Sunday, January 24, 2016

Winter Storm Prepardness

Winter storms, snow, windchill, frost, ice and extreme cold are a coast-to-coast threat to the United States and its territories. Even Hawaii gets snow on its Big Island and frost is a major threat to crops in Southern states. Major cities as far south as Atlanta and Dallas have been paralyzed by snow and ice. Extreme cold is a relative term. It is defined very differently in Miami, FL, than in Fairbanks, AK. This page is designed to teach you how to stay safe in a winter storm or in abnormally cold weather for your area. If you know what to do before, during, and after a winter event, you can increase your chances of survival. On this site, you will find information on winter alerts, science and hazards, as well as snow coverage maps and information describing the different types of winter storms as well as how to deal with extreme cold. You'll also find a broad array of educational materials. 

The NOAA Weather Preparedness Events Calendar shows a state by state list of hazards you should be prepared for.  In addition, they provide NOAA Weather Radio, a radio channel that everyone should have access to. It will give weather warnings and advice.  

Before the storm strikes, make sure your home, office and vehicles are stocked with the supplies you might need. Make sure farm animals and pets also have the essentials they will need during a winter storm.

Your primary concerns at home or work during a winter storm are loss of heat, power and telephone service and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day. In either place, you should have available:

At Home and Work:
  1. Flashlight and extra batteries
  2. Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and portable radio to receive emergency information
  3. Extra food and water such as dried fruit, nuts and granola bars, and other food requiring no cooking or refrigeration. Seven to fourteen gallons of water per person is recommended by the Prepper Handbook.
  4. Extra prescription medicine
  5. Baby items such as diapers and formula
  6. First-aid supplies
  7. Heating fuel: refuel before you are empty; fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a winter storm
  8. Emergency heat source: fireplace, wood stove or space heater, properly ventilated to prevent a fire
  9. Fire extinguisher, smoke alarm; test smoke alarms once a month to ensure they work properly
  10. Extra pet food and warm shelter for pets
  11. Review generator safety. You should never run a generator in an enclosed space.
  12. Home fires are common each winter when trying to stay warm. Review ways to keep your home and loved ones safe.

In your Vehicle:
Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm! Fully check and winterize your vehicle before the winter season begins. Carry a Winter Storm Survival Kit that includes the following:
  1. Mobile phone, charger, batteries
  2. Blankets/sleeping bags
  3. Flashlight with extra batteries
  4. Firstaid kit
  5. Knife
  6. High-calorie, non-perishable food
  7. Extra clothing to keep dry
  8. Large empty can to use as emergency toilet, tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes
  9. Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  10. Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
  11. Shovel
  12. Windshield scraper and brush
  13. Tool kit
  14. Tow rope
  15. Battery booster cables
  16. Water container
  17. Candle and matches to provide light and in an emergency, lifesaving heat.
  18. Compass and road maps, don't depend on mobile devices with limited battery life
Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Avoid traveling alone. Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes.

On the Farm, Pet Owners: 

Move animals to shelter
ed areas or bring pets inside. Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds.
  1. Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
  2. Have water available. Most animals die from dehydration in winter storms.
  3. Make sure pets have plenty of food and water and a warm shelter.

What To Do If You're Caught in a Winter Storm

When caught in a winter storm, there are life saving actions you can take to protect yourself outside, in a vehicle and inside your home or office.

  1. Find Shelter: Try to stay dry and cover all exposed body parts.
  2. When There Is No Shelter Nearby: Build a lean-to, windbreak or snow cave for protection from the wind. Build a fire for heat and to attract attention. Place rocks around the fire to absorb and reflect heat.
  3. Melt Snow for Drinking Water: Eating unmelted snow will lower your body temperature.
  4. Exercise: From time to time, move arms, legs, fingers and toes vigorously to keep blood circulating and to keep warm. Avoid overexertion such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow if you are not in good health. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.

