Monthly Archives: February 2012

Nature’s Safe Deposit Box

I think we all see the rationale behind the use of a safe deposit box. However, I think most preppers find a fundamental flaw in the thought of safe deposit box usage during a catastrophic event. I certainly don’t expect a run on banks to result in easy access to go pick up the contents of my safe deposit box. I certainly believe that there are circumstances that could result in difficulty obtaining access to my safe deposit boxes.

Do you have anything that you don’t want to store in your home? Anything that you don’t want in your go-kit? Do you have a remote site you are planning to relocate to in the event of something catastrophic? If so, are there things you would like to preposition there? If that site is so far that frequent visits aren’t possible, or if it is uninhabited, then just dropping off your very expensive prepper supplies isn’t something that makes you comfortable.

Would you ever consider burying anything? Ever consider God’s good earth as nature’s safe deposit box? Some people have gone this route. It is an option. Actually, there are lots of options regarding products designed just for burying your prepper treasure. In support of full transparency, I have not tried this tactic…but I sure am thinking about it. A quick interweb search will throw lots of different products your way. Try searching “emergency burial canisters”.

My concerns would include the following:

  • moisture – are they waterproof? even if they are, consider adding some silica packs
  • prying neighbors etc. – can you reasonably get them buried without everyone on the block noticing? (Hopefully you are blessed with a parcel of land all you own, then this is not a concern for you…and I’m jealous! 🙂 ) But if you do have neighbors, you can’t just bury your prepper stuff right in plain view.
  • treasure mapping – because, seriously…how would you feel burying your most precious prepper treasure and then later having no idea where the heck you put it?

So what do you think? Will you consider burying any of your prepper parcels? Have you tried any type of product designed to facilitate nature’s safe deposit box? Have any other ideas, concerns, or suggestions? Or…shall we go digging?


Not Without Permission

Ask my daddy, I never did do too well with  the whole concept of “ya gotta get permission”. But having reached adulthood, I’ve come to accept that some things, even for adults, require permission. And one such thing is leaving this country to visit another.

Now I realize that the general premise behind this blog is preparing to survive anything here at my home or on the run because for whatever reason my home is no longer viable, but what if my “home” is no longer viable. And by this latter version of “home”, I mean my country. Don’t freak out, I love this country. Heck, I’ve been working for it basically all of my professional life. My daddy, brother and husband all served in the military. I tear up at each and every iteration of the Star Spangled Banner and the American flag is dag gum beautiful. So let’s not mistake this as taking aim at my blessed country.

Having said that, I”ve come to love and cherish my freedom. I enjoy all kinds of freedom as an American that others around the world just don’t have. However, some of that freedom expires right as I approach the border of this great country…if I don’t have a passport. You’ve heard of these papers, yes? Now, do you have them? If you don’t, get some. Because quite frankly, you never know. And isn’t that what being a preparedness guru is all about? I’ve never purported that I have one specific prediction of what might befall our family and cause us to have to be prepared. I consider all hazards. I consider the what ifs. And the what ifs tell me that I should consider “what if we need to leave the country?”

You’re going to need a passport. Your spouse, children, parents, anyone you are preparing on behalf of, needs a passport. Get one. Get one for everyone you would want to take with you. This isn’t permanent country abandonment. I’m an American until the day I die. No matter what happens here, or if I ever had to flee, I am still a born and bred American and for better or worse stinking proud to be one :-).  But as my first sentence reflects, it doesn’t sit well with me to be restricted. And without a passport, you are restricted.

Getting a passport isn’t an overnight thing. Renewing a passport is not an overnight thing. It’s a process and for minors, it’s really a process. Think getting any action from the Department of Motor Vehicles is hard? Then try to get a passport for a minor. Even worse, try to get a passport for a minor child if you aren’t, shall we say, on good terms with their other parent. Even if you have full custody of your child, you cannot get a passport for said child without the presence/consent of the other parent.

