Earthquake and Power Outage Experience in the Philippines

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Earthquake and Power Outage Experience in the Philippines   Editor’s Note: This full article is a guest post submitted to us for use on the site.  This was my experience with a mild earthquake and a power outage, in the Philippines. Amazingly nothing was damaged by the quake.  I expected some things to tip over.  …

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This One Simple Strategy Will Make You a Better Prepper

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a better prepper

Many preppers and survivalists that I have known reach a level of arrogance, sooner or later. They have all their preps in place, they know multiple survival skills, and have a solid foundation of knowledge from everything from trapping small game to canning venison. However, if there’s one thing I know about any crisis scenario, it’s that they are 100% unpredictable. The very event you thought you were completely prepared for can go sideways in a moment, with your best laid plans in shambles.

Maybe it’s time for a new strategy with your prepping, one that goes beyond what the prepper pundits teach. What if you purposely put yourself in situations where you might not have all the right survival gear or there are unexpected twists that require quick thinking and adaptation. Here’s what I have in mind:

Become a better prepper by making things hard for yourself. On purpose.

Bugging out

We all have well-equipped bug out bags and intricately detailed plans for getting out of Dodge, but what if you purposely made a bug out drill far more difficult by driving a route at night, in the rain or fog, with the recording of your screamng 2 year-old in the background?

Think that might put some hair on your chest? For sure, you would have to focus with an intensity that isn’t called for on a sunny day, with temps in the low to mid-70s, but how likely is it that you’ll have those ideal conditions when the S really does hit the fan?

How about driving that route until approaching a choke point, such as a bridge or the entrance to a tunnel, and quickly make a detour, as though that point was a roadblock? Is that a realistic scenario? Yep, so why not create the scenario for yourself now, rather than simply making a mental note that roadblocks, man-made or not, could happen on the way to your bug out location?

Any difficulty you can set up to thwart your carefully laid bug out plans will serve you well by testing your ability to think, accept, and adapt to abrupt changes in circumstances.

Your food storage stash

Challenge yourself and your family to eating only what is in your food storage for 2 days, 3 days, or longer. After all, isn’t that the exact same scenario you are planning for? What if half your food was destroyed by a house fire? Move 50% of your food out of the pantry/kitchen and that is what you’re stuck with.

Now, mix things up a bit and make the situation even more difficult by requiring food to be cooked only using a solar oven (Cloudy weather? Too bad!) or only a charcoal grill. How about a scenario that mimics the real thing by having beans and rice 3 times a day for at least 2 days? You will learn so much more about the pratical applications and realities of food storage by putting yourself through these tests than you ever will by reading a prepper forum.

Have a difficult conversation

You’ve probably given some thought about how you would like your family and closest friends to continue if something ever happens to you, but have you ever sat down with them and discussed it?

No one likes to talk about death or the possibility of a loved one being so far from home they cannot ever make it back, but now is the time to think this through. I am on the road quite a bit with my job, not terribly long distances but long enough to know that the path that leads back to home may become so dangerous and/or my health and physical strength at risk that my family would have to move on with their survival without me.

All of us do our prepping with the assumption that we’ll be there when the worst happens, but what if the worst is not coming home at all? There’s plenty I want my family to know, such as how to secure the house and who I personally trust the most as prepper allies. I may have talked about this in passing but not nearly as in depth as I should — even if my family doesn’t want to think about a future without their husband and father.

If you’ve ever wondered what you would do in this scenario, this article has some excellent insights.

Push your shooting skills to new levels

It’s no secret that Preparedness Advice is very pro-2nd Amendment, and I have done more than my share of shooting over the years. Even if your shooting skills are far above average, make things a little more difficult the next time you go to the range by shooting strong-arm/weak-arm, using your non-dominant eye, shooting leaning against something, or shooting in a squatted or seated position. (If your range doesn’t allow for some of these, then find one that does, head out to the boonies to do your shootiong, or find a class that includes these other skills.)

Take a tactical class where you’ll be shooting while moving, at moving targets, and with live ammunition. I did that a few years ago and the level of intensity and non-stop adrenaline was something I never experienced before in previous classes. A lot of ranges offer classes in low-light shooting and one that challenges you with new tactical scenarios.

Again, make a purposeful decision to make things hard for yourself in order to ultimately improve your skills and become a better prepper.

Family finances

At this moment I have a great job with really good benefits, doing something I enjoy, but an economic collapse is a scenario that is always a possibility. I could hone my own survival skills, and that of my family, by whittling down our unnecessary expenses to just a few dollars a month, or even zero. What would we do for entertainment if we cancelled our subscriptions to Netflex and Amazon Prime? If we had to worry about ever gallon of gas used, that would change our lifestyle and decisions. Our eating habits would change, the temperature of our house would change, and we would get a realistic picture how an economic collapse would affect our everyday lives.

This wouldn’t be fun and we would all hate it, but what a great opportunity to not only test our preps but also learn how to cope with few, if any, luxuries that make our lives comfortable. This is something you could set up, even if only for 48 hours.

If you’re not giving yourself challenges and taking risks conscioiusly, then you may be setting yourself up for failure in a real life survival scenario. Become a better prepper by doing something VERY different. If you’re really good at something, then change it up in a way that makes it very different, requiring different knowledge and skills you might not have.

Take risks NOW, ahead of a crisis. You’l learn a lot about yourself — how easily and how quickly you adapt (or not). These tests will also give you invaluable insights as to how your family members and even prepper group members will behave when everything hits the fan.

I’ll leave you with a true story about my wife. A few years ago we both took a concealed carry class. Although she was less experienced than I, she was determined to pass the final test to become qualified. I knew she could pass the written test and was fairly certain she’d pass the target shooting test as well.

As it turns out, she almost didn’t pass the shooting test! Why? Because in all the months and months of practice, she had never had to shoot in front of a large group of spectators. She said, “I was so rattled that I was using my non-dominant eye! I was lucky to have hit the target at all!” Fortunately, she figured out what she was doing wrong, made the correction, and passed, but this is a prime example of why and how we should put ourselves into scenarios and in circumstances that bring physical, emotional, and mental discomfort in order to grow.

How could you purposely make things more difficult in order to grow as a prepper?

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Simple Ways To Keep Food Cold When The Power’s Out

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Simple Ways To Keep Food Cold When The Power’s Out

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Whether it’s the wind of a severe thunderstorm in the summer, the weight of an ice storm in the winter or even a traffic accident that takes down a power line, you can experience a power outage any time of year.

If you are like most people, one of the first things you think about when your power goes out is the food in your refrigerator and freezer. How long can your food safely last without power?

