Failing to Prepare is Preparing to fail

"Surviving to Fight means Fighting to Survive"

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Monday, 22 December 2014

Show Contents 22nd December 2014

Show Notes
I start this week’s show with: This we have to stop, then The Importance of Water, the Blizzard Survival 20% Discount Offer, An Asteroid Impact, The Ribzwear ½ off Discount Offer, Collapse in an Urban Setting – What to Expect, The Wilderness121 10% Discount Offer, Keeping Chicken in your Back Garden, Your Emergency Prepping Calendar, The Midimax 10% Discount Offer, Survival Food Ideas, Moving Through an Urban Environment, The Field leisure 10% Discount Offer, Have you planned for evacuation? The Buggrub 10% Discount Offer, Keeping Warm Camping in the Winter, The Hunters-Knives 10%Discount Offer, Using a Citizens Band Radio in a Disaster, Emergency Sanitation – Post SHTF

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This We Have To STOP
The European Commission is changing the European Union’s plant legislation, apparently to enhance food safety across the continent. This move has sparked a heavy opposition from many, saying that the measure will threaten seed diversity and favour large agrochemical businesses. This new law creates new powers to classify and regulate all plant life anywhere in Europe.
The “Plant Reproductive Material Law” regulates all plants. It contains restrictions on vegetables and woodland trees, as well as all other plants of any species. It will be illegal to grow, reproduce, or trade any vegetable seed or tree that has not been tested and approved by the government, more specifically the “EU Plant Variety Agency.”
This agency will be responsible for making a list of approved plants and an annual fee must also be forwarded to the agency if growers would like to keep what they grow on the list. The new law basically puts the government in charge of all plants and seeds in Europe, and prevents home gardeners from growing their own plants from non-regulated seeds.
If they did, they would now be considered criminals.
The draft text of the law has already been changed several times due to a large backlash from gardeners.
This law will immediately stop the professional development of vegetable varieties for home gardeners, organic growers and small scale market farmers. Home gardeners have really different needs – for example they grow by hand, not machine, and can’t or don’t want to use such powerful chemical sprays.
There’s no way to register the varieties suitable for home use as they don’t meet the strict criteria of the Plant Variety Agency, which is only concerned about approving the sort of seed used by industrial farmers.
It seems the government is taking over everything, virtually all plants, vegetables seeds and gardeners are to be registered by the government. What’s even more disturbing is that all heirloom seeds will be criminalized. This means that saving seeds from one generation to the next will become a criminal act!
This law was written for the needs of the globalized farm seed industry, who supply seed by the ton to industrial farmers. It should not apply at all to seed used by home gardeners and small market growers. Freely reproducible seeds should be a human right, they are part of our heritage.
I understand this is to protect the business of big agri-companies, but registration and testing should be voluntary for all non GMO, non-patented and non-hybrid seed.
So what can you do?
The Importance of Water
Nothing refreshes like an ice-cold glass of water on a hot summer day.
Water replenishes the body's cooling system, enabling it to survive sweltering heat or elevated body temperatures due to exercise. Sweating cools the body by evaporating water on the surface of the skin and dispersing excess heat.
But until the tap runs dry, most people take water for granted. Recent contamination of tap water in the UK due to flooding caused many safety problems and is something we all experience from time to time when we have discoloured water in our taps.
Water's Lifeline
Although deficiencies of other nutrients can be sustained for months or even years, a person can survive only a few days without water. Indeed, experts rank water second only to oxygen as essential for life.
In addition to offering true refreshment for the thirsty, water plays a vital role in all bodily processes. It supplies the universal medium in which various chemical changes of the body occur, aiding in digestion, absorption, circulation and lubrication of body joints.
For example, as a major component of blood, water helps deliver nutrients to body cells and removes waste to the kidneys for excretion. Enzymes essential to digestion are also primarily water, working to break down food so that nutrients can be absorbed in the intestine.
Water comprises about 50 to 70 percent of body weight in humans. Males on average have a higher percentage of body water than females, because they tend to have less body fat. The more body fat in individuals, the less water therein. A decrease of as little as 10 percent of adult body water due to excessive vomiting or diarrhoea is considered serious, and in a young child, could be fatal.
Average adults need about 64 ounces (eight cups) of fluid each day for optimal health. Although experts generally advise drinking several glasses of water a day, the need for fluid can also be met by consuming a variety of foods and beverages.
Milk is about 87 percent water; meat ranges from 40 to 75 percent water; and vegetables are as much as 95 percent water. Even foods normally considered "dry" such as cereal and bread contain about eight to 35 percent water.
Water supplies small amounts of many minerals vital for life, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, copper and magnesium. Minerals such as calcium are essential to bone formation and blood clotting, while magnesium is needed to produce energy and conduct nerve impulses. Different concentrations of these minerals determine whether water is considered hard or soft.
Hard water contains high concentrations of calcium and magnesium and is often associated with residues or crystals in the teapot over time. The principal mineral of soft water, on the other hand, is sodium. Soft water dissolves soap better, leaving fewer mineral deposits, and is therefore often viewed as more desirable.
But it's been suggested that sodium in soft water contributes to increased incidence of high blood pressure and heart disease in some populations. Drinking water is not a significant source of sodium in the diet. You get much more sodium from salty foods, even in areas with a relatively high sodium concentration in the water, than from water itself.
Water Safety
Given the indispensable nature of water to human life, it's no wonder water safety is considered a top public health priority. Chlorination of drinking water, which began in the early 1900s to control microbial contamination, has been said to be one of the most effective public health measures of the century.
Prior to chlorination, microbial contamination of the water supply was a major source of cholera and typhoid fever. Today, more than 90 percent of our water supplies receive chlorinated water.
