11 Reasons You Need Loads of Baking Soda in Your Emergency Stash

baking-soda-768950_960_720As you are stocking food, water and first aid supplies on your shelves to use after SHTF, you need to do what you can to add loads of baking soda to your shelves as well. Baking soda is an extremely versatile and inexpensive product you can use for cleaning the house, cooking and even cleaning yourself. Baking soda is one of the most important things you can put into your emergency storage. Prepping is about stockpiling items you can use to make life a little easier, cleaner and safer for your family after SHTF. You want to fill your shelves with things that can be used for a number of different purposes. Baking soda is one of those things.

Not convinced? Check out some of the ways you can use baking soda.

1-Baking soda and a couple drops of water make an awesome toothpaste. The soda whitens your teeth while killing harmful bacteria in your mouth. You can make a big batch and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil for that minty fresh feeling.

2-A little baking soda and water can remove stains from clothing, furniture and even carpets.

3-Bee stings and bug bites will feel much butter with a baking soda paste applied. It stops the stinging almost immediately.

4-Sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom of your trash can or clothes hamper to eliminate odors.drain-1060909_960_720

5-Mix about a quarter cup of baking soda, a teaspoon of dish detergent and a little vinegar to create a foaming bathroom cleaner that is completely safe and non-abrasive.

6-Clean your kitchen or bathroom floor with a mixture of half cup of baking soda and a bucket of warm water.

7-Clean your bbq grill by sprinkling some baking soda onto a wire brush and scrubbing the grate.

8-Remove stains and freshen carpets by sprinkling baking soda over the area and allow to sit for about 15 minutes. Vacuum and the carpet will look and smell cleaner.

9-Cure rashes and soothe skin irritations by adding half a cup of baking soda to the bathtub.

10-Pour a cup of baking soda down a clogged drain and follow with a cup of vinegar. Removes the clog and cleans the pipe all the way down.

11-Add a half teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water to relieve heartburn.

This is just a small sampling of what you can do with baking soda. It is such a versatile tool and the fact that it is a natural remedy means you won’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals. Buying baking soda in bulk bags or scooping up boxes each time you go to the store is something you will want to commit to.

Why Duct Tape is a Necessity for Preppers

tape-589079_960_720Preppers all have that one thing that they absolutely do not want to be without when it hits the fan. If you have ever played out those what-if scenarios in your head, you probably have one thing that you must have should you find yourself stranded on a deserted island or the equivalent. Maybe you have watched those survival shows where the person was dropped off in the middle of nowhere with just a couple pieces of gear. What is your dream gear?

For many preppers, it is duct tape. Duct tape is the dream gear that many preppers want to have in their bug out bag or emergency survival kit. Why? There are many reasons. We will cover a handful. You can probably come up with another 50 right now and in a true survival situation, you could double that number when you are forced to improvise.

1-Duct tape can be used to fashion a sling. Fold it in on itself to keep it from sticking to your neck.

2-Use it to hang plastic over windows and doors. If you don’t have plastic, garbage bags will do.hiking-566087_960_720

3-Duct tape can hold branches together to make a shelter in the wild.

4-Cover your shoes with duct tape to make them a little more waterproof.

5-Use it as a fly/mosquito catcher in your tent.

6-Cover a wound with a cloth and then wrap it with duct tape to keep it dry.

7-Make butterfly stitches with a couple strips of duct tape.

8-Use it to hold your pants up.

9-Fold it in on itself to make a rope for hanging your food from trees or dragging gear.

10-Fix a hole in water bottle, tarp or your sleeping bag.

11-Tape your knife to a long branch to make a spear for hunting.

You get the idea. There are so many different ways you could make duct tape work for you in a survival situation. This is true of things like a hunting knife, garbage bags and paracord. You truly only need a few versatile pieces of equipment to help you survive in the wilderness. Check your bug out bag again. Do you really need everything in there or can you lighten your load a bit by choosing gear that can be used in many different ways.

Are You Physically Ready to Bug Out?

walker-1208261_960_720Preppers are experts in varying aspects of preparing to survive some major event that puts the world into chaos. They have a ton of food, water and basic supplies that will sustain them for months or longer. They have plans and back up plans that will lead them away from danger and to a place where they can start over. Preppers can make fire from just about anything and have a great deal of knowledge about how to survive with nothing more than a knife in their pocket.

But are preppers physically prepared to do all of the jobs necessary to actually put that gear and those skills to use?

If you get winded walking upstairs or walking to check the mail, you are not going to make it. It is that cut and dry. How can you possibly expect to walk 20 miles or more with a heavy pack on your back if walking into the grocery store from one of the far out parking spaces is a lot of work? You have to get in shape. If you are out of shape, you are likely not in the best health either. Your physical health should be put at the top of your list of things to do. You will dramatically increase your odds of survival if you are physically capable of strenuous activity.

Here are some things you can do now to help get you in a little better shape and more prepared to handle the physical aspect of survival.cliff-1081762_960_720

  • Spend at least one of your days off hiking or backpackin
  • Chop wood with an ax
  • Manually plow your garden or spend some time using a rake
  • Take walks around your neighborhood
  • Walk to work if possible or walk to the corner market
  • Park in the way out parking lot when you go to the mall or big box store
  • Do some minor weight lifting
  • Yoga—not a joke, very good at building up your muscles

You don’t have to be the toughest, strongest or the fastest, but you do want to be able to keep up. If you tire after the first couple of miles, you are going to slow down your group. The weakest and slowest are always going to get picked off first. Do your part and get your booty moving and get in shape! Eat right and lose those extra few pounds you have been talking about losing for years. Doing the activities above is going to get you in shape and you will be better prepared to live in a world where modern conveniences are a distant memory.

Flooding and Your Preps—What Can You Do?

flood-139000_960_720Imagine all of your hard work and the money you invested into stockpiling food is washed away in a matter of hours due to a flood. It would be devastating. You would be left with nothing at a time when you needed it most. Starting over would be daunting. The very thought of spending money on new food stores and emergency supplies would be overwhelming. For some, it would be financially impossible. What can you do to protect your emergency supplies from being washed away in a flood?

Know Your Flood Zones

Your best line of defense is knowing whether or not your home is in a flood plain. This can be researched at your local county office or by searching the government site here. You enter your address and a map pops up to let you know what the likelihood of flooding is in your area. If you are in a flood zone, buy the insurance that specifically covers floods. The majority of homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding.

Prepare for Floodsclimate-165080_960_720

If you are in an area where flooding is a possibility, you need to know just how much flood waters you can expect. Is it going to be a few inches or could it be a complete washout? While it is impossible to predict, you can get a general idea by knowing where the flood waters would be coming from. Plan accordingly. Never store your preps directly on the ground. Secure shelving so that the bottom shelf is a minimum of 6 inches off the ground. If you expect higher flood waters, make that bottom shelf a bit higher.

Waterproof Your Preps

Placing your food inside 5-gallon buckets sealed with lids is an excellent way to protect it from flood waters. It would be a good idea to add another layer of protection by placing the food inside Mylar bags or large plastic bags, place the bags into the buckets and then seal the buckets. This will keep the food dry and safe to use. In some rare cases, water may manage to get inside a bucket. If this is the case, toss the food. Never eat food that has been contaminated by flood waters that may harbor all sorts of chemicals, bacteria and viruses.

Flooding can be devastating, but it doesn’t have to destroy everything you have worked to build up. Pay attention to news reports and do what you can to save your emergency supplies, but never risk your life for them. You can always start again.

Coping Without Cell Phones After SHTF

walky-talky-544979_960_720You don’t realize how addicted to communicating with the outside world until it is gone. Have you ever left your cell phone at home and didn’t realize it until you got halfway to work? Did you turn around and go get it or suck it up and put a message on Facebook you didn’t have your phone the second you got to work? What about an internet outage? The horror!

Imagine what it will be like after a major disaster or some kind of event that knocks out the power grid, the cell towers and the internet. You will be forced to live in a communication black hole. Your only option will be the radio and AM stations at that most likely. You won’t be able to pick up your phone and call for help or call your family to make sure they are okay. You won’t be able to check your email or check social media.

You may not think that is a big deal, but until you are forced to completely disconnect for even a few hours, you will understand just how serious it is. People in our world will seriously have withdrawals. We have become so reliant upon our communication systems, we will feel lost. Feeling lost can wreak havoc on your mental status. Giving up or wandering aimlessly isn’t going to help you survive. Despite how silly it seems, you need to have a back up communication method to ensure you have some way to make contact with loved ones after a disaster.

The following list includes some of the options you have for communicating after everything else is gone.cb

2-way radios are an excellent option for families that are in somewhat close proximity to each other. Radios that reach up to 5 miles are great, but they rarely reach that far in the city or in an area where there are a lot of trees and hills.
Satellite phones are another option and are not all that expensive. Satellites will likely still be functioning after a disaster.
HAM radios will keep you connected to the outside world, which will help you figure out what is happening and what you can expect.
CB radios are great for use around your area. You can connect with family, friends and law enforcement.

Don’t get caught without a way to reach out to locals. Keep at least one of these methods handy so you can keep updated with what is happening and get that peace of mind you need about friends and loved ones.

Could You Survive in Your Home for Days without a Trip to the Store?

riotingWe have seen it happen a few times in the last year. Civil unrest and rioting prompts police to shut down entire neighborhoods and even rural areas. Blockades are put in place and people are not allowed to come or go. Sometimes the stipulation is if you leave, you cannot come back in. An impending disaster like a fire, snowstorm or hurricane can also result in a complete shutdown. Could you survive without leaving your home on the supplies you have right now? You wouldn’t be able to run to the store for toilet paper, milk, bread or any other necessity. What you have is what you got.

That is a scary scenario for some, but it does happen more often than you think. Residents are forced to decide to take anything they think is valuable and flee their home; not knowing if it will be standing when they get back. Or, they choose to hunker down and ride out whatever is coming their way until the last minute. Many people have poured their entire life savings, energy and their very soul into their homes and can’t imagine leaving it to chance. If you are one of those people and you want to stay to protect what is yours, you need to be prepared.food pantry-1

Having at least a week’s supply of food, water and basic necessities on hand at any given time is a must. Ideally, you should aim to have at least a month’s supply. If it is a disaster that is coming your way or the civil unrest is especially bad or violent, leaving your home after a week to get supplies could be futile if there is nothing left in your local area.

Don’t get caught off guard. You just never know when the next riot or natural disaster will force you to stay in place with the supplies you have on hand. The recent snowstorm along the east coast is a perfect example. Supplies were wiped out and those who didn’t plan ahead were left without. Get started prepping for any disaster, big or small.

Preparing for Snowpocalypse 2016

snowIt happens every year in one part of the country or another. A major snowstorm will paralyze a region for days. This leaves inhabitants grappling with the difficulty of getting to work, school and to the store to get basic supplies. This is why you must be prepared to hunker down for a few days while the area recovers and snowplows can get the snow off the road.

Heavy snow is almost surely going to knock out the power, which means you have an added difficulty to deal with when things are already tough. You need to be ready the day before the storm hits. Trying to get the supplies you need to ride out the storm the day of is difficult. You won’t be the only person who waited until the last minute. It would be a really good idea if you were ready to shelter in your home for several days, any day of the year.

The following list of items will help you stay safe as you hang out at home for a few days.empty shelves

Non-perishable food items; canned foods, dehydrated foods and freeze-dried foods
Flashlights, lanterns and lots of spare batteries
Bottled water—if you are on your own well
Peanut butter
Crackers
Blankets—lots of blankets to help keep you warm if the power does go out
Sterno burners to cook your food
A generator is great if you have your own home
Board games
Deck of cards
Books, magazines
Solar charger for cell phone, laptop/tablets
Coffee percolater and coffee
Emergency candles and matches
Warm clothing

Be prepared to spend your time in one room of the house and close the doors to the rest of the rooms if the power goes out. The smaller the room, the easier it is to heat with your body heat and candles. NEVER burn any kind of fuel in a closed room. Put on your coat and beanie and wrap up in a warm blanket.

Don’t let the lack of power and inability to leave your home get you down. Enjoy the downtime and spend some quality time with family. It isn’t so bad eating by candlelight and playing old fashioned games. Reading books or simply having a real conversation with your family is also pretty exciting. Who knows, you may just come to appreciate being unplugged for a bit.

Prepping for an Economic Collapse and Losing Your Home

broken radiatorEvery week there seems to be a new threat to the world’s economic stability. Many of us are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It is very obvious a major collapse is coming. Will it be this year, in 5 years or in 20? Nobody truly knows, but with the current state of the economy and the extremely unstable future, it seems like it would be a good idea to start prepping for a major collapse.

It is impossible to predict exactly what would happen, but you can expect food shortages, power outages and restrictions and martial law. You must be prepared to live without your job. For millions of people, a job loss means they will face foreclosure. If you are prepping, but yet you still have a mortgage, you need to consider the possibility that you could lose your home. Can you move all of your preps?

One of the best ways to prep for a financial collapse is to start getting out of debt now. When there is a run on the banks and businesses are forced to close their doors and people are without jobs, the inevitable chaos is just around the corner. You are not going to have the money to buy basic necessities. Load up on those now.

Now is the time to start learning how to garden and hunt. If you are fortunate to own your own land, you can live there and rebuild. You can be self-sustainable. You will want to learn how to collect water or have a well drilled on the land. Learning how to live without power is going to be another hurdle many of us will face. The government is going to be tapped and unable to provide food, medical care and financial assistance. It will be up to every person to figure out how they will survive in a new world.rioting

Spend some time thinking about what you can do to save money today so you are better prepared to handle a major collapse that leaves the majority of the country in poverty. If you have a high mortgage, the chances of you being able to stay in your home are going to be slim. You have to have a backup plan. Plan now and start thinking about what you can take with you. Hone your gardening skills and think more long term.

Solar Water Disinfection a Viable Water Purification Option

bottles-60479_960_720As we roll into a new year, many of us are aware we are getting that much closer to our world falling apart. Nobody knows what it will be. It could be a terrorist attack that sets us on our heels or a natural disaster that is so big and devastating, the ripple effects would effect us all. War, a financial collapse or a number of other scenarios could leave us scrambling to get the basic things we need in life, like clean drinking water.

One water purification method that every prepper should learn is SODIS or solar water disinfection. This is one way to make water to drink without using chemicals or a filter. It is effective and has saved thousands of lives in third world countries.

It is a fairly simple process and only requires a few plastic bottles. If you can get your hands on 20 bottles, even better. The only real drawback to SODIS is the length of time it takes to make the water safe to drink. On a sunny day, it takes about 6 hours. On a cloudy day, it is best to leave the bottle in the sun for two full days.stackablewater

To purify the water you will want to use BPA-free plastic bottles. Bottles with the 1 in the center of the recycling symbol are best. Do not use glass containers. Do not use bottles that are bigger than a 2-liter. Fill the bottles and screw the lid on tight. Place the bottles on their side in the direct sun. Putting the bottles on a flat rock or on the hood of a car is ideal. It heats the water from both sides.

SODIS is effective at killing bacteria, protozoa and viruses. In order for this method to be effective, the water must be relatively clear. If the water is cloudy, pour it through a cloth or t-shirt a few times to help clear it up.

What To Do When Your Car is Stuck in the Snow

stuckIf you live anywhere snow falls, you have probably experienced the joy of getting your car stuck in the snow. Often times it isn’t the snow on the road that poses a problem. It is the snow the plows push to the side of the road. You slide a little or you take a corner just a little too sharp and the next thing you know, your vehicle is wedged into a pile of snow. Simply putting the vehicle in gear and backing out or driving forward is futile. You are truly wedged in. What do you do?

Well, for some, a quick call to the local tow company is the first call. For others who don’t particularly want to wait for two hours or more while the tow trucks pull out all of the other people who are stuck or who have wrecked their cars, there are some options.

1-Rock it. If you have a couple handy helpers, giving the car a good rocking back and forth will often be enough to get the tires the traction they need to get out of the snow. This is typically easiest in smaller vehicles and SUVs. Have the helpers push the vehicle on the opposite side of where you are hoping to drive out of. Put the car in reverse and press the gas with helpers pushing if they are on right end. Quickly move the car back into drive and try to go forward. If that doesn’t work, leave the car in drive (works best for front wheel drive cars) and the people will stand in the back. Develop a rythym that involves helpers pushing at the same time gas is given. Stop and repeat. This will get a good rocking motion that will hopefully get the car moving.

2-Putting kitty litter or sand under the tires will help with the traction issue as well.Have a winter survival kit just in case you need help.

3-Floor mats are great for providing the traction needed to get out of the snow. There is typically one or two tires that fail to gain traction and will spin when gas is pressed. Place the mats as far under the tires as possible. You may need to repeat this process every few feet until the vehicle is cleared.

4-Putting small twigs and pine needles under the spinning tires is another way to help the tires grip onto something besides the slippery snow.

5-Digging out all of the tires and ensuring there is a clear path back onto the road is another option. You will still likely need to combine the digging with either sand or mats under the front tires to get traction.

If you find yourself stuck in the snow, don’t panic. Turn on your headlights and flashers so other vehicles see you. If you are on a busy street, it is a good idea to get any passengers out of the car and into a building for safety, just in case your car is hit by another sliding car. Because accidental slide-offs or turning down a side street that hasn’t been plowed is so common, you should always be prepared in the winter. Always have the appropriate gear in the vehicle for you to put on should you have to spend anytime out in the snow.

If you are stranded for long and want to stay warm, make sure you clear the snow from around the exhaust to keep it from coming back into the car. If you can’t do that, do not allow your car to run!

Good luck and hopefully you can avoid any snowbanks this year!