This article has recently been updated on 11/09/2012 and it contains important new information. Please feel free to come back often to check for updates, so I don't have to write different articles every time I find information that may be useful to you that may easily fit into this article. Although, I will write new articles on topics that I think you may be interested in, but only if you leave questions in the comment section at the bottom of this article or any of my other articles. Just remember that there are no stupid questions. I will answer your questions honestly and straight forward, or at least, try to provide information that may help you in a time of need in the event of a disaster.
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Recent events in the world have shown us all how people
react to situations that may disrupt or even cause them to change their way of
thinking. The recent situation in Japan and other countries is a prime example of fear dominating
the lives of persons throughout the world. Now we have uprisings and turmoil all over the world for various reasons. But this article is not about preparing for WWIII, it is for people that want to survive an earthquake, flood, tornado, hurricane, or a man-made disaster that requires you to stay put, or move away. And have what you need to do it right with little or no fear.
Here is my personal philosophy regarding fear behavior. Fear can and usually leads to panic in a major crisis, and panic leads to possible tragedy.
Most people are afraid for the simple reason that they don’t know what to do in a crisis situation. Fear is one of our strongest emotions. Because we have an instinctive will to survive that overrides almost every other thought when we are in crisis situations. We tend to forget that it is fear that makes us do things that are either incredibly helpful, or stupid in regards to survival. I have read and talked to many people about preparedness, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of fear that people have about the unknown.
This article is meant to help you to leave fear behind, (for the most part), and instill confidence in your abilities to be able to survive and possibly, even thrive in times of doubt and uncertainty.
But first, let me say that you can’t prepare for every possible situation that may arise. Let’s look at things from a logical perspective. Being prepared for most situations is our key to success. These are things that I look at when making preparations. An example would be to prepare for what might happen in the area that you live, and the climatic conditions that you may have to survive in. I also want to say that I am not an expert in the field of survival skills. I am just like you. I am looking for answers from as many sources as possible. Later in this article, I will give you some resources that you can research on your own that can help you. I just want to share what I have learned with others so that they can be better prepared than most.
With that said, I will say this. I do have many years of
preparing under my belt. I have spent many years of my life in the woods as
a hunter, fisherman, and as a backwoods camper.
My experience has shown me hard times and real life scenarios. I have
been ill equipped, almost froze, ran out of water, been lost (almost), had my
camp stove blow up, ran out of fuel for my lanterns, not had warm enough
sleeping gear, improper shoes and clothing, and been afraid too. But I have
also learned much from each experience. You will also see that I don’t include
items in here like back up generators, power supplies, water filtration
equipment, and mechanical devices. If you can afford them, then by all means get them, if you plan that you will never have to leave your home. If you do have to leave your home then I suggest getting a good quality trailer, and have it loaded at all times just in case. I also will not get into the gun thing
because that is better left up to you. My personal opinions are based on real people, and
how they usually react in crisis. This is why I think firearms are an essential part of my personal
plan. But I also have a bow and arrows. If for some reason I can't get cartridges, I can always make arrow heads and arrows for my bow. This is for worst case scenarios of course. Also I live in semi-rural country and I can hunt if I need too.
The main reason why I say this about firearms is because I am well trained in firearms, and I understand human behavior well from personal life experiences. I know for a fact that there are people in this world that use weapons to take away "things" (like your food, water, supplies, or money), from other people by using weapons. They are usually the ones that are willing to kill you to get what they want or need, for whatever reason they think is right for their survival.
If you think this is all paranoid talk, then I suggest you go to any preparedness website and you should read the comments section. There are people that actually say that they don't need to prepare at all. The reason they use is that they have a weapon, and that they will use it to take what they want, from people that have prepared and do not have a weapon to protect what they have.
