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If you have ever heard the term EDC or Every Day Carry and know what that means, there is almost without fail mention of a flashlight. Flashlights are one of those items that can be used for far more than you might expect and are sorely missed if you don’t have one at the right time. I started carrying a flashlight daily over 3 years ago and was surprised at how often I found myself using this simple but important device.

Most of us grew up with some concept of a flashlight. The flashlight in my home growing up was stored in a central location, the kitchen cabinet. There was the single light in my house for a lot of years that was the go-to device anytime the power went out, a fuse blew or the pilot light on the stove needed to be lit again.  That single flashlight was all we really had until I got a little older and rechargeable flashlights started coming out. In my teens I had my own flashlight for camping trips and playing in the woods behind my house. With my flashlight I thought I was so cool.

The flashlights of my childhood had the single screw in incandescent bulb and were usually powered by a couple of D-cell batteries. If your flashlight was really fancy you had a replacement bulb in the bottom cap under the spring. They weren’t bright at all in comparison to the models today, but in the dark we thought they were awesome. Then sometime around the early 80’s the Maglite started appearing. This was a revolution in flashlight design and capabilities and everyone wanted their own. The Maglite was very bright and cast a long beam, but it was so heavy though (you needed 4 D-cells) that it could also be used as a weapon or to hold up your car, that they weren’t really practical for more than sitting in that kitchen cabinet or being stored behind the seat in the truck.

Now, flashlights have experienced a renaissance period of sorts since the advent of LED. Flashlights now are smaller, brighter, controlled with microprocessors and use a lot less energy. These new models are compact enough to easily be carried every day (hence EDC) and offer a lot of advantages for the prepper.

What is a tactical flashlight?

A tactical flashlight has a different purpose of use than your normal kitchen cabinet model. Tactical flashlights are designed with different materials, usually aerospace grade aluminum. They are designed for high impact stress because they are usually mounted to a weapon like a shotgun or M4/AR15 platform and most are waterproof to varying degrees. Tactical flashlights have textured grips and anti-roll profiles and are usually small enough to easily fit in a pocket. If you are looking for a light for your home defense weapon of choice you will most likely be using a tactical light.

There are quite a few manufacturers of tactical flashlights now and the prices vary wildly. Later in this article we will give you a few recommendations on models.

Why should you carry a flashlight?

  • Self Defense – Flashlights can easily assist you in a self-defense situation. For starters, most modern tactical flashlights are very bright. By bright I mean it hurts your brain to look at them – bright. If someone is threatening you, just flash the light in their eyes and blind them temporarily while you make your get away or maneuver into position. Also, a lot of tactical flashlights have bezel edges. These are supposed to assist you in breaking a window, but I wouldn’t try that with my flashlight. What they would be good at though is cracking a skull. If you blind an attacker and then smash him on the head with your flashlight that will definitely get their attention and will break the skin at a minimum.
  • Identify threats – It’s a light. If you are ever walking in the dark and need to shine a light on a dark or murky area, your trusty flashlight is perfect for that. Lights can easily light up dark corners even in the back seat before you approach your car so you know what is around. With the brightness of modern tactical flashlights you can do this from a pretty good distance too.
  • Help in emergency situations – In an emergency, the power can go out. Having your flashlight on you will mean that you instantly have light. I have been sitting in the house before and the power went out. I just reached down to my side and grabbed my flashlight and Voila! Remember the shooting in the movie theater in Aurora? If someone would have been able to blind the shooter with a flashlight, they might have saved a life or bought a couple of seconds’ time to use to get out of the theater.
  • When you lose the remote – Seriously, you will be amazed at the number of times you will reach for your flashlight that you never thought of. Even my family now instinctively says “Dad, let me see your flashlight” when they need to find something. That and looking down throats to make sure someone does not have a raging case of strep throat. Flashlight tag… millions of potential uses.

What should you look for in a good flashlight?

SOG DE-03 Dark Energy

This is the million dollar question isn’t it and there will be just as many opinions. I will stick with just a few of the basics but I would love to hear from you in the comments if you have other ideas. First you want a light as bright as possible. Why do I say that? Because the difference in a 90 lumens light and a 200 lumens light is incredible. With a higher lumens, you will suffer some battery life of course, but having a brighter light will allow you to see more, throw a further beam and in the case of attackers, blind them more effectively.

Most of the flashlights I see on the market have a rear button for on/off and this works great for me. You can hold your flashlight with a tight grip, similar to an ice pick and press the beam off and on. As well as easy on and off, you want a flashlight with different brightness settings. Normally you will have low which gives you the least amount of power, but the longest life. High gives you the brightest light and least amount of burn time. Additionally, they will usually have strobe mode. This is designed to disorient an attacker and if used correctly could conceal your movement if you are running while shining the strobe in their eyes. I guess this could be used in a survival scenario too when you are trying to signal someone. For me, the strobe is the least useful feature but I don’t want to get rid of it. Also the different settings are accessed usually by pressing the on/off button multiple times. Press it once for low, again for high and a third time for strobe. This means that every time you want to use it you are pressing that button 3 times and that seems clunky to me. The flashlight I carry is supposed to come on with a half press but this hasn’t worked for me.

Lastly, the main difference outside of quality in a tactical flashlight is the battery. There are several different types out there that require odd battery configurations. While they may last longer, I prefer to use good old Double AA batteries for my flashlight. These are ubiquitous and you can find them anywhere. If the grid goes down, you will be hard pressed to find 123A 3 Volt Lithium Batteries or some other odd style. Stick to batteries that you can find at the gas station down the street for the most flexibility or buy a ton of those special batteries now.

 

How to hold a flashlight when you are using a gun

Having a flashlight on you while you are going into a dark place, or clearing your home from an intruder will give you a tremendous advantage. How do you hold both of these tools together? There are a few methods listed below.

Chapman

Chapman Technique

The Chapman Technique

The Chapman is named for the first IPSC world champion, Ray Chapman. Chapman wanted a flashlight-handgun technique that would work with the flashlights of the day that would be superior to the old FBI method (not the one listed below). The Chapman technique holds the flashlight like a sword and rests the holding hand next to your weapon. This method was designed with the old style flashlights like the Maglite that have a switch on the top or upper shaft of the flashlight. This method does not work well with the newer tactical flashlights that have the button on the tail cap.

Ayoob

Ayoob Technique

Ayoob Technique

This technique is very similar to the Chapman Technique in that it was designed for side mounted switch flashlights. The drawbacks to this technique are the same in that this method does not work well with the newer tactical flashlights that have the button on the tail cap.

Harries

Harries Technique

Harries Technique

This technique is named after Michael Harries, a pioneer of modern practical combat shooting. The most popular of the hands-together techniques, the Harries Flashlight Technique was developed in the early ’70s for use with large-bodied “police flashlights.” This method doesn’t rely on the hand you are holding your flashlight on to contact the weapon and is used as a steadying force for some people.

Rogers/Surefire Hold

Rogers

Rogers/Surefire

The Rogers technique, which was later refined by Surefire coincidentally enough for use with the company’s grip-ring-equipped CombatLights, allows for rapid flashlight deployment when it’s being carried in Surefire’s CombatLight holster. The Surefire model has a molded grip that fits nicely between your fingers. This hands-together method closely approximates a normal, two-handed firing grip, but is restricted to only small, push button-equipped flashlights and won’t work well on the big old Maglite.

Neck

Neck Index

Neck Index

This technique takes the flashlight away from your weapon hand completely. The position of the light is near your cheek so that the light shines where your eyes are looking. This also puts the light in a position to use as a defensive weapon and can be used with older style flashlights almost as well as the newer style. One main criticism of this technique as well as the others is that a bad guy is going to shoot at where they see the light. If the light is right in front of you or like the Neck index method, near your head, guess where those rounds are going to be headed?

FBI

FBI Technique

FBI technique

This method seems to make the most sense to me if you are in a situation where you fear that someone will be shooting back at you. By holding the light up and away from your body, you make the chance that you will be shot lower. The bad guy, if they are aiming for the light shouldn’t be hitting anything major. They might hit your hand, but you hand should be away from vital organs. You can also modify the position of the light, raising and lowering the light, moving closer and further away from your body to confuse the other guy.

Where to carry your flashlight?

The hardest part of any type of EDC gear is making sure that you carry it every day. If you are going to be carrying a concealed weapon, a flashlight will augment that system so deciding where to carry your light is important. If you can’t get into a rhythm with your system that you will be comfortable with you will start to leave it home. This won’t help you very much when your tools that you depend on are miles away. My Fenix came with a carrying case that held up really well for a couple of years. Eventually, those bevels that I was describing as being so good for smashing skulls, well they also cut through canvas eventually. If I could find a leather case in the right size for my light that would be perfect. I am sure they make them but I just haven’t looked hard enough. That is another reason why I am evaluating a replacement light.

For me, the best place to carry a flashlight during a normal day is on the hip next to my Leatherman. It keeps it ready when I need it but doesn’t crowd my pockets. For a right-handed person, your flashlight should be on the left side of your body. This way if you need to use it as described above you won’t have to fiddle with your gun hand. For days when I am dressed up or am traveling, my flashlight goes in my laptop bag or checked luggage so I don’t risk having to forfeit it to TSA. Women have their purses, or in a lot of cases, key chains for easier access. The bottom line is you should keep it somewhere that you have it when you need it and can get to it quickly.

Suggested Flashlights

Like I said, there are a ton of flashlight manufacturers out there and just as many sellers of flashlights. Before purchasing a tactical flashlight, I would shop around because you can spend a fortune for a good light. The three most popular I believe are Surefire, Fenix and Streamlight with Surefire being the most expensive. There are also a ton of sites that do flashlight reviews. Nutnfancy’s YouTube channel has an entire playlist devoted to flashlight reviews and he does a more than thorough job on each and every one. I highly recommend his site if you are shopping for flashlights, weapons, camping or tactical gear.

So what tactical flashlights would I personally recommend? I have personally owned Fenix flashlights and overall I was very satisfied with the performance. Just recently the Fenix light I had (LD10) stopped working and I don’t feel like I got a full life out of what I bought. I could send it back for repair, but it simply isn’t worth the hassle to me for the price I paid ($55 3 years ago). I have ordered some cheaper flashlights to try them out and by cheaper, I mean dirt cheap. I will write that review up when I have evaluated them.

Surefire has an excellent reputation along with a hefty price tag. I know of guys who were given Surefire weapon lights as presents before they were deployed to Iraq and I have one myself that was a gift. I haven’t been able to really test it in harsh conditions but I am sure it would be fine. I can’t justify the price though unless you are a soldier getting deployed and will depend on this daily in harsh environments.

I have also had Streamlight flashlights as well as cheap Cree flashlights that I got from Costco (3 for $21) and they all work fine. I would again, just suggest you shop around and buy within your price range. I am sure you will find plenty of options that are affordable and will give you a decent light for the price.

I hope that gives you some helpful information as you make your choice on purchasing your own tactical flashlight for your EDC or home use.

 

If you have ever heard the term EDC or Every Day Carry and know what that means, there is almost without fail mention of a flashlight. Flashlights are one of

This is not just another article on survival. This is about the things our great-grandfathers built or did around the house, in order to survive. Looks like they succeeded.

People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at how folks 150 years ago did it. These guys were the last generation to practice basic things-for a living-that we call survival skills now.

We all want to become self-sufficient. The way to get there is not always an easy one.

Don’t you want to know all edible and medicinal plants in North America?

How about recipes for long-forgotten superfoods that will outlast you.

Are you ready to turn back the clocks to the 1800s for up to three years?

Because this is what will happen after the next SHTF event.

Preparing for worst using these lost skills is a very good start. Because depending on Uncle Sam isn’t much of a plan. Even if all you want is keeping your family well no matter what happens.

To banish any and all fears of starvation for good, our ancestors mastered the lost skills of wild plants. Their pharmacy was in the great outdoors. They were turning ordinary plants into powerful remedies. And preparing superfoods that cost almost nothing to make and require no refrigeration. Pretty awesome right? We’re talking centuries ago. Before globalization made as all forget who we are, and how we survive to live the day.

We all know how to turn a computer on or how to send a message on a smartphone, but how many of us are good at identifying the plants you need to survive any crisis? How many of us are good at preparing natural painkillers more effective than drugs? These plants could prove to be our lifelines, and still, we prefer to treasure our digital life more.

Are we really prepared for what’s to come?

Some of us are. Because we take facts into consideration, not promises and lies. So what is there to do? You inform yourself and get ready.

It’s simple, in order to survive, you need to be healthy. Right? Right.  

In order to be healthy, you need to eat as such.

Wouldn’t it be amazing getting to know almost all edible and medicinal plants around you? OR learning about a powerful painkiller, a driveway antibiotic weed, a back-pain relieve plant?

For example, there is an amazing wild lettuce recipe that was not invented by us. Or yesterday. But hundreds of years ago. When things were simpler.

Lucky these skills and recipes work regardless of your taste in history. But isn’t this a great opportunity to profit from it?

Here, at Final Prepper, we offer you a simple understanding of how human beings can survive in case of a catastrophe, such as natural disasters, economic decline, and war.

According to countless studies, Americans are currently changing for the worst; the various conveniences presented by modern technology have rendered mankind too complacent. People no longer brace themselves for the worst eventualities.

As a result, human beings have gradually lost survival skills that can help them survive various shortages in life. Here are just a few examples :

  • How to collect and store water for your family without spending any money.
  • Mastering the art of poultices making using the ingredients that our ancestors once used.
  • Tips on how to catch an assortment of animals and guidance on how to set foolproof animal traps.
  • The course of action human beings can take in the event that they ran out of bullets.
  • How to make nutritious food using ingredients that were first suggested by the Native American scouts.
  • How to build underground houses like the American natives.

In recent years, there has been a growing demand for survival guides. To meet this demand, we found one of the most comprehensive guides that helps people learn various survival techniques by copying what their ancestors did many years ago. You will re-discover and acquire ancient survival skills, and several beneficial tips and tricks that may be used by Americans today to survive both natural and man-made disasters more easily. Some of the things you will learn from this book include:

  1. Food – recipes of nutritious food that were first used by the Native American scouts. Such recipes teach people how to make nutritious food using common and readily available ingredients.
  2. Traps – Setting up traps can provide a steady supply of food in times of food shortage or crisis. Learn how to set up various traps and how to catch an assortment of animals—especially in winter.
  3. Housing – a detailed guide on how to construct underground houses. The houses illustrated in this guide are big enough to accommodate up to 4 families—a concept similar to the one used by the Native Americans.
  4. Water – insight into how you can collect and store water affordably. Water can be scarce during a disaster or a war. We included a guide on how to collect and store water without spending a dime.
  5. Poultices – guidance on how to make poultices using ancient ingredients that were being used by our ancestors for the same purpose.
  6. Bullets – how human being s can preserve bullets during a crisis and what you can do in the event that you no longer have bullets.

These are just some of the topics covered to help you learn the survival skills one needs to thrive. We believe it is about time that Americans went back to their roots and learn what made their ancestors survive various challenges and hardships in their environments.

We shouldn’t take for granted the given “luxury” of being born in such advanced times. We already know how powerless and clueless our modern society becomes în the aftermath of a simple blackout.

For these moments, we need to get ready. Are you?

 

This is not just another article on survival. This is about the things our great-grandfathers built or did around the house, in order to survive. Looks like they succeeded. People really

When it comes down to it, the reason that science fiction endures is that it is, at its core, an optimistic genre. What it says at the end of the day is that there is a tomorrow, we do go on, we don’t extinguish ourselves and leave the planet to the cockroaches.

But for some of us, living in the present, it really looks like the roaches took over. 

When you see roaches in your house, your first thought might be to grab a bottle of insecticide or to call an exterminator. But not only would you be exposing your family to toxic chemicals, they might not do much good.

A study by published in the journal Scientific Reports finds that German cockroaches — the most common roach species found around the world — are becoming harder to eliminate. These disease-carrying insects are developing resistance to many different insecticides, making them nearly impossible to kill with chemicals alone.

Because cockroaches are becoming so close to invincibility, researchers suggest combining chemical treatments with other methods — like traps and better sanitation — when fighting a roach problem. Or you can forego chemicals and try just natural methods.

Getting rid of roaches naturally can be a slow process. But getting rid of them naturally can also prevent the problem from reoccurring. So how do you do it? Take a shot at these ways to rid your home of roaches without using harsh chemicals!

Ways to Rid Your Home of Roaches the Safe Way

How to Get Rid of Roaches Without an Exterminator

Applying these natural ways to get rid of cockroaches is a longer process than when using hazardous pesticides. But for the sake and safety of your family and pets, taking it one step at a time is all worth it.

Besides, a roach exterminator cost will take a huge dent on your budget. In this article, we will share with you the natural ways to rid your home of roaches slowly but safely, and without a costly exterminator.

1. Boric Acid

Savefrom home-pest-control.us1Pest control ideasInsect exterminator

Boric acid is basically safe for use around the household and in fact used as an insecticidal substance. But take caution though, because it can be irritating to the skin so make sure to keep it away from children.

To make an effective boric acid cockroach killer, mix a part of powdered sugar to three parts of boric acid. The sugar will lure the roaches to the mixture and will terminate the cockroaches.

Sprinkle or spread the mixture in areas frequented by roaches.

What Is Boric Acid? It is a chemical substance which appears as colorless crystals or white powder which dissolves in water. It has many uses including insecticidal.

2. Wet Coffee Grounds (Water Tar Trap)

After brewing, if your grounds look wet & soggy, try this! Make the grounds coarser & increase the quantity of coffee.

What you’ll need:

  • 2-3 large glass jars
  • Wet coffee grounds
  • Water
  • 2-3 small cups

Instructions:

  • Fill the large glass jars about halfway with water.
  • Place the coffee grounds in the small cups.
  • Place one small cup inside one large glass jar. Make 2-3 similar setups with a small cup inside every glass jar.
  • Place these jars where you see roaches the most.
  • Roaches will be attracted by the aroma of the coffee and try to enter into the jar.
  • Once the roaches fall into the water jar, it is nearly impossible for them to escape.
  • Check the jars daily and discard any dead roaches.
  • Make new traps daily.
  • Repeat this process until you discover no sign of roaches within the traps for a couple of days.

3. Liquid Fabric Softener

Roaches breathe through their lower body. When you spray fabric softener on roaches, it will produce difficulty in their breathing and roaches will die due to suffocation.

What you’ll need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Fabric softener

Instructions:

  • Make a spray by mixing 3 parts of liquid fabric softener with 2 parts water.
  • Fill a spray bottle with this mixture.
  • Spray this solution on the roaches; making sure the solution hits the lower mid-region and head of the roach.
  • In addition, spray this mixture wherever you see evidence of roaches.

4. Ammonia-Water Solution

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of ammonia
  • 1 bucket of water

Instructions:

  • Add 2 cups of ammonia to the bucket of water.
  • Wash the hard surfaces of your kitchen and bathroom daily with this solution.

Ammonia works effectively as a repellent for roaches due to its sharp smell. Roaches will leave your home in no time using this method.

5. Catnip

While cats love the smell of catnip and it’s non-toxic to humans and animal, the same cannot be said for roaches. It will send the cockroaches flying to wherever they came from.

While the effect is not permanent, you can always reinforce it with any of the roach killers here. You can make a catnip tea where you can spray in areas where cockroaches might be hiding.

Note: This natural repellent should only be used in homes without cats!

6. Listerine Spray

Does Listerine kill roaches? The essential oils present in the mouthwash is what actually kills the roaches, so any brand of mouthwash with essential oils will do.

What you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Listerine
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Spray bottle

Instructions:

  • Mix equal parts of water and Listerine to make a solution and add two drops of dishwashing fluid to it.
  • Add this mixture to a spray bottle and spray areas where you have seen evidence of roaches; also can be sprayed directly on the roaches.

7. Soapy Water – To Kill Roaches on Contact

As I mentioned before, roaches breathe through their body and spraying them with soapy water will suffocate them.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 Tbsp of dishwashing liquid (preferably regular blue Dawn dishwashing liquid)
  • Water
  • Spray bottle

Instructions: Add 3 Tbsp of Dawn dishwashing liquid to 4-6 oz of water. Using a spray bottle, spray this mixture directly on roaches to kill them on contact.

8. Essential Oils – Citronella, Peppermint, or Lemongrass

It’s amazing how the scent we love, cockroaches hate. You will love this essential oil trick which will make your home smelling heavenly and cockroach-free.

Soak some cotton balls in the essential oil of your choice. From lemongrass, citronella, cypress, tea tree oil, and peppermint, they can all be effective.

Place the essential oil-soaked balls in areas around the home where the cockroaches are hiding. Or, you can also make this essential oil spray cockroach repellent.

  • Make a spray solution by putting half a cup of water in a spray bottle.
  • Add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.
  • Add 5 drops of cypress essential oil.
  • Mix and spray in areas desired frequented by cockroaches.

9. Bay Leaves

Unlike us, who sniffs at bay leaves before throwing them to a dish cooking, cockroaches hate the scent of bay leaves. For this, bay leaves are a fantastic way to get rid of cockroaches naturally.

You simply need to crush a handful of bay leaves, then spread them in areas where cockroaches may be hiding.

10. Edible Baking Soda

The amazing baking soda simply has no bounds to the wonderful things it can do for our home. With the many benefits of baking soda around the home, it’s incredible they are effective roach killers, too.

Apparently, when baking soda comes to contact with water, it just expands.

To make a simple and safe cockroach repellent, mix edible baking soda and sugar in equal parts and sprinkle them in crevices and areas they frequent. The cockroaches will consume them and you know what will happen next.

11. Cedar

SaveFirst Editions Plants1Patricia PinskyJapanese Maples

Cedar also ranks one of the plants which a few insects find disgusting, and it includes cockroaches. Thujone–an essential oil present in cedar is the culprit.

While we find the aroma pleasant, insects are averse to it. Leave pieces of cedar in the kitchen areas where they could be frequenting to stop these intruders in their tracks.

Learn how to get rid of cockroaches in 4 easy steps in this video from Solutions Pest & Lawn:

We may never know how to get rid of cockroaches forever since they’ve been here before us. But we do know we can get rid of these critters in our territory.

With these natural ways to rid your home of roaches, you have several options to choose from. Apply all these natural ways to rid your home of roaches and we’ll be seeing none of these critters for good!

Which of these natural ways to rid your home of roaches have you tried or wish to try? Tell us about your thoughts in the comments section below!


We thank our guest contributor Stacy Bravo for this article. 


Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Getting rid of roaches naturally can be a slow process. But getting rid of them naturally can also prevent the problem from reoccurring.

In a disaster our first instinct is to move as quickly as possible to safety or to the closest approximation we have to our ideal of safe. For me, if anything happens my goal is to get back to my home as quickly as possible. I have supplies at home specifically designed to help me and my family handle the aftermath of almost any emergency and logically this is our first/main rally point in any crisis. No matter where I am if something happens I will be working immediately to make it back to reunite with the rest of my family. My get home plan is my first priority if I am away unless there is something that prevents me from reaching home. This is less of an issue if I am with my family and we are together, but I like most of you spend a good part of my day away from home.

We like to speak of the ideal of heavily stocked survival retreats located on hundreds of acres of land in the boonies only accessible via a dirt road and after crossing several water hazards. That is the ideal maybe, but almost none of us, when you start looking at the numbers live anything near that type of lifestyle. Are there people who live in remote areas? Of course, but for most of us, our survival retreat is our home in the suburbs or semi-rural areas still easily accessible by plenty of roads with a Walmart within a short drive. Even more live in the cities where our neighbors are practically on top of us. Most of us who call ourselves preppers do not live year round at a retreat taking care of livestock, building barns and furniture from trees we felled and wood shaped with hand tools. Most of us work a job for someone else in an area that is anything but remote and that is almost always away from home. I personally want the retreat, but unless my life changes drastically that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. For me right now, I am where I am so I plan to make the best of it. If something happens I will be heading to my home.

There are multiple strategies for travel needed with the unexpected emergency but the variables start adding up when you consider all the permutations of what the emergency could be and where you are at the time. Today I want to talk about how you can begin to prepare for a situation where you are at work and your goal is to get back home to your family, your supplies and your castle. In a lot of cases you have to plan for situations that are out of the norm. The first plan of course would be to simply hop in our cars and drive home, but what if the roads were blocked? What if you couldn’t even reach your car? You should make a plan now for getting back home in alternate ways and plan for travel that isn’t ideal.

My Get Home Bag of choice right now.

How will you get home?

Before we can really start discussing how to get home, you have to take into consideration how far away home is. For the purposes of this article, I will use the example of a typical work day. For most of us that means we leave home in the morning, go to work and return home the same day. I have written articles on getting home from much further distances, but for this article we’ll assume you aren’t on the other end of the country, you are at your regular day job.

One of the first things I recommend thinking about is a Get Home Bag for anyone who works more than a few miles from home. I personally use the Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack right now pictured on the right. A get home bag has been called by a lot of other names, but it is simply a bag with basic supplies that you might need in order to walk back to your home. This is not the same as a bug out bag, but the concepts are related. All of these bags are simply containers for some essentials you might need in an emergency situation. My Get Home Bag is stored in the trunk of my car and has very basic items because on an average day I am not more than 15 miles away from home. I have spare water, some food in the form of a Mainstay bar, work gloves, lighter, paracord, ammo, multi-tool, headlamp and dust mask along with some blood stopper bandages. Could I pack more in there? Of course but I try to lean toward the minimal side on these bags and focus more on what I really could need versus what would be nice to have. For example, I don’t have a compass because I know my town and where my home is. I don’t have hand sanitizer because that is the last thing I am going to worry about. I don’t have a radio because I should be home in a few hours tops but I do have a ham radio in my car that is mobile. Your get home bag should have what you would expect to need on your trek home.

But what if my car is blocked or I can’t get to my car? What if the parking deck that my car sits in all day is shaken to the ground by an earthquake or an explosion? That is when the absolutely prepared person would grab their back up bag from their desk. I don’t have a bag in my desk and really I don’t live far enough from work that I don’t think I could make it back even without a bag. Couldn’t I leave my Get Home Bag in my desk at work and eliminate that problem? Sure but what if my office is closed or blown up or for some other reason I can’t get back to my desk? For me, the trunk of my car is the safest bet that will be with more more often than my desk drawer and if that doesn’t work out I will adapt. One thing you don’t want to have to adapt to are the elements though. I carry rain gear on days when there is a chance of rain even if I don’t plan on going outside. Cold weather is the same thing. Its easy to leave home and think that you will just be in the car, but what if you are forced to walk? Dress for the weather outside, not the weather inside.

Another aspect of making it back home is to have footwear up to the challenge. I have written before about how so many people wear flip-flops everywhere they go now and I shudder to think about what it would be like in a real disaster to have virtually no protection on my feet. As well as my Get Home Bag I have a pair of sturdy work boots in my car. I never wear flip-flops but if for some bizarre reason I have a John McClain moment and am caught with my shoes off I will have a backup.

Carry your Every Day Carry – EDC

Another aspect of my preps is my EDC or Every Day Carry items that I have on my person at all times when I am away from home. For me, my EDC consists of a concealed handgun, handkerchief, multi-tool, flashlight, knife and water. My water bottle is in my backpack with my computer, but I always have that with me. These items augment what I have in my Get Home Bag and I try to religiously make sure they are on me. If I am walking out the door to work I have an almost perfect track record of taking all of my EDC gear, but it is the odd times where my outfit choices are different when this falls down. Going to the pool for example, I have been known to change things up due to necessity and some of my gear stays in the car as opposed to poolside.

With my EDC gear it is always in my pockets or my bag, but how many of you have gone to the bathroom without your cell phone? How many have run down to the corner store without your car keys? What if something prevented you from getting back to your desk or work location and the only way you had to get into your car was several floors up, or under rubble? I try to take my keys and cell phone with me anytime I leave my desk so that I will have this option if needed.

Plan more than one route back home

Where I live, there isn’t a tremendous amount of traffic so I routinely take the same route to and from work. This is the quickest way for me to travel, but in an emergency, roads could be blocked and impassable. If needed, I can take alternate roads, but in some cases that might make my trip longer by taking me further away from home to route back to a good road. Alternately you could cut through the woods or neighborhoods but this isn’t always faster. In some situations, it might be a bad idea to cut through someone’s yard and you could find yourself in an altercation you didn’t need to get in. What if your travel takes you through a rough part of town? You would necessarily want to avoid those areas at this time so that you don’t become the victim of a predator. It helps to know the area you live in well enough and in some cases to perform what I call Neighborhood Recon to scope out alternate routes and identify obstacles ahead of time. Could you make it through the swamp that is in the woods? Maybe, but would you want to?

Have a communication plan with your family

In a disaster, cellular communications might be down and who has land lines anymore? You used to find a phone booth on every corner but now they are nonexistent where I live. My communication plan is really meant to address a lack of communication I can foresee in a disaster. My family knows what my plans are and that is to come home. I might be delayed but I will stick to the plan. In the event that some crisis hits and my family is not in immediate danger from staying put at our home, they are supposed to wait for me to arrive. Depending on the crisis this could be several hours to a day, possibly overnight. Does your family know what your plans are? More importantly, do they know what to do if you never show up?

What are your plans for making it back home in an emergency if your trusty vehicle isn’t available?

In a disaster our first instinct is to move as quickly as possible to safety or to the closest approximation we have to our ideal of safe. For me, if

The most common substance in this world is water and therefore it is essential that we could say by default it is greatly important! We have learned that only 1% of the Earth’s water is suitable for drinking, 97% of it is ocean or sea and what about the other 2%? It is unusable, it’s frozen. Now, we always wanted what is best and safe for our drinking water. As a matter of fact, Americans drink more than a billion glasses of tap water per day.

Your day has been sluggish and you are dying to drink that glass of water even from the tap just to quench your thirst. But do you really know whether or not it’s secure for your family? Or let me be more direct, do you even bother to know what’s on it? It doesn’t matter if you say that your water is clean by just tasting it or inspecting it with the naked eye, there are things that are in there that we don’t know about.

 

Here are the important things that you didn’t know in your drinking water.

1. Lead

Just like any stubborn bad guy, this colorless, odorless and tasteless metal can leach from lead pipes and plumbing fixtures will definitely go undetected.  Excessive amounts of lead place adults at higher risk for cancer, stroke, kidney disease, memory problems and high blood pressure. At even greater risks are children, whose rapidly growing bodies absorb lead more quickly and efficiently. Just because your home is less than 20 years old doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lead-free.

Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System with 2 Black Berkey Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters

2. Fluoride

Fluoride develops naturally in water; though rarely at the optimal level to protect teeth. Many assume that consuming fluoride is only an issue that involves your dental health. But according to a 500-page scientific review, fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can affect your bones, brain, thyroid gland, pineal gland and even your blood sugar levels. More people drink fluoridated water in the US alone than in the rest of the world combined. In Western Europe, for instance, 97% of the population drinks non-fluoridated water. Adding fluoride is definitely a forced medication.

3. Iron and Manganese

Iron and Manganese are non-hazardous elements but can be a nuisance to your drinking water. They are similar metals and can cause similar problems; can root offensive taste, appearance, and staining. When the water is aerated they are oxidized to oxides that are of low solubility and that’s the reason why it creates significant discoloration and turbidity that are concerned for health among the two, iron is frequently found in water supplies. Manganese is often found in water that contains iron.

4. Perchlorate

Perchlorate is a man-made chemical primarily used in the production of rocket fuel, missiles, fireworks, flares, and explosives. It has been found in drinking water and surface waters in the United States (at least 26 states) and Canada. Although it is a strong oxidant, perchlorate is very persistent in the environment. At high concentrations perchlorate can interfere the thyroid hormone production.

5. Bisphenol A

Bisphenol a (BPA) is an important chemical building block and additive in a wide variety of plastics. It is manufactured worldwide for approximately 3.2 million metric tons/year. This can be found in some plastic water bottles and the dangerous part is that it can leach into food and drinks. According to National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, it may acquire health risks, especially to infants and children. One good thing: there are quite a number of BPA-free bottles that are available now. However, you must have to be extra careful still; for the reason that some BPA-free plastics may still leach unwanted chemicals into your water when exposed to sunlight or microwaves or dishwashers, NPR reported.

6. Arsenic

Throughout the 19th century, lurid tales of dresses dyed with the arsenic-infused Paris and Scheele’s Green poisoning people filled magazines and newspapers.

Arsenic is a natural element that is also tasteless and odorless that you wouldn’t be able to distinguish that it’s in your water. It is found widely in the earth’s crust and may be found in some drinking water supplies, including wells. Research shows that exposure to high levels of arsenic can cause health effects, the worst is human cancer.

7. Pathogens

Bacteria are a natural part of life; in fact, there are many forms and functions of bacteria we couldn’t live without. Let’s say Coliform bacteria may not cause disease but can be indicators of pathogenic organisms that cause serious diseases. It can cause intestinal infections, dysentery, hepatitis, typhoid fever, cholera, and other illnesses. Luckily, these pathogens are much better controlled today than they once were. We just have to be practical on having our water tested but definitely the best strategy to get rid of these pathogens.

8. Agricultural chemicals

Agriculture is one big part of the community that is heavily dependent on fertilizers and pesticides that boost crop production. The major contaminant is nitrate and found in fertilizers and in animal waste, is another major pollutant associated with agricultural use. These contaminants can seriously develop in a high concentration in our water resources that can cause health risks. One good example is methemoglobinemia, or blue-baby syndrome, in bottle-fed infants under 3 months of age.

9. Chlorine

Chlorine have had been good in doing as a disinfecting treatment in killing off most microorganisms in the water. As a matter of fact, it is a powerful oxidant added to the water by several municipal water systems to control these microbes.  While learning that the United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world because of this disinfecting agent, it is also appropriate to check it for once in a while. It can be absorbed through physical consumption as well as through your skin while bathing and can severely dry skin and hair and cause irritating effects to your eyes and nose.

10. Mercury

This silvery heavy metal can be found in various natural deposits. Mercury can flow into water supplies from improperly discarded devices containing it, as runoff from landfills & farm land, dumped by factories, or from natural deposits. With this being said, this extremely toxic liquid metal must be precaution in handling or disposing of it. Being exposed to high levels of mercury over time can cause kidney damage.Water can be purified of many contaminants if treatment facilities are available, but supplies must be monitored so that contaminants can be properly identified in the first place.
The safest way to ensure that these toxins do not make it into your body is to have your water tested to determine which contaminants your tap water may contain. Once you have identified the contaminants present, you can select a water filtration solution that is best for you.

The most common substance in this world is water and therefore it is essential that we could say by default it is greatly important! We have learned that only 1%

Most people see a dandelion growing and immediately reach for the weed killer, but I am hoping to change a few minds on the usefulness of this “weed”. Dandelions are useful as an herbal remedy, detoxifier, and food source. The are full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy antioxidants.

Medicinal Use of Dandelion Roots

People have been using dandelion root as a detoxifier for the liver for many years, but recent research shows that it may have many more uses. Research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences shows that dandelion root is helpful in regulating blood sugar and insulin levels in diabetics. It works by controlling fats in the blood. Additional research at the University of Windsor found that it is useful in fighting a chemo-resistant melanoma and preventing the cancer cells from multiplying.

It has also been shown to calm inflammation, prevent urinary tract infections, reduce stomach upsets, and treat joint pain from arthritis and similar problems. Herbalists use it to treat infections, ease aching muscles, flush excess fluids from the body and as a detoxifier for the liver and gallbladder. With all of these medical benefits going for it, it seems such a waste to spray it with weed killer, doesn’t it? Instead, lets dig it up and make some use from the plant.

Related: Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

Harvesting Dandelion Roots

Look for a clean source of dandelions such as a meadow or field away from traffic and human pesticide and herbicide use. Contaminated plants are not good for you or the environment. Let the plant grow through the summer and produce seeds for the next year. Harvest the roots in the fall after the weather has turned cooler. At this time, the insoluble fiber levels (inulin) are highest and the plant has the highest medicinal value.

You can also harvest in the early spring while the plant is still dormant. Spring roots are sweeter, less bitter, and easier to chew, if you harvest them before they bloom. Spring roots are useful for digestive ailments and stimulate more bile production.

Ideally, you want to dig up the dandelion root whole with as little breakage as possible. The plant has a central tap root which has all the medicinal properties of the plant.

Dig deep with a dandelion digger, trowel, or garden fork. Loosen the soil around the plant and pull it up from the base.

Wash the roots well to remove all dirt and slice them into pieces strips or slices for drying. Thin slices dry faster. I dry my dandelion roots on a dehydrator set to 95 F until they are completely dry and brittle.

Snap a few pieces in half and make sure they are dry all the way through. Alternately, dry them in a warm (but not hot) oven.

Store the dried roots in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

Related: The Plant You Can Use as a Diuretic But Also To Make a Great Wine!

Using Dandelion Root

For most medicinal uses, a decoction, infusion, or tincture is made to extract the medicinal compounds from the tough root. Go slowly when you first start using dandelion root, it is a diuretic. Start with one cup of dandelion root decoction daily, increasing it slowly if desired. Here are some general recipes to get you started:

Dandelion Root Decoction

A decoction is an infusion made with water. It may be consumed as a tea but is often made stronger. To make a dandelion root decoction:

  • 1 ounce dried dandelion root or 2 ounces fresh root, chopped
  • 1 pint filtered or spring water

Place the chopped root pieces in a small pot with one pint of water. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Allow the decoction to simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the tea and enjoy.

Related: The type of salt that can be used for Sprains, Muscle Pain, Muscle Spasm, Constipation, Cardiac Conditions, and even as a Sedative

Dandelion Root Tincture

dandelion root tinctureBecause it is an alcohol extract, Dandelion Root Tincture retains some different extracts than the decoction. It can also be made ahead and stored for long periods so that it is always available. It is valuable for people who do not like the tea, since less is needed for the same effects

  • 1 pint jar of dandelion root, chopped
  • 1 pint of 80 proof or stronger vodka.

Fill the jar 3/4 full with dandelion root pieces and fill the jar with 80 proof vodka. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake and tap the jar, removing all air bubbles. Steep the root for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking it daily. Keep the jar in a cool, dark place while steeping. After 4 to 6 weeks, strain out the root material and put the tincture in a dark glass bottle. Keep the tincture in a cool, dark place, tightly covered for 1 to 3 years. Use 10 to 15 drops of tincture daily, as needed.

Dandelion Flower Tea

Place 1/2 ounce of dried dandelion flower petals or 1 ounces of fresh petals in a tea ball and place in a cup of boiling water. Steep and enjoy warm or cold. Use Dandelion Flower Tea for weight loss, as a diuretic, a detox, or as a healthy beverage.

Dandelion Root Coffee

Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots 6

Roasted Dandelion Roots

Dandelion Root Coffee is made with roasted dandelion roots that are ground like coffee and brewed. It is enjoyed like coffee and makes a good coffee substitute. Here is the recipe:

Chop dried dandelion roots into small pieces and spread onto a roasting pan or cookie sheet.

Roast the dried root in a 200 F oven for approximately 4 hours, stirring and turning occasionally. The roots should be completely browned.

Cool the roasted roots and grind them in a coffee grinder. Brew like coffee, or steep 1 teaspoon of ground in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Store the roasted roots in an airtight container and grind fresh for best flavor.

Precautions

The dandelion plant is edible and considered safe for most people. Some people may be allergic to dandelion and should not use it. It can also interact with some medications, including diuretics, lithium, and Cipro. It is always best to consult your doctor before using any herbal product if you are taking prescription medications or have a health condition.


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Most people see a dandelion growing and immediately reach for the weed killer, but I am hoping to change a few minds on the usefulness of this “weed”. Dandelions are

‘When the SHTF I am bugging out man’! ‘If the SHTF you will be glad you have one of these’. ‘You won’t be able to do that if the SHTF’. ‘When the SHTF you better be prepared’! If you have been anywhere near prepping, survival, self-sufficiency or emergency preparedness content, movies, TV shows, books or blogs, you have heard someone say a sentence that went roughly like one of those above.

Do you know what everyone means by SHTF?

Just in case there are some of you out there who do not know what this handy little acronym stands for, it is S**t Hits The Fan. When the SHTF basically all hell breaks loose. The exact meaning of SHTF varies by person and sometimes SHTF is used interchangeably with TEOTWAWKI. As in ‘If there is an EMP device exploded over the US it would be TEOTWAWKI’. TEOTWAWKI is another acronym for The End of The World As We Know It which is also used to describe a million different things to different people. One thing we do know though is that when it comes to SHTF or TEOTWAWKI they both mean that bad things happen and most likely our lives will be changed dramatically in some way for some period of time.

I think one of the aspects of prepping has to be with an eye toward a SHTF type of event. We prepare for minor inconveniences like being stranded on the side of the road, or living without power for a couple of days, but with relatively simple steps these two examples are by themselves minor in the grand scheme of things. If you have prepared, there is really nothing to worry about if the power is out. Will you have to adjust and make do? Probably but if you have prepared for a power outage the adjustment could be very minor. Would you be inconvenienced? Most likely, but you will survive.

Most preppers I have talked to are at some point along an arc of preparedness. (I am copyrighting that phrase right now) One end of the arc is no preparedness at all. The other end of the arc is our individual version of being totally prepared or at least extremely prepared. I say extremely prepared because like I have written before; I don’t believe you can ever finish prepping. There should be a point when you are pretty darn set though when you compare yourself to the rest of the world.

The prepared end of the arc is our supplies, skills and gear for really bad things. This is the SHTF that people are preparing for and it is this concept that many are striving for all along. To be actually prepared as well as possible to handle or maybe more accurately, live through a SHTF event. Our preps would ideally help make that possible. The prepared end of the arc deals with Long-term and abundant food storage, plentiful and renewable sources of water, shelter from the elements while at home or in a bug out scenario and survival firearms for each member of your group. Personally, I don’t want to ever need to use my supplies on the ‘Prepared’ end of the Arc but they are there if the time comes.

What does SHTF look like?

And so we get to the big question that I have heard asked a million times. Well, not a million but a lot and that is ‘How will I know when the SHTF’? How will I know when it’s time to bug out and move our family out of harm’s way? How will I know when I need to hunker down, board up the windows and keep watch overnight? The reason so many people want to know this is that they don’t want to be caught unaware. You don’t want to be the last person trying to get out of your town before the roads are too clogged with traffic, or the one who shows up at the grocery store after they have taken everything except the mops back in housewares. Anyone who is prepping for SHTF is doing so because we want to avoid it as much as possible so knowing how to identify the actual moment that the S**T Hits the Fan is pretty important.

The problem is that unless we are talking about huge, cataclysmic national events, defining the moment that it happens is too late is difficult across the scale of everyone in the country. If a huge terrorist attack happens in Los Angeles California but nowhere else, would you as someone living in Las Vegas do anything besides watch the news? If a nuclear bomb went off in New York, would you as someone living in Tennessee go anywhere? I think the answer to almost any situation where we are asking if the SHTF moment has arrived is unfortunately, ‘It depends’.

What does this event mean to me?

There is a famous Supreme Court case, Jacobellis V. Ohio in which the subject was a movie that had been deemed obscene. The movie theater owner who showed the movie had been convicted and his case made it to the Supreme Court where Justice Potter Stewart, in his concurrence with the other judges ruling for overthrowing the case, said with respect to hard core pornography, “I know it when I see it”. There are other details which you can read here, but the point I am trying to make is that there is no universal SHTF moment or series of actions. You can’t point to a terrorist attack and say that for everyone it is a SHTF moment. Now, it most certainly will be for people involved in the event and surrounding areas of course but it may not impact you at all. If it does however, you will most likely know it when you see it.

Well, thanks that wasn’t helpful at all! Maybe you were hoping I would give you a checklist of items to look for to determine when the S had actually HTF? OK, I can do that but each of these would be examples that have to be taken in context. All of that would also need to be considered with your own personal situation. Some items to look for:

  • Loss of Electricity on a regional scale for more than one week
  • Media blackout
  • Martial law declared
  • Door to door gun confiscations – yes they have happened before.
  • Stock Market takes a dive of 10% and they halt trading the next day.
  • Bank holidays are declared and you are not allowed to remove money from your bank. If you are you are limited to a small amount.
  • Attack on US soil – This would be most likely blamed on terrorists of one shape or another
  • Virus outbreak rates that continue to go higher and occurrences start to increase in your city.
  • EMP device that causes massive power outages (multi-state)
  • Nuclear reactor meltdown
  • Natural disasters that impact you locally (fires, tsunami, hurricane, flood, etc.)

These are all examples that in the right context could be signs that we are in a SHTF moment. On the other hand, some of these could be single events that for a large part do not impact you or your family. I have said before that everything depends on the disaster and if something like this is happening to you, in your town things may be totally different from others across the country not affected. Naturally a stock market collapse or EMP doesn’t fall into that category but regional issues would. I always advocate watching the news media – not to hear about the latest starlet who is acting trashy but to get a feel for what is going on in the world. Maintain an active awareness of the news and be prepared to act fast if you get wind of events that you are considering as being a real SHTF event for you.

Will there be a national SHTF event? Who knows? It could be that we have minor SHTF events that happen to us and that doesn’t make them any less real or dire. You could have your own personal TEOTWAWKI moment that doesn’t impact anyone else and you will still need to react.

I believe we have an intuition but we have to tune ourselves to hear it. I think one aspect of that intuition is what prompted me to begin prepping and I believe that for many others out there you have that same feeling. That small voice telling you to prepare; that gut instinct that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. When it comes to your town, I think you will know it when you see it if you are prepared to look for it. Don’t expect the news, FEMA, your governor or me or any so-called expert in the world to tell you when it’s time to go. You will be able to make that decision for yourself.

‘When the SHTF I am bugging out man’! ‘If the SHTF you will be glad you have one of these’. ‘You won’t be able to do that if the SHTF’.

To understand why diseases flourish in a blackout you first have to understand the affects a long-term blackout have on infrastructure. We are most accustomed to short term blackouts and we don’t see the lasting effects very often.

In a long-term scenario, you will have things like water treatment failure, diesel, and other fuel will run out, medical backup generators will fail, having lasting effects on public health. You will also have serious malnutrition because food shipments and commerce will be affected in the region.

 

Each one of these things will affect the reemergence of diseases that we currently have protections in place for. We have seen many real-life examples of this in our modern world.

LA COUNTY AND TYPHUS

Because of the overwhelming failure in managing the homeless population, LA County has seen a reemergence of Typhus in the streets. The public health system does not have an answer for the homeless population so it would seem that this issue will continue.

VENEZUELA AND ACCESS TO MEDICINE

The Venezuelan health care system is in total disarray thanks to the economic collapse. Along with the massive rolling blackouts in the nation people are suffering from a majority of common healthcare issues but do not have access to basic medicines.

SYRIA AND MEASLES

Vulnerable populations in Syrian refugee camps are facing serious measles outbreaks. The measles is a serious disease that is also popping back up in the United States. While we think we have eradicated these diseases, in the right conditions they come raging back.

5 Diseases That Will Flourish in a Long-Term Blackout

STDS

One of the first things that will happen is people will get bored because their phones and devices will run out of battery. So few have prepared with backup power to recharge these devices that run our lives.

In their boredom, they will turn to passing time the old ways. There is a reason birth rates skyrocket 9 months after major hurricanes. It’s just what we do. So, with a lack of protection available, the spread of STD’s will be prolific.

Dysentery

Swelling of the large intestine with serious abdominal cramps and diarrhea, dysentery is a third world disease that is brought on by drinking contaminated water. If we see a massive blackout, we are going to face this issue because water treatment will be compromised.

Most people are not storing 6 months’ worth of water or water filters or catching water in barrels. Because of this, they will have to either stand in water lines to receive water from aid stations or they will risk drinking the water from the tap.

Typhus

This disease is brought on by fleas. When you have populations of people that are not practicing personal hygiene, they bring on these pests. These pests pass on the disease by biting people. Typhus is a serious disease that can be deadly in some cases.

Personal hygiene is something that has to be carried out even when the water system is compromised, and you have run out of things like soap. Do you know how to make soap? It’s a pretty simple process that can make a world of difference when dealing with diseases like Typhus.

Measles

At this moment we have robust medical establishments that vaccinate children at birth and in their young age for things like measles. After a long-term blackout, these things will no longer happen. It won’t be long before large groups of people are suffering from measles.

The measles can be deadly and the best way to deal with them, thus far, comes from vaccination at a young age.  Some communities try to build immunity by having exposure parties to get kids together, but this can be very dangerous.

Cholera

There are fewer than 1000 cases of cholera in the nation today. That is a serious victory. However, with water and food sources being contaminated after a blackout we will see those numbers rise. This disease is very common in countries where there is no access to clean water.

Storing food and collecting water is going to give you an edge over those who have not taken those precautions.

What Precautions Can You Take?

It’s well known that our own power grid is indefensible and that it could be compromised by either terrorist’s attack or hacker. Even a targeted EMP strike could take out large swaths of power to our nation.

Do you know where to start to handle something like this?

Have you any idea how to address needs like water and food through advanced preparations?

There are lots of resources out there, but The Doomsday Book Of Medicine is a standout resource that can be placed on a shelf in your home. It is not data that can be compromised in the blackout.

If you’re wondering what will you do when there are no doctors or medicine, this 800+ page encyclopedia has it all.

Conclusion

Living in a first-world nation it’s easy to take much of the daily processes for granted. It’s easy to take supply chain and tap water for granted. It’s hard for us to understand the types of things that are happening in places like Venezuela and Syria.

At this moment we have greater access to knowledge and resources than ever before. We are literally capable of buying things and having them at our door in a matter of hours. That means there are no excuses for not preparing for an eventual disaster.

Spend some time thinking about how you could best address the things like personal hygiene, water, and food in a serious disaster. Get ahead of the game today while it’s cheap and easy. Don’t wait till something goes wrong and you and your family are forced to scramble.

Click here to read more about The Doomsday Book Of Medicine.

To understand why diseases flourish in a blackout you first have to understand the affects a long-term blackout have on infrastructure. We are most accustomed to short term blackouts and

A ton of preparedness projects and skills can be completed in as little as an afternoon, regularly with minimal outlay of cost. Some of them can even be done with kids, significant others and neighbors, without even admitting to being a prepper. That can be a great way to learn yourself but also help others be more prepared, and fostering a work-together and DIY mindset can be huge. The confidence to do, build and create carries forward in daily life for both kids and adults, boosting other types of preparedness as well.

There’s a whole list of other ideas to research for quickie free-time, afternoon and even weekend projects at the bottom of the article. I’m not big into pushing every prepper into the Survivor-man aspect or tons of primitive/colonial skills from the outset, so you’re not going to see those from me.

Instead, here are some insights on half a dozen preparedness projects and skills that can be learned and put together in short bursts or even a single afternoon, things that can immediately affect our self-sufficiency and preparedness for daily life and major disaster events. The projects require minimal tools that most of us (should) already have.

Feather Sticks

I tend to make several when I make one, because you can use the extras to save a fire that starts to go out.

Feather sticks are handy-dandy tools anytime you’re making a fire or starting a grill, even on a small-scale with a mini rocket stove. You basically shave a stick into a fluffy cone. Doing so creates the thin shavings, increases airflow and surface area for early kindling uses, and in damp conditions has the added benefit of exposing potentially drier wood inside. They can be made with pocket knives, survival knives, and even machetes if needed.

I tend to make several when I make one, because you can use the extras to save a fire that starts to go out. That’s particularly handy in wet, windy conditions, and it’s handy while you’re learning to pyramid stack, use Swiss torches, or bank a fireplace or wood stove so it stays lit through the night.

#1 Mostest Importantest-Ever Tip: Cut away from yourself. Especially for these.

That means, do not brace a branch on your knee, ankle or thigh and then scrape a blade over a stick that could snap or have a knot that sends your blade skittering. Important tendons, blood vessels, and ligaments are in your limbs.

I won’t say anything if you’re inclined to put a stick in your shoulder and pull a blade toward your neck and eyes – Darwin is obviously working from beyond the grave and I try not to get in Darwin’s way.feather-stick

Internet hunting & phone gathering

This isn’t actually a one-off. This is setting time aside to poke around sites with free and cheap used stuff, and hunting up “curbside pickup” locations.

In just one “free curbside pickup” listing, I see: high hoop poles + boards for water catchment shelves; metal trellis or bird-exclusion net supports; totes & drawers for water catchment or sub-irrigated or standard containers (big enough for shrubs and mini trees, even); and a laundry basket for growing potatoes in straw and compost

It’s also time set aside to find out who still chips trees to see if we can get ourselves a mulch source, time for calling around to see who still gets icing so we can get free buckets for food storage, and time for sourcing more buckets by calling around to see if the local humane society/ASPCA, Petsmart, Petco, or animal rescue gets kitty litter in buckets – and if they’d be willing for us to take them off their hands.

We can use Craigslist, Freecycle, and the phone to find sources for:

  • Wooden pallets (all kinds of projects, from mini raised beds to tall keyhole beds, sheds, muddy-spot bridges, etc)
  • Painter’s drop cloth (greenhouse, hoop material weatherproofing windows)
  • Replaced storm doors & windows or mesh from the same (shade covers, exclusion frames) (general contractors, handyman, window repair specialists)
  • Replaced windows and doors (cold frames to grow vegetables in cooler temperatures)

wood-pile

A downed tree look more like firewood or a hugel bed to me, and construction or renovation trash looks like my next source for all kinds of lumber, plus shelving I can use for raised beds pretty quickly and easily, poles for trellises and extending clothes lines, and plastic I can use as a weed exclusion, machine cover, to extend water catchment, provide shade, or to warm soil in spring and autumn.

  • Creative material for trellises, fencing, and supplies to make other items on the list from others’ refuse (2-5 drawers and a deep raised bed from a filing cabinet; old wire shelving unit; DVD racks for trellises; buckets from delis, caterers, bakeries, restaurants; liquor and appliance stores for cardboard for weed exclusion and water sinks in deep beds)
  • Dinged and scratched solar panels from roadside signs & hurricane netting from roadway construction & repair companies

Bucket rain catchment

We hear about rain barrels, but they can be pretty expensive to buy. Buckets are cheap or free, and easier to haul to the point of use, rearrange, and clean.

Especially early on, we might find some real benefit even in just stacking buckets on each other in a pyramid, or on a chair or stool, then a few bricks, then a couple of sticks or a boards, and angling them a bit so they overflow into each other and then maybe a lidless storage tote or freebie kiddie pool.

Rain catchment can be as simple or complex, large or small-scale as we want to make it – just getting started is more important than having a pretty, fancy system

If we cover them with old pillowcases, cut-up freebie sheets and towels, or shirts from yard sale leftovers piles, we prevent mosquitoes. We can also hide some of the “ugly” that way if we have neighbors or partners who don’t want to look at them.

We can also go higher tech with angled or laddered systems of several levels, drilling our double overflow and spigot holes as we collect hose, PVC and plumbing attachments.

Go higher tech with angled or laddered systems of several levels

Even if we don’t want to filter the captured water for human use, it can impact the amount we have to water plants or be used for cleaning purposes.

Draft-proofing

Draft-proofing (or at least locating) is about increasing the efficiency of our homes. We want to close doors and turn off lights, and creep around looking at the bottoms of doors and around the door jambs. If we have a partner, we can work at night, looking for places where their flashlight comes through. We can also carry a candle around – the dancing of the flame will help us locate and pinpoint drafts.

Some utilities will come out with sensors to help us find even the little holes where pipes and cables come into our homes.

Windows and doors can have various types of window weather-stripping, bottom-of-door weather strips, and “draft rolls” – homemade or purchased – put in place. We can also lay on clear insulating plastic to cover our windows with – or even a never-used door. There are also silicone sealants we can use with a caulk gun in some areas.

Cutting drafts can save us money on heating and cooling right now. It can also make our whole-house fans and our fireplaces more efficient – now and when we depend on them because grid power is out.

Earth boxes

Buckets and totes, metal and plastic drawers, and even some wooden drawers can be readily turned into planters. If they’ll hold water, we can also turn them into Earth Boxes and “self-irrigated” containers.

*They’re not really self-irrigated, they’re sub-irrigated but you hear it both ways

 

Both input water through tubes to a reservoir space, and soil or wicks then pull it to the root zones, limiting evaporation and making our water use hugely efficient.

There are all kinds of DIY tutorials out there. What I will add to them is: Be sure you don’t actually have to buy something before you do.

I know for a fact that socks that have lost their mates can be filled with the exact same soil I plant in, and work just fine as a wick without buying any specialty baskets. Chunks of wood will eventually decay, but for a long time, they work as well as PVC or bricks for supporting the grate, mesh or upper container we drilled a million holes in. Do you need PVC, or can you daisy-chain some soda bottles together to create an input tube?

We have enough expenses in this life, especially in preparedness. Pocket what you can. Buy another can to put back or go wild and treat yourself, a partner, or the family to Value Menu sundaes or a new DVD when you can.

earth-box-4

I don’t have a lot of problems with nutrient runoff with these buckets, but you could elevate containers above other buckets, tubs or pools to collect it if you do, then dump the water back in. I’m just not big into the water-shedding lids (I hate not using rain). Mulch helps preserve more water and protect soil from compaction, which is another issue some folks have with bucket planters and container gardens.

Don’t have all the materials yet? No big.

Use the buckets as containers. Drill holes a few inches up or as much as 4-6” if you’re going to build one in the future. Fill to the holes with pine cones, sticks, logs, gravel, or mulch to limit your fill dirt to 6-16” – that’s sufficient even for corn, with a healthy mix, and the bottom becomes a water storage reservoir still, while promoting drainage. You can upgrade them into earthbox-type planters later.

More preparing with quickie skills and projects

Some other quickie afternoon, one-day and weekend projects and skills to consider are:

      • Creating and scouting positions for small-game and bird snares
      • Homemade solar cookers
      • 550 cord fishing lures (or make them out of boot laces) get crazy creative and pick out extra threads to make newts and frogs, too

  • perfect casting your fishing line (set up competitions in the yard)
  • Pace count (multiple terrains)
  • Pace count in full pack (or a small pack with equivalent weight inside); with one leg strapped straight for a hobbling effect; with an arm tucked inside your shirt/a sling
  • Disposable Straws for EDC, BOBs, and camping ***Go easy if you’re inclined to put flammables like cotton, sawdust, etc. in your straws, and try to think about the flame you’re going to use for sealing it before you play with alcohol, hand sanitizer, or pre-shaved magnesium.

straw

  • Solar showers from garbage bags and garden sprayers
  • Solar cooking grains in a canning jar by hanging it inside dark plastic or cloth
  • Swedish torch
  • Rat-trap squirrel traps
  • Master sharpening knives – properly – Angles and tasks matter with blades. Dull and wrong-angle, curled-over, nicked blades increase the labor it takes to do our work. Mister P would not be allowed near my knives if I had to hold them in my teeth and use a curb to sharpen them. Papa P, now, that man could probably sweet-stone a shaving edge on a machete or a chopping wedge onto a box cutter if he needed to. The skill matters now. If we’re ever cut off, it matters more.
  • Bucket-can & bucket-shingle mouse & rat traps
  • Garden journal/binder
  • Important document binder (& electronic versions)
  • Medical DIY home-remedy binder
  • Quiet step in woods & water
  • Proper knots for hauling, packing, tying off, and building tepees – which can in turn support poles and racks for clothes lines and drying foods or creating shade and plant protection
  • Rat-trap visual perimeter alarms
  • Carrying and stacking wood – It’s not always as easy as you’d first think, and there are some camping and backpacking hacks that help, and some nifty circular or beehive piles that put tons of wood in a very small footprint
  • Cord nets
  • Ash cakes

Outdoor/Clay bread ovens (and research the order of baking and ways colonists used all of the heat generated efficiency; no reason to heat up the house unnecessarily)

Bannock bread – Skip the complicated versions:

  • 1 cup flour (doesn’t matter)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • herbs to taste (onion, garlic, Italian blend, lemon & thyme, black pepper) or dried fruit and nuts, or use chocolate chips or jimmies, brown sugar and cinnamon, and do a dessert version with apple or cherry pie filling or canned pears

Add small amounts of water to make a sticky dough or even a near-batter thickness for pans; this stuff is pretty forgiving and you don’t need 5-8 ingredients for the bare-bones survival version to be great with fresh fish or a can of chili.

You don’t have to take a lot of time to increase preparedness, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fifteen-minute increments, in a few hours, or with a weekend, you can start seriously impacting your preparedness with small, easy projects and useful skills.

A ton of preparedness projects and skills can be completed in as little as an afternoon, regularly with minimal outlay of cost. Some of them can even be done with

Honey! I think I shrunk the…toilet paper stockpile. Don’t like it? Try this one for size: an empty toilet paper roll by any other name would smell as sweet. Welcome, weary traveler, to yet another kick-ass presentation on how common household items can save your life, “can” is the leitmotif of this here article.

Yup, you’ve guessed it – today I’m going to talk to you about the afterlife of TP rolls. You know those carton cylinders we used to stole as kids from the trash to make “spyglasses”? Well, believe it or not, even though they’re the ghost of TP past, they can still be of some use to us. Luckily, most of those purposes revolve around our favorite topic which is survival.

So, without further ado or a-pun, here are 7 clever ways to use empty TP rolls in SHTF situations.

  1. Keeping your important docs safe, sound, and dry

In any shit hits the fan situation, there’ll be a lot of running, climbing, digging, and falling. Clothes and footwear can be washed and hung up to dry; even most electronics have some sort of waterproofing. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about important documents such as driver’s license, photo ID, house deed or other things you may be carrying in your B.O.B. One easy way to make sure your precious docs don’t get totaled by water is to place them inside an empty TP roll.

Use some plastic food wrap or tin foil to seal both ends, and you’ve got yourself a weatherproof doc pouch. Well, it’s more of a roll rather than a pouch, but you get it. You can use the same trick to keep other things dry like headphones, lighters, matches or whatever.

  1. Hunting and trapping very small game

I know the perspective of gutting a small and innocent critter sounds horrific, but in an SHTF situation, you won’t have much of choice. If you’re hunting and trapping skills aren’t good enough as to allow you to create deadfall pits or body-gripping snares, you may be able to craft a small and very efficient one using an empty TP roll, some glue or double-sided tape, and something sweet.

Apply some double-sided tape to one of the openings and place the bait on the open end. Works great for small critters such as field mice. When Jerry sees the morsel, he’ll charge the tube to grab it. Once he enters the tube and takes the bait; he’ll try to get out the other end. As the double-sided tape is transparent, he won’t suspect a thing.  As for the killing and gutting part, I’ll leave that one up to you.

  1. Making a fishing box

Remember the part where I’ve told you that every heavy-duty B.O.B should contain some sort of fishing kit? Well, if you don’t plan on spending too much money on portable fishing kits, here’s how to make your own using an empty roll of TP. First of all, you will need to waterproof your container. For this, you will need some resin. Use a brush and coat the entire roll.  You will need to apply at least three layers of resin. Allow it to dry before proceeding to the next step.

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Now, secure one end of the roll using a plastic or metal cap (go see your local thrift store for those). Apply some epoxy before putting on the cap. Now add a similar cap on the other end.

Don’t use epoxy because this will be the opening. Assemble your fishing kit: hooks, line, weights, small blade, flotation device, and place them inside the toilet roll. If you want to make the fishing kit look even more awesome, you can wrap it in paracord and add a small karabiner to the screwable cap (stop laughing). Enjoy!

  1. Voicing your concerns

In an SHTF situation, you may not be able to use your gadgets to make the rescuers aware of your presence. Although your B.O.B should contain at least one type of signaling device, like a whistle, signaling gun, flares or all three of them, it may possible to use an empty toilet paper tube to amply your screams for help. Yes, I know it’s sounds something a child may do, but every little bit helps. Remember that there are times when salvation comes not from intricate life-saving gadgets, but from a simple and silly thing like a TP roll.

  1. Gimme fuel, gimme fire

As you know, nothing’s more soothing than watching those dancing flames in the night. No matter how shitty things get, you can always rely on a campfire to make you regain your composure. In case you’ve lost your tinder box or have nothing else on hand to start a fire with, you can always use a TP roll as tinder.

  1. Prescription glass protection case

As a person who needs to wear glasses around the clock, I haven’t had much use for protective cases. Still, in a situation that call for protection, you can always place your prescription glasses or sunglasses inside an empty TP roll.

  1. Keeping your cords together

There’s nothing more frustrating than opening your bug out bag and seeing all those cords tangles. Even worse is the fact that you’ll have to spend hours on end to untangle them. Sure, that’s not a problem when you’re at home, but you won’t have the luxury of time during a potentially life-threatening situation.

A simple way of keeping your cords together and prevent tangling is to make a small crease on the side of a TP roll and to tuck the cord inside. Draw one end of the cord through this crease, and that’s it. You’ll never have to untangle another paracord again. You can also do the same with power cables and strings. Remember the golden rule: if it looks stupid, but it works, then it’s not stupid!

That’s it for my ways to repurpose TP rolls. Feel that something’s missing from the list. Hit the comments section and let me know.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Honey! I think I shrunk the…toilet paper stockpile. Don’t like it? Try this one for size: an empty toilet paper roll by any other name would smell as sweet. Welcome,