If possible, preparation and caution are two paths you should follow to protect your food supply. First, let’s look at preparation.

Preparation

Ensure that you have appliance thermometers in your fridge and your freezer. Your refrigerator should maintain a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, and your freezer should be 0 degrees or lower.

If the weather forecast calls for severe storms, another way to prepare is by freezing quart-size plastic bags of water to use as makeshift ice packs in the event of a power failure. Fill the bags about three-fourths full of water and fit them around your frozen and refrigerated food to help keep them cold.

Get Backup Electrical Power In A Convenient, Portable Briefcase!

Another way to prepare for a power outage is by maintaining at least a three-day supply of ready-to-eat-food for your family.

Caution

When the power goes out, it is important to conserve the cold air that you do have in your appliances. Open the refrigerator and freezer doors as little as possible.

When kept closed, a refrigerator will keep food appropriately chilled for approximately four hours. A full freezer will keep foods frozen for about 48 hours, and a half-full freezer will do the same for 24 hours. If your freezer is not full, you can help things stay frozen by grouping them together.

If you know that your power will be out for more than 24 hours, you can purchase dry or block ice to extend the cooling time. A 50-pound package of dry ice will help keep the food in a full 18-cubic-foot freezer frozen for about two days.

When your power comes back on, check each food item separately for spoilage. Dispose of any product that feels warm to the touch or that has an unusual smell or appearance. Do not taste food to determine its safety. Instead, follow the credo, “When in doubt, throw it out.”

Check for ice crystals or a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below for your frozen foods. Frozen food that has partly thawed or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still reveals ice crystals.

Final Thoughts

All foods are considered safe when kept in an unopened refrigerator that has been without power for up to four hours. After that four-hour window, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends that you depose of cooked leftovers, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, soft cheeses, salads and other perishable foods. Always dispose of any food items that may have come into contact with raw meat or its juices.

Most condiments, however, are still safe after four hours without refrigeration. The good-to-go list includes ketchup, mustard, relish, jams, jellies, olives, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, certain hard cheeses as well as whole, un-cut fruits and vegetables.

The USDA maintains a website with specific rules on food safety after a power outage. Here are a few other helpful resources:

https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/d3506874-2867-4190-a941-d511d3fcae71/Keep_Your_Food_Safe_During_Emergencies.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/09/26/are-you-and-your-food-prepared-power-outage

https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm076881.html

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/food-safety

What are your best tips for keeping food cold when the power’s out? Share your tips in the section below:

Creative Ways to Prepare For Power Outages

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WhenYourFeelingPowerlessHelenCates1[1]It was the second time my power went out in one day. The first time was at two in the morning when a nearby fuse or transformer blew causing a power outage. Other than the backyard solar light glowing, the entire neighborhood was cast into darkness.

A few hours later, our power was restored and the bedside clock started blinking. The sun wasn’t up yet, but the house soon became alive with overhead lights, bacon on the stove, a hot shower, and the screech of my ironing board as I unfolded it and plugged in the iron.

After my husband left for work, the computer and TV abruptly flickered off on its own, and the room was silent again.

I sat in the dark and wondered at the cause of the outages and why I felt so helpless. For years I had been stocking up on candles, oil lanterns, and imagining life without electricity and instead of feeling prepared, I was paralyzed and rooted to my couch.

Although I had grown up for a season in a one room cabin without utilities or indoor plumbing, the bulk of my experience was volunteering for several years at an 1800’s living history museum.

Once or twice a week my family would put on our pioneer clothes, load up the car with supplies, and spend the day on the prairie cooking from a wood stove or open fire, sewing, reading books, and fanning our faces from the front porch.

We learned to appreciate the hard work involved in gardening, collecting firewood, and cooking and cleaning from scratch. With no electricity and running water, it was a sun up to sun down type of existence.

By the end of the day, we were anxious to return to the 21st Century. Walking into our modern day home we were greeted with air conditioning, plush furniture, computers, TV, fast food, the refrigerator, microwave, the faucet, and a toilet that flushed—it was pure luxury.

We endured the primitive lifestyle and 100 degree weather because we knew it was temporary. After an exhausting day on the farm, we’d reward ourselves by stopping off at the convenience store or drive-thru for an ice cold soda pop.

Preparing a quick dinner at home with ease, I was thankful for my generation. But at the same time, the bouncing back and forth into the 19th Century was a nudge to not take my privileges for granted.

Using history to empower the future

I gradually started making some changes at home. I wanted my kitchen functional like our ancestor’s had been. This meant no more decorations taking up needed shelf space because it looked cute, or placing all my dependency on an electrical cord.

I replaced the self-cleaning electric range for a gas stove and oven.

My high efficiency washing machine was traded in for a heavy duty top loader and I hung a clothes line.

When my new dishwasher broke, I reverted back to the old fashioned way of washing by hand.

I exchanged my Teflon skillets for heavy duty cast iron.

I continued using my automatic coffee machine, but kept the stove top percolator on standby.

No more reliance on electric can-openers, or noisy food processors. Although I loved my electric wheat grinder, I purchased a hand-crank just in case.

Imitating our ancestors who prepared for emergencies and the change of seasons, I too took advantage of the seasonal sales at the farmer’s market and grocery stores, stocking up on bulk and dry goods, canning my own soups and meat, and taking advantages of the holiday clearances.

Unplugging from dependency

As I faced my 2nd power outage that morning, I realized my helplessness was due to my dependency.

My entire day was planned by the instant gratification of electricity:

  • Flipping a switch for light
  • Stuffing the washing machine with dirty laundry
  • Checking the bank online to pay bills
  • Staying connected with family and friends through the Internet
  • Checking my online store
  • Vacuuming the floor
  • Catching the news on TV
  • Running my sewing machine
  • Recharging my Kindle Fire

…and now my day was shot.

But more debilitating was the unknown. Like every other power outage, I didn’t know when life would resume to normal.

Although I was inconvenienced that morning, I was equipped and capable of stepping back into the 1800’s.

The thought crossed my mind that if I could still experience helplessness even though I was prepared for the long term, I could only imagine the feelings of hopelessness for those who are inadequately prepared for the short term.

Taking charge in a power outage

What if in a worst case scenario, our power was off long term?

Living by the motto to not focus on the problem but to look for a solution, this is how I would approach my original itinerary.

