The Best Convection Oven For Your Kitchen

toaster convection ovens

A convection oven is different from the conventional oven with regard to the circulation of the temperature in the food. While the conventional ovens allows the hot air to circulate randomly, the best convection oven, with the use of fans, helps the temperature to circulate over all layers of food. The food is better cooked in a convection oven and it takes a lot lesser time than that of the conventional ovens. There is optimum use of the resources in the case of the convection oven. The best possible use and the purposes for which the oven needs to be used have to be thought out clearly before making a purchase.

To take advantage of the best convection oven, a consumer has to carefully review the features of the best convection oven to the hilt. The convection oven should not be too large or too small. If the size is too large, a considerable amount of energy is wasted and if it is too small, not all type of cooking is possible. The oven should be of the optimum size that can cook all types of food and also should use optimum energy levels.

The convection ovens are available in various ranges of power. Generally, the best convection ovens for household purposes are in the range of 800 watts. However, for large amount of cooking, the convection ovens will need power of up to 1300 watts. The best convection ovens come with a timer and a temperature controller that can stop the mechanism when the heat goes out of hand.

There are various convection ovens that are available in the market and the customers today have to research various products to find the best one that suit their needs. The Kenmore Elite 48043 is one such oven that suits the needs for baking and broiling. It is one of the best convection ovens in the market, in its category. It comes with a 4.2 cubic foot wall which allows cooking sufficient amount of food for a family. One of the features that make it among the best convection oven in the market is the self cleaning facility. Another oven that can be termed as one of the best choice convection ovens found in the market today is the GE Profile PT 925 DNBB which comes with a double door facility. Both the doors are equipped with the conventional oven facility. Though the sizes are small than the other convection oven, it saves time and is perfectly compatible in the case of smaller dishes. The ovens come with self cleaning facility.

toaster convection ovensThe market today has a huge number of convection ovens that are manufactured to suit the needs of the customers. The features need to be analyzed by the customers to find out the best convection oven for use.

Toaster Convectional Ovens

Toaster ovens are fast becoming essential kitchen equipment in preparing your breakfast. There are many powerful ovens in the market today. They offer varied levels of efficiency thus the disparity in their price ranges. Most of the toaster convection ovens come with temperature adjustment utilities in form of digital controls and knobs or dials. The knobs will frequently need to be turned so that you attain the temperatures you desire.

The toaster ovens often come with inbuilt metal coils, both on the upper and lower side for the purpose of ensuring uniform heating within the container. The toaster oven has not been around for a long time as opposed to the radiant ovens. This is why many of the consumers who own the toaster convection ovens have not really gotten to learn the real essence of this machine.

Basically, use the toaster convection oven when you need to prepare bread and some pizza rolls for breakfast. This type of oven is also suitable for cooking and heating fast foods like French fries. Unlike the microwave which tends to make the food watery, this oven will ensure airtight cooking with more air combustion for uniform cooking of food. The microwave significantly takes a longer time to cook food, a problem that is eliminated by the use of toaster convection ovens.

A more common use of toaster convection ovens is in cooking frozen foods like pizza and pot pies. You can also opt to utilize your oven in times when you are having a party and you do not have enough cookware. Even though, they cannot hold much food chucks, they can help a big deal.

When thinking about buying toaster convection ovens, there are a couple of factors you will need to keep in mind. Wattage is an important bit about this. This will help you to know the amount of electric power you need to supply to your gadget. Reading the instruction manual very carefully will assist in alleviating while also getting ready for consequences like power outages and over voltages. A wattage that has a higher voltage will most likely produce more heat hence efficiency.

The size and capacity of your oven are also factoring aspect as far as the purchase of a new toaster convection oven is concerned. You have to analyze clearly the intended use of the oven before making a final decision. The ovens that are large in size are suitable for parties while a small toaster convection oven can suit your small size family.

The ease of cleaning for toaster convection ovens is another factor that will make you choose one toaster convection oven over another. There are even some with inbuilt self-cleaning functionality. You will find out that many ovens usually come with removable trays to ease the burden of cleaning hidden areas of the oven. The non-stick ovens are generally easier to clean.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

hardwood floors

Contrary to popular belief, hardwood floors are the easiest to maintain and clean. Perhaps what makes it easy to clean and maintain hardwood floors is the fact that unlike carpeting and other flooring materials, hardwood needs very little maintenance, and is very durable.

It goes without saying that a well maintained and clean hardwood floor can really turn the interior of your home into a haven, creating the illusion of space and charm. While cleaning the different types of hardwood floors requires no special formula or additional attention, some finishes used on hardwood may need extra care, especially when getting rid of stubborn and unsightly stains.

The easiest and most effective way you can clean your hardwood floor is by simply using a damp mop. The process is quite simple here. Start by dusting off the surfaces using a simple vacuum cleaner or a soft broom. After that you can start moping, rinsing, and then repeating to get rid of all dust, dirt, and grit from your hardwood floors. Remember that despite the fact that they are the hardiest flooring materials available in the market, grit and dirt are hardwood’s biggest enemy when it comes to scouring or scratching the finish on the floor.

There are several cleaners like vacuum cleaners with bags  in the market today for cleaning hardwood floors, but the best one is a neutral cleanser like. one whose pH value is neutral, not too high nor too low. Such a cleaner used together with water can do a very effective job. As a general rule of thumb, always ensure your hardwood floor is well sealed before you start mopping. What this means is that places that are worn out should never come in contact with water, since it can penetrate through the opening and cause warping. Of course this compromises on the aesthetic appeal of your hardwood floor material, as well as its durability.hardwood floor

Most hardwood floors today come with polyurethane finish. Ever come across a floor that looks shiny and glossy? Most probably it is polyurethane, a finish that assumes the look of a plastic coating over your hardwood. The best thing with this finish is that it is hard wearing, enhancing the durability of your floor even further. The other common finish is known as penetrating seals, and will come with oil or wax finishes that would equally penetrate and seep in through the wood. The best thing with the penetrating seals is the fact that they offer hardwood floor protection from the inside out.

You need to be very cautious when cleaning your hardwood floors that have a finish, because over scrubbing may compromise on the luster appeal of your hardwood floor, so you want to be easy on that. You also want to be easy with the cleaning material you will use, as most of them may end up stripping off the luster appeal.

With that being said, it is to be mentioned that all floors are vulnerable to dirt and stains, whether they are carpet or hardwood. You can use a fine steel wool to get rid of most stains, adding a little alcohol on it can make the stains come off easily from hardwood floors. Once you are done, you can always polish and buff your floor. Should the stain remain after cleaning with alcohol, sanding down the stained area could be the only viable option at your disposal.

What Affects the Cost of Hardwood Floors

So you have finally decided to go both timely and timeless with a charming set of new hardwood floor for your home. Rest assured that it is a very wise move that will last you a lifetime because hardwood floors are very durable, especially if purchased from the right sources. But before you hand over your credit card or append your signature on that check, you will need to know the factors that determine/affect the cost of hardwood floors. First and foremost, it should be made clear that the cost of hardwood flooring is not fixed; there are a number of variables that you will need to take into serious consideration. These include:

hardwood floor
Type of hardwood – the type of hardwood flooring that you buy, whether engineered or solid, is the first factor that will definitely determine the cost of hardwood floors. Solid hardwood is what is today considered traditional flooring, and will thus come at a higher price than the engineered hardwood floor type. Although the engineered hardwood flooring is a superior quality product, it has not been on the market for a significant period of time, so people are yet to fully appreciate it. This is because while it is fully hardwood, it is often a composite of 3 by 9 plys of similar or different species of hardwood.

Hardwood species – this is the second factor that determines the cost of hardwood. Generally, domestic hardwoods like the famous hickory, oak, or walnut are much more affordable than their exotic counterparts like the Brazilian cherry or tigerwood.

Type of finish – do you want a pre-finished or unfinished type of flooring? While the cost of hardwood will still be up even if one had to factor in the cost of labor, refinished hardwoods tend to be highly priced than their unfinished counterparts. Of course there is the advantage of having to choose a finish or stain with your unfinished flooring option, but you also need to factor in the cost of the finish or stain, plus labor.

Hardwood flooring grade – this is arguably one of the main contributing factors that determine the cost of hardwood floors. While grading will not be uniform in both prefinished and unfinished hardwood products and across the different species of hardwoods available, the concept behind it is the same – hardwoods that have an even grain appearance are highly graded than those with marks. Of course higher grades will be highly priced than their lower grade counterparts.

Once you find the type of hardwood flooring that is within your price range, the next important consideration that will add up to the cost of hardwood floors in the cost of installation and the accessories and products that would be used for installation. Such things as stapling, gluing, underlayment, fasteners, and adhesive used when installing hardwood floors can add up to the cost of hardwood floors, plus of course the cost of labor for installation.

How to Stop Snoring With a Stop Snoring Mouthpiece

snoring mouthpiece

When we sleep the muscles in the mouth and throat relax allowing the tongue to fall back slightly into the throat. This obstructs the airway slightly for some, more for others. Some people are not affected by this at all. For those affected it can cause the tissues in the throat to vibrate mildly or severely.

Snoring is the sound made by the vibrations.

It can wake you up from a sound sleep preventing you from getting your rest. If you do not sleep alone snoring can be a real bother to your sleeping partner.

Relationships can be affected by snoring because not only is it annoying to have your sleep interrupted, a lack of good restful sleep has real physical effects on a person.

Lack of sleep can cause many problems like decreases in mental function and awareness that cause car wrecks. Lack of sleep also has a negative effect on a person’s health. It increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, weight gain and even death. Snoring can also indicate a mild case of sleep apnea.

A full seven or eight hours of sleep is recommended for optimal health and snoring can obstruct that goal. Studies have shown that even people who claim to be used to getting less sleep have decreased mental alertness when compared to those who get a full nights’ rest. They may think that they are unaffected but the studies show that they are not.

Snoring mouthpiece

snore-ex snoring mouthpieceAs you can see, snoring is not a condition that should be taken lightly. Measures should be taken to avoid the negative consequences that it can have on your relationship and your health.

So what can you do about it?

Short term lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol before bed, sleeping only on your side, and losing weight are helpful ways to deal with snoring.

Losing weight can take time. How do you get good rest (that allows optimal weight loss) in the meantime?

Avoiding alcohol before bed can be done often, but there will be those late night wedding receptions that make doing so difficult.

A snoring mouthpiece such as zyppah is a great way to ensure that you get good rest every night. It will help you get good rest while you are losing weight, on those nights that you indulge and even on those nights that you are too tired to realize you’ve rolled onto your back. You can read Zquiet reviews here.

Why use a Snoring Mouthguard?

When a person has trouble with snoring, using a snoring mouthpiece such as SnoreRx or VitalSleep is a nightly, reliable way to deal with it

You can purchase snoring mouthpieces online, at a retail store, or at your dentist or orthodontist office.

An anti-snoring mouthpiece holds the lower jaw open to allow the airway to remain fully open while you sleep. A variety of mouthpieces are available.

Some are plastic trays that look like thin athletic mouth guards and are molded to your mouth specifically. This customizes the mouthpiece to the arch of your mouth.

You may have a narrow or wide arch between your teeth or you may be missing some teeth. Customizing a mouthpiece entails trimming or molding a plastic mouthpiece. This is very important for comfort. While sleeping, the last thing you want is a mouthpiece that moves around and keeps you awake, negating its purpose.

Other mouthpieces have the additional advantage of being adjustable, such is the case with the Zquiet anti snoring mouthpiece.

The distance that the jaw needs moved forward differs between people. Some need just a slight forward adjustment and others need much more, up to a quarter of an inch, to allow their airway to remain fully open and prevent snoring.

There are also plastic clips that clip onto your upper front teeth and hold your mouth open while you sleep. This is optimal for those people who find it too difficult to use a mouthpiece as large as a mouth guard.

If snoring is keeping you or your partner awake at night, don’t delay. Look into purchasing a snoring mouthpiece today. They are a wonderful way to get your rest and allow your partner to get theirs too.


Other stop snoring solutions

Snoring plagues many people all over the world. It is not just the snorers who are affected by the condition but their roommates or partners also suffer due to the loud, hoarse breathing sound.

Now, before you know how to stop snoring, you need to know the causes of Snoring.

Snoring is caused due to vibration of structures (nose and throat) in the respiratory system that result in a sound due to irregular movement of air during breathing while sleeping.

There are several possible factors responsible for snoring such as blocked nasal passages, nasal septum deformities, poor muscle tone of muscles in the throat, excessive weight and alcohol.

There are different ways to stop snoring such as lifestyle changes (weight reduction, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, sleeping on back, anti-snoring exercises), stop snoring devices and surgery.


HOW TO STOP SNORING WITHOUT SURGERY


STOP SNORING DEVICES

Anti-snoring devices or stop snoring devices is a non-surgical solution that helps you get rid of the problem of snoring.

Stop snoring devices are developed to ensure that you get a good night sleep. These devices aim at keeping the nasal passage open for free and easy circulation of air.

Anti-snoring devices range from simple to complex ones and include stop snoring mouthpiece, snore balls, stop snoring pillows, nasal strips and nasal solutions. All these devices work by removing the factor responsible for causing snoring.

Stop Snoring Mouthpiece

The Stop Snoring mouthpiece also known as dental appliance is an anti-snoring oral device that a person wears while sleeping. It adjusts the position of jaw and tongue and moves the lower jaw forward while sleeping.

It prevents the soft throat tissue from collapsing and thereby obstructing the airflow.

So when you wear this device, the air can pass freely through your mouth and throat and this improves the airflow to the lungs. Stop snoring mouthpiece also prevents your tongue from sliding back in to the throat.

There are two types of anti-snoring mouthpiece- Tongue retaining device and Mandibular advancement appliance.

Tongue retaining device is suitable for those who have mild snoring problem and who are not obese. It is made up of soft plastic containing tongue-sized suction cup.

The purpose of this device is to pull the tongue and hold it in that position. Stop snoring mouthpiece is to be put before sleeping.

Mandibular advancement appliance can be fitted by a dentist only and it moves the tongue and the jaw to the front. This raises the soft palate and clears the airway so that you can get a good night sleep.

Stop Snoring pillow

Stop snoring pillows are the specially constructed pillows that help you breathe better while sleeping. The anti-snoring pillows are physically constructed in such a way that your head and spine are aligned in proper way so as to keep your breathing passages clear and open.

The middle area of the pillow where you place your head is thinner than the surrounding areas. The pillow also keeps the chin elevated off the chest so as to allow free passage of air and quiet breathing. There are different types of anti-snoring pillows to pick from depending upon the position that you tend to sleep.

The non-surgical devices alleviate the annoying problem of snoring so that you and your partner can get a sound sleep.


WAYS TO STOP SNORING NATURALLY

Snoring is an annoying sleeping habit that most people do, whether it is in a mild case or even the heaviest one that often being associated to the chainsaw sound.

This may be considered a simple matter, but when you have your spouse complaint about it for many times, you need to agree with him or her to stop your snoring. There are many ways you can try to stop snoring naturally, I want to share with you.

How to Stop Snoring Naturally With Prepared Sleeping

First, you need to find yourself some firm pillows and a humidifier to perform this action.

Ensure you are preparing the firm pillows instead of the soft ones because they will get the throat relaxed and this will constrict the air passageway.

To prevent the blockage of a snorers throat passageway, just elevate ones head by putting some pillows behind the head. The air passageway is limited if you use a low pillow that lets your tongue falls to the throats back.

Regarding the sleeping position, it is much better to sleep on your side rather than on your back. However, you are going to get other problems with your neck or shoulders in the morning with this side sleeping position. It is wise if you also consider buying earplugs for snoring. Also, try sleeping with a humidifier because the steam soothes the throat besides decreasing the amount of congestion.

You may try taking a nasal decongestant if you have allergies that cause nasal congestion or cold.

Nasal strips can also be applied as another way to keep your airway open without getting any over-the-counter medication. It will pull open the airway when being applied to your nose.

Otherwise, you may try a saline nasal spray if it is a dry nasal cavity that causes the snoring.

Another way in how to stop snoring naturally is by keeping your daily time of sleep and wake up in a regular pattern. You are going to experience complete exhaustiveness due to having not enough rest during your sleeping with the over-tiredness.


Watching Your Consumptions to stop snoring naturally

Since snoring is often also caused by having too much weight, especially on the neck area, you should consider losing your weight if it fits your condition.

Overweight people would snore due to the increase of fatty tissue amount in your throat narrowing the passageway.

Besides, being overweight would also increase your chance to get sleep apnea.

