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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book: Fight, Flight, or Hide. The Guide to Surviving a Mass Shooting

Here's another great read for you.

Sadly, we seem to be having more and more mass shootings these days.
If you are involved in one, do you know what to do?

Read this book and give yourself a chance to survive one.

Fight, Flight, or Hide. The Guide to Surviving a Mass Shooting

This book is an easy-to-read guide to surviving a mass shooting. Mass shootings are a tragedy, but we can prepare for them in the same ways that we prepare for every other disaster.

This book is a simple, easy read that will begin your preparations.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

5 Items to Have in Your Possession...That Aren't Associated With Your Name

Original Article

It is ridiculously easy to track people these days.  Chances are at least of a few of your possessions unobtrusively track your every move without you even realizing it.  You may want to consider making it a bit more difficult to be tracked by your possessions.

  1. Have an assortment of firearms that aren't purchased, registered, or otherwise connected to your name.
  2. Have a "burner" phone (a prepaid cell phone purchased with cash) and pre-paid "minutes" for your cell phone also purchased with cash (likewise, you don't want to log into your email or Facebook or otherwise associate yourself with the cell phone if you want to keep it truly private).
  3. Many new digital cameras will invisibly mark each photo with the GPS location of where the photo was taken.  You may want to disable this feature and of course, not include yourself in any photos taken.
  4. Basically everything you do on the internet allows you to be tracked either overtly (your every post on Facebook, your every utterance on Twitter) or covertly (browsing history, cache, and cookies on your computer).  Be sure to keep your computer/tablet as "clean" as possible or use an anonymous computer if necessary to avoid being tracked this way.
  5. Shield your everyday life.  Your address, where you work, the license plate on your car, the RFID chip in your passport, the tattoos on your arm...consider all of the ways that you can be tracked and identified then set to work to disconnect yourself from these entities (ie: have a ghost address, a car registered under a LLC, have location independent work, shield any item that contains a chip, remove--or better yet don't get--tattoos or permanent markings on your body).

Friday, April 5, 2013

The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer

Original Article

When planning for emergencies, layering is an ever-constant theme. I often emphasize when one begins to prepare that you start simply by preparing for small-scale emergencies, and then slowly begin adding onto those existing preps to create a longer term preparedness supply. These emergency layers help you create a reliable foundation, and the same layering approach can be used when creating a food storage pantry.
There are some emergency food considerations to keep in mind:
  • The amount of people in the household.
  • Have a good amount of food varieties to reduce food fatigue.
  • The serving size of the food.
  • Vitamin content in the food.
  • The expiration date or “best if used by” labels on the food.
  • Special health conditions for family members.
Additionally, these essential food pantry rules can come in handy when you decide on which food to purchase.

Your Food Storage Layers

Layer 1 (0- 72-hours) – In the onset of an emergency and the days following a disaster, the first food to go should be from the refrigerator. Keep in mind that refrigerated food will stay cold for four to six hours, assuming the door is left closed as much as possible. In a fully stocked freezer, foods remain safely frozen for approximately two days if the door stays closed. You want to use up your perishable foods first and then begin preparing your foods that are frozen. Plan meals to meet a 1500-2000 calorie diet that are high in nutrients. Once the perishable food has been consumed, it’s time to move onto your secondary layer of your emergency preps. A word of advice – have an ample supply of water on hand!
Layer 2 (4-30 days) - These emergency foods should consist of “just add water” meals or meals that do not require substantial amounts of water, fuel or preparation time. Having some canned, pre-packaged dinners, or  meals that are “ready to eat” during emergency scenarios will help you begin acclimating yourself to cooking in a grid-down scenario as well as to help provide some comfort at the same time.
Keep your family’s preferences, any existing health conditions and food allergies in mind when preparing this food storage layer. Another thought to keep in mind, is that a large amount of water will be needed to rehydrate some of these meals. Have a large amount of water stored or a means to filter water during an emergency.
Layer 3  (31-99 days) - I have often said that our preps are our life line. The items we choose should be able to carry us, not only through difficult times, but perhaps through impossible times as well. This layer of  pantry foods should consist of multipurpose, everyday pantry items. These foods are relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire. Keep food storage shelf lives in mind and regularly rotate these items in order to maintain a fresh food source. Further, having a fresh source of vitamins will help your body thrive during an emergency. Consider storing a supply of seeds for sprouting – they are cheap, easy to store and require minimal amounts of time for growth.
For those who are preparing for longer term or extended emergencies, at a minimum you should have a 3 month supply of food and build it up to a 6 month supply. This will be the beginning of your longer term food source, and re-packaging these food sources into more durable containers or packages will keep your food’s enemies away. Further it is a good idea to begin storing large quantities of foods that have extremely long shelf lives.
For a list of the 11 emergency foods items than can last a lifetime, click here.
Another method of bulking up on foods with long shelf lives is to invest in freeze-dried foods. These preserved foods have a shelf life of 20+ years! All you need to do is add hot water and voila!
Some foods to consider for longer term storage are:
Layer 4 (100-365 days+) –  If you find yourself in an emergency for over 100 days, it’s time to get real about the situation you have found yourself in. You must assume this could be your new reality. That said it is time to take steps toward long term survival. Having an understanding of essential skills, homesteading and gardening/farming concepts and learning ways to sustain yourself for the long term is of the utmost importance.
Micro livestock is a group of hearty animals that will help you make the most of smaller pieces of land. To read the pros and cons of this livestock choice, click here.  For those in suburban dwellings, consider chickens, rabbits and fish stored in aquaponic for a long-term food source.
As a prepper preparing for long term emergencies, you want to continue storing up foods mentioned in the last layer and add freeze-dried or dehydrated foods to your stockpile. Given that you are preparing for an extended or long term emergency means that you will also need to begin looking at ways to prepare or preserve food sources off the grid. Learning how to can, dehydrate and ferment foods will help you maintain your food supply. Moreover, to prevent malnutrition, you will want to concentrate on accruing essential food sources such as carbohydrates, protein sources, fats and essential vitamins and nutrients (see above list of food considerations). Having a vitamin source such as sprouting seeds or stockpiling multi-vitamins during this period will also ensure that you are providing your body with regular doses of needed vitamins.
During an emergency, we are often left to fend for ourselves. Having an ample supply of  emergency foods can help your family thrive during the most difficult of times. Take the time now to learn how to make the most of your food supply, learn pertinent skills and the importance of balanced diets and the lasting effects nutritious food has on our body because when emergencies occur, we will need this knowledge the most.

10 Lower Prices Solutions to Survivalism

Original Article

A few ways to make preparedness fit your budget a bit better.

1. Prioritize. I know this is is a far bigger thing and really arguably negates the rest of the article but I do need to touch on it briefly. Choosing preparedness stuff instead of other things is a very valid option. I find it easier to have the goal in mind and do the math working towards it. Example doing the math that at 4 bucks a pop you would need to choose drip from home instead of fancy coffee 15 times to get the medium fixed blade knife you want or 10 nights out at $50 a pop to buy a rifle or whatever. For me this makes it a choice to prioritize that specific goal instead of just general budget tightening which kind of sucks.

 2. Cut down on your vices. Drink less, smoke less, chew less, gamble less, go from $5 coffee out to drip from home, use that money to prepare. [This is probably #1 for overall life improvement but for saving cash to fund preparedness, which is the topic of the post, I put it at #2. The reason is that prioritization (which also touches on vices) is more all encompassing.]

3. Buy used. Many things can be had gently used for 50-80 cents on the dollar. Once you take the tags off, use it a couple times and it will have a few scratches or wear marks anyway so save the $$$.

4. Build the same systems but with lower priced (but not junk) items. Common Mans $150 BOB by TEOTWAWKI Blog (though I think it's more of a Get Home Bag) is a great example of this.

5. Get basic guns. A tight budget does not mean to buy cool guns because you like them  and then skimp elsewhere. If you can't afford food you definitely can't afford an AR and a Glock, let alone an M1A and a high end 1911 with a bunch of mags each especially with prices these days!. It means you need to get basic but quality guns that will serve your needs but not bust the budget. The odds you need an AR-15 over a bolt action 30'06 or pump shotgun or a Glock 19 over an old SW Model 10 are a lot lower than that your family will start eating drastically less. Honestly if tomorrow our gun collection was a 30-30, a bare bones Rem 870/ Moss 500 pump shotgun, a pair of .38/.357 revolvers (his and hers) and a .22 it would be a decent enough setup. If we had 2 of everything and I had a J frame as well as a bigger revolver (aside from her pistol) it would be a good setup. Bought over time most folks can afford a $400 30'06 or 30-30, a $300 shotgun, a $300-400 pistol and a .22 of some sort along with plenty of ammo to go with them.

6. Get items that serve a lot of purposes. If money is tight it might not work in the short term to have 6 dedicated preparedness knives (huge camp, medium general purpose fixed, small fixed, folding EDC, multi tool and "fighting") a folding saw a hawk or hatchet and an ax. Instead a small ax or hatchet/ hawk (AO dependent), a medium sized fixed blade and a folding EDC/ multi tool (lifestyle dependent) might just be it. Those 3 tools would handle most all of your realistic preparedness cutlery needs.

Coming back to guns because we dudes tend to gravitate there and thus overspend limited resources which should be spent elsewhere. In terms of guns that can do a lot of things compact sized pistols are a good one. A Glock 19 or 3" small/ medium framed revolver can fill a lot of roles adequately. A pump shotgun with long and short barrels can do a ton of things. Toss in whatever center fire rifle fits your lifestyle and budget best then round it out with a decent .22 and you are good to go.

7. Put in the time. Oh you are busy too, well make some choices. Watch less tv or something. Learn stuff from people you know. Helping them is a great way to do this. Ask somebody to HELP YOU fix your car or wall or whatever and just maybe they will do it. Say you will HELP THEM with their next project and you'll get a phone call in a bit. Expect to carry some stuff and do some other nugg work but you will learn stuff. Also once they see you care enough to put in the time and energy most folks will go out of their way to help you learn.

8. Avoid mistakes. Buying items that don't fit your needs/ wants must be avoided at all costs. I have a variety of stuff that has been purchased then cast off to be extras or backups or sold at a loss. Even if you research enough to find out an item is quality there is the ever unquantifiable ergonomics. If money was tight I would only buy items I could personally handle and ideally try out (like borrowing a friends for a week) before purchasing.

9. Trade. There are some balancing acts there as you have to be a bit flexible but can't lose sight of your real needs as you can't afford to get unneeded or significantly lower priority stuff.  On the other hand turning your unused guitar and amp (or whatever) into the backpack and sleeping bag you need is just irresistible. Sometimes, though rarely especially with vastly different types of stuff, you can trade strait across. However more often you end up selling the music stuff to get money which pays for the camping gear.

10. Gifts. This isn't exactly a savings but it does help. Instead of asking for stuff you don't really need for birthdays, Christmas, etc ask for preparedness stuff you can use. Many folks would be happy to get you a preparedness item of comparable price than whatever the usual gift might be.

That is about all I can think of right now. Anyway I hope these ideas help give people some ideas on how to become better prepared on lower budgets.

Edited to include: After Snoops comment I went back and put them in what I feel is rank order. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Top 10 Preparedness Items You Own Right Now (and don’t even know it)

Original Article

Top 10 Preparedness Items You Own Right Now (and don’t even know it)
 By Wyzyrd, Editor-At-Large

1) Your home-repair tool kit(s). Yes, you CAN get by with a multi tool and a rock, but real tools work a lot better for their intended uses. Get a couple gooseneck crowbars, if you don’t have them already. 

2) Your kitchen tools. You CAN peel potatoes with a machete, and cook ‘em in a canteen cup, but why not think up a way to bring along your favorites? (I have a knife/tool roll that I bring to cooking jobs, but a quick yank can pull 2 magnetic strips out of a sheetrock wall to pack them, too…..)

3) Your water heater. About 20 gal. of clean water you can get to, even if utilities are out.

4) Manual pencil sharpeners (the cast aluminum ones from an art or craft work better than the slightly-cheaper plastic ones). Quickly put points on sticks/darts, make your own fire tinder rapidly.

5) Picnic/Party coolers. There’s almost always a need to keep cold things cool, and hot things warm, without external power.

6) Zip-top storage bags–at least a zillion uses.

7) Ground cayenne pepper (or hotter chiles). Season food (obviously), repel deer and various other pests, use as a blood-coagulant on wounds (not fun, but does work), steep in warm veg oil for a day or so and fill a dollar store spray bottle when the commercial pepper spray runs out.

8) Rope, cord, string, twine. Need I say more?

9) Depending on your location, mostly–Your kids’ old BB guns/slingshots/bows and arrows. Cheap and quiet small game-getters, and there’s an old saying “It hurts a lot more to be hit by a BB, than missed by a .44 Magnum”.

10) Electrical extension cords. If there is power available, you’ll need ‘em. If not, more cordage.

© 2013, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Benefits of Sprouts

Original Article

Everyone can use a little more nutrition in their diets.  A lot of the food available on store shelves these days is nutritionally inferior to what our grandparents ate.  From the bleached bran-less flours to the tomatoes “developed” for picking and shipping unripe, much of the natural healthy content of common foods is missing unless we eat them in their whole forms.  The best way to get the freshest whole foods is to grow them ourselves.
Growing ALL of our own food is a pretty lofty ideal.  We strive to make progress in this area every year, but that’s a tall order.  One thing everyone can make time and space for is growing sprouts.

What are “sprouts”?

A “sprout” is simply a seed allowed to germinate and grow a shoot.  Most people are only aware of bean and/0r alfalfa sprouts.  In reality, there are a couple dozen seeds you can eat as developing shoots.
We’ve all heard the arguments for “whole grains” and how nutritionally superior they are compared to the refined and processed choices.   Sprouts are all that and more.  They provide all the fiber and whatnot, but as a raw (live) food, they are packed with amino acids and enzymes that can help us utilize the nutrients in the other foods we eat.
Take the wheat berry.  (As a prepper, you probably have buckets and buckets of that!)  Each kernel contains the bran (outer protective coating), germ (the part from which the growing plant will develop), and the endosperm (the food source).  Wheat is extolled for its vitamins, minerals, lignans, and other phytochemicals.  It is a good source of Vitamins B and E, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.  Except for those with gluten intolerance or similar conditions, whole wheat is considered a terrific food.
Now consider what happens as a seed sprouts.  When water penetrates the bran layer, it stimulates the germ to develop.  The starch in the endosperm gives the shoot the energy it needs to grow.  As any sprout shifts from seed to growing plant, its nutritional profile is magnified (by up to 600% in the case of vitamin C sometimes!).  The percentage of some enzymes contained in the organism is highest at this point too.  If allowed to grow until the first seed leaves appear, you can get a nice boost of chlorophyll too.

How to Sprout Seeds

There are many good posts and tutorials on sprouting seeds out there.  No fancy equipment is needed.  It  can even be done in a canning jar.  Alternately, you can purchase a seed sprouter.  This is what we have and like a lot.  With this set-up, I can start a new batch of seeds every day or so and I only have one thing to add water to or harvest.

What to Sprout

Which seeds you turn into sprouts will largely be a matter of what fits your tastes.  There are a few things you should not sprout.  But there are plenty of things you can use to produce a variety of nutrients and flavors.
You can purchase sprouting seed mixes to get you started in finding your favorites.  This is how we started out.  We now enjoy things as varied as clover, wheat, broccoli, dill, fenugreek, and radish as well as the more traditional bean and alfalfa.  I have learned that I must stick a little masking tape label on the side of the tray to identify what is in it.  In the time between adding the seeds and harvesting, I tend to forget which kind I put in each.

A Few Words of Caution

Seeds and the resulting sprouts should be handled carefully (with clean hands, containers, etc).  Every so often, a news story breaks about people getting food poisoning from sprouts, but as far as I know, they are from commercial sources.  Sprouts thrive in the same environments that some germs do, so always take care to wash everything well, refrigerate or eat them when ready, etc.
Also, here are a couple lessons learned the “hard way” (pun intended).  Pick through your sprouted beans carefully!  We nearly broke teeth the first time I put bean sprouts on a salad.  Even though in my head I knew that it was common for a few seeds in any given batch to not germinate, it did not occur to me to examine them all before tossing them in.  Those beans that had not sprouted were like little rocks!  Also, we found that adzuki beans tend to stay rather firm even when sprouted and we will probably only use them when we intend to add them to soups or other foods where they  may be softened by cooking.
Sometime in the future, I may do one more post on some additional ways you can use sprouts besides the age-old salad.  In the meantime, if you have some favorites, please mention them in the comments section.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Audio Podcast: Episode-1080- Glen Tate on Book 5 of the 299 Days Series

English: Podcast or podcasting icon Fran├žais :...

Original Article

Glen Tate is the author of the ten-book prepper novel series “299 Days” published by Prepper Press. The books describe an average guy who prepares for, and lives through, a partial collapse of the United States. Glen joins us today … Continue reading →
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Monday, April 1, 2013

Preparedness Tips for People with Mobility Challenges

Original Article

mobility challenged on scooterIf you have ever had an injury that limited your mobility, you will understand why knowing how to deal with mobility challenges following a disaster are important.  A sprained ankle, a broken leg, a fractured arm – all of these can severely restrict your ability of evacuate or bug out following a disaster.
Now put yourself in the shoes of an individual with a permanent disability – someone who requires a walker, a wheelchair or a scooter to move around.  Clearly, an evacuation will be slow and ordinary objects such as furniture, stairs, curbs, and doorways become obstacles or even barriers to escape.  Add to this the challenge of moving about during chaos and panic and you can understand why planning in advance for survival tactics is important.
Today I am going to share some preparedness tips for people with mobility challenges.  But please take note.  These tips are for everyone because when and if the time comes, it may be you with the challenge and not your neighbor, your spouse or your friend.  Having an awareness of the obstacles that a person with mobility issues faces will make you a better prepper.
Regardless of any physical challenges, the basics of prepping still apply.  Accumulate food, water, first aid, self defense and the other items to get by under dire conditions.  Have the gear you will need to stay warm and the means to cook your food when the grid is down.  Practice your homesteading skills and develop a community of like minded people to watch your back as you will watch theirs.
These are the things you will do because these are the things that all preppers do.  And for now, that is all that I will say about that.
Store Your Stuff
man in wheelchairStore emergency supplies in a pack or backpack that can be attached to crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, or a scooter.
Store the needed mobility aids (canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs) close by in a consistent, convenient and secured location. Keep extra aids in several locations, if possible.
Keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, prescriptions, food for service animals, and any other items you might need.
Put Together a Specialized Emergency Supply Kit
Keep a pair of heavy gloves in your supply kit to use while wheeling or making way over glass or debris.
If you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter, consider having an extra battery available. A car battery can be substituted for a wheelchair battery, but this type of battery will not last as long as a wheelchair’s deep-cycle battery. Check with your wheelchair or scooter vendor to see if you will be able to charge batteries by either connecting jumper cables to a vehicle battery or by connecting batteries to a specific type of converter that plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter in the event of loss of electricity.  And if so, get some of these cables to keep in your emergency pack.
If your chair does not have puncture-proof tires, keep a patch kit or can of “seal-in-air product” to repair flat tires, or keep an extra supply of inner tubes.
If possible, store a lightweight manual wheelchair.
Know your surroundings
Arrange and secure furniture and other items in a manner that will provide a clear path of travel and barrier free passages.
If you spend time above the first floor of a building with an elevator, plan and practice using alternative methods of evacuation.
If you cannot use stairs, determine in advance which carrying techniques that will work for you. Understand that there will be instances where wheelchair users will have to leave their chairs behind in order to safely evacuate a structure.
Sometimes transporting someone down stairs is not a practical solution unless there are at least two or more strong people to control the chair. Therefore, it is very important to articulate the safest mode of transport if you will need to be carried.   As an example, for some, the traditional “fire fighter’s carry” may be hazardous due to respiratory weakness.
Plan at least two evacuation routes; you never know when your primary means to exit will be blocked or inaccessible.
Communication Skills are Important
Practice giving clear, concise instructions regarding how to move you. Take charge and quickly explain to people how best to assist you.  Determine in advance how much detail will be needed and drill your “speech” with a trusted friend that will give you some feedback.
You know your abilities and limitations and the best way that someone can assist you or ways in which you can assist them. Again, practice giving these instructions clearly and quickly, not in four paragraphs but a few quick phrases, using the least amount of words possible.
Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and coworkers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate your equipment.
Discuss your needs with your employer.
If you live in an apartment building, ask the management to mark accessible exits clearly and to make arrangements to help you leave the building during a disaster.  The more people who know where you are and the need for assistance the better.
Other Important Items
Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.
Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.
Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify any disabilities that may not be visually obvious to a stranger.
Just like any other survival skill, it is important to practice your emergency plan through regular drills.  Imagine the worst and practice for that.
lady on crutches mobility challengedI want to be clear.
This is not an area where I have first hand experience. Sure, I have helped nurse family members following an operation that limited their movement but other than basic care, I never had to deal with mobility challenges in an emergency.   On the other hand, while researching this article a realized how many of these strategies could become important when we least expect it.
Fortunately, while researching this article, I found that there are some really good resources available from government agencies, senior centers and just plain folks that are willing to help formulate preparedness strategies for people with mobility challenges.
One of the better resources I found was the free booklet Emergency Evacuation Preparedness by the Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions.  You can download a copy by clicking on the link and I encourage you to do so.
The life that gets saved just might be your own.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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