According to the CDC, about 11,000 babies are born in the U.S. every day. If anyone in your family or group is of childbearing age, you might want to think about preparing for an out-of-hospital birth. Most people have never witnessed a “natural” or med-free birth. Therefore, they have no idea what natural birth looks like or how to prepare for it. In Part 1, I spoke about the importance of the mother’s psyche in childbirth and also about the sphincter law that applies to childbirth. We began the topic of Preparing for Birth with suggestion for books, such as …
There are many phases in a total collapse of society. In the earliest stages you will find that people are simply trying to figure it all out. In this phase people will likely still be civil with one another. There will still be resources around and people will be living off their own stores. This phase will end quickly and give way to the more dangerous parts of a collapse.
Eventually – and in a modern society it won’t be long – there will come a phase when most resources have been exhausted. You will still need resources to stay alive. At this point the scavengers will arise. If you haven’t prepared enough, or if unseen issues crop up, you might be a scavenger too.
The smart prepper will operate in a balanced world of simple, self sufficient living and scavenging practices.
Not only will your local Lowes or Home Depot be gone; it will be picked clean and likely taken up as a decent base of operations for some gang or military faction. Still, you will need a home that protects you from the elements, with a roof and walls that keep the wind and rain out. It’s vital to keep as much of your home in working order as possible. Consider scavenging things like:
- Scrap Metal
- Scrap Wood
- Insulating Materials
- Gutters or Irrigation
MEDICINES AND FIRST AID
Did you know that every business with onsite employees is required to have access to a first aid kit? Even the small law firm down the street has a first aid kit. When it comes to scavenging these types of supplies you would do well to look at these small abandoned businesses and business parks. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with what can be found in the desk drawers of offices. In a true SHTF situation, even animal medicines may prove useful. Before considering any “alternative” medicine, be sure to research the heck out of it.
Whether we are talking about bullets, guns, knives or even baseball bats, in a collapsed world where scavenging is necessary you will need to be able to protect yourself against various threats. The gun shop may not be the best stop to swing by on a scavenging jaunt, but what about the distribution center for a big box retailer that is far out in the country? A lot of firearms and ammunition get sent by mail in the USA, so when the crisis hits the chances are there will be weapons among the packages waiting to be delivered. It will be this type of thinking that makes scavenging profitable.
Scrap wood, metal, nails and other random bits and pieces will be crucial if you plan on DIYing yourself through the disaster. The good news about scavenging these items is that the disaster and the following collapse will likely leave plenty lying around to be scavenged.
Crumbling homes and buildings are likely to produce plenty materials to scavenge. You might still be in the market for things like nails. If you find yourself an abandoned pallet yard, you can build a whole house using the nails and wood you harvest from those pallets!
There will be a certain amount of risk when you head out to scavenge. Where you go and when will determine the amount of risk you face. We will look at two ways that you can scavenge smarter. You must be willing to do a little research ahead of the collapse, and learn to operate at the best time for scavenging. The items to bring with you is important. Tools, bags, cordage, liquid containers, duck tape, etc might all be very useful when scavenging. Especially if you hit the motherload. If you do hit the motherload, you may have to hide some of your booty to come back and get. Materials and tools for this would be handy. You should also think about Scavenging in pairs. 1 as a watcher and one as a scavenger. Also, a very valuable skill would be sign language.
Long before the scavenging begins you will want to make a resource map of your immediate area. These are simple to create. By printing an area map of your location and the surrounding areas (use google maps) you can mark all the major retailers and business parts in the immediate area. Color-coded markings and a key will help quickly identify things like medicine, food and tools. This resource map should focus less on the big retailers and more on small stores and business parks. Your scavenging success will come down to how few people you run into, so you want to stay away from obvious places that most people will search.
Stick to smaller business parks and offices for scavenging. Look also in abandoned homes that can be watched from afar. Valuable locations for various supplies could include feed stores, sale barns, and veterinary clinics. Tools, batteries, various fencing and repair items, and medicines and bandages can all be found there. These places may be picked clean early, but they may still be worthwhile for a scavenging trip. Also, feed stores may have batteries left for the poor man’s taser (cattle prod). Spend some time looking for the useful items: traps, rope, solar power, self-help books, etc.
Another very important factor in successful scavenging is when you decide to get out there and do it. Your goal should be to move when the least amount of people are around. The time between 3am and 6am is a great window to get things done. You have darkness for most of this time frame in most seasons. Those who stay up late will be sound asleep by this time.
When planning your trip be sure to calculate your round trip. Make sure that you have plenty of time to scavenge when you arrive at your location. Don’t blow an entire trip on travel time.
Places to Scavenge After SHTF:
- ABANDONED BUSINESS PARKS AND SMALL OFFICES
- DISTRIBUTION AND TRUCKING CENTERS
- USED CAR LOTS
- ABANDONED HOMES
- CELL TOWERS
- MANUFACTURING CENTERS
- PERSONAL STORAGE FACILITIES
Can see the original at http://www.askaprepper.com and https://www.prepperwebsite.com
Typically, when we think about a survival situation, like TEOTWAWKI or SHTF, our minds race to food storage, defense, clean water, growing gardens, and raising livestock; often times, we forget other necessities, like good medical care and childbirth. According to the CDC, about 11,000 babies are born in the U.S. every day. If anyone in your family or group is of childbearing age, you might want to think about preparing for an out-of-hospital birth. Most people have never witnessed a “natural” or med-free birth. Therefore, they have no idea what natural birth looks like or how to prepare for it. …
I’m a man in his mid 20s trying to prepare for when SHTF to care for 21 family members and guide another 21, none of which are really contributing in any significant way. I’m also part of a fireteam group, but they are not walking the walk on preparations either. My girlfriend is supportive, but I feel generally alone in my preparations. I’ve outlined the problems I have in each group– family and fireteam– in Part 1 of this article series. In Part 2, I went over how I am resolving these problems and my specific plans as well as …
The post How to Prepare When You’re The Only One- Part 3, by Patriotman appeared first on SurvivalBlog.com.
What is a drought? A drought is a period of irregular dry weather that runs long enough to cause a serious imbalance in our daily lives. During a drought, for example, crops can be damaged, and water supply can run short, which is why they’re recognized as serious events that can result in widespread destruction of communities. The severity of the drought, however, is measured by the duration, temperature, and size of the area impacted.
A drought is defined in one of four ways:
- Meteorological Drought: This occurs when dry weather dominates a specific area. What might be labeled as a “drought” in one place might not be the same in another.
- Agricultural Drought: This type of droughts occurs when the moisture in the soil becomes inadequate, which can result in a lack of crop growth and production later on down the road. This type of drought, however, is usually associated with short-term drought situations.
- Hydrological Drought: This occurs when the water supply becomes considerably low. This is found by measurement of groundwater levels, streams, and reservoirs.
- Socioeconomic Drought: Perhaps the scariest of the four, this occurs when water levels are too low for human and environmental needs.
That’s why conserving water during droughts is extremely important. Aside from that, it’s also a good habit to develop; that way, you’re always prepared for environmental changes. With that in mind, try taking baby steps each day to help you and your family conserve water:
Clean water not only has the ability to change the environment, but it also can reduce death and diseases from spreading. This means that by conserving water at home, you can actually preserve life here on Earth, which is why conserving is now more important than ever before.
Even if you don’t live in a drought-stricken environment, cutting back on your water usage can go a long way. First, you’ll notice a difference in your utility bill financially. Then, you’ll start to notice a difference in the environment you live in as well. So if you’re ready to cut back, just know that there are a lot of small ways that you and your family can practice conserving water, especially around the house.
If you can’t do everything on the list, don’t worry about it. Just pick a few things to focus on at first, then make your way down the list as opposed to doing everything all at once. A few changes can add up to hundreds of gallons of water saved each and every year.
Here are five of many things you can try to conserve water in your home:
- Turn off your faucet when you brush your teeth.
- Turn off the water when you wash your hands.
- Cut your shower time.
- Repair any leaks you have around the house.
- Head over to a car wash that recycles water.
Develop a Rain Catch System:
Remember, when it comes to survival, it’s all about the water – so why not save it? The water that falls from the sky is not only valuable, but it’s also free. Despite rainwater being natural, however, it not entirely safe to drink unless it’s been filtered ahead of time. Why isn’t it safe? Well, because as the rainwater washes off your roof, it also washes off pollution with it. This might include harmful particles from exhaust systems located on cars, cigarette residue, dead bugs, and of course, bird droppings.
