5 of the Most Popular Survival Kits You Can Find

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We’ve done some digging and come across some of the best survival kits offered on Amazon, making the purchasing of prepping gear easy. Depending on your needs and the size of your family, consider adding a small kit to your car or splitting up these kits to upgrade your bug out bag or add to your home prepping stash.

When preparing for a disaster, many overlook the possibility of something happening while in a car and away from home.  That’s why some of the kits below can be purchased and left in your car so you’ll never be left without at least some survival gear.

The peace of mind offered once you’ve got your car outfitted is difficult to describe, that’s why some of these kits offer bags that are light enough they can be moved around (in and out of a car if you choose to not store survival gear in your vehicle) or stored neatly under a bed.

1. Tianer Survival Gear 11 in 1 Kit

Tianers Professional Outdoor Emergency Survival Gear Kit offers 11 tools, including a military compass, survival (multi-function) knife, saber card, fire starter, whistle, wire saw, flashlight, signal mirror, scraper, tungsten steel pen, and a box to keep it all in. 

At only $23.99, this little survival kit is inexpensive considering what’s in it and perfect to toss in a vehicle or set on the shelf with your other prepping tools.  You could also take several of the items and add them to your bug out bag if you happen to be missing a few of the essentials, and for the price, wouldn’t have to worry about splitting up the kit.

If you don’t want to split this kit up, don’t worry.  It’s small and easy to carry. The dimensions of the box containing the other ten items 4.1 x 1.8 x 6.3 inches and it weighs only 0.65 pounds. The box is touted as “sturdy enough to be waterproof and protect the products inside.”

2. Emergency Case Premium Family 4 Person 4 Days Emergency Kit 

This kit will set you back $800, but it has everything you need for a family of four to survive for four days.  It comes in an easy to pull waterproof, durable, and lockable container.  This kit is perfect to grab and toss in the car in the event of an immediate natural disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane.

It can be stored anywhere and decreases evacuation time to 60 seconds. Easy rolling, mobile, highly durable, lockable, and waterproof case contains a 5 kit emergency system. In that system are a food & water kit, sleep & shelter kit, advanced medical kit, tools & safety kit, and health & hygiene kit.  It contains a tent and sleeping bags and includes a water filtration system.

If you live in one of the nation’s “disaster zones” and are ill-prepared for a quick evacuation, though a little expensive, this kit could be a lifesaver.

3. Emergency Zone Family Prep Emergency Survival 72 Hour Kit

Available in both a two-person and a four-person kit, the survival gear comes in a discrete red backpack and all supplies are conveniently packaged in a discrete and nondescript red pack.  This kit is only $179.99 for a four-person kit and $139.99 for the two-person version. 

The items come well-organized ziplock bags to keep everything organized and dry and the convenient backpack includes a 48-page emergency preparedness guide.  It also comes with a hygiene kit and some basic medical supplies and a flashlight. This pre-made bug out bag could be the perfect solution to the previous more expensive kit and would be excellent for the beginning prepper. 

4. Get Ready Now Deluxe Car Emergency Kit

 This compact, convenient sized kit is designed to fit under the front seat, in door panels, or backseat pockets.  Basically, you could toss this thing in any vehicle without losing too much space, and at only $125.99, you could feel confident in having at least some survival gear should you get lost or break down.

This kit will offer you the best supplies for a worst-case scenario. The kit includes critical gear often omitted in DIY kits including light, first aid, utility tools, warmth & cooling, sanitation, and food and water products.

5. Survival Frog All-in-One LifeShield Survival Bug Out Bag

At $299.99, this kit certainly is not the cheapest on the list, but it’s a good one for those with minimal prepping under their belt. Even though this kit contains a wide selection of essential survival gear, it still weighs less than 15 lbs. This means that preppers who purchase with this pack will get the best of both worlds – a complete bug out bag that you can actually carry around comfortably.

Purchased individually, the items included in this kit would retail for over $500, but Survival Frog wanted to eliminate any barriers that would prevent customers from being fully prepared. The lifeshield bug out pack is incredibly spacious, offers 2,400 cubic inch survival gear capacity in six organized compartments, and is also insanely durable.

The options are endless, but good and lightweight supplies should be at the forefront of a prepper’s mind. Remember, these kits are great on their own or they can be broken up to make the perfect bag or kit for your personal situation.  You are limited only by your imagination! The important thing to remember is you must consider your personal situation.  Many may not desire a bug out bag, preferring to “bug in” but can use the individual items in some of the kits to add to a car kit or enhance a home prepping stash.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Best Prepare Yourself For The Coming Financial Crisis

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Many financial analysts believe the United States economy is in a dire situation.  Peter Schiff, who accurately predicted the 2008 recession has come out and declared we will all live through another Great Depression, only this time, it’ll be much worse than before.  But there are ways to prepare for such an event, and we’ve gathered some helpful tips and tricks to help make the process a little more smooth.

“The bad news is, we are going to live through another Great Depression and it’s going to be very different. This will be in many ways, much much worse, than what people had to endure during the Great Depression…This is going to be a dollar crisis.”

When you are talking about the magnitude of the debt we have, that extra money [raising interest rates] is big. That’s going to be a big drain on the economy to the extent that we have to pay higher interest to international creditors…a lot of this phony GDP is coming from consumption, while the average American who is consuming is deeply in debt and they are going to impacted dramatically in the increase in the cost of servicing that debt…given how much debt we have, and how much debt is going to be marketed the massive increase in supply will argue for interest rates that are higher.” -Peter Schiff

According to Financial Times, it is becoming clear that the global monetary policy is now caught in a debt trap of its own making. Continuing on the current monetary path is ineffective and increasingly dangerous. But any reversal also involves great risks. It stands to reason that the odds of another crisis blowing up continue to rise.

So how can you forecast this economic disaster and best prepare?  For starters, you should pay off as much debt as possible. There are many reasons for this, the obvious being if it truly belongs to you and you have the title in hand, no one can take that property from you.  Pay off your unsecured debts first and as quickly as possible, however.  Credit card debt will become more expensive as interest rates rise, making those already only able to make a minimum payment stuck choosing between a credit card payment or another bill. Make sure you stop putting things on a credit card in order to pay it down with the goal of eliminating that debt. Cut things out of your budget if you must to pay things off. A good tip from Surviopedia is to tackle your debts one at a time starting with the smaller ones. Once the smaller one is paid off, apply the money for those payments to the next biggest debt, paying it off early. Once things are paid off, you’ll also have the added benefit of having extra money to buy things of value that can be used as currency during a crisis, such as gold, food, or ammunition.  Remember, when paper money is of no value, food or ammunition could very well be a powerful form of currency as bartering for goods and services inevitably returns.

Everyone knows they should store a little extra food “just in case,” even if it’s only to wait out a harsh storm. But accumulating ammunition is a great way to prepare for a post-apocalyptic world, especially one in which no one has money (or money is worthless) and grocery store shelves are empty. This is a great primer article to learn more about SHTF Firearms. Rifle and pistol cartridges will always have value if you store them right because ammunition could mean the difference between life and death.  An unloaded gun is merely a club, while a loaded gun can kill an animal for meat or protect one’s life from a violent attack.  Hoarding ammunition and having a safe and dry place to store it could be almost seen as a “savings account.” Even if you don’t own a gun capable of shooting a cartridge you are storing, someone else likely will. One strategy to use, though is to arm yourself with firearms and ammunition using very common cartridges. This will increase the chances that someone else, will have a gun that can shoot what you are offering. The most common pistol cartridges are 9mm, 38 Special and .45 ACP. The most common rifle cartridges are .22 Long Rifle, 7.62x39mm, and 5.56x45mm.  Ammunition is often overlooked as a possible form of currency during a financial crisis but it will be necessary and difficult to come by making it a highly valued currency.  Make sure you have a safe place to store your ammunition and keep its availability quiet to prevent theft or violent attacks against yourself. Rifle cartridges will represent months worth of food, even if you don’t own a rifle. The trick is to find someone who does and trade them for something of equal value.

The final tip to best prepare yourself for a financial crisis is to learn how to make things, such as biodiesel or vegetable oil. Vegetable oil can be extracted by the proper processing of corn and other seeds of your choice and during Venezuela’s collapse, this was one of the first staples that disappeared from the market. Most of the oil producing companies were seized and nationalized. Now their production is a small fraction of what it was when they were private, and the military controls the supply and sales in the black market. Once the vegetable oil has been used for cooking, it could be used as fuel, to improve the heat output of wood stoves, or even as a makeshift a water heater that runs with WVO (waste vegetable oil).  But you should also consider learning to make biodiesel, especially if you own a vehicle or a generator that will run on diesel fuel. It is possible to make biodiesel using vegetable oil too.  If you’d like to try it, Thoughtco has put together a helpful guide that will walk you through the process. 

Remember the three things that will be the most impactful during an economic collapse: having no debt, having items that will serve as a currency, and being able to produce things of value.  If you can accomplish all of those, your chances of survival will go up.

 

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Best TSA-Approved Multi-Tools For Survival Or Self-Defense

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Traveling can be fun, but going through the Transportation Security Administrations checkpoints can leave you feeling exploited and defenseless.  The TSA’s rules are constantly changing, and it can be difficult to know what you are allowed to have on a plane.  Because of this, we’ve broken down the best survival and self-defense tools TSA will allow in this handy guide.

All of the tools shown below are 100% TSA approved, meaning they will allow you to carry them in your carry-on bag on a flight without hassle. Unless things change again. (I had half plastic, half metal baby fingernail clippers seized from me once.)

Just in case the TSA gets overzealous, you can prevent your multitool from being stolen from you. One travel hack that works for some is to open up all the tools and place it in the change tray. If that doesn’t do the trick, another quick tip is to pack an envelope with pre-paid postage. That way, if you run into any problems, you can avoid confiscation by mailing it home or to a friend instead.

*All images courtesy of Amazon

1. Gerber Shard Keychain Tool

Backed by a titanium nitride coating to help prevent corrosion, this shard keychain includes a wire stripper, bottle opener, lanyard hole and more. It also comes with flat and Phillips head screwdrivers. It’s small and easy to carry. The Shard, made with a unique keyhole, can easily attach to a split ring or key ring, which lets you keep the multi-tool handy at all times.

Size: 3.1 x 1.3 x 0.6 inches and weighs .0.32 oz., with lightweight easy to grab-and-go functionality you should imagine from a great keychain multi-tool.

The best news is that this little tool won’t break the bank either.  You grab this one for $6.95 on Amazon.

2. Gerber Dime Multi-Tool Travel, Bladeless

This handy multi-tool includes needle nose pliers, wire cutters, scissors, a zipper hook, small and medium flat screwdrivers, tweezers, a bottle opener and much, much more. Built by Gerber again, it’s definitely one heck of a quality carry-on tool. This tool is bladeless for travel-friendly use, features a butterfly open design, with comfortable ergonomic handles, stainless steel construction, and a convenient keychain ring.

Size: 0.7 x 5.5 x 6 inches

This handy tool will cost you $14.95 on Amazon.

3. TREAD Wearable Tool

Made in the United States, this multitool is “ready for anything. With the functionality of a Leatherman, all in one stylish package, The Tread’s modular design is fully customizable to fit your needs and your wrist. The Tread is fully adjustable to fit your wrist. Simply add or remove links in quarter-inch and half-inch increments to fit.  It also has a variety of box wrenches, hex drives, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, oxygen tank wrench, carbide glass breaker, sim card pick, cutting hook, socket drive adapter, and bottle opener. This one is meant to be worn everywhere, not just on the airplane. 

Size: 3.9 x 5.9 x 9.4 inches

This one will set you back a bit coming in at $174.95 on Amazon.  However, it comes with a 25-year limited warranty.

4. Piranha 2 Multi-Purpose Pocket Tool

The Piranha 2 multi-purpose pocket tool features  7 tools, which include a scraper, bottle opener, 1/4″ hex bit driver, medium screwdriver, open wrench (English), box wrench (Metric), and box opener.

Size: 4.9 x 2 x 1.1 inches

This one is not as pricey as the wearable tool.  Amazon has it listed for $14.99.

5. Leatherman Style PS Multi-Tool

The Style PS is the ultimate pocket-sized multitool. Put it in your pocket, clip it on your bag, and even take it when you travel right in your carry on bag. It’s lightweight and compact size makes it easy to take with you anywhere. The Style PS features spring-action needlenose and regular pliers, spring-action wire cutters and scissors, flat and Phillips screwdriver, tweezers, nail file, and combination carabiner and bottle opener. Style PS also only requires one hand to open and use all the tools.

Size: 3.1 x 2 x 1.3 inches

The Style PS is selling for $29.95 on Amazon

6. NiteIze DooHicKey

This keychain multitool is inexpensive and can tighten bolts and screws or open a bottle. It features a box Cutter, a bottle opener, wrench (.25”, .3125”, and .375”), ruler (inches and centimeters), carabiner, and flathead screwdriver.

Size: 2.6” x .7” x .1”

You can snag one of these on Amazon for only $3.98!

7. Zootility Tools Wildcard

This folding credit card knife is TSA-approved. Made entirely of heat treated stainless steel, it features a replaceable blade, built-in screwdrivers, a pry-bar, and a bottle opener.  Since it’s the size of credit card, it also easily slides into your wallet.  Zootility WildCard™  knife is TSA compliant, however, if you get in a confiscation situation, you can just surrender the blade, and keep the handle, which features built-in screwdrivers, a pry-bar, and bottle opener, making it the ultimate tool for everyday carry and replace the blade later. 

Size: 2.2 x 3.2 x 0.1 inches

This multi-tool is available on Amazon for $35.00

*All Amazon prices are current to when this article was written and may change after publication.

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Set Up an “Underground” Print Station

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Although we live in an age of information technology, what happens if that technology should suddenly disappear?  What happens in the event of an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack, or a natural disaster, such as a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) from the Sun?  Whatever the cause…natural or man-made, there will be a collapse of some sorts, either partial or total with likelihood resting upon the latter.  So, what can you do about it?  You can do plenty, but you need to start now.

We’re referring primarily to the breakdown of communications for a local area.  This breakdown may be due to the government clamping down on all local media and communications.  That is being done slowly but surely already.  In the USSR, typewriters and copy machines were under strict control by the State.  Yes, the total control of what news and information was disseminated among the public…with complete censorship to boot.  A copy machine not registered with the State and under State control would bring you the death penalty in those years.

If you think we’re far away from that, you need to read up on current events and look at the amount of decline in the Independent News Media in the past several years.  This is not the scope of this article, but it gives the purpose and intent: forming your own “press” underground.

Create a Network

This can be as simple as picking up a typewriter and supplies, to start out small.  Of course, the typewriter is not the answer: the network you create is the answer.  What this means is finding and vetting like-minded people in your immediate locale and expanding outward who will commit to a “pony express” type of newspaper…who will disseminate flyers and informational pamphlets when the time is called upon, and who are not afraid to take a stand and continue to practice the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States after a totalitarian government “outlaws” it and forbids freedom of the press.

You will need to gather your supplies.  Let’s list the ones you’ll need:

  1. Typewriter: An electric can be used, but only if there’s power and/or a generator. I recommend the manual version that will allow you to “pound keys” without electricity.  There are plenty of different models available for you to pick up on either e-bay or amazon.com that will fulfill your needs, if you cannot find one locally.  Ensure that it works and is serviceable.  Make sure you clean and oil the working parts prior to use if it has been sitting “dormant” for a while.  Some brands are Olivetti, Sears, Smith-Corona.  Pick what works for you.  It’s also portable and can be moved when the “going gets tough” and calls for popping smoke.
  2. Ribbon: There are plenty of ribbons around that fall under the heading of “Universal Ribbon” that will fit in numerous models of typewriter. You may be able to find one that has a spool that is almost identical to the manual model you select.  If need be, then modify it.  Fabrication is just as important as gathering the supplies.
  3. Ink: You will need it eventually. Bottles of India Ink will do nicely, as well as a paintbrush approximately the same width as your ribbon.  Take two finishing nails and drive them into a scrap piece of wood.  Now mount your ribbon on one, and “paint” ink on the outside (exterior/far side) of the ribbon, all the way along the length, taking care to coat it but not excessively/thickly.  Then pop your spools back in the typewriter, and voila!  Nothing to it.
  4. Out of Ink? And Home Depot is in ruins and looted?  Well, time to make your own ink out of a variety of different materials, such as charcoal dust, some vegetable oil, and lampblack (a form of black soot).  There are a million different formulas, and you’ll have to research which one you can make from what you have on hand.
  5. Paper: Yes, paper is a necessity. Eventually we’ll be making our own, but you can still set aside some cases of plain white paper that will not break your bank account.  Be sure to protect the paper inside of plastic waterproof bins that are in a safe place and off the ground.
  6. Carbon Paper: You can still find it. Pick up as much of it as you can handle.  It certainly helps to be able to make copies as you’re typing.  Granted, your “circulation” will not be all that high, but you’re going to be in a survival situation where everything is broken down.  Do the best you can with what you have.
  7. Skilled typists: You will need to operate in shifts, if you’re printing information and disseminating news that is important.  Examples could be changes in a nuclear or a biologically contaminated area, for better or for worse, or some kind of “barter” system between those who will conduct business honorably and not (to paraphrase Jack London) according to the “Law of Club and Fang.”  Typing is a skill that will be important to have.
  8. A copy machine with supplies: Yes, it doesn’t hurt to go and pick one up that will run off a generator with sealed up extra cartridges for toner and such. Pack it up and keep it from deteriorating…it will be worth it in the long run.  You may even be able to hook up a battery array and run off a few hundred copies or so…or off a generator.  Could save the time of typing.  Always have the “low tech” (the carbon paper) but give yourself the ability to use a copy machine…save it for your print station to pull out of storage and employ if the need arises.  Pack the thing in a Faraday cage to be on the safe side and forget about it…until it’s needed.

In our next part we’ll discuss more things about what to print, how to enlarge a “pony express post-SHTF mail route,” and how to do all of this on the Q-T if the government turns worse and tries to silence you with “Peace Officers” on every corner.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hurricane Expert Warns: “Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario”… U.S. Could See Up to 5 Major Hurricanes in 2018

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Before 2017, there was a relatively quiet period for hurricanes. In fact, a decade went by without a major hurricane. But all of that changed in 2017, when monster hurricanes Irma and Harvey hit. Due to their unprecedented damage, the 2017 hurricane season became one of the most expensive on record. With nearly 200 billion dollars worth of damage, many were hoping for another quiet lull for this year, but forecasters say otherwise.

Two primary factors are critical for determining how active the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season will be. One is whether El Niño develops and the other is the configuration of North Atlantic sea surface temperatures. When El Niño conditions are present and ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific are warm, the Atlantic hurricane season tends to be less active.

Increased sea levels could also be indicative of more severe storm damage. “Higher sea levels mean that deadly and destructive storm surges push farther inland than they once did, which also means more frequent nuisance flooding. Disruptive and expensive, nuisance flooding is estimated to be from 300 percent to 900 percent more frequent within U.S. coastal communities than it was just 50 years ago.”

The U.S. Could See as Many as 5 Major Hurricanes in 2018

When combined together, these indications could create a conditions perfect for hurricane formations. AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski is predicting the United States will see 12-15 tropical storms, 6 to 8 are forecasted to become hurricanes and 3 to 5 are forecast to become major hurricanes.

2018 atlantic hurricane season forecast 

“According to Kottlowski, conditions are ripe for early season development in the Gulf of Mexico due the warm water already in place in that part of the Atlantic basin.

As for the rest of the season, historical records and the projected pattern suggest the area from Houston to Florida and up through the Outer Banks of North Carolina will be more favorable for direct impacts from tropical storms and hurricanes.

‘Anywhere else along the coast, everybody should still be vigilant and prepare for a possible direct impact,’ Kottlowski said.

‘You should have a hurricane plan in action. In other words: If you had to evacuate, what would you take with you? And if you were staying home, how would you deal with a storm that may knock your power out, may knock your water service out,’ he said.

‘You want to prepare for the worst case scenario – that’s called having a hurricane plan. And the government and local officials do have guidelines on how to create such a plan depending on where you live.’”

Hurricanes are Unpredictable and Preparation is Key

In the United States, almost 40 percent of the population lives in relatively high-population-dense coastal areas, where sea level plays a role in flooding and hazards from storms. With so many living near hurricane-prone areas, it is important for everyone to be prepared.

It is emphasized in The Prepper’s Blueprint how unpredictable hurricanes can be and how this type of natural disaster is truly one of the most difficult emergencies to prepare for simply because there are so many variables to account for. These storms can range from mild to severe, cause wind damage, flooding, and tornadoes. You can be fully stocked with provisions and then your home is flooded in a matter of minutes. For example, before Hurricane Harvey made landfall it was predicted as merely a tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane. In fact, many living in the area did not think much of it in terms of severity and only stocked up on supplies for a few days. Within those few days, it had developed into a Category 4 with 132 mph winds.

Related: 20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios

5 Ways to Get Prepped

Having an emergency plan and some simple supplies on hand can help you get through a disaster unscathed. If you can start gathering supplies now, you won’t have to deal with panic buying or going home empty-handed. This hurricane primer has essential articles with supply lists that may be essential in your preparedness planning.

Here’s how to start!

Have a plan. Making a plan ahead of time will keep you organized and ensure that all of your needs and supplies are accounted for. This short-term emergency checklist is good for getting necessary supplies in place. At a minimum, keep an emergency bag filled with supplies to last for 72-hours. This is good for peace of mind, as well as, in the case of having to evacuate on a moment’s notice. If you want to go “full prepper” you should really have multiple 72-hour bags packed for places where you spend most of your time: the home, vehicle and workplace. This ensures all of your bases are covered. That said, it is also imperative to research and learn about the aftermath of hurricanes.

Get some supplies. You want to create a short-term emergency supply of not just food and water, but critical items that will disappear after a hurricane. Many of the items that often disappear as a result of a disaster are items that protect your basic needs. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, six items disappeared almost immediately due to the shortage of supplies: gasoline, water, food staples, bleach, toilet paper, and home repair items. To ensure you have all that you need, read the 52-Weeks to Preparedness to get prepared for short-term to longer-term emergencies.

Prepare for all family members and don’t forget your petsOne of the reasons planning for emergencies before they occur is so important is that when panic sets in, you tend to forget needs of others like prescription medicines or food for pets.  Consider having all members of the household knowing some simple first aid and CPR.

Get supplies to protect your home. Having pre-cut boards and supplies prepped and on hand can save valuable time when you are under a hurricane threat. This checklist for preparing the exterior of the home should be printed out and put in an emergency binder for essential protocols to follow.

Plan for the worst-case – There are consequences to those who fail to prepare for disasters. They are listed in detail in this article and should be read.  There are immediate threats that hurricane victims must be aware of and be prepared to encounter. Water contamination, infectious diseases, sanitation emergencies, and looting could all pose a problem for victims of hurricanes. While prepping for hurricanes at the last-minute can be a gamble, it is possible. Here are some tips for last-minute preparations for sheltering in place.

Hurricanes are unpredictable in nature and the 2017 hurricane season was a brutal reminder of how quickly your world can change and have the capacity to level homes, flood neighborhoods and cause massive amounts of damage to communities. Experts are warning communities to prepare accordingly for this season.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prep of the Month: The Survival Kit That Fits Anywhere! (GIVEAWAY)

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Over the years, I’ve purchased different survival kits and most of them were made with cheap items that wouldn’t last through the duration of an emergency. In fact, one kit I purchased had a “survival knife” that was so dull it wouldn’t cut through a sheet of paper. What am I supposed to do with this is an emergency?

I know that many of you have made this prepper mistake.

In an emergency, when you are only left with your tools to survive, you want them to be dependable.

With that in mind, the folks over at Global Tactical Gear created a survival kit only using “high-quality, reliable gear for emergency preparedness and survival situations,” and I have to say I’m impressed.

Everything you need in an emergency

When I opened the package I was immediately pleased with the water-resistant case the kit came in and the attention to detail in every item. All items in the kit are good quality and can serve multiple purposes in an emergency. For example, the survival pen not only writes, but can also be used to break glass if you need to escape from a car, and the saber card has a can opener, bottle opener, 4 and 2-position wrench, butterfly, and direction ancillary wrench, screwdriver, knife edge, saw blade, and ruler. And that’s just one item!

As well, I love the size of this kit. It is small enough to fit in a glove compartment of a vehicle, a bug out bag or even in a medium to large size purse.

Here’s what is inside:

  • 3.5″ Survival Knife with Seat Belt Cutter
  • Large Ferro Flint & Steel Fire Starter
  • Tactical Pen
  • Emergency Thermal Blanket
  • 350 Lumen Flashlight (all metal)
  • Compass
  • Multi-Function Saber Card
  • Aluminum Alloy Whistle with 120db
  • Shockproof and Water-Resistant Case
  • How-To User Guide eBook
  • “10 Tips for Wilderness Survival” eBook

If this kit isn’t enough, they also include a FREE survival eBook that you can download. Hands down, this is the best survival kit I have seen and will be purchasing another for my vehicle. Another plus is the regular price is $27.99 – which is very affordable!

The only suggestion I would make to this kit would be to add some iodine tablets for water purification and some paracord but this could easily be added to the kit after purchasing.

Do you want one of these amazing survival kits?

Global Tactical Gear are giving 2 of these multipurpose survival kits away to a couple of lucky Ready Nutrition readers.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Go to your Twitter page, and like and follow @TessPennington
  2. RT & Send
  3. Tag a Friend

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Whether you are looking for a lightweight preparedness kit for the car, your family preparedness supplies, or your bug out bag that will have multipurpose tools to use in an emergency, this would be the kit I would recommend. As well, it would make a great gift for your favorite prepper.

 

Full Disclosure: I received the Global Tactical Gear Survival Kit with Knife as a product to review, but liked it so much that I will be purchasing one for each of my family’s bug out bags. 

 

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Common Sports Items You Can Use to Protect Yourself in an Emergency

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OK, I’m going to start this off with almost a “disclaimer,” of sorts.  Please do not think that I do not buy gear of top quality; however, I’m skeptical about much of the equipment out there on the market.  Just because something has a brand name attached to it doesn’t mean that it is quality.  Much of the stuff that is “garbage” and is passed off as being “quality” is manufactured on the cheap in China and other countries that are not trying to produce something that will last a long time.

That being mentioned, the article is specifically for people who don’t have $80 to “dump” into Oakley Tactical shooting gloves, or Tactical Military knee pads at $70 to $80 per pair.  And more.  While there are some great places to find quality tactical gear, this article can give you some ideas on how to build up a supply of reserves (or daily, whichever you prefer, with your “good” gear in reserve) for when times are tough.

You can find some good deals for used sporting equipment by simply doing a search on the internet. Ebay, Amazon are some big names that have used sporting equipment, but there are other websites that specialize in used sports gear. So, check it out in your free time. That said, let’s jump into it!

5 Types of Sports Equipment That Can Be Modified Into Protective Gear

Gloves: One of the things the Oakley’s have that attracts a lot of people are those hardened plastic “knuckles” on the outside.  That’s fine.  I personally feel that if you have the glove that covers the knuckle, you don’t need an “artificial” one: if you’re going to strike a blow, you’re not going to hit the individual on top of his helmet.  You’re going to pick a “soft” spot such as his jaw, his temple, his throat, etc.  There are some substitutes.  Weightlifting gloves, and motorcycle-riding gloves.  The tips of the fingers are removed, yet they’re padded on the palms.  Pick up the ones made of thick leather and maybe a Velcro strap to close around the wrist.  This will protect your palms, give your knuckles a shield, and still enable you to use your fingertips where gloves may (and often do) interfere.

Related Article: These Simple Training Techniques Will Prepare You For Emergency Hand-to-Hand Combat

Football and Rugby Shorts: These are great, made of nylon (Spandex-type) or polyester, stitched to take some punishment with padding on the hips and on the thighs usually sewn into the material.  When you’re lying in the prone, this is a great help.  Enables you to cushion those areas.  Helps to minimize bumps and bruises, as well.  Drawback: they don’t have “slots” to allow you to urinate easily.  Either make your own and emplace “button snaps” on them, or you’ll have to pull down on the waistband if you’re a guy.  If you’re a gal, well, it’s not a major concern.

Knee and Elbow Pads: As mentioned before, there is no need to go out and spend all that money on those pads.  There are plenty of rollerblading and skateboarding knee and elbow pads for half those prices that are just as durable, if not more so.  You should shop around to find the best deal and the best quality pieces.  Try to stick to earth tones or black in terms of color.  Used sporting goods all over the place will be able to get you a complete set of both for about $20 in total, and they work.

Wrist Guards: Now, on this one I’m partial…I like the ones that give you support and are made out of leather.  You may have to have these custom-ordered.  Reason for them?  Leather will protect the wrists from being slashed, either by a sharp edge or by a knife.  These, too, can be made for you at a leather-works shop.  Buckled ones are best.  If you’re not going to go with leather, then you can pick these up inexpensively for under $10 at Wal-Mart in the sporting goods section.

Shin Guards: The ones made for soccer players are the best.  Excellent to strap on the outside of your pants over your calves and tuck into your boots.  Protects you going through clear-cut, swamps, and other places that the shins are likely to take a beating.  Not hard to find and not expensive at all.

Not mentioned is the everyday baseball bat. I covered this in a different article on how this can be used in a self-defense manner and add any attention to yourself for having it in the vehicle.

We have covered a few things to give you some ideas.  Many of these pieces that are normally used in sporting events are designed specifically to take a beating, which is what you need for equipment in the first place.  It stands to reason that if you can save a few dollars and still get what you needed in the equipment?  More power to you.  Adapt and be versatile, and you’ll come to find the best deals often don’t just involve an outlay of cash but some scrutiny to see whether something more affordable will foot the bill.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Post-Collapse Survival Bartering: 10 Items That Will Be Worth Their Weight in Gold

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As a nation, we are faced with a host of different problems from many directions, both domestically and internationally.  The statistical improbability of a disaster occurring (such as war or economic collapse) decreases with the passage of time and the addition of other factors that lead into such.  For a couple of good “primers” on collapse and warfare (overall effects on societies and civilizations), I recommend two by Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel,” and Collapse.”

When any kind of society or civilization becomes unraveled, usually the nation’s cash loses its value within days at the most.  We’re going to cover a few general categories of items to keep for barter (meaning “regular” or frequent trade), citing individual examples within each category.  In The Prepper’s Blueprint, the idea of bartering was covered extensively and it isn’t always acquiring tradable goods, but also tradable services.

If a long-term emergency causes and end to our existing monetary system and an end to the exchange of fiat currency that our world currently operates on, people will resort back to bartering for skills and services in order to make transactions.

Living in a bartering environment means one must possess certain goods or skills that others find value in. As Brandon Smith writes on the subject, ‘If you wish to survive after the destruction of the mainstream system that has babied us for so long, you must be able to either make a necessary product, repair a necessary product, or teach a necessary skill.’”

The Prepper’s Blueprint

Do Not Barter The Following Items:

Before I “hit the list,” I’m going to mention what I will not barter or only in an emergency, and why.

  • Ammunition, Firearms, or parts for firearms: The first two can be used against you, and the latter can be employed to fix something that can be used against you. [I will not barter with them ever]. That said, in a previous article, I mentioned the importance of knowing how to repair firearms. This is a barterable skill and one that will be of high importance in a post-collapse scenario.
  • Medicine: I need that for me and mine…and will not barter with it regularly [Only in an emergency…and never any antibiotics].
  • NBC gear and supplies: This takes the form of masks, suits, survey meters (Geiger counters), dosimeters, anti-rad tablets, and so forth [I will not barter with them ever]. To find these items for your preps, click here.

10 of the Best Items for Bartering

  1. Fire Starting Materials: Books of matches, disposable lighters, wicks and flints for Zippo’s. All these guys are worth their weight in gold in the event of a collapse.  Check out some of these fire starting materials for ideas. The great thing about this is they are always needed, simple to trade, and they don’t take up a lot of space to store.
  2. Over-the-Counter (OTC) First-Aid supplies: Small tins of band-aids, aspirin, Tylenol, antacid tablets, gauze bandages, first-aid tape, alcohol prep pads, cough and cold supplies. These are differentiated from “medicine” as I mentioned not to trade, in that they are small, sundry-type articles that are valuable and in short supply when times are tough.  They are also easily affordable and do not take up much storage space. Here are 50 of the most popular medical supplies that preppers put away for emergencies, and some of them can be bought for cheap at the Dollar Store.
  3. Multiple Toiletry Items: Hotel-types of small individual soap bars, shampoo bottles, towelettes, toothpaste, and shave cream. These you can ask a hotel or motel manager to order you an extra case: pay him beforehand and give him some extra.  In this way, they’ll all be in a big cardboard box and individually packaged up and ready to trade.
  4. Batteries: Will always be in short supply when you need them. It will be that way for others as well.  Just be careful to protect them from moisture when you store them and inspect them frequently to make sure there aren’t any leakages. There are certain batteries that are best for off-grid retreats. You can read about them here. Having an excess of these will be a good investment. As well, there are ways to make a battery last (practically) forever and this could be great knowledge to possess when TSHTF.
  5. Sewing supplies: Yes, needles, threads, thimbles, and safety pins. Sewing kits cost almost nothing when you buy one in the discount stores.  Clothing repair will be very important, as good serviceable clothing will be in short supply.
  6. Small tins and cans of meat: This is always usable as your own supply, of course, and can be bartered. 3 to 6-ounce cans of things such as sardines, herring, chicken, tuna fish, and the likes…they are small enough to be able to trade, and they’ll be worth their weight in gold for their portability.
  7. Candles: especially in the form of tea-lights, and small candles (of the types listed as “emergency” candles). They are inexpensive and easy to barter for when there’s no electricity.  Remember to store them vertically, as if you lay them on their side, the wick will gradually “migrate” toward the bottom…and then the candle will be messed up.
  8. Miniatures of alcohol: Alcohol has many, many uses in a long-term emergency and it is excellent for trading, whether someone wants a drink or wants it to tincture something. We’ve already had discussions on this “WCTU-sensitive” subject.  If you’re against alcohol, once again, that is for you to decide.  Others may need the alcohol to deal with the vehemence of the “righteous indignation” of others.  Whatever the case, they will be easy to trade and in a “controlled” fashion.
  9. Tobacco: Once again, to paraphrase “Alice ‘N Chains,” it’s your A couple of cartons of cigarettes are easy enough to store, as well as a box or two of good cigars.  Remember: they have anti-helminthic properties…they’ll fight intestinal worms.  They’ll definitely trade. Read more here.
  10. Sweets and other luxuries: This to include some chocolate, powdered cocoa, honey (I recommend a big box of the individual packets for personal use), packaged jellies and syrups. They’ll trade, and they’ll be more than sought after.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive.  For instance, seeds are not covered in this list but would make a good bartering item too. I gave you what my personal favorites are.  I didn’t include precious metals, small tool sets, and about a thousand items you can mention or list.  I listed the top ten that I would want to use to barter that will be in short supply.  Use your best judgment and set your own standards for yourself, and stock up on what you need for an economic collapse of its own or one that is subsequent to another thing such as a war.  Afterward, you may find that you’ve made some sound investments…and thought ahead.  JJ out!