  • Flipping a switch — I would open curtains and use natural light, take most activities outdoors, and after dark, we would use flashlights, candles and oil lanterns. Our ancestors went to bed early, and got up early.
  • Stuffing a washing machine — Clothes are easy to clean by soaking in a large bucket and hand scrubbing with a bar of soap. Hang to dry on a clothesline. Our ancestors didn’t own multiple outfits or shoes, nor did they bathe every day.
  • Checking bank online and paying bills Saving cash for emergencies is very important. Depending on how serious the power outage is, banking systems could be down, forcing us to prioritize what gets paid. Some options are to locate Internet access away from home, have a landline telephone as a back-up, or access the Internet through a smart phone. In a worst case scenario, there will be no access to online banks, credit cards, or savings accounts. Ideally, the best plan of action is to always be stocked up on food, water, supplies, and prescriptions for the long term. Our ancestors lived within their means and purchased with barter or cash.
  • Connecting with family and friends through Internet —Like many people, my relatives and friends are spread throughout the world. Being thrust into the “dark ages” will end my daily dosage of Facebook, and emails. This is why I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to educate others while I can. It is a great peace of mind to know that my family and friends were listening and prepared, if or when we lose all contact. Our ancestors connected through the mail, telegraph, word of mouth, getting to know their neighbors, and spending time with their family.
  • Checking my online store — A long term power shortage would create difficulties for my home based business. I would not be able to correspond online with customers, use my printer, and list merchandise. My best plan of action is to place my store on “vacation mode” if I had temporary access to the Internet. While waiting on power to be restored, I could use my time wisely by building inventory with what I had. Our ancestors took advantage of bad weather and off seasons, by catching up on mending and other demands.
  • Vacuuming the floor — I have carpeting, but there’s a plan. A good straw broom can do brisk wonders for a floor. Some of our ancestors had dirt floors.
  • Catching the news on TV — I own several solar and battery powered radios, and shortwave. For the holidays, we gave our relatives the wind-up, solar powered radios as gifts. Unless our ancestors had access to the newspaper, they were dependent on word of mouth.
  • Running my sewing machine — Although I love my sewing machines, I also enjoy sewing by hand. Unless our ancestors had money, very few owned a treadle sewing machine. A young girl was taught to sew by hand when she was old enough to hold a needle.
  • Recharging my Kindle Fire — Although I love reading from my digital book, as well as the instant gratification of purchasing and downloading, I knew early on to stock my book shelves with real books. With a massive power outage and no access to the Internet, it is important for my family to have immediate access to medical, veterinary, dental, gardening, plant identifications, old recipes, prepping, spiritual, and leisure books. Our ancestors spent time together sharing stories, reading together, and playing musical instruments.

When I read about massive power shortages in other places, the long gas lines, and the empty store shelves, I am reminded of how dependent our society has become.

My question is: Are you empowered enough to face a short or long term power shortage, or will you too be left feeling powerless?

 

Tips for Using Emergency Generators

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Tips for Using Emergency Generators A backup generator can be a godsend during power outages, but making sure you’re prepared takes more than just buying one and “waiting for a rainy day.” In addition to making sure you understand how much power your property needs to function, you’ll want to make sure you get a …

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8 Alternatives for When Technology Fails You

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

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7 Things You Need To Survive An EMP

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

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Survive a Winter Storm Power Outage

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Survive a Winter Storm Power Outage Winter storms must affect more people in the nation than another disaster. They hit giant metro areas like Boston and New York City. Even with underground power lines and a fleet of powerful plows the city and surrounding areas can be paralyzed by powerful winter weather. If the power …

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What Refrigerated Foods are Safe to Consume after a Power Outage?

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Refrigerated Foods Power Outage

Time is not your friend when the power goes out and your refrigerator stops cooling. Typically, if the door is not opened food should stay within a safe temperature for four hours. What is a safe temperature for fresh meats, and other perishables? Forty degrees Fahrenheit or below, if raw ground beef, for example, is stored for longer than two hours above 40° F it must be discarded, it is simply not safe to eat because of the growth of possibly harmful bacteria.

You never know how long the power may be out so you have to note the time the power went out and when it came back on, that is if it comes back on. After four hours, you have to start throwing foods away. Not all foods, but some.

Examples of What to Discard

  • Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood and soy meat substitutes must be discarded after two hours above 40 degrees F or after four hours in a refrigerator that is not cooling
  • Thawing meat or poultry same as above
  • Salad, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad same as above
  • Lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon and fresh sausage must also be discarded after the prescribed times
  • Soft cheeses must also be thrown away and some examples are blue cheese, Brie, Roquefort, cottage cheese, ricotta, Muenster, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, this list does not cover all of the cheeses that would have to be discarded, so you will have to read the manufactures’ label carefully about refrigeration of a particular product.
  • Eggs must be thrown away as well as milk, sour cream, soymilk, yogurt, and eggnog, for example.
  • Cut fresh fruits while not as critical as say milk or eggs, they typically will not be edible after two hours at room temperature.
  • Mayonnaise and prepared horseradish while they typically have a vinegar base should be thrown away after 8 hours above 50 degrees.
  • Cooked pasta, cooked rice, and cooked potatoes

Safe to Keep

  • Hard cheeses can be kept at room temperature but after removing from the refrigerator pat any moisture off the product if out of the packaging.
  • Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, pickles
  • Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas
  • Raw fruits and vegetables are safe on the counter, but once cut up eat as soon as possible
  • Pies, and cakes (Foodsafety.gov, n.d.).

Of course, the products listed are not every possible item one might find in a refrigerator, but it gives you an idea of the types of foods that do require refrigeration, and thus, not safe to consume when there is a lack of cooling for over two hours.

Having a thermometer in your refrigerator that is not built in and relies on power is ideal. While you want to keep the door shut, you can take a quick glance at the thermometer to gauge where you are temperature wise.

To extend the four hour time, you can place a heavy blanket over your Fridge to keep the warmer outside air from conducting to the cooler air, remember warm air always conducts to cold so when you open the door the cold does not rush out but rather the warmer air rushes in.

Having a small generator that could run a refrigerator and freezer would be prudent. It is not just the expense of the wasted foods, but also the fact you have limited your food choices during a crisis, not to mention trying to get rid of spoiled foods.

Having spoiled meat and other foods on your property can become a crisis in and of itself when sanitation services are not available. You certainly cannot store garbage inside the home and if the crisis is extended, you would have to consider burying the waste or at the very least sealing it in barrels that rodents and insects cannot gain access to.

You have to plan for this type of scenario and cover all the what-ifs.

Foodsafety.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved 2017, from https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html

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6 Totally Insane Things That Will Happen If Our Power Grid Goes Down

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power gridImagine if you will, what would happen if you pulled an American family from the 19th century, and plopped them in the middle of downtown Los Angeles during rush hour. They’re not given a warning, they’re not given any kind of primer on what they’re about to experience, and the occurrence is completely inexplicable. How long do you suppose they would last before they cried uncle? Would they even survive? The odds probably aren’t so good.

