SHTF Shopping At The Pet Store

shtfpet-store2

Backups to backups and redundancy planning go hand in hand with emergency preparedness right?  So, why shouldn’t you have backups to backups for your SHTF shopping location(s) if the primary is a no go?

After TSHTF, there could be various reasons why trying to get last minute supplies at a grocery/retail store could be very dangerous.  With that thought, today’s post is on SHTF shopping at the pet store.

The good things are that pet stores might not be on the top of people’s list for supplies when TSHTF.  If you really delve deep and scan all of the isles, you can actually find many potentially useful items for emergency preparedness.  With all of that said, let’s take a look at what I found in a local big name pet store.

Here is a list of pet store items I thought could be useful:

Activated carbon – This stuff was found in the aquarium section and could be used for making layered improvised water filters.

Fish antibiotic – (tetracycline hydrochloride 500 milligram powder capsules) – For keeping your fish healthy after the SHTF.

Hand sanitizer – For the obvious reason of sanitizing hands and as a fire-starting aid.

Pet food – For your dogs and cats after the SHTF.  Pet food could also be used as bait for game and fish.  I’ve heard that cat and dog food can be eaten by humans in the short term in an emergency situation.

Stainless steel pet food/water bowls – This would be on the top of my SHTF pet store shopping list if I had no other method of boiling water.

Leashes/straps/chains – Could be used to secure gear or for cordage/lashing.

Pet stroller – I didn’t know such things existed, but they do.   This could be used as an improvised SHTF hand cart for gear.

Hemostat – There could be a variety of potential uses for this in emergency preparedness.

Syringes – Like the hemostat, there could be a number of things this could be used for.

Droppers – After the SHTF, you might have to resort to using your stock of unscented bleach to treat water.  It would be nice to have a dropper to do that with.  Here is a post I did on different methods of treating water: Water: Options For Treating

Scissors – There could be multiple uses for scissors.

Self-stick wrap – If you’ve ever had blood drawn, you’ve probably had it wrapped with self-stick wrap afterwards.

Water proof food containers with a gamma style lid – This could be used as a dry box.

Hypoallergenic pet wipes – These are basically the pet version of baby wipes.

Dog beds – These could be used for insulation and warmth.

Linked from: http://allpreparedness.com/shtf-shopping-pet-store/

10 Tips for Preppers to Prepare for SHTF Situations

Being prepared really isn’t that complicated, it just takes a willingness to do something about your situation. If you haven’t started prepping, it’s time to start taking the decisive actions you need to take to keep yourself and your family safe.

Being prepared really isn’t that complicated, it just takes a willingness to do something about your situation. If you haven’t started prepping, it’s time to start taking the decisive actions you need to take to keep yourself and your family safe.

Here are 10 ideas that can help get you started:

1. Threat Assessment

Part of truly being prepared for anything, means knowing exactly what threats you’re going to face and then analyzing how those threats will affect you in the future. By performing a realistic threat assessment, you can get a better idea of what threats you’re facing, and learn how to prepare for those threats in the future.

2. Planning for the most likely SHTF Scenarios.

When you’re just getting started in the world of prepping, preparing for an EMP or an asteroid hitting the earth is probably not the best course of action. While both of those scenarios are scary, the probability of them happening is actually pretty low. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t prep for these things, I’m just suggesting that you prep for the most likely dangers first.

3. SWOT Analysis

Performing a SWOT Analysis is a great way to determine how prepared you really are. A SWOT Analysis is a simple, but useful method of pinpointing your Strengths and Weaknesses. Performing one will also help you identify Opportunities that you can exploit, and Threats that you might face in a SHTF situation.

4. Living Debt Free… Is it part of your survival plan?

It’s great to be prepared for an end of days scenario, but what happens when you’re faced with a foreclosure or the possibility of living on the streets? Is that not a survival situation?  To be truly prepared for the worst, we must also think of our financial security. That means paying off debt, living within your means, and starting an emergency fund.

5. Get in Shape NOW

No matter what survival situation you may ultimately find yourself in, there’s one thing that you’ll likely find; survival is going to be hell on your body. One of the best things you can do to ensure your survival, in just about any situation, is to make sure your body and your mind are trained and prepared to survive. That means motivating yourself to get off your butt and get in shape.

6. Train with Repetition

To really be able to rely on your knowledge when things go bad, you need to run through your survival techniques in a number of real-world scenarios and environments. The more you train in real world situations, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to perform these skills in a high stress survival situation.

7. Train Your Mind

Survival isn’t glamorous, and it’s nothing like what’s depicted on T.V. Survival shows. It is downright brutal, and will beat the hell out of you not only physically, but emotionally as well. Don’t overlook the importance of cultivating a mindset that will allow you to face life’s greatest challenges.

8. Survival Intelligence – Power of Information

In a survival situation, knowledge is going to be a critical factor in determining the outcome of your situation. The ability to be able to predict what will happen during an emergency is an important part of being prepared. Start gathering a list of trusted resources and information sources that can help you prepare for whatever the future has in store.

9. Be Prepared to Bug Out

Many preppers talk about the prospects of bugging out; but how many of them have the skills, or the strength to actually do it? It’s one thing to talk about bugging out; it’s another thing to carry your gear 10-15 miles a day in dangerous and unforgiving conditions.

10. Bugging out with Kids

During a SHTF situation, maintaining a sense of normalcy is going to be a very important concern when dealing with children. With children, comfort items can go a long way in helping them feel as safe and secure as possible. Don’t overlook how important it will become to give them a sense of comfort and control during a stressful SHTF situation.

 

Threat Assessment – What are the most likely threats that you will face?

Part of truly being prepared for anything, means knowing exactly what threats you’re facing, and then analyzing how those threats will affect you in the future. By performing a realistic threat assessment, you can get a better idea of what threats are out there, and then learn how to prepare for those threats in the future.

Performing a threat assessment will help you improve your ability to handle threats, manage threatening situations, and protect the people you love from harm.

There are three primary objectives when performing a threat assessment – Identify, Assess, and Manage.

IDENTIFY The Threats

The first step in analyzing your overall preparedness level is to identify the most likely threats that you will face.

