Concerns include the spread of diseases caused by human contact and contamination of food and water. Dirty hands will spread contaminates to food, water, and contact surfaces throughout the home. Just because the water supply is disrupted does not mean you forgo proper sanitation, in fact you need to be even more diligent during a crisis. You may not have access to medical care or medications so it is important that you do everything you can to keep diseases in check.

Disasters can lead to outbreaks of infectious diseases. We have seen this time and again with natural disasters. In some cases the diseases after the crisis has struck cause more loss of life than the disaster itself.

Diseases that cause diarrhea account for over 40 percent of deaths in disaster and refugee camp settings in developing countries. Of course the United States is a developed country, but a prolonged crisis could create a situation that promotes the spread of infectious diseases.

Epidemics in some countries are typically related to polluted water sources, sources contaminated by fecal matter. Water can also be contaminated during transportation and storage if proper procedures are not followed.

Diarrhea is a symptom of infections caused by a host of bacterial, viral, and parasitic organisms. Usually the infections are spread by feces-contaminated water. Infection is most common when there is a shortage of adequate sanitation and hygiene and safe water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning (WHO, 2015).

Clean Water is Essential

Protecting what water you do have is equally important. Private Wells can also be contaminated by floodwaters, ground runoff and if a makeshift latrine is located too close or you begin to burn garbage close by that would allow toxins to leach into the soil. 

Human waste as well as household waste will build up. People may burn it or try to, or simply allow it to pile up on their property and inside of their homes, all of which will promote the spread of diseases.

You need water for drinking, as well as, for personal grooming and area cleaning. Ideally you would have the ability to heat the water for bathing, hand washing and for dishwashing. You can use pre-moistened wipes and hand sanitizer for your personal cleanliness needs to conserve on water.

You cannot just use the backyard for your bathroom. You need a latrine that is 200 feet or more away from a water source, has a containment area, and is vented to remove methane gases from the pit if the pit is not an open one.

Makeshift methods would include “portable potties” that use chemicals to reduce odor and to control bacteria and specially designed bags for human waste.

Sewers may very well be shut down and certain septic systems do require electricity to operate. For those that have their own wells they would need a power source for the water pumps. Additionally, those with a private well that need a purification system will need to consider alternative power sources for the system.

People grouped together will spread body lice, as well as, infectious diseases so it is crucial that everyone wash their hands/ use hand sanitizer, keep their hair trimmed and washed and bathe regularly. Dirty clothing can spread diseases as well, so you must have an ample supply of clean water for laundering of clothes and other items.

Keep your area clean and never allow garbage to pile up inside the home. Most household garbage will not burn completely unless you have the means to create enough heat to incinerate it. If you simply pile it up and try to burn it you will end up with a toxic mass leaching into the ground and it will attract rodents, insects, and predators.

You can bury it or contain it in heavy garbage barrels with lids. Simply bagging it up and tossing it to the curb or letting it pile up in the backyard will create problems for you down the road.

For most of you the crisis will be a repetition of mundane tasks that will take on more meaning during the crisis. It will be harder to prepare meals, give baths to the children and harder to keep the home clean but it must all be done.

You will have to make sure the home is kept clean, and this will be more difficult with everyone essentially grouped together. If you have animals they will need to be sheltered and kept clean as well. If allowed to roam the neighborhood they may get into garbage and refuse piles and carry contaminates back home, so special care must be given to your animals.

Common household bleach should be in all homes for disaffecting of surfaces, dishware, and even clothing in some cases.

Hand sanitizer uses alcohol to destroy bacteria while scrubbing the hands with water and soap emulsifies the bacteria that are clinging to the hands so it can be removed by friction and by rinsing with water.

Washing the hands vigorously using soap and water for 20 seconds is one of the more effective ways or removing bacteria and to help stop or slow the spread of viruses. Hand sanitizer will not work as well when there is visible dirt and grime on the hands. Hand sanitizer destroys certain microbes on the hands it does not necessarily clean the hands, but it is an excellent alternative when soap and water is not available.

This content was originally published here.

I wouldn’t necessarily categorize the Volcano 3 as a survival stove, though; it could be used as one. The reason being is the weight. At 25 pounds, it would be difficult to pack in a survival kit and tote around the backwoods. We can call it the perfect Prepper stove however.

This stove is capable of providing you and your family three meals a day for as long as it takes during any crisis or emergency. I like that it collapses to five inches with a quick snap of the wrists. It is ready to pack away in minutes after you have let it cool down, of course, and remember to be responsible when disposing of hot ashes from a wood or charcoal fire, and never use this stove in an enclosed area even if you are cooking with it using propane.

With that being said, however, it is perfect for emergencies at home, or if you become stranded in your vehicle and it makes an ideal camping stove. It is ideal because it can utilize propane, charcoal, and wood. It will easily pack away in your trunk or cargo space and keep one in the garage for when the power is out.

It collapses to five inches for transporting and all components fit in the carrying case.

There is an optional hood for the Volcano 3 Collapsible Grill/Stove that allows you to smoke and bake using the stove, and yes, the hood really does allow you to bake and smoke using the Volcano 3.

Ideal for Canning

Because your new Volcano 3 Collapsible Grill and Stove uses propane, canning is made easy outdoors. When using propane you can control the heat and thus can any foods as if you were inside on your electric or gas range, and furthermore, you will not be heating up the house. When the power is out in the middle of the summer, you certainly do not want to add more heat to the home.

Stockpile enough propane for canning and other cooking or baking that requires regulated and consistent heat. Wood and charcoal of course, will cook many of your meals, but it is very difficult to regulate or provide consistent heat for baking bread, pies, biscuits, and so forth using wood or charcoal.

Ideal accessories for your stove would include a set of various sized Dutch Ovens. This stove and a Dutch oven, for example, would be all you need to prepare any meal in your backyard, at the campsite or during any emergency. Being able to use three different fuels means, you will never be without the ability to cook in any situation.

Put one in the boat when you go fishing, have one packed for hunting trips, and take one to the game for tailgating, and always have one in your vehicle, at home for emergencies, and at the  campsite.

