Hurricane Katrina

All posts tagged Hurricane Katrina

HurricaneSurvivalGuide

By Pat Henry – The Prepper Journal

Hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean runs from June 1st to November 30th with a sharp peak in activity from late August through September. It was precisely this time period that Hurricane Katrina descended upon the gulf causing a still unknown number of deaths and over 108 billion dollars of damage. The resulting chaos and horror shocked and moved millions of people to lend assistance in the aftermath of this tragedy. After the storm left and the cleanup process began, millions more began to make preparations for themselves so they wouldn’t be faced with some of the tragedy the victims in the gulf had to live with.

Ten years later, the effects of Katrina still linger. The towns impacted are still not completely restored and may never be as they once were. The anniversary and season should be an opportunity for anyone who lives in areas prone to hurricanes to reflect on their preparations and make sure they have what is needed should a hurricane be forecast in the future. The list below isn’t exhaustive but I think it covers most of the bases that a good hurricane survival guide should account for. If you have taken care of the items below you will be much better off than many who survived hurricane Katrina. This list could end up saving some lives.

Should you stay or should you evacuate?

The decision to stay or evacuate needs to be evaluated early and often. At a certain point in the storm you will not be able to leave. Deciding quickly and before the storm is too near, based upon your circumstances and the forecast from the weather experts is best.

The strength of a storm is one indicator of the severity of damage you can expect. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is what is used to define and classify hurricane strength.

Category 1 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 74-95 MPH

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

Category 2 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 96-110 MPH

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 111-129 MPH

Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

Category 4 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 130-156 MPH

Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Category 5 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 157 MPH or higher

Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

To see an animation of the effects of the different wind intensities, check out this video below.

If you do decide that you will be evacuating, there are some other considerations.

  • Know where you are going – Don’t hit the highways without a plan or expect you will just find a hotel down the road an hour. During Katrina hotels were completely booked hours away from New Orleans in all directions. Having a friend or family member within a reasonable driving distance would be better.
  • Don’t wait until the last-minute – Roads out-of-town during an evacuation quickly become clogged with traffic. There are accidents, people run out of fuel and the whole interstate system can become a giant parking lot. If you are leaving, make sure you beat the crowd. In addition make sure you have a full tank and plenty of additional fuel. You may not be able to get to a gas station for many hours.
  • Plan on delays in coming back – Even after hurricanes have passed road conditions or security concerns can delay people from getting back to their homes. If you are forced to evacuate make sure you have proof that you live in your home. This can be as simple as a couple of bills and your driver’s license with current street address.
  • Lock house – This may sound obvious but before leaving you should lock your home up as tightly as possible and make preparations for debris.
  • Let friends, relatives and neighbors know where you are going – It is a good idea that someone knows where you are headed. This can be the people you are going to stay with or family members in other states. You don’t want them worrying about whether you are still alive if they aren’t able to contact you. Knowing you left before the hurricane hits will ease their mind and let them know hopefully how to reach you later.
  • Turn off power at the main breaker box – This should prevent any electrical damage that could be caused if your home is flooded.

Flooding is a major risk in hurricanes. Even well after the storm has passed.

Assuming you are staying put, you can expect services to be out and it helps to take some steps ahead of any outages to deal with issues as they arise after the hurricane.

What supplies do you need for a hurricane survival kit?

