As you do what you can to prepare your family to survive a catastrophe, you may focus your energy on food and water. While these are clearly some very important components of survival, you may also want to expand your prepping to other areas that can make survival a little easier. When it comes to planning to survive an extreme situation, there is something called the Law of 3’s that all survivalists live by. As a person preparing to survive a drastic situation, you too need to be aware of this rule so you can prepare a little better.
Keep your family protected and safe.
Law of 3s
3 Hours to Find Shelter
3 Days to Find Water
3 Weeks to Find Food
You have taken care of the food and water and you are probably planning on bugging in or holing up in your home, which will take care of your shelter needs. However, your home isn’t going to be quite as comforting as it once was. You won’t have power and without power you won’t have lights, warm water or even a way to cook or recharge any of your electronic devices.
You can give yourself the joy and luxury of electricity by planning ahead. Many people will invest in portable generators, which are great, but they require some kind of fuel to run. Fuel will be in short supply after a major event and depending on what kind of situation you are dealing with, it could take months or years before fuel is returned to store shelves and gas stations.
Alternative energy is the answer. Solar power is growing in popularity and becoming very mainstream. That means; it is becoming much more affordable as well. As demand continues to increase, the technology continues to improve. Think back to the first computers. Remember how big and bulky they were? Well, solar panels are following the same path as computers. They are no longer these giant, fragile panels. The solar cells are small and mounted directly to a home’s roof or you can create small panels that produce enough electricity to give you a sense of normalcy.
You don’t have to go all out and switch your home to solar energy. You can buy a few panels to use if there is a major failure of the power grid. Get familiar with solar energy and how you can use it to keep your home up and running when the rest of the country is in the dark. Check out the options available to you that are perfect for survival situations.
With summer coming to an end and a forecast for a brutal winter ahead of us, it is a wise decision to prepare an emergency kit for the car. You never know when you are going to be left sitting in traffic due to an accident or possibly being in an accident yourself on some deserted road. There have been too many stories of people getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Some of these people have attempted to walk for help and unfortunately, there are plenty who didn’t make it. A winter storm can take you by surprise. This is why you always need to be prepared. You need to be prepared to survive for several hours or possibly days with what is in your car.
These are some items you will want to include in your emergency car kit.
• First Aid Kit
• Power Bar or some kind of energy bar
• Trail Mix
• Bottled water
• Cell phone charger
• Emergency blanket
• Flashlight and extra batteries (LEDs are best)
• Book or magazines to keep you entertained
• Wool socks
• Wool blanket
• Rain gear
• Hat and gloves
• Camp shovel
Those are the items necessary to keep you alive while you wait for help to arrive or for the road to clear enough that you can safely continue on your journey. You should also keep a small car kit on hand just in case of a breakdown. If you can fix your car so you don’t have to sit on the side of the road that is always the best option. Take the time to learn some basic car repair skills. Keep these items in the trunk of your car, just in case.
• Jumper cables
• Fluids: oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, washer fluid
• Duct tape
• Road flares/reflective signs
• Bright cloth or sign to alert other drivers to your position
You can find road kits that include everything you need in a single case for easy storage. Now is the time to prepare for winter driving. Adding these things to the trunk of your car can mean the difference between life and death.
You are investing a lot of time and money into building up an adequate supply of food that will feed your family after disaster strikes. The money you spend on buying food, water and other emergency supplies is taken from your family budget, but you do it knowing that you are making the best decision for your family’s long term needs. You can’t afford for the food you have been setting aside to be eaten and destroyed by pests. Pests like mice and ants are everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you live in a shack or a million dollar residence. Mice are not concerned by your zip code. They go where the food is and you are putting a lot of food in your house.
What can you do to keep them out of your food?
Your best bet is to keep your foods in 5-gallon foodsafe buckets with sealable lids. Mice and ants cannot get to the food when it is in the heavy plastic buckets. You can add an extra layer of protection and lengthen the shelf life of your food by placing it inside a Mylar bag and sealing it before placing it in the bucket.
Another trick is to add bay leaves to containers of food. Put a few at the bottom and a few more in between the layers. Apparently, the strong herb smell is off-putting to various pests and they will keep out. Why not put bay leaves inside your Mylar bag that goes inside your bucket? It won’t hurt anything, it is extremely inexpensive and it gives you a freshness guarantee.