When using wood or charcoal there is an air vent at the bottom to control airflow, and while the stove is designed to cook with pots and pans, you can place food directly on the top grate for grilling. Remember the grates are not far from the flames, so don’t put a steak on the grate, and wander off.

Manufactures’ Description Along With the Contents

If You Grill With Briquettes, Place Your Briquettes On The Diffuser Plate For A Better Searing Temperature.

As I had told you earlier this stove would not be ideal for a bug-out-bag, but it would be perfect for your bug-out-location and for certain emergency caches. Because it burns wood as well as charcoal and uses propane you can use it anywhere wood is available.

EMP’s are on everyone’s mind these days and no one is sure what would or would not work if an attack were to occur. Newer appliances regardless of what they are may have some sort of electronics in them and could be rendered useless, so you need a backup cooking method for the home.

You don’t have to wait for an emergency either. If you have a 20lb propane cylinder, charcoal or wood, you can start grilling in your backyard anytime.   

Final Thoughts

For a week straight I cooked every meal I ate on the Volcano Grill; everything from your typical grilled burgers to fried eggs, even smoked salmon. The process was easy to control and produced nearly perfect results every time. What amazed me was the efficiency of the grill, it used far less fuel than something like a typical Weber. The versatility was also nice as it fits a Dutch oven that is twelve inches or smaller, being designed to cook with pots and pans opens up all kinds of cooking possibilities. Whether utilizing the Volcano Grill solely on its cooking merits or as a SHTF cooking alternative, it is one piece of gear to consider.  If you are interested, you can purchase a Volcano Grill on Amazon for $146.99.

This content was originally published here.

Yesterday I did some trout fishing with the Emmrod fishing pole that I bought for my bug out bag, so today I’m going to show you how to clean a trout. If you want to see the rod in action check out the video below or check out my Emmrod PackRod reviewBe Warned! This post contains a graphic step-by-step decapitation and the gutting of a real trout. With that being said continue on with the rest of the article below.

Step 1: If you’re not going to eat the skin you can skip this part, but I like my trout pan fried. Grab the fish by the tail and scrape firmly from the tail to the head several times on both sides with a spoon or knife until all the scales are removed.

Step 2: Next remove the head by cutting at a slight angle just behind his gill, it will take a little force to cut through its backbone. I like to remove the lower front fin with this cut also.

Step 3: Once the head is removed turn the fish over so you can see its belly. You should see its exit hole just a little bit above the tail.

Step 4: Insert your knife or scissors into the exit hole and slice the belly all the way up to where the head once was.

Step 5: Spreading the belly that you just sliced open will reveal the innards. Grab the innards and pull them out with your hand, they should come out fairly easy.

Step 6: Once the innards are out you should see a membrane that covers the blood vein running up the fishes backbone. Take a knife and slice the membrane open.

Step 7: Next take your thumb or a toothbrush and scrape or brush out the blood vein until its clean like the picture below. I’ve always heard that not cleaning this will affect the taste of the fish.

Step 8: Rinse the trout (inside & out) thoroughly and prepare to cook as you like. To pan fry rinse the fish and pat dry, then roll the fish in flour that is seasoned with salt and pepper. Pan fry in olive oil (about 2-3 tablespoons) on medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until meat flakes with a fork.

Here is the video of the Emmrod in action.

This content was originally published here.

How the SHTF in Bosnia: Selco Asks Americans, “Does this sound familiar?”

Selco interviewed by Daisy Luther

I was recently emailing back and forth with Selco and we were discussing the situation in the US right now, with the political polarization, the rage, and the general cognitive dissonance. I asked him if he saw any similarities between our situation and the one in Bosnia when the SHTF there during the war. When he replied I knew I had to share this information with you.

While we might like to think it could never happen here, the current events here are eerily similar to what happened there in the 1990s.

When you read this. think about recent events. The anger about immigration. The destruction of Civil War monuments. The unease between the races. The deep rage about the recent presidential election. The scorn and derision for neighbors who think differently. The way the media fans the flames of dissent between our fellow Americans.

You’ll realize that it definitely CAN happen to us…and there’s not one darn thing we can do except to be prepared.

What parallels do you see with events in the US and Bosnia before the SHTF?

US and Yugoslavia (in 1990) on first look do not have anything in common because people are going to say, “The USA cannot have anything similar to any socialistic system.”

This is true but only on first look.

Yugoslavia had somewhere around 20-22 million citizens, six republics (similar to states in the US), 3-4 main religions, and many national groups (ethnicity).

The official state policy was to build Yugoslavian “nationality” (from the end of WW1) and through different ways that effort was successful until the 90s.

We were “something big, united through differences with a strong connection to make something big.”

And then those differences were used to make chaos.

In the late 80s and beginning of the 90s (when democracy came) the problems started and ended up in series of wars and cases of complete collapse.

Things that I experienced in my case prior to SHTF, and things that you might recognize:

  • Things that make differences between people are more and more problematic (race, religion, political opinion).
  • Polarization is getting obviously stronger.
  • People want to come to your country, but they do not want to “assimilate” or contribute to greater good. They want to preserve their way of life which is often absolutely contradictory to the way that your country (society) works.
  • The political way of solving those problems often fails, because, in essence, those problems are hard to solve in a democratic way (in the spirit of democracy).
  • Your freedoms are “shrinking” as a result of that.
  • Calls for “radical solutions“ for the problems are stronger and stronger.
  • The media is absolutely working a dirty job, and it is hard to find out what is the truth anymore.
  • Suddenly people and events from history are “brought back” so people can judge and argue about it, to write history again, to build myths sometimes.

Can you explain how the current political polarization could make matters worse when the SHTF?

Strong polarization eventually brings fear and hate towards “others”, and once you get into that state of hate and fear it is very easy to be manipulated, even though prior or later, it looks weird and funny how easily you were brought into that state.

I remember the exact moment roughly 25 years ago when I was brought in discussion and actually rioting over the statue of a general from WW2 which was about to be destroyed because for some people he was a war criminal and for others he was a hero and important political figure.