Of course, the reverse is probably also true. If you and your family were wrenched from the comforts of the present and hurled back into a previous era, you might not fare so well either. Your survival odds would probably be a little better since you have hindsight and an understanding of germ theory. However, it would still be a pretty alien world for you. It would be littered with pitfalls that most modern people can’t even imagine.

Get prepared for the worst-case scenario with this best-seller!

6 Totally Insane Things That Will Happen If Our Power Grid Goes Down

And that’s why it’s so important for everyone to prepare for the possibility that one day our grid could go down in a big way, whether it be from a terrorist attack, cyber attack, nuclear war, or solar flare. If our society suffered a widespread power failure that lasted for weeks or months, it would be no different for us than if we were suddenly sent back to the 1800’s. It would be a strange and dangerous world, and for the average person, it would catch them off guard in the following ways:

  1. All commerce will cease. The ATMs won’t work, the banks won’t open, and the cash registers won’t…well, register. For a while cash will be king, but if the crisis goes on for more than a few weeks, then people will view it as worthless. We’d be back to a barter economy in short order.
  2. Communications will shut down. If you think you can rely on your cell phone to work in a disaster, think again. In a crisis, when everyone instinctively reaches for their phone, that limit is quickly surpassed and the radios on the tower get sluggish, thus causing the fast-busy signal. Mobile analysts estimates that a cell site can handle 150 to 200 calls per second per sector. When a large group are making calls at the same time, the network can’t handle the amount of calls. More importantly, communications with police, firefighters, and ambulance services will cease. Many of the workers in these positions will try to soldier on, and keep doing the best job that they can for as long as they can. However, without ordinary citizens calling them to report crimes and emergencies, they’ll be helplessly watching their communities burn down around them. It won’t be long before they give up, ditch their posts, and return to their families.
  3. Without electricity, all forms of fuel that our society relies on will stop flowing. All of our vehicles will be dead in the water, and more importantly, the trucks will stop delivering food. The grocery stores will be stripped bare in hours, and will not be replenished for a long time. Even if you live in an area that is rich in agricultural resources, there may be no food to be had, since those farms rely on fertilizers and farming equipment that must be delivered by trucks.
  4. And of course many of those farms will lack water, as will your plumbing. For a couple of days after the power goes out, you’ll still have running water since water towers rely on gravity to feed the water to your home. However, electricity is required to clean that water and pump it into the tower. Once it’s out, that means that you won’t be able to flush your toilet. So not only dehydration be a major threat, but without the ability to remove human waste or wash your hands, every community will face daunting sanitation problems.
  5. When the grocery stores are stripped bare, the pharmacies won’t be far behind. Millions of people who rely on life saving medications could die in the weeks and months that follow. But perhaps more shocking is what would happen to the people who aren’t using drugs that are immediately life saving. 13% of Americans are using opioid drugs, which are highly addictive and cause horrendous withdrawal symptoms. Another 13% of Americans are on antidepressants, and likewise, the withdrawal symptoms are pretty problematic. In other words, within a few weeks after the grid collapses, about 25% of your neighbors are going to be in an awful mental state that is not conducive for survival.
  6. And finally, one of the most shocking things that people will have to deal with, is the lack of GPS. The GPS satellites will probably keep running, but eventually the devices that read those signals will give up the ghost. These days people are pretty reliant on GPS for directions, and there aren’t as many paper maps lying around. The average person is going to be utterly lost if the grid goes down.

In summary, law and order will break down at every level, and death will be around every corner. It’s one thing to grow up and live in an era that lacks electricity, but to be sent back to such a time on a moments notice would be one of the most challenging things that a person accustomed to modern amenities would ever face.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Make a Power Outage Bearable

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How to Make a Power Outage Bearable Power outages are actually a common occurrence, especially if you get a lot of snow in the winter or a lot of storms in the spring. The refrigerator stops running and everything starts to defrost. If you live in the tropical climate, the air conditioning is the first …

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Communication After an EMP

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Communication After an EMP Do you know how to communicate after an EMP? What kind of gear will you be needing? What will you use after the electronics in your location have mostly all gone down? Have any idea how to protect your electronics from a potential EMP? If you’re interested in finding out, today’s …

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8 Ways to Charge your Phone When the Power is Out

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A few weeks ago, we had a power outage when a transformer in our neighborhood blew out.  At the time my phone was low on battery life and needed to be charged.  I wasn’t too worried about it, since I have a few sources of backup power.  With our reliance on smart phones, I thought it would be helpful exercise to figure out ways to charge the phone in an outage. Portable charger […]

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Electrical Grid Down – No Power in a Canadian Winter

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Electrical Grid Down – No Power in a Canadian Winter What would happen in your area if the power went out in the dead of winter – not for minutes but for days? How would people behave if they didn’t have any idea when the electricity would come back on? What would happen to you …

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8 Irreplacable Things That Won’t Work During A Long-Term Blackout

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8 Irreplacable Things That Won’t Work During A Long-Term Blackout

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We all have dealt with power outages. Usually, it is very short-lived, and in fact, the first hour or so is kind of nice. It is romantic, mysterious and fun to just chill without the hum of it. You don’t even realize how loud everything is until the appliances in your home are quieted.

But a long-term blackout is completely different. Many Americans fail to realize just how dependent this world is on electricity. Here are eight things that won’t work in a long-term blackout that go beyond the lights and refrigeration we often think about:

1. Water will stop flowing. In short power outages, you generally still get water from the tap, because either the wastewater plant is on another grid, on a generator, or you are getting the water from the storage tank. In a long-term blackout, the pumps will not push water and it will all run dry. If you are on your own well, your well pump will not work at all unless you have some form of backup.

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2. Credit cards won’t work. You won’t be able to buy your favorite morning beverage – or anything else — without scraping together the cash. Our entire financial system is electronic and relies on the power grid. The banks will be closed, with no functioning ATMs. All of your money will be inaccessible.

3. Gas pumps won’t work. Even if you have cash. That’s because the pumps require electricity. This means you can’t drive to the next city or to your cabin in the woods if you weren’t prepared.

4. Street lights in your neighborhood will be out. You don’t know dark until it is a cloudy night and you don’t have the glow of porch lights or street lights to guide you. Note: There are some street lights that are solar, but most are not.

5. You won’t be able to flush the toilet. In the short-term, yes, toilets still work. But in the long-term, when pumps aren’t working? They simply back up. Those on septic systems will be more fortunate, but even those eventually won’t work.

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6. The garbage man won’t be coming. Why? There is no gas to run the trucks. The garbage you are creating from your canned goods and packages of freeze-dried meals is going to start to accumulate.