 

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prep of the Week: The Ultimate Toboggan for Winter Bug-Outs

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It’s important to keep an ever-vigilant eye out for great prepper deals. You should never go broke trying to get prepped. Right now, you might be able to find some great winter related preps.

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, I recently wrote about bugging-out in winter and how having a toboggan would come in handy. Well, I found a good one!  Yes, I had an older, junky, dark-green toboggan/sled that I kept in my vehicle.  I was in Target this past week, as we’ve been really getting hammered in Montana with the snow…and what to my wondrous eyes should appear?  The toboggan.  I knew it existed, but had never found it until now.

Yes, it ran me $19.99 (no sales tax in Montana) out the door, and here’s a picture of it:

Is that not a beauty?  You’ll have to fight your kids off for it, seriously!  Now, see that red piece in the middle?  That is a “seat” made out of some kind of rigid plastic foam…and it’s glued in place so loosely that you can just grab an edge or corner and peel it right off the bottom…and good riddance!  It is made of a high-density polyethylene, and I’m here to tell you, it’s sturdier than any kid’s sled I’ve ever seen.  Right up there with strength and rigidity with the bigger ones used to haul wood and game in Wal-Mart that I’ve mentioned before.

It’s 48” in length, 24” wide, and about 8” in depth and lists to hold up to 200 lbs.  The way these things stack?  If you have a spouse and two kids, you can pick up four of them and they’ll nest neatly within one another.  They only weigh 5 lbs. apiece.  I’m going to modify mine and drill 4 holes on each long edge and 2 on the short edges to enable me to put bungee cords or a net over the top.  Probably the cords, as they have more use for other things.

You will have to check your local Target for availability because it’s no longer available for online purchases. The store item # for this guy is 091050553, and you can find it in the kid’s toy section.  Besides just gear, remember: this thing can have a secondary use as a litter for a wounded patient.  Just make sure to pull it over a smooth path if you can, but you never know when a patient is ambulatory and needs to be transported.  The tow rope is pictured as black/dark, but actually, it’s white with thin red “pinstripes.”  Although it looks kind of stupid up close, it’s barely noticeable, and you can always switch it out.  I’ll keep mine as it is.  I found the last one, and if they had more I would have picked up two.

It’s a really good quality, and it doesn’t take up much room at all.  In addition, if you needed to hunker down for the night, you could reverse it, put it up on poles or bungees, and have a makeshift “roof” for yourself.  I put the old green dinosaur in the woodshed, and this new sled is riding with me.  I highly recommend it…for gear, or if you need to transport someone, or for an expedient shelter-roof, this sled is inexpensive, and it foots the bill.  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Easiest Way To Create an Emergency Water Supply That Lasts All Winter

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There are reasons that everyone disdains converting snow and ice to water, such as “it’s not cost or heat effective,” or “you can’t get much from it,” etc.  In a survival situation, though, you may not have that much of a choice and this could be your only long-term water supply.  With many surface water bodies freezing solid, it renders it difficult to remove the ice and then melt it down.  Snow is the most-maligned of the two, but you can still take water from it.  Let’s go over some of the numbers and explore a few methods to get some water in the wintertime when you’re out in the wilds.

Learn About Snow Water Equivalent

The volume of ice can be converted to the volume of water by multiplying the ice’s volume by 0.92 for water volume.  This can be helpful, especially if you have a way of measuring blocks of ice or ice that has been formed within a container where you know the dimensions.  Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) is the most common way to measure the amount of water that is in a given amount of snow.  The “magic” number here is 10% of the volume of the snow is equal to the volume of water.  Therefore, if you had a large container (such as a kid’s plastic swimming pool) filled with 2 feet of snow?  Your amount of water would equal 2.4 inches, for the remaining area and volume of the pool.

The Simplest Way to Harvest Water in Winter

I mentioned these just to give you an idea.  Naturally, you won’t be lugging around a Coleco plastic swimming pool in the woods with you.  You can, however, pack in gallon-sized Ziploc plastic bags, and here’s where your math comes into play to figure volume.  You also need something to heat it up in.  Barring stumbling across a sizeable container made of metal you can throw on the fire, you may just have to take your time and use a good military issue Army canteen cup, or a steel bottle or container of some kind that will tolerate a heating over/on an open flame.

Ice can be found and “harvested” in the form of icicles and then gathered in volume prior to heating it and converting it to water.  This conversion of snow and ice to water will be an ongoing thing while you’re out in the wild, as if you do not have a method to keep your water in a liquid state, then it will refreeze.  This is one area that a Camelbak can be useful.  The bladder can be kept against the skin or next to the body, wrapped up in layers of clothing and using your body heat to keep it liquid.

One of the problems with the winter is the reduced amount of direct sunlight.  There are not many sunny days (comparatively speaking), and the sunlight is not often strong enough or long-lasting enough to make good use of.  Another thing you may consider is an ice auger to be able to drill a hole in a lake and extract water for your use.  Of course, you’ll have to hurry, and you’ll have to purify that water either chemically, by boiling, or via filtration, but it will work.

Make sure your converting ice and snow to water complement your other activities, such as cooking or resting and warming yourself up by a campfire.  Don’t just allow those coals to warm you: put them to work!  Thaw out ice or snow for water each chance you have to build a fire.  This way you’ll stay one step ahead, and continually replenish your container.  Stay warm, melt that snow and ice, and remember it is important: most people tend to drink less in the winter because it’s cold.  Thirst is a late sign of dehydration.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Your Computer May Not Survive a Collapse But These Off-Grid Archiving Strategies Will

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I will admit that I am not the most technologically “savvy” individual, and I’m certainly not armed with all the modern “conveniences” that most people take as a necessity.  Cell phones, Kindle devices, M-pad/I-pod/UFO-whatever-for-music…don’t use ‘em.  That being said, I know they have their merits, but it’s the same type of lesson I tried to impart to my son when he went into the service.

He picked up one of those high-speed wrist compasses…the digital kind…but I constantly remind him to use that “old-fashioned” lensatic compass as his mainstay.  He listens, although he prefers to use his gizmo.  I’m just happy he carries the lensatic with him and knows how to use it.  I made sure he knew how to use it.

Create a Survival Library with Hard-Copy Notes and Archives

In this light, remember that all of our technology can collapse in the blink of an eye.  The collapse can be precipitated by any number of things…grid failure/brownouts, an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) strike, a nuclear war, or just a societal collapse that has a “downtrickle” of losing critical infrastructure and modern power systems.  In that light, it is best to take your digital and electronic libraries and ensure they are duplicated into hard-copy.  Consider investing in a typewriter to pass this valuable information on. Let’s give some suggestions, and you can take them, and tailor them to suit your needs.

  1. Whenever you watch any kind of training video/DVD, you should always take notes and summarize it. Pick up the key points, supplementing them with your own notes and diagrams to help clarify the instruction.  A composition-type notebook works well for this.  I take rough notes on a sheet of paper, and then recopy them into the notebook.
  2. Summarize books and other works: Turn a 300-page book into 8-10 pages of intense notes…summarize and shoot for brevity and clarity in your notes. This is not to say, “don’t keep books,” but rather, read them and take good notes that you can glance at to glean any important information you may need to use.
  3. Print out the important how-to’s and “archive” notes: don’t just store it on hard drive or jump drive! Although that is important, you want to make sure your information is printed off.  Strive for accuracy, compactness, neatness, and organization in all of your notes.
  4. File similar subjects in a binder/common protector: This is especially important when you’re dealing with things such as first-aid and medicine. Protect the info., and keep it well-organized
  5. Military Med Chests: Yes, made out of strong aluminum, these stackable canisters are perfect to place your archives and books inside after wrapping them up in plastic…preferably contractor-grade bags around 6 mils in thickness.
  6. Durable plastic bins: These can work if they’re really tough and are water-tight. The biggest problems with notes, archives, and books are water, mildew, bugs, and fire, in that order.  You want to make sure everything is in plastic and sealed up tight.
  7. Duplicate everything…1-6 up there? You should have one copy out for your general use, and another sealed up in a safe place.

The last measure mentioned is not just for you and your family.  The last measure is to provide information for those not here with us yet, or those not old enough to use the information right now.  Think beyond yourself and your own lifetime, or even the lifetimes of your kids.  You want to leave a legacy?  Who cares if they know who you are?  There will still be those who will thank you for leaving records and how-to’s they can use.  Want a good example?  Read the book “Lucifer’s Hammer,” by Niven and Pournelle.  Be more than a student, or a secretary.  Be a custodian…of information…. a caretaker, taking care for future generations.  Hard copy for all information…to include books!…is the way to save the knowledge.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading:

3,000 Survival Books You Can Download for Free

10 Books That Could Actually Save Your Life

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Money and Control: Why the FDA is Cracking Down on Natural Medicine Supplies

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If you are an avid believer in alternative medicine, you need to be aware of a growing concern. In January, the FDA had a press conference stressing the importance of ‘protecting public health,” and is moving to pass a policy to reduce the “increase in safety concerns, including serious adverse events” resulting from homeopathic products”, the FDA says.

With a record number of people turning to homeopathy, as well as the recent “war on opioids” in the news, the FDA decided to announce new policies on the use of homeopathic drugs.

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly declared that “virtually all” homeopathic drugs are illegal. Reports that the FDA is cracking down on the use of natural medicines have been circulating for a while. However, in a recently released “guidance document,” the FDA is now quoted as saying that homeopathic drugs are considered “new drugs” that are allegedly being sold illegally. The FDA released its new guidance document last month, and sources in support of the use of homeopathic drugs are still attempting to translate what the FDA is calling a “draft guidance” that’s been released for “comment purposes only.”

Source

“We respect that some individuals want to use alternative treatments, but the FDA has a responsibility to protect the public from products that may not deliver any benefit and have the potential to cause harm,” states the FDA. This more aggressive stance toward homeopathic drugs was done in order to “protect the public from dangerous products.”  Homeopathic products, especially those sold to treat infants and children, those containing ingredients with significant safety concerns (such as belladonna, and those sold for serious conditions such as opioid addiction, heart disease, and cancer) are under the most scrutiny.

Why the FDA Wants to Crack Down on your Holistic Supplies

While the FDA  has long criticized homeopathy for not having enough scientific evidence to support its claim of improving health and for some homeopathic products being dangerous to the public, some wonder if the FDA has ulterior motives and if this is coming into play now for a specific reason.

First, now that Obamacare is no longer mandatory, there is a tremendous backlash from the healthcare industry, the insurance industry, and the pharmaceutical industry. Secondly, prescription drugs are one of the fastest-growing categories of medical costs thanks to lobbyists and bought-and-paid-for politicians and with homeopathy becoming an up and coming market niche in recent years (reaching into the billions of dollars), perhaps the FDA wants to ensure they get a piece of the pie or monopolize and control the market entirely.

Big Pharma Wants Your Business

As a citizenry, we have been living in a drug-dependent culture…prescribed in the light of day by an established medical hierarchy not wanting to lose its “cash cow.”  We’re talking hundreds of billions of dollars here! With more people coming to the realization that these expensive, debilitating, synthesized, FDA-approved pharmaceuticals are in fact the snake oil they’re being warned about, they are opting out and finding more natural medicinal treatments. This means that the FDA and Big Pharma is losing out.

Moreover, Europe is still reeling under the auspices of the “Codex Alimentarius” designed to do the same thing: regulate holistic and herbal supplements into oblivion.  I have written numerous articles on how to come up with kits and supplies to tailor to the individual needs of your family members.  I have also written several articles on antibiotics, and how to find such things from sources that most may not take notice of, such as pet stores and pet supply websites.

As such, it would behoove you to stock up on as much as you need before all of this is signed into laws that restrict you from obtaining what you need. Don’t take the chance of being caught without the essentials.  Get back to your basics and re-read what has been written in the archives if you haven’t printed it out.  Once you read it again and formulate a plan, take action.  When you find out what supplies you need, I recommend going to the Natural Health stores and buying what you can and find out about markdown items.  Another thing you can do is arrange with the owner or manager to give you a discount if you buy a large quantity.  They’ll do it if you use some PR, especially if you’ve been shopping there for a while.

Another thing you may want (and this would probably only be for those of you who have fostered a one-on-one relationship with the proprietor) is get them to special order certain things you wish at cost, just as a favor to you.  Remember: unless you attempt it, it can’t be done.  The worst thing they can say is “no,” and that’s not the end of the world.  So, maybe you don’t need to do this all in one fell swoop, but it may be wise to get a hold of what you need and stock up on it now.  Today’s “talk” of banning something is tomorrow’s ban.  Fight that good fight and fight it smart.  JJ out!

 

Additional Information:

Read the FDA press statement on this issue here

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper?

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Article originally posted at SHTFPlan

Editor’s Note: You have no doubt had your own set of issues dealing with friends and family members that simply don’t see the writing on the wall. The following article may serve to assist you in convincing those who simply don’t know, don’t want to know, don’t care, or have never even thought to contemplate. Some of the scenarios outlined below may be frightening, as they should be because when it hits the fan millions of people will be thrown into desperation with no hope of a solution. Be Informed provides a variety of point-by-point details that may (and hopefully will) convince the non-prepared individual to at least insulate themselves with the basic necessities. The consequences of not doing so, as you’ll see, are severe and often deadly.


I have become personally so disenchanted with the way people fail to prep.  People still don’t understand how important it is to put away.  I have gotten into arguments over this and had cretins call me a fool because I put away food, water, and supplies.  I thought about this and the frustration that other preppers have with this laid-back idiotic attitude that there is no need for preparation.  There are good people that just can’t/won’t start preparing. They have the money to do so, but just don’t want to.  Many have only seen what happens to non-preppers on TV, but it still doesn’t make an impact.

In this article, I detail some hardcore realities to show just how awful it will be for those that don’t prep. Every one of these scenarios is something that has occurred to the non-prepper throughout history.  While strong images come to mind, the purpose is to jar some people out of their inaction and into action before it is too late.

Preppers are good people and care much about those around them, and unless something does jar those around them that choose not to prep, their own survival chances could be reduced.  For every bit of food, water, ammunition, or supplies you sacrifice to the non-prepper, the fewer irreplaceable supplies are left for you and your family in a crisis situation.  It is hoped that the following can help certain people put into TRUE perspective just how horrific it will be for those that don’t prepare.

Here are the awful consequences for those refusing to prep.

As the world continues to decay at multiple facets, the common person has and continues to be lulled into a sense that everything is improving and will continue to for the distant future.  After all, to them unemployment has peaked out and will drop until everyone that wants to work will easily be able to find good paying work,  North Korea is no threat because all their long range “bottle rockets” fizz out,  sanctions will eventually make Iran give up their nuclear program, oil prices will start going down after June or so,  Europe will bail out Greece and Spain and everyone else,  and U.S. debt will eventually come under control.

After 2012 everyone that has prepared themselves will go back to more “sensible” lives.  “Good times are coming”, baseball season is here, let’s get back to watching some more crackerjack news.

It is amazing how people become good conversationalists with most others discussing all the gossip related news while becoming mentally tranquilized into a totally deceptive state of denial of truly dangerous issues of the times.  It’s the blind leading the blind… right off the cliff.

Rather than dealing with harsh reality, people surround themselves with easy to digest material that can be talked about without directly influencing anyone’s lives.  Meaningless chatter.  Even for those unwilling to even think to prepare for a societal catastrophic event, there is also no desire to even face the extreme possibility of a sudden loss of one’s employment.  A personal SHTF.

Look at some of the terrible personal pain experienced in America right now – and it hasn’t even hit the fan on a grand scale. Those people who have lived it up on credit, who failed to put much of anything away for a rainy day, who’ve lost their job, and who eventually lost their unemployment benefits are experiencing the first level of collapse. This is happening to millions of people in our own country, all around us, as we speak.

These Americans, who once enjoyed the luxuries that modern living had to offer, are now at their wits end, with very little hope for a return to their previous lives. They are no longer able to pay most or any of their bills. Many have to humiliatingly turn to others for help to pay for food, or worse, to obtain old, unhealthy and poor tasting food from locally funded food banks. Their credit cards are totally worthless. Many have been evicted from their homes and have uprooted their families to live either on the street, in tent cities, with relatives, or have been forced to live at homeless shelters, They’ve have had their vehicles repossessed, or simply can’t afford the gasoline anymore. Their living conditions often make it difficult, if not impossible, to look presentable for job interviews. For many, the life of stability they knew just a short while ago is gone, replaced with fear and a constant stress to the point of nervous breakdown.

A personal economic meltdown is confined to the individual or family, or at worst a few families.  The human civilization remains intact and so do society’s safety nets.

With food assistance, rental assistance, homeless shelters, and family to turn to, even the most destitute are almost always able to find some sort of help – however menial.

It is no wonder with these known assistance programs, then, that people have forgotten or never thought to consider what happens IF and WHEN human civilization goes through a strong enough SHTF event.  If that happens on a mass scale what happens to everyone that needs help that has not prepared ahead of time?  What happens when governments are in such total disarray or destroyed altogether that they can’t help even if they wanted to?

The media and others have portrayed the good people that sacrifice much if not all “luxuries” of life to prepare themselves and their family and friends for extreme times, as chicken littles.  Those who have made the choice to store up emergency food, water, and other necessities to avoid extreme life-threatening risks, including suffering horribly during and after a widespread SHTF event, are laughed at and ridiculed often for “wasting” their lives on delusional paranoia.

But who is delusional? Those who see the signs around them and understand how vulnerable the system is, or those who believe that things never change, that politicians have their best interests at heart, and that if the worst happens the government will be there to provide everything they may need?

How many have considered the dire consequences of their failure to prepare in the event that the infrastructure and everything a country’s people depend on totally collapses?

The misery from long-term unemployment and lack of money is like a walk in the park compared to the severe anguish and dangerous conditions that await those who have failed to prepare for the aftermath of a large scale cataclysm.  The “minor” problems of unemployment that seem extremely major and painful to most today should serve as a wake-up call to what life will be like when something much, much worse happens – when those proverbial safety nets are no longer there to catch us.

Many preppers have become deeply frustrated at those around them, especially those that truly mean something to them because they simply refuse to put away anything at all for emergencies.  The prepper is usually a person that cares a lot and it is often difficult for them to take a tough stance towards the people that they care about.  However, unless someone changes the habits of those people that fail to get ready, decisions will need to be made, and they won’t be easy.

The choice of what the prepared prepper should do will boil down to either adding these people to their own circle or survival group and reduce the group’s safety, supplies and self-sufficiency, OR, they will have to let the non-prepper fend for themselves.  This is a very personal choice, and each of us will need to decide based on our own morals, ethics and personal relationships.

As a last-ditch effort, discussing the following scenarios with the non-prepper may help them understand what life will be like without what has sustained them so comfortably for so long.

This is the hard reality the non-prepper needs to understand:

  • Without power, the water company cannot get water to their faucets. Without water, dehydration occurs within 24 hours. Dehydration causes much suffering before death.
  • Toilets in homes, unless they have an incineration toilet that still needs power to work, don’t flush without water.  Where will they go to the bathroom and then where will they dispose of human waste?
  •  There will be no clean water available anywhere, especially in major cities, and they cannot live more than about three days without it.
  • Drinking dirty and polluted water will make them incredibly sick and accelerate the dehydration process.
  • Polluted water must be purified and that means having a good filter, bleach or other disinfectants, or fuel and something to boil water with.
  • Understand just how fragile the power and the infrastructure is that pumps water to the public. A breakdown in our power infrastructure or a cyber attack against utility systems will render them useless.
  • A single event can rapidly lead to a cascade of other events that would certainly collapse almost, if not, everything. This is why major snow storms, hurricanes or solar events in the past have affected millions of people in an entire region all at once.
  • A single, seemingly unimportant event may become quite terrible as its repercussions spread; this can include a far and away disaster.
  • Understand that the economies of the world are so interwoven that when one major economy falls it affects everyone.
  • Not having any food in the house means that if the stores are emptied suddenly in a bad enough situation that there will be no food available for a long period of time afterward. Recent history of disasters around the world has shown that stores can literally be emptied in minutes.
  • Think about how totally horrible the feeling of being very hungry is and what circumstances would cause one to be desperate enough to eat anything.
  • ALL stores can be closed instantly under martial law.
  • Understand that you may not be able to purchase anything after it starts, especially with any credit cards.
  • Understand the complexity of food and water distribution; breaks in these chains can stop anything from getting to the people.
  • What life will be like if no toilet paper is stored?
  • Understand that without light sources, the night will be pitch black, often with zero visibility.
  • There will be no communications, other than probably martial law type of instructions over the radio, that is if they have batteries for the radio.
  • Other than ham and shortwave radio, any information that is available will be sent out by the government as filtered propaganda that “they” want everyone to hear.
  • Without power consider what it will be like to not have any heat to stay warm, or air conditioned air to stay cooler – with no way of alleviating the situation.
  • Travelling will likely be by foot or bicycle, as there will be no fuel and roadways may be blocked.
  • Realize that ANY travel outside of the home or neighborhood will be extremely dangerous as ANYONE who moves becomes a target
  • Non-preppers will be pushed way beyond their limit because of lack of supplies.
  • The non-prepper must realize their government does not really care about them individually, that they are a mere number and help will likely not come from them.
  • They have to figure out somewhere to get food. This can mean wild plants which they must know how to identify as safe, or risk poisoning themselves.
  • They have to understand that when we refer to “having no food” it doesn’t mean not having the food they are used to enjoying, it means no food to eat at all.
  • They have to understand that if they are fortunate enough to have any running water, they will probably have to bathe in cold water for lack of stored fuel to heat water.
  •  They have to realize that the very strange and totally unexpected is going to be all around them, made that much worse because of lack of any reliable self-defense stores or skills.
  • They might have to remain on the run constantly because of looking for water and food.
  • They must understand that bad will be magnified magnitudes to living misery because of lack of food, water, and other necessary items that they took for granted for so long.

Okay, now comes the “truly ugly and unthinkable” life that most, if not all, people that have failed and refused to prepare themselves will deal with.  Clear vivid visualization is key here for anyone that ho-hums the idea of prepping.

What horrors will they likely face after a cave-in of their nation’s economy, war, geophysical upheaval, or whatever crisis is bad enough to disturb or stop their nation from working and functioning?  There are plenty of very potential SHTF events that are simply awaiting a catalyst to trigger them.

  •  The Non-Prepper (NP) has to realize right off the bat that 911 and other emergency calls in will be met with silence or some recording telling the caller not to panic.
  • The (NP) that has no reliable self-defense that can stop an attacker, will not get help from public services and will become a victim of rape, assault, torture, or murder.
  • The (NP) that has no reliable self-defense and will not only be at the mercy of criminal elements but also have to contend with many desperate animals, some with rabies.
  • The (NP) that has no food will either have to find food or be ready to beg for food or worse, like sacrificing their bodies or other horrible acts or things to get a bite of food.
  • The (NP) will have to go through the worst, most rancid conditions of garbage to just maybe find what they should have stored up.
  • The (NP) will go through panic and near if not total psychosis looking for any water source right before their bodies begin shutting down during advanced stages of dehydration.
  • The (NP) will go through unbearable trauma when their children and other people around them are crying, screaming, and suffering from intense hunger pains in their stomachs.
  •  The (NP) will have to deal with the awful stench of rotting wastes from many sources because they have not taken the effort to even store up waste disposal plastic bags.
  • The (NP) will have disease and pathogens everywhere, not only because they have no trash disposal means, but because they haven’t prepared how to deal with trash and waste.
  • The (NP) will have to live in very primitive conditions after things around them deteriorate rapidly because they have neglected to put away anything to make life more bearable.
  • The (NP) and those around them will likely develop all sorts of infective skin rashes from the lack of insight of storing up toilet paper.  Imagine the smell for a moment.
  • The (NP) will have to handle biting insects and other vermin that will collect amongst the filth that will pile up.  No pest control stored up along with no other supplies.
  • The (NP) will have no way of treating sickness certain to follow a SHTF event, no first aid and likely no training or knowledge about how to treat the ill on top of this.
  • The (NP) will have sick and dying people around them because of not being able to treat minor injuries.  Didn’t even stock up on disinfectives.  Unsanitary conditions lead to infection.
  • The (NP) and others around them will experience much grief as they watch helplessly as their family members literally die of starvation right in front of their eyes.
  • The (NP) won’t believe how desperate hunger drives them and those that mean everything to them to “trying” to eat food that tastes so bad it gags them and comes back up.
  • The (NP) will likely have family and friends around them that have also not prepared committing suicide because they can’t take it any longer.
  • The (NP) will witness some of those people around them lose any sense of civilized humanity in them and behave like wild animals after some time from lack of necessities.
  • The (NP) and family members, maybe friends also, will at some point end up barbecuing or eating raw the family dog, cat, bird, any pet dear to everyone for food.
  • The (NP) will likely get into physical fights with other family members over any scrap of food available as rational thoughts are lost to wanton hunger.
  • The (NP) as many other (NP’s) will eventually go out of any safety of their home looking for food and or water, become disorientated and lost, and die a hard death somewhere.
  • The (NP) that is “lucky” enough to find some government help will likely have to almost sell their soul, probably all their freedom, to get tiny rations – just enough to keep them alive.
  • The (NP) will see widespread violence and barbarism that will shock them to the core and will wish that they had purchased some form of firearm and stocked up on ammunition.
  • The (NP) better get used to attempting to explain the children and other adults why they wasted all that money on junk and didn’t buy any emergency food and other supplies.
  • The (NP), no matter how positive they are will drop quickly into depression and lose willpower as having nothing to hold on to does this, along with lack of any nutrition.
  • The (NP) will feel the worst guilt imaginable as they hear their family moaning in anguish from lack of anything to eat, knowing they could have done something to prepare.
  • The (NP) will most likely not see the rebuilding and recovery after A SHTF event. They will, like almost all NP’s, be statistics.  Some will die hours or a day before help arrives.
  • The (NP) from lack of food, drinking bad water, no light at night, the horrid smells, no good self-defense, the overall horror, will often be paralyzed with fear and despair, blank stare.
  • The (NP) is totally helpless after SHTF, will have to rely totally on charity of those prepared to live.  They will take all sorts of desperate measures likely to get them shot.  They’ll attempt to eat hazardous foods like an animal trapped in a house will do, and get sick and suffer much before dying.  The (NP) will likely die (ugly and hard) as they lived, unprepared for anything.

If we were to use one single word to describe the torments that someone who “chooses” not to prepare will go through after a true you know what hits the fan it would be “PREVENTABLE”.

Almost every single person, even a very poor person, has the capacity to put away emergency food and supplies.  Even homeless people have stashes of something just in case things become so bad that the normal handouts and thrown-away items dry up.  Many people with good sources of income don’t even have an extra can of food or any water put away at all. This is stupidity beyond words.

Every day lightweight disasters happen in all parts of the world that disturb services enough that people are confined to their homes for a certain amount of time.  While recovery is short, people are still uncomfortable during these times.  Look what happens after a power outage at night and you will be mystified at how many homes are completely dark for hours.  People have not even bought an extra couple of candles or any battery operated light sources.  Even in well-to-do neighborhoods, you may hear only a lone generator going after a blackout.  This lack of preparedness is truly frightening and plays itself out again, again, and again every time services are disrupted for minor to major reasons.  It’s as if there is something wrong with storing extra food, water, and supplies.

Even after “lessons” played out to what happens to those non-prepared, most people still feel that it just cannot happen to them, or won’t ever happen to them again.  It should be proof enough to people what happens to those unprepared after disasters simply by looking at those that have gone through it firsthand.  The difference, though, comes in that these disasters have had recovery periods and help from others. Even Haiti received some help and conditions remain putrid over there.

After a TRUE SHTF, it is presumable that government help and others coming to the aid of those in need WON’T happen for long periods of time. During that time those that have chosen to not put food, water, and necessities away are going to be in life-threatening positions.  Most people just don’t get that when the supermarket shelves are empty they will stay that way for an extended period.  When the utilities go down, especially water, it may be weeks, months, or longer before they come back, if ever.  Without what someone needs to survive each day, it is not going to magically appear, and depending on the goodwill of others to feed them and sacrifice their own family’s survival chances is a terrible choice.

People MUST know what life will be like after SHTF in mega fashion if they refuse to prepare.  This is NOT new. Terrible events have plunged people into the deepest levels of desperation and hopelessness, and they will happen again and again.

While the above consequences to the non-prepper are extremely abysmal for anyone to read, the simple fact of the matter is they have already happened time and time again to those that have nothing put away.  People have resorted to cannibalism and gone to levels of primitive savage behavior out of sheer desperation and out of literally losing their minds to the physical depletion of food and water that keeps the physical body operating.  Sometimes showing the extreme severity and results of a person’s lack of action, such as failure of the simple act of putting away extra food, water, and supplies, can be the kick in the complacency that they need.

It’s really easy to put away food and supplies. All one has to do is add a little bit of extra food to the grocery cart for long-term storage. Over time this adds up to a well-stocked pantry of supplies.

There is something that is in a can of food that everyone can eat and enjoy the taste of, so talk to family members about their nutritional preferences and start stocking up.  Toilet paper and other supplies that really don’t have any expiration date can be put away and forgotten about ’til needed.

There MUST be common sense and intelligence to see what happens IF they don’t stock up for the future.  There has to be the DESIRE to get started, and this is the real problem with so many.

Once started, however, prepping becomes a type of life-saving routine or positive lifestyle habit.   It is easy and can and will save one from misery. It may save their life and the lives of their family from ruin when SHTF, which is almost inevitably going to happen someday.  Every month and year that goes by without a true SHTF event, makes it more likely that it will happen.  Basic statistical chance shows this to be the case, but people continue the same pattern of behavior that has led them to the same devastation countless time before.

For those preppers that have people around them that refuse to prepare, you can at least have some degree of solace knowing that you tried to show the non-prepping person(s) what not having anything will mean to them and their families.

All we can do is try. Once we’ve given it our best shot, all we can do is let those who have been warned about the direness of the possibilities live their lives the way that want to. They will, unfortunately, live in a world of regret and suffering if the nation and the world fall apart around them.

To every action, there is an opposite equal reaction. Preppers will see their efforts have been more than worth it.  Objects that are motionless tend to remain motionless and non-preppers will find there are horrific consequences for their lack of effort and motion to put away “life insurance” preps for themselves and their families.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Collapse Investing: 7 Clever Ways To Prepare for a Cashless Society With Precious Metals

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is a little bit of a different flair.  A basic “how-to” guide to garnering some precious metals to have on your person.  Why?  Let’s take a hypothetical view.  What if some major disaster occurs and you need to take a cab somewhere…it’s your only option?  It is just before the major panic sets in.  Everyone else has the same idea.  Cab to the highest bidder and you have a heavy sterling silver chain to go along with that cash.  Guess who gets the ride?

7 Ways To Pick Up Some Micro-Marketed Precious Metals

It’s as simple as that.  So, let’s take a look at how to pick up some “micro-marketed” precious metals.  There are plenty of different sources that (most of the time) will bargain with you or will be oblivious.  Let’s list some of them:

  1. Consignment stores: often have jewelry at basement prices and will bargain with you, especially if the goods belong to the store’s owner.
  2. Thrift stores: that’s right! Thrift store personnel (from the manager on down) do not usually have a clue as to what jewelry comes into their establishment.  Here look for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings…most of the time silver, and occasionally gold.
  3. Storage Units: each month they turn out a bunch of people who can’t pay…placing (or throwing) their stuff outside of the unit and giving it 24 hours or so to pick it up. At times you can even cut a deal with the owners to go into a unit “blind” and take care of what’s in there.  Drawback: you’re responsible for the stuff…but you’d be surprised about what people throw into these things.
  4. Flea Markets: Once again, you’ll be among the oblivious (fellow shoppers and vendors), and you’ll find a deal…it just takes time.
  5. Want Ads: yes, often you’ll pick up jewelry, coins, and ingots (silver or gold) at pennies on the dollar.
  6. Estate/Deceased Person’s Sales and Auctions: Yes, indeed, especially when the person is not some multi-millionaire…that’s when you must bid against a plethora of social debutantes that can outslick you.
  7. EbayThat’s right, I said Ebay. They happen to have a very active silver market, where you can find a large selection any time or day of the week. After spending a lot of time hunting down junk coins on Ebay, writer Joshua Krause perfected his procedure for spotting and procuring the best price for silver and wrote about it. You can read more here.