regarding not having mechanical devices are many. The main reason is because
most of these type items require many things to keep them operating in one way
or another. The main 2 things would be gas or electricity. Plus, they take up a lot of room and weigh a lot if you are on the move. They are
great if you are never going to have to take them with you, or if your preparations have made allowances for them. I am really talking about when you have to
choose what items you can “actually" carry on your back. I have written another article on the subject of pack gear called "Daypack, Backpack, or Fanny pack Gear", that you will also find in this same preparedness section of the Galt Report. If you want those other type of devices, then I suggest that you invest in a good trailer so that if you do have to leave your area, and you can leave by a vehicle, then a good trailer is a great option rather than leaving these things behind. But with that said I would tell you to always have your trailer ready to go just in case. Also, when I say trailer, I do not mean a camping trailer. I am talking about a covered utility (cargo) trailer. The reason I say that is because it carries much more equipment than a camping trailer and You can always use it to sleep in if you have too. It may not have bunks, sinks, toilets, and showers, But this is about survival, not camping out. I also did not write about vehicles, because I do not know if any vehicle is really a bad vehicle, as long as it can tow what you need to tow, and has the ability to get you through possible rough terrain like a 4x4 will. And outside of a nuclear attack scenario, and an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse), just about any good vehicle will do, as long as it has descent ground clearances. By the way, I even have mountain bikes, just in case. I can cover more ground with them, than I could on foot, and much faster in most cases, than if I could not use a vehicle. For more information and recommendations regarding "Bug Out Vehicles", go here. http://galtreport.com/index.php/preparedness/28-general/654-bug-out-vehicles
I do recommend that you get as many things that you can get, to be somewhat comfortable though. This helps immeasurably in your overall mental health. Because, one of the keys to survival is having a positive outlook on your situation at all times. Things as simple as a fire, can not only be used to keep you warm and cook food, and boil water, but fire has a way of making us feel safe in the darkness. I believe this goes back to the earliest days of humans. Learning to create fire with simple tools is not easy though. But, I believe it is essential to learn how to do it.
Now that I have that all out of the way. I have a question for you.
Do YOU have a WRITTEN PREPAREDNESS PLAN ALREADY? You don’t need to be a survival expert to know that common sense mandates that you have a plan.
Does every member of your IMMEDIATE FAMILY have a copy of the plan? Just in case you or your family are all separated for any reason. I personally have a plan that every member of my family has, and we actually practice certain scenarios just in case an event is to arise.
If you have children, this may be a little or a lot harder for them and you, depending on their age and maturity levels. You also need to discuss with school authorities what kind of plans they have for that just in case scenario. You will probably find out as I did that most schools will rely on Government to tell them what to do in major crisis situations. That’s just scary stuff if you ask me. Your children may be separated from you, and sent to undisclosed locations. Oh, just so you know, the schools actually have the authority to do that, if they cannot contact you, or if they feel that the emergency dictates that they do this. But here is the scary part to me.
Are these people any better prepared or trained to deal with a crisis than the average person? Yes and no would be my answer. At least they have a written plan. Do You? But it does not cover every contingency that may come up either. Is the government better prepared than most of us that are prepared? I would say that history tells us that they are not. They may have equipment and manpower, but mobilizing that equipment and manpower in the right time, and in the right way, is essential to saving lives. Anyone remember Katrina? This is a historical fact. This makes your personal plan even more important for you and your children for that very reason.
I have taught my children to stay with the school authorities until "I come to them". At least I have a starting point to look for them. I don’t like it, but if I am not there, it’s better than nothing at all. I don’t know about others, but I really don’t want my children striking out on their own, and possibly getting in a situation where I cannot find them, they get lost, or where they can be hurt by some not so nice people that really do exist out there.
The written plan should be with each member of your family at ALL TIMES. Obviously, it doesn’t help to have a plan, if you or your family doesn’t have it with them.
You may think that just telling your family certain things is good enough. It really isn’t. Our minds play tricks on us all the time, in the way we perceive what someone says. That is why it is much better to have it written down in hard copy. What if someone is not thinking clearly, you ask? Even the best plan won’t work if they are out of their mind and don’t use it. But I am talking about people that are frightened, and not thinking clearly, as far as good judgment skills, or too young to know any better, or can’t remember what you told them. This happens more often than not in crisis situations, even to trained people in stressful situations.
Another thing that I think is just as important is this. Just as most of us practiced fire drills in school as we grew up, we need to practice preparedness drills too. That means actually discussing with your family, that YOU are going to spring a false disaster on them, just like a real disaster would. NO family members should actually know the day or time that it will happen but YOU. Letting your family know that you are going to do this ahead of time (not the day before you do it), will ease the pain of you waking them in the middle of the night from their cozy bed, to go into action. The reason I personally choose the middle of the night is because that is the time most people are going to experience the shock of suddenly being awakened and having to think clearly.
This will let everyone (including you), see what they did right or wrong in case of an actual incident without having to find out the hard way in real time.
Ok, the following is what I call the meat and potatoes of the plan. If nothing else, you can copy this plan as your template. You can make and refine the plan to fit your personal needs. Some people will recommend everything from A to Z. I try to keep my plan simple as possible, yet have what I feel is essential for my families needs for short and long term situations and immediate needs.
- Every member has a copy of the plan.
