Preparing for Heavy Rains and Flooding

Spring rains and melting mountain snow can spell catastrophe for those who live near rivers, streams or other bodies of water. It is hard to fully grasp the power of water until you see it up close and personal. Water is a force to be reckoned with and can tear away roads and the ground they sit on top of with very little effort. Washouts, sinkholes and flooding in general can be devastating. Even when you think you are prepared, you may not truly be ready for the aftermath of water running over riverbeds and creating it’s own path.

If you are traveling anywhere this spring, always be prepared. You could find yourself stuck for hours if a road has been washed out.

The following items should be a part of your spring emergency vehicle kit.

  • Ponchos—several
  • Extra pairs of socks
  • Rainboots or waterproof boots
  • Change of clothes (being wet will chill you and be miserable in general)
  • Food
  • Water
  • Wet wipes (you are going to get dirty if you are stuck in a hole or in the mud)
  • Folding shovel
  • Hand warmers
  • Toilet paper
  • Portable cell phone charger
  • Tow chain
  • Water repellent jacket

Make sure you have a full tank of gas, just in case you need to sit in your car with the engine running to stay warm.

If you find yourself stuck in the mud or the victim of a surprise washout or sinkhole, you may have to try and get yourself out. In many cases, it is a quick fix, but you will get wet and muddy. Be prepared and if you happen to find yourself on a road that has been closed temporarily or stranded alone on a deserted road, you will be able to deal with the consequences much easier.

Prepping for Everything, Hoping for Nothing

A lot of preppers will pick a disaster and go all out prepping for that one potential disaster. Some people will ask you what you are preparing to live through and you may feel obligated to come up with one answer. Here’s the deal. No one has a crystal ball. No one can predict the future. There are so many possible scenarios that could leave the world as we know it in dire shape, it is impossible to really pick just one.

While many disaster prepping scenarios have a lot of overlap, there may be things you miss if you concentrate solely on one potential apocalypse-causing event. Instead of being hyper-focused on one particular event, broaden your horizons and think of the bigger picture.

Some of the disasters that are often thought about and prepared for are as follows;

  • Massive natural disaster i.e. earthquake, tornadoes, hurricane
  • Flooding
  • Nuclear war—war in general
  • EMP
  • Economic collapse
  • Civil unrest
  • Power grid failure
  • Pandemic

Each of these disasters requires a little extra planning and some targeted supplies. For example; a pandemic prep will likely include a lot more medical supplies and protective covering for survivors. When you think about any large scale disaster, you have to assume sanitation is going to be heavy hit. That means more people are going to be sick. Without hospitals and medicines, a pandemic is likely to happen.

It would be wise to have the supplies used to live through a pandemic on hand regardless what you are preparing for. The same can be said of preparing for civil unrest. It isn’t going to be long before the power grid fails and an economic collapse ensues. When a power grid fails, it won’t be long before nuclear reactors meltdown.

Disasters are all linked in so many ways. One disaster triggers another. It is going to be a chain reaction. Your best bet is to prepare for everything and hope nothing happens. Cover all of your bases. That is the best motto for a true prepper.

Where to Start on Your Prepping Journey

If you are new to prepping and trying to figure out where to get started, you will find the answers you are looking for here. The trick is to take bite size pieces. You don’t have to go all out in the first week. As you can imagine, stockpiling food, water and other necessities can get very expensive. This is why you need to take it slow and easy and be ready to spring on a really great deal.

You will want to start by taking an inventory of your home. What do you have right now that you could count towards your prepping. Head to the attic, garage or wherever and start digging through the stuff you have stored in boxes. You likely have quite a bit to get you started. Things like;

Blankets that aren’t regularly used
Camping gear
Clothing you don’t wear, including old boots, gloves, coats and what not
Extra tools
Old dishes

These are items that will come in handy after a major collapse. Earmark these items to be included in your stockpile.

Next, you will want to find somewhere to keep your stockpile. If you have a basement, garage or attic, you can start there. If not, you will need to find a closet or designate an area in a room to stash your supplies. Ideally, you will want to do what you can to keep it as neat and organized as possible. This will allow you to find what you have easily as well as allow you to know what you have.

Once you have an area planned out, it is time to start thinking about food and water. Most people only really have the room inside their home to store a few cases or jugs of water. You can invest in an outdoor cistern or food grade rain barrels that can be filled up and stored against the house or in another shady area. You will need to purify this water before using.

Food can be purchased as you go. Buy a little extra each time you go to the grocery store. Try budgeting out $30 a week or so to buy extra food. Buy bulk dried foods when possible. You will save money this way.