It’s still great water, nonetheless; and beneficial to plants as well. The water you’ve captured using the rain catchment system, for instance, can be used to water your grass, clean your house, and even drink – as long as you purify it – without spending a dime. You can use it to water your vegetables too. Just don’t forget to pour the water at ground level when watering your plants. That way, you don’t contaminate the food you plan on eating later on.
Another thing to keep in mind is the weather. So, if you live in a cold environment, consider moving your rain barrel somewhere safe. This will prevent it from cracking and getting contaminated. In the long run, catching rainwater to use later on will also keep it from seeping into your basement, crawl space, and foundation, which in return, can preserve your home for years to come.
In order to tackle this enormous problem, however, community members must be willing to make small changes. Agricultural and hydrological drought, for example, can both be minimized by smart irrigation.
How? For business and homeowners, they can start by incorporating irrigation controllers that are labeled with water conservation logos. This logo symbolizes that the company has created a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help reduce the amount of water used for landscaping. These systems monitor the weather and landscape conditions to help them determine when to water the landscape and for how long.
For larger crop fields, there are irrigation systems that can be programmed to monitor landscape and weather conditions the same way they normally would for smaller areas. Most systems can be programmed to water a specific crop for the optimum amount of time, saving the farmer money and water at the same time.
The devastating effects of dehydration are something no one should have to experience and be faced with; that’s why it’s essential for you and your family to learn different water-harvesting techniques before a drought strikes near home. Remember, the human body can live without food longer than it can live without water. So, start prepping, and don’t wait until it’s too late.
First seen on https://www.prepperwebsite.com
I think this article will resonate with many of the SurvivalBlog readership, because I suspect that many of us are in a similar situation of being the only one preparing. While some of you may be lucky to have complete buy-in and participation with prepping from your family or survival group, many others, like myself, may find that “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. Before I speak about my experience with this issue and the steps I have taken to attempt to mitigate this, let me provide some background on myself as well as what the composition …
The post How to Prepare When You’re The Only One- Part 1, by Patriotman appeared first on SurvivalBlog.com.
With spring upon us many will be suffering with allergies. But you may also be suffering from a spring cold. Seasonal allergies and colds share some common symptoms, so it may be hard to tell the two apart. Both conditions typically involve sneezing, a runny nose and congestion. There are some differences, though. Additionally, colds usually include coughing and a sore throat, but these symptoms can also occur in people with hay fever who have post-nasal drip. Itchy eyes are common for seasonal allergies, but rare for colds.
Colds and seasonal allergies seem very similar in many ways. It’s the duration [length] and chronicity [frequency] of symptoms that might help tell the difference. It’s not unusual for parents and even doctors to confuse cold and seasonal allergy symptoms. Young children frequently get colds, and their parents may not always think of seasonal allergies as the reason for kids’ constantly drippy noses. Seasonal allergies may first show up in a child at around ages 4 to 6, but they can also begin at any age after that. And genetics play a role: People with one parent who has any type of allergy have a 1 in 3 chance of developing an allergy. When both parents have allergies, their children have a 7 in 10 chance of developing allergies, too.
Here are five signs to look for to determine whether symptoms are due to seasonal allergies or a cold.
Consider the time of year. Colds tend to occur in the winter, and they often take several days to show up after exposure to a virus. With seasonal allergies, the onset of symptoms — the sneezing, stuffy nose and itchy eyes — occur immediately after exposure to pollens in spring, summer or fall. If symptoms tend to show up the same time every year, it may well be seasonal allergies rather than a cold.
Duration of symptoms matters. The symptoms of a cold typically last three to 14 days, but allergy symptoms last longer, usually for weeks, as long as the person is exposed to pollen, Rachid said.
Color of nasal discharge offers clues. When she sees a patient with green or yellow mucus, Rachid said, she tends to think the person has a cold or infection. Seasonal allergies usually produce clear nasal secretions, she said, although sinus infections may confuse the picture. Sometimes allergy sufferers develop sinus infections, which can result in yellow-colored nasal discharge.
Any temperature or muscle aches? Despite the name “hay fever,” seasonal allergies don’t usually cause fever or body aches, whereas people with a cold often have these symptoms.
Notice “the allergic salute.” Parents may notice children frequently pushing their noses up with the palms of their hands to wipe or relieve itchiness — this could be a telltale sign of seasonal allergies. When trying to determine if a child’s symptoms are due to a cold or seasonal allergies, ask about the allergic salute. You can also observes the skin on the child’s nose, since the “salute,” when done frequently, tends to cause a small crease at the bridge.
Anyone with a cold may do the allergic salute, but children with allergies tend to do this a lot. It means something is bothering them, and could indicate their allergies are getting worse.
When you are the parent of a child with a food allergy, you have additional obstacles and things to consider when trying to be prepared. There could be circumstances where you’re required to shelter-in-place in your home for an extended period of time, or even go to a public shelter. In the event of either of these scenarios the best thing you can do is be prepared, and prepare your family for what may happen. This preparedness and training can be really beneficial for your children whether it’s a major disaster or a small house fire.
Create a Family Disaster Plan
The first step to getting ready for any sort of disaster or emergency situation is creating a family plan. In addition, depending upon the age of your child and the size of your family, you’re going to have to make adjustments to your plan. For example, if you have an infant your child isn’t going to be able to do much for themselves, and if you have an older child they may be able to help out more. Additionally, you have to keep in mind that your child and you may not be in the same place during a disaster, so you have to figure out how you will reach each other and meet.
- Decide on a location of where to meet in your home if there is a disaster
- Practice emergency drills for if there’s a disaster in your home
- Fill out a Family Communication Plan for your child and put it in their go-bag, make sure they know and understand the plan (depending on their age). Be sure to fill this out together and talk through this plan together.
- Talk to your child about the disaster plan if they are at school or day care
Connect with your child’s school or daycare
If your child is at school you’re going to want to 1) talk to the school about their emergency plans, and 2) figure out what supplies and emergency kit you’re going to leave for your child at school. I think it’s critical to explain to your child what will happen and where you will be during this time.
Things to consider about your child’s daycare or school:
- Do they store water and food?
- Do teachers have first aid and CPR training?
- Can children leave and store their own emergency kits?
- What is the plan if the class doesn’t shelter-in-place and they have to go somewhere else?
When you’re packing an emergency kit for your child at daycare and school, here are some things I would consider:
- A comfort item like a teddy bear or toy that makes them feel secure
- A folder containing medical information, family contact info, and any other contact numbers
- A change of clothes
- A supply of medications – both prescription and over-the-counter
- A family photo including a note from parents or recorded message
- An emergency whistle
- A water bottle with water emergency pouches
- A small flashlight
- Basic first aid supplies
- Epi-Pen/Auvi-Q and carrying case
- Snacks appropriate to their diet
- An emergency ID card – in addition to their allergy bracelet. These ones come in a variety of patterns and styles and you can include your contact information on the back.
Your Home Emergency Kit
It’s important to have a home emergency kit stocked with everything your family could need. I highly suggest having extra food for your child with food allergies. During a stressful situation, you don’t want to be forced to introduce new foods, so pack long-term emergency food and extra of it. Don’t forget to re-stock and check your home emergency kit regularly.
Here are some suggestions of item’s for your home emergency kit:
- Water for each person in the house-hold (enough for drinking and cleaning)
- A first aid kit
- Contact information for relatives, hospitals and emergency shelters
- Medical information on everyone in the family
- A detailed allergy plan
- Food supplies suitable for your child with food allergies
- Prescription and over the counter medications
- Extra batteries for all devices
- Emergency blankets
- Maps of your local area
- Copies of any personal documents including birth certificates, insurance and passports
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- A battery-powered radio
- Extra cash
- Pet supplies
- Games and activities for children
One easy thing is to
Suggestions for foods to have on hand
You’re going to need food that is not perishable and can store for a longer term that works for your child, here are some suggestions:
- Soy, Almond, Coconut Milk and other non-dairy milks that don’t need refridgeration
- Peanut-Free nut butters like SunButter
- PackIt Gourmet has both dairy-free and gluten free meals that can be used in long term storage.
