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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

List of ‘Collapse’ Medical Supplies

Original Article


Ken adds: Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy have a unique website in this survival niche, and I enjoy reading their posts with their combined medical backgrounds. I am happy to post this article and help promote their website.

Guest post: by ‘Nurse Amy’

Here’s my list of Collapse medical supplies with natural remedies included( we should have these as back-ups or for first use supplies to save commercially made items!). Dr.Bones and I spend a lot of time and energy researching “back-up” plans for traditional medicine. We want YOU to have the knowledge to provide medical help if we have a collapse. I have planted over 60 different medicinal herbs in my raised beds and am learning how incredible natural remedies can be.

Collapse medical supplies:
oral antibiotics- may also include garlic oil, honey,cayenne,thyme oil,peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil as herbal alternatives or fresh garlic or ginger

OR if you can’t acquire Rx antibiotics, see our 4 part series that discusses antibiotics/their fish antibiotic equivalents and how to use them, this is part one:

antibiotic ointment and/or antibacterial herbal salve ( with calendula/tea tree oil/lavender oils)

multi size bandages- lots of these in several sizes, spot, knuckle, size 1×3 is great to cover most lacerations

ace bandages- 3 or 4

steri strips and butterfly bandages to close minor lacerations

TONS of gauze/dressings (sterile and non-sterile 4x4s)

include lots of “telfa” pads( non-adherent-so healing wounds won’t stick to the dressing) and a xeroform petroleum dressing (non stick)

ABD pads (usually 5×9) also called combine dressings

10×30 trauma dressing

tapes- include duct, adhesive and paper ( for adhesive tape allergies)

quality bandage scissor/trauma shear ( ALL METAL, the plastic handle ones break cutting jean material!)

Pliable fracture material

mole skin- for blisters


LOTS of nitrile gloves

a couple pair of sterile size 7 1/2 gloves

hand sanitizer

betadine swabs/wipes

BZK wipes-to clean hands/wounds

alcohol pads

masks- surgical(for sick people) and N-95s(for healthy people to keep them from getting sick!)

dermabond (Rx) OR super glue ( may burn the skin)

needle holder and sutures (2-0 nylon- don’t bother with 3-0 or smaller- higher the number=smaller the needle!)

curved kelley clamp ( to remove foreign objects from wounds)


several large safety pins

magnifying glass

pen light

tongue depressor(s)

clotting powders/dressings- cayenne ppepper powder may help minor bleeding

styptic pencil- minor bleeding

quality tourniquet- only use in severe bleeding that will stop with a major pressure dressing or clotting agents
olaes modular bandage
Israel bandage

blood stopper dressing (dressing with 2 kerlix attached for wrapping)


cravet triangle bandages

snake bit kit

rubber bag (hot water bottle)

Re-useable GEL packs- can be cooled OR heated

Fels naptha soap- to wash off poison Ivy,oak or sumac from skin and clothes (also a great clothes detergent)

dental kit- toothpicks, dental mirror, cottontip applicators, dental filling material ( commercial or mix zinc oxide powder and 2 drops clove oil), pill cups for mixing the dental filling,

baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and 2 drops of peppermint oil make a great gum treatment and toothpaste

extra essential clove oil (numbs dental pain when applied directly
Eye cup

eye wash

eye pads/eye patch

an Ear oil natural remedy ( usually has garlic oil and mullein oil)- use 2 warmed drops in the affected ear and place a cotton ball over the ear canal secured with paper tape, repeat 3 times daily.

claritin (non-drowsy antihistamine)- hay fever/allergies

benadryl ( drowsy antihistamine)-allergic reactions to stings/medication/food/contact with irritants/this is the other ingredient in tylenol PM! It really puts you to sleep at 50mg dose, but this is a better dose for serious allergic reactions!

epipen (Rx), if needed for serious allergic reactions


eucalyptus essential oil- also a decongestant and good for coughs ( direct or steam inhalation/ a good insect repellent

pain relievers/analgesics- aspirin (not for children) /Tylenol/ibuprofen

arnica essential oil/salve (great mixed with St.John’s Wort)- also an analgesic used externally in very dilute amounts (6-12 drops per ounce of carrier oil) see my articles ( on Natural Medical Kit:Essential oils. Great for bruises, joint and muscle pain, fracture pain, use ONLY on intact skin.

Other Analgesic Essential Oils -Consider 1 or 2 of these – lavender,chamomile,rosemary,eucalyptus, marjoram

Imodium-for diarrhea tx

hydrocortisone cream- anti-inflammatory, good for rashes

helichrysum essential oil- also anti-inflammatory and additionally an analgesic

Lip balm-I love carmex brand

zinc oxide cream-rashes and a sunscreen

zinc oxide powder medical grade- to mix with Clove bud essential oil, and make a temporary dental filling

Raw honey-externally for serious burns/internally mix with garlic oil for an antibiotic and sore throat tx

tea tree essential oil-antiseptic/antifungal/insect bite tx/burn tx
lavender essential oil-analgesic/antiseptic/calming effect for insomnia,stress/skin care-rashes and cuts

peppermint essential oil-respiratory and nasal congestion/Headache tx 1 drop to temples or inhale vapors/also good for digestive disorders/achy joints and muscle tx/ use 2 drops on toothbrush with baking soda

geranium essential oil- decreases bleeding when applied to wound/lowers blood sugar/burn tx

thieves blend essential oil- A mix of clove,lemon,cinnamon,eucalyptus and rosemary oils- Antibiotic/antiseptic/and a host of other actions.

chamomile tea bags- internally relaxing,headache tx and digestive problems/ external compress for burns,bee stings

ginger tea bags- internally good for nausea, stomachaches, digestive problems like gas and bloating, also good for motion sickness (crystallized ginger is an alternative, but weighs more)

echinacea/elderberry tea bags- supports immune system, decreases flu and cold duration

aloe vera

laxative tea bags- usually contains senna mixed with other herbs for a better flavor
powdered Gatorade-for rehydration drinks ( to tx dehydration)

multi-vitamins, extra vit c and zinc

With the above list you can handle:
colds/flu/cough/sore throat/lung congestion
aches and pains
allergies/allergic reactions
skin irritations and conditions
digestive upsets and nausea
bug bites/ bee stings/ contact dermatitis( poison ivy/oak/)
minor cuts. scrapes and lacerations-including suturing
headaches, sinus congestion
ear/eye/dental issues
stress and anxiety
oral hygiene and basic dental tx
surface disinfectant
insect repellent
and wash clothes!

