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.
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.
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.
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 would 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.
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.
Your 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!>>
by Bill Pope | February 17, 2015
MOUNT CARBON, W.Va.- A train derailment in West Virginia raises an important preparedness question, “How can I be prepared in the event my water supply is compromised?”
According to the Associated Press–
A train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed during a snowstorm in southern West Virginia on Monday, sending at least one tanker into a river, igniting at least 14 in all and sending a fireball hundreds of feet into the sky, officials and residents said.
Part of the derailed train slammed into a house, residents said. Officials evacuated hundreds of families and shut down two water treatment plants threatened by oil seeping into the river. And fires were still burning nearly nine hours after the accident, according to state public safety division spokesman Lawrence Messina. The plan is to let those tankers on fire burn out, he said.
The Kanawha River supplies the drinking water to both Kanawha and Fayette Counties. No word yet on the effect this will have on the citizens who depend on the river for their water supply. However, Governor Tomblin’s declared State of Emergency for both counties suggests an ominous outlook.
The West Virginia train derailment is a classic reminder that disasters take many forms and can strike without warning. It’s a lesson that survival preparedness is a good idea for everyone no matter where they live. So how can one prepare for the event that your main water supply is compromised?
Let’s review a few simple precautions you can take to help protect you and your family.
FEMA guidelines suggest you store at least 3 days water supply for emergencies. That is, 1 Gallon, per person, per day, for hydration and sanitation purposes. Personally, I believe this is far too low. Even your average disaster could leave you without water for much longer than that. If I didn’t have at least a months worth of water, along with multiple options for locating and filtering at least a years worth, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Understandably, for a lot of people, space and money could be an issue when it comes to storing emergency supplies. Those living in larger cities tend to have less space, yet ironically seem to be the most susceptible. A 2 week supply and a simple hiking water filter are good starting points. The cost could be kept to a minimum, and space could be found if you get creative. I defy you to tell me you don’t feel better already just thinking about it.
Bottled water is the easiest, but conversely, the most expensive. It’s extremely portable, which is a plus in the event the situation is so dire, you need to bug out.
Empty soda and drink bottles are the poor man’s means to water storage by refilling with tap water. Just remember to wash out the bottles thoroughly with dish soap and hot water, fill them completely and seal them tight.
5 & 7 gallon jugs are already familiar to hunters and campers alike, and can easily be stored in a garage or closet. They are made from food grade plastic, and are usually a dark blue or green color to help prevent light from penetrating, thus stopping algae growth. They can generally be found for under $10 a piece.
Whichever way you go make sure to rotate your water on a regular basis. Generally tap water should be rotated and replaced every 6 months to a year. Store bought bottled water will generally keep a bit longer but you want to make sure to keep rotating these as well. The last thing you want is big mouthful of stagnant water.
Water filters can range in size from portable units that can fit into one’s pocket or bag all the way to large family size units that are less portable but usually more effective. Most quality filters will do a good job of filtering out most bacteria, parasites, and possibly even viruses. In a pinch, you can also make your own water filter with a combination of sand, rocks, charcoal and some other basic items. Combine that with a chemical treatment or boiling and you can make almost any source of water drinkable. Although standard water filters aren’t recommended for oil contaminated water (you’re better off using a separator funnel), they could still prove to be an invaluable tool in the event you have to bug out and leave your stored water supply behind, have to eventually find a water source once you run out, or if the water you have becomes compromised in any way.
You can go all out, and create your own elaborate system, or it could be as simple as placing a rain barrel, or 55 gallon drum under your rain gutter. Since this water is running through your gutters and collecting in an open pool, this might be where you put you filter to good use. Water purification tabs are also a handy method for producing clean drinking water. Bleach can also be used once you familiarize yourself with proper dosage. Lastly you can also boil it with a simple backpack stove kept in your camping supplies, or bug out bag.
However far you take it depends on a number of factors, including budget, space and commitment level. One thing is for certain, when it comes to emergency preparedness it is up to you to protect your family from disaster. Be Prepared, Be Confident, Be Chaos Ready!
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.
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.
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.
1. Water/Food: At least a few gallons of water is advisable in harsh conditions.
2. Fire-starting material: Flint, 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.
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.
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.