Check out this link for the actions required to obtain a passport for a minor: http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html#step4minor

Anyway, this may touch a nerve with some, but for me it’s about options. And if I happen to want/need to leave this country for any amount of time, I’d like to have the ability to do so, at the drop of a hat. Get passports for your entire family and renew them accordingly.


Jack of All Trades (1)

If we are going to store up large quantities of survival items, then we’ve got to begin examining how to achieve the most bang for our bucks. To make the  most of what we spend on these items, they should not only be cost-effective but multifunctional as well.

I would like to make a plug for baking soda. This is one versatile little powder! Most of the things you can do with baking soda can be done with other products, but consider your storage capacity and the shelf life of some of the commercial products and I think you will agree…long term, baking soda is a wonderful thing.

Baking soda can be used for:

  • toothpaste
  • mouthwash
  • canker sore medicine
  • shaving cream
  • dry shampoo
  • deodorant
  • minor cuts/burns
  • sunburn/windburn
  • poison ivy
  • fire suppressant (grease/electrical fires)
  • acid reliever/indigestion (carefully follow directions)
  • household surface cleaner (kitchen, bathroom, etc.)
  • ant/roach killer (mix 1 to 1 with sugar)

Now, for shelf life. Unopened baking soda has an indefinite shelf life. Once baking soda is open and exposed to air the shelf life is two years. This can be fudged and extended somewhat by ensuring that you store opened baking soda in an airtight container. (Keep in mind that most of the issues with shelf life revolve around using baking soda for bakin.) And in case you haven’t tried to purchase boat loads of baking soda…you can get a 13 lb. bag for $5.00!

Considering the versatility, shelf life, and cost, I believe baking soda to be a best buy for emergency preparedness.


Fuzzy Wuzzy – And Other Creature Comforts

We talk a lot about having what you need for emergency preparedness. Have you ever given any consideration to what you want? I realize before I even get going that lots of folks will either not agree with this post or think that it is largely unuseful; however, I’m gonna have to disagree.

I, as is evident from previous posts, think its imperative to be sure that you have prepared by stocking up on those things that you absolutely need to survive. But I also think that once you have a good piece of those things addressed, you should stop to ask yourself if there are any creature comforts that you might also want to include. This may seem ridiculous, but let’s consider the psychology of the situation. If you have had to flee your home to take refuge in a shelter, or if you are wondering on foot for miles a day in search of a new “home”, if you are in the middle of an event so catastrophic that you are actually surviving off of your preparedness supplies, then you are quite frankly in the thick of it. You’re world has been changed, maybe temporarily, maybe forever.

If you are like me, seriously opposed to change, this is not going to be a cake walk for you emotionally just because you have a heap load of preparedness supplies and are actually going to live…for a while at least :-).  This is going to be gut wrenching and seriously difficult to even process. So, what can you do to try to make your survival supplies actually help with all this emotional junk? I teach this kind of stuff regarding how to handle children and preparedness, but I think we as adults need to think about ourselves a little too. Consider some of life’s more trivial creature comforts that help you be the person you are. I’m looking for the cheap, simple, small stuff. These are things that won’t break the bank to buy and hold in reserve or break your back to haul around in your go-kit. Some examples from my perspective would be:

  • Razors: Dear God, please let me be able to continue to shave! No chic wants to rock the fuzzy wuzzy legs!
  • Pictures: A favorite family photo of a good memory (vacation, birthday, etc.)
  • Excedrin: Because let’s face it, Tylenol is not going to do the trick for my stress headache in the event of catastrophic emergencies.
  • Favorite magazine or book: Something to take your mind off of the reality you find yourself in.
  • Toothpicks: Maybe its your worst nightmare to have something stuck in your teeth.
  •  Deck of cards: Some form of entertainment.
  • Favorite candy: Do you need chocolate to survive life in general?

I could go on and on. Me personally, I’d be hard pressed to choose between the razor and the excedrin. I need to be headache free…but I’d like to continue to be a girly girl on some level :-). My husband would most likely go for the magazine. My boys would appreciate a stuffed animal or an action figure. For some folks these things would seem ridiculous, if that’s the case, then I simply haven’t hit on “your thing”. But think it over, you must have something. This would be something that would remind you of your old routine, it would be something that however simple would make you feel better, even a little. It would be a piece of your old life, before the event. I could be the difference in a transition into true survival life and just slamming into it full force.

