Everybody has personal disasters. Accidents happen, bones break, jobs are lost, houses burn down, expensive mechanical devices fail, financial troubles escalate, we get sick, and loved ones pass away.

Personal disasters… or personal Stuff Hits The Fan (SHTF) moments… happen to all of us, they are unfortunately all too common, yet they are also the single-most overlooked prep by the prepping community.

Priority: Prep For The Most Likely Personal Disasters

If you’ve been reading 3BY for any length of time you will know that I am recovering from a personal disaster, a severely broken leg & torn ligaments. I’ve learned a lot of lessons from the experience, and found out several holes in our “personal disaster” prepping that we’ve had to fix.

Even though we had holes in unexpected areas, this particular personal disaster was not catastrophic for us as a family because we HAD done a lot of personal disasters prepping.

Before I go into details of my own lessons learned, let’s take a look at some core preps that we had done to mitigate the damage caused both financially and logistically.

Personal Disasters

They may sit dormant for years, but having preps ready and waiting is the key dealing with personal disasters

Personal Disasters Prepping: A List Of Preps

I’m going to list just a few things that we deem very important as our own preps for personal disasters. Of course, your list may be entirely different depending upon your situation, but I think that many of these things are relevant to all of us. Please keep in mind as you read this that we have been “in the workforce” since 1984 and it has taken us 35 years of hard work to get to this spot. Younger people starting out may think “I’ll never be able to do some of this stuff” but I’m telling you, with focus and living an intentional lifestyle, you can.

  1. We intentionally live a debt free lifestyle, including our house.
  2. We make sure we have medical insurance for both of us
  3. In addition to our regular medical insurance, we also have “short term disability” insurance
  4. We keep an emergency fund of six months expenses (minimum) of cash in the bank at all times
  5. We keep an additional “deductible” fund that has enough money to cover both of our medial deductibles.
  6. Another set of funds that we keep in the bank at all time is a “car replacement fund”, a “house repairs” fund and a “vacation fund”
  7. We keep a huge, easily accessible medical kit in the house at all times. Our kit contains easily accessible bleeding control that can be used by one person on themselves if necessary.
  8. We keep and maintain GOOD insurance on our cars, including very high limits on our liability plus an umbrella (250,000; 500,000; 250,000 with a 2-million umbrella), plus a good uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. This probably seems excessive to a lot of people, but it’s not much more expensive than bad car insurance (i.e. state minimums).
  9. We keep a full contact list for all financials (i.e. we keep all credit/debit card numbers, plus all of the company contact info so if they are lost/stolen we can immediately notify the company). 
  10. Full emergency kits for cars are a must, including a full-size run-ready spare tire, all the tools necessary, a spare quart of motor oil, jumper cables, a lithium car starter, 2 ice scrapers, seat belt cutter/window breaker, etc.
  11. Winter car items
  12. Living wills & medical records
  13. We always carry 3 days worth of any critical prescription meds
  14. An extra credit/debit card unused for anything else with a different account number hidden in each vehicle
  15. Each family member carries 2 credit/debit cards, each with different accounts.
  16. A large enough amount of cash to get you home from wherever it is you are, and a significant amount of cash in the house to take care of any cash-only emergency.

OK, That Sounds REALLY EXPENSIVE!

It IS really expensive upfront. I admit it.

In reality, however, by the time the above is fully implemented, it turns out to be a lot less expensive than what most people do.

Why?

The key to all of the above is that, once executed, there is no ongoing outgoing interest payments… instead, there is INCOMING interest payments. True, right now, banks aren’t paying enough to keep up with inflation, but it sure beats paying them 10-24 percent!

As you can see, our number one way of prepping for personal disaster is financial independence, which is something you can ONLY really do if you live a debt free lifestyle.

The debt free lifestyle is FAR outside of the scope of this article, but we will be doing a whole series of debt-free prepping starting soon here at 3BY.

We Don’t Live To Impress People

I will say that we own our own home, we own The Place, we own all of our own vehicles, all of them debt free. While that sounds amazing to a lot of people, I’m going to be brutally honest here when I say that we are willing to make sacrifices up front so that we don’t have to be slaves to a paycheck.

Living debt free and prepped is a choice, but it’s still a HUGE commitment. It means, for most of us, we can’t do what other people do. We can’t go out and buy new cars or season tickets to our favorite sports teams. We can’t spend nights drinking away our paychecks at a bar.

We have reliable cars but they are not new. We have a paid for, well maintained house but it’s 100 years old, and we have lived in it for 30 years. Spice and I don’t buy stylish furniture. We don’t have a big fancy TV (although those are cheap now), and we don’t redecorate every 5 years. We wear pedestrian, utilitarian clothing. 

In short, our lifestyle will impress nobody.

We’ve never owned a new car, not one.

Having said that, if our car were destroyed today (not even counting the insurance payment) I could go out today and write a check for a replacement. Why? Because we make a car payment, to ourselves, every month.

It’s All About Priorities & Forward Thinking

 Everybody (who doesn’t sell the stuff) hates insurance.

I hate insurance. I hate it with a passion. It’s a rip-off, and we all know it’s a rip-off. Having said that, it allows us to have financial security for things we can’t afford to take a big hit on. 

When I broke my leg, it meant that I could put no weight on the leg for 8 weeks. My foot was in this enormous cast for much of the time, meaning I couldn’t drive.

My job involves being able to drive up to 500 miles a day, if necessary. 

Obviously, I couldn’t do that. Does this mean I lost my job? No, I work for a company that holds places for injured employees.

Did I lose my income?