But as fewer outbreaks of waterborne infectious diseases have occurred, concern has shifted to the presence of lead and other compounds in water. Lead pipes and solder in older homes and buildings are major sources of lead exposure in some populations, causing neurological and other serious health problems.
The safety of chlorine residuals and the minor chemical by-products in water that directly result from the chlorination process also have come under scrutiny.
When the Well Runs Dry
Thirst signals the body's need for fluid. However I would argue that the thirst mechanism cannot be considered entirely reliable, as dehydration has already occurred by the time a person becomes thirsty.
For this reason, athletes and other active people must be sure to consume adequate water for optimal performance.
Risk vs. Benefit
While disease from untreated water is virtually non-existent in the UK today (although there is always a risk), other countries continue to be plagued by devastating epidemics related to contaminated water.
In a little more than a year, a Peruvian epidemic spread to 16 other countries in Latin America, causing about 600,000 cases of cholera and 5,000 deaths.
Perhaps for now, we must keep in mind that we're dealing with known benefits and only theoretical risks from the use of chlorine.
I personally use a Water-To Go Bottle for filter out any heavy metals, fluoride for example from tap water before I drink it.
Don’t forget it is now only carelessness if you become ill from drinking suspect water while away on holiday where ever that is.
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An Asteroid Impact
The asteroid that exploded near the city of Chelyabinsk in the Urals region of Russia was the largest to crash to Earth since 1908, when an object hit Tunguska in Siberia. Using video recordings of the event, scientists have now reconstructed the asteroid's properties and its trajectory through Earth’s atmosphere. The risk of similar objects hitting our planet may be ten times larger than previously thought, they now warn.
The fireball’s early-morning flight through the sky over the Urals was observed by many people and captured by numerous video cameras. To observers on the ground, it shone 30 times brighter than the Sun, and had an energy equivalent to more than 500 kilotons of TNT.
The rock was an ordinary chondrite from the asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, as revealed by its trajectory and by its elemental and mineral composition, mainly silicates that formed the Solar System billions of years ago.
At the time it entered the atmosphere, its mass was of the order of 12,000–13,000 metric tonnes, report two studies published online in Nature and another study published at the same time in Science. This is nearly twice as heavy as initial estimates had suggested and also larger than revised estimates published in this year.
The asteroid roared through Earth’s upper atmosphere at an initial speed of around 19 kilometres per second — more than 50 times the speed of sound. At an altitude of between 45 and 30 kilometres, the heavily fractured, and hence rather fragile, body broke into pieces and finally burst into gas and dust at around 27 kilometres' altitude.
Luckily, most of the kinetic energy was absorbed by the atmosphere, a more solid rock that might have blasted closer to the ground would have caused considerably more damage.”
Although thousands of small meteorites have been found in the area, only a few larger pieces seem to have survived the blast. One 3.4-kilogram rock fell near the town of Timiryazevski; another hit the roof of a house in Deputatskiy.
The largest single surviving fragment, a 600-kilogram meteorite, was recovered last month by divers from the bottom of Lake Chebarkul, some 60 kilometres southwest of Chelyabinsk. An eerie-looking hole in the ice, and tentative trajectory calculations, had caused researchers to assume early on that a big chunk had landed in the shallow lake.
The shock waves resulting from the main blast blew people off their feet and shattered thousands of windows in Chelyabinsk and in the weeks after the event damage was seen in 50 villages scattered throughout the impact region.
One of the papers in Nature finds that before the asteroid met its fate, its orbit was strikingly similar to that of a much larger, 2-kilometre body, known as asteroid 86039, first observed in 1999.
The position and orbit of asteroid 86039 are precisely known. So are the orbits of most of the estimated 1,000 or so asteroids of at least 1 kilometre diameter that are circling the Sun. No known large asteroid is currently on a collision course with Earth — at least not for the next couple of centuries it is thought.
Much less is known about the millions of smaller objects that roam the Solar System. The Chelyabinsk asteroid had approached Earth from a region of the sky that is inaccessible to ground-based telescopes. In the 6 weeks before the impact, it would have been visible above the horizon only during the daytime, when the sky is too bright to see objects of its size.
One hundred leading scientists, astronomers, former astronauts and celebrities have called for more to be done to prevent a devastating asteroid strike.
TV physicist Professor Brian Cox is backing the campaign, as is Queen Guitarist Brian May, who has a doctorate in astrophysics.
He said: "The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it becomes that the human race has been living on borrowed time.”
The group has called for a rapid increase in the discovery and tracking of near-Earth asteroids so that 100,000 can be discovered each year.
There are believed to be millions of asteroids in the Solar System but only around 10,000 have been found to date.
The group wants June 30th next year to be declared Asteroid Day to promote efforts to prevent an impact.
It was on that date in 1908 that around 800 square miles of forest in Tunguska, Siberia, was destroyed by an asteroid strike.
A similar impact now could wipe out an entire city.
Brian May said:  "We are currently aware of less than 1% of objects comparable to the one that impacted at Tunguska, and nobody knows when the next big one will hit. It takes just one."
So there you have it just another event that we must if not prepare for at least be aware of.
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Collapse in an Urban Setting – What to Expect
As preppers we prepare for manmade and natural disasters and many of us realize that cities are perhaps the worst place to live, very few people are really prepared to pack up and bug-out and head for the hills. I think most people whether they’re aware or not, are going to stay in the cities.
This is not a hasty decision for most people. Most of us depend on the city for our livelihood, and we can be better prepared by continuing to live in the city, earn a good income, and make preparations for exiting the city at the appropriate time or by staying in the city and living off existing supplies.