7. You won’t be able to call 911 for help. Those systems run on electricity, and when generators stop working, 911 will be down.

8. The Internet will be down. It will work for a little while, but eventually the servers will lose power. In a minor blackout, you usually still have Internet because of battery backups and what not, but in a major blackout, it will be gone.

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

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

What Spooked Me this Halloween

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Many families have some kind of Halloween tradition, and ours is Scary Movie Night.  There are certain movies we like to see year after year.  One of my favorites from when the kids were little, is Hocus Pocus, with just right amount of scare but not so much as to give the kids nightmares.  As an adult, I’ve always been creeped out by “It,” having read the Steven King book and watched the […]

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Surviving a Super-Typhoon

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Surviving a Super-Typhoon

As part of my somewhat colorful past, I have the dubious distinction to have lived through at least 2 dozen typhoons. Sounds impossible, right? Well, when you spend more than a decade in the area of Micronesia, typhoons happen. A lot.

These massive storms, called hurricanes everywhere else but in the Pacific, rip through the islands, bringing devastation and, sometimes, irreversible damage. In my part of the world, they happened so frequently, we became a little too nonchalant at times.

When news of an oncoming typhoon hit the airwaves, we only had a few preps to put in place. Because of frequent power outages, as well as earthquakes, having a few shelves of canned goods wasn’t prepping. It was just a way of life. Nobody used electricity to cook, ever. Instead, we all used propane stoves on a daily basis, and a lot of families used hibachis, barbecue pits (55 gallon metal drums cut in half), or grills.

So, when a storm was approaching, we had the food we needed, as well as a way to heat the food and purify water, if necessary. When I was a lot younger, buying bottled water wasn’t a thing, so we filled up all our bathtubs with water. Consequently, we didn’t bathe much in the storm’s aftermath!

We were on an island, so when the power went out, there just wasn’t anything much blacker than being in the middle of the Pacific, without even a single lightbulb. Most families used kerosene lanterns, which I highly recommend you stock up on, candles (although my parents worried about dripping wax and unprotected flames), and we only used battery-powered lights for real emergencies. A couple of gallons of kerosene lasts for weeks, but batteries can run out quickly if you’re relying on them to power your light sources.

I can’t over-emphasize the importance of having forms of entertainment, like board games, to keep everyone occupied. My sister would read books, but reading books by kerosene lantern wasn’t my idea of fun. Who needs that kind of eye-strain?

Washing clothes was about ten times more difficult than you can imagine, unless youve done it yourself without any form of power. My mom did it but sometimes she would conscript me into service. I would have to wring clothes by hand, very difficult!, and then hang them up to dry. In our humid climate, it took a very long time for them to thoroughly dry. On one island, the washaterias would have their own generators, so we would wash our clothes there and then bring them home to dry on clotheslines.

We were fortunate to live right near the grid the hospital was tied to, so we usually got our power and water before most other people.

During the days following a typhoon, school would be out, and this could last from a few days to several weeks. If the running water was affected, there was no school until it was restored. My mom was a schoolteacher, so she would invent school assignments for us to do. I guess nowadays with homeschooling being so popular, it’s a lot easier to find textbooks and school supplies of all kinds.

Everybody on the islands owned at least one machete, and this was the primary tool for clean up following a typhoon. Those machetes were everything from military surplus to cane machetes. These islands didn’t have huge trees, so the clean up involved mostly cutting up branches and clearing debris. No one waited for the government to come and clean up. They did it themselves, including the clearing of roads.

I guess there are a lot of prepping lessons here that go beyond surviving a super-typhoon.

  1. Spam is your friend. I love Spam to this day.
  2. Canned goods may not be the most healthy food, but they’re a survival/emergency necessity. Eating Dinty Moore stew from the can isn’t all that bad.
  3. Water, water, water. Living without running water is far more difficult than doing without electricity.
  4. Additional water sources can be priceless. We regularly took our baths in the ocean.
  5. Don’t rely on batteries in a long-term survival scenario. Take a look at other sources of light that rely on different fuels.
  6. Nowadays, I’d stock up on solar powered lights, in particular.
  7. Plan to deal with insects, maybe more than you’ve ever encountered. Mosquitoes became a big issue in the days and weeks following a typhoon. We stocked up on mosquito coils.
  8. Adjust your mindset that you’ll eat and drink food and water at room temperature, or warmer.

Living through and then surviving the aftermath of a super-typhoon is much like any TEOTWAWKI event. Our lives just stopped for days or weeks, while we dealt with this new reality. I expect a future worst case scenario will be very similar.

 

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Delta’s Computer Glitch: 3 Reasons You Better Be Concerned

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Delta’s Computer Glitch: 3 Reasons Off-Gridders Should Be Concerned

A major computer outage crippled Delta Monday, cancelling hundreds of flights and impacting hundreds of thousands of passengers – and the lessons learned don’t affect just air travelers.

“A power outage in Atlanta, which began at approximately 2:30 a.m. ET, has impacted Delta computer systems and operations worldwide, resulting in flight delays,” a Delta Tweet read.

Planes were grounded at least six hours, and the problem had a cascading effect. Delta operates about 15,000 flights a day.

Georgia Power told CNN there was a “failure overnight in a piece of equipment known as switchgear” that impacted only Delta.

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Here’s three things you should know:

1. It’s not just airlines. Nearly every facet of modern-day life relies on computers and is online, including utilities, health care and the financial realm – and all have seen computer outages in the past year. Simply put, if computers go down, then our way of life grinds to a halt. And, increasingly, it is the norm.

2. It’s not the first airline to have this problem. In July, Southwest cancelled 17 flights and delayed more than 600 because of a computer glitch. Travelers were unable to check in, buy tickets and check flight status at Southwest, CBS An earlier outage in October 2015 caused 800 Southwest flights to be delayed and employees to write tickets by hand.

3. ISIS has promised cyberattacks. Although the Delta and Southwest problems may have been just computer bugs, ISIS has pledged to venture into cyberwarfare.

ISIS supporters and sympathizers have been discussing the horrifying idea of taking over airliners by hacking and crashing them, Politico reported. Modern aircraft rely on GPS and auto pilot.

The average airline pilot spends just seven minutes manually flying a Boeing 777 during a typical flight, survey data uncovered by The New York Times indicates. Pilots spent just three and a half minutes flying European-made Airbus airliners, according to the same survey.

Also, ISIS hackers are targeting critical infrastructure in the United States, FBI Director James Comey said in May.

“I see them already starting to explore things that are concerning, critical infrastructure, things like that,” Comey said of ISIS. “The logic of it tells me it’s coming, and so of course I’m worried about it.”

