Kelly Kettle – September Giveaway #3

I am excited today to introduce the 3rd giveaway for National Preparedness Month! This week’s group giveaway is for not one, but TWO Ketlly Kettles!

kelly-kettle-group-giveaway
Who would love to win a Kelly Kettle in our group giveaway? A large group of my blogging colleagues and I are trying to show the world what is available to use in an unforeseen disaster or emergency. We are so thankful to Glen at KellyKettleUSA for sponsoring our giveaway today! If you are interested in seeing a post on how one of these Kelly Kettle kits work, we have you covered: KellyKettlePost. There is also a YouTube on the Kelly Kettle website that will show you the different sizes they have available. These rock because you do not have to store fuel. You can use dry leaves, twigs or pinecones. Basically you put a small piece of newspaper or scraps of tinder in the bottom and you light it with just a match or flint. You can add more pinecones, twigs and other natural fuel as needed to keep the fire going. Water boils in minutes. Gotta love it! In this Kelly Kettle giveaway we will have two winners. One will win the stove kit on the left, the second winner will win the stove kit on the right in the graphic shown above. Good luck everyone!

This weeks giveaway is brought to you by the great group of bloggers below. Please make sure to stop by their sites and check out the astronomical amount of knowledge that is available to you about survival and self-reliant living.

Group Involved In This Giveaway:

1. Food Storage Moms
2. Frugality Gal
3. Survival At Home
4. Home Ready Home
5. Fabulous Farm Girl
6. Ever Growing Farm
7. Sharing Lifes Abundance
8. Food Storage and Survival
9. I Get Ready
10. Timber Creek Farm
11. Kneaded Creations
12. Blue Yonder Urban Farms
13. Simply Living Simply
14. Your Own Home Store
15. Prepared-Housewives
16. PreparednessMama
17. Survival For Blondes
18. Common Sense Homesteading
19. Trayer Wilderness
20. Melissa K. Norris
21. Memories By The Mile
22. The Busy B Homemaker
23. The Backyard Pioneer
24. Whole New Mom
25. Imperfectly Happy
26. Lil’ Suburban Homestead

Here is some additional information from the NOAA about National Emergency Preparedness Month

The fine print: This Kelly Kettle Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Monday, Sept. 15th at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Saturday, Sept. 20th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!

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Survival Around The Web

I would like to start off by expressing a huge thank you to Brian N. for his generous donation this week via PayPal. If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, a monetary donation of any amount is always appreciated but I also appreciate any show of support whether it is a social media share or a comment about an article. If you would like to make a monetary donation of your own, it can be made via PayPal here. Thank you for your support!

The internet is loaded with great information about survival, preparedness, homesteading, security, self-reliance, and literally just about anything you could possibly think of. I feel that it is important to share anything that could be valuable to all of us. Here are a few things that I found this last week:

SR’s [Steve Reichert] Handgun Caliber Choice and Why – For those of you who are not familiar with Steve, he is a medically retired Marine who after taking an IED blast in Iraq has moved on to be a big part of the firearms training world. In this article Steve uses his knowledge and expertise to outline his handgun caliber of choice and why that is a good choice.

Prepping on the Sly – This is a great article for those of us who have a spouse or significant other who think we are crazy for being concerned with preparedness. It is also a valuable resource for those who might be looking for a good place to get started with the survival and self-reliance lifestyle but are overwhelmed with how to get there.

The 25 Points of Hitler’s Nazi Party - This link was sent to me by a good friend and reveals what was essentially the outline of the core beliefs of the Hitler’s Nazi party. What resonates with me is how similar some of the Nazi party’s beliefs are to those of America’s current politicians and government officials. See if this sounds familiar:

10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. No individual shall do any work that offends against the interest of the community to the benefit of all.

We can’t have anyone being offended now, can we? Of course, we would never do anything like force a sports team to change their name because of the perception of offense. Not in the United States anyway….right?

Self-Igniting Fire Starter - This is a great DIY on how to make your own fire starters that are not only self-starting, but if made properly will be waterproof as well. I like the concept and further appreciate the fact that they are simple to make. On a side note, one of the key elements to making these fire starters are strike anywhere matches which are becoming very close to impossible to find. If you are out and about and happen to notice these matches for sale anywhere, I would encourage you to stock up for you and your loved ones.

This wraps up my best finds of survival related gems around the web last week. I hope everyone has a blessed week and continues to prepare for any difficult times ahead.

What did you find last week that everyone could benefit from?

Fresh Water Giveaway!!!

I’ve teamed up with a group of preparedness and self-sufficiency bloggers to bring you all a chance at another great survival item. This week we have another HUGE giveaway for National Emergency Preparedness Month!

GIVEAWAY #2

National Emergency Preparedness Month
Most of you that read my blog are probably familiar with the fact that the month of September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. This is a great time to focus on what you have done, and what you still need to, to be ready for a disaster if one were to occur. It was really concerning to me when I read that the city of Toledo, Ohio was not able to use their water supply for quite some time. They could not even boil it to make it safe because of the toxic nature of the water. There was nothing that anyone could do except wait for clean water to be brought in! This is one more reason we need to tell the world about National Emergency Preparedness Month. Wow, this makes me wish every family in the world could have some type of system to purify their water. Today, you have a chance to win the security of clean water.

This is a sponsored giveaway by CampingSurvival.com and you really need to check out this website. You will be glad you did! We are extremely grateful that Tom at Camping Survival believes in the Big Berkey Water Purifier system as much as we do! Thanks again Tom for showing the world what is needed to purify our water everyday, or in an unforeseen disaster. We thank him for helping the world celebrate National Emergency Preparedness Month. Please enter this giveaway and you will have a chance to win one of these Big Berkey Water Purifiers! Good luck to everyone, and please visit the other bloggers listed below.

Here are my blogging colleagues involved in this giveaway:

1. Food Storage Moms
2. Imperfectly Happy
3. Frugality Gal
4. Survival For Blondes
5. Fabulous Farm Girl
6. Home Ready Home
7. Prepared-Housewives
8. I Get Ready
9. Kneaded Creations
10. Timber Creek Farm
11. Ever Growing Farm
12. Sharing Lifes Abundance
13. Your Own Home Store
14. Blue Yonder Urban Farms
15. Survival at Home
16. The Backyard Pioneer
17. Food Storage and Survival
18. The Busy B Homemaker
19. Simply Living Simply
20. Memories By The Mile
21. Common Sense Homesteading
22. Trayer Wilderness
23. Whole New Mom

The Fine Print:

This Big Berkey Water Purifier Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Monday, Sept. 8th at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Saturday, Sept. 13th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!

Let your frineds and family know about this great opportunity! Or don’t, if you want to increase your odds of winning! (Just Kidding)
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Proper Food Rotation & Storage Procedures

The following article is a guest post submission from Lee Flynn, a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Proper Food Rotation And Storage Procedures

Rotating food supplies is important. During emergency situations, families must have plenty of food and if the proper food storage and rotation procedures are used, everyone will have enough food for several days or weeks.

Why Food Must Be Rotated

When food is rotated, the food will better maintain its nutritional content. Food must also be rotated often so that it maintains its flavor. When homeowners rotate their food items, there is always a suitable store because the stored food is not expired.

Rotation also helps families because everyone gets to try dehydrated or freeze-dried foods if that is what is stored. Learning how to eat these long-term storage foods is important because it may be the only option in an emergency situation. Eating long-term food storage items also offers health benefits because the items have less fat and plenty of nutrients.

Using Food Storage Items Efficiently

Many families store their food items in basements and in food pantries. These locations are great because they are cool and dry; these conditions make food last longer. This poses one unique challenge however…because basements and pantries are out-of-the-way places, homeowners usually do not use their food on a regular basis after it is stored. There is a way to solve this problem though. Many preppers use solutions that were designed by food storage specialists like the Shelf Reliance Food Rotation System.

Kitchen Storage Procedures

Food items in the kitchen should be stored in small containers. These small containers can be used to remind others that there are more items in the basement. Because the containers are small, they will not take up a lot of space and will need to be replenished more often, resulting in stored food being rotated. Canned items should be stored on the kitchen shelves.

Designing A One-Week Menu

Many preppers test their food storage skills by making a menu. After they design a menu, they usually notice that certain items are not as efficient as others. A menu also helps preppers understand if they have enough food for certain meals, such as breakfast. In most cases,  an initial trial of the menu will demonstrate that you do not have enough items for certain meals; this is why a menu is important. An efficient menu also prepares families for disaster situations because they can test emergency meals and know what they need to have stored.

Advanced Storage Procedures

It is also an important practice to rotate your food storage items in to your current recipes. For example, many food storage professionals use cheese powder in macaroni and cheese. They also make pancakes using wheat. Beginning to incorporate food storage products such as these into your current recipes will allow you to become familiar with the qualities of the food products you store and how they can be included in recipes you are familiar with and know how to make.

How To Increase The Life Span Of Stored Emergency Food

Food usually lasts longer when it is stored in an area that is 40-60 degrees. Each food item should be rotated and dated properly. All new foods should be placed towards the back. Placing the food on the floor is not recommended because the air will cause problems. Instead, place all food on a shelf. Depending on the weather, the food could get very cold. However, the food should never be placed in an area that has a freezing temperature to best preserve it.

