Failing to Prepare is Preparing to fail

"Surviving to Fight means Fighting to Survive"

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Friday, 13 March 2015

Show Contents 13th March 2015

Show Notes

This week I begin the show with The Valley Food Storage Review, followed by The Bug out Week is coming, It is Getting Colder, Pemmican and how to Make it, Sprayable Sleep Review, Preparing for SHTF, Anglo Arms Paracord Knife Review, Waste Not Want Not, The Basic Mindset for Survival, Surviving in Hot Weather, Why Learn Wilderness Survival Skills, Prepping for Beginners, THE TWELTH WILDERNESS GATHERING 2015, the Hunters-Knives 10% Discount Offer, Prepared for Disaster,
The Valley Food Storage Review

I bet you’re asking yourself “Why should you get Valley Food Storage food over this other company’s food?”

This question can be answered with one word – Quality!

When they prepare our foods, they take great care in making sure what you get is only the best out there. Taking the time to find the best ways to make sure your food lasts as long as possible is also one of our top priorities.

Several companies will tell you their food will have a shelf life of 25 years.

But wait, how can we be sure that’s true?

Did they really make their food, and then sit around for 25 years to test their foods shelf life?

The answer is probably not.

By doing a little research we found that almost all food storage companies will use ingredients that are known to spoil after just a few short years; making the food you bought utterly useless.

Packaging your food

Long-term food storage requires a focus on the proper containment to keep foods safe for longer periods of time. The proper processing and handling to ensure viability is also necessary.

When it comes to this step, there are a number of factors that need to be considered in order to ensure the quality and longevity of the food.

Moisture Content

Microbe presence

Nutrient Breakdown

Chemical Additives

Stability of ingredients

They make the extra effort of making sure that all these factors are addressed properly.

Moisture Content & Microbe Presence

By using the revolutionary process of Nitrogen Flushing, they are able to address 2 issues right off the bat. Nitrogen flushing displaces oxygen in the packaging, which is one of the bigger issues when it comes to food storage.

Oxygen along with Moisture allows bacteria (“Microbes”) to grow and mould your food, break down the oils, and spoil the contents of the package.

We also check that the food we put in to each package contains less than 5% moisture (the ideal shelf stable food should have less than 7%).

Most food storage companies don’t always check this part of the process as it takes a lot more time to ensure it’s done properly; their food often will contain up to 20% moisture in it.

This is the company’s commitment

Along with our individualized commitment to the long-term viability of our foods, Valley Food Storage has a commitment to how healthy and nutritive these products are for you.

We don’t add any chemical preservatives, which can alter the taste and the nutrient value to your food in a negative way. We guarantee your complete satisfaction and you can hold us to it.

Well that is what the company says, but what do I say?

I was sent two meals and each pack says they provide 5 servings, well to be honest if you combine them with other food say meat or fish and veg they will do exactly that very easily indeed.

But if you are on your lonesome and starving then it is common sense to eat the whole pack yourself.

To cook these meal simply measure out five cups of water tip the contents in, stir and boil for 15 to 20 minutes done.

The two I tried were the Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup and the Mango Habanero Chili

The Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup is one of those delicious meals that warms you from the inside out. It is one of the best soups around.

I really liked this one and did have it all myself, round the camp fire you could try adding hot dog sausages or any tinned meats for example and that would certainly bulk it out and reduce the amount of cooking required to fill you up.

The Mango Habanero Chili is some of the most flavourful and hottest tasting chili around. Sure to warm you up in any situation.

Now with this one I was a bit dubious as I am not a lover of hot chilies, but again I was happily surprised and ate the lot, well I did let Julie have some and even she enjoyed it and that is a complement indeed.

Valley Food Storage have a sure fire hit with these very tasty meals they are filling easy to store and light enough so you want to pack them for your wilderness adventures.

It is also great to see a meal that has five servings in it, as this allows you to carry a selection of their meals for your party and spread them throughout your back packs.

I really like these meals and will be buying more for my trips out and about.

The Bug out Week 2015 is coming

Details and information.

Please read the information on their FB page before you say that you are going as there is a £5 deposit to pay for your place and all the places are limited.

They are now taking deposits; £5 per person

All deposits are non-refundable.

You must say what the deposit is for in the notes on paypal before you send payment and what system you are using to bug out.

Here is the paypal address to make payments to;

Community of UK Preppers (Bug out Weekend)

Come and join us on the 2nd to the 4th may 2015 to share and learn ideas with other likeminded people.

Location is near Scunthorpe Winteringham Lane, West Halton. DN15 9AX

The location is nice 16 acre spot with a variation of different types if terrain, from a wooded area, good for hammocks, tents and bug out vehicles. Then an open area used for summer grazing that is also good for tents and tarps with poles and bug out vehicles.

Just follow your sat nav. and pick up the signs to the meeting as you approach, the signs will say BUG and there will be an arrow that will point in the right direction.

Here are the spaces that are still available.

All spaces are designated specific areas of the Bug out Weekend location that are suitable for that type of bugging out system as the location is a wild managed area and has a range of different types of ground.

All the places listed here are for the tree covered areas of the location.

Hammocks 15 spaces. 09 left

Tarps and tents 30 Places 27 left

4x4 and off road vehicles 20 places. 16 left

Campervans and trailers 15 places 12 left

There is a large open ground area of the location for the Bug Out Weekend to use whatever system you choose, but this area will be limiting to 40 spaces.

Admission Fee

£20.00 for adult over 16 years

£10.00 for child under 16 years

Free for child under 10 years

Traders and promoters are welcome for no extra cost to the entrance fee.

Anyone who says they are going to the event must pay a non-refundable £5.00 deposit per person to secure their place.

Once payment has been made you will receive your payment receipt reference number. This number is to be presented on entry to the Bug out Weekend where the deposit will be deducted from the admission cost that is to be paid upon entry.


Please arrange any train Tickets to Scunthorpe as soon as possible (ASAP) as this will save you money and could be cheaper than your own car.

The organisers can arrange to pick you up from Scunthorpe Train Station and drop you back off for a fee of £3.00. Please let them know as soon as possible if you require this service.


There will be a toilet facility in place.

There will be ranges for Archery, Crossbow, Air rifle, live round rifles and shotgun too.

There will be a solar Shower available with hot water available if needed.

There will be a Marquee set up in case of any wet weather so it won't stop people who want to do a bit of socialising

There will be a BBQ for anyone who wants to have a good old meat feast at the cost of £5.00 per head

UK Firearms Licensing Act

For anyone who wishes to bring along a gun or rifle that requires to be licensed under the UK Firearms licensing act 1968.

It is every owner’s responsibility to ensure they are covered under the UK Firearms licensing act and proof of cover for any such firearms must be shown before you are allowed entry to the Bug out Weekend meeting.

The organisers or associates will not be held responsible for any transportation of unlicensed Firearms to or from the Bug out Weekend.

See the link below and click on it or copy and paste it to your browser.


Strict safety rules and timing guidelines at the range points must be followed at all times.


All guidelines and disclaimers will be presented on entry to the Bug out Weekend meeting by security staff.

All guidelines and disclaimers must be read and understood before signing and entry to the Bug out Weekend.

Just a quick one

I do hope to see you there as we had a great time with the Bug out Weekend meeting Back in May 2014.