Try to save a little money in a kitty jar that can be put towards a big purchase item, like a large water filter, solar panel or other item that will be helpful, but can be expensive. This kitty can also be used to buy when you come across a great deal.

Always scour Craigslist, the nickel ads and shop yard sales to pad your supplies. You will be amazed at what you can find. Take it slow and easy and you will see how quickly your stockpile builds up without spending a lot of money in one big shopping spree.

Prepping for the Kids

Prepping to survive a disaster is something many parents do in order to ensure their children have the best shot at surviving. Parents stockpile food, water, first aid supplies and whatever other necessity they think is needed to make sure their children will survive. It is a parent’s natural instinct to want to do anything they can to protect their children.

Unfortunately, prepping can be very cold and methodical. Your mind automatically goes to this place where you think of survival and not actual living. You stock everything you can that contributes to surviving after some apocalypse. What is often overlooked is entertainment or comfort items.

Children are not quite as hardened or jaded as adults. They are not comforted by the thought of having a roof over their head and food on the table. They want more. They want their favorite blanket or whatever else it is that brings them a little comfort and joy. As a parent, it is your job to make your child feel safe. You don’t want a child living in fear or bored out of their little minds.

You can help ease the suffering by taking the time to add a few more things to your stockpile that will ensure your kids have a healthy distraction from what is happening around them as well as a way to occupy their minds and little hands.

  • Board games
  • Coloring books and crayons
  • Pencils and paper
  • Children’s books
  • Toys
  • Stuffed animal or other security type items
  • Pictures
  • Snacks/comfort foods
  • Dolls
  • Dress up costumes
  • Balls
  • Puzzles

These are just of the things that can provide your children with hours of entertainment as well as a way to get their mind off the devastation around them. These toys are also great ways to help them develop their coordination and allow their imaginations to run free. Don’t get too caught up in the serious side of prepping. Remember your brain will need a little break too.

Winter Bug Out Tips

While we would all like to think a disaster can only strike when it is early in the day and a perfect 72 degrees, that is highly unlikely. Sadly, most bug out situations are going to happen when things are less than perfect for a picnic outdoors. You may have to bug out because of a horrible storm or in the middle of the night to avoid detection.

You may also have to bug out when it is cold or even freezing out. It is important you are ready to head for the hills all year round. Adding a few extra preps to your bug out supplies during the winter months can give you better odds of survival.

1. Don’t leave the house without proper footwear. You need boots. Tennis shoes are not going to work. Preferably a pair of lined boots that offer some waterproof action. You can add an additional layer of water protection to make it just a little better.
2. Wool socks are a must. Even if your boots are lined and dry, your feet will still get cold. Wool socks will keep your feet warm and they do not hold moisture like a pair of cotton socks would do.
3. Gloves are another must. Gloves allow you to use your fingers to hold a flashlight, chop wood or dig around in your bag. Make sure the gloves are cold weather gloves and not some flimsy knit gloves that will do nothing to protect your fingers from frostbite.
4. A warm, wool beanie is a must. Your body heat escapes through your head. You want to trap the heat by covering your head. A face mask is also a good option. Put a hat on over the mask. If temperatures are frigid, you have to protect your nose from the cold.
5. Chapstick may seem inconsequential, but it is an absolute must. The cold can crack your lips very fast. Cracked, dry lips will bleed and life will be miserable in general. Make sure you put on a good layer of chapstick before you head out the door and keep applying as needed.

Cold weather survival is a not for the faint of heart. Be prepared by adding these items to your stockpile. Don’t forget coats, thermal underwear, snow shoes and anything else that will give you an advantage.

What to Do if You Are Stranded in Snowstorm on Highway

Snowstorms are typically not a surprise, but their intensity can take weather forecasters by surprise, which means you are also going to be caught off-guard. When you are traveling across a state or even just trying to commute home from work and a snowstorm wreaks havoc, you could find yourself stuck. Not stuck in a snowbank, but stuck on the freeway. Highway closures are very common when the state patrol determines the roadways are just too unsafe for people to use. If there have been a number of wrecks, slide-offs or a single serious accident, the road can be shut down for hours or even overnight.

This is why you must always be prepared to hang out in your car for hours. You never know when the road may close in front of you. There is no turning around or finding another way. You are stuck along with hundreds of others. The freeway because a giant parking lot.

Before you ever leave the house this winter, you should always be prepared. Even if you are just going to work the next town over. Rural highways are often the least maintained, which means you are at an increased risk of finding yourself stranded.

*Pack along a gallon of water. Avoid using milk jugs and either buy a few water bottles to keep in the car or one of the heavy-duty plastic containers.