It is nice if you are improving your eating habits while also taking exercises regularly. If you are an obese, try to lose at least 10 pounds to reduce the snoring probability in your sleep.

If we take a look at our consumption, alcohol products and sleeping pills would make your throat muscles relaxed and also make the passageway gets narrow. Consuming dairy near your bedtime is not a good idea either; it causes buildup of mucus.

As it showed in some studies, eating about 3 – 4 hours before your bedtime, either it is having a heavy meal or only snack, would also increase your snoring probability.

Make sure you are having the food being digested properly. The simple methods I explain above are how to stop snoring naturally without surgery.


Best Stop Snoring Mouthpiece

Snoring, though it is not a potentially harmful health problem, can be very frustrating, especially if you are not single anymore. Your partner can be extremely disturbed due to the loud voice you do not intend to produce at all every night. If you let this take place for extended period, it would not be long before you find a gap of disharmony in your relationship.

There are many ways which are believed to be capable of arresting your snoring problem for good, starting from as simple as using over-the-counter medicine up to high risk surgeries. Each of this medication has its own advantages and disadvantages; using an anti snore mouthpiece, for example.

Anti Snoring Mouthpiece Reviews

anti-snoring-mouthpieceIt is a dental device specifically designated for those living with snoring problem. In general, all anti snoring mouthpieces seek to solve snoring problem by advancing your lower jaw forward to prevent it from blocking your airways. Mostly, it is done by wearing some kind of athlete mouth guard in your mouth. Every person has an unique form of jaws; thus, it may need a custom fitting carried on by specialist that can be consuming and costly.

Another shortcoming that comes with such anti snoring mouthpiece is that it imposes side effects that can be serious if used for a long term.

Since your lower jaw needs to be realigned, someday you may run into a discomfort or even a pain and you may not be able to bite or chew like you used to. In addition, such a dental device is quite a bother to wear, not to say that it is not always end up a success because survey has revealed that success rate only range between 50% and 70%.

So, What do I recommend?

Of all anti-snoring mouthpieces, the one invented by Good Morning Snore Solution is somehow a little different in a way that it is easier to use.

The overall concept is almost the same but instead of appearing as a potentially harmful mandibular advancement split, it comes in the form of small mouthpiece placed on the tip of your tongue.

By wearing this, you’re not just automatically advancing your jaw forward but also hold your tongue in place so that it won’t fall back while you sleep and blocking the airway (Most of the snorers have their tongue fall backward when they sleep; thus triggering snoring sound).

The good thing about this product is the one size fits all mouthpiece feature, you don’t need to do anymore custom fitting. The other positive thing is the higher success rate.

The founder MPowRx has done clinical research that conducted by Dr. Leslie Dort (MSc, DDS, Dip ABDSM) to prove the effectiveness of this product. It was published in the Journal of Sleep and BreathingMay 2008

These are the summarized:

Anti Snoring Mouthpiece Reviews

Shortcoming and Precaution

The product by Good Morning Snore Solution is not without any shortcoming, though.

During your first days of using its mouthpiece, you will probably feel that your saliva cannot stop flowing out.

However, it is just a matter of time before your system can adapt to such a minor addition and soon enough you will find it back to normal.

Compared to the side effects of common anti-snoring mouthpieces such as Pure Sleep, this one is way safer and easier to use, not to say that it is also quite affordable as well.

Similar with other healthcare products, the anti-snoring mouthpiece by GMSS also has a precaution for users. Below are the briefest versions of the precaution

  • Suppose you make use of other oral devices, make sure you consult your physician before using this product simultaneously.
  • Since breathing through your nose is of primary requirement, you are not supposed to use it when you have cold or other illness that can cause your nose to be stuffed up.
  • Do not apply any modification or whatsoever to the device for any reason.
  • Use only cold water and clinically proven cleaning solution to wash it.

Overall, I believe this one could be the best option for you, because this product has eliminate almost all weakness of other common mouthpieces, FDA certified and has proven effective by many clinical studies. If you are interested to buy this device, you could buy this from the official site and get 30 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the result.


The case of sleep apnea

Methods of treatment for lesser instances of sleep apnea involve self-help and behavioral changes. They include reducing weight, eliminating alcohol, quitting smoking, stopping taking sleeping pills, sleeping on your side, and maintaining regular sleep hours.

For more critical cases of sleep apnea, these self-help treatments are not adequate. Several other sleep apnea treatments are available. These include:

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

best cpap machineThe most commonly recommended sleep apnea treatment is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (CPAP). A CPAP machine donates airway pressure to a sufferer of sleep apnea.

The sleeper wears a mask-breathing device at bedtime.

Pressurized air is provided, which the sleeper breathes in, preventing the airway from collapsing and arresting apnea episodes and snoring.

The CPAP machine supplies constant air pressure irrespective of if the person is taking a breath or expiring.

A CPAP machine is an effective sleep apnea treatment, but many of the afflicted have found the breathing mask to be uncomfortable. With the help of recent advancements, CPAP masks are now more pleasant to wear. Newer CPAP masks come in many styles, allowing sleepers to find the mask that works best for them.

Improvements in CPAP sleep apnea treatment have included adjustable air pressure. Bi-level PAP affords an opportunity to the sufferer to switch from high to low air pressure during exhalation. Auto PAP automatically changes air pressure via an internal regulator at fluctuating instead of stationary levels.

Oral Appliances

Oral appliances and snoring aids that work such as a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer, which fit in a sleeper’s mouth, are an excellent mode of mild to moderate sleep apnea treatment.

These oral appliances aid in keeping the sleeper’s throat and airway unobstructed. Many sufferers find the oral appliances easier to use than a CPAP machine, but not as useful.

Other oral appliances fit around the head and chin to adjust the lower jaw of the wearer, bringing it forward and relieving snoring and apnea.

Two oral instruments that are usually used to bring the jaw forward during sleep are the Tongue Retaining Device and the Mandibular Repositioning Device. These instruments are procurable from a dentist who specializes in sleep apnea treatment. Some sleep apnea sufferers find the oral device uncomfortable and experience jaw problems, nausea, saliva build-up, soreness, and tooth tenderness.

Surgery

Certain surgeries can remove tissues, tonsils, or adenoids, keeping the airway from being able to close and are an alternative sleep apnea treatment. Surgery may offer permanent relief, but there are risks of infection and complications. Depending on the type of sleep apnea, the surgery options for sleep apnea treatment include:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) – A surgeon removes the tonsils, adenoids, tissue from the back of the mouth, and from the top of the throat.

Maxillomandibular Advancement – A surgeon moves the upper and lower jaw forward, enlarging the space behind the soft palate and tongue.

Read This Before You Buy the Calphalon HE400WM

What a wonderful time saver for harassed mums who have a horde of hungry kids waiting for their waffles. The product is made of excellent materials and manufactured for extended durability. If you’re looking for a good Belgian waffle maker you should really consider buying this one!

Here is a look at the high points of this ultra-efficient waffle-maker

  • Made with aluminum cast plates that are non-stick. No more messy iron plates to scrub and clean! The waffles are much easier to get out of the appliance too.
  • It produces 4 Belgian waffles at a time and has a power rating of 1500 watts.
  • A helpful instruction booklet explains how to use all the features.
  • The waffles are roughly 11 inch by 6 inch in size. Quite good!
  • The plates are housed in stainless steel casing. This not only increases durability but also gives a sleek appearance.
  • The size is compact and easy to handle and store in the kitchen.
  • LED indicators tell you when the waffles are ready. This way you will not be nervous about getting them burnt.
  • The product has an automatic shut off feature after 60 minutes. So you can plug it on and continue doing other chores while your waffles get cooked. There is a chime that tells you that your waffles are ready.
  • There is a one year warranty provided.
  • There is a choice of shade setting among light, medium or dark shades.

The best part about this waffle-maker is that you do not have to keep peeping in to see if the waffles are done. The chimes and automatic shut off see to that very effectively!

Calphalon HE400WM Downsides:

Not really too many except that the bottom of the waffle-maker might tend to get slightly darker than the top portion. The other point is that it is slightly highly priced. But when you think about the fact it produces no less than 4 waffles at a time, you are paying for high quality and efficient performance.

Summary:

Calphalon HE400WM was designed and manufactured with the aim making honest-to-goodness Belgian waffles. It is also easy to clean and maintain. Even newcomers who might be afraid of getting their waffles underdone or burnt can use this to fine-tune their waffle making skills. In short, a product that gives good value for money.

Waring Pro WMK600 Review | Delicious Waffles in your Breakfast

Do you want to delight your guests or family members on a warm Sunday morning by serving a dish of restaurant class breakfast?

When it comes to making two waffles simultaneously, taste and quality of both the waffles are a prime concern for the homemaker. However, with Waring Pro Waffle Maker in your kitchen– your days of worry are over! Waring Pro WMK600 review well complements the fact that this double Belgian waffle maker is designed to create two waffles perfectly each time; you are on a pursuit of serving delicious dishes for breakfast.

Furthermore, the waffles are crisp at the edges; being light and fluffy inside. The additional deep pockets also tend to produce waffles that are one-inch thick and allows you to stuff the pocket with fillers like syrup, whipped cream, butter, fruits, or any ingredient that catches your fancy.

Features of the Waring Pro WMK600

  • 1400-watt Belgian waffle maker creates two waffles at one time
  • Deep and round shaped waffle plates feature a rotational function allowing an even bake
  • Added browning control knob and rotary thermostat allows a customized cooking
  • Easy on/off toggle switch along with audio indicators
  • Stainless steel casing offering a stylish look

The Waring Professional WMK600 review welcomes a positive change in creating crispy waffles right at the comfort of your own home. The on/off toggle switch and the indicators signal that the waffles are done thus offering a convenient cooking minus hassle.

Cooking Waffles in Waring Pro WMK600

Cooking waffles in the well-designed Waring Pro Waffle Maker is relatively easy. All that it requires is careful pouring of the batter onto the rounded waffle plate. For, pouring the batter onto the second rounded plate, you just need to lower the lid of the first plate. The built-in rotational function allows the raffles to be baked evenly throughout.

Once, you are done with pouring the batter onto the waffles plates, you need not worry further about the cooking, as the Waring Pro WMK 600 takes the charge completely. The LED light indicators, audio indicators, and the browning knobs signaling at different stages of cooking, plays the trick in serving delicious plates of waffles on the breakfast table. Such interesting features and the easiest cooking procedures complement the positive Waring Pro WMK600 review.

THE SIGNALS AND THERMOSTAT COOKING

The two LED light indicators signal towards pouring the batter onto the plates once the waffle-maker is ready and once, the waffles are completely baked. The thermostat control allows you a customized cooking experience, as it lets you bake in lighter and deeper shades of golden brown. Furthermore, the waffle plates of the waffle-maker are easy to extract and clean; seemingly, a great Waring Pro WMK600 review.

So, why wait? Get your hands on the Waring Pro WMK600 today and treat your guests to the tasty waffles for breakfast.

Best Men Watches- Feel confident with your wrist watch

Men’s watches make great gifts. It is equally appropriate as a personal token, or a professional reward. Shopping for a new watch can be a bit overwhelming, however, as there are many styles and choices. But what if your recipients love Breitling, Omega, or Rolex watches?  Where should you look?

Any good watch choice begins with knowing your recipient’s personality. Even if you know you plan to purchase a Rolex, you need to ask yourself some questions. Will the watch be worn with business attire, or just on weekends? Will he wear it while playing sports? Taking a few minutes to think about how and when the watch will be worn can help narrow down your selection.

Think about your recipient’s personal style as you browse around, considering different bands and face designs such as Bluetooth Smartwatch. You should consider features, such as calendars and digital versus analog.   Also consider your budget, and how much you are willing to pay. For example, while all Rolexes are high-end watches, there is a wide price range.

If you are looking for watches online, some brands are not available directly over the internet – at least not through official channels. Rolex is the best-known example of this situation. You can buy pre-owned Rolex watches on sites like eBay, but they won’t be guaranteed by Rolex.

You’ll also probably see ads for fake Rolexes when surfing the internet. These fakes are obviously not sanctioned by Rolex, and are a sticky subject because it isn’t legal for them to use the Rolex name. If you’re looking for a Rolex watch, your best bet is to deal with a certified Rolex dealer.

If you’re looking for higher-end men’s watches such as Breitling and Omega, one of the best selections available online is at Bacario.com. They carry some pretty high-end stuff, like the Breitling B-2-241 Gents Watch . It’s certainly not cheap, at $10,960, but imagine how you would feel wearing a watch like that!

 

What If You’re Not Sure What You’re Looking For?

Try browsing a few jewelers to get a good idea of your choices. Once you have settled on a particular watch design, you can start shopping around for the best value for your money. A watch like a Rolex is a once in a lifetime gift, and one that many men dream about. The man who receives one is sure to treasure this watch for many years to come, so consider your purchase carefully. Then, sit back and take pleasure in the delight that is sure to be obvious on his face.

Nutri bullet RX vs Blendtec blenders

Nutri Rx Blender

Deciding to make the jump up to one of the more commercial type blenders on the market is often a necessity if you plan on making daily smoothies as part of your healthy lifestyle.

The 2 most popular options I evaluated before making my decision was the Nutri bullet RX and Blendtec blenders.

They are both a bit more expensive than the average blender you find in most stores but make a world of difference in value and uses you can get out of the blender.

Seriously, once you start using one of these blenders you never want to go back to the old traditional blenders for many reasons.

Both blenders are optimally designed to help make blending more efficient and not jam up as much with ingredients. Both options are also much more powerful than the common blender which allows you to make smoothies in a fraction of the time of typical blenders without worrying about burning out the motor or getting it jammed.

One of the key selling points for me in my decision to purchase the Vitamix was the spill-proof vented lid with removable lid plug which makes is super easy to add additional ingredients while the blender is running. It also comes with a “tamper” which is like rod you can use to push down or stir to help the blending process along if any additional nudging is required.

The last selling point that put me over the edge with the Vitamix blender was how super easy it is to clean up. You just add some warm water and a few drops of dish soap, and run on high for 20-30 seconds or so. I do one more rinse with just plain warm water to make sure no material is left on the walls of the blender and blend for a few more second and done. No disassembling required to clean out various components.

The vitamix took away all the excuses I used to have that prevented me from making smoothies as often as I had liked.

Just because I chose the Vitamix over the Blendtec doesn’t mean there might be other advantages to the Blendtec you might prefer over the Vitamix. Ultimately it is up to what works best for you and your budget and either one you go with take you the next level in becoming
a smoothie master!

Responsible Sex means so much more than having protected sex

I have been waiting to meet C for months.  Finally the day was approaching.  We have talked about it for a long time and I’ve been waiting patiently.

A lot of details have been discussed.

As a Dom, I am certain he is exactly what I need.  As a person- he’s a great guy who is really easy to talk to and someone I would consider a friend since we’ve been talking for several months now.

So balancing my checkbook yesterday- I realize that my funds are low.  Very low.  Pay day is in two weeks, funding from school is in 10 days.

Hmmmmm…..  I considered my options in regards to my plans with C.  I could ask that he picks up the room this time, and I could get it next time.

I have been told by more than one friend that the guy should pay for the room.  Always.  Yeah- I don’t sign on to that.

I am an equal partner in my sex life.  This is not a date.  This isn’t my boyfriend.  (Maybe then I would feel different then.) In this case- I would need to split the room cost- or cancel.  I always agree to split the cost of a hotel room.  I have paid for them and a few times had it paid for- but I always offer to pay for at least half and I always have it.

So I emailed C today and humbly told him my situation and said we would have to cancel until when my financial situation is better.  We chatted later in the day and discussed other options.

He was interested in buying one of the best sex toys I have. He would pay for the room- and this would actually put money a decent amount of extra cash in my pocket.

I pondered this idea, but was on the fence because I’m not certain that I want to part ways with what he wanted to buy from me.

Also- it seems somewhat unethical for me to make a profit when I was sent something for review.  I thought about this a little more, but ultimately I told him that I would feel better when money was not at issue.  Not the first time.  Maybe after some time has passed, once we know there will be more times, maybe then we could alternate who pays.

If I can’t afford my half, and the agreement has always been that we would split the cost of a hotel room, then I won’t do it.  Right now, I can’t comfortably afford it.

Before I am anything, I’m a parent.  It’s my responsibility to put food on the table and make sure my family has their basic needs met.

I can’t indulge in my extra curricular activities if it’s going to interfere with my ability to pay my bills. When I’m having sex I don’t want to be thinking about how I’m going to feed my family.  I insist on paying for my part and I feel weird letting someone else pay because I can’t afford it.

