How To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps

How To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | How-to-Survive-Anything-in-3-Easy-Steps | PreparednessSurvival

You can have enough food to ride out 15 years of Armageddon. You can have a fully stocked retreat or a bunker. You can have so much ammo stashed that your floorboards are groaning.  You may have followed your favorite preparedness book’s How To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1496092589 | PreparednessSurvival guidelines to the letter, and thus have all of the physical aspects of survival in place.

But regardless of this, you may not be fully prepared.

Because surprisingly enough, none of these is an indication of “the prepper mindset.” Those items are a great start, but until your head is fully involved in the game, you’re not actually prepared.

To me, the pinnacle of preparedness is a way of thinking about pretty much everything you encounter. It’s a unique way of looking at a situation, assessing the options, and acting that defines the prepper mindset. Think about any stressful situation that has ever happened to you.  Once you accepted the fact that it had happened you were able to set a course of action. Once you had definitive steps to take, you probably felt much calmer. You took control of the things you could, and you executed your plan.  Only by taking that first step – accepting that this mishap had indeed occurred – could you take the next two.

There are 3 steps to handling any crisis with aplomb. While the execution isn’t always easy, making these steps second nature will greatly increase your chances of survival, no matter what kind of disaster you are facing.

1.) Accept.

No matter what situation comes your way, the first step is to accept that whatever the event is, it really happened.  This is tougher than it sounds, because our minds are programmed to protect us from emotional trauma.  Cognitive dissonance means that when a reality is uncomfortable or doesn’t jive with a person’s beliefs, that person may opt to believe in something false just to assuage his desire for comfort. Psychologist Leon Festinger, who identified the principal of cognitive dissonance, suggestedHow To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B004LGSD08 | PreparednessSurvival  “that a motivational state of inner tension is triggered by logically inconsistent ways of thinking.”

If you’re wondering exactly how powerful cognitive dissonance can be, check out Amanda Ripley’s book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and WhyHow To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0307352900 | PreparednessSurvival .  Ripley, a journalist, covered many disasters of immense scale: plane crashes, natural disasters, and 9/11.  She became curious about the difference between those who survived, and those who did not, wondering if it was dumb luck or if there was some other quality that made survival more likely. She interviewed hundreds of survivors and got her answer.  The ability to immediately accept what was occurring was the quality most of the survivors possessed.

The story that stands out in my mind the most was the one about the people in the World Trade Center on September 11. They described the last time they saw some of their coworkers.  There were many people who simply could not accept the fact that a plane had crashed into the building and that they must immediately evacuate. They gathered their belongs, tidied their desks, finished reports. They didn’t feel the same sense of urgency that those who survived did, because the situation was so horrible that they just couldn’t accept it. Their inability to accept the scope of the danger caused many of them to perish in a tragic incident that other people, who acted immediately, survived.

When disaster strikes, you can’t spend 5 minutes thinking, “This can’t actually be happening.”  It is happening, and moving past accepting that propels you through the first step into the second one.

2.) Plan.

Once you’ve accepted that this incident is indeed going down, you must devise a plan. It’s a whole lot easier to come up with a plan if you’ve spent just a little bit of time doing that previously.

This is where more mental preparedness skills come into play. Last week I put together a list for “Prepper Movie Night.” To build your prepper mindset, develop the habit of watching situations unfold and thinking through them.  What would you do in such a situation? What are the potential pitfalls? What is likely to go wrong?

Watching movies and reading books with survival situations is like a dry run for actual events. Obviously, it’s not the same as having an actual experience, but it’s a good way to practice the skills of assessing a situation and making a plan.

You can also work on building your awareness.  My friend Graywolf told me about “Kim’s Game“.  He said,

Groups including everything from the Boy Scouts to sniper schools to government spy agencies and surveillance teams use a simple game to teach situational awareness and develop your memory. This is a fantastic game that you can play with your kids or your team to get them to be much better at noticing and remembering details.

The game is based on a book by Rudyard KiplingHow To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0486445089 | PreparednessSurvival , and it teaches you to immediately observe your surroundings and commit these observations to memory. I have played a version of this with my kids for years, asking them questions like:

  • What are 3 things you could use in this restaurant as a weapon?
  • Can you find 3 ways out of this building?
  • Can you close your eyes and tell me how many people are sitting at the counter? What do they look like?

The habit of observing and absorbing information before a situation occurs will help in the creation of your plan. You don’t have to spend the extra time taking in the specifics, because you’ve already done so automatically.

When you make your plan, don’t stop at just one.  The best-laid plans are at the mercy of a fluid situation, and disaster often comes in bundles. If your Plan A doesn’t work, you must immediately go back to Step 1 and accept that it didn’t work, then move on to Plan B.

3.) Act.

Finally, this is the step that will save your life.  You’ve accepted the situation, and made your plan. Now, it’s time to act.

This sounds easier than it is.  Many people freeze in a disaster situation.  The ability to break this paralysis is paramount to your survival.

“Freezing” is called “tonic immobility” in behavioral science and it is a biological impulse.  A study exploring the “freeze response” to stressors, describes the reaction:

Part of Barlow’s (2002) description of an adaptive alarm model suggests that a freeze response may occur in some threatening situations. Specifically, freezing — or tonic immobility — may overwhelm other competing action tendencies. For example, when fleeing or aggressive responses are likely to be ineffective, a freeze response may take place.

Similar to the flight/fight response, a freeze response is believed to have adaptive value. In the context of predatory attack, some animals will freeze or “play dead.” This response, often referred to as tonic immobility (Gallup, 1977), includes motor and vocal inhibition with an abrupt initiation and cessation… Freezing in the context of an attack seems counterintuitive. However, tonic immobility may be the best option when the animal perceives little immediate chance of escaping or winning a fight (Arduino & Gould, 1984; Korte, Koolhaas, Wingfield, & McEwen, 2005). For example, tonic immobility may be useful when additional attacks are provoked by movement or when immobility may increase the chance of escaping, such as when a predator believes its prey to be dead and releases it.

Some of our data suggested that reports of freeze were more highly associated with certain cognitive symptoms of anxiety (e.g., confusion, unreality, detached, concentration, inner shakiness). This leads to some very interesting speculation regarding whether freeze responses are also manifested cognitively (i.e., the cognitive system, together with the behavioral system, being shut down). There has been some speculation that a form of cognitive paralysis occurs due to immense cognitive demands that occur in the context of life-threatening situations or stressors (Leach, 2005).

So, in the context of this particular study, the freeze response could be related to an overload of stimuli because of the demands of creating your plan.  By having thought through various situations and getting into the habit of quickly developing plans, you can override your body’s natural desire to “freeze” and you can take definitive, potentially life-saving, action.

In an emergency, hesitation can kill you. The faster you can move through steps one and two, and then act, the more likely you are to escape many situations.

Please keep in mind that sometimes, your action actually seems like inaction. For example, a person who is aware they would have little chance of victory in a direct combat situation against a stronger, more experienced opponent might take the action of hiding and being very still. Sheltering in place in some situations is a better course of action than proceeding out into more danger.  The key is to think clearly and assess each situation on its own merit.

Here are some examples.

You don’t have to be in the midst of a terrorist attack or on a crashing plane to apply the three steps above.  Here are a few examples of apply the three steps above to other situations:

Job Loss: In this economy, the possibility of job loss is not that far-fetched.  If the primary bread-winner in your home became suddenly unemployed, here’s how the 3-step Survival Method would apply:

  1. The job is gone. The income source is gone. You can’t go out to an expensive dinner like you’d planned, or take that pricey vacation, because as of now, you have no income. You must not act as though your income is the same as it was yesterday.
  2. You go through your bank records.  You check how much money is going out, how much you have, and figure out what expenses you can cut. You check your pantryHow To Survive Anything In 3 Easy Steps | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1495933415 | PreparednessSurvival  and calculate how long the food will last.
  3. You take decisive action, immediately cancelling cable, pushing back the family vacation indefinitely, sending out newly-rewritten resumes, and dialing back the grocery bill. You sell some stuff just sitting in your basement and you fill out the paperwork for unemployment insurance.

Car Accident: Sometimes the aftermath of an accident is more dangerous than the accident itself.

  1. Your car is halfway down a ravine, held in place by a groaning tree that could give at any moment. Below you is a sheer drop off. You have to get your kids out of the car before it plunges further down, because no one could survive that.
  2. You assess the kids and it seems everyone is conscious and relatively uninjured. The car, however, is not so great and could tumble the rest of the way down at any moment. The electronics on the car are working. You speak calmly to them and explain that they will be going out the back window  driver window one at a time. They are to immediately run to the left and get as far away from the vehicle as possible. You will be right behind them. The meeting point is the top of the hill by the big rock.
  3. You roll down the window, cut a jammed seat belt with the knife from the console, and wait for the kids to get out and clear of the vehicle. Then, you make your own escape.

Convenience Store Robbery:  Occasionally, you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  1. As you’re browsing through the cooler checking the price of a bottle of water, you hear a crash, then shouting up near the cash register. It’s not a movie, a robbery is actually going down.
  2. You listen and realize the criminal is armed. You are, too, but you have your small children with you, so taking aggressive action is not an option. You decide that your best bet is to hide, but be ready to defend if necessary.
  3. You duck down and whisper to the kids to be quiet. You direct them to a hidey-hole, you pull your weapon, and you get between them and anyone that might come down the aisle. Then, you wait.

Evacuation Order: This almost happened to us last year during forest fire season.

  1. There is a giant fire drawing near. It is entirely possible that everything you own will go up in smoke. You have 15 minutes to get out.
  2. You grab the bug out bags, the safe full of documents, the pet carriers, and the photo albums. You also get swim goggles for the whole family and respirator masks out of your kit.
  3. Pets, kids, and important items are loaded in the vehicle. You’re already down the road in 10 minutes, while other people are still trying to put together an overnight bag.

Have you ever had to use your prepper mindset to survive?

Studying situations in which others have survived is a valuable way to develop your prepper mindset. Have you ever been caught up in the midst of a situation where your preparedness mindset was helpful?  Want to tell us about it?


