Urban Survival: The Most Important Skills and Gear Might Not Be What You’d Expect

By Terry Trahan

In prepping for an urban survival situation, there is a lot of misinformation. And it is all due to the fact that there are no easy answers. There is also a huge misunderstanding of what happens during these events. It is a popular trope that cities will turn into urban wastelands replete with Mad Max-style gangs rampaging and plundering. Or that the cities will become filled with government death squads, opposing militias battling it out in the streets, and poor huddled masses living in sewers eating rats.

Look at history

As a great eye-opener, I would recommend reading everything you can from Selco on this website. He gives an amazing breakdown of what really happens in a city during a war, ethnic struggle, and the aftermath.

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But, barring some horrendous occurrences, it is highly doubtful that this will be the case everywhere in this country. It may come close in some areas, and other areas may not be challenged at all.

One of the measures I use to prepare and check my preps are family stories. My maternal grandmother (Oma), and her family grew up in Germany during the Third Reich. They underwent the wartime depredations, and Oma would tell me stories about that time. My maternal and paternal grandparents from the US also grew up during the Great Depression, and also would share stories and tips from then.

But we don’t even have to go that far back. I have been fortunate enough to communicate with people from Argentina during and after their financial crisis, as well as people from Venezuela, South Africa, and elsewhere undergoing hardships we haven’t been exposed to.

So, as I said in my last article, we have to best prepare for what is most likely to occur to us. In self-protection terms, one of my teachers uses the saying; “Train to handle what happens most, and you’ll be able to handle most of what happens”.

I take this and apply it to my Urban Survival Escape & Evasion (USE&E) training as well.

The most important urban survival issues may not be what you’d expect.

 In our first installment we will be looking at what I consider one of the top two issues we need to prepare for, not just for SHTF, but every day.

This may seem shocking, but I will not be addressing fighting or weapons as the most important thing. Not E&E or escape from restraint.

No, we will be addressing first aid, trauma care, the need for training, and a primer on gear to carry and stage to have in a life-threatening situation.

First off, you are more likely to use any first aid/trauma med skills and gear than any other skill you have. And far more than shooting or fighting. In my opinion, the only skill that gets used more is defensive/evasive driving.

Start with training

If you haven’t yet, I would highly recommend you start off with training from the Stop the Bleed program. This is free training usually provided by Emergency Responders/Firefighters in cities large and medium, as well as at hospitals or schools in smaller communities across the country. In these classes, you will be taught the basics of bleeding control using the established protocols of direct pressure, wound packing, and tourniquet use.

This training is gold. It is appropriate for young teens through senior citizens. The presentation is information-rich without being boring.

After taking the StB class, hell, take it a couple of times, I would then look into taking classes from the American Red Cross. They still offer training in a wide array of first aid skills, including basic and advanced first aid, water safety, CPR, AED, and much more.

After you take these classes and practice the skills you learned regularly, you will be a giant asset to any group you are in, and better equipped to help in a wide number of situations and emergencies that may occur.

If, after this basic training, you want to go further, there are several very good training courses for everything from austere long term medical care, trauma care, ditch dentistry, field surgery, and scenario training for care under fire. You can take this as far as you wish, depending on your interests, and what you foresee happening in the particular area you are living in.

Get the appropriate gear for your skillset.

Once you get training, then it is time to look for appropriate gear for your skillset. Kits come in all sorts and sizes, made for different applications.

A word of warning: this is an area where you do not want to cheap out. The number of times we have seen counterfeit TQs (tourniquets) fail in training or testing is frightening. Cheap first aid kits may include expired or inferior components. When dealing with an actual medical situation or life and death, you want your gear to be accessible and to work when needed.

There are three types of kits we need to look at, as they all cover different areas of use. These three types are Boo-Boo kits, First Aid kits, and Trauma kits.

Boo-Boo kits are for treating small wounds, cuts, minor burns, some minor ailments like diarrhea, motion sickness, headaches, blisters, etc… It is to make things more comfortable. These kits should include basic items such as a variety of band-aids, pain medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, Benadryl, burn gel, nausea relief, sting relief, moleskin, and things like this. As I said, it is more for comfort and treating of minor wounds and owies.

Next up the scale are first aid kits. These can have Boo-Boo items also, but will add on to that with things like rolled gauze, gauze pads, wound dressings, splints, some will include things like cervical collars and other more advanced gear, depending on the intended use of the kit. Some of mine include items that you should only use with proper training, like sutures, forceps, clamps, IV kits and other such things. These items are usually included in field surgery kits but can be useful after proper training.

Now, onto the meat of my daily prep/carry, and gaining in popularity in the gun/sd/prep/EDC crowd, trauma kits. These are small, purpose-driven kits that cover the most common causes of death in a trauma situation. The core of a good trauma kit will be blood loss stopping equipment, which is why I first recommended the Stop the Bleed classes. You will be much better prepared to use these items. First in these kits, we will discuss the TQ (tourniquet).

Please make sure that your tourniquet is a real, not counterfeit TQ, such as a CAT, SOFTT-W, or RMT. Avoid the bungee style wannabe TQs such as the RATs or STAT. They do not achieve good enough occlusion to count on. You only want the best when life depends on your gear.

Next will be compressed gauze of some sort, Kerlix or another variety, for use in wound packing, You want at least 4 yards of gauze, and as a little starter, it is good to tie a knot in the end before you start packing the wound. Some kits include one, or you can buy an individual Israeli Battle dressing or IzzyD, which is a pressure dressing/wrap. It can be used as a secondary TQ also and is a very versatile piece of gear.

Another item frequently included is a blood stopper gauze, the two most popular being QuikClot and Celox. Both are great for dealing with arterial bleeding in junctional areas that cannot be effectively TQd. Do not worry about the reports of exothermic reactions. That was earlier generations of the product, and besides, burns or death is a pretty easy choice for me to make.

The final item that should be in your trauma kit is chest seals to treat tension pneumothorax, or sucking chest wound.

Your mindset is the most important part of survival.

 As I said, the first part, the most important part, of this equation is the mindset to survive and prevail, second, training, and then the gear. This ties in with the Tactical Pyramid that we will touch on in future articles. And this is not an exhaustive list of the gear available, it is just a list of the most common, and necessary items for the kits involved.

As always, I welcome any questions or comments and can make better recommendations for training courses and specific gear if you would like.

Thanks for reading.