*Carry energy bars and other snacks like beef jerky, trailmix and so on. If you are traveling with kids, make sure you have their favorite snacks to keep them entertained.

*Toilet paper. Yep, you are going to be using the bathroom along the highway. A little toilet paper will go a long way to making it a little better.

*Books or other entertainment items will be helpful to pass the time. You don’t want to drain the battery on your phone.

*A car charger for your cell phone or tablet. A portable charger is even better so you don’t have to use the car battery.

*A couple of wool blankets will help keep you warm. You won’t be able to have the car idling for hours—you will run out of gas.

*A flashlight will be needed if you need to go to the bathroom or you want to read. Again, you don’t want to run the car battery down by relying on the interior lights.

4 Tips to Choosing the Right Pack for Your Bug Out Bag

We all have a bug out bag. If you don’t, you need to get one. Not all backpacks are created equal and not all backpacks will make good bug out bags. Buying the cheapest backpack at Wal-Mart is not a good use of your money. You can certainly buy used, but you need a quality pack that is going to hold up. Quality counts.

There are some key traits your bug out bag should have.

*Durable. You don’t want flimsy material that will shred with the first snag of a tree limb. While many backpacks are made with some kind of nylon material. Check reviews online to see what others have said about the pack—believe them and not the sales copy.

*Affordable—more expensive does not always mean better. Decide what you can afford and then start looking for packs that fit into your price range. You can buy a used pack for half the price and it will still have plenty of life left.

*Size matters. Decide what you will be carrying. Are you going to be carrying enough gear for the whole family or just yourself? Are you planning on using the bag to live out of for a day or a week? If you need to pack a lot of gear, consider getting an internal frame pack.

*Comfort—if possible, try the packs on before buying. You want it to sit comfortably on your hips and not rest in the small of your back. Spring for the hip belts and extra padding in the shoulders. A breathable material on the back side is another perk that can make warm weather bug outs a little more comfortable.

No matter what you decide, make sure the pack suits you and your needs. Everyone has their own idea about what they need to carry. If you are someone who wants lots of pockets, make sure that is a quality you keep in mind when shopping around. The pack is for you and it is all about what you like and what you don’t.

10 Things Your Doomsday Survival First Aid Kit Doesn’t Have

suture-259662_1280Putting together a first aid kit to use in the middle or aftermath of a disaster may seem fairly straightforward. You add the gauze and band-aids and what not and call it good. But, think about that. How far are a few bandages and a sample pack of ibuprofen going to get you? Exactly. You need to be realistic and accept the likelihood there will be more serious injuries that can’t be fixed with a band-aid.

Along with having the proper supplies, you need to get some training or at the very least, have some manuals on hand. Your first aid set up needs to resemble a mini clinic. You must be prepared to treat serious injuries the best you can with the right equipment. Sometimes, a serious injury only looks bad. It can be fixed with a little knowledge and the right gear.

Considering adding these items to your prepping stockpile and learn how to use them.

1. Suture kits are great to have. Many of them include needles that are already threaded with thread. It is all sterile, cutting down on the risk of infection.
2. Israeli bandages are good to have in your bug out kit. The bandages are designed to apply pressure to a wound while covering it and soaking up any blood. This is ideal if you have to tend to other injuries or if you are alone and need to stop bleeding.
3. Burn sheets. In almost every scenario, the possibility of a burn injury is very high. Bandages that are already treated with a collodial silver application that promotes healing and fights infection.
4. Manual resuscitators. These are the bags you can attach to a tube that has been placed down a patient’s throat and manually inflate to breathe for a patient.
5. Laryngoscope takes some training, but it is used to slide a tube down a person’s airway to allow you to help them breathe.first aid
6. A tactical cric kit isn’t something anyone wants to think about using, but in an emergency when the airway is blocked, a cric (incision through the throat) allows you to get the patient oxygen.
7. Bolin Seal or a penetrating wound chest kit can be a life-saving tool. It is easy to use. A sucking chest wound is life-threatening if not immediately treated.
8. A tactical chest tube kit is another useful tool that military personnel often have to use in the field. The chest tube can drain blood from around the lungs, keeping a person alive.
9. Lateral Canthotomy kits are used to prevent compartment syndrome that may result after a crush injury or a severe burn. These kits provide all the equipment you need to keep the area sterile while you perform the incisions to relieve pressure.
10. QuikClot or a similar hemostatic agent to help stop bleeding in serious injuries.

