into the street hoping someone would give them a lift. Source


“We were running. No one was stopping,” Baker said. “I started having a panic attack. I felt helpless.”


Preparedness experts suggest having an evacuation bag or bug out bag prepped for items for the entire family. Make sure these are easily accessible and ready to go for emergencies such as this. While a dam break may not be a disaster your area would encounter, what about a gas leak, or a refinery spill? What about a wild-fire? There are many reasons to have evacuation supplies. Here is an evacuation checklist to ensure you have everything covered. As well, consider preparing your evacuation vehicle.

2. Evacuations are dangerous.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

Not only is a mass exodus arduous, but dangerous as well. During evacuations there is always some risk to danger. For instance, many are in a state of panic and do not always make the wisest of choices. One Oroville evacuee brings up the point of just how dangerous the roads are when evacuating.


“Cars were speeding by so fast, some careening on the shoulders to pass the traffic, “you could smell the engines burning,” Rhoads said. “You could smell the burnt oil, burned clutches, tires squealing.” Source


There are those who are in a mental state of its ‘every man for himself’. There are also others who are opportunists and take advantage of the situation and can cause injury as a result. One Oroville evacuee knows this lesson all too well. Cameron Asbury, 33, was packing up the truck with his family’s belongings after receiving the evacuation order Sunday afternoon when an unidentified man hijacked the vehicle, ran him over and sped away. You can read more about that here. The point here is during evacuations, it can be dangerous due to heightened emotions, desperation and opportunists taking advantage of the situation. Make sure that you have a way to protect yourself. While many do not believe in firearms, having one during these times would be advantageous.

3. No one knows when evacuation orders will be lifted. 

image source: http://www.gannett-cdn.com/

While the mandatory evac order has been lifted for Oroville, there is still an evacuation order in place and many are not sure when they will come back with the threat of the dam still fresh in their minds. When an evacuation is ordered the residents are left to the mercy of the local government in deciding when it is safe to come back. Having a short-term disaster plan in place before a disaster strikes will relieve some of the stress associated with evacuating. As well, with a solid plan (conceived while you were calm and rational) this will ensure that you won’t skip any important planning steps. Living out a disaster in an emergency shelter is not always the best choice, especially if you have pets or special health care needs. Consider how important having an emergency fund would be in a situation such as this. Having money set aside in advance to pay for hotel stays, food, etc. would prevent you from going into further debt.

4. Information is limited, imprecise and emotionally driven.

image source: http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/

Sunday’s evacuations in Oroville came after several days of state officials saying the dam itself was not in danger and that there was no serious threat to nearby communities. Authorities continued to maintain Sunday night that the dam itself was safe. But their assessment of danger to downstream communities from the spillway’s damage changed dramatically Sunday at 4:42 p.m., when DWR issued this tweet: “EMERGENCY EVACUATION: Auxiliary spillway at Oroville Dam predicted to fail within the next hour. Oroville residents evacuate northward.” Source As the mandatory evacuation was ordered, news stories were quickly published about this situation and no one really knew all the facts. Many believed the dam was under the threat of imminent failure, thus causing more panic and heightened emotions.

5. Limited resources.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

During any type of emergency breakdown, there is strain on resources due to the demand of the same types of items needed: gas, water, food, for example. This causes a demand that many stores cannot keep up with and a breakdown inevitably follows. There are some stores who will take advantage of this and price gouge. Limited resources does not only occur during the evacuation route, but afterwards where the evacuees locate to. With 200,000 individuals scattered around the Northern California area, local grocery stores could find their supplies quickly exhausted.

6. The state, county and city officials were unprepared.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

Although the local and state government are closely monitoring the situation, many state residents have raised questions on why the erosion of the dam wasn’t fixed 5 years ago when state officials were warned. According to one article, “Countless proposals have been floated over the past two decades to fund infrastructure out of the general fund, and prioritize critically needed upgrades to dams, roads and bridges. But Sacramento spends a pittance out of it’s $180 billion budget on infrastructure, and most of that is earmarked for the abysmal roads and a crumbling intrastate highway system.” Simply put, government officials were not prepared for encountering a damaged dam. Due to their negligence in planning and funds, a town’s livelihood is threatened – children are absent from schools, flooding of multiple communities could occur and an even more disastrous situation becomes more catastrophic.

Each time a disaster presents itself, it is important to recognize ways to better prepare so that history does not repeat itself. The Oroville dam disaster is a reminder of how important it is to be prepared and to be able to react at a moment’s notice. While many believe local and state governments have everything planned out, there are slip ups and those mistakes can be disastrous for the residents involved. The six points listed above frequently occur with disasters and it is important to recognize this. If you walk away with anything from this article, understand how important it is to plan accordingly. Emergencies happen at the drop of a hat and if you aren’t ready, if you waste precious time gathering emergency items at the last minute or have to come up with an emergency plan at the last minute, vital details will be left out.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Is it a Cold or the Flu?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Our local news announced that statistics for the number of flu cases has spiked this week.  I’m not surprised.  I’ve noticed a lot of co-workers coming to work while sick.  The most common comment when asked about their condition is, “I’m so miserable, I don’t even know what I have.” How can you tell whether you have a cold or the flu?   (I am not a doctor; so this is not medical […]

The post Is it a Cold or the Flu? appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide

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winterprep2Have you ever considered what you will do if you have to bug out in winter? Being exposed to the elements puts you and your family at risk and it is paramount to be ready for that scenario.

It’s time to learn the basics of surviving in harsh environments. These basics will help you to inspire confidence in yourself and your skills.  Winter weather and a cold environment with snow and ice on the ground presents challenges, but they can be overcome and mastered with practice – all that is needed is equipping yourself with the knowledge to do so.

Jeremiah Johnson, our own personal Green Beret, is helping us train to be winter ready. One thing he emphasizes in a lot of his articles is that our preps aren’t the only aspect of prepping that we should focus on.


“None of us are going to be completely prepared when the bottom drops out.  Knowledge and skills should be desirous over materials, because with these you can either acquire what is needed or improvise out of what can be fabricated into something useful.”


He has been writing quite a bit about winter survival lately, and now is the time to put theory into practice. With the right gear, you can blend into your environment and survive in the harshest of environments. Here are some great articles to help you focus on winter survival!

 

Gear

What To Wear in the Harshest Conditions

Take Care of Your Feet and Your Odds of Survival Increase

How to Blend into a Winter Environment

12 Budget-Friendly Survival Essentials for the Cold Outdoors

Don’t Get Caught in the Cold Without this Essential Prep

 

Health and First-Aid

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

7 Fundamental Requirements for Cold Weather Injuries

Frostbite: How To Survive Winter’s Unrelenting Brutality

10 Must-Have First Aid Supplies for Preventing Hypothermia

 

Survival Theory

Procuring Protein Sources in Winter

Critical Training Techniques to Overcome the Elements

When You Lose Power this Winter, Here’s What You’ll Need

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Different Online Resources to Buy Bulk Survival Gear

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If you really want to stock up on survival gear, then sometimes you want to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk not only allows you to purchase the right amount of equipment and supplies, but will let you do so at a discount. Rather than purchasing a large quantity of items from a typical store, you can purchase from wholesale companies that provide a discount since you are buying in bulk. Below are some great places that you can purchase plenty of survival gear online, and make sure you are ready for any disasters.

DollarDays DollarDays is one of the largest wholesalers in the country, offering a wide range of products. While not focusing solely on survival gear, they nonetheless have plenty to offer when it comes to this department. On their website you’ll find essential gear such as waterproof matches, Mylar blankets, and medical supplies. While the options available are not as great as some other locations, if you need the basics, this is a great place to start.

Overstock – Another large company that offers more than just survival gear, Overstock is one of the most popular places to buy wholesale products. Overstock offers everything from medical supplies to camping gear to sanitation equipment to emergency power and more. All of this comes at the low prices you’d expect to get from any wholesaler. Overstock even offers free shipping to the Continental U.S for any orders over $45.00, allowing you to save a little bit more money.

Best Glide Aviation Survival Equipment – Sometimes you need more specific survival gear. If you need supplies for when you are out in the wilderness, or for anything to do with aviation, then you’ll want a wholesaler that can meet those needs. Best Glide ASE offers a wide range of products tailored to fit this exact group of people. On their website you will find supplies such as parachute cords, tracker buttons, and pre-made survival kits designed for the wilderness. If some of the larger wholesale chains do not have what you’re looking for, check out this one.

Bite The Bullet – For those of you who want a very specific product – namely, ammo – then you’ll want to buy right from the manufacturer. With companies like Bite The Bullet you can buy bulk ammo online, and have it delivered directly to your door. Ammo is typically used when loading up your survival gear, and if you think you’ll need a lot of it, you’re better off buying in bulk to save yourself some money. This website makes that easy, all without having to leave your home.

DHgate – Now, when purchasing survival gear, you’re probably not looking to sacrifice quality over cost. However, for those of you that want to spend the least amount of money, you can look to a site called DHgate. DHgate sells products directly from Chinese manufacturers and a very low cost. We can’t speak to the quality of every product on this website, but if you really want to save money, then it is worth taking a look at. Just be sure you do some research into what you are buying, and don’t purchase anything questionable if your life may depend on it some day.

Living Rational – Lastly, we have a wholesaler for those of you that are representing companies, schools or other organizations. If, as a part of your emergency preparedness, you need to order survival gear in bulk, this is the site for you. Living Rational offers survival kits for people of all ages and sizes, along with equipment for disasters such as floods or earthquakes. You’ll need to contact the company in order to get a quote on purchasing wholesale, but all the information you need is right on their website. Plenty Of Options To Buy In Bulk

When it comes to purchasing survival gear in bulk, you have a lot of options. No matter what kind of equipment you are looking to buy in bulk, there is a good chance that one of the above websites will have it for you. If not, there are plenty of other companies and websites out there, with the above list only being a small sample.

The post 6 Different Online Resources to Buy Bulk Survival Gear appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Intelligence Insider: How To Protect Your Assets From Critical Infrastructure Failure

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cyber-warfareIntelligence insider Jim Rickards has previously warned of asymmetric attacks using cyber warfare, financial warfare and domestic disasters involving chemical, biological or radiologicial events. The threat is multi-faceted and the consequences of such an attack, whether it takes the the form of state-sponsored cyber financial warfare or a rogue terrorist group detonating a dirty bomb, could act as a destabilizing event that wipes out everything from our power grid to the wealth stored in your digital financial profiles.

Having worked directly with intelligence agencies simulating and war-gaming the potential fall-out that could result, in his latest interview with Crush The Street Rickards explains the distinct Doomsday scenarios that could instantly collapse life as we know it in America today… and how to prepare for them.


These things are actually happening and your digital wealth is vulnerable to a number of calamities… critical infrastructure failures… whether it’s power grid, banking system, cyber financial warfare, etc.


(Watch At Youtube)

Last month cyber thieves figured out a way to steal $100 million from the central bank account of Bangladesh via the U.S. Federal Reserve. They could have gotten away with $900 million more had it not been for a small typo. The point, as Rickards notes, is that there is a realistic possibility of a much larger-scale attack that targets not a central bank, but the direct holdings of every bank account in America.

The only tool you have at your disposal to protect from such an attack, says Rickards, is gold:


You never want to go all in… I am saying that 10% of your wealth… put it into physical gold… put it in a safe place and that will be immune from power grid outages, exchange closures, digital asset seizures and cyber financial warfare.


And while the potential for a serious calamity that would affect our digital monetary systems is a compelling reason to own gold, in his book The New Case For Gold Rickards explains that a global monetary collapse is also in the cards. And that means gold could one day become the de facto global currency as confidence in a global economy awash in fiat money is lost.

In the interview Rickards takes on analysts who say that a currency cannot be backed in gold, arguing that supply of the precious metal through current official holdings, private holdings and existing gold mining operations is sufficient to support well managed currencies. And countries that refuse to follow sound money policies, he says, will simply have worthless currencies that will not be accepted on the world economic stage.


That’s the whole point of the gold standard… it’s to force governments and countries to do prudent things.

As it is now there’s no standard… there’s no enforcement mechanism… there’s nothing.

I’ve spoken to Ben Bernanke and the head of the IMF about it and they both used the same word to describe the international monetary system… it’s incoherent.


It appears that a gold standard is the end-game for countries like China and Russia considering that they have been aggressively accumulating the metal in recent years. And while the United States may maintain a monetary hegemony over global affairs right now, there will come a time when that will no longer be the case. With gold being used to back currencies, prudent monetary policy will be rewarded.


If people had confidence that you were doing the right thing they would happily sell you the gold…  if they lack that confidence [in your currency] they wouldn’t sell you the gold… but that is a market signal telling you you’ve got the wrong policies… you’ve lost the confidence of your citizens.


But we’re not there yet. A global monetary reset needs to happen first. And that means the government and Federal Reserve are going to stay the course, including quantitative easing for the people,  no matter how disastrous the next round of policies may be.

As Rickards suggests, this makes the case for $10,000 gold quite strong, because they will continue to push low or no interest rate policies while printing even more money to stem off a potentially deflationary environment.


Deflation is good for citizens… inflation is good for government. But if you’re fighting the government, the government will win in the long run even though it’s taking longer than they thought.

At the end of the day they’ll get the inflation… and you’ll be glad you have some gold. 


 

Check out Jim Rickards’ latest book The New Case For Gold.

For more interviews like this one visit CrushTheStreet.com. To learn how the smart money is positioning for gold’s bull run by acquiring precious metals assets click here.

Click here to subscribe: Join over one million monthly readers and receive breaking news, strategies, ideas and commentary.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Is Your Entire Family Prepared for Emergencies at All Times?

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By Denis Korn

Is your ENTIRE family prepared for emergencies at all times?
Is your ENTIRE family:

    • Secure
    • Knowledgeable
    • Responsible
    • Patient
    • Prayerful
    • Vigilant

in an emergency situation?

Recent events have brought us catastrophic circumstances that have had devastating and lasting effects on thousands of people around the world.  I pray that you take this advice seriously.   Recent conversations have also motivated me to consider this important article as a foundational article.

I am reminded of a presentation I made some years back to a large gathering of preparedness professionals.  This convention consisted of folks who came from all over the country and of course this meant that they would be gone from their families for a few days.  Bear in mind that at my presentation there were a couple hundred people whose responsibilities included preparedness planning and education for very large companies, organizations, and governmental agencies.

At the beginning of my talk I asked the group how many felt completely confident that in their absence their families were prepared to deal with unforeseen emergencies or disasters – especially significant ones.  Only a few raised their hands!  Since most of these participants were the head of their households, what does it tell you about fulfilling one’s responsibility to protect and keep the family secure in difficult times?

Fortunately over the years the professional emergency management community has become more dedicated to personally embodying what they are responsible for in government and business.  What about the average household?  Is your family prepared for emergencies in all seasons of the year?

It appears that most head of households have the notion that their presence is security enough for the family during an emergency.  This is a dangerous assumption.  The sensible attitude is to ensure that all family members – adults – the elderly – teenagers – and young children, know:

  • What to do
  • How to respond
  • Where to go – or not go
  • Who to contact
  • Where the information and supplies are located
  • How to use and operated essential equipment
  • How to access drinking water
  • How to prepare any food reserves
  • How to communicate with family and emergency personnel
  • How to keep warm in freezing conditions
  • How to have the proper attitude
  • How to pray

 

Instructions should be in writing and the entire family should participate in drills and practices.  Family members – immediate and extended – should know their part during an emergency under all scenarios and given any combination of family members physically present – or absent.

  • Do your children, spouse and other family members know what to do and how to act if a serious emergency occurs and they are not at home?
  • How will your communicate with them or those in their keeping?
  • What if they are at school – what plans does the school have to communicate with parents or guardians?
  • What will the school provide for students?
  • What if they are at work – what plans does the business or organization have to communicate with other family members?
  • What will the business provide for their employees?
  • Does the business or organization have their own contingency plans?
  • Do you have contingency plans for communication and provisioning for your spouse – adult children – younger children when they are away from home at camp, business trip, etc.?
  • What if an emergency occurs while a family member is in their vehicle and in transit?
  • Is your family secure, knowledgeable and responsible?

Between Learn To Prepare and numerous internet websites, there is an abundance of valuable information for the whole family.  Study this information as if your life and your families’ life depended on it – in a significant emergency it does!

 So I ask all of you reading this post:  In your absence is you family adequately educated and prepared to properly respond and survive during a serious emergency situation?  I encourage you to have all family members read the Foundational Articles on the right column of this blog.

The post Is Your Entire Family Prepared for Emergencies at All Times? appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

A Green Beret’s Guide To Building an Emergency Winter Shelter

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we covered a few items on winter camouflage and winter preparedness training.  I’m going to throw out to you the concept of the winter shelter.  Most are self-explanatory.  Going into the basics, we need something to keep the snow from falling on our heads, as well as something to insulate us from the cold and the wind.  If you have no tent available, then it’s up to you to build something if the emergency arises.  Undoubtedly someone will comment about sleeping in the car, but circumstances may arise that may prevent that, such as a bad accident with leaking gas or combustible fluids.

The Simplest Survival Shelters

One answer for you is the lean-to, which is simply a couple of vertical poles jammed into the ground and a cross-pole (or cross-beam, if you will) lashed to the top across the two vertical poles.  Then you “lean” other branches across the top edge of your cross-pole, building a triangular shelter for yourself as you create this roof.  Ideally the rear can be on the slope of a hill or mountain without any runoff, leaving you a “front” to sit in at the edge of the lean to.

Tree-pit ShelterIn areas where heavy snows accumulate, you can also make a tree-pit shelter.  Excavate around the trunk of a pine tree with low boughs (a tree with thick branches and the boughs close to the ground).  If you have about two to three feet to dig, all the better in this case.  You’ll excavate about a 6-7’ diameter “hole” around the tree, and with the snow you remove, stack it up and pack it on the edges of the hole, building it up until you reach those bottom boughs.  You can also reinforce the construction by using boughs and dead branches to set the snow on top of.  Be creative, and use your imagination to make the situation fit your needs.  You want to make a front “gap” for yourself to squeeze through, and maybe a “door” out of pine boughs to close the gap off.


The principle being to create walls of snow that extend to the thick tree-boughs.  The tree will be your insulation topside, and the walls of snow akin to a semi “igloo” that will protect you on the sides. 


Reinforce those walls by placing branches on the inside vertically, stuck into the ground, or use a foam pad to run around the walls of the pit (Army issue ones work well).  Pack the top of the wall before putting branches and snow on the sides to build it up.  Don’t build a fire in the thing, unless you want to risk the fate of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” character and risk bringing stuff down on top of you to smother you.  Also, don’t pick a tree heavily laden with a billion pounds of snow.

Why These Shelters Are Ideal

The principle is to crawl in this thing, taking support against the tree (lean against it to rest and sleep).  Even if you were buried, the tree itself will protect you and create an air pocket when you lean against it.  This type of shelter will buy you some time until you can build something a little more permanent.  If you did what I advised many moons ago, and packed your “A-bag”/bug-out happy-camper-survivor bag the way I advised, it’s packed per the season, and you should have a poncho and poncho liner in it.  The poncho can either be stretched out on the ground for a ground-cover, or used to solidify a lean-to and make it more waterproof.

The tree-pit shelter is for when you need to get out of the elements quickly.  If that can’t be done, you can dig a snow-cave for yourself.  With the poncho and/or a ground pad, you can insulate yourself from the ground and “hole up” in this snow cave (nothing more than a “spider hole” to protect you from the bite of the elements) and allow your body heat to warm up the hole.  It is the same principle that sled dogs use when they dig holes in the snow and bury themselves.  The principle is sound and can work for you as well.

Also for the tree-pit shelter: try not to pick a tree that is growing on the side of a mountain or hill.  You don’t need an avalanche to ruin your day on this one.  The lean to you can get out of.  Let the tree-pit shelter be on fairly-level ground, if you can make it so, and check it out thoroughly beforehand.  Be prudent and carry your pack with you should you have to leave the vehicle.  Practice building these shelters and familiarize yourself with them when you have the time, prior to an emergency occurring.  Stay warm, drink coffee, and take care of one another!  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

Doomsday Clock Ticks 30 seconds Closer to End Times

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doomsday clockHumans have been the cause of our own demise for centuries. Because of our self-destructive natures, scientists created a symbolic Doomsday Clock to show “how close we are to destroying our civilization.” Well Folks, on Thursday, that End Times clock jumped 30 seconds closer to midnight.

According to the experts, we now have 2.5 minutes to go before civilization ends. Those experts are comprised of a board of the nonprofit Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’  along with input from a board of sponsors which includes 15 Nobel Laureates.

According to the article, “Scientists moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight on Thursday amid increasing worries over nuclear weapons and climate change.

Each year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a nonprofit that sets the clock, decides whether the events of the previous year pushed humanity closer or further from destruction. The symbolic clock is now two-and-a-half minutes from midnight, the closest it’s been to midnight since 1953, when the hydrogen bomb was first tested.  Scientists blamed a cocktail of threats ranging from dangerous political rhetoric to the potential of nuclear threat as the catalyst for moving the clock closer towards doomsday.”

USA Today

According to the article, the Bulletin pointed to President Donald Trump’s  ‘careless rhetoric on nuclear weapons and other issues as well as his troubling stance on climate change.’ The threat of nuclear warfare also played heavily into the time on the clock, as do the dangers of climate change the threat from cyber technology, according to the group’s website.

Are We Really Living in the End Times?

Whether you see logic why scientists moved us up on clock or not, you’d have to be blind not to see how the entire world is in jeopardy. For years we have been starting down the threats of food shortages, political upheaval, an increase in crime across the board, a barrage of civil unrest around the world, economic decline – should I go on?

Perhaps the clock isn’t too far off. Many of the ultra-rich have taken notice to the turbulent times and have quietly been making preparations to “bug out” when the time comes. One thing is for sure, they are aware of what is happening in the world, the country and locally and you should be paying attention too.


Be aware of what is happening in the world, the country, and your immediate locale.


Many believe these issues are the perfect recipe for catastrophe. While we can theorize about what may or may not happen, we need to understand that we are operating on limited information. Logically speaking, the best way to prepare for the unpredictable nature of these types of scenarios is by getting ready for them and making preparations ahead of time.

The following are ways to prepare for these erratic disasters:

  •   Start preparing your home, your family and mind for more difficult times.
  • Create a food pantry. Creating a food supply is very beneficial to your budget. It is an investment into your future livelihood. One thing analysts and financial pundits agree on is that, in general, commodities will continue to rise. When others are buying foods at inflated prices, you will be consuming your investment when it was purchased at a lower price. Using a combination of shelf stable foods, you can create a well-rounded food supply to depend on when an emergency arises.
  • Simplifying your lifestyle. Before you begin investing, take steps to get out of debt. Debt only enslaves you further, and simplifying your lifestyle can help break those shackles. Learn about these 6 ways to simplify your lifestyle.
  • Preserve your wealth. Choose hard assets (dry goods, precious metals, land, livestock, skills, etc.) for long-term investments so they will hold their intrinsic value over time. Holding these types of investments will insulate you from inflation and other economic issues. Further, by tying your money up in assets it will help you avoid spending the money, thus furthering your cause of self-reliant living.
  • Become a neo-pioneer! Carve a path in your life where you are no longer dependent on consuming at stores to live. Garden and grow your own food, raise livestock, learn skills to live self-reliantly, barter for goods and services.

No one knows for certain if the Doomsday Clock is accurate or if we are any closer to doomsday than we were yesterday, but what we do know is it’s an indicator of how tumultuous the times may be. And, as we learned throughout history, sometimes even the best of intentions can have disastrous consequences.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Your Home Security Plan Is At Risk Without This Essential Prep

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this piece is on some of the parameters and importance on keeping things safe…inside of a safe, or a “safe space” where they won’t be compromised.  The compromise that I speak of means from fires, thieves, floods, or mayhem in general.  Every family should consider some kind of safe, as well as a safe/hidden spot to keep the safe in.  You have valuable (either financially or holding value due to their nature) possessions and documents that need safeguarding.

All Could Be Lost Without This Home Security Prep

Let’s start by saying it would behoove you to have 2 types of safe: one for larger items, and another one for portable, smaller items, especially in the way of documents.  Such documents can include (but certainly aren’t limited to) passports, marriage licenses, birth certificates, land deeds, vehicle titles, corporate stock and/or documents, to name a few.  A smaller, more portable type of safe would do in this case, such as those made by Sentry to lock with a key and a recessed handle.


You may want to pick up a fireproof type of safe or box for your ammo, to store in the vicinity of any safe that has firearms, but do not store the ammo in the safe with the firearm.


safe

These small safes can hold your documents and certifications, usually protecting them from fire up to about 1,500 degrees F, as well as being water-tight to protect them from flooding and water damage.  Now, the whole point of having this type of safe is to make your documents portable.  The fire rating may help you if you’re not able to get to them, and must recover them later, or if they suffer “light” exposure to flame and you are able to grab them…and they’ll be protected.

The other type – a larger, heavier kind may have to wait for you to return after a fire or flood.  Sentry makes these guys, too, and I prefer the tumbler kind to the electric.  Firstly, if there’s any kind of solar flare or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse), you may not be able to get into the safe.  Secondly, the battery is going to run down eventually.  You’re much better off with a “click and tumbler” type of combination lock on the front.  The larger safe will also hold documents, but you can also store things such as jewelry, extra cash, a firearm or two, precious/valuable coins and metals…the list is endless.

safe2

This type of safe will usually be good up to about 2,000 degrees F, and can be bolted to the floor.  This latter detail precludes being able to just lift it up and take it away.  This type of safe should be hidden.  The possibilities include (but aren’t limited to) a piece of furniture either bought (premade specifically to hide it) or specially made for the occasion, a recessed wall or floor, or a hidden room that only you and your family know about.

This last point is especially if you have paperwork or documents in the safe.  You don’t want to “cook off” the ammo with excessive heat inside of the safe and start a fire internally.  Another thing to consider hiding the safe in plain sight by installing it inside of a wall.  This can be done with masonry or with timber and drywall.  The key being you need as much space for the safe as is minimally possible, and it (the space) needs to blend with its surroundings.  It is better to go with the ground floor for such a location, as if you have it on the second floor and the house burns down, it’ll probably end up being in the basement after a considerable fall, and this after being weakened by the fire.

Keep a copy of the combination in a place where it won’t be lost if the house goes down and in a manner that will not allow it to be affected by the elements.  An index card or portion of one with the combination on it and laminated with heavy-gauge laminate is your best bet in this regard.  Make sure your family members (if they’re trustworthy, mind you) know the combination to the safe and where to find it.  In an age where safety deposit boxes in banks are no longer inviolate to the IRS or the Federal Government, the home safes may assure you both of security and privacy.

Always learn the fire-rating beforehand, and buy them new, not used.  You do not know what the previous owners may have either went through or subjected the safe to prior to you owning it.  In this manner, you have quality backed by some type of warranty.  There are plenty of websites available with plans and ideas of where in your house to recess one should you wish to do so.  Consider one or two for your home.  It is a not-so-costly investment that will keep your stuff safe and pay for itself the first time it’s needed.  Keep your things safe, and be safe in all you do.  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

When Seconds Count: 5 Items for Quick-Action Response

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1FIRST RESPONSE KITS

Picture This:

  1. You just hit a deer on the road about halfway between work and home on your 30-mile one-way commute. As you tried to avoid him, you swerved and hit a patch of ice and went off of an embankment.  Ramming a tree, you went unconscious.  You came to only to find a large laceration about 4” long running across your forehead
  1. You are just about to leave work when suddenly the entire building shakes. You’re up on the fifth floor, and a ceiling joist gives way, and half of the 6th floor of your workplace is now also on the fifth floor.  Even worse: you’re pinned under a beam and a big piece of jagged wood has gone right into your thigh.
  1. You’re in a very packed and congested shopping mall and suddenly, two guys with masks turn the corner with AK-47’s yelling in Arabic, firing their weapons in all directions. One of the bullets ricochets and hit you in the calf.

ReadyNutrition Readers, hopefully you are never in one of the examples…and really hopefully, not the same guy or gal in all three of them (that would really be bad luck, wouldn’t it?).  The point is that weird things, such as auto accidents, earthquakes, or terrorist Jihadists assaulting Chic-fil-A happen virtually all the time, now.  You may be just the innocent bystander or unwilling participant mentioned in one of these tragedies.  We hope that isn’t the case.

But if it is?  You had better be as ready as you can.  Let’s talk about some things that could give you a winning edge that you may be able to tote around on your person, either in your pockets or in a small bag.  We’re going to address some common problems that these unlucky individuals are facing in each of these scenarios.

Bad wounds – laceration, impaled wood, and a bullet.  All are serious, and each of them will require immediate medical attention.  The problem is you may not have the time to wait until trained personnel reach you, and (in the case of a SHTF event) they may never reach you.  But maybe you have these, for starters:

  1. Outdoor Wound Care Kit: with Celox, made by Total Resources, Int’l, accessible via totalresourcesintl.com.  The Celox clots the blood within 60 seconds.  The whole kit is about $8.00 at Wal-Mart.  Great for bullet wounds and lacerations…. think “Stop Gap,” and stop that bleeding, while you’re sealing up the gaps.
  2. The Army Field Dressing: Seriously, this one is a good one that you really need to pick up.  It’s listed as Dressing, First Aid, Field, Camouflaged, 4” x 6 ¼ to 7 ¼ inches NSN 6510-00-159-4883.  It has its own “tails” to tie it off and bind up that wound.
  3.  Fish Mox Forte: Fish Amoxicillin, comes in 500 mg capsules of 100 per bottle at about $40 per bottle. Good to throw a course of antibiotics on immediately when faced with a dirty wound.
  4. Electrolyte Stamina Power Pak: This electrolyte made by Trace Minerals Research is a type of ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) that you mix with about 6 ounces of water. Provides all of your electrolytes, such as Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium.  If you’re conscious, you can drink fluids with any of the above examples, and if so, these packets will give you a super-helping of electrolytes, as well as other essential minerals you need.
  5. St. John’s Wort: available at Wal-Mart under Spring Valley Brand, 300 mg capsules with 150 capsules per bottle, at about $8.00 apiece. St. John’s Wort is great for dealing with depression and stress.  It is also a powerful antibiotic that is effective against bacteria and viruses.  Take some according to the directions on the package.

To summarize, these are a few things you can tote around with you in a jacket or cargo pocket that will give you an immediate edge when a situation arises that calls for you to work on it immediately.  Spread it out and make kits as such for your family.  Remember: when something happens to them and you’re working on the problem, use their stuff…your stuff is for you, and if you “go down,” they can go to it and treat your problem…with your supplies.  Stay ready and rock steady!

A little bit of that prep beforehand goes a long way.  Familiarize yourself with it and all of the capabilities at your disposal.  A pile of supplies that you don’t know how to use is just a pile of supplies.  Keep fighting that good fight, drink coffee, make pemmican with my recipe, and have a good one!  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

Popular Hollywood Hallucinogenic Plant Could Have Dangerous Side Effects

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hollywood-drugReadyNutrition Readers, this article holds some important information and advice for anyone considering using naturopathic or holistic supplements in their diet.  As a certified Master Herbalist, in no way, shape, or form do I wish my words to be construed as “knocking” herbs and herbal supplements.  There is an article that recently surfaced, however, that bears mentioning, as it presents a substance in a light that is not objective.  The article is entitled Hallucinogenic Plant Ayahuasca Gains Foothold in the U.S.,” by Veronique Dupont of AFP, released on 12/25/16.

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a constituent of the plant, and it is illegal in the U.S., which makes study of it very difficult.  It is said to produce euphoric and hallucinogenic effects, and is claimed to have therapeutic use in helping addiction, trauma, and depression.  Scientists have looked upon it with wariness, as the South American herb has negative effects when mixed with other medications or when used by people with preexisting medical conditions.  The herb is, however, gaining popularity, and people are trying to use it under the protective blanket of its use in “religious rituals and ceremony.”  Here is an excerpt from the article; please take note of the “distinguished” individuals who (according to the article) recommend using Ayahuasca:

“Thousands are flocking to sample the elixir and swear by its therapeutic properties, despite warnings from scientists and users that ayahuasca can be dangerous and even prove fatal, especially when mixed with other drugs.  Ayahuasca’s proponents, who include celebrities such as Sting, Paul Simon, Tori Amos and Lindsey Lohan, say the plant offers a spiritual experience like no other. Many also say it has allowed them to overcome traumas that no other conventional therapy can tackle.”

Really, guys and gals, Lindsey Lohan?  Sting?  The point that I am making (and I am a trained Master Herbalist) is that scientific research and good laboratory work provide true and useful information that should not be ignored just for the sake of bucking the “Big Pharma” train.  Seriously, if you want good information, weigh any herbal supplement against lab data and scientific research provided for you.  In the past, I have mentioned such reference materials as Medical Herbalism” by David Hoffman (a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine), as well as the PDR for Herbal Medicine,” a compendium gathered by hundreds of Medical Doctors and Herbalists.  I have also mentioned traditional medical references, such as Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.

These reference materials in no way detract from the principles of herbalism and naturopathic aids: rather, they reinforce them with research, study, and in-depth chemical analyses that are possible only in a laboratory setting.  They give dosages, contraindications, and specifics about the herbs that enable a person to arm themselves with knowledge that could prevent an illness or injury.  Part of your survival supplies is the knowledge to employ them.  Nothing could hold more true than with herbs and herbal supplements.

Most laypersons aren’t particularly fond of scientists and chemists; however, these people studied hard to win approval in their profession…with real and valuable information in their curriculums.  It is my firm belief that traditional medicine and herbalism need to support and complement one another, as they are interrelated, with the latter discipline being the older of the two.  Although there are plenty of laws that are not good, they are not the majority: there is common sense in stopping at a red light, common sense in being required to put a tarp over a dump truck loaded with gravel, and common sense with keeping a snarling dog on a leash and maybe muzzled.  Common sense and the observance of it help keep people safe.  If they “forget,” then the law is their guideline.  Without laws people really would eat one another.

In this light, many times some of these exotic herbs have been used for innocuous or innocent purposes with well-meaning, and through no fault of their own, people have gotten hurt or worse.  The reason for this is they didn’t really know the herb or know what they were doing in the first place.  The scientific research on lesser-known substances should be trusted and further researched before attempting to utilize these herbs, as well as consent and approval of a physician…an individual trained in chemistry and biology with years of practical experience in medicine and (we hope) a professional who places patient care first and foremost.

So, to summarize, learn about herbs and herbalism as much as you can when an obscure or “new” thing comes to light.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and your prevention lies within your references and the professionals you have at your disposal to question regarding your supplements.  There is no shame in asking questions, and it is just as important to know about your supplements and how to use them as it is to have a full supply.  Be safe, and have a Happy New Year!

 

JJ

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

Winter Survival: Don’t Get Caught in the Cold Without this Essential Prep

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thermosReadyNutrition Readers, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Polar Vortex has done a shift, and the incredibly cold weather expected for the Pacific Northwest has been shifted toward the East and slightly lower in latitude.  The effect has been extremely cold temperatures in the Great Lakes region, throughout the Ohio River Valley and into the Northeastern states.  Above-average levels of snowfalls have been experienced, as well as plummeting temperatures.

Here in Montana for the last several days we have a blast of subzero temperature emanating from the Arctic and Siberia, where the average has been about -5 to -10 degrees F at night, and only about 5 to 10 F during the day.  “OK, JJ, it’s cold: So where are we going with this?” may be your question.

Here’s the answer: “Old Man Winter” is kicking in; now, what happens if a “monkey-wrench” is thrown into the equation and you’re caught out in it?

I have written articles in the past about different things to do to prep for the cold weather, as well as for emergencies.  I want to focus on something that I do that may help you if you find yourself stranded in an accident or in a snowstorm where you may be unable to go anywhere for at least several hours or even overnight.  This piece can be used by anyone in a rural area (just the manner that I do use it), however, it is specifically tailored for those in an urban setting.

The reason being: urban residents don’t necessarily have the luxury of pulling away from their stranded vehicle 20 or 30 feet and making a fire for themselves.  With hundreds or even thousands of cars and only the macadam of the freeway, such activities would be “frowned upon” by the friendly authorities at a bare minimum.  So, what are you to do?  Try these measures for starters; I promise you, during the winter months, I take these steps every day.

Prep for the basics

Firstly, I prep the food I’m going to need.  I always have a bag of frozen carrots and peas in the freezer, and if I’m low or out, I dice up some carrots really small and add some fresh pea-pods after slicing them down into small strips.  These veggies go into a Ziploc bag.  Next I take about ½ pound of meat (whatever I have in the fridge, such as pot roast, brisket, or chicken) and dice it up into small pieces or even cubes.  I stick this into another Ziploc bag.  A third bag holds some dried onions.

Now I always travel with “Vitamin R,” as we used to call it in the Army.  Yes, there are some of you who are nodding your heads in recognition….as “R” is for “Ramen,” the mainstay of the “grunt” (infantryman) in the field.  I always have about half a dozen in the vehicle with me (winter or summer, for that matter), replacing them each day as I use them.  The Ramen is nothing more than a “base,” and you’ll understand in a second.

The key here are the Thermoses…and the good ones, mind you.  Not the ones with glass inserts or the insulated plastic ones.  You need the ones with a steel bottle for a core that is insulated, such as the Aladdin or an equivalent.  This is where the time comes into play.  You must boil water to bring up the temperature of the core of the thermos, allowing it to sit for at least 5 to 10 minutes, while an equivalent amount is being boiled on the stove.  This is a good moment for that second cup of coffee in the morning (I told you I prefer instant), as your water to heat up the core is poured out, and you replace it with boiling water anew…the water you will tote with you when you leave the house.