Terry Trahan has been a long-term martial artist and teacher of personal protection, as well as an author for numerous publications. His experiences from being a gang member, enforcer, protection specialist, and bouncer have given his teachings a strong bent towards the practical. Fighting his way out of extreme poverty and some unsavory environs also gives him insight into survival and everyday life not often commented on. He can be contacted at terry.trahan at gmail.com

This article was sourced from The Organic Prepper.

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CO Poisoning: The Hidden Danger of Emergency Heaters

By Graywolf

I previously wrote about how to survive a winter storm at home in case your power goes out, which has some great overall information in it to help you prepare, but I realized I’d missed something important and thought I should address it in its own post – the danger of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and what you absolutely need to know about it.

A few days ago, Colorado hit the lowest recorded temp in continental US history at -32F. We’ve also had a couple of really bad storms blow across the US already this winter and several people have died. In many emergencies, such as this, you need to rely on emergency heating, and if you don’t have the right heater or setup, there is a real danger of getting carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) vs. Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

So a lot of people first get a little confused because they think CO is harmless because that’s what we breathe out, right? Actually,  no. We breathe out carbon dioxide (CO2), not CO. CO2 is what plants use to convert to sugar and oxygen during photosynthesis and is a by-product of complete combustion (burning). CO is a byproduct of inefficient burning and is extremely dangerous.

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According to the CDC, over 400 people die in the US alone every year and over 50,000 people go to the emergency room for CO poisoning. One note here: the death rate around the world is MUCH higher than that, due to hospitals here being able to recognize and test for it so they can treat people before it’s too late.

Your body can take in a lot of CO2 so even though it’s not impossible for it to be dangerous, it’s extremely rare. CO, on the other hand, does bad things to your body. I’m not going to go into deep scientific detail here since most of you just want to know what the danger is and what you can actually do about it but essentially, CO binds with the hemoglobin of your blood easier than oxygen does, so it basically starves your body of oxygen.

It’s so effective that CO poisoning is a very popular method of suicide around the world, in no small part due to the inaccurate representation of it being portrayed in the media as being painless. It’s not, btw. Here are some common symptoms:

  • aches and pains
  • headaches
  • weakness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • balance problems
  • memory problems
  • unconsciousness

Basically, CO2 = good, CO = bad.

What Heaters Cause CO Increases?

Basically, any heater that burns something (coal, propane, whatever), can cause CO output and put your life in danger. This includes:

  • fireplaces
  • wood stoves
  • gas appliances
  • kerosene heaters
  • charcoal grills
  • oil, propane or gas furnaces

Basically, if it burns some kind of fuel and isn’t properly ventilated to the outside world, it can be a problem. The heaters listed above are most likely safe, as long as you have some sort of sensor to tell you in case of a leak.

How to Safely Heat Your Home in an Emergency

The simple answer would be to just use something that doesn’t produce CO but that’s not always practical, especially in an emergency.

There are essentially two ways to increase the safety of using an emergency heater (or any heater) indoors: use a heater that doesn’t produce large amounts of carbon monoxide, or try to ventilate one that does and use some kind of sensor or alarm to tell you if the CO is rising to dangerous levels.

Here are some heaters that don’t produce CO to large amounts indoor:

  • electric space heaters
  • oil-filled heaters that do not burn oil (which are typically electric)
  • sealed, ventilated units that send or keep all gases outside
  • catalytic heaters such as the Mr. Heater*

*Just a quick note, I spent a year living on a sailboat in North Carolina, where it got so cold (minus 17 without wind chill) that the river froze solid for weeks. Even though sailboats have terrible insulation, I kept warm using mostly a Mr. Heater Buddy and an electric heater backup. The electric one wasn’t very reliable and obviously didn’t work when there was no power to connect to. Because the Mr. Heater wouldn’t last all night on high with the small green canister (and I didn’t like keeping propane down below), I connected a 20 pound tank to it from the cockpit using an adapter and long hose. Even though the Buddy burns propane, it’s considered safe for indoor use due to a low oxygen sensor, overheating sensor, and tipover sensor that will shut it down.

CO Sensors

In any case, one of the best ways to help protect yourself or your family from CO poisoning is to use a sensor. Your house may not have a CO sensor in it, and even if it does, it may not be sufficient to tell you the amount of CO in the room you’re sleeping in, especially if you’ve walled off parts of your home to conserve heat.

I’d suggest that you make sure you have a CO sensor in the room you’re heating in an emergency, and if that’s not possible, just buy one. They’re not that expensive. Also, something like this is dangerous enough that due to them being so inexpensive, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup. This one plugs in and has a battery back-up for double protection.

Also, if you’re going to be traveling to someone else’s house, especially something like a cabin or an Airbnb, you should bring along a portable CO sensor. (Here’s a 3-pack of portable sensors that take AA batteries.) In case you didn’t see it in the news recently, actress Anna Faris and her family almost died over Thanksgiving, all due to CO poisoning at an Airbnb rental in Lake Tahoe that didn’t have a CO sensor. I’m not sure what the underlying cause of the CO was but a functioning sensor would have helped a lot.

Keep in mind that some combustion heaters that are typically safe indoors may not be in higher altitudes due to the lower amount of oxygen available for combustion, and any externally-vented heater might cause problems if the ventilation is blocked. Also, it’s possible for something running outside to bring in CO if it’s too close to a window. In all these cases, a sensor located in the right place could help mitigate that threat.

By the way, this information goes just as well for camping, staying in a cabin or in some kind of improvised shelter. A portable CO sensor wouldn’t take up too much space or weigh much in your pack but could save your life.


Most people understand the fire risks of using a heater indoors during an emergency or just any cold weather and take necessary precautions. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the risks of death or serious injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning or how common it is. By using the correct type of heater, you can avoid exposure and poisoning but during an emergency, this isn’t always possible. Taking extra precautions such as assuring proper ventilation and using a carbon monoxide sensor will make things much safer for you and your family.

Graywolf is a former Counterintelligence Agent and US Army combat veteran. His experience as an agent, soldier and government contractor on assignments around the world gives him a unique perspective on the world and how to deal with it. His website is Graywolf Survival.

This article was sourced from The Organic Prepper.

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How a Quick Walk Turned into a 17-Day Survival Ordeal in the Hawaiian Jungle

By Daisy Luther

More than 2 weeks ago, the news was abuzz about Amanda Eller, a 37-year-old physical therapist/yoga instructor who took a walk in a Maui forest and never came back to where her car was parked. Theories abounded about Amanda because she’d left her water bottle, cellphone, and wallet in her car. People wondered whether she’d been kidnapped or murdered.

