This article was written by Samuel Culper and origially posted at

photo credit: Forward Observer

Alexander the Great is probably my favorite historical figure.

I’m reading another biography on him and have some ‘take aways’ or lessons learned for SHTF Intelligence, believe it or not.

Most people don’t know that Alexander, all the way back in the 300s B.C., ran his own spy networks. That’s a pretty incredible feat, if you ask me, and it’s part of what make him such a great military strategist.

Before Alexander invaded the Greek city-states or the Persian Empire, he would basically do an Area Study.

He would recruit locals and area experts to inform him of routes like mountain passes; lakes, rivers, and other water sources; the languages and tribal allegiances of an area; and even the agricultural cycles.

In fact, he based some of his military campaigns to coincide with enemy harvest schedules to ensure that he could feed his army on the march.

One problem that plagued some of Alexander’s enemies is that, based on his study of physical terrain, he could move his army as quickly or faster than his enemies’ intelligence networks could warn of his presence.

Using the element of surprise, he would catch Greek city-states ill-prepared for his advance and, on more than one occasion, he fed false military plans into his enemies’ spy networks.

The more I read about Alexander’s use of intelligence, the more I consider what my own lessons learned are.

To be honest, it’s made me reconsider my own Area Study format. In the upcoming Area Study Live course (https://www.areastudylive.com), I’m adding some additional items to my Area Study Checklist. Charley and I will be teaching 20 students how we gain an operational advantage by producing intelligence BEFORE an SHTF event. There are seven seats left for the course that begins on 15 October — next Tuesday. Sign up here.

One other take away from reading the first half of Freeman’s is that we have to make sure that our intelligence travels faster than the threat.

In any SHTF scenario, I want instant communications. That probably means ham radio, especially in a grid-down scenario.

If folks in our prepper group or community security team are observing and gathering local threat information but can’t get it into the hands of those who need to know, then our SHTF Intelligence effort is failing us.

We have to ensure that we take steps today to solve this problem for tomorrow. If you’re looking for communications advice, I highly recommend AmRRON. If you’re still looking for a prepper group, then PrepperNet is a great place to start.

If you’re still trying to build your Area Study, then I encourage you to join us in Area Study Live. We meet online one night a week for four weeks. You’ll learn how to build an Area Study, what goes in it, and where to find local information. After the end of four weeks, you’ll have your Area Study built.

Equipped with this intelligence, you’ll be able to make better decisions in your preparedness and security planning because you’ll have well-informed and realistic expectations of a future SHTF event. This intelligence will be priceless. I hope to see you there. Seven seats left —> https://www.areastudylive.com

Until next time, be well.

Always Out Front,
Samuel Culper

This content was originally published here.

We always talk about bugging out when the SHTF. It’s a necessity with certain disasters. But sometimes, it is best to stay where you are.

What happens when there is no need to evacuate where you are?

Going out may be dangerous…. then what?

Today we’ll focus on just that. What things you should focus on first if you need to hunker down.

Shelter

You need to check to make sure your home is secured enough for you to be safe. Things like sliding doors are particularly vulnerable to intruders as is unlocked windows and doors. Make sure your shelter is as safe as it can be.

Also, try to keep items out of the way to keep a clear line of vision around your home, if possible. Secure garages and make sure it will be hard for intruders to break into.

Lastly, keep your prepping supplies in an area where you can get to it easily. If you have your prepping items in an area that could be completely closed off such as a detached garage or a climate controlled storage shed, move them quickly inside if possible.

Food

Preppers are notorious for their food storage because it’s one of the biggest and most important concerns when the SHTF. Of course, we want to feed our families.

But I added this because a lot of preppers like myself forget to rotate my food out so it becomes expired or my wife needs something while cooking dinner and I give it to her out of my stockpile instead of driving to the store when I’m tired. (Come on guys, i know we’ve all probably done it!)

Remember to replenish what you have taken from your food storage, Keep up with expiration dates. Rotate them out. Do an inventory of your food to see what you are lacking.

Water

Storing water is super hard to store because is heavy and you will need so much of it for each family member. Because of this, I lean more towards water purification.