Lickety-split! How to Keep Thermoses Warm

Cap that thermos up!  Be sure to dry off any water on the threads and the neck, so they won’t have a chance to freeze.  Now, you do this for two thermoses.  I have a big one, and a smaller one made by Sharper Image (it probably ran about $30 originally, but the Thrift Store sold it to me for $1.50, a true bargain).  When you “nest” these thermoses together?  Believe it or not, they keep one another warmer.  I take these guys and a 20-ounce bottle of water, and wrap them up in an old, thick sweatshirt.

I take care to keep them tightly together, as I fold over the top and bottom of the sweatshirt, and then wrap from the sides.  Then this whole “package” I place into my Igloo Playmate cooler (it’s about 2’ x 1 ½’ x 1 ½’), where it fits on an angle.  A couple of packages of Ramen go in with it, as well as any instant coffee I take with me.  The food?  At 5 degrees F during the day, it’ll freeze up just sitting in the front seat of my vehicle.  So be it: refrigeration au natural.  The Igloo cooler gives just that added “boost” to insulate the thermoses.

Yes, there are times that I don’t use either of them, and they’re still warm 24 hours later.  Now, when it’s time, what I do is break out my meat and veggies, and place them on the bottom of a Tupperware container I use for a bowl.  I add my dried onions.  Then I crush/smash/break up my Ramen and pour it on top.  Taking the big thermos, I pour my hot water over top of my meal, covering the food about ¼” beyond.  Then I cap up my thermos and stick the top on the Tupperware, letting it sit for about five minutes.  I add the seasoning packet after that, and mix it in.  Voila!

I just made a meal for myself for pennies on the dollar.  For me, the big thermos is for the meals, and the little one is for the drinks, such as coffee or green tea.  So, here’s your “deal” for the whole thing:

In a bad situation, you’re going to have hot water for 24 hours and the ability to make yourself a meal or a core-warming drink.  At bare minimum, you’re going to have fresh water to drink (albeit warm) that won’t freeze up on you while you’re awaiting the storm to blow over.

How much is that worth when the bottom drops out of things?  For me it’s just something I always do.  Even in the summer, I take the small thermos with me (either for coffee or just some soup…not so much for survival or a problem).  But let’s say it’s not a survival situation.  How much is your time worth to you?  And your money?  By having that prepped and ready, you can eliminate having to go somewhere to eat, exposing yourself to crowds and potential colds and flus, and wasting time to pay for some overpriced meal.  You can enjoy a nice hot meal: what you’ve made with your own hands, clean and simple with no one to bother you.

It takes about 20 minutes out of your day each day, but the first time there is the need for it…the time pays for itself.  Let’s not forget that anything else can factor into it, such as a nice EMP that leaves you stranded in the wintertime by the side of the road.  Remember: it’s better to be prepared and wrong 1,000 times than to be unprepared and right just once.  So, pack up those thermoses, insulate ‘em, and set aside the ingredients for your soup with some “Vitamin R” or some precooked pasta and a bouillon cube if you just can’t stand the Ramen!  Take the time to prepare, and you’ll be waiting out the storm with soup, coffee, and water that’s not frozen if things go south!  JJ out!

 

More Winter Advice from JJ:

Hardcore Survival: What to Wear in the Harshest Conditions

This Winter Prep Could be the Most Essential Tool in Your Arsenal

7 Fundamental Requirements for Cold Weather Injuries

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

Eye-Protection in the Winter Wilderness

Frostbite: How To Survive Winter’s Unrelenting Brutality

Winter Survival: How to Blend into a Winter Environment

How to Procure Protein Sources During 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

Frugal Prepping: 12 Survival Tools You Need in Your Bug Out Bag

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survival tools for the bug out bagReaders, I’m not so much into gadgets and gizmos as many people, but one of the things that I have done is to amass what I call a “micro” toolbox.  When you’re in a bind, you may have only what is on your belt or in your pockets to rely on.  But what about things you may need in a pinch that may require tools…except you can’t drag around a giant toolbox with you?  This may just foot the bill for you and give you some food for thought.

Although I live an “Uncle Cave-man” type of lifestyle, the fact that I am writing this article to you on a computer and use the internet should prove to you that I still need a certain number of things to carry out tasks besides a bow saw and a stone axe.  Let’s go down a list of some things you can “miniaturize” and take with you in a small tool kit for your needs in a possible 72-hour emergency.  Many of these are low cost and can be picked up in the Dollar Tree/Dollar store.  Remember: You’re not going to stick-build trusses or frame a house – just make a small tool kit you’ll be able to use in a pinch that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Learn how to build the ultimate bug out bag

12 Essential Tools You Need For Your Bug Out Bag

  1. Hammer: no, not the 30-oz Estwing, but a small hammer, just enough to tack in some nails and build a small lean-to or shelter [Pack some nails in a variety of sizes in a small container…don’t forget them]
  2. Screwdriver: once again, your dollar stores have the ones that have “bits” for different screwdriver heads, such as standard or Philips.
  3. Drywall saw: yes, the small one with a triangular-thin blade and big teeth…excellent for small branches, and can be used for game you shoot, as well
  4. Exacto/razor knife: the one with break-off, disposable blades
  5. Allen wrench: you never need one until you need one…and when you do, nothing in the world will work except the Allen wrench…also at the Dollar Tree
  6. Star-nose bits for the screwdriver: once again, you’ll never need them until you do…and your life will be horrible if you don’t have one and the need arises…make sure they fit in your multipurpose screwdriver (#2); you can get them at the hardware store for a couple dollars
  7. Pen Torch with Butane: I recommend Benz-o-matic’s ST-200. It is about 6” long, and it can hot-blow, solder, and be used as a torch with a flame more than 2,000 degrees F!  It runs about $23, and the butane (use Benz-o-matic to keep it from gunking up) about $4-5 per can.  If you need to “unfreeze” something in a heartbeat, such as a lock or a moving part, or if you must solder something together to repair it…there’s your racehorse.
  8. Tape measure: get a good one, a 12 foot one for your minimum size, and use the ones by Stanley, not the generic junk…in this case the adage “cheap you buy, cheap you get” applies. Use Stanley’s “Fat Max” brand that is wider with more visible numbers, unlike the others where even an eagle or an owl couldn’t see the numbers and markings.
  9. A small pry bar: the type that is either rounded or hexagonal. You can pick up one of these at the Dollar Tree, but if you’re going to put a lot of force on it, you may want one of the more expensive ones at Home Depot or Lowe’s.  You never know when you need to lever something in a small space.
  10. Eating utensils and accessories: yes, a fork, knife, and spoon, and a small hand-held can opener. [Note: if you’re out in the wintertime, and a can of food has frozen, you can poke a couple of hole in it with the can opener and thaw it out on a fire]
  11. Small power tools: Cordless Dremel with bits, a cordless screwdriver (that can double as a drill if it’s a good one) and bits…these are your “primaries” with your “Uncle Cave-man” manual tools to back them up if needed. The Dremel, especially, has drills, sanders, and cutting wheels that can really help in a bind.
  12. A set of micro/precision screwdrivers: once again, the Dollar Tree is your best bet.

There are many reasons to pack yourself up a small tool kit such as this one.

Firstly, you do not know when or where you are going to run into a situation that you need these tools in a hurry.  Many of you may say that you already have a big Sears craftsman toolbox in the back of your truck or the trunk of your car.  That’s fine, and guess what?  So do I.  But in addition to this full-sized toolbox, I have the smaller one, for the “What if’s” that always arise.

What if you have an accident and you need to get away from the vehicle to seek shelter?  What if you’re compromised, in some way, and must abandon your vehicle completely?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have that small tool kit that can be made to attach to your happy bug-out backpack?  You can potentially grunt it out and lug the full-sized toolbox with you, but if that’s not an option, your backup will be this compact bag or box of tools…micro-tools, if you will…to help you out as you are in motion.

With these tools at your disposal, you can solder, fix, fabricate, and build what you need in a pinch.  Survival is more than living with an entire arsenal of weapons and a warehouse full of tools and supplies. It is also about living “on the cusp” and being able to be “Johnny-on-the-spot,” to either make or fix what you need when the situation calls for it.  Such is adaptability, and along with good coffee, it is the factor that has enabled us to survive as a species.  Invest in that small tool kit and tailor make it for your needs, both immediate and the ones you forecast for the future.  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

Be Prepared! 20 Must-Read Articles to Get Started Prepping

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 This last year opened my eyes to how quickly our world can turn upside down and how fast people can turn on one another. Towards the year’s end, I sat and reflected on the failures that we all witnessed: our government failures, the poisonous election season, our doomed economy and riots caused by civil unrest.

I asked the Ready Nutrition Facebook community where they felt they were in regards to their prepping endeavors and I was pleasantly surprised to see a new crop of beginners. It seems that many shared in my bleak sentiments. We see a storm on the horizon and know that it is in our best interest to take steps to stay ahead of it. This renewed my passion to get essential prepping information out there and as the saying says, “there is no better time to making changes than the start of a new year.” It’s a new year and we all want to turn over a new leaf.

We are all in the same place – a need to get ready

“This year, I’m finally going to get prepped.” Does that sound familiar? Whether you and a beginner prepper for seasoned, you may not be at the place you had hoped. You aren’t alone. I had prepping plans that I hoped to accomplish by now, but sometimes life gets in way. As well, the more I prep, the more I realize I have so much more to learn. Give yourself a break if you haven’t gotten where you wanted to be. Don’t feel pressured if others surpass you. We are all on our own journey and some may learn faster than others – the point is to stick with it.

This is the single best way to start prepping

Researching and creating a family based emergency plan is the best way to stay organized and on point with your prepping. Have multiple contingency plans too! If Plan A doesn’t work, fall upon Plan B and Plan C, and so on.

You need to understand the disaster you are planning for, how to be mentally and spiritually prepared for it and, ultimately, what supplies and skills you need to thrive. As well, I want to emphasize how important it is to reach out to the prepper community. Learn from each other and don’t be afraid to include your mistakes and failures as part of your education. This is part of the learning curve, and a necessary one at that!

There are some of you who are new to prepping and some that may want a refresher course, so today I thought I would send some links to Ready Nutrition articles that have been the most helpful in getting people on the preparedness track.

20 Must-Read Articles to Get on the Preparedness Path

Below, you’ll find some suggestions for the items you should begin to accumulate. As well, consider these 8 basic preparedness items to compliment your supplies with.

Why You Should Prepare 

5 Ways to Store Water for Short-Term Emergencies

5 Reasons You Should Be Preparing

When the Trucks Stop Delivering, ‘The System’ Will Collapse

The Prepper’s Beginners Guide Part 1 and Part 2

 

Lists of Essential Preparedness Gear and Supplies 

The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer

How to Save Food When You’re Off the Grid

Best Practices For Long Term Food Storage

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

52-Weeks to Preparedness

30 Survival Items You Can Get at the Dollar Store

Short Term Emergency Checklist

Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First

How to Build a 72-Hour Kit

Urban Disasters: Have These 20 Items On You If You Want to Make It Home

What You Have to Do To Prep on the Fly

 

Long-Term Food Storage Solutions

How to Dehydrate Foods for Long Term Storage

Is Freeze-Dried Food Worth the Investment?

Vacuum Sealing for Long-Term Food Storage

Using Your Freezer as a Long Term Food Storage Solution

You can do this!

Now that you have information only a click away, there’s nothing holding you back from getting started! The only thing holding you back from realizing your prepper goals is yourself. You can do this! There is still time to get ready for disasters, but it is important not to waste time. Good luck, preppers! I’m rooting for you and will continue to get more information out to you!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Everyday Activities Creates a Complete Workout

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snow-shovelingReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, it’s a new year and there’s still work to be done!  Yes indeed, speaking for myself here in Montana, I’ve been shoveling snow every day for the past week.  Doing this helps me to do things, such as pull my vehicle out of the driveway, different structures on my property to not collapse or be buried…little things such as that.  Some days it has been dumping almost a foot of snow on me, and most I see about 4 to 6 inches.  What a pain!  But it’s not all complaints in this department, as it serves a purpose that perhaps you, too, can “latch” onto to make your own.

I’m referring to your daily activities for use as exercise.  When I shovel (I don’t like snow-blowers, and prefer the shovel…grid down, I still can remove snow), that counts as a workout.  Especially if it’s between 1-2 hours per day.  That’s just simple maintenance; however, I take it as a workout.  You can too!  This is not to say that I don’t lift weights on these days, but as a workout, my “yard work” supplements (or complements) the lifting.

Shoveling snow works the shoulder muscles (the deltoids), and the neck muscles (the trapezius), as well as the biceps and triceps in the arms.  It also works your legs: your quadriceps for when you squat and drive your shovel into the snow.  Your lumbar and lower back gets quite a workout for when you turn and throw the snow.  Oh yes, when you’re running “full tilt,” you work up quite a sweat. [Remember to stay hydrated!]

Before I shovel, I tend to stretch out for about 5 minutes with some deep knee bends (squat thrusts) and arm circles, as well as stretching out my chest, arms, and shoulders.  The snow-shoveling forces you to use your hip flexor muscles, as well as accessory muscles of breathing, such as interior and external obliques and transverse abdominus muscles, all located on and near the stomach.  In the gym, it would be hard to duplicate some of the motions you pursue in the mechanics of the shoveling.

I estimate with a damp, “wet” snow, each shovel I fill up weighs about 15 lbs. or so.  After you have done that several thousand times, you can see the point.  You also work on regulating your breathing.  I have a pattern of filling up and moving ten shovelfuls, and then taking a breath for a few seconds…assessing my work remaining.  It is good for the cardiovascular, as well.

To digress, the same runs for cutting and chopping wood.  Splitting wood is good for your arms, shoulders, and back.  You also practice some hand-eye coordination, and I’m here to tell you…you split a quarter or a half a cord with an axe?  You’ll get a good workout, believe me.

You should log all activities in your workout book.  I’m a believer in workout notes, because you can see what gains you make, what problems you face, and you can perfect your activities and training program, changing it to suit your needs.  With your woodcutting and snow-shoveling, note down the time you worked and the amount you moved (an estimate: it doesn’t have to be down to the pound).  It is also important to factor in a recovery, and here’s a rule that doesn’t require supplements.

You should consume some protein and carbohydrates within ½ hour of finishing strenuous activity.

The reason for this is twofold.  After a workout, your body breaks down tissues that will immediately scream for protein to repair them.  In addition, you need to infuse some carbohydrates into your system, because if your body doesn’t have the energy to begin the conduct of repairs, it will break down muscle tissue in order to secure that energy supply.  This article is not for the purpose of covering anabolism and catabolism or the glycogen cycle; however, you need to follow that guideline after your workout is complete.

And what if you don’t live in the Rocky Mountains?  And what of it?  You can still figure out what you do during the course of a day that is a “natural” form of exercise.  Are you a waitress or a health care professional?  Secure a pedometer and use it to figure out how many miles a day you walk.  Tie this in with your functions.  Many professions require a person to sit behind a desk all day.  Do you live within walking distance?  Well, this needs to be factored in, and you can figure out whether or not it gives you some of the exercise that you need.

Bicycling to and from work may be another method, if you live too far to walk and have a profession that requires more cerebral than physical activity.  Those in lines of work that require a lot of physical activity tend not to regulate them (in thought); nevertheless, they reap the benefits of consistent physical activity, such as construction men and bricklayers, as well as steelworkers or dockworkers.  Look at how those guys (and gals) are built, and tell me they’re not benefiting from the physical labor.

When you’re home and have yard work of any kind, incorporate the task and turn it into physical training for yourself.  In a SHTF scenario, you will probably not be able to visit HappyFitness Gym, but you still have a need to exercise.  It lowers the triglyceride levels of the bloodstream and builds up the muscles and stamina.  Exercise is a life-long function that needs to be pursued.  Consult your doctor on all routines you’re considering.  So, Happy New Year, and I hope this year brings you success in your physical training programs…one that you can potentially fill with your everyday work.  In the meantime, I have about three inches of snow to shovel, now, so I’ll catch you later!  JJ out!

Here are some other at-home workouts you could pursue:

4 Daily Strengthening Exercises That Will Push You to the Limit

The Wild Woodsman Workout

See How You Stack Up Against The WW2 Fitness Test

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

Teaching Kids The Prepper Mindset

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Teaching Kids The Prepper Mindset Teaching your kids to be able to take care of themselves using the resources around them is invaluable. A prepper mindset is something that has to be learned. While most of the modern world considers this to be getting a job and paying bills, preppers and homesteaders tend to look …

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What You Need to Know About Nuclear Attacks

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nuclearReadyNutrition Readers, as you have exciting fun during this holiday season – meals, Christmas presents, family dinners, and such – let’s not lose focus on the volatility of the world situation.  Just because Donald Trump won does not mean that the battle to restore the United States to a constitutional republic is over.  There are still enemies outside of the country and enemies within; do not lose sight of these facts.

The Nonsense Begins Around This Time

Usually, this time of the year is “great” timing for either an attack or some kind of military action.  Operation Just Cause in Panama (1989) was kicked off right around Christmastime.  Same for both Desert Shield and Desert Storm (’90 and ’91).  The nonsense always starts around this time of the year.  There are reasons for it.  The harvests are in, and there’s not a lot a civilian population can do during the winter to counter an invasion without great cost or discomfort.

Complacency is also a big reason.  While the U.S. invaded Panama in 1989, most people were out doing their shopping, eating in different restaurants in between shopping, and settling down in the house to watch football, eat, and relax.  While we in the U.S. (and most of Europe) are relaxing, the Chinese and North Koreans are not.  The Russians (while celebrating the season) do not relax.  I repeat my caveat from articles past:

The next world war will be initiated by an EMP device/weapon detonated over the continental U.S., followed by a limited nuclear exchange and war with conventional forces.

I stand by it because it is better to be either “wrong” or “late” in a prognostication 1,000 times than to be right (and unprepared) just 1 time.

In this regard, here are the basics for preppers and survivors out there who understand that vigilance is not paranoia.  Here are the basics concerning a nuclear attack.

The Three Effects of a Nuclear Bomb

  1. Heat (Thermal Effects) – The severity of the thermal effects will depend on your location. If you are at ground zero of the blast or within a mile of it?  It was nice knowing you.  2-5 miles of it, and you’ll probably be subjected to an intense fire wave and not survive it.  5-10 miles out, a lot of buildings and trees will be on fire, and you can receive burns on exposed skin, as well as retinal damage from the initial explosion’s excessive flash (flash burns can be either temporary or permanent).
  2. The Blast – Once again, proximity will be the factor that determines whether you survive. The blast has two parts:
  3. Overpressure – a large increase in air pressure far above what is considered normal.
  4. Dynamic pressure – akin to an extremely powerful blast of wind, outward from the center of the explosion

Within six to seven miles of the explosion, the “wind” speed can be between 90 to 120 miles per hour when the dynamic pressure component of the blast wave hits.  It would not be good to be out in the open, and you would also be exposed to things picked up by this wind and hurled at you.  Light damage would be sustained by buildings and structures about 15 to 20 miles from the blast.

5. Radiation – all the radiation is produced within the first minute of the explosion. An unprotected person within a couple of miles would be exposed to radiation in amounts that he or she could not live for long if initially surviving the heat and blast effects.  Then it takes about 24 hours for the remaining fallout to come back down to the earth.  Fallout is particulate matter (such as dust and dirt particles) sucked up into the fireball that “fall” back down to earth.  This applies in a ground-burst weapon, as airburst explosions detonate above a city and are the most “efficient” method to take it out, leaving a minimal amount of fallout.  With radiation, other factors such as weather and wind patterns must be taken into account to find the pattern of drift.  Usually, 3 weeks to a month in a shelter will enable the majority of the particles to deteriorate to livable levels.

Radiation comes in several different types.  Alpha particles are larger and attach themselves to debris.  They can be shielded against by clothing and brushed off, posing a danger only if they are inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin such as in a cut or a burn.  Beta particles are also able to be kept off with thick clothing.  If Beta particles touch the skin, they will burn you, and can penetrate the skin.  Beta particles also can pose a problem if inhaled, ingested, or with entry through a wound or burn.  Gamma rays are very dangerous.  They go right through you and into you without protection from shielding.

Signs and symptoms of radiation poisoning are as follows: nausea and vomiting, malaise (overall weakness and sickness), blisters/ulcers of the skin, excessive visual disturbances, dizziness and vertigo, and excessive bleeding from minor and major wounds.  Also, keep in mind that radiation received is cumulative: a fatal dosage usually runs about 300 rads/roentgens or higher, but if you receive 200 at one exposure, you’re not safe with another exposure of 200, as it adds up to 400.  You need a survey meter (Geiger Counter) and a dosimeter to keep track of such exposures and the radiation received with them.

There are numerous sites and resources available to you on the Internet that will provide tables of thicknesses and degrees of protection for the various components of your shelter, whether field-expedient or planned.  The general rule is that the denser the material (such as steel and concrete, as opposed to soil, or wood) the better a protective factor it will render.  Mass and density are the two factors that will help to shield you from radiation.  The third is time, as radiation does decay rapidly with the exception of isotopes such as Strontium-90 or Uranium-238.

Your best protection is (of course) distance from the bomb…as much as possible, as well as shielding in a shelter with supplies and necessities gathered within that shelter beforehand.  To cover all the information you will need is beyond the scope of this article, the intent of which is to give you “food for thought” if you haven’t already taken such a thing into consideration.

To summarize, a nuclear attack can ruin your day if you haven’t prepared for it in advance.  When you look outside your living room window and find that the snowman has melted, the wicker furniture on the porch is on fire, and the chestnuts on the tree are roasted, along with the tree itself…that is a little too late.  As with any disaster natural or man-made, the time to prepare is before it happens and keeping in mind that complacency can kill you.  The disasters strike just when you think they will not, or at a time when everyone is at the dinner table having a grand time.  Be prepared with your supplies and in your mind and heart.  Keep fighting that good fight, and take care of one another.  JJ out!

 

More Reading:

An Urban Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

How to Survive When a Nuke is Dropped

The One Nuclear Threat That Most People Aren’t Aware Of

7 Natural Supplements You Should Have in Case of Nuclear Fallout

What Happens to Nuclear Power Plants Following an EMP?

 

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

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

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winter-water
“Water, water, everywhere,” wrote Coleridge, in application to the ancient mariner of his prose.  The big difference, though, is his water was not potable, as it was the ocean.  The water I’m referring to in this piece is the water that is all around you in the winter, and the importance of consuming the proper amount of water to prevent dehydration.  Be advised: your needs for water do not decrease; rather, they increase due to stressors that are different on the human body.

The tendency is to not drink as much when the weather is cold.  This is a natural thing, as people usually (even when thirsty during the winter) do not wish to drink cold beverages.  Conversely, they prefer warm beverages that are (usually) caffeinated, such as coffee or tea.  As a die-hard coffee drinker, I know from experience that you must offset the caffeine consumption (to a degree) with an increased intake of water.  At the end of this article, I’ll mention more on this.

How the Body Loses Water During Winter Months

With increased activity, there are many ways that a person loses water.  Diaphoresis (sweating/perspiration) is one way, and insensible water loss is also increased, examples being water lost from the eyeballs and from respiration.  People breathe out 1-2 glasses of water per day.  Urination is another way that water is lost, the composition of urine being about 95% water and 5% miscellaneous solids.  The needs (on average) of water consumption in humans is about a gallon per day, with kids needing a little less except when they’re extremely active.

Water is Fuel

During the winter, you’ll need about a quarter to a half extra water than your body normally requires, and this increases further if you are working hard physically or exerting yourself.  Remember what is happening in the cold weather.  Your body is burning up calories and extra sugar and carbohydrates to heat your muscle tissue.  This requires a tremendous amount of metabolic energy, down to the cellular level.  Water is fuel: never forget that.  With the increased cold temperatures, your metabolism works harder to stay warm.  Food intake is critical, and so is water.

As mentioned earlier, you may (due to the cold and a desire to not drink that accompanies it) take in more food than water.  This, too, is not good for you.  I don’t want to get into proponents of eating your food and drinking sparingly to allow hydrochloric acid in your stomach to digest more efficiently.  That may be, but more importantly, you need liquid to consume your food.  Remember, if you do not drink, your body will rob what water is in and between the cells (that is, inter, and intracellular fluid, respectively) to digest the food.  We learned it thoroughly in SERE school: Thou shalt not eat until thou canst drink.  You must be able to drink in for your body not to take from itself to digest the food.  If you do not drink, then you’re dehydrating yourself when you eat.

The appearance of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration.  Dark yellow urine means you need water.  Your body excretes the waste it must excrete on a regular basis; nevertheless, the body will reabsorb as much water as possible to conserve it.  The urine will be thicker with more solutes (dissolved substances, such as sodium) in it.  This brings us to the secondary problem: your body needs to excrete wastes but you’ll be losing electrolytes.  Your food replaces the electrolytes, but if you have no food readily available, you want to supplement and not just drink excessive quantities of water.  Too much water can flush out your electrolytes.

Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration.  In a survival situation, do not eat snow.  The eating of snow robs your body of calories (as explained earlier) to enable itself to melt the snow into water, and in addition, lowers your body temperature.  You can melt it over a fire, in which case it is worth it.  I highly recommend a small folding stove with hexamine tablets.  Each tablet burns for about 9 minutes…plenty of time to melt some snow, ice, or icicles for your water.  As mentioned in times past, the U.S. Army issue canteen cup is a great thing to have, made of steel.  It can take a beating and be set on a campfire or on a little portable stove with good results.

It is very difficult to keep water on hand when you’re dealing with subzero temperatures.  Most urban and suburban residents are always able to duck into a store and purchase whatever they want…for now.  People in more remote or less dense areas may have a bit of a problem.  Living where I do, I have a real problem. What I do is pack two thermoses (Aladdin’s) with hot water, and then wrap the outside with towels to further insulate them.  This ensures that I have a supply of drinkable water when I leave the house for up to 24 hours without freezing.

I also tote electrolyte packets and bouillon cubes with me, as well as my ever-present jar of instant coffee.  Returning to my earlier note, whatever you drink as far as coffee and tea are concerned?  Don’t deviate from that, and your body will compensate for the caffeine consumption so that it will not affect you in the same manner as if you were drinking that amount for the first time.  I usually have five cups a day, and my coffee is very strong.  Most people would shake akin to a leaf and be hitting the restroom all day long.

But perhaps you get the gist of the article: you need to maintain your consumption of water, even during the wintertime.  You should also have access to fire-starting materials and things such as hand warmers/chemical heat producers.  You don’t know when the need will arise for you to melt some water.  If you can keep a Camelback handy and keep the water pouch near your body heat to keep it from freezing, all the better.  Just have a source of water, and a means to replenish that source when it runs out.  During the winter, you don’t want to be dehydrated.  And if the SHTF, or if there’s a winter emergency?  These measures can mean the difference between life and death.  Stay hydrated, stay safe, and bundle up…the winter’s just starting!  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 Beginners Guide to Hunting

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this is kind of a sensitive subject: hunting for food.  The article is designed to help those who either actively hunt and/or for those who would hunt if it was necessary to survive.  Part of pioneer spirit and resourcefulness is to consider all avenues to a thing to succeed, and our forefathers certainly hunted for their food.  Even though many of the colonists were farmers and ranchers, game was hunted to provide for their tables.

I do want to give you my own personal viewpoints on hunting, as simple as they are:

  1. I do not “trophy” hunt: it’s only for meat, and only when my freezer is about emptied.
  2. I use the whole animal: as much of it as I can, without wasting any of it…I don’t feel I have the right to waste any of it.
  3. I hunt for food and do not derive any pleasure or satisfaction whatsoever in killing the animal I’ve hunted.
  4. I am 100% responsible for the safety of those around me when I hunt: those who I see and those who I do not see…who may be within the range of my firearm?
  5. Every bullet that leaves the muzzle is placed exactly where I want it, and it must be that way – no exceptions. Read more about the 10 commandments of handling firearms.

Setting Hunting Objectives and Standards

These things being mentioned, it is important to define for yourself objectives and goals, as well as standards prior to your hunting excursions.  What game are you hunting?  Ground-dwelling animals, or birds, and if the latter, are they waterfowl?  These considerations are important for your selection of a firearm, as well as the technique you will employ when using it.  If you haven’t hunted before, you’ll find there’s a lot more to it than you imagined.  Hunting is not a “singular” skill but blends many different skills in the pursuit of an objective.

You must learn to identify tracks and how to track (there’s a difference).  You must learn how to forecast weather and how to hunt with in it.  You need some basics on ballistics and firearms, and when you finally arrive on a selection of your firearm?  You must know it akin to the back of your hand: everything about that rifle relevant to function, cleaning, and positive/negative factors needs to be known by you.

You must learn first aid: for yourself and others.  Remember: it is not just a matter of you shooting someone by mistake, may God forbid it.  You may be stalking a deer in the brush and slip on rocks, hurting yourself badly.  Then it morphs from a simple hunting excursion into a grim battle for survival.  You must know how to dress out, cure, skin, and butcher the game that you shoot.

Two guys who had never hunted went out and bagged a deer.  They dragged the deer by the hind legs, and the antlers were getting caught in the underbrush.  After about a half a mile of this, one said, “Hey, why don’t we pull him from the other side?”  The two men nodded at one another and commenced to drag the deer by the antlers.  The second man said, “Yeah, good idea.  Dragging him this way is a lot easier.”  The first man said, “Yeah, it is, but…we’re getting further and further away from the car!”

This is homesteading.  This is survival.

You must know the habits and ways of the animals or birds you’re hunting.  There are a lot of big advantages to hunting that are mutually beneficial to the hunter and the environment.  During the wintertime, many deer (especially here in Montana) have a terrible time with browsing and foraging for food, and many do indeed starve to death.  The population of deer is not in a decline.  Hunting does “thin out” the herds and enable the animals to have more resources than if the herds were to be left unchecked.

The forestry service does (at least here in Montana) a tremendous amount in terms of conservation.  The whole thing is more than just “hunter and hunted,” but is an actual symbiosis where (with the proper checks and balances) humans can secure more than enough meat to eat, at the same time keeping the herds from growing unmanaged.  If you know anything about deer, you know that in the spring when you’ve planted your garden that they will eat it all up as soon as the shoots poke out of the ground.

When you hunt, you can secure a large quantity of meat to throw some in the freezer, to smoke some of it, and to home-can the rest.  This is prepping.  This is homesteading.  This is survival.  There is a way to maintain a balance with nature: the respect for the animal and the utilization of all that he has, for the purpose of eliminating/reducing any waste.  This is conservation, because you and your family have the right to provide for yourselves, as well.  Read Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nationto remove any obstacles of thought that may allow a person to feel “cleaner” or “better” when they’re munching on that Double Quarter Pounder with extra cheese, extra onion.  The book, not the movie; the movie was nothing compared to the book.

Hunting is not a step backward: it is a big step back toward reclaiming the heritage that is ours – yours and mine – of when Americans were not only socially conscious but self-sufficient.  Soon we will cover some different types of firearms and recommend certain calibers and models for different types of game.  Until then, do some research and homework on what types of game you have in your area, and how you would plan on hunting it for your table and your supplies.  Be safe, take care of one another, and keep up the good fight!  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

50 Awesome Stocking Stuffers Every Prepper Will Love

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prepper-stocking-stuffersSometimes the best gifts are the ones hanging in the stocking on Christmas morning. Adding a few stocking stuffers that are preparedness centered is a great way to help the family get more prepared.

While there are a lot of prepper-inspired products out there, this modest list of prepper-inspired products are the ones that really caught my eye. These tiny treasures have the gift of practicality and deserve a place on your preparedness shelves.

50 Awesome Stocking Stuffers Every Prepper Will Love

  1. Pocket Chainsaw
  2. River Knife Eat n’ Tool
  3. Tactical Holster Shirt
  4. Tea Variety Pack
  5. QuikClot
  6. Iosat Potassium Iodide Radiation Protection
  7. Paracord Survival Kit
  8. Tanto Knife with Fire Starter
  9. Inflatable Solar Lantern
  10. Outdoor Dry Sack
  11. Tactical Flashlight
  12. Encrypted Thumb Drive
  13. Platypus Platy Bottle
  14. Doom and Bloom SURVIVAL! Board Game
  15. RFID Blocking Wallet
  16. Human Energy Concealment Facemask
  17. Windowsill Herb Kit
  18. Portable Camping Chair
  19. Essential Oils
  20. Emergency Sleeping Bag
  21. Tactical Kuba Kickz
  22. Camping Hammock
  23. High-Intensity Glow Sticks
  24. Tactical War Hammer
  25. Keychain Carabiners 
  26. Gardening Tool Set
  27. Credit Card Survival Tool
  28. Sawyer Mini Filtration System
  29. SOG Entrenching Tool
  30. Kevlar Tactical Gloves
  31. Folding Key Knife
  32. The Prepper’s Cookbook
  33. SAM Splint Fold
  34. Green Coffee Beans
  35. Wound Seal Kit
  36. Conflicted Card Game
  37. RFID Blocking Faraday Cage
  38. 10 in 1 Wild Survival Kit Briefcase
  39. Bread Dough Hand Whisk
  40. ESEE Fixed Blade Survival Knife
  41. Wild Flower Seed Kit
  42. Maple Syrup Tree Tapping Kit
  43. LED Nightlight/Flashlight
  44. Waterproof Matches with Case
  45. Pocket Blanket
  46. Firearm Protective Eyewear
  47. SOG Snarl Fixed Blade
  48. Survival Grenade Keychain
  49. Whetstone Knife Sharpener
  50. Cell Phone/Credit Card Wallet with RFID Blocking

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Vital Emergency Kit Information & Family Preparedness

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By Denis Korn                                                                                                    Franklin quote

This post – Vital Emergency Kit Information & Family Preparedness – is one of the most important posts I have presented.  Current events and the uncertainty of the times requires appropriate preparation and answering the questions contained in this article.  It is a valuable companion to another important post Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning – Including Vehicle Preparedness – Latest Update

I feel it is very important to also include one of my Foundational Articles titled Is your entire family prepared for emergencies at all times?  It appears at the end of this post. 

You are highly encouraged to share this post and its vital information with family, friends, business associates, church and temple congregations and other members of any organizations to which you belong.  May this post help you in your serious preparedness planning.  Celebrate Peace of Mind!

Here are the crucial questions to answer when assembling your emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag – which is essential if you must leave your home or business quickly.

  • If an evacuation has been declared, a severe weather event is imminent or a significant disaster has occurred, how will I know?
  • If I have to evacuate, will I be in a cozy government evacuation center with food, water, blankets and a bed, or will I be on my own in the elements, a crude shelter or a friend’s/relatives house?
  • Am I clear on the circumstances and scenarios that may arise that will require me to evacuate versus the circumstances that would compel me to stay put and hunker down?
  • If specific government, church, community and friend’s sheltering options are not available, where do I go? How far? How do I get there?
  • What conditions can I expect to encounter – best scenario – worst scenario?
  • What are the weather conditions I am likely to encounter? What is the season?
  • Will I be alone, or are others depending on me? Family – children – elderly – pets?
  • Am I dependent on others? Who? Why? Do I expect the government to take care of me?
  • What kind of support is likely to be available?
  • How long should I prepare for?
  • What if there is nothing left when I return?
  • Are my essentials, heirlooms, personal treasures, irreplaceable photographs, documents and financial assets secure if I leave with only my grab-and-go bag?
  • Do I have a reliable communication plan to contact family, friends and business associates at a moment’s notice?
  • What is the potential severity of the emergency I might experience?
  • Will I have transportation, or will I be on foot?
  • Do I have enough money on hand to pay for possible shelter, food or supplies if I am suddenly evacuated and away from home or business?
  • Am I truly prepared for the unexpected, a procrastinator or am I in denial?

To have a truly adequate emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag the above questions must be answered. Your personal preparedness bag contents will vary depending on numerous factors such as time, number of persons, locations involved, mobility, support available, season, comfort level desired and the degree of peace of mind you want.

Here is a list of the basic essentials for every kit. Each category will have multiple options depending on how you answer the above crucial questions. Cheap, inadequate and poorly made provisions don’t belong in a quality kit. Prepare your kit as if you and your family’s life and comfort depended on it – because it does!

  1. Water – bottled/filters/purifiers/tablets/containers
  2. Food – ready-to-eat/bars/trail mix/freeze dried/shelf stable/food preparation equipment
  3. Medical – quality medical kit with instructions/prescriptions/glasses/essential medications/sunscreen/dental medic/foot care/safety pins/dust mask/gas mask
  4. Special Needs – food/medical/children/elderly/disabled/pets
  5. Tools – multi-tool/knife/wire/cable ties/duct tape/rope/paracord/gloves/small axe/repair tools/super glue/aluminum foil/ /manual can opener (often on multi-tool)/bungee cords/foldable or wire saw
  6. Communication – radio/hand crank – solar – battery/two-way radios/cell phone
  7. Fire – fire starter/lighter/matches/tinder/flint starter/magnifying glass
  8. Signaling & Orienting – whistle/signal mirror/compass/maps/GPS device
  9. Lighting – Hand crank – solar – battery/headlamp/flashlight/lantern/candles/lightsticks
  10. Power & Energy – batteries – regular and rechargeable/power-pack for batteries & cell phone recharged by solar and/or hand crank/solar and/or hand crank that charges devices directly
  11. Shelter – tarp/tent – tube or larger/plastic sheeting/insect protection
  12. Emergency Blankets/sleeping bags – emergency or larger or bivy sack
  13. Personal Hygiene/sanitary supplies/disinfectant
  14. Plastic Bags/ties
  15. Personal Security – weapon & ammo if appropriate/pepper spray/bear repellant/mace or other options
  16. Appropriate Clothing and Footwear – protection from the elements/apparel for warmth/heat packs – hand and body warmers
  17. Identification and Essential Documents – Bible/compact survival handbook/personal ID/insurance and other key documents/entertainment
  18. Spare Keys
  19. Phone Numbers and Addresses – friends, relatives, and emergency organizations/agencies
  20. Instructions on meeting and/or communicating with family and/or friends during or after an emergency
  21. Cash/credit cards
  22. Pen/markers/paper
  23. Configured Compact Emergency Kit with Essential Items
  24. Carrying Device – carry bag/backpack/suitcase/sturdy container/Food & Supply Brick™/duffel Bag (very durable and if you anticipate carrying your bag any distance shoulder straps should be available with your carry bag or duffel)

If time permits, take irreplaceable items such as heirlooms, heirloom jewelry, photographs, military/marriage/birth/deed records, computers, tablets, and personal contact information and documents not included in your grab-and-go device.

