Think about this scenario: suddenly, all electric devices stop working, and your first thought is that the power grid is down due to a temporary malfunction. You think that everything is going to turn back to normal in minutes, but six hours later you’re still in the dark. Is this just a simple blackout? Or the feared EMP has happened?
There is at least one way to get an easy answer. All you need to determine whether you are experiencing a regular power outage or an EMP are only three transistor AM/FM/ Shortwave radios.
The Lost Ways prepares you to deal with worst-case scenarios with the minimum amount of resources just like our forefathers lived their lives, totally independent from electricity, cars, or modern technology.
Using three transistor AM/FM/Shortwave radios, an improvised Faraday cage and a simple SOP, you can determine whether you are experiencing a simple blackout or an EMP and if it is an EMP, whether it is geomagnetic or nuclear in nature.
Let’s see the steps that you should take to find out if the EMP is the one that caused the blackout:
Tune the three radios to your local emergency frequency.
Plug one into a grid-connected power outlet and fully extend the antenna. It does not matter if the power is on or of.
Run the second radio on batteries with the antenna fully extended.
Wrap the third radio in a non-conductive envelope and store it (turned off) in a Faraday cage.
After the power goes out, check the first radio. If you hear your local radio station, the outage was probably not caused by an EMP or it was a very minor one.
If the first radio is dead, proceed to the second radio which runs off batteries and is not connected to a wall outlet. If the second radio works, the first radio is likely a casualty of a geomagnetic EMP, but it is possible that it may have succumb to a spike, surge or other power problem outlet caused by a blackout.
If it was a blackout, you should still pickup radio stations since they have backup power. If it was a geomagnetic EMP, the radio will still function, but many local radio stations many not be transmitting because they have been affected by the EMP or because they were intentionally shut down to reduce the effect of a geomagnetic EMP since there is often forewarning.
In either case, you may be able to receive shortwave transmissions from outside the affected area since they travel very great distances. If you are able to receive transmissions, listen for news as to the cause, scope and expected duration of the outage. In a large solar storm of long duration, the second radio will still work, but it may be a day or so before you begin receiving transmissions again.
If the second radio is also dead, there is a significant probability that you have experienced a nuclear EMP. Remove the third radio from the Faraday cage. If the electromagnetic shielding provided by the Faraday cage is sufficient, and there are no leaks in the shielding, the radio should work.
Depending on the extent, duration and repetition of the use of nuclear weapons, just realize that after a nuclear EMP, it will take several hours before shortwave transmission return to normal since the upper atmosphere will be disturbed and that subsequent nuclear EMPs could destroy the radio once you remove it from the Faraday cage.
The three radios should be known, good AM/FM/Shortwave radios, but you can use cheap models for the “victim” radios. The certainly of this experiment with a group of three radios will not be absolute, but it will give you a reasonable degree of certainty.
Repeating the observations with other radios in your community, you can arrive at a greater degree of certainty about what is happening.
Why This Method Works
In order to understand the significance of geomagnetic vs nuclear EMP, and why this type of experimentation works, you must first understand that there are two main types of EMP: EMP caused by man and EMP which occurs naturally.
Of the natural origins of EMP, the type scientists believe is the most probable comes from our sun, when it spits out a CME that lobs an electromagnetic solar storm which intersects with the earth’s orbit. It interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field, resulting in geomagnetically induced EMP.
This type of EMP will not affect things that are not plugged into power lines, phone lines or other long conductors which run parallel to the surface of the Earth (and consequently parallel to the Earth’s magnetic field) and essentially act as EMP antennas.
So, an EMP that originates from the sun, should not affect cars or battery-operated microelectronics that are not plugged into a wall receptacle, but they can, and do cause blackouts.
A blackout caused by a geomagnetic events could affect an area as small as a portion of a city or county or could be so large that it affects entire continents or anything in between. A protracted geomagnetic event or EMP tracing its origins to sources outside our solar system or even our galaxy, could conceivably knock out every electrical grid on Earth, but we are most comfortable believing that the chance of that happening is so infinitesimally small that is unreasonable waste time considering it.
But, what people are comfortable believing does not always line up with reality.
Let’s say we accept the optimistic view that in all probability, all naturally occurring EMP’s in our lifetime will originate from the sun. When EMP originates from the sun, you may very well receive advance notice. In this case, power companies should preemptively shut down power plants in the area the EMP will affect, de-engergizing the grid, to some extent, and helping to prevent cascading failures and help limit the effect of the EMP.
In a best-case scenario, this type of EMP could just cost us a big pile of money and cause a temporary, possibly self-inflicted, blackout of limited scope … no airplanes plunging out of the sky, nuclear meltdowns, freeways instantly transformed into parking lots or other catastrophic consequences that Hollywood loves to depict.
In a worst-case scenario, a large solar storm will destroy the grids large transformers which are all custom-built and have lead times measured in years. The world lacks the production capability to replace them in less than years. This would be complicated by the fact that no one knows how to rebuild the grid from scratch and reboot it.
There is not book or class on the subject. The grid was built one piece at a time and grown slowly. There is no template for patching it back together after such an event. A large solar storm connecting with the Earth is inevitable. It is not a “maybe.” It has happened before and will happen again.
So how do you get any forewarning of a naturally occurring EMP? If you have your feelers out, you may very well receive advance warning via our emergency communications channels since equipment constantly monitors the sun.
If you do not hear about beforehand, other folks probably would, but even if you were alone, you could deduce that it was an EMP and not a garden-variety power outage by the fact that it would be accompanied by an interruption in RF communications.
So when in doubt, grab a transistor radio and tune in to your local emergency station. If the radio seems to be working, but the station is off the air, your area may have experienced an EMP of natural origin but may still be able to receive stations transmitting from farther away. Determining the scope and duration will require more a more persistent intel collection effort on your part.
Man made EMP occurs when nuclear weapons are detonated high enough in the atmosphere to excite high energy electrons via Compton Scattering. This results in a thousand-fold increase in the EMP that would normally accompany such a nuclear detonation. EMP theory is common knowledge available to anyone. Specific weapons programs and testing is all classified, but it would be beyond naive to think that both we and our enemies have not developed super-EMP weapons.
Outside game theory, it may not possible to accurately predict the probability of when EMP weapons will be used, but rest assured that our enemies have been developing them … likely for 50 years or more.
Preparedness Hacks: Once a nuke is heading your way, you might think that there isn’t much left to do, but you would be wrong!
To begin today’s article with a word of wisdom, everything in life is location, location, location.
Joke aside, an interesting issue to be addressed when it comes to prepping is which places are to be avoided after SHTF. The short story goes something like this, I mean this is the preamble: it is very possible for a catastrophic event to take place at some point in one’s life, whether you like it or not; it may be a large scale disaster of sorts, like a nuke strike, or an EMP strike, solar-made or man-made, courtesy of your local-crazy-nuke-armed dictator, or whatever natural extinction-level event, or terrorist attack.
The possibilities are endless.
Now, provided you’ve survived the initial “shock-wave”, you should concentrate your efforts on staying alive for a little bit longer, because, after all, there’s no fun in prepping and stockpiling gear and food and what not, if you’re not going to benefit from your efforts, right? It’s not about “he who dies with the biggest stockpile wins”, the trick is to stay alive, or at least to die last.
Hence, today’s article, which is aimed at trying to help you with the noble endeavor of saving one’s skin in the aftermath of WW3 or whatever catastrophic scenario you could think of.
The Lost Ways prepares you to deal with worst-case scenarios with the minimum amount of resources just like our forefathers lived their lives, totally independent from electricity, cars, or modern technology.
First world countries, like (parts of) the US, are awesome places to live when everything works fine and dandy. I am not talking about South-Central LA, or diverse neighborhoods in Chicago or Memphis, where crime rates are through the roof, if you know what I mean. The point is that our modern day uber-high tech society comes with obvious benefits. The caveat to living in a first-world country is that when everything is starting to fall apart, people are generally clueless with regard to surviving in third world conditions, i.e. without running water, electricity and things of that nature.
And yes, in a large-scale disaster, it’s very probable that electricity will go first, which means nothing would work anymore, since everything today runs on electricity, including your computer used for reading this article.
Also, since most of the US population is concentrated in a relatively small number of densely populated urban areas, it goes without saying that big cities are to be avoided like the plague in the eventuality of a SHTF event. Incidentally, almost every big city only has enough supplies to last for three days tops, and I am especially talking about food. The concept is that the food-delivery chain is never going to stop, the trucks will keep on hauling, hence nobody bothers to stockpile food anymore.
Obviously, in a serious crisis, life in a big city will become hellish rather quickly, as essential supplies are going to disappear fast (think about what happened this Black Friday, then amplify that by a factor of, I don’t know, 10,000 and you’ll start to get what I am talking about), people will get desperate for food and water (yes, your water utility company uses electrically powered pumps to deliver water to your faucet), and rioting and looting will become the new normal.
Naturally, it makes little sense to prepare (as in stockpile) large amounts of gear, including food, in a densely populated urban area. Since you’ll be the only one in “the hood” having emergency supplies of water and food and what not, you’d basically have a big-red TARGET sign painted all over your property. And soon enough, you’ll have to share your goodies with your local and not so friendly mob of looters. And that will get you nowhere, in terms of survival. Most probably, you’ll end up shot anyway.
So, if you’re all about “doom and gloom”, considering relocating from the big-bad city would make for a great idea. . And do it now, while you still can, until it’s too late.
The general rule of thumb is that big cities are to be avoided like the plague in SHTF scenarios. The good news is that the US has over 3000 counties, but half of the population lives in 146 counties, which means there’s a lot of “people-free” real-estate available for your bug-out retreat, where you can safely store food, water, guns, gold, bitcoin or whatever.
Joke aside, if you’re a city dweller, it would be a good idea to have a little shack in the woods, somewhere remote, in an area (scarcely) populated by friendly conservative folks, who know how to hunt, and love God and guns.
The Infrastructure Issue
As cities are collapsing under their own weight, due to violence spiraling out of control courtesy of desperate and hungry mobs trying to loot to live another day, not to mention the potential for third-world diseases breaking out due to failure of basic infrastructure (a lack of sanitation because garbage trucks will be missing in action, law enforcement/emergency services rendered useless and impotent, dead bodies piling up everywhere and all that nice stuff that happens when people go berserk), it would be problematic trying to escape to your bug-out location, even if you have a getaway plan.
The transport infrastructure will get gridlocked instantly, as hundreds of thousands of people will try to escape the city in the same time, hence major highways will be something like Tetris meets Frogger, if you know what I mean. Also, a large-scale EMP strike would render most of the cars useless, hence hundreds of thousands of people will find themselves stuck across the countryside, in/near airports etc. And yes, they’ll try to get home by any means necessary, even if “home” would make for yet another nightmarish sight. So, any major airport, city or harbor is potentially “verboten area”, as in you should steer clear (at least 15 miles, if not more) from such spots.
Generally speaking, avoid all transportation nodes and all urban areas, that if you’re prepping for that big SHTF moment. Military bases are included in the list, since they make for obvious targets for terrorist/nuclear attacks.
If you’re trying to get out of the big bad city following a SHTF event, I’d reckon you already have an escape plan. Just in case, stay away from chocking points, which are the logical consequence of thousands of people trying to bug-out in the same time. Obviously, I am talking about causeways, tunnels, bridges, you know the drill. Also, when you’re putting together your getaway plan, steer away from obvious choking points, alright?
Hospitals and prisons are also to be avoided like the plague.
In a crisis, like an EMP strike, it’s very probable that prisoners will receive an instant pardon, due to a lack of electricity , which would render locks and alarms useless. Also, officers will most probably flee to take care of their own families. It’s the human thing to do, and this would result in desperate and dangerous escapees roaming around. You don’t want that near your property now, do you?
On the other hand, hospitals would attract huge crowds of people looking for help, and yes, in a SHTF situation, you don’t want huge crowds of desperate people near you, especially sick (as in contagious) people. Basically, any kind of place that is prone to attract crowds of people in a catastrophic scenario is to be avoided, including FEMA camps (people may try to get in to grab food, water etc), gun and hardware stores (for obvious reasons, think along the lines of Black Friday in Zombie Apocalypse), you see where this is going, right?
Stay away from major cities, transport-infrastructure, military bases, FEMA camps, prisons, hospitals, choke-points and major stores. Keep in mind that the biggest threat to you in a SHTF scenario is, unfortunately, other people. I think it was Sartre who said: Hell is the others. It’s a sad but true assessment.
I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas, questions or comments, you know what to do.
Preparedness Hacks: Once a nuke is heading your way, you might think that there isn’t much left to do, but you would be wrong!
What would you say is the number one threat to lead to an end-of-the-world-like scenario? A terrorist attack? An EMP strike? A natural disaster? An economic collapse?
All of these are possibilities, but in each one, a thick population density will make it far worse. There’s no denying that people panic when a crisis occurs, and that panic is only multiplied when more people are living closely to one another.
More people will be killed in a shorter period of time in the major cities, the roads will be clogged as people and families try to escape, and furthermore, just look at the other threats that we listed first. Many of them are directly connected to population density.
There are other factors that make certain areas in America unsafe and unsuitable for outlasting an apocalypse:
Strong natural disaster risks
A weak economy
High crime rates
Strict gun laws
A high cost of living
Unfertile land for growing crops
Close proximity to nuclear/chemical power plants
Low populations of wild game and edible plants
Limited fresh water
In this story, we’re going to list out the five very worst retreat areas in the United States. These are the areas where you will definitely not want to be when disaster strikes, and if you live in or near any of these areas now, you may want to consider moving or have an alternate plan:
1. East Coast
Many survival and disaster experts agree that the East and West Coasts together are among the worst locations to survive a long-term disaster in the United States. This is because both meet the “unsafe factors” we just outlined. High population density? Check. High cost of living? Check. Strict Gun Laws? For the Northeastern states, check. High crime rate? In many cities, yes. High taxes and regulations? In the Northeastern states yes. Heavy traffic? Check. Threat of natural disaster, namely hurricanes? Check. Low populations of wild game and edible plants? Check. Potential enemy nuclear targets? For the major cities, definitely.
As a general rule of thumb, avoid anywhere along the East Coast if you can. It’s simply not a safe place if you want to survive a disaster. If you do live on or near the East Coast, fall back to retreat areas in the Appalachian Mountains or northern New England, like New Hampshire or Maine, when worst comes to worst.
2. West Coast
Many of our concerns expressed with the East Coast apply to the West Coast as well. The largest state along the West Coast, California, is already an economic disaster and thus not somewhere you would want to be in an economic collapse. Washington and Oregon are both, by far, better off economic-wise, but they still have their problems with high taxes, tough regulations and large government spending. The major cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle have extremely high population densities and are potential terrorist/nuclear targets.
In addition, the West Coast lies along the Ring of Fire, which adds earthquakes to the list of natural disaster risks to worry about. If you don’t think earthquakes are that big of a deal, well, just look at what happened to Japan in 2011. Plus, in Washington, you have volcanoes. All in all, both the East and West Coasts are dangerous hotspots in an apocalyptic-type scenario and are not recommended.
Florida, in general, is not somewhere you will want to be during a disaster. Not to mention the ever looming threat of hurricanes in the state, Florida also endures a high crime rate, a collapsed housing market and high costs of living, a very dense population, and the fact that much of the state is actually below sea level (the parts of the state that are higher aren’t above it by much).
There’s no denying that Florida has nice weather, which is why many people move there in the first place, but its negatives far outweigh its positives to the point that it’s one of the worst retreat locations you could be in for outlasting a long-term disaster.
If doctors are scarce and medicine becomes even scarcer, this one little weed, found all over North America and similar to morphine, could be a saving grace.
Woah, woah, wait, Alaska? The so-called “last frontier” in America is one of the worst places to survive an apocalypse? First of all, Alaska does have a few positives (not to mention the beauty of its geography) that would make it an initially attractive place to live for someone who wants to be in a safe region from a major disaster. It is true that Alaska has the lowest population density of all 50 states, along with low tax rates. It also has a great abundance of rivers, lakes, wildlife and edible plants.
But when we come to economics, Alaska is practically cut off from the rest of the United States. A lot of the supplies that Alaskans rely on are either flown or shipped into the state. In a disaster scenario, these planes and ships will likely no longer be making shipments, greatly limiting available resources. Furthermore, those who live more inland in Alaska will be extremely limited in what they can do with commerce.
Remember when we noted that the West Coast of the USA is prone to earthquakes due to being situated along the Ring of Fire? Well, so is Alaska. There’s also very limited transportation to get oil from the North Slope to where it needs to go, and much of the fuel that Alaskans use is already brought in from the Lower 48 states. The winters in Alaska can also be quite cold and brutal.
Alaska may seem like the prepper’s haven, but on closer inspection it becomes apparent that you’re going to have a much tougher time surviving there than you would think. This is one place you may want to avoid, unless you know how to live 100 percent off the grid.
Like Florida, Hawaii may be a great place to vacation, but it’s an utterly terrible location to be in during an apocalyptic scenario. Most of Hawaii’s resources, as with Alaska, are shipped in. This includes food and fuel. That’s on top of a very high cost of living in the state coupled with generally poor farming soil.
Gun laws are very strict in the state, and there are many military bases on the islands that could be the targets of enemy attacks. Let’s also not forget one more thing: Should a big enough natural disaster ever happen to Hawaii, how will you escape? After all, it’s a series of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Unless you have access to a plane or a ship, you may be toast.
Every region in the US certainly has its pros and cons, but these are the areas where the cons outweigh the positives the most.
Once upon a time, root cellars were the only way people had to preserve their food. These wonderful cold-storage areas became less common when refrigerators became affordable. Houses were no longer automatically built with a root cellar beneath them or nearby.
A root cellar is still a great way to store fruits and vegetables though, especially when you need to store more than you have room for indoors. They will also keep fruit and vegetables fresh without electricity. If your house doesn’t have one you can still take advantage of “nature’s ice box.” All it takes is a shovel, a little elbow grease, and a barrel.
Building your own modern mini root cellar will only take a few hours. You will need the following:
Barrel (galvanized steel or plastic)
Drill and screws or hammer and nails
First you will have to dig a hole in the ground, taking into consideration the dimensions of the barrel and the rocks you’ll put underneath it. After you dig the hole, make sure the top of the barrel is at the freeze line or below.Place the barrel in the hole. Add your fruits and vegetables, put straw between them like you can see in the pictures, and then close the lid.
Do not use the same root cellar for both fruits and vegetables. They should not be stored together within the same barrel, even if they are separated with straw. Fruits give off ethylene, which will cause vegetables to ripen and rot. It also causes potatoes to sprout.Here you have a list of vegetables that store well together within the same barrel at 32—40°F (0—4°C) at 90—95% humidity. You can also find the length of time they can be stored for:
Beets: 3—5 months
Brussels sprouts: 3—5 weeks
Cabbage: 3—4 months
Carrots: 4—6 months
Cauliflower: 2—4 weeks
Celery: 2—3 months
Endive: 2—3 weeks
Kale: 10—14 days
Leeks: 1—3 months
Do not store damaged vegetables, but do leave them dirty. Just brush off most of the dirt. Do not rinse them or wash them. Use any damaged fruits and vegetables right away. Bacteria and fungus will quickly take hold on bruised or cut produce.
Store onions in a cool, dry root cellar with temperatures of 32—35°F (0—1°C) and 60—70% humidity after you shock them. Shock them by bending or snapping the green stems one month before harvest. You can store peas with onions.Regular potatoes and sweet potatoes need to be stored separately. Regular potatoes should be kept at 38—40°F (3—4°C) and 80—90% humidity. Sweet potatoes should be kept at 50—55°F (10—13°C) with 80—90% humidity.
Dried beans need to be kept cool and dry, at temperatures between 32—50°F (0—10°C) 60—70% humidity.
Pumpkins and squash can be stored together in a warm, dry root cellar. Temperatures should be kept between 50—55°F (10—13°C) with 60—75% humidity.
Store apples and pears in a cold, moist root cellar with temperatures of 32—40°F (0—4° C) in 80—90% humidity.If you notice your fruits or vegetables beginning to shrivel, the humidity level is too low. Try misting the layers of straw with a little water to increase moisture levels. If there is a little condensation or moisture on the fruits or vegetables, you will need to reduce the humidity in the root cellar. Replace the straw with fresh, dry straw, and make sure there isn’t standing water beneath the barrel. You may have to move the barrel if there is standing water in the hole.
After you add all your vegetables, just put the barrel’s cap back in place. Then add some soil over the top of it.
[Editor’sNote: Simply put, things can to hell in a hand basket very quickly following a disaster. The widespread breakdown of the social order leads to looting in disaster prone areas which leads to the importance of being able to defend one’s home, family and their preps during a disaster breakdown. Because home defense is such an important consideration, it is important to familiarize yourself with the best firearms and ammunition choices out there.]
Over the past weeks, we have gone into great detail on firearms, caring and maintaining firearms, and why preppers should diversify their ammunition supplies. This week, we are focusing on the .45 ACP – a worthy cartridge with a long and unique history, and it is also worth your consideration with regard to home defense and survival, for a number of reasons we’ll outline here today. So, without further adieu, let’s get started!
The History of the .45 ACP Cartridge
I want to discuss the .45 ACP cartridge. This information is worthwhile and the cartridge itself has a great deal of history behind it. In 1898 the Spanish-American War (characterized by Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders) came to a close, but the Philippine insurrection did not. The Moros (Philippine islanders) were able to take a hit from the .38 handguns and the .30 Krag rifle the Army had in service…and keep coming. They could not, however, “soak up” the .45 Long Colts and the 12-gauge buckshot used from personally-owned Colts and Winchesters. Yes, back then, many could carry their own choice of weapons.
