Survival skills

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Barter is a hot topic in prepper circles, so who better to share his real-world experience with trade in a dangerous situation than Selco?

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Barter is a hot topic in prepper circles, so I thought we should ask someone who has a lot of real-world experience with trade in a dangerous situation.

If you don’t know Selco, he survived a year in Bosnia when his city was blockaded. Supplies were not allowed in or out, and residents were left without utilities and services. This interview is in his own words.

How quickly did people turn to barter once your city was locked down?

It was a matter of a few weeks.

Actually, for ordinary folks, it was a matter of few weeks because we did not get the new reality right at the beginning of everything.

Later when I remembered that period, I realized that even right at the beginning of SHTF there were people who did not want to take money for goods. They asked for valuables like gold, jewelry, or weapon for goods that they had.

Some of them were smart enough to realize that money was gonna become worthless really soon, and even gold and jewelry were only good in the first period, and then only if you had a connection to outside world to exchange it for something useful.

Ordinary folks needed few weeks. It was a process that went from buying goods with money, then buying goods from people who still wanted to take money (at outrages prices) to the moment when money was worthless, and only goods for goods were accepted.

It was rare, but sometimes you could find someone who would sell you something for foreign money but at the 20-50 times bigger prices.

For example if pack of cigarettes cost around 1,50 German Mark (outside of the war region) we could buy that pack for 40 German Marks.

US dollar and Canadian dollar had even worse value.

Obviously, people would accept that money had connection to the outside world, and some of them ended up as millionaires because of that.

Same ratio was for precious metals and jewelery.

For small and quick trades, the usual currency were cigarettes, because of the percentage of people that smoked.

Even values were expressed often like “Oh, that’s worth 10 cigarettes.” In other situations it was ammunition-bullets.

How were trade items valued? If someone wanted to make a trade, who set the terms?

Nothing was fixed.

Through the whole period, the value of goods went up and down based on a lot of things.

For example if a UN food convoy managed to enter the city and some local warlord (usually) took it all, and the majority of the food was cans of fish, you could count on the fact that that month those types of cans gonna be cheaper then the month before. Or if that day’s US airplanes managed to “hit“ with airdrops in our area then MREs were going to be bit cheaper to find.

Sometimes a simple rumor (planted by rival groups) for example about “poisoned“ cans of cookies meant that people did not valued it so highly anymore.

Some things did not change value too much during the whole period, like alcohol, simply because it was available.

Other things’ value was a matter of the situation.

For example, if you had a sick kid at home, and you needed antibiotic and you spread that word, you could expect high price simply because you give that information that you need something really hard and fast.

But usually, we knew the value of things (goods) for that week for example, at least approximately.

What were the general rules of trade during this time?

The value of things and trading “rules on the ground“ were similar to trade rules at normal life flea markets.

A few of those “rules on the ground“ during the trade were:

  1. If YOU need something then the price is going up. (Do not look like you desperately need something.)
  2. Do not offer all that you got in “one hand“ or on one try. (Do not go to trade with your best shots all together, it looks desperate, and you are losing all the advantage then.)
  3. Do not ever give a reason for someone to take the risk of attacking you because you have way too cool stuff (or way too much stuff) with you. (Have some amount of food, or ammo, or whatever, do another trade at another time with more of that. Remember people will take chances if they calculate it is a risk worth taking.)
  4. Never give info how much of the goods you actually have at home. ( The reason is same as above.)
  5. Never do trade at your home (unless you trust the person 100%) because you never know to who you are giving valuable information about how much you have, what your home look like, how many people are there (defense) etc.
  6. Doing the trade in other trader s home might mean that you are at his “playground“ (or he is stupid) so you are losing the edge. You are risking of being on unknown terrain. Always try to choose neutral ground somewhere that you can control the situation, giving the opponent the chance to feel safe. (But not safer than you).

It is most important that you understand when SHTF (for real) system is out, and only thing that protect you from losing everything is you.

Trade is gonna be a matter of carefully planning. It starts with information about who has something that you need, then checking that information, and rechecking, and then sending information to him that you want to trade, then setting the terms about the place and number of people where you’re gonna do the trade.

Usually, there was a rumor or information about who was safe to trade with. There was information about people who like to scam other people during the trade. If you did a good and fair trade with a man you could “save him“ as a safe trader (to some extent) for future trade.