I hope this helps, I have spent almost 2 years researching what would be really helpful and USEFUL in a collapse situation. Airways and ambu bags without a hospital to transfer the patient to, are mostly a waste of money. I would concentrate on the supplies you will need most and will likely be able use without too much training. Knowledge is power!
Nurse Amy

(submit your own guest post here)
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Monday, January 30, 2012

Creating A Battery Bank For Emergency Power Storage

Original Article

batterybank 320x2401 Creating A Battery Bank For Emergency Power Storage

In our last segment we discussed power inverters in the context of medical equipment. That was the main part of this series that was primarily targetted at medical equipment.

For the rest of the series, we’ll cover it from a more general perspective.

Today we’re talking about power storage, specifically storing them in battery banks. Sounds complicated, but it’s really not.

There’s a couple things you need to know and/or decide.

First, you need to know what voltage your inverter needs. This is usually going to be 12V or 24V … we’ll assume for this exercise that it’s 12V.

Second, you need to know what voltage your batteries are. A common battery for these types of systems are 6V Deep Cycle batteries from golf carts. So we’ll use those.

Finally, you need to know how much power you want to store. I’m actually going to be super arbitrary here and skip this. If you want more information about this, there will be more at the end of the post.
Without going all Electrical Engineer on you, the key concept you need to know about is Ohm’s Law. Using Ohm’s Law as a basis, if you wire batteries in Series, you increase the voltage of your system. If you wire them in parallel, then you increase the storage capacity.

Knowing those two design concepts is all you need.

Since we know that we want a 12 Volt system, we know that we need to have two of our 6 volt batteries wired in series. For a larger system we’d actually have two distinct battery banks wired in series instead. This increases our capacity as well as our voltage.

Without belaboring the point for a large system you could have two banks of six batteries, wired together in parallel, that provide essentially six times the storage capacity as a single battery. By wiring these two banks in series, we then increase the overall voltage to 12 volts.

For a more in depth discussion of the topic, I wrote an article a while ago on how to build an emergency power system … if this is something that interests you, definitely check it out. The article also discusses power generation in depth, so I’m not going to go over it again.

This will wrap up our series on emergency power for medical devices. Hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any suggestions for a how to or series post, send me a note!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What is food Poisoning?

Original Article

"Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died."
-Bombeck, Erma
Despite the name, food poisoning does not mean that someone has slipped hemlock or arsenic into your meal. Food poisoning usually means that you ate something containing an infectious agent like a virus, bacteria or parasite. But it can also mean poisoning in the real sense if you consumed a toxic agent like a poisonous mushroom or pesticide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are more than 250 known diseases that are caused by "bad" food. In the United States each year 1 in 6 people (48 million) become sick from a food-borne illnesses resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.

Common symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, fever and chills that occur within 30 minutes to 48 hours after consuming a contaminated food or drink. Most food poisoning is not serious and will run its course in 24-48 hours.

When to Seek Medical Care

Contact your doctor if
  • You have a sick child under age 3
  • You cannot keep any liquids down
  • You cannot keep down prescribed & necessary medicine because of vomiting
  • You are pregnant
  • Symptoms last for more than two days
  • You have a low-grade fever
  • Symptoms begin after recent foreign travel
  • There is an outbreak where others who ate the same thing are also sick
  • You have a weakened immune system (HIV/AIDS, cancer/chemotherapy, etc)
Go to the nearest emergency room if:
  • The sick person passes out, becomes dizzy & lightheaded, or has problems with vision.
  • You have a fever higher than 101 F (38.3 C) along with the abdominal symptoms
  • You have sharp or cramping abdomen pains do not go away after 10-15 minutes (might be appendicitis which can be deadly)
  • Your stomach or abdomen swells
  • Your skin and/or eyes turn yellow (possible liver failure?)
  • You are vomiting blood or having bloody bowel movements
  • You stop urinating, have decreased urination, or have urine that is dark in color
  • You have problem breathing, speaking, or swallowing.
  • One or more joints swell or a rash breaks out
Bottom Line

No food is every germ free so illness is not caused by consuming a single bacteria but rather from eating something with a concentration of infectious agent too numerous for the body to defeat quickly. When you buy deli meat or cook a meal, the food is safe. But as the leftovers sit in the fridge the few bacteria multiply, slowly to sure, but surely. If the leftover is completely reheated to 160 F or so the new bacteria are killed. But if you eat a week-old item cold, like cold cuts in a sandwich, then your stomach may be in for a rude shock.

Friday, January 27, 2012

It Won’t Be Mad-Max, But It Will Be Mad

Original Article


The collapse. Blogs talk about it all the time. Some portray a future resembling the 1979 movie, Mad Max starring Mel Gibson depicting an apocalyptic future of gangs and individuals killing each other for the world’s last resources. In today’s reality, a more likely scenario of apocalypse will be one of economic meltdown, which may occur rapidly or may occur in slow motion – but will occur nonetheless, and will cause pain, hardship, and a given amount of social chaos for a period of years.

Like much of the Eurozone, the U.S. is broke. Although increasing numbers of people are realizing this, the fact remains that many people are not fully aware of the magnitude of the situation and are not aware of the fact that this has been cleverly hidden from them, albeit temporarily.

The consequences of years of over-the-top debt spending and promised financial obligations are catching up with most of the subsidiaries of the U.S. government. What do I mean by that? The cities and towns, counties and sates are running large deficits with mostly zero chance to balance without severely cutting benefits and programs or severely taxing the businesses and citizenry even more than they already are.

Either way, it will only increase the downward spiral as fewer dollars will be available for people and businesses to spend. Politicians absolutely do not have the guts to pull the plug (self preservation) and will absolutely continue to kick-the-can down the road – that is, continue to borrow more money from the FED to keep the government running at current levels of spending.

The thing is, and the the thing that’s going to ultimately cause the implosion, is that the U.S. government can continue to borrow newly printed money from the FED, at will… whereas the U.S. states, counties, cities and towns cannot print their own money to back-fill their deficits. The ONLY way that they can ever hope to resolve their debts is to drastically cut off their spending (they will still owe and have to pay their existing debt) and/or they will have to drastically increase their tax revenues. That’s it. No other way.

When the ratings of these various entities begin to be downgraded due to their excessive debt-to-income on their balance sheets, their cost of borrowing more money goes much higher – which only makes the problem worse. This is happening all over Europe right now, and will certainly happen in the U.S. in the not too distant future. When it does, very painful choices will have to be made, and the middle class will suffer greatly.

The middle class will suffer the most because either way, they will get slammed more than they already have been slammed. Many will have their pensions drastically cut. Taxes will go higher. The spending power of their dollar will continue to diminish as the Federal Reserve loans more money to the U.S. government. More jobs will be lost as fewer people spend a diminishing amount of money. Those who have jobs will continue to slip further behind as ‘real’ inflation far out-paces their wage.

