Category Archive: Survival

  1. The REAL man’s survival kit

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    What does a real man need for an emergency kit? I am not talking neosporin or hemorrhoid creme… but something that would make MacGuyver proud.


    Most guys remember MacGuyver, that timeless figure who gave us inspiration through his man skills and envious well manicured mullet. I know there were countless times I would be in a room, wondering, “how could I get out of here with this paper clip and the circuit board from my iPhone? Very easily…”.

    Once we able to disarm bombs with our pinky toe while blindfolded and under water, it was time for the next step. MacGuyver, Jason Bourne and Chuck Norris are all about preparation, and so are we. Here are the essentials you need to be prepared (and not to mention earn large amounts of street cred):

    Lock pick set

    Gas syphon

    Slim jim

    K-Bar knife

    Hemorrhoid creme

    Multi-purpose tool

    Oxygen mask

    Potassium iodine

    Tactical pen

    Sweet bag to put it all in




  2. SHTF

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    When SHTF it is too late to get prepared. Find out what you need to do now for survival.

    Look, you don’t want to be caught off guard when a disaster hits let alone when SHTF. Just take a look at the natural disasters in the past 5 years. Each time you see people struggling for food, clean water and shelter. What would happen if there was no one to help you? You were on your own?

    Although there is no telling when the next catastrophe will strike, becoming prepared with these 4 essentials will bring you to a level of preparation above the majority in your city.


    Spreading cheese on lasagna. Preparing incase SHTF

    If you don’t eat, you will die. Food is one of the basic necessities of life. Start off getting enough food on hand to last three or four days. If we are talking when SHTF, you are going to need food for a much longer period than that. Plan for a year if you can.

    Preparing in advance for SHTF means having canned, dehydrated or otherwise nonperishable foods handy. It is smart to use a food storage calculator and tracker to know what your family needs and keep track of what you have. It is also essential to read up on food preservation.

    Indoor and outdoor gardens help subsidize dietary needs. SHTF for extended periods of time may cause protein deficiencies. Raising livestock is one option. Learning how to build traps or hunt for food is another great skill to have.


    Though people survive a number of days without food, when SHTF, individuals must have a plan for acquiring fresh drinking water. Sometimes SHTF in communities when bacteria or viruses invade local water supplies, leaving households without water until a remedy occurs. Without power, some individuals may not be able to access water, even from the tap. These are only some circumstances where having an adequate water supply is essential.

    Experts suggest having 1 to 2 gallons of water per household member per day. Many people buy bottled water, but filling juice or soda bottles also serves the purpose. Another method of water storage might include filling food grade buckets, which often have sealable lids. Catching rainwater is also another way of obtaining fresh water. Some people live in regions having open bodies of water. When storing or obtaining water when SHTF, survivalists suggest adding 16 drops or 1/8 of a teaspoon of bleach to each gallon of water as a disinfectant.


    People who live in areas known to experience natural disasters often have basements or cellars. If SHTF because of mega disasters, some prefer having the knowledge to build makeshift shelters when needed. Many individuals build underground shelters, which received popularity in the 60s. Tucked safely beneath the ground’s surface, many shelters are barely visible from above ground.

    Besides natural disasters, many also contemplate SHTF secondary to economic collapse and the ever rising chaos and violence in society, which will surely increase. In desperation, there will most likely be pillaging and plundering and many believe having a well-stocked, hidden shelter when SHTF will be one of the few means of having security.


    Though many still abhor the thought of owning a firearm, others prefer to carry protection in case SHTF. In rural areas, many citizens own weapons, not merely for protection, but also as a means of providing food. In the city, when SHTF, confusion and panic occurs. Many suggest that in this scenario, the safest thing to do is stay hidden with ample supplies and armed protection. When SHTF, some people have the convenience of gathering with family or friends, away from a hotspot location. Small townships may rally, taking turns performing guard duty for the sake of the community.

    SHTF Conclusion

    Between the political, social and natural events occurring recently, many prefer to err on the side of caution if SHTF. Besides basic supplies, individuals must also consider an adequate battery or fuel supply, along with first aid for emergencies. Do the research and evaluate what needs and what quantities of items should be on hand if SHTF.

  3. 3 Steps For Emergency Planning

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    Flood waters

    A plan can make a stressful situation a much calmer one if everyone already knows what to do.

    In the event of an emergency people are generally on edge and not thinking clearly. Some tend to go into hyper-drive, others are frozen stiff, people go in to shock, any number of things can happen to us emotionally, mentally and physically in an emergency situation.

    Step 1 – Immediate family Plan – Gather your family together and discuss a family emergency plan.

    1. Do you have a safe meeting place in case of a home emergency? ex: Under a tree in the front yard. In a certain corner of the lawn. At a certain neighbors house that everyone feels comfortable with. Keep it simple, make it safe.
    2. What to do in case of a fire? Have a fire drill. Practice opening windows and climbing out. Have emergency ladders for people in upstairs bedrooms. Talk about breaking windows in an emergency.
    3. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk about different emergencies that could arise and discuss a plan then Practice. Practice. Practice.

