It seems like the summers are getting shorter and the winters longer, but then again, we say this every year, and it may just seem that way as we get older. Nonetheless, winter is just around the corner, so it is time to start thinking about winterizing your home. Some things can wait, while others cannot.

1.) Garden hoses can be damaged if left exposed to the cold, so start thinking about storage places. In addition, if you have freeze proof spigots, hoses have to be uncoupled to allow the water to properly drain from the spigot to prevent freezing and bursting the line.

2.) Cover outdoor spigots with insulated covers as an added measure to prevent freezing.

3.) Lawn sprinkler/irrigation systems must be drained to prevent damage to the system.

4.) Crawl space vents will have to be closed or covered to keep cold air out of the crawl space. In warm weather, of course, the vents are opened to reduce moisture buildup which can lead to mold and mildew problems, not to mention moisture attracts insects in particular certain termites.

5.) Have your heating system checked before you need it. Heating and air conditioning service companies experience high demand for services during the first cold snap of the season, so get ahead of the rush.

6.) Make sure your gutters are cleaned out. Stopped up drain spouts will allow water to build up and if it freezes it can damage the roofline, soffits, and the guttering system itself.

7.) Prune back any branches that overhang the roofline. Snow and ice can weigh down even healthy limbs that right now do not seem to be a hazard, but once under strain from the weight of snow and ice could snap and damage the roof or walls of the home.

8.) Stock up on ice melt now, because as you know, the minute the first snow or ice is predicted people rush to the stores and clean out the supply. Retail stores never seem to have their act together when it comes to inventorying certain items, because if they order too much then they have to inventory a product that has only one use for a short period.

9.) Service your generators and stabilize the fuel. Make sure they work properly and that you have fresh fuel going into the colder months. Inspect your electrical cords for serviceability and if you had purchased appliances over the summer months, make sure you have electrical cords rated for the appliance and ensure your generator can handle the additional load.

10.) Check your water pipes insulation, and if you use heat tape make sure it is working by testing it before it gets cold.

11.) Inspect your hot water tank blanket, and if you do not have one it is recommended you do get one if your tank is located in a non-heated part of the home such as in the garage, basement, or crawlspace.

This may also be a good time to drain your tank to clear out the sediment. Too much build up in the bottom of the tank can have an effect on the efficiency, and may even cause damage, and in some cases the sediment may build up to the point you cannot drain the tank, because of a clogged spigot. In addition, if you need to use your hot water tank as an emergency water supply, you want it as sediment free as possible and of course you want the drain to work.

12.) If you have a wood burning fireplace or wood stove have your chimney cleaned and inspected for damage before your first fire. Creosote buildup as you know is dangerous and over time it will build up even if you only burned well seasoned wood. Seasoned wood will still have up to 20 percent moisture content which will cause a buildup.

This content was originally published here.

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By Selco

Every now and then I get into “rant ” mode, and then even I realize that I am being grumpy. I can’t help myself, I have to go through it, and usually, that means I have to write.

So…

My very good friend told me a story some time ago. This friend is into survival training, and he is a very good observer of people and events.

He was traveling and landed in some airport somewhere.

There he spotted a guy in tactical grey pants, 5.11 shirt, and dark glasses, tactical boots… the guy was looking like the “prototype” of “being tactical.” He was standing there with a “tough” expression on his face.

He did not move.

He was being all “tactical”.

But being tactical means not standing out.

The only problem is that he was sticking out badly because he was in the middle of hundreds of people who were in holiday mode; funny shirts, suitcases, travel bags, or business suits. Yet, he was standing there like a wannabe mercenary.

I mean maybe the guy just likes to wear cool stuff, I do not have anything against that.

The point is the concept of “looking tactical” went into some wrong and weird directions a long time ago for many reasons: books, Hollywood, survival industry, money… and that guy is a perfect example of how you can be dressed in tactical equipment and look tactical but still stick out ridiculously.

Looking tactical at that airport probably means being dressed like you are going on a holiday, or business trip, or walking and acting like you are checking the arrival of a plane, or talking on the phone or whatever else.

A problem with the tactical industry

One of the cool things about taking physical courses is getting some equipment for testing in a “real” situation.

It is cool because I like to check new things- survival items. It is also very good to discover some points in course situations when that piece of equipment works great or really sucks, because you may plan to improve it before you need it in real life.

Examples are many.