The official search was called off after only 72 hours, leaving the hunt for Amanda in the hands of thousands of volunteers who combed the forest.

The Makawao Forest Reserve is a 2000-acre area on the north side of Maui that is surrounded by even more thousands of acres of dense forest, steep ravines, lava rocks, and vegetation so thick that it often must be hacked with machetes to get through it.

There’s a lot we can learn from the survival stories of other people and  Amanda’s story also has many lessons. While I’ll point out a few mistakes, keep in mind that nearly every survival story begins with something going wrong. Amanda survived a situation many people could not, and did so barefoot and with a fractured leg.

How did she get lost in the first place?

Amanda told reporters she didn’t take her water or phone because she was planning only a quick walk. One thing Selco drummed into us during our course is that you don’t even walk across the street without a layer one that contains at the least some water purification tablets, a lighter, a whistle, a trauma bandage, and a knife.

According to news reports, Amanda intended to walk a quick three-mile trail. But when she stopped to rest, she got turned around and that was when things went wrong.

‘I wanted to go back the way I’d come, but my gut was leading me another way — and I have a very strong gut instinct.

‘So, I said, my car is this way and I’m just going to keep going until I reach it.

‘I heard this voice that said, “If you want to live, keep going”.

‘And as soon as I would doubt my intuition and try to go another way than where it was telling me, something would stop me, a branch would fall on me, I’d stub my toe, or I’d trip. So I was like, “O.K., there is only one way to go”.

‘The whole time I was going deeper into the jungle, even though I thought I was going back where I came from. (source)

Unfortunately, her instincts led her astray. Anyone who regularly walks in wild areas should learn the basics of navigation using the sun, or better yet a compass,  (You can get watches that have compasses built in. Be sure to calibrate your compass with a known accurate compass.)

How she survived

Amanda told reporters she hiked for about 14 hours the first day hoping to get back to her car. She was only wearing a tank top and capri pants. Temperatures in that area drop to about 60 degrees at night.

By day 3, she stopped looking for the trailhead and began searching for water. Generally, when you’re lost, water should be a resource you look for sooner due to the immediate risk of dehydration. This was the same day she fell off a cliff and injured her leg, fracturing it and tearing her meniscus. The following day, she found water indeed when a flash flood swept her shoes away. Now, injured and barefoot, she was not moving as fast, and she was crawling instead of walking, but the entire time, she was moving deeper into the jungle. From her hospital bed, she said, “I heard this voice that said, ‘If you want to live, keep going.”

She covered herself with ferns and leaves at night. She slept in the mud, and another night in the den of a wild boar. (It’s interesting to note that boars are the most dangerous wildlife on the island. Aside from boars, there aren’t any large predators.)

She ate wild strawberry guavas, berries, and moths for 17 days. Fortunately, she had learned enough about the local flora to know what she could safely eat. She stayed by a stream, from which she drank water.

But she was beginning to lose hope. “I was getting so skinny that I was really starting to doubt if I could survive,”

The rescue

Even though officials gave up on the search after 72 hours, the locals did not. Volunteer search parties combed the area near where Amanda’s car had been found.

Meanwhile, an army of volunteers turned seemingly every stone looking for her. They rappelled into ravines, searched caves, free-dove into pools and navigated fast-moving streams looking for Ms. Eller. Others killed aggressive wild boars and checked their intestines for human remains. At least one volunteer was attacked by a boar. (source)

A friend of mine in Hawaii joined the search and told me that the volunteers were searching miles and miles on foot, day and night, despite the lack of official support. Finally, by sheer good fortune, Amanda was out in the open when a search helicopter flew over.

Rescue workers had been combing the thickly wooded 1.5-mile radius around Ms. Eller’s car. But on a whim, the searchers in the helicopter on Friday decided to go farther, about seven miles from the central search area by air — the equivalent of 30 miles walking in such rough conditions, said Javier Canetellops, a search coordinator who was in the helicopter…

…On Day 17, Ms. Eller was near a stream searching for “some plant to eat for dinner and some place to sleep that wasn’t directly in the mud” when she saw a helicopter. She said she had seen and heard multiple helicopters fly above her during her ordeal, according to her friend Ms. York, but none had spotted her. This one did.

“I looked up and they were right on top of me,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ and I just broke down and started bawling.” (source)

Here’s the footage of Amanda’s rescue.

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Rescuers say that Amanda was found in an extremely treacherous area, deep in H’aiku’ several miles above Twin Falls. She was immediately airlifted to a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. In the following video, a rescuer described finding Amanda.

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Amanda had a lot to say about the volunteers who searched for her and about her “spiritual journey” while she was lost. Here’s her statement from the hospital.

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And, finally, this is a press conference held at the hospital updating us on Amanda’s condition.

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Amanda walked with a fractured tibia, severe sunburn, infected wounds in her lower extremities, and a torn meniscus. Miraculously, her doctor said she was well-hydrated when she was rescued and that she looks great. She did not contract any issues from drinking water from the stream. Physicians expect a full recovery.

Her doctor chalks up a great deal of her survival to the fact that she was very healthy and well-nourished before her ordeal.

What do you think?

When I heard about this story and a week had gone past, I certainly didn’t expect to hear a happy ending. In nearly every survival situation, mistakes are made. Amanda’s will to live helped propel her through what must have been a terrifying two and a half weeks.

Could you survive 17 days in the wilderness? What do you think of Amanda’s story?

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article first appeared. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

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5 (More) Foods That Last Forever

By Sara Tipton

When planning and storing food for emergencies or survival situations, we have long advocated incorporating foods that will last forever (or at least longer than you will). By doing so, this does double duty by boosting your emergency supplies, pantries, and your bartering power, as well as ensuring you are purchasing foods as frugally as possible.

Ready Nutrition - Bestselling The Prepper's CookbookIn The Prepper’s Cookbook, 25 must-have foods were explored in this best-selling book. These 25 foods are the foundation of your prepper pantry and used to make an array of foods. Eleven of those 25 foods were what is considered “forever foods.”

Today, we are going to explore five more foods to add to your forever food pantries; and, if stored properly, they will last forever. Best of all, many of them will serve multiple purposes beyond human consumption and this could give you a hand up should the SHTF!

