Articles

Make a Homemade Water Distiller for Water Purification

With a few plumbing supplies, you can put together an inexpensive water distiller you can use on your stove, rocket stove, or campfire. The video below shows you how one man has made a homemade water distiller for water purification.

Be sure to read the cautionary notes below.

 

 

Here are a few words of caution to keep in mind.

Don’t use a plastic collection vessel. It will melt or warp. Don’t touch the copper pipe because it gets very hot.

It’s also not recommended to seal this apparatus. some water vapor needs to escape or high pressure would build up very fast.

Also note that the larger the glass jar you use, – the larger amount of water vapor you can collect (at a given time).

Making Sure You Have Water for Survival

Making sure you have water for survival when the chips are down is as necessary as the air you breathe. It’s more important than having food. Some say securing water should be your Number One priority.

Though plenty has been written on this, you’ll find excellent advice in Jackie Clay-Atkinson’s article in “Backwoods Home Magazine for September/October, 2017 (Issue #167). Topics covered include…

  • Bug-out bag
  • Vehicles
  • The home water supply
  • Treating questionable water
  • Amounts of bleach for different containers
  • Conserving water

Take a look at the article excerpt below. Then click the link to read the whole thing.

Your survival depends on water

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson

As you develop your preparedness plans, consider your water supply. You can go without food for weeks but when you lack water for as little as two days, your body begins shutting down.

Water is usually all around you in the form of streams, rivers, lakes, and even ditches. But very little of it is safe to drink without treatment. Even the most pristine, clear mountain streams can be contaminated with bacteria or protozoa such as giardia (which causes severe diarrhea and abdominal pain).


Read the whole article here:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/your-survival-depends-on-water/

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.

You might also like The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide.

ICE Can Improve Your Survival Chances

Nearly all of us carries a cell phone everywhere we go, but not everyone carries emergency contact information that would be useful for paramedics in an emergency. The solution is found at http://www.icesticker.com where you can find out how to get an ICE sticker to put on your cell phone.

ICE stands for “In case of emergency.” A paramedic or doctor who sees the ICE sticker will know you’ve prepared ahead of time and programmed into your cell phone the number of someone to contact in case of emergency.

None of us wants to think about such things, but what if your teenager were in an accident and unable to respond to questions at the scene or in the hospital? Having an ICE sticker and the preparations that go with it could make a big difference in saving your child’s life.

The same would be true if you have an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s who wanders off and gets lost.

I mention this to you as a public service. I hope it will be helpful for you, especially if having an ICE sticker helps you or a loved one survive.

Emergency Preparedness for the Blind and Disabled

Technology has become an essential element of everyday life for many who are blind or otherwise disabled. But what should one do to prepare for the time when modern technology doesn’t work, or is unable to work optimally?

The Blind Bargains Qast is a podcast devoted to technology news and information for the blind and physically handicapped. Cohost Joe Steinkam shared some tips on emergency preparedness for the blind on Blind Bargains Qast 112 in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in South Texas and Louisiana.

Joe’s tips are reproduced here with permission.

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Protect your valuable documents…

Grab a slate and stylus, or that old fashioned Brailler, and jot down your important numbers. Insurance policies, medical information, your family’s social security numbers and other information you think you might need in order to verify your medical or residential status.

Then, after all that is down on hard copy Braille, put it in waterproof bags with Braille labels on them. Keep them somewhere safe, yet easy to get to. That way you have them if you have to leave your home quickly.

Check your lighting conditions…

Use the help of others, or Vision Assistance Apps, to make sure all your indoor and outdoor lighting is working properly. Also, be sure to have a flashlight and fresh batteries on hand. This will help others, including First Responders, help you in dire situations.

Food And Crates…

If you have a Service Animal, or just family pets, be sure to have about a week’s worth of food on hand. It may take a while to reach your area if you were to become cut off due to flooding or downed power lines. So making sure those furry friends have enough to eat is paramount.

