Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ground-to-Air Emergency Code

Below is a table showing important messages you can deliver to air personnel using code symbols. You would create these symbols as large as possible on the ground with something bright colored or reflective. These symbols would be useful shortly after a disaster if the coast guard or other military unit is looking for survivors from the air.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Make a Free Greenhouse

Part of becoming self-reliant is having the ability to grow your own food. Gardening is an enjoyable way to supply your family with healthy vegetables without spending money at the grocery store. I say having your own garden is healthier because you have the choice to not use genetically modified seeds or pesticides. Having a greenhouse enables you to begin your gardening venture from seeds earlier in the year.

Items you will need include an empty plastic container like a 2-liter bottle, duct tape, scissors, drill, dirt, and an optional planter cup. The optional cup makes it easier to transplant the plant into your garden.

The first step is to empty and clean the bottle. After the bottle is clean, drill at least 6 small holes into the bottom of your bottle. This helps the dirt breath and also allows the bottle to drain. Next, you will use the scissors to carefully cut the bottle in half. Leave a 1-inch section intact so that the bottle has a hinge. See below:

Now you can fill the bottle halfway with dirt. Do not fill above the line where you cut the bottle. If you use a planter cup, then you can add this to the bottle at this time as well. When the dirt and planter cup are level, moisten the dirt with a little bit of water.

The final step is to plant your seed in the moistened dirt. After planting the seed, you will close the bottle up and seal it shut with some duct tape. Be sure to water and watch your little seeds start sprouting.

If you are looking for non-GMO seeds check out this package:
Survival Seed Vault - Heirloom Emergency Survival Seeds - Plant a Full Acre Crisis Victory Garden - 20 Easy-to-grow Varieties

Stay always prepared!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Anonymous calls for a Civil War? Really?

It appears the group Anonymous is calling on the American people to revolt and start a Civil War against our government. While most of us will agree, stuff needs to change, a civil war will solve nothing and will result in at least 90% of Americans dying within the first year.

Let's think about this for a second. Our water supplies, electrical grids, and food transports would be interrupted immediately if the American people began a war against the government. The government can live on without these amenities because they have back-ups of back-ups. All high government officials would be shielded from our attacks in their high-tech bunkers. All of the corporate sluts that have made billions from our stupidity will also be protected, so what would be accomplished?

Mass casualties would be the only accomplishment, because a war against the government would soon be a war against each other as food and water run low. Nothing would be accomplished with this decision and anyone that supports this idea is not a realist. The government would live on with increased power after an incident like this.

Anonymous has done many decent things to right the wrongs in this world, but I think this one is a little out there. There are better ways to accomplish change in the government without loss of American life. Back to the drawing boards.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Prepper Mistake #1 - Food

There are plenty of mistakes people can make as they navigate the less traveled path of prepping. First of all, we don't even know what disaster we are preparing for! Unless you are wealthy, it is impossible to be ready for anything nature or our fellow humans throw at us. Not knowing what disaster to plan for can make us ill-prepared for any other life-changing event.

But there is one mistake I bet even seasoned veterans make when preparing for TEOTWAWKI. When stockpiling food, most people go to the store and throw canned veggies, fruit, and meat into a cart without much side thought. Don't get me wrong, canned food is great for stockpiling because of the shelf life and ease of storing. However, the failure to account for the daily calories necessary for survival is a huge factor many overlook.The average person needs around 2000 calories for optimal survival. This number rises if pregnant or with increased workload.

So, let's look at some favorite canned goods and analyze the calories.
  • Tuna - 50 calories/serving or about 100 calories/can
  • Green Beans - 20 calories/serving or about 70 calories/can
  • Peaches - 30 calories/serving or about 100 calories/can
  • Chicken Breast - 60 calories/serving or about 270 calories/can
  • Peas - 70 calories/serving or about 240 calories/can
 This list is a short example and it shows how much canned food is necessary to maintain a healthy calorie count for survival. I am pretty sure you are going to hate life within the first day if you are eating a can of chicken, peas, 2 cans of peaches, 4 cans of green beans, and 10cans of tuna every day in order to survive. So let's look at some foods that are high in calories and still have a decent shelf life.
  • Spaghetti - 210 calories/serving not including the tomato sauce
  • Ramen Noodles - 280 calories/package
  • Canned Chili - 520 calories/can
  • Canned Baked Beans - 840 calories/can
  • Canned Pinto Beans - 385 calories/can
  • Rice - 200 calories/serving
  • Peanut Butter - 180 calories/2 TBSP
Some of you will say - "But I have one of those dehydrated food kits that include 1500 calories worth of meals every day." To that I say, good job but how often do you eat dehydrated or freeze-dried food in your daily diet? Some families have experimented with these food kits that are purchased online by attempting to survive for a week on the supplies. Fortunately for them, they experimented with these purchases before actually needing them because the result was medical emergencies from diarrhea and other digestive issues. If this would have been a real disaster event, the entire family would have died because their body was not accustomed to these type of foods. I believe dehydrated and freeze-dried food kits are good to have in any prepping plan, but allow your body time to adjust to these foods before you actually need them. 