  • Water – At least one gallon per person for two weeks.
  • Food – Make sure you have at least a few days, better a month’s worth of food for each person. Your individual bug out bag is tailor-made for a short-term scenario like this and each should have many of the supplies on this list already.
  • Generator – A generator is perfect for situations like hurricanes as long as you have enough fuel. I would make sure to have at least a weeks’ worth of fuel on-hand but you likely won’t need to run your generator non-stop. You can store fuel for a very long time with a good fuel stabilizer. If the power is out you should not connect your generator to you home without a power transfer system. Ideally, you cut off power to the city electric and switch your home over to generator power. This will prevent anyone working on the line from getting electrocuted by your generator.
  • Battery operated radios – The simplest way to hear the news in a disaster situation like a hurricane is a good weather radio. This will not only warn of any additional approaching storms or floodwaters but keep you up to date with the situation outside your neighborhood if you are unable to get out. Spare batteries are a must.
  • Cash – No power means no AMT machines. Make sure you have a good amount of cash well before you are unable to get it out of the bank. This can make purchases after the hurricane much easier if credit card machines are down.A well stocked first aid kit, not a box of band-aids is a must in emergency situations.
  • One month medicine – Need any medicine to stay alive? Make sure you have enough stocked up to ride out the rebuilding process. Your local pharmacy might not be open for several days or months if they are struck directly. I would also stock up on your basic pain relievers and anti-inflammatory as well as any children’s fever reducing medicines you could conceivably need.
  • Can opener – Sure you can open a can without a can opener, but it is much simpler if you have a manual can opener to get to all of that non-perishable food you have in the pantry.
  • Flashlights – I recommend headlights for close in work like seeing what you are cooking, making your way through a dark building or assisting others. Headlamps allow you to be hands free. They are perfect for most situations, but a backup high lumen flashlight will really cut through the dark and could help in rescue situations.
  • First aid kit – Every family should have a very well stocked first aid kit. Moving around after a hurricane can cause injuries like burns or major cuts. You will need supplies to dress these wounds and keep them free from germs.
  • Charcoal/gas for grills – Grilling out is usually the best method of cooking when the grid goes down. Take those steaks out of the freezer and have a big party. After that, you can make pretty much any meal with the right cookware and some imagination on a grill.
  • Plastic tarps – Tarps are very light, cheap and useful. They can be used to keep you dry, temporarily patch roofs or keep the sun off your head. You should have several tarps around for general use.
  • Tools/wood/nails – These can be used to close off windows or make repairs after the storm is over.
  • Baby supplies (Diapers, wipes, formula) – The little ones need supplies too. Make sure you have a month worth of items they will need just in case.
  • Cleaning Supplies – You will still need to clean up and if you don’t have any running water, some simple cleaning supplies could make the job easier. If you home is damaged from flooding you will need a lot of bleach to disinfect everything that has come in contact with the flood waters. Disinfecting wipes, rags, scrubbing pads, sponges and cleaning gloves.
  • Mosquito repellent – Hurricanes never happen when you want them too. In hurricane areas you will likely still have hot sticky days and the mosquitoes will flourish in any flooded areas. Make sure you have plenty of repellent to keep them at bay.
  • Water filtration method/system – I prefer to always have a backup water filtration system that I can use for my family. I do have water stored, but eventually you may need to find sources and filter the water so it is safe for drinking. I have both a Berkey Light filter and Platypus GravityWorks. These two are dead simple to use and filter a lot of water quickly.

Hurricane Ivan

Do you have a pet survival kit?

You can’t forget about your pets either in a time like this and they should be taken with you if you decide to evacuate. You don’t want them left to die as so many were in Hurricane Katrina.

  • Make sure they have a collar with identification (rabies/Tag) so if you are separated, they will know who your pet belongs to. I would also add a tag with a (if found call) written on it.
  • Carrier if your pet is small enough and a leash regardless.
  • Plenty of food for two weeks minimum
  • Bowls for food and water – Collapsible bowls can be used in a pinch and take up less space.
  • Any medication your pets need
  • Poop bags for dogs. A litter box and spare litter for cats
  • Can opener if your food is in a can

This list isn’t everything you could possibly need, but hopefully it is a start and helps some of you to be more prepared for hurricane survival if you find yourself in that situation. Please let me know your ideas to add to this hurricane survival guide. Stay safe!

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: Hurricane Survival Guide

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power outage power pack generator

By Adam C

Power failures are so common across the aging American electrical gird that it’s a good idea to plan for their eventuality. Even if the duration of the power failure is short (as most are), there is an inconvenience factor with a power failure that could turn into somewhat more than just an irritant if the situation extends longer.