- Mountain House has a variety of dehydrated gluten free meals
- Some of the Paleo Meals to Go may work for your child
Your child’s home bug-out bag
In addition to having an emergency kit for your house your child should have a home bug out kit in the form of a backpack or easy carrying case. You’ll want to check bags on a regular basis to make sure everything in them is re-stocked and up to date. Things to include here are:
- Re-usable water bottle
- Change of clothes
- Comfortable shoes and socks
- Family contact information and emergency numbers
- An emergency blanket
- Small snacks
- Emergency whistle
- Hand sanitizers
- Band aids and wipes
You can also pick up a pre-made kit like the one below and then add additional items that your child may need.
It’s a situation you never want to find yourself in. You’re on vacation, peacefully enjoying the planet’s natural wonders and then – out of nowhere – a wild creature attacks.
While these encounters are usually very rare, Kyle Patterson, spokeswoman at Rocky Mountain National Park, say it’s because people aren’t aware of their surroundings or don’t use common sense.
“Any wildlife can be unpredictable,” she said. “Sometimes you see a visitor who sees an animal and think, ‘they’re close to the road, I’ll just get out and a take a picture.’ This isn’t a zoo where it is fenced off.”
Every animal responds differently to human interaction, but a general rule of thumb for any wildlife encounter is be prepared and look for signs.
“If the animal is reacting to you, you’re too close. All wildlife will give you a sign. Some species will put their ears back. Some will scrape their paws. Some will give verbal cues,” said Patterson.
In order to help you, we’ve come up with a list of tips for surviving all kinds of animal encounters, from bison to sharks.
Even with this list handy, remember that it is illegal to approach wildlife at the national parks and no matter how prepared you are, expect the unexpected.
North America’s recent rash of bear attacks should be inspiration enough to want to know how to survive a mauling. At least six people in five states have been mauled by black and brown bears recently. There was the Alaskan hunter who was attacked on Saturday, the hikers in Yellowstone National Park who were attacked by a grizzly last Thursday and 12-year-old Abigail Wetherell who was mauled by a black bear on the very same day, while out on an evening jog in northern Michigan.
“These are two species that you shouldn’t never run from: Black bear or mountain lion,” said Patterson. “You should make yourself big, as much as you can. Whether it’s taking your jacket and putting it over your head, or picking up sticks or just waving your arms, you need to fight back.”
Here’s a list of bear attack survival tips from Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources:
1.) If you see a bear that is far away or doesn’t see you turn around and go back, or circle far around. Don’t disturb it.
2.) If you see a bear that is close or it does see you STAY CALM. Attacks are rare. Bears may approach or stand on their hind legs to get a better look at you. These are curious, not aggressive, bears. BE HUMAN. Stand tall, wave your arms, and speak in a loud and low voice. DO NOT RUN! Stand your ground or back away slowly and diagonally. If the bear follows, STOP.
3.) If a bear is charging almost all charges are “bluff charges”. DO NOT RUN! Olympic sprinters cannot outrun a bear and running may trigger an instinctive reaction to “chase”. Do not try to climb a tree unless it is literally right next to you and you can quickly get at least 30 feet up. STAND YOUR GROUND. Wave your arms and speak in a loud low voice. Many times charging bears have come within a few feet of a person and then veered off at the last second.
4.) If a bear approaches your campsite aggressively chase it away. Make noise with pots and pans, throw rocks, and if needed, hit the bear. Do not let the bear get any food.
5.) If you have surprised a bear and are contacted or attacked and making noise or struggling has not discouraged an attack, play dead. Curl up in a ball with your hands laced behind your neck. The fetal position protects your vital organs. Lie still and be silent. Surprised bears usually stop attacking once you are no longer a threat (i.e. “dead”).
6.) If you have been stalked by a bear, a bear is approaching your campsite, or an attack is continuing long after you have ceased struggling, fight back! Predatory bears are often young bears that can be successfully intimidated or chased away. Use a stick, rocks or your hands and feet.
Migrating elk are known to take over towns, especially this time of year. For example, Estes Park, a popular resort town in the Rocky Mountains hosts nearly 2,000 elk for the summer months, and much of the year. With a population of only 5,858 inhabitants, the town is literally overrun by elk.
Rocky Mountain National Park also has a large population of elk. Patterson said the dangerous times are in the spring, when they’re protective of their calves, and the fall mating season, known as the rut. “Sometimes the bulls can be very aggressive,” she said. “During the rut, elk are in big groups. You want to make sure you’re not in between the aggressive bull elk and the focus of his attention.”
That’s why the park takes preventative measures such as closing meadows and sending out teams of volunteers to patrol.
Here are some tips from The Payson Roundup, a small paper that covers Rim Country in central Arizona, an area that has had its fair share of elk invasions.
1.) Always keep a safe distance and if driving, stay in your car.
2.) Never approach a baby calf; they are not abandoned even if the cow is not in sight. The cow is close by or very likely has gone to water and will return. The maternal instinct could produce an aggressive behavior if something might come between her and her calf, so play it safe.
3.) Elks travel in the reduced light of early morning or late afternoon — so if you want to avoid an elk, don’t go out during dawn or dusk.
Bison are the largest indigenous land mammal in North America. The bulls can often weigh as much as one ton. Not only are they huge, bison are fast. They can quickly accelerate to speeds up to 35 mph. So if they look majestic and docile out on that plain, just remember bison are beasts and they are much faster than you.
If you encounter a bison, here are some tips from Canada’s National Park Service:
1.) If you encounter bison along the roadway, drive slowly and they will eventually move. Do not honk, become impatient or proceed too quickly. Bison attacks on vehicles are rare, but can happen. Bison may spook if you get out of your vehicle. Therefore, remain inside or stay very close.
2.) If you are on foot or horseback: Never startle bison. Always let them know you are there. Never try to chase or scare bison away. It is best to just cautiously walk away. Always try to stay a minimum of 100 meters (approximately the size of a football field) from the bison.
3.) Please take extra caution as bison may be more aggressive: During the rutting season (mid July-mid August) as bulls can become more aggressive during this time. After bison cows have calved. Moms may be a little over-protective during this time. When cycling near bison, as cyclists often startle unknowing herds. When hiking with pets. Dogs may provoke a bison attack and should be kept on a leash. On hot spring days when bison have heavy winter coats.
4.) Use extreme caution if they display any of the following signs: Shaking the head. Pawing. Short charges or running toward you. Loud snorting. Raising the tail.
4. Mountain Lion
Attacks from mountain lions are very rare, Patterson said, and they’re going to prey on elk and deer–not humans.
But she said the danger arises when people hike alone or families with children let the kids run ahead and make noises.
“If a child is running along a trail they can mimic prey,” she said. This is why they tell visitors to ‘”make like a sandwich” when walking along the trails.
“Families and adults should think like a sandwich and the parents should be like a piece of bread and the children should be the filling. Have an adult should be leading the pack and should be in the back.”
Here is a list of tips for a mountain lion encounter from the conservation advocacy group, The Cougar Fund:
1.) Be especially alert when recreating at dawn or dusk, which are peak times for cougar activity.
2.) Consider recreating with others. When in groups, you are less likely to surprise a lion. If alone, consider carrying bear spray or attaching a bell to yourself or your backpack. Tell a friend where you are going and when you plan to return. In general cougars are shy and will rarely approach noise or other human activities.
3.) Supervise children and pets. Keep them close to you. Teach children about cougars and how to recreate responsibly. Instruct them about how to behave in the event of an encounter.
4.) If you come into contact with a cougar that does not run away, stay calm, stand your ground and don’t back down! Back away slowly if possible and safe to do so. Pick up children, but DO NOT BEND DOWN, TURN YOUR BACK, OR RUN. Running triggers an innate predatory response in cougars which could lead to an attack.
5.) Raise your voice and speak firmly. Raise your arms to make yourself look larger, clap your hands, and throw something you might have in your hands, like a water bottle. Again, do not bend over to pick up a stone off the ground. This action may trigger a pounce response in a cougar.
6.) If in the very unusual event that a lion attacks you, fight back. People have successfully fought off lions with rocks and sticks. Try to remain standing and get up if you fall to the ground.
7.) If you believe an encounter to be a valid public safety concern, contact your state game agency and any local wildlife organizations.