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Top 10 Overlooked Survival Tips You Need To Know Today

Top 10 Overlooked Survival Tips You Need To Know Today | emergency-disaster | News Articles PreparednessSurvival

By: Tracey Watson, NaturalNews.com | 

Let’s face it: The world is a scary place to be living in right now. Many countries are dealing with serious political instability and the threat of terrorism; economic turmoil is pervasive worldwide; Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, has warned that antibiotic-resistance might “mean the end of modern medicine as we know it;” and then we still have to contend with good old-fashioned natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. The potential for collapse is immense, but instead of worrying endlessly, what we should be doing is preparing to face whatever comes our way.

Ask a Prepper provides a comprehensive list of survival hacks that can be implemented ahead of time to cope with just about anything nature or humans might throw our way.

  1. Hide your valuables: While it might be a good idea to hide your valuables so that they can’t be stolen, it is equally as important to remember where you stashed them. A good idea would be to bury them somewhere in your garden and then take a photo of a family member standing in that spot. Put copies of the photo in the family bug out bags, and make sure everyone knows what they’re for.
  2. Improve your fitness: Any stressful situation calls for physical endurance, and there is always the possibility that you might have to carry injured people, the elderly or children to a place of safety. So, take the time now to get fit so that you’re up to the task when called upon. You’ll be protecting your health and longevity at the same time.
  3. Move to the ‘burbs: While convenience might make living in the city an attractive prospect, from a survival point of view it’s a really bad option. In any collapse situation cities become hotbeds of mayhem. Being in a safe area out in the suburbs will be far safer, and will likely save you money on your mortgage in the meantime!
  4. Rotate your survival foods: While stockpiling food is obviously essential, the problem lies in keeping it fresh and not wasting money on food that goes bad. An excellent suggestion is to keep taking food from one side of your shelf and replacing it with fresh cans or boxes on the other end of the shelf.
  5. Make sure you’ve got baking soda: Baking soda has a myriad of health benefits, and most importantly, in a survival scenario it will protect your dental health. All you need is to mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with half a teaspoon of water to form a paste, and then use it to brush your teeth. [RELATED: Discover the cancer-fighting properties of baking soda and lemon.]
  6. Learn about the trees and plants in your environment: Whether you’re making a rope, looking for drinkable sap or simply starting a fire, the plants and trees in your immediate surroundings are an invaluable resource. Start learning about what’s in your area now, and how best to utilize it in a time of need.
  7. Plan your escape: Everyone in your family should receive SERE (survival, evasion, resistance and escape) training, which involves learning when to rest, move and hide, among other things.
  8. Be ready to secure your person and property: Civil society quickly disintegrates into violent gangs in a collapse situation, so you need to be able to protect yourself and your family. Purchase things like bulletproof vests and barbed wire ahead of time for this purpose.
  9. Be careful who you tell: Don’t tell anyone anything they don’t need to know. Someone might inadvertently reveal important information about your plans, compromising your security. Even your family members should be informed on a “need-to-know” basis.
  10. Make sure everyone knows the escape plan: Since you never know where everyone might be in case of an emergency, every member of the family needs to know exactly where to meet, how to get there, and any other relevant information. Plan ahead and have family drills so you can be sure of exact time-frames.

We all hope we never to have to deal with a natural disaster or other collapse situation, but if you take the preparatory steps above, you will be in the best possible position to keep your family safe. [RELATED: For more tips like these see Bugout.news]

Sources:

AskAPrepper.com

NaturalNews.com


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Traumatic Brain Injuries in Survival Settings

Traumatic Brain Injuries in Survival Settings | traumatic-brain-injury | Medical & Health PreparednessSurvival

Injuries are part and parcel of a long-term survival scenario. Many realize that good boots, gloves, and even protective eyewear will prevent many of these injuries, but few will take action to protect against head injuries.

Most head injuries cause superficial damage and are not life-threatening. Indeed, most amount to only a laceration of the scalp, a black eye, or a painful bump. These wounds, however, can hide damage inside the cranium, the part of the skull that contains the brain.

Injuries that affect the brain are called traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). It’s important for the medic to recognize when trauma to the skull has caused damage that is more than superficial.

Concussions – The Most Common TBI

Concussions are the most common type of TBI. A concussion is associated with a variety of symptoms that are often immediately apparent. The presentation of a concussion will vary from one individual to the next.

Although you might expect a loss of consciousness, the victim often remains completely alert. As you might imagine, pain at the site of injury or headache is the most commonly seen symptom.

Others include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Loss of motor coordination
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Ringing in the ear (also called “tinnitus”)
  • Difficulty concentrating

A person with trauma to the head may be knocked unconsciousness for a period of time. In most cases, they will “wake up” in less than 2 minutes, but you can notice them to be “foggy” and behave inappropriately (put me in, coach!). They may not remember the events that led to the injury. This patient will merit close observation for the next 48 hours.

Examine the victim for evidence of superficial injuries and determine that they has normal motor function. This includes making sure they can move all their extremities with full range and strength. Even so, rest is prescribed for the remainder of the day. When your patient goes to bed, it will be appropriate to awaken them every two or three hours to make sure that they are easily aroused. In most cases, a concussion causes no permanent damage unless there are multiple episodes of head trauma over time, as in the case of, say, boxers.

It should be noted that a physical strike to the head is not necessary to suffer a concussion. A particularly jarring football tackle or the violent shaking of an infant can cause a concussion or worse traumatic brain injury. This is because the brain “bounces” against the walls of the cranium. When injury occurs at the site of a blow to the head, it’s called a “coup” injury. Just as often, it can occur on the opposite site of the head, known as a “contrecoup” injury.

In many cases, evidence of direct trauma to the skull is visible. An “open” head injury means that the skull has been penetrated with possible exposure of the brain tissue. If the skull is not fractured, it is referred to as a “closed” injury. An indentation of the skull is clear evidence of a fracture and the outlook may be grim, due to the likelihood of bleeding or swelling in the brain. A closed injury may still become life-threatening for the same reasons.

The brain requires blood and oxygen to function normally. An injury which causes bleeding or swelling inside the skull will increase the intracranial pressure. This causes the heart to work harder to get blood and oxygen into the brain. Blood accumulation (known as a hematoma”) could occur within the brain tissue itself, or between the layers of tissue covering the brain.

Without adequate circulation, brain function ceases. Pressure that is high enough could actually cause a portion of the brain to push downward through the base of the skull. This is known as a “brain herniation” and, without modern medical care, will almost invariably lead to death

Signs and Symptoms of Serious TBI

There are a number of signs and symptoms which might identify those patients that have a serious TBI. Besides an obvious indentation in the skull, they include:

  • Prolonged loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions (Seizures)
  • Worsening headache over time
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bruising (around eyes and ears)
  • Bleeding from ears and nose
  • Worsening confusion/apathy/drowsiness
  • One pupil more dilated than the other

If the period of unconsciousness is over 10 minutes in length, you must suspect the possibility of significant injury. Vital signs such as pulse, respiration rate, and blood pressure should be monitored closely. The patient’s head should be immobilized, and attention should be given to the neck and spine, in case they are also damaged. Verify that the airway is clear and breathing is regular. In a collapse, this person is in a life-threatening situation that will have few curative options if consciousness is not regained.

Other signs of a traumatic brain injury are the appearance of bruising behind the ears (Battle’s sign) or around the eyes (raccoon sign). These signs may occur despite the point of impact being elsewhere. Presence of Raccoon or Battle sign suggests a fracture with internal bleeding. Bleeding from the ear itself or nose without direct trauma to those areas is another indication. The fluid that drains out may be clear, usually representing leakage of spinal fluid.

In addition, intracranial bleeding may cause pressure that compresses nerves that lead to the pupils. In this case, you will notice that your unconscious patient has one pupil more dilated than the other.

The Final Word

Luckily, most head injuries will be minor and the effects temporary. Major traumatic brain injuries will be difficult for the survival medic to effectively treat, just one of the hard realities that face the caregiver in long-term survival.


 Joe and Amy Alton are the authors of the 3 category #1 Amazon Bestseller “The Survival Medicine Handbook“.  See their articles in Backwoods Home, Survival Quarterly, and other great magazines as well as their website at www.doomandbloom.net. The opinions voiced by Joe Alton, MD, and Amy Alton, ARNP. are their own and are not meant to take the place of seeking medical help from a qualified healthcare provider.


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How to Survive World War 3: Prepping for a US Mainland Conflict

How to Survive World War 3: Prepping for a US Mainland Conflict | world-war-31 | PreparednessSurvival Special Interests US News

Aside from everyone nuking each other into mutually assured obsolescence, the World War 3 worst-case scenario for Americans would be if the conflict reached the American mainland. An invasion. A massive assault.

The ideas seem unlikely, considering that the last time there was a  full-on war on the American mainland was during the American Civil War. Previous to that, there were some foreign invasions but our land has been protected from battles against other countries almost two centuries.

But is it really so far fetched?

There is a great deal of debate about whether it could happen. I can’t predict the future, but I can analyze the possible threats and make suggestions for preparing for such an event.

In parts 1 and 2 of this series, I wrote about surviving if war erupted on distant shores. Part 3 was some predictions about how it could go down.

In all of this uncertainty, one thing remains sure: it would be an entirely different ballgame if the battle came to us.

Why have we been safe in previous World Wars?

There are many theories about why the United States has been safe during previous conflicts. Here are a few reasons that foreign armies haven’t invaded.

  • The Second Amendment: Americans are armed to the teeth. Most other countries on the planet do not have an armed citizenry. The fact that almost half of the country is armed and that there are more than 357 million civilian firearms (and that is just the number of guns that are registered – unregistered estimates boost the number as high as 600 million) means that a foreign army on the ground would face major resistance. However, in certain anti-gun strongholds like Chicago, New York City, and Southern California, the risk of resistance would decrease accordingly. As well, an unfortunate downturn in gun ownership also weakens us.
  • Trained and organized forces: We already have an organized military, from our armed forces to the National Guard. Add to this our police forces, sheriff’s departments, and our veterans, and there are many trained people on our soil at all times. Many states have citizen militias that train regularly as well.
  • Geographic isolation: A stealthy invasion would be very difficult due to our isolation. A land invasion would have to come through Canada or Mexico. Canada would most definitely resist, although Mexico could be a wild card, especially with our strained relations. And crossing the Pacific or Atlantic with enough soldiers for a physical invasion of a country with millions of people wouldn’t exactly be a subtle process either. Our advanced warning systems would detect breaches in airspace or waters of any force large enough to do this. Add to this the fact that our Navy is almost triple the size of the next biggest naval force on the planet. (China)

This doesn’t mean a mainland conflict is impossible, though.