No, because I had Short Term Disability insurance as a part of my employer’s insurance plan. With the plan we are on, it’s optional and we pay for it out of our paychecks (i.e. it’s a post-tax payment). That’s crucial, because it means that the insurance payments are tax-free to me. I got 60 percent of what my salary would have been before taxes (so, pretty close to what I really earn) which took the bite out of the accident.

Having that insurance meant the difference between 3 lean months and three normal months financially. In reality, with the way we work our budget, it paid for most of my deductible plus out-of-pocket maximum.

Salty, C’mon Man This Is BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where Are The Guns? Where Are The Zombies!

Sorry, folks, prepping for personal disasters isn’t fun. There’s no AR’s. There are no zombies.

But you want to know a secret? You are a lot more likely to slip on the ice or in the shower than you are to come face-to-gun barrel with the walking dead… so let’s get back to boring.

Our Financial Plan Covers Us

The bottom line here is that we worked very hard to pay off our debts years ago, and instead of taking on new debts, we set up funds that we pay to ourselves. We have a house fund for repairs, a car fund, and a deductible medical fund which knock out the biggest threats to our overall emergency fund.

Yes, this does sound very Dave Ramsey. We agree with a lot, but not all, of his plans (yes to the debt part… investing? Not so much). 

We even have a vacation fund, but it gets funded LAST. 

We think that the best thing preppers can do (besides having the obvious preps of water, enough food to eat, heat, etc.) is to make debt elimination the highest priority. Once you don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck to pay debts, a whole new world of preparedness opens up for you.

That world helps you knock out all of the preps you REALLY need, the preps for personal SHTF moments, because unlike zombies, these personal disasters happen every day to us all. 

The post Personal Disasters: The Most Likely SHTF Event? appeared first on Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You.Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You – – Prepping Information.

This content was originally published here.

Getting Out of Harms Way: Massive Retirements From
the Alphabet Soup Agencies

When government officials, from the various alphabet soup agencies, retire en masse, it is not necessarily a noteworthy event. However, when the same officials retire en masse and then relocate to form their own survivalist enclaves, then this is something that we should all sit up and take notice of, especially when we are seeing the same behavior on the part of Wall Street executives.
In my dealings with purported alphabet soup agency informants, I have been receiving some very dire warnings in terms of what lies ahead for America. At the time I began to receive information, two years ago, about the dangerous times that we are living in, Doug Hagmann also went public with conversations he had with DHS’ “Rosebud” telling us much the same thing.

I have had conversations with two insiders and a relative of another insider who tell similar stories of a coming series of apocalyptic events. Much of the Hagmann information, to a large extent, corresponds to the information I have received.

DHS and CIA Relocations

It is a matter of official agency policy that some current DHS and CIA officials and their families will be provided safe sanctuary in various strategic locations in Colorado in times of trouble. Most people in the know are aware of the underground facilities which lies below the Denver International Airport which has an underground connected railway to the Cheyenne Mountain NORAD/Fort Carson/Peterson Air Force Base underground facilities. The structures are part of the Continuity of Government program developed by the United States government in the early days of the Cold War. However these facilities are increasingly becoming the planned refuge for many of the global elite residing within the United States when all hell breaks loose.
In September 2011, the evacuation of the elite to this safe hideaway was rehearsed in the DHS exercise known as Operation Mountain Guardian in which the Denver airport was shut down to commercial air travel except for specific, undesignated planes which were allowed to land in preparation for some staged catastrophe.
This aforementioned event is not newsworthy because it has been reported in the mainstream. However, where this event becomes noteworthy to the public is because it is not coincidental that the CIA has relocated its major data collection facilities to underground structures in the Denver International Airport. The implications for residents living in or near the Washington DC Metropolitan area should be clear. The planned obsolescence for the nation’s capital is becoming increasingly apparent. The previous information is what is publicly available. The following information has not been disseminated but is highly relevant to what lies ahead.

NSA Relocations

Recently, retired officials from the NSA have relocated to an area in the Ozarks where they have access to underground safety zone which have/are being transformed into mini-villages of self-sustainable protection. Their properties consist typically of 5 to 10 acres for each family, contains a portable water supply, residents are armed to the teeth, have alternative communications that are not reliant on the grid and have years of stored food. My source is an individual who retired from the NSA almost three years ago. His decision to participate in the relocation was triggered by the re-election of President Obama which he said will hasten the onslaught of what is to come because Obama’s administration fully embraces the current course of action. Those were the words of  20 year veteran of the NSA, not my words.

Ex-FEMA Relocations

Recently retired officials from FEMA are relocating to the rolling hill areas, in North Carolina. Their enclave contains the same resources involving air, water, food and guns. These enclaves also include underground structures which are sensibly self-contained and can serve to isolate the inhabitants from the outside. I have two sources on this information which includes a family member and a retired FEMA official who has chosen not to participate in this relocation. The nonparticipant ex-official from FEMA did not seek sanctuary with these groups because he feels that several of these enclaves will be targeted for destruction by the powers that be because of the knowledge contained by the inhabitants in this case of “dead men tell no tales.” This makes sense because it would allow the elite, following the coming cataclysms, to rewrite history in their own version without any contradiction from knowledgeable individuals that know what really has gone on. This insider knowledge is a threat which would serve as an obstacle to the new truth. Personally, I think this view has a great deal of merit.
When I began to receive information on these relocations, two years ago, all informants were clear on one point, when Americans begin to see the massive shifting of military assets accompanied by an increase in the sightings of foreign military on American soil, serious trouble is upon us. To that, I would ask what have we been witnessing in recent months?
Sightings of these vehicles have been widely reported beginning last Spring. And this has led some to suspect that an occupation force is being mobilized.
And for a much longer period of time,  many of us have received information about the presence of Russian soldiers “training” on American soil.
Meet the new terrorists according to DHS. This is a target practice sheet used by DHS agents.
The above is a case of a picture being worth more than a 1000 words.
In the next article in this series, a listing of the coming threats, as related by insider sources will be laid out in a clear and systematic fashion.

