Do you know what to prepare for? I used to live in the Pacific Northwest, where there is a real chance of major earthquakes. Most residents are aware of it and smart ones will, at the minimum, have an earthquake kit under their bed. Then I moved to Texas and needed to learn to prepare […]
Editor’s note: This is the second story in a two-part series about what the federal government says should be stockpiled. Read part 1 here.
Perhaps surprisingly, the federal government has been part of what has driven the prepping movement.
FEMA’s “ready.gov” website was developed with the idea of helping people to prepare for a natural disaster so that they would have a better chance of surviving it. While FEMA isn’t the definitive source for survival information, a number of things that are widely accepted in the prepping community trace their roots right back to Ready.gov.
The most glaring example of this is the three-day food rule, which defines that bugout bags, otherwise known as 72-hour bags, have three days of food in them. Just about everyone talks about having three days of food in their bug-out bag, without anyone taking about the “why” behind that figure. But here’s the why: because the government said so.
Personally, I carry five days of food in my bug-out bag, and have another couple of weeks worth in a secondary bag, with even more food in other portable containers. The idea is to take as much food with me as I can, and use the food from the other containers first, leaving what’s in my bug-out bag for last. That way, if I have to abandon my vehicle and the other food, I’ll at least have that five days’ worth.
So, where did FEMA’s idea of three days’ worth of food originate? It came from their master plan, which states that they will have relief services in place in three days. Forget that they haven’t been overly successful in accomplishing that in the past, but it’s still their plan.
We can extrapolate a very important point from this. That is: everything that the government says about disaster preparedness is based upon the assumption that the Nanny State government will be there to help you. If you trust the government, that’s fine; but if you don’t, then it’s not a good idea to put too much stock in what they offer as survival advice.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at FEMA’s list of “Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit.” This printable list is what FEMA recommends having on hand, mostly with the idea of surviving a natural disaster.
In addition to food and water, the list includes:
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- First-aid kit.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air, and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place (better to use a medical grade mask to keep out pathogens, too).
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food).
- Local maps.
- Prescription medications and glasses.
- Infant formula and diapers.
- Pet food and extra water for your pet.
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change.
- Emergency reference material such as a first-aid book or information from ready.gov.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper. When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color-safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher.
- Matches in a waterproof container.
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels.
- Paper and pencil.
- Books, games puzzles or other activities for children.
Before going any farther with this, we need to understand exactly what this list is. By looking at it, it is immediately clear that the items listed are for sheltering in place, in your home, while waiting for government relief. That, in turn, assumes that the government will be able to bring relief, that they will be able to do it in three days, and that they will physically be able to get to you. Those are some pretty big assumptions.
When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, one of the many problems that delayed the arrival of relief into the New Orleans area was the trees and other debris scattered on the roads. There were many places where the roads had to be cleared before the trucks carrying the relief supplies could make it to those who needed it.
FEMA’s inability to deal with the situation in a timely manner was obvious and examined in great detail. So, it would be natural to think that they would have been ready seven years later when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. But they didn’t even put out requests for quote (RFQs) for the supplies they needed until the day after Sandy hit. It doesn’t look like they learned a whole lot.
While there are many other examples we could use, I’ll just mention one other. In 2016 there was a massive flood in Louisiana, affecting about 30 parishes (what the rest of us call counties). In that case, it wasn’t FEMA that rescued people and brought relief, but rather the people of Louisiana helping each other. Some used their boats to rescue people stranded on their roofs, while others set up emergency shelters and cooked meals for those who were displaced by the flood. It was a great demonstration of community outpouring to help one another out.
Since it’s clear that there are many cases where the government can’t get in place fast enough to truly make a difference, accepting the idea that three days’ worth of food and water is enough, is ludicrous. But even if they could, that three-day figure doesn’t take into account any long-term or national disaster scenarios.
Long-term disasters are those that last anywhere from a few months to more than a year. In such a case, it’s clear that we’d need a whole lot more food than the three days mentioned in FEMA’s list; or, we need to grow our own food.
Situations like terrorism taking out the grid or bio-warfare would mean that we’d all have to be self-sufficient for months.
Many writers have undertaken to write complete lists of what you’ll need in these sorts of situations, myself included. Take a look at the article on “22 Things Besides Food and Water That You Should Stockpile” or “21 Surprising Items You’ll Need when the Grid Is Down.” The truth is, there is no way of knowing for sure everything we’ll need, so we need to plan for everything and hope that we didn’t miss anything.
But let me take a moment to make a quick case for what’s missing from the government’s list. To determine what we need, we always have to start out with the basics for survival. Those are:
- Ability to keep warm.
- Clean water.
- Nutritious, high-energy food.
To support that, we need to add:
- The ability to defend ourselves.
- First-aid supplies.
- The ability to start a fire.
Just looking at those seven areas, it’s clear that the FEMA list is missing a lot of things. They mention matches to start a fire, but they don’t talk about fuel for the fire. Their list assumes that everyone has a stock of firewood sitting behind their homes, as well as a government-approved wood-burning stove to burn it in? Incomplete answers to survival problems, like this one, get people killed.
They do mention the ability to purify water with bleach, but that’s the only water purification method they mention, and they missed the part about shaking up the water once you put the bleach in it to make the bleach dissipate, and then allowing it to sit for 20 minutes to kill the pathogens. But why not mention some other methods of water purification? Water is such an important part of survival, that depending on only one method is not safe.
Two of the “supportive” areas that I mentioned above are totally missed by FEMA: the ability to defend yourself, and tools. One of the things you can count on in the aftermath of any disaster is the criminal element coming out of the woodwork to take advantage of the situation.
The fact that they missed tools can be forgiven, if we assume that the plan is to shelter in place, in your home, awaiting the arrival of government aid. But then, if you were one of those people, you wouldn’t be reading this website. The fact is that many survival tasks, from building or repairing shelter to preserving food, are going to require tools of some sort. Of anything that FEMA has left off their list, this is probably the biggest omission. Yes, you can make it three days without those tools, but not a whole lot longer.
All in all, the only true value that the FEMA list has is as a starting point. For someone who hasn’t done anything about emergency preparedness, this list is an eye-opener. But the sad thing is that many will take this list as being the definitive word on survival and not go any farther.
Simply put, it is not wise to put our survival in the not-so-capable hands of the government.
What is your reaction to the FEMA list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
It’s hard to quantify, but the modern prepping movement has at least, in part, been caused by the government. I am not referencing fear in the government doing something stupid that would force us into survival mode (although that is possible), but instead in promoting the idea of disaster preparedness.
FEMA’s Ready.gov website contains a host of information on how to prepare for a pending disaster, and radio commercials promote the idea, too. While not the best information in the world, it’s a good starting point for the novice prepper.
Of course, many if not most preppers don’t pay much attention to the FEMA website. Part of that could be because few of us trust the government all that much. But a much bigger part is that the government’s idea of prepping really doesn’t go far enough.
