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.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Product of the Day

Garrity Power Lite 3 LED Crank Light

*I have several varying types of these. A must have.

Product Features

  • Self-powered flashlight ideal for power outages, camping, and traveling
  • Provides up to one hour of bright light per minute of cranking
  • Three super-bright LED bulbs; sealed, rechargeable NiMH battery
  • Magnifying lens casts a bright beam; comfortable rubberized grip
  • Lightweight, compact housing; lifetime warranty on the fixture

75 Things to Know About Your Home



Our home is often our largest investment, our sanctuary from the outside world, and the place where a whole hunk of our paycheck goes. In the interest of preparedness, here are the 75 things you should know about your home (many of these things apply to homeowners but others will apply to all):
  1. your complete address (address, city, county, state, country)
  2. legal description of property
  3. year your home was built
  4. square footage of your home
  5. size of lot
  6. type of home (stick built, manufactured, modular, timber-framed, etc)
  7. information on any property easements
  8. zoning of property (single family, multi-family, commercial, etc)
  9. was all building and remodeling properly permitted and inspected?
  10. property boundaries
  11. any classifications of the property (wet lands, floodplain, etc)
  12. location of any hazards on property (old mines, old wells, creeks, etc)
  13. history of home (previous owners, previous use of property, has anyone died in home, historical society info, etc)
  14. if there is a Home Owner's Association (HOA) and any HOA rules/restrictions
  15. copy of home's most recent appraisal
  16. copy of most recent home inspection
  17. current value of home (check http://www.zillow.com/)
  18. tax assessor information (valuation, tax rate, etc)
  19. if the home is paid off, where is the deed?
  20. mortgage company info (name, address, phone number, account number, etc)
  21. interest rate and terms of the mortgage loan
  22. type of loan (FHA, VA, conventional, other)
  23. are there penalties for pre-payment of the loan?
  24. information on any second or third mortgages on the property
  25. information on any levys or liens on the property
  26. location of gas shut off and emergency contact number for the gas company
  27. location of water shut off and emergency contact number for the water company
  28. location of electrical shut off and emergency contact number for the electric company
  29. location of main line drain cleanout access point
  30. well information (location, depth, most recent water test, etc)
  31. septic tank information (location, location of drain field, last time emptied, etc)
  32. name and phone number for home service providers (housekeeper, gardener, plumber, electrician, handyman, pool guy, etc)
  33. info for all utility providers (name, contact info, and account number for phone, cable, electric, water, gas, sewer, garbage, etc)
  34. home insurance information (name of insurance company, contact info, account number, agent's name, etc)
  35. copy of insurance policy (be aware of what is covered and what is excluded)
  36. special insurance policies (flood, earthquake, special property riders, etc)
  37. copy of most recent insurance policy update (know amount of land, structure, and personal property coverages and amount of deductible; increase or decrease amounts and deductibles if necessary)
  38. security system info (name of company, account number, contact number, code numbers, etc)
  39. how to open security door and window bars
  40. set of master keys for all locks in home (interior and exterior)
  41. roof info (age, type--shake, tile, composite, any warranties in affect)
  42. siding info (age, type--shake, aluminum, vinyl, LP, any warranties in affect)
  43. Heating/Air conditioning system info (appliance info--serial #, brand, etc, current warranties, previous service info, fueled by--gas, electric, propane, etc)
  44. info on all interior and exterior paint used on home (brand, color code)
  45. info about drainage system (location of sump pumps, location of exterior drains, etc)
  46. written instruction on how to use unique features of home (solar power system, composting toilet, cistern, dumbwaiter, etc)
  47. contact information for neighbors (name, address, contact phone numbers, etc)
  48. annual safety equipment check (smoke detector, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler system, etc)
  49. warranty info for all appliances (range, refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer, et al)
  50. water heater info (type--electric, gas, capacity, age, warranty if any)
  51. location of seasonal items (storm windows, screens, awnings, etc)
  52. fireplace info (when was flue last cleaned, rain cap/spark arrester is in place, etc)
  53. energy efficiency of home (how much insulation in walls/attic/basement, type of windows, etc)
  54. internal home hazards (lead paint, asbestos materials, lead pipes, radon, etc)
  55. large appliances/furniture/bookcases are secured to the wall to prevent falling over in the event of an earthquake/tornado
  56. parking information (location if off site, permits needed, etc)
  57. type/location of exterior property hazards (dead standing trees, poison oak patches, vicious neighborhood dogs, wild animals, etc)
  58. neighborhood: location of local sex offenders
  59. neighborhood: annoyances (located in flight path, commercial/industrial odors/noise, traffic, etc)
  60. neighborhood: existing or proposed development
  61. neighborhood: crime statistics
  62. location of: nearest public transportation stops
  63. location of: nearest fire hydrant/fire department
  64. location of: nearest school, church, hospital, grocery store, bank, post office, library, etc
  65. location of: mail delivery (to home or box)
  66. location of: trash pick up
  67. any problems with mold, mildew, rodents, termites, etc.
  68. most likely local natural hazards (hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms, earthquakes, etc)
  69. location and operation of safes, trap doors, escape tunnels, panic rooms, etc
  70. multiple evacuation routes from property to freeways, the next town, the next state (taking into consideration that bridges, tunnels, and overpasses may close roads)
  71. written and practiced fire escape plan
  72. location of exterior family gathering spot in case family must flee from home
  73. written and practiced lock down plan
  74. home safety hazards are addressed (loose rugs/stairs/handrails, adequate lighting, window blind cords are not a strangulation hazard, etc)
  75. outbuildings (are secured, items in building are safely stored, etc)
Original:

75 Things to Know About Your Home



Our home is often our largest investment, our sanctuary from the outside world, and the place where a whole hunk of our paycheck goes. In the interest of preparedness, here are the 75 things you should know about your home (many of these things apply to homeowners but others will apply to all):
  1. your complete address (address, city, county, state, country)
  2. legal description of property
  3. year your home was built
  4. square footage of your home
  5. size of lot
  6. type of home (stick built, manufactured, modular, timber-framed, etc)
  7. information on any property easements
  8. zoning of property (single family, multi-family, commercial, etc)
  9. was all building and remodeling properly permitted and inspected?
  10. property boundaries
  11. any classifications of the property (wet lands, floodplain, etc)
  12. location of any hazards on property (old mines, old wells, creeks, etc)
  13. history of home (previous owners, previous use of property, has anyone died in home, historical society info, etc)
  14. if there is a Home Owner's Association (HOA) and any HOA rules/restrictions
  15. copy of home's most recent appraisal
  16. copy of most recent home inspection
  17. current value of home (check http://www.zillow.com/)
  18. tax assessor information (valuation, tax rate, etc)
  19. if the home is paid off, where is the deed?
  20. mortgage company info (name, address, phone number, account number, etc)
  21. interest rate and terms of the mortgage loan
  22. type of loan (FHA, VA, conventional, other)
  23. are there penalties for pre-payment of the loan?
  24. information on any second or third mortgages on the property
  25. information on any levys or liens on the property
  26. location of gas shut off and emergency contact number for the gas company
  27. location of water shut off and emergency contact number for the water company
  28. location of electrical shut off and emergency contact number for the electric company
  29. location of main line drain cleanout access point
  30. well information (location, depth, most recent water test, etc)
  31. septic tank information (location, location of drain field, last time emptied, etc)
  32. name and phone number for home service providers (housekeeper, gardener, plumber, electrician, handyman, pool guy, etc)
  33. info for all utility providers (name, contact info, and account number for phone, cable, electric, water, gas, sewer, garbage, etc)
  34. home insurance information (name of insurance company, contact info, account number, agent's name, etc)
  35. copy of insurance policy (be aware of what is covered and what is excluded)
  36. special insurance policies (flood, earthquake, special property riders, etc)
  37. copy of most recent insurance policy update (know amount of land, structure, and personal property coverages and amount of deductible; increase or decrease amounts and deductibles if necessary)
  38. security system info (name of company, account number, contact number, code numbers, etc)
  39. how to open security door and window bars
  40. set of master keys for all locks in home (interior and exterior)
  41. roof info (age, type--shake, tile, composite, any warranties in affect)
  42. siding info (age, type--shake, aluminum, vinyl, LP, any warranties in affect)
  43. Heating/Air conditioning system info (appliance info--serial #, brand, etc, current warranties, previous service info, fueled by--gas, electric, propane, etc)
  44. info on all interior and exterior paint used on home (brand, color code)
  45. info about drainage system (location of sump pumps, location of exterior drains, etc)
  46. written instruction on how to use unique features of home (solar power system, composting toilet, cistern, dumbwaiter, etc)
  47. contact information for neighbors (name, address, contact phone numbers, etc)
  48. annual safety equipment check (smoke detector, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler system, etc)
  49. warranty info for all appliances (range, refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer, et al)
  50. water heater info (type--electric, gas, capacity, age, warranty if any)
  51. location of seasonal items (storm windows, screens, awnings, etc)
  52. fireplace info (when was flue last cleaned, rain cap/spark arrester is in place, etc)
  53. energy efficiency of home (how much insulation in walls/attic/basement, type of windows, etc)
  54. internal home hazards (lead paint, asbestos materials, lead pipes, radon, etc)
  55. large appliances/furniture/bookcases are secured to the wall to prevent falling over in the event of an earthquake/tornado
  56. parking information (location if off site, permits needed, etc)
  57. type/location of exterior property hazards (dead standing trees, poison oak patches, vicious neighborhood dogs, wild animals, etc)
  58. neighborhood: location of local sex offenders
  59. neighborhood: annoyances (located in flight path, commercial/industrial odors/noise, traffic, etc)
  60. neighborhood: existing or proposed development
  61. neighborhood: crime statistics
  62. location of: nearest public transportation stops
  63. location of: nearest fire hydrant/fire department
  64. location of: nearest school, church, hospital, grocery store, bank, post office, library, etc
  65. location of: mail delivery (to home or box)
  66. location of: trash pick up
  67. any problems with mold, mildew, rodents, termites, etc.
  68. most likely local natural hazards (hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms, earthquakes, etc)
  69. location and operation of safes, trap doors, escape tunnels, panic rooms, etc
  70. multiple evacuation routes from property to freeways, the next town, the next state (taking into consideration that bridges, tunnels, and overpasses may close roads)
  71. written and practiced fire escape plan
  72. location of exterior family gathering spot in case family must flee from home
  73. written and practiced lock down plan
  74. home safety hazards are addressed (loose rugs/stairs/handrails, adequate lighting, window blind cords are not a strangulation hazard, etc)
  75. outbuildings (are secured, items in building are safely stored, etc)

improved cat hole

IMPROVED CAT HOLE
Have you heard about Portable Dwelling newsletter? It's been around for about twenty years, a small print newsletter that tells you how to live cheaply in the woods with light weight and improvised gear. A bleach jug drip shower, foam pad insulated tents, that kind of thing. For the longest time I really didn't see much point in that existence. It was hard to make a living, you were squatting on land and were subject to harassment. The only advantage was you could pick the ideal climate and location you liked. Of course, with the economy now it makes a lot more sense. The price to join is almost zero. If you want to check them out the address is Portable Dwelling, PO Box 190, Philomath OR 97370.
*
That was my free plug for their mag so I could steal one of their ideas. An improved cat hole. When I see a new idea I get excited about, I automatically assume you will feel the same way. Not that it is that exciting, but luckily my thresh hold for wonderment is low. The problem with cat holes ( the wilds way of crapping- scoop out a shallow hole, deposit your scented fertilizer, cover ) is that if you stay in any one area too long the fields surrounding your abode come to resemble a mine field. Little mounds everywhere. And about as dangerous. The problem with a large hole for your latrine is that the wastes form a anthill in the middle of the hole and before long there is no clearance right below you. The sides are still not filled in but you either have to move the mound or dig a new hole. But the new and improved cat hole does away with both of these problems. You dig a narrow hole, but much farther down. When you throw dirt on top of your creation the hole is filled up evenly. And it takers awhile to fill up.
*
If you are really lucky, you have a post hole digger which is about the perfect width and allows you to get down pretty far. Otherwise, you must improvise. Stick and can, pointed shovel for reach with a trowel for digging out the loose soil, etc. Dig your first hole before the big event. Then, go a foot or two away ( depending on soil type- the looser the soil the farther away ) and pick the spot for the next hole. Do your business, then go to the second hole and dig out enough soil to cover what you just did, carrying it over to the hole being used. I would actual have enough loose soil already to go. Cut down on the offensive nature quickly. Then, dig out enough for the next time. This way you can dig a little at a time and not kill yourself.
*
In my neck of the woods, there are no woods. I would feel kind of silly squatting over a hole in broad daylight. This is where the plastic bucket with seat inside comes in handy. Do your thing, cover with sawdust or pine shavings if you are wealthy or dirt if you are not. At night you can slink out to your hole and dump in the turds. Like I said, not that exciting of an idea. But to me, it was a forehead slapping "duh". Why didn't I think about that? So, in the spirit of sharing, here you go.
END

Original: http://bisonsurvivalblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/improved-cat-hole.html

Quote of the Day

Fear of destruction and imminent danger are those that will ultimately drive us forward onto survival in the future.
~William Floyd

The Way We Use Water

Originally posted at The ReadyStore Blog

----------------------------------------

The Way We Use Water

Water is the most essential thing you can store in times of emergency. Let me say that again, water is the most essential thing you can store. You can live for weeks without food, but only about 3 days without water. Think of the ways you use water every day: to brush your teeth, to wash your hands, to flush a toilet, to wash dishes, to run your washing machine, to fill a pot for dinner. We use water and we use a lot of it.

It takes about 35-40 gallons of water to fill a bathtub and we use about 5 gallons a minute when we shower. Because water is so accessible and so cheap, it is often hard for us to imagine a time when water might not be available. In areas that have had to enact a boil water order due to an emergency situation, it takes about an hour and a half for bottled water to sell out. Make water storage a priority. 30 gallon drums, 5 gallon stackable water containers and filters such as the MSR miniworks are great ways to get your water storage going.

We need to store a minimum of 14 gallons per person in our household which equals out to a 14 day supply. Half of that is set aside for drinking water and the other half is for things like bathing, laundry, and food prep. Take steps to make water storage a priority and make this essential resource a necessity for your personal preparedness program.


Original: http://getmeready.blogspot.com/2009/01/way-we-use-water.html

The Best Homemade Pickling Spices

By Joseph Parish

Canning recipes generally call for "Pickling Spices" in preserving dill pickles, sweet pickle or perhaps sour pickles. Actually anything that you pickle you will need to use a similar spice even if it is pickled vegetables.

You can easily go to your local supermarket and purchase a readily made supply of pickling spices however I for one like to variety my mixture according to the pickling that I intend to do. Being involving in canning and preserving food for a long time I have accumulated several favorite recipes for pickling spices. The usual ingredient food in most commercial spice mixes are mustard seed, cinnamon, allspice, bay leaves, clove, dill seed, ginger, coriander, peppercorns, mace, juniper berries and cardamom. The particular one that you buy may contain any or all of these spices. In addition, those people who desire a hotter spice mix may care to add items such as crushed hot peppers.

Below I have listed my favorite recipes that contain the basic ingredients. These spices in the mixes that I list can be varied to suit your particular taste depending on what you want the final product to taste like.

Basic Home Made Pickling Spice

2 tablespoons of mustard Seed

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1 tablespoon of whole allspice

1 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons of coriander seeds

1 crumbled bay leaf

2 whole cloves

1 2 inch cinnamon sticks

To begin these recipes combine all the above ingredients and mix well. Store them in an airtight jar or container. Use in creating your favorite pickle recipes wherever it called for pickling spices. This recipe will make 1/3 of a cup.

Spicier Homemade Pickling Spice

1/4 cup of mustard seeds

1/4 cup of dill seed

1/4 cup of coriander seeds

3 Tbsp. of crushed chili peppers

2 Tbsp. of crushed bay leaves

1 Tbsp. of celery seeds

1 Tbsp. of white peppercorns

1 tsp. of black peppercorns

This particular recipe is a bit spicier then the previous one. Merely combine all the listed ingredients together, mix well and store them in an airtight container that remains in a cool, dry location. When you want to use it just place the desired amount of the spices in cheesecloth and use it in your recipes.

Now you have your own dry mix recipes for pickling spices. There is no longer a chance of running out and you may perhaps save some money in the process. Good luck.


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

Link of the Day

Hoods Woods

Ron Hood, a survival instructor, provides useful information on wilderness survival. His on-line survival manual, "Survival, The Last Laugh," is a work in progress and contains much useful and practical information written in an engaging manner. Navigation of the site is a bit rough, but well worth the effort.

Audio Podcast: Mental Simulations of Disaster Scenarios

icon for podpress Episode-125- Mental Simulations of Disaster Scenarios [43:20m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Today we take a look at why we prep, what we prep for and the most important question any person evaluating current theats can ask themselves.

Tune in today to hear…

  • The big question is “what if”, and it unlocks the game plan for survival
  • Using the pandemic disease threat to unlock the fact that the cause is less important then the threat itself
  • Bridging the gap between the tin foil hat world and the more practical survivalists, why is less important that the fact that the results of potential disasters are the same
  • Taking action is only valid if the action is appropriate, asking what if makes you run a scenario and makes you see where your weak and what you would do if a plan fails
  • Why prepping for various disasters is always 90% the same actions no matter what the threat is
  • Why slow and steady preps make a difference and getting paranoid results is failure
  • Could there be a global war, would it result in rationing, curfews, etc. it has before
  • A 12 year old asks, could a war come here
  • Why now is the time to get serious and stay level headed
Original: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/mental-simulations-of-disaster-s

How To...Grow Wheatgrass

As I was perusing craft blogs, which I am prone to do, I came across the idea of growing wheatgrass here and another tutorial here.. It reminded me of college and smoothies. I love smoothies. It looked easy to grow and although it's not lettuce, it technically could be considered a vegetable, right? Well, it's green and my Mom used to make me eat something green every dinner, so green is a big deal to me. So if you didn't have veggies around, wheatgrass could help balance out your meals. Or you could just throw it in smoothies, like me. Yum.


So, grab some wheat and spread it in a single layer in a dish any size. Cover it with water.


Let it sit on your counter top until it sprouts. You can change the water if it gets cloudy.


See the little white things poking out of the wheat kernels?


When the wheat sprouts, fill your chosen container with soil. Any dirt will work.



Drain the water from your wheat and layer the wheat on top of the soil.


I really packed it on there, because of course I germinated too many.



Water the seeds, so the soil is damp.



Then cover the container with saran wrap.


I secured my saran wrap with a rubber band because I buy cheap saran wrap and it never seems to stay.



Place in a dark place, like the pantry.



See, dark.



When the wheat really sprouts, pull it out of the dark.


Uncover.

And place in a sunny location



The same day you put the wheat in the sun the sprouts will perk up and head towards the light.


Really, it's amazing!


After just a few days this is what I had! (Try to ignore the sugar scrub, that was from a different project. Although the recipe is food storage friendly!) I kept watering the wheatgrass when it was dry and when I wanted some grass for smoothies, I just snipped off bunches with scissors and it grew back within days.

It lasted several months (until I stopped watering it) and had a beautiful green color the entire time. Sure to cheer you up during the dark, gray winter months. Go grow some grass!

Original: http://safelygatheredin.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-togrow-wheatgrass.html

An Abundance of Pemmican Recipes

by Joseph Parish

Pemmican is traditionally considered a travel type of food that was popular with the Native North Americans. It generally consisted of slices of buffalo meat or lean venison that had been previously sun dried, then pounded into a paste and finally packed with a mixture of melted fat. This food was then stored in small rawhide bags until needed. Fruits such as wild berries or dried currants were often added to the paste while creating it. The Pacific coast Native Americans would used a compound similar to this but its basic ingredient would be fish.

As mentioned pemmican was considered standard fare for most of the Native American Indians, Traders, Trappers and early Explorers. The dried and powdered meat and fat were rendered together by way of boiling the combination. The fat was mixed with the powdered meat in a one-to-one ratio. It was then poured into something that resembled muffin tins. The beauty of this food is that it's shelf life is perhaps 300 years without any sort of refrigeration being needed. It's calories content is extremely high and meets ones complete nutritional needs, so you could possibly survive on nothing but water and pemmican for a long time.

The Native American's would use this food to make it through many of their harsh winters or if they had extended travel plans. Here are a few recipes for several versions of this emergency food.

Basic Pemmican Recipe

2 cups of raisins
2 cups of dates
Enough Honey to bind the mixture together
2 cups of peanuts, cashews, walnuts or any sort of nut

Grind together all of the above ingredients except for the honey. Add the honey slowly and mix well until the mixture is moist enough to mold into shape. Pour into a muffin type pan to a 3/4 inch depth or you can mold the food directly into small bars. Refrigerate the pan and later cut off bars from the pan. Wrap the bars in aluminum foil. This recipe was originally created as a cold weather trail food and is very high in fat or suet content. The honey is substitutes for the suet as a binder for the finished product. If desired you could put suet in it for any cold weather trip you may have planned. This recipe makes five to ten servings.

Saskatoon Pemmican

1 cups of either beef or venison jerky
1 cup of dried Saskatoon berries (You can substitute dried blueberries)
1 cup of unroasted sunflower seeds (you can substitute any sort of crushed nuts)
2 teaspoon of honey
1/4 cup of peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne powder (this is optional)

This version uses peanut butter in place of lard or melted suet for use as a binding agent. It also is a bit more palatable in many of our health conscious diets that are used today. Grind the dried meat to a powder. Now add the dried berries. After mixing well add your seeds or nuts and mix further. Apply heat to the honey, peanut butter and the cayenne powder if used until the mixture becomes soft. Blend all together. When it cool you can store it in a plastic bag or a sausage casing. Store your Pemmican in a cool dry place. This food will keep for many months. This recipe makes about 3 cups.

Another Pemmican Recipe

2 cups of shredded beef jerky or buffalo jerky
1 cup of chopped chokeberries that have been dried out
6 Tablespoon of tallow or melted butter

Combine all of the above ingredients together and form into six patties. Refrigerate the patties until time to serve them. This recipe makes about 6 servings.

And yet another recipe for making Pemmican

1 Batch = 3 1/2 pounds

You will need to start with four cups of dried meat depending upon how lean it is you may require one to two pounds per cup. Do not use pork or bear meat but rather use only moose, deer, caribou or even beef. Be sure to get your meat as lean as possible have the butcher double grind it if you do not have a meat grinder. Spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet making sure to get it very thin. Place it in your oven and dry it out at 180 degrees overnight. The meat should be crispy and sinewy. Next, regrind the meat until it is a powder.

Take 3 cups of your favorite dried fruit. You can use currents, apricots, dates or dried apples. Grind them up but leave some a bit on the lumpy side to provide texture to your product. Take two cups of beef fat and cut it into small chunks and heat it over the stove on medium heat. What you are after is the tallow from it which is the liquid. This can then be poured off and carefully strained.

You will require some unsalted nuts and a bit of honey.

Continue by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand. Divide the mixture into four portions and store in a plastic storage bag. The mixture will last for a considerable amount of time without refrigeration.

You can vary the fat content according to the temperature you will be using the product in. Use less for summer and more for winter weather.

And still another Pemmican recipe:

8 oz. of very dry and crumbly Jerky
8 oz. of Raisins
8 oz. of unroasted nuts
8 oz. of chopped and dried Apricots
8 oz. of chopped and dried Peaches
8 oz of dried Blueberries
2 teaspoons of Honey
4 teaspoons of Peanut Butter
3/4 teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper

Grind the jerky into a powder and add the nuts and fruit. Heat up the honey and the Peanut Butter until soft then blend them by hand into the mixture. Add the Cayenne Pepper making sure to work it thoroughly into the mixture. Put your finished pemmican in plastic bags or pack it into common sausage casings. maintain your pemmican in a cool and dry place. This product will be usable indefinitely.


original: http://survival-training.info/articles7/AnAbundanceofPemmicanRecipes.htm

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