5 (More) Forever Foods for Your Prepper Pantry

1. Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is actually not made by distillation at all, but made by the fermentation of the natural sugars found in either grains or fruit.  Those sugars are converted to alcohol and the alcohol is then fermented a second time and it turns into vinegar by the production of acetic acid after the fermentation of ethanol, sugars, or acetic acid bacteria. Vinegar typically contains anywhere between 5 and 20% acetic acid by volume and is currently mainly used as a cooking ingredient, or in pickling. The mainstays of the category include white distilled, cider, wine, and malt have now been joined by balsamic, rice, rice wine, raspberry, pineapple, chardonnay, flavored and seasoned vinegar and more.

Vinegar will slowly lose its concentration of acidity over time. The vinegar will absorb water from the air diluting its concentration of acetic acid. And over time, the acetic acid will break down or decompose leaving behind a less acidic product. Distilled white vinegar is perfect for marinades, sauces, and dressings, but because it will decompose and dilute itself, try to use fresh distilled white vinegar when pickling or making dressings, but those older gallon jugs of vinegar will work great as a cleaning solution. Distilled white vinegar is great to use to clean your house or add it to your laundry as a fabric softener! It is actually just as good at killing germs as bleach, according to a Colorado State University publication. Once 5% distilled white vinegar is heated to at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit it is as effective as bleach in treating Listeria Monocytogenes, E. coli, and Salmonella.

You can also use distilled white vinegar as a fruit and vegetable wash! Try using 2 tablespoons of the vinegar to 1 pint of water.  It is also great at removing lime stains from bathroom faucets.  Every few weeks or so, I use distilled white vinegar to run through my essential oils diffuser.  It acts as a cleaner and keeps my diffuser running great.

Its shelf life is almost indefinite.  Its acidic nature makes it self-preserving. To keep distilled white vinegar virtually forever, store in a cool dry area and keep a lid on tight.

2. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is powder made from the starch in corn kernels and generally used as a thickener for sauces and gravies in the kitchen. But it can be used for so much more, including cleaning and medicinal uses.

Cornstarch can be used to help cool off a sunburn. A simple paste of cornstarch and water spread over a sunburn soothes inflamed skin. This paste on insect bites and stings.  Use aloe vera gel instead of water to ramp up the soothing properties as well! Cornstarch will also help prevent chaffing. If you have sensitive skin and a tendency to chafe, simply dust a little cornstarch on your problem areas before dressing.

If you have a creaky spot in your hardwood flooring, try adding a sprinkle of cornstarch and then sweep. The superfine starch works itself into nooks and crannies, effectively stopping the noise.  It is also great at cleaning up greasy carpet stains! If you have a greasy mess on your carpet, simply pour cornstarch over it and let it sit for 20 minutes. The cornstarch absorbs the grease and freshens the carpet. Just vacuum the powder away! Cornstarch is also an amazing window cleaner.  Since its a super fine to the touch but naturally abrasive at a microscopic level, adding a tablespoon of cornstarch to your favorite window cleaner will make cleaning easier and leave a streak-free shine.

While cornstarch can go bad, that can only happen in very specific circumstances, so if you are willing to make sure it is stored properly, it will be perfectly fine for years.   If the powder gets wet, it will go bad.  It’s important to store cornstarch in a cool and dry place.  If cornstarch cannot absorb water, it will stay good indefinitely.

3. Distilled Liquor

Distilled liquor is also not only useful by can be stored forever.  It also has the added benefit of being a bartering tool, which comes in handy in the event of a societal collapse. The base liquors, such as brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey are typically the most stable distilled spirits because they do not contain any sugars. The more sugar a liquor has, the faster it will deteriorate. Bottles of base liquors can be stored for a very long time opened, although they may lose some flavor, they will keep indefinitely if they remain unopened.

When it comes to prepping, it is always important to keep in mind your trading and bartering power.  Distilled liquors can definitely give you an edge when it comes to bartering. Other than perhaps ammunition, there may not be a better item to store to ensure you’ve got something others will want than some extra liquor. Whiskey is a great option to store for bartering while vodka can be used as in first aid.

Liquor can be used not only as a way of keeping wounds free from infection but for keeping nausea at bay and or for making dental work more bearable for the patient.  Any liquor above 60% can be used as surgical alcohol and anything above 40% can be used to disinfect wounds for first aid purposes, not to mention medicinal tinctures.

4. Bouillon

Bouillon cubes generally contain enough salt to preserve them from spoilage, but the flavor (which, after all, is why you’re using them) may weaken, dull, and change over the years. But the bottom line is that they will last forever if they remain stored in a cool dry place!  Bouillon cubes are used to add flavor to foods and can be invaluable in your prepping supply. Since they contain high salt content, they will basically preserve themselves.

5. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup will also last forever if the bottle remains unopened and its kept in the cold. If you open the maple syrup, it can get moldy and its incredibly unpleasant to eat at that point. It will only last about a year after you crack open that bottle, so if you want to save it, put it in your freezer.  It will retain its flavor best and keep indefinitely when it’s stored in the freezer and don’t worry, it won’t freeze solid.

This article was sourced from SHTFplan

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Prepping Tip: How To Start A Fire With Wet Wood

By Mac Slavo

As preppers, we like to share important tips when we come across them.  One trick that could help us all immensely when the SHTF is knowing how to start a fire with wet wood: one of the most frustrating things on Earth.

When it comes to a SHTF situation, one of the most critical survival skills you can learn is how to start a proper fire. With this skill, you can cook your own food, dry wet clothes, warm yourself up, and even signal for help. Anyone who’s gotten a campfire going probably thinks they have it all figured out.

Let’s face it, it is rather simple: when we are wet and cold, we want to be dry and warm and we’ll need a fire to do that in an emergency. But making a fire out of wet wood isn’t the easiest thing to do. Even if you can get your tinder burning, the logs can stubbornly remain unburnt. So I’ve found a few tricks I’d like to share and maybe they’ll help the next time all you’ve got is wet firewood.

First, water usually only penetrates the outer layers of dead wood, so your best bet is to use a knife or hatchet to strip away the damp outer layer. You could also split the wood into smaller pieces exposing the dry inside. Once you’ve got your wood ready, employ one or some of the following and you should have a fire in no time!

Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)Cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly burn at extremely high heat and are a great low-cost alternative to commercial fire starters. Each ball will burn for about three minutes which is long enough to dry out the wet tinder and ignite it. If you try this, make sure you pack them in a sealed plastic bag.  They can get messy but are invaluable. Stock up on these! You can make about 200 of these yourself for under $10.

Steel Wool – This one is usually the most surprising and unknown. Steel wool is actually highly flammable and rather inexpensive. A few sparks from a Ferro rod will get a clump of steel wool burning at over 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of seconds. Steel wool also has the advantage that it can be lit electrically. If you rub the terminals of a 9-volt battery against the wool, it will heat to its ignition point in a couple of seconds.