While this appears to be the least likely scenario, it doesn’t make it impossible.

During a chat with a military friend, he said that if he were going to invade the mainland, he’d collapse the economy first. As preppers, we all know that an economic collapse would lead to internal strife. Our on-the-ground military and police forces would be busy trying to maintain some type of order. Martial law would probably be declared.

Then, incoming forces would be able to sway the minds of many people with the idea of freedom from this martial law. Think about how easily many people in the younger generation have been co-opted by idealized notions of communism or socialism, and you’ll realize this isn’t such a far-out concept.

An invasion like this would be a psychological operation (psy-op) more than a typical battle.

And, as much as we’d like to believe it is, our airspace and waters are not 100% impenetrable. There have been near-intrusions into both in recent months. Back in February, a Russian spy ship was reported only 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut. In early April, increased Naval aircraft patrols sparked concerns that a Russian or North Korean submarine might be lurking off the coast of California. Later in April, Russian military planes were flying uncomfortably close to US airspace near Alaska for 4 days in a row. Those types of intrusions indicate the possibility of attack rather than invasion. If we were crippled by a massive attack, the invasion part would probably follow closely behind.

What are the most likely scenarios?

These things nearly always start out with a shocking event that no one saw coming. Think back in history to the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the German invasion of Poland in the wee hours of the morning. No one went to be the night before expecting all hell to break loose the next day, with enemy soldiers overhead or encroaching.

Nuclear Attack

Border and coastal areas would be most vulnerable to initial attacks by air or sea. Nuclear weapons are likely to be used in such attacks. Those living close enough to potential targets need to get their nuclear preparedness plan in order, just in case.

Kim Jong Un can’t shut up about his plans to nuke America and Russia recently backed out of a disarmament agreement, failing to dispose of enough weapons-grade plutonium to make 17,000 nuclear warheads. The North Korean leader keeps doing unauthorized missile tests to prove his nuclear potential. In fact, yesterday, one of his missiles landed a mere 60 miles off the coast of Russia.

Cyber Attack

A cyber attack could take many directions, but the most likely would be crippling the internet and/or the financial sector. It’s possible that US Defense computers could also be affected. Any of these would cause chaos in the day-to-day affairs of many people. Last week’s Ransomware attack would only be a drop in the bucket compared to the havoc that could be wrought.

  • You might not be able to use bank or credit cards, causing business transactions to grind to a halt.
  • You might not be able to complete your work (most places rely on the internet for at least part of their business activities.)
  • The market would potentially crash or shut down, causing billions to be lost in a day.
  • If defense technology was hacked, we might not be able to see or prevent a physical attack.

Grid Attack

Something that would definitely cause our country to grind to a halt would be an attack on the grid. Whether through an EMP or a cyber attack, anything that shut down our ability to use electrical power would be crippling.

Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, predicted that a full 90% of Americans would die. R. James Woolsley, chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, testified to the committee of the potential ramifications:

“It’s briefly dealt with in the commission report of [2008]. There are essentially two estimates on how many people would die from hunger, from starvation, from lack of water, and from social disruption. One estimate is that within a year or so, two-thirds of the United States population would die. The other estimate is that within a year or so, 90% of the U.S. population would die. We’re talking about total devastation. We’re not talking about just a regular catastrophe.” (source)

It would be an easy thing for nearly any invading force to come in after something like that.

Biological Attacks

A biological attack could take many forms. It could be the release of a virus, but this would be risky for the enemy country as well, as these things are difficult to contain. It could be something released into water supplies in large metropolitan areas.

The Department of Homeland Security provides this description:

A biological attack is the intentional release of a pathogen (disease causing agent) or biotoxin (poisonous substance produced by a living organism) against humans, plants, or animals. An attack against people could be used to cause illness, death, fear, societal disruption, and economic damage. An attack on agricultural plants and animals would primarily cause economic damage, loss of confidence in the food supply, and possible loss of life. It is useful to distinguish between two kinds of biological agents:

  • Transmissible agents that spread from person to person (e.g., smallpox, Ebola) or animal to animal (e.g., foot and mouth disease).
  • Agents that may cause adverse effects in exposed individuals but that do not make those individuals contagious to others (e.g., anthrax, botulinum toxin). (source)

Attacks from Within

In what just might be the most chilling prospect of all, an attack from within our own borders could be devastating. This is a scenario that seems more likely in a place like Germany, where unchecked immigration of young men of fighting age leads to the potential of a fighting force of millions already in place.

However, look at our own civil unrest since the election of President Trump. Have you ever seen the country so divided? As Americans fight with each other, would it be so difficult to imagine the different “sides” aligning with other powers? Regardless of whether you think the pro-Trump people are the worst or the AntiFa people are, this divisiveness and hatred weakens us as a country and opens the door to foreign interference.

When you add to this the suspicions that some of this division is suspected to have been funded by professional sh*t disturber George Soros, you need not look very far back in history to see that Soros has a record of promoting unrest and destabilization for financial gain. And when you consider our own media has aligned itself against the President, an attack from within isn’t a huge stretch of the imagination.

Take that scenario a bit further and consider the proxy war being fought in Syria right now between the US and Russia. Should all hell break loose within America, even if other countries aren’t directly involved in starting it, you can rest assured that they’ll be choosing sides and fanning the flames of conflict. And then, someone will be there to sweep up the pieces and “help” us.

How on earth do you prep for something like this?

Prepping for the unprecedented is purely theoretical, but nearly every disaster has some potential occurrences that we can base our plans upon.

Disruption of transportation: Regardless of how the event goes down, it’s likely that transportation would grind to a halt. This means that stores wouldn’t be restocked and the “just-in-time” system would ensure shortages within the first 48 hours. You wouldn’t be able to order stuff online, because that wouldn’t be able to get through, either.

In a case like this, what you have on hand is all you have. You need to be prepped for a long time between grocery store trips with shelf stable supplies. The fastest way to build a supply is by purchasing buckets of food, but it isn’t the most economical way. This book outlines how to build a supply of whole, healthy food on a tight budget.

Keep in mind that it isn’t just food you’d run out of. Here is a list of 50 non-food stockpile essentials and here is an article about what they ran out of first during the collapse of Venezuela.

Widespread civil unrest: We’ve already seen unrest in small areas scattered across the country, and it got ugly fast. This trend could become much more widespread, with looting, vandalism, and sheer chaos. Here’s a checklist to help you get prepared for this potential. In such a situation, you must also be prepared to defend your family. I strongly recommend that you get armed for such a potential scenario. Of course, it’s not enough to just be armed. You’ll want to also be trained. Shooting is a perishable skill and you must practice diligently. Your life could depend on it.

Another aspect of civil unrest would be hungry people beating down your door because they know you have food. It is of the utmost importance that you practice good OpSec for such a scenario. If others know that you have supplies, they will expect you to share. If you refuse, things will get ugly. There is a fine line between working together and giving away all your supplies to those who did not prepare.

Martial law: In an all-hell-breaking-loose situation, martial law is almost a given if the government is still operational. There can be just as much risk from your own government as from foreign powers.

In a highly charged situation like this, police and military are trained to use the most efficient methods to speedily shut down a conflict. These methods can include tear gas, sound cannons, and outright physical assaults on citizens. It’s important to note that fear can be a powerful motivator when deciding how much force is appropriate when addressing a threat. Cops are just as subject to fear as the rest of us. 20 cops with shields and batons would be quite reasonable to fear an angry mob of hundreds of shouting people.

Your safety when interacting with officials during a martial law situation does not rely on the intentions of police officers and military. It really doesn’t matter if they are trying to crush your rights under a jack-booted heel, or whether they are trying to benevolently keep people safe and re-establish peace and harmony.

Here are some suggestions to help keep you safe when dealing with cops and soldiers.

  • Avoid crowds. If you are in the midst of a crowd, you’ll be considered part of the crowd and treated exactly like everyone else in that group. If they get tear-gassed, so will you. It’s guilt by association. If the crowd is violent, and you are part of the crowd, you will also be considered violent, and you’ll be dealt with accordingly. Legally, you are actually guilty if you are part of a group that is violent. GO HOME.
  • Be polite. If you have to interact with officers, be courteous. You won’t restore the Constitution by arguing with them or threatening them. It’s fine to assert your rights – you don’t have to allow them to search your house without cause, for example, but do so civilly. Belligerence will get you nothing but a beat-down.
  • You don’t get to explain. In a highly charged situation, the cops probably aren’t going to listen to you when you try to explain that you’re just taking that baseball bat in your hand over to your nephew’s house so he can hit some balls in the backyard. No matter how innocent your intentions are, if you’re walking like a duck, you’re going to be treated like a duck. Training will kick in, and perceived threats will be immediately neutralized by whatever means the cops find necessary.
  • Stay home. It really isn’t worth risking your physical safety to go see what’s going on.

Underneath the uniform, cops are human.  This isn’t me justifying the brutality or the methods, but an attempt to shed light on their motivations. Cops are just as likely to be swept up in a herd mentality as thugs are during a high-stress situation. By understanding this, you can be better prepared.

Nuclear preparedness: Most people picture a nuclear attack as something that results in a nuclear winter akin to that grim, awful movie, The Road. While that isn’t impossible, it’s more likely that the attack would be a smaller one on a designated area. If you are outside the immediate blast zone, the event is completely survivable if you are ready for the possibility.

Here’s an overview of what to do in the event of a nuclear strike.  (Also, we’re currently interviewing experts at Preppers University for a full-length class on the topic. Sign up here so you don’t miss the notification.)

Some things to keep on hand in the event of a nuclear attack are

Biological preparedness: General pandemic preparedness will help you to be ready for the potential of a biological attack. Whether the instigation of a pandemic is deliberate or not, the safety measures will be the same. This article gives you an overview on pandemic preparedness and this book provides thorough detail of what you should do in the event of a pandemic, including vital information on different types of pandemics.

