Prepper: 32 Ways to Beef-Up Home Security
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Taking a walk around your neighbourhood with the express intention of looking for homes that would be easy to break into is a very valuable exercise. Look at the properties you pass everyday in a new light, look for mistakes the homeowners have made that would make their place attractive to a burglar. When you’ve done that go around your own property and see how many of the same mistakes – or different ones you have made.
Here are tips to set you on the right track.
- Is there anything in the gardens that would attract attention and be worth stealing? Have the kids left their bikes lying around? Is your super-deluxe BBQ in plain view?
- Are there any broken fence panels that would allow easy access to your property?
- Is your garage for secure? Many of us use our garages as store rooms for all kinds of expensive kit such as lawn mowers and power tools. If you don’t need the front door open daily consider leaving it closed and bracing it from the inside for extra security, you can use the personal door for your daily coming and going.
- Does your garden gate have a lock on the inside? If not why not? Stopping people getting to the back of your home where they are less likely to be seen is an often overlooked hole in home security.
- If you have outside lights are they working? Check bulbs and switches before the weather gets any worse.
- Do the doors into your home have adequate locks? Take your keys, go outside and see if you can get in. The old credit card trick much beloved of TV shows and movies actually works and it’s even easier with softer plastic like a section cut from an ice cream carton!!! I actually have such a slip of plastic in my bag and have gotten into the house with it – then I had the door re-hung so it fits so well you wouldn’t get a human hair in let alone a plastic sheet. Check your doors fit properly and get them fixed if they don’t.
- Remember that you can have as many locks as you like but if a couple of kicks will shatter the door frame you have wasted good money. Make sure door frames are solid and have proper external door frames on external doors, interior frames will give out with one decent kick.
- If you want to have spare keys leave them with a trusted friend or get a secure, coded key box fixed in an unobtrusive position that only you know about. Forget under the doormat, secreted in a fake stone, hidden in a plant pot or on a string through the letter box. All of these are highly unsafe.
- Have a locking chain on the front door and never open the door to strangers unless it’s in place. Someone hitting a door full force will knock you off your feet and before you’re back up they’re in. If your visitor is there in any supposed official capacity ask for ID and check it out if you feel uncomfortable. Anyone with a computer can create an ID badge and there are plenty of costume shops and online suppliers of uniforms of all types. If you’re not sure make a call and check out the person at your door.
- Keep the area outside the front door neat and tidy with nothing to hide behind. This applies to large shrubs and bushes that could conceal a person.
- Consider natural defences. Roses growing up and along the tops of fences, hawthorn around the perimeter of the property and why rip out the brambles if they are doing no harm at the bottom of the garden? Anything with spikes is a deterrent.
- Getting plants to the tops of fences can take a long time so consider a quick fix. Lightweight trellis along the top of fencing will not support a persons weight and makes a fall very likely, most likely making them consider their cuts and bruises before carrying on to break into your home.
- Carpet gripper strips along the top of fences works well, as does a liberal coating of anti-climb paint.
- Having things inside the fence that would make for an uncomfortable landing is never a bad idea. Sharp plants in terracotta pots, low height bird tables, even garden canes supporting plants make landing after dropping from the fence more difficult!
- If ladders have to be on show make sure they are on ladder brackets booted to a wall and the ladders are chained to the mountings.
- Consider cheap solar lights on fence posts. Criminals don’t like light.
- Hardwired security lights that come on as someone approaches the door are very bright and illuminate would be crooks perfectly.
- Don’t underestimate even the smallest dog. They might not be classed as a guard dog but anything that barks is a perfect watch dog alerting you that someone is in the area around your property.
- Alarm systems need not cost a fortune, ask around and get quotes…do not fill in online forms for any type of home security, anyone that reads it knows you have no alarm or whatever else you are looking into.
- If you’re travelling NEVER write your address on your luggage label. Write your name and the building number and postal code/zip code of your nearest police station.