Doritos Chips – Say what? Doritos chips are actually flammable. (It kind of makes you wonder what’s in them now, huh?) As it turns out, the chemicals, powdered flavors, and oil in the chips make the perfect combination for combustion. Almost any chip will do, actually, so if you dislike Doritos, don’t worry, experiment with chips you do like as most other chips are flammable as well. And if you get your fire started with steel wool or petroleum jelly soaked balls, you won’t need to light your chips on fire. You will have a crunchy snack to munch on as you warm up.

There are more options if you’re really in a pinch, but I chose to share these with you because of the low cost and effectiveness of them. Also, stocking up on all of these items is a good idea because they have several uses and could come in handy when the SHTF.

This article was sourced from SHTFplan.

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Image credit: Pixabay


How to Prepare for a Cyber Attack

By Daisy Luther

On March 5, a “cyber event” interrupted grid operations in parts of the western United States, but the hack was just disclosed to the public a few days ago. As of now, officials are not sure who perpetrated the cyber attack.

The attack marked a somber milestone for the US power sector: the unnamed utility company is the first to report a malicious event that disrupted grid operations.

“According to a cryptic report posted by the Department of Energy, the March 5 incident lasted from 9 a.m. until nearly 7 p.m. but didn’t lead to a power outage, based on a brief summary of the electric disturbance report filed by the victim utility,” E&E News reported on April 30.

Cyber attacks are a growing risk, experts say. Here’s what you need to know about them.

What exactly is a cyber attack?

A cyber attack is more than just shutting down the computer systems of a specified entity. It is defined as “deliberate exploitation of computer systems, technology-dependent enterprises, and networks. Cyber attacks use malicious code to alter computer code, logic or data, resulting in disruptive consequences that can compromise data and lead to cyber crimes, such as information and identity theft.”

Technopedia lists the following consequences of a cyber attack:

  • Identity theft, fraud, extortion
  • Malware, pharming, phishing, spamming, spoofing, spyware, Trojans and viruses
  • Stolen hardware, such as laptops or mobile devices
  • Denial-of-service and distributed denial-of-service attacks
  • Breach of access
  • Password sniffing
  • System infiltration
  • Website defacement
  • Private and public Web browser exploits
  • Instant messaging abuse
  • Intellectual property (IP) theft or unauthorized access

Cyber attacks happen far more frequently than you might think. Check out this real-time map for a look at the almost constant siege.

How does a cyber attack affect you?

You may think that if you don’t spend your day working online, that an attack on our computer infrastructure isn’t that big of a deal. You may feel like it wouldn’t affect you at all.

Unfortunately, there are very few people in the country that would remain completely unaffected in the event of a major cyber attack. Our economy, our utility grids, and our transportation systems are all heavily reliant upon computers. This makes us very vulnerable to such an attack.

And by vulnerable, I mean that if it was done on a big enough scale, it could essentially paralyze the entire country.

Here are some of the systems that are reliant on computers.

In the event of a widespread cyber attack, the following could be either completely inoperable or breached. Keep in mind that a domino effect could occur that effects systems beyond the original target.

  • Gas stations (most of the pumps are now digital and connect right to your bank)
  • Banks (all of the records are online) would not be able to process electronic transactions. ATM machines would not function to allow customers access to cash.
  • Utility systems (most power stations are run by computers)
  • Water treatment facilities (these are automated too)
  • Protection of personal information, including data about your finances, medical records, physical location, and academic records – everything a person would need to steal your identity
  • Government operations, including dangerous identifying information about federal employees or members of the military
  • Transportation systems (trains, subways, and planes are heavily reliant upon computers)
  • Traffic management systems like stoplights, crosswalks, etc.
  • Air traffic control
  • Everyday trade – most businesses have a computerized cash register that communicates directly with banks. Many businesses are also reliant on scanning bar codes for inventory control and pricing. Point-of-sale systems would be down and people would not be able to pay using credit or debit cards.
  • Telecommunications systems can be affected if cell towers are disabled or if the landline system were directly attacked. As more people rely on VOIP, taking down internet service would serve a dual purpose.
  • SMART systems could be shut down or manipulated. All of those gadgets that automate climate control, use of utilities, or appliances through SMART technology are vulnerable.

Here’s a video from NATO that explains a little bit more about the dangers of cyber attacks.

Prepping to survive a cyber attack

Prepping for a cyber attack is not that different from prepping for other types of disasters that affect the grid. You want to be able to operate independently of public utilities, stores, or public transportation.

Click each item to learn more details.

  1. Have a supply of water stored in case municipal supplies are tainted or shut down
  2. Be prepared for an extended power outage.
  3. Have a food supply on hand, as well as a way to prepare your food without the grid.
  4. Keep cash in small denominations on hand in the event that credit cards, debit cards, and ATMs are inoperable.
  5. Keep vehicles above halfway full of fuel, and store extra gasoline.
  6. Be prepared for off-grid sanitation needs.
  7. Invest in some communications devices like ham radio or one of these other options.
  8. Be ready to hunker down at home to avoid the chaos that could come in the aftermath of a massive cyber attack. Be prepared to defend your home if necessary.
  9. Remember that your prepper supplies and skills will see you through this disaster just like any other.
  10. Protect your identity with a service like LifeLock (which will alert you to suspicious activity once things return to normal). Use some of these tips to keep your information locked down.

What do you think?

So, let’s hear from the “hive mind” of the preparedness community. How likely do you think it is that we’ll be hit by a massive cyber attack? Was the event in March some kind of test run? What other effects do you think a massive cyber attack might have? Do you have any additional preparedness tips for such an event? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article first appeared.  She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

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Survival Water Filter DIY – Four Easy Methods in Emergencies!

By Prepper Aaron

Preppers, how do you filter water in an emergency … without a filter?  Filtering water is not something most people normally spend much time thinking about – after all, the water that comes out of your sink is perfectly safe to drink (most of the time – Ed.)  But during an emergency or in a survival situation out in the wild, you cannot take potable water for granted. In those situations, knowing how to purify water without a filter on hand, or how to make a water filter in the wild can be the difference between life and death.

Thankfully, there are a number of survival water filter DIY methods that can work in a pinch and require only materials that you are likely to have on hand around the house or can find in the backcountry. This is a case where studying these methods a little bit ahead of time can make an enormous difference in your ability to survive in an extreme situation.  Also, be sure to check out our field-tested review of the Katadyn Hiker Pro as a great backup water filtration system to keep handy for emergency situations (or to barter with).