Setting out mousetraps and bait for ants or cockroaches is another option. This can take care of the pests that are sniffing around your food storage. Although some people are okay picking out evidence of a mouse invasion and others are okay eating food a mouse has crawled on or nibbled on, it really isn’t sanitary. If you don’t have to share your food with critters, don’t!
Essential oils like peppermint and orange oil dabbed on a cloth and hung from the shelves is another natural deterrent. You can also add about 10 drops of either oil to a water bottle and spray the perimeter of your food storage. The smells are too strong for the pests and they will stay away.
Water is likely going to be your biggest challenge when it comes to creating a healthy emergency survival supply kit. Water is big and bulky and is just kind of obnoxious to store. But, it is absolutely crucial to your survival. You need to store at least 1 gallon of water for each member of the family per day. If you are building up a 30-day supply, things can get out of hand pretty quick. There are a few options that we will discuss here.
These are huge space savers! You can store a little or a lot with these individual containers that are constructed to stack together neatly. Each container holds just over 3 gallons of water. There are several different options to use when it comes to building up your supply. Start out with a few containers and buy a few each month to create a wall of water or spring for the large waterbrick container kit that holds 112 gallons of water. The best part about these containers is they have handles. Once a container is empty, you can carry it to a lake, river, stream or wherever to fill it up again. Carrying 3 gallons of water is manageable so you won’t have any trouble getting the water back to your retreat.
These look a lot like gas cans, but they are foodsafe, meaning you can carry water in them. Sometimes it simply isn’t feasible for you to store a month’s worth of water in your home. If you live near water, you can use it to supply your family with their necessary water. However, carrying it home can be a huge problem. Using pots or empty water bottles is inefficient. The jerry cans are perfect and since they have lids, you won’t have to worry about the water splashing out.
All water you collect or manage to draw from your tap after a disaster of any kind is considered dangerous. ALL water. You must filter and/or purify it before drinking. Deadly bacteria and viruses are hiding in most water sources. If you have collected water, you need to purify it by boiling it or using a chemical treatment (water purification tablets) or run it through a filter. Don’t risk your life by drinking tainted water.
Water is tough to store in the house, but using the proper containers can make it easy and keep you from having to walk miles to the nearest water source on a regular basis. Investing in water containers is one you won’t regret.
If you are preparing for some disaster that will leave you forced to rely on yourself and what you have stored away, you are ahead of the game. Storing food and water is important for survival, but there are other things people tend to overlook when building up an emergency supply of food and water. It isn’t all about the food! There are some other items that are going to fly off store shelves within hours and days of a major disaster. You are probably going to be surprised to see the top 10 things that are going to be in high demand.
Check out this list and consider adding these items to your emergency preps.
• Generators. We love our electricity! Electricity is one of the things that makes us feel normal and somewhat safe and secure.
• Water purifying methods are going to go next. Water is crucial to survival and people will be scrambling to get their hands on tablets, filters and purifiers.
• Toilets—those little portable toilets available in the camp section of stores will be in high demand. People have to use the bathroom and when the sewer system is out, they have to go somewhere.
• Dry wood for burning is going to be at a premium. You can’t just run out and chop down a tree and expect it to burn. Wood needs to be dried for at least 6 months or up to a year to make it suitable for wood heat.
• Oil for lanterns and lamps goes next. People need light and when the generators are gone, it is going to be all about lanterns. Stock up on oil for your lights.
• Fuel for your campstove is fairly inexpensive today. Those little propane tanks will be invaluable when there is no electricity. Buy them now before they are gone.
• Guns and ammunition are the seventh item to disappear. People are not immediately going to start raiding the stores for guns, but they will eventually. If you need a gun, it is something you will want to purchase before a disaster.
• Little kitchen tools like manual can-openers and manual beaters are going to be pretty important. Canned food will be in great supply, but if people can’t open it, it doesn’t do any good.
• Sugar! Anything sweet will soon be gone. We all have a sweet tooth and when things are rough, cravings for sugar will be in full swing. Sweets give us comfort and when things are haywire, that is going to be important.
• Dried foods finally make an appearance. Wheat, rice and beans are all going to become very valuable.
Now that you know the top 10 things that are going to disappear first, it is time to take a look at your food storage and adjust accordingly.