We have seen and tested in courses, good and high-quality tactical shirts, waterproof, lightweight, warm… with a very cool “tactical” patch on the sleeve. The only thing is that the patch is too cool, it “glows” in dark, which looks cool and tough, but not if you want to hide from someone who wants to harm you, or if you want to move unnoticed to harm someone else.

Now, the shirt is still great, more then great, but we realized what needs to be improved (the patch).

So, please memorize this: in survival business, cool does not necessarily mean good and usable.

Test it first, no matter how cool it looks on first sight.

How you act and look matters in an SHTF event.

One of the main takeaways, from my experience, when we are talking about the first period of SHTF is mass confusion and disorder.

You have (in urban areas) a whole bunch of confused and frightened people.

Now, what is the main and most important point of blending in?

It is the fact that you need to look and act like everybody else around you.

So, as a result, no – in the beginning phases of any SHTF – you probably do not want to look like an overly tactical mercenary who is tough and knows what to do.

You will want to look like everybody else around you until you figure out what to do and how to do that (bug out, bug in, etc.).

People often do have fantasies of looking like a Delta Force guy driving a tricked out monster truck when the SHTF, but actually the reality is in the beginning phase you have a better chance if you like the average guy who does not have too much valuable stuff while moving away, together with other frightened folks.

Otherwise everybody else around you will want to have your cool stuff.

While everybody else around you is in panic, moving away from danger with whatever they have in a hurry – you being truly tactical means you need to look exactly like them. You have to be the gray man, and being gray always changes.

Hide everything else.

You are completely “tactical” then.

The situation is fluid.

People like easy and concise explanations and solutions, while in reality, life (when SHTF) has intentions to kick you in the teeth right at the moment when you set in motion your perfect plan about whatever.

So yes, there are no easy and “all situation” solutions.

A perfect example is a favorite topic, the BOB (bug-out bag).

Whenever someone asks me about the “perfect BOB,” or what my BOB is I have a hard time answering.

The reason for that is in fact that I do not have my one, perfect BOB.

Now consider the situation when something bad happens and people are on streets, moving, rioting, running away and you go to bug out with a BOB that looks like it cost $500 dollars.

Most out there will probably be some folks who will want to hurt you in order to take it away from you.

In that situation, it makes more sense to have a bag with you that looks like a simple gym bag, or maybe something a bit more complicated than a shopping bag? Maybe nothing more.

Remember you need to adapt.

Adapt your BOB to the situation outside

So do I have my perfect BOB?

No.

I have several of them that look different, some of them are nothing more complicated than a school bag, others are really “tactical.”

I do have things and equipment that are ready to be put in a bag very fast, and in layers on me, but BOB alone is going to be chosen based on the situation outside, just like my clothes for example.

I cannot be ready for everything but I can try to adapt to the situation outside.

SHTF is “fluid,” there are usually phases of it.  While having an assault rifle in your hand and full camo and night goggles makes sense in some situations, in others it will clearly make a target out of you in split second.

You need to feel how the situation changes around you right from the first signs of SHTF to the full extent of it.

It is nothing spectacularly smart, it is just careful observation of how people around you react in events (when SHTF), and you need to adapt to those reactions. If you fail to do that, you’re simply going to fail to recognize the new rules outside.

About Selco:

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution.

In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.

He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.

Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

This content was originally published here.

A dull knife is dangerous, but sometimes you end up with a blunt blade out in the field. If you find yourself without a sharpener you are still in luck. This video shows you 5 ways to sharpen a knife with common everyday items. It is surprising that if you understand the mechanics of sharpening a knife, you’ll know what to look for to sharpen it in an emergency.

This content was originally published here.

Filtration is important and sometimes is overlooked or abandoned completely because the water source looks clear, so this can be a serious mistake. Filtration is an important step in the purification process.

Micro waterborne cysts cannot be easily seen by the naked eye, and these cysts can harbor bacteria. Cysts can be best described as hard-shelled seedpods that can protect bacteria from destruction even when the water is boiled or chemically treated. The bacterium is protected until the cysts enter the stomach where digestive acids easily dissolve the shell releasing possibly harmful bacteria into the body.

There are various ways of filtering water and some methods are obviously more effective than others are, but any filtration is better than no filtering at all. Coffee filters, cheesecloth, cotton balls stuffed in a funnel neck, clean cotton cloth, sand, gravel, grasses, charcoal and clean soil can be used as filtering mediums.