Water
An obvious necessity for everyone. Know what water sources are available to you during an emergency, or in the outdoors. Plan accordingly and don’t hold back preparing for this essential category.

Determine whether or not you want to purify water for viruses.  Not all water filters are designed for this purpose – look for water purifiers that specifically state that they will kill viruses.

Food
Numerous options are available. This category must be accessed carefully and the quality and quantity of foods chosen should be appropriate to the anticipated length of time of the emergency or outing, and severity of circumstances you anticipate might occur.  For shorter term scenarios foods in most situations should be nutritious and ready-to-eat; however you might want to consider some foods requiring only the addition of cold or hot water.  If you do need hot water you must plan for the appropriate means and equipment to heat your water.  Options listed have a longer shelf life and are suitably packaged for kits or backpacks.

Medical
When your health and survival during a medical emergency is at stake, you don’t want to rely on cheap or inadequate medical supplies. This is an important category to thoughtfully evaluate. Don’t forget medications or products needed for those with special medical conditions.  If your pre-assembled kit doesn’t include one, make sure you get a good book on medical emergencies.

Shelter/warmth
Protection from the elements and insects is essential, especially in a harsh climate.

Tools
Numerous unforeseen situations or just routine conditions occur during an emergency or during an outdoor adventure. Be prepared and secure with the proper quality tool.

Communication/Signaling
It is important to keep informed during an emergency with friends, family, and appropriate governmental agencies and emergency organizations. When in an outdoor environment, unsettled weather considerations necessitate weather alert radios. Avoid a sense of isolation during serious emergencies.  If you get lost or are separated from your group signaling can be crucial.  Since electronic items are included in this category, you may want to consider a small solar power device.

Lighting
This is an essential category to address when anticipating any situation where you may be in darkness. Not only for a sense of security and comfort, but to be able to see clearly and act accordingly if emergencies occur in the dark.

Personal protection
For some this may not be an essential basic category.  Each individual must decide the extent to which they will or will not provide protection for themselves and their families from physical harm by others or wild animals.

This article provides a very basic list of suggested items we believe are essential for emergency preparedness and outdoor recreation; especially if space, weight, and mobility are important.  For an expanded list of suggestions read our article: Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning Including Vehicle Preparedness

Is your entire family prepared for emergencies at all times?

Recent events have brought us catastrophic circumstances that have had devastating and lasting effects on thousands of people around the world.  I pray that you take this advice seriously.   Recent conversations have also motivated me to consider this important article as a Foundational Article.

I am reminded of a presentation I made some years back to a large gathering of preparedness professionals.  This convention consisted of folks who came from all over the country and of course this meant that they would be gone from their families for a few days.  Bear in mind that at my presentation there were a couple hundred people whose responsibilities included preparedness planning and education for very large companies, organizations, and governmental agencies.

At the beginning of my talk I asked the group how many felt completely confident that in their absence their families were prepared to deal with unforeseen emergencies or disasters – especially significant ones.  Only a few raised their hands!  Since most of these participants were the head of their households, what does it tell you about fulfilling one’s responsibility to protect and keep the family secure in difficult times?

Fortunately over the years the professional emergency management community has become more dedicated to personally embodying what they are responsible for in government and business.  What about the average household?

It appears that most head of households have some notion that their presence is security enough for the family during an emergency.  This is a dangerous assumption.  The sensible attitude is to ensure that all family members – adults – the elderly – teenagers – and young children, know:

  • What to do
  • How to respond
  • Where to go – or not go
  • Who to contact
  • Where the information and supplies are located
  • How to use and operated essential equipment
  • How to access drinking water
  • How to prepare any food reserves
  • How to communicate with family and emergency personnel
  • How to keep warm in freezing conditions
  • How to have the proper attitude
  • How to pray

Instructions should be in writing and the entire family should participate in drills and practices.  Family members – immediate and extended – should know their part during an emergency under all scenarios and given any combination of family members physically present – or absent.

  • Do your children, spouse and other family members know what to do and how to act if a serious emergency occurs and they are not at home?
  • How will your communicate with them or those in their keeping?
  • What if they are at school – what plans does the school have to communicate with parents or guardians?
  • What will the school provide for students?
  • What if they are at work – what plans does the business or organization have to communicate with other family members?
  • What will the business provide for their employees?
  • Does the business or organization have their own contingency plans?
  • Do you have contingency plans for communication and provisioning for your spouse – adult children – younger children when they are away from home at camp, business trip, etc.?
  • What if an emergency occurs while a family member is in their vehicle and in transit?
  • Is your family secure, knowledgeable and responsible?

Between Learn To Prepare and numerous internet websites, there is an abundance of valuable information for the whole family.  Study this information as if your life and your families’ life depended on it – in a significant emergency it does!

 So I ask all of you reading this post:  In your absence is you family adequately educated and prepared to properly respond and survive during a serious emergency situation?  I encourage you to have all family members read the Foundational Articles on the right column of this blog.

dilbertDisasterPlan

 

The post Vital Emergency Kit Information & Family Preparedness appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

5 Lifesaving Security Measures to Secure Your Home From Intruders

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home-securityMany believe burglaries are crimes that occur out of desperation, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, the motivation that drives many criminals is simply opportunity. Such is the case for why home break-ins occur around Christmas time while homeowners are away at work. All a criminal needs to do is make a quick entry, grab all the gifts perfectly surrounded by a Christmas tree and they are out the door faster than you can blink. Here are some facts to gain a better perspective on what you are facing:

  • According to the U.S. Department of Justice, every 15 seconds a home in America is burglarized and the homeowner typically suffers a loss of nearly $2,000 in stolen goods or property damage.
  • Most burglaries take place between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • The majority of break-ins are committed by burglars who live nearby.
  • Burglars tend to avoid homes with security systems.
  • Most criminals can burglarize a home in less than ten minutes.
  • Almost 30% of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door or window.
  • An astonishing 34% of burglars enter through the front door.
  • Burglars usually go to the master bedroom first.
  • The average property dollar loss per burglary is a staggering $2,251.
  • Someone is home during nearly three out of every ten burglaries.
  • Only 13.6% of burglaries in 2014 resulted in arrests.

Given these startling statistics, break-ins can be avoided altogether by using common sense and mindfulness. Here are some simple security measures to take to ensure your home stays out of the watchful eye of an intruder.

1. Keep security layers in mind

Having security layers in place is the best possible preventative measures to deter possible criminals from marking your home as an easy target. These security layers will advertise to intruders that they should avoid your home altogether. Designing a home defense system that includes multiple security layers is a proactive way to protect your home, family, and belongings. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools at your disposal for keeping your property safe. Most of them cost significantly less than an alarm system, and all together can provide several layers of security to your home. Below are seven awesome tools for keeping your place safe during the holiday season. These affordable items are a great start to beefing up your home security.

  1. Door club
  2. Wireless LED spotlight
  3. Fake TV burglar deterrent
  4. Digital lamp timers
  5. Sentry security bolt safe
  6. Hidden safes
  7. Security system
  8. Curtains and/or blinds on windows
  9. Use a wooden dowel on sliding doors and windows

Read more about these

2. Keep security supplies near vulnerable areas

Those that are preparedness-minded are always vigilant about ensuring the safety of their family members. In that same vein, children should know the basics of the family emergency plan and safety rules like not opening the door to strangers.

As well, having some basic safety/security supplies near the most vulnerable areas of the home (key entry points, garages, etc.) would be advantageous if you find yourself face to face with someone attempting to break-in. For examples, near the entry points in my home, we have a decorative basket that blends into the decor but has items such as flashlights, an emergency whistle, multi-tools and/or a knife. As well, if you do not have children in the home, you can also strategically place a handgun, clips or a non-lethal weapon if you choose. You can strategically place these items near vulnerable spots of the home.

  • The front door
  • The backdoor
  • The bedroom
  • Living room

Another vulnerable part of the home is windows. Burglars love to “window shop”. If you keep your curtains or blinds open, this will give them an opportunity to take a peek into the home. Moreover, if you have picturesque bistro tables and chairs, they can easily be used against you. Criminals will throw them against windows for fast entry. Installing shatter-proof window film on windows will help prevent this.

While we love a beautifully landscaped yard with shrubs and bushes cut low, this can also make for easy entry into the home. You can add bushes and landscaping to help deter criminals from marking your home. Plants with thorns such as roses, bougainvillea or blackberry bushes are great choices for securing the outer perimeter of the home. At the very least, secure the windows from becoming entry points with window alarms to alert you or your neighbors to a break in.

Speaking of yard and landscaping, how many of you have a ladder that you forgot to bring in? Criminals will look around for tools they can use to gain entry. The second story of a home is typically more lax when it comes to security. If you are guilty of this one, lock up your ladder in your garage.

3. Focus on the entry points

The most common way for an intruder to get into your home is through the door. Make this your first priority in reinforcing your security. The best method is to install door frame and hinge reinforcements on the front and back doors. This security solution is made of galvanized steel and can prevent single entry door kick-ins and stop intruders before they are inside. Moreover, you might also want to consider installing a deadbolt. Even the strongest reinforced steel door can be neutralized by one swift kick if your lock does not extend deep enough into the door frame.

As well, gaining entry into a garage is another essential entry point to secure. It takes less than six seconds to break into a garage if the criminal knows how. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to prevent this.

3. Be aware and know thy neighbors

Having a pleasant relationship with neighbors who stay at home is a beneficial relationship to have. They can keep an eye on your home while you are at work and you can reciprocate in a way that helps them out. Knowing who your neighbors are, what type of cars they drive and usually the time they are home, creates a neighborhood that is actively practicing OPSEC and awareness.

4. Don’t draw unwelcome attention to your home

We typically assume those living around us are respectful of property, but this isn’t always the case. Those living in residential areas bring unwanted attention to themselves when they rid their home of the large boxes marked with brand names or pictures of products. This happens frequently during Christmastime. That new flatscreen television box or video game system packaging will scream, “Come steal me!” to criminals. Be mindful and load up boxes and drop them off at a recycling center. This will reduce the eyes on the prize. As well, boxes are one the easiest items to repurpose. On a personal note, I have broken down boxes and used them to create a lasagna-style garden. This cut down on my trash load and helped me create a more sustainable lifestyle.

5. Let there be light!

Illuminating the perimeter is single-handedly one of the easiest security measures to take. Simply put, dark or poorly lit areas make it easier for burglars to go unseen. Motion sensing security measures will quickly signal you to trouble if it’s out there. As well, indoor timers for lamps and indoor lighting can help to fool anyone creeping around where they shouldn’t be. Remember, the main goal of burglars is to get in and get out unseen. If they think someone is home, they will think twice before entering.

Everyone wants to believe that they are safe and sound when they latch the windows and lock the doors. With the increase in crime, jobless rates, and increased food prices, home break-ins are likely to be on the rise. Take some incentive to review your family preparedness plans and beef up your home security measures! The investment in your home security will pay off for years to come.

 

Additional Resources:

Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary

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

Home Security: Securing the Doors

Home Security: Securing the Windows

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Electrical Generator

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

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

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

The HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Powered Generator.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Electrical Generator appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Three Basic Exercises To Help You Increase Strength and Mobility

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 Within the preparedness community, there is a tendency for individuals to place an almost exclusive focus on acquiring the right supplies and tools for survival, and for good reason, but what is too often brushed aside in this pursuit are the tools that every person carries within his or her body, namely the muscular system. Whether due to personal neglect, lifestyle barriers or just plain lacking motivation, there is a tendency to put off strength and endurance training. Being physically fit is equally as important as having the proper resources when disaster strikes. Making sure that we are doing what we can to have able bodies with which to face and survive a major disaster should be a top priority, and this means starting today, doing basic strength training exercises to improve your overall health and mobility. Maybe you don’t consider yourself athletic, and maybe you haven’t worked out in years, but there is no good reason to let that hold you back from doing daily exercises now so that you can help yourself and your family when it counts. Here are three basic exercises that you can implement into your daily routine today (none of which require the use of weights):

Push-ups

pushupsPush-ups seem fairly straightforward, but many people have been taught an incorrect way to do push-ups that can cause irreversible damage. Wide-arm push-ups, in which your hands are extended outside of shoulder-width, cause a bone in your shoulder called the acromion to rub against the supraspinatus tendon just beneath it, which can cause permanent damage. Avoid damaging your shoulder by placing your hands at or within the width of your shoulder. If it’s been awhile since you’ve done push-ups and you are finding it difficult to push your full body weight, then you can focus on pushing only your upper body weight by placing a pad under your knees and doing push-ups with only your knees on the ground instead of your feet. For someone who is just starting, you can do just 10 push-ups a day and gradually increase that number as you build endurance with this exercise. Push-ups are great for building strength in your chest, core and back.

Body Squats

body-squat

Arguably one of the most important exercises you can do for overall leg strength, body weight squats are a great exercise that requires no weights. It’s important to maintain a straight posture as you squat down, and this will require that you shift your waist backward considerably as your waistline reaches your knees. Make sure that your knees do not bend over the tip of your toes to avoid injury.

A person’s ability to do a squat can be affected by a number of factors, from overall leg strength to ankle-, knee- and hip-related stress. Those who have not squatted much in their life tend to have a shortened Achilles tendon which impedes full range of motion and only allows these particular individuals to do a partial squat. By doing consistent partial squats, they can eventually form an elongated Achilles tendon and do full squats. As you grow in strength and body weight squats become easier, you can begin to add weight to the exercise by holding a weight in the center of your chest and increasing that weight as you increase in strength and endurance.

Reverse Plank Bridge

plank-bridge

The reverse plank bridge is basically the opposite of a push-up; you hold yourself up by placing your hands directly beneath your shoulders in a sitting position and push yourself upward; either extend your legs and keep them straight, balancing on your heels, or bend them and keep your feet flat. Just by holding this position you are working a number of muscles. This exercise is exceptional for building your core, lower back, and arms.

By adding these three simple exercises to your daily routine, you can dramatically increase your full spectrum strength and mobility.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Save the Conversation at Your Post-Election Thanksgiving Dinner

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dysfunctional holidaysSometimes going home for the holidays is hard (there’s a reason liquor sales swell during these occasions!). Often, Thanksgiving dinners bring far-flung family members together at a single table under one roof, and that, even in the best of circumstances, can lead to stress and awkward conversations. Add in the fact that this is an election year and you’re bound to encounter some strain while you pass those mashed potatoes across vastly different ideologies. I’ve heard from more than one friend or family member that they won’t be attending holiday dinners this year, and I think that’s really a shame.

I’d encourage anyone thinking about going that route to reconsider; the following tips can help to make your Thanksgiving dinner manageable and enjoyable and can help you focus on your families’ similarities, rather than differences.

Remember the Golden Rule of Polite Conversation

If you’re an activist of any sort this may be difficult to adhere to, but the two topics that are best to leave on the coat hook are your religious and political views. Remember last year when Uncle Joe successfully convinced everyone at the table to convert to his exact religious and political beliefs? Yeah, that didn’t happen. No matter how zealous your convictions, if you truly want to make the two hours of Thanksgiving dinner comfortable, you need to skip that kind of talk. Now is no time to be passive-aggressive either: leave the political-themed hats and t-shirts at home. Focus instead on the personal: how people are doing in their jobs, what hobbies they are participating in, how their kids are doing.

If someone tries to bait or lead you into a conversation that approaches one of the two danger zones, be nice but don’t engage. I once escaped a horrible conversation with a distant cousin by complimenting her earrings.  Really, this is no different than abstaining from talk about your digestive issues or the road kill you saw on the drive over—it’s just plain rude to go there. And if your family happens to all hold the exact same beliefs and convictions, well, how nice for you! (Though you should know that for years my family assumed I shared their same political opinions when I absolutely did not—consider this might be the case for the person next to you at the table.)

Thankful for Place Settings

 When I host Thanksgiving dinner at my house, each place setting has a little piece of paper with the subject heading “I am thankful for:” and 5 blank lines. I also give out fountain pens like these as a little gift to my guests. As everyone is seated, they fill out their lists. We take turns over the course of the dinner reading our lists. This is a great way to focus on what really matters to us and to help us share in our gratitude.

Do Your Part

Preparation is key in all situations, so having a couple of talking points in your conversation arsenal is smart. Avoid lulls in conversation by contributing. Think about something positive or meaningful that happened to you recently—a beautiful place that you visited or a great (non-political!) book or movie that you saw—and have an anecdote ready.

When all else fails, you can always talk about the food:  what your favorite part of the meal is, how certain dishes were prepared, and how good the wine is (but go easy on the wine!).

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepping on a Budget: 4 Food Dehydrators under $75

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 Many believe dehydrating food is the safest, most affordable and best way to preserve flavors of foods. Having a dehydrator available allows you to make fruit leathers, dried fruits, beef jerky, nuts, seeds, and even meals. They cut down on wasted food, save money on pre-packaged snacks, and allow your family to eat healthily on the go. Dried foods are a life-saving staple and one of the most affordable ways to create an emergency food supply or preserve food that would otherwise go to waste. The Prepper’s Cookbook hails this culinary tool as a must-have for creating a stocked pantry.

If you have thought about buying a dehydrator, chances are you’ve heard of the Excalibur Food Dehydrator. It is the gold standard in food dehydration: it is reviewed highly by users, performs well and has a great guarantee package, and the customer service team has a great reputation. Many feel it is worth the upfront investment, especially if you plan on using your dehydrator often, but for some people, the $250 price tag is too much to bear.

That said, you have options! Below are some alternatives to the upper-end models and come highly recommended.

Four budget-friendly food dehydrators that get the job done!

1) Presto 06300

This no-frills dehydrator is as affordable as you can get. Selling for under $40, this four-tray system is compact and still powerful enough to dehydrate a good amount of fruits, veggies, jerky, and leathers. The clear cover allows you to keep watch over your snacks and the trays and cover are all dishwasher safe. It is quiet and lightweight, therefore easy to carry into various rooms for different purposes (such as making potpourri or drying herbs from your garden). One drawback is a lack of temperature control, but satisfied users agree that the general setting is sufficient for most tasks. This would make a great purchase or gift for someone new to food dehydration.

2) Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro

At around $60, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro is one of the newest dehydrators in the Nesco product line. It has 700 watts of drying power and comes with 5 drying trays (up to 12 trays can be used in the unit but those additional trays need to be purchased separately). The adjustable thermostat ranges from 95-160 degrees. It is lightweight and compact and includes added goodies like 2 fruit roll up sheets, 3 packets of beef jerky spice, and a detailed recipe and instruction book. There isn’t a timer or an on/off switch on this unit, though users seem happy with the other features at this price point.

3) NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator

This dehydrator is around $50 and incredibly user-friendly. It comes with 5 trays, each of which has 6 stacking tabs that allow you to change the height between each tray so you can place thicker food on the tray and still get good results. There is space for up to 20 trays in this unit (additional trays sold separately). The trays are clear and dishwasher safe, though some users complain that the base of the unit can be difficult to clean. It is fairly quiet and has an on/off switch; it comes with a detailed user guide.

4) Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator

The Cuisinart Food Dehydrator is the priciest in this list, though at $65 it still comes in at a much more affordable rate than the Excalibur. It has a 620-watt motorized fan with a top vent. It can hold 9 trays total and jerky lovers seem to love this dehydrator: it dehydrates up to 4 pounds of meat in 4-5 hours, depending on the cut. Replacement and additional trays are a bit pricey at around $14 a piece; otherwise, the reviews for this product are very satisfactory.

In planning for a long-term disaster, people are always trying to find foods they can look forward to that will give them optimum nutrition. These budget-friendly food dehydrators will help you do just that. Happy dehydrating!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Cycling Helps Save the World (and Save Your A*@ when the SHTF)

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shtf bikeWe recently moved from NYC to Portland, Oregon, and I have to say the biggest change (besides all of the trees and so much more living space!) is the cycling culture. Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. There are bikes everywhere you look (I just bought this one and I love it). Not only are there safe bike lanes leading everywhere—including all the way to the airport—there’s also a bike shop on every corner and even a bike assembly area within the airport terminal itself. The bike culture also flourishes in Portland because cyclists and drivers both follow the rules (and, let me tell you, that’s a HUGE change from NYC as well).

Cycling is great for your body and great for the environment. People who ride their bicycles regularly have better cardiovascular fitness, less body fat, increased energy, and they experience less depression. These are all ideal characteristics for being conditioned in a SHTF situation. Cycling to work instead of driving saves close to 10% of your household emissions and biking combats noise pollution, traffic, and uses far less rubber than what is needed for car tires. It makes sense that anyone who is interested in having a sustainable lifestyle would also be interested in traveling by bicycle as much as they can.

Why Cycling Matters in a SHTF Situation

In addition to health benefits, knowing how to cycle and having the necessary gear can come in handy in a dire SHTF situation. I recently read an article about how traveling by bike is your best bet for surviving the zombie apocalypse—the article was a bit of a joke, but it got me thinking seriously about bugging out and how to travel safely in a potentially dangerous situation.

Riding a Bicycle Lets You Avoid Traffic: First of all, anytime there is an emergency, from a severe weather event to a terrorist threat to a fire, traffic becomes an immense and literal roadblock. You won’t be limited to roads at all if you have a bicycle. Being able to take alternate routes means getting the heck out of Dodge faster—of course, you’ll have issues with covering long distances, but people stuck in hours of traffic will too.

Riding a Bicycle Does Not Require Fuel: There’s also the issue of getting gas and maintaining your energy source for your car. Sure, if you’re prepared, you’ll have a few extra tanks on hand, but what happens when that dries up? In a national or worldwide SHTF situation, gasoline will be among the first resources to go scarce. When the gas is gone, even if drivers are able to power through traffic and use their preps, it’s only a matter of time before they have to abandon their cars and continue their travels on foot.

Bikes are Easy to Repair: A bicycle is a straightforward machine that requires only a slight bit of research to repair. You don’t want to be worrying about your engine or oil changes when you’re on the run.

You Can Still Carry Cargo: If you’ve traveled to Indonesian countries you’ve seen how much gear (or how many people!) can be packed onto a single bicycle. Having a basket or rack is an easy and affordable way to make your bike more emergency friendly. Even just having a simple set up for your bug-out bag and some of your preps will make a huge difference.

You Can Accommodate Children on a Bicycle: If forced to abandon your car, having smaller children means that they slow you down, and if they aren’t willing to walk you will find yourself in a terrible situation indeed. Carriers or trailers like this one mean your child can be sleeping soundly while you travel.

Riding a Bike is Better for Your OPSEC Situation: Bicycles are stealth and silent when you are riding them and are reliable in an off-grid situation. They are small and easy to camouflage–they can even be pulled up into a tree or stashed behind some bushes at a moment’s notice.

At the very least, understand that you cannot rely on your vehicle in a true SHTF situation if you have to flee your home. Loading up your trunk with preps could potentially be a waste of time—instead, you might do well to learn how to ride a bike and be sure one is packed in that trunk of yours.

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Life-saving Emergency Procedures You Should Know from the Author of Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook

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  Today we are featuring a new book by Scott Finazzo, Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook: A Lifesaving Collection of Emergency Procedures from U.S. Army Field Manuals.  The book is designed to help you in an emergency when no doctor is available.  It covers various types of health emergencies and what you have to do to survive.  Each condition includes symptoms to help you identify what you are facing, prevention, as well as treatment. About the Author Scott Finazzo is an […]

The post 5 Life-saving Emergency Procedures You Should Know from the Author of Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Prepping for a Full On Breakdown? Stockpile These Foods

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full-on-breakdownReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, as you know we’re down to the wire just before the U.S. presidential election: an election that will shape the face of the country for a long time.  But will we make it there?  And if so, will we make it through it, and the transition period?  With the contrived “Russian Cyber threat,” along with the very real threat of nuclear war, an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack, a true Cyberattack, an economic and societal collapse, or a grid down scenario, we have enough things to look out for.  When things of this nature make the mainstream news media, it may be time to start preparing if you have not done so.

It’s time to prepare for the worst-case scenario with this best-selling preparedness manual

People are Planning for Unrest Following the Election

Emergency food sales and preparedness related supplies have soared due to the upcoming election. Here are excerpts from this article:

“What’s feeding this new urgency?  Survivalist consumers say they’re preparing for post-election unrest that could involve everything from massive riots, to power grid outages, to the total collapse of the financial system where a can of food becomes currency.

Nor is it limited to just rural areas.  Frederick Reddie, a 41-year-old ‘urban prepper’ from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is stocking upon staples like rice and peanut butter and working on expanding his 6-month supply of emergency food to two years.  He has to use a pseudonym to protect his supply from any future hungry neighbors, he told NBC News.”

Well, it seems as if “Freddie Reddie” may have read my article about neighbors and “The Shelter” episode of the Twilight Zone.  In any event, he has the right idea.  Certainly, if you can afford it and wish to invest, then by all means (and by your choice), indulge as best fits into your budget and storage plans.  The aforementioned article reported that several companies that sell freeze-dried and dehydrated foods in Mylar that are packed in buckets are being bought akin to a wildfire.  Telephone orders are through the roof, and the companies reported they have needed extra staff to take care of the purchases.

Why Canned Goods are a Good SHTF Investment

I personally like the canned goods.  They’re within my budget (no, JJ is not a millionaire or even close), and they are the basis for my logistical needs.  I don’t normally eat a lot of canned goods, and for a survival situation, I’m not overly concerned with the food being organic, or any “leaching” that may occur out of the can liners.  My focus is on complete nutrition: protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins.  Canned foods have been time-tested with me: I have had cans of vegetables and meats that I had in New Orleans during Katrina that (after ten years) were still just fine when tested.

Indeed, they found canned meat from Arctic and Antarctic missions such as Scott’s and Amundsen’s that had been almost a hundred years old with the contents still edible.  Canned goods can take tremendous changes in temperature and still be perfectly edible.  Canned goods are also pretty affordable and can even be found at dollar stores.  Everyone has undoubtedly concentrated on the basics, as follows:

Soups, prepared dinners (pasta dishes, chili), stews, canned meat (chicken and fish), canned beans and vegetables.

Be Careful of Tricky Manufacturers

You have to watch out: they’re starting to shrink not only portion size but portion content.  I just picked up the last case of ready-made mini beef ravioli with meatballs.  My sneaky grocers kept the same label on the cans but removed the “with meatballs” from the label…and (as you may have guessed) the meatballs, as well.  The can with the meatballs has a protein content of 22 grams (g), or 11 g per serving.  The one without the meatballs only has 16 g per can (8 g per serving), and they “phased” out the ones with the meatballs, but left the same price…79 cents per can.

Doesn’t sound as if it’s much, but when you buy 20 cans, that’s 120 grams of protein less in the variety sans meatballs.  Same for peanut butter, where they conveniently shrank the portion size but kept the same sized jar.  In addition to the canned goods, you can still find some case lot sales on dry goods, such as pasta, rice, peanut butter, crackers, and so forth.  With canned goods, don’t write off canned mackerel or sardines from your preps.  They’re high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.

We’re getting close to “crunch time” with all of these things happening.  Now is the time for you to stretch your dollars and prepare according to the many tips and articles you’ve read and researched here on ReadyNutrition.  Use those Gatorade and 2-liter soda bottles to build up as much of a bottled water supply as you can.  For your canned goods, if you can put them in bins, all the better.  If not, try out some cardboard boxes, and be sure to label them or mark them on the outside with a magic marker for what the general contents are.

Staying Organized

Inventory sheets (as I’ve mentioned in articles past) go a long way in rotating your supplies and also for keeping track of their contents.  For canned vegetables, concentrate on the ones you can get the most for your money with.  Examples would be canned, whole potatoes, spinach, kale, beans (such as baked or black…not the green beans that are almost devoid of nutrition), sauerkraut (excellent vitamin C source), canned fruit high in vitamin C (grapefruit, mandarin oranges, etc.).  Other prepared foods in cans are macaroni and cheese that you can add meat to if you wish.

They last a long time, come precooked (therefore can be eaten right out of the can), and they can take a beating.  Let’s not also forget canned juices, such as fruit juices and vegetable juices (tomato, V-8, etc.)  Stick with the non-carbonated stuff, as it’s better for you and will be less prone to burst on a fall or impact. Here is a good list to follow.

In a nutshell, these canned goods and dry goods can help you boost up your supplies, or provide you with a base if you have not been preparing.  All of the advice in the world will not help you unless you put it to use with actions.  As things occur both in the U.S. and the world, now is the time to take advantage and do all that you can, and the canned goods can be found within your budget that fulfills your basic needs.  Keep in that good fight, and fight it all the way!  JJ out!

 

 

Related Material:

11 Emergency Foods That Last Forever

The Prepper’s Cookbook

How to Stock a Prepper’s Pantry

Five Family Friendly Food Pantry Organizing Tips Anyone Can Do

Prepping With Wheat Allergies

5 Ways to Stretch Your Meals SHTF Style

Food Pantry: Take Care of Your Basic Needs

72 Hours Without This Will Kill You: Survival Water Fundamentals

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

Emergency Survival Food Sales Soar as We Get Closer to Election Day

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prepper-candidateSales of emergency survival food are increasing as we approach election day, and rightfully so. With Hillary Clinton and other democrats hellbent on resuscitating a non-existent Cold War and the violent riots we’ve seen by so-called protesters at Donald trump rallies, many preppers are seeing the signs and preparing for post-election unrest by storing large amounts of non-perishable food.

Although it is quite normal to see long-term storable foods rise in sales around election time, but survival food companies are seeing a particularly large spike in business this year as we approach election day.

“This is more intense than what we saw in 2012,” Keith Bansemer, marketing VP for My Patriot Supply, a survival food company, told NBC news. He says that last election season doubled their sales, and this time around they have seen their sales triple.

“We have everyone we can on the phones. We are overwhelmed,” said Bensemer.

Those who expect Trump to win fear a revolt from violent anti-Trump protesters, such as the riot seen in San Jose, California outside of a Trump rally. Others who expect Hillary Clinton’s coronation to the presidency are preparing for a possible World War 3 scenario, which may be a very well-founded concern considering Clinton’s war-driven rhetoric about Russia’s involvement in Syria and the establishment of no-fly zones in air space around Aleppo.

However, not everyone is preparing for war with another country. Many are preparing for government-related threats to their life and liberty. One of the major threats we face is the ever-increasing desire of politicians to take away our guns and the resulting chaos that would ensue. Hillary Clinton completely disregards the second amendment, and the possibility that she would enact gun confiscation across the country should not be discounted. This would mean a declaration of war on the people, or at least those who cherish freedom.

Bansemer does not think his customer base is fearing for any specific election outcome. He thinks that many just want to be prepared for whatever may come as a result of either of these candidates’ policies.

“You hear them saying, no matter who wins, I know I could take a positive step myself and secure what’s important,” he explained. “They’re securing their food supply.”

A number of other long-term food suppliers are seeing an increase as well.

Legacy Foods is predicting that sales will jump in the weeks following the election, said owner Phil Cox. Legacy sells a $2,000 package of a year’s worth of storable food, containing nearly 1,100 meals and sealed in military-grade Mylar packs.

Retailers are noticing the increase of sales of long-term food and they are serving the market. Costco is also getting into the emergency food market with a 390-serving bucket, or one month’s supply of food, for $115. Store owner Larry Friedman is unsure what to make of the increased presence of preppers at his military surplus supply store, M&G. “Some are regulars in here,” said Friedman. “They come in, seem perfectly normal, and then suddenly, they’re talking about the apocalypse. You do a double-take.”

Friedman recalled seeing an increase of sales like this nearly two decades ago, after the original invasion of Iraq:

“It really started in ’91 with Desert Storm. People were worried about Scud missiles and chemical weapons from Iraq. We had so many people waiting we almost couldn’t close the doors. We sold every gas mask we could get our hands on. That was off the hook.”

Whatever reason one may have for preparing, there is no question that if disaster strikes and food becomes scarce, food will become a primary currency, and storable food will become highly valuable. There’s no good reason to pass up the opportunity to prepare.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Build a Prepper’s Medical Emergency Kit on a Budget

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first-aid-dollar-photo-clubWhen disaster strikes, you want to know that you have done what you can to prepare for the worst. If an event such as a hurricane or nuclear disaster forces you and your family to leave your home without warning, you could easily find yourself in a serious situation where you will need first-aid medical attention. However, during natural or unnatural disasters, emergency medical attention might not be able to come to your location, so having the resources and knowledge to help yourself and your family members at a time like this can be the difference between life and death.

In the midst of a catastrophe, having a functional medical emergency kit is essential for survival, and sometimes you have to plan for it on a limited budget. In this case, the best approach is to build your own, while utilizing only the most critical items you need for your survival.

Prepare for any disaster step-by-step

Build Your Own: Four Essential Medical Categories to Concentrate On

The four general categories you will want to take into consideration for your medical kit preparations are: ointment, bandages, tools and medicine. Knowing the necessary components for each category will help you to form the most cost-effective kit.

Ointment

The first and most important in this category is antiseptic wipes, like iodine wipes or alcohol-based wipes. In addition to wipes, you may also want to include an antibacterial ointment, like bacitracin.  These are other ointments you may also find valuable:

  • Hand-sanitizing gel
  • Insect repellent
  • Insect sting relief treatment
  • Iodine liquid
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Collapsible water sink or basin
  • Water-treatment chemicals

Bandages

You want to have bandages that can address any possible injury that may arise. Keep in mind that a person can die after just 10-15 minutes if they are bleeding from a major artery; you will want to have sufficient bandages to stop blood flow and close the wound. Remember, the best thing you can do for an actively bleeding wound is to apply pressure until you are able to apply ointment or bandages. The Israeli Battle Bandage is a first-aid device commonly used for major wounds, and it’s only $9. You will also want to include the following bandages in your medical kit:

  • Blood-stopping (hemostatic) gauze
  • Triangular cravat bandages
  • SAM splint and finger splint
  • Stretch-to-form bandages
  • Liquid bandages
  • Medical adhesive tape
  • Band-aids (various sizes)

Tools

You are definitely going to want a suture kit as well as scissors and fine-point forceps to deal with critical injuries. You may want to consider buying paramedic shears in order to cut through clothing for injuries that require fast response time. Cotton-tipped swabs will be helpful for applying iodine liquid to wounds. In addition to these items, here are a few other tools that will likely be useful:

  • Multi-tool (or pocket knife)
  • CPR mask
  • Emergency heat-reflecting blanket
  • Headlamp (or flashlight) with extra batteries
  • Safety pins
  • Industrial gloves (preferably non-latex)
  • Needle-nose pliers

Medicine

There are a number of medications and treatments that you will want to consider packing in your medical emergency kit. Aloe Vera can be helpful as both as sun screen and a treatment for sunburns. You may also want injectable epinephrine, commonly known as an “Epipen” (only $7), to treat allergic reactions. Here are a number of other medications or treatments that one may require:

  • Antihistamines for allergic reactions
  • Prescription medications
  • Glucose to treat hypoglycemia
  • Eye drops
  • Aspirin
  • Iodine tablets for water purification
  • Multivitamins

Take into account the above mentioned items and each of the general categories as you compare prices on medical emergency kits that are prepackaged versus individual items. Many of the prepackaged kits have a great variation of items, but they may be lacking on some of the critical components previously mentioned, and this is why it often the most cost-effective strategy to build your own.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Could the Latest Solar Storm Warnings Bring an End to Civilization as We Know It?

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solar-stormDid you know that the White House is currently coordinating with Homeland Security to make preparations for a possible solar storm that could bring an end to civilization as we know it? An Executive Order published on October 13, by the Obama administration shows an increasing concern among White House officials about “solar flares, solar energetic particles and geomagnetic disturbances,” following a solar event which generated a Category G2 geomagnetic storm on October 8. This action could likely mean that we have an imminent solar threat in our near future. A solar discharge of great magnitude could mean entire countries could be without electricity, civil unrest and countless lives lost. If federal officials are preparing for this sort of disaster, we have enough reason to arm ourselves with the knowledge of what we might face.

Prepare for any disaster step-by-step

What are CMEs?

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are violent explosions of plasma originating from the Sun’s corona, out of  which energized particles and powerful magnetic domains emerge as fast as 3,000 kilometers per second. A CME has an associated shock wave and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that can travel toward the Earth and interrupt satellites and power grids around the planet. There are currently no public disclosures of CMEs being detected, but there is a significant geomagnetic storm event beginning, combined with the Executive Order previously mentioned, gives cause for concern about the possibility of a CME striking our planet in the near future.

A recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center predicts a Category G2 geomagnetic storm from October 24 – 26. An aurora borealis is projected to be seen in the skies above New York to Wisconsin to Washington state, and interruption to satellites and power lines are expected.

