Darwin couple rescued from WA desert. What To Carry With You When Going Bush.

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The Darwin couple were saved from WA’s Gibson Desert. Picture: AAP


Things/Items to carry with you at all times when going bush: (1) A good winch, preferably a hand operated winch. (2) A post hole shovel. This shovel can be used to dig yourself out by creating ramps from the bog. It can also be used to bury your spare wheel to use as an anchor for winching your vehicle out of the bog. (3) Plenty of drinking water. You can survive for up to 3 weeks without food if you are fit, but you can only survive 3 days without water. Hotter conditions and exertion will shorten the time you can survive without water. (4) Food. (5) A 4 litre container of engine oil. (6) Extra fuel. (7) A good medical kit. (8) Tool kit. (9) Wool blankets. My Father always carried a wool rug in his car. This was a carry-over from the days when our cars had no heaters. It is however still relevant, because deserts can get cold at night, and if it is winter it can get cold wherever you are in Australia. (10) A good tyre pump. We have an electric one. If purchasing an electric pump, make sure you get a good one. This is a classic case of “you get what you pay for”! (11) A “snap-strap”. Just in case someone else comes along and is able to pull you out. (12) A high lift jack. We call them “wallaby jacks”.

Survive Water Contamination

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Survive Water Contamination The Big List of Nasty Disasters has a ton of great articles about surviving specific disasters. I really enjoy these and I brought you this one on water contamination and drought. This is one of those disasters that people don’t really get excited about. I wonder how many people were reading articles …

Continue reading »

The post Survive Water Contamination appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Lessons from History – The Importance of Water

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Throughout history, settlements form near water. The largest and most successful settle with plentiful water. There are a number of reasons for that. One, water really is life. We require water for drinking. We also use it for cleaning and laundry. As the human species advanced, we needed additional water for livestock. Then we became stationary, mastered various forms of irrigation, and bred our crops to become more and more dependent on water. Doing so allowed us to reap larger yields of sweeter and more mild crops, but it also tied us inexorably to water systems.

Historically we were further tied to water systems for faster and easier travel and trade, and we eventually turned to it for some of our labor. First with direct-labor systems such as grinding mills, then for the generation of power that could be sent across distances, water made life easier as well as sustaining it.

We are no less tied to water now than the caveman, Viking or European colonist. We just don’t always notice. And because most of North America enjoys easy, low-cost water, we aren’t great about conserving it.

Test Your Water Use

Want to see just how influential water is, and how much we use? Easy enough. Turn off the water at the main for a day. Remember to also tape or turn off faucets so you don’t empty any hot water heaters and end up with problems.

If you’re on a well, use your backup pump system. If you don’t have a backup system, one immune to fire and earthquake and the prepper-minded EMPs, you don’t actually have a water system. Turn it off.

Do it on a standard day. A day you’re not off backpacking, not working on your three-day bare-minimum drill doing a dry camp in the living room or backyard. Really ideally, do it in summer or autumn on the day(s) you’d be watering if you irrigate gardens, and on a day you’re hunting or harvesting some doves, chickens and rabbits.

For less-immersive comparison, just monitor the water gauge. For livestock on a non-metered system, fill containers that can have checks and tally lines added quickly.

Don’t let yourself become complacent or say, “well, that’s just because” to justify the amount of water used. Yes, our grooming standards can go down and change, and we can adopt some laundry methods and clothing treatment from the past that limit our uses more. Eventually, though, hygiene suffers.

If water’s out, something else is regularly going on, from “small” family-sized crises to storms and other disasters that affect the area and region. Roads and doctors may not be available if someone does become ill.

If anything, a crisis is a time to focus more on proper hygiene.

Handwashing, especially, can make a major impact on fecal-oral route infections, which tend to be the root of most of the illnesses laymen call “food poisoning”.

If your hygiene is dependent on wipes, run that test as long as you can to get the best possible average for how many you run through per day. Whatever your backup toilet system is, use that.

Use the data to create a baseline. How much do you use? How long will your stored water last? What seasons can you reasonably count on resupply?

From there, we look for ways to increase our sources and our efficiency in harvesting and using the water we can access.

A Double-Edged Sword

Water is one of the few things we can’t do without, and a functioning stream, river or lake system or even just a marsh can make a huge positive impact on our preparedness. They aren’t without hazards, however.

Flooding is a primary risk, although healthy marsh systems can actually mitigate and minimize floods. Still, the levee systems in the U.S. are aging and Midwest floods aren’t uncommon. Colorado and Tennessee have both had major, devastating disasters due to river- or creek-originated floods.

In a protracted crisis, the hydro dams put in by the Tennessee Valley Authority and in the Northwest are likely to suffer failures, on top of the failures we see washing out roads and creating mudslides and large floods right now.

In addition to those failures, there are mines and factories along our waterways these days. We’ve seen in just the last year what can happen as they fail and toxins leak out. Nuclear plants are routinely along waterways.

Failures combined with flooding can wash those contaminants into our farmlands, cities and suburbs, affecting creeks and wildlife long before and long after we can see the effects.

EPA Accidentally Turns Colorado River Orange With Pollution, Putting Drinking Water At Risk

Livestock are also a contamination risk to both well intakes and streams, just like human waste can already be right here in the U.S. Those risks are even more prevalent in some of the third-world nations that live without our level of basic services. Disease is rampant after earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods due to fecal wastes, and can be expected to go up after a major disaster.

Mosquitoes and the spread of ever increasing and previously “dead” diseases by insects are another risk.

Many of those risks can be limited with site selection and sculpting the land a little, by planting a few things that can help create buffers, predators, and sinks for water and its diseases and pests. An interruption in “easy” water after we’ve become accustomed to it is still the bigger and more likely threat for most of us.

While a gravity-driven well with a pressure-driven cistern would be ideal, not everybody is there. Not every well can either reach or hit the amounts needed for livestock and crop irrigation.

Self-Sufficiency through Streams

 

A moving channel is a fantastic element to site. One aspect to watch for with small systems is that they don’t dry out in summer. Ideally, they won’t even dry up in the 25- and 50-year drought cycles.

Through much of history, moving water has helped us either with direct labor, such as the old mills we can still find here and there, or later by producing power for us to then use however we like.

Running streams, creeks and rivers can also turn water wheels that help us by lifting water into aqueduct systems or into cisterns that will produce enough gravity from water weight to push water further away from the source.

With even a small amount of motion, there are sling pumps capable of moving water for us. Even if a sling pump won’t reach all the way to gardens and livestock, saving us the bend-lift labor of filling buckets and being able to fill a cistern while we move the first load can make an enormous difference.

With greater rates of movement, we can create hydro re-directs to lessen some of our labors and in some cases produce small amounts of energy. We can dam small waterways to increase pressure or create channel- or pipe-based systems to generate power.

In some cases it’s not going to be a lot of electricity, but even the ability to slowly charge electric tools, appliances, and our music and photo devices can be a huge boost.

Slow it, Sink it, Spread it, Store it

In permaculture, there are several “S’s” promoted in regards to water. They simplify the desires to:

  • Catch water for future use
  • Prevent flooding even on the “daily” and seasonal scales, and by doing so prevent erosion and soil hardening via water (runoff, soil compaction)
  • Allow water to infiltrate so roots can access it, and to lift the water table for springs and swale systems
  • Keep chemicals and waste from running across landscapes and polluting our waters or gardens

Catchments are one way we capture water – storing it for later and preventing it from running wasted over the surface of the soil.

Water catchment on a huge scale was and still is used in Australia, with systems similar to water towers and large roof-to-cistern systems both above ground and below ground.

Sheep and cattle stations and small farmers also create nearly lock-style channels to store water for the three- to six-month dry seasons. Those systems can be duplicated in North America depending on local laws.

In places where regulations prohibit such large scale water harvesting or hoarding, it may be possible to obtain permits to put in lakes or ephemeral or permanent pond systems, which can function similarly and have added benefits for homesteads.

On a small scale, water can be stored using systems as complex as we like, or we can go simple and create pyramids or triangles of trickle-over buckets and barrels with no plumbing and just mesh or permeable cloth to prevent mosquito infestations.

Small, shallow swales sequester less, but can prevent damage from rains over years. Larger swales can hold more water, allowing that water a greater amount of time to infiltrate. That water then creates a “lens” beneath the surface of the soil and allows plants a longer period of time to access it.

The slope of the land and the soil type and structure play the biggest roles in the types and sizes of swale systems we put in.

Preexisting vegetation and the type of vegetation we want to put in, if we plan to move livestock through the swale systems and what type of livestock also affects what type of swale system will work best for us.

Reducing Reliance On Systems

We have to have some water, and ideally a constant source. However, even with the best of planning and siting, sometimes we run into droughts or damaged systems. One way to build resiliency to those is to lessen our overall dependence.

Silvopasture over turf can provide forage and fodder even in drought years, and lessen dependence on irrigated grains and delicate pasture and hay. Some silvopasture is coppiced, but most will be either pollarded or selective-drop of large limbs from each tree.

The type and number of livestock and the amount of labor desired affects what style of silvopasture is effective.

Our livestock selection can also lessen dependence.

Ducks tend to be wasteful of water, while with drip waterers, chickens can be highly efficient. Pigs really need a lot of water to gain weight efficiently, and they need regular access to it. Comparatively, dairy and meat goats need a little less access and less total water per pound of produce.

If we veer a little further away from the American norm, camels need less yet, and have traditionally been used for milk, meat and hides and in some cases angora just like llamas.

We can also look into more water efficient breeds from typically dry regions of the world. They may be more expensive as an initial investment and have less-efficient feed-milk-meat ratios, but in a survival situation, the fact that they do survive with little water may make them invaluable.

If we have a fair bit of property, we can also tailor habitat for hunting small game, and focus our water labors on egg and dairy producers.

Hugelkultur beds are another way to limit use and dependence on rainfall and irrigation. Once established, a properly sized and layered hugel bed requires almost no assistance at all. It retains and essentially generates moisture from within.

When we do use water, we can use it as many times as humanly possible instead of letting it run and flow past our fingers.

Gray water systems, using cooled cooking water in gardens or for livestock, and reclaiming runoff from sprouts and sprouted fodder for livestock or re-watering can all help decrease our total draw.

Then there are little things like using a cup of water to rinse while brushing teeth, and having catch basins for washing hands or rinsing produce that then gets used for laundry or put back into the garden systems – at least once, and in some cases, several times.

Water Is Life

We have always been dependent on water as a species, and civilization and modern post-industrial life has made us more so. However, we can look back at history and to some of the underdeveloped nations to find ways that we can harvest and store water against need, and in some cases, use water wheels and even small creeks or lake properties to help us move water or generate a little bit of power.

There are a few tips here. The TPJ article about gardening in droughts has additional lessons from fairly recent history that can be applied to reduce water uses for human and livestock food production, large scale or small, urban or rural.

When we’re ready to delve into long-term disaster planning, water needs to be a focus. Without water, and a backup plan for water, all the rest of our preparations become null and void in a large-scale emergency.

Water can also be dangerous. It’s worth researching the local flood patterns, especially pre-levee system, and looking up the diseases, symptoms and cures common to waterways in third world nations and after disasters.

 

The post Lessons from History – The Importance of Water appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Water from thin air

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Omar Yaghi in Berkeley, and his metal-organic models

Omar Yaghi and his metal-organic models

Scientists have created a device that can literally extract water from the air using solar power.  Solar Water could revolutionise off-grid living which currently requires a natural water source to be viable – even if its just  rain. This device could one day provide personalized water to those in areas affected by chronic drought.

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California Berkeley published their findings in the journal Science on Thursday.

The invention can harvest water from the atmosphere in conditions where relative humidity is as low as 20 percent, which makes it potentially usable in many of the planet`s driest regions.

This is a major breakthrough in the long-standing challenge of harvesting water from the air at low humidity,said Omar Yaghi from Berkeley, who along with colleague Evelyn Wang from MIT created the revolutionary tech.

In order to harvest water, the system uses a specially designed material, a metal organic framework (MOF) designed by Yaghi over 20 years ago. By combining metals like magnesium or aluminium with organic molecules the MOF creates rigid, porous structures ideal for storing liquids and gases.

Essentially the system absorbs and traps air in nanometer sized pores. When sunlight is added, water molecules inside the trapped air get released and condensed into drinkable H2O. Using just 2.2 pounds (997g) of MOF the device can harvest 2.8 litres of water over a 12 hour period.

One vision for the future is to have a solar water device at home running on ambient solar for delivering water that satisfies the needs of a household, Yaghi told Berkeley news.

The ingenious device is not yet ready for commercial production but the scientists have big plans for their technology.

There is a lot of potential for scaling up the amount of water that is being harvested. It is just a matter of further engineering now, expressed Yaghi.

To have solar water running all the time, you could design a system that absorbs the humidity during the night and evolves it during the day, he said. Or design the solar collector to allow for this at a much faster rate, where more air is pushed in. We wanted to demonstrate that if you are cut off somewhere in the desert, you could survive because of this device. A person needs about a Coke can of water per day. That is something one could collect in less than an hour with this system.

There is no other way to do that right now, except by using extra energy. Your electric dehumidifier at home produces very expensive water, he added.

Wang echoed these statements; This solar water device offers a new way to harvest water from air that does not require high relative humidity conditions and is much more energy efficient than other existing technologies, the mechanical engineer said.

With an estimated 1 in 10 people lacking access to clean drinking water and 4 billion people worldwide facing severe water shortages the potential for this technology is huge.

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How To DIY An Emergency Water Bag

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When it comes to survival, water is of utmost importance. The problem with water is that it’s pretty hard (as in heavy and voluminous) to carry it on your person, especially when you’re on the move.

That makes the problem even more difficult: if you don’t have water with you when you’re hiking, walking, riding your bike, or whatever, chances are you’ll get dehydrated, and then you’ll be in a world of hurt. Dehydration is a very serious problem, especially in extreme climates (very hot and very cold), as it sets in quickly and makes your life miserable.

That’s why hydration packs were invented in the first place –keeping your body hydrated at all times is absolutely crucial for staying healthy, especially for elderly folk.

As you get older, your body literally dries out, causing your ligaments and tendons to lose their resistance and flexibility. Staying hydrated if you’re a senior citizen is critical to maintaining optimal health.

Regardless of one’s age, poor hydration leads to dry/itchy skin, which is a pest for women, not to mention constipation, nose bleeds, fatigue, headaches, sinus pressure, sneezing/coughs, urinary tract infections (the body can’t wash out the germs accumulating in the bladder if you don’t drink enough water).

All of these conditions result of toxins accumulating in your body. Also, poor hydration is the main enemy of your immune system and it leads to all sorts of imbalances: pH, nutritional, and chemical.

Chronic dehydration is the main cause of daytime fatigue, which seems to be endemic in our modern society, especially among teenagers who rarely drink water nowadays. They have Gatorade, right?

Overall, we lose 3 quarts of water per day and half of that is through breathing alone. If you have a dynamic/active lifestyle, i.e. you walk a lot or you’re into physical labor. If you jog or you’re a workout aficionado or whatever, you’re playing in a different league.

The simplest way to determine if you’re properly hydrated is to check out the color of your urine. If it’s light yellow, you’re okay; if not, chances are you’re not drinking enough water.

Keep in mind that eating certain foods like carrots, beets, fava beans, or asparagus may turn your urine orange, green, red, or brown and the same goes for certain types of medication.

This preamble brings us to the camelbak idea, an interesting piece of gear that is currently used in various scenarios by both civilians and military forces, basically in every type of strenuous outdoors activity.

Now, the question is: do you want to spend (at least) 40-50 bucks on a water bag or would you rather DIY? I bet you fall in the latter category; that’s why you’re reading this article.

The good news is that you can DIY your own water bag with minimal costs and you’ll end up with a very convenient way to carry half a gallon of water on your person – a nice trick which comes handy during camping trips and what not.

This proven-to-work portable device provides clean fresh water 24/7! 

How to DIY a Water Bag

A CamelBak water bag is basically a fancy looking plastic bladder/reservoir with a straw. That about sums it up.

The hydration capacity ranges from 1.5 to 3 liters (50-100 oz) and it comes with all sorts of bells and whistles you’d expect from a professional piece of gear.

But simply put, what we’re dealing with here is a bladder filled with water with a straw which can cost up to 150 bucks. Paying that kind of money for a plastic bladder is a little bit rich for my taste.

So, the main thing to do to make a DIY water bag is to get yourself a dirt-cheap/free-of-charge bladder, and that’s not very hard if you know where to look for it.

To begin with, there’s a school of thought that says something along these lines: DIY-ing your water bag (the bladder respectively) is not very smart, as most plastics and glues are not food-safe and, after all, you’ll be filling them with water and all that jazz (think BPA).

However, you can still buy a food-grade bladder from a local camping store, but the price may be a deal breaker now and then. The best things in life are free, right?

Project 1

That brings us to the first DIY water bag project. This guy recycles the innards of a Dunkin Donuts Box of Joe. The bladder inside these bad boys is not made of plastic, hence it doesn’t leave that unpleasant taste of plastic, water-hose like, in your water supply. And that’ s because the bladder inside that box is made from Mylar.

In order to prevent the bladder from getting punctured and what not, you may use a dry-bag for protection.

Video first seen on Don Yackel

Project 2

Here is another guy with a pretty cool idea about how to protect the Mylar/plastic bladder from getting punctured.

Spoiler alert: he uses 12 feet of duct tape for creating some sort of armor/outer shell for his water bag.

Video first seen on Snowalker13

Project 3

The second idea is to use  the bladder that can be found in certain types of boxed wine. The bladder can be removed and re-used as a water container.

The bag inside the boxed wine is just as good as the more expensive platypus, not to mention that you’ll end up with 2 liters of wine in the process (if you don’t pick up the box wine from the garbage, like our guy).

Video first seen on 123Homefree

Another interesting idea about how to make a sleeve for your water bag (regardless of what type of bladder you end up with) is to use a large envelope. Just think about those 3M bubble mailers cushioned with plastic.

Now that you know how to make your own water bag, discover how to DIY your own portable device for an endless water supply.

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This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

References:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Camelbak-Unbottle-DIY/

How To Can Water At Home

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We’ve had some questions about canning water and to be honest, I’ve never really given it much thought because I just have bottled water stored, along with purification tablets.

I’m the first to admit that I thought the idea was a little over the top because of the expense and unwieldiness of canning jars, but after researching how to can water at home, I’ve changed my tune a bit, just like I did when I first heard about canning butter.

Don’t Waste Space

After I had a jar of spaghetti sauce fall over in the canner and break because I didn’t have a full canner, I started filling my canner with jars full of water. I’ve always just left the lid off and used it as a place holder, but then I saw the suggestion to boil the water first, then put it in a sterilized jar with a ring and seal and let it process along with whatever I was canning.

Still, I didn’t give this much thought because I didn’t want to waste a good seal on water. But – read on! Somebody suggested re-using an old seal. Obviously, I won’t do this with canned food because I have absolutely no desire to waste the food or risk botulism if the jar doesn’t seal, but if you’re only canning water, does it really matter?

I mean, you can look at it from one of two ways – if you really want it to seal, you can just dump the jar or use it to water plants, or even pop it in the fridge and have a nice cold jar of water to drink later. Nothing at all lost.

How many of us have stored tap water in soda bottles or rainwater in barrels? Storing unsealed water really isn’t any different than that, though I may suggest that you purify it before you drink it just like you would any of your other water if it’s not sealed.

I also found a suggestion that supposedly came from a Mormon lady – when you empty a jar of food, wash and sterilize the jar and seal and re-can water in it. Otherwise, you’re just going to throw away the seal and have an empty jar sitting around. When you look at it that way, it does make sense. The jar’s going to take up the same amount of space whether it’s empty or full.

This proven-to-work portable device provides clean fresh water 24/7! 

Canning  Water by the Book

If you want to ensure that your water is just as safe to drink as your canned foods are to eat, then follow the same procedures. Boil the water for at least 3 minutes – 5 if you live at elevations above 3000 feet – and sterilize your jars and seals. Pour the water into the jars and process in a pressure canner (it’s low-acid like meat and some vegetables) for 20 minutes, leaving at least 1/2 inch headspace.

Now, that being said for safety reasons, I don’t think pressure canning is actually necessary as long as your jars were sterile and your water was boiled because you’re not canning food that can spoil.

This can still be done while you’re canning other foods if you don’t want to just can a batch of water. Or, if you’ve decided that it truly is a waste for all of those jars to be sitting empty, then do a couple of batches.

Everybody in my family loves dill pickles, so I usually buy the gallon jars of them, then turn around and use the jars for pickled eggs later. Either way, I still have extra gallon jars sitting around taking up space because it kills me to throw them away. So, I decided to be bad and re-use the commercial lid that it came with to store water that I’d boiled.

Now that jar is actually being useful instead of sitting on the shelf taking up valuable real estate. I’m seriously liking this idea; it appeals to me on several levels – I’m not wasting jars or lids and filling landfills by throwing them away, my unused jars aren’t wasting valuable space, I have even more water on hand, and it’s free. Color me converted.

Video first seen on 2leelou Preserves

Is Canned Water Sterile?

As long as you boil your water as indicated and sterilize your jars ahead of time, and then follow the processing time that we use to kill germs in everything that we can, then yes, the water will be sterile. Oh, and as long as it seals. Basically, it’s just like any other canned food.

Honestly, I think that processing it may even be a bit overkill as long as the water is boiled and the jars are sterilized, but better safe than sorry. If you’re going to do it, do it right, I guess. Still, I have water stored in well-washed Coke bottles and juice jugs (BPA-free, of course), so I’m not necessarily buying into the whole need for utter sterilization.

One instance that I can think of that would be an excellent reason to store sterilized water? For medical uses such as cleaning wounds. At that point, since infection is going to be such a huge deal if professional medical help and supplies aren’t available, sterile water would be an excellent commodity to have.

How to Revive the Flavor

After water sits in a container for a while it starts to taste flat. This is because it loses its oxygenation. There’s a simple fix – just shake it up or pour it back and forth between two jars. It still may taste a little flat, but it’s perfectly safe to drink.

As with any stored item, I highly suggest recycling it – in this case, every few months. Don’t pour it down the drain, though. Either drink it, make tea with it, or water the plants – do anything with it. It’s still good, and it would be a waste to just pour it out. Yeah, I realize it’s “only” water, but with the way things are going, it’s becoming a finite resource, so get it’s best to get in the habit of not wasting it now rather than later.

As I said, the idea of canning water sounded silly to me when I was first asked about it, but now I can see the value in it, from several different perspectives.

Next time you have extra space in the canner or empty a pickle jar that you intend to save, store some water instead of just wasting space!

Now that you know how to can water, learn how to DIY your own portable device for an endless water supply.

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

DIY Desalination

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desalination, potable, cheap drinking water

Water desalination can be easy AND rewarding

Earth isn’t called the “Blue Planet” for nothing, but the majority is saltwater and therefore not immediately drinkable. Hence we need the desalination process which removes the salt from saline water so we can drink it.

One of the main hurdles living outside the system is having a reliable source of clean, fresh drinking water. There are plenty of desalination projects that cost into the millions of dollars, but how about cheap DIY methods you can do at home?

Desalination can take advantage of evaporation. The dirty or saline water is heated and the water turns to steam, leaving the impurities (salt) behind. All that then needs to be done is capture the steam, condense it and voila clean drinkable water.

 

Below are some videos of easy and cheap methods of making your own DIY desalination devices!

The first is based on a whistling kettle, some pipe, a coolant around said piping and a collection tin – easy peasy!

 

Here is another version of a similar system using a pressure cooker instead – who said they are only good for canning!?

 

If you want to invest in some specific desalination kit, then check out this video which uses the non-electric distiller by Water Wise.

 

No camp fire or stove to hand? No problem! Check out these solar distillers – not exactly top tech, but proves you can capture the power of evaporation really easily. (Ignore the soil eating cat!)

 

And one using a plastic bottle!

Let’s face it we have all wanted to live by a golden beach in a sunny spot at some time in our lives. But with water at a dollar a pop for a 100cl plastic bottle, desalination has a definite cash benefit.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these methods? Let us know in the comments below!

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How to properly (and safely) dehydrate water for long term storage

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dehydrated water

For those of us who live off grid, and others who camp or are just interested in prepping for whatever may come, having a source of clean potable water is high on the list of necessary things. You can easily go out and purchase dehydrated foods of all kinds, these are commercially available, you can also dehydrate as well as can your own foods. But it’s always been a challenge to safely store clean water for drinking, cooking and cleaning, until now.

Someone has finally come up with an easy way to dehydrate AND can water so it can always be ready for you, this takes up much less space than fully hydrated water, if stored properly, it will not go bad, it cannot leak, it weighs practically nothing in the dried state and can be quickly and readily re-hydrated with nothing more than clean pure water.

I found this video with step by step instructions, that was a lifesaver for me, I have always wanted to try this but was afraid I would make a mistake and sicken everyone in my house, possibly even causing death, but this guy really laid it out, step by step, simplifying it so that even I couldn’t mess this up. Now I need to go out and buy more mason jars.
https://youtu.be/toTdiRUC1zk

I couldn’t believe this, for those of you who don’t want to go through the trouble of dehydrating your own water, or like me were afraid of making a mistake in the process, I found a company that sells dehydrated water in #10 cans, these are large enough that several would last one person a week or more (depending on how carefully you metered it out), though probably not recommended you could always add more water to stretch it out and make it last longer.

And for those who want or need a smaller amount, try this.

Now I am wondering about the difference between dehydrated and freeze dried? I suppose you could try freezing some of the dehydrated water just to see if it would convert to freeze dried, I suspect it would store even longer then…

Let me know what you think below in the comments, have you tried this? If so, would you do it again? And do you have any tips & tricks to make this even easier?

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How To Design A Rainwater Collection System For Survival

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Rainwater Collection SystemShould you install a rainwater collection system? The simple answer is yes. Because water is vital.

Hopefully, that’s not news to you. It’s the only resource on Earth that’s guaranteed to hold (or increase) in value during a crisis. Oil, gas and even gold all pale in comparison to the real value of fresh drinking water in a survival situation.

It’s the stuff of all living things. It’s so essential, in fact, that astronomers search for water on other planets more than other chemicals for signs of life.

We wouldn’t exist without our best friend, H2O. Without water, human beings would shrivel up like raisins. We’d die like a plant in a severe drought.

So learning how to collect a sustainable source of drinking water is a vital survival skill.

Honestly, no one cares that you can fell a tree in under 5 minutes? At least not when there’s no water around.

“Big deal” if you can catch, skin and cook a rabbit in under an hour? Food cannot save you from dying of thirst.

In fact, the human body can typically survive three weeks (or more) without food! Mahatma Gandhi survived a full 21 days of total starvation. But three days without hydration and you’ll kick the bucket. Good-bye.

But we tend to take water for granted. Turn on your taps and out pours water. We’ve forgotten (or likely never experienced) true water deprivation. Benjamin Franklin summed it up best with his quote,

Water Well With Ben Franklin Quote

Luckily, there’s an effective method for collecting a source of drinking water. And it comes from the sky. Even though our society depends on tap water, we can still collect rainwater.

Let me ask you a question. What do you think happens when people (or countries) start fighting over the only resource we can’t live without? One word – Violence.