Every city is artificial or not real. Cities formed as people came together to conduct business, participate in social interaction, and benefit from efficiencies in public services (such as schools, sewers, water, etc.) and a common defence. Yet cities cannot survive alone. They need resources from the country; most notably, food, water and electricity. While electricity and water can sometimes be created or found within city limits, the acreage requirements of food dictate that no city could possibly feed its own people.
Read that last phrase carefully: No city can feed its own people. Not one. Cities are, by their very nature, dependent on the importation of food. The advent of just-in-time delivery systems to our grocery stores means that most cities would run out of food within a week if supplies were for some reason disrupted.
Remember, cities are not self-sufficient. Although they may seem to be, they have for a long time been entirely dependent on the farmer to survive, something almost all of us take for granted (except the farmer, of course.)
The city presents some serious risks during a crisis. The four most serious ones are:
The collapse of social order (riots).
The failure of the water treatment and delivery systems.
The depletion of food supplies.
The failure of the power grid.
While not every situation will appear in every city, every situation will most certainly appear in some cities. Will that include yours?
Okay, so you’re stuck in the city. You’ve made the decision to stay. Despite the problems I have mentioned you can win.
Stay and defend your house
Bug out (leave the city and head for the hills)
Important! This is not an either/or situation. You can begin by staying in your house and assessing the situation. You’ll want to have a “bug-out” vehicle stocked and ready, just in case, if you can afford one, but you may never actually choose to bug out. You’ll have to be the ultimate judge of this. Just remember that when you bug out, you face major risks and disadvantages. Among these:
You’re severely limited in how much you can carry
You have limited range due to fuel
You expose yourself to social chaos, roadblocks, random violence, etc.
Your house will certainly be looted while you’re gone
You run the risk of mechanical breakdowns of your vehicle
You must have a place to go that you know is in better shape than where you currently are.
In general, unless you have a specific, known safe place as your final destination, I don’t advise people to bug out. Just “heading for the hills” is a very poor plan. You might not make it. But heading for Grandma’s house or some known, safe place could be a very good plan indeed, depending on whether Grandma is ready, willing and able to accept you!
For these reasons (and more), staying and defending your house is sometimes the only reasonable course of action, even if it seems dangerous. For the most part, looters and people looking for food are going to have plenty of easy victims, so if you show a little willingness to use force to defend your property, you’ll likely send people on to the next house.
Storing food is just as important in the city as in the country, but hiding it is far more important. That’s because in the worst areas, marauders will be going from house to house, demanding your food or your life. If you’re dumb enough to put everything you own in the obvious places, you might as well not buy it in the first place. They will find it. To count on having any amount of food left over after the marauders break in, you’ll need to hide your food.
One alternative is to plan on defending your home with force. If you have enough gun-wise people in the house, and enough firearms and ammo, you can probably pull this off. But most of us aren’t nearly as experience with firearms as the gang members. A better alternative might be to plan on bringing you supplies to your local community centre for example this of course will depend greatly on your relationship with your neighbours etc.
Water can be stored in exactly the same way, although you might want to bury the barrel before you actually fill it with water. Make sure you treat your storage water, rotate it or have filters on hand when you get ready to use it.
Of course, even with the preparations, you may find yourself depleted of water supplies. In this situation, one of your best defence is to have a really good water filter that can remove parasites and bacteria from the water. You can also treat your water in other ways (iodine, distillation, silver solution, bleach, etc.). Armed with these items, you can safely use stream or river water (or even pond water) for drinking.
Let’s talk about force. No doubt, there are plenty of nice people in this country, and I think that in small towns and rural areas, people are going to find ways to cooperate and get along. I also think, however, that some cities will suffer complete social breakdown and violence will rule. If you happen to be stuck in one of these cities, you’re going to need to use force to defend your house.
Important: Do not use your lights at night. If you are stocking propane-powered lanterns, solar-powered flashlights, or other unusual supplies, using them at night will announce to everyone within line of sight that you have more than the “usual” supplies. Expect them to come knocking in your door. At most, let a fire burn in the fireplace, but in general, avoid drawing attention to your house.
Defending your house is a crucial element on your stay-in-the-city plan. Make your house your fortress, and hold drills to help other family members practice some of the more common activities such as hiding, defending, evacuating, etc.
Some useful items for home defence include:
A guard dog.
Pepper spray.
Smoke bombs (military-grade).
Trip wires
In addition to these devices, you can make significant fortification-style improvements to your home. While none of these are very affordable, they certainly help defend your home:
Replace glass windows with non-breakable Plexiglas.
Add steel bars to the windows.
Replace all outside door locks with heavy-duty deadbolts.
Replace all outside doors with steel doors, preferably without windows.
Remove bushes and other shrubs where people might hide.
Black out the windows entirely to avoid light escaping at night (similar to what residents of London did during the WWII bombing raids).
Build secret hiding places for food, coins, or even people.
Create escape hatches or passageways.
Rig booby traps.
These aren’t as absurd as they might at first sound. Many people living in rough cities already have steel bars covering their windows, and removing extra bushes and shrubs is a well-known tactic for making your home a safer place.
To light your home when there’s no electricity, try the following:
Use LED flashlights and rechargeable solar-charged batteries.
Purchase quality oil lamps or make your own and stock up on oil.
Buy extra candles.
Purchase lots of olive oil. Not only can you cook with it (and besides, it’s a lot healthier than corn or vegetable oil), olive oil also burns as a clean candle fuel. You can float a wick in a jar half-full of olive oil and light the wick. Viola, a home-made candle.
Olive oil is a fantastic item for your storage anyway because even if you purchase all the grains in the world, you’ll still need cooking oil, and you obviously can’t buy powdered cooking oil. Well-stored olive oil can last for thousands of years.
