Category Archives: Disaster Preparedness

My Interview With Poor Man Prepper

Yesterday I had the opportunity to do an interview with Lat Cozad of the Poor Man Prepper Podcast. I had a great time and enjoyed getting to speak with Lat about medical preparedness, my time in the military, and a little bit about preparedness in general. If you are interested in listening to the interview and hearing what I have to say, check out Episode 528 of the Poor Man Prepper Podcast.

Medical Kit Purchase Opportunity

I have recently had some individuals express interest in possibly coming together as a community and putting a group buy together for a medical emergency response kit. After doing some research and sketching out a plan, this is what I have come up with:

  1. The requirement for making the purchase happen will be to determine that there is enough interest.
  2. Payment will have to be received up front. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to, I cannot afford to finance this project alone. 
  3. From what I have been able to source, here is what the kit will look like:

Trauma Response Kit – $150 + Shipping (U.S. Domestic Flat Rate is less than $20)

Airway/Breathing

  • HALO Occlusive Chest Seal (2 Per Package) – 1 Each

Bleeding/Circulation

  • SOF Tactical Tourniquet – 1 Each
  • Emergency Trauma Dressing (6”) – 2 Each
  • QuikClot (25G) – 2 Each

Splint/Disability

  • ACE Wrap (6”) – 1 Each
  • SAM Splint, Flat (4.25” x 36”) – 1 Each
  • Cravat (Triangular Bandage) – 1 Each

Wound Care

  • Slip Tip Syringe (10 cc) – 1 Each
  • Steri-Strips Adhesive Skin Closure (1/8” x 3”, 5 Per Package) – 1 Each
  • Stretch Roller Gauze, Sterile (4”) – 1 Each
  • 2 x 2 Gauze Pads, Sterile – 10 Each
  • 4 x 4 Gauze Pads, Sterile – 5 Each
  • Adhesive Bandage (3/8” x 1.5”) – 6 Each
  • Adhesive Bandage (3/4” x 3”) – 8 Each
  • Adhesive Bandage (1” x 3”) – 8 Each
  • Adhesive Bandage (2” x 4.5”) – 4 Each

Miscellaneous

  • Black Nitrile Exam Gloves, Large – 5 Pair
  • Cloth Medical Tape (1”) – 1 Roll
  • Alcohol Pads – 10 Each
  • Trauma Shears – 1 Each
  • Moleskin (3” x 5”) – 1 Sheet
  • Casualty Space Blanket – 1 Each
  • Splinter Forcep – 1 Each
  • Cyalume Light Stick – 2 Each

OTC Medications

  • Antibiotic Ointment (.9GR Foil Pack) – 5 Each
  • Extra-Strength Acetaminophen (2 Pack) – 5 Each
  • Ibuprofen (2 Pack) – 5 Each
  • Antacid (2 Pack) – 5 Each
  • Antidiarrheal – 5 Each
  • Hydrocortisone Cream (.9GR Foil Pack) – 5 Each
  • Electrolyte Tablets (2 Pack) – 5 Each
  • Cold & Cough (2 Pack) – 5 Each
Please let me know if this is an opportunity that you are interested in pursuing or if you have any additional questions by emailing me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

How Would You Deal?

It is without fail that difficult times will bring about changes in people. Some changes will be for the better as some rise to the occasion and do the best they can to care for themselves and others while some changes will be for the worst as some choose to use the situation to victimize and cause chaos. I recently stumbled across a list that was put together by user P-14 on the NortheastShooters forum that is essentially a collection of bullet points that summarize FerFal’s experience with the Argentinian collapse in 2001. This experience has been outlined in FerFal’s book, The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse
, as well as several published articles which is where P-14 formed their list. One of the most captivating things about FerFal and his experiences is the fact that it was not all that long ago that these events happened.

While the entire list highlights important information to know and prepare for, I was particularly intrigued by the Crime and Insecurity section which shares FerFal’s perspective on things in Argentina but also seemed strangely familiar to me on many points. I was taken back to my combat experience in Iraq when dealing with armed conflict and insurgency. If anything, this reinforces to me the fact that many preparations can be made that have wide ranging applications. It also seems that it is better to think about these things now as opposed to later when we may be experiencing things first hand. Here is the summary:

  • Allow no one inside your house.
  • “Letting a criminal inside your house almost guaranties that he will rape/beat/torture and abuse whoever they find inside.”
  • Always make sure you have a weapon on you.
  • Most dangerous time of the day - Leaving or entering your house…“Criminals wait until you are standing on front of the door with the keys on your hand to jump on you.”
  • Be extra alert when approaching your house. Look all around and if you see anything strange, keep walking around the block or keep on driving.
  • “No door is ever opened when there is a strange person around.”
  • “Whenever someone knocks on our door (and we don’t know him/her), they are answered from a second story window.”
  • “Criminals sometimes disguised as electric company guys or something like that, saying that they have to fix something. Say NO!”
  • “Better to be rude than dead.”
  • “No one leaves a door or window opened or unlocked. Nor do they hang out in front of the house talking to friends. A bad guy might just see you there, like a sitting duck, pull a gun on you and take you inside your house.”
  • “Criminals are not stupid, and they will spend days checking the place and especially YOUR ROUTINE.”
  • “Sometimes they just drive up to where you are working, if you are far away from the home, but most of the time they sneak up on you.”
  • “The most frequent kind of attack is attacking by surprise when you enter/leave your home.”
  • There is no “safe” hour of the day.
  • “Eyes and ears wide open when you enter/leave your home. If possible, keep a gun in your hand when doing either one.”
  • “If you approach the house with a large number of people they will leave.”
  • Types of crime will range from highly organized gangs/cartels/mafia to simple street crime.
  • Police will handle most organized crime.
  • Kidnappings: Expect 2 or 3 a day in your [suburban/urban] neighborhood.
  • Perps may be wearing police/federal body armor.

Car & Driving:

  1. Windows and doors have to be closed at all times.
  2. A weapon must be within arms reach.
  3. You never stop at a red light or stop sign unless there is traffic, especially at night.
  4. Traffic lights were turned yellow at night.
  5. Accidents at nights were frequent and brutal.
  6. Be prepared to use the car as a weapon – do not stop for anyone standing in front of your car.
  7. “Every now and then someone tries to force me to stop my car by standing in front of it, in the middle of the street. I just aim at them and accelerate at full speed. They always jump out of the way before I hit them.”
  8. “I would have bought a 4×4, even though I live in the city.
  • A 4×4 allows you to drive over the sidewalk or through wasteland, away from roadblocks or riots.
  • I’ve see those that have 4x4s simply go off road, climb over a boulevard and leave while the rest of us poor car owners have to stay.”
  • “A 4×4 truck also has more mass and power in case that someone tries to cut you off or rams you with the car. It’s less likely to stop running if you hit someone or several people (in a riot situation) since it’s prepared for cross country use and the engine is much more protected.”

Children At Play:

  1. “There are absolutely NO kids playing on the sidewalks at all, at any time of the day. Maybe a kid rides his bike a few meters on the sidewalk, but always under the supervision of an adult. A kid riding a bike on his own will get that bike stolen in no time, probably get hurt in the process, therefore no responsible parent leaves a kid alone on the street.
  2. “No parent worth a buck leaves his son or daughter in hands of a stranger.”
  • “Old people and women are especially vulnerable. After old people and women and children, come small framed people, the smaller you are, the weaker you look, the more likely you are to be chosen as a victim by a bad guy.”

This information is thought provoking at a minimum and could very well offer the insight necessary to survive a tough time or dangerous encounter.

Bug Out Bag Giveaway

Everyone knows there is no gear like free gear. The folks over at The Prepper Journal are giving away a bug out bag in celebration of their one year anniversary. You have the chance to win a backpack and 12 different items to help you build the perfect bug out bag, all you have to do is click on this link and enter to win!

The giveaway includes:

  • Internal Frame Backpack
  • Gerber Knife
  • Emergency Food Rations
  • Wet Fire Tinder Pack
  • Emergency Bivvy
  • Headlamp
  • First Aid Kit
  • Rain Tarp
  • Water Filter
  • Paracord
  • Edible & Poisonous of the Eastern & Western States Cards

What are you waiting for? Enter now!

Madness and Mayhem

The news over the last few days seems to be filled with chaos and mayhem. Whether it is the abandonment of vehicles in Atlanta or cryptic statements being made by journalists, it seems as though we are experiencing interesting times in America. To me, this further reinforces the need to be prepared and have a plan. Here are a few of my thoughts on recent events:

1. The gridlocked traffic in Georgia, Alabama, and other southern states reinforces the need to have a bag packed with appropriate items to help sustain your life in the event of an emergency. What if the businesses like Home Depot were not willing to harbor refugees from the weather? What would you do? Where would you go? It is possible to remain in your vehicle and protect yourself from the elements with the right equipment. Make sure to go out with a plan and not blindly hope that other will look out for you. Even if you do nothing else, put the following items in a bag in your car at the minimum:

  • A blanket for each person in the vehicle.
  • A one quart bottle of water for each seat in the vehicle. (Wrap these up in the blankets to keep them from freezing.
  • Food – Stable food that does not require special treatment (refrigeration) and that needs no resources to prepare. Think about items like jerky, granola bars, MRE’s, etc.
  • A first aid kit.
  • Hand Warmers
  • A light source (flashlight w/ batteries or chemical lightsticks).
  • Hat & gloves for each person.
  • A roll of toilet paper.
  • A disposable poncho for each person.

This is just a short list of the minimum items. These are all items that can be purchased at the dollar store. Put all this stuff in a plastic tote and keep it in the trunk. It could save your life!

2. Matt Drudge recently made a cryptic statement on Twitter about needing an exit plan. His exact tweet was, “Have an exit plan…” Many have taken this to the extreme and speculated about economic and stock crashes as well as other ideas. I take it as another reminder that we should all be preparing for the tough times that are likely ahead of us. It is not a bad idea to have an exit plan about how we would live our lives if we only had ourselves to rely on. (FYI-In the end, you can only count on yourself anyway.) Think about these points to assist you in your exit strategy:

  • Get out of debt.
  • Store enough food and water to sustain you and your loved ones for a predetermined amount of time (a MINIMUM of 7 days).
  • Have a plan on how you would acquire more food and water once you run out.
  • Establish a way to secure yourself and your property. Have a gun and know how to use it!
  • Always be able to provide yourself shelter, even if it means just having a tent and a plan on where it can be safely set up.
  • Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about what you would all do if something were to happen. The solution to difficult times is to band together, pooling your resources and planning the path to recovery.
  • Pray, meditate, or do whatever you have to in order to seek wisdom and guidance as to how to deal with challenges. This is a daily task and does not have to only apply to an end of the world scenario.

