New Report Reveals Power Grid Vulnerability

power-supply-493209_640There are rising concerns that the electrical grids in developed nations could be the target of a coordinated terrorist attack. Recently, a report revealed just how often attacks were lodged against power grids. We typically don’t hear about these attacks because they are fairly small and the government doesn’t want to panic the citizens. However, it is becoming more obvious than ever that a widespread, massive attack against the power grid is going to happen in the near future. While government agencies work to prevent the attack and hope to develop a system that is not vulnerable to computer viruses and physical attacks, you also need to prepare for the inevitable.

These are some things you will want to start doing today to prepare for a downed power grid that could be out of commission for days or possibly weeks or more.

*Have a supply of canned, freeze-dried and dried food on hand. Grocery stores are going to be closed during power outages and will likely be looted.

*Have emergency lighting on hand. Grab some of the solar lights from the home improvement store to use indoors at night.

*Have enough drinking water on hand to last at least 30 days. Sanitation systems will be down without electricity. Those on their own well who rely on an electric pump will need hand pumps or will need to store water.well-318609_640

*Have a supply of medicine and first aid supplies on hand. Clinics and doctor’s offices will be closed. Hospitals are going to be overwhelmed. Do your best to learn basic first aid to take care of any minor injuries that do not technically need medical attention.

*Have a battery or crank radio so you can stay informed about what is happening and how long you can expect to be without power.

*Be prepared to defend your property against those who want the supplies you have stored. If the outage is extended, people are going to become desperate and will do things they normally wouldn’t. Do not advertise what you have and do your best to keep a low profile.

Power outages are fairly common, but we always expect the power to be restored within a matter of hours. You must be prepared to ride out a major event. The possibility of such an event happening is extremely high.

Surviving a Riot in Your Neighborhood

It only takes a second for a bad decision to result in far-reaching consequences. We have seen more and more riots and violent protests erupt in cities all around the world for one reason or another. These riots end up shutting down neighborhoods and city streets, trapping anybody who happens to be in the area. The people holed up in their homes risk life and limb if they try to leave the area. They may not even be safe inside their homes or businesses if the rioting mob decides to loot and burglarize as part of their protesting.police-275875_640

You must be prepared to deal with a riot at any time. Because police and emergency services are going to be focused on keeping the streets safe and the rioters in check, you are not going to get a lot of help from them should something happen. This is especially true if the riot is large and encompasses a wide area.

It could become unsafe for you to leave your home to go to work, school or even to the store for groceries. You may very well need to shelter-in-place to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. These are some of the things you can do to prepare for a riot and steps you can take to get through one if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

1-Your best bet is avoiding the mess altogether. If you hear rumblings in the neighborhood that a protest or riot is being organized, consider going to a friend or relative’s house in another town until it is over.

2-If a riot erupts and you are smack dab in the middle of it, do your best to blend in. Don’t participate in illegal activities, but don’t take off running in the opposite direction. Casually move away from the area and do your best not to draw attention to yourself.

3-Take steps to make your home as secure as possible. Add a deadbolt to the front door. Having sheets of wood on hand to put over the windows is also helpful. Window locks may help, but unruly rioters will not be deterred by glass.

4-Have at least a 3-day supply of food and water on hand along with any medicines the family may need. Prepare to hole up in your house for at least 3 days while police or the National Guard get things under control.

5-Don’t open the door to anybody unless you know for sure who it is. Only do so if it is safe.rioting

6-Plan evacuation routes should you have to flee your home. Arrange a meeting place outside of the neighborhood for your family members to gather in case you are separated.

7-Consider making your home look uninviting by tossing trash in the front yard. You want potential looters to think your home has already been hit.

8-Avoid using light at night that will advertise you are in the home.

Rioters can quickly spin out of control in a matter of seconds. Do your best to avoid the area and get out as soon as you see things escalating. Don’t be a looky-loo and hang out to see what happens. Your home can be replaced, your life cannot.