The ideal method is when more than one filtering medium is used in layers. The mediums should be layered from coarse to fine so the bigger debris is filtered out first while the finer medium captures the micro-particles at the bottom of the filtering device just before dripping into a clean container.

If filtering is out of the question, you can let the debris settle and then slowly pour off the water leaving the debris at the bottom into a clean container for chemical purification or into a container for boiling.

Another mistake that is made is dipping a canteen into contaminated water and then chemically treating the water inside without ensuring the drink line (threads) and the cap are sanitized.

The ideal method is to collect water in one container then filter properly into a clean container prior to chemical treatment. If this is not possible, then treat the water using purification tablets or drops or by using household bleach. Once the chemical is in the water and you have shaken the canteen well open the cap and tip the canteen up to flush the threads and cap with the treated water. Then wait the prescribed time, which is usually 30 minutes. In some cases, certain tablets will require a longer wait period, so read the instructions that came with the purification tablets.

Below is the recommended amount of bleach for various volumes of water. The chart is courtesy of (The Clorox Company, 2017).

Bleach water purification
If the water you want to treat is cloudy even after filtration or you simply cannot filter it, then add twice the amount of bleach recommended above (The Clorox Company, 2017).

Bacteria and parasites can be destroyed at 145° F if the temperature is maintained for at least an hour. However, at 212° F bacteria is destroyed after one minute of rapid boiling.

One mistake that some make is assuming that by boiling water they will destroy or remove chemical toxins, poisons, and petroleum products from the water. This is not the case, so if your water source has an oil slick on top leave it alone.

If you use commercial grade activated charcoal as a filtering medium, you can remove certain pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and some petroleum products from the water, but this is not foolproof, so if you do suspect contaminates of this type it is best to leave the water alone.

Another mistake some make is assuming that boiling longer kills more bacteria. You do have to boil longer depending on your elevation, but unless you are on top of Mount Everest boiling longer than three minutes is just wasting water volume, because you can boil your water pot dry if you are not careful. If your water source is limited, you simply cannot let your water boil away.

As atmospheric pressure decreases, water boils at lower temperatures. At sea level, for example, water boils at 212 °F. For every 500-feet increase in elevation, the boiling point of water is lowered by just under 1 °F.

At 7,500 feet, for example, water boils at about 198 °F. Because water boils at a lower temperature at higher elevations, it must boil longer to achieve the same results as boiling at 212° F. Up to 10 minutes at the highest elevation, but three minutes is adequate in most cases.

This content was originally published here.

Before you can become an accomplished shooter you have to know which eye is the dominate one. You may naturally assume that if you are right handed then your right eye is the dominate one; this may not be the case however. If you are right handed but left eye dominate then this is called cross dominance and you may not even be aware of it.
The dominate eye looks directly at an object and you can easily determine which eye is dominate. Extend your arms palms out and form a triangle with both hands by overlapping your fingers and thumbs. Pick out an object in the distance and now close your right eye. If you can still see the object you are left eye dominate. If you cannot see the object then of course you are right eye dominate. 
Keep in mind, over the years your eye dominance may change, so it must be checked, as you grow older.
If you are right handed, but left eye dominate then you may not be shooting as well as you could be. You have to know this to be able to advance your shooting capabilities. You simply cannot shoulder the weapon right handed and crane your neck to look through the sights with the left eye.
If you cannot shoot left handed even though the left eye is dominate then you can close the dominate eye to force the other eye to perform or cover one lens of your shooting glasses with something to block the view. This is why you should learn to shoot with both eyes open and this is particularly important if you are cross dominate.
Keeping both eyes open when shooting gives you better peripheral vision. This is ideal when shooting clay pigeons, for example, because you can catch the launch out of the corner of your eye and of course you can carry this technique over when you are hunting game birds in the field. In a tactical situation you can spot other shooters advancing on you or when they move positions.
If You Can Shoot with Both Eyes Open Then You can Shoot with Either Hand
When first attempting to switch hands, your muscles will want to take over, so it will take a conscious effort to override muscle memory. You will want to close one eye and this will present a problem, but all it takes is practice shooting with both eyes open and switching hands.
Of course as most of you know shooting a pistol is easier when using the weak hand because the pistol can be lined up on target with the dominate eye with less head and body movement.
When shooting with both eyes opens most people would see two sight pictures if they are shooting with the weak hand or even with the strong hand. This is normal and the mind must be trained to ignore one of the sight pictures. Your brain automatically pays greater attention to the visuals from the dominate eye, so your brain has to be trained. Again this takes considerable practice and patience.
Why It Is Important To Be Able To Shoot With Either Hand
You shoulder your weapon on the right shoulder each time, but what happens if you need to shoot around a corner that is on your right shoulder, can you switch to the left to fire around the corner effectively? No you cannot unless you have practiced. You see in the movies of course where the shooter sticks the weapon around the corner and sweeps the area. This is Hollywood’s version of things but not reality.
One hand or arm may be injured or you may be carrying something so you may need to be able to shoot effectively with either hand.
As stated earlier, if shooting with both eyes open you can better see what is happening around you whether you are hunting or find yourself in a firefight, you need all the help you can get in either situation.
It is important that you practice dry firing before going to the range to shoot live ammunition. Some people simply cannot train the mind to ignore the double images. In most cases however, after hours of practice you will see just one and this means you can effectively shoot with both eyes open and with either hand.
One of the problems you will encounter is the ejection port. Hot brass can strike you in the face when shooting left handed but some weapons can be adapted to deflect the brass. Bolt actions could be another problem when switching hands as well.
You may never see a need to ever switch hands but it only takes one time when you cannot switch, because you have never trained yourself to that gets you in trouble.

