The Grand Luci Light Giveaway!

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luci light giveawayJust a few days ago, I went into exceedingly great detail about how important the solar lantern, the Luci light, is to my emergency preparedness. You can read my ravings here, along with a list of creative uses for Luci.

It occurred to me that offering a giveaway prize pack featuring the Luci would be very much in the spirit of Thanksgiving and my own gratefulness to you, my readers. If it weren’t for you, I couldn’t be doing what I love to do — helping moms worry less by making proactive plans for any and all types of emergencies. It blesses me to know that my articles, my books, and my other ventures are helping real-life families.

So, I’m excited to announce the prize package for this giveaway:

All together, this package will help you make smart plans for the emergencies that are most likely in your area. (Hint: be sure to work through my worksheet, 5-Step Threat Assessment.)

To enter this giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter form below. Give it a few seconds to load, since it can be just a tad slow sometimes.

I’m going to be in and out of the country through November, so I’m going to let this giveaway run a little longer than usual — 3 weeks. What this means, if you’re a very determined giveaway fan, is that you can enter the giveaway numerous times during that period!

And, this is a giveaway you may want to share with your friends and family.

New to Rafflecopter giveaways? Read this.

Here’s the giveaway and good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Crash Course in Preparedness – Week 2 – Medicine, Sanitation, and Surviving Disaster Diseases

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Welcome back to week 2 in our Crash Course into Preparedness. Last week we discussed the basics of survival and gear needed for a short-lived event. One of the comments from last week’s class mentioned that it isn’t hard to prepare, you just have to start. I couldn’t agree more! My only addition I would make to this comment is in order to start you must prioritize your needs and know what you’re planning for. This week, we are taking the same concept from last week – prioritizing, planning and preparing to another facet of disaster planning and highlighting the more dirty side of preparedness – medical and sanitation needs.

Some of the greatest threats in an emergency occur after the disaster. Lack of accessible clean water following major disasters can quickly escalate and create secondary problems in a post SHTF situation. Additionally, those unsanitary conditions can exacerbate the spreading of diseases, infections and health risks. In this preparedness course, we will cover the most common issues that occur following a disaster that relates to hygiene, sanitary and medical condition.

Sanitation, good hygiene, and medical preparedness all go hand-in-hand. But as you will see after reading this guide, it takes a lot of planning and a lot of preparation. Simply put, there are many wrong turns a person could take in the aftermath of a storm and their health could suffer as a result. Therefore it is paramount that you understand the magnitude of these types of disasters and how to avoid them. As Ready Nutrition writer, Jeremiah Johnson noted in a recent article, “hygiene protects you from germs and diseases, as well as preventing the body from falling apart.” In the aftermath of disasters, this needs to stay at the forefront of our priorities.

In this week’s course, I have compiled lists of preparedness items you may need for these types of disasters, but in no way is this list comprehensive. There is always some other items that someone will need. Therefore, remember to prioritize your household’s needs! If someone in your home has a preexisting condition – prepare for that. If someone in the household has mobility issues – make sure they have supplies to help them get around, or if someone has a suppressed immune system – prepare accordingly.

We have a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of prepper lists to review, so let’s get started.

Why your water sources become contaminated after a disaster and why you should avoid them

Water is one of the most necessary elements to sustain life, but when that water is dirty, it can quickly become one of the most dangerous. Following a disaster, municipal water lines will more than likely be damaged and can become contaminated with sewage, chemicals and, in particular, may also contain a number of pathogens that can cause illness. These contaminated waters harbor bacteria, different viruses, and fungi – all of which can make people very sick.

Diseases can be present in the water. Most notably, cholera, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and Leptospirosis. If massive flooding occurs in the area and homes are damaged as a result, mold could also pose a serious health problem and exacerbate asthma, allergies, or other respiratory diseases like COPD. Mold can appear in as little as 24 to 48 hours after flood waters recede. Experts suggest not to touch it. Wear rubber gloves, wear a mask when handling it and if you are in a dwelling where there is mold, you should leave.

Those who have open wounds or rashes should also avoid the flood waters as they can quickly become infected. If the water lines are damaged, or if the damage is suspected, do not use municipal water sources for cleaning or drinking. Likewise, throw out any food that has come in contact with contaminated water.  Avoiding contaminated water is your best bet, but at times unavoidable. Maintaining proper sanitation and hygiene will ensure your overall health and safety.

Fly infestations also pose a problem, and if the waste is left out in the open, then it will only lead to the susceptibility of epidemics such as Hepatitis A, cholera, typhoid or diphtheria. Having a means dispersing of human waste will ensure that in times of disaster, your family and neighbors will stay healthy.

As well, mosquitoes are notorious for harboring diseases. Some of which are:

  • Dengue
  • West Nile
  • Zika
  • Chikungunya
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • La Crosse Encephalitis

As well as a few others that mainly affect animals:

  • Western Equine Encephalitis
  • Dog Heartworm

So it’s important for homeowners in disaster affected regions to take certain measures to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes. This requires keeping an eye out for things on your property that might contain even the smallest puddles of water. As well, experts are recommending that homeowners drain pools and if you see mosquitoes in larger areas of standing water to alert authorities.

Make sure you clear any trash or debris in your yards such as tires or cans and don’t leave any water out in flower pots or water bowls. It’s also a good idea to secure any leaky pipes you might have outside of your home, and clear out any leaves in your gutters. In some cases, you may need to fill or drain spots that tend to collect water on your property.  As an added defense, build traps that will cull the local mosquito population.

If you are cleaning your home after a flood, make sure you follow these steps from the EPA on flood-related cleaning.


Sanitation

No one really wants to discuss sanitation because it’s… well, an unpleasant and dirty subject. However, it is one of the most important areas to focus on when preparing for a disaster.

Most disasters cause sanitation nightmares simply because following a disaster, there is a lack of sanitation facilities or water lines have been damaged or crossed with sewage lines. This can bring on serious health risks.

Here are a couple of necessary facts you need to keep in mind.

  • In the aftermath of a disaster where water sources are compromised, people within a 50-mile radius could be adversely impacted by illness and disease just if one person handled the trash improperly. Let that sink in.
  • If the you-know-what has hit the fan, you must be aware that more people die after a disaster due to poor sanitation than from the disaster itself. This is due to individuals not knowing where or how to properly expel waste.
  • Infectious diseases from contaminated water can make certain groups very vulnerable – the very young, the elderly and people suffering from diseases that lower their immune resistance.

How to prepare for sanitation disruptions

When the trash cannot be picked up, it must be burned or buried by you; however, municipalities cannot risk contamination to the water source or soil from people who incorrectly bury their debris, so it is important to know how to properly dispose of your waste products and stay clean, as well. Typically, city officials will provide information on this after a disaster occurs.

One of your first lines of defense is to keep hands clean during an emergency to prevent the spread of germs. If your tap water is not safe to use, wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected. If needed, a temporary hand washing station can be created by using a large water jug that contains clean water.

How to clean water

Bring your drinking water to a rolling boil for 15 to 20 minutes before consumption or for cleaning purposes. At altitudes above one mile or 2,000 meters, you should increase the rolling time to three minutes. For an added measure, after boiling, you can chemically disinfect the water with chlorine bleach (minus additives). Use 16 drops of chlorine bleach per gallon, or 4 drops per quart of water.

The reason for taking added measures after you boil your water 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. Source

Wash your hands

Now that the water is clean, washing hands with soap and water are the best way to reduce the number of germs on the skin. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. According to the CDC, you should wash your hands after the following:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal or animal waste
  • After touching garbage
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound

Make a sanitation kit

As well, you want to ensure your house has a way of dealing with sanitation issues. Having a sanitation kit that is ready in times of disaster is essential to keeping your family and neighbors healthy. These kits can fit comfortably into a bucket, are affordable, and will not take up much space. Additionally, being educated on how to properly dispose of waste is a key factor in keeping everyone healthy during a disaster.

Some suggested sanitation supplies should be added to any short or long-term emergency kits are:

  • Disposable bucket or luggable loo
  • Toilet paper (two weeks worth)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Garbage bags with twist ties (for liners of toilets or luggable loo)
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Cat Litter or absorbent material such as saw dust or dirt
  • Baby wipe
  • Soap
  • Baking soda can be used to help eliminate odors
  • Vinegar
  • Bleach
  • Shovel
  • Women’s sanitary needs

Dispose of Waste

Properly disposing of waste products keeps water sources clean and cuts down on illness and disease.  If city water is still available, flush conservatively.  Grey water such as used dish water, bath water or water for cooking can be used to flush the toilet.  If water lines are damaged, or if the damage is suspected, do not flush the toilet.

If water services are interrupted, an easy way to utilize the toilet and keep it clean is to:

  • Clean and empty the water of the toilet bowl out.
  • Line the bowl with a heavy-duty plastic bag.
  • Once the bag has waste inside, add a small amount of deodorant such as cat litter, as well as disinfectant and securely tie the bag for disposal.
  • A large plastic trash can (lined with a heavy duty bag) can be used to store the bags of waste.
  • Once trash services begin, the city will come and collect these.

If a portable camp toilet is used, the above mentioned can also be used. However, if the trash crews are coming, carefully secure the waste bag and store in a designated trash can to be collected. If the trash crews are not coming in a given amount of time, the bag of waste will need to be buried (see the proper way to bury waste below).

Officials say to avoid burying your waste, but sometimes it is necessary. However, if the waste is not properly taken care of, pollution of water sources will lead to illness and disease. It also attracts flies and insects which will spread the disease further. Understand that burying feces takes up to a year to decompose. Therefore, finding the right spot to bury your feces is crucial. There are biodegradable bags that a person can put their waste into. These can usually be found in the camping department of outdoor stores, or on the Internet. The bags assist the waste in decomposing faster and assists in preventing the waste from hitting major water sources. If a person does not have one of these handy bags available, the feces should be buried in “catholes” far away from water sources, campsites and a communal spot where there are a lot of humans. If you find yourself in a situation where toilet paper is not available, you may have to resort to a more natural method of staying clean. Below is a list of toilet paper alternatives for an emergency situation.

Toilet Paper Alternatives

  • Leaves
  • Phone books
  • Unused coffee filters
  • Corn cobs (That’s right- Corn Cobs)
  • Dilapidated kitchen towels (no longer used for cleaning).
  • Bed linen strips
  • Mail order catalog

Hygiene

It is important to continue regular hygiene habits during an emergency. As well, a woman’s personal hygiene and ensuring children are clean is essential in making sure sanitation-related illnesses do not occur.Habits such as brushing your teeth, washing your face, combing your hair and even washing your body with a wet washcloth. This will provide a sense of normalcy, help prevent the spread of disease, as well as help to relieve the stress brought on by the disaster.