At some point, you need to start worrying about things like heat, refrigeration, and perhaps even power for medically essential devices like oxygen and dialysis machines. Mostly, the American people have embraced generators for this purpose. Big or small, fixed or portable, an internal combustion generator is a ready source of power for short periods – or even extended periods if you have the fuel to run it of course. Gas, propane or natural gas generators are workhorses that need relatively little maintenance and are easy to use. They do have some shortcomings, however:

  • Internal combustion generators are relatively loud. With the exception of some compact footprint four stroke units, most generators are so loud as to be heard for miles. The noise isn’t just a nuisance; it is a tactical issue in that some undesirable people will readily hear your generator running from a distance and decide that perhaps you are better prepared than they are, and just maybe you need to share some of that preparation. Situations like these ones have played out many times right here in America, up to and including during Hurricane Katrina.
  • For obvious reasons, generators can’t be positioned inside your home. Oftentimes, this means long extension cords that are subject to voltage drop as well as the need to keep a door or window partially open to run that cord into the house, which is a bigger problem than you think when it’s freezing cold outside.
  • Generators need maintenance in the form of oil changes as well as all the other maintenance issues that are peculiar to internal combustion engines. Even if you have a generator that sits for a year without being used, you need to perform maintenance on to ensure it will start when you need it most.

An Amazing Breakthrough In Compact Portable Backup Power!

While the humble generator’s place is firmly cemented in the arsenal of the prepared citizen as an emergency power device, there is another gadget that bears looking at: the Power Pack. Marketed under a variety of different names, a power pack is nothing more than a large battery coupled with a built-in inverter and sometimes possessing a handful of AC wall plug style outlets, among other things. (Some even have USB ports.) The premise behind a power pack is simple: The DC battery within the unit puts out voltage which is converted into AC power by the onboard inverter, resulting in voltage that your household appliances can use. When not in use, the power pack is usually left charging from a wall jack so that it is good to go the second it’s needed.

Power packs are not a new invention, but they are rapidly gaining market share due to battery technology increasing to the point where a sealed battery can be small enough and powerful enough to be coupled with an inverter that is large enough to run household necessities. Sure, you could buy an inverter and a battery separately, but many of the power packs on the market today are well-engineered and absolutely idiot-proof. Just plug your devices in and go!

Power packs make lots of sense in an emergency, mainly because they are absolutely silent in operation, and can be used indoors, where the appliances you need to power normally happen to be located.

While a solar or internal combustion generator might be a better idea than a power pack for long-term power failures, a power pack is a better choice for events that last a day or less. Here are the ups and downs:

Pro:

  • Power packs are totally silent.
  • You can leave the unit inside your home since they do not give off fumes or carbon monoxide.
  • Never needs maintenance.
  • Unlike a solar generator, does not need sunlight.
  • Unlike an internal combustion generator, does not need fuel.

Con:

  • Large power packs approach the prices of medium-sized gas generators.
  • Power packs have a finite lifespan in which they can deliver power. Once the internal battery is drained, they need to be recharged with a steady electrical source. Contrast this with a gas or solar generator.
  • If you need to power something over 2000 watts for an extended period of time, you need to look at another technology.

Overall, power packs are a good addition to any survival tool box. They are not a perfect solution, but then, very little is during a survival situation. Still, they bear looking at for their sheer convenience during small- and medium-sized power failures. – Off The Grid News

community

By

When a SHTF scenario happens, society as we know it begins to breakdown. We can no longer depend on the emergency services of police, military, and fire department for protection, shelter, and supplies. The truth of the matter is that when this happens, the greatest resources available for survival, will be each other.

The first reaction that most people have when thinking about this situation is to hole up, defend their own territory, and let others fend for themselves. It’s a legitimate response.

Those who are prepared will have family and supplies to protect in order to survive.Individuals who did not prepare will soon sink into criminal behavior to try and have their basic needs met, meaning raids, thefts, and other crime will skyrocket.

While this is definitely scary and something that needs to be thought about, the truth still remains. Our greatest chance of making it is by leaning on each other.

Planning Ahead and Choosing Leadership

The best way to survive in a post-SHTF scenario is to prepare for every situation before it happens. This means that you need to find others in your community who are like-minded and understand the value of being prepared for the worst.

Schedule a meeting with all of the preppers in your area. The goal for this parley is to form a plan for when things fall apart.

First order of business is to establish a system of community leadership. Debate rigorously with one another to determine what type of leadership system would best benefit the group, and then elect leaders to different positions.

A good suggestion is to have a council of leaders, with a person heading up the council. This type of organization helps boost morale and helps people to feel a bit more secure. Having structure helps add a bit of normality to the situation, since we have all lived under some type of government our whole lives.

You want the council leader to be someone who has the respect of the entire group, and who has a track record of moral uprightness. A person who not only knows how to make smart decisions, but can be an example to the rest of the group. Organizational skills are a must.

Everyone Has a Job to Do

SONY DSC

In a post-SHTF scenario, it is going to be critical to make people feel like they are a part of your community.

Tensions and fears will be high, and in order to prevent people from cracking under the pressure, they need to take ownership in the group.

One of the many hats a leader must wear is that of community organizer. Leadership will need to take stock of the skills that each member of the group brings to the table, and then assign them a role to help serve the interests of the group.

True survivors in these situations are good stewards of resources, and the greatest resources you have are the skills of each human being in the community.

Establishing the Rules

It’s also crucial for communities to have established rules that each member of leadership and the group agrees to live by.

A set of rules that allow for personal freedom and liberty are always preferred. These rules or laws will provide a structure that will help people feel secure and protected. It also helps establish what to do with individuals who break the rules of the group and what should be done to prevent others from participating in similar behavior in the future.

Following the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is an outstanding idea. These are laws that have stood the test of time, and are the beacons of freedom. Following them as a guideline in this situation is a good way to help respect one another and keep things civil.

If the unprepared want to be part of your group, you will need to come up with a process for vetting their character to make sure they aren’t a threat to your people. Use a vote by the entire group to determine whether the individual should be let in.

Manage Resources

You will need to appoint someone to help take stock of resources and to track their use in order to make sure the group does not run out of supplies. This isn’t just for food, tools, and building materials. Each member of the group will more than likely have a home. Use these homes to your advantage.St. Vincent de Paul food boxes

If you all live in close proximity to each other, use one home as a mess hall for all the meals. Use another location for storage. Each of these separate locations will make it easier to defend and make use of all the space you have available.

In Conclusion

Nobody wants to think about this type of situation happening, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t.

It’s better to have a plan in place in case the current structure of the country crumbles. We stand a better chance of making it through a situation like this if we all put effort into getting along and working together.

That’s what survival is all about. What good is surviving if you’re all alone? – Survivopedia

Find out more about long term survival on The Prepper’s Blueprint.

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3.

barter new graphic

By

Whether people realize it or not, the bartering system is still alive and well. We do it every single day, when we go to the grocery store, the gas station, and when we pay the rent. In case you aren’t familiar with the barter system, it’s pretty easy to understand. It can be defined simply as the exchange of goods or services between two people. For example, if you needed your car repaired, you would go to a mechanic who would require some form of payment in exchange for his services to fix up your automobile.

Today, we barter with paper money issued by the government. At one time in history, not all that long ago, this paper currency was backed with gold, giving it real value. Since leaving the Gold Standard, the currency issued by the government basically only has value because the Treasury says it does. In a SHTF-type of scenario, paper money is completely and utterly useless. In order to survive in a world without government backed currency, you will need to be able to barter with other survivors to get the supplies you and your loved ones need to survive.

Most people today feel safe and sound in the current government issued currency situation, and don’t believe that anything is going to happen to upset things. However, all one needs to do is look at what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. People were stuck without any access to funds or outside help, so they were strictly on their own for survival. In order to get what you need in that type of crisis, you must know how to get supplies from those who have them, by having something they need in return.

Here are a few rules to live by when it comes to bartering with other survivors in a SHTF situation. Keep in mind that your life may depend on your ability to barter and acquire food and other supplies, so take these to heart.

Items That Are Absolutely Essential

barterThe type of items you need to make it through a SHTF situation can be broken down into two groups. The first group is made up of items you absolutely must have in order to live. The second group is creature comforts.

Two things you must have in order to survive are food and water. These two are your number one priority. Since you need these items to live, that means others do too. If you have livestock and crops, these can be as good as gold in a bartering situation. By trading food and water you can almost guarantee you will get whatever you need from someone looking to trade. Make sure that you have a way to replenish your supply before you begin to trade these items, otherwise you will be in big trouble.

Another important group of items you will need is camping and hunting gear. Hunting will be one of your main sources of getting high protein food to eat and sustain your strength. Any item that can be used to survive away from urban areas will be great for trading with other people. Be sure to visit local hunting and outdoors shops and stock up on supplies when they are putting items on sale. This will make sure that when things go south, you will have “currency” to trade with those who don’t have the means of hunting or finding suitable lodging.

Creature Comforts

The second group of items both to barter with and for are comfort items. These are items that aren’t necessary to sustain life, but they do make things more comfortable, and a little less dark.

Hygienic supplies like soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper are some of the best supplies to trade with. Staying clean is incredibly important to your health and safety. In a SHTF situation, a cut or scrape that gets infected could lead to death. Stock up on soap and toothpaste and you will have commodities that everyone needs, making you “wealthy” in this type of world.

Another comfort item that is good for barter is alcohol. People love their booze, even in a world that’s fallen completely apart. You will be surprised at the great lengths individuals will go to in order to get a cup of moonshine.

Tips to Knowbarter a-n

  • If you are bartering with someone, it’s like playing a game of poker. You don’t want to give away too much information in your body language or facial expressions. Keep a straight face! Do not let the other person see that you are in desperate need of the items they have. If someone sees that you need something badly, the price of the exchange will go up.
  • Always ask the individual you are bartering with what type of items they are looking for. You do not want to show off your entire inventory to someone you don’t know. Start with the items that are of lesser value and work your way up to the valuable ones. Showing off the best you have first could cause you to be harmed by someone who is desperate for that item.
  • Avoid trading with weapons at first. While items like guns and ammunition can be extremely valuable in survival situations, they can also be deadly. Trading with someone you don’t know well could lead to someone taking the weapon and using it on you. At that point they will also have access to your entire inventory, leaving you with nothing.

While no one wants to have a situation like this occur, the reality is that we never know what is going to happen day to day. It is better to learn these skills and be prepared, so that if that day comes, you aren’t the desperate one roaming around for the basics of life. Stay well supplied and stocked with the materials mentioned above, and you will be well ahead of the curve when the SHTF. – SurvivoPedia

Find out more about long term survival on Prepper’s Blueprint.

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3.

water filter

By Rich M

While stockpiling food is an important part of preparing to face a disaster, your stockpiling shouldn’t be limited to just food. Experience has shown that in the face of a major disaster, much more than the food supply line is severed.

If we look at Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, we find that pretty much all of the infrastructure goes down in the face of a major disaster. The people living in those areas were without electricity, fresh water, sewage service, communications, police protection and much more. In a sense, it was if they were isolated from the rest of the world. Many things that we depend upon daily were lost to them.

Those things didn’t come back quickly, either. Probably the first part of the infrastructure to return was electric service. Power companies from other parts of the country sent in emergency crews to help with restoring power to the people affected by the storms. Even so, most of the people didn’t have electrical service for more than two weeks. The other services couldn’t begin to be restored until then, because everything depends upon electrical power.

Remember, those were regional events. Should we have the misfortune of being struck by a nationwide event, it would take much longer to restore electrical service; which means everything else as well. It has been speculated that in the case of an EMP attack, electrical service will take eight months to restore.

Just like with your food, you want to have enough other supplies to get your family through the crisis, should a major disaster eliminate the infrastructure we depend upon. Essentially, your food supplies and your other supplies should parallel. In other words, if you have a year of food supplies, you should have a year’s worth of as many other supplies as you can. For some types of supplies, that may be extremely difficult to manage.

Produce Boiling Hot Water, Anywhere, Anytime With Absolutely No Power Whatsoever…

The other option, instead of having a year’s worth of supplies, is to have an alternate plan. Let’s take electrical power for example. It would be cost prohibitive to have enough battery backup power to last a year. Likewise, trying to store enough gasoline to run a generator for a year would be impossible. Gasoline doesn’t store well over long periods of time. So, instead of having enough batteries or gasoline, you need a plan to get by without electrical power or with the power that you can produce with your solar and wind power generators.

Determining everything you could possibly need to survive a disaster is a monumental task. No matter how hard you try, there are things you are going to miss. Nevertheless, the more you manage to prepare, the easier it will be for your family, when that time comes.

  1. Fuel – Gas pumps don’t work without electricity, so having some extra fuel on hand is a great idea. Not only will you need it for your car, but for your lawnmower and tiller, as well. While you can’t store gasoline for long periods of time, you can store some by rotating your stock.
  2. Heating fuel – In addition to fuel for the car, you’ll need fuel to heat your home, especially if you live in a colder climate. There are many ways that a home can be heated, such as by using a fireplace or a kerosene heater. Whatever method you choose, make sure you put in a good supply of fuel for it.
  3. Cooking – Your gas or electric stove probably won’t work when the power is out, unless you have a propane stove. You’ll need an alternate way for cooking, as well as fuel for it. That means both something to cook on and the fuel to run it. Gas-powered camp stoves (not the kind that use little propane tanks) are great for this; so is a barbecue grille. The fuel for cooking might be the same fuel you are using for heating your home, but if not, be sure to have an ample supply.
  4. Means of producing electricity – Our lives depend so much on electrical power that you’ll need some way of producing at least some. While you probably won’t be able to produce as much as you currently use, you can produce enough for your “critical systems.”
  5. Batteries – We use many devices that run off of batteries. Fortunately, one of the major battery manufacturers is now producing standard size batteries with a shelf life of 10 years.
  6. Water – You can count on needing a minimum of one gallon of clean drinking water per person per day. If you live in a hot climate, up that to two gallons. This is just for cooking and drinking, not washing. You can’t have too much water.
  7. Water purification system/supplies – There’s no way that you can store enough water for your family. A family of four needs a minimum of 120 gallons of water per month, just for drinking and cooking. You’ll need five times that much for washing, if you are extremely frugal with it. Be sure you have ample means of water purification, with a backup.
  8. Heirloom seeds – In the case of a prolonged recovery period from a disaster, your food stockpile may not be enough. Heirloom seeds are the old kinds of seeds, before GMOs came about. They are totally natural, excellent sources of nutrition and produce seeds to perpetuate your garden.
  9. Gardening equipment – Having a stockpile of seeds isn’t going to do much good if you don’t have the means to use them. Be sure you have the tools and the knowhow to turn those seeds into food bearing pants.
  10. Oil lamps and candles – With the electricity out, you are going to have to revert to lighting your home in the old-fashioned way. Don’t just depend upon flashlights (although you should have them), as your battery supply is finite. Candles and oil lamps store well, are inexpensive and provide adequate light.
  11. First aid kit and common medicines – Medical services are usually overloaded in the aftermath of any disaster. This won’t be the time to go to the doctor because the kids have the sniffles. Not only would you have to wait for hours, but you might have trouble getting there. Being able to treat injuries and minor ailments at home can be a lifesaver.
  12. Tools – Many disasters cause damage to homes. You may have to do extensive repairs to your home. Be sure you have what you need.
  13. Cleaning supplies – Many types of disasters bring general destruction, including making a mess of your home. If you are going to try and live in it, cleaning it up will be important; not only for comfort, but for health.
  14. Home repair materials – If you have to make some basic repairs, it’s a good idea to have the materials on hand to do them with. You’d be amazed by what you can do with a few sheets of plywood and some tarps.
  15. Personal hygiene items – Keeping yourself clean is another important part of maintaining your health. With the shortage of water that you’ll probably encounter, that’s going to be extra challenging. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toilet paper will be worth their weight in gold. Be sure to stock up on anti-bacterial hand cleaner as well, the kind where you don’t have to use water.
  16. Barter goods – In addition to the supplies your family will need, it’s a good idea to have a stock of goods just to barter with others.
  17. Firearms and ammunition – Unfortunately, social disorder attends many disasters. Looting, vandalism and general violence are common. You may have to protect your home and family. Don’t just buy guns, become proficient in their use.

I realize that this list covers a lot of ground, and it will be hard to gather all of this stuff, as well as gather the food you’ll need. Don’t expect to do it all in one week, or even one year. The point is to start on the journey. Every step you take brings you one step closer to being self-sufficient. Many people take years to build their stockpile to the point they want, build their alternate power supply, drill a well and learn new skills. This is an investment in your family’s future; as such, it takes time.

Don’t just stockpile the food and supplies either; learn how to use them. You should test everything you have and become proficient in its use. If you have an alternate method of cooking, try cooking that way. Better to make mistakes and learn before a disaster hits than to wait until it’s too late. – Off The Grid News

Prepper 2013

By Michael Snyder

Have you noticed that the mainstream media has a tremendous amount of disdain for preppers?  Even though there are now approximately 3 million preppers in the United States, most of the time the media ignores us.  But once in a while an editor in New York City or Los Angeles decides that it would be fun to do a story about the “crazies” that are preparing for doomsday.  And of course it is very rare for any piece in the mainstream media about preppers to be even close to balanced reporting.  Most of the time, news stories that report on preppers portray them as mentally unstable kooks and loons that everyone else in society should be laughing at.  But perhaps there is a deeper explanation for the contempt that the mainstream media has for preppers.  After all, those in the media are representatives of the establishment, and they are probably deeply offended on some level that we don’t have the same kind of blind faith in the system that they do.  The fact that so many Americans believe that the system is on the verge of collapse doesn’t make any sense to them, and instead of really looking into the truth of what we are saying, they would much rather dismiss us by labeling all of us a bunch of uneducated nutjobs on the fringe of society.

A few days ago, I came across another example of this demonization of preppers by the mainstream media.  The following are a few lines from a recent CNN article entitled “What I saw at the doomsday prepper convention“.  For the first few paragraphs the piece actually seems fairly balanced, but by the end of the article the author can’t resist openly mocking preppers and what many of them believe.  Just check out these zingers…

-”It’s so much more fun to worry about martial law than a hurricane. People like zombies as a marketing tool.”

-”I spot more than a few zombie-themed rifle targets at the show.”

-”Still, it was impossible to completely ignore the presence of an element many would consider reactionary.”

-”After a relatively measured primer on the threats of inflation, featured economist Dr. Kirk Elliot encouraged me to look into how the Rothschild and Rockefeller families continue to own the Federal Reserve”

-”Finally, at the end of my conversation with John Egger about the rise of ‘suburban homesteading,’ a man with a white shock of hair interjected himself into the conversation. ‘You know what chemtrails are?’ he asked, referring to another conspiracist trope that sees chemical tampering in jetstream vapor trails. ‘They’re changing the weather, then selling drought tolerant seeds. George Soros and Bill Gates are behind it.’ Egger nodded politely and smiled, tolerant of a potential customer’s eccentricities.”

-”While normalcy and centrism may be the goal for businesspeople like Cindy and Jim Thompson, it seems the preparedness lifestyle hasn’t completely shaken loose its extremists and kooks.”

And of course this is hardly an isolated example of prepper bashing.  The following is an excerpt from a Los Angeles Times review of the “Doomsday Preppers” television show on the National Geographic channel…

Still, it’s hard not to feel for young Jason from tiny Plato, Mo. (pop. 109), who is awaiting worldwide financial collapse with his homemade, nail-studded “mace-ball bat,” and that his is a life on the verge of going completely wrong. “I’m not afraid to have to kill,” Jason says, in his camouflage pants and dog tag, and there seems to be no question in his mind that it will come to that. (“Jason has always been a worrywart,” says his mother.)

Or for Big Al, from Nashville, who is getting ready for old-school nuclear war by digging down into the earth and surrounding himself with steel. (“I prefer not to use the term ‘bunker’ — to me, it’s an underground house.”) He spends months at a time by himself down there, training for the inevitable — which he expects to weather alone — cooking different combinations of canned goods and, you know, spending too much time alone. One leg pumps constantly as he talks.

The preppers don’t want my pity, of course — quite the opposite, I’m sure. The joke will be on me, they would say, when I am expiring from fallout or smallpox, being carried away in a tornado or torn apart by the hungry ravaging hordes. (I am not even prepared for the Big Earthquake that might more probably get me.)

Lovely, eh?

Would the Los Angeles Times mock other groups of Americans in a similar manner?

I think not.

LaughMeanwhile, as the mainstream media continues to mock us, there is a perfect example of why we should all be prepping that is unfolding right in front of our eyes.  The most destructive typhoon in the history of the Philippines is showing just how rapidly society can completely fall apart in the event of a major disaster…

The cries of the suffering carried through a small, cramped one-story clinic in typhoon-ravaged Tacloban where the medicine was all but gone Thursday, but the number of wounded in the hard-hit Philippine city continued to grow.

The clinic at the airport in the decimated capital city of Leyte province is one of the few places where those injured in Super Typhoon Haiyan and its aftermath can turn for help, what little help there is six days after the storm.

“We don’t have any medicines. We don’t have any supplies. We have IVs, but it’s running out,” Dr. Katrina Catabay told CNN. “Most of the people don’t have water and food. That’s why they come here. Most of the kids are dehydrated. They are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting.”

Most Americans assume that if anything like this ever happened here that the federal government would rush in and rescue them.

But what if the government didn’t come to rescue you?

Past disasters such as Hurricane Katrina have long since faded from the memories of many Americans.  How quickly we forget the lessons that we should have learned from past tragedies.

And what if there is an event such as a massive EMP blast that causes public services to go down permanently?

What would you do?

In the Philippines, there is widespread looting and rioting even though this natural disaster is only temporary and governments from all around the world are rushing in to offer assistance…

TV reports said security forces exchanged fire with armed men amid widespread looting of shops and warehouses for food, water and other supplies in the village of Abucay, part of worst-hit Tacloban in Leyte province.

While eight people were crushed to death when looters raided rice stockpiles in a government warehouse in the town of Alangalang, causing a wall to collapse, local authorities said.

Other looters still managed to cart away 33,000 bags of rice weighing 110 lb each, said Orlan Calayag, administrator of the state-run grain agency National Food Authority.

Warehouses owned by a food and drinks company were ransacked in the storm-hit town of Palo in Leyte, along with a rice mill in Jaro, said Alfred Li, head of the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Tacloban city administrator Tecson John Lim said 90 percent of the coastal city of 220,000 people had been destroyed, with only 20 percent of residents receiving aid. Houses were now being looted because warehouses were empty, he said.

If you don’t think that anything like this could ever happen here, you are just being delusional.  Americans are not any better than those living in the Philippines.  When something really, really bad happens in the heart of the United States, we will see mass panic and fear here too.

And most Americans are completely and totally unprepared for even a minor emergency…

44 percent of all Americans do not have first-aid kits in their homes.

48 percent of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies stored up at all.

53 percent of all Americans do not have a 3 day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes.

So instead of making fun of preppers, perhaps the mainstream media should be encouraging more people to prepare for future emergencies.

Someday major disaster will strike this nation, and what that happens it will be the preppers that will have the last laugh. – The American Dream