C asked me why this was.  He knows how I get my the toys I review on this blog, and didn’t feel at all weird about offering to pay me for something I got for free as well as paying for the room.

He asked if it was because of the overtones about prostitution?

Hmmm- no.

I have had sex for money before.  That doesn’t bother me at all and if that WAS the situation then that would be laid out from the beginning.  I just feel like if I’m going to have this ‘hobby’ I need to be able to afford it.

That’s logical, right?

I have a friend who allows himself to drink and experiment with recreational drugs, just so long as it doesn’t effect the rest of his life.  He cannot be late for work.  He can’t call in sick.  He can’t fail any tests.  I guess in some ways I have these same controls when it comes to my sex life.

What kind of requirements do you put on yourself in order to enjoy your extracurricular (sexual) activities?

Silicone Sex Lube- You’ll Know You Want it

best silicone based lubricants

Finding the perfect lube is not an easy task! There are at least a million different products available, which can be totally overwhelming if you’re not sure what you’re looking for.

The first thing you should consider is what basic formulation is best suited for you – silicone or water-based. While these aren’t the only kind of lubes you’ll find, the majority fall into either category.

Silicone lube rocks!

Silicone lubricants, in my opinion, have a number of advantages compared to a water-based product, but one big downfall. Silicone is a fantastic material for sex toys and we here at Afrobotic rave about it quite frequently.

The only downside is that silicone sex toy + silicone lube = melted silicone mess! I’m not talking about Wicked Witch of the West melting into a puddle, but it will break down and ruin your toy. Therefore, you can’t ever use a silicone-based product with your favorite silicone cock.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about the pros – because despite having a treasure chest full of awesome silicone toys, I still love silicone lube.

My favorite thing is that silicone lube tends to last longer than a water-based product. If you’ve got a good product, you won’t be reaching for the bottle throughout your fun, because this stuff lasts. This is definitely the case if you’re playing in the shower – a water-based product will wash down the drain before you have time to even turn on your vibe!

It’s also a pretty good lube for anal sex because it lasts so much longer. One of the keys to great anal sex is lots of quality lube. This is a lesson that you don’t want to learn the hard way!

Finally, with silicone lube, you’re also less likely to end up a sticky mess during sex. A lot of people will say that water-based lube is more like the natural lubricant a woman creates, and I tend to agree.

Unfortunately, in my experience, you’re also much more likely to end up reapplying or with a sticky situation. Silicone is nice and slick, and it stays that way.

In the long run, it’s important to consider these factors and many others. Chances are no one lube will suit your every need, but with a couple of fantastic favorites, you’re sure to cover your bases!

Which are the best silicone lubricants?

Here are a few of my favorites.

i-Lube Personal Silicone Lubricant

This is definitely a winner for frugal shoppers.

It’s one of my favorites and only $15 for 1.7 ounces. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but you only need a couple of drops to keep things running smoothly.

It comes in a convenient (and relatively cute) pump bottle that makes application easy and prevents messes. It’s also odor-free and tasteless, so you don’t have to worry about a mouth full of yuck. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

Pjur Woman Bodyglide

This is one of the best silicone lubricants that is made specifically with women in mind. It’s more gentle for those of you who have sensitive skin and is actually a moisturizer.

It’s very slick, long lasting and will definitely enhance your sex life.

 

Pjur Eros Light Love

This is a thinner version from Pjur’s Eros line. Like Pjur Woman, it’ll set you up for a night of slippery fun without any weird aftertaste.

Personally, I think it is closer to a woman’s natural lubrication than the regular Eros lube, but probably not as good for anal play because it is thinner. It is also our best lube for fleshlight.

Pjur is without a doubt my favorite brand of lube, but it is a little more expensive. I’ve never heard anyone complain about it and swear that it’s worth the extra cash!

Both Pjur products I’ve suggested here are really great and, to be honest, I probably couldn’t tell them apart in a blind test.

If you have sensitive skin, you should probably stick with the milder Woman, but I highly recommend both. Just a few drops and you’re good to go.

People who don’t use lube don’t know what they’re missing! Even if you don’t think you need it, a quality lube will enhance your bedroom antics and is something every woman should have in their bedroom.

Keep an eye out for a review of water-based lubes, because this silicone slut can’t live without it!

The Goddess

You’ve known her for more than half a year; and you’ve slept with almost everyone who you’ve seen in her immediate vicinity by now. Well, not everyone, but it feels like it.

These were people who you weren’t not attracted to, but they didn’t drive you particularly crazy, either. They were… comfortable. You liked them well enough, but didn’t like them so much that you’d be disappointed if they turned you down.

She was always the one you wanted the most, which was probably why you could never bring yourself to approach her. You remember seeing her dancing at Zeta Mu’s disco party that one time: tall and awkwardly graceful, like a swan who hadn’t quite learned how to cut cleanly through the water.

The press of people made the dancehall hot, and her short brown hair was stuck to her pale skin. Sweat dripped in small rivulets down her neck. This picture will be forever burned into you mind: her shaking her bangs out of her face, glistening beads of moisture flying in the strands’ wake.

She’s renders your alcohol-induced uninhibition absolutely useless. You want to kiss her, tell her how gorgeous she is (the words are on the tip of your tongue), you want to do something but, as drunk as you are, you can’t. You know you’d be too hurt if she rejected you.

The steps you took were tiny. You put your hand on her waist and pulled her close, moving and swaying to the music for mere minutes until the heat rushed to your face and you pulled away. She didn’t follow you…

That night you desperately pulled that slightly dumpy, shy butch girl into kiss; daydreaming as she went down on you in your bed; imagining other people in her place; hating yourself for it afterwards.

Maybe, you ask yourself, you’re working your way up the ladder. Screwing up your courage to finally approach her. But you know all that isn’t really true.

Everyone thinks she’s dominant, even she does. But you’re not fully convinced. She stomps around in her combat boots, yells abuse at her beer pong opponents and mock-spars with her best friend in her spare time. She thinks that starting a real Fight Club would be pretty damn cool.

Underneath all that (all the hardness and Zhenka and cigarette smoke), however, something is a little off. Something about her strikes you as deeply vulnerable. And you realize that she’s akin to an oyster: hard shell. But soft, soft insides. And pearls. That only those who get past her defenses can touch.

Everyone thinks she's dominant, even she does. Click to Tweet

It’s all the Emperor’s fault, really. At least that’s what you tell yourself. In actual fact, you were the one who finally caved and confessed your feelings to her. Once again, it all started with one too many plastic cups of booze at Zeta Mu.

“By the way, I’m insanely attracted to you.” That’s what you said. And not even to her face – you texted her and then left before anything could happen.

The next day, she still hadn’t replied. This was probably her way of indicating her lack of interest. You’d expected as much. Oddly, you didn’t mind. But you felt immensely relieved, like a large weight at been lifted off your chest. (You realized that your desire had been sitting inside of you for all this time; clamouring so loudly you felt as though you’d burst.) She said nothing about it when she saw you next, and you both acted as normal.

…But it didn’t end there, like you’d thought it would. When the Emperor came to visit, he bombarded you with questions about your “newfound” attraction. (It had been one of the first things she’d mentioned to him upon his arrival.)

And then he decided that you and she would be a very good idea, so started attempting to not-so-subtly get the two of you together. (As in: telling her more about you and picking you up, unceremoniously dumping you in front of her, and announcing that the two of you should hurry up and hook up already.)

Nothing happened until two weeks after the Emperor had left. It started with a few emails. Then lunch. Then the inevitable conversations about your views on sex, hooking up, having a “fluid” sexuality, women (and how frustrating they could be). You can usually never tell when someone is interested in you, but once the “sexual & relationship history” conversation happens, that’s a pretty good indicator. You felt like you were being evaluated…

To be continued…

First Time Anal Sex Guide for the Exploratory Guy and Girl

First time anal sex guide

Communication & relaxation are keys for the most erotic & pleasurable anal experience. Both you and your partner should have a middle ground, both of you need to be relaxed and open for discussion.

Vanishing both your fears and straightening out the myths are essential, especially if one or both of you are concerned about it. Continue reading “First Time Anal Sex Guide for the Exploratory Guy and Girl”

Want to Improve Your Sex Life? Sex Toys & Lubricants will do the Trick…Quick!

improve your sex life

Every relationship reaches a plateau. Your sex life losses it’s spice after being together for a long time. Keeping the passion in your bedroom saves your relationship over all.

If you are doing the same techniques over and over again, you loose the edge of being aroused. It is just sex and no longer great sex. Ever heard of this phase…”I wish it will be over so we all can go to sleep.”

Continue reading “Want to Improve Your Sex Life? Sex Toys & Lubricants will do the Trick…Quick!”

Babeland Edible Body Chocolate: A review

Babeland edible body chocolate

Here’s the thing…I am not at all a chocoholic (what the fuck, spell check?  Since when is that a word?).

I like a little bit every now and then, but most of the time I can just do without.

Also, I am not really a fan of mixing food and fucking.  I mean, I can appreciate the sensuality that goes along with being fed by a lover, but I am not into licking whipped cream off of body parts or incorporating food into the actual act of sex. No thanks. Continue reading “Babeland Edible Body Chocolate: A review”

Bed Wetting Alarms – Many Kinds To Choose From

best bedwetting alarm

Bedwetting alarms are really efficient at preventing bed wetting, whether it is in children, teenagers or adults.

However, before parents resort to using bedwetting alarms to wake the child from sleep at the first sign of bedwetting, they should get the child checked out by a doctor.

This is to make sure that medication or an underlying problem is not the cause of the enuresis, which is the medical name for nocturnal bedwetting.

For most children the sensation of having to use the bathroom is alarm enough to wake them from sleep. For those that wet the bed, bed wetting alarms have proven to be very effective. Bed wetting alarms are useful, but not a compete answer.

Using bedwetting alarms

There are several ways you can use the best bedwetting alarms. Even though the child wears the bedwetting alarm on his or her nightclothes, it can be loud enough to wake parents so that they can get the child up in time to go to the bathroom.

These bedwetting alarms go off with the first detection of moisture, helping the child not to wet the bed.

The idea behind using these bedwetting alarms is that eventually the child will learn to detect the need to urinate and will wake up on his or her own.

Parents and children have reported improvement in children’s wetting the bed within two weeks after using bedwetting alarms.

Reduce emotional distress

Bedwetting alarms help to make enuresis less traumatic for both children and adults. When children can wake up using the alarm, they feel better about themselves because they are embarrassed. It also makes it easier on the parents and children with cleanup in the morning.

As they used to waking up instead of wetting the bed, they will feel so proud of themselves and want to keep using the alarms. The bedwetting alarms do treat the problem of bedwetting rather than just treat the symptoms of the problem.

Bed wetting alarms should make themselves redundant

When you use bedwetting alarms, you do have to wear special underpants so that you will not wet the sheets. The sensor on the alarm emits a sound loud enough to wake the child so that he/she can scramble out of bed and hurry to the bathroom.

These bed wetting alarms can be set so that they will not wake another child sleeping in the same room. The idea is that the child will learn to anticipate the alarm going off and if this happens at about the same time every night, waking up at that time can become a habit.

Within two or three months of use, it is possible that the child will no longer need to use a bed wetting alarm at all. The whole idea of bed wetting alarms is to make themselves redundant.

There are many different manufacturers of bed wetting alarms. All of them are not alike, so you may have to experiment with a few models of bedwetting alarms before you find one that works best for your household.

What you do have to realize is that the alarm that works for one child may not necessarily work for another. You should not dismiss the whole idea if the first bed wetting alarm you buy is not effective. You have to choose one of the bed wetting alarms that your child feels comfortable using and one that does wake the child out of a deep sleep.

Loft Bed Ideas for a Teenager’s Room

Decorating a teenager’s room can be difficult. A teen’s bedroom may not be very spacious and finding the right type of furniture to fit in with a teenager’s tastes can be quite a task.

A bunk bed would save space but isn’t all that desirable as every teen needs his or her own personal space. That’s why the loft bed, a variant of the bunk bed family, is a great way to create more space in a room while at the same time being acceptable to a teen’s critical standards.

teen-loft-bed-with-deskEven if your child is not quite a teenager yet, the idea of getting a loft bed makes for an easier transition to college life in the dorm where college loft beds are quite prevalent. Loft beds are also fairly uncommon and thus “cool” enough for a teen to like and brag about when there are friends over.

The idea of a loft bed is similar to that of a bunk bed with two beds stacked directly one on top of the other. The only real difference is that the lower bunk is converted for some other practical use.

The most common and popular model loft bed is with a desk underneath. This gives a teenage ample desk space to do homework on or place a computer. Outside of studying, homework, and a few extracurriculars, there is not much else a teenager should be focused on.

That’s why it’s a great idea to choose a loft bed with a desk. By being able to effectively stuff a desk underneath the loft bed, you free up that extra space in a teenager’s bedroom that would normally have been used up by a stand alone desk.

Another loft bed idea for teens is with a futon loft bed. The top layer remains a bed for the teen but the bottom bunk is a futon. This offers a grown-up seating area nearly as good as a couch. Imagine how cool your teen will be with friends with a futon in the bedroom!

The best part is, if your teen has a sleepover, then the futon can be quickly converted into a bed. Make sure if you select this loft bed configuration that the futon below is actually a futon bed. Most futons should be able to lay completely flat by their design, but futon beds are generally designed more thoughtfully for a better sleeping experience.

A great benefit of the loft bed with futon is you can seat it opposite a television so your teen has a place to sit while watching TV or playing video games. Otherwise your teen may have to sit on the floor or on the bed, both less comfortable seating surfaces than a futon. It can also encourage them to sit at an acceptable distance away from the TV screen, provided you place the loft bed far enough away.

Loft beds are a great idea for decorating teen’s rooms. Due to their unusualness and usefulness, they have a cool factor which makes teenagers very receptive to the idea. Loft beds save space by providing some extra utility like a desk or a futon among many other configurations, and growing teens will appreciate the additional space.

Teenagers spend a lot of time in their rooms so you want them to be comfortable while having a very adult personal space. With this in mind, there are many loft beds that can be quite juvenile with multiple colors or even themes like a castle, so be sure to buy a loft bed that your teenager will continue to love and cherish even as he or she nears that age when it is time to go to college.

Best Penis Pump

What is vacuum penis pumping?

A clear, usually acrylic cylinder is placed around the penis. At the end of the cylinder a hose is connected to either a hand pump, or an electric pump, which evacuates air from the cylinder. As the air is removed from the cylinder, the penis is pulled further into the cylinder and towards the walls of the cylinder, making the penis larger.

Do penis pumps work? How long will the results last?

This depends on a number of factors. The length of your pumping session, the frequency of your pumping sessions, and the sizes you achieve with the pump on. It would be possible, with daily pumping to maintain the increases constantly if you have the time to pump that often. Most increases are temporary and the penis returns to its normal size after a day or so.

Your penis will stay quite large for at least several hours after pumping. There are no well documented scientific studies of the long term effects of pumping but it stands to reason, that with continuous use of vacuum pumps over a long period, that increases could be made permanent.

Many pumpers who have been at it for several months or years will cite increases of an inch or more, though documented hard evidence is difficult to come by. There are numerous pictures and document cases of people stretching lips, earlobes, necks, so it stands to reason that continuous vacuum pumping over a period of months or even years would result in a larger penis.

If you are circumcised you can also expect more loose skin on your penis, so that you begin to develop a skin coverage of the penis head (a new foreskin).

How much of a gain can you expect?

The answer to this question is quite obvious. It’ll vary for each individual. Most get much larger increases in girth than in length. The area just below the head of a penis which has been circumcised will often get much larger than the rest of the penis in girth, after being pumped for some time.

It’ll form sort of a fat, thick doughnut around the penis, making the penis looked somewhat deformed. This occurs only with long pumping sessions. The swelling in this area is disproportionate to the rest of the penis, and usually takes longer to go decrease in size than the rest of the penis.

It’s difficult to say how much of an increase in length will occur, but it’s possible, while in the cylinder to gain as much as 2 inches or more in length. Again, the increases in girth will be much larger, and longer lasting.

If you’re more concerned about getting increases in length it is suggested that you not buy a cylinder which is too much larger than the width (though don’t get it too small in diameter – you need some room) so that your penis will get more of a pull in length, in a long cylinder, than of pulling outward (girth).

How do you get started?

While you may have noticed a number of penis pumps in adult bookstores, or in the backs of magazines, for someone who is serious about enlarging their penis through vacuum pumping, only higher quality, more expensive pumps will work properly.

