Posts Tagged ‘emergency readiness’
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.
It has been cloudy for days here this week and my solar power supply is dwindling. I was down to 12.0 volts last night. My water supply is also running out. Last night I was down to my last half gallon.
Living off the grid is a balance between saving everything and trying to be comfortable as possible in the middle of the forest. This is a true learning experience every day.
When you have nothing but solar power to run your home, a few cloudy days can mean disaster. I did not have enough power to spare for light last night so I was using dollar store solar path lights inside to see my way around. I also have an LED rope light I string up to give a bit of light in the 32 foot camper.
I was also down to my last half gallon of water last night. In spring, after the freezing nights are past, I will connect a rain water collection system to provide fresh drinking water. I will make a water filter as well, to make sure the water is safe to drink. But for now, everything freezes at night and I have to wait. I was melting snow for drinking but now the snow is all dirty and melted down to the last few inches. Now my water supply is running out.
It is also very cold in this camper at night so I got a couple fleece doggie blankets yesterday at the hardware store on sale for $3 each. I put up the blankets over some windows at night to help keep the chill out a bit better.
I also got the idea to put up some aluminum foil on the ceiling. I have no paneling up yet, so the insulation was showing. This camper was water damaged and I got it for free, so I am not complaining. But it sure would be better to have it finished before jumping right out in the winter to live in a camper in the forest.
The aluminum foil should help radiate heat back down from the ceiling and prevent some heat loss at night. That is the idea anyway.
This morning I used a hand crank coffee mill to grind up some coffee beans for my morning coffee. I forgot how long this takes for a single cup of coffee. But it sure is worth it.
I was out helping some friends get to a bus this morning so I took my empty water jugs with me and filled them up. Now I have enough for another 4 days. I go though about one gallon per day in winter. This includes dish washing, bathing and drinking. You would be amazed how far you can make water go when it is scarce. In summer I use a lot more water. I normally drink a gallon of water per day in summer.
On the way to town and back I charged up my cell phone in the car. When you are off the grid, you take every opportunity to charge up your electronics.
The sun was shining on and off quite a bit today so I have light this evening. Nice.
Here is today’s video:
We are getting things battened down in preparation for hurricane Sandy. We may be in the direct path of the hurricane, which will mean power outages, flooding and severe wind damage from downed trees.
My roommate and I went out this morning for a last minute shopping trip for fresh foods and canned goods to last us for a couple weeks, if needed. We have enough goods to last 6 months if needed, but do not want to break into our survival stash for just a short period. The grocery store was packed with shoppers and they had 2-3 people re-stocking the shelves in every isle of the store. They are having a hard time keeping water in stock.
We have about 30 gallons of fresh water put aside for now and will be getting another 10 gallons soon.
The truck camper is up in the parking lot, hopefully far enough away from trees to protect it in case something comes down. The trees still have leaves on them, so this may cause even more damage from the wind.
We took everything off the floor inside the house in case of flooding.
The wind is picking up now quite a lot. It started raining about 10:30 this morning. It was just a mist at first and then got steadily stronger. The sky is a dark gray color.
I got the solar panels down and on a pallet near the ground for safety so they do not blow away if we get the high winds that are predicted. After the storm I will put them back up.
The survival camper is equipped with everything we need in case of power failure. We will stay out there for light and warmth until the power is restored. It will not be the first time I have done this. Last October when the blizzard hit we were without power for a week. I was comfy and warm inside the camper.
I will keep updating as the storm advances and as long as the power remains.
Stocking up for survival or disaster readiness does not need to cost an arm and a leg. You can stock up on a budget, if you apply the ideas I will show you here. Stocking up is not necessarily only for “Survival” either. You never know if you might loose your job, your car or home one day due to nature or the economy. Having a supply of food is very important if that ever comes.
I know first hand. Having recently gone through a period with no income, I ate through some of my stock that I have been building up for years now. I am thankful to have had the three months food supply on hand that I used. Fortunately, I still have a lot of food put away, even after living off it for three months. But the point is that it was there and it helped. Anyone can end up in the same situation at any time.
When you go shopping, take a few dollars extra with you. Also, if you go shopping for the sales, and not just what is on your list, you can come home with a whole lot more food for your money. When I go shopping, I do not take a list. I get what is on sale that I like. I just got about 30 cans of vegetables at 50 cents a can. Where I live, that is pretty cheap right now. And they have a shelf life until about 2014. If you keep your cans underground, cool and dry, you can keep them for many more years past the sell date. I know that from experience as well. One time a friend gave me a few cases (5-6) of canned fish that was expired. There were tomato, mustard and other types of flavors added to the fish. Various types. Anyway, I ate those cans of fish for three years after that. They had been kept underground, in a cool, dry place and were perfectly edible, three years past the expiration date.
Back to shopping. Look for deals. When you get paid, go shopping for sales and specials. You will be amazed how much you can stock up in a short time. The dollar stores (the real ones) are very good as well. I get canned fruits and treats that normally cost two to three times as much, all for a dollar each. Sometimes you can get brand name foods for a dollar there. Frozen fruit and veggies are dirt cheap at a dollar per pound at the dollar store. Anywhere else, unless you manage to catch a rare sale, are over $2 per pound where I live. I get the dollar store frozen foods and dehydrate them to be vacuum sealed and put away for later.
Another important point. Get food you like to eat. It will do you no good at all to have a huge surplus of food that you don’t like. I once bought a ton of canned string beans. Good stuff. But for a single person, those huge cans are hard to use up at one time. Beans, corn and tomatoes are great to toss into a pot together and have a sort of Mexican soup. But a huge can of green beans is just not easy to use up. I still have a lot of them.
If you have a sweet tooth, visit your local grocery store the day after a huge holiday. Easter, Christmas, Valentines Day are some of the ones with special shaped and colored chocolates and candies. They are deeply discounted after the holiday.
Shop the discount racks at the grocery store. They usually have 50% off an item that is out of production, or nearing the sale date. If kept cool, it will last many more years.
Start stocking up for your family next time you go shopping. It will add up soon.
In the case of a complete economic collapse, large natural disaster, nuclear war, or other major breakdown, certain skills will become very valuable. In today’s modern society, people have become specialized. Each person learns a certain skill for the performance of their job. After a major disaster, many old school skills will once again become necessary for survival.
Imagine the stoppage of oil which eliminates large scale farming. Gas stations are out of fuel. Hospitals and doctors offices will be closed. Grocery stores will not be restocked. The military will be off fighting foreign wars. The tailor and dry cleaners are gone. Your local carpenter, plumber, welder are all gone. The electricity is out, leaving you with no running water, no washing machine, no heat, no air conditioning, no light. The city utilities are all gone and the toilet will not flush anymore. Imagine trying to survive without all these modern conveniences. Well, people did for thousands of years. Sure, we build up society and then start to specialize. But the families of the old wild West were multi-talented and self sufficient.
To survive a large scale disaster we will once again need to become self sufficient. It is nearly impossible for any one person to learn every skill needed for survival. But you can be as prepared as possible now to help out later on.
We will be getting back into herbal and plant based medicine. Local, family based farming and gardening will be necessary. You will need to repair or make your own tools and equipment. Cutting wood for heat without a chain saw alone is a full time job. Your clothing and shoes will start to wear out. You will need to learn to hunt and gather wild edibles. Repair and maintenance of your shelter will be on your own shoulders. Defense from predators will be necessary.
If you are reading this blog post, then you, like myself, are interested in survival. Most likely you will not have many people in your family or circle of friends who are like minded. If you do, then you are very lucky. More likely, many people will be counting on your for their own survival when the time comes.
Do not panic, but just start to prepare as well as you can now. Pick a skill that interests you the most and learn it. Study it in your free time and practice it. Research the internet for the best books on the other skills. Stock up on books that specialize in those skills where you are lacking. Spend time browsing those books in your free time to become familiar with them. You cannot become proficient in every skill overnight. But you can become familiar with your new survival library. When a need arises, you will know where to turn for the answer.
I will list a few of the most important skills we will need.
- Natural medicine and herbal medicine
- Gardening and harvesting of foods
- Food preservation and storage
- Clothing repair and sewing
- Foraging and identification of wild edibles
- Hunting, trapping and Fishing
- Working with hand tools and woodworking
- Building and shelter setup and maintenance
- Defense and protection
- Producing your own power
There are others, but the ones listed above will greatly help you. The old Readers Digest book “Back to Basics” is one of the best all time old school skills books on the market. It can still be found online today. Look for books about old Indian skills. Study how they hunted, trapped, preserved food, prepared shelter and clothing. Find books about setting traps, finding water, wild edibles. Look for good, quality books on the subject. There are many theoretical books with a lot of words, but no hands on skills are taught. Books with lots of drawings and photos seem to be better. Older books from the 70s and 80s are full of quality knowledge. I found a book at a used book store one day labeled “stocking up” for two dollars. It is from the 70s and loaded with practical information about what foods you need to survive, what quantities, how to store the food, and how to prepare the food. This book is one of the most valuable in my collection. I have an old book about Indian medicinal herbs and plants that is great when I need a cure for some ailment. I have an old book about survival with practical information about trapping fish and animals, stalking, walking silently, building a shelter and much more.
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The bottom line is that many people will probably be counting on you for their own survival. When you form a small group of survivors, the books you have collected will become very valuable. People can specialize their skills based on what needs the group has. Individuals can study the knowledge gleaned from books to learn old school skills that we have lost in the last century.