There has been a lot of attention in the media lately about the Pacific Northwest being hit by a major earthquake. It isn’t just people who live in the northwest that could be affected by such a tragedy. The entire west coast would be at an increased risk of a tsunami that could be as devastating as the one that hit Japan a few short years ago. Even if you don’t live on the west coast, the ripple effect a disaster would have could extend all the way around the world. Are you ready for “the big one?” Quite frankly, there are fault lines ripping across the country in one way or another. There really is no place that is completely immune from the possibility of an earthquake—even the midwest.
There are a few things you can do to help prepare your home for an earthquake, just in case the big one hits. You may not be near the epicenter, but a strong quake can be felt for hundreds of miles away. It doesn’t hurt to do a little work around your house to make it a bit safer, just in case the big one does hit and it hits where you live.
*Secure bookcases, china hutches and other heavy pieces of furniture that could fall on you in a quake. Use brackets and sheetrock fasteners to attach the heavy furniture to studs in the wall.
*Make sure your ceiling fans and light fixtures are nice and tight. Some of the older ones or poorly installed ones are very loose and could come down with a small earthquake.
*Find and label your gas shut off if you have it. Do the same for your water and electrical main. You may know where it is, but does everyone in your family? You may not be able to get up and shut it off or may not be home. Make sure you attach the wrench needed to shut off the gas near the valve.
*Secure your food on your shelves. Placing a 2×4 across the front of each shelf will help keep the cans and other items from falling forward during the shaking.
*Use bungy cords to secure large water bottles or containers to the wall. You don’t want them toppling over and spilling out.
While you certainly cannot predict an earthquake, you can do these few simple things to help you, your home and your supplies ride one out with less damage than doing nothing at all. Get prepared and go through some earthquake drills with your family.
Preppers tend to be a secretive bunch for good reason. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to advertise to anybody who will listen about what you have on hand in case of a major disaster. Your supplies are what will keep you alive and well if the world were to ever get crazier than it already is. Imagine what life would be like without the ability to grab groceries when you needed or buy medical supplies when someone in the family is hurt. You must guard your supplies, but on the other hand, you also need to think about what it would be like to pool resources with others.
Resources don’t necessarily mean tangible supplies. Being able to rely on others’ strengths and skills will help you be stronger and more successful. Imagine pairing up with somebody who is a carpenter and another one who is a doctor. Maybe you are a skilled gardener. With those three people working together, your chances of survival are dramatically increased.
Don’t hide out in your house and avoid talking with anybody about what the world will look like should there be another world war or the power grid is taken out. While you are probably a smart individual, you can’t possibly have all the answers. You need to be open to talking with others so you can learn more. Getting different perspectives about various aspects of prepping will make you better and stronger. You will be more prepared to deal with whatever it is that comes your way.
Check out some prepper groups online. Try visiting meetup.com and see what local groups there are that you can check out. You can still maintain some anonymity. You don’t have to talk about what you have or where your stash is hidden. Never stop learning. Don’t assume you are a hero that can do it all on your own.
Survivalists and preppers know the importance of having water available during a survival situation. It is the one thing humans cannot live without for more than a day or two. It is equally important you have ways to purify the water you store or find. Drinking water that is not purified can be extremely harmful if not deadly. This is why it is a good idea to have several water purification methods on hand.
The most common and maybe the easiest method is boiling the water. As long as you have a tin cup or some vessel to heat the water and a source of heat, you can boil the water. The heat will kill the parasites, protozoa, viruses and bacteria in the water.
You can use the sun to heat the water if you can’t boil it. Simply fill a plastic bottle, preferably one with a 1 in the center of the recycling ring, and place it in the sun. The water will need to sit in the direct sun for at least 6 hours. If it is cloudy out, you will need to let the water sit in the sun for at least two days.
This is a great, quick and inexpensive option for cleaning water. Unfortunately, this will only work if the bleach is not expired. If it is more than six months old, it will be weak and not effective at cleaning the water. There is usually a date stamped on the container. If it is difficult to see, it is a good idea to use a marker to write the date you bought the bleach directly on the container.
Water Purification Tablets
These tablets are great for packing in a bug out bag. They are effective at killing everything bleach does. The tablets are more commonly made with chlorine, but iodine is also available. Bleach tends to be cheaper and a little more effective with less chance of triggering an allergic reaction.
No matter what you choose to purify your water, always have a back up plan. Having at least two ways to clean your water ensures you will always have plenty of clean, safe drinking water.
With winter coming in quick, it is important you spend some time preparing for violent winter storms that may lead to power outages and freezing temps that can ruin a food storage. It depends a lot on what part of the country you are in, but the risk of having a colder and snowier winter are pretty high for many regions. This is the time you want to prepare for winter storms; not a day before one is expected to hit.
If you already have a food storage in place, you will want to do what you can to protect it from the cold and from mice who are going to be wanting to get out of the cold. If your food storage is in a basement, make sure it will not get below 50 degrees. If you need to, cover the windows in the basement with plastic. You will want to make sure it is still properly ventilated and will want to have a fan running to keep the air from becoming too moist and threatening your food products.
Do an inspection of the area and look for any cracks or quarter-sized holes or bigger that will allow mice entry to your food storage. Fill the spaces with caulking, foam insulation or use steel wool reinforced with chicken wire. Do yourself a favor and put food in buckets for extra protection. This will help keep it dry and keep out the mice.
Once you have secured your food storage, you will need to take inventory. Ensure you have enough food and supplies to carry you through a harsh winter storm that could leave you holed up in your home for days. Don’t put off getting things like toilet paper, bottled water and batteries for your flashlights. These are going to be some of the first things that are wiped off store shelves when the threat of a winter storm is issued. Take care and get ready to ride out another winter.
This is the time of year to take advantage of bountiful harvests of apples, onions and possibly the last crop of corn depending on where you live. This is an excellent way to add to your food storage without spending a great deal of money. Canning, freezing and drying are all great ways to make the food you harvest or buy from a local grower, last for years.
If you haven’t learned how, it is time to start learning about food preservation. Invest in a dehydrator and pressure canner if you don’t already have one. Can those apples! You can make apple pie filling or applesauce fairly quickly and it is very easy. Dehydrate the apples for a nice snack to toss in the bug out bags. Onions and potatoes are excellent for drying, but not for canning. It is important you learn how to safely can before you ever try it. Home canning the wrong way can result in food laced with botulism, which is typically fatal.
Fall is also the time of year to start pulling up the root crops before the ground freezes. Root crops and things like apples can be stored in a root cellar for months before they spoil. You don’t have to do any kind of preserving at all. Carrots, potatoes and apples can make any meal great and will retain their freshness for several months after harvest. The trick is to keep them in a cool, earthy place like a root cellar. You will also want to leave the dirt on. Wash as you go.
Preserving your own food is rewarding and will save you a lot of money. You will have the satisfaction of knowing where the food came from and what kind of quality of food was used in the preservation process. It takes very little to get started in home preservation and the initial investment will pay itself off very quickly as you can up veggies and add soups and jams to your food storage.
If you are a hunter, this is also the time of year when you will be bringing in meat. Knowing how to can and dry that meat can save you a small fortune in processing fees while putting food into your emergency storage. Prepping for disaster doesn’t necessarily mean you go out and spend a small fortune on food and supplies. Learning skills like hunting, gardening and food preservation will be more important and something you want to learn today.