The principal is the same for all of the penis pumps, the difference being that most of the inexpensive ones are not able to achieve a high enough level of vacuum to really work well, whereas the more expensive ones have higher quality parts, form good seals with the body, and achieve high vacuum levels.

The inexpensive penis pumps also tend to be made so cheaply that when high levels of vacuum are achieved the cylinder actually starts to collapse, kind of as if you were to suck the air out of a two liter plastic bottle. Another thing that happens with them is the base of the cylinder will flare out, as you apply increasing levels of vacuum, eventually destroying the cylinder. You can get an excellent pump, which includes a cylinder, and a hand pump, for as low as $100.

General Advice on pumping :

Shave the base of your penis and testicles back about an inch or more so that when you put the cylinder on you can get a good seal. You may wish to shave the day before you pump, because if you cut yourself while shaving and immediately apply the pump, any bleeding may be aggravated ( though usually not by much…)

It helps to apply the pump with an erection, though it’s not required. The pumps do have medical uses for men who suffer from impotency. Pumps can be used to obtain an erection, maintaining it erect with a ring, removing the pump to engage in intercourse.

Begin pumping up. You may wish to press the cylinder against your body to keep your testicles from being pulled up into the tube. This is painful for some men (though some men pump them as well, to really big sizes).

The important thing to remember is to take it slow and gradual. Increasing the pressure too rapidly will cause bruising. Don’t be overly worried about it though. Enjoy the experience. If you’re healthy, any bruising usually goes away after a day or so.

Never push to the point of pain. If it becomes at all painful, release some of the pressure. Pump it up until you’re at the highest vacuum level you can comfortably obtain. Leave it on for a while, watch television, read a book, surf the internet…

To obtain the best results from pumping you need to go for longer periods of time, an hour or more. If you have more time, go for more. Your increases will be larger. As your penis gets larger, increase the pressure some more, again, only to the point where you are still comfortable and not in any pain. Most men are amazed at the size increases which are possible.

I read one faq which discussed creating your own pump out of PVC pipe. I wouldn’t recommend this at all. If you can’t see your penis, you’re unable to monitor progress, or see if there is any discoloration. You need to be able to watch so that you can be alerted to the need to stop. Plus it can be quite pleasurable to see your penis double or more in girth, and gain an inch or two in length. It’s well worth the cost to buy a professionally made pump and cylinder.

Is it dangerous?

When done carefully, it is perfectly safe. The most frequent problem is someone who is overly anxious to see their penis very large, and goes overboard on the pumping, applying too much pressure to the penis. Applying too much pressure can result in temporary discoloration of the penis, and water blisters. Most symptom usually disappear after a few days.

The important thing to remember is to go slow and increase the vacuum gradually over a longer period of time, so that the change in size is not traumatic and does not cause damage to the penis. Long sessions are better than short high pressure ones.

Best bedroom ideas 2018

Painting ideas

Because bedrooms have far less foot traffic than say a kitchen, bathroom or living room the paint you actually use in these rooms does not have to be as durable.

Rather you can go for those paints, which have a much softer sheen such as eggshell ones. Painting a room is not difficult but coming up with bedroom painting ideas can to some people prove somewhat difficult especially as our eyes are actually able to distinguish between 7 million different colors.

However when it comes to redecorating a bedroom you need to understand what the colors are and what rules there are to follow, which will ensure that the colors you use will complement one and other. Firstly, let us talk about what the groups of colors are that you can use in your bedroom painting scheme.

1. Primaries – These are the three main colors of blue, yellow and red.

2. Secondaries – These are the colors, which are produced when the primary colors are combined together. For example by combining red with blue you get purple, red with yellow gives you orange and blue and yellow will give you green.

3. Tertiaries – This is another set of colors, which can be produced by combining the secondary colors with the primary color that neighbors it. So by combining orange with yellow will provide a further lighter orange, but orange with red will produce a much darker shade.

As well as understanding out the above, three grouping of colors work together to produce the many different shades our eyes can see. It is important that you keep the following rules in mind to ensure that they colors you use in your bedroom-decorating scheme are balanced and complement one and other.

However, along with making sure that the colors work together you need to ensure that the bedroom decorations you choose also match with what else is in the room.

Therefore, if you have any kind of unique bedroom furniture such as bunk bed with steps, which has particular colors on it, then you need to use paint colors, which will complement rather than make the furniture, stand out.

Remember you are trying to make this room a place of peace and tranquillity, which can help you to relax and forget about the stresses and strains modern living, places upon you.

In addition, when it comes to selecting an interior design bedroom scheme you need to ensure that you should not use one color alone in your design.

If you can yes use similar shades of the main color in the room, but also use colors that many find opposite on the color wheels you see in many home decorating and DIY stores to act as accents in your overall scheme. For example for a room that is blue in color not only include various shades of blue but greens and purples as well as each will provide a contrast and complement to the other.

Design ideas for boys’ bedrooms

Just as with girls coming up with the right design for their bedrooms can prove extremely challenging to their parents. Certainly when it comes to decorating a teenagers bedroom actually finding teenage bedroom designs that they like can often prove more difficult than one first imagined. In this article, we provide you with some ideas, which may make the whole task of decorating teenage boy’s bedrooms much easier when the time comes.

Firstly, it is important that the parent spends time sat down with their teenage son discussing what ideas they have if any for decorating their room. The more input they have into the design the more willing they are to actually get a room that they will like and feel comfortable in.

Secondly, you need to decide upon a color if they want something a little more vibrant or deep within the room say blues or purples, then to enhance the look aim for much lighter colored furniture and pillows. If you can go for light beeches along with some stainless steel or chrome, which will provide an accent to the colors that the walls have, been painted. If you can paint the walls, using two colors rather than choosing to opt for one color all over.

Next you need to look at bedding again it is preferable to select that which will combine and complement with the colors in the room. A great way of getting the ideal look when it comes to bedding is to go for something which is a combination of the colors within the room or is just one solid block of one of the accent colors you are using.

When it comes to buying boys roll-away beds and you have sufficient space within the room arrange an area that is set aside for them to study in. Nevertheless, if you do not have this amount of space available then why not go for a higher cabin bed which underneath comes with an area that can be utilized for studying. Many of these high cabin beds often come with a table and chair which provide the study area that a teenage son will need.

For adding accents to a room in order to add a completely new look to their room, but make sure that they match perfectly in with the design that has been chosen. For example if your son has chosen to go for a design which is very simplistic and modern then rather than putting up curtains replace with wooden or metal Venetian blinds. Not only are they great for keeping light out but will further enhance that contemporary feel to the room that your child is after.

If they are going to be using their room as a place to hang out with the mates after school and at weekends then add some kind of seating area for them. To give teenage boys bedrooms a place where they can relax with the mates include a few beanbags, which they can then use rather than having to rely on chairs or the bed.

The ULTIMATE Best dildos buying guide- 2016

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Dildos – What Are They?

A dildo is any object designed for vaginal or anal insertion. Dildos come both as vibrating or non-vibrating models and are made of silicone, plastic, rubber or the new soft, life-like materials like Cyberskin or Soft Touch.

Why would you want to use a dildo?

The truth of it is, women crave the pressure and fullness of penetration and the dildo can fill that need. Dildos are a logical and natural response to the fact that while many of us enjoy having our vaginas or anuses filled, no two of us have exactly the same preferences in terms of the length, width and shape of the object filling us.

Variety of Dildos

Dildos come in as many shapes and sizes as female vibrators! In fact, some dildos vibrate!

A dildo isn’t necessarily a substitute for a penis, although single women may want to think of their dildo as just that!

Those of us that masturbate with a dildo can manipulate our own pleasures, speed and penetration. This makes a dildo a nice tool for experimenting with your sexual awareness and responses. They are the ultimate self-assertion tool!

Men will also use a dildo for anal pleasure for themselves or their male or female partner. Keep your dildo clean and is the ultimate safe-sex buddy! Choose from many different shapes and sizes, some silicone and some made of a jelly material. Then there are the “realistic” dildos – a real treat!

The best dildos are made of various rubber and plastic compounds. The rubber is usually fairly soft and flexible in nature and the plastic stiff and hard. Some dildos use realistic Cyberskin rubber for an almost velvety human skin feeling. Other dildos use a soft jelly or high quality silicone rubber compound.

Some of the best dildos are made of glass or heavy duty acrylic. if gently warmed with water they will retain the warmth nicely!

Another advantage of glass dildos is that it’s also the best dong material for cleaning.


Dildos and Dongs

If you’ve been around for sometime, you’ll know that there’s nothing like a standard dildo.

They can be found in smooth, ribbed, veined, pointy, bulbous and myriad other shapes made with pleasure in mind.

thick huge dildoDildos also vary from a 4 inch to 13 inches in size. There are some dongs out there that are huge, thick and generally too big for most people.

These veined monster cocks are only for experts (or joke gifts).

Some large dildo models are longer than a foot in length and several inches in girth.

Can I use a dildo?

Anybody can use a dildo. Just penetrate a lubricated vagina or anus, remove, insert, and repeat.

Keep your jelly, rubber, and any dildo clean after each use. And wash before using too.


Types of Dildos

Double Dildo

best double dildoA double dildo is simply a longer than usual phallic shape that allows for simultaneous penetration of 2 vaginas in different positions.

Most double dildos are between 12 and 18 inches in length from tip to tip.

Another double type is the dual penetrating dildos, with two cocks, one for vaginal, the other for anal.

These dildos are used by a solo woman who crave the feeling of a penis in each cavity. The anal penis is usually smaller for an easier fit.

It’s generally assumed that only lesbian couples have any use for double dildos, but that’s not the case. A friend recently confided that she enjoys, even loves to have each head of a flexible jelly double ender in her anus and vagina.double anal dildo

This a smooth, more flexible King Cock Double Penetrator, with a slightly smaller head on one end, and veins. To top it off, the dildo pictured even has a grape scent.

When in use by a lesbian couple or bisexual women, a dual end dildo is inserted into each woman’s vagina.

This is easiest to attempt with your weight resting on your rear-end at first.

Once you have some practice with dildos of this nature, you can try doggie style.

Like all dongs, the double format comes in different materials, diameters, lengths, colors and even scents. Extravagant examples even have vertebra that allows the dildo to be shaped and bent.

Click here to see an assortment of realistic double dildos


Inflatable dildos

Most penetrating phalluses rely on vibration to give them something ‘extra.’

However, inflatable dildos rely on a simple pneumatic squeeze pump, to inflate a chamber inside the dildo with air.

This causes the dildo to grow in both ‘girth’ (the distance around the penis) and length.

A penis capable of increasing, and expanding proportions like this emperor dildo, with a suction cup on the base, isn’t something you find in nature.

Using the inflation capabilities while the dildo is inserted is the way most people use these sex toys.

The possibilities for this type of dildo are endless.

I’d suggest adding a vibrating cockring around the balls, for that little added tingle in the clitoris. However, how you choose to stick this to a surface is up to you.

There’s nothing to say you can’t use one of these inflatable’s for anal sex as well. Just be careful. And make sure you use lubricant.

It’s probably not the right dildo for an anal beginner. But an inflatable emperor could work well for an experienced person at sticking things up their butt.


Smooth glass dildos- hard and firm as heck

Glass dildosThe firmest, hardest dildos available are made using glass, pyrex or safety glass, and acrylic, which isn’t really glass at all.

The advantages of a glass dildo are it’s hard, smooth surface, and it’s thermal retention (it stays fairly warm once heated).

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in truth, a dildo made with glass is one of the best adult toys women can get. A clear acrylic dildo is made with a hard plastic that simulates the properties of glass.

Aside from colder metal or stone, nothing is as smooth as a hard acrylic or glass dildo, with it’s firm and unyielding qualities.


Ejaculating dildos- for a liquid surprise

ejaculating dildoSo you want a squirting strapon dildo that ejaculates. One that can squirt simulated semen like a penis?

Well you are in luck, because ejaculating dildos do exist, fulfilling that need to have a warm liquid spurting feeling.

A small squeeze bottle is a simulated semen reservoir for one of 3 ejaculate launching dongs shaped like a penis.

So far the best recipe for simulated ejaculate fluid is a bit of yogurt diluted with some warm water. Lubricate the dildo the same way you would any other, and masturbate with it, squirting simulated ejaculate liquid when you wish.

The ejaculation of ‘semen’ from a squirting dildo feels very nice when it sprays. It can feels awesome on the exterior of the vagina, anus or belly or even as a facial.

Some versions of squirt strapons are very detailed and lifelike in coloration, like this one that’s available on Adam & Eve. Others just have an ejaculation mechanism in a more plain dildo shape.


Big jelly dildos- Luxuriant and soft squishy rubber dildos

When you are looking for a dildo that’s soft, non-threatening, and fun, a huge jelly dildo is hard to beat.

These are usually affordable (if not downright cheap), and vary in shape, size, color, detail and scent. That’s right, some of these jellies have scent added to the rubber, most of them use some kind of sweet smelling fruit.

This nicely detailed penis shaped jelly style dong is realistic in many ways, but has a soft pink translucent color.

The jelly material itself is very smooth, flexbile and yet firm more so than spongy. It’s kind of like a solidified gelatin or medical shock absorbing gel.

The jelly that’s used in this type of dildo can also be used in vibrators, cock rings and pocket pussy masturbators for men.

It’s very slippery and slick with some lubricant added to the dildo’s surface, and to the orifice (vaginal or anal) where it will be inserted.

It’s common to find these dildos shaped like a penis, or with fancy knobs and ridges, or in a simple straight shafted dong. Double dildos up to 17 inches long can be found made of this jelly as well, they leave a good portion of the dildo to use for a grip if you use one solo.


Internal Vaginal Dildo Cameras

As voyeurism becomes a popular fetish in the tech age, internal pictures of the vagina are a new option.

Dildo Cameras are available to the public now that allow couples to view images inside the vagina. These come with a small camera lens in a dildo to get the pictures.

In some models, the camera even has a vibrator attached for stimulating the clitoris while you roll film internally.

Previously only gynecologists were abe to have the views and pictures these vagina cameras give of the inside area.

It was only recently that these vagina cameras were expensive enough for professionals only, but now any couple can acquire them.

You don’t even need video capture capability in your computer (although that works too). Only a regular VCR with the common RCA video input jacks is required.

You can make videos of internal vaginal photographs and create your own images for personal use. Or for a web site if you are into stuff like that.

Deep inside a pussy you can see the beautiful, moist pink colors and soft folds of the vaginal walls. Just be careful in there, you want to be invited back!


Best homemade dildos

best homemade dildo kitsWhat gift could be more personal than making a dildo molded from your penis?

You can buy a kit that allows you to mold a homemade dildo in the likeness of your penis. The best homemade dildo will even allow you to make a mold of your own penis and balls, realistic and detailed.

The body double kit has all the stuff you need to create a quality rubber replica of your own penis, in dildo or vibrator form (depending on what kit you buy). With this homemade dildo, you can give a TRULY uniqe gift to your loved one.

It’s a relatively easy process to create an anatomically accurate homemade sex toy with this kit/method.

Of course, you might be just as happy with a normal dildo sex toy.

The Strap on Dildo Harness

strap on dildo harnessDildo harness systems are designed to allow the owner to swap between different dildo/penis attachments.

But in an extraordinary twist of luck, this also makes for easy cleaning of the dildos.

A decent dildo harness should be adjustable as well as durable. Leather harnesses are often regarded as best. They are surprisingly durable. And the leather [produces a certain kinky feeling on your skin.

Synthetic straps can chafe the wearer when used with some exertion.

The strap-on dildo add-ons are attached to a basic leather harness that is worn on the hips and under the crotch. It can almost resemble a skimpy safety harness of some kind or a piece of sports gear.

Unisex strap on dildo harnesses will have a slit for both vaginal access as well as enough room for the male wearer to have the penis protrude below the strap style dildo attachment.

Vibrating dildos can also be purchased with remote vibrator motor controls for your strap on harness.

One of the more popular systems is the Vac u Lock. A vac u lock harness can accommodate a wide variety of dildo attachments that are custom made to vacuum snap on to the special vac u lock plug.

On a strap on harness like this vac u lock model, the dildo is interchangeable with others of different sizes, shapes and materials, all of which plug onto the front of the harness. This dildo can be removed from the strap on harness for cleaning.

This is an useful adjustability feature in itself with the vac u lock system, so that one leather harness can be used with several sizes of dido. You can even get vibrating dildo attachments, where the controls fit into a small pouch worn on the waist straps.

There should be waist straps and a ‘dorsal’ strap that goes underneath on any strap on dildo system.