Ever seen the movie Stand By Me? Remember when the boys were talking late into the night over the fire and the question was asked “what if you could only have one food for the rest of your life?” The answer came back, “That’s easy, cherry flavored Pez. No question about it.” (Trailer with that line in it below 🙂 Happens a minute and 15 seconds in.)

I love that scene. I love that he knew, without thinking what it would be that could keep him happy forever. Can’t say that I’d have gone with cherry, but hey to each his own.

I’d like for everyone to consider that type of simplicity with this question. “What’s the one (simple, compact, and cheap) creature comfort you would pack?” Maybe it will seem simple or ridiculous to someone else, but this item will be just for you.


Oh Precious

I have “little people” (also known as my children) that are, quite naturally, the center of my world. And much to my dismay, I leave the youngest of those wee ones at daycare all day long so that I can work for “the man” and get a paycheck. This seems to be my lot in life, and although it isn’t what I prefer, it is my situation. Now, if you have ever had children in daycare, you know that when you interview these people you certainly try to ask every conceivable question. You, of course, ask if all the teachers know CPR. You ask if all employees have undergone a background check and hopefully you asked them to describe just what they think a “background check” consists of. But did you ask about their emergency plan? Do you know whether or not your childcare facility has an occupant emergency plan? Do you know how what their preparedness supplies consist of? How much food and water do they have stored? Does the facility have a generator? If so, do they store enough fuel for it to be effective?

I just came across a great study completed by Save the Children.org. Apparently for the past four years, they have done a study across all 50 states and the District of Columbia regarding each state’s level of emergency preparedness as it relates to childcare centers. They were specifically looking for answers to the following questions:

  1. Does the state require a child care evacuation plan?
  2. Is there a required plan to notify parents and reunite families after disaster?
  3. Do the evacuation requirements account for children with special needs? 
  4. Does the state require a multi-hazard emergency plan for schools?

You can see the page at:

Disaster Preparedness in the USA for Kids – Save the Children.

The whole report, which is only eight pages, can be viewed at:

http://www.savethechildren.org/atf/cf/%7B9def2ebe-10ae-432c-9bd0-df91d2eba74a%7D/2011-NATIONAL-REPORT-CARD-ON-DISASTERS.PDF?msource=usplpuse0811

The thing to keep in mind is that you are entitled to ask these types of questions. No matter how much you prepare at home, if you utilize any form of childcare, you have to acknowledge that your little people may not be with you when disaster strikes. Be bold when demanding that your school prepare for your children’s needs during an emergency. They should have these answers and they shouldn’t be a secret. Make sure your children’s teachers know the plan as well and that they practice regularly.

Lastly, if your child has special needs, make sure their caregivers are prepared to attend to their functional and access needs in the event of an emergency. Exercises and drills need to ensure teachers and staff are actually practicing with any specialized equipment they may require.

Take a look at this study. Share it with your friends and family across our nation. Some states have laws that require childcare facilities to account for emergency preparedness planning, while others are lagging behind in this legislation. If you find that your state is has not required this level of protection for your children you need to start demanding it from not only the childcare facility but from your state lawmakers as well. Take care.

(Tonight’s post is dedicated to Turner, for all the nights of “Oh Precious”. They are gone but not forgotten.)


You Are My Sunshine!

So, I got a comment suggesting that we discuss the recent talk about solar flares. First let’s define exactly “what is a solar flare”. According to NASA, a solar flare is an intense burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. Flares are our solar system’s largest explosive events. They are seen as bright areas on the sun and they can last from minutes to hours.