Moreover, if you do have to evacuate, many shelters will not accept pets without them being housed in a crate or cage. You don’t want to leave them behind. So be sure they have these things available to them.

Battery Packs and Generators…

Refrigerators, phones and laptops are all important devices in our lives. Until the power goes that is. Then you really find out how much you need them.

Making sure you have the resources on hand to run them for longer periods of time, during a power outage, can be one of the most important aspects of managing life off the power grid. Be sure to invest in batteries for radios, and other electronics, as this will allow you to find out news and weather updates for your local area.

Homeowners may want to look into the purchase of a portable generator for running the icebox. But those who live in apartments may want to be sure they own an ice chest for keeping food and medical supplies cool.

Lastly, look into waterproof cases for your electronics.

If your phone, laptop or notetaker is your primary form of access, providing the ability to
keep it safe from the elements is key when you are forced to travel for whatever reason.

About Joe

Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. (Assistive Technology) Industry for10 years and podcasting about it for nearly 5 years.

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Additional Resources from DestinySurvival

Each link below opens in a new window so you can come back to this page when you’re ready to check out another link.

Growing Garlic in Your Survival Garden

“Backwoods Home Magazine” for September/October, 2017 (Issue #167), includes an article on growing garlic.

If you don’t already grow it in your survival garden, you should consider it because garlic is useful for both food and medicine.

The article tells you about…

  • Planting
  • Harvesting
  • Using garlic scapes

Below this excerpt is a link for you to read the whole article.

How to grow garlic

By Melissa Souza

Garlic is easy and rewarding to grow. I use it throughout the year, as it is extremely easy to store. Garlic is one of the most commonly used ingredients in cooking around the world, but there are also many health benefits to adding it to your everyday cuisine. It is reported that high blood pressure, hypertension, blood clots, and infection can be prevented or cured by ingesting garlic.

Evidence of garlic use has been found as far back as the ancient Egyptians. During the Black Plague in Europe, gravediggers added crushed garlic to their wine in order to protect themselves from the plague. During World Wars I and II, wounded soldiers put garlic on their wounds to prevent gangrene or infection.


Read the whole article here:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/how-to-grow-garlic/

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.

Improve Your Survival During Storms and Emergencies with a Weather Alert Radio

Rapidly changing weather, floods and forest fires make it necessary to be on the alert for changing conditions. That’s where a weather radio with alert function comes in handy.

The alert feature on weather radios is used for more than weather. For example, you may hear Amber alerts and emergency announcements about immediate dangers from chemical spills or forest fires.

Granted, a number of media outlets hype their ability to give you the best weather coverage, including the availability of text alerts via cell phones. However, most often you’ll get official alerts faster from the National Weather Service on a weather radio.

Of course, you can’t always be near a radio or TV, and there are times when you might be in an area where cell phone service isn’t so good. When you’re asleep, you’ll likely miss announcements from radio, TV and cell phone. A weather radio alarm will wake you right up, I can almost guarantee it.

A very good option when you’re away from home is a portable radio you can take when you’re traveling, camping, boating, etc. You can program a weather alert radio to receive alerts from the location where you’ll be. Click here to find county codes from the National Weather Service.

Some of the companies featured in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart offer emergency radios with weather band capability. Remember, your survival depends on staying informed and staying safe.

When Your Survival Mindset Will Be Revealed…

It’s during the aftermath of a disaster when your survival mindset will be revealed. Are you cultivating that mindset now?

Do you have a hard time imagining what it would be like to live through a long term, widespread disaster? If so, pick up a novel or two and put yourself in the shoes of one or more of the characters in the story. It might sound odd, but reading fiction just might help you build up that all important survival mindset.

Scott B. Williams has been writing a couple of series depicting the aftermath of a giant solar EMP. I’ve enjoyed his novels because he portrays ordinary people in extraordinary situations. A couple of the characters in the The Darkness After series have special talents and skills, but they’re not super heroes readers can’t relate to.

Scott was my DestinySurvival Radio guest, and we chatted about two of his books. Enter the Darkness is a prequel to the The Darkness After series, and Horizons Beyond the Darkness is the fifth book in The Pulse series.

That might sound like a lot to keep track of, but we sorted it out for you during our visit. Plus, I’ll sort things out for you here. What follows are highlights of that conversation dropped into my thoughts on each book.

Thoughts About the Writer

If you’re not acquainted with who Scott is, or you need a refresher, here’s some background.

Scott B. Williams has been writing about his adventures for more than twenty-five years. His published work includes dozens of magazine articles and sixteen books.

His interest in sea kayaking and sailing small boats to remote places led him to pursue the wilderness survival skills that he has written about in his popular survival nonfiction books and travel narratives such as On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean, an account of his two-year solo kayaking journey through the islands.

With the release of The Pulse in 2012, Scott began writing fiction and has since written multiple novels in The Pulse Series and The Darkness After Series, with more sequels in the works to each, as well as a new series coming later.

To learn more about his upcoming books or to sign up for his new-release mailing list, visit Scott’s website at: www.scottbwilliams.com.

Thoughts About Our Conversation

In the past few years a lot of authors have written stories about what might happen if we have an EMP. At the risk of stating the obvious, Scott B. Williams is one of those authors, and he has written some real page turners.

It had been several months since Scott and I spoke. In that time he released two more books. The Pulse series is comprised of five books at the time of this writing, and The Darkness After series has five books, counting the prequel. Our conversation allowed us to get caught up and to preview a new series he’s working on.

It’s my goal here to give you enough of a teaser to get you interested in reading Scott’s books while also giving you a few general thoughts relevant to preparedness and survival. After all, that’s what this is supposed to be about, right?

Thoughts About the Books

Enter the Darkness

 

Enter the Darkness

 

Enter the Darkness contains back story material Scott had to cut from the original book in The Darkness After series. It starts slow, but picks up at the end in a way that will make you want to read more.

Scott and I talked more about how and why this book came about. But when you read it for yourself, don’t skip the preface.

Each of the first few chapters introduces us to a character in the story and how the event affected that person at the time the solar induced EMP happened.

Mitch was caught in New Orleans morning traffic. April woke up just after the power went out. Mitch’s sister Lisa was at a friend’s house getting ready for school. We’re also introduced to David, April’s boyfriend at the time.

When Lisa and her school friends chatter about what had just happened, someone suggested space aliens were the cause. The notion of aliens doing something sinister illustrates how all kinds of theories will pop up in the wake of a widespread disaster.

Several people saw the Northern lights in the night sky. But bigger flares in the morning brought about chaos. The school science teacher explained to the kids what had happened as best as he could determine it.

As the story unfolds, people are figuring out the nature and extent of what has happened. For example, not only were most cars inoperable; but police communications systems were down. Radio and TV were unavailable. Jason could no longer play his electric guitar.

Now and then characters in the story notice shootings and other violence in the city in the days soon after the EMP. Fortunately, these events took place at a distance. A real world example took place after Hurricane Katrina when police were ineffective because communications were down.

More than one of the story’s characters noticed the silence after the EMP knocked out the power grid. Scott and I talked about how rare and precious silence is. Of course, in the wake of a disaster silence may be forboding.

April got brave and worked on David’s old Mustang. Amazingly, she got it running. How many unfamiliar tasks like that will you and I have to take on in that kind of situation?

April had a couple of harrowing encounters when she finally got on the road. Scott and I discussed whether it’s better to take the main highways or back roads. Each has its risks. But there are also pathways others may not have thought of.

We’re also given background in the narrative on Mitch’s keen archery and wilderness survival skills. Those skills serve him well throughout the stories told in the novels that follow.

The book ended with a cliff hanger as April and Mitch meet for the first time. It’s where the original book in the series starts.

Horizons Beyond the Darkness

 

Horizons Beyond the Darkness

 

Let’s flash forward in time to the fifth book in The Pulse series. It’s another page turner.

I know I say something similar to this every time I read one of Scott’s novels, but just when you think things are calming down, something drastic happens. For example, I gasped at one point over half way into the story when I read that a yacht named Pocket Change had mysteriously disappeared.

Unless you binge read a series, the down time between books makes it difficult to pick up where the previous installment of the series ended. It’s why I ask Scott to give a summary of a series when we visit. Plus, he’s good at dropping nuggets of back story in the beginning of each new narrative.

The insider talk of sailboats and their attributes is over my head, but it lends authenticity to the story. Those who understand such details will appreciate them.

Horizons Beyond the Darkness starts in the Bahamas, where the characters have sailed to escape troubles in and around Florida and the Keys. Larry meant for the Bahamas to be a temporary stopping point, but the need to leave even sooner than planned becomes evident through the story.

I’ll share a few bare bones details to whet your curiosity.

We don’t get very far into the book before the action and intrigue begins. One thing is for certain. Any stranger must be met with suspicion. Even strangers in uniform need to be viewed with scrutiny. Is that guy really a policeman? Or is he a criminal in disguise?

Meeting strangers turned out badly for Mindy and Thomas, but it went well for Larry and his crew when they met Charles, Holly and Brian on a high class yacht called Pocket Change.

Mindy found herself stranded on a place called Darby Island. In contrast, Artie and Larry try to get the Sarah J. off from where it was grounded hard. They’re approached by the strangers on Pocket Change who offer help.

Friends became split apart again as Larry, Grant and Jessica went back to look for Mindy and Thomas.

Larry found himself accosted on Darby Island by rogue constables who weilded guns, stolen or otherwise, as their authority.

Jessica is forced to defend herself and Larry, who had been handcuffed by the vilains. She proves the value of a .22 handgun by firing off a few rounds at one of their assailants, winging him. Though the man escaped, he was certainly slowed down.

A touch of romance runs through this novel. We see an intriguing turn of events as Jessica’s interests turn from Grant to Larry. That took pressure off Grant, since Jessica and Casey had both shown interest in him earlier in the series.

Desperate situations call for difficult decisions. Circumstances made it necessary for the boat owned by Thomas and Mindy to be sunk–a sad event for any sailor. But it wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the other boats when it was time to sail on.

Larry set his sites on sailing to the San Blas Archipelago near Panama. Not everyone was in agreement though. Two members of Larry’s group decided it was time to part company.

In a conversation with Tara, Larry gave a piece of good advice that applies to all of life. Ships are safe in the harbor, but that’s not what they’re meant for.

Spoiler alert. Larry and his crew make it to their intended destination, but they have to make bargains with the natives which they hadn’t counted on.

So might it be with us. What unexpected bargains will we have to make?

Circumstances forced Tara, Charles, Holly and Brian to face an unpleasant reality in the midst of unpleasant realities. They realized Larry’s plan of action was right after all.

I realize that sounds vague, but I don’t want to give too much of the story away.

Suffice it to say many of us may face situations where we’re forced to change our minds about how things really are in the wake of a long term disaster. And we may have to team up with those we wouldn’t have expected to.

The novel ends on an optimistic note. We’re left to hope the loose ends will tie themselves up in a favorable way. That would be a relief in a world damaged by disaster.

Thoughts About Other Stories

In the last portion of our DestinySurvival Radio chat Scott previewed his next series. It’s post -apocalyptic fiction, but no EMP’s are involved.

We also discussed the value of a good story. It can be enjoyable, but it can do a couple other things of benefit for us.

Stories can bring to mind ideas we may not have thought of. Also, as we imagine ourselves in the place of the characters, we can think through what we might do if we were in their shoes. And isn’t that what visualization is about?

Thoughts About Going Deeper

Hear my conversation with Scott B. Williams by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for August 24, 2017. (Right click to download.) Get Enter the Darkness, Horizons Beyond the Darkness, or any of Scott’s books by clicking on their titles where you see them in this post.

Whether you cultivate your survival mindset now by contemplating fictional scenarios or by practicing preparedness techniques (or both), don’t wait. When disaster comes, the level of that mindset will be revealed.