Posts Tagged ‘disaster readiness’
We had a rare, warm and sunny day in December so I used the nice weather to work on my survival bug out Jeep. I plan to have this Jeep fully loaded and ready to hit the road in a hurry if I ever have to bug out one day. I put new tires and a luggage rack on the Jeep today.
Many people ask me what scenario I am planning and preparing for. The answer is not that simple. Many people have a bug out plan for a specific scenario. But my plan is more general because of my experiences.
I have seen two devastating hurricanes, multiple blizzards, loss of income, wild fire and much more. Many of these situations caused me to have to be prepared to leave my home at a moments notice. Due to these experiences I am a strong believer in having a bug out bag on hand at all times. Even better is to have a bug out vehicle ready and waiting.
A bug out vehicle is a shelter and transportation all in one. You can also carry a whole lot more gear with you. This means food, water, animals, guns and ammo, shelter and comfort items. When the SHTF, you have to be prepared to leave your home with only minutes or hours notice.
A hurricane, tornado, forest fire or any other natural disaster can leave you homeless in a hurry. War or riots can also cause you to leave your home in a hurry. Just this spring there was a wild fire nearby, five miles away, which caused an entire town to be evacuated. Most of those people did not have a bug out plan or anything packed beforehand. Many were left in hotels with just the clothes on their backs.
I was prepared to leave my home if needed. But I would have had my bug out bag and comfort items with me.
I started putting the newer tires on the Jeep and checking brakes and suspension while I was at it. The front tire went on with ease. The brakes are good but the sway bar bushings are shot and need to be replaced.
The back drivers side wheel gave me a problem though. The lug nut is broken off flush with the bolt. The tapered part of the nut is still in place but the part that fits into a socket is broken clean off. There is nothing to grip on to. I have to study online how to remove this wheel. So I just swapped out the front tires and left the back ones matching for now.
I put on my new luggage rack as well. I bought this on sale when I got the Jeep and never opened the box until now. It was a perfect day for the job.
I will most likely put a Reese hitch mount on the back of the Jeep as well to expand my storage options.
I hope to get a rear mount spare tire rack too one day.
The Jeep will be fully coated in, out and all around with truck bed coating and rubberized undercoating for protection from the elements. I plan to paint it OD Green with black trim.
Watch the full video of my work here: Survival Bug Out Jeep Maintenance ~ New Battery ~ Tires ~ Roof Rack
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My friend and I went up to the mountains of Upstate New York on a grid down training scenario where we had to grab everything we could within minutes of becoming overrun and bug out to a new location. The idea of the shtf training scenario is to become better prepared for a potential future need to bug out in a hurry.
I prepared for a few days ahead of time by building a truck camper in the bed of my truck with the help of some friends. I had an old camper top for the bed of my truck and some old camper parts from a camper I had gutted out years ago. Using old recycled parts I built myself a decent truck camper for bugging out.
Previously I have used my slide in survival truck camper for bug out training but with the rising gas prices I cannot afford to use the old truck camper anymore for training purposes. The camper weighs over 2,000 pounds fully loaded.
My new homemade truck camper has a removable bed, shelf, bench, folding table, composting toilet, a kitchen sink with running water, solar power and more. It has all the comforts of a standard camper except that its way smaller and weighs very little. This means it costs a lot less on gas. Another important advantage of the small homemade bug out camper is that since it weighs so much less and has a much lower profile I can take it places where I cannot take the full slide in truck camper.
The place we were headed is untouched woodlands near the top of a mountain. It is rough terrain and I needed to travel light.
I loaded all the gear I felt that two people could need for long term survival out in the mountains. Spare clothes, winter clothes, hand saws, food, cooking utensils, pots and pans, tools, emergency truck repair supplies and parts, oil lamps, alcohol burner, and more.
I also have a brand new Mr Beams LED lantern with a USB charging port on it to charge your cell phone in the field. For cooking I have a Silverfire Hunter biomass rocket stove to test out in the field. This was to be my only cooking source.
My friend finally arrived out of New York City around 4:30 pm. This would simulate a true bug out scenario where I had half a day to prepare while waiting for my friend to arrive from the city. It takes a long time to get out of the city when the grid is down. I know first hand. Once when it rained it took me 5 hours to get out of the city for a normal 1.5 hour drive.
Another point of this trip is to build a cottage for my friend. He has owned the property for 15 years and never started his dream cottage. We were finally going to start building it. That is another reason for not taking the huge truck camper. Yes you can remove it from the truck but in the soft soil and rough terrain of his property it is dangerous to remove the truck camper from the truck. With my homemade truck camper you can just remove the contents in five minutes and be on the road.
It took us about two and a half more hours to get to his property. It was pitch black by the time we got to the mountains. The roads are treacherous with steep inclines and very sharp turns around jutting rock walls. The rocks literally poke out over the road in places and you crawl around the turns at an idle.
We got to camp and unloaded the truck after dark. The Mr Beams LED lantern came in handy for this. We hung it on the side of a pine tree to provide light while we worked. We set up a huge tarp in the trees and used stakes and ropes to string it out as a canopy for our outdoor living area. All of our gear went under the tarp for the night.
The brand new Silverfire biomass stove was pulled out for the first time and used to brew up a pot of coffee to warm us up on the cold night. It only takes a handful of twigs and provides a very strong heat source for cooking.
After coffee we made our beds in the back of the truck for the night and settled in. I used my power station that I had built into the truck camper to answer some emails and messages with my computer. My cell phone provides internet. The cell phone was the only thing that would not really work in a true grid down scenario but I have my work to do and live goes on outside the training field with or without you.
The grid down bug out scenario continues…
The ManOfMany Thingz came over for a visit and a discussion about the need for being prepared. Not just for an end of the world scenario, but for any sort of disaster than can and does happen all the time. Hurricane, earthquake, tornado, flood, blizzard, fire, job loss, power outage and other things that can hit us and take way our homes or source of income.
People need to be prepared. Most people go through their daily lives without giving even a single thought to any sort of disaster plan. But, even in grade school we had tornado and fire drills all the time. Why do we so soon forget this early training?
People grow up, leave the home of their parents to start a family of their own. They get their own home but forget the training they had as a child. No fire or tornado drills and no emergency food supplies put away.
There are many preppers out there. Most of the prepper community has received a bad reputation as being some sort of doomsday freaks. You imaging a gun toting wild man ranting about the end of the world coming so you better be prepared.
But this should not turn you off from being prepared for emergency or disaster.
Every single family or household should have a disaster plan in place. Especially if you have children you should practice a fire drill and a tornado drill with your family regularly. You should also have fire alarms in place and make sure to check the batteries often. Every family should have at least two weeks worth of emergency food rations and water. According to FEMA, a government agency which provides emergency and disaster support, you should have two weeks worth of water and food for every single member of your household. If you take medications you should also keep extra meds on hand and keep them rotated. Women also have needs that should be stocked up.
Most people simply wait and think this will not happen to them. Windham, New York probably did not think that their town would be completely devastated by a hurricane. They are about 150 miles inland from the nearest ocean. But Hurricane Irene wiped out their town and many homes and businesses are still recovering today.
In 12 months time New York lived through two hurricanes. This is a rare occurrence but somehow we got hit with two of them in a short time. People were still recovering from the first hurricane when just a year later the second one hit.
The strange thing is that it seemed like people were not prepared for the second one after going through the first.
All drinking water, instant meals, gas cans, batteries, generators, kerosene, portable heaters, gasoline, camping supplies and more were totally stripped from the shelves of all stores within 100 miles of us here in Upstate New York after each hurricane.
It seems that people wait for the last minute to prepare for any emergency or coming disaster. Even with advance warning, people are flooding the stores on the day before the storm and for a week afterward trying to get needed supplies. In the mean time, preppers are sitting comfortably at home waiting it out.
Hurricane Irene destroyed my business and the home I was living in. My antique shop got flooded under 5 feet of water. It was a total loss. FEMA would not help me and insurance would not cover it because it was not located in a normal recognized flood zone. The beautiful old colonial home I shared with 4 other people at that time suffered intensive mold damage which drove me out of the place for health reasons. The place was not fixed up after the flooding and mold set in. The mold climbs up inside the walls and causes health problems plus damage to the house.
I was otherwise prepared well in advance of Hurricane Irene by having enough water, food, camp stove and fuel to survive an extended time without any utilities. I had actually planned to move into my survival truck camper if we lost power for a long time. My survival truck camper remains stocked up and ready to bug out at any time due to disaster, if needed. If I do not have to bug out, such as during the hurricane or a blizzard, I am all set for bugging into my truck camper to live in comfort until the utilities are restored.
Being a prepper I have lived through many power outages due to blizzard or ice storms in the past years. Often I remain in my truck camper in perfect comfort while others sadly suffer with no heat, food, water or power.
In the back of my car is a bug out bag. This is a bag packed with enough supplies to survive any foreseen emergency for three days. I have basic medical supplies, food, water purification methods and other survival needs. If you live in a colder climate you need warm clothes and a source of heat. My bug out bag is meant to keep me alive if I get stranded in winter or to get me home to my main bug out bag in case of emergency or disaster.
The ManOfMany Thingz has a bug out jeep which he calls the “SJ” which stands for Survival Jeep. His jeep is a self contained stealth bug out vehicle. He plans to bug in. This means that in the event of a disaster he will stay put at home. His jeep is decked out with everything he needs to get back home in the event of an emergency. It has tools, medical supplies, solar panel and batteries, AC power and much more. He can repair his jeep on the fly if something happens and get back home.
Be prepared! Get some water, food and other important supplies stocked up not to keep you and your loved ones safe in the event of an emergency. Practice a fire and tornado drill often if you have children. Make sure you have supplies on hand to survive loss of income, home or power.
Recently there have been more and more natural disasters and super storms around the country. This includes tornado, hurricane, earth quake, blizzard or fire. With the coming of each big storm, comes a wave of panic shopping just ahead of the storm. Many people are not prepared for any sort of emergency. Are you prepared?
The East Coast of the US has recently been severely hit in the past year and a half with repeated hurricanes, flooding, winds and blizzards. Just days before the coming storm, you will find waves of people at the gas pumps filling up cars and gas cans. The grocery stores and malls will be stripped bare of flashlights, batteries, heat and eat foods and water. This is called “Panic Shopping”.
Walmart flashlight section a week after Sandy
But this is not necessary. If every single household had some sort of disaster plan and some supplies put aside at all times, there would be no panic shopping and no families would be left without supplies after the shelves get stripped bare.
Walmart camp stoves and fuel sold out
Hurricane Irene sort of took me by surprise. It was worse than I had ever expected and I lost my business and most of my personal furniture in the flooding. The house I was living in was molding and became unlivable. People started to get sick from the mold which crept up the walls, so I left.
Harriman NY train station after hurricane Irene
But I did have enough emergency food supplies and camp supplies on hand to tough out the 7 days we were stuck on our property and could not get out due to downed trees, severe flooding and boulders all over the roads. I made it through just fine, physically. Many others did not fare so well.
Soon after, we had a blizzard dump an early October snow on us, which left many homes without power. This time I was more prepared and stayed out in the survival camper in relative comfort.
During the summer we had some heavy damaging winds which knocked out power a few times.
Recently the East Coast was again hit with Hurricane Sandy, from which many families have not yet recovered even months later. Sandy left the East Coast in a panic shopping frenzy for two weeks. A week before the storm hit, store shelves were bare of all camping supplies, water, flashlights and batteries. Empty. Even a week after the storm, Walmart was being emptied as fast as the stock workers could open boxes. Gas was all but impossible to get, and that only if you waited for up to 12 hours in line to get it.
Just a few days ago the East Coast was once again blasted with super storm Nemo. This storm dumped as much as 30 – 40 inches of snow on some areas. Panic shopping was seen in the days before the storm and gas stations had lines 6 deep.
What did I do to prepare for this storm?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Actually, that is not true. I got my snowboard out.
With all the storms, power outages and other problems one can experience, I have enough supplies on hand to weather out any storm. When I heard that the storm was coming, I relaxed and went home to wait it out.
Are you prepared for any sort of natural disaster? Do you head out panic shopping when a storm is coming? If yes, then you need to stock up on a few basic essentials. If you do this, the next time a super storm or other disaster is predicted, you can simply go home, get out a book and relax.
Disaster readiness kit for home
Here is a List Of Essentials You Should Have On Hand For Any Type Of Disaster. This is roughly based on a FEMA list that you can also find on that page.
Always keep your vehicle gas tank at a quarter tank or more. A half tank is even better. Many people run their gas tank down to empty before filling up each time. Many more keep their gas down near empty at all times, just adding a little bit of gas every couple days as needed. You should keep your gas tank near full at all times in case of emergency. A full tank of gas will also protect your vehicle from getting water in the gas and rusting the gas tank. With a full tank of gas at all times, when there is the warning of approaching disaster, you can skip the lines and go home in peace.
If you have a disaster plan and some basic items put away for emergency, then you will have no worries when a storm or disaster is predicted. You can relax and wait it out in safety.
The storm is getting stronger. The rain is coming down in torrents. The wind is gusting strongly and smaller tree branches are littering the roads and yards all over the area.
The worst is yet to come tonight. But for now, we are still safe although the lights keep flickering a lot in the last hour.
I just went out a bit ago to make my last video for the evening and got totally drenched very fast. It got fully dark just after 6pm tonight. The trees are shaking in the wind pretty badly.
Here is the video:
Update at 7:20pm
People here in the neighborhood of New Paltz, NY are loosing power. The winds are getting worse.