One of my favorite is the Lifestraw from Vestergaard products. They are compact and the ultimate in water purification. Read the fine print however because even though most Lifestraw products remove viruses, some don’t. (Lifestraw Personal & Lifestraw Go do NOT). For prepping purposes, I recommend you use a larger water purification device that meets the standard EPA standard for removal of bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

Medicine

OTC drugs will be few and far between when the SHTF. Buy up a stock of OTC drugs for pains, cold, allergies, and whatever else you think you may need while you can.
Prescription drugs can often be gotten in a 90 supply just by talking to your doctor.

As a reminder, keep all medicines in a safe place where children, teens and persons with questionable judgement cannot get to them.

Protection

Have a way to protect yourself if needed. For some that may mean having a gun or even multiple guns and for others in may mean a knife, or a bow & arrow. Hopefully you have multiple ways to defending yourself.

But just make sure you have at least one way of protecting yourself and your loved ones. If you have guns, make sure you have plenty of ammunition stored. Make sure again to keep these in a safe place away from children!

Light

You need some form of light. It could be an LED or a rechargeable flashlight.  It’s important for security such as it’ll help you keep an eye out at night around the perimeters of your shelter.

Entertainment

One of the most overlooked things by preppers. You don’t want to just survive. You want to thrive in a SHTF scenario. The means having a way to unwind, some refreshment.

Play cards. Read a book. Play UNO or Monopoly. Play charades. There are several things you can do to get your mind refreshed and relaxed.

Final Thoughts

Remember to keep any harmful items such as medicines and weapons away from children and in a safe place.

We hope we have helped you prepare for if you ever do have to hunker down.

This content was originally published here.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans it was one of the worst natural disasters in modern US history. At least 1,200 people – maybe as high as 1,800 – died across the southeastern USA, and property damage totaled more than $108 billion dollars.

One reason the death toll was so high is that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, made a real mess of their response. The agency’s director was one of the most high-profile officials who resigned in the aftermath of Katrina. Since then FEMA has supposedly cleaned its act up and should be able to respond effectively to any future disasters. But what does that mean for you?

In theory at least, if there’s an isolated disaster in one part of the USA – something like another hurricane – FEMA should be able to respond effectively. Their response would probably include pre-disaster programs, like evacuation plans or setting up temporary shelters for anyone who’s left homeless. Once a disaster has happened they can coordinate emergency search and rescue, medical and support teams. They can bring in federal resources and also work with state agencies to make sure help is going where it’s needed.

What if it’s a national disaster, though? Another of FEMA’s functions is to help stabilize the USA after a catastrophe that affects the whole country. That could be a freak climate event, an EMP or anything else all the way up to a major nuclear attack. Can FEMA rescue people, give them medical treatment and find them housing on a national scale?

On paper at least, the answer is yes. After all, they can call on a lot of federal resources. But even then, they’re not going to be able to help the whole country at once. They’ll be prioritizing some areas, doing what they can there then moving on to somewhere else.

The first priority for FEMA is going to be big cities, with Washington, D.C. probably at the top of the list. Prioritizing D.C. looks a lot like self-interest, but in this case it probably isn’t. In a really major disaster the leaders of the government will have evacuated anyway, and they’ll be working from emergency bunkers. Getting the capital sorted out will let the rest of the government start rebuilding itself, though, and even if most of us usually wish the government would leave us alone, it’s going to be important if the entire USA needs rebuilt.

Once D.C. is under control the next priority will be the big three urban areas – New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. There are a couple of reasons for this and the first one is simple; there are lots of people there and they’re going to be in a bad way. Even the power going out for a couple of days will reduce a big city to chaos; an EMP, or an actual nuclear strike, would leave millions of people helpless and unable to survive for long on their own.

Cities are fragile, especially when things go seriously wrong. Without urgent rescue operations they’d quickly collapse into anarchy as people fought for the limited resources available. Unburied corpses and contaminated water would spark epidemics. Fires burning out of control would cause death and destruction on a huge scale. If a Russian SS-25 ICBN detonated above Manhattan Island it would kill about 1.5 million New Yorkers in less than a minute. That’s bad enough, but without an immediate and massive FEMA response at least another four million, including almost all the three million injured by the blast, would be dead within a couple of weeks. They’d just starve, dehydrate, burn, or get sick and die.