It is possible that this particular storm is not the result of a CME, but in order to be prepared, one must first know what disasters may lie ahead and plan accordingly.

Here are 5 catastrophic consequences of a major CME hitting the Earth and changing life as we know it:

Satellite Disruption

If there was a high-magnitude impact of solar energy and particles, we would see an immediate response on low-Earth orbiting weather, communications, and military satellites. Some satellites could be crippled for up to a decade. The first sign that a major CME is about to strike will be a loss of connection with or permanent failure of a portion of low-Earth orbiting satellites and their associated infrastructure. The shock wave, in combination with an EMP, would likely cause significant disruption of GPS signals, possibly creating long-term failures across the global navigation satellite system. This would have disastrous implications for commercial airplanes and ships, many of which rely on GPS guidance systems for landing and docking, and a failure of timing on either of these systems could put countless lives at risk. Seismic stations, computer network synchronization and many electric power grids across the world rely on GPS clocks. Geomagnetic disturbances associated with CMEs are known to disrupt GPS clocks through interference of high frequency radio signals in both air and ground transmission. Here is some more information on EMPs.

Power Grid Failure

A large-scale geomagnetic storm generated by interactions between Earth’s magnetic field and magnetic domains originating from the Sun could cause geomagnetically induced current (GIC), where transformers and power lines can experience a large flux in power from changes in the Earth’s magnetic field. The transformers and associated infrastructure may overheat and the power grid across more than half of the U.S. and many other industrialized countries could fail and cause a widespread blackout scenario if there was a large enough solar event. A study by Metatech corporation shows that a GIC with comparable magnitude to that of the 1921 geomagnetic storm would be projected to destroy more than 300 extra high voltage transformers and adjacent power lines across the U.S., leaving approximately 150 million people without power. The study highlights the risk to the power grid saying, “In 1921, a geomagnetic disturbance of approximately 5000 nT/min, ten  times  the magnitude of the 1989 storm, is believed to have occurred.  A storm  of this magnitude today would cause widespread damage to the electric grid of  unprecedented proportions.”

This means that all streetlights and stores could lose power without warning. Hospitals could lose power, causing failure of equipment and countless lives could be lost. Computers, cell phones, electric cars and anything else that requires a charge would die and be rendered unusable for the duration of the power grid failure. Credit card transactions and ATM machines will not work. A prolonged failure of even one-third of the grid could potentially require at least ten years for the repair and replacement of fried transformers, capacitors and power lines across the country. The end result of such a sudden and extreme loss of electricity would result in a cataclysmic loss of life, with projected human casualties at almost 100 million as a result from one major geomagnetic disturbance.

Hurricanes &Tornadoes

Hurricanes and tornadoes are thought to be closely associated with solar activity, according to Dr. Vladimir I. Merkulov, a Russian physicist who is well-known for his research into gravitational waves in the atmosphere and in vortex chambers. Merkulov has developed the Electro-gravitational Dynamic Concept of Hurricanes and Tornadoes based from observations of the physical structure of vacuum domains originating from the Sun. In his book, Amazing Hydromechanics, he says that tornadoes and hurricanes are caused by increased solar activity, including CMEs, from which vacuum domains emerge that have both electrical and magnetic properties. According to Merkulov, this means that a large CME event could be closely associated with an inestimable increase in the occurrence of tornadoes and hurricanes. While satellite communications fail and the power grid shuts down, residents of the Midwest may be dealing with multiple tornado strikes and coastal areas could have a hurricane fast-approaching the shoreline. Many of them may not realize the immediate threat that is heading toward them due to failing emergency communications being disrupted. Nearby hospitals may be unable to help those who are injured due to the failure of large portions of the power grid.

Economic Collapse

 The economic collapse that would result from this event would create a poverty never before seen in North America. Losing electricity would mean that ATM machines will not work and banks will be closed. Losing access to electronic currency will cripple many who have become reliant on credit cards and other forms of digital currency. Grocery store shelves will be left entirely empty and supply trucks would likely be unable to resupply stores. If there are gas stations able to process transactions, gas supply will be severely limited. There is no reason to expect that the Federal Reserve Note will survive such a collapse; stored precious metals might become an alternative form of currency and bartering may become a primary means of exchange. Here are six ways to prepare for this type of disaster.

Social Upheaval

When people starve and are unable to get what they need for survival, you can expect that a certain amount of them will end up looting homes or stores. Those who do not live near a river or stream may entirely lose access to clean water, which could likely mean that millions of people would be forced to relocate within days of the initial event. Having firearms for self-defense will be necessary amidst the social upheaval resulting from a CME and the associated events mentioned above. There is no reason to expect that police and military will have the desire nor capability to help those  who may fall victim to looters; everyone will have their own family and loved ones to look after.

Knowing the risks to life and property that may lie ahead is only a part of the battle. Each of the likely future scenarios mentioned above should be planned for in conjunction with the others.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Critical Components to Getting Prepped for a Blackout

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Blackout Hurricane SandyPower outages can happen at any time. Just this summer, there was up to 14 days of blackouts across California, and while they were not necessarily consecutive days, these power outages can be devastating for those who may be without a plan – especially in the peak of summer. As well, those living in northern climates have seen their fair share of “lights out scenarios” when the cold weather affects the grid. And let’s not forget the massive blackout that occurred from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

From refrigerators to cell phones, people have almost become completely reliant on electrical devices for their survival, and for this reason a blackout can have disastrous implications for the ill-prepared. You never know when a blackout could occur or for what reason, but it is important to know that it could happen at any time. It is important that you have what you need to survive in the wake of a catastrophe.

Read more about rolling blackouts and the electrical grid

In addition to blackouts, there are a number of other threats to the power grid, both natural and man-made, that should be taken into account when making preparations for such an event. For instance, hurricanes and tornadoes have been known to damage power lines and render them completely unusable. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is another threat to the power grid, and it could originate from a natural source, such as lightning or coronal mass ejections, or from an artificial source, such as a nuclear and non-nuclear EMP weapon. An EMP could affect the power grid by causing transformers to fail, and it could possibly cause irreparable damage to electronic equipment that does not have sufficient protection, which could mean just about any modern car with a computer, would likely experience disruption or failure. When preparing for a blackout, it is important to keep these other possible threats in mind.

Energy Conservation Measures

Energy conservation at home or at work is critical for minimizing blackouts, especially when high temperatures cause immense stress on electrical equipment during the summer months. It is important to turn off all unnecessary appliances or equipment and shut off all unused lights where possible. If practical, using an electric fan instead of air conditioning units can save quite a bit of power. Closing blinds or drapes to keep out sunlight during hot periods of the day can decrease the need for air conditioning as well. Excessive opening and reopening of refrigerators can cause unnecessary power usage for the refrigerator to maintain a lower temperature. Here are some other tips to stay cool when the air conditioner is off and how to stay warm if the heater does turn on.

Store and Prepare Food Off-Grid

Water is fundamental to staying alive, so make sure to have at least 1 gallon per person per day stored for each person in your household. A blackout can last multiple days, so it would be best to plan to store enough water for each individual in your household for at least a week. Perishable food will go bad without refrigeration, so it will be important to keep food that does not require refrigeration, like peanut butter, flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds. Canned foods may be made to last long, which is why they are so often suggested as long-term survival foods, but they are generally lacking in nutrition and high in sodium, so nuts or seeds will make for a better option for meeting your nutritional needs when it really counts. As a side note, most medication that requires refrigeration during a power outage can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without damaging the medication. Of course, if you are unsure, it would be best to check with your physician or pharmacist.

Alternative Power Sources

It is important to have at least 2 alternative power sources at your house in the case of a blackout. Luckily, you probably already own one: your car. If you connect an inverter to the positive and negative terminals on a car’s battery, you can use the battery to run most household appliances for a limited period of time, and you can run the car periodically to charge the battery. The primary difficulty in sustaining your car as a power source is knowing the wattage rating of the devices you intend to use. An inverter that is rated for 500 watts should be enough for a small family to power most vital appliances. If there are any high wattage devices plugged in, you will likely need the car to be running for the duration of the device’s use because the battery will run out quickly. You can also keep a store of charged batteries so that you can continue to use the inverter in the case that you run out of fuel.

Another device that you may want to consider purchasing as an alternative power source is a gas-powered generator. Gas-powered generators take about a quarter gallon of gasoline for each hour of use. This will require that you keep a store of plenty of extra fuel. For a blackout period lasting 3 days, it would be wise to keep at least 15 gallons stored in your house for use in your generator or car.

Survival Gear

This type of emergency is one of the many reasons to have emergency supplies set aside and a well thought out plan. Access to fire will be critical in a blackout. Make sure to have at least three different ways to make fire, such as a magnesium and steel fire-starter, matches and butane lighters. Lanterns will be effective alternative light sources as long as you make sure to keep kerosene in storage. Keeping in mind fuel that will be helpful, you may also want to have propane in storage for use on a barbecue or other propane-powered appliance. Having extra flashlights will make a fundamental difference in a power outage. Keep one extra set of batteries for each flashlight that you set aside. Of course, you want to have a first-aid kit with sanitizing gel. A radio with a crank generator will enable you to hear emergency alerts without having to use back-up power. Have at least 3 days of clean clothes prepared.

Preparedness is a lifestyle. Having the items you need when the worst happens can mean the difference between struggle and survival. More than anything, the knowledge that you know how to face disaster whenever it may strike is empowering. Build confidence in yourself and your family members by making sure that you have what it takes to face the next power outage today.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Non-Lethal Weapons to Carry Instead of a Gun

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Many of you have heard the saying, “Your freedom ends where mine begins.” A majority of us prefer to live in a peaceful, non-threatening lifestyle. That said, there might come a time when you will need to defend yourself. Self-defense can range from having a small defense weapon such as a tactical pen in your pocket to concealing a firearm for safety. For those who feel strongly about using non-lethal defense, consider the 5 following non-lethal alternatives.

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5 Non-Lethal Ways to Protect Yourself

While it is important to know how to defend yourself, it is equally important to remember not to make yourself a target, always engage in being aware of your surroundings, avoiding dangerous circumstances and be ready to act at a moment’s notice. To said, there may come a time where you will find yourself in a serious situation and self-defense is the only recourse. The following items are ideal to carry in a purse and should be easily accessible at all times. Check with your state laws to make sure you can carry these items freely.

  1. A quick, convenient method for protection is carrying pepper spray. The small size makes it ideal for walkers and joggers and you can’t really find a more simple method of protecting yourself. Even children and the elderly should have no problem simply pointing and pulling the trigger. Assailants will immediately experience temporary blindness, have difficulty breathing and go into severe distress. Brands like this one have a non-abrasive sleeve that stretches to fit your palm and a formula that delivers a stream with minimal blowback on the person doing the spraying.

  1. To take pepper spray to an even greater level, you might be interested in a pepper spray gun. The concept is the same as the hand-held variety, but a pepper spray gun is shaped like a traditional handgun and it is filled with several rounds of spray to create a chemical cloud. This allows you to be 10 times the safe distance (150+ feet versus 6-10 feet) away from danger while still being incredibly effective. Rounds on a pepper spray gun are powered by a CO2 cylinder, which is activated when a trigger is pulled. In addition, pepper spray guns have a kinetic impact with a round traveling approximately 320 feet per second (the equivalent of getting kit with a 50 mph fastball). Be sure to check the laws in your state, as pepper spray guns are not legal everywhere.

  1. A stun gun is another non-lethal method of defense you might want to consider. This one is small and attaches to your car keys to protect you when you are in vulnerable situations (such as a parking garage late at night). Stun guns use high electrical voltage to stun attackers, but because the amperage is low, no permanent damage is caused. Most are powered by regular 9-volt batteries and are usually the size of a small flashlight or smaller.

  1. self-defense keychain is a small, portable stick that is highly effective at channeling the force of a blow and causing pain or shock to the attacker (it’s something similar to brass knuckles in that it strengthens your force). It may not be the ideal tool if you are uncertain or unwilling to hit someone and it potentially requires more skill than mace or a stun gun. Still, it’s affordable, discreet, and can be used in close quarters if necessary and unlike mace it will never expire or malfunction.

  1. Tactical Handcuffs can come in handy if an assailant can be confined or detained by surprise. These can be especially helpful in situations of theft or assault where you are certain no weapons are involved. If you want to press charges for something such as vandalism or trespassing and you are waiting for police to arrive, you might want to consider using these. *Remember that in most circumstances, your best bet is to get out of harm’s way before resorting to the use of handcuffs.
  2. Kuba Kickz are the only non-lethal self defense tool available for your shoes and will deliver a strong “don’t mess with me” message. If you are strong on self-defense basics, these covert and lightweight weapons will be a great addition to your everyday carry items.

Knowing How to Defend Yourself is the Last Line of Defense

I am a large advocate for having security layers in place to prevent criminals from making your home their next mark. These items listed above are ones that you can carry and help you when you are out and about. Above all, know that self-defense is your absolute last line of defense and it’s important for you to know how to handle the situation. If you’re caught without any of the above non-lethal implements, it’s important for you to know (at the very least) a few basic self-defense moves. Here are a few articles on the subject.

In a split second anything can become a weapon when you need to defend yourself. Here are some great ideas for finding items in your home to use for self-defense. What kinds of non-lethal self defense items do you have to protect yourself with?

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Foods that Help to Naturally Prevent Radiation Poisoning

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we have been concentrating a great deal of focus upon the current world situation and the ongoing threat of nuclear war and/or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack.  The U.S. and Russia are currently in a head to head standoff that has resurrected the Cold War.  The military posturing by both sides is both noteworthy and alarming.  Not since the fall of the Soviet Union have we faced so dangerous and precipitous times that can escalate into a world war in so many theaters at once.  I stress my caveat again:

The next war will be initiated by an EMP device above the continental U.S., followed by a limited nuclear exchange, and then conventional warfare.

That being said, the main things we are going to concentrate on here are naturopathic and homeopathic aids that can be used for both preventative measures and also in the event that radiation from a nuclear bomb comes into play.  When a nuclear blast occurs, there is a tremendous amount (with a ground blast) of dust, debris, and particulate matter that is sucked up into the fire-ball that terminates in the “mushroom cloud” we are all so familiar with seeing in photos.  The main problem comes from when that debris settles back down to the earth in the form of radioactive materials.

A nuclear blast produces Alpha particles, Beta Particles, Gamma Rays, and Neutrons.  These particles and waves can be shielded against in the form of a fallout shelter with varying degrees of thickness being required to prevent people from being harmed by the radiation.  One of the books you may wish to invest in is Nuclear War Survival Skills,” by Cresson Kearney.  The author worked for decades compiling the research in Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the work is classified as a Civil Defense Publication.  You can order it on Amazon.com.

There is actually a great deal of foods that can be used both preventively and to detoxify after the body has absorbed harmful radiation.  We will list several of them here:

  1.  Activated Charcoal – this is easy to obtain without any complications or side effects, and it is not particularly expensive.  Approximately 10 g (grams) of activated charcoal will neutralize up to 7 g of toxic material, and yes, it does neutralize radiation.
  2. Organic Geranium – this holistic herb combats the free radicals that are released with the introduction of radiation and harm the cells.  It is effective against Cesium-137 and Gamma Rays.  The Japanese have found great success with the use of this herb for patients exposed to radiation from Fukushima, and their experiments yielded good effects with a dosage of 100 mg (milligrams) per day. You can read more about it here.
  3. Clay – binds to radioactive particles and prevents them from having further damaging effects to the human body.  The clay “carries” the radiation from the human body when it is excreted in the urine and the stool.  A good website that details the types and uses of these protective clays is found here:  www.vitalityherbsandclay.com.
  4. Fruits high in pectin, such as apples – they bind to Cs-137 (mentioned in #2) and neutralize its effects.
  5. Calcium and Magnesium – in combination will lower Strontium-90 absorption by as much as 90%.  The Orolate forms of it are preferred, as it will be more readily absorbable into the human skeletal system.  When taken preventatively, they strengthen bone tissue and increase bone health.  The Calcium can be taken by adults 800 – 1500 mg/day, and children need 800 mg per day.  The Magnesium is taken 550 – 1100 mg per day.  Note: Caution must be taken by those with heart conditions who are already on such medications as Calcium Channel Blockers, or those whose conditional maintenance depend on a balance of electrolytes and minerals that the addition of these two may affect.

There are other foods that detoxify the human body, and are effective against radiation.  Here are some:  Seaweed, Kelp, Garlic, Onions, Wheatgrass, Sauerkraut, Ginger, Horseradish, Spirulina, Chlorella, and Kale.  This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are many websites that specialize in each of the aforementioned “list of 5” mentioned earlier, as well as these.

The best thing you can do to prepare yourself is to keep yourself abreast of current events, have sufficient books and materials to help you plan, and have a store of supplies such as those mentioned to enable you to take action when the time comes.  We hope not, but it is better to be prepared and hope than to simply hope and remain unprepared.  I strongly recommend a copy of Kearney’s previously-mentioned book in order to go in-depth for things such as building fallout shelters (long-term and expedient), how to construct a Kearney Fallout Meter, and specifics on nuclear fallout, taken from years of testing with laboratory findings to back up the facts.

Now is the time to prepare if you have not yet done so.  Get the whole family involved.  The more knowledge you have together, the less of a “mystery” radiation becomes, and it can then be viewed for what it is: a dangerous variable that you can nevertheless defeat and defend against in your battle to survive, and thrive.  Keep fighting that good fight.  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

MeWe:  A Safer Alternative for Social Media

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meweSure, even your grandmother may be on Facebook these days, but those in the know understand that social networks are tracking our every move. From purchases to cookies to data sharing to outright spying, social media poses a threat some of us aren’t comfortable with. MeWe is a new communication network that’s turning the tables on social media services like FaceBook because of its safe sharing. There are no ads, no tracking, and your privacy is always respected. Best of all, it’s free!

What’s wrong with Facebook?

If you’re like the average American you’re probably monitored by half a dozen companies from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep (and if you wear a sleep tracker, it doesn’t stop even when you’re getting some shuteye.)  Facebook share buttons and comments, tie directly into the company’s servers to provide their own features. It’s a give-and-take relationship: the price you pay for being able to interact with Facebook even without going to their website is that they can see all of the other websites you’ve visited, and they’re following you around the internet and using that information to better target ads and content to you when you visit your FB account.

How can MeWe help?

Built by the company Sgrouples Inc., MeWe is a mobile and desktop innovation for one-on-one and group communication. It’s a safe, private platform that allows you to freely communicate online in the same manner that you do offline: with people you actually know and like. With new state-of-the-art features such as an innovative mobile chat app, disappearing content, voice messaging, group controls, photo tags, albums, cloud storage, private mail and customizable news feeds, MeWe has more features than Facebook but is also a fun and safe way to share and connect.

Who is MeWe for?

According to a January 2016 Pew Research Report, millennials are the demographic most concerned about their online privacy and not being monetized. They’ve grown up entirely online and they’re a bit more savvy about what social media is taking from them. MeWe turns the table on Facebook with a revolutionary integrated social network and chat app that emphasizes social sharing with privacy-by-design (something the company calls “PbD”). It’s the only social network with a Privacy Bill Of Rights for its members.

MeWe is the brainchild of social media tech entrepreneur and leading privacy advocate Mark Weinstein—a visionary social networking pioneer and award-winning author of the Habitually Great book seriesThe MeWe platform comes with the full backing and support of major technology innovators such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and a key member of the MeWe Advisory board.

Find out if your social media is stalking you by taking the MeWe Challenge: https://mewe.com/challenge and the watch the MeWe Video here:

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Americans Risking Financial Disaster: New Survey Reports 7 in 10 Americans Have Less Than $1,000 in Savings

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The over consumerism of this country has created an obsession with an unaffordable lifestyle. Households are going further into debt in order to keep up with luxurious living, rather than saving it. A recent survey shows just how abysmal Americans’ savings habits are, reporting that 7 out of 10 Americans only have less than $1,000 in their savings account.

Last year, GoBankingRates surveyed more than 5,000 Americans only to uncover that 62% of them had less than $1,000 in savings. Last month GoBankingRates again posed the question to Americans of how much they had in their savings account, only this time it asked 7,052 people. The result? Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) had less than $1,000 in their savings account.

Breaking the survey data down a bit further, we find that 34% of Americans don’t have a dime in their savings account, while another 35% have less than $1,000. Of the remaining survey-takers, 11% have between $1,000 and $4,999, 4% have between $5,000 and $9,999, and 15% have more than $10,000.

Furthermore, even though lower-income adults struggle with saving money more than middle- and upper-income folks, no income group did particularly well. Some 29% of adults earning more than $150,000 a year, and 44% making between $100,000 and $149,999, had less than $1,000 in savings. Comparatively, 73% of the lowest income adults (those earnings $24,999 or less annually) had less than $1,000 in their savings account.

Source

Americans’ Risking Financial Disaster

With the unpredictability of the economy, unemployment, medical emergencies and other unforeseen emergencies, millions of Americans are risking a financial disaster without any savings to fall back on. The best way to circumvent this from happening is to start saving a modest amount of money each month, over time this can accrue to a healthy savings account.

Simply put, the goal any emergency fund or savings is to carry us when plans don’t work out. Unemployment is always something to plan ahead for and recent unemployment rates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is at 5% of the U.S. population. Many believe each household should have six months of salary saved up and/or an emergency fund to fall back on in case of job joss. Moreover, experts recommend saving 15% of your income to put towards savings. If you save and additional %5 of your income, it can be used as an emergency fund to keep you from using savings. This can be achieved by breaking down your monthly budget:

85% – monthly bills

10% – savings/retirement

5% – emergency fund

As with all budgets, sometimes this figure fluctuates, so if you are able to put more or less into savings, then adjust as necessary. One could even break the budget down further and have a savings for vacations or family centered activities.

Build your Savings in 5 Easy Steps

1. Get out of debt. Your primary goal is financial freedom. Paying off your debt is first step toward freeing up money. Only paying the suggested amount on your credit card debt will not make a dent in the overall debt due to the interest. Organize and list your debts from the smallest to the largest and start paying the smallest debts first. Using a budgeting tool can help. Once the small debts are paid off, move on to the next largest debts on this list and snowball the payments. Essentially, you are creating a snowball effect with your payments and freeing up additional money in your budget for other uses – like an emergency fund.

2. Have an achievable monetary goal set. Starting small and build upon your initial investments for your savings is an easy way to start and not get overwhelmed. (i.e., I want to have $1,000 in savings by Christmas). Some people start with saving $1,000 and many can find this amount hiding in their budgets. We all know that many emergencies can be very expensive (i.e., medical emergencies). Therefore, once you reach your $1,000 goal, move on to saving an additional $1,000 and so on. Read more below on how to slash the budget.

3. Make it easy on yourself. One way to easily begin building your savings is to create a separate account in your bank and set up automatic monthly transfers to easily move money into your account. There are some who prefer to have multiple accounts in order to organize their income better. Some have accounts strictly for emergency funds, savings, vacations, etc. This will help you organize your budget and steadily build your savings.

On the other hand, there are some who do not prefer to keep their money in the bank due to concerns of economic uncertainty. In that case, you can hold your money in a safe or, consider taking your saved money and investing into precious metals. This ties the money up into a tangible investment and keeps you from spending it. It also makes it a little more difficult to cash in and spend it. That said, if the day came and you needed your money, all you needed to do is run down to the precious metals store in your area. Who knows, you could be getting more money than you started out with! As well, by using this method of saving, you could easily begin a very lucrative long-term savings method.

4. Start slashing the budget. Start eliminating the budget busters and nonessentials. Do you really have to get a four-dollar coffee at the high-end coffee house on your way to work? By cutting this small indulgence, you will save over a thousand dollars a year! In an article by The Organic Prepper, she explains how cutting the budget down to the essentials can save you lots of cash.

Now, let’s look at a bigger example. Let’s take the average 10 hour workday (including commute, lunch breaks, etc.)  Now spend that day productively at home.  Here are some things you might do that other people pay for:

  • Growing food $20
  • Yard work $40
  • Cleaning house $50
  • Preparing food from scratch $30
  • Mending clothes and doing laundry $20
  • Childcare – all day, simultaneous with other tasks $75 for 2 kids
  • Bathing and grooming the dog $65
  • Walk the dog at lunchtime $10
  • Make your own cleaning products and health and beauty aids $20

If you add all of those things up, you are talking about a LOT of money.  I based my totals on the prices of those services and goods in my area,  and on an average day, I could “earn” $330.  Tax free.  On an annual basis of a 5 day work week, that is the equivalent of just over $85,000 per year. Again, let me reiterate: tax-free, which can save you another 15-30%.

As well, you can research more gas efficient ways to drive to work or run errand and make goals to cut your gas budget by $50 a month. Moreover, finding a co-worker that lives in the area and carpooling to work can also save you lots of money. If you live close to work consider riding your bike to work or public transportation.

5. Don’t stop saving! What happens when you meet your financial goal? Keep going! Don’t take the extra money out and splurge. Start saving for another type of emergency. There are some who get hit with double whammies and have multiple emergencies at once. Let’s say you saved money for the car repairs example listed in the second tip. When you hit your goal, move on to another one. You could start saving for an even loftier goal like saving six months worth of salary for a job loss.

Life happens and sometimes it doesn’t work out in our favor. Organizing your finances and finding ways to free up some of your money for an emergency will help you create a personal safety net. These are steps that anyone can do. When you have amassed enough money to make your financial goal, you will sleep better at night knowing that you can take care of life’s unexpected events.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hardcore Walking Dead Survival Tips for Preppers

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darylSeriously, folks, I know you’re all probably fed up with zombies, especially since this is an election year.  Political zombies aside, I wish to mention this series of pop-culture, “the Walking Dead” can be (I stress “can be”) more than just an entertaining series.  It can serve as a valuable training tool for you and your family to prepare for the onslaught of the 14political zombies and what they unleash on us and the country. Heck, even the CDC is using it as a training tool.

Firstly, forget so much about the zombies.  Yes, they’re gruesome and a large part of it is Hollywood theatrics and special effects.  But what about this point I’m about to make:

What if you removed the zombies and kept the rest of it?

In other words, you could remove the zombies completely and focus on what the characters are facing within the series…an overall apocalyptic collapse, the fight for starvation and the complex interpersonal and micro-societal relationships and events that occur with said collapse.

One could easily remove all of the zombies and supplant them with say, nuclear war, or a devastating plague (sans zombies, which are the results of a hypothetical plague), or a complete series of breakdowns after a collapse of all governments in the world.  The zombies (as this piece relates to a training tool) are merely “props” who appear in one degree or another for a small portion or a big scene.

The characters in the movie are from a diverse array of backgrounds and levels of life.  The problems they face relating to one another are what can be focused upon.  All of the wonderful ailments that torment man in today’s society are present: theft, betrayal, infidelity, two of one gender vying for the same mate of the opposite gender, religious matters…it’s all right there.

How to Train for a Walking Dead Scenario

There are many matters of survival to be watched and either emulated or renounced, depending on the situation.

  1. Security is paramount to the character Rick Grimes and his group.  When the series first came out, the group was barely more than a fragmented collection of individuals.  Now (about to enter its seventh season) they have purpose, drive, and teamwork that has enabled them to perform security functions much more effectively.
  2. There is a tremendous amount of character development that is worth studying.  Some members of the group who were no good in the beginning are turning out to be stalwart pillars that all are relying upon, showing man’s adaptability and willingness to change for the better.  The group does not lose its humanity or capacity to be humane completely even in the light of adverse situations that would challenge anyone’s moral compass substantially.
  3. Methods of gathering food and foraging as well as water procurement, first aid, and leadership techniques are delved into in-depth.  Situations that arise within the films do arise in real life and especially during a disaster.  Barring your objections to watching such due to religious and moral sensibilities, if you’re able to see it for what it is…a fictitious account…and if you’re not squeamish about the zombies, it can be riveting.  In this facet, it can be a good training tool for members of the family who might be bored by standard training films or “Hallmark Card” disaster-flicks…where the neat, clean family on the happy picnic emerges from the disaster without a speck of dirt…picking up their picture-perfect picnic right where they left off.
  4. Reality is oftentimes grim, and another excellent factor of watching these films is that it helps viewers to mentally prepare for things that may happen…yes, a form of conditioning…regarding the scenarios.  In past articles I have mentioned the importance of making your training regular, realistic, and really interesting.  How could this be used regarding “the Walking Dead” series, you may ask?  How about this?
  5. Watch the episode with your family.  Take notes on things…all of you, just short “bullet” comments about what you’re viewing and what sticks out in your mind.  After the flick, conduct an AAR, military jargon for an “After Action Review” to see what everybody thinks.  Use the flick as a tool to discuss the situations that arise and what your critiques are on them…the mistakes, the successes, and what you would do as a family differently if in the situation faced by the characters.
  6. Then, guess what?  Spice things up further by maybe taking the family out on a subsequent day out in the woods, or out on a range to practice techniques that would help you in a similar scenario.  Working on marksmanship even with air rifles on zombie targets with the kids can be one exercise.  Working on signaling techniques and communication, or different methods to rendezvous when hiking or backpacking is another set of exercises.

The best part of all, and the most important part in JJ’s estimation: you’re doing something with your family that combines instruction with participation, and bonds all of you even closer.  Because, dear Readers, without those close bonds and the ability to support one another and depend on one another…we’re not maintaining a community.  The family is the basic community unit, and family means not just those by birth, but those we love and care about, and that feel the same toward us.

So in conclusion, make it interesting, make it real, and use it as something to make the kids and family look forward to.  Another thing I do?  For those I instruct in my locale…I note different parts of the series (as well as other series of war and disaster), note down the time it appears on the DVD, and keep it as a sort of “reference library.”  I list the topic covered.  When I want to highlight a part of training, I use my little portable DVD player and pop in the movie…and scroll right to the scene.  One picture can be worth a thousand words, and this is how I use films to train.  This article is 1,000 words, and I hope they help!  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

This is What Panic Looks Like: Thousands Stuck in Gridlock After Failing to Prepare

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Traffic as far as the eye can see: Thousands of families have been caught in gridlock across the state and up the East Coast into the Carolinas and Georgia, as they flee their homes ahead of the storm - while the National Guard trucks drive towards the evacuation zones to assist Courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ 

  • Hurricane Matthew is expected to hit southern Florida late this evening and move up the East Coast 
  • Powerful storm claimed at least 140 lives after it ripped through the Dominican Republic and Haiti Tuesday causing mudslides and flooding in the latter yesterday 
  • President Barack Obama has declared a federal state of emergency in Florida as the hurricane approaches
  • The storm intensified to a ‘catastrophic’ Category Four this morning with sustained winds of 140mph 
  • There are fears Matthew could combine with Tropical Storm Nicole, forming further east over the Atlantic  
  • National Weather Service has advised ‘loss of life’ and ‘immense human suffering’ is possible 
  • Seven million people could be left without power and some areas left ‘uninhabitable’ for months
  • Two million people in the US have been urged to evacuate their homes in preparation for a ‘direct hit’
  • Gov. Scott warned Florida warns that the storm ‘is going to kill people’ after declaring a state emergency 
  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said only 175,000 have evacuated so far, warning ‘that’s not enough’ 
  • Disney has now confirmed that all theme parks will be closed at 5pm and won’t reopen until Saturday

By late morning, Hurricane Matthew had grown from a possibly devastating Category 3 storm to a potentially catastrophic Category 4. The eye of the storm is already more organized since it hit Haiti, thus becoming stronger. Forecasters are suggesting that West Palm Beach and Cape Canaveral areas farther north could get the brunt of the storm.

094542w5 nl sm FIRST WARNING WX: Hurricane Matthew Gains New Fury As It Hurtles to Florida, But Some Residents Staying Put

This is the latest report for the fast-moving hurricane.

Some Residents are Not Taking Hurricane Matthew Seriously

Florida Governor Rick Scott has urged all Florida residents to take the storm seriously and earnestly prepare and/or evacuate to a safer area, but for some, his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. With 200 million evacuating the roads are gridlocked because many waited too long to leave the area.

One way traffic: Cars can be seen on just one side of the road stretching back for miles along the Florida highway on Thursday

Courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

While many are taking the hurricane warning seriously and preparing or evacuating, some are not taking the fury of this storm seriously. In fact, one Florida resident shrugged it off and said, “The hype is going to be worse than the actual storm. I feel I can do quite well,” said Long, who owns a bike shop and plans to ride out the storm with his cat in his 32-foot recreational vehicle a half-mile from the ocean. He has lived in the Space Coast area for three decades. “There’s always tremendous buildup and then it’s no stronger than an afternoon thunderstorm. I’m not anticipating that much damage,” he said Wednesday. Source

Overconfidence Can Kill

One of most common mistakes in disaster preparedness is overconfidence. You cannot put a gauge on Mother Nature. Storms like Matthew can quickly get out of hand, especially due to storm surges that forecasters are estimating to be between 3-6 feet and some residents believe this hurricane could give some residents a wake up call.

Those left in the wake of disasters and have not prepared adequately tend to take matters in their own hands if they feel desperate enough. This is the perfect storm for a breakdown if the state of Florida is not prepared. Residents who have stayed behind will face gas shortages, supply delivery stalls , looting, lack of water and essentially, will be left to fend for themselves until help can arrive.

One can only surmise how far-reaching this storm will be, but rest assured, there will be massive amounts of damage and not preparing for this storm could get you killed. These are essentials you need to prepare for and understand how devastating these types of disasters are.

Preparation

Supplies

Medical Needs

Communication

Sanitation

Evacuation

Don’t Be Another Statistic

Now that you understand what we’re dealing with, there are ways you can use this information to prepare for the next event so that you will be a part of the population that is ready for what may come.

Ultimately, you are the only one who can best care for your family. Having a stash of your family’s favorite canned or dry goods, a supply of water and a simple medical kit can maintain your basic needs for a short-lived disaster. This simple preparedness supply could set you apart from the unprepared.

If you live in a highly populated area, understand that resources will diminish quickly, so preparing beforehand can circumvent this. You can always start out with these basic preparedness items to get through a disaster:

  1. Food and alternative ways to cook food
  2. Water – 1 gallon per person/per day for consuming only. Plan more for sanitary needs.
  3. Fuel for generators. Also consider charcoal for outdoor grills
  4. Batteries and battery charger
  5. Flashlights and lanterns
  6. Generator
  7. Emergency lighting
  8. Ice
  9. Medical supply
  10. Items for baby needs
  11. Sanitation supplies

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Bartering to Eat: How People on the Streets of Venezuela are Surviving

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vflagVenezuela truly has become a nightmare come to life. What has taken place over the last three years has been nothing short of a total destabilization of the entire country. The water system, the roads, the electrical grid, the hospital, and especially the food distribution system. Venezuelans became so desperate that they were forced to scrounge for food in dumpsters and hunt down cats and dogs. Crime became rampant as well, and the capital city of Caracas now has the highest murder rate in the world. Mobs of vigilantes are frequently seen picking up the slack of the corrupt police; that is, when they’re not busy looting grocery stores. Venezuela is practically a war zone now.

Here’s a breakdown of the last three years for Venezuela:

  • In 2013 a major oil crash hurt the Venezuela economy the most and prompted the butterfly effect.
  • In 2015 – The Venezuelan currency, the bolivar, was worth less than a penny, prompting a monetary breakdown of the banking industry.
  • March of 2015 – The food crisis begins. The government can’t pay to import basic food items like milk, flour and eggs, leaving many supermarkets with empty shelves. Venezuelans were doing everything they could to stockpile food in order to insulate themselves from the coming economic and monetary implosion.
  • January 2016 – New power struggles emerged as many Venezuelans had enough of Maduro. In January, the opposition party, Democratic Unity, took 109 seats in Congress, far more than the 55 seats Maduro’s socialist party won. During this time, the government declares 60-day economic emergency.
  • 2016 February – President Maduro announces measures aimed at fighting economic crisis, including currency devaluation and first petrol price rise in 20 years.
  • 2016 April – Government imposes two-day week for public sector workers in bid to overcome serious energy crisis after severe drought dramatically reduces water levels in the country’s main hydroelectric dam.
  • May 2016 – Venezuela considers defaulting on foreign debt in order to negotiate more favorable terms. 
  • 2016 September – Hundreds of thousands of people take part in a protest in Caracas calling for the removal of President Maduro, blaming him for the economic crisis and accusing the electoral commission of delaying a referendum which could shorten him term in office.

Prepare for collapse: A step-by-step guide

Surviving the Streets of Venezuela

As you can see, the country of Venezuela is experiencing a slow, agonizing death and the citizens of this once prominent country are the one’s who are suffering. The country was once considered an oil giant and jobs at the state-run oil company PDVSA were coveted for above average salaries, generous benefits and cheap credit that brought home ownership and vacationing abroad within reach for many workers. Now, the employees and citizens alike are pawning goods, maxing out credit cards, taking side jobs, and even selling PDVSA uniforms to buy food, according to Reuters’ interviews with two dozen workers, family members, and union leaders.

“Every day a PDVSA worker comes to sell his overall,” said Elmer, a hawker at the biggest market in the oil city of Maracaibo, as shoppers eyed pricey rice and flour imported from neighboring Colombia.

“They also sell boots, trousers, gloves and masks.”

“Sometimes we let the kids sleep in until noon to save on breakfast,” said a maintenance worker who works on the shores of Maracaibo Lake, Venezuela’s traditional oil-producing area near the Colombian border. He said he has lost five kilos (11 lb) this year because of scrimping on food.

Source

How to Survive an Economic Collapse

Make no mistake, to survive hyperinflation and economic collapse you need to think in terms of survival. You need to have the right skills.