Everything else is matter of trust and skills.

Maybe, just maybe, if you are living in some nice small town there is gonna be something like a market, where people freely gonna exchange their goods between each other.

I never saw anything like that because it needs some kind of system to back it.

 

Trade when SHTF is a high-risk situation simply because it is about resources, and there is no law, no system.

Are skills or products more valuable?

In the long run, skills were more valuable, simply because you can not “spend“ your skills.

If you had medical skills you could expect that people over the time (through the word on the street) will hear that, and that you simply will have opportunities to get something for that skill.

I pointed out in an earlier article that when a serious collapse happens, things fall apart around you fiscally, there are no services, so skills for “repairing“ were valuable, and so were technical skills.

Medicines were substituted with home (natural) remedies so knowing that stuff was valuable, making simple cloth pieces was good, and repairing weapons. I knew people who did good because they made very basic cigar holders from wood and empty bullet shell simply because people smoked bad tobbaco hand rolled in paper.

Skills that made the new reality easier.

Skills were also more safe to trade simply because by attacking and killing you, the attacker cannot take away your skills from you.

What were the top physical items for barter? Do you recommend that people stock up on things specifically for barter? If so, what kinds of things?

In my case those were MREs, meat cans, alcohol, batteries, candles, cigarettes, weapons and ammo, drugs, and medicines… but if we are talking about the future, preparing, some things need to be mentioned.

There are lists about “100 things to store for SHTF“, and while they are good lists, they may be completely different from “100 things to trade when SHTF.”

Obviously when SHTF you will miss everything, because the “trucks are stopped“ and there are no stores and normal buying.

The basics that you need to cover are something that every prepper already knows: food, defense, water, shelter, fire, medicine, and communication.

Out of these essentials, you go in deeper. Like under medicine you’ll have antibiotics but also some knowledge about natural remedies. Under food, you’ll have cans but also some way to produce food like seeds or hunting or whatever.

If you are PLANNING to store things for trade then you need to have a strategy for that.

Let’s say you are storing huge amounts of food for you and your family for SHTF but you are also planning to trade that food for other items when SHTF.

Some advice for people who are counting to store things for trade are:

  1. Store things of everyday use, nothing too fancy. For example store rice or pasta (if that food is common in your region), lighters, batteries, or candles.
  2. Store small things, or in small packages, stuff that is gonna be easy to carry hidden on you, in your jacket, for example, lighters, spices, cigarettes, quick soups… not cannister of fuel, bags of wheat. I am not saying not to store fuel. I am saying it is much better to carry 20 AA batteries to trade then a 20-liter canister of fuel especially because value might be similar. Remember, do not give reason to anyone to take the risk of attacking you because you have something.
  3. Think about things that are cheap today, may have multipurpose uses when SHTF, and do not take too much space to store (alcohol pads or condoms for example).
  4. Think about things that you can “sell but keep“. For example, a solar panel with a setup for charging batteries for people. You are selling charging of batteries to people.
  5. NEVER be the “big trader“ or the person who has a lot of interesting stuff. Be the small person who is gonna offer good things through the network of a few people. Being big trader means attracting too much attention with too many cool things that you have. Hide your trading activities through a network of other traders.
  6. Understand today’s value and the value when SHTF. Think about the small things that save lives, antibiotics, anti-tetanus shots, povidone pads [iodine]. For example, candles are really cheap today but will be rare when SHTF.
  7. Do not underestimate things that are people addicted to, no matter what you think about it. Cigarettes, alcohol, or coffee (or whatever is case in your region) – the value will go way up.
  8. “Store“ skills and knowledge. It is best investment. Learn skills that are gonna be valuable like gardening, shoe repairing, clothes making. Maybe you can be the person who has knowledge about natural remedies.

Should you have precious metals as a means for buying goods when the SHTF?

Through human history, gold and silver were valuable. They were used for getting goods in all times, including hardest times like wars and similar.

Having precious metal for SHTF is big in the prepping community but I need to point out some things.

The value of gold went down during SHTF so much that you need to think about it very hard.

For example, in normal times (I am using these numbers as an example) you could buy with one gold ring 300 small cans of meat. When SHTF you could buy 20, and you could buy 20 if you could find a man who wanted to take that ring from you.