It was a big event, and people were brought into that event in big numbers, arguing and fist fighting and rioting…

At the same time, the wheels of big events were actually already starting to move, and if I were smart I would have left the country or bought a weapon instead fighting over a historical figure.

Does this sound familiar?

It was only one event that was used in order to polarize people more. “Us” and “Them”.

It is so easy to manipulate people when you throw hate and fear in the game.

Polarization makes things worse when SHTF because it is easier to “dehumanize” others that are different than you. Through the fear and hate, groups are pushed to do whatever the people in power want them to do, even if that means horrible crimes. Remember, once some group of people (religion, political, regional, race…) is dehumanized (for example through smart media work) the rules are changing and everything is possible.

For example, with careful media work even today (in time of the internet, social networks, and independent information) it is possible to make the prepper movement look like a terroristic and anarchistic movement and then it’s open season on preppers.

Did political disagreements go away when it hit the fan or did they intensify?

In essence yes, they went away because it all went to how much food, ammo, or whatever resource you had. You realized that big opinions simply do not matter, especially once when you realize that all was somehow planned, and especially once when you realize how foolish you were because you trusted some things.

But of course rage was fed with again fear and hate for ”others”.

It is like that story about how they tried to explain to a conscript [someone who was drafted into the military] what is war all about: higher causes and honor and everything else, and he simply could not get it. Then later in the middle of a fight he suddenly understands everything and yells: “Oh I understand now – THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL ME.”

When you strip everything down to the bare facts, he was right.

How does it move from political arguments to one day, it has all hit the fan and everything has changed? Is there something predictable we could look for?

Again it is about dehumanizing, no matter who or what group. It is about adopting opinions like “they are so different that they do not deserve…( to live here, to have rights…)

Once that happens a whole new set of rules jumps in and those rules mean that lot of your liberties and rights gonna be taken too, and that is the problem actually.

When that happens, you will understand that it is not really important who is who. The only thing important is that somehow you do not have your rights anymore (for example the right to carry a firearm) and then you are in s..t.

You can be so mesmerized with “important political events” or something else that you might even not notice that you are suddenly not allowed to grow your own food or have a solar panel on the roof, or carry a pistol.

You might say now “it is impossible in the US”  but I think in this moment it is bigger news than if some reality show star had “spicy” video than to understand how food delivery in your city works and how much food is in one average store if everything stops moving.

Which events in the US have you seen that made you immediately flash back to your situation?

I do not follow politics too deeply even in my country, not to mention politics in the US, but what I do follow is people’s reaction to political events. By that, you can sense where the majority of people’s opinions go and what you can expect from that.

Maybe a year ago I did comment (through an article) on some events in the US and I got an excellent comment from one of my readers who said “My nation, America, is being abruptly dragged out of a deep and prolonged state of subconscious anxiety and depression. It is being assaulted with hope and this is beginning to produce a state of relief which will be managed into uncritical nationalism if at all possible. This euphoric state of national mind is the perfect cover from which to ambush a nation. The pressing for a one world government did not die under Trump, it simply got a new face. The danger to America and to the other nations of the world is more real now than ever. Extreme sobriety is warranted at this time. Most people I have spoken with cannot see this…”

Hope in something new and something better was exactly what I was experiencing just prior SHTF, new leaders, new democracy, freedom…

It clouded my perception, I trusted too much.

What suggestions, if any, do you have to help us be better prepared for political upheaval?

As always, operate in “small circles” (your family, prepper group, network of friends). Learn useful skills, meet good and interesting people (in prepper terms).

That small circle is what it is all about and what is important when SHTF. Sorry, but your political opinion and worries about state policies are worthless, and can not change anything big- it is the big circle, and it is important only in terms of looking and recognizing signs of future events, so you may recognize the correct moment for bugging out for example.

Do not be pulled into general fear and hate because it clouds your judgment and it simply wastes your time.

Do not be pulled into it.

Do people start to realize that their opinion means nothing in politics or do they still hang on to their illusions even after it all goes sideways?

Illusions were the first victims when SHTF. Here are a few of many:

  • “There are police, this cannot happen. There is law, this is against the law.“ Actually, the police are police when the system works. When it does not work, the police are just a bunch of trained people with weapons, and it is completely up to them what they are going to do.
  • “I have rights.” Yes, when there is a system and law to protect those rights. If you want to have rights when SHTF you have to be ready to protect them.
  • “I have gun and lot of ammo. I will firmly stand my ground.” Good luck with that. There is a huge number of people already organized in violent groups, ready and skilled in violence, who wait for the system to collapse to jump in. People with more guns, more ammo, more skills than you, and less morals and ethics. You need to lower your expectations.
  • “This kind of chaos can not happen here (in the US). We have the best political system in the world.” This is my favorite actually because in my case the S. did hit the fan. For some period of time I was repeating this to myself, and even more, something like “This can happen only in some country in Africa, not here. Somebody going to stop this.” It can happen, and actually, it would be very bad because fall is going to be bigger. It is going to hurt much more, and people are going to be shocked much more.

Anything else to add?

I have seen many people killed, a lot of women and children too, civilians. A huge number of people suffered, were hungry and cold and were terrified through that period.

But I can count on one hand the dead or hungry politicians in that time.

Things were good for them through that period. Some of them ended up even richer. A lot of them are still powerful in the same or different parties, and are still talking about “their people” or “ causes” or “fear from others”.

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 like 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.

Selco shares the events that led up to the SHTF in Bosnia and how it's eerily similar to what is happening in America right now. | The Organic Prepper

This content was originally published here.

Here is an infographic showing six emergency shelters you can build with a tarp Click On Image For Full Size Use This Graphic for FREE on Your Site! You may use the infographic above on your website, however, the license I grant to you requires that you correctly attribute the work to me with a …

This content was originally published here.

There are so many different things and scenarios we find ourselves
prepping for, food caches, bug out plans, what to do if…, etc. It can become
overwhelming and we end up forgetting
about important matters. Like for example the places to avoid when the brown
stuff hits the fan.