What are the most likely threats that you will face? Who/What are the threats, and what are your vulnerabilities?

  • Natural disasters: What are the most likely disasters you will face based on your geographical location? (Hurricanes, Floods, Earthquakes, etc…)
  • SHTF scenarios: What do you believe are the greatest threats to you livelihood? (Economic collapse; political instability; chemical, biological, radio logical, and nuclear threats; riots; wars; etc…)
  • Personal Threats – Economic Problems, Job Loss, Home Invasions, Debt, etc..
  • Security: What are the largest security risks that you face in your area? (Gangs, Criminal Activity,issues effecting urban areas, etc…)
  • What are the immediate dangers in your location? Is there anything that stands out about your neighborhood? Are there obstacles or dangers that are specific to your geographical location that could leave you vulnerable? (terrorist threats, chemical and/or biological threats, threats to critical infrastructure, criminal activity, inadequate access to supply routes or escape routes during a disaster, etc…)

ASSESS The Threats

The next step is to assess how these dangers will affect you, and then figure out what needs to be protected?

  • How will each of the above listed threats affect you, your family, your property, and your survival plans?
  • How will each situation affect your overall preparedness efforts?
  • Are there any areas in your plans, security, or overall preparedness efforts that need to be addressed?
  • What steps do you need to take to protect yourself, your family and your property?

MANAGE The Threats

The final step is to take immediate protective actions that will help prevent, or minimize your exposure to these potential threats.

  • What can be done to minimize your risk?
  • Develop appropriate emergency response plans, and threat reduction strategies for each situation.
  • Are you prepared to Bug Out if the situation calls for that action?
  • Intelligence – Those that are truly prepared will seek information from multiple sources. Make sure you have a good way to gather information before and after a disaster hits. (BEFORE: Survival Websites, Books, Radio etc… AFTER: Personal Networks, Ham & Shortwave Radio, etc…)

 

What are the most likely threats that you should be prepared for?

Deciding what types of disasters to prepare for will mean something different to everyone. From you location, to your health and financial situation, there are a number of factors that can play into what you should focus on first. While we can’t tell you individually what to prepare for, there are a number of things that you might want to consider.

Preparing for a Job Loss

Remember prepping isn’t just about preparing for cataclysmic events; it’s about being prepared for whatever dangers or pitfalls are around the corner. While the loss of a job may not be as sensational as asteroids, EMP’s, or a zombie apocalypse, it is the one thing that almost everyone reading this will face at some point in their life.

Preparing yourself and your family to survive and thrive during a time of unemployment is something that everyone should be prepared for. Ask yourself the following questions….

  • If you lost your job today, how long could you go without a paycheck?
  • How much food do you have on hand, and how long will it last?
  • What steps do you need to take to ensure your families survival?

Preparing for Floods & Fires

When we start prepping, it’s easy to get caught up in a worst case scenario mentality. While preparing for the worst is a good thing, it can sometimes cause you to overlook the smaller disasters that can be equally as devastating.

One of the most common disasters that most Americans will face in their lifetime is the threat from Fires and Floods. Again, it might not be the most exciting topic in the world, but preparing yourself and your home for this danger is one of the first things you should learn how to do.

Preparing for Natural Disasters

Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and Tornadoes are all disasters that often strike without warning. But they are also easily predictable.

While you can never predict exactly when they’ll happen, you can find out if you live in an area that’s prone to one of these natural occurrences. Unfortunately, as we often see every hurricane season, most people fail to prepare for these types of events. If you live in an area that’s prone to natural disasters, you need to start prepping to survive those situations.

Preparing for an Economic Collapse

As far fetched as this may sound to some, it really shouldn’t be that shocking. All you have to do is look back at 2008 to see how close this country came to a complete financial meltdown. Although the idiots in the media claim the economy is recovering, just remember, they’re the same idiots that didn’t see 2008 coming.

If the economy crashed tomorrow what would you do? Are you ready for this type of scenario?

Preparing for The Dangers in your Neighborhood

It’s often the dangers in your own community that pose the biggest threat to your health and safety, are you prepared for them? Do you even know what they are?

  • Is there something in your community that could make your town a potential terrorist target?
  • Are there chemical or power plants in your area that could pose a danger if an accident happened?
  • Are there areas of your town that pose a danger because of crime, gangs, or other criminal activity? If a disaster hit, would these people pose a threat to your home?

Bad things can happen quickly and often without warning.  Knowing what types of events are most likely to occur in your community can help you plan for those disasters. If you start with the mindset of being prepared for these common problems, you will then have a good foundation to build upon that can help you survive pretty much any crisis, disaster or SHTF situation.

 

A SWOT Analysis is a simple, but useful method of really understanding your Strengths and Weaknesses. It will also help you identify Opportunities that you can exploit, and Threats that you might need to avoid during a survival situation.

Performing a SWOT Analysis on yourself and your capabilities is a great way to determine how prepared you really are.

SWOT: STRENGTHS

A good place to start is to take an inventory of what you currently have. This can be everything from stockpiles of food and ammo, to stockpiles of knowledge.

Analyzing your strengths will give you a good idea of what you’re capable of doing. It’s also a good way of discovering things that you may have never considered to be strengths, but could be extremely beneficial in a survival scenario.

  • What survival gear, equipment, and tools do you currently own?
  • What other items do you have in your home that might be useful during a crisis situation? (Blankets, food, tools, etc….)
  • What skills do you have that can be used in a survival situation?
  • What resources do you have in your area that can be used during a survival situation?
  • Make a list of what you feel are your general everyday strengths, and then determine if these strengths would be useful during a crisis or disaster.

SWOT: WEAKNESSES

This is where you really have to be honest with yourself; but it’s also where you’ll get the most benefit out of this exercise. By honestly detailing your weaknesses, you can then better prepare to survive a crisis situation. Once you know what your weaknesses are, you can tweak your training to deal with them.

  • What skills do you need to improve on?
  • Are there certain survival skills that you have never actually practiced?
  • Is there anything about your location that could be considered a weakness? (Lack of natural resources, hard to defend, etc…)
  • Do you have any medical problems or disabilities?
  • What other things do you lack that may become a problem during a Crisis Scenario?