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Keeping Chicken in your Back Garden
If you watch truly free range or even wild chickens they will run around as they wish and roost up in trees, under bushes, or just sitting on the ground. While you could just throw your domesticated chickens in your back garden and let them figure it out for themselves, it’s doubtful your neighbours, or your conscience would be happy (although predators would be). Fortunately, meeting your chickens’ habitat and shelter needs isn’t that difficult.
A chicken coop provides your flock with a safe place to live that protects them from the elements and predators. It also provides them with a place to lay eggs and roost at night, while helping you keep track of their location. Chicken coops come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs.
Chickens actually have a strong homing instinct which drives them to return to the same place and roost as soon as the sun starts going down. Because of that homing instinct, once your chickens have spent a few nights to a week in their coop they will always return to it at dusk.
If you move their coop you may have to help them out by putting them in the new coop each night until they start to go in by themselves.
It’s important to understand and provide the correct coop features that complement the natural behaviour of chickens.
Your chickens need the basics- 4 walls and a roof. They need a doorway to get in and out, and the coop should be relatively draft free. The materials and design choices for your coop are endless.
Chickens love to scratch in the dirt, dig through weeds, dig up bugs, take dirt baths, relax in the sun or shade, and just run about. It’s important for your chickens to have access to the outside. Be sure to provide them with an outside fenced area or fully enclosed run that is attached to their coop.
Your chickens are birds and hence love to roost. This means they like having something to perch on that is up off the ground. Most coop designs incorporate a roosting bar or something similar to fulfil this need. Providing roosts both inside and outside allows them to have more choices depending on the weather.
Laying hens require a lay box, and it can be as simple or as extravagant as you like. A simple wooden box built inside the coop and lined with some straw is perfectly fine.
The box just needs to fit the bird comfortably on three sides, provide a roof, and have a low enough lip so that the bird can step over. Don’t forget the straw bedding!
As preppers and survivalists it makes great sense to have fresh food available
When you raise your own eggs and/or meat you know what the animal ate, its living conditions, and how it was treated.
Fresh foods simply taste better and eggs are no exception.  Combine chicken keeping with a vegetable garden and you’ll never look at shop bought eggs & produce the same way.
Chicken poo is high in nitrogen and great for your compost heap.  Give your vegetable garden the nutrient boost it needs.
Got cockroaches, grubs, or any other pest you don’t want in your garden? Chickens are great at controlling certain pests naturally- no need to put down nasty chemicals. 
While chicken keeping may sound like hard work to some but many people see egg collection and putting out feed as a relaxing morning ritual.  
Never been into DIY as you are not very handy with tools?  Building your own coop is a great way to learn. 
There you have it a fresh meat source in your back garden simple, tasty and good for you.
Your Emergency Prepping Calendar
Once you start prepping, it is easy to get carried away when the bug hits you and you perhaps start buying kit etc. without any planning.
There are some problems with this.
First there are time constraints and second there are money and budget issues.  But the biggest problem and undoubtedly the one that is overlooked in the initial flurry of readiness preparations, is that without reasonable care and thought given to the process, the tasks and the actual products involved, you can make some costly mistakes. 
I say this from experience.  In my haste to get “stocked up” I bought gear that I don’t like and will never use.  I purchased foodstuffs I will never eat. 
Stupid, stupid, stupid of me.  I should have taken my time, done my research, and made a well thought out and educated decision before I even got started.
Today I would like to help you break down the overwhelming task of emergency preparation by providing you with a month by month calendar of things to do, tasks to complete and items to purchase. 
For the newbies, this gives you a manageable number of things to do in a short period of time.  Instead of looking at a task list 10 pages long, you have a short list that is eminently doable in 30 days or less.
And for the more experienced prepper?  You can start with month 1, look at the activities and tasks involved and fill in any gaps you may have in your own preparation. 
In some cases you may see a need to update or rotate what you have on hand and in others, you may find the need to practice a particular skill.
I love lists as if drawn up properly they work very well. So bear with me as I present a readiness calendar to guide your through twelve months of prepping. 
Hopefully you will find that one month’s work is not too costly, not too time-consuming and not too difficult.  The most difficult part as I see it will be getting off your bum and starting.
Water-3 gallons per person and per pet
Hand-operated can opener and bottle opener
Canned meat, stew, or pasta meals – 5 per person
2 flashlights with batteries
Inventory the disaster supplies you already have on hand, including your camping gear
If you fill your own water containers, mark them with the date they were filled
Date tins of food and food containers if you have not already done so
Tinned vegetables – 4 per person
Toilet paper – 3 rolls per person
Sanitary napkins – 2 months’ supply
Instant drinks (coffee, tea, powdered milk and soft drinks)
Family sized first aid kit
Change the batteries and test your smoke detectors.  Purchase and install smoke detectors if you don’t have them
Make an inventory of home contents for insurance purposes. Take photographs (digital are easiest) of your house and contents. Store a copy away from your home.
Tinned fruits – 3 cans per person
Any foods for special dietary needs (enough for 3 days)
A large plastic tub or bin for storage of food and other emergency supplies.
Conduct a home fire drill
Locate the gas meter and water shutoff points and attach/store a wrench or shutoff tool near them.  Also store special shutoff instruction, if any.
Establish an out-of-area contact to call in case of an emergency
Identify a location for your storage of your plastic bin or tub.
Extra baby bottles, formula and nappies if needed
Extra pet supplies; food, collar, leash, etc.
A stash of at least £100 in small notes more if you can afford it
Begin to stockpile extra supplies of critical prescription medications. Talk to your pharmacist for help in choosing which ones.