This is an important topic that is good to know
regardless of the imminent survival scenario lurking around the corner.

How about facts such as, for example, that roughly two-thirds of the
United States population is located on
the eastern half of our states? Did you ever stop to think what that could really potentially mean?

And if we are being completely honest with ourselves, the greatest threat to you and your family’s safety is, in many cases, other people. No, all humans are not bad, and that is not what is being said. Obviously, we all, together, make the world go round. So, therefore, this is not some “hate all humans and hermit yourself into your bunker until all is safe” kind of article.

The human factor

Under “normal” circumstances, most
(major emphasis) people are naturally good natured and would give you the
shirts of their back. However, once people find themselves in a SHTF scenario, there is no telling how each individual will react.

Regular folk, just like you or I, will be doing what they absolutely need to in order to provide for their families and this can quickly become a threat to you. When you have large numbers of people whom are scared and willing to do anything to get away from immediate danger, you may find yourself grasping the difference between life and death for your family.

There are going to be people breaking into pawn shops and gun stores
for munitions. People will be invading hospitals and E.R. facilities to get treatment and medical
supplies. Imagine an armed gang overtaking a hospital…

So when the proverbial S hits the big Fan, how can you as a prepper
plan to bug out (or in) while being aware of the most dangerous places to
avoid? How are you going to mitigate population density to increase your
chances of keeping your family safe?

The number one problem people run into during an emergency is that they find themselves unprepared and then the terrible tantrum of panic sets in. When sensing danger, humans first instinct (typically) is to flee. This in itself can cause one hell of a mess in an immediate survival scenario.

Recommended reading:How To Travel When SHTF

In this article, we will be
discussing the top places to avoid when SHTF. Surely we have all seen what
happens prior to a major storm or
foreseen emergency; store shelves stripped of their typical products; you’ve
seen impossibly long lines at hardware stores where people are buying plywood,
generators and other emergency necessities.

But what about after SHTF?
Have you ever watched news clips, read stories online, or seen pictures and videos
of what happens after a major
emergency takes place. Looters are
cleaning out shoe departments, clothing outlets, and raiding electronic stores
for “free” stuff.

Look back the situation at
Ferguson a few years ago. Something went awry, and in the panic of the
populous, businesses were looted, homes were caught on fire, and a mob tore apart the
streets.

Again, this article will be about obvious places to avoid when things
go awry, such as superstores (Walmart, Target, etc.),
clothing stores, shopping malls, and electronic stores. Also covered in this
article will be places that you may have never thought of, but still the same
can be very dangerous post-emergency.

Places To Avoid
when SHTF

During disorder and disarray, generally people do one of two things:
tuck in and button up in the home (bug in) or seek safety and substance
elsewhere (bug out).

After an emergency event takes place and the rule of law is stretched
so thin as to near nonexistence, people are going to target places such a
dentist, doctor, and urgent care offices for medical supplies.

People are going to go “loot
crazy” and attempt to fill their houses with things they could not afford before the emergency (even if it is in vain…).
People are going to be raiding any store that has food and liquids.

Minus the looting portion, some of you preppers out there may have had
the same idea (I recommend you spend some time studying how to get supplies
when s does htf. As important as it is to
know where to find supplies after SHTF, it is equally important to know what
places to avoid. Violence and disease will become rampant, so history shows us.

Post-collapse, here are some places you should consider avoiding (or
if you do “go in” for emergencies sake, at least have some knowledge of what
could be happening before you go in).
It is likely that looters and the lesser society will be drawn to these sorts of places and it would be best to avoid
them at all costs:

These should be evaded under all circumstances. It is well known that risk of infection (especially in a hospital) is high, even under typical circumstances. However, as people begin dying, these places will become a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.

The chances are that in an emergency situation, hospitals will begin to quickly fill with patients who are extremely bad off. This alone will put you at risk for some serious emotional trauma, which also has an ugly effect on you during times of already existing stress.

Not to mention, they’ll attract crowds of people, and crowds are exactly what you want to avoid.

Large Shopping
Malls and Public Squares

As things begin to grow chaotic just before
or right after SHTF, you will not want to find yourself near a large shopping
mall or a public square. These places will soon become a lair for despairing,
angry people. Also, rioting, looting and
violence will be a mock in these areas, therefore deeming them best to avoid.

Choke
Points/Bottleneck Points

Choke points are places where people will be forced together by the
routes they have decided to take. It is the same principle with bottleneck
points; these areas are anywhere that a majority of people much travel in order to get out of a neighborhood, city, county,
or state.

When the SHTF, a lot of people are going to be bugging out and some of
them will not do in the best way. These will be the ones to be wary of, panicked people who are just trying to
get away from whatever has happened and who
are more than likely short on supplies
and not sure of what to do.

If several hundred or thousands
of people are attempting to flee the same area, and everyone has to cross the
same bridge in order to get out of  dodge, that point will quickly become a
bottleneck point. Bridges, tunnels, causeways, and freeway ramps are all
examples of points that can soon after SHTF become choke/bottleneck points.

Transport Infrastructure

Yes, obviously modern transport connections make our lives much easier, however, during a SHTF situation they can turn dangerous if not deadly. Imagine for a moment the chaos of a large airport after a major crisis. Major highways are obviously a problem as well. You will want to avoid the risks of collapsing transport systems.

Another reason to avoid transport nodes, especially if there is an EMP or nuclear threat, is that they will become targets. Airports and harbors, as well as highway intersections and bridges, become target points for when they are destroyed the transport network is slowed down and paralyzed. Mark them on your places to avoid list.

FEMA Camps

If you have properly prepped, stay far away from the grimy scenes of a
FEMA camp. Here you will find a constant and savage competition for the limited
resources found there. The camp itself will be
enveloped by people trying to get in or find food. City parks,
conservation areas, and state parks will soon after SHTF become refugee habitats for the unprepared.

Some people don’t see FEMA camps as places to avoid when it hits the
fan and they consider such places their salvation. These people are the unprepared,
the ones that live in denial. They will turn quickly on others when stuff will
run out.

Major Cities

In any serious crisis, large cities will break down extremely fast. Utilities will soon begin to fail, law enforcement and emergency services will be over-stressed, and all hell will soon break loose. Eventually, if the crisis goes on long enough, cities will become infested with disease and violence.

Also, there will not be much to find after SHTF because anything of any value will have been looted much
earlier in the crisis. In most cities, it
will take around three days for essential supplies to begin running out (which
is something that the dwellers of said city are typically not prepared for,
which leads to more trouble; and more reason to steer clear). In the city,
things will only continue to get worse and worse.

Gas Stations,
Auto Parts, and Convenience Stores

Desperate people will flock to these sort of stores. These are the first places they will think of to locate supplies. For anyone who wasn’t previously prepared, getting gas will be nearly impossible.

Long lines and tempers flaring will be reason enough to sit this one out. Once the pumps run dry and the shelves become barren wastelands, you can only imagine the violence that will break out. Surely you get the picture.

Hardware and Sporting Goods Stores

Guns, ammo, knives, bats, and any other tools that one can be used for protection will be high up on the
checklist of looters. This deems sporting
goods and hardware stores a dangerously busy place just before and after SHTF.

If you don’t already have weapons prior
to SHTF, your best bet is to improvise with something around the house
or in a different place than the looting hotspots that will become off hardware
and sporting goods stores. Gun stores should be avoided for the exact same reasons.

Banks,
Check-Cashing, & Pawn Shops

Probably the first thing people will want to do when SHTF is accessing their money. They will wish to pull their cash out of their bank accounts. For this reason alone, banks, loan and check cashing offices will become overflowed with people seeking cash.

If services are down either due to computer shutdowns or the fact that
all the cash is already depleted, the
desperate folks who believed that cash would get them the supplies needed to
survive will become even more desperate and therefore dangerous.

Military Bases

For unmistakable reason, military bases are definitely a no-go. They are targets for nuclear/terrorist attacks, not to mention, do you really want to go perusing around because are protected by trained, nervous soldiers who will be just as startled as you?

During the crisis, the security of prisons will be under extreme tension. If the power fails, lighting, alarms and potentially locks could fail. There will be a high risk for escapes, and we can all envision how that may go… These escapees will be much more than desperate.

Large Social
Gatherings and Public Events

It may be tempting to join a large gathering, for there is some strength in numbers, and it is sometimes nice to feel the reassurance that others are in the same boat as you. However, if you surmise in the least that things around you are getting a bit chaotic, get out of Dodge.

If you discern civil or economic disturbance or any other precursor to unrest, avoid large gatherings at all costs. If trouble is in the air, avoid major public events. These places will be filled with large crowds of people making them targets for terrorist attacks.

What to do Instead:

Now that we have a better grasp on places to avoid let’s discuss a few tips on how to go about avoiding these
places while maintaining your chances of survival.

Above are some key places to avoid when
SHTF. Crowds, in general, are a thing to elude, as there is always a
roaring beast named violence waiting just beneath the surface of the every day, hustling and bustling.

Especially post-SHTF, you will
want to always immediately avoid large crowds or areas with a lot of folks
moseying around. You will need to have a good bit of insight and intuition to
make it through just a few encounters
with others.

Taking on a whole crowd, when you are
prepared and they not, of desperate sheeple will not be very easy. Once
they see that you have supplies, you will quickly come into some dangerous
times.

You must be able to take care of you and yours. This is not some hate speech against fellow
humans, nor does it promote that sort of perception. It is simply a truth that
if everyone, while simultaneously keeping
a level head, would simply mind their own and be courteous to others while
doing so, we could co-exist until things cooled off, got better, or…well, who
knows.

When things are running smooth, it is easy to get caught up in the everyday comforts. People are living and working closely together to keep the modern society operating smoothly. But let SHTF and “other people” will surely become a danger and threat to your survival.

The article ” Places to Avoid at all Costs” has been written by Jonathan Blaylock for Prepper’s Will.

Other Useful Resources:

This content was originally published here.

Forget stocking for that two-week event, it’s not that difficult. The hard part is stocking for the total paradigm shift, that few remember how to do much of. You won’t be making your own saw blades anytime soon.

Now, ask yourself, what else will you NOT be making, that you need to learn how to make, or replace with older technology, before you need it. Once the ‘short duration expendables’ are consumed, you won’t be re-supplying, you’ll be making your own or doing without. Knowledge and durable supplies will be the real money.

Think about critical needs, before you think all that ammo is so important. I bet my wool blanket is worth AT LEAST all of your ammo, if you’re cold and we’re both armed. Again, don’t plan on thuggery, stock what you can’t afford to trade for. Have extras to trade, in regards to those critical things we MUST have. Take a 3 year, 1000 mile trip in your mind, and imagine only meeting others on the road like yourself. Each packed differently, not all are nice, not all are passive. Now, prepare for the trip in your mind and take it. What do you see yourself needing?!… each day, as the seasons change, as the environment changes, and as bad and good people cross your path.
In my opinion these SHTF items will have a really great trade value .

Items Everyone Will Be Looking For After SHTF

Antibiotics and painkillers

Antibiotics are hard to stock up on unless you have a very understanding doctor. Fortunately, there are sources for antibiotics you can take advantage of now. Go to your pils local pet store and buy fish antibiotics (its amoxicillin). They come in 250mg capsules, I buy them at a feed store near me and vacuum seal them in doses (two tabs in one dose x 3 doses a day x 7 days) then in mason jars. It sure is best learning to make penicillin.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. A bit of pain here and there is the last thing you’ll worry about when the SHTF. Maybe when it comes to a little pain, yes, that’s true, but what happens when you get a cavity and that tooth absolutely has to come out?

Get some reasonably strong over-the-counter pain meds, and make sure you have enough to last you if the SHTF. Though painkillers have expiration dates, they don’t really expire. They get weaker instead, so don’t be afraid to stockpile pain meds just because of the expiration date. Try to mix and match since many painkillers like Ibuprofen (Advil) and Acetominophen (Tylenol) have different uses, and can even be take simultaneously. Stronger pain killers like Codeine will become useful too, as medicine will run out pronto. It’s also beneficial to keep quite a few of these in a bug out bag if you happen to have one. Read also the article below. It might come handy when your pills run out.
17 NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS OUR GRANDPARENTS USED INSTEAD OF PILLS

Saw blades, hand drills, hatchets, axe heads, hammer heads, wrenches etc – many of them coming from auctions, garage sales, etc. These items will be in high demand after SHTF. If the grid is down, power tools will be worthless. Without tools you won’t be able to build or fix anything or you’ll have to improvise. Having more than one of these tools will be a big advantage as they make great barter items.

Fire starters

Fire-making will ALWAYS be critical, and having a dozen of extra ferroceramic rods and striking steels will be worth their weight in gold, if it all goes south. Lighters are good too but eventually they run out of gas. Really and truly, you cannot have enough of these lying around. Sure you can make fire without them, but it’s hard, really hard. Unless you have apt practice in the fire-making field, stock up on these as much as possible. They’re so inexpensive. You might as well spare wicks and flints for your gas-fueled lighters wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Screws, Nails and Building Materials

You’re definitely not going to regret having stocked up on hardware materials post-collapse. In fact, you’ll probably wish you’d stocked up on mnails-screws-1ore. Nails and screws are
essential hardware materials. They go fast and are a giant pain to make from scratch. Make sure you have enough lying around while you still can. They’ll become highly tradable items.

Even more useful than the candles are the flashlights. So, having a good stock of batteries will be of great help. An excellent prep would be to have some extra rechargeable batteries with a solar charger for when the light stay out for a long period of time.

Along the lines of disinfecting, you’re going to really regret not having enough soap post-crisis. Without basic sanitation, you’re going to get sick fast, and ill is something you definitely don’t want to be when medicine is in short supply and you need as much energy and strength as you can possibly have. The best tip you could possibly have is to learn how to make your own soap out of fat leftovers and lye obtained from ashes. Here’s a great DIY for soap that anyone can make:
BASIC SOAP MAKING TUTORIAL THAT ANYONE CAN FOLLOW
Tampons & pads

They’re essential to a good survival pack, and not just for the obvious reason, but for bandages, for emergency water filtering, and can be used as tinder to start a good fire. They’re also better than a lot of other methods for stopping a nosebleed that won’t quit.

Get Heirloom seeds, and then you can save the seeds from what you grew for the next year. The seed type you are looking for is “open pollinated”, so don’t limit yourself to the “heirloom” name. The open pollinated will breed true from generation to generation, and there are many excellent commercial versions available in large quantities at low price. The seeds sold in most stores will not produce usable seed.

drink-bleach-1200x800What happens if your septic tank overflows and you’re left with contaminated waste everywhere? Need a quick way to disinfect water so you can safely drink? One simple and effective way to fix both these problems is by using bleach. It’s as cheap and easy as a cleaning agent gets. Once you’re out of bleach, you’ll definitely notice. Get your hands on as much as possible while you still can. One caveat to the Bleach: store bought liquid bleach (Clorox or Purex) begins to degrade the moment it is manufactured. I’ve seen lots of different expiration dates, but they all run from 6 months to 2 years. I have stocked up on Calcium Hypochlorite. You can either find it on the internet or buy CH at the pool store. Just make sure it does not have algaecides or clarifiers in it which are said to make you sick. It comes in a powdered form which you mix as needed (1 tsp to 2 gallons of water to make the solution). This solution will then degrade just like bleach, but if you have the powder, you can keep making it for years. There is a learning curve, so do your research on the internet first. The ratio is 1:100 (such as 16 oz of solution to 12.5 gallons of water to be disinfected) which is slightly different than the household bleach numbers. One bag will purify 10,000 gallons so the directions are important –a little goes a long way.
Keep the bag cool and dry and it has a forever shelf life, not like commercial bleach.

This one’s obvious. Even if you’ve got the guns to hunt or protect yourself and your family with, you can’t without ammo. You’ll probably need more than you expect, so really, you can never have too much ammunition. It would be best to have the means to make your ammo, so stockpiling on primers would be your best choice.

Along the same lines, it’s also beneficial to stockpile arrowheads and bow strings. Just remember that in a SHTF situation, you probably don’t want to advertise your position and the fact you have guns. Best of all, learn to load and shoot all the things you have. When you trade a gun and ammo to someone who doesn’t have a clue, they’ll want to know how to use it. Become proficient.

It’s one of the few foods that has an unlimited shelf life; honey will never go bad due to its antibacterial properties, which are also part of what makes it so healthy. Considering its versatility in the kitchen, along with its medicinal value, honey is likely to prove to be an extremely valuable commodity to have on hand during a long-term survival situation.

The medicinal importance of honey has been documented in the world’s oldest medical literatures, and since the ancient times, it has been known to possess antimicrobial property as well as wound-healing activity. The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection.

Keep sponges for just in case…. It worked for the Romans… You can only store so much toilet paper! True.. But Synthetic sponges have evolved! And their cheap….Sooner or later TP will run out. Once again, toilet paper is like a good cigar or stick of chewing gum and then what?. It might give you ’modern comfort’, but there are far more important things you need first.

Water containers

Seems simple now, but if things go wrong, one of the hardest things to usually find is a good canteen or water jug. Put enough back for yourself, but put more back for trade.

In the coming winter months, if you get hit by a major ice storm and the light go out, candles will make the difference between having to spend the night in the dark or not. Light gives us a comfort feeling. In case you run out of candles here’s a great alternative. Boiling soup bones to get the fat out of the marrow, then rendering it will make a decent lamp fuel. Keep the wick trimmed low enough to keep it from getting smoky. Make sure that, if the lamp spills, the spill is confined and maintain the ability to smother the whole thing with something that isn’t going to catch fire.

History has shown us many times that it can all fly away in a split of a second. The biggest misstep that you can take now is to think that this can never happen in America or to you! Call me old fashioned; I don’t care…but I completely believe in America and what our ancestors stood for. They all had a part in turning this land into one of the most powerful countries in the world. Many died and suffered before a creative mind found an ingenious solution to maybe a century old problem. Believe it or not, our ancestors skills are all covered in American blood. This is why these must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same for our children and our children’s children. Would you like to learn the lost skills that made our grandfathers completely self-sufficient? Than you really need this book:

You can get your paperback copy HERE

What items do you think you’ll miss the most when the SHTF? What would you add or remove from this list? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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It may not be what you think however. S.T.A.N.D is an acronym that should always stand out in your mind every time you step foot outside your door. “Stand” will help you become more aware, and to help you to begin thinking in a more tactical way.

Combat Ready: Sufficiently equipped, trained, and numerically strong enough to engage an enemy

In today’s world, walking around with your head down staring at a cell phone or with your head in the sand for whatever reason is dangerous. No matter who or where you are, you need your head up, eyes moving and your nose “sniffing the air” if you will.

Engage with life around you. Do not be one of those people that walks in front of a bus while texting. Do people really need to be told to look both ways before crossing the street? The problem is some are not even aware the street is there, because their mind is not focused on the here and now.

It is not so much about your physical capabilities, but about how well you can appraise the situation and then act decisively if action is required.

Survival and evasion, a skill everyone should learn so you are not forced into resisting and escape.

S.T.A.N.D.

S – Situational Awareness
T – Tactical Advantage
A – Assets on Hand
N – Neutralizing the Threat
D – Determination

Crowds are dangerous because there are simply too many threats for you to assess properly. If there is an active shooter, the panicking people around you will also become a danger. If you try to drop below the level of fire, you could be trampled and people crowded around you would make it difficult to reach an exit, or to find cover/concealment, as well.

First, avoid crowds if possible and in particular the middle of crowds. This goes for movie theaters, concerts, restaurants or any public gathering place. Situational awareness is important. You must know where the exits or escape routes are, and map in your head how to get there from where you are. The moment you enter a building you should be seeking out emergency exits such as windows and doors and looking for static sources that can provide cover and concealment such as, furniture, heavy doors and walls if there is an active shooter. This needs to become an automatic response, and it will become such if you do it every time.

Walk next to the buildings on busy streets. Walking on the street/traffic side may mean you end up under a bus if the crowd panics and it increases your chances of being shot if there is a drive by shooting. Additionally it is easier and safer to crouch next to a wall than it is to hit the deck in the middle of the crowd.

Being away from your home or typical area of operation gives an aggressor the tactical advantage. Shooters or others setting up an ambush would already be aware of the cover and concealment available, and the aggressor (s) could have “staged” the area to increase their tactical advantage.

In some cases, you are on their “home turf”. They have the element of surprise, and you would not normally have access to as much weaponry as you would at home or even while inside your car.

This is where thinking ahead can help you avoid stumbling into an ambush. First, it is never recommended that you go out into public under the influence of alcohol or any type of mind-altering drugs. Drugs as common as prescription pain medications or medications for allergies will cloud your thinking. Stay off your cell phones, even if you have Bluetooth capabilities. You simply do not need any distractions.

Regardless of your training or weapons, you immediately lose any tactical advantage you may have had if you are under the influence of drugs, alcohol or if your attention is focused on gadgets.

Those that target people for robbery or for other reasons will look for those under the influence, or for those that have obvious disadvantages such as inattention because they are texting. What is easier than robbing someone that can barely walk because they are drunk or literally “drugged up” or cannot raise their heads from their cell phones?

Training always gives you the tactical advantage. Knowing how to handle a firearm is important and along with training, you must learn when not to “flash “one. A firearm is not to be used to “shoo” people away or to wave around as a way to intimidate.

When you simply do not have the tactical advantage, you must do what you can to extricate yourself from the situation and if this means running, yelling, kicking and screaming then do it.

Pulling a weapon and not using it means the aggressor (s) will likely end up with your weapon and with you lying there wondering what happened, and why does it hurt so much, as you hear sirens in the distance.

Know what is in your purse and pockets that can be used as a weapon. Car keys, nail file, credit cards, pens and pencils can all be used to stab, puncture and slice. Use your feet if you have heavy shoes, otherwise you may end up with a few broken toes.

Use the heel of your hand to strike the face and body of an attacker, otherwise you could easily break a finger or damage a knuckle. The heel of your hand can strike with considerable force (enough force to break noses and cheekbones) and not cause damage to your hand.

Punch straight in and then slightly twist your wrist as you deliver the blow putting your weight behind the strike. Prepare to strike by having your elbows tucked into your side with the heel of your hands forward.

Do not slap or swing at your opponent. A solid hit to the rib cage using this method can fracture ribs regardless of your size compared to the aggressor if your deliver the blow with the weight of your body behind it.

As you “snap” your hand in, turn your head and body away, and lean slightly forward to present a smaller profile and to increase the force of the blow. This makes it harder for them to strike your face. A roundhouse swing has no weight behind it and it can easily be intercepted. Never present your body or face full on to any opponent.

Going hand-to-hand with anyone is your last resort, once a person is close enough to put his or her hands on you then you have lost considerable tactical advantage.

How quickly can the threat be neutralized or can it be dealt with at all. Retreat is always an option, saving your life is the objective, not the stories you would tell over beers the next day. Do not let pride get in the way. It is important that you are able to size up the situation quickly and either neutralize the threat quickly, or extract yourself from the situation just as quickly.

Follow through if you pull a firearm, so be prepared to use it, and this means you must have considerable training. Half measures do not work, so give it all you have when, shooting, striking, slashing or stabbing.

Training gives you confidence. Practice shows your weaknesses so they can be improved upon. Training and experience will allow you to overcome size differences. By simply paying attention, you can avoid many situations. Learn how to plan better by not ending up in a dark parking lot or on an unfamiliar street late at night.