Another reason to prioritize the cities is that bringing them under control will help get the government running again and make a start at rebuilding the economy. A major national catastrophe or attack would cause huge damage to the USA, but if the cities can be stabilized the country can rebuild a lot more quickly.

Here are the likely priorities:

  1. Washington, D.C. – Government
  2. New York City – Largest US population center
  3. Los Angeles – Second largest population center
  4. Chicago – Major population center, finance, manufacturing
  5. Houston – Major population center, oil industry
  6. Dallas – Population center, oil industry
  7. Philadelphia – Population center, manufacturing, oil refining
  8. San Diego – Population center, military
  9. Phoenix – Population center, food processing
  10. San Francisco – Tech industries

Small towns aren’t anywhere near as vulnerable as a big city is. Losing the power would be bad, but not disastrous – the infrastructure’s usually simpler and not as automated. The population is less dense, which reduces the risk of disease, and it’s generally easier to get food and water. In a nuclear war small towns are also a lot less likely to be damaged by the strike, unless they’re near a strategic target. They’ll certainly suffer in the aftermath, but nowhere near as badly as the cities will, so in general they’re going to be a much lower priority for rescue efforts.

There are some exceptions to this, of course. Food supplies are going to be very important; millions of refugees from the cities will need to be fed, and the normal distribution networks will have collapsed. Expect areas that grow staples, like wheat and root vegetables, to be a lot higher up the list. Any town with major food-processing industries is also going to be a priority, and so are transport hubs. Unless these places get restored to normal as fast as possible, all other efforts are basically pointless. Even if FEMA saves the survivors from the major cities, they’ll all starve to death when winter hits. So, if you have a big food-canning plant down the road, expect rescue services to be on the scene very soon after the disaster. The government will want to get life back to something near enough normal that people are willing to go back to work.

On the other hand, if you live in a rural area and the big local crops are tobacco, cotton or anything else that can’t be shipped to the cities and eaten, you’re going to be on your own for a while. Part of that is hard-headed realism from the government; your area isn’t critical to rebuilding the nation and there aren’t all that many people in it, so you’re going to have to wait. Then again, another big part of it is sort of a compliment – the government know that people in rural areas won’t need help all that urgently. If you’re already pretty self-reliant you’re better placed to get through a crisis. You probably grow some of your own food, you know how to hunt and you might even have your own water supply and generator; you can take care of yourself for a while and let the feds get on with rescuing the city folk.

The exact details of what’s happened will affect these priorities, but in general they’re pretty reliable: The first targets for federal resources will be the big cities, especially on the coasts, and anywhere that produces vital resources. That will be followed by places that have other important industries, then smaller towns, with rural areas at the back of the line. In other words, the same way the government always sets its priorities.

This content was originally published here.

I know many people are capable of hunting. Most of us have factored firearms into our plans but in a post-SHTF scenario, stealth may be the difference between life and death. I don’t want the report of a rifle tipping off anyone, where I am, or where my family is. That’s where air rifles come into my plan.

Air rifles for SHTF food procurement

A few months ago, I found a sale on the Crosman Pumpmaster 760s for $19.99.

I have fond memories of this rifle. It was my constant companion through my boy hood. While there have been many air rifles in my life, the Pumpmaster 760 will always have a special place in my heart.

This is all it took to start me down the path of incorporating air rifles into my post-SHTF hunting plan.

Silence is Golden

Air rifles can range from almost silent to louder than a .22 rifle. If a pellet is pushed faster than the speed of sound, it produces a very loud “Crack” when it breaks the sound barrier.

To avoid breaking the sound barrier, you need to use a lower powered air rifle, or use a heavier pellet (lead, instead of light weight metals).

I am confident that the Pumpmaster 760 will not break the sound barrier, even with 10 pumps, and Gamo makes the Gamo Whisper and Gamo Silent Cat , which are supposed to be quiet also, but I’ve seen reports that vary. You’ll want to do your own research before trusting manufacturers claims.

Dual Caliber Air Rifles

Dual caliber rifles,  like the Beeman RS-1 or the Beeman Silver Kodiak, come with 2 barrels, a .177 cal and a .22 caliber, allowing you to utilize ammunition for either caliber. A single air rifle that can shoot 2 calibers of pellets, gives you some real advantages!