He did not usually want to take it because he could take stuff that he could immediately use, like weapons, drugs, or medicines.

He simply could not do anything immediately useful with it.

Having precious metals is a great idea for later, when some kind of system jumps in, because they are gonna be again precious.

Right in the middle of SHTF, the value of it is poor.

That is one of the reasons why some local warlords came out as very powerful people after everything. They simply took precious metal from folks for a “can of the soup“ value (or sometimes for nothing) and they had enough power to store that metal for the time when it would be valuable again.

Do not throw everything into precious metals. Store immediately useful things.

What were the top skills?

It was simple: skills that you might use to kill people or to heal them.

So fighting, security, medical skills, knowing herbal remedies, repairing a weapon, making a new one.

Right after those skills were skills about food.

Knowing what kind of herbs around us you could eat, or even knowing what kind of tree bark you could eat maybe, how to make some plants edible mixed with other ingredients, how to repair clothes and things in your home.

Were there markets for bartering or did people mostly do this in private?

In one period of time there was something like a market, but it was strictly under control of local warlord, so it was not smart to go there since you really could not know what to expect.

Almost all the trades were made in private arrangments after you got information about someone who had something that he wants to trade.

The best situation was if you knew that person prior the war so you had already built trust from before.

Scams were usual, attacks during the trade happened too, especially if the value of goods was high.

If you need to trade for something, do that in advance. In other words, do not wait to be completely without food and then go to look for food through the trade, because you are under pressure, you are desperate. It is not a good setup for trade.

How did you remain safe when trading goods and services? What were the risks?

The basic rule is not to go alone to trade.

The reasons are very simple because you have resources with you for trade, you are possible target so you need more security – more people.

The trade place usually needed to be checked for possible ambush or scam setup. You needed people for that.

You needed a guard during the trade, someone to check up things during your negotiation with the other trader, someone who was going to watch for things.

The ideal number of people was 3.

The risks are scams (bad goods) or an attack.

You could lower that risk by trading with known people or simply by showing enough force so that they understand it is not worth the risk.

Scams were avoided by checking goods of course. If you are buying batteries you need to check them all. You need to taste coffee – is it mixed with old coffee that was used and dried? Cigarettes packs were carefully opened and 1-2 cigarettes could be missing and the pack glued again.

It was like a chess game. 

What are some myths about barter that most people think are the truth?

Trade is probably the survival topic with largest number of myths.

It is partly because we like to think that somehow the world will collapse but the majority of people will live by the rules from normal times, and partly because we are influenced by movies, shows, and fiction books. 

“When SHTF people simply get all together and help each other, and that goes for trade too.“

No, actually when times get really hard people jump into survival mode, or perish.

For you it may mean that you ‘l be nice, and do only good things, for another, it may mean that he will do whatever it takes so he and his family survive.

That may include killing you over 3 MREs during the trade.

“When SHTF I will thrive because I stored a lot of things for trade, and I will simply be the biggest trader.“ 

It is possible. People did that and survived. And even got rich after everything was over.

But they had gangs around them, enough manpower to protect the goods, the control to not be overrun, and they were ruthless.

Most probably, you are an ordinary person who just wants to survive SHTF. You do not have 100 armed people with you. You just need to be small and careful.

You are not a warlord.

“When it comes to trade it is all about weapon and force.“

Actually, it is not.

It is about the correct mindset to decide what makes sense in that moment and what you really need (and what you do not). Weapons help a lot but do not solve the problem alone.

It is very similar to bargaining at a flea market with the possibility of violence.

Anything to add?

After years of being in the survival world, talking with other preppers and writing my articles I found out that a great number of people  think something like “I cannot wait to go to trade when SHTF!“

In reality, one of the points of careful preparing is to delay the moment when you need to go out and trade as long as you can.

Why?

Because you’re gonna need time to scan what is going on and who is who in the new collapsed world. You need to gather information about who is good and who is not, who is trusted and who is a scammer, what area is safe

If you need to go out on the 10th day in order to trade something maybe you are doing something wrong?

 

More from Selco 

More information about Selco

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution.

In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.

He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations like Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.

Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

Read more of Selco’s articles here: https://shtfschool.com/blog/

And take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge and advice by signing up for the outstanding and unrivaled online course. More details here: https://shtfschool.com/survival-boot-camp/

This article first appeared at The Organic PrepperSelco: The Reality of Barter and Trade in an SHTF Economy

About the author:

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of The Cheapskate’s Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find Daisy onFacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

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By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

With all of the horrific weather anomalies, and the increase in earthquakes and volcanoes over the past six months…pronouncing themselves especially just in the past week…there is a cause for concern.  In the article, Earth’s Magnetic Poles Show Signs They’re About to Flip – Exposing Humans to Radiation and Planet-Wide Blackouts,” written by Kastalia Medrano of Newsweek, NASA finally admits to a long-time fear – the Earth’s poles are close to shifting.

Here is an excerpt from that article:

“Historically, Earth’s North and South magnetic poles have flipped every 200,000 or 300,000 years—except right now, they haven’t flipped successfully for about 780,000 years. But the planet’s magnetic field is at long last showing signs of shifting. NASA”

“That devastation could arrive through multiple avenues. The combination of powerful space particles, like unfiltered solar rays, cosmic rays and ultraviolet B rays (the stuff your sunscreen bottle warns you about), would smash through our battered ozone layer and lead us the way of the dinosaurs.”

Why Is This Happening?

As you will read, the earth’s molten core of iron and nickel is beginning to leach out, affecting the magnetism of the entire earth.  Nothing about wildlife was mentioned in the article, but I point out this could very well explain some of the strange and bizarre behavior we have been witnessing regarding animals worldwide.

So, what can we do about such a thing?  I highly recommend reading the article.  It explains that with a magnetic shift we could see radiation levels increase around the globe, and several scientific firms suggest that parts of the planet could become uninhabitable, and at least inhospitable.

How to Prepare

I suggest visiting Cresson Kearney’s site that I have recommended repeatedly, for the book Nuclear War Survival Skills.”  You will be killing two birds with one stone: you should already be taking steps in case a nuclear war breaks out, as tensions with North Korea are high, and Russia and China are not our buddies, either.  Kearney diagrammed and detailed the levels of thickness and materials used for shelters, both home-expedient and those constructed for the specific purpose.  It also gives all the information you’ll need on radiation itself.

I also did a few articles in the past on radiation-removing supplements and herbs, such as zeolite clay, chlorella, and spirulina.  Along with Potassium Iodide supplies, it would behoove you to stock up on these materials.  A survey meter (Geiger counter) would be invaluable, as well as individual dosimeters.  Don’t smirk: you can still obtain them, and you should.  Also, while there’s still the time, I advise building a Kearney Fallout Meter from materials you can pick up at the grocery store and hardware store.  The complete plans for it are available on the site I mentioned above.

Advanced Tactical Gas Mask – Are You Ready for a Biological, Nuclear or Chemical Attack?

The NOAA and NASA websites are excellent sites for gathering information about what is currently happening.  In addition, as I have mentioned before in other articles, that military Lensatic compass would be a plus.  If and/or when the poles do shift, electronic equipmentsuch as digital compasses and wrist computers might not function, but the Lensatic compass will be going wild.  As a forethought to such, I strongly advise obtaining maps of your immediate area…good terrain-featured, topographical maps…the kind that gives landmarks you can find with your eyes.  Terrain association is an important skill.  If you’ve ever busted a compass and cannot verify the azimuth you’re walking on…the ability to see the terrain and match it to what you see on the map is invaluable.

That will get you started if you haven’t already begun.  In this case, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure…it can be worth much more than that.  Remember Aesop’s fable of “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” and if you have never read it, now would be a good time to print a copy and keep it where you can read it from time to time.  Herein lies the conundrum, for only the wicked flee when none pursue…but also, the wise saw trouble and took cover, while the foolish went on and was destroyed.  There is a balance for both, and (to paraphrase the Rolling Stones) time is on your side.  For now, if you make the most of it.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

This information has been made available by Ready NutritionNASA Admits Pole Shift is Close: Here’s What You Can Do to Prepare

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

 

How To Treat Gunshot Wounds When There’s No Doctor

By Rich M – Off The Grid News

Accidents happen; that’s a basic fact of life that we have to deal with. We have a huge medical infrastructure to deal with those accidents. Even so, the action that is taken immediately, at the time and scene of the accident, can be the most important part of treating the patient and ensuring their survival.