And it will be greater and more devastating than anything we’ve seen from humanity so far and it’s already started. A troubling thought, indeed.

So, it makes sense to set up a rain collection system now more than ever. The water will be fresh and clean – the effort involved is minimal.

When a resource as valuable as water is both free (via rain) and collectible, you take advantage it.

Rainwater Collection Options

Water collection is as old a skill as we’ve ever known – older than fire, even. Of course, as time has gone on, our methods have become less rudimentary and more refined.

We’ve been doing this for hundreds of thousands of years; so, naturally, we’ve gotten pretty good at it.

There are several schools of thought and techniques to approach rainwater collection. Some are Eastern, some are Western, some are good, some are bad, and others are ugly.

But they all tend to revolve around the same core set of principles:

1 – The bigger the surface area, the more water you can collect.
2 – Water that’s collected is transported efficiently.
3 – Water that’s transported gets filtered.

A jerry-rigged system that accomplishes these three principles, is all you need. But we can also do better than that. So I’ve compiled a list of rainwater collection methods.

There are two routes you can take to accomplish efficient rainwater harvesting: build your own or buy one.

1 – Building a Rain Water Collection System

Improvising a Rainwater Harvesting System

With the three principles listed above, you need a large surface area, transportation, and filtration.

I have seen people use tarps to create a funnel for the water, and a bucket at the bottom to catch it in. A setup like this works best if you’re not allowed to tap into your roof for water collection. For instance, if you live in a condominium or an apartment building.

In the wild, broad leaves can also work if you find yourself surrounded by them. It is also possible to open up and hang a rain jacket or rain cover so that it collects and transports the water. Hell, even using saran wrap, unrolled and spread out can work in a pinch.

Building a Stationary, Permanent Rainwater Harvesting System

If you want to create your rainwater collection system at your house, you need supplies. Luckily, your roof, is one of the best collection tools available. They’re a big surface area and funnel rainwater down towards a central location. A roof with gutters takes care of the first principal.

There are many ways to do roof-based rainwater collection; the methods below describe a few.

The Basic “No Extras” Rainwater Collectin System

As with most permanent rain collection set-ups, this one also uses your existing roof and gutters. And this basic setup only requires 1 additional item:

A New Rainwater Barrel (like this one)

Note of Caution: Never reuse an old barrel. Especially if you don’t know what was stored in it in the past. This is life-giving water you may need to consume someday. So the last thing you want to use is a barrel that once held oil or chemicals.

You also should buy a barrel that includes a standard spigot at the bottom, a lid with an opening at the top (with a filter screen) and an overflow port as well. Having these features preinstalled in your barrel will save you a ton of headaches.

Note: You’ll need a garden hose to connect to your spigot if you don’t already own one.

How To Build This Simple Rainwater Collection System

Step 1 –  Measure the height of your rain barrel so you know where to make a cut in your downspout. Ultimately you want to use your existing downspout elbow near the ground and move it up to be just high enough for the barrel to fit under it.

Step 2 – Using a hacksaw cut the gutter.

Step 3 – Relocate your gutter elbow located near the ground up to the freshly cut location.

Step 4 – Once the elbow has been relocated,  place the barrel under the gutter system on a flat surface. You need to barrel to be close enough to the gutter for the water from the elbow to flow into it.

That’s it. You don’t need to make it more complex or difficult than it needs to be. Anyone can do this simple rainwater collection setup.

It’s also preferable to install the barrel on a surface made of concrete or paving stones or gravel. This helps ensure stability since a full 55-gallon rain barrel can weigh nearly 500 lbs (barrel and water weight combined).

If it’s installed on a slope of any kind it can tip over and hurt someone. And if it’s on the bare ground it can sink and make a muddy mess over time.

That’s it. You now have a bonafide method for collecting rainwater right from your roof.

Note of caution: If you live in a climate that receives below freezing temperature in the winter. It’s best to empty your barrel for the season to prevent the water from freezing, expanding, and destroying your barrel.

Building A Complex Collection System

You can expand upon this basic rainwater collection system and make it larger and more complex.

If you want to increase the amount of survival water storage you have 2 options.

1 – One Large Tank

The first option is to get a larger barrel, tank, or cistern. Note, the bigger your tank, the more likely you’ll have to reconfigure your gutters in order to divert the water to the larger barrels.

I’ve seen people use old hot tubs or large plastic tanks to collect rainwater. In some cases, you may prefer to build a separate roofing system just to collect the rainwater into such a large tank. The principles are the same, it’s just a larger system.

2 – Several Smaller Barrel’s Tied Together

Or if you’re not into going large with a massive tank right way, you have the option to grow your system over time. You can daisy chain smaller 55-gallon sized barrels together. This setup, when installed correctly will add extra water capacity by distributing the water storage into more tanks.

What I like best about this approach is you can start today with a reasonable upfront investment and grow your system barrel by barrel over time. It’s a win-win.

You can then add as many separate barrels linked together with hoses as you wish. Here’s an excellent explanation of how a daisy chained rainwater collection system should work.

Did you notice the better collection systems are up on a platform? That’s to provide a nice level surface, to keep the barrels clean and dry, and to provide a bit more water pressure at the base of the tank using gravity.

So consider buying or building an elevated platform. You can do this with a few cinder blocks or build a platform out of wood.

Adding A Pump

Another upgrade worth considering is to add a submersible pump. A pump gives you water pressure without depending on gravity. So you can use your water at further locations or even pipe the collected rainwater to a new location (even to inside your home).

Water Pillow Rainwater Collection Option

The last option we’ll look at today is a rainwater pillow. This pillow is the equivalent water storage of about 10 55-gallon barrels. So instead of daisy chaining 13 barrels together, you can use one water pillow (assuming you have a good place to locate it).

Keep in mind you’ll want to filter and purify any rainwater from your roof. Roofs are not clean. They collect bird and squirrel droppings, road dust settles on them during long periods without rain, and leaf debris built up on them as well.

So always filter and purify the water if you intend to use any of it for cooking or consumption. Check out our recommend water resources for more information.

Mosquito Management

Mosquitos breed like crazy in open stagnate water. That’s why you should pick up a few packs of Mosquito dunks to prevent creating a mosquito infestation haven. Your neighbors will appreciate it.

“Done For You” Rain Harvesting System

Having an entire rainwater collection system installed for you is a budgetary decision. How much time and money do you want to spend on your rainwater collector? If you want to save a few bucks and invest a little more heavily in time, you should build your own.

However, if you have the cash to burn and no time to spare, buying one is a better option for you. Plus, it ensures your collecting and filtering your water in an efficient manner. Normally, there’s less chance for error with a done for you installation. But you still have the responsibility of maintaining it .

Many vendors specialize in rainwater harvesting systems and most provide a variety of setups. So you’ll have to weigh your options and decide what’s best for you.

Start by asking a few fundamental questions:

  • How much water do you use?
  • How much water usage do you want to replace?
  • How much and how often does it rain in your area?
  • How much money do you have to spend?
  • What are you going to use the water for?

You’ll need to contact a local rainwater harvesting vendor in your area. Then see what options they have for you.

The Legality Of Harvesting Rainwater

Myths abound surrounding the legality of rainwater collection in the US.

I’ve heard it said it’s illegal almost everywhere. This statement is ill-informed and ludicrous to me because well…it is. Collecting rainwater is legal in most states. However, each state has their own nuances and specific rules around the collection of rainwater.

So, of course, you should check the legality in your state. But in general, it’s a legal thing to do.

In my opinion, collecting rainwater should be a human right – and it should stay that way.

However, there’s no telling the kinds of restrictive policies government’s may put in place in the future. Perhaps someday, our government will start enforcing stricter policies on collecting rainwater. And that would be a shame and unacceptable.

No one owns the rain.

It comes from above and every generation across time has had free and unadulterated access to it. If the powers that be ever threaten this precious resource, we the people should do something about it.

Until then, feel free to collect rainwater on your property as you wish. But keep a watchful eye on your state’s policies and laws, and those of your municipality.

BONUS: But What If There’s No Rain?

It’s a good question. Rain collection does not work without they key ingredient; rain. So we can simply call this section “water collection.”

Obviously, digging is one way to find water. It depends on the location, season, and recent weather. But if you dig deep enough, you’ll get to water eventually just about anywhere. Some area’s the water table is very shallow (a few feet deep) while other areas you’ll have to dig hundreds of feet deep.

So the viability of this option is location dependent.

Morning dew is also an option.

You can collect natural humidity called dew off vegetation in the mornings. In some locations, dew blankets the grass in the mornings. That’s what you’re going to try and collect.

The Final Word

Think about this: in an apocalypse, the resource that will matter most is clean, fresh, water.

So it may become one of the most tradable items on Earth. I wouldn’t be surprised if the economy were someday restructured around water.

Should that be the case, it makes sense to invest in a rainwater collection system today. One that produces and regenerates drinking water on a sustainable basis.

Rainwater collection is like life insurance. Because water is necessary and without it, you die.

A rainwater collection system ensures you have a built-in supply of rainwater. It can mean the difference between life and death.

The bottom line is you’re not totally ready, and you’re not fully prepared without having a rainwater harvesting system in place. It will be worth it in the end, trust me.

Will Brendza

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6 Hot Springs you must visit

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Hot Springs, off-grid, water, solar, geothermal, retreat, off the beaten track

Fancy a dip?

Hot springs offer much-needed peace, quiet and relaxation. The naturally occurring, geothermally heated bliss provided in beautiful surroundings is second to none. Plus, if you don’t want to be in a more developed hot spring spa, there are plenty of options to exploreoff-the-beaten-track . Here are 6 off-grid hot springs you definitely need to visit!

If you want off the beaten track then try:

Ringbolt Hot Springs – Arizona

Located in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, this set of pools is visited by thousands of people per year. A 6 mile round trail takes you up through a dramatic volcanic canyon, south of the Hoover Dam. Volcanic rock and granite boulders litter the landscape and lead you to a spot just downstream of the Ringbolt Rapids. After climbing a 20 foot ladder to access the best springs you can bathe to your heart’s content. Directly at the source of the springs the water is the warmest, reaching up to 110°F. The highly mineralized water spews out of the source at approximately 30 gallons per minute! The strenuous hike takes approximately 5 hours to complete (excluding time spent bathing in those beautiful springs) and is closed during the summer months due to it being hazardous because of high temperatures.

Read this couple’s experience of trekking and camping in the area. Alternatively, watch this father and son duo take the trail up through the canyon and reach their destination:

 

Steep Ravine Hot Springs – California

These hot springs are rather unique, trading mountainous vistas for a beach front! The warm water seeps up through the sand at the Steep Ravine Beach in Marin County. These springs are quite a phenomenon, only being exposed for a couple of hours a day. Therefore, it is important to consult a Californian Tide Chart and opt for a minus tide, to avoid disappointment. However, due to the very slight window in the day in which the springs can be accessed it can get rather busy! It’s worth it though, even just to paddle in these warm waters.

 

Goldbug Hot Springs – Idaho

Between the small towns of Salmon and Challis, high up in the desert, lies a chain of six waterfall fed pools. These small but perfectly formed features are accessed by a very up-hill 2 mile hike. The trail offers little shade for respite and the majority of the climb is done in the last quarter of the trek. The pools are a definite reward after that steep incline! Water temperature varies depending on the time of year, so don’t dive in (literally) until you’ve judged the temperature with a hand or foot first! Be warned clothing is optional at the pools, so don’t be surprised if you see some not entirely clothed hikers in the area.

For other hot springs in Idaho, check this out.

 

If you want a bit of luxury, then visit:

Wilbur Hot Springs – California

This is an off-grid sanctuary, providing a natural digital detox from the very on-grid, tech-loving world. The solar-powered resort is set in the heart of a 1,800 acre nature preserve, and it has its own hot mineral springs. The geothermal water contains 3 ounces of dissolved minerals per gallon and is undiluted, untreated and unheated. This is a true relaxation haven with massage treatments and yoga sessions also available. You can take a day trip, or camping grounds, cabins and a solar lodge are all available, giving the option to extend your stay.

Watch this video to get your first impressions of Wilbur Hot Springs:

 

Strawberry Park Hot Springs – Colorado

Up a winding track a few miles out of Steamboat springs, lies this beautiful off-grid retreat. No big signs point to its location and during the winter only big 4x4s are allowed up dirt road. Alternatively, the springs can be reached via a 3 mile trail through the surrounding national forest. This has a real off-the-beaten-track feel. Several large soaking pools with warm to rather hot waters are available next to a cold creek for some cooling off. During the day the springs are family friendly, however during the evening an optional clothes policy means adults only! The resort is currently working on replacing their solar panels, batteries and controllers to keep their off-grid status.

Watch the video below to get a feel of Strawberry Park Hot Springs:

 

Breitenbush Hot Springs – Oregon

Last but not least, is the remote forest sanctuary named Breitenbush. In 154 acres of beautiful landscape including a glacier fed river, an ancient forest and mountains on the horizon, sanctuary really is the right word. Three natural pools with smooth river rocks allow you to sit back and take in the beautiful landscape. Temperatures range from warm to very hot, with a cool plunge pool available to cool off. Powered by hydroelectric from the nearby Breitenbush River and heated by the geothermal water, this sanctuary is entirely off-grid. Hiking throughout the surrounding landscape, massage treatments and several “Well-Being” programs are also available.

 

Have you visited any of these places or been to other hot springs not mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!

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Is Your Clean Water Really Clean

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Is Your Clean Water Really Clean This article is a stirring look at the idea of clean water. It takes a look at several common ways that we clean water both at home and on the trail. Its an exciting topic because we all want to believe that our water filtering method offers us the …

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How to make an Emergency Water Filter

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How to make an Emergency Water Filter The bio filter is a powerful tool in your survival kit. We all know the importance of being able to filter water. Cleansing water is such an important part of any survival situation. No matter how good you are at building shelters or making fires, if you drink …

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Is Your Home SHTF Ready?

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Is Your Home SHTF Ready? Host: Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps “ Audio in player below! Is your home SHTF ready? We will find this out and perhaps give you a few ideas of what you could do or expect if you’re not “Home Ready”. With the growing threat of everyday random violence even the best … Continue reading Is Your Home SHTF Ready?

The post Is Your Home SHTF Ready? appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

10 Steps To Plan And Install A Solar Well

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In spite of their limitations, well planned solar systems can partially or completely remove you from the grid.

One such system is a dedicated solar well. A solar well can be used to supply water for your home or for your livestock. In fact, solar wells are a great choice for providing water to livestock […]

The post 10 Steps To Plan And Install A Solar Well appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.

6 Steps to Harvesting and Drinking Rainwater

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Every drop of water you’ve ever drunk, swam in, bathed in, or watered your plants with was once a drop of rain falling from a cloud. Of course, those drops of water were probably purified at your local water treatment plant. But what if the treatment plant shuts down due to a major disaster? Is […]

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How To Store Tap Water For Survival

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How To Store Tap Water For Survival

You turn on the faucet and there it is: as much water as you could possibly want. But then, as a prepper, you think, “What about the day when I turn it on and nothing comes out?”

Many people buy bottled water for their stockpile, and that’s fine, but you can also store tap water for survival and it won’t cost you a dime beyond your monthly water bill, if you have one.

There are some precautions that you need to take, but otherwise, turn on the tap, fill your containers, and store away!

Use Clean Containers

Even a few bacteria will quickly travel and multiply in room temperature water. That’s why they say to turn the sink in a public bathroom on and off with a towel. Even if you’re the only one who drank out of the bottle, the contents of the bottle can spoil and contaminate the tap water stored in it and make it undrinkable.

To avoid this, run the containers through the dishwasher using the hot water cycle, or clean them with hot soapy water just like you do your canning jars. It’s important to use containers that are easy to clean and don’t have little nooks and crannies that can harbor bacteria.

This proven-to-work portable device which provides clean fresh water 24/7! 

Containers to Store Tap Water

It’s important to choose the right container to store your water in. Some people use milk jugs but I wouldn’t recommend it for a number of reasons. They’re relatively flimsy, which makes them easy to puncture.

They’re also difficult to get clean because of the narrow handle. The lids nowadays often pop off. You don’t want a container that’s going to easily leak, and milk jugs are just a flood waiting to happen.

Some containers that are good for storing water include 1- and 2-liter soda bottles, juice jugs, and, if you want to store a larger quantity, 5-gallon food-grade buckets are great. They’re sturdy and stackable. You can also buy the sturdy camping water containers at your local superstore. They’re a bit expensive, but they’ll hold water for years.

Glass containers are always a good option too, though they’re heavy and breakable.

Make sure that all of your plastic containers are BPA-free so that no chemicals will leech into your water. Using opaque containers is good too, because direct sunlight will cause algae and the like to grow, just in case there are any spores at all in your water.

Video first seen on NoBudgetHomestead

Store Your Water in a Cool Location Out of the Sunlight

Sunlight promotes the growth of pathogens, so store your jugs out of direct sunlight. Sun also breaks down some plastic containers, which is why it’s important to use BPA-free containers. Also, hot water takes up more space than cool water, so you may have a problem with your containers swelling and leaking – especially if you’re a die-hard believer in milk jugs.

Remember that even if your containers are clean when you put the water in them, they’re not sealed so pathogens can still get in.

Add a Few Drops of Bleach

If you have city water, your water already has chlorine in it that kills pathogens and prohibits the growth of more. If you have well water, you may want to add a few drops of bleach to serve the same purpose. To be more exact, add 2 drops of bleach per quart of water to kill pathogens.

You may be thinking, “Why do I have to worry about this if my containers are clean when I put the water in it?” Well, there are a couple of reasons. Even if your containers are completely sterile when you fill them, they’re probably not completely air-tight, which means that pathogens can still find a way in.

A few drops of bleach will make it a very bad day for any germs that happen to choose your container!

That being said, if the container isn’t airtight, the chlorine will break down and leave it vulnerable to bacteria, which leads us to our next subject.

Rotate

Water doesn’t go bad, but it can get slightly acidic after a while. That’s because a minuscule percentage of it chemically changes to carbonic acid when it’s exposed to air. This makes it a prime breeding ground for bacteria. Considering that and the fact that bleach or chlorine breaks down, you should probably rotate tap water every six months or so.

This isn’t necessary for commercial water because it’s sealed, but it’s still a good idea to use the FIFO (First In, First Out) method, if for no other reason than to keep in practice.

There used to be expiration dates on commercially bottled water, but the CDC lifted the requirement due to lack of evidence that water goes bad. Remember though, that this water is sealed so that air can’t get in it, and the water and container are both sterile when the water goes in. That’s not the case with tap water.

Empty, clean, and refill your tap water containers at least every six months. Use the water that you’re dumping as grey water to water your plants or whatever.

Make Ice

If you have the room in an extra freezer, store some of your water in there. Frozen water bottles will help keep your frozen food cold longer if you lose power. They’re also great to toss in a cooler in place of messy loose ice, and if you’re heading to the gym or hiking, or anywhere really, a bottle of ice will melt so that you have nice cold water for a few hours instead of drinking it warm.

If you use the small bottles, they’re also great for ice packs.

Store in Different Sizes

You may have noticed that I’ve mentioned different size options for your bottles. Why choose just one? You can store large quantities of water (i.e. 5 gallons) for use by the entire family for a day, then store gallons to have on hand to use for cooking or personal use throughout the day, and store individual servings such as water bottles to carry with you on your person.

Having water stored in 5-gallon buckets or 55-gallon drums is great if you’re staying in, but what about if you have to bug out? That’s a danged heavy thing to tote around. Also, that many large water containers will be tough to keep inside and tough to hide outside.

Storing tap water is a perfectly reasonable, safe, cheap way to prepare for disaster. As long as you store it properly and rotate it, there’s no reason why it isn’t every bit as safe as store-bought water. Between it and rainwater, which we show you here how to collect, you can store as much water as you need to survive for at least a while.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

10 Best Survival Skills for Natural Calamities

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Tomorrow is never certain.  We never know when there might be a dissonance which can disrupt the comfortable nature we are used to on a daily basis. There are many different emergency events which some people prepare for but, unfortunately, most of us tend to ignore. At some point in our lives, we will have

Are You Drinking Radioactive Water

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radiation_water_faucets

water_chernobyl_ruins_radiationWhether around the world or in small town America, there seems to be an undeniable truth in that any news of detectable radioactivity discovered in drinking water will be 1) suppressed and 2) the quantity of radioactivity will be underreported when the news does go public. From Chernobyl to Fukushima, and especially to Texas, the story is the same. The following video, A matter of Risk: Radiation, drinking water, and deception, chronicles the poor drinking water conditions in central Texas.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

Disturbingly, there is an enormous amount of evidence to suggest central Texas water supplies have been compromised by radioactive contamination. What’s almost as disturbing: Texas officials have been slow to respond to the crisis. In some instances, the actions of officials seem to be negligent.

A matter of risk: Radiation, drinking water and deception . from Keith Tomshe.

The particular type of radiation of concern here is called ionizing radiation. Ionizing or charged particle radiation is different from sunlight that has commonly understood radiation such as ultraviolet and infrared radiation. The sun is often pointed at as a source of safe radiation in order to muddy the contaminated waters by those who have a selfish interest in underreporting the risks of radiation.

250px-Alpha_Decay.svgThe radioactive contaminants that we are concerned about in water are mostly alpha and beta particles. Alpha particles are from radioactive decay where essentially a helium 4 nuclei is released. Alpha particles are relatively large consisting of two protons and two neutrons but can only travel an inch or two in air. Paper can block alpha particles as can dry skin. Unfortunately if alpha particles are ingested or contact mucus membranes, they make a real mess of things especially cells and DNA.

Beta particles, on the other hand, are smaller than alpha particles and are either an electron or positron. The smaller mass of the beta particle allows it to travel further from the source, up to a few yards in air. Beta particles zip right through skin and a few sheets of paper, but can be blocked by thick plastic. However, the main risks from beta particles are from when they are ingested.

Yea, but…

lead_water_infrastructrure_jackson_flintThere are many natural sources of radiation in water, and groundwater sources are often more at risk than surface sources like reservoirs. There are also plenty of man-made sources and actions that increase the natural amounts of dangerous radiation in drinking water supplies. What makes this go from bad to worse is that the presence and quantity of radioactive materials in water are often either not measured in the first place, averaged over time or a cluster of wells, or wildly underreported through statistical and legal gymnastics. The bottomline is that the science does not lie, but the sources of the science can manipulate and withhold the facts when it suits them. And history has shown us over and over that it suits them.

Read Also: Lead in Your Water

Bone-seeking radioactive particles are no joke. They are cumulative and do cause cancer. There is no safe minimum consumption or exposure limit for them, and you absolutely cannot trust a government agency to monitor water systems for radioactive concentrations or even notify you if they are detected.  Even worse, if you are informed that there is a problem, it is very likely a long-standing issue and what you are told is most certainly underestimated. In fact I would bet that any reported level of contaminant in a water system that is barely under the threshold of concern is a fake number. There are statistical tricks and legal parkour maneuvers that provide any necessary adjustment to avoid expensive fixes in the name of public safety.

Sound the Alarm

It has been demonstrated many times over decades and continents that radioactive contamination in the water supply will be unreported, underreported, or downplayed. So it is up to the drinker of water to be vigilant and take precautions when necessary. And that’s you.

Geiger_counterWhile there are 10-minute tests for other water contaminants like lead, testing for radioactivity takes a special piece of equipment as well as a deeper understanding of what the results mean. In fact, the geiger counter comes in handy to test your water filter, if you have one and know how to use it. But sadly if you do detect radiation yourself, your life just changed; both inside and out.

Related: Epic Water vs Brita Slim

Most traditional water filters are limited in their capabilities to handle radiation. But some are better than others. Since water itself does not become radioactive, the radioactive particles can be filtered out similar to other contaminants. But unlike a clogged filter filled with sediments, metals, and parasites, a filter filled with radioactive particles is itself now, to put it bluntly, a component that could be in a dirty bomb.

Activated carbon can remove a common radioactive element found in water namely iodine-131. But when the load capacity of the filter is reached, you might not know it. It seems the best bet for the consumer is a combination of active charcoal and a reverse osmosis filter like the Epic Pitcher.

In the News

Water_Radiation_hotspot_JapanOne would go crazy worrying about invisible radiation in water given the amount we need to consume, cook with, and let flow across our skin every day. But there are indications when worry might be more necessary. Such as when there is a nuclear event in the news. Fukushima was a big one, but provided a test not unlike when a volcano spews ash and we can see how much lands and where. Globally, radioactive fallout from Fukushima was detected everywhere one looked. And even right here under my Big Sky. In this article from The Japan Times it is clear that the Fukushima situation is far from over. In fact the February 2017 article states the radiation level in reactor 2 has reached its highest radiation level since core meltdown in 2011.

So even if you have no immediate concern about radiation, you should have a plan and the supplies to act on that plan.

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SURVIVAL TREES: BASSWOOD – Amazing survival resources from the Basswood Tree

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As spring quickly approaches, I’d thought I share with you why the BASSWOOD tree is one of my favorite Survival Trees!

Introduction

Trees can provide a survivor with elements from all four core survival priorities:  Shelter, Water, Fire and Food.  Trees can be used for warmth, hydration, food, tools, and self-defense.  It’s crazy to think that one can use a tree to start a fire, take shelter under it, and then find themselves able to eat and drink from it.  Trees provide an immeasurable number of materials essential to survival, and studying the different species, as well as what they offer, is a worthwhile endeavor that will pay major survival dividends time and time again.

This article is an except from my much more extensive POCKET FIELD GUIDE titled SURVIVAL TREES that will ship (autographed) in the APRIL FORAGER EDITION APOCABOX.  Each tree is accompanied with illustrated drawings of its leaves and (on occasion) other identifying features, such as fruits, nuts, barks, or buds.  The guide (nor this article) is not designed or intended to be a tree identification guide. Rather, it should act as a supplement to other guides on the subject, offering survival specific information and insight that typically is not covered (or even mentioned) in the average identification guide.  

The use of each tree type is broken down into some or all (if applicable) of the following five survival categories: Shelter, Water, Fire, Food, and Tools & Miscellaneous.  The information contained in these categories has taken me nearly two decades to compile, learn, and test.  Yet, I am sure there are still uses and resources for each tree that I do not know.  It is my hope that this article deepens your knowledge and appreciation for the amazing BASSWOOD tree.

Basswood (American Linden) : Tilia americana

The American Linden, or Basswood, is one of my favorite survival trees.  Not only is it entirely edible, but the Basswood also provides a surprising number of other survival resources.  In Britain, this species is often referred to as the Lime Tree, though it is not the source of the lime fruit.

Shelter

The Basswood tree is not a particularly good tree for shelter.  However, mature Basswoods are notorious for sending up a slew of smaller sucker Basswood trees from their base.  This is one way I am able to identify Basswoods in the winter when their leaves are gone.  These sucker trees are usually very straight, tall, and easy to harvest.  Although not very strong, like oak or maple, they still make great shelter poles if fallen branches aren’t available.  Basswood is a very soft wood and a favorite among wood carvers. Even 2-3” diameter saplings can be cut easily with just a knife.  Consider this option before spending significant calories on a tree of a different variety.