Stay always prepared!

Photo from

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The End is Near - According to the Doomsday Clock

The doomsday clock will be left standing at 5 minutes until midnight, symbolizing the destruction of humans in the year 2013. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists believe the end is near because of ongoing climate change, nuclear arsenals around the world, and the increase of extreme weather.

The doomsday clock is more of a warning than a prophecy, because the minute hand can be moved away from midnight if the world makes attempts to change the current direction we are headed in. However, with corporations owning every big government in the world, a change is far out of sight.

We must take this warning as proof that our survival lies only in our hands. Corporations and government do not care about your safety unless there is a profit to be made.The world will most likely not end in 2013, but you need to prepare as if it will. Superstorms have become the new threat to our daily lives, so being prepared for an long-term disruption in electric, heat, water, and food is essential to your families survival.

Stay always prepared!

Image from

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Keeping an Emergency Money Stash

Despite the rise of credit card use, cold hard cash still serves a purpose in this economy. During most disasters including financial collapse, American currency will maintain some value for a short time. Imagine if the power grid in your area suddenly fails. Your banks, grocery stores, ATMs, and gas stations all rely on electricity to facilitate the transfer of electronic funds. No power means no goods for you or others unless you have cash. Having a stash of emergency money gives you the ability to purchase goods without relying on the electrical grid.

Even in a disaster situation like an EMP, you may have one or two days where you can walk into a grocery store with cash and buy what you want, mostly because no one will know what is going on yet. Of course, this is assuming the stores stay open. The sooner you can arrive at a location you improve your chances of being able to shop. Small businesses and corner shops may keep their doors open for a couple of days, but big stores like Walmart will most likely be locked up after one day. 

How much you set aside is your decision. I like the idea of having enough to double my food and water supplies immediately if something happens. Of course I only recommend this to those who already have a nice stockpile of food and water. Going out after a disaster may be extremely dangerous and risky, so do not rely on this as your only post-disaster plan. You may return home empty-handed and then be without anything.

Stay always prepared!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Choosing Land for Your Survival Retreat

Before I describe what to look for when scouting land, please understand that a retreat isn't just for rich people. Do not rule out looking for your own retreat land. Raw hunting land is typically very affordable, especially if a few families pitch in financially. With that said, here are some pointers to follow when choosing land for your prepping plans:
  1. Look for land that is far away (100+ miles if possible) from major cities. It is a natural decision for humans to flee to the mountains for refuge from a disaster situation because it is believed that food is plentiful. As you get farther away from the cities, there is less of a chance of encountering violent gangs looking to steal your supplies or hungry families seeking hand-outs.
  2. However, make an attempt to purchase land that is within 1 tank of gas away. Depending on your vehicle, that can be 300-400 miles away from your primary residence. Depending on the emergency, driving to your retreat may be impossible. Not to mention the longer it takes for you to arrive at your retreat, the increased chance someone has found it and claimed it as theirs. Are you prepared to fight for your retreat?
  3. Make sure this land has a fresh water source (spring or creek). If there is no water source on the property, is there one within walking distance, and will the land owner permit you using their water? I would stay away from riverfront property if possible because you risk being found by refugees using the river as a guide.
  4. Land with natural choke points make better choices because they can be easier to defend. Flat land with 360 degree access is impossible to defend. Rocky terrain is much easier to defend.
  5. However, not too rocky! Remember, you need land for gardens and possibly livestock if you choose that route. Gardens don't do too well in rocky soil.
  6. Typically, the larger your property the better. If you can buy land next to a National Forest, even better. This land can be used for additional resources post-SHTF. 1-2 acres for each family should be considered the minimum parcel size. 
  7. Land that is heavily wooded can be more beneficial for those who wish to build cabins with little expense. Check out how this couple built their Alaskan cabin.
  8. Finally, make an attempt to learn who owns the neighboring properties. Can an alliance be formed before SHTF? Also, make sure none of your neighbors are the family from the Texas Chainsaw movies.
Finding the perfect land for your retreat may take some time, but don't rush it. You will know when you have found it!

Stay always prepared!