As well, download and print out this fact sheet about different biological threats and proper responses to them.

Make a gray man plan: In nearly any situation, your ability to avoid notice will keep you safer. As mentioned above, you don’t want all of your neighbors to know that you are stocked up and armed to the teeth. If you’re in public, you don’t want anything about yourself to stand out and be memorable. Here’s a great article by a former surveillance operative to help you blend in.

Band together: If you have like-minded neighbors – even if they aren’t preppers – there is safety in numbers. Get to know the people who live nearby and think about who you could trust in a difficult scenario.

This doesn’t mean that you need to tell them what kind of supplies you have. It just means that by building relationships now, these could be the people who have your back when crazy things go down. If your neighbors aren’t a good gamble, consider an exit strategy for getting to your extended family. Selco of SHTFschool, when talking about the occupation of Bosnia, says that people survived by living together in one household. Consider it now – who could you depend on if your town turned into the Wild West? What skills do you personally bring to the table?

Have a long-term survival plan that is already in effect: If you are already accustomed to being self-reliant and living frugally, it will mentally be far easier to transition yourself to wartime survival. Trying to learn to do all of these things when you don’t have any back-up from the store is a risky situation. I wrote about some of my own farming failures in this article. This is why you have to live the life now.

  • How will you collect and purify water?
  • How will you grow food?
  • Do you have the supplies and gear to grow that food?
  • How will you raise livestock?
  • Do you know how to preserve what you grow?
  • How will you protect your little farm from 2-legged and 4-legged critters who want to eat it?
  • How will you heat your home in the winter?

Remember, once things go down, you won’t be able to purchase the supplies to make your rain barrels and outdoor cooking pits. Do these things now.

Consider an evacuation plan: If it came right down to it, is your location survivable during a year-long (or longer) siege? Large cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles would not only be targets for foreign occupation, they’d pose great survivability issues if they were blockaded or if the grid went down. Smaller towns and cities could be better bets, or rural areas with neighbors that aren’t too far away. (After listening to the advice of some people who have lived through dire situations like this one, I completely changed my own long-term survival plan.) Above all, you need to have your team, as I mentioned above.

If you live in a place that would not be survivable, it doesn’t mean you have to pick up and move right away. It means that you do, however, need to have a plan that doesn’t make you a refugee. Know where you’ll go, how to get there, and ensure that you are expected and welcome.

Are you prepared for World War 3?

If you knew that World War 3 was going to start tomorrow, what would you do today to ensure you are prepared?  The global tension doesn’t seem to be easing. An attack on the mainland is not impossible.

Maybe it’s time to make stop putting off those things you know you need to do.

Check out the rest of the World War 3 Series.

Part 1: Is World War 3 Coming? 18 Preppers Discuss Effects, Shortages, and How to Get Ready

Part 2: How to Survive World War 3: Prepping for an Off-Shore Conflict

Part 3: How World War 3 Will Happen: “The citizen will be the last to know.”

Part 4: How to Survive World War 3: Prepping for a US Mainland Conflict


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20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios

20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios | storm | PreparednessSurvival

Imagine this scenario: It’s the year 2005 and you are living in the heart of New Orleans. A hurricane is threatening to hit and even though the city sits 8 feet below sea level, you choose not to evacuate or even prepare because you’ve seen many hurricanes threaten to hit the city and it never makes landfall, so why prepare for this one? Days later, your great city is almost completely flooded from Hurricane Katrina and over 1,800 lives were claimed including some of your neighbors because, like you, they decided not to leave the city. Now you are left without electricity, water, and dwindling supplies. To make matters worse, supply trucks are cut off, the police and emergency services can’t meet the needs of the people and there are looters breaking into homes for supplies. 

Yes, the above scenario is a worst-case scenario, but aspects of this are very common following hurricanes. These tropical storms are extreme and have the capacity to cripple our entire way of life. They are erratic in nature in terms of where they land, the types of damages sustained, and if there will be disasters in the aftermath, such as water-borne diseases, bug infestations, etc. Because of the unpredictability of these disasters, some choose to be complacent and wait to get preparations in order until the storm is imminent and hours away. While some take this disaster seriously and are meticulous in making preparations each year in case this natural disaster hits. So, which group do you choose to be in?

I’ve been very honest about my ordeals in living through a hurricane and I learned from my mistakes. Long story short, after I went through Hurricane Ike and felt helpless and under prepared, I made it my mission to help others get their homes ready for living in off-grid disasters. We all have a life lesson to share, and I am not alone in trying to get the word out on preparing for these storms. I asked some fellow preppers in the community what advice they would offer on how to better prepare for hurricanes, and the community overwhelmingly stepped up to help their fellow-man. When you read this list, pay attention to recurring advice – prepare ahead of time. This is the key to having all of your preparations in order.

20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios

These are their words and, in my humble opinion, this is some very solid advice to follow.

  1. Put all of your important documents on a flash drive and put it in your bug out bag. If the time comes and you need to evacuate, you have everything all prepped and ready to go! – Tess Pennington
  2. My mom had supplies stored in new plastic trash bins. If they needed to bug out, easy to grab and put in the back of the car. Also, the bins would be useful. They also keep thing dry. – Judy Keller
  3. Keep enough cash in your BOB (bug out bag) for at least 1-2 nights in a moderately priced hotel and a few meals. A credit card with a zero or small balance would be beneficial as well. If you forget or lose your wallet, you want a backup method for paying expenses until you can return home. – Jim Cobb
  4. Well before the back to back hurricanes of 2004 in South Florida, I bought 28 gallons of water. I am glad I did because we had enough water for the police directing traffic. There was a lot we did. Whatever you think is best for your family and communities do it. Friends, coworkers so many lost their homes, businesses and more, so the things I regret not stocking up on are items such as diapers, toothpaste, etc. Essentials for all life is key. – Joanne DeHerrera
  5. They evacuated us several times after [Hurricane] Charley for Ivan, and people got stuck on the freeway, people died and animals etc. Ivan hit exactly where they said to evacuate too. We had 6 animals at that time. If I needed to squish them all in the car we would have but there was no gas, so glad there wasn’t. Our circumstances dictate how to respond, however, our gut instinct is always best. -Joanne DeHerrera
  6. We keep about 30 liters of water on hand at all times. I just save empty 2-liter bottles (the plastic is stable for room temp storage unlike plastic milk jugs) and treat the water using the 2:1 ratio with bleach. 2 drops to 1 liter of water. – Abigail Nicholson
  7. If you do not have a generator, get one! Have at least enough power to run the washing machine and microwave. A few solar cells to restore cell phone power, charge batteries for radios and flashlights is a must. Don’t forget the toilet paper and enough clean water for everyone in your family for cooking and drinking. You can use pool or rainwater for other purposes. Often overlooked in the city is a chainsaw with fuel mix, bar oil, extra chains. The bulk of damage outside the home is fallen trees. I was blocked in on my cul-de-sac for over a week by fallen oak trees from my neighbor’s yards. – Jim Alkek
  8. Those little solar lights that go in a garden or along your driveway come in handy to give you some light without candles or lanterns…I charge them up during the day and stick in a flower pot half filled with rocks…it’s not a lot of light but enough that you can see basically what you are doing.  – Sue Heath Reynolds
  9. Using my daughter’s experience from SC, the last time. In her area, her biggest problem was a lack of utilities because of downed trees and flooding. She had food, but no way to cook it. She has 3 daughters and had no way to bathe them. No light and so on…..it was the simple everyday things that made it hard. – Gary Rosenlieb 
  10. Hurricane veteran here. Each storm is unique but the main thing is to pay attention BEFORE everyone else does…that means at least 5 days in advance having everything in place so that all you have to concentrate on is securing your home. Also, knowing in advance if you will stay or go and LEAVING BEFORE they tell you to. Don’t forget oil (chainsaw/generator), a new chain for chain saw (all of which you should have anyways but most don’t replace); and well just making sure you have 2-3 weeks of supplies in place for being on your own. After several east coast hurricanes, it took WEEKS for stores to be back up and running, even 100 miles outside of the strike zone. Oh, TARPS and bug spray. I am not a bug out person, can’t really because of animal obligations (15 dogs, chickens, etc) so I have plenty of crates/kennels and such for them to come in (oh yeah baby, ugh, done it before). – Laura Bradley
  11. Also, a butane burner is great, like a demo chef at a restuarant…they can be used indoors, not expensive and easy to load…at SAMs and many places $22 and a case of fuel (like hairspray cans $12) – Sue Health Reynolds
  12. Around here, we don’t have to worry about water surging in from the coast, but winds can be an issue. When a hurricane comes, we usually tape the windows in an X or * shape. People closer to the water board up their windows, maybe sandbag around their house. All other preps are the same. Be ready to leave in advance of the storm if it looks like it’s going to make landfall close to home. – Cat Ellis
  13. Make sure you know all of the available evacuation routes in your area. The main roads and highways will be delayed due to from the heavy traffic flow, so you will want to plan multiple alternative routes in order to ensure that you are not trapped in a flood while attempting to flee the storm. – John Haskell
  14. Everyone should have these in their EDC/BOB! In a Zip Lock Freezer bag or waterproof sleeve keep a FAMILY picture, copies of your and your children’s birth certificates…parents/grandparents/guardians/siblings should have a clear picture of children they may have to “claim” because you were not together when a problem occurs. Hopefully, this wouldn’t be necessary for an evacuation type scenario but you just never know. No telling who would be in charge when you arrive to pick up kids…it could be teachers, leaders that don’t know you personally or outsiders from DHS/Law Enforcement/TSA…Heaven forbid…there are no guarantees with anything anymore! I’m sure you can add to the list copies of your vehicle title, home title…things that are irreplaceable! You don’t want to get to bogged down but it it’s ultimately important to you…you may someday need proof that it is YOURS!! A flash drive is a great idea but in an extended power outage (EMP/ SHTF) you wouldn’t be able to show someone “the kid is mine”! – Sue Health Reynolds
  15. Not sure if this was mentioned already but have at least one or two pics of you and your pets together. This will go a long way toward proving ownership should you and your fur babies get separated. – Jim Cobb
  16. After making it through Hurricane Matthew, flooding, a week without electricity, and 2 weeks without water, I revised my preps slightly and have 3 major priorities here; a lot more water (needed to drink, cook, wash, and flush) extra fuel for cooking (and multiple cooking types we have a propane grill and a fire pit but after a flooding everything too wet) and non-kerosene lamps (after 2 nights cooped up, and unable to ventilate the fumes get to you). – Deborah Middleton
  17. Put as much as you can in plastic tubs. Especially shoes. Came back after Rita and had a tree through my house. Went right through my closet. No shoes, actually very little of anything. SO PUT AS MUCH IN PLASTIC TUBS AS YOU CAN. Forget the furniture, appliances they can be replaced. – Sue Tidwell
  18. In case it helps everyone is welcome to download the Hurricane and Evacuation topics (and some others) in PDF from our preparedness book. – Janet Liebsch
  19. It’s very wise to unpack your BOB every three months or so, minimum once or twice a year. It helps to be sure what is in there…items you decide you don’t really need and more importantly…items you may not have and really should have. WEIGHT…it’s also important to put those suckers on and see if you can actually carry it 🙂 better yet we need to be walking with them ON 🙁 physical fitness should be one of our number one preparedness priorities…as I point a finger at MYSELF 🙂 – Sue Heath Reynolds
  20. Prepare to defend your home at all costs. You don’t know how long the grid will be down and there will be looters. – Mac Slavo