Dave Hodges is the host of the popular weekly talk show, The Common Sense Show, which airs on Sunday nights from 9pm – Midnight (central) on the Republic Broadcasting Network and its 29 affiliate stations. Dave also hosts a website () in which he writes daily articles on the geopolitical state of affairs both nationally and internationally. The theme of Dave’s show and website centers around exposing the corruption and treason which has invaded the presidency and Congress as well as their corporate and banking benefactors. Dave is an award winning psychology, sociology, statistics and research professor. He is also a former college basketball coach who retired as the winningest coach in his college’s history. A mental health therapist by training, Dave brings a broad based perspective in his fight against the corrupt central banking cartels which have hijacked the US government. Dave and his wife, Nora have one son and they presently reside in rural Arizona approximately 25 miles north of the greater Phoenix area. Dave was drawn to the fight for freedom when the globalist central banking forces, led by Senator John McCain, attempted to seize his home and property and that of 300 of his neighbors, without one dime being offered in compensation. This attempted public theft of private property was conducted for the purpose of securing cheap land in which the globalists intended on putting in an international highway through their area known as the Canamex Corridor. Dave’s community appointed him the spokesperson and eventually his community won their fight against the bankers and their front man, Senator McCain. This event launched Dave’s career as a broadcaster and an investigative journalist. Dave’s website presently enjoys over a half a million visitors every month.  A SHEEP NO MORE

This content was originally published here.

While harvesting seeds from a squash and making a video about it, I mentioned if preppers wanted a good item for bartering after SHTF, heirloom seeds is where it is at. There is an old saying, “A friend in need is a friend in deed.”

Add starvation and chances are preppers could win friends with food.

This brings up an important topic, and that is ethical seed bartering. Would it be ethical for someone to offer heirloom seeds for barter, but the seeds are in fact hybrids?

Let’s get back to the squash seeds. Yellow squash could cross pollinate with various members of the melon family. Knowing this I did not plant anything the squash could cross pollinate with. When the seeds were harvested, I knew with absolute certainty the seeds were heirloom.

However, let’s say someone planted various members of the melon family near each other, and the plants cross pollinated. This could possibly result in hybrid rather than heirloom seeds. If the person knew the plants could cross pollinate, it would be unethical to say the saved seeds were heirloom.

Now comes the twist. For the sake of discussion let’s say the person knows nothing about cross pollination. Would it still be unethical to say the seeds were heirloom?

As for the person receiving the seeds, let’s be honest, how many people reading this article would know the difference between a turnip and snap bean seed? It would be pretty much impossible to tell the difference between a hybrid an heirloom squash seed.

Then there are the old seeds which may not germinate. When seeds are stored properly, they can last hundreds, maybe even thousands of years. However, in a long term grid down situation, seeds will not be able to be stored in climate controlled environments.

On a personal note, I personally germinated decade old seeds. The seeds were bought in May of 2007, had been stored in a deep freezer for 10 years, germinated, planted, and grown in 2017.  Without the benefit of a deep freezer, seeds will typically lose some of their germination every year.

Would it be unethical for someone to offer up several decade old seed packets for barter?

Maybe it would depend upon who knows the most about seeds?  A decade ago I harvested seeds from a store bought cantaloupe, just to see if they would sprout. It would be easy to tell someone the seeds were fresh and been harvested from my garden. However, to lie would be unethical.

So maybe the line should be drawn when someone lies, or tries to deceive the other?

This content was originally published here.

Home security is of monumental importance when SHTF… have you reviewed your security plan recently?

Your home is notionally your castle, a place that is meant to be safe for you and your family. Even preppers who plan to bug out when SHTF will stash some emergency supplies at their homes due to the sheer convenience. recommended improving the security of your home to prevent thieves from taking advantage of your home and supplies while you are away.

Losing your carefully accumulated survival stockpile to burglars is just as terrible as not stockpiling in the first place. It can even be outright disastrous or deadly if the disaster you were expecting happens right as you are scrambling to rebuild your supplies.

Deny these advantages to a burglar

The best way to defeat an enemy is to understand his mindset. If you know what drives his actions, you can accurately guess what he is going to do. Then you can adopt measures to stop him in his tracks.

A burglar has three primary concerns on his mind: Time, sound, and visibility. If he takes too long, acts too noisily, or stick out like a sore thumb, he is more likely to draw attention and get caught in the act. Therefore, he wants to do his job in as little time as possible while making the least bit of sound and assuming the lowest possible visibility.

To deny him time, install additional locks on your doors and windows. Locks are not unbreakable, but they take time to defeat. Only the most determined or obsessed burglars will try to force their way through multiple locks.

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A loud sound will draw the attention of your neighbors or a passing police cruiser. In the past, people kept watch dogs that would bark at intruders or guard dogs that would take a bite out of trespassers. Nowadays, we have electronic alarms that can be heard from blocks away and cannot be poisoned.

Finally, eliminate any hiding places that a burglar can take advantage of. Trim down tall bushes in your garden, get rid of very big trees, and separate the smaller trees that are clustered together.

Consider supplementing traditional home security methods with smart gadgets

You might also want to consider investing in a couple of automated home security systems that use smart gadgets. Security cameras can keep an eye on suspicious activity. The remote versions let you see through their lenses even when you are far away.

Motion sensors are a good substitute for 24/7 lighting or cameras. They will be able to detect any intruders in low visibility conditions.

Smart locks will automatically lock your doors after you leave. Alarm systems will generate loud sounds – like the barking of a loud dog – that can get the attention of people.

