Tag Archives: Environment

10 skills everyone should learn for self sufficiency


10 Skills Every Survivalist Should Learn

A lot of people who are just getting into survivalism, whether they’re the Average Joe putting back extra groceries or a someone who just become interested in a self reliant lifestyle. A lot of these people believe that all you need to make it is an AR-15, 10,000 rounds of ammo and a bunker full of food. Nothing could be more from the truth!

If you’re looking to move into rural America or you planning on staying put where you are in the suburbs, there are a few skills that will become very helpful to you should the SHTF.

These skills can be learned rather easily and may provide beneficial to you beyond your dreams. Some can be learned by reading a book or watching a video while others will require you attending a few classes at your local community college. Here’s my list of skills every survivalist should learn.

#1. Stick Welding

WelderLearning to stick weld is not that hard. You just want to get proficient enough to be able to know which rods to use or which amp setting to use so you can join two pieces of metal. It’s not like you’re planning on making welds on the Alaskan Pipeline. Are you?

Many community colleges now give classes on Welding. And they are very reasonable. Once you own a welder, you’ll find a million and one uses for it. Not to mention should you ever need some extra cash, you can barter or start your own small welding business on the side.

The little Lincoln cracker boxes are 220V welders that can be picked up cheap in a lot of places such as Pawn Shops or Craigslist. These are great for nearly any situation you’ll find yourself needing a welder in a survival situation. But they require a 220V power source. A better choise for the Self Reliant family is a portable generator/welder combo. This way you can take your welder with you plus have the convienance of a portable generator. Honda, Lincoln and Hobart as well as others all make excellent combo units. Just stay away from the cheapies, especially if they’re from China or Indonesia. They may be fine or they may leave you swearing.

#2 Small Engine Repair

Knowing how to repair your generator motor or any other small engine (such as Garden tractors, pumps, etc) is a must. Sure, you could either take it into town or call a repair guy out to your place, but in a crisis situation, do you really want to put yourself at that risk? Once again your local community college will come to the rescue. Many have classes over basic and advanced small engine repair. Once you’ve learned the basics, the rest is a piece of cake.

So the next time your butterfly sticks closed or your magneto isn’t firing, you’ll know why and more importantly, you’ll know how to fix it!

#3 How To Fish

No, I’m not talking about grabbing a can of worms and heading off to a stream. I’m talking about putting up a ton of fish quickly. If you even live remotely close to a large body of water such as a lake, river or pond, you should learn how to catch a lot of fish and do it quickly.

Learn how to make fish traps, nets and trotlines. Then learn how to use them properly.

Many fish have seasonal spawns where they will congregate in schools and move in mass to spawning areas. Most everyone knows that Salmon do this, but fish that live in lakes and rivers do this as well. Stripers, White Bass, Crappie, Walleye and many others spawn this way.

There are many fine books on the market that will teach you these skills. Memphis Net and Twine has a wonderful catelog that includes trawl and gill nets plus many supplies to help you achieve this goal.

Be warned, many of these techniques are illegal in a lot of States. Be sure to read the regulations for your area before trying any of these techniques out. Of course, in a survival or emergency situation, you’ll probably be more worried about eating than getting a fine!

#4 How To Butcher Animals

This skill will come in very handy for those of you who wish to raise your own livestock and to take advantage of the Wild Game in your area. You may need to connect with another like minded individual who already knows how to do this and convince them to show you as well. Learning how to properly cut up an animal, whether it’s a Deer, Cow or Chicken, is a valuable skill that every survivalist or person wanting to be self sufficient should learn.

Many butchers in my area charge 50 cents per pound on the hoof to kill, butcher and package a Steer. If you’ve got a 800 pound steer to put up, that can add up to a lot of money. I’ve even heard some butchers charging 75 cents per pound or more to do this!

Deer typically cost at least $50 and many times more to have processed.

Save yourself some money and learn to do it yourself!

#5 Learn To Trap

rabbittrapTrapping gives the self sufficient person or survivalist a whole other avenue for procuring fresh meat.  Unlike hunting, traps that you set are working for you around the clock. You can also set a lot of traps in order to cover a wide area. This increases your chance of catching something for the Supper table.

What’s more important is knowing what type of trap to use in order to catch your intended target. If you’re wanting to catch a Wolf, then you’ll be sorely disappointed if you use a trap or snare intended for a Mink.

The Survivalist needs to know how to use Snares, Live/Box traps, leg hold traps and body gripper traps. All have their use in the Survivalist tool shed!

Snares can be used in a survival situation to catch everything from Rabbits to big game animals like Deer and Bear.

Most States have a Trappers Association. They routinely have meetings or weekend get-togethers where there are seminars on basic and advanced trapping. There’s always something for beginners. Look yours up and get on the list today.

#5 Gunsmithing – Learn To Repair Guns

If you’re living the Self Reliant lifestyle or you’re a Survivalist, then chances are good you have some firearms around, or you should! But do you know how to fix those guns if they break? Can you disassemble your guns, clean them and reassemble them and have them work properly? Sadly, from what I’ve seen, most people can’t. Some believe they can, but their idea of cleaning is spraying a half can of WD-40 into the action and calling it clean.

Do you keep spare parts around for your guns? Probably not. But you should and you should learn how to fix a firearm if it breaks, especially the military type firearms.

Brownell’s has a huge library of Video’s and Books on Gunsmithing. Grab yourself some that cover your type of guns and learn how to clean and repair them.

#6 Learn Basic Carpentry Skills

Can you plumb a wall, build a barn, square up walls or plumb a house? If not, these skills are easily learned. Your local community college may come to your rescue again. If you’re the type that can learn from a book, then you can find many fine books on building and carpentry at Amazon.com. If you live near a Barnes and Noble, they have a decent list of books as well.

These skills are necessary should we face a long term crisis. Carpentry, Electrical and Plumbing skills will all be in demand and you could make a lot of friends quickly if you the one in your area who knows how to fix things.

#7 Auto Repair

autorepairThis is close to the Small Engine repair skills you’ll need, but on a much larger scale. You’ll need to learn basic maintenance and repair skills and obtain some advance skills like possibly being able to rebuild an engine or transmission. If you have a newer computer controlled vehickle, then these skills will be more important. Older, non-computer controlled vehicles are much easier to work on than those built today.

Also, depending on who you listen too, these older vehicles may give you some protection from EMP attacks. No sensitive electronics to be fried in case of an attack.

At the very least, you should be able to change a tire, break a tire down and repair it with basic hand tools, change out starters, alternators, water and fuel pups. If you can’t do these simple chores, you’d better have money or another vehicle to rely upon should one go down.

You should also be able to tune an engine and adjust carbs and troubleshoot your vehicle. This may all sound intimidating, but all are easily learned skills.

#8 Operate a HAM Radio

I have to confess. This is one skill I don’t have right now, but I’m certainly going to work on it very soon. In the case of a disaster, a HAM radio will allow you to communicate with the outside World to find out what’s going on.

There are plenty of books and courses on operating a HAM radio, all that is required is a little time and effort.

After Hurricane Ike struck, we were without power for two weeks. At the end of this time, I was really getting use to not having a TV blaring every day or phones ringing. I was very content to hang around my home while cleaning up the debris left by the Hurricane. Once we got power back on, I was amazed at how much news I’d missed out on. I was also amazed at how much useless information we have coming at us everyday without realizing it!

Learn to use a HAM radio. Get your license, find out what type of equipment you really need and get going!

#9 Hunting Skills

It’s easy to assume that all self reliant families or survivalist know how to hunt. But that isn’t the case. Many don’t even have the skills to find and harvest squirrels or rabbits, not to mention big game. To be successful on a regular basis, these skills will have to be learned and will usually take some time. It’s not as easy as going out to the City park and pot shooting city squirrels.

You can bet that when the SHTF, others will be out putting food on the table. The same food that should be headed to your table!

Most hunting skills can’t  be learned from a book or video. Your best bet is to find someone who is successful and tag along. have them show you what to look for and specifics on each game animal. At the very least, you’ll need to get out in the woods and watch how animals exist in their part of the World. Once you understand how animals move and use the woods, you’ll be on the right path to being a good hunter.

#10 Advanced First Aid

Yeah, there are other important skills I could have used at #10, or any number for that matter, but knowing advanced life saving first aid skills should be the goal of every person who is prepping for the worse. It’s just good common sense that you should know these skills. And I’m talking about skills that go above and beyond those taught in basic first aid classes.

You should know how to treat major wounds, such as a sucking chest wound, until help can arrive. Could you set a broken bone? How about removing a bullet? It’s not as simple as some macho guy on TV makes it look. You’ll have to assume at one point during a crisis, you’re first aid skills will be needed. If not by you, then possibly by a family member or friend. You may be their only hope for surviving.

This is my top 10 list. If you don’t know these, then you should be working on learning them. If you do know these skills, then start your own top 10! Remember, these are only the skills you’ll need to start if you want to be truly self sufficient or become a true survivor.

http://survivalpreparednessblog.com/10-skills-every-survivalist-should-learn

Study: Colorado River can’t meet long-term demand

Study: Colorado River can’t meet long-term demand

Reblogged from the THE SURVIVAL PLACE BLOG

Posted on December 12, 2012 by Bob Berwyn

A 2001 NASA satellite image shows the dessicated Colorado River delta. Click on the image to visit the NASA Earth Observatory page. New U.S. Bureau of Reclamation report outlines tough scenario for resource managers By Bob Berwyn

A 2001 NASA satellite image shows the dessicated Colorado River delta. Click on the image to visit the NASA Earth Observatory page.

A 2001 NASA satellite image shows the dessicated Colorado River delta. Click on the image to visit the NASA Earth Observatory page.

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Upper Colorado River Basin — including Summit County — could see deficits in its compact obligation to deliver water downstream as often as once every five years by 2040, according to a massive new Bureau of Reclamation study released this week. The study details a 50-year Colorado River water supply and demand outlook. Based on a combination of population growth and climate models that show a general drying trend in the region, the river could be short by at least 3.2 million acre feet by 2060, and perhaps by as much as 8 million acre feet, according to the Colorado River Water Users Association. Colorado River water is used by about 40 million people in seven states: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. Under the most aggressive growth scenario, that number could nearly double, to about 76 million people, by 2060. “You can’t manage a resource that you can’t measure,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, announcind the results of the study during a press conference. “With he help of the U.S. Geological Survey, we are gathering crucial science about our water supplies and how we will use them … We need to work with other partners on the Colorado River, as we have been. That same spirit of partnership is needed to tackle all the water challenges we will face,” Salazar said. Those challenges are daunting, Salazar continued, acknowledging that the river is already stretched to the limit. “We need to recognize that frankly, the legal construct we have already over-subscribes the water by several million acre feet,” he said explaining that the best available climate science suggests that the Colorado River Basin could see an overall 9 percent reduction in flows in the next 50 years.Salazar also acknowledged that there is no easy answer to filling the projected shortfall, and said that federal resource managers won’t look outside the basin, rejecting ideas like shunting Missouri River water to Colorado, or towing icebergs to Southern California. “Those ideas are “impractical and technically not feasible,” Salazar said. “We will pursue practical common sense solutions … like reducing demand thru efficiency and conservation, and also increasing our supply through practical measures like re-use,” he added. The Colorado River Basin States will have to work together to find ways to make the existing water go further, he said. That will include intensified conservation efforts, significant re-use of water and conversion of agricultural water to municipal and industrial purposes, since that’s where the greatest demand will continue to come from. That work must begin now, said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Ann Castle. “The problem of a drier Colorado River Basin is one that we have to tackle now so that our children and grandchildren will have water,” she said. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor reinforced Salazar’s comments about practical solutions. He said the agency has no plans to pursue Missouri River imports and explained that uncertainties related to conservation, weather modification and water banking must be resolved as part of the equation. Scientists must also continue to refine climate projections to help firm up estimates of future supplies, he concluded.

Preparation – Just Crazy or A Good Investment?

Wow…and this is the actions of civilized people under duress.  Imagine this…this can get worse!  When the power and water are off for days, or weeks, and the food becomes very scarce that is when our homes turn into these trashed out stores from civilized people under duress.

Do a search for “Empty Store Shelves from Hurricane Sandy” and look at all the date stamped photos of store with empty shelves.  Events like this help to reassure me as to why I look at preparation as an investment.

http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/29/14783169-storm-shows-retailers-rely-on-brick-and-mortar-despite-technology?lite

 

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/staten_islanders_out_shopping.html

 

There is just way to many to post!

Hurricanes, Tsunamis, and Earthquakes Oh My!

Federal, State, and Local Governments are frantically trying to get the word out to residents of the Eastern United States in helping them brace for the “Perfect Storm” or Hurricane Sandy as she has been named by NOAA.  British Columbia coastal residences are trying to assess the damages left behind from the 7.7 earthquake that shook things up and Hawaii is under another Tsunami watch.

Emergency agencies and officials have established very informative websites with directions to shelters, how to prepare guides, equipment list, all way down to what to do when you lose power.  These agencies are flooding the many media outlets right this very moment to get the people this information.

Great information but too late!  As we have seen previous large emergencies…the storm is on the door step… those that have failed to plan have also failed to prepare…and those are the people that started getting supplies two days ago.

Sense of Urgency – the quality or condition of being urgent; pressing importance: the urgency of the call for help; pleading with urgency.  The opposite of a sense of urgency is a sense of complacency. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Sense_of_urgency

“The Zombie Metaphor” – There are creeping feelings of panic and a sense of urgency beginning to set in on those who have not set themselves up for success by planning ahead.   Along with this new found sense of urgency a realization for many develops.  A scary picture of “We are screwed unless we get help”.  We see the effects that this state of mind can have on individuals in media coverage over and over.  The photos showing anxious hoarders stripping the grocery store shelves empty, at the local fuel station the security cameras display the sea of cars with angry hordes waiting to suck out the last bit of gas, or the Sky News chopper coverage of the building traffic jams from the ensuing exodus.

The Food – Below is a very good example of the conditions the grocery stores will encounter during emergencies and when the anxious hordes bum rush the isles.

The Truth About Your Local Grocery Store, By Jay M. Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010

Copyright 2005-2012 James Wesley, Rawles – SurvivalBlog.com All Rights Reserved

 The problem occurs when some outside factors come into play. This can be as little as the weather man predicting a snow or ice store. If that happens people go nuts buying everything they can get their hands on. The system is not set up for this. If the situation only affects a few locations then they can get back in stock within 2-3 days on most of the basic supplies. However if it affects a large region such as half a state then the warehouses run out fast also. They are on the JIT program as well and aren’t stocked in a way to restock 100 stores all at once. Many areas of the country are primed to be affected by an earthquake. If that were to happen the shelves would be cleaned out within hours and wouldn’t be restocked for who knows how long. Even if the stores local area wasn’t affected, most likely the roads between the store and the warehouses would have bridges that if not destroyed would certainly be shut down for a time in order for inspectors to clear them as safe before trucks were allowed to cross.

The other factor I explain to folks is that when they shop day in and day out it looks like a ton of merchandise on the shelf. For example a store may stock 60 propane bottles for camp stoves on a regular basis. But in an emergency situation whether it has happened or only predicted the customers who get there first to buy some don’t just buy one or two. They will buy at least 10 so then only the first six customers get any. Many of the big box and grocery stores you shop in every day average between 3,000 and 6,000 customers a day. Do the math.”

The Fuel – The average 7/11 stores holds anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 gallons of fuel in the underground tanks.  The average car holds 14-16 gallons of fuel in the gas tank.  For simplicity we will use 15 gallons for the car and be generous at the 7/11 with topped off tanks holding 15,000 gallons.  Take the 15,000 gallons divided by 15 gallons per car and that gives a total of 1,000 cars or families to be fueled.  How many gas stations are in your town?  What is the population of your town?  With the average home having 2-3 cars, that 1,000 families per gas station just fell to 333.33.  A similar type of scenario can unfold for the fuel stations as we saw above for the grocery stores.  Do the math and plan ahead.

The way out – Really, why is this always an issue?  Outside of a surprise event like an earthquake and etc we usually have some notice to an event.  Seriously, we have amazing weather forecasting, news, TV, internet, and other technology that provides many days of notice to an event.  Why must there always be scenes of mass traffic jams during a known emergency?  The only reason I see is because people do not take planning and preparing serious enough until it is too late!  Plan your routes out of town. You need to have several routes planned to get to your destination.  Make sure to plan for stops and fuel as well. 

Plan to succeed not fail – There is a great deal of information out there to help us help ourselves plan to be ready for an emergency.  Don’t let yourself become one of the anxious hordes who failed to plan and failed to prepare!

Benjamin Franklin “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  ―  Benjamin Franklin

Part hurricane, part nor’easter and  all trouble: That’s what threatens 60 million Americans

Published October 28, 2012

Associated  Press

WASHINGTON –  The storm that is  threatening 60 million Americans in the eastern third of the nation in just a  couple of days with high winds, drenching rains, extreme tides, flooding and  probably snow is much more than just an ordinary weather system. It’s a freakish  and unprecedented monster.

How did it get that way?

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2012/10/27/part-hurricane-part-noreaster-and-all-trouble-that-what-threatens-60-million/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2AbgpUyI9

Hawaii under tsunami advisory as  first waves hit following Canadian quake

Published October 28, 2012

FoxNews.com

  • CanadaQuakeMap.JPG
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/10/28/tsunami-warning-issued-for-hawaii-after-canadian-quake/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2AbhZ3ceH

Will you be ready …as the North American Grid Gets Less Reliable?

Is the Grid Really Unreliable?

Chiefly, most of those concerned with preparedness don’t want to live off grid, but fear that they may have to with the state of decay of the North American Power Grid. There is a compelling case for investing in power outage contingencies, since a substantial risk of outages is growing annually.

Many in preparedness do not think the grid has become totally unreliable at this time, but they say that it’s getting less and less reliable each year.

Some questions recently we asked: Does the question “Is the Grid Really Unreliable?” have a solid basis in fact? The answer, scrutinized from whichever direction, by any authority in the field: Yes.

Is the state of the Grid likely to get worse?

The posed questions so far address solely outages caused for reasons under the control of the companies that collectively run the bulk power systems. Examples include failures due to human error, component failure, and inadequate system resources and “smartness” to prevent a small outage from cascading into a big one.

Most data collected leaves out a substantial proportion of outages that fall into the AOG or acts of God — those caused by external events that could not be controlled, like hurricanes.

Because of how reliably data is collected, excluding acts of God skews our conclusions toward understating the current problem.  Take the example of a heavy rain storm with high but not extraordinary (50 mph) winds. Most of the outages from such storms are due to tree branches falling on power lines, ice buildup on power lines, or even decaying power poles.

Many of such failures are avoidable, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. They took Pacific Gas and Electric to task a few years ago, compelling PG&E to hire more personnel to trim trees that posed an obviously high risk to power lines.

Nonetheless, failures from natural disasters — preventable or not — are not included here in our definition of “outage”.

So is it a wise decision to invest in power outage contingencies?

Aging power grid on overload as U.S. demands more electricity

By , The Washington Post

They began to bend in the roaring wind, then their steel girders snapped like twigs, the towers toppled and the lights went out.Minutes before the windstorm arrived to pummel the Washington area on June 29, it swept east through West Virginia, crushing three electrical transmission towers that are a tiny part of an intricate power grid that’s supposed to keep the lights on in America.

The term “grid” suggests a certain uniformity to the power system’s structure, but the network more closely resembles a patchwork quilt stitched together to cover a rapidly expanding nation.

The United States doesn’t yet face the critical shortage of power that has left more than 600 million people in India without electricity this weekBut the U.S. grid is aging and stretched to capacity. More often the victim of decrepitude than the forces of nature, it is beginning to falter. Experts fear failures that caused blackouts in New York, Boston and San Diego may become more common as the voracious demand for power continues to grow. They say it will take a multibillion-dollar investment to avoid them.“I like to think of our grid much like a water system, and basically all of our pipes are at full pressure now,” said Otto J. Lynch, vice president of Wisconsin-based Power Line Systems, “and if one of our pipes bursts and we have to shut off that line, that just increases the pressure on our remaining pipes until another one bursts, and next thing you know, we’re in a catastrophic run and we have to shut the whole water system down.”India’s blackout was a power generation problem: It is saddled with aging coal power plants and facing resistance to new nuclear plants. This week, several plants closed suddenly and the lights went out. Although the United States will need more power plants to meet the demands of a growing population, the most immediate threat is that the delivery system will continue to fail.The huge steel towers whose power cables crisscross the country — and the transmission stations they feed — are the pipes of that system. It’s not easy to store electricity for very long, and most of it is used within a second of being produced. At the push of a button, the grid routes power where it’s needed, from state to state or region to region. It is supposed to sidestep bottlenecks or hiccups that might slow the flow.Towers are designed to withstand winds far stronger than the almost 70 mph blasts that struck Ritchie County, W.Va. But three towers in a row running parallel to Route 50 north of Ellenboro collapsed, early victims of a storm that would devastate power delivery throughout the Mid-Atlantic.“A fourth tower didn’t come down but had to be removed because it was pulled off kilter,” said Todd Meyers, spokesman for FirstEnergy, a power company that supplies electricity to five states, including Maryland. “I don’t remember a time when this many came down. This is an unusual occurrence.”Engineers are trying to figure out why the 40-year-old towers collapsed in a freak storm — whether through corrosion, foundation cracks or flying debris. But there have long been warnings that local systems, which began linking to one another in the 1920s, need an expensive overhaul.MORE LINKS:http://www.americainfra.com/news/fixing-the-us-power-grid/

http://www.simplepump.com/PREPAREDNESS/Grid-Reliability-1.html

Plan. Prepare. BE READY!

We really have it good…for now.

Modern engineering marvels such as water sanitation plants, indoor plumbing, and refrigeration all have made the simple task of accessing food and water go unchallenged for most of society. With the audible click and hum, clean filtered water passes into a glass from the opening in the refrigerator door, the lifting of a handle on the faucet at the sink, and even the unscrewing the cap off of a fresh filtered bottle of water amplify just how easy it is to obtain fresh water.  However, we need to remember to always incorporate emergency planning regardless of how good things may be right now.

The opened doors of a refrigerator can usually offer the viewer a selection of beverages, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and the like. For the majority, there is little to no concerns except to decide what to eat and drink for our next meal. Choices-it is nice to have so many choices. With a sea of fast food joints, restaurants, and even grocery markets at our calling, we usually have little to worry about when seeking food. How simple the chore of finding something to eat can be with so many choices.

We presently are blessed to see heaping shelves displaying the results of bountiful harvest as one navigates the aisles of fresh produce, meats, and foods in our local grocery stores. We are currently a country consumed with and accustomed to excess. So what happens when something unexpected comes to pass that disrupts this flow of milk & honey we have grown dependant on? Where will you be and will you be ready for what these events may bring?

Seriously, preparing for the threat of Zombies is not bad advice!

With current conditions being what they are, i.e., the abundance of food & water and easy access to it daily, it is not hard to see why most Americans take emergency preparation for granted.  This false sense of comfort or security is one of the main contributors as to why so many are not prepared for emergencies, disasters, or as the Department Homeland Security says; “ The Zombie Apocalypse”.  The Department of Homeland Security jokingly referenced Zombies in a recent article “Zombie Apocalypse: ‘The Zombies Are Coming,’ Homeland Security Warns” by ALICIA A. in the AP,  “Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies. The theory: If you’re prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.”  Seriously, putting all Zombies aside,  following the DHS advice for preparing is probably a good idea.  For most families, spending money to prepare for emergencies that may never happen is an after thought.  For them it may be very hard to justify spending money on surplus food and equipment only to see it sitting on a shelf in a state of “break in case of emergency”.

Think of it as an insurance policy.

What does it mean to be prepared?  Are you prepared?  Where do you start in preparing?  In order to start preparing you will need to change your perception on how preparing is an essential investment, not an optional luxury.  You will need to think of this as an insurance policy for you and your family’s safety and well-being in the time of a crisis.

“Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.”

In order to start to prepare you first need to establish what it is you want to prepare for.  You need to identify what you feel is the most dangerous threat closest to you.  There are many members of the 20 pound head club out there who have, at a great cost of money and time, attended some of the finest institutions in America to obtain degrees in order to tell us how to do risk assessment and threat assessment.  Guess what, we are not talking about National Security here!  But seriously, you can do your own simple assessments to help build your plan for preparation.  Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”   I am sure many have heard the old saying “Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.”

Conduct a risk or threat assessment.

In the military when confronted with a potential enemy we would do a simple test, something called a “Threat Assessment”.  We first try to identify the current enemy facing us.  Then we need to establish two things, what my enemies’ most probable course of action (MPCOA) will be and what our enemies’ most dangerous course of action (MDCOA) could be.  Understanding the enemy basically allows me to employ the right tools of the trade to try to defeat or survive my enemies’ attacks.  Having conducted an assessment will now allow you to focus your efforts in a more efficient manner when building your plan and conducting you preparations.

Do not be surprised if you actually come to the conclusion that you have multiple threats or risk that you want to plan to prepare for.  You can scour the internet and find all kinds of threat assessment tools and even pay good money for some of this stuff.  Below is an example of a simple assessment chart that can work as a template in creating your own threat/risk assessment tool.

Your assessments are not limited to just your home, they can branch out to neighborhoods and communities.  You may want to go check out the FEMA website and see more examples of family emergency planning tools and even community planning tools.

Spend your budget wisely.

Through the years I have crossed paths with many individuals that have invested large amounts of money in acquiring useless stuff in their efforts to be prepared. During a time of crisis, many of them came to the realization that a majority of the items purchased were a useless waste of money. Having the budget to prepare is a great start, but having the knowledge to ensure you spend it wisely will most certainly make your budget go a long way toward reaching your goal.

I recently attended the 2012 Survival Expo held in Las Vegas. I was completely taken back by the abundance  of poorly made items, useless items, and just garbage that was mixed in with the good stuff.  By doing your research and being informed, shows like this can actually be very productive in your preparations.  There are many deals waiting for you at trade shows, especially on the last day as the vendors will have items that they do not want to ship home.

Most importantly you need to be able to prepare by making smart purchases with the budget you have established.  Do your research and compile a shopping list to help you stay on your purchasing plan.  Plan to purchase quality goods that will last and if possible have multiple uses for your kits.  Spending your budget wisely, along with getting and staying informed, are critical processes in your ability to prepare well.

Build your emergency kits.

What are home emergency or disaster supplies kit?  These kits are simply collections of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.  Assembly of your kits well in advance of any emergency or crisis is critical to your success, as trying to prepare during an event will be too late.  In the event of a crisis you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you.  Having your kits staged and complete will save you precious time rather than trying to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency.  This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours.   Your home emergency kit may consist of water storage, shelf stable food storage and other supplies to support you in your home.

In the event you have to move or relocate from your residence you will need to have the supplies to do so.  Ever more popular are 72 hour Emergency Go Bags, Bug out Bags, or Grab & Go Bags that were expressly designed for just that…Grab & Go!  Specifically, most of these bags are intended to meet the needs of one person for 72-hours.  When buying these kits it is important to know that they are not complete.  Kits of this sort will need to be tailored for the individual, i.e., medications, spare glasses, personal hygiene items, and etc.

As we can see our emergency plan will consist of several types of kits.  Some other kits to consider having ready are, a Vehicle Emergency Kit and Medical /First aid / Triage kit.  In the event a crisis happens the local officials and relief workers will eventually be on the scene of the disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately.  There is potential that you could get help in hours or it might take days.

Additionally, your basic home services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer.  It is important that your emergency kits contain items to help you manage during these outages.

So in winding up today we can see there is a tremendous amount of information concerning emergency preparation.  The importance of getting the information and staying informed cannot be emphasized enough. We have seen today the significance to focus our efforts by doing a few simple steps; Conduct a Threat/Risk Assessment, Make a Plan, Budget for the Plan, Be Informed/Stay Informed, and Build Your Plan!

See you soon, PreparedToday.

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