SWOT: OPPORTUNITIES

When listing your opportunities, try to imagine what resources and opportunities are currently available to you, and what will be available when a disaster strikes. List the opportunities that you can take advantage of now, as well as those that will be important during a survival situation.

  • What resources and opportunities can you exploit in your area when things go bad?
  • Are there opportunities that you can take advantage of that will help strengthen some of your weaknesses? (Local classes, survival schools, library, websites or other learning resources)
  • Do you have a network of people who can help?

SWOT: THREATS

To truly be prepared, you need to have a realistic idea of what threats are out there and how likely it is that each threat could happen. By going through this exercise, you can better prepare yourself to face each one of these scenarios.  You will know exactly what skills you need to work on, what plans you need to put in place, and what equipment you will most likely need.

  • What are the most likely threats that you will face? (natural disasters, economic threats, SHTF scenarios)
  • What obstacles will you face?
  • What are the immediate dangers in your location?
  • Who is the biggest threat in your neighborhood? (gangs, criminals, etc…)
  • Take another look at your weaknesses? Can any of your weaknesses seriously threaten your survival?

THE NEXT STEP…

The most important part of performing a SWOT Analysis is what you do with your findings. There is no point in performing one, unless you plan on taking action. Now that you have a good idea of your overall level of preparedness, you need to act on your findings and create a strategic plan of action.

 

Did you know that the average American family has over $15,000 of credit card debt, and a staggering total debt of over $75,000.? And if that’s not scary enough, when you factor in the $130,000 that every American tax payer would have to shell out just to pay off the national debt, our situation starts to look pretty bleak.

So what does living debt free have to do with survival anyways?

Well in my opinion, living debt free is an extremely important part of your overall survival plan. Living debt free is about your long-term survival. It’s about thriving, living a comfortable existence, and having peace of mind while everyone else is living in chaos.

But what if the economy collapses?  How will living debt free help you survive?

As the country falls deeper into economic turmoil, living a debt free lifestyle can help shield you from some of the initial pain. As things start to get worse, creditors are going to step up their collection efforts and really start to come after debtors with a vengeance. The last thing you need prior to an economic collapse is a sheriff knocking at the door because you couldn’t pay your bills.

Remember, debtor prisons were once a real thing here in America and if things get bad enough they could make a comeback.

5 Ideas for Living Debt Free:

Establish a Budget

It’s really amazing how much money Americans waste. Establishing a written budget will help make sure that every dollar you make works for you and not against you. At the end of every month, you should have a written plan for every dollar that you will bring next month.

Establishing a budget can help you to realize how much money you spend on things that really aren’t necessities.

Use the Envelope Budgeting System:

If a written budget seems a little tough, you may want to consider the good old envelope system. Basically you put your monthly budget into various envelopes; food, gas, utilities, rent or mortgage, entertainment, preps, etc….

This can help you make sure you’re not spending more than you should be on a certain category (like entertainment).

The Debt Snowball:

Paying of debt can sometimes seem overwhelming which is why Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step #2, The Debt Snowball, is a great way to get started. For those of you who are not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he is basically one of the top debt free living advocates in the country. In his book, The Total Money Makeover, he outlines 7 baby steps to living a debt free life.

Baby step #2, the Debt Snowball, suggests that you list your debts from smallest to largest and then start with the small debts first. The rational is actually pretty simple; the motivation that you obtain from paying of these small easy debts will create a snowball effect that will help you stay motivated when the going gets tough.

As Ramsey points out in the book, Personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. When it comes down to it, we all know what we should be doing; most people choose not to do it.

Stop going in debt by maintaining a high credit score.

One of the biggest scams that the financial institutions have managed to pull on Americans is the myth that your credit score somehow equals your financial security. Nothing could be farther from the truth; in fact, keeping a high credit score only ensures one thing. It guarantees that you will constantly be in debt!

The only way to maintain that high credit score is to continually borrow money, pay that money off, and pretty much live in debt for the rest of your life. The only thing that having a high credit score means is that you are good at borrowing money, not good at making it!

Make More Money

This one is a no brainier; the only real way to combat the increasing cost of living is to start making more money.

In the long run, one of the best ways to increase your cash flow is to go into business for yourself. Whether you’re a mechanic, a car salesman, or even a factory worker you have talents that can be taken outside of the workplace. Figure out what your good at, and find a way to make money off of it.

Let’s take the mechanic example. Instead of making your boss rich, why not buy some old clunkers, fix them up, and then sell them?  Even if you do one every couple of months, imagine what you could do with that extra income.

 

No matter what survival situation you may ultimately find yourself in, there is one thing that you’ll likely find, it’s going to be hell on your body. From dealing with a lack of sleep and inadequate hydration, to coping with hunger pains and other stress-or, survival can take a huge toll on your body.

You must be prepared to face a number of physical and mental challenges.

One of the best things you can do to ensure your survival, in just about any situation, is to make sure your body and your mind are trained to survive. This means motivating yourself to get off your butt and get in shape.

Being in shape is going to be hugely important to your survival in any situation.

 

In the beginning, it really doesn’t matter what exercise program you choose, the main thing you need to do is pick something and stick to it. Consistency and follow through is really the most important thing when starting any fitness routine.

Now I know a number of so-called experts are probably screaming at the screen saying “What do you mean it doesn’t matter what program I choose?”  Well stick with me here.

If you’re a fitness guru and all you do is work out then this article isn’t meant for you. What I’m talking about here is those who know they’re out of shape, but have never really done much about it.

I have a few friends who work in the fitness industry. In fact, a few of them work at some very big name companies. When I talk to them about their customers, across the board a couple of things are always the same.

Inconstancy, laziness and a lack of motivation.

While these three things are horrible for your body, they’re actually great for most of these companies. In fact, many of them count on your lack of motivation to drive their profits.

They make their money off the people who sign up for a program, attend a couple of times, and then never show up again. Once the new year comes around the cycle starts all over. Most people sign up again, either hoping they’ll do better this time or because they feel a sense of shame for not sticking to the program.