There is NO EASY WAY OUT of this looming mega disaster. NONE.
We can only hope that their is a crash landing rather than an all out nose dive into the ground at cruise speed. The point is, the future may not be Mad Max (except perhaps in pockets), but it will be ‘mad’. There will be those that are going to be entirely stunned when the depression catches up with them, caught entirely unaware. These folks will probably suffer the most since they will have done nothing to prepare or to change their ways now in order to soften the blow later.

So, I’m warning you now, IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. The magnitude and duration is unknown, but the net amount of pain will be severe – either very long and moderately painful or shorter and mind-numbingly painful. My bet is the long version because the government doesn’t want a massive social meltdown which would surely occur given a short and severe outcome.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Preparing For The Next Bank Run

Original Article

bank run 1931 300x232 Preparing For The Next Bank Run

This morning as you’re walking out the door heading to work you decide to swing by the ATM on your way to work. It’s been a long weekend and you haven’t been watching the news like you usually do.

You get to the bank and hit up the drive through ATM. Except when you reach to put your card in the machine you see a notice that it’s out of order.

Fine, there’s another bank on the way. But when you get there, same thing. You drive across the street to another bank. Different bank all together, but you’re willing to pay the fee to get the cash.

No dice.

Now you’re worried, so you turn on the radio in time to catch the news. And that’s how you find out that all of the major banks as well as the credit card networks have shut down all ATMs and credit card terminals in the country. Apparantly you missed a minor bank run over the weekend.

Well, maybe not all that minor, since enough banks were affected that they shut down everything. The banks expect things to be offline for at least a week while things get settled.
And here you are, no cash, your cards don’t work, and since nobody takes checks anymore, you haven’t had any printed for five years.

So now what?

Well, if only you had prepared ahead of time! How you ask?

First and foremost, have cash. And not just walkaround cash in your purse or wallet. You need to have a stash of actual paper cash in your home, preferably a couple stashes in a couple different parts of the house.
How much? At LEAST a few hundred bucks, ideally in 20s, with some smaller bills. Better yet, between $500 and $1000.

Next, having some paper checks around isn’t that bad an idea. I know we use almost exclusively electronic checks through our bank, but having paper checks is still useful for enough that you should keep them around.
Between the two your cash needs will be mostly covered. But you’re not done.

You’ll want to make sure you have food covered. While you probably have long term food covered, for something like this you don’t need to necessarily dip into your long term stash. So try not to let your fresh and short term food stash get too depleted.

Assuming you have these things covered, you’re good to go for a short term cash interruption.
If the bank run is something serious…well, that’s where your long term preps come into play. Way outside of the scope of this article!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

10 Best Survival Movie Lessons

Original Article

The Best Survival Movie
Here is a look at the 10 best survival lessons from the big screen.  From time to time the motion picture industry produces movies and TV shows which convey a good representation of “worst case scenarios” that mankind could face in a post-apocalyptic world.

By Bama Bull, a contributor to

Here is a list of nine movies and one TV show that, in my humble opinion, are a good portrayal of what life could be like in the future in a  TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know it) situation.  I have not included any of the reality-based shows – such as “Man vs. Wild; The Colony, Dual Survival; or Man, Woman, Wild” – on this list.  These are all good shows in their own right – offering many great survival lessons, techniques and tips.  However, they don’t have the budgets and resources to create futuristic TEOTWAWKI environments or provide a deeper look at the darker side of the human condition.
As a disclaimer up front, there are several films that involve aliens and zombies – which I will admit are probably not very likely scenarios leading to the end of the world.  However, it is not the cause of the apocalypse that is important; but how people act and react to what is happening to them in the situations they encounter.  This is what provides the “food for thought” and lets you think about what or how you might do it differently.
Each film or show contains the title, year of release, run time, audience rating code, lead actors, a synopsis of the plot, and some key highlights to look for when watching.  They are not ranked in any particular order.  And yes, a good many have zombies!  So smile and enjoy.

1.  The Road (2009) 111 min, R

Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron and Robert Duvall
A good film adaptation from the novel by Cormac McCarthy.
Plot: A global trigger event leaves the world burned, cold, covered in ash and lacking of any edible plants or animal life.  A man and Survival Movie The Roadhis young son travel carefully on back roads from a northern state, through the Appalachian mountains, in an attempt to flee the coming winter and head to the southern coast.  They work to survive by any means possible.  The film portrays a darker side of man-kind, which resorts to cannibalism to survive. (Available on Amazon – Click Here)
* Take care when traveling roads and contact with other people.
* How to haul your survival supplies over long distances.
* Starvation is a long, slow process.
* “Keeping the fire,” and are you one of the “good guys?”

2.  The Book of Eli (2010) 118 min, R

Stars: Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis and Gary Oldman
Plot: A post-apocalyptic tale of a “lone wolf” on a personal quest to get a rare book to the west coast.  Washington walks across an The Best Survival MovieAmerica depleted of resources, but still full of groups of dangerous and desperate people. (Available on Amazon – Click Here)
* Benefits of carrying both firearms and low-tech weapons.
* How to barter for what you need.
* You have to be prepared to kill bad people or they will kill you.
* Your faith can sustain you and help guide your actions.

3.  The Day After Tomorrow (2004) 124 min, PG-13

Stars: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal and Emmy Rossum
Plot: The world experiences climatic change resulting in a new ice-age and a paleo-climatologist (Quaid) must travel from The Best Survival MovieWashington, D.C., across a frozen east coast, to rescue his son and friends holding out in a New York City library against sub- freezing temperatures. (Available on Amazon – Click Here)
* Survival against the cold takes planning and good gear.
* Big urban cities make escape very difficult.
* You have to consider and plan for bad weather conditions.
* Listen to Dad, sometimes he knows what he’s talking about!

4.  The War of the Worlds (2005) 116 min, PG-13

Stars: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins
Plot: The Earth is invaded by returning aliens looking to harvest humans. The invasion starts with electro-magnetic (EMP) attacks to The Best Survival Moviedisrupt all electronic devices and knock out electrical power and communications.  Cruise, a dock worker, with his two kids bug out of urban Newark, New Jersey, and try to reach their in-law’s home in urban Boston.  With no plan or supplies, Cruise has to improvise along the way. (Available at Amazon – Click Here)
* Importance of having basic bug-out gear and supplies on hand.
* Crowds are dangerous and can get you killed.
* Stock up on food and water at first opportunity; get a backpack.
* Don’t lose your weapon – you may need it for the crazy guy.