You need to plan ahead. When you start seeing signs at the beginning. Many Venezuelans fled the country the moment the saw something was awry. As well, you need the kind of skills that will make you money no matter how bad things get. Jobs such as ones found in the medical field, farming, private security, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, or repairmen of any kind; as well as, teachers and tutors, especially if they can impart money-making skills.

  1. Get prepared. At the very least, buy food, products, and supplies in bulk to help you prepare for price inflation. If you have the means to do so, invest in 30-60 days worth of supplies so that you have everything you need. Having these on hand will help you if times become more difficult. You can use this free online series to begin creating a personal step-by-step preparedness plan for your family; or, buy the best-selling book, The Prepper’s Blueprint to use as a reference in your preparations. As well, if you can manage, get out of debt, organize your finances and find ways to free up some of your income for an emergency fund to help you create a personal safety net.
  2. Preserve wealth. Choose hard assets (dry goods, precious metals, land, livestock, skills, etc.) for long-term investments so they will hold their intrinsic value over time. Holding these types of investments will insulate you from inflation and other economic issues. Further, tying your money up in assets will help you avoid the inflating prices of food sources in the future, thus furthering your cause of self-reliant living.
  3. Invest in food. One thing analysts and financial pundits agree on is that, in general, commodities will continue to rise. When others are buying foods at inflated prices, you will be consuming your investment when it was purchased at a lower price. Using a combination of shelf stable foods, you can create a well-rounded food supply to depend on when an emergency arises. Further, these foods last a lifetime and would make sound investments for future planning. Ideally, you want to store shelf-stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes. Dry goods like rice, wheat, beans, salt, honey, and dry milk will provide you with an investment that will grow in value as prices rise, and also offer you peace of mind in case the economy further degrades. This  food storage calculator can show you how much food should you need to store. As well, read Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First for more ideas.
  4. Learn how to grow your own food. In a homestead environment, a person wants the land to work for them as much as possible. Invest in fruit trees, seeds, and garden supplies. If you really want these peak foods, find a way to grow them yourself. Further, if you live in a rural area, consider investing in trees and bushes that will lure wild game. The trees and bushes can provide you with added sustenance and help you stock meat in your freezer. Here is a how-to guide for creating a garden quickly.
  5. Raise your own food. Rather than paying hard-earned money at the store for eggs, poultry and dairy—raise them yourself. Chickens are very easy to care for and can provide you with meat and eggs throughout the year. Additionally, you can find substitutions for these peak foods with a little research and ingenuity. For example, rabbits would be a suitable protein replacement and can even be raised in more urban areas. Similar to chickens, they don’t require much care and with some effort can be fed from the homestead’s garden or you can grow fodder. They are also great breeders and will provide you with ample amounts of meat. These are the 10 best meat rabbit breeds. As well, for the modest price of purchasing a fishing license, you can stock your freezer with fresh-caught fish.
  6. It all adds up. Again, do what you can to pay off debts ahead of time and work to restructure your outgoing funds to lower your expenses as much as possible. Debt only enslaves you further, and finding ways to detach from the system will break those shackles. As well, look into finding additional income streams. The more income you can set aside, the better off you will be. That way, if your main income dries up, you have a fall back income and won’t have to go into default.

Be prepared to lose most of the money you’ve spent your whole life saving, because even before the collapse occurs, the government will likely have laws in place that will prevent you from taking money out of the country. However, that may be a small price to pay in exchange for not living in hell hole where you have to eat trash to survive.

The people of Venezuela are in a survival situation. The key to them surviving is dependent of them. Those who took heed and planned early will have better success at surviving. As well, being able to change to the current environments you find yourself in and being able to cut your losses in order to survive your present reality will play a role in how one survives these economic death throes. You’ll pat yourself on the back when your homeland collapses, because it is always better to be a poor man in a rich country, than a dead man in a poor country.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Multimillion Dollar Heist: The 4 Security Mistakes Kim Kardashian’s Team Made

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Make no mistake, anyone held at gunpoint is living through one of their worst nightmares. That nightmare came true for Kim Kardashian West when she was recently held at gunpoint and robbed by criminals pretending to be masked police officers. While the criminals spoke mostly French when they broke into the private apartment, they also screamed, “Ring!” “Ring!”, referring to the 20 carat diamond ring estimated at 5 million dollars that her husband, Kanye West had given to her and one they most likely saw on her Twitter feed. In addition to her ring, the robbers stole other jewels in the heist estimating to be over $10 million dollars in stolen jewels and other belongings.

Courtesy of Instagram/kimkardashian

“[Kim] was tied up, and gagged with duct tape wrapped around her head. They put plastic ties around her wrists but she managed to squeeze her hands out of the wrist ties by wriggling her hands,” a source says.

4 Security Mistakes Kim Kardashian’s Team Made that were Costly

While many are scrutinizing Kardashian for her lapse in judgement on posting images of her wealth and always revealing her whereabouts on social media, we can all learn a few lessons from this experience and how to better protect our personal security and be more prepared when we find ourselves in unforeseen circumstances.

1. Social media is the devil. Kardashian created a social media empire based on giving the public access to intimate parts of her life and what happened in Paris on Monday was no different. Where she went wrong was posting images of her jewels on her Snapchat account, as well as the location of where she was staying. In addition, she also took pictures inside the private residence she was staying at. This made it increasingly more difficult to protect her. As well, her bodyguard was not present when he should have (something we will touch on later).

Social media has quickly become a way for criminals to stalk a victim and get an inside perspective of someone’s daily schedules, favorite spots and other intimate details that strangers shouldn’t be privy to. Kardashian isn’t the first person to post private images of her life. We all do it, but we should be careful. In fact, many post vacation pictures while away from their homes making it very easy for criminals to get the green light for a break in.

While Mrs. Kardashian made her name from her open access through social media, this situation she found herself in certainly begs the question of could this have been avoided? Thankfully, this ordeal ended without anyone getting seriously injured, but we should all take a step back and ensure that we are all doing our best to protect ourselves on social media.

2. Don’t flaunt what you have. When you put on expensive clothes and jewelry, wear brand name purses, drive high end cars, etc., you draw attention to yourself. In this day and time, there are many who have fallen on hard times and may see your wealth as an opportunity to better their situation. I get that in Kardashian’s case being a celebrity makes it difficult, but if we are trying to learn from her situation, when we are out in public areas perhaps we can leave the expensive hand bag or flashy jewelry at home and try to blend in more. I’ve seen countless women dressed to the nines with expensive bags in shopping centers during the holiday season. Folks, when you are in a highly populated area, do not bring the expensive fashion items. Save it for another time!

3. Security layers are the key. It must be said that Mrs. West always has a highly trained security detail around her, but perhaps enough security layers were not met in this case. The night of the robbery, her bodyguard was not present and this helped the criminals gain an advantage. Or, perhaps Kardashian fell victim to a classic case of cognitive dissonance. Sure she had a security detail, but perhaps they handled the situation a little too relaxed, thus giving the criminals an opportunity. As well, there probably were not enough security layers insulating her from harm’s way.

To learn from this, we know that home breakins have increased throughout the years. Having multiple security layers present can better protect homeowners from danger. Here’s a few ways you can add to layers to secure your home.

Layer 1: The Outside Layer

  • Reinforced doors and locks.  There is only 1 ” of wood protecting you in normal door locks.
  • Invest in heavy duty door hinges and secure door frames with 3 ” screws.
  • Barred windows or European-style security/storm shutters.

Layer 2: The Inside Layer

  • Consider investing in an alarm and advertise that you have one by placing stickers in windows and signs in the yard.
  • Consider adding a 2-way voice feature to the existing alarm system.  This feature enables your security system to communicate directly through the control panel.  This feature also allows you to call into your system and be able to listen to any activity or speak to your child or other family members who are home.
  • Position web cams strategically in hidden areas.  Place the computer that is monitoring the locations in a hidden spot so the criminals do not walk off with the computer.

Layer 3: The Personal Layer

This is the most critical layer.

  • Teach family members to be observant of their surroundings when coming home and be aware of suspicious activity.
  • Never open the door to strangers.  Teach children not to be easily persuaded by strangers who look professional or have badges.
  • Teach chidren to call “safe” adults, such as neighbors for help in cases where parents are not home.
  • Get to know your neighbors and have their phone numbers on hand in case the child needs help from a nearby adult.

Read more about security layers here.

4. Operational security is a top priority. OPSEC or operational security maintains essential secrecy for effective operations. Many preppers use this as one of the principles for staying prepared. This helps them protect the investments they’ve made in food, supplies, ammunition, etc. Therefore, if a person wants to have better security, using OPSEC is the way to do it. You can read more here about this security component. OPSEC is another term for being aware of your surroundings and this is where Kardashian went wrong. Perhaps she become complacent and comfortable thinking she was well protected (as aspect I’m sure she is beefing up now.)

This article is not intended to shame Kardashian. She didn’t want this. She didn’t deserve this. But, perhaps this situation can be something we can learn from. Use the above examples and tips to better reinforce your home security layers to ensure the safety of your family.

Has this celebrity learned her lesson? Only time will tell.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Beefing Up Your Prepper Pantry with Jerky

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 Beef jerky is the epitome of homesteading. Our pioneer ancestors dried beef as a way to help them make it through the harsh winters and when food was scarce. Native Americans dried meat and enhanced the flavor by using dried fruits and berries by making pemmican.

With meat prices steadily increasing at the grocery store, many are turning to purchasing bulk beef to save their budgets. On a side note, my family bought half a side of beef last year and we have currently been living off this. Not only was it a great way to save money and curb against price inflation, but it provided us with peace of mind knowing we had an ample amount of protein sources in case of an emergency. While placing my order, I asked that they cut some meat for making jerky and it turned out delicious!

This high protein snack is a go-to food for those who are health conscious and hikers alike, but beef can also be dried and stored for later use, such as during an emergency. In my cookbook, The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals, I outlined how dehydrating or drying meat is the minimalistic way of extending the shelf life of your meats. In an emergency, you want to have shelf stable protein sources available. From a health standpoint, when meat is broken down in the intestines, it becomes amino acids that your body uses to build tissues and enzymes which are involved in the functioning of all body systems. It also has fat present to assist in additional body functioning and insulation of the major organs.

While the lifespan of homemade jerky is significantly shorter compared to store bought jerky, there are ways to preserve the jerky for longer. Typically, homemade jerky lasts 3 months in a pantry. If refrigerated or frozen, it can last six months to a year.

Part 1: Preparing Meat for Making Jerky

Which type of beef to use? The best type of meat to use for jerky are lean cuts of meat such as, sirloin, London broil, flank steak, top round, or eye round. You can use poultry, but I like to err on the side of caution and avoid using poultry due to food-borne diseases.

Make precise cuts. Freezing meat for 5 hours will partially freeze the meat thus creating more precise slices for jerky. This also makes slicing more safe.

Trim off fat. Because the presence of fat can cause meat to spoil more quickly, make sure you trim off any excess fat to prevent the meat from going rancid. Remember: you want your jerky to last as long as possible.

Slice meat thin to ensure efficient drying time. Typically, people opt for cutting meat into 1/4 inch strips.

Jerky Making Tip:

For tougher jerky, slice the meat with the grain.

For tender jerky, slice across the grain

Part 2: Marinating

In my cookbook, I discussed how you can re-use the syrups and liquids from some of your canned goods and add them to marinades. This helps you make use of everything you have in your pantry!

This is my all-time favorite marinade:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds of lean meat (beef, pork or venison)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon each of black pepper and garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hickory smoke-flavored salt
  • dash of Tabasco

Other popular marinating combinations are:

  • Dark Belgian ale (yes, you read that right!), honey, soy sauce, mustard seeds, garlic, and lime.
  • Add some kick to your jerky with peppers! Habanero, jalapeno, or Anaheim peppers made a great addition (in moderation) to most jerky recipes.
  • Add some unusual flavors to your jerky by adding some pineapple juice (Hawaiian jerky); some ginger (Asian jerky); or some curry powder (Indian jerky). Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Source

Allow the meat to marinate up to 24 hours before drying.

*Realistically, you don’t need any additional seasonings or special cures to make jerky (although they really do add to the flavor). If you choose not to marinate, simply season the meat with preferred spices and seasonings, add to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate it for 15-24 hours.

Part 3: Dehydrating and Making Jerky

Once the marinating process is complete, drain the marinade completely and discard. Now comes the fun part- drying it out!

You don’t have to have a food dehydrator to make jerky, although it certainly helps. This is dehydrator that I use and it has made many pounds of jerky throughout the years.

Here are some other ways to make jerky:

Dehydrate jerky on a fire pit

Make a jerky in a smoker

Make jerky in the oven

For simplicity sake, I’m going to discuss the drying method I use: dehydrating. If you want to experiment using different drying methods, try one of the three listed above.

Set up the dehydrator. Get your dehydrator set up and place meat strips on the dehydrator trays. Leave enough room between pieces to allow air to flow around the meat. This creates a more even dehydrating environment.

Add any additional spices. If you want to dust the marinated meat with any spices like black pepper, red pepper flakes, etc., now is the time!

Set it and forget it! Set your temperature to 250 degrees F and dehydrate until meat is completely dried out, up to 6 hours.

Part 4: Storing Your Jerky

Now that your jerky is ready to be stored, ensure that it has completely cooled off. Adding warm jerky into storage bags welcomes moist heat with is an enemy of your food stores. Once your jerky is cooled off and ready to be stored away, you need to determine whether you are storing for short-term or for long-term.

Short-Term Storage for Jerky – Leave enough room between pieces to allow air to flow around the meat. If you plan on storing your jerky for a few weeks or up to a month, a ziploc bag will work.  I usually use the ziploc bag for storing jerky and set it in the refrigerator so that it is preserved for longer. Add a desiccant to the bag to absorb any additional moisture.

Storage Tip: One website claims that if your jerky is still too moist, a way to fix this is to store it in a paper bag for a short while before transferring it to a jar or ziploc. The paper bag will create a wick affect that will pull the extra moisture out of the jerky.

Long-Term Storage for Jerky – If you are planning on storing your jerky for longer, there are a few other storage methods to consider.

  1. Dry Canning: Dry canning your beef jerky in mason jars is an economical way to preserve jerky for months at a time. Use larger mason jars like a pint, half gallon or a gallon size to preserve larger quantities. Here’s how to dry can your jerky:

1. Set your oven to 350 degrees F
2. Remove the lids from your mason jars and set them on a cookie sheet.
3. Put the jars in the oven for around 10 minutes.
4. Remove the jars from the oven using mitts and then quickly set your jerky strips inside of them.
5. Screw on the lids of the jars and let them cool to room temperature. As the jars cool they will create a vacuum seal. You will know when they are beginning to create a vacuum because you will hear a popping sound coming from them.

2. Food Sealer: You can use your food sealer to seal meat for longer-term storage. They allow you to keep the moisture in and the air out which is great because your jerky will still be somewhat soft but will have no oxygen to spoil.

3. Freezer: Your freezer is a great way to preserve your dehydrated meats. I prefer using food sealer bags as they have a more durable material and do a better job preventing freezer burn.

Now you know everything there is to know about making the ultimate survival food. Next time you see some lean meats or roasts on sale at the grocery store, grab some up and do your ancestors proud by making some jerky for your pantry.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Skills Needed in a Survival Group

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Do you know what skill sets you have accumulated within your survival family? Think about it for a minute. What does each person bring to the survival group that is beneficial and needed in some way or another?

These are thoughts that have been in my mind for a few weeks now. So I sat down and did some research and put together a list of skill sets that are almost a must have for any group. One of the great things about this list is you can mark off what you have mastered and pick something else to work on. In doing this you become multi-beneficial to the group which is fantastic. Not only would you have the skill sets but you can teach the children.

Below are a few things to consider adding to your group or personal skills:

  1. Perimeter Security
  2. Plant Identification
  3. Gardening Skills (includes winter gardening, herbs)
  4. Butchering Skills (includes salting, smoking and curing meat)
  5. Food Preservation (canning, drying, dehydrating, smoking, grains)
  6. Raising Livestock (Chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, pigs)
  7. Hunting/Fishing
  8. Medical Skills/Dental Skills
  9. Electrical Knowledge
  10. Carpentry
  11. Plumbing
  12. Welding
  13. Sign Language
  14. Mechanical Skills (cars, appliances, lawn equipment etc.)
  15. HAM Radio Skills
  16. Bee Keeping
  17. Candle Making
  18. Sewing Skills (Clothes & Blankets)
  19. Soap Making
  20. Shoe Making
  21. Baking Bread
  22. Churning Butter
  23. Charcoal Making
  24. Martial Arts
  25. Marksmanship/Weapons
  26. Brick Making
  27. Tool Making

These are the things I can think of and some I found doing research. I hope this helps you out and please feel free to comment on what you would add.

 

The post Skills Needed in a Survival Group appeared first on American Preppers Network.

goTenna Takes a GIANT Communication step into Mesh Networking

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goTenna Launches goTenna Mesh to Take Off-Grid Communication Further: International Expansion & First-of-Its-Kind Mesh Networking Technology

BROOKLYN, NY (Sept. 28, 2016) — goTenna, the company that last year released the first and only device that enables smartphone users to communicate without cell towers, wifi routers or satellites, today introduces a new breakthrough product: goTenna Mesh, the first 100% off-grid, mobile, long-range consumer-ready mesh network device, which will be available internationally. The announcement comes along with the launch of goTenna’s premium service, goTenna Plus, and the release of the goTenna open Software Development Kit (SDK).

goTenna Mesh pairs with any iOS or Android device to allow users to text and share GPS locations, up to several miles away depending on terrain and elevation. This is the first goTenna product that will be available outside the United States and it will be sold in pairs for $179 but is available in limited quantities at promotional pricing (starting at $129) today on a preorder basis before shipment begins later this year.

The company’s first product, goTenna, will now be available at $149 for a pair. No subscription is required, in line with the company’s commitment to empowering people to create communication on their own terms.

Watch goTenna Mesh Kickstarter video here:

goTenna Mesh is anchored by intelligent mesh protocols (named “Aspen Grove”) that deliver a 100% off-grid, entirely mobile, long-range mesh network. Such a technology has never been achieved outside hulking military tactical systems that cost tens of thousands of dollars per unit.

goTenna Mesh is smaller, sleeker than goTenna’s flagship product, and provides even greater utility thanks to the introduction of mesh networking. By automatically and privately relaying your message through other users if your recipient(s) are not within point-to-point range or are otherwise obstructed, you can effectively double or triple your range and be likelier to get a message through in difficult situations. Unlike traditional communication networks, goTenna Mesh gets stronger the more users join it, though it can be useful for even just two users at a time.

goTenna Mesh’s high-level features include:

  • Dynamic protocols react to network changes in real time and enable users to send messages 1-to-1 and in groups as well as count on delivery confirmation receipts

  • Mesh to extend range through other users automatically and privately; the power of the goTenna Mesh network is that it’s built on people, making it as dynamic, scalable and resilient as the humans who use it

  • End-to-end encryption ensures 1-to-1 and group chats remain private

  • Public “shout” broadcasts can connect you to others nearby in case of fun or emergencies — used at DEFCON, Burning Man, ski resorts, Yosemite and more

  • Compact size makes it easy to pack on any adventure & have on you at all times

  • International availability addresses pent-up international demand for goTenna’s groundbreaking technology

Like the original goTenna, whether you’re spending time outdoors, packed into a crowded event, traveling overseas and in rural areas, or find yourself in an emergency situation, goTenna Mesh keeps you connected in an even more powerful way.

The goTenna SDK allows any developer to use goTenna hardware and protocols to transmit small bursts of secure data, at long ranges, completely off-grid. The SDK is designed to be incredibly simple, with SDK users reporting integration times of less than 2 hours for full functionality. While in beta this summer, the SDK has been used by groups ranging from the U.S. Air Force to health tech companies.

Available for preorder on Kickstarter for the next 30 days, a portion of funds raised will be donated to the international non-profit Telecom Without Borders (Télecoms Sans Frontières – TSF) to support their work setting up humanitarian communications operations in crises and disasters throughout the globe, from Syria to Burkina Faso and Nepal to Haiti. TSF is often the first on the ground setting up emergency communications for disaster response, in refugee camps and at medical facilities.

To learn more about goTenna Mesh, visit their Kickstarter page.

The post goTenna Takes a GIANT Communication step into Mesh Networking appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Store Your Child’s Baby Teeth for Later Medical Use

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 A new study has shown that children’s baby teeth are a rich source of stem cells. Stem cells, as you may know, are important because they are a kind of “blank” cell that can be grown into multiple kinds of cells as necessary. This comes in handy when cells are lost or damaged due to illness or disease. Though it’s not without controversy, doctors are excited about the growing role of stem cells to treat injury, illness, and tissue deterioration due to age.

Most moms and dads store their child’s baby teeth as a keepsake, but merely throwing these tiny teeth in a box isn’t going to cut it for later medical use.  Like the stem cells that can be found in cord blood samples, the cells in baby teeth must be collected and preserved in a particular way.

A new company called Store-a-Tooth offers state-of-the-art storage and maintenance for these baby teeth. Using a solution of liquid nitrogen, these teeth are securely frozen in a laboratory where they are monitored and maintained until use. Though it isn’t cheap, for a little under $2000, Store-a-Tooth will set up and maintain your samples for you. It’s important to collect stem cells while a person is still young, because our cells become compromised by environmental pollutants and normal degeneration with age. Storing teeth may be potentially beneficial for parents who did not bank their children’s cord blood for whatever reason.

Learn more about the process of harvesting dental pulp stem cells here:

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The State of the Economy and Why You Need to Be Preparing

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Graph showing business decline
ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this segment is to give you a picture of where the U.S. stands economically on some major issues, as well as some advice on how to prepare yourself.  There are a ton of things happening, and although most of the economic news is not trumpeted by the mainstream media, nonetheless it is still affecting you.  The economy affects the way you work, how you shop, and the actual “worth” of those “precious” federal reserve notes you work so hard to garner…is affected by variables both seen and unseen during the day.

Let’s summarize some items of late that are important to keep in mind:

  1. The MERS mortgage fraud has managed to account for the loss of more than 12 million homes in the U.S.
  2. The U.S. is (as of this writing) $19 trillion in debt
  3. The U.S. is floating more than $250 trillion in unfunded liabilities
  4. The U.S. is facing $1.5 quadrillion in derivatives debt
  5. 23% of Americans are either unemployed, or they’re working in a job beneath their capabilities

As we have been seeing over the past 6 months, banks are starting to adopt “Draconian” policies to control the cash flow and keep depositors from making withdrawals.  Bank of America and J.P. Morgan each owe $80 trillion to account for their shares of the derivatives debt, item # 4 mentioned above.  Part of the problem is that these banks have shifted over their debts to other arms of their establishments in order to become shielded by the FDIC.  This shift places the burden of their potential collapse onto the taxpayer.

The U.S. Government takes in about $2 trillion per year.  As can be seen, this makes the burden just from these two banks alone untenable.  In the recent UN conferences that took place these past two weeks, bankers and economists forecasted deflationary spirals, as well as warning of a “third leg” of the global financial crisis.  The governments are currently scheming to raid pension funds, IRA’s, and savings accounts.  Their plan is to place the taxpayers on the hook for the failed banks: keep in mind, these financial institutions benefited the government with taxation while the government protected them through what would have buried a normal business.

The major indices: the price of oil, the Baltic Dry Index, and the manufacturing base have all been fluctuating wildly.  Slowly but surely, the prices of food and fuel keep on climbing, and we have not felt the full effect of Hanjiin, the 7th largest commercial container carrier’s bankruptcy on the shipping markets.  All of the volatility points to inflation going through the roof and eventual bailouts for these large banks.

In the meantime, many of the other websites have been giving the advice of people removing their money from their accounts.  I agree with this concept, provided that enough is left in to keep the account going, with just the bare minimum of expenses kept in to cover things such as rent or mortgages, and any car or other loan payments you may already have.  Remember: cash on hand is worth face value until the cash has no value.  So what should you be doing?  How about these things:

  1. Precious metals: they don’t lose their value over a long period of time.
  2. Long-term food supplies: You may have enough savings set aside to buy MRE’s and other long shelf life foods. If you don’t have enough for these foods, then stock up on canned goods and dried goods.
  3. Barter goods: Think small/micro-marketing, such as bottles and tins of aspirin, sewing thread, first-aid supplies, personal hygiene supplies (soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.), clothing…use your imagination to estimate what will be needed when the SHTF in your immediate area.
  4. Extra fuel: Some 5-gallon gas cans with Stabil added to preserve its longevity
  5. Means of procuring food: Notice I mentioned procuring. If you are fortunate enough to have a greenhouse, then by all means grow as much as you can for as long as you can.  Other than that, you may want to stock up on fishing equipment and tackle, nets, and some animal traps.
  6. Antibiotics: there are several different sources, many of which we have mentioned on this site, such as pet and livestock antibiotics.
  7. Firearms and ammunition: enough said there.
  8. Fire starting equipment: always barterable, such as matches, flints, lighters, and fuel. Let’s also lump in candles and lanterns for that category.

Anything that you can use in the long haul needs to be obtained now.

Remember to pay in cash for your purchases, and don’t make those purchases in amounts that would raise suspicion.  If you’re going for a case-lot sale, buy a few cases at different times of the day and use different stores, so as not to place yourself on the radar.  When the banks collapse and the money is not worth more than the paper it’s printed upon, you’ll have about a 12 to 24-hour period that you’ll be able to unload it, but the time to obtain what you need is now, not tomorrow.

The planning ahead that you do starts now, not tomorrow.  As the economy unravels more and more, it’s only a matter of time before the bottom drops out.  The list above is certainly not comprehensive, and you have been exposed to more than enough lists to last you a lifetime.  The key here is to take action in these areas, as you are well aware of what is coming.  We’ll never be completely prepared, but the more active you are the more you’ll smooth out the rough edges so that the transition to a post-SHTF barter economy will be a lot easier than if you don’t take the time now.  Keep up that good fight, and let us know how you’re fighting the battle with your comments, which are valued and appreciated by us and the other readers as well.  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

What if You Lose a Filling Just as SHTF?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A few days ago I was enjoying a Butterfinger chocolate bar when I noticed one of my back molars felt really sharp and sensitive.  I could not see all the way back there but it felt like I cracked a filling.  It was a weekend so the dentist office was closed.  I endured a weekend of pain and not being able to chew my food properly.  That Monday I called and made an […]

The post What if You Lose a Filling Just as SHTF? appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Are You Missing This Key Strategy In Your Family Preparedness Planning?

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, I’m sure you may recall the expression “Don’t stop the training!” either from your days in scholastic sports or if you were in the military.  Keep that expression in mind, every day, and I wish to make a suggestion to “spice” up the training just a tad bit.  The concept is referred to as cross training or station training, also known as “Round Robin” in the vernacular.  Station training is a good technique to use to involve the whole family in something, and shower “kudos” on one another with good performance.

Here’s the Key: Everybody in the family participates as a student and as an instructor.

If you have a “family day,” or a particular day off when everyone is together, that would be the perfect opportunity.  Make 1-2 training “blocks” for blocks of instruction.  One instructor per block, with the instructor being one of the members of your family.

Yes, Readers, you read that correctly.  Here’s the scoop: After accessing your family member’s strengths, have them discuss the survival skills that each of your family members excels in, and have them develop a plan of instruction during the week prior to that family day…when they will serve as the instructor for the rest of the family.

This is pure participation at its finest.  Granddad may be an excellent mechanic.  Have him give a crash course on how to hotwire your car in an emergency, and how to do simple repairs and maintenance.  Big Sis may be a brown belt in Judo.  Have her instruct on the finer points of one or two holds, or one or two basic kicks.  Mom is a green thumb.  How about a short course, Mom, on seed-saving, and the differences between annuals and perennials?  Dad is an artist.  How about a short course on drawing, Dad, and making basic sketches and renderings?  Could come in handy when you’re outdoors and need to make a map, or analyze a course of action for a means of escaping a natural disaster.

Do a couple of these on a family day.  Whoever is instructing can come up with a short handout or program, and set up the station to teach, and then take the family through a demonstration period.  Some great topic suggestions are:

There truly are unlimited amounts of subjects.  Use visual aids, such as power points or computer displays to reinforce what is being taught.

Make it real and make it relevant

After the instruction, everyone should come away with a good idea on the basics of something they may or may not have ever seen or tried before.  This can help them face a fear or learning a new skill all together. The only limits are your imaginations and the amount of dedication that you have to make the training productive.  Get everyone involved.  Everyone is different and there is no hard and fast rule on who can teach according to age; however, try to keep it starting out for kids to instruct if they’re about 14.  The younger ones will see this and wish to emulate their siblings.  With time, give them a chance, and give them a simple task to do to enable them to have the experience of teaching something.

You can also do these things outside of the home.  If one of the kids is an expert at catching crayfish, then have him or her instruct and show everyone the techniques.  The crayfish (in abundance) happen to be survival food and also serve as bait.  The instruction may not be perfect, but the end goal is this:

To do things together as a family that will facilitate your bonding and also help with your chances of survival when the time comes.

Do all of this training in a good-natured manner, but be serious about it and be “professional,” that is take the time to have the correct resources and setup (tables, chairs, visual aids, and materials to demonstrate/perform the training function).  It is a total win-win scenario if you undertake it.  A lot better than just sitting in front of the television, or “going out” to the great “nothingness” of the shopping mall or a movie, this situation training will allow everyone a role…helping them to feel an important part of something, which they are…a part of your family.  Try it out, you’ll like it and it’ll give everyone something back…for now…and as a prep for later when 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

New ReGen Villages Redefining Off-Grid Living

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 By 2050 there will be nearly 10 billion people living on planet Earth. Clean water, healthy food, and arable land will begin to grow scarce and only those well versed in a self-sustainable lifestyle will be safe from a great negative impact. With the skyrocketing population also comes an increase in the aspiring class (the approximately 4 billion people who can afford to buy their way to sustainability). For those who can afford it, there is a recent boom in integrated neighborhood concepts: luxury off-grid communities that have power positive homes, private renewable energy sources, water management, high-yield organic food production, and waste-to-resource systems. The first of these communities is calledReGen Village, and it’s currently under construction in Almere, Netherlands.

A Look Inside a Luxury Off-Grid Community

ReGen Village will make use of all available technology to build what its creators are calling the “Tesla of Eco Villages.” The creators want to redefine off-grid living from being merely a way to sustain the basics of life into a culture of luxury and comfort. The developments will use their own technology to meet their everyday needs but, because of cutting-edge advancements, they will not have the same restraints and conservation rules that typically define off-grid communities.

Who Gravitates to the ReGen Concept?

In June of 2016, the concept of ReGen Village was introduced at the Venice Biennale, an arts organization and annual exhibition of architects and designers. The concept went viral with more than 20 million page views of the ReGen website and over 10 thousand emails expressing interest.

The pilot community is being built now but plans are in the works for developments in Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Belgium. CEO James Ehrlich says their goal is to expand at a global scale and to create regenerative neighborhoods for an elite group of residents. A center with 100 units should be ready for move-in in about a year, though the exact price to secure a position inside is not yet available. A smaller scale, 35-condo version is also being planned nearby in order to prefect the model before it is scaled.

Time will tell if this concept will be the new norm in off-grid living, but it’s certainly an interesting development.

 

 

 

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Are New Parenting Trends Enabling Children and Keeping them Dependent?

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 I grew up in the late 80s and I was obsessed with The Babysitter’s Club books. My best friend and I started a booming neighborhood business based on this popular young adult series. We each took care of different kids after school, on weekends, and even late nights while neighborhood parents went out to dinner or a movie. We got great reviews from everyone, and we made a lot of money, too.  The most “unusual” part? We were 11 years old.

Nobody batted an eye back in 1990 when my friend and I started our business. Besides taking care of other people’s kids, I used to stay home from the age of 9 when my parents worked out at a local health club. I also remember sitting in the car while my mom ran errands from about the age of 6. I used to spend long summer days wandering my suburban neighborhood with the directive to “be home before dinner.” I was a responsible and confident kid—I had common sense and wasn’t afraid to ask for directions or to talk to adults. I felt like I was a part of my community and my parents trusted me to make smart decisions. But in the last decade or so, the concept of “no child left alone” (check out this book by the same title) has become not only the social norm, but a legal one in the United States. There are many reasons for this, but a recent study is shedding light on why these attitudes have changed in recent years.

An alarmist media may be one likely cause.

While a child abduction by a stranger occurs just .00007 per cent of the time (or one in a 1.4 million chance annually) news coverage of these highly improbable and unlikely situations is shown on a massive loop and given a disproportionate amount of air time, amping up parents’ and children’s fears alike. Even if you are not influenced by media coverage, the completely sound choice to leave your 11, 12, or 13-year old child alone at a local park or even in a well-ventilated car on a mild day, can still get you arrested. In fact, the fears the media purports spreads to judges, police officers, and juries as well. I absolutely do not feel comfortable letting my kids play alone outside in a public place, even for short periods of time. This has nothing to do with a fear of abduction or with the fact that I don’t trust them to make sound decisions—it has everything to do with a fear of legal ramifications.

There are major repercussions for never letting our children out of our sight.

Childhood obesity rates are soaring because kids must remain indoors unless they are closely supervised by adults. Screentime has replaced sending your kids out to play and an overall “failure to launch” can be seen in college students (see the book How to Raise an Adult for shocking examples of college freshmen behaving like babies). Meanwhile, the number of young adults living at home beyond age 30 is growing every year.

One simple way to remedy this is to start raising your children to be more self-reliant. Simply allowing them to figure out issues for themselves and not intervening is a great way to put them on the road to being more reliant on themselves. This gives them time to know what their capabilities are. In addition, explaining to children at an early age that they have responsibilities and chores teaches them they need to participate in keeping the family unit functioning. As well, talking to them about the importance of being prepared for situations when parents cannot be present (i.e., emergencies at schools, field trips or overnight camping) helps them feel more secure in their environment. Along those lines, teaching children basic survival skills, could save their life if they find themselves lost.

Experts agree that alone-time helps kids navigate the world and make more responsible decisions later in life, but what are we to make of these recent trends? Have you noticed a change in the way you raise your children vs. how you were raised?

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Explain Emergency Preparedness to Kids

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Being prepared for emergencies involves the whole family, whether you are buying supplies and gear, or developing new skills.  Young children quickly notice a change in routine or behavior.  They will become curious about what’s going on.  Kids get anxious whenever anything interrupts the familiar schedule.  If there is an impending emergency such as an ice storm or hurricane, they may become fearful. Here are a few tips on explaining preparedness to kids: […]

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A Green Beret’s Guide to Improvised Home Defense, Part 2

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 “Look around….choose your own ground.”

– “Breathe” by Pink Floyd, album: “The Dark Side of the Moon.”

Here we go, ReadyNutrition Readers, with “Part 2” on the series on prepping your home turf for battle.  In Part 1, we covered the things needed for those in a rural and suburban setting.  Now we’re going to focus our efforts on similar measures for those in densely-populated suburbs and cities.  As you have probably deduced, combat operations in a city area and the preps for them have a whole host of different factors for you to consider.  In the service, such operations were referred to as MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain), and there are a number of military publications you can research online to cover such a broad topic.

`There are a number of these factors that need to be mentioned. We mentioned some terms such as cover and concealment in the first article.  To refresh, cover protects and can hide you, concealment usually hides you with a slight protection factor in many instances.  In an urban environment, there are many structures in a firefight to provide you with cover, such as brick or masonry buildings, and also large public works structures such as tunnels and concrete subway and sewer accesses and portals.  Due to the increased amount of structures that are very durable in nature, cover is more readily available in a city, and can also by its nature conceal you.

Conversely, this deals with the exterior of buildings.  The interiors are different matters.  Drywall (the universal construction “substance”) provides minimal or no protection from small arms fire.  Another drawback in high rises or townhomes are the windows…great for light, but not great for either providing concealment or cover for you.  The greatest challenge that you will face, however, is in the numbers of people you encounter in an urban environment.

“World War Z,” the movie with Brad Pitt has an excellent illustration of this toward the beginning of the film when he and his family are in New Jersey.  Watch the scene, and realize the sheer amount of humanity moving around you during a disaster, each one of them desiring the same things as you, with the same needs as you.  Now to factor into all of this is where you live.  Remember, if you live in a really big city (such as New York or Los Angeles), your primary consideration should always revolve around your city being a target in a nuclear war, in which case most of these considerations mentioned in this article are secondary in nature to what you will face with that.

Checklist for Apartment Dwelling Preppers Defending Territory

If you’re in a really high skyscraper-type apartment, it is critical to be abreast with the situation and get out of there beforehand.  If this is not possible, then there are a few things you need to assess as a checklist for yourself and your family:

  1. In a collapse, you may be on the 30th floor of a 50-story apartment building: what will you do without any power, water, sewage, or temperature controls (AC or heat)?
  2. How secure is that front door into your abode, and do you have the materials and resources necessary to blockade it and re-secure it if a forced entry is made?
  3. Who are your neighbors, and what is their disposition?  What would their disposition be if all of a sudden everything collapsed?
  4. Can you get out of there, via a set of stairs if the elevator is out, or a fire escape?  What is your plan to E&E (escape and evade) if the living situation becomes untenable?
  5. Is there an immediate common area that you can escape to and secure as a temporary hideout if your primary residence is compromised and/or overrun?
  6. How easy is it for the neighbors to “reach out and touch someone,” …not by telephone, but (for instance) jump from their balcony to yours and smash in your sliding glass door?  Those once-friendly neighbors…can you keep them out?

Preparation and planning are the keys here.

You need to have a plan of escape from that type of residential structure.  The exfiltration needs to be secure, silent, swift, and successful….in that order of importance for the first three with the last one being a goal.  As an example, you may have an abandoned storage building made of stone one block from your residence.  Here’s what you do.