In the survival world, you will hear a lot about people storing seeds in their long term emergency storage. It isn’t just seeds they are storing. No, people are storing what are known as heirloom seeds. If you have ever gone to the store to buy these seeds because it seems like the thing to do, you have probably noticed they cost twice to three times as much as the cheap seed packets that are sold for about a dollar. You may think it seems silly to spend that much money on seeds when they basically all produce the same veggies. They don’t!
Heirloom seeds are more expensive because you will have a steady, renewable food source with those particular seeds. Unlike the more common and less expensive seeds on the market, heirlooms seeds produce vegetables with seeds that can be replanted. You may not have realized this, but the common seeds produce veggies with seeds that are not suitable for replanting. The seeds will either not sprout or will produce plants that don’t produce actual vegetables.
Heirloom seeds are typically defined as those that were used before World War II or basically, before scientists got their hands on the seeds and created various hybrids that were easier to grow by the average gardener and produced a lot more. While this is a win-win for most, the hybrids may be plentiful, but they are not quite as delicious as their heirloom counterparts. Taste was not a big factor when those hybrid seeds were being created. Sure, a homegrown tomato from a typical seed is probably still better tasting than one you would find in the grocery store, but a homegrown tomato from an heirloom seed is absolutely fantastic.
The bottom line is this—in order to grow a garden that will produce year after year, you need heirloom seeds. After things have gone sideways, you won’t be able to run to the garden store to buy new seeds for the new growing season. You need to have a way to keep your family fed with fresh fruits and vegetables. Heirloom seeds truly do matter. Don’t settle for anything less.
Making your food storage area safe and steady in case of a bomb blast, earthquake or even high winds should be a priority. It would be devastating to have bags of food split open when it was tossed from the shelves. Canned foods could become dented and possibly allow botulism to form if they fell off an emergency food storage shelf. You are storing your lifeline on those shelves so it just makes sense you would want to secure the food to ensure it is still there when you need it.
Securing the Shelves
You don’t want your shelves falling forward and becoming a major safety hazard. If you are walking by or are taking refuge in the area the shelves are, like the basement, a shelf that tips over can trap you or even fall on you. Drill a long screw, about 3 inches, into the back of the shelf and into a beam in the wall. Use a wall anchor to make the holding more secure. If you are dealing with cement walls, there are anchor screws designed to go through the cement. You can add a little more security by putting shims at the bottom of the shelves to slightly push the shelf against the wall. These wouldn’t do much in an earthquake, but would hold the shelf up in the event of some minor vibrations or wind.
Securing the Cans and Jars
You don’t want glass jars from home canned goods all over the place. You need to create blocks that will hold the cans and jars in place on the shelves. You can use a piece of 1×1 wood nailed across the front of the shelves or use metal strips. It is important to place the strips about halfway up the tallest can or jar to keep the items from tipping right over the top of your locking mechanism.
If you are storing food in 5-gallon buckets, be careful not to stack the buckets too high without securing them. These can be tipped over fairly easy. It could be something as slight as somebody running by and brushing along the bucket, knocking it over and your food spills out everywhere. Tie a sturdy rope, like the stuff used for clotheslines around the rim of the bucket. Tie the ends of the rope around hooks mounted to the wall. If you are stacking several buckets on top of each other, you may want to tie a rope around the top and bottom of the buckets.
These are quick fixes you could do as a weekend project. Securing your food stores is an important step in creating a food storage that will keep your family alive in the event of an emergency.
You have done an excellent job stock piling a variety of freeze-dried foods, but do you know what to do with them when it is time to serve them to your family? In a survival situation, you will probably not have running water, a stove or a microwave. This can make heating water a little tough, which is what is typically needed to rehydrate food. Check out the following tips below that will help you turn your food storage into a delicious meal.
How Much Water?
Surprisingly, you don’t need as much water as you probably thought. In fact, it takes very little water to turn a bowl of freeze-dried survival food into something edible. For your fruits, veggies and powders, you need very little water to rehydrate them. A couple of tablespoons of room temperature water will do the trick. It does take some time. Allow at least an hour for fruits and vegetables to become soft and pliable. It can take a couple of hours. Generally if you have two cups of freeze-dried food that you are going to eat without cooking or doing anything else, you will need 1 cup of water. For stews, soups, chili and other meals that you will cook over a campfire or on a propane stove, you will need less water. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions when possible. It is better to have too little water than too much water that will make a food soggy and nearly inedible.
Cold or Hot Water?