Think about it, we all know we need to exercise and eat well, but how many people make it a habit to do so? Once you’re comfortable in your routine and have made a habit of working out you can then start to tweak your overall plan.

The biggest hurdle in the beginning is staying motivated. Studies show that if you can stick with something for at least 30 days it usually becomes a habit that will stay with you for life. So why not challenge yourself and commit to starting even a basic exercise plan?

For 30 days commit to a 30 minute time frame that is dedicated to getting in shape. Even if it’s just taking a 30 minute walk in the morning, schedule a time and stick to it. At the end of those 30 days I’ll bet you look forward to that time and it will likely become part of your daily schedule.

If you really want to challenge yourself after the 30 days or you need a little bit of structure, I suggest checking out the P90X: 90-Day Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program. Like I said before, the program you choose is not important, but I have personally gone through this system and have seen some amazing results in others. I have since taken some of the routines and have incorporated them into my normal workout schedule.

Good luck and let us know how it goes…. Remember your survival depends on it!

 

Want To Ensure Your Survival in Any Situation? Repetition is the Answer!

Having a basic understanding of survival and knowing the techniques is not enough. While knowledge is a key aspect of survival, repetition is the underlying piece of the puzzle that ultimately makes the difference between success and failure.

Last week we posted an article on studying the basics of survival. In that article, I mentioned how important training in those basic skills was to your survival. While knowing those basic skills is extremely important, I probably should have placed more of an emphasis on repetitive training in those skills.

If you’ve ever trained with the Marines, you’ve probably noticed how differently they train. In my opinion, there is one thing separates their training style from most other types of tactical/survival training, and that is repetition. They spend countless number of hours training on specific skills that others might only spend a couple of hours on. Through fatigue, injury, and pain they run through their techniques over and over until they can’t fail.

They are masters at what they learn, because they run through these skills again and again in a number of different scenarios and environments. They become masters because of repetition.

Want to ensure your survival?

To really be able to count on your knowledge when the SHTF, you need to run through your techniques in a number of scenarios and environments. Just like the Marines, you need to use repetition in your training until your skills become second nature.  The more you train in real world situations, the more likely you are to be able to perform these skills when it really matters.

Being able to start a fire in your back yard when it’s sunny, and you’re well feed is one thing. Being able to start a fire when it’s raining, cold, windy, and you’re about to fall over from a lack sleep is entirely different. The best thing you can do, is to use these skills as often as possible.

Oftentimes people come on here complaining that they just don’t have the time to train. But in reality, even the busiest people can still find a way to fit training into their routine, it just takes a little bit of imagination.

Take the fire starting example that I talked about above. Maybe you don’t have the time to go off into the wilderness; but if you barbecue on the weekends, why not use that as a time to hone up on your skills? Instead of using a lighter to start your grill, why not take a couple of minutes and start the fire with one of your fire making techniques?

If you want to be a master in the art of survival, training with repetition is essential to ensuring your survival.

Do you let what you can’t do dictate what you can do?

Doesn’t it seem like life is always ready to throw you a curve ball? Well, the key to life and survival is being able to tweak the bat at the last minute, and hit that ball out of the park. Unfortunately, far too many people let their hardships rule their life.

We all have challenges and weaknesses, but to survive everything that life can throw at you, you need to cultivate a mindset that doesn’t allow your weaknesses to dictate what you can or can’t do.

People who have overcome challenges, and kicked their lives into overdrive

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Deaf, but one of the greatest composers ever!

Ludwig Van Beethoven had horrible hearing throughout his life, and actually became completely deaf. Despite a handicap that would make most people give up, Beethoven continued to compose, conduct, and perform music and is known as one of the greatest composers of all time.

Bruce Lee: Broke His Back, Bad Eye Sight, and one leg that was Shorter than the other.

Bruce Lee overcame an amazing amount of odds; he had bad eyesight, one leg that was shorter than the other, and a severe back injury that doctors said would keep him from ever kicking again. The injury caused him pain throughout his life, but he never let the injury or his other limitations keep him from his dreams.

If you’ve seen his movies, you also know that he didn’t let it affect his martial arts. He became the world’s most famous martial artist, and his blazing fast speed is a testament to overcoming any handicap.

Michael Jordan: Told that he wasn’t good enough to play.

Michael Jordan was kicked off his high school basketball team, and told that he wasn’t good enough to play. At this point most people would have completely given up, but not Michael; he continued to work on his weaknesses until he became one of the best players off all time.

I shared these examples with you in hopes that one day when the going gets tough, you will remember to dig down deep, and give life a swift kick in the ass. Don’t ever let your weaknesses dictate what you can or can’t do.

Survival Intelligence – Gathering Intel During a Disaster

The ability to be able to predict what will happen in a survival situation is an important part of being prepared. While that may sound like some mystical mumbo jumbo, it’s really not as hokey as it might sound. This ability to predict what will happen is not some supernatural physic power, but instead lies in your ability to gather and interpret information.

In the military world it’s referred to as Intelligence and it has played a critical role in every major combat operation in America since before the Revolutionary War. Without this critical information our military would be operating blind, which would mean more lives, battles, and even wars lost.

While most people in America rely on the evening news as their main source of information, this strategy hardly prepares you to survive a disaster, let alone a SHTF situation. Intelligence is only good if you receive the information in a timely manner.  Often times what’s reported on the evening news is anything but real-time information. The longer it takes to receive your intelligence, the less likely it becomes that you’ll be able to use it to react to the given situation.

Preparedness Intel: Survival Information Resources

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Information: Having multiple sources of information is critical to your preparedness efforts.  Those that are truly prepared will seek information from multiple sources.

Social Networks – Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are excellent sources for gathering real-time information on just about any topic. When a major disaster, event, or SHTF situation occurs, these social networks can be a great way to secure localized real-time information on what’s really happening.

Social News Aggressors & Social Monitors. There are a number of really good social monitoring tools out there that can greatly increase the effectiveness of how these social networks work. One free tool that you might want to check out is called TweetDeck. This program allows you to customize what you’re monitoring, and even allows you to break it down by keyword based on the event.