These pieces of advice are all from those who have lived through this ordeal. They shared their stories because they want to help others prepare and get ready – listen to them. If you need a guide to help you in your preparations, consider The Prepper’s Blueprint to get you disaster ready – step-by-step. Do not wait until the last-minute to prepare or the items you need to live through this ordeal will be limited.

If you live in a highly populated area, understand that resources will diminish quickly, so preparing beforehand can circumvent this. You can always start out with these basic preparedness items to get through a disaster:

  1. Food and alternative ways to cook food
  2. Water – 1 gallon per person/per day for consuming only. Plan more for sanitary needs.
  3. Fuel for generators. Also, consider charcoal for outdoor grills
  4. Batteries and battery charger
  5. Flashlights and lanterns
  6. Generator
  7. Emergency lighting
  8. Ice
  9. Medical supply
  10. Items for baby needs
  11. Sanitation supplies

Ultimately, you are the only one who can best care for your family. Having a stash of your family’s favorite canned or dry goods, a supply of water and a simple medical kit can maintain your basic needs for a short-lived disaster. This simple preparedness supply could set you apart from the unprepared. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, now is the time to prepare. Listen to the advice of your fellow man.

Additional Reading:

Preparation

Supplies

Medical Needs

Communication

Sanitation

Evacuation


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How This Nutty Article May Save Your Life (VIDEO)

How This Nutty Article May Save Your Life (VIDEO) | acorns-452x300 | General Health Multimedia PreparednessSurvival

In a long-lived emergency, our food stores can quickly be depleted. If this occurs, we must rely on our knowledge of native food sources growing wild in our area. One such wild edible is found in great abundance in many parts of the country and is a food source that is long forgotten. We are talking about the acorn.

Acorns can easily serve as an efficient way of pulling together a large amount of food. Many indigenous tribes and groups from around the world have utilized the acorn for its ability to give us nutrition and sustenance. In fact, it is estimated that in some regions of California, where the natives used them, fifty percent of their yearly caloric intake came from the humble acorn.

Acorns Serve Multiple SHTF Purposes

Native Indians used acorns as a huge source of their nutrition. As well, acorns should be looked at as a staple foods and can replace our dependence on corn and wheat. Acorns of white and black oak trees are readily available in many parts of the country and have a wide variety of uses.

  • Acorns can be used to make a variety of different foods sources ranging from coffeeflour, soup thickeners, alternatives for oatmeal or just eating the nuts as a protein source.
  • The vegetable oils in acorns are comparable to olives, corn and soybeans and can be used as a cooking oil or biofuel source.
  • The nut meal can be used as animal fodder after the acorns have been shelled and ground.
  • The shells can be used as a heat source, garden mulch, or added to the compost pile.
  • Acorns are a complete protein and nutrition source.
  • Acorns possess many medicinal properties.
  • Acorns can be scattered around an area to lure wild game for additional food sources.

Health Benefits of Acorns

  • Help control blood sugar levels.
  • High in complex carbohydrates.
  • Lower in fat compared to other nuts.
  • Rich in vitamins B12, B6, folate riboflavin, thiamin and niacin.
  • Good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, copper and zinc.
  • Good source of fiber and protein.

Medicinal Benefits of Acorns

The water used to remove the tannins in the boiling process from acorns can be saved and refrigerated to use for various medicinal applications. Over time, it will develop mold on the surface. Before using, bring it back to a boil which will kill the mold and continue to refrigerate for future uses.

  • Sooth skin rashes, burns, and small cuts
  • Use externally to help treat hemorrhoids
  • Soothes and heals the blisters and helps reduce the itching
  • Brown water ice cubes helps to soothe inflamed tissues
  • Use as a gargle to soothe your sore throat
  • A mild tea can be made to reduce symptoms of diarrhea

Important Points to Consider When Harvesting Acorns

  1. The amount of tannins present in the acorn can play a role in the taste factor. Like most nuts, lightly toasting them in an oven can help the taste improve. Toast on a cookie sheet in an oven at 175° F.  Stir acorns around to prevent scorching. Tannic acid is water-soluble and can be removed by boiling or flushing them out.
  2. Collect healthy acorns that have right type of kernel. Avoid acorns that are still firmly attached to the cap were shed early and are defective. As well, acorns that have streaks indicate a fungus is present. Also acorns that have holes had an acorn weevil present in the acorn and should not be eaten. Throw out any acorns that have already begun to germinate.
  3. Investing in a durable hand crank type grain mill and oil expeller would be beneficial in extracting the meat and oils of the acorn.

If you have access to a running stream, to save on time and energy, some have added their acorns to a mesh bag and secure it in a stream for two days to help naturally leach out the tannins. If you cannot do this method, see the following video for to learn how to effectively leach out tannins and make acorn meal and flour.

The acorn flavor is slightly nutty, very hearty and can last as long as regular flour, as long as it stays dry. Store your acorn flour in a cool, dry place.

Here are some great recipes to practice using acorn flour:

Acorn Pancakes

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salad oil
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or sugar
  • 1/2 cup of ground and leached acorns (see video)
  • 1/2 cup of cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat or white flour
  • 2 teaspoons of double action baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of milk

Mix all ingredients together. If the batter is too thick to pour, thin it with milk. Pour pancakes into a hot, greased griddle and cook slowly until brown on both sides.

Prepper Pemmican

  • 1 lb. lean stewing meat, cut quite small
  • 1/2 cup dehydrated wild plums
  • 1/2 cup acorn meal

Boil the lean stewing meat. When it is tender, drain and allow it to dry in a bowl. Grind all of the ingredients together in a meat grinder using a fine blade. Grind again, mixing finely, distributing the ingredients very well. Place in a covered dish and refrigerate overnight. (Or you can eat right away, but like many foods, the refrigerating allows the flavors to blend nicely.) You can serve this on any flatbread, such as a tortilla. It is best served warm, or you can reheat it in the pan in the oven like a meatloaf.

Cornmeal and Acorn Mush

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup acorn meal, ground
  • 1 cup cornmeal

Bring salted water to a boil and sprinkle the acorn meal into the boiling water, stirring briskly with a wire or twig whisk. Then add the cornmeal. Add just enough cornmeal to make a thick, bubbling batch in which a wood spoon will stand up fairly well. Place the saucepan in a larger container holding two inches or more of boiling water. (Use a double boiler, if you have one.) Simmer the mush until quite thick, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep it from lumping.

Cornmeal and acorn mush is very good for breakfast on a cold morning. It can be served with sweetened milk and a dab of wild fruit jam or homemade butter. But it is also great as a main course lunch or dinner. You can also add salsa or bacon bits and grated cheese on top to get great variety. This mush is very filling and will stick to your ribs.

Apache Acorn Cakes

  • 1 cup acorn meal, ground fine
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pinch of salt

Mix the ingredients with enough warm water to make a moist, not sticky dough. Divide into 12 balls. Let rest, covered, for 10 minutes or so. With slightly moist hands, pat the balls down into thick tortilla-shaped breads. Bake on an ungreased cast iron griddle over campfire coals or on clean large rocks, propped up slightly before the coals. If using the stones, have them hot when you place the cakes on them. You’ll have to lightly peel an edge to peek and see if they are done. They will be slightly brown. Turn them over and bake on the other side, if necessary. Add butter, if necessary.

Recipe Sources

To conclude, the mighty oak tree is a symbol for strength, longevity and durability, and their seeds are no different. Understanding how underutilized this food source is can give you an upper-hand for a time when food may not be as readily available.

Related Articles:

Acorn Nuts: The Grain That Grows on Trees

Acorn: The Perennial Grain


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Why I Completely Changed My Family’s Long-Term Survival Plan

Why I Completely Changed My Family’s Long-Term Survival Plan | long-term-survival-plan | Off-Grid & Independent Living PreparednessSurvival US News

For the past five years, I’ve lived the prepper’s dream. I’ve lived on secluded acreage out in the boondocks, with a gate at the driveway to deter those who just wander past. I moved from the Canadian boondocks to the American boondocks (in foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains of California) and lived the life that all the prepping books recommend.

I grew food, raised livestock, and had hardly any neighbors, and definitely none close enough to be up in my business. I learned more about self-reliance during those years than I ever realized I didn’t know.

I scrimped and saved to be able to move ever-further out into the woods. I loved finally being able to have a small farm. But, then, I came face to face with two people who had lived through the kind of epic, long term SHTF event that we all prepare for and they both told me, based on their personal experiences, I was doing it all wrong.

Here’s the reason I changed my long-term survival plan.

When  I first began working with Lisa Bedford, the Survival Mom, on our live webinar classroom Preppers University, my job was to teach people the things that I had spent years learning. But I never expected our guest instructors to have such a profound impact on my own long-term survival plan.