4 Easy Methods For Filtering Water In An Emergency

1) Sand and Charcoal Water Filter

One of the simplest filters you can learn how to make in the wild or at home is a sand and charcoal filter. This water filter will not purify your water, but it does an excellent job at turning very dirty and cloudy water into clear liquid that can then be boiled to remove microorganisms.

To make this filter, you will need sand, some gravel or small rocks, charcoal from a wood fire, a container such as a hard plastic bottle or a plastic bag, and a coffee filter or a fabric that water can pass through. If you are using a bottle as your container, take the cap off and cut off the bottom of the container, then invert the bottle. If you are using a plastic bag, leave the top end open and cut a small hole in the bottom of the bag. Push the coffee filter or piece of fabric to the bottom (cap end) of the container or bag so that it is covering the hole, then add an inch or two of charcoal. On top of the charcoal, interleave layers of sand and gravel so that you have at least two layers of each.

Once the filter is set, you can hang it from a tree branch or simply hold it suspended over a collection container and pour dirty water into the top of the filter. The water that comes out should be relatively clear, but you’ll need to purify it either by adding chemicals or by bringing it to a rolling boil for five minutes before drinking.

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2) Evaporation Trap for Collecting Water

If you are planning to rely on filtering your own water for a long time, building an evaporation trap is a significant time investment but can serve as a semi-continuous source of filtered water. To make this, you’ll need to find an area that sees direct or indirect sunlight throughout the day and then dig a hole that is about one to two feet deep and a few feet around in that spot. Once the hole is dug, place a collection container in the bottom of the pit – be sure that no dirt gets into the container in the process. Place a plastic sheet so that it covers the entire pit and use rocks or branches to hold it down somewhat tightly. The last step is to place a small rock in the center of the plastic sheet, just over the collection container so that the sheet dips down over it.

The resulting trap should allow water to evaporate out of the soil in the hole when the sun hits it, but the plastic sheet will prevent it from going far. The water will then drip down to the depression in the center of the plastic sheet, right over the collection container. Unfortunately, in order to drink the water, you will still need to purify it by boiling or with chemicals, which requires undoing and redoing the plastic sheeting each time.

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3) Solar Still For Collecting Water

Just like the evaporation trap, it is possible to make clean water using the power of the sun with a solar still. This method uses a large mixing bowl from around your house rather than a pit, and you will need to have unclean water to fill the bowl with rather than relying on groundwater. To make a solar still, place a cup or can inside the bowl of water so that the rim of the cup is below the rim of the bowl but remains above the level of the water. Cover the entire setup with plastic wrap and place a rock or other weight directly over the cup. Just like for the evaporation trap, the water will evaporate when the sunlight hits it, collect on the plastic wrap, and then drip into the collection cup. Again, this water will need to be purified with chemicals or by boiling prior to drinking it.

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4) You Can Use Household Chemicals to Purify Water

If disaster strikes when you are at home, chances are high that you already have a stash of chemical treatments around the house that can be used to purify water without a filter. When using chemical treatments, it is important that you have water that is relatively free of particles – straining dirty water through a t-shirt, cloth, or whatever fabric you have on hand will work, and folding the fabric a few times will increase its filtering power.

The first chemical to turn to is bleach. Almost every household has a container of bleach around – just check under your sink or in your laundry room if you are not sure. To purify pre-filtered but potentially bacteria-filled water, simply add 1/8 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water, mix, and wait at least and hour before drinking. If the water does not smell of chlorine 30 minutes after adding the bleach, you should repeat the process since your bleach may have exceeded its stable shelf life.

If you have a pool, the chemical in pool shock, calcium hypochlorite, also works well to purify water. Pool shock is extremely potent and stable for up to a decade, in contrast to store-bought bleach. You’ll need to dilute the shock powder by adding ½ teaspoon to one gallon of water, then add that to water at a concentration of 1% (approximately 2.5 tablespoons per gallon of water).

You may also find iodine in your medicine cabinet, which is okay for short-term use as a water purifier but can be dangerous for pregnant women or people with thyroid problems. Add 20 drops of 2% iodine solution to each gallon of water, mix, and wait at least an hour before drinking.

Filtering and Purifying Water Can Be Easy!

While these DIY survival water filters may not produce water that is 100% free of particles, they can turn water that is too dirty to drink into a viable source of sustenance. Some of the methods are perfect for short-term survival, while others, like the evaporation trap, are more suitable as long-term survival solutions for when you will be staying in the same spot for days or weeks. Remember that with any of these filtration methods, you will need to purify your water using the chemical methods described above or by bringing it to a rolling boil. Therefore, it is important to stock your emergency preparedness kit with chemicals for purification or with a significant stockpile of fuel for boiling large volumes of water.

Knowing these methods could be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation!  However, an easier way is to simply have a small portable water filter handy.  Check out our field-tested review for the Katadyn Hiker Pro here.  We think its the best all around water filtration system for emergency situations!

This article was sourced from SHTFplan.com

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Prepping Tips: How To Prepare Your Dog (Or Cat) For Survival

By Mac Slavo

Your dog is most likely not going to be forgotten when the SHTF, so why not have a contingency plan for him? Your beloved pet might be able to help you get through a catastrophe, as long as you make plans in advance.

The most important factor to consider is water.  If you have a well, you only need to have a method to get water from it in the event there is a power grid failure or malfunction. If you store your water, make sure you store extra for your four-legged friend. Dogs are often fine drinking water from a stream or a creek, and may not need as much as you think if a water source is readily available, but it is something to keep in mind.

Dog food will probably not be readily available if the country or globe is plunged into a primitive survivalist environment.  So obviously, the basics of food and water should be dealt with first. You should stockpile canned dog food and kibble if you find it on sale.  Oftentimes dollar stores a great place to find bulk, hugely discounted dog food.  It won’t be premium-quality food, by any stretch of the imagination, but it will keep your dog alive when society is crumbling around you.

Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to store kibble for your dog or cat. Try to find a food-safe grain storage bin to keep out the rodents and save about a one year supply.  This is handy for those who may want better quality dog food.  Saving it in advance is the way to go!

But there’s one suggestion that I have found personally helpful.  If you hunt and know how to kill your own food, you’ll have a leg up when the SHTF.  Instead of tossing out that chewy hock (the bottom part of the elk or deer’s leg) save the meat and boil it.  Dogs love this and as it approaches one year of being in the freezer during normal times, (it won’t keep forever) toss it in some boiling water with a little salt. Doing this is a simple way to help keep your dog fed and eliminate waste after a hunt.  Any other part of the animal that is not fit for human consumption, such as some of the organs (dogs particularly like the liver), could be saved and prepared in a similar manner for your dog (or cat, to each their own.)

The Happy Prepper also suggests making your dog its own bug-out bag!  Not only could that be a fun project, but it could help your furry friend and yourself if you wake up to a disaster.

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Try not to overload your dog with too many items, but things like paracord would be excellent additions to a doggie bug out bag.

This article was sourced from SHTFplan.com.

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Can You Be A Minimalist AND A Prepper?

By Mac Slavo

Minimalism is having a moment, and a quick perusal of YouTube will have you wondering why you haven’t tried it before, other than it seems like it is diametrically opposed to prepping.  But why can’t you be both?

Minimalism and prepping can actually go hand-in-hand. There’s really more overlap in ideas than most will admit. On the surface, minimalists and preppers look very different, but all you have to do is dig a little deeper and you will find that the methodologies both employ are actually very similar.

Serious preppers understand that survivalism is not just about the hoarding of stuff, but about carefully selected items that will give them a leg up during an apocalyptic event.  Minimalists also usually only keep items that are useful to them, making them not only unburdened by the baggage of “stuff”, but capable of distinguishing from wants and needs, overlapping the area into the “prepper’s mindset” quite easily.

Minimalists are used to living with less. They don’t need designer handbags and extravagant body washes to get through. Because of this, they often save a good portion of their income, freeing up more money for those needs (like a water filtration system) by saving on the wants.

Minimalists also often choose smaller homes (the tiny house movement is having a moment) since they have fewer items they need to store. But those small abodes are easier to take off the grid in a SHTF situation too. They require substantially less power than a standard-sized American home.

Just like prepping, minimalism is not for everyone.  Many will have trouble giving up their beloved possessions and the public is often skeptical of both.  Many look down on preppers, too, for taking their survival into their own hands and storing extra food and water while average people hoard things like shoes. Others tend to look down on minimalists for wearing the same few shirts in rotation and never replacing them until they are worn out.

Minimalists and preppers also share another common thread: those who practice one or both are above the rampant consumerism ravaging the lives of and indebting most Americans. Both avoid buying up every sale item in sight just to have it and both really evaluate every purchase made making certain it’s necessary and “the right one.”  The truth is, neither prepping or minimalism is “normal” to the average overspending, deeply indebted American who has no idea why they can’t make ends meet.

Additionally, most preppers and minimalists reject the very idea of waste—food, perishable goods, and money. Both have learned to tailor their lives (whether it’s prepping or minimizing) in a way that allows the use of literally everything (composting, for example, is a great way to eliminate food waste.)   Minimalists often employ this strategy too and eventually grow their own food decreasing their reliance on others.

Minimalists don’t “go without;” rather, they’ve learned to live with less. They simply narrow their focus and really home in on what is truly a necessity just like preppers do.  After all, there’s only so much you can fit in your bug-out bag.

You can be both! The key is to find balance and do what’s right for you. There is no right or wrong way to prep, just like there is no right or wrong way to be a minimalist.

Hang onto the joy and peace you get from not being weighed down by excessive belongings while maintaining the comfort and confidence you get by knowing you are prepared to be self-sufficient in the event that any ordinary support systems break down. –Off Grid News

Another great article on the similarities between preppers and minimalists can be found by clicking here. Off Grid News did an excellent job highlighting how you can be a minimalist and a prepper at the same time.

Click here to subscribe: Join over one million monthly readers and receive breaking news, strategies, ideas and commentary. You can read more from Mac Slavo at his site SHTFplan.com

Image credit: Pixabay

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A Power Grid Failure Will Totally Disrupt Your Life: Lessons From Venezuela

By J.G. Martinez D.

Hello people.

You must be already aware of the terrible water situation that people in most of the cities in Venezuela are facing. This is the product of the combination of several factors that I will try to explain. But please! Understand that we suffered the consequences of a weirdo military chief that NEVER had any clue about governing like a civilian, but giving orders and commands, and he ordered seizure of all the companies and put them under control of the “State” because everyone should have access to water.

Indeed our laws say that water is free; I mentioned this in a previous article. Companies, therefore, quickly found a turnaround to capitalize the right to ADDRESS, extract, and direct the water to the customers who did not pay for the water, but the work of having it “transported”. This is quite important for the reader to accept this. I have that feeling that sometimes people just refuse to believe this sort of thing happens in some places in the world, much less on the same American continent. And, yes, it happens. It happened to us, and it was about to happen to people in Chile, too, back in the ’70s with Allende.

Things that were once easy to get in Venezuela are now impossible to find.

This said, I hope you can have a more complete view of what happens when instead of motivated employees, highly trained and well paid, you have underpaid, sad, ill-mannered government employees wearing a T-shirt with Hugo’s face. Well, that happened in lots of companies, originating the disaster we are facing now. Car parts, batteries, oil derivatives, all of those products that you were once accustomed to having in the stores in industrial quantities, have become exotic commodities that need careful financial planning to acquire and with a large mafia-style black market behind. Food is, of course, on the top of the list with proteins as the main concern.

A brief parenthesis here. I decided to go on board with Daisy’s website because her approach to survivalism and prepping is quite sustainable, something that was lost on our path to an apocalypse. We had everything easy; and even in my town you could find imported cheese, Italian salsa for pasta, and some other similar delicacies. There was the possibility to buy milk from the producers, but they took over the farmers’ production and ruined it, just to keep people under control by starving them.

Start taking care of your health now, if you aren’t already.

If you make major changes in your diet NOW, if you try in some way to live healthier NOW, if you can move to someplace with a large inner garden in the near future, if you plan to exercise, get in shape, and grow as many of your staples NOW…you’re heading in the right direction. This website is overflowing with information that is very hard to compile working alone and I will defend that faced with anyone else. This is a strong motivation to me because I have had in front of me people over 70 years old able to take a 30 kilograms tapioca bag on their shoulders and walk 4 kilometers through the mountains with it. If someday I had to do that, and I mean like now being much younger than 70, the tapioca would grow roots before I arrived at where I was heading.