.22 caliber pellets are heavier, and even if they travel slower, than .177 caliber pellets, they will do more damage. Don’t fall for arguments or comparisons based soley on FPS (Feet per Second).

If you compare two identical airguns, with the only difference being caliber, there shouldn’t be a substantial difference in power. This is because the air rifle’s power-plant and not the ammunition, produces the energy. The same amount of energy is applied to the pellet regardless of caliber. The lighter the pellet, the faster the muzzle velocity. The heavier the pellet, the slower the muzzle velocity. A .177 caliber air rifle that gets “1000 fps” and a .22 caliber rifle that gets “800 fps” should produce roughly the same amount of energy, about 15 ft-lbs of muzzle energy once you factor in the inevitable exaggeration companies make in their velocity claims.

.177 Caliber Pellets
A .177 caliber air rifle shoots a lighter, smaller pellet, so they produce a higher muzzle velocity. This gives them a flatter trajectory, which makes it easier to accurately place a pellet under normal conditions. However, because it is a smaller diameter round moving faster, .177 pellets may over-penetrate on small animals and produce a narrower wound channel.

I remember taking down squirrels, rabbits and birds as a youngster, I also remember not taking down an equal number. I will be first to admit that sometimes the .177 Cal pellets leave something to be desired. This led me down a tangled road of .22 cal vs .177 cal and all the investigations in between. I’ve realized that if I ever have to rely on the .177 cal air rifle, then I would need to switch to a pellet with a superior ballistic design.

This research led to the discovery of the Crossman Destoyer Pellets! They are 7.9 Grains of .177 caliber power (also available in .22 caliber)! This revolutionary pellet combines the best attributes of a pointed pellet with a hollow point, resulting in complete expansion and energy transfer. Compared to traditional pellets, these will sometimes expand to twice their size.

In my independent, soda can tests, they cause considerably more damage than traditional flat tipped pellets, pointed tip pellets and even the hollow point pellets.

If I’d have had these pellets as a youth hunter, I firmly believe we’d have eaten a lot more rabbit and squirrel.

.22 Caliber Pellets

.22 caliber air rifles shoot a larger, heavier pellet, so they are less likely to over-penetrate and will produce a larger wound channel, which makes them more effective with a body shot. They also have a lower muzzle velocity, which produces a more pronounced trajectory. This means that its harder to accurately place pellets, since range estimation is more critical.

Getting Pellets Post-SHTF

You can make a Pellet mold out of a pair of cheap pliers, and with some molten lead, you can produce your own ammunition.

Both .177 and .22 caliber airguns can take small game, which is better depends on you and your preferences. If you need a silent or quiet solution, some of the rifles mentioned in this post might be right up your alley.

This content was originally published here.

Are you someone who’s a serious survivalist that ever dream of having their own underground shelter? For quite a time, you have wanted to build your own survival bunker especially when SHTF strikes. You may now have a safe haven where you can escape and find refuge in the event of an emergency.

When this time comes, there are many, many ways to go about building and creating a hidden underground shelter. You will surely get a lot of ideas from this post for your own survival shelter. But before getting ideas into some modern underground shelters, let’s take a brief lesson from what happened in history.

The Derinkuyu Underground City

In Turkey, you can found one of the most amazing sites called the Derinkuyu. It is an underground city that was built around 15th to 12th century BCE to protect the locals from invading armies. Derinkuyu is quite impressive due to its strong whole structure.

This underground city can hold about 20, 000 people plus food stores and other livestock. It also has wells, winery, school, and even chapels. People in this underground city are protected through its air shafts to keep them from suffocating.

As a prepper and survivalist, you can get a lot of ideas from the construction and structure of Derinkuyu. One of the most fascinating features of this underground city is its massive stone doors. Its doors are made from rocks that can be rolled into passages inside but it couldn’t be moved from the outside.

People in Derinkuyu didn’t actually live underground all throughout the year, they also had homes above ground. If invaders would attack them, they would retreat to their underground city. So invaders would find an abandoned city above ground and left no traces of them.