Retreat image from

Monday, January 7, 2013

Storing Clean Water for Emergencies

After oxygen and shelter, clean drinking water is the next essential component to our survival. FEMA recommends each household have at least 3 gallons of water stored for each resident. This is roughly a 3 day supply of clean water. I prefer to be extra prepared and have a few extra weeks beyond those first 3 days. Here is how I store my water:

My water storing supplies

Used soda and juice containers are perfect for storing emergency water. The steps I follow are:
  1. After the original beverage is empty I wash the container and lid very well with some dish liquid soap. Rinsing is extremely important because you do not want any soap residue giving you diarrhea in an emergency situation. 
  2. After the containers are washed, I add a few drops of bleach (5%) to each container. Next, I fill each container 1/3 full with water and tightly screw the cap back on. I shake each bottle making sure the bleach solution touches all parts of the container. This allows my containers to get all sparkly clean and germ-free. I allow the solutions to sit in the bottles for at least a half an hour, then empty and rinse. 
  3. I like my containers to air-dry for a day or two and then they are ready to be filled with tap water. NOTE: Because my city supplied water is already treated, I do not add any bleach to my stored water. Your situation may be different than mine so you may need to add a few drops of bleach to each container. Typically, if you are filling a 2-liter bottle, 5 drops of 5% bleach solution is enough.
  4. My containers of water are stored in trash-bag lined milk carton type containers. The trash bag protects everything from water damage if a bottle fails and leaks water. 
  5. I attempt to rotate my bottles every 6-12 months and re-sanitize everything before refilling with fresh water.
Storing clean water is essential to your survival post-catastrophe. If you do not have at least 3 gallons of water stored for each member of your family, this is the moment to get off of your butt. 

Don't forget water filters just in case the help takes longer than expected. Water filters can be a game changer for those who do not store enough water or do not have the room for storage. The Katadyn filter and Lifestraw are highly recommended by all.

Amazon has the best prices for the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter and  LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Friday, January 4, 2013

Reusing Old Coffee Containers

If you are like me, it is difficult to throw away those big plastic coffee cans. They look so darn useful, that it would be a waste to pitch them. Thankfully, I have found a use that makes my prepping a little more efficient and cost effective.

Oatmeal packets have become one of my food storage staples because they are tasty and cheap. The shelf life is typically around a year and a half after purchase which is long enough for me because I rotate constantly. However, I know that by limiting the oxygen and keeping the temperature constant I can extend the shelf life substantially. Scientists at Brigham Young University found stored 28 year old oats which were still perfectly edible. The story can be found here. I do not believe my storage idea will guarantee edible oats in 28 years, but I do believe they will be edible far longer than a year and a half from now.

I limit the oxygen by removing the individual packets from the box and placing them in a gallon storage bag. Including an oxygen absorber or using a food sealer is even better for long term storage purposes. I then place the bag in the coffee can which will limit the light and also limit the oxygen even more with the 'Flavor Seal' lid.

Obviously, your coffee cans can be used to store any food item you would like. I chose to store my oatmeal because the packets fit nicely into the containers. What do you do with your coffee containers?

Stay always prepared!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Debt-Free Prepping to Self Reliance

How's that 9-5 job working out for you? Remember when we were young and wanted everything at the store? As we became teenagers, a job became the solution to this desire because our parents surely didn't buy it all for us. Years later, we are still stuck in the same cycle. We work every week in order to maintain our lifestyle as consumers. For many, the word 'maintain' is being nice. A couple of large purchases is enough to put the average American into serious debt for 10+ years.

As I mentioned in my last post, the key to self-reliance is owing as little debt as possible to creditors. Unfortunately, our jobs don't supply us with enough income to dig out of this hole or else we wouldn't be here. So what options do you have?

Think about small business ideas. A simple Google search will open your eyes to many potential weekend warrior businesses. Such as:
  • Yard Work
  • House Cleaning
  • Carpentry Work
  • PC Repair
  • Pet Sitter, etc.
It is easier than you think to earn an extra $100/weekend or $400/month. Imagine the debt you could pay down with that extra cash flow. There are many hobbies that will earn you some money and at the same time further prepare your family. Not only will these hobbies supply your family with income today, they will also supply your family with future bartering goods post-disaster. Hobbies such as:
  • Bee Keeping
  • Organic Vegetable Gardening
  • Goat Milk and Meat
  • Chicken Eggs and Meat
  • Rabbit Meat and Fur
Let's not forget Ebay as an immediate source of income. If you need some capital to start your weekend business, Ebay is the way to get there debt-free. Get rid of all of that stuff that has put you in this hole and make a few bucks in the process.

 Stay always prepared!