Water 

Basswood trees can be tapped just as a Maple can be tapped.  Although not nearly as high in sugar content and not worth boiling down for a sweet syrup, Basswood sap is incredibly refreshing and is one of the fastest sap trees I’ve ever tapped.  Young sucker trees, as well as 1st season growth on branches (1/2” in diameter or smaller), can provide a survivor with a very functional spile.  The centers of these two are very pithy and can quickly be reamed out with a wire or a thin branch with a sharpened point. I’ve used many a Basswood spile while gathering drinking sap from Basswoods, Maples, and Birches.  Friends of mine who make tobacco pipes will often use a young basswood sucker for the tube because of its hollow nature.

The Basswood is also a sign that you are probably near water, as they prefer moist, water-rich environments.  If you’ve found a Basswood tree, keep looking because there is likely a water source close by.  

Fire

Basswood is not a great wood for extended warmth and heat, but it is without question my favorite wood to use for friction fire kits such as Bow Drill and even Hand Drill.  Basswood, especially sucker trees and 1st year growth branch wood, is the perfect consistency for friction fire lighting.  The light-weight, porous wood generates a nice hot ember very quickly.  Sucker trees at the base of mature trees are my favorite for this, but fallen limbs and branches will work just fine as well.  Regardless, it is one of the softest woods available.  When available, I use Basswood to make both the hearth-board and spindle for my Bow Drill fire kits (see POCKET FIELD GUIDE:  Master the Bow Drill).

Food

Young Basswood leaves are my favorite wild edible green.  I eat a basswood leaf salad at least two times a week from March-May.  When their flowers are in bloom, I will add them to the salad, as they are edible too.  The leaves are very mucilaginous and may pose a texture issue for some.  While edible all throughout the summer, Basswood leaves are best when young and smaller than a silver dollar.  I also like to steep 10 or so flowers in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes to make a fragrant tea that I very much enjoy.

The seeds of the Basswood are edible as well, though, they are time consuming to collect.  They dangle from underneath the leaves in small clusters and are attached to a tongue-shaped bract.  The hard, outer shell must be cracked away to access the edible seed. I simply do this inside my mouth and spit out the hull, although I’ve been known to chew it up on occasion.  When green, before the hull turns hard and brown, these can be ground into a paste or added to soups and stews.  Basswood seeds, leaves, and flowers can all be added to soups and stews.

The inner bark of Basswood (the whitish layers between the rough outer bark and the solid wood) is edible as well and has a very refreshing texture and flavor.  It reminds me of cucumber.  It can be scraped away in handfuls and eaten raw or boiled to break it up and soften it for chewing and digesting.

Basswood leaves can get quite large and make perfect natural tin foil for baking meals in earthen pits or in the coals of a fire.  Wrap food in at least 5-6 layers of green leaves and tie with the peeled bark from young basswood suckers or branches.

An old-timer once told me that he heard of families in the Great Depression who added basswood sawdust to bread-mix as a filler to make rations last longer.  The wood is not poisonous, so it’s something to at least file away in your brain.

Tools & Miscellaneous

As mentioned previously, the hollow tubes from basswood suckers and young branches have many uses.  Some of these include: 

  •        Spiles for tapping trees
  •         Drinking straws
  •         Blowing tubes for making coal-burned containers
  •         Smoking pipes (not necessary for survival but interesting nonetheless)
  •         Trap systems that require a hollow tube (yes, there are some)
  •         Bobbers/floats for fishing

Basswood is a very soft, nonpoisonous wood and makes an excellent medium for a variety of cooking utensils including spoons, ladles, forks, chopsticks, stirring sticks, and spatulas.  Most of these can be carved with just a knife in very little time and with little effort.  Using basswood for such tools also reduces wear and tear on your knife blade.  Due to their fast and straight growth, basswood sucker saplings also make excellent quick and dirty arrows for bow and arrow or atlatl.  They are lightweight, have few branches, and very easy to fire or heat straighten.

By far the most incredible resource the Basswood tree provides is cordage.  That name “BASS”wood is actually derived from the word BAST, which means plant fiber.  The inner bark of the Basswood tree is one of the most easily accessible fibers I’ve ever gathered from the wild.  It is best gathered when the sap is running heavy during the spring months.  With saplings that are 3” in diameter or smaller, the tree can be scored from left to right.  A knife can be used to pick at the score line and once a piece large enough to grab is available, entire strips that are many feet in length can be pulled from the sapling.  If care is taken, saplings can be cut down and the entire sheath of outer and inner bark can be removed in one piece by carefully peeling from the bottom.  Pounding the bark with a wooden mallet (metal will damage the inner bark fibers) will help it to loosen and will be necessary to process trees much larger than 3” in diameter.  I’ve seen sheets of bark pulled from basswood trees (with many hours of careful peeling and pounding) as large as 2 feet wide by 15 feet tall.

The inner bark fibers, just beneath the rough outer bark, can be processed into cordage that can be used to make nets, clothing, baskets, traps, or any other accoutrement necessary for survival.  On the younger saplings with a thin layer of outer bark, the freshly peeled strips of bark can be used right away as crude cordage for shelter building or rough bindings.  In my courses, I’ve seen two adult men pull on opposite sides of a 2” strip of basswood bark and not be able to break it.

For a finer, more pliable cordage, the bark must be soaked (called retting) in water for at least a couple weeks.  The rotting process loosens the inner bark fibers from the outer bark.  It can then be easily pulled away in long ribbons that can be used as is or stripped down into thinner cordage.  The soaking can be done in a container or at the bank of a pond and river.  This process of retting works for many varieties of trees including, Walnut, Willow, Tulip Poplar and Cottonwood to name a few.

Because Basswood bark can be removed in large chunks from the tree (typically during spring months only), it is an excellent candidate for crafting bark containers.  Below is a basic pattern for making a seamless bark container.  The dashed lines represent fold lines.  

 

Conclusion

If you’re like me and like to learn how to glean food and resources from trees and plants, consider subscribing to the APRIL APOCABOX called the FORAGER EDITION.  It is all about foraging and includes an exclusive signed copy of my POCKET FIELD GUIDE titled SURVIVAL TREES where I detailed the survival uses for many more incredible trees on the forest.  To subscribe to the FORAGER APOCABOX, CLICK HERE:  http://www.myapocabox.com

For more of my Pocket Field Guides, please visit my Amazon.com page at: https://www.amazon.com/Creek-Stewart/e/B0076LIRK6/

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

CR///EK

Ferrocement Water Storage for $150

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Ancient wisdom assists new ways of living

Reliable water storage is one of the keys to successful off-grid living – Water is the essence of life and the prerequisite for any land development. But water is very heavy, so needs a strong container. It is very valuable when there is a shortage, so needs a durable container. And water is very dangerous when contaminated – so it needs a safe container.

Ferrocement tanks constructed using wire-reinforced cement-mortar are used in several parts of the world for domestic, irrigation, stock, and industrial purposes. It is a long-established technology for storage tanks for grain or water. The benefits of ferrocement water storage are:

· Can be used for building big water tanks, that cannot be made from shops because of transportation difficulties
· Durable
· Perfect for rainwater collection and big storage in arid areas

Health

And building two chambers inside the tank, with a channel between them, allows the water to move as a result of expansion and contraction due to temperature change, thereby ensuring the water never becomes stagnant.

The dual chamber design is only used in larger structures on 10000 litres or more

Strength

The steel reinforcement normally uses straight fencing wire while making a cylindrical framework, or wire mesh. The materials mentioned here are only one alternative, but they are closer to ferrocement compared to the normal reinforced concrete.

The wires give loads through the mortar which stops them from concentrating in weakness planes that would lead to reinforced material failure. The direct wire reinforcement is is a lot cheaper compared to the weight of a woven wire and it is easy to wrap around the small diameter cylindrical form, for example.

Building style

These ferrocement water tanks are built by hand trowelling a cement mortar onto a wire mesh to come up with oblong or cylindrical tanks that have thin walls. Thickness varies from 3 to 10 cm, which depends on the tank size. In the hottest countries a very thick wall will ensure the water remains at a constant temperature.

Construction materials (approx $150 for a 3000-5000 litre tank):

For the foundation – 10 bags Quickrete premixed concrete

To make the inner/outer plaster – 8 bags mortar mix
Chicken wire (1 roll)
Wire roll salvaged rebar (1 and ¼ roll)
Salvaged plumbing (1 roll)

Maintenance

Ferrocement water tank storage, like concrete, is going to need maintenance and repair while cracks appear. It is essential to make sure that the ferrocement mix does not have any toxic components.

There are sources that recommend painting tanks found on above ground that is reflective to the sun’s rays, evaportation reduction, and maintains water temperature.
There are trainings provided on how to construct these water tanks and the entire process will be taught, until completion. The training takes a specific amount of days.

Whether capturing rainwater or diverting a stream – the storing of winter water for summer use is one of the basic ways to transform the value of land – whereas land with running water all year round is always going to hold its value – land which only has water in the winter months might seem less valuable – but with the right water storage this need not be so.

With thanks to Los Angeles Emergency Plumbers

The post Ferrocement Water Storage for $150 appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Pure Hydration: 9 Ways to Maintain Clean and Healthy Water

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Water is the most essential element for the cells in your body. Because the human body is made of water the number one thing you need in an emergency is safe drinking water. In a survival situation you might be able to last weeks without food, but without water you’d last only days. Unfortunately, not all water is safe to drink.

How can you be sure your water is safe to drink?

In a survival situation, it is always safest to assume water is carry pathogens and contaminants. Below are some contaminants that might be in your water:

  • Bacteria, like E. coli, Vibrio cholera, Salmonella typhi or Salmonella protozoa.
  • Microsporidia, like Giardia, Amoebae, Ciliates and Cryptosporidium.
  • Helminth zoonoses, like hookworms, liver flukes, nematodes or pinworms.
  • Human and animal waste, including fecal matter and carcasses.
  • Chemical pollution, from both industrial wastes and natural erosion increasing mineral concentrations.

Be prepared to filter and purify all your water before drinking. It’s also a good idea to regularly test your well water, and pay attention to water reports for municipal water sources. Clean water is important for your daily survival as well as disaster survival.

What are good sources of water in an emergency?

Dew, atmospheric distillation, water from puddles and clear tree sap all offer sources of water in survival situations. Snow, sleet and rain can be gathered in containers. Use tarps to expand your precipitation-collection area. Rivers, lakes and springs are obvious sources of water. You can also store bottled water. For a basic 72-hour survival kit, you need three gallons of drinking water and two gallons of sanitation water per person.

What can you do to make your water clean and safe?

In a survival situation, it is always safest to assume water is carry pathogens and contaminants. Below are some contaminants that might be in your water:

  • Boiling. An ancient and reliable method, boiling water keeps it above 185 degrees (the boiling point is 212 degrees) for the five minutes necessary to kill biological contaminants.
  • Chemicals. Chlorine and iodine will sterilize water, however chemicals also affect the taste.
  • Water softener. Hard water contains calcium and magnesium, but it can be softened through an ion exchange.
  • Filters. Gravity and pump filters are available in a variety options including ceramic, silver impregnated carbon and multi-stage cartridge filters.
  • Iron filter. Iron, manganese, sulfur, and pH levels vary from well to well. In-line filters work for most household systems, but a back-washing iron filter might be better for high levels of iron or iron bacteria.
  • Survival straw. Small and lightweight, these carbon filters are used like a straw. You suck the water through the filter to drink.
  • Reverse osmosis. The most effective water filters on the market use reverse osmosis. The process removes, basically, everything from water leaving it safe, pure and clean. RO filters are a great choice for your home, as they remove fluoride and hydrofluorosilicic acid.
  • UV light. UV devices disrupt the DNA of pathogens quickly, but are only effective in clear water with no particulates.
  • Distillation. If your only water is brackish or contaminated with heavy metals and radiation, distillation is your safest option. Heavy particles stay behind as the water becomes steam and then is recaptured as potable water.

Not all filtration devices are equal. Do some research to find out more about these and other options.

Knowing and maintaining several water purification methods, treatments and equipment now will prepare you for emergency situations. It’s a great idea to know how to find and purify life-giving water in any situation. Your survival could depend on it.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Contamination in Australian water & foods.

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(Click the web browser refresh button to see the latest reports. Date Formatting is Day/Month/Year – 11th March 2011 is 11.03.2011.) March 2015 – Tuna Contamination Report,
This incident reportedly happened six months ago, and unfortunately there was no available sample to test.
In late March I received this email from a contact who has a Geiger counter.
I have removed some information from the correspondence to protect the contacts anonymity.
“You have to watch your food like a hawk. My daughter had some tuna in oil….very small tin. I had been warning her. But dad is crazy. I found the tin going into the recycle, it still had a bit of oil in it. So, me being me, I got out my geiger counter and took a reading………it went ballistic.
It just keep climbing and climbing. I didn’t think it was going to stop……It stopped climbing when it hit 38K counts per minute….I didn’t know my bGeigie Nano meter went that high. The oil seemed OK, the tin seemed OK, but a tiny flake of leftover tuna the size of a match head was on the lip of the tin, that is what set it off. Don’t eat ANYTHING from the sea….anymore. That tuna was toxic radioactive nuclear waste, and not food.”
38K counts per minute would be around 1000 times background, using this model Geiger counter!
I sent this email to get more information on this very high detection.
Do you still have the sample?
If you are located in Australia, and still have the sample, I could test it, if you posted to me.
If you don’t have it, if you provide the information below, I may be able to source some here, and test it.
In what country was the tuna tinned?
In what country was it purchased?
Here is the reply to my email query.
This happened over 6 months ago.
I can only assume it was canned in the USA. tuna in oil. At that time I thought the reading was coming from the oil in the tin….I didn’t notice the flake that was on the outside top edge of the can. I got it stuck on my finger and washed it off. After this, is when I couldn’t get a reading from the tin or the oil again. I realized that the flake which was gone down the drain by then was the cause.
I thought my Geiger counter was malfunctioning at the time, which it never has before or since. The count was going up and it freaked out my son as we watched it climb. The highest reading I have ever gotten until then was 164 CPM off of a milled piece of pine, but at that time I was (and still am) learning how to use the geiger counter.
Comment:
A small number of tests on different brands of tinned tuna have been conducted here recently, and over the last couple years. There was nothing to report from these tests. This is only one community testing lab, and each test takes 24 hours, or more. A large variety of mainly Australian food products have been tested, so statistically the number of tinned tuna tests conducted here at this stage is very small.
It obvious more widespread community and government food testing needs to be conducted.
08.03.2014 – Proven: Pilliga groundwater contaminated by Santos CSG
Extracts:
Documents obtained by The Wilderness Society show that groundwater in the Pilliga has been contaminated by Santos CSG operations.
Uranium levels recorded in the groundwater as a result of CSG activities are at 20 times the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
The NSW EPA have confirmed the contamination event, but failed to act with any proper legal force, choosing to fine Santos only $1,500 dollars.
On Friday, EPA chief environmental regulator Mark Gifford confirmed the contamination was caused by water leaking from the pond and that lead, aluminium, arsenic, barium, boron, nickel and uranium had been detected in an aquifer at levels ”elevated when compared to livestock, irrigation and health guidelines’
Comment By Lock the Gate:
Uranium levels recorded in the groundwater as a result of CSG activities are at 20 times the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. It is the nightmare that the communities of the north west dreaded, and we hope that the contamination is contained and does no harm. Groundwater is the lifeblood of towns and rural businesses and the worst fears of local farmers are being realised.
http://www.lockthegate.org.au/proven_groundwater_contaminatedhttp://www.smh.com.au/environment/santos-coal-seam-gas-project-contaminates-aquifer-20140307-34csb.html
26.09.2013 – Detection of Radon-220 in the rain
http://sccc.org.au/detection-of-radon-220-in-the-rain-september-2013
20.09.2013 – “Contaminated seawater reaches the east coast of Australia and Indonesia,” Japan Meteorological Research Institute.
Comment:
It is important to read the PDF presentation to fully understand the dynamics of this. (Link provided below)
http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/09/japan-meteorological-research-institute-contaminated-seawater-reaches-the-east-coast-of-australia-and-indonesia/http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/PDFplus/2013/cn207/Presentations/1028-Aoyama.pdf
09.09.2013 – Detection of radioactive Iodine I-129 in roof gutter moss Australia.
http://sccc.org.au/detection-of-radioactive-iodine-i-129-in-roof-gutter-moss-australia
October 2012, Impact on Australia from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident
1. Food imported from Japan, page 22.
2. Family living in Fukushima for 150 days, page 32.
3. Vehicles and Military aircraft, including American helicopters, page 28.  (They appear to be using measurements of square centimeters cm2 instead of per square meter m2, so multiply by 10,000 to get the Bequerel per square meter amount.)
4. Mutton Birds Tasmania, page 36.
http://www.arpansa.gov.au/pubs/technicalreports/tr162.pdf
11.09.2011 – Silent Storm atomic testing in Australia
Extracts:
Australia’s milk supply? From 1957 to 1978, scientists secretly removed bone samples from over 21,000 dead Australians as they searched for evidence of the deadly poison, Strontium 90 – a by-product of nuclear testing.
Official claims that British atomic tests posed no threat to the Australian people.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDOUeniCNKM


8 Tips On Reusing Containers For Water Storage

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One of the things that we as preppers and homesteaders are most proud of is using what we have on hand. If everybody operated like we did, there would be a lot less waste on the planet, and a lot more creativity. We re-use and repurpose so many items that we’ve taken it to an art form, so why not do the same with our water storage containers?

Sure, you can buy the fancy water containers at your local Walmart or Target, but they’re expensive and you’re not much bang for your buck. Why not reuse something that you’ve already paid for and are just going to throw away anyway?

What NOT to reuse as water storage containers

There are some things that you just shouldn’t use as water containers either because they’re not suited for it, or they can kill you. Neither situation is ideal, and we’re talking about storing something that is non-negotiable in terms of survival. You absolutely cannot live without a ready supply of clean water regardless of the season.

Food Grade Only

So, first on the list are porous containers that held toxic materials such as oil bottles, antifreeze jugs, and kerosene oil bottles. This may seem obvious to you, but believe it or not, there are cases of people who have reused these types of containers, much to their detriment. Use only food-grade plastic that has only stored food. So, enough said. Use your common sense.

Milk Jugs

Next on the list are milk jugs. I know – many people use milk jugs to store water, and they’re great for short-term storage in the fridge or freezer, but not for long-term storage. They’re relatively flimsy and easy to puncture or damage, especially if they’re warm or frozen, and the lids aren’t particularly tight on many of them.

You may use them for a couple of years, then come to check your stockpile and notice that one was punctured by a nail head or something when you scooted it across the shelf the last time you moved something, or the lid popped loose. Now you have water on the floor or shelf and it may have ruined some of your stuff. At the very least, it made a mess.

Plastic with BPA

Don’t use plastics that have BPA in them. BPA, or bisphenol A, is an industrial chemical that has been used for decades to add strength and resilience to plastic and to line cans and packaged food containers to prevent leakage and rust.

Unfortunately, it leeches out into the food or drink and binds to estrogen receptors and interacts with other hormones. This can disrupt body functions such as cell repair, growth, energy levels, metabolism, fetal development, and body temperature regulation among many others. In other words, you may not want to drink it.

Because of the controversy, many companies, especially ones that produce bottles and jugs meant to hold liquid, are shying away from BPA. Just check to make sure that your container is BPA free. It will either say it, or the little recycle triangle will have a 1,2, 4, or 5 in it. These are free of BPA and other harmful chemicals, but avoid containers marked with a 1. We’ll discuss that in a minute.

Now that we have our list of containers NOT to use, let’s talk about ones that are good to use to store water for long-term water storage.

Our forefathers used different methods to store their water when they settled with their entire family in new areas.

This long forgotten water storage secret can save your life! 

Good containers to reuse for water storage

Thankfully, this list is long and most of them are already in your refrigerator or cabinets.

How to distinguish food-grade plastics

As long as the little recycling number has a 2 (HDPE – high-density polyethylene), a 4 (LDPE – low-density polyethylene) or a 5 (PP – polypropylene), you’re good. It’s not a good idea to reuse containers marked with 1 (PETE – polyethylene terephthalate) because detergents and heat will break it down and can cause antimony, a toxic chemical, to leech into your water. So, use only plastic containers that have a 2, 4, or 5 in the triangle.

A tip about reusing plastic for water storage: wash it in the dishwasher or in warm, soapy water, rinsing well, and allow to air-dry.

Juice jugs

These are great containers to reuse to store water because the plastic is usually thick and juice is pretty easy to wash out of the jug. The lids are usually secure, too. Since the plastic is usually sturdy, you don’t run the risk of tearing it by snagging it on a nail head or breaking it if you bump a corner when you’re moving it.

Some people will tell you that you can’t get all of the sugars out of the bottle and that can lead to a breeding ground of bacteria, but if you use chlorinated water or add a few drops (2 drops per quart) of bleach, you should be fine.

Juice jugs come in many different sizes, from small, single-serving bottles to gallon (or bigger) jugs. All of them are good for storing water, and it’s a good idea to have water stored in smaller containers so that you can take it with you if you have to flee. Also, if you have all of your water stored outside in drums, people will see them. You want to keep your water supply hidden.

5-gallon buckets

Ahhh… yet another use for 5-gallon buckets. Personally, I like the idea of storing water in these because they’re stackable, they’re typically made to contain liquids (think pickle juice), and they’re opaque. They meet all of my needs except portability, but won’t it be nice to have a few gallons of water if you need to make a huge pot of soup to feed everybody?

As with all plastics, make sure that they’re food-grade because not all of them are. Though you can buy these, there’s really no need to because you can go to restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and just about anywhere else that sells food and get them for free.

If they happen to smell like pickle juice, wash them well and fill them with water, then add half a cup of bleach to it and let it sit overnight. Charcoal and vinegar work too, but I don’t like to add vinegar on these because then it smells like vinegar, which is suspiciously similar to pickles. You can always just take off the lid and let it air out for a few days, too. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Soda Bottles and water bottles

Soda (aka pop) bottles are great for water storage. Since they come in many different sizes from 8 ounces on up to 2-liters, you have a lot of versatility. Many water bottles are reusable, too. As with all other plastics, clean well with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

55-gallon drums

If you want to store large quantities at a time, then these are a great option. Again, just make sure they’re food-grade and haven’t had any non-food products stored in them.

If you want to buy them new, just search the net for them. You may even be able to get them for free if you live near a soda distribution plant because that’s what they buy their syrups in. If they have a policy against giving them away, ask who picks them up, then contact that company. Chances are good you’ll get them for just a few bucks a piece.

Oh, and these come in both plastic and stainless steel, so you have options. I’ve never used the stainless steel ones so I’m not sure how heavy or unwieldy they are compared to their plastic counterparts. On a similar note, you can make a collection, storage, and filtration system using 55-gallon drums.

Now that you have some ideas for reusing containers for water storage, what are you waiting for? Start storing.

Remember the Law of Three: you can survive without water only three days. Click the banner below to discover our ancestor’s methods of water storage!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

Emergency Preparedness in the Big City

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Emergency Preparedness in the Big City It always pays to be prepared for an emergency situation, but sometimes being prepared for an emergency in the city can be different than being prepared for an emergency in more rural areas. Terrain is a huge factor with big cities, let alone the fact that you are in … Continue reading Emergency Preparedness in the Big City

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How To Build A Drip Irrigation System For Under $100

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How To Build A Drip Irrigation System For Under $100 A drip irrigation system can save you time, money and conserve water. This drip irrigation system can be turned on and left to do its job without you having to stand over it to monitor its progress. Using water wisely with a drip irrigation system …

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Maintaining A Steady Supply of Water

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There is no more fundamental need than a steady supply of water. Without it, our bodies cannot survive more than a few days. Yet when natural disasters or other emergencies take place, municipal water is often one of the first victims. And large-scale terrorism is likely to target water distribution as a key element of infrastructure to disrupt.

So it’s critically important that we take whatever steps we can to ensure that we can maintain a safe and adequate supply of water under whatever circumstances may occur.

The most important things are to educate yourself and then to prepare. Make sure you understand the implications of line breaks. Understand how to handle a boil-water advisory. And then get your home and your family ready for how to handle a disruption in water.

As you plan for the very real possibility of a water outage, there are some major areas of concern you should address.

Starting Off Right

Water failures are rarely caused by damage at the distribution points or purification sites. It’s generally a result of line breakage. Earthquakes are notorious for creating ground shifts that twist pipes and break their joints apart.

But other failures are less sudden. A period of unusually wet weather can leave heavy soils shifting and moving, causing rocks and other buried objects to rub against water lines and create leaks that can ultimately become large enough to disrupt service.

The ideal water pipe is reinforced with a chrome carbide overlay that will resist this type of damage. If you don’t know whether your utility has built lines with such materials, try to find out and then urge them to make the change if necessary.

Maintaining Your Own

Inside your house is the most complex part of the water delivery process. The many fixtures and appliances requiring water create a maze of pipes that must be carefully monitored and maintained.

It does you no good to have a great municipal water system if your own system will fail you! Slow leaks in crawlspaces may never impact you until the pressure from your supplier drops. And other malfunctions may be okay until the system shuts down, then reactivates with a surge of pressure that finally breaks a joint or connection that had barely been hanging on.

Keep your own equipment in top running order so that outside disruptions won’t be made worse.

Conserve & Plan

Although our home’s water supply is pressurized in most uses, it’s still functional when we operate with stored water. Toilet tanks can be easily refilled with jugs or bottles that you keep on hand. Water can be heated and dumped into the tub for easy bathing. You can even do laundry with a stockpile of water.

You’ll get creative if your system shuts down, but you have to make sure that you have first stored that water. Hang on to used milk jugs, juice containers, water bottles, and any other sanitary vessel you can get, then fill them with water and store them safely. Other containers can be used for non-potable water for toilets and laundry.

Even the best municipal water system will experience a failure here and there. You must be prepared to operate on your own when it happens. If you make the proper plans, you can get through until repairs are made.

The post Maintaining A Steady Supply of Water appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Hygiene and sanitation, #1 in watching out for #2!

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Hygiene and sanitation, #1 in watching out for #2! Host: Sam Coffman “The Human Path” Hygiene and sanitation, how prepared are you really in regards to  and (in the worst case) coping with gasto-intestinal disease in a post-disaster environment?  The Human Path Sam Coffman discusses everything you ever wanted to know (and some things you … Continue reading Hygiene and sanitation, #1 in watching out for #2!

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Ensure Your Family Has Safe Water If the Grid Goes Down

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

The only problem is, this continuous availability of water depends on a lot of infrastructure, and if some or all of that collapses, water is going to “dry up” quickly.

The post Ensure Your Family Has Safe Water If the Grid Goes Down appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How To Disinfect Water With Household Bleach

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How To Disinfect Water With Household Bleach As everyone knows, many municipal water systems use chlorine to disinfect water.  Often, the use of chlorine is combined with other purification systems such as filtration and ultraviolet treatments.  All you have to do is sniff your water tap water – it’s no secret.  Why chlorine?  Simple – …

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Lead: The Perilous Poison in Your Tap Water

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water_meter_contaminated_lead_drinking

lead_water_infrastructrure_jackson_flintLead is a killer.  To that statement, nobody is surprised.  The shock may be perhaps just how silently lead slips into our systems, not only in terms of its delivery often by aging public utility works or other modes, but also how it becomes absorbed into our human bodily systems.  More often than not, the serious harm of lead poisoning has long taken its toll on the physiology of a person before it exhibits itself overtly via a plethora of symptoms finally manifested in multiple forms of chronic illness.  It is a dastardly manner to get sick or die.  

