Saturday, July 8, 2017

Post Nuke Plan

In a national crisis of imminent nuclear weapon attacks, read all the way through this guide first, THEN TAKE EFFECTIVE PROTECTIVE ACTION, BEFORE THEY STRIKE, WITH CONFIDENCE... FAST!
#1 - STAY OR GO?
You must decide FIRST if you need to prepare where you are, or attempt evacuation. The nature of the threat, your prior preparations, and your confidence in your sources of information should direct your decision. If you know already you will be preparing to stay at your own home or, at least, the immediate local area, go now to #2 below.
If you are considering evacuation, your decision requires very high confidence that it is worth the risk. You do not want to get stuck between your current location and your hoped for destination, as there will probably be no easy moving forward or getting back. If you fail to get to your destination, you may be exposed without shelter, in a dangerous situation, perhaps among panicked hordes of refugees. Whatever supplies you have may be limited then to what you can carry on foot. IF you are in a big city or near a military target, AND you have relatives or friends in the country or sufficient resources, AND the roads between you and them are clear, AND the authorities are not yet restricting traffic, AND you have the means and fuel, evacuation may be a viable option for a limited time. DO NOT attempt evacuation if all of the above is not clearly known, or if the situation is deteriorating too quickly to assure the complete trip. You do not want to get stuck and/or become a refugee being herded along with panicked masses. If evacuation is truly a viable option, do not wait - GO NOW! Do so with as many of the supplies listed in #7 as possible. Better to be two days too early in arriving than two hours too late and getting snagged mid-way, potentially exposing your family to a worse fate than having stayed where you were. Because of the very real danger of getting caught in an evacuation stampede that stalls, almost all families will be better off making the best of it wherever they currently are.
Because time is of the essence, you need to first delegate and assign to different adult family members specific tasks so they can all be accomplished at the same time. Your first priorities to assure your family survival are Shelter, Water, and Food/Supplies. While some are working on the water storage and shelter at home, others need to be acquiring, as much as possible, the food and supplies, if stores not already besieged.
Because much of the food and supplies listed at #7 of this guide may quickly become unavailable, you need to assign someone NOW to immediately go to the stores with that list! Get cash from the bank and ATM's first, if it can be done quickly, but try and use credit cards at the stores, if at all possible, to preserve your cash.
#4 - WATER
With one or more adults now heading to the stores with the list at #7, those remaining need to begin storing water IMMEDIATELY! Lack of clean water will devastate your family much more quickly and more severely than any lack of food. Without clean water for both drinking and continued good sanitary practices in food preparation and for bathroom excursions (which could become less sanitary than normal), debilitating sickness could rampage through your family with little hope of prompt medical attention. That is a likely but, avoidable, disaster, ONLY IF you have enough water.
Every possible container needs to be filled with water RIGHT NOW! It will be very hard to have stored too much water. When the electricity/pumps go down or everybody in your community is doing the same thing, thus dropping the water pressure, what you've got is all you might be getting for a very long time. Empty pop bottles (1-3 liter) are ideal for water storage, also filling up the bathtub and washing machine. (Remember, later you'll have some in your hot water tank.) If you have any kiddie pools or old water beds, pull them out and fill them up, too. (Water from a water bed should be used only for bathing or cleaning, not for drinking as it may contain traces of algaecide and/or fungicides.) Anything and everything that'll hold water needs to be filled up quickly RIGHT NOW!!
One of the shopping items listed at #7 is new metal garbage cans and liner bags which you'll also use for storing water. If you can't get any more new cans, you could clean out an existing garbage can, then put in a new garbage bag liner and fill it with water. Even sturdy boxes and dresser drawers could be used with bag liners. Choose well where you fill up garbage cans with water because they won't easily be moved once full and many of them together could be too heavy for some upper floor locations. Ideally, they need to be very near where your shelter will be constructed and can actually add to its shielding properties, as you'll see below. BE ASSURED, YOU CANNOT STORE AND HAVE TOO MUCH WATER! Do not hesitate, fill up every possible container, RIGHT NOW!
The principles of radiation protection are simple - with many options and resources families can use to prepare or improvise a very effective shelter. You must throw off any self-defeating myths of nuclear un-survivability that may needlessly paralyze and panic, and then seal the fate of, less informed families.
Radioactive fallout is the particulate matter (dust) produced by a nuclear explosion and carried high up into the air by the mushroom cloud. It drifts on the wind and most of it settles back to earth downwind of the explosion. The heaviest, most dangerous, and most noticeable fallout, typically dark grit, will 'fall out' first closer to ground zero. It may begin arriving minutes after an explosion. The smaller and lighter dust-like particles will typically be arriving hours later, as they drift much farther downwind, often for hundreds of miles. Once it begins to arrive, whether visible or not, all that will fall will usually do so in about an hour, coating everything, just like dust does on the ground and roofs. However, rain can concentrate the fallout into localized 'hot spots' of much more intense radiation with no visible indication.
This radioactive fallout 'dust' is dangerous because it is emitting penetrating radiation energy (similar to x-ray's). This radiation (not the fallout dust) can go right through walls, roofs, windows and clothing. Even if you manage not to inhale or ingest the dust, and keep it off your skin, hair, and clothes, and even if none gets inside your house, the radiation penetrating your home is still extremely dangerous, and can injure or kill you inside.
Radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion, though very dangerous initially, loses its intensity quickly because it is giving off so much energy. For example, fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at an initial rate over 500 R/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure for 50%) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Two days later, it's only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially.
That is really very good news, because our families can readily survive it IF we get them into a proper shelter to safely wait it out as it becomes less dangerous with every passing hour.
What reduces radiation, and thus protects your family, is simply putting distance and mass between them and the radiation source. Like police body armor stopping bullets, mass stops (absorbs) radiation. The thicker and heavier the mass, the more radiation it stops, and the more effective it is with every inch more you add to your fallout shelter. The thickness in inches needed to cut the radiation down to only 1/10th of its initial intensity for different common materials is: Steel 3.3", concrete 11", earth 16", water 24", wood 38". The thickness required to stop 99% of the radiation is: 5" of steel, 16" of solid brick or hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand, 2 feet of packed earth or 3 feet if loose, 3 feet of water. (BTW, lead is nothing special, same as anything else pound for pound.) You may not have enough steel available, but anything you do have will have mass and can be used to add to your shielding - it just takes more thickness of lighter wood or books, for example, than heavier earth, to absorb and stop the same amount of radiation. Increasing the distance between your family inside and the radiation outside also greatly reduces the radiation intensity.
The goals of your family fallout shelter are:
  • To maximize the distance away from the fallout 'dusting' outside on the ground, roof and trees
  • To maximize the mass between your family and the fallout outside to absorb the deadly radiation
  • To make the shelter tolerable to stay in while the radiation subsides with every passing hour
While a fallout shelter can be built anywhere, you should see what your best options are at home or nearby. Many structures already provide significant shielding or partial shielding that can be enhanced for adequate protection. If you do not have a basement available, you can still use the techniques shown below in any above ground structure, you'll just need more mass to achieve the same level of shielding. You may consider using other solid structures nearby, especially those with below ground spaces, such as commercial buildings, schools, churches, below ground parking garages, large and long culverts, tunnels, etc.. Some of these may require permissions and/or the acquiring of additional materials to minimize any fallout drifting or blowing into them, if open ended. Buildings with a half-dozen or more floors, where there is not a concern of blast damage, may provide good radiation protection in the center of the middle floors. This is because of both the distance and the shielding the multiple floors provide from the fallout on the ground and roof.
Bottom Line: choose a structure nearby with both the greatest mass and distance already in place between the outside, where the fallout would settle, and the shelter occupants inside.