Hope that you are inspired by the story of Derinkuyu City in building a hidden underground shelter when SHTF. Below are the things to help you get started.

Getting Started On Your Hidden Underground Survival Shelter

But before looking for a land to build your underground shelter, take a moment to think about someone you know who owns some land somewhere which can be used for building the survival shelter. In this case, you might get it at an affordable cost.

Remember that selecting the right spot is the key for building your hidden underground shelter.

You need to make sure the right soil composition and you can access quickly.

Otherwise, if you think that you can’t have all the time in the world in building your bunker, then you can rent excavation equipment, or hire contractors to do it for you. This option would cost you though.

Either way, excavation costs will be a significant amount of your building budget, so plan for it. In your plan, you may include the structure of your preference. You just have to make sure that it blends with your budget.

When you are excavating, make sure to leave room for the air vents. During hot weather, filtered air will not only provide you necessary fresh air but so as on hot weather. It will keep your underground shelter cool with air flow.

You should also consider investing in a high-quality gas mask and a bunch of filters in case the Air remains unsafe to breathe.

If possible, the best thing to do is to put in a well. Unless you are in a very dry area or one with a lot of clay in the soil, you can put in a driven well, which is literally pounded into the ground, like a long spike.

Building your underground shelter come in all shapes and sizes. They can range from small storage bunkers to entire living facilities, equipped with sleeping and food preparation areas. Whatever your need or use, an underground bunker is sure to exceed your expectations. Find out here some hidden underground shelters that will help you survive when SHTF.

Make your own hidden underground survival shelter through a DIY Shipping container. This is the cheapest way of getting your own survival bunker. But using this, it’s almost a terrible idea because of things a little bit more complicated for some. Some of the issues are soil corrosion, walls are not loaded bear. It also needs air shafts to prevent suffocation. Theses shafts could prevent air flow.

The price of a shipping container depends on how used or rusted it is. When it comes to excavation costs, most companies hire out a machine and operator on an hourly basis for a varied range of work. Companies typically bid on the residential excavation for the entire project based on the number of yards of dirt to be moved

Galvanized steels can surely be used as a bunker and one of the most popular names in pre-fabricated underground survival shelters is Atlas.

Atlas galvanized steel offers a lot of features like generator pods which can attach to the shelter underground for a concealed power source. They also offer models with the main entrance hatch plus escape hatch, tested air filtration systems, underfloor storage, and a 200-year lifespan.

Vivos survival shelters are luxury shelters that are known for its massive underground survival shelters which can house hundreds of communities. It uses multiple rod-like designs and multiple rods can be put together to expand the size of the bunker.

For individuals who wish to own or build an underground shelter on their land, the Vivos Quantum is the right choice for you. It measures a long and wide size and dimension and can accommodate about 6-8 people.

Another remarkable feature of the Vivos Quantum shelters is it can be hooked up to an underground well. Using a hand pump, you will be able to provide your own water for the tank. Clearly, this kind of underground shelter is reliable when doomsday hits.

Radius Engineering is made from fiberglass shells which are an advantage in creating an underground survival shelter. It can keep from becoming rust and also less likely to crack compared to other concrete shells.

This kind of bunker has a fantastic air purification system which uses 3 different purifiers. Radius Engineering builds its bunker with nuclear warfare and its air purifier has an UV-radiation sterilization system as well. Simply, this kind of underground shelter is most suitable for military and government use.

In the U.S, there are actually a lot of natural nuclear underground shelters that are absolutely free. You just need to identify the closest one to your home.

Remember that these natural nuclear shelters will only protect you from initial radiation burst and nuclear blast. During times of emergencies or any catastrophes, you still need to get out and find something to eat and drink so you’ll still be uncovered.

Building a concrete block shelter is much convenient compared to a narrow rectangle shape shipping container, especially on how you want or need it. With regards to the cost, concrete blocks have less cost per square foot if you will build a larger one.

The whole underground building can be reinforced if you want more structural security. The floor and walls can be tied together with bent 5/8 rebar and incorporated with grout into every core. In the ceiling, you can incorporate H beams.