RSS Readers – RSS readers like FeedDemon allow you to subscribe to different websites, blogs and news websites. You can then gather that information in one easy to use interface.

Survival Websites – Don’t forget to check out our big list of survival websites. These sites can all be a great resource for learning how to survive in a variety of situations.

Survival Books – If the SHTF and the grid goes down, you want to have a basic library of survival information at your disposal. I strongly suggest investing in a couple of Good Survival Books that fit your specific situation.

An even better idea would be to invest in a E-Reader or Tablet like the Kindle Fire, which can hold a complete library of over 6,000 survival books and manuals. And to make sure you can still access your information when the SHTF, I suggest looking at a compact solar charger like the Solio Bolt Solar Charger. This will allow you to charge your small electronic devices even if the grid goes down. Once you have one of these devices, check out our list of Survival ebooks and PDF downloads.

Ham Radio – When the power lines go down, radio stations stop transmitting, and the internet stops working there is one line of communication that will still be alive and well: Ham Radio!  Having a good Multiband Ham Radio will allow you to send and receive critical emergency information during a disaster. It’s also a great way to find alternative news sources from around the world — the kind of news that isn’t filtered.

In a survival situation, knowledge is going to be a critical factor in determining the outcome of your situation. Don’t underestimate the power of staying informed.

 

Are you actually prepared to Bug Out?

A great way to prepare for this situation is to start backpacking.

While you can never simulate an actual bug out situation, backpacking helps you prepare in a number of different ways.

  • It prepares your body for the rigorous conditions that you are bound to face.
  • Backpacking can help you figure out exactly how your body will respond to carrying gear across different terrains.
  • It helps you get a good idea of how much ground you can realistically cover during a Bug Out Scenario.

Having an evacuation plan is great… But have you ever actually used it?

By backpacking the routes that you plan to take in a Bug Out situation, you greatly increase your chances of surviving a real life disaster.

Hit the trails, study the surroundings, and take plenty of notes.

  • Figure out how far you can comfortably hike every day.
  • Take note of what natural resources lie along your route.
  • Be on the lookout for any possible dangers, and figure out how you can avoid them.
  • Take your maps and mark the location of every watering hole or possible emergency shelters that are near your route.

Test your gear now when your life’s not on the line.

The last thing you need in your bug out bag is a bunch of crappy gear that doesn’t hold up out the trail. Now is the time to start testing that gear.

When you’re out on the trail ask yourself these important gear questions:

  • How easy is it to use?
  • How many times did you actually use that piece of gear and was it really a necessity?
  • Was there a piece of gear that you wish you would’ve had?

 

Do you have a Separate Bug Out Bag for your kids?

During a crisis or disaster situation, one of your most important jobs will be to help your child feel as safe and secure as possible. Something that I’m a big proponent of, and something that I think helps give children a sense of security, is involving them in your preparedness planning as much as possible. One great way to make them feel like they have a voice, and a sense of power, is to give them their own dedicated bug out bag.

Having their own child-sized Bug Out Bag, filled with familiar items and comfort foods, can be a real life saver during an emergency. With children, comfort items often become a top priority; having a bag filled with comforting and familiar items can help ensure their overall mental health during a crisis or disaster.

What Items should go into a kids bug out bag:

What goes into the bag really depends on your child’s age, and their maturity. While the needs of each child are going to be different, there are some things you should consider when building an emergency bag for your child.

Basic Survival Items: These should be lightweight, age-appropriate items. Heavier items and gear should always be in the adult’s bags.

  • Flashlight
  • Emergency whistle (clipped to the outside of pack so they can easily find  it if they become separated from you)
  • Laminated emergency contact list with name, home address, and telephone numbers.
  • Pre-paid cell phone
  • Poncho
  • Extra socks, pair of gloves and knit hat or bandanna (depending on your climate)
  • Dust mask
  • Goggles
  • Small pocket knife for the older kids
  • Band aids & wipes
  • Small bottle of hand sanitizer

Comfort Items: When building a bag for a kid, comfort and mental stability is really the main purpose of the bag. Don’t overlook the importance of entertainment and comfort; during a disaster, the last thing you need is a kid who is overly stressed out and anxious.

  • Stuffed animals
  • A couple small light-weight toys
  • Pack of playing cards, or travel size games
  • Baseball or small Nerf football
  • Harmonica
  • An IPad, tablet, or small device to play games on
  • Hard candy
  • Bubble gum
  • Sugar packets
  • Trail mix
  • Drink mix packets

Remember, a kid’s bug out bag is not meant to be an adult BOB. Its main purpose is to provide comfort during a stressful situation, and give your child a sense of control. With younger children, comfort items are a top priority, and will help ensure their overall mental health.

Make sure you customize the bag for your child’s age, personality, and overall fitness level.

How to Make Your Own Alcohol for Post-SHTF

Alcohol has been made, used, and consumed by people for thousands of years. For examples, cereal grains were used to make beer in Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Later on, the Greeks and the Romans began producing wine and used it as a part of their social and religious lives.

How to Make Your Own Alcohol for Post-SHTF

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Alcohol has been made, used, and consumed by people for thousands of years. For examples, cereal grains were used to make beer in Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Later on, the Greeks and the Romans began producing wine and used it as a part of their social and religious lives.

Today, the use of alcohol has largely been reduced to quenching thirst or to be used in religious practices for some people, but it can also be used as an anti-septic, to sterilize equipment, as a morale booster, to make weapons, and most importantly, as a bartering item when it comes to SHTF. These are just a handful of reasons for why alcohol will be in exceptionally high demand during and in the aftermath of a great disaster.

For this reason, brewing your own alcohol at home would be a wise skill to add to your existing list of survival assets. Just like any other skill, home brewing requires you to practice extensively until you get it right, but as the old adage goes, practice makes perfect.

As long as you have the necessary resources and the knowledge, you will be able to make your own alcoholic beverages in a post-SHTF world, but also keep in mind you have to stockpile the tools and the equipment to make them as they might be hard to get post collapse.