If you have a basement in your home, or at a nearby relatives' or friends' house that you can use, your best option is probably to fortify and use it, unless you have ready access to a better structure nearby.For an expedient last-minute basement shelter, push a heavy table that you can get under into the corner that has the soil highest on the outside. The ground level outside ideally needs to be a couple feet above the top of the table shelter inside. If no heavy table is available, you can take internal doors off their hinges and lay them on supports to create your 'table'. Then pile any available mass atop and around the other two open sides such as books, cord wood, bricks, sandbags, heavy appliances, full file cabinets, full water containers, your food stocks, even boxes and pillow cases full of anything heavy, like dirt. Everything you can pile up and around it has mass that will help absorb and stop more radiation from penetrating inside - the heavier the better. However, reinforce your table and supports so you do not overload it and risk collapse.



Leave a small crawl-through entrance and more mass there that can be easily pulled in after you, but with a gap at the top to allow exhaust air out. Have another gap of 4-6" square low at the other end for incoming fresh air. Make bigger if crowded and/or hotter climate. A small piece of cardboard can help fan fresh air in if the natural rising warmer air convection current needs an assist moving the air along. This incoming air won't need to be filtered if the basement has been reasonably sealed up, however any windows or other openings will require some solid mass coverage to assure they stay sealed and to provide additional shielding protection for the basement. More details on this in the next (#6) section.
With more time, materials, and carpentry or masonry skills, you could even construct a more formal fallout shelter, such as the FEMA lean-to on the right, but you will need to assure structural integrity is achieved and adequate mass is utilized.
An effective fallout shelter constructed in a basement may reduce your radiation exposure 100-200+ fold. Thus, if the initial radiation intensity outside was 500 R/hr (fatal in one hour for 50%), the basement shelter occupants might only experience 5 R/hr or even less, which is survivable, as the radiation intensity will be decreasing with every passing hour.


Adding mass on the floor above your chosen basement corner, and outside against the walls opposite your shelter, will also increase your shielding protection. Every inch thicker adds up to more effective life-saving radiation shielding.
As cramped as that table space fallout shelter might seem, the vital shielding provided by simply moving some mass into place could be the difference between exposure to a lethal dose of radiation and the survival of your family.
The majority of people requiring any sheltering at all will be many miles downwind, and they will not need to stay sheltered for weeks on end. In fact, most people will only need to stay sheltered full-time for 2-3 days before coming out to safely join the evacuation, if even still necessary then. As miserable and cramped as it might seem now, you and your family can easily endure a couple days of that, especially compared to the alternative.
It's really not so difficult to quickly build an effective family fallout shelter, especially if you get started planning it before needed!
If you've accomplished the above; securing your supplies, stored water, and built your family fallout shelter, CONGRATULATIONS! You have now succeeded in improving the odds of survival for your family 100-fold, or more! Now, you need to expand your knowledge and fine-tune the tactics that will make the most of your family survival strategy.