Why is this a topic of concern? What’s got this on everyone’s mind? Well, first some sun background. The sun operates in what is known as a solar or sunspot cycle. Every 11 years (approximately, can be as few as 9 or as many as 14) the sun reverses the direction of its magnetic field which causes an increase in sunspots. Reference the definition above regarding how sunspots are associated with solar flares. So…you guessed it…we are coming up in 2012 on one of the 11 year marks for the reversal of the sun’s magnetic fields. And speculation is going on about whether or not this year will be a doosey such as the one that happened in 1859 known as the Carrington Event. There is an interesting article at NASA Science/Science News regarding the history of the Carrington Event as well as several other documented solar flare events (and some great references as well) so take a few and look this over:

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/06may_carringtonflare/

And so what is all the fuss about? Because recent displays of northern lights have been so brilliant, scientists are concerned that this next solar maximum could be devastating to our electronic power grid and communications systems. In recent years, these events have not cause major problems; however, recent powerful solar flares have scientists concerns that the upcoming reversal of the sun’s magnetic field could mimic the Carrington Event. If you’ve read the above article, you understand that in the Carrington Event, the telegraph system was devastated…if this year’s even were to mimic that level of havoc, because of our technology dependent world, we could face total devastation to our electrical grids, satellites, and all electronics in general. Think giant EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse).

Now what concerns me is that depending on what you read about this year’s possible “perfect solar storm”, you can walk away scared as hell or with the belief that this is another Y2K type of hype. Want to see the two sides of the coin? Check out these two videos to witness the extreme differences in opinion.

Column A) “We’re so screwed!”

http://youtu.be/30TXQkNBB9k

Column B) “Calm down and take it easy”

http://youtu.be/HvJfjVdJ79o

The other things that gets me is from a realistic standpoint, these two videos are from what most of us would consider a generally trustworthy sources. Column A came from the History Channel and Column B is from NASA. So…what are your thoughts?

My closing thought is this. I’m here preaching preparedness. The thing to consider is if it could happen in 1859, it can happen again. That doesn’t mean it will be this year or even the next 11 year cycle. But preparedness is something you should be passing down to your little ones and loved ones for generations to come. We don’t know what is coming in the next year but I do know this…a loss of our electrical technology, specifically the electrical grid would devastate this country socially. Not because life without electricity is impossible, but because we, as a nation, are not prepared to live without it. Are you? Take all of my past examples of “What would you do?” and consider what everyone else would do…everyone who is unprepared, everyone who doesn’t have ANY food or water stored. A total breakdown in societal norms and expectations would result and eventually utter chaos and violence would prevail. So again, be ready for your family but equally important, be ready to deal with those who aren’t.

I”m ready to discuss this more, so write in and let me know which video you’re aligning with. Some of you have backgrounds and experience in this stuff…speak up.


We’re Famous!…I Guess…

Well its happened…someone has made a TV show about preppers. Yep, the National Geographic Channel is premiering a show called Doomsday Preppers on February 7th at 9:00pm (eastern time).

Check out the Nat Geo website at http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/doomsday-preppers/

According to the site, the show:

Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.

At first, when I was just seeing the on-screen pop ups (that bug the hell out of me) during whatever show I’m actually trying to watch,  I thought this might be a good thing. I’m always on the prowl for new ideas and tips (by the way thanks for your comments of late!). But then I actually saw the previews. I’ve got to say at this point, I’m a little leery that this will just end up as a comic relief series of episodes. We all know the tendencies of reality TV, and they aren’t usually good. Regardless of the message or where folks hearts/beliefs lie, show business mentality and the magic of editing have destroyed ideas for some time. For instance, the website has a section entitled: Most Memorable Prepper Quotes: Preppers Say the Darndest Things. (check out the picture)

Prepper Quotes – Doomsday Preppers – National Geographic Channel.

They also have a section with sample videos as well as a “Meet the Preppers” section. You can also see the preview and other short videos regarding the show if you search for it on youtube. I haven’t seen it yet, so I’ll wait to render an official opinion. But there’s the skinny. Some of our own have decided to put their stories out there via TV which I guess is just a different method than a blog. I’m just hoping our motives are similar. Give it a look on the 7th, come back and comment and let’s let everyone know what we think. Take care.