Date And Rotate

Individuals and families should practice their food rotation procedures. Rotation keeps food in great condition, as long as the food is also properly maintained. Most long-term items should be used regularly, such as bulk foods. This procedure is what best helps preppers rotate and replenish their inventory.

It is wise to remember that there are food items that do not last as long as others. For example, canned foods do not last as long as a bucket of grain. However, most items have a date that lets you know how long the food will last.

It is also helpful to remember to use organizing techniques when storing preparedness items. One way to organize food is to place the newest food to the left, leaving the older food on the right. Then as food is used, take food from the right because the items on the right are the oldest. The oldest food should be eaten first because fresh food is needed during emergencies situations and it will avoid losing valuable food resources to spoilage.

Photo Credit: Tim Patterson via photopin cc

All American Sun Oven Giveaway

HUGE NEWS TODAY!!!

I am excited to be partnering with an awesome group of preparedness bloggers to giveaway a Sun Oven package worth $448!!!

All American Sun Oven Giveaway
As you may know, September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. It is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), within the Department of Homeland Security. Americans are encouraged to take the necessary steps to prepare for any emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, churches, neighborhoods and communities. We all need solid emergency planning in order to get back to business after a terrorist attack, a tornado, flood, landslide, fire, etc. It is imperative to have a plan before a disaster strikes us unexpectedly. Have a plan and talk about the plan with family, co-workers and neighbors. If we put our plans into action before we need them, we will be much better prepared for the unexpected.

The bloggers that I have partnered with are:

Here is the fine print:

This All American Sun Oven Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Tuesday, Sept. 2nd at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Saturday, Sept. 6th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the time designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month

ENTER TO WIN!!!

Imminent Terrorist Attack Warning Issued

Judicial Watch has shared on their website that, “High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the [southwest U.S.] border has been issued.” Sources have revealed that ISIS and Al Qaeda operatives are currently in the Ciudad Juarez area across the border from El Paso, Texas. The specific threat that has been identified are Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs). Federal law enforcement officers have been placed on high alert and it is reported that Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland, Commanding General of the U.S. Army III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas is also being briefed on the situation across the border.

 

All of this is happening at the same time that Britain has raised their terror alert level to ‘Severe’ indicating  that a terror attack in Britain is highly likely. See the entire article from Judicial Watch here.

Take the opportunity to be ready if you are in the immediate area. If you are not in the local area, be ready anyway. There is no telling what the repercussions could be of a wide spread terrorist attack. It is important to be aware of what is going on and the threat to our nation.

Some of the things that should be done or checked to get ready if there was an attack include:

  1. Have an evacuation plan to at least two bug out locations (vacation property, friend’s house, family member’s house, etc.) with primary and at least two alternate routes.
  2. Conduct inspections of your Bug Out Bag (BOB) to ensure that all items are functional and up to date. If you don’t have a BOB, get one.
  3. Review your security and defensive measures. Consider designating a safe area in the house. If you don’t have body armor, think about getting body armor while you still can.
  4. Have at least one way to defend you and your loved ones everywhere you go. If a firearm is your method of choice, make sure that you have appropriate defensive ammunition for each one. Alternates that are easily carried include a knife, pepper spray, taser, or stun gun.
  5. Maintain the flow of information. Have a portable radio with AM/FM, Shortwave, and Weather capabilities. Don’t forget some extra batteries!
  6. Have an ample supply of food, water, hygiene supplies, and a plan for dealing with waste and sanitation issues if you have to hunker down.

I know I missed some stuff but I wanted to get the word out if you haven’t heard about this most recent and imminent threat. My guess is if the government is finally admitting it, the threat has probably existed for some time.

Stay safe and let me know what I missed in the comment section. Thank you.

Do You Have Body Armor If It Hits The Fan?

There are always a few items on a prepper’s wish list that seem like they would be great to have some day but because of the cost or the particular item being a low priority, they are constantly pushed to the bottom of the list. One of these items for many prepper’s is body armor. This could be because of the cost for some, but body armor has never been more affordable than it is right now. For others it is probably because it just seems like there are better things to do with your money when it comes to getting prepared. I will be the first to agree that there are plenty of basics that should be taken care of prior to getting body armor like a foundation of food, water, shelter, firearms, ammunition, medical supplies, etc.

 So if I think all of these other things are more important, why would I bring up body armor? The answer is simple…you can have the largest stockpile of long term survival supplies in the world and none of it will do you any good if you get waxed trying to defend it. It is also worth mentioning that some government officials believe that the minions they represent are not capable of handling the responsibility of owning body armor. The latest example of this belief is H.R. 5344, the Responsible Body Armor Possession Act introduced by Representative Michael Honda-D of California(SHOCKER!). Ironically, the act has nothing to do with responsibility, it is just a way to regulate who can get their grubby mitts on a set of body armor. If H.R. 5344 were to become law, it would make it unlawful to purchase, own or possess body armor by civilians with the exception of the,

purchase, ownership, or possession by or under the authority of — the United States or any department or agency of the United States; or a State, or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State; or enhanced body armor that was lawfully possessed by any person at any time before the date this section takes effect.

Basically, if the Responsible Body Armor Possession Act comes to fruition, it means that if you don’t have body armor already, you aren’t going to get it unless you are a chosen member of an elite agency of THE State (like the USDA or EPA, right?) or a State. I see this causing two problems regardless of what the end state is. The most severe problem would be if the law passed and owning body armor became illegal. The lesser problem of the two would be that the proposition does not become law but still places stress on the body armor market in a similar manner as recent attempts at changing gun laws changed the firearms market. This would likely result in greatly decreased availability of body armor and quite possibly higher prices.

There are several reasons that make owning body armor practical for a prepper. Obviously, the avoidance of being shot and killed is a driving factor but is this a reality? Of course it is! Aside from what could happen if there was some sort of societal collapse, there are many events recently that have had the capacity to boil over and become uncontrollable, dangerous situations. Consider how easily someone could have been shot when police were going house to house conducting searches in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Look at what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri right now. These are both extremely volatile situations. Imagine what it might be like if people take to the streets because of a nationwide lack of resources like food and water. Don’t you think people would be a whole lot more upset and probably be more inclined toward violence? My bet is yes.

The good news is that is not too late….yet. There are a couple of immediate steps that can be taken to ensure that you maintain the right to own body armor. The first is to buy a set, or sets, of body armor for you and your loved ones. All of my body armor came from Safeguard Armor and I am incredibly pleased with it. The second step is to help ensure that our rights as citizens remain intact by contacting your elected representatives and let them know that we are not interested in them protecting us by telling us what we can’t do! Many body armor companies also run periodic giveaways like AR500 Armor who is currently giving away three sets of their fully loaded Sentry Plate Carrier packages.

Get Ahead of the Coming Storm

The following article is a guest submission from Carlee about getting prepared for a Hurricane, a timely submission based on the fact that I spent some time last week ensuring that I was prepared for this very type of event.

Get Ahead of the Coming Storm

Years ago hurricanes were storms that only the Deep South had to worry about. Not anymore. Whether or not you believe global warming is real or a political ruse, the fact is the ocean temperatures are increasing. The eastern seaboard and the gulf coast are particularly vulnerable. But with warmer oceans, the threat for damaging hurricanes extends all the way into the Northeast, where places like Vermont have suffered extreme flooding.

Add to the mix the growing population along the coasts and, as we’ve witnessed in recent years, you’ve got a recipe for disaster. I went down to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina to help with cleanup and witness firsthand the destructive power of a hurricane. To put it mildly, I was awestruck by the devastation. It showed me that natural disasters are nothing to take lightly.

But we can prepare for these storms and ‘weather’ them successfully if we prepare ourselves ahead of time. As preppers, we should never allow ourselves to be caught unaware when Mother Nature throws one of her tantrums. Like any adversarial condition we may face, we should learn about hurricanes now so that if we find ourselves in the path of one, we won’t be unprepared.

Plan Ahead

Make your preparations a family affair. Sit everyone down ahead of time and make sure everyone’s involved. Prepare your plans and make sure everyone understands what to do. Even give your children responsibilities, with the proper oversight. You usually only have a few days at the most to know that a hurricane is barreling down on you, so get organized ahead of time.

photo credit: carobe via photopin cc

Know where your local evacuation routes are located and where local storm shelters are. If you evacuate and have young children, make sure they carry identification and contact information. Have an out of state relative or close friend act as a contact person for everyone in the family in the event you get separated and can’t contact each other locally.

Make sure the needs of elderly friends and family will be taken care of. If necessary, register family members with special medical needs at the local shelter ahead of time. Don’t forget about the needs of your pets as well.

Cash

Make sure you have plenty of cold, hard cash on hand. Most likely the power will be down, which means many stores, gas stations, etc. won’t be taking debit or credit cards.

Food and Water

The American Red Cross suggests you keep at least three days’ worth of water and nonperishable food on hand. After my experience with Katrina in Mississippi I would err on the side of caution and suggest increasing your supply of food and water to at least a week. Nonperishable food will keep for some time, so if you don’t need it immediately it will get used eventually.