- Each member has their own duties. If you are all together, it is a lot easier to give specific jobs to each person so that no extra time is wasted and things are forgotten.
one person is to check that all items that are listed on the list are
there after all items are gathered together. (If you are at home and don’t
have to leave the area, you may still need to gather items). I personally like to keep my survival items all in one area so that I don't have to look for them all over the place. I also don't borrow items from them unless I replace that item first. A great example would be canned food or boxed food. These items only have a limited shelf life. I like to rotate stock at least once a year or sooner if needed.
- A chain of command just like in the armed forces so there isn’t too many chiefs and not enough Indians so to speak.
have a plan “B”. Just in case Plan “A” isn’t going to be able to be done. And you may also want a plan "C"
- Do you have a place to go to be safe?
- Do you have an alternate place or places to be safe?
- Do you have plenty of stable items that can supply you in case you can’t get food or water for at least a couple weeks if not longer?
- Do you have water storage? The average person in an emergency needs at least 2 ½ gallons of water a day.
- Do you have adequate shelter? Or Tools to Build One? Go here for suggestions: http://galtreport.com/index.php/preparedness/28-general/323-the-lost-art-of-carpentry
- Cooking and food preparation gear?
- Do you have adequate food? By the way, canned goods are usually only good for about a year if they are retail store bought items. Also, weather affects all food items regardless of the type including MRE type foods.
- Do you have first aid kits?
- Do you have any regular needed medications?
- Special emergency medications or supplies such as bandages, gauze, etc.
- Is all
your emergency gear easily accessible and in one place for you or to your
family members? This is extremely important because you don’t want to be
going on a search for essential items in times of crisis. (I know, I already said that before)
- Prepare ahead of time for climatic conditions for the area that you live or may have to go to.
- Do you have a way of communicating to each other besides cell phones and two way radios? Remember that simple things such as a whistles or a signal mirror were used before electronics were invented. They are durable and they don’t require batteries. I’m not saying electronics aren’t great things to have. I have them! But as most will find out sooner or later, they usually fail you when you need them most or if there are no batteries for them, they are just paper weights.
- Durable compasses and topo maps of your area as well as street maps are essential items too. But they don’t help unless you know how to use them or read them.
- Do you
have what everyone likes to call “Bug out Bags”? Just in case you have to
leave everything but the shirt on your back so to speak. These should have
all the really essential items for survival for each person for a few days
plus communications devices of some sort. They should also be kept in your
vehicle at ALL times. There are many expert people that give advice on this
subject if you don’t know what to put in your gear. If you want to get
more information regarding this you can go to Youtube or Google and search
there. I personally recommend looking at as much information as possible
and fitting that into your personal idea of a bug out bag. Here are a couple of well known and
recognized experts in survival that I recommend you to look up.
Updated material as of 9/19/2011
I just came across this site that has lots of very good information that may be of interest to all you east coast people. Although some of the information is universal and can be used anywhere. It has all sorts of articles that I was going to write about that is already put in a great format, and is easy to understand for almost anyone.
Everything from night and day navigation techniques, to how to survive in the snow, or just the cold by making a fire bed. A properly made fire bed will keep you alive and relatively warm even if you are ill prepared in the wilderness.
There are also great articles on foraging for food and what you should be looking for as you travel if you are constantly on the move.
Anyway, Rather than keep going on and on about how impressed I am with this site, please take a look at it and make sure that you bookmark it so that you can use it for reference.
I highly recommend taking notes. You might even want to contact the writer to ask if you may print the valuable information that is contained on the site. That way you will have hard copies just in case you need it. As with all the sites I recommend, I do not know any of the people personally, and I do not receive any compensation by recommending them to you. I am only interested in helping all my brothers and sisters out there that may not have the skills or may want to learn the skill of survival.
I also have to say that It only took me about an hour or two to read all of the articles and comments that were posted.
So if learning more survival skills is something that you are interested in, go here: http://www.survivaltopics.com/
Please thank all these people for supplying information free of charge to you. If you can, pay tribute to them by using their services or buying their products. That way you are telling them that you are grateful that they are taking their valuable time and money to provide this information.
Here's to you making the best of the situation no matter what may happen.
The honest ones teach you that it is not easy, but it can be done. I have even seen where they have had made mistakes, and they are not afraid to let you see them make them. I would rather trust them than some guy that edits out all the hard stuff, or does things that in reality you are never going to have to do. But that’s my personal opinion.
Different types of fire starting gear should be simple and compact. You and your family members need to practice using them too, on a regular basis, before that big event comes, so you won’t be disappointed because you have not become proficient in how to use them.
Last but not least, get as much information in book form, from real true survivalists, that are well recognized in this type of skill. So that you can refer to the books in case you don’t remember how to do certain things. Army field manuals are small and compact, and full of information too. You can usually get them at any survivalist website or surplus store.
Remember, the key to surviving any crisis is knowledge. The more you have the less fear you will have. I could go on in more depth on certain things that I think are essential, but I will save that for another article in the future.
For those of you that are very prepared, and already and think you know everything that you need to know, then I will tell you now, that you don't. We can all learn more. UPDATE 11/09/12 The site hardcore preppers was taken down and replaced by a porn site. Sorry about that folks. I am sure glad I got that info downloaded before it was closed down. Now you can see why it's so important to get information while it's available and on the internet. I want to apologize to anyone that went to that site before I checked to make sure it was still viable. I do not want to offend anyone. But some websites can change or be removed at any time without my knowledge.
http://beprepared.com/ is a good site that provides materials for preppers.
I just had one of my friends ask me more about prepping so since I am naturally lazy, this is what I thought might be the best place to post the info so in case anyone else asks, I can send them here instead of writing them a long letter. Also, since there has been so many hits on this site I figured that I better get my butt in gear and give you some more info that you can use to help you better prepare for whatever might happen in the future. Knowing that you have the ability to respond correctly to different types of situations and conditions is going to be the difference between living and dying.
I now feel that I have done all I can to help you and the ones you care for most in as far as giving you the tools. It is now up to you to learn how to use them. I highly recommend getting actual hard copies as I have always stated so that if the internet goes down or this site goes down for any reason, you will have it at your fingertips.
Here are some websites that I have put together for you.
http://www.survivalistsite.com/ http://survivalblog.com/ http://www.wildernessoutfittersarchery.com/ http://www.gengas.nu/byggbes/index.shtml http://gasifiers.bioenergylists.org/stratifiedgas http://www.survivaltopics.com/ http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/list-of-ammunition-vendors http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7iGLSTZY84&feature=related http://www.adventuretrailers.com/trailers.html http://suburbanprepper.wordpress.com/ http://www.tacticalintelligence.net/ http://www.youtube.com/user/LDSPrepper#p/u/3/EoQZY1FtI3c http://waterprooftarps.com/ http://www.tarpsplus.com/canvastarps.html http://www.wilderness-survival.net/ http://revlu.com/surv.html http://elderberries.ning.com/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J7zvg--pHE http://www.medicinenet.com/bad_bugs_pictures_slideshow/article.htm This following one is run by a girl! Can you guess how I know? http://preppersplace.com/Preps.html Hahaha Btw- do not discount her in any way, she is a lot brighter than a lot of men that I have met. At least this girl is ready for whatever may happen and is helping others too. http://www.sopakco.com/ http://www.nifg.org.uk/edible_fungi.htm#How%20to%20avoid%20mushroom%20poisoning http://www.fieldandstream.com/photos/gallery/kentucky/2006/10/six-primitive-traps-catching-food-woods http://www.ssrsi.org/sr2/Hunt/trap.htm
Other misc. items such as tents that I would recommend are really subjective. I like outfitters tents, but they are heavy and not cheap either. But you can actually get them with wood burning stoves too. In survival mode you probably would want like a bivvy bag and a real good sleeping bag and pad along with a good waterproof pack. You can also get a one man sleeping tent too with a bug fly that can make it tolerable if you have to deal with mosquitoes, no-seeums, or chiggers. With this alone you can sleep in all weather conditions. Kelty makes great gear and packs still. But they are expensive. http://www.kelty.com/
Clothing is again something that you want to be very picky about. I suggest checking out Cabelas. http://www.cabelas.com/ The trick with all of these suppliers is unless they are the manufacturer, is to get the brand you like by going direct if at all possible to save money, Sometimes they do not sell to the public directly though. The nice thing about some suppliers like Cabelas is that they really stand behind their products. And as always, you get what you pay for is still a good thing to remember in a lot of cases.
Good Boots for the different seasons are a must. You need to really do your research here too. I use Cabelas OUTFITTER BOOTS as shown here for winter or cold weather. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Outfitter-Series8482-1034-1000-gram-Hunting-Boots/721037.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3DOutfitter%2Bboots%26x%3D24%26y%3D4%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=Outfitter+boots&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products But for summer I would use my Military desert boots that are light weight boots. They are still a high boot though. Ten inches is the highest I would personally like in my boots. 12” wears out my calves if walking a lot.
Don't forget good socks too!
There are many more links out here in cyberspace. And as you well know, the more you research, the more stuff you find.
There are many sites that carry supplies on the web that you can choose from. These are just sites that I have used for information or services, and most of their items aren't all bad. But some items can be found cheaper elsewhere, as always can be found. It is up to you now. Good Luck.