The first seed of doubt was planted by FerFAL (Fernando Aguirre), the author of The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse, who taught a class sharing his experiences during the collapse of Argentina. He commented that the people who lived more remotely were nearly always victims of horrific crimes. Their little homestead nirvanas were pillaged by criminals. The women were raped. The men were slaughtered. As ideal as their situations sounded, by nature of their very solitude, made them the perfect target for those without morals.

According to Fernando’s experience, unless you have a small army with you, round the clock sentries, and unlimited ammo, living in the country might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

As a single mom with a teenage daughter, that gave me pause. I knew that we didn’t have the firepower or the tactical skills to fight off hordes intent on pillaging our farm. And I also knew that we were so isolated that no one would be around to help if we needed it.

I began thinking about all of the fictional apocalyptic stories. People quickly formed communities because there is safety in numbers. Think about the prison and Alexandria in The Walking Dead. Think about the town of Jericho. Think about the novels of A. American or the books Alas, Babylon and One Second After. In a truly dire scenario, I’m talking about grid-down, all-out collapse, your community becomes the people who live within walking distance of you. And if no one lives within walking distance, well, then, you are truly on your own.

But the final decision was made when I got a chance to talk to Selco.

Like I said, I began to doubt the wisdom of my plan after Fernando’s class, but then came Selco’s class. Selco runs SHTFSchool, where he teaches about his survival experiences living in occupied Bosnia. He survived several years living the life that we all plan for but none of us are truly ready for.

He talked about the crime, the desperation, and the outright brutality.

He talked about how families and groups of friends lived together in one home for safety. It was the only way to survive.

During the Q&A session, I told him about our own situation. That I was a single mom with a teenaged daughter. That we lived 40 minutes from the nearest town with any place with a Wal-Mart or bigger grocery stores and that our nearest neighbors were half a mile away. That we raised out own food, had off-grid water, and a big gate.

And Selco told me, respectfully, that we would not survive in a situation that was like his.

He reiterated that extended families and groups of friends had to band together for survival. He explained how small communities arose inside the walls of their city and how neighbors had each other’s backs.

This was real life, not just some imagined scenario in which we all feel invincible. Here’s a link to one of our webinars with Selco so you can hear for yourself what it was like.

And maybe my plan wasn’t so great after all.

When my daughter graduated early from high school and our former state threw up a bunch of roadblocks when she wanted to go to vocational school, we decided to expand our search. Then, she got accepted into a prestigious private vocational school in a smaller urban area across the country, and I knew the time had come to head back to neighborhood living.

There is nothing more enlightening than talking to people who have been there, done that.

NOTHING.

No amount of theory that I could write could ever compare with the real-life experiences of these two men. And being able to ask them these questions was absolutely invaluable.

I didn’t start running these classes expecting to be the student, but it turns out, I was. I learned something that could save the life of my child and myself. I learned that I was making us both horribly vulnerable should the situation in our country go horribly wrong.

While living in town has its own set of variables and concerns, creating a community in your own neighborhood can be a much more realistic way to survive.

Shameless plug.

To me, the best part of the Prepping Intensives is the fact that you can ask questions like the one I asked Selco and Fernando. This class completely changed my own preparedness plan, and I wasn’t even supposed to be a student. It showed me the flaws in my logic. It gave me an opportunity to reroute our preparedness path.

Even if you feel like your preparedness plan is completely nailed down, you may be missing something essential, like I was. There is nothing like a live conversation to put things in perspective for you, and students get a Q&A session with every single speaker.

This time around, here is just a part of our line-up:

  • Brandon Smith talks about barter economy
  • Tim Young talks about moving to the country to become more self-reliant
  • Tammy Trayer talks about off-grid living
  • Merriweather talks about foraging 
  • Dr. Arthur T. Bradley talks about EMP survival
  • Selco talks about survival in war-torn Bosnia
  • FerFal (Fernando Aguirre) talks about surviving the collapse of Argentina
  • Toby Cowern, an Arctic survival expert, talks about surviving with nothing more than the clothes on your back
  • Cherie Norton, an NRA instructor, talks about situational awareness and personal safety
  • Jim Cobb talks about hardening the security of your home
  • A. American talks about surviving long-term scenarios
  • Cat Ellis talks about herbalism and medical preparedness
  • Lisa Egan, a personal trainer, talks about the importance of fitness as a prep
  • Patrice Lewis talks about rural life

And that’s just a sample of our speakers and topics.

Maybe you’ll discover that your plan has some holes in it, too. Better to find out now than when it’s too late to do anything about it.

Go here to learn about the Prepping Intensive and the Advanced Prepping Intensive.


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The post Why I Completely Changed My Family’s Long-Term Survival Plan appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


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Is Your Prepper’s Nightstand Equipped for Survival?

Is Your Prepper’s Nightstand Equipped for Survival? | prepper-nightstand | PreparednessSurvival

Some folks keep their nightstand minimalist, with just a lamp and a clock. Others clutter it with pretty decorative items, sentimental pictures, and the latest book they’re reading.

Then there’s the prepper’s nightstand, which is equipped for a wide variety of middle-of-the-night emergencies.

Imagine this:

You awaken in the middle of the night and something just isn’t right. Maybe you hear someone fumbling at your front door. Maybe the dog is barking his normally lazy head off at the back of the house and you know something is awry. Maybe you awaken to the sound of the smoke alarms and the smell of smoke.

What do you do?

That all depends on what you keep on your nightstand.

I asked the community on Facebook and students in our Prepping Intensive course what they kept on their nightstands and they had some creative additions I hadn’t even considered.

Keep these items on your prepper’s nightstand to be ready to survive anything that goes bump in the night.

Here are a few items that are by-the-bed essentials. Some of them could save your life in the event of a midnight emergency. There are many varieties on the same theme, so below, you’ll find a list of suggestions for each type of prep. I keep my kit tucked into a drawer, aside from my flashlight and firearm, which rest right on top during the night.

A home defense item

Depending on your personal philosophy and the area in which you live, a home defense item within easy reach is an important thing to keep handy. In some countries, you aren’t allowed to have personal defense items, so consider things that could have other uses:

  • A gun and extra ammo: I have older kids, so a loaded firearm is always at my side at night without it needing to be locked away. Please, if you’re going to do this, you must know what you’re doing. Consider taking some shoot/don’t-shoot classes to help you improve your judgment. If you aren’t adept and well-practiced with firearms, you may want to go with a non-lethal option.
  • Pepper spray: Self-defense sprays are not legal everywhere, so you might want to check your local rules and regulations. Some popular and reliable brands are Mace and Sabre. (Don’t go cheap on this purchase.) I like this pepper gel instead of spray because it clings to your assailant without getting in the air like an aerosol spray. People with asthma should never use pepper spray, as just a tiny bit of it inhaled could cause a life-threatening reaction.
  • Alternative sprays: In places where the sprays above are not legal, you might want to watch out for pesky bears (with this bear spray that has a whopping 30 food range) and wasps – don’t you hate when a wasp gets in your house at night? You’ll want to be prepared with this spray.
  • Stun gun: You have to be careful with things that require direct contact. If you aren’t strong, it is not only possible but likely, that it will be taken away and used on you. This being said, many people rely on stun guns like this one. I own one of these tactical stun flashlights which have the added bonus of an electrified end to deter anyone who tries to grab it and take it away.
  • Tasers: These are not legal everywhere, but most work by shooting an electrode at your attacker. If you miss, however, you won’t get a chance to reload. Here is a link to the only one I could find on Amazon.
  • Baton or bat: Some people are fans of striking objects. You can use a tactical baton (found at gun stores) or a good old-fashioned baseball bat for this. Amazon sells a mini-bat for this purpose. Keep in mind that this could go the way of the stun gun and be taken away from you if you don’t know what you’re doing.

A Cutting Implement

I don’t recommend using a knife for self-defense unless you’ve been trained to do so, but there are many reasons that a cutting implement should be in your bedside drawer. For example, in the event of a fire, you can quickly cut the screen of your window to make your exit.

You can go with:

  • Camping knife
  • Exacto
  • Car tool seatbelt cutter (I think this is ideal because it is also designed to help you break glass if you’re trapped in a car – could come in handy if your window happens to be jammed.)

On the same note, if you sleep on the second floor, an escape ladder is essential.

Medications

For those who suffer a life-threatening illness, medication should be kept close at hand. Some examples of necessary medications would be:

  • Heart pills
  • Chewable aspirin
  • Epi-pen

Cell Phone

Many folks keep their cell phones charging on their nightstands for emergency phone calls or flashlights.

Alarms

Intruders dislike noise. They don’t want all the neighbors to know that something is going on. Therefore keeping something close at hand that is loud enough to alert the world to your plight is a great idea.

  • Rape whistle
  • Personal alarm (This one makes a noise with the same decibel level as an ambulance or fire truck)
  • Car keys if you have an alarm on your vehicle
  • Panic button if you have a monitored alarm company

Lighting

You should always have some kind of emergency lighting on your nightstand in case you have to check things out in the middle of the night. This is of particular importance if you have a firearm, You need to know what you are shooting at to prevent a terrible accident.

  • Gun-mounted light: For this reason, a light that attaches to your gun is a great idea. I have this one for my Glock. I’m saving up for this one which has 800 lumens of blinding brightness and a strobe to disorient a prowler.
  • Flashlight
  • A flashlight app on your phone
  • This is the flashlight on my nightstand. It is a tactical flashlight bright enough to blind someone with 1000 lumens. It also has a disrupter strobe and SOS function.

Clothes and Shoes

You should have clothes and shoes close at hand. I keep some hard-soled, slip on shoes by the bed and a hoodie hangs on the back of my bedroom door. Depending what you sleep in and the climate, you might need some sweatpants and a coat nearby as well.

Documents/Physical copies

Lots of people keep physical documents in their nightstands. Some of the suggestions were:

  • Grab and go binder with copies of everything
  • ID
  • Address books
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Written health information, including a list of medications you take, pre-existing conditions, doctor’s contact information, and allergies.
  • Wallet (which will have cash and ID)

Pet Supplies

If you have furry friends, you may want to have things close at hand for them in the event of a fire.

  • Cat carrier
  • Leashes

On this note, I strongly recommend the stickers you can get to put on your doors that let responders know there are pets inside, as well as the kind and the number. (We have these on all our entrances.)