While shark sightings are on the rise, shark attacks are still relatively rare. Last year only seven people were killed in shark attacks. Although, in 2011, the number of shark-related deaths was 13. On the off chance you come face to face with Jaws, you should be prepared.
Here are some shark encounter survival tips from Discovery’s Alexander Davies:
1.) Don’t panic. If you find yourself face to face with a shark, you’re going to need your wits about you to get away with your life. So keep calm; remember that while sharks are deadly animals, they’re not invincible. Thrashing and flailing is more likely to gain its attention than to drive it away.
2.) Play dead. If you see a shark approaching, this is a last ditch effort to stave off an attack. A shark is more likely to go after a lively target than an immobile one. But once Jaws goes in for the kill, it’s time to fight — he’ll be as happy to eat you dead as alive. From here on out, you’ll have to fight if you want to survive.
3.) Fight back. Once a shark takes hold, the only way you’re getting out alive is to prove that it’s not worth the effort to eat you — because you’re going to cause it pain. Look for a weapon: You’ll probably have to improvise. But any blunt object — a camera, nearby floating wood — will make you a more formidable opponent. Often repeated advice has it that a good punch to a shark’s snout will send it packing. In fact, the nose is just one of several weak points to aim for. A shark’s head is mostly cartilage, so the gills and eyes are also vulnerable.
4.) Fight smart. Unless you’re Rocky Balboa, you’re not going to knock out a shark with a single punch. Not only will a huge swing slow down in the water due to drag, it’s unlikely to hit a rapidly moving target. Stick with short, direct jabs, so you increase your chances of landing a few in quick succession.
5.) Play defense. Open water, where a shark can come at you from any angle, is the worst position place you can be. Get anything you can to back up against, ideally a reef or a jetty. If there are two of you, line up back to back, so you’ll always have eyes on an approaching attack. Don’t worry about limiting your escape routes- you won’t out swim a shark, better to improve your chances of sending him away.
6.) Call for backup. Call out to nearby boats, swimmers and anyone on shore for help. Even if they can’t reach you right away, they’ll know you’re in trouble, and will be there to help if you suffer some injuries but escape the worst fate. Who knows, maybe a group of sympathetic dolphins will help you out – they’re fierce animals in their own right.
7.) Fight to the end. Giving up won’t make a shark less interested in eating you, so fight as long as you can. If the animal has a hold on you, he’s unlikely to let go. You have to show him you’re not worth the effort to eat.
While stingray attacks are not usually deadly, they are painful and warrant close medical attention. With a recent stingray invasion along the Alabama coast, now is an important time to learn about the barb-tailed sea creature. The animals often bury themselves in shallow water, so even if you are just wading in the ocean, you are still at risk of being stung.
Here are some tips from Jake Howard, a lifeguard at Seal Beach, Calif. on how to handle a stingray encounter:
1.) Always shuffle your feet when walking out to the surf, sting rays are shy and skitish creatures and will generally flutter away at the first sign of danger. The sting is a self-defense mechanism when they get stepped on or threatened. The Sting Ray Shuffle is your first line of defense.
2.) If you do feel something soft and squishy under your foot step off of it as quick as possible. I stepped on a sting ray last weekend, but got off it in time that it didn’t get me…Step lightly in other words.
3.) In the case that you do get stung come to the beach as quick as possible, don’t panic because it will only increase your circulation, thus aiding in the movement of the toxin through your body. Also you want to try and limit anything that may bring on symptoms of shock.
4.) Go home, or to the nearest lifeguard or fire station to treat it. The wound can vary in pain. I’ve had a woman compare it to child birth and seen full-on tattooed gang bangers cry like little sissys, conversly I’ve seen little girls walk away with relatively little discomfort. Either way it’s not going to be fun. Pretty much the only real thing you can do for the pain is soak the sting in hot water, as hot as you can stand, but don’t go burnin’ yourself. You can also take Advil or something, but no asprin. Asprin thins the blood and allows the toxin to travel easier.
5.) Soak the foot until it feels significantly better. The pain probably won’t go completely away, but it should feel dramatically better. A little swelling is normal. Be sure to clean the wound as best as possible. If it looks like the sting ray barb is still in your foot see a doctor for treatment. Actually if anything weird at all goes on go see a doctor.
After I happened to watch the first episode of a 1975 British TV series called Survivors, I began to think differently about survival. Two conversations rearranged everything I’d assumed about survival and the continuation of civilization after a catastrophic disaster. I began to think from a perspective of thirteen century style survival. I watched as the character in the show named Abby interacted with others and concluded that no one person had the knowledge to make much of anything in our modern society and she needed to learn how to master the old crafts. You might know some part of …
The post Survival, Thirteenth Century Style- Part 2, by Snow Wolf appeared first on SurvivalBlog.com.
Like many preppers, I love disaster movies, whether Godzilla stomping a city, asteroids hitting the earth, pandemics, earthquakes, or volcanoes. After all, any of these things could happen, except maybe Godzilla, and useful ideas can come from anywhere, regardless of the style of disaster. The disaster movies were good for a laugh, but they also convinced me that any major disaster—asteroid, pandemic, or nuclear attack—will make societal recovery lengthy and perhaps impossible and survival difficult. Then, I happened to watch the first episode of a 1975 British TV series called Survivors. Two conversations rearranged everything I’d assumed about survival and …
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I am continuing to share some of my hard-learned lessons as a single woman who moved out into the country. My story and lessons that follow, provided in no particular order, might save you money, time, injury, and humiliation as you make this journey towards self-sufficiency and preparedness. Yesterday, the lessons were on chainsaw, firewood, and wood stoves. Bears, Birds and Bullets One part of moving out of the suburbs and into “the country” that I was really excited about was being more in touch with nature, especially birds. I have always loved watching wild birds and hearing them sing …
I assure you that all of the following lessons are ones I have learned the hard way. I am sure that for those of you who grew up with a self-sufficient lifestyle or have been doing this for a while or even just possess a tiny bit more common sense than I do, this will be a good laugh. These are embarrassing but all 100% true. Feel free to chuckle, guffaw, head slap, ridicule, or otherwise enjoy my complete and utter loss of pride. I can take it, and I certainly deserve it. Sometimes even I wonder how I have …
I’m talking about cipher security. In review, I am a Retired Marine Infantry Staff Non-Commissioned Officer who has served multiple combat tours in Iraq, as well as most of the “skirmishes” the U.S. got involved in leading up to the global war on terror. I have taught “Survival in the Mountains” and have trained combat staff members in command post operations. I have taught Navy SEALS, Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, and Air Force Para-rescue operators, as well as many numerous foreign military personnel. During my career I was “voluntold” to write ground-up Intelligence reporting to higher headquarters. These tasks …
[Editor’s Note: This is good information, but readers should note that simple transposition ciphers of any type can be easily broken. Only One Time Pads and book codes offer any reasonable level of cipher security.] My Nom de Plume is “East Sierra Sage”, and I’m writing about cipher security. I am a Retired Marine Infantry Staff Non-Commissioned Officer. I served multiple combat tours in Iraq, as well as most of the “skirmishes” the U.S. got involved in leading up to the global war on terror. Two tours were served as an instructor of Mountain Warfare training for the Marine Corps. …
Today is the final part of this article on patrolling in the post-SHTF scenario. If you just jumping in here and have missed the earlier parts, go back and look at what has been covered already, including objectives, planning, navigation, movement, contact, observing and more. Bivouacking Let’s look at the practical concerns of bivouacking within a patrol group. Even if everyone in the patrol is in perfect physical shape, you’ll still need to stop for food and rest occasionally. Since you will be walking a lot, you’ll be burning a lot of calories, which you’ll need to replace. Food is …
We are looking at patrolling in a post-SHTF scenario. In parts 1, 2 and 3, I reviewed the definition of “patrol” and objectives of patrolling as well as planning, dress and kit, navigation, movement, and now the subject of dealing with contacts while out on patrol. I have provided some pointers on handling contact situations, and there is still a considerable amount to cover on this subject. Let’s continue. Contact (continued) Document Each Contact Once the contact is complete and you’ve departed the immediate area, you should stop and document the contact while the information is still fresh. This should …
It is easy to think of prepping as being one single set of actions, designed to prepare for any and all future challenges as/when/if they occur, and of the differences between types of situations and necessary responses as being on a smooth continuum, from trivial and minor to life changing/threatening and major.
