Monday, September 24, 2012

Homeland Security

So I was driving down the road today and I saw a Homeland Security "police" SUV. Ok, I had no idea these existed! So I did a little bit more digging via Google and found some pictures that are rather scary.

What in the world does Homeland Security need vehicles like this for? Is the government really planning for the need to control civilians? These vehicles say "Rescue" on the side, but their steel bulletproof sides say otherwise.

The government seems to be preparing for something. I don't know what, but these vehicles don't look friendly folks. These vehicles are built to withstand all types of ammo with gun ports in every window. These are clearly not for terrorism but more for crowd control.

Start preparing now, because when we find out what these vehicles are for, it will be too late. We don't want to look back at all of this and realize how obvious the clues were. I hope its nothing, but I'm not betting on it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Remember the Priorities

Watching this guy doesn't help much.
When prepping it is wise to think of the "Rule of Threes". There seems to be multiple variations of this rule, but this one is quite effective when planning.
  1. You can survive for 3 hours without maintaining your core body temperature.
  2. You can survive 3 days without water.
  3.  You can survive 3 weeks without food.
Now you have your priority list when it comes to prepping, so now what?

Maintaining your temperature is best done with an effective shelter. So shelter is your number one concern. Shelter includes tents, sleeping bags, tarps, warm clothes, shelter building knowledge, etc.  If you live in the northern areas where snow is common this is a definitely a high priority. Make sure you have multiple options for warm clothing just in case you get wet and have multiple back-up plans for shelters. If your tent rips be prepared with a tarp. Find the information online on how to build shelters in the wild. Here I did the work for you: Survival Shelters Remember my post about printing all information? Print it and file it!

Next is water. I have talked a ton about water so I am not going to bore you. Get yourself a Katadyn or Life Straw filter as a back-up for drinking dirty water. Store extra water in your house with empty and cleaned plastic bottles. Go here for more info: Water Tips

Food. If you don't have at least a month of food for you, your family, and your pets, then you need to sit down and make a list immediately. Should you have 20 years of food instead of only a month stored? Sure that would be fantastic, but I am telling you a month is the minimum. Just do what you can afford. It's probably  more than what most Americans are doing. Go here for the basic list: Food Tips

Prepping can be as easy or hard as you want to make it. The same goes for survival. By prepping now, you are setting a successful path towards survival while others are panicking.  

I first read of the Rule of Threes here: Survival Skills

Friday, September 14, 2012

Earthquakes and Volcanoes. What's Next?

Guatemala's volcano
 Is it just me or does it seem like earthquakes and volcanoes are in the news daily all of a sudden? Just this morning I see that Guatemala had a volcano erupt this morning, the 6th eruption this year, and a volcano in Nicaragua erupted earlier this week. Not to mention Indonesia woke up to an earthquake this morning.

Up to date USGS map of earthquakes in the world.

So what does all of this mean? Well the ring of fire around the pacific basin seems to be very active but it could be nothing. However, I know that if I was living on the west coast of America, I would be planning for a big earthquake at this point. The professionals are not able to predict what the plates of the Earth are going to do next so not being prepared is foolish.

Preparing for an earthquake doesn't have to cost any money either so there is no excuse. Have a meeting with your immediate family and make sure there is a plan. It is highly unlikely that your family will be together when it happens so you want a central meeting spot or a way to contact each other. Have an evacuation route and make sure each member in the family knows which out-of-state family member to contact.

Download this free earthquake safety guide

Preparation is your only option.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shipping Containers - The New Retreat

So preppers across the U.S. have found a new use for those large shipping containers that are used to ship our goods on cargo ships. The containers can be bought, fairly cheap, in sizes ranging from 20ft to 40ft and then can be welded together into any design desired. I first saw this idea on the new show, Doomsday Preppers, on National Geographic. As seen above, the people on that show had a pretty crude design compared to what others are doing. The following example is much more elaborate and expensive. Video of Shipping Container Castle

There are others that are using shipping containers for underground bunkers. I do not know the price of buying and installing a tornado shelter but I am quite sure using a shipping container would be more cost effective and roomier. The following video shows the steps involved to build your own bunker. Video of Shipping Container as a Bunker

I absolutely love the idea of building a retreat out of shipping containers because a good size retreat can be built with very minimal cost. Add solar and wind energy and a fresh supply water, and you have just successfully moved off the grid. If you have the space on your land this would be a fun way to begin building your retreat.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Where's the Beef?