Special Items

There are other things that may be unique to your situation, but absolutely necessary in the event of an emergency. Think about anything you would be hard-pressed to function without for 24 hours.

  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing aids
  • Dentures
  • Religious books

What do you keep on your prepper’s nightstand?

What do you keep nearby at night just in case of an emergency? Share it in the comments section below.


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The post Is Your Prepper’s Nightstand Equipped for Survival? appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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Rules And Dangers When Organizing Security And Survival Groups

Rules And Dangers When Organizing Security And Survival Groups | night-op | PreparednessSurvival Special Interests US News

For many years I have argued that the single most important preparation any person can make if they are concerned about future social or economic instability is the preparation of community building. It is the one thing that everyone needs for survival, and unfortunately, it is the one thing even many preparedness “experts” ignore.

When I talk about “community,” I am talking about groups in many forms. Sometimes a community is merely a small collection of families or neighbors; sometimes it is an entire town or county. Sometimes it is built around a local church, sometimes it is rooted in an already functioning political activism meet-up. Regardless of the size of your community, the people who are organized within a group for mutual aid, defense and trade are light years ahead of everyone else when it comes to survival. In fact, if a national crisis scenario escalates to the point of the disappearance of the rule of law, I would say that those without community will scramble to find one or probably die.

That said, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about organizing. There are also guidelines and hard rules to follow if you want your community to be an advantage rather than an obstacle. I have had the opportunity over the years to see many preparedness groups and organizations in action. I have gleaned knowledge from their successes, and also their numerous failures. I have also had the privilege of coordinating a preparedness group in my local area which has been active for the past three and a half years. So, I am speaking from personal experience when it comes to this process.

Here is what I have learned so far…

The Levels Of Organization

There are different levels of organization, low to high, weak to strong. The biggest factor in determining whether or not your group is strong is usually time.

Many people out there do not want to hear about “time.” Why? Because it is one of the few factors that can’t be replicated. You can’t cut corners when it comes to time. What I mean is, any group of people, no matter how close originally, is going to have trouble operating together as a team unless they have had time to train together. They have to get used to each other’s personalities, and quirks. They have to grow accustomed to each others annoying habits; and maybe even grow fond of them. Without plenty of time working together on various projects and training, no group will be able to function as a unit when a real threat arises.

From my observations, it takes at least six months for any group of people to become psychologically acclimated to one another. Until this happens, their performance will be lackluster.

I have run into far too many preppers that plan (if they even have a plan) to organize AFTER a crisis event has already taken shape. These people have been watching too much television. Again, it takes at least six months for a new group to even learn to trust one another. Post crisis, the problem will be doubly difficult.

The liberty movement is a bit obsessed with the concept of organizing on the fly — throwing together slapdash groups of people who have little or no training with each other for security at events like Bundy Ranch or Berkeley. But this is the weakest form of organization. And, in a survival scenario, such organization is likely to fail miserably.

Groups Need Structure

Liberty minded people tend to be very individualistic and also tend to avoid structure like the plague. Organizing them is often like herding cats — debate prone cats skilled at coming up with rationalizations for why the lack of structure in an endeavor is actually an “advantage.”

Sorry, but groups do not last very long without a skeleton to hang onto, and someone has to provide that skeleton. Maybe it’s a “leader,” a coordinator, a “coach,” whatever; the point is, someone has to make a schedule and get people to stick to it. Someone has to plan projects and someone has to find the right people to head up those projects. Someone has to take the responsibility to ensure that the group stays together and productive. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of it?

In my experience the best structure for a preparedness group is to meet once a week on the same day for no more that a few hours maximum unless there is a very specific and important reason. Do not try to make people sit around for six to eight hours while the more “extroverted” members of the group blather all day. Many of them have lives outside of the survival world and will not come back for another meeting.

As a coordinator, you need to plan out projects and training ideas. What has your group accomplished in the past six months? If your honest answer is “nothing much except a lot of talk,” then this is a problem. People get bored. They want to see results. They want to be a part of those results. Endless political discussions and marches in Ranger File through the woods are not going to keep people interested. You will lose your group eventually, and with good reason.

Vetting Group Members

You will hear the term “OPSEC” thrown around haphazardly in preparedness circles as if it is some kind of catch-all answer as to why organizing is impossible or “just plain stupid.” Well, since we’ve already established that having no organization during a social breakdown is true stupidity ending in probable death, I think we need to take a closer look at the notion of OPSEC.

Firstly, Operational Security does not mean hiding in a survival bunker alone or with your immediate family while the world falls apart outside. Let’s be clear; you are not going to climb out of the ashes fresh as a daisy to rebuild civilization after all the looters have killed each other off. You are not going to fend off even a meager gang of thieves with just your Remington 870 and a Bowie knife. You are not going to be able to keep your family safe and fed, period.

Security requires eyes and trigger fingers, many of them, 24 hours a day seven days a week. We all have to sleep.

So, OPSEC to the degree that you have no community around you is unacceptable in survival terms. Therefore, you have to apply OPSEC more intelligently. This means vetting the people you work with and train with. Do they have an ugly criminal record? Are they former or current drug addicts (“addict” might be subject to interpretation — a guy smoking a joint now and then is probably not an issue but a guy popping Oxycontin on a regular basis should not be trusted)? Do they have a violent personality? Are they prone to overemotional reactions?

Vetting is also not necessarily limited to potential criminality. Is a person incredibly lazy? Do they always have an excuse as to why they can’t help with something? Do they have a tendency to try to take credit for other people’s work? Are they abrasive and difficult to get along with in numerous ways? Are they narcissistic? Are they always attempting to hijack discussions or the group itself and make it all about them? Do they lie about their training level and background?

All of these traits and more could be grounds to remove these folks from a group in the early stages of organizing. This is the real world of OPSEC — going through the difficult process of finding trustworthy people before a crisis ever happens.

Leadership: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Leadership happens, it’s just the way it is. No matter how individualistic a group is, when the world starts to go schizophrenic, everyone starts looking for the men with the plan.

In the best case scenario, this has been done far in advance. The experts in your community have been found over months or years of training and successful projects. These experts also work closely with each other and are open to ideas without being indecisive. They function seamlessly with the rest of the group and the group trusts them because they have earned that trust through leadership by example. They have no interest in self aggrandizement or “glory.” They have no interest in being in charge for the sake of being in charge. In fact, the best leaders are often people that begrudgingly accept leadership, and only because they happen to be the best qualified.

Beware of group members that seem to want leadership a little too much. Watch out for hotheads and fakes that talk up their skills but are always giving orders rather than participating or helping. Beware of guys who love to “plan.” So-called idea men that always have a new scheme to discuss but never follow a single plan through to completion. But most of all, beware of the narcissists; these people will not only not do much to help you, but they will sabotage any and every project you do have in the works in order to co-opt everyone’s attention and energy. If you STILL manage to get some work done, you’ll find them trying to take credit. It is truly an amazing thing to behold a narcissist in action.

Know People’s Limitations

This is pretty straightforward.  I have seen training groups in which old men with hip replacements were asked to march through the woods and hills alongside young men actually fit for field work.  Now, this is perhaps a noble thing, but not practical.  It holds back the people who are capable, and puts undo stress on the people who are not.  Every person in a group should know how to defend themselves TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY.  It is important to make that distinction.  When coordinating a group, it is your job to have the insight to know what each person’s limitations are.

Otherwise, training turns into a circus, and nothing is ever accomplished.  It is a sure sign that the leadership either does not have a clue, or, they don’t have a clue and they are deliberately creating a circus so that no one notices their incompetence.

All Is Revealed Through Training And Work

So, how do you go about not only keeping a group together, but also shield that group from the blunderings of poor candidates for members and leadership? Simple: Training and work.

The group I work with has found that regular training in numerous areas of defense and preparedness makes it very easy to pick out fakes, hotheads and general laziness. Every time we’ve had a guy come through claiming to be retired Navy Seal/ Green Beret/ Special Ops ninja war veteran, all we had to do was ask him to gear up and join us for some simple team movement, or breaking contact, or we just asked him to put some rounds in the X at a reasonable range, perhaps while on the shot clock. And almost every time, the braggers fail miserably. Some of them buy some gear and don’t even know how to put it on before they arrive to train. If you find yourself cringing the whole time a self proclaimed expert is training with you, then something is wrong.

Hard work is also a great vetting tool. On the days where you have to practice digging a position, who is suddenly too busy? Maybe your medical team is running a class that requires some study the night before; the next day who has practiced and who hasn’t? Who wants to help with projects and who slinks off with other matters to attend to? We are all prone to lazy behavior at times, but you should be looking for people who suffer from this problem in a chronic way and make a clean break with them long before a crisis event unfolds.

Organization Is Absolutely Necessary To Survival

There is no way around it — through modern history the people who are most organized during a disaster are the most likely to live. The people who are not organized have to rely on luck. I don’t believe in luck.

Community is a source of defense, a source of skill sets, a source of production, a source of trade and a source of psychological comfort. One person or one small family will never be able to replicate all the skills and resources needed to endure in a widespread crisis. It’s not just about numbers, it’s also about cooperation. A man alone might be invisible for a time, but the second he is accidentally found he is done for. His preparations are then subject to the whims of the group that finds him. He might also find himself sick, or physically injured, and then what? Who watches over this secret squirrel and his bounty of preps? No one.

I have been asked many times in the past what the most important preparedness item is? What one thing would I recommend over all else? My answer is always “community.” It is the most vital prep, and it is the most neglected.


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When a Prepper Relocates: Finding and Moving to the Perfect Survival Retreat

When a Prepper Relocates: Finding and Moving to the Perfect Survival Retreat | mountain-home-survival-retreat | PreparednessSurvival

It is hard to believe that a little over a year ago I decided to pull up stakes and search for the perfect survival retreat.  More than a retreat, I wanted to find a forever home.  It has been quite the journey and now that I am within days of fully moving into my new home, it is time to come clean on the how-to’s of moving, prepper-style.

Before starting, let me just say this.  Planning and executing a move is going to take over every free moment for up to a year.  There are more moving pieces than you can imagine, especially if moving more than 300 miles from your home base.  At times, you will want to give up.  It is a lot of work, and it can be lonely.