In a pinch, water can be heated outside using a sun visor for a vehicle or a sun oven. Use filtered potable water or fresh rainwater during times of emergencies. To prevent sanitation-related diseases, do not use standing water.

SHTF laundry

If your home was damaged by flood water, you will need to disinfect your washing machine. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Set the washer to the largest load capacity and fill with hot water
  2. Add one cup chlorine bleach
  3. Set the washer to a full cycle with a hot water rinse. Allow washing machine to run through the entire cycle.
  4. Clean the exterior of the washer – top, front and sides – and all other surfaces in the laundry room with a solution of chlorine bleach and hot water. Rinse with clean water.

Additional Maintenance Tips:

  • If the washer has been through a flood, have a technician check the appliance before cleaning and using.
  • If a dryer has been contaminated by flood water, have it checked by a technician and then wipe down the drum and outside of the dryer with a solution of chlorine bleach and hot water. Always rinse well with a cloth dipped in clear water.

Once your washer is clean and ready for use, it’s time to get that laundry going.

  1. Sort clothes into appropriate piles.
  2. Check your care label to make sure garments are washable.
  3. If labeled hand washable only, then hand wash—do not put into the washing machine.
  4. If the garment is dry, brush off loose dirt and residue. Rinse in clean, cool water to remove mud and flood water. This will take several rinses until rinse water is clear. Work a heavy duty detergent (liquid) or paste of granule detergent into all stained areas. Let stand 30 minutes.
  5. Work a heavy duty detergent (liquid) or paste of granule detergent into all stained areas. Let stand 30 minutes.
  6. Follow care labels and wash in hottest water safe for the garment with detergent. Use bleach if recommended for the garment.
  7. Sanitize with a disinfectant. Always test on an inconspicuous seam to be sure it does not harm the garment. Add to washing machine before adding clothing.

Some disinfectants to try are:

  • Liquid chlorine bleach (Clorox, Purex) if safe. Do not use on washable wools and silks. Follow directions carefully.
  • Pine oil (Pine-O-Pine, Fyne Pine) is safe for most washable garments. Do not use on washable wools and silks since the odor will remain.
  • Phenolic (Pine-Sol, Al-Pine) is safe for most washable garments. Do not use on washable wools and silks since the odor will remain. 1 Hang garments to dry.

Off-grid laundry is another option to consider

As well, you need to consider some off-grid laundry sources if your home has no power. Some items you will need are:

First, gather your supplies.

  • Laundry soap of choice (liquid is easier to use in this case)
  • Borax
  • Baking Soda
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Sturdy scrub brush
  • Small bucket (I use a clean plastic kitty litter bucket)
  • Good quality janitor’s mop bucket with a press wringer
  • Large basin or clean bathroom
  • Drying rack and clothespins (or method of choice)
  1. Separate clothing into small piles.
  2. In a large basin, add laundry soap and begin filling with water with the hottest water. Mix the soap into the water until incorporated.
  3. As water is still filling up in the basin, add laundry. Turn off the water when water covers the soiled laundry.
  4. Add any disinfectants and mix to incorporate.
  5. Allow laundry to sit for 30 minutes to an hour to soak.
  6. When ready to clean clothes, fill the second basin up with water and set aside.
  7. Using an agitator, scrub clothes to get all stains off.
  8. Rinse clothes in the second basin to remove soap.
  9. Ring out clothes and set on dryer rack to dry.

Prevention is the key to spreading communicable diseases, so prepare appropriately.


Medical

Short-term disasters can bring on a myriad of medical situations and they can occur very quickly. Because of the disaster, roads may be impassable, or in some cases, the hospitals may be at capacity and cannot take in any more patients. With that in mind, it is important to know what the most common medical emergencies are and prepare accordingly for them.

In short-term disasters, prepare for water-related illnesses. This will be very common given the close proximity to contaminated water sources.

In The Prepper’s Blueprint, it states, “The relationship between communicable diseases and disasters exist and merits special attention. When there is a short-term emergency, there is an increased number of hospital visits and admissions from common diarrhea-related diseases, acute respiratory infections, dermatitis, and other causes. These type of medical issues are due to those coming in direct contact with flood waters contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. These contamination factors will cause irritation to skin and a host of other medical conditions.”

In longer-term disasters, burns, cuts, rashes and secondary infections will also be very common medical emergencies to prepare for. Folks, these are the disasters you will likely face and it is imperative that you prepare for this with proper medical supplies and knowledge.

I realize that there are a lot of medical conditions to think about. The best approach is to look at the basics and prepare for those. Many medical items can be used for multiple disasters, so take comfort in this and prepare accordingly.

Build the Ultimate 1 Year Medical Supply with These First Aid Basics

Experts suggest that each home have a basic medical supply that is unique to your family’s needs. Therefore, keep any pre-existing conditions and allergies any family members may have, as well as the above list of the most common medical conditions that hospitals see. It is within your best interest to ensure that you have any and all necessary medications that require prescriptions before an emergency happens.We all have our fair share of band-aids and antibiotic ointment, but do you have medical supplies that can help with true medical emergencies?

The following list is your basic medical preparations broken into sections of the need to help in your organization.


Hygiene

  • Laundry detergent
  • Disinfectant (bleach, pine-sol, etc.)
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Liquid antibacterial hand soap – 20
  • Disposable hand wipes – 20
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer – 20
  • Feminine items – 12 packages
  • Extra baby needs (diapers, wipes, pacifiers, bottles, medicine, etc.) – in quantity
  • Exam gloves – 5 boxes
  • Rubber cleaning gloves
  • Extra mops and brooms
  • Large plastic bins (for doing laundry, clearing away debris or packing precious items in a pinch)

Essential Medical Tools

  • Trauma shears
  • Pen light or small flash light
  • Scalpel with extra blades
  • Stethoscope
  • Irrigation syringe
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Foam splint – 2 per family member
  • Thermometer

Over-the-Counter Products

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever (for adults and children) – 5 bottles
  • Stool softener – 5 bottles
  • Electrolyte powder – 3 boxes
  • Cold/flu medications – 2 boxes per family member
  • Expectorant/decongestants – 3 per family member
  • Hydrocortisone – 3
  • Miconazole/anti-fungal – 3
  • Syrup of Ipecac and activated charcoal – 2
  • Eye care (e.g., contact lens case, cleansing solution, eye moisture drops) – 3 per family member

Natural Supplements

Wound Care

  • Disinfectant (Betadine, isopropyl alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) – 2 per family member
  • Band-aids – 3 large boxes in assorted sizes
  • Antibiotic ointment – 5
  • Instant cold and hot packs – 10
  • 1 week of prescription medications – as many as you are able to get with your prescription
  • Ace bandages – 10
  • Non- stick gauze pads in assorted sizes (3×3 and 4×4) – 10 boxes
  • Sterile roller bandages – 5
  • Surgical sponges – 5
  • Adhesive tape or duct tape – 5
  • Steri-strips – 5
  • Moleskin – 3
  • Respirator masks – 4
  • CPR micro shield – 1 per family member
  • Suture kit – 3 per family member
  • QuikClot® compression bandages – 2 per family member
  • Tourniquet – 2
  • Thermal Mylar blanket – 1 per family member
  • Antibiotics

*These are your minimum quantities. If you are able to do so, prepare for more.

One cannot become proficient at something without study and application. Going as far as to take medical courses in community colleges, local county extension offices, local fire departments, and with veterans groups, along with other civic clubs and organizations can give you a great edge on acquiring knowledge on medical emergencies and how to treat them. It should go without saying, but stock up on medical manuals like:

Taking medical courses would be very beneficial in preparing for this type of emergency. The Fire Department, American Red Cross or Medical Centers are local resources that offer classes to assist in medical emergencies. To further prepare, find websites online that deal with first aid care and go through each injury to see what medical instruments and items are needed.

Customize Your Supplies

Many believe that a basic store-bought medical kit will provide for all of their medical needs, but these kits tend to be overloaded with unneeded items (i.e., 500 band aids). Buying your own medical supplies allows you to customize your kit to fit your family’s unique needs and is more economical. In fact, you can purchase many of these items at your local Dollar Store to save money.  Customizing your family’s medical supply gives your family members the best chance at being cared for when a medical emergency arises. Further, take your preparedness a step further and organize your medical preps and create medical response packs for quick acting.

Store a first aid kit in the car (being careful with heat sensitive items) and also tuck some medical supplies into your 72-hour bag as well as at work. This way, you can be ready to deal with medical emergencies wherever they happen to occur.

Storing Medical Supplies

How you store your first aid supplies is every bit as important as having the supplies in the first place. Medicines can lose potency or spoil if they are subject to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and light.  For example, aspirin begins to break down when it is exposed to a slight amount of moisture.

Unless the instructions indicate otherwise, store medications in a cool, dark place that is out of the reach of children.   However, you still want to store the medical supplies in a place that is easily accessible to adults, who may need to respond very quickly in the event of a medical crisis.

Check expiration dates periodically to ensure the medicines are still good to use.  While most medicines lose potency once they’re past the expiration date, there are a few that will actually make a person extremely ill if taken after it spoils.  For example, tetracycline antibiotics that have spoiled can cause a severe, sometimes deadly, kidney ailment.

Signs of Expired Medicines

Although there is data that states most medicines can last longer than their expiration dates, it is important to understand that using medicine years past its expiration date can lose effectiveness and in some cases, change its chemical makeup. If you are in a survival situation where your life depended on an outdated drug, then it is wise to follow the cliché “better safe than sorry”.

Knowing the signs of expired medicine can help indicate when new items are needed.

  • Creams or ointments which are discolored or have changed in texture.
  • Creams or ointments which have cracked or separated.
  • The medicines smell has changed since it was opened.
  • Tablets are broken or chipped and have changed color

Bear in mind, there are some medications that should never be used after their expiration and could have severe consequences for patients. These include:

  • Anticonvulsants – narrow therapeutic index
  • Dilantin, phenobarbital – very quickly lose potency
  • Nitroglycerin – very quickly lose potency
  • Warfarin – narrow therapeutic index
  • Procan SR – sustained release procainamide
  • Theophylline – very quickly lose potency
  • Digoxin – narrow therapeutic index
  • Thyroid preparations
  • Paraldehyde
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Epinephrine – very quickly lose potency
  • Insulin – very quickly lose potency
  • Eye drops – eyes are particularly sensitive to any bacteria that might grow in a solution once a preservative degrades.

Source

What if you don’t have enough medical supplies?

Now, let’s take this a step further. What if you prepared your food and water for an emergency, but completely forgot about getting medical supplies? (It’s hard to remember everything when you’re planning for a disaster) There are some alternatives that you may be lucky enough to have in your pantry to use.

Some of your kitchen staples may have some medicinal value. For instance, did you know you can make an antiseptic (first discovered during World War I) made of a diluted solution of baking soda and bleach? It’s called Dakin’s Solution and has been proven to kill most bacteria and viruses. As well, vinegar, baking soda, baking powder and salt have medicinal values.