Some have straps that go behind and around the buttocks, instead of a dorsal strap.

Some special strap-on dildo harnesses have vaginal plugs, and/or butt plugs on the dorsal strap.

Not only do these plugs offer some pleasure for the wearer, they also help to keep the dildo harness stable during enthusiastic sessions.

For cleaning the strap leather, remove the dildo, and use a little bit of saddle soap (from a shoe store).

Follow the instructions on the soap, and you should have clean leather harness straps, without cracking, drying or shrinking.


Miscellaneous Dildos

Some creative types have made dildos with neat capabilities, like inflatable shafts or the kind that squirts to simulate ejaculation. There are also the family of big dildos featuring larger dimensions.

Sex toy buying guide: What you must know before you buy a sex toy

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Just about every man or woman alive has done it. But most will deny it.

Most adults at one time or another consider deriving sexual gratification from an inanimate object.

And as we enter into an age full of plastics and latex the choice of inanimate objects is large.

People have been using items to enhance their masturbation experience for thousands of years.

In the past the sex toy materials of choice were composed of animal, vegetable and mineral materials. Things like cucumbers, polished oblong stones or hardwoods, and even molded leather phalluses were used by women as sex toys to penetrate the vagina.

Men were mostly limited to their own hands for masturbation up until the advent of latex rubber and clever new molding techniques around the turn of the century.

These days sex toys are an acceptable way to spice up your love life and/or practice safe sex on your own.

Should you get a sex toy?

A sex toy isn’t just for lonely people or folks who can’t get a date. Many sexually active men and women use the best sex toys alone for masturbation or with their sex partners.

Studies have shown that many women are unable to experience orgasm during sex without additional stimulation of the clitoris.

In light of this, the best vibrators for women and budget penis pumps straddle a fine line between adult toys and therapeutic devices.

With an abundance of relatively cheap sex toys costing less than $20 available to buy (and the discreet ease of buying a sex toy on the internet), it’s no wonder that sex toys are experiencing an explosion in popularity.

Don’t shy away from buying a sex toy if you are convinced it is the spice that’s been missing from your life.

The best sex toys can be therapeutic. They pack a lot physical and psychological benefits. And they liberate men and women all over the world to have a positive sexual attitude.

I hope that sex toys continue to be affordable. But more importantly, I hope that they keep keeping your sex life exciting for a long, long time.

Buying a Sex Toy Locally vs. Online

Chances are you’ve walked or driven past the dim or brightly lit windows of an xxx adult sex toy store in your city at one time or another, cryptically debated with a certain part of your brain whether you should walk to the counter. But then walked away, dejectedly.

If you haven’t, chances are that you live in a smaller city or town with no sex toy store around for miles or a state where the sale of adult sex toys is illegal.

Whether you have an xxx adult store in your home town or not you can still buy sex toys online with a credit card from any one of thousands of online sex toy merchants.

Let’s look at some of the pro’s and con’s involved with buying sex toys the older way or on the net.

Buying a sex toy in a brick and mortar store

Shopping in a real brick and mortar sex toy store has advantages in it’s favor and disadvantages just like any other e-commerce vs. traditional store.

The advantages are that you can see and hold the sex toy you’re interested in and you will likely walk out with the sex toy of your choice that same day.

You’ll have a good idea of what it’s made of, the size of the sex toy, and in some cases you can handle a demo model that’s out of the package.

The disadvantages of buying from your local sex toy store are things like it’s location, it’s clientele, and how comfortable you feel browsing through aisles of rubber penises and other things with strangers around.

Going into a sex toy shop can be one helluva challenge. Getting the sex toy you desire off of the shelf and taking it to the counter without turning red in the face is another!

But it all depends on the nature of your personality and how well matched the adult sex store you choose is suited to your tastes.

Buying online

If you live in a small town, village or hamlet with no xxx store or you reside in a state that makes it hard to buy sex toys you will probably want to buy online.

There are literally thousands of sex toy sites online. Try to choose a respectable and trustworthy sex toy site with prices and shipping options that make sense to you.

Be careful who you select. You will want a sex toy merchant with a secure site who has been around for some time. If you want my recommendation, try Adam and Eve.

Any of the sex toy stores you find through our links page are established and reliable options.

The price and selection of available sex toys varies from store to store online just like anything else. Go shopping around and do some link surfing to find the best deals.


Cleaning and Caring for Your Sex Toys

Keeping your sex toy clean and happy will help prolong it’s life and help keep you healthy.

Keeping it clean is one of the very most important things you can do for your best sex toy.

Almost any kind of sex toy can and will come into contact with bodily fluids of one kind or another. After using the sex toy, it’s very important to properly remove these bodily fluids and dry your sex toys completely.

How you do this best depends on the type of sex toy you have.


Best Vibrator Care

Waterproof vibrators are the easiest sex toys of all to wash, just rinse it in hot water with some soap.

I personally prefer, use, and recommend Spectro-Jel 609® to clean my waterproof vibrators. The cleanser so mild that it won’t harm most plastics or rubber.

It’s also good for having very little odor or flavor. You never know where your sex toy wind up.

Spetro-Jel comes in a handy pump dispenser bottle, which is another big plus for me.

If your vibrator isn’t waterproof you might want to wrap a small dry towel or tea towel around the cap where the batteries go during the cleaning process. This makes a crude barrier to stop water from running into the battery compartment and the motor area.

Once the vibrator is cleaned up, you will want to dry it completely with a clean towel.

Remove the cap from the base of the vibrator and take the batteries out for storage. Leave the cap off. This way your batteries won’t wear out if the vibe is left on by mistake. And the motor is also spared being worn out too.

Leaving the cap off also helps to prevent moisture from becoming trapped inside the shaft.

During use some vibrator materials absorb an amount of liquids. The amount is probably minuscule, but it can’t help to let your vibrator breathe until the next time you use it.

Keep your vibrator wrapped in a clean, dry lint-free towel or tea cloth (separate from the one used for drying). This helps to keep dust and airborne fibers and molds from settling on your sex toy.


Penis Masturbation Pumps, and Simulated Vaginas

Cleaning your penis pump cylinder is not much different from cleaning a drinking glass.

  1. First, you should remove any parts that are made to be taken off, rinse these parts with hot soapy water and wipe them with a cloth.
  2. Next fill the pump cylinder with warm soapy water and scrub out any mess inside with a dish cloth or scrub brush.
  3. Leave the penis pump sex toy where it can dry completely before you put it back together.

A lot of penis pumps and other male sex toys come with cleaning instructions in the package, follow those if they conflict with anything I say here.

The Best mattress topper for the money

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What’s the trouble with a spring mattress?

Besides the fact that they become uncomfortable in what seems like as soon as you get it home, they wear out. They no longer support the curves of our body. And they become so soft that they no longer provide the support we need while we sleep.

There is a way you can rejuvenate that old mattress with a visco foam mattress pad.

Made from memory foam a visco foam mattress pad is “viscoelastic” this means the foam will mold around your body providing the best support so you can get a restful sleep. What’s the amazing thing about memory foam? A visco foam mattress pad returns to it’s regular state as soon as you get up off of it.

The memory foam mattress was an instant success when it first came onto the market, so it only made sense that the foam mattress pad would do just as well. As a cost effective alternative to a new mattress why wouldn’t it.

Available at most department and furniture stores the price of a visco foam mattress pad varies anywhere from a hundred dollars to well over a thousand. It’s all dependent on the size and quality.

The thicker the pad the more durable and comfortable it will be. If you’re purchasing a visco foam mattress pad to forgo purchasing a new mattress then go for a thicker pad with a good density rating. The thicker the more contouring support the mattress pad will have.

Springing for a high end foam mattress pad is still only a fraction of the price of a foam mattress which can easily run into the thousands for a queen or king size frame.

Some Disadvantages

While it is more comfortable to have a thicker foam mattress pad, keep in mind the thicker the pad the more difficult it can be to get a normal fitted sheet of the topper and your mattress.

Also a visco foam mattress pad doesn’t breath extremely well, so during warmer months you might find the pad will hold your body temperature.

Not to pigeon hole anyone there are other alternatives to making your old mattress more comfortable. While a visco foam mattress pad is the crème de la crème many mattress manufacturers make pillow tops that can be added to our staircase bunk bed as well.

While they don’t have the durability of memory foam they will do a similar job to make your bed softer.

One last important point that needs to be made about foam mattress pads. For those that are allergic to dust mites, feathers, and other polyfill materials you will find the visco mattress pad is ideal. It’s chemical free, and designed with allergy sensitive people in mind. Allergy night aggravate snoring.

All in all it might not be a new mattress, but it’s the next best thing and a lot easier on the pocket book.

Visco elastic foam mattress toppers

best mattress topperThe next generation in mattress toppers the Visco elastic memory foam mattress topper will have you never wanting to get out of bed again.

Visco memory foam, which is the formulation NASA came up with originally to help astronauts have an easier re-entry is now primarily used for mattress toppers, as well as mattresses.

It’s a unique product that is sensitive to our body temperature, as it heats up it contours to our bodies shape providing us with much better support then a regular spring mattress or conventional mattress topper ever could.

Visco elastic memory foam mattress topper manufacturers are targeting people like you and I that have a 5-10 year old mattress that is starting to wear out but we’re not quite ready to take the step to purchasing a brand new mattress. Of course there’s no secret that spring mattresses wear out, and when they do it can leave us with a whole mess of problems including lower back pain, lost sleep, and fatigue. Adding a 2″ to 4″ visco memory foam topper to our old mattress gives us the feel of a new mattress but at only a fraction of the price.

Visco memory foam is considered to be medium in firmness which is the happy medium for comfort and support of our neck, back, head, and legs.

The real benefit is felt when you lay down on your bed for the first time after adding a Visco elastic memory foam mattress topper and feeling how your back and spine are supported. If you’ve ever had the chance to lay on a latex mattress, you’re familiar that latex tends to bounce back at the body when you lay on it.

In contrast memory foam will contour and adjust to the curves of your body providing a more comfortable support. It’s especially beneficial to those that already experience some spinal troubles or back pain.

Most visco memory foam toppers will be 2″ or 3″ thick, and as mentioned have a medium density around 3lb. This is enough to rejuvenate your old mattress and provide yourself with a better nights sleep.

There a numerous brands to choose from for a visco foam topper, and pricing will vary based on brand and size.

Electric mattress pad vs electric blanket

electric mattress padAre they the same thing, and electric blanket and electric mattress pad, while they accomplish the same thing don’t do so in the same way. While an electric blanket goes over us, a mattress pad goes on top of our mattress underneath us.

Generally because heat rises an electric mattress pad will keep you warmer on cold nights then an electric blanket. Because the heat from the blanket continually is moving away from our bodies underneath the blanket.

While the electric mattress pad releases heat that rises through us from below. This makes an electric heated mattress pad more efficient using less energy to heat us up.

The Electric Mattress Pad is also Therapeutic

A great way not only to keep warm, but an electric mattress pad is an excellent way to help us relax. Lower back, legs, and arms all benefit from the application of heat. If you suffer from arthritis then you’ll enjoy laying on top of a heated mattress pad, the temporary relief it provides can help you fall asleep on nights when you’re suffering.

Approximately 90% of the heat an electric blanket releases is lost rising up. While an electric mattress pad the heat once it’s released is still rising up, because you’re lying on top of the mattress pad you enjoy the heat rising though your joints and muscles. Your mattress will also maintain more heat, reducing the length of time the electric mattress pad needs to be on.

Other Benefits

Other benefits of an electric mattress pad are less wires to become tangled in while sleeping, and no lumpy blankets on top of you. if you’re an active sleeper that moves around a lot you might find that the wires from a heating pad or electric blanket can become tangled in your feet over night. Using a heated mattress pad removes this annoyance.

The heat that is produced by an electric mattress pad ensures you stay warmer longer. Often you won’t require your heated mattress pad to be left on for long because once your warm you can stay underneath your blankets.

The complete best vibrators buying guide for women-2018

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Your Buying Vibrator Guide

Vibrators for women are the most popular adult toy and this is the item most people think of when they think of sex toys. There are many choices today and we will do our best to enlighten you about the different types available.

Take good care of your vibrator and it should last a good while! Don’t expect miracles, though! They ARE novelties and most are made out of the U.S.

Talking About Batteries

Make sure the batteries are inserted correctly. Check the battery contacts and look to see whether they are shiny or corroded. Just because a battery or vibrator is new, doesn’t mean that there won’t be some corrosion present. This corrosion will prevent a good contact and make your pleasurable vibrations troublesome!

Use a good quality battery and remove it if your vibrator or other sex toy isn’t going to be used for awhile. It’s a good idea to stock a few extra batteries so you don’t get caught short just when you want to use your toy the most!

Multi-Speed versus Single-Speed Vibrations

Although most vibrators today are multi-speed models, you can still find single speed in the lower priced models. If you are particular about what speed you like, whether it is soft or more aggressive, be sure to purchase and use a multi-speed model of vibrator. You may want a more gentle speed in the beginning and a more vigorous vibration as you get closer to orgasm.

Classic Vibrators

Vibrators with the classic shape are still extremely popular with our customers. These are usually made of plastic or metal, but can also be made of silicone or other type of material.

The classic vibrator also comes in many different sizes. We would recommend a beginner stay with the normal sized vibe, such as the 6  or 7 inch models. In addition, to the regular plastic and metal vibes, there are also waterproof vibes with the classic shape.

These have become more and more popular. These are made waterproof, usually by using a waterproof seal in the battery opening. Make sure this seal is in place before using your “waterproof” vibrator in the water!

Specialty Vibrators
You can purchase a vibrator with just about any animal shape, from a Teddy Bear to a Koala, or from a Panther to a Butterfly! All of these fun vibes are made of a softer material, such as Soft Touch or Cyberskin. Either one of these materials are VERY comfortable, giving the user a wonderful, sensuous experience. They are easily washable. We would suggest the Foreplay Toy Cleaner in our Lube area. This will ensure cleanliness and safety for your toys.

Let us repeat the mantra, do not share your vibrators with others and do not use your vaginal vibrators as anal vibrators!

Egg-Shaped Vibrators

The egg-shaped vibrators are wonderful for using on the clitoris or anus. They are usually multi-speed and are attached to a battery pack with a long cord.

Shapes of these vibrating bullets and beads include the traditional egg-shape, bunnies, bears, dolphins and other exotic creatures. What we especially like about these small vibrators is their changeable speeds – you can get a spectacular orgasm from adjusting the speed and location of these fun toys!

G-Spot Vibrators

Women have just recently discovered the enjoyment of stimulating their G-spot with a specially curved G Spot vibrator. The G-spot is a cushion of tissue wrapped around the urethra. Your urethral sponge may be stimulated through the front wall of your vagina in the same that a man’s prostrate gland can be stimulated through the front wall of his anus.

Every woman has this urethral sponge, but not all have the same enjoyable response to its stimulation. We encourage you to explore your G-spot and find out if this is for you.

Vibrating Clitoral Stimulators

The butterfly vibes are small vibrators that rest close to a woman’s clitoris, usually by a harness type strap or inside a pair of panties. These small stimulators are quiet and private while being used.

You can find them in a variety of cute creatures! We highly recommend these to our customers! Do your housework while wearing one for an extra special kick!

Anal Vibrators

A vibrating butt plug can enhance and titillate the many nerve endings of your anus and is a fabulous way to enhance anal penetration. Feel free to use a regular vibrator for anal stimulation, but purchase one long enough that you can still hold onto it and not “lose it”. Many regular vibrators include sleeves and/or attachments for anal use.

It is critical that you use the best lube for fleshlight while using any anal toy. The anal canal does not produce lubrication like the vagina does. You would be rewarded with a very unpleasant experience if you did not use some anal lube!

How to stop snoring naturally

Snoring plagues many people all over the world. It is not just the snorers who are affected by the condition but their roommates or partners also suffer due to the loud, hoarse breathing sound.

Now, before you know how to stop snoring, you need to know the causes of Snoring. Snoring is caused due to vibration of structures (nose and throat) in the respiratory system that result in a sound due to irregular movement of air during breathing while sleeping. There are several possible factors responsible for snoring such as blocked nasal passages, nasal septum deformities, poor muscle tone of muscles in the throat, excessive weight and alcohol. There are different ways to stop snoring such as lifestyle changes (weight reduction, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, sleeping on back, anti-snoring exercises), stop snoring devices and surgery.