The weather was amazing even though the Met Office said it was going to pour down with strong winds and low temperatures,

That put a lot of people off. That was annoying as it takes a bit of effort to say the least to organise the thing and make it work.

So just come along and Bug out Weekend with us and try out your survival systems and learn some new things along the way.

Even if you have never done anything like this before, just bring your camping gear and see what people do.

There are plenty of us to help and give advice. That's what the Bug out Weekend is all about.

If you need to borrow anything I am sure we can help.

Just let us know in advance.

Make some friends and have a laugh in the sun or in the marque and the Bug Out Weekend will be what we make it.

We do appreciate your support.

Bug Out Weekend (CUP)


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All you have to do to get a 20% discount is enter the code “PREPPER” at the checkout, it is that simple. Thank you Blizzard

It is Getting Colder

If you think the record snow falls and cold temperatures in Parts of New York is just a freak event, than you’re not going to like what I am about to tell you.

According To NASA Scientist/Climatologist John Casey that is just the beginning of what is to come during this next 30 yr cycle of Extreme cold which will be caused by a historic decline in the Suns energy output that will impact the entire world.

If he is right, than not only will a mass number of the world’s people die by freezing and starving to death due to the extreme cold killing 50 percent of the world’s Food Supply, but you can also expect super earthquakes, and more powerful volcanic eruptions across the globe.

With extreme cold fronts thrusting an icy and early winter across the continental U.S. – along with last winter being one of the snowiest, coldest, most miserable on record” – climatologist John L. Casey thinks the weather pattern is here to stay for decades to come.

And unless the scientific community and political leaders act soon, cold, dark days are ahead.

Casey says the evidence is clear that the earth is rapidly growing colder because of diminished solar activity.

He says trends indicate we could be headed for colder temperatures similar to those seen in the late 1700s and early 1800s when the sun went into a “solar minimum” – a phenomenon with significantly reduced solar activity, including solar flares and sunspots.

Casey says “All you have to do is trust natural cycles and follow the facts, and that leads you to the inevitable conclusion that the sun controls the climate, and that a new cold era has begun.”

The data is pretty solid,” Casey says. “If you look at the 100-year global temperature chart, you look at the steep drop-off we’ve had since 2007. It’s the steepest drop in global temperatures in the last hundred years.”

I have to say that my childhood was blessed with hot summers and very cold snowy winters, and there was no doubt that autumn and spring existed.

I remember the pavements being almost too hot to stand on with bare feet, in fact there was a saying back then, “The pavements were so hot you could fry an egg on them”.

Then the winter came it was with loads of snow fall, as kids we used to roll the snow into giant snow balls perhaps four to five feet high, in fact I even managed to block the pathway to our house and my dad had to take an axe to the snowball to break it up.

Nature signalled spring with snow drops and you knew that summer was on the way.

Autumn was a time of change with the leaves turning and vegetation growing back and as the temperature dropped we knew winter was around the corner.

However these days the seasons are all rolled into one it seems and nature is beginning to be affected by this non-seasonable climate.

Birds are hatching when there is no food for them as the berries have been and gone and we no longer have any snow to speak of.

However things are actually changing and Al Gore the godfather of climate hysteria is in hiding as another of his wild claims unravels — this one about global warming causing seas to swallow us up.

The glaciers have not melted in fact they have grown in size and I see this as an indication of worldwide temperatures dropping, and yes the planet cooling down.

I hear you ask and what has this got to do with prepping and survival?, That is a good question and I shall try to answer it.

The cold weather will affect our crops by reducing the growing time and by killing the bees that pollinate those crops and we will starve to death.

If the crops are affected then so will the livestock be affected as they will not have the food they need to grow and we will starve to death.

If the overall year round temperature drops then even more of our elderly will die each year, last year 25,000 died in the UK due to winter related diseases.

In 2013 the UK wheat crop was own by a third after extreme weather – it was the wettest autumn since records began, and that was followed by coldest the spring in 50 years which together devastated the British wheat crop.

This meant that food manufacturers had to import nearly 2.5m tonnes of the crop where as normally we export around 2.5m tonnes of wheat .

The 2013 harvest was 12m tonnes, one of the smallest in a generation, after many farmers grubbed up their failing, waterlogged crops and replanted fields with barley. According to a National Farmers Union poll of 76 cereal growers covering 16,000 hectares, nearly 30% less wheat than usual is being grown in Britain this year.

I would suggest that everyone start growing their own as that may be the only option in the future.


A front pack is a pack or bag that allows for access of equipment from the persons chest. Front packs first and foremost allow for easy access of gear without the removal of any equipment.

In many adventure outdoor activities it can be critical to the sport to have the ability to reach essential gear fast without the removal of a backpack. Simplicity is the foremost purpose of the front pack but there are many additional benefits as well.

In all there are unlimited uses for the front pack. Front packs are the best compliment to any outdoors man's gear when accessibility, functionality, mobility and simplicity are required. From horseback riding, long distance biking, motorcycling and kayaking.

All sports where fast and easy access of gear is essential, a front pack is your best solution and as you can imagine it is going down a storm within the prepping and survivalist community.

Your summer code is "TRAILBLAZE" and can be used in the coupon section within the Store. Have a Great Summer!

Pemmican and how to Make it

Pemmican is a concentrated nutritionally complete food invented by the North American Plains Indians. It was originally made during the summer months from dried lean Buffalo meat and rendered fat as a way to preserve and store the meat for use when travelling and as a primary food source during the lean winter months.

The nutritional qualities of pemmican are unmatched when it is properly made. It can be eaten for months or years as the only food and no nutritional deficiencies will develop. Yes, that is correct, no fruits, vegetables, grains, or dairy products are required to maintain perfect health – just properly made pemmican and water.

For the best quality pemmican, use red meat, (deer, beef, elk, bison, etc), and the rendered fat from these same animals. The animals should be grass fed or have eaten their natural diet in the wild. DO NOT include nuts, seeds, vegetable products, vegetable oils, grains, beans, or dairy products of any kind.

A small amount of well dried berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc.) is the only acceptable addition and should not exceed 5% by weight should you choose to include them.

You will need equal amounts by weight of very dry red meat and rendered beef tallow. If you have one pound of dried meat then you will need one pound of rendered beef tallow, two pounds of dried red meat then two pounds of rendered beef tallow, etc.

Rendering fat is a simple process and most of us are familiar with it as it is one of the end results of frying bacon. The process of frying the bacon releases the fat from the cellular structure of the meat and drives off the water.

It is the boiling off of the water that actually makes bacon pop and sizzle. The fat itself just turns to a liquid.

Your goal in the rendering process is a bit different from frying bacon in that it is the fat you want to keep rather than the crisp “crackling”, which by the way taste good when they are still warm with a bit of salt. If you don’t want them they make wonderful dog treats when cool.

We also want to keep the ultimate temperature of the fat as low as possible. You should try to keep it below 250 deg F. and usually aim for a final temperature of around 240 deg F.

You gain nothing by raising the temperature any higher than 240-250 other than more damage to the fatty acids which you want to avoid as much as possible. In short, you need the temperature high enough to boil off the water in a reasonable length of time, but as low as practical to maintain the nutritional value and not denature the structure of the fatty acids any more than necessary.