  • If close to a target, your first indication of a nuclear detonation may be with its characteristic blinding bright flash. The first effects you may have to deal with before radioactive fallout arrives, depending on your proximity to it, are blast and thermal energy. Promptly employing the old "Duck & Cover" strategy, immediately upon the first indication of the flash, will save many from avoidable flying debris injuries and minimize thermal burns. Those close could soon experience a brief, tornado strength, wind blast and should quickly dive behind or under any solid object, away from or below windows. Even in the open, just laying flat, reduces by eight fold the odds of being hit by any debris. A very large 500 kiloton blast, 2.2 miles away, will arrive about 8 seconds after the detonation flash with a very strong three second wind blast. That delay is even greater farther away. That is a lot of time to duck & cover IF alert and you should stay down for 2 minutes. If not near any target 'ground zero' you will only, like the vast majority, have to deal with the fallout later.
  • Government information and guidance is a vital resource in your response to a nuclear crisis, but for many reasons it may be late, incomplete, misleading or simply in error. While evacuation might be prudent for individuals who act quickly in response to a threat, governments will be slow to call for mass evacuations before an event because of their potential for panic and gridlock. As past government calls for duct tape and plastic led to sold-out stores, anxiety, and derision from the press, there will be great reluctance to issue similar alarms. If you want to assure that you have adequate food, water & shelter for your family you must act BEFORE the panic without first waiting for government instructions that may never come or as urgently as warranted. You alone are ultimately responsible for your family.
  • Filtering the air in your basement shelter won't be required. Air does not become radioactive, and if your basement is reasonably snug, there won't be any wind blowing through it to carry radioactive fallout dust inside. Simply sealing any basement windows and other openings prevents significant fallout from getting inside. To improve both the radiation shielding inside the basement, and to protect the windows from being broken and letting fallout blow in later, you should cover them all with wood, and then with earth, sandbags or solid masonry blocks, etc. on the outside and even the inside too, if possible. If the basement air gets stale later on, you could re-open a door into the upper floors of the closed house, or secure a common furnace air filter over an outside air opening leading into your basement.
  • Regarding fallout contamination, any food or water stored in sealed containers, that can later have any fallout dust brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container, will then be safe to use. As long as the fallout dust does not get inside the container, then whatever radiation penetrated the food/water container from the outside does not harm the contents. If you suspect that your clothes have fallout on them, remove your outer clothing before you come inside and leave them outside. A cheap plastic hooded rain poncho that can be easily rinsed off or left outside is very effective. Have water and baby shampoo near the entrance to wash and thoroughly rinse any exposed skin and hair. Exposure to fallout radiation does not make you radioactive, but you need to assure that you don't bring any inside. If any are stricken with radiation sickness, typically nausea, it is when mild, 100% recoverable and cannot be passed on to others. Before fallout arrives, you might also try to cover up items you want to protect outside for easier rinsing off of the fallout dust later when it's safe to come out and do so. For instance, if you have a vegetable gardening spot or cordwood for heating, you might try covering some of it with plastic or tarp.
  • If without sufficient time to acquire radiological instruments of your own, like survey meters, Geiger counters and dosimeters, you'll need to be extra sure that your portable radios function properly from inside your shelter and that you have plenty of fresh batteries stocked for them. Without radiological instruments, listening for official guidance about the radiation threat levels in your particular area will be the only way you'll know when it's becoming safe to venture out. It might also be the only way you'll know when you first need to take your initial maximum protective action. When not in use, they should not be attached to any outside antenna or even have their own antenna extended. And, they should be wrapped in any non-conducting insulation, like layers of paper or bubble wrap plastic and then stored in a metal container or wrapped in aluminum foil to minimize the potential of EMP ruining the electronics. Having back-up radios would be very prudent. With extra radios, you can have one always tuned to the closest likely target city and, if it suddenly goes off the air, that could be your first indication of an attack. Same thing if electricity suddenly went out, too.
  • When fallout is first anticipated, but has not yet arrived, anyone not already sheltered should begin using their N95 particulate respirator masks and hooded rain ponchos. Everyone should begin taking Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine, a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. If no tablets available, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, like tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine solutions are NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to possible exposure. For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml. For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don't have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly. Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. Ideally, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure there are no contraindications with other medications or existing medical conditions.
  • When you know that the time to take protective action is approaching, turn off all the utilities into the house, check that everything is sealed up and locked down, and head for the shelter. You should also have near your shelter fire extinguishers and additional tools, building supplies, sheet plastic, staple guns, etc. for sealing any holes from damage. Your basement should already be very well sealed against fallout drifting inside. Now, you'll need to seal around the last door you use to enter with duct tape all around the edges, especially if it's a direct to the outside door.
  • You don't need to risk fire, burns, and asphyxiation trying to cook anything in the cramped shelter space, if you have pre-positioned in your shelter enough canned goods, can opener, and other non-perishable foods, that are ready-to-eat without preparation. More food, along with water, can be located right outside your crawl space entrance that you can pull in quickly as needed.
  • For lighting needs within the shelter have some small LED flashlights or LED head-lamps to stretch your battery life. Try not to have to use candles if at all possible. Bring in some books for yourself and games for the children. Throw in a small/thin mattress, some cushions, blankets, pillows, etc.
  • Toilet use will be via a portable camp toilet or 5 gallon bucket with a pool noodle that's been slit lengthwise to fit on it as a seat. Bag liners, preferably sized for it, should always be used and a full-size and bag lined garbage can should be positioned very close outside the shelter entrance for depositing these in quickly to minimize exposure. Hanging a sheet or blanket will help provide a little privacy as shelter occupants 'take their turn'. The toilet needs to have its new 'deposits' sealed up tight with the plastic liner after each use (kitty litter or sawdust added good, too.) and hand sanitizer towelettes nearby. Use a very secure top on the bucket and position it near the wall entrance with the outgoing upper air vent.
  • Pets, and what to do about them, is a tough call if you fail to make provisions for them. Releasing pets to run free is not humane, both for their potential to die a miserable death from radiation exposure outside and/or to be a danger to others, especially with dogs running in the inevitable packs of multitudes of others abandoned. Preparing for them is ideal, if truly realistic and not a drain on limited resources, while 'putting them down' might eventually become a painful, but necessary reality if the disruption of food supplies becomes very long term. 'When An ill Wind Blows From Afar!' document below has more on protecting livestock, farms and gardens.
  • Boiling or bleach water treatments will be used for cleaning questionable water later for drinking. (This is for killing bacteria, not for radiation contamination, which is never a concern for any stored and covered water containers, same for sealed food.) Tap water recently put into clean containers won't likely need to be purified before using. To purify questionable water later, bring it to a roiling boil for 10 minutes at least. If you don't have the fuel to boil it, you can kill the bacteria by mixing in a good quality household bleach at the rate of 10 drops per gallon, and letting it sit for at least 1/2 an hour. The bleach should be at least 5.25% pure, like Clorox, but be sure it has no additives such as soap or fragrance. You can later get rid of the flat taste from boiling, or some of the chlorine taste when using bleach, by pouring it from one container to another several times.
  • There's much more that can be learned to better understand what you are up against and to acquire to help your family survive and to better endure all of this. While time allows, and if the Internet is still up & running, task someone with getting and printing out this additional information and watch the Civil Defense films. The Good News About Nuclear Destruction!
    When An ill Wind Blows From Afar!
    Physicians for Civil Defense
    Nuclear Effects & Fallout Shelters FAQ
    Nuclear War Survival Skills (30mb manual)
    "Know What To Do" 3 minute PSA video
    Core shelter video by Cresson Kearny, NWSS author
    Civil Defense films made during the Cold War. Old fashioned, but physics and tactics of radiation protection are timeless.
    Survival Under Atomic Attack
    Duck & Cover Training for Children
    All About Fallout
    Study of a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
    If still available and enough time to be overnight shipped your own radiation detection and monitoring instruments, potassium iodide (KI) anti-radiation pills, Nuclear Survival handbooks, etc., check at...
  • BOTTOM LINE: When the TV or radio program switches abruptly to an terse announcement saying: "We Interrupt This Program For This Special Bulletin!", and your kids look up to you with questioning wide-eyes and eager for assurances, know then that you are confidently ready for them with your own Action Plan ready to go! That's what this is all about... saving our families!

This guide was purposely designed with the sober realization that the overwhelming majority of our fellow Americans would not be compelled to read such a guide until a nuclear crisis was imminent and, unfortunately, their preparation options and time to do so then would be very limited. and other prepper suppliers will again be quickly sold-out, as all were after 9/11 and Fukushima. This guide will be the best/only help that we can offer then. If you are fortunate enough to be exploring your family preparation needs and options before such a future national crisis, there is much more that you can and should do now to insure that they are even better prepared.

If stores are still at all stocked, and safe to go to, try to buy as many of the following items as possible... IMMEDIATELY! There are no quantities listed here on the food items below as family size varies and because, as the emergency and panic widens, many items will become quickly sold-out or quantities restricted and you'll need to try to get more of what does remain on the shelves. At a minimum you should be looking at two weeks of provisions, but much better to be aiming for two months or more. The reality is, if/when we are attacked, it could be a very long time before anything is ever 'normal' again, especially at any grocery stores. Hurricane victims can attest to the prolonged misery and disruptions from such a localized disaster, even with the rest of the country still able to help out. Nobody can begin to imagine how bad the suffering could be, and for how long, if nuclear weapons have gone off... and in multiple locations!The half-dozen top listed and UNDERLINED items below you'll also use some while in the shelter that 2-3 days. They are mostly ready-to-eat that requires no cooking or preparation, just a can opener at the most. (The iodine solution is included here because of its importance for its thyroid-blocking topical use detailed above, IF you do not have KI pills, but it's NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) The other foods listed below there are better cost/nutrition staples for later use during the extended recovery period. Then follows general non-food supplies, tools and equipment.
Go Acquire It All Now QUICKLY!
Better to risk being a little early when securing your families essential food and supplies, rather than a few hours too late and going home empty-handed...
Ready-to-eat foods (granola/energy/protein bars, snack-paks, raisins, cheese, etc.)
Some perishable foods (breads and fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, etc.)
Canned goods (soups, chili, vegetables, fruit, tuna, meats, beans, peanut butter, etc.)
Assorted drink mix flavorings (with no cold drinks, just plain water, kids will appreciate it!)
Plenty of potent Multi-Vitamins, Vit C, Pepto Bismol, aspirin, tylenol, other OTC meds, etc.
Iodine solution, like Betadine (16 ounces)- NOT TO BE INGESTED OR SWALLOWED!

Largest sacks of rice, beans, flour, potatoes, pasta, quick oats and other grains
Multiple big boxes of dried milk (Could include/use some inside shelter, too.)
Multiple big boxes of pancake and biscuit mix & syrup
Large bag of sugar and jar of honey
Large 2 gallons or more of cooking oil
Baking powder & soda & yeast & salt & spice assortment pack
Bottled water (especially if home supplies not secured yet)
Paper or plastic plates/bowls/cups/utensils and paper towels
Quality manual can opener, 2 if you don't already have one at home
Kitchen matches and disposable lighters
New metal garbage cans and liner bags (water storage & waste storage)
5 or 6 gallon bucket and smaller garbage bags sized for it (toilet)
Pool noodle to cut slit lengthwise to fit as seat for toilet bucket
Toilet paper and, if needed, sanitary napkins, diapers, etc.
Baby wipes (saves water for personal hygiene use)
Flashlights (ideally LED) and more than one portable radio
Plenty more batteries, at least three sets, for each of the above
Bleach (5.25%, without fragrance or soap additives)
Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide and hand sanitizers
Prescription drugs filled, and as much extra as possible
First aid kits and Fire extinguishers
At least a couple inexpensive N95 particulate respirator masks for each member
Cheap plastic hooded rain ponchos for everyone
Water filters and all other camping type supplies, such as portable camp toilet,
cook stove and fuel, ammo, etc., if any sporting goods stocks still available.
And, of course, rolls of plastic sheeting, duct tape, staple guns, staples, etc.

Some Final Thoughts...

As mentioned above, this guide was written assuming it would not be read by the majority of its intended audience until a nuclear crisis is already fully upon us--when remaining time and resources to prepare will be extremely limited, maybe with only hours remaining before 'the music stops'.
For that reason, the food, equipment and supplies listed above in #7 has been restricted to only the most typically available from local resources.
If you are fortunate enough to be reading this well before a nuclear threat (or other major disaster) occurs or appears imminent, there's a great deal more that you can and should do beyond the scope of this brief guide.
Surviving the initial threats of a nuclear 'event' and radioactive fallout is relatively easy with the proper knowledge and even the most modest of preparations, as we've detailed above.
The ongoing bigger challenge, though, will be the one brought on by the extensive and much longer-lasting disruptions of services after you survive the nuclear event and emerge safely once the fallout threat has diminished.
You might go many months with little or no new food supplies, along with disruptions of water, sewer, gas, electric, and telephone services, little or no gasoline, and severely limited medical and banking services, law enforcement and fire protection.
With more time to research, make plans, and order supplies, families are well advised to acquire more in-depth training, reference books, longer-term food and water stocks, fuel, medical supplies, personal security, communication equipment, radiation monitoring instruments, camping equipment, supplies and tools. Many informative web sites and suppliers make available all of the above, including military MRE's ready-to-eat meals, dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, as well as buckets of beans, rice, and grains. They also offer solar cookers, water purifiers and barrels, compost toilets, comprehensive medical kits and antibiotics, shortwave and local two-way radios, perimeter alarms, alternative energy and heating systems, fuel preservatives, long-term packaged seeds, etc. has many of the best outfits advertising there. For radiation meters, dosimeters, KI tablets, nuke prep guides, etc., see
If all of this preparation seems daunting, here's one strategy to make it a little less overwhelming: Think in two's. First, acquire all the equipment and supplies your family would need to survive for two weeks if totally cut off from stores and utility and municipal services. It might help to consider all you would need during an extended camping trip in any season. Then, once you've accomplished that, expand your preparations and supplies to meet the goal of surviving at home for two months with no utilities or services. After that, continue adding provisions for two more additional months, with the eventual goal of gathering enough supplies so that your family can survive under these distressed conditions for a year or more.
A year might seem like overkill, but you'll no doubt discover that in any disruptive event, numerous friends, neighbors, and relatives will be in need and you will want to help them if you can. Of course, ideally, they should also be preparing their own families for surviving coming disasters, so sharing this information with them might help get them started. Also, for your own family's security, you always want to try to surround yourself with a buffer of like-minded people who are also doing the right things to prepare so they will become helpful allies instead of only a drain on your limited resources. Reality is, they could possibly even become an outright threat for your family retaining enough supplies for the full duration if difficult circumstances were to drag on and became ever more desperate.
Some are e-mailing the link to this guide, or printing up extra copies of the pdf version of this guide and mailing it out, with a quick note; "Hope you never need this information, but just-in-case, keep it handy." Few recipients find that low-key approach offensive or alarmist, and many have reported back to us that they were very grateful. Others have printed up extra copies for church members, school or work and still others with the intent to anonymously distribute them to all their neighbors surrounding them if/when a nuclear crisis looms. Point is, you want everybody you care about, and those near and around you, to be preparing, it's both better for them and your families security. Also, everyone that does prepare will be one less family then later standing in line for hours (or days) ahead of others who failed to prep, awaiting a hoped for arrival of a FEMA handout of food or water. Being prepared makes a ton of sense and will one day soon be seen by all, many painfully, perhaps even fatally, as clearly obvious and self-evident.
If you're trying to convince yourself or a spouse to make the investment in prep equipment and supplies, also keep in mind this fact: Many of the supplies save money because buying in bulk and stocking up now is less expensive than buying smaller quantities later, especially as inflation ramps up and/or shortages appear. Further, if nothing bad ever happens, you can eventually eat the food and use most of the supplies, like toilet paper, fuel, etc., so they won't go to waste.
They will also be useful in many disasters besides nuclear events. For example:
    Job loss -- Having two to four months of food at home would certainly relieve much of the stress of losing your job and being without an income while looking for another. Pandemic -- We could someday see a deadly virus unleashed, like Ebola, that would require families to self-quarantine themselves at home for many weeks to avoid catching the disease. Having these supplies and having made these preparations would make that extremely difficult time more endurable.
    Natural disasters, economic dislocations, civil disruptions -- Your family could ride out any number, or cascading combination, of these events in much better shape if you are sufficiently prepared.
Being prepared and stocking up makes sense on numerous levels, especially during this age when costs for many essentials, such as food, fuel, and ammunition, will surely only continue to increase. Stocking up now both saves money today and may well save your family itself tomorrow. How People Act in Times of Trouble
When tough times come, you'll likely discover that people today, overall, are not as resilient as they were in times past. For many of us, our grandparents generation included a higher percentage of self-reliant rural folks who both 'made do' on less while growing and raising their own food. Today, most people are far removed from the land and the routine of being responsible for producing their own food; many even have a dangerous government-dependent mentality of entitlement. Fact is, the morality that both sustained and restrained previous generations during tough times is not as widely embraced in this present population. As a result, many people will more quickly rationalize theft, robbery, looting, and rioting when they fear hunger and deprivation. Crime is already a problem today--even with nobody being hungry, and with law enforcement in place. Crime, then, could explode when hunger threatens and law enforcement is overwhelmed. It is therefore prudent for anyone making serious preparations to also include plans for maintaining their own security if law enforcement is either unavailable or cannot keep pace with the demands of exploding lawlessness. If you do not own or use guns, I would strongly urge you to re-evaluate your personal security. If you find it lacking, acquire some guns and ammunition immediately, after getting some safety and practical tactical training in their use. Ask at your local gun store for advice on defensive arms and to point you to local resources for that essential training.
For those who already have weapons, be sure they are effective models and calibers for self-defense, and that you have stocked plenty of ammunition and high-capacity magazines, if needed. Weapons and ammo will quickly disappear, or they will become prohibitively expensive or restricted, once their essential need is suddenly more widely recognized.
Financial Concerns
Once you are well on your way to acquiring your family's preparation tools, equipment, and supplies, consider acquiring extra items to help others and/or to use as future barter goods. You might be able to trade extra water filters, garden seeds, survival books, fuel preservatives, flashlights, batteries, antibiotics, or ammo for other needed products or services. Some people are even converting a modest percentage of their traditional paper investments into some gold or silver coins for trading purposes, as well as for prudent wealth diversification. Having wealth in forms other than solely paper dollars, plastic credit cards, or a 401k account might make the critical difference in one day being able to buy scarce gas or get your gravely ill child to the front of a mile-long line to see the only overworked doctor or dentist or pharmacist in town. It'll sure beat only waving around your last mutual fund or bank statement then.
A Final Word
To better avoid unhealthy and overwhelming angst worrying about which future crisis is more/less likely or first, keep in mind that most of your preps will serve you well regardless of what specifically causes any future disruptions.
Once you've started making these preparations, strive to stay balanced. Thank God that you have begun, try to awaken others, and begin to confidently relax in your new alert status. You'll then be able to even more fully enjoy life with your family knowing that you're firmly on the road to better being able to handle just about any event that might occur in this quickly changing world. Getting prepared is all about banishing fear, it's insurance against an uncertain future so that you're sleeping sounder at night knowing your families basic essential needs are better covered.