These are a few of my thoughts. Take them for what they are. Remember that it is better to have something and not need it, then to need something and not have it!

Check Out Black River Outpost!

There is a new supporter in town! Please help me in welcoming Black River Outpost as the newest supporter of The Prepared Ninja. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a new knife, long-term storage food, a bug out bag, or even a no fail way to start a fire, you can find it at Black River Outpost. I already not only placed my first order, but received it as well and I am pleased! Rob and Don have been great to work with and know their products. Make sure to check out Black River Outpost and get prepared!

SURVIVALKEY Product Review

Not often is there a one stop shop for survival and preparedness information that not only has all of the necessary information, but makes it easily accessible as well. Enter….a recent newcomer to the survival and preparedness arena by the name of The SURVIVALKEY, a revolutionary new searchable database that is LOADED with videos, plans, checklists, and articles that contain the knowledge vital to being properly prepared. Whether your concern is a natural disaster, societal collapse, or economic troubles, there is a plethora of information that is included with the SURVIVALKEY that can ensure you have the tools to survive any situation. From clean water to food storage and urban survival to bugging out, The SURVIVALKEY has got you covered. As an added bonus, this is a dowloadable resource that will be available with or without an internet connection.

One of the differentiating factors that makes this database stand out from similar products is the wide variety of subject matter that is covered. The SURVIVALKEY includes the following categories:

  • Disaster Planning
  • Water
  • Food Prep & Storage
  • Shelter & Evacuation
  • Medical & First Aid
  • Sanitation & Hygiene
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Farming & Gardening
  • Hunting & Fishing
  • Survival Weapons
  • Security & Protection
  • Data Security & Storage
  • Communications
  • Transportation
  • Frugal Living
  • Sustainable Living & Homesteading
  • Disaster Fitness & Wellness
  • Alternative Energy
  • Community Preparedness
  • Spiritual & Mental Health
  • Books, Manuals & Other

If that is not enough, the resources that are included can be added to a favorites folder for easy access later and most of the content can be downloaded for inclusion with a survival reference book, thumb drive, etc. One of the other things that I really like about this software is the inclusion of an ‘absolute essentials’ folder in each section that covers the bare minimum areas that should be addressed for each area of preparedness.

The SURVIVALKEY is not something that is just thrown together. The content is developed by industry professionals and people who are passionate about survival and what they do. There is over five years of research and development that went into putting this together. Not only is The SURVIVALKEY developed and maintained by professionals, it is endorsed by professionals. Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin (Retired), former commander of elite U.S. Army unit SFOD-D (Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta), commonly known as Delta Force, not only endorses SURVIVALKEY but he uses it himself. Here is what LTG Boykin has to say about it:

I started looking for ways to better understand what I would be up against and to know how to deal with it. The thing that I found that impressed me most, and that my family and I are using to prepare ourselves, is called SURVIVALKEY. It tells you everything you need to know about how to assess your current state of readiness and to prepare your family. It tells you what to get. It tells you how to train your family. It tells you a lot of things that are going to be critical to us in the coming days. Don’t wait, get SURVIVALKEY today.

If I haven’t listed enough reasons to check out The SURVIVALKEY yet, consider the fact that a good book on a single subject like bug out bags or urban survival can cost upwards of $20. The information that is contained in this product is worth hundreds of dollars at a minimum! The one time cost for The SURVIVALKEY is a huge savings over trying to piece the same information together from individual sources, not only in money but time as well.

Make sure to check out SURVIVALKEY. This is the LAST survival guide you will ever have to buy!

Wall Street Expert Recommends Prepping

It seems as though prepping, a practice often seen as strange and participated in only by conspiracy theorists, may not be all that crazy after all. In an article titled, Be prepared: Wall Street advisor recommends guns, ammo for protection in collapse published in yesterday’s Washington Examiner, a Forbes contributor and successful financial advisor, David John Marotta’s thoughts were highlighted from a blog post that he published outlining the importance of preparedness and some of his considerations. Stating concerns of a developing fiscal and social disaster, Marotta believes that it is important for Americans to prepare a “bug-out bag” or survival kit to sustain life for a minimum period of 72 hours. This is a way to not only survive a financial or natural disaster but to prevent fear due to being ill-equipped. His web series even includes a suggested list from Wikipedia on what should be included in a bug-out bag.

Firearms are the last item on the list, but they are on the list. There are some terrible people in this world. And you are safer when your trusted neighbors have firearms. ~David John Marotta

Marotta, who is the president of Marotta Wealth Management, made these remarks in a series of articles published on his company’s website that revolve around the idea of preparing for the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI). In the five installment collection about how to prepare for the coming financial collapse, Marotta covers the following subjects:

  1. Is A Financial Apocalypse Coming?
  2. Should I Get Out Of Debt Before Civilization Collapses?
  3. Is It The End Of The Line For Stock Investments?
  4. If It’s TEOTWAWKI, Should I Have Paid Off My Mortgage?
  5. Should I Be Storing Food, Water and Firearms?

Citing concern over the implementation of ObamaCare, massive national debt, the NSA spygate scandal, currency deflation and rising Socialism in the United States, Marotta shares that he doesn’t see an end of the world type scenario playing out but does agree that the need to be prepared for potential disaster is real and warranted. It is clear to me that the idea of being prepared for a basic spectrum of disasters is not only an intelligent practice, but one that is being widely embraced by a large variety of people in society. My question to you is…If a well known financial advisor and Forbes contributor is suggesting to be prepared for a financial or other disaster, is there any reason that EVERYONE should not be practicing basic preparedness?

What do you think???

Going Home by A. American – Book Review

Books written about disasters and surviving the chaos that ensues are a tough genre to write and if not written well, can be even harder to read. Going Home by A. American is not a book that I had to struggle through. I loved it! I will admit that it was a bit slow in the beginning but once I got through the first chapter, I could not set the book down! I have not had to endure a major disaster that altered my life completely, but I found myself constantly thinking that the trials and experiences that Morgan Carter endures in Going Home are about as accurate as possible for a fictional work. Each wrinkle and tribulation that is woven into the storyline caused me to put myself in the same position, wondering what it would be like and questioning myself about whether or not I would do the same thing.
If you have ever wondered how society as a whole, and people as individuals, would react to a lawless environment or a situation where the infrastructure collapsed, Going Home will provide you great insight into this aspect of human behavior. This novel includes, what I believe are, some honest reactions to situations that have and will occur again in societies across the globe and expose the realities of disaster situations and emphasize the need to be prepared. During a disaster, chaos will ensue and those who were once friends and neighbors will turn on one another to ensure their family and their own needs for survival are met. This is a point that is driven home as Morgan Carter treks over 250 miles through unkown situations in an effort to get home to his family after he experiences what seems to be an EMP. The story further builds as it becomes evident that the cause of the disaster may be the American government itself.
If I were forced to criticize one thing about this book it would be the fact that, like many prepper/post-apocolyptic themed novels, Going Home includes what most readers would view as overkill when it comes to the details of some of the supplies in Morgan’s get home bag as well as how he completes some of the tasks that he performs. This is a two-edged sword in the fact that there is an educational aspect to this book and leaving the detail out would somewhat defeat this purpose while including the finite information can be a bit tedious to the reader at times. I personally have encountered this before in similar novels like Patriots by James Wesley, Rawles and have been able to deal with it without any permanent damage being caused to me or those around me.
It is very exciting that my adventure does not have to end with Going Home, as it was only the first installment of what is at least a three part series(I am not sure if there are more part(s) in the works). I cannot wait to read the second installment, Surviving Home, and then see what happens in the third part of the series, Escaping Home. If you are interested in reading about Morgan Carter’s adventures for yourself I have great news! First of all, the entire three book series can be purchased from Amazon and can be located by clicking on the following links:
Going HomeIf society collapsed, could you survive?When Morgan Carter’s car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country’s power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored—if it ever will be. An avid survivalist, Morgan takes to the road with his prepper pack on his back.During the grueling trek from Tallahassee to his home in Lake County, chaos threatens his every step but Morgan is hell-bent on getting home to his wife and daughters—and he’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Surviving-Home-199x300

Surviving HomeNo electricity. No running water. No food. No end in sight. If life as you knew it changed in an instant, would you be prepared?In A. American’s first novel, Going Home, readers were introduced to Morgan Carter, the resourceful, tough-as-nails survivalist who embarks on a treacherous 250-mile journey across Florida following the collapse of the nation’s power grid. Now reunited with his loving wife and daughters in this follow-up to Going Home, Morgan knows that their happiness is fleeting, as the worst is yet to come. Though for years Morgan has been diligently preparing for emergency situations, many of his neighbors are completely unready for life in this strange new world—and they’re starting to get restless.With the help of his closest companions, Morgan fights to keeps his home secure—only to discover shocking information about the state of the nation in the process.
Escaping HomeWhen society ceases to exist, who can you trust?After the collapse of the nation’s power grid, America is under martial law—and safety is an illusion. As violence erupts around him, Morgan Carter faces one of his most difficult decisions yet: whether to stay and defend his home, or move to a more isolated area, away from the prying eyes of the government. He and his family are hesitant to leave their beloved Lake County, but with increasingly suspicious activities happening in a nearby refugee camp, all signs point towards defecting. Morgan and his friends aren’t going to leave without a fight, though—and they’ll do anything to protect their freedoms.From the author of the hit survivalist novels Going Home and Surviving Home, Escaping Home describes the struggle to live in a world with no rules, and how, sometimes, the strength of family is the only thing that can pull you through.

Lastly, A. American as part of his TLC Book Tours stop here at The Prepared Ninja has agreed to give away a complete set of all three books to a lucky reader! To enter all you have to do is leave a comment in the comments section below and one lucky winner will be chosen on December 29, 2013 using a random number generator. Make sure that you do not leave an anonymous comment, as there will be no email address visible to me to contact you at! Good luck!

About The Author

A. American has been involved in prepping and survival communities since the early 1990’s. An avid outdoorsman, he has a spent considerable time learning edible and medicinal plants and their uses as well as primitive survival skills. He currently resides in North Carolina on the edge of the Pisgah National Forest with his wife of more than twenty years and his three daughters.

Reinforcing The Need For Basic Preparedness

There are events that occur daily in our lives that reinforce the need to prep. Not all of these events are catastrophic and not even all of them are experiences that we witness first hand but, there are things that are constant reminders of why we should be prepared. Last week, my family and I got a not so subtle reminder of why basic preparedness is essential. A week ago, there were a number of devastating storms that caused tornadoes, torrential rainfall, and high winds throughout the Midwest United States. Our house happens to be situated in an area where we are susceptible to losing power as a result of high winds and murphy struck in a big way! We lost our power and were left in the dark for what we were told was going to be upwards of seven days! This is not what we had in mind as a way to spend our week. It was not going to be the end of the world though because we have a basic plan (as everyone should) to deal with such circumstances.

Here are some key components to a basic emergency plan…

#1 – A Blackout Kit: Don’t get stuck fumbling around in the dark. Keep at least one source of backup lighting (flashlight, lightstick, lantern, etc.) available in an accessible and convenient spot. It might not be a bad idea to have multiples strategically staged throughout the house. A light source is also a good item to keep on your keychain in the event you are not near your blackout kit when there is a loss of power.

#2 – A Basic Medical Kit: First aid is something that could be needed at any time. Stick a kit in the car, in your desk at work, and have one at the house. A commercially produced kit is a good start, especially if you are not comfortable with the idea of building your own kit but look at what your needs are and what the contents of the kit are. Many of these pre-made first aid kits are lacking in the quantity or quality of the supplies included as well as missing some of the advanced components that you might need.

#3 – A Plan To Deal With Food: Not only is it necessary to provide fuel to our bodies on a daily basis, but it is also beneficial to avoid losing money and food as a result of spoilage. To meet our needs and avoid this loss, develop a plan to deal with the perishable food that is left on hand following a disaster. Two of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by cooking food with a barbecue grill or over a fire. Both bbq’s and fire pits are common place and can provide not only the means to cook but also heat water as needed. If space is limited, disposable, single use grills can be purchased to fulfill this requirement.

#4 – A Way To Get Clean Water: Water is great. Clean water is better. Every emergency kit should have a way to filter and decontaminate water. Consider also keeping some clean water stored at home, in the car, and even at work if feasible to have access to in an emergency. In the event that clean water is not always available, have a plan to locate and clean dirty water. Plan on having enough, or being able to get enough, water to have one gallon per person, per day for drinking and cooking at a minimum. If the resources are available, add an additional gallon per person, per day for hygiene purposes.

#5 – Shelter – Sheltering in place at home is typically the most comfortable way to wait out a storm. This is not always feasible though and a plan should be in place to go somewhere else if it is required. Look for a family member, friend, or acquaintance that lives on the other side of town, a different city, or even another state if that is what it takes to get to safety. It is advisable to have a minimum of two routes to get to each destination in the event that one route is closed or obstructed.

#6 – Security: I am a gun guy and think that if you are comfortable with gun ownership, then this should be a vital part of any security plan. It is also not the only answer. High quality locks on doors and windows are a basic component of security and should be the priority. A nonlethal defensive option should be available like pepper spray. If a firearm is the only tool that is available, it could lead to having to make a tough decision that might be avoided with a nonlethal option.

#7 – Energy: A secondary source of power (generator, solar panels, wind turbine, etc.) is a great thing to have when the power goes out. Not only does this maintain some of the basic comforts that require power but it can also be a way to minimize the loss of refrigerated and frozen foods. Keep these two things in mind when it comes to backup energy sources: 1. When an entire area is without power or systems of support, a dwelling with power will stand out like a lighthouse for lack of a better term. This can lead to becoming a potential target if things are really bad. 2. An energy source, like a generator, that is powered by fuel will require fuel to be stored to power the generator for a reasonable period of time.

It can never be definitely predicted when a disaster will strike. Having a leg up on the recovery by not being caught helpless can be a game changer. I was reminded of the basic need for preparedness last week. What will the situation be for you if a disaster were to strike today?

Packing a WINTER Bug-Out-Bag

Most preppers have their bug-out-bags ready to go and close at hand, so do I. But now that the temperatures are dropping and winter is approaching with giant leaps and bounds, I asked myself if my bug out bag would be enough to survive sub-freezing days and nights without shelter. Because, let’s face it, we don’t know if shelter will be available when the SHTF. This is why each of my family members has their own bug-out-bag ready to go, children too.

Photo-Credit

Even if you have the luxury of still being in a car when it gets cold, it won’t help very much once you run out of gasoline. Without a heater you might be protected from the wind, but the cold will assault you from all sides, even the top and the bottom. That would put you in a very vulnerable position. If it was snowing, or you had enough snow laying around to shovel yourself in, not out, you could at least get a little more protection from the elements. But without a heat source it would only be a very temporary solution. That’s why it is doubly important to equip your bug-out bag with winter worthy supplies.

Aside from sweaters, thick socks, a jacket with a removable liner (this way you can adjust it to the climate you’re in), here is a list of things and their use that I’ve included in my bug-out-bags:

  • Mylar Blankets – These hi-tech lightweight blankets can be a life saver. They help your body retain its heat. They take up very little space and though they are really hard to refold, they are inexpensive enough to have a few on hand. These would help in the car situation as well. I actually carry a few of these, tucked in my spare, because I don’t want to get caught in the cold without them. Even if it’s just a case of running out of gas or car troubles in winter.
  • Emergency Tube Tents – These only hold two people, so make sure you have enough to accommodate the whole family. They protect against rain, wind and snow and can be a true life saver. Even if you find a cave to use as a shelter, you can use the tent to cover the entrance, sealing out the cold and keeping in as much warmth as possible. If you have to hit the road and hike somewhere to get yourself and your family to safety this is a must have in your bug out bag, it’s definitely in mine.
  • Emergency Bivvy Sack – Although mylar emergency sleeping bags, that are less expensive and lighter, are available, I have stocked my bug-out bag with bivvy sacks. They are warmer and more durable than the thin mylar bags. After all, you don’t know if you are prepping for short term or long term emergency conditions.
  • Hand Warmers – These chemical, friction activated, packets are also a must have. Not only in your bug out bag…you should keep some in the trunk of your car in winter. It’s hard to get your hands warm once they’re cold. Shoving one of these into your gloves and socks can prevent hands and feet from getting too cold while you’re looking for shelter.
  • Polyethylene Foam – This is something that’s used to pack things and comes in large rolls. Lightweight, it’s a great insulation to use under your bivvy sack or when sitting down in the cold. I’ve folded 6’ long pieces for each adult family member and a 5’ long pieces for each of the children in half and then rolled them tightly, securing them with 2 rubber bands. I have them wedged under the top flap of the bug out bags.
  • Insulated Bottles – When you’re out in the cold you want to make sure your water doesn’t freeze. You can avoid this by using insulated bottles. The other plus, the warmer the water you drink, the more heat your body will be able to retain.

This is what I’ve come up with so far. I’m sure there’s a lot more I will be able to add to this list in the future, and I will be as I think of other things to prepare for. If this helps you and yours to stay warmer for a little longer then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. Stay warm my friends!

Written by: Naomi Broderick

She’s the mother of three and a professional writer for ADT, Odessa, Texas. She spends her free time wrestling with the kids, writing or prepping for disasters, or resting from all of it. Phew!

Long-Distance Business Travel and Crisis Preparedness

Long-Distance Business Travel and Crisis Preparedness

By Anonymous

Photo Credit: Mashable.com

I don’t know what the future holds. Nor, in reality, do the elite in Washington, Brussels or Beijing. Despite the hubris of the planners, the law of unintended consequences, as well as just “plain ol” human error and ineptitude, will never allow man to create utopia, any more than a man can pull on his own bootstraps and lift himself up to Heaven. We may be fortunate enough to see a renaissance in the West, much like what Reagan and Thatcher brought to light. However, there are other indicators that do not bode well: For example, you may wish to review Reinhart and Rogarth’s book This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, on the utterly crushing nature of what out-of control debt can do to an economy and society that allowed it. Or perhaps google work by Dr. Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University, who has noted that if all unfunded liabilities in the U.S. were totaled, we are looking at not $16 trillion-ish reddish ink (now up to $17 trillion since I first began drafting this!), but actually $222 trillion. Do you really think this can be paid back?

Or perhaps you may wish to consider the latest figure for derivatives – the estimated numbers are too large for comprehension – what Warren Buffett famously called “weapons of financial mass destruction.” In another realm, most of us are aware of the encroachment of a state that has gone feral in many ways, such as the disgusting Agenda 21, or the establishment of an Orwellian “war is peace” approach to world politics by the current administration. The threat of EMP – man-made or natural – exists, whether we wish it weren’t so or not. In sum, the powers that be have far too many spinning plates in the air, and at one point it seems more than likely that at least some of them will come crashing down. Indeed, with 48 million people now on food stamps under Obama, and 100 million not working, I would contend many of those plates – and lives – already lie smashed on the ground.

Like me, many of you may not be able to move for a wide variety of reasons. You are stuck where you are, and with the destruction of the economy by Obama, you are also just glad to have the job you do, in fact, have. And your job requires travel. I needn’t bore you with further potential threats – you already know them, or you wouldn’t be reading this; and to that end, most of you have already engaged in some level of preparedness. I have done preparedness as well – but one thing I have seen very little commentary on is what to do when one is away from home more than a couple hundred miles for business. For example, I live in the Chicago area, and twice in the past month I had to travel 2,000 miles away to the People’s Socialist Republik of California (not that corrupt Illinois is much different). And in fact, as I compose this article, I am a thousand miles from my own home and family – this time in the other direction, on the East Coast. What would I do if, e.g., a Carrington level event were to occur, or another 9/11 attack? What if Yellowstone had a volcanic burp of geologic indigestion? You can fill in the blank as to the event – my concern is: what preparations and/or actions could one engage in to get home or at least ameliorate the plight of loved ones remaining at home.

Here are a few considerations:

A Communication Plan: There has been ample information written in many preparedness sites about family communication plans. Most I have seen are well done, but focus on someone who works, say, downtown, and needs to make it home to the suburbs. As this topic – getting home when one is relatively local - has been adequately dealt with, I will not deal with this issue here. Most of the information I have seen is well done, and by all means extrapolate as much of this as you can to your far away from home plans. However, for example, having a rallying point for the kids won’t help you, personally, much when you are across the country and cannot shepherd this. Of course, having pre-set plans and communication protocols with your wife or other family will be an advantage if you are near or very far away. However, this topic – as noted above – has been dealt with very ably at other preparedness sites, and needn’t be repeated here.

For the purposes of this article on business travel, I will assume one is within North America, ex-Hawaii or Alaska. I do this not to short-shrift people who travel to Europe or Asia, but simply restricting the scope of this article will comprise the vast majority of the business travelers. There will, of course, be much more profound logistical realities to attend to should one be overseas during a major crisis, which are also beyond the scope of this paper. So, with this in mind, here are some practical considerations.

Time Is Critical: After an event, it may be several days before the magnitude of the crisis sinks in psychologically; this is time that shouldn’t be wasted. For example, after 9/11, when all airlines were shut down, there still were cars to be rented for a very short window of time. The goal is to be responsive. Studies show that many people go into a slight catatonia during a crisis (think of those that refused to evacuate the Word Trade Center during 9/11; another example the story of the MV Estonia that sank in the 1990s, going between Estonia and Sweden, costing 852 lives. One of the few who lived recalled running past one passenger who had simply lit up a cigarette, and refused to budge when urged to do so. You must act in a situation that demands it, even if it seems forced and mechanical; at the same time, doing the wrong thing at the wrong time may make the situation worse. So, what is the answer to the twin horns of this dilemma? Having pre-thought out plans, insofar as you are able to analyze potential dangers.

Play “What if” Games: One problem with preparedness is that it can become an all-consuming obsession. You may have the time, money and/or mental CPU cycles to ruminate on issues and solutions. You may be a natural MacGyver. On the other hand, like many of you, I am not MacGyver, and I have precious few mental CPU cycles to spare. I also have a day job, which generally bleeds over into all kinds of weekend and evening hours, as do many of you. All I am advocating is a high level reflection on possible actions at your disposal as you have downtime in your travel or leisure time (what little you have!). For example, during my trip to LA, what might I have been able to do in, e.g., an EMP situation? If a worse case EMP scenario occurred, there may be no vehicular mobility at all. But what if an EMP left some vehicles running? Or in a 9/11 situation, what if private, small airplanes were left free to take off? As a matter of fact, back in my hitch-hiking days, more than one person I knew would go out to small airports, and simply hang around and ask for rides from pilots of single engine Piper Cubs or Cessnas. The same might apply to marinas – say going from Miami to Boston. A long shot? Of course. But the key here is not this specific solution, but rather the “outside the box” approach to solving the dilemma.

Determine Places To Avoid: If I were in Toronto, and needed to get to Chicago, I would not want to go through Detroit. Have a mental map in your mind of alternative routes you might take. If you are geographically challenged, this might involve nothing more than taking a 15 second glance at a Rand-McNally atlas. Can you risk going from LA to Denver through the Mojave if your travel arrangements are unreliable? Similarly, where possible, you may wish to familiarize yourself with parts of the city you are in that are questionable. Taxi drivers, concierges, co-workers – all can be sources of information here.

When You Simply Cannot Make It Home: The worst case scenario has taken place. You are in San Francisco, and an EMP has taken out ALL conveyances – trains, planes, automobiles – and everything else. To prepare for an eventuality like this, do you have neighbors  or family you can confidentially discuss your concerns with? Have you left your family with enough barterable items to see them through in your absence? You may not have enough money for all the preparations you would like, but have you done as much as you are able? For example, do you own “junk” silver (pre-1965) silver coins? As a matter of fact, recall in the early 1970′s that gas was in the low 30 cent range – and in fact it still  is today – if you pay in silver coins. Similarly, have you put simple cash away? Perhaps the crisis is just a Lehman-style meltdown, leading to a bank holiday, while you are away. Of course, readers of this article will be well aware that they should have a minimum of food and water on hand. Certainly, even if you are challenged, a few gallons of spring water, a number of cans of tuna and some bags of lentil are not expensive, and everyone should be able to afford a minimum expenditure for these.

Neighbors: Do you have neighbors you can trust to discuss the matter with? If this family also has a business traveler, can you work out some quid pro quo – if he is gone, you would pick up the slack in his absence, and vice-versa. There is risk here in that the counterparty might not be reliable, but this is a judgment only you can make. Alternatively, many will have family local, which may be even better.

Concentric Circles: For some time, I worked approximately 50 miles from home – a very long day’s hike. In this case, I planned to purchase a collapsible bicycle on Amazon. I would not have felt comfortable bringing it into the workplace, given the “government will take care of me” attitudes most exhibited there. For defense while in transit, pepper spray, or another spray of your choice – is in order, and certainly making sure that water and some food is available in transit is important. I would suggest panniers (small bags that attach to your bicycle), or at minimum a cheap backpack, to allow carrying of enough supplies to make it home.

I have also spent some time working in Lansing, MI, Pittsburg, PA and Columbus OH – between 300 and 400 miles from home. What would I do in a grid down (or similar) situation? In this situation, I was gone Mon.-Fri., renting a place during weekdays. Yes, driving, finding a ride if my car was inoperable, using a train, etc., are all obvious first choices. But what if those choices are gone? What if the major interstates are blocked? Again, my first choice would be having access to a bicycle, with ability to carry the rudiments for several days of trekking cross-country. What kind of shape are you in? A reasonably fit person should be able to do about 100 miles/day. In the case above, this would put me three to four days out from home, assuming no mishaps, delays, or the like. Should I attempt it? In a 9/11 situation, the risk of travelling would have been low (e.g., no civil disturbances en route), but the need to get home was also low – there was no serious risk to my family if I were absent. Whether you go or stay is a judgment call – but which criteria you need to make in the clear light of day ahead of a crisis – not during the  emergency, when the “fog of war” clouds judgment. In the situations above, if it were winter, I would not be able to go – I have bicycled on snow more than once, and one does not make much headway! Hypothermia would also quickly kill in winter – even if one was warm while riding, as soon as one stopped, the sweat would quickly chill, and be a serious threat to life. Of course, if one were adequately prepared, with polypropylene, breathable garments, there was no snow on the road, a good set of panniers on one’s bike, no sign of civil unrest on your selected route, etc., then it could possibly be advisable to set out. Again, some of this will necessarily be a judgment call, and the extent of preparations you make to take advantage of situations that may be low probability, but have high risk associated. This truly is not much different from the calculations you make to purchase life, fire or auto insurance – how much should you insure for? What do I stand to lose if I don’t insure against an admittedly low probability occurrence? Clearly, unless you are a wealthy Hollywood Learjet leftist, you don’t have the money to insure against everything; on the other hand, you do have some money to insure against certain risks.

The key issue here is not to lay out all possible scenarios here – you don’t want to read a hundred page paper on this, nor do I wish to write it! Rather, the goal is to lay out some possible problems, and get you, dear reader, to start reflecting your own personalized solutions that will be somewhat unique to your own, individual situation. This includes such disparate things as whether there are children at home – and how old; how safe a neighborhood one has; what type of neighbors one has relative to their own preparedness, and if you have had time to have a heart to heart with them about your – and their – travel schedules; the degree of involvement one’s wife has in preparedness, as well as how adaptable she is to emergency situations… and more.

Friends, Family, Acquaintances In Target Area: Who do you know in, or around, the area, you will be? Have you kept in touch – or do you need to re-connect? Do you have addresses and phone numbers? Do you have them written down, in case there were an event knocking out electronics? Of course, as with everything else noted here, you need to conduct your own analysis. If your analysis is that you think losing electronic information is virtually impossible, then (in this example) written addresses would not be part of your plan.

If you are working in a given location long-term, or regularly travel to a given city, could you make arrangements ahead of time with someone, perhaps for some kind of initial retainer? Of course, the critical issue would be judging if the person you trusted were worthy of that trust – but recall that this type of decision is one you have to make every day in business, as well! For me, the first place I would look to make an arrangement like that would be the church. Alternatively, some of the “prepper” sites allow exchange of information, and you might be able to negotiate some kind of quid pro quo with someone who understands the threats.

Gold And Silver Coins: I routinely bring one or two half ounce gold coins on my trips. I have never once had a problem leaving them in my computer case or briefcase. As you can imagine, they are never out of my sight. If you are concerned about the TSA spotting gold coins, leave a bit of loose change in with your case to throw them off the scent. Worst case, you can tell them you always bring it as your lucky charm. In the event that I am thousands of miles from home – say, LA, and need to get to Chicago – and there is limited transportation – a gold coin may just be the literal ticket home. Having two half ounce, or several quarter ounce coins, will provide greater flexibility, of course. Valcambi has recently come out with a gold wafer that will break into 1 gram sections, which is another option. And if there were no traffic on the road at all, the coins would still buy me food and perhaps some small roof over my head. Cash, you say? Mais oui! The problem with cash is that there always seems to come up situations that require “dipping in” to those reserves. If you can absolutely manage to not do this (I cannot!), that is a great solution. Otherwise, precious metals are a better option. As a side note, silver would not be valuable enough to be worth its weight when travelling, and platinum would not be as immediately recognizable to the common person. Stick with gold in half or quarter ounce size, and in a recognizable form (eagles, maple leafs, kruggerands or possibly several others).

Long Term Absence: Almost too horrible to contemplate, but what if I was in LA, and my home was in NY – and needed to get cross-country, in a total grid and transportation down situation? Assuming I have made preparation for my family, as noted above, striking out cross-country on a kamikaze mission would serve no one any good. Rather, for the time being, the goal would be to stay alive and bide one’s time, looking for an opportunity to return home. The key here is not only barterable items – and gold has been the very choice for this reason for thousands of years – but also to have barterable skills. Do you have one? Even a strong back might earn one’s keep in a serious societal crisis. Have you reviewed what you could do in a situation like this?

In conclusion, the goal of preparedness is not to obsess over potential catastrophes. Rather, if one has done one’s due diligence, then you should have greater peace of mind as you set out for your business trip. For those of us of the Christian faith, preparedness is also not to deny that a sovereign God will look after us. However, we have been given a brain and common sense for a reason, and we need to use it. We have been told to pay attention to the times and seasons – here, this passage is specifically in regards to the return of the Lord, but I believe we can extrapolate this call to all areas of life. The ultimate goal of preparedness is to be able to live a life not in fear, as one has done all that one was able to do in good conscience, and leave the rest in God’s capable hands.

What do you think? If this paper does nothing else, hopefully it will engender some responses as to other things that can be done relative to business travel. Please comment!

5 Signs You Might Be A Prepper

It is a pretty common stereotype to picture preppers as 50-year-old men hiding out in bunkers with a bunch of guns and ammo. Shows on tv that focus on these types of extremists as well as news reports about people labeled as preppers who have committed crimes haven’t helped to negate this stereotype either. The truth of the matter is, however, that you don’t have to be preparing for doomsday or the destruction of mankind to be a prepper. In fact, if any of these traits sound like you, you may be a prepper too.

1. You Invest in Food Storage

While most of us don’t have five or ten year’s worth of food tucked away, due to national disasters, such as hurricane Sandy, the value of having more than a day’s worth of food on hand has become more prominent. In fact, FEMA, the federal disaster recovery agency, encourages everyone to have food storage since the agency can’t help everyone immediately after a disaster occurs. Do you consciously maintain two weeks worth of your regular food items on hand “just in case?” Do you have a closet full of non perishables for those times you can’t get food from the store? If this is the case, you are probably a prepper.

2. You Participate in Self-Sustaining Practices

When your electric heater went out that one winter, did you decide to invest in an alternate heat source or generator in case it ever happened again? Do you make sure to have savings and cash on hand in case you needed to get out of the state quickly? Do you garden? Probably most of us can answer, “yes,” to one of these practices because we don’t want to get stuck in a difficult situation without being able to help ourselves. After all, you probably also carry extra water when you drive across the desert, or make sure you have a coat when driving in freezing temperatures.

3. Emergency Preparedness

Preppers are big on emergency preparedness, whether it’s taking a CPR class, learning first aid or having a plan for when an emergency occurs. These people may have an emergency kit with all of the essentials that they can quickly grab and go. They also invest in equipment, such as water pumps, radios or solar ovens. Many preppers also have additional skills due to their background in mechanics, scouting, fire fighting or the military.

4. You Volunteer

Do neighbors turn to you when a tree falls down in their yard, or are you the first to show up to help clean a neighborhood town? Do you like to share your knowledge or resources with those in need? Have you ever volunteered as a firefighter or nurse? Then you just might be a prepper. Due to their extra preparedness, preppers are often the best equipped to help out when a disaster strikes, since everyone else will be scraping to survive and waiting for help at that point.

5. You Value Self Reliance

Cooking from scratch, grinding your own wheat, learning how to make soap or knowing how to sew may seem like hobbies, but they are also a form of self reliance. Almost everyone who has gone camping has also learned some form of self reliance: building a fire, staying warm without a heater, cooking without a microwave. Other common practices, such as living within your means, eliminating debt and gardening are all forms of self reliance that leave you better prepared for when disaster strikes.

While there are many stigmas and negative impressions that surround the label of being a prepper, it is by no means a negative thing. You are only as crazy as you make yourself and if being prepared to survive things that are inevitable makes me crazy, then lock me up in a padded room. Who will be the crazy ones when something happens and they don’t know how they will survive?

Preparing For An Earthquake In Canada

Be Ready, Be Safe: Top Earthquake Preparedness Tips for Canadian Homeowners

In the run of a year, Canada experiences approximately 3,500 earthquakes. Unfortunately, earthquakes do not only damage property but take lives as well. Fortunately, there are some ways to prepare for such disasters. To help keep your home and family safe, here are tips for Canadian homeowners:

What to Do Before an Earthquake

1. Prepare an emergency kit.

To prepare for the worst, you should always have a disaster kit handy to deal with any situation. Your kit should include everything from water to copies of your health and identification cards. If you have any pets in the household, you should also prepare an emergency kit for them as well. Special consideration should also be given to the needs of family members with medical conditions or the elderly.

2. Come up with an emergency plan and practice it regularly.

To ensure that everyone knows what to do during an earthquake, it is essential that everyone in the household becomes familiar with safe spots and what to do if the worst should happen. Once you have a plan in place, practicing it regularly well help everyone (especially children) more effectively deal with a crisis. Ongoing practice of an emergency plan also makes the reaction to an emergency more of a natural response.

3. Secure your belongings.

To prepare for an earthquake, you should take the necessary steps to secure your belongings. For example, you should avoid placing heavy objects in high areas where they can fall down and cause injury. If you have pictures and mirrors on the wall, you should ensure that they are secured with strong hooks to prevent them from falling down as well. Appliances and large pieces of furniture should also be secured to avoid injury.

While securing your valuables, it is handy to take inventory as you go along. If you later need to make a claim, you will have the necessary details required for the process. Specialist companies like BrokerLink are ready to help you find insurance solutions for your particular needs.

Photo Credit: whoi.edu

What to Do During an Earthquake

1. Take cover.

Many valuable disaster resources, including the Pocket Guide to Emergencies, state for people to immediately drop, cover, and hold on as soon as the shaking starts. If you are near sturdy furniture such as tables, you should crawl under the piece and hold onto the legs. If you are not fortunate enough to be near sturdy furniture, you can press yourself along, or crouch down against, an interior wall. An interior doorway can also provide structural protection to occupants during an earthquake.

2. Stay away from glass objects and tall furniture.

During earthquakes, glass can easily shatter and furniture can fall over. To avoid injury, you should try to avoid staying near glass windows, furniture with glass panels, mirrors, bookshelves, and light fixtures.

What to Do After an Earthquake

1. Prepare for aftershocks.

After an earthquake, the area may be hit again by aftershocks (smaller earthquakes that follow large earthquakes). In some cases, the aftershocks may actually be larger than the actual earthquake, so it is very important that you still remain vigilant even after the initial disaster.

2. Evacuate your home if you feel that the structure is unsafe.

If your home’s integrity has been compromised or you suspect that there is gas leak, you should immediately evacuate the home.

3. Call 9-1-1.

Once you are able to, you should call 9-1-1 to report what happened and get the assistance you need. If you need assistance while in the home, you can place a “HELP” sign in your window to attract attention.

Experiencing an earthquake is sure to change the way you look at the world. Fortunately, by following these tips and being prepared, you can best protect your home and family.

About The Author

John Wilber is a retired weatherman and grandfather of seven. He now enjoys spending his time helping others be safer by posting his informative articles online.

 

Why Have Food Storage?

When it comes to food storage, some folks ask “Is it really necessary?” But recent events in the United States and around the globe are evidence to the fact that, sometimes, things just happen that are beyond our control. Take Hurricane Sandy, for example. Surely, the locals didn’t expect to endure such a trying disaster in the months leading up to the horrific event. Many endured losing everything they had. Others were forced to evacuate as soon as possible. But all involved experienced a level of uncertainty and instability.

Perhaps you are saying to yourself “That is a horrible disaster, but something like that will never happen where I live.” Maybe not, but maybe so. The fact is that many things are simply out of our control. Natural disasters seem to hit with increasing frequency these days. Do you want to be unprepared if you are forced to stay at home for days on end?

Let’s consider a few other situations where a food storage supply would certainly come in handy. First, with the economy like it is, many have been left without work or means of supporting their families. This has meant hungry little ones and frustrations at every turn. Or what about those who suddenly experience the loss of a loved one who has previously provided for them? Or even a loved one who can no longer work due to an accident of some sort?

The fact is that things happen in life that we just cannot control. But we can control how much we prepare for certain events, which includes obtaining a food storage supply. So while some claim it is not really important, others know it just might be the difference between life and death.

So what are some essential items to have in your food storage? Very simply, you need to include all the basics that will sustain human life and keep you healthy. These basics include grains, legumes, dehydrated milk, sugar, salt, oil, and garden seeds. Also, you’d be smart to get items that last a long time and that you really enjoy eating. If a disaster ever struck, you’d be grateful you did. In addition to food, it should go without saying that you need a pretty solid water supply. Some recommend having a gallon for each person per day (but as you don’t know just how long the emergency might last, it’s a great idea to store quite a bit). You can purchase bottled water or large storage containers from emergency essential stores.

A quick note: You don’t need to run out and buy your food storage all at once. In fact, doing so can be a bad idea, as it is a lot harder to rotate properly. Buy items every week or month, depending on your budget, so you always have a rotating storage that will sustain your family in the event of an emergency. As the saying goes “Better safe than sorry.” Food storage is not a paranoid measure for those who just like to worry and expect the worst, it is a precautionary measure that can save your life. As some say, once the event has occurred, the time for preparation is long gone.

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and food storage advocate.

6 Ways To Deal With Disaster – Guest Post

6 Appropriate Measures On How To Deal With Disaster Emergencies

by Michael

No matter how prepared we think we are for a disaster, we are never as fully prepared as we should be. Dealing with an emergency should help us to fine tune for the next time. Here are some ways to begin dealing with an unexpected turn of events and getting life back to normal.

By: Highways Agency

1. Emotional Toll

Emotional tolls when dealing with devastating events can often be even more traumatic than the loss of a home, school, or even a family member. We get lost in reliving events that are catastrophic in lieu of dealing with recovery. Things can be replaced. People can’t. Everyone who has been in a natural disaster of any kind has their own perspective of the situation. Sharing this perspective will help others to deal with their own feelings. Anger, frustration, grief and feelings of sadness are all a normal part of dealing with a catastrophic event.

2. Talk It Over

Decades ago it was unheard of to ever speak of the deceased. Today, we know that it’s important to talk about that person, their life and what they accomplished. Why? Because it helps us to process what happened and it helps us to deal with the emotional trauma of the situation. Talking out our feelings of loss whether it be a loved one, a friend or even a building, will help us to process the situation and better begin living life in a normal fashion again.

3. Working Together As A Community

We see it every day on commercials, a community working together as a community. Many go into foreign countries to help people help themselves. Just as these folks are doing, it’s important to work together as a community to rebuild and clean up after a storm or disaster. Work with neighbors to retrieve salvageable items. Work together to find safe drinking water.

4. Maintain A Normal Routine

Establishing and maintaining a normal routine are important keys for returning life to normal after a disaster strikes. The more normal you can make life the sooner your family will start the recovery process. Eat your meals at the same times as you always have. Prepare a comfortable sleeping area even if you are in emergency shelters. Maintain any family routines if at all possible in order to re-establish the normal balance of life.

5. Restock Supplies

Once the crisis is over, it’s important to remember to restock all supplies that were utilized during the situation. While restocking, one should also consider what may have been helpful to have had on hand prior to or during an emergency, but wasn’t and stock those items as well.

6. Avoid These Coping Mechanisms

Many turn to drugs, alcohol and other poor choices in behaivor in order to cope with a difficult situation. These choices only make the situation worse, take a toll on your body, waste money and give those around you even more to deal with. Avoid these behaviors at all costs. They aren’t helpful to anyone involved.

Following these measures will help to return the normal balance of your life and help others to restore their normal balance of life as well.

AUTHOR

Michael has been working in safety supplies and emergency kits industry for more than five years. As a product manager for EDisasterSystems, he knows his merchandise and all the requirements from OSHA. He likes to write and share his ideas about the importance of safety and emergency prevention.

7 Different Aspects of Food Storage

Emergency preparedness includes getting ready just in case a natural disaster occurs. Because there may be power outages and dangerous conditions outside, local stores won’t be able to help feed you or your family. This will cause a need for food storage plans in order to survive until things are normal again.

Basic Ways to Prepare for a Natural Disaster with Survival Food

To truly be ready for natural disasters, you’ll need to prepare your emergency food storage to ensure healthy survival:

  1. Seasonings – When preparing meals, you’ll need to season your foods. Some natural seasonings include salt, honey and sugar. All three have indefinite shelf lives when stored in sealed, waterproof packaging and containers.
  2. Cooking Oils – Vegetable, corn, canola and olive oils are important ingredients when preparing roux for thickening your gumbos, sauces, soups and stews. They also come in handy for frying foods and greasing pans for baking foods.
  3. Baking Goods – Be sure to add baking mixes, flours, baking powder and baking soda to your food storage. These ingredients are necessities when making baked goods such as pastries. They can also be used to prepare pastries that don’t require baking. These goods usually have a one year shelf life.
  4. Starchy Foods – These foods provide carbohydrates, which are vital to healthy eating. Dry cereals are edible without milk. Or, you can eat them with canned milk, boxed milk, a milk alternative or powdered milk. Powdered potatoes contain a natural amount of carbohydrates to add to your emergency meals. Also, pastas and rice are starchy foods with very long shelf lives.
  5. Dehydrated Vegetables – Dehydrated onions, mushrooms and other vegetables have the same nutritious value as their fresh forms. These veggies, as well as soup bases and gravy mixes are useful for creating full course meals after a natural disaster. They can also be used to give your prepared foods some well-needed seasoning.
  6. Canned Foods – These are a favorite among savvy survivalists. Canned goods have extremely long shelf lives. They’re also great during emergency situations because the foods can be eaten out of the can without any cooking whatsoever. Cans are generally strong enough to survive most natural disasters. The liquids from many canned foods is great for giving your other foods a little seasoning.
  7. Freeze Dried Meats, Vegetables, Fruits, Starchy Foods and Desserts – Freeze dried food is another favorite emergency food for ninja survivalists. These foods have a 25-year shelf life. And, the flash freezing process essentially freezes the natural flavors, textures, colors, shapes and nutritional values in time. So, you don’t have to worry about your family going hungry because the foods just don’t look or taste right.

This article was written by Dirk Puckett for DailyBread.com. Need tips for incorporating freeze dried food into your food insurance plan? Visit FoodInsurance.com to see how to prepare your emergency food for a natural disaster today?

Disaster Preparedness of Storage Facilities

The following is a guest post that outlines some of the specific concerns for storage facilities when it comes to disaster preparedness. This is important information for both business operators and customers alike. For many preppers, storage facilities offer an opportunity to store preparedness items strategically at remote locations such as bug out locations or along evacuation routes.

Disaster Preparedness of Storage Facilities

by Lauren Addis

Photo Credit: StorageUnitFinders.com

Storage facilities are always planning to foresee disasters and be prepared for them. Storage facilities are secure places where you can store your precious durables or belongings, with peace of mind. Disaster management is an important aspect of storage facilities. The more secure your facility is, the more customers your facility can expect to serve.

Many storage facilities develop a threat plan, in order to avoid any bustle at the time of disasters. Threat plans depend on numerous factors. Some of them are:

Secure From Terror Attacks or Plots

Storage items should always be checked as a person may store ammunitions, chemicals etc. in their storage unit. To avoid such situations, proper data entry should be made of all the storage materials. Anyone working suspiciously in their storage locker with fumes or smoke should be questioned. Their identity should be crosschecked with the address mentioned in their identity proofs. A person may sound suspicious if:

  • They are overly concerned about their storage locker.
  • Burns or marks often appear on their body.
  • They pay advance payments for a longer period of time.

Precautionary measures should always be taken:

  • Dumpsters should be checked often for suspicious materials.
  • Fumes and smoke from a storage unit are to be reported on sight.
  • Proper patrolling by personnel.
Fire Safety

Storage facilities should be fireproof. Fire may occur in the facility due to:

  • Short circuiting
  • Use of inflammable materials in the storage facility, etc.

A facility should always keep handy numbers of the mutual aid, voluntary and private sector organizations assisting in fire control. FiReControl, England’s national fire and rescue Emergency Response Infrastructure uses proven incident response management solutions from Intergraph. It uses software developed by the firm that assists in taking precautionary measures, and build up a fire protection plan.

Earthquakes, Floods, & Cyclones

Earthquakes, floods and cyclones may cause damage to the security facility if no planning is done against them. Some of the precautions include:

  • For earthquakes, earthquake resistant structures should be built.
  • Engineering experts are to be consulted before construction.
  • Roofs not allowing building of pressure differences are preferable in case of cyclones.
  • Facilities near sea shores or big streams are endangered by floods.

There are numerous software assisting in protection from earthquakes, floods, cyclones etc. The significant one is HAZUS. This software helps in powerful risk assessment methodology for analyzing potential losses from floods, hurricane, and earthquakes. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is used to estimate physical, economic, and social impacts of disasters.

There are numerous other small things that are to be kept in mind.

  • Earthing should be done for protection from lightning.
  • Sensors or Alarms if used can enhance the security of storage facilities.
  • Cleanliness is of prime importance.
  • The walls should be secure.

Security of storage units is of prime concern, as these facilities are used by lots of people. Self storage facilities in London are highly secure facilities, setting an example for other facilities. Storage is becoming a trend these days, the industry is booming and with advancements new challenges are opening up for existing players.

Author Bio: Lauren Addis is a professional writer. She has years of experience in storage services. She is very expressive and always wants to share her professional experience with her audience. She regularly writes Guest post about storage services. She loves to spend her time with family and friends.

Aviation Survival Kits & Equipment

Survival and preparedness is not limited to one scenario. The only balanced approach to prepping includes a myriad of preps that encompass a wide range of potential and likely scenarios. In addition to the natural and man-made disasters that occur on the earth, there are also emergencies that happen in the air on a daily basis. This has become even more prevalent as air travel has expanded over the years. In addition to those that operate aircraft, the information outlined here can be a useful primer for putting together a survival kit of your own regardless of the intended use. Aviation Life Support Equipment is also a consideration of particular importance if choosing to bug out using an aircraft.

Image Credit: BoiseWeekly.com

The following information is extracted from the United States Department of the Interior, Aviation Life Support Equipment Handbook.

Survival following an aircraft mishap requires (1) the desire to survive, (2) training, (3) survival items carried with you or available from the aircraft, and (4) use of environmental resources. When constructing a personal “survival kit” consider what would be practical, comfortable, and of the highest priority (fire and signal) during an unexpected survival situation.

NOTE: Aircraft accident experience has shown that survival equipment carried on your person is often the only equipment available to the survivors.

PERSONAL SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT

The following equipment listed is the minimum recommended to enhance your chances of survival. Weather, terrain, and environment should be considered when developing your personal survival kit.

Personal Survival Items – Survival items carried in a personal survival vest, clothing, or flight suit pockets are:

  • Fire Starter (Can be two boxes of matches in waterproof containers, “metal match” etc.)
  • Laser Rescue Light or Key Chain LED Light
  • Signal Mirror
  • Whistle
  • Knife or Tool Containing a Knife Blade
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Sealing Clear Plastic Bag(s)
  • Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
  • 360/720/760-Channel VHF-AM Radio Transceiver or Satellite Telephone

Personal First Aid Items – In addition to personal survival items, consider the following medial items to be personally carried:

  • Adhesive Bandages – Elastic Knit – 1″ X 3″
  • Alcohol Towelettes, Individual Foil Pouches
  • Handkerchief or Bandana
  • Adhesive Tape, Waterproof
  • Aspirin or Acetaminophen
  • Compress Bandage, 4″ (Quantity – 4)

AIRCRAFT SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT

Aircraft Survival Kit – These are the minimum required items for all DOI (Department of the Interior) flight activities:

  • Fire Starter (Can be two boxes of matches in waterproof containers, “metal match” etc.)
  • Magnesium Fire Starter
  • Laser Rescue Light
  • Signal Mirror
  • Whistle
  • One Knife (Includes “Multi-Tools” With Knives)
  • Wire Saw, Axe, Hatchet, or Machete
  • Nylon Rope or Parachute Cord (50 Feet, Minimum 1/8 Inch [3mm] Thick)
  • Collapsible Water Container (Sealing Clear Plastic Bag(s))
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Water (One quart per occupant required except when operating over areas without adequate drinking water.)
  • Food (Two days emergency rations per occupant, with a caloric value of 1,000 calories per day.)
  • At least one of the following shall be in the aircraft: Automated Flight Following System, Satellite Phone, 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) with GPS or Aircraft-Mounted 406 MHz ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter), Handheld UHF or VHF Radio

In addition, recommended items to consider depending on environmental factors:

  • Flashlight with Spare Batteries, Chemical Light Sticks, or LED Light
  • Signal Flares (Consider fusees and road flares for starting fires in any weather condition.)
  • Signal Panels
  • Large Plastic Trash Bags
  • Collapsible Shovel
  • Insect Repellant (Can be used for fire starter.)
  • Sunblock
  • Sleeping Bag (One bag per two people.)
  • Snowshoes
  • Survival Manual or Guide
ALASKA

In the event that an aircraft is to operate in Alaska, the following is required per Alaska Statute 02.35.110, Emergency Rations and Equipment which states that, “no airman may take a flight inside the State with an aircraft unless emergency equipment is carried as follows:

The following minimum equipment must be carried during summer months:

  • Rations for each occupant to sustain life for one week.
  • One Axe or Hatchet
  • One First Aid Kit
  • An assortment of tackle such as hooks, flies, lines, and sinkers.
  • One Knife
  • Fire Starter
  • One mosquito headnet for each occupant.
  • Two small signaling devices such as colored smoke bombs, railroad fusees, or Very pistol shells (Flare Gun) in sealed metal containers.

In addition to the above, the following must be carried as minimum equipment from October 15 to April 1 of each year:

  • One Pair of Snowshoes
  • One Sleeping Bag
  • One wool blanket or equivalent for each occupant over 4 years of age.

NOTE: Operators of multi-engine aircraft licensed to carry more than 15 passengers need carry only the food, mosquito nets, and signaling equipment at all times other than the period from October 1 to April 1 of each year, when two sleeping bags and one blanket for every two passengers must also be carried. All of the above requirements as to emergency rations and equipment are considered to be minimum requirements that are to remain in full force and effect, except as further safety measures may be from time to time imposed by the State of Alaska.

CANADA

Aircraft operating within Canadian airspace must also comply with Canadian Aviation Regulations, VI, subpart 2, 602.61 Survival Equipment – Flights Over Land, which states:

(1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall operate an aircraft over land unless there is carried on board survival equipment, sufficient for the survival on the ground of each person on board, given the geographical area, the season of the year and anticipated seasonal climatic variations, that provides the means for:

  • Starting A Fire
  • Providing Shelter
  • Providing or Purifying Water
  • Visually Signaling Distress

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of:

  • A balloon, a glider, a hang glider, a gyroplane or an ultra-light aeroplane.
  • An aircraft that is operated within 25 nautical miles of the aerodrome or departure and that has the capability of radio communication with surface-based radio station for the duration of the flight.
  • A multi-engined aircraft that is operated south of 66° 30′ north latitude in IFR flight within controlled airspace or along designated air routes.
  • An aircraft that is operated by an air operator, where the aircraft is equipped with equipment specified in the air operator’s company operations manual, but not with the equipment required by subsection (1).
  • An aircraft that is operated in a geographical area where and at a time of year when the survival of the persons on board is not jeopardized.