Cold water or room temperature is always best for most foods. Boiling water is going to cook the freeze-dried food. If you are rehydrating meats, this could end up in the meat being overcooked and tough. The best way is to use cool water to reconstitute the meat and then heat it with the rest of the meal or plain. Hot water does reconstitute the food faster, but it does not do anything for the taste.
Do not add salt or other seasoning to the freeze-dried foods while they are reconstituting. The salt will absorb the water during the process and result in the food being tough or make it take longer to soften up. Salt or season the food after it has gone through the rehydration process.
If water is in short supply, you can always eat the foods as they are. You don’t technically have to reconstitute them to eat. Freeze-dried fruits are actually pretty tasty and make an excellent snack if you are on the move.
If you have been working hard to build up your emergency food storage supply, you may need to take another look at your supply. There is a good chance you have been diligently storing your food, but have forgotten a few key things that are necessary to actually putting food on the table. You can’t exactly serve a bowl of whole wheat grains to your child for breakfast. It can be hard to plan for living out of your house or in another location without electricity, running water or the conveniences of your kitchen. This list will serve to remind you of all those little details.
• Manual can opener-You likely have a lot of canned food in your food storage, but it won’t do you any good if you can’t open it! It wouldn’t hurt to have two can openers just in case one gets lost.
• Grain mill-You can find whole grains for a lot less and they will often store longer. But, in order to use those grains, you need a grain mill. These can be picked up for relatively cheap. Make sure it is a manual grain mill and not electric.
• Disposable utensils are extremely useful. Your water is going to be very precious and you want to conserve as much as possible. Disposable utensils can be used and set aside until you have more water available to take care of cleaning the dishes.
• Avoid stocking foods that are overly salty. Things like saltine crackers, jerky and other foods that are high in salt will make you thirsty. Again, water is going to be a precious commodity.
• Don’t stock foods you and your family have never eaten. If you don’t like canned spinach today, you are not going to like it in a survival situation. Before you make a decision to stock up on a particular food, taste it first.
You also need to remember any dietary restrictions for family members. Although you would certainly not want anybody to get sick, it is a fact of life and with limited water, cleaning is likely going to suffer. Viruses and germs are going to be prolific. A good supply of chicken noodle soup, canned juices and drink mixes are all good to have on hand.
To help keep your food storage organized, it helps to keep your can opener, mills and utensils in a small tote. This way, if you do need to bug out, the tote makes it easy to grab everything you need without worrying about where the can opener is.
You are looking at your pantry or if you are lucky, your basement, and thinking, how much food do I really need to store? Only you can answer that question, but there are some guidelines for you to follow to help you plan a food storage to last as long or as little as you want. The absolute bare minimum for a healthy emergency food storage is enough food to last your entire family 30 days. Many preppers will shoot for three months up to a year.
The number of people in your family and the amount of calories each person needs to maintain a healthy body will definitely affect the amount of food you need to store. Obviously children need fewer calories than adults. However, an easy way to calculate the amount of food is by caloric content. Assume each person in your family needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain their muscle function and overall healthy body. A family with four members would need 8,000 calories a day. Check the labels on some of your canned foods and freeze dried foods. Identify the calories per serving of a particular food. For example, a freeze-dried stew mixture contains 500 calories per serving. If that was the only food your family ate on a given day, you would need 16 servings. How many servings are in the can? Typically, you will find the smaller cans of freeze-dried foods contain 16 servings. That means you would need 30 cans of a particular food to last your family of four one month.
Another formula you can use involves evaluating your family’s eating habits during a typical week. If you do the grocery shopping, you probably have a pretty good idea how much food and the kind of food your family eats. How many cans of soup do you typically open for your family’s lunch? Is it two or three? Multiply the number of cans of soup used for an average meal by the number of days you want to have on hand. That may be 30, 180 or 365 days. 2 cans of soup x 30 days would be 60 cans of soup for 30 days of lunches.
When you think about your food storage plans, it is important to keep in mind that a survival situation is not the time to be cutting calories and eating enough to simply stay alive. You will be expending a lot more energy, which translates to using a lot more calories than you normally would. In order to survive, your body needs to be in the best condition possible. You will likely have to walk everywhere you need to go, hunt for additional food, carry water and chop wood. These are major energy users. Don’t skimp on food storage and assume you can lose that extra 20 pounds you have been trying to get rid of for years.