So, as prepper’s intent on surviving this world’s outward disasters in the form of natural and unnatural events, how does one protect against the potential infusions of poisoning by lead sources?  First is to understand it, know it, then begin to practice cautions to guard against it, identify it, and recognize the threats and how to ward off its impact on our health and that of our family especially small children, who are more highly susceptible.  

Lead the Toxin

lead_poison_toxic_drinkJust for the sake of basic scientific information the chemical symbol for lead on the chart is Pb.  It is a highly toxic metal considered to be a very strong poison.  It builds up in the human body sometimes not exposing itself in terms of medical symptoms for months or even years.  Children are the most susceptible, because in their very youngest years they are still developing their brains and nervous system which lead attacks. Lead is primarily a neurotoxin in that it mainly targets the nervous system as well as the brain.  It causes a number of maladies and disorders within these physiological systems.  Lead poisoning can also cause blood disorders that can be equally terminal in nature.  

The Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

The list of lead poisoning symptoms in the human body is lengthy.  The listing includes abdominal pain, cramps, aggressive behaviors, constipation, sleep disorders, headaches, irritability, loss of appetite, fatigue, high blood pressure, numbness or tingling in the extremities, memory loss, anemia, and kidney dysfunction.  

doctor_medical_SWOT-2Additional symptoms often displayed are vomiting, muscle weakness, stumbling, seizures, coma, and encephalopathy, which is a form of confusion often combined with coma. The real trick is to not only to identify these symptoms or illnesses, but to prove the link of these ailments to actual lead poisoning.  Thank goodness for us, this can be proven by a series of appropriate specific blood tests.  In theory then the links to lead poisoning can be shown so that treatment regimens can be prescribed by the medical profession.  

Lead Delivery Threats

graveyard_water_towerRemember Flint, Michigan?  I am certain there are numerous other examples of both isolated and widespread excessive concentrations of lead having been delivered to the citizen population via municipal water systems.  Lead poisoning is after all caused by the ingestion of the material into the human body and thereby absorbed into the tissues. Though as we know, lead poisoning can also come from lead paint that was quite common in older residential housing construction as well as huge metropolitan housing complexes, apartment buildings and other dwellings.  Lead was also prevalent in older toys, and other items that children might have put in their mouths over extended periods.  Those sources of lead have now long been cleaned up and removed from society for the most part.  They no longer remain a threat to human health, but drinking water sources are another matter entirely.  

Lead sources can also exist within our soils, ground water, and surface waters and are considered environmental contaminates.  These are often quite prevalent in areas where lead is mined or exists within the earth structures naturally. Towns and cities all over the country are under the threat of aging water piping systems. These were constructed of lead pipes and soldiered joints and are still a widespread threat in America.  Rural water systems are not exempt either from lead poisoning.  Threats of lead in water also exists in private wells as well.  

Every drinking water source is subject to government regulations regarding the amount of lead registered as PPB’s or parts per billion.  The Federal Government’s EPA has established acceptable standards for lead and all chemicals in drinking water.  These sources are supposed to be tested and certified on a regular basis, but sometimes are not.  Are your sources tested?  Is the water coming from your tap right now safe to drink?  This, you better know.  

A Case in Point

sink_water_drinking_contaminationJust last year a municipality near my location, Jackson, Mississippi, experienced issues with elevated lead levels in the city’s drinking water sources.  After extensive sampling of water in 58 city sample sites, 22 per cent of the locations showed lead levels exceeding the accepted Federal levels. The Feds say that a water lead test above 0.015 or 15 ppb exceeds safe levels.  Jackson’s water tested at 0.017 to 0.02 ppb, which is above the Federal standard for safe drinking water.  The source or blame was reported to be the individual home internal samples, not originating from the city’s water distribution network.  And who exactly believes that?  City officials reported that homes built before 1988 were susceptible to lead contaminated water.  Corrosive (city supplied) water can cause the lead in older pipes and commonly soldiered joints to leach out thus causing the excessive high lead levels in the water tests. Action by the city was to correct the inadequate corrosion control in the city water piping systems.  Water chemistry reacts to home pipes and fixtures thus increasing lead levels.  One suspects aging city water systems also contribute to the leaching lead.

It was also noted that the summer heat experienced in the south causes higher lead uptake than in the winter months.  One assumes the external environmental heat raises the temperature in the piping systems thus increasing the temperature of the lead in those pipes furthering the leaching potential into the drinking tap water.  

Treatment and Protection

red_cross_first_aid.svgThere are medical treatments for proven lead poisoning caused from ingestion and absorption.  Blood tests can reveal this as well as other medical tests to assess damage to tissue and organs. The human body can be purged of excessive lead levels.  The process is referred to as chelation therapy.  The treatment binds the lead to be evacuated from the body through urination.  One of the medicines used in the chelation process is known as dimercaprol.  Far be it from me to discuss the medical implications and complications of lead poisoning any further.  Consult other medical information, physicians, or medical experts on the subject.  

Protection is by working to prevent the ingestion of lead.  There are numerous lead filtering systems available for home use to reduce or eliminate the threat of lead in your drinking water.  Have your water tested professionally or purchase a home water testing kit to verify if lead is in your drinking water.  Just knowing one way or the other may be of some relief.  This should be done on a periodically recommended schedule as things change in water delivery systems, even a home well.  

Lead is a noxious substance.  It makes people sick and can eventually kill them.  Part of prepping is to also protect ourselves at home or work or life in addition to being prepared for other SHTF events.  If you have any reason to suspect your drinking water sources are contaminated with lead, then test it, then filter it to be on the safe side.  

Always monitor local area news reports and public service reports on municipal water system safety.  Make certain public waters are tested on schedule.  

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7 Emergency Water Sources for Apartment Dwellers

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  This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Water is such a crucial need – you can only go three days without water. A lot of people who prepare plan to fill the bathtub before a hurricane, ice storm or other predicted emergency. However, if a disaster were to happen suddenly, it would not be possible to fill the bathtub ahead of time. To be sure you are prepared for a sudden water emergency, store enough water for drinking as […]

The post 7 Emergency Water Sources for Apartment Dwellers appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Epic Pure Filtered Water Pitcher vs. Brita Slim Water Filtration System

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epic_brita_side_by_sideI’ve been a long-time user of pitcher-type water filters; my old Brita filter has had probably hundreds of gallons put through it. The filtered water it produces tastes better, and I like the fact that it pulls a few nasty items out of the water my family and I drink every day.  Without a doubt, I am a big proponent of filtered water. After using my Brita, I feel uncomfortable drinking unfiltered water. Call me pretentious, but I would rather not consume strange heavy metals in my water. 

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

However, I recently received an EPIC Pure Water Filter pitcher-type filter in the mail for a review.  It was a great opportunity to do a little research, and see if the newer, more impressive-appearing EPIC offering was a better product than the tried-and-true Brita product that I’d been using for years.

Why use a water filter every day?

river_filtration_water_thinkIn a SHTF/survival-type situation, water filtration is a no-brainer.  Assuming the power grid is down, any water you can source that isn’t bottled can be assumed to be contaminated with some sort of offending nastiness, and absolutely should be filtered and purified.  However, in day-to-day life, it’s easy to become complacent about the water that flows from your faucets.  We take it for granted that the water has been made safe for us to drink by the unknown people at the water treatment plants.  We turn the tap on, and we blindly think that what comes out MUST be okay. But that “okay” water was processed with additives such as chlorine and aluminum sulfate, fluoride was probably added, and then it ran through miles and miles of metallic pipes underground, where it then makes the trip to your domicile, through the iron or copper plumbing that’s probably joined with lead solder, coursing out through the faucet that has bacteria living happily inside.  Most people don’t think about it, and I’ll admit I never did until I started doing research for this article.

Related: Trace Pharmaceuticals and Water

My house has city water supplied to it, and though the water company sends out yearly reports on water quality, the list of agents listed on the report definitely makes me take pause.  Yes, at the time of the report, the water quality is hunky dory – but how quickly can this balance be upset?  If something goes awry at the water treatment facility, how much water will run through my house and my family before the problem is caught and addressed?  Will the powers-that-be even let me know there is/was an issue with my water?

Environmental_Protection_Agency_logo.svgNow, I know that the people who are employed by the city to maintain the water supply used by thousands are highly qualified and trained to ensure that I have safe water that flows out of my faucets.  I also know that the Safe Water Drinking Act means that there are federal standards, regulated by the EPA, so that my water meets quality standards.  The EPA monitors the water for many organisms, bacteria, metals, chemicals, and other contaminants that can make you sick, give you cancer, or make life generally completely unpleasant in a multitude of ways.  However, the EPA doesn’t regulate many water-borne items, such as aluminum, chloride, and copper. In large enough quantities, these items and others that may still be in your water can do funky stuff to your systems.

Wells aren’t immune to contaminants either; pesticide runoff, petroleums, MTBE, metals that occur in the ground, bacteria, and other nasties can find your way into your dug or drilled well.  Again, most people don’t consider these issues once they have their well installed and tested – if everything is reported as fine, people run on automatic and think the water will always be fine.

All this being said, here in the USA and other developed countries, it’s safe to say that usually your water meets minimum standards for safe drinking water.  However, it’s also safe to say that you’re getting some additional unhealthy contaminant passengers along for the ride – no matter what the yearly water reports from the city water department say.

The Ins and Outs of Water Pitcher Filters

pitcher_inside_filterSo, me being the slight alarmist that I am (you have to be to run with this crowd, right?), I try to play it safe and drink filtered water, if it comes from my tap.  I don’t have the space or funding to really hook up a high-end in-line pre-faucet water filter, so I choose to run a pitcher-type filter for my drinking water needs.  It’s an easy, inexpensive way to keep clean water available.  Fill the pitcher, stick it in the fridge, and let it do its thing.  It’s easy for the whole family to do (provided the teenagers remember to fill the pitcher back up after they use the last of the water), so it’s a nice, simple, foolproof way to keep a half gallon or so of clear, clean-tasting water ready to go.

Basically, the way a pitcher-type filter works is simple: open the lid, located at the top of the pitcher.  Pour your to-be-filtered water in the top, straight from the faucet if you’d like. Put the lid back on, and let the pitcher work its magic.  Water is pulled from the reservoir at the top of the pitcher by gravity, coursing the H2O through the filter(s) located underneath the reservoir.  The inside of the filters contain any number of elements – almost always activated carbon is involved; Brita uses coconut shell-derived carbon.  Activated carbon, if viewed through a microscope, is porous and covered in lots of crevices that attract and hold impurities and contaminants through a process called adsorption.  

brita_and_boxActivated carbon works pretty well to eliminate a number of nasties in your water, such as chlorine, and some pesticides and some solvents – this is why activated carbon is commonly used in fish tank filters.  However, activated carbon eventually reaches its holding capacity and no longer can be used to reliably filter water eventually, so the filter must be replaced at periodic intervals. Other elements can be added to attract and reduce or eliminate other contaminants – but after quite some time searching the web for research on what these elements might be, it seems that most water filter manufacturers play their cards pretty close to the vest, leaving us to wonder at the magic of proprietary water filtration processes.

Since water pitchers function by pulling water through filters via gravity, there is generally not enough pressure to purify via reverse osmosis, and many bacteria can still get by – so it’s not recommended that you use pitcher-type home filters to cleanse water from streams, lakes, rivers, mud puddles, or the like.  Sediments and contaminants will be filtered for sure, but you can still get sick through bacteria infestation.  Dedicated outdoor-type water filters are recommended for naturally-sourced water filtration.

The EPIC Pure Water Pitcher Filter System

I, for a while, thought I just had a standard pitcher type filter.  However, upon digging about, I was excited to find that I had been sent the new EPIC Pure Pitcher  The Pure is like a Brita only for survivalists or preppers.

epic_filter_largeMy EPIC Pure pitcher filter features a large, replaceable filter and a pitcher that holds, by rough estimate, three quarters of a gallon or so of water.  The filter supports about 200 gallons of water filtration (my Brita does 40).  The filter elements and pitchers are 100% BPA free, and the filters themselves are 100% recyclable, which means that over the lifetime of the filter, you have potentially saved using 1,500 plastic water bottles – a definitive environmental impact.  EPIC boasts that their filters will remove up to 99.99% of contaminants that can be found in tap water.  I investigated their website to see what they actually remove, and the list is ridiculous: most are contaminants, and pesticides are things I’d never heard of but sound awful, and the metals removed list includes chromium 6, aluminum, mercury, lead, arsenic, TTHM, and Radon 222, among other things.  I won’t throw the full impressive list on this post, but definitely check out the list of what the EPIC Pure filter keep out of your body.

The Pure’s  Competition

I’ve used a Brita pitcher filter for years, as I stated at the beginning of this article.  Mine is a Brita Water Filtration System, the same model you can get online or at Target or Wal-Mart.  Brita has the market cornered on accessible, household name pitcher filters.  The Brita is an affordable pitcher filtration for the masses and 100% made in China.

brita_topThe Brita features replaceable filter cartridges, and they last approximately 40 gallons per filter, according to Brita’s website.  However, the Brita offering really concentrates on improving the taste of the water, instead of actually doing a really thorough job purifying.  According to Brita, the pitcher filters they offer just remove or reduce chlorine, copper, cadmium, and mercury.  There is no mention of filtering out pesticides like DDT, or other common contaminants and metals such as lead.  Brita does offer products that remove more contaminants, but not in the pitcher format we are analyzing here.

Battle Royale: EPIC Pure VS. Brita Water Filtration

brita_epic_head_to_headSo in the interests of doing a straight apples-to-apples test, I bought a brand new Brita filter cartridge from Amazon, and performed the standard pre-soak that Brita requires.  I loaded up the new filter in the Brita, and filled both up with straight tap water.  The larger EPIC reservoir took almost 15 minutes to filter. The Brita was much faster to process, probably just five or six minutes.  But in both cases, the water that was produced was crystal clear, and devoid of any of the slight chlorine smell that my city water usually has.

I went all Mythbusters on my taste test, and filled three glasses with water: one glass with tap water, one with water from the Brita pitcher, and one with water from the EPIC pitcher. I had my wife and son each try out the water, and report which glass they thought was from each aquatic offering. I then asked them to do the same for me. The results? The tap water was a gimme; its taste and smell was very distinct, with the rather not-great metallic chlorine taste. All three of us nailed which glass held the city-fed tap water.

As for the filtered water, my wife and I both were able to distinguish the EPIC filtered water, but I can personally tell you that the taste from both the EPIC and Brita products were quite close: clear, with no metallic or chlorine tastes – and very, very good. There was no smell from either glass.

Video

Where the EPIC filter really made a marked difference in taste was in coffee, believe it or not. The EPIC filtered water definitively produced much smoother, rich-tasting coffee from my home coffee maker. I have no science to back me up, but I am theorizing that the pH-modified alkaline EPIC water knocked back on the acid produced from the coffee, and the resulting beloved caffeinated product was far superior as a result.

Read Also: Epic Travel Bottle Review

So, Brita or EPIC? The Brita absolutely produces excellent-tasting water, and filters out a few undesirables in the water stream. But, if you can afford it, the EPIC offering is certainly a better product for the environment – its filters last 2 ½ times longer than the Brita offerings and are recyclable. The EPIC filter is certainly better for you and your family. If you buy bottled water to drink around the house because your well or tap water is unpalatable or unsafe, the EPIC will pay for itself in very little time. The EPIC pitcher is more expensive, and the replacement filter cartridges are also pricier (Made in the USA – yes, they will be more expensive). Yes, it’s pretty expensive – but the EPIC has something else going for it that makes it worth every penny, in my humble opinion.

Health Benefits

I mentioned earlier that I had perceived health benefits from my switch to drinking water from the EPIC Pure pitcher, and it’s true. I have a condition known as GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease) where the muscle at the junction of the esophagus and stomach relaxes, allowing built-up acid to splash up into my windpipe and lungs, causing severe heartburn and general chest discomfort, along with irritated lungs. GERD’s onset for me is usually stress-related and is exactly as much fun as it sounds.

coffee_waterOnce I received the EPIC Pure water pitcher, I immediately started using it for all the water I drink. Within a couple days, I noticed a huge difference in the amount of heartburn and windpipe discomfort I was experiencing. At first I attributed it to a switch in coffee brands I made at the same time I received the EPIC filter; I did not know that the EPIC was a Pure pitcher with pH benefits because they use activated coconut carbon filters which are alkaline.  When I brought some of the new coffee (from Main Gun Coffee Company – DEFINITELY check them out if you’re a coffee aficionado) to work for use at my coffeemaker there, I had acid issues kick in again. There went the coffee theory. 

However, when I started doing research for this review, I realized what which product had been sent to me, and the gears turned. The GERD symptoms definitely lessened right when I started using the filter, and when I drink water from other sources, sometimes I’ll have issues. So, it is my personal postulation (that is purely my own conjecture and could be completely wrong) that the alkaline pH levels that the EPIC Pure water pitcher introduces reduces acids that the body produces, driving down my heartburn symptoms. Take it for what it’s worth to you, but I believe the EPIC Pure product to really work, and has positive health benefits that go beyond eliminating contaminants and nastiness from the tap water I drink. It tastes great, makes bitchin’ coffee, and I feel better. Winning.

Wrapping It Up

epic_water_pitcher_pourThe EPIC Pure water pitcher is great, whether you just want clear safe water, or you’re looking to try health solutions that go beyond pumping pills in your face. The initial sticker shock is a definite turn-off,and I’ll admit to you that when I got the filter and I looked into what using it would cost me, I rolled my eyes and uttered a “yeah right.” But I’ve used the pitcher extensively, comparing it to a very common competitive filter, and I’m now a true believer in this filter.

For those of you who don’t want to take the hit on the Pure system, EPIC also offers a full line of other outdoors-rated filters, including the Stainless Steel Travel Bottle that allows you to drink from almost any water source you can find. If you’re looking to try the next level of personal home water filtration, and don’t want to invest in under-sink in-line plumbing filters or clunky faucet add-on filters, be sure to look at the EPIC Pure pitcher filter system. It’s head and shoulders above the competition, and you’ll feel better for it as a result.

What are your thoughts? Is the 70 dollars for a home tap water filter too much, even if there are health benefits besides hydration? Do you use something different? Sound off in the comments below!

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How To Get Water, Filter and Purify 101

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 How To Get Water, Filter and Purify 101 Water is essential for surviving more than a few days and will be your #1 priority in a survival situation. On average we can survive around 3 days without water. If SHTF and you don’t have a source for water or the means to purify it, you …

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Free-And-Clever Tricks To Keep Livestock Water From Freezing

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Free-And-Clever Ways To Keep Livestock Water From Freezing

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Homesteaders know how important it is for livestock to have access to fresh, clean water at all times, but in some areas of the world, winter makes this a much more difficult task. I can remember many winter days as a young girl when I would break ice out of buckets, carefully carry fresh water to the animals, and sometimes, spill it on myself in the process. Fortunately, we now have much better ways of dealing with freezing water.

In a previous article, we learned of several ways to keep your livestock’s water thawed. Electric heaters and deicers, heated buckets, water circulators, and automatic waterers are all very popular methods, but they require some sort of electric source.

If your water trough is out of reach from electricity, and you don’t have a reliable natural water source, there are a few methods you can try to eliminate or minimize the amount that your livestock’s water freezes.

Manure

Before technology was an option, some people began using manure to keep their water troughs from freezing, and no, I’m not suggesting that you fill your water tanks with manure. Most people are aware of the danger of manure pile fires, so if you have no other option or want to try a more natural approach, you can pile fresh manure around your bucket or trough.

Diatomaceous Earth: The All-Natural Livestock De-Wormer

Once you’ve piled the manure around the water source, you should cover the entire thing with a black tarp or plastic and cut out a hole for the animals to drink from the trough. The heat from the manure trapped under the plastic will help keep your water from freezing.

Molasses

Animals love molasses, and it can often be used to encourage them to drink from an unfamiliar water source. It also can serve the purpose of preventing water troughs from freezing. People have been using this method long before electricity could be accessed so easily. All it takes is a very simple mixture of warm water and molasses being poured into the water trough. Molasses do not freeze as easily as water, so it slows down the freezing process. If you are in an area where the temperatures drop quite drastically, this method may not be as effective. However, more often, it will leave the water slushy but not frozen, so it is still drinkable.

Saline solution jugs

Another great and very simple option for keeping your livestock’s water from freezing is floating milk jugs in the trough. The milk jugs should be filled with a saline solution, which can either be purchased or just as easily made. The salt keeps the water from freezing in the jug, and as it floats around, it keeps the water moving enough to prevent it from freezing partially if not completely. This method likely will still require you to clear out the surrounding ice, but it should be enough to make sure your animals can drink between waterings. It is important to note that the salt should only go in the jug and not in the drinking water!

While these options are not perfect, and certainly are not as reliable as most of the electric options, they can make a big difference for livestock owners who don’t have access to electricity. You hopefully will find that they will make your life easier this winter and prevent you from having to chip away at those pesky, frozen buckets and troughs.

What is your favorite method to prevent water from freezing? Share your tips in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

Poison in the Water? Trace Pharmaceuticals and Your Faucet

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pharmaceuticals

Vicodin5mgThe issue of pharmaceuticals showing up in public water systems is gaining more and more attention in the media, and for good reason—because it’s there! While it isn’t entirely clear what these drugs are doing to your endocrine system, it isn’t positive. Moreover, your exposure to trace pharmaceuticals is probably greater than you imagine. Consider these news articles:

I could go on citing more and more articles on the subject, but what’s the point? These are all legitimate news sources, not quack “fake news” and conspiracy theory sites. The issue is real. Do your own research and you will quickly see for yourself. Believe it or not, you are exposed to trace chemicals from the improper disposal of pharmaceuticals. 

By Danger Dave, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & SurvivalCache

But what exactly are “trace pharmaceuticals”? Denver Water states:

Trace pharmaceuticals are sometimes called microconstituents or emerging contaminants. They are products that enter the water supply through animal-based agricultural runoff or from human sources. A high percentage of pharmaceuticals in wastewater enter the water supply when people dispose of medicines in the sink or toilet. Most, if not all, pharmaceutical products — whether used in animals or in humans — are used in doses at which some amounts are passed through the user and back into water systems. 

New York Legislator Burke (from the first article) said, “I heard someone make sort of a glib joke the other day that they’re feeling depressed, so instead of going to the pharmacy they’re just going to drink a cup of tap water.” Funny, but no laughing matter.

From Prescription to Drinking Water

glass_of_waterHow is it that when we turn on the tap water we get a refreshing glass of… drug-tainted water? Well, what do people do with unused and expired drugs? Chances are they get dumped in the toilet and flushed. The water system is a circular system. It all comes back around. What is more, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that the flushing of drugs is only part of the problem.

“The main way drug residues enter water systems is by people taking medicines and then naturally passing them through their bodies,” says Raanan Bloom, Ph.D., an environmental assessment expert at FDA. “Many drugs are not completely absorbed or metabolized by the body and can enter the environment after passing through wastewater treatment plants.”

So drugs are getting into the water system simply by the fact people are taking drugs and then using the bathroom as they always do.

Drugs in our water is no easy problem to solve, and it’s the reason the FDA, in partnership with the DEA and community organizations, developed community-based drug “take-back” programs. (Click here to find a take-back program in your area.)

Dangerous?

doctor_medical_SWOT-2Everyone agrees that trace amounts of drugs are in the water. As we established, this is not “alternative facts” or theory. It is undeniable. What is not clear is to what extent it may cause harm to individuals consuming the water. According to WebMD, while scientists do not know the extent of the threat to our health, of particular concern is the presence of synthetic hormones, because “hormones work at very low concentrations in the human body.” They go on to say, “We know that kids, including babies and toddlers, as well as fetuses, are more susceptible to environmental exposures because their bodies are still developing and their exposure on a pound-per-pound basis is higher. And they lack the detoxification system adults have. So it is not unreasonable to expect they would be at a higher risk.”

Soooo… if it is of particular concern for kids, and the science is still out on the effects their presence in water has on adults, I am inclined to err on the side of safety.

Solutions

So there is no denying the research and concern. Drugs in drinking water is very real. While solutions for preventing the drugs from entering the water system prove somewhat elusive, there are concrete ways to get trace pharmaceuticals out of your water.

“Boil it,” you say? Nope. Boiling it does not solve the problem. “Then bottled water,” you argue. Not likely. Twenty-five percent of bottled water comes from the tap. Your best bet at addressing the problem? Filtering it between when it leaves the tap to when it reaches your mouth.

water_pitcher_epicPreppers are familiar with a few of the common water filtration available to them because they have purchased them as insurance against an environmental or man-made catastrophe to allow them access to safe drinking water. But why wait until catastrophe strikes to use them when those very filters could be used right now to clean your drinking water for safe(er) consumption? If you own the products already, why not use them on a daily basis now? If you don’t own the products, consider getting one, for the sake of your family’s health. A few that we recommend for prepping purposes also remove trace pharmaceuticals:

  • Black Berkey Filters
  • Epic’s Filtration Pitcher

From my view, any “prepper” product that can get used now is a must get. It makes far more sense to purchase these products before products that will sit on a shelf for a “just in case” situation that may not come.

Lastly, you can do your part to help combat drugs entering the water supply by following the drug disposal guidelines from the FDA found here.

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Lost Survival.

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Lost Survival.

In an ordinary lost situation if you did the right thing & notified several people in regards to WHERE you were going & WHEN you intended to return, then all you have to do is sit tight & wait for someone to find you. This is of course providing you STOP as soon as you realise that you are lost, & do not stray too far from your intended route.

IF you feel that you have strayed too far from your intended route, OR you failed to tell anyone where you were going, then there are practicle things you can do to stay safe & perhaps find your own way out.

1) If you are low on water, find some if you can without straying too far from your present position. Low ground is generally better than high ground, though a rock plateau can often hold water in holes & basins in the rock. In flat terrain look for greenery growing. Usually this is trees or bushes. This could prove to be a water hole or a water course.

2) Remember that providing you keep yourself safe & have water, TIME is not an issue. Staying alive is more important than losing your job! Concentrate on staying alive & getting out, relax if you can & don’t panic.

3) You may need to construct a simple shelter from the sun or bad weather. With this goes making a fire, but make sure the fire is SAFE & can not spread! Clear an area of 5 paces all around your camp site, but only make fire if it is safe to do so. In extreme hot & dry conditions you should not light a fire.

4) During the day listen for the sounds of people; vehicle engines, car doors shutting, dogs barking, house doors closing, the sound of chainsaws or axes cutting wood or the sound of a generator or water pump.  Look for smoke from camp fires or house chimneys. This will give you a direction to follow, but make sure you do NOT go round in circles. Line up three trees or land marks or a combination of these in the direction you need to go. When you get to the first marker, put your back against it & line up the remaining two markers with another third one. Continue on & repeat.

5) At night listen for the same sounds, but unless they are close-by, just mark the direction with rocks or sticks or mark trees & wait until daylight unless you have a torch or are fairly certain you are on safe ground. Travelling in the dark can be dangerous & you do NOT want to injure yourself. Look for vehicle headlights, radio tower lights, house lights, camp fires, lighthouse lights if you are near the coast. Watch for aircraft lights, there may be an airstrip not too far away.  