This content was originally published here.

First a little background, a chemistry lesson if you will, before we get started. Ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol is also known as ethanol or even better known as “drinking alcohol”. Its chemical compound is C2H5OH, and it is produced by fermentation.
Ethanol is, different from Isopropyl alcohol (C3H80), which is more commonly known as rubbing alcohol. Do not confuse the two. Both are produced by the fermentation process however, the fermenting agent for isopropyl is a bacterium while, ethyl uses a yeast.
Caution: Isopropyl alcohol is converted in the liver into acetone making it toxic, in other words, it will kill you if consumed.
Ethanol is not converted into a toxin in the liver and so can be consumed.
Okay So What Are the Uses for Ethanol during a Crisis: The Alcohol You Can Also Consume?
1.) Grain Alcohol as a Disinfectant for Wounds
Ethanol can be used for wound irrigation and as a topical disinfectant in an emergency. It works to kill bacteria by denaturing proteins and by dissolving lipids. However, even though it will destroy certain bacteria in and around wounds, it also destroys cell tissue, because of how it reacts to proteins, in other words it is caustic, and can cause tissue damage in some cases.
In an emergency killing deadly bacterium in cuts and wounds is the priority. Just remember you can damage the tissue in and around the area with prolonged use.
How Do You Know How Much Alcohol Is In A Bottle of Vodka for Example
In the United States the actual grain alcohol content is defined as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. In other words 100-proof equals 50 percent alcohol by volume while, 86-proof equals 43 percent alcohol by volume for example.
When purchasing alcohol for future use as a disinfectant once the SHTF purchase the highest proof available for greater alcohol content by volume. 
2.) Disinfectant for Instruments/Surfaces
Ethanol evaporates quickly so in some cases, contact with surfaces may not be long enough to kill the bacteria. Therefore, when disinfecting knife blades, thermometers, scalpels and so on, submerged the surfaces in the solution if possible, versus just wiping or spraying them down with the solution. Pour enough solution in a glass or basin so the entire surface to be disinfected can be submerged. Wipe down eating/food preparation surfaces and leave wet, and then reapply for best results as it dries.
3.) Mouth Wash
Simply swish around for at least one minute and spit out, to help destroy bacteria in the mouth particularly at the gum line and in between teeth. Force the solution between the teeth to remove food particles and to reach crevices where bacteria are harbored.
4.) Destroy Mold Spores
Moisture is what mold spores thrive on, so depriving them of their life blood if you will, can help control its growth and eventually destroy the mold. Alcohol displaces water, and as the alcohol evaporates it creates a gas that floats from the surface with the water molecules clinging to it .
By the way the vapor is what is flammable so stayed tuned for more on this later in the article.
5.) Help remove Water from Pet and Human Ears
Dogs in particular can have problems with their ears because of water collecting in them. A few drops of alcohol can help displace the water in your pet’s ear, as well as, your own ears to help keep bacteria at bay. Some people state that equal parts of white vinegar and alcohol works better than just using alcohol by itself for removing water from the ear canals.
6.) Kill Odor in Clothing and Confined Areas
Vodka is the preferred room deodorizer for some people because it is clear with no apparent odor. It is sprayed in the air to kill odor causing bacteria. Keep in mind grain alcohol is not effective against spores, so it will do little to reduce certain allergens and bacteria in the spores floating in the air. Spray the solution in shoes, on bedding and clothes and then let air dry in the sunlight if possible to destroy odors.
7.) Fire Starter
Bartenders and those that like to experiment will do what is called “float” alcohol on other alcohol to create a floating flame. Bacardi 151 for example, will float on top of a drink with lower alcohol content, and thus can be ignited without igniting the product. The same applies to cooking certain foods. You have probably seen chefs splash a little alcohol in a fry pan and then tilt it so the vapor makes contact with the gas cooking flame.
It is all about the vapor and to use alcohol to start a fire you have to move quickly. Soak a piece of cloth, and then put your dry tinder on top, so the vapor flows up through the tinder. In most cases the cloth itself will not ignite before the alcohol has burned off, so it is important you have dry tinder on top. Otherwise you will simply burn off the alcohol from the cloth without actually igniting the cloth. The flame is nearly invisible in daylight. Typically alcohol at 80-proof or more can be ignited rather easily.
8.) Barter Item
It was debated as to whether or not to mention alcohol and bartering, because some find it so obvious of a choice for a bartering item that it goes without saying. For those that have been prepping for years however, you have to keep in mind some are just getting started and so what may seem obvious to you will not be so obvious to others.
Even if you do not drink alcohol others do. In fact alcohol consumption is at record levels, so someone is drinking it, and just because the SHTF does not mean people will stop drinking it if it is available. Make sure it is available , because it can be traded for other items you may desperately need.
Stockpile a variety and remember you do get what you pay for, so spend a little extra because quality will pay off.
9.) Used As a Deodorant for Body and Feet
Bacteria need moisture to grow and growing bacteria cause odors. We already know that alcohol displaces moisture, which will in turn kill off bacteria. Use it on the body to help with body odor, particularly odor problems with your feet. Some people even soak their feet in vodka, for example, to help control foot odor when you cannot wash your feet regularly.
10.) Bug Repellent
Alcohol blended with certain other compounds, olive oil, for example, can be used as a bug repellent that can be rubbed on the skin. Again, the go to choice for many is vodka. Mix equal parts together and rub on exposed skin.
How it works to repel or kill certain insects is not entirely clear, but studies have shown it does work to some extent. Possibly the displacement of moisture creates certain results or the ingredients in the alcohol are toxic to some insects. There are plenty of myths and rumors surrounding many so-called home remedies, so experiment safely to find out what works best for you.
Obviously, the above listed uses for grain alcohol are not the only uses during a crisis. Do some research and if you experiment do so safely and come up with some more uses for “drinking alcohol” once the SHTF.