Let’s take a look at the list of Suggested Emergency Food Supplies that FEMA has on their website:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
That’s it — a dozen things. While all of those are good choices, there’s no way that I would consider them enough. But then, I take a much different view of survival than what FEMA is promoting.
FEMA takes the stance that you only need to be ready to take care of yourself for three days. That’s their target reaction time. At the end of the three days, FEMA supposedly will have assistance in place. There’s only one thing … FEMA has a very poor track record of meeting that goal.
So when FEMA talks about stockpiling food, they only talk about stockpiling three days of it. That’s probably where the idea of a bug-out bag only having three days of food originates. Personally, I don’t feel that three days is anywhere near enough, especially since I have no intention of ending up in a FEMA camp, waiting for the government to decide to let me go.
There were people digging in dumpsters, looking for food, six weeks after both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy (which occurred in Republican and Democratic administrations). That doesn’t give me a whole lot of faith in FEMA’s abilities. But I’m also concerned that whatever FEMA gives out, comes with a price. The price of government meddling in our lives. That’s a much higher price than paying for my own food, to build a descent stockpile.
Let’s go back to that list for a minute. While the foods contained in it are all good choices for a survival situation, there really isn’t enough there to create actual meals, unless you stockpile canned goods that can be put together to make a meal. While that is possible, it’s not anyone’s first choice. Canned foods do provide nutrition, but they are severely lacking in flavor.
If all you’re talking about is surviving three days, that’s not really an issue. You can live on peanut butter crackers and dried fruit for three days. For that matter, you can live without it for three days, just about as well. But you can’t simply buy more of the foods mentioned on this list and expect to have a three- or six-month stockpile. You’ll have to add other foods to it. I’m not going to talk about what other foods you should stockpile, as I’ve written other articles about it. Try this article or this one for more information.
Another problem with the list is that not all of these foods will store for a prolonged period of time, without rotating your stock. While some, like canned goods will last a long time, there are other things, like breakfast cereal and crackers, which will quickly become stale and unpalatable.
FEMA also suggests that you “choose foods your family will eat.” While that may seem to make sense, most of our families aren’t going to go for a healthy diet of survival food; they’re going to want something tasty. In other words, they’re going to want the same sorts of junk food that they’re used to eating. That doesn’t work, and it’s actually totally contradictory to the list of foods they’ve put together.
I prefer to say, “Figure out how to make the foods you are going to have to stockpile for survival palatable for your family.” This requires figuring out how to take the foods that you stockpile and adapting their flavor to meet your family’s tastes. While not easy, this is actually possible. All you need is a stock of the right spices, plenty of salt and maybe a few sauces, like spaghetti sauce.
You’ll have to do some experimenting to find ways of preparing the survival foods you’re going to stockpile in ways that will be palatable to your family. Take the time to make up some recipes, and make a small batch and test it on your family. If it doesn’t work, try modifying. That usually means adding more spices to give it more flavor.
I stockpile plenty of spaghetti sauce and cream of mushroom soup, as well as the spices used in making my own spaghetti sauce, so that I can restock from tomatoes I grow in my garden.
So, yes, the FEMA list contains a few items that should be in any stockpile. Just don’t stop there.
What do you think of FEMA’s tips and list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Top Reasons for Bugging Out from Economic Collapse or Catastrophic Disaster
A look at disasters that have struck third world countries shows how fast and how easily large numbers of people can die when not prepared and when criminals descend on the vulnerable.
Here are 7 reasons why you need a Bug Out Bag
Reason # 1 for Bugging Out
Supplies of food and water — GONE
Food Shortages – All supplies of food and water that come in to a metropolitan area have been destroyed. Within hours there are no stores or gas stations open and selling anything. Panicked and desperate crowds of people gather in both the streets and now looted and ransacked shopping districts. Roads and bridges may be out. Buildings and several homes and apartment buildings may be on fire. Around the area cries of sadness can be heard as people mourn lost or dead loved ones. If there are collapsed buildings other cries can be heard, those of people pinned and or partially crushed beneath buildings and other debris.
From street to street, chaos, rubble, fires
I can describe the possible carnage in multiple ways, as the carnage and destruction can be different from street to street and neighborhood to neighborhood. Gas pipes may have ruptured and exploded on one street. Broken water mains or sewer pipes may be flooding the ground up above on another.
Gunfire and even gunfire from automatic weapons may be unfolding elsewhere nearby. But who’s gunning it out with who?
Are Army troops setting up martial law and encountering resistance from local citizens? Are the police or national guard at war with local gangs? Is there an ISIS supporter seeing this disaster as his personal opportunity for Jihad on his neighbors who won’t convert or whom he knows are openly Christian or Jewish?
The police … or a pissed off psychopath in a clown suit
Or is it just a pissed off psychopath with his arsenal of weapons and ammo going berserk because, as far as he can tell, the world is coming to an end. With no belief in God, or belief in Hell, he can do whatever the hell he wants to whomever gets in his way. … The sound of automatic gunfire followed by screams of pain and terror. This shooter is gunning down anyone he can, finally letting out all that anger and disdain for human life he’s been holding in all these years. If he has any disdain for a person of another skin color, well whatever that disdain is they may be his first targets …
Race vs race.
Psychopath on a rampage.
Overzealous government troops in a desperate bid to enforce martial law.
Reason # 2 for Bugging Out
Escape the SHTF Circus of Terror that is Coming to Town
Riots – Every where you look, SHTF. In some cities, literally it’s a circus of terror. But haven’t we seen the signs that this day is coming? Didn’t Jesus warn us in different gospels about a terrible day coming to our planet for unbelievers and those not right with God? He said there would be signs in the heavens and signs in the earth. Maybe, just maybe, one of those signs that is taking place as I write these words has to do with clowns; you know those same clowns headlining the news and social media currently… I’ve studied the Bible’s Revelation many times over the years and my conclusion about Revelation is still the same. Revelation is a circus and it’s God unleashing one judgment after another, including the supernatural and a flood of demons, and a flood of evil and violence and disasters, and anything can happen, and it does.
A serious question we all need to ask ourselves is this: Is Revelation finally at our doorstep?
Panicked and Desperate Mobs with No Food or Water
Where ever you are in the region, one thing is for certain you decide — it’s time to Bug Out before those panicked mobs of people down in the city or just across the railroad tracks on the wrong side of town descend on your safe community or neighborhood just a short distance away.
Waiting for FEMA — But FEMA Never Comes
Most of the mobs may be likely to stay near their homes and apartments the first few days, hoping for relief agencies like FEMA or the Red Cross to fly in supplies from helicopter and air drops from overhead planes. But if those supplies never come, for the first time in life these panicked mobs are going to experience true hunger.
When that happens, things are going to get desperate for a lot of them. And desperate people are known to do desperate things. Expect several suicides. Expect several to turn to violent crime, and that includes street gangs and those who already employed as career criminals.
With the police spread thin and short handed, street gangs and career criminals are about to have a hay-day taking whatever they want from whomever they can.