Each of these items requires some knowledge to use. Most of these kits can be found online and sold under military tactical items. Learn what they are and how to use them. These are the things that can help a person live through an injury that would be fatal without any intervention.

10 Tips to Save Money to Buy Prepping Supplies

baby steps week 2 priceMost preppers are not people with loads of cash in the bank. Preppers tend to be a frugal group of people who are doing what they can to prepare to survive an apocalypse of some sort. These are the people who won’t have the luxury of jetting off to some safe place or building an elaborate bunker system. Preppers are the folks like you and me who live simple lives and are just doing the best we can in this often unstable, crazy world.

If you want to get more serious about prepping, but are not quite sure how you can budget the money to buy what you need, these tips will help you make it work. Stocking up a year’s worth of food, water and other important gear doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that is done over a period of time. It may take years to get what you need. The idea is to keep adding—never stop.

1. Cut out at least one coffee trip to Starbucks or Dutch Brothers. If you can, skip the coffee shops all week and make your own at home. Invest in a $100 machine so you can make delicious coffee in seconds. You will save time and money.
2. Skip the freezer meals and spend a few hours each week preparing meals from scratch. You can make casseroles and other meals on a Sunday, pop them in the freezer and heat during the week. This will save you money on your grocery bill.
3. Shop at thrift stores or buy second hand things like clothing, shoes and other necessities. You can find name brand, high quality items if you are willing to put in the time and effort to look.
4. Buy in the off season. Be ready to shop the clearance shelves after holidays. You can get winter gear in April for a fraction of the cost and use it the following year.
5. Cut out the cable or other television service. Really, TV is garbage anyways and you could be doing so much more with your time. If you need something, spend $15 a month and buy a Netflix or Hulu subscription.money challenge jar
6. Make a serious effort to cut your utility bills. Turn off lights, shorten showers, air dry your laundry and so on. Every $10 you save on your electric bill can go to prepping.
7. Make an effort to grow a garden. It can be container gardening. This gets you in the practice of growing your own food and can help save money on your grocery bill.
8. Pack your lunches. This is going to save you a small fortune every week. If you must, treat yourself to one lunch out per week.
9. Carpool or consider riding a bike to work or to run errands. Public transportation is another option. No, it isn’t always convenient, but if you can save $25 a week on gas, just think of how much food you could put on your shelves.
10. Use coupons. Most stores are moving to digital coupons, which makes it so much easier to use at checkout. You don’t have to worry about clipping coupons, printing or forgetting them at home. Before you make any purchase, do a quick Google search to see if there are any coupon codes available.

Every penny you save counts. Just remember, the extra money you have at the end of the week should go to your prepping. Don’t splurge and go shopping!

10 Skills to Learn in 2017 to Survive SHTF

farmer-1367104_1280Preparing to live after a major economic collapse or some horrible disaster isn’t just about putting food and water on the shelves. You need to be prepared to live without machinery and tools that are a daily part of life right now. You need to be ready to live like the pioneers did. You will be getting your hands dirty and you will be forced to do a lot of manual labor. Life will be a little more physical and hands on. It is important you learn some of the skills our grandparents and their parents used on a daily basis. The following skills will ensure you will thrive after SHTF.

      1. Learn how to work with leather. You will be making your own shoes and clothing once yours are ruined or fall apart.
      2. Learn how to cook from scratch. You won’t have any microwave meals or boxes that only require you to add water.
      3. Learn how to sew. Repairing the clothing you have and making other necessities will be the norm.tandoor-1532331_1280
      4. Learn how to raise animals. You will want to know how to take care of any livestock you will be relying on to feed your family. Know what it takes to keep them alive and healthy. You will also need to know about breeding animals to keep up a continual supply of food.
      5. Know the ins and outs of organic gardening. You won’t get to use pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides when they are all gone.
      6. Read up on herbal medicine. When there are no doctors or Western medicine you will have to treat yourself with homemade concoctions.
      7. Know the basics of construction. You will need to make repairs to your own house or build a new one from the ground up. You may need to build fences, barns and other outbuildings.
      8. You will need to know the basics of home food preservation. It is best if you learn some ways to preserve food that do not require electricity.
      9. Self-defense is going to be a big deal. Learn how to use a weapon and feel comfortable using it.
      10. Hunting is going to be one way you put food on the table. Learn how the basics now so you have a clue as to what you are doing when you have no other food options.

These skills will ensure you can live off the land without the benefits of technology and machinery. Life is going to be different, but it is manageable. Many of these skills have been lost over the years in favor of the easy way. Do what you can to learn them and teach them to your children. In a hands-on world, it will be knowledge that saves you, not a shelf full of food.