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasury Secretary) George Osborne also predicted that ISIS is trying to wage cyberwarfare against the financial system and the power grid.

ISIS is ramping up its terror attacks because the organization is losing its ground war in the Middle East, CIA Director John Brennan told the Senate Intelligence Committee in June.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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15 Things To Do When The Power Goes Out

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

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The Frightening History Of Blackouts And Civil Unrest

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The Frightening History Of Power Outages And Civil Unrest

 

Failure of the electrical grid can lead to far more than just inconvenience and a loss of the lights. History has proven that loss of electricity and the amenities it provides can lead to civil unrest, including riots.

Attacks on the infrastructure that provides our homes and businesses with electricity are far more common and sometimes more effective than we might imagine. News articles indicate that the grid is under constant siege from attackers, ranging from sophisticated cybercriminals to disgruntled employees. Even though the motives of these saboteurs vary widely, their purpose is a simple one: to wreak havoc by shutting off the electricity.

Such attacks can occur in conjunction with civil unrest or they might be carried out with the intention of triggering civil unrest. One reason why the saboteurs go after the grid is that it is highly vulnerable to attack. Such assaults are likely to cause a major electrical outage in the future because the grid is under constant attack.

The United States power grid suffers some sort of attack every four days, a March 2015 investigation by reporters from USA Today and 10 other Gannett media outlets revealed. The attacks occur both in cyberspace and in the real world, with a major attempt to breach computer security at an electrical facility occurring about once a week.

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There were more than 300 physical attacks on electrical infrastructure between 2011 and 2015, Gannett discovered. Authorities have not been able to identify suspects or make arrests in most of those attacks.

‘We Are Without God Now’ — The 1977 New York Blackout

The worst example of civil unrest caused by a power outage was the New York City Blackout of 1977. That grid failure led to widespread looting, rioting and arson. A series of lightning strikes on the evening of July 13, 1977, blew out circuit breakers, which caused power lines to overload with electricity and blow out the system.

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The loss of power led to chaos and widespread looting in parts of the city. More than 3,700 people were arrested, 1,600-plus stores looted, and 550 police officers injured.

“The looters were looting other looters, and the fists and the knives were coming out,” neurologist Carl St. Martin recalled in an interview with The New York Times. St. Martin witnessed the violence first-hand as a medical student at Wyckoff Heights Hospital in Brooklyn.

Some observers used apocalyptical language to describe the situation.

“We are without God now,” Father Gabriel Santacruz, a Catholic Priest at St. Barbara’s Church in Bushwick, Brooklyn, told his congregation after the violence had ended.

Story continues below video

Many observers blamed the violence during the 1977 New York blackout on economic conditions. The worst looting occurred in poorer neighborhoods where people were desperate and angry.

It’s Not Just NYC

In June 2014, angry mobs stormed several electrical substations in Northern India after a heatwave caused blackouts and power cuts, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported. In one incident, a mob set an electrical substation in the city of Gonda on fire. In Lucknow, a crowd ransacked power company offices and took employees hostage.

Temperatures as high as 117 degrees caused the grid to fail, the CBC reported. Civil unrest was made worse by popular anger at utilities, which started rationing utilities as high temperatures created a high demand for electricity.

Power outages can also create riots at colleges. On April 6, 2010, a blackout caused a melee at the University of Washington’s fraternity row in Seattle, United Press reported. A mob blocked streets, set couches on fire and threw bottles and bear cans at police.

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A similar incident occurred at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, on September 16, 2008. Around 3,000 students poured into the streets and began throwing objects at police after school officials decided to keep classes going during a power outage. Nearly 70 police officers from 10 different departments had to be called in.

There are several ways to stay safe from blackout-induced civil unrest:

  • Move. Living in a home that is as far away from the city center and business areas is the best way to keep your family safe. Moving out to the country. or at least the edge of the city, is a good first move.
  • Keep as low a profile as possible. Hunker down and keep safe until order is restored. One reason for this is that it will usually take several days for the regular military or the National Guard to mobilize and deploy to a trouble spot. Another delay is that troops cannot usually be deployed to an area until state or local authorities request their presence.
  • Stay home and off the streets. Do not drive or take long walks or bicycle rides unless absolutely necessary. You should also stay off public transportation systems, such as subways or light rail, because they run on electricity and often shut down during power outages. Stay off of major highways and freeways as well, because they become gridlocked with traffic in emergencies.
  • Examine maps of your area closely and find alternative routes to use during an emergency. Try to avoid major streets and highways.
  • Keep all of your valuables such as electronics, jewelry, gold, coins, silver, cash, guns etc., out of sight. If you have a safe, make sure it is hidden. Moving your vehicles to a location where they cannot be seen from the road or street is also a good idea.
  • Keep an emergency source of electricity, such as a solar generator, on hand. This can help you enjoy a modern lifestyle while your neighbors are blacked out.
  • Stockpile food, medicine and other supplies, and have a bug-out plan.

Civil unrest and power outages are like any other emergencies. You and your family can get through them safely and securely with a little preparation, awareness, knowledge and common sense.

What would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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How to Access Wikipedia When The Internet Is Down

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This is pretty amazing. The Urban Prepper created a step by step tutorial on how to download Wikipedia and store it on your phone for offline access. You have to purchase a MicroSD card to store the 60 GB of information on Wikipedia, and you’ll need to install an app on your phone called Kiwix. […]

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11 Ways To Light Your Home When The Power Goes Out

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11 Ways To Light Your Home When The Power Goes Out When the power goes out, the only lights most people have are candles, flashlights, and perhaps an oil lamp. These are fine for short power outages, but for extended outages (24 hours or longer), you’ll need lights that are safer, brighter, and longer-lasting. Fortunately, …

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How to Get Power From a Phone Line During a Blackout

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If you’re at least 30, you probably remember a time when phones didn’t need to be plugged into electrical outlets. You just plugged them into the phone line and they worked–even when the power was out. That’s because phone companies send a little bit of power through the landlines, and they have backup generators that […]

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15 Kitchen Gadgets That Work Without Power

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15 Kitchen Gadgets That Work Without Power Meals aren’t much of a problem during short power outages. There’s canned food, dehydrated food, MRE’s, etc. All you need is a way to boil water and you’re set. But what if it’s a long power outage? Not just a few days, but a few weeks or longer? …

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45 Things People Will Say After The Grid Goes Down

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

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Here’s What a National Electricity Shortage Looks Like

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Here’s What a National Electricity Shortage Looks Like Did you ever consider that the SHTF might not be a dramatic total blackout, like the kind caused by an EMP or a direct hit from the sun? What if the SHTF is actually an incremental electricity shortage that changes our very way of life? That’s exactly …

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15 Questions To Ask Before The Power Goes Out

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15 Questions To Ask Before The Power Goes Out It’s hard to overstate most people’s reliance on the power grid. They need it literally every second of every day–to do their jobs, to make their food, to keep them warm (or cool) while they sleep. But this increasing reliance on power is making people more …

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Fridge Items That May Last Through a Power Outage

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com After a power outage that lasts for a few hours, many people toss out everything that was in the refrigerator.  I always toss out milk, leftovers and meats.  However, not everything in the … Continue reading

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10 Things You’ll Need When The Power Grid Fails

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Most of us rely on the power grid almost every minute of every day. Without power, we usually just sit around waiting for it to come back on. But what if it doesn’t? Due to an aging infrastructure, the power grid is becoming less and less reliable every […]

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5 Things To Remember When The Lights Go Out

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Has there ever been a time when the power went out, but you kept trying to use electricity? For example, flipping a light switch, putting food into a microwave, or plugging in a phone? We are so used to having electricity every hour of every day that when […]

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Smartphone Communications During A Power Outage

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During a regional (or wider) disaster (e.g. major storm) and subsequent power outages, one of the main things that people will be trying to do is communicate with others via their cell phones / smartphones, and searching for information about the event. Back during Hurricane Sandy, many people walked long distances from areas that lost […]

Underrated Survival Prep – Candles

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My wife is a candle freak. We have spent a small fortune on Partylite and Yankee Candles over the years. They are decorative and are functional providing light in a lightless room. When it comes to preparedness candles are a huge resource often overlooked.

Incredibly inexpensive with an indefinite shelf life candles have been around since 200 BC. Beyond providing valuable light candles are useful for other purposes such as fire starting, cooking, and to a minimal extent they can provide heat.candles

Candles come in all shapes and sizes and made from a variety of materials. Some have one wick while others have multiple. They can be found in containers such as glass jars and metal tins. Candles also can be standalone pillars of varying sizes. I am sure we are all familiar enough with candles to bypass a further analysis of soy versus beeswax versus paraffin, etc. You light a candle and it burns with a flame. Pretty simple.

Candles should be a solid part of any survival supplies put back. Wal-Mart and craft stores are both excellent places to find them at great prices. My favorite type of candle is a jar candle. Candles can certainly be a fire hazard and with jar candles the chance of the flame getting out of control is slim. Either way – they should not be left unattended.

With my recent acquisition of a Candlelit Oven and am stocking up on tealights by the bag full. I continue to put back candles of all types.

Don’t forget the matches.

Rourke

 


Below are a few offering for candles on Amazon. Depending on the item something similar may be available locally for less money.

 
  
  
  

 

    
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lights Out Box: Everything You Need for a Power Outage

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This week’s video comes from the The Peaceful Prepper and her channel, “Urban Prepping for the Single Gal.” She has a really great idea that she calls a “Lights Out Box.” It’s not a full emergency kit; it’s just something you can use during ordinary power outages. The […]

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The Best Survival Flashlights That Money Can Buy

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A very important piece in serious prepper’s survival kit is the flashlight. No one should go without one. If SHTF at some point or another, any old flashlight will do if survival flashlight is not in reach, but nothing can compete with a professional, state of the art lightning gadget that’s been designed specifically for such occasions. These survival flashlights are superior to a normal flashlight in both battery life and durability. Most of them come with new and improved LED lighting systems and extremely powerful batteries (rechargeable batteries) that will outlast regular flashlights; there’s is hardly any competition there. Because they’re meant for usage in extreme situations, they are built to be extremely tough and robust: they’ll withstand shocks, they’re waterproof and (most of them are) and will deteriorate slowly (if at all) even in extreme climates. And the term “survival” applies in more ways than you can imagine; because they’re so sturdy and tough, made up from strong alloys, they can be used as a self defense clubs in case you’ll be forced to protect yourself.

One hit over the head and, ironically, it’s lights out! There’s great variety on the market in the survival flashlight department; products vary in shape, sizes, type of battery (primary or rechargeable), lightning filters and sequences etc. I’m about to show you some of those that I actually got to use and could be an asset to anybody in distress.

 

Olight M22 Warrior

This particular flashlight is still, in my opinion, the best option out there for those who are on a tight budget. It’s the best if you consider the price / quality ratio, considering you can buy it for about $50. It’s 5.7 inches long (1.6 in diameter) and it weighs 5.15oz. The M22 Warrior‘s body is made up from a very durable aluminum which is also used in aircraft manufacture. It used the latest and greatest in LED technology (Cree XM-L2 LED), which can put out about 950 lumens; this is more than enough to give you visibility coverage of about 1000 feet. It has a adjustable brightness level that works on 3 settings and a strobe mode for signaling your position or disorienting attackers. The mode selection and strobe can be turned on / off through a selector unit built into the head of the flashlight. There’s another switch located at the opposite side which controls brightness, but also the auto strobe mode, for quick access. The power source is optional:  you can use 2x CR123A batteries units or 1x 18650 battery. At the lowest setting (20 lumens) you get 30 hours of battery time and 1 hour at its highest setting (950 lumens).

 

SureFire E2D Defender

The SureFire E2D Defender is probably the best self-defense oriented flashlight that I got my hands on. If it’s a white weapon you want that can also light the way from time to time, look no further. It has a crenellated front bezel and tail, all to make it more menacing at to give more angles and edges that can be used in a combat situation. It’s probably the toughest survival flashlight on the market and will take quite a bit of striking force to actually break it; you most probably won’t. If you hit hard and precisely enough, it will stop any attacker in its tracks, be it man or animal. We got the self-defense part covered and we can all agree the SureFire E2D Defender is force to be reckoned with. If you expect it to be less efficient as a flashlight than it is as a weapon, you’d be wrong because it’s actually pretty good. It has a 2 settings mode: the full power mode will have it working at 200 lumens and will deplete the battery in about 2 hours. The ultra power-saving mode will get it down to 5 lumens, but it will keep battery life for up to 76 hours. It measure 5.4 inches in length and it weighs about 3.7oz.

 

Fenix HL22

This is a very good choice for those who are looking for a large yet lightweight flashlight, that’s easy to use and carry around. It’s 2.5 inches long, 1.6 inches in diameter and despite its size, it weighs about 1.6oz without battery. It has 3 adjustable brightness settings and it also has an SOS lightning mode, which is perfect for signaling for help. At its highest setting of 120 lumens it will deplete the battery in about an hour and a half. But if you let it run on power saving mode, its setting of 3 lumens will keep the battery lasting for about 55 hours. And all this can be achieved with a simple AA battery. The power saving mode of 3 lumens is not bright enough for visibility over long distances; you’ll only be able to walk without tripping over anything in the dark.