- Keep a simple airhorn and mace if you’re allowed it, wasp nest spray if you’re not allowed mace, near your most likely point of entry. One alerts neighbours you need help and the other hurts like hell and could well deter a would-be burglar.
- Consider fitting a small home safe, you can buy these for quite reasonable prices and that way you know passports and other valuable documents as well as cash and jewellery are safe if someone did get in. Mounting them yourself is simple and the bottom of a wardrobe or closet, bolted to the wall is ideal as ‘stuff’ can be put in front of it.
- If you are away for any length of time have a trusted friend visit, open a window, have a coffee and generally check the place over. Changing routines and lights going on and off at different times of day and night makes you less likely to be targeted.
- If you are using timers for light and TV make sure they come on and go off at around the time you would be putting lights on and off when you were home.
- Stop all deliveries when you are away from home. Ask your visiting friend to check mail boxes and remove junk mail from porches etc where a build up may be seen and would be a give-away, literally.
- Take special care to secure sliding patio doors. A chunk of wood in the bottom of the frame prevents them from being forced open.
- Be careful who you speak to. If you live in a small place like I do telling the checkout operator you are counting the days to your holiday may not be the wisest thing to do. He/she may be fine, but you don’t know everyone they know and just them saying how jealous they are because ‘this woman that comes into the store is off to Mauritius’ maybe all it takes to see you coming home to a smashed up robbed property.
- Got food stores and other prepping paraphernalia ready for when the balloon goes up? Read point 26 and take it on board. Hungry and scared people are desperate and it pays not to advertise what you have.
- Make your own defensive ‘welcome’ mats. Cheap rubber backed mats with 4′ nails banged through them are excellent deterrents. Position where you would step coming through the door. Take them up in the morning. Easiest to make if you turn them over on the lawn and bang the nails through. The rubber backing stops the nail heads coming through.
- Buy a toy. Many toys have built in sensors…Furbies are the ones I hate the most…anything that startles a would-be home invader is a good thing. My personal favourite is the programmable Scooby Doo my sister-in-law has that screams “intruder alert, intruder alert” as soon as someone walks in front of it. Before you ask I have been trying for two years to get one, no joy yet but those bloody Furbies my daughter has outgrown finally have a use. Stood behind the external door the slightest tap makes the things start yelling and screaming…
- Consider turning one internal door around so it opens outwards instead of inwards. This is your safe room as it’s far harder to shoulder a door that opens outwards than a traditional inwards opening door. This room should have a full emergency kit in there and a means of escape such as a roll out fire ladder in a box under the window that you can throw out of the window and effect an escape if the chance arises. We in the UK are lead deprived so having a gun in there is out of the question but the rechargeable nail gun, permanently on charge in the top of the spare room wardrobe could do a fair bit of damage if my life depended on it.
- If the worst happens and someone does get into you home think before you act. As tempting as it is to fight if there’s a safe way out take it. If there’s not consider your safe-space or just barricading yourself in a room. Think outside the box for defensive weaponry. Got an electric alarm clock and a metal door handle? Pull the clock off the wire and when the handle rattles…Do what you can with what you have, if the situation has gotten that far out of hand it’s all you can do.
5 Great Survival Uses For Whiskey, Beside BarteringLet’s begin today’s article by agreeing that having the perfect tools and/or supplies at your disposal in a SHTF situation is a pretty rare occurrence.
The idea is that you’ll have to deal with an emergency using what’s available at that particular time and place.
That’s why, from a prepper’s point of view, stocking multi-purpose items is the way to go. That brings us to today’s topic: whiskey.
I know what you’re thinking – Wait a minute, whiskey and survival? What do they have in common? The answer is – much more than you think, my young Padawan.
With these questions in mind, let’s take a look at the answers.
To begin with a little bit of history, alcohol has been well known for its health benefits for hundreds, or even thousands, of years. Whiskey is a beverage with a high alcohol content that can be used in a multitude of ways during or in the aftermath of a SHTF event.