Place a supply of prescription medicine(s) in a storage container and date the medicine(s) if not already indicated on its label
Start putting supplies in storage container(s) and include blankets or sleeping bags for each family member
Tinned, ready-to-eat soup – 4 per person
Washing up Liquid
Plain liquid bleach
Portable am/FM radio with batteries
Liquid hand soap and hand sanitizer
Disposable hand wipes
Disposable latex gloves
Make two photocopies of important papers and put one in the storage container, and one away from your home.
Talk with neighbours about organizing a neighbourhood preparedness group.
Box of granola or power bars – 1 per person
6 rolls of paper towels
Box of N-95 or N-100 face masks – 1 per person.
Check to see if stored water has expired and needs to be replaced
Put an extra pair of eyeglasses in the supply container
Find out about your workplace disaster plans and the disaster plans at your children’s schools
Fire extinguisher
Jug of juice – 1 per person
Adult and children’s vitamins
A pair of pliers and/or better a multi tool
100 feet of rope or paracord
Take a first aid/CPR class
Show family members where and how to shut off utilities
Box of crackers – 1 per person
Dry cereal or instant oatmeal – 1 weeks’ worth per person
1 box of large, heavy-duty rubbish bags
Make a small preparedness kit for your car. Include food, water, blanket, small first aid kit, a list of important phone numbers
Secure water heaters to wall studs (if not already done)
Extra batteries for flashlights/Torches, radio and hearing aids (if needed)
Duct tape
Add an additional 3 days of water to your supply per person and per pet
Follow up on efforts to organize your neighbourhood
Conduct an evacuation drill at home: Pack up, fuel up and go (Remember, anything can happen anywhere as recent events have demonstrated.)
Replace prescription medicines as required by expiration dates
Take the month off from purchases. Yay!
Secure shelves, cabinets and drawers to prevent them from falling and/or opening attacks on your home.
Imagine your house with no electricity. What more do you need?
Package of paper plates
Package of napkins
Package of eating utensils
Package of paper cups
Exchange work, home and emergency contact phone numbers with neighbours for use during an emergency
Heavy work gloves
Begin to try to expand your food supply to twice of what you have on hand right now. Continue with this effort into coming 12 months.
Check to see if your stored food and water needs to be replaced.
Congratulations.  You have completed your year of preparations.  Now is a good time to go back to month 1 and review, replenish, rotate and eat.  Good job!
The final word for today is this:
Emergency preparation is your journey and should be unique to your circumstances, your family, your geographical location and your financial resources.  Yes, it can be a chore.  But as I have said before, it should be a chore with a happy ending.
Survival Food Ideas
An emergency or survival situation is not the time to count calories or to forget proper nutrition. Typically, you will burn more calories during a survival situation due to an increase in physical activity.
You need the proper nutrition to ward off illness and to have the proper energy level to perform critical survival tasks.
When preparing for a crisis, you must consider types of foods along with quantity. When calculating amounts consider the fact that people tend to eat more during a disaster, then there is spoilage, wastefulness, damaged product and the fact that your friends and neighbours may ask for emergency rations from your “Survival supplies”.
Types of Foods
During a survival situation, you may not have the proper means to prepare meals, so many of them will be ad hoc affairs.
This means some portion of your food supply must be edible from the container hot or cold.
Typically, it is tinned foods that are the staple during an emergency. They are relatively inexpensive and are readily available.
You can expect a one-year shelf life from date of purchase and the variety while limited would be adequate for short-term situations or as a supplemental source. Storage space would be a consideration if you stockpile large volumes of tinned products.
The average person will need one tin of protein, one of fruit and one tin of vegetables daily.
Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s) are another option. Each meal is usually around 1,200 calories, is self-contained and includes condiments and eating utensils.
The shelf life is anywhere from five to seven years out of refrigeration. The meals can be eaten from the package or immersed in hot water for heating. The recommendation is two MRE’s for each adult daily. There is a large variety from which to choose and the meals are easily carried in backpacks if you must evacuate.
Dehydrated foods are ideal for long-term survival situations if you have a reliable water source and the means to heat the water. If water and fuel/fire may be an issue then you must have other foods available until you can secure a heat and water source.
Survival Food Basics
In addition to meals that are packaged or tinned and ready to eat, you can stockpile many staples to help supplement your supply. You should also have basic cooking spices on hand as well. The following amounts are based on a family of four for one year.
Flour 100 lbs
Wheat 600 lbs
Oats 100 lbs
Rice 200 lbs
Pasta 100 lbs
Cooking oil 8 gals
Assorted dried beans 120-150 lbs
Peanut butter 16-20 lbs
Dry milk 240 lbs
Sugar 160 lbs
Yeast 2 lbs
Add white and cider vinegar, baking powder, salt, pepper and baking soda. Store all grains in airtight glass or heavy plastic containers out of direct light. The list of course is not comprehensive and it must be based on personal preferences.
There is no point in stockpiling any foods that are not a normal part of your diet.
Just because tinned spinach is on sale is no reason to purchase it if no one likes it. Keep in mind you will not have any refrigeration, so you must plan carefully not to have leftovers.
Survival Food Considerations
When preparing for SHTF keep the possibility of evacuation in mind. If you have to leave your location, you will have carry food with you, i.e. a BOB
You cannot depend on emergency shelters or disaster relief agencies for your food. The food must be ready to eat, and light enough where every member can carry at least a three days’ supply in his or her packs.
Tinned foods are heavy and take up considerable space in a pack, so opt for MRE’s, beef jerky, protein bars and trail mix. Dehydrated foods while they can be repackaged for packing in packs must be reconstituted with water and they require cooking utensils, pots and pans along with a heat source.
Moving Through an Urban Environment
If you have to move through an urban area post SHTF, and I do mean “if” as it will always be safer to go around it try doing so at night as this will reduce the number of people around and therefore any threat.
If you have power then use google maps to recce your route before you set off, as you can memorise land mark buildings and avoid dead end streets as you map your route on paper.
Don’t forget your vehicle Sat Nav which will work on its internal battery but turn the voice off.
If you do not have power then revert back to using a map and again pre-plan your route, but this time mark in ON your map.
Whichever method you use make sure that all group members are aware of your intended route and were to meet up if anyone gets separated.
In an urban environment the movement techniques within urban terrain differ slightly from the basic movements used in the wilderness.
This is really because the urban area has a population and that is a totally unknown quantity and there is a real risk of being attacked, robbed, raped, having your equipment and supplies looted and even killed outright.
Several movement techniques take on added importance during transit through urban terrain due to the nature of the area.
In urban areas, the individual or group are confronted with different types of obstacles that they must navigate through.
Your alertness and all-round security are mandatory. A threat might appear not only from the front, side, and rear, but also from above and below.
Take care to avoid silhouetting yourself in doors or windows, or on rooftops.
Avoid open areas (streets, alleys, and parks).
Make a visual reconnaissance of the next position before moving.
Conceal movement by using buildings, rubble, and vegetation.
Always move rapidly from one position to another.
Stay alert and expect the unexpected.
Observe around corners.
Corners are hazardous to the untrained who fail to remain alert. The most common three mistakes
Made are--
Failure to recognize the danger area.
Extending a body part or piece of equipment beyond the corner, which exposes their presence.
You should lie flat on the ground then move forward slowly, ensuring that nothing is forward of the corner.
Expose your head slowly at ground level so that it appears to be a shadow. Expose your head only enough to observe around the corner.
Avoid open areas, such as streets, alleys, and parks, when possible, because you will be easy to spot. If you must cross an open area, reduce your risk by taking basic precautions:
Make a visual reconnaissance of the area and position.
Select a route that has some cover or concealment.
Move by the most direct route to the selected position to reduce the time of exposure to being seen.
Windows are danger points. Most first-floor windows are head high and offer the chance of being seen by the householder
The right way to pass first floor windows is to stay as close to the building as possible then, when you reach the window, duck your head well below it.
And always take care to avoid silhouetting yourself in a window.
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Have you planned for evacuation?
The most important to thing to when it comes to dealing with evacuation is that there are no hard and fast rules as the need to evacuate and how you should go about doing so has so many variables which include:
The reasons why you need to evacuate e.g. to escape from fire, flood, gas explosions, terrorism etc.
The amount of notice you’ll have in terms of warning time before you must evacuate
Whether or not an official body is in control of conducting the evacuation e.g. the police, the fire brigade, the armed forces etc.
Two examples of having to evacuate from you home would be the flooding experiences in the UK over recent year’s extreme weather events around the world.
 In both scenarios, there will have ultimately been the need to evacuate for many people but how the evacuations were carried out would have been very different.
Therefore, unless you’ve received direct notification by an official authority representative calling at your house to tell you that you must evacuate or you’ve been made aware of any evacuation procedures via the local media, i.e. TV or radio then all you can do is to have some kind of preparation plan in place in the eventuality that you have no option but to evacuate your home, now as preppers we know that this is when the BOG comes into play.
Preparation - Discussing Possible Disaster Scenarios
Although you might think that you live in an area where everything is calm, tranquil and safe, disaster could strike at any time.
Firstly the disaster could either be manmade or natural like a plane crash nearby or some kind of unexpected freak weather which damages your house beyond immediate repair - the list is endless and the fact is that none of us can be certain that we would never need to evacuate our home.
One of the things that is useful is to sit down and discuss with your family the types of disaster that could possibly happen.
Hopefully, an evacuation might be co-ordinated by one of the emergency services who would tell you what to do but that cannot always be guaranteed if there is insufficient time to respond so talking through possible scenarios and making some notes that you all understand is a good survival exercise. Discuss things like:
The different types of disasters that could occur and how you might respond to each of them
Where you would go and what you would bring with you and when you wouldn’t even bother to bring anything with you in disaster scenarios where you might not have time to gather any belongings, again this is where a pre-packed BOG is the answer.
Evacuation routes by car if you felt you needed to get well away from the immediate area and also by foot if for whatever reason a vehicle could not be used.
Planning a Meeting Point
Although we’d all like to think that in a disaster scenario our family would all stay together, the reality is that this might not always be possible.
Therefore, you should plan 2 meeting points which all the family should be familiar with. The first one might be somewhere reasonably close by but a safe distance from your home. This would be a meeting point perhaps in the event that your house caught fire.
The second meeting point should be a place which you’re all aware of but which might be outside your own neighbourhood in case you cannot return home in the foreseeable future following say flooding.
Select an Emergency ‘Friend’ To Notify
It is a good idea that everyone should have the contact phone number of somebody such as a friend or close family member who lives well away from you (and therefore the disaster area) to whom each of you should report into by phone in the event that there’s a disaster and you are all separated.
Things to Take With You
When considering taking things with you in the event that you need to evacuate, this will all depend upon whether or not there’s sufficient time to do that. Remember, in certain disaster scenarios, a fire in your house for example, you won’t have time and then your only option is making sure you get out immediately and stay out.
However, if there is going to be time to take a few bits and pieces with you, the types of things you should consider might include:
Sleeping bags or blankets
Ready to eat, non-perishable foods and something to drink
Any necessary medications
Money, bank cards etc.
Wearing appropriate clothing for the weather conditions
First aid kit
Motorway map
Local OS map
Valuables, i.e. pictures, important papers etc.
And as you all know this list is endless and of course personal to the individual.
I hope you will now consider what I have said and take action buy discussing it and making a plan of what you and your family would do if you had to evacuate your home.
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Keeping Warm Camping in the Winter
There are many people who ask is “how to stay warm in winter?” Being cold at any time is not something anyone ever really wants.
When you are in a survival shelter you don’t have a lot of protection from the elements with its thin sides, it’s not like when you are safe and cozy at home.
How to stay warm when camping is something everyone wants and can be difficult when the weather turns cold.
No-one wants to be shivering with cold when they want to be sleeping. Do they?
Survival shelter begins with the type of clothes you wear, having the right clothes to sleep in is the key to staying warm at any time when it’s cold with clothes it is layering.
You want to have more than one layer on, to be able to trap heat in the layers. The best materials for your clothes are synthetic or woollen materials. Avoid cotton as this does not work to help insulate you.
A lot of heat is lost through your head so wearing a woollen hat or cap can help to keep you warm. Don’t wear wet or damp clothes as these will act to cool you down and keep you cold.
Getting dressed
When you get changed you can lose a lot of heat as you take off one set of clothes and put on another. A way to overcome this is to get changed in your sleeping bag either when getting up or going to bed.
When going to bed you can use the clothes you have taken off to stuff your sleeping bag so there is less air in the bag for you to warm up and this will help to keep you warm.
Sleeping bags are rated according to the temperature they are appropriate for. So, it is important to know the likely temperature you are likely to encounter on your trip by checking the weather forecast.
And then by being properly prepared for it with the correctly rated sleeping bag. The recommended sleeping bag for cold weather is the mummy bag as it ties and pulls around your head. Not everyone likes this type of bag because it can feel a bit claustrophobic.
Any sleeping bag can have its thermal protection increased by wrapping an emergency blanket around you whole body and then getting in to your sleeping bag.
Sleeping Pads
A lot of cold comes up through the ground, known as “Ground Chill”. Having your sleeping bag straight on the ground will mean you get cold and can be very uncomfortable as well. A foam sleeping pad or an insulated air mattress will get you off the ground, be much more comfortable and you’ll be warmer too.
Sharing Your Sleeping Bag
There are sleeping bags that you can join together to make a double sleeping bag. In this way you cuddle up close to another person and you can share each other’s’ body heat to keep both of you nice and warm.
Warming Up Your Sleeping Bag
Getting into a cold sleeping bag can be a bit of a shock to the system. Just like at home when you get into a cold bed.
A hot water bottle can be used to warm it up.
If you don’t have a hot water bottle you can use another watertight container that can handle hot water and wrap it in a towel and put this in your sleeping bag. If you are boiling water for drinking water you can use this trick as an added benefit.
It is important not to use a naked flame or a propane heater in your shelter to warm it up, as this can be very dangerous.
Survival shelters can easily catch alight and burn very quickly. However, there are a number of heaters that are specially designed for this. These portable warmers and heaters have a number of built-in safety features and it is important to be familiar with how to use them to avoid any mishaps.
Camping in winter is when you are likely to encounter very cold weather so it is important to prepare and plan properly for the weather conditions.
However, it can still get cold at night during the summer, so it is important to know what to do and also be prepared. It may not be life threatening in the summer but as said before it is no fun being too cold to sleep or being cold at any time for that matter. So be ready.
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Using a Citizens Band Radio in a Disaster
CB Radio can be an important channel of communication in emergency situations.
CB Radio communication has proven useful in disaster situations, both small-scale (for example, for a stranded motorist) and large-scale (such as after a storms or during a flash flood).
CB radios provide an effective localized communication solution in disaster situations when many lines of communication are down. CB would provide a backup communication system between the authorities and a group needing help.
Additionally even if the authorities are unable to help due to some uncontrollable constraint CB would bring local communities (e.g. from a neighbouring village) in contact thereby allowing them to seek/provide help if available.
Additionally, CB could help as a warning propagation system; if an area were seeded with this technology (combination of vehicles and fixed points) warnings of any sort could be propagated rapidly using a relay process.
This could be especially useful when you have high risk communities like remote villages, fishermen who are relatively cut off from a communications perspective.
Fundamentally it is the open, group based -communication characteristics of CB that would allow people and public authorities to communicate more efficiently in a disaster situation. This openness is really the genesis of the term Citizen Band a modality that is intended to link citizens in local communities. It is a viral product-the more the number of users in an area the more the utility.
Some organizations provide communications support in emergency situations. Channel 9 is monitored by their members, and is recognized as the CB emergency channel in many countries around the world.
The principles can be applied in remote areas or in any communities such as villages, towns, and even housing estates as a warning or communications system in emergencies.
CB Radio is easy to install and easy to operate. Because CB Radio has its own antenna and so is peer-peer communication: it does not rely on background network infrastructure.
CB radio can be directly connected to a vehicle battery for power or to a wall outlet with an AC/DC adapter with a backup battery in case of power failure. Therefore, with CB Radio, autonomous communication is possible even in a disaster situation.
If you have a CB Radio your chance of making contact with someone is greatly increased. Besides being useful in an emergency, CB Radio can be used every day at sporting events, job sites, fun for the kids.
With CB Radio you are certain to find someone to talk to when you need it!
The CB radio service is distinct from amateur ("ham") radio.

A CB does not require a license and, unlike amateur radio, it may be used for business as well as personal communications.
Like many other two-way radio services, Citizens' Band channels are shared by many users. Only one station may transmit at a time. Other stations must listen and wait for the shared channel to be available.