 If you must drive during a storm, take the following precautions:

  1. Slow down! Even if the roads just look wet they could still be slick. More than 6,000 fatalities occur on the roadways each year due to weather conditions.
  2. Make sure your vehicle is completely clear of ice or snow before starting the trip. Flying snow from cars causes accidents.
  3. Let someone know where you are going and what route you will take. If something happens, this person will know where to start a search.
  4. Don't leave the house without the following a fully charged mobile phone and car charger and a emergency supplies kit in your car.
  5. If you are driving and begin to skid, remain calm, ease your foot off the gas and turn your wheels in the direction you want the front of the car to go. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump the brakes on an ABS equipped vehicle.
  6. If you are having trouble seeing due to weather conditions, pull over to the side of the road and stop your car until visibility improves. Turn off your lights and use your parking break when stopped so that another car won't mistakenly follow your tail/brake lights and end up hitting you.

If your car gets stuck during a storm:

  • Stay in the vehicle!
    • If you leave your vehicle, you will become disoriented quickly in wind-driven snow and cold.
    • Run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat.
    • While running the motor, open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • Clear snow from the exhaust pipe to avoid gas poisoning.
  • Be visible to rescuers.
    • Turn on the dome light at night when running the engine.
    • Tie a bright colored cloth, preferably red, to your antenna or door.
    • After snow stops falling, raise the hood to indicate you need help 

Stay Inside: When using heat from a fire place, wood stove, space heater, etc., use fire safeguards and properly ventilate. 

If Your Heat Goes Out
  1. Close off unneeded rooms to avoid wasting heat.
  2. Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
  3. Close blinds or curtains to keep in some heat.
  4. Eat and drink. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Drinks lots of water and other non-caffeinated, non-alcholohic drinks to prevent dehydration. Cold air is very dry.
  5. Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Remove layers to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.
 For more information see:

Blog Table of Contents
US Government Recommended Preparations
Prepper Handbook 
$5 Solar Battery Charger

Food and water:

Disaster Preparations:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Off Grid Lighting

This is perhaps the most versatile off grid lighting I've seen.

It provides solar powered lighting for the outside AND inside of your home.  In addition, these can be used as a solar battery charger and make great stealth Prepper gifts for family members.  With a package of extra rechargeable batteries, these will provide lighting for years.

Here are a few good passive lights that are solar powered and use common AA so they can double as solar battery chargers:
2)  Economy version

For more information:
Blog Table of Contents

Power Outage Preps
Power Outage Heater

EMP Survival
The SHTF Day One
Survive a 2 week Power Outage
Complete Sustainable Living Plan
Backup Power Supply
Backup Electricity for under $50
See similar topics by clicking on the labels below

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Why I avoid doing business in Gun Free Zones

  1. Gun Free Zones are dangerous with 86% of the mass public shootings occurring in Gun Free Zones.  Some sources report this figure as 92%.  This means a mass shooting is more than 5 times more likely to occur in a Gun Free Zone.  Gun control proponents point out that many shootings occur in private homes so I must ask, do they want to ban guns in our homes too?  The real answer is yes.
  2. The highest fatality shootings are in Gun Free Zones according to an FBI study of 160 shootings.  There are 7 times higher fatalities when it is necessary to wait for police arrive to stop an active shooter compared to an armed citizen being present and stopping the shooter. Combined, this means you are 35 times more likely to get shot in a Gun Free Zone than in public places that do not ban guns.
  3. The highest casualty shootings in the FBI study of 160 shootings were all in Gun Free Zones.
  4. Decision Makers who declare & enforce Gun Free Zones are usually negligent in their responsibility to provide adequate security when they disarm law abiding citizens, leading them to become victims.  Until there are more civil suits to hold decision makers responsible, this is likely to continue.  In some cases, business have installed metal detectors and implement searches to enforce their Gun Free Zones.  All this does is disarm law abiding citizens. 
  5. The US is not the only country that has shootings. Many European countries have more and all of their shootings are in Gun Free Zones.  In fact France suffered more casualties (murders and injuries) from mass public shootings in 2015 than the US has suffered during Obama’s entire presidency (UPDATED 524 to 428) and their gun laws are far stricter than the US who has 4.9 times their population.  Further, in countries that ban guns, their total violent crime (not just shootings) goes up, not down.  Most of the big numbers of shootings that gun banners talk about are done by the police, or are suicides.
  6. There are only two mass public shootings since at least 1950 that have not been part of some other crime where at least four people have been killed in an area where civilians are generally allowed to have guns.  These are the International House of Pancakes restaurant in Carson City, Nevada on September 6, 2011 and the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011   This clearly shows that when someone decides to go out and randomly shoot people, they pick Gun Free Zones.
  7. FBI data indicates that crime goes down as gun ownership goes up.  Just look at Chicago IL, where Obama was Senator.  They have some of the strictest gun laws and highest crime rates.
 It is important that we avoid Gun Free Zones and send the message that such a decision can cause businesses to lose customers.