    Step 2 – Extended Family Plan – Create a family calling tree so everyone can know their family is safe.

    1. Find out what each others resources are in case of an emergency. Tent, boat, bikes, dutch ovens, food, other supplies.
    2. Discuss before an emergency occurs to see who you might be able to stay with and what accommodations they have to help you and your family if need be.
    3. Do a drill. Practice the calling tree to see how long it takes for everyone to get a hold of each other.

    Step 3 – Community Plan – Find out the emergency plans your city has in place.

    1. Most cities these days have a city website. Visit your city website and look under emergency, or preparedness and see what they have in place.
    2. Find out the emergency plans for your children’s schools/day care. Do they go in lock down? How long does it last? What are the procedures for picking up your children during emergencies?
    3. Find out emergency plans your church may have in place.

    Things to discuss:

    • What’s the plan if Dad’s at work and Mom’s at home with the kids in an emergency?
    • What do the kids do if an emergency happens when they’re at school and Mom and Dad are both working?
    • What do kids do if they’re home alone and an intruder enters the house?
    • What’s our family plan if there’s a flood, fire, tornado, earthquake, robber, serious injury?
    • Where’s the cash?
    • Where are important family documents?

    All it takes is 30 minutes to get everyone on the same page. It will be some of the best time you can spend when your family is all safely gathered in in the midst of a chaotic situation.

    What have you done with your family to plan for an emergency? Post in the comments below to start a conversation!

    Opening photo by Walter Siegmund

  4. 3 Steps to Prepare For a Hurricane

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    You read on the news that a hurricane is approaching. Now what? Read the 3 simple steps below that could save your life.

    Knowledge and preparation are key to survival in an natural disaster.


    What is a hurricane, exactly?

    Wikipedia states: “A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor contained in the moist air… While tropical cyclones can produce extremely powerful winds and torrential rain, they are also able to produce high waves and damaging storm surge.”

    Am I in a location that is susceptible?

    “Coastal regions can receive significant damage from a tropical cyclone, while inland regions are relatively safe from receiving strong winds. Heavy rains, however, can produce significant flooding inland, and storm surges can produce extensive coastal flooding up to 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the coastline.” – Wikipedia

    When is the hurricane season?

    “In the Northern Atlantic Ocean, a distinct cyclone season occurs from June 1 to November 30, sharply peaking from late August through September. The statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is 10 September. The Northeast Pacific Ocean has a broader period of activity, but in a similar time frame to the Atlantic. The Northwest Pacific sees tropical cyclones year-round, with a minimum in February and March and a peak in early September. In the North Indian basin, storms are most common from April to December, with peaks in May and November. In the Southern Hemisphere, the tropical cyclone year begins on July 1 and runs all year-round and encompasses the tropical cyclone seasons, which run from November 1 until the end of April, with peaks in mid-February to early March.” – Wikipedia

    What do the categories of a hurricane mean?

    Saffir Simpson Hurricane Scale


    Step 1 – Build a “Quick kit”

    A quick kit is an emergency supply kit that you can grab and go in an emergency. Some essential items to have in this kit include:

    • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
    • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Whistle to signal for help
    • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
    • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
    • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
    • Local maps
    • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

    Step 2 – Make a Family Emergency Plan

    A family emergency plan is so important. What if you aren’t all together when the hurricane hits? Where will you meet? How will you know that everyone is OK? Trying to deal with these in an emergency without a plan can be chaotic. If you don’t have a family plan, meet together as a family tonight! Answer these questions together:

    • In an emergency, where will we meet?
    • Where will we meet if the first meeting place is unavailable?
    • Who is our contact point? (Person you all know of who you can call in an emergency who will know how everyone is)

    Step 3 – Stay updated

    Make sure to have a battery powered radio (and of course batteries!) so that you can be tuned in to the news if the power goes out.

    Have you been in a hurricane? What success story do you have or what do you wish you would have done to prepare? Post in the comments below and start a conversation!

    Additional resources: – Hurricanes
    Wikipedia – Hurricanes
    What to do during a hurricane – FEMA

  5. Will we be ready?

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    “Since [this article] ran, I’ve had several people stop me to say how much they appreciated the ‘wake-up’ call”

    This compelling article was published in a Missouri newspaper by a long time member and is re-posted here by her permission.

    I picked up my 10 year old daughter, from school as usual on Tuesday afternoon, December 14th. She was obviously excited as she got in the car. “Did you hear! A water main burst, and there’s no running water in Norborne!” She continued, “We couldn’t drink out of the water fountains, and the whole city’s under a boil order.” I hadn’t tried to turn on any water at home for the last couple of hours, so this was news to me.

    I was on my way to Marshall, but pulled in to Casey’s before leaving town. Casey’s is typically busy after school, but today more than usual. There was only one parking spot left when I pulled up. Anna ran in to get an ice cream, while I sat in the car, engine running to stave off the cold. The car beside me pulled out and another soon took it‘s place. A young mother I know stepped out of the car. I rolled down my window, and asked her what she knew about the water main break. She said all she knew was there was a break, and that Norborne was under a boil order until further notice. She said she’d gone to the kitchen to make her baby a bottle, and was shocked when no water came out of the faucet. She’d come to the store to buy water so she could make a bottle. She said with concern in her voice, “I sure hope they get the water turned on soon.”

    As she dashed into the store, two other patrons walked out, each carrying a case of bottled water. It took longer than usual for Anna to emerge. As she got in the car, she said, “Man! Everyone’s in there buying water!” I had to chuckle to myself and shake my head. I’ve seen it so many times, people scurrying around at the last minute trying to acquire supplies to see them through a moment of crisis.

    I remember back to all the times I’ve seen folks race around to buy the basic necessities, when a snow storm or ice storm was forecast. Go to any big box store, like K-Mart, Walmart, of Target and you’ll see people frantic to fill their shopping carts with water, milk, bread, lunchmeat, batteries, and the like. If on such an occasion, I happen to be in one of these stores, I’m only there to do routine shopping. I watch in amazement as people anxiously pile supplies into their cart, scurrying here and there, trying to remember all the things they could possible need in the next few days.

    Do they not have anything at home that they need? I wondered. Do they not remember that before the last storm, they did this exact same thing, running to the store to get the necessities to sustain life? I wonder how sparse their pantries must be if they feel the need to rush out and buy food and drink to make it through a storm expected to last 5 days. Have they not even stored enough food to last a mere 5 days?

    Over the years, I’ve had jobs that afforded me the opportunity to visit in many homes. I never cease to be amazed at those folks who pretty much live from paycheck to paycheck, yet they have all the latest high tech gadgets: big flat screen televisions, late model cars, the latest communication devices, new computers, Wii gaming systems, not to mention designer jeans, and stacks and stacks of CD’s and DVD’s. All this and yet they don’t have enough food in the cupboard to prepare 10 decent meals for their family, spare batteries for their one and only flashlight, and not even a gallon water in reserve for drinking . It’s just unimaginable to me.

    As I see it, it’s my responsibility to see that my family’s needs are taken care of. I’m so glad to live in a time when I have running water that miraculously pours out of my faucet, electricity that flows silently through power lines into my house, natural gas piped in to heat my home and my water, and a trash service which hauls away my refuse, with very little effort on my part. I think most of us very much take these things for granted, and in fact, fail to realize that the ability to deliver these services to us could be compromised, unexpectedly, at any time.

    As I pulled away from Casey’s, I made a cell phone call to my husband who works in Independence. “There’s been a water main break in Norborne. We’re under a boil order,“ I said. “There’s water in the filter pitcher on the kitchen counter, along with several two liter bottles of water, that I filled this morning.” I continued, “This should be sufficient until they get the water back on.“ My habit, for years has been to fill any empty, two liter bottle with water. It just so happened that I filled some that morning.

    It gives me a sense of peace to know I’m prepared to meet the needs of my family, especially in the event of a short term interruption of services. I don’t have to race around, panicked, wringing my hands, wondering what I should do first. I don’t have to rush out to procure supplies that I could have easily purchased at a more tranquil time.

    I long ago developed a plan for many different scenarios that might interrupt ‘life as usual’ for my family. All I have to do, when a situation arises, is simply follow the plan I’ve already developed. One of the mottos often quoted in our house is, “Plan for the worst, but hope for the best.” With this philosophy, we’re seldom caught unprepared.

    Seems to me, that as a town, we should be mindful to take this as a lesson, and determine here and now that we will work together, and as families, never again be unprepared. It seems like the least we can do is store enough water with which to take vital medications, to clean a wound, or even to make a bottle for a baby. In these uncertain times, we never know when we might be faced with something of greater magnitude than a mere water main break. Will we be ready?

    Do you have a similar experience? Add a comment below!

    Opening photo by Fox news insider

  6. The 5 survival items a family can’t live without


    Do you have the 5 items absolutely essential for survival? Find out what one man who has 7 years of food storage has to say.

    A few weeks ago I attended a food storage/survival seminar with a man who has 7 years of food storage (woah). This guy knows his stuff. After demonstrating some of his survival items, he opened up for questions.

    It didn’t take long for the hands to fly up. After waiting for the right moment I shot my hand up with a question. “I know you have a 7 year supply, but what would you say to those starting up. What are the 5 most essential items for a family’s survival?”

    He paused for a brief moment in reflection and responded, “These are the 5 most essential items to survive…”:

    1. Dutch oven
    2. Charcoal (Note: This is for cooking, not heating. Use in a well ventilated area as this can put out poisonous fumes.)
    3. Wheat grinder
    4. Propane
    5. Water filter

    “Charcoal?” I asked. Others started to chime in, “Yeah, charcoal is key, I have a whole trash can full” one would say. Another, “Charcoal is black gold in an emergency”. They reiterated the fact that it must be stored in a well ventilated area and is not used for heating, only cooking.

    There you have it. If you don’t have 7 years, or even 7 days of food storage, make sure you at least have those 5 items. Of course, the wheat grinder won’t do you any good without wheat… and… what about a can opener?