This is only partially true, and masks the very different types of situations and preparations required. There are very different sets of responses to different types of situations – perhaps best to think of prepping like a plane, which you control very differently while taxiing on the ground compared to when flying through the air.
In fact, rather than just two modes of response (like a plane), we suggest it is most helpful to create three different sets of future challenges, and to identify prepping solutions for each of these, because the three different types of preparations are very different from each other. These three levels of preparing, and the three levels of future challenges, are :
Level 1 : Short Term
Short term problems are those which are, obviously enough, of short duration. They are events that clearly have an expected resolution to them via society’s normal mechanisms, and it is just a case of waiting for the issues to be resolved.
An example of a short term problem would be a major storm, flood, or power outage. Such events could inconvenience you for anywhere from an hour or two up to perhaps a week or two. Lesser events can be considered, too – having your car break down on the side of the road late at night, for example.
In such cases your response to such challenges generally does not require evacuating your normal residence – indeed, by definition, any Short Term/Level 1 events are ones which do not require you to leave home.
You may lose power, you may lose other utilities, and you may have transportation challenges, and there may be regional disruptions to normal social support functions. But the functioning of the country as a whole remains unchallenged, and in some form or another, you know that matters will, in the foreseeable future, return to normal. Society is not disrupted, you don’t have lawlessness or looting.
How/what do you prepare for and respond to a Level 1/Short Term disruption? Things like an emergency generator and enough fuel to power it for a couple of weeks. Extra fuel for at least one of your vehicles. Food and water for a couple of weeks. A two-way radio, although there’s a good chance your landline and cell phones will still work, as may also your internet.
You only slightly modify your normal lifestyle, and you are secure in the certainty that life will be back to normal well before you’ve exhausted your emergency supplies.
A person can be well prepared for Level 1 events without needing to outlay more than $10,000, and probably without needing to outlay much more than $1,000.
Level 2 : Medium Term
These are obviously events which are more major than Level 1 events. We define Level 2 events by the need to abandon your normal residence and move somewhere else. Level 2 events disrupt the total fabric of your region, and are more open ended in terms of when and how matters will return to normal. They might be natural – a solar storm wiping out our power grid, for example. They might be economic – a collapse in the global economy – something which we seem to be flirting with at present. They might be the result of military action, or could be any one of many other issues – maybe even something minor which then snowballs and destroys the increasingly fragile and delicate state of today’s modern interdependent society.
Level 2 events may even threaten people’s lives due to interruptions not only to utility services such as water, sewer, power/gas, trash, and communications, but also due to disruptions to the distribution system for food, gasoline, and other essentials – disruptions which appear likely to extend beyond the point at which most non-preppers can cope.
Some lawlessness and looting will develop, as desperate people search for food.
On the other hand, these problems, as severe as they are, have some sort of an eventual happy ending and resolution clearly in sight, such as to see the restoration of normal infrastructure and a return to ‘life as we know it’ (LAWKI) at some reasonable point in the future.
How do you prepare for and respond to a Level 2/Medium Term disruption? You need a secure location where you can shelter from the lawlessness that may envelope cities and other areas of dense population, and where you can create your own little bubble of comfort, safety, and what passes for civilization.
Possibly your retreat will still have essential services connected to it (power most of all), but you’ll be prepared for an eventuality without power.
You’ll live primarily from stored supplies without worrying too much about replenishing them. Sure, you’ll try and reduce your reliance on external sources of most things, but you’ll not feel the need to become 100% self-reliant or to adopt a 100% sustainable independent life. Instead, you’ll happily live off your stockpiles of food, energy sources, and whatever else, because you can see a clear restoration of ‘normalcy’ at some point within a year or so.
You need two way radio communication to supplement any remaining ‘normal’ types of communication, but primarily to communicate among yourselves, and perhaps augmented by a shortwave radio receiver so you can keep updated with news of ‘the rest of the world’ and what is happening to resolve the problems your region has suffered.
You may choose to do this independently by yourself, because you have the supplies and resources you need. Alternatively, and perhaps for optional social reasons rather than for any essential needs, you may choose to band together with other prepared people too.
Level 2 clearly requires a massively greater amount of preparation (and expenditures) than Level 1. If you have only prepared for Level 1 contingencies, you’ll have a problem surviving a Level 2 event, primarily due to not having a retreat location to move to. Cities will quickly become lethal environments, and even if you successfully manage to evacuate the city you live in, so what? Where will you move to? See our article about the modern day imbalance between city and rural life – there’s no way that small country towns can suddenly accept four times more people than they had before as refugees from the cities. If you don’t have somewhere to go to, already prepared, you have in effect nowhere to go to.
Preparing for a Level 2 event will cost you anywhere from $100,000 as an absolute bare-bones minimum up to $1 million or more. These costs will start to encourage you to adopt group/shared solutions. While two people can never live (or prepare) as cheaply as one, they sure can do so for much less than double the cost. There’s not only safety in numbers, but economy too.
If you feel it impractical to consider preparing to Level 2 standards yourself, don’t give up. The reality is that a Level 2 condition is close to essential. Maybe Code Green can help. Ask about becoming a member of our cooperative community and how you can benefit from shared investments in Level 2 and Level 3 preparations.
Level 3 : Long Term
This is the big one. Society has broken down. Something has destroyed much of the infrastructure not just of your region, and not just of the United States, but of most of the entire world. This might be a bio-disaster (a flu pandemic as has several times come very close in the last decade) or a global conflict, or an EMP pulse, or any one of many other events.Y
ou’re not yet reduced to a stone age life-style, but you’ve no idea when you’ll be able to resupply any of the items you’ve stockpiled, and so your focus now is on sustainable ongoing self-contained living.
Whereas in Level 1 events, you happily lived off and even squandered your stored supplies, sure in the knowledge that the event was short term, and in Level 2 events, you were more prudent and glad you had spares for essential items and generous amounts of ‘just in case’ materials, with Level 3 events, you’re not just focused on spares for essential items, but on how to build replacement products from raw materials and how to adjust to a life with massively fewer modern and complex appliances.
You of course have needed to evacuate if you lived in a city, and the lawlessness (or arbitrary capricious unilateral attempts at imposing draconian ‘order’) is pervasive. It is an ‘every man for himself’ sort of situation, and yes, it may also become a ‘kill or be killed’ situation too. Starving people, facing certain death for themselves and their families, will have no choice but to fight for food and shelter, and you in turn will have no choice but to defend that which you have.
You need to change your lifestyle so that you can become self-sustaining and self-sufficient. Sure, you’ll use up your stockpiled supplies as you devolve down to a level of sustainable self-sufficiency, and as you do so, you realize that you might never be able to replace such things. You need to become both energy and food independent, and your energy independence needs to be not just in the form of PV solar cells (because what do you do as they degrade and fail, in a situation where you have no replacements and where you can’t create the underlying pre-requisite technology to manufacture more) but rather in the form of some type of energy source that you can maintain and operate indefinitely.
Food independence can be slightly modified by trading off surpluses of the types of food you can grow with surpluses of food developed by other nearby families and communities.
You need to become part of a community because you don’t have enough resources, by yourself and with whatever handful of friends and family are with you, to have all the talents, skills, and resources necessary to optimize your life. You need to be able to communicate, bi-directionally, not just locally and regionally, but nationally and internationally, so as to understand what has happened to and what is happening to the rest of your country and the world, and to coordinate your activities with those of other pockets of survivors.
If you have already prepared for a Level 2 contingency, you’ll have a ‘parachute’ to cushion your crash-landing down into the post-industrial society that you’ll be entering. The most important thing is you have a place to retreat to, and enough supplies and resources to buy you some time to urgently start adapting to the new future staring you in the face.
It would be better, of course, if you already have some Level 3 planning and preparations in place, but if you’re already at Level 2, you’re way ahead of most other people.
How much does it cost to be prepared for a Level 3 situation? That’s a question with a huge range of possible answers, and it depends on how much of life’s former comforts you want to try and preserve and for how long, how much you want to have in place to devolve down to less complex forms of technology, and how far you can split such costs with fellow preppers.
This is where Code Green Prep can help. Ask about becoming a member of our cooperative community and how you can benefit from shared investments in Level 2 and Level 3 preparations.
Here’s a table showing some of the key differences in these three levels of future event and their implications to us as preppers.
|Item||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|Duration||Short – maybe up to a week or two||Medium – perhaps up to a year||Longterm|
|Likelihood of Occuring||Varies regionally, but between likely and definite every 5 – 10 years||Take your best guess. A disruptive solar storm = 12% chance every 10 years. Other risks = you decide.||More likely than you’d wish for. What are the chances of Bird Flu evolving and a global pandemic wiping out a huge slice of the world’s population? Might Iran or N Korea detonate an EMP over the US? etc.|
|Return to Normalcy||Assured||Very likely||Not for a long time, maybe generations|
|Regional Scope||Probably local and limited||Extensive, possibly national||Definitely national, maybe continental, possibly impacting much/all the world|
|External Assistance||Yes, expected||Maybe some, but not much and such resource as there is will be massively over-extended and unable to cope||Probably none for extended periods of time|
|Survivability if Unprepared||Yes with some inconvenience and discomfort||Marginal to low||Very low|
|Social Disruption||Possibly some limited opportunistic rioting and looting, brought under control within a week or so||Major, probably new forms of small community government and policing programs will spring up to create pockets of order among much lawlessness||Complete. Organized gangs will dominate|
|Relocation||Can survive in your normal abode||Due to breakdown of city services, need to relocate||Essential|
|Food strategy||Not a constraint||You’ll survive by eating through your stockpiles of food in the hope by the time you’ve eaten it all, order will be restored||Your stockpiles of food will give you time to create your own ongoing food sources and to become self sufficient|
|Energy||Some candles, flashlights, warm blankets, open fires, and a generator||You’ll reduce your energy needs and rely on a generator and stockpiled fuel, perhaps using some in-place renewable energy sources too.||Stockpiled fuel will be used carefully as you transition to energy independence and renewable sources|
|Defense||Stay at home. Biggest threat will probably be rude/pushy neighbors. Hopefully no lethal threats or responses needed.||Moderately uncoordinated groups of starving people or opportunistic raiders, will probably be able to be repelled by presentation of weapons and maybe occasional skirmishes. They are looking for easy targets.||Organized groups will battle among themselves for regional supremacy, and will ‘fight to the finish’ to take over the assets and resources of others. Expect stolen military weapons as well as civilian rifles/shotguns/pistols to be used.|
|Transportation||Stay at home||Necessary to get to your retreat. Little need to travel outside your retreat boundaries.||Necessary to get to your retreat. Occasional travel to trade with other groups, roads degraded, few mechanized vehicles. Pushbikes and horse drawn carts become the norm. Travel is dangerous due to risks from marauders.|
|Communication||Hopefully some normal forms of comms remain operative – radio, tv, land line, cell phone, internet.||Traditional comms largely degraded or disrupted. Short-range two-way radios to keep in touch with other members of your group. Shortwave radio receiver for general news.||Traditional comms all gone. Long range two-way radio for comms within your group, and to interact with other groups and to understand the world situation and what the future may bring.|
|Group Size||Small. You can survive just fine, even if alone.||Medium. Your group/community will essentially be the people who share the retreat with you, providing social interaction, extra skills and additional manpower for some tasks.||Large. You need access to as broad a range of skills as possible, and in a nearby region due to dangers and difficulties of traveling.|
|Cost of Preparing||Low – less than $10,000; probably less than $1,000.||High – More than $100,000; potentially as much as $1 million (but possibly shared among a group of people).||Maximum : Everything you can afford and more besides. Definitely requires group participation to make high-cost items affordable.|
When Does Each Level Evolve to the Next Level
Determining the type of event you’re facing depends on three things. The event itself, the reactions/responses of other people, and the level of preparedness you already have in place.
If you have a realistic 5 year supply of everything you could possibly need, you’re in a Level 2 situation for any event that promises to be resolved within that five year situation. But if you only have a six month supply, then you’re forced to adopt Level 3 measures even if the event seems likely to be resolved within a year.
And if you’re prepared only for Level 1 events, you’re way short on options for any type of Level 2 or 3 event.
If society ‘gracefully degrades’ without rampant lawlessness, and if support mechanisms remain in place, then what could have become a Level 2 – 3 event may remain as an ‘easy’ Level 2 event. But if society explodes, then even a survivable Level 1 event assumes Level 2 status due to the need to evacuate the city.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, you need to consider how you can improve your preparedness to be able to respond adequately to Level 2 and Level 3 events. There’s no real trick to lasting out Level 1 situations, but even a mild Level 2 event will be life threatening to many people in the affected area. Speak to us about the Code Green Prep cooperative communities, and how it might be possible for you to find strength, safety, security, and financial feasibility as part of a larger group of fellow preppers.
Original post on http://codegreenprep.com/2012/05/the-three-levels-of-preparing/
So you’re about to buy yourself a rural retreat? Congratulations. We hope you’ll never need it, but how wonderful it is to know it is there and available if things should go severely wrong.
In among all the other things you need to consider when choosing a retreat is its lot size. There are a number of different factors affecting how large a lot you need, including the soil type, what sorts of crops you plan to cultivate, the animals you might also raise, and, oh yes, some defensive considerations too.
Some of these considerations vary enormously (ie, the number of people each acre of farmed land can support), but the defensive factors are fairly constant. So let’s make this an easy read for you, and an easy write for us, and talk about them.
We’ve written at length, in past articles, about the need to design your retreat to be sturdy and able to withstand rifle fire, that’s not actually the risk that keeps us awake at night worrying the most about. Ideally you wanteverywhere you’re likely to be on your retreat to be safe and not at risk of enemy attack. Most notably, you not only want to be safe inside the strong walls of your retreat, but also while outside, exposed, and vulnerable, working in your fields, too.
The Biggest Risk of Violent Takeover/Takeout You’ll Face
We see the greatest risk as being picked off, one or two at a time, while we’re working in the fields. It is conceivable that we might be some distance from our retreat, and we could be bent over, planting or picking some crop, when all of a sudden, a sniper’s bullet slams into our back, even before the sound of the shot reached us. Talk about literally no warning – it doesn’t get any more sudden than that.
By the time the people around us heard the shot and started to react, a second round might already be meeting the second target. And then, all of a sudden, nothing. Well, nothing except a thoroughly panicked remainder of the people we were out in the fields with, all exposed in the middle of the crop, and one or two dead or nearly-dead bodies.
Even if everyone always carried weapons with them – and even if they were rifles rather than short-range pistols which would be useless at these sorts of ranges – by the time anyone had responded, grabbed their rifle (try doing some type of ongoing manual labor with a rifle slung over your shoulders – chances are everyone in the group will have their rifles set to one side rather than slung over their shoulders), chambered a round, and hunched over their sights, where would they look and what would they see? Possibly nothing at all. The sniper would retreat, as stealthily as he arrived, his job well done for the day.
Rinse and repeat. Have the same event occur again a day or two later, and you’re not only now down four people (and any sniper worthy of the name will be carefully choosing the most valuable of the people in the field each time), but you’ve got a panicked group of fellow community members demanding ‘protection’. Except that – what sort of protection can you give against a faceless guerilla enemy – someone who picks and chooses the time and location of their attacks? Furthermore, you’re now four people down, and you have to choose what to do with your able-bodied group members – are they to be tasked for defensive patrolling duties or working your crops. You don’t have enough people to do both!
No smart adversary will attack your retreat in a full frontal assault. That would be a crazy thing to do. Instead, they’ll act as we just described, picking you off, one or two at a time, taking as long as is necessary to do so. Your retreat is no longer your refuge. It has become the bulls-eye on the attacker’s target map, and all they have to do is observe and bide their time, taking advantage of the opportunities and situations they prepare for and select, rather than being taken advantage of by you and your tactical preparations.
Don’t think that defensive patrols will do you a great deal of good, either. How many men would you have on each patrol? One? Two? Five? Ten? Whatever the number, you’d need to be willing to accept casualties in any contact with the adversary, and unless your people are uniquely skilled and able to use some aspect of tactical advantage, all your enemy needs to do is observe your front and rear doors and wait/watch for patrols to sally forth from your retreat.
This scenario is similar to how the Allies ringed the German U-boat bases with anti-submarine planes and ships (and how we and our adversaries monitor each other’s subs these days too). While a U-boat might be very hard to find and detect in the middle of the North Atlantic, they all had to leave and return to their bases through obvious unavoidable routes. Why hunt for a U-boat in thousands of square miles of ocean when you know to within a few hundred feet where they’ll be departing from.
If you do deploy a patrol, they are at the disadvantage. The enemy will be in a prepared position while your team will now be exposed on open ground. The enemy will have set an ambush, and your team will find themselves in it. Depending on the size of the enemy team, and on the respective skill levels, you just know you’re going to lose some team members (and, more likely, all of them) when the ambush slams shut around them.
One more sobering thought. Call us cynical if you like, but we suspect an attacking force will be both more willing to risk/accept casualties among its members than you are, and will also find it easier to recruit replacement manpower. The leader of the attackers probably has no close personal relationship with his men, whereas you’re with your friends and family. The attackers can promise new recruits a chance at plundering stores and supplies and ensuring their own comfortable survival, and if recruits don’t join, they are probably facing extreme hardship or starvation as an alternative.
From their point of view, if things go well for them, they get something they didn’t have before, and if things go badly, they suffer the same fate they are likely to suffer anyway. But from your point of view, the best that can happen is that you keep what you currently have (at least until the next such encounter) and the worst that can happen doesn’t bear thinking about.
Or, to put it another way, for the attackers, heads they win and tails they don’t lose. For you, heads you don’t win and tails you do lose.
So, what does this all have to do with the size of your retreat lot?
The most effective tool you have to defend against attack is open space. If you have a quarter-mile of open space in all directions around you, wherever you are on your lot, then it will be difficult for a sniper to sneak up on you, while being easy for you to keep a watch on the open space all about. If the sniper does open fire from a quarter-mile away, you’re facing better odds that he might miss on the all important first shot, and much better odds that the subsequent shots will also be off-target.
Compare that to working in, say, a forest, where the bad guys might be lurking behind the tree immediately ahead of you. At that range, they couldn’t miss and could quickly take over your entire group before you had a chance to respond.
You need to consider two things when deciding how much land you need for your retreat lot.
The first issue is specific to the land you’re looking at. What is the topography of the land? Is it all flat, or are their rises and falls, a hill or valley or something else?
If there are natural sight barriers, you need to decide how to respond to them. Some might be alterable (such as moving a barn, cutting down some trees), and others you’re stuck with (the hill rising up and cresting, not far from your retreat). Depending on the types of sight barriers you have, you can determine how close adversaries can come to your property boundaries – and, indeed, some types of sight barriers will allow them to get into your property and potentially close to you, while probably remaining entirely undetected.
Don’t go all fanciful here and start fantasizing about patrols and observation posts and electronic monitoring. The chances are you don’t have sufficient manpower to create an efficient effective system of patrols and OPs, and if you don’t have sufficient manpower to create a secure network of patrolling and OPs, you have to sort of wonder what value there is in a partial network. Won’t the bad guys be clever enough to plan their movements and actions to exploit your weaknesses?
As for the electronic stuff, this is typically overrated, and provides a less comprehensive set of information than can be gathered by ‘boots on the ground’, and of course, only works until it stops working, at which point it is useless.
Our first point therefore is that some lots are just not well laid out for defending, and while everything else about them might be appealing, if you feel that you’ll need to be able to defend not just your retreat building itself, but the land around it – the land on which your crops are farmed and your animals raised – then you should walk away from the deal and not buy the lot.
What is the point of buying an ‘insurance policy’ to protect you against worst case scenarios, if your policy (your retreat and lot) only works with moderately bad rather than truly worst case scenarios? That’s an exercise in futility and wishful thinking, and as a prepper, you’re not keen on either of these indulgences!
Lines of Sight – How Much is Enough?
Okay, so you’ve found a lot with no obvious topographic challenges, and unobstructed lines of sight out a long way in every direction.
Let’s now try to pin a value on the phrase ‘a long way’. How far do you need to be able to see, in order to maintain a safe and secure environment all around you?
Some people might say ‘100 yards’. Others might say ‘1000 yards’. And so on, through pretty much any imaginable range of distances. There’s probably no right answer, but there are some obviously wrong answers.
Let’s look at the minimum safe range first.
Is 100 yards a good safe distance? We say no, for two reasons. The first reason is obvious – a bullet round can travel those 100 yards in almost exactly 0.1 seconds, and even a person with limited skills can place a carefully aimed shot onto a slow-moving man-sized target at that range. You are a sitting duck at 100 yards.
But wait – there’s more. A bad guy can probably sprint over that 100 yards in 10 seconds. Even if he has nothing more than a machete, he can be on top of you in ten seconds. Consider also that he’ll wait until you’re not looking in his direction before he starts his run, and add 0.75 seconds reaction time and maybe another second of ‘what is that?’ and ‘oh no, what should I do!’ time, and by the time you’ve identified him as a threat, reached your rifle, and got it ready to fire, he is probably now at arm’s length, with his machete slashing viciously down toward you.
A 200 yard range is very much nicer. You’ve become a smaller target, and the bullet aimed at you takes over twice as long to reach you; more important than the extra tenth of a second or so in travel time however is that it is now more like three times as affected by wind, temperature, humidity, manufacturing imperfections, and so on. A skilled adversary can still have a high chance of first shot bulls-eyes, but regular shooters will not do so well. The bad guy with the machete will take closer to 25 seconds to reach you, and will be out of breath when he gets there.
We’re not saying you’re completely safe if you maintain a 200 yard security zone around yourself. But we are saying you’re very much safer than if you had ‘only’ a 100 yard security zone.
So, if 200 yards is good, 300 yards is obviously better, right? Yes, no disagreement with that. But at what distance does the cost of buying more land outweigh the increase in security? Most of us will be forced to accept a smaller buffer zone than we’d ideally like, and perhaps the main point in this case is for you to be aware of how unsafe a small buffer zone truly is, and to maintain some type of sustainably increased defensive posture whenever you’re outdoors.
In the real world, you’ll be compromising between lot size/cost and security right from the get-go, and few of us can afford to add a 200 yard buffer around our lot, let alone a 300 or 400 yard buffer. To demonstrate the amount of land required, here are two tables. Both assume an impractically ‘efficient’ use of land – we are making these calculations on the basis of perfect circles, with the inner circle being your protected area and the outer circle being the total area with the added buffer zone space. But you can never buy circular lots, so the actual real world lot sizes would be bigger than we have calculated here.
For example, where we show, below, the five acre lot with a 200 yard buffer zone as requiring a total of 54 acres if in perfect circles, if the five acre lot was rectangular, and the buffer zone also rectangular but with rounded corners, the total lot would grow to 57 acres, and when we allow for the impossibility of rounded corners, the total lot size then grows to 64 acres.
So keep in mind these are best case numbers shown primarily to simply illustrate the implications of adding a buffer zone to a base lot size, and showing how quickly any sort of buffer zone causes the total land area to balloon in size to ridiculous numbers.
If you had a one acre area in the middle of your lot, and wanted to keep a buffer zone around it, the absolute minimum lot size would be
|Buffer zone in yards||Minimum total lot size in acres||Minimum perimeter in yards|
|100 yards||13 acres||875|
|150 yards||24 acres||1190|
|200 yards||37 acres||1505|
|250 yards||55 acres||1820 (1 mile)|
|300 yards||75 acres||2135 (1.2 miles)|
|350 yards||99 acres||2445 (1.4 miles)|
|400 yards||126 acres||2760 (1.6 miles)|
If you have a core area of 5 acres, the numbers become
|Buffer zone in yards||Minimum total lot size in acres||Minimum perimeter in yards|
|100 yards||23 acres||1180|
|150 yards||37 acres||1495|
|200 yards||54 acres||1810 (1 mile)|
|250 yards||74 acres||2120 (1.2 miles)|
|300 yards||98 acres||2435 (1.4 miles)|
|350 yards||125 acres||2750 (1.55 miles)|
|400 yards||155 acres||3065 (1.7 miles)|
Clearly, it quickly becomes wildly impractical to establish the type of clear zone that you’d ideally like.
On the other hand, there’s one possible interpretation of these figures that would be wrong. You can see that with a 1 acre core lot, you need a minimum of 37 acres in total to establish a 200 yard zone around your one acre. If you grow your lot to 5 acres, your total lot size grows by a great deal more than five acres. It goes from 37 acres up to 54 acres.
But – here’s the thing you should not misunderstand. The bigger your core lot, the more efficient the ratio between protected space and total space becomes. In the example just looked at, you had ratios of 1:37 and 5:54, with 5:54 being the same as 1:11. This is a much better overall efficiency, even though adding the extra four acres required you to add 17 extra acres in total.
If you had ten acres of core land, then your 200 yard safety zone would require 68 acres in total, and your ratio now becomes 10:68 or 1:7. Still extremely wasteful, but 1:7 is massively better than 1:37!
This improving efficiency for larger lot sizes hints at two strategies to improve your land utilization.
Two Strategies to Manage Your Clear Zone Risk and Requirement
Our two tables showing the amount of space you need as a safety/buffer/clear zone around your land embody a subtle assumption that perhaps can be reviewed and revised.
We are assuming that if you don’t own the land, it will be uncontrolled and uncontrollable, and will be exploited by adversaries to mount surprise attacks on you from positions of concealment and/or cover.
That is a possibility, yes. But there’s another possibility, too. If the land contiguous with your land is owned by friendly like-minded folk, and if they have cleared their land for cultivation too, plus have at least some awareness of risk issues and keep some degree of access restrictions to their land, then you probably don’t need as much buffer zone on the property line between you and them.
If you and your neighbor had five acre blocks adjacent to each other, then (depending on lot sizes and shapes), you would each require about 57 acres in total to have a 200 yard safety zone, but with your lots next to each other, the two of you together need only 73 acres instead of 114 acres. You each now have a 37 acre lot instead of a 57 acre lot, and that’s a much better value.
On the other hand, call us paranoid, if you like, but we would always want some controlled space around our main retreat structure, no matter who is currently living next to us. Neighbors can sell up or in other ways change.
This concern – that today’s ‘good’ neighbors might become tomorrow’s bad neighbors, points to the second strategy. Why not rent out some of your land to other people. That way you have more control over the people around you.
You could either do this by extending your core protected land and maintaining a buffer zone around both the land you farm directly and the land you rent out, or by renting out some of the buffer zone land to tenant farmers.
If you had five acres of your own core land, and if you then added another five acres to it, and also rented out the first 50 yards of your 200 yard buffer zone, then that would mean of the total 68 acre holding, there would be ten acres with 200 yards of buffer zone, and up to another 9.6 acres around it that still had a 150 yard buffer zone. In round figures, you could use 20 of the 68 acres, with 10 offering prime security and another 10 almost as good security. You’re now getting a reasonably efficient land utilization (20:68 or 1:3.5) and you’ve also added some adjacent friendly tenant farmers, giving your own retreat community a boost by having some like-minded folks around you.
Lines of Sight vs Crops – a Problem and a Solution
We’ve been making much about the benefit of having lines of sight stretching out a relatively safe distance so that adversaries can’t creep up on you, unawares. The importance of this is obvious.
But, how practical is it to have unobscured lines of sight when you’re growing crops? As an extreme example, think of a field of corn or wheat, and to a lesser extent, think of many other crops which of course have an above ground presence. These types of crops will reduce or completely negate your line of sight visibility.
The solution is that you need to have an observation post that can look down onto the crops from a sufficient height so as to see if people are passing through them. The higher this is, the better the visibility and ability to see down into the fields from above.
Depending on the layout of your land, the most convenient place for this would be to build it into your retreat. You already have a (hopefully) multi-level retreat structure, why not simply add an observation post at the top of the retreat.
If that isn’t possible, another approach might be to have a tower structure somewhere that has a wind turbine generator or at least a windmill mounted on the top, giving you two benefits from the structure.
Your biggest vulnerability, in a future Level 3 type situation where you are living at your retreat and need to grow your own crops and manage your own livestock so as to maintain a viable lifestyle for some years, will be when you are out in the fields and focused on your farming duties.
Maintaining any type of effective security of your retreat would require more manpower than you could afford to spare, and even then, would remain vulnerable to a skilled and determined adversary. A better strategy is to create a buffer zone between the land you work and the uncontrolled land adjacent to you. This buffer zone reduces the lethality of any surprise assault and gives you time to shelter, regroup and defend.
Because a sufficient sized buffer zone requires an enormous amount of additional land, we suggest you either rent out some of your buffer zone or settle next to other like-minded folk, giving you relatively safe and more secure boundaries on at least some sides of your retreat lot.
We all know what our bug-out bag essentials are, right? 90% of the items we packed are pretty much the same for all of us… but what about the other 10%?
In this article I want to give you a list of “uncommon” survival items that some people have in their backpacks. Not just because it’s fun but because I want to give you some fresh ideas on what to pack. If, by the end of this article, I get you to say “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea, I’m gonna add item number 7!”… then the article is useful and I haven’t written it for nothing. If I fail, feel free to share your own weird survival items in a comment below so you can improve on this list.
Caveat: I’m not saying you need to start packing all these items. These are just a few ideas that may or may not make sense to your particular situation. Your bug-out bag essentials should have priority and you should always keep your backpack as light as possible by only packing what you need.
Floss is lightweight, takes very little space and hard to find post-collapse. But the really cool thing about is that it has a bunch of other uses, such as tying things up, to use it as fishing rod and so on.
#2. A hand-crank chainsaw
Hand crank chainsaws are ultralight, compact and can be used in both rural and urban scenarios. You never know when you come across a tree that your car is helpless against.
#3. Fishing net
Do you have rivers near your location? A net might bring you much needed food besides the little you’ve already packed.
#4. A hand fan
If high temperatures are a concern, a hand fan might be a lifesaver. Small, compact, lightweight and cheap – perfect for a BOB.
#5. A razor
A razor has many more uses besides shaving (which won’t be a priority when disaster strikes, anyway).
#6. A foldable skateboard
Skateboards allow you to travel at speeds of over 10 miles per hour while walking is usually done at about 3mph. The fact that you can also fold it means you can put it in your bug out bag (though I have a feeling you’ll take it for a spin every once in a while).
Cutting your nails without tweezers is hard. They take little space, they’re dirt cheap and might be unavailable when the brown stuff hits the fan. You might want to consider putting them in a Ziploc bag to avoid water getting to it and getting it all rusty.
Condoms have many uses besides the obvious one: they allow you to carry water, they can be used as a flotation device or even as a lens to start a fire (by filling them with water).
#9. Swim goggles
I’m not trying to scare you by telling you you’re gonna end up in a river somewhere, fighting for your life but, if you do have to cross one, wouldn’t it be better if you were equipped?
Besides, you can use these goggles in other situations, such as when there’s tear gas or when you give your kid the important task of trying to spark a fire.
#10. An alarm clock
I know a bug-out bag is supposed to be as light as possible but some people think an alarm clock could be useful. This is NOT something I personally pack (or intend to) but maybe you want to…
#11. A Frisbee
Frisbees have more uses than just for playing. You can use them to sit on or to prepare food on them for example.
#12. Fly fishing lures
You’re gonna want to fish, at least that’s what most bug-out scenarios suggest…
#13. Pipe cutter
This could be really useful in urban scenarios where you’ll encounter a lot of pipes. Let’s not forget that PVC pipes have a lot of uses pre and post-disaster as long as you can cut them to the desired length.
#14. Paper clips
There are dozens of uses for paper clips, from lock picking to using them as a worm hook, zipper pulls or even to make a small chain. You may also want to keep them in your edc kit, your car’s BOB, your get home bag and so on.
#15. An extra pair of underwear
Needless to say, you may not have the luxury of having your wardrobe with your when it hits the fan. But an even bigger question is, what will you do if the only pair of underwear when bugging out is the one you’re already wearing?
Put an extra pair of underwear in your bug-out bag. In fact, make that two, and you can thank me after SHTF.
Ok, those were it. I realize I could have added a lot more of these unusual items but I tried to stick to the ones that you will actually need. Take this article with a grain of salt and, if you feel the need to add some of these items, how about you build a second BOB with non-essentials that you may or may not be able to take with you as you evacuate?
Original posting on http://www.myfamilysurvivalplan.com