5.  Zombieland (2009) 88 min, R

Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson
Plot: After a zombie apocalypse occurs, a surviving college student (Eisenberg) tries to get home to his family in Ohio.  To increase The Best Survival Moviehis survival chances, he creates a set of rules.  During his travels he be-friends a tough guy on a hunt to find some Twinkies, and a pair of con-artist sisters heading to a California amusement park for one last good time.  (Available @ Amazon – Click Here)
* It’s good to have a set of basic survival rules – you’ll live longer.
* People will trick you, take your stuff, and leave you stranded.
* Don’t scare people if you don’t want to get shot.
* It is good to remember “Rule 32” when you can.

6.  Dawn of the Dead (2004) 101 min, R

Stars: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames and Mekhi Phifer
Plot: A group of survivors takes refuge in a shopping mall during a zombie apocalypse.  More survivors arrive and they learn that ifThe Best Survival Movie they want to stay alive, they need to stick together against the undead.  For being unprepared and without a plan, they learn to make do with what they find in the mall and food court. (Available @ Amazon – Click Here)
* Malls can be a good refuge if you can secure the doors.
* You need to determine who you can and cannot trust.
* Have a break-out plan and a destination.
* Every group will have a**holes you’ll have to deal with.

7.  I Am Legend (2007) 101 min, PG-13

Stars: Will Smith, Alice Braga and Charlie Tahan
Plot: It is several years after a new anti-cancer vaccine mutates into a killer plague which transforms the infected into monsters and The Best Survival Moviekills most of humanity.  Smith is a lone military research doctor struggling to survive in New York City while working valiantly to find a cure for humanity.  (Available at Amazon – Click Here)
* A dog can be a good survival companion.
* If your defenses are good, you don’t need to sleep in a hard tub.
* Plan to be home or off the road before dark.
* Be careful when scavenging and entering buildings.

8.  28 Days Later (2002) 113 min, R

Stars: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston and Alex Palmer
Plot: A bicycle messenger injured in an accident awakens from a coma in a London hospital four weeks after a mysterious, incurable The Best Survival Movievirus spreads throughout England.  Wearing only a gown, he first struggles to find help and learn what happened.  He links up with a handful of survivors, who then flee the city to find sanctuary in country side.  (Available @ Amazon – Click Here)
* Light and noise discipline is a must at night.
* Buckets on the roof help to collect rain water.
* Short cuts may be worst than taking the long way around.
* Be wary of government troops.

9.  The Walking Dead (2010) TV Series – Season 1, MatureThe Best Survival Movie

Stars: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal and Laurie Holden
Plot: Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes (Lincoln) awakens from a coma in an abandoned hospital in rural Georgia to discover a real TEOTWAWKI nightmare situation (a very similar start to the movie “28 Days Later”).  He embarks to find his wife and son; then ends up helping to lead a group of survivors in a world overrun by the walking dead. While zombies are a minor problem, it’s the problem of dealing with the living that presents challenges.  (Available @ Amazon – Click Here)
* People will fight over resources.
* Be prepared to defend your campsite.
* There is strength in numbers and provides for a division of labor.
* You can supplement your food stores with local fish and game.

10.  The Postman (1997) 177 min, RThe Best Survival Movie

Stars: Kevin Costner, Will Patton and Olivia Williams
Plot: In the year 2013, America is all but destroyed after a war that decimates most of the population and the government.  People struggle to survive against starvation and rogue groups of armed men.  Costner, a drifter, is forced to join a rogue militia, but escapes at his first chance.  He finds an old postal jeep with a postal uniform and mailbag, and starts conning people with old letters that the government has reorganized and order is being reestablished.  (Available @ Amazon – Click Here)
* People who band together have a better chance at survival.
* Teach basic survival skills early, others may need them.
* It is hard to argue with the people who have the guns.
* Americans know “freedom is never free” – it’s earned the hard way.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Building a Sustainable Armory - Air Rifles

Original Article

As I have mentioned before I believe every type of (Personal) weapon and technology has a place within the sustainable survivalist armory. The largest restraints we run into are finances, time and space.

Finances is pretty obvious, who can afford to pickup two of everything these days? The sheer number of firearms and other weapons that can fill a niche is overwhelming to say the least. Eventually you would have so many weapons you wouldn't be able to keep up maintenance on them nor log enough practice time with them. Space is pretty obvious as well, it doesn't take long to fill a safe or even a small room with firearms and hand weapons.

One niche that I feel needs to be filled these days is the air rifle. I am no expert on the different brands by any stretch but with the new technology and advances the .177 caliber air rifles can be useful for sustained collapse or off grid hunting and varmint control. They are also so economical that you almost cannot afford not to stock one or two. For any type of defense they are pretty useless of course but the advances in FPS and accuracy can take down small game at a price that cannot be beat.

I decided to fill this niche for the Small-Hold armory with absolutely no knowledge of current air rifles and no in person guru for guidance. The wide range and some pretty heavy duty price tags of some of the rifles out there was surprising to say the least. Since I was just starting out I didn't want to spend the big bucks and I settled on the Ruger Air Magnum. At around $150.00 the price was certainly right and it advertised upto 1400 FPS with the right pellets putting it int he power level of several much higher dollar rifles. The reviews I could find had pros and cons but nothing that convinced me it wouldn't be a good place to start.

Some of the reviews have stated the 1400 FPS is a bit exaggerated and that the scope included in the kit is worthless but overall I can say that I have been delighted with this little toy. My son and I have used it for target practice just stepping outside and it certainly has some power to it. More than enough to bag some small game and my bet is that with a little practice it could be used to take a ground feeding goose, at least until they got wise to your technique.

The Ruger Air Magnum is not a small rifle. It is bulky and heavy and does take some strength to cock. Regardless of their short comings and a weapon status barely above toy level I believe today's air rifles do have a useful niche for a sustainable armory. The Ruger happened to be the one I decided to pick up if any of you are more knowledgeable and have suggestions they would be more than welcome since I will need to pick up a second air rifle for the armory anyway. I haven't calculated the cost per pellet of using them but I can say it will be damned cheap overall.

Dollar for dollar I am quite happy with the performance and potential of the modern day air rifle and am happy to add it to the survival armory.

Keep Surviving Everyone!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cloudy With a Chance of Contagion: Forecasting Station Set Up to Monitor Epidemics and Infectious Diseases

Original Article

We are all aware that medicine is an imperfect art, and forecasting disease outbreaks is an inexact science.

Because epidemics and pandemics can occur suddenly and without warning, a nation’s medical infrastructure can quickly become inundated with the sick, thus causing the contagious illness to further infect and spread throughout the country. That being said, scientists have developed a groundbreaking forecasting system to track infectious diseases in order to keep the general public abreast of any threatening epidemics.

This forecasting station, modeled after our current weather forecasting system, has been designed to flag potential infectious diseases that could overwhelm the country and possibly collapse the fragile medical infrastructure the population is so dependent on.