"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them;
the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences."
- Proverbs 22:3
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Sunday, July 2, 2017

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Bear Attacks

Grizzly bears are the largest predator in North America, but they seldom pose a serious threat to outdoorsmen who’ve taken the proper precautions. According to the National Park Service, historical data shows that on average one person a year dies from a grizzly attack, and since the turn of century, grizzlies and black bears collectively have killed fewer than 50 people in North America. So, though fatal bear run-ins are rare, each year a handful of hunters come face-to-face with these mighty animals and are forced to fight for survival—or simply get lucky and live to tell the tale.
One such hunter was Richard Wesley, who late last month survived a black bear attack while turkey hunting in Ontario. A video of the encounter, seen nearly 4 million times, serves as a reminder of why bears should not be taken lightly. Here, we’ve collected six similar stories from the F&S archives of hunters who narrowly escaped close calls with bears, which only further illustrate why these great creatures demand respect. —JR Sullivan, associate editor

A Rude Awakening in Ram Country

"This could’ve ended a lot worse than it did."
Stephen Vouch
In October 2016, Stephen Vouch, 29, was attacked by a 275-pound black bear while on an Idaho sheep hunt.
I’ve hunted with my friends Bobby and Chris a lot over the years, but this was our first time floating the West Fork of the Salmon River. It was day 14 of our trip, and we hadn’t seen a good-size ram yet, so we were still pushing it hard. That day, we’d run some big rapids, so we were exhausted by the time we stopped on Sheep Creek.
We set up camp and ate, then I crashed at 10:30. I was sleeping in a bivy sack next to Bobby, with a tarp strung up over us. Well, at 2 a.m., something woke me—it felt as if I were being pulled by the hair. The first thing I did was grab the back of my head, which was all wet, and then I saw this shadowy figure over me. Without realizing it, when the bear had bitten my skull, I’d whacked him in the mouth out of reflex, which made him jump and knock the tarp down on top of us, with my head still right between his front paws.
I yelled and started reaching for my pistol, but the bear had shoved it out of reach while rummaging around. But then Bobby woke up and saw him standing over me and grabbed his Judge revolver. He lifted the tarp to see and then, sticking the gun right above my head, shot the bear in the face from, like, a foot away.
After that, the bear ran up a tree above us, but I managed to find my rifle and put him down quickly. There was blood everywhere. Bobby and Chris helped me clean the wounds and skin the bear. Then we just slept late the next day and kept looking for sheep. It was one of the greatest adventures of my life, and further instilled why you should make sure the guys you’re hunting with know what they’re doing. This could’ve ended a lot worse than it did. —As told to JR Sullivan