There are two generally accepted methods of rendering. One is to place the fat in a pot and heat it on the stove top. The other is to place the fat in a roasting pan and put it in the oven with the temperature set between 225 – 250 deg F.

The stove top method can be completed in about one hour and requires constant attention. The oven method takes 12 hours or more, but can be left unattended during the entire process.

I will be covering the stove top method here with comments on the oven method.

Cut the fat into small pieces about ½” square. Place the diced fat in a stock pot or pan. I select my pot size such that the raw fat fills the pot about ¾ full. This gives you room to stir and mix without slinging fat all over the stove or counter.

It also fills the pot deep enough with the liquid fat so that you can use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature.

If you are using the oven method just put your fat in a good sized roasting pan and pop it in the oven set between 225 to 250 deg F and then go away for 12 to 24 hours. The oven thermostat will take care of the temperature for you.

Heat on medium high heat and stir well about every minute or so for the first 10 minutes. This will keep the bottom from overheating while enough fat is being liberated to cover the bottom of the pan.

After about 10 minutes you’ll see a pool of fat forming on the bottom which should be merrily boiling away. You can now rest a bit and stir every 5 minutes or so just to keep things well mixed.

After about 30 minutes the liquid fat should be deep enough to cover all the chunks and it should have the appearance of a rolling boil.

Reduce the temperature to medium heat and put a candy thermometer into the fat making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan.

The water boiling off the fat will keep the temperature around 220 deg F for a while, but there will come a point where the temperature will start rising.

Keep stirring occasionally and keep your eye on the thermometer. As it begins to rise, lower the heat setting to keep the temperature around 230 to 240 deg F. The picture above is after about 45 minutes. The crackling is beginning to turn dark in colour, the boiling is slowing down, and the temperature of the fat is rising requiring close attention to the heat setting.

After about one hour the major boiling action will have stopped and there will just be small bubbles rising from the fat. 90% of the crackling will be a chestnut brown colour.

The lighter chunks may have a bit more fat left in them, but it is not worth the effort to extract it. If you did the oven method, the fat in your roasting pan should have a similar look.

Now take a good sized strainer and place it the container where you will store your rendered fat, now line the strainer with a single layer of paper towel. This will filter out the sediment and just allow the liquid fat to drip through.

From your pot or roasting pan pour the fat, crackling and all, into the lined strainer. Press on the crackling with a serving spoon to press as much fat out of them as possible.

When you’ve gotten all the fat you can, remove the strainer and set the container aside to cool. You can sprinkle the crackling with a bit of salt and pepper and enjoy them as a snack, set them aside to cool for dog treats, or discard as you wish.

Generally, well dried meat will weigh just slightly less than 1/3 of its raw weight. Therefore, 10 pounds of raw lean meat will yield about 3 lbs of thoroughly dehydrated meat.

Since pemmican is 50% fat and 50% dried meat by weight, 3 pounds of dried meat will make 6 pounds of pemmican which will be equal to about 18 pounds of fresh meat.

Start with well dried red meat. Beef, Bison, Deer, Elk, etc. Make sure that the strips of meat are thoroughly dry all the way through.

Any observable moisture in the meat will provide an environment for mould and bacteria to grow. If the strips of meat are bent double they should crack and not be rubbery.

Traditionally the meat used for pemmican is dried without salt or any other seasoning. If you choose to season your meat I suggest that you go very lightly – less than half of what you would use for jerky. Use only dry spices like garlic powder, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and salt etc.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER make pemmican with meat that has been marinated in soy sauce, wine, or any marinade that contains sugar of any kind, and no vegetable oils of any type.

Grind the meat to a fibrous consistency like a fluffy, but slightly chunky mulch in a food processor using the steel blade, or in a blender.

Weigh the amount of ground meat that you have and then weigh out an equal amount of rendered animal fat from the rendering process above.

Fat from red meat animals is preferable for best nutrition and keeping qualities as it becomes very firm when cool – similar to candle wax. No vegetable oils or butter should be used. Pork or lamb fat can be used but are not recommended as the fatty acid profile is different and they melt at too low a temperature.

This can cause the fat and lean to separate in warm weather, so storage becomes a problem unless you are willing to pack the pemmican in liquid tight containers.

Melt the fat on low heat. It will start to melt at about 120 deg F. Try to keep the temperature of the fat below 150 deg F. You spent time drying the lean meat at low temperature to maintain its nutritional value so you don’t want to deep fry it when you mix it with the fat.

Mix the shredded meat into the melted fat and stir until well blended.

The completed mixture should look much like moist crumbled brownies. The mixture may look “wet” but most of the fat should be absorbed or coating the meat fibres – there should be little or no liquid fat pooling in the bottom of the pan.

Using a wooden spoon, press the warm mixture into a mould of your choice, or spoon into a Ziploc plastic bag and press flat, removing as much air as possible. Try using mini loaf pans that are slightly larger than a cube of butter and hold about 150 grams (1000 total calories) of pemmican.

The Ziploc bags which I recommend are sandwich sized and are loaded with about 300 grams (2000 total calories). When pressed flat they are about 5” x 6” x ½” thick. Set aside to let cool and harden.

The final product will be very hard – almost like a block of wax - and will look a bit like dark oatmeal with some ground raisins stirred in.

One half ( ½ ) pound of pemmican per day is about the minimum required for a sedentary adult and provides about 1,500 calories. Someone doing light activities might find ¾ pound more appropriate to their needs and this would provide about 2,200 calories.

Twice this amount (or more) could easily be necessary when doing hard physical labor (think digging ditches or mountain climbing).

Pemmican is the perfect food for backpacking and hiking. Ten pounds of pemmican will easily sustain a backpacker for a full week providing 1 ½ pounds of pemmican per day which would supply 4,400 calories – enough to support strenuous climbing at high altitude and in cold weather.

The same 10 pounds of pemmican would supply food for two full weeks of leisure camping activities at ¾ pound per day providing 2,200 calories.

When made correctly, using grass fed lean red meat, dried at a temperature below 120 deg F., and rendered fat from grass fed animals, pemmican is a complete food and no other nutrients or supplements are necessary to completely meet all human nutritional requirements.

No other single food is as calorie dense or nutritionally complete.

Wilderness121’s 10% Discount

The new supplier of Purificup to the UK is Wilderness121 and they really mean business, having spoken to the director Rob Williams he has agreed to offer you dear listener a 10% discount just by putting the letters UKPRN into the code box it is that simple.

Now pop along to and check out their great range of survival related products.

Sprayable Sleep Review

A Sleep Aid you Spray on Your Skin to Fall Asleep Naturally and Wake Up Refreshed.

Why Spray:

Healthy natural sleep without the addictive pills (or alcohol)

Fall asleep on your schedule and wake up refreshed

Mimic how your body naturally produces melatonin

Just 3 simple ingredients - Melatonin, Water, Tyrosine (a derivative of a natural amino acid)

What Else:

Fully certified, tested, and manufactured in a US CGMP Facility

Developed by an industry leading PhD in Chemistry and housed in Stanford University’s StartX Startup Program

Wake up well rested every morning

Get to Sleep With Out Addictive Pills

Sprayable helps you fall asleep naturally and stay asleep through the stress, pain, noise, or light that usually keeps you awake. It does it without harsh chemicals, addictive sleeping pills, or the alcohol that you may be using today.