We should consider the possibility of a long term crisis. I'm talking months and maybe years before society begins to rebuild. Do you have that much canned, dehydrated, or freeze-dried meat stored up for you and your family? I know what you're thinking - "I will just hunt for my meat!" That would work but don't you think everyone is going to turn to hunting when they begin starving? The wild animal population is going to quickly disappear because it certainly can't handle that many hunters at once. You need a back-up plan.

Small farm animals can provide your family with the necessary nutrients to survive a long-term food shortage.If you live on land that is less than an acre, small farm animals are the option for you. I am talking chickens, rabbits, and goats.

Goats can live in an area around 300 square feet per goat. Just two nannies will provide your family with up to two and a half gallons of milk per day. Ideal because they can live in a smaller area and will provide your family with milk and meat.

Chickens cost very little and help your garden prosper by providing fertilizer and eating the pests. A dozen hens could give you roughly 4 dozen eggs per week and will also provide meat when needed.

Rabbits are my last choice because they only benefit us when they are dead and on the table. However, they are quiet and can live in pens anywhere on your property. If your neighbors are starving and they hear your chickens or goats, most likely they will be making a surprise visit to steal your animals. Rabbits give you the ability to quietly provide meat for your family if you are afraid that others will find your food sources.

Do not forget that these animals must be factored into your prepping plans, which means lots of feed needs to be stored up so that your future food isn't dying before you're ready to eat. There are many books out about raising these animals in your backyard and what equipment you would need.

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming, Produce Your Own Grass-Fed Meat, Gather Fresh ... Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cattle, & Bees

Unfortunately, my zoning laws do not allow for me to have farm animals so this is one tip I will not be practicing for now. Always check your zoning laws before buying farm animals and the equipment.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Never Forget

'Never Forget' is the perfect motto for such a horrendous day because now 11 years later, we will never forget where we were when we heard the news. The families will never forget their loved ones they lost in the attacks. So much of that day will never be forgotten but I bet there is one that you did forget. Do you remember that feeling that you had when you realized how vulnerable America was to outside attacks? Do you remember the uncertainty about if there would be more attacks? If we are to learn anything from history we must believe that anything can and will happen. Never forget that safety is only a feeling and feelings are never guaranteed.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Should You Have a Survival Retreat?

This question often haunts me. If you're like me, you live close enough to the city that staying put might be risky. Staying home has a ton of benefits if you can manage the risks. The thought of quickly grabbing my stored food and water and leaving the rest behind is a scary thought. So a retreat that is far enough away from others but close enough to get there fast helps alleviate these fears because I can easily store goods onsite and this can save me a lot of time if I have to leave my home fast.

Hunting properties are perfect retreat locations because they are always far from city life and usually provide plenty of natural cover. My favorite part about hunting properties is they are very affordable for most of us because the property would be difficult to develop on and therefore considered useless land for developers. A couple of acres is substantial for most small groups but will need to grow as your group grows. It is worth the extra cost if the property has a stream or natural spring because fresh water is the most important for survival. The last benefit I will mention for buying a hunting property is the ability to absorb the surrounding parcels if society crumbles and the owners fail to use it. Some might consider this stealing, but I call it borrowing because you can always vacate the land if the owners arrive.

If you don't know if you should have a retreat, read the book, Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it all Falls Apart. This book helps you determine if your house is safe WTSHTF using the author's own algorithm which assigns numerical values for your neighborhood, property, highways, etc. If the algorithm states that you could stay in your home, he gives you ideas on camouflaging the property so it looks as though it was already looted by others and also ideas on protecting your house from the inevitable gangs.