Supplies

Make sure you have flashlights, batteries, and a portable radio, preferably battery or wind up (self-powered). If you take medications, make sure you have at least a week’s worth on hand. Keep a well-stocked first aid kit on hand.

Gas up your car and fill up any spare gas containers you have. If you have a portable generator make sure you are familiar with its safe operation.

Prepare the Exterior

Bring inside anything that can be picked up by the wind. This includes lawn furniture, decorations, planters, and the like. If you have shade awnings and don’t want to see them turned into sails, fold them down securely or put them away as well.

photo credit: stockroomcontrol via photopin cc

If you pay attention to the veterans of hurricanes, you’ll notice they have pre-cut and labeled plywood pieces ready for quick window covering. Use ¾ inch exterior grade plywood, not OSB, at a minimum. It’s amazing what a projectile pushed by 100 mph winds can do to a house.

Powered Necessities

Make sure that anything that can hold a charge is fully powered. The first thing that comes to mind is likely your cell phone. But also make sure other devices are charged as well. This includes things you might not think of as important, such as a power drill or electric razor. Keep in mind that you can’t be over prepared.

Also important—turn your refrigerator and freezer down to the coldest settings and avoid opening them unless absolutely necessary to ensure that your food will last longer if the power does go out. And pack them full if possible. An empty freezer warms faster than one full of frozen items. If you have room, freeze water containers.

Power Down

Make sure you unplug your small appliances, computers, and other electronics. Turn off propane tanks. If you are evacuating and think your house faces a good chance of suffering damage, turn off the water and natural gas at your own discretion.

Stay Inside

If you are going to ride out the storm, stay inside. If the storm suddenly lets up and everything looks calm, don’t venture out. You are likely in the eye of the storm, and the dangerous winds will be returning soon. Even if you are not taking a direct hit from the storm, keep in mind that dangerous winds along with lightning and tornados can be present anywhere in the storm.

The Reality of Disaster Preparedness

This week I found myself on the receiving end of an inbound hurricane, a first for me. I have experienced minor earthquakes, tornados, wildfires, ice storms, blizzards, and a variety of strong storm systems before but this was the first time that I was on an island, with no where to go, waiting for a swirling mass of mother nature named Iselle to inflict her damage on us. (We were fortunate, the hurricane turned south and missed our island.) It is worth mentioning that because of technology, we knew that Iselle was on her way a full week ahead of her arrival. This gave me the opportunity to observe the chaos that ensued before the hurricane was even 2000 miles away.

photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via photopin cc

There was an obvious race by everyone on the island to secure items necessary to sustain life following the hurricane. It was so bad that radio and news stations were reporting the locations that still had items like water and generators. Most stores were limiting the quantity of specific items that could be purchased. The governor issued an emergency proclamation to prevent retailers from gouging prices on the sale of items but it didn’t prevent private citizens from selling cases of bottled water for upwards of $50 a case. It seemed to me that this situation was caused from two major factors; most people did not have what they needed on hand and most people also realized that we are on an island and there wasn’t any more inventory coming in with a storm on the way.

Some of the “hot” items that were being bought up faster than they could be put out on the shelves were:

  • Water
  • Ice
  • Shelf Stable Food
  • Bread
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Battery Operated Radios
  • Alcohol
  • Plywood
  • Tarps
  • Chainsaws
  • Generators
  • Fuel
  • Cookstoves

This is only a short portion of what would be a long list. To me, this would demonstrate the need to keep at least a minimal stock of these items in the event that there ever is a disaster. This is especially true with things happening recently like the Lake Erie algae bloom that caused over 400,000 residents in Toledo, Ohio to be left without any water to drink or cook with for a few days. You  would think that events like this would convince people that preppers may not be so “crazy” but that is not the case. Today’s newspaper already featured an article on the large number of items like generators that were being returned because they were not needed.

My family and I were fortunate in that we have taken the steps to ensure that we are not in crowd of people at the hardware or grocery store fighting over the last sheet of plywood or a loaf of bread but I think this made us the exception to the rule. Take it from someone who just lived through a close call, do what you need to do and get what you need to get NOW before you find yourself in a situation where danger is imminent and there are no supplies available to ensure your survival.

If a hurricane were headed your way, would you have everything you need to survive the aftermath?

See the Ninja… Be the Ninja… Secretively

This is a guest post from reader Lukas. I would like to say thank you to Lukas for sharing his take on secrecy and prepping.

See the Ninja… Be the Ninja… Secretively

As an avid reader of The Prepared Ninja, I am often interested in the knowledge that can be bestowed to me by others who have a similar passion for preparedness. There is something I enjoy when it comes to reading and sharing this knowledge with others. Maybe it is the common ground I see with others who have a general love and joy from prepping. Maybe it is the pure adventure that is found understanding the variety of tactics others use. Either way, I have realized that reading The Prepared Ninja helps me fill the void I have.

After reading The Prepared Ninja for several weeks now, I was prompted (mostly by curiosity) to read the About The Prepared Ninja Page. If you haven’t read this yet- you should. Tom does a great job explaining his reason for the site. While reading this page, there was one thing that stuck out in my mind. This was the relationship Tom indicates exists between ninjas and the prepper minded individual. Specifically, I wanted to discuss Similarity #2. As Tom indicates in this section, “– A ninja is secretive and does not share what he does with anyone other than other ninjas. A prepper will spread the message of preparedness but will not tip their hand by disclosing information about their preps, making themselves a target of the unprepared.” I couldn’t agree more with the ideas in this statement and quickly wanted to discuss some of its ideas in more depth.

photo credit: Funky64 (www.lucarossato.com) via photopin cc

So how do preppers remain secretive and only talk to other preppers so as not to become a target? Especially when SHTF? Good question right? After some contemplation, I have had some thoughts I wanted to share-

Some might assume that being secretive like a ninja means keeping your lips sealed about all topics related to preparedness. Others might think it means taking some drastic measures, such as 100% covert prepping. I would tend to disagree with these ideas and present that there are problems with this mindset. For instance, how do you share your tactics and a love of prepping if your lips are glued shut? There isn’t much fun in that. How do you learn new tactics and help others prep if you aren’t willing to share ideas? How do you manage 100% covert prepping while being a regular person of society? If keeping complete secrecy was the best way to complete a task, I wouldn’t be on here writing about prepping.

So let’s think about this. I don’t think being secretive about prepping means keeping my lips sealed. I think it means taking preventative action to avoid “being the target of the unprepared.” Even if I were to keep my lips sealed… who is to say someone isn’t secretly spying on me and my every move? One step I have taken (at the most basic level) is to censor my information before making it public. I often ask myself, is this information going to expose some type of personal information about me? Is this information identifiable or going to expose me to problems when SHTF? I believe examples of information that might expose me, is information tied to my physical location, my family, and anything that might be traceable over time.

A second step I have started to take is to install a security system to protect the equity I have from several years of being a prepper. I have found this adds an extra level of security and eases my mind. If you are interested in installing a good security system , I have a found a good review of home security systems here. A third and final step I take in determining the type of secrecy I should have is to go with my gut feeling. If there is anything I have learned after many years of prepping, it is that if you have a funny feeling about something… it is probably right. This means, if you don’t feel right about something you are sharing online don’t make it public. If you feel good about it… share it.

Navigational Methods In An Emergency

Using Technology and Old School Navigational Methods in an Emergency

Finding our way from point A to B is something we now mostly take for granted. Navigational skills and technology can come in handy whether it’s using a satellite navigation system or using the night sky to find your way home.

In-car navigational tools

Satellite navigation systems- or sat nav- have been used by the public since 1983 although GPS was first used by the military during the 1960s. Our sat nav systems today use around 30 satellites to provide world-wide GPS ensuring that we should never become lost again. Many vehicles come with this little mapping system but the devices themselves are relatively inexpensive to buy. Maps of countries around the world can be downloaded via computer and these are essential if you’re looking to get somewhere, whether during an emergency or not.


photo credit: tj.blackwell via photopin cc

Navigational systems without the internet

The question of what would happen to our vehicle sat nav systems if the internet went down is one that many people consider. Many of our satellite navigational systems such as those in our vehicles would still run the maps if they are already downloaded. There are specific sat nav applications that can run maps without the use of data traffic, whereas assisted GPS such as those used on an iPad to triangulate position will need a Wi-Fi signal. However, car batteries do run down and if the electric grid was to go down it may be a case of returning to tried and tested navigational methods.

Old school navigational skills

Most of us over a certain age are familiar with the compass pointing north and a paper map technique. If these tools aren’t to handy then it could be a case of using the North Star to navigate and keep on course. First you would need to identify the ‘Plough’, which is a group of easily identifiable seven stars. From there you would identify the two ‘pointer stars’ – the North Star will be five times the same distance from the pointer star. It will take only a short amount of practice to identify the Plough and it’s relation to the North Star but once you recognise this you should be able to always find your True North.