Low ground can be good for finding water, but high ground will give you the best chance of seeing something that will help you get out. High ground will also make you more visible if you keep a fire going. Adding green vegetation to a fire will create more smoke. Passing aircraft may also spot your fire. 

THREE is the S.O.S. signal, three whistle blasts, three gun shots, three fires (keep them safe), three COOEEs (a shout), three air horn blasts, three flashes from a torch at night, three flashes from a mirror during the day. You get the idea.

IF all else fails, going down hill SHOULD eventually lead you to a water course/source. EXAMPLE: you are on high ground, you go down. When you reach the lower ground, say a valley or gully, it too should go downward in one direction. Follow this downward & continue doing this until you find a water course. Mountain areas at their highest points produce what is called “Header Streams”. These are where the water source starts from & these eventually run into streams or creeks which eventually lead to lakes & rivers. Water is also a source of food, & communities are usually built close to a water source.

If you do not expend too much energy, you can survive roughly 3 weeks on water alone, no food. But you can only survive roughly 3 days without water.

Potable water is Essential for Survival After a Hurricane Hits

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With the explosion of Hurricane Matthew in the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean, we witnessed the power of these storms when they finally make landfall. Having access to potable water became a problem for those hit by the hurricane. Devastation in every respect abounds where Matthew came ashore with its category 5 winds and … Read more…

The post Potable water is Essential for Survival After a Hurricane Hits was written by David Andrew Brown and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Floating off the grid

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Rachel Johnson standing on deck

Rachel Johnson – every day is an event

Rachel Johnson loves it when people ask her where she lives ”and I say, ‘well…today its Broadway Market but next week its Victoria Park’”. Rachel is one of ten thousand “continuous cruisers” in London – changing moorings every few weeks – the waterborne equivalent of no fixed abode.

As London’s rents and property prices remain high, growing numbers are moving to houseboats on the city’s rivers and canals – aiming to cut their bills in half by living off grid – right in the centre of the city.
The trend has been steadily increasing in the last decade, with a significant jump in the past five years. According to the The Canal & River Trust, London waterways have seen more than a 50% increase in boat numbers since 2011, with more than 35,000 boats mooring on the canals in 2016. The biggest increase is among so-called “roving” houseboats, where owners don’t buy a fixed mooring but can remain in almost any location for two weeks before they must move on.
More than half of the 1024 boaters surveyed by the Canal River Trust in 2016 claimed that the primary use of their boat was for residential purposes, with the majority of residential boaters aged between 16 and 44 citing high prices and a desire to shift their lifestyle as motivation.

Young professionals
Event manager Rachel Johnson made the move in 2014, trading an apartment in Whitechapel for a roving narrowboat in response to rising prices and an increased noise level.
“I was in a flat in Whitechapel and it got really noisy all the time – there were lots of drunks around – and the rent went up to £800 and I just thought ‘well, this is ridiculous,’” she said.
“I’m now paying half the amount of rent. But at the time I just thought I’d either have to move out of London or move onto a boat, so I rented a boat.”
Rachel had spent a week housesitting for a friend who owned a boat, and, having no issues during her stay and realising the cost benefits, she said it had been an easy decision.
“Living in a houseboat was comfortable right away,” she said. “There is a small adjustment period where you get used to moving around all the time, and getting your belongings to fit in such a small space. But now it’s home.”
Rachel’s cat, Snowball, loves the lifestyle; although she’s fallen in a few times, she doesn’t seem to mind, and struts in and out of the narrowboat as if she owns the place.
Rachel, who cycles to work from wherever she is moored for the fortnight, is one of many in her line of work who live on houseboats. It’s a growing trend for young professionals to make the move, and it isn’t a new idea in the office she works in. However, clients do seem to like to hear her stories.
“Half the people at work live on boats too, but wedding couples we get in are always saying ‘oh my god, it must be so amazing,’” she said.

Logistics: how do Londoners live in boats?

boke and other possessions on board

20 minutes to the West End by bike

Under a ‘continuous cruisers’ (CC) permit, which depends on the size of the boat but averages about £700 per year according to Rachel, it is possible to moor on any of the anywhere there is an available mooring that isn’t a trade mooring location or privately owned. Some private areas charge extra per night, and in busy areas including right in front of Broadway Market the mooring time is reduced to one week, with a £25 per night fee if moored past the maximum. Rachel, who is currently moored just outside Broadway Market along Regents Canal, said the area was really popular.
“I really like it, and so do a lot of other people, and that’s why it’s quite busy here,” she said. “Especially over Christmas and New Year it’s been a good location, very close to the centre of the city, close to restaurants and pubs.”
Like many CC’ers, Rachel runs her boat on solar panels and batteries, and burns eco-coal in a wood stove to keep warm.
“You can get eco-coal delivered, and that smoulders all night and keeps the boat toasty, so I’ve never been too cold,” she said.
“Wearing a onesie in bed with the hood up and the fire on – it’s lovely. I’ve never been freezing, and sometimes it’s the other way actually – where it’s boiling and I have to open all the windows and the door.”
12 volt leisure batteries run the lights and change her phone each night, with solar panels on the roof charging the batteries during the day. Her boiler runs on gas, which heats the water for showering and cooking.
Rachel fills up the water tank every two weeks or so, depending how careful she is with water use.
“You’re careful with water, obviously, because you don’t want to be going to get water all the time, even though it is fine going to get it,” she said. “It does make you think about how much water you use; it naturally makes you think of your imprint on the world. You recycle like mad – I usually burn it, so I don’t have to recycle things like paper – and now I want to get a worm bin for composting and to put my food scraps to good use.”
She keeps a cool bag out the back for a fridge – although she does have one, she says she almost never runs it.
“When I stayed in my friend’s boat that first week and she said ‘I don’t have the fridge on,’ I was absolutely horrified,” she said. “I thought, ‘oh my god, how do you cope without a fridge?’ but then you think, hang on a minute – fruit and veg, butter, eggs – they don’t need to go in a fridge. If you do a whole week’s shop and you’ve got readymade meals and things like that, they obviously do, but really, I think most items don’t need it, especially in winter.”
The exception is when friends come over; she stocks up the fridge and runs it during the day when the solar panels are on, and then switch it off in the evening.
“I never used a hairdrier before moving to my boat, and I don’t own a TV. What else do you need, really?” she said.

On the move

For the first 14 months after moving out of her apartment, Rachel lived on a narrowboat larger than her friend’s houseboat. Downsizing was a struggle; her whole way of looking at space and belongings has shifted.
“My other boat was bigger and so I threw loads of stuff out, so I really had to condense – but even still, there’s quite a lot of stuff in here,” she said.
“The girl’s whose boat it is, she didn’t have much stuff, so when I first looked at it I thought ‘it’s lovely, it’s so minimalist,’ but now once I’ve brought all my stuff in I realised it’s a lot smaller than it looked. But the layout is the way she wants to live; if it were my boat, I’d probably build some coat storage in the front of the boat, and that’s quite easily done.”
Rachel’s attitude to constantly being on the move – driving her boat to a new location every two weeks – has also changed in her time living on the river.
“At first, I’d get to a place and think ‘this is amazing,’ or, sometimes, ‘I don’t know how it’s going to be here,’ and then two weeks later I didn’t want to go, I’d be really sad to leave,” she said. “
But now, a year or so in, I’m itching to get to the next place and I like the moving around. Moving is great. Sometimes you think ‘oh I can’t be bothered,’ but then you start driving and it’s great. You always see some amazing things on the river.”

The post Floating off the grid appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

How To Make A Water Vessel Out Of A Log With Fire

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How To Make A Water Vessel Out Of A Log With Fire Did you know that you could use a log to store water in if SHTF? It’s a real easy project to do, it just takes time, that’s why I am calling it a weekend project. Whoever wrote the original article first language probably …

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Top Reasons for Bugging Out from Economic Collapse or Catastrophic Disaster

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Top  Reasons for Bugging Out from Economic Collapse or Catastrophic Disaster

 

If you haven’t considered the horrendous consequences of a major catastrophe, you could be one of the first casualties in just the first few weeks or even days that follow.

A look at disasters that have struck third world countries shows how fast and how easily large numbers of people can die when not prepared and when criminals descend on the vulnerable.

Here are 7 reasons why you need a Bug Out Bag

Reason # 1 for Bugging Out

Supplies of food and water — GONE

Food Shortages – All supplies of food and water that come in to a metropolitan area have been destroyed. Within hours there are no stores or gas stations open and selling anything. Panicked and desperate crowds of people gather in both the streets and now looted and ransacked shopping districts. Roads and bridges may be out. Buildings and several homes and apartment buildings may be on fire. Around the area cries of sadness can be heard as people mourn lost or dead loved ones. If there are collapsed buildings other cries can be heard, those of people pinned and or partially crushed beneath buildings and other debris.

From street to street, chaos, rubble, fires

I can describe the possible carnage in multiple ways, as the carnage and destruction can be different from street to street and neighborhood to neighborhood. Gas pipes may have ruptured and exploded on one street. Broken water mains or sewer pipes may be flooding the ground up above on another.

Gunshots

Gunfire and even gunfire from automatic weapons may be unfolding elsewhere nearby. But who’s gunning it out with who?

Are Army troops setting up martial law and encountering resistance from local citizens? Are the police or national guard at war with local gangs? Is there an ISIS supporter seeing this disaster as his personal opportunity for Jihad on his neighbors who won’t convert or whom he knows are openly Christian or Jewish?

The police … or a pissed off psychopath in a clown suit

Or is it just a pissed off psychopath with his arsenal of weapons and ammo going berserk because, as far as he can tell, the world is coming to an end. With no belief in God, or belief in Hell, he can do whatever the hell he wants to whomever gets in his way. … The sound of automatic gunfire followed by screams of pain and terror. This shooter is gunning down anyone he can, finally letting out all that anger and disdain for human life he’s been holding in all these years. If he has any disdain for a person of another skin color, well whatever that disdain is they may be his first targets …

Race vs race.

Psychopath on a rampage.

Overzealous government troops in a desperate bid to enforce martial law.

Reason # 2 for Bugging Out

Escape the SHTF Circus of Terror that is Coming to Town

Riots – Every where you look, SHTF. In some cities, literally it’s a circus of terror. But haven’t we seen the signs that this day is coming? Didn’t Jesus warn us in different gospels about a terrible day coming to our planet for unbelievers and those not right with God? He said there would be signs in the heavens and signs in the earth. Maybe, just maybe, one of those signs that is taking place as I write these words has to do with clowns; you know those same clowns headlining the news and social media currently… I’ve studied the Bible’s Revelation many times over the years and my conclusion about Revelation is still the same. Revelation is a circus and it’s God unleashing one judgment after another, including the supernatural and a flood of demons, and a flood of evil and violence and disasters, and anything can happen, and it does.

A serious question we all need to ask ourselves is this: Is Revelation finally at our doorstep?

Panicked and Desperate Mobs with No Food or Water

Where ever you are in the region, one thing is for certain you decide — it’s time to Bug Out before those panicked mobs of people down in the city or just across the railroad tracks on the wrong side of town descend on your safe community or neighborhood just a short distance away.

Waiting for FEMA — But FEMA Never Comes

Most of the mobs may be likely to stay near their homes and apartments the first few days, hoping for relief agencies like FEMA or the Red Cross to fly in supplies from helicopter and air drops from overhead planes. But if those supplies never come, for the first time in life these panicked mobs are going to experience true hunger.

When that happens, things are going to get desperate for a lot of them. And desperate people are known to do desperate things. Expect several suicides. Expect several to turn to violent crime, and that includes street gangs and those who already employed as career criminals.

With the police spread thin and short handed, street gangs and career criminals are about to have a hay-day taking whatever they want from whomever they can.

Street gangs are survival predators

Today, street gangs are filled with survivalists, just not the kind you’re thinking of. A lot of these gang members have a predatory survival instinct. In some neighborhoods every day can be a fight for survival as they compete with other gangs in the area and against other dangerous elements. A lot of these gang members have an eye for spotting opportunity and preying on any weaknesses they see in another gang or possible drug dealer working that area. They are constantly looking over shoulders for police while at the same time robberies and murder are common place in the worst neighborhoods of the biggest cities.

Black Gangs, Mexican Gangs, White Gangs, Asian Gangs

Gang leaders and safe houses can have stocks of weapons and ammunition, purchased with drug and blood money both, and stored away for those times that gangs perceive possible turf wars with other gangs, or simply as a second income stream, as they supply people with guns and ammo both and at a price.

Asian gangs? If a major city near you has a China Town, guess what they also have well armed Asian gangs. Mexican gangs? You don’t have to live near Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, or Denver to have a threat from Mexican gangs. If you live in any kind of region near the Mexican border there’s a good chance that Mexican gangs may cross what will now be an unprotected border and head up into U.S. towns looking for loot or anything else they can get there hands on.

White gangs include one percenter bikers, neo-nazis, Russians who are American citizens (we have Russian gangs in several cities or just low level Russian mafia) and general white street criminals from major cities and towns across America. They run drug houses, car theft rings, robbery and extortion activities, the list goes on.

Reason # 3 for Bugging Out

Street gangs and mobs descend on outlying communities

Street Gangs – Some gangs may claim areas as their own, and then deplete all supplies within those areas (often taken by force) before moving on to another area to look for more supplies.

Statistically, around the U.S. and other nations, large cities will have countless numbers of gang members and a number of violent criminals as well as those desperate mobs who seek out the “prosperous” and “peaceful” communities just a few miles out. Scattered in that number fleeing major cities will be high level sex predators … Can anyone guess how a number of these sex predators are going to react to a situation where lawlessness has come to the region; families are separated, parents are missing or may be dead; children wander the streets lost, confused, looking for help. Police are spread thin or nowhere to be found. God help us …

Should you bug out with your family?

That depends on several things. You may be far enough from population centers where you live currently in an outlying community or distant town and bugging out won’t be as important in the first few weeks or months as it is for someone who lives a lot closer to those desperate mobs of people.

Though even if you are in a relatively safe area, any number of events can take place that may make bugging out essential from day one.


RELATED : 10 BUG OUT BAG MISTAKES THAT CAN GET YOU KILLED


Reason # 5 for Bugging Out

Nukes and or Dirty Bombs

Radioactive Fallout from Dirty Bombs or Nuclear Weapons – For a lot of people, that may be to escape radioactive fallout from a nuclear weapon that has just decimated a major city within 50-100 miles and now a radioactive cloud is being carried in your direction by the prevailing winds. Not a lot of people can claim they have a radioactive chemical mask for just such an occasion, yet it is a critical piece of survival gear for residents who live within 100 miles or so of a major city that one day may get nuked. At one time, there weren’t many places in the U.S. to purchase from. But with the growing concern of a nuclear conflict, a lot more are being sold in the U.S. and at reasonable or even low prices. Finally, a Civilian gas mask rated for a nuclear or chemical emergency is available at a lower price. Israel has long lived under a constant threat; a protective mask along these lines is standard fair for citizens (as well as knowing what to do in a nuclear or chemical emergency and access to bomb shelters throughout Israel.

It’s worth mentioning here: We need a lot more bomb shelters in the U.S., though several do exist across the United States often near state or city government buildings; check with your local municipality whether or not your area has a bomb shelter and who has access to it in a nuclear emergency; it might be for local officials only).

Putin has told Russians to leave America and get ready for nuclear war

Right now in world news Vladmir Putin has ordered Russian citizens to be ready for a nuclear conflict with the United States, to know where bomb shelters are, and to have the supplies and know-how for surviving nuclear attack. One of those supplies is a chemical mask rated for nuclear radiation.

If you’re a Russian living in the U.S. he’s advised that you get out. Some say this is just talk meant to scare the West into believing that Russia means business and is not to be messed with. Whatever the reasons for these words, we should see it as a clue that future months ahead could lead into an actual war with Russia.

Should you get a chemical mask rated for nuclear protection?

Chemical masks are already well known in Israel as they live under a constant threat of chemical attack.

But even if years go without any attacks the threat will continue to remain. One day it might happen; it might happen to us as well. Better to have a protective gas mask close by and even in the trunk of your vehicle ‘just in case.’

Terrorist bombs major university; chemical weapons

This goes for students and teachers also. A small chemical bomb is an easy way for a homegrown terrorist to attack a local university. Police stations, government buildings, nightclubs, business districts, sporting events, and shopping malls are also at high risk for chemical bombs — or any kind of bombs for that matter.

I’m not talking about military scale bombs. The small scale bombs I’m referring to are much easier to build and scatter around a local region. (I may have received good information that this is going to be a commmon danger in the months ahead; people are going to die; in other words, it’s going to start happening, and then continue to happen.)


RELATED : How to Bug-In: What You Need to Know to Survive a Grid-Down Disaster


Reason # 6 for Bugging Out

What if a nearby dam is destroyed?

Attack on Dams and Water Supplies – For others forced to bug out, it could be a dam that is destroyed a few miles away that is now flooding the entire valley where you live, sending hundreds of thousands of people on a sudden evacuation into the countryside and toward higher ground. Your city, shopping malls, and schools are suddenly gone — buried under flood waters.

Could a dam really be destroyed? That just depends on the size of the bomb and the desire of a terrorist or attacking government to inflict terror and mass casualties. Several dams could already be pinpointed on an attacker’s maps of cites to destroy in the first wave of an attack; several water reservoirs may have been poisoned by any number of highly toxic chemicals (though risk of this is said to be minimal — nothing is for sure though; what if the water is poisoned at a local treatment plant where a homegrown terrorist works full time?).

Some nukes can be delivered by truck or van

While some nukes could be small enough to fit in a vehicle (after being smuggled into the U.S.) and then driven to a major city and detonated (one of the Pentagon’s current fears), others may have been fired from a small boat or cargo ship off shore (one of New York City’s current fears and something that the Coast Guard is constantly monitoring for).

Nuclear danger from international flights

An even easier way to get a nuke into the U.S.? How about arming “China Air” with a nuclear bomb before it ever leaves China on a routine international flight and then finally detonating that bomb just as the airline is on its final approach and descending toward Los Angeles International Airport. In just a few seconds and a blinding flash of light:

Los Angeles … gone forever.

More nukes are streaking across the sky fired from missiles just off U.S. shores

Several nuclear tipped missiles may shortly after streak across the sky toward several destinations across the U.S., those near the coast would be the first destroyed.

Major dams … power plants … military bases … government buildings … business districts… possibly even toward the head offices for FEMA and Homeland Security. (If you want to make sure the U.S. doesn’t recover from a nuclear attack, don’t just bomb major cities — bomb our critical infrastructure and emergency responders.)

The more thorough an attacking enemy is with their plans, the more they can ensure that the United States of America never recovers.

That realization makes it that much more likely that the first wave of an attack will be more than just a first wave — it’s likely to seem like a flood. It will be catastrophic.

Expect disasters on a Biblical scale

Jesus said in Matthew 24: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man…” But then in the Book of Peter, further in the Bible, we’re told “the end will come like a flood” and also told that the end judgments are reserved for “fire.” So it won’t be another flood of water that God uses to judge the world; we can expect something different. It’s going to be big. It’s going to be bad. It’s going to be ugly . Important questions are answered along the way: For example: Why is God going to judge the world for it’s evils? And … is there any way to escape it? (Yes, there is. Click on the link to learn how to get your life right with God today — before all Hell breaks loose. Because it’s coming. The time is short.)


RELATED : Using A Slingshot As A Survivalist Hunting Weapon


Reason # 7 for Bugging Out

Bugging out may not be a choice — if you stay, you die

Get Out of Dodge – When it comes to bugging out (or bugging in, which basically means to “shelter in place”), the fact of the matter is this: Even if you could win a reward for “prepper” of the year, anything could happen that forces you to flee your home and preps and escape on a bug out into the hills or nearby wilderness. A sudden evacuation may be a matter of life or death — or imprisonment in a concentration camp of some sort ran by some new governing power in the area.

In this case it’s just you, your bug out bag, a good pair of boots, for a lot of people that includes firearms, along with everything you managed to pack into your backpack. If you have a family, they better have their bug out bags packed as well.

Source : secretsofsurvival.com

The post Top Reasons for Bugging Out from Economic Collapse or Catastrophic Disaster appeared first on .

How To Can Water for Emergencies

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How To Can Water for Emergencies Stocking an emergency water supply is something everyone should do-regardless of their situation. Natural disasters can disrupt water supply, contamination can occur with chemical or biological hazard leaks, and cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and burst. Bottled water is definitely easy to come by when conditions are …

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The importance of water to survival

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In the wilderness people do die after becoming lost or having their vehicle break down in remote and unknown areas. Many of these deaths occurred due to excessive heat, thirst and exposure to elements. Causalities also occur because the individuals have poor survival knowledge and they lack basic supplies such as water and food. The … Read more…

The post The importance of water to survival was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Flameless, Lightweight Heatstick Boils Water on the Move

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Flameless, Lightweight Heatstick Boils Water on the Move The Heatstick from Danish company Heatgear attempts to give backpackers and military personnel a better alternative to the camping stove. Not only is it lightweight, but this flameless heat source can also cook while you hike. I will not lie, this is very expensive but is it …

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Priorities for prepping on a tight budget

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A while back, I wrote an article for folks that are brand new to prepping. If you missed it, click here to read it. Anyway, I got some positive feedback on that article, but I also received a few emails asking me to be a bit more specific. They wanted to know where and what […]

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Why your water supply may cost more in future

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Wall Street wants your water supply

Wall Street wants your water supply

A New York Times investigation into rapidly rising water and sewage bills highlit the involvement of Wall Street finance in upgrading century old waterworks.

The paper has a detailed case study of three small towns across America,including Bayonne NJ, a rustbelt area.  The story shows that you might consider investing in your own well or rainwater harvesting if you live in a similar city:

n 2012, this blue-collar port city cut a deal with a Wall Street investment firm to manage its municipal waterworks.

Four years later, many of its old brown pipes have been replaced by shiny cobalt-blue ones, reflecting a broader infrastructure overhaul in Bayonne. But the water and sewer bill jumped so much that some are thinking about moving out of town.

“My reaction was, ‘Oh, so I guess I’m screwed now?’” said Ms. Adamczyk, an accountant and mother of two who received a quarterly bill for almost $500 this year. She’s not alone: Another resident’s bill jumped 5 percent, despite the household’s having used 11 percent less water.

Even as Wall Street deals like the one with Bayonne help financially desperate municipalities to make much-needed repairs, they can come with a hefty price tag — not just to pay for new pipes, but also to help the investors earn a nice return, a New York Times analysis has found. Often, these contracts guarantee a specific amount of revenue, The Times found, which can send water bills soaring.

Water rates in Bayonne have risen nearly 28 percent since Kohlberg Kravis Roberts — one of Wall Street’s most storied private equity firms — teamed up with another company to manage the city’s water system, the Times analysis shows. City officials also promised residents a four-year rate freeze that never materialized.

In one measure of residents’ distress, people are falling so far behind on their bills that the city is placing more liens against their homes, which can eventually lead to foreclosures.

In a typical private equity water deal, higher rates help firms earn returns of 8 to 18 percent, more than what a regular for-profit water company may expect. And to accelerate their returns, two of the firms have applied a common strategy from the private equity playbook: quickly flipping their investment to another firm. This includes K.K.R., which is said to be selling its 90 percent stake in the Bayonne venture.

Bayonne’s sales pitch to its citizens illustrates the bold steps town officials can take — including making promises that are at odds with the actual terms of the deal — to attract private equity money.

At a public meeting in city hall, a lawyer for the city promised that, after an initial rate bump, there would be “a rate freeze for four years,” according to a meeting transcript. Bayonne’s mayor, Mark Smith, later reiterated the four-year freeze in a magazine article.

That promise turned out to be fleeting.

The contract allowed additional rate increases after only two years. There was no four-year freeze.

In fact, rates rose even more than the Bayonne contract predicted — in part because K.K.R’s team had to make unexpected infrastructure upgrades, but also because residents were using less water than expected. The contract guarantees revenue to the team — more than half a billion dollars over 40 years — so water rates have jumped, in part, to make up the difference.

The city said it saw the revenue requirement as a way for K.K.R.’s team to earn steady returns, but not a windfall.

But the Times analysis showed that Bayonne’s water rates grew almost 28 percent under the deal, growth that far exceeded that of three other municipalities to which Bayonne has compared itself.

(Daniel Van Abs, an associate professor at Rutgers University who specializes in water management, said that a true apples-to-apples comparison of water rates in different towns was “extremely difficult” because of the different factors that can influence rates, including the size of the utility, the municipality’s population, droughts and infrastructure investment — or lack thereof. The Times analysis for Bayonne did not include sewer rates.)

Former Bayonne officials who had promised the four-year rate freeze said in interviews that they had not meant to mislead residents. They said they had earmarked some of the K.K.R. team’s $150 million up-front payment to offset rate increases in the contract’s early years.

But then voters ousted Mayor Smith. And once he left office, the new administration put that money elsewhere.

“I think we could have accomplished that four-year minimum,” the former mayor said in an interview. The town’s water rates, he said, are now “exorbitant.”

“We gave away too much,” said Gary La Pelusa Sr., a Bayonne city councilman and a former commissioner of the town’s utilities authority.CreditBryan Anselm for The New York Times

Tim Boyle, who took over Bayonne’s utilities authority after Mr. Smith was voted out of office, said that various regulations required the city to use that money for property tax relief rather than to stabilize rates. He also blamed the previous administration for guaranteeing too much revenue to K.K.R.’s team in the early part of the deal, calling those figures “wildly optimistic.”

Bayonne officials also stress the deal’s benefits, including the up-front payment that let Bayonne pay off more than $100 million in old debts. Within three months, Moody’s Investor Service revised the city’s debt outlook from “negative” to “stable” for the first time in five years, and it has since upgraded the city’s credit rating.

K.K.R.’s team contributes about $2.5 million annually to pay for repairs to water infrastructure, plus $500,000 to the city itself. K.K.R. and Suez said they have upgraded their safety equipment and replaced inoperable hydrants around town.

They also installed sophisticated water meters that can detect leaks in people’s homes, and sent nearly 2,000 letters to customers warning when such leaks occurred. As such, use has declined, according to Mr. Henning, who said Suez had received “many notes of thanks” for the warnings.

But more-sensitive meters could lead to higher bills for some residents whose water use wasn’t fully captured in the past. When negotiating the deal, K.K.R. called this process “meter uplift,” according to emails obtained through records requests.

“We gave away too much,” said Gary La Pelusa Sr., a city councilman and former commissioner of Bayonne’s utilities authority, which approved the deal over his objections.

Bayonne originally promised residents that the city’s utilities authority would oversee K.K.R. and Suez. But the City Council recently decided to shutter the agency and handle the oversight itself.

Stephen Gallo, who headed that authority when the deal was struck, still believes that it benefits Bayonne. “But you’ve got to watch them, you’ve got to keep an eye on things,” he said. “I don’t know who’s doing that now.”

In interviews with The Times, more than a dozen Bayonne residents, including Ms. Adamczyk, expressed dismay over the rate increases. One reason is that people who fall behind on payments face long-term risks: Unpaid water and sewer bills can be sold to investors who try to collect on that debt, a common practice across the country. Failure to pay can ultimately lead to foreclosure.

In 2012, the year Bayonne struck its deal, water bill delinquencies led to 200 government liens against local properties, tax records show. That figure more than tripled the next year, the first full year under K.K.R.’s team. In 2015, the most recent year with data available, the number remained elevated, at 465.

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Why your water supply may be costing more

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Wall Street wants your water supply

Wall Street wants your water supply

A New York Times investigation into rapidly rising water and sewage bills highlit the involvement of Wall Street finance in upgrading century old waterworks.

The paper has a detailed case study of three small towns across America,including Bayonne NJ, a rustbelt area.  The story shows that you might consider investing in your own well or rainwater harvesting if you live in a similar city:

n 2012, this blue-collar port city cut a deal with a Wall Street investment firm to manage its municipal waterworks.

Four years later, many of its old brown pipes have been replaced by shiny cobalt-blue ones, reflecting a broader infrastructure overhaul in Bayonne. But the water and sewer bill jumped so much that some are thinking about moving out of town.

“My reaction was, ‘Oh, so I guess I’m screwed now?’” said Ms. Adamczyk, an accountant and mother of two who received a quarterly bill for almost $500 this year. She’s not alone: Another resident’s bill jumped 5 percent, despite the household’s having used 11 percent less water.

Even as Wall Street deals like the one with Bayonne help financially desperate municipalities to make much-needed repairs, they can come with a hefty price tag — not just to pay for new pipes, but also to help the investors earn a nice return, a New York Times analysis has found. Often, these contracts guarantee a specific amount of revenue, The Times found, which can send water bills soaring.

Water rates in Bayonne have risen nearly 28 percent since Kohlberg Kravis Roberts — one of Wall Street’s most storied private equity firms — teamed up with another company to manage the city’s water system, the Times analysis shows. City officials also promised residents a four-year rate freeze that never materialized.

In one measure of residents’ distress, people are falling so far behind on their bills that the city is placing more liens against their homes, which can eventually lead to foreclosures.

In a typical private equity water deal, higher rates help firms earn returns of 8 to 18 percent, more than what a regular for-profit water company may expect. And to accelerate their returns, two of the firms have applied a common strategy from the private equity playbook: quickly flipping their investment to another firm. This includes K.K.R., which is said to be selling its 90 percent stake in the Bayonne venture.

Bayonne’s sales pitch to its citizens illustrates the bold steps town officials can take — including making promises that are at odds with the actual terms of the deal — to attract private equity money.

At a public meeting in city hall, a lawyer for the city promised that, after an initial rate bump, there would be “a rate freeze for four years,” according to a meeting transcript. Bayonne’s mayor, Mark Smith, later reiterated the four-year freeze in a magazine article.

That promise turned out to be fleeting.

The contract allowed additional rate increases after only two years. There was no four-year freeze.

In fact, rates rose even more than the Bayonne contract predicted — in part because K.K.R’s team had to make unexpected infrastructure upgrades, but also because residents were using less water than expected. The contract guarantees revenue to the team — more than half a billion dollars over 40 years — so water rates have jumped, in part, to make up the difference.

The city said it saw the revenue requirement as a way for K.K.R.’s team to earn steady returns, but not a windfall.

But the Times analysis showed that Bayonne’s water rates grew almost 28 percent under the deal, growth that far exceeded that of three other municipalities to which Bayonne has compared itself.

(Daniel Van Abs, an associate professor at Rutgers University who specializes in water management, said that a true apples-to-apples comparison of water rates in different towns was “extremely difficult” because of the different factors that can influence rates, including the size of the utility, the municipality’s population, droughts and infrastructure investment — or lack thereof. The Times analysis for Bayonne did not include sewer rates.)

Former Bayonne officials who had promised the four-year rate freeze said in interviews that they had not meant to mislead residents. They said they had earmarked some of the K.K.R. team’s $150 million up-front payment to offset rate increases in the contract’s early years.

But then voters ousted Mayor Smith. And once he left office, the new administration put that money elsewhere.

“I think we could have accomplished that four-year minimum,” the former mayor said in an interview. The town’s water rates, he said, are now “exorbitant.”

“We gave away too much,” said Gary La Pelusa Sr., a Bayonne city councilman and a former commissioner of the town’s utilities authority.CreditBryan Anselm for The New York Times

Tim Boyle, who took over Bayonne’s utilities authority after Mr. Smith was voted out of office, said that various regulations required the city to use that money for property tax relief rather than to stabilize rates. He also blamed the previous administration for guaranteeing too much revenue to K.K.R.’s team in the early part of the deal, calling those figures “wildly optimistic.”

Bayonne officials also stress the deal’s benefits, including the up-front payment that let Bayonne pay off more than $100 million in old debts. Within three months, Moody’s Investor Service revised the city’s debt outlook from “negative” to “stable” for the first time in five years, and it has since upgraded the city’s credit rating.

K.K.R.’s team contributes about $2.5 million annually to pay for repairs to water infrastructure, plus $500,000 to the city itself. K.K.R. and Suez said they have upgraded their safety equipment and replaced inoperable hydrants around town.

They also installed sophisticated water meters that can detect leaks in people’s homes, and sent nearly 2,000 letters to customers warning when such leaks occurred. As such, use has declined, according to Mr. Henning, who said Suez had received “many notes of thanks” for the warnings.

But more-sensitive meters could lead to higher bills for some residents whose water use wasn’t fully captured in the past. When negotiating the deal, K.K.R. called this process “meter uplift,” according to emails obtained through records requests.

“We gave away too much,” said Gary La Pelusa Sr., a city councilman and former commissioner of Bayonne’s utilities authority, which approved the deal over his objections.

Bayonne originally promised residents that the city’s utilities authority would oversee K.K.R. and Suez. But the City Council recently decided to shutter the agency and handle the oversight itself.

Stephen Gallo, who headed that authority when the deal was struck, still believes that it benefits Bayonne. “But you’ve got to watch them, you’ve got to keep an eye on things,” he said. “I don’t know who’s doing that now.”

In interviews with The Times, more than a dozen Bayonne residents, including Ms. Adamczyk, expressed dismay over the rate increases. One reason is that people who fall behind on payments face long-term risks: Unpaid water and sewer bills can be sold to investors who try to collect on that debt, a common practice across the country. Failure to pay can ultimately lead to foreclosure.

In 2012, the year Bayonne struck its deal, water bill delinquencies led to 200 government liens against local properties, tax records show. That figure more than tripled the next year, the first full year under K.K.R.’s team. In 2015, the most recent year with data available, the number remained elevated, at 465.

The post Why your water supply may be costing more appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

What Not To Do!

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I was prompted to write this short article because I recently saw a video about survival in Arnhem Land. In this video a number of suggestions were made that I do not agree with. Rather than rubbish the video or the presenter, I prefer to simply advise what not to do in this blog.

I lived for 10 years in the Territory, I survived cyclone Tracey in 74, & prior to that I lived in an Aboriginal camp in Arnhem Land for two months.

When travelling in the Territory, wet season or dry season, do NOT set up camp anywhere near water if you intend to spend the night there, & certainly not in shaded areas near water. The reason for this is: 
(1) mosquitoes breed in water, & they love to be near water & particularly swarm in shaded areas. The dry season can get chilly & therefore less mossies especially if there is a stiff breeze blowing, but in shaded protected areas the mossies are still there.

 (2) Leaches. Leaches love the damp, & they are not just in the water. Leaches can be found in the damp areas anywhere near water & you do not want these in your shelter. 

(3) Snakes. Snakes love the water & frequent low damp areas, this is where they find their food. They are also great swimmers & will often travel by water. If snakes are to be found anywhere, it will be near water.

(4) Crocodiles. Crocs are everywhere in the Territory, a safe water hole one season may not be safe the next, because during the wet season crocs travel overland. Crocs can be hard to spot in the water, & they will often leave the water. Crocs can also run very fast on land for short distances. If you don’t want a croc dragging you out of your shelter at night then don’t camp near the water! If you have to fetch water, NEVER put your hands in the water, NEVER stand on the water’s edge. Use rope, cordage or at the very least your waist belt through the handle of a billy to dip water. Crocs are amazingly fast so take care! 

(5) Rising Water. In the wet season water holes, creeks & rivers can rise very quickly & if your shelter is too close to the water you can get flooded out. 

If you are going to make camp do it in an open area high & dry if you can with a tree or two for shade. In this way you can take advantage of any breezes blowing that will help keep you cool & hopefully keep the mossies at bay. Sometimes there is no escaping mossies, I have covered myself with a blanket, used a mossie net, & sat all night by a Buffalo dung fire drinking rum all night. The latter won’t keep the mossies off, but after half a bottle of rum you don’t really care! Come morning though you will not be feeling so good from the rum or the mossie bites!

You take care out there.
Keith.

How To Build A Solar-Powered Still To Purify Drinking Water

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How To Build A Solar-Powered Still To Purify Drinking Water This is a great project to purify any water to get drinking water. It uses no electricity or man made heat, just the power of the sun. These stills even work in winter. This project from offthegridnews.com shows you how to build one and after …

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How to “go” when you are on the go

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Food goes in and it must come out, that goes for you, me and even folk who live on the road. It’s one of the things that people either don’t think about or that’s all they think about. For those who live in their van, you can choose to toilet and bathe in your van, or you can stay close enough to places where you can toilet and bathe. It’s possible to go a few days (or even longer) between showers, you can so what my parents referred to as a spit bath (my dad used to say chorus girl bath), but you have to use the toilet on a daily basis.

For me, I would do the bucket method like Will Burson, I think he has a good setup, I’d personally want a better “seat”, but other than that, his setup is great, a double layer of trash bags in a 5 gallon bucket, a bit of kitty litter and a Gamma Seal lid and he’s setup.

He also shows a bit how he cleans himself, using baby wipes, and using a small sink to shampoo his hair. I understand he goes to a gym for regular showers, but when he’s not close to that gym, he cleans up between time in this manner. I read some of the comments people left on his YouTube page, most understand but it’s amazing at the number of people who say how gross this is… hello? Everyone poops, EVERYONE, how can that be gross? Do these people not use the toilet themselves?

Here is the video, enjoy!
https://youtu.be/KNh2IApLoAo

web
analytics

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34 Best Survival Hacks You Should Learn Right Now

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survival hacksSurvival hacks are solutions that break the rules. The best survivalists don’t just blindly follow rulebooks, so we hack when necessary. Sure, there are hundreds of survival guides we learn from but you’re at a huge disadvantage when you rely too heavily on any one resource.

Real survival is a creative endeavor that requires fast thinking and an open mind. Sometimes you have to improvise, adapt, and make it up as you go along. You have to make split-second decisions. You have to work with what you have got.

You have to think like McGyver by survival hacking your way to safety.

Some of the following survival hacks are my own personal tricks, others I have learned from different survivalists, but together they are very useful and applicable in most any survival scenario.

But remember: you can always “make up” a new survival hack on the fly. All you need is a goal and a handful of random materials. There’s always more than one way to solve any problem.

The following list of survival hacks is not comprehensive. In fact, these 34 survival hacks are just a small drop in a much larger bucket. But this list will inspire you in a creative survival sort of way.

The Survival Hacks (We’ll Start Simple)

1 – Dorito Fire Starters

If you need to get a fire started ASAP, but don’t have paper or lighter fluid, use Doritos (any corn chip will work well). These chips are flammable and will ignite quickly. They are a perfect makeshift tinder to get a small quick flame. Time to survival hack your way into building a much larger fire.

They are a perfect makeshift tinder to get a small quick flame. Use Doritos to survival hack your way to build a much larger fire.

2 – Alcohol Swabs as Fire Starters

Similarly to Doritos, alcohol swabs are incendiary. The alcohol makes them flammable enough to catch quickly and the cotton holds a flame long enough to establish a lasting fire.

3 – Battery as Fire Starter

Another great survival hack to generate flame is to use a battery and a couple small pieces of tin foil (or wire). By placing one tin foil strip on each end of the battery, you can get the foil to heat up and burst into flame.

Any battery will do, and the flame generated should be big enough to set fire to paper, thin bark, alcohol swabs or even Dorito chips.

4 – Pencil + Jumper Cables + Battery = Fire

Simply attach the cables to your car battery like you are giving someone a jump. But connect the other ends to a pencil.

The graphite core of the writing utensil will conduct electricity, heating up and causing the pencil to burst into flames.

5 – Crisco Candles

Often times, in survival situations, people lose electricity to power their lights. But fear not! As in times of old, you can use candles to generate light. But what can you do if you are fresh out of wax candles?

Crisco makes a good candle “wax” substitute. Just run a makeshift wick through a big glop of it and you’ll be good to go.

6 – Crayon Candles

Crayons are more than just art supplies for kids. They can be stood up on end, lite on fire, and viola you have a makeshift candle. Each crayon candle will only last about 15 minutes but you can get a box of 96 crayons. That equates to 24 hours of emergency light.

7 – Terra Cotta Heaters

Here’s a survival hack for when there is no electric heat, and you need to warm up a small room. Well, without a fireplace, starting a fire in the living room is out of the question. But there is another way: terra cotta conducts heat very well and radiates the warmth that it collects.

By placing a few candles beneath an upside down terra cotta pot (which can easily be bought at any hardware or garden store) you can create a mini-heater that will pump out a surprising amount of heat.

Set up a few of these makeshift heaters and your home will be nice and toasty in no time!

8 – Coke Can Alcohol Jet Stove

Cut the top of the coke can off about 2-3 inches from the bottom of can, and turn it upside down. Drill or poke holes in the bottom of the can so that air can flow through the ‘stove’. Place a gel fuel tin (or something similar) under the upside down coke can and light it.

You may have to adjust the size of your holes and the airflow somewhat, but once you get it, you should have a working jet stove.

9 – Wild Plants For Insect Repellant

Smoke of any kind works as a general insect repellant, but a few wild plants work as well.

The video below is proof that the right wild plants will keep these dangerous pests at bay.

10 – Super Glue Stitches

Super glue is small, easy to carry, and when there is an open wound that needs closing there really isn’t anything (short of actual stitches) that is better suited for the job.

Just make sure to pinch the laceration closed until the glue dries.

11 – Makeshift Slings

Slings are one of those things you don’t need until you really need one. Luckily, they are pretty simple and really easy to improvise: bandanas, t-shirts, hoodies, blankets and tarps can all work.

If it is too big, cut it, if it is too small, tie a few together.

12 – Hunting Broad Heads From Keys

With the right kind of tools and a file, a key can be shaped into a makeshift hunting broadhead.

13 – Duct Tape Fletching

If you are making your own arrows, you will undoubtedly need a form of fletching. Fletching is the feather (or foam, or plastic) “rudder” at the end of your arrow. It stabilizes the shaft during flight and increases accuracy by a great measure.

In a pinch, when you do not have the time to craft fine fletching on each arrow, duct tape can provide the necessary stiffness to balance the flight of your projectile.

14 – Can Top Fishing Hooks

Fishing is one of the best ways to gather food in wilderness surviving. But finding the right materials is not easy. Luckily, one very common item makes for an almost perfect fishing hook: pop tops!

The fun little tags on top of your beer and soda cans are a great shape to make a fishing hook out of. All you have to do is remove one segment of the top and file it to a point. And there it is: you’ve got yourself a functional fishing hook.

15 – Gorge Fishing Hook

Gorge fishing is one of the oldest methods for fishing. Human beings have been using this technique for thousands of years to catch fish, and it is pretty simple: sharpen both ends of a small twig or stick, and carve out a notch in the center of it.

Wrap line around the carved notch and stick your bait on one sharp end. Drop the gorge hook in the water, and when a fish swallows it, pull the line hard and the twig will turn sideways inside the fish, lodging in its throat and securing your dinner for the night.

16 – Fish Trap from 2-liter Bottle

Take the cap off of the top and cut that end of the bottle right just where it reaches full thickness. Flip the smaller piece and insert it back into the bottle, in reverse. You may have to make a few cuts in the cap end so that it fits snugly inside the bottle’s body. Tie (or otherwise secure) the inverted cap end inside with wire or string.

The basic idea of this trap is the same as any commercial crabbing trap: for fish to swim inside, where they will not be able to swim back out.

Of course, don’t expect to catch any monster fish with this, but it is a good way to secure a few mouthful of minnows.

17 – Yucca Sewing Kit

This is one of my favorites, but it is also only viable in certain geographic areas of the United States.

Yucca is a sharp, agave-like plant with big fat leaves that end in sharp barbed points. Cut one of the leaves off the plant, and start shaving off the edges, until you are left with a long thin, single strip of Yucca with the barb at one end.

Now, cut that thin strip in half and twist the two strands together like a small rope. This will increase the tensile strength of the twine and leaves you with a sharp needle and a thread with which to sew your torn garments.

18 – Water Bottle Ceiling Lights

Need a ceiling light, but don’t have electricity? We got you covered. Just fill a transparent water bottle with water and cut a hole in the roof of your shelter (this probably will not fly in the house).

Jam the bottle up in the hole, and there it is! The light will travel through the water and disperse (hooray for physics), creating a source of light to brighten up your darkest days.

19 – Desk Lamp Water Jug

Gallon jugs of water can work as lamps too! Just fill them up, and wrap a headlamp around them. The light from the headlamp will turn that gallon jug into a bright desk or table lamp.

20 – Improvised Compass

This is one of the oldest and most useful survival hacks in the “book”.

Get a cup or puddle of water (it does not matter as long as it is still and not flowing), lay a leaf in the center of it and gently place a sewing needle or piece of wire on top, so it floats. The magnetic fields of the Earth will naturally orient the needle to point North/South.

This trick has saved thousands of humans over the centuries and is a hack every survivalist should know well.

21 – Rain Collection from A Tarp

All you need is a large tarp and a 5-gallon bucket to collect a significant amount of water when the skies open up. Even in a light drizzle, you can collect a decent amount of drinkable water with this simple survival hack.

22 – Signaling Whistle from Bullet Casing

Maybe might have noticed that larger spent bullet cartridges look a lot like whistles. This similarity was not lost on us, and with a few precise cuts, you can make a very loud, very shrill whistle, perfect for signaling distress.

23 – Folgers Toilet Paper Protector

What is worse than going to the bathroom only to discover you have no toilet paper? Going to the bathroom and discovering that the toilet paper you did bring is soaking wet… I only had to make this mistake once before I changed my ways forever.

Now, I use a coffee can to house my toilet paper, keeping it forever dry! Zip lock bags work well too and pack easily.

24 – Condom Canteen

Yeah, you read that right. Those trusty rubbers are good for more than just baby-prevention, they can also save you from dying of thirst.

Fill one up with water, and carry it with you if there are not any other viable options for transporting the water. Just make sure the condom is not used, or flavored, or lubed.

25 – Improvised Reflective Signals

These can be fashioned from any number of reflective materials; rear-view mirrors, CD’s, polished metal and even jewelry can work.

Of course, some are easier to work with than others. But as long as it shimmers in the sunlight, you should be good to use it as a distress signal.

26 – Tarp Shelters

Survival shelters are hard to come by in many situations. Especially a waterproof shelter. But with a

But with a large survival tarp, you can make sure that you stay dry and protected from the elements.

Tarps do not insulate very well, though, so while it is possible to just hang one up and pass out underneath it, you won’t be staying warm for long. So, the best way to remedy this it to build a small stick frame (like that of a tent) and lay the tarp over it.

Then, pile dirt and moss and leaves up against the sides of the tarp, this will act as insulation and keep your heat from dissipating too quickly.

Snow can be substituted for the dirt in winter (like an igloo).

Here’s where you can get an Aqua Defender King Camo Tarp like the one in this video.

Complex Survival Hacks

27 – Hunting Bow from a Bike Tire

There are a few slightly different methods to accomplish this, but the general idea is the same. First cut the frame of a bike wheel in half, clean out the spokes and sand down the sharp edges.

Then create a guidance system for your string with a couple of well-placed eyelets along the cut rim of the wheel.

The video below goes into much greater detail. It takes time, and it requires a number of supplies to accomplish successfully, but this is the kind of thing that could be used for hunting or self-defense in a pinch.

28 – Makeshift Raft

If I learned anything from the movie Jaws, it’s that empty plastic containers float pretty well. That simple fact applies to smaller containers too; like drinking water bottles and gallon jugs.

By fastening a bunch of empty plastic containers together – either with string or by wrapping them all together in a tarp – you can create a pretty big flotation device capable of carrying at least one person.

29 – Coffee Can Wood Burning Stove

Coffee cans are useful for a lot of purposes. But perhaps my favorite (and one I learned years ago, back in cub scouts), is the wood burning rocket stove.

Turn the metal coffee can (plastic won’t work, sorry) upside down on the ground, and punch a couple of ventilation holes in (what is now) the top of the can. You can also cut a small circle of the flat part for increased airflow.

Cut a square out of the side of the can where you can feed the fire inside. Now all you have to do is collect wood, and keep the inferno inside your coffee can burning.

These stoves work great for cooking outdoors when you don’t have a gas stove or don’t want to cook over an open fire. They also generate a lot of heat and can act like a small heater on chilly nights.

30 – Blanket Chair

Just because you don’t have access to your favorite Lazy Boy recliner, doesn’t mean you have to forsake comfort entirely.

By building a tripod A-frame out of 4 or more solid branches, and tying a blanket or a tarp to it, you can make a very comfortable, single person camp chair, perfect for keeping your bum off the cold ground.

31 – Homemade Penicillin

If you are not familiar with the revolutionary excellence of penicillin as an antibiotic, you need to get educated. This awesome little mold was one of the first ever discovered antibiotics used to fight bacterial infections.

And in the wilderness, or in a survival situation, having an antibiotic to fight an infection will absolutely save your life.

Before antibiotics were discovered, people regularly died because of small cuts that got infected. And you will too, without antibiotics. But you need to be careful, making sure to follow every step in the process as closely as possible.

And I wouldn’t wait around until you have an infection to start growing penicillin – because that is already too late. This is one that needs to be planned ahead by growing your own or with survival antibiotics

32 – Ping Pong Ball Smoke Bomb

Have you ever tried lighting a Ping-Pong ball on fire? If so, you know that they are incredibly incendiary. They light up like the 4th of July.

By wrapping tin foil around the ping pong ball, and leaving a funnel for air at one end, you can create a fairly effective smoke bomb.

Put a flame to the bottom of the tin foil wrapped ball until the plastic inside ignites. And BOOM! Smoke will start billowing out the funnel.

33 – Grass Tire Pressure

If you get a flat tire and do not have an air pump, a spare, a patching kit, cell service to call for help, or any other viable option, you can fill a burst tire with grass and other foliage to provide just enough support to drive on it.

Simply cut a few holes on the inside of the tire and start stuffing! Obviously, you will not be able to use that tire ever again – it will need to be replaced – so don’t do this unless you have no other options.

34 – Improvised Perimeter Alarms

Security is important and becomes more important in survival situations. Air horns, firecrackers, or any triggering device can be rigged with string to go off when someone trips the wire.

A well-planned perimeter alarm system can help you get a good nights sleep when you’re concerned about trespassers.

You can pick up some Sentry Alarm Mines that work with .22 rounds. When tripped, these will fire off the .22 round and make one hell of a bang.

The Final Word

There is no “right way” to survive. Each individual is going to have his or her own survival style, tricks, and hacks. I highly encourage everyone to develop your own…

No website, book, or teacher will ever capture every possible survival hack. Quite simply because, there’s always new ones being developed by clever survivalists. Anyone with a handful of materials, a goal, and the will to survive, will rig together things in order to stay alive.

So share your own survival hacks with us today in the comments below!

– Will Brendza

The post 34 Best Survival Hacks You Should Learn Right Now appeared first on Skilled Survival.

When the Economy Collapses, What is “Money”?

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It seems like every year there is talk of an imminent economic collapse. 2017 is no different. With the economic deck stacked against Trump, I don’t have much confidence that he, alone, can turn things around. After all, the national debt is completely out of control and has doubled in the past 8 years. Sooner or later, the piper must be paid and preppers who breathed a sigh of relief when Trump was elected, may want to think again, as I wrote about in this article.

So, with continued predictions of economic collapse, I asked Mac Slavo over at SHTFplan blog to share with my readers his insights into how a family might survive following a collapse of our money system.  Here is his answer, in his own words:

Economist Mike Shedlock defines money through the eyes of Austrian economist Murray N. Rothbard as, “a commodity used as a medium of exchange.”

“Like all commodities, it has an existing stock, it faces demands by people to buy and hold it. Like all commodities, its “price” in terms of other goods is determined by the interaction of its total supply, or stock, and the total demand by people to buy and hold it. People “buy” money by selling their goods and services for it, just as they “sell” money when they buy goods and services.”

What is money when the system collapses and the SHTF?

In disaster situations, the value of money as we know it now, changes, especially if we are dealing with a hyperinflationary collapse of the system’s core currency. This article discusses money as a commodity in an event where the traditional currency (US Dollar) is no longer valuable.

In a collapse of the system, there will be multiple phases, with the first phase being the “crunch”, as discussed in James Rawles’ book Patriots. The crunch is the period of time directly preceding a collapse and the collapse itself. Too often, preppers prep for “the crunch” and fail to realize they will have to be ready to survive for many months, if not years afterwards.

Traditional Currency

Initially, the traditional currency system will maintain some value, though it may be rapidly depreciating in buying power. For those with physical, non-precious metal denominated currency on hand (paper dollars, non-silver coins), spending it as rapidly as possible is the best approach. In Argentina during that country’s many economic collapses, if someone received a check in payment, the immediately rushed to cash it, knowing that it was losing its value minute by minute. This short Kindle document, written by a survivor of that time in Argentina’s history, details that event.

It is during the crunch that ATM machines around the country will run out of currency as people aware of the rapidly devaluing dollar will be attempting to withdraw as much money as possible. This immediate increase in money supply, coupled with the population’s general knowledge of the currency depreciation in progress, will lead to instant price increases for goods, especially essential goods.

And, forget the classic “run on banks” that have been depicted in old movies, including “It’s a Wonderful Life.” A modern day “run” simply won’t happen. Rather, the electronic system that moves money from a billion different points to another billion points will simply be turned off. In a split second, all access to funds will cease, and there will be no point running to a bank to get cash, since banks will be in lockdown mode and, in any case, they hold very little actual cash.

If your physical cash has not been converted into tangible assets, this would be the time to do so. Acquiring as much food, fuel, clothing and toiletry items as possible would be the ideal way to spend remaining cash before it completely collapses to zero, as it did in the Weimar inflation in 1930’s Germany or Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation in recent years. This family survival and prepping manual has in depth advice for preppers at all stages.

Precious Metals

During the initial phase of the ‘crunch’, precious metals will be a primary bartering tool, but this may not last long. The old survivalist adage, “You can’t eat your gold,” will become apparent very quickly. In a total breakdown of the system, food, water and fuel will be the most important tangible goods to acquire, and for beginners, this list of where to start with food storage is invaluable.

Consider someone who has a two-week or one-month supply of food on hand. Do you believe they would be willing to part with that food for some precious metals? The likely answer is no. There will be almost no bartering item that one would be willing to trade their food for once it is realized that food supply lines have been cut. At that point, it’s anyone’s guess as to when supplies, food and otherwise, will be replenished.

That being said, since most will not barter their food, not even for fuel, the next recognized medium of exchange by merchants, especially those selling fuel, will be precious metals. For the initial crunch, silver coins, especially recognizable coins like 90% silver quarters, dimes and half dollars, along with one ounce government mint issued silver coins, like US Silver Eagles, will be accepted by some, probably most, merchants. For those trying to flee cities to bug-out locations, silver coins of the aforementioned denominations may be a life saver, as they can be used to acquire fuel. While it’s recommended to have gold as well, the issue with gold is that its value is so much higher than that of silver. Breaking a one-ounce gold coin into ten pieces just to buy a tank of gas will not be practical. It is for this reason that having silver on hand is highly recommended. Packing at least $25 – $50 worth of silver coins in each bug-out bag would be a prudent prepping idea.

In a total SHTF scenario, silver and gold may eventually break down as a bartering unit, as contact with the, “outside” world breaks down. One reason for this, is that the fair value price of precious metals will be hard to determine, as it will be difficult to locate buyers for this commodity. As well, the vast majority of people will not have precious metals of any kind for barter, so other forms of currency will begin to appear.

This, however, does not mean that you should spend all of your precious metals right at the onset of a collapse. Precious metals will have value after bartering and trade is reestablished and once the system begins to stabilize. Once stabilization begins, the likely scenario is that precious metals will be one of the most valuable monetary units available, so having plenty may be quite a benefit. At this point, they could be used to purchase property, livestock, services, and labor.

Water as currency

Water is often overlooked as a medium of exchange, though it is one of the most essential commodities for survival on the planet.

For those bugging out of cities, it will be impractical to carry with them more than 5 – 10 gallons of water because of space limitations in their vehicles. Due to the weight of water, 8 lbs. per gallon, it’s very difficult to carry much if getting out on foot. Thus, having a method to procure water may not only save your life but also provide you with additional goods for which you can barter

An easy solution for providing yourself and others with clean water is to acquire a portable water filtration unit for your bug-out bag(s). While they are a bit costly, with a good unit such as the Katadyn Combi water filter running around $170, the water produced will be worth its weight in gold, almost literally. This particular filter produces 13,000 gallons of clean water! It’s a must-have for any survival kit.

Because we like reserves for our reserves, we’d also recommend acquiring water treatment tablets like the EPA approved Katadyn Micropur tabs. If your filter is lost or breaks for whatever reason, each tablet can filter 1 liter of water. In our opinion, it’s the best chemical water treatment available.

Clean water is money. In a bartering environment, especially before individuals have had time to establish water sources, this will be an extremely valuable medium of exchange and will have more buying power than even silver or gold on the individual bartering level.

Food as currency when SHTF

In a system collapse, food will be another of the core essential items that individuals will want to acquire. Survival Blog founder James Rawles suggests storing food for 1) personal use, 2) charity, and 3) bartering.

Dry goods, canned goods, and freeze dried foods can be used for bartering, but only if you have enought to feed yourself, family and friends. They should be bartered by expiration date, with those foods with the expiration dates farthest out being the last to be traded. You don’t know how long the crunch and recovery periods will last, so hold the foods with the longest expiration dates in your posession if you get to a point where you must trade.

Baby formula will also be a highly valued item in a SHTF scenario, so whether you have young children or not, it may not be a bad idea to stockpile a one or two weeks supply. (For parents of young children, this should be the absolute first thing you should be stockpiling!). In addition to water, baby formula may be one of the most precious of all monetary commodities.

Another tradeable food good would be non-hybrid produce seeds, but the need for these may not be apparent to most at the initial onset of a collapse, though having extra seeds in your bug-out location may come in handy later. If you currently have a productive garden, check out these instructions for creating your own mini seed banks for barter or sale.

Fuel as currency in a post-SHTF world

Fuel, including gas, diesel, propane and kerosene will all become barterable goods in a collapse, with gas being the primary of these energy monetary units during the crunch as individuals flee cities. For most, stockpiling large quantities will be impractical, so for those individuals who prepared, they may only have 20 – 50 gallons in their possession as they are leaving their homes. If you are near your final bug-out destination, and you must acquire food, water or firearms, fuel may be a good medium of exchange, especially for those that have extra food stuffs they are willing to trade.

Though we do not recommend expending your fuel, if you are left with no choice, then food, water and clothing may take precedence.

For those with the ability to do so, store fuel in underground tanks on your property for later use and trading, and this article provides vital instructions for storing fuel safely — a major consideration.

Firearms and Ammunition

Though firearms and ammunition may not be something you want to give up, those without them will be willing to trade some of their food, precious metals, fuel and water for personal security. If the system collapses, there will likely be pandemonium, and those without a way to protect themselves will be sitting ducks to thieves, predators, and gangs.

Even if you choose not to trade your firearms and ammo during the onset of a collapse, these items will be valuable later. As food supplies diminish, those without firearms will want to acquire them so they can hunt for food. Those with firearms may very well be running low on ammunition and will be willing to trade for any of the aforementioned items.

In James Rawles’ Patriots and William Forstchen’s One Second After, ammunition was the primary trading good during the recovery and stabilization periods, where it was traded for food, clothing, shoes, livestock, precious metals, and fuel.

Clothing and Footwear

We may take it for granted now because of the seemingly endless supply, but clothing and footwear items will be critical in both, the crunch and the phases after it. Having an extra pair of boots, a jacket, socks, underwear and sweaters can be an excellent way to acquire other essential items in a trade.

As children grow out of their clothes, rather than throwing them away, they will become barterable goods, and one possible way to earn an income during this time could be running a second hand clothing store.

It is recommended that those with children stock up on essential clothing items like socks, underwear and winter-wear that is sized a year or two ahead of your child’s age.

Additional Monetary Commodities

The above monetary units are essential goods that will be helpful for bartering in the initial phases of a collapse in the system. As the crunch wanes and recovery and stabilization begin to take over, other commodities will become tradeable goods.

Another important monetary commodity after the crunch will be trade skills. If you know how to fish, machine tools, hunt, sew, fix and operate radioes, fix cars, manufacture shoes, or grow food, you’ll have some very important skills during the recovery period. It costs very little, if anything, to acquire skills and survival knowledge, and, in the worst of times, those are things that cannot be taken from you.

Guest post by Mac Slavo from SHTFplan, updated by Noah, 1/2/17.

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Canned Water with a 50 Year Shelf Life!

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Canned Water with a 50 Year Shelf Life! Storing potable water can be one of the trickiest parts of prepping. It is crucial to have water on hand, though, if the local water supply becomes contaminated or simply isn’t accessible. The problem with storing water is that the shelf life is typically short, and there’s …

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Bugging Out. Carrying all that weight.

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You can travel light and carry all you need for long term wilderness living/survival, all that is accept perhaps enough water and food! If there are water holes on your route then there is no problem. If you are able to hunt & forage on the way then there is no problem. But what if you get diverted have to by-pass those water holes? What if you are trekking in winter and there are few edible plants to find and the game is scarce? Then you have a problem. You can survive for three days without water, but this also depends on how hard you are working. You can survive three weeks without food, but again, this is dependent on your exertion level. You probably know as well as I that when you are working hard your need for water and food increases. You are drinking all the time to stay hydrated and come lunch time you are very hungry. To go without water and food is dangerous, because the lack of water and food effects how you perform, mentally and physically. One minute you think you are doing fine, the next minute you are feeling sick. Keep going and you will collapse.
Sharing the load with a partner is fine, you can carry the shelter, kettle, arms and ammunition, your partner can carry the water. But water is heavy, and to be safe and practicle your partner also needs to carry at least some of her/his own equipment. Simply put, you can never really carry enough water for a long trek unless you can find a water source along the way to refill your water bottles. Even then to be safe you will need to stop and boil that water before you can drink it.
So what is a simple and practicle alternative? Using a trekking trolley. A trekking trolley can carry a lot of weight, and there is a wide variety of different trolleys to suit your needs. On a level surface pulling a trolley is easier that carrying a heavy load, but going uphill you will need to pace yourself. Even so, when you stop for a rest on the trail and take a drink of water, you are not still bearing that load. If you are travelling with a partner or a group, you can use a rope to link you to another trekker who can help pull the load up steep inclines. If you can afford it, you can purchase a trekking trolley, if you don’t have the funds, then you can make your own without too much trouble.
An Australian made trekking trolley.
A trekking trolley that the author made from old wheelbarrow parts and bush timber. This one only has one wheel, but the author plans to make another one from an old golf trolley.

When you reach your destination this trolley will still be of use, and can be used for: transporting game, transporting water from a water source, carrying firewood, transporting rocks for a fireplace, moving camp if needs be. Perhaps you can think of further uses?
Keith.

Power from Tap Water

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Greek TV has made Petros a star

Greek TV has made Petros a star

PBS News Hour just ran this report on an inventor who wants to extract the power from H20:

HARI SREENIVASAN: Imagine a mini power supply in your house or car that made it possible for you to be off the grid. What if that source of energy was totally clean and powered by simple tap water?

Well, a Greek scientist claims to have created a machine that converts water into power.

As part of our occasional innovation series, special correspondent Malcolm Brabant traveled to the inventor`s island home.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Physicist Petros Zografos spent 30 years trying to work out how, using minimal energy, he could break down the water molecule, H20, into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen. Now he thinks he`s cracked it, with this, his mini power station, which he hopes will help reverse global pollution.

PETROS ZOGRAFOS, Physicist (through translator): Since I have children and grandchildren — my son has just made me a grandfather — I cannot go on watching this planet being so violently abused.

MALCOLM BRABANT: George Schoell, from Southern Germany, whose company makes solar panels, is interested in helping develop and market the invention. He headed out of Athens for a nearby Greek island to inspect it for the first time.

GEORGE SCHOELL, Businessman: For the people, this would be exactly what they want, exactly what they can use at home. But for the big energy suppliers, this will be a problem, because if anyone takes his own energy, no one will need the grid anymore.

MALCOLM BRABANT: In the inventor`s modest home, there was a last-minute technical briefing beneath a bust of Zeus, the ancient Greek god who dispensed power through thunderbolts.

Then colleague Pantelis Kotsianis gave a demonstration.

PANTELIS KOTSIANIS, Scientist: We have no wires, no external wires from the grid connected to the system, stand-alone, and reconnect later on to the mains, get off the grid, and then we will put the water from the glass into this tube, and within 40 seconds, we will have the power to power the whole house.

Right now, we`re off the grid. We have turned off the switch. We will prove that this connector has no power at all. Look, there`s no power on this connector.

So I`m putting some water slowly right now, and we just connect the mains right now to the machine. And, basically, you can just — well, basically can run the whole house and can turn on the TV and anything else you want right now.

MAN: How much power do you have? How much power do you have?

PANTELIS KOTSIANIS: We`re producing right now? It`s about 800 watts.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Which was enough to enable the inventor`s wife to prepare lunch. The average American house needs about 30,000 watts per hour.

PANTELIS KOTSIANIS: It`s a very brand-new technology, never existed before. We`re using frequencies. And with frequencies, you don`t have to use high power. You don`t need to use excessive energy, or really any energy at all, in order to get the fuel that you need, hydrogen.

Every rock or every bridge has a very specific resonance. When you vibrate a system at the specific frequency, which is the system`s frequency, that system would break. So, you don`t need force to do that.

MALCOLM BRABANT: It`s similar to the biblical story of trumpets destroying the walls of Jericho. This is the Acropolis in Athens, not Jericho, but the temples date from the same era.

It wasn`t a religious miracle that brought down Jericho`s walls, but sound waves from the trumpets. The inventor claims water can be unlocked in the same way.

There are three stages to this machine. The first is motion. The act of pouring of the water generates energy to start the resonance process. The second is oscillation. A new compound created by the inventor helps produce the hydrogen. The third is the exhaust system, where the only byproduct is room-temperature water vapor.

Despite having rich potential for renewal energy, Greece is heavily dependent upon fossil fuel. Much of its electricity comes from lignite, a peat-like substance, transported along conveyor belts from vast open cast mines.

Lignite is one of the world`s most polluting fuels, and, according to environmentalists, these plants are responsible for ailments, such as cancer, that cost the Greek health service up to $4 billion a year.

PETROS ZOGRAFOS (through translator): The sea used to provide us with all the fish we needed, but now I can see that life is diminishing on the planet, and it`s human beings are responsible for this. So I would really like this invention to be made available worldwide, so that it may halt further destruction of the planet as much as possible.

MALCOLM BRABANT: The science employed by Zografos has been validated by a committee of Greek physicists. Independent engineer Lampis Tomasis was a skeptic, but is now a believer.

LAMPIS TOMASIS, Engineer: I used spectrum analyzers. I used analyzers for the exhaust fumes. I used oscilloscopes and the other instruments as well. And I am convinced now that the instrument is working perfectly, doesn`t produce any dirt to the environment, and the only product produced is hydrogen, which is very clean for the environment.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Two hours after the machine was started, it needed topping up.

PANTELIS KOTSIANIS: We added some fuel to our system, so we depleted it with running everything in the house.

MALCOLM BRABANT: The team behind this project has rejected several multimillion-dollar offers to the rights to the invention, because they want to control what happens to it.

But they are fairly optimistic, and they are talking in terms of this possibly being the start of a new age. But there has to be a word of caution, because there have been several great Greek innovations in the past that have died at birth. They have been strangled by red tape and vested interests.

To obtain an independent assessment, we went to the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, named after one of the most important contributors to modern physics and the atomic age.

JACOB TRIER FREDERIKSEN, Niels Bohr Institute: I`m extremely skeptical of the way that it allegedly is functioning. I seriously doubt that there is excess energy from this device.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Jacob Frederiksen says the invention would be fantastic, if true. But first, he says, the science must be subjected to peer review, and that other experts need to be able to reproduce the results.

He believes that using frequencies to split hydrogen and oxygen is valid, but doubts the process can yield sufficient extra power.

JACOB TRIER FREDERIKSEN: Let`s assume we have this huge molecule of water, right, oxygen and hydrogen bound together in the water molecule. In order to split this, you really need to pull it apart, I mean, split these atoms apart. Now you have spent quite a lot of energy to split them. You can regain part of that energy by combining them by combustion processes.

You already spent the energy to split it, and you only get part of that energy back when you recombine it by burning the hydrogen. And that difference will not be a positive one.

MALCOLM BRABANT: In response, the Greeks say they will happily agree to a peer review once they have obtained a worldwide patent. They also insist their system doesn`t conform to the standard rules of electrolysis, or separating of hydrogen and oxygen.

George Schoell, the German businessman, headed towards home, satisfied with the Greeks` claims that their process uses minimal energy and is highly efficient. He predicted that, if all went well, mini home power stations could go into production within a year.

GEORGE SCHOELL: I was really kind of — about this invention, and it was 100 — or over 100 percent fulfilled. And I`m really satisfied that I did this trip, because I didn`t expect that the machine runs as we have seen as it runs.

PETROS ZOGRAFOS (through translator): I want this invention to spread as far as possible, to the last village in Africa, where the children don`t have electric light to read and study by.

MALCOLM BRABANT: The next test for Petros Zografos and his team will be to build a 200-kilowatt machine, about the size of two fridges, to light up a small Greek island fueled by the surrounding water. He hopes to stage a trial within the next six months.

For the “PBS NewsHour,” I`m Malcolm Brabant in Greece.

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Comfort Equipment.

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Comfort Equipment.
Definition of Paleolithic. Of or relating to the earliest period of the Stone Age characterized by rough or chipped stone implements. Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Humans have been surviving for thousands of years, back in the Paleolithic period life was hard, even so these people must have had some creature comforts, perhaps local flora placed on their beds to make it softer and keep them up off the ground. Tools were very basic being made of wood, stone bone, horn or antler, and yet these people survived.

Make no mistake, most of the equipment we carry today is for comfort, to make life easier, but we could survive as a people without the equipment we carry. Some items I deem essential, a good medical kit for instance. But as for the rest, no it is not a necessity, just a preference. So why all this modern so called “survival gear”? Does it add to our comfort? In some cases perhaps, but it also has drawbacks. Take the sleeping bag for instance. Great until it gets wet, then it will not retain as much of your body heat as an ordinary pure wool blanket! I am not going to list all the fancy gadgets here that are basically designed to attract people that like gadgets, people that have no real sense of what is needed to survive long term in a wilderness situation. But I would like you to think about this. Every time you add a piece of equipment to your pack, ask yourself these questions: Do I need this? Is this piece of equipment sustainable? If it breaks can I fix it? Will this piece of equipment serve a needed purpose, or is it just taking up room where I could be carrying something else that is more important, such as water, food and ammunition?

Think about the tools that you carry or are about to purchase, think about their purpose. The knife, what is it used for? Skinning and butchering game, and for defence; Is the blade long enough for defence use? Can I kill with this blade or is it too short? The axe, used for many tasks that involve the cutting and shaping of wood as well as for defence and possibly needed for hunting. How easy would it be to replace a broken helve? How heavy is it? Can I use the poll as a hammer to drive stakes into the ground? And so on and so on. Your equipment needs to be versatile & sustainable, it needs to be able to perform the function that it’s namesake was originally designed for. Paleolithic flint knives were not used for cutting down small trees; they made flint hand axes for that purpose. In today’s modern world of survival equipment manufacturers seem to have forgotten this common sense approach that those primitive people in the Paleolithic took for granted. Think about that, your life may depend on it!
Keith.

By David Wright.

Dump your camper in the lake?

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sealander

Would you drive your camper into the lake or river? You would if you owned an amphibious RV! I’ve seen “redneck” versions where they put a small pull behind camper on pontoons, but this was really made for the open road AND floating on the water.

It doesn’t appear to be very large, but the amenities inside are multi-function, with the table converting into a bed, it’s more than ready to head off for a long weekend. It’s not something you would live in, it’s more for playing and enjoying yourself.

https://youtu.be/kppn0jgGlZE

http://sealander.de/?lang=en#intr

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How To Easily Clean Dirty Water Before Ceramic Filtering

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How To Easily Clean Dirty Water Before Ceramic Filtering When you’re in a survival situation, water supply is crucial since we can’t live very long without it.  There are some portable filters you can use in this situation, but not all of them are suitable for large quantities of water.  If a natural disaster or …

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Stockpiling Water: How To Ensure You Never Run Out

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 Trump & Obamacare: What Should Replace It?

Not long ago in America, the conventional wisdom was that fresh drinking water always would be available. But with recent water crises in West Virginia and then Flint, Mich. – as well as droughts throughout the country – that no longer is the case.

And what if there is a long-term blackout or a terrorist attack that impacts the water supply?

Now, more than ever, it’s essential to stockpile water for your survival. That’s the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as we talk to Daisy Luther, a survival expert and the author of The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource.

She tells us everything we need to know about storing water long-term, including:

  • How much water the average person should store.
  • What she considers the best way to store water.
  • Which type of plastic she recommends to stockpile water.
  • How long water will last in storage and remain potable.

Finally, Daisy tells us the cheapest ways to store water. We also discuss water filters.

This week’s show could change the way you stockpile – for the better. Don’t miss it!

Fail to Prepare Fail to Live

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destruction_katrina_featured

insurance_policy_prepDoes it make sense to be a prepper?  Should you spend time and money on things that will help you survive a potential disaster that might never happen?  I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about these questions and always manage to circle back to the same answer:  prepping is your auto, life, and house insurance all rolled up into one. Would you drive around without insurance?  You could, but if you get into an accident you’ve got the potential to be paying expensive medical and vehicle bills the rest of your life.  In my opinion it’s hardly worth it.  Even if you’re not the one causing the accident you might still wind up footing the bill if the other person is uninsured.  Life is a crap shoot and you need to stack the odds in your favor as much as you can.

By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

ice_storm_98_trees_line_noaa6198Sure, paying insurance premiums sucks.  I hate to see a portion of my hard earned pay check go out the window on payday to pay for something that might never happen, but I do it.  I look at prepping the same way.  You don’t know when a natural disaster or any other kind of disaster is going to happen.  For example:  winter is coming and we might get another ice storm like we did in ’98.  Some people lost power for two weeks during that time and it was really something to see how people reacted to it.  A few years ago we had a storm go through Maine and I lost power for three days.  Not too bad, but then again I have a generator and my house is wired with a transfer switch.   I had running water, cooked on a camp stove, used my grill, had lights, TV for the kids, and refrigeration. Although it was a pain putting gas in the genny every day or so, it would have been far worse without it.

Get Prepared

What I found interesting is that during that time people would say, “Man, you’re lucky you have a generator.”  Hmm, not really.  I show up for work every day, have a side gig writing for a blog, and stay busy doing wilderness survival training for myself.  I don’t consider myself lucky.  I just show up for work every day.

Related: Toughen Up and Take The Pain 

tv_wasting_time“I don’t have time to prep!”  Is something I hear from people who spend hours binge watching The Walking Dead.  If you’ve got time to watch TV, you have time to do some prepping.  I quit watching television back around the time MTV started airing that first “The Real World” series.  I watched two episodes and felt like I’d lost a little piece of my life I’ll never get back. I turned off the cable and never looked back.  After the cable is gone and there’s plenty of time I hear, “But I don’t have the money!”

You don’t need to go out and buy a huge stockpile of food, weapons, and ammunition the first day.  This can be a game of little wins.  Check out this post about how to buy a little more every week to get some extra food in your pantry.  Within a reasonably short amount of time you can have a pretty decent amount of stores in and ready to go in case of emergency.

What about firearms?  My personal opinion is that firearms should be down the list of things you need to start prepping, but I guess that depends on where you live and who you might be expecting for company after TSHTF.  I know this flies in the face of traditional prepper thinking and I’ll probably take some heat for it, but I’d rather have food to eat and keep out of sight then to have a large supply of guns and ammo, but little or no food to feed the family.  A single well thought out firearm should do the trick for most people.

But let’s say you do want a gun and don’t have a bunch of money to throw at it.  Check out this post from Road Warrior about how to spend your hard earned money on surplus firearms.  If you decide to get a gun and take from someone else who’s prepared, that makes you an armchair commando.  It’s also a good way to get yourself killed or branded as someone who needs to be locked away.  Chances are good that the SHTF event – whatever it may be – will not last forever and there will be a day of reckoning for those who went down the wrong side of the law, or moral code, or whatever may be in place at the time.

Ask yourself what’s the downside of having some extra food and water on hand?  If you’re doing it right there shouldn’t be a down side.  You should be eating the oldest part of your rotation and moving the new stuff to the back just like they stock groceries at the super market.  If the lights go out for whatever reason, you’ll have food and water for awhile.  That’s being smart, but you’d be amazed at how many people only have a few days food or less in their pantry at any given time.  A lot of city folk out there like to pick up dinner on the way home so it’ll be fresh.

Taking Care of Number One When The Lights Go Out

generator_prep_liveI don’t think everybody will be a bad actor, but there are definitely a few out there that will act badly during an SHTF event or even a short range crisis.  One of my favorite examples is during ice storms in the Northeast.  There have been reports of people stealing generators while they’re still running and even death threats to line crews if they didn’t get electricity out to someone’s home!

Think about how important electricity is to us.  It’s literally the blood that flows through the nation’s arteries keeping our food fresh, our lights on, helping to heal our sick people, and keeping us warm.  When the power goes out many people band together and help each other out, but there’s always those few who aren’t prepared and will do anything to help themselves.  You need to be prepared for those people as well.

Also Read: Urban Survival

If you can’t afford a full generator, or it doesn’t make sense because of where you live, you might also try a back up solar generator.  It’s small, quiet, relatively inexpensive, and good enough to power lights and small appliances.  It’s also renewable as long as the sun is shining!  What could be better than that?

My first responsibility is to my family.  I have a wife and two young children still living at home and I want to make sure they are safe and as comfortable as possible during any emergency.  I’ve spent some of my hard earned money to ensure that happens and you probably have too.  Part of that planning is protecting your equipment from those who haven’t and feel justified taking what is yours.  My generator is in a small shed and bolted down.  Someone could get it if they really wanted it, but it would mean some time and effort on their part.

Priority List

tent_sheter_rule_of_3Here’s a simple priority list based on the Survival Rule of Three’s.  This is off the top of my head, so if you have anything to add leave a comment at the bottom of this post. The Rule of 3’s looks like this: You can survive 3 minutes without air. You can survive 3 hours without shelter. You can survive 3 days without water. You can survive 3 weeks without food. I translated the rule like this:

Air – People die every year during blackouts because they have their generators in the basement or somewhere not ventilated properly.  Make sure your generator is in a place where it doesn’t build up carbon monoxide.

Shelter – You already have shelter and now it’s a matter of staying warm.  Wood stoves, propane heaters, and kerosene heaters, are all ways you can keep your family warm during those times when the grid is down.  You can also “huddle in place” by getting under some blankets if none of those options work for you.

Water – Have enough water stored in your house for at least three days or have a way to filter or clean it if you have a pond or other water source nearby.

Food – As you can see food is down the list as far as survival needs go; however, try telling that to your four year old when she gets hungry.  Stock up on food so that if something happens you can at least feed them for three days or a week.

Conclusion

Aim to be self-sufficient. To answer the question at the beginning of this article:  yes, it makes sense to be a prepper.  I dislike the show “Doomsday Prepper” because the producers always have them say something like, “I’m preparing for a solar flare,” or some such drivel.  Most preppers I know are preparing for anything.  To say you’re preparing for one specific event is absurd.  Prepare as broad and deep as you can and no matter what happens you’ll be ready when the time comes. Questions?  Comments? Sound off below!

Photos Courtesy of:

Pictures of Money
B Bola
Drew
Insomnix
Matt Davis
Glen B. Stewart 

Flushed with Pride – toilet that recycles

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Workers bring a toilet to  remote vllage

Nothing goes to waste

Toilets are a key piece of off-grid technology that receive less attention than they deserve.

EAWAG, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, has announced it is making good progress with a multi-faceted toilet it calls the Blue Diversion Autarky.

This toilet (see infographic below( separates urine, faeces and used flush-and-wash water and then puts the used water through a multi-barrier treatment system. This allows the water to be reused in the system, on site.

This means safe and sanitary toilet facilities anywhere without typical water and sewerage infrastructure.

Moreover, the Autarky is sustainable. Every part of the waste is used; the urine and faeces become resources. After they become separated, both are safely extracted from the toilet chambers and recovered off site at a community scale Resource-Recovery Plant where fertilisers are produced.

This Autarky toilet is a follow up and upgrade to the Blue Diversion Toilet, which has been tested successfully with two pilot projects in Kampala Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation financed research of the concepts that were originally presented at their Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.

At this stage, there is still more testing to be done and Eawag is trying to attract investors with a profitable franchising model. The key to the social success of an off gird toilet is making it affordable to the people living in remote areas.

Eawag has targeted India for an official launch and reportedly have been in contact with industrial partners in order to upscale the Blue Diversion Toilet. With a belief that the majority of costs can be reduced by industrial production economies of scale, the focus is to get in contact with interested stakeholders and establish collaboration with an industrial partner.

Stay tuned!