Caught Between a Grizzly and Her Cubs

"He thought she was going to kill me."
Kim Wunderlich
In the fall of 2010, Kim Wunderlich was bowhunting for elk in Montana’s Gravelly Mountains when a grizzly bear charged.
It was Sept. 17—my 49th birthday. I was bowhunting with my friend John Wasser, and on this day we rode our ATVs about 5 miles from our camp before walking into a drainage.
We could hear bugling on the ridgeline, and by late morning we'd gotten on some bulls, but no shots. It started getting hot, so we decided to hike out. At around 1:30 we were scaling a timbered hillside when we heard a branch break above us. I looked up and there were two grizzly cubs, about 25 yards away, standing on their hind legs. I turned to John and said, "Bear!"
Just then, the sow came at me at full speed. I just remember seeing claws and her mouth. This wasn't a rear-up attack; it was like getting hit by a car. Right before she barreled into me, I stuck my longbow sideways in her mouth. As we tumbled down the hill, John was screaming, trying to get the bear's attention. He thought she was going to kill me. This bear probably weighed five, six hundred pounds.
After we came to a stop 15 or 20 yards below, she bit me really high up on the inner thighs. Then she released me.
For a moment I just lay still. I didn't move until I heard her woofing up the hill a ways. When John got to me, he was shocked to see that I was standing. My arrows were everywhere. I could feel blood running down my legs, but I didn't want to look at them--fear doesn't enter in until you know what you're up against.
It was about a mile and a half to the ATVs, and we had about 1,000 vertical feet to climb. But from that point on my only purpose was to get out of there. We packed the wounds with gauze and went.
By the time we got to the hospital in Dillon it was 8:15 at night. The doctor said the bear missed my femoral artery by 1 centimeter. Officials from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks took DNA samples from my pants because of another bear attack in the area. So far we haven't heard the results. —As told to Tom Tiberio

An Empty Rifle and a Charging Bear

"Now we were face-to-face, and my gun was empty."
Rick Hollingsworth
In October 2016, a grizzly bear attacked Rick Hollingsworth, 47, while he was hunting elk in Alberta, Canada.
That morning, my cousin Rob and I were headed out to hunt near the Simonette River, but only I had a rifle with me, since Rob didn’t have a big-game license at the time. We were about half a mile from the truck when we noticed fresh wolf tracks in the snow. As we kept walking, we saw a spot through the woods where crows were scavenging on a dead animal.
I loaded my rifle as we slowly approached, thinking we might come upon a wolf eating the carcass. I heard this low calling sound, but a big spruce was blocking my view, so I couldn’t see what was making it. That’s when Rob yelled, “Grizzly!” The bear charged straight at him, and with no time to lift my gun, I fired from the hip and hit the bear’s shoulder.
As soon as I shot, the grizzly turned and charged at me. I shot again—from maybe 8 yards—but it just kept coming. It swiped at me, spraying its own blood everywhere, but I ducked out of the way. When I shot the third time, the bear was no more than 2 feet away. Now we were face-to-face, and my gun was empty. It swiped at me again, but its arm was hurt. That’s when the bear opened its mouth to bite me—and I shoved my gun’s barrel right down its throat. It chewed on the rifle for a few seconds, but I had stunned it, I think. It backed up 20 yards, giving me a chance to reload and fire a final shot. At last, the bear went off and died in the forest.
The whole event lasted just 10 seconds or so, but it was the most scared I’ve been in my life. I just tried to stay on my feet and remain as big as possible. Grizzlies are beautiful animals, and if there were another way, I would’ve let it live, but it didn’t give me an option. —As told to Charlotte Carroll

Wounded Bear Mauls 80-Year-Old

"Next thing I knew I was in a helicopter, with tubes coming out of my arms. Then I fell into blackness."
Bill Husa/Courtesy Chico Enterprise-Record
In 2009, Orval Sanders, 83, was mauled by a black bear that was wounded during a hunt in the Tahoe National Forest.
A group of my friends wanted to get their first bear, so I brought my Plott and Walker hounds to help. When they opened up and started running, I knew they sniffed something big.
We caught up with them 30 minutes later under a pin oak, where they were barking up three bears. My knees give me trouble, and I needed a rest. I knew that you shouldn't ever get under a treed bear, so I walked to an old deer trail that I thought was a safe distance from the action. Meanwhile, my friend shot and hit one of the bears. After another shot, the bear suddenly jumped from the tree, cleared my friends, and bounded straight for me.
I tried to pull myself up from where I sat, but it was only a moment before he was 6 feet away and rearing up on his hind legs. I threw up my hands to protect my face, and the bear latched onto my arms with his teeth and claws. Then I heard a bang. My friend Charlie had shot the bear in the head.
What happened next is a blur. I remember blood running to the floor of my friend's truck as he doubled the speed limit to the nearest Forest Service station. Next thing I knew I was in a helicopter, with tubes coming out of my arms. Then I fell into blackness.
I awoke two days later in the Sutter Roseville Medical Center. The doctor told me that if I had arrived one hour later, I would have died. I had lost 4 pints of blood. The bear, which weighed almost 300 pounds, had broken my left arm in four places. Even after therapy, my left thumb is partially paralyzed and a shooting pain comes and goes. It's a reminder of how powerful these animals are. I was done for the season, but I'm not done forever. I'm just going to watch where I sit.

A Starving Grizzly Charges

"He was coming like a freight train, in total chase-mode."
Greg Brush
On the afternoon of Sunday, August 2, 2009, one old, emaciated brown bear became of great personal concern to Greg Brush. This is his story.
Brush, a veteran salmon fishing guide from the town of Soldotna, was walking his dogs on a rare day off from work. On his hip was a large handgun, a Ruger chambered for the powerful .454 Casull cartridge. Brown bears are a constant presence in Brush's neighborhood, and many residents feel the largely-unhunted animals have little fear of man.
Because of many bear-related incidents in this area, Brush always has brown bears on his mind, even when walking a well-maintained road. On just such a road, less than 500 yards from his house, Brush stopped when he heard a twig snap behind him. Turning his head toward the sound, Brush saw a monstrous brown bear charging toward him. "There was no warning," he stresses. "None of the classic teeth-popping or woofing, raising up on hind legs, or bluff-charging that you read about. When I spotted him he was within 15 yards, his head down and his ears pinned back. He was coming like a freight train, in total chase-mode."
Brush instinctively back-pedaled to avoid the charge, drawing the Ruger from its holster. "I fired from the hip as he closed the distance," Brush recalls. "I know I missed the first shot, but I clearly hit him after that. I believe I fired four or five shots. "
Brush finally fell on his back on the edge of the road. Miraculously, the bear collapsed a mere five feet from his boot soles, leaving claw marks in the road where Brush had—only seconds before—been standing. The bear was moaning, his huge head still moving, as Brush aimed the Ruger to fire a finishing shot. "By then my gun had jammed," Greg says. "I frantically called my wife on my cell phone and told her to bring a rifle. When she arrived I finished the bear."
Greg had to file a Defense of Life or Property (DLP) report after the incident. Biologists determined that the bear, a boar that measured 9' 6" from nose to tail (10' 6" from paw to paw), was between 15 and 20 years old and weighed between 900 and 1,000 pounds--and was underweight by an estimated 400 pounds. "His teeth were just worn out, and you could see his ribs through his hide," Brush says. "Normally they are eating mainly salmon, moose calves, or carrion right now as they put on fat for the winter. This bear had grass in his molars, a sure sign he was starving to death. He would not have survived the winter."
Brush says the boar's head was huge and heavy. "He had many scars and wounds, indicating he may have been run off by other bears. Two biologists and two veteran bear guides have told me that this was a predatory charge. There was no carcass nearby that he was defending and, obviously, no cubs to protect. Had I not been able to kill him, he'd have killed and likely eaten me."
In the days following the attack, Brush has spent a lot of time "pondering many what-ifs," he says. "I'm just so thankful that it wasn't my wife and/or girls walking down that road [Greg and Sherri have two daughters, Kelsey and Kendra]. And there are so many little things. What if I hadn't heard that twig? What if I'd missed those shots? I'm not an exceedingly religious man, but someone was watching over me that day. Just getting that heavy Ruger out of the holster and fired in that time frame is nearly impossible. After the incident, I tried to duplicate that shooting, and the most I could pull off was two shots in the seconds it took for the attack to happen."
Incidents like these prove the difficulty of managing brown bear populations in areas like the Kenai Peninsula. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game says that some critical brown bear habitat is threatened by human encroachment from commercial, recreational and residential developments. Therefore, they severely restrict hunting for browns to help keep populations viable.
But such protection is coming at a cost to the human residents of the Kenai. While incidents as dramatic as Greg Brush's are rare, human/bear encounters are not. Indeed, 31 DLP shootings were reported in 2008 alone. "There are people who do not take proper care of their garbage and do not respect bears, which I view as a wild and essential symbol of Alaska," Brush says. "They are part of the reason I moved here many years ago. But there we do take precautions, and do everything we can to give them their space. Unfortunately, bears here have little fear of people. When they smell or see a human, their reaction is rarely one of fear, like you see with bears in more remote areas. Here, many bears encounter people, and instead of fleeing, they associate them with food.—Scott Bestul

Lights, Camera, Grizzly

"When you get a reminder like this that your life depends on your shooting, it kind of motivates you."
Courtesy Gregory Smith/Flickr
Bear guide Charles Allen led Cabela's Outfitter Journal host James Ladis and cameraman Kerry Seay on a grizzly hunt along Alaska's Tsiu River, the group was charged by a bear. Allen tells the story:
We had spotted a good boar and were working within range. There were heavy rain and winds of 25 to 30 knots, but Jim made a perfect heart shot with his .375 at 55 yards. The bear went down, got up, Jim shot again, and it went down for good. "There's two more," said my assistant guide, James Minifie. And 90 yards away was a very agitated sow and cub. The sow was bouncing up and down. She probably couldn't make us out as humans through the storm. I gathered everyone up and we began to move away, off the rise we were on. But she spotted us and immediately began charging. You can see me on the film, yelling "Hey bear!" and waving my hands. I was hoping she'd identify me as human, because these are hunted bears and generally very wary. But at that moment, she locked onto my eyes in a way no bear ever had. I knew she was coming, so I shouldered my .404. She was a blur coming up that rise. There was no doubt in my mind that she was going to kill or seriously maim me and then work her way through all four of us. I shot just as she came up on her hind legs to begin her launch into me, and hit just left of dead center. That rolled her over backward, and she came up facing the other way. She was pretty broken up. She only made it 20 yards before she died.
We marked it off, and I shot her at 12 feet. She had a 23-inch skull and was about 9 feet squared. She was 15, which is very old for a bear up here.
That .404 is a pre-1964 Model 70 in .375 that was necked up to a .404. I'm shooting 400-grain Sierra soft points—a lot of recoil. I was going to leave it up here over the winter. But now I'm taking it home to practice. When you get a reminder like this that your life depends on your shooting, it kind of motivates you. —As told to Bill Heavey

Click HERE to read the Original story from Field & Stream, a classic magazine.

Prepper Handbook Blog Notes:  Hiking and Camp security can be enhanced by wearing bear bells and proper storage of foods. Some parks also require that you carry Bear Spray.  My weapon of choice if facing a bear would be a Double Barrel Shotgun

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