This bio-surveillance project is operated by Praecipio International, a non-profit international intercept team who is presently working in conjunction with The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to anticipate infectious disease outbreaks that arise from natural disasters on a global spectrum. Praecipio International is responsible for using the Haiti Epidemic Advisory System (HEAS) to track the cholera epidemic in Haiti where the epidemic is still a daily battle.

The scientists at Praecipio International are “more akin to disaster sociology than public health, and monitor social indicators of infectious disease crises and disasters.”  Shortly after the earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, 2011:
Praecipio was able to rapidly conduct a “radar sweep” using the Internet and by monitoring Twitter feeds across 6 languages for the island of Hispaniola, which includes the countries of Haiti and Dominican Republic. We knew instantly from media, blogs, and SMS traffic what was being documented in terms of infectious disease. Consultation with peer-reviewed academic literature enabled us to construct a baseline for several diseases of concern and issue the first infectious disease forecast report in the world, for Haiti, on January 17, 2010.
As previously noted, cholera and other disaster related diseases are still a daily issue in Haiti even one year after the devastating earthquake leveled most of  the small island. With Haiti being the first country in the world to monitor epidemic activity, they have an upper hand to proactively intervene in order to control the outbreaks and epidemics from exacerbating. This forecasting model is serving as a guideline for the rest of the world.  Hospitals and treatment facilities are already beginning to adopt this forecasting system in order to assist with patients who are more susceptible to outbreaks. The Delta County Memorial Hospital “Kids Wellcast”, is one of the first to understand the importance of this biosurveillance system.

HEAS has quickly become the first of it’s kind to empower patients with information to help them stay better prepared. Further, having a forecasting system that monitors infectious disease outbreaks will propel us out of ”dark ages” in terms of epidemics and pandemics. Rather than reacting to the outbreak and potentially subjecting ourselves to others who may be infected, we will be able to anticipate the infectious disease ahead of time in order to better prepare for it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Baking Soda: Another Wonder Substance

Original Article

uses of baking soda
A while back, I wrote a piece extolling the virtues of vinegar.  I want to focus some attention on another inexpensive multipurpose agent-  sodium bicarbonate.
Nearly everyone has a box or two of this humble stuff hanging around.  You probably have one in the pantry and maybe another in the fridge to keep it from developing strange smells.  I mentioned using it in the diaper pail between washings too.  Beyond cooking and diapers, baking soda has lots of great uses.  Here are some that may be new to you.

1.  Multipurpose Cleaner

Baking soda can be used to clean things all over the house.
  1. It boosts your detergent in the wash.
  2. It loosens burned food -  either use as a non-scratching scouring agent moistened on a dish scrubber or dissolve in hot water and allow to soak before scrubbing.
  3. Make a toothpaste out of it-  it is great for cleaning teeth and freshening breath, though it will be more pleasing to the palate with a drop of peppermint oil mixed in.
  4. Get the strong smell of onions, garlic, and other potent things off your hands by scrubbing them with some baking soda, soap, and warm water.
  5. Use it in place of scouring powder when cleaning sinks and tubs.

2.  Fire Extinguisher

Sodium bicarbonate gives off carbon dioxide when heated.  This helps to smother flames in some types of fires.  Be very careful not to get too close to the fire when applying it though.  Quite a bit may be needed.

3.  Add to your soak water when preparing dried beans

One old remedy for preventing gas when eating beans is to soak the beans in water that has baking soda dissolved in it.  This is said to pull out some of the gas causing components which you then drain off before cooking.
Also, some say it makes the soak time go faster, especially in hard water.

4.  Get rid of the gamey flavor of wild meats

I am not a big fan of venison or wild duck.  My husband is a good shot, though and we don’t waste meat.  To help to take some of the strong taste out, you can soak the meat (overnight at least, possibly with a change of liquid) in a solution of baking soda and water.
If you think about it, if food gets scarce, you may grateful for whatever the hunters can bring in.  To make it more palatable to the picky eaters, this trick may really help.

5.  General Purpose Deodorizer

Whether it is stinky gym shoes, wet dog smell, or your armpits, baking soda does a lot to help neutralize odors.  You can sprinkle it on as needed.  For personal deodorant, you may want to combine with cornstarch.  Be careful not to inhale it as that can be problematic for some people.

6.  Repel Crawling Insects

I have no personal experience with this one, though I will try it now that I know about it.  Some people claim that when sprinkled along baseboards and windowsills, it will deter ants and roaches.

7.  Replace Baking Powder

Not by itself, though.  There is an infamous story in our house about “someone” putting 3 tablespoons of baking soda in the pancake batter instead of 3 teaspoons of baking powder.  Those were some salty pancakes!
If you run out of baking powder, you can use some soda with either cream of tartar or vinegar to replace the leavening.

8.  Cure an Acidic Stomach

One of the easiest antacids to make is a spoonful of baking soda dissolved in a glass of water.

9.  Treat Bites, Stings, Sunburns, and Rashes

Some people make a paste of sodium bicarbonate and water and apply it to skin irritations and leave on until the next shower.

10.  Treat Canker Sores

Canker sores are those spots inside your mouth you may get after accidentally biting into your lip, jabbing yourself with a toothbrush, or just from stress.  Gargling with baking soda dissolved in warm water may help them clear up.

11.  Remove Cradle Cap

Some babies get very dry scaly scalps when they are young.  It is often called “cradle cap.”  Some mothers apply olive oil to the spots and then use baking soda to gently scrub the scales off.

12.  Take a Sponge Bath

Low on soap or water?  Dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water and take a sponge bath.  It is considered to be gentle, so it may be a better option for those with sensitive skin.

13.  Clear the Drain

You will want to save your lye for making soap.  To clear a slow drain, try 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1/2 cup vinegar.  After letting it work for a while, flush with lots of hot water.
And here is the one that I find most interesting:

14.  Flu Preventative and Treatment.

An old theory of preventing and treating influenza is to create an alkaline environment in the body that is not conducive for the virus.  The treatment is to drink baking soda dissolved in water at least twice a day to raise the pH of the blood.  Since most microbes need a more acidic environment, they would not be able to live long or reproduce.  It is claimed that even if the treatment begins after symptoms of flu come on, the intensity and duration of the virus is greatly reduced.
Some Notes
Be forewarned that some people should use caution in ingesting a lot of baking soda because of the levels sodium and the possibility of depleting some vitamins and minerals.  This would be a short term treatment.
This fantastic agent is quite inexpensive, especially compared to buying remedies for each of the above problems individually.  It can be purchased in 5 pound bags in big box stores.  (Look near the pool supplies if you don’t find it with the baking items).
Once opened, a package has a relatively short life as leavening in baking, but you can rotate it for other purposes at that point.
So, what are your favorite uses for baking soda?  Please share in the comments section.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quick One – Homemade Glue

Original Article

If you are going to stick stuff together then you are going to need glue. Here are two ways to make glue from animal byproducts.

Hide Glue

1) Scrape or sand dried rawhide and collect the dust. The smaller, the better, but you could chop it into small pieces.
2) Make sure the hide is defleshed, and clean off as much dirt and grime as possible.
3) Add to a pot with hot water and simmer (just below a boil) forever. At least 24 hours, maybe 36 hours. Keep topping off with water.
4) When you have a honey-colored syrup, strain out any remaining dirt and undissolved bits of hide with cheesecloth.
5) Return the filtered liquid to heat, and simmer it down to the consistency of honey, or maybe a bit thicker. Commercial plants keep this mixture at 160F for this stage, and use a vacuum to help evaporate the excess water off. Do not let it boil – the glue will be ruined.
6) pour the thickened mixture into a pan, and allow it to cool away from sunlight.
7) Once the mixture gels, remove it from the pan and cut into thin squares. It should be the consistency of really, really thick jell-o.
8) Run a string through the squares and allow to dry away from any sunlight. The resulting flakes last forever if kept away from any moisture and sunlight.
9) To reconstitute the glue, add the flakes to a little water and heat to 140F. It should be the consistency of pasty-honey. keep the glue at that temperature to use it. They used to use glue-pots for just this purpose.

Fish Glue

1) Collect a bunch of fish scales. Rinse them about a billion times to remove any fish smell from them. If you don’t the stink will be unbearable. 12oz of scales makes a couple of ounces of glue.
2) In a sealed, heatproof container, cover the scales with water.
3) Toss the sealed container into a pot of boiling water. Make sure the container doesn’t let water into the container.
4) Allow the scales to boil, then cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.
5) the scales should have dissolved, giving you a clear, strong glue. Keep cool in a sealed container when not in use.

Working with Animal Glues
  • Keep your joints tight. These glues have no gap-filling properties.
  • Hide glue needs to be kept at 140F while working with it. When done, allow to cool and just re-heat to continue. You might have to add a little water every now and then to the glue pot.
  • Open time for these glues is about a minute – plan your glue-ups accordingly, and use dry runs to make sure you can pull it off.
  • An advantage to hide glue is you do not need a lot of clamping power. The glue naturally pulls the joint tighter.
  • Fish glue is thinner and less sticky than hide glue.
  • Both glues have poor moisture resistance, use a wax to protect it.
  • The strength of the glue can vary widely. The temperature used to cook down and the amount of water used to reconstitute are the primary factors.
Hide glue can be purchased in granules and kept indefinitely. Five pounds of crystals sell for ~$35.  All other woodworking glues have very short shelf lives. Urea formaldehyde and yellow woodworking glues lose their strength after a year. I’ve stored yellow glue carefully, and managed to squeak it out to the two year mark. I have not had much luck with CA glues – they go bad after 6 months once opened. storing the sealed containers in the freezer does extend the CA glue’s life.
Hopefully this helps! As always please contribute by adding comments or an e-mail.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Survival Skills for Barter

Original Article

image by Bekathwia
When preparing for an emergency or long term survival situation, it is good to think about items that will be useful for barter.  Maybe there is someone who will have all the supplies he or she needs and all the know how to use them so they can be totally self sufficient, but I’m guessing that will be pretty rare.  The rest of us will have to barter some of what we have for the things we need.

You could barter with physical goods.  Extra food and survival gear will be desirable.  However, how much “extra” do you have?  And at what point do you decide that you really have “extra” food, medicine, toilet paper, etc.?

Here is where your skill set comes into play.  If you have survival skills that you can barter with, you will never run out.  And skills don’t take any extra space in your food storage room (although some may require some types of equipment to perform properly).  Many survival skills are lacking in today’s general population and someone may gladly trade you something you want or need if you’ll perform a service for them.  Of course, survival skills may keep you or your family alive as well, so they’re worth having even if you don’t want to barter with them.  So here are some valuable survival skills for barter–feel free to add to the list in the comments.

1. Medical skills.  From first aid to use of herbs to minor surgery, medical skills are way up on the list of barter skills.  May require specific equipment, so make sure to have the items you need.

2. Gardening.  Someone has seeds but doesn’t know what to do with them?  Trade them garden work for a portion of the produce.

3. Construction.  Working with hand tools, wood, metal, etc. to build shelters, tools, and whatever other implements are necessary for survival.  Have the tools you need to accomplish the work.

4. Sewing/mending.  If I can provide you with a “like new” pair of pants by patching the ones you own, what’s that worth?  You’ll need basic sewing supplies like needles, thread, buttons, extra fabric, etc.  Also look into supplies capable of handling heavy jobs for repair of canvas, coats, or other thick materials.

5. Off grid cooking.  Your neighbor has a bunch of wheat in buckets in their basement, but doesn’t know how to make it into real food their family will eat.  You cook their food for both of you to eat.  Good deal.

6. Manual labor.  Some folks may not be able to physically dig themselves out of the rubble or get rid of that tree that fell in their yard.  Here’s where a strong man or woman could use a basic skill that really doesn’t require much training other than being reasonably physically fit.

7. Reloading ammo.  This will require some specialized equipment and supplies.  Not sure how many bullets, how much powder, brass, etc. you can store, but reloading could come in handy.

8. Vehicle repair.  Cars, bicycles, etc.  This will probably also require some specialized tools.
In general, any ability to make, build, produce, or repair something of use is a potential barter skill.  Skills can be traded for physical products or for other skills.  And, unlike extra toilet paper,  you can trade your skills again and again without the concern of running out of them.

So what skills do you have that you could barter with?  What skills would you trade for if someone else had them?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Audio Podcast Episode-819- Billy Joel’s Allentown – History Lesson, Prophecy or Both

English: Podcast or podcasting icon Fran├žais :...Image via Wikipedia

Original Article

Today we are going to do something completely different and look at the old Billy Joel hit from 1982, “Allentown”. My hope is after you hear today’s show you will fully understand what I mean when I say, “history, prophecy … Continue reading →

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Avoiding a Survival Crisis - The Importance of Routine Maintenance

Original Article

Many times a crisis is one that we have unwittingly created ourselves and our actions will often determine whether or not we will survive that crisis. It’s the little things we often ignore or fail to give proper attention that will quite literally turn a small disaster into an even bigger one.
One thing that is easily forgotten is routine maintenance. There is a reason why they call it routine. It quite literally means what it says...routine. The routine maintenance of your vehicles, equipment and other items should be included as a part of your daily routine. It will make surviving a crisis a lot easier.
Items have a tendency to wear out, break or simply go bad and then they will fail to work properly when they may be needed most (i.e., Murphy’s Law). The solution is to avoid that happening at the worst possible time. Things will last longer and work a lot better if you give them the proper care and provide it with adequate maintenance on a regular basis.
There is going to be a cost factor that is associated with regular maintenance but it will usually be far less than the cost of the needed repairs that may be incurred otherwise. Many times simple maintenance will allow you to recognize a problem before major and very costly repairs may be required. Failing to do the proper maintenance on your equipment is a disaster waiting to happen.

The most important benefit of routine maintenance is the ability to avoid costly repairs and a breakdown at the worst possible time. Things will still break and wear out but it shouldn’t happen as frequently. As a result, you might just make it easier to survive with a little routine maintenance.
Got routine maintenance?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stealth vs. Open Defense in a TEOTWAWKI Scenario

Original Article

The Two Strategies
At a high level, there are two different strategies that one can take when trying to survive aggressors when TEOTWAWKI rolls around.
On one hand, you can lay low and try to remain unnoticed/hidden, or at least be so elusive that an aggressor can't mount a direct attack against you. You operate from concealment and have, generally, a run/hide mentality when trouble runs around. If you engage the enemy, it's going to be using sniper or guerrilla tactics; you won't survive a standup fight. But mostly, you hunker down, stay hidden and survive.

On the other hand, you can maintain an open defensive posture, where you directly confront aggressors. In this case, you would have things like open patrols, check points and other obvious defensive measures. Your organization would have ability to project obvious power and control within your area of operations, allowing you to maintain some level of law/order. When trouble comes around, you stand up and fight.

These two different strategies go back to the natural instincts of fight versus flight--sometimes, it makes sense to stand and fight, other times it makes sense to run and hide. You can see these play out in conflicts today and throughout history--the U.S. against insurgents/Al Queda, the DEA against drug smugglers, Anne Frank and the Nazis and so on.

Open Defense
This is the defensive posture we'd all like to take -- no one wants to live in secrecy and in constant fear of attack or discovery. You want to stand up for yourself, your family and what is yours. Unfortunately, it takes a good amount of power to be able to live this way. You've got to be strong enough to scare away potential attackers and defeat any who are brave enough to test their luck. That means that you need manpower and firepower.

A small survival group is not going to be able to take this stance--you'd need a larger group--a neighborhood or a small town, most likely. The community would form some kind of neighborhood watch or town militia for mutual defense, probably with the aid of intact law enforcement or military personnel. With the bodies and some fire power, a community could defend their homes and maintain order.

In survival fiction, the towns in One Second After and the neighborhood in Lights Out take an open defense posture. The town in Jericho does, too.

In a collapse scenario, I think this would be the response of most communities. When a larger community breaks down (nation, state, city, etc.), it's a somewhat natural transition to fall back onto a more immediate community--the people next door and across the street. There's huge advantages to community--it's civilization and safety. A sustainable community would provide the best quality of life, post-TEOTWAWKI--but it would have to be sustainable. That means things like local water, food, probably some kind of fuel, and decent people who don't already hate each other.

Problems come when things like food and water run out, internal strife tears the community apart, the community runs into an aggressor they can't contend with, or if disaster renders the community unlivable. How fast that will happen is going to vary wildly based on your location.

The Stealth Approach
If you can't beat aggressors in a stand-up fight, then it's run and hide or become subject to the aggressor's will. In general, this survival strategy means, surprise, a lot of hiding out and going unnoticed. If fighting must be done, it's using sniper and guerrilla tactics. If movement must be done, its probably at night or at least in thick cover and well camouflaged. If your hide site is located and threatened by a superior force, then you bug out to somewhere safe, maybe with a sniper or guerrilla attack to slow the baddies down and allow you some breathing room. You get the picture.

This kind of existence is difficult to sustain long term. Survival is hard enough without having to worry about doing everything in secrecy. For example, how do you farm or raise a vegetable garden in secrecy? How do you cook or keep from freezing to death without drawing attention? How do you deal with waste? Now compound these problems with multiple families. Very difficult.

Living way out in the hinter-boonies would offer some advantages, but in a collapse scenario, every remote farmhouse or cabin will have a good number of visitors looking for a place to hole up or scavenge. If there's a road, people will find it. And yes, you can make a house look abandoned or burnt out, but desperate and curious people will still check it out. Crowds certainly will be smaller way out in the middle of nowhere, but your chances of having backup from neighbors/the community are also going to be lower. If your group can't deal with whoever comes knocking, then you've got a problem.

A real hide site is going to be, well, really difficult for anyone to find. Hard to access and hidden. In a rural setting, a remote and well-camouflaged camp that's not accessible by road; maybe a cave or excavated hide. In a more populated setting, a concealed bunker or hidden safe room. Spider holes and hideouts, that kind of thing.

As mentioned, a hide is going to be very difficult to sustain long term, so it will probably need to be a temporary situation. You will need to emerge and resupply eventually, whether that is through pre positioned caches, barter, hunting/gathering, farming or relocating to another area entirely.

In survival fiction, the man and his son in The Road generally follow a stealthy approach to survival, avoiding contact and hiding when trouble comes around. They have it best when they find the concealed and well-stocked underground bunker. In Patriots, the Group adopts this strategy when confronted by the evil U.N./black helicopter invaders and retreat to their wilderness hide and begin their guerrilla war. In the Survivalist series, John Rourke's concealed retreat/cave complex is an elaborate and well-stocked hide.

Use Both
It would be narrow-minded to only think through one strategy or the other. An open, community or large group-based approach to defense and security is going to be preferential for most of us, but it may or may not work out. The back-up plan in that case would be a stealthy approach--if the community is done for, you bug out to somewhere safe and hunker down until things blow over.

In more common prepper terms, if your local neighborhood/community is a viable option, then an open, community based approach may make sense. If that fails, then you still have the opportunity to bug out and hide. Consider and plan for either possibility and I think you'll be better off.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Food Storage Demystified

Original Article

Storing food for long-term emergencies is not without it’s challenges. Many preppers who are beginning this task want to ensure they are packaging foods correctly.
I can honestly say, the more you do it, the easier it gets. At first, it can be intimidating, but once you understand the ins and outs of the process, it becomes second nature. Listed, are 8 common food storage questions asked by beginning preppers. Perhaps these questions can help you.

1.Food Storage and Oxygen Absorbers: What size of oxygen absorbers should I use in a 1 gallon bag? 5 gallon bags?

