In my opinion, these are the best of the best of survival and preparedness articles gleaned from the 'net.

Please visit the originating sites to see more like them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tools and Other Stuff

Originally posted on The ReadyStore Blog

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Tools and Other Stuff

While we may think of food, water, and shelter as being important in an emergency, we may overlook the necessity of tools. Whether you are turning off your gas due to an earthquake or just trying to open a can of food, there are essential tools we should have.

I believe that every home should have a gas shutoff wrench. This one comes with a zip tie so that you can tie it onto your gas meter. No more worries about where the toolbox is or if the kids have run off with it. Another important tool is work gloves. Disasters create big messes and those messes have to be cleaned up. Having good work gloves can prevent injury and speed the cleaning up process.

Another basic is a manual can opener. Freeze-dried food in #10 cans can be hard to get to if you don’t have a can opener to open them up. Scissors are also a fantastic all-around tool to keep in your 72 hour kit. Another helpful tool is a folding shovel. I keep one in my car so that if we are stuck in snow, we can dig ourselves out. The shovel is also very compact since it folds into thirds.

Other tools you might find useful are 100 ft. of nylon rope as well as a Leatherman tool. These can serve multiple purposes, making them essential in an emergency situation. Having the knowledge to deal with a crisis is essential, but so are the right tools to help you deal with that situation the best way possible.


Original: http://getmeready.blogspot.com/2009/01/tools-and-other-stuff.html

Product of the Day

J.B. Icelandic Artic Trail -40 Below Winter Sock (2 Pairs)

Product Features

  • Content- 85% PreShrunk Wool & 15% Nylon
  • Pre-Shrunk Wool - We only use the finest quality of easy care wool in our socks because wool is versatile, its warm in cool weather and cool when its warm. Its fibers form pockets of air which insulate you naturally. Youll stay dry with wool and wont feel damp or chilled because wool wicks moisture away from your feet.
  • Anti-Odour ProtecGuard® inhibits the growth of odour causing bacteria
  • X-Hi Cushion - Full terry cushion for extra warmth and protection
  • Suitable for extreme weather up to -40 below!

Audio Podcast: There is No Downside to the Survival Lifestyle


icon for podpress Episode-123- There is No Downside to the Survival Lifestyle [43:04m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Today we examine some misconceptions about what survivalism is, how survivalists prepare and what actually being a survival minded person is all about. The media paints us all as camouflage fatigue wearing, war game playing, gun nuts that live in bunkers full or rice, beans and MREs. Nothing could be further from the truth…

Tune in today to hear…

  • How you save money as a survivalist vs. blowing your life savings on MREs and Guns
  • Why storing food will make you sleep better at night and not cost you a penny more then you will spend on food anyway, if you follow the mantra, eat what you store and store what you eat
  • How being prepared helps you live a longer, healthier stress free life
  • Why you are better off as a prepper even if nothing ever happens and something always happens sooner or later
  • Why prepping and survivalism is for everyone but modern media hype turns off so many
  • The reality that the good guy doesn’t always win and what it means to you
  • How realizing your own mortality leads people into practical common sense survivalism
  • How businesses save money with capital deferrals and so can you
  • Why stored food often out performs many investments
  • Yes guns are a great investment (no guys you can’t now use this excuse to buy every gun you want, don’t tell you wife I said that)
  • More in developing independence from multiple systems
  • What we can learn about prepping from failures by dieters
  • Why silver and gold are good long term insurance policies that have no down side
  • The greatest survival investment is knowledge and skills
Original: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/survivalpcast/~3/513132373/episode-123-there-is-no-downside-to-the-survival-lifestyle

10 Must Have Survival Books

Here are some great survival and self sufficiency books I have that I would recommend to any prepper. These are books you need!

1. The Ultimate Guide to US Army Survival Skills, Tactics & Techniques

2.Camping & Wilderness Survival

3. US Army Survival Guide

4. Making the Best of Basics

5. Country Wisdom & Know-how

6. Tom Browns Guide to Edible & Medicinal Plants

7. Gardening When It Counts

8.Crisis Preparedness Handbook: A Complete Guide to Home Storage and Physical Survival

9. Earth Abides

10. Patriots


Original: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SurvivalGearEquipment/~3/517872052/

Cellphone Industry not ready for an Emergency

Ever wonder if your cell phone would really work during an emergency? Well there’s a good chance that it may not, in fact the cell phone industry can not even handle the coming presidential inauguration.