3 Ways to Dry Food without Electricity

Part of prepping is learning skills that you will need after SHTF. There is a very strong possibility electricity will be extremely limited or completely non-existent following a major disaster. It could take months or years for the world to be righted again. You have to be able to preserve the food you grow and hunt in order to carry you through the months where it is difficult to garden or find game to hunt.chili

These are 3 ways you can dry food to store for long periods. Drying food will be one of your only options of food preservation as the world relearns the old way of our ancestors.

1-Hanging your fruits, veggies and meat out in an the open sunlight is one way to dry food enough to put it in storage. It is important you string your rope in an area that gets direct sunlight. It cannot be somewhere that is shaded half of the day by a building or trees. It can take a full day, possibly 2 days to get the food completely dry. You can help ensure the drying process is successful by cutting the food thin enough to help speed drying. At night, put the food in a cool, dry place to keep it from spoiling and put it out again the next day as soon as the sun rises. This will keep the food from developing moisture from condensation.

2-A solar dryer is something you will want to build today. There are plenty of designs available on the internet. Use an old window from a junkyard or second hand store. You can use the screen from the window or buy some screening material at your local hardware store. Stretch the screening material over a frame so that it is tight and will hold your food slices. The glass window should mount over the top of the screen. It is a good idea to build your solar dryer on legs so that is off the ground. This is a preferred method as it will keep your food from being littered with debris in the environment as well as protect it from birds and other animals.

car3-It is easy to imagine there will be a lot of broken down cars following a disaster. If those cars have all their windows intact, they will make excellent dehydrators. Push the car into a sunny place and roll up all the windows. Place your sliced food on window screens or cookie sheets. Place the sheets in the front and back windows of the car. The car will become hot as an oven—literally, which is perfect for dehydrating your food. The car will also protect your food from animals and stuff in the environment falling into it.

Is that Plant Safe to Eat? The Edibility Test

chickweedIf you ever find yourself stranded or out in the wilderness with no food to speak of, you need to know what you can eat that you find growing in the wild. There are hundreds and hundreds of plants that are edible. It is extremely difficult to try and remember what every one of those plants are. If you are traveling, you will notice that the terrains vary and so do the plants that naturally grow in the various environments. It would be tough to memorize every edible plant in every terrain. You need to know how to test a plant to determine if it is safe to eat.

These quick steps will help you determine what is edible and what should be avoided.

1-When you have identified a plant that looks like something you could eat, separate it into three main parts. Put the flowers, stem and leaves in separate piles. You could also set the roots aside.

2-Rub the portion of the plant you are planning on eating on the inside of your arm. Wait 15 to 30 minutes to see if there is a negative reaction. Itchiness, redness or burning would all be negative reactions. If no reaction, go to step 3.weeds

3-Rub a portion from the same pile on your lips. Wait another 15 minutes to see if there are any signs you are having a bad reaction. If no reaction, go on to step 4.

4-Put a portion from the same pile under your tongue. If you notice any burning, bitter taste or swelling, spit it out and avoid the plant. If no reaction, go on to step 5.

5-Eat a portion of the plant and nothing else. Do not eat anything for at least 8 hours. Wait to see if you have a bad reaction. Vomiting, diarrhea or cramps are all signs you don’t want to eat the plant.

If you do not have any negative reactions, you can eat the plant in moderation. Do not test more than one plant in a 24 hour period.

How Will You Communicate Post Disaster?

phone-210972_640If you are busy stocking up on food and finding creative ways to store water in case of an emergency, you are doing awesome. You are being proactive and doing what you can to ensure your family has what they need to survive after disaster strikes. Now that you have the food and water basics down, it is time to think about how you will communicate with the outside world or track down loved ones. You may not think of communication as a necessity, but you need to be able to stay informed about what is happening in the world around you. If you were separated from your family or are worried about how your best friend fared, you are going to struggle to keep your head in the game. You will be wracked with worry. Because cell phones and standard phone service will likely be down, you need to have backups.

