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All posts for the month November, 2016

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Image Source: Pixabay.com

By The Survival Place Blog

Making your home more environmentally friendly is important. You need to live a greener life alongside the environment. Becoming more self-sufficient is a wonderful way of making sure you improve survival skills and help care for the planet too.

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Solar Energy

We are moving towards a greener and more eco-friendly world, and this is a good thing. But we still have a way to go yet. So you need to do as much as you can to make sure you are as energy-efficient as possible. In recent years we’ve seen the likes of Chile’s Renewable Energy Conference show the importance of greener living. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business or an individual, renewable energy is the future for all of us, so we need to understand that and prepare for it.

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Image Source: Pixabay.com

Grow Your Own Food

One of the key things you can do to have a greener life is to start growing your own food. And you’ll notice that more and more people are doing that these days. You don’t even need an allotment to do it. You can convert areas of your garden into a vegetable patch, etc. Growing your own food is a wonderful way to enjoy the freshest produce and save yourself some money in the process. It also allows you to learn the skills of planting and growing and feeding yourself naturally.

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Image Source: Pixabay

Limited Technology

Technology is so prevalent in life these days that many people have forgotten how to do things without it. There are a lot of things we take for granted these days because we have technology to do it all for us. So, to enjoy a more natural life, you need to make sure you limit your technology usage. This doesn’t mean you have to go all out Amish. But, you should try to cut down on the amount you use, and, where possible, refrain from using technology. This will give you a greater appreciation of the outside world and how wonderful nature can be sometimes.

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Image Source: Pixabay.com

Learn to Live off the Land

It’s important to learn valuable survival skills wherever you can, and that means living off the land. You can take weekend or week-long excursions to learn how to do this. You can also move to somewhere more remote so you can make full use of the natural resources that are around. Our ancestors used to live off the land all the time, and we have lost our way somewhat. If you can learn to do this, then you will have picked up some of the most valuable survival skills. It means that if anything were to go awry, and you had to survive in the wilderness, you’d be fine.

Having a more simple and stripped back existence is crucial for helping you live life alongside the environment. You want to try to turn your home into an eco-home and learn to live alongside nature a bit more. We get so caught up with technology these days that we wouldn’t survive without it. At least you’ll be okay if the apocalypse should hit!

This article was first seen at The Survival Place Blog: Environ-Home: Live Life Alongside the Environment With These Awesome Hacks

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One of the best ways to brace yourselves for the onset of cold weather, winter storms, and potential power outages is to prep your home for the season.:

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

As they say on Game of Thrones, “Brace yourselves. Winter is coming.”

One of the best ways to brace yourselves for the onset of cold weather, winter storms, and potential power outages is to prep your home for the season. And this is one of the nicest parts of prepping – quite a few of the cozy touches that you add to be more prepared are also delightful and decorative.

When summer begins to fade into fall, it’s the best time to begin preparing for the advent of winter weather. None of these tasks are particularly difficult, but they can be a little time consuming. Waiting until the last minute usually means that you’ll end up fighting the crowds who have also rushed to the store or that you’ll be going without something that could have made your power outage a lot more comfortable.

Here are a few ideas that will make you snug and safe during the cold months that lie ahead.