Step One: Define the Criteria for Your New Home

Something I did up front was to define a punch list of items that were a priority at my new location.  Here is a summary of the list I shared last year.  I called it my survival retreat bucket list.

Minimum of 1/3 acre and preferably more.
Sunny space for a garden. Existing fruit trees a bonus.
Trees in the general vicinity to provide wood and biomass for heating and cooking.
Local source of water such as streams, ponds, or lakes.  Bonus if a well can be dug.
Abundant wildlife for hunting as a food source.
Favorable tax environment.
Sufficient storage space for a two year food supply.
Gun-friendly.
Zoning that allows for water catchment systems and auxiliary fuel/propane tanks.
History that shows area is relatively free from wild fires and floods.
Moderate climate 20F low to 90F high.
Proximity to health care within a 20 mile radius.
Very good to excellent cell phone service.
Availability of high speed internet (for as long as it lasts).
Peace, quiet, and no tourist activity.

Mind you, this list was generated before I knew exactly where I was going to relocate.  At the time, I had a good idea of the state where I was headed but nothing was cast in stone.  Because I did not want to get my hopes up for a quick sale, I did not research precise geographical locations until my existing home sold.   I did that because there were some unique characteristics to my San Juan Island home that limited its appeal to a specialized buyer. It could take a year or possibly longer to sell.

We were lucky to have a seasoned real estate agent who specialized in our type of property.  He set realistic, priced-to-sell expectations, and coached us on what we needed to do to attract a buyer.  As it happened, our home sold quickly but closing took forever.  We did not start looking for our survival retreat until the money was in the bank.

You may approach things differently but at this stage in my life, I did not want to set myself up for disappointment.  That becomes my first tip: do not set yourself up for disappointment by setting unrealistic expectations.  Much like prepping itself, when it comes to moving, prepare for the worst but hope the best.

Be Mindful of the Cost of Moving – Especially Your Food Storage

One of the more shocking parts of moving is the cost.  When planning a move, be realistic about what it is going to cost to move both your household items and prepping supplies.  This includes food storage which can be heavy!

In our case, the cost came to about one dollar a pound.  Half of that was getting our stuff back to the mainland.

Think about that.  It makes sense to pay to have furniture moved but those cases of canned foods?  Not a chance.  We gave away hundreds of pounds of food because it was too bulky or heavy to transport.  Some of it no one wanted because the canned items were out of date.  That was a shame because as we all know, the expiration on canned goods is mostly a myth.

When a Prepper Relocates: Finding and Moving to the Perfect Survival Retreat | Elvis-Left-the-Building | PreparednessSurvival

When Elvis left the building, he dragged a Uhaul full of preps.

We did rent a U-haul to transport our freeze dried foods and some of our food buckets.  I admit that the movers also transported food buckets full of cheap beans and cheap rice but after accounting for the convenience of having it packaged and ready to go at my new location, it was worth it.

A question I am frequently asked is whether I paid to have my furniture moved.  The answer is yes and here is why.  Although the buyers of our home were interested in our furniture, to start all over would have been disruptive and expensive.  While not new, our furniture was of good quality and comfortable.  I ran the numbers and by my own estimate, it would have cost over $40,000 to replace my furniture, and most likely a lot more than that.

Thank you very much but I will keep my used furniture.

Be Prepared to Compromise

Something I learned a long time ago is that life is a compromise.  And so it was with moving.  Although I had 40 years of memories invested in my stuff, much of it had not been touched in years.  Perfectly good items, no matter how precious, were donated to the local thrift store.

Chances are we could have raised a nice pile of cash by holding a garage or estate-type sale rather than giving things away.  This is where compromise stepped in.  In order to maintain my privacy, I gave things away instead.

The biggest compromise, however, had to do with seeking a new place to call home.  As much as I wanted to find the perfect prepper palace, I knew that my age and budget would restrict where I ultimately landed. Transcending our dream into reality meant we had to give up on our hope of having a flock of chickens, and enough raised beds to grow at least half of our own food.  It simply was not going to happen so I let it go.

I reminded myself that I was going to homestead in place on a property I would want to maintain for the next twenty years and until I was well into my senior years. That meant a two-story farmhouse was out, as was grass and brush that needed to be mowed weekly.

I chose instead to compromise with a beautiful and serene environment and a home I could fill with creature comforts with plenty of room to cook, can, and pursue crafts and other amusements.

Where Am I Going to Put All of that Stuff?

Something every prepper needs is space for all of their stuff.  Most of us have backup cooking facilities, backup water and water filtering devices, backup fuel, backup food and backup everything else.  This all takes space not only for storage but for organized storage!  Oh my!

While house hunting, I found a number of delightful properties that lacked storage.  There was no garage, no pantry, and no spare closets.  Where would the food storage go?  What about the manually operated tools? And what about the ammo and other items of defense that need to be hidden away, free from prying eyes?

These are factors that should be considered before you make an offer and not after.  Don’t let your judgment be clouded by clever staging.  Look for closets, attics, crawl spaces, and rooms that can be converted to meet your storage needs.  This may seem obvious, but believe me, it is easy to fall in love with a property only to find those things lacking when you look a bit closer.

Remember, sellers are going to try to tempt you with glitz and glamour.  Look beyond it.

Finding the Right Community, Or Not

How close do you want to be to your neighbors?  Do you want paved roads to your retreat or are dirt roads okay?  What about the driveway?  Will a steep hill pose a problem for you or for emergency responders, heaven forbid?

I believe the most important assessment to make when it comes to a community is to determine whether you wish to keep your prepping lifestyle private or whether you wish to join others in a like-minded community.  Regardless of your choice, I suggest attending some community or church events to get a feel for the social milieu. Visit the local hardware store and look around.  Chat up the clerks.  You will be surprised at how much information you can glean by simply observing and listening.

In our case, we visited one particular local hangout two times and were so put off we crossed that particular community off the list.

You are a prepper.  You have good instincts. Use them.

How Did I Do?

For the curious, we purchased a home in the Mogollon Rim area of Arizona.  The elevation is 5,000 feet and the climate is moderate.  We spent a lot more money than we planned but less than we realized from our Washington State home so we were happy.

I call our new home “The Cabin” and it is as close to perfect as I could get.  With just a few exceptions, all of my requirements were met.  Let me run quickly run through the list for you.

………………………

Minimum of 1/3 acre and preferably more:  We have one acre surrounded by 18 other one-acre parcels.  It is like an oasis.

Sunny space for a garden. Existing fruit trees a bonus:  The property is lightly wooded and backs to undeveloped forest.  We have had clearings made to expose more sun.  Alas, there are no fruit trees and given that the elk make frequent runs through the property, we will like need to compromise in this area.

Trees in the general vicinity to provide wood and biomass for heating and cooking:  Definitely.

Local source of water such as streams, ponds, or lakes.  Bonus if a well can be dug:  There are plenty of water sources in the area but none are within walking distance. Although that is a concern, we are planning to store extra water in multiple 160 gallon tanks, plus a series of rain barrels.

Abundant wildlife for hunting as a food source.: Elk and rabbits roam the the property and fishing is close by.

When a Prepper Relocates: Finding and Moving to the Perfect Survival Retreat | Mr-Elk-Comes-to-Visit | PreparednessSurvival

Mr. Elk comes to visit from time to time and brings his buddies with him.

Favorable tax environment:  Good enough.  Local government seems non-invasive and the taxes seem fair.

Sufficient storage space for a two year food supply:  YES YES YES!

Gun-friendly:  This is Arizona.  The previous owners had a huge gun safe and our neighbors own firearms.  That is all I will say about that.

Zoning that allows for water catchment systems and auxiliary fuel/propane tanks:  There are restrictions that we will need to take into consideration relative to above ground water catchment systems and propane tanks.  I am satisfied that we will find a suitable alternative.

History that shows area is relatively free from wild fires and floods: There is a fire risk; this is the national forest after all.  Still, we are in a Firewise community and have had our property cleared of low growing brush that would potentially put our home at risk.

Moderate climate 20F low to 90F high:  Check, although summers can reach the high 90s.

Proximity to health care within a 20 mile radius:  Although we are in the middle of the woods, there is a hospital less than 10 miles away.

Very good to excellent cell phone service:  Yes

Availability of high speed internet (for as long as it lasts): Yes!!

Peace, quiet, and no tourist activity.  Being on our own acre surrounded by forest in a community with no major industry translates into serenity,  The only noise we hear comes from the birds and the animals.  That said, it is a short drive into town for as much activity as I can handle given my interests and needs.

……………………..

All in all, I am thrilled with my survival retreat.  The home itself needed a lot of cosmetic work inside and the outside needed to be tidied but the bones are good and the property is exceptional.  The biggest challenge will be transporting water from off-site if our tap water ever stops running.  Purifying compromised water I can deal with in five or six different ways so that is not a concern.

Moving Can Be Lonely So Be Prepared to Get Social

Moving away from friends and family is pretty scary when it comes to settling in a strange location where you know no one.  For many, that will be fine and I applaud you for your ability to adapt to total isolation. I am not that person.

Although I am not particularly social, I do occasionally enjoy face to face contact with the outside world.  If this describes you, then know that you will need to put yourself out there.  Walk your neighborhood and meet the neighbors.  Chat with the lady behind the counter at the post office.  Shop the local merchants and tell them you are new to the area.

In a very short period of time, Shelly and I have a found handful of new acquaintances to share an evening BBQ and to shoot the breeze about this and that.  The goal is to establish a base of trust and to identify those that will be there to watch our backs as we watch theirs.

The Final Word

When we crossed the Columbia River last October, I announced that Elvis has left the building.  It was time for a new life and a new adventure.  Now that I am within days of moving to my survival retreat (aka The Cabin),  I have a renewed outlook when it comes to my chances to survive should the worse happen.

Yes, I gave up an abundant source of water but, on the other hand, I gained a whole lot more.  Mostly I hope to have gained the ability to grow food, fish, and hunt and enjoy the serenity that comes from living in the woods.

As you seek refuge in our own survival retreat, whether at your existing location or elsewhere, I hope you are as blessed as I have become.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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