Beer

To make beer, you’ll need hops, specialty grains, yeast, and malt extract. But the first thing you need to is to make sure that your work area and all of your materials are clean. Any successful brewer will be sure to inform you that one of the secrets to a successful brewing is that everything used is fully cleaned and sanitized.

Next, steep the grains by placing them into a grain or mesh bag, and then steeping it in a large, roughly three gallon pot of hot water for about thirty minutes. After that, you can then remove it and allow the water to drip from the bag and into the pot.

At this point, you can then add the malt before bringing it all to a boil. After the mixture has boiled for a few minutes, feel free to add in the hops in intervals. The reason we recommend that you add in the hops later in the boil is because adding it too soon can cause the beer to taste bitterer.

Once the liquid mixture has been boiled, you’ll need to allow it to cool very quickly. Rather than just setting the pot out on the counter to cool, we suggest that you place the entire pot with the lid in a sink filled with cold or ice water.

Once the mixture has been reduced to around eighty degrees Fahrenheit, it is ready to be transferred over to a fermenter. When the fermentation process has begun, you will want to keep its exposure to the air to a bare minimum. This is done to preventing any unpleasant flavors or smells developing from out of the mixture.

Use a strainer to scoop out the hops, since all of the good stuff has already been used out of them. Next, add water before then adding in the yeast. Sometimes, the yeast will need to be first stirred with warm water before being added to the mixture, but this is not always necessary.

Proceed to place a lid over the fermenter, and then place the fermenter itself in a darker location where it will be at a constant room temperature. Within a period of twenty four hours, you should notice that the air lock is bubbling.

Within the next week, this bubbling activity will slow down considerably. Within two weeks, it should stop considerably. It is now ready to be bottled.

You can start the bottling process by transferring the beer, using a sanitized siphon, from the fomenter to your clean bottling bucket. Open up the spigot and then place the bottle filler into a bottle. By pressing the filler to the bottom of the bucket, the beer will soon flow.

As long as you have the right resources like we have explored and get enough practice in, you can easily become a decent beer brewer in your own right.

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Wine

A prepper who is learning to brew should learn how to make beer first, but wine should be second. In addition to the actual wine ingredients that you’ll need, you will also have to acquire a glass jar with a volume of at least two gallons, another glass container that’s have the size of your first, a thin plastic siphon, sanitized water bottles, and an airlock.

An advantage to making wine is that it can be made with nearly any kind of fruit, with the two most common choices being berries and grapes. Just be sure to pick the ones that are in their prime and at their best flavor, and if possible, pick fruits that have not been touched by chemicals.

Rinse any fruit you collect very thoroughly. Many novice wine makers make the mistake of peeling it while in the rinsing stage, but this only removes much of the flavor from the eventual wine and is therefore not recommended if a stronger wine is what you desire.

You can use your hands to crush the fruit, but if you have something like a potato masher on hand that would work even better. The juices will be released as you squeeze them. Continue adding juices until it is within two inches of the crock’s top. If you don’t have enough juice to accomplish this, you can always use clean water to accomplish this tax.

Next, add some honey. Honey is critical in making wine as it is what gives it its sweetened flavor. The more honey you add, the sweeter your wine will taste. But even if you don’t prefer a sweeter wine, you should still add two cups at the minimum.

Now, you can add the yeast. Simply pour it into the mix and then stir it using a spoon. Like the honey, adding yeast to your wine is a must.

Next, place a lid or a cover over the crock and then store it for the night. This covering should keep any bugs or pests out, but also need to allow some air to flow in and out. There are crock lids that are designed specifically for this purpose, you can take a t-shirt and secure it over the opening with a rubber band. The crock will need to be stored at room temperature.

Dedicate a few minutes of your time over the next four days to stirring the mixture thoroughly. Most wine makers recommend that you stir the mixture at least once every four to five hours during the day. As the yeast begins to take action, the mixture will bubble, signaling that the fermentation process has begun.

The bubbling will slow down roughly three days after it started. At this point, you’ll need to siphon out the liquid to a carboy so it can be stored for the long term. Once all of the mixture has been siphoned, attach the airlock to the opening of the carboy so that gas can be released while stopping any oxygen from entering and ruining the wine.

From this point, you can sit back for at least a month and allow your wine to age. The more months you leave the wine alone, the better taste it will have. But considering that you’re making wine during or immediately after a long term SHTF situation, one month will suffice.

Once you’re satisfied with the wine’s taste, you can then proceed to bottle it. Make sure that your siphon tube has been sanitized before bottling the wine in order to prevent any bacteria from getting into it. After filling up the bottles, cork them immediately. You can then either allow them to sit and age further, or you can enjoy them immediately.

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Whiskey

Whiskey is produced from fermented grain mash. There are many different combinations of grains, which explain why there are many different kinds of whiskey. Most of the time, the grain mash will be made out of wheat, rye, barley, and corn (as with Bourbon whiskey).

Making your own whiskey will consist of five basic steps. The first step is to make the whiskey mash. Mashing is simply using the steeping process from hot water to activate enzymes, which essentially converts the starches from the grains into the fermented sugars. The resulting solution will be very rich in sugars and is referred to as wort. Later on, the yeast will be what converts that wort into alcohol.

At this point, you will have to decide what kind of whiskey you want to make. You can choose any whiskey recipe that you know of, but for this article, we’ll assume that you’ll go with the Bourbon recipe that we told you of above.

The next step is the fermentation process. This is the process where the sugars are converted into Co2 and ethanol. Once you have selected your recipe, made the wort, and then added the yeast to the wort, it will begin to ferment. The fermentation process takes anywhere from a couple of days to over a week. The temperature and the nutrients in the yeast are the two biggest factors in determining how long it will take. You will know that the fermentation process is complete when there are no longer any bubbles forming.

The next step is the distillation process. The primary goal of the distillation process is to separate the wort and the ethanol. Granted, it’s going to be impossible to separate them exactly. But you should still be able to get a solution that is four fifths ethanol and one fifth water and mash flavors.