People, eating healthy and exercising is part of the preppers’ legacy. Your main survival tool is your brain. And your body is like the carrying case. Your primary vehicle. Perhaps with one engine backfire here and there after some beans, but…come on, nobody’s perfect. Therefore, maintenance is important. No matter if we die of something else. We will leave behind a healthy corpse to admire. The stamina of that old man I saw carrying that bag, back there in my home town made me see how important it is to stay in touch with nature. I have lost some excess weight; so much walking around here has toned my leg muscles, and I don’t feel so tired as fast as I used to. My ingesting of vegetables and fruits has increased a lot (because of the price of red meat, mainly) and I feel great, generally speaking.

Here are some lessons I learned after the collapse in Venezuela.

Please those readers who are just starting, consider this as the main issue. Stockpiling Spam, or sausages, or whatever you could think you need is perfect. But that is not sustainable in the long term; and perhaps if I could have made different choices back in time, our life could have been gone through a different path, and we would be in much better condition, mentally, emotionally, and financially speaking. This comes from my heart because I am almost starting again, older…but much wiser. I would like to say that much stronger, but it’s not up to me.

There is great, valuable information available, and we have to appreciate all the work and effort behind this.

I understand perfectly if some of you don’t want to walk down that road. I don’t consider myself a farmer by any means, either. But I do know about chemistry, about some basic physics and some other stuff, and there is enough theory available to be able to grow up some decent crops from a good-sized garden, no matter how inexpert can one be. I agree 100% with the guy that relies on his Glock for self-defense because you have to use what you have available, and what works for you. In my territory, a crossbow (homemade, perhaps) or a .22LR will have to make it (mountains, lots of trees and bush to hide in, a very different terrain to the urban environment the Glock guys are). Perhaps a sawed twin-barrel 12ga, provided I can have access to some shells in the future after our liberation is complete. Even a good, old .38 S&W is a good choice on my side of the (tropical, humid and hot) woods. Simple, reliable and proven. Drop it in the mud and it still works.

A total power grid failure will disrupt your entire life.

The most identifiable disruption, in my opinion, is a total power grid failure. The cause is up to you. Earthquake, winter, economy. Not relevant.

The relevance is that its consequences vary depending on the location, of course. For some people, this situation can be present during the winter. An interruption of the service that lasts 3 days in the worst of the winter, is enough reason to be prepared for a failure lasting ALL the winter (perhaps it’s just me, never having seen more ice than my regular freezer produces…oh, wait I was in the peak Bolivar in Merida, Venezuela. That is the closest I have been to such severe climate). Because we don’t know if there are people willing to risk their integrity to restore the energy given the case. In regular times, sure. There are lots of qualified, hardcore professionals that will make their best effort. But in the middle of an economic collapse? Will your standard average underpaid, perhaps uninsured average Joe go out? How about an extreme winter immediately after a pandemic, for example? This is something to be aware of.

Just shut down the breakers at home for a weekend. Make a drill. Get your genset out and start it. Everyone else should adapt. It’s time to sharpen knives, to oil leather jackets, to read a book, teach the kids to shoot with a bow, you get the point. I like the idea of solar chargers and batteries for small devices, flashlights and perhaps radios for some entertainment and local comms. Do you have safe candle holders to save your batteries at night or some other non-hazardous way to provide lighting? I read the very sad news of a diesel lamp setting fire to an apartment a few days ago, with two small children injured with 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns. City people, totally unprepared for these kinds of madness and penury.

I spoke with this friend of mine, former boss, very prepared. Lived in Canada and the USA. A really nice guy. He told me that people in small cottages in rural environments have been less affected, so to speak, with the power failure. I told him that things are going to be much worse. He’s an engineer, too, and he knows. Unfortunately, he is not in the prepper lifestyle, despite my attempts to influence him to take some basic measures in the past; but back in those days money already was getting tight for everyone (2015).

They’re struggling still there, and he keeps me updated. He says that most of the food is now (thanks to the good weather) limited to local crops. No cold chain to bring apples from Colombia or Brazil, for example. Just things that can be grown locally. Corn, papayas, tapioca, black beans, red beans, white beans, lentils…all kind of beans. Cheese is a luxury item. Eggs, meat, all of this needs cold, and the prices are a total craziness. This was to be expected, though. He mentions as well that people in secluded cottages have had some security problems with trespassers, but nothing worth mentioning here. A couple of starving people here and there stealing whatever they can from the crops, but mostly they just leave them be. They go and plant the perimeter again, and that keeps them away from getting too close to the house. Dogs have been very useful too.

Life has gone backward one hundred years in some places.

Candle lighting, firewood cooking, expensive proteins, no antibiotics, or modern medications except for those who can afford it. Not even cellphone communications, and unless water can be transported to the main house tank, no tap or shower water. There is no electrical pumping of course. This could be solved with some sort of mechanical arrangement and a horse or some other animal, though. I hope to see this done soon. There are reports of the most isolated rural communities that horses are being used, as there are no spare parts for the most common vehicle there, the Chinese crappy motorcycles. These are not of the best quality, they break down all the time; when you have a working supply chain parts are dirt cheap. Not anymore. There are almost no spare parts because there are no dollars to buy them nor chain supply to transport anything. That’s why I insist so much in a good quality brand vehicle and a parts stock. Buying cheap can cost someone’s life. Including ours. A good business idea would be to have a small 2-ton truck and make some agreements to transport production to the city. Once you come back to the cottage, hide the thing in a barn or some secured enclosed garage, out of sight. At night in pitch dark, robbers will do their thing and can become dangerous if not controlled. I have recommended to the people in my subdivision to get every radio they can and keep it on at nights for security.

Interesting note. Some friends are using their car batteries (and their kids’ toys car batteries) for lighting, with cheap LEDs. One 12v battery will light for 3 days in a row before needing a recharge. This was a set up I already had for lighting: an old car battery, a row of LEDs and a small solar battery charger, with some cheap switches. 12 hours of Venezuelan sun is more than enough for powering a laptop with a proper converter, even if the battery is not 100% new. This remaining capacity can be used. Oh, and once depleted the lead could be really useful…use your imagination.

People in the city are desperate and would buy all kind of food but they do not have money. This is extremely dangerous. The currency being used is the dollar; and without power, it is going to be hard to imagine what will happen with the electronic banking transfer. Just a few days ago someone informed me that the maintenance board of the subdivision is charging $2 for basic chores like cleaning and keeping the electric gates working. These are now useless, and car owners have to get out of the car and open them manually, exposing themselves. Another reason to have some kind of deterrent.

Thanks for reading!

I look forward to your kind comments, and your much needed assistance!

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. paypal.me/JoseM151

This article was sourced from The Organic Prepper.