Abandoned Missile Silo is a missile launch facility built to be protected by a large blast from nuclear attacks. It is a vertical cylindrical structure constructed underground used as storage and launching intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

The structures of this bunker have the missile some distance below ground. All of these bunkers come in with a fairly decent property ranging from 10 acres up to 50 acres, and most of them have a medium-sized house just above the bunkers.

In the U.S., there is some abandoned missile silo that can be used as your hidden underground shelter. Its price varies a lot from site to site, ranging from $500,000 up to $5,000,000 and you can purchase an additional 20 acres at a reasonable price.

It may sound luxurious, but don’t get the wrong idea it’s just that you will need to put up a huge amount of work and money to make it livable.

THE MISSION: Concealing Your Underground Survival Shelter

Now that you have set the foundation, then built the structure and constructed its interior, but then you notice that it still sticks out. Plus, your backyards still all messy and torn up. Of course, you don’t want it that way. Concealing your shelter is very important.

You have to consider that your neighbors must not know or have any idea that you own an underground shelter or safe-house buried in your backyards. If strangers find out that you’re storing food, ammo, and survival gears in your bunker, they will likely steal it.

DISGUISE YOUR BUNKER

Remember, that being incognito is way better than sticking out like a sore thumb. So, how can one effectively disguise a large, newly constructed underground survival shelter?

First, the easiest and efficient way is landscaping. Cover the bunker with local dirt and plant local fauna. Try to make it blend in as much as possible. Try to make it blend as much as possible.

Second, you can make use of rocks and bushes you dug up during excavation to play disguise of your air ventilation. For your door, you can have an underground hallway which connects your bunker to your house.

If you built your bunker underneath your home, you might be able to hide it on a trap-door under a carpet or couch. Some people put the entrance to their bunker inside of an old shed, or in the back of a safe-looking survival outhouse.

Find another creative idea when you get to this step, hiding your underground shelter. The more it’s disguised, the better it will be for protecting you, your family and your survival cache. Remember, no one can rob or attack what can’t be seen.

Jennifer Moran

Jennifer Moran is the author and the social media manager at theberkey.com. She has been working and passionate with writing for over four years. When she isn’t glued to a laptop screen, she spends time playing tennis, practicing yoga, and trying very hard not to sleep in the meditation. You can reach her at jennifer (at) the berkey (dot) com.

This content was originally published here.

A well-organized prepper’s stockpile will usually include a reasonably large amount of ammunition to be used for self defense and proper ammo storage could prove to be essential to survival if a long-term crisis were to occur. There are many possible scenarios – man-made and natural – that could cause the foundations of our society to crumble virtually overnight.

Having a million rounds of ammo is great, but without proper storage those potential projectiles will be nothing more than a heap of brass–or worse, an accident waiting to happen.

Over time, heat, moisture, and corrosion can wreak havoc on an ammunition supply. Cartridges can weaken and break, primers can lose their zing, and bullets can even corrode and lose mass, making them a safety hazard to fire. Avoid all these potential risks by using these 4 tips for storing your ammunition.

Do Your Research First

Before worrying about ammo storage, you’ll want to do some research to ensure you’re getting the best ammo at the best price.

Examine the best manufacturers and sellers to uncover the most competitive pricing. Many people default to buying big brand names because they are familiar. Yet, a little digging can uncover cheaper brands that offer the same level of quality.

Cost effective way to start stockpiling ammo

If you do not have the money to drop $350+ on a big lot of ammo you can simply go for a small box of ammo every week or couple of weeks. Just as an example say you will get a box of 20 rounds of .223/5.56 every week at around $9 a box for basic FMJ will add up to only $36 dollars a month and give you 1,200 rounds year. So basically you can incrementally add to your ammo stockpile instead of have to buy in bulk. It does offer some cost savings to purchase larger lots but may be a little easier to budget for a smaller weekly expense. As long as you take some simple steps to budget and prepare for it you will be able to begin getting a good cache built up.