If after reading this guide you determine that you need a bug-out plan then maybe a retreat is necessary. Finances are the most important part of prepping so now is the time that having a prepping group of friends and family already in place can help immensely. Buying a property should not be one person's job and I have found that if a group of people pitch in money they will also pitch in the time to prepare the property. Clearing trees, burying caches, building structures, and planning for the future tends to be much easier with a group.

Keep Prepping Friends!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Yosemite Hantavirus

The latest outbreak of Hantavirus that is currently popping up amongst Yosemite visitors is one of the many threats we will face if we are forced to live outside of our home for an extended period of time. The hantavirus is spread by rodents and you can bet that rodents are always going to be close by because of all the food and trash that will pile up if city refuse ceases to operate post-crisis.

Read about the virus outbreak here

Thankfully, this virus is quite rare and I don't recommend worrying about it when prepping. When planning it can be overwhelming to think of every survival item needed and this outbreak is a great example of how anything can happen when out in the wild. Don't let stories like this damper your motivation.

Keep prepping!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Even the Government is Prepping

I just found this article which was published last week, Alaska to stockpile food, and it states that the Gov. of Alaska has begun plans to build two large warehouses and stockpile food, "just in case". If government officials are preparing for disasters that could interrupt supplies, why aren't you? Don't sit back and hope that your Governor decides to do the same thing, because he/she won't. Relying on the government after a crisis is a horrible plan that will most likely get you killed. The key to staying low and surviving is having your supplies before the crisis and letting everyone else fight over the rest.

 I think of the old Aesop's Fable almost everyday about the ant and the grasshopper. I didn't realize when I was little how important this fable would be to me. Don't be the grasshopper relying on the ants to help you and your family. You can be sure the ants will not help those that did not help themselves.

Get off of your grasshopper butts and get to prepping!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Homemade Wine Venture

The other day I wrote about learning how to brew your own beer and wine at home and how invaluable this knowledge could be. After posting this, I realized that I recommended something for you to do that I have not done myself, so in order to practice what I preach I began my first batch of homemade wine. I will never recommend products to you that I haven't purchased myself and I believe this rule should carry over into my prepping. I now have 6 gallons of Chamblais wine currently fermenting and I am quite excited to try the finished product. I plan on making one more batch of red wine after this batch is done and then I will venture into the beer side of brewing.

My wine fermenting.

There are supplies you must buy in order to make wine and beer at home and I dealt with a few of the companies that supply these kits over the phone before choosing my supplier. A company in Ohio called Label Peelers offered better prices and was extremely nice and more than willing to help a noobie so I highly recommend their products. I am not affiliated with them and am only sharing their site because they were willing to help above and beyond the other companies.

Go here for wine supplies!

Good luck on your brewing!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Alcohol - The Future Currency

Alcohol is overly abundant in this day and age and many people are even learning to make their own at home as a hobby. But imagine how long it would take for the supply to run short if there was an economic collapse or interruption in grocery supplies. Americans rely on alcohol way more than we care to admit. It plays the role as a stress reliever and social catalyst for many on weekends. But did you know that liquor could be used as an emergency disinfectant? Think back to those old Western movies when they would pour the bottle on the wound and then allow the patient to drink the rest prior to surgery.

So where am I going with this? Well, think about the value of liquor now versus post-crisis America. After the supplies have dwindled, liquor is going to be a very valuable bartering item. Times will be very depressing for most so they will jump at the chance for a drink and a taste of the luxuries we once enjoyed. But get your priorities straight. I only recommend stockpiling alcohol if your food and survival supplies are already fulfilled. Sure you could trade the alcohol for the gear or food you didn't buy but don't bet on it. Do not buy top shelf alcohol either! Buy the cheap stuff by the floor and make sure the proof is no less than 70% for disinfectant purposes.

Learn how to make your own beer and wine and you have increased your value to the survival community 10 fold. Experiment with growing your own grapes and master the art of wine-making as a hobby. As a bartering item, wine and beer will most likely be more valuable than liquor because of the improved taste quality.

Here is an informative site on making wine: Wine Making

The Homebrewers Assoc. gives you a lot of good info on brewing beer.

Happy Labor Day.