Actually, look around you, when you are out and really see what is going on. Look for trouble, so as not to become tangled up in it. Multi-tasking may be a great skill at the office, but on the street, your focus needs to be on the possible dangers around you. This means not mulling over in your head why your boss asked to see you in their office first thing in the morning.

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For some, the list of things they do not know how to do, but may be required to do during a crisis can be quite long. For others, some of the tasks are old hat. Where you live, how you were raised and even your occupation influences everything.

Those that live in cities would not be required, or expected to know how to do certain things that may come secondhand to those living on a farm. Conversely, those living in the country may not know how to do certain things that those living in the city take for granted. 

However, once the SHTF we are all in it together, and there will be certain tasks that will have to get done regardless of where you live, and to survive, you may need to know how to accomplish what may end up being life saving tasks.

The following may seem to be a ridiculous article to some people, because the tasks listed are something that most men and women of a certain age have had to do, or still do on a regular basis.

Today only 69 percent of 19 year olds have a driver’s license. Individuals are driving less, apparently there is less incentive to own a vehicle if you live in a city. In 1983, for example, almost 90 percent of 19 year olds had a driver’s license.

Research shows that about 15.3 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 to 39 now gets by without a driver’s license (Plumer, 2013).

The recession had reduced homeownership, so more people are living in apartments, and thus, the upkeep is done by someone else, so there is no need for apartment dwellers to know how to do certain things.

1.) Operate a Chainsaw

A good number of you are already thinking, who doesn’t know how to operate a chainsaw. Well did you know how to operate one before someone taught you how? You cannot assume that others have had the same training, have the same background, or skill level as you, so yes there are some that have no idea how to operate a chainsaw.

There is the gas and oil mixture, the starting, the safe operation so you don’t cut a leg off, and then the maintenance such as chain sharpening. To operate a chainsaw takes some level of training.

You may need to cut firewood, clear downed trees, and limbs from roadways, and you may have to cut into damaged structures for rescue operations. Knowing how to safely and effectively use a chainsaw will be a valuable skill, no matter where you live.

2.) Drive a Standard Transmission

At one time you had to special order a vehicle with an automatic transmission. Standard transmissions were, well the standard years ago. Everyone knew how to drive a car with three on the column or four on the floor. Today, however, it’s a different story and a surprising number of drivers have never driven a “stick shift”. It takes practice, and during a crisis your means of transportation may be limited, so learn how, so when the times comes you can use your new found skill and are not hampered by your lack of skills.

3.) Change the Oil in Your Vehicle

Along with changing the oil you need to know how to check the oil and then add oil. Again, a number of people simply do not know how to check their oil, add oil, or change the oil in their vehicles. The quick lube places dot the landscape in and around communities and towns and the price is right, so it is not worthwhile for most people to even bother doing it themselves.

During a crisis you will have to know how to check all the fluid levels, and add if needed. Oil has to be checked to make sure it is not low. Otherwise, engine damage could occur and oil will break down overtime, reducing its effectiveness as a lubricant, so it has to be changed on a regular basis. You may be the only that can do it.

4.) Can You Change a Tire?

A flat tire is like a broken leg, if you have either one you are not going far. In a crisis you may need to move quickly and the quickest way is by vehicle. Even if it only gets you few miles away from the disaster zone, because a few miles may be all you need, but if you cannot change a flat tire you are on foot.

You buy a new car, and the tires are in great shape, and besides you have roadside assistance like AAA or what the manufacturer provides for the first few years. AAA will tow the car to the nearest drive thru service center, Wal-Mart, or local car dealership or may even change the flat for you beside the highway as you text work you will be late.

For a few bucks you are back on the road. No worries right, you don’t need to know how, because it’s cheaper to have it done than to fuss with all the work needed to change a flat by yourself in your work clothes no less.

Do you even know where the jack, jack handle, and spare tire are located? Spares are hidden in newer cars and it may take some maneuvering to get them loose. Some even have a locking mechanism on the spare, do you have the key. You may need the jack handle so you can crank the spare down from its nesting place under the back of the vehicle, did you know this.

In Conclusion

The above is by no means the only tasks that you may be called upon to do during a crisis. The only reason they are listed is because people tend to look at the big picture when planning for a major crisis.

Some envision big happenings like gun battles, Martial Law, rogue military units rounding up people, FEMA internment camps, zombies wandering loose, nuclear wastelands, and the list goes on.

All of these things may happen, but in the meantime, you will be struggling hour by hour, day by day with the simplest of things. You will struggle with the simple things because you took them for granted. Someone else always cleared the roadways of limbs, always delivered the firewood for your fireplace, and the Quick lubes had you in and out in less than 30 minutes, but now that has all changed.

This content was originally published here.

Non-Lethal Self Defense

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It is very important that you keep a balanced mind when it comes to your prepping and survival. If you are not careful you could find yourself focusing too much on one aspect of this. While some fall into this trap with guns, ammo and body armor, some fall into the just the opposite. It’s a scary proposition to those who like to avoid violence but non-lethal self-defense is crucial.

It is no wonder that we are in such a time where violence is something to be avoided. However, when the world comes crashing down, you are going to see that violence gets a welcoming committee.

If you are not prepared to face that violence you will most certainly fall victim to it. So what does someone like you do if you don’t want to carry a gun every day?

The best alternative is to explore non-lethal self-defense methods.

Stun Guns

The power of electricity is something special. You will find that you can do serious harm and stop attackers in a hurry with something like a stun gun. They are easy to get your hands on and easy to use. Just keep them at full power.

Pepper Spray

Having the right kind of pepper spray is important. Pepper spray affects the attacker’s eyes nose and throat. It can stop the attacker’s ability to breath effectively. The spray has become so effective that a tiny little bottle is all you need.

Extendable Batons

The extendable baton can make a huge difference. Anytime you add the element of surprise and some hard metal, it can do some damage. The benefit of a baton is that it can stay concealed very easily and spring to life at a moments notice.

These non-lethal self defense items might be just what you are looking for. They could be the answer if you are unwilling to carry a firearm.

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.”

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