  1. Check your windows and doors. Make sure that they are in good condition and fit well. Drafts will not only make you uncomfortable but will let heat escape from the house. Now is the time to replace them if necessary.
  2. Reduce the draftiness of  your windows. If you can’t afford to replace your windows (or if you are a renter) you can still do several things to reduce the drafts from older windows. Caulk gaps between frames and brickwork and replace any damaged panes. If you live in an older home with single pane windows, apply window insulation film to help make them more weather tight. Finally, purchase or make fabric draft stoppers to place at the bottoms of your windows.
  3. Break out the heavy drapes.  Heavy curtains are more than just a decorative way to welcome colder weather. When you pull them shut at night, they can help to keep warm air in and keep cold air outside where it belongs.
  4. Use draft stoppers on external doors. (My favorite for doors that aren’t used all the time is this “twin” stopper that goes on both the inside and outside for double protection.)
  5. Check entrances to the attic and the basement. Treat these openings exactly like exterior doors. A great deal of heat can escape through the edges, and the cold from these unheated rooms can seep into the rest of the house if gaps are present. Seal them tightly with weatherstripping foam tape and draft blockers.
  6. Make sure you have an alternate light source in case of power outages. Solar lights charged during the day are excellent for children rooms, bathrooms, and stairways when night falls. Make sure you have a good quality flashlights for every member of the family. Headlamps are great for tasks in which you need your hands to be free.
  7. Stock up on fuel for your fireplace or woodstove. If you have a way to heat with wood, make sure you have adequate fuel,that it is cut to size, and that it is well seasoned. Dry wood produces less creosote and lessens the chance of chimney fires. I
  8. Make sure you have a secondary heat plan. If you do not have a woodstove or fireplace, be sure that you have a backup heat system. I strongly recommend the Mr. Buddy heater. It is one of the few propane devices that is rated to be used safely indoors.
  9. Get a carbon monoxide alarm.  These inexpensive devices could very well save your life. Be certain to get one that is battery-operated, because the most likely time you will need it is when the power is out. If you’re using a secondary heat method or a generator, make certain you have adequate ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  10. Do you have enough quilts and blankets? That may sound like a silly question but you would be surprised how many people move to colder regions and haven’t considered this. Take the time now to launder them so that they are fresh and clean in the event of an emergency.
  11. Make sure you have enough games and things to do. If there is a chance you will all be at home for an extended time without power, you’re going to want to keep the kiddos entertained. Children get very bored when the initial excitement of three feet of snow has worn off, especially if their usual entertainment requires electrical power or internet access. Here’s a list of 30 ways to keep them occupied. And don’t forget the grown-ups. Keep books and craft supplies on hand for the adults too!
  12. Invest in cute wooly socks and slippers. Keeping your feet toasty warm will help you maintain your body temperature in cold weather, especially if you have floors instead of carpets.
  13. Check your food supply. Do you have enough basic supplies, no-cook food, dry milk, and emergency food buckets for a couple of weeks without a trip to the store?
  14. Do you have a way to cook if the power goes out? If you have a gas-powered kitchen stove, it may still work without electrical power, but that isn’t guaranteed. Have at least one backup cooking method like a rocket stove.
  15. Make sure your snow shovel is in good condition. Repair or replace if not.(This ergonomic one is easier on the back.)
  16. Store some de-icing suppliesRock salt can help melt ice on sidewalks and driveways, and the grit provides extra traction for safer walking.
  17. Make sure you have several good sized thermoses.  You can fill a thermos with hot drinks or soup to reduce the need to reheat throughout the day.
  18. Keep lids on warm beverages. Break out the travel mugs to keep your coffee or cocoa hot for longer.
  19. Stock up on prescription and over the counter medications. Make sure you have enough necessary medications and basic OTCs to last through an extended storm. Consider also feminine hygiene products, diapers, and any special needs items that infirm family members may require.
  20. If you rely on a well, you may not have running water during a power outage. Make sure to store drinking water, and consider purchasing a water bob. These can be placed into the bathtub and you can use them to catch any of the water that might be remaining in the pipes and store it for emergency use.
  21. Check your pipes. Are pipes that are on the exterior of the house or against outer walls properly protected from the cold? If a water pipe freezes, it can rupture, causing an enormous mess (and expense) when it thaws.
  22. A power bank is invaluable to keep your cell phone charged. Not being able to communicate, especially if one parent is stuck and can’t get home, adds to the stress of the situation, especially for children. My favorite is the Jackery Bar.
  23. Make sure walkways and driveways are clear of debris. Pick up downed branches, clear off leaves, and make sure that walkways are clear. This will make your life much easier when shoveling snow.
  24. Put candles on display. Part of your fall/winter decor may include candles. While decorative, they’ll also be handy in the event of a power outage by providing immediate light. (Be sure to keep a lighter nearby.)
  25. Decorate your living areas with cozy throws. Soft, fuzzy blankets not only look inviting, but they can also help keep your heat bill down when nobody is able to resist curling up under them.

Do you have anything special that you do to make life more pleasant at your home during a winter storm or emergency? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: 25 Cozy Ways to Prep Your Home for Winter

About the author:

Daisy Luther is a single mom who lives in a small village in the mountains of Northern California, where she homeschools her youngest daughter and raises veggies, chickens, and a motley assortment of dogs and cats.   She is a best-selling author who has written several books, including The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource.  Daisy is a prolific blogger who has been widely republished throughout alternative media. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health, self-reliance, personal liberty, and preparedness. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

home-securityBy Tess Pennington – Ready Nutrition

Many believe burglaries are crimes that occur out of desperation, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, the motivation that drives many criminals is simply opportunity. Such is the case for why home break-ins occur around Christmas time while homeowners are away at work. All a criminal needs to do is make a quick entry, grab all the gifts perfectly surrounded by a Christmas tree and they are out the door faster than you can blink. Here are some facts to gain a better perspective on what you are facing:

  • According to the U.S. Department of Justice, every 15 seconds a home in America is burglarized and the homeowner typically suffers a loss of nearly $2,000 in stolen goods or property damage.
  • Most burglaries take place between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • The majority of break-ins are committed by burglars who live nearby.
  • Burglars tend to avoid homes with security systems.
  • Most criminals can burglarize a home in less than ten minutes.
  • Almost 30% of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door or window.
  • An astonishing 34% of burglars enter through the front door.
  • Burglars usually go to the master bedroom first.
  • The average property dollar loss per burglary is a staggering $2,251.
  • Someone is home during nearly three out of every ten burglaries.
  • Only 13.6% of burglaries in 2014 resulted in arrests.

Given these startling statistics, break-ins can be avoided altogether by using common sense and mindfulness. Here are some simple security measures to take to ensure your home stays out of the watchful eye of an intruder.

1. Keep security layers in mind

Having security layers in place is the best possible preventative measures to deter possible criminals from marking your home as an easy target. These security layers will advertise to intruders that they should avoid your home altogether. Designing a home defense systemthat includes multiple security layers is a proactive way to protect your home, family, and belongings. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools at your disposal for keeping your property safe. Most of them cost significantly less than an alarm system, and all together can provide several layers of security to your home. Below are seven awesome tools for keeping your place safe during the holiday season. These affordable items are a great start to beefing up your home security.

  1. Door club
  2. Wireless LED spotlight
  3. Fake TV burglar deterrent
  4. Digital lamp timers
  5. Sentry security bolt safe
  6. Hidden safes
  7. Security system
  8. Curtains and/or blinds on windows
  9. Use a wooden dowel on sliding doors and windows

Read more about these

2. Keep security supplies near vulnerable areas

Those that are preparedness-minded are always vigilant about ensuring the safety of their family members. In that same vein, children should know the basics of the family emergency plan and safety rules like not opening the door to strangers.

As well, having some basic safety/security supplies near the most vulnerable areas of the home (key entry points, garages, etc.) would be advantageous if you find yourself face to face with someone attempting to break-in. For examples, near the entry points in my home, we have a decorative basket that blends into the decor but has items such as flashlights, an emergency whistle, multi-tools and/or a knife. As well, if you do not have children in the home, you can also strategically place a handgun, clips or a non-lethal weapon if you choose. You can strategically place these items near vulnerable spots of the home.

  • The front door
  • The backdoor
  • The bedroom
  • Living room

Another vulnerable part of the home is windows. Burglars love to “window shop”. If you keep your curtains or blinds open, this will give them an opportunity to take a peek into the home. Moreover, if you have picturesque bistro tables and chairs, they can easily be used against you. Criminals will throw them against windows for fast entry. Installing shatter-proof window film on windows will help prevent this.

While we love a beautifully landscaped yard with shrubs and bushes cut low, this can also make for easy entry into the home. You can add bushes and landscaping to help deter criminals from marking your home. Plants with thorns such as roses, bougainvillea or blackberry bushes are great choices for securing the outer perimeter of the home. At the very least, secure the windows from becoming entry points with window alarms to alert you or your neighbors to a break in.

Speaking of yard and landscaping, how many of you have a ladder that you forgot to bring in? Criminals will look around for tools they can use to gain entry. The second story of a home is typically more lax when it comes to security. If you are guilty of this one, lock up your ladder in your garage.

3. Focus on the entry points

The most common way for an intruder to get into your home is through the door. Make this your first priority in reinforcing your security. The best method is to install door frame and hinge reinforcements on the front and back doors. This security solution is made of galvanized steel and can prevent single entry door kick-ins and stop intruders before they are inside. Moreover, you might also want to consider installing a deadbolt. Even the strongest reinforced steel door can be neutralized by one swift kick if your lock does not extend deep enough into the door frame.

As well, gaining entry into a garage is another essential entry point to secure. It takes less than six seconds to break into a garage if the criminal knows how. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to prevent this.

3. Be aware and know thy neighbors

Having a pleasant relationship with neighbors who stay at home is a beneficial relationship to have. They can keep an eye on your home while you are at work and you can reciprocate in a way that helps them out. Knowing who your neighbors are, what type of cars they drive and usually the time they are home, creates a neighborhood that is actively practicing OPSEC and awareness.

4. Don’t draw unwelcome attention to your home

We typically assume those living around us are respectful of property, but this isn’t always the case. Those living in residential areas bring unwanted attention to themselves when they rid their home of the large boxes marked with brand names or pictures of products. This happens frequently during Christmastime. That new flatscreen television box or video game system packaging will scream, “Come steal me!” to criminals. Be mindful and load up boxes and drop them off at a recycling center. This will reduce the eyes on the prize. As well, boxes are one the easiest items to repurpose. On a personal note, I have broken down boxes and used them to create a lasagna-style garden. This cut down on my trash load and helped me create a more sustainable lifestyle.

5. Let there be light!

Illuminating the perimeter is single-handedly one of the easiest security measures to take. Simply put, dark or poorly lit areas make it easier for burglars to go unseen. Motion sensing security measures will quickly signal you to trouble if it’s out there. As well, indoor timers for lamps and indoor lighting can help to fool anyone creeping around where they shouldn’t be. Remember, the main goal of burglars is to get in and get out unseen. If they think someone is home, they will think twice before entering.

Everyone wants to believe that they are safe and sound when they latch the windows and lock the doors. With the increase in crime, jobless rates, and increased food prices, home break-ins are likely to be on the rise. Take some incentive to review your family preparedness plans and beef up your home security measures! The investment in your home security will pay off for years to come.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition: 5 Lifesaving Security Measures to Secure Your Home From Intruders

Additional Resources:

Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Home Security: Securing the Doors

Home Security: Securing the Windows

 About the author:

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

 

old secluded house

By Megan – Modern Survival Online

The one resource every prepper must have is a good bug out location. Some people even hope to completely relocate their family to their bug out location full-time before SHTF. The type of property you choose for your bug out location will depend on how you intend to use it, how large your family or survival group is, and your skill level with the tasks needed to maintain a survival property.

No matter how you intend to use your bug out location, the steps are the same. You must find it, prepare it, and protect it so that you can keep your family safe and secure during chaotic times. Finding the perfect bug out location can be a little overwhelming, there are some common desirables, but there are also a lot of things to consider. So, let’s break it down and see what each of those steps entails.

Find It

How you ultimately search for and find your bug out location is less important than the criteria that you use to select your bug out location. Some people find their bug out location using a traditional real estate agent; some people find their bug out property by shopping online; others rely on friends and family to alert them when a property comes available. You may find free land that works well or want to drive around an area you like looking for “for sale” signs.

No matter how you find your property, there are some key criteria to consider. Distance from home, location threats, and geographic resources are three key things to consider for any bug out property. As with any land purchase, no property will be perfect, so it’s best to consider all the criteria and then make informed compromises based on your unique needs and situation.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Online: Bug Out Location: Find It, Prepare It, Protect It

anonymity

By  – The Prepper Journal

Google is watching you. No matter which way you look at it, Google has a hand in what you search for, comment on, watch, download, share or publish. Every time you search for a location or use Google maps as a Sat-Nav that information is stored. If you type in the latest bestselling book, blockbuster movie or front-page celebrity, those searches are also saved. Websites send small packets of data known as Cookies, to help them remember you choices or personal information for the next time you visit. These Cookies help build an online profile which allows that creepy banner advert for the product you have just been looking at to pop up on a completely unrelated website, or your details to be remembered the next time you pay a visit your favorite online retailer. It’s like that odd shop assistant who always remembers who you are and what you want.

This detailed information is of course interesting to governments, law enforcement agencies and marketers, providing a very detailed map of a person’s movements, habits and preferences. Despite this unprecedented level of data collection and surveillance, there are ways to avoid being tracked and remain anonymous online.

It has never been so easy to track someone. Pretty much every person over the age of 5 has a small electronic device in their pocket that is constantly transmitting signals and revealing its location. Users even make tracking easier by searching for a nearby restaurant or asking Siri where the cheapest dog food can be found, giving away information on where we are going and why we are going there. All of this stored information can be accessed; Google Timeline provides a very spooky map of everywhere you’ve been since you created a Google account. Google also creates a nice history of every website you have searched for or visited. Yes, there’s the locally stored history everybody knows about and deletes after they’ve visited a website they’d prefer other computer users not to know about, but there’s also a more complex Google search history linked to your account. This can be accessed and cleared, unless you want Google to know exactly what you’ve been looking at since you created your account. You can also ask Google not to save your results or track your movements via your account preferences.

Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: How to Remain Anonymous Online

DIY survival tools

By  – SurvivoPedia

Let’s begin today’s article with a question: do you know what homo sapiens means? Well, I bet you do. But then again, how about homo faber? What’s the relation between homo sapiens and homo faber?

Translated literally, homo faber means “man, the maker.”

To put it simply, let’s assume that dolphins are very intelligent creatures since that’s what I hear constantly on National Geo and the Discovery Channel.

But that intelligence doesn’t help them much; they’re just the same as they were 500,000 years ago. Cute, intelligent creatures that constantly get caught in our fishing nets (by mistake) and they can’t get out. They often end up in tuna cans (that’s why I never eat tuna, but I’m digressing).

Are you starting to get the picture?

Homo faber is a peculiar creature, and I mean us, the people, the only “animals” on the planet which are able to control their environment through the use of – you guessed it – tools. Okay, tools and a juicy brain-to-body ratio. Some say that we control our fate too with those same tools, but I have my doubts about that.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: 5 DIY Survival Tools To Make From Scratch

The Right Way (And Wrong Way) To Care For Cast Iron

Image source: Wikimedia

By Steve Coffman Off The Grid News

There are several schools of thought to caring for cast iron cookware. Some see it as easy — a traditional skill they’ve long mastered and possibly learned from their parents or grandparents. Then there are those who see it as some sort of arcane ritual, fraught with confusion and the possibility of error. And then there are people like me who actually have started fires in the kitchen trying to season cast iron cookware. More about that little episode later. The reality is that taking care of your cast iron is incredibly easy and requires minimal effort — and just a little bit of oil or grease.

Seasoning Your Cast Iron

Many new cast iron pieces come pre-seasoned — that is to say they already have oil more or less literally baked into the pores of the iron, which forms a durable, non-stick coating in the pan. If you’ve got cookware like that, great.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: The Right Way (And Wrong Way) To Care For Cast Iron