Regardless of whether you’re a big fan of Prohibition or a whiskey aficionado, the fact remains that many folks will always need their whiskey in a survival situation for various things, including drinking it or using it for trade, fuel, or medicinal purposes.
Are you ready to head to the liquor store? When the going gets tough, whiskey may be one of your best friends, because it’s a true multipurpose tool which may very well save your life someday. If you’re not stocking whiskey yet, keep reading.
Since humanity’s earliest days of trading, people literally risked their lives in the pursuit of happiness, which often included whiskey, wine, beer, or any alcoholic beverage. If disaster strikes and society breaks down, whiskey will be useful for lots of things, including bartering, for that very reason.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Even though society is infinitely more complex than it was 300 years ago, whiskey will still likely become a form of currency during a crisis situation. It’s just the kind of “stuff” some people must procure for themselves at any cost.
But there’s more to whiskey than a valuable commodity in times of peril, though just that would make it a must-have item in your survival stockpile.
Use Whiskey as Combustible
Besides trading it, you can make fuel with it. It’s great to help start a fire when your combustible is damp. Whiskey is great as a fire starter provided its alcohol content is over 40% or 80 proof, so keep that in mind when shopping for your survival whiskey. Also, you can use it as a fuel for your lamp, or as a fire accelerant.
If you’re stocking a higher-proof whiskey, something like 100 proof or more, you can always use it as emergency combustible for certain types of engines. And yes, that will increase its value significantly as a barter-item in a survival situation.
Keep in mind that powering a traditional engine with high-proof whiskey is not a child’s play, as it requires significant tweaking to the ignition timing, the idle circuit, etc., but it’s possible if you know what you’re doing.
You can use it even as a last-resort, self-defense tool, in a Molotov cocktail. And if the going gets really tough, you can always break the bottle and use the shards as a cutting tool or even as a weapon.
Whiskey Works as a Solvent
For the engineers out there, alcohol is a great solvent.
That means whiskey can be used successfully for cleaning your guns, an engine, electronic components and even for rust prevention.
Whiskey Kills Bacteria and Odors
Another cool thing about whiskey is that if mixed with water, it kills harmful bacteria, hence you can always use it to disinfect water procured from dubious sources (after filtering it). Also, if you add some whiskey into your water supply, it will last much longer without spoiling (and it will taste better for sure).
You can use whiskey in an emergency for its hygienic properties, as it efficiently kills odors and bacteria. You can use it as a deodorant, as a perfume (seriously), or as a toner/facial astringent (think aftershave). You can always refresh clothing with whiskey if there’s nothing else available or you can use it to repel/kill bugs.
Whiskey Helps You Staying Healthy
Whiskey can be used to treat/prevent swimmer’s ear due to its excellent antiseptic and drying properties (you can even disinfect medical instruments with the stuff) and it’s great to use as a medicinal mouth wash, especially when confronted with a tooth ache. Just don’t try it before a job interview, all right?
Since we’ve already started, let’s talk about whiskey’s health benefits from a scientific point of view. All types of whiskey decrease the risk of blood clots, help prevent stroke and dementia, and promote healthy cholesterol.
According to various studies, if you drink it in moderation, whiskey not only alleviates boredom but it will decrease your risk of diabetes. It actually destroys cancerous cells. This is especially true for bourbon, which is required by law to be aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 2 years. During the aging process, anti-oxidants such as tannins and vanillins found inside the wood are passed into the bourbon.
Are you sold just yet? If not, let’s take a look at other medicinal uses for your precious whiskey reserve.
Whiskey can be used as an antiseptic agent, but topically only. You should avoid using it for treating deep cuts, though if nothing else is available, whiskey will do.
Also, whiskey is a pain reliever when ingested in small amounts for sore/aching muscles. If you mix whiskey with honey, it will help alleviate a sore throat, and a tiny quantity works miracles as a sinus cleanser. Just try it once; it will clear you right up.
Whiskey Makes You Happy and Warm
There’s also an even better reason for drinking it that you think; that warm and fuzzy feeling is more than just an imaginary experience; alcohol is a well-known anxyolitic, which means that it reduces anxiety.