Fall asleep on your schedule and wake up refreshed

Sprayable Sleep puts you in control of your sleep. Whether you’re traveling and have jet lag or are working the night shift, Sprayable will help you get to sleep when you want so you’re refreshed and alert when you need it most.

The Benefits of Melatonin - Without the Downsides

Melatonin is a wonderful sleep aid but the pill form has several flaws that we solve with Sprayable Sleep. Sprayable gives you the exact level of melatonin you need (often 30x less than you ingest with pills) and delivers it gradually over time - mimicking how your body naturally produces and uses melatonin.

So what is in it? Well the answer is only 3 natural ingredients


Which is a natural amino acid produced by the body


Which is naturally produced by the body


Simply natural and from mother earth

The 64 million dollar question is of course does it work.

Well fellow preppers and survivalists the answer is yes, it actually does. I was as sceptical as perhaps you are now as you listen to me, and that is fine you do right to be.

However the fact is that it really does work and work very well, I am sure that you will agree that in a survival situation sleep is extremely important to your health and wellbeing.

I like you have on occasion had trouble getting to sleep while out in the woods whether it is because of Stoney ground, lack of home comforts and of course the cold.

Here is the solution to those and many other problems in trying to get to sleep.

They also make an energy spray which I am yet to test but that would be a real gift would it not?

All I can say is get some try it out you will love it.

Preparing for SHTF

We all know we should be preparing for the future, and especially for challenging times, natural disasters and other problems that could occur. The Boy Scout motto says it all very simply – Be Prepared.
Some preparations revolve around learning new skill sets, while other preparations involve storing water, food, medicine and other supplies, tools and equipment that will be needed. Unfortunately, many people don’t prepare for the future for various reasons.

I think some of these reasons are:

Lack of knowledge – They don’t know what to prepare for, how to prepare for it, what supplies may be needed, or how best to store those supplies.

Too difficult – They fear that acquiring and storing food and supplies will be too complicated, too time consuming, or too difficult.

Too Expensive – They think that acquiring all the things they need will be too expensive. Most people don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend on things that they don’t need right now.

Potential Disasters

What are the potential disasters that we should all be preparing for? The list of potential problems is very long, and even the most exhaustive listing will surely miss any number of disasters that may occur. Disasters are, by their very nature, usually quite unpredictable.

Every type of disaster will have its own set of unique challenges for people to overcome. These challenges, and their solutions, will also be affected by the particular circumstances and resources of your locality.

There is no way that I can cover in detail every possible disaster and situation, nor can any single subject provide all the answers for all challenges you may face.

Because I cannot intended provide such complete coverage in one subject, this is meant as a starting point offering useful advice that will fit most situations.

Generally speaking, most disasters will probably fall into at least one of four categories:

Personal Disasters such as a job loss, financial problems, disease, or disability.

Local and/or Regional Natural Disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, wildfires, floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, or epidemic disease.

Global Natural Disasters such as an asteroid or comet strike, super volcano, global epidemic disease, or natural or man-made climate change.

Societal Disasters such as peak oil, resource scarcity, wars, economic collapse, political collapse, and/or civil unrest.

Results of a Disaster

A disaster usually will result in the temporary or permanent loss of many of the “comforts of civilization” we are used to enjoying.

Comforts of civilization are those things that are provided to us by modern civilization that we tend to take for granted. It would be difficult for most people to provide many of these things for themselves, especially without learning new skills, stockpiling supplies and preparing well in advance for their loss.

These comforts of civilization we may lose include:

Readily available running water that is safe to drink.
Readily available food from shops and restaurants.
Flush and forget human waste disposal.

Modern medicine and health care.
Readily available electricity for lighting, heating, cooling, cooking and hot water.
Readily available natural gas for heating, cooking and hot water.
Readily available liquid fuel for cars, trucks, tractors and planes.
Instant long distance communication (phones, email, etc.).
Ready access to education.
Ready access to emergency services such as fire, police, and paramedics.
Most modern luxuries (television, IPods, computers & the Internet, etc.)
Ability to spend money without having it (credit cards, mortgages, instalment plans, etc.)

Too often disasters also involve the loss of life, such as the hundreds who died due to Hurricane Katrina, the hundreds of thousands who died due to the 2004 tsunami or the  recent Haiti earthquake, or the tens of millions who died during the great wars and since.

Two Challenges

You may face two distinct challenges related to a crisis, which may require different skill sets, supplies and equipment.

Surviving in the midst of a disaster – During a disaster you are likely to have chaos, confusion and panic, as well as immediate physical dangers.

You will need skills and supplies for your immediate and short-term survival. Water, food, medicine, shelter, warm clothing & blankets, the ability to make fire, the ability to hide, and the ability & tools to protect yourself are some of the things you may need in the middle of a disaster.

Surviving in the aftermath of a disaster – After the immediate crisis is over, when things have calmed down somewhat and most immediate physical dangers have passed, you will still need to survive the aftermath of the disaster.

This aftermath may be relatively short-lived, such as the aftermath of a snow storm or flooding, or it may be extremely long-lasting, such as the aftermath of an economic or political collapse.

This may require a large quantity of stored supplies and/or the skills, tools and equipment needed to produce those supplies yourself for an extended period of time.
Anglo Arms Paracord Knife Review

Manufactured by Anglo Arms, this Green Paracord Knife is silver bladed. Heavy duty with a sharp blade, it weighs 140 grams, with a blade length of 3.58 inches and an overall length of 7.99 inches.

This paracord knife is perfect for camping, survival and various activities. With the blade heavier than the handle, it could also be a good throwing knife. A nylon sheath is included with the purchase.

Firstly a warning, this knife is super sharp out of the cordula sheath. In fact it is so sharp that when I was putting it back into the sheath I managed to put it straight through the sheath so be careful you have been warned.

As I always say a blunt knife is a piece of metal.

The Paracord Knife is small light extremely well made and simply ideal for all but the heaviest of tasks required of a knife when out in the wilderness.

It would make a fantastic spear point when fixed to the end of a big stick by using the paracord wrapped around the handle, but it would equally be at home skinning and prepping wild game and chopping veg etc.

I have even used it for battening smaller pieces of wood to make kindling and it sailed through without a hitch.

Needless to say I love it and it is one of those survival items that you will keep finding a use for over and over again.

This wonderful little knife usually sells for £3.99 which is fantastic value but recently it has been on sale for only £1.50 and you cannot beat that.

Ken at is offering 10% off any product by using the code Midi10 so check out

Waste Not Want Not
In my opinion it is a waste of food and therefore nutrition to just eat the fillets from the fish so I have been doing some research on cooking fish heads and am finding that in the early days of this county they were quite popular.  They often used them in soups and stews.  This recipe shows how easy it is to make a fish head soup.

Fish head soup

2 fish heads

2 garlic cloves

2 carrots

2 potatoes

1  onion

2 pieces celery

3 to 4 c. water

Salt to taste

Black pepper

Boil fish heads, onion and garlic for 1/2 hour.  Strain, take the meat of the bones and add back into the broth.  Cut up the vegetables in small pieces.  Add to broth and boil on low flame until cooked.  Serve with bread.
Another simple recipe is to cook fish heads with rice.  It is pretty simple, cook your rice like normal with the fish heads placed on top of the rice.  This cooks the rice and the fish heads at the same time, letting the fish flavour seep down into the rice.  When the rice is done, take the fish heads out and remove the flesh.  Put the flesh back into the rice, mix and serve.
After a TEOTWAWKI situation, it will become important to not waste food.  We will be forced to use foods that we would now turn our noises up at.  Fish heads for instance are quite nutritious and full of protein. Learn how to cook with unusual foods and collect recipes now. 

The Basic Mindset for Survival

The will to survive is by many experts considered to be the single most important factor for making it through a survival situation. There are many examples of people how have survived horrible situation and hopeless situations, pain and suffering, people how have kept going and against all odds made it through. Few people have died because they have continued to fight, but many have died because they stopped trying.

Any crisis or survival situation will be a difficult situation to cope with. A crisis is a situation where urgency is important, there is a threat and action must be taken fast. A crisis presents a threat against basic values like life, health or property.

A crisis also results in uncertainty; the scope of the disaster is seldom known right away. It is also often unclear what current and future consequences the event will have. These three factors make it into a difficult task of handling a crisis: for individuals but also for government agencies and the media.
By familiarizing yourself with different types of Risks you will get a more realistic perspective on what effects such a situation might result in and what can be learned from previous situations. It also helps you to mentally prepare for what you could expect from these situations but also gives you a chance to plan ahead and take precautions in order to avoid or minimize the effects from such risks.

However some disasters may be threats that no one has seen coming or been preparing for, these situations present much larger challenges when it’s hard for the affected people to understand what is happening and government agencies may lack both routines, training and equipment to deal with the situation.

Possible challenges
Sleep Deprivation and Fatigue
Loss of property or economic loss
Personal Injuries
Fear and Uncertainty
Exposure from wind, cold or heat
Dehydration or lack of food
Injuries or death to friends or loved ones
Unfamiliar threats and situations
It’s up to you
In some situation government agencies may be able to provide healthcare and other needs like shelter, water, food and security.

But during a large scale disaster no government has enough resources to provide immediate help to everyone that needs it. Infrastructure like the electrical grid, water, sewage, roads, railways and airports may be damaged.

This can make it hard to transport the resources and supplies needed to an affected area. It may also result in a situation with secondary effects like the outbreak of disease, no access to clean water and dangerous or damaged buildings. In these situations you must help yourself.

There may be days, weeks or even months before outside assistance will be provided. During large scale disasters help is normally provided from both national government agencies like first responders, police, fire fighters, military, national guard but also from Non Governmental Organization (NGO:s) like the Red Cross. If the situation is extremely severe help may also be provided by other nations and international organization like the United Nation World Food Program (WFP).

Staying positive is extremely important and this can be very hard if suffer from exhaustion, sleep deprivation, stress, injuries, disease or if you just lost someone that you care about.

If let you self become negative the risk is much bigger that you will only see problems, if you try to stay positive the chance to you will be able to find solutions for different problems is much bigger. This also makes it easier to improvise and work with the terrain.

Your own knowledge, health, experience and equipment will also make it easier to find solutions.

The nature of a crisis situation makes it very likely that both government agencies and the media may misinterpret the situation when they have to make decisions based on incomplete information under time pressure when people lives and property are on stake.

Even if experts and journalists have access to modern communications and training no one can get everything right during this type of situation. This is the nature of the situation and you must take this is into consideration when you receive information.

It’s of no use to become angry or feel despair if information about help turns out to be incorrect, this must be expected. Keep your focus on the situation at hand.

Adapting to the situation
Try to stay positive
Do not complain, especially not if you are in a leadership position. Your reactions will affect others as well.
Make sure that you keep busy. Work continually to improve your situation, ensure that you have the access to shelter, water and food.
If you are in a group make sure that everyone has a task to do and that everyone is included in the work and that everyone has access to the information available about the situation.
Don’t second guess yourself; keep the focus on the situation at hand. What can you do to minimize the consequences and improve your situation?
Try to stay alert and calm.
Plan your actions and take risk into account – if you injure yourself during a survival situation because you’re careless your situation might become much more difficult.
Take care of your friends, family and the other people around you.

Be Ready
It’s impossible to be prepared for every possible threat, but by getting knowledge, skills and experience you will improve your chances to survive a crisis situation. Equipment and supplies can also make it much easier to deal with crisis situation if you have access to water, means of purifying water, food, equipment to prepare the food, a radio so that you receive messages, different sources of light, first aid and other medical supplies and so on.

Surviving in Hot Weather

In the hope that this year we will have a hot summer here is some advice on keeping safe.

1. Pre-hydrate, hydrate and re-hydrate.

During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Drink plenty of fluids in advance, during and after activities and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to hydrate.

Using a hydration back pack is a great way to stay hydrated.

Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluids you drink or has prescribed water pills, ask how much you should drink when the weather is hot.

2. Dress for the heat.

Wear lightweight, light-coloured clothing. Light colours will reflect some of the sun’s energy. Limit your direct exposure to the sun and wear a hat for extra protection.

3. Monitor those at high risk.

Extreme heat can be hazardous to your health and although anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Those most at risk for heat-related illnesses include children, older adults, those that work or exercise outside and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

4. Children and cars – use common sense.

Never leave infants, children, pets or the elderly in a parked car where temperatures can become life-threatening in minutes, even with the windows rolled down. Additionally, hot interior surfaces of a car can burn a child’s skin.

Before you put your child in a car that has been parked in a warm/sunny spot, check the temperature of the car seat or upholstery first.

5. Avoid strenuous activity.

When possible, strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated or rescheduled to the coolest part of the day. Take regular breaks when exercising or engaged in physical activity on warm days.

If you recognize that you, or someone else, is showing signs of a heat-related illness, stop the activity immediately, find a cool place to rest, hydrate and seek medical attention if necessary.

Remember, heat stroke is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY that can be fatal if not treated promptly. The American Red Cross advises that warning signs can vary among individuals but common signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke may include:

Heat Exhaustion:

Heavy sweating

Muscle cramps

Pulse rate: fast and weak

Breathing: fast and shallow

Nausea or vomiting



Headache and/or dizziness

Heat Stroke:

An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees)

The absence of sweating

Rapid pulse

Difficulty breathing

Throbbing headache

Strange behaviour and/or hallucinations

Confusion, agitation and disorientation


6. Be a good neighbour.

Isolated, elderly adults are at a much higher risk of health-related issues. Be a good neighbor and take a minute to check in with your neighbours.

7. Remember your pets.

Hot weather can affect the well-being of pets making them susceptible to overheating which can lead to very dangerous heat stroke. Always provide a source of water and a cool, ventilated place for your pet.

Remember that leaving your pet inside a parked car, even for a few minutes, can be fatal. The inside of a car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.

8. Stay indoors, if possible.

Stay indoors and, if possible, in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, consider going to the shopping mall, community centre or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you return to the heat.

9. Use the pool.

Either use a community swimming pool or a shop bought garden pool and immerse yourself in the cool water.

10. Place beakers of water or juice in the fridge so that there is always a cold drink available.

Now thanks to the Managing Director Paul listeners visiting Field Leisure - The Bushcraft & Wilderness Store at can get 10% OFF by entering the code UKPRN at the checkout now Paul guarantees next day delivery all over the UK and fast European and US delivery and that is reassuring and refreshing too.

