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!

Holiday Travel Preps

stuckThis is a busy time of year with people driving to see relatives. With gas prices nice and low, it is very affordable to drive and it gives you the freedom to come and go as you please. And, quite frankly, with the threat of terror attacks on the rise, driving sounds even better. Before you toss your suitcases in the car and head out over the mountain and through the woods, get prepared for winter driving.

You should never leave home without some basic preps, but when you are driving in the winter, there are a few additional things you will need to pack around with you. Check out the list below and make sure your family is ready for a long road trip in the middle of winter.

Wool blanket, 2 if you have more than 2 people in the car
Hand warmers
Gloves, hats and warm coats for every member of the family
Cell phone charger for the car
Flares or the reflective orange triangles
Boots for at least one adult in case they need to get out of the car
Gallon of water
Snacks
Books or magazines
Toilet paper
Ice scraper
Kitty litter to use as traction
Sand bags for extra weight
Tow chain or rope

This list is in addition to the basics. If you don’t know what the basics are, they are as follows;snowyroad

Tools i.e. screwdriver, pliers, electrical tape
Flashlight
Spare tire and the equipment to change it
Extra fluids i.e. antifreeze, oil, windshield wiper fluid
Emergency road kit
First aid kit
Jumper cables
Waterproof matches, lighter or magnesium stick to start a fire
Emergency blanket

Before you leave, make sure you tell someone the route you are taking and your expected arrival time. You never know when you may blow a tire, run off the road or get lost. Cell service is never a guarantee. Always be prepared to hunker down in your car until help arrives. Before you head out, give your car a check up and make sure it is road worthy. Don’t pass up a gas station if you know you are going to have to travel 50 miles or more until the next available place for fuel. If you get stuck in traffic or have to sit on the side of the road for a while, you want to be able to run the car to keep the heater on.

Good luck and enjoy your holiday travels!

First Aid Kit for Serious Preppers

first-aid-kit-59645_640You probably already have a first aid kit sitting on one of your shelves. But is the kit really adequate? Often times the small, prepackaged first aid kits you buy at your local store are filled with bandaids, a couple packs of antibiotic ointment and not much else. These small kits are great to have around, but they are by no means adequate for a true survival situation. You need something much more substantial. The following list includes some of the things you should add to build your own kit for a survival situation. Keep the kit in a duffel bag, toolbox or small suitcase.

Several rolls of gauze
Large and small non-stick cotton pads
Medical tape
Triple antibiotic ointment
Antihistamines
Anti-diarrhea meds
Vet wrap—stuff is like an ACE bandage but it sticks to itself
ACE bandages—varying sizes
Silvasorb gel can be used to treat a variety of wounds
Suture kit
Syringe for irrigating wounds
Bandage scissors
Pain reliever
Tweezers
Nitrile gloves
Bandaids
Alcohol prep wipesfirst aid

The idea with this list is to have several or a lot of each item. A single ACE bandage or a single roll of gauze is not going to do you a lot of good when you are on your own for weeks. Survival situations typically end up causing minor injuries with some much more serious. Having a well-stocked first aid kit will allow you to tend the wounds when there are no doctors, hospitals or pharmacies.

If you have someone in your family that has diabetes, a heart problem or a severe allergy, make sure you add what you need to the kit to handle any emergencies they may have. Medical supplies are fairly inexpensive. It is a good idea to stock up and have too many than too little.

What an Extended Power Outage Looks Like

phone-210972_640The Pacific Northwest recently learned a very hard lesson about what a real downed power grid would look and feel like. A devastating windstorm swept through western Washington and eastern Washington before hitting north Idaho. Falling trees took out utility poles by the dozen, snapping them in two. The devastation left hundreds of thousands without power and because the damage was so extensive and so widespread, thousands of people went without power for a couple of weeks. They were not prepared and have suffered dearly.

Many preppers assume they are prepared, but in reality, a massive power grid failure is more than they could have ever comprehended. It isn’t just a couple of houses that are without power for a few days. Check out some of the things that happened in the days and weeks following the windstorm and how you can learn from the ill-prepared folks in the area.

1-Rural homes on their own wells could not get water. This meant they didn’t have water for themselves or their animals. Some people had the requisite 3 days of water on hand, but once that was gone, they were in a bad place.

2-Grocery stores were sold out of water within hours—that is the ones that were open. Most of the stores did not have electricity and closed up shop altogether. A couple of the smaller ones used calculators and sold what they could—it didn’t last long. And that was on a cash only basis. No ATMs were working and many of the banks were closed because they had no power.

3-The gas stations had no power, meaning no gas could be pumped. For the people that had generators, they couldn’t buy fuel to keep them running. Sure, there were towns 20 to 50 miles away that had some limited supplies, but for the folks that didn’t have enough gas in the car to get there, they were in trouble.

4-Canned food was wiped out in a matter of days. People were using campstoves to cook on, but it wasn’t long before they ran out of propane. Without refrigeration, food in the refrigerators and freezers was spoiling faster than people could eat it.canned food

5-The cold became a major concern for those who did not have wood heat. Many people were forced to take refuge in hotels 50 miles away because local motels had no vacancies. Guess what? Most hotels do not take pets, which meant pets were left to fend for themselves. Animal shelters were quickly filled with pets who had ran off in the storm due to downed fences and those who felt they had been abandoned.

This is just a glimpse of what small town life looked like in the days following the major storm. This is something everybody can learn from. With the weather so unpredictable, it is a must that every person thinks long term when prepping food, water and other basic supplies. It can happen anywhere. Never assume you are ready. Always add more food and other preps and be prepared to ride out an extended power outage.

Staying Warm without Power

phone-210972_640If you are in a home that doesn’t not have a woodstove or fireplace, you run the risk of not having heat should the power go out. Winter weather is notorious for knocking the power out for hour or even days depending on the damage the weather causes. Ice and snow are heavy and can knock down trees onto powerlines or even the powerlines themselves. You must be prepared to stay warm without your furnace.

1-Invest in propane space heaters. These require no electricity and are safe to use inside the home.

2-Have extra blankets on hand to layer when the heat is off.

3-Keep extra hats and gloves on hand. You will need to wear them indoors to stay warm.

4-Cover the windows with blankets to help block the cold air from coming in through the glass.

5-Cover the windows with plastic. You can use duct tape to seal it over the windows.

6-Close all of the doors to rooms you are not going to use. This will keep the heat focused in one area.winter storm

7-Pick a small room in the house and have the whole family huddle together. This will keep the body heat focused in one area.

8-Create a blanket fort in the living room. A small space will heat quickly.

9-Set up a tent in the living room. It is much the same as the blanket fort, but provides a little more stability and room.

10-Group candles together. The small flames will produce heat and will heat up a small room or your tent.

These ten ways of staying warm will do in a pinch, but if you have the option, invest in a woodstove. It can double as a stove to heat meals and water when you have no power.