It’s also a vasodilator, so it actually makes you feel warm, and it’s an antimicrobial. Because of these chemical reactions, it gets you warm, gives you hope when you’re under stress, and kills bacteria and viruses. More on that in a jiffy, right after the break.
The bottom line is this; stockpiling whiskey for the end of the world is not a bad idea after all, as it comes with numerous benefits, not to mention the fun-factor included in the deal.
Just remember to stock up on cheap whiskey with a high alcohol content – 80 proof or higher – as this guarantees it will ignite, and disinfect, better. For your personal drinking pleasure, feel free to stock some of the good stuff; there will certainly be plenty of people willing to trade with you if you find you have extra!
To store it long-term, always purchase your whiskey in glass bottles instead of plastic. That way, your whiskey will store indefinitely as long as you keep it in a cool, dark place with the bottles upright, like in the old days.
I hope this article helped, folks. If you have other ideas or suggestions for using whiskey in a survival situation, feel free to tell us about it in the comments section below!
25 Items That Will Be Worth Their Weight In Gold After The SHTF
When thinking about what to stockpile in case of a major collapse, it’s easy to get caught up in the big stuff and forget about all the little things. I’m talking about small items we use almost every single day and never think twice about until they’re gone. Things like soap, trash bags, toilet paper, and so forth. These things are inexpensive right now, but after the shit hits the fan they will be very valuable.
That’s why when you’re preparing for a disaster, you need to make sure you don’t forget all the little things. When the power is out and you don’t know when (or if) it will come back on, a simple toothbrush will be worth far more than smart phones, video games, and fancy flat screen televisions. The world will be turned on its head and what was once expensive will be cheap and what was once cheap will be expensive. And that is all the more reason you should stock up on the cheap stuff while you still can. If a total collapse never happens, you’ll be able to use this stuff anyway, so no harm done.
Now without further ado, here is my list of dirt-cheap items that will be worth their weight in gold after the SHTF.
1. Toilet paper is essential. You don’t even have to buy the good stuff. Anything will do after a major collapse; even the cheap stuff will be valuable.
2. Duct tape is so useful. Even the stuff at the dollar store will do for minor jobs around the house. Duct tape is a miracle worker in a survival situation.
4. Feminine hygiene products will be in huge demand. Stock up on them now when they don’t cost a fortune.
5. Toothbrushes can be purchased at any dollar store. Dental hygiene is going to be a big deal when you can’t run to the dentist to fix a cavity.
6. Kleenex will help keep your nose from getting raw while you battle colds that are bound to happen after a disaster. Kleenex can also help keep things a bit more sanitary. You don’t want to be wiping boogers and snot on your sleeves, especially if there’s no running water.
7. Socks are going to be critical for keeping your feet warm and dry, and they can prevent blisters. Buy extra packs of socks so your family’s feet will always be dry and comfortable.
9. Plasticware and paper plates will help keep your area tidy, and they’ll save on water because you won’t need to wash dishes. You can burn the plates for heat after they are used.
10. Paper, pens, crayons and whatnot. We take these things for granted today and don’t think twice about finding a pencil around the house. But after a collapse, you will be responsible for educating any children you might have, and writing is going to be a big deal. You may also want to keep a journal. Historic times!
11. Candy, the hard candies mostly, will be a welcome treat. They can be used as incentives for grumpy kids and help keep your mouth wet on a hot day. Stock up on hard candy after Halloween.
12. Chap stick is going to be a big deal when you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Some people will be willing to barter food and other valuables for your $1 tube of chap stick after a collapse.
14. Soap in any form is going to be extremely valuable after a collapse. Buy the cheap stuff, bars or liquid, it doesn’t matter. People need to be able to clean themselves, their clothes, and their surroundings.
15. Hand sanitizer is also going to be very needed and valuable. You can buy a bottle for a buck. Have plenty to use around the house and barter with.