 

Detailed schematic

Detailed schematic

The post Flushed with Pride – toilet that recycles appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

WATER IS LIFE: Catchment, Purification & Storage

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WATER IS LIFE: Catchment, Purification & Storage Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” Audio in player below! On this episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Author Bobby Akart discusses the importance of water in your preparedness plans. The Prepper Rule of Three’s postulates that one can only live three minutes without air, three hours without … Continue reading WATER IS LIFE: Catchment, Purification & Storage

The post WATER IS LIFE: Catchment, Purification & Storage appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

How To Build a Solar-Powered Water Heater

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How To Build a Solar-Powered Water Heater That Works All Year Round If the power goes out there is very little chance that you can produce enough hot water to fill your needs through wood fire alone. There are many methods of warming water with no power. The easiest and most simple is to just …

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Boiling Water With Stones 101

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Boiling Water With Stones 101 When I mention to someone that you can boil water with hot stones, they always ask me two questions… Why would you do that? How do you do it? Why would you ever boil water using stones?  Why don’t you use the fire to heat it.  Well, in a perfect …

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Eight Survival Myths That Will Get You Killed

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Eight Survival Myths That Will Get You Killed Survival TV shows are gaining more and more popularity with each airing episode. We see people wear survival gear and we often hear our coworkers debating the things they see on TV. Although there is a huge amount of information transmitted by the media, a real survival …

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Waterborne Diseases And Illness You Need To Know About

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Waterborne Diseases And Illness You Need To Know About Water is vital towards life – it’s that simple. You absolutely need water to survive, and without it you would be subjected to dehydration and eventually death. Unfortunately, however, water, or at least not clean water, is not always at our disposal. In the United States, …

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Preparation in Practice: Water

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For a few days, I had a chance to test my preparedness. It wasn’t anything life-threatening or urgent but it did give me an opportunity to see how ready I am for the unexpected. The experience was one I need to repeat in other areas too, but for now the water filtration test was a […]

The post Preparation in Practice: Water appeared first on Smart Suburban Survival.

Preparation in Practice: Water Filtration

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For a few days, I had a chance to test my preparedness. It wasn’t anything life-threatening or urgent but it did give me an opportunity to see how ready I am for the unexpected. The experience was one I need to repeat in other areas too, but for now the water filtration test was a […]

The post Preparation in Practice: Water Filtration appeared first on Smart Suburban Survival.

Why You Should Never Drink Seawater – Especially in Survival Situations

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Why You Should Never Drink Seawater – Especially in Survival Situations “Don’t drink the salt water.” It’s what we’ve been told time and time again to avoid in survival situations. But why? Do you know why it’s important to stay away from ocean water and to look for rivers or streams if you’re lost out …

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The post Why You Should Never Drink Seawater – Especially in Survival Situations appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

The Many Benefits of Finding Bodies of Water in Survival Situations

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The Many Benefits of Finding Bodies of Water in Survival Situations Survival skills in the traditional sense are great to know, whether or not you’re planning on bugging out. If you are bugging out, then they’re necessary to learn, as it’s unlikely you’ll have any success bugging out if you don’t know a thing about …

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How To Measure Water pH At Home

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How to Measure Water pH

I was raised in the country and we had well water. It tasted good but it turned the tub, our clothes, and even our hair red. That’s because it had iron in it, which is a sign that the water was acidic.

To combat this, we used a water filtration system, which increased the pH in the water by removing the excess metals in the water.

But is water pH important for any other reason that white tubs? Yes it is!

We’ve discussed the importance of pH before, in articles such as how to make wine and vinegar. Obviously, those two food items are acidic, which means that the pH in each of them is less than 7. Pure water has a pH of 7; a pH less than 7 is considered acidic and a pH greater than 7 is considered basic, or alkaline.

The Visual Effects of Acidic or Basic Water

As I stated above, the contents of your water have an aesthetic effect on clothes, dishes, and pipes. The average pH for surface water is 6.5-8.5. Normal groundwater is 6-8.5. If you go too far in either direction, higher or lower, you’ll likely see some physical evidence of it.

Water with a pH of less than 6.5 or so is acidic and often contains heavy metals such as iron, manganese, copper, lead, and zinc. Obviously, you don’t want to drink too much of these because of the damage that these metals can do to your health. We’ll discuss that in a bit.

Acidic water is corrosive and can damage pipes, stain laundry and appliances with a blue-green tint, and leave a buildup on dishes. It may also taste metallic. You may remember what the water tasted like coming out of the water hose when you were a kid; that’s similar to what acidic water may taste like.

The way that you balance it is by adding a neutralizer such as soda ash (sodium carbonate).

Water with a pH higher than 7 is considered basic or alkaline, though it’s not really outside the realm of “normal” until it’s higher than 8 or 8.5.

Alkaline water is often high in calcium and will leave whitish scaly deposits on your dishes, utensils, tubs, and appliances and can clog your pipes. It also tastes a bit bitter, especially when you make your morning Joe, and can make it hard to get a lather out of soaps.

pH

Health Risks Associated with Water pH

I’ve written content for the holistic health and medical fields for a long time, and though there’s a certain following that says that water pH can change the pH of your body, there’s simply not enough evidence to corroborate that. Your body does a dang good job of balancing itself and saying that water pH can alter your blood pH is a stretch.

Also, pH levels, in and of themselves, do not indicate the safety of water. For instance, arsenic may be present but not significantly affect the pH.

However, pH can be a good indicator that there are toxic substances such as heavy metals in your water because “soft” water (water with a low pH), can leach metal ions out of soil and pipes. For example, lead is never a good thing, and a low pH is an indicator that your water may contain lead or other poisonous metals.

On the flip side, calcium found in water with an alkaline pH can balance some of this out. It can make some heavy metals such as lead, copper, and zinc less toxic.

Calcium can strengthen pipes by lining them with a protective coating, but it can also clog them if it builds up too much. You’ve probably heard the term, “hard water.” That refers to water with a high pH, because of the build-ups. In limed soil, calcium can immobilize iron and cause a shortage even if there’s plenty of iron in the soil.

As you can see, the primary health concern when it comes to the pH of drinking water is consuming heavy metals. The important thing to remember is that pH is only one measure of water safely. It doesn’t necessarily tell you what other toxins such as fertilizers, fungicides, and other chemicals are in there.

Alkaline Water

The Effects of Water pH on Soil

The pH of water plays a much bigger role in other ways, though. The two biggest areas may be in how it affects soil and aquatic life. As we’ve already discussed, the calcium that’s typically found in alkaline water can affect how your plants absorb essential minerals such as zinc and iron.

Again, pH isn’t the only factor; some fish that can survive in water with a pH as low as 4.7 will die at a pH of 5.5 if the water contains just a tick too much iron. PH isn’t everything, but it’s a good indicator.

PH is important to soil because some plants prefer an acidic soil and some prefer an alkaline soil. Planting in the correct soil will increase plant health and growth, and therefore yield. If you’re going to plant it, you may as well get as much bang for your buck as possible!

PH affects everything from the levels and types of good and bad bacteria in the soil to the texture of the soil itself. For instance, clay that is in the optimal range or 5.5-7 is granular and easy to work with. If it’s overly acidic or alkaline, it becomes sticky and hard to work with.

Most plants thrive in neutral or almost-neutral soils, but there are some that love acidic soil. These include radishes, blueberries, cranberries, sweet potatoes, parsley, peppers of all sorts, and rhubarb. The majority of plants can tolerate a mildly-acidic soil, but they’re much less tolerant to alkaline conditions.

This is because minerals dissolve better in acidic soil. This sounds like a good thing, but only to a certain degree. A pH of about 5.5 is about as low as any plant will tolerate because below that, the concentration of metal ions, especially aluminum, manganese, and iron, become so high that they can inhibit plant growth. Phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium may also be less available.

Following the pattern, you may guess that alkaline soils inhibit the release of minerals and nutrients, which is why plants can’t tolerate those conditions.

It’s important to test your soil and know your plants. The goal isn’t so much to achieve a certain pH as it is to make sure that the soil acidity is such that there aren’t any toxic metals and the nutrient availability is maximized. In other words, no poison, plenty of nutrients!

If your soil is too acidic, you can neutralize it a bit using lime. Alkaline soils, on the other hand, aren’t as easy to adjust. Sometimes you can add sulfur or acid-forming fertilizers, but it’s probably easier just to add nutrients via fertilizer and compost.

Note that pH isn’t everything. Many sands have a great pH for growth but contain practically zero nutrients. That’s OK – you can always add nutrients.

Importance of pH in Streams

Now THIS is where water pH makes a real difference. We’ve already discussed how acidic water induces the release of minerals and we know that many of those minerals are toxic in high levels.

When the pH of water becomes too acidic due to contamination by acid rain or run-off that contains fertilizers or other acidic chemicals, it can be catastrophic to aquatic life.

Many plants and aquatic creatures are adapted to survive in a specific pH and can’t tolerate more than just a minuscule change.

Not only does the acid affect the nutrients in the water, it can also cause the same physical problems to fish and plants that they cause to your drains and pipes.

Heavy metals can accumulate on gills and even cause deformities on young, growing fish. The same idea goes for plants that grow in the water, except they’re affected by the pH in the soil as well as the water.

The biggest issue here isn’t that one fish or one plant can’t tolerate a change; everything that eats that fish or plant, or is eaten by that fish, is affected as well. Aquatic systems are delicate and even a small change can cause huge ripples.

As you can see, pH is just a number; it’s the changes that accompany that number that can cause problems or bring joy and growth. Keep an eye on the pH of your soil because it can change!

How to Measure pH

There are simple pH strips that you can buy at a pool store which use color strips to tell you what the pH of the water or soil is. If you’d rather do it the natural way, which is the way we usually prefer to do things, you have a couple of choices.

The first way is to gather 1 cup of soil (total) from a few different parts of your garden. Add a couple spoonfuls to 2 separate containers, then add 1/2 cup vinegar to the soil in one container. If it fizzes, your soil is alkaline, with a pH between 7 and 8. If it doesn’t, add 1/2 cup baking soda to the other cup. If it fizzes, you have acidic soil. It’s a good guess that the pH is somewhere between 5 and 6. If it doesn’t fizz either time, you have neutral soil – congrats!

The second way to test pH – and this works for soil and water – is to use a red cabbage. Yep, that’s right. Simmer 1 cup of red cabbage in two cups of distilled water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steep for another 30 minutes or so.

To test your soil, place a couple of spoonfuls of your soil to a couple of containers, like you did before. It would be good this time around if the containers are clear. Strain the cabbage, keeping the water. It will be a purply-blue color and has a pH of seven – completely neutral.

Add 1/4 cup or so of cabbage water to each cup, stir it up, and let it sit for 30 minutes. If the water turns pink, your soil is acidic. If it’s blue/green, your soil is alkaline.

Video first seen on Carl Nelson

To test your water, simply substitute water for the soil. The same colors apply.

Now that you know a bit more about how and why pH makes a difference with your water and soil, try the tests. If you have something to add about pH, please feel free to comment in the section below.

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

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Survival Gear Review: Epic Ultimate Travel Bottle

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epic_ultimate_featured

While everybody else is storing gold and silver, I am finding the best ways to invest in what I believe is going to be the currency ofepic_water_straw_standing the future: clean water.  I highly recommend assessing your own situation and finding ways to store and purify as much water as you can. For home situations, purifying water isn’t too difficult. Sometimes though, we are forced to move from our base of operations. In this case, you need a way of purifying dirty water while on the move. The Epic Ultimate Travel Bottle claims to provide a solution to this issue so we checked it out.

By Tinderwolf, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Thorough Filtration System

Systems for cleaning water can range from a few dollars for water purification tablets to hundreds of dollars for stand-alone systems. While the more expensive systems might be nice to have, I wanted to find a reasonably priced, mobile system. I found the Epic Ultimate Travel Bottle for $59; right in the range of how much I want to spend. The Epic Filter can produce up to one hundred gallons of drinkable water. On a per gallon basis, this is a solid investment. Moreover, the Epic Filter has been EPA certified to remove the following:

  • 99% of unpleasant taste, odors cloudiness, silt sediment and chlorine.
  • 99% of heavy metals, Aluminum, Asbestos, Cadmium, Chromium 6, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Radiological Radon 222
  • 99% Toxic chemicals, Arsenic, Trihalomethanes, Chloroform, PCB, PCE, Detergents, and Pesticides( DDT)

Seems impressive, doesn’t it? According to the product materials, the bottle kills contaminants with an ‘iodinator’.  From what I’ve gathered, the iodinator dilutes just enough iodine to kill bacteria without affecting taste.  Just remember to read the instructions and follow all steps. A water-born disease is a heavy price to pay for negligence.

Also Read: Weighing the Options For Drinking Water

There are four parts to this water bottle. The plastic bottle body, the straw, top, and the filter. The Epic Filter can be unscrewed and fitted with new, affordable filters. When the filter is new, there is a sticker on the bottom of the filter that must be removed before use. I took the filter out and tripled rinsed the bottle before getting the filter wet. The instructions say to fill the bottle up and squeeze water through the filter and out of the top. It recommends to carry out this step two times.

Testing It Out

The bottle itself is somewhat soft and easy to squeeze. Initially you have to squeeze the bottle a few times as the filter is soaking upepic_water_filter the water and traveling up the straw section. The first time that I filled up the bottle I used tap water. Some reviews I read stated that there was a terrible iodine after-taste and that the bottle leaked water from the top. I shook the bottle vigorously and squeezed while the flip top was closed. No water escaped from the bottle. I then opened the flip top and shook the bottle. Only a few drops escaped from the flip straw.

Finally, I squeezed the bottle and sucked up a mouthful of water. In order to better judge the quality, I spit the water out after swishing for ten seconds.  I detected no iodine taste. People are concerned with taste so I wanted to be sure about this taste test. I allowed the water to sit in the bottle and filter for one hour and took another drink. Again, I detected no level of iodine or any other substance.

Related: The Platypus Collapsible Water Bottle 

I next wanted to test how well the filter filtered out chlorine. I used non-scented bleach. When purifying water with bleach, use five drops of bleach per liter of water. I decided to add four drops of bleach to the bottle. After taking the screw top off, it was easy to detect the smell of bleach. I screwed the lid back on and squeezed the bottle.  I could not detect a bleach smell or taste.

Extra Features and Final Verdict

The bottle comes with a koozie wrapped around the middle of the bottle with stats on the effectiveness of the bottle. I think this is a nice touch for those unfamiliar with the product. On the neck of the bottle is an adjustable wrist strap so that you don’t lose your bottle while dipping it into water sources.

I have been using this bottle for about a week now and I am extremely happy with this system. I found it interesting that there is a noticeable taste difference between unfiltered tap water and Epic filtered water.  For the price of the bottle, gallons filtered, filter refills, and ease of use, I am happy with my Epic Ultimate Travel Bottle.

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The Three Ring Circus… Election!

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The Three Ring Circus… Election! Bob Hawkins “The APN Report” Listen in player below! So the three ring Circus we call the Election has wound up & the fat lady has sung. Happy Now? Did the world end for you? Has a new day dawned? Or have we all just awoke, thinking Wow! What a Nightmare? All … Continue reading The Three Ring Circus… Election!

The post The Three Ring Circus… Election! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Survival Gear Review: Kelly Kettle Ultimate Camp Kit

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kelly_kettle_fire_top

kelly_kettle_openedThe Kelly Kettle was developed by the Kelly family in Ireland and has been in use for over one hundred years. The kettle has a simple yet very effective design for boiling water.  The body of the kettle is a doubled wall construction with a hollow core.  When the kettle is placed over the hobo stove, the heat is directed up the center, hollow portion of the kettle and out of the top.  Since there is a much larger surface area being heated, the water boil time is greatly reduced.  The excess heat coming out of the top of the kettle can then be used as a cooking source while your water is being boiled.

By Tinderwolf, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

The stove uses biomass for its fuel, meaning that any natural source of combustible material can be used. The more I talk about the Kelly Kettle to folks the more I am amazed that people have not heard of it.

My Experience

I filled the kettle up with water and set it off to the side while I started my fire in the hobo stove base.  I always carry a few pieces of Fatwood with me as they are filled with resin and hold a flame very well. I used the Fatwood and other biomass that I found to get the fire going.  Once I was satisfied with my base fire, I placed the kettle filled with water on top of the hobo stove.  It is important to note that when you are boiling water you must keep the silicone stopper out of the kettle.  If you have the stopper inserted, too much pressure can build up inside the kettle and you will experience a nasty side effect.

Related: Weighing The Options For Drinking Water

Once I had the kettle on top of the heat source, I began my stopwatch.  I then placed the cooking top accessories in the chimney opening so that I could cook a pot of soup.  Within five minutes the water was at a rolling boil and my soup was hot enough to eat.  The small pot grabber accessory came in handy when the pot was ready to be taken off of the heat source.

kelly_kettle_cookingI took the kettle off of the hobo stove base and equipped the grill top. It was the perfect size to cook a sausage link.  Five minutes later I had a great grill tasting sausage.  With the grill accessory still in place, I decided to try using the pot cover, which can also be used as a small frying pan, to cook an egg. The size of the pan is just right for a single egg to be cooked.  Cooking directly above the hobo stove worked well, though I’m sure the cook time is diminished. There are two ways in which to feed fuel into this system.  You can feed fuel from the bottom directly into the hobo stove or you can feed the fuel directly into the chimney of the kettle. Feeding the fuel from the top and into the chimney is the recommend way in which to feed your base fire.

Pros & Cons

As the list is very short, let’s begin with the negative aspects of this system.  Since the Kelly Kettle uses biomass as fuel, there is no real good way in which to adjust your heat output like you can with a fuel canister system. The only way to do so is to stop feeding the fire and let it die down on its own.  With a fuel canister system you have much more control over the heat output.  When comparing this to a fuel canister system, starting the fire and keeping the fire fed is going to be more work with the Kelly Kettle.  It’s also going to be more difficult if you want to have a smokeless fire depending on the fuel available. The Kelly Kettle is also much larger and weighs more than a small fuel canister accompanied by a grill base.

See Also: Water Purification and Survival

kelly_kettle_water_pouringFor me, the pros of the Kelly Kettle system far outweigh the cons. If you are traveling long distance or off the grid for an extended time, you will always be able to use the Kelly Kettle provided you have fuel. You have the option of the kit being made out of aluminum or stainless steel.  Aluminum will obviously be lighter but more difficult to clean. The stainless steel will add more weight to the kit but it will be much more durable and easier to clean. The entire base camp kit which includes a kettle, a hobo stove, two plates, two cups, a pot with lid, pot base, pot grabber and a grill all fit into an easy carry bag.

Conclusion

Some might look at the price for the Large Base Camp kit in stainless steel as a bit pricey, coming in at $170.  I try to save money on gear when I can but when it comes to main items in my kit, I believe you get what you pay for.  The Kelly Kettle is a good investment. This particular model is the largest that Kelly Kettle offers and works wonderfully if you are going to be setting up camp in a location for a couple of days. Because of its size, it is probably not something you are going to want to be packing and unpacking several times a day through your travels.  I have placed this model in my large pack that I use for longer outings. For smaller, quick day trips I plan on later purchasing one of their smaller models.

Photos Courtesy of:
KellyKettleUSA

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Water Is Life on Prepping Academy

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Water Is Life! Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Listen in player below! One of the most important aspects of prepping, water. It is a life giving fundamental we take for granted every day. Whether you’re at home or work you always have ease of access to it. What happens though when the power goes … Continue reading Water Is Life on Prepping Academy

The post Water Is Life on Prepping Academy appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

7 Things You Better Learn & Know Before Digging A Well

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7 Things You Better Learn & Know Before Digging A Well

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Water is one of those commodities that many people take for granted. Like electricity or natural gas, a lot of us are accustomed simply to flipping a switch or turning a knob or lifting a handle, and there it is. It may be that we have not had occasion even to wonder about the manner in which it traveled from its source to our homes. It is provided by a municipal or for-profit entity, and all we have to do is pay the bill.

In most truly rural locations, people are on their own for water. Typically, that means having a private well. If you have never had to be responsible for water accession, the idea of doing so can be a little daunting.

If having a private well is new to you, following are a few basic facts about owning one that might be helpful to know before you take up homesteading or country life.

1. It is possible for a well to run dry. While there are different well-drilling technologies, different climates, and different demands for water, no well is completely infallible. When that happens, homesteaders are likely to be on their own. When piped-in water fails, the onus is upon the water company to rectify the problem. When a private well fails, it is the owner’s problem.

That said, it is uncommon for good quality wells to fail or run dry. Wells which are shallow, dug (as opposed to drilled), makeshift, poorly sited, or located in an arid climate are more likely to have problems than those which are deeper, professionally drilled, or in an area with a high underground water table and ample rainfall.

2. Well water is not tested unless the owner tests it. Again, in this age of having certain aspects taken care of for us by experts, it is easy to forget that rural living does not include all the same benefits. Out in the country, the only way we know what is in our water is to have it tested.

In my region, the process is simple and inexpensive. It amounts to picking up small plastic jars from a nearby commercial laboratory, following instructions for filling them at the kitchen faucet, and returning them to the lab. If you are unsure how to proceed where you live, ask your county cooperative extension, your municipal office, a state official or even a professional realtor.

3. Water can be contaminated by fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or naturally occurring substances. Residue from a myriad of sources, from commercial crops to livestock to landfills to your own landscaping practices, can seep into groundwater. In addition to external contaminants, geology can play a large role in water quality. Toxins such as arsenic and radon are common in my region, and homeowners need to be diligent in determining levels of dangerous elements in their well water.

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Many toxins are treatable. Some are as easy as adding chlorine, and others require extensive mitigation equipment.

If you are purchasing a property with an existing well, be sure to test the water before you buy the property. If you are planning to build a well on property you already own, have the water evaluated as you proceed.

4. Additives are not present in well water unless the owner adds them. This can be both a benefit and a drawback to having your own private water source. You can control any chlorine or other chemical elements in your water, but you do not have the advantage of having what many consider to be beneficial additives. Some dental professionals say that children raised in impoverished rural areas have two strikes against them—not only the reduced access to dental care, but the lack of fluoride in drinking water. Other science suggests fluoride treatment is more of a risk than a benefit. The takeaway is simply this: Make sure you know what you are and are not getting in your water, and if there is something of value missing, be proactive about attaining it elsewhere.

7 Things You Better Learn & Know Before Digging A Well

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5. The cost of creating a well depends greatly. Primarily, it rests upon the type of soil, the presence or not of ledge below the surface, and the type of well that is best for your geography. For example, a high water table — meaning that underground water stays close to the surface — and soft sandy soil can mean that a simple point well can serve nicely. These conditions are also more conducive to dug wells than are harder soils with a higher concentration of clay and ledge. For the latter, a well probably needs to be drilled with professional equipment, especially if the best reliable source of water lies deep below the surface.

6. Do not forget codes and regulations. Many areas have strict codes regarding the location and type of wells which can be created. You may or may not need a permit for your well. Check with your local authorities before you start to dig.

7. Well water travels from the well to your faucet by way of a pump. Homesteaders who are on the grid often use an electric well pump, which can be situated either inside the well itself or closer to the interior plumbing of the home. In-well pumps are more labor intensive and often more costly to install, while interior pumps are noisier. Interior pumps cost more to run, as well, since the act of pulling water takes more energy than pushing it.

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If you have an electric pump, you will lose the ability to draw water when the power goes out. If this is your situation, it is important to keep ample water on hand for possible outages. It is a good idea to keep a supply of clean water in sterile glass jars for human consumption, and larger amounts of water in plastic barrels for flushing.

Having a hand pump on your well, as either a primary pump or for use in emergencies—is an even better idea. If you can afford to add one to your existing pump setup, you are likely to someday be glad you did.

As an aside, not all rural water supplies rely upon a well at all. Some homesteaders and off-gridders successfully use nature’s power to provide them with water, utilizing such resources as rainwater, natural springs or other water bodies and harnessing gravity to move the water to where they need it. If you can get reliable water year-round without a well, go for it!

Among the many positive aspects of having your own well is the fact that you are not in danger of suffering from someone else’s bad decisions. You can be in charge of making sure there is no lead in your pipes and no contaminants in your groundwater. On the other hand, when something does go awry, it is your responsibility to correct it. But until something happens, there are no monthly bills for water, no unwanted chemicals, and often a far better taste. Once you become accustomed to the unique rewards and responsibilities of having your own well water, you will likely agree that living with a private well is worth what it takes to do it right.

What would you add to our list? Share your well water tips in the section below:

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How safe is your drinking water?

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A little girl protesting the water crisis in Flint, America.

For small children its a clear and present danger 

 

 

Reports of polluted drinking water contaminating whole communities have flooded in recently.  As if we didn’t need another reason to unplug, various studies have uncovered the truth about our ‘drinking water’. It is diseased and ‘deadly toxic’.

 

In the US, more than six million people drink contaminated water, plagued with PFASs, which have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, high cholesterol and obesity. This is according to a Harvard University study published in August which used data from more than 36,000 water samples collected from all over the nation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 2013-2015. You can view their advice here.

 

Lead author of the study, Xindi Hu, says that: “For many years, chemicals with unknown toxicities, such as PFASs, were allowed to be used and released into the environment.” The toxins have been used over the last 60 years in many things from food wrappers to clothing, to cooking utensils. “We now have to face the severe consequences” Hu added.

 

The worst affected states are as follows: California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Minnesota, Arizona, Massachusetts and Illinois.

Diagram shows states most affected by PFASs

Diagram shows states most affected by PFASs

Drinking water was tested in 33 states, the study set the limit as 70 parts of PFASs per trillion (ng/L). Concentrations ranged as high as 1,800 ng/L for PFOS (Newark, Delaware).

 

A separate national report released Tuesday (Sept. 20) found unsafe levels of chromium-6 or hexavalent chromium — known to cause cancer in animals and humans — in tap water across the country.

 

But the States are not alone, one of the world’s leading human rights group has focused on the consequences of contaminated water in indigenous communities throughout Ontario, Canada.

In a study that lasted almost a year, Human Rights Watch collected samples of water in Batchewana, Grassy Narrows, Shoal Lake 40, Neskantaga and Six Nations of Grand River. Whilst conducting their research, they found children suffering from skin disorders, mothers who spent hours a day disinfecting their babies’ bottles, due to the presence of E.coli and other toxins in the water. You can view the gallery they complied whilst carrying out the research here.

 

The ‘make it safe’ campaign has been set up as Canada’s obligation to end the water crisis. Ontario Regional Chief, Isadore Day called the lack of clean water in 2016 “discriminatory and unacceptable”.

 

The HRW wants to know why Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), failed to spend funds over five recent fiscal years and sent more than $1 billion in funds back to the Treasury Board as “surplus” when it could have been used to clean up the water, the report said.

 

The group has praised the new government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau despite this, for promising $4.6bn earmarked for infrastructure funds in indigenous communities over the next five years.

 

That’s not all – more than 300,000 UK homes were affected by the cryptosporidium parasite found in water supplies last year when animal excrement was leaked into the Franklaw Water Treatment plant in Garstang. People were warned to not drink or use the tap water unless they have boiled it as the microscopic bug infected those with sickness and diarrhea. The company said it was making “good progress” in tackling the problem which it maintained posed a “very low” health risk but the precaution needed to stay in place.

Many are asking the question: why is this an issue in 2016 and in some of the most developed countries in the entire world? It is shocking that communities are being let down by the governments on something as basic as polluted water. If there ever was a time to start converting to your own drinking water, it is now.

The post How safe is your drinking water? appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

How long Will Your Water Storage Last?

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How long Will Your Water Storage Last? How much water do you think you use on a daily basis? Depending on your personal hygiene preferences:  5 gallons? 10 gallons? 20 gallons? According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the average American uses 80 – 100 gallons of water per day! In fact, over 410 billion gallons …

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