Hopefully you will never have to rely on old school navigational methods but these are excellent skills to learn. Try some star-gazing and work out exactly where the North Star is; it’s an easy to learn skill that could indeed prove very useful.

Debt & Its Relationship To Prepping

This is a guest post from Gale about debt and prepping.

When it comes to prepping, it is often forgotten that prepping as a set of actions is much more than stocking up on extra cans of vegetables or gallons of water. It is also a common fallacy that prepping is done exclusively for the future when it is also a set of strategies to improve your current situation. Don’t believe me? Take debt as an example. While debt is something you’ll need to someday completely erase from your future, working to pay down starts now. Getting out of debt is prepping.

Never Go Into Debt By Prepping

Prepping can be bank breaking if done incorrectly. Prepping is one of those activities that can turn out to be a money pit; one purchase can lead to another, then to another, then to another, and so on and so forth until you’ve expended your entire account balance and still have other weapon attachments, security measures, food supplies, and improvements left to purchase. Set an overall budget for your prepping purchases each month (I limit myself to $225). Do not go over this arbitrary limit, even though I realize how difficult that can be as TEOTWAWKI draws closer with each passing day.

Pay For Everything In Cash

No more credit cards, no more loans. It’s easy to make purchases with money you don’t have, and this is exactly why people buy with credit cards. If I have a $5,000 credit limit, it is much easier putting a new television on a credit card as opposed to writing a check (or using a card linked to your checking account) for that money to be automatically deducted from my current account. This is how people get into trouble and deep debt fast. Pay for everything in cash and don’t give debt collectors a reason.

Become Debt Free And Stay Debt Free

Student loans, auto loan, mortgage, credit cards – these are all types of debt that can cripple your monthly budget, and for a long time. One of my best friends from high school went to college for 5 years. Here is the conversation we had:

-Friend: Man if it weren’t for my student loans, I’d be making bank right now.

-Me: Really? I’m sorry bud, is it that unmanageable?

-Friend: Yes! I barely even make enough to pay for rent and student loans! That doesn’t even count towards food or my other bills.

-Me: That’s so sad. Not to pry, but what are we talking – $20k to pay back?

-Friend: Nope, guess again – $70,000.

-Me: (speechless)

Sorry to say it, but my friend is a slave to his student loan debt. In some places in the United States, you can outright purchase a home for $70,000. Instead he is paying for a college degree for the next few decades of his life. While this is an extreme situation (average student loan debt is $29,400), it goes to show the tough situation many people find themselves in. If you have any debt, get all hands on deck to pay that debt off completely and as quickly as possible. Work on paying off one debt at a time, generally higher interest debts should be paid off first while making minimum payments on all other debts. As interest accrues, you are throwing money straight out the window towards whoever owns your debt. Break the shackles of debt and regain your financial independence.

At first glance, debt and prepping may seem unrelated. By looking a little deeper, you will find that debt and prepping are interconnected and it is imperative that a prepper must break the bonds of debt to protect themselves and their families. No one said the task would be easy, but as someone who regained control of their financial livelihood by putting forth all effort to paying off a heinous amount of debt on a new boat (talk about feeble financial decisions), I can say that the journey may be long and hard but the feeling once you reach the end is something so gratifying and liberating that it is a road certainly worth traveling, for anyone. Will you take control of your financial future?

About The Author

Gale Newell is continually working on being a self-sufficient human being. She finds herself spending her summer days outdoors, whether that raising her own food in her organic garden or playing cards with friends and family. She is very much into grilling meals on her old-school charcoal grill and has since lifted her addiction to multiple television series. She feels freer than ever and is truly happy. She is prepared for the future and ready for whatever happens next.

photo credit: StockMonkeys.com via photopin cc
photo credit: stevendepolo via photopin cc

A Packing List For All Occasions

I recently was cruising the endless chasm of the internet and stumbled upon a nifty tool that someone put together called the Universal Packing List. This immediately piqued my interest for two reasons:

  1. There is no possibility that there is a universal packing list for anything.
  2. This could be a great tool to provide a foundation for putting together a bug out bag or other survival kit.

 photo credit: lemonad via photopin cc

The packing list tool allows the user to enter a set of criteria and it in turn generates a customized packing list for the user based on the conditions they entered for their trip. Some of the components of the tool that determine what is on the list include:

  • Start & End Date Of The Trip
  • Maximum & Minimum Expected Temperatures
  • Gender
  • Expected Accommodations
  • Kids (By Age Group)
  • Various Possibilities (Is it an international trip?, Will it rain?, etc.)
  • Activities Participating In (Climbing, Beach,  etc.)
  • Transportation Method
  • The Size Of Your Bag

Another convenient detail that is included with the Universal Packing List is the option to email your completed list to yourself or someone else of your choosing. This makes it easy to share with family members or a group.

To get a good idea of how useful this tool would be, I went ahead and input the following information to simulate bugging out by myselfon foot during the summer:

  • Dates of Trip: 25-27 July
  • Temperatures: 50-86 Degrees Farenheit
  • Gender: Male
  • Accommodations: Camping
  • Kids: None
  • Other Conditions: It may rain, I use a backpack, wash my own clothes, and cook my own food.
  • Activities: Trekking
  • Transportation: Hitchhiking
  • Size of Bag: Normal

Here is the packing list that I was provided:

Things To Do Before You Leave -

  • Wash the dishes
  • Shave
  • Pet Care
  • Unplug electrical stuff
  • Turn down (or up, depending on where you live) the temperature in your home
  • Memorize PIN codes to credit cards and your phone’s SIM card
  • Memorize the PIN code to your phone’s SIM card
  • Check out what hospitals are covered by your health insurance
  • Install or recharge batteries
  • Get maps

Clothes -

  • Underwear
  • Shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Trousers ( Pants, Jeans )
  • Sweater
  • Cap ( Hat )

Shoes -

  • Walking shoes
  • Sandals ( Flip-flops )

Optional Clothes -

  • Belt
  • Raincoat
  • Umbrella
  • Swimming trunks ( Bikini )
  • Pyjamas ( Pajamas )
  • Beach pants
  • Jewelry

Clothes For Cold Weather -

  • Jacket ( Wind breaker )

Money And Documents -

Basic Documents -

  • Insurance certificate ( Health Insurance card )
  • Cash
  • Credit/ATM cards ( Visa, Eurocard/Mastercard, American Express etc )
  • Driver’s license
  • ID card
  • Address list (with phone numbers and email addresses)

Optional Documents -

  • This packing list
  • International Student Identification Card ( ISIC )
  • Tourist organization certificate

For Carrying Money And Documents -

  • Wallet
  • Paper folder

Maps -

  • Small scale map
  • Large scale map

Books -

  • Novels
  • Guidebook

Equipment -

Things For Packing -

  • Backpack ( Rucksack )
  • Small extra backpack ( Knap sack, Day pack )
  • Luggage tags

Things For Sleeping -

  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Sheets ( Bed covers )
  • Pillowcase
  • Sleeping mattress

Cooking Equipment -

  • Stove
  • Extra fuel
  • Can opener
  • Eating utensils ( Cutlery )
  • Drinking cup
  • Plate
  • Washing-up liquid

Eating Equipment -

  • Cork screw

Miscellaneous Equipment -

  • Compass
  • Candle
  • Earplugs
  • Lighter ( Matches )
  • Sunglasses
  • Keys

Hygiene -

  • Toilet bag ( Bathroom bag, Necessaire )
  • Razor
  • Shaving gel ( Shaving foam )
  • Electric shaver
  • Toothbrush ( Electric toothbrush with charger )
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Soap box
  • Liquid soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toilet paper
  • Deodorant
  • Sunblock lotion

Hygiene (optional) -

  • Comb
  • Hair brush
  • Barrettes, headbands, hair ties
  • Detergent ( Laundry soap )
  • Sink plug
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Moisturizer

Health -

General Health Items -

  • Prescription medicine
  • Condoms
  • Sore tape ( Adhesive tape )
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Water purifying filter

Pills, Tablets And Medicines -

  • Motion sickness tablets
  • Fever tablets
  • Pain killers
  • Allergy pills ( Anti-histamines )

Electrical Stuff -

General Electrical Items -

  • Cell Phone ( Mobile Phone, Cellular Phone )
  • Charger to Smartphone/Cell Phone
  • Multi Power Outlet
  • Computer
  • Watch
  • Flashlight ( Torch )
  • Bookmark reading light
  • Extra batteries for your camera, flash, torch, watch, MP3-player and GPS
  • GPS

Camera Equipment -

  • Camera
  • Memory cards
  • Film

Generic Photo Equipment -

  • Camera bag

Music Items -

  • Music player ( Cassette, CD, MiniDisc, MP3 )
  • Headphones

Mountain Equipment -

Hiking Equipment -

  • Hiking trousers
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Hiking Boots
  • Woolen socks

As you can see, there are WAY too many items here to fit into a normal sized bag. At the same time, there are items listed that would not be necessary in a survival situation like a music player and headphones, a computer, or a corkscrew while there are items that would be necessary to survive like food, water, and a knife. Regardless, if you are not sure where to start when putting your kit together or are curious how various conditions might affect your packing list, the Universal Packing List may be a useful tool.

Make your own packing list using the Universal Packing List

What Convinced Me To Change My Lifestyle Choices For Good

The following is a guest post about one person’s story and what convinced her that prepping was the right choice to make…

When does preparation ever become over-reaction?  In my mind, never.  And my guess is: people who have lost their homes to disasters, lost their loved ones to an epidemic, and lost all they have to tragedies feel the same way. The bottom line is: you have to be prepared to survive.

The “polar vortex” officially became a thing this year as it turned weather conditions upside down. Epidemics and viruses, threats of war, and economic meltdown — these are some of the occurrences no man could stop from happening.  In June 2012, four million people went without electricity when an unexpected summer storm knocked out power across the mid-Atlantic region.  Hardest hit were the Washington suburbs of Northern Virginia and Maryland.  A storm during the summer? Who would have thought?

On that fateful day, I decided to never compromise the safety of my loved ones.  On that day, I decided to be a prepper.  Yes, a prepper — a growing community that gave National Geographic its highest ratings ever.  The majority of people who saw the “Doomsday Preppers” series were not very kind, calling preppers crazy and wild-eyed people waiting for the end of the world as we know it.  But the thing about preppers is they don’t wait, they prepare and not just for the apocalypse (as most assume) but for emergencies and occurrences that most people don’t take seriously.

However, if you were with my family who huddled in the basement as the storm ripped through our neighborhood, tearing our roofs, slamming windows, and blowing down trees, you would probably understand.  More than 20 people died.

Source: Flickr

Photo 1 via Flickr

The next day after the storm, temperatures reached triple digits again. The extreme heat was hurting recovery efforts. Our house was damaged, we had no power, supermarkets and shops were mostly closed, and we ran out of food.  During those weeks, I thought: I will never let this happen to my family ever again.

A Prepper In All Of Us

It dawned on me that I was not alone.  I was not the only one who will do whatever it takes to keep my loved ones safe.  I was not the only one who fights hard to survive.

As many as three million Americans call themselves preppers.  They are regular people who like regular things.  They are professionals, couples, rich and poor, old and young. You could be living next to a prepper and not know it.  They are the new breed of survivalists whose preparedness guide and practices go beyond the norm.

A prepper’s emergency management includes not just a 72-hour survival food kit.  Prepping means sustainability.  Keeping a stockpile of food and artillery, getting survival training, and having an escape plan are among prepper practices that make people cringe and laugh.  But the truth is: there is a prepper in all of us.  Preparing for the future, preparing for simple home emergencies, preparing for hurricanes make everyone preppers.  The difference probably lies not in magnitude but the extent and degree of wanting to survive which transcends beliefs, orientation, and practices.

Being A Prepper

It is not easy to be a prepper.  The “Doomsday” series was more like a weekly invitation to laugh at us, “lunatics”.  Some imagine preppers as armed zealots hunkered down in bunkers.  When visitors drop by my house, I still don’t have the courage to show them my own survival kit.  We call them bug-out bags: our own array of disaster swag.  Members of the New York City Preppers Network proudly exhibited them at a church in Washington Heights last year.  They contain: compasses, hand-cranked radios, solar-powered flashlights, fire starters, road maps and pills.  Some preppers tweaked bug-out gear to suit their needs and interests.

Source: Flickr

Photo 2 via Flickr

Preppers often have their own checklists and preparedness guides. Prepping seems like a tough practice and the common question is: “where do I start?”  If you are the type that will do everything to protect your family, then prepping should not be a difficult task.  Everything will come naturally with training and practice.  There is no single formula for prepping — emergency survival kits must be patterned with what you and your family need and the training required varies with what specifically you are preparing for.

However, for beginners to have an idea of what prepping is all about, the basics are food kits, the art of stockpiling food and preserving it, first aid kits and skills, keeping your place warm or cold, locating sources of water and power, and disaster training.

Preppers And Pop Culture

Preppers are an ever-growing community, thanks to television shows, documentaries, movies, businesses and dedicated websites that make the idea of preparing popular and common.  Taking after the National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers,” the Discovery Channel launched its own series called “Doomsday Bunkers” and the TV special “Apocalypse Preppers.”

Movies such as “2012,””Contagion” and “World War Z” show viewers that, while fictional, the world is not safe from disasters and epidemics.  Like these movies, preppers do not intend to cast paranoia among people.  They simply remind that complacency has no place in this world.

There are also hundreds of websites and blogs, personal or official that are dedicated to preppers.  Top websites such as SHTF Plan and Survival Blog get as much as 60,000 visits a day combined.

Whether for long-term or short-term emergencies, people seem to be taking action and industries cashing in on preppers are proof of this — from ordinary household items to bug out gear.  The demand has made prepping a multi-billion industry.

Prepping is often seen as overly-dramatic but to me it is nothing but preparing to survive.  It is survival revolution.  No one deserves to feel the pain of losing someone we love or losing everything we worked so hard for.  Prepping is more than just a phenomenon; it is here to stay because danger does not discriminate — it can happen anytime, it can happen to anyone.  Preppers are regular people who will do everything to keep themselves and their families alive. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

About The Author

Jona Jone has been a mortgage originator in Philadelphia, PA. She is also a Business and Property Specialist. She has been writing articles about real estate investment, business, and sustainability. Know more about her by following her Twitter.

Decreasing Summer Emergencies

Decrease Summer Emergencies By Staying Prepared

There are various types of emergency situations that tend to happen during the warm summer months. Whether it involves heat exhaustion, electricity blackouts, or dehydration, it is important to stay informed on things that you can do to protect yourself, your family and your pets. The summer heat can be dreadful for the elderly, young children, and people with serious health conditions. However, anyone who is exposed to the heat for a long period of time should be concerned about how the summer heat can have a negative effect on their health and everyday life.

Tips for Preventing Summer Emergencies

Summer emergencies can range from irritable to severe, however the good news is that they can be prevented. Here are a few things that we can all do to ensure safety this upcoming summer.

  • Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids even if you are not thirsty. Water is best, but any non-alcoholic beverage can help keep you hydrated on a hot summer day. (Tom adds: Not all non-alcoholic beverages are as helpful in staying hydrated as others. In addition to water; fruit juices, sports drinks, and clear beverages like flavored waters are the best options for maintaining hydration.)
  • Wear light colored, light weight clothing that is loose fitting if you plan on being outside for a long period of time
.
  • Stay cool indoors by keeping the thermostat turned down or keeping doors closed if there is only one source of cool air in the home. If fans are used, place them in the windows or doorway to circulate cool air.
  • Always wear plenty of sunscreen when you plan on being exposed to the sun.
  • Exercising outdoors should be limited to the early morning or late evening hours when the temperature is at its lowest
.
  • Visit your local county facilities that are air conditioned and open to the public if you need to cool down quickly such as the local library or community center.
  • Conserve energy inside your home so that you can help decrease the possibility of a community-wide blackout which could be dangerous for many people.

The Dangers of Hyperthermia

Hyperthermia is a term that is used to describe a variety of illnesses that occur due to overexposure to heat. The most common types of hyperthermia include heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Seniors and those with serious illnesses are most likely to develop this serious medical condition. Anyone who is showing signs of hyperthermia should seek immediate medical attention. While it is most common in the summer, hyperthermia can occur at any time to anyone. Individuals who take a lot of medication can be at a higher risk as well as young children and the elderly.

Avoid Blackouts by Conserving Energy

Warm temperatures outside mean higher electricity bills for most homeowners. While it is important to stay cool, it is also a good idea to keep an eye on your thermostat and try to keep it at a comfortable and conservative level. With so many people turning on energy-draining air conditioning systems it is highly likely for many communities to experience blackouts due to heat waves. When a blackout occurs, the power can go out and stay out for several hours. It is important to take precautions if you suspect that a blackout may occur such as keeping emergency food and water on hand so that you can stay hydrated. Stock up on food and snacks that do not require heating up and keep plenty of bottled water available.

Summer should be a fun and enjoyable time for all, unfortunately there are many areas where the high temperatures can make this happy time of year, a dreadful one for many people. Be sure to keep a close eye on at-risk individuals in your local community by checking in on elderly neighbors or those who are sick or disabled to see if they need assistance with staying cool. Many charity organizations provide free fans or window air conditioners for seniors or low-income families. By staying hydrated and avoiding long time exposure to the sun, you can help yourself beat the heat and make the summer season more enjoyable.

About The Author

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.  

Prepper Checklist Infographic

The information below originally appeared on thesurvivalistblog.net in the post, The Prepper Checklist – Ten Things To Do Now. M.D. Creekmore has now updated that info into an easy to follow infographic and has allowed me to share it with you. It is full of great information and is the perfect tool to share with those that are new to prepping or have been thinking about getting started on an emergency preparedness plan.

In addition to the above info graphic, make sure to check out M.D.’s follow up article, Ten MORE Things To Do Now.

Thank you to M.D. for all the great work he does and for being willing to share what he does with as many people as possible.

What Would You Do?

There is a named storm, Arthur, bearing down on the east coast of the United States and a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for some areas while voluntary evacuations have been ordered for other areas. This is not ideal by any means, especially because it is forecasted to make land fall today which would make it the first hurricane to ever hit the United States on Independence Day. Facing a hurricane, or any disaster, reminds us that things happen around us all the time and it reiterates the necessity to prepare for such events constantly. These threats are real and show up on God’s time, not ours. It is not possible to predict such disasters on any type of long term calendar.

Hurrucane Ike, Picture Origin Unknown
Hurrucane Ike, Picture Origin Unknown

Let me put a twist on the situation…imagine that you are there visiting a resort in North Carolina’s Outer Banks on your summer vacation, right where Arthur is headed. It is not likely that you have brought along much in the way of survival or preparedness kits or items. You might not even have a car! Do you carry the bare minimum essentials to survive if you were caught in this situation? Do you have the knowledge to complete the survival tasks necessary in this situation?

It is a good mental exercise to participate in. What would you do if you found yourself in this situation? It is typically not practical to travel with a dedicated bug out bag which can be cumbersome, not to mention that the type of travel can greatly limit what you can have in your bag. The amount of space needed to carry the bare minimum essentials can easily fit into a small portion of the average suitcase.

There are 10 survival items that I would suggest that you consider carrying with you when you travel include:

  1. First Aid Kit
  2. High Quality Multi-Tool
  3. Flashlight
  4. Chemical Light Stick(s)
  5. Whistle
  6. Emergency Poncho
  7. Paracord (~50 Feet)
  8. Water Bottle (Lexan bottles like Nalgene are durable and can be used to pack other items into.)
  9. Way To Purify Water (Tablets, Straw Filter, Etc.)
  10. Duct Tape (~50 feet wrapped around an old gift card) and Zip Ties
  11. Mylar Survival Blanket
  12. Snack Foods (Jerky, Protein Bars, Nuts, Candy, Etc.)
  13. Lighter
  14. Bandana
  15. Sewing Kit

What would you add to this list?

I would also like to say happy Independence Day! It is my hope that everyone enjoys their day and stays safe while celebrating the freedoms that we enjoy. Don’t forget to keep your thoughts and prayers with those who are dealing with Arthur on the east coast and our military who are serving abroad so that we can have fun at home.

Today is the last day to take advantage of the 4th of July sale over at Black River Outpost. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to save a ton of money on marked down items and FREE shipping on ALL orders!

10 Items to Keep Your Survival Chances in Check

The following is a guest submission on some of the ways to ensure your survival in the wake of an emergency.

10 Items to Keep Your Survival Chances in Check

Zombie apocalypse. Doomsday. End of the world.

These are some of the situations that we just regularly see in movies, TV shows, or in books. We tend to be amazed on how the protagonist manages to survive a certain kind of situation that seems impossible to escape. But have you ever thought of your escape plan if ever these situations happen in your lifetime? More importantly, have you ever thought of the things that you need to have in order to survive?

And if natural disasters and panic have already raged your neighborhood, will you just get the items that you instantly see based on your instincts and or will you easily grab your ever-reliable emergency survival kits and run as fast as you can for your dear life? For me, the latter sounds much better.

Of course, preparing ahead is much, much better compared to rushing things especially during doomsday where the atmosphere is already tense, nerve-wracking and full of fear. A prepper naturally has the foresight and prepares everything as organized and as detailed as possible. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a single item that you need to have for you and your loved ones’ survival.

Here are 10 security items that you need to have to keep your survival chances in check if ever the worse day happens.

1. Water Supply To Quench Your Thirst

This comes first in our list. Without water for 3 to 4 days, you’ll eventually die and that is the ultimate situation that you need to avoid as you fight for survival. You will definitely need to have ‘drinking’ water intact and not just any other type of water unless you want to die of other water-related diseases. Have a big table-top ceramic filter type of water container to store your drinking water.

2. Food Storage To Avoid Starving

This is a no-brainer if you really want to survive doomsday. Come the end of the world, major supermarkets will definitely run out of their food supply because of the panicking people that filled the supermarkets and retail stores. You can choose to store and prepare survival food kits that match your nutritional needs. Don’t forget to address the food allergies of your family for your survival. Make sure that these food kits will last longer, say 6 months. These survival food kits in case of disasters will surely provide you food and energy that you need if ever the food supply totally runs out in your area.

3. A Handgun For Defense

If the situation becomes truly chaotic (think of the possibility if zombies attack you at your own home or if other people desperately try to get your food supply), you will need a handgun for self-defense and for defending your family. For example, if your home alarm system has been destroyed by an earthquake, you need to be aware of burglars and people who will target your house for their own supplies. Learn how to use one and for starters, experts recommend having handgun that you are comfortable shooting in a caliber that is 9mm or larger. Don’t forget to load set-defense ammunition in the handgun, that is what it is made for.

4. A Portable Radio To Be In The Loop

After you have safely evacuated your chaotic neighborhood, you’ll definitely need to be in the loop on the current events in your area and for possible safe places that you can evacuate to. Having a portable radio will allow you to stay informed and this is a great advantage since information is power.

5. First-Aid Kits

Prepping for the worst day also includes preparing for what might happen along the way during your escape. In case of an emergency, make a handy list of your first-aid essentials such as regular medicines, antibiotics, and gauze bandages if you or a family member ever gets wounded while on the run. Check to ensure that you have enough of each item in your first-aid kit.

6. A Handy Map And A Compass

Another no-brainer, these will come in handy should you need to locate the fastest and easiest escape route towards the next safe place. Yes, a lot of people are relying on their GPS or their other gadgets but if battery runs low, then your map will be your golden ticket to survival. Have a good quality road map of your area or secure a topographical map of your hometown and possible retreat areas. Along with a map, a compass will also come into good use if you need to go around the woods for your safety.

7. Flashlights

This will be extremely useful at night and for dark places that you might encounter. Be sure to have extra batteries as well for this item. A handy L.E.D flashlight that produces a strong light is needed for your survival.

8. Lighter And Fire Starters

If ever you need to stay out in the woods for several days, you will need lighters, matches and other fire starters to keep you warm and to possibly cook food as well. This will also be handy should you need to boil dirty water for it to be potable.

9. The Reliable Swiss Army Knife

This item is definitely included in the top security items list. A Swiss Army Knife is incredibly handy and valuable thanks to every function that it can do for your survival. You’ll never know when you’ll need it especially if you’re in an area where certain tools are out of reach.

10. A Hiking Backpack

You might think of the need for a place to put all the necessary items for your survival. Why not go for your hiking backpack as your “bug out” bag? Be sure that it has plenty of space and/or compartments and check to be sure you can carry it with a full load of your essential items. This will contain all of your emergency survival kits so be sure that your backpack is strong and intact.

Having this top 10 security items list will serve as your preparedness guide for terrible events such as doomsday. Properly securing and preparing each item will definitely help you in your survival and you will be assured that you’ve prepared ahead of those terrible times in the future.

About The Author

John Anderson is a writer and an Executive Street Contributor. He runs the blog InfiltrationAlert.com

Book Review: Forsaking Home by A. American

I just finished reading Forsaking Home, the fourth installment of the Survivalist Series by A. American. I really enjoyed the first three books in the series and was excited to see how things would work out for Morgan Carter and the rest of the gang. While I was not disappointed in the least, I was surprised how some of the events played out in Forsaking Home. It was not what I expected, although all of the loose ends from the previous three installments were tied together in this book which was a relief and a disappointment. I am glad to know how everything works out for Morgan and the cast of characters but I am bummed that things may have come to an end. I don’t know that this is the last book in the series or not. Things could be done for Morgan Carter but maybe Mr. American will let us know how the rebuilding of the United States goes eventually.

The first three installments of the Survivalist Series revealed the challenges that Morgan Carter faced after the collapse of the electrical grid across the United States. After a long journey, he finally made it back home to his family and made some great friends, and terrible enemies, along the way. Nothing could have prepared him for everything he has faced but between the relationships forged and the preparations that he did make, he is in much better shape than most. As the days continue on, Morgan, along with his friends and family, is forced to try harder and harder to provide the food, security, and hope that is necessary to continue to thrive. This is all on top of the DHS’ attempts to smother any resistence they get from those who do not want to conform to the government’s new rules of martial law, etc.

Forsaking Home takes us along as Morgan continues to try to keep his family and group alive and together in their newly established oasis by the river while Sarge and his self-titled band of misfits try to pull together an operation that will take down the DHS camp that is holding Jess and her friends captive (in the name of their own good of course). While things continue to be chaotic, there are many who wonder what the future holds and whether or not they will even survive to see. I think that compared to the previous three books there was perhaps a little less excitement overall but the story was still very captivating and I appreciated the realism in the behavior of the characters and the facts contained.

There were some great take away points that I highlighted as I was reading the book that I wanted to remember to share.

Point #1 – People will fight to the death for the food needed to survive (there may not be a greater truth).

Food is freedom. Control the food, control the people. While a lot of people don’t see it that way, if you think about our current situation, it really applies. How many people do you think have gone to the [DHS] camps because they are hungry?

Point #2 – The skills of the generations that came before us are what made their survival possible and their lives better. Knowing these skills could be the key to future survival if the grid did go down.

There’s decades of skills lost that would make our lives easier. The rush to make life easier, more convenient, overshadowed those skills, and we’re paying the price now.

Takeaway # 3 – The idea of preparing for the unknown is not crazy. Obviously the electrical grid has not collapsed but if it ever did (and it’s possible), it will be those who prepared who will survive.

You guys remember that show Doomsday Preppers? I used to watch that and laugh at those people. I thought they were all so crazy. But they were right. Everyone called them crazy, but they’re probably the best off out of any of us.

Among these points and the additional practical skills and knowledge that is shared in the book, one of the other things that I appreciated was the inclusion of a few characters that had used their bikes with trailers to travel and move their belongings after the majority of vehicles became useless. This is something that can be a useful tool for a prepper, not only as an alternate form of transportation but as a means of exercise and maintaining physical fitness for long term survival.

I truly enjoyed all four of the books in this series and can honestly say that I was anxiously awaiting the release of Forsaking Home. A. American continued to do a great job in the latest installment with the characters and the storyline. It is easy to relate to all of the characters and how they feel and function but there were definitely some that I almost feel like I had met before. As an example, Sarge and crew easily remind me of my time in the Army and several of the Soldiers who I worked with, not only in attitude but in the shenanigans department as well. For those who are interested in the Survival/Post-Apocalyptic Fiction genre or have thought about checking it out, the Survivalist Series by A. American would be well worth your time. Just make sure to order all the books at once because you will go through them quickly.

The Survivalist Series can be found through your local book retailer or online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Powell’s Books.

Interested in winning all four books in the Survivalist Series? All you have to do is leave a comment about this review and you will automatically be entered to win. Make sure to leave a good email address (it will only be seen by me) so that I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected using a random generator on July 15th, 2014.

BBQ’s, Fireworks, & Baseball

I know, what an odd title for an article on a preparedness blog but I promise I will make it relate. (Bonus fact – I love BBQ, fireworks, and baseball.) Most of the country is preparing for the big celebration next week by readying parades, festivals, and all the security measures that go along with them. It is such a weird time in America right now when there has been such a seismic shift in the militarization of the police forces, the way we look at the risk of terrorism, and perhaps even the way we look at each other. I feel like what used to be ok, no longer is and what was once incomprehensible has become quite popular.

I truly believe that we still live in the greatest country in the world. I know that there are many parameters that the government likes to highlight as areas where we are failing; education and healthcare as examples. While this is very true in some regards, we still have more freedom (at least those freedoms that matter in my opinion) than anywhere else you can go in the world. (I don’t believe that freedom has anything to do with the government providing clean needles for drug users as an example.) We can still for the most part, say what we want, own firearms, do what we want, live where we want, and own what kind of car or house we desire. It is apparent that based on recent government activity that some of these liberties may be eroding.

For me, this makes it vital that steps are taken now, while they are still legal and items are still available, to secure my family’s and my future. This means a lot of things. It means getting out of debt, finding a place to call home that I own, storing up food and water, obtaining the tools necessary to survive on my own, and most of all, learning and sharing skills with others to be ready for difficult times. All to the best of my ability.

Now I guess I better bring things back around to my article title. We are officially a week away from the annual celebration of our country’s independence and that can only mean a couple of things: bbq’s, fireworks, baseball, and Black River Outpost’s 4th of July sale. My friends over at Black River Outpost have not only put a bunch of their items on sale but they have also made shipping FREE on all orders from now until Friday, July 4th. This provides a prime opportunity to make a shift towards personal independence in your personal lives at a great savings. I hate to make this post sound like a commercial but I am absolutely concerned about the ways things are going and the opportunity to secure the items we need for survival NOW is the only way to ensure you have them when they are needed. There are a number of items that can help you accomplish your survival goals at Black River Outpost and it would be a shame to miss out on the discounted prices AND free shipping (this can be a huge savings). Check out the Black River Outpost 4th of July sale here.

My New Favorite Flashlight & Other Stuff

In my most recent order from Black River Outpost I ordered a number of items that I needed to help round out my preparedness efforts but I also added a couple of $3 flashlights. It was almost an afterthought because as my wife would tell you, I don’t really NEED any more flashlights. But for $3, I figured what could be the harm? The unique thing about these flashlights are that they do not require batteries. All the energy that is needed for the flashlight to run is created by a hand operated squeeze lever.

Not only are these flashlights awesome, but they are awesome! I was curious to see how long the light would run so right out of the box I decided to turn it on and let it go until it ran out. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. The light ran for over 48 straight hours (I would not recommend this though because it took a lot of squeezing to get it back where it was bright again). It is lightweight (literally only a few ounces) and would be perfect for a survival kit because of this and the fact that no batteries are required. You can get your own from Black River Outpost.

There is also a new supporting partner at The Prepared Ninja. CB Mint has joined up with me to help provide an affordable source for precious metals as part of a long term survival and self-sufficiency strategy. They provide the standard gold, silver, and platinum rounds and bullion that you see from your standard precious metals dealer but they have some unique offerings like Palladium, Rhodium, and Copper. My absolute favorite item they carry are the silver bullets that they have in various calibers (each caliber is a different weight from a 1 ounce .45 ACP to the 100 ounce 30 mm Autocannon round).

I also stumbled upon some more great stuff around the web over the last couple of weeks. Here are a few things that are worth checking out if you have the time:

9 Booby Traps to Rig Your Homestead

Prepping Resources from Dale @ Survivalist Prepper - There are a number of great resources here that were contributed from myself and fellow survival and preparedness bloggers around the net. My contribution was a PDF compilation of the medical kits used by the US Military Special Operations units in the First Aid section.

Preparing Your Neighborhood Against Attack

Book Review: Sanctuary by G. Michael Hopf

Just when you thought Gordon Van Zandt had been through enough, he finds himself buried in a new heap of difficulty. Sanctuary follows G. Michael Hopf’s cast of characters through the next set of challenges they face as they fight hard to right wrongs and come back together in their ultimate destination, the Van Zandt family home in McCall, Idaho. If the first two books in the New World series revealed anything, it was that the post apocalyptic world is not an easy one and nothing is just given, it is earned.

I will tell you that just like The End and The Long Road, I was not disappointed with Sanctuary and found myself carrying it with me everywhere I went until I was done reading it. Not only is the story believable and engaging but Hopf’s character development has me fully engaged and anxious to see what will happen next to Gordon Van Zandt, his wife, daughter and friends, his brother Sebastian, President Conner, Colonel Barone, and Pablo (drug cartel magnate turned new world conqueror).

I definitely don’t want to give away too much so here is the official synopsis from G. Michael Hopf:

The journey down The Long Road proved to be more than they all could have imagined.

The country is now unrecognizable. The major cities are now controlled by gangs. Those lucky enough to have been prepared for such an event find themselves unprepared for guarding against the hordes of the wandering masses of survivors.

With the lack of a consistent and adequate governmental response many are now dying of starvation. What scattered remnants of government that is functional is having a tough time coordinating efforts and are themselves becoming victims of lawlessness and chaos.

Gordon Van Zandt, unable to confront his wife, Samantha following the loss of their son, Hunter, is on a mission to track down and kill the man who killed his son. This will take him places and into situations that he himself could not have predicted.

Samantha, Nelson and their group have reached Idaho but with no equipment to keep the roads open to complete the journey to McCall, they find themselves with no place to go.

Sebastian has safely delivered Annaliese and her family to their family compound in Utah, but his desire to find his brother will put him back on the road again.

Barone, now having fulfilled vengeance against a man he felt had wronged him, must keep his group of Marines together with purpose. His fledgling country is only being held together because of the false promises he keeps making the civilian leadership in Coos Bay. These lies will see the light of day and thrust him into making unconventional alliances.  With, Cruz, as his prisoner he has some leverage but will it be enough to stop President Connor.

President Connor is back in control of the federal government, but he is not the man he was before. Does he have what takes to confront all the threats and heal his wounded nation?

Pablo’s army has landed successfully in Southern California and after establishing a strong foothold he is expanding quickly across the southwest. His populist call to arms is helping recruit many to his ranks. His dreams of empire are unfolding with each day and each mile his army conquers.

The one common thread that they all have deep in their hearts is one of a place to call home, a safe place away from the horrors that have become the norm. They all have different paths and different ideas of what it means, but all are in search of a Sanctuary.

There were so many things about Sanctuary that I enjoyed that I could not possibly list them all, but I will list a few including the fact that once again the story is not predictable, the characters have human attributes, and because I am a veteran I always appreciate the fact that the military related portions of the book are accurate. Additionally, as someone who is concerned with being prepared for difficult times, I truly appreciate the fact that G. Michael Hopf is able to craft some potential survival scenarios into his storyline in a realistic manner.

There are plenty of different fiction survival novels on the market, and I have read plenty of them, but I find that Hopf’s New World series continue to find themselves at the top of my list because the story is so phenomenal. You can learn more about G. Michael Hopf on his website. To get your own copy of any of the books in the series, check with your local book retailer or find them online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, iBooks, or Penguin Books.

Interested in winning the three books in the New World series? All you have to do is leave a comment about this review and you will automatically be entered to win. Make sure to leave a good email address (it will only be seen by me) so that I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected using a random generator on July 15th, 2014.

The Survivor’s Guide To Storing Firearms

THE SURVIVOR’S GUIDE TO STORING FIREARMS

The following post is a guest submission from Aaron. In this article, he discusses some great storage ideas for gun owners and how to properly care for these.

A gun can come in handy when caught in very tough situations. While some would likely promote the idea that guns be totally eradicated in all parts of the globe, this proposition is still only perfect for an ideal world. If everybody was following the written laws and unwritten ideals as was intended by most governments in the first place, then living in peace without the need to carry or keep a gun may be possible. Until the world is a safe haven free from criminals, then it is the right of every sane person to own a gun and protect themselves and their loved ones from the possible dangers of robbery or related incidents, and always being prepared for tougher times. To all gun owners, remember that having a firearm at home also comes with the responsibility to store these safely for the sake of everyone at home. It is understandable that you may want to keep guns in places that are easily accessible when the need arises for you to use them.

Firearm Concealment Ideas

There are a lot of ways by which you can hide your firearms without arousing suspicion from other family members or visitors. Here are some tips that might help you come up with your own idea:

1. The Prized Painting by the Wall

This one is probably one of the most used ideas as shown in many action movie films. You may have seen one too. You also might recall how the bad guy decided to crash into the hero’s home and wanted to make quick money and maybe get lucky and bring home some jewelry too? But alas! The owner of the home heard someone trying to break in and the gun stored behind the paintingwas just what he needed to take a warning shot and scare the goon away.

2. The Librarian’s Stuff

Do you have a bookshelf in your living room, bedroom or home office? Unless your visitors are bookworms and love to read books in somebody else’s home, your books would go untouched and unnoticed by anyone but you. For the old books that you no longer use, you can use the side covers, glue this in a small box and use this as a hidden gun and ammo storage compartment. Keep the box at the upper level of the bookshelf to prevent small kids from reaching it.

 

3. The Household Furniture

If you love working with carpentry and building your own furniture, then you can put your talent to good use and incorporate hidden spaces in these. Get creative. Even solid and bulky parts can be made to look like it is made of pure wood, but what most would not notice is that there may be something hidden behind the façade. The coffee table, the bed post, the arm of the chair, and even the underside of the dining table – all these could be used to store guns.

4. The Not-So-Usual Places

There are many things in your home that usually go unnoticed. The more plain these are, the better the chance that these will never be thought of as something that carries your prized guns. Examples of these are the food containers at the top of the kitchen shelf that you’ve never touched and will never probably be able to use. Other firearm safe storage places could be a hollow trophy or a wall shelf, an old violin case, inside a jacket pocket in your closet, an old boot, behind the window curtains or places that can be seen in plain sight but are not considered a usual place to hide a firearm.

Caring For Guns Prior To Storage

Remember that your guns are made of metal. With constant use and abuse, these could easily succumb to rusting. Instead of your family being protected when you needed it, a rusting gun may fail to work or end up hurting you instead. Prepper gun storage comes with being able to care for guns the right way. Here are some tips to keep your guns always in top condition.

  1. Clean guns from the inside out. Whenever your gun is used, gunpowder residue is released and this could accumulate inside your firearm. With its buildup inside your gun, this can be likened to dirt that seeps at the insides of your shoes. Just as dirt attracts unwanted bacteria and fungus in shoes, gunpowder attracts the formation of rust since this easily absorbs moisture from the air. Take note that there are many small movable parts inside your firearm and these can stick together with the presence of gunpowder.
  1. Grease is not always a good option. Steel metal windows may need constant lubrication for these to open and close easily and to prevent rusting. However, this rule is not always applicable when it comes to firearms. Many products which were specifically designed to prevent rusting in firearms are now available in the market and these only leave a protective film instead of grease.
  1. Keep guns away from moisture. The easiest way to render your gun useless is to keep this in a moist place. While keeping your gun in a movable tile in the bathroom or the kitchen sounds like a great idea, this is not doing any good for your ammo and guns. Keep your guns in a dry place and/or airtight containers.
  1. Periodically perform maintenance. Just because you have cleaned your guns before storing them is not enough reason for you to never clean them again. Even after applying a rust protective agent and keeping firearms in an ideal storage space, you still need to check these from time to time and take them apart for regular cleaning.

Additional Reminders

Take note that guns can be dangerous when used by the wrong people which includes children. For additional safe gun storage tips, keep your guns out of the sight and reach of your children until they come of age and are responsible enough to use one. If you choose to get a gun for the lady of the house to protect herself and the kids, teach her some of these tips too.

About The Author

Aaron Mulligan creates content for Gun Mate, Hunting Magazines as well as being a regular contributor for other hunting websites. His expertise has seen him camp alongside some of the greatest campers, trekkers and adventure seekers in the world – unfortunately he hasn’t cracked the Kokoda Trail. You can grab him on Google+ or via his current Twitter Profile: @Gun_Mate

Happy Father’s Day!

I just wanted to say Happy Father’s Day to all my fellow dad’s out there. My hope is that all of you have a great day and are provided the opportunity to spend time with those who you love. I would be remiss if I did not mention my own father.

Dad, I am extremely grateful for molding me into the man and father that I am today. You were a great example for me and have never failed to take an opportunity to help me become a better person, even if it was by showing me where you fell short. I love you.

If you are still looking for a last minute gift for dear old dad, consider checking out the survival and preparedness items from the Prepared Ninja’s partner sites:

Black River Outpost

Ready Made Resources

CB Mint

Safeguard Armor

Pulse Firearms Training

 

Is Body Armor Necessary For Civilians?

Most people tend to think of body armor as a necessary item for those who are engaged in offensive operations against an enemy of some variety. It doesn’t matter whether it is the soldier on the frontlines of Afghanistan or the police officer rounding up gang members in Los Angeles, body armor can be a vital, and lifesaving, component of an individual’s daily ensemble. What is regularly passed over is the thought that body armor can be employed by those seeking to use it as a defensive measure. There is a potential place for body armor use as a defensive measure in all of our lives.

When I think of some of the recent events that followed last years Boston Marathon bombing, there were many of the citizens of Boston who were exposed, or came real close to being exposed, to the shooting from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan as they ran from just about every law enforcement agency in the greater Boston area and multiple federal agencies. In addition to the shootings that occurred in various areas of Boston over the course of the manhunt, a very anxious group of law enforcement officers conducted dozens, if not hundreds, of house-to-house searches in the Watertown, MA area as they tried to find those responsible for the carnage at the marathon.

Now think of being one of the Bostonians that, following such a terrible incident, were in fear of their lives as shootings are occurring across the city. All the while, police officers are pulling people out of their homes at gunpoint to conduct searches. It doesn’t matter if it is the fear of being shot by a terrorist, or shot by a police officer with an itchy trigger finger that feels you made a wrong move, in this case, having a set of body armor could greatly reduce the anxiety that was felt by those forced to endure this real-life scenario.

This is but one such possibility in the world today. As a soldier, I wore body armor every single day when I was in a hostile environment. Did I think that I was going to get shot or blown up every single day? The answer is no, but it would have been foolish to not wear such a useful piece of equipment in such an environment. My point is simply that since I had it, I used it and I was glad that I did because it, along with my competent colleagues, and top-notch training, helped ensure that I made it home.

Just for the sake of the argument, let’s say that you have the $400 that would be required to make a one-time purchase of a quality set of body armor and that you elect not to because you would rather use the money to upgrade your TV to that new ultra-high definition flat screen that it now even one eighth of an inch thinner. You wouldn’t ever want to find yourself in the position where you were forced to wonder if the opportunity cost from such a decision was worthwhile or not. Especially when the new TV doesn’t look any different than the last one!

Clearly not everyone needs a set of body armor though. It is a decision that should not be taken lightly and it is also important to consider the fact that your hard earned money should likely be used to secure the preparedness basics first and foremost. But there is certainly a place for body armor as a key component to a personal preparedness plan, especially in the areas of defense and security.

While there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of body armor companies to choose from, if you do decide that obtaining a set of body armor is crucial for your long-term survival and survival strategy consider going with a reputable manufacturer like Point Blank. Of course there are some stores like Inter-American Security Products (ISP) where you can shop multiple lines of body armor products in one place. Shopping at an online store like ISP not only allows you to see a variety of different sets of body armor but it will let you shop by the coverage level desired and the price point that fits your budget.

To tie back into the earlier example of buying a set of body armor instead of a new TV, not only can $400 buy you a set of body armor, it will buy you a set of custom built concealable body armor. This is hard to beat and will serve you better than any TV ever could in a life or death situation. While it would have once been difficult to foresee a situation where you might find yourself in need of body armor, there seems to be constant reminders in the news where innocent bystanders were involved in a situation that could have had a different outcome if said bystanders were wearing body armor. While it is not a piece of equipment for everyone, it is an integral component of a well-rounded survival strategy.

The path to preparedness

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