16. Trash bags should be purchased by the case if you can swing it. They’re only a couple bucks a box. After a disaster, you’ll be going through them like crazy. Not only will they help keep smells down, you can use them to make toilets as well.
18. Vitamins are going to be critical for maintaining your health when your diet is lacking raw fruits and veggies. You can load up on these in bulk or buy them at the dollar store. Have a variety of the important ones like vitamins A, C, D and E on hand.
19. Razors for the ladies and the guys. You can buy cheap, universal, disposable razors. Just because the world has gone to hell doesn’t mean you should give up every last nicety in life, like being clean-shaven. Razors will also come in handy if you need to shave around a wound.
20. Zip ties are about as important as duct tape. They can be used to hold a shelter together, hang items from trees, fix fences, and so on. Buy them in bulk; they only cost a few cents each.
21. Cans of Lysol will be very helpful in keeping your home relatively germ free. When you are battling the many germs and viruses that are running rampant, Lysol can help you fight back. It will also be very handy around the latrine or wherever you have set up your toilet. Bleach expires within 6 months, but Lysol will be fully effective for at least 2 years.
23. Tylenol, Advil, and other painkillers will also be a big deal. They do weaken and lose potency over time, so make sure you are constantly updating your stockpile.
24. Ammunition may not seem cheap in the grand scheme of things, but it is cheaper than it will be down the road. Buy as much as you can now. You can never have too much ammunition.
25. Sunscreen will be very helpful on those days you will be spending outside. It does expire and weaken after a couple of years so always add new stock to your stash. Buy it on clearance at the end of the year to save even more money.
These items are just the little extras that are easily overlooked. Don’t forget about the more widely known things like first aid supplies, spices, and batteries. Remember, these things may be dirt cheap right now, but someday they could be as rare as gold.
What You Need To Do Laundry After A Disaster
Here’s the deal, we all love using our electric washing machine and clothes dryer. You may be thinking “I am never going to need clothespins”. Let’s talk about losing power and having no way to wash and dry our clothes, except by hand. Oh, we all need some water, detergent, clothespins, a clothesline, and a wash bucket or two.
Do LaundryA few years ago I found the perfect clothesline, for me anyway. I had been looking for one for about three years. First, I was going to rig something with ropes. Then I looked at a retractable one. Nope, they were not what I wanted for my backyard. I like to research and buy right the first time. Where I live it is really windy at times. Once I had a table umbrella get ripped out of the backyard and sent flying about 100 yards away up on the hill behind our house. Luckily it didn’t hit anything or anyone. I knew I had to buy one I could fold up and put away when not in use. I found that clotheslines from EarthEasy.com. We installed the cement base with the post holder so it could be mowed over the top. We have the clothesline stored in our shed when not in use. Now I had the best clothesline but needed to find some good, strong and sturdy clothespins…..
The Perfect Clothespins
Please look at the clothespins above. The one on the left is not flexible and will not hold the clothes on the line if the fabric or item is thin or too thick. The one on the right side is okay, but they are not strong enough to hold jeans on a clothesline. Hmm. Now, to the perfect clothespin. It’s the one in the middle. Please look at the size of it compared to the one on the right. Also, look at the spring. There is a big difference between the two. The middle one is sturdy and has a lifetime guarantee if they malfunction or break due to normal wear. I also wanted to get something made here in America.
Of course, with any wood product, I will have to keep these out of the elements and bring them inside when my laundry is dried. These clothespins are called Kevin’s Quality Clothespins. I found them on Amazon. These perfect clothespins can be handed down to the next generation because they are so well made. I love these. I am not sure my kids would still want them, but I’m so glad I have them! Kevin’s Quality Clothespins (Maple, natural) Sold in Sets of 10 Lifetime Guarantee and a clothespin holder: Clothesline Bundle – 4 items: Clothesline Bag and 3 sets of Kevin’s Quality Clothespins (Mesh)
In case of emergency, please look at my homemade detergent and emergency washing machine to use in an unforeseen emergency or disaster. Let’s be prepared for the unexpected. Please plan ahead of time how you will wash your laundry when you have zero power.
My favorite things:Kevin’s Quality Clothespins Set of 30 Lifetime Guarantee
Lady and the Carpenter Mesh Clothesline Bags- Clothespin Bags
Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation
5 Gallon White Bucket & Gamma Seal Lid – Food Grade Plastic Pail & Gamma2 Screw Seal Tight Lid (Red)
Breathing Mobile Washer – Handheld, portable, non-electric, mobile, manual clothes washing machine. Handle Included.
I find that many of my fellow Preppers seem to be avid outdoors
folk.. must be par for the course since most who practice the art of the
self-sufficient lifestyle to want to know our surroundings and
understand what it means to live off the land. Some are very skilled
hikers or hunting enthusiasts, some just like to explore but hopefully
all should understand the dangers you may encounter out in the vast
3 Practical Wilderness Survival Tips That Could Actually Save Your Life
We hear stories about it in the news every day; the boy scout who wandered too far from his group and became lost in the mountains for three days in freezing temperatures. The hiker who slipped and fell in a crevice and was stranded there for days as her loyal pup went to summon for help. Or the most recent story about the parents who abandoned their 11 year old son in the forest as a punishment for throwing rocks in the water.
While each of these stories contains a noteworthy element of shock or surprise whether due to an unforeseeable accident or just to the sheer stupidity of some people the fact remains the same – being lost in the woods is scary as hell!
If you should find yourself lost in the wilderness there are many different variables you need to consider before determining the best course of action. Here are three practical wilderness survival tips that could actually save your life should you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
1. Always Be Prepared
If you take a trip into the wilderness the best thing you can do is be prepared before you leave so that you can avoid getting lost in the first place. If you’re going backpacking alone you will want to make sure to let someone know where you are going, when you’re leaving and when they should expect you to return. That way if you do not return when expected there will be someone who knows where to find you.
If you are a beginner or unfamiliar with the landscape it is not recommended to go into the wilderness alone. You should always have a friend with you who can have your back should something bad happen. Even a slip and fall could turn into a fatal situation if there is no one there to go for help and you have no way of contacting emergency services.
Try to stay on the trail so that you can easily find your way back. If you choose to deviate from the beaten path, you should mark your way by leaving stones, sticks, etc. to track your way. You can also make note of landmarks that are easily recognizable to help you find your way back.
You should also make sure to take a pack with several emergency essentials; first aid kit, knife, rope, water purification, food, lighter, compass, whistle, bandana, inflatable solar lantern, phone or gps, etc. By taking these precautions before you leave, you reduce the likelihood of becoming lost in the woods. Even if you do get lost, the survival items you carry with you can keep you alive until you are rescued.
The Art of the Bug Out Bag
What to Eat in the Wilderness
2. Assess the situationFirst you need assess the situation that you find yourself in. Did you get separated from a group or were you traveling alone? The next steps that you take will depend largely on the answer to this question. If you got separated from a group chances are that they are currently trying to locate you. If they can’t locate you on their own there is a likely possibility they will be contacting authorities and search and rescue will be looking for you as well. If that is the case it makes sense to stay put where you are so that you can be located quickly.
If you’re out hiking alone and you get lost, that is a different story altogether. If you are in a high traffic location it still might be your best bet to wait until someone comes along who can help you get back on the right path. If you’re in a very remote area then chances of stumbling upon another hiker are slim to none. In that case you will want make a plan to find your way back to safety. Either way, the course you take will depend further on what time of the day it is and what the weather is like. Even if you’re all alone and don’t expect anyone to come looking for you, it is probably best to stay put and hunker down if you’re approaching nightfall or weather conditions are poor. Trying to find your way to safety in the dark of night or in the middle of a snow or rain storm will only make your situation worse. If that’s the case make a temporary shelter and hunker down for the night, then start again at first light.
No matter what – don’t panic! Don’t start running as fast as you can or screaming out for someone to hear you. That will only use up your stored energy and leave you feeling stressed out and exhausted. Keep calm, take a step back and assess the situation before you make any moves. When you’re calm and collected you can make wise decisions about which action to take next. By keeping your cool, you can logically plan your escape strategy without getting further lost or missing a rescue opportunity.
Best Camping, Hiking and Wilderness Survival Books
3. Find your way to safetyOnce you have assessed the situation you should be able to plan your best method for survival. At this point you can determine whether you want to shelter in place and wait for rescue or try to find your way back to safety. Should you decide to shelter in place be prepared to provide the basic necessities to keep yourself alive through the night by using your survival knowledge to build a makeshift shelter.
Always bring a compass and familiarize yourself with basic navigation techniques so that you can find your way out. If you do not have a phone or GPS system with you, there are some basic navigation techniques that you can use to find your way back to safety. Following a river downstream is usually a foolproof way to find your way back to civilization.
Celestial Navigation Techniques
Special Forces Navigation Training
This article was contributed by Todd Tucker, Survival Spot Blog Editor and contributing author. Todd has over 20 years of experience practicing and perfecting wilderness survival techniques. He is a highly skilled rough terrain hiker, climber, fisherman, large game hunter and survival gear expert.
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15 Ways To Be Prepared For The UnexpectedToday I am sharing 15 ways to be prepared for the unexpected. These are a few of my bare minimum ideas, but it’s a good start. I want you to picture it’s 7:00 p.m. at night and all of the sudden the lights go out. The TV turns off and it’s dark everywhere. We look across the street to see if Mary has her lights on. Hmmm, we don’t see any lights. Then I can see I am going to miss my favorite TV show. Dang! Oh goodness, NOW it’s really hot because the fans or air conditioning are off, or it’s really cold because the furnace is no longer working. We need to ask ourselves, am I prepared to withstand the temperatures without any power available?
Now it’s the next day and still no power. No internet. No lights. No running water because the local power system can’t pump the water to our homes. Let’s take a moment and see how we really need to be prepared. You know, are we prepared for the unexpected?
Now it’s day three, and the power is still off, no electricity, no running water. We know this happens all over the world occasionally. But with the various fires, flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes going on around us we could be without power for days, weeks or maybe even months.
15 Ways To Be Prepared1. Keep up on laundry. If we lose power for two weeks or more you will want at least 90% of your laundry done. I know hand washing clothes can be a chore. Are you prepared to hand wash all your laundry? Hopefully, at least our underwear can be rinsed and dried. Do you have enough laundry detergent to last you several weeks or months? Do you have a clothesline to hang your wet clothes to dry? My laundry detergent recipe: Homemade-Laundry-Detergent-or-Soap-by-Food-Storage-Moms I use one teaspoon of my homemade detergent per load in my H.E.front loader washing machine.
2. Budgets, please organize your bills, set them up on automatic payments, if possible. This way none of your bills will be delinquent. I am thinking while I write this post I am picturing only four or five states around us without power. So if your auto payment is in say a state outside your area you will be good to go. No late payments. You might not be able to go online and pay that bill, we might be without power for days or weeks.
3. Gas tank, please keep at least half full or more. UPDATE: I now suggest we keep our gas tanks 3/4 full. If you need to leave or evacuate your neighborhood your car is ready to take you and your family as far as your gas tank can drive you.
4. Small bills, please keep a few one and five dollar bills so if you absolutely need something you have the cash to purchase it. Remember, in a power outage, the gas stations will be inoperable because they don’t use generators. No gasoline will be available unless someone has an old style gas pump that works without electricity.
5. Flashlights, you can never have enough of them. If you have the battery type, how many batteries do you have stored? If you have a crank flashlight, that’s even better. This is my favorite flashlight from Goal Zero. No batteries needed. Crank, solar and plug in to charge even in the car. Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel and this one: Goal Zero 90109 Solo V2 Solar Flashlight
6. Water, how much water do you have stored? You need a lot more than you might think. Count the number of people in your home and multiply that by one gallon per day minimum. I mean at the very minimum. See below how much is really needed. If the roads are shut down will the stores even have what you may need? No, they will not, water will be the first to fly off the shelves.