 For more information see these links:
  This last one tells about some of the errors in the Gun Banner reports and how fact check organization said it was mostly false.
 For additional topics from the Prepper Handbook see: BLOG TABLE OF CONTENTS

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Years Resolution

Happy New Year! As a New Years resolution, lets pledge to protect our families against common disasters for our area. Events like earthquakes or severe weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms, freezing cold and whatever other disasters that are likely to occur over the next few years. With all the rioting going on, we should include that too.  At the very least, put a plan in place. 

The following is an excerpt from the Prepper Handbook that can be previewed for free on Amazon.

Prepper Incremental Strategy
Now let’s talk about common sense prepping. Not going overboard or becoming obsessed, but rather build your preparations slowly over time. Few of us have unlimited funds to go out and buy everything we need at once. Therefore, we must organize, prioritize, and develop our preparations over time. I call this our Incremental Strategy Plan. As you read this book, you should develop your own plan. The following table is an excellent example to follow and can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

This table gives you several columns that represent the approximate times that you might be able to survive with no outside support. The columns and rows are in order of priority. Starting on the left is the minimum level of preparations that you should have. Start at the top row of the first column and work down. Once you achieve the first column level titled “0 – 25%, 7 days” then it is time to move across and start securing the second column of preparations titled “26 – 50%, 30 days.”  Continue this process until you are comfortable with your level of preparation.

