Lee Flynn submits the following for your consideration.
Not every emergency situation is life threatening. For every city-shaking earthquake and coast-sweeping tsunami, there are thousands of smaller common annoyances that disrupt power, create messes, and just generally inconvenience those of us who would like to be able to stick to our daily routine without having to put up with Mother Nature’s nonsense. Here are three common emergency\disaster scenarios, and a few tips on how to deal with them.
Those of us who’ve ever tried to get a campfire going with only a few matches have to wonder why a dry log will sometimes resist an open flame as though it were a gentle breeze, but a house will go up like gunpowder at the first hint of a spark. Whatever the case, the fact is that in 2011, home fires caused an estimated $6.9 billion in damages. If a fire breaks out in your home, the first thing you should do is try to get an idea of how big/extensive it is.
The first thing you need to do is get your family out of the house. Planning and practicing fire escape routes will help things go more smoothly. Don’t bother scrambling for valuables or belongings; they’re not worth your life. If you can see the flame and know that it hasn’t already spread through walls or to other nearby combustibles, and if it looks small enough, you may want to try to smother or douse the flame. Be careful, however, as fires can spread quickly, and you don’t want to become trapped inside.
If putting out the fire seems too risky, quickly leave the house, closing all doors behind you as you go. Doing so will limit the amount of oxygen the fire can consume, and also delay the spread of smoke. Call the fire department from a mobile phone or neighbor’s house, and don’t go back inside until you’ve been told by a fire officer that it’s safe to do so.
It doesn’t seem like floods should be as damaging as they are. After all, it’s just water. If anything, a flood should make everything cleaner when it passes through. Except that water is the universal solvent, and that means that when it starts to flow out of control, it carries with it all of the muck, grime, and filth that it passes over.
If flooding begins to occur in your area, turn off your main power and gas, and evacuate immediately. Avoid any roads or paths that have standing water on them, and head for higher ground. Try to avoid coming in contact with flood water, as it can carry disease and bacteria (thoroughly wash with soap and disinfected water any body parts that touch flood water).
If you are unable to evacuate your home before the flood closes in, retreat to upper floors or even the roof. Be sure to bring some survival food and warm blankets with you, because you might be up there for a little while.
Sort of like a flood, except much colder, a blizzard can strike without warning and leave behind a world covered in a smothering blanket of pure white (which would be pretty, if it weren’t so dangerous). If you’re outside when a blizzard hits, try to find shelter quickly. If none is available, consider digging a snow cave; it might seem counterintuitive, but snow retains heat really well and can protect you from the sub zero temperatures outside.
Stay hydrated, but avoid eating snow. Melt it first by placing some in a container and keeping it in your jacket (but not against your skin). If you’re at home, gather the entire family together in a single room to conserve heat. If the power goes out, try to avoid using a fireplace unless you absolutely have to, as snow can block up your chimney and force smoke back down into the home. If your windows are clear, allow sunlight to enter and heat the house during the day, but block them off to conserve warmth at night.
Make sure to eat regularly, and always stay hydrated. Use an emergency survival food supply so that you don’t have to get creative about how to prepare what you have in your fridge without the use of electricity. If you don’t have access to liquid water, try collecting some snow and bringing it inside so that it can melt; just be careful not to let out all your heat while you’re trying to get something to drink. You can also drain your hot-water heater or get water from ice melting in your freezer if the power is out.
As with any disaster, it’s important to be prepared. Having a plan, safety measures, and 72 hour kits and survival food that might just save your family’s life if something unexpected should happen. Don’t let Mother Nature’s hissy-fit put you in a bad situation; be prepared and you won’t have to worry about anything at all (except maybe how to go to the number 2 without any running water. Hint: It involves containers with lids).
While surviving a blizzard might not be high on your radar as weather gets warmer, it’s not uncommon for those who travel and camp in the mountains to encounter such storms. Beware.
I’d love to know what you’re thinking about what you’ve just read. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Food security 101, part 3: Why I love my vacuum sealer (and more)
By Rowena Aldridge
In parts one and two (Issues #138 and #139), we covered basics and homemade convenience foods. Now that you’ve become so proficient at making delicious, nutritious, and economical foods for your family, how in the world are you going to store it all? How will you keep it from losing quality and going bad?
I do this by making frequent use of my FoodSaver® vacuum sealer. It’s my BFF — best friend forever — when it comes to food storage.
Read the whole article here:
Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
Which kitchen tool or gadget do you find most helpful for preparing and storing food? Leave a comment and help others build a survival pantry.
Enter “Prepare Magazine.” It offers hope and help to preppers and seeks to lend encouragement and helpful motivation. On yesterday’s DestinySurvival Radio I spoke with Joseph Miller, founder and chief visionary officer behind the magazine. “Prepare Magazine” is celebrating its first anniversary. While it’s had its share of growing pains, Joseph and his staff are moving forward, and you’ll want to be in on it.
The Man and the Mission
By the way, you may know Donna from Millers Grain House and Your Preparation Station on the Preparedness Radio Network. I’ve been on her show a few times, and she’s been on mine.
Joseph’s background is in community service. He served over 20 years in a not for profit organization helping families and children. Then he spent some time in the corporate world, which gave him a different kind of knowledge and training. It all worked to bring him to where he is today.
His call to prepare gave rise to his vision to start “Prepare Magazine.” Though he’d never published a magazine before, he saw a need to counter the fear and negativity often associated with preparedness. It’s his desire to publish a relevant preparedness magazine with a focus on sharing expert resources, purpose-filled training, and support and encouragement for others who are on the preparedness journey.
The Magazine and the Message
Joseph estimates they have 15,000 to 20,000 subscribers to the digital version, and they’re growing. Much of that growth has come through word of mouth and social media. The numbers are amazing, considering they’ve been around only a year. I’d say God has blessed their efforts.
The magazine won’t be overloaded with advertising. They’re selective about advertisers and want to emphasize good content. The goal is to cover a broad array of topics and themes of interest and importance to preppers, such as gardening, alternative energy, alternative health, bartering, mindset and community.
Contributors come from within the preparedness movement who write from their experience and expertise. They’re not writing about theory or regurgitating something from online.
The magazine doesn’t engage in politics. However, they are open about sharing the Christian faith and hope in Christ. They’re not heavy handed about it though.
It’s Joseph’s hope that “Prepare Magazine” will provide excellent value to subscribers. He’s sensitive to the needs of readers. It’s also his desire to help bolster community among preppers.
Find Out More
I’m a subscriber and appreciate what Joseph and his people are doing. There are other publications out there which have useful info for preppers. But for something just a little different, give “Prepare Magazine” a try. Join them as they grow, and you’ll move forward in your preparedness journey, too.
If you’re already a subscriber, why not leave a comment below and let others know how you like the magazine. Would you recommend it to other preppers? Is there something else you’d like to see the magazine cover?
Decision making is a crucial survival skill which we each need to cultivate. Craig Caudill shares insights on it below.
If you come to a fork in the road, you must make a decision about which way to go. If you are on a path that splits off in numerous directions, you are really in a predicament. This scenario is an example of when Hick’s Law comes into play.
What is Hick’s Law? Basically, it is the idea that the more choices a person has, the longer it will take them to make a decision. This belief is applied in marketing strategies, tactical training, teaching and so on.
It can also be applied to survival preparedness. In a survival situation, time is of the essence. Spending a great deal of time trying to make a decision could be extremely costly.
This information is extremely valuable in two ways. The first way is your bug out bag or survival kit. Do not pack a lot of gear that all serves the same purpose. You do not want to make an emergency situation worse by cluttering your mind with “which tool should I use” or “what would work best for this particular job.”
Your kit should contain items that you can practice with regularly. Reusable gear is the key to making sure you are familiar with a tool’s uses and are comfortable using that particular item. It is imperative each piece of gear you do choose can be used for a variety of tasks, not just one. This will help you keep your mind clear and focused in stressful circumstances.
The second way in which Hick’s Law applies to a survival situation is the flip side of the formula. If you are thrown into a survival situation, you are going to have a lot of decisions to make. Each option warrants some contemplation. Do you shelter in place or bug-out? What are your sheltering options? Water and food supplies and so on will all need to be addressed. That is a lot to throw at a person at once. When this happens, you must prioritize your immediate needs to live first and foremost.
Use this information to help you choose what gear to carry in your bag. Remember, keep it simple by choosing tools that are multi-use and reusable. And most importantly, practice with your gear so you know how to use it when you need it to survive.
Any thoughts? How are your decision making skills? Leave a comment below and let others know what’s on your mind concerning what you’ve just read.
Editor’s Note: There’s an abundance of info online and in books about what to include in a bug out bag. Nonetheless, people still have questions. Just the other day I saw an inquiry on Facebook about what to put in a bug out bag. With that in mind, I present the following helpful guidelines from the good people at Food Insurance. – John
Long term food storage plans help us stay prepared for self-survival after a man-made or natural disaster occurs. They’re even great during a financial crisis when you have limited funds to purchase fresh foods.
But, true emergency preparedness is also about short term survival after an evacuation. It’s during these times that you need to have an on-the-go, portable kit. Your kit needs to supply you and your family with the necessary essentials needed for 72 hours. These 3-day portable emergency kits are called Bug-Out-Bags.
Characteristics of a Good Bug-Out-Bag
- Easy-to-Tote – It must be portable, and easy to carry. Good ideas include backpacks, bags on wheels, or anything else that’s easy to tote.
- Lightweight – There’s no telling how far you may have to carry your bug-out-bag. During an evacuation, you may have to stand in lines, hike… who knows? You need your bug-out-bag to be as light as possible.
- Durable – Make sure you purchase a bug-out-bag made of high quality fabric. Who knows what type of weather and other conditions it will have to get you through? So, also make sure your straps, zippers and wheels are all in good working order.
10 Essentials Every Bug-Out-Bag Should Contain
Here are ten essential items that should be in every bug-out-bag.
- Water – Expert recommendation: one gallon of water, per person, per day. But, that is way too much weight to carry around during an evacuation. Here are some lightweight options for your emergency water supply:
- Water purifier
- Water filter straw
- Water bottle with filter
- Water pump with filter
- Non-Perishable Foods – Here are three of the most popular choices for emergency food storage:
- Canned Foods – Can eat right out of the can, but very heavy to carry around
- Dehydrated Foods – Very lightweight to tote, but require boiled water to prepare
- Freeze Dried Foods – Lightweight, convenient packaging, only need hot water to rehydrate
- First Aid Kit – To keep it lightweight, only pack the essentials:
- Antibiotics (just in case)
- Sam Splint
- Wound-closure strips
- Burn ointment
- Triple-antibiotic ointment
- OTC pain-killers
- OTC anti-inflammatory meds
- Suture kit
- Adhesive bandages
- 4. Clothing – You should have enough clean clothing for three days.
- 5. Shelter – Fly, tent, tarp, hammock with rain fly, large poncho, etc… to make emergency shelter.
- 6. Important Documents – This includes items such as copies of IDs, birth certificates, passports, important phone numbers and addresses, maps, etc…
- 7. Cash – You probably won’t be able to use your credit cards or debit cards after the crisis strikes.
- 8. Battery Operated Radio – Your radio may be your only way to stay connected with the rest of the world. Remember that cell phone services may be down.
- 9. Battery Operated Flashlight – Don’t be caught without it. The stress of being in the dark all night could actually make things even worse during a crisis.
- 10. Survival Kit – This should include:
- · Extra batteries
- · Whistle
- · Small folding knife
- · Compass
- Waterproof matches or refillable butane lighter
About the Author
Is there something you must have in your bug out bag that’s not mentioned above? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
For yesterday’s DestinySurvival Radio I interviewed Wilson to find out more about Pantry Paratus and bring them to your attention. Whether you’re new to prepping or have been at it a while, consider Pantry Paratus as a helpful resource.
What’s in a name? One of my first questions was where the name came from. We all know what a pantry is, but what about that word “paratus”? It so happens it’s latin for “ready” or “prepared”. By the way, paratus is pronounced with emphasis on the second syllable, which has the short a sound.
Who is Pantry Paratus? They’re a small family owned and operated company with a desire to see you and me think seriously about what our families are eating, where that food comes from, and how we can preserve any surplus we may have. The goal is to prepare our pantries for the lean times, whether you go through unemployment or we experience a catastrophic crash.
Wilson says customer service is important because they want you to be able to get the help you need. If you buy a pressure cooker at a big box store, that store likely won’t be able to answer your canning questions. Why not be in touch with people who can walk you through your journey?
With much knowledge lost over the generations, Pantry Paratus offers beginner kits and supplies for skills like canning, bread baking and cheese making. They also sell heirloom seeds and encourage you to grow your own food wherever you live.
What do you need to know for survival? Pantry Paratus puts their focus on four core competencies for homesteading.
- Water purification
- Bread baking
- Pressure canning
What about ready-made storage food? Have it in your survival pantgry, but be careful to buy food that doesn’t have GMO products in it. You don’t want to eat something in times of stress that would make you ill.
If you know how to grow or raise your own food, you’ll have an ongoing supply. You’ll also put greater value on what you produce yourself.
What about a traditional food diet? Wilson and Chaya are very careful about what their family eats. They avoid foods with long lists of ingredients no one can pronounce. They eat meat, so they’re not vegetarians. They also enjoy whole wheat bread with no worries about gluten or bad carbs.
What about special needs diets? If you’re diabetic or have other dietary concerns, the best thing is to avoid as much processed food as possible.
For further reading… Two books you may find of interest are:
The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition, by Carla Emery
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig
Your thoughts? I’d love to know what you have to say concerning what you’ve read here or what you’ve heard in my interview with Wilson. Share any comments you have with me and other readers.