It is vital to have water storage to sustain life. Many times in natural disasters the electricity goes down and we are unable to access water via our hoses, taps, etc. Sometimes the water is contaminated from flooding and cross-contamination from sewage. You will need water for a minimum of three days. If we don’t have water, we will not be able to use many of the freeze dried or dehydrated food we need to eat every day. Some garden hoses have lead in them; use a lead-free hose to fill containers. There are numerous containers available in which to store water; use a container that works for you and your family.
Minimum water needed per day per person:
1 gallon per day, per person to stay hydrated. If you live in a HOT area you may need more.
4 gallons per day, per person, allows for personal hygiene, washing of dishes, etc.
5 to12 gallons per day would be needed for a conventional toilet
1/2 to two gallons for a pour flush latrine
My favorite water containers: Water Storage Containers – Water Storage Containers – WaterBrick – 8 Pack Blue and this is my favorite water preserver: 55 Gallon Water Preserver Concentrate 5 Year Emergency Disaster Preparedness, Survival Kits, Emergency Water Storage, Earthquake, Hurricane, Safety
7. Food, check out your pantry or food storage area and think about how much food you have, and then you can estimate how long you can feed your family. Let’s assume the grocery stores are 10 miles away and the roads are broken from a slight earthquake, or maybe a tornado or an ice storm. Next, picture walking there and finding out the store shelves are empty. I have heard some church organizations are no longer telling/reminding their members to stock up on food. They have told them for many many years to do so. If they don’t have it now they probably never will.
8. One temporary cooking device is critical. I realize we can eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches, or even tuna if you have bread or crackers. Okay, we can eat them out of the jars with a spoon if we have to. After a few days, we just might want some hot soup. We may need to boil our water to kill the bacteria. I have seen inexpensive little butane stoves for about $25.00 to more expensive items. Camp Chef Butane 1 Burner Stove with Camping Case and be sure and get some fuel: 12 Butane Fuel GasOne Canisters for Portable Camping Stoves
9. Medical supplies, first aid kit. If your children have a fever, cough or very deep cut….are you prepared to handle the situation? I love essential oils, but sometimes I need more than that. I might need antibiotics or my prescriptions. Oh, the pharmacy is closed because their computers don’t work without power. Yes, they might have a generator until the gasoline runs out that powers it. My first aid list: First-Aid-Kit-Checklist-Printable
10. Do you have extra blankets, jackets, or sweaters to protect you and your family from the cold?
11. Do you have fuel to power your cooking device(s) to prepare meals, if this becomes a two-month situation? We can’t depend or expect the government to take care of everything. It’s not going to happen, at least not right away. The government agencies have so many issues and people to deal with. You may be on your own for a very long time.
12. How well do you know your neighbors? If a tree falls on your house is there someone in your neighborhood that could help you cut it down? I’m thinking a chainsaw would come in handy right now. Where I live we don’t have large trees, but if you live somewhere with large trees you need fuel to power the chainsaws.
13. If you have babies in your home, do you have cloth diapers in case you run out of disposable ones? Do you have young girls that need monthly supplies for that time of the month? What about toilet paper for any extended period? What about some extra toothpaste, toothbrushes, or deodorant?
14. Do you have a generator or solar power source to power your computers if you have a home based company? Can they power your computers, printers, cell phones, etc.? Emails or texting might be our only way to communicate, let alone run a small business.
15. Communication, we need walkie-talkies or ham radios. This is a good reason to get to know your neighbors. You can set your walkie-talkies to the same channels. This way you can check on those neighbors, family members nearby to make sure they are okay.
So now you know my 15 ways to be prepared for the unexpected that are just the beginning of all the things we need. You just start somewhere. You don’t have to do the whole list all at once. Please start with the basics, you will be glad you did. May God bless you, your family, and our country.