Street gangs are survival predators
Today, street gangs are filled with survivalists, just not the kind you’re thinking of. A lot of these gang members have a predatory survival instinct. In some neighborhoods every day can be a fight for survival as they compete with other gangs in the area and against other dangerous elements. A lot of these gang members have an eye for spotting opportunity and preying on any weaknesses they see in another gang or possible drug dealer working that area. They are constantly looking over shoulders for police while at the same time robberies and murder are common place in the worst neighborhoods of the biggest cities.
Black Gangs, Mexican Gangs, White Gangs, Asian Gangs
Gang leaders and safe houses can have stocks of weapons and ammunition, purchased with drug and blood money both, and stored away for those times that gangs perceive possible turf wars with other gangs, or simply as a second income stream, as they supply people with guns and ammo both and at a price.
Asian gangs? If a major city near you has a China Town, guess what they also have well armed Asian gangs. Mexican gangs? You don’t have to live near Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, or Denver to have a threat from Mexican gangs. If you live in any kind of region near the Mexican border there’s a good chance that Mexican gangs may cross what will now be an unprotected border and head up into U.S. towns looking for loot or anything else they can get there hands on.
White gangs include one percenter bikers, neo-nazis, Russians who are American citizens (we have Russian gangs in several cities or just low level Russian mafia) and general white street criminals from major cities and towns across America. They run drug houses, car theft rings, robbery and extortion activities, the list goes on.
Reason # 3 for Bugging Out
Street gangs and mobs descend on outlying communities
Street Gangs – Some gangs may claim areas as their own, and then deplete all supplies within those areas (often taken by force) before moving on to another area to look for more supplies.
Statistically, around the U.S. and other nations, large cities will have countless numbers of gang members and a number of violent criminals as well as those desperate mobs who seek out the “prosperous” and “peaceful” communities just a few miles out. Scattered in that number fleeing major cities will be high level sex predators … Can anyone guess how a number of these sex predators are going to react to a situation where lawlessness has come to the region; families are separated, parents are missing or may be dead; children wander the streets lost, confused, looking for help. Police are spread thin or nowhere to be found. God help us …
Should you bug out with your family?
That depends on several things. You may be far enough from population centers where you live currently in an outlying community or distant town and bugging out won’t be as important in the first few weeks or months as it is for someone who lives a lot closer to those desperate mobs of people.
Though even if you are in a relatively safe area, any number of events can take place that may make bugging out essential from day one.
Reason # 5 for Bugging Out
Nukes and or Dirty Bombs
Radioactive Fallout from Dirty Bombs or Nuclear Weapons – For a lot of people, that may be to escape radioactive fallout from a nuclear weapon that has just decimated a major city within 50-100 miles and now a radioactive cloud is being carried in your direction by the prevailing winds. Not a lot of people can claim they have a radioactive chemical mask for just such an occasion, yet it is a critical piece of survival gear for residents who live within 100 miles or so of a major city that one day may get nuked. At one time, there weren’t many places in the U.S. to purchase from. But with the growing concern of a nuclear conflict, a lot more are being sold in the U.S. and at reasonable or even low prices. Finally, a Civilian gas mask rated for a nuclear or chemical emergency is available at a lower price. Israel has long lived under a constant threat; a protective mask along these lines is standard fair for citizens (as well as knowing what to do in a nuclear or chemical emergency and access to bomb shelters throughout Israel.
It’s worth mentioning here: We need a lot more bomb shelters in the U.S., though several do exist across the United States often near state or city government buildings; check with your local municipality whether or not your area has a bomb shelter and who has access to it in a nuclear emergency; it might be for local officials only).
Putin has told Russians to leave America and get ready for nuclear war
Right now in world news Vladmir Putin has ordered Russian citizens to be ready for a nuclear conflict with the United States, to know where bomb shelters are, and to have the supplies and know-how for surviving nuclear attack. One of those supplies is a chemical mask rated for nuclear radiation.
If you’re a Russian living in the U.S. he’s advised that you get out. Some say this is just talk meant to scare the West into believing that Russia means business and is not to be messed with. Whatever the reasons for these words, we should see it as a clue that future months ahead could lead into an actual war with Russia.
Should you get a chemical mask rated for nuclear protection?
Chemical masks are already well known in Israel as they live under a constant threat of chemical attack.
But even if years go without any attacks the threat will continue to remain. One day it might happen; it might happen to us as well. Better to have a protective gas mask close by and even in the trunk of your vehicle ‘just in case.’
Terrorist bombs major university; chemical weapons
This goes for students and teachers also. A small chemical bomb is an easy way for a homegrown terrorist to attack a local university. Police stations, government buildings, nightclubs, business districts, sporting events, and shopping malls are also at high risk for chemical bombs — or any kind of bombs for that matter.
I’m not talking about military scale bombs. The small scale bombs I’m referring to are much easier to build and scatter around a local region. (I may have received good information that this is going to be a commmon danger in the months ahead; people are going to die; in other words, it’s going to start happening, and then continue to happen.)
Reason # 6 for Bugging Out
What if a nearby dam is destroyed?
Attack on Dams and Water Supplies – For others forced to bug out, it could be a dam that is destroyed a few miles away that is now flooding the entire valley where you live, sending hundreds of thousands of people on a sudden evacuation into the countryside and toward higher ground. Your city, shopping malls, and schools are suddenly gone — buried under flood waters.
Could a dam really be destroyed? That just depends on the size of the bomb and the desire of a terrorist or attacking government to inflict terror and mass casualties. Several dams could already be pinpointed on an attacker’s maps of cites to destroy in the first wave of an attack; several water reservoirs may have been poisoned by any number of highly toxic chemicals (though risk of this is said to be minimal — nothing is for sure though; what if the water is poisoned at a local treatment plant where a homegrown terrorist works full time?).
Some nukes can be delivered by truck or van
While some nukes could be small enough to fit in a vehicle (after being smuggled into the U.S.) and then driven to a major city and detonated (one of the Pentagon’s current fears), others may have been fired from a small boat or cargo ship off shore (one of New York City’s current fears and something that the Coast Guard is constantly monitoring for).
Nuclear danger from international flights
An even easier way to get a nuke into the U.S.? How about arming “China Air” with a nuclear bomb before it ever leaves China on a routine international flight and then finally detonating that bomb just as the airline is on its final approach and descending toward Los Angeles International Airport. In just a few seconds and a blinding flash of light:
Los Angeles … gone forever.
More nukes are streaking across the sky fired from missiles just off U.S. shores
Several nuclear tipped missiles may shortly after streak across the sky toward several destinations across the U.S., those near the coast would be the first destroyed.
Major dams … power plants … military bases … government buildings … business districts… possibly even toward the head offices for FEMA and Homeland Security. (If you want to make sure the U.S. doesn’t recover from a nuclear attack, don’t just bomb major cities — bomb our critical infrastructure and emergency responders.)
The more thorough an attacking enemy is with their plans, the more they can ensure that the United States of America never recovers.
That realization makes it that much more likely that the first wave of an attack will be more than just a first wave — it’s likely to seem like a flood. It will be catastrophic.