How to use a CB:
Channel 9 is reserved for emergency roadside assistance
CB radio is still used by truck drivers and therefore remains the best way to hear information regarding road works, accidents and police radar traps

If you are new to CB radio, or have been away from it for years, this article explains what the hobby is like today. This article assumes you have set up your radio station. If not, see “Setting up your equipment”
Tune to a popular channel, especially 19. Other channels are seldom monitored.
Listen to the channel for a few moments. If there are people talking, politely wait for a break. When you're sure it's clear, ask for a radio check. Wait for a response. If no one responds, re-issue a radio check, but wait patiently before doing so.
When another operator responds, interpret their response. Many operators are truck drivers who aren't looking for conversation. Others are enthusiasts that cannot wait to chat. Follow the tone of the other person/people.
Be polite. Nobody wants to communicate with a rude operator.
Be patient. It's not every day you'll find an enthusiast.
Be courteous.
Don't be surprised at some of the talk; it can become a tad vulgar. Just wait it out.
Channel 19 is the best channel to connect with others. Other channels, including 9, are rarely monitored.
You can talk on channel 19, but if you decide to go to a quieter channel (less listeners and less signals from other sources), move to another. Just suggest another channel.
Do not become too irresponsible. Remember that you are all strangers. Even if you're talking with a friend, strangers can listen. Remember OPSEC.
Emergency Sanitation – Post SHTF
This is something that is often ignored in emergency preparedness or survival manuals.
All the planning in the world can fall apart if the members of your group become ill. After an emergency such as a flood, bad weather or a massive power cut, we could be faced with weeks of sanitary problems.
The lack of sanitation facilities following major disaster can bring serious health risks. Proper steps must be taken to avoid post disaster illness. Flood waters may contain faecal material from overflowing sewage systems.
There is always a risk of disease from eating or drinking anything contaminated with flood water.
What we are talking about is shortage of water supply coupled with broken water pipes.
If the untreated sewage was to pollute the water supply, people will quickly become ill and could even die.
An examples of what could happen was seen during the extensive flooding in Somerset last year.
Imagine being surrounded by water, yet not being able to drink it.
With basic health care and sanitation all but destroyed, and high numbers of survivors likely left homeless, unchecked infectious disease and contamination will pose a threat to survivors. People in this type of situation will have to deal with the aftermath of the flood. And I have to say that water Bourne diseases will be the next enemy.
As I have said many times before the human body can only go without water for a few days.
Water supplies will be the first felt impact.
Great care must be taken to properly purify water before drinking. Water borne diseases such as Typhoid (Salmonella typhi), Cryptosporidiosis among others are just a few of the survivalist's enemies.
A lot of these diseases are spread by sewage. However, just because an emergency occurs, does not mean that Mother Nature stops taking its course. Our need to get rid of human waste will continue.
It is crucial that we take a few simple steps to properly handle sanitation. The last thing you want to deal with is becoming ill while you are already dehydrated. The illness will increase the rate of dehydration and it may take a while before a medical team can get to you if at all.
I want to cover a few options on how to properly dispose of human waste. The two subjects are linked for obvious reasons.
First the post-disaster water supply could be contaminated so proper Emergency Water Purification steps must be taken.
Second, we must avoid contaminating whatever water supplies we have available to us from improper human waste disposal. If we allow the waste to sit in a toilet, insects will land on the waste and then on your food.
So what are some of our options?
Continue to use the toilet.
The bucket method.
Makeshift latrine (cat hole, latrine trench, straddle trench).
Before we build an emergency toilet we want to follow some simple rules. When creating an emergency toilet, it is always important to:
Locate the toilet away from food preparation or eating areas.
Locate latrines and portable toilets at least 100 feet away from surface water bodies such as lakes, rivers, streams, and at least 100 feet downhill or away from any drinking water source (well or spring), home, apartment, or campsite.
Provide a place close to the emergency toilet to wash hands that offers soap, running water, and paper towels.
Unless you have an ample supply of water, filling the toilet reservoir with water will not be an option. However, with the use of rubbish bags, you should be able to use the toilet within your home and remove the waste at a later time.
The idea here is to place the bag in the toilet, and once you are done, seal the bag until next use.
This brings us to another important point. Keeping the smell down. Although we are spoiled by being able to flush the toilet any time we feel like, try to think of it as if living in a mobile home or camping.
There are chemicals available to help keep the odour down and break down toilet tissue.
Often used is sawdust and quicklime (Calcium Oxide). Quicklime is used in water and sewage treatment to reduce acidity, to harden, as a flocculent, and to remove phosphates and other impurities. Other options are cat litter or coal ash.
There are several options to help you keep the waste either out of the home completely or covered with a lid. One of the advantages of using a bucket is the option of sealing it with a lid.
The lid will help keep the smell in and insects out. If a fly gets on the faeces and then lands on your food, you could have a recipe for illness.
What is a Latrine?
A latrine (from Latin lavatrina meaning bath) is a communal space with multiple toilets designed for human waste. It can be as simple as a hole dug into the ground to collect human waste or a multiuser set up such as the Roman latrine.
There are several types of latrines such as the cat hole and the straddle trench. This method of waste management is only available to people who live in more rural areas. Unless a large group was able to work together and properly design a latrine, it is unlikely this would be a feasible option during an urban emergency.
As with any emergency plan, now is the time to look at your options. This will help you remain calm under a stressful situation and allow you to spend your energy in other important matters.
Do you have enough land to make a latrine? Look at the type of soil. What happens when a heavy rain comes, and will it add to the contamination of the water supplies? If you live in a flood-prone area there is a good chance an outside latrine would not work. Take the time to research your options now and have the needed materials available. Make sure this often ignored area of emergency preparedness is part of your plan.


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