Here’s a handy oxygen absorber cheat sheet to go by when packaging food for long-term:
20 cc – 20cc and 30cc are ‘preferred’ sizes for 2oz and 4oz beef jerky packages.
50 cc – Good for containers of a quart size or smaller. Perfect for 6″x6″ mylar bags.
100 cc – Suggest using 3 of these in a #10 can or equivalent size container.
200 cc- Use with medium sized bag when not vacuuming .
300 cc- Use one for a #10 can or equivalent size and for 1-gallon bags. You can also use a number of these in a larger container, depending on residual air volume.
500 cc – An appropriate size when using three per 5 gallon bucket.
100 cc  – Medium to large canning jars will use.
1500 cc  – 5-6 gallon containers.

2. Re-packaging Food: Do you have to re-package food items in mylar bags or can you just throw them in a 5-gallon storage bucket with some oxygen absorbers?

You do not have to re-package food items or use mylar bags if you are putting them in a food grade bucket. However, the mylar bags add an additional layer of protection from outside elements and reduces the oxidation process. If you choose to not use a mylar bag, then place your oxygen absorbers on top of the pre-packaged food and seal up the bucket. The food will still be good for long term as long as the elements or insects do not get into the bucket. To learn more about long term food storage, click here.

3. Oxygen absorbers and desiccants: What’s the difference?

Oxygen absorbers are used to prolong the shelf life of stored food. They absorb the oxygen from the container, and by doing so, inhibits the growth of aerobic pathogens and molds. Oxygen absorbers begin working the moment they are exposed to oxygen. Therefore, it is best to work as efficiently as possible. Oxygen absorbers are not edible, not toxic and does not effect the smell and taste of the product.
Desiccant packets, on the other hand, moderate the moisture level when placed in a food container. They do not absorb the moisture. Please note that desiccant is not edible. If the packet somehow breaks open and spills onto the stored food, the entire contents of the container must be thrown away.
Note: There are certain food items that desiccant should not be added to. Specifically, flour, sugar and salt. These items need a certain amount of moisture to stay activated, and if desiccant is added to it, they will turn into a hard brick.

4. Flour vs. wheat storage: Which is better to store for long-term?

When wheat is grounded in to flour, it has a shelf life of 6 months to 2 years. Wheat berries, on the other hand, can be stored indefinitely. There versatility is also what makes them so appealing. Wheat berries can be used for bread baking, sprouting, to make hot cereal, or steamed and dried to make into bulgur wheat, making alcohol, and of course can be planted for a wheat crop. Ensure that you properly store wheat berries to protect it from natural elements and insects. To learn about other emergency food items that last indefinitely, click here.
The only additional accessory you will need is a grain grinder to grind the wheat into flour. If you are preparing for long term emergencies, a grinder would be an important tool to have around.

5. Are there any wheat free options for long-term food storage?

Since wheat allergies are one of the top 10 allergies in the United States, many will need to find alternatives for their food storage endeavors. There are many gluten-free alternatives that you can store for your long-term food supply. Some alternatives to wheat to consider are:
Arrowroot Flour- This type of flour is ground from the root of the Arrowroot plant. It is tasteless and ideal to use as a thickener.
Brown Rice Flour – Brown rice flour has a higher nutritional base compared to white rice flour. It is much heavier in comparison to white rice flour. And is suggested not to buy this in bulk as it is better used when it is fresh.
Buckwheat Flour – The small seeds of the rhubarb plant are ground to make this flour type. It has a strong nutty flavor that tends to overpower itself in the recipes.
Corn Flour – Corn is ground into a very fine powder. It has a bland taste and is therefore good to use for multiple recipes.
Corn Meal – Cornmeal is much heavier and courser than corn flour.
Nut Meals – Such as almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts can provide rich flavor as well as a good flour substitute for cookies and cakes. Their shelf life is brief and should be stored correctly. Most nut meals require a bonding agent such as eggs. Note: chestnut flour has a longer shelf life.
Potato Flour – potato flour is not potato starch flour. It does have a stronger flavor compared to other wheat alternatives. Due to the heaviness, a little can go a long way. The shelf life for this type of flour is not very long, so long term storage could be a problem.
Potato Starch Powder – This has a lighter potato flavor which is hardly detectable in recipes. This type of flour keeps very well.
Quinoa Flour – “The Mother Seed” as the Incas call this has a large variety of vitamins and is high in protein. Quinoa flour is not readily available in many stores, so locating this could pose a problem.
Soy Flour – This flour is a fine powder ground from soy beans. It adds a pleasant texture to different recipes and is also high in protein and a good vitamin source.
Tampioca Flour – Tapioca flour adds chewiness to baking and is a good thickening agency. It also stores well.
White Rice Flour – this type flour does not have a high nutritional value. The taste is bland and ideal for recipes that require light texture. The shelf life is adequate as long as it is stored properly.
Keep in mind that the consistency and taste of these flours will be different compared to wheat. Also, more of the alternative flours will need to be added to recipes. Try substituting 1 cup wheat flour with one of the following:
Barley 1-1/4 cups
Oat 1-1/3 cups
Rice 3/4 cup
Soy 1-1/3 cups
Corn 1 cup
Potato 3/4 cup
Rye 1-1/3 cups
Tapioca 1 cup

6. Why is everyone telling me that I need to store all this wheat?

Wheat is one of those healthy, multipurpose preps that can help sustain us during long term emergencies. It can be used as a breakfast cereal, ground into flour, used to make bread, added to soups, cooked and added to salads or sprouted for a healthy snack and even sweetened for desserts. Too see some recipes on incorporating wheat berries into your diet, do a simple search online for “wheat berry recipes.”
They are also a true whole grain. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium, which is good for healthy bones and muscles. In an extended emergency, having a diet that is calorie and vitamin rich will help you withstand the increased physical demands of surviving a long term disaster, as well as keep you healthy.

7. Are there alternatives to using oxygen absorbers?

Using diatomaceous earth when prepping and sealing food containers will keep the bugs off your food. They are organic and are safe to use on food. Use 1 cup to each 25 pounds of food. Some have had success with repelling bugs by using bay leaves. They add a few bay leaves to their food stuffs before sealing the food. Also, a lot of people who can dip their finished cans in wax to seal the edges to prevent bugs from getting in.

8. How do you keep bugs from getting into your food supply?

I have found that using a multi-barrier approach to storing food helps a lot with this. I have also heard of people freezing their flour for 3 days to kill off any bugs that may already be in the flour. Some people have even cooked the flour at a very low setting on their oven for the same reason.
If you want to learn more about your foods worst enemies, click here.
A little foresight can go along way in terms of food storage.  Understanding the different methods, tools and uses for your emergency food supply will help you get the most out of your food investment.