NOTE: If you plan to carry firearms in an aircraft, included as part of your survival equipment, you must be aware that hand guns and fully automatic weapons are not legal to be carried or worn in Canada. As for any long guns, when entering Canada you must register each firearm with Canadian Customs or face severe penalties if caught.

NOTE: On a related issue, the “flare gun” found in many life rafts and survival kits in not a “firearm,” so do not refer to it as such when asked by Canadian Customs if you have any firearms on board. If the subject comes up, and only if it comes up, you must always refer to it as a “pyrotechnic signaling device” as in “There is a pyrotechnic signaling device in the life raft survival kit in accordance with Canadian, U.S., and international regulations.

AIRCRAFT FIRST AID KIT

The kit items must be stored in a dust-proof and moisture-proof container. It must be readily accessible to the aircraft occupants. Kits are available through commercial sources. The kit’s contents must include the items listed below plus additional equipment appropriate to the route and number of occupants aboard the aircraft.

Aircraft With 0-9 Passenger Seats

  • Adhesive Bandage Strips (3″ Long) – 8 Each
  • Antiseptic or Alcohol Wipes – 10 Packets
  • Bandage Compresses (4″) AKA “Field Dressings” – 2 Each
  • Triangular Bandage, 40″ (Sling) – 2 Each
  • Roller Bandage, 4″ x 5 Yds (Gauze) – 2 Each
  • Adhesive Tape, 1″ x 5 Yds (Standard Roll) – 1 Each
  • Bandage Scissors – 1 Pair
  • Body Fluids Barrier Kit (2 Pair of Nitrile or Non-Latex Surgical Gloves, 1 Face Shield, 1 Mouth-to-Mouth Barrier, 1 Protective Gown, 2 Antiseptic Towelettes, 1 Biohazard Disposable Bag) – 1 Kit

NOTE: Splints are recommended if space permits.

Aircraft With 10-50 Passenger Seats

  • Adhesive Bandage Strips (3″ Long) – 16 Each
  • Antiseptic or Alcohol Wipes – 20 Packets
  • Bandage Compresses (4″) AKA “Field Dressings” – 4 Each
  • Triangular Bandage, 40″ (Sling) – 4 Each
  • Roller Bandage, 4″ x 5 Yds (Gauze) – 4 Each
  • Adhesive Tape, 1″ x 5 Yds (Standard Roll) – 2 Each
  • Bandage Scissors – 1 Pair
  • Body Fluids Barrier Kit (2 Pair of Nitrile or Non-Latex Surgical Gloves, 1 Face Shield, 1 Mouth-to-Mouth Barrier, 1 Protective Gown, 2 Antiseptic Towelettes, 1 Biohazard Disposable Bag) – 1 Kit

NOTE: Splints are recommended if space permits.

CAUTION: Avoid storing survival or first aid kits in seaplane float compartments. Kits stored in these compartments are often damaged or inaccessible after an aircraft mishap.

An important consideration to keep in mind when putting together survival kits is that not only can the area of operations make a difference, but the equipment that is being operated should be a consideration when developing these kits as well.

What are you prepared for?

5 Bug Out Bag Clothing Considerations

If there is a catastrophic disaster that were to occur right now, many of us would be left with the clothing on our back and whatever is packed into our Bug Out Bag (BOB). With this scenario in mind, a bug out or move to get home begins with what you have on your person. Perhaps the most important of these things in the scenario is the protection that your clothing offers you. Depending on your occupation, hobbies, and habits, the clothing on your back could be a benefit or a burden.

Like the greatest bean dip you ever tasted, the clothing you depend on to survive should be based on a system of layers. Now, I would not recommend wearing onions, sour cream, or guacamole and leaving the bean dip reference only as a way to equate the way that layers can enhance the “flavor” or comfort of your survival situation. Consider the following factors when deciding on what clothing to pack in your bug out bag.

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

Base Layer – The base layer of clothing consists of undergarments and can vary based on the environmental conditions. During cold weather, additions to the base layer can include thermal underwear and vary in the different weights available. Even in times of warmer weather, a good base layer can be an added benefit during night hours or in an environment such as the mountains where the temperature can differ drastically depending on the time of the day. An important consideration to keep in mind when looking at clothing for your base layer is to employ moisture-wicking technology if it is available. This will pull moisture away from the skin to avoid environmental injuries as well as maximizing comfort.

Intermediate Layer – The intermediate layer will typically consist of standard clothing like pants and shirts. The season of the year will typically determine the needed clothing for a bug out bag. Short as well as long sleeve shirts can be an integral part of the layering strategy, where shorts and pants can also be rotated as the seasons change. Even during the summer months though, it can be beneficial to keep long pants in a bug out bag because of the protection they can offer regardless of whether you may bug out through a rural or urban area.

Outer Layer – Clothing items that fall into the outer layer category are only worn as needed. While outer garments are typically thought of as something that is worn to keep the wearer warm, it is also important to remember pieces of clothing that can assist the wearer during warmer temperatures as well. During hot weather, a hat for example can protect the wearer from getting sun in their eyes as well as a sunburn on the head and neck. In addition to hats, gloves, scarves, coats, rain gear, and snow gear can all be necessary items to include in a BOB.

Versatility – There are several clothing items that have been developed to accomplish multiple purposes with only one garment. Convertible clothing if you will. These are the ideal choices to include in a bug out bag. It will not only minimize the number of items in the bag but will also reduce the total weight as well. Examples of these items that come to mind include pants that have the bottom portion zip off to convert into shorts, long sleeve shirts with sleeves that roll up for more of a short sleeve feel, and jackets that have removable sleeves to become a vest.

Durability – Regardless of the items that are in your BOB, they can be worthless if they are not durable enough to withstand the purpose for which you will use them. The old theory that may apply here is to be frugal but not cheap. Buying the best product that you can afford may, in the end, still cost less than replacing an item over and over because of wear and tear. Look for articles of clothing that are specifically engineered to withstand hard and repetitive use. This is the greatest value for your prepping dollars.

Putting together a BOB can be a daunting task but it is one that can be very rewarding if you ever need it. Make sure that you have the proper clothing to offer function, protection, and a safe arrival back at the ranch.

Safety During NYC Gas Tests

Ready To Go Survival Encourages Safe Participation in

NYC Gas Tests

 

NEW YORK, July 16, 2013 – In a city of millions, safety is top priority of the New York Police Department, and they are ready to prove it with their newest study coming to New Yorkers in July.  The big question the NYPD wants to answer: If NYC were to experience an airborne terrorist attack or an accidental spill of hazardous chemicals, how would subway system be affected?   The city’s subways are the main form of transportation for New Yorkers and tourists, with over 5 million people riding the subways each day, so It’s no surprise the city would want to study how the subway system affects the flow of air above and below ground, if airborne toxins were to be released.  So how does the NYPD plan to test this?  If you’ve been to particular subway stations in the past few weeks, you may have seen the announcements, but on three (unannounced) separate days in July, scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, working in concert with the NYPD, will release invisible and odorless gases in subway stations and at street level in all five boroughs of New York City.

 

While the gasses are harmless and only for air flow research purposes, there is nothing wrong with taking personal precautions.  Fabian Illanes and Roman Zrazhevskiy, co-founders of Ready to Go Survival, a NYC based e-commerce start-up specializing in disaster preparedness, have seen an increase in sales of their NBC (Nuclear, Biological, & Chemical) Systems over the past few weeks and don’t foresee those sales numbers decreasing any time soon.  “While it’s the duty of our government to protect its people, they can’t predict the future, so it’s crucial for the public to take responsibility for protecting themselves, and I think people are quickly realizing that,” Illanes explained.  “My heart goes out to those affected by the Boston terrorist attacks and, living in New York during 9/11, I feel their pain and the complete shock that comes with events of this nature.   I can’t stress enough how important it is to be prepared for anything.  So I am glad that the city is taking our safety seriously, and I would encourage each individual to do so as well.”

 

The NBC System that Ready to Go Survival offers has a SGE 150 Gas Mask with a NATO Gas Filter.  These types of masks will be able to provide much better safety, in the event of an airborne toxin, compared to your typical N95 hospital type mask.  To show their support for this safety test, Illanes and Zrazhevskiy have been carrying their NBC Systems with them throughout the month of July.  “We want to show full support for the NYPD and participate as they carry out these safety tests,” Zrazhevskiy stated.  “We want New Yorkers to be safe and prepared and know that there’s nothing taboo about it.”

Surviving The Ultimate Doomsday War

In the cataclysmic events of the end of the world, even the average civilian would want to keep him or herself thoroughly protected from the intense danger. It’s not just about arming yourself with a weapon, but it’s also important to have efficient body armor for defense. There are plenty of things to consider when trying to find the appropriate body armor for you.

The Highest Level of Protection

Being that there are different classes of bullet proof vests, and the lower classes of vests don’t protect against the stronger threats that could be out there, it’s important to get the highest class that’s available to you. Not all bullet proof vest manufacturers will indicate what class their vests are, so it’s important to make sure that it is clearly indicated before you purchase.

In a doomsday war, there is definitely going to be extreme threats that are all around. It’s paramount to keep the head protected in these conditions. A ballistic helmet would be most suitable for this. These helmets are capable of repelling some powerful gunfire, and they come in several different sizes and styles to fit the taste of any wearer.

In the U.S., the best body armor complies with the standards of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). If it does not, then it’s not a good choice to purchase.

Armor for Civilians

Unless you are someone with special connections of some sort, you won’t be able to get the same body armor that law enforcement and military personnel have. The armor that a regular person can buy is limited, but there is still a nice selection to choose from. My friends at SafeGuard Clothing offer a range of civilian body armors online so don’t panic, we can protect ourselves as well. It’s illegal to have some types of body armor in some jurisdictions, but it wouldn’t matter much with the end of the world approaching. If you are concerned with compliance of the law, check with your local jurisdictions.

Protection for the Kids and Pets

It doesn’t have to stop with the protection of the adults in the apocalypse, there is also body armor available for the beloved kids and pets as well. This armor is made of the same material and is just as capable as the armor that’s made for adults.

For the kids, body armor can come in an assortment of styles and sizes. There are even stylish backpacks for kids that are bullet resistant. As for the pets, body armor is designed for the larger breeds of dog. Law enforcement canines are commonly outfitted with bullet resistant armor, and the same is available for your pets.