The cellphone industry, fearful that people will overwhelm their networks, have actually asked people to limit their cell phone calls, texts, and to stop sending photos tomorrow. They fear that the massive number of calls being made during the inauguration will overwhelm their networks.

So if the cell companies can’t handle something that they have known was coming for months, how can people depend on there cell phones during a real emergency?

Industry experts warn that the networks are very unreliable, and are not set up to handle a large number of calls that could happen during an emergency. In fact, many people had problems calling out during events like Katrina, and Hurricane Rita. Industry insiders say, “The networks just aren’t set up to work the way people think they will.”


Original: http://offgridsurvival.com/cellphoneemergency/

How to Handle Any Medical Emergency



Medical emergencies happen all of the time, in fact, these are one of the most urgent of all emergencies you can face. If you run out of money, you probably won’t die. If you lose your job you probably won’t die. If you have a heart attack, you probably will die without quick medical treatment. Here’s some tips to help you take care of any medical crisis that may occur:


Before an emergency happens, be prepared:

  • Have a well stocked first aid kit.


  • Know some basic first aid skills such as CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver, and how to fix up some basic injuries such as sprains, cuts, minor illnesses, etc.


  • If you or anyone in your home takes medication on a regular basis, try to have at least a three month prescription for each necessary medication and always keep a good supply of said meds on hand; you don’t want to run out right as a hurricane hits your town, thus closing down every pharmacy within a many mile radius. This is especially critical with medications needed for acute problems such as Nitro pills for a heart condition or an Epi Pen for someone with serious allergies.


  • You should keep a list of pertinent medical information for each family member in an easy to access location; this information should include each person’s name, birth date, name of doctor, doctor’s phone number, allergies, and list of past and current medical issues (chronic medical problems, surgeries, etc). The list should also include the name, dosage, and reason for taking each prescription medication the person uses. In an emergency, this information can be invaluable.


  • Other ways to be prepared prior to a medical emergency is by having some useful (but spendy) equipment such as an AED (automatic external defibrillator) which can make the difference between living and dying from a heart attack, taking the time to learn more advanced medical skills through an EMT or Paramedic course, and practicing (i.e.: volunteering with the local ambulance so you will get some real life experience at treating patients in an emergent situation).


  • Having basic first aid/medical books on hand can help tremendously for unusual or uncommon problems that you need more information on.


  • Note that the more remote you are, the greater the chance that YOU will be put in the position to have to render medical care. If you live a mile from the trauma center, you could cart the patient there yourself but if you are living in the Central American highlands, medical care could be hours or days away, and your skills and equipment could make the difference between life and death for your friends and family members.

During an emergency, here’s what to do:

  • Make sure the scene is safe. If the person is in a burning car, obviously do what you can to carefully remove them from the car. If there has been a shooting, make sure the shooter is gone before you attempt to help the person or you could be the next victim. assess the situation quickly.


  • Does the person need basic at-home medical care or will they require immediate medical attention (you can usually tell this by looking at the patient—if they can’t breathe or are having difficulty breathing, if they are having classic symptoms of a heart attack, if they are having a severe allergic reaction such as hives or intense swelling of the face and extremities, if there is copious amounts of blood, if an extremity is positioned very oddly (like a foot facing backwards or bones protruding), or if there is the possibility that the person has a head, neck or back injury, these are good signs that advanced emergency medical care is required.


  • In the case of a medical emergency, call 911 immediately or have someone else call before you begin any type of care (you don’t want to start CPR then have to stop to call 911 so call 911 first).


  • Administer basic first aid: CPR in the case of a heart attack, the Heimlich Maneuver in the case of someone choking, compress the wound in the case of bleeding, etc.


  • Take direction from the 911 operator. They will tell you what you can do to help the patient before the ambulance arrives. If you don’t understand something, ask. If you can’t stay on the phone for some reason, tell them, don’t just hang up.


  • Do what you can to keep the patient calm, breathing, and their blood circulating until help arrives.


  • Don’t try to perform advanced medical procedures yourself unless there is absolutely no other option. You may have seen someone make a slit in a patients throat on TV then put a tube in to help them breath but if you’ve never done it before, the 911 operator does not instruct you to do it, and medical care is on its way, DON’T DO IT.


  • When help arrives, stay out of the way unless otherwise directed and provide necessary information in a clear, concise way to the medical responders.


  • In the case of minor emergencies, treat as per the problem (i.e.: disinfect a scrape, put on some antibacterial ointment and a bandage).


  • If you are unsure as to the severity of the situation, you can call the nurse hotline at your local clinic or hospital, call the Poison Control Center in the event of a possible poisoning, or call 911 for direction.

After the emergency, here’s what to do:

  • Follow up with the patient to ensure their medical needs are being met.


  • Restock any supplies you have used from your first aid kit.


  • Find out more—after having lived through such an experience, people are often interested in learning the first aid skills that “they never thought they would use”.

Medical emergencies can be traumatic for all involved but with a little preparedness and practice, you can be the difference between life and death for someone.

Original At: http://codenameinsight.blogspot.com:80/2009/01/how-to-handle-any-medical-emergency.html

Quote of the Day

Link of the Day


DonRearic.com

Focus on rational and practical self defense techniques, along with reviews of self-defense related products including knives, lights, impact weapons, etc.

Dehydrated Potatoes and Au Gratin recipe



By Joseph Parish

I for one can make a very good breakfast with nothing except fried potatoes. I know I have heard how fried foods are not good for me but I still enjoy a dish of those “Greasy” spuds whenever I can.

I would like to pass on this dehydration recipe to visitors to the site since they full easily into the topic of survival foods. You can package them with your food saver and store a few packs in your vehicles emergency food supply next to your bottled water. I personally have purchased some of the commercial dehydrated versions and they really do not taste that bad.

According to how you slice and dry the potatoes you could use them for anything from frying to making au gratin potatoes. Here is the procedure that I would recommend using.

You start off by selecting firm not over ripe potatoes. Proceed to peal and wash them well. Take and slice your potatoes ¼ to 3/8 of an inch thick. My wife’s food processor works great on this step. With it I am guaranteed to get even cuts each time on every piece. If you desired you could slice them as the shoestring type 3/8 of an inch thick also. Another of my favorite slices is the grated or the diced cuts. It all boils down to how the dried potatoes will actually be used.

As a pretreatment for your potatoes you will want to steam blanch them over hot water containing approximately 1 tsp. of sodium bisulfate for each cup of water used. Blanch them for about 4 to 6 minutes or until they become translucent but still remain firm.

After this step rinse them very well in some cold water in order to remove any remaining starch. Your drying Temperature should be around 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 to 2 hours or until they are completely done.

You can grate the slices for later re-hydration for use as hash brown potatoes. Now as an added bonus here is a quick recipe on making one of my favorite dishes – Au Gratin Potatoes.

Ingredients required:

3 cups diced dehydrated potatoes (See above)

6 tablespoons of butter

3 tablespoons of flour

1 1/2 cups of milk

1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation of recipe:

1. Place potatoes in a shallow baking dish.

2. In a small saucepan over a low heat melt 6 tablespoons of butter.

3. Take the butter and add the flour to it. Stir well in order to blend together.

4. Gradually add the milk.

5. Continue cooking and stirring continuously until a thick sauce is formed.

6. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese melts.

7. Pour the sauce over the potatoes that are in the baking dish and mix them gently.

8. Bake potatoes at 400° for 30 to 40 minutes. Final product should be golden brown.

There you have a perfect meal of Au Gratin potatoes. I myself could eat this as a main meal!

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish


Original: http://survival-training.info/articles7/DehydratedPotatoesandAuGratinrecipe.htm

winter warmth

Our family currently lives in a cold winter area. We typically have four to five months of quite cold temperatures. If there is ever a loss of power, keeping our family warm is a huge concern. Here are a few ideas that you can use to be prepared for winter temperatures:

Have everyone sleep/stay in one room - Choose a small (but big enough) room with the fewest exterior walls and/or a southern/western exposure. Bring mattresses in on the floor. If you have a fireplace or stove, you'll probably want to choose this room for your gathering spot. It's also helpful to have an adjacent bathroom. Drape blankets at the doorways and/or close any doors to contain the heat to one room as much as possible.
Pitch a tent - Yes, inside of your house! A tent can help contain radiating warmth to a smaller area. You don't have to have an actual tent to do this. Use blankets and sheets and improvise. Your kids will love this!
Store blankets - I have many beautiful quilts, hand-made by my mother. Because of this, I've always assumed that all homes had an abundance of quilts and blankets. I was so surprised to hear my neighbor describe the need to buy a blanket for a bed -- explaining that every blanket that they owned was already on a bed. Sleeping bags can be unzipped and used for blankets.
Be safe! - Never burn charcoal, use a camp stove or run a generator in any interior spaces (including your garage). You also shouldn't run a gas powered stove for long amounts of time trying to heat your house. Carbon monoxide is a huge problem in situations like this. Be smart.
Use a fireplace or wood burning stove - Often these work even when the power doesn't. Learn how to light your fireplace manually if it runs on gas.
Use a propane heater - There are several products that are approved for use in enclosed areas. Make sure to vent them appropriately.
Burn a candle - It will give off some heat -- but watch carefully and do not leave any candles burning while you are sleeping.
Bundle up - Wear socks, shoes, coats, snow pants and caps. Layer your clothes. Sleep with caps on.
Use the sun - Open your blinds to allow sun to warm the interior of your room. Close blinds or curtains when the sun is not shining.
Insulate - Use shower curtains or other plastic to insulate your windows with tape. Remember to maintain a source of fresh air and oxygen.
Invite your neighbors over - The more bodies the more heat!


[Sources: Myself, Prepare Today Newsletter]

Original: http://iprepared.blogspot.com/2009/01/winter-warmth.html

Green Houses with Soda Bottles

By Joseph Parish

I am certain that just about everyone reading this article has at one time or other created a make shaft green house from a discarded plastic soda bottle. The idea is far from new and is easily implemented.

To start you merely cut a plastic soda bottle in half. It doesn’t matter if it is the small 16 ounce bottles or the 2 liter version. After you cut it in half take and deposit some dirt in the bottom portion of one of the bottles. Now plant a seed or two in that dirt. A good seed to plant would be the wheat seeds. Place your new greenhouse in a sunny spot and watch it grow.

In the event that you have to bug out you can also use this method while spending some time in the woods or at your survival retreat. It is very adaptable to use in an automobile or BOV. In place of sitting it in a window you only have to place it on your dashboard and let the sun directly hit it. You can easily push the bottom pieces back into the top portions of the bottles and leave or remove the cap as necessary to provide ventilation to your new growing plants.

I remember these little greenhouses when my own children were pre-school age. I would help them plant the seeds and we would watch them grow. As an adult I even employed the same technique for starting plants for my garden. The principle is the same whether it is done for fun or for serious survival purposes.

Several types of quick growing plants that you can use in it would be wheat, Swiss chard, Collard Greens, Garlic Clove or any other green vegetable for that matter. I would highly recommend that you attempt this method of gardening at least once in the event that you will need to use it in an emergency situation. At least in that way you will have some familiarity with it. If you are a fan of sprouts then this would be an excellent means of supplying the family with fresh sprouts for their garden salad all year long.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish


Original: http://survival-training.info/articles7/GreenHouseswithSodaBottles.htm

Gardening: Seed Catalog Suppliers Links

In our former gardening blog, we went through several suppliers of gardening catalogs. The links are as follows (not in any particular order):
We've been seeing Topsy Turvey hanging tomato gardens advertised all over the place - almost in every gardening catalog and magazine that we see. Here's a link: http://www.hangingtomato.com/ .. .. Does anyone have experience with this contraption? We heard some might have been recalled... what about that? Are they safe? Stable? Really do well in providing tomatoes? What about other vegetables or fruits? Let us know your thoughts - use the comment section for this posting. Thanks.

We've already started placing our orders with some of these suppliers, and are still getting catalogs from even more. Who do YOU order your seeds from?


Original: http://survival-cooking.blogspot.com/2009/01/gardening-seed-catalog-suppliers-links.html

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