Choosing your personal flashlight is no easy thing and you should do it by the book. Consider the possibilities, scout the market thoroughly and make the right decision. Of course you can have more than one, just to play it safe. When comes to survival flashlights, the prices may vary from $15 to even $400.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

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Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life

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

 

How a compass works

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

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

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

Compasses to consider

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

American Red Cross FRX3

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

Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager

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

Grundig S450DLX

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

Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio

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

Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum

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

By Alec Deacon

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

Review: Olight S1 LED Baton Flashlight

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I have dozens of flashlights ranging from very small and just a couple of lumens to larger super bright models. Ever since I was a kid and had an old silver flashlight that had an ultra-cool button on the switch that allowed me to do morse code with it I have been hooked. Flashlights today are lighters, smaller, and much brighter than just a decade ago.

The Olight S1 Baton represents modern flashlight technology at its best providing excellent brightness in a small package. I have been using the S1 over the last two months. Here are my thoughts…….

Olight-S1-OR-0

Specifications

– Utilizes Cree XM-L2 LED, creating a brightness level up to 500 Lumens

– 4 Variable Brightness Levels Plus a Strobe Mode

– Strobe – high – mid – low – moonlight

– IPX-8 Waterproof Standard

– S10 Baton safe in water up to 2m deep

– Magnetic Tailcap for Attaching to Any Steel Surface

– Battery: CR123 Lithium Ion

– Length: 2.4″ inches

– Reverse Polarity Protection

– Includes Pocket Clip and Lanyard

 

Build/Construction

Solid. The Olight so far has proven to be rugged and well built. No machining marks can be seen and craftsmanship looks to be Grade A. Threads are smooth and the lens is clear. On/Off button has been solid and consistent. Pocket clip is extremely strong but with a light this small it is not needed. It belongs in my pocket.

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The knurling is noticeable and makes for gripping this tiny light easy. The hexagon-shaped collar keeps the Olight from rolling around when on uneven surfaces.

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Performance

The Olight S1 throws a true 500 lumens. There are many lights out there “claiming” x-number of lumens and Olight is accurate in its specs. For a flashlight so small it amazingly bright. The Olight has a flood beam which generally I am not a fan of however with 500 lumens being thrown there is plenty of illumination for walking down trails or even running in total darkness.

Runtime has been phenomenal.

The magnetic tailcap provides a strong bond to any ferrous steel. This can come in handy when working on a car, during a power outage, or any situation where two hands are needed.

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Summary

If you’ve read this far you know I am very impressed with the Olight S1. I own so many flashlights but when it comes as close to perfection as possible the S1 is there. It really is an engineering marvel to have the combination of small size, incredible brightness, and long runtime. At a price of around $50 it is a great deal.

Highest recommendation. For more information click HERE.

Rourke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://shrsl.com/?~a5cq

Testing Your Preps – One Family’s Journey Into Darkness

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Marshall Prepper. Prepping is a combination of many disciplines but no matter which aspect you are looking at, simply acquiring stuff won’t get you truly prepared for anything. You can purchase a firearm, but if you don’t train with it and understand […]

The post Testing Your Preps – One Family’s Journey Into Darkness appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Long-Term Fuel Storage for Preppers

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

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

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

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

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

By Alex Vanover


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


 

 

The post Long-Term Fuel Storage for Preppers appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Home Essentials You Need for Survival

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

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


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

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

How To Survive A Permanent Power Outage


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

70 howtos for your preps


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

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

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

 

By Mary Saurer


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


 

The post Home Essentials You Need for Survival appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Can You Use a Fuel Generator if You Live in a High Rise?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com I recently received a reader question about whether it is advisable to use a generator while living in a high rise.  If you’ve been visiting the blog a while, you may recall I … Continue reading

The post Can You Use a Fuel Generator if You Live in a High Rise? appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Episode 66 Blackouts

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Black Outs

Blackouts

 

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Blackouts

This week we talk all about blackouts. With the recent storms and blackouts I thought we should talk prepping for the power going out.

We cover batteries for storage. My hierarchy of batteries. With rechargeables being the first line of defense. Eneloop being the best rechargeables you can get. With Energizer Lithium as your reliable emergency batteries. Lastly always stock up on cheap junk batteries. Use them if your rechargeables are not charged and it’s not an emergency. Remember two is one and one is none.

We cover flashlights, candles, battery backups and much more.

 

 

Links

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Off Grid Air Conditioning: DIY Bucket Air Cooler for Camping and Other Uses

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diy-air-conditioner-bucket-coolerSo you decide you want to go camping in the dead heat of summer where it’s regularly in the 90’s or hotter. What do yo do to keep cool? Why not make yourself one of these off grid air conditioning devices? This diy bucket cooler not only proves useful for camping, but can also prove an extremely effective alternative to conventional air conditioning powered by electricity for people who want to live off the grid, or just save money on their electric bill.

Find out step by step…

How To Build A DIY Bucket Cooler
For Off Grid Air Conditioning

No Sheeple Here

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Where does a “prepper” end and self sufficiency begin?
When one realizes that prepping is all well and good, but unless you have the incredible fortune to have 5 years worth of supplies squirreled away, you’re going to have to learn how to be self sufficient.
In fact, many advocates of self-sufficiency started  on the path to prepping.

When I say “prepping”, I’m not talking about tinfoil-hat-wearing-rifle-toting-live-underground types.
Generally, I’m talking about the folks who put food and basic supplies aside in times of just-in-case.
Just-in-case could be shortage of work, extended power outages, store shortages, road closures, natural disasters, and the list goes on depending on geography, financial climate, etc.

Digital Journal explains it like this;
“The heart of the prepper message: No power, no stores open. No stores open, no food. During the Los Angeles riots, truckers refused to deliver to supermarkets because it was too dangerous. People living day-to-day who have consumed the limited amount of food they have begin to get desperate, and, in the case of a massive or multiple disasters, government assistance may or may not be forthcoming. Indeed, the government itself may be the problem.”

It’s an easy stroll from a “prepper” mindset to one of self sufficiency.
For example, one day I can be thinking about buying freeze-dried fruit online and three days later I’m planting my own strawberry beds so that I won’t have to buy strawberries online next year. The money I save not buying the fruit online can be diverted into a dehydrator.
See? No message of doom and gloom, but rather, think ahead.

It’s an engaging, a creative use of the grey-matter between our ears. One that takes responsibility for ourselves. One that says we can think for ourselves, no sheeple here, thank you very much.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/doomsday-prepping-comes-of-age-reaches-cities-affluent/article/384096#ixzz34og7c5uA