The whiskey will be distilled in a pot still. To distill, transfer the wort to a still using a sanitary siphon. Heat the mixture very slowly, but without burning it. You should grant yourself at least forty five minutes before the wash will come to a boil.

Next, start the condenser until it reaches a temperature of one hundred and thirty degrees Fahrenheit. A consistent drip should then begin to form at the condenser’s end. Collect this mixture, which the temperature reading around one hundred and eighty degrees on the thermometer. Allow the temperature to climb forward to two hundred degrees, distilling out the fusel oil and adding flavors to the final product, before turning it off and removing the mixture from the source of heat.

Allow everything to cool before continuing on with the next step of maturation. Whiskey will always taste best after it has aged, and it always ages the best either when placed in oak barrels or when having oak chips added to the mixture. Once you have bottled your whiskey, it will no longer mature.

The fifth and final step is to dilute and bottle the whiskey, again by using a sanitized siphon. To truly enjoy whiskey, you’ll want to cut the mixture with water.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that while brewing your own alcohol at home is an important skill, it is also something that can be fun and should therefore not be dreaded; despite how complicated of a process it may sound. You may make a few mistakes on your first few tries, but that is to be expected and you’ll learn more with each new brewing.

Many people use alcohol brewing as a chance to bring family and friends together, where you can demonstrate to them how to make homemade beer and wine, and pass on their skills.

10 Survival Uses for Alcohol

First a little background, a chemistry lesson if you will, before we get started. Ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol is also known as ethanol or even better known as “drinking alcohol”. Its chemical compound is C2H5OH, and it is produced by fermentation.

First a little background, a chemistry lesson if you will, before we get started. Ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol is also known as ethanol or even better known as “drinking alcohol”. Its chemical compound is C2H5OH, and it is produced by fermentation.

Ethanol is, different from Isopropyl alcohol (C3H80), which is more commonly known as rubbing alcohol. Do not confuse the two. Both are produced by the fermentation process however, the fermenting agent for isopropyl is a bacterium while, ethyl uses a yeast.

Caution: Isopropyl alcohol is converted in the liver into acetone making it toxic, in other words, it will kill you if consumed.

Ethanol is not converted into a toxin in the liver and so can be consumed.

Okay So What Are the Uses for Ethanol during a Crisis: The Alcohol You Can Also Consume?

1.) Grain Alcohol as a Disinfectant for Wounds

Ethanol can be used for wound irrigation and as a topical disinfectant in an emergency. It works to kill bacteria by denaturing proteins and by dissolving lipids. However, even though it will destroy certain bacteria in and around wounds, it also destroys cell tissue, because of how it reacts to proteins, in other words it is caustic, and can cause tissue damage in some cases.

In an emergency killing deadly bacterium in cuts and wounds is the priority. Just remember you can damage the tissue in and around the area with prolonged use.

How Do You Know How Much Alcohol Is In A Bottle of Vodka for Example

In the United States the actual grain alcohol content is defined as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. In other words 100-proof equals 50 percent alcohol by volume while, 86-proof equals 43 percent alcohol by volume for example.

When purchasing alcohol for future use as a disinfectant once the SHTF purchase the highest proof available for greater alcohol content by volume.

2.) Disinfectant for Instruments/Surfaces

Ethanol evaporates quickly so in some cases, contact with surfaces may not be long enough to kill the bacteria. Therefore, when disinfecting knife blades, thermometers, scalpels and so on, submerged the surfaces in the solution if possible, versus just wiping or spraying them down with the solution. Pour enough solution in a glass or basin so the entire surface to be disinfected can be submerged. Wipe down eating/food preparation surfaces and leave wet, and then reapply for best results as it dries.

3.) Mouth Wash

Simply swish around for at least one minute and spit out, to help destroy bacteria in the mouth particularly at the gum line and in between teeth. Force the solution between the teeth to remove food particles and to reach crevices where bacteria are harbored.

4.) Destroy Mold Spores

Moisture is what mold spores thrive on, so depriving them of their life blood if you will, can help control its growth and eventually destroy the mold. Alcohol displaces water, and as the alcohol evaporates it creates a gas that floats from the surface with the water molecules clinging to it.

By the way the vapor is what is flammable so stayed tuned for more on this later in the article.

5.) Help remove Water from Pet and Human Ears

Dogs in particular can have problems with their ears because of water collecting in them. A few drops of alcohol can help displace the water in your pet’s ear, as well as, your own ears to help keep bacteria at bay. Some people state that equal parts of white vinegar and alcohol works better than just using alcohol by itself for removing water from the ear canals.

6.) Kill Odor in Clothing and Confined Areas

Vodka is the preferred room deodorizer for some people because it is clear with no apparent odor. It is sprayed in the air to kill odor causing bacteria. Keep in mind grain alcohol is not effective against spores, so it will do little to reduce certain allergens and bacteria in the spores floating in the air. Spray the solution in shoes, on bedding and clothes and then let air dry in the sunlight if possible to destroy odors.

7.) Fire Starter

Bartenders and those that like to experiment will do what is called “float” alcohol on other alcohol to create a floating flame. Bacardi 151 for example, will float on top of a drink with lower alcohol content, and thus can be ignited without igniting the product. The same applies to cooking certain foods. You have probably seen chefs splash a little alcohol in a fry pan and then tilt it so the vapor makes contact with the gas cooking flame.

It is all about the vapor and to use alcohol to start a fire you have to move quickly. Soak a piece of cloth, and then put your dry tinder on top, so the vapor flows up through the tinder. In most cases the cloth itself will not ignite before the alcohol has burned off, so it is important you have dry tinder on top. Otherwise you will simply burn off the alcohol from the cloth without actually igniting the cloth. The flame is nearly invisible in daylight. Typically alcohol at 80-proof or more can be ignited rather easily.

8.) Barter Item

It was debated as to whether or not to mention alcohol and bartering, because some find it so obvious of a choice for a bartering item that it goes without saying. For those that have been prepping for years however, you have to keep in mind some are just getting started and so what may seem obvious to you will not be so obvious to others.

Even if you do not drink alcohol others do. In fact alcohol consumption is at record levels, so someone is drinking it, and just because the SHTF does not mean people will stop drinking it if it is available. Make sure it is available, because it can be traded for other items you may desperately need.