These smart gadgets rely on a steady source of electricity. They can also be hacked. However, when combined with conventional means of security, they can deter potential thieves from targeting your home. And if you can keep them running after SHTF, they can continue to keep your stockpile safe.

These home security tips aren’t just limited to urban housing. Find out how they can be applied to your homestead at .

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Do you have a “plan B” in the event of a financial SHTF?

When people hear the term SHTF, most immediately think of hard-hitting calamities. But financial SHTF situations can happen, too, and unfortunately, they’re not something a lot of people are prepared for. In the off-chance that your finances do go crashing down, here are some tips to help you recover. (h/t to )

Before anything, it’s best to define what a financial SHTF is. It could be any event, whether it’s sudden unemployment, losing your business, or seeing the economy go downhill, that causes the loss of your source of income. It may or may not affect other people besides yourself.

The very first thing you need to do is determine where you’re going. So you lost your job or business – what do you do? Do you find another job? Do you open another business? Or do you try something new? Looking for a job is a very straightforward option – if you love your independence and decide to have a business, then you need to answer a few more questions.

Forming your plan B

Ideally, you need to have a plan B in place as early as before SHTF occurs. But getting on it, even when things have already hit the fan, is always better than not having done anything at all.

Selling your own product or service is one of the best strategies you can opt to do. But whether you have experience in business or are a newbie, you’ll find yourself going through a brand-new learning curve. Business often changes with the times, after all.

Here are some good questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the newest trends or developments in retail?
  • What will you sell and to whom? Will you be selling from your own stash or will you be restocking?
  • Will you be selling from home or a physical store? You need to identify the advantages of each.
  • Is there any compatible service you can sell along with your product?
  • Will you be physically capable of delivering the service?
  • If you need to relocate to another area, where will you go?

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Once you have chosen your product and your intended customer, you need to keep a few more factors in mind. For instance, you may not have the necessary raw materials, ingredients, or equipment on hand to make your product. You need to determine where you will source these for a price that will not be seriously detrimental to your already limited finances. (Related: How to save loads of money while still eating organic, non-GMO foods.)

Some people would actually opt to combine two strategies – that is, work in a job and operate a business at the same time. If you ever decide to go down this path, you need to choose where more of your time will go. Will you be giving your business more focus or will be working on your job more? If you don’t think you have the energy to combine the two, it’s better to focus on just one and be very good at it.

The most important advice

A financial SHTF situation can be very stressful and difficult to deal with. But as is the case in any calamity, the very first thing you need to keep in mind – and perhaps, the most important, too – is to not panic. Keeping yourself focused will not just save you from the frequent pitfalls of panicking, it will also keep you alert for new opportunities to recover.

Always remember that your sudden loss of income does not define you as a person, nor does it embody your potential. A lot of people have gone through failure and have walked out with a scar or two, but all the better for it. Nothing’s stopping you from doing the same – or even better.

Learn how to survive any type of SHTF situation at Survival.news.

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First off, let me explain my reasons for writing this and tell you a bit about my experiences. That way you will know what I say is truth.I saw firsthand what happens to human nature and society when everything goes to hell. As for my reasons, I’m a little tired of people painting a rosy picture of what they expect might happen in the event of a major terrorist attack, civil emergenies or severe natural disasters.

Don’t get me wrong. They have been planning for SHTF with impeccable plans for food, shelter, and similar but seem to think everyone will still remain fairly well behaved and keep observing rules of “polite society”. So in a way, this is a thesis of human nature. Will it offend? I hope not. Will it shock? I hope so, if what I write makes one person revise a plan and as a result, saves a life or the lives of a family. Then it will have been well worth the time taken to type this.

Now, in the event of ANY situation where the Emergency Broadcasting System goes into action for real, the accepted policy of both law enforcement and military is a policy of containment not suppression. In other words, if a specific area has something bad happen, the National Guard and police will cordon off the area with road blocks and road closures, thereby putting a crimp in any plans some may have of “bugging out” unless they have alternative routeslaid out that avoid major bridges and roads leading out of the affected area. Also on this topic, don’t be too surprised to see police and military helicopters used to patrol areas of ground too rough to drive over to watch for people heading out of the affected area on foot. These helicopters carry FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) imaging systems and can pick out body heat or see, even in total darkness.

Most major road arteries will be closed and patrolled by law enforcement and National Guard elements will hvae orders to stop, search and detain or turn back anyone they find. So, plan your routes well, have at least 3 routes out, and make sure you go for a drive and check them out on a regular basis.

Planning for SHTF by hunkering down

Now for those of us who plan to stay where we live, nearly all local emergency services will be busy keeping the local government safe and sound or working the site of the disaster.  Inevitably, the somewhat distasteful topic comes up of keeping what you own and keeping your loved ones safe from looters and pillagers.  If you don’t think this will happen, guess what?  Go see what happened during the Los Angeles riots or after Katrina in New Orleans. If you don’t know what I’m on about, allow me to explain.  In Los Angeles, gangs and others looted everything of value they could lay hands on from stores and houses, and in New Orleans, a regular Army airborne unit was brought in to patrol the streets and deter looting.

The issue this raises is this:  If a person or family who are preppers tells a neighbor, “Oh, we are ready for whatever comes up,” you can bet that person will go and tell maybe a dozen others, and when SHTF, that person will immediately have a moment of perfect memory recall, and with those others, come and pay you a visit. They or may not be armed and will most likely not be interested in the statement, “It’s for me and my family to use.”