  • Scope it out: pay it a visit, and find out what types of “amenities” are available…restroom, running water, place that you can hole up and lock the door
  • Any supplies on the premises that can be used for resources need to be known and noted or remembered
  • You need to watch the building for a whole day (that means a whole 24-hour period), and one of those days needs to be on a weekend…. this will show you what “creatures” normally frequent this locale and give you an idea on the human traffic in and out.

Remember: if you recognize it as a safe haven, another family will see it as such as well.

You must keep this in mind, as “your” safe haven is not yours until you make it yours.  English Common Law of Property and Chattels goes right out the window, along with the Marquis of Queensbury Rules for Boxing when your neighborhood “morphs” from “Happy Days” to “The Planet of the Apes.” You may even consider stashing a few essentials (that you can afford to lose) and prepositioning them in this building/structure, such as a quickly-accessible cache.

“Goodness gracious!  Somebody else’s property!” you may say.  I wrote “consider it,” and I am not advocating breaking any laws or doing anything illegal.  I said to “consider it,” and reflect upon such.  This article is information to provide you with food for thought to consider possibilities.  “When the time comes,” is the key phrase; therefore, without going any “deeper,” you had better be aware of not just what you can do, but what you will do to protect and provide for you and yours.

I know, I know…if you watch the potential secure location…you’ll miss the baseball doubleheader on Saturday, right?  Guess what?  We’re talking about something that can save you and your families’ lives.  This “stuff” is for real, and needs to be practiced and followed in earnest, not just paid lip service to or drilled in a half-hearted manner.

If your preps and training are not priorities, then neither is your survival.

You can also pick up a range finder to measure distances from your balcony.  Research any of the Infantry Soldier’s Handbooks to see how to emplace a shooting position within the window of a structure and set it back so as not to silhouette yourself.  The exercise is beyond the scope of this article.  If you wish to know about such subjects, then ask for what you want in the comments section and I will be more than happy to consider your topic for a future article.

To move to any of these fall back positions inside of your own building or outside of it, you need to prepare the ground, and practice moving back and forth with your family.  Again, I know there will be people who may be able to see you.  Consider it a test and/or a training exercise.  What better way to simulate something?  Guess what?  When the SHTF, you’ll have a whole bunch of people that you need to shield your actions from and avoid their cunning gazes.  Practice makes perfect.

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

Are Governments Telling People to Prepare?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com There has been a lot of nervous discussion lately about governments telling people to prepare for possible emergencies by stockpiling food and water. Is it true? A German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported recently that their government advised people to have enough food, water and medicines in case of an attack or disaster.   The reaction was mixed, as some felt it was just common sense, while others felt that it was ludicrous to […]

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A Green Beret’s Guide to Improvised Home Defense Strategies

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sniper 

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this article is going to explain some methods to help you better defend your property.  These are some simple and inexpensive methods that are not subject to power loss from an EMP or station failure.  They are simple to employ as well as remember, and they can be tailored to meet the needs of your property.

Obviously if you live in a high-rise apartment building or a multi-family structure, your methods are going to differ, and that will be addressed in Part 2.

Sector Stakes

Now, firstly, what are a sector stakes?  The sector stakes are prepositioned markers for use as boundaries for the field of fire of your weapon.  They physically allow the firer to concentrate on his or her sector of fire without haphazard lateral movement. By utilizing one on your left and right, they establish left and right limits for you to employ your rifle or firearm.  These stakes are best used between multiple team-members.  The sector stakes are driven into the ground or firmly emplaced vertically, so as to allow the defender’s weapon to traverse (move laterally) back and forth and be bounded within the confines of his or her sector.  See Diagram A, “Sector Stakes” to get a picture of how it appears.

JJ AThe sectors are positional assignments for occupants to repel attackers.  The importance cannot be overstressed.  They give a firer an “area of responsibility” to cover, and anything in that sector should be known, marked on a diagram (called a sector sketch) and committed to memory.  See Diagram C, “Sample Sector Sketch” for an idea of what you’ll need to make.  There are items in that diagram that must be addressed, such as a large boulder or a shallow depression that can allow a bad guy (or bad gal) to not be hit by your fire…this is known as dead space.  Also of note are points of cover and/or concealment.  Cover is something that will partially or completely block you from enemy fire (shielding you).  Concealment is something that can hide you from the sight of an enemy.

Your sectors need to range to the end of your property, or out to about 500 feet, whichever is closer.  The sectors need to interlock, so as to create interlocking fields of fire, a condition that is met where the left and right limits of two adjacent firers intersect one another, and permit overlapping fire on an enemy.  See Diagram B, “Disposition of Sectors of Fire” to illustrate this concept.  Each sector stake must be measured with a compass to provide an azimuth for the entire straight-line length of the right or left limit.

JJ BThe reason for this is to also be able to establish those limits when it is nighttime or a period of low visibility, and also when the stakes have been removed (for emplacement later).

It is important for you and your team to walk the entire length of the property, and pace out the areas where obstacles that can provide dead space, cover, and concealment to the enemy are known, along with their exact distances.  It is also very important for you to be able to make laminated copies of these sector sketches, and using a grease pencil (dry erase are garbage) to note down your information of things found in your sector.  Identify each fighting position (FP) by number, not by the person’s name!  If you’re overrun, you don’t want your names going into someone else’s head or intel files.

JJ CKnowing the distances and the azimuths to key points, such as a tool shed or a large rock that provides the enemy with cover will allow you to put fire in that area without complete visibility or with night vision equipment.  You can also place your traps or early warning devices in the sectors, but make sure you mark them on the sector sketch.  Black grease pencil is the color to use for permanent structures or obstacles.  Temporary measures (such as a flare or other removable expedient early warning device) can be marked with a red grease pencil.

Another key reason for these sketches is if for a reason such as changing a guard shift, or a shift between team members to one another’s fighting positions.  In this manner, you have a nice laminated diagram that gives them all of the information they need about the position.  The midline (middle of the sector) should also have its own azimuth and azimuth line.  Take note of the concentric circles.  This is to establish an increment (I used “feet” to make for ease of understanding in this example), and the sample sketch has each circle in 100’ increments.

If you’re going to defend a fixed position such as a house, you need to have sector sketches for each fighting position, bottom line.

Another thing that you can do is to employ paintball guns in practice with this, for periods of low light and low visibility.  This will give you a good idea of how well you know the sectors, as to where your paintballs mark the area.  Just because there is not an item within your sector does not mean you cannot fabricate one as well, such as a couple of crossed boards affixed to the ground midline to the sector out at 300’, and/or smaller stakes with small markers or tapes affixed to them.  These are pre-measured distances, and when you see a “zombie” staggering across your yard, when his feet are on the “X” it’ll help you to light him up.

For some further reading, get ahold of a Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks, or a Soldier’s Handbook for the basics we have outlined here.  Be prepared to deal in metric units.  This is a general overview to get you started.  On “Part 2” we’re going to go over how to take similar measures in an urban/heavily populated environment.  Until next time, keep up the good work, and remember: when bad guys are coming over, before your barbeque and fireworks display put down the Porterhouse steaks and go to your sector stakes!  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

Get The Kids To Do Their Laundry With These Easy Tips!

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 Doing the laundry is never exactly fun, but having my kids pitch in and help makes the job easier and it also teaches them independence and self-reliance. By planning/organizing a few things in advance, I’ve made the process of doing our laundry much easier for my little helpers.

Teach Kids How to be Independent with these Easy Tips!

Tip #1 Make sure clothes are really dirty:

This one may sound like a no-brainer, but in our consumerist/disposable society it’s easy to waste time, energy, and resources washing clothes that are still clean. In our house the rule is that aside from socks and underwear, we wear everything twice unless there is a stain on it (and here’s another tip–when we do art projects my kids wear their father’s old button down shirts over their clothes to avoid getting messy). A flannel shirt that has been worn over a t-shirt may be worn up to three times—and the same goes for jeans. There is simply no reason to wash clothes that are still clean. The less laundry you have overall, the less time you’ll spend doing it.

Aside from that, I also stick to a laundry schedule. We wash clothes two days a week at the same time in the morning. My kids know that if they need something washed, they’d better get it into the laundry room on time. Long gone are the days where I would run a load (or two!) every day of the week, often washing clothes that were still completely clean.

Tip #2 Use a dry erase marker to write out instructions on the washer lid:

I sometimes forget that when kids are learning new things (in this case doing the laundry) they need to be reminded of each step of the process. I keep a dry erase marker in the laundry room so I can write out steps directly on the washing machine (it easily wipes off with no residue).  This way, my older son knows what order the steps are in and will never forget to add the soap or what temperature he needs to set the dial. I can also remind him of special instructions such as which things should not be dried by leaving him a note directly on the dryer:

Tip #3 Don’t waste time matching socks (and never worry about losing a sock again!)

This one requires a little investment up front, but once it’s done you’ll be so happy with the results. In my family, each of us has a different assigned type/brand of sock. Mine are white with gray toes, my younger sons are light gray, my older sons are dark gray and my husbands are solid white. We ONLY have these socks and have gotten rid of the myriad patterns and styles that used to clog our drawers. When we do laundry, we just take all of the socks that belong to us and we put them in our drawers. No matching, no pairing, no worrying about lost socks. My kids are able to clearly see which socks belong to which people and the sorting is super simple. It’s been great!

Tip #4 Assign characters/styles to kids underwear:

This one is in the same camp as #3. Since we do wash a lot of underwear each week, and since my sons are close in age, it can often be difficult to tell whose underwear is whose. We’ve assigned each of my sons a character (Batman for my older son and Spiderman for my younger son). Again, these are the ONLY underwear they wear. They love digging through the basket looking for their characters and there is never any squinting to read labels for sizing.

Tip#5 Label drawers so kids can put clothes away on their own:

The worst part about doing the laundry, in my opinion, is putting the clothes away. But I’ve found that my kids actually enjoy doing this part when they are given a little guidance. Printing out picture labels and taping them to the drawers allows kids to get involved and truly help.

My kids aren’t that great at folding clothes yet, but I find that when they do the actual washing and drying (running the machines), the sorting of underwear and socks, and then put all of the folded clothes away, I cut the time I actually spend doing laundry in half. Besides that, my kids actually enjoy these tasks and they get a sense of accomplishment when they help our family.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Off-Grid Travel: The DIY Survival Bike

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is to cover the many virtues of the bicycle and how to deploy it readily in the sense of preparedness and the SHTF.  Now, I am not detracting in the least from anyone who uses the bicycle as their main mode of transportation.  If you can swing such, then more power to you.  The way I use it is a little different, and I wish to give you my mindset and methodology so you can tailor it to your own needs.

Firstly, you don’t have to buy a Cannondale for a grand in order to have a decent bike.  I highly recommend your local pawn shops.  Many times that thousand-dollar Cannondale can be found for one half or even one third of the original price.  What you want to concentrate on is a good, sturdy frame that can take a beating off-road and do some good in a cross-country scenario.

There are a bunch of good brands out there…BMX, Schwinn…the types are endless.  Mine is a bit of a “hodgepodge,” built out of a BMX frame, with heavy-duty Goodyear tires, and a chain-drive by Shimano with some brakes taken from a Huffy.  I mounted a decent platform on the back that has supports to tie in to the axle on the rear wheels without any interference.  The platform itself is tubular steel and semi-triangular but long and narrow in shape.

I modified the seat to put on a really wide, well-foamed one with huge springs for a really comfortable ride.  Also, these bicycle lights?  No need.  Take two pipe clamps, that run 1 ½ – 2 inches.  Place one on the front handlebars to hold the other perpendicular, and then stick a good flashlight (I prefer the short stubby ones by Coast) in it.  Then you can remove it as you need, and also give yourself enough light.

Subdue the bike with the color paint of your choice.  I chose black.  Get yourself a decent fanny pack or a tool bag for it, and carry two (2) inner tubes, as well as some “slime” to patch a single tube for a temporary fix.  You also don’t need an entire toolbox.  Measure and fit a ratchet set and ratchet heads to the nuts and bolts of your bike, as well as an Allen wrench set, spoke wrench, pair of pliers, and maybe a small hammer.  Also, a small can of WD-40 will be worth its weight.

A lot of people prefer Camelbacks, but I prefer the standard plastic 20-ounce water bottle in the holder attached to the inside base of my frame.  Also, on the top frame support I have a Schwinn collapsible air pump, a must-have in my opinion.  My cable and combination lock is wrapped around the seat support for when I need to lock it up.  I also use a helmet…a good one, usable for light tactical maneuvers such as CQB and room-clearing if I’m not on the bike.

What I do with mine is stow it in the back of my truck, which is covered.  EMP?  No problem, I’ll shove the vehicle off the road (if it’s no longer functioning), and grab my gear and take the bike out.  Matter of fact, I use it as a normal course of things.  When you’re out and about (and you have the time), you can park your vehicle in a central location and save gas while you exercise, by using the bicycle for your travels.  Anything that helps you further develop your physical fitness is an asset.

You really want the one that can go off-road.  Now regarding the platform that I have (and strongly recommend), the importance is due to your “Go” bag (bug-out bag) that you can rest on and also secure to the platform with bungee cords or tie-straps.  This goes a long way to allowing you to take the stress of the weight off of you and better balance you as you get out of dodge on the bike.  Now comes another big thing that you need to follow after: you must practice.

Yes, having the bike and the gear is not a substitute for being able to employ it.  The best thing is to give yourself time on it, both on a paved environment and off-road.  You need to plot out routes for yourself in between your home and your work locations in order to find all obstacles and optimal courses to follow.  You need to know the routes and run them with the bike, and with your gear as a final test.  You also would benefit from “requalifying” runs with your gear to find out your times and how to adjust your weight loads accordingly.

Then there’s the night.  Ohh, the EMP struck at night and not the day?  No fair!  Tough “S” in that regard: if you haven’t prepared it’s on you.  Here’s where your daytime work pays off.

The same obstacles that exist in the daytime exist at night: there’s just no light or minimal light to see them.

But if you’ve practiced, take it slow at night the first time, and you’ll see everything click into place…the same bumps, depressions, and patches of thorns are there at night.  The same railroad tracks, and bends in the road that go right off of a bluff are there.  You’ll find your confidence will be high after you’ve mastered running your route at night and coming through it with no defects.

Practice.  This is how it’s done.  And there’s more:  practice in inclement weather, and in a strong wind…and then throw in the night factor.  I’m not suggesting anything that I haven’t already done…and do regularly in the normal course of my physical training…training that never stops for me because I don’t allow it to stop.

You can do it!  Get yourself a good bike, or build one, and put it to use.  It’ll pay off.  Maintain it, and change those tires periodically.  Buy a set of good spares…the tires themselves…and all of your equipment.  Stockpile it, but don’t let it just sit there.  The trick is not so much to have the best equipment.

The art is to know your equipment so well that it’s an extension of yourself.

So, the bike can get you through tough times, as well as providing you with exercise and enjoyment prior to the SHTF.  You’ll find it a challenge, but that’s what makes it worth it in the long run.  Happy cycling, and keep fighting that good fight!  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 Incredible Edible Dandelion: Using This Weed to the Fullest

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Hey there, ReadyNutrition Readers!  We’re going to give you guys and gals a bit of information pertaining to Taraxacum officinale, also known as the Dandelion.  Last year I conducted a book review on the work “Eat the Weeds,” and out of the edible weeds, none exemplifies quality vs. misunderstanding as the common dandelion.  Most consider them a nuisance; however, they really are a treasure-trove if you know how to use them.

The dandelion is a perennial, and it contains a wealth of vitamins and nutrients, as well as naturopathic applications that are astounding.  The dandelion is edible in its entirety, which is really good to know from a survival perspective.  They also grow upon a taproot, an important consideration as they will grow back if harvested from the surface and the root is left alone.

Natural Medicine

From a naturopathic perspective, dandelion tinctures and teas can be used to help the liver and gall bladder, and the root can be tinctured and used as a diuretic, especially good for women with excessive water weight caused during the normal course of menses.

NUTRITION INFORMATION   Taken from USDA SR-21   

Source

Here are just a few segments of the breakdown (nutritionally) from dandelion.

Dandelion, 1 cup, chopped (55g)

  • Protein 1.5 g                                    
  • Vitamin A   5588 IU  (112%RDA)                           
  • Vitamin C  19.3 mg (32%RDA)
  • Vitamin E  1.9 mg (9%RDA)                      
  • Vitamin K  428 mcg  (535%RDA)

Other ingredients include Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc.  All from the dandelion!  When you’re tincturing, you should try to harvest the roots in October/November.  This period of time is when the concentration of its natural constituents is at its height.  Dandelion is an excellent diuretic and is good to take when sweating and flushing the system are needed, such as during the time of fever or cold.  Just remember to replace the fluid taken out of your system by the dandelion.

Edibles

The herb can also be dried and preserved, reconstituted in soups, stews, or salads with minimal losses of its vitamins and nutrients.  Concentration and focus should be placed on gathering it, as it provides vitamin C and A in large quantities, and these vitamins will be scarce in times of collapse or shortage.

After rinsing the dandelion off in cold water, you can chop them up and eat them in your salads.  There is also another way that I personally prefer to eat them.  Parboil them lightly, just to take out the crisp without making them go completely limp or wilted.  Then drain them off in a colander.  Next, throw them in a frying pan with about ¼ cup of olive oil, and sauté, adding fresh chopped cloves of garlic.  It comes out with the taste and consistency of spinach.  Throw a little bit of butter and salt on it, and it is delicious.

Ben Charles Harris’ book mentioned earlier gives more weeds and “nuisance” plants for you to cook and make salads from.  Why not supplement your diet with quality food while cutting your grocery bill for fresh vegetables at the same time?  Dandelions actually help the soil by aerating it and allowing some space between for the growth of helpful microorganisms and other “helpers” such as worms and beetles that help to condition the soil.

In addition, honeybees are heavily dependent upon the pollen produced from countless fields of dandelion.  If you plan on making any honey, it would be wise to preserve the fields full of them as a food source for your bees as well as for you and your family.  So, with these words, I encourage you to go out into your backyard and reacquaint yourself with the dandelion.  With so many gifts to offer, it would be wise to take advantage of them.  Just as with anything else, sometimes a gold mine is right in front of you, and you just need to recognize it for what it is.  Dandelions are just that.  Happy salad-gathering, and let us know about your adventures and any recipes you may have for us!  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

Make Sure Your Kids are Getting Enough Sleep with ‘The Sleepy Three’

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sleepAsk any parent what happens when their kids don’t get enough sleep and they will likely regale you with stories of tantrums and tears, bad attitudes and arguments. We know that sleep is extremely important, but recent medical guidelines have shown just how critical quality sleep is for babies, kids, and young adults.

So how much sleep do kids really need at each stage of development?

Babies up to a year – 12-16 hours (including naps).

Children 1-2 years – 11-14 hours (including naps).

Children 3 to 5 years – 10-13 hours (including naps).

Children 6 to 12 years – 9-12 hours.

Teens 13 to 18 years – 8-10 hours.

Now that school has started back up, now is the time to get your kids on the right sleep schedule; otherwise, they could develop some unhealthy habits. According to one article, some symptoms, like constant yawning or droopy eyes, are easy to recognize in a child. But others aren’t as obvious. Check out these common signs, which change as your little one gets older.

 Young Children (Babies, Toddlers)

  • Is cranky, whiny, or fussy, especially in the late afternoon on a regular basis
  • Acts especially clingy, needy
  • Displays fidgety, antsy, or hyperactive behavior
  • Has trouble sharing, taking turns
  • Is not talkative, taciturn
  • Wakes up groggy; falls asleep after being woken up and needs to be woken again
  • Wants to lie down or nap during the day
  • Falls asleep during short car rides
  • Has difficulty changing from two naps to one nap a day
  • Snores

Kids In Elementary School

  • Is hyperactive
  • Falls asleep at inappropriate times
  • Needs to be woken in the morning, sometimes multiple times
  • Lacks interest, alertness, motivation, and/or an attention span
  • Seems drowsy at school or at home during homework
  • Has academic struggles
  • Has trouble falling asleep
  • Falls asleep during short car rides
  • Experiences night terrors/sleepwalking for the first time
  • Needs regular naps
  • Exhibits loud snoring, breaks in breathing, or extreme restlessness at night
  • Has anxiety about being separated from you during the day and night

Preteens/Teens

  • Has extreme difficulty waking in the morning
  • Is chronically late for school
  • Experiences mood swings
  • Has trouble concentrating
  • Feels unmotivated
  • Acts irritable in the early afternoon
  • Falls asleep easily during the day
  • Has academic troubles
  • Sleeps for long periods on the weekends
  • Is hyperactive or aggressive
  • Acts nervous
  • Consumes excessive amounts of caffeine
  • Uses drugs
  • Seems “Out of it” or confused

Source

The Sleepy Three

If you see big gaps between how much sleep is recommended and what your children are actually getting, you might want to take stock of what I call the “sleepy three”—or how light, sound, and temperature are helping or hurting your child’s sleep habits.

Limit Light

It’s nothing new to say that a dim room is best for sleeping, but what you may not be aware of is how exposure to light even hours before bedtime can have a lasting negative effect on sleep. Blue light from television, iPads and computer screens is particularly damaging. It’s best to discontinue screen time about 4-5 hours before bedtime (i.e., if you want your kids asleep by 8pm, stop screens at 4); however, this might be difficult to enforce with older children and teens. For them, you can install blue light blocking apps such as f.lux or Twilight on their computers and devices.

In addition, blackout shades ensure that seasonal changes in light will not have your kids up at the crack of dawn. Blackouts are also beneficial when you want to get little kids to sleep when it is still light outside (it’s amazing how bright it is at 7pm in June in the Northeast!).

Sound of Silence

Limiting ambient noise in any environment—whether it’s a busy city or a croaking bullfrog outside your window—is easy with a sound conditioner.  Simply plug in on your child’s bedside table and make it a habit to turn on as you turn off the lights. You’ll obscure any sounds outdoors and mask sounds coming from the house as well. This is particularly helpful for use with younger children who are still taking naps when the rest of the household is awake. (If, like me, you’ve read studies/worried about the effects of white noise on the ears of babies and small children, this article may put your mind at ease).

Cooler is Better

Parents often worry about making sure their kids are warm enough at night but studies show that a cooler sleeping space is optimal. The ideal room temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s quite chilly, but sleeping in cool rooms increases the production of melatonin, helps you fall asleep quicker, and can bring about increased incidences of REM cycle sleep.

Try using one or all three of the above tips to get your kids better quality sleep. Remember that sleep is critical for kids’ brain development, healthy metabolism, and mood regulation.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Complete Water Analysis Test Kit / APN Product Review

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

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

Test Assured’s Complete Water Analysis Test Kit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it worth it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The post Complete Water Analysis Test Kit / APN Product Review appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Negotiate Like a Pro With These 5 Powerful Tips

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to cover some of the finer points on the art of Negotiation in this article.  Negotiation does not necessarily mean between yourself and an enemy.  Negotiation is a very valuable skill that is crucial to develop and employ in the various situations you will encounter, both pre and post-SHTF.  You can use it and develop it on a daily basis until it becomes natural.

When you are doing things within your family you negotiate: how to get the kids to do their chores, what responsibilities you will split with your spouse on numerous domestic issues, and what you will all do either when working together or on your free time, such as a vacation.  You negotiate with your bosses and co-workers.  You negotiate when you deal with a salesperson who wishes to sell you a car or a household appliance.

Fine Tune This Essential Skill

In an emergency, you may need to negotiate with a gang that is holding one of your family hostage, or another family that has resources that you need or want.  You may need to negotiate with a professional, such as a doctor or veterinarian to provide services for you in exchange for bartering.

The best resource that I have to recommend on this subject is the book, “You Can Negotiate Anything,” by Herb Cohen.  This guy actually worked for the police department as well as other law-enforcement agencies such as the FBI to negotiate with kidnappers and terrorists.  He was also a consultant for many years in the private sector.  The book is simple and straightforward, and Cohen breaks down the factors needed for a successful negotiation into three areas:

  1. Power: this means power of information, special skills, and confidence that you have what it takes to conduct the negotiation
  2. Time: the limitations needed to obtain the negotiation (deadline)
  3. Information: the information you have about the other party’s needs and desires.

 Cohen was very specific in terms of being “above board” and not trying to intimidate or manipulate people into doing something immoral, illegal, or harmful.  He did add a caveat to this concept and said in a life-threatening situation, it is a different story; however, he believed in finding honest and peaceful solutions to problems.

One of the main points is to empower yourself: with knowledge and skills.  This article can be very complementary to the articles I wrote on bartering for pre and post-societal collapse.  We need to ask ourselves questions in this regard, such as what does the other person need?  What skills and/or materials can I provide that will fill this need?  What does the other person or group have that I need and desire?

Negotiation means (as we used to term is in Special Forces) the need to pursue cross-cultural communication; that is, you’re dealing with a different “tribe” than your own.  Perhaps there are significant religious and political differences that may make negotiating a more difficult endeavor.  It is up to you to find common grounds to allay the fears and tensions and enable you to come to the bargaining table.

This does not mean dragging out all of the goods you have with a big smile and jumping up and down, saying “I’m ready to negotiate!”  Getting back to the “knowledge” factor, you had better know who you’re dealing with and figure out what they want…and what they are willing to do to obtain what they want.  Keep Ronald Reagan’s saying in mind: “Peace through superior firepower.”

Negotiate Like a Pro

This can be expanded upon to mean greater “firepower” in the thinking department, and greater adaptability and flexibility.  You have to wear many hats in a post-SHTF bargaining session.  There are a few pointers you can follow that will get you started.  It means coming across as cool, confident, and capable, not a hothead who loses their composure the first time the other party states something annoying or vexatious to you.

  1.  Speak clearly, audibly, and with calm in your voice.  This promotes a good follow-through.  Remember, you want something and they do, too.  It’s up to you to promote confidence in you with them…that they feel comfortable with you and that you’ll live up to your end of the bargain.
  2. When you’re speaking or listening, meet the other person’s eyes with your own, and blink regularly.  Not blinking can be a sign to them of either a challenge or that you’re nuts.  When you meet a person’s eyes with your own, it denotes sincerity and truth, as well as showing them you’re not afraid to speak to them face-to-face
  3. Avoid directly contradicting what they say.  If something is too “heinous” for you to deal with, it is best to break off the negotiation and say, “I need some time to consider this,” or “It may be better for us to speak about this later.”
  4. When the negotiation is concluded or still on the table and it’s time to break off the conversation?  Thank the other party for taking the time.  Politeness always pays off, even if the other person does not respond in kind.  I’ve had numerous negotiations with third-world guerillas who were more taciturn than the face of the moon.  Later on they returned to table and wanted to do what we asked because my men and I were courteous and polite.  It goes a long way.
  5. End on a positive note.  This ties into number 4, but pay them a deserved compliment if you can, and tell them you’re looking forward to dealing with them in the future.  Good feelings are not just “walked upon”: they can be developed, and this is all part of negotiation.

The skill of negotiation is a valuable one.  Life is lived with people unless you’re a hermit in a cave or the Unabomber.  Negotiation skills can help you land a better job or save some money on a new or used car.  It can be used in all areas of life, in our happy consumer society or when the “Mad Max” scenario unfolds.  Tailor make it to fit your needs and best suit your personality and skills, and you’ll find it is worth the effort to develop.  Have a great day, and take care of one another.

 

JJ

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

How To Save Perishable Food In An Off-Grid Emergency

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canned tomatoes“That morning, when Helen apprehensively opened the freezer, she found several hundred pounds of choice and carefully wrapped meat floating in a noxious sea…As any housewife would do under the circumstances, she wept.  This disaster was perfectly predictable, Randy realized.  He had been a fool.  Instead of buying fresh meat he should have bought canned meats by the case.  If there was one thing he certainly should have foreseen, it was the loss of electricity.”   – “Alas, Babylon,” by Pat Frank, page 151

Readers, there’s your standard…what to read and what we may very well face.  The cited work, if you’re into disaster fiction/apocalyptic reading is the end-all be-all of survival stories of how a community organizes and makes it through a nuclear war.  It is not so much a how-to as a story with real-life situations that average people face.

What we are focusing upon is the initial problem: refrigerated food, and an emergency just hit and took out all of the electricity.  In this day and age, most of the family is working and out of the home.  Still, someone will return home eventually and the actions that are taken could very well save your family some of the foodstuffs they have.  If you read the articles I wrote on my personal experience during Hurricane Katrina, I detailed how I prepared all of the food that was in the refrigerator prior to the power going out.

To be sure, you’re going to lose some food.  There are generators, yes, but you’re going to have to weigh the use of it with silence around the house.  Picture the scenario of three days or so after an EMP and you are the only house on the block with a generator running.  There’s a formula for disaster via the marauders who used to be the friendly neighbors chatting about the football games.  So what can be done?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

One thing the can be done is to start stocking a prepper’s pantry in your home. Foods that are shelf stable and nutritious are the best to stock. Here is a list of 25 must-have emergency foods and how to get them organized. Along those lines, you want to ensure you have canning supplies, Mylar storage bags and plastic bags on standby to store all the food you are about to preserve.

Another method that is done in the JJ home is when the groceries are brought home, all meats are cooked immediately, placed into Ziploc bags, and then into the freezer they go.  Remember, after a power outage your fridge will still keep things cool for about 24 hours.  The frozen meat adds about another 24 hours to its “frozenness” until it needs to be consumed.  You can do this with other portions of food as well, such as soups, pasta, vegetables, and so forth.  It’s better to have it a few days longer than to lose it in the first 24 hours.

Now what do we do?  Here’s a possible solution.  That frozen meat?  It’s cooked, so if you have the generator, why not stack up those dehydrator machines with already-cooked meat and dry it out?  It would be a one-day risk, and you could dehydrate a certain amount of it and have it last a little longer.  There’s also another method.  Break out your canning manuals, and prepare to can.  For this you’ll need something a little special.  Here’s what I have: The Coleman two-burner dual fuel stove.

Yes, that green camping stove…runs on white gas/Coleman fuel or gasoline.  The reason this is a “goodie” is that you can steadily regulate your temperature and pressure with this little gas-burner stove as you are monitoring your work.  Such regularity is important when it comes to canning.  Can away!  You’ll need to know your stuff: your elevation and the proper recipes that you have in your canning manual for your ratios of seasonings and salt.  Can the meat, can the veggies, can whatever you can!  Better to save most of your food than eat akin to the proverbial last meal and lose most of it.

Meat can also be salted; therefore, it would behoove you to pick up some 25 – 50 lb. bags of salt, and whatever can’t be canned can be preserved in this manner.  Then there’s the Brinkman, the smoker.  Yes, time to break out the charcoal and mesquite chips and smoke the daylights out of that meat.  Smoke some veggies, and dehydrate them as well.  It’ll be a race of the likes of which you’ve never run.  Have a woodstove?  Well, you can scramble all of your eggs on the top of the stove on a baking pan (hopefully yours has a lip).  Scrambled hard…and then you can dry them out after cooking them.

Seafood is tricky.  I’d throw that in the Brinkman and smoke the daylights out of it, being careful to season it, as dried fish on its own tastes pretty crappy.  Just try and avoid the use of butter or dairy sauces or any cheese.  That’ll make the meat go rancid as it goes south.

Speaking of which, if you’re going to have any kind of a “gorge” then make it a breakfast special.  Break out the pancake mix, and eat up all of the dairy products that you can for the next couple of meals, while the electricity is out and the fridge is still within that 24-hour window.  Load up on the powdered sports shakes, the grilled cheese sandwiches on the woodstove, the pancakes and cereal, because fresh milk will be a thing of the past, barring Bessie the cow being tied up outside in the backyard.

You can use the sun to dry out your fare if you have the time, and that is a big if.  You need to get everything cooked and/or canned, and get it out of sight.  The day started out as “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” but after an off-grid disaster, you can bank on the day ending as “The Planet of the Apes.”  Out of sight and out of mind.  Get it cooked, dried, smoked, and canned, and get it in your vehicle if you’re getting out of Dodge, or get it out of sight.

Yes, there’s always room for improvement in this case, and any tips or suggestions you wish to add will be great to glean some of your experience that you have tested on your own.  The most important thing: go into action on this immediately.  You don’t have time to waste, and it’s best to get it all done before the “Drama in Real Life” becomes more real, and more dangerous.  Save the food, get it out of sight, and then be ready to defend it.  Hopefully it won’t come to that, but then again, it’s better safe than sorry.  Hope this piece gave you some “food for thought,” and we look forward to hearing from you.  Keep up that good fight!  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

5 Surprising Benefits to Letting Your Kid Play Video Games

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kids gamingWe’re heading into the hottest part of the summer and suddenly my plan to get the kids outside and keep them there is becoming more challenging. We definitely have to stay hydrated and regularly come in for breaks, but there have also been a few days where we simply give up and come home after only an hour or so in the heat. On those days, my resistance against screen time starts to waver and I’ve even given in and let my older son play video games a few times. It turns out that this may not be so bad for him after all. In fact, there are many benefits that playing video games has over passively watching television.

  1. Making new friends: People sometimes imagine kids who game as isolated, sitting alone in a dim room with a controller in their hand. In fact, multi-player online games provide intense connections and teamwork via strategy. Besides that, a friendship that emerges because of a video game will likely lead children to discuss interests outside of video games.
  1. Video games can be physical: Pokemon Go is sweeping the nation, getting people of all ages off of their couches and outside to catch these adorable creatures. Wii Fit has people losing weight and tracking their progress and Dance Dance Revolution is a fun way to get some exercise and learn some new moves. These examples have obvious physical links, but studies show that even games that only require a handheld remote provide full-body interaction. Kids who play sports games are also more likely to try those same sports outdoors.
  1. Video games encourage quick decision making: It’s well known that games stimulate hand-eye coordination, but they also encourage kids to make rapid choices. They learn to scan a situation for possible options and to arrive at a plan of action quickly. Kids who play video games also adapt faster and learn instantaneously from their mistakes. These same traits can be very beneficial when applied to everyday situations (and maybe even emergencies) in real life.
  1. Video games encourage empathy: Reading works of fiction is perhaps the most beneficial activity when it comes to building empathy—to really get inside someone’s head and see the world from their perspective, it helps to immerse in their internal dialogue. People who read fiction are often kinder, more open-minded, and less likely to fear people who are dissimilar to them. But narrative video games may do the same thing. Playing the role of both the hero and the villain and/or switching avatars regularly gives a good dose of “walking a mile in somebody else’s shoes.” Kids who get deep into a narrative video game will begin to grasp concepts like plot, flashback, and foreshadowing—all things that they can apply in their interpretation of other forms of fiction in their lives.
  1. Gaming may slow aging: like puzzles or other brain teasers, video games that require memory, reaction time, problem-solving, and/or strategy (and that’s pretty much all of them) can improve cognitive function and stimulate synapses.

Like everything, moderation may be key when it comes to how much you let your kids play video games. It also might help you to observe them as they play, ask questions, and try to get involved with your kids at their level. Anything that lets you engage can be a good thing if you let it!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Identify Nature With These Cool Apps

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appIf you have an iPhone, chances are you’ve used a recognition app like Shazam if you’ve ever heard a song you liked and wanted to identify the artist. These recognition apps seem like magic, giving you a definitive answer in just seconds and providing a link to purchase the music you’ve just heard.

Once, while on a hike in the Hudson Valley with a friend, we joked that there should be a Shazam app for nature. At the time we were both living in NYC and we felt a big disconnect from the plants and animals we were seeing around us. Wouldn’t it be great, we thought, to have an app that would tell us which berries were dangerous and what kind of bird has a bright red chest? After doing a little research, it turns out that there are a few apps meant to do exactly this.

  • Bird Song ID is basically Shazam for birdsong. The app allows you to record birds’ singing and then a processor will let you know what species you’re listening to. Like Shazam, the clearer the recording, the better your chances are of getting a match. An added bonus is that don’t need an Internet connection to use this app, so it’s perfect for those remote hikes.
  • Merlin Bird ID is fast and simple to use while birdwatching. You’ll answer 5 quick questions to narrowdown a list of potential species. Millions of recorded observations help the app to make educated guesses.
  • Leafsnap allows you to take a photo of a leaf against a light-colored background and identify the plant or tree from which it came. The catalogue is extensive and it’s a free app—a downside is that you’ll need an Internet connection to use it.
  • IdentiPlant is an app for identifying flowers and plants. Like Leafsnap, this app works by using an image your snapped of the plant and cross-referencing it with a large database. There’s no need to take a photo against a light-colored background for this one, and the app provides extensive information about each plant.
  • Audubon’s Field Guide to North American Mammals can help you identify what animal just darted across your path. You’ll narrow down possibilities by size, shape, location, and habitat and you can even analyze the droppings or tracks the critter left behind.
  • For more advanced nature lovers, the What’s Invasive app lets people track invasive species they might encounter. A list of invasive plants or animals is provided by the National Park Service based on your GPS location. Look through the list before your hike and then keep your eyes open for species that threaten native plants and animals. Report what you see to do your part in keeping indigenous species safe. More advanced nature nerds will love this, plus, if you have small children, this app can give them something to watch out for and therefore hold their interest on longer trails. Also available for Android.

All of these apps are under $5 and most of them are free. Take advantage and download the ones that interest you before your next brush with nature!

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Some Basics on Living a Self-Reliant Lifestyle, Part 1

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self relianceReadyNutrition Readers, you’ve been prepping for a long time, and you diligently follow the exchange of information on this and other websites.  You have been laying in stores and provisions, equipment, seeds, books, medical supplies, tools, and specialty gear.  You have been planning, training, and preparing for that eventual day that everything as we know it comes to a halt.  We know that preparations are never complete, but you’re 99.9% there.  Now what?

It’s sort of akin to coming off of an adrenaline rush.  OK, you’re about as ready as you can be.  Now, the disaster/SHTF hasn’t happened yet.  So what do we do?  Here’s an answer to that question that you can blend into what you have already accomplished.  None of your efforts are being repudiated; you can attempt to continue your preparations by living as much of a self-reliant lifestyle as possible.

Thoreau and Emerson aside, there are ways of being self-reliant without just simply living in a cave in the woods (although caves can be an excellent residence or shelter).  Here is the first point to a self-reliant lifestyle, and it is one of the most important ones:

 Self-reliant lifestyles are going to have a different definition for different people

This statement is because the needs of one family are not the same as the needs of another.  The Jones and Smith families want to live lives as self-reliant as possible.  The Jones family has two twin boys who are 13, and an 8-year-old girl who is a diabetic.  The grandfather, Mr. Jones Senior needs the use of a wheelchair.  The Smith family has an 18-year-old daughter who is a very good athlete, and a 14-year-old boy who is blind.

The two families have different situations, and therefore in order to be self-reliant, there are medical conditions and physical limitations that must be taken into account.  The Jones girl needs a steady supply of insulin, a drug that requires refrigeration, and her grandfather needs the wheelchair to move about.  The Smiths have a boy who cannot see, and precautions must be taken to keep him safe and healthy.

4 Self-Reliant Concepts to Consider

1. Self-reliance means you must provide for and take care of each family member’s needs, especially from a medical/caregiver standpoint.

This seems as if it’s just common sense, but it is not.  I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of people who move to Montana because they want to live in the remote wilds, but are unprepared to support their family’s needs because they have either assessed those needs incorrectly or discounted them in the pursuit of their goals.

In order to be self-sustaining, you have to provide for yourself (prep) for when it hits the fan, but you also have to live in the “now” until the SHTF.

2. You must correctly assess what your needs are and realistically pursue a course of action to fulfill those needs in order to be self-reliant.

Where do you live?  Do you live in a state that has no property taxes?  What is your employment potential?  Do you have a means of making a living that you are not required to punch a clock and report to a cubicle?  Can you work in your home?

What kind of home will you choose for yourself and your family?  What kind of transportation will you need, and what kind of daily commute for yourself and/or members of your family?  Are you all in agreement as to the type of lifestyle you will live in?  Do you have a home-based business that all members of your family can (and want to) participate in?

3. Self-reliance is still going to leave you reliant on someone

Unless you’re going to the Thoreau/Emerson model, which still cannot be classified as self-reliance as these guys returned to human society after their self-imposed hermitages/exiles, your life of self-reliance is going to leave you reliant on someone.  Humans are social in nature.  You’re going to require something from someone eventually, either in the neighborhood of supplies, medical attention, or just someone to socialize with.  Unless you are either a gargoyle or some kind of a nut, you will, at the bare minimum, need some kind of human companionship.  So what can we do?

4. We can return to the basics of living, and do it in a manner that does not inflict severe pain upon ourselves or our family members in the process of doing it

We can cut wood for our woodstoves and heat our homes with them or the fireplace.  When the chainsaws run out of juice after the SHTF, we will need to use axes, bowsaws, mauls, and wedges.  We can learn to make our own canned goods by home canning, and grow our own food.  We can either raise livestock and/or hunt for our own food.  We can brain-tan hides and make our own furniture.  All of these things are crucial survival skills that we can also blend into our day-to-day existences.

And in the meantime, we need to keep up with maintenance on our property, taking care of repairs, taxes, mortgage payments, and the like.  The next installment of this series will suggest some home-based businesses that can be used to produce viable income and also generate supplies that can be used for barter.  We’ll examine the self-sustaining household, or “spread” in terms of its component parts, and try to further define what it means for each family to be self-sustaining in a world that is rapidly turning toward the “Soylent Green” model.  Until then, keep your powder dry and remember we’d love to hear your thoughts on these matters.

 

JJ

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

Packing for Family Vacations is a Breeze With These Organizng Tips

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 It’s that time of year again:  weekend trips, destination weddings, and family vacations are calling. Traveling with kids has a ton of challenges, but with these handy tips, packing their clothes won’t be one of them.

  • Use packable shelf stackers to keep kids’ clothing separated. I have boys who are all two sizes apart. This means it’s sometimes not easy to tell whose clothes belong to whom, and the last thing I want to do when I’m packing on vacation is spend time reading tags and having to sort through clothes. Simply pack these shelves with clothing, and when you arrive at your destination, just unpack and by hanging up the entire shelf. We color code with different colors for each kid and everything stays separate and organized.
  • Packing cubes work similarly, but they are also great for maximizing space. Once clothes are packed, excess air is release to get the most out of your suitcase space. These are also great for traveling with babies or young infants who have tiny, little clothing. Cubes keep everything together and color coordinated as well.
  • Roll with it. The world is full of roll devotees, those who say that folding is time consuming and ineffective. Rolling keeps clothes wrinkle free and it’s also easy to recognize each item at a glance. This technique might come in handy for a wedding, photo session, or event where your kids need to look wrinkle-free and put together.
  • Use Ziplock bags. Separate older kid’s outfits for each day (underwear, shirt, shorts, etc.) into a different gallon Ziplock bag. This may be a little labor-intensive on the home side, but it will make it easy for them to simply grab a bag and get themselves dressed once you’ve arrived at your destination. Pack PJs separately so they can get themselves ready for bed after their bath or showers. Again, this is probably best for smaller clothing—by the time your kids clothes are too big to fit into gallon bags, they should maybe be ready to pack their own clothes!
  • Skip whites. This tip might not exactly be a luggage hack, but you’ll thank me, I swear! Whenever possible, pack the darkest colors/patterns possible when traveling with children. White and light-colored clothing gets stained easily and having to trek to a bathroom to change on an airplane or stop on a car trip is never fun. This goes for fancy fabrics or complicated outfits too—save those for home. And parents should wear dark colors as well! The last thing anybody wants to do on vacation is arrived looking ragged.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these packing hacks? Do you have your own system for packing your family’s clothes for a trip? Share in the comments!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Age Appropriate Chores for Young Children + Chore Chart

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   Getting your kids to clean up after themselves is possibly an on-going battle at your house (it is at mine, anyway). Even my naturally orderly older kid won’t always clean up without being asked first, and my younger child simply doesn’t understand the need for a chore like making the bed (“I’m just going to sleep in it again anyway!” he objects.) Most days I pick my battles, and more often than not I end up running after them like their own personal maid. This book makes a pretty convincing argument to stop with the cleaning business altogether (the author advocates for simply cutting down on clutter and toys in the home in general and says that we need to be doing less nagging and handholding and more enjoying our kids). After all, we want our children to grow up to be independent and self-reliant. To do so, we must begin teaching them about responsibilities at an early age. That said, I also want to instill in my children respect for their surroundings and get them ready for life on their own.

By the time their bedrooms become a disaster area I’m often confused about where to start. My sons claim they don’t know how to clean or that they are overwhelmed and need help. Do I clean with them? Stand over them and direct them? Let them figure it out? The following list of age-appropriate chores was very helpful for me to set the tone for my kids. I don’t want to be asking too much too soon, but I do want to show them that chores are a necessary part of life and to help the family unit stay organized. I also set up this chore chart that would help them stay focused.

chore chartLet me stress that all kids are different and have different attention spans. So, what is an easy chore for one at a certain age, may not be the case with other siblings. Keep a watchful eye out to ensure the kids are able to do the task appropriately. Kids chores are a great way to teach responsibility and help them see how much work goes into running a family. Those living the homestead life can have children help, as well.

Age 2-3

Individual chores

  • Pick up toys and put them in the toy box

Family chores

  • Dust (let’s be honest, you might have to do a but of a follow up after they’ve finished)
  • Put dirty laundry in the laundry basket
  • Fill a pet’s water and food dish (with supervision)

Homesteading chores

  • Gather eggs from chickens
  • Help pull weeds or harvest vegetables and fruits

 

Age 4-5

Individual chores

  • Get dressed on their own (to avoid zany clothing combinations I give my boys a few choices that all match well)
  • Make their bed
  • Put away shoes and backpacks after school

Family chores

  • Set the table
  • Clear the table (may require supervision with heavy plates)
  • Help prepare food
  • Help carry groceries
  • Sweep patios and walkways
  • Add laundry detergent to the washer and dryer sheets to the dryer
  • Match socks in the laundry
  • Be responsible for a pet’s food and water bowl
  • Hang up bathroom towels
  • Brush teeth with supervision

Homesteading chores

  • Gather eggs
  • Help plant seeds in pots or in the garden
  • Pick berries
  • Water garden
  • Help feed livestock
  • Milk goats with parental supervision

 

Age 6-7

Individual chores

  • Make their beds every day
  • Brush teeth
  • Comb hair
  • Choose the day’s outfit and get dressed without supervision
  • Write thank you notes

Family chores

  • Be responsible for a pet’s food, water and cleaning cages, cat’s litter box or walking the dog
  • Vacuuming
  • Put their laundry away
  • Make some of their own snacks (sandwiches, fruit bowls, etc.)
  • Unload the dishwasher

Homesteading chores

  • Help in garden (weeding, planting, watering, harvesting)
  • Feed livestock
  • Milk goats
  • Help clean out stalls and barns

Age 8-10

Individual chores

  • Take care of all personal hygiene
  • Keep bedroom clean
  • Wake up on their own using an alarm clock

Family chores

  • Clean the bathroom with supervision
  • Wash dishes/load dishwasher
  • Feed pets
  • Prepare a few easy meals on their own
  • Learn to use the washer and dryer on their own
  • Empty trash/take the trash can to the curb for pick up

Homesteading chores

  • Turn the compost
  • Help in garden
  • Feed livestock
  • Help clean out barns and change animal bedding

 

Age 11-13

Individual chores

  • Keep bedrooms tidy
  • Take care of personal hygiene, belongings and homework
  • Write invitations and thank you notes
  • Change bed linens and maintain clean towels in bathrooms

Family chores

  • Change light bulbs
  • Dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms and do dishes
  • Clean mirrors
  • Baby sit younger siblings (check age requirements in your state)
  • Prepare an occasional family meal (spaghetti or other simple dishes work best)

Homesteading chores

  • Feed and water livestock
  • Clean barn and stalls
  • Help load and unload hay and feed.
  • Make a more active role in garden
  • Assist and help younger siblings and direct them with chores that they have passed down.

Keeping these guidelines lets me know if I’m asking too much of my kids. It’s also helpful to see which areas I’ve been too lax on them! Good luck with your little helpers!

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next came the deck of flashcards teaching the Phonetic Alphabet.

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

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


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

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

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

Dare say it… it’ll be CHILD’S PLAY.

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

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Back to Nature: 5 Tips for Getting Your Kids Outdoors

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 With so much time spent in front of screens, it’s no surprise that our attention spans are getting shorter, our sleep is getting fitful, and our anxiety is climbing. What’s worse, our children are suffering from obesity, they are losing valuable life/preparedness skills, and they are out of touch with the rhythms of nature.

We all know there is more to life than sitting inside. It is time to consider getting back to the very core of what family time is about – reconnecting with one another by doing activities together. Summer is the perfect time to disconnect from Netflixing and our computers and get outside. Author Richard Louv’s groundbreaking book Last Child in the Woods touches on all of the benefits that come from getting kids off of the couch and outside.

But how do you compete with electronics and entice a kid to spend time outdoors? Here are 5 tips to get your kids back to nature.

5 Tips for Getting Your Kids Outdoors

  • Plant a seed: If you already have a garden, this one is easy, but all you need is a little piece of dirt to get started. Simply allow your child to pick out a flower, fruit, or vegetable of their very own and plant it in a suitable location. Encourage children to do their own research about which plants will do the best in their region and at this time of year. Try not to intervene too much—put your child in charge of planting, watering, marking, and watching their seed sprout and grow. Kids will take pride in knowing that they’ve succeeded in growing something and checking on their plants every day will give them a reason to get outside.
  • Photograph wildlife: older kids who are obsessed with their iPhones can put those selfie skills to good use—give them photography assignments to capture the creatures that live in your neck of the woods. You can even make it a kind of photographic scavenger hunt by assigning certain points to certain animals (a Bigfoot sighting gets them 1000 points!)
  • Sleep outside: have kids take their bedtime routine to the great outdoors. Set up a tent, gather some flashlights, and maybe even pack some fun snacks. Younger kids will of course need mom or dad to stick around while older kids can feel a sense of pride for staying outside all night (obviously a fenced yard is preferable if you’re going to be letting them try this solo).
  • Build a fort or shelter: all it takes is a trip to the hardware store for some plywood and 2x4s (or get creative and recycle an old bookshelf or other piece of furniture) and a little imagination and your kids will have a secret lair or fairy fort. Let the littles create a blueprint and then watch them bring it to life. Younger kids will need help wielding tools but in a pinch even a cardboard structure can be a fun (and temporary) feature in your backyard.
  • Start a collection: a leaf, flower, or rock collection is a great way to encourage kids to forage in the yard. Press leaves and flowers between the pages of a book before pinning them in an album. Rocks can be painted or polished and featured in a shadow box or glass jar.

Remember that kids look to adults to learn how to regard the natural world. If they see you enjoying your coffee out on the porch swing or spending time decompressing on a walk around the neighborhood, they will look to nature as well.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Summer Checklist for a Safe and Happy Home

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summer checklistSummer comes with a season-specific checklist for household safety. Take advantage of the longer days and a less intense schedule and go through these 6 tips to keep your household organized, safe, and de-cluttered in the summer months.

  1. Update emergency contact info in your preparedness manuals and for babysitters: Because most kids are out of school, summer brings more opportunities for having babysitters in your home. You probably already have a list of emergency contact information on your fridge (if not, this one is very handy) but summer is a great time to update relevant phone numbers and addresses, medical information, heights and weights for kids, any changes in doctors or medications, and anything else that might be helpful in an emergency. It’s easy to forget that this information is useless if it is not up-to-date. Be sure to write the home address on the list in the event that a babysitter might need to call for help.
  2. CPR Certification: Now is a great to get certified in CPR or to renew your certificate (certificates are typically valid for two years from date of issue). If you’re currently CPR certified, it may be good to take an online refresher course, just in case. See if older children in your household are willing and eligible to receive certification (check age requirements in your area). Even pre-teens can become valuable members of your home safety team.
  3. Sunscreen stockpile: Go through your sunscreen and check the expiration dates. Throw out anything that is expired or has cancer-causing chemicals as a main ingredient. Check contents to see if there has been any separation, change in consistency, or if the product has developed an unusual smell. If so, toss and replace. Make sure to inspect the sunscreens you carry around in beach or diaper bags as well.
  4. First Aid: While you’re going through your bathroom cabinet to check out sunscreens, now is a great time to make sure your first-aid kit is fully stocked and that you have all necessary components. In summer months, pay particular attention to skin issues that may arise. Make sure there is ample calamine lotion, and aloe vera in the event of a bug bite or rash from chafing or a poisonous plant. Remember that summer means grilling and fireworks and therefore there is more potential for burns. If you aren’t sure what to include in a first aid kit, this is a great one to get you started.
  5. Insure that the pool area is safe: Now is a crucial time to make sure that the doors, gates, or pool cover you use to keep children safe around your swimming pool or hot tub is in proper working order. Replace any locks or latches that may be old or defective and be sure that all pool chemicals are also stored properly and safely out of reach of young children. Even if you don’t have children or if yours are expert swimmers, always be aware that visiting family and friends need to be protected as well.
  6. Inspect outdoor play areas: If you have any playground or sport equipment (such as a basketball hoop) now is a great time to make sure everything is in working order. Check that all bolts and screws are tightened and make sure that no rust or other safety hazards developed over months of disuse. Check that there are no holes or cracks in the ground where children run. Also check for any insect infestations that may have occurred—my family learned this the hard way after yellow jackets built a nest under our sons’ playground slide!

This is a great time to attempt to see your household through the eyes of any guests you might host over the summer. You want this to be a time for fun and relaxation—it only takes a few steps to get greater peace of mind and to ensure that your family and friends are safe and protected in your home.

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why You Should Keep Tarp in Your Survival Kit

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A few weeks ago, we took a day trip to a wilderness area for a picnic. There was no rain in the forecast that day, and there were no clouds in the sky when we set out. After an hour’s drive, we arrived and scoped out a spot by some trees. A couple of hours later, the clouds started coming in. Pretty soon the sky was dark and you could just feel a slight cool down in the temperature, which signifies rain. The wind came in and we knew we were about to have a downpour. […]

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3 Tips to Plan Your Summer and Save Your Sanity

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plan your summer and save your sanity
It’s that time of year that kids love and parents fear: summer vacation! Study after study has shown that kids need unstructured playtime (be that outside exploring or playing with imaginative toys like these). In my household we take a break from extracurricular classes and sports during the summer months and we find ways to make our own fun (for as little money as possible).

Self-guided play guarantees that kids are resilient, resourceful, and never, ever bored, but how can you let your kids play freely without finding them still in PJs, eating cereal and watching TV at 5pm? A little planning on the parent-side of things will keep your days running smooth all summer long.

Full disclosure: Much of this article is inspired by the book and concept of TinkerLab—I highly recommend this resource for parents/caregivers.**

Make a Schedule

Budgeting time is like budgeting money—if you don’t do it, you’ll wind up feeling like you’ve wasted the day without anything to show for it. Creating a schedule you can post somewhere in your home (we have a “base station” where we keep our calendar and other important information) sets the tone for the day. This isn’t meant to be strictly adhered to; instead, this schedule sets intentions for the day. We try to keep our bigger activities to two per day—one in the morning and in the afternoon.

A sample schedule might look something like this:

Start of day-10am Wake up, breakfast, get dressed

Hint: Getting dressed soon after wake up is super important for setting the tone to a fun, productive day.

10-11 Outdoor activity (free play, Summer Mural, etc.)

In the case of the Summer Mural Activity, kids gather outdoor materials (shells, sand, leaves, feathers, etc.) from the backyard to add to a seasonal mural that they work on slowly over many days, but you can plan any type of outdoor activity. The point is to get them in the fresh air and guide them into their own play.

Hint: having kids collect particular things gives them a goal and will keep them busy and outside longer. They might also be given a directive to look for a specific plant or animal/insect to observe.

11-12 Self-guided Crafting Time

In this example the main activity would be to add collected materials to the summer mural with glue, but I also make sure to have lots of paper/crayons/paints set up to entice a variety of independent crafts.

Hint: We buy butcher paper and spread it over our dining table every morning to keep cleanup easier. I make sure to provide crafts that avoid glitter, beads or other tiny, messy items that require a ton of clean up.

12-1 Lunch followed by quiet time (reading or resting)

Hint: I continue to pack/plan lunches for my kids the night before, even when they’re out of school. It’s so much easier to just hand them their lunch bags instead of planning/preparing in the moment and we can always bring our lunches with us if we decide to stay outside.

1-2 Self-directed playroom time (board games, blocks, toy of choice.)

Hint: set up a few stations at the dining room table to entice kids who have trouble getting started with self-guided play.

2-4:00 Field trip! (rotates between several activities: library, swimming, park, movie in a theatre, farmer’s market, library, museum, etc.

Hint: We try to only pay for 1-2 activities per week—the rest are free in our community.

4:00-5:30 Quiet time reading/resting/TV/helping while I make dinner

Hint: use crockpot recipes while kids are doing their “wake up” routine to have dinner cooking as you’re enjoying your day. I try to cook enough so that I’m heating leftovers every other night. We also stick to simple salads with chicken or salmon to make prep easier.

Hint: I’m not opposed, nor do I feel guilty about letting my kids watch a little bit of television at the end of a fun, active day. I think downtime is great and my kids tend to get cranky/whiney in the early evening, so I like to keep them absorbed in something (be it in a book, TV, or helping me make dinner). Do what’s best for your family!

5:30-End of Day Dinner, bath, story, bedtime

Again, this schedule isn’t meant to be confining—you might discover that your kids don’t have the attention span to craft for an hour, or you might find that they’re content to stay outside running around all day. The point is to have a plan you can refer to if necessary.

Stock up on Supplies

 In order to keep the summer machine running smoothly, you need to plan it out well in advance. Have an idea of dates for local day camps, kid’s day at the movies, activities at local restaurants where kids eat free, etc. As well, stock up on crafting supplies, books, games and toys. I like to use trips to the craft store as one of the field trips we take in the afternoons. I let the kids pick out an assortment of things they want to try working with. Try to purchase crafting items that are open-ended and multi-use so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Keep the activities age appropriate. If your kiddos like to walk, take them on a small hike, but make sure the hike isn’t too much for them. Pay attention their cues of when they are tired and ready for a break.

The Mother of Invention

I try to make the things that can sometimes be a parental drag (grocery shopping, cooking, doing laundry) into activities for the kids. Organizing a trip to the farmer’s market for a field trip serves as an activity as well as a necessary errand. Washing the car can be lots of fun and even emptying the dishwasher can be turned into something exciting for little kids.

I want to be clear that I’m not a hyper-organized, helicopter mother by any means. I plan my days out to ensure that my kids have fun but also to make things as easy as possible for me. I think independence is crucial and I also want my kids to see me enjoying my summer right alongside them (whether I’m engaged with them or just reading a book or sipping my coffee while they do their activities). Once the kids are off and running on their own play or crafts, take that time to relax a little and have your own fun.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Finding Your Off-Grid Survival Retreat in Montana

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montanaReadyNutrition Readers, Survivalists, Preppers, and Homesteaders, lend me your ears!  I come to give you some pointers Montana land for a survival retreat, and a plug for myself in the bargain.  Why not?  And what would that plug be?  I have a piece of property for sale that would suit the interests of any off-grid, homesteading prepper who really wants to settle in the “American Redoubt” out of the way of the coming maelstrom.  Here are the basics on my property for sale:

20 Acres, private, off-grid, water rights, two-story cabin with woodstove, barn, shed, goat pen, tool room with workbenches, two-story chicken coop, gigantic root cellar, and two more storage buildings on site.  Low property taxes, as all structures are above-ground with no foundation and aren’t assessed.  $100K worth of timber on the site.  4,300 feet elevation, the mountains of the North Fork of Montana.  Other “perks,” we can discuss.  Serious inquiries only.  E-mail Jeremiah Johnson here, bigfanofultraman@yahoo.com for more, and “let’s make a deal!” I would be delighted to meet you and show you everything if you come out here.” Also: I’m not moving out of Montana; I have another place close by.

 There.  Someone once wrote that I just offer advice.  Well, here’s more.  I invite you to “play ball” in my neck of the woods.  Montana is excellent as a retreat location, seriously.  The property taxes outside of the small cities and towns are not excessive, and the land is not as expensive as many of the other states that are in the “Great American Redoubt.”  Let’s give you some more reasons to move to Montana as a retreat location.  Open carry is permitted, and concealed carry without a permit is legal and allowed everywhere except in an established town, and even there it is permitted when you’re in your vehicle and traveling with it as such from one place to another.

In Montana, if you have a Montana driver’s license, you can purchase a firearm and walk out the door with no waiting period.  In addition, private sales are legal and require no call-ins or background checks.  Just a handshake and exchange of the money and the firearm.  You go your way and the seller goes his.  Big Daddy Government has nothing to do with it.

In Montana if you build a house that is not on a foundation, you pay no property taxes on it…only for the land (as such is the case with my property for sale).  In Montana, if you want to live outside of a town (a must!) you don’t have any building codes or restrictions on what you put up.  You can live in a tent, a tarpaper shack, or a stone villa…you aren’t interfered with in any way.  Home improvements do not require any permits, licenses or any other garbage.  No zoning requirements, no restrictions.  None.

The population density is low (except during the tourist season), and believe you me, if you live anywhere in Western Montana (especially the Northwest, where I live), you are there in the “outback” and the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains.  Let me tell you more.  The area in and surrounding the Flathead Valley is extremely safe: there are no big target cities anywhere near.  The closest being Seattle, with four major mountain ranges to the west between them and Montana.  To the east are the missile silos, but it is to the east of the Continental Divide, with hundreds of miles and four major mountain ranges in between, plus the prevailing westerlies, meaning fallout would drift away from us, not toward us.

The area from a target perspective is completely safe.  There are no military industries or key industrial targets in the region.  The railroad line runs straight (east to west) through Glacier National Park, and also has a branch that runs North and South to Kalispell with a rail line that runs west as well.  The strategic necessity would be to preserve this rail line (from a domestic or foreign invader’s perspective) as it enables transport across the Divide, just a word maybe to most…but rugged and impassible in any way to transport equipment, materials, and supplies in a manner that saves hundreds of miles out of the way.

The towns provide the basic necessities if one needs supplies, and medical help is less than an hour’s drive if you set your homestead up right.  Kalispell and Whitefish have hospitals, and there are small doctor’s offices and care clinics in some of the larger of the small towns.  Everything is spread out, but not painfully so.  Four-wheel drive here is a must: refer to some of my other articles on emergency preparations and procedures when you or the family are driving anywhere in inclement weather.

My property is very close to the National Forest, but it is not able to be annexed in any way, by either the government or the timber companies.  There are many properties that border national forests or are nearby, and these are excellent properties that allow you to actually run to a safe place in the forests if marauders, foreign armies, or any others drive you out in a grid-down, SHTF scenario.  There is plenty of water, even during the drought seasons and the winter.

Be advised: the winters are rough, but then again, you want to rough it, don’t you?  All of your skills that you have been developing in theory will come to play here: from woodcutting to canning, log-splitting to snow and ice removal.  Montana has abundant game and is a hunter’s paradise, and as I have done, you can fill your freezer for more than a year with one elk.  So here it is!  Montana is more than worth considering, it is worth acting upon.  All the skills in the world cannot be employed in a state such as California or New Jersey, but you can ply your craft in Montana and be safe doing it.  Hope to hear from you all soon, and all comments and inquiries about the state that I haven’t covered are more than welcome.  Keep your powder dry, and keep fighting that good fight!

JJ

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

How to Find and Purify Water Sources You Never Considered

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purify water 1

This is Part II of a pair of articles on finding and obtaining water in the field.  The last one we covered some methods of chemical purification, and stressed (as we stress here): boiling is the safest method to purify your water.  Keep in mind something I didn’t mention in the previous article: water that is contaminated by pollutants such as toxic chemicals and industrial wastes is not able to be purified by chemicals or boiling to make it safe for drinking.  We will address that in a minute.

How to Distill Water

We covered some basics, and along with that is how to find surface water that is relatively uncontaminated.  This is where the boiling came in, to remove the pathogens (as many as possible) safely.  Now, what do you do when you come across a water source that has a chemical sheen and an odor about it?  You can remove the water by condensation.  If you can’t filter it through a Brita or other system that removes chemical contaminants, take a small pot, and (preferably) a glass lid that is larger than the opening of the pot.  You’ll need a third vessel.  This is for “pour off,” of your condensed water.

Straining off as much as you can (with a piece of cloth, and perhaps an empty plastic bottle, pour some water into the smaller pot.  Then bring it to a boil, and set the glass lid over it, and tilt it at an angle to one side (45 degrees is fine).  The bottom tilted edge of the lid needs to be able to “empty” into a clean vessel.  When you boil the water, the steam that condenses on the bottom of the lid is water: you can collect this and use this to drink, effectively removing enough contaminants to make the condensed water potable.

You’ll have to improvise to either hang the lid at an angle with some weight on one edge to make the tilt possible, or build a stand.  Just make sure the lid doesn’t touch the top edge of the pot with the water to be condensed.  Don’t boil it all the way down!  Leave about an inch of water or so to enable you to get rid of the newly-concentrated chemical “slurry” now remaining in the pot.

Solar Still

solar still

Next, a solar still.  There are plenty of diagrams available for this one.  Dig a hole, conically-shaped about 2-3’ in depth, and line around that hole, covering it with clear plastic, a 9’ square sheet is best.  You then place a collecting receptacle underneath the center of the plastic.  Line the edges of the sheet with stones, and place a small stone in the center of the plastic sheet.  It is best to cut green, non-poisonous vegetation and line your hole with it before you cover it with the plastic sheet.  The collecting vessel should be at least a quart, because in this method, you will obtain 1 quart of water per day on a sunny day.  Simple math tells you if you need at least a gallon a day, then you need a minimum of 4 stills to make it work.  You can also run a siphon tube to your collecting vessel in order to siphon or drink your water without removing/dismantling the still.

That plastic sheeting can also be immediately pulled up and turned into a funnel for other vessels to fill with drinking water should it rain.  This stuff is all pretty easy to cram into a backpack, and it doesn’t have much weight.  You can pick up “drop cloths” of plastic in the dollar store…4 of them…and place them in a protective bag or canister to keep them from being torn.  Stock up on a bunch, as they’re micro-thin; other plastic can be obtained, however, this is lighter and easier to tote.

Hidden Water Sources

Let’s go into real grid-down situations.  You have (may God forbid) had to flee your home, and it’s a “Road Warrior” environment.  Along the way you may come across abandoned houses or buildings.  Water, think water.  Where man has dwelt, water is near.  This is a rule of thumb for you.  Time to spec out the following to see if you can locate water:

  1. Washing Machines: sometimes they have a reservoir that will enable you to drain out some water if you tilt the machine to the rear. Check the outflow portion.  You’ll have to filter it, condense it, and then (to be on the safe side…it washed out the socks that stepped in Fido’s doggie-do) boil it again.
  2. Refrigerators: especially those with the ice-machine and the cold water dispenser in the door. You can find the copper inflow pipe, and the fridge usually has a drain for ice melt down below.  Tap into these and tilt if necessary.  Filter and condense, then boil.
  3. Hot Water Heater: a “gold mine,” as most of them hold at least 45 to 50 gallons. Same thing…tap into it…there’s an outflow…and then filter and boil, to be on the safe side.
  4. Chest-type freezer: this you’ll have to be more careful, as if any food went bad, you’ll have to take the ice melt and filter, purify (chemically), and then boil.
  5. Toilet: the top tank is the goal. Can you take from the bowl?  Do the three-prong: condense, boil, and treat chemically, and you can in a survival situation.  Same for the top tank, as you don’t want any pathogens in your water.
  6. Radiator (heater for house): will oftentimes have a small supply of water.  Purify by condensing.
  7. Iron (for clothes): yes, Mom may have left a little in the reservoir for you to take; boil it or chemically purify it.
  8. “Green Thumb” house: yes, in that greenhouse or garden shed may be a little water you can cannibalize from water cans; condense it (there may be weed killer lingering in the pitcher), and boil it (if they compost or fertilize with manure).
  9. Birdbath/bird feeders/animal bowls: once again, it may be there for the taking. Remember: these must be boiled!  Too much of a chance for pathogens.
  10. Cisterns/wells/water tanks: remember, if you can store water, so can the people who might have had to dee dee mau (exfil the AO) lickety-split.  Never neglect the potential for the other guy to leave something behind.

If you’re more in the forest than an urban/suburban area, watch the wildlife if you haven’t found a surface water source, especially deer.  Look for deer paths and game trails.  Most of the time they will cross a running water source.  Watch the skies frequently for waterfowl, such as ducks or geese.  They need the water.  On the advent of nightfall, open your ears for the sounds of frogs…they need to be in the water to breathe.  If you hear Bobby the Bullfrog, water is definitely near.

All of these basics print out and go over them in your mind until you remember them and are familiar with them.  Remember, we covered 10 items for a house.  The more houses and buildings you find, the better your chances of finding a water supply.  Just remember, it may be someone else’s water supply, too.  Such is the chance you take on the Day after Doomsday.  Be smart, be adaptive, and as the Irish saying runs, “The top o’the mornin’ to ye, and the bottom o’me glass!”  Water glass, in this case.  Keep fighting that good fight!  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

Why to get your kids involved in prepping

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Why to get your kids involved in prepping

Guest post written by: James Smith

As a parent and a prepper nothing plagues me more than my fear of my children being in a SHTF scenario. As a parent it is your natural instinct to protect your young ones from any and all harm. However, as a prepper I have learned that part of being prepared is to accept that sometimes things can happen that you have no control over. Once you relinquish this false sense of control you are truly ready to equip yourself against the worst.

The best way to protect your kids is to arm them with the facts and get them into prepping as well. Have an open and honest discussion with them. Find out how aware they are of the world around them. What do they know about emergencies and things going wrong? Highlight your fears to them. Tell them what you think can happen. Work on an emergency plan with them. Get their input as well. Kids are innovative and they have a way of looking at things with a unique perspective. You might be surprised at how many good ideas for prepping your child might come up with.

An important thing to remember when getting your children involved – do not overwhelm them. While it might seem like a good idea to tell them everything you fear, this is not always appropriate, they are children after all. Start small, talk about the more realistic and likely scenarios with them first. A good place to start is school shootings. This is a very common topic and sadly a very commonplace occurrence. Schools nowadays are also focusing on running drills for school shootings. This means your child will have at least some understanding of the topic and a good idea of what to do. Once you have established an open talking channel with your child you can move on to the more outlandish cases out there.

Start by formulating a family emergency plan. Make your child a planner. Don’t just ask them to be a passive onlooker in your family’s emergency plan. The more your child is involved the more likely he/she is to become serious about it and follow through with it, should the need ever arise. Work on making your child independent. Society today is very removed from nature. Too much food comes out of a box or plastic bag. Teach your child where their food comes from. Teach them how to be self-sufficient in their needs. Start out by taking a few camping trips with your child. Get them in touch with nature. Children actually enjoy the out-doors once they get used to the idea of being away from tv/computer/phone screens. If you make these activities family centered and fun your child will look forward to the trips. Focus on building key skills like fishing and hunting. You might even pick up a few fun hobbies along the way. Using the best spotting scope, we got for hunting, my son and I spotted some beautiful western bluebirds. After this we both actually fell in love with bird watching. Now we enjoy our skill-building camping trips even more as avid bird-watchers.

Prepping doesn’t necessarily have to be a frightening experience for you or your child. Make it a fun, family activity. Get your children involved when they are young. Don’t leave out the girls, survival skills are important for everyone. The last thing I would say purely as a parent – trust your children. Trust them to do what’s right in a survival situation and teach them all that you can when they are still in their teenage years. Happy prepping!

 

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Bees, Wasps, and Hornets: They’re Back!

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waspWell, now that the weather is warming up around the country, guess who’s back in town?  Yes, ReadyNutrition fans, the social insects…the ones that fly and sting!  Hornets, and Bees, and Wasps, oh my!  Seriously, though, these guys can cause a host of problems if you’re not prepared to deal with them.  They are of the order Hymenoptera, and their stings are no joking matter.  When they’ve nested, they pose an even bigger problem.

The largest problem is for people who suffer from hypersensitive reactions to stings.  The venom can cause anaphylactic shock and lead to death.  Primarily, the stings cause redness, pain, and edema (swelling) at the site of injury.  Bee stings further complicate matters in that their stinger is a barbed one that actually pulls out of the abdomen and continues to pulse and pump venom into the wound even though the rest of the bee is not attached to it anymore.

First-aid

First-aid measures on a bee sting should involve removing the stinger as quickly as possible to prevent the stinger from pumping in more venom.  This can best be accomplished by using a pair of tweezers or carefully using the fingernails.  Wasps and hornets, on the other hand can sting repeatedly, as their stinger is smooth and does not have barbs.  Each sting injects more of their venom.

For those with allergies to any of these insects, immediate action must be taken with a bee sting kit.  There are numerous types on the market.  They involve an immediate subcutaneous dosage of epinephrine, a neurotransmitter used to combat the sting.  Intravenous (IV) therapy at a hospital will probably be needed with more dosages of epinephrine.  Check with your friendly family physician to find out about a bee sting kit for you that you can take with you.  Remember that if you are allergic and stung, you should immediately seek professional medical attention.

Prevention is key

Prevention is the key with these guys, and in your hiking and travels in the woods, remember that you are in their environment and not vice-versa.  JJ is pretty weird, as you already know: he always wears long-sleeved shirts, even in the summertime, for several reasons.  One thing you can do when you’re hiking and susceptible to the stinging insects is to wear protective clothing, such as jeans, hats, and long-sleeved shirts.  Don’t button up so much that you overheat, but be cognizant of the fact that bees and company are very active this time of the year.  Earth tones in your clothing colors are less obnoxious to these insects and less likely to present them with a target.  If you appear to be a daffodil to them, then they’ll visit.

How to survive a swarm attack

wasp nestWhen their nests are developing around your home, you need to gauge what you can do in accordance with your susceptibility to their stings and with the size of the nest.  Be advised: even if you aren’t allergic to them, enough of them can kill you if they attack en masse.  The best time to take out the small nest on your back porch is either early in the morning just before sunrise, or after sunset.  The lower temperatures cause them all to swarm in close together to hold in heat and protect the nest.  Their reaction times are greatly diminished.  In addition to this, they hunt and fight by sight, and you have an advantage in times of lowered light levels.

These guys use chemical messengers to communicate called pheromones, and this is the reason that they react so quickly and all together.  For your larger nests (especially hornet nests that can have tens of thousands of insects in them) it is best to call a professional exterminator to alleviate your problem.  Commercial spray cans you can buy over-the-counter are fine and good for the smaller nests, but when one half the size of the Empire State Building suddenly appears under the eaves of your garage…you better call the bug-guy.  (Did you ever notice that one day the nest isn’t there, and then the next day, it’s…it’s there?)

