FiberFix – A Review

A representative contacted me from the FiberFix company to see if I’d be interested in reviewing their product. I agreed to accept a sample and do a review because I think FiberFix has a number of uses which will prove useful to preppers.

FiberFix is repair wrap that is said to be 100 times stronger than duct tape. It’s useful if you’re in need of a quick, strong fix.

It was featured on the “Shark Tank” TV show and is apparently growing in popularity.

 

Suitcase Handle Repaired with FiberFix

 

This past weekend my wife’s cousin helped me wrap a broken suitcase handle. He read the instructions, and I applied the FiberFix.

The concept of a FiberFix repair is easy, but doing the job was a little trickier than I expected. Several extra steps are necessary in comparison to using duct tape. And it doesn’t help that I’m not that great at handyman tasks, even little ones.

I received the hard sided suitcase as a gift back in the 1970’s. Somehow the handle broke in two after years of use, and we wrapped it with duct tape. It held that way for many years, but eventually the tape gave way.

The first order of business for the repair was to cut and tear off the old duct tape. I used rubbing alcohol to remove as much of the sticky tape glue from the handle as I could. I didn’t get it all off, but I did what I could.

In keeping with the FiberFix instructions, I used the sandpaper, which got a little more crud off the handle. In this instance, it may not have been necessary to do this because the handle had a rough texture, and it was still somewhat sticky.

Normally the coarse sandpaper should be used to roughen up a smooth surface so the FiberFix tape can adhere better.

I put on a set of plastic gloves that came with the package. They’re small, and I wasn’t sure they’d fit. But they stretched and were adequate.

The gloves are meant to protect your hands from the resin in the FiberFix tape. Including them is a good idea, but one size may not fit all.

I took the FiberFix roll out of its wrapping and dunked it into water in the kitchen sink for several seconds. I wrung as much water out of it as I could.

Next came the task of rolling the thick tape around the suitcase handle.

As you can see from the picture above, the repair job is bulky. It’s possible I didn’t wrap the tape as tight as I could have. There was a lot of tape for the task at hand.

My wife said she would have cut off only the amount that seemed necessary, if she had been there to do the repair. But the directions say to use the whole roll. So that’s what I did.

Having a premeasured amount of tape seems to me to be a distinct disadvantage. I don’t see how any unused tape could be reused. It would be better to have a good sized roll that would allow you to measure out the amount you need before getting it wet and wrapping it around the object being repaired.

I realize that, as with any kind of tape, multiple layers adds strength. But if you wanted to repair a crack running lengthwise along a pipe or wooden chair leg, you might need more tape than what you’re allowed in the FiberFix package.

That said, there are different sizes of FiberFix. But you’ll need to determine what length and width you need for the job you have in mind.

 

Boxes of FiberFix Repair Wrap

 

Next in my repair of the suitcase handle came the application of an outer plastic wrap, which is supposed to be wrapped tightly around the FiberFix tape for a few minutes to help the tape to seal better.

My wife’s cousin misread the directions, so I kept the outer wrap on for less than a minute, rather than the ten minutes specified. I’m wondering if this also contributed to the bulkiness of the repair.

I put my hand on the FiberFix shortly after taking off the outer wrap, and the tape felt warm. I assume that indicated a chemical reaction as the tape hardened. And it does get hard. There’s no flexibility when it’s set.

One corner edge of the wrap I’d done was jagged, so I cut it off with a pocketknife. That didn’t help much, so I’ll have to sand it down a bit. This showed me it’s possible to cut through FiberFix, but I’m guessing it would be difficult to cut through more than one layer of it.

FiberFix is rough to the touch, which wouldn’t be a problem if you’re repairing a pipe, which you fix and forget. But it’s noticeable on the suitcase handle, since a person’s hand comes into direct contact with the handle repair job any time the suitcase is lifted.

The same could apply if you fix a tool handle at the point where your hand needs to touch it to use the tool.

My repair job may not be pretty or perfect, but I don’t think the handle will ever come apart again.

Here are a couple photos of examples of FiberFix offerings.

 

2-inch Single Roll FiberFix

2 Rolls Repair Wrap FiberFix

 

Incidentally, FiberFix isn’t meant to be used as a patch. It works when you wrap it around something.

FiberFix is said to be available in 30,000 retail outlets. If you can’t find it, or if you need more info go to www.FiberFix.com.

Click here to view a brochure on uses for FiberFix.

Below are two YouTube videos that tell you a little more. The second video is a demonstration of how to use it to repair PVC pipe.

If you don’t mind that FiberFix is messier and more tedious to use than duct tape, give it a try. When you need a good, strong bond to hold what you’re repairing, FiberFix will do the job.

 

 

 

Ozarks Self Reliant Living University

The Ozarks Self Reliant Living University, held in the Missouri Ozarks, was originally schedule for January 23rd and 24th, 2016. But because of the massive snow storm in the eastern half of the U.S. that weekend, it took place January 30th and 31st. This is an annual preparedness seminar you’ll want to attend if you’re within driving distance of southern Missouri.

Event organizer Mike Slack was my guest on DestinySurvival Radio, and he filled in more of the details than I can relate here. Though the event was postponed after our conv ersation, Mike says everything was to be the same as before.

By the way, if you’re reading this post after the event has taken place, I invite you to listen to the DestinySurvival Radio episode linked below to find out what an event like this is all about. Plus, Mike and I talked about what to do if you want to conduct your own expo for fellow preppers.

Ozarks Self Reliant Living University took place January 30-31, 2016, from 9 AM to 5 PM each day.

Saturday it was at the Faith in God Church near Koshkonong, MO. Sunday it was at the Next Step 7th Day Adventist Church, West Plains, MO. As unusual as such an arrangement sounded to me, Mike said it’s been done in two separate places like this for several years and has worked out fine.

Seminar topics covered include…

  • Surviving Disaster with Nothing
  • Self Defense
  • Tiny House Homesteading
  • Ham Radio Communications
  • Stocking Your Medical Bag
  • Staying Healthy with the Right Foods
  • Medicinal Uses of Hemp
  • Energy Self Reliance
  • GMO’s and Heirloom Seeds
  • Seed Saving
  • Preparedness 101–Social, Financial, Working Together as a Community
  • Cherokee Traditions and Self Reliance
For the full schedule and roster of guest speakers, click here for the OSLU flyer for 2016. The flyer was printed before the date of the event was changed to January 30-31.

For more backgroundon OSLU, hear my conversation with Mike Slack by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for January 14, 2016. (Right click to download.) For inquiries about this or other events organized by Mike Slack, call (417)264-2435. Or e-mail mike65807(at_yahoo.com. Replace (at) in the address with @ when e-mailing.

Mike says it’s worth the drive to attend one of his events. You’ll get info you’d get at bigger expos. You’ll meet with like-minded preppers. And you’ll get to see some beautiful country.

 

Preparing Veterans for a New Life

A podcast came to my attention about HirePatriots.com, an organization geared toward preparing veterans for a new life. This is a little off the beaten path of the usual topics related to preparedness, but I know many vets are into preparedness and survival.

And there is another preparedness connection I’ll mention below.

Transitioning to the civilian way of life can be difficult for vets. It calls for a different way of thinking from that which has been learned in the military.

As if that weren’t enough, exposure to the horrors of war can leave a person altered for life. There could be mental changes, physical wounds, or both.

Enter HirePatriots.com. They provide helpful programs for vets and their families, such as:

  • One day jobs board–Veterans are connected with businesses or individuals for temporary employment to help make ends meet.
  • Full time employment–Veterans get help with resume writing and other aspects of finding employment.
  • Business Startup–Veterans get help with developing a business plan, setting up a Website, marketing, and other skills involved with starting their own business.
Hire Patriots believes in the hard working, self disciplined character of veterans because vets are not only good team players, but they know a thing or two about self reliance. If you are one, you know about that already.

There is also a specific preparedness angle to what they do. One of the projects they’d like to bring to fruition is the creation of sustainable communities throughout America.

In the podcast I mentioned above, Steve the underground prepper–a veteran himself–interviews Mark and Tori Baird, founders of HirePatriots.com. I encourage you to listen to the interview with HirePatriots.com.

If you can help Hire Patriots with a tax deductible financial contribution, or if you or someone you know could use their help, check out their site at HirePatriots.com.

 

Help a Fellow Prepper – Be an Ant

Want to be part of a unique network of preppers helping other preppers? If you’d like to help a fellow prepper, be an “ant.”

A.N.T.S stands for Americans Networking To Survive. It’s a survival network of individual preppers called “ants.”

They work together to provide other members basic supplies during disasters. In a nutshell, they do that by relaying buckets of supplies, called supply pods, to any member that needs them.

The network founder is Timothy French, and he’s this week’s guest on DestinySurvival Radio. Listen in and find out how you can make a difference in the lives of other preppers and how other preppers can help you.

 

Discovering A.N.T.S.

In late 2010 I learned of Tim French and his organization from Donna Miller of Miller’s Grain House. I did an interview with him for DestinySurvival Radio, but that’s been over four years ago. If you’re curious, view what I wrote about that first chat here.

Recently I heard Tim interviewed by Joe Alton, M.D., a.k.a. Dr. Bones, from Prepper Camp in North Carolina. I was glad to hear A.N.T.S. is still around, and I thought it was high time to get an update.

 

Doing the Show

The A.N.T.S. site is loaded with so much information, I began to wonder why I should talk to Tim French at all. You’ll find general information there, of course; but there’s also a thorough historical timeline as well as an informative FAQ page, to name a couple of the site’s great features.

On the other hand, I realize you may not have heard of this unusual network. Or you may just need to hear our conversation so you know how Tim himself explains things in a way that clarifies what A.N.T.S. is all about.

Thus, this week’s DestinySurvival Radio show.

 

Daring to Do Something Different

As a firefighter, Tim became involved in relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He saw deficiencies in how things were handled, and believed there had to be a better way.

Some of the same problems arose in the aftermath of the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010. That’s when he decided it was time to put A.N.T.S. together.

There’s an organized way of carrying out the network’s tasks, spelled out in guidelines and job descriptions. A clever set of terms and definitions centers around ants, the insects. Icons on maps indicate general locations of members or drop points for supplies.

While all of that may give the appearance of complexity, Tim says A.N.T.S. is a simple network of preppers helping preppers. There’s no corporate structure or office.

The mission is simple: To provide members with basic supplies during a disaster.

All members are volunteers who provide help at the local level. The goal of A.N.T.S. is to have at least one member in every city and town.

 

Doing the Work

A.N.T.S. isn’t a mere theoretical construct. They helped fellow members during Hurricane Sandy and the big tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area. It wouldn’t be a surprise to hear ants have helped other ants after the recent flooding in the Carolinas.

When a disaster happens, as quickly as possible, members supply one another with supplies requested by members in need. If a member hasn’t been heard from, other members will check to see how they’re doing.

That sounds encouraging, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you like to be helped by people in your area who know the lay of the land and what’s happening in the immediate situation?

A.N.T.S. strives to help members before other relief agencies arrive on the scene. However, members may not be able to provide help until after rescue teams have made the way safe. For example, roads may need to be cleared in the aftermath of a storm.

Two levels of guidelines describe how A.N.T.S. should work. Level One guidelines are used for disasters where people still have communication capabilities outside of a disaster area. Level Two would be used in an extreme scenario, such as after an EMP, when all communications have been lost, except for shortwave radio.

Tim described the functions volunteers can perform. They are…

  • Camp Ants
  • Trail Ants
  • Com Ants
  • Donor Ants

 

Deciding on the Goodies

Supplies given out in a time of disaster can include clothing, food, shelter supplies, and medical and hygiene items–enough to get a person or family through two weeks. The supply pods are 5-gallon buckets containing such items.

All supplies are provided by A.N.T.S members. The best way to be sure adequate supplies are available to meet a given need is to recruit other ants.

A.N.T.S. won’t bring the goods into a disaster area until they know exactly what’s needed and who needs it. That way supplies aren’t misdirected and won’t go to waste.

By the way, you’ll be glad to know A.N.T.S will never ask for your money. It’s the ants themselves who make the system work.

 

Digging Into the Ant Hill

No demographic information is kept on members. Your OP SEC won’t be compromised.

A.N.T.S. is all about helping fellow Americans in a time of need. It hasn’t quite taken hold abroad.

People with disabilities are encouraged to join A.N.T.S. as well. As with any other ant, it’s up to the individual to choose what they can do.

The number of member ants around the country fluctuates, but Tim says it’s roughly a thousand. Interest was greatest in 2012 when people thought certain catastrophe loomed.

 

Don’t Count on Group Think

As I was looking over the info about A.N.T.S. before my visit with Tim, it occurred to me that churches would be ideal forgetting involved with the network. While that may indeed be the case, Tim emphasized the point that A.N.T.S. deals with individuals, one to one.

In other words, if your church decided to become involved with the network, A.N.T.S. would help individuals within the church. They wouldn’t bring supplies to the church as a whole.

In a disaster, you might get help from an ant who is a fellow church member, or the ant may be someone else in the local area. As an ant yourself, you might be called on to help a fellow church member or another ant who is not part of your church.

The same principle applies to prepper groups, too. Individuals in your prepper group may become part of the network, but the group itself can’t be defined as an ant.

There’s more on groups and colonies in my conversation with Tim.

 

Do It Because…

Below are six reasons to join A.N.T.S, taken from AmericansNetworkingToSurvive.org.

 

  1. It cost nothing and you do not have to disclose your location.
  2. Having one member in every city and town will allow us to transport supplies without traveling far from home.
  3. When disaster strikes, relief agencies will bring supplies, but they will be supplying everyone. A.N.T.S will be looking for you.
  4. If you are traveling away from home when a disaster strikes, you will have a member close by to bring supplies to you or your family.
  5. Supplies are not wasted and will only go to members if requested.
  6. In an interview with Amanda Ripley, the author of The Unthinkable: WhoSurvives When Disaster Strikes – And Why, Craig Fugate, the head of the Federal Emergency Management stated:
    “To avoid “system collapse,” the government must draft the public. “We tend to look at the public as a liability. [But] who is going to be the fastest responder when your house falls on your head? Your neighbor.”

     

    Don’t Miss This

    I encourage you to hear my visit with Tim French by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for October 8, 2015. (Right click to download.) Between what I’ve written here and what Tim and I talked about, you should have a decent picture concerning A.N.T.S. But you can always get more info or contact Tim by going to AmericansNetworkingToSurvive.org.

    Do you know anyone who is a member of A.N.T.S.? Does it sound like something you’d like to become part of?

    Are you anant yourself? I’d love to hear about your experience with the network.

    Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

     

Easy Cheesy

Have you tried making cheese at home? It’s not difficult. At least it doesn’t have to be. In fact, follow the steps in the article excerpt below, and you’ll realize it’s easy cheesy.

The article comes from the March/April, 2015, “Backwoods Home Magazine” (Issue #152). Below the exerpt is a link to the full article. It’s brief and straightforward, and you’ll be making cheese in no time.

 

Easy-to-make
farmer’s cheese

By Leach Leach

Making cheese is one of the easiest and most satisfying tasks that you can accomplish in the homestead kitchen. While there are many wonderful cheeses out there to try, I recommend a simple farmer’s cheese to get your feet wet and familiarize yourself with the basic process. The great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require specialty ingredients; it can be made with either store-bought or farm-fresh milk, and it is ready to eat within a few hours. I also love the fact that it can be flavored with any number of herbs and spices to suit your personal taste.

You will need:

1 quart whole milk (cow or goat milk will work)
juice of 2-4 large lemons
1 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper
herbs and spices to taste


Read the whole article here:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/leach152.html

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com 1-800-835-2418.

 

Want to explore more homemade cheese possibilities? Get a copy of Home Cheese Making.

 

Keyhole Gardening for your Survival Garden?

Let’s face it. Gardening can be challenging, especially if you don’t have good soil or live in an area that doesn’t get much water. Could keyhole gardening be your survival garden solution?

“Backwoods Home Magazine” for March/April, 2015 (Issue #152), includes an article describing one gardener’s experience with keyhole gardening. Consider it a mini primer.

Keyhole gardening lets you.

  • Grow plants in difficult soil conditions
  • Use compost easily
  • Conserve water, especially in drought
  • Grow food intensively in a compact area
If you’re curious, check out the article excerpt below. A link to the full article is included as well.

 

Build a keyhole garden

By Katelynn Bond

One of the hazards of living on the side of a mountain in northern New Mexico is that I live on a rock. And I don’t mean the ground has a lot of pebbles and stones in it — it is solid rock with just a dash of topsoil to keep you guessing. After an interesting experience with the yard and a sledge hammer, I am pretty sure that my rock goes straight to China, which means that nothing grows in it except well-established trees, scrub oak, and the occasional cactus. Any gardening that I do has to be above the ground and it has to conserve water as well.

After a number of years of different kinds of container gardens failing in one way or another due to our climate, summer water concerns, or my sporadic travel schedule, I got serious about finding a way to garden on top of my rock to help our family be more self-sufficient.


Read the whole article here:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/bond152.html

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com 1-800-835-2418.

 

Here’s more on keyhole gardening. It’s a 10 minute video on one charity organization’s efforts to teach families in Lesotho how to garden more efficiently. Can we learn from this for our own survival gardens?

 

 

Find gardening supplies and seeds for your survival garden on the Survival Gardening page in the Prep Mart.

 

Emergency Responders – What Can We Expect When Disaster Strikes?

What can we expect from public officials and emergency responders in the aftermath of a disaster? I spoke to Janet Liebsch about that a few months ago, and, because it’s such an important topic, this week on DestinySurvival Radio I’m replaying the conversation she and I had.

In our original conversation, which you can read about here, Janet and I spoke about two things. The Shakeout earthquake drill scheduled to happen last October and what we can expect from emergency responders in the aftermath of a disaster. We spent the bulk of our time talking about that second subject, and that’s what I want to focus on today..

Not that earthquake preparedness isn’t important. It is. But I wanted to narrow things down for this week’s program and be sure you and I have a handle on how things might go in the wake of a catastrophe.

When might first responders come to our aid? Could martial law be put into place? I hope what follows will put some worries and fears to rest while helping you know better how to prepare.

 

My Informative Guest

Janet Liebsch is co-founder of FedHealth and co-author of IT’S A DISASTER! and what are YOU gonna do about it? She’s also Executive Vice-President and Disaster Specialist for the U.S. First Responders Association, and is the Arizona state moderator on American Preppers Network.

 

Order Out of Chaos

Many in the general population expect to see FEMA come to the rescue in the wake of a disaster, such as when there’s an earthquake, hurricane, flood, and the like. On the other hand, I’ve heard of some in the prepper community say, “Don’t need ’em. Don’t want ’em.” Does that ring a bell?

But should we expect chaos? Martial law?

Who can say for sure? Much depends on the nature and scope of the disaster. And, while FEMA has been roundly criticized for not arriving on the scene in a timely manner, would you believe their actions are by design?

As Janet explained, there’s a structured system or chain of command which keeps FEMA at a distance. If local First Responders become overwhelmed, the state governor’s next step is to ask for assistance from the federal government. There has to be a reason for a state of emergency to be declared.

You could consider this to be a safeguard mechanism. FEMA can’t just come in on their own. In fact, their hands could be tied up in red tape, making timely assistance difficult. Janet went into some detail in our conversation on how all of this works.

The bottom line is that you and I must be prepared to ride out what could be a long wait before outside help comes along. That’s partly because one of the first things officials concentrate on when a disaster happens is restoration of infrastructure–roads, bridges, buildings, etc.

Fortunately, there’s National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). It consists of nonprofit groups, churches and faith based organizations, and people in local communities who know how to coordinate resources and get them where they need to be.

Meanwhile, FEMA continues to evaluate how to coordinate the private sector and public sector to function efficiently once a disaster happens. They have much to consider. Often the private sector is quicker at getting supplies and help to where they’re needed.

But you and I should be as prepared as we can be, and that involves more than storage food, blankets, flashlights and the like. For example, you and I would do well to make insurance a key part of our prepping strategy. How well are you or your business insured with coverage to help out with specific natural disasters?

Here’s something else to keep in mind. Stringent rules pertaining to federal relief funds are in place. Much of those funds may not come as grants, but as loans, which have to be paid back. These funds aren’t designed to make you whole or put everything like it was before. A staggering number of businesses never reopen after disasters.

 

Our Response to the Responders

Janet was quick to make the point that First Responders in our local communities are looking out for their community first. If you and I have questions about what will happen in a crisis, she recommends we get to know our local firemen, police, etc. We may find they don’t want federal intervention or martial law any more than you and I do.

In his book, Urban Emergency Survival Plan, Jim Cobb also recommends finding out what local officials have planned when disaster strikes. In so doing, we can better define our own preparedness plans.

 

Find Out More

Hear my Conversation with Janet Liebsch by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for February 26, 2015. (Right click to download.) Also, check out the additional resources listed below.

If you have any thoughts on what you’ve read here or heard in this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, feel free to leave a comment below. Could you ride out the aftermath of a disaster for three days or more?

 

Additional Resources

  • See info on what to expect in disaster aftermath here.
  • The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster site is ww.nvoad.org. They have links to their members on the “Help Where it is needed most” tab, along with other helpful information.
  • A helpful resource to find reputable relief organizations helping with crises is www.aidmatrixnetwork.org/maps/.
  • To get It’s A Disaster! …And What Are You Gonna Do About It?, click on its title. That’s where you can download a free mini e-book, or order the complete book in print or electronic form.