 

HOW TO STOP SNORING WITHOUT SURGERY

STOP SNORING DEVICES

Anti-snoring devices or stop snoring devices is a non-surgical solution that helps you get rid of the problem of snoring. Stop snoring devices are developed to ensure that you get a good night sleep. These devices aim at keeping the nasal passage open for free and easy circulation of air. Anti-snoring devices range from simple to complex ones and include stop snoring mouthpiece, snore balls, stop snoring pillows, nasal strips and nasal solutions. All these devices work by removing the factor responsible for causing snoring.

 

Stop Snoring Mouthpiece

The Stop Snoring mouthpiece also known as dental appliance is an anti-snoring oral device that a person wears while sleeping. It adjusts the position of jaw and tongue and moves the lower jaw forward while sleeping. It prevents the soft throat tissue from collapsing and thereby obstructing the airflow. So when you wear this device, the air can pass freely through your mouth and throat and this improves the airflow to the lungs. Stop snoring mouthpiece also prevents your tongue from sliding back in to the throat.

There are two types of anti-snoring mouthpiece- Tongue retaining device and Mandibular advancement appliance. Tongue retaining device is suitable for those who have mild snoring problem and who are not obese. It is made up of soft plastic containing tongue-sized suction cup. The purpose of this device is to pull the tongue and hold it in that position. Stop snoring mouthpiece is to be put before sleeping. Mandibular advancement appliance can be fitted by a dentist only and it moves the tongue and the jaw to the front. This raises the soft palate and clears the airway so that you can get a good night sleep.

Stop Snoring pillow

Stop snoring pillows are the specially constructed pillows that help you breathe better while sleeping. The anti-snoring pillows are physically constructed in such a way that your head and spine are aligned in proper way so as to keep your breathing passages clear and open. The middle area of the pillow where you place your head is thinner than the surrounding areas. The pillow also keeps the chin elevated off the chest so as to allow free passage of air and quiet breathing. There are different types of anti-snoring pillows to pick from depending upon the position that you tend to sleep.

The non-surgical stop snoring devices alleviate the annoying problem of snoring so that you and your partner can get a sound sleep.

WAYS TO STOP SNORING NATURALLY

Snoring is an annoying sleeping habit that most people do, whether it is in a mild case or even the heaviest one that often being associated to the chainsaw sound. This may be considered a simple matter, but when you have your spouse complaint about it for many times, you need to agree with him or her to stop your snoring. There are many ways you can try to stop snoring naturally, I want to share with you.

How to Stop Snoring Naturally With Prepared Sleeping

First, you need to find yourself some firm pillows and a humidifier to perform this action. Ensure you are preparing the firm pillows instead of the soft ones because they will get the throat relaxed and this will constrict the air passageway. To prevent the blockage of a snorers throat passageway, just elevate ones head by putting some pillows behind the head. The air passageway is limited if you use a low pillow that lets your tongue falls to the throats back.

Regarding the sleeping position, it is much better to sleep on your side rather than on your back. However, you are going to get other problems with your neck or shoulders in the morning with this side sleeping position. It is wise if you also consider buying ear plugs snoring. Also, try sleeping with a humidifier because the steam soothes the throat besides decreasing the amount of congestion.

You may try taking a nasal decongestant if you have allergies that cause nasal congestion or cold. Nasal strips can also be applied as another way to keep your airway open without getting any over-the-counter medication. It will pull open the airway when being applied to your nose. Otherwise, you may try a saline nasal spray if it is a dry nasal cavity that causes the snoring.

Another way in how to stop snoring naturally is by keeping your daily time of sleep and wake up in a regular pattern. You are going to experience complete exhaustiveness due to having not enough rest during your sleeping with the over-tiredness.

Watching Your Consumptions to stop snoring naturally

Since snoring is often also caused by having too much weight, especially on the neck area, you should consider losing your weight if it fits your condition. Overweight people would snore due to the increase of fatty tissue amount in your throat narrowing the passageway. Besides, being overweight would also increase your chance to get sleep apnea. It is nice if you are improving your eating habits while also taking exercises regularly. If you are an obese, try to lose at least 10 pounds to reduce the snoring probability in your sleep.

If we take a look at our consumption, alcohol products and sleeping pills would make your throat muscles relaxed and also make the passageway gets narrow. Consuming dairy near your bedtime is not a good idea either; it causes buildup of mucus.

As it showed in some studies, eating about 3 – 4 hours before your bedtime, either it is having a heavy meal or only snack, would also increase your snoring probability. Make sure you are having the food being digested properly. The simple methods I explain above are how to stop snoring naturally without surgery.

Best Stop Snoring Mouthpiece

Snoring, though it is not a potentially harmful health problem, can be very frustrating, especially if you are not single anymore. Your partner can be extremely disturbed due to the loud voice you do not intend to produce at all every night. If you let this take place for extended period, it would not be long before you find a gap of disharmony in your relationship.

There are many ways which are believed to be capable of arresting your snoring problem for good, starting from as simple as using over-the-counter medicine up to high risk surgeries. Each of this medication has its own advantages and disadvantages; using an anti snore mouthpiece, for example.


Anti Snoring Mouthpiece Reviews

anti-snoring-mouthpieceIt is a dental device specifically designated for those living with snoring problem. In general, all anti snoring mouthpieces seek to solve snoring problem by advancing your lower jaw forward to prevent it from blocking your airways. Mostly, it is done by wearing some kind of athlete mouth guard in your mouth. Every person has an unique form of jaws; thus, it may need a custom fitting carried on by specialist that can be consuming and costly.

Another shortcoming that comes with such anti snoring mouthpiece is that it imposes side effects that can be serious if used for a long term. Since your lower jaw needs to be realigned, someday you may run into a discomfort or even a pain and you may not be able to bite or chew like you used to. In addition, such a dental device is quite a bother to wear, not to say that it is not always end up a success because survey has revealed that success rate only range between 50% and 70%.

 

So, What do I recommend?

Of all anti-snoring mouthpieces, the one invented by Good Morning Snore Solution is somehow a little different in a way that it is easier to use. The overall concept is almost the same but instead of appearing as a potentially harmful mandibular advancement split, it comes in the form of small mouthpiece placed on the tip of your tongue. By wearing this, you’re not just automatically advancing your jaw forward but also hold your tongue in place so that it won’t fall back while you sleep and blocking the airway (Most of the snorers have their tongue fall backward when they sleep; thus triggering snoring sound).

The good thing about this product is the one size fits all mouthpiece feature, you don’t need to do anymore custom fitting. The other positive thing is the higher success rate. The founder MPowRx has done clinical research that conducted by Dr. Leslie Dort (MSc, DDS, Dip ABDSM) to prove the effectiveness of this product. It was published in the Journal of Sleep and BreathingMay 2008

These are the summarized:

Anti Snoring Mouthpiece Reviews

Shortcoming and Precaution

The product by Good Morning Snore Solution is not without any shortcoming, though. During your first days of using its mouthpiece, you will probably feel that your saliva cannot stop flowing out. However, it is just a matter of time before your system can adapt to such a minor addition and soon enough you will find it back to normal. Compared to the side effects of common anti-snoring mouthpieces, this one is way safer and easier to use, not to say that it is also quite affordable as well.

Similar with other healthcare products, the anti-snoring mouthpiece by GMSS also has a precaution for users. Below are the briefest versions of the precaution

  • Suppose you make use of other oral devices, make sure you consult your physician before using this product simultaneously.
  • Since breathing through your nose is of primary requirement, you are not supposed to use it when you have cold or other illness that can cause your nose to be stuffed up.
  • Do not apply any modification or whatsoever to the device for any reason.
  • Use only cold water and clinically proven cleaning solution to wash it.

Overall, I believe this one could be the best option for you, because this product has eliminate almost all weakness of other common mouthpieces, FDA certified and has proven effective by many clinical studies. If you are interested to buy this device, you could buy this from the official site and get 30 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the result.

Sleep Apnea Snoring Treatment Options

snoring

Methods of treatment for lesser instances of sleep apnea involve self-help and behavioral changes. They include reducing weight, eliminating alcohol, quitting smoking, stopping taking sleeping pills, sleeping on your side, and maintaining regular sleep hours.

For more critical cases of sleep apnea, these self-help treatments are not adequate. Several other sleep apnea treatments are available. These include:

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP):

The most commonly recommended sleep apnea treatment is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (CPAP). A CPAP machine donates airway pressure to a sufferer of sleep apnea. The sleeper wears a mask-breathing device at bedtime. Pressurized air is provided, which the sleeper breathes in, preventing the airway from collapsing and arresting apnea episodes and snoring. The CPAP machine supplies constant air pressure irrespective of if the person is taking a breath or expiring.

A CPAP machine is an effective sleep apnea treatment, but many of the afflicted have found the breathing mask to be uncomfortable. With the help of recent advancements, CPAP masks are now more pleasant to wear. Newer CPAP masks come in many styles, allowing sleepers to find the mask that works best for them.

Improvements in CPAP sleep apnea treatment have included adjustable air pressure. Bi-level PAP affords an opportunity to the sufferer to switch from high to low air pressure during exhalation. Auto PAP automatically changes air pressure via an internal regulator at fluctuating instead of stationary levels.

Oral Appliances:

Oral appliances and snoring aids that work such as a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer, which fit in a sleeper’s mouth, are an excellent mode of mild to moderate sleep apnea treatment. These oral appliances aid in keeping the sleeper’s throat and airway unobstructed. Many sufferers find the oral appliances easier to use than a CPAP machine, but not as useful. Other oral appliances fit around the head and chin to adjust the lower jaw of the wearer, bringing it forward and relieving snoring and apnea.

Two oral instruments that are usually used to bring the jaw forward during sleep are the Tongue Retaining Device and the Mandibular Repositioning Device. These instruments are procurable from a dentist who specializes in sleep apnea treatment. Some sleep apnea sufferers find the oral device uncomfortable and experience jaw problems, nausea, saliva build-up, soreness, and tooth tenderness.

Surgery:

Certain surgeries can remove tissues, tonsils, or adenoids, keeping the airway from being able to close and are an alternative sleep apnea treatment. Surgery may offer permanent relief, but there are risks of infection and complications. Depending on the type of sleep apnea, the surgery options for sleep apnea treatment include:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) – A surgeon removes the tonsils, adenoids, tissue from the back of the mouth, and from the top of the throat.

Maxillomandibular Advancement – A surgeon moves the upper and lower jaw forward, enlarging the space behind the soft palate and tongue.

Rose water benefits for face and general wellbeing

what is rose water

The rose blossom is considered a special blossom that holds many different meanings for a number of nations around the globe. It symbolizes eternal love and beauty.

Common coloured roses in society, like those of white, yellow, pink, and red are all used for their aesthetic qualities, along with their wonderful fragrance.

Healing benefits of rose flowers

serum-1050959_640If you haven’t tried using roses for their healing powers as of yet, you are missing out on a world of treatment opportunities. Rosewater is a highly popular herbal cure that it is made through distillation of the blossom’s petals, and has widely been used in cosmetics, medicine, and even food.

Rose essential water is not only pleasant in taste and nice to smell, it is also full of several nutrients including vitamins and flavonoids like vitamins D, C, A and E, along with being rich in vitamin B3.

It additionally has excellent anti-bacterial properties, along with possessing calming effects and antiseptic characteristics.

In fact, if you consume it as a tea, it aids in improving your overall health by providing your body with many of the minerals and nutrients it needs to properly function. Moreover, it is a herbal cure that addresses issues of the digestive system, lowers risks of cardiovascular illness, and reduces stress. It even relieves mouth and tooth pains, along with reducing eye itchiness or irritation.

One of the most popular benefits of rose petal water involves its use in curing skin conditions and infections.

It is has exceptional abilities in restoring moisture to dry skin, and reduces the apparent effects of aging. In addition, you may use it as a cleanser or toner because it deep cleans and purifies the skin.

It can also reduce redness and swelling, along with assisting in the removal of black heads. Not only are these benefits great, but the water can also be used on the most sensitive skin type. It is often preferred for aftershave application.

Furthermore, rose distilled water is really good for the hair. It is actually one of few natural herbal remedies that is used as a common component in many different hair products like shampoos or general hair care. It prevents hair loss, and provides the scalp with many needed nutrients, which in turn strengthens the health and development of the hair follicles.

It is recommended that you purchase only all natural or organic varieties of rose water. In other words, take a look at the product ingredients you find in your local health store. You may be surprised to realize that a large quantity is actually made using preservatives and synthetic materials. Your best option may be to make your own rose water at home.

Rosewater will enhance your mood, health, and leave you with a new feeling of energy to tackle your most troublesome days.

13 of the best zombie books for 2016- Best post apocalyptic books

best post apocalyptic novels#1 Day by Day Armageddon- J.L. Bourne

An astonishing novel of a highly skilled survivor and his journal entries. The story stars a man that is a pilot in the air force, currently on vacation.

Although this format has a few drawbacks, such as limited perspective and lack of dialog, these weaknesses don’t detract from an excellently scripted story.

Reports keep coming in across the news, that viral outbreaks keep popping up in and around China. Since many sources compare these outbreaks to the SARS virus a few years prior, not much notice is taken. After a month, the outbreaks begin to occur closer to home, and the naval officer begins to go to the store and stock up on supplies. Soon these outbreaks get much worse and he hears sporadic reports of people attacking other people in the U.S. Day by Day Armageddon chronicles his life after society breaks down and zombies begin to walk the Earth.

I enjoyed the realism element that the journal format gave to this book. He doesn’t go through everything that he does each day, rather he goes over plans, what happened during supply outings, and supplies that need to be acquired. Throughout the book the survivor thinks intelligently and realistically. He writes about his fears and through his entries you get a sense of his personality and those that he meets.

There is so much mystery and suspense throughout Day by Day Armageddon. J.L. Bourne really does a good job of creating a world that is filled with horrors and dangers. The description of many of the ghouls paints a clear and concise picture of the nightmare J.L. Bourne has dreamt up.

Day by Day Armageddon is an exhilarating book, that leaves you wanting more. There were parts that my heart was pounding and I couldn’t stop reading. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys zombie thrillers. This is one of the best books the zombie genre has to offer.

Get Day by Day Armageddon from Amazon

Check out the sequel Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile.


#2 Rot and Ruin ~By Jonathan Maberry

zombie fan fiction Rot and Ruin takes place 14 years after what is deemed First Night.

First night refers to when the dead began to walk and feast on the living.

Benny Imura, the star of the novel, lives in one of the small villages that have somewhat been rebuilt after the collapse of first night, located in California. The village requires all teenagers, once they turn fifteen, must acquire a job or risk having his or her rations cut in half.

Benny lives with his half-brother Tom, who is a bounty hunter. Bounty hunters are the only people that travel outside of the towns. Their job is to find and silence zombies that relatives or friends have requested to end the zombies suffering.

Benny Imura doesn’t want to follow his brother’s footsteps in apprenticing as a bounty hunter. He believes Tom to be a coward and wants nothing to do with him. After having no luck with any other jobs, Benny unwillingly decides to apprentice with his brother. Through his apprenticeship, Benny is forever changed in his views of his brother and of the outside world. His views on his mentors and those he once respected will be turned upside down.


#3 Patient Zero By Jonathan Malberry

zombie fan fiction Patient Zero is a fast-paced, exhilarating military/zombie novel. Finally, a solid story that combines biological terrorism and zombies together, delivering a heart pounding adventure.

Starring Joe Ledger, a police detective with his share of gruesome memories, Patient Zero starts off quick and keeps a wild pace until the end. Joe Ledger is recruited into the Department of Military Sciences (DMS), where his team is tasked with finding and stopping a group of terrorists from unleashing a plague that would start a zombie apocalypse. This terrorist organization has a secret high tech lab located in the Middle East, where they are developing the virus.

Patient Zero, by Jonathan Malberry, is everything a zombie thriller should be. Non-stop action and a heart pounding story combines to make a fantastic read. However, if you are looking for a zombie novel with strong character development and compelling back stories, look elsewhere, you will not find it in Patient Zero. What you will find is a kick ass thriller that will leave you wanting more.


#4 The Forest of Hands and Teeth By Carrie Ryan

great zombie booksCarrie Ryan’s zombie book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, isn’t like the typical post apocalyptic zombie novel.

As most zombie or post apocalyptic novels are about freedom, society without law or boundaries, and looting, The Forest of Hands and Teeth focuses on society’s constraints.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth takes place several generations after a zombie outbreak called the Return and many people don’t believe in life before the return, a time of massive skyscrapers and advanced technologies.

The novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, takes place in a small village, located in a large forest. The novel’s protagonist, Mary, is faced with the repression of a group of Elders called the sisterhood. The Sisterhood is a religious group that controls every part of the village, from birth to death. The village is surrounded by a chain linked fence that separates the living from the dead infested forest. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is about breaking through the barriers of society, love and friendship, and triumphing over overwhelming odds.


#5 Twilight of the Dead by Travis Adkins

best apocalyptic novelsTwilight of the Dead is an interesting zombie story. The novels large font, cover art, and short number of pages makes me think it was intended for a younger audience.

All that aside Twilight of the Dead takes place 5 years after a zombie apocalypse. A community that was fortunate enough to have a wall built around it survived and has, through many scavenging runs, become self sufficient. A newcomer that claims to have discovered the cure to the zombie plague arrives and the community must once again face a world ruled by the undead.

It is refreshing to see a women protagonist, Courtney Colvin, for a change. She and a few others is what the book calls black berets. Individuals who have been trained to fight zombies, and have specialized equipment ideal for surviving amongst the dead.

Twilight of the Dead is a character driven novel, which is much appreciated over other stories where the author focuses so much on gore and action that the characters’ suffer for it. None of the characters seem hollow or dull. I did get tired of hearing about all the male characters in Courtney’s life. All of them, excluding her father, have had sexual relations with her. It seemed a little cliché to me.

Read more: Twilight of the Dead


#6 World War Z – An Oral History of the Zombie War By Max Brooks

books like world war zThe Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time.

World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Read more: World War Z – An Oral History of the Zombie War


#7 Dead Again By George Magnum

survival books fiction
survival books fiction

Dead Again by George Magnum reminded me of an 80’s action flick, full of action but so unrealistic. The plot involves a team of soldiers, who are ranked higher than delta force and officially don’t have a name. They are given a top secret mission to rescue a scientist from a lab near New York.

This story is so unrealistic it was hard to finish. First, the bunker they were at to start their mission was overrun, and nobody saw the zombies until they were eating the soldiers. This seems kind of silly for a military bunker to not have its perimeter secured.

Then the black hawk chopper they are flying in ends up crashing because one of the fuel lines was hit in the firefight back at the bunker. I researched this and black hawks have more than one self sealing fuel tanks.

George Magnum completely lacks any military knowledge throughout the book.

Read more: Dead Again


#8 Dead City By Joe McKinney

zombie literatureDead City picks up quick and doesn’t let go till the last page.

Dead City begins with hurricanes devastating the Texas mainland. Thousands die followed by devastation. Within hours a plague breaks out from the wreckage and Eddie Hudson finds himself facing civilians that seem unstoppable. Bullets don’t faze them, and there milky white eyes crave for a heart, pumping uninfected blood.

Dead City stars a San Antonia police officer name Eddie Hudson, who is sent out on a call to stop a gang of street brawlers. He soon realizes that these are not ordinary people and that this is not a contained incident. The whole city is teeming with the infected.

Dead City is about Eddie’s quest to save his wife and 6 month old child and get out of the city. Joe McKinney’s novel gives you non-stop, heart thumping action throughout the book.

Read more: Dead City


#9 Apocalypse of the Dead By Joe McKinney

zombie books for young adultsJoe McKinney’s second novel in the dead world series, Apocalypse of the Dead, is an epic tale of human survival in a world torn apart by flesh eating zombies.

Apocalypse of the Dead takes place in the same world as Dead City, but the characters and time are different.

Faced with immeasurable amounts of sluggish, drooling, and biting undead, the book follows four interweaving story lines from all over the United States. In a world where one small scratch can mean a death sentence for anyone, McKinney shoes us what true horror is.

The events of Apocalypse of the Dead take place two years after Dead City. Houston has been walled off and has been declared a quarantine zone. There are innumerable amounts of infected inside the zone.

Those people lucky enough to have survived the initial onslaught, are written off by the government as collateral damage and must fend for themselves. A band of survivors in the quarantine zone escape along with the filovirus.

Read more: Apocalypse of the Dead


#10 Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain Z.A. Recht

Plague of the deadOut of the depths of Africa comes a virus, so deadly that it makes Ebola look like the sniffles. First a few random reports, then confirmations of the attacks, followed by massive outbreaks across all of Africa.

Lt. Colonel Anna Demilio of the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID), tries to warn the US and other western powers, about the severity of the virus. Travel restrictions are not placed until it is far too late and the virus has spread to all corners of the globe.

The story switches between General Sherman and his group of soldiers and refugees, and Anna Demilio’s (USAMRIID) party consisting of herself, an NSA agent, and a news anchor. The “carriers”, as the survivors deem, come in two different flavors, sprinters, the ones that were infected but never died, and shamblers, who are killed and reanimate.

Read more: Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain


#11 Thunder and Ashes: The Morningstar Strain by Z.A. Recht

top 10 post apocalyptic booksThe story continues straight from the first novel Plague of the Dead. Thunder and Ashes splits between Demilio’s group of survivors and Sherman and his company of refugees and military. Both groups are headed for Omaha, Nebraska, and Recht gives you plenty of head busting zombie action along the way.

This book overall was just as good as the first one, but I do have a few minor problems that, if fixed, would have made this book excellent.

First, I love the fast paced writing style of Recht, but when he split between Demilio and Sherman, I just thought that Demilio’s group was a bit boring. I would find myself counting pages to get back to Sherman’s group.

Read more: Thunder and Ashes: The Morningstar Strain


#12 Survivors: The Morningstar Strain Z.A. Recht with Thom Brannan

zombie series booksSo the story so far in a nutshell is, Sherman’s group and Demilio’s group have joined forces in Omaha, Nebraska, and the remaining sailors for the destroyer aim to travel to Omaha with a sole survivor of Morningstar.

First, I would like to state that Z.A Recht passed away before he could finish this book. The final novel was finished by Thom Brannan. It is very difficult to finish someone else’s book, let alone trilogy, so I think Brannan did a fine job.

That being said there is definitely a different writing style in this zombie book. Instead of the fast paced, high intensity of the first two, the book Survivors: The Morningstar Strain, was a bit slower. The ending to the novel wasn’t very suspenseful, although it had some action, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat like at times in the first two.

Read more: Survivors: The Morningstar Strain


 

My zombie apocalypse team

By the time you realize that zombies have eaten your neighbors, things have clearly gone too far. The neighbors have apparently not gone feral, but rather have fallen prey to the encroaching zombie hordes. All of your survival preparation and training is about to be put to the test…

This is when its time to check your survival gear inventories and make a calculated decision. Do you stay put, maximizing your food supplies and tool set, or do you grab everything worth carrying and get the hell out of there?

It is painfully clear at this point, that your neighbors did not shop at bestsurvivalgear.info and that they are now slaves to the zombie masters

The price for their carelessness becomes clear as they shamble around their yard and gnaw, glassy-eyed on their once beloved pets.

DONT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU

Sure, you may be thinking to yourself, but what are the chances of a zombie outbreak Really?

WHAT IS A ZOMBIE ATTACK?

zombie survival guide pdf The first thing to do is to define a zombie attack. Zombies come in many forms…. fast zombies, slow zombies, brain eating zombies, flesh eating zombies and cunningly intelligent mutant zombie biker hordes.

By the time the zombies have arrived, it doesn’t matter so much what kind they are, but rather how hungry they are and what do they want from you. Chances are, if you are in this situation, you are not going to want to give them what it is they are after. Unlike a typical intruder, they are not going to simply go away after they get what they want. Unless of course they merely want your brain.

Zombies are notoriously bad house guests. They will do things like chew on your furniture, rip the siding off of your house and frequently scatter their limbs all over your yard. The stench of zombies is particularly gruesome and all the fabrize and pine scented air fresheners in the world will not remove the smell.

In short, it is best not to invite zombies into your house, and in fact you will probably want to deter them at all costs from setting foot in your home. The fact that they may be interested in gnawing on your uncooked flesh is also a bit of an incentive to keep them at bay.

There is a strong school of thought that the best thing to do when zombies encroach on your neighborhood is to simply leave the area as rapidly as possible. It is often considered a good idea to burn down the entire region as you retreat from the scene.

The exception to the above rule, is of course, in the rare situation that zombies are not destroyed by fire. In this situation a hastily designed molotov cocktail thrown at a zombie can quickly lead to a fire hazard situation.

Zombies that are not known to be susceptible to fire will very likely just wander around, blissfully unaware that they are on fire and will do unpleasant things such as burn down most of the things around them.

Typically, this behavior also entails the zombie wandering in random directions searching for things to eat. This unpredictable behavior can be a problem if you have things like fuel tanks, wooden buildings or large forests nearby.

It is clearly true, that where there is one zombie, there will be more. Every known documentation of zombies alludes to this unsettling fact. In this situation, you will be pleased to realize that you have previously prepared your backpack gear ahead of time.

You do not want to have to spend precious time packing for an escape, you want to have your travel kit ready at a moments notice. Once your house is surrounded by your hungry neighbors who are salivating at the prospect of what a tasty snack you would make, your escape opportunities will become severely limited.

What are the odds?

zombie survival sheet In the middle of a zombie incursion, you are probably not going to be on the phone with your bookie. Even if you are, you have to consider the possibility that your bookie has already had his books cooked and may in fact be a zombie. You may have suspected this ever since he started giving odds on a zombie panic occuring to begin with…

Zombie Movies

Zombie movies always portray zombies as coming from an evil book of black magic, a super virus concocted in a laboratory, the work of an evil witch doctor or other longshot event.

What they fail to portray is that your neighbors may well in fact be zombies already. Chances are they spend between 8 and 15 hours a day watching television and spend the rest of their time doing brain-dead activities such as going to their robotic jobs and endlessly circling through the same repetitive tasks day after day, night after night. The only thing that stands between them and you is the thin veil of civilization.

When they smile, you can see their beady eyes sizing you up. Sure they seem like nice people, now, but rest assured they are eyeballing you and wondering how well marbled you are and whether its really going to be worth all of that effort to cook you.

Notice how they show their teeth when they greet you and their eyes are firmly planted forward, a certain sign of a carnivorous predator. Be certain that when the lights go out, and they’ve eaten every scrap of food in their fridge… presuming they even wait that long, that they are going to be heading in your direction. Like all predators, when the choice comes down to them or you, the decision will come quite naturally.

MZB

It is one thing when your neighbors turn to zombies, perhaps you can reason with them or count on your long lasting friendship to send them in other directions. This strategy is simply ineffective when dealing with the MZB.

WHAT IS AN MZB?

zombie survival guide online read

MZB is an acronym for Mutant Zombie Bikers

You know the type, roaring through town wielding chainsaws, machetes and shotguns. Roaming from town to town seeking to pillage, rape, enslave and subjugate anything they encounter.

In cases of extreme food shortages, these reavers on wheels are not particularly choosy about their menus.

You will probably appear quite tasty to them. Preparation can go a long ways towards being able to evade, negotiate or defend yourself against these types.

While the movies tend to portray mutant zombie bikers as having completely lost their minds and willing to take on any opposition, it is important to remember that this breed of zombie still has some survival instincts intact.

If you are prepared to hold out and defend yourself against MZBs, you will need the right survival gear, a strong survival instinct of your own and a willingness to protect what is rightfully yours.

Unless they are truly desperate, their high mobility will usually convince them to roll past your entrenched position and find easier prey.

For this reason your survival depends on your gear and your ability to identify zombies and avoid tragic mistakes in zombie identification…

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Is this a zombie? Identifying the MZB

survival guide books The ability to differentiate between the MZB and other zombie attack survivors is critical. If you rely on older information such as zombie movies and out of date zombie primers, you may be led to believe that all zombies are mindless, intent on devouring your brain, are typically covered in rotting flesh or are otherwise terrible to behold, and typically travel in packs.

The MZB do not precisely fill these criteria. While they may smell bad, they are typically not reminiscent of leprosy victims. They are often cunning rather than mindless. Whether they intend to snack on your brain is open to debate, but it is likely that they have other malicious motives.

They may be terrible to behold, but that depends on your mental state and how well you have prepared for the situation. A mutant zombie biker may look like a hell’s angel on pcp or may instead closely resemble your grandmother. MZB’s frequently travel in packs, although the individual MZB may be a lone scavenger.

Strangely enough, mutant zombie bikers may or may not actually have bikes, motorcycles, beat up pick-ups or makeshift war wagons. They may well appear as unruly mobs, with few if any vehicles.

The mere potential for motorcycles is enough to classify a wide spectrum of zombies as MZB’s. Have no doubt, if you have a motorcycle and it has fuel, they will want it. They will also want any food, weapons, survival gear, and trade commodities you may have. There is a strong chance they will eyeball your daughter with lacivious intent.

MZBS are marauders

surviving zombies the apocalypse field guide Whether or not they have begun to maraud, or are just milling about waiting to join up with other zombies of this type, MZBs will quickly set about marauding when the time is right.

Unlike some zombies, the mzb may be reasoned with in some circumstances. Regardless, entering into negotiations with MZBs is quite dangerous. If the negotiations do not end up entirely favoring the MZB clan, then they will either just take what they want or simply kill you and then take what they want.

The most favorable outcome possible is likely to leave you completely stripped of supplies, possessions of value, any gear, any food and all vestiges of self-respect. It is entirely possible that you will be looked upon in the same way that they would be looking at your daughters, or they may simply be sizing you up for proper packaging for times when their food supplies run short again.

An unfavorable negotiation outcome, could result in you being used as an example to others who may resist their demands.

On the bright side, the MZB hordes frequently suffer attrition, and if you are able bodied have useful survival skills and are able to communicate in their language, you may be invited to join their mob. Initiation rituals may be non-existent or quite severe. If you choose to take this path, then you will be subject to the rule of the mob and survival may take a very tenuous path. You will also have to forsake what few shards of your humanity remain in order to be a successful MZB.

THE ZOMBIE MZB

The MZB has a sense of entitlement. That sense of entitlement is frequently backed by heavy weaponry and the willingness to use that sort of hardware. They generally consider themselves as entitled to anything that crosses their path, including possessions, animals and people to exploit for their amusement.

The MZB is unnaturally cunning for a zombie, and may well be experienced in dealing with resistance.

Without adequate preparation you are undoubtedly going to find yourself at their mercy, and possibly at the end of a set of crudely fashioned chopsticks. This situation is undesirable for obvious reasons. Your lands, house, property, fortress will be ransacked, pillaged or simply burnt to the ground. Your livestock, including any large dogs, will probably be eaten. If they leave you alive, you will be emotionally and possibly physically scarred for life, always fearing their return.

Where do MZB’s come from? How can I prepare myself? What survival gear do I need? Am I likely to encounter an MZB?

Packs of mutant zombie bikers have been spotted in lawless regions throughout the earth. When the rule of law falls, civilization collapses or even the economy collapses packs of MZB’s will spontaneously emerge to fill the vacuum in power.

WHY THE MZB IS THE ZOMBIE YOU ARE MOST LIKELY TO ENCOUNTER

The mzb will naturally emerge whenever there is a significant failure of centralized authority. When the interruption is temporary, such as during the New York blackouts, mzb’s emerge in their mildest form as crowds of rioters and looters. Billions of dollars of damage occured when the lights went out in NYC. When the lights came back on, the rioters melted back into the woodwork.

During longer periods of social upheaval, MZBs do not disband, and instead tend to gather around charismatic leaders, often attaching to organized gangs or paramilitary groups. The rule of the strong takes place and these tribes spontaneously swell in numbers and expand their territories.

In the most extreme cases of social disorder these factions rage violent disputes and those that are victorious emerge as warlords and possibly as eventual new leaders. This pack hierarchy is usually enforced by violence against everyone in the area that is competing for supplies or resources, or is militarily capable.

The emergence of the mutant zombie bikers

The rumbling bikes of the MZB can be heard rumbling in the distance, waiting for the moment when the system finally shows itself to be unsustainable.

This is the moment you must prepare for and the reason that Afrobotic.com was created. When people are hungry the mob mentality takes over and mutant zombie bikers emerge as realities rather than as probabilistic potentials.

One thing is certain they will want zombie oil.

Social collapse and zombie oil

Social collapses are a phenomenon of history. They have happened before to every empire. This is typically associated with being involved in a military struggle, civil war (the extreme manifestation of civil unrest), or is precipitated by economic debasement of currency and/or critical resource shortages.

Historically, the military of the current government has maintained control for as long as wealth was reasonably distributed and the government was adequately able to pay and feed its soldiers.

Currently, in the United States as well as several other world countries, conditions indicate that this status quo is under serious strain.

Resource disparity between the wealthy and the poor is greater than at any time in history.

An energy crisis is brewing which threatens to make essentials such as food and shelter unobtainable to a significant portion of the population. This is the true critical mass which has the potential to undermine a nation’s stability.

When the resource disparity has become so great that the basic needs of maslow’s hierarchy* cannot be met the societal structure typically reaches the point of collapse. Social upheaval is the primate’s way of redistributing wealth through society. When those at the top of the primate pack make it impossible to live at the base, challenges for primacy are inevitable. It is hardwired into human primate nature and this has been proven repeatedly throughout history.

Typically the reaction by the powers of authority during times of resource shortages is to tightly control the supply chains of resource distribution. This naturally causes dissent among those who do not have access to those resources. This dissent typically results in escalating forms of protest. The reaction, of course, is for the authorities to use increasingly draconian measures to protect their supply chains and punish those who they perceive as threatening their resources.

This chain of events is cyclical and escalating in nature. The more drastic the response, the more the tao moves to increased resistance, which signals a need for escalating force. This is a destructive chain of events which will escalate continuously as the feedback loop is reinforced. The ultimate result has always been a breaking point which results in a transition of power, either peacefully or more often forcefully. This is called the decline and collapse of a civilization. It has happened countless times throughout history and appears to be an inevitable result of resource pressure.

Internal triggers for this have typically been the debasement of currency, which leads to difficulties by the social underclasses in having their basic animal needs met. In roman times it was done through putting less and less silver and gold into coinage until it was worthless. In modern times this debasement is done through the elegant structure of compound interest. The result is the same. This has been proven in modern societies, when the banks collapse it is usually not long until the government or even the society itself collapses. The greater the disparity in monetary value, the harder and more dramatic the collapse becomes.

In modern America the functional currency, which is the true measure of power is literally power. Industry and the entire economy is designed on the mantra of build more, and consume more. This is ultimately driven by materials, labor and energy inputs into the system. Without these factors the society produces less and the value of its world trade capability diminishes. Without trade, inputs which feed the system are undermined and the system collapses.

The lynch-pin of this system is energy. Oil is the energy form which is easiest to harness and create industrial input from. Oil is used as a mechanism which allows resource harvesting of all types. Oil allows laborers to reach their workplaces. It is also used to propel the food growing mechanisms of modern agriculture. Food is what feeds the laborers. Machines are what harvest resources and runs the factories to feed the production cycle. Oil is the prime input. Oil is the currency which keeps the nation intact.

Unfortunately, oil is not an unlimited resource. The ability to extract it from the ground and refine it has exceeded the demand for its usage. There is more oil available, it just takes more and more resources to extract it, and less is extracted. This is a phenomenon known as Hubbert’s peak. More commonly as peak oil.

When the oil becomes scarce, growing transporting and harvesting food becomes much more expensive in terms of real capability. This is likely to cause increasing unrest as greater numbers of the population find themselves unable to meet fundamental needs.

The United States has an infrastructure based on fuel powered trucking to transport goods. The margins are evaporating and truckers strikes are a definite scenario of high probability. The resources will simply not be able to be allocated everywhere that is needed. Weak points include the food supply chain, the distribution chain and power needed for heating, electricity and factories.

The interconnected system is highly vulnerable to stress points. When Dick Cheney said “The American way of life is non-negotiable” before plunging the US into the Iraq war to secure the oil fields, he understood this concept completely. America has shown that it is willing to kill to feed itself and fuel its transport system. It is also becoming apparent that there is not enough fuel to feed the appetites of America.

How to be ready for whatever SHTF: The ultimate survival gear guide

The Survival Instinct is the most powerful drive known to man. Whether surrounded by MZBS (mutant zombie bikers) or caught in a fury of nature scenario such as a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, plague, flood or fire storm, you need to be ready.

When confronted with an unexpected situation, its way too late to be looking around for the survival gear that you need. The time to get emergency supplies is now, while things are relatively calm. There is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from being prepared. This site is dedicated to getting you what you need now, before the skyrocketing price of gasoline and the rapidly declining economy make shipping over long distances impractical.

This site is determined to become both a resource and a catalog. When supplies become scarce, you will know that this site has brought you the best survival gear on the planet. While those around you are caught up in terror and pure zombie panic you will be positioned to wait things out with the confidence that comes from planning ahead.

The world is a dangerous place. The action hero plans ahead. This is why he is both a survivor and a capable person.

The supplies selected for this site have been carefully selected for utility, portability, and raw utility. Some items are listed simply because they are valuable commodities when supplies run low, as they have in numerous places around the world at various times. Lessons learned by those who lived through the economic collapses of the Soviet Union and Argentina, or the constant warfare in Sarejevo and other world hotspots are applied in these equipment choices.

When times get tough whether through calamity or events as simple as a power outage, a truckers strike or other supply line interruption there are things you want to have. These are things that actually matter.

Most people are completely oblivious, since you are checking out survival gear, it is clear that you are not one of them.

When Katrina struck New Orleans, looters grabbed everything in site, completely mis-reading what was valuable. Their conditioning failed them. A 42 inch plasma TV screen is a nice and comfortable thing to have in your living room, if the power is on. It has trade value. If you are getting cable, electricity and water. If you are in the middle of an emergency, that plasma TV is worthless except for any tools you might be able to fashion from it. Its not the sort of thing you would see Survivor Man packing through the wilderness.

When it comes down to it, its all about utility. Things that have utility have value. Ultimately, things without utility are less than useless. They are a burden and of no real value. Social status becomes about what you are capable of and what is real.

THESE THINGS HAVE VALUE

  1. Tools
  2. Food
  3. Shelter
  4. Water
  5. Quality Clothing
  6. Knowledge
  7. Medicine
  8. Hygeine
  9. Heat
  10. Light
  11. Power

With these things you are prepared. With many things that once had value, such as a box of baseball cards, you simply have trash. An emergency situation can occur at any time. When it happens you are simply either ready and prepared or caught off guard.

When the Soviet Union collapsed economically, many people died simply because they were unable to handle the transition. The impact on the elderly was particularly significant. Shortages of heating fuel and food have that effect. Things of value simply were unavailable. The United States is on the brink of severe economic instability. Banks have begun to fail and the stock market is plummeting as prices of oil and food skyrocket. This happened in the 1929 as well. Historical precedent shows that those who were prepared fared far better than those who were not ready.

The time to act is today. I am taking the time to prepare a list, based on considerable amounts of research to compile a one stop resource and checklist for the things you will need.

Bivouac Sack

This is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can own. It is designed to encase a sleeping bag and make it completely waterproof. It is a standard piece of field gear for military operations.

The bivvy sack provides an extra layer of insulation and is extremely light weight. This model weighs in with a shipping weight of under one pound.

Emergency Usage
In an emergency situation, a bivvy sack can be used as a tarp, a waterproof supply container, or even as a water container. Even without a sleeping bag it provides a certain degree of protection from the elements, although a sleeping bag is highly recommended.

In a pinch other uses can be found as well, as it can be for example, knotted and turned into a makeshift line or rope. While this is not necessarily the wisest use of the item, in an emergency it is always best to keep a versatile approach to any situation.

Another potential use is to use it in the way that sheet plastic may be used to collect condensation. This is done by propping up the corners with sticks or spikes and placing a heavy object such as a rock in the middle.

Definitely a useful piece of equipment, you’ll be glad you purchased it.
Another model of bivvy sack is shown to the right. This one is lighter and contains a thermal reflective (space blanket) style lining. While not as sturdy, it is less expensive as the other model.

Regardless, the bivi sack is a piece of quality gear that is used on expeditions into rugged territory, such as that faced by mountain climbing teams. The extra layer provides a significant increase in wind chill protection and is a lightweight method of adding a few degrees of thermal insulation to a standard sleeping bag.


Fire Axe

When you need to get into or out of a building that is on fire, surrounded by mutant zombie bikers or both. There is no substitute for the powerful truckman fire axe.

This tool can smash its way through obstacles, gouge, tear, lever and cut like a true battle axe. It has over 10,000 pounds of breaking strength which makes it ideal for removing or cutting through walls, doors, windows, roofing, siding and other structural obstacles. Designed for firefighters, but available to anybody.

Featuring a 16.5″ handle with a savage 9 1/2″ head made of high carbon steel. The design is also features a special head designed with gas shut off capabilities in mind. Compact, powerful and efficient. Weighing in at an amazingly lightweight 3.8 lbs due to the specialized materials it is constructed from, this tool will get you out of a jam when you need it to perform.


Magnesium Strip (fire starter)

An absolutely essential piece of equipment. Magnesium burns hot. It will start a fire. The strip lasts a long time, is portable. While magnesium is highly combustible when shaved from the strip, as a bulk solid it is stable and safe as long as reasonable caution is applied. It will require a spark to ignite, but once burning it will catch even wet wood on fire.

Whether camping, lighting a signal fire or turning into makeshift pyrotechnics, this beautiful and lightweight tool will get the job done. It is lightweight and can easily fit onto a belt-loop, long narrow pocket or even a keychain. Remember, this is a combustable metal so consider what you are storing it with and where you are placing it.

This is also a great piece for any mobile kit.


Poncho

The most basic utility clothing

Lightweight and waterproof. It is very important to stay as dry as possible when faced with inclement elements.

Like all pieces of equipment they come in different classes.

Emergency Poncho

At the minimum you should have an emergency poncho. Extremely cheap, if not entirely durable. This type of poncho has the advantage of being very compact, since its made of only thin plastic.

Having one might get you through a jam and maybe last a few days if you are careful with it. Regardless, minimizing the effects of even one rainstorm makes it worth having.

Like all sheet plastic, it can be used to harvest water if necessary. Another use for this is to throw it in your glovebox. It can keep your suit dry in case you get caught without a coat or an umbrella.

NRA Poncho

The NRA poncho is a good pick for a poncho. At 8 ounces its lightweight and yet reasonably strong. It has a sealed interior pocket and comes in your choice of three colors (red, blue and high visibility orange). The design is versatile enough for a variety of physical activities.

This is a solid utility poncho, and a reasonable mid cost option.

Ghillie

If you have a large pack, and feel the need to be able to conceal yourself while remaining dry and comfortable, then the Ghillie poncho has its uses. Weighs 7.5 lbs, but capable of blending in perfectly with almost any environment due to its flexible design.

This suit is perfect for maintaining surveillance or observing for ravaging zombies while minimizing the risks of being spotted. This poncho has the added advantage of being particularly useful while hunting, although with the low visibility factors you should not use this if you are in an area where high visibility is required.

Sea to Summit

If you want to spend a few bucks and get a killer poncho which weighs in at 10 ounces and can double as a tarp, when hiking without a tent then this is what you need. If you need to hunker down, but keep moving, this is a great piece of gear.

The Sea to Summit poncho. Compact, comes with a drawstring bag and good for moving in the fog.


Poncho Liner

The poncho liner is an extremely versatile piece of equipment.

It can be worn by itself or secured to a poncho by use of grommets.

If you are on the move and don’t have a sleeping bag, this will give you a measure of protection against the elements.

The government issue poncho liner has a nylon shell and comes with ties. This is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can have. Lightweight and rugged, and usable for an emergency shelter if you have a bit of rope or vine handy.

If you find yourself in need of a sudden move, and need a key piece of gear. This liner is the one you want.


Sleeping Bag

The sleeping bag is a simple piece of survival gear. It is also critical. It should be at the top of your list if you don’t have one yet.

The sleeping bag provides insulation which can literally mean the difference between life and death in a wilderness situation.

It is strongly recommended that you augment this piece of equipment with a bivvy sack, for additional insulation and waterproofing. A good backpack has a place to strap a sleeping bag, so that the container space may be used for other supplies.

Aside from significantly increasing the comfort of your sleep by keeping a layer between you and the ground, the sleeping bag is also useful for auxilliary storage of food items (presuming you don’t intend to sleep in the bag)… you don’t want your sleeping bag to smell like a tasty snack.

You should have a sleeping bag for each member of your family. The type you want depends heavily on the climate in which you live in or are traveling through.

When in doubt, opt for a heavier bag as it is much better to be a bit too warm, which can be adjusted for by zipping down the bag, than to be too cold and risk hypothermia. Weight is a consideration, but ultimately a bag which utilizes high quality materials can provide a great amount of insulation while also being waterproof and lightweight.

The sleeping bag is not a piece of equipment you should skimp on. This may ultimately be the most important piece of survival gear that you can acquire.

The Teton Sports model shown on the right is large enough to hold two adults, although the tradeoff is in significantly more weight. This is a good choice for some situations, but in general I recommend a lighter weight bag.

In less demanding situations, and even in non-emergency situations, a sleeping bag is a useful item. It can be unzipped and used as an extra blanket on a cold night, or for handling an unanticipated guest.

Remember that, first and foremost, sleeping bags are survival equipment and should be purchased with that in mind. It is important that zippers on bags should be kept in good condition and the bag should be repaired or replaced if the zipper becomes damaged.

What is inconsequential one day, may mean the difference in surviving on the next. At any rate, should you go camping, you want to make sure you have one available and in good condition.

It is suggested that you purchase sleeping bags in matched sets. The advantage of having two of the same model bag is that they can usually be zipped together which can be advantageous when huddling together for warmth.

This is definitely something couples should consider when purchasing. Most mummy bags (a style designed for a single sleeper) are not inter-lockable. The trade-off for this style of bag is that they tend to retain heat better as there is not as much airspace available.

Hypothermia

In dealing with hypothermia, such as that caused by exposure to the elements (typically falling in a body of water or caught in a rainstorm) the best method of keeping the other party both warm and alive is to dry them off and place them in a sleeping bag with another person.

This should be done with clothes off, for both parties. The reason is to maximize heat transfer and can mean the difference between life and death when medical care is not immediately available. This is, yet another advantage of having a slightly large bag or interlocking set. In a mild emergency, it can work simply as an excuse to become a little bit closer.

Here are a couple of very high end sleeping bags. These are expensive and generally geared towards the serious outdoorsman or mountaineer.

For people with a lower budget, I would suggest one of the other bags due simply to the fact that a considerable amount of equipment could be purchased for the price difference. Both of these bags are lightweight, goose down lined bags which can handle sub-zero temperatures.

However for a person that can afford one of these models and wants the best equipment available, I am presenting these options. Pound for pound, these are serious pieces of gear.

This presents a fairly wide range of alternatives, depending on your needs. Every bag shown is selected for insulation first. With the exception of the extra-large bag mentioned previously, each is lightweight and can compact considerably.

While there are less expensive models available, those generally suffer from issues with construction quality, durability or are simply too light weight to be practical in all but the warmest climates.

Most regions of the earth get cold at night, and it is always possible that you could end up in a region outside of your normal territory. It is a good idea to keep a sleeping bag attached to a pack and another in your vehicle. If you are traveling and have mechanical issues in a remote area such as the mountains or the desert, or just somewhere off the well-traveled road in the middle of winter you will be thankful that you had the common sense to think ahead. At the minimum you should carry a blanket in your car, but a sleeping bag is a superior solution and doesn’t take up much space in your trunk.


Tarp

If you’ve ever been camping, you know how useful a tarp can be.

This is truly a multi-use piece of survival equipment.

Two models of tarp are shown here. The first is a very high quality tarp which comes in a convenient carrying case. The second is a smaller tarp, suitable for placing in a backpack or other compact space.

Tarps are used for several purposes. They can be used as a makeshift shelter, or to augment a shelter such as a lean-to. If you have access to better equipment, it can be used to simply keep rain off of your tent. Additionally tarps are useful for giving supplies some protection against the elements. When the rain comes down, you are going to be extremely pleased at your foresight in picking up this simple item.

Other uses for tarps include usage as a condensation collector, the process for which is explained in the bivvy sack section. A tarp can also be used to reduce visibility or as a temporary replacement for a window or damaged wall if you are inside a structure. Naturally, a tarp is useful when securing a transported load, as well.

In an emergency event that involves certain biological or chemical hazards, such as during a terrorist attack or disease outbreak, it can fulfill the practical functions of plastic sheeting. Plastic sheeting is a low cost alternative to tarps, although it will cover more area and is adapatable for many of the same purpouses, it tends to be bulkier and therefore less portable. Plastic sheeting also tends to tear much easier, although it is useful if you have a large area to cover or are taping the interior of a structure.

This is definitely a piece of survival gear that you should have in your arsenal. The tarps shown here do not have fancy carrying cases, but are quite suitable to packing with a tent or in a backpack in situations where emergency mobility is needed.

In a wilderness situation, tarps and plastic sheeting are also useful for such situations as reducing the number of insects on game animals that have been hunted, and for creating a dry layer between the ground and where you are sleeping or storing food.

In an emergