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Friday, July 30, 2010

Two Preparedness Resources—The Food Storage Calculator and Free Disaster Guidebook from The 7 Store

It’s been quite a while since I’ve mentioned The 7 Store, but they’ve got a huge variety of preparedness products and resources for you. They manufacture, package and ship storage food from their own warehouses, so you know what you’re getting is fresh. Speaking of storage food, they’ve got a nifty storage food calculator on their site. If you’ve been wondering how many pounds of rice, beans, honey, etc. you need to set by to have a year’s supply, the food storage calculator is what you need.
You can go to The 7 Store’s site by clicking on the banner for them below. From any page on their site, click the Food Storage Calculator link on the sidebar to the left. On the page that comes up, simply enter the number of people in your household and click “Calculate.” You’ll see the numbers filled in on the chart.
If this food storage calculator is helpful for you, leave a comment here and let others know.
Another resource I want to draw to your attention today is the free Disaster Guidebook. Do you know the 7 Steps to Preparedness? Do you know how to prepare for an emergency or disaster? This emergency guidebook has emergency checklists, preparedness tips, and a lot more.
You can download the Disaster Guidebook for free on your computer or purchase a copy in print. It’s very inexpensive. Plus, you have the opportunity to buy multiple copies for friends, coworkers, church groups, or whatever else you may have in mind for getting the word out about preparedness for survival.
The page where you get the Disaster Guidebook shows the ctable of contents, but in a nutshell, here are the 7 Steps to Preparedness:
1. Create a Plan of Action and Know what to do.
2. Prepare items for Quick Action
3. Preparing for up to 1 year
4. Long Term – Self Sufficiency
5. Complete Preparedness – Review your situation…
6. Recovery – Learn the steps taken to return to normal life.
7. Mitigate- Actions taken to prevent or reduce the effects of future disasters.
To download the free Disaster guidebook, click on the banner below, and click on the link for Disaster Guidebook on the left sidebar. You’ll be taken to the page where it’s featured. Download a copy, buy a copy or two, or both. Take advantage of the valuable information you get from both the Food Storage Calculator and the free Disaster guidebook. It’s easy. Get to either one from the sidebar on the left side of the page at The 7 Store. Do it today and you’ll be one step closer to preparedness for tomorrow.

Make a Common Sense Urban/Wilderness Survival Kit

Guest post by Leon Pantenburg, Survival Common Sense

One aspect of  the “prepper” philosophy is  “Common Sense.”  After all, it is just common sense to plan for the future, regardless of what may or may not happen. That’s why we have retirement funds, car, home and health insurance and regular well-checks with the doctor. Planning ahead is also why you may stick an umbrella in your brief case or carry a light jacket on a sunny day. And it would be stupid to not carry a spare tire and tools to change a flat!
So when it comes to wilderness or urban survival, being prepared is just common sense, and you should insert a healthy dose of that commodity into any disaster or emergency planning.
survival compass bad weather fire gear 002 300x200 Make a Common Sense Urban/Wilderness Survival KitCarry survival gear in your wallet. I always have (from left) firestarter, charcloth (in a waterproof, plastic bag) and a signal mirror with me.
So, I propose that you, a prepper, should also make a compact, easy-to-carry wilderness and/or urban survival kit to include with all your other survival gear.
Ask yourself these questions to get started:
  • Can I dunk a basketball? I can’t. Never could. But watch any NBA game and you’ll see the guys slam the ball home at every opportunity. If you watch the survival “reality” shows, you may also see incredible techniques done routinely, under the worst circumstances. So what? Use the common sense filter. Just because somebody can dunk a basketball or perform wondrous survival techniques on TV doesn’t mean you can, or might be able to learn. Don’t rely on gee-whiz technology or esoteric aboriginal survival techniques. The idea is to survive, and during a disaster: You won’t have time for on-the-job training!
  • Do I know anything? Be honest! It doesn’t matter how much survival stuff you have.  It’s worthless if you can’t, or don’t know how, to use it. Take a good look at your skills and abilities, and face your inadequacies. (See on-the-job training, above.)
  • Will I make a commitment to learn? Again, be honest, and don’t put this off. If you don’t know how to perform first aid or make an emergency shelter, learn now. Sign up for a community college course, read good survival books, and talk to folks like the Search and Rescue people who are actually using these skills. If a disaster happens this afternoon, maybe all you will have to work with is what you’ve got.
  • What gear is practical? I am honored to serve as an assistant scoutmaster of a Boy Scout Troop in Bend, Oregon. Over the past 10 years, I’ve noticed a lot of “survival gear” that is nothing more than expensive junk. Talk to someone in the know, and find out what urban or wilderness survival gear they use. Assess those items with your skill level and then decide what you need.
  • Will I make a commitment to carry this survival kit with me? The best gear in the world does you no good if you don’t have it with you! Your survival kit must be compact and convenient to carry or it will get left behind.
survival pocket gear 025 300x200 Make a Common Sense Urban/Wilderness Survival KitHere's one way to keep some of the basic survival tools with you at all times. On the keyring: LED flashlight, fingernail clippers, whistle, Boy Scout Hot Spark firemaker and Classic Swiss Army knife. The other knife rides in a pouch on my belt, wherever it is legal.
Here are a few suggestions, once you’ve made a survival kit commitment:
  • Make your own: Commercial kits may include cheap and worthless things in them to keep the cost down. The components in my pocket-sized Altoids tin kit would cost about $50 to $60 to replace. My life is worth that to me!
  • Can you use everything in the kit? Using some suggested items (remember that dunk shot?)  may be beyond your skill levels. Your choice is to learn how to use everything, or replace that particular component.
  • Don’t let your survival kit give you a false sense of confidence. Gear doesn’t replace knowledge.
  • A survival kit is not a substitute for your Ten Essentials: Every survival book or website has some variation of this basic list of essential outdoor tools. Some of the items are common sense, such as a survival knife, fire-making gear, extra clothing, and a map and compass. Always make sure you have all the recommended items with you!
Finally, apply the common sense filter to anything associated with your survival. Beware of “survival experts” websites, TV shows and articles. Just because someone has a website, logo, book or magazine column doesn’t mean they know anything!
View any information with your eyes open and apply the common sense filter. If your BS alarm starts to go off, there is probably a good reason for it! And how about that dunk shot!
© 2010, thesurvivalmom. All rights reserved.
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How to start a preparedness dialogue with your spouse


I wrote this as the first part of a series for a different site but I think it's pertinent to everyone. Let me know what you think.
Over the last four years this modern survivalism kick has grown by leaps and bounds. As more people are realizing the fragility of our food distribution, infrastructure, and witnessing our government's failures to act, survivalism has become less of a paranoid delusion and more of a rational method of risk mitigation. Whether your own journey began as a sportsman looking for wilderness survival tools, or as a political observer understanding that we are never more than 72 hours from civil unrest, we can all see how sensitive our society has become to minor interruptions.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from men and women getting started with prepping is the reluctance of their husbands or wives to get on board with preparedness. They hear the same things from their spouses as they do from the media: "oh, you're just paranoid", "that kind of thing will never happen, this is America", and of course, "I think you're over reacting". As much as you may know their naivete is dangerous, you'll never gain their support without first demonstrating compassion and wisdom. So, hopefully we can give you some communicative tools to help open a positive and productive dialogue with your significant other, so that they may come to understand your concerns and work with you to establish a better level of readiness.

First we must attach a personal investment to the situation. For men approaching women this can usually be done by asking if she would feel better by knowing there is always enough food, water, and medicine for 30 days in the house. The inevitable answer is yes, she would feel relieved. Which will touch upon her emotional needs to be provided for and safe. However, there will be a "but". So you hear her out and then explain how it's a better situation financially because you're going to need the food anyways and you can then wait for good sales to replenish the shelves. Saving money and reducing expenses, which introduces the rational argument. Then volunteer your time to go with her to the supermarket, stating that it can be something you do together which will once again tie into her emotional need for intimacy. Though we may not be winning her over to a fully-stocked homestead in Montana, its a start.

For women approaching men it is always easiest to explain the brass tacks rational side without making him feel disrespected. By involving his instinctual nature to keep his family safe a statement like, "I know you've been looking at ways to reduce our expenses and this will make me feel better. Maybe I can get around to organizing the pantry, too", will play on many areas of great concern to a man. Another way you can get an outdoorsy-type interested is by asking if he has a survival kit in his pack, boat, or tacklebox. Then asking what's in it and why. Men love to "talk shop" and will exude confidence when engaged in conversation where he feels respected. If he doesn't have a kit, tell him you'd feel better if he had one, and you'd like him to put one together for you, too. Once again touching on his need to protect you and making him feel respected for his abilities as a man.

Secondly, survivalism is the wrong word. We first spoke about this subject in the article Defining our cause and Perspective. The implication is that we are trying to run off into the woods ala Red Dawn in order to fight off the Russian invasion. Because of our society's inclination to believe such Hollywood non-sense, you must address what you do not mean so that you are not taken for a wannabe Rambo. Explain to your significant other that what you want is a better quality of life brought on by less worries about the "what if's". Plan your preps around your lifestyle and trying to keep that alive for as long as possible, even when Murphy throws some curves your way.

Lastly, use common sense. There is no need to approach your significant other with an argument or hostile tone. "Because I'm the man and I said so" will only cause resentment and bitterness, and due to association, every time you re-approach the subject you will have to overcome that hurdle. Approach your spouse with the heart of a teacher, explaining gently that you have concerns, but also a plan. And that you would like their help in the process.

Your husband or wife may not catch the fever, but that's alright. You'll be started on your baby steps and as we know, every journey begins with a single step. To add, circumstances surrounding us will always be changing. We can point to current events an explain their ability to significantly interrupt your lives if it had hit just a little bit closer and maybe, over time, they will begin to understand the need for preparedness. As always, approach your spouse with love, wisdom, and compassion. If that doesn't work, bribe them with ice cream.