So how does your average prepper family survive not only what disaster comes up but surviving the locals too?  Well, first off, not talking about it to anyone who is not 100% trusted comes to mind.  This might seem insulting, BUT it has a precedent.  During World War II, posters were put up saying, “Careless talk costs lives” and “Loose lips sink ships.”  You might not have a ship, but the life it might cost could be yours, your spouse or your child.  Just something to think on.

What threats might you suppose could be out there other than the lonesome guy four doors down who suddenly craves foodstuffs he assumes you might have or that mug of coffee he hasn’t had in a week?  Well, how about your not-so-friendly garden variety drug dependent thug, for one.  It might be a prescription or illegal drug dependency, but either way it doesn’t matter once his or her supply is gone and withdrawal sets in. He or she will become desperate and will go to any lengths and will dare anything to try and obtain whatever it was they normally take.  Also, note that due to the wonderful practice of allowing people who suffer from psychological issues to live at home with mostly the only point of contact when they wish it, any major SHTF scenario will suddenly have  a number of very scared, paranoid and desperate people out there, so please factor that into your thinking, too.

NOTE: These drug-dependent folks might be your friendly neighbor or grocery cashier, who just happens to also be on medication for a significant emotional or mental disorder. In many, many cases, you can’t tell the difference by their appearance or your casual interactions with them.

On the other extreme, you have the threat posed by gangs who already have access to firearms and other weapons and have the attitude and propensity for using violence at a second’s notice. They have a well organized social structure based on violence. You can fully expect them to wheel out their whole arsenal of weapons and crappy attitudes without local law enforcement to keep them in check, and in some cases, gangs have more firepower than local police. They will have no hesitation looting any abandoned building they find or robbing anyone they see. Equally, they will have no problem entering a home even if occupied and taking by force anything they want from the occupants.  As distasteful as it sounds, I’m afraid that will include crimes against female members in your household who run the risk of been taken away by said gang members for their “entertainment”, being molested or raped.  Extreme sounding I know, but it has happened in the past in other places. As a result of this, the dug-in prepper has absolutely nothing to lose when facing this threat.  The gloves are off and all nicety should be packed away along with any thought of reasoning with animals like this.  Work as a team and shoot to kill.

Protect your ‘castle’ with force

When planning for SHTF, you’ll need some way to defend yourself, your loved ones, and your home. What is suggested as the “ideal” caliber or system for defending yourself or your family? That’s the $10,000 question.  You could write several books on the subject and still argue the issue. Personally, I say a firearm style and caliber — anything you are either familiar or comfortable with — should be your go-to defensive weapons.  Given my time in the Army, I prefer the calibers and weapons I used during my time in uniform. These choices, however, should reflect how you want to use them. An AR15 is an excellent rifle, for example, but inside a house, a shotgun is a better choice.

Another point to consider for house preppers is once you are in your “fort”, how would someone get in from the outside?  You can bet the first place they might look is if you have a garage or shed out in the back yard.  It might sound old fashioned, but an old container full of gasoline thrown through a window will drive you out of that house as sure as if a bomb had been dropped on it. Chances are, if you have a storage area, you also have a can of gasoline you have on hand for the lawnmower.

On the topic of personal choice, it’s an excellent idea to consider former service rifles as far back as World War I. Yes, they might be nearly 100 years old and not be black or have polymer or have all the whistles, bells, and gadgets of a brand new tricked out AR15, BUT not that many of us have $1,000 or more to spend on a new rifle or handgun. You need to remember that these weapons were picked for war.  Yes, they might be old, but even back when they were used by an Army, they were lethal.  They haven’t changed over the years.

A good example of this is the WW II Russian rifles made by Mosin Nagant. They sell for around $100, have a 5-shot magazine, and fire a 7.62mm bullet that hits just as hard as a 30.06 and will travel out to 1,000 metres or even drop a bear without too many problems. One supplier I have used is Century Arms International.  They offer a variety of former military rifles and are fairly reasonably priced.  I found this out first hand as I simply could not afford $975 for a basic AR15, and for half that amount I was able to get a rifle that fired a 7.62 NATO round and just never quits on me.

While on the subject of former military rifles, it is a good idea, if your rifle has a bayonet lug, to invest the time and trouble finding the bayonet for the rifle. This would give you a useful tool for everyday chopping, cutting, etc. but also a very effective weapon both psychologically and physically if a bad guy got too close.  Trust me.  If he sees that his target has a fixed bayonet on the end of their rifle, he is going to think twice about showing himself as the thought of getting impaled on a bayonet sends a shiver down even a seasoned combat veteran’s spine.

How to be invisible to looters and thugs

This brings me to the part I saved for last as it brings back some very unpleasant memories of seeing it firsthand and the after effects. If everything goes south and SHTF how would a pillager or looter choose or find targets?

  1. They will listen for sounds of hand tools or engines been used.
  2. They’ll smell things like wood smoke or cooking.
  3. At night, they’ll look for lights because this usually means life.
  4. They’ll have a scanner to listen for insecure radio traffic from things like walkie-talkies.
  5. They will use optical devices day and night to look for movement, especially near water sources or woods.

Once a group like this finds you, expect to be scouted.  This might take the form of an observation post or a probe if the group is big enough. They would look for things like:

  1. How many people are in the home or community?
  2. How many weapons do they have and what type?
  3. How many defenders are there?
  4. Who seems to be in charge
  5. Does the target have any patrols or regular movements that can be expected?
  6. Do they have any defensive emplacements or dogs?

When it is deemed time, an attack will first target any leader or owners of any heavier weapons. If they can get close enough, any defensive structures will get a petrol bomb, grenade or CS gas canister thrown into it. (Yeah you can buy CS gas grenades online for general sale.) Any lone defenders will be isolated and eliminated. However, if things are not going well, any first group will draw off and wait and watch how the defenders respond.  A large number of injured take up much more resources and will lower morale.  If numbers are in their favor, the attacker will encircle the position and try and eliminate a few defenders any chance they get.

A good counter plan, if you have a defensive position set up, is to make sure you have a trench or something similar with a grenade sump and make sure every person in your group has a gas mask on them at all times. Also, make sure any building has fire fighting equipment for flammable liquids. If worst comes to the worst and a fighting retreat is needed to avoid losing everything you own except what you have on you, pre-pack a backpack of equipment with something like this:

  1. Personal first aid kit
  2. Spare magazines, ammo, and cleaning kit
  3. Personal survival equipment
  4. Full change of clothes
  5. Food and water

This gives you the basics to survive if you were to be driven out of your shelter or structure. The list is by no means comprehensive but gives you a general idea.

I can’t stress this enough, but in the event of any major SHTF event, an awful lot of people won’t make it simply because they are unable to think outside the comfort zone of the “rules of civilized society”.  A large percentage of people will suddenly find themselves without the protection of society and will no longer be at the top of the food chain.  There will be people out there who will prey upon them without remorse for what they feel they need to survive. I hope to hell I’m wrong, but I’ve seen and heard this happening before and it isn’t pretty.

This content was originally published here.

It’s only good if it works: Here’s how to test your bug out bag for when SHTF

To more inexperienced preppers, creating a bugout bag might seem easy – just find a bunch of survival stuff, throw it into a sack, and you’re good to go, right? Not exactly. It’s one thing to have a bugout bag ready to go when SHTF, but it’s something entirely different to actually know that your bugout bag works. The following is a number of helpful tips and pieces of advice on how to test your bugout bag to make sure it’s ready for a survival situation, .

Weigh all of your bugout gear

Getting from Point A to Point B while carrying a heavy bugout bag can be quite challenging, and will also drain your energy much faster than if you had a bugout bag filled with just the necessities. This is why it is important to carefully go through each and every item in your bugout bag and determine whether or not it is appropriate for the wilderness. Double-checking your equipment will also help to make sure that you aren’t carrying any duplicates. (Related: Here are ten steps to take to begin prepping for a disaster.)

Due to the very real possibility that your phone’s GPS will no longer function properly in a large-scale crisis situation, you should strongly consider making a backup navigation plan so that you can still find your way through the wilderness. Be sure to include a durable compass, topographical map, SE navigation cards, and a fine point pen to make notes in your bugout bag. While these navigation tools are important to have, Survivalist101.compoints out that there are a number of different ways you can navigate while off the grid that rely solely on the natural surroundings, including through the use of the moon, the stars, and even tree and vegetation patterns.

Escape and evasion routes

In a SHTF scenario, going out into the wilderness and blindly traversing the landscape is one of the worst decisions you can make. You need to plan your escape and evasion routes beforehand so that you know where to go and how to get around potential obstacles. Your escape route should ideally take you to smaller roads rather than highways, considering the fact that, in a survival situation, most people will travel along the main roads. Avoid the crowd and carve out your own path to safety. (Related: If you’ve stopped prepping, it could be the biggest mistake of your life.)

Since the weather is completely unpredictable (especially in a SHTF situation where you won’t have access to local weather TV stations), it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for the worst. The idea is to be ready for whatever kind of extreme weather comes your way. For example, in case of rain or torrential downpours, you are going to need a way to keep the gear inside of your bugout bag dry. Pack water-repellent clothing and durable raingear so that you can keep yourself and your equipment dry. In addition to clothing, there are a number of other waterproof technologies that you can get your hands on so that you can be prepared for extreme weather in a survival situation. Consider what types of weather you will likely encounter, and establish a plan on how you will safely get through it.

You need to consider how close you are to populated areas, and adjust what you do and how you do it accordingly. For instance, if you plan on building a fire on a regular basis, keep in mind that the smoke it sends into the air is likely going to be seen by others. As such, learn which types of trees and kindling don’t produce a lot of thick, heavy smoke. Practice self-discipline, and remember that you likely won’t be the only one trying to survive in any given region.

This content was originally published here.

There are dozens of potential SHTF scenarios that we face these days.  One of the scariest is a loss of our power grid. Whether this happens due to hackers, an EMP blast, or some other factor, a complete lack of power is a scary scenario in our modern times.  Estimates have shown that any modern population could look at as much as a 90% mortality rate after just one year without power.  Fact of the matter is that most people do not know how to live without power.  Whether it is the lack of heat, air conditioning, lighting, or cooking appliances, a lack of power makes a huge difference in survival.

However, there is one group of people living amongst modern society that have chosen to live without electricity.  This is the Amish.  Day in and day out for hundreds of years they have preserved food, lit their homes, worked the land, and cooked their meals without any need for electricity.  They use manpower, hand tools, wood stoves, and animal power to live a relatively comfortable life.  For those that wish to survive a long term loss of power, the Amish are the best teachers for which we could possibly ask.  In this article we will cover specific lessons we can learn from these amazing people.

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#1. Use of Non-Power Tools

One thing you will notice immediately about the Amish is that they take good care of their tools.  I have to admit there have been times I forgot and left my tools out in the rain or did not put them back in their proper place.  You will never see this in an Amish community.  They treasure their tools from an early age and maintain them to a meticulous level.  Their axes, awls, shovels, plows, anvils, and hammers are all kept in pristine condition.

In addition, many of their animals are considered tools in the Amish community.  Horses in particular are vital to their farming and transportation efforts.  Again, their animals are carefully cared for so that they live a long life and perform at an optimum level.  Toddlers are taught to saddle and train horses as well as rig them up to plows and wagons.  The horses are part of the family in the Amish community and are trained better than just about any other horse you will find.

#2. Homeschooling

If you spend any time within the Amish community, you will quickly learn that their children are everything to them.  Homeschooling is always a challenging venture, and doing it well in a community without the internet is even more challenging.  What you will find is that the Amish have successfully kept their children at least one grade level above modern children of comparable age. In addition, they have been able to incorporate both religion and farming technique into their lessons.  These children are able to contribute to the farming needs of their communities while also learning everything they need for the future.

#3. Hand Sewing

One of the realities of living without electricity is that you will need to make and mend your own clothing.  I know plenty of skilled seamstresses, but few can accomplish much without a sewing machine.  In the Amish community, children are taught to sew as toddlers.  Within a few years they can spool thread, weave cloth, and design and sew clothing.  In addition, they can mend any clothing that is damaged during the rigorous activities required in the Amish community.  Their clothing is thick and designed for abuse.  They use simple fasteners such as buttons and Velcro. This is just one of the 25 skills you can trade after SHTF.

#4. Primitive Farming

Farming is the lifeline of the Amish community.  However, they have to do so without all of the heavy farm equipment that everybody else uses to maintain a farm.  Normally the Amish sew fields of corn, beans, wheat, hay, barley, potatoes, tomatoes, and grasses for grazing animals.  Everything is done with horse-drawn equipment, and a great deal of the crops are sold to outlying communities to fund other projects.  Crop rotation is a huge part of Amish farming to ensure that nitrogen is always available in the soil for their crops.

One interesting part of Amish farming and general life is that rarely does one person have the skills to accomplish everything they need to accomplish.  Instead they specialize in one area and closely network with other people within the Amish community.  This allows them to work their fields quickly or raise a barn in one day if needed.

#5. Plant Identification

As we recommend for any survivalist, living in a primitive community requires knowledge of plants.  It is vital to know the plants that can feed you, heal you, or kill you.  The Amish have their farming practices to feed them, but they are also prepared to survive on wild edibles if needed.  From the age of a toddler, the Amish can walk into the woods and come out with a meal whenever needed.  They can identify the types of trees ideal for fires, for building, and for cooking.  They know the trees ideal for an axe handle or for a longbow.  This would help them survive even if their crops failed.

In Conclusion

When things go south, you better bet that the Amish community will be mildly phased.  This group of incredible people have been able to thrive while resisting the urge to give in to modern society.  In many ways they have better prepared themselves for a full life than the rest of us.  There is so much we can learn from a society such as this.  If each of us can just take a few pages out of the book of the Amish, we all will be better prepared when SHTF.

Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll find in The Lost Ways:

You’ll discover the lost remedies used by our ancestors for centuries. And I’m not talking about rare and complicated insights that only a botanist knows. I’m talking about plants that grow in your backyard or around your house. Very common weeds.

For example, I’m sure you’ve already seen this plant…

This content was originally published here.

by Nicholas

The top three calibers that you should consider for an STHF sidearm are 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP simply because they are the most popular and easiest to find. If you decide that .45 ACP is the caliber you would like in your sidearm, it’s time to do your research on the best specific .45 pistol for you.

While the most famous .45 pistol of all is undoubtedly the 1911, it’s also an older design and has a limited magazine capacity of just seven to eight rounds. These days, there are double stacked .45 pistols that are simpler and hold more rounds. Let’s find out about the advantages to owning such a pistol and then discuss the top five best double stack .45 pistols on the market:

ADVANTAGES TO OWNING A DOUBLE STACK .45

While a double stack .45 pistol is easily going to be bigger than its 9mm counterparts, a .45 round on its own also creates a substantially bigger hole than a 9mm does. The tradeoff you get with a larger and heavier double stack .45 is an overall increase in firepower, which can be a big plus in a home defense or any self-defense scenario.

Double stack .45 pistols are admittedly not the best for concealed carry, especially for people who are shorter or smaller in overall stature. A .45 double stack pistol will instead be best suited to resting on your nightstand for home defense or in an OWB holster on your side as an SHTF sidearm.

All in all, the biggest advantage to owning a double stacked .45 pistol is how it offers greater stopping power than a 9mm or .40 caliber version of the same gun while coming close in overall round count. As an SHTF sidearm, a dependable .45 double stack pistol represents a solid choice.

Next, here are five of the top double stack .45 pistols currently available on the market, presented in alphabetical order:

FN FNX-45

Do fifteen rounds of .45 ACP sound appealing in a single magazine?  If it does, then you should point yourself in the direction of the FN FNX-45. With the highest standard magazine round count of any of the pistols on this list, the FNX should already be one of the .45 double stack pistols you consider. The more rounds in the pistol, the less frequent reloading needed, a major benefit if you have to defend your property or family against multiple attackers.

The FNX-45 is a hammer fired polymer-framed pistol that sports all the features you would expect on a pistol these days. The gun is double action, or single action fired. The first shot is double, and subsequent shots are in single, while you can flip down the decocking lever to return it to double action (which is safer for carrying). The FNX-45 also comes equipped with a loaded chamber indicator, night sights, an accessory rail, and four separate backstraps of different sizes.

As a whole, the FNX-45 is a large pistol, but also one that’s high-quality and loaded with a lot of firepower.

GLOCK 21

You probably expected to see a Glock on this list, and you were right. The Glock 21 has long been a mainstay in the .45 ACP world because it combines Glock’s simplicity and reliability with 13 rounds of .45 ACP in the magazine.

There are many reasons to own a Glock regardless of the model or caliber. Glock is currently the most popular gun manufacturer in the United States, meaning that spare magazines and accessories are virtually everywhere. The customization options are also endless. Also, Glock pistols are extraordinarily simple and reliable. It is for these reasons that their design has been copied by many other pistol manufacturers.

While the Glock 21 is big and bulky, it’s also not a pistol that’s going to fail you anytime soon. The third and fourth-generation models, which are both available, offers an accessory rail for adding lights or lasers, while the fourth generation gives you the option of replaceable back straps. For many, the Glock 21 represents the gold standard of .45 double stack pistols, and that alone secures it on an automatic place in this list.

HECKLER & KOCH HK45

Just like the USP pistol (still in production) that was made before it, the Heckler & Koch HK45 is a double action single action hammer fired pistol with a polymer frame. However, the HK45 also offers improved ergonomics over the USP. This combined with the fact that the USP-series may be discontinued should HK’s new pistols prove popular, is why the HK45 comes recommended first.

The HK45 has a ten-round magazine, which admittedly is lower than some of the other pistols on this list. Nonetheless, the HK45 is also the issued sidearm for many military and special forces units across the world, and that says a lot.

The ergonomics of the HK45 are like what they offer on their P30 and VP series of pistols. There’s an accessory rail on the front of the frame for adding lights and lasers, while the external frame mounted safety also acts as a decocker to make the weapon safe for carry after firing.

Heckler & Koch is known for making reliable and innovative firearms, and the HK45 is no exception. While accessories may not be nearly as common as Glock, the quality is equal if not even a little superior.

SIG SAUER P227

The SIG Sauer P227 is the only steel-framed .45 pistol on this list. For many years, its ancestor the P220 was the most successful DA .45 pistol on the market, and it remains popular today. But if there’s one thing that people complained about the P220, it’s that the magazine was single stack and only held eight rounds like a 1911. People had long been craving a double stacked version of the P220, and SIG Sauer responded with the P227.

While the P227 is wider than the P220, the standard magazine capacity holds ten rounds of .45 ACP instead of the P220’s eight rounds. A longer magazine with an extended base plate is also available for the P227 and increases the capacity to fourteen rounds. SIG also has installed the P227 with their new and improved E2 grips, which offer far better ergonomics over the grips they used on their previous models.

SIG Sauer is widely regarded as a premium gun manufacturer, and thus the P227 does not come cheap. You’ll have to plan on saving up nearly a grand to purchase a new P227, and while that may sound like a lot for a pistol, it’s an excellent value when you consider the superb craftsmanship that SIG Sauer provides. Plus, if you prefer to have a steel-framed pistol like a 1911 over a polymer-framed one, the P227 is easily going to be your best choice for a double stacked .45.

WALTHER PPQ 45

Last but certainly not least, we come to the newest pistol on this list, the Walther PPQ 45. The PPQ 45 holds the distinction as being the very first .45 pistol that Walther has ever produced. The story behind the PPQ 45 is also simple: Walther released the PPQ in 9mm and .40 S&W in 2011 and updated them with the M2 model (with an American-style push button magazine release) in 2013. A .22 LR version of the PPQ followed soon after, but for two years a .45 version was missing.

Finally, in late 2015, Walther released the PPQ 45 to the masses. You’ll notice right away that it’s bigger than its 9mm and .40 S&W brothers, but this is because the magazine must accommodate twelve rounds of .45 ACP.

While the PPQ 45 is young, reviews have still been overwhelmingly positive as it maintains the excellent ergonomics and superb trigger of its previous incarnations. The PPQ is marketed by Walther as having the smoothest and lightest trigger pull of any striker-fired pistol on the market. It’s up to you to decide if you agree with that, just know that the PPQ 45 has the same light trigger pull as the 9mm and .40 versions do.

Magazines and accessories can be difficult to find for the PPQ 45 since it’s so young, but as it becomes more popular this is likely to change. As it stands, Walther has had difficulty keeping the PPQ 45 on the shelves, which says a lot about it.

CONCLUSION

A double stack .45 pistol offers you a lot of firepower, but it’s also important that you make sure your money is spent wisely by purchasing a pistol that is reliable, accurate, and comes from a reputable manufacturer. Each of the five .45 pistols that we have gone over in this article fulfill that criterion perfectly, so any one of them represents a solid choice.


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What would you do if the lights went out…for good?

tinhatranch.com

Sure, we don’t need electricity to survive, but how many things have you forgotten how to do without it? What skills did your great-grandparents utilize to live without technology?

There are some things that simply cannot exist without electricity. There are two solutions to living without commercial power, learn to do things the old way, or make your own electricity. Solar power is one of the answers. Lots of folks think solar is “too expensive”, and for some, you might have other prepping priorities.

Do you know the full story of off-grid solar power?

Here are a few other misconceptions about solar power. 

Solar Only Works When the Sun is Out

Solar power systems are made up of batteries that store power for when the sun goes down. These can also store energy for when the sun is blocked out by the clouds. 

While you need the sun to power those batteries and store that energy you do not need sun 24/7. 

Solar Cannot Power a Home

Not only can solar power collect enough energy for your whole home, but some systems can also collect so much power that it can be sold back to the power company! You can actually make money off of your solar power system! 

Solar is too Expensive

Not only is solar power much more affordable, but many solar companies offer payment plans that can be extremely affordable. 

The most effective solar systems can be installed to sell power back to the power company and eliminate your power bill! In this model, you basically replace your power bill with a payment plan for your solar power system. 

It doesn’t get much better than that! Now is the time to consider solar power even if just for partially powering your home.

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After watching recent events unfold and speaking to family and friends, my wife and I decided to start prepping. Preparedness is a big part of our lives now and I would be honored to share some knowledge with you. Here at SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central we gather the best prepping, survival, homesteading and DIY articles from around the web.
– “Those who prepare today will survive tomorrow.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.shtfpreparedness.com/top-misconceptions-about-solar-power/

This content was originally published here.