Coins and jewelry are the best types of PM’s to pick up and are great for bartering.  This is not because they’re always the highest precious metal content, but because of the form they’re in.  For more on that, research Frankie the Dead Roosevelt (or FDR’s) executive order of 1933 going door-to-door to confiscate the gold.  That’s right: in these United States.  This gives you a little bit more “insulation,” as you can wear the jewelry, collect the “coins,” and hide both.

It would behoove you to have a few items at your disposal.  Firstly, knowledge of the grades of silver and the carats of gold.  With silver, shoot for sterling (.925 mark on it), but with coins, you’ll need to know the type of coin and the year to be able to determine the silver content.  Same for gold.  Don’t become “gypped,” because crooks will take little ringlets with a stamp of “14-carat” on them…and they are…and attach them to a chain that is at best 14-carat gold paint. Learn more about testing your precious metals.

A magnifying glass is a great aid.  A word of warning: most of the oblivious will suddenly have their pupils change into dollar signs and their fangs will come out.  If you are looking at something with a magnifying glass and they see you?  You can bank on them checking out what you run right up to the counter to buy for one or two dollars.  Be smart and be incognito…and you’ll prosper.  If you feel this is dishonest, then tell them what you’ve found, and they’ll thank you every time you do it.  Sink or swim, it’s your decision.

Keep a small “stash” of these items on your person.  Naturally, other things such as diamonds, precious, and semi-precious stones will need more of an eye and knowledge to assess.  These you can carry on you to an extent.  Just make sure they’re real.  Another thing: before you deal with someone, make sure they’re real before you give the piece of jewelry to them.  Ignorance is not always bliss, especially where the ignorance is feigned.  When you buy?  Hey, they put it out, and it’s not your job to look out for the store’s welfare.  Trust me: the store will be there with or without your purchase.  The thing was a donated item anyway…and 501-C-3’s are non-profit corporations that all make a profit…every one of them.

Think of these things and about building up a small personal supply of such precious metals you can carry around with you for when the “S” hits the fan, or when you have need of an edge.  Good hunting and keep your eyes open…the bargains will jump up for you.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

10 Prepper Uses for Safety Pins

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ReadyNutrition Readers, Skeptics, and Skeptical Readers, greetings!  Let’s explain reasoning a little bit more in detail than regards the simple subject of this article.  My intent as a writer has never been to delve into the “High-Tech” and pricey solutions to things that you may face.

Many survival magazines offer “Sales” rather than “Solutions” to your needs to prepare.  In too many articles, people have lambasted me for suggesting low-cost solutions that are both “doable” and within the budget.

If you want secure communications, go ahead and suggest a SEAL Magnaphone with built-in scrambler, or a $15,000 current-gen pair of NVG (Night Vision Goggles), then go ahead and buy it.  If your main goal with any article is to suggest something “better” than the advised thing, that’s great.  The majority of the readers, however, are looking for simplicity combined with affordability.

Anyone can buy $100K worth of gear.  Now, what does that person do when the gear is either defunct, “appropriated,” or unusable for one reason or another?

My work attempts to propose solutions that can be employed without bankrupting a person, and also some knowledge of what can be used when all of the laser sights, night vision devices, ATV’s, cameras, reticle-dot sights, and all else are just useless circuitry.  Those days are coming: mark my words.  In the meantime, we have to develop our skills and win with the tools that we have at hand.

10 Prepper Uses for Safety Pins

Safety pins.  Simple little things, yet so much can be done with them.  I highly recommend toting at least a half dozen with you of various sizes, large to small.  They cost practically nothing.  Here’s the tip: Take the safety pins: learn and practice what you can do with them.

We’re going to run a condensed, hardly-exhaustive list of uses for the safety pins.  Here we go:

  1. Temporary repair fasteners for clothing
  2. Fishhooks
  3. Probe-tool (medical use)
  4. Lockpick
  5. Suture substitute
  6. Lance
  7. Support (individual or as a chain)
  8. Bandage/dressing support
  9. Cleaning tool
  10. Toothpick/minor dental first-aid tool

The list could go on and on.  Tear open a swatch in your pants leg while you’re out in the woods?  If you don’t have time to sew it up, use the safety pins.  Fishhooks.  All you need do is notch a couple of notches for barbs (when you do, notch “upward” in the direction of the safety pin’s point) for improvised fishhooks.  Tie off your line through the top-notch of the safety pin.

For use in removing metal or wood splinters or foreign debris: make sure you sterilize the end of the safety pin prior to use as a probe.  Burn the end of it for about ten seconds with a lighter or match, and then dip in alcohol if you can.  You can also use this technique for lancing a bad wound to allow pus to escape.

As a suture substitute, you can approximate the edges of the wound if it’s a bad bleeder with the safety pins.  This is temporary!  Seek medical attention immediately to prevent infection and further complications.  You can make a chain of them to hang an IV bag if necessary, or to close up and secure bandages and dressings.

Pin them where you can get to them easily.  If you wear a hat, then pin 4 to 6 of various sizes in your hatband.  You won’t even notice they’re there.  When some kind of need arises, though, you’ll remember that you have them.  Taking common, everyday items and making more out of them than their original intent is the kind of adaptive ingenuity you’ll need when the SHTF and an emergency arises.

And (not completely knocking your high-tech gadgets) when you pick up a piece of equipment, know two things: complete mastery of its capabilities and functions, and what you will replace it with when you no longer have it to use.  Always train from low-tech to high-tech, and you won’t be caught with your pants down.  And if that happens?  You may have busted a button; therefore, a safety pin will help…if you have it.  Fight that good fight.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Winter Tool Should Be In Every Prepper’s Reserve Supplies

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No, I don’t sell sleds or make any money from the sale of sleds.  I just wanted to recommend one for you for this winter to help you with any winter works.  A simple thing, really, but it can make a lot of distance for what you do.  It also has prepping uses.  The sled can be used to haul wood, a game animal you’ve hunted, or even to help you remove snow with a shovel.

The one I’m referring to I picked up at Wal-Mart several years ago, but you can find them on Amazon.com for the same price or cheaper…about $50.  You want the one that resembles a “boat,” made of black plastic.  The ones from Wal Mart are made of polyethylene and have a rope for hauling or towing attached to the front edge.

Here’s Why You Need This For Winter

Now, you can haul a tremendous amount of weight over snow and/or ice…even gravel or fairly-even rough ground.  Naturally, with snow and ice, there is less resistance on the bottom of the sled.  When I’m not cutting wood (I do so all winter long) and moving it around, I’m often out in the woods and I like the ability to use the sled for different things.  I can throw a large rucksack and some extra gear in it and drag it around with me all over the place.  It also ensures if I’m sleeping outside that I’m going to stay really dry.

What I did is to drill holes (1/8” in diameter) into the frame in 6 places.  In each of these holes, I emplaced hard, plastic construction dimples for mounting screws into walls and drywall.  These I drove into the hole with a hammer.  I have these rods that I stick into the holes to run across the sled, as in a “half-hoop,” almost akin to the ribs on a Conestoga/covered wagon of old.  Overtop of this, I place a tarp, and using utility clamps, I secure it in place on top of the hoops, and further tie off the corners and stake them into the ground.  Voila!

I have a self-enclosed lean-to/tent that I place my pad on the bottom and then climb into my sleeping bag for a snooze.  Naturally, it’s on level ground, or else my little sled-lean-to might sail away on its own!  If I have to move out in a hurry?  No problem.  Just detach the rods, throw my ruck inside, and close the edges of the tarp down so they sit inside the sled.

I can carry a lot of weight in this manner.  Sometimes I cut dead fallen timber during the wintertime on the last day out in the woods before I come home and load it in the sled.  I can (and have) towed it from the back of my vehicle.  The sleds are really durable and can take a tremendous beating.  The two I have now I’ve owned since 2012 and they’ll be good for another 20 years.  They can store either by standing them up and leaning them against your place, or turn them upside down and lay them on the ground.  Just know where you left them if you get a lot of snow!

There are other uses, too.  What if I have to pop smoke and leave in the dead of winter?  I can haul a lot of gear with the sled…to about 500-600 lbs.  In addition, I can move an injured person around.  Guess what?  In an area that a helicopter could get to, it could even be used as a basket to lift an injured person with, if they didn’t have one aboard for the purpose.

I highly recommend picking up a couple to help you get through the winter months, especially if you live in a rural or wilderness area.  They are not expensive, highly durable, and will pay for themselves in no time.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

How to Get Out of Dodge in the Snow

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

Protecting Your Feet is a Top Priority for Winter Survival

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

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

Winter Clothing

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

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

Bug Out Considerations

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

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

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

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

 

Additional Reading:

The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Guide

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

15 Items That Should Be In Your Vehicle During the Winter

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Many SHTF Uses for Alcohol

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is not to expound on alcohol’s qualities as a beverage, but on the different type of alcohol and the uses it has.  This valuable commodity has several uses from a survival perspective that are worth examining.  In this piece, we will be examining the three most common types available to you.  Let’s jump right into it and give you something you can use!

Ethanol (C2H5OH) is the common form of alcohol that you consume as a beverage/within a beverage.  There are different percentages of alcohol per different beverages.  Here are some rough “guidelines” of the percentages:

Vodka (usually 40%), Brandy (usually 40%), Scotch (40-60%), Grain alcohol (85-95%), Gin (37-60%).

Methanol is also known as wood alcohol (CH3OH).  As the name implies, it is taken from wood, and its main use is in industry, and in high-performance engines such as racecars and “monster” trucks, as well as other specialty engines.  Methanol does not give a flame off when burning and can be put out with water.

Isopropyl alcohol (also called “rubbing” alcohol) sees a use in several different household needs from cleaning to disinfecting.  Isopropyl (C3H8O) alcohol is widely available in all your grocery and big-box stores and varies in concentration from about 50% all the way up to 99% (usually found in feed stores or hardware stores in that concentration).

Now for winter considerations, here is an important chart for you that lists the freezing points (the point of transition between the liquid becoming a solid and vice-versa) of alcohols:

Source:  http://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/WO2010029344A2/imgf000023_0001.png

We must keep in mind that this is primarily used for ethanol, the type that is consumed as a beverage.  I’m not listing freezing points of the other two types for a reason: you can’t drink them or consume them.  Hear me out, as I give you the main point:

You can pick up a bottle of ethanol and keep it in the vehicle without having it freeze, especially grain alcohol, the preferred ethanol to be used in tinctures.

Natural Medicine

It can be seen, then, why in my previous articles I mentioned the advantages to making naturopathic aids and herbal solutions in tincture form for several reasons.  Firstly, it is not difficult for even the novice who is interested in herbs.  Secondly, the tincture lasts at least three years, if you were to assign an “expiration” date on it.  Lastly, if you make a tincture that is, say, 60% alcohol?  As you can see by the chart, it will not freeze until it reaches -23 degrees Fahrenheit.  That’s pretty cold!

An electromagnetic pulse may take out the grid and all your heat, but your herbal tinctures will be safe for a time.

Other Important Uses

There are other uses for the alcohol, as well.  Rubbing alcohol is important for first aid, and can be used as a fire-starting fluid.  Do any of you live in a cold area during the winter?  Well, have you ever had your windshield-wiper fluid line freeze up?  Chances are most of you drive models of vehicles that keep the line heated.  If not: you can rely on alcohol!  Pour yourself a small spray bottle worth of rubbing alcohol (the ones at Wal-Mart you can pick up for a couple of bucks and it’s 90% concentration).

Pour your alcohol into the spray bottle, and when you must clean off the windshield, it won’t freeze and can take off that grease and grime.  A “squeegee” helps, along with some rags you’ll have to get rid of or wash periodically.  You can use it on the headlights and taillights as well during these months when your vehicle becomes covered with road salt and filth from the macadam.  Great for cleaning up those wiper blades, as well.

The alcohols can be used for barter goods, as well, and as mentioned have many uses for disinfectants and wound-cleaners.  Ethanol is not the preferred method for this next tip, but it can work when you have nothing else: an anesthetic.  You may just have a patient who is not compromised from a respiratory perspective (say a gunshot wound to the leg or arm), and a few drinks may be just what is needed to remove that bullet or those shotgun pellets.  Use your best judgment and think outside of the box without going overboard.

In summary, alcohol is a very valuable commodity that has many uses now and will be invaluable after the “S” hits the fan.  When used responsibly and safely, it can give you a powerful edge with everything from making medicines to starting a fire.  Use your imagination, and it will serve you well.  Looking forward to some comments, tips, and suggestions from all of you Readers out there.  Please share your experiences and insights, and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

 

Read More About Ways to Utilize Alcohol:

Could This Be the Perfect Generator for Preppers?

45 Survival Uses for Alcohol

8 Recipes For Making Homemade Extracts

Six Kinds of Currency That Might Emerge after the Collapse

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Winter Survival: Practical Preps for an Emergency Bug Out

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“I got to, got to, got to, get away…turn me loose, baby.” –  Jimi Hendrix, “Stone Free”

Yes, ReadyNutrition guys and gals, there comes a time when you just “got to get away,” so to speak.  This doesn’t mean to the sands of (what used to be) St. Bart’s.  This means “E&E,” or “Escape and Evasion,” as we used to call it in the Army.  But what if your car is not working because of an EMP…and you have two feet of snow on the ground?  What if you have a sheet of ice so thick on the ground that the Olympic Hockey Team could practice on it?  The “suck” factor will be high, and the adrenaline will be pumping.  You have to get out of there.  Are you prepared?

You can be.  Firstly, let’s refresh a few things that have been mentioned already.  You have your BOB (your happy “Bug-Out Bag”) if you wish to call it that.  It should be packed and ready in your vehicle.

And at this stage of the game, you should have already switched off for your winter needs, as we covered in numerous articles before.

You need both a Gore-Tex top and bottom for extreme cold weather.  First things first!  What are you facing?  If it’s the ice, you need a pair of Yak-Trak’s or Crepons (like these) to place upon your feet with metal spikes on the bottom to give you some traction.  Yes, these guys will run you about 30 to 40 bucks, and it’s well worth it.  The rubber harness that holds either springs or spikes/metal cleats are durable and will last you for more than a couple seasons if you use them regularly.

Remember JJ’s principle of redundancy: You use one pair for daily use, and the other pair you “squirrel” away for an emergency.

You don’t want to have that everyday pair break down right at the critical moment.  According to Murphy’s Law, what can go wrong will go wrong.  You can even the odds if you buy two of each item…one for regular use and one for emergency/backup.  OK, so you have just emerged from the car and ran across a large deserted parking lot full of ice to the woods.  At the tree line, you notice that the snow has drifted to a depth of a foot and a half.

Next on the agenda is a pair of snowshoes.  Now, depending on where you live, you may need a really good pair…the kind that is about 32-36” in length.  For your immediate getaway and for lightness and convenience, there is an alternative to carry with your backpack.  Snowshoes used by utility men and electrical linemen.

These guys are made out of really durable plastic…the kind that a nuclear weapon might have a hard time melting.  Just joking, there, but you see the point.  These snowshoes are more compact and are usually a bright orange color.  Some plastic surface bonding spray paint will take care of that.  They make them orange so that in the course of their work when they set them down they won’t lose them.  It makes sense.  Now you’ll have to adapt them to your use and purpose.

They’ll slip over the top of your shoes/boots, and can be adjusted with straps.  They work.  There’s a lot of different kinds.  I prefer the ones that are a little more “rounded” than the rest, so they resemble a large tennis racket head.  This gives you plenty of surface area.  Throw them on and take them off later with ease.  These will run you about $30, but you can find them in your second-hand stores if you search hard enough.

Lastly, how about a toboggan?  Yeah, sounds stupid, I know…until you realize you would like to haul some stuff with you away from your now-worthless SUV that the EMP has fried.  The toboggan I’m referring to is basically a plastic sheet (the tougher the better) with two holes located at the top…yeah, a kid’s toy.

Until you have jerks shooting at you and you need to go down a long stretch of hill.  Or until you have about 50 lbs. of stuff you don’t want to leave with the vehicle.

Do yourself a favor and make sure you have about a 10 to 15-foot section of rope with you, burned on both ends that can haul or lift a couple of hundred pounds.  This will make life easier for you to drag that toboggan with you.  The toboggan can also be used as a ground cover or as a wind barrier if you have to start a fire.  Your only limit is your imagination.

So, these are some simple and cost-effective methods to help you E&E in the Great Winter Wonderland!  Make sure you test your equipment and practice with it.  If you’ve never used it before, you’ll be at a disadvantage when the SHTF and you have to do it for real.  Practice makes perfect, and there’s no better time to start than the present.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Emergency SHTF Packing: How To Efficiently Pack a Bug-Out Bag

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This article is a continuation and the second part of the load management series written at the request of Mr. Brent Westbrook, a ReadyNutrition Reader.  In the first part, we covered how to stagger a load by weight and pack it according to function for a vehicle.  Guess what?  Many of the basics used to emplace that load are followed here, in how to pack a rucksack (another word for a backpack).  Let’s get right down to it!

Packing a Bug-Out Bag + Gear Suggestions

For those who have been reading my articles for a while, you know that my personal preference is the large-frame Army Rucksack (also called a Large “Alice” pack) …the one from the turn of the century and thirty years before.  It has an aluminum frame, it’s made of nylon, and it can take a lot of punishment.  That being said, the mechanics and reasoning for packing it are still the same.

You must ensure with a ruck that the load is balanced, as high as possible to keep pressure and weight off your back and that you can get to your equipment in a hurry.

Items on the bottom are those rarely used

I pack at the bottom of mine stuff that I do not intend to use at all or very seldom, such as extra clothes and extra food.  Pack your clothes in a wet-weather bag ( the military issue is preferable to me, although I’m aware there are many civilian firms that follow the premise of waterproof bags).  In the middle of the ruck, you want some ammo, more clothes, and some specialty equipment that doesn’t see immediate use.  You be the judge of that.  Toward the top, I keep Gore-Tex pants and jacket, as well as an issue sleeping bag with a Gore-Tex cover in a compression bag and then in a wet-weather bag.

Keep your basic needs in mind when packing bug-out equipment

Food in various forms is “nested around the outside edges, and then the drawstring is cinched down.  At the very top, I have a poncho and a poncho liner (that I can reach and remove easily).  Over this is my ground pad (I use a thick Coleman that is good with or without inflating it), and I have a bivouac hammock in a waterproof bag.  Those are all cinched down with the straps.  In my outside pockets (and waterproofed) I have ammo, food that I can eat quickly, fire-starting equipment, and my water supply.  I use stainless steel one-quart canteens.

This with the canteens is for several reasons.  I don’t tote more than a gallon at a time.  I leave some “headspace” so if the canteens freeze and expand, they aren’t ruined.  I can place the steel ones on a fire and thaw them out to get to the water.  They also take a beating.  For myself, I don’t mind the extra pressure on my back, as (in the wintertime) my jacket and the kidney pad take care of that.  I prefer a low silhouette.  I won’t get into how much mine weighs, but you should be comfortable taking a “squat” with it, and it should not take you to the ground.

The really important thing is that you want everything as secure as much as possible.  When the load shifts, it becomes unbalanced, and the distribution of weight is uneven, making for unequal steps and an unequal load-burden on your body parts.  You also have to take into consideration all of the other stuff you’re going to tote beside the rucksack, such as a load-carrying vest, a rifle, and extra water and ammo.  This adds to the weight, as well as being necessary to have adjusted and fitted to your body correctly to facilitate a smooth, noiseless movement through the brush.

Practice packing your bags so that it becomes second nature

This is something that will require practice and experimentation on your part, as there are not too many cut-and-dry rules to follow.  You should make sure your first-aid gear, ammo, and fire-starting equipment are the most readily available items…water and food notwithstanding.  You can tailor your pack, by the way, I explained it either with more or less of the items I mentioned in an order that is at least similar to the one I present here.  Good luck, and take the time to perfect it, as it is your “home away from home” and you’ll rely on what you carry.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Cash After the Collapse: 6 Multi-Purpose Preps You Need in Emergency Supplies

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coffee1Hopefully, our readers will not suffer indigestion of their holiday meals or have a damper placed upon the holiday largesse of gift-giving and happy moments.  After all, a potential nuclear war or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack should never interfere with the memories being collected in the new pages of the scrapbook album.  Still, if you have the time to tear yourself away from the “holiday treadmill,” you may wish to consider taking some actions that may benefit you later on.

Gathering supplies is one of the hallmarks of the modern prepper and survivalist.  We are going to suggest a few that have dual roles: for barter (primary) and for use (secondary).  That being said, many of us are short on storage space and are looking to find preps that serve multiple purposes will help you make the most of the space you have. Now, there are some of you that may not agree with adding these preps, but then again, that is your choice.  They are being presented here as another option for you to pursue.  We’re going to list those reasons behind each: primary will be “barter” with an explanation, and a secondary (your personal use) will be explained.

6 Multi-Purpose Preps You Need In Your Prepper Supplies

  1. Cigarettes: About 5 to 10 cartons, staggered between your most popular types (such as Marlboro, Camel, etc. You can also purchase tobacco in bulk qualities and repackage it in Mylar bags for long-term storage. Primary: For use as barter. Especially for those who do not smoke, they can be a “gold mine” to obtain something from those who do smoke. Secondary: Tobacco has medical use as an anti-helminthic (fights worms) and also a peripheral vasoconstrictor. It can be used as a bug repellant on plants when the nicotine is extracted by soaking it in alcohol and then sprayed.
  2. Alcohol: Stagger the amounts: minimum of (5) fifths of grain alcohol, (5) of Scotch, (5) of Vodka, and (5) of Gin. Many preppers suggest finding smaller bottles (Similar to the ones used on airplanes). As well, consider adding an alcohol still to your preps to make your own. Primary: For use as barter in small increments for those who need it for a responsible reason, or as a fifth for a “big” trade…something that someone has that you really need.  Secondary: All of these spirits can be used for tincturing, and the grain alcohol especially can be used as an emergency disinfectant. All can be used as an anesthetic as a last resort (and with patients who are conscious and not compromised from a respiratory or a cardiovascular perspective. Read more about the uses of alcohol.
  3. Coffee: Big “cash crop,” and your best bet is vacuum-sealed in metal cans or in aluminized bags of about a pound to half a pound at a time. I recommend picking up about a hundred pounds of it, if possible.  Don’t “X” out good instant coffee, either, as there will be many people who don’t have the time to brew it up. Here are some pointers on how to store coffee for long-term use. Primary: As mentioned, it will be in big demand about six months down the line, and you’ll never have trouble trading it for something. Secondary: Coffee has many advantages – including naturopathic and also helps to restore mental alertness, to help in cases of prolonged nausea and diarrhea, and (as you may know) it tastes great!
  4. Sundries: This would include soaps, deodorants, toothbrushes, and personal care items, such as razor blades, dental floss, and so forth. Good sources can be found in flea markets and thrift stores…especially with sundries from hotels…. individual small bars of soap and shampoo as are found in motel rooms …these are excellent to stock up on. Primary: They will be worth their weight in gold to barter, as they are of a pretty convenient size. Secondary: For your own personal use, they won’t go unused if never traded…they are excellent sizes for your own teams/units when patrolling and out in the woods for several days, or when conducting a reconnaissance.
  5. Fire starting materials: Matches, lighters, flints, wicks for lighters, and higher-end lighters, such as Zippos that can run off white gas or gasoline. Primary: for barter, just as has been mentioned. Secondary: you’ll always have a use for them
  6. Small First-Aid Supplies: to include Band-aids, alcohol prep pads, gauze bandages, medical tape, etc. Many of these items can be purchased frugally at discount stores. Primary: can be bartered effectively in small amounts. Secondary: for personal use.

We could continue, have fifty pages, and need a tractor-trailer to haul it all, but you get the point.  There is the potential to have in your supply room such items set aside dedicated primarily to barter and then able to be used by you in some capacity if the need arises.  I give you my personal rule on ammunition: I wouldn’t barter it or sell it under any circumstance.  Your “friendly traders” will trade for ammo, and then at nightfall, they’ll return and assault your position…and give it back to you the hard way.

You’ll have to use your own judgment and discretion with these items.  Obviously, if a gang of roughnecks wants to trade for booze?  It may behoove you not to have any if you catch my meaning.  Whatever problem you may have with any item on the list, that is your decision.  This piece was meant to stimulate thought and give you a few ideas.  In the long run, your survival and your family’s will depend on how proactive you are to this end.  JJ out!

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

Interested in learning more about multipurpose preps? Check out some of these informative articles!

 

Six Kinds of Currency That Might Emerge after the Collapse

11 Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime

7 Kitchen Essentials That Deserve To Be On Your Preparedness Shelves

Vaseline: A Multipurpose Prep Item

39 Manly Uses for Coconut Oil in Your Bushcraft Kit

The Skinny: 6 Everyday Uses for Dry Milk

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Essential Skills, Tasks, and Training for Preppers and Survivalists: Part 1

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For this article, we’re going to go into “basic focus” mode: you start out with the basics and build upon them.  This is the type of mindset and foundation that work for everything in life (basically).  You use it as a format in everything you do, such as building a home or when you begin an exercise program.  In this vein, we’re going to create a Training METL: A Mission-Essential Task List for your Training as a basis for well-rounding yourself.  This is Part 1 of a 2-part series.

What is your focus?  What type of work do you do?  How do you allocate your time?  A short time ago, I wrote a piece on the importance of self-analysis: creating a true picture of yourself, your strengths, and areas that you need to improve in.  This holds true here, as you identify and prioritize your goals, with an overall objective in mind.  Here is an overall objective for you:

To survive and thrive as you and your family develop physically, mentally, and spiritually to well-round yourselves and prepare for any disaster that arises.

Simple enough.  The Mission-Essential Task List for Training can become a big part in actually realizing that objective and maintaining it.  This METL (called “Metal” in the Army) for your use will use broad categories to train and prepare that you can refine as your needs change and your skills improve.  Let’s start it off!

  1. Physical Training: It all starts here, with whatever you do to be able to “hang with the big dogs!”  Whether you’re a Triathlete, a weightlifter, a boxer, or a swimmer, you need to take your personal forte and tailor it to the maximum productive capacity.  Outline your training schedule, plan short and long-term goals for improvement, and take copious notes!  If you’re a swimmer, do you want to swim the English Channel?  If you’re a marathon runner, do you want to set a personal record for yourself?  Want to “up your max” on the bench press by 50 lbs.?  Part of your training is to identify your goals, and work up to them.  Tie in what you can do with the tasks you will need to accomplish as a survivor.  This also has to do with your overall body fat content (what is your goal?) and your measurements of weight, and tape.  Physical training is not an accessory: it is a priority!
  2. Martial/Fighting Arts Training: this is in the form of self-defense, such as Karate or the Martial Arts, or Boxing.  This also takes the form of skill with weapons and firearms.  We’re talking about combat with knives, with a staff, with PR-24’s or batons.  We’re mentioning rifle and pistol marksmanship and proficiency with every aspect of them…field stripping and cleaning, small repairs, maintenance, zeroing those weapons and scopes…the whole picture.  Your gym should also have a heavy bag (as mentioned in past articles).  You should have a definitive training plan with goals to meet.  An example could be to go a whole 3-round “bout” against your heavy bag, with 3-minute rounds and 30 seconds of rest in between.  An example with firearms could be to pick up any weapon…disassemble it blindfolded, identify the component parts and parts groups, reassemble it, perform functions check, and then drop the blindfold and put three rounds in the bull at 25 meters (75 feet) with iron sights at a one-inch shot group.  Sound tough?  High goals will yield high performance.  You can do it.
  3. New Skills: Work on one per 2 weeks or one per month.  Whatever you can handle.  Electricity, mechanics, home canning, medicine.  Take your pick.  Give yourself courses of instruction both on your own and with someone if possible.  You can never study enough, and as mentioned earlier, a good training calendar will really help you iron out the rough spots.
  4. Cross-Training the Family: Many people concentrate so much on individual tasks and studies that they neglect the group.  The training for a group and preparation can be just as important to you as an individual.  If you are the leader of your group and/or family, it will make your job that much easier if you know that your family members know what to do in an emergency and can help you.
  5. Book Learnin’!  Yes indeed, Study:  You need to well-round yourself and also to concentrate on the specifics of your specialties.  Know those ballistic tables for your reloading of your firearms…and know them cold.  Attention to detail.  Get the rest of the family involved.  Study to show yourself approved, a workman worthy of his craft.  Your goal is to survive.  You need to study and become a professional in all of these areas.
  6. Tying in the tasks and Practicum: Yes, outlining all of the functions of the family’s training and preparation…and then you need to come up with a realistic and safe training exercise for yourself.  Regularly.  This doesn’t necessarily mean under “ideal” or “Holly Hobby” conditions…but when it’s raining outside, and 40 degrees, and getting dark.  The more realistic you make your training, the more effective you’ll be when the time comes to do it for “real.”
  7. Meditation and Faith: whatever it is that you follow after, make it a core of your activities.  Learn to develop inner peace and strength by rooting yourself in whatever you follow after.  Be the best that you can be, and face life without fear in your heart and the courage to face it head-on.

These are general categories for you to follow: essential skills, essential tasks, and essential training.  You can refine them with time and practice.  Weigh your priorities, and honestly assess yourself and your abilities.  You will see improvement in areas only if you take action in those areas.  Part 2 will cover the actual “tasks” that you need to focus on (METL) when the “S” hits the fan.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

When a Zippo Is Not Enough, These Fire Starting Materials Could Be a Lifesaver

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this piece is a reiteration of fire-starting basics in terms of materials to stockpile for yourselves, for your winter-fires or for a grid-down/collapse event.  You can place these materials in your home, in your “Bug-Out” bag, your vehicle, and in your work locations.  Sometimes the Zippo lighter is not enough, and you need a little more material in order to “kick start” your fires.  Let’s cover some of them as well as simple procedures to keep them waterproof.

There are several types of stormproof and windproof matches.  The company I recommend for them are UCO windproof and waterproof matches.  You can purchase these at Cabela’s or you can visit the site at UCO gear.

These guys deliver, and they come within a case that keeps them waterproof (even though they can be submerged under water and then struck on virtually any surface).  At $5 to $7 they’re a good investment.  Strike anywhere matches can be waterproofed, however, they are hygroscopic, meaning they absorb moisture/humidity/water with time.

Along with matches, you’ll need a good lighter.  Everyone is familiar with the Zippo, that works on white gas/Coleman fuel, as well as gasoline.  They are good to have for a backup when the times are tough, and butane is in short supply.  The drawbacks lie in the fact that they leak, meaning the lighter doesn’t stay closed and loses/evaporates its fuel.  Also, you need flints and wicks with them.

For disposables, I really like the ones made by Djeep, a French firm.  They are short, rectangular, and stubby, and they both take a beating and are dependable.  It can’t hurt to pick up a few dozen of them.  The “El-Cheapo” lighters made in Vietnam are unreliable and will not work when the time comes.  If you can’t get hold of Djeeps, stick with your Bics, as there is usually better quality control over them than in the “off” brands.

As far as fire-starting materials are concerned, I have recommended in previous articles that you refrain from buying some commercial fire-starters as in Coughlans or another name-brand.  Buy a fire log in your local grocery store.  The fire logs are made of sawdust and paraffin and wrapped up after they are compressed in paper that can also be burnt.  You slice off a section of the fire log, wrap it in paper (try wax paper) and stick the “slice” in a Ziploc bag.  Voila!  You just made a piece that is larger than those paltry “sticks” they sell for $7 or more.  Remember to cap off the end of the fire log with a plastic bag and then rubber-band it secure.

There are plenty of metal matches and fire-starting strikers out on the market.  A good metal match is a plus as well, and many of these come in self-contained plastic tubules that prevent the match from getting wet.  They also usually come with a tool to help you strike off sparks.  My preference is the magnesium bar with the flint rod attached to the back of the long edge in a groove.  You shave off shavings of the magnesium bar with a knife and then strike sparks onto the shavings using the flint rod.  Waterproof these with the Ziploc bag or a small Tupperware container.

Lint from the lint-guard of your dryer can be blended with some paraffin to make the fire-starting material. Here’s an easy DIY article to make these. You can also add sawdust, or use it on its own.  Another thing: a small syringe can be a lifesaver if you don’t have any of these materials around.  You can use this syringe to take a small amount of gasoline, oil, alcohol, or other combustible material to inundate either wood shavings, leaves, or other material to make a fire.  There are plenty of small tricks that you can do.  A small 9 Volt battery (rectangular, with male and female terminals) can be placed to touch plain (“unsoaped”) steel wool to produce a flame.

Prep all these materials by making them waterproof or water-resistant whether or not they are already made as such.  The reason being is that protective casings also protect them from spills or contamination by other chemicals or situations.  Preventative measures are always much easier than trying to start at a “deficit” of needing the materials when the “suck” factor (weather, dangerous surroundings, etc.) is high.  Fight that good fight each day, and prep as if there’s no tomorrow.  There probably is, but if it arrives and everything goes down the tubes, you won’t have any more time to prepare.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Prepper’s Guide to Cold Weather Gear: 10 Must-Haves to Stay Warm in the Harshest of Conditions

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is akin to a checklist with a few extra suggestions you can use to prepare for the coming of the cold weather before it arrives.  In past articles, we talked about the necessity of having go/GOOD/Bug-out bags packed seasonally.  Those preps for the seasonal changes are critical and can mean the difference between life and death when the need arises.

Read The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide for more information on surviving in extreme weather conditions.

A Prepper’s Guide to Cold Weather Gear

Let’s cover some of the important concepts of gearing up for the Fall and winter.

Proper sleeping bag: remember to switch off those lighter summer bags for a winter-weather/extreme cold weather sleeping bag, preferably with a Gore-Tex cover. Don’t forget a good, reliable ground pad to rest on…remembering the importance in preventing conduction (the passage of body heat into the ground, and cold from the ground into the body).

Gore-Tex “Monster”: That’s right! Become the Gore-Tex Monster!  You need a good Gore-Tex top and pants to protect you from the cold and the moisture.  Gore-Tex breathes and it is reliable. They have Gore-Tex jackets too. Just remember not to lean too close to the stove or the fire and melt it. Read more on what to wear in the harshest of environments.

Footgear/Thermals/Socks: All of these are vital to winter weather preparedness. Make sure that you pack heavy socks and have at least one change of each packed in a waterproof bag and stuffed in your pack. Read more about protecting your feet and how important it is.

Foods to pack: Stick with dried and dehydrated stuff, such as jerky, dehydrated vegetables, and fruits. The canned stuff is tough to protect from a freeze.  The dehydrated stuff can be reconstituted easily enough with water.  If you have snow, you have water.  Don’t forget “Vitamin R” …that’s Ramen!  Pasta is great stuff for a base and some carbs.  Load up also on vitamin c and multivitamins in your pack.

ORS: Oral Rehydration Solutions. I wrote a good bit about them in past pieces.  These guys are the next best thing to an IV and you don’t even need a catheter.  Dehydration is a biggie in the cold months…this is because people become cold and they naturally shy away from drinking water.  Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration.

Fire starting equipment: waterproof matches, lighters, and material to start it with. Another option is to buy a “fire log” and saw it/cut it down into manageable pieces.  That’s what Firestarter is that you buy from all these “pioneers” such as Coleman for 3 or 4 dollars.  The Fire-log costs you a little more and then supplies you with enough material for 100 of those Coleman packages.

First Aid supplies: remember that things freeze. Not alcohol!  There are your disinfectant pad and any kind of stuff for sanitation.  Also, pack some hand warmers to warm up IV fluids if you ever give one in the fall or winter.  It’ll take away the shock of that cold fluid hitting into your patient.  Also for thawing out water or IV bags if needed. Read more on requirements for cold weather injuries.

For water, if you’re going to be out for extended periods of time, you may wish to empty some of the water out of your canteens for if it freezes to prevent canteens from splitting (although I’ve never seen this with military issue canteens. During the winter months, I carry stainless steel canteens from WWII and fill them up ¾ of the way.  Should it freeze, then I’d just set it on the coals and thaw it out.

Radios: check out your commo gear and make sure your batteries are fresh with spares packed.

Ammo, knives, and weapons: safeguard and make sure (the former) is packed with protection from plastic bags. The latter two: ensure they’re cleaned and coated with a good coating of oil and fully operational.

Prepare all your gear now, while the weather is still fairly warm because you should always plan ahead and take care of things sooner instead of later.  Take the time to do this, because it is an investment in your well-being that could mean the difference in your survival.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Woodcutting When the SHTF: What You Need to Know To Hastily Acquire a Wood Supply

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this piece is designed to help you plan out your woodcutting when the SHTF…because you’ll have to do it on the Q-T and keep your noise signature at a minimum.  Seems easy, right?  Well, it’s not complicated, but there are some finer points to it.  Right now (with half of my state of residence burning) we are not allowed to use chainsaws to cut wood.  Yep, I’ve been hitting it with the bowsaw and the axe…on “low” smoke days.

Bringing me to the next point.  You will need certain tools, to keep the noise down and also to conserve fuel.  Here they are:

  1. Bowsaw, 39-40 inch blade
  2. Bowsaw, 18-24 inch blade
  3. Axe, single-edged (I like anything made by Kobalt)
  4. Hatchet – make sure it is one solid, continuous piece…Estwing makes some good ones
  5. Maul: Preferably 8-lbs or more
  6. Splitting Wedges – assorted sizes
  7. Good Sharpening tool, and assorted sharpening stones

Your ax is going to be used to fell dead standing timber and also to segment large-diameter trees that would take forever with a bowsaw.  None of the methods are totally silent, however, in comparison to the chainsaw, they are.  This is a reason that I place so much emphasis on cutting wood in the “off” season: that is to say, don’t wait until the fall.  Cut wood throughout the summer.

Heating is one thing, but cooking is another.  If you need to prepare food, you’ll need that fireplace or woodstove to be well-fueled.  When you’re trimming branches, if they’re about four inches in diameter or less, use the short-bladed bowsaw.  The longer blade is used on your larger pieces, up to about a foot max.  Then it is up to you to quarter them with your ax, your maul, and your splitting wedges.

If you have a fireplace or a woodstove, you need to measure the diagonal inside length, knock it down a couple of inches, and form a template for yourself.  I use an old 1” x 4” piece for myself.  This way you can use that piece of board to set against the edge of your log and scribe to make a cut for the piece to fit in your fireplace or woodstove.  This will save you a lot of time measuring, and you can keep the template for a long time…just make sure it doesn’t become mixed up in your wood supply.

After the SHTF, you can also bring pieces into your basement to saw and chop away at to reduce the noise.  You want to cut wood at times when there are other noises around to cover your activities.  Early morning before the sunrise or at night is not convenient times, as these are periods of the day when the surrounding noise is subdued.  Your hatchet you want to use to trim smaller branches off of pieces and also to cut small pieces of kindling and tinder.  Make sure you have a tinderbox and a kindling box to use for each of these fire-starting sizes of wood.

Cutting wood in this manner is a heck of a workout.  Please review my past articles on woodcutting.  You want to cut in the early morning hours, and in the evening hours to break up the physical exertion.  You’ll need to stay ahead of the game, as that wood supply will burn up fast.  After the SHTF, you will need someone pulling security, and preferably someone who can rotate into the woodcutting operation.

Ex: John cuts wood for one hour, and Al pulls security.  Then vice-versa

It’s a little different if you’re out in the forest cutting larger pieces to take back home.  Much depends on the weather and how far you have to transport your wood.  Also, the method of transport makes a difference.  When you have 2 to 3 feet of snow on the ground, you’ll want one of those plastic toboggans to drag the pieces back with.  A snowmobile is good for a fast dash, but the engine is a dead giveaway.  You’re also limited as to the size of the pieces that you can drag back.

If the ground is bare, you can use one of those garden carts that hold up to 800 lbs. of weight.  I’m not recommending to you anything I haven’t done: I told you guys and gals about permits from the national forest to cut dead fallen and dead standing timber.  I dragged wood back to my place with the cart and with the sled, and a lot of it.  You can too if it hits the fan.

When you stack your wood, stack in layers and use your larger pieces as barriers to protect your house and make a hasty firing position if you need to defend the home.  Before you cut wood in this manner, make sure you drink plenty of water beforehand, and even load up on supplements such as BCAA’s (Branched-Chain Amino Acids), and Creatine to facilitate recovery afterward.  One EMP and everything goes back to the Dark Ages.  You can make it less dark and more habitable with a good wood supply that you cut without everyone knowing it.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Good Hygiene and Sanitation Keeps You Safer After an Emergency

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, the “Grand Funk” we’re going to be speaking about today is not that of the Grand Funk Railroad, the Band.  Rather it is the funk of sweat, dirt, and grime that all of us experience firsthand throughout our existence.  I am relating it to the “bush,” or the outdoors/forest/jungle when you are out and about in a survival situation.  There are a few pointers here that would be good to observe, especially considering the world situation and how close we are to a war with China or North Korea.

Hygiene in the field.  So, what?  So, it may be the difference between life and death.  Everyone will recognize and concede the point that hygiene helps protect you from germs and diseases, as well as preventing the body from falling apart.  This is common sense.  But there are other reasons to keep clean that might not be clear.

When you sweat, your body uses apocrine and eccrine glands.  The eccrine secrete primarily water and salt.  The apocrine glands, on the other hand, are mostly found in the hairy areas of the body…and these throw out (in addition to water and salt), oily secretions that have pheromones in them.  The secretions from the apocrine glands tend to be eaten and metabolized by bacterial flora on the skin…and produce a hideous odor.

I’m here to tell you…you can smell a “stinky man” a long way off…several hundred feet when the wind is right.  Be advised: in an SHTF/collapse scenario, whether it’s foreign troops or neighborhood marauders…if you can smell them, they can smell you.  It is very important to clean the heaviest apocrine gland-laden areas of your body…your groin, armpits, buttocks.  You should wash them (a sponge bath at the minimum) at least once a day, especially after much work or physical exertion.

Deodorant is fine…but not an antiperspirant.  The antiperspirants have Aluminum and Magnesium in them to keep you from perspiring.  This is not good.  You need to perspire, as the sweat removes toxins from your body, as well as cooling you off (thermoregulation).  For this reason, a mild deodorant will work well, one with some alcohol in it to help kill the germs that feed upon your sweat.  For soaps, use a clean, non-fragranced soap in the field.  I always used Ivory when I was in the service.  It is effective and doesn’t stick out with a fragrance.

That last part can be detrimental, especially for you guys and gals that like to use cologne or perfume.  That stuff really carries a long way to the human nose, let alone an animal’s such as a dog’s (tracking you) or a bear (that may hunt you).  In addition, when you touch something…a leaf or a tree branch…you just left a scent mark.  A good human tracker will pick it up quickly.

The feet…it can never be overemphasized just how much they can stink, and also how detrimental it can be for you to walk long distances with rotten, filthy feet.  You should change socks at least once per day.  Wash them out too…soap and water will do.  Wring them out and hang them from the back of your rucksack while you’re walking.  They’ll dry out.  You should powder your feet (the “dogs” as we called them in the Army), and take good care that they remain clean and dry.  An extra pair of insoles you should always have so that at the end of a day, you can switch out with the ones in your boots and let the pair that was inside “breathe” and dry out.

Maintain the nails, maintain the teeth…all of these preventative actions will keep you from getting ingrown toenails and having your teeth fall out…all of which contribute to an increase in the misery factor, as well as leaving you vulnerable to sickness and injury.  Smoking?  No way.  Not in the bush.  Give it up for your health, and also for your safety.  We could smell cigarettes hundreds of feet from us when we were out and about.  Plus, it is better to keep you from giving off an odor in your clothing and on your skin.

Good hygiene is part of your camouflage: to keep others from knowing where you are.  You’ll be watching out for your health and preventing bad guys from finding out where you are.  Granted, you don’t have time for a bath with Mr. Bubble, but at least you can keep from smelling bad as Oscar the Grouch or Pigpen off of the Peanuts.  It’ll more than pay for itself when you follow that routine.  If it keeps you hidden just one time when the SHTF when they’re after you, it will have been worth it.  Stay clean, be fit, drink coffee, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

How prepared do you want to be?

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

Prioritize your needs

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

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

Map provided by Redcross.org and Noaa.gov

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

Plan

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

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

Complete this prepared home checklist

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
  • Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home if you plan on evacuating. Do you plan on bugging in or bugging out? If you are having problems deciding whether to shelter in place or evacuate, answer these two questions and you will know what you need to do.
  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
  • Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main switches.
  • Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher, and show them where it’s kept.
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
  • Ensure that your family’s important documents are backed up and in a safe location.
  • Before you begin investing into your preparedness supplies, take steps to get out of debt. Debt only enslaves you further, and simplifying your lifestyle can help break those shackles. Learn about these 6 ways to simplify your lifestyle.
  • Create an emergency fund to begin funding your preparedness endeavors.
  • Plan for the worst case scenario and have emergency I.D. cards made for each family member (including your pets) with current information provided.

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

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


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

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

When planning for a disaster follow these beginner protocols:

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

Prepare

You need to understand the disaster you are planning for, how to be mentally and spiritually prepared for it and, ultimately, what supplies and skills you need to thrive.

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

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

Water

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

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

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

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

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

Food

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

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

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

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

Here are some suggested food items to have stored:


  1. Peanut butter

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Start with a 3-day food supply and keep prepping

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

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

Communication

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

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

Prepare ahead for this!

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

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

Types of Emergency Communication Channels

Cell Phones/Computers

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

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

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

Ham Radio

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

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

CB Radio/Walkie Talkie

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

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

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

Courier

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

Fuel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tools

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written Survival Information

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

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

Security

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 3 Security Layers for the home

Layer 1: The Outside Layer

  • Reinforced doors and locks.  There is only 1 ” of wood protecting you in normal door locks.
  • Invest in heavy duty door hinges and secure door frames with 3 ” screws.
  • Barred windows or European-style security/storm shutters.
  • Doors that are not glass or see through.
  • Install a peep hole for the door.
  • Never rely on a chain latch as an effective barrier (they are easily broken if the door is kicked in).
  • Install infrared flood lights or motion detector lights around the perimeter of the home.
  • A gate at the front of the driveway that has spikes at the top to prevent someone from jumping over the fence
  • Never leave a spare key hidden under a rock or door mat.  Too many people do this and it is the first place a criminal is going to look.
  • Cut back large trees or bushes near the windows to provide concealment.  Additionally, putting thorn bushes and other types of plants to further secure the home would be advantageous.
  • Have a guard dog trained to attack.  And place “beware of dog” signs on the front and side gates of the home.

Layer 2: The Inside Layer

  • Consider adding a 2-way voice feature to the existing alarm system.  This feature enables your security system to communicate directly with the control panel.  This feature also allows you to call into your system and be able to listen to any activity or speak to your child or other family members who are home.
  • Position web cams strategically in hidden areas.  Place the computer that is monitoring the locations in a hidden spot so the criminals do not walk off with the computer.
  • Have emergency plans and protocols set up where children or teens can see them.  Additionally, have important contact phone numbers next to the plan.
  • Teach the household how to call 9-1-1, and have a script ready for them to read to the dispatcher.  This will help keep them explain calmly to the dispatcher what the emergency situation is.
  • Teach members of the home different escape routes to use in case they need to leave the home, as well as a code word to use for the family to immediately leave the home to go to a safe location.
  • Close all curtains and blinds at night time and set the alarm.
  • Keep purses, car keys, money and jewelry away from windows where burglars can look in and see.  This only makes them want to break in more.
  • If a gun is in the home, have it locked up or put away so that smaller children do not try to use it.

Layer 3: The Personal Layer

This is the most critical layer.

  • Teach family members to be observant of their surroundings when coming home and be aware of suspicious activity.
  • Never open the door to strangers.  Teach children not to be easily persuaded by strangers who look professional or have badges.
  • Teach children to call “safe” adults, such as neighbors for help in cases where parents are not home.
  • Get to know your neighbors and have their phone numbers on hand in case the child needs help from a nearby adult.
  • Or, arrange a neighborhood watch program.
  • Never be afraid to call the police if a stranger or solicitor is acting suspiciously.
  • Teach children how to use the security alarm and where the panic button is.
  • Find a bug out location for family members to go to for safety.
  • If someone is trying to break into your home, activate your car alarm or panic button on the security alarm to draw attention from the neighbors.
  • As a last resort, teach older members of the home and older children how to use weapons against intruders.

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

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

Skills

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

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

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

Not all Skills Are Created Equal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

Course Discussion

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

Sign Up For This Week’s Giveaway!

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

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

 

Additional Reading:

52-Weeks to Preparedness

Essential Prepping Calculators

20 Preparedness Articles To Help You Get Prepped

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

20 Additional Preps You Want in the Car for Urban Survival

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Critical Items That Have Disappeared in the Immediate Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

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Before something like Hurricane Harvey, who would’ve imagined the kind of destruction that would literally immobilize a major U.S. metropolitan area for what could potentially be weeks if not months? As of this writing, we’re 72 hours into the aftermath of this major disaster and supplies are already running low.

Amid the images of loss and destruction, hurricane survivors know they must restock provisions to prepare for another week or more of sheltering in place. Now, imagine 6.2 million people trying to stock up at the same time. Panic buying is gripping the affected area and beginning to overload local and regional communities. Ahead of the hurricane making landfall the vast majority of people simply figured that the aftermath would, at most, last a few days. No one ever contemplated that real possibility that this scenario would be the end result or believed they would have to evacuate after the storm hit.

In fact, many have evacuated the city and moved to other Texas towns and now those areas are beginning to exhaust supplies as well. In any disaster, when the needs of the people are strained, frustration can quickly descend into a breakdown. While this is something no one wants to see happen, with a disaster such as this one, it is very easy to see how it can overwhelm government emergency response plans.

In an article explaining the breakdowns that occur after disasters, it was written, “When the needs of the population cannot be met in an allotted time frame, a phenomenon occurs and the mindset shifts in people. They begin to act without thinking and respond to changes in their environment in an emotionally based manner, thus leading to chaos, instability and a breakdown in our social paradigm.”

This is what is to be expected when so many people are hit with a rapid, far from equilibrium event. Keeping up with the desperate and immediate demands of hundreds of thousands of people will undoubtedly be a challenge in and of itself and supply trucks can only do so much, especially with flood water still standing on highway systems. Those living in this aftermath have a long road ahead of them, and knowing which items disappear off the shelves first can help them better prepare and stay on top of their personal supplies.

Just 72 hours after this disaster, here are the five supplies that have become difficult or impossible to find.

Gasoline

Concerns over closed refineries and disrupted pipelines erupted into a full-blown panic run on gasoline across Texas cities. Here’s the crazy thing, the shortages are not just happening in the greater Houston area, but two hundred miles north in Dallas, as well as in the cities of Austin and San Antonio, TX. This panic for gas is so insane that we are seeing gas lines that have been likened to the 1970’s.

While state officials are saying, “there is no need to worry,” things are getting real in Texas and whether they want to admit, the situation is beginning to get heated. So much so that reports of fist fights for fuel are popping up.

Water

Clean drinking water, the main staple in any disaster supply, is quickly being purchased faster than they can restock it. If hurricane victims do not have a high-quality water filter, they have to take their chances finding a store that has been restocked. In the flood ravaged areas, critical infrastructure has been damaged making it difficult for trucks to resupply the affected area, thus adding to the panic buying. Desperate residents do not know when this disaster area will normalize, so they want to grab supplies when they can to ensure their family has what they need.

In the city of Beaumont, things have become dire since the city shut off the municipal water supply, leaving 100,000 people with no other option but to hunt for water in surrounding areas. As well, the local hospital had to close its doors out of fear of water contamination, one of many immediate post-disaster threats we discussed in a previous article.

CNN reports that city officials plan to establish a water distribution point on Friday.

Meanwhile, earlier Thursday, residents lined up at stores hours before they opened in hopes of getting whatever bottled water they could find.

“It’s crazy,” said Khayvin Williams, who started waiting in line at Market Basket at 6:50 a.m. “People are freaking out.”

At a local Wal-Mart, Jeffrey Farley said the store was only allowing 20 people in at a time and was rationing water to three cases per customer. He got in line at 6:30 a.m. and waited until 8:30 to get his water.

Food Staples

The first food items that will sell out mostly consist of things that are already cooked or prepared in some way, including canned foods, frozen dishes, and bread. Fresh meat and eggs would also disappear pretty fast, despite the fact that they need to be cooked.

And that is what we are seeing now. Food staples like milk, bread, and eggs are all in high demand. Lines are forming outside of stores that are open to the public and these essential items run out fast.  In fact, grocery stores are putting limits on how much you can buy. In this report, one store manager in the area admits to the food limits. “Yeah, there’s limits,” Luis Castillo, a store employee who was working crowd control Tuesday, told BuzzFeed News. “But we already ran out of bread. There’s no more bread.” While many grocery stores and superstores like Wal-Mart and Target are opening more stores every day, at the given moment, it’s a race to resupply and stores can quickly be exhausted of food necessities.

Food staple shortages are also being reported in north Texas – 200 miles away from Houston.

Roni Neff, a professor of Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University is concerned about those not able to get to the stores. “In Houston, as everywhere, the impacts are not equally felt,” she says. “People with lower incomes, people who are elderly, with disabilities, with medically necessary diets, may be particularly hit by this kind of situation, and really have quite severe food security threats to them.” (Source)

Bleach

Most people may not have even considered this essential post-disaster item.

In the aftermath, bleach and chemical disinfectants are hard to come by. Cleaning flooded homes and questionable water sources are making this a high-demand commodity. Sanitation is one of the most important facets of staying prepared. After a hurricane hits, overloaded sewage systems will start spewing raw sewage. Diseases such as cholera, are contracted through contaminated water and food, and often occur as a result of poor hygiene and sanitation practices.

Moreover, cleaning supplies like gloves and garbage bags are also needed by many in the disaster area and those in the relief efforts have all listed cleaning supplies as a needed item.

Toilet Paper

Hurricane survivors may have grossly underestimated how much toilet paper they needed to ride out the aftermath. Toilet paper is used every day and when it runs out, things can get nasty.

On average, consumers use 8.6 sheets per trip – a total of 57 sheets per day. Multiply that by a week-long storm and a family of 5 and you run out quickly.

Due to the high need for toilet paper, it is flying off the shelves and restocking has obviously become an issue.

Now that many disaster victims are evacuating the area, stores in north Texas are also seeing a shortage.

Home Repair Supplies

The last thing on people’s minds was how massive the clean up from Hurricane Harvey would be. But as we have often noted, hurricanes are unpredictable in nature and this one “threw a wrench” in many preparedness plans.

While thinking about how they were going to clean up after flood waters ravaged their homes wasn’t something anyone really considered beforehand, is it now at the forefront. As a result of the extensive damage, home repair supplies are in desperate need.

Plywood, tools, wheelbarrows, large plastic containers, trash bags, buckets, generators, and other disaster necessities are being purchased. In fact, at Lowe’s, Rick Neudorff, the retailer’s emergency command center operations manager said generators were in such high demand that “some stores are practically selling generators off the back of the truck because people have been waiting in the stores for the generators to arrive.”

The reality is that the vast majority of people have about three days of food and water at home, when a prolonged disaster strikes it upends the stability of the entire system of just-in-time delivery.

This is why using a layered approach to preparedness planning that includes short-term, long-term and worst-case scenario considerations is paramount.

What Hurricane Harvey has taught us is that devastating events, while so improbable that they may happen just once in a hundred years, are still a real and present danger.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Harden Your Home Using the Cheapest Materials on the Market

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Purchasing sandbags have always been sold in late summer early fall as a preparedness product that is associated with the flooding attached to the fall rainy seasons and hurricanes.  The time to order and purchase your sandbags is now, but for a different reason: to harden your house if possible.  Those sandbags can be filled with more than just sand and can be used to stop more than just water.  Look at the world situation right now with North Korea, China, and Russia: need I say any more to encourage you to prepare and fortify your homes for a SHTF event?

There are charts ad infinitum that will give you the amounts of layers of sandbags that are needed to stop a bullet, depending on the caliber.  Most fill them with sand; however, unless you live on a beach, sand may be something not found out in your backyard.  You can fill them with dirt, but the stopping factor is significantly reduced.  It’s up to you: your decision (to paraphrase “Alice in Chains”).  You can make them permanent with concrete.  You can convert a front porch into a semi-fortified fighting position with three layers of sandbags about 3 to 4 feet high.

I don’t care to hear naysayers complaining at how the front porch will collapse, the room will collapse, yada yada.  It is up to you the homeowner to find what the weight-bearing structural load is for your porch or any other room you intend to fortify.  The main point is that there are steps you can take at home to make your property harder to enter and to enable you to defend it.

One of the big problems is that it’s hard (or impossible) to “scrap” different types of building materials or construction supplies out of the dump.  The days of “dumpster diving” for materials are just about over.  Salvage companies save everything to sell back to China, to be sent back (and sold) to us…as the salvors are raising money that is taxed by the local government…the same local government that will not permit you the citizen to “dumpster dive,” as it cuts into the “chain of events” just outlined…and their profits.

You’ll have to pick up some rolls of heavy-gauge fencing wire to cover over your windows.  Nail them right to the frame with fencing staples, and ensure they’re taut.  In this way, the Molotov will not go through.  Also, ensure that you have at least 1 inch between this fencing-grating and the glass from the window.  The Molotov may hit and allow the glass to break by bending the wire in enough so that the bottle’s weight impacts the window.  Then you’ll have to cover the busted window with plastic.

And since we’re on the subject, you can pick up rolls of 6 mil plastic, 25’ x 10’ for about $10 at Wal-Mart…could come in handy to close those windows if needed.  If you pick up the fencing wire rolls with rectangular apertures, say 2” x 4” it will facilitate you using the window as a firing port if the window is able to be opened from the inside and not a fixed window.  I wrote several articles a couple of years ago for SHTFplan detailing how to harden your home; I highly recommend reading them if possible.

A good door brace (also referred to as a New York Lock) for the entry doors to your home will help out.  It won’t completely prevent a break-in, but it’ll slow it down enough for you to deal with it.  Consider a good brace-bar to go across the door.  You want to make sure you have a solid frame.  If it is one of those premade “cookie-cutter home” frames, you may have to reinforce it.

Plywood sheets should be measured and cut for the event (or eventuality, depending on your viewpoint) that your windows will disappear.  Cut out your sizes to be able to nail or bolt into the frame on the outside of the window, and mark the pieces to enable you to match them up to the appropriate window.  I suggest (at a minimum) ½” pressure-treated plywood.  Also: measure and match up with those pieces pre-cut 2” x 4” sections, to put together as a “T” or multiple “T’s” to brace up the plywood in the center when it is in place.  You never know when some fool will try to smash out the center of the plywood and enter the house.

Cut apertures for firing ports and viewing ports at the appropriate levels in your sheets.  You can cover these up with pieces of plywood either on a screw or on a hinge to the side, to enable you to use your firearms to deal with Mr. Moron who just won’t take “no” for an answer.  Make sure you take down and remove any trees, bushes, or anything that can provide marauders with cover and/or concealment.  Cut down these things and use them for firewood later.

Now is the time to place any building materials and supplies you can on your property for use in repairs later.  Most of this article applies to those who live in a house, and it has not yet taken into consideration the plethora of neighbors, neighborhood associations, and other assorted worthless groups that try to infringe on your rights and safety in the interest of keeping their property values high and in conformity.  You may have to do it all on the q-t, and keep the OPSEC at a high.

The best thing you can do: conduct a thorough assessment of your home and determine likely avenues of approach for invaders foreign or domestic, weak points in the house, and areas where you would most likely make a stand.  We’re getting “long in the tooth,” so to speak, with world events, and you need to harden all of the points of your home now while there is still time.  An ounce of prevention is more than a pound of cure.  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Hawaii Might Be The Worst Place To Live If The SHTF

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As North Korea’s missile program continues to advance by leaps and bounds, and as the regime’s threats to the US become more aggressive, there’s growing concern that states like Hawaii and Alaska could be targeted with nuclear weapons someday.

It’s an understandable fear, considering the fact that these states are so much closer to North Korea. It’s not clear if the famously isolated nation will ever be able to target the mainland, but it seems very likely that they could at least strike a state like Hawaii in the near future.

That’s why Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency recently released a statement that informs residents of the state on what they should do in case they come under nuclear attack.

Citizens of Hawaii are advised to look out for emergency sirens, alerts, wireless notifications, or flashes of “brilliant white light” that will indicate that a nuclear detonation is incoming or underway. 

From there, the agency instructs citizens to get indoors, stay indoors, and stay tuned via radio as “cell phone, television, radio and internet services will be severely disrupted or unavailable.” Instead, expect only local radio stations to survive and function. 

If indoors, citizens should avoid windows. If driving, citizens should pull off the road to allow emergency vehicles access to population centers. Once inside, Hawaiians should not leave home until instructed to or for two full weeks, as dangerous nuclear fallout could sicken or kill them. 

The guide also informs Hawaiian residents that water and electrical utilities will likely be disrupted and that they should remain sheltered for up to two weeks. After that, they may be able to leave their homes to search for “food, water, and medical care.”

All of which brings up an important question. How should Hawaiians be preparing for major disasters, like nuclear war or an EMP? It’s a question that isn’t brought up very often in the prepper community, but it should be. The islands are home to nearly 1.5 million people, most of whom reside on Oahu, a densely populated island that is half the size of Rhode Island.

The people living there would have problems that would be daunting to most preppers living in the mainland. If you were stuck in a major city during an event that destroyed society, you would at least have a chance at escaping on foot. Hawaiians don’t have that option. If they were cut off from the outside world, they would have nowhere to flee to. They would be stuck on an island chain that has to import the vast majority of its food, and pretty much all of its fuel. So Hawaiians need all of the weapons, tools, and supplies that most preppers need, but they need more of it. Here’s a short list of what Hawaiian preppers need to consider:

  • They need to stock up on a lot of food. After a major disaster, it could be much harder for the US government to provide relief efforts to islands that are thousands of miles away from the mainland. That difficulty would be multiplied if Oahu’s harbors were damaged in any way.
  • Fuel would be scarce for the same reasons why food would be hard to come by. Hawaii is pretty much 100% dependent on imported oil. It would be wise for Preppers in this state to buy solar panels and stock up on propane.
  • Water would be another major issue. Hawaiians rely almost entirely on underground aquifers for their water needs, which probably aren’t too easy for most urban dwellers to reach. There are a few rivers, but they aren’t very substantial. While most preppers know that they should have some kind of water filtration device, it would be a good idea for Hawaiian preppers to have a water desalination kit, as well as a rainwater collection system.
  • Anyone with a sailboat would have a huge advantage. They could catch fish, or flee from densely populated places like Oahu, and head toward some of the other islands. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be a very affordable option for most Hawaiians.
  • Of course, the biggest challenge that most Hawaiians in Oahu would have to worry about is space. Hawaii has the most expensive real estate in any state, so most people don’t have sizeable homes. So while Hawaiians would need to stock up on more supplies than people living in the mainland, they have less space to work with.

Here is a list of 100 items that disappear first in a disaster

In the event of a massive disaster, Hawaii could be cut off from the rest of the world for a very long time. The people there would be left to their own devices in a place that simply cannot sustain their population, and there would be no way for most people to bug out. And to top it all off, most people don’t have enough living space to properly prep for that scenario. It would be a nightmare.

Though most people think of luxury and relaxation when the subject of Hawaii comes up, in reality, the people living there may have the most difficult time preparing for the possibility of social collapse. Maybe that’s why the prepping community doesn’t talk about this state very often.

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

This Storm Shows Just How Easily You Can Be Cut Off During an Emergency

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Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall in the United States on Thursday and left plenty of devastation in its wake. Nine people have died including a 10-year-old boy, and emergencies have been declared in Alabama and Louisiana. Evacuation requests have been issued in several states, and multiple levees have been damaged.

But perhaps what’s most worrisome, is how many roads have been closed due to rising floodwaters.

Meanwhile, authorities in the small town of West Alton, Missouri, urged residents to evacuate Wednesday and shut down traffic along a busy section of the Missouri River as a downpour of rain continued to flood parts of the Midwest.

Authorities said Wednesday that it’s unclear when traffic would be reopened along the closed 14-and-a-half-mile stretch of the Mississippi River. The passageway vital for transporting goods and agricultural products was closed by the U.S. Coast Guard due to high water and a swift current…

…According to Missouri transportation officials, I-55 was reopened Thursday after rising water levels on the Meramec River forced its closure.

A 57-mile stretch of I-44 from central to southern Missouri is closed, along with a 23-mile stretch in suburban St. Louis, according to the AP…

…More than 270 roads remain closed across the state Wednesday, Missouri transportation officials said.

Keep in mind that this storm was relatively small. It was substantial, but it was no Hurricane Katrina. When it made landfall, the wind speeds were significantly less than what you’d see in a category 1 hurricane. And yet it still managed to damage levees and shut down large stretches of roads, as well as vital waterways.

And that’s important for preppers to keep in mind because as you all know when the trucks stop delivering food, medicine, and fuel, everything grinds to a halt. And if blocked roads hinder our transportation system for too long, our modern society will disintegrate. Obviously, most storms aren’t capable of doing that, but it just goes to show how easy it is to disable our transportation system.

Our society is extremely reliant on the “just in time” delivery of goods. Our grocery stores and gas stations aren’t designed to store large amounts of supplies in case of an emergency. They’re designed to supply your immediate needs, and they rely on daily deliveries to remain operable. That’s why when disaster strikes, there are almost always shortages.

So don’t be unprepared for the next disaster, whatever it may be. Have a plan for any situation, and maintain a diverse supply of survival foods. Because when the trucks stop delivering, there’s no telling where your next meal is going to come from.

Read More:

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

When The Trucks Stop Delivering ‘The System’ Will Collapse

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

Learn How to Properly Sandbag Your Home Before the Next Storm Arrives

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

Not Doing This Before Winter Could Endanger Your Home

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chimney sweepingNow that the temperatures have changed into cooler days and evenings, this is the best time to begin the process of winterizing your home. There are a few prepping musts that homeowners need do annually to ensure the home is prepped and ready for winter – one of those is ensuring your fireplace is in proper working order. Whether you make a choice to have a professional clean it or decide to go the DIY route, it should be done before you plan on lighting that first fire.

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To provide proper maintenance and preventing the release of toxic gasses in your home, chimneys should be maintained annually. If you are using wood that contains excessive amounts of sap, consider cleaning it twice. If you fail to do so has been known to cause house fires and or property damage.

One practical solution is to purchase a chimney sweep and clean the chimney yourself. In the video below, you will see how easy cleaning your chimney is.

Dangers of Not Cleaning Your Chimney

All wood creates creosote. Perhaps one of the most damaging byproducts of burning wood is the presence of creosote, a highly flammable and can lead to house fires. According to this website, always watch for signs of buildup including dark, smelly smoke or soot on the furniture. Smoke filling the home is another danger sign, as is internal temperatures below 300-degrees Fahrenheit for a wood stove. Clean your chimney at least once a year — more often for heavy use — to remove inevitable accumulation and burn pine and other wood safely.

Carbon monoxide is a risk. This poisonous gas is produced when fuels that contain carbon (such as coal, gasoline, wood, charcoal, kerosene and natural gas) do not burn completely. Breathing in carbon monoxide fumes damages your body, organs to shut down and inevitably cause death. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are as followed:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

If you or any family members exhibit these symptoms, leave the area and seek medical attention. A way to circumvent this is to have carbon monoxide detectors placed strategically around the house and especially near the fireplace.

Soot is another toxic byproduct caused by fires and puts tiny particles of carbon in the air that will inevitably pollute the very air you breathe. It can travel deep into the lung, where the compounds it consists of can do some serious damage. Soot adheres to walls, furniture or any other surface that is cooler than the fire. To prevent soot buildup:

  • Always burn well-seasoned wood in your wood stove. Burning wood that hasn’t been well-seasoned can decrease the quality of your fire and cause it to be “smoky.” Smokier fires produce more soot build up on the glass.
  • Try burning harder woods like oak, cherry, or walnut, and avoid burning woods known for their higher sap content.
  • If your wood stove has a heat setting, try turning the heat controls up a few notches. Hotter fires will keep your glass cleaner.
  • Allow enough oxygen to vent into your wood stove. Many of the newer models are already built to help with air flow. Check the chimney/vent to make sure it’s clean and in a good position for air flow.
  • If you’re burning smaller fires, try adding some more wood to the wood stove. Smaller fires can’t always produce enough heat inside the wood stove for the soot to burn off the glass.
  • Position burning matter closer to the front glass on the wood stove. This will put the heat source closer to the glass.

Source

Many homesteaders and preparedness minded individuals have woodburning stoves in the home and rely on them to work properly – especially in off-grid situations. Like all preparedness tools, you need to keep these primed and ready to go.

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Green Beret’s Guide to Prepper Firearms

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, the purpose of this article is to list the many reasons why it is important to own a firearm.  It is a choice that certainly is your right to exercise or not to exercise: to have a firearm in your home.  This piece is not to present a moral basis for ownership, but rather the practical reasons it is important to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights.  The moral questions are best answered in the privacy of your own home according to the way your family lives and worships.

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Your Right To Defend Yourself

That being said, the primary reason for ownership of a firearm is defense.  This used to be a requirement during the days of the American Revolution and upon the founding of the United States.  If you do your research, most of the State Constitutions for states that are “border states,” meaning upon the outer edges of the United States…these states had provisions that either required or requested the citizens residing in them to own a firearm.  Why?  Because the U.S. citizen is the cornerstone of the phrase “common defense” in the preamble of the Constitution.


The United States is a nation formed by citizen-soldiers who knew their first responsibility to the nation involved taking up arms on its behalf…for the good of all.  That hasn’t changed. 


The bottom line for the 2nd Amendment (equally as important) is that if our government ever “morphs” into a tyranny that attempts to subvert individual rights under the Constitution…the ability of citizens to bear arms is a recourse to that tyranny.

The average citizen has been conditioned for more than 100 years to place all faith in the government.  Soldiery nowadays is not generally viewed as an honorable profession, but rather as a “necessary evil” that you only do “when there are no other options available to you.”  We had a Secretary of State (John Kerry) that publicly expostulated that drivel.

Six Benefits Firearms Have for the Average Joe Prepper

Firearms ownership and knowledge of them have many benefits.  Let’s cover some of them, shall we?

  1. Hunting: In either a survival or non-survival scenario, you must put meat on the table. Hunting is the way to do it, and firearms make it easier. In recent articles I have recommended the Winchester ’94, an outstanding lever-action rifle in 30-30 caliber.
  2. Home Defense: This varies from state-to-state with gun ownership laws and what you can or cannot do, per the law, with the firearms. Some states (Montana being one of them) have the “castle” doctrine…where if a threat is perceived, the homeowner can take action.  Other states will practically sue you if you don’t offer the burglar/rapist a meal when he breaks in.  My personal rule is simple: it’s better to be judged by 7 than carried by 6.  A firearm can prevent Mr. Rapist from carrying out his plans. Some ladies carry around a Saturday Night Special to deter unwelcome advances or perhaps some of these firearm suggestions would do the trick.
  3. SHTF Collapse: Yes, either the EMP has struck or the economy has collapsed…or both. What then?  When the marauders are coming down the street, do you pick up a bullhorn and tell them to leave or you’ll call the police?  Do you think that “Brinks” sign on the front lawn will cause them to shiver and shudder and move away?  The answer to both questions is probably “No,” and I guarantee…that Mossberg 500-A 12 gauge pump will be the best. I’ve gone into a lot of detail on the subject in this article. As well, consider the .357, .45 ACP and these other post-collapse firearms.
  4. Barterable Skill Post SHTF: Yes, the ability to reload cartridges or repair firearms will be a barterable skill…and a skill you will need for yourself with a collapse. Consider diversifying your ammunition for this very reason.
  5. Legacy to your Family: Don’t those words sound great? What they mean is that with proper instruction on the use of, safety with, and care of your firearms, you’re giving your children an education in something that they can use the rest of their lives…it’s their birthright as American citizens to have the right to own and keep firearms.  Why not give them a head start and show them all the fundamentals?
  6. Sport: Yes, sport! You can develop your marksmanship skills on targets…paper targets and at different ranges and clubs.  You and/or the kids can all compete in matches.  Sometimes there are prizes in the form of money, equipment, etc., that can be won when competing.  There are no limits except the ones you set upon yourself.

Other Considerations

Preppers, I must stress how important it is to maintain your weapons, as well as to having as much support equipment for your firearm as possible.  A good cleaning kit with all the component parts for multiple calibers is essential. You can make your own cleaning kit with these items.  Another thing you need is a gunsmith’s tool kit.  They’re precisioned for the set-screws and special screws for mounts, scopes, and the firearm in general.  Along with other things, such as reloading kits and presses, optics, and other books and videos to make you a well-rounded marksman.

As well as basic maintenance, I must emphasize the important of practicing regularly with your firearms. It is one thing to be a fast shot, but it is more important to be an accurate one. Read more about tips to improve your marksmanship here.

To summarize, firearms have held their place above the mantelpiece and mounted on the wall in American homes since even before the days of the American Revolution.  Firearms are a part of your American citizenship heritage, and they can serve a multitude of needs and functions.  For further training, hook up with a veteran or a qualified NRA instructor, and get started on something that is your fundamental right under the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Keep that powder dry, and keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

If You’re Bugging Out, Avoid Fatigue and Have These in Your Supplies

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ReadyNutrition fans, we’re going to talk about something that may seem simple, but it can make a big difference for you when the SHTF and the situation arise that you must bug out and be “on the move” without respite.  By “respite,” I don’t mean a half an hour break, or an hour to nap.  I’m speaking about when there is continuous activity for many hours (8-12) that may run up to a day or even longer.  If such a thing occurs, you’re going to need all the help that you can get.

Your Body Will Be Under a Tremendous Amount of Stress

There are several things that happen under stressful conditions from a physiological perspective.  As explained in earlier articles, your body burns off stores of glycogen (stored in the muscles) until it runs out.  Without replenishment, the body cannibalizes its muscle tissue and “manufactures” its glucose and glycogen requirements.  After “hitting the wall” (your body’s limit, usually reached within an hour or so), you burn off muscle tissue during this cannibalistic phase at a rate of 5 grams of muscle protein for every thirty minutes of prolonged effort.

With epinephrine and norepinephrine going haywire during your “fight or flight” metabolic reactions and with adrenaline pumping levels to the moon, your body will consume a tremendous amount of energy.  When there is any kind of a lag, the body kind of “sags” as it attempts to relax.  Notice how I wrote “attempts” here?  So, how do we solve this one?

Some kind of snack would be beneficial, and keeping in mind what we wrote earlier, you may not have the time for it.  Remember what I wrote for you a few articles back:

You need to ingest protein and carbohydrates within 20-30 minutes of a strenuous workout, and more if the workout is protracted.

That being mentioned, many people turn to things such as power bars to make up for the protein and carbs.  Those are OK, but make sure you have plenty of water when you eat them, or else they’ll pull water right out of your cells in order for your body to digest them…leading to dehydration.

If You’re Bugging Out, Make Sure You Have These Energy Enhancers

Even then, you may still be “lagging” for a while waiting for your body to extract what it needs.  In the meantime, try the caffeine.  Instant coffee can be consumed in an instant, just as the name implies.

While in the service, our MRE’s came with packets of coffee (Taster’s Choice, to be exact).  We “stocked” up on them and kept those packets handy for when we might need them besides just (if we could do it) the proverbial “morning cup of Joe.”  Be careful not to take in too much…but if you’re in a bind and don’t have a lot of time to restore your mental alertness, the caffeine in a helping of instant coffee (either in a happy manufactured packet or one you make up yourself) can do you some good.  I’m going to cite the PDR for Herbal Medicines, page 215, for Coffee for you:

“Quantities corresponding to as much as 500 mg of caffeine daily (5 cups of coffee) spread out over the day are toxicologically harmless for healthy adults accustomed to drinking coffee.”

The PDR goes on to state that dosages of 1,500 mg per day can lead to problems, but unless there are underlying health concerns such as arrhythmias, there is normally no real concern.  Consult with your friendly and happy family physician before using the coffee.

Many people extol the virtues of guarana, and if it works for you, that’s great.  Understand that guarana seeds (from which the energy drinks are made) main constituent to provide that energy is none other than caffeine, as well as theobromine and theophylline, two purines that are also stimulants.  Guarana is listed as a tonic for fatigue in the PDR.  Caffeine overall is also an appetite suppressant.

Keep this in mind: caffeine is also a diuretic, meaning that it works against ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) and increases the frequency of your urinations.  Care must be taken when using it so as to prevent dehydration.  Ensure you take in enough water to prevent it from occurring.

Please let me clarify one final time with all of this: I’m referring to a situation that you’re not going to get any real rest for a long period of time.  All of these items in the form of premade beverages, dried product, or tablets can be purchased in advance and stocked aside for the time you may need to rely on them.  Let’s hope that need never arises and still plan for it nonetheless.  Keep in that good fight, drink some coffee (just because it’s good!) and take care of one another!  JJ out!

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Typewriter: A Post SHTF Printing Press

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ReadyNutriton Guys and Gals, we have “gamed” a bunch of different scenarios for the S hitting the Fan, such as electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, a good nuclear war, or a natural ELE (Extinction-Level Event), such as a meteor impact or a solar flare Carrington event.  Loss of power in all of these is almost a foregone conclusion.  So, then what?  Do we run around akin to “Korg 70,000 B.C.” without the ability to use computers or send information via the phone or the Internet?  Yes and no.  Certainly, the electricity will not be there to spare to use computers (if they are either hardened or protected to see it through) other than for brief moments.  The typewriter, though, is another matter.

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A Post-SHTF Printing Press

Now is the time to pick one of those manual typewriters up.  If you have formed any type of intentional community/survivalist group you will need one of these.  It will be necessary to disseminate instructions, records, and messages to other communities.  Those old typewriters will then become “state of the art,” as it could be decades before there is (if ever) any community-type power or electrical supplies.

As a community, you’ll need to keep records…vital ones, such as births, marriages, and deaths.  You’ll need some talented writers to record the history that is happening.  The news is simply history that hasn’t played out yet and is happening now.  This may seem a small thing, but it’s really a big deal.  Unless you’re going to take the tedious time to write out everything clearly and legibly in print, that typewriter is your best bet.  I still have mine: a 1962 manual Olympia that I typed all of my papers in college with.  Still runs as good as new.

You will need several things for your typewriter, and they are as follows:

  1. Extra ribbon: believe it or not, they can still be ordered. If not, find a ribbon of comparable dimensions to the one you found, and unspool it onto the ribbon that fits your typewriter, securing both of the ends.  You can also re-ink the ribbon to stretch out the life expectancy even more.
  2. Ink: for what I just mentioned. There are also “roll-on” bottles available that you can fill with a metal or plastic “roller.”  Fill the bottle up with ink.  Make sure the roller is slightly wider than the ribbon you’re re-inking.  You’ll have to test it to come up with the optimal way and amount to spread on your ribbon.
  3. A small tool kit and oil: to maintain that typewriter. With mine, I find keeping it covered if it sits out, or in its case is the best thing possible.  A light dusting and a coating of oil down at the “roots” (where the keys connect with the actual typeset-arms) will help.
  4. Plenty of paper: use your own judgment, but you can never have enough. Go with plain white paper.
  5. White out and erasing supplies: most of the older manual types don’t have a correcting ribbon. You can also use “correction paper” that you just slip in between the key/ribbon and the paper, and just retype the letter you messed up on.
  6. Carbon paper: yes, good old carbon paper to make 3 or 4 copies at a time. Remember: You may now be the newspaperman/woman for your community!  Bulletins, flyers, and the like take time.  You can save some of that time with carbon paper.fo
  7. An instructional book on typing: yes, how to type. This valuable skill I learned in high school for one year…one of the best investments I ever made.  You will have kids in those communities, and those kids need to learn the art of typing.  Even taking a class in it (if you don’t know how) may benefit you down the road.

There are a lot of different places to look for typewriters.  Manual is what you want.

Manual is what I learned on, and electric became a snap.  Do kids today learn to type in school still?  We have keyboards on computers, after all.  Some of you parents drop me a line and let me know if they still teach it.

Read “A Canticle for Leibowitz,” a science-fiction tale by Miller.  It shows a post-apocalyptic descent into the Dark Ages, followed by a rise, and then another fall.  There is nothing new under the sun.  Still, we make it from Dark Age to Dark Age by preserving our knowledge.  The typewriter may do just that for you in the years to come after the SHTF.  What you manage to put away now, your grandchildren will thank you for in the years to come.  Stay in that good fight, and keep your focus!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Firearm Training: How Draw Drills Will Sharpening your Handgun Combat Skills

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This article is going to give you some time-honored practical pointers to use regarding your handgun.  Besides just going to the range, there are some things you can do to perfect your speed, coordination, and muscle memory.  Draw drills are an inexpensive and simple way to accomplish this.  You can carry them out in the privacy of your own home.  Here’s how they work!

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I am not worried about the guy with the $3,000.00 rig…holster, weapon, and laser-sight with state-of-the-art attachments in a brand-new crisp outfit without a speck of dust and the ICP (International Combat Pistol)/NRA certification.  I worry about the man with a worn holster and a weapon with the bluing rubbed off with a determined look in his eye.  This man has used the weapon and has trained with it.  The other guy can be a threat and (if approaching you) may be considered as such, but in all likelihood, he’s probably a Cabela’s model or a firearms salesman.

Why You Need to Train

Draw drills are a way of training your hands and eyes to be coordinated and act in one fluid movement.  I do not ascribe to any philosophy of not aiming your weapon, or one of just “pointing it in a general direction.”  The first time you have a target shooting back at you, you will realize just how important it is to aim at your target and hit it accurately and effectively.  Paper targets don’t shoot back, so you have leeway with them.  All the certifications in the world are no substitute for the basic fundamentals of marksmanship and the ability to employ them.


The objective of marksmanship: clean, well-placed shots.  Anyone who served will tell you this and the importance of the fundamentals: aiming, breathing, and (proper) trigger squeeze.


Draw drills will help you to focus your point of aim, your proper hand positioning, and the fluid dynamics of drawing, aiming, firing, and reloading/changing your magazines.  First, take some index cards, and mark them with a magic marker, 1 through 10.  Laminate them.  When this is done, they won’t wear down or become grimy with use.  A few pieces of duct tape on each one, folded/rolled in on itself will allow them to affix.  Then place them about the room you intend to train in.

You will then practice drawing your weapon from your holster, taking a proper stance and grip (modified Weaver, etc.) and then aligning your weapon on that numbered, laminated “paster” target.  Use your imagination.  You can place them on anything: lamps, closet doors, pieces of furniture.  You can set them low or high.  You don’t have to go in order of 1 to 10.  In order to keep from being repetitive, go “even”, then “odd” numbers.

Magazine Changes

Next, you have to simulate changing your magazines.  If you fire (just for example) a 1911 model .45 ACP, you’ll (generally) have a seven-round magazine.  This means that after engaging target number “7” you’ll have to drop the mag, and reload another one.  Obviously, you’re not firing rounds: but after each “draw” upon a target…reholster the weapon and draw on the subsequent number.  Do a minimum of 100 of these per day.  Your hand and eye coordination will improve, as well as your “muscle memory” of movements you’ll need for firing and also to change mags/speed loaders.

You need to be able to do these tasks regarding mag changes:

  1. Don’t take your eyes off the next target…you have to simulate that it’s a “real” one and can “gank” you if you let it.
  2. Drop that mag in your palm and place it (the “empty”) in a cargo pocket [Note: I hate these Hollywood movies that show everyone dropping the mags on the ground and just forgetting about them or abandoning them completely… don’t you do it!]
  3. Take the new mag from your pouch/belt, and seat it in the magazine well without ever looking at it. Simulate loading a fresh round, and engage your target.
  4. If you are doing a 1 through 10 series, at the end of it? With a 7-round magazine, you will then have 4 rounds left…you must keep track of how many rounds you’ve fired!  This is as real-life as it gets in terms of training.

How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.

Keep a record of your training.  You can (with time) substitute actual pictures/photos in place of your numbered targets.  You want to move fluidly: with fluid dynamics, and being able to carry out your actions without needing to take your eyes off your targets.  There are more advanced ways to draw drill that we’ll cover in future articles, but this one will get you started.

 

JJ

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What is the Best Location for a Cache On Your Property?

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ReadyNutrition Readers, recently I suggested 5 projects to undertake in the Spring to get a head start on preparing for emergencies.  As the title suggests, this article will outline several methods to hide your stuff underground.  Be advised: this means you’ll have to have some property at your disposal.

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Caches are the ultimate back up plan because everyone wants to hide their “stuff,” but hiding it effectively is a different matter.  Yes, everyone wants a set of diagrams and ideas, but you should have a plan before you implement your construction.  Let’s outline some basic principles and considerations first that it would do you good to keep in mind.

A Word to the Wise

Firstly, OPSEC (Operational Security) is paramount with any kind of project such as this.  You must keep everyone out of the loop: nosy, big-mouthed neighbors; prying relatives; overly curious co-workers; ad infinitum.  You can’t “advertise” what you’re doing and expect any measure of success.  What you place in what we’ll call your “storage room” is your business and your business alone.  The only ones in the loop with you should be ones you can rely on absolutely to keep their mouths shut.

The Perfect Location For Your Cache

You must take time to find the ideal location on your property for your storage room.  Be advised: there are local cops, the Sheriff’s department, the IRS, ad infinitum ad nauseam…an endless “conga” line of creeps who can metamorphose and metastasize almost instantly overnight with a full-blown tyranny.  They have everything at their disposal courtesy of your tax dollars: infrared scanners, metal detectors, drug and bomb-sniffing canines, etc.

That said, if you think you are going to be able to hide something from them right next to the house, you had better think again.  They’ll sweep the entire area with a fine-toothed comb…with you there or with you in matching silver bracelets, being “chauffeured” to jail.  You can optimally hide your supplies by doing two things:

1.Throw them a bone

They must pick up something and can’t leave empty handed…I’m not talking about anything illegal, mind you, such as drugs or bombs.  I’m talking about if they wish to confiscate your weapons, etc. when the government morphs into tyranny.  Throwing them a bone means you should give them a few things.  One or two rifles, per se, and a couple of pistols, along with some ammo.

For anyone who disagrees with this and recites the “when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers” line, go ahead…they will.  They’ll either do that or worse.  You won’t be able to face them and defeat them head on.  It’s better to lose a small part than to lose it all.

If you can’t part with your firearms, consider hiding some less innocuous items like tools, food and/or old clothing.

2.Have your storage room in the most unlikely place to find it that you can.

You know your own property.  It’s going to be up to you to know these unlikely places, and whether it is feasible to use them.  Let’s go over some ideas and general spots:

  • Near the septic tank: Yes, indeed, that septic tank can be a perfect cover for an “adjoining structure” in the form of a concrete tube or cubicle set into the ground right next to it. You can really make it look good by ensuring they both physically touch, and then throwing some cement in the “joint” to make it appear as if they’re one structure.
  • Farthest points on the property: The “four corners” and adjacent spots…the greater the distance between the storage room and the house, the better.
  • Surface running water camouflage: a small stream or creek flowing across your property? Stick that storage room under it.  You temporarily divert all or part of the creek…sink that storage room underground, and then allow the stream to return to its normal flow.  This method is best done with a “cache” rather than a walk-in storage room, for obvious reasons…you won’t be able to get to it rapidly.
  • Under something innocuous: A children’s swing set, or a decorative fountain/goldfish pond in your front yard.
  • Under/near a stone wall, panel partition, or fence: Not a “normative” place for the “normal” people to look.

There are several decisions you must make before you undertake all of this.  Most of them deal with structure and logistics.  How much stuff do you want to store, and what?  Are you going to close it off in the manner of a cache, or are you going to make it more accessible?  How much time and labor are you willing to put into it, along with money?  If someone else is building it…are they reliable in terms of keeping their mouths shut?  Even more: Will they take what you have if they are given the opportunity?  Or in a SHTF situation, might they “show up” on your doorstep to take what you have?

You can’t rule out any of these possibilities.  You may also want to screen off the area that is most visible while it is being built.  Part II we will have some diagrams for you to use and 3 different ideas for a storage vault/structure, modifiable by size and only limited by your imagination or the resources you can afford.  You’ll have to consider it all: the nosy neighbors, friends, and relatives, and the governmental “pests” in all their taxing and enforcing forms.  Until next time, keep your powder dry and well-hidden!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios

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Imagine this scenario: It’s the year 2005 and you are living in the heart of New Orleans. A hurricane is threatening to hit and even though the city sits 8 feet below sea level, you choose not to evacuate or even prepare because you’ve seen many hurricanes threaten to hit the city and it never makes landfall, so why prepare for this one? Days later, your great city is almost completely flooded from Hurricane Katrina and over 1,800 lives were claimed including some of your neighbors because, like you, they decided not to leave the city. Now you are left without electricity, water, and dwindling supplies. To make matters worse, supply trucks are cut off, the police and emergency services can’t meet the needs of the people and there are looters breaking into homes for supplies. 

Yes, the above scenario is a worst-case scenario, but aspects of this are very common following hurricanes. These tropical storms are extreme and have the capacity to cripple our entire way of life. They are erratic in nature in terms of where they land, the types of damages sustained, and if there will be disasters in the aftermath, such as water-borne diseases, bug infestations, etc. Because of the unpredictability of these disasters, some choose to be complacent and wait to get preparations in order until the storm is imminent and hours away. While some take this disaster seriously and are meticulous in making preparations each year in case this natural disaster hits. So, which group do you choose to be in?

I’ve been very honest about my ordeals in living through a hurricane and I learned from my mistakes. Long story short, after I went through Hurricane Ike and felt helpless and under prepared, I made it my mission to help others get their homes ready for living in off-grid disasters. We all have a life lesson to share, and I am not alone in trying to get the word out on preparing for these storms. I asked some fellow preppers in the community what advice they would offer on how to better prepare for hurricanes, and the community overwhelmingly stepped up to help their fellow-man. When you read this list, pay attention to recurring advice – prepare ahead of time. This is the key to having all of your preparations in order.

20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios

These are their words and, in my humble opinion, this is some very solid advice to follow.

  1. Put all of your important documents on a flash drive and put it in your bug out bag. If the time comes and you need to evacuate, you have everything all prepped and ready to go! – Tess Pennington
  2. My mom had supplies stored in new plastic trash bins. If they needed to bug out, easy to grab and put in the back of the car. Also, the bins would be useful. They also keep thing dry. – Judy Keller
  3. Keep enough cash in your BOB (bug out bag) for at least 1-2 nights in a moderately priced hotel and a few meals. A credit card with a zero or small balance would be beneficial as well. If you forget or lose your wallet, you want a backup method for paying expenses until you can return home. – Jim Cobb
  4. Well before the back to back hurricanes of 2004 in South Florida, I bought 28 gallons of water. I am glad I did because we had enough water for the police directing traffic. There was a lot we did. Whatever you think is best for your family and communities do it. Friends, coworkers so many lost their homes, businesses and more, so the things I regret not stocking up on are items such as diapers, toothpaste, etc. Essentials for all life is key. – Joanne DeHerrera
  5. They evacuated us several times after [Hurricane] Charley for Ivan, and people got stuck on the freeway, people died and animals etc. Ivan hit exactly where they said to evacuate too. We had 6 animals at that time. If I needed to squish them all in the car we would have but there was no gas, so glad there wasn’t. Our circumstances dictate how to respond, however, our gut instinct is always best. -Joanne DeHerrera
  6. We keep about 30 liters of water on hand at all times. I just save empty 2-liter bottles (the plastic is stable for room temp storage unlike plastic milk jugs) and treat the water using the 2:1 ratio with bleach. 2 drops to 1 liter of water. – Abigail Nicholson
  7. If you do not have a generator, get one! Have at least enough power to run the washing machine and microwave. A few solar cells to restore cell phone power, charge batteries for radios and flashlights is a must. Don’t forget the toilet paper and enough clean water for everyone in your family for cooking and drinking. You can use pool or rainwater for other purposes. Often overlooked in the city is a chainsaw with fuel mix, bar oil, extra chains. The bulk of damage outside the home is fallen trees. I was blocked in on my cul-de-sac for over a week by fallen oak trees from my neighbor’s yards. – Jim Alkek
  8. Those little solar lights that go in a garden or along your driveway come in handy to give you some light without candles or lanterns…I charge them up during the day and stick in a flower pot half filled with rocks…it’s not a lot of light but enough that you can see basically what you are doing.  – Sue Heath Reynolds
  9. Using my daughter’s experience from SC, the last time. In her area, her biggest problem was a lack of utilities because of downed trees and flooding. She had food, but no way to cook it. She has 3 daughters and had no way to bathe them. No light and so on…..it was the simple everyday things that made it hard. – Gary Rosenlieb 
  10. Hurricane veteran here. Each storm is unique but the main thing is to pay attention BEFORE everyone else does…that means at least 5 days in advance having everything in place so that all you have to concentrate on is securing your home. Also, knowing in advance if you will stay or go and LEAVING BEFORE they tell you to. Don’t forget oil (chainsaw/generator), a new chain for chain saw (all of which you should have anyways but most don’t replace); and well just making sure you have 2-3 weeks of supplies in place for being on your own. After several east coast hurricanes, it took WEEKS for stores to be back up and running, even 100 miles outside of the strike zone. Oh, TARPS and bug spray. I am not a bug out person, can’t really because of animal obligations (15 dogs, chickens, etc) so I have plenty of crates/kennels and such for them to come in (oh yeah baby, ugh, done it before). – Laura Bradley
  11. Also, a butane burner is great, like a demo chef at a restuarant…they can be used indoors, not expensive and easy to load…at SAMs and many places $22 and a case of fuel (like hairspray cans $12) – Sue Health Reynolds
  12. Around here, we don’t have to worry about water surging in from the coast, but winds can be an issue. When a hurricane comes, we usually tape the windows in an X or * shape. People closer to the water board up their windows, maybe sandbag around their house. All other preps are the same. Be ready to leave in advance of the storm if it looks like it’s going to make landfall close to home. – Cat Ellis
  13. Make sure you know all of the available evacuation routes in your area. The main roads and highways will be delayed due to from the heavy traffic flow, so you will want to plan multiple alternative routes in order to ensure that you are not trapped in a flood while attempting to flee the storm. – John Haskell
  14. Everyone should have these in their EDC/BOB! In a Zip Lock Freezer bag or waterproof sleeve keep a FAMILY picture, copies of your and your children’s birth certificates…parents/grandparents/guardians/siblings should have a clear picture of children they may have to “claim” because you were not together when a problem occurs. Hopefully, this wouldn’t be necessary for an evacuation type scenario but you just never know. No telling who would be in charge when you arrive to pick up kids…it could be teachers, leaders that don’t know you personally or outsiders from DHS/Law Enforcement/TSA…Heaven forbid…there are no guarantees with anything anymore! I’m sure you can add to the list copies of your vehicle title, home title…things that are irreplaceable! You don’t want to get to bogged down but it it’s ultimately important to you…you may someday need proof that it is YOURS!! A flash drive is a great idea but in an extended power outage (EMP/ SHTF) you wouldn’t be able to show someone “the kid is mine”! – Sue Health Reynolds
  15. Not sure if this was mentioned already but have at least one or two pics of you and your pets together. This will go a long way toward proving ownership should you and your fur babies get separated. – Jim Cobb
  16. After making it through Hurricane Matthew, flooding, a week without electricity, and 2 weeks without water, I revised my preps slightly and have 3 major priorities here; a lot more water (needed to drink, cook, wash, and flush) extra fuel for cooking (and multiple cooking types we have a propane grill and a fire pit but after a flooding everything too wet) and non-kerosene lamps (after 2 nights cooped up, and unable to ventilate the fumes get to you). – Deborah Middleton
  17. Put as much as you can in plastic tubs. Especially shoes. Came back after Rita and had a tree through my house. Went right through my closet. No shoes, actually very little of anything. SO PUT AS MUCH IN PLASTIC TUBS AS YOU CAN. Forget the furniture, appliances they can be replaced. – Sue Tidwell
  18. In case it helps everyone is welcome to download the Hurricane and Evacuation topics (and some others) in PDF from our preparedness book. – Janet Liebsch
  19. It’s very wise to unpack your BOB every three months or so, minimum once or twice a year. It helps to be sure what is in there…items you decide you don’t really need and more importantly…items you may not have and really should have. WEIGHT…it’s also important to put those suckers on and see if you can actually carry it 🙂 better yet we need to be walking with them ON 🙁 physical fitness should be one of our number one preparedness priorities…as I point a finger at MYSELF 🙂 – Sue Heath Reynolds
  20. Prepare to defend your home at all costs. You don’t know how long the grid will be down and there will be looters. – Mac Slavo

These pieces of advice are all from those who have lived through this ordeal. They shared their stories because they want to help others prepare and get ready – listen to them. If you need a guide to help you in your preparations, consider The Prepper’s Blueprint to get you disaster ready – step-by-step. Do not wait until the last-minute to prepare or the items you need to live through this ordeal will be limited.

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

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

Ultimately, you are the only one who can best care for your family. Having a stash of your family’s favorite canned or dry goods, a supply of water and a simple medical kit can maintain your basic needs for a short-lived disaster. This simple preparedness supply could set you apart from the unprepared. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, now is the time to prepare. Listen to the advice of your fellow man.

 

Additional Reading:

Preparation

Supplies

Medical Needs

Communication

Sanitation

Evacuation

 

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The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hardcore Prepper Blades: Gerber Mark II a Must-Have

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ReadyNutrition Readers, I recently penned a piece about the Fairbairn-Sykes/OSS model fighting knife, my personal first-choice for fighting blades.  An offshoot of that style is available and it deserves mention of its own.  The Gerber Mark II is built along those lines and is both well-made and affordable.  It was designed and first manufactured in 1966 and has been famed for its reliability and outstanding durability.

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It was used in Vietnam by American soldiers, originally without the saw-teeth in the portion of the blade closest to the hilt.  The reason this was done: the military PX’s (Post Exchanges) stopped carrying it as they said it was “too brutal” a design.  This was the time that Vietnam was drawing down and all of the peaceniks were coming out of the woodwork.  Al Mar knives helped Gerber out by redesigning it with the saw teeth to market as a “survival knife,” and mollifying the liberals, it was once again stocked in the PX.

A Must-Have Survival Knife For the Prepper Collection

The double-edged blade measures 6 ½” in length with the saw tooth serrations taking up about 1/3 of the blade’s length.  It is well-balanced and the pommel is a blunted conical shape with the tip sliced off that makes an effective striker when needed.  The blade is 1 ½” shy of optimal minimum length for combat; nevertheless, it is well worth it.  The knife comes in a Cordura Nylon sheath, and the blade itself seats inside of a heavy-gauge plastic scabbard that is mounted within the nylon. You can order it at www.Amazon.com.

This last feature is a big “plus” as many times knives will tend to wear or abrade the sheath from the inside.  Another “biggie” for me is that it can be mounted vertically or horizontally.  Now I prefer a blade to be horizontal and attached on my belt in the back, interwoven between the beltloops.  The Mark II has two snap catches: One on the hilt at an angle, and the other one straight around the handle.

If you pick this baby up and then carry it the way I do, then you’ll have to make a couple of adjustments.  Firstly, pick up some black Gorilla tape and close up that top loop of the scabbard that would allow it to be a vertical carry.  Be careful to go around the handle’s snap catch strap.  Next, after it’s mounted to your belt, you’ll have to practice disengaging the two snap catches and then drawing your blade out of the sheath.

Your toughest challenge will be to guide the blade back into the sheath accurately.  This takes some practice.  The way I do it is with two hands: one to hold the handle and move the knife back into the sheath, while my other hand takes (carefully!) the tip of the blade and guides it into the sheath’s opening.  After you’ve done this about fifty to one-hundred times, it’s pretty simple.  Then practice re-snapping the straps so the blade is secured.

Also, the saw teeth don’t have extreme points as a shark’s tooth.  They’re sharp, but they’re flat-tipped and broad, akin to a tool.  They will go in and out of a ribcage smoothly, without becoming hung up.  Just remember: whatever you’re going to purpose the knife for is the purpose it needs to be used for.  If you want it as a survival knife (although I don’t advise it) then use it as such.  If it’s a combat knife for you, then only let it be used in the art of combat.

The Mark II has great balance and the handle feels really good in the hand.  It’s a really nice piece, and somewhat affordable (prices vary) as opposed to having a custom knife made.  Try it out, and don’t forget: find someone reliable to train you in its use.  Pay good money and receive good instruction.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

When Grocery Stores Go Empty, These Four Foods Will Help You Survive

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The only thing preppers fear more than masses of unprepared people during an emergency, is being one of those people. That’s why our ultimate nightmare scenario would be not having any non-perishable food on hand during a serious disaster. However, there’s plenty of reasons why an otherwise prepared person might not be prepared when the SHTF.

You could be out-of-town or out of the country, visiting family members who aren’t preppers. Or perhaps you’re having financial problems. So maybe you’ve had to dip into your food supply, or if you prefer buying canned food over freeze-dried food, you haven’t been able to restock items that have spoiled. Or perhaps you’re new to prepping, and you haven’t gotten around to building up a food supply.

Whatever the case may be, you should ask yourself, what would you do if you were one of those people who race to the grocery store at the last-minute during a disaster? Before you answer that, you have to consider the very real possibility that by the time you reach the grocery store, the shelves will be at least partially stripped.

The first food items that will sell out mostly consist of things that are already cooked or prepared in some way, including canned foods, frozen dishes, and bread. Fresh meat and eggs would also disappear pretty fast, despite the fact that they need to be cooked.

Ideally, you want to avoid this scenario altogether by prepping beforehand. In The Prepper’s Cookbook, Tess Pennington highlights key strategies for building an emergency pantry. This takes planning, so if you haven’t already done so, start today. Ideally, you want to store shelf stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes. These are the 25 foods she suggests that preppers should have in their pantries.

Have a Back-Up Plan For the Grocery Store

If you end up having to rush to the grocery store during an emergency, you should be prepared to employ a different strategy for finding food. If, when you arrive at the store, there are already a lot of people grabbing the low hanging fruit like canned foods, bread, etc., don’t join them. You’re probably only going to find the scraps that they haven’t gotten to yet. Instead, move immediately towards the food items that won’t disappear as quickly, and can substitute the foods that everyone is going to fight over first.

To employ this strategy properly, you only need one thing. Something to cook with that doesn’t require the grid, such as a camp stove with a few fuel canisters. You’ll need something like that, because many of the food items that disappear later in the game, tend to need some preparation.

These Four Emergency Food Alternatives Can Keep You Alive

So with that said, what kinds of foods should you go after when you arrive at a grocery store later than everyone else?

  • Instead of bread, go straight for the flour. Don’t worry if you can’t find any yeast. You can always make hardtack, tortillas or naan. You might also find that the sacks of dried rice and beans won’t disappear until after the canned foods go. When combined, these two make a complete protein and are perfect for emergency food meals. Keep cooking times in mind with the beans and go for small beans like navy or lentils.
  • If you find that the produce section is stripped bare, go to the supplement aisle instead. There you’ll find all of the vitamins and minerals that are normally found in fresh produce. Look for food based or whole food vitamins. You’ll also find protein powders that can at least partially substitute fresh meat. As well, look for seeds to sprout. Sprouts provide the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes of any of food per unit of calorie. Enzymes are essential because they heal the body, cleanse the body, prevent diseases, enhance the overall functioning of bodily organs, aids in digestion, and removes gas from the stomach.
  • If fresh meat or canned meat is gone from the shelves, a substitute for is dog food. Though this may disgust most people, desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s really cheap and packed with protein. The only downside, of course, is that pet food usually doesn’t face the same health standards as human food. If it can be helped, go for the wet food instead of the kibble. Though you’ll probably be fine eating any dog food for a couple of weeks, dry dog food isn’t as safe as wet food. Plus, the cans of wet food will be much more hydrating.
  • And finally, instead of trying to find butter, which will be one of the first food items to disappear, try looking for alternatives. Remember, you need fats in your diet. Healthy oils like coconut oil or avocado oil provide healthy nutrition and canI be used for cooking, added to coffee, oats, beverages, and other foods. In addition, one of the most nutrient dense foods that are often forgotten during emergency food planning is in the health aisle. Look for granola and nuts. Nuts are calorie dense and full of fiber to help you stay full longer. Due to the high protein count of this natural food, it can be an efficient meat replacement too. Look for non-salted nut varieties to keep you hydrated longer. It’s packed with calories and can go weeks without spoiling when it’s not refrigerated.  Read more about the ideal bug out meal plan here. Alternatively, if all the healthy oils and nuts have been taken, look for some lard. It’s sometimes labeled “manteca.” It will probably be overlooked, but has just as many calories as butter, and lasts a really long time.

Of course, many of these items aren’t the best tasting or the most healthy. They’re certainly not ideal. But then again, neither is being caught in a disaster without your food preps. If you arrive at the grocery store before everyone else, by all means, go after the good stuff. However, if you aren’t lucky enough to beat the crowds, now you know what kinds of foods you should grab first.

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

Prepping This Item Before Winter Comes Could Save Your Life

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ReadyNutrition Readers, one of the things that always amazes me is the way people always wait until autumn sets in to begin cutting and storing up a supply of firewood.  I wanted to tell you guys and gals the way I do things here, and perhaps (quantity and geographic variances aside) you can see my overall intent.  As you well know, I live in Montana where it is usually bitterly cold with snow on the ground for anywhere from 7 to 9 months of the year.  I’m aware this is not the case in most of the U.S., however, there are some good reasons for laying in a firewood supply right now.

A year supply of wood for $20

Firstly, one of the really good things we have here in Montana is that the U.S. Forestry Service allows residents to pick up a permit (every April) to cut fallen dead and standing dead timber.  The permit runs $20 for four cords, and you can pay $60 and take up to twelve cords.  That’s a heck of a lot of wood, and dirt-cheap!  I’m not sure what it is in other states, however, I am certain that many of them have the same policy.

On this note, I’d love to hear from you and find out what the policy is in your home state: prices and amounts, and such.

The only regulations governing it are you must have a serviceable and up-to-date/inspected fire extinguisher with you if you use a chain saw.  In addition, there are certain times (and the USFS posts it) when the fire danger is high or greater.  In these periods, it is not permitted to run a chainsaw and harvest that dead timber.

But now is a great time for it!  All of the undergrowth has not yet emerged from its winter hibernation, so it is relatively clear to work.  I have much of it that I take where it is not permissible to take a vehicle and load up in the forest itself.  My way around that is to cut my wood, stack it up, and haul it out with a garden cart.  Sears make a pretty sturdy one that holds about 600 lbs, and it’ll run you just under $100 dollars.  It has some thick, tough-treaded wheels that can easily run the trails, and not have too much of a problem going over even fields.

The reason for the wood gathering is twofold.  Firstly (from a “normal” thought perspective) you’re laying in your supply for next winter.  The early bird gets the worm.  You’ll be able to pick up the best wood for yourself when most others are not even thinking about anything except their weekend trip to the beach.  Secondly (and also very important) from a prepper’s perspective, is the “What If?” reason.

What if that EMP attack comes from North Korea or China?  What if the economy collapses?  What should happen if there is civil war, or a war/invasion here in the U.S.?  Yes, your home will be warm already, but what about cooking?  What about hot water for laundry or personal hygiene.  How about some light when there’s no electricity?  And what about sterilizing instruments, boiling bandages, and running a home/field dispensary?

All of these, I hope you realize are good reasons to prepare and plan now, so that when the tough times arrive, it is not so great a hurt to deal with.  You have seen the news reports, and we’re just a step away from either a war or an EMP attack.  As with Aesop’s fable “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” although we in the survival community are hardly grasshoppers, if we’re ants it is best to be wise ants…covering all of the bases before the ball is hit to center field.

Now is the time to set up your wood-fueled “kitchen,” by investing in a good wood stove for heat and for cooking.  The wood stove also cuts down on the light signature at night…much better than a fireplace.  Along with the stove, start investing in cast iron cookware and utensils for cooking that can withstand rougher treatment than your standard dinner fare.

How much wood do you need?

If you have not done so already, now is a good time to estimate how much wood you will go through in the wintertime, and then estimate how much you would need to have a fire/woodstove burning 24 hours a day.  Typically, a cord of wood is 4 feet wide x 4 feet high x 8 feet long stacked and adds up to 128 cubic feet. As well, the cords may consist of whole logs or split logs. Here is some great information on how to estimate cords of wood from a standing tree. In the summertime it is significantly less, but take your winter consumption and double it, just to be on the safe side.

Invest in a good chain saw, with at least 5 extra chains, and plenty of rattail files to sharpen them when you need to.  Also in that equation, you’ll need a good bench vise to help you to sharpen them.  Stock up on oil and fuel for the saws.  Back all of it up with several good axes, and as many bow saws as you can find.  Remember: if you run out of fuel, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way.

So take some time to figure out your fuel needs to heat your home with wood and to fulfill the other functions I have just mentioned.  Now is the time to do it, and it can be a good team experience for the whole family.  Make sure you always pack a first aid kit in your excursions and thoroughly familiarize yourself with the operation of all your cutting and safety equipment.  Happy woodcutting!  We encourage your input and thoughts in these matters and hope to hear from you soon!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Preppers – If You Aren’t Doing This Annually, You Won’t Be Disaster Ready

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Well, it may seem cliché to say that spring is right around the corner, as in most of the U.S. there’s still plenty of snow on the ground.  Winter still seems “deep” to some (especially Yours Truly, as I have almost 3’ of snow on the ground), and the cold weather has not broken.  Nevertheless, everyone out there in ReadyNutrition Land, the early bird gets the worm.  I’m referring to all your gear that you’ll be breaking out soon when the cold weather breaks.

Stay on top of your prepper gear 

Maintenance

Your gear can best be maintained according to a maintenance schedule and you can get a start on it now.  Some preppers do it twice a year when Daylight Savings Time hits. But it’s more than giving it a glance and it doesn’t just mean cleaning it.  It also means inspecting it for serviceability and function.  It means making sure that it’s well organized and that you can pick it up at a moment’s notice to “rock and roll” with it…be out the door and on the moor!  You can’t do that unless it’s ready.  Let’s discuss it, shall we?

How’s that rucksack?  If you’re the way I am, you absolutely hate anything that can detract from your load-carrying capabilities.  Inspect that rucksack!  Has it been sitting out in the garage or in the basement, on the cement floor?  I hope not.  Are your straps in order, and are there any signs of dry-rot, mildew, or water damage?  You need to find that out now, and even more:


Preppers – The time to find out about deficiencies was yesterday, and there should be a “zero defects” policy regarding them.


What does this mean?  If you’re serious about survival and prepping, and you really want to survive a disaster/SHTF scenario when it happens (notice I wrote “when” and not “if”), then you’ll be on top of this…all the time.  The conditions for the rucksack I mentioned should never occur.  They won’t occur if you follow a regular schedule of checking it and correcting anything that surfaces.  For the nylon on your rucksack you can use a shoeshine brush or a medium to stiff bristle brush to clean off any dirt and dust.  Maintain the straps in the same way.

Dirt or mud, clean it off…if it’s not easy with the brush, then take some warm water on a clean towel or rag and “damp scrub” it off.  The nylon of the straps and the pack clean up well, but you don’t want to leave it too damp.  Always place the rucksack off the floor.  Don’t allow it to contact the floor surface.  Inspect the connecting points of the ruck, and inspect every piece that snaps or buckles.  Everything should be clean and working.  Canteens should be emptied and dried to prevent funk from going inside of them, or (as JJ does) if you’re going to store water in them the water needs to be changed periodically (say every month) to keep the “grand Funk railroad” from slipping in.

Familiarization

This may seem an oxymoron, however, unless you have a photographic memory you’re going to have a hard time remembering how you packed your gear…what is where.  One way to solve this (as I mentioned in other articles) is to keep an inventory sheet of everything, listed on an actual diagram of your rucksack.  This enables you to look at the diagram of the ruck and see how it’s made…where the pouches are, etc. …and know exactly what is in it.  Guess what?  It won’t be enough, because when you change seasons (in this case, Winter to Spring) you should have a full layout of all of your equipment you will tote.

Why?  For accountability (know that everything you think you have you actually have), and for serviceability (to know it is all in working order).  Along with that rucksack is that jungle hammock, that one-man tent and all of its accoutrements, flashlights, radios (don’t open that tube and find leaking batteries!), and all of your other gear and gadgets.

If it all comes to a halt, you don’t have the time to do all of this…and it’s on you…nobody else.

Tents have those “friction rods.”  How would you like to find out when you’re in the middle of a torrential downpour and setting up the dome that the friction rods are “ganked,” or broken?  Or you want to open up that poncho and string the bungees at the corners and top…a temporary shelter…and find that the vinyl is all eaten up from some kind of acid or rot, and there’s a giant hole in it?


Ben Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


If you follow a regular schedule of inspection and maintenance, you won’t have a “can of snakes” spring open on you.  This seems overly simplistic, but it is the way of mankind to procrastinate…to move toward the path of least resistance.  It is the way of all of us…and what makes us win?  The ability to be able to fight that part of our natures and discipline ourselves…make ourselves do what it is that is right to do, although we don’t feel like doing it.  Your gear should be clean, serviceable, well-organized, and accounted for…in its place and you know exactly where it is.

I’ll fill you in on one of my techniques.  When I come across someone, I can assess them in an instant if they carry.  If I ask them to look at their weapon and it is rusted or dirty, or it has carbon on it, and is un-lubed?  Then I need know no more.  But if the bluing is worn-down where points of contact meet the holster…and it’s cleaned and oiled…and the holster appears a little worn, but clean and serviceable…I know that one “draws,” cleans the weapon…is one with it.  That individual I remember.

It’s a standard that I hold myself to every day.

In the 82nd Airborne, we had a saying (a mantra, if you prefer): “My weapon, my equipment, and me.”

Sound overly simplistic?  No, it’s ordered…I kept it with me in Special Forces…I keep it with me now.  My weapon’s continuity ensures that I can continue if under fire.  My equipment and gear enables me to live, to be sheltered, to carry food, medicine, and supplies.  These two taken care of, then I must take care of myself…eating, rest, and hygiene, along with physical conditioning.

See how much is in it when you take a really good look?  But I’m not trying to berate you, the Readers in any way.  I’m trying to give you of myself…in lessons paid for with time, experience, and much grief to learn them correctly.

Because iron sharpens iron, and in order to survive, you must be made of steel…you and your family.  Yes, President Trump is in, and we’re “riding the crest” of an upswing.  Remember: all is fleeting, and it can all change in the blink of an eye. Don’t blink for too long, or the moment will have passed.  You must prioritize.  Prep your equipment now, before the Spring hits, and follow a regular program of maintenance and inspection.  Be steel.  You can do it.  Fight that good fight, and fight it to win.  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Great Defender: You’ll Want This By Your Side When It Hits the Fan

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45 acp[Editor’sNote: Simply put, things can to hell in a hand basket very quickly following a disaster. The widespread breakdown of the social order leads to looting in disaster prone areas which leads to the importance of being able to defend one’s home, family and their preps during a disaster breakdown. Because home defense is such an important consideration, it is important to familiarize yourself with the best firearms and ammunition choices out there. Jeremiah Johnson has been relentless in writing information on this subject and brings up another well informed article on this ammunition choice.]

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, over the past weeks, we have gone into great detail on firearms, caring and maintaining firearms, and why preppers should diversify their ammunition supplies. This week, we are focusing on the .45 ACP – a worthy cartridge with a long and unique history, and it is also worth your consideration with regard to home defense and survival, for a number of reasons we’ll outline here today.  So, without further adieu, let’s get started!

The History of the .45 ACP Cartridge

I want to discuss the .45 ACP cartridge.  This information is worthwhile and the cartridge itself has a great deal of history behind it.  In 1898 the Spanish-American War (characterized by Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders) came to a close, but the Philippine insurrection did not.  The Moros (Philippine islanders) were able to take a hit from the .38 handguns and the .30 Krag rifle the Army had in service…and keep coming.  They could not, however, “soak up” the .45 Long Colts and the 12-gauge buckshot used from personally-owned Colts and Winchesters.  Yes, back then, many could carry their own choice of weapons.

Two officers were crucial in determining the choice back in 1904.  At the behest of Brigadier General William Crozier (appointed Chief of Army Ordnance in 1901, a new position created by President Theodore Roosevelt), a board was formed comprised of two men.  Colonel John T. Thompson (Ordnance) and Colonel Louis A. LaGarde (Medical Corps) were tasked with finding the optimal sized cartridge for the U.S. Military.  LaGarde’s report contained the following summary:


“The Board was of the opinion that a bullet which will have the shock effect and stopping power at short ranges necessary for a military pistol or revolver should have a caliber not less than .45[caliber].”

                Shotgun News, November 1, 2011, p. 13; article:

                 “High Standard M1911A1,” by Peter G. Kokalis


There we have the first glimmerings of the beginnings of the .45 ACP, and I must mention the author of the article referenced, Peter G. Kokalis was the Senior Editor for Shotgun News with a lifetime of experience in shooting and reloading, as well as being a combat veteran.  Kokalis summarized the .45 ACP cartridge’s capabilities most eloquently.  In essence, he clears up a lot of misconceptions relating to kinetic energy of a round.  Most people equate high velocity with knockdown power.  For long-range shooting, this holds to be true in many cases.

Short-Range Combat

What we’re dealing with here is short-range combat…where you (the homeowner) are protecting your house and family from a break-in at close ranges.  In such ranges, you will need stopping power.  Here are some terms you need to keep in mind:

  1. Wound Track – the path of the bullet through the body, also referred to as the “permanent cavity.” Three factors influence this wound track:
  2. Yaw – the way the bullet tumbles through the body after impact
  3. Expansion – of the bullet itself, also referred to as “mushrooming”
  4. Fragmentation – the way the bullet disintegrates in the body after impact as it moves through the tissue
  5. Temporary cavitation – the path opened up as the bullet travels through the vital organs…a path that “rebounds,” or bounces back into original position, though not without damage to certain organs

Depth of penetration is the most important factor, as Kokalis outlines here, in this excerpted segment of his article:


“Most important of all, is the fact that penetration is without doubt the single most important parameter in the wound ballistics equation.  It has been determined that in law enforcement and self-defense scenarios, a minimum of 12 inches, and up to 18 inches of penetration will produce the most effective results – required to reach the body’s vital organs.  Once we’ve obtained the necessary penetration, the bullet that makes the biggest hole will do the most damage.

 As a result of the above, there is only one possible conclusion.  The .45 ACP cartridge is the most effective handgun round – among those commonly available – that you can use in a gunfight.  Even anecdotal evidence over the last 100 years has proven this to be so countless times.”


Kokalis went on to explain that a 230-grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) expands (on average) from .45 (that is .45 of an inch) to .65 with approximately 15.5 inches of penetration.  I must add his final words in the article, as they should drive the point home:


“This can be summarized in one sentence: use the largest caliber with the heaviest bullet, propelled at moderate velocity.  In other words, deploy with a handgun chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge.”


To clarify what he meant by “moderate velocity” is that other, faster bullets tend to go right through the target at close distances, whereas the .45 ACP (considered a low-velocity round at – on average – 930 feet per second) has both the penetration power and will “open up” for greater internal damage to the target.

To add my own words to Mr. Kokalis’, I have used other calibers, such as 9mm Luger, .38, and .45 Long Colt.  The .45 ACP is an excellent round that is also multipurpose when using different types of ammunition.  The +P rounds (in brands such as Buffalo Bore) turn your cartridge into a super-penetrator that can and will defeat body armor.  It is also a good round to protect against large and ferocious predators.  You can pick up the standard FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) rounds at 230 grains for under $40.00 for a box of 100 at your friendly Wal-Mart for target shooting.

A Frugal Ammunition Choice

They’re easy to reload, and economical: the .45 ACP will not bankrupt your savings while giving you that large caliber round with the stopping power you need.  As to the piece you wish to throw it out of, take your pick.  The 1911 is tried and true (in my humble opinion one of the finest handguns ever made), and has served our military nobly throughout its existence.  So, .45 ACP?  Try it, you’ll like it: the round will serve your needs well, and at a price you can afford.  Keep that powder dry and don’t store it with your primers!  JJ out!

 

 

Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!

MARCH9G

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Preppers Should Focus on Diversifying Firearm Calibers

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Ready Nutrition Readers, as you may have deduced from the title, this piece is a recommendation to acquire firearms of diverse calibers.  Let us discuss some of the calibers and the reasons why it is prudent to prepare in such a manner.  I’m not recommending any particular firearm, per se, except in one instance here that I’ll cover later for a reason that will be self-explanatory.

Firstly, forget about what will happen in the SHTF event.  Whatever it is, the reason for preparing by obtaining diversities among firearms calibers is to ensure you can obtain ammo for it.  This is not detracting from reloading whatsoever.  I guarantee, however, that situations will arise in which you have to load a firearm and don’t have time to sit around with your RCBS “Rock Chucker” press or your Lee Handloader.  You have a need to employ a firearm at the moment, and time is of the essence.

Common calibers ensure that you will usually have ammo for the weapon no matter where you go.  This is one of the reasons it is advantageous to own an AR-15.  Personally, I hate ‘em, because after 200 rounds or so, you have to clean the carbon off of them.  The AR-15 is so finely-tuned with so little leeway between moving parts such as the bolt group and bolt carrier that any severe carbon buildup is almost intolerable to firing the weapon.  That being said, we have had more than 5 decades of dealing with .223/5.56 mm ammo.  The military, law enforcement (state and local) all rely on the AR-15 family; therefore, ammo is obtainable.

The phrase “What if?” however, is your watchword.  If you have either a .308, or a 7.62 x 39 mm (AK), then you’ll also be in pretty good shape.  Law enforcement is switching back to .45 ACP, but there are still plenty of 9mm rounds to go around.  The .45 ACP round is a great round that is widespread.  Your .357 magnum and .40 Smith and Wesson rounds are not as common but are commonplace.  In essence, yeah, you need each of these.

One piece that I’ll finally mention is really unique.  It’s the P-320 Compact by Sig Sauer.  They have a system called the Grip Shell system.  This Grip Shell is the basis for the weapon, that accepts full size magazines and full length slide assemblies.  What’s so big about this?  You can switch out 9 mm, .357 sig., .40 S&W, and .45 ACP on the same frame: the frame will hold all four of those calibers.  Nifty, huh?  Not only that, but it is a “redefinition” of BATFE rules.

The Grip Shell is a modular frame that is a trigger group and receiver with a serial number.  Guess what?  It is this frame that has the serial number, and not each of the individual barrels that you can change out on it.  Ahh, I feel the gleam of many eyes reading these words now.  Isn’t that neat?  You can buy four calibers, but only one receiver is your serialized piece.  You run with the ball from there: imagination is the only limitation.

If you want prices, you’ll have to check with a gun dealer.  The basic piece will run about $700 more or less, and additional barrels will be more.  It’s all up to what you want, but you can pretty much cover the bases with it, as you’ll be sure to find something to fire through it no matter how short ammo may be in supply.  To take that “kit” and pack it up with you…well, that would be prudence and providence prepared by your own hand.  Just make sure to pick up a box of ammo initially for each caliber you decide upon.

For anything you shoot, you should also be able to reload, and I recommend a good stationary press akin to the one I mentioned before, as well as a Lee handloading kit with dies and accessories.  The latter you can pack in your rucksack, as you never know when you might need it.  So hopefully you’ll take some advice to stock up and “plow the field” on different calibers.  If you run across a supply that won’t feed your main piece, it would be good to have a backup piece that can fire what you find until your “lead sled dog” is “fed” and up and running again.  Keep that powder dry, no matter what the caliber, and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Training: This is How to Prepare Your Body to Escape the Big City on Foot

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bugging out on footReadyNutrition Readers, this piece covers some of the basic fundamentals on road marching.  Yes, this is a typical military exercise, but it has several applications for you in terms of preparations and in training.  Road marches can be both physically demanding and challenging.  They should not be attempted without proper preparation, and if you have any underlying health conditions, consult with your doctor prior to doing them.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I prefer the large-frame Alice Pack of the US Army, the one I have been using for many decades, now.  It is both sturdy and affordable, and can meet a person’s needs from a training and a survival perspective.  That mentioned, it is up to you to find one that feels both comfortable and offers you the support you need to be able to move on the road or cross-country with weight on your back.

Don’t road march cold: you need to take the time to do some light calisthenics to warm your muscles up prior to the physical exertion.  The weight you will tote with you will vary according to your abilities and physical condition, as well as the needs of the exercise.  It is a training event: you need to keep it as such and hold it in that regard.  You need proper footgear and comfortable clothing, as well as a water supply.  You need to prepare for it the night before, with a good meal and plenty of rest and fluids prior to your start.

Your stretches can include (but not be limited to) the side-straddle hop (referred to as “jumping jacks,”) as well as half-squats, squats, hamstring and calf stretches, and so forth.  I prefer boots to support my ankles, although I have seen many people using tennis shoes and hiking shoes.  Whatever your preference, as long as it gives your arch the support it needs.

Start out small, with a lighter amount of weight.  That will be on you to gauge.  Start by doing a mile, and then work your way up.  A good conservative plan for a road marching “schedule” can be one per week with lighter weights and shorter distances.  As you “work your way up” you’ll want to make the road marches less frequent.  The reason being is you don’t want to damage yourself with a potential stress fracture or a hairline fracture from continuously pounding the pavement with your feet and heavy weight on the shoulders.  Shin splints are a common occurrence over time, as well.

Medically, they’re referred to as MTSS (medial tibial stress syndrome), and are pains within the connective muscle and tissue surrounding your knee and the outside of your tibia.  It is a chronic “dull” aching feeling that arises in about 15 to 20% of people who run, walk, or (in this case) march long distances.  Ice packs and rest can enable you to recover in a short period of time.  For any question of it, consult with your physician if the problem persists.

The road marches will strengthen your legs and back, and also develop your cardiovascular capabilities.  You should time every one of them, and attempt gains each time you undertake a march.  Gains would take the form of quicker times, or more weight carried.  You have to do it gradually.  Eventually, your end goal is to carry what you normally would in a rucksack if the SHTF and you were out in the woods.  Cross-country is markedly different from doing it on the side of the road due to the uneven terrain as well as other factors, such as water, thick vegetation, an abundance of rocks, etc.

Weather is also a factor, and in the warmer months great care must be taken to ensure you don’t dehydrate yourself.  Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration, and means you’re already depleted when you feel thirsty.  It would also be good to undertake these marches with a partner, so that if an emergency arises you have someone with you to rely upon for first aid or to go for help.

Your endurance will improve with time, and it also takes adjustment for your feet to become accustomed to both your pace and the work.  It is an excellent lower-body exercise that still manages to work your upper body.  It requires discipline, determination, and preparation to accomplish.  Eventually you will see results, and can road march 2 to 4 times per month successfully as part of your physical regimen.

Remember to take account of the water you will carry when you initially weigh your rucksack.  You can pick up a good fishing and game scale that will enable you to find out exactly how much you tote.  Try it out.  It is cost effective and will give you some good results.  Happy rucking!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Big Brother Could Be Spying on You Through Your Prescriptions

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bigbrother 

Prescription meds are a way that the Big Brother state can maintain control over your medical supplies and monitor you as an individual.

In mid-January, an article came out entitled Feds force Doctors and Pharmacists to Spy on 60% of Americans,” and deals with the PMP, the Prescription Monitoring Program, and 48 states have adopted it.  The federal government keeps track of all your sensitive information (birth date, address, etc., and demographics on you) in the “interests of combating drug abuse.”

That reason is nothing more than a front to be able to monitor you and using the prescriptions as a “back door.”  It is the usual government mantra: “For the good of the whole,” “for the public safety,” ad infinitum ad nauseam.  The problem is that they utilize these existent programs to justify more and more control measures that eventually encompass everything you do.  A case in point is the hormone androstenedione.  This is a precursor hormone to testosterone, and the last “gate” before reaching testosterone on the metabolic pathway.

In 1997, it was a completely legal and obtainable as a supplement.  The East German Olympic athletes had a lot of success with it boosting testosterone (thus performance).  Later it was banned by the Olympic committee, and then the torch was taken up by the American sports agencies, then the FDA, and so on.  Now you cannot obtain it.  In many countries (especially in Europe) you cannot even have amino acids without a prescription.  In the last eight years, this country has followed suit in a lot of the practices of Europe.

How to ‘Opt-Out’ of Prescription Monitoring

  1. Stock up on as many nutritional supplements as you can, in the form of herbs, tinctures, and naturopathic aids such as vitamins and anything you can use
  2. Obtain as many long-shelf-life antibiotics for your fish and pets for as long as you can
  3. Learn how to replace medicines that may not be readily available by supplementing with herbal foods and natural food aids (you can’t call any of them “medicine,” by the way)
  4. Get yourself in shape (yes, this is why JJ writes so many articles dealing with physical training and conditioning), as this will prevent you from being ill and/or visiting with these Doctors…. Dr. Doolittle, or Dr. Do-Nothing. YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST HEALTH CARE PROVIDER THROUGH PREVENTATIVE MEANS
  5. By following these instructions, it’ll keep you out from under the magnifying glass of feds or anyone else “lingering” from the Dark Ages of Obama’s reign.
  6. Practice OPSEC (Operational Security): don’t be a “Chatty Kathy” doll, to paraphrase Steve Martin…tell those worth telling, and only so they can emulate your actions…not to be the center of attention. Don’t let anyone know what you have or what you’re doing!

The last sentence of #6 is very important.  Such is not just to keep the government from prying in on you, but to prevent your nosy neighbors from knowing what you have surrounding a SHTF situation.  Today’s “Madge” from the Palmolive ad is tomorrow’s Marauder with a pickaxe hammering at your front door to get to your supplies.  We have a President who is taking action on behalf of the American people, but we’re not out of the woods yet.  Just because it’s sunlight outside doesn’t mean there are not plenty of vampires snoozing in coffins, just waiting for the opportunity to strike.  If they do, the best “wooden stake” you can use on them is to be prepared beforehand, and not expose yourself to them in the night.  May the sun always warm your back and light a path for your feet!  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Importance of Firearms Maintenance in the Wintertime

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winterfirearmMany guys and gals may wonder, “Why do we have to maintain firearms in the wintertime, since we’re not using them as much?” Well, there are different conditions to deal with in the wintertime that may affect your firearms adversely.  Many will just wrap them up in plastic after coating them with Cosmoline or some other lubricant-preservative.  This does not necessarily protect them from changing conditions during the wintertime that may go unnoticed.

First, I stress that you should clean and inspect your weapons at a minimum of once per week.  If it is done less frequently, then you must take several factors into consideration: temperature, change in temperature, humidity, sunlight, and location your firearms are kept/stored.  If you happen to have a temperature/climate-controlled gun storage safe or the equivalent, then you can “whittle” your time down for disassembly and inspection of your firearm.  For the rest of us (myself included), a regular maintenance program is essential.

Depending on where in your house you store your firearm and how you store it (in a gun safe, or a moisture-controlled case, for example) will dictate the challenges you’ll face.  Alternating temperatures cause some problems.  If you have a home that (when you’re inside of it) the temperature is kept at 70 degrees F or such, if the temperature drops to say 50 or 60, you may have problems with moisture.  The weather (and the relative humidity) will also be a factor.


Metal tends to “sweat” with a change in temperature, that is for condensation to build up, especially when the change is drastic or sudden.


You’ve been outside all day hunting that deer with your Winnie ’94 30-30.  You just came into the house, and after kicking off your boots you hung your Winnie ’94 up on the gun rack.  Guess what?  In about ten to fifteen minutes, even if you were as dry as dust coming through the door…the weapon will have condensation all over it from the sudden change in temperature.

Another scenario is that you must vent out the house a bit: your woodstove has been on “overdrive” and you need to air out the place just a tad.  It’s raining outside and humid.  When that cold air and moisture wafts inside, guess where it’ll go?  Yep, right onto the barrel and mechanism of that trusty rifle you have hanging over the mantelpiece.

Another one is that you have a rack in your bedroom, and you opened the drapes to allow a little sunlight into the room…and it just happened to hit your rifle on the rack.  The rifle gains about 20 degrees from the sun, and then when it leaves, the coolness of the room and the weapon’s proximity to the window causes the sweating.

During the wintertime, it isn’t enough just to pack it all up and wait until the springtime.  As far as things are with me, the only time I would ever pack one up is if I’m transporting it somewhere and it needs to be encased and protected for a few days to a week.  Other than that, I stick to my regular maintenance schedule.  First thing you do, is wipe off any excess moisture on the weapon.  Then completely disassemble it and carry out an inspection of all your parts.  You are looking for any debris and any buildup of ferrous oxide (that’s rust!) from excessive moisture.  There shouldn’t be any.

The reason there shouldn’t be is that there will not be…if you carry out a regular program of maintenance.  You haven’t fired it; however, you can still run patches through the bore with a light coating of lube on them.  Clean off any rust and oil all your parts.  It protects from rust or moisture.

Also, want to save a little money?  You don’t have to bankrupt yourself on those stingy little bottles of lube/gun oil…a 3 or 4-ounce bottle…for 7 or 8 dollars.  Go buy yourself a quart of 5W/30 Mobil Synthetic oil.  We used to use it in the service, and I still use it now.  Does the job just as good and (most of the time) better than those cheap, thin, junk oils such as Hoppe’s or Remington’s or the like.  A quart will last you a long time, and then you just refill the small bottles that you normally use with it.

Same for patches.  Take an old t-shirt, sheet, or pillowcase.  Cut out your squares on your own, and also cut yourself some 1’ squares for general purpose weapons cleaning rags.  These can be washed and then reused a couple of times.  Use a bristle brush of some kind and brush the oil vigorously all over your working parts, and then wipe off any carbon and/or rust you have.  Then give it a fresh coat (thin), and reassemble the weapon.  Voila!  Your weapon is good to go.  Make sure that when you reassemble it that you perform a functions check on it, and ensure that it has been reassembled properly without any glitches.

One thing you can also do is to “shroud” your weapons.  This is merely covering them as they are on a rack with a sheet of some kind.  Try to match the surrounding colors of the room.  If you have a white wall, then a white sheet would be a good thing.  This keeps dust from settling on the weapon, and any ash/soot from the woodstove, as well.  It also keeps your weapons out of sight for when some “snoopy” human comes over to the front door, such as the ever-present, never-reliable neighbors, or some door-to-door sales clown, or some other pest.  The less they see the better.

Minimum of once per week per firearm.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as Ben Franklin once said.  Protect them within a case for when you’re traveling, and remember to give them a good wiping down and a thorough lube when you reach your destination.  Maintain that firearm at all times, and it’ll see you through, whether you’re hunting deer or stopping someone from breaking into your home.  Keep that powder dry and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide

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

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

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


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


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

 

Gear

What To Wear in the Harshest Conditions

Take Care of Your Feet and Your Odds of Survival Increase

How to Blend into a Winter Environment

12 Budget-Friendly Survival Essentials for the Cold Outdoors

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

 

Health and First-Aid

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

7 Fundamental Requirements for Cold Weather Injuries

Frostbite: How To Survive Winter’s Unrelenting Brutality

10 Must-Have First Aid Supplies for Preventing Hypothermia

 

Survival Theory

Procuring Protein Sources in Winter

Critical Training Techniques to Overcome the Elements

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

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Your Home Security Plan Is At Risk Without This Essential Prep

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

All Could Be Lost Without This Home Security Prep

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


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


safe

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

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

safe2

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Prepared Workplace: Lifesaving Supplies You Need Before the Emergency

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prepared workplace[Editor’s Note: On average, we spend over 50 hours a week away from our homes. Chances are, if a sudden disaster occurs at your workplace and you are forced to shelter in place for a given time, many coworkers (including yourself) could be unprepared. Would you have enough food and water to wait an emergency out at work? A disaster plan is only as good as your Plan A, B and C.]

So, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, have you made a big batch of pemmican for yourselves yet?  If so, then I commend you.  If not, then get on the stick!  The beef stick, that is, because pemmican is one of the foods that is perfect to carry around.  I know, I know, between bug-out bags, micro-tools, thermoses, and the likes of which I have been writing about recently…you need to be an octopus to be able to carry all of it.  It is better to have, as you well know, than not to have something.  Let’s talk about food in this regard.

The Secret to Survival is Prior Planning

Undoubtedly you have laid up a supply for yourselves and your families in your home and have some packed in your “go” bags.  We’ll now touch on a few other areas: in your workplace and on your person. Some preparedness and emergency items for the entire office are:

Talk to your supervisor about the existing emergency plan and find ways of improving it. You could even create a preparedness month where each coworker donates money to get the office prepped!

Ultimately, It’s About You!

If your workplace shrugs off your attempts to get them prepped, that shouldn’t stop you from getting some extra food and provisions for yourself in your workplace (and also carry a little on you at all times). Keep in mind, this is about giving yourself an “edge” and perhaps buying you some time in a sticky situation.

If you have a workplace locker (the best are those that lock), a basket/cubby space, or a shelf for your things, you can stock up a few cans of food and some essentials.  Why?  Because that is what preparation is all about: the “what-if’s” that may arise.  What if you cannot go outside to your vehicle to get your “go” bag?  There could be any number of reasons: severe flooding, rioting, extreme cold weather, among others.  You may have to make do with what you have on your person or in your workplace.

As well, make sure you have some clean athletic socks and walking shoes stored on you. As well, have some extra change on hand in case you need to get items from the vending machines (items like water, nuts, crackers, etc., will run out quickly in an emergency).

Your Personal Workplace Prepper Pantry

Even if you just have a bag that you stash under a table or in a back room, you can throw extra canned goods in there.  Here’s a sample of what to place in your bag or locker (with a locker, remember, you can probably put some more food in there):

  • (4) cans of food (preferably heat-and-eat prepared dinner-ravioli, soups, etc.)
  • (2) 20-ounce or 32-ounce bottle of water
  • (1) Ziploc sandwich bag of a snack (trail mix, pretzels, dried fruit, etc.)
  • (1) Ziploc bag of hard candies
  • (1) small bag of dried meat (jerky, pemmican, beef sticks, etc.)

That will get you started, but you don’t have to stop there. There are many types of disasters that could occur while you are at work. What happens if there is a fire and you need to escape? Or, in a worst case scenario, hazardous material has leaked into the air. Why not have a gas mask on hand? There are many gas masks that are compact and can fit inside your desk.

Remember, these items are for your personal space/storage space in your workplace.  If you have an office and a desk, all the better.  If the desk has any drawers that lock, then it’s optimal.  Remember this rule:

If it’s a time of trouble or scarcity, whatever you need will also be needed by others.

Sesame Street rules aside, you do not need to advertise that you have a stash of extra food in your office drawer or wall locker.  Keep your supplies in a nondescript gym bag or other non-transparent/non-translucent carrier.

Their need is not a justification for your sharing, nor their shortsightedness for your “help” regarding preparations. 

One way to circumvent this is to get coworkers involved in getting the workplace prepared for these types of emergencies and have them create their own personal workplace pantries.

So, we’ve addressed the workplace, and now how about on your person?  Why?  Because it gives you an edge.  I have written articles in the past on the value of cargo pants with cargo pockets.  Here I am, recommending them again.  I carry a small bag of peanut butter-filled pretzels in my cargo pocket, as well as a bag of jerky, and about half a dozen hard candies (I like those Jolly Rancher ones).  There’s a good reason for it.

What if you’re trapped in an elevator?  Or (as mentioned before) something goes wrong, such as a power outage that leaves you trapped for a while.  What then?  It is a proven fact that the intake of simple sugars helps the human body during times of stress or crisis.  In addition, it is a psychological support you’ll give to yourself to help you deal with all of it.  The protein in the jerky and the peanut butter is important; the necessity to replace protein can never be understated.

The hard candies give you some simple sugar to throw into your bloodstream, and keep the mouth from drying out.  As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, if you can’t drink, then do not eat anything.  You will deplete yourself further; you must drink in order to digest your food.  The difficulty this presents is obvious, because if you don’t tote around a water bottle all the time, you’ll have trouble finding water when the need arises.  So, tote it around!  Everybody walks around all the time with coffee cups and soda bottles, so it won’t look out of place for you to tote around a 20-ounce PowerAde bottle with water in it.

These are akin to “tiers” of response levels: 1st is what you have on you, 2nd in your work area/locker, and 3rd in your vehicle.

One more key point: All the stuff not on you becomes a cache point if you can’t reach it, and you can go for the stuff later on.

You may have to forgo getting food out of your locked desk drawer because 10 other people may see it.  Who’s going to think of going into your desk drawer for food unless you make them aware it’s there.  Practice OPSEC, and re-read the article I wrote on the Nosy Neighbors…the ones who will eat your food and maybe you along with it if their needs call for it.  Keep it to yourself.  It’s better to wait until everybody is out of the area, and then obtain your supplies from your locked and unknown (to your “buddies” at work) location.  Ounce of prevention, pound of cure.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

Learn how to build the ultimate bug out bag

12 Essential Tools You Need For Your Bug Out Bag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

This is the single best way to start prepping

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

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

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

20 Must-Read Articles to Get on the Preparedness Path

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

Why You Should Prepare 

5 Ways to Store Water for Short-Term Emergencies

5 Reasons You Should Be Preparing

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

The Prepper’s Beginners Guide Part 1 and Part 2

 

Lists of Essential Preparedness Gear and Supplies 

The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer

How to Save Food When You’re Off the Grid

Best Practices For Long Term Food Storage

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

52-Weeks to Preparedness

30 Survival Items You Can Get at the Dollar Store

Short Term Emergency Checklist

Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First

How to Build a 72-Hour Kit

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

What You Have to Do To Prep on the Fly

 

Long-Term Food Storage Solutions

How to Dehydrate Foods for Long Term Storage

Is Freeze-Dried Food Worth the Investment?

Vacuum Sealing for Long-Term Food Storage

Using Your Freezer as a Long Term Food Storage Solution

You can do this!

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

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Is Freeze-Dried Food Worth the Investment?

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 Prepping and freeze-dried food are synonymous with one another. For years, the freeze-dried food industry have profited heavily on families wanting to get their pantries emergency ready. But is it worth all the hype and money?

There are many who wonder if the investment into this long-term food source is the right one for them and have asked questions like: Can you really survive the apocalypse with freeze-dried food? How long is the shelf-life when the #10 can is opened? Are these foods nutritionally complete? What other options are there for long-term food storage?

The Pros

There are many pros to having #10 cans of this long-term food source in your prepper pantry. Freeze-dried food is flash frozen and then put in a vacuum container causing the water vaporize, and leaving the food item with 98% of its water removed.Nutritionally speaking, the food retains all the nutrients that it had in its original form after the freeze-drying process and contains little to no additives. This process keeps a majority of the nutrition in tact. Gary Stoner, Ph.D., and the American Institute for Cancer Research have found that the antioxidant phytochemicals found in fresh fruits is about the same as in their freeze-dried versions. However, some ascorbic acid levels and the amount of polyphenol, a cell-protecting chemical in berries, were measurably reduced by freeze drying. Source

As well, the cook times are drastically reduced which is helpful during emergencies when energy must to be conserved. Moreover, many find that when they are in the midst of an emergencies, stress loads increase because of drastic changes and having these “just add water” meals ready to go cuts down on the stress of food preparation. It is estimated that 98% of moisture from the food is eliminated, thus reducing the weight of the food by 80%. Those who plan on evacuating will appreciate the lighter weight during transport – especially with all the other supplies they will have in their pack. Last but not least, the 25 year storage life makes this ideal for preppers who are looking for long-lasting food options. On a personal note, my family purchased freeze-dried food in 2004 and it’s still just as fresh as when we opened up the first can. Keep in mind, once your freeze-dried food can is opened, the shelf life quickly diminishes and you will need to throw it out in six months, and if you live in a humid area, the shelf life could be cut in half.

The Cons

While, the pros are great, it comes with a hefty price tag. You are paying for all of the specialized equipment and energy it takes to preserve the food for a long shelf life. One case of freeze-dried meals can set you back over a hundred dollars with shipping included. As well, having this type of food source for your long-term food needs will require extra space to store the food. An entire years supply fits into a 2 ft x 3 ft area, stacked 5 ft high. As well, food cans could be strategically hidden in the home, underneath beds, above kitchen cabinets and in the closet.

If you are going back and forth about whether or not to invest in freeze-dried food or dehydrated food, here’s a good answer. Because 98% of the water is removed from freeze-dried foods, it will take more water to reconstitute it for meals as opposed to dehydrated foods needing a fraction of the water. An article on Modern Survival Blog gives a great explanation:

“It does take more water to reconstitute freeze-dried food than dehydrated food. I randomly pulled out a few freeze-dried food packets that I have on hand here, so that I could read the directions. The average amount of water required is a bit more than 1 cup of water per serving (which you would heat up first). On the other hand, some dehydrated food can be consumed without re-constituting with water (particularly fruits or meats). My experience with re-hydrating foods that I have previously dehydrated, are that I tend to use less than 1 cup of water per equivalent serving of vegetables than a freeze-dried food.”

Also, keep in mind that many of the freeze-dried meals are high in sodium. Many outdoor enthusiasts and hikers complain that you have to drink so much water to overcome the thirst the meals create. Make sure you have extra water on hand if you plan on using this as your main food source. As well, the high sodium can cause your bowels to become sluggish. To remedy this, purchase some over the counter meds for constipation or look for low-sodium freeze-dried options. One website states that the real key is balance.

“If you are concerned about sodium content in your food storage items, keep in mind that you can balance out the higher sodium foods you consume in a day with lower sodium foods. For example, many freeze-dried vegetables contain low or no sodium. There are also many breakfast items, like granola or oatmeal, that have very little sodium, if any.

Just like with a fresh food diet, the key is balance. If the only thing you ate every day was chicken, you’d quickly find that your diet is not providing what your body needs. But when you add lots of fruits and vegetables to that chicken and you will begin to achieve a more balanced diet.”

In that same vein, I highly recommend you also investing in sprouting seeds to ensure you are getting some fresh vitamins into your daily diet.

How Much Freeze-Dried Food Do You Need?

In an emergency situation, your caloric intake will increase due to higher activity levels, thus you will be consuming more. Keep this in mind when determining what your caloric needs will be. Once you know that magic caloric number, you can begin to find out how many freeze-dried meals you need. The Ready Store has a good calculator to get an idea how the number of cans of freeze-dried food you would need to survive.

Can You Survive Solely on Freeze-Dried Food?

So, the question is can you survive an apocalypse with freeze-dried food? Yes, you can, but the real question is do you want to?

While there are pros and cons to investing in this long-term food source, above all, you are investing in food freedom and the livelihood of your family or group. My preference is to have a little bit of everything and believe in having a layered approach to emergency food sources. You can read more about it here. We plan on using our supply of freeze-dried food after we finish our perishable foods. During the time we are using up this portion of our emergency food, we plan on getting fresh food sources established.

Ultimately, when people set out on the path to preparedness they turn to freeze-dried foods for a fast approach. After all, it is the healthiest and longest lasting emergency food source. Based on the price alone, it is difficult for many of us to use this as a sole emergency food source. There are less costly food storage options such as using a dehydrator to dry out food and is completely customizable to your dietary needs. As well, the further a person journeys into preparedness, they want to attain total self-sufficiency and look for ways to growing their own food sources through gardening and livestock.

My advice to all of you is to keep your budgets in mind before you decide to purchase bulk emergency food. You don’t want to go broke getting a food pantry set up. Prep for emergencies with the layered approach mentioned above, keep your options open and keep researching better ways to get your family ready for life’s uncertainties.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What You Need to Know About Nuclear Attacks

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

The Nonsense Begins Around This Time

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

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

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

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

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

The Three Effects of a Nuclear Bomb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

More Reading:

An Urban Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

How to Survive When a Nuke is Dropped

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

7 Natural Supplements You Should Have in Case of Nuclear Fallout

What Happens to Nuclear Power Plants Following an EMP?

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Storm Coming: Preppers Must Stay Vigilant in 2017

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 [Editor’s Note: While many believe the shift in government leaders in 2017 will bring us back to better times, one can never be too sure. As my father always said, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” These are still uncertain times, and as Jeremiah Johnson emphasizes in this article – with that uncertainty, we must continue to be ever vigilant in our preparedness endeavors.]

ReadyNutrition Fans, this piece is an important exhortation to you – a sort of plea, if you will – to not lose your focus in preparations and your readiness-stance during these times.  With the Dow-Jones Industrial skyrocketing, the Christmas Holidays in full gear, Donald J. Trump about to be inaugurated, and the glow of a new patriotic dawn, everything seems OK, right?  Wrong.  This is not alarmist, but pragmatic.  We cannot allow a burst of patriotic positive fervor to dull the perception of the last 8 years.

Losing our focus is what allowed those 8 years in the first place.

The Unemployment Rate

The welcoming of a new President brings renewed hope in our government system; however, there is a lot of road to travel before the country is fixed. While many preppers feel relieved and are slowing their preparedness endeavors down, many preparedness experts are stressing the importance of not giving up. As preppers, we must keep an eye on indicators like the economy and unemployment. Bear in mind that unemployment is deliberately under-reported.  The economy is in bad shape.  Everyone is focusing on the happy times of Christmas cheer and family festivities.  I adjure to your intellects: do not relent in your focus or your activities to prepare for what is still around the corner.

They’re not celebrating festive, happy shopper days in Venezuela, where women are cutting off their own hair and selling it just to buy loaves of bread, or where a whole shopping bag full of Venezuelan Bolivars will not even buy a few days’ worth of essential supplies.

These 7 Indicators Can Help You Forecast an Economic Collapse

The Economy

The economy of the United States will take quite some time to recover.  You can continue in the true economy that you have started: the acquisition of supplies, materials, and resources that always hold their worth and have an intrinsic value.  Gold, silver, and precious metals…in physical form…these have worth and lasting, intrinsic value.  For an excellent analysis of just where the United States is economically, I highly recommend an article written by Shaun Bradley on December 8, 2016 entitled Cash is No Longer King: The Phasing Out of Physical Money Has Begun,” and downloadable for your files.

Another article worth mentioning was written by Susan Duclos of All News Pipeline, entitled We are Facing the Most Important Battle of All at the Most Dangerous Moment in History,” released on December 10, 2016.  Here is an excerpt from that article:

We at ANP are noting a lot of optimism from investors with stocks soaring,  to economic confidence reaching new highs, to small business owners, to household spending and even prepping has hit a “multi-year low,” all the articles I am reading are crediting the election of Donald Trump as reason for all this optimism, but as much as I hate to rain on everyone’s parade… now is the most dangerous time in history, not a time to assume just because one man was elected, all the wrongs will be made right, the failing economy will automatically just magically fix itself.”

These timely and sagacious words show that the battle is not over yet.  In this vein, do not lose focus!  Don’t allow the holiday cheer and festive atmosphere to leave you blindsided and thinking that the battle is over!  Other blogsites have reported that sales of emergency equipment and supplies have been drastically on the decline since the election was finished.  Remember: North Korea, Russia, and China still pose a viable threat in several areas of the world, the world economy is quite bad, and the U.S. has by no means recovered from the nightmare of two consecutive Obama terms.

Stay the Course for 2017!

Stay focused.  Gear your shopping and holiday activities to always take a back seat to awareness of the overall situation.  Stock up on your precious metals and long-term food supplies and water procurement capabilities.  Continue to locate and obtain the tools, medicines, and equipment you and your family will need.  Just because the “Captains” are about to change does not mean that the ship will change its course…the one taking it toward a wreck on the reefs.  Don’t let that reef loom up and blindside you to take you unawares.  Enjoy your holidays, but do so with one eye on the festivities and another one on the horizon…aware of what is going on around you.  Do not stop the preparations for even one minute.  Happy holidays, and keep up that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

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

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

How the Body Loses Water During Winter Months

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

Water is Fuel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

27 Last Minute Christmas Gifts For Your Favorite Prepper

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last minute prepper giftsIt seemed like yesterday we were wishing each other a Happy Thanksgiving, and now half of December is gone. If you are stumped on what to get your favorite prepper or are shopping at the last minute, these gift ideas could be what you’ve been looking for.

I like to focus prepper gifts on striving to enhance a prepper’s skillsets or helping one acquire the equipment they need to live in a long-term off-grid environment.

10 Stocking Stuffers

  1. Crocheting Kit
  2. Mountain House Meal Assortments (Great for 72 Hour Bags)
  3. Collapsible Walking Stick
  4. Duct Tape
  5. Cyalume SnapLight Green Glow Sticks
  6. Biolite Camping Stove
  7. Gun Cleaning Coil
  8. Balaclava
  9. Quikclot
  10. SOG Key Knife

Bonus! Titanium Escape Ring

Gifts For the Ladies

  1. Leather Purse with Concealed Holster
  2. Fermenting Starter Kit
  3. Foldable Bicycle
  4. Lodge Cookware Set
  5. Excalibur Food Dehydrator

Gifts For the Guys

  1. Tactical Hammer
  2. Cross Bow (Read more about it here)
  3. Whiskey Making Kit
  4. Goal Zero 22004 Yeti 150 Solar Generator
  5. Customized CBRN Tactical Gas Mask

If none of these gift ideas strike your fancy, check out Lehman’s or Real Goods. Both of these stores cater to off-grid living and have a huge amount of products to choose from. Check out Real Goods preparedness section – you’ll love it!

As well, don’t forget about the importance of reference manuals for the prepper library! Here are some of the top books (Warning: a shameless plug is ahead).

All of these gifts are guaranteed to delivery before Christmas, but you have to order them soon.

Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping to all of you!

Tess and the Ready Nutrition Writers

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What’s the Best Survival Knife?

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to give some info and recommendations on knives.  There are about as many uses for knives as you can imagine: knives for skinning, filleting, fighting, and all-around survival.  There are a ton of different companies that manufacture knives, and not as many of them in the United States as there used to be.  There is a resurgence in small forges and private knifemakers currently throughout the U.S., and in a future article, I will cover this subject in more detail.  For now, we’re going to stick with the well-known firms, of which I have both preference and experience with for different reasons.

Carry Blade

My “carry” blade for defense is a Spyderco H-1 Jumpmaster model, made in Seki City, Japan.  I’ve been “into” Spyderco for a good while; when I was in the service I carried a Spyderco Police model stainless steel folder.  This Jumpmaster model is actually designed by jumpmasters of the U.S. Army.  The blade is sharp – beyond belief and can be sharpened on a Tri-Angle Sharpmaker, also made by Spyderco.

The jumpmaster’s blade is straight, serrated, non-rust steel with a single piece running continuously from blade to handle, a fixed blade with a plastic handle.  The blade measures approximately 4-1/4 inches of special steel that does not corrode.  I mention again, it is for defensive purposes and I know how to use it, although ideally, a fighting knife should have a blade of approximately 8 inches or greater to be most effective.

I also carry a Buck 181 folder for all-purpose and utility that is about 3 inches long.  This model has an oval-shaped “pinch” ring within the blade, and a clip that enables you to pinch the ring, draw out the blade, and flick it open in the locked position.  The Spyderco Police model I mentioned earlier is the same configuration as this Buck folder.  It can be used for cutting, slicing, and (if necessary) small skinning jobs if the need arose.

General Purpose Knife

As far as a good general purpose survival knife is concerned, I really love what Gerber puts out (or rather, the older models), with the Gerber BMF series being really great.  As far as newer models run, I have a Gerber Mark 11, a two-edged blade similar to the Fairbairn-Sykes Commando model used by the OSS in World War II.  The knife was made in the U.S., and the sheath was made in China.  Guess we can’t win ‘em all.  The blade is approximately 7 inches in length with 2 inches of the blade on both sides being serrated before the final 1 inch connects with the handle/hilt.

Throwing Knives

Hibben (in my assessment) makes the best throwing knives.  When you pick up throwing knives, you should pick up 2 sets of the same model: one to practice with, and the other for use when needed.  In this manner, you’ll be able to sink that knife into a target from 15-20 feet away with no problem, and the quality/sharpness will not be a factor when you face a real-world situation.

If you wish to watch an excellent movie that will give you pointers as an introduction to combat with knives, pick up Hunted,” starring Benicio Del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones.  They go “deep,” but the depiction of the U.S. military’s courses on knives, knifemaking, and actual combat techniques is very accurate.

Your folder you want for a good all-around utility knife.  For small cutting, just invest in a little folding pocketknife so as not to dull your blades continuously.  Although 8” is the preferred minimum length for combat, do not underestimate what you can do with a smaller blade when the need arises.  You want your knives to be maintained and as sharp as possible at all times.  I don’t really wish to cover skinning and filleting knives, simply because there are so many on the market that you can use.  I covered these because when push comes to shove, your combat blade can be used to skin game if need be.  Just as all cooks in the Army can become infantry when needed.

My preference is for the blade to be either black (subdued), or non-reflective/non-high sheen.  My personal preference (although for some specialty blades such as my jumpmaster model you need a specialty sharpener) is the old-fashioned stone and oil method.  It takes time, but it’s worth it.  Other methods (non-specialty) put a “quick” edge on it that doesn’t last too long, but the honing stones take a longer amount of time and deliver in the end.

Regarding a blade, do not sacrifice quality for price.  For fixed knives, they should be a continuous piece.  Buying from a reputable firm gives you a worthy blade.  Remember: you may depend on this blade to survive, be that to cut yourself out of a seatbelt if your car takes a dive, or to skin wild game in the dead of winter.  Cheap you buy, cheap you receive.  There’s a guy who is a builder who cruises around in his little pickup truck in town.  He has a saying on his truck that runs [I paraphrase], “Those who buy a lower quality at a cheaper price will later find the money they saved doesn’t make up for the inferior product, and they will come to regret both decisions.”

Yeah, it’s a long statement, but it’s the truth.  Knives can be very crucial tools when the need arises, sometimes being critical to stay alive.  Look up those models that I recommend, and you’ll find without exception that they’re expensive.  The thing is, they work, and when the chips are down, I can depend on them far better than some cheap piece of junk from China or Pakistan made of pot-metal and Elmer’s glue.  Take your time to find which model works the best for your needs, but never sacrifice quality for price.  Keep your powder dry and your knife oiled and sharp!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

50 Awesome Stocking Stuffers Every Prepper Will Love

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

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

50 Awesome Stocking Stuffers Every Prepper Will Love

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

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Get Free Maps For Your Prepping Supplies

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maps-for-preppingReadyNutrition Readers, undoubtedly most of you are working on whittling down that turkey, and preparing for the extremely scary times of the Christmas holidays.  Let us digress a bit from all the festive cheer and commercial drudgery to return to the business at hand.  This article is going to cover some information about maps, indispensable tools for you to thrive in a post-collapse environment.  There are several different sources for these maps on the free or on the cheap, and it’s good for you to be aware of them to prepare your supply of them for the times to come.

Firstly, let us not discount your telephone book.  Yes, the telephone directory holds quite a bit in local maps that you might want to take advantage of.  Usually in the front of the phone book are (for whatever your metropolitan area) maps of small towns and suburbs.  These maps are accurate and give the streets, place names, and points of interest.  Here’s what you do.

Take a hobby knife and cut out the map and the key for your immediate area, and another page that covers your local vicinity.  Trim them off with scissors and then lightly apply a glue stick to the back of each.  You want the two different maps to be back-to-back.  When the glue dries, you can mount them.  There are laminating sheets you can pick up at your local, friendly Wal-Mart that run about $10 for ten sheets.  They peel back for you to insert the maps and line them up, and then just close the top sheet after you remove the non-stick backing paper.  Press them firmly and evenly together, and there you are.

You now have an accurate map for local use on the cheap.  Dry erase comes off too easily, but pick up a grease pencil and you can mark things on the front of it when you’re in the middle of a leg of traveling.  It would behoove you to make several of them: phone books are either free or a dime a dozen.  In this manner, your family members can have a map for themselves in their vehicle.  Store these in some kind of binder or folder with pockets to give you easy access.

You need the maps because your electronic devices such as your Garmin GPS or your MapQuest attachment on the dashboard might just suddenly go “defunct,” courtesy of an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) or other similar, natural anomaly such as a solar flare.

            Keep your high-tech, but always have your low-tech aids for backup.

Next is your chamber of commerce.  These guys have about a thousand brochures and maps for your use.  Some of them are pretty good and fairly detailed.  Of particular note are the brochures on parks, forests, and happy-family recreational sites.  Guess what?  That state park may be a fallback area for you if you are on the run.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a map entailing all of the terrain features and manmade features of such a place?

Don’t forget the rest stops usually found in the welcome centers as you cross from one state to another.  These places have the same brochures and maps as the chambers of commerce, and a free state map for you to grab.  Remember: good intel is not merely found, it’s made.  Talk to the people who work at these welcome centers and chambers of commerce.  They can point you in other directions or give you information that may not be immediately visible.  Your “cover” is tourism, vacation, etc.  As “facilitators of information” the state governments pay them with your tax dollars to lure you into their beautiful state and generate more taxable income for all of them.  Make these guys earn their money.

You can often find that many of these parks and tourist sites have maps that also include a little bit of the surrounding area.  Use your judgement, and many of these maps can also be laminated in the manner outlined above.  Do not forget about the Forestry Service in your area.  Here in Montana, they release every year or every two years updates to the national forest trails in the form of maps and guides for free.  Other states have the same.  Don’t forget your county extension office for a plethora of different documents and maps.  Once again, they’ll be happy to help if you just speak to them in a friendly manner.

Don’t discount older or out-of-print maps that you may find in your travels and searches.  They may not be updated, but they may have information on them that is accurate but for whatever reason was not included in the more recent revisions.  Old abandoned tunnels and mine operations are prime examples of things found in older maps and not included in the new maps.  Same for abandoned buildings or abandoned construction projects.  All of these things you may find useful to know…especially when the majority of people have forgotten about them.

Thrift stores and used book stores usually have maps and atlases floating around.  With older maps, what you do (besides the “special” locations just mentioned) is find the main highways and byways that are similar and accurate and cut out these pages to use for an overlay for yourself or an adjunct to a local map you may have laminated.

Do your homework.  On your maps, you want to include as much relevant information as you may need.  Addresses, phone numbers, locations of utilities such as water and power facilities, and places usable for a refuge if you’re out and about and the SHTF.  Place index cards with these extra notes in with the map before you laminate them.  Also, ensure that you mark a compass rose on your map with North and the other three cardinal directions.  Ensure that it is oriented in the correct direction: North needs to actually point north, not just be affixed to the map.

Naturally there are more sources than these.  Your good sporting goods stores usually have a supply of maps either from the Forestry Service or even military maps from the Defense Mapping Agency, the latter of which are golden.  They’re not nearly as expensive as if you order them online.  Want a good idea?  Get yourself a piece of 3-4″ diameter PVC pipe, and cut down two pieces of this that are about 3′ long.  Pick up some end caps that fit snugly, and you have yourself a map case…you can roll up your maps and stow them in there to protect them.

One final word, for your local maps you want to drive around and check them out yourself.  You want to perform a thorough reconnaissance of different routes and ensure they are viable prior to your utilization of said routes.  You don’t want to find out that a bridge that is on your map is actually “out” and unable to be crossed when you’re on the move.  In this light, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Garner your maps before your Garmin goes out as a part of your preps that truly will help you move in the right direction.  Keep fighting that good fight, finish off that turkey, and take care of each other!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

Why Cycling Matters in a SHTF Situation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

One of the Most Undervalued Storable Survival Foods

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 23Preparedness is more than a method of planning, it is a lifestyle. Long-term survival strategies are most effective when they are incorporated into one’s daily life. Anybody who seeks to be prepared for the future should be prepared to live out their plans in the present, even if the only purpose is to understand the efficacy of their plans. Food preparedness stands paramount as the most fundamental element of any long-term survival plan, and it is important that your preparations for long-term food storage are efficacious and simple.

Food Preparedness

As impending socioeconomic collapse fast approaches, many of the commercially available storable foods have risen in popularity, and for good reason, but many of these so-called foods are pre-packaged freeze-dried meals, powders or just plain mush that are intended to sit in storage for up to 2 years. Consequently, these foods contain a high amount of sodium and/or preservatives to maintain their shelf life; they are designed only “for emergency” and not as a nutritional food that could be eaten in one’s daily regimen today. Over time, many of the storable foods that people rely on, especially canned foods, contain meat which will putrefy and cause all other food in the package to spoil. How likely is it that these foods will sustain your survival and nutritional needs when the time comes?

The food you choose to store should be something that you are comfortable eating today, and it should be providing what you need to stay healthy.

What You Need

These are the basic requirements that a food should have for long-term survival:

  1. It must be inexpensive.
  2. It must have the capacity for long-term storage (Check out these 25 must-have survival foods)
  3. It must be a calorie-dense food that yields significant nutritional benefits.
  4. It must have a number of uses so that it can be incorporated into your diet today.

When searching for the best long-term survival food, the one food that seems to match every basic quality mentioned above is seeds. There are various seeds which are substantially inexpensive as compared with many of the other commercially available long-term food storage products on the market, and they are perfect for long-term storage if they are stored correctly. Here we will discuss two highly nutritious and widely available seeds and give you a number of ideas as to how you can use them in your diet now.

Chia Seeds

Salvia hispanica, also known as chia, is a member of the mint family and is native to Southern Mexico and Guatemala. The seed of this plant was once a staple food for Inca, Maya and Aztec civilizations. Chia seeds are considered a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, and histadine. They are also a great source of  omega-3 ALA fatty acids, which have been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease when converted to omega-3 EPA and DHA in the body. One tablespoon of chia seeds provides approximately 2.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a good source of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and lignans which have shown a potential role in cancer prevention. These seeds provide 80 calories per tablespoon, and they would serve as a highly efficacious way to obtain sufficient calories if there is ever a food supply shortage as a result of a natural or unnatural disaster.

Chia seeds are highly absorbent; they will absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. They are best eaten after being soaked in a liquid of some kind, where they will soak up moisture and form a gel-like consistency. Once soaked, they could be added to a number of beverages or foods. They are commonly added to fruit drinks. Another easy way to consume eat chia seeds is to add them to cereal or to add them to a fruit jam and spread them on toast. They do not have a very strong taste, so they will tend to taste like whatever you mix them with.