This content was originally published here.

US Coin Silver Content Infographic

Click On Image For Full Size

Silver has often been called “Poor Man’s Gold” because it is so much more affordable than gold. The value of silver has been trading around $17/oz, compared to gold which trades around $1276/oz. So for the price of one ounce of gold, you could buy roughly 75 ounces of silver, which is a great investment.

Silver is not just an investment but it is also a hedge against inflation. As dollars become less valuable, the value of silver will naturally go up. The price of silver will almost immediately spike if the Federal Reserve puts more money into circulation and cause inflation. Inflation will always have a positive effect on the prices of gold and silver. This is why it is important to invest now.

Each year more silver is being used more than it is mined and because it is so cheap, exploration has virtually stopped. Silver inventories are quickly running out and this is another reason why now is the time to invest in silver. Scientific American predicts that all of the silver in the world will be used up by 2029. So by then, the value of silver will be so high and this may become a favorable choice in coinage and trading. So I have created this helpful and informative infographic to help you find silver in your everyday pocket change.

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This content was originally published here.

Bugs may not seem like the ideal meal to Americans, but eating insects is a common practice in Asian and African countries. Here’s list of bugs you can eat:

This content was originally published here.

Losing power at anytime can create serious disruptions in your everyday life, however, when it is cold out it not only creates disruptions it can become deadly. Ideally, you are prepared for disruptions in cold weather, and have paid particular attention to keeping everyone warm during a power outage.
Things You Can Do before the Power Goes Out
If the local forecast calls for weather that could disrupt your power such as ice and heavy snows, you can take steps before the power goes that will be beneficial to you during the outage.
Turn up your refrigerators and freezers to the highest setting. You want the foods inside as cold as possible for when the power does go out. Considering combing contents into one refrigerator or freezer because the more food items inside of a freezer or refrigerator the longer the foods will maintain a safe temperature. Remember to turn down the settings when the power is restored.
Once the power goes out avoid opening the doors. Refrigerators if full can maintain a safe temperature in some cases up to 6 hours, while a full freezer can maintain safe temperatures up to 48 hours and one that is half full up to 24 hours.
Any perishable foods that have been stored above 40° F for more than two hours will need to be discarded.
Make sure all cell phones and other devices are fully charged before the power goes out, and check all flashlights and other battery operated devices.
Fill your bathtubs with water to use for toilet flushing and other sanitation needs. You can use the water for drinking only after proper purification unless you use a waterBOB .
If you rely on electricity for your heat then you will need to essentially close off portions of the home to conserve what heat is in the home. If you have a wood burning fireplace, or have a gas burning one then of course, this would be the room to gather in, otherwise pick a room that everyone can stay in and likely sleep in as well.
Your emergency supplies should have Mylar emergency blankets , wool blankets, sleeping bags , and consider bubble wrap as well. Bubble wrap can be used as an insulator between you and the floor. The material of course is made of air filled chambers. The air chambers will provide insulation and cushioning for sleeping.
The wrap can also be placed over windows to reduce heat conduction. Cut the wrap to fit and then wet the glass slightly and then place the wrap over the glass, it will cling to the glass.