This is even more critical in situations where medical services may not be available. I don’t care if you’re talking about a post-disaster scenario, a hunting trip or hiking in the mountains, people can get hurt. In any of these situations, and many more, you’re unlikely to find a hospital emergency room, ambulance or even an EMT standing there, ready and waiting for you.

Active shooter situations, as well, warrant the need for quick first-aid. One of the things that has helped to reduce the number of deaths in some active shooter situations, even with the shooters creating more casualties, is a major difference in police response. Law enforcement agencies are training the officers on the street in trauma care, especially for gunshot wounds, and providing them with an IFAK (Individual First-Aid Kit). This allows officers arriving on the scene to pick one casualty, provide them with emergency treatment, and transport them to an emergency room in their cruiser.

You or I can do the same, with just a little bit of knowledge and a basic IFAK. Please note that this is different than the type of first-aid kits we can find at the corner pharmacy, as it is intended specifically for treating major trauma cases, especially gunshot wounds.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: How To Treat Gunshot Wounds When There’s No Doctor

bugging out

By Jesse – Modern Survival Online

Unless you are already experienced at travelling in the wilderness you might be surprised to learn that hypothermia is actually the most common cause of death.

It might seem difficult to believe but a beautiful hot day can quickly turn into a very cold night. This is why it is essential to think carefully before you pack for your wilderness trip.

It is also important to consider how much you can comfortably carry. Filling your car boot is one thing but you are unlikely to be able to carry everything!

To give you an idea of how dangerous any wilderness can be you should consider the fact that 250 hikers are rescued every year when hiking down and back up the Grand Canyon. This is a place where there is a set route and plenty of help; imagine how much worse it could be in the real wilderness!

These are the most important items you need when packing for the wilderness:

Clothing

Food and water are essential, but you’ll find that shelter is even more important.

You can survive approximately 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water but just 3 hours without shelter!

The reason why is simple, as the chill sinks in your judgment will be affected and you’ll be unable to make rational decisions which could save your life.

Clothing must be the first thing you pack. The best idea is to pack many layers this will ensure you can regulate your body temperature easily.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Online: Packing For The Wilderness – What To Take

 

By The Survival Place Blog – Staff Writer

When it comes to prepping and focusing on your survival plan, there is one unavoidable
issue that many people find themselves experiencing: where do you find the money to pay
for all this stuff?

There’s no way of sweetening the truth, unfortunately; prepping is an expensive business,
The reason for this is simple: you’re shopping for your life in the future, as well as trying to
maintain the budget you spend on the life you’re living right now. Finding the funds to
undertake all the survival strategies you want to have in place is undoubtedly going to cost
money.

Below, we’ll explore a few ideas you might want to either keep in mind or utilize for your own
purposes. If you have budgetary constraints that are damaging your ability to prepare
efficiently, then here’s what you need to know…

Getting started is the hard part

When you first begin to look into establishing a survival plan, you will find yourself needing to
find money for a variety of supplies. The initial cost of prepping can be extremely expensive,
so much so that some people decide to ignore the need to prep due to budgetary constraints
alone.

Try and see the starter phase as just that; something you have to endure that allows you to
make a start, and then things will settle down. Step one is always the hardest to take; just reassure yourself that the startup costs are not a true reflection of the amount of money you need to spend on a monthly basis.

When you have established the basics and fought through the starter phase, you should find that the demand on your budget becomes more reasonable. You should find that, in time, prepping will actually save you money if you do it correctly. So while the starter phase is tough and may lead you to having to go without a few luxuries, try to see it as a short-term pain for a long-term gain.

Start with an essential kit

Your first step for prepping should be an essential kit; something that you can transport or use at home. Thankfully, a basic kit does not have to cost the earth if you’re short on cash.

Here’s a quick list to get you started:

Baking soda

● Puts out fires,

● Can be used as a toothpaste and deodorant,

● Effective antacid for stomach issues…

● … and many more.

Paracord

This video provides excellent insight into just how useful paracord can be:

Tin Cans

● Can be turned into cutting cools,

● Can be used to make arrowheads or hooks for fishing,

● Can be punctured to create a shower head of sorts.

Dry-packaged foods

● Buy products near the end of their “best before” date; any prepper will know that “best before dates” are to be treated with suspicion anyway.

Medications

● Buy off-brand medication; it’s just as effective and is far more cost-efficient.

● Don’t go overboard on bandages, as other items of clothing can substitute in if needed.

Duct Tape

● Buy cheap off-brand versions; they might not be as effective, but they’re better than nothing. You can usually find cheap options on eBay that will be suitable for most tasks.

Plastic Tarpaulin

● Again, look online for the best deals; you should be able to find a decent size tarpaulin relatively cheaply.

The above items are inexpensive, easy to find, and incredibly beneficial in a survival situation. While you may want flashier, more expensive items, they’re not essential. Focus on the basics to begin with, and then you can begin to add more items from the helpful list provided on Free Survival Gear as your funds allow.

Focus on small changes you can make at home

When you have an essential kit put together, you can then move on to inspecting your home to see what changes you can make. Just remember to take it slowly.

What you should prioritize here depends on your personal feelings. Some preppers put weaponry at the top of the list, others prefer to stockpile food. Just remember to focus on slowly building your supplies piece by piece.

Many of the changes that you can make can save you money rather than cost it. If you’re concerned about food, then you’ll want to make use of some of the ideas found in this video:

Or if weaponry is your main concern, the cheap, simple catapult this video shows you how to make is definitely better than nothing:

Okay, so the above aren’t going to create a six-month supply of food overnight or provide army-level defense, but they are better than nothing. This term should become the motto for anyone who is prepping on a budget: you’re not making the huge preparations you wish you were, but what you are doing is better than nothing.

A final thought…

It can be tough to keep your motivation going when you’re prepping on a budget; you won’t
have an impressive stash to show off, or an armory to delight in, or all the latest gadgets to
bring a smile to your face. However, it’s important to remember that anything you do is still
going to make you more prepared than 95% of the populace. Even the smallest, most minor
survival prep you do is beneficial when compared to almost everyone else, so don’t be
dissuaded from your goal.

In conclusion

Prepping is expensive, but it’s also necessary. If you keep the above points in mind and try
out a few of the provided tips, you should be able to build a survival plan without risking
bankrupting yourself to do it. Slow and steady wins the day, so be patient, and you’ll get
there.

Budget For Now Or For Survival? Money Worries For Preppers

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Imagine getting a phone call like this from your high school aged child.

“Mom, there’s been a shooting. I’m running.”

Those were the chilling words heard by a mom in Kentucky yesterday when her son was fleeing from a classmate who killed 2 students and injured 17 more. The two 15-year-olds died at the hands of another 15-year-old boy, who was later arrested.

Shocked students have described the terrifying moment the shooter opened fire before classes began, forcing nearly 100 children to run out of the school and seek safety.

‘He was determined. He knew what he was doing,’ a classmate said of the shooter.

‘It was one right after another – bang bang bang bang bang. You could see his arm jerking as he was pulling the trigger.’

Another student said: ‘No one screamed. It was almost completely silent as people just ran.

‘He just ran out of ammo and couldn’t do anything else. He took off running and tried to get away from the officers.’

…Mitchell Garland, who rushed outside of his business when he heard about the shooting, described seeing the students flee the school.

‘They was running and crying and screaming,’ he said. ‘They was just kids running down the highway. They were trying to get out of there.’ (source)

The scene was utter pandemonium.

It can happen anywhere.

No place is safe from the violence these days. This was the tiny town of Benton, Kentucky, population 4,531.

Would your child know what to do in the event of a school shooting?

There are a few important things to note in the story about this horrible incident. Four of the kids who were injured weren’t shot – they got hurt fleeing the scene. And secondly, first responders shut down all the exits, meaning the shooter – and kids who were still inside – couldn’t escape.

As horrific as it is to think through a scenario like this, doing so could save your child’s life. And this information isn’t just for kids in the school system. Even homeschooled kids can sometimes be in a situation where they are without a parent and a bad thing happens, like sports practice, church events, or other outings.

One thing to consider that could be pre-emptive is to teach your kids to be nice people. This shooting, like many others, is said to have been triggered by extreme bullying. I’m not blaming the victims who were shot, but we all bear the responsibility to treat others kindly.

Acceptance is the first step to surviving an attack.

In many of the descriptions of this shooting, students said they heard a “popping” noise and didn’t really grasp what was happening.

It’s the actions you take immediately upon the realization something awful is occurring that have the potential to save your life. And the first step to that is accepting that a terrible thing truly is happening. In an article called How to Survive Anything in Three Easy Steps, I wrote:

No matter what situation comes your way, the first step is to accept that whatever the event is, it really happened.  This is tougher than it sounds, because our minds are programmed to protect us from emotional trauma.  Cognitive dissonance means that when a reality is uncomfortable or doesn’t jive with a person’s beliefs, that person may opt to believe in something false just to assuage his desire for comfort. Psychologist Leon Festinger, who identified the principal of cognitive dissonance, suggested  “that a motivational state of inner tension is triggered by logically inconsistent ways of thinking.”

If you’re wondering exactly how powerful cognitive dissonance can be, check out Amanda Ripley’s book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why.  Ripley, a journalist, covered many disasters of immense scale: plane crashes, natural disasters, and 9/11.  She became curious about the difference between those who survived, and those who did not, wondering if it was dumb luck or if there was some other quality that made survival more likely. She interviewed hundreds of survivors and got her answer.  The ability toimmediatelyaccept what was occurring was the quality most of the survivors possessed.

The story that stands out in my mind the most was the one about the people in the World Trade Center on September 11. They described the last time they saw some of their coworkers.  There were many people who simply could not accept the fact that a plane had crashed into the building and that they must immediately evacuate. They gathered their belongs, tidied their desks, finished reports. They didn’t feel the same sense of urgency that those who survived did, because the situation was so horrible that they just couldn’t accept it. Their inability to accept the scope of the danger caused many of them to perish in a tragic incident that other people, who acted immediately, survived.

When disaster strikes, you can’t spend 5 minutes thinking, “This can’t actually be happening.”  It is happening, and moving past accepting that propels you through the first step into the second one.

The people who freeze in a mass shooting have done nothing but make themselves easier targets. Freezing is an innate reaction for some people, but you can train your way through that. Training in self-defense, first aid, and disaster preparedness can help to offset the brain’s neurobiological response that leaves some people paralyzed with fear.

Pat Henry of The Prepper Journal recommends action plan simulations to help you become more prepared for a sudden crisis. He wrote:

When you are out in public, try going for an hour without looking at your phone to start with. Instead, observe your surroundings. Who is near you and who is walking toward you? Does anything seem suspicious? If something were to happen, what would you do and where would you go. Do you know the quickest way to get out if needed? Can you access your concealed weapon if you need to? Imagine what you would do if you were out at a mall with your family and someone started shooting. Where would you take cover? What would be your escape route? What if that was blocked?

It isn’t fun to go through this exercise with your kids, but it could save their lives.

There are 4 courses of action

We can’t always predict when an attack is about to happen. There might be no indications in your immediate surroundings to alert you to the fact that something is going down. At school, your kids are in comfortable surroundings and they don’t have their guards up. They may be blithely unaware until the moment the first shot is fired.

If your child suddenly finds himself/herself in the midst of a school shooting, he/she needs to be ready to take one of the following courses of action:

1) Escape. Get as far away from the threat as possible. If you can do so safely, run for the doors and if you can’t get to a door, don’t be afraid to pick up a chair and smash out a window. This will take some forethought because most kids would need to get past the mental taboo of destroying school property. Teach kids to run in a zig zag pattern from cover to cover in order to be more difficult targets.

2) Take cover. If you can’t get away, get behind something solid and wait for your opportunity to either escape or fight back. Make sure your kids know the difference between cover and concealment. Many schools have thick concrete walls that will provide sturdy cover, but a wooden door or a desk will not.

3) Hide. If you are in another part of the building and you hear shots, your first choice should be to escape. But, if you aren’t in a place where you can safely do that, you may be able to quietly hide somewhere. Bathrooms aren’t ideal, but hiding quietly in a locked classroom with the lights out may keep you away from the shooter.

3) Fight back. This is absolutely a last resort. When you aren’t armed, you will be at a serious disadvantage against an armed opponent. The only possible advantage is the element of surprise. Most people with a gun don’t expect a direct challenge. If you have absolutely no other option, you should be prepared to fight for your life. Go in low to knock the shooter down, from behind if possible. A group of students will have a better chance of subduing the shooter than one student alone. Obviously, this is an action to be taken by older kids. Younger children would be unlikely to launch an effective attack.

Some security companies are now doing training with schools to help them respond more effectively in the event of a school shooting. As a parent, encourage your local school board to consider investing in such training.

Have you talked to your children about school shootings?

Have you had this uncomfortable discussion with your children? Do you have tips that weren’t included in this article? Please share them in the comments below.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Would Your Kids Know How to Survive a School Shooting?

About the author:

Daisy Luther

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of The Cheapskate’s Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find Daisy onFacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to see that we’re living in perilous times and on the brink of a slew of problems.  There are several flashpoints throughout the world that can translate into war at any time, such as Ukraine, Syria, and North Korea. Knowing these things, your preparations and training need to continue.  You can continue this preparation by conducting a home assessment regarding medicines and supplies you will need.

What do I mean by this?  I mean for you to specifically identify all the needs of each of your family members and begin acquiring them.  Family members have varying needs depending on age and physical condition.  Now is the time to ensure you have all the meds you need and the vitamins you will need when the SHTF.  Allow me to sound the personal “trumpet” that I have been sounding throughout the years and in many articles:

You guys and gals need to get into good physical shape: it cannot be overemphasized.

Assessing Your Emergency Medicine Supply For the Home

That being said, how do you start?  It is simple enough if you just insert a measure of organization and preparedness planning into it.  Let’s do it, shall we?

  1. Start by identifying family members who have special needs and/or ongoing, long-term treatment in terms of medication.  Examples of conditions can be Type I Diabetics, Blood Pressure/Circulatory patients (meds such as Calcium Channel blockers, etc.), and family members with respiratory compromise (such as COPD, or severe, chronic asthma).
  2. Make a chart/sheet for each family member and identify what they need:The correct medicine, the amount needed/dosage, the quantity that is on hand, and a plan to attain more of it.  BE SPECIFIC!  Accuracy is critical: you cannot afford a “transposition error” either in dosage or in the name of the med.  “Flexiril” and “Flagyl” should never be confused, for example.  One extra “zero” at the end of a dosage could mean death; one zero “short” could mean substandard, inadequate dosage.
  3. Shop the sources: yes, the price is almost as important as quality…because you will need quantities. Check out all the discount pharmacies or even the Dollar store that you can, and do your research.  Also, convince your happy, Hallmark-Card family physician to write these extra prescriptions for you.  If he or she won’t do it?  DX’em.  That’s an Army term: meaning dump/discard them.  If you don’t use the stones now, you won’t use them when the SHTF.
  4. Pet Antibiotics: yes, “protect the pets,” as I’ve explained in other articles. Pet amoxicillin, pet erythromycin, pet Praziquantel (Biltricide).  All of these “goodies” and more are available…to keep those “pets” readily supplied with medicine.  ‘Nuff said there. Read more here.
  5. Vitamins/supplements: Concentrate on the multi-vitamins, and others that are crucial, such as Vitamin C. Again, you need to be sharp when it comes to quality and quantity.  Never sacrifice quality for quantity, except if the comparable product is so close to the “top dog” that the difference is negligible. As well, consider purchasing seeds for sprouting so you get vital nutrition during emergencies.
  6. Herbal/Naturopathic supplies: Here is where your research is going to be critical. DO NOT EXPECT TO BE “SPOON-FED” INFORMATION, especially by your photo-frame-phony-photo family physician.  You have to assess on your own what herbs will do the backup for your family member’s (or your) needs if the med supply dries up or is unavailable.  There’s a secondary reason: you need to learn and memorize these herbs “cold,” because you may have to scrounge for them as well…in a ruined, burned-out health food concern, or out in the wild with wild-crafting.
  7. OPSEC: yes, the last thing. Don’t allow anyone outside of the immediate family (and even with them…screen ‘em!) to know about your medicines.  You need to safeguard them in protective containers that will safeguard them from elements and secret them from the eyes of marauders or other jerks that will pillage them.

Now is the time to get all of this stuff done.  You are responsible in the end for taking care of yourself and your family.  Do not procrastinate!  You may not have a perfect example to follow, but you can allow common sense, savvy, and street smarts to guide you on the path you need to pursue.  Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.  The “bad days” will come upon us in an instant.  Less than an instant.  Fight that good fight, and stock up on those supplies you’ll need to take care of your family now…because you won’t be able to on the day after it hits!  JJ out!

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.