Two officers were crucial in determining the choice back in 1904. At the behest of Brigadier General William Crozier (appointed Chief of Army Ordnance in 1901, a new position created by President Theodore Roosevelt), a board was formed comprised of two men. Colonel John T. Thompson (Ordnance) and Colonel Louis A. LaGarde (Medical Corps) were tasked with finding the optimal sized cartridge for the U.S. Military. LaGarde’s report contained the following summary:
“The Board was of the opinion that a bullet which will have the shock effect and stopping power at short ranges necessary for a military pistol or revolver should have a caliber not less than .45[caliber].”
Shotgun News, November 1, 2011, p. 13; article:
“High Standard M1911A1,” by Peter G. Kokalis
There we have the first glimmerings of the beginnings of the .45 ACP, and I must mention the author of the article referenced, Peter G. Kokalis was the Senior Editor for Shotgun News with a lifetime of experience in shooting and reloading, as well as being a combat veteran. Kokalis summarized the .45 ACP cartridge’s capabilities most eloquently. In essence, he clears up a lot of misconceptions relating to kinetic energy of a round. Most people equate high velocity with knockdown power. For long-range shooting, this holds to be true in many cases.
What we’re dealing with here is short-range combat…where you (the homeowner) are protecting your house and family from a break-in at close ranges. In such ranges, you will need stopping power. Here are some terms you need to keep in mind:
Wound Track – the path of the bullet through the body, also referred to as the “permanent cavity.” Three factors influence this wound track:
Yaw – the way the bullet tumbles through the body after impact
Expansion – of the bullet itself, also referred to as “mushrooming”
Fragmentation – the way the bullet disintegrates in the body after impact as it moves through the tissue
Temporary cavitation – the path opened up as the bullet travels through the vital organs…a path that “rebounds,” or bounces back into original position, though not without damage to certain organs
Depth of penetration is the most important factor, as Kokalis outlines here, in this excerpted segment of his article:
“Most important of all, is the fact that penetration is without doubt the single most important parameter in the wound ballistics equation. It has been determined that in law enforcement and self-defense scenarios, a minimum of 12 inches, and up to 18 inches of penetration will produce the most effective results – required to reach the body’s vital organs. Once we’ve obtained the necessary penetration, the bullet that makes the biggest hole will do the most damage.
As a result of the above, there is only one possible conclusion. The .45 ACP cartridge is the most effective handgun round – among those commonly available – that you can use in a gunfight. Even anecdotal evidence over the last 100 years has proven this to be so countless times.”
Kokalis went on to explain that a 230-grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) expands (on average) from .45 (that is .45 of an inch) to .65 with approximately 15.5 inches of penetration. I must add his final words in the article, as they should drive the point home:
“This can be summarized in one sentence: use the largest caliber with the heaviest bullet, propelled at moderate velocity. In other words, deploy with a handgun chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge.”
To clarify what he meant by “moderate velocity” is that other, faster bullets tend to go right through the target at close distances, whereas the .45 ACP (considered a low-velocity round at – on average – 930 feet per second) has both the penetration power and will “open up” for greater internal damage to the target.
To add my own words to Mr. Kokalis’, I have used other calibers, such as 9mm Luger, .38, and .45 Long Colt. The .45 ACP is an excellent round that is also multipurpose when using different types of ammunition. The +P rounds (in brands such as Buffalo Bore) turn your cartridge into a super-penetrator that can and will defeat body armor. It is also a good round to protect against large and ferocious predators. You can pick up the standard FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) rounds at 230 grains for under $40.00 for a box of 100 at your friendly Wal-Mart for target shooting.
A Frugal Ammunition Choice
They’re easy to reload, and economical: the .45 ACP will not bankrupt your savings while giving you that large caliber round with the stopping power you need. As to the piece you wish to throw it out of, take your pick. The 1911 is tried and true (in my humble opinion one of the finest handguns ever made), and has served our military nobly throughout its existence. So, .45 ACP? Try it, you’ll like it: the round will serve your needs well, and at a price you can afford. Keep that powder dry and don’t store it with your primers! JJ out!
From injury to disease, pain is a very common ailment or symptom that can take down the toughest of the tough. It’s so prevalent that we are seeing a major epidemic with opiate dependency. Unfortunately, with so many needing to find relief, it’s leading to a large portion of our population becoming dependent on a chemical bandage, often just masking the problem, rather than fixing the cause.
If doctors are scarce and medicine becomes even scarcer, this one little weed, found all over North America and similar to morphine, could be a saving grace.
Unfortunately, it’s getting so widespread that the medical field view many of those in real need as “seekers”. So, instead of getting relief from tangible pain, people are being turned away. As a result, they are finding it illegally, and pain clinics and rehabs are popping up all over, trying to combat the addiction.
Wild Lettuce as a Healthy Alternative
Lactuca Virosa is the scientific term for it, and many people have used it in place of addictive prescription pain medicine. It’s a leafy and tall plant, with small yellow buds, and could be grown right out your door. More commonly found in North America and England, it’s a cousin to the lettuce we typically see at the grocery store. It’s also referred to as bitter lettuce, or more appropriately for the purpose discussed here, opium lettuce.
The reason it’s referred to as opium lettuce, is due to the pain relieving and sedative effects that it has been known to produce through a white substance found in the stem and leaves.
This milky substance is called lactucarium. And, while it doesn’t contain any opiates, it has similar side effects when used – it acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to lessen the feeling of pain, just like morphine.
Even though it seems to be the best kept secret, it has a history of being used as an alternative to pain relief.
Back in the 19th century, wild lettuce was already being used by some as a substitute to opium. But, it was in the 70’s that it started to gain significant popularity by those wanting a more natural remedy. Individuals were starting to use it for both pain relief, as well as recreational purpose.
In the earlier days, people using wild lettuce prepared it a couple different ways. One way was to cook the plant in a pan of water and sugar mix, until it reduced to a thick syrup-like consistency. While this was an effective form, it was quite bitter even with the sugar added. The most common form however, was drying the stem and leaves to use as an herbal tea.
The tea remains popular today. But, it’s also being dried for smoking, or vaporizing. If you don’t care to grow it yourself, it can also be purchased as a dried herb, extract, or resin substance.
Here are the more popular reasons people are gravitating towards this natural pain killer and medicinal plant:
Migraines – People who use it for this purpose claim that they experience fewer migraines than they did prior to starting the herb.
Insomnia – A frequent use of wild lettuce is by people who have trouble sleeping. It produces a relaxed and euphoric feeling, helping a person fall asleep easier, without the addictive qualities of commonly prescribed sleeping aids.
Anxiety – Wild lettuce can act as a mild sedative, allowing people with anxiety to find a reprieve from the stress it causes.
Asthma and Cough – Wild lettuce has antitussive properties, which alleviates or suppresses a cough. Also, asthmatic patients who have used opiates notice more episodes if they go through opiate withdrawal. So, the use of wild lettuce instead of prescription opiates, could be a better option for them.
In addition to the above benefits, wild lettuce produces a euphoric state, similar to opiates, even though it does not contain any actual opiate… so it’s
Living off grid is not illegal in any of the 50 states – at least not technically. There are many simple off the grid living activities you can do anywhere, but some of the most essential infrastructure aspects of disconnecting from modern society are either strictly regulated or outright banned.
You can grow your own food using off grid water delivery methods in all states throughout America. It is not illegal to operate a residential off the grid greenhouse. You can light, heat, and cool your livestock barn using off grid measures. It is when folks want to remove their homes from the electrical grid entirely and even put composting commodes in their bathrooms, that steep fines (or even jail time) can be levied in some states.
Off grid living laws not only vary by state, but often vary greatly in municipalities and counties, as well.
Most often the biggest hurdle to overcome when planning on off the grid home in any location, is putting in a septic system that will pass health department rules – even in rural areas.
Off Grid Living Variations Within States
The off grid state laws in the following section pertain to the entire state in general. Small to large variations in each off grid living category could very well be present depending on local laws that place restrictions surpassing the ones imposed by the state.
Urban areas almost always have the most stringent restrictions in regards to off grid living.
Affluent suburban areas, especially those with homeowners associations, also often boast prohibitive off grid living regulations.
Even some small towns have now placed regulations on common off grid activities, especially when it comes to disconnecting from the power grid and sanitary sewer systems.
Life can always be lived the most free out in the country. Laws in unincorporated areas in counties tend to be the most advantageous to off grid living fans. Many rural counties throughout the country do not have any zoning laws at all, outside of health department septic installation rules.
Rainwater Collection Codes
It is legal in all or most areas of all 50 states for residents to collect rainwater on private property.
Because it is legal to collect rainwater, that does not mean setting up a rainwater barrel collection system is also legal. Such systems could violate either state or local ordinances (or both) and might require the purchase of a permit.
Rainwater collection laws in some states are simple, while others have a myriad of exclusions.
Many states do not reference composting codes in their state statutes at all. But, stringent rules regarding the disposal of raw sewage do exist in all 50 states. Typically, the lengthy guidelines governing sewage and septic systems can be found by visiting the state, county, or municipality website.
Some state guidelines may address the use of a composting toilet in new builds, but not in existing homes. Simply because a composting commode might be legal does not mean that an off the grid septic system, will be as well. United States building codes require in nearly every living situation, that a flush toilet that is connected to a government approved septic or sewer system, must exist.
ReCode, Portland, Oregon activist group, is working diligently to legalize sustainable sanitation systems across the United States. They has met with composting commode experts throughout the United States to help draft a composting toilet code for IAPMO (Universal Plumbing Code writers) to review. Many states in the West has now adopted the code which is included in the 2017 Water Efficiency Standard.
States which have addressed the composting code in any way, including those with pending legislative proposals, will be noted individually below.
It is legal to install solar panels (sometimes with a permit) on your home and not use conventional power in all 50 states. But, not every state allows residents to install solar panels or to disconnect from the power grid entirely.
Nevada is just one of the states that requires a fixed fee for using solar energy to power your home – beyond the permit process many states require. Selling excess energy back to a conventional utility company is growing commonplace, but the amount received for supplying the energy also varies by both state and utility company provider.
You may have to remain connected to the power grid and pay a minimum connection fee even if you refuse to use the service. In some states or municipalities. Lenders and insurance providers may require such a connection, even if the state does not.
Power grid disconnection regulations vary so drastically by municipality, it is impossible to cover them all next to each listing below.
Most urban and many suburban municipalities boast the most stringent laws regarding electrical utility connection. Rural residents are far more likely to be able to build off grid in every state. Rural counties often do not have building codes, permit offices, or zoning laws outside of health department sewage regulations.
The best way to determine if complete or partial with a fee disconnection for the power grid is feasible in a specific area is to find out if the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) has been adopted by the municipality – and review both the state and local Uniform Building Code.
Basically, if a city, town, county, township, or village does not want residents or business owners to be able to disconnect from the power grid, they can simply pass a law preventing such action.
Unplugging From The Grid And Making Your Own Energy
Although rules and permits vary by state, you can actually unplug from the grid and make your own energy. In fact, some folks are making a little bit of extra money selling energy back to the electrical power companies.
Even businesses small and large are starting to unplug from the grid and make their own energy. A Kroger food distribution center in California installed a system that allows them to convert bacteria created by out of date or damaged bread and other organic material into biogas that is then burned to generate around 20 percent of the energy used on-site.
A detailed report by Home Power magazine revealed that more than 180,000 homes in the United States supply their own power entirely. Approximately one million homes have solar panels installed and allowed the family to at least partially rely on energy they produce themselves.(Here are 23 survival uses for honey that you didn’t know about.)
Another 27,000 homes use either wind or solar energy (or both) to go partially off grid, reducing their energy bills in the process. Because solar panels have decreased in price by roughly 50 percent since 2008, more Americans can afford to have them installed and provide more of their own energy.
What appears to be a growing number of states actually offer either tax breaks or income tax rebates to residents that purchase clean energy systems for their home. In 35 states with net metering laws it is both legal and possible to sell generated energy back to utility companies at retail rates.
The most popular ways Americans are unplugging themselves from the power grid to varying degrees are by the use of solar power, wind turbines, and hydropower.
The most difficult aspect of removing yourself from all modern utilities occurs when putting in a septic system.
Perhaps in the near future more states will allow the use of composting toilets and the cost of no-mess and surprisingly attractive units, will decrease as solar panels have.
Off Grid Living Legal Obstacles
Many state and local laws inhibit not just living off the grid projects but traditional homesteading activities in general. Fifty years ago it was far easier to live off the grid and make a living from your land than it is today.
Even if your state is quite off grid living friendly from a rainwater collection, solar panel, or even composting toilet standpoint,engaging in the following seemingly simple and common sense self-reliant living activities could cause you to wind up with a huge fine….or jail time.
#1. Selling raw milk from your off the grid homestead will get you arrested in most states. Some states permit the sale of “herd shares” where the co-owners of a dairy cow or dairy goat can garner a predetermined amount of milk in return for an investment in the animal.
#2. You better plan on building a permanent dwelling on your off the grid survival retreat. Pitching a tent or parking a motorhome long term (or eve short term in some states) can result in fines or an eviction from your own property.
#3. How small or large you build your off the grid home also matters. A minimum square footage ordinance in some municipalities could thwart any plans you have for economical tiny house off the grid living.
#4. Even if your off the grid home meets the minimum square footage requirements and is a permanent dwelling, it still might be deemed illegal. Before buying a used mobile home or manufactured home of any type and moving it onto your land, review local laws to make sure it also meets a minimum age requirements.
Saving money on a dwelling in order to invest the funds into an alternative energy system is only a great idea if the house being turned into an off grid home meets every last one of the town or county’s existing ordinances.
#5. Read the deed closely – go over it with the proverbial fine toothed comb, before buying what seems like a dream off grid property at a great price. Even in rural areas deed restrictions against keeping specific types of livestock or the number of livestock, can exist.
If you live in a “Right to Farm” state such instances are more rare, but such an ag-friendly designation does not necessarily exempt you from the long and heavy reach of government officials.
#6. If you are attempting to go off grid or even partially off the grid in a suburban area, engaging in typical self-reliance style living will likely be an ongoing hurdle.
If your disconnected property is subject to homeowners association rules, expect not to be able to use a clothesline to conserve energy when drying your clothes, connecting rainwater collection barrels to the side of your house, or perhaps even putting up what could be deemed “unsightly” solar panels on the roof of the home your already own.
The ability to grow your own groceries could also be vastly limited and specific types of containers or plots for their cultivation, mandated.
#7. How the processed waste from a composting toilet is used or disposed of may also pose a problem for off gridders. Using “humanure” to help a garden grow is still considered taboo in many communities or states.
Make certain to review not just the type of composting commodes allowed by your local health department when completing any permits or inspections (both will likely be required more than once) but also how the processed waste may or may not be used.
Off Grid Living Rules In All 50 States
Click on Your State
In this state harvesting rainwater is considered a property right. Both Auburn University and Alabama A&M extension services are not only urging more residents of the state they are offering guidelines and technical instruction to aid off grid water collection efforts.
You can live entirely off the grid in this state, but Alabama Power may charge a per kilowatt fee to residents who live partially or entirely off the grid. Composting commodes are not specifically outlawed in the state, but residents must prove they dispose of both gray water and raw sewage properly.
Rainwater harvesting is the main water source for many Alaskan residents. But, groundwater harvesting can be considered a water right and is regulated. Alaska may be the most off grid friendly state in the union. Outhouse and composting commodes are fairly commonplace outside of urban areas. The use of solar and/or wind power is also routine in rural and remote regions of the state.
House Bill 2363 created a joint legislative study on macro-harvested water to evaluate issues related to the collection of macro-harvested water. The study will investigate data related to rainwater harvesting and any impact it could potentially have on aquifer management, water rights, downstream uses, and groundwater management.
The Arkansas General Assembly passed a bill that directed the state board of health to permit the use of a harvested rainwater system used for a non-potable reasons if it has been designed by a licensed in-state engineer, complies with existing plumbing codes, and boasts proper cross-connection safeguards.
State Assembly Bill 1750 approved the Rainwater Capture Act in 2012. The legislation allows not only residential, but commercial and governmental landowners to set up, maintain, and operate rainwater catchment system, including barrel systems – for specific purposes that comply with already established regulations. Landscape or garden irrigation is a qualifying rainwater catchment system activity.
Colorado House Bill 1005 made it legal for residential homeowners to set up two rain barrels – with a combined capacity of 110 gallons, to catch rainwater from their roof. The homeowners must use the water collected on their own property for only outdoor purposes. The rainwater collection must not interfere with any claims on already established water rights. Composting toilets are allowed in the state but outlined rules must be followed for disposal of raw sewage.
Rainwater collection is not currently restricted in the state. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental urges residents to harvest rainwater.
Rainwater harvesting is not restricted in Delaware and is encouraged via various incentive programs.
Residents in this state are also actively encouraged to harvest rainwater. Tax rebates and incentives are offered specifically in Manatee County. Composting commodes are permitted in the Sunshine State, as long as they follow health department usage guidelines.
While rainwater harvesting is not illegal in Georgia, it is highly regulated. The state plumbing code mandates collected rainwater can be put to use outdoors only. The only way you could live off grid without collecting rainwater in this state would be to put in a water with a manual or alternative energy power pump or buy water – which would not be either economicable or sustainable.
The State of Hawaii does not have any restrictions on rainwater harvesting but in fact highly encourages it. Over
seen by the Department of Health and Safety, Senate Concurrent Resolution 172 encourages county water boards to study and promote rainwater collection.
The Hawaii Senate Concurrent Resolution 172 was passed to urge rainwater collection throughout the island state. Collecting rainwater has been largely a rural off grid living activity in the state.
No restriction on the collection of rainwater in this state exist, with the exception of capturing rain that has entered natural waterways. Composting commodes are legal in the state but health department use and raw sewage guidelines must be followed.
A 2009 state bill paved the way for the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act which, among other things, promotes the collection of rainwater. In 2011, House Bill 991 was passed amend the Homeowners’ Solar Rights Act. The resolution now requires a homeowners’ association or similar entity, to respond within 120 days after a request to allow is made by a member to adopt an energy policy statement regarding several factors including: solar energy systems, rainwater collection, composting system, or wind energy, are allowed.
Composting commode must be in compliance with the expected number of user as stated by the manufacturer. Raw sewage must be processed through a sanitary sewer system governed by a municipality, to an incinerator, or a sanitary landfill that meets state regulations.
Preparedness Hacks: Don’t buy solar panels before seeing THIS
Rainwater harvesting is entirely legal in this state. The Indiana government website urged the collection of rainwater and offers useful tips for doing so in both residential and business settings.
No restrictions on rainwater collection exist in Iowa. Iowa has no regulations on rainwater collection.
To harvest rainwater residents typically must garner a permit from the Department of Agriculture. may be required. The right to collect rainwater is protected by the Kansas Water Appropriation Act.
No restrict of rainwater harvesting exist in this state. The Kentucky government website offer tips for building a rain barrel system.
Collecting rainwater in the state is allowed, but a series statewide statutes governs large collection cisterns.
Residents of this state are free to harvest rainwater on their property without following any government regulations. In some cities stormwater fees are used to pay for improvements to municipal stormwater systems.
Collecting rainwater is legal throughout the state. In specific counties, incentives are offered for creating such systems.
Rainwater collection is both legal and encouraged in this state. Composting toilet systems are allowed, as long as health department guidelines are followed.
The Cost Effective Governmental Energy Use Act made the harvesting rainwater and other energy and cost efficiency techniques, legal in the state. This state has some of the oldest gray water and composting system on the books. While no statewide sanitary code has been approved, a total of 46 county health departments has established a set of related criteria.
Residents do not face any rainwater collection restrictions in the State of Minnesota.
Rainwater collection is legal without permit in the State of Mississippi.
The state both permits and urges the harvesting of rainwater in Missouri.
The state government does not place any restrictions on rainwater collection and encouraged residents of Montana to engage in the off grid practice.
Residents can collect rainwater and create barrel system in Nebraska.
State Assembly Bill 198 mandates that the Legislative Committee on Public Lands study how alternative water sources impact communities throughout Nevada. The study also includes a review of impact of rainwater harvesting practices and other forms of alternative water sources.
No restrictions or permits are required to collected rainwater in this state. Current New Hampshire laws promote the sustainable practice.
State Assembly Bill 2442 mandate the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to create a Capture, Control, and Conserve Reward Rebate Program. The program funding will be used to supply water conservation rebates for property owners that engage in eligible water control, capture, control or conservation activities.
A rainwater harvesting tax income incentive up to $5,000 has been introduced to urge both residents and businesses to collect rainwater for future use. Reintroduces Water Harvesting Tax Income to incentivize individuals and businesses to collect rainwater for future uses.
Both homeowners and businesses who include rainwater harvesting, green infrastructure, rain gardens, green roofs, and similar systems to new homes can receive a tax credits up to 50 percent of construction costs.
State House Bill 609 requires the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources to supply both technical assistance and outreach, along with a guide to best practices on the use of water conservation, rainwater harvesting, and how to use use gray water. North Carolina Senate Bill 163 acknowledged the benefits of using rainwater and other forms of reclaimed water to enhance the state water supply for the future.
No laws pertaining to composting commodes are currently on the books in North Carolina.
The State of North Dakota currently has some stringent laws regarding how water sources are used, but actively encourages rainwater collection.
The Buckeye State fully permits rainwater harvesting for potable purposes. A private residential drinking water system serves even less than 25 people, does still fall under state regulation though. Composting toilets are allowed, but only if they meet established regulations and are inspected by the health department or an approved contractor.
State House Bill 3055 ushered in the Water for 2060 Act. The law established grants for water conservation projects that can include collecting rainwater and the use of gray water.
In this state rainwater can only be harvested from rooftop surfaces. State regulations also permit varying methods of rainwater collection. Rainwater harvesting is allowed in Oregon, but may only be done from roof surfaces. Oregon Building Codes Division allows rainwater harvesting systems to be used as an alternate method to conventional state plumbing codes.
The regulations apply to both potable and non-potable systems. Oregon Senate Bill 79 requires the building code office to enhance energy efficiency by several means, including rainwater harvesting, in both new and repaired structures. directs the BCD to increase energy efficiency by including rainwater harvesting, in new and repaired buildings.
Harvesting rainwater is encouraged in Pennsylvania and no restrictions exist to curtail setting up a barrel collection system. Composting commodes with a NSF testing seal and approval meet state regulations. Before installing a composting commode a permit must ge garnered for sewage disposal and excess gray water treatment.
This state House Bill 7070 establisheda tax credit for homeowners or businesses that installs rainwater collection cisterns on their property. The law defines a cistern as a container that holds a minimum of 50 gallons of divert rain or snow. The cistern can be established either on or below the ground. A cistern is defined as a container holding fifty or more gallons of diverted rainwater or snow melt, either above or below ground
Residents and businesses can collect rainwater without a permit or restriction in South Carolina, and are encouraged to do so. Only composting commodes that process sewage through a state approved septic system are allowed.
Like its neighbor to the north, South Dakota has multiple laws regulating water rights, but collecting rainwater is legal without permit.
Green infrastructure practices are allowed in places that also have combined stormwater and sanitary sewage systems. The definition of a permissible sewage system was expanded to include rain gardens, cisterns, and other forms of green infrastructure.
State House Bill 3391 is a massive bill that amended multiple sections of Texas law pertaining to rainwater collection. Loans can now be offered for properties that will only have rainwater as a water source. All new state buildings with a roof that measures at least 50,000 square feet in portions of the states that get a minimum of 20 inches of rain must incorporate rainwater harvesting systems for both potable and non-potable indoor use, into their design.
Regulations referencing the maintenance or installation of rainwater collection systems designed for potable indoor use and are also connected to a public water supply system, ere andated for development. Safe drinking standards must still be met and the rainwater collected cannot come into contact with the public water supply.
All counties and municipalities in Texas are now urging rainwater collection systems via discount incentives for both rainwater barrels and water storage facilities. Training regarding rainwater collection must now be offered by the Texas Water Development Board on an at least quarterly basis. Municipalities are prevented from denying a request for a building permit simply because rainwater harvesting will be implemented.
Residents who own or lease a property are allowed to both collect and store rainwater. Utah Senate Bill 32 limits anyone registered with the Division of Water Resources to collecting a maximum of 2,500 gallons of rainwater. If the resident is not registered, only two containers can be used to collect a maximum of 100 gallons of harvested rainwater.
Harvesting rainwater is completely legal without permit in the State of Vermont.
Senate Bill 1416 created the Alternative Water Supply Assistance Fund. The fund offers income tax credits to both people and corporations that install rainwater collection systems. State laws also required a set of gray water and rainwater collection guidelines be created in an effort to both promote conservation and to reduce the growing demand placed on the public water supply.
Virginia also requires the development of rainwater harvesting and gray water guidelines to ease demands on public treatment works and water supply systems and to promote conservation.
Counties in the state are allowed to decrease storm water control facilities fees that use rainwater harvesting systems. In 2009 the Washington Department of Ecology released an Interpretive Policy Statement stating a water right is not for a resident to harvest rainwater.
There are no restrictions on harvesting rainwater in West Virginia.
Residents are allowed to collect rainwater on their own property without restriction or permits in Wisconsin.
No permit is required to harvest rainwater on your own property in Wyoming.
Going off the grid either partially or fully is a realistic dream in the vast majority of states, as long as you choose the right municipality, review all rules carefully before installing, and apply for any permits that are required.
When it comes to being prepared for a SHTF event, preppers are focused on threats from natural disasters to nuclear wars, EMPs, and devastating cosmic events. The situations that people can focus on and become obsessed with preparing for and unpredictable and vary widely. There’s no way that one person or family could be completely prepared for every single type of event. So, most people choose one or several related events they believe are imminent and prepare as best they can for those.
But the less talked about threat that will be overwhelming no matter what the situation is that arises, is population density. For example, according to this map of population density by county shows that roughly two-thirds of the U.S population is located in the Eastern half of the United States. In fact, according to recent reports by the U.S. Census Bureau (2010 data), approximately half the population resided in just 146 counties out of 3000 counties in the United States.
That’s right. The biggest threat to your safety and the safety of your family is in fact, other people. They aren’t “bad” people out to get you. Some of them would likely give the shirt off the back to help others in normal circumstances. But in a SHTF situation, people just like you who are doing what they need to do to provide for their families can be a threat. Scared, and willing to do anything to get away from immediate danger, large numbers of these people can be the difference between life and death for your family.
So, when SHTF, how do you mitigate population density to increase your ability to keep yourself and your family safe? The easiest way is to plan to avoid other people as much as possible. The problem that most people run into during an emergency or SHTF situation is they are unprepared, and they panic. When you sense danger, the first instinct for most people is to flee. Sure, some people will naturally react with fight instead of flight, but the majority of people will flee first and fight only when cornered.
If doctors are scarce and medicine becomes even scarcer, this one little weed, found all over North America and similar to morphine, could be a saving grace.
The best way to be prepared to avoid the crowds of desperate people is to know which places to avoid going when SHTF. We’ve listed some examples below:
It goes without saying that downtown areas of any city should be avoided. This is especially true in mid to large cities where lack of regular sanitation services will create ideal conditions for diseases. The risk of rioting, looting, and violent attacks is also greater in downtown areas. City dwellers are statistically less prepared for a SHTF event as many families live paycheck to paycheck with very little stockpiled supplies.
In addition, because population density is highest in these areas, stores and other sources for supplies will be quickly cleaned out. Many city residents depend on public transportation on a daily basis and are less likely to have access to a vehicle to flee the city. Mass numbers of people in these areas will be desperately seeking food, water, and medical supplies, as well as transportation out of the city.
2. Main Roads, Intersections, and Freeways
If you are planning to bug out to an area outside of the city, or if you are caught away from home, it may seem like the shortest route is the best course of action. But, keep in mind that main roads and busy intersections will quickly become overwhelmed with people trying to flee just like you are.
Most people only know one or two ways to get out of the city and these are usually main roads. Those who are looking to steal supplies will see main roads and intersections as prime locations to ambush unwary travelers. Get a map of your area now and plan several routes out of the city and from work to home that use side roads rather than highways and state routes.
3. Bottleneck Points
A bottleneck can be any area that a majority of people must travel in order to get out of a cul de sac, neighborhood, city, county, or state. In most cases, this will be things such as bridges, overpasses, underpasses, freeway ramps, etc. If several hundred or thousands of people are fleeing the same area, and everyone must cross the same bridge to get out of town, that will quickly become a bottleneck point.
The same is true for any areas where there is only one road going in or out. Avoid these areas at all costs and look for alternative ways to get through or cross, even if it means taking a longer way around or traveling in a nontraditional way (motorcycle, private plane, bicycle, on foot, etc.).
It may seem weird to see hospitals on a list of places to avoid following a SHTF event because one would think this would be a place to find help. The reason to avoid hospitals if at all possible is because most people, especially those that are injured, will flock to them. Even people who aren’t injured may head for the hospitals to get help for family members who have been injured.
Emotions in this area will be high and the risk of violence is greater as people lose control. In addition, patients who are ill and/or patients dying from lack of resources will increase the risk of rampant infection and disease. The hospital and surrounding areas will be a petri dish environment for viruses and bacteria. With medical resources limited, you’ll want to avoid getting sick to increase your odds of long-term survival.
5. Prisons and Surrounding Areas
This one should be a no brainer. If there is a prison in your area or along the route to your bug out location (BOL), you’ll want to avoid the area as much as possible.
During a SHTF event, it’s likely that guards and staff may abandon their posts to care for their families which increases the likelihood that violent prisoners can escape and be on the roads. These prisoners will come out into the chaos without any supplies, they will be desperate to survive and could be more willing to use violence to commandeer your supplies or vehicle.
6. Police Stations and Military Bases
Like with hospitals, it may seem counterintuitive to avoid police stations and military bases following a SHTF event. Police and military are supposed to serve and protect citizens, right? But although it may seem like going to these locations would be a safer alternative, in most cases it will be a waste of precious time and may in fact get you killed or locked up instead.
Police stations and military bases will be among the most secure buildings. They will be heavily guarded, and they will not be opening their doors to the mass numbers of people who show up. Crowds outside these areas will be frustrated and angry at not being granted protection. The last thing you want is to step into the middle of that crowd with your BOB of supplies, food, and water.
7. Shelters or FEMA Camps
Although shelters are designed to help those people who find themselves without a place to sleep or food to eat, most shelters are understaffed and operating at or above capacity even in normal times. Homeless shelters and food banks will be quickly overrun by mass numbers of people. Some may be forced to close the doors to newcomers within days of a SHTF event.
These shelters and any publicized FEMA camps that spring up will have very poor conditions. Supplies will be rationed, tempers will be high, and violence will be rampant. As more people arrive, and conditions worsen, the buildings and surrounding areas will quickly become breeding grounds for infection and disease.
For people who are not prepared, their first instinct will be to find food, water, and supplies. Humans are creatures of habit and thus many will flock to local grocery stores and shopping plazas and begin looting for needed supplies.
These areas will be picked clean within less than 24 hours of a SHTF event. Those that are left there will be the most desperate and scared for their lives. These crowds are unpredictable and often violent.
9. Gas Stations, Auto Parts, and Convenience Stores
The reason to avoid gas stations, auto parts, and convenience stores is similar to that of other stores and shopping areas. Desperate people are going to flock to the first places they think of to find supplies to get out of the area. Those trying to get of the city will want to try to gas up and/or get.
For all but those people who were quick to get on the road, getting gas will be nearly impossible. Lines at these places will be long, tempers will be high, and violence will be much more likely, especially when pumps run dry and shelves are bare.
One thing that people will be searching for when SHTF is guns, ammo, and other items to use for protection. Since sporting goods and hardware stores carry a lot of these items, these stores will be hot spots for looting. If you don’t already have your weapons ready when SHTF, you’re better off to look around your home for items you can use, rather than try for a quick trip to a hardware or sporting goods store.
11. Banks, Check-Cashing, & Pawn Shops
One thing just about everyone who isn’t prepared in advance will be looking to get first is accessing to cash. For this reason, banks, check cashing or loan offices, and pawn shops should be avoided following a SHTF event. This is where large numbers of people will flock toward first.
Many people in these areas will become trapped, unable to access their money, either because computers are down or because cash reserves were already depleted. When desperate people can’t get access to cash that they believe will help them get needed supplies, things will get ugly.
12. Large Shopping Malls and Public Squares
When things get chaotic just before a SHTF event, the last place you will want to be is in a public square or large shopping mall. These places can quickly become a gathering place for desperate, angry people. Rioting, looting, and violence will be high in these areas so it’s best to avoid them if possible.
13. Large Social Gatherings and Public Events
If you even suspect that things around you are getting chaotic. If you sense civil or economic unrest or have recognized other precursors to a SHTF event, you will want to avoid large social gatherings and public events. These events draw large crowds of people on the same date and time. Events or gathering that are tradition or annual events that can be predicted or are widely publicized are more dangerous. These are prime target events for terrorists.
What to do Instead:
Now that you know what places to avoid going when SHTF, here are some things you can do to make sure you can avoid these places and still have a good chance of surviving:
Starting today, make it a habit to keep your gas tank at least 3/4 full at all times. Take steps to properly store additional gasoline in approved containers so that you can fuel up at home and skip the last-minute trip to the gas station on your way out of town.
Follow a regular maintenance schedule for your vehicle to keep it in top running condition at all times. Proactively make vehicle repairs so that your risk of a breakdown is less when SHTF. Stockpile spare parts such as belts, spark plugs, wiper blades, washer fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze, brake fluid, and engine oil so you can replenish as needed without that trip to the auto parts store.
Create safe storage places where you can begin to stockpile emergency cash so that you have it on hand when SHTF and do not need to make any last-minute runs to a bank, ATM, or pawnshop for cash.
Conduct a weapons inventory of any guns, ammo, knives, and personal self-defense weapons (mace, stun gun, etc.). Be sure to consider any other potential items (ball bats, shovels, chains, etc.) that could be used for weapons and protection during a SHTF event. Know what you have on hand and train yourself and family in how to use it if needed for protection.
Clearly mark danger zones in advance on a map or maps of your local area and surrounding areas. Plan several different escape routes so that you can quickly change course if needed due to unexpected danger or obstacles. Identify and plan to use alternative routes out of town including logging roads, railroad tracks, and power line easements if needed to avoid danger zones.
Locate and clearly map out any sources of fresh water that won’t be the first thought for others such as small lakes, ponds, private or public swimming pools, creeks, and rivers. Include a hand water pump and collapsible water jug in your BOB as well as a way to filter and boil water from these sources.
Stockpile lightweight food, ways to filter water, and medical suppliesso that you won’t be tempted to make a last run to grocery or other shopping areas. Create a system of hidden supply caches along your routes to your BOL so you can replenish supplies that are used, stolen, or confiscated along the way.
Planning a bug out can seem overwhelming. But the more you plan and prepare in advance, the more likely you will remember which places to avoid going when SHTF.
A second catastrophe promises to follow in the foot steps of a first — it’s a catastrophic food shortage. The time to prepare for that is now.Lessons passed down by expert preppers on storing up emergency food on a budget…
Emergency foods are something that families, church and relief organizations, schools, institutions, and food banks should be stocking up on nowadays, while it’s still possible, while there’s still food to be had.
Our nation is sitting on a ticking time bomb and we unfortunately cannot tell exactly when this bomb is going to finally detonate. But we can hear it ticking. Louder with every passing year. Yet, no matter how frantically government and the military work to defuse the bomb, defusing this bomb continues to elude them. Of course I’m using an analogy to describe some serious crap hitting the fan.
When it does, we are looking at a famine on a level that this world has never seen before.
Nationwide Food Shortage And Then —
Famine. No more food coming in from anywhere.
What if the day comes where stores never re-open? At the point where your survival food stores become exhausted after several weeks following a collapse, you’re either going to have to turn to begging for food, or a very difficult and frustrating life trying to hunt, fish, trap or forage in the adjacent forests — called living off the land — but truly, only the adept, the knowledgeable, and the experienced are going to be able to “live off the land” and the ones who do won’t be found in any nearby woods or hills.
Because there won’t be anything to hunt or forage for in the nearby woods or hills following a major disaster.
Wildlife is very sensitive to the presence of people.
So a large number of people fleeing into wilderness regions is going to send much of the wildlife fleeing for remote regions. It’s these remote regions that the hunting can be good; but only the most adept are likely to make it that far where there are no roads, where there may be rugged mountains and canyons and rivers to cross; there may be dangerous weather conditions to deal with depending on the season. If you can make it to a remote region, I’m talking really remote, it will be possible to live off the land, but it won’t be easy.
Are You Just Fine Right Where You’re At?
In a worst case scenario, we may see martial law, a government collapse, a civil war of sorts. Our nation weakened, it’s defenses obsolete, it’s critical infrastructure all but destroyed, a scene from Red Dawn (I’ve referred to this movie in another article) may play out in a number of communities. Are those Russian jets in the skies? Are those parachuters dropping down onto main street, Chinese or North Korean? The sky is full of them. The clouds were a perfect cover when radar defenses on the ground were no longer working, having been fried by the EMP that had first wrecked America’s power grid six months back.
Parachuters are landing in residential neighborhoods. Quickly gathering up parachutes. Quickly checking weapons and gear. Firing at people who had been watching it all unfold from front yards and porches.
Who’s cargo planes are landing at the local municipal airport with tanks and military vehicles streaming out? Chinese symbols. Russian symbols. What the hell is going on?
Hopefully That’s Not Your Community
But it may be more than one community at some point. It’s very possible that your community will make it through the weeks and months following a collapse that we can feel in our blood and in our bones is heading America’s way some point soon. We can see the signs in the heavens and the earth, I believe, that Jesus warned about when he was here and told us to be on the watch for. Impending judgment. We were told, and cautioned as Christians, to watch for it. When we see it, we will know. It’s almost like Yoda talking to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, telling Luke he will know the time when the time is the right time. What Yoda? That makes no sense. On reflection though, Luke finally one day figures out what Yoda was telling him. What is the Lord telling us right now through the Spirit? For the unbelievers out there, who don’t yet know God, for a Christian this essentially means what is God leading us to do or prepare for without using words to tell us?
Some Of Us Should Be Stockpiling Food
Some communities, some neighborhoods, some small towns and cities will likely make it through the first few months following a collapse relatively fine, all things considered. Other’s won’t do so well and will be very dangerous places to live.
You’ll need some friends, you’ll need some fire power, hopefully God is on your side with all that fire power and he’s going to use you in some way to make a difference, for good. The violent hand of God is something we see repeated in Old Testament chapters of the Bible. I expect it’s something we’re likely to see again some day. There’s just too many examples of God going to war through his people, though not all of them of course, just a few at a time. Because if God used too many people, to give the enemies of Christ a beating, they might make the mistake of thinking that they did this by their own power. That’s not God’s style in the Bible though. That’s not the pattern we see in scripture.
Who remembers this phrase? “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
When God favored the Israelites, the Israelites were successful at wiping out enemy nations, success after success after success.
But when God was angry with the Israelites, over rebellion, over disobedience, over wicked acts and atrocities, just the opposite happened. The Israelites were overrun, beaten down, many killed, many more ended up enslaved to other nations.
That first part sounds a lot like America. At one time we were a nation under God. Success after success. Innovation after innovation. Dreams and bigger dreams. America had God’s favor and was the gem of the world. People from around the world dreamed of moving here and many did. But today America no longer has God’s favor. We have become God’s enemy. Not all of us. But a lot of us.
Jesus warned the wheat would be separated from the chaff. If you don’t know what he meant by this, you better figure that one out fast. If should be the first thing you do before you do anything else in life.
What the hell did Jesus mean when he said he would seperate the wheat from the chaff? There’s nothing difficult with that statement. So why do so many people have a hard time grasping those words?
They just don’t care.
How Long Will Your Emergency Food Last?
If disaster struck today, how long would your stockpile last? Careful, it’s a trick question. I’m not asking how long you would be able to live off your stockpile — I’m asking about the actual shelf life of the foods in your basement or pantry.
Though you may have beans and cereal that, in theory, can last 10 years or more, the way you store them can substantially decrease or increase that amount. In other words, you may have quite a bit of food in your pantry right now that has less than a year until it expires… and that’s a tough position to be in if a serious, earth shaking disaster struck today.
The Scoop On Emergency Food Storage
Extending The Shelf Life Of Several Foods
Food storage done right, so you can double, triple or even quadruple the shelf life of your foods. Let’s talk about that for a moment. It all starts with the 5 food storage enemies: Oxygen, moisture, temperature, light and pests. The 6th one is time but there’s nothing we can do about that except rotating our stash. Now, if you’re looking to get 10, 20 or even 30 years of shelf life off your foods, you need to tackle all of these enemies. No exception.
Extending The Shelf Life Of Grains, Beans And Rice
Grains, beans, white rice… These are some of the foods with a long shelf life preppers like to stockpile that are also cheap. However, not all varieties are worthy to be in your stockpile.
For example, Cheerios and other breakfast cereals you typically buy at the supermarket have a shelf life of 6 to 8 months. Processed cereals have many refined and hydrogenated oils in them, oil goes rancid so, even if you were to use the preservation techniques we’re going to talk about in a minute, it still wouldn’t be worth it. Thus, step one in storing your food for a really long time is to pick the right food. When we’re talking about real long term emergency food storage, opt for storing white rice (not brown), dried beans and whole wheat berries (not breakfast cereals); rice, beans and wheat berries should be the staples of your survival stockpile.
Mylar Bags With Oxygen Absorbers For Storing Emergency Food
The best way to store your emergency food is in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. This is a no-fail combination used by most preppers, provided your food is dry before you store it. Otherwise, you can wake up with condensation after you seal the package — not a good thing.
The process is simple. You fill the bag nearly all the way to the top, seal it using an iron or a hair straightener (but not before you add a pack of the oxygen absorber), depending on the size of the bag. Oxygen absorbers are small packs of iron powder and create a nitrogen environment by removing any oxygen present through chemical reactions.
So, even if the bag will look like it’s got air inside, you don’t need to panic because that’s just nitrogen.
It’s worth mentioning that neither the nitrogen nor the iron powder can affect your food (provided you keep the O2 absorbers inside the original packaging).
As you can see, you don’t need to vacuum-seal the bags; the absorbers will do the trick to prevent growth of aerobic pathogens (such as mold) as well as preventing oxidation. These are the two ways oxygen can spoil your food. Besides, your cereals will crumble under the pressure of the bag.
Put Mylar Bags Inside Airtight BPA-Free 5 Gallon Buckets
Next, you should put the Mylar bags inside airtight BPA-free 5-gallon buckets. This may seem unnecessary but it’s actually a good idea. First off, the bucket will shield the bags from light (another declared food storage enemy), thus improving shelf life. Second, it protects the bag from accidental puncturing (Mylars aren’t that strong, by the way).
We talked about aerobic bacteria but anaerobes need very little or no oxygen to develop. The most important one is called Clostridium botulinum and is responsible for a disease called botulism (not something you want to suffer from post-collapse). Fortunately, this doesn’t really occur when storing grains, beans and rice as long as they’re not moist. It’s something that mostly shows up in canned food, which we’ll tackle in a moment.
The last thing you need to do after you’ve taken care of oxygen, light and humidity is ensure the proper temperature. Anywhere between 50F and 70F will work, preferably closer to 50.
If You Do Everything Right, How Long Can Food Last In Storage?
What shelf life can you expect if you do everything right? This is pretty amazing:
– White rice can last at least 7-8 years with some sources going as high as 25.
– Hard grains such as wheat and corn can store for at least 10 years.
– Soft grains can last about 8 years (because the outer shell is not as strong as that of hard grains)
Emergency Food Storage For Pasta
Storing pasta for the long term is just as easy as storing beans or grain. If you read the label, they tell you it lasts for 1-2 years but if you store it in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, that shelf life can increase up to ten times… that’s 20+ years in shelf life!
Place it in plastic buckets to protect it from light, from crumbling inside and from accidental puncturing of the bag. Speaking of punctures, you may want to consider storing things like spaghetti in 5-mil bags instead of the more common 3.5 mil to avoid any sharp noodles accidentally poking holes in the mylar.
Some people like to freeze pasta before storage to prevent larva eggs from hatching. So, to kill these eggs, noodles should stay frozen for approximately 5 days but this method is not needed as long as you use oxygen absorbers. Ultimately freezing the noodles won’t hurt them but it won’t really help either. If you do decide to do it, you need to allow the frozen noodles to reach room temperature before you seal these noodles in Mylars. Otherwise condensation will form and allow the growth of mold.
Canned Food Can Last Several Years Past Expiration Date
There are a lot of myths about canned foods and I want to bust the ones that have to do with shelf life, the one related to the expiration date. Food experts on shelf life have looked closely at unopened cans of food from several decades back, sometimes recovered from shipwrecks, and the data they found was a real eye opener: Canned food can last several years past it’s expiration date.
As long as the can has been properly stored and it looks good on the outside (it’s not leaking and the lid is not swollen or punctured), it’s probably safe to eat. You still have to check for suspicious smells but there have been reports of cans of food that were safe to eat even after 30 or 40 years.
Nevertheless, plenty of people have reported being absolutely fine after eating canned food past the expiration date. Of course, you need to give your cans the same conditions you do to your beans and rice: Keep them in a cool, dry, dark place away from moisture.
Now, there are two types of canned food when it comes to how long they can last: High-acidic and low-acidic. The USDA guidelines tell us that high-acid food (canned fruit and pickles) can last up to 18 months while low acid food (canned meat, beans, corn, potatoes etc.) up to 5 years. The acid in these cans contributes to the deterioration of color, texture and nutrients (over time, of course).
As mentioned earlier, if the can looks, smells and tastes ok, you can ignore the expiration and the “best by” dates (in a post-collapse you might not have a choice anyway).
Extending The Shelf Life Of Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is jam-packed with calories and can last a long time if properly stored… but there’s a catch. It’s full of oils and, as previously said, oils go rancid over time. It depends which type of PB you’re storing, because natural peanut butter only last a few months while smooth and crunchy can last up to a year.
To improve its shelf life, you need to keep peanut butter tightly sealed and in a cool, dry, dark place. You should also store it in a glass rather than a plastic jar to increase longevity even more.
The alternative to PB is powdered peanut butter, which should store for at least 5 years, closer to 10 actually, and it’s good for another year after you open it. That’s considerably longer than traditional peanut butter.
Food Items With An Indefinite Shelf Life
You probably heard that honey has an indefinite shelf life. The only thing that can go “wrong” with it is crystallization, meaning the sugar molecules align themselves in a certain way. This is not a sign it went bad but still, there’s an easy fix: Place the open jar in a pot full of hot water and stir it until the crystals dissolve. In order to slow down the crystallization process, simply store the honey at room temperature. Since most of your foods need to be in cool places, you can keep honey in your kitchen or pantry where you probably have more space.
The other items with an indefinite shelf life are salt, sugar and molasses but the one thing you should do is keep them away from moisture. It’s common for basements to develop mold due to poor ventilation so the two options you have are to either install a fan (if your basement has windows), a dehumidifier (which, unfortunately, will incur electricity costs) or use some of the other recommended options depending on how bad things are.
No long-term survival plan is complete without the seeds that will allow you to start a garden once the dust settles after a collapse. In a worst case scenario, especially those who live in heavily populated areas, that may mean a long and difficult evacuation from a disaster struck region. The good news about seeds is that they don’t take up a lot of space and you can transport them with relative ease; when the time is right, plant that garden finally.
The most important thing to seed storage is to keep these seeds dry. Moisture is the biggest enemy but, fortunately, one you can easily defeat. Keeping your seeds in a cool, dry place should work and don’t forget to add desiccants to the container and seal them afterwards. Another thing you need to do is dry them before storage.
If you don’t want to use desiccants you have other options, such as putting them in paper envelopes. Other options include storing them inside the fridge or the freezer but if you’re left without power in the next disaster, you’re still going to use one of the aforementioned solutions.
The shelf life of various seeds varies.
Some people say they can last up to a hundred years. They actually found seeds inside the belly of a frozen mammoth, meaning they lasted thousands of years! It’s hard to say but if you do it right, you can expect to get at least 5 years of storage life and a 70% germination rate. The ones that have the longest shelf life are:
Bean (2-3 years)
Radish, muskmelon, cress, collards and cucumber (5 years)
Tomato, squash, turnips, eggplant, sorrel, cauliflower Brussel sprouts and watermelon (4 years each)
…but, again, the life of a seed can increase if you do a good job storing them.
Emergency Food Storage For Your Pet
How To Store Dry And Canned Pet Food
There are essentially two types of pet food you can stockpile and they’re the same ones you feed your pets every day: Dry and canned. Surprisingly, canned food lasts a lot longer than dry because dry food has a lot of fat in it, which causes it to go rancid quickly. Dry food usually lasts a year while canned food for 2+ years.
If you’re thinking of using oxygen absorbers with dry pet food, it might not work. You might wake up with mold rings around the absorbers which will, in turn, spoil the entire bag as several preppers have cautioned.
The good news about storing pet food, though, is that there’s no difference between survival food and what they regularly eat for your pet. The other good news is that pets can eat “human survival food” (for lack of a better term). For example, dogs can eat white rice, which we already know can last a lot longer if properly stored (being one of the most popular survival foods).
As long as you store your pet food in a cool, dry dark place (such as a ventilated basement), you’ll surely get a lot more than the 1-2 years it’s stated to last.
How Temperature Fluctuations Affect Emergency Food
Before we wrap this up, I need to address an overlooked aspect: Fluctuations in temperature. We said earlier that some foods need to be stored at temperatures between 50F and 70F but that’s only half the story. The other half is that you need to keep temperature variations to a minimum because they too can (negatively) affect shelf life. Even if you keep it within the interval at all times, fluctuations between 50F and 70F should be avoided.
Why Store Up Emergency Food? So You Can Survive During A Famine!
In the modern age, with so many grocery stores and restaurants bustling with activity and low prices (sometimes high) on many common food items, it’s hard to imagine what life would be like if suddenly it all came to an end. Unfortunately, if someone were to pull the plug on interstate shipping and nationwide commercial food processing and commercial agriculture, literally overnight stores across several regions would slam shut their doors and before you knew it the greatest disaster in America’s history would unfold right before our eyes.
Famine. Food shortages. Long lines stretching possibly miles for a government handout (until the government closes it’s doors as well). Long lines seeking food at churches (that is until churches run out of food) and soup kitchens — soup kitchens once popular with the homeless but now attracting crowds of hungry and scared citizens and their families looking for food and also looking for a solution; but there won’t be one.
What about organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army? In some communities, in the first few hours and days, they may also be a source for food, but expect incredibly long lines. When or if food finally gets into your hands unfortunately it may not be something you really find that palatable.
Isn’t Storing Up Food At Odds With Living By Faith?
For those of us who live as Christians, it would seem that way. Living by faith means we know that the Lord will provide. It takes great faith not to store up so that we can see how the Lord will provide and many times he can astonish us. I think though that there’s another angle here to look at; it’s knowing that there are a lot of people who will be hungry during a massive food shortage and subsequent famine, who haven’t stored up food, and first and foremost that could end up being a neighbor or even family and friends who simply never believed that the Terrible Day of the Lord as warned in the Bible was one day headed our way.
A lot of people, and I’m sure a few readers here, may not believe today in these Biblical warnings I’ve shared at different times on the site. I’m going to predict though that a lot of you will start believing in the times ahead.
I get that assurance from the Bible — most people who end up believing in Jesus don’t believe until God is dropping the hammer. In other words: People are some hard eggs to crack!
Food Storage Happens Now — Not Later
It’s a sad, unfortunate fact. There will be a day where tens of millions of people realize that so many signs about a coming catastrophe were all around them, but they were just too glued to their daily routines and complacency and stubbornness about life to notice. They felt life should be lived whatever way they wanted, even though for many the way they live their lives is in direct disobedience to God.
I know it. I’ve been there. And it’s not just the banksters at the top of the food chain preying on the consumers or the super elites at the head of our corporations; no, it’s the rest of us also, the people that make up modern day nations caught up in what the Bible describes as carnal, worldly lives — with a complete disregard for God and his warnings about the coming wrath on the world to deal with it’s many evils and atrocities. Atrocities are committed somewhere on our planet on a daily basis.
God Sees All
The prophets, apostles, Jesus himself assured us that there is a terrible day coming for our planet.
If we don’t get our lives right with God, we are going to be caught up in the midst of it. It may start with a government collapse and famine and food shortages, but really that will only be the beginning. A serious storm is heading to our world and we see it’s waves starting to beat against our shores; consider ISIS (or another faction of Radical Islam) as one of those waves; if you look at the ocean during a storm you cannot count the number of waves that hit; but you can see how strong and violent the waves get as the storm approaches.
The Storm Is Approaching
Matthew 21:25-26 – 25 “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world…”
Matthew 21:29-33 – And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Matthew 21:34-36 -“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at how the guys who wandered the west 150 or so years ago did it.
1.Community – We were not meant to survive in isolation forever. There are many skills we can learn from one another. Nothing will help people survive more than a tight knit community that cares for its members. In this community, you will find different skills, access to different resources, and a psychological morale improvement. Finding others with the same mindset will help you survive long-term, and make the situation far more bearable than braving the dark times alone.
Turns out the popular image of the Old West as a place where manly men solved their differences by shooting themselves in the face simply isn’t true. People were more likely to cooperate than fight – in a harsh and lawless world, it was better to side with your neighbor for mutual benefit than start shooting. One estimate places the number of bank robberies at about a dozen for the entire frontier period.
2.Many small towns in the Texas Hill Country have a secret. Beneath our town’s main street are old tunnels that were built to protect settlers in case of Indian raids. That makes me feel a little safer next time I shop for pickles knowing that if a nuclear bomb goes off my family can go underground. (quote – Sophie) Build or have in mind a hideout in your BOL or better said a hideout in your hideout.
3.“We don’t dial 911” – there won’t be any. Every type of gun known to man is here to protect their family and property. A good rule is to honk first when driving up unexpectedly to a ranch so as not to spook anyone. Watching those old cowboy movies gave me a good idea: use both hands when shooting guns.
4.Shooting your dinner.Or shooting to protect yourself. Learn to hit something with a bullet and you’ll be better fed and it may even keep you and your family alive.
5.Repairing guns and reusing ammo. Limited or no ammo availability for my SHTF Guns meant the brass has to last as long as possible. Semi-auto rifles are harder on brass than bolt, falling block or other type’s rifles. With semi-autos, you have brass elongation; you need to trim your brass frequently, full-length size on every load. And after a few reloads, you basically run out of brass life.
A broken gunstock could be repaired with rawhide. The wet, pliable hide would be stretched over the broken pieces at the break, then either laced or nailed in place. As the rawhide dried it shrank, holding the broken stock together as effectively as if it had been replaced.
6.Stockpiling Wood and keeping warm was a chore in winter. About the only thing folks had to burn was wood. There was a woodpile or a woodshed associated with just about every house. There were no iron stoves in early Texas – they didn’t start coming in until late in the Republic period. Heat came from a fireplace, & it generally wasn’t very effective. Along the Rio Grande, especially in the poorer regions, there were no fireplaces in houses. That’s because Spain & later Mexico taxed chimneys. Those people cooked out-of-doors. Because they mostly built of adobe, their house – walls were very thick, so even a small fire indoors would keep the place fairly warm. In summer going into a properly – built adobe house is like walking into a cave. They stay fairly cool even on the hottest days.
7.Brain Tanning Leather – learning the process of skinning a deer, fleshing, stretching, drying, scraping, soaking, brain tanning, and then smoking the hide to waterproof. Deer hides, horse hides, coon hides – was used for just about everything, & rawhide was very useful. It used to be called ‘Mexican iron.’ The stuff is stiff as a plank, but if you put it in boiling water for a while, it becomes pliable. You can then use it in place of nails to tie a corral’s stringers to the posts. As it dried it would shrink, holding the stringers as effectively as nails.
8.Mostly, clothing was hand-made on the frontier. Almost any source of cloth could be used to make shirts or dresses. One of the reasons floursacks, for many years, were made of patterned cloth, was the fact that women collected them to make shirts or dresses, for themselves, their husbands, & their children. I can remember when I was a kid, farm ladies using white flour sacks to make children’s underwear.
9.Blacksmithing. Being able to make something useful like a horseshoe, tool, or cooking utensil from scrap metal could come in very handy. This is a skill people will barter for. Blacksmith work does require a good deal of practice and some special equipment, but it’s a skill worth learning and the learning curve is cut a bit if you already know how to weld or do other metal work.
10.Preserving food without a fridge. Many people have forgotten this old method of preserving food, especially meet. Here is one of the easiest methods available and doesn’t take much time. You will need fresh pork, pickling salt, brown sugar, and crocks or jars for storage.
First, cut the pork into slabs. Generally, four- to six-inch slabs work best. Mix 1/2 pound of pickling salt with 1/4 cup of brown sugar. This is enough to cover twelve pounds of pork. Liberally cover the pork with this mixture. Next, pack the meat into sterilized crocks or jars. You should make sure it is tightly packed. Cover the meat with cheesecloth.
Using the temperature chart of your house, determine where to store your crocks. You need to keep the meat in an area that is about 36°F – no higher than 38°F. You also do not want an area that could see freezing temperatures. Leave the meat in this cool storage for at least one month. After that time, you can wrap the meat in plastic or moisture-proof paper and leave it stored all winter. You now have salt-cured pork for any occasion.
Many older people remember having a smokehouse on their land when they were young. Meat would be salted and hung to cure in these cool, dry areas. You could build a storage room for handing meat without too much work. The room should have excellent air circulation and stay cool without freezing.
Canned Meat – If you are familiar with canning fruits and vegetables, you should know that you can also can meat. You have to make sure you get the temperature of the meat high enough to kill bacteria before it seals. Chicken and beef are good options for canning, as are fish. You can cook the meat before you can and seal it. For example, you could make beef stew and preserve it in cans. Stewed chicken also cans and preserves well. Raw packing is another option you can try as well.
11.Navigation and Orientation – basic compass, map, landmarks; preparation for traveling outdoors; reading nature signs, stars, and sun to navigate through wilderness; knowing the best routes and time to travel.
Whether someone is going to bug in or bug out to somewhere safer, they need to know where they plan to take a stand and stay. Transportation is a very important issue to consider and how much of what they have can be moved to where they are planning to go. Fuel will be a huge consideration as the lack of it prohibits how far someone can go. Something else everyone should understand is how to read maps. You will likely not have any GPS system to guide you and the good old fashioned paper map may be the only way to show you where you are going. Understanding topographic maps is also key here
12.Trapping – trapping animals for clothing and food; using dead falls and snares; proper preparation of traps; understanding their use and safety.
13.Gardening. Growing your own vegetables and fruits, knowing soil conditions, how to get water to your plants, extending your harvest season, and common garden pests will be vital to having a continuous food supply. Check out The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers for some great old-time gardening tips.
14.Saving seeds. The other end of gardening is being able to plant again next year. Saving seed can be kind of intimidating and mysterious, especially for plants like carrots that don’t go to seed in their first growing season. Start with non-hybrid seeds and a reference book like Seed to Seed and practice saving some kind of seed from your next garden. This is definitely a learned skill, but could be vital to a continued food supply.
15.Building a home, or another shelter, or a fort, or a fence. Knowing how to use hand tools and simple machines will go a long way if you have to rebuild.
16.Start a Fire without Matches and learn how to keep the fire going 24/7. Prepare your fireboard. Cut a groove in the fireboard. This will be your track for the spindle.
Take the tip of your spindle and place it in the groove of your fireboard. Start rubbing the tip of the spindle up and down the groove.
Have your tinder nest at the end of the fireboard, so that you’ll plow embers into as you’re rubbing. Once you catch one, blow the nest gently and get that fire going.
17.Cooking over a fire. You may have other methods to cook your food available, like a solar oven or barbeque grill, but an open fire is the most primitive and one of the most common means of cooking in a grid down emergency.
18.Tracking – identifying animal tracks; understanding process of tracking.
19.The Bee Hunter. One of the most important men on the frontier was the bee hunter. Sugar was almost impossible to come by. Honey, which was called ‘long sweetenin” in Texas, was the only source of sweetening for many years.
20.Knowing and preparing wild edibles. Which plants in your area are safe to eat and what parts of them are edible? A little foraging can add variety to your diet or even sustain life if there’s nothing else to eat.
21.Learn how to maintain light at night. One of the most depressing situations is to spend night in near to total darkness. Besides this, not being able to see at night is dangerous. Learning how to make candles and wicks should be a skill to consider learning. Fats and other oils will burn and can be obtained throughout nature and the outdoors. Long term solar battery rechargers for flashlights and LED battery powered lanterns are another option.
22.Maintain proper hygiene. This is one of the top priorities because disease and sickness can and do take down the toughest man. People must realize that after a terrible disaster it is not like someone that goes camping, comes back dirty, and takes a nice long shower or a hot bath. After SHTF the water to the faucets, as well the hot water heater, may not work. Bathing on at least a semi-regular basis is necessary to avoid all sorts of bacteria from building up on the skin and causing a variety of health concerning ailments that will then have to be treated. People should plan on just how they will keep themselves clean, even thinking about sponge baths as an option.
23.A car or a horse?
Some people say about SHTF that unless you’re living on an oil well or in a gas tank you won’t have access to gas.
Riding a horse. They make this look easy in the movies, but there is a learning curve involved. A horse is transportation, a pack animal, and a friend. Learning to ride one can get you places when roads are impassable or vehicles aren’t working. Plus, your gas reserves won’t last forever when SHTF.
Texans love all kinds of horse powered transportation. Should an EMP attack render cars useless, they’ll get around riding their horses or driving their horse drawn carriages, buggy’s, hay wagons, chuck wagons and buck board wagons. During the summer on country roads you can run into wagon trains filled with hundreds of people driving their wagons, which is an awesome sight to behold! And yes they still ride their horses into town for a coke, hamburger and even a beer.
There were vast herds of wild horses in early Texas. The horses were considered an excellent source of meat. Many of them were shot for food. Others were captured, but if a horse resisted being tamed and saddle-broke, it usually wound up on the table.
24. Herbal remedies. When the doctor’s not around, knowing which herbs to use and how to use them to treat common ailments like cough, fever, headache, etc. can be a great blessing to your family or others around that may need the help.
25.Learn first aid. Treating yourself and or others will probably be the only thing someone can do as medical professionals are going to be few and far between. Many places offer free classes on first aid because they want people in the community to be prepared. A good first aid book along with a first aid kit is something every household should have before, during, and after a disaster. Primitive conditions should be expected when anyone is helping someone after a catastrophe. A stockpile of antibiotics are always a good idea. Even acquiring the skill of making your own antibiotics can save lives as infection is something that will become an epidemic, especially with minor cuts and abrasives that are sure to be plenty.
26.Don’t throw away anything that may be useful at some point. Personally, I don’t like to keep too many things in my house. So I throw away much stuff. And most of us do that because we know that if we have to, we can immediately buy another one. But our grandparents NEVER threw away jars, plastic bags, casseroles, boxes, cans, metal in general.
27.Stealth. While the survivalist mindset might seem to stem from weathering bad times, it is actually based in a basic enjoyment of nature. Nature is a gift, and the ability to live comfortably from its provisions is one of the most life-changing experiences a person can ever have. The art of survival seems to have been lost over the years, but before the technology boom in the last century, it was commonplace to know and understand survivalist principles.
One of the most basic skills when in the wild is a combination of two methods. These methods are called the “Fox Walk” and “Wide-Angle Vision.” These were the basic “bread and butter” of how tribal populations would hunt and stalk without leaving any trace. Learning lessons from these peoples, it has enlightened us on how to live from the land.
28.How to pan for gold – Although gold pans were much in evidence during the early days of the Gold Rush, miners used them less and less as time went on and they created better gold extraction devices but much more expensive. Even today, however, some gold seekers will use the light and simple pans for prospecting, systematically sampling gravels as they work up a stream, for example, and knowing that when the gold “color” stops, a vein or two of gold feeding into the stream may be close at hand.
29.Understand the psychology of desperate people. This is a difficult one. After a SHTF event people are going to, simply put, go crazy. That neighbor that was in control during many minor emergencies may be the one pounding on your door with whacked out eyes demanding what you have because they did not prepare for anything. In the Wild West most of the travelers when they spotted another traveler – they went around him thinking it’s wiser not to encounter at all.
30.Every cowboy knows that a rope is an important tool. Sure they can lasso a cow, but it serves so many other uses that it would be impossible to list. Suffice to say that that’s one thing that you never can have enough of and I’ve been known to use my son’s lariat in a pinch to tie down furniture on the utility trailer.