People that are chilled or you suspect may be in the early stages of hypothermia can be wrapped in the material to help control the core body temperature in an emergency.
Hang Mylar or other blankets in doorways to reflect heat back into the room you are staying in and they can be placed over windows and outside doors as well.
Water pipes may freeze so make sure they are well insulated , and if you still believe they may freeze during an outage you can shut off the main water supply and open all faucets to drain the lines. Make sure you shut off the power to the hot water tank before shutting off the main water supply. The water in the tank will stay warm for hours, so it can be used for bathing and other needs or used as an emergency drinking water source after it has been filtered and purified. Attach a hose to the drain spigot to get water from the tank once you have shut off the main water supply. 
Snow banks can be used as emergency refrigerators during a power outage. Try to find areas that receive the least amount of sunshine. Radiant heat from sunlight will warm up surfaces beyond what the air temperature is. This is why you will see snow melting on surfaces even when the air temperature is below freezing. The food items will need to be under as much snow as possible and in waterproof containers.
Snow can be melted for drinking water but it must be warmed before drinking so you do not lower your core body temperature. If there are no obvious contaminates melted snow can generally be consumed without purification. However, if you suspect contamination then purify the water. If the snow has been contaminated with any chemicals then it cannot be used for any purposes. Do not consume water from melted icicles that hang from the roofline without purifying first.
Small propane heaters that are rated for indoor use will typically have a low oxygen shutoff valve. The valve will not allow a flame when there is not enough fresh oxygen in the room. Always use any heating device with caution and kerosene heaters, charcoal Hibachis and other fossil fuel devices should never be used in any confined space.
Consider a Generator
A transfer switch can be added so the generator is essentially wired to the home’s electrical system but this must be done by a professional. If you do it yourself and it is not done properly electricity generated can flow back through the lines hurting anyone working on the lines. This is important.
Fuel Supply for Heat and Cooking
If you have a wood fireplace then you will need an ample supply of wood that is accessible. Before the storm bring some wood close to the house so you do have to carry it through the snow or try to navigate icy surfaces with an armload of wood.    
One pound propane bottles are the only containers rated for indoor use and they can be used with camp stoves and small heaters as well as lanterns. 
Avoid outside as much as possible, because ice and snow or broken limbs may have brought power lines down. Ice sliding off of roofs can be a hazard as well, not to mention falling trees and limbs because of heavy layers of ice buildup.
To protect your electronic devices you should connect your devices to surge protectors of good quality. Unplugging the devices can prevent damage from power surges once power is restored.

This content was originally published here.

The saying, “If you cannot protect what is yours then you do not own it”, is often cited when discussing home security. However, for most people it is merely an academic discussion because it has never happened to them, nor is it likely to ever happen. It sounds simple enough when being discussed over coffee or a beer, but the reality is of course much different.

It will be assumed that law enforcement is not available, neighbors are of no help, and that the intruders are armed. Society is in turmoil, and some police and others in authority have already abandoned their post to take care of their own homes and families. You are on your own for the time being.