Expect disasters on a Biblical scale
Jesus said in Matthew 24: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man…” But then in the Book of Peter, further in the Bible, we’re told “the end will come like a flood” and also told that the end judgments are reserved for “fire.” So it won’t be another flood of water that God uses to judge the world; we can expect something different. It’s going to be big. It’s going to be bad. It’s going to be ugly . Important questions are answered along the way: For example: Why is God going to judge the world for it’s evils? And … is there any way to escape it? (Yes, there is. Click on the link to learn how to get your life right with God today — before all Hell breaks loose. Because it’s coming. The time is short.)
Reason # 7 for Bugging Out
Bugging out may not be a choice — if you stay, you die
Get Out of Dodge – When it comes to bugging out (or bugging in, which basically means to “shelter in place”), the fact of the matter is this: Even if you could win a reward for “prepper” of the year, anything could happen that forces you to flee your home and preps and escape on a bug out into the hills or nearby wilderness. A sudden evacuation may be a matter of life or death — or imprisonment in a concentration camp of some sort ran by some new governing power in the area.
In this case it’s just you, your bug out bag, a good pair of boots, for a lot of people that includes firearms, along with everything you managed to pack into your backpack. If you have a family, they better have their bug out bags packed as well.
Source : secretsofsurvival.com
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Do you have enough food for an unexpected snowstorm? Are you ready for a natural catastrophe? If not, now is the time to start. FEMA recommends that you have at least 3 days’ worth of food and water stored. But that is not enough, because in a crisis it may take weeks to get the food back on the grocery store shelves and for power to be restored.
For less than $60, you can feed a family of two adults and two children for 30 days.
Sound impossible? It’s not! With just a few ingredients and two easy recipes, you and your family can survive a disaster.
7 Foods For Survival
Here’s what you’ll need to get:
- 10 lbs. of cornmeal
- 20 lbs. of white rice
- 16 lbs. of dried mixed beans
- 2 lbs. of granulated chicken flavored bouillon
- 1 gallon of pancake syrup (or honey)
- 1 lb. of salt
- 2 lbs. of vegetable oil
A few weeks ago I bought most of these items at Walmart and Sprouts, and it cost me less than $60 for everything. I found 20 pounds of white rice at Walmart for only $8, and Sprouts had a sale on dried, mixed beans for less than $1 per pound. And I also got a gallon of pancake syrup from Walmart for only $8 because it’s much cheaper than honey. But if you don’t mind spending more money, honey will be more nutritious and will usually last indefinitely.
Rice and beans will last the longest when stored in food grade enamel-lined buckets with a Mylar lining that will provide an airtight environment. It also helps to add a few crushed bay leaves. To store cornmeal, put it in the freezer for a few days to kill any bugs. Then store it in a bucket with Mylar lining. And don’t forget to use oxygen absorbers, too. Grains stored this way should last anywhere between 20-30 years!
Want a warm, filling and inexpensive breakfast? Try cornmeal mush. This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings. And of all the breakfast foods that you can buy, this one is the cheapest.
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot water
Directions: Combine the cornmeal and cold tap water in a bowl to keep it from getting lumpy. Meanwhile, in a pan, combine the salt and hot water. Bring it to a boil over high heat. While the water is heating, add the cornmeal mixed with the cold water. When the water and cornmeal boil, reduce the heat to low. Allow the mush to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it is nicely thickened.
Spoon mush into bowls and serve with pancake syrup or honey, if desired. Don’t forget to set aside the leftovers to go with lunch and dinner! To fry, pour mixture into a loaf pan and chill completely. Remove from pan, slice and fry in a small amount of oil over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Fried cornbread tastes great with soup!
Rice and beans are a survival staple. After all, they’re cheap and provide carbohydrates and protein. This soup is very hearty and filling. It costs just pennies to make, and it will give you enough energy to sustain you during a difficult time.
1 cup of rice
2 cups of dried, mixed beans
1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)
1 tablespoon cumin (optional)
Bouillon (season to taste)
Directions: Add first six ingredients to a large kettle. Pour two quarts of water. Add bouillon to taste, chili powder, and cumin (if using). Bring to a boil and simmer for two hours. This soup is thick and hearty, and should be enough to feed four people for lunch and dinner.
Although this soup is often bland by itself, it’s easy to add more ingredients. I usually add two cans of tomatoes, one diced onion, three diced carrots, two diced celery stalks, and two diced potatoes. It tastes great with canned chicken, ham and Vienna sausages for extra protein. And it makes a great meal when served with fried cornmeal mush.
I also like to top it with one of the following toppings:
- Sirachi sauce
- Hot sauce
- Tortilla chips
Other Survival Supplies
Cornmeal mush for breakfast and “survival soup” for lunch and dinner will help to provide enough food to feed your family for 30 days. I also recommend that you stock up on canned fruit and canned vegetables to supplement your diet. To help with any vitamin deficiencies, make sure that you have enough multivitamins for each person in your family. And make sure that you have some extra prescription medicine set aside, as well as pet food to take care of any animals.
Don’t forget to have plenty of water set aside. You’ll need at least 120 gallons for a family of four for 30 days. One of the cheapest ways to store water is to purchase a bladder that you can use in your bathtub.
If you have a fireplace, it’s also a good idea to have plenty of firewood set aside to heat your house and cook your food. But if you don’t have a fireplace, you can purchase a small gas burner and have plenty of propane to cook meals.
During times of economic uncertainty, it’s essential to be prepared. And if you buy these 7 foods for survival, you’ll be much more prepared in case of an emergency.
God’s Word shows us the importance of planning ahead. Proverbs 27:12 says: “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.”
What food items would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:
Emergencies or a disaster do not come knocking on your door. So, you always need to be Red Cross ready and have essential items in your kit. Staying prepared for an emergency means, you must have the proper supplies of materials that you might need in an emergency event. As a rule of thumb, you must remember that the Federal Government expects the people to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Hence, while deciding on the survival kit, first consider where you are going to use it.
Will you keep it in your car? Are you going to place it in your backpack if you are going for a hike? Will you require it for a week long camping or simply want it for your home or school?Wherever you might go, the emergency survival kit must support you for 72 hours.
As it is important to stay prepared for an emergency, keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency survival kit. It should be lightweight, something that you can use at home or take away in case if you have to evacuate or run from the scene.
In order to stay prepared for an emergency or a disaster, Red Cross suggests having seven essential items in your survival kit. These are –
3. Lighting and Communication
4. First Aid
5. Survival Gear
6. Sanitation and Hygiene
7. Shelter and Warmth
You can last for several weeks without food, but without water it is almost impossible. Water is the most important of all as you only have 3 to 4 days without hydration before you die. You need to have a 3-day supply of one gallon of water per person.
Next, on the list is food, and for this, you need to have a 3-day supply of non-perishable items for each person. Foods you might have are a supply of MREs, rice, salt, honey, molasses, noodles, hard candy, energy bars, canned foods, some wine or liquor.