Hemp Seeds

The hemp plant, also known as cannabis sativa, has been used by humans for over 10,000 years for industrial and commercial uses, such as the creation of clothing, rope, paper, fabric, biofuel, biodegradable plastic, paint, and food. The seed of the hemp plant is full of nutrition, and it could possibly be the ultimate survival food. In addition, to be a complete protein source, hemp seeds are a particularly good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but hemp seeds actually have almost twice the omega-3 content as chia. Hemp provides 4.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and 90 calories per tablespoon.

Hemp seeds have a subtle, nutty flavor, and they taste great when added to a shake. Similarly to chia, they can be added to a cereal or spread on toast with jam. They also taste great when added to a salad.

Storage

Both chia and hemp seeds can last up to two years if stored properly. Preparing a cool, dry place will be necessary for any long-term storage strategy. A cellar would make an ideal location, because it is underground and undisturbed by household heating systems, however, for those who do not have underground storage available, a refrigerator will do just fine. The amount you need to store will be dependent on how many people are in your home and how much space you have. The best idea is to store at least two-weeks-worth of seeds at any given time to ensure long-term survival.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepping for a Full On Breakdown? Stockpile These Foods

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

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

People are Planning for Unrest Following the Election

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

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

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

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

Why Canned Goods are a Good SHTF Investment

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

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

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

Be Careful of Tricky Manufacturers

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

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

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

Staying Organized

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

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

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

 

 

Related Material:

11 Emergency Foods That Last Forever

The Prepper’s Cookbook

How to Stock a Prepper’s Pantry

Five Family Friendly Food Pantry Organizing Tips Anyone Can Do

Prepping With Wheat Allergies

5 Ways to Stretch Your Meals SHTF Style

Food Pantry: Take Care of Your Basic Needs

72 Hours Without This Will Kill You: Survival Water Fundamentals

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

Prepare for any disaster step-by-step

Build Your Own: Four Essential Medical Categories to Concentrate On

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

Ointment

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

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

Bandages

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

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

Tools

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

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

Medicine

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why This Winter Could be the Perfect Storm for a SHTF Emergency + 10 Must-Have Preps

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winterReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, “Old Man Winter” is starting to rear his ugly head.  Yeah, so what?  So there is a difference this year on three fronts.  The first has to do with the weather itself, and the second is the situation in the U.S. and the world.  Throughout history winter has been (at times) so severe as to cause large numbers of deaths and great hardships.  Throughout history warfare has been conducted during the winter months after the harvest has been taken in.  Between you and I, the harvest is being taken in, and the whole world has been on the brink of war for quite some time.  The third front: in the U.S., with the election.

Weather, War and Domestic Issues Could be a Recipe for Disaster

Let’s address the weather portion first. Think Progress posted an article on the polar vortex shift that will affect our winter considerably.  The polar vortex is usually “confined” to an area around the North Pole.  It is a gigantic, constantly-moving system of air that is circulating and swirling.  As the site mentioned, the last polar vortex shift affected more than 200 million people in 2014.  I can attest to the fact that I was one of them: in January of 2014, it was -26 Fahrenheit outside of my cabin, and never rose above -10 Fahrenheit for almost the entire month.

From the perspective of a global war, the Ukrainian-Russian situation is intensifying with the Ukrainian Army moving troops and equipment into Eastern Ukraine for operations against the separatists.  As we speak, a Russian fleet is sailing toward Syria.  The fighting in Syria between Assad’s forces and the Russian army and the Islamic terrorists is burning fiercely.  The U.S. and Russia are facing off toward a nuclear war.  North Korea continues to test missiles and threatens an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) and/or nuclear attack on the U.S. about once a week.

That “third front” of the domestic situation in the U.S…. believe it or not, here is the highest potential for something bad to occur.  Such is because Obama will think nothing of enacting Martial Law with either the advent of civil unrest and rioting, and/or a nuclear war.  The volatility and unpredictability of the situation can be the undoing of the entire country.

How to Prepare for Winter-Related Emergencies

So what does this have to do with winter?  Everything.  Everything you can imagine.  All the supplies in the world won’t do you any good if you have no way to heat your home, cook your food, and stay warm at night.  Hope all of your home-canning supplies and provisions are in wide-mouth Mason jars.  Hope you have a plan in effect, ready to go.  And if not?  Here’s a few suggestions.

  1. You can pick up a small, portable woodstove that will burn between 50-100,000 BTU’s that will fit right inside of your fireplace.  It might be a good idea to get one of them.
  2. A good wood supply (in past articles I’ve been telling everyone how important it is to build up their wood supply in the summer and early fall) that is kept dry and is well-seasoned. As well, having some fatwood or quick ways to start a fire will help you expedite the process to warm the home.
  3. Plastic, weather stripping, aerosol foam insulation, and aerosol rubber weatherizing spray: these should be in your arsenal to patch holes and close up any gaps in your house to completely weatherize it.
  4. Tools: hammers, chainsaws, bowsaws, axes, hatchets, and mauls: to split and cut wood if necessary. The primitive saws are good, especially if you want to save the gas.
  5. Generators: I recommend the Honda 2000 EU i that is as quiet as a mouse.  If you buy two of them, you can couple them and double the power output.  They also run on eco drive to conserve fuel, and can be fitted.
  6. On bottled water: I have a well, and I use old Gatorade and Powerade bottles to store my water, and rotate it frequently.  If you have bottled water in the manner that I do, then make sure you are about ¾ full on the bottles, to leave room for expansion if the bottle freezes.  Then you’re still sure about the water, and it won’t burst through the bottle.
  7. If your refrigerator goes out (lack of power): have coolers so that you can store your food outside. Better frozen than rotten, and except for eggs, most everything can be frozen and then thawed out and used again.
  8. Warm clothing and blankets: especially sleeping bags. I prefer extreme cold weather Army issue (the newer stuff with Thinsulate) and Gore-Tex cover.
  9. Small stoves: I recommend the ones running on dual fuel (such as the Coleman Peak series for single burner stoves), as well as the two and three burner Colemans with the green exterior.
  10. Port-a-potty with plenty of extra bag-liners: subjected to a polar vortex and then getting hit with an EMP is the combination for problems with the toilet, whether on a municipal system or a septic system. Use the port-a-potty that is in the shape of a chair with a bucket, lid, and seat incorporated.  You can always burn the waste later, and you’ll conserve on water as well as prevent any plumbing problems from looming up.

It would also behoove you to stock up on matches, lighters, and fire-starting equipment.  The more you prepare now, the better it will be for you when you face all of these and similar challenges.  It is part of your daily planning that you have, so that you’re planning ahead instead of playing catch-up from working behind.  Keep fighting that good fight, and stay warm!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Critical Components to Getting Prepped for a Blackout

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

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

Read more about rolling blackouts and the electrical grid

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

Energy Conservation Measures

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

Store and Prepare Food Off-Grid

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

Alternative Power Sources

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

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

Survival Gear

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Winter Survival: How to Blend into a Winter Environment

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winter-camoSo why camo?  To blend in, naturally!  And what to do about the winter?  Well, one can always throw a bedsheet overtop of their head and squat, pretending to be a snowdrift!  Seriously, ReadyNutrition Readers, let’s talk about winter camo and cover a few tips and fine points to help you in your preparations.

The circumstances are yours to tailor-make, as everyone lives in different geographical regions and different population amounts.  That being said, it may not behoove you to walk down Main Street in Chicago dressed up with so much Real Tree camouflage that you bring to mind the “mean trees” on the Wizard of Oz!  Generally speaking, (except either for Chernobyl or Fukushima), trees don’t usually walk all around the neighborhood. You must match up your environment with how you intend to camouflage yourself.

Blend Into Your Winter Environment

We are going to go on a basis of the camo needs you will face if the EMP detonates, the missiles are on the way, and the “S is definitely Hitting TF,” so to speak.  The key word for you to remember: synthetics.  Synthetics, such as nylon and polyester are going to provide you with what is needed.  Cotton is not for exterior wear: it turns to sludge and wears out fast.  Synthetics are more durable for your outer camo wear: they clean more easily and do not rip.

Camo for Urban Environments

In an urban environment, you want to concentrate on your greys and off-whites and some striping or spotting of black…intermittently, of course.  You don’t want to appear to be a walking “parking lot” or a “driveway with legs.”  Adjust with where you are living, naturally, for example if you are surrounded by brick buildings or brownstones, you need to not stick out akin to a sore thumb.  Utilize the appropriate color for where you are going to hide, whether it is temporary or permanent.

Your top is the defining portion of your camouflage, since your head is (should be) facing in the direction of potential threat/enemy contact.  You’ll need a top for yourself, and a “shroud” for your backpack/rucksack.  Make sure your top has a hood and that it is not too tightly-fitting.  The top should be 1-2 sizes larger than what you normally wear.

The photo is of a military-issue top, ranging in price from $20-30, depending on the outlet.  Make sure the NSN is 8415002237627, made completely of nylon with a corded drawstring for the hood.  The good thing about it is it has a self-contained bag attached at the neck that the whole thing scrunches up and fits inside.  As it is nylon, it will not be all messed up from the elements.

You can pick up a nylon or polyester bed sheet for a child’s bed for use as a shroud to throw over either you or your rucksack or both, if you are lying in the prone.  Remember, both the top and bottom is for if there’s snow covering the ground…you’ll have to make an adjustment for urban or suburban conditions.

You’ll want to wear face masks that both keep you warm and break up the reflection of your face.  Sunglasses are also very important to use during the winter months to protect from snow-glare and prevent snow-blindness.  JJ prefers a baseball cap for its visor…this helps to shield the sunglasses as well as provide a little bit of shade for the eyes.  If you have the top pictured, you can cover the cap with the hood, no problem.

Also, do not neglect your protection from windburn and the cold elements.  JJ’s preference for the lips is Carmex lip balm, as it has menthol that helps heal the chapping, or make your own.  Don’t forget your gloves! This will help maintain body heat when you are exposed.  While you’re camouflaging yourself, remember to make sure your gloves are not anything other than snow tones or earth tones.  Finally, subdue all things that glitter…let them not give your position away.  For scoped rifles, you can place pantyhose over the forward objective lens…you can still see through it and it cuts down on the glare that would reflect off and give you away.

Just a few pointers to give you some food for thought.  Make sure you blend with your surroundings, whatever they may be.  Also remember that camouflage is not the same as cover…it does not make you “bulletproof,” per se.  Use your synthetic materials wisely, and shop around.  We’d love to hear from you and your ideas that you have experimented with, and welcome all comments.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Best Advice in Preparing for Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

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

Pre-Season Preparations are Ideal

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Could the Next World War be Initiated with an EMP Weapon Over Continental U.S.?

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ReadyNutrition Readers, undoubtedly you have read many of my articles that deal with an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack and nuclear war.  The reason these articles must be referred to and that I must keep writing them is to concentrate on the seriousness of the situation worldwide.

As of this writing, Kim Jong-Un has once again threatened the U.S. and South Korea with a nuclear war in response to the sanctions placed against North Korea after the G-7 summit and the G-20 meeting in Beijing, China.

The threats are not idle

Research any of the writings of Dr. Peter V. Pry, the foremost expert on EMP threat who regularly briefs the Congressional Commission to Assess EMP Threats against the United States.  Dr. Pry’s testimony and research conclude that both North Korea and Iran hold current military doctrines of an EMP first strike against the U.S., and North Korea (as affirmed by Dr. Pry) does indeed possess such a capability to hit the U.S. with an EMP.

Should a nuclear exchange occur, it will in all probability be limited (regarding U.S. targets) to key command, control, and economic locales.  Examples would be the following cities as primary potential targets: Washington, D.C., New York City, Norfolk, VA, Miami, FL, Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, and San Diego, CA, to name a few.  Limited nuclear war would be the focus, as foreign nations would wish to take the U.S. for her resources as much in one piece as possible.  I now give you my caveat that I have mentioned before:

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

The major problem resulting from an EMP knocking out all of our power will be the nuclear power facilities in the U.S.  Recently Dave Hodges of the Common Sense Show released warnings in an article entitled Trump Told EMP Attack to be Used to Stop the Election,” and you can go to this article to see what the short and long-term effects of an EMP attack would be on nuclear power stations and our electrical grid. Dave Hodges also received letters from some of these individuals – professionals in the nuclear power industry – who warned of testing being done both by DHS and FEMA to assess the effects of a power shutdown on nuclear power facilities.  The article is an excellently-written, very informative read that I highly recommend you to visit to pick up some good information on the fundamentals of how nuclear power plants are cooled and sustained.

After reading the article I conducted some research on my own.  You can visit the website www.nrc.gov/reactors that gives maps of nuclear power stations, courtesy of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The map (interactive) shows the number of reactors in each power station, and tells whether they are in operation or not.  You can also highlight any particular reactor you wish to learn more about, with detailed information such as location, age, and points of contact.  You can scroll even further on this page to find out about any safety violations or accidents in the plant.  There’s also a page with all of the reactors listed alphabetically by name.

There is also another resource for you that can be found when entering in “5 million tons of smoke created by 100 Hiroshima-size nuclear weapons,” in which you can learn information on the consequences of a regional (limited) nuclear war, and other studies that include an all-out nuclear war scenario.  The study was conducted at Rutgers University, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and UCLA.  The results list effects such as estimated casualties, the dropping of the temperature worldwide, climactic changes, and other noteworthy considerations.

The other site is the Cresson Kearney site that details a ton of information on Nuclear War Survival Skills, with a downloadable book that bears that same title.  Kearney’s site also tells you how to build a Kearney Fallout Meter out of simple materials, such as dried gypsum wallboard and aluminum foil, among others.  Now is the time to read up on, print off, and store as much of this material as possible.

Let us not forget: The Internet was “handed off” to ICANN by Obama on October 1, 2016, and we do not know what the effects of this will be.

Prepping essentials

Your preps: Bullets, Beans, and Band-Aids.  Stock up on as much fresh water as you can…enough for your family to have (optimally) at least a two-week supply per family member.  Survey meters (Geiger Counters) are hard to come by these days, but if you can get ahold of one for your family, along with a good Nuk-Alert radiation detector, and a dosimeter for each family member…then by all means, it is worth the cost.  It’s better to have and not need than to need and have not.  Prepare as much as you can while you still have the time.  Keep on rolling and fighting that good fight!

 

JJ

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Residents are Not Taking Hurricane Matthew Seriously

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

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

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

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

Overconfidence Can Kill

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

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

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

Preparation

Supplies

Medical Needs

Communication

Sanitation

Evacuation

Don’t Be Another Statistic

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

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

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

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

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Protect Your Vehicle From an EMP with this Simple Strategy

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roll of wireReadyNutrition Readers, there have been a tremendous number of world happenings that has placed all of us in a precarious situation.  The past several months have seen successive tests of missiles, with a nuclear test as well (Friday 9/9/16) by North Korea.  Iran and North Korea have been exchanging missile technology, supplemented by the Russians with technical advisors and materials.  China, too, has been developing their SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) weaponry at a breakneck pace.

The military doctrine of both North Korea and Iran call for a first-strike against the continental United States using an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) generating warhead.  I wish to pen the caveat that I have been stating in my articles repeatedly for quite some time, now, hoping they will be taken into consideration:

A war would be kicked off with an EMP weapon detonated over the Continental United States, then a nuclear exchange, resulting in a World War.

That being said, there are numerous sites available for study of EMP effects as well as the nuclear threat capabilities of the countries previously mentioned.  Read the briefings of Dr. Peter V. Pry who heads the committee to assess the threat of EMP against the United States.  His writings and testimony before sessions of Congress between 2006 to 2009 are readily available and downloadable from the internet.  He also expounds on the fact that he is certain that North Korea has the capabilities of miniaturizing a warhead to deliver an EMP, and they have already done so.

I recently submitted a piece to SHTFplan.com that details the effects of an EMP on vehicles, as well as some sites to research.  In the interim, what can we do to reduce those effects?  One of the things is a grounding wire, a simple term that we can “complicate” further by expounding on measures (shoebox, field-expedient measures) that you can do…and that I have already done for myself…to give your vehicle a better chance against an EMP.

Micro Circuitry and Computer Chips in Vehicles Will be Problematic in an EMP

Firstly, the majority of the testing done by the government and private companies conclude that most vehicles will be unaffected by the EMP.  I wrote “most,” and the thing that it doesn’t take into consideration is the amount of complex micro circuitry and computer chips that exist in most cars after 1990.  The engine of the vehicle may remain intact; however, computer ignition systems and sensitive microcircuits that control a great deal of a vehicle’s internal functions could be fried instantaneously.  If the engine is fine, but it won’t start because the chip in the ignition is fried, well, the result would answer the question.

One of the possible solutions would be the grounding wire.  For decades all the way up to the present day, 18-wheelers have all utilized grounding wires attached to their frames both to protect from lightning strike and from static electrical discharge when they are delivering flammable cargoes such as fuel to filling stations or heating oil to homes.  It is this principle that you too can follow after, along with a grounding chain, to help protect your vehicle from the EMP.

How to Attach Grounding Wire to Your Vehicle

The grounding wire can be a 9’ -12’ piece of stranded steel cable attached to your rear axle to permit the cable to drag upon the ground when the vehicle is in motion.  This would permit electricity (that always tries to “find its way” to a grounded source, i.e., go into the earth) to pass along the frame and into the cable, that then passes it along to the ground.  Such a steel cable would have to be replaced periodically, as it would tend to fray and wear down.

For when the vehicle is not moving, you could double your chances and affix a grounding chain around the rear axle of your vehicle.  This chain (1/8” thick links, approximately) you would not drag.  By affixing eyehooks (yes, JJ “ruined” the bumper of his vehicle in this manner) to your rear bumper, you can use D-rings (small carabineers) to attach the chain to the bumper when the car is in motion, effectively lifting it off of the ground.  Then when you park your vehicle, unclasp the D-rings, and coil the chain up, and set it on the ground.  Bare earth is preferable, but macadam will work as well.  Do it at night before you go to bed, and during the workday, to give that added protection in the manner that electricity will pass along the grounding wire.

For the point of attachment around the axle, you can use a link that is “broken” and you can close by a screw-thread that is used to close the gap, or place that on the end of the chain and use the quick-release type clasp that is found on the end of a dog’s leash…the part that affixes to the dog’s collar or choker chain-link.  When you’re in motion you’ll have (hopefully) the grounding wire to assure contact between vehicle and road, and when you’re stationary an even better ground.

Is it perfect?  Possibly not, but the point is to give you a fighting chance.  When you buy Drano, it isn’t necessarily because your tub or sink is clogged…yet.  When it does clog, however, the Drano will be there.  Same principle as the one that you Guys and Gals already know, and it’s this one:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Very true, and it’s better to take a swing and not get a hit than to just stand there and let the ball go into the catcher’s mitt.  This is a low-budget method that may just save your car’s electronics and enable you to drive home when the SHTF.  We welcome your questions and comments and look forward to hearing about your experiences in these matters.  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Did You Know That You Can Reload Primers? Here’s How

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shell-casingSeveral months ago I wrote about some of the ways that you can make gunpowder from scratch if society collapses. Those methods were crude and could be used to create a product that doesn’t have as much punch as modern gunpowder, but is effective nonetheless. It’s nice to now that it is possible to create gunpowder in the absence of a modern civilization.

However, there is another component to ammunition that would be far more difficult to create if society fell apart for a long period of time. You can reuse brass and you can make your own gunpowder. A lot of lead can be found in ordinary places in our society, so depending on the firearm, you could cast your own bullets. But you’re going to have a very hard time making your own primers.

That’s because primers contain chemicals that for the vast majority of the population, cannot be sourced locally. Without a functional global economy, or at least a functional national economy, they won’t be made. Until society recovers, you’re stuck with whatever supplies you bought ahead of time. So if you like reloading, make sure you stock up on plenty of primers. It would be wise to have more primers than you think you would need. Even if you don’t get around to using them, primers would no doubt become a hot barter item.

With that said, a backup plan wouldn’t hurt. Though making a primer from scratch would be an incredibly difficult feat for most people, it is possible to reuse and refill primers. Again, the substances you need can’t be sourced from your local environment and won’t be produced anywhere immediately after a societal collapse, but there will be plenty of leftovers lying around in the form of matches.

For instance, the head of a strike anywhere match can be ground up and used to refill a primer (you might be able to do it with ordinary matches as well). Here’s how it’s done:

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

The One Thing You Need To Do Right Now To Prepare For Collapse and Chaos

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collapse(This article is dedicated to my wife, Brenda, who never gives up in a situation or with me)

ReadyNutrition Readers, there have been numerous articles that I have penned regarding home defense and also what to do when you’re either in a rural/suburban or an urban setting pertaining to hunkering down and defending your home and family.  There have been quite a few comments posted and e-mails received that naysay some of the actions suggested, and I will further clarify those suggestions.  Most of the naysayers have said that such actions in an urban setting (such as escaping an apartment building and heading to a predetermined location, such as an abandoned building) are either “unrealistic” or “impossible.”

Food for thought

The reason for such suggestions is this: they are last-ditch attempts, to be made only when there is not another option available.

The purpose for articles such as these posted on this venue is to provide you with ideas to be used as tools and food for thought that may make what most consider impossible to become a real possibility.

How you may either stay in place or, conversely, run for your lives is going to depend on a lot of variables that do not pertain to each and every reader.  Such is because everyone has their own unique situation, family structure, and problems associated with those two factors and the locale in which they reside.  I recently received an e-mail from a reader who will remain anonymous asking specifically what to do in a running situation, that is a situation when running from the home is the only option.

Combat the uncertainties with organization and planning

As you can see and perhaps either understand partially or relate to entirely, there are many who, when faced with the only option (for whatever reason) of having to leave their home, still do not know what to do, where to go, and how to arrive there.  My first piece of advice is this:

Combat the uncertainties by being well-organized and formulating tentative plans as far in advance as you can.

There is another piece of advice I wish to share.  My wife and I have the sixth season of the “Walking Dead” on DVD and we just finished watching it.  She and I like watching it not for the zombies, but for the situations that arise that are very realistic and true to form involving human behavior.  One of the dislikes that she mentioned to me was that there seems to be no end to the amount of mistakes the characters make over and over again, and she becomes tired of these situations arising so many times.  I told her that I understood, and I gave her the same words I’m giving to you, now:

When a SHTF event comes to pass it will take years…perhaps even decades…for society to return to “normal,” if it does so at all.

Consider the fall of the Roman Empire.  The succeeding centuries were not termed the “Dark Ages” for nothing.  It was a time of lawlessness, a time when great kingdoms and small petty ones arose and fell…a time of alliances and broken alliances, a time when robbery, rapine, and slaughter were the norm rather than the exception.  I wrote a book review of a work entitled The Coming Dark Age by Roberto Vacca that emphasizes such a return to lawless times and neo-feudalism, where communities form around a central leader, and where either civilization or barbarity, one or the other are upheld and protected by these communities by force of might, not simply by legislative dictate or philosophical mindset.

An excellent example of such neo-feudal communities can be found in the movie “The Postman,” a post-apocalyptic movie starring Kevin Costner (from the novel by David Brin) in which he encounters many different communities, some organized along lines of a free and voting democracy, and one group in particular run by a warlord whose dictates were enforced quite brutally by his band of fighters.

Eventually, no matter how well-ensconced or remote we are, we may all have to become “nomads” and refugees, living each day as it comes, until we can meet up with like-minded others to form some kind of societal organization.  This is why I continuously recommend “pop-culture” disaster and collapse movies and series for observation…to understand the realities of what we will be facing when the SHTF.

By seeing these situations that are similar to what we will face, we have a better understanding of the way societal collapses occur.  I highly recommend the nonfiction works of Jared Diamond, such as Guns, Germs, and Steel,” The Third Chimpanzee,” and Collapse,” for in-depth studies and analyses that delve into things deeply from a social and anthropological perspective.  The first work characterizes driving forces of disease and warfare, the second is an anthropological treatise on man and his history and nature, and the third takes models of societies that have collapsed and explores the underlying reasons for their downfall.

My final piece of advice regarding these studies: Do not discount what is possible merely because it is improbable.

Has it happened before?  It is written that nothing new is under the sun, and what has happened will happen again, just not remembered from when it happened before, in a nutshell.  How close is it to happening?  What plans do you have in place if you are going to defend where you live, or if you have to run?  Have you examined the types of situations you may face at home or on the run, factors such as marauders, a hostile government, a plague, or an area that has been rendered radioactive?

Study nonfiction to learn what situations have arisen, and study the fiction to see what will arise in the future.  You can best prepare by immersing yourself in study, familiarizing yourself with the situations that can arise, and either as an individual or as a family unit coming up with plans to follow that can smooth things out and enable you to arrive upon a solution.  Prepping needs material and training to work, but also a discipline of the mind, and the realization that our minds need constant study and reinforcement in order to be at our best.  So, do the best you can in the fight, and study what has happened and the possibilities of what is to come in order to better prepare yourself.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Some Basics on Living a Self-Reliant Lifestyle, Part 2

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, we explored some precepts in the first part of this Self-Reliant Lifestyle Series a few weeks ago.  Part 1 covered a major component of such a lifestyle: identifying the needs of your family before you “jump into the water” and begin the lifestyle. This rule holds true in Part 2, as well, and I’ll repeat these major points I wrote in Part 1 that need to be kept in mind:

  1. Self-reliant lifestyles are going to have a different definition for different people.
  1. Self-reliance means you must provide for and take care of each family member’s needs, especially from a medical/caregiver standpoint.
  1. You must correctly assess what your needs are and realistically pursue a course of action to fulfill those needs in order to be self-reliant.
  1. Self-reliance is still going to leave you reliant on someone.
  1. We can return to the basics of living, and do it in a manner that does not inflict severe pain upon ourselves or our family members in the process of doing it.

These things having been mentioned, we can keep them in mind with this piece.  Now comes a time of some important decisions to be made.  There are too many resources on this site alone to tell you how to develop the most self-sufficient cabin and storehouse for all of your supplies.  Miss Tess Pennington has provided a plethora of resources for you to use in the information you will need to make a plan of action for home canning, gardening, and the like.  I have done pieces on survival medicine and for water procurement that you can research on ReadyNutrition’s archives.

Your Homestead/Retreat Should Provide These 9 Essentials

So really, what you need is an outline to go about planning in accordance with your geographical location, family’s special needs, seasons and times of the year, and the developing situation in your immediate location as well as nationally.  This last part, the situation, you can use this phrase to guide you:

            In order to prepare, you must first be aware.

The economy, and federal, state, and local laws are going to affect a great deal of what you do.  In order to camouflage your activities, you must not so much conform, but you must blend in so that your activities are unnoticed.  In this manner your preps are undiscovered by potentially hostile neighbors and you maintain a proper level of OPSEC, or Operational Security.  We’ll go into this more, as we begin our list.

  1. What kind of home/retreat do you have or are planning to have?  How are you going to provide for heat and fuel to do things such as boil water, cook food and can or preserve your foods?  You must take into account how long your growing season lasts, as well as how long the winter is in your locale.
  2. Each person requires about one acre of land to produce food for one year, times two. The “times two” factor involves rotation, because after one year of growing and harvesting, you must have a year that the land lies fallow and can be conditioned (with composting and other methods of fertilization) to be able to produce again the following year.  Micro gardening and terraced gardening along with greenhouses are your solution to this.
  3. Protein. Are you going to raise a whole lot of cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, and other livestock?  Do you have enough forage and arable grazing land to sustain them?  Do you have the capabilities of slaughtering, preserving the meat, and replenishing your stock?  What are your family’s food needs in terms of protein?
  4. Hunting for your protein. Hunting and fishing may play a major part in your family’s sustainment if you are not going to raise livestock, and if you are going to raise it and cannot sustain it with arable land after the SHTF.  Are fish and game abundant in your area, and do you know their seasons and migratory patterns?  All of these questions are “food for thought” in order to help you plan for your family’s food needs.
  5. Solar/Geothermal/Wind/Water. What will be your heat and power sources?  Have you assessed what is within your budget, and how long you will be able to use your system?  Montana is a good example, because solar power goes out the window (literally) at times when there is little sun and a ton of snow and ice that need to be cleared from your panels during the winter months.  Geographical location and severity of the winter are factors that are crucial to determine your plan of action in this regard.
  6. Herb Garden. Do you have an herb garden that is not just for a savory meal, but for medicinal herbs?  This must be grown especially with the needs of any medically-dependent family members with special needs.  Do you have mugwort, Jerusalem artichoke, and juniper that is growing that can be used to make homeopathic solutions for a diabetic in the family?  Do you have Echinacea, oregano, lomatium, garlic, and other herbs for viral and bacterial infections growing in a controlled environment?
  7. Water. This is a biggie, because I outlined a rain catchment system for your use in previous articles.  This is where you have to know all of your existing laws in your locale.  Is it illegal to take the rain?  Well, guess what?  The way around this is to have the system in place and operational but not operating.  When it hits the fan, you probably won’t need to consult with a lawyer, and you can begin to harvest the water.  There needs to be a plan for obtaining water during the summer months and during the winter, because temperature doesn’t change the fact that each person needs 1-2 gallons per day, and don’t forget about any animals that you have, either as pets or as livestock.
  8. Waste. Human and animal waste (with the exception of the latter being cats, as they carry Toxoplasmosis in their stool) can be composted.  Once again, if you live in an area that prohibits such activity, you have to take this into account…and perhaps have a system ready to go at a moment’s notice after the SHTF.  The same for garbage.  It needs to be either recycled (such as aluminum foil, plastic bags, plastic bottles, steel cans) or used as fuel in a woodstove, or if it’s biodegradable then into the compost bin it must go.  The legal consideration exists until the SHTF, so know your local laws.
  9. With whom?  Who can you trust?  This is part of self-sufficiency, because the tenet “No man is an island” holds.  You will be self-sufficient to a point: we are a social creature with needs of interaction with others.  It would behoove you to develop your network of those who are trustworthy now.  I stress one point that may sound mean, but it serves a purpose, that being your survival:  Don’t just link up with people because they’re “nice” people: they have to have either some skill or something they produce that can contribute or be exchanged for your skills or products…or else they’re just a liability…or worse.

Regarding this last statement, I highly recommend watching “The Shelter,” an episode of the old “Twilight Zone” series, where a family builds a bomb shelter, and an air-raid comes about.  Watch the reaction of the neighbors and how things “morph” into a very bad situation indeed.  Having served in some very nasty areas of the world with the military, I have seen firsthand how these situations develop in the blink of an eye, so be forewarned that they can and will occur!

Skills, skills, skills.  You need skills…to develop the ones that already exist, and learn new ones that you don’t yet have.  Gunsmithing.  Can you reload?  Can you fix the firearms that are in need of repair?  Basic Mechanics.  Can you change the brakes on your vehicle?  Change your tires?  Put in a new battery?  Change the fluids?  Put in a new alternator or distributor?

Medicine.  Do you know how to give an IV?  Can you diagnose a life-threatening condition such as ectopic pregnancy?  Can you give CPR?  Do you know how to treat a patient for shock, as well as the injury he or she has sustained.  Herbalism.  Do you know how to dry and tincture herbs?  Do you know how to find herbs (wild-craft) that are medicinal in nature in your own backyard?  Do you know what herbs are nutritious and edible?

I could go on, but the point I’m trying to impress is that in order to live a self-sustained lifestyle, you have to be the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker.  You must be a jack of all trades and a master of all.  You must wear many hats, and assume the role in each hat, and take up another hat when another role comes along that you must fulfill.  In order to be self-sufficient you must prepare.  We had a very good saying that a First Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division used to say all the time that holds true, and it can serve you well here:

            How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.

Very true, and I know I’ve mentioned it before.  It is true, and it is important for us as preppers and survivalists.  In order to live a self-sustained existence, you must prepare, and practice what it is that needs to be done…so that you can actually do it and not just have it stored away in a book or in your files.  Hope this piece helps you to organize, and we welcome any comments or suggestions you may have.  Keep up the good work, and have a great day!

 

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Negotiate Like a Pro With These 5 Powerful Tips

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

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

Fine Tune This Essential Skill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Negotiate Like a Pro

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

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

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

 

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Save Perishable Food In An Off-Grid Emergency

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

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

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

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

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

News: Solar Activity Higher as NASA Claims No Danger

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cmeWe have a major event happening on the sun at the moment.  NASA does not believe there will be a problem…but there may be one, and that is all the clue that one needs at times.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft run and maintained by NASA found a coronal hole, an enormous dark region that is pervasive on the sun’s surface.  A coronal hole is an area of the sun’s “atmosphere” that is characterized by extremely low density, in a nutshell.  They have lowered temperatures in comparison to the rest of the sun, and they present an appearance that is darker than the sun’s surface.

These areas are caused by gaps in the magnetic field of the sun.  NASA has been downplaying this, but this is the statement that is almost a caveat, a complete 180-degree turnaround from their “don’t worry” posture and their lack of any substantial warnings on the matter:

“Coronal holes are the source of a high-speed wind of solar particles the streams off the sun.”    – NASA, July 18, 2016

Doesn’t that remind you of the friendly “Heat Miser/Mister Sun” from “The Year Without a Santa Claus?”  Akin to a “friendly, smiling sun” just blowing some solar particles our way?  I assure you, what NASA described in the highlighted sentence is a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), and it is not some friendly space-dust traveling to earth as a glowing kiss.

On September 1, 1859, scientists and observers noted a discharge from the Sun, and on September 2 that discharge actually hit the earth.  This solar discharge was known