Out-of-Area Contact

If you are dealing with a minor disaster, land lines may still be functioning. Have each of your family members memorize the number of a friend or distant family member that lives out of state. After disaster strikes, do what you can to call the designated person and check in. Relay messages about where your other family members can meet up with you and let them know you are okay. You could also plan to have a satellite phone on hand, but it is unrealistic for each of your family members to carry one of these expensive gadgets around.

2-Way Radioswalky-talky-544979_640

Invest in a set of good quality radios that can be used no matter if you are several miles apart. If you are across town at work and your child is at school closer to your home, you want to have a radio that allows you to communicate. There is a lot of information to research about these radios. A standard walkie talkie will not work unless you plan on being in close proximity to your family at all times. Do your research before making a purchase. You can expect to pay upwards of a couple hundred dollars or more.

CB or HAM Radios

This is an excellent setup to have in your home or your retreat. A HAM radio setup will allow you to communicate with people all over the country. You will be able to learn what is going on and whether or not there is aid coming your way or a place to go when your supplies run low. Many people assume their survival situation will be temporary and everything will come back online within a few weeks or months. That may not be the case and you wouldn’t know if you had no means of communication.

After disaster strikes, you are going to have a lot of questions. Typically, we get our information from television, the radio and the internet. When all of those things are taken offline, the sheer lack of information can make you very nervous. Fear of the unknown can make your life very difficult and far more stressful than it needs to be. Start thinking about your communication methods today so you are ready for anything that comes your way.

Seek Out Survival Training

firefightersPreppers go to great lengths to stock up on supplies they will need to survive a disaster. A year’s worth of food, a couple months worth of water and some basic necessities are all going to help give a person a major advantage. However, it isn’t only about what you have that matters. It is learning and practicing some skills that will be helpful after disaster strikes. Reading about what to do when someone has suffered a deep cut and actually taking care of the wound are two entirely different things. Reading about personal safety, performing CPR and going on search and rescue missions all require training by skilled professionals.

Part of your prepping should include some courses that will teach you these skills. You will also want to actively practice your skills by volunteering or taking refresher courses on a regular basis.

Become a volunteer firefighter. You will be given access to some free training and will be able to gain a lot of hands on experience watching and learning from certified EMTs and firefighters.

Get involved in scout-type organizations. Adult volunteers are always welcomed and you will be given the chance to participate in some free training courses that will teach basic survival skills. Regular camp outs and expeditions will give you the chance to put your skills to the test.scouts

Volunteer to help out the Red Cross. This is a little trickier to be a part of and there is an application process, but if you can land a spot with your local chapter, you will be able to learn while helping others. You can also take classes through the Red Cross.

Talk with neighbors and see if there is enough interest to start a C.E.R.T chapter in your area. Community Emergency Response Teams are encouraged. These are groups of people in your neighborhood who are given basic first aid training as well as trained in search and rescue. When first responders cannot get to an area, it the CERT team who will take immediate action.

Check in with the YMCA or community center and sign up for self-defense classes. You may need to defend yourself against those who want what you have and will be willing to hurt you to get it.

Learning survival skills and emergency medicine can go a long way to aiding in your survival as well as your family’s survival. Your skills will be of value in the aftermath of a disaster and people will be willing to barter with you in exchange for you offering first aid or teaching them some of the skills you know.

Knowledge is power! Do what you can to learn and practice these valuable skills today. Get involved and search out learning opportunities.

Planning Your Prepper Garden

starting seedsWhile spring is still a couple of months away for most people, it is the time of year you need to start planning your prepper garden. Growing your own food is an essential part of the food pantry process. You will not only save money by growing your own food and preserving it, but you will also have an established food supply source if and when things do get crazy.

It is important you spend some time planning your garden so you can take advantage of every inch of space. This is especially important if you have limited space. Many gardeners make the mistake of picking up a bunch of seeds and planting them simply because it seems like the thing to do. Those gardeners usually end up with a bunch of food they won’t eat and either give it away or let it go to waste. You can’t afford to do that when your garden is what feeds your family.

You need to learn about companion planning. One common method that has been around for centuries is planting corn with pea plants in between stalks. The corn shades the peas (which like cooler temps) and provides the pea vines with a trellis. This is an excellent way to maximize your space. Another option is to plant a root crop with a shallow-rooted crop on top. Herbs are excellent for planting over a root crop. Both plants will get the sun they need and will not fight for nutrients. Read up on this because some herbs should not be planted near certain plants. Garlic for one is not a plant you want next to your peas.seeds

Another trick you will want to learn is succession planning. Depending on where you live and your growing season, you may be able to get several crops of potatoes, corn and other veggies. If you start early enough, you can typically get at least 2 crops of vegetables with short growing cycles.

Lastly, invest in heirloom seeds. These seeds produce fruit and vegetables with seeds that can be saved and used for the next season. This is absolutely essential to your prepper garden. You want to be self-sustainable. In a SHTF scenario, you won’t be able to run to the store and buy new seeds every year. You have to produce your own. In many areas, you will need to order your heirloom seeds. They are not usually readily available in most stores. Order now so they are in your hands when it is time to start your plants indoors in preparation for the spring.

10 Crucial First Steps to Prepping

healthy freeze dried foodIf you have just learned about the prepping movement and decided it is something you want to be a part of, there are some things you need to do first. Prepping in general is a big job. It isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of time, patience, dedication and investment. You don’t want to just jump in with both feet and randomly put things on your shelves. This is a job that takes careful planning.

The following are the first things you need to do to get your food storage off on the right foot.

1-Start saving your empty 2-liter pop bottles, water bottles and juice bottles to store water in. Water is a priority. You can also buy water containers, but you need to start somewhere and recycling used plastic containers is perfect. Don’t use old milk jugs. They are not durable enough.

2-Determine how much food you need for 30 days. Make an effort to get 30 days of food on hand and then build up from there.

3-Decide how much money you can put aside each month to building up your food supply. Cutting out a night of dining out, skipping a fancy coffee one day a week and other little things will help you find money in your budget to put towards your food storage.

4-Do some research and learn more about prepping and what things you should be stocking up on. There are plenty of eBooks, blogs and websites that have a ton of information for you to browse through.

5-Identify an area in your home where you will store the bulk of your supplies. Do what you need to make it an ideal food storage space, i.e. covering windows, adding shelves, clearing out clutter and so on.food pantry-1

6-Talk about what you are doing with your family. You need everybody on board. This is a job that is too big for you to take on alone. Get your family involved with storing water and putting food on the shelves.

7-Create a plan of action for when things do get crazy. You don’t want the family diving into your food storage and having a feast. Talk about what you will do when it is time to rely on your emergency food supply. Rationing will be necessary.

8-Add a few things from the attic, your garage or your storage to your emergency storage. You probably have extra blankets, winter gear and tarps lying around. Put those things into your emergency storage and you will already be on your way. It is a good way to see just what you have by keeping it in one place.

9-Plan a weekend or a day to head out into nature with some of the survival gear you have been picking up. Practice using your gear. This is absolutely crucial. You must know how to use the various tools that are going to save your life.

10-Come up with a backup plan or a bug out plan. If your home is compromised, you will need to leave it and retreat to a secondary location. If you have a secure secondary location, you will want to divide your preps. The old saying, “don’t put all your eggs into one basket” applies here. Don’t put all your preps into one spot—just in case you have to bug out!

Prepping Isn’t Just for Doomsdayers

Prepping has gotten a bit of a bad reputation. When certain people hear the term, they automatically think of country folk wearing tinfoil hats and running around hiding in underground bunkers waiting for the sky to fall. It is a stigma that true preppers have been stuck with for decades. Most don’t care, but it is only right that anybody who believes that silly story knows the truth. Prepping isn’t about preparing for outrageous events that can never happen. Prepping isn’t about dressing up in camo and hiding in the trees. It is about preparing to keep your family alive through any scenario—including every day life. Outrageous events happen all the time!thunderstorm-567678_640

For those who are convinced nothing bad ever happens, including war, natural disasters or just bad luck in general, it is them who should take a look in the mirror and adjust their tin foil hats. Bad stuff happens. It is a fact of life. It doesn’t matter if you are in the midwest, the northeast or the northwest. Things happen in life.

The following are some of the reasons people prep. You will notice foil hats have nothing to do with these scenarios.

*Natural disasters—it doesn’t matter where you live, Mother Nature is there and sometimes she gets a little testy and throws a heck of a storm just for fun. It could be torrential rains that cause flooding and leave people stuck in their homes for a day or two or it could be violent snowstorms, major tornadoes and hurricanes or even a wild thunderstorm. It doesn’t matter where you live. A storm can leave you cooped up in your house for days.

*Civil unrest or rioting. Yes, we have seen this happening more and more. Sure, you can take your chances and head on down to the 7-11 to buy that loaf of bread where angry folks are rioting or you can stay home and watch it all on the news while you enjoy your canned food and other munchies from your emergency supply.

*Act of war or terrorism—you never know. While this one is thankfully rare in places like the UK and the US, you never know. That is why people prep because it has happened and it is unpredictable.

emergency*Medical emergency leaves you unable to work. What if you or your spouse or your child gets extremely sick and you cannot work. Sure, you may be able to scrape by and pay the mortgage and utilities, but buying food and other supplies could be tough. Having a backup supply ensures you will be able to feed your family even when times are tough.

*The loss of a job. Nobody has guaranteed job security. Even if you find another one, there is going to be a few weeks without pay. A few weeks where money is going to be short. Having an emergency food supply provides you a cushion that allows you to fall back on it when things are tough.

If you are not convinced, know this; it is always better to have and not need than to need and not have.

Supplementing Your Food Supply After SHTF

dandelionYou have been busy stockpiling food and are probably pretty comfortable with what you have amassed thus far. Maybe you are one of those who has calculated your food stores right down to the serving and the amount of days you have on hand. Or you may be one of those who just kind of eyeballs your shelves and guesstimates how many days you have on hand. Both methods are really estimates because you never know who is going to be home when it hits the fan. What if you happen to have relatives visiting or a portion of your food supply is damaged? You need to have a backup plan to supplement your food supply after disaster strikes.
Foraging

Foraging is going to be your best option. You may envision yourself as the great white hunter, but hunting large game is not easy. It is time-consuming and zaps your energy. Energy is not something you can afford to waste when you are low on food. You need to learn what plants you can eat that will help sustain you while you set traps or go fishing for a bigger source of food. There are literally thousands of plants you can munch on. However, nearly every edible plant has a doppelganger that just happens to be poisonous or will cause some nasty side effects. You need to spend some time learning what is safe and what to avoid. It doesn’t hurt to have a manual with your food stores to use as a reference tool. Going through the testing process to determine what is safe to eat and what isn’t can take a full day. You don’t have that kind of time.

Trapping

You may be short on ammunition and unless you have spent time learning how to use a bow and arrow, you are going to have to rely on setting traps. Traps are best used for small game, but you can certainly attempt to trap deer, bear and wild hogs. Small game is easier and more prolific than the large beasts we are used to putting on our dinner tables. Every little bit helps. Along with your book about edible plants, download and print a few instructional guides about how to build various traps with the items you find in your surroundings.fishing

It doesn’t matter if you have enough food to last a year. You have to be prepared to supplement your existing food supply just in case things go wrong or the disaster completely turns the world upside down and you will be forced to survive on your wit and skills for longer than a year. Prepare and practice today to make your uncertain tomorrow a little easier.