Why Learn Wilderness Survival Skills

Why should you learn wilderness survival skills just for backpacking? They may save your life someday, remember the more you know then the less you carry on your back. The best reason, however, may be that it's just a good feeling to know you can deal with whatever comes up. It makes you feel more at home.

To survive means to stay warm and dry, hydrated, uninjured, and to find your way out of the survival situation. Eating is nice too, but not crucial if the situation is for a few days. Below are some more or less random survival tips, just to get you interested.

Wilderness Survival Tips

1. Warmth: Sleep with your head slightly downhill to stay warmer. This may take some getting used to, but it works.

2. Food: In the UK there is no berry that looks like a strawberry, or raspberry, that can hurt you from one taste. Just spit it out if it doesn't taste right. Warning if you are not sure leave well alone.

3. Fire starter: If you put dried moss or Birch bark strips in your pocket as you walk, you'll have dry tinder to start a fire, just in case it's raining later. Experiment with different materials.

4. Direction-finding: Mark the tip of the shadow of a stick, and mark it again fifteen minutes later. The line between the first and second marks points east.

Place your left foot on the first shadow tip and your right foot on the second shadow tip and you are pointing North. A few techniques like this can save you when your compass is lost.

5. Weather: In parts of the UK and especially in mountainous areas you can see the clouds forming just before the afternoon storms. Being able to read the sky can keep you out of trouble.

6. Staying dry: Hypothermia is the biggest wilderness killer, and getting wet is the biggest cause. Watch for ledges or large fir trees to stand under if you see the rain coming.

7. Shelter: A pile of dry leaves and dead grass can keep you very warm in an emergency.

8. Hydration: Fill water bottles every chance you get, and you won't have such a hard time with any long dry stretches of trail don’t wait to drink until you are thirsty, instead drink frequently all day.

9. Injury: Pop a "blister" on the trunk of a small spruce or fir tree you can use the sap that oozes out as a good antiseptic dressing for small cuts.

10. Fire starter: White birch bark will usually light even when wet or when caked in snow or ice.

These are just a few of the wilderness survival tips and techniques you can easily learn. Why not practice one or two on your next backpacking trip?

Primitive, Survival & Wilderness Living Skills

Survival situations are not planned or expected and can be life threatening. You can find yourself in a survival situation in a remote location or even an urban or rural location.

Natural or manmade catastrophic disasters can threaten your safety may even require you to relocate to a remote area for survival.

People who are at great risk are hunters, hikers, backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts who are unprepared to handle an emergency situation in the wilderness.

Learn to be prepared by training and practicing your craft in the field. You should practice camping outdoors in very primitive surroundings in all kinds of weather. Using no electricity, modern toilet facilities, hot showers, or any of the comforts of home.

Primitive Skills

Many skills you will need to learn are techniques used by ancient Native Americans who used natural resources to live in a primitive environment. You need to know how to prevent a life threatening situation and have self confidence in the wilderness.

Basic Survival Equipment List

A backpack, blanket or sleeping bag, rain poncho, survival knife, compass, additional clothing, comfortable hiking boots, magnifying glass, torches and extra batteries, prescribed medicines that are taken on a regular basis, food, tent, tarp, cooking and eating utensils and a water bottle.

Specific Survival Training Skills

Finding shelter; building a debris hut.

Finding water sources; wild edibles, wild plant identification for food and medicne.

Fire building techniques.

Making utensils, primitive cooking methods.

Primitive weapons; fishing, hunting, tracking and game preparation.

Food preservation.

Wilderness First Aid - handling emergency situations.

GPS, Map, Compass.

Dealing with stress, setting priorities.

I recommend that you practice all survival skills especially fire starting in a controlled environment like for example your back garden as if you cannot manage it there what chance have you got on a wet and windy cold winters night in the woods.

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Prepping for Beginners

As humans, we are naturally aware of possible threats around us, and often the way a person neutralizes that threat is to create a story of the worst case scenario and begin to prep around that.

Becoming a person who preps for disasters begins with a level of awareness. A prepper knows that there are possible threats, and it only makes sense to be as prepared as possible beginning with the basic disaster items to sustain basic needs (food, water, clothing and shelter) and then adding more preparedness layers onto it.

Basic disaster items are intended to sustain a person and their family for 3-5 days. However, many decide to expand their disaster supplies to encompass a longer duration in the case that emergency response is delayed. This is why preppers believe in having “back-ups for their back-ups.”

Getting Started

When preparing for a disaster, it is essential to have provisions in place to secure your needs. That being said, beginning a food supply must begin with research. Finding out how many calories a person needs per day in order to survive, and knowing how much food to store is essential when beginning to prepare.

Additionally, going to survival/prepping forums to read about what others are doing is another way of finding more research. Preppers are very open to helping others who want to prepare. We have all been at the beginning stage of preparing, and it can be overwhelming at first, but the overall goal is to get people prepared.

When beginning to get preparations in place, concentrate of the basic needs of survival: water, food, shelter, clothing and move on from there. Below are some basic suggestions on items that would be ideal to have in the home:


It is suggested to have 1 gallon of water per person/per day. Having a 3 day supply of water on hand is a great place to start. However, many preppers like to be as thorough as possible in their prepping.

Therefore, I suggest playing it safe and double the amount of water needed. The extra water can be used for other purposes. Extra water that is stored can also be used if family members such as children or the elderly become dehydrated and need more water.

Additionally, having an alternative source for water such as a water filter, frozen water in the freezer, and 5 gallon water containers is suggested. In a disaster situation, a person does not want to run out of water. Lakes and streams can also be a way to find water, but the water needs to be treated.

In the case that someone is not near any running streams or lakes, there are places in nature where one can find alternative water sources.


Comparative shopping at the large volume supermarkets typically has better deals than at smaller shops.

Finding local ads from the large supermarket websites can save on fuel money as well as on shopping time. Even Pound shops sell canned goods and food products that would be good for short term/long term food supplies.

Look for sales all the time and buy as much of the item as your budget will allow.

Using a food storage calculator will help determine how much food is necessary. There are some considerations to keep in mind before purchasing the food items:

Expiration Dates – It’s best to find items that have expiration dates that are 1-2 years away from expiring, unless that item is used frequently in the home, and can be rotated frequently.

Items on Sale – Go for the deals.

Typically, there are deals that are advertised in the newspaper. You do not have to break the bank to get food items. Just get a little each time you shop. In season vegetables are typically cheaper. Larger cans of goods generally have better deals.

The amount of people in the household.

A wide variety of food will help reduce food fatigue.

The serving amount in the food.

Vitamin content in the food.

Any special health considerations for family members.

Medical Supplies

Medical emergencies can occur at the drop of a hat, and having the necessary supplies can mean the difference between life and death. When an emergency situation arises, one must act calming and decisively.

In the case of a severe injury where there is a lot of blood loss, there must be supplies that can stop bleeding, cut the pain threshold and calm the patient if necessary.

Find websites online that deal with first aid care and go through each injury to see what medical instruments and items are needed.

Moreover, check in your community and see if the St. Johns Ambulance, Red Cross or Medical Centres offer classes to assist in medical emergencies. Make a list for supplies that can be added to the disaster medical supplies.

72 Hour Bags

In the case that a person has to evacuate, having a prepared 72 hour kit or bug out bag will expedite the process of leaving as well as keeping things running as smoothly as possible. A 72 hour bag should have all items necessary to survive for 3 days.

When preparing a bag keep the main surviving points is mind (water, food, shelter, clothing). Having a separate bug out bag for the vehicle will also come in handy in the event that someone has to leave their home immediately.


Tools are a valuable commodity when it comes to survival. Their usefulness for hunting, digging, cutting, communicating and for navigational purposes are all essential items to have on hand.

Knives (to cut large machete type and a smaller hunter)


Camping shovels


Hammer or hatchet

Collapsible fishing rod with hooks, line, floats, etc.


Maps, compass or GPS devices ( Having extra compasses ensures that navigation is accurate).

Rope (paracord),

Knife sharpening stone,

Torch/s with extra batteries

Written Survival Notes

In a high stress situation that some are not used to, forgetfulness plays a part from dealing with all the changes that are occurring. Having some manuals to look upon for survival information or for spiritual information to lift the morale is a good idea and does not take up much space in a pack.

Survival Manuals

First Aid Manuals

Survival e-books

Understanding how to survive in different scenarios requires one to constantly be learning in order to be as prepared as possible.

Prepping is a passion for some.

For others it is simply to keep their family as safe as possible.

Whatever the reasoning is behind why you have decided to prep, you will be better off in the long run.


The Wilderness Gathering has over the years become a firm date in the diaries of those who enjoy bushcraft, nature and wilderness survival skills. The previous eleven years have seen this event grow from a small event in one field with some traders and schools sharing bushcraft skills and knowledge to a festival of wilderness living skills encompassing bushcraft/survival and woodland crafts.

The show has grown into an event with something for all the family with stories and music by the campfire in the evenings and skills workshops and activities throughout the three whole days of the festival.

The Wilderness Gathering has without a doubt become the premier family event for all those interested in bush crafts and the great outdoors.

The show has bushcraft clubs for all age groups of children to get involved in plus more activities for all including den building and wilderness skills classes for all.

There are hands on demonstrations of game preparation, knife sharpening, basha boat building, bowmaking, greenwood working, archery and axe throwing and primitive fire lighting to name just a few. There are talks on survival phycology, classes on falconry and wilderness survival fishing. All of these skills are there for everybody and anybody to participate in.

You can probably pick up information on nearly all the skills needed to live in the wilderness and prosper at The Wilderness Gathering.

There is a wealth of good quality trade stands that are carefully selected to be in theme for the show selling everything from custom knives to tipis and outdoor clothing to primitive tools. The organisers have even laid on a free service bring and buy stall where you can bring along your used and unwanted kit and they’ll sell it for you.

There are local scout and explorer groups onsite promoting the World Wide Scouting Movement as well helping out with some of the classes and site logistics.

The catering is within the theme of the event with venison and game featuring on the menus plus organic cakes and drinks. The woodland and open field camping facilities (with hot showers) giving you the option to visit for the whole weekend or just to attend as a day visitor.

Check out or call 0845 8387062 you really won’t regret it.

Nigel at has offered you dear listener 10% on all his products simply by using the code PREP10.

Prepared for Disaster

Are you prepared for a disaster that could affect the daily function of your life or the lives of your family members? Or do you even believe a disaster will ever affect you?

Blizzards, floods, power cuts, and who knows what else happens all the time. Still, most of us ignore the warnings. "It can't happen here," some say. "The government will take care of me if it does," others think.

But not only do they happen, they can happen to you. And when they do, you will be on your own. The recent UK flooding events have proved this. Look at the total disruption of transportation when it snows for example.

This was followed by the immediate and complete paralysis of air transportation at major international airports. Thousands were stranded for days on their own in strange cities.

As serious as these events were, they pale in comparison to the possibilities. Consider a major biological or nuclear attack or accident. Hundreds of thousands of casualties are predicted in some scenarios.

These disasters or attacks would overwhelm local, regional, and national emergency resources and cause widespread panic. Transportation would stop, markets would be stripped of food within hours, essential emergency services would be overwhelmed, and food, medical supplies, and emergency service workers would be sent to the disaster area, leaving critical shortages in local areas.

Now, more than ever, you need to prepare for the possibility of disasters or attacks on a scale and type never before imagined. It is your duty to yourself, your family, and your country to be prepared.

Some of us need to be prepared for being at "ground zero." Certain areas are the most likely direct targets of terrorists or natural disasters. All of us need to be prepared to be indirect targets, those affected by the temporary collapse of our nation's infrastructure.

In short, we all need to be able to live self-sufficiently for a period of time.

What to prepare for will depend on your geographical area. Natural disasters and the risk of major terrorist attacks vary by where you live. The first thing you need to do is make a list of the possible disasters for which you need to prepare.

Some of the things you will want to consider include natural disasters, such as blizzards, floods, and even wild fires, as well as technological disasters, such as nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) attacks, and hazardous material accidents.

Don't forget cyber-attacks, the possibility that an enemy could attack our computer systems, shutting down electrical, gas, communications, transportation, and emergency and medical services. What about attacks on our farms and agricultural processing plants? While they would likely affect only a small number of people directly, they would completely shut down food production and distribution systems.

While there are many things to plan for, your response to all of them is one of two things: stay at home or evacuate. For blizzards, earthquakes, cyber-attacks, nuclear fallout, quarantine after biological attacks, and collapse of the infrastructure, you will want to stay at home.

For floods, hurricanes, or with some advance notice of NBC attacks, evacuation may be your course of action.

Whenever possible, staying at home in your own environment and with your own emergency supplies is the best choice.

When you evacuate, you are essentially a refugee at the mercy of government evacuation centres or the compassion of the local population.

In a major disaster, don't expect to be welcomed by the locals who are struggling with their own survival.

In all situations, you will need to be able to think for yourself. Confusion always accompanies a major disaster and initial information and instructions may be conflicting and incorrect.

So, monitor the radio and television for official instructions on what to do, such as whether to evacuate or not, but don't assume they are correct. Make your own decisions based on your plans and preparation.

Riding it out at home

Key to your survival is preparing a disaster supplies kit, essentially the stockpiling of all materials that you would need to live on if you are cut off from outside utilities, water, and supplies. Once a disaster occurs, there won't be time and materials may not be available.

How long you will need to be self-sufficient is hard to say. My advice would be that everyone store enough food, water, and supplies to take care of their family for three days.

Preparing a "72-hour kit" is a good idea. It can be used for immediate evacuation and part of your overall disaster supply kit. Place items in a portable, easy-to-carry container, such as a large plastic box or duffel bag, ready to grab at a moment's notice.

But, is it enough? A blizzard, earthquake, quarantine, or nuclear fallout could confine you for much longer. You need to be able to take care of all the needs for your family for a period of at least two weeks and possibly longer.

Having supplies for one to three months is not all that unreasonable or hard to accomplish.

There are six basics that should be part of your home disaster supplies kit: water, food, first aid supplies, tools and emergency supplies, clothing and bedding, and special needs items.

Tools and emergency supplies should include such things as battery-operated radio and torches with extra batteries, cups/plates/utensils, non-electric can opener, matches, lantern, fire extinguisher, hand tools for repairs and to turn off household water and gas, a whistle, and plastic sheeting.

For sanitation, include toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, personal hygiene items, disinfectant, and household chlorine bleach. Many more items can be added.

Think through the things you use on a daily basis.

Clothing and bedding Clothing and bedding would include a change of clothing and footwear for everyone in the household, rain gear, cold weather clothes, hat and gloves, and blankets or sleeping bags. Remember, a house or car can get very cold without heat.

Prepare for the worst weather that you might encounter.

Store your disaster supply kit in a convenient place that is known to all family members and make sure they know your family's disaster plan. Evaluate your kit once a year and update it according to family needs.


You may not have much time to prepare when you need to evacuate. A hazardous materials spill could mean instant evacuation, so always have a smaller version of your home disaster supply kit in the boot of your car.

When you have advance warning of an evacuation, bring your portable "72-hour" disaster supply kit, along with additional food, water, and clothing. Keep important family documents in a waterproof, portable container, ready to bring with you in an evacuation.

These may include your will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds, passports, social security card, bank and credit account numbers, family documents (birth, marriage, and death certificates), inventory of valuable household items, and important telephone numbers.

It would be a good idea to always keep some cash in this container, so you have it for an emergency. If there is time, valuable family heirlooms or photographs can be added.

Now that you have a basic plan for any emergency, let's consider plans for some specific risks.

Nuclear attack/accident

A nuclear disaster could result from an accident at a nuclear power plant, a detonation of a nuclear device by terrorists or a rogue nation, or an explosion of a "dirty" bomb, an explosive surrounded by radioactive material. Individuals at "ground zero" will have little chance of survival.

The risk for others is the exposure to radiation.

Radiation is dangerous because of harmful effects on the body. In large amounts, radiation can cause radiation sickness, thyroid and other cancers, and death.

These effects are greater the longer a person is exposed to the radiation and the closer the person is to the source. If radiation is released into the atmosphere, it can travel for thousands of miles, contaminating the ground and living organisms as it settles back to earth on dust or rain.

This is called fallout radiation.

Time, distance, and shielding are the factors that minimize exposure to nuclear radiation. Most radiation loses its strength fairly rapidly, but it is important to limit the amount of time spent near the radiation source.

The farther away an individual is from the radiation source, the less exposure. Shielding is a barrier between an individual and the radiation.

Concrete, earth, and structures are good shields. Depending on the distance from the source, the best protection from radiation fallout may be to remain indoors.

After a nuclear disaster you may be advised to evacuate. If so, remain calm, pack your evacuation survival kit in your vehicle, and follow the evacuation routes out of the area. If there is time before leaving, close and lock windows of your house, close fireplace dampers, turn off air conditioning, vents, fans, and furnace.

Doing these things will make your house safer when you return by minimizing exposure to the inside of your house to fallout.

If you are advised to remain at home, bring pets inside, secure your house from fallout by closing and locking doors and windows, closing fireplace dampers, turning off air conditioning, vents and fans.

If your emergency supplies are stored in a garage or barn, bring them inside and, if there is time, store additional water in tubs, sinks, and available containers. Inside the house, the safest area is a basement or underground area, followed by an interior room with no windows.

Stay inside until authorities say it is safe to go outside. When coming in from the outdoors after exposure to fallout, shower and change clothes and shoes. Put the contaminated items that were worn outside in a plastic bag and seal it.

Open water sources (streams, creeks, lakes), fruits and vegetables from outdoor gardens, and livestock will all be contaminated. Do not eat or drink products from these until you know it is safe.


Very few people were actually infected in the anthrax attacks in the USA after 911 because it took direct physical contact with the bacteria to develop the disease. Other biological agents are contagious (passed from person to person), however, and are much more dangerous.

Biological agents are microorganisms (bacteria or viruses) or toxins that produce diseases in humans. The Centre For Disease Control (CDC) lists 17 biological agents that may be used as weapons, including anthrax, smallpox, plague, and botulism.

They are not immediately detectable, may take days to grow and spread, and it is impossible to know when an attack occurs. While preparations are being made for defence against such attacks, nobody really knows what to expect.

Fortunately, most of these biological agents are hard to make into weapons. Worst-case scenarios, such as suicide terrorists infected with smallpox traveling through metropolitan areas, are staggering, however.

Thousands of victims would overwhelm medical services and die.

Likely? Hopefully not, but who knows? Those at "ground zero" who are infected will need professional medical help.

With air travel, people will spread the disease all over the country before we even know an attack occurred.

The rest of the country will shut down as soon as authorities realize what happened.

Expect widespread closure of the country and mandatory quarantines. Transportation, food, and vital services will stop. Plan to stay at home if advised or ordered and avoid exposure with outsiders who may carry disease.

Your stockpile of food and supplies should get you through this disaster. You may want to have some medical-type masks and gloves on hand.

Should you stockpile antibiotics in preparation for such attacks? Authorities say no and this may be practical advice.

A large number of different types and amounts of antibiotics would need to be stored to protect your family against all likely biological weapons.

Many of the diseases are viruses, not treatable with antibiotics, and those treatable by antibiotics might be altered to make them resistant to available antibiotics. Besides, you will need professional medical care if you are exposed.

Chemical terrorism and hazardous spills

Chemical agents are gases, liquids, or solids that are poisonous to humans. Depending on the type and amount of the material, exposure to chemical agents can cause illness or be fatal.

Chemical agents include chlorine or ammonia gases that are transported on trains daily, other hazardous industrial chemicals, and chemical warfare agents, such as nerve agents, blister agents, blood poisons, and others.

The CDC lists 58 known chemical warfare agents.

Some nerve agents, such as Sarin, used in the attack in Japan, kill quickly. If you are at "ground zero" in such situations your only chance is to evacuate immediately.

A hazardous materials spill is probably more likely than a terrorist chemical attack. For gases and other chemicals that spread in the air, evacuation to avoid exposure is critical.

Leave the area as soon as you are aware of the incident. Full face respirators (gas masks) may be useful for escape in such situations. Buy good quality, new masks designed for industrial or rescue use, not army surplus masks.

Natural disasters

Natural disasters are somewhat easier to prepare for—you either get out of their way (evacuate) or you protect yourself indoors.

In floods Sandbag doors and windows, move furniture and other items to higher ground, and evacuate if necessary. Do not drive or walk through flood waters and stay off bridges when they are covered with water.

Be prepared

Bad weather Preparation should include boarding up windows and flood-proofing your home. Bring in outside furniture, bicycles, and rubbish bins. Listen to recommendations of emergency officials and evacuate if advised. If not advised to evacuate, stay indoors and away from windows.

Blizzards Stay indoors and use the telephone only for life-threatening emergencies. Use fires safely and properly ventilate. It there is no heat, cover windows, close off un-needed rooms, and stuff towels in cracks under doors.

Wear layers of warm clothing. Eat and drink plenty. Food generates body heat and water helps circulation to keep the skin warm.

It is important to know what to do and have a plan before a disaster strikes. The internet can provide additional information for preparing for and dealing with natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Consider your risks, develop a plan, prepare your disaster supplies kit, and discuss with your family what to do in case of an emergency.

Remember, the future belongs to those who prepare. You must be ready before disaster strikes.

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