For proper lighting and communication, one might consider a flashlight, a battery-powered radio with some extra batteries, cell phone with your chargers, and emergency contact numbers. If you are not planning to take candles, make sure they are waterproof matches. It ensures to start a fire anywhere you need.
In your first aid kit, you will need proper medicines both prescribed and non-prescribed like aspirin. The medical items must be able to support each person for at least 7 days. Have Band-Aids, bandages, bicarbonate soda, gloves, eye drops, soaps, sterile strips, sanitizers, scissors and many other first aid items.
As for sanitation, having a makeshift toilet is a plus in an emergency. Make sure to have a good supply of hygiene items to stay clean as much as you can. Among hygiene items comes clothing and it is the most difficult item to pack. It is enough to have shirts both long and short sleeves, a jacket, socks and undergarments are some of the basic clothing you need in your kit.
As for shelter and warmth, carrying tents or sleeping bags is no doubt the best. Sleeping bags may not be a comforter but they are better being cold. Do carry a waterproof blanket or a space blanket in case of emergency. They add to warmth and keep you out of rain and cold.
So, having these 7 items is going to increase your chances of survival in case of disaster or emergency, whether you are at home, school, work or in your car. The below infographic by More Prepared, an emergency preparedness experts will depict everything in more details.
7 Essential Items in Your Emergency Survival Kit
Mina Arnao is the Founder/CEO of More Prepared, the emergency preparedness experts for over 10 years. More Prepared’s mission is to help families, schools and businesses prepare for earthquakes and other emergencies. Mina is CERT trained (community emergency response team) and Red Cross certified.
When natural disasters comes to your town, what do you do? Most people aren’t prepared. And, because of that, they’ll suffer catastrophic losses and be totally blindsided by the fact that they don’t have electricity, clean water, and probably food. Here’s how you can prepare yourself so you’re not caught out in the unprepared.
Planning For Any Disaster
You’ll see common preparedness tips for every type of natural disaster, which is why a disaster preparedness plan makes sense. Most natural disasters will knock out, or limit access to, essential services. Services like police, fire, and rescue, but also services like food, water, and shelter.
You should be familiar with a disaster before it strikes. Because once it does strike, the only thing you can do is “press play” and carry out whatever plan you have in place. For most people, a basic survival plan includes a “bug out bag” or a “bug in bag,” which includes basic safety supplies, 3 ways to make a fire (including waterproof matches), waterproof clothing, a rain slicker, some food (freeze-dried or canned with a can opener), and a first-aid kit.
You will also want some basic tools like a hatchet, pick, walkie-talkies, and multi-tool. You need enough materials so you could survive for at least 72 hours alone, if you had to. If you want extra protection, give yourself a week’s worth of supplies and stock 2 of everything.
Preparing For An Earthquake
This is one of the hardest things to do, because of the nature of the disaster. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you already know. If you’re not sure, use the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program and the U.S. Geological Survey to map out where the high risk areas are. The USGS also uses a live map so you can see up-to-the minute activity.
There’s nothing you can do to avoid a quake, but you can give your home an earthquake checkup. Check for disasters, fasten shelves to the wall studs, and store anything breakable in a safe place. Store poisons in cabinets that latch shut. Put heavy objects on low shelves and secure heavy furniture. Practice earthquake drills with your family.
The most important thing you can do is get underneath something sturdy and find an open space. Most deaths caused by earthquakes come from flying debris and falling objects. Collapsing structures and walls are also dangerous. Your first priority is to minimize personal injury. Finally, avoid damaged or falling structures.
Preparing For Hurricanes
Like tornadoes, hurricanes produce very severe and fast winds that are damaging to people, buildings, vehicles, and the natural environment. The benefit is we often see them coming from many miles away and have technologies to detect them easily.
Hurricanes bring on flooding, fires, and other secondary disasters. They also bring on sustained winds and rain. Board up the windows and doors with plywood, install storm shutters, and secure your roof and siding. Bring in outdoor furniture.
Check the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood map database. If you have to evacuate, shut off your utilities, including the main power switch. Check with the local authorities about a main evacuation route, and practice it with your family.
Hunker down and evacuate when ordered to do so. Even weak hurricanes can kill. And when it’s all done, flooding cleanup may not be completed for days, meaning you’re stranded in a flooded area.
So, it’s usually best to evacuate, since rescue may not be able to get to you in time, and you won’t have anywhere to escape to.
Planning For A Tornado
A tornado can come on fast and be quite unpredictable. Tornados don’t just happen in the Midwest either. They can happen in the south, north, and west — basically anywhere in the U.S.
Anywhere a thunderstorm can form, a tornado can too. The amount of concentrates damage they cause is astonishing. Like most storms, the best way to handle one is get out of the way.
You can’t really prepare your home for a tornado, since they’re so damaging. Some homes are built to withstand tornado winds, and are protected by special shutters and siding, but even then there are no guarantees that the tornado wouldn’t destroy everything.
Tornadoes are accompanied by strong winds and storms. The wind might pick up for a while and then suddenly die down. Watch the sky. It will get dark and suddenly, you might hear a loud rushing sound, like a roar. Be on the lookout for clouds that rotate in a circular pattern. They strike quickly, and the trademark funnel cloud is a good sign but may not appear until debris is already picked up.
Listen to NOAA emergency Weather Radio, because severe storms will be reported here first. Listen for emergency broadcasts if conditions look right for a tornado. If one strikes, stay low and get to a place in the basement. Ideally, you will be on the lowest level of your home. If you’re in a highrise, try to get down to the lowest level quickly.
But, stay away from windows and outside walls. If you’re in a vehicle, this might seem scary but get out of it. Vehicles can be picked up and flung very easily by tornadoes. Get out and lay face down in a ditch or a very low area. Stay away from bridges and underpasses as the wind can be very harsh under them.
Charlie Lucas lives in a flood zone and has seen his beloved home, and possessions, destroyed by flood waters once already – He takes every measure he can so it doesn’t happen again and warns others too.
Urban Search and Rescue Markings and Why You Need to Know Them In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, did you notice pictures of the cryptic markings that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) spray-painted on all the homes? These rescue marking convey a large amount of information, and knowing what they mean can help you in a …
The post Urban Search and Rescue Markings, and Why You Need to Know Them appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
One reason I’m a prepper is because I don’t want to end up in a FEMA camp during a disaster. I’m sure plenty of FEMA workers mean well, but they are underfunded and woefully incompetent. If you think they screwed up during hurricane Katrina, just imagine what a mess things will be during an even […]
The United States is completely unprepared for a cyberattack on the electric power grid that could lead to total economic collapse, according to a key Congressman who hosted an April hearing on the issue.
US Representative Lou Barletta (R-Pennsylvania), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, wrote in a Roll Call op-ed that such an attack would be devastating – and isn’t far-fetched.
He pointed to the December cyberattack on the Ukraine power grid that left 225,000 without electricity. It was considered the first successful attack, worldwide, on a grid.
“What happened is ominous because it reminded us that we should not believe ourselves immune to such an attack, even in the United States,” Barletta wrote. “A cyberattack on the power grid could leave millions of residents and key physical locations without power for an extended period of time. It is a discouraging fact that unlike every other hazard we are likely to face, from hurricanes to earthquakes and chemical attacks to space weather, there is no specific planning scenario to help state and local governments prepare for an extensive blackout.”
Barletta noted that FEMA Administrator Craig Fugaten was asked how long the electricity would be out following a successful cyberattack and responded, “Planning needs to be measured in weeks.” Witnesses from the Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security agreed.
The officials testified that the federal government has done little planning to cope with a cyberattack on the grid, although they tried to assure him that progress is being made.
The Ukraine attack, Barletta wrote, seemed like “something from a Hollywood movie, but it was real.” The federal government, he added, must do a better job to prepare local communities.
“We must be ready to deal with disruptions in telecommunications, water and waste treatment, healthcare delivery, financial services and transportation,” he wrote.
The impact from such an attack on America’s power grid is significant, Barletta warned.
“If the goal of terrorists is to collapse our economy, then shutting down our electrical grid is where they would start,” Barlett a wrote. “Most troubling is the possibility that a cyberattack would be accompanied by a physical terrorist attack, a scenario that promises true havoc, panic and loss of life. The great challenge is that the threat continues to evolve, which only means that we are forced to evolve with it and be prepared for it.”
Do you believe such an attack is inevitable? Would your community be prepared? Share your thoughts in the section below:
By Michael Snyder – End Of The American Dream
Starting on June 7th, FEMA will be conducting a large scale drill that has been named “Cascadia Rising” that will simulate the effects of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and an accompanying west coast tsunami dozens of feet tall. According to the official flyer for the event, more than “50 counties, plus major cities, tribal nations, state and federal agencies, private sector businesses, and non-governmental organizations across three states – Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – will be participating”. In addition to “Cascadia Rising”, U.S. Northern Command will be holding five other exercises simultaneously. According to the final draft of the Cascadia Rising drill plan, those five exercises are entitled “Ardent Sentry 2016″, “Vigilant Guard”, “Special Focus Exercise”, “Turbo Challenge” and “Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore”. The primary scenario that of all of these participants will be focusing on will be one that involves a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone followed by a giant tsunami that could displace up to a million people from northern California to southern Canada.
We have never seen such a disaster before in all of U.S. history.
Do they know something that the rest of us do not?
It is funny that they are preparing to deal with the effects of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, because that is precisely the size of earthquake that I warned about in an article back in March.
The San Andreas Fault in southern California gets more headlines, but the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a much larger threat by far. This fault zone is where the Juan de Fuca plate meets the North American plate, and it stretches approximately 700 miles from northern Vancouver Island all the way down to northern California.
If a magnitude 9.0 earthquake were to strike, the immense shaking and subsequent tsunami would cause damage on a scale that is hard to even imagine right now. Perhaps this is why FEMA feels such a need to get prepared for this type of disaster, because the experts assure us that it is most definitely coming someday. The following comes from the official website of the “Cascadia Rising” exercise…
About the author:
Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.
Read his new book Get Prepared Now!: Why A Great Crisis Is Coming.
Just in case you missed it…and you probably did…FEMA Will Hold A Drill To Prepare For A 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake And Tsunami next week.
Just in case you missed it…and you probably did…there is a gargantuan, 700 mile long quake-maker referred to as the Cascadia Subduction Zone that rests at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the American northwest where the seabed meets the North American tectonic plate. According to experts, this behemoth has the potential to unleash the worst natural disaster in the history of North America should it rupture entirely.
The “Cascadia” has already shown it’s power and it has a violent history. According to this CNN story, on January 26, 1700, Cascadia unleashed one of the biggest quakes in world history that triggered a tsunami so large that it raced across the Pacific and swallowed coastal villages in Japan. You’ve probably heard of the San Andreas fault, but it’s nothing compared to the monster that is the CSZ. The CSZ has the potential to rip off a 9.0 magnitude quake, almost 30 times more energetic than anything the San Andreas could unleash, not to mention the subsequent tsunami that would be generated at the same time. The CSZ holds so much more power because it is a subduction fault, whereas the San Andreas is a slip fault. With a slip fault, the two land masses slide past one another causing an earthquake that is fairly short in duration. In a subduction zone, one of the earth’s tectonic plates is being forced downward into the earth as the colliding plate slides over the top of the first plate. These plates get “hung up” occasionally allowing stress to build up along the fault as the top plate is pulled down with the lower plate. When the stress becomes too great, the top plate “snaps” back to it’s normal position releasing a tremendous….almost incomprehensible….amount of energy. This snapping action creates a terrifyingly violent shaking that can last three to five minutes, far longer than the 15-30 seconds of shaking you may be used to in other earthquakes in California. As if the shaking weren’t enough, as the plate “snaps” back it simultaneously lifts the ocean above it triggering a devastating tsunami. The last time the Cascadia ruptured, the coast of the North American plate dropped about 5 feet! Think for just a second and imagine the size and unrelenting ferocity of the tsunami wave that would have been created by that type of land mass dislocation.
According to the official flyer for the event, “Over 50 counties, plus major cities, tribal nations, state and federal agencies, private sector businesses, and non-governmental organizations across three states – Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – will be participating in the four-day Cascadia Rising 2016 Exercise.”
U.S Northern Command is getting in on the act as well, holding five other exercises simultaneously. The final Cascadia Rising 2016 drill plan tells us those five exercises are entitled “Ardent Sentry 2016″, “Vigilant Guard”, “Special Focus Exercise”, “Turbo Challenge” and “Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore”, all of which focus on a scenario that involves a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone followed by a giant tsunami that could displace up to a million people from northern California to southern Canada.
The United States is a continental country and the Cascadia Subduction Zone represents a North American sized disaster and national threat. Even if you do not live in the great northwest or have family that does, it would be wise to maintain a wary eye cast in that direction. When the CSZ fully ruptures again, even if you don’t feel the shaking, every American will feel the impacts.
Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Ben Wallace. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today. Before I start this article, I want to make it plain […]
By Michael Snyder – End Of The American Dream
Do you ever wonder if someone might come marching into your church one Sunday morning and start shooting? When I was growing up, I never even imagined that some mentally-imbalanced individual or a group of Islamic terrorists would ever attempt to attack a church service that I was attending, but times have changed. There have been more mass shootings in America during the presidency of Barack Obama than under the previous four presidents combined, and the primary target of the Islamic terrorists in San Bernardino was a Messianic Christian. The shooters in San Bernardino could have very easily decided to hunt him down at his place of worship instead of at a workplace Christmas party if they had wanted to. And we all remember the horrific mass shooting that took place at a church in South Carolina earlier this year. Our churches are very vulnerable “soft targets”, and Christians all over America are starting to realize that security needs to become a higher priority.
Just like schools, malls, movie theaters, concert halls and sporting events, churches are places where large numbers of people gather and where security is typically minimal. As Christmas approaches, FEMA is holding “specialized training” for churches that includes training for “active shooter incidents”…
Christian churches have been refining their security plans ahead of receiving some of their largest crowds of the year for Christmas.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been holding specialized training for congregations for “all hazards, including active shooter incidents.”
If Islamic terrorists were to even just hit one or two of our churches, attendance all across America would immediately plummet. Nobody wants to feel like they are taking their family to a place of danger, and so that is the power of random attacks like the ones that we recently witnessed in Paris. If terrorists can make us feel that they could strike anywhere and at any time, the panic and fear that will create will fundamentally change the way that we go about doing things.
Just look at what is already happening. Church greeters are already being trained to “feel for weapons” as they are hugging people coming in the front door…
Christian churches have been refining their security plans ahead of receiving some of their largest crowds of the year for Christmas. On a FEMA webinar last Wednesday on protecting houses of worship, the chief security executive at The Potter’s House, the Rev. TD Jakes’ megachurch in Dallas, gave tips about behavior that should raise concern, such as a congregant arriving in a long coat in hot weather. If needed, church greeters could give a hug and feel for weapons, said the executive, Sean Smith.
And at one Catholic congregation in North Carolina, backpacks, baby strollers and diaper bags have been banned from worship areas…
About the author:
Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.
Read his new book The Beginning of the End
Survival Guide: Four Tips to Escape From a FEMA Camp
1. You Will Need to Overcome Certain Factors
Now, another step in your escape is this concept: You must be willing to do what you normally would not even consider. The concept engendered here is that of risk: of putting your trust in yourself and taking a roll of the dice. You have to take a chance. Your job is to make that chance as greatly calculated as possible to what-if and war game every scenario in your mind. Here are some of the things you must resolve yourself to do, if the need arises:
*Silence a guard: either by incapacitating or by killing
*Stealing equipment/weapons/food: being as “opportunistic a forager” as possible
*When you have decided the time is right, you may have to leave when others do not wish to: this can be very difficult, as the social aspect of human beings is sometimes so strong as to negate
*The weather may be terrible, but you have your only “open window” to act (in a fierce snowstorm…JJ’s personal favorite…or in pouring rain)
*The overall situation may not be good: a tremendous amount of prisoners executed/tortured, and other assorted horrors
*Your physical condition may be extremely deteriorated (malnutrition, sickness, abuse, or a combination thereof).
2. Your Mind is Your Greatest Tool
There are many factors that have just been listed that you will have to overcome. I wish to recommend a good tool that will help you to accomplish your task of physical and mental preparation. The tool is meditation. You will (as a diverse audience) undoubtedly have many religious and social practices in which you have learned in your lifetime to draw strength from.
Without meaning to sound didactic, follow whatever course you normally do, and seek a method of meditation that does not conflict with your beliefs/practices.
You need to learn to focus and clear your mind, and to do deep breathing exercises to control your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and alleviate stress. This is key now, because you will rely on this in your debilitated state as a prisoner. Trust me, it will make a great deal of difference and will be a balancing factor that will help you to make it through your troubles. A form of discipline, meditation can place structure into a life that is turned upside down because of the captivity. It falls in line with the “Small Victories” concept I outlined for your earlier.
By clearing your mind and learning to relax and adjust the way your body responds to stressors, you give yourself an advantage. This will arise in the way that you see things and plan your actions.
Observe, observe, and observe. Your situational analysis will never cease, and although most of your confinement will seem as if it is drudgery, there are fine details to analyze that may make the difference in your success for escaping.
3. You Must Know Your Enemies (captors) Better Than They Know Themselves!
Watch what they do. Watch their actions and habits. They will “telegraph” their weaknesses and shortcomings, just as a prize fighter telegraphs an opening every time he responds to your jab by dropping his left hand. The guards are human beings, and in their stressful positions oftentimes the guards will neglect a self-analysis that would have caught the error that you, the captive must capitalize upon.
Do your guards like to drink? Do they appear to be lecherous towards the prisoners? Do they fall asleep on their shift? You must find their weaknesses and exploit them. In this manner you will do more than merely find an opening: you will create the opening that you need. Does this sound extreme? It is, and guess what?
4. One other thought: a mule laden with gold will find its way through the gates of the most heavily-guarded fortress.
You must preposition some valuables, such as gold, silver, jewelry, gems, antiques, artwork, etc. Follow JJ’s advice, and do this in 3 different locations/caches. You will then have a means of bargaining with collateral for your own release. You must be very careful, because you must assess whether or not they will make a deal with you or if they will kill you and take your stuff.
The plan can also be used to enable them to take you out of the camp. Once you’re out, you may be able to “deal” with them more effectively and on terms you can create. In route to the “cache” location, arrange to pass by a spot where a weapon can be stashed, and you may be able to turn the tables. All of this will take a lot of planning and coordination. It will take a lot of mental discipline on your part to envision all of these things transpiring and how you will deal with them.
If you have these tips and a format down in your mind, you will increase your chances of being able to escape exponentially. You will have no choice at that time: you must win with the weapons that you have. The best of these is your mind, if you prepare it beforehand. May it be that you follow JJ’s number one rule in dealing with being a prisoner:
Do not allow yourself or your family to be taken…ever.
Here’s wishing you success in all you do, and that you will develop the resolve to formulate a plan and then to execute it when the time and need arise. Take care of one another and keep fighting the good fight!
Make sure you like BackdoorPrepper on Facebook to be updated every time we find an article for inovative ways you can become a better prepper .
This guide was originally published by Jeremiah Johnson at Tess Pennington’s Ready Nutrition.com.
Source : shtfplan.com
Other Useful Resources :
The post Survival Guide: Four Tips to Escape From a FEMA Camp appeared first on Backdoor Prepper.
We’re all familiar with how Police and Fire Departments respond to a car accident here, or a house fire there. Police Officers and Firefighters go through months of training as emergency responders, and they do it day in and day out. Cops are good at cop stuff, Firefighters are good at what they do.
But what about those who respond to disasters of all types? How do they determine what their priorities are in the midst of a major catastrophe? Governments, from federal to state to local all have limited budgets and do provide a level of emergency services but it’s almost never enough to respond to a disaster.
The Next Level
The larger full-government response to a disaster is much more complicated. Even the relationships between cops and firefighters are not always positive: In 2014 in the San Diego area, a California Highway Patrol Officer arrested a firefighter because he would not move his fire engine from a freeway lane while responding to a traffic accident. So imagine during a disaster, adding together a bunch of others that normally don’t work together, like Public Works, the Red Cross, Animal Control, tow services, etc. Personalities, egos, and previous relationships can affect how well these people work together. It can go really well, most of the time it goes OK, but it can go very badly. Like cops arresting firefighters.
In the chaotic first hours of a disaster, the staff on shift are overwhelmed; 911 centers try to keep up with the volume of calls, supervisors try to call in as much off-duty personnel as possible, but in most disasters there is a period of hours-to-days that victims need to do the best they can to take care of themselves. As time goes by, staffing improves and outside resources arrive to assist victims, and local authorities are able to get a handle on things.