Generally speaking, they are not out to get you.  It is simply important for you to be aware of them.  Your first-aid measures include the old baking soda on the site – to neutralize the acids and toxicity of the venom – along with cleaning it and bandaging it with a loose dressing.  All of these items, and a good bee sting kit should be in your gear when you venture out on your treks.  Remember, the bee sting kit can also be useful for when a person is not normally susceptible to one sting, but they are stung multiple times.  Better safe than sorry, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  So in your travels, stay alert, ready, and prepared.  If they won’t buzz off and leave you alone then you’ll be ready for them if they pose a problem.  “Bee” safe, and keep fighting that good fight!  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

7 Tips For Keeping Your Family Together in an Emergency

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The thing that frightens me the most about an unexpected disaster is being separated from my family and unable to get to them. I work from home, but my wife works 30 minutes away and my son goes to a school 10 minutes away, which means we spend almost a third of every weekday away […]

The post 7 Tips For Keeping Your Family Together in an Emergency appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Simple Ways to Purify Drinking Water in Emergencies

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purify waterThe weather is warming up, and as such, there will be an increase in the need to stay hydrated in your outdoor adventures.  But what if your adventure is “upped” a notch, and a full-blown societal collapse occurs?  Drastic times call for exceptional measures.  Your water supply is a factor that must be accounted for at all times.  There are also times when you’ll have to fly by the seat of your pants to maintain your need for a clean water supply.  The issue is addressed in this article for when you’re out and about, not locked up in your prepper fortress with the door buttressed and the shutters closed.

Water is a Top Preparedness Priority

In normal activity (times of low stress) the average person needs about a gallon of water a day.  There will be times in an emergency situation when you must rely on sources other than pristine bottles of spring water or the storage cistern you have built in your backyard.  Although these products come highly recommend, I’m not going to focus on the Big Berkey, or the Lifestraw, or the myriad of other devices available commercially.  I’m going to stick to some basics that you can use anytime, anywhere.

The Most Simple and Least Expensive Ways to Purify Water

First off, let’s talk about boiling water.  It may seem that the basics of boiling water has been covered, but it cannot be overemphasized.  When you come upon that “virgin stream” out in the woods, understand: that virginity may not exist.  A host of different pathogens come into play from many different sources.  Some of these are as simplistic as animals urinating in the water upstream of your collection point.  Also, many streams pick up sedentary water from pools or inlets that have algae and bacteria growing in them; this water is then transported to your location.

Bring your drinking water to a rolling boil for 15 to 20 minutes before consumption.  I have advocated in the past the 1-quart Army green plastic canteen system, simply because the canteen is extremely durable, and its pouch houses a steel canteen cup.  This canteen cup is a lifesaver, simply because you can accomplish your boiling of water in it and transfer it to the canteen when finished.  Augment the canteen system with alcohol prep pads to swab and cleanse the mouth and cap of the canteen.

Another point is turbidity of the water, and this is defined as what makes the water cloudier or darker and prevents light from penetrating through the water completely.  It also holds the factor of particulate matter, that is small particles of dirt, debris, or sediment that can make your drinking experience very uncomfortable.  A method to decrease turbidity is filtration, accomplished by cloths or handkerchiefs.  I prefer the latter because you can clean them and see how clean they actually are by the whiteness of the cloth.

Boiling is the way to go, and you can use it in combination with chemical disinfection.  Chlorine bleach (minus additives) can go a long way.  16 drops of chlorine bleach per gallon, and (therefore) 4 drops per quart of water.  This is one of the reasons the Army canteen is useful, as you have a full quart, and it is easy to disinfect according to this ratio.  The water purification tablets that are issued by the service are useful, even though the water doesn’t taste great.  For any of these (including commercial tablets…follow the manufacturer’s instructions), allow the cap on your canteen/quart drinking bottle to remain loose.  Sometimes detritus rises to the surface.  Just slough this off, and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.  THIS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR BOILING!

The reason for this is that many water-borne diseases like giardia and cryptosporidium tend to encyst and can survive a chemical disinfection, especially with chlorine.  Most of your one-celled creepy-crawlies will bite the big one with it, but boiling is the only surefire method when you don’t have an advanced water filtration system available.  Calcium hypochlorite (HTH, also known as “pool shock”) is another method to use.  The concentrations are different per the manufacturer, but you can reconstitute it and make a slurry with a one-liter bottle and a teaspoon of the HTH.  Then you follow the ratio for chlorine drops as provided above, keeping aware that it will deteriorate over time.

The HTH is useful because it is dry, and you can reconstitute it when you wish.  Be advised that it is hygroscopic, which means that it readily absorbs water unless it is sealed off properly.  Also, it can “off-gas” chlorine vapors, and chlorine gas is deadly when it proliferates in a closed space.  Be advised that you should seal up your supply of HTH in good, sealable buckets or containers that are airtight.  This will prevent off-gassing from occurring outward, as well as preventing any moisture from coming in and ruining your supply.

So boiling is the preferred method.  Another thing worth mentioning are your meds to counteract any illness you may receive from improperly or ineffectively treated water.  Metronidazole (Flagyl), usually available in 500 mg capsules is the medication of choice to fight Giardia (Giardia lamblia).  Be advised: you cannot take it with any kind of alcohol…to include cough syrups, as well as beverages.  You’ll be very violently ill.  You can pack in some HTH with you, or some bleach in a sturdy brown bottle with dropper.  The smaller the bottle the more manageable it is.  See your doctor for a prescription and consult with him prior to taking any actions regarding such meds.

In our next installment of this series we will examine water sources for you, and some unconventional areas to procure water that you may not know about.  Please make sure you boil it all.  It’s better to accomplish the boil and wait for it to cool down than to take the chance with illness.  Water is very important, but just as important as quenching your thirst is to do it with water that you know to be safe and potable.  Keep fighting the good fight!

 

JJ

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

How to Teach Kids About Emergency Preparedness

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How to Teach Kids About Emergency Preparedness

17073ae360337df9416384a6b7607fc2Many well-meaning parents keep their kids in the dark about preparedness to avoid scaring them with descriptions of potential disaster scenarios. The problem with being too overprotective is that it underestimates children’s capabilities and could put your entire family at risk in an emergency.

Let’s face it – kids know bad things happen in our world. Even little ones see and notice more than we think. Knowing you’ve planned ahead for an emergency comforts children and satisfies their desire for honesty about difficult situations.

Naturally, how you talk to your kids about disaster preparation will depend on the child’s age and maturity level. To get you started, here’s a list of essential strategies for preparing kids for emergencies:

 

The Basics

As soon as your children can sing nursery rhymes, you can help them to memorize their basic information by making up a little song spelling their last name and phone number. As soon as they can, kids should also learn their address and parents’ names.

 

Calling 9-1-1

We’ve all heard stories of toddlers saving lives by calling 911, which shows it’s never too early to teach kids about this life-saving service. Make sure your child knows only to call in a true emergency, taking time to explain what does and doesn’t count. You should also help them practice what to tell the dispatcher, including name, address and why they’re calling.

 

Emergency Drills

Just like kids do fire drills at school, you’ll want to practice these at home as well. This gives them a low-pressure practice environment so they know what to do in an actual emergency.

You should also talk to them about location-specific scenarios like earthquakes or tornadoes, and teach them moves such as Stop, Drop and Roll or Drop, Cover and Hold On.

 

Make Prepping Fun

Whether you’re using a song to teach your toddlers their names or practicing how fast you can get out in a fire drill, remember that kids learn more when they’re having fun. Websites like the CDC and Ready.gov have online games to help children learn about emergency preparation.

 

School Plans

Your child’s school or daycare center will have its own emergency response procedures, so it’s important you know these ahead of time. In case you can’t pick up your kids during a disaster, you’ll want a back-up plan for someone else to step in. Make sure to inform both the school and your child of this contingency plan.

 

Meeting Places

Since it might not be possible to get home in an emergency, you’ll want to determine two or three other places the family can meet. Your children should know how to get to each place, or at least how to tell a trusted adult where to take them.

 

Bug-out Bags

You should have a bug-out bag (small BOB)  for each of your children in case you have to leave home during a crisis. These bags should include things like snacks, a flashlight, parent contact information and possibly some warm clothes. You can also get your child involved in picking comfort items such as a game, a toy, a book or stuffed animal.

In your bug-out bag, you’ll want to keep copies of key documents like birth certificates and recent photos, as well as any needed medications for your kids.

 

Avoiding Hazards

While many adults know about hazards to avoid in an emergency, children may not. That’s why it’s important to teach them to stay away from downed utility poles, power lines and trees after a disaster.

Little ones don’t necessarily need to know every bad thing that could happen during a disaster, but they do need to understand the basics of how to respond. By being calm but serious, you can help ease your kids’ fears while also showing them the importance of preparation. Knowledge is power, and it could be your child who saves lives in an emergency one day.

 

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

 

The post How to Teach Kids About Emergency Preparedness appeared first on American Preppers Network.

6 Skills That Will Help You Thrive in a Disaster

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6 Skills That Will Help You Thrive in a Disaster

Written by Adam Torkildson

disaster_survival

Disasters happen everywhere, whether they’re hurricanes or earthquakes, or tsunamis. Warning systems to minimize loss of life are improving, but when Mother Nature strikes hard, there’s very little we can do about the situation other than be prepared.

Aside from building and stowing emergency survival kits, people who hope to survive a major disaster will need a very specific skillset to get them through. Developing some of the following skills will be your best bet for not only surviving a disaster, but thriving as it happens.

Basic Medical Knowledge

You’ll need a thorough understanding of basic first aid in order to attend to your own wounds as well as of those around you. Pack a first-aid kit that includes a book that shows you how to apply basic medical procedures. Becoming CPR-certified, learning to dress wounds, and enrolling in other medical courses can also make you better prepared for emergencies.

Food and Water Gathering

Most of the catastrophes that occur in the United States are quickly ameliorated with relief efforts that include food and water, but sometimes these efforts don’t reach everyone. Victims who live outside a metropolitan area, get trapped inside a building, or find themselves stranded in the wilderness won’t have access to the resources that rescue teams provide.

Those who are able to identify edible and poisonous plants, hunt and fish, collect fresh drinking water, purify liquids, and process collected food are more likely to survive. If you’re looking to learn more, you can enroll in courses or seek out other forms of useful information.

Navigation

Do you know how to identify which way is north? Understanding how will help you to get your bearings and recognize where you need to be. There are multiple ways to discover the direction you should be going, depending on your surroundings.

These include such items as the position of the stars, where moss grows on the trees and rocks, and the position of the sun. Learning how to orient yourself will enable you to find help when your cell phone service is down.

Fire Building

From keeping yourself warm to cooking your food, learning to build a fire is one of the most essential survival skills you’ll need. It’s not difficult to build a fire if you have dry matches or a lighter, but when a disaster strikes, you may not have those luxuries. Research the best methods for starting a fire without matches and practice often so you’re prepared when you have to be.

Basic Defense

There are two forms of defense you’ll need to consider. The first is protection against wildlife. Study the best ways to escape from a bear and to prevent a snake bite. Some basic knowledge in this area could save your life.

The second form is defense against other people. We’d like to believe that humans will unite in a crisis, but that’s not always what happens. In case you have to protect yourself or your family from a robber or other predator, learn a few basic defensive moves, including how to break your captor’s grip and how to incapacitate someone without a weapon.

These concepts are simpler than you might expect, but they require practice to perform them effectively.

Shelter Building

People who have the ability to build a shelter are ten times more likely to survive in a disaster situation than those who don’t. Shelters keep you warm and protected from the outside elements and other dangers.

By learning to find or create simple shelters in the wilderness, you increase your chance of survival over a long period of time.

Most people don’t think they’ll end up in a disaster until it happens to them. For that reason, it’s essential to be prepared. Build up your emergency preparedness kit, and brush up on these basic skills in order to thrive in any disaster.

 

 

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Hurricane Preparation: How to Board Up Your Windows Like a Pro

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boarding homesAs we turn the corner into hurricane season, many parts of the country are starting to make preparations for this type of natural disaster.

Broken windows are common occurrences with this type of storm and knowing how to protect your home is important for these preparations. Lumber is one of the many supplies to quickly disappear in preparation for disasters; therefore, having items ahead of time to be able to board up windows in a hurry will be very advantageous if you are short on preparation time.

Make sure you have everything to prepare for disasters. Here’s a checklist for supplies for short-term disasters.

 Pre-cut and Prepare your Supplies Before the Storm is a Reality

Here’s where your preps come in.  Do it now, and not later.  Think Aesop’s “Grasshopper and Ant” fable on all things…and be prepared.  You have to keep the cold and the elements out of the house.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • plastic sheeting 6 mil thickness measuring 25’ x 10’
  • staple gun 
  • pre-cut fir strips
  • galvanized nails or screws
  • plywood

Plastic Sheeting – The first key is to seal, and this is with plastic.  Wal-Mart has pretty thick gauge rolls of plastic sheeting, and I have found there are rolls of 6 mil thickness measuring 25’ x 10’ for sale there for about $20 per roll.  You can measure all of the windows and precut pieces of this plastic for them.  A good staple gun is essential for this task.  Attach the staples to the outside of the window, not the inside: this will help seal out water and wind better.

Pre-cut fir strips – You can measure and pre-cut fir strips/ 1” x 3” pieces to border the outside edges of the windows overtop of the edges of the plastic.  Either nail ‘em in or screw ‘em in with drywall screws or galvanized screws…1 to 1 ½ inchers should do the trick.  This will further keep the plastic intact from wind and the elements.  Next comes the plywood.  Much of this is going to depend on the size and height of your home.  We’re addressing standard sized windows and sliding glass doors here.  No doubt that some of you have some big picture windows that will take more planning and use more material, so with them you’ll have to make adjustments.

Plywood – Returning to the plywood, for the bottom floors/ground level, I recommend at least ½” pressure treated plywood.  from wind and the elements.  Next comes the plywood.  Much of this is going to depend on the size and height of your home.  We’re addressing standard sized windows and sliding glass doors here.  Some of you Readers no doubt have some big picture windows that will take more planning and use more material, so with them you’ll have to make adjustments.

For the bottom floors/ground level, I recommend at least ½” pressure treated plywood.  You’ll have to make braces or brackets to hold them.  Either do this with pieces of 2” x 4” boards, or invest in some “L” angle irons with screw holes to help support that bottom edge.  Measure the window, and cut the plywood to overlap at least 6” to 1’ on all of the sides.  Sink them in with galvanized deck screws through predrilled holes in the corners and sides.  You want hexagon (hex) heads on them to secure in place.  All of this will take some planning on your part.  It’s best to mount them on the outside, overlapping the plastic and the fir strip borders.

The reason for this is it allows for some “give” between the plywood and the newly plastic covered window.  It also is better on the outside, as it is easier to smash through plywood affixed to the inside of a window/door opening than to smash through it if it’s attached to the outside of the house.  Draw a diagram of your house and the location of the windows.  The reasons for pre-drilling holes are that you may not have power for a corded or cordless electric drill after an EMP, or such, but you can still use your ratchet set to set in the deck bolts and secure the plywood.  It also cuts down on the work you do post-window loss.

Label the diagram’s windows and doors A, B, C, etc., and then make sure that you spray paint this letter onto the corresponding piece of plywood.  That way you’re all set.  Don’t forget an arrow to show the side that goes upward.  Store your plywood pieces either inside close to the windows they’re cut for, or pool them in a central location, stacked or lean-stacked in alphabetical order for ease of finding your pieces and matching them after the windows go.

It’s simple enough, and can run you some money, but the alternatives are elements, debris, and bugs (six and two-legged) entering through those holes.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is certainly a prep that holds with that rule.  Set it up now when you have the time.  You can probably find some scrap plywood in good condition that you may be able to either bargain for, or that your local lumber yard will be happy to sell you at a discount as it is not a full sheet.  Use your imagination, plan your work and work your plan.  In all of this protect your windows in this manner, before they break…and avoid those gaping holes after they’re gone.  Happy hammering!

 

JJ

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

Emergency Water Storage Ideas for Every Type of Disaster

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Hey, hey, hey, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  No, Fat Albert is not in front of the keyboard!  Just JJ here with an article geared toward gearing up for a potential drought year.  Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” referred to the omnipresence of water regarding the seas and oceans.  Fresh water is a different matter; therefore, here are a few pointers that you can follow to help secure your family’s supply in both time of paucity and for when the SHTF.

Water Storage Solutions for Every Type of Emergency

1. Soda Bottles

There are ways to prepare for and store water for short-term emergencies. Of course, one of the determining factors being your geographic location, as well as the other one of how your home is situated – if you have a lot of ground or live in an apartment – are variables that will affect your family’s water plans.  I highly recommend starting off small, and working your way up.  Two liter soda bottles are excellent water storage vessels, and well within the budget.  Here are some other popular choices for storing water for emergencies. Also, don’t forget about emergency water sources hidden in your home. Read more about them here.

To remove the sugar and any remaining acidic fluid, make sure you fill them halfway with hot or boiled water and shake them out really well. These actions will remove the sugar and enable your water to not have a medium that could help to grow bacteria.  Remember, check to make sure your bottle has a code number such as 1,2,5,7, or HDPE on the bottom to ensure plastics do not leach into your water.  The bottles are made to hold soda (a caustic, acidic fluid) for a long period of time and will work equally well in protecting your water.

 

water2. 5-gallon containers

For disasters water sources to be questionable for a week or longer, consider investing in some 5-gallon containers. Water bricks are a great example of this type of water storage solution.There are myriads of five-gallon water canisters available, so we will just mention that whatever type you decide to go with, standardize it and make it the norm, to help you keep track of the water.  Store your water on the bottom of your storage space, so that if the container is compromised you will not experience everything under it being soaked.

Also, keep your soda bottle-containers “boxed,” in groups of 6 or twelve to help prevent them from falling or rolling all over the place.  Once again, plastic bins are best to accomplish this task. Here are plans for creating a holding rack for 5-gallon water bottles.

 

catchment3. Catchment systems

Rainwater catchment systems are an excellent choice for those of you preparing a long living disaster. You can refer back to previous articles on water-catchment systems I wrote with diagrams on how to utilize rainwater to build up a supply right out of your downspout to fill in 55-gallon food-grade plastic drums.  Another consideration is a good cistern.

There is a great article in Howtopedia, a free downloadable resource (and printable) with all kinds of plans and designs for different projects.  The articles come with step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish the tasks at hand.

 

Cistern4. Cisterns

Cisterns are the ultimate long-term water storage source and have the capacity to hold up to 20,000 gallons of water or more (depending on the size, of course). For a cistern, you will need some ground and you might want to rent a “C” (as we called them in the Service) or a small backhoe to go nice and deep.  Cisterns can be above ground or below. For the latter, you want it at least 6” below the frost line (the top of the hatch), and you can also channel your downspout into it.

There are several layers of sand, gravel, and charcoal that you can place at the top of your cistern that will allow for filtration of rainwater into it through the downspout and into the ground.  One thing that will help immensely is an access hole that can be “plugged” through which you can insert the tube for a hand pump/hand-crank water pump to pull water out, as you need it.  The cistern is good because it’s out of sight and allows for passive collection of water.

Here is a great example how to purify drinking water from a cistern if you find yourself in an off grid situation.

19th_century_knowledge_water_cistern_and_filter

Storing water during winter months

For the wintertime, if you have a root cellar you can also store water there.  Winter water collection is not as difficult as you may think.  A woodstove adds to the benefits of utilizing snow and ice, providing a steady supply of hot water from a five-gallon soup pot.  Keep in mind that water will need to be purified before drinking. On a side note, the evaporating water will act as a humidifier and keep the woodstove from drying out all of the air in the house.

I have a question to ask of you guys and gals.  Over the winter, I saw a woodstove photo that had copper tubing wrapped around the stovepipe (before it exited the cabin, naturally).  This tubing was attached as an inlet and an outlet to heat up water and recirculate it into another container…a passive hot water heater.  The tubing had an outflow (from the water container that sat upon the stove) and an inflow (to transfer the hot water to a storage unit).  Anyone who knows of information on this system (links, plans, etc.), I would greatly appreciate your sharing it with us.

To summarize, now is the time to take these measures to store and collect water for your family.  There is plenty of time now to inculcate a working system and build up sizeable storage sections for your home, wherever you live, that is within your budget.  It is best to have at least a 10-14 day supply for every member of your family, going at a rate of 1 gallon per day minimum per family memberDon’t forget the pets on this, and also take into consideration any family member – pet or human – that may have special needs of increased water.  Have a great day, and happy water collecting!  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

How to Get a Year Supply of Firewood for $20!

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Buches_MG-47 (1)ReadyNutrition Readers, one of the things that always amazes me is the way people always wait until autumn sets in to begin cutting and storing up a supply of firewood.  I wanted to tell you guys and gals the way I do things here, and perhaps (quantity and geographic variances aside) you can see my overall intent.  As you well know, I live in Montana where it is usually bitterly cold with snow on the ground for anywhere from 7 to 9 months of the year.  I’m aware this is not the case in most of the U.S., however, there are some good reasons for laying in a firewood supply right now.

Get a permit

Firstly, one of the really good things we have here in Montana is that the U.S. Forestry Service allows residents to pick up a permit (every April) to cut fallen dead and standing dead timber.  The permit runs $20 for four cords, and you can pay $60 and take up to twelve cords.  That’s a heck of a lot of wood, and dirt-cheap!  I’m not sure what it is in other states, however, I am certain that many of them have the same policy.

On this note, I’d love to hear from you and find out what the policy is in your home state: prices and amounts, and such.

The only regulations governing it are you must have a serviceable and up-to-date/inspected fire extinguisher with you if you use a chain saw.  In addition, there are certain times (and the USFS posts it) when the fire danger is high or greater.  In these periods, it is not permitted to run a chainsaw and harvest that dead timber.

This is the best time to prep for next year’s cold weather

But now is a great time for it!  All of the undergrowth has not yet emerged from its winter hibernation, so it is relatively clear to work.  I have much of it that I take where it is not permissible to take a vehicle and load up in the forest itself.  My way around that is to cut my wood, stack it up, and haul it out with a garden cart.  Sears make a pretty sturdy one that holds about 600 lbs, and it’ll run you just under $100 dollars.  It has some thick, tough-treaded wheels that can easily run the trails, and not have too much of a problem going over even fields.

Cord_Wood The reason for the wood gathering is twofold.  Firstly (from a “normal” thought perspective) you’re laying in your supply for next winter.  The early bird gets the worm.  You’ll be able to pick up the best wood for yourself when most others are not even thinking about anything except their weekend trip to the beach.  Secondly (and also very important) from a prepper’s perspective, is the “What If?” reason.

What if that EMP attack comes from North Korea or China?  What if the economy collapses?  What should happen if there is civil war, or a war/invasion here in the U.S.?  Yes, your home will be warm already, but what about cooking?  What about hot water for laundry or personal hygiene.  How about some light when there’s no electricity?  And what about emergency medical care that pertains to sterilizing instruments, boiling bandages, and running a home/field dispensary?

All of these, I hope you realize are good reasons to prepare and plan now, so that when the tough times arrive, it is not so great a hurt to deal with.  You have seen the news reports, and we’re just a step away from either a war or an EMP attack.  As with Aesop’s fable “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” although we in the survival community are hardly grasshoppers, if we’re ants it is best to be wise ants…covering all of the bases before the ball is hit to center field.

Now is the time to set up your wood-fueled “kitchen,” by investing in a good wood stove for heat and for cooking.  The wood stove also cuts down on the light signature at night…much better than a fireplace.  Along with the stove, start investing in cast iron cookware and utensils for cooking that can withstand rougher treatment than your standard dinner fare.

How to estimate how much wood you will need

If you have not done so already, now is a good time to estimate how much wood you will go through in the wintertime, and then estimate how much you would need to have a fire/woodstove burning 24 hours a day.  In the summertime it is significantly less, but take your winter consumption and double it, just to be on the safe side. Typically, a cord of wood is 4 feet wide x 4 feet high x 8 feet long stacked and adds up to 128 cubic feet. As well, the cords may consist of whole logs or split logs. Here is some great information on how to estimate cords of wood from a standing tree.

Invest in a good gas-powered chain saw, like an Echo with at least 5 extra chains, and plenty of rattail files to sharpen them when you need to.  Remember, you don’t want to buy cheap tools. Always look at these as a necessary investment, because they will be a lifesaver in an off grid situation. Also in that equation, you’ll need a good bench vise to help you to sharpen them.  Stock up on oil and fuel for the saws.  Back all of it up with several good axes, and as many bow saws as you can find.  Remember: if you run out of fuel, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way.

So take some time to figure out your fuel needs to heat your home with wood and to fulfill the other functions I have just mentioned.  Now is the time to do it, and it can be a good team experience for the whole family.  Make sure you always pack a first aid kit in your excursions and thoroughly familiarize yourself with the operation of all your cutting and safety equipment.  Happy woodcutting!  We encourage your input and thoughts in these matters and hope to hear from you soon!  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

Baby Left in Hot Car at Richmond, VA Game Stop

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baby left in hot carOn April 16th, 2016, an amateur YouTube video was recorded in Richmond, Virginia and is likely to go viral because of how shocking the footage is. Uploaded by a user who was not only distraught, but disturbed, the video features a mother leaving her baby unattended in her car as she shops at the local Richmond Game Stop. The phone was pointed at a car on a hot Spring day as the man passionately yelled over the sound of a crying baby. The camera got closer to the edge of the car’s window, allowing the viewer to easily see the infant in the backseat.

At first, some might give the mother the benefit of the doubt. After all, she might have been only going in the store for a brief moment and all of the windows were rolled down. In addition to this, we as viewers are not there so can’t confirm how hot of a day it was as the recorder of the video describes, but what happened next was undeniably shocking, not only because the mother did it in front of the camera, but because of how nonchalant her attitude was.

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As the mother left the store, the man began harassing her, telling her she shouldn’t be leaving her baby in the car. She completely ignored him, going into the car’s backseat for a brief moment as the man behind the phone continued to film. The mother then rolled up all of the windows, shut the doors, locked the car and walked back into GameStop, confirming she left her baby in an enclosed car with no air conditioning, which is always dangerous no matter how hot the day is.

The man began shouting at her louder, but she continued to ignore.

“This is definitely worth reporting to the Richmond Police,” the man said, recording the baby through the closed window, helpless and crying.

Watch Baby Left in Hot Car Video 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.

 

The post Baby Left in Hot Car at Richmond, VA Game Stop appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Why Aspirin Should Be In Every SHTF Medicine Cabinet

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Hey there, ReadyNutrition Readers!  We’re going to sing a little ditty about Aspirin, and it’s many uses.  Why?  Because it is an inexpensive treasure-trove available just about anywhere that can be added to your supplies.  It is safe and effective, and has a heck of a long shelf life if you protect it from moisture and the elements.  A good supply of it is not hard to build up, and you can always FIFO your supply to utilize it as needed. This simple little prep is highly recommended for your preparedness supplies and can be found at the Dollar Store and most drug stores. For those of you who may not know, FIFO means “first in, first out,” in accordance with inventory: use your oldest bottles first, and rotate your newest replacements to the back of the stack.

The origin of aspirin

Willow, Poplar, and Myrtle trees have a component known as salicin in them.  This chemical (a derivative of salicylic acid) has the ability to reduce pain, fever, and relieve small-scale maladies (such as headache and fever).  A German chemist (the Germans have always been great chemists and are world-leaders, FYI, in the field of Herbalism) named Felix Hoffman in 1895 first successfully employed salicylic acid to help his father.  Felix did this at the ripe old age of 29.

Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) was a synthetic version of this salicylic acid, and that had been discovered by a French chemist in 1853 by the name of Charles von Gerhardt (OK, he was a French citizen, but he was of German descent!).  Not much was done with this synthesized version of the natural acid taken from the trees.

But Hoffman learned about it.  One of the problems with the salicylic acid he gave to his dad was that it upset the elder man’s stomach.  When Hoffman expounded on von Gerhardt’s discovery, however, he found that ASA (yes, aspirin) was a lot less harsh on the stomach, and Hoffman is credited with giving Aspirin its name.  But that company Felix worked for (a dye and pharmaceutical firm) took the young man’s discovery a step further.  They patented it and developed a process for manufacturing it in 1899.

That company was Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co.  Yep, you guessed it: Bayer, as in Bayer Aspirin!

Here is how aspirin can help

In your body are prostaglandins, a twenty-dollar word for substances that work in your body to do all sorts of functions, from regulating your body temperature to helping your blood clot.  Aspirin works by reducing these prostaglandins.  This has the effect of reducing pain and inflammation, and also thins the blood to reduce clotting.  It does this by disabling an enzyme called COX (cyclooxygenase) that turns acids found in your cells into prostaglandins.  Pretty intricate, huh?  The primary effect is to lower inflammation, and thereby pain is lowered.

Regarding the circulation, aspirin also helps fight against coronary artery disease and does it by lowering the amount of platelets that can attach themselves to the arterial walls and preventing clotting.  In the event of a heart attack, the Mayo Clinic advises taking 162 mg of aspirin and chewing it up, enabling it to be broken down and more readily absorbed and transferred by the bloodstream, after calling 911.  It also helps with angina pectoris.

Aspirin has been found useful in the prevention and treatment of breast and colon cancers, osteoporosis, dementia and other forms of Alzheimer’s disease, prostate cancer, and to neutralize viruses.

Looking for a more natural approach?

From an herbal perspective and naturopathic viewpoint, white willow bark is a healthy and natural alternative to synthesized ASA.  White Willow (Salix spp.) is also interchangeable with the American Willow (Salix nigra).  The only ones contraindicated for its use are pregnant or nursing mothers, very young children, or people with allergies to salicylates.  It comes in a liquid or powder in your better health food stores.  Follow the directions on the package, as the manufacturer, hence formulating the correct dosage, knows the exact salicin content.

The standard for powder is 1-2 grams several times a day as needed.  This is not denigrating the manufactured aspirin by any means.  As I wrote earlier, aspirin is a safe and cost-effective supply for you to have in your preps.  In addition, if you stock up on some extra?  Post SHTF, it can be more valuable than gold for barter and trade.

Another thing: if you have a battery that you suspect of being dead (maybe you left your lights on) pop a couple of aspirin into the battery, and wait a few minutes.  The aspirin will react with the nitric acid in the battery and produce a weak charge, enough to start up the engine with.  And if it doesn’t work, you can take two more yourself for any headaches you may suffer while you’re awaiting triple-A and a tow truck.

To summarize, aspirin does many wonderful things.  It is an affordable asset that you can store up in large quantities in your preps and not come anywhere near to hurting your billfold.  It has a high degree of safety, and helps with many different ailments.  Because of all of these things, it will be highly valuable, both for your family and as a bartering commodity when the bottom drops out and our society comes crashing down.  On that happy note, hope I didn’t give you a headache, and you have a great day!  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

Gardening During Troubled Times: How to Start a Victory Garden

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to touch on a subject that bears keeping in mind: the Victory gardens kept by citizens of the United States during World War II.  The reason this subject is good to mention is because now that spring has arrived, you should know about shortages and pitfalls people faced before.  As it is aptly written, there is nothing new under the sun; therefore, the same dilemmas faced by people before will be faced again.  A survival garden may be just the thing your family needs, as it will passively produce food for your future.

Victory-Garden-2Wartime brings real shortages in virtually every area of the economy, especially in the area of foodstuffs.  Rationing becomes the norm rather than the exception, and it is difficult for people to scrape out a bare subsistence.  During WWII, the Victory garden was recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a pamphlet published in 1943.  The gardens were recommended to have the following vegetables planted:

Spinach, Chard or Kale for greens; Cabbage; Lettuce; Tomatoes; Soy Beans; Snap Beans; Lima Beans; Peas; Asparagus; Carrots; Beets; Turnips; Parsnips; Onions; Strawberries; Raspberries; Radishes; Peppers; Onions; Pole Beans.

That’s quite a list, but it is not comprehensive and many preppers suggest these 25 seeds to start their survival gardens for added nutrition.  The point to be made is that if you are able to grow food, then do it during the warm months.  Potatoes can be grown inside of old tires, and there are plenty of books and resources out there that will tell you how to perform micro gardening.  This is a type of gardening that allows you to maximize the minimal space and arable land that you may have.

The main thing is planning and knowing where to start.  On this site Miss Tess Pennington offers many different resources to pursue concerning gardening and cultivation.  You must find out the available square footage that is on your property and utilize it to the maximum potential to grow.  Make use of every possible growing space and do not neglect window boxes and plants that can be grown on the windowsill.  Do not neglect a deck if you live in a high-rise or an apartment building.  Be creative.  Try to plan for what you believe you will need.

Even if you do not have the acreage to be able to sustain you and your entire family, at the bare minimum you can supplement your food supply.  Let’s not forget that food in the immediacy is not the only consideration.  You want to save your seeds.  Seed-saving will be very important in the times to come, as you want to be assured of crops for future growing seasons.  The Survival Seed Vaults are good investments, especially if you have to pick up and run to another location or want to secure it in a cache.  Along those lines, consider adding the easiest seeds to grow in any of your caches, that way you can have a reliable food source when you need it the most. It’s kind of hard to take everything that is growing with you, and to have these seeds that you can take off with will help assuage the loss of your crops if you must flee.

Your survival garden should also include whatever you can pick up with wild crafting.  Remember that article I wrote last year on the book, “Eat the Weeds,” that details common wild plants and herbs that are edible?  Man forages as well as produces.  Never limit yourself to one activity.  Remember, when you find dandelions or shepherd’s purse…you can transplant them (here are some other edible weeds to consider)!  Bring them back to your survival garden and maintain them!  The only limits on your survival garden are the limits you place on it.

Other excellent resources for you are your county extension office and your local community college.  These institutions are replete with free information, tips, literature, and sometimes even free supplies for things such as gardening, horticulture, and composting.  Take advantage of these resources, as your tax dollars are paying for them.  Make inroads with the people who work there and they can point you toward a plethora of information and materials that you can use for your home.

To summarize, now is the time to get your garden in gear.  Whether you have 20 acres up in the mountains or just a small balcony in a high rise, you can make the most out of your space and resources with the proper planning and desire to grow some foods.  Plan your work and work your plan.  We look forward to hearing any ideas or suggestions you may have for your fellow readers and us.  Have a great day, and happy gardening!

 

JJ

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

Smart Technology Will Mean Nothing After an EMP Event

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smart tech 

“We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.” – Hotel California, by the Eagles

ReadyNutrition guys and gals, this article is designed to provide you with some food for thought regarding the devices of our modern technological area.  As a modern society, it is very rare to find someone without a cell phone or a hand-held computing device.  While saving time and enabling many different functions, it has also caused our society to become completely dependent upon these devices and has has set us up for a fall.  We already know that those devices are vulnerable to an EMP or a solar storm that can render society as a whole inoperable.  But what about the devices themselves in the normal course of use?  They can act as a monitoring system: a little “spy” in your pocket, transmitting data about you to others that can be acted upon to hurt you.

Former General and Director of the CIA, David Petraeus made a statement regarding simple appliances found in the home, stating that smart technology will make all of our life’s functions part of the “internet of things” someday.  This bodes a dire warning to all of us.  The smart refrigerator that will “order” your food from the grocery store, the cellular telephone that transmits a burst signal every four second to a tower with your position, and the smart “boxes” in your Lexus sedan are all examples of electronic control and tracking.

Shield Your Gear From EMPs

I have found that you can shield off your communications devices by placing them in an EMP-protective bag available online, and you can also use Mylar to block the transmission of the cell phone or I-pad’s signals from effectively reaching the towers.  There is a myriad of information all over the internet that shows how to protect such devices from an EMP or a solar flare.  The principle works in reverse as well, and we’re noting it here for your consideration in your personal planning posture.

The Easiest Way to Wean Yourself Off of a Tech Dependent Lifestyle

JJ’s suggestion is to take a time period – you determine the amount of time for yourself – such as a weekend or a few days during the week, and try to function without the use of any electronic devices, especially those such as hand-held communication.  Give yourself a set period as a drill and a training exercise.  This will help you learn alternative methods of communicating with your family and those you associate with, as well as begin to help you wean yourself off of your tech dependence.  You will be surprised how often you want to check your Facebook or social media during this time.  Such an exercise can gauge how effectively you will function if an EMP or grid-destroying event does occur.

I have suggested in numerous articles that Motorola radios, CB radios, and handheld communication devices such as portable Ham radios are effective means of communication that cannot be monitored as readily as the cellular telephones.  In addition to this, they only need a shielded power source and shielding to protect from the aforementioned disasters.  When the dust settles, the cellular telephones will not be up and running, but you can pull these devices out and use them.

Don’t Allow Your Equipment to Own You

Better yet, they do not continuously transmit your position and movements to Big Brother.  There is much merit in this.  Here is the mindset: we pay our income taxes, and the federal government uses those funds to inculcate ever-growing policies and technologies that further enslave us.  It is akin to paying a building contractor to construct a cage around you.  The same with the technology.  Owning it makes you subject yourself to continuous monitoring and perhaps much worse.  The federal government didn’t build a $50 billion facility for the collection of electronic data and phone transmissions in Ogden, Utah for nothing.

So the suggestion here is to “wean” yourself off of the technology that can monitor you and perhaps even lead to a totalitarian government tracking and scooping you up.  Use your equipment, but don’t allow your equipment to use you, or yourself to be used by it.  Don’t allow your tools to be the tools someone else employs.  Everything can “morph” in an instant and life as we know it come to a screeching halt.  It is better to prepare every day and be “wrong” in the eyes of others for 364 ¼ days out of the year than to not prepare for one day and be “right” when the bottom falls out.  Protect yourself from your own equipment, and keep it from monitoring you.  Don’t let it become a situation that turns into the phrase, “You can check out any time you like…but you can never leave.”

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