You will notice the first item shown in the first column and first row is Ammo and at least one firearm. It doesn’t matter what preparations you have in place; you won’t be able to keep them unless you are armed.
Prepper Incremental Strategy Table
        Column 1st priority         2nd priority      3rd priority      4th priority
Prep Level &Period of time:
0–25%7 days26– 50%30 days51 – 75%6 Months76 – 98%1 Year +
Comment on potential cause, symptoms and consequencesFlu, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, chemical leak, wildfire. Power / water out a few days. Minor looting. Less than 1% population lossSerious pandemic, massive chemical or radiation leak, wildfire, rioting & gang looting.Power / water out for weeks.Single digit population loss.Social upheaval, terrorist or limited nuke attack, large organized gang looting. Indefinite power outage. Double digit population loss.EMP, Economic Meltdown, hyperinflation,Organized Militia, possibly foreign “help imposing order”, confiscating weapons & supplies for the common good. 50+% population losses.
Security(1st priority row)200 rounds of Ammo & at least one personal protection firearm. Solar Powered Lawn Lights that use AA Batteries.Crank radio & flash lights.Whistles for emergency communication.Increase to 500 rounds of Ammo per firearm & at least 1 pistol & rifle.Add: Solar Powered Motion detection alarms (Home Brite) and Walkie Talkie Radios, CB, ham radios, trip wire, guard dog.Increase to 1,000 rounds of Ammo per firearm.Add: at least 1 pistol & rifle per adult; Gen 3 Night Vision & a bullet proof vest for every 2 – 3 adults.Increase to 5,000 rounds of Ammo per firearm.Add Bow & 24 Arrows for each adult; Black Powder Flintlock rifle & bullet mold.Also one Ruger or Marlin Stainless Steel .22 Rifle per Teenager.Gen 3 Night Vision (2).
Watch(2nd priority row)Radio, TV, daily scouting in pairs / visit neighbors. Sleep with 1 eye open.Night watchman24 – 7 Armed Security WatchCommunity Organized Constitutional law enforcement.
Air(3rd priority row)Gas Mask per person. Recall smoke inhalation kills, not the house fire.Add: Gas Mask for each vehicle & extra set of filters per family member.Add: 2 NBC (Nuclear, Biological & Chemical) Suits.Add: another extra set of filters and 2 NBC Suits.
Shelter(4th priority)Stocked primary residence & backup tent. Outdoor barking dogs.Add: Get out of Dodge (GOOD) pack; Neighborhood organized.Add: remote retreat with underground shelter & sufficient fuel to get there.Add: Security posts for community watch with good cover & communications. Restore utility services.
Water(5th priority)1 gallon of unscented bleach per family and 7 gallons of stored water per person.Increase to 30 gallons of stored water per person.Add: Water filtration.Increase to two (2) gallons of bleach.Add:  renewal water source – creek, pond.Increase to four (4) gallons of unscented bleach.Add: water distillation.
Food(6th priority)Kitchen pantry & cabinets well stocked with your normal foods, especially dried goods and those with long shelf lives. Have a small “practice” garden and a few hand tools.Add:  Freezer stocked with ¼ to ½ beef & commonly used frozen foods. Electric Generator and gas to run freezer. Canning book(s), water pump, matches & fire starters. Larger garden.Add: 6 month supply of dried food for each person. 1,000 canning Jars & extra lidsGarden Seeds. Chickens & Incubator for eggs & meat. RabbitsIncrease vitamins & food supply to 12 months.Add:   Heirloom seeds & hand / garden tools for extended food production.Cows, goats, sheep, horses.
Health & Safety(7th priority)Advanced First aid Kit.Keep plenty of vitamins & medicines. Fire protectionAdd: Extra First Aid supplies like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, triple Antibiotic cream, acetaminophen, ibuprofen & Vitamins.Add Books – When there is no Doctor & When there is no Dentist. Expand fire protection.Group Doctor or nurse. Trauma & surgery first aid kit. Books on nutrition.
Barter / Share(8th priority)Cash, Water & dried foods. Extra First Aid kit(s). Extra Batteries & LED head lights  Basic first aide kitsAdd: Extra first aid supplies Basic Skills, Survival & Medical Books, Bibles. Rechargeable batteries.Add:  Extra ammo in common calibers.Extra Stainless Steel 22 Rifles to arm trusted neighbors.Add: US Silver &/or Gold coins. Organized weekly community barter & swap events.Extra Hand & Gardening Tools.
Extras(9th priority)Quality AC inverter (120 volt Plug) for your car(s). Police Scanner, can openers. Pet food.Several 5 Gal Cans of Gas & maps. Propane (long shelf life), Kerosene & Lamps. Para Cord (Mil Std 8 ply).Solar power system,  hand water pump, rain water collection, grain grinder,Trauma and Surgical Kit, home school books, encyclopedia, fish nets, and Alternate resort off site stores cached for retreat plan.
This table is an example to present the incremental strategy concept. The actual priorities may vary depending on your situation. If you live near a nuclear power plant, NBC (Nuclear, Biological & Chemical) Suits are a higher priority. If you live near a chemical plant, refinery, or areas with frequent wild fires, then Gas Masks & extra filters become a higher priority. If you live in a crowded area with no place to go (Bug Out), then you need more security and motion detection, community organization and weapons to share with neighbors for strength in numbers.  See the post Urban Survival Plan

For additional information see the following links: