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From Rourke: This post somehow fell behind a stack of preparedness books that I have been meaning to read…..for months. So – it’s been a bit delayed but still another great one form our Executive Editor – Bev!
Preparing for Cabin Fever
By Bev Sandlin, Executive Editor
Oh yah, I have Cabin Fever! Irritable, restless, bored, sleeping more than usual, and a bit distrustful and paranoid—yup, that’s Cabin Fever! And I usually deal with it by starting a new project to throw myself into!
I lifted this from Wikipedia, “first recorded in 1918, for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period. Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability and restlessness a person may feel in these situations.” And it got me to thinking of a SHFT situation and how this could be a very real situation to cope with.
Oh, we can all laugh about Cabin Fever, but when trapped in a situation where you can’t get out and visit, go shopping, even chat with someone on the telephone, it is very real! When I lived in the mountains there was a murder every year, ultimately attributed to Cabin Fever—it is a very real condition. And we don’t even want to go into that horror flick, “The Shining” based on cabin fever!
So, how do you prepare for a Cabin Fever situation? Know the symptoms and be self-aware enough to recognize them in yourself, and others, as opposed to giving into your feelings and reacting to others—MUCH easier said than done!
Here is your checklist of symptoms:
1. Extremely irritable over an extended period of time and increasing.
2. Very restless over an extended period of time and increasing.
3. Very bored, even with things that used to interest you.
4. Sleeping more than usual.
5. Increasing distrust of those around you to the point of believing that they are plotting to harm you—paranoia.
Three or more of these symptoms lasting more than a week (when in a closed area) and there may be reason to consider Cabin Fever.
1. Physical exercise.
2. Get out in nature (hard to do when the snow is deep and temps are freezing).
3. Change routines.
4. Present yourself and others with intellectual stimulation.
5. Increased doses of vitamins D & B12 could be helpful.
6. Loving touch (massage) could be helpful.
7. Group recognition of the problem could be helpful—watch out for one another.
8. Be prepared to isolated or restrain an individual
9. If possible, keep weapons away from individuals displaying symptoms (that may be difficult in a SHFT situation).
I’ve prepared with multiple decks of cards, games, etc. But I also know that these fail when faced with a case of real Cabin Fever. Suggestions?
Many people look at prepper’s in a negative light. They think that buying extra food and supplies and planning what to do if there is an emergency as a total waste of time. Another non-truth for most prepper’s is that we must be depressed all the time thinking of all the bad things that might happen. Obviously I disagree and most likely you do as well.
I do not stress about the future…..I prepare for it. I do not have nightmares at night about nuclear war or terrorism or the economy collapsing. The basic preparations most of us partake in provide me with a sense of calm, reassurance, and sometimes a bit of excitement. Excitement? Yes! I feel excitement when I reach a new goal or acquire a prepper supply that I have been wanting. Of course I do not wish for anything bad to happen however I enjoy preparing for the safety of myself and my family.
Preparedness provides me a positive outlook to the future and I do not see anything wrong with that. As I grow older I could see some people thinking to themselves ”Why is he storing up so much food? Hell, he might kick the bucket any day.” You know what? It’s my life and it’s your life to live – do what you want and what makes you happy.
Well, that my two cents.
Take care all -
Preparations for Disasters that Strike Close to Home
Disasters happen every moment of every day all over the globe. Whether it’s the wrath of Mother Nature or some crazed lunatics looking to terrorize and kill, today we live in a world where destruction can happen in the blink of an eye. We can never be too careful, or too prepared. Situations arise all the time that require immediate action. Our fate is in our hands in the face of catastrophe.
Many people fail to recognize the importance of emergency preparedness. The theory “it won’t happen to me” is a popular misconception. The likelihood something awful will happen increases with heightened tensions abroad, natural earth transitions, or as we experienced recently in Boston – young men with extremist agendas.
Stocking our homes with necessities for the unexpected provides us with peace of mind. It’s essential to our livelihood if we should ever need to fend for our lives on our home turf. Compiling a disaster-preparedness kit will aid you in surviving whatever lies ahead.
Stock your kit (and your pantry) with plenty of non-perishable dry foods that are ready to eat in case of a massive power outage. Packaged oatmeal, granola bars, cereals, and the like are fortified with nutrients and require no prepping. Other food items that are commonly overlooked are plants. Regular indoor household plants can be a great source for nutrients when reaching the nearest store is not in the foreseeable future.
Everyone knows tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, and peppers are edible plants. They can also be grown inside your home. Sure, you may prefer to see them in your home garden, but in the event of an emergency where you’re trapped in your home, you’ll want to make sure you have plants like these indoors. In addition to the plants you’d typically find outside, a number of flowering plants like pansies and violets are not only pretty, but they are edible as well. In fact, there’s a large variety of blossoming plants that are perfectly safe to consume.
Essential for the life of all living things, water is a necessity no one or thing can live without. A ruptured water supply line causes devastation. Stock your home with gallon jugs of drinking water. There are also a few battery-operated water purifiers on the market. These devices will take in polluted water (or urine) and remove the impurities, making it perfectly safe to drink.
Flashlights and candles are an inexpensive must-have when the lights go dark, but they cannot be sustainable for the long haul. Having an alternate energy supply is essential to maintain your household as best you can when the power suddenly goes off.
Many homes in regions where natural disasters occur with regular frequency are equipped with power generators. These can be charged with electricity and start up after a break in the power supply. Others are driven by propane gas. If there’s a disruption to the electrical grid, these machines ensure some sort of normalcy when things go wrong.
If a generator seems like a luxury you cannot afford, stock plenty of batteries for flashlights and consider buying a small collapsible charcoal grill. It can act as a heat source for body warmth and you can use it to make food.
Radios are the most effective method of communication. Every area has a broadcast station that only airs content of forecast conditions, weather warnings, and disaster information. But radios provide these services when they have a proper power supply. The use of battery-operated or crank radios will ensure you’ll have contact with the outside world even when electricity is not an option.
Although our hope is to never resort to the resources listed above, today’s changing times forces us to be at the ready. With proper preparedness and careful planning, we can ensure our survival in the face of disaster.
A Prepper’s Guide to Storage Units
Prepping can quickly and easily become a way of life, but it requires a lot of thought and a lot of space. It can also be expensive. If you rent self storage you can add space and save money while creating a secure avenue for supplies in the event of an emergency whether you are in Denver, Colorado, Cincinnati, Ohio, or anywhere else.
In this economy many people are lacking two things that would allow them to better prep; money and space. From the probability of solar flares to the questions of coming economic collapse and chaos, being prepared is the only way to be.
Secure & Accessible
Preppers understand the importance of putting together a good plan and every good plan includes a bug-out scenario. Unfortunately not every prepper has a specific location outside of their home for stockpiling in order to diversify their bug-out options. For those who keep everything at home, if you have no way to get your preps to another location much of your prepping may be for naught if or when you need to boogie out of Dodge.
So what can we do to gain needed square footage without having to move to a bigger place? Get a storage unit!
Storage units can be found in nearly every city or town across the country, even most small towns have them. When planning your bug-out decide where would be the best place to secure yourself (and your family) when things go south. Be sure it’s somewhere you will be able to get to, there are no telling what obstacles will be in your way.
Renting a storage facility in a town near your bug-out location allows for a few things. You get to learn the lay of the land you will have to travel; you will also have a place for all of your supplies that’s secure (keeping your preps safe is important).
You Can Afford It
It doesn’t cost much to rent storage units. Equally important, you can get them in many sizes and in multiples if needed. You can often find coupons on-line or in your local papers that make great first time customer deals.
Depending on the deal and availability, you may want to get two that are back to back with an adjoining door between them. This is great for a couple of reasons; you can open both ends and allow for airflow when loading and unloading or taking inventory and you can have enough room to be organized so that when a situation arises you can easily get in to find what you need.
On Being Stealth
In general it makes sense to help educate other people by showing them what you’re doing, but there could be danger in that. People will come unglued in a short matter of time after a life changing catastrophe, especially once desperation brought on by hunger and thirst comes in. You do not want to be your “good” neighbor’s target.
It’s best to keep your activities to yourself and closest family. You can cherry pick who else should be in the know. Having a strong network of trustworthy fellow preppers is not a bad thing, you just need to choose wisely.
Bugging Out and Sheltering: Are YOU Prepared?
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
What did I do to prep this week?
By Bev Sandlin, Executive Editor
Between the West, TX explosion at a fertilizer plant that forced the majority of the residents of that small town to evacuate and the domestic terrorism bombing at the Boston Marathon and the ensuing manhunt, it really brought home the need for preparedness!
If YOU had to Bug Out, are you prepared? Is your BOB ready to pickup and go? Enough money to stay at a motel for a couple of days? How about gas on-hand to get you where you want to go—or further if your entire town has to leave?
With the manhunt around Boston and the orders to Shelter in Place and secure your home from potential intruders, would you be prepared? Do you have locks on your doors that are secure? A way to lock your garage to secure it from intruders? Enough food and water to take you at least three days—and some comfort food? A way to protect yourself if someone did get in?
And then there are the “what ifs…” Would you be prepared if the government decided it needed to shut down all cell phone and internet service? Electricity? Natural gas lines if there was potential for sabotage? Water lines if there was a potential sabotage of the water supply? Shutting down any one of these services would be a disruption. What if ALL got shut down? Are you prepared?
With these thoughts in mind, I was looking at my preps this week. Hmmm, things have been tight lately and I have borrowed some cash from my BOB. Yup, have to replace that. I need some hard candy on hand in a chocolate flavor because, yes, I do eat for comfort. LOL I feel okay about home security and defense. But I have an exterior garage, barn and outbuildings that some one could easily hide in. If SWAT did one of those “flash and bangs” in my barn, with the hay inside, up she goes! You would think they would be smarter than that, but who knows? And who pays for that kind of damage anyways? So, my preps this week were playing through scenarios and checking my supplies and preparedness plans for holes—A Good Thing.
A pretty scary week! And we had yet more SNOW! I am so tired of winter!
Preview of the week to come…
Okay Patriots, how did you react to the events of the week and what did YOU do this week to prep?
A bit twisted smile for you…
In God We Trust
How does your gut feel? Sometimes “Gut Feelings” are God’s way to get us moving. If you are feeling unsettled, like you should be doing something – but don’t know where to start, here is a short list to get you moving. Most are low cost, some only require that you spend time. Most can be done in a few hours.
1. Prepare a “Car” 72-hour emergency bag. Think Shelter, Water, Fire, & Food. Pack into a backpack. Store it in your car. Revise it with the change in seasons.
2. Look at this recipe for homemade survival bars. Read through the comments to find alternatives. Store in your emergency bags.
3. Catch up on immunizations, dental and medical procedures. Invest in your family’s health.
4. Learn to shut off your home’s electric, natural gas and water. Teach your spouse and children.
5. Replace those exterior door hinge screws with 3” screws, reinforce the door jamb and add deadbolts with at least a 1” throw. Add pins to casement windows.
6. Update exterior lighting around your home, garage and out buildings. These should be solar, motion-detected security lights. Mount high up so that vandals can’t reach. Stock extra light bulbs.
7. Check the status of your fire extinguisher, fire alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered) with each spring time change. Stockpile 1 extra battery for each alarm.
8. Buy and mount an axe in your attic. In the flood plains, if you retreat to your attic, you need a way to cut through your roof as a means to escape.
9. Get on the other side of the law by joining your local Sherriff’s auxiliary, search and rescue, joining your local CERT (Civilian Emergency Response Team), or getting licensed for Armed Private Security in your state. None of these are guaranteed to give you a pass when you’re dealing with an Orwellian law enforcement official, but they will improve your odds considerably.
10. Make some dryer lint fire starters.
11. Build a heater out of a candle and some terra cotta pots.
12. Make a candle from a tub of Crisco.
10 Things to Do This Year to Start Prepping
Need help with New Year’s Prep Resolutions? Make 2013 the year you get better prepared. Here are 10 projects to launch you into action. Each is low budget; some require nothing more than your time. Most require no more than a weekend to complete.
- Get organized! Begin a 3-ring binder to organize notes; this will be your Emergency Binder. Use it to consolidate your preparations, notes and lists in one place.
- Research on Google Earth the area around your house. Get to know your danger areas. Where are the “choke points” for escape via automobile? Where are the natural water supplies? Where are the risks? Make notes for your Emergency Binder.
- Using Google Earth, find three different routes from work to home, from home to your safe place and other places you may need to travel. (Pick up children from school, etc.) Identify possible problem areas. Update your Binder
- Buy a detailed laminated paper map of your city and county. Store in your Binder.
- Begin to accumulate $200 in 1-dollar bills. Store in your waterproof, fireproof, secret compartment place in your home. When able, increase to $500.
- Scan your personal documents and copy to a thumb drive. Store the thumb drive in a safe place. Include social security cards, passports, birth, driver’s license, marriage, divorce decrees, insurance and title documents, deeds and contracts, bank account numbers and charge cards, (including lost or stolen notification numbers), stocks and bonds, wills, medical information, prescriptions, etc.
- Scan head-and-shoulder photos of each family member. Save to your thumb drive. Print a copy for your Emergency Binder. If family becomes separated, a recent photo may help.
- Video or scan still photos of your home contents. When disaster strikes, having a home inventory will help with insurance claims. Copy to your thumb drive.
- Start saving plastic 2-liter pop bottles (not milk jugs, they decompose). Sanitize and fill 1 with ¾ with water. Use it to fill any empty space in your freezer. If your electric fails, this ice jug will help keep food preserved in the freezer as well as being a source of drinking water. If space permits, have a least 1 2-liter bottle in the freezer per person.
- Ask friends and family members to save soda bottles for you. Lie about your intentions, (tell them it’s a school project for little Johnny). Sanitize the bottle, lid and threads. Fill with tap water. Your goal is to accumulate 30 bottles per family member and large pet. Store them easily with a DIY bottle rack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Are you sure you are prepared?
By Johnsobo 100, Editor-At-Large
I want to relate an incident that happened to my wife and me several months ago. As a former Boy Scout and current seasoned prepper, I have always tried to adhere to the Boy Scout’s motto: “Be Prepared”. But, as I discovered, it is easy to say you are prepared, but quite another to actually be prepared.
As most good preppers’, we have our beans, Band-Aids, and bullets. We read and try to stay informed on current events, follow different blogs and websites, especially Seasoned Citizen Prepper and Modern Survival Online. We try to go by the rule of one is none, two is one, and three is better. In other words have a plan B and C. We have tried to prepare our home for emergencies that may arise, have the necessary tools on hand to fix minor repairs, the list could go on, but I think you get the idea. I’m sure most of you who are reading this article have made similar preparations, and may be thinking: so what’s the big deal. At this point, I need to mention another rule that all preppers’ need to be aware of, but often forget. It’s called “Murphy’s Law–Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.
Have you ever noticed that plumbing leaks always happen at night? Or on the week-end? When the hardware store has closed, and you can’t find, or don’t have the right tool? Or maybe all of the above?!
Now I realize that it is almost impossible for most of us to be totally prepared for everything, but in my case, I thought I had all the bases covered. Let me give the reader a little history. We live in an old house, built in the early 50’s, and we live in the country. A trip to the store of any kind is a minimum of 30-45 minutes, one way. When we first moved here we added a new bedroom and bath, and did a lot of renovations and repairs. At that time I installed new stainless steel supply lines to all the sinks in the bathrooms, and to the washing machine; all with cut-off valves. I also had spare supply lines in my plumbing supplies, and all the tools I thought I would need. Can you guess which one I forgot to replace? Yep! You guessed it, the water heater.
I am not the handy man that I would like to be, but plumbing has always been one of the things that I have been able to do most of the time, so when my wife said one evening about 9:00 p.m., “Where is all this water coming from in our bathroom?” My first thought was I’ll just cut the water off under the sink with the cut-off valves I had installed, and finish fixing the problem in the morning.
Here is where “Murphy’s Law” kicked in. When I walked into the bathroom, she was standing in water, it was spreading fast, and to my surprise, the leak was not coming from under the sink as I had thought, but was coming from a closet where the water heater was located. I opened the closet door, and was immediately sprayed with warm water bouncing off everything in the closet. The leak was coming from the supply line that connected the water heater to the house plumbing system. To my dismay, no cut-off valve, not a problem, I would go out to the garage, get my water key, and go to the water meter box located in the front yard and cut the water off to the house. By this time she was pleading “Please hurry; I’m running out of dry towels.” I ran out to the garage and looked at where the water key was supposed to be hanging; you guessed right again, no water key. I had forgotten that I had loaned my water key to my brother-in-law for a plumbing problem he had. Not to worry, I ran next door to my wife’s parents and asked to borrow their water key. Fortunately, they were still up, and to my surprise they knew exactly where it was. By the time I got back to the house and turned off the water, she had run out of towels and all she could think to say was: “What took you so long?” Now some of you may be saying why he didn’t use a pair of pliers, a stilson wrench, or vice grips? Those are good questions. More on that later.
After we cleaned up all the mess, we took stock of everything. There was no real water damage, we both thanked God for that. We could just picture what would have happened if we had gone to bed and found the leak the next morning. We did have drinking water stored, so we could have coffee the next morning, and I could go to the hardware store to get the necessary supplies. This time I would replace both the inlet and outlet lines with new stainless steel supply lines with cutoff valves.
The next morning, after finally getting everything replaced and checked for leaks, we were back in the hot water business. I would like to say it was an easy repair, and things went like clock- work; but remember Murphy’s Law? The big issue was the one pipe wrench I thought I had in my tool box, wasn’t there. I had to get a new one.
Some lessons learned, and some advice for all preppers.
- Check all water supply lines in your house. If they are suspect, replace them with stainless flexible lines.
- Have cut-off valves installed on all supply lines.
- Get a water key; know where it is at all times.
- Inventory your tools to make sure you have what you will need.
You don’t have to have a water key to turn off the water at your water main, but they are cheap, and it is so much easier than using a wrench or vise grips, especially when it is raining, which I forgot to mention, and the water main box is full of water, which it was, and it was night time.
In closing I might ask: Do you know where your water main box is located? If not, you just might want to locate it when Murphy is in the neighborhood.