Category Archives: Disaster Preparedness

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.

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

Prepping Gems From The Web

One of the great things about the internet is that it is always being updated. It is a constant and never ending process. While this is great, it also means that it is impossible to keep up with everything. With that in mind, here are a few items that I found over the last week or so that I though were worth passing on to you. Hopefully, there will be at least one thing of value to you.

Super Easy Survival Bread

This last  week I stumbled across a REALLY simple recipe for a bread that could easily be made in a survival situation or even just a time of personal economic difficulty. There are only four ingredients and an oven is not required. Check out the recipe from BeSurvival.com.

12 Gauge is Enough Gun

In the last release of All Outdoor’s newsletter, they included an article on shotguns and why the 12 gauge caliber of shotgun is the universal do-it-all smoothbore gauge. It is a well versed take on why there should be no substitute for the 12 gauge when it comes to smoothbore firearms. Read the whole article here.

How To Hide Your House From Google Maps

This article originally appeared on Off The Grid News in October of last year and has the step by step instructions on how to block the street view of your house on Google maps. What is significant about this process is that it can also be used to block license plates, cars, or even people if you feel that you would rather not have you or your property on display to the world. Read the article as well as the necessary steps to complete the process here.

Yard Sale Prepping

The Backyard Pioneer shared a piece on prepping and the use of garage or yard sales to obtain items at a fraction of the price for which they could usually be acquired. While it is not a comprehensive list, there are some good pointers and the article highlights a solid strategy for preparing on a budget. Check it out here.

How To Plan A Bug Out Route For Emergency Evacuation

Graywolf Survival has a great article on how to plan a bug out route. Not only does the article cover how to plan a bug out route but also how to assess a route and the follow up steps that should be taken once you have selected your route(s). Plan your bug out route here.

Quick-Start Guide for Preparedness Newbies

If you have not had the chance to review it yet, James Wesley Rawles over at Survival Blog has compiled a wealth of pertinent survival information for the new prepper. While this info is geared toward newbies, it is a valuable reference for any level of survival minded individual. My recommendation would be printing a copy to keep as a guide to prioritize and keep track of your progress. View the guide here.

I hope that you all are having a great weekend. If you have a moment and like the content that I share here on The Prepared Ninja, please consider following the link in the right sidebar and voting for me on the Top Prepper Sites webpage. For those who are fans of social media, you can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Lastly, if you would be interested in supporting the blog with a monetary donation, there is a link to do so through PayPal in the left column. Any assistance is appreciated. Have a great week!

7 Reasons to Take an Air Rifle for Survival Weapon

This article originally appeared on Survivopedia and is reprinted here on The Prepared Ninja with permission.
Does the air rifle have its place in today’s modern survival weapons cache, or is it of use only to those that want to shoot holes in paper or hit tin cans?
I believe that today’s air rifles do have their place in a modern survival weapons cache. This weapon can be used in small game hunting to hunt doves and other birds, rabbits, squirrel, and other small game animals.
There is also historical evidence that air rifles were used for a number of purposes. For example, the Girandon was used during the Lewis and Clark Expedition around 1780‘s. It held 22 rounds of 40 caliber bullets in a bullet reservoir.
This weapon had to be pumped over 1200 times to supply the air pressure needed to fire all the bullets one at a time. The bullet velocity of this weapon was equal to black powder rifles of this period (450-650fps).
Why Should You Use an Air Gun?
Here are some advantages associated with using an air rifle:
  • Air rifles are very quiet – there are no loud bangs to scare off other game in the area.
  • Easy to shoot – this weapon points nicely, and is not too heavy or large for the beginner or inexperienced shooter.
  • It is an excellent, low cost training rifle with a simple design and cheap pellets.
  • Air rifles come with iron sights and are very accurate. When used with a scope, the shooter gets very tight groups (where multiple pellets hit). When hunting with a scoped air rifle, small game may be taken safely up to 50 yards away.
  • They are legal to own and shoot in most states. Because an air rifle uses only compressed air to fire the pellet (and not powder and a primer) most states do not classify them as firearms.
  • Air rifles make an ideal stash gun. It can be buried in an air and water tight container with a couple of tins of pellets and then easily retrieved at a later time.
  • Ammunition will not go bad. The only ammunition an air rifle needs is a pellet, nothing else. There are no cases, powder, or primers to worry about.

Basic Air Rifle Power Systems and Designs

There are three basic power systems in modern air rifles:
  1. Spring and Piston: When the rifle is cocked a spring is compressed. When the trigger is pulled, the released spring pushes a piston forward that, in turn, compresses a column of air that fires the pellet out of the barrel.
  2. Air Cartridge/Tank: This system uses a pre-filled, high pressure air cartridge or air tanks to push the pellet out of the barrel when fired.
  3. Air Pump: The air pump system allows the shooter to pump up the air reservoir to the desired air pressure. Some rifles need only one pump to fill the reservoir while others may need six or more.

In today’s air rifle marketplace there are many types of rifles:

  • Some just fire BB’s and are considered by some to be nothing more than toys (ex. Daisy Rough Rider with its low velocity and short range).
  • Some air rifles can shoot both BB’s and pellets. The Crossman Air Rifle had a little higher velocity and a little better range with pellets. These rifles are considered by most shooters to be training rifles.
  • Competition rifles are very accurate and can shoot very tight groups at the competition range of 15 yards with “iron” match sights.
  • Hunting rifles such as the Gamo Silent Cat (1250 fps) can be used for small game. Depending on the caliber and the pellet weight the velocity must be at least 650fps to about 1250fps to have enough energy to kill.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Air Rifle

Caliber: There are three basic calibers for air rifles.
  • .177 is a small, light, and very fast with top out velocity of 1250 fps. It is used mainly for target practice, competition shooting, and small game hunting.
  • .20 caliber – This is the medium weight caliber with velocities around 850fps to 1000fps. This is not a very popular caliber in the US and obtaining pellets and other shooting equipment can be difficult.
  • .22 caliber – This is the largest caliber and fires the heaviest pellet for air rifles. The velocities of this rifle range between 650fps to 1250fps. It is usually used for hunting and practice.

Air Source: Even though pre-filled canisters can give you good velocity in the beginning, their power will decrease after just a few shots. In a crisis scenario, you will not be able to refill smaller CO2 canisters, and larger ones will require a compressor and pump.

Unfortunately, springs do not supply the kind of velocity you will get from a canister/ air tank system.
Most people would say that pump systems offer the best choice because you do not need canisters, and yet they still offer good velocity.
Regardless of the air source, test out your rifle at different temperatures so that you understand how rifle cooling and air temperatures affect both pellet velocity and capacity to fire multiple rounds.
Selecting an Air Rifle for Hunting
When selecting an air rifle for this purpose, it is important to think about the kind of game that you will be hunting.
Usually, you can hunt rabbit, squirrel, or birds with a .177 or a 22. If you are going to hunt for larger animals such as raccoons, you will need heavier pellets such as the 22. In order to kill game efficiently, the pellet velocity must not go below 650 fps.
  • Type of air source: Will the rifle use spring piston, compressed air tank, or pump.
  • What type of accessories are needed on the rifle: For precision small game hunting a fixed power scope(4x32mm) would be a good choice.
  • How easy to get ammo: Before the time of a crisis both .177 and .22 caliber ammo will be easy to obtain. A tin of .177 pellets on the average will cost about $8.99 per 250 (all-purpose pellets). A tin of .22 caliber pellets will run about $8.99 per 175 pellets.
  • Price of an air rifle: The average price for a.177 air rifle is about $160.00. The average price for a .22 air rifle is about $200.00.

Most air rifle hunter’s use either .177 or .22 caliber models. You can also get air rifles with combination barrel sets that include .177 and a .22, that screw into a stock mounted barrel holder.

Accuracy in these 2 barrel sets is excellent and the price is low. I would recommend the Beeman Grizyly Dual caliber to fellow preppers priced at about $129.00. It is truly the best of 2 worlds.
Storing Air Rifles for Survival
When a major crisis hits, you will need a very quiet and accurate small game hunting air rifle. It does not take much time or materials to build a stash container for this type of rifle.
All that is required is a piece of PVC piping a couple of inches longer than the rifle and 2 end caps. In this container you can place the air rifle, a couple of tins of pellets, and a cleaning kit to keep your air rifle clean and well lubricated.
Lastly hide the stash tube in one of your hiding places.
Safety Concerns
When shooting an air rifle safety should be always on your mind.
  • Know what is behind your target area.
  • Use pellet traps down range to stop the fired pellets during rifle practice.
  • Wear shooting safety glasses when shooting. If you wear prescription glasses, make sure your shooting glasses cover them.
  • Do not pick up or shoot your air rifle when other people are down range.
  • No horse play on the range during shooting practice.
  • Do not put the wrong size pellet in your air rifle.

When picking out weapons for survival do not forget to choose an air rifle. These inexpensive yet very accurate and low noise weapons are a must. Ammunition is cheap, plentiful and you do not have to be concerned with ammunition break down.

As an added bonus, if you cannot obtain a conventional firearm, at least having an air rifle on hand will be better than nothing.
This article was originally written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia and was reprinted here with permission.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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