The Safest Precautions

To survive the Ultimate Doomsday War, the best thing to do would be to find sufficient shelter. It’s important to know that body armor does not make someone invincible, although it does provide solid protection for the wearer. The best thing to do would be to stay sheltered and avoid the outside danger.

How to Prepare Your Household for a Power Outage

How to Prepare Your Household for a Power Outage

by Ben Thatcher

Everyone can remember the media outrage following Hurricane Katrina; New Orleans became a hotbed for violent criminal behavior long after the event. Catastrophes, natural and otherwise, that destroy our power sources and leave us in the dark elicit an ugly and familiar behavior in some: looting and theft. And while few natural disasters meet the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, any event that takes away our power can leave us instantly exposed. Even those of us prepared with a home alarm system lacking an alternative power source can be invaded the moment our power fails. Here are a few tips to prepare your home for safety the next time you experience a power outage at home.

1.    Have a plan ready with your family

Before a power outage happens, the best step you can take to make sure your family remains safe is to have a plan prepared. This includes:

  • plenty of unrefrigerated food
  • a water source/supply
  • an emergency kit including flashlights and medical supplies
  • reserve clothes and bedding
  • at least one alternative source of power

Your family should have a plan, including common routes and meeting locations. If anyone becomes lost, they should where to find everyone. Another important aspect to assess in your plan is how long your household can survive in case the power outage is for an extended period of time; there should be a predetermined day in which you leave when you pass that number of days. If you have a nearby neighbor you trust, make arrangements with them. In survival situations, there is always strength in numbers.

2.    Prepare different sources of light

For most criminals, a dark house equals an exposed house. It provides cover, allows easy access to your home, and indicates that any security measures you’ve equipped are likely now unplugged. Deter criminals and maintain your sanity by keeping plenty of alternative light sources somewhere specific that every member of your family is aware of, like a pantry or storage closet. Oil/battery operated lanterns, long-burning candles or fireplaces are potential ways to keep your home alight enough to deter crooks targeting a seemingly vacant defenseless home. Keeping motion sensing lights hooked to a generator at night for your lawn is an excellent precaution.

3.    Limit access to your home

To prevent criminals from invading your doors and windows, limit your access with some simple modifications. Install a screw on each window that limits how far they can be opened to a few inches. Make sure your doors are of a sturdy material, and equipped with secure locks and deadbolts. Preparing your property with a sufficiently tall fence (six feet minimum to deter people) and a locked gate will definitely benefit you in a power-outage. Last but not least, never leave equipment out on your lawn that could be used against you in an attempted break in, such as tools, blunt instruments, or ladders.

4.    Take caution with generators

While investing in generators for this kind of event is smart planning, make sure your use of the generator is equally smart. Using generators in-doors is extremely dangerous and can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Likewise, you should keep generators far from windows or doors where the poisonous gas can seep in. It’s important to follow the directions provided with your unit to avoid possible electrocution or damage to your wiring, and never refrain from contacting a professional to lend you a hand if you’re unsure while installing or using a generator. Solar generators are an excellent long-term source for electricity during power outages, though should be used sparingly; focus on lighting and communications devices foremost. They can be expensive − unless, of course, you make one.

Keeping these tips in mind, your family will feel much safer during a power failure. Even if you’re fortunate in not needing all of your supplies or plans readied for the occasion, the peace of mind your family will have knowing what needs to be done in case the worst happens is a priceless boon.

Ben Thatcher is a DIY home security guy who writes tips and tutorials helping people defend their homes. He lives on a ranch in Idaho with his loving wife and enjoys spending his time watching college basketball and freelancing on the web. He currently writes for Protect America.

Preparing For Hurricane Season

Whether we like it or not, hurricane season is upon us and there are several predictions that the 2013 season will be worse than average. When I think about it, it does not matter whether tropical storms actually convert into hurricanes or not, the potential for adverse effects is great. Even a tropical storm has the capability of causing significant property damage, flooding, loss of power and utilitities, and delays to everyday activities. So what does this mean for preparedness?

Photo Credit: Ready.gov

1. Have A Plan

Fortunately, technology has evolved to allow early warning of storm systems and their potential to cause catastrophic damage. Such technology has minimized the loss of life that occurs as a result of storms. This is only beneficial though when residents and those in the effected area heed the warnings they are given and evacuate before a storm hits. If an evacuation order is given, the prudent thing to do is leave the area but not without having a plan first! A plan should include:

  • The location where you will go if you must evacuate (hotel, friend or relatives house, shelter, etc.). Ideally, you should have a primary and secondary location. Wherever it is that you decide to go, it should be outside of the area of the evacuation order (I hope that part is kind of obvious).
  • Determine the route of travel. It is possible that a route could be congested or unusable as a result of the need to evacuate or storm system. Consider a route that is on major interstates/highways and one that is on lesser used roads. Another contingency could include having a route in each direction from the area that you will evacuate. Many hurricane prone communities will have designated evacuation routes that are typically the best option.
  • If you have pets, have a plan for them as well. Shelters will normally not allow the presence of pets except if necessary for a service capacity. It is also possible that the hotel you end up at does not allow pets and a friend or relative could have an allergy. Clear up any questions about these possibilities before it is too late.
  • Make a load out plan. The time that you have to evacuate could be extremely limited and as a result of this possibility you should make a plan that includes the items that you will take with you and how it will all be loaded into the vehicle(s) that you will take with you.

2. Keep Supplies On Hand

If the decision is made to evacuate, ensure that your property(home, business, etc.) is properly secured. Often times this involves boarding up doors and windows and sandbagging perimeters.

In the event that an evacuation order is given there will undoubtedly be a rush to purchase the necessary items to complete these tasks. The best way to put yourself in a position where you do not end up short of the necessary supplies to secure your property is to complete an accurate estimate of the materials needed, purchase them, and have the materials staged prior to actually needing them. Covering doors and windows is best completed through the use of purpose built storm shutters but the next best option is use of 1/2″ to 5/8″ marine-grade plywood, cut to fit the door or window, and secured using screws.

Some may say that spending time and money to gather materials is a waste. This is a determination that each individual must make. It seems reasonable to me that if you live in the Gulf Coast Region and Eastern Seaboard of the United States that having necessary materials on hand is just being prepared for the inevitable. In other regions it may not be as likely that a large storm will hit your area and such materials are not necessary. What I can tell you though is that the same materials that are used to secure a property for a tropical storm or hurricane can also be used to secure a property from a number of other situations up to, and including, the rising of the dead*.

If the decision is made to stay in place during a hurricane or tropical storm it is imperative to have the additional items necessary to sustain life in addition to those needed to save lives and safeguard property. Some of these items include:

  • Generator w/ Supply of Fuel
  • Food
  • Clean Water for Drinking and Hygiene
  • Weather Radio
  • Emergency Light Source
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle For Signaling
  • Sanitation and Hygiene Supplies

Other precautions that can be made to prevent or minimize damage include trimming back shrubs and bushes, removing dead trees, cleaning out gutters and downspouts, and clearing exterior areas of items that could become projectiles in high winds.

3. Other Considerations

Evacuating from an area or deciding to shelter in place can be made even more complicated when there are children, pets, or those with medical concerns involved. Keep in mind that children as well as pets may be made more comfortable in strange environments when they have a few of their favorite items to remind them of home. Make sure that these items get taken with you if at all possible. Children may also need to have additional changes of clothes as compared to older family members. When medical concerns are present, ensure that additional necessary items are taken with you to include medications, medical equipment, and important paperwork.

K-Light Lantern for All Seasons

*Please forgive me. I could not help myself and included the possibility of a zombie apocalypse.

Q & A with Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition

This week’s prepperview is with Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition, a site packed with information on homesteading, preparedness, disaster and emergency planning. Whether you are looking for prepping supplies, recipes, information, or alternative medicine, Ready Nutrition has it. Thank you to Tess for the time and effort that she took to answer my questions.

The Prepared Ninja Prepperview

A 10 QUESTION INTERVIEW WITH PREPAREDNESS INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS

1. If I were limited to only one firearm for survival, I would own a: Wow… that’s a tough one. We have a few different types of guns and rifles around here, but I’m pretty partial to my .9 mm Smith and Wesson M&P. I have been training with this handgun the most and feel very comfortable using it.

2. The single most overlooked prep item is: A very practical but overlooked prep item is duct tape. Preppers should have a large supply of this stuff.

  • You can protect your home and windows from storms
  • Waterproof essential gear  ( In WWII soldiers used duct tape to keep water out of ammunition cases)
  • Fix leaks in gear or boats
  • Make emergency shoes
  • Winterproof shoes and boots
  • Make cordage
  • Repairs glasses
  • Makeshift band-aid
  • Can be used to repair leaking hoses in cars

Just to name a few…

3. The first thing to disappear following a disaster will be: Water. At the last minute, the unprepared will flock to the stores to purchase water and the demand will be so high the stores will be unable to fill it. Having water stored as well as ways to filter and treat it will give you an advantage.

4. If I could have a retreat anywhere in the world, it would be: My ideal retreat would be in the mountains of Oregon on 30+ acres with a large water source nearby. Although the terrain can be rough, it would be nice to be nestled in a valley where I can have a large garden, timber for fuel and a large grazing area for livestock. And let’s not forget about a fantastic view.

5. In my opinion, the best commercially produced survival food on the market today is: You can never go wrong with beans and rice. Both foods are extremely versatile, can be eaten for any mealtime, have long shelf lives and best of all – they are cheap! But, when they are combined together, they make a complete protein, which would be essential in a survival situation.

6. The items that I have on me at all times include: As a mother of three, I have to be ready for all types of “mini” emergencies that will come up. So, I carry a hiking daypack with me and include a pocket knife, 1 water bottle, granola bar/snacks, emergency whistle, $20, notepad/pen, chapstick, cell phone and a small first aid kit.

7. The last book that I read was: Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. One thing that I would miss the most if an EMP shifted my lifestyle back to the 1800’s would be: I would definitely miss the constant supply of running water. I’ve been in off-grid situations before, one event was for 2+ weeks and not having water was tough.

As a prepper, I have water stored as well as multiple ways to filter and treat it, but it sure is convenient to have large amounts readily available for laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.

9. Stuck on an island and forced to choose one person to survive with, I would pick: My husband, Mac. He is a partner in many ways, we understand each other on many levels, are both like-minded and we both know that we can rely on each other. You can’t ask for anything better than that!

10. The vehicle I drive is: I am a mom of three, a Girl Scout leader and soccer mom – so I’m sporting the mini-van. I’d love to say that I have a souped up survival truck, but I don’t.

We are planning on investing in some mountain bikes for the family. It’s a great way to exercise, cut down on gasoline and it’s the ULTIMATE off grid form of transportation.

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years. Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com.