Honey has become a poster child for an alternative to antibiotics can fight multiple species of bacteria, fungi, and superbugs, making it a viable alternative to antibiotics.

As Ready Nutrition writer, Jeremiah Johnson recently wrote, “Honey is also good for wounds/abrasions/cuts of the mouth, as it is a demulcent that soothes abraded tissues, and it also is a medium that microbes do not live in.  Who doesn’t remember the time-honored honey and lemon mixture for a sore throat?  The thing of it is: it works, and if it works it should be employed. Read more on how to use honey to treat wounds.

Having access to health-inducing herbs is another essential for wound care. Herbs such as oregano, garlic, lavender, and thyme can help protect a wound from infection and promote healing. Along those lines, writer, Jeremiah Johnson recommends every prepper have the Three G’s: Ginger, Garlic, and Ginseng in their natural medicine cabinet. Further, knowing which herbs can be used for natural pain killers is also paramount in your medical preparedness knowledge. Some pain reducing herbs to add to your herbal first-aid kit are:

  • Aloe (Aloe vera)
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
  • Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
  • Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
  • Tea (Camellia sinensis)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Common pantry items can also be used to help bleeding wounds clot. Many have found that cayenne pepper is an effective alternative and natural version of QuikClot. Cayenne pepper contains an active ingredient, called capsaicin, which has analgesic (pain relieving) properties and various other medicinal uses.

As well, boiled and sanitized torn sheets can be used as bandages. Or, if the cuts are minor and you have access to an herb garden, consider placing a sage leaf or lamb’s quarters on the cut as a natural bandage.

In an extended disaster, bacterial infections and viruses are likely to be one of the reasons that people will die.

Historically, essential oils have been used as a natural therapy to relieve symptoms when modern-day medicine was not available. The most amazing aspect of essential oils lies in their ability to effectively kill bad bacteria while leaving good bacteria alone! Rather than targeting one symptom, as Western medicine does, it targets multiple symptoms.

There are two types of essential oils you should stock up on for SHTF planning:

Antibacterial – Due to the increase of antibacterial resistant illnesses, many are turning to essential oils such as basil, cassia, cinnamon, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, marjoram, melaleuca, myrrh, orange, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree, and thyme.

Antiviral – Oils that have been studied to help control viral infections include: basil, cassia, cinnamon, eucalyptus, frankincense, lemon, lemongrass, marjoram, Melaleuca, myrrh, oregano, and thyme.

I started out with a simple beginner’s essential oil kit and have found it of great use! Some more popular ways of using essential oils are aromatherapy, herbal soaks, compresses, tinctures, and salves.

Surviving Disaster-Related Diseases

In reality, the aftermath of a disaster is always to hardest to survive. We tend to find ourselves in third-world living conditions – off-the-grid, poor water conditions, lack of proper sanitation and poor diet.

Those conditions can create the perfect storm for outbreaks of disease and infection. And if you find yourself living in close proximity to others, those diseases can quickly spread, thus setting the stage for an epidemic.

Outbreaks

Let’s cut to the chase, epidemics are quite common following certain disasters. According to this publication, these are the most common diseases that follow a disaster:

  • Diarrhea-related illness (cholera, dysentery)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Hepatitis
  • ARI (pneumonia/influenza)
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • TB
  • Malaria
  • Dengue fever
  • Tetanus

Many believe the misuse of antibiotics in the past has led to the dangers of super bugs such as the spread of MRSA and MERS virus. In fact, nearly all significant bacterial infections in the world are becoming resistant to commonly used antibiotics. This means that our current medical safety nets will be much smaller in the near future. Even the smallest cuts could pose a danger to our health.

To add insult to injury, the disease typhoid which is spread from contaminated food and water is also becoming resistant to antibiotics and could soon become an out of control nightmare. Why am I telling you this? Because superbugs are everywhere now and experts warn that “it’s almost too late.” In the wake of a disaster, we immediately fall back on medicines that have worked in the past. If we find ourselves with an infection and antibiotics don’t work, then a secondary infection will set in and your fate is sealed.

Phases of outbreak and classification of infectious disease

Infectious disease transmission or outbreaks may be seen days, weeks or even months after the onset of the disaster. Three clinical phases of natural disasters summarize the chronological public health effects on injured people and survivors:

Phase (1), the impact phase (lasting up to 4 days), is usually the period when victims are extricated and initial treatment of disaster-related injuries is provided.

Phase (2), the post-impact phase (4 days to 4 weeks), is the period when the first waves of infectious diseases (air-borne, foodborne, and/or water-borne infections) might emerge.

Phase (3), the recovery phase (after 4 weeks), is the period when symptoms of victims who have contracted infections with long incubation periods or those with latent-type infections may become clinically apparent. During this period, infectious diseases that are already endemic in the area, as well as newly imported ones among the affected community, may grow into an epidemic.

Source

When an outbreak occurs, those living in cities or in close proximity to others will be more at risk of contracting illnesses and spreading them. Any pregnant women, infants, elderly people, or those with chronic medical conditions are also at risk and could be the first of the population to contract the contagious illness. If an epidemic approaches, there could be long-lasting repercussions of such a disaster. The worst-case scenario in all of this is if the outbreak is widespread and extremely contagious drastic changes could be made to isolate the outbreak itself.

  • Challenges or shut downs of business commerce
  • Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
  • Payroll service interruptions
  • Staffing shortages in hospitals and medical clinics
  • Interruptions in public facilities – Schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings such as sporting events or worship services may close temporarily.
  • Government mandated voluntary or involuntary home quarantine.

While these are extreme points, I want to make sure you are prepared for a worst-case scenario and knowing what to expect will help you in your efforts. As I have mentioned, with any type of disaster or emergency, the responsibility falls more heavily upon our shoulders to ensure you can meet our needs. Instituting preventative measures in the home could also help you better prepare for injured or infectious family members.

  • Taking proper illness precautions – avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes during any pandemic.
  • Create a sick room for the home.
  • Keep your immune systems up by getting lots of sleep, having a good diet, exercising and taking vitamins and antioxidants to protect your health.
  • Stay inside and avoid contact with others.
  • Get pandemic supplies to have on hand at a moments notice.

Some items to consider when stocking a sick room are:

  • Tyvek protective suit and shoe covers
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Bed with linens, pillow, and blanket
  • Small wastebasket or a bucket lined with a plastic garbage bag.
  • Gallon-sized zip-loc bags
  • Pitcher or large bottle for water
  • Large plastic dishpan
  • portable toilet and human waste bags
  • Clipboard with paper and a pen for writing in the daily log.
  • Clock
  • Hand crank or battery-powered radio
  • Good source of light
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • 1 clothing hamper or a garbage can that is lined with a plastic garbage bag used to collect soiled clothing and bedding items before they are washed.
  • A bell or a noisemaker to call for assistance.
  • Thermometer
  • Tissues
  • Hand wipes or a waterless hand sanitizer
  • Bleach or disinfectant
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol, disinfectant or bleach
  • Measuring cup capable of holding 8 ounces or 250 ml
  • Over-the-counter medications for use in the sick room
  • Protective eye gear
  • Protective clothing
  • Disposable aprons or smocks (at least 2 cases)
  • Duct tape for sealing off doorways and vents
  • Latex household disposable cleaning gloves
  • Disposable nitrile gloves (2-3 boxes)
  • Garbage bags
  • Trash can
  • N95 masks or N100 respirator masks for use when the sick person is coughing or sneezing

To conclude, there will always be the threat of completely unanticipated disasters, but your overall understanding of the disasters we face and the dangers that lie in the aftermath will help you maneuver through these types of emergencies.

 

Course Discussion

We all have a way to help others prepare. One of the most wonderful things you can do is to help someone prepare. New preppers, if you have questions, leave them in the comment section and as a community, we can help to answer them. You’re not in this alone. I know this information provided is a lot to take in, just pace yourself and we are all here for you if you need it.

 

Sign Up For This Week’s Giveaway!

To help some readers get prepared for sanitation-related emergencies, we’re giving away a copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint – widely popular and highly rated preparedness manual and a sanitation kit.

All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment in one of our weekly National Preparedness articles about what you feel the most important aspect of being prepared is in the bottom of the article. Good luck everyone!

 

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

A Crash Course in Preparedness – Week 1 – The Survival Basics

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We’re ushering in National Preparedness Month with the first in a series of four preparedness guides. This crash course into preparedness will help you plan a strategy, position critical assets and greatly increase your chance of surviving many of the most common emergencies. While the subject of preparedness is an extensive one, we are going to break the basics down as much as we can so that you can stay focused and on track.

Before we start, I want to share my philosophy with you. A disaster of any kind rarely stops with the initial event. The aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life for a much longer time than we intended. This can last days, into weeks and even longer (depending on the circumstance). Because of this, it’s important to have a well-rounded approach to your preparedness efforts. I wholeheartedly believe in a layering concept when it comes to preparedness. You start at the beginning and slowly add more “layers” on preparedness until your family is fully insulated from the disaster itself. By accumulating items slowly and mindfully, you will stay organized and know that all of your bases are covered. I’ve broken the layers down into three groups.

  • The first layer is the preparedness endeavors that prepare you for emergencies that have shorter-term effects. This is what we’ll cover today and basically, covers your 3-day emergency into two weeks. Having supplies in place to last up to two weeks will carry you through some of the most expected types of disasters.
  • The second layer of preparedness encompasses the disasters that turn out to be much longer-lasting: job loss, extreme weather events, economic collapse, long-term power outages, and pandemics, to name a few. This requires more planning on your part but is a crucial investment in order to be prepared for these longer lasting disasters.
  • The third layer of preparedness is acquiring supplies for those far from equilibrium events that have long standing consequences. In this type of disaster, you must prepare for the long haul and a complete change of lifestyle. These are events that encompass the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it and we have to learn a new way of life including new skill sets that reflect an off-the-grid lifestyle.

While there are a lot of subjects in between the highlighted layers, we must keep this prepper truth in mind: How we choose to be prepared for a disaster event is solely our responsibility, and no one else’s.

In this course, the responsibility lies with you. I will provide you links to important articles, suggestions and even checklists to further your research but it is up to you to apply the information to your lifestyle. Let’s get started!

How prepared do you want to be?

Disasters of all types are an undeniable part of life, and the only thing you can change is the way you react to them. Having supplies in place to weather the storm is a great start, but far from the desired end result. To be prepared, and I mean fully prepared, requires planning, anticipating the worst-case scenario, and training for skill sets you will need while living through the event. You can’t just waltz into your local grocery store, grab some food, batteries, and water and then be done with it. You need to prioritize, plan, and prepare.