You and your spouse/partner are the only ones that can get your home back. You both had left to gather information, and when you came back you found your home occupied by an unknown number of people.

Even the most heavily guarded installations can be overrun, and then those forced out, are left looking in. Once this happens can you retake your home, or any structure for that matter that has been overrun and is now in the hands of others.

It is also assumed the intruders are not there to grab a few supplies and then hot foot it out of the home. They want the home for shelter as well as the all of the supplies. They want all the comforts of your home, and asking nicely will not get them to leave.

If You Have Not Planned and Prepared For It Then It Is Unlikely You Would Prevail

The first decision you have to make is it worth it. Is it worth a fight, where others including yourself may be injured or killed, to get your home and supplies back. If the answer is yes, you will do what it takes to reclaim what is yours then start planning now for the possibility.

First, bury survival caches close by, with an emphasis on firearms and ammunition, then food, water, medical supplies and any other supplies you will need to sustain yourself as the drama unfolds. You may need temporary shelter as well, because the standoff may last for several days.

Other items you can cache that could be used to help you retake your home would include smoke bombs, tear gas and/or pepper spray, non-lethal rounds such as rubber slugs and beanbag rounds. Have respirators cached for your own protection.

You may also need insulated heavy duty wire cutters, bolt cutters, rope, and some type of portable/collapsible ladder, shovel, and a fire ax. Include heavy duty gloves and a bee suit or some other form of protection against bee stings. Have an ample supply of zip ties that can be used for wrist and ankle restraints.

Cache some materials that can be used to stop up chimneys and stove pipes and this could include rags and heavy duty plastic sheeting or garbage bags as long as the stove pipe or opening is not so hot it melts or ignites the material.

You need a hiding place close by, as well, where you can shelter, and so you are out of sight of the home as well. If those that have taken over your home assume you have run off scared they may reduce their defensive posture a few notches, so do not hover where they can see you unless you are ready to start the festivities.

Simply engaging those inside in a firefight would not be practical. You will use up ammunition, damage the home and you might very well get injured or killed. They are inside shooting out at you and you are hiding behind bushes trying to keep from getting shot.

Your objective is to get them outside so they can be engaged on equal ground, so they can be shot, disabled, and/or captured. You want them confused and maybe even mad and scared if possible so they make bad decisions. Use non-lethal rounds if you do not want to kill or seriously injure anyone.

1.) Can you disrupt the power source, steal the gasoline for the generator, and/or sabotage the generator. Can you cut the cables using the insulated cutters to solar panels, can you shut down any wind or hydro power source by cutting cables or disabling any components.

2.) Smoke bombs can be placed so it appears the structure is on fire forcing them outside.

3.) A Hornets nest can be tossed inside the home by smashing a window. Angry hornets will run anyone out of the home. This is why you would need protective clothing.

4.) Can you disrupt the water source by cutting or otherwise disrupting any water lines? Can you empty water storage tanks? Look for ways to disrupt them inside, to force them outside.

5.) Tear gas and pepper spray can be used to force them out unless you have a supply of respirators or gas masks laying around for them to use.

6.) Rope, or wire cables can be strung to trip anyone running from the home, or place the rope/cables along avenues of escape. Make sure you can avoid the traps while those running after you cannot.

7.) If the home has a wood burning stove or fireplace and it is in use, you can plug up the chimney/stovepipe to force smoke back in the home. This is providing you can get on to, and off the roof safely and without being detected. This is where planning comes into play. Rope ladders can be secured in nearby trees, out buildings or hidden elsewhere that could help you get down from the roof. Rope ladders would not be much help getting you on the roof, so you have to plan for this, but they can help you get down if they can be somehow secured.

8.) Some extreme measures could be recordings of large barking dogs or other animal sounds that could instill fear in anyone inside the home. Recordings of people shouting and dogs barking may give the impression there is a much larger force than there really is outside ready to attack. This takes prior planning and materials, but it can be done if you are serious about taking back your home.

There are measures, other than listed that can be taken of course and some are more extreme than others are. This is simply an academic exercise to get you to think about certain scenarios. There are no guarantees that the above listed measures would work, and by no means are any of them recommended except in the most extreme situations, and no one should consider them unless they have certain training and demonstrated skill sets.

The above listed scenario is not likely to ever happen, but if you are serious about planning for a SHTF situation, then you have to plan for all possibilities.

This content was originally published here.