Stockpile a variety and remember you do get what you pay for, so spend a little extra because quality will pay off.

9.) Used As a Deodorant for Body and Feet

Bacteria need moisture to grow and growing bacteria cause odors. We already know that alcohol displaces moisture, which will in turn kill off bacteria. Use it on the body to help with body odor, particularly odor problems with your feet. Some people even soak their feet in vodka, for example, to help control foot odor when you cannot wash your feet regularly.

10.) Bug Repellent

Alcohol blended with certain other compounds, olive oil, for example, can be used as a bug repellent that can be rubbed on the skin. Again, the go to choice for many is vodka. Mix equal parts together and rub on exposed skin.

How it works to repel or kill certain insects is not entirely clear, but studies have shown it does work to some extent. Possibly the displacement of moisture creates certain results or the ingredients in the alcohol are toxic to some insects. There are plenty of myths and rumors surrounding many so-called home remedies, so experiment safely to find out what works best for you.

Obviously, the above listed uses for grain alcohol are not the only uses during a crisis. Do some research and if you experiment do so safely and come up with some more uses for “drinking alcohol” once the SHTF.

When Shit Hits the Fan literally, Will you be prepared and ready to Go?

What to do to plan, prepare, and protect during an Extreme and Mild Survival Scenario!

When you’re hiking while on a camping trip and happen to get turned around in the woods or waking up to the aftermath of a terrible storm that hit, you’ll be dealing with the lack of resources in those specific scenarios. As a result, you will need to remain calm and be smart about what your surroundings are and think what could be of use to you? In order to have these survival smarts, you need to take sometime to plan, prepare, and then protect if needed.

The first step is going to be the planning part and learning what you need to have in order for this step to work. Next, you will need to prepare for it if something disastrous such as a terrible outbreak which causes humans to turn to zombies or something as simple as a tornado stripping your town to nothing. The last step is having the equipment to protect yourself, which can be something as simple as a kitchen knife or you could have the mother load of weaponry that’s secretly kept in your basement that even your best friends don’t know about.

The gear, supplies, tools, weapons, food, water, and even the physical energy should be conserved.

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Let’s take this to the top of  the scale of survival situations, of 1 being mild and 10 being extreme. As they always say go big or go home, we are going to go big! So, with 10 being the highest on the scale we are going to say that a Zombie Apocalypse just broke out and your neighbors are turning as we speak. You still have time to react but not much because they are starting to break the glass of your windows to your house. You and your family immediately run down to your basement where you can regroup and make a plan. You then grab everything you can think of that’s in your SHTFandGo pack! Your dad yells at your brother to go grab the sleeping bags upstairs which are in the front closet but you stop him and say “Here, take this.” Your brother looks down and sees the Zombie Apocalypse Machete 101. Now while he does that, you’re running around with your mom and sister shoving bags full of supplies, tools, weapons, and anything that can fit. You don’t need to make too much food in the rucksacks, as they are already prepared in the Food Storage containers containing black beans, rice, noodles, and all other vacuum sealed food items. As for the water you just need to remember to grab the H2O 2.0 or H2O 3.0, depending on how much water you want to have on hand. We also stocked up on the H2O 1.0 just in case we get separated from one another at times we have a way to consume water. Your brother gets back and has the sleeping bags and rest of the gear your dad asked him to get and seems to have survived the neighbors! Our family also stocked up on some gasoline for the vehicles and we separate into vehicles and head out of town to someplace south. Just remember to not get bit!

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I know that was a very extreme scenario but you never know when Shit will hit the Fan!

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A little less milder one would be if a disastrous storm such as a tornado or hurricane wiped out your town. Here you would do the same, plan how you are going to prepare for a disastrous storm, prepare for it, and if you need to protect yourself for whatever reason you will be able to do so. First you’re going to have a plan once you hear the sirens going off, which means to head down to your basement with your family. There you can discuss what will happen if there is damage beyond repair. Then you will gather the things you need to prepare yourself, for instance you will get your rucksacks and fill them with anything and everything such as supplies, tools, weapons (if you feel like you need them), and whatever you think you will need. The food storage should already be prepared as you would have  Food Storage buckets full of black beans, rice, and noodles which are already vacuum sealed and ready to go. Of course you can have any other food stored in those buckets as well. You then will grab the H2O 2.0 or H2O 3.0 water storage depending on how much water you will want once you find a source of water. You will also have each rucksack packed with a couple H2O 1.0 just in case you and your family some how get separated during the chaos. If for whatever reason you need to have weapons on you during this kind of disaster just be careful.

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Just remember to always plan, prepare, and protect.

 

Homeless Tent Cities In The Suburbs Of The Nations Capitol

This is a mini documentary of what real life SHTF looks like.  Many people have different scenarios in their mind about what may happen during an apocalyptic event.  But the reality is that SHTF scenarios happen to good folks every day.  This short video takes a brief look at what it is like to live homeless in a tent.  It also explores that fact that about 30% of people who are in homeless situations like these two guys would work for a living if given an opportunity.  Of course that means that there is also about 70% of folks that just want to stay in the situation that they are currently in.

I would like to do a full length documentary on this subject and identify several people who do actually want to work for a living and find a way to help them transition back into normal civilian life.  The film that I would make is going to reflect the reality on the ground just like this short video does as well.  You will notice that one guy in this video is drinking and smoking.  The other is also an alcoholic, although he wasn’t drinking the day we filmed.  This is real, it is how they live and show that is how I will show it.  I don’t judge these people for their choices and I respect their willingness to get on film and take ownership in their situation.  Which both of these men did.  I only had seven mins of footage that I could include in this film but I have at least an hour more footage where they both go into detail on their situation, how they got there and what kinds of things would help them to get out of the situation. It is all very interesting and ultimately if I am able to make the longer full length film, I am hoping that it will help to make a change in the way county governments go about distributing assistance to folks who are homeless. My guiding principle is that old saying “If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, he can eat for a lifetime”.  I believe our benefits system in the USA should follow this motto.