Prioritize your needs

Ultimately, the easiest way to begin preparing is to decide what types of disasters you are planning for (weather-related, natural disasters, mass evacuation, economic or personal disasters), and prioritize what your emergency plans will be based on those emergencies. The best way to begin assessing what your needs are is by reading and researching the disaster you are planning to survive.

Ready Nutrition has an immense amount of articles pertaining to specific disasters, so do a search and start your research. Many people start by preparing for the most likely emergency to occur in your area.

Map provided by Redcross.org and Noaa.gov

Do not limit your emergency planning to natural or economic disasters. Go a step further and plan for personal disasters that also tend to occur without warning (unemployment, divorce, death in the family).

Plan

Researching and creating an emergency plan is the best way to stay organized and on point with your prepping.

Having a plan in place to determine what steps need to be taken by you and your family members when an emergency arises will ensure that all preparedness needs are covered. Now that your plan is beginning to come to life, it’s important to check and prepare the home. To start, every home should begin their preparedness endeavors with this checklist.

Complete this prepared home checklist

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
  • Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home if you plan on evacuating. Do you plan on bugging in or bugging out? If you are having problems deciding whether to shelter in place or evacuate, answer these two questions and you will know what you need to do.
  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
  • Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main switches.
  • Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher, and show them where it’s kept.
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
  • Ensure that your family’s important documents are backed up and in a safe location.
  • Before you begin investing into your preparedness supplies, 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.
  • Create an emergency fund to begin funding your preparedness endeavors.
  • Plan for the worst case scenario and have emergency I.D. cards made for each family member (including your pets) with current information provided.

Planning is the key to survival and the best way to start is with a “list of lists”

This list will become your Master List of preparedness needs, so keep it in an easy to access location. Your list will also help to navigate you through your preparedness plan. Ask yourself these pertinent questions and realistically answer them. After you determine what disaster you are planning for, sit down and begin to map it out. The way I started was by writing down all the main categories I needed to plan for. Here’s an example.


Short-Term List of Needs for Sheltering in Place for Two-Weeks After a Hurricane

  • Water
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Communication
  • Tools
  • Fuel
  • Skillsets
  • Resources

When planning for a disaster follow these beginner protocols:

  • Choose an evacuation location and let family members know where your destination is, the contact information, a secondary destination, etc.).
  • Decide on the duration of the disaster you are planning for (3-day, 2 weeks, extended or longer-term disasters).
  • Create a financial plan on how much money you can contribute to your preparedness budget. Keep in mind that prepping can be expensive initially, so it’s best to start investing in your basic needs first: food, water, shelter, clothing, safety, and communication. You can add additional prepping items once the basics are covered.
  • Try and find items that are light weight, functional and versatile so that if you have to carry them for long periods it will not be a strain.
  • Ensure that you have contingency plans put in place in case your first plan does not work out.
  • Plan and prep for the environment you are living in.
  • While we all make mistakes, the ones made during a disaster can be very costly. This is why it is essential to plan out a worst-case scenario and know which mistakes are the most common.
  • Essentially, you want your beginning preparedness list to look like this short-term emergency checklist.

Prepare

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.

Many of the items that often disappear as a result of a disaster are items that protect your basic needs. While a popular prepper adage is to prepare with the 3 B’s: beans, bullets, and band-aids, there are more concepts to consider. Therefore, it is best to begin with these fundamental disaster items to meet your basic needs: food, water, clothing and shelter and then add more preparedness layers onto this initial foundation. However, many decide to expand their disaster supplies to encompass a longer duration so that if a delayed emergency response occurs, it has little effect on them. This is why preppers believe in having “back-ups for their back-ups.”

As well, do not forget about preparing items for your pets! They are depending on you to make sure they have everything they need to.

Water

Image result for ready nutrition and waterFirst and foremost, you need a dependable water source following a disaster. Your initial line of defense would be the two week supply of bottled water that is recommended, but because this need is your top priority, it is highly recommended that you get a water filtration system like the Katadyn water filter or a Berkey Filtration System. That said, many believe the suggested amount of water by disaster organizations is grossly underestimated.

If we go by the suggestion from emergency organizations and have 1 gallon per person per day, a family of 5 will need 35 gallons of water per week.

Victims of previous disasters say the suggested water amount stated by disaster organizations is not nearly enough to get through a disaster. Conway Yee’s family went through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and were without power or their well water supply for a week. To keep hydrated and clean, “we went through 20 gallons a day” for drinking and washing, he says. That’s 120 gallons of water for the week after the hurricane. With that in mind, you want to consider these alternate solutions to boost your short-term water supply.

With water being one of your most important preps, play it safe and double the amount of water needed. The extra water can be used for other purposes like sanitation, cleaning, etc. As well, because many water sources are questionable following a disaster, water can quickly become scarce, so it is important to remember there are hidden water sources found in the home to fall back to. As well, it is also advisable to have alternate ways to treat your water.

As a precaution, keep a bottle of unscented liquid chlorine bleach with your water supply for cleaning and sanitizing and for disinfecting water.

Food

Image result for ready nutrition and food supplyOnce you have your water supply in place, it’s time to begin stockpiling some food for emergencies. The overall goal of having an emergency food pantry is to have a wide array of nutritious foods stored away in order to carry us through an emergency. Start out with a supply of non-perishable food that doesn’t require a lot of cooking time (if any).

Ensure that you have foods suitable towards survival. Foods that have the sustaining energy sources to burn slowly. Finding foods that are high in complex carbs and dietary fiber are far more efficient from a dietary standpoint and will keep you feeling “fuller” longer. This could go a long way if you are planning on rationing your food in an extended emergency. Also, stay away from overly salty or sweet foods. This will only increase your need for water and since your food stores are a precious commodity, you will want to try and avoid these types of foods.

Using a food storage calculator will help you to determine how much food is necessary. It is important to factor in your caloric intake, especially during an emergency. Your activity level could drastically increase in a disaster due to aftermath cleanup and other activities. These are some considerations to keep in mind before purchasing the food items:

  • It’s best to find items that have expiration dates that are 1-2 years away from expiring, unless that item is used frequently in the home, and can be rotated frequently.
  • Typically, the best sales are advertised in the newspaper flyers.  There are stores that have 10 items for $10, or 2-for-1 offers.  You don’t have to break the bank to get stocked up.  Just get a little each time you visit the store.  In season vegetables are typically cheaper.  Larger volume packages are often a better price
  • Shop with the number of people in the household in mind. Also consider their preferences, food sensitivities, and appetites.
  • Get a wide variety of food to help reduce food fatigue.
  • Don’t rely on junk food. It’s especially important to keep your strength up and remain healthy during an emergency. Purchase supplies that are loaded with nutrients.
  • Store food in a dark, cool area of the home and protect your food investment by reducing oxidation of foods, bug infestations, and exposure to increase temperature and moisture levels.
  • Be aware of any special health considerations for family members.  Make sure you have supplies for family members with allergies and intolerances, as well as issues like hypertension or diabetes.
  • Store what you eat, and eat what you store.  By following this adage, you will not end up throwing away expired food, and you won’t serve up something completely unpalatable during a crisis situation.

Here are some suggested food items to have stored:


  1. Peanut butter

  2. Whole wheat crackers (consider vacuum packing to prolong freshness)
  3. Nuts and trail mix
  4. Cereal
  5. Oats
  6. Pasta
  7. Plant-based cooking oil
  8. Power bars and granola bars
  9. Dried fruit
  10. Just add water meals (Hamburger helper, pasta meals, etc.)
  11. Canned meat such as tuna, salmon, chicken, and turkey
  12. Canned vegetables such as beans, carrots, and peas
  13. Canned soups and chili
  14. Sports drinks
  15. Sugar, salt, and pepper
  16. Coffee, tea, hot cocoa
  17. Powdered milk
  18. Powdered drink mixes
  19. Seeds for sprouting
  20. Multivitamins

Here are 25 must-have foods to put in your pantry.


Canning meals is also an option you should consider. This gives you more control of your dietary requirements, gives you more meal options, helps provide “normal” food during difficult times. One thing I hear a lot from disaster victims is how they wish things would go back to normal. Having some of the family’s favorite foods canned and stored away would do wonders for morale.

As well, I highly recommend storing a variety of heirloom seeds. These can be to grow sprouts for emergency nutrition and for gardens for long-term food sources. You could also plant edible flowers. Not only will they be lovely to look at, but they will provide sustenance when you need it the most. Alternatively, if you can locate food packing plants or warehouses in your city, that may be a good place to allocate additional food reserves if yours runs out. This article can provide information on foraging for weeds.

Find the best deals so you don’t blow your budget

Mentioned earlier is the importance of having a budget for prepping. It’s easy to go crazy wanting preps to get your home ready. But you can do this without blowing your budget. The large volume supermarkets typically have better deals than the smaller stores. Map your shopping route based on local ads from the large supermarkets to save on gas money as well as on shopping time. Even dollar stores carry canned goods and food products for short term/long term food supplies. Look for the best sales and buy as much of the item as your budget will allow. For a more in depth first time shopping list for your prepper, consider adding these items, as well.

You can also pack your own MREs to save money and to ensure your family has foods they will eat. Here are some tips and suggested foods to do this.

On another note, there may come a time when you run out of your food stores and need to go to the store in the aftermath of a disaster. If this occurs, be prepared for regular food staples to be in limited supplies. Foods like bread, milk, and eggs usually are the first items that run out. We saw that during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  If you find yourself in this situation, look for alternatives to those foods.

Start with a 3-day food supply and keep prepping

I have found that when starting your preparedness measures, it is best to start at the beginning in order to ensure you have everything you need to build up your preparedness foundation. Start your preparations with a 72-hour kit and then create a vehicle 72-hour kit. Once that is complete, you can begin ensuring your basic needs are met for longer periods or begin targeting other layers of preparedness. This is the foundation of your preparedness supply.

A 3 day or 72-hour kit is small enough that items can be added to a backpack to take with you in the case of a sudden disaster that comes without warning. These preparedness kits should be made for all members of the family that can account for their basic needs for 3 days. Once your 3-day supply is secure, you need to move on to expand disaster supplies to encompass more areas of preparedness.

Communication

Consider, for a moment, how drastically your life would change without the continuous flow of energy the grid delivers. What would our lives be like without access to communication channels telling us what is going on? How vulnerable would we feel not knowing what is going on around us? For that matter, how would we get in touch with loved ones to let them know how we are?

Communication during a disaster can be quite troublesome given that the power grid goes down during most natural disasters. Sadly, during these types of disasters, family and loved ones need those communication channels up the most and it can be quite frustrating when they aren’t.

Prepare ahead for this!

According to the CDC, families should develop different methods for communicating during emergency situations and share their plans beforehand with all those who would be worried about their welfare. Options for remaining in contact with family and friends if a disaster strikes include:

  • Phone contact with a designated family member or friend who is unlikely to be affected by the same disaster.
  • Email notification via a family distribution list.
  • Registration on the American Red Cross Safe and Well Website.
  • Use of the toll-free Contact Loved Ones voice messaging service (1-866-78-CONTACT).

Types of Emergency Communication Channels

Cell Phones/Computers

At first glance, there is little potential for these devices when the grid goes down. Without the multitude of servers that are scattered around the globe and the electricity that feeds them, our computers are nothing more than bulky hard drives. Cell phones might still work for a little while since some cell towers have backup batteries and solar panels, but their use might be short lived.

However, don’t be too quick to scoff at the prepping potential of these devices. Computers might still be useful for communicating in some cases. It’s fairly easy to create a local wifi network (aka ad hoc network) between computers that are within range of each other. This would allow people living on the same street or in the same apartment building to talk to each other, provided they can generate their own electricity.

The better solution would be to create a local network for cell phones that isn’t reliant on any infrastructure. Their energy demands are far less than other computers, their range is longer than wifi, and they are of course, mobile. The technology for creating a peer to peer network between cell phones has existed for some time now, but unfortunately, it has yet to be sold to the public. Companies like Terranet have been perfecting it over the past few years, and they estimate that about 30% of cell phones will be capable of making these networks with a simple software change. So right now, cell phones will be pretty much useless when the grid goes down, but that may change before the end of the decade.

Ham Radio

When most preppers think of communications, ham radios usually come to mind, and for good reason. They can communicate to other radios over hundreds of miles, and they may be the only form of very long distance communication when all else fails. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t be very useful for the average person.

They use a lot of electricity, the equipment can be pretty expensive, and only about 700,000 Americans are licensed operators. Still, if even a fraction of them are up and running after a major disaster, they will play a crucial role in the relief effort. Due to their limited numbers and the amount of resources that are required to keep them running, you won’t see them being used for casual conversation, but you will see them used by communities for conducting commerce and coordinating reconstruction efforts.

CB Radio/Walkie Talkie

I suspect that CB Radio’s and Walkie Talkies will be the main form of communication for the average person, and they are the best candidates for filling the gap that cell phones and internet providers would leave behind. If anything, CB radios were our parent’s version of the internet. They were affordable and accessible, you had to learn the lingo to use them, they allowed you to communicate anonymously, and much like the internet, they were used to skirt the law from time to time.

There are millions of CB radios lying around, and many of them are still being used by truckers today, so they will be available to many of the survivors. More importantly, they don’t use too much electricity, they’re more user-friendly than ham radios, and some of them are portable. Depending on the conditions you’re using them in, their range can extend anywhere from 1 to 25 miles.

As for walkie talkies, I don’t have to tell you how useful they could be. Much like the wifi network I spoke of earlier, these will be pretty handy for staying in touch with your neighbors. Together, CB radios and walkie talkies will be most common form communication after a disaster.

Courier

If the grid is down long enough, eventually some enterprising citizens would start to provide courier services. Whether it’s by foot or by bicycle, they will fill an important niche that other items on this list can’t provide, and that is a secure form of communication. If you had to send a message to someone who lives out of the range of your radio or wifi network, and you needed that message to remain a secret, writing that message down and sending someone out to deliver it by hand would be the only way to do it. Wifi just doesn’t have the range, and radios are too easy to listen in on.

Fuel

Image result for ready nutrition and fireSo, the power is out. You have all of this wonderful food stored away but no way to cook it. Before you resign yourself to baked beans at room temperature out of the can, consider your options. You may not have a functioning kitchen but you can still do some cooking.

As with all things related to prepping, you should have a backup plan, and a backup plan for your backup plan, and if you can, one more for good measure. Further, having an ample supply of items to use to create fire with will be paramount in an emergency situation. Therefore, keep the following items stocked up in your supplies:

  • Stock plenty of fuel for your cooking methods. (Be sure to store your fuel properly and in accordance with local fire regulations.)
  • Store matches in waterproof containers.
  • Lighters
  • Dry wood
  • If you have a place to store them, tightly roll newspapers and magazines to use for fuel. You can also use newspapers to biomass logs.
  • Fireproof cooking vessels

If a fire is not an option for cooking there are several alternatives you can turn to. Here are some popular options for alternative cooking sources

  • Camping propane stove
  • Rocket stove
  • Solar funnel cooker
  •  Propane or charcoal BBQ grill
  • Charcoal Hibachi (you can burn nearly anything in this as long as it is non-toxic)
  • Outdoor fireplace
  • #10 Can cookstove
  • Sun Oven
  • The Wonderbag

Whichever type of cooking vessel you use, make sure you have an ample supply of fuel to use. Whichever fuel you decide, store an ample supply. For example, if you choose to grill food using a BBQ grill, understand that one large bag of charcoal briquettes will last for about 4 cook outs. If you’re preparing for a 10-day emergency, you will need 10 bags of charcoal. As well, temperatures can affect the amount of fuel you use as well. For instance, low temperatures and the wind can greatly influence the amount of propane you use on camping stoves. It can increase the amount of fuel used by three! My family has an indoor wood burning grill,

In such a case, I like to have multiple ways to cook emergency food. My family has an indoor wood burning grill, we also own a rocket stove and a solar cooker. We have an outdoor grill too but in a dire emergency situation, we want to maintain OPSEC (operational security) and do not want all the neighbors knowing we have food. A fear of many preppers during the beginning stages of a true SHTF event is how our smells, as well as the aromas from foods we prepare, could attract unwanted visitors. Cooking food can be smelled in best conditions up to a half mile or so. Further, those who have gone without food for days on end will have a heightened sense of smell and will use this to their advantage. Keep this in mind when choosing how you will be preparing food.

Tools

The right tools are a valuable commodity when it comes to survival and essential items to have on hand for hunting, digging, cutting, communicating and navigational purposes. A 72-hour bag should have all items necessary to survive for 3 days. Bottom line is your preparedness tools are your life line and without them, you could be ill-equipped in a survival situation.

The ten tools listed below are some of the most important survival tools that should be in your 72-hour bags. Of course, other items can be included, but these essentials are a must-have for every survival pack. Practice using these tools regularly so that you know their capability and their strength.

Read more about essential survival tools here. As well, consider having separate supplies for your vehicle.

Not only will you need the above-listed tools, but you will also need tools if your home has been damaged by a disaster. In the backbreaking early stages of rubble removal, simple hand tools will play a vital role in transporting and removing debris. Acquiring basic hand tools—shovels, axes, and hammers—meet immediate demolition needs and then take on a long-term role once construction resumes. The tools used in the first phase of reconstruction were:

1. Round point and square nose shovels, preferably heavy-duty variety with extra long blade socket.
2. Pick axe
3. Pulaski Axe
4. Rig builder’s hatchet
5. Axe
6. Bow saw
7. 24-oz. framing hammer
8. Sledge hammer
9. Digging bars, preferably both pointed and chisel tip varieties; crow bars.
10. Leather or synthetic work gloves
11. Protective eye wear
12. Hard hats
13. Dust masks
14. Contractor-grade wheel barrows
15. Bolt cutters
16. Large-diameter heavy-duty weatherproof rope; small-diameter light-duty line
17. Rope hoist/pulley, minimum 250-lb. capacity
18. Folding knife

Quite simply, having these tools and equipment on hand will help you operate in a non-technological environment. The bottom line is your preparedness tools are your life line and without them, you could be ill-equipped in a survival situation.

Written Survival Information

Image result for ready nutrition and survival booksIn a high-stress situation, it’s easy to forget the basic how-tos of tasks that you don’t perform every day. Many survival manuals and printouts can easily be downloaded onto a flash drive to be taken along in your bug out bags. Don’t underestimate the value of a spiritual book to boost the morale. You want books like:

I like to have hard copies of important books on hand at home. If the power is out, you may not be able to access e-books or websites.

Security

The reality is that the vast majority of people have about three days of food and water at home and when a prolonged disaster strikes it upends the stability of the entire system of just-in-time delivery. When those delivery trucks stop delivering, things can be pretty dicey.

Most people strive to make their homes safe and secure. We install motion lights, fence the yard and make windows difficult to open. We have good quality locks on the doors and sometimes burglar alarms, as well. But all it takes is opening the door to the wrong person, or someone throwing a lawn chair through a glass window.

In a disaster situation, these security measures may not be enough. We need only to look at the aftermath of hurricanes and other natural disasters to see that looters are out in full force, taking advantage of the people who have already lost so much. As we’ve said here before, “If you can’t protect it, you don’t own it!”  This is a common human response to disasters and most preppers know this which is why they have guns and ammunition with which they will defend their homes and families.

But let’s explore some other ways you can protect your home and belongings. One way is to understand the mind of the criminal. An MSNBC affiliate out of Atlanta recently did just that. They sent letters to 86 people who had gone to prison for burglary and asked them a variety questions about their crimes. Their answers could tell you a lot about how to protect your home from this crime. What they told reporters included the following:

  • Don’t advertise what you own. One burglar admitted to looking for homes that had cars with NRA bumper stickers, which would indicate that there are plenty of guns to steal there.
  • Burglars don’t just look in obvious places. If they feel safe, they’ll tear everything up looking for hidden valuables.
  • The best time to break into a house was between 12:30 and 2:30, because it’s rare for both kids or adults to be home at that time period.
  • Not all burglars are intimidated by security alarm signs and cameras, and many admitted to knowing how to disable alarms. Some suggested that cameras would indicate that there are valuables in the home.
  • As you might expect, burglars are terrified of large dog breeds.
  • Burglars aren’t typically killers. They don’t want to a serious confrontation with a homeowner, so any sign that someone is home is a deterrent.

You can read more about that here, but essentially, if you know what to expect, then you can better prepare for it. Remember – prioritize, prepare and plan for what may come.

Preventative measures can be put in place to keep criminals far away from your home.  Minimize the threat of a home break in or home invasion by adding layers of security to prevent your home from being a possible hit.  Security layers are preventative measures put into place that will advertise to possible intruders to avoid your home altogether.

Having firearms on site will help you reinforce these security measures and continue protecting your home. By training with these weapons, you will be familiarizing yourself with firearms you will definitely see in one way, shape, or form in a SHTF scenario.  Learning how to operate these will stimulate you to develop skills and perhaps to purchase one or more in civilian/legal ownership form.  There are also plenty of qualified instructors to be found in these ranges, and a high-end range that is worth its salt will provide one for you to familiarize you with the weapon free of charge before you fire it.

The 3 Security Layers for the 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.
  • Doors that are not glass or see through.
  • Install a peep hole for the door.
  • Never rely on a chain latch as an effective barrier (they are easily broken if the door is kicked in).
  • Install infrared flood lights or motion detector lights around the perimeter of the home.
  • A gate at the front of the driveway that has spikes at the top to prevent someone from jumping over the fence
  • Never leave a spare key hidden under a rock or door mat.  Too many people do this and it is the first place a criminal is going to look.
  • Cut back large trees or bushes near the windows to provide concealment.  Additionally, putting thorn bushes and other types of plants to further secure the home would be advantageous.
  • Have a guard dog trained to attack.  And place “beware of dog” signs on the front and side gates of the home.

Layer 2: The Inside Layer

  • Consider adding a 2-way voice feature to the existing alarm system.  This feature enables your security system to communicate directly with 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.
  • Have emergency plans and protocols set up where children or teens can see them.  Additionally, have important contact phone numbers next to the plan.
  • Teach the household how to call 9-1-1, and have a script ready for them to read to the dispatcher.  This will help keep them explain calmly to the dispatcher what the emergency situation is.
  • Teach members of the home different escape routes to use in case they need to leave the home, as well as a code word to use for the family to immediately leave the home to go to a safe location.
  • Close all curtains and blinds at night time and set the alarm.
  • Keep purses, car keys, money and jewelry away from windows where burglars can look in and see.  This only makes them want to break in more.
  • If a gun is in the home, have it locked up or put away so that smaller children do not try to use it.

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 children 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.
  • Or, arrange a neighborhood watch program.
  • Never be afraid to call the police if a stranger or solicitor is acting suspiciously.
  • Teach children how to use the security alarm and where the panic button is.
  • Find a bug out location for family members to go to for safety.
  • If someone is trying to break into your home, activate your car alarm or panic button on the security alarm to draw attention from the neighbors.
  • As a last resort, teach older members of the home and older children how to use weapons against intruders.

In many cases, the local officials will be just as confused as you and may give mixed messages on how serious the situation is. In their defense, the information they are getting is constantly changing and informing the public is difficult at best.  Knowing this will help you ensure your preparedness plans are solid.

In an even longer-term situation, more plans for defense would need to be made, with perimeters, night watches, and an organized plan.

Skills

Once you move past the basics of prepping, the best thing for your plan is to learn a new skill or two. Remember, in an emergency situation there won’t be a repair shop to take your tools to or a grocery store to buy more food from. When the SHTF (Stuff Hits The Fan) you’ll be left to rely on the skills you have, and with no Internet available to look up information on, you might be stuck.

Mastering some basic off-the-grid skills will greatly enhance your survivability

Because many people are not adequately trained to handle the disaster situations in which they find themselves in, having the proper skills and training will provide an individual with a well-diversified knowledge base to help them survive during and after a disaster.

Not all Skills Are Created Equal

It is important to emphasize that some skills are more important than others. The first I would recommend are those skill sets that will enhance your off-grid environment.

  • Outdoor survival course
  • Medical training
  • Disaster classes
  • Canning and food preparation
  • Firearm training
  • Amateur radio classes
  • Exercise and weight training (get your body into shape)
  • Gardening/food production classes

Basically, any class that fits your basic survival needs, take it! As well, don’t neglect the primitive skills one can learn too. Many of these skills will carry you into longer-term preparedness measures, so the more you know the better.

One area of skills we all need to focus our attention on is self-defense. Self-defense is a crucial skill that we all should know, and it takes time to develop these skills. No doubt there have been times where you may have found yourself in a situation where you looked around and didn’t feel comfortable, and in some cases, the situation had the potential to quickly become dangerous. It’s important to have situational awareness and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you do not feel comfortable, don’t feel bad about getting out of the situation altogether. As well, trust your gut. When your intuition is making your “Spidey senses” go off, it’s time to get out of there.

In many cases, predators watch their potential victims before they strike. In a study regarding how predators selected their victims, pedestrians were videotaped walking down a street and had incarcerated convicts view them. Within seven seconds of viewing the pedestrians, the convicts had selected their targets. Selections were not based on gender, size, age or race, but rather on the body language exhibited. The convicts identified the following body language cues used as their basis for victim selection:

Posture: People that walked with shoulders slouched or slumped were selected as victims as opposed to those who walked with their chin up.
Gaze: Those avoiding eye contact were chosen as victims because of the perception that they were preoccupied. Making eye contact naturally communicates confidence.
Stride: People who walked with a stride that was too long or too short, or those who shuffled or dragged their feet, were selected over those who had a smooth and natural gait.
Rate: Those who walked slowly with no apparent purpose, and those who walked fast as if they were uncomfortable, were selected over those who walked naturally and deliberately.
Fluidity: Those who demonstrated awkwardness in their movements were chosen over those who seemed to glide as they walked.
Wholeness: Those who swung their arms wildly while walking were selected over those who moved from their center, with coordination and balance.

Physical impairments may prevent some people from projecting confidence. If they fail, victims must decide whether or not defensive action is necessary and appropriate. Carrying a concealed firearm can level the playing field, but retrieving it may not always be possible. Introducing a firearm into a volatile situation isn’t always the best response. That determination is dictated by the totality of the circumstances. Two studies may provide helpful insight when making that decision. (Source)

Learning how to fight is your last lifeline of protection. Learning escape and evasion tactics, self-defense strategies like Krav Maga or even learning to use everyday objects to protect yourself can enhance survival. The most important aspect to learn is not to hesitate when confronted. Again, this skill set takes time to master but may save your life.

Conclusion

Disasters do not just happen to other people – they can happen to you.  When you are prepared for a particular scenario, then you already have tools in place for when you need them the most. While many feel that preparedness is an enormous endeavor, when you break it down into organized lists, it’s not so daunting. Keep prepping and keep an eye out for our next preparedness guide.

Remember to fall back on your list of lists to ensure that you are purchasing the needed items for the disaster you are preparing for. Have a well rounded short-term supply to compliment your long term food items.  Store your emergency supplies in an easy to access part of your home where natural elements such as sunlight and moisture are not an issue.

As well, keep in mind that once you get your preps, you will need to maintain them to ensure your emergency items are ready to go. Your gear can best be maintained according to a maintenance schedule and you can get a start on it now.  Some preppers do it twice a year when Daylight Savings Time hits. But it’s more than giving it a glance and it doesn’t just mean cleaning it.  It also means inspecting it for serviceability and function.  It means making sure that it’s well organized and that you can pick it up at a moment’s notice. You can’t do that unless it’s ready.

Course Discussion

We all have a way to help others prepare. New preppers, if you have questions, leave them in the comment section and as a community, we can help to answer them. You’re not in this alone. I know this information provided is a lot to take in, just pace yourself, have fun with it, and we are all here for you if you need it.

Sign Up For This Week’s Giveaway!

We’re giving away The Prepper’s Blueprint – widely popular and highly rated preparedness manual and a 72-hour kit at the end of this week to a lucky winner.

All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment in one of our weekly Crash Course guides about what you feel the most important aspect of being prepared is in the bottom of the article. Good luck everyone!

 

Additional Reading:

52-Weeks to Preparedness

Essential Prepping Calculators

20 Preparedness Articles To Help You Get Prepped

The Prepper’s Blueprint: A Must-Have Preparedness Manual

20 Additional Preps You Want in the Car for Urban Survival

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

National Preparedness Month: A Month of Getting Prepped and Giveaways

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The devastation of the Texas coast has been sobering, to say the least, and has brought about a new found focus in the preparedness community to get more families prepared for disasters. While Hurricane Harvey was an extreme case, what we can take away from this ordeal is that you cannot always foresee every given turn of a disaster and by being fully insulated from disasters you will find yourself in the best case scenario.

We all live in an area that sees some type of disaster: flood, wildfire, earthquakes, droughts and other extreme weather scenarios. As well, not enough can be said about preparing for personal disasters like job loss, which do not always give warning.

In response to this ever-growing need to prepare, Ready Nutrition is gearing up for a month of preparedness. Each week, we are going to bring you preparedness materials you can use to get prepped for all types of disasters. We’ve done this before in our 52-weeks to preparedness series, but this will cover more information in a shorter amount of time.

As an added incentive, we will be giving away preparedness products and books to Ready Nutrition readers. All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment in one of our weekly National Preparedness articles about what you feel the most important aspect of being prepared is in the bottom of the article. It could be commenting on the most important preparedness items, some lessons you learned personally from a disaster, situations you witnessed during a disaster or preparedness ideas people may not always think of when preparing.

As a community, I hope you will spread the word to folks who might need an added push to start getting ready or who do not know where to start. Having a more prepared community will reduce the initial shock of a disaster.

Here’s what we’ll cover

Week 1: The Basics of Prepping – This will cover how you should make a plan and getting your beginning preparedness supplies in order, tips, as well as valuable skills you should learn.

During this first week, we will be giving away a preparedness manual and a 72-hour kit at the end of the week to a lucky winner! All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment.

Week 2: The Necessities of Sanitation and Medical Preparedness – Following a disaster, sanitation, hygiene and medical care are often at the forefront of needs. We will dive into more details on immediate threats that occur in the wake of disasters, what you can do to be ready and how to avoid these aftermath scenarios when they occur. As an incentive, we will give away a sanitation kit and another preparedness manual.

Week 3: Reinforcing Your Plans and Expanding Them into Longer-Term Scenarios – During this week, we will focus on how you can reinforce your preparedness plans and add additional preps so they extend into longer-term scenarios. Some of those far-reaching events are biological and chemical disasters, mass casualty health, longer-term food needs and more. As well, we will delve into long-term security measures you can use to protect your home and belongings.

To better prepare for these type of events, one winner will get a gas mask as the giveaway prize of the week to add to your preps and The Prepper’s Blueprint!

Week 4: Getting Your Community Prepped – We’ve heard the term, “It takes a village.” Well, when a disaster strikes, it really does take the binding of a community to get through. Disasters are an undeniable part of life, but a prepared community is more resilient and can withstand longer-term scenarios. Having a large group of prepared individuals will help the general public thrive for longer amounts of time because each home has the supplies and skills it needs to keep going. Moreover, communities should provide skills training to help the general public learn critical survival skills for long-term survival. And that is just what we will be discussing in week 4.

A few months ago, I co-hosted a webinar with the folks at SunOven on how to cook with the sun and was amazed at how many uses the SunOven had in an off-grid environment. You can read my review of them here. Our gift on our final week of National Preparedness Month is one of these dynamic SunOvens complete with a homesteading package. Remember all you need to do is sign up for the Ready Nutrition newsletter and leave a helpful comment in the article.

Let’s Do This!

Whether you’re preparing for a short-term disaster or a long-term disaster, you have the same basic goal. That goal is to be self-sufficient and have the ability to care for yourself and your family independently during an unforeseen event.

As an added incentive, if your local church is interested in starting a preparedness course for its congregation, I would like to send a free copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint to them to help get that endeavor going. 1 manual will be sent to each church. I have 20 books that I would like to send so please contact me through my Facebook page with a church address. The first 20 churches get the books!

 

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

Get Prepped: The Hurricane Primer + Giveaway

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 Over 80% of people on this planet live within 100 miles of a coastline. Despite attempts at getting the population better prepared, according to FEMA, only 40% of the U.S. population actively prepares. It only takes one hurricane for victims to see how quickly their lives can change.

Hurricanes are nightmarish in terms of the damage they cause and have the capacity to level homes, flood neighborhoods and cause massive amounts of damage to communities. Those that choose the unpreparedness route gamble with the chance of going head to head with severe flooding, tornadoes, wind and storm damage and gamble with their families lives. This may sound alarmist, but it’s a fact. On a personal note, I have witnessed first hand how unprepared families flock to the stores for last-minute preparations and how grocery markets, super stores and home depots are quickly overwhelmed and supplies exhausted within hours of restocking. Inevitably, there will be people who walk away from these storms unprepared. Do you want to be a part of this statistic?

Everything You Ever Needed to Know to Prepare for Hurricanes

The time to prepare for this natural disaster is now before any storms are on the horizon. Using this approach is also easier on the pocket-book and will help you prepare with a clear head rather than a panicked one. The best place to start is to find resources, checklists and advice from experienced professionals. Even asking friends and family what their personal stories of surviving hurricanes are can better prepare you. One of Ready Nutrition’s writers, Jeremiah Johnson wrote about his personal survival story about going through Hurricane Katrina. You can read his words here.

hurricane preparedness

Make sure you sign up for the Hurricane Preparedness Giveaway below!

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

Sign-Up For Our Giveaway!

To encourage you further, we are offering a giveaway to help get you ready for the upcoming hurricane season. All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and you will be entered to win this hurricane preparedness kit worth $130!

You guys are going to love the prizes!

backpack72-hour Kit for a Family of 4 – This is a great compact kit from ReadyAmerica that has everything you need for 72 hours time. This is great for a grab and go evac pack or is a great addition to your vehicle.

250x250-PreppersBluePrintThe Prepper’s Blueprint – We can all agree that the subject of preparedness is a lot to digest. The Prepper’s Blueprint is a best-selling resource that will help readers see the value in adding preps slowly and steadily to fully insulate themselves from the worst-case scenario.

lifestrawLifeStraw – This handy, lightweight water filtration system removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for water filters, removes a minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction) and filters to an amazing 0.2 microns. Lifestraw will ensure you have drinking water in the harshest of conditions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

March Madness Giveaway and Sales

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It’s MARCH and what would March be without a little March Madness fun to go around? We are so excited to share our March Madness promotion with you. It’s the biggest event we’ve hosted on our blog so far and YOU guys get to benefit from it! We have gathered almost $2000 worth of our favorite food storage and preparedness products to give away to some of our lucky readers. Not only that but we have arranged for some awesome deals on each of the items being given away so that EVERYONE can be a winner! Keep reading below to see all the prizes, find out how to enter to win, and see what the sales are.

If you are new to Food Storage Made Easy make sure you sign up for our free monthly newsletters so you don’t miss future events like this and to get free food storage tips sent to your email inbox every month!


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How to Enter Giveaways

  • Download the Instagram app on your smart phone or tablet
  • Follow us @foodstoragemadeeasy
  • “Like” the image of each product you’d like to win
  • Earn bonus entries for each friend you tag in a separate comment
  • Winners will be announced Monday morning

All sale prices will be valid from Thursday March 17th through Monday night March 21st at midnight MST.

List of Giveaways/Sales

MI_SUNOVEN

All-American Sun Oven

Giveaway: One All-American Sun Oven (no accessories)
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: Sun Oven + $160 worth of accessories for just $325 (save 60% off retail pricing of accessories)
Click here to buy now

MI_GOTOPACK

Thrive Life

Giveaway: 1 Go-To Pack of Thrive Foods
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: Save up to 50% on ALL Thrive foods!
Click here to shop the March Madness Sale

MI_INSTAF

InstaFire

Giveaway: 1 5-gallon bucket + 1 24-pack of InstaFire BUNDLE
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: 1 5-gallon bucket + 1 24-pack of InstaFire BUNDLE for just $90 (10% off our everyday low prices)
Click here to buy now

MI_HERC

TitanReady USA

Giveaway: 1 HERC Tea Light Candle Oven
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: Save 10% plus get 100 candles & digital cookbook FREE with the purchase of a HERC oven.
Click here to learn more

MI_FORTRESS

Fortress Clothing

Giveaway: 1 Jacket Liner (for temperatures -30° TO 70° F)
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: Enter coupon code “march” to save $60 off of a jacket liner or coupon code “madness” to save 20% off any other products at FortressClothing.com
Click here to learn more

MI_PML

Prepare My Life Planner

Giveaway: 1 Prepare My Life Planner
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: Get 1 free Inflatable Solar Lantern with purchase of a Prepare My Life Planner ($20 value)
Click here to learn more

MI_LANTERN

Inflatable Solar Lanterns

Giveaway: 5-pack Inflatable Solar Lanterns + 1 carabiner
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: 40% off + a free carabiner when purchasing a 5-pack of solar lanterns.
Click here to buy now

MI_WONDERMIX

Wondermill

Giveaway: 1 WonderMix Stand Mixer
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: Get a FREE blender attachment and cookie whips with purchase of a WonderMix at only $299.
Click here to buy now

MI_WATERBRICK

WaterBricks

Giveaway: 4 WaterBricks + 1 Spigot
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: 4 WaterBricks + 1 Spigot for just $89.99 (save $10)
Click here to buy now

MI_THRIVE

Thrive Life

Giveaway: 1 Cansolidator Pantry
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: Save up to 50% on ALL Thrive foods and shelving options!
Click here to shop the March Madness Sale

MI_ARK

The Ready Project

Giveaway: 1 Chef’s Banquet ARK 390 Bucket
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: Use coupon code FSME390 and save $85 off each ARK 390 bucket you purchase
Click here to buy now

MI_EBOOK

Food Storage Made Easy

Giveaway: 1 Food Storage Made Easy eBook Bundle
Click here to enter

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March Madness Sale: Get the Food Storage Made Easy eBooks for just $10 for the bundle. Use coupon code “marchmadness” at checkout.
Click here to shop the March Madness Sale

All sale prices will be valid from Thursday March 17th through Monday night March 21st at midnight MST.

The post March Madness Giveaway and Sales appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

Lisa’s Stack of Books, 1st Quarter — GIVEAWAYS!

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Survival Mom book reviews

One of my life-long loves is that of books. Amazon Prime and I are best of friends, and I have an enormous stack of books, most of them unread. When I was younger, an unread book was an item of shame! Today, I chalk it up to being a busy mom whose love for books outweighs the time she has for reading.

I’m thrilled to begin this new quarterly feature on my blog, Lisa’s Stack of Books, as a way of sharing some of the newest books that come my way, either through my own purchases or from authors and publishers who want their books featured on my blog. I’m picky about which books I’ll profile, though.*

I hope you enjoy reading about the following books from authors Linda Loosli, Bernie Carr, Melissa K. Norris, and Toni Hammersley. I selected these books because they represent different aspects of preparedness: basic survival, frugal prepping, organization, and homesteading/spiritual encouragement. If you read any of these books, give me your own review in the Comments section!

Note that after each book review, you get a chance to win your own copy of the book! Each book has it’s own entry, so make sure you don’t miss any of them if you hope to win all four.

The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley

Toni HammersleyI would love to live Toni Hammersley’s life, or at least the one portrayed in this stunning, colorful book. Perhaps a better idea would be to have her come to my house and re-create it with all the savvy and style she exhibits in her new book. The Complete Book of Home Organization is a gorgeous book, just the type that catches your eye at a bookstore and finds its way to the cash register and your Visa card!

My daughter, age 16, is the primary promoter of organization in our household, and her eyes lit up when I handed her this book. We both settled down to enjoy the glossy photos of kitchens, closets, bedrooms, and even refrigerators, and the quick suggestions for transforming our own home into one of calm and clutter-free order. Toni’s practical and simple tips for organizing even the smallest spaces in your home are easy to follow, without the necessity of having to make expensive purchases at The Container Store.

One of my favorite features of the book are the Before and After photos from other home decor and organization bloggers. It’s inspiring to know that I can take a cluttered area of my house and transform it, too. I also appreciated the organization challenges and checklists. If your home is in need of some organization, this book will inspire and motivate you to action!
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The Made-from-Scratch Life: Simple Ways to Create a Natural Home by Melissa K. Norris

I’ve been friends with Melissa K. Norris of Pioneer Living Today for three years. Melissa was a very successful host on Melissa K NorrisThe Survival Mom Radio Network, and her listeners loved her homesteading tales and words of encouragement. Last month when I opened my mail and held this beautiful new book in my hands, it was an emotional moment. I was so proud of Melissa and her accomplishments. She always talks from the heart and shares the ups and downs of her own life as a modern-day homesteader.

The Made-from-Scratch Life is a book that prescribes living a simple life, moving from store-bought products to healthy and homemade versions and provides practical tips for gardening, canning, raising livestock, and preparing for tough financial times. Along with plenty of homey advice, Melissa includes some of the simplest and most delicious recipes you’ll find. Her ham and bean soup with parsnips is one of my favorites.

Melissa shares stories of how she learned to make the transition to a simpler life herself, with plenty of mistakes along the way. She shares Bible verses, inspiring quotes, recipes, a planting chart, and plenty of recipes. She’s convinced that a simple, back-to-basics life is soothing to the soul and this guide is her way of walking side by side with you as you, too, take the road less traveled to a made-from-scratch life.

When you purchase Melissa’s book, not only do you get all of this helpful information, but she also gives you some special bonuses as a thank you. The Made-From-Scratch Life Companion Guide and Workbook, the 5 Day Made-From-Scratch Life Bonus Fast Track e-course and The Amish Canning Cookbook Sampler by Georgia Varozza will help make your transition to a simpler life, well, simpler.
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The Penny-Pinching Prepper: Save More, Spend Less, and Get Prepared For Any Disaster by Bernie Carr

If you’ve been a prepper for very long, you know the overwhelming feeling that comes with being faced Bernie Carrwith long lists of expensive survival gear the experts claim you must have: Berkey water filters, a year’s worth of freeze-dried food, a hidden bunker, and on and on and on. Few of us can afford top of the line gear, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a chance to survive!

Author of The Prepper’s Pocket Guide and blogger at The Apartment Prepper, Bernie Carr rejects the notion that only the rich will survive and in The Penny-Pinching Prepper, she shares hundreds of tips for preparing, and surviving, on a small budget. You’ll love the compact size of her new book, its handy lists, and simple, budget-friendly DIY projects, such as an Easy Fireless Cooker.

From her advice for raising money for the purpose of prepping to hygiene, evacuations, safety tips, and even recipes, this book is packed with information for preppers who don’t have a dime to spare and even those with piles of cash in their stash!
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Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready For Any Emergency or Survival Situation by Linda Loosli

Linda LoosliIn the hyped-up world of survival and preparedness, it’s always refreshing to find a sane, calm voice that says, “Ignore the loud, scary voices. Here’s what you need to do…” That voice would be Linda Loosli of Food Storage Moms fame. In her new book, Prepare Your Family for Survival, Linda did not disappoint. Her book is a large, colorful volume, filled with illustrations, checklists, and attractive graphics that made reading it a pleasure.

This is one of the best all-around family preparedness manuals to hit the market in a while. Disaster preparedness is a huge topic and Linda has managed to break it into do-able chunks in an eye-catching design that makes the book hard to put down. I’m so proud of Linda and all the work she put into making this book practical and family-friendly.

One feature that I haven’t seen in similar books are her lists for health remedies using apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, Epsom salts, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide. Too often we see these listed as must-haves, but when you have a real emergency on your hands, you’ll need to know exactly how to put the to use. This book belongs on your survival bookshelf!
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Kudos to all!

Congratulations to these four authors for their vision, perseverance, and plain old hard work in producing these books. I’ll have another set of book reviews and giveaways coming up in May.

Survival Mom book reviews

 

 

1000 LIKE FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

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1000 LIKE GIVEAWAY!!! We will give away a NcStar Tactical Red/Green Dot Sight with Cantilever Weaver Mount after we reach 1000 likes! We will pick one person from page likes once we reach 1000. Like and share for a chance to win!!!!!!! Visit our facebook and like and share to win!! OUR FACEBOOK! CLICK HERE TO … Continue reading 1000 LIKE FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

AIRSOFT GUNS AND GEAR COMING SOON!

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Coming soon! New merchandise on the way!  We will ship items worldwide as soon as we get our web site and stock in. And will have merchandise available locally in Gillette, Wyoming soon as well! With everything from rifles, tactical gear, pistols, helmets, plate carriers and accessories. Also prices will range from inexpensive toy versions, … Continue reading AIRSOFT GUNS AND GEAR COMING SOON!

Try Thrive Snackies FOR FREE!

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Wow can you believe it is December already? The year has flown by and we’ve both had some pretty crazy things going on in our personal lives. This is a good time of year to look at your food storage goals you made and see how far you’ve come. Take a peek at Jodi’s and Julie’s goals. We’ll share how we did on them later this month. Now on for the excitement of today!

SHARING IS CARING – SNACKIES WINNERS

If you are on our email list, you will have seen the giveaway we did to encourage people to share our Black Friday sales over the weekend. As promised, here is a list of twenty-five people who won a free pack of Thrive Snackies! If you are a winner, please email us at info@foodstoragemadeeasy.net and let us know which flavor you want and your mailing address and we will ship it out asap.

  • Tara C.
  • Leigh Z.
  • Kay
  • Cynthia D.
  • Rebecca G.
  • Brad M.
  • Carmell S.
  • Barbara
  • Julie M.
  • Mare
  • Boni M.
  • Kathy S.
  • Stacey V.
  • Anna M.
  • Cathy P.
  • Alice
  • Rhonda
  • Rach B.
  • Keera J.
  • Meg C.
  • Jana J.
  • Nicole H.
  • Andrea H.
  • Jessica D.
  • Michelle D.

We will also send you an email as we know there could be multiple people with these names :)



snackies-on-q


SNACKIES FOR EVERYONE

We wish we could send snackies to ALL of our readers as they really are a fabulous healthy snack and are a great way to transition (trick) your family into eating your food storage foods. So we are going to give EVERYONE the chance to get a free bag.

The best way to buy snackies is to add them as part of Thrive’s monthly food storage autoship program (The Q). You’ll have healthy snacks delivered to your doorstep along with your regular food storage items every month at the budget that you choose.

So here is the deal, for anyone who signs up for a Thrive Q this week and has their first monthly shipment for over $100 we will send you a FREE snackie bag of your choosing. First Q must ship by December 8 to qualify.

For a click tutorial on how to easily set up your Q view the video from our teammates below. Make sure you go to our website to sign up for your Q HERE. Once you have it set up it’s easy to add Snackies or whatever else you want, right into your monthly shipments.

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Emergency Evacuations: A Giveaway of My Newest Book!

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Emergency Evacuations Kindle Cover2My newest book Emergency Evacuations: Get Out Fast When It Matters Most!  is now available for pre-order for Kindle or purchase for paperback! Enter for a chance to win a signed paperback copy, plus a few more goodies!

Flying Circle Gear214zr-navy-1 has generously donated a navy Large Field Pack. The massive amounts of space and pockets for organizing and storing gear would make a great go-bag for families, or even for storing supplies. Because it’s designed for the military, it’s super durable and made to survive the toughest environments. Even kids!

kids n pets wipesAs most long-time readers know, I am a firm advocate of remembering to plan for your fur-babies along with the rest of the family, and that includes for evacuations. The new KIDS ‘N’ PETS Wipes are a must-have for to help you clean up any pet accidents quickly and easily. Whether it’s motion sickness, not quite being potty trained, or the incontinence of an elderly relative, they can be handy for people accidents, too.

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What Is The Best Survival Take-down Bow?

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Choosing the right survival weapon can be a difficult choice. Do I take the 25lb M60 with 5lbs of ammo, or the much quieter and easier to pack, 2 lb survival takedown bow? I know some of you will still end up carrying the heavy weaponry but for this short review we will be comparing two of the most popular survival takedown bows.

The SAS Tactical Survival Bow vs the Primal Gear Compact Folding Survival Bow.

These are both excellent bows but there are some key differences. In this short video, Craig reviews both of these products and offers an awesome giveaway!

Check out his video and go here for the full review and giveaway rules.

Giveaway!!!!!!!

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GIVEAWAY!!!!! We will soon be giving away a Cold Steel GI Tanto knife and the only way to be eligible to win is to share and like our FACEBOOK page! I personally carry this knife in my own bug out gear. One hell of a knife don’t miss out!!!!!! https://facebook.com/otspreparedness Filed under: Bug Out, Giveaways!, … Continue reading Giveaway!!!!!!!

Everest Movie Prize Pack Giveaway

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Everest Movie Prize Pack Giveaway

Everest is the ultimate bucket list destination for many of us. A dream that is out of reach for all but a few. The closest many of us will come to experiencing Everest will be through documentaries and photos. That’s why I am excited about the release of Everest, the new movie from Universal Pictures. You can experience it in IMAX 3D starting September 18 and see it everywhere September 25. I can’t wait…

Everest Movie Prize Pack Giveaway

Inspired by the incredible events surrounding an attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Everest documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind.  Their mettle tested by the harshest elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.  The epic adventure stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Official IMAX Trailer

If by some strange turn of events you’ve manage to miss all the hype about the new Everest movie, here is the official trailer (tip: watch it full screen with sound up!)

Win an Official Everest Movie Prize Pack

To make the release even more exciting, one of you has the chance to win a cool Everest movie prize pack courtesy of my good friends at Universal Pictures. The pack includes: A hydration backpack, t-shirt, carabiner with key ring, screen cleaner cloth, aluminum water bottle, and the official soundtrack.

Everest Movie Prize Pack

How to Enter

To enter this fun giveaway simply pick any or all of the entry options in the Rafflecopter widget below. I will pick a random on Wednesday Sept 30th. Good luck to all, and enjoy the movie!

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Disclosure: The author of Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with a complimentary Everest movie prize pack from Universal Pictures for the purpose of this reader giveaway.

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$150 Thrive Life Credit Giveaway: E-Prep 101 Course Sept 1st – Sept 30th

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I’m giving away top quality freeze dried food again this month! Welcome! Welcome to E-Prep 101 where we simplify the process of becoming prepared by breaking it down into weekly steps.  This is the giveaway for September 2015 (we have one giveaway every month during 2015).  If you haven’t already, you can enroll in theContinue Reading …

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Win a rugged WeBBem Watch of your choice

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weBBem Watch Giveaway

I recently reviewed the weBBem Watch Traveler and found it to be perfect for outdoor activities and extremely affordable for the features it provides. Now I am giving you the chance to win one of two styles of weBBem watches for yourself.

Choose your model

weBBem Watch Giveaway

I have a weBBem watch Traveler model (black PVD case) and Overlander model (white dial) to give away thanks to the generosity of my friends at weBBem. Both watches come in a rugged waterproof pelican-style container and the option of a NATO style strap or paracord bracelet. They are both powered by Japanese Miyota quartz movements (as developed and used by Citizen watches), made from 316L marine-grade stainless steel, and have genuine sapphire crystal glass.

weBBem Watch Giveaway

How to enter

To enter this giveaway simple pick any or all of the entry options in the Rafflecopter widget below. You must also leave a comment indicating which model of weBBem watch you would like to receive if you are selected as a winner. I will pick two random winners on Monday May 4th. One from those that would like the Traveler model and one from those that would like the Overlander model. Good luck to all, these are great watches!

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Disclosure: The author of Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with complimentary samples for the purpose of evaluation, testing, and a reader giveaway. He was under no obligation to publish a review. His thoughts are his own.

Winners announced

Thank you to everyone that entered the weBBem watch giveaway. Unfortunately there can only be two lucky winners. The winners are:

  • Overlander – Jordan Hipple
  • Traveler – Rob Henderson

Congratulations! Please contact me via email so that I can get your watches shipped off to you both.

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Good To-Go Food Sample Pack Giveaway

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Good To-Go Foods Sample Pack Giveaway

The start of the year, for me and many others, consists of lots of food testing. I have some old faithful recipes and meals to fall back on, but I enjoy the process of trying new recipes, packaged meals, and just generally tinkering with food before the hiking year gets crazy. Better to test early and find out what my likes and dislikes are rather than discover on the trail that my food options for the next several days suck.

Good To-Go Foods Sample Pack Giveaway

Amazing Thai Curry

One of the new hiking meals that I tried recently was by Good To-Go Food, thankfully there is absolutely nothing sucky about their meals. In fact, (spoiler alert) they’re amazing – ‘gourmet’ as they like to say. And I have to say that for once I completely agree. The Thai Curry meal is better than versions I’ve had at restaurants – it really was that good. Don’t just take my word for it, try all of them for yourself.

Win a Good To-Go Food sample pack

Good To-Go Foods Sample Pack Giveaway

The kind folks at Good To-Go Food have given me a complete sample pack to give away to one lucky reader of Brian’s Backpacking Blog. All you have to do is enter the giveaway widget below. That’s the easiest way I know to score some amazing meals for your next trip – you lucky devils!

How to enter

To enter simply select any of the options in the Rafflecopter widget below. To gain additional entries you can submit multiple options – it’s that easy. The giveaway will end on Sunday March 22nd and a winner will be selected at random. Good luck to everyone.

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