Should a Zero Waste Home be Part of Your Prepping Strategy?

I read Zero Waste Home, by Bea Johnson, thinking it might have applications for those of us who are preparing to survive come what may. My impressions are mixed. This isn’t a book tailored to preppers, but it could have its uses for you.

This isn’t a new book, and you may have heard of it before. It’s copyright date is 2013.

The concept isn’t particularly new either. It’s all about living in an environmentally friendly, responsible lifestyle and cutting exposure to toxins as much as possible. There’s more to the recommended lifestyle than cutting back on consumerism and limiting trash output.

While a simpler lifestyle is the goal, what Johnson exemplifies seems extreme to me and may not be realistic for many of us. But she does show us it’s possible.

She points out that living a zero waste lifestyle needs to be cultivated and grown into. It’s not something you or I can do all at once.

Zero Waste Home isn’t about total minimalist living or living off the grid, but if that’s the path you choose for your prepping strategy, this book may be a place to start. Besides, if everything goes South, we may need to adopt a number of Johnson’s tricks and tips.

Not many of us have lived through the Great Depression of the 1930’s, but we may have picked up habits from those who have. Wearing second hand clothes is nothing new to us. Neither is finding a new use for items that have outlived their original purpose.

We’re familiar with frugality dictated by necessity. People in today’s society are not.

Such was the case with Bea Johnson. She had to come down from a life of affluence I’ve never experienced. Thus, she comes across to me as elitist and patronizing. Your impression may be different, should you choose to read her book.

Johnson claims a number of benefits to the zero waste lifestyle, ranging from saving money and time to better health.

Chapters cover…

  • Kitchen and grocery shopping
  • Bathroom, toiletries and wellness and health
  • Bedroom and wardrobe
  • Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Work space and junk mail
  • Kids and school
  • Holidays and gifts
  • …and more

Throughout the book we find five steps incorporated into the discussion of the topics shown above.

  1. Refuse what we do not need.
  2. Reduce what we do need and cannot refuse.
  3. Reuse what we consume and cannot refuse. (Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.)
  4. Recycle what we cannot refuse, reduce or reuse.
  5. Rot–Compost the rest.

Step 3 is one that’s probably most familiar to us. And gardeners everywhere will be glad for the mention of step 5.

Believe it or not, Johnson isn’t a fan of recycling. The less there is to recycle, the better. She urges us to get rid of all the plastic we possibly can. Don’t let it come into the house, and it won’t have to go back out.

Here are a few questions to ponder.

Could you get along without having a trash can in the kitchen? Could you bring all your groceries home in cloth bags and jars? Do you know what to buy in bulk and what not to buy that way?

Ever thought of making your own toothbrush as well as toothpaste? Would you use an alternative to toilet paper? Ladies, would you make your own cosmetics?

How familiar are you with the many uses for vinegar around the house and in the garden?

Would you “make” your own paper from the papers you have around the house?

Would you get rid of your stapler and staples in your home office? This is one of those nit picky items that goes to the extreme for me. The last package of staples I bought will likely last for years. Staples are too small to worry about the space they take in a landfill.

Could you cut down on the number of Christmas presents and cards you give and receive? What about homemade gifts and craft projects?

Do you know how to minimalize waste products when camping with your family?

Would you talk to managers at grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses about eliminating disposable packaging?

These are just a few of the areas Johnson covers.

You’ll be grateful for the number of recipes which appear throughout the book on such things as mustard, glue, cosmetics, cleaning products and more. There’s a helpful resource list in the back of the book, too. But looking on the dark side, it won’t be much use if the Internet goes down.

As you might guess, Johnson encourages you and me to adopt as much of the zero waste lifestyle as possible and then be ambassadors for it. However, her projections of what the future could look like are idealistic, in spite of her claims to the contrary.

I don’t see this way of living becoming widely accepted. But, as noted above, circumstances may change, forcing us into creatively doing with much less.

You’re welcome to buy Zero Waste Home by clicking on its title wherever you see it in this post. Johnson invites you to pass it along to someone else or donate it to your library. For that matter, borrow it first, then see if you want a copy for yourself.

Either way, have a look and draw your own conclusions as to whether a zero waste home should be part of your prepping strategy.

You may also want to view my post about how to right size your life for survival.

Get Expert Advice on Bugging Out

Bugging out is a popular subject among preppers. You’ve probably got questions of your own. Namely, should you, or shouldn’t you? If so, when? Where to? And how?

Previously I’ve featured a number of books and DestinySurvival Radio conversations which touch on this all important subject. But today I want to tell you about a DVD devoted specifically to it.

Get expert advice on bugging out from the people who’ve brought you DVDs on wilderness survival skills, survival communication, and escape and evasion.

Here’s an overview.

Jump into the mind of best selling author, and SERE Instructor, Jonathan Hollerman, and learn how to get the heck out of dodge, and increase your likelihood of survival! Disaster can strike anytime.

  • Financial Collapse
  • Pandemic
  • EMP, Solar Flare or Loss Of The Electric Grid Due to Terrorism or Outdated Infrastructure
  • Presidential Election Fraud
  • Food Stamps Malfunctioning For an Hour

…And much more, could cause a social unrest or complete societal collapse!

Discover…

  • Secrets of the bug out bag (The tips that some experts keep to themselves, or even overlook!)
  • What gear to pack and what to leave (Regardless of your location)
  • How to minimize your visibility on the way (So you and your family don’t appear to be one of those “Cr@zY PreppeRs” that has everything someone else needs!)

When you’re ready to get the expert advice mentioned above, click on the ad banner below.

 

Survival Guide to Bugging Out DVD

 

Revisiting Earthquake Preparedness

As I write this, major earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador have occurred in the past few days. Both countries, as well as the western U.S., are part of the notorious Ring of Fire around the Pacific Ocean. That’s a large area prone to earthquakes and volcanoes.

It’s rare that we hear about numerous major quakes within the span of only a few days. With that in mind, it seemed like a good time for revisiting earthquake preparedness.

Check out the page with Resources for Earthquake Preparedness. And have a look at posts featured previously here, where you’ll find still more resource links. Post links below open in a new window, so you can come back to this page when you’ve gotten what you want from each post.

Getting Your Church Prepared

Should designated members of your church carry concealed firearms during church? This week’s DestinySurvival Radio guest thinks so. But that’s only one facet of getting your church prepared.

On this week’s DestinySurvival Radio I visit with Pastor Carl Gallups, author of Be Thou Prepared. I’m excited about sharing our thought provoking conversation with you.

Though this podcast will be of greatest interest to Christians, I encourage everyone to listen in.

What follows is a review of the book combined with a few notes from our visit.

 

Meet the Messenger

Carl Gallups is pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church, Milton, FL. Perhaps you’ve heard him speak or you’ve read his writings because he has been featured on a number of well known media outlets.

DestinySurvival Radio is small potatoes compared to those other venues. That makes me all the more grateful I had the chance to visit with Pastor Gallups, and I’m delighted to share the outcome with you.

Here are highlights of the pastor’s lengthier bio, which appears in Be Thou Prepared.

  • Bestselling Author – Amazon Top 60
  • Senior Pastor (since 1987)
  • Member – Board of Regents, University of Mobile – Mobile, Al
  • Veteran Talk Radio Host (Since 2002)
  • Graduate – F.S.U., Fl Police Academy, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.)
  • Writer/Columnist – Newspaper, Syndicated Blog, PNN, WND.com
  • Popular TV and Radio Guest Commentator (Religion, Prophecy, Politics, Current Events)
  • Founder of the PNN News and Ministry Network (online) (2008)
  • Former FL Lawman – two different Sheriff’s offices and the Fl Dept. of Corrections
You’ll observe from our conversation that Pastor Gallups is knowledgeable and passionate about what he believes and teaches. He was an excellent guest.

He has a pastor’s heart combined with a policeman’s perspective. You’ll want to get his book when you’ve heard what he has to say.

 

Sample the Message

 

Be Thou Prepared

 

Origin of the Book

If you’ve listened to DestinySurvival Radio with any regularity, you know I ask authors what brought about the book we’re discussing. I was especially curious to know how this book came into being.

Key motivators included 40 years of Carl Gallups’s experiences as a cop and pastor combined with the multitude of inquiries from people worried about our rapidly changing world. He decided the time had come to write a book with Biblical, historical, logistical, practical, understandable answers to the questions he was bombarded with.

 

Opening Observations

Be Thou Prepared, isn’t your typical book on preparedness. I haven’t read anything else quite like it.

I scrutinize books by Christian authors more closely than other books, and I’m glad to say this one didn’t disappoint. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised.

I was expecting the book’s focus to be solely on the kind of material most of us are familiar with regarding preparedness, except that the emphasis would be aimed at a specifically Christian audience.

The book does indeed do that, but it has a focus on two other major areas. One is the history of Christian persecution and why Christians should be motivated by the probability of persecution today. The other focus is on how churches can provide safety and security for their congregations.

As you read what Pastor Gallups has written, you’ll see Scripture passages about the early church in a new light because they dealt with the same kind of problems we’re faced with today. But this is no “Bible thumping” diatribe.

Though many Scripture passages are quoted as they relate to the topics discussed, a great deal of the material is drawn from history and current events to strengthen the points made.

As a helpful resource for Christians and nonChristians alike, pastors and their churches will find this book to be most useful. While several chapters are aimed at individuals, much of the book is for church leaders by a church leader. It’s meant to meet the real needs of real people.

After you’ve read it, I recommend you share it with your pastor or elders and deacons.

 

Optimizing Church Effectiveness

We live in a different world compared to what it was just three or four years ago. There’s no shortage of motivating factors for getting prepared.

A number of thought provoking questions are raised up front in the book’s introduction. What role should churches have in society? How should they help those both inside and outside their congregations be prepared?

The big question isn’t whether we should prepare, but how we should prepare. While no church can be prepared for everything, it’s Biblical to practice common sense preparedness and face whatever happens as it comes.

Planning and preparation do not signify faithlessness. Christians should put faith into action as they practice good stewardship.

A similar principle applies to benevolence. The issue isn’t whether to exercise benevolence, but how to do so.

Churches aren’t social welfare agencies, but from its early history, churches practiced meeting the needs of their people. Pastor Gallups believes this should be part of a church’s gospel work today.

Surveys cited in the book show churches aren’t well prepared for disasters or a major collapse. However, Pastor Gallups told me things are changing for the better as awareness grows.

That said, he advises churches to be discerning, since con artists see churches as easy marks. At the back of the book is a form template to screen strangers who come to a church seeking help.

 

Opposition and Persecution

Since a considerable amount of the book centers on persecution, I asked Pastor Gallups to define what it is and what it isn’t. Harrassment and discrimination are mild forms of persecution compared to what we see throughout history and in certain parts of the world today.

While we can acknowledge there are degrees of persecution, the real deal is happening in the Middle East where Christians are being wiped out and exterminated. Pastor Gallups chose his words deliberately and carefully during our conversation.

Be Thou Prepared is meant to warn Americans that persecution is coming, and he wants us to put things in perspective.

If we do experience the worst kind of persecution in America, Christians shouldn’t be afraid to get involved in one another’s lives. We should make disciples and be there for one another in a meaningful way.

In his book, Pastor Gallups takes pastors and churches to task for not being involved in civic and political affairs as a means of being salt and light. The least Christians can do is exercise our right to vote in elections.

But it’s important to practice involvement wisely. For example, he cautions Christians to avoid protests or rallies with large crowds, since they can become unruly and unsafe.

During our chat we discussed two sides of the attitude Christians ought to have regarding persecution. It’s important to get this matter settled in our hearts and minds now so we’re prepared when trouble comes.

Don’t let yourself and your family be killed if possible. But also remember there is joy in suffering for Christ. You’ll understand better when you’ve heard our chat.

Ah, but then there’s the matter of “turning the other cheek.” This must be understood in its proper context, and we must have a balanced perspective.

 

Optimizing Safety and Security

Pastor Gallups is a firm believer in self defense and the Second Amendment. I’m glad he doesn’t shy away from these issues.

Among the book’s various examples pertaining to self defense is the mention of the Old Testament account of Nehemiah. While Jews were rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem after returning from Babylonian captivity, workers were prepared to defend themselves against physical opposition.

Similarly, today Christians don’t have to volunteer to be martyrs. That’s where self defense comes into play. Martyrdom should happen only when there’s no other choice.

While having a security team with concealed carry firearms may sound shocking and radical to some, the world we live in these days comes to us complete with a growing number of church shootings. That should give church leaders everywhere cause to ponder the implementation of security measures.

Carl Gallups says his church has taken steps to protect its people. Yet, if you were to worship there on a Sunday morning, you probably wouldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

Those who worship at our churches have the right to expect safety and security, regardless of the size of the church or whether it is in the city or country. Congregants shouldn’t be sitting ducks.

Consider this. The Supreme Court has said law enforcement officers aren’t obligated under the Constitution to attend to the needs of any particular individual. That doesn’t mean cops won’t be there to protect you, but it’s wise to implement some kind of self defense for yourself and your church.

This isn’t a matter to be taken lightly or dismissed out of hand. A church’s security plan must be put together with thoughtfulness, prayer, and proper training for security team members.

Here are a few questions for your church to ponder.

  • Does the church have first aid and medical supplies on hand? Are there church members with medical skills?
  • Are there adequate fire alarms? What other alarms could be put into place for members to signal for help in an emergency?
  • Have background checks been done on those working with children and youth?
Churches must think strategically about safety and security, rather than act out of fear. To help your church take those first steps toward better security, Be Thou Prepared includes form templates to provide guidance for choosing those qualified security team members.

 

Observations on General Preparedness

It isn’t until later in the book that Pastor Gallups deals with the kinds of things we normally associate with preparedness, such as food, water, emergency shelter, etc. Again, while this will be useful for individuals, it’s for churches, too.
  • Would your church be prepared if it was needed as an emergency shelter?
  • What would your church do to help those who lost their homes in a disaster?
  • If your church can’t operate a ministry to provide food, clothing or other needs for others, could it support ministries that do have that kind of outreach?
  • Are church members equipped to practice neighborhood readiness?
Templates for forms in the back of the book should help guide churches in finding qualified members who can help in times of disaster.

A helpful resource list in the back will provide churches with guidance related to topics covered throughout the book.

 

Opting Out

Getting out of the system is a topic that comes up from time to time among fellow preppers, so I asked the pastor about it. How far should churches and individual Christians go to separate themselves from our world system, including government control?

The answer he gives is well reasoned, but I suspect some will find it disappointing. Listen to what he has to say, and draw your own conclusions.

 

Other Questions

We touched briefly on a couple of big questions in our last few minutes together. Knowing the times are getting worse, is it better to belong to a church of fellow believers or a community of preppers? How should belief in the Rapture affect a Christian’s preparedness?

 

Hear Our Musings

It was a treat for me to visit with Carl Gallups about a Biblical perspective on preparedness. If this subject interests you even a little bit, I strongly encourage you to hear our conversation by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for March 31, 2016. (Right click to download.)

Get Be Thou Prepared by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. Get connected to more information at CarlGallups.com.

Isn’t it time you helped your church take the challenge to get better prepared?

 

Six Tips to Introduce Your Children to Preparedness

It’s not always easy to get your family members on board with the preparedness way of life, is it? It’s best if you can get your children interested and enthused about it from an early age.

But how can you do that? Benjamin Ellefson joined me on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio to pass along six tips to introduce your children to preparedness.

Benjamin came to my attention, thanks to a Facebook post by Jim Cobb, who linked to an article Benjamin wrote for The Prepper Journal. The article is 5 Ways to Introduce Your Kids to Preparedness. He added the sixth tip during our DestinySurvival Radio conversation.

 

The Writer

Before sharing Benjamin’s tips, here’s a little about who he is.

 

Benjamin Ellefson is an outdoor enthusiast, prepper, and author of the upcoming preparedness themed children’s book The Land Without Color. He grew up in the suburbs of Minnesota spending his summers camping, canoeing, and rock climbing. He got more serious about prepping after the 2008 melt-down.

A father of four, he loves to share the joys of the outdoors with his daughters while teaching them the importance of being prepared. He now enjoys writing preparedness themed novels for children of all ages.

 

When you learn something new, do you like to share it with others? Benjamin does. He encourages you and me to share what we’ve learned about preparedness with our children, or perhaps our grandchildren.

Of course, if you home school your children, you may be teaching self reliance skills and a preparedness mindset already.

But it’s Benjamin’s observation that teaching children to be prepared doesn’t get talked about much in the preparedness community. Thus, his article.

 

The Tips

Here’s a sketch of tips in Benjamin’s article and our conversation.

 

  1. Read survival books – Benjamin prefers books over movies and shares a few of his favorites.
  2. Make a first aid kit – There’s a practical reason for this, as opposed to putting a bug out bag together.
  3. Cooking together – This raises awareness of the need for lists of ingredients to complete recipes. Work with fresh ingredients first, then deal with storage food later.
  4. Go on a camping trip – Introduce children to wilderness survival, and help them determine what’s needed to live without the conveniences of home.
  5. Get involved in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts – Scouting is a great way to make new friends and learn preparedness skills.
  6. Build a campfire – This is an essential skill to learn, and it can be a lot of fun.

 

The bottom line? Get the whole family involved in hands-on preparedness activities. Inspire your children. They’ll be more receptive to learning new skills. Help them build self confidence.

 

The Stories

The Land Without Color is a children’s book to be released later this year. The plan is for it to be the first of a modern fairy tale trilogy. After reading the review copy Benjamin graciously sent me, I can assure you the book is a fun, easy read. It’s imaginative, wholesome entertainment–the way children’s stories used to be.

Twelve-year-old Alvin finds himself magically transported to a strange land, drained of color. While the story isn’t specifically about prepping, Alvin would have been lost without his survival knife and the help of a squirrel who practices caching. Alvin and his friends discover truths we would all do well to understand and live by.

Benjamin believes story telling–including the telling of parables–is a great way to engage people and teach them in a way that’s inviting, not preachy. The Land Without Color is a good example of that.

 

The Conversation

Benjamin said much more than I can share in this post. So I invite you to hear my conversation with him by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for September 17, 2015. (Right click to download.) Check out Benjamin’s site at ww.benjaminellefson.com. Get your copy of The Land Without Color by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post.

Have you thought of writing an engaging story to get kids interested in preparedness? If so, you’ll want to hear Benjamin’s advice for aspiring authors.

If writing a story isn’t your thing, what suggestions would you give to families for bringing their children along into the preparedness way of life? Feel free to leave a comment below and share your nugget of wisdom with those who could use it.

 

Neighborhood Preparedness – Get Guidance from an Emergency Responder

Often we hear that it’s important to be prepared because it makes things easier for emergency responders in the event of a disaster. But what is it that emergency responders would like for you and me to do in our neighborhoods?

When it comes to neighborhood preparedness, get guidance from an emergency responder. You can sample a little of that guidance on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio. My guest is Scott Finazzo, author of The Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook.

 

Your Guide

Since it’s a good idea to know something about the emergency responder who will give you guidance on preparedness in your neighborhood, here’s info about Scott from his book.

 

Scott Finazzo, like his father before him, has been a firefighter for nearly 20 years and currently serves as a lieutenant for the Overland Park (Kansas) Fire Department. He has been an instructor for community emergency response teams since 2000, helping to educate and prepare citizens for emergencies.

In addition to being an emergency responder and educator, Scott has been writing in various capacities for much of his life, contributing to blogs, magazines, and books. Scott’s first book, The Prepper’s Workbook, coauthored with Scott B. Williams, became a national best seller. He followed that up with Why Do All the Locals Think We’re Crazy?, a narrative of his kayaking journey through the Virgin Islands.

With years of experience both preparing for and responding to disasters, he has developed a keen interest in survival. Scott’s self-reliance skills have been honed by forays into the mountains and deserts of America, in, on, and under the ocean, and by several excursions into islands of the Caribbean. He maintains an intrinsic connection to travel and adventure, documenting many of his endeavors on his site: www.lureofthehorizon.com.

Scott has a bachelor’s degree in management and human relations and two associate’s degrees. He currently lives in Shawnee, Kansas, until he can establish himself somewhere among palm trees. Find more on Scott’s website, www.scottfinazzo.com.

 

The Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook

 

The Handbook

This is a book from an emergency responder’s point of view, telling you and me what we can do to make life go easier for all of us when there’s an emergency or disaster. Though it will likely be of greatest use to city dwellers, those who live in rural areas can benefit, too.

While The Prepper’s Workbook helps you get ready for a disaster or emergency, The Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook helps you know what to do after the disaster has occurred.

To me this book is worth it for all the great information in the first sections. Then at the end of the book is a summary of key points. It’s sort of a cheat sheet. But you’ll want to read the whole book to fill in the gaps so the summary makes sense.

While you’ll find an abundance of factual guidance, Scott interjects a few personal experiences. This makes what he writes more credible and real.

Here’s a brief overview of the high points. You’ll find out about:

  • Creating event-specific disaster kits for yourself and family
  • Learning about basic fire safety and fire fighting
  • Establishing triage centers in the event that first responders can’t reach you
  • Stabilizing disaster victims through need-to-know first aid
  • Creating your own neighborhood emergency response team to keep your neighborhood safe and save lives should the worst occur

 

Key Concerns

Preppin’ Good in the Neighborhood

I was surprised to learn that Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams (NERTs) and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) didn’t come into existence until the mid 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Could it be that we’ve lost so much of our community spirit in society that we need such structured organizational efforts?

Though “neighborhood” is in the book’s title, how to go about setting up a neighborhood broup isn’t discussed until near the end of the book. Scott says the information which comprises the bulk of the book is to help you and your family first.

If you want to go on from there to widen your circle, you’ll find practical suggestions which should help you avoid scaring or alienating neighbors and friends.

It’s vital to assess the skill sets and resources available in your group. Any doctors or nurses present? Any amateur radio operators? Any construction workers who could help rebuild? And who has what equipment?

Your group also needs organization and structure if it is to be successful.

In time of disaster, the group should be ready to self-activate. In other words, don’t wait for the authorities to show up and give you permission to act. Nonetheless, be ready to make a smooth transition to the authorities when they do arrive.

Putting a neighborhood group together is a wise thing to do in light of the possibility of civil unrest. Unfortunately, how and where such turmoil breaks out is unpredictable. It’s a different kind of threat than storms or fire. The more you can do for yourself and those around you, the better.

 

Not That Guy…

When Scott shows up in his fire truck, he sees people banded together to take care of one another. People are willing to help each other out.

But all too many will say, “I don’t need to prepare because, when disaster strikes, I’ll rely on the good-heartedness of my neighbors.” Don’t be that guy. Take care of yourself and your family first.

The emergency response system can get overwhelmed. Therefore, the more you do for yourself and those around you, the less of a burden you’ll place on others.

 

Top Priorities

Three things must take priority in the aftermath of a disaster. In a nutshell, stay safe while you help others. Scott explains this in his book, and we discussed them in our conversation. Those priorities are…
  • Life Safety
  • Incident Stabilization
  • Property Conservation

 

Size Up Matters

A large part of the “size up”–taking stock of the situation–is situational awareness. You need to be able to use all of your senses to identify what’s going on, what could happen, and what action to take.

But when is it right to follow your gut, or that inner voice? And when is it best to practice self restraint? If you’ve prepared yourself ahead of time mentally, you’ll have an edge.

Disasters will take us by surprise, whether we believe it or not. How will you respond?

 

Three Things We Must Have

Scott says we need supplies, education and insurance.

Throughout the book you’ll find checklists of supplies to have for given situations.

Get education about preparedness through books, classes and hands-on experience. For example, we should be knowledgeable about shutting off our utilities at home.

Don’t overlook the importance of having the right insurance coverage. For example, do you have flood protection for your home?

 

When to Get Out

When is it time to evacuate or bug out? This isn’t meant to sound vague, but several factors come into play, and much depends on the scenario involved.

 

Fire!

As preppers, we hear and read much about starting fires, but how do we put one out? We would do well to understand fire so we’ll know what kind of a threat it is and how to put it out. As you might expect, a firefighter is the right one to inform us on such matters.

Four elements are required for fire. They are heat, fuel, oxygen and a chemical reaction. Taking away one of these will quench a fire. Scott gives us practical info about the classes of fires, fire extinguishers and how to use them.

Don’t mess around if a fire starts in your home. It can quickly grow to be larger than anything you can put out. You may need to escape suddenly. This is one scenario for which you definitely want to think ahead. Do you have kits ready to grab on your way out of the house?

 

Search and Rescue

You and your neighbors may find yourselves involved in a search and rescue operation near you. Scott passes along a number of pointers about that to keep you safe. For example, can you recognize when a building is too damaged to enter safely?

Whatever you do for search and rescue, be sure to work in teams of at least two. You and your neighbors should arrange ahead of time who will do what.

 

First Aid on the Spot

Scott spends quite a bit of time describing various medical situations. We need to know what to do and what not to do.

For example, practicing triage means prioritizing and making medical decisions that may seem harsh at first. But the goal is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

 

Our Beloved Pets

Several times throughout the book, Scott reminds us to look out for our pets. What will we do with our animals if we need to evacuate? As with all other aspects of preparedness, we must plan ahead.

 

Take Note

Documentation is important. While people take pictures with their phone cameras all the time, it’s good to write things down, too. When you report to authorities about an incident, you won’t remember everything. There’s just too much happening too fast.

 

Body and Soul

Enduring a disaster is more strenuous on the body and mind than working out at a gym. You can do amazing things when running on adrenaline, but you might injure yourself when you do so.

Don’t overlook your mental condition. Scott talks about the trauma we may experience when encountering death and destruction. He has faced it himself. It’s not easy to get over.

You and I will need help to work through it, whether we talk to a friend, counselor or psychologist. Don’t try to tough it out by keeping things bottled up.

 

Going Deeper

I know I say this often, but all that I’ve written here can’t possibly cover all that’s in Scott’s book or all we talked about. Therefore, hear my conversation with Scott by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for July 23, 2015. (Right click to download.) Get The Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook by clicking on its title wherever you see it in this post.

Scott’s book is one you’ll not only want to add to your survival library, but you’ll want to share it with your neighbors and friends. If you’re heading up a prepper group, invest in several copies.

Are you part of a prepper group in your local area or your neighborhood? Feel free to leave a comment below and tell others how it’s going. Or share any thoughts you have about what you’ve read above or heard in my visit with Scott Finazzo.

 

Additional Resources

Scott and I mentioned a couple of books on following your gut instincts in the face of danger. I’ve included another one for your consideration. Click on the title of the book of your choice to find out more and to order. You can also see reviews I’ve written for a couple of these books.

 

Civil Breakdown – How Ready Are You?

“Civil Breakdown” is another DVD in the Make Ready to Survive series from Panteao Productions. This one is timely in the wake of events last summer in Ferguson, MO, and recently in Baltimore, MD. And more may be on the way.

Of course, civil unrest could happen at any time–when and where we least expect it. Unrest doesn’t have to be caused by agitators. It may happen in the aftermath of a natural disaster, like Hurricane Katrina.

If you’ve engaged in conversation with like minded preppers, you’ve likely discussed the chances for chaos and martial law. You’ve pondered and perhaps planned what to do if it comes about. Will you mow down the zombie hoardes? Will you stay to the end to defend your property, or will you get out of Dodge?

My late friend Gerald Franz talked frequently about such things. It’s refreshing to me to see them discussed so seriously in a thoughtful way in a format available to all. We could each use a brutal look at what could be reality, whether we like it or not.

 

An Overview

 

Make Ready to Survive - Civil Breakdown

 

Run time for this DVD is a little more than an hour and a half, and chapters are mostly short. Material covered includes…

 

  • Proper Planning for Survival
  • Civil Unrest and Riot Planning
  • Firearm Selection
  • Carriers, Load Bearing Vests and Gear
  • Survival Optics
  • Defending from Vehicle and Setup
  • Assessing the Situation
  • Using Current Technology to Plan for Future
  • Martial Law
  • Neighborhood Defense
  • Advanced Care & Civil Unrest
  • Communications Between Neighbors

 

Permit a few general observations before getting into issues and questions raised in “Civil Breakdown.”

Most of the instructors in this video have military backgrounds, and you’ll pick up on that when you hear their discussion and see their demonstrations. As with the other presentations in this series, these men are easy going and friendly.

What you get is a common sense approach to the subject matter. No hype. No fear. But this DVD doesn’t beat around the bush about what you’ll have to deal with if there’s a civil breakdown where you live.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, there is some overlap in some of the subjects covered in these videos. For a more complete picture, you’ll want to have more than this DVD in the series. My reviews of the DVD’s released to date are linked below.

The chapters on assessing the situation and using technology are to the point and share advice I think many of us already know. The technology section covers pros and cons of what’s available online.

The chapter on communications is brief and barely covers the subject. I think it would also have fit in better after the sections on neighborhood defense or technology use. The chapter on martial law should have appeared earlier in the video, since that’s a subject of concern to many.

Of course, you can watch chapters in whatever order you like.

 

A Closer Look

I won’t try to summarize everything in “Civil Breakdown.” Instead, I’ll mention several subjects covered and questions you’ll need to ponder in order to be better prepared.

 

Your Plans

Big questions are raised, right from the start. The message comes through plainly. Avoid trouble as much as is possible. That doesn’t mean being unprepared. What do past events tell you about what to expect in your area?

When is it time to fight or get out of the way? Should you be prepared to kill an assailant? Or should you merely disable him? What does your local law enforcement have to say about this?

Whatever you do, don’t be the cause of trouble or aggravate it. Avoid riots and insurrection. Keep in mind, mobs have no rules.

The importance of having a plan can’t be overemphasized. If you’re caught at work, how will you get back home? Do you have an escape plan? What alternatives for transportation do you have? How will you communicate with those close to you?

 

Your Guns

A more comprehensive look at this topic is covered in the DVD in this series called “Firearm Selection.” However, important considerations are dealt with in this one.

What firearms should you use when necessary? What about protective gear?

Ever seen a desk calendar that doubles as a bullet proof shield? The demo of it is impressive.

As with other DVD’s in this series, since firearms are discussed, you’ll see extra disclaimers and the gun safety rules at the beginning, before you’re given the option to play the DVD.

 

Your Optical Options

The first fundamental point made in the section on optics is the necessity for eye protection. You’re in big trouble if your eyes are damaged.

The section goes on to demonstrate binoculars, range finders, night vision and thermal devices. The latter items are costly. Save your dollars if you really want one of them.

 

Your Vehicle

Did you know yourcar or truck is a big weapon? Don’t relinquish it if possible. But what do you do if you’re victimized by a carjacker? Where should you have your concealed firearm? What can you do to distract your assailant until you can do what you need to do to save your life?

When in your vehicle, where should you have your bug out bag? Firearms and ammo? Both should be kept safely, but accessible.

 

Your Response During Martial Law

Kyle Harth talks about the difference between support help from federal law enforcement and when the feds are declared to be in charge. It’s an important distinction. In either situation, be sure to know what’s expected of you.

If you must evacuate, do you have a plan? Do you have adequate fuel, food and water to go to a safe location? Then what about coming back home when things have calmed down?

 

Your Neighborhood

Ever thought of slowing traffic or creating your own checkpoint as a means of defending your neighborhood when things get rough? Cutting down a tree or two should work.

Are you prepared to work together with your neighbors to keep the neighborhood safe? That annoying busybody down the street could be a real asset in times of turmoil.

 

Your Medical Readiness

You may be called on to help provide advanced medical care. Injuries aren’t going to merely be sprains or cuts and scrapes. Injuries will likely be caused by other people and may include stab wounds, bullet wounds and head trauma.

Be ready with first aid supplies. Have medical manuals on hand, including a military medical book. This is one time when knowledge is definitely power.

 

Wrapping It Up

One of the beauties of having the Make Ready to Survive DVD’s is that you can review the material as often as you like, at any time you like.

Also, not only can you get “Civil Breakdown” in DVD form, but you can subscribe to view it online. You can access it on your mobile device, too.

Panteao Productions also gives subscribers discounts on annual subscriptions and a 100% money back guarantee. So you have nothing to lose.

Find the Make Ready to Survive series by going to http://panteao.com/survive/.

If you see a product you like while you’re watching the video, you can help support DestinySurvival by shopping for it in the Prep Mart.

I welcome your response to what you’ve read here, but especially to what you’ve seen in “Civil Breakdown,” or any of the other Make Ready to Survive videos. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below to let other preppers know your thoughts.

View my reviews of the other video presentations by clicking on the following titles. A new window opens with each llink.