Inspection Points

When buying SHTF ammo here are some guidelines to follow.  Check the packaging for well made, sturdy, good printed, heavy stock paper board.  This implies the maker cares enough to package their products well.  I favor ammo that comes out of the packaging box with each cartridge inserted in a divided card honeycomb or a plastic one.  This protects the ammo during shipping and storage.  This isn’t mandatory, but just a plus.  When you inspect the ammo look for sharp pointed bullet tips, no smashed or bent over tips.  The brass should look new, fresh and bright.  Discolored, scarred, scratched, or dented brass may mean suspect quality.  The primers should be sealed.  Check to make sure the ammo does not use corrosive primers or Berdan primers, which means it cannot be easily reloaded if you choose to.  Look for boxer-primed cases, and non-corrosive powders especially with foreign made ammo.

Buy In Bulk

Here is one final tip about buying SHTF ammo. Try to buy in quantity. If you are buying common cartridges that you shoot a lot SHTF Ammoor want to keep in storage for a bad, rainy SHTF type day like the .223/5.56, 9mm, or .45 ACP, then shop around for 1000 round case prices. As a rule of thumb for desirable ammo, shop for these prices. For .223/5.56 use the benchmark of 33.5 cents per round. Any good brand of ammo case priced at $350 or less for 1000 rounds is a fair price these days. Try to buy 9mm for 26 cents a round or around $65 for 250 rounds. The .45 ACP should be bought for about 40 cents a round. These are basic factory loads with standard “ball” bullets and bullet weights. If you are buying special hunting ammunition or some of the new self-defense ammo, then expect to pay much more. Again the trick is to shop around. By all means don’t be pressured to buy when the political or economic mood sends ammo prices spiraling out of control such as a pre or post presidential election. Always gauge your needs with your budget. Buy the best ammo you can afford for front line use.

Conclusion 

Ammunition will always be in demand and it becomes invaluable during a SHTF scenario. You can never have too much of it in my opinion, but you shouldn’t have tons of it if you have other priorities. You can’t eat bullets during a famine and going Rambo style to get supplies from others will not work for long. When stockpiling ammo, it merely comes down to how much you can realistically afford without impacting your way of living. You should be able to stockpile ammo while still being able to live within your means. Start slow and steady and if you stay constant, you will have a serious stockpile in no time. Remember to keep on buying, but also to keep on practicing if you want to use your ammo wisely.

Source included: www.shtfblog.com; 

This content was originally published here.

Are two-way radios helpful during a SHTF-type situation?

When SHTF, most means of communications will go down. You will need an alternate way to stay in touch with your loved ones over long distances. considers the pros and cons of long-range two-way radios as an alternative means of directly contacting other people.

Two-way radios are more popularly known as “walkie-talkies.” They are considered as one of the most effective and practical means of communication during emergencies.

In times when the mobile network is too busy or goes down, walkie-talkies allow individuals to talk with each other. In the aftermath of a collapse or a disaster that destroys most means of communication, these devices gain new value.

This independent means of contacting your friends and family can help forge a community of people who can help each other in a survival scenario.

Every month, a new natural disaster or suicide bomber hits a populated area. Every such occurrence brings with it the possibility that all the public services in that region will crash.

Walkie-talkies will become the new means of long-range communications

However, two-way radios offer a means of establishing a new communications network in a desolate area. Their long-range emitters and receivers can be set to specific frequencies.

Walkie-talkies that use the same frequency will be able to talk to each other. This is invaluable in SHTF situations where there are no other means of communication.

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Two-way radios can let you learn about past and ongoing events, any need for immediate medical attention, and if there is anyone who might be able to help you out of a sticky spot. A reliable set of radios can let you oversee people who are more or less nearby.

A general rule is that the effective range of a two-way radio matches its cost. Cheap ones have short ranges, while expensive ones reach much further.

Most communications will take place at shorter ranges, so the cheaper ones will be enough to serve a neighborhood. Long-range communications will become iffier as the distances grow.

The power output of a walkie-talkie sets its maximum range. A two-way radio with a strong signal can reach further. The signal will also be clearer in forests, mountains, and urban environments that may disrupt its signal.

Pick the most capable two-way radio sets you can afford

There are several caveats when it comes to choosing a two-way radio. The first is that the capabilities of a unit depend on its price.

Cheap walkie-talkies have short ranges and can only use a limited number of radio frequencies. It is likely that these low-cost devices will be more common.

The more radios in an area that use the same channels, the greater the interference. The disruption can get so bad that you can no longer communicate clearly.

The second involves its battery life and weight. An effective and reliable battery can be quite heavy. However, better a heavy battery than a dead battery and useless radio.

Your best bet would be to get the most advanced two-way radio that your wallet can handle. It will have sufficient power and more than enough frequencies to cut through the extraneous chatter and ranges.

Get a model with a lithium-ion battery for longer operating times. Finally, buy at least two units, one for yourself and the other for your loved one, so that you can stay in touch when SHTF.

Find more proper gear for SHTF-type situations at .

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Stockpiling food and supplies for an emergency it began thousands of years ago. To the pioneers, stockpiling had to be a way of life. When Old Man Winter came to call, the only thing that would keep them alive was the food and fuel they had stored. If they were not ready, chances were that they wouldn’t make it through the winter.

For most settlers the whole point of heading west was to farm their own land, and you can’t do that without tools. Often you can’t do it without the tools to make other tools.

There were no power tools, just simple hand-operated ones. But those simple tools could do amazing things when used properly, and if society breaks down they’ll do just as good a job for you.

Below we have a few Vital Items the pioneers stockpiled for hard times: 

Salt

Salt is essential for life in general, and saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings, and salting is an important method of food preservation. While some pioneers would harvest it themselves from salt licks, that only worked for those who had a natural salt lick on their property.

Jerky

Pioneer… This remarkable jerky is made to an authentic recipe used by Lewis and Clarke on the first animals they shot on their 1804 expedition to explore the West. A few strips of jerky and a couple of campfire biscuits made a pretty good lunch in the saddle.

Firewood

Winter is a good time to cut and get up a year’s stock of firewood. Pioneers have less work to perform and wood is easier loaded and drawn when there is good sledding, than in summer.

Firewood is a renewable resource. However, demand for this fuel can outpace its ability to regenerate on a local or regional level. Good forestry practices and improvements in devices that use firewood can improve local wood supplies.

Feed for the animals

Anyone who had animals had to consider their needs.

Pioneer families relied on poultry for three major purposes: meat, eggs, and money. Most pioneers who raised pigs built a smokehouse to help preserve the pork.

(Most hay was cut from wild grass growing near the farm).

Wheat flour

Bread was an important staple in the diet. It was a great source of carbohydrates, giving them the energy they needed to burn during the day.

The history of flour and its use would have pressed several things as far as the form of grain on a long trek or cattle drive. Whole grain flour unless used within a short time after milling from the fresh grain will turn rancid.

Bacon

Bacon was one of the few meat staples that traveled well, whether it was along the emigrant trail or cattle trail.

Weary pioneers found more than just “meat” in bacon; they also turned to the cured meat to cure ailments. Oregon pioneer Mrs. Ernest Truesdell remembered folks wrapping bacon around their necks to cure a sore throat. That must have made the patients smell pretty tasty.

Dried and canned fruit

Drying is one of the oldest techniques used by man to preserve food. Native Americans would dry strips of elk, buffalo and rabbit in the sun. Later, the American pioneers dried their meat by draping it on the side of their wagons on their days-long trips.

Since it kept well, dried fruit was another popular trail food, both for wagon trains and for drifting cowboys. It helped give variety to an otherwise dull diet, as well as providing them something sweet to eat.

Sources include: wikipedia, askaprepper.com, 

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pepper spray and store it at key points around your apartment. Keep a as both a torch and a weapon. And stay fit. Those looking to break in are after easy targets, so do whatever you can to develop your fighting skills and make yourself a less-attractive target.

Have an escape plan

In a small apartment a safe room is usually impossible. Especially if you’re in a one-bedder or a studio. So it’s important to have an escape plan. Know exactly what you will do if someone comes barging through the front door, whether you’re on the ground floor and can run straight out the back, or you’ve got a fire escape or a rope ladder you can use to get out of a window quick. Plan now, just in case.

Being safe in your apartment isn’t something you need to get paranoid about. Follow these steps to ensure you’ve done your best, and consider if there’s anything that’s missing for your specific situation. Take a critical look at your apartment like an outsider would and think about how you’d break in. Then fix it. That’s the key to staying safe, being one step ahead of those trying to break in.