MikeTraczyk, Author at Chaos Ready

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Get Home Bag

Why You Need A Get Home Bag (And What To Put In It)

Why You Need A Get Home Bag


(And What To Put In It)


Similar in concept to a bug out bag, a get home bag’s end goal is to get you home safely in a disaster or emergency scenario:

Although it may not seem like it in these economic times, if you are like most people, you work. For many, this requires being away from ones home for, traditionally, about 40 hours a week. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve at least contemplated getting your ducks in a row for your own SHTF scenario. Whether it be earthquake, economic collapse, social unrest, a grid down scenario, etc. You by now, have recognized the potential dangers you perhaps face, and could even possibly have some supplies stocked away at home.

What happens in the event you’re not home during a crisis?

Be it a 3-acre ranch, or an apartment in the city, having a plan to get back there during a time of chaos should be one of your top priorities. If you consider how many hours you spend at work during the week, the odds of getting caught there when “It” happens are about 33%. That’s too high of a percentage to ignore.

Fortunately, formulating a plan on what you do to get home is not that difficult

The first and most important thing to consider is distance. Would you attempt to drive some of the way till you no longer could? Would you leave your vehicle at work if the roads were blocked? These are all very important things to consider. That’s why it’s imperative to carry a get home bag and a pair of comfortable (and broken in!) shoes in ones car, with the right supplies, for various conditions that allow you to make it home safely.

The further you work from home, the more supplies you’re going to need.

According to statistics, the average commute time in the United States is just over 25 minutes. Now depending on your personal circumstances the miles you travel in those 25 minutes will vary, and more importantly, so could the type of terrain. Hypothetically, we will have to assume you’re not traversing the Rockies, or crossing the Potomac. Let’s say for example it takes you 25 minutes to drive 15 miles to work. If you had to walk home under tranquil conditions, my guess is it EARTHQUAKEROADCRACKwould take you about 4-5 hours. Depending on the type of disaster scenario, these times could vary as much a day or two. Another variable would be to assume that you are in well enough shape to make such a long walk under less than ideal circumstances. That time needs to be considered when deciding how much water and food you will need. It can be mentioned also that if one has the room, a collapsible bike can be fairly inexpensive and get you home much quicker. This is something that those commuting farther than the average 25 minutes may want to strongly consider.

So What Do I Need?

Water- Ceramic or stainless steel refillable water bottles are great for such a need as the water can be replaced on a regular basis. BPA free bottles are also available, and you do not have to worry about chemicals that other plastic bottles can leach into your supply during hot summer months in the car. Another thing I always do, is grab a bottle of water from the cupboard before leaving home. Whether I’m thirsty, or not, getting in the habit of always having water will you not only increases your chance for survival, it could possibly lead to one’s drinking more of it on a daily basis, thus promoting good health and wellness in general. Food- You want something that will provide you with energy. Granola or energy bars are great. Make sure to replace these every 6 months as the temperature fluctuations in ones car will shorten their shelf life. Trail mix is another favorite of mine.

Other necessary items to have in a get home bag are:






      • Duct Tape (at least ten feet)



      • A Bandana (next to duct tape, one of the most versatile preps you’ll ever own)





      • A Good Knife  or Multi Tool (make sure to check your local laws on what you are allowed to carry. Preferably, depending on local custom, neutral gang colors 😉



      • Change of comfortable weather appropriate clothes (May be changed out according to season)



      • A Warm Blanket (again, season specific)



      • A Hat (can be helpful on a hot sunny day, or beanie for the cold!)



      • Dust Mask



      • Toilet Paper Or Wipes ( Even in an emergency nature calls. It’s the “S” in SHTF!)









      • Compass And Local Map with preplanned routes and alternate routes highlighted. (Your Smartphone won’t help you in some disaster scenarios)







      • Sun screen (you don’t want to be burned by the time you are home)



      • Don’t forget to have good shoes!


58217632_6cba1811ed_oYour personal situation will inevitably vary, and the supplies you decide to carry can be different, but generally you want the basics covered. If you live in a free state that allows you to carry additional forms of protection this can be factored in, especially if you have to go through some questionable neighborhoods to get home. A safe alternative to also consider is pepper spray. It is non-lethal, legal (size limits vary per state) and can buy you the time you need to get out of danger. Conversely, the bare necessities coupled with a little survival preparedness knowledge can help you turn ubiquitous items into versatile tools and weapons. The tire iron in your car could also become a devastating weapon. The seat belts can be turned into a makeshift rope for repelling. Even your sunglasses can be used for a tactical advantage over those without. Survival isn’t just having all the fancy gadgets in your sling bag, it’s being consciously aware of what is around you, and possessing the familiarity to use it to your advantage. Preppers only make up 3% of the population, so chances are anyone you carpool with, or co-workers that live near you could end up relying upon you. If you are open about your preps, suggest these people plan on such a situation themselves. With proper planning you can feel confident that you can make it home to your loved ones and supplies in any situation. Start with the distance you’d need to cover, and that will determine what you need. Be prepared, be confident, be Chaos Ready. <<CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A QUICK GET HOME BAG CHECKLIST!>>

What’s in your get home bag? Let us know in the comments below!

Risk of 8.0 earthquake in California rises, USGS says

By Ron-Gong Lin II & Rosanna Xia | The Los Angeles Times | March 10, 2015

Estimates of the chance of a magnitude 8.0 or greater earthquake hitting California in the next three decades have been raised from about 4.7% to 7%, the U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday.

Scientists said the reason for the increased estimate was because of the growing understanding that earthquakes aren’t limited to separate faults, but can start on one fault and jump to others. The result could be multiple faults rupturing in a simultaneous mega-quake.

Stated another way, the chance of an 8.0 or greater quake in California can be expected once every 494 years. The old forecast calculated a rate of one 8.0 or greater earthquake every 617 years.

“The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously,” said USGS seismologist Ned Field, the lead author of the report.

“This is a significant advancement in terms of representing a broader range of earthquakes throughout California’s complex fault system.”

The report says that past models generally assumed that earthquakes were confined to separate faults, or that long faults like the San Andreas ruptured in separate segments.

But recent large California earthquakes showed how earthquakes can rupture across multiple faults simultaneously. Many are in the Los Angeles area.

The Whittier Narrows earthquake, a magnitude 5.9, struck on the Puente Hills thrust fault system on Oct. 1, 1987. Three days later, a magnitude 5.6 aftershock hit on a different fault. That aftershock killed one person, twisted several chimneys and broke windows. Damage was reported in Whittier, Pico Rivera, Los Angeles and Alhambra.

Bay Area Earthquake

Photo Credit Eric Risberg / Associated Press

Much larger quakes also showed how this could occur, including two that hit the Mojave Desert in the 1990s: the 1992 magnitude 7.3 Landers earthquake and the 1999 magnitude 7.2 Hector Mine earthquake.

It also happened in the 7.2 earthquake that hit along the California-Mexico border on Easter Sunday in 2010. Scientists said the border quake directed tectonic stress toward Southern California, putting the region at a higher risk for a future quake.

Data showed the April 4, 2010, quake and its aftershocks triggered movement on at least six faults, including the Elsinore and San Jacinto faults. Those faults run close to heavily populated areas in eastern Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire.

At the time, scientists said the imagery gave proof that earthquakes zipping along a fault can jump over gaps as long as seven miles. Previously, only jumps of three miles had been observed. There was also proof that earthquakes can reverse directions, an observation that had never been seen before.

Continue reading at The Los Angeles Times

Seals, Grit, Resiliance

A Navy SEAL shares 8 secrets to grit and resilience

Editors note: Not just for SEALs these are great tips that can be applied by anyone in any situation.  More than anything, remember these tips when you need be ready, ChaosReady.

by Eric Barker, Barking Up The Wrong Tree | Feb 3, 2015

Sometimes you just want to quit. You know you shouldn’t but nothing seems better than crawling back into bed and hiding under the covers. (I am there right now, actually, with my laptop.)

The emerging science of grit and resilience is teaching us a lot about why some people redouble their efforts when the rest of us are heading for the door.

Research is great, but it’s always nice to talk to someone who’s been there firsthand, and to see how theory holds up against reality. So who knows about grit and persistence? Navy SEALs.

So I gave my friend James Waters a call. He was a SEAL Platoon Commander. BUD/S class 264 had a 94% attrition rate. Out of 256 guys only 16 graduated — and James was one of them.

James and I talked for hours but what struck me was how much of what he had to say about SEAL training and his time in the teams aligned with the research on gritmotivationexpertise and how people survive the most challenging situations.

So what can the SEALs and research teach you about getting through life’s tough times? Here we go.

Continue Reading HERE.


by RON PAUL | JANUARY 13, 2015

The time has come for the ideas of liberty to prevail.

If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege.

It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.

With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.

It was all based on lies and ignorance. Many came to believe that their best interests were served by giving up a little freedom now and then to gain a better life.

The trap was set. At the beginning of a cycle that systematically undermines liberty with delusions of easy prosperity, the change may actually seem to be beneficial to a few. But to me that’s like excusing embezzlement as a road to leisure and wealth — eventually payment and punishment always come due. One cannot escape the fact that a society’s wealth cannot be sustained or increased without work and productive effort. Yes, some criminal elements can benefit for a while, but reality always sets in.

Reality is now setting in for America and for that matter for most of the world. The piper will get his due even if “the children” have to suffer. The deception of promising “success” has lasted for quite a while. It was accomplished by ever-increasing taxes, deficits, borrowing, and printing press money. In the meantime the policing powers of the federal government were systematically and significantly expanded. No one cared much, as there seemed to be enough “gravy” for the rich, the poor, the politicians, and the bureaucrats.

Continue reading at Infowars

The Frugal Faraday

by Mike Traczyk ChaosReady | 1/5/2015

Anyone who has started prepping has by now heard of, or even already has, a Faraday cage.  If you are new to prepping, this is a term you will undoubtably hear many times over.  A Faraday cage is simply a storage device to protect important electronics in the event of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).  To put simply, an EMP is a pulse of gamma ray radiation generated either by a solar flare or a thermonuclear explosion in the atmosphere.  This pulse of energy creates a powerful electrical current that can travel through the Earth’s own magnetic field and ionosphere and then filter down into any man made electrical components frying all delicate circuitry along the way.  The damage caused would be catastrophic rendering everything from cell phones and automobiles to electrical grids and communication networks useless.

The effects of an EMP first became known by the well publicized Carrington Event of 1859. A massive solar flare was released by our Sun during a very active solar cycle.  The CME, or Coronal Mass Ejection, traveled 90 million miles and happened to get a direct hit on Earth frying telegraph wires across the country and around the world.  The pulse was so strong that telegraph lines exploded.  The potential damage an EMP can cause was confirmed in a 1962 US military exercise in which a nuclear war head was detonated 248 miles over the South Pacific.  It caused an unintended radio disruption that stretched from California to Australia.

A Faraday cage, named after English scientist Michael Faraday, is designed to block this electrical surge and protect whatever contents it contains.  A Faraday cage can be any size as long as it is constructed of a conductive material.  Luckily for those of us prepping on a budget, there are ways to construct simple and cheap enclosures that can protect valuable electronics.  Today I will be covering one of the most basic and inexpensive ways to construct a simple Faraday Cage.  Now this won’t be nearly as effective at blocking harmful electrical currents as say a military bunker, or large metal structure, but it’s a great way to get familiar with the concept, give yourself some added security and also have a little fun while doing it.

Supplies needed:

  • 2 Shoe Boxes (one slightly smaller than the other)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Metal Foil Tape



  1. Start with the larger of your two boxes. Begin lining the inside with aluminum foil.  Try to be as thorough as possible to ensure good coverage
  2. Use the foil tape to secure it in place as well as close an gaps, reinforce corners, etc.
  3. Do the same to the lid of the box
  4. Once you feel good about your progress test fit your smaller box. Trim it accordingly if need be.


That’s it!  You can line the inside with additional cardboard or foam if you would like for added protection for your devices.  The more layers the better.  You can also wrap individual items in foil for added protection as well.  One can also add silica gel moisture absorbers if you live in a humid environment (hint you can make your own with cat litter and old sock or stocking).

You might be wondering what one can possibly need if all other grid and communication dependent devices and services are rendered useless.  For starters, flashlights with spare batteries to power them!  Also good to have are two way radios, a portable solar panel, and emergency radio.  You can also add additional items you think you may need in a grid down situation such as entertainment for the kids, backups for your backups, etc.  Make sure you store enough batteries for any and all devices and or other ways to charge them.  Another thing to remember is to rotate your batteries.  If your devices already have batteries in them make sure to change these yearly (I change all necessary batteries during the Christmas Holiday, flashlights, smoke detectors, red dots & optics, etc).  This ensures peace of mind and also prevents any possible damage in case your batteries are older than you think and leak acid.  Make sure you check all the batteries you are storing to make sure they have not leaked acid and gone bad as well! If they do, toss them and replace them as needed.


Now this is a very simple and cheap DIY when it comes to constructing a Faraday Cage.  It should provide basic protection against any minor EMP threat.  If you need more room a galvanized trash can also be used, just make sure to line the interior so your devices are not touching anything conductive.  If you have old microwave sitting unplugged in your garage throw some devices in it.  Microwaves are actually their own Faraday cage since they were built with the intent of preventing radiation from escaping.  They are just as effective at protecting whatever is inside from outside energy.  If budget and space allow it you can even go to the extreme of building a metal framed structure with steel siding that is completely insulated.  If you have kids have them each make their own small Faraday cage to throw some old toys in and include them in the project.  They will get a kick out of it and learn something at the same time.  Whatever route you decide to go in constructing your own Faraday cage have fun with it!  If it ever comes time to use the devices stored, fun might be the last thing on your mind. Be Prepared, Be Confident, Be Chaos Ready.

winter survival tips

Here Are Some Crucial Winter Survival Tips From The US Marine Corps

by Geoffrey Ingersoll, Business Insider | December 29, 2014

It was an unseasonably and even historically warm Christmas week for much of the US. But we’re only a month into winter, and more intense weather could be just around the corner.

In extreme enough cold — like the conditions that gripped some parts of the US during last year’s “polar vortex” — exposed skin can freeze in only 10 minutes. People also risk hypothermia just by going outside.

Besides desert climates, winter is the worst to endure. The US military has whole courses designed to teach its people how to survive.

Here are a few Winter survival tips and some items the Marine Corps considers essential to combating the cold. They come from the Winter Survival Course Handbook, which draws reference from the UK’s SAS Survival Handbook.

Here’s what the Marines say to take with you if you venture deep into the cold this winter.

Key Items:

1. Water/Food: At least a few gallons of water is advisable in harsh conditions.

2. Fire-starting materialFlint, matches, or a lighter.

3. 550 Cord: This gets its name from the weight it can bear. Good for making shelters, trapping animals, and treating wounds.

4. Blankets/Poncho

5. A metal container: For boiling water. It’s not safe to eat mass amounts of snow off the ground. Must be a non-petrol carrying container. Kill two birds with one stone and carry a can of beans.

6. Tape: Electrical or gorilla duct tape has near-infinite uses.

7. A knife and/or multipurpose tool: Some of these actually contain a flint.

8. First Aid kit

9. Compass

10. A mirror: For signaling. In a pinch, a makeup mirror will suffice.

11. Pocket sewing kit

These items can be packed differently for travel in a car or on foot. Obviously, one for a car can be a bit more robust.

Considering you probably won’t be “caught behind enemy lines,” we can dispense with the war-time survival tips and get right to more generic survival.

Keep Reading at Business Insider

Eat The Enemy: A More Sustainable Alternative To Your Pork Chops


This story is part of “Eat The Enemy,” a HuffPost series on edible invasive species, non-native plants and animals you can help contain from the comfort of your dinner table. Not all invasive species are edible, and some included in this series can be dangerous, includinglionfish and wild boar. Please take caution when foraging or hunting for your own food.

Millions of Americans love pork products. On average, we eat more than 40 pounds of pork per person every year and the U.S. issecond only to China in pork consumption. That’s a lot of pigs.

More than 100 million pigs are killed every year in the U.S. and the pork industry produced over 23 billion pounds of meat in 2012. The massive industrial operationsneeded to supply America’s pork hunger also have a significant environmental impact. Agriculture, including animal feeding operations, is the most common pollutant of U.S. rivers and streams, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The enormous, toxic waste lagoons attached to some animal feedlots can even be seen from satellites.

A less destructive, but still frustrating, problem also exists in the U.S.: feral hogs. Over the past several decades, the offspring of escaped domestic pigs, invasive Eurasian wild boars, and hybrids of the two have proliferated across parts of the U.S. In Texas, which may be the epicenter of the problem, an estimated 2.6 million hogs roam free, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Keep Reading At Huffington Post

Earthquake could destroy L.A.’s water lifeline

Editors note: The Following article, although localized to the Southern California region still highlights the importance a water supply can have for major cities.  A regional disaster, no matter the cause, can have similar detrimental effects for the most basic human need, water.

by, Rosanna Xia & Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times | December 15, 2014

Los Angeles gets 88% of its water from three major aqueducts, flowing from the Colorado River, Owens Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

But as they make their way into the region, the aqueducts cross the San Andreas fault a total of 32 times.

Officials have long warned that a massive temblor on the San Andreas could destroy key sections of the aqueducts, cutting off the water supply for more than 22 million people in Southern California.

L.A. officials are for the first time taking concrete steps to address the problem. Making L.A.’s water supply less vulnerable in a huge quake will probably cost billions, and it remains unclear where that money would come from.

Read more at The Los Angeles Times

Department Of Homeland Security: A Major Sun Storm Would Leave 100 Million Americans Without Power

by Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon | December 12, 2014

Millions of Americans face catastrophic loss of electrical power during a future magnetic space storm that will disrupt the electric grid and cause cascading infrastructure failures, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document.

DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stated in an internal 2012 fact sheet outlining its response plan for severe “space weather” that the actual impact and damage from a future solar storm is not known.

“An analysis of the space weather impacts indicates that the greatest challenge will be to provide life-saving and life-sustaining resources for large numbers of people that experience long-term power outage from damage to the US electrical grid,” the FEMA document, dated March 1, 2012, states.

The FEMA fact sheet noted the findings of a 2010 study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency that monitors sun storms, warning that an extreme solar storm could leave “130 million people without power for years,” and destroy or damage more than 300 hard-to-replace electrical grid transformers.

Read more at Business Insider