Of course, the disaster victim doesn’t care how “hard” it is for the responders. They are hurting or have suffered material losses, and they just want help, the sooner the better. Time slows to a crawl…the normal events of the day like work and school shift to the back burner. Attention to things like salvaging family pictures and putting tarps on the roof tend to isolate the victim from what is going on in the big picture. It’s easy to become so focused on survival that recovery seems a distant fantasy.
Never assume someone else will pay
In general, Disaster Relief is provided to keep you alive, not to completely make you and your property whole. It is only in the most severe disasters that financial grants are provided to victims; in the great majority of small and medium-sized disasters, only loans are available for residents and businesses. The surest financial resource in the short term is good homeowners insurance.
Who is on your side when a disaster is declared?
The last thing you want to be in a disaster is anonymous. You must make your needs known quickly ad with multiple organizations and individuals. Local governments conduct “Initial Damage Estimates” within their jurisdictions. If you are in need, and are not confined to a hospital bed, you need to get the word out to as many people as possible. Use this checklist:
• Your elected reps: City council/Mayor, County Supervisor or Judge, State/Federal reps
• Local American Red Cross
• Your nearest VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters)
• Local Emergency Management/Emergency Services Office
• Your insurance agent
• 2-1-1 is a national number and web site www.211.org to help find community resources
• Local news shows often have consumer assistance phone numbers that may lead to help.
These folks are often in close contact with each other after a disaster, and if you are known to be in need (mud in your house, debris in your yard, you’re disabled living in your damaged house) often volunteers are available to help out. For example, volunteer groups like Team Rubicon and Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief travel to disaster areas at the invitation of locals to help victims clear their property and mitigate flood damage, free of charge. But they have to know you need help so make sure you make your needs known.
Who is ready to take advantage of you?
In disaster after disaster, predators delight in taking advantage of the chaos to separate you from your money. Building repair scams are epidemic…here are things to avoid:
• Never pay cash, always have a paper trail (check, money order)
• Always document the work to be done in writing (a simple contract is better than none).
• If someone solicits you door-to-door, be very suspicious.
• Check with neighbors, friends and relatives for recommendations.
• Never pay 100% up front, split up the payments based on work completed
• Take photos of damage before work begins in case insurance or disaster relief will pay for repairs
TIP: Right now, make a list of various tradesmen and companies you are familiar with or have been recommended to you and their phone numbers/websites. Include: electricians, roof repair, storage unit company (in case your home is uninhabitable and you must store your belongings somewhere), tree service, plumber, etc. Keep this information in your Grab-n-Go Binder and on a thumb drive or stored in the Cloud via Dropbox or another online service.
The Bottom Line
In most cases, you are very much in control of your destiny in disasters. You can research risks in your area, build your home preparedness supplies, and get a good set of insurance coverage. Keep aware of the weather, sign up for emergency alerts in your community and monitor the Twitter and Facebook posts of your local police and fire departments. And don’t be anonymous!
What is your excuse for not preparing for emergencies?
Americans Need a Disaster Reality Check
A recent survey by Chapman University found a serious lack of personal preparation for emergencies and disasters by Americans. They found 56% of people fear they will experience a natural or man-made disaster and 86% believe an emergency kit would improve their chance of survival but 76% have made no effort to assemble a kit. Their definition of a kit is the basics recommended by FEMA and the Red Cross of food, water, prescription medications and other supplies sufficient for at least 72 hours. Although a kit is only one step in being prepared, it provides a good example of what people are not doing. Good preparation includes being informed, a making a plan and gathering essentials.
The real story is the excuses given for not preparing.
51% believe emergency services will come
40% just don’t have the time
33% just don’t want to think about it
28% don’t know what to do
These are excuses you may have used and undoubtedly you have heard from others. It is an unrealistic belief that First Responders will reach everyone immediately after a disaster which is why FEMA and the Red Cross recommend a kit and other preparations. As quoted from Chapman’s lead researcher Ann Gordon, Ph.D “We found a major disconnect between people’s expectations of what would happen and the reality of a disaster’s aftermath.”
Emergency planning and preparation are safety steps for every family. Fortunately they do not require a lot of time and there is great guidance available. An easy first step is to register for your local Reverse 911 link service, specific guidance and updates from first responders can be sent to you cell phone. Go to SafetyInformed.org for links and guidance.
Examine your excuses for not being prepared and start today. Share this article with your family and friends then talk about their excuses and help them get started too.
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 What is your excuse for not preparing for emergencies? appeared first on American Preppers Network.
Sometimes a single idea can change everything. When that happens, I devour everything I can find from its source. Today I’m talking with author Robert Richardson. With over 20 years of real-world experience in survival and preparedness, and helping to train others to survive, Robert brings a fresh perspective to the events and threats that […]
Today, we sit on the eve of September 1st which is the 10th Year of…..
This month is focused on getting people to think about and take action towards becoming better prepared.
For many emergency service organizations, event planning is underway for various community events, CERT trainings and open houses to put services and activities on display.
And although being prepared is EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY, there are still just a handful of events that everyone can participate in through the avenue of social media.
- 30 Days, 30 Ways which, started in Washington, provides a daily challenge and call-to-action. Players and observers are asked to consider taking one simple step per day to get them more ready for future crises that you may encounter. Not only will the tasks cause you to think, but you can win prizes and will meet others who are participating in preparing themselves as well. You can follow the game on Facebook at www.facebook.com/30days30ways and on Twitter by following @30days_30ways or the hashtag #30days30ways
- Emergency Kit Cook-off which, started in Arizona, provides a specialized set of shelf-stable ingredients which the public can vote on until midnight of 9/1/14. Players and observers are then challenged to make a great recipe involving the specific ingredients. This will creatively cause you to think about items you might be stuck cooking with if disaster were to strike in your local area. You can follow this challenge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Emergency-Kit-Cook-Off/ and on Twitter by following @kitcookoff or the hashtag #KitCookoff
The American Red Cross has some creative partnerships this year that are creative as well for National Preparedness Month. They include:
- Disney’s Digital Disaster Preparedness & Activity Book which offers to teach kids about emergency preparedness through a fun and creative way.
- Ebay Preparedness Store is a storefront for the American Red Cross that provides links to emergency kit and CPR items. There will also be various deals throughout the month of September on emergency kit items.
- Home Shopping Network Preparedness Store is also providing a nice storefront for the American Red Cross where you can also find links to making your family plans as well.
FEMA also has some helpful tools for local programs to honor National Preparedness Month.
- America’s Prepareathon which aims to ask people to come together for a National Day of Action on September 30th. You can register your activities at this site.
- FEMA’s Digital Engagement Toolkit also provides emergency services programs with suggested preparedness messages to be used during September
We also expect to see a variety of hashtags in use on Twitter as well which include #NatlPrep, #NPM14 and #PrepareAThon.
Regardless of how you engage with National Preparedness Month, it is our hope that you will take at least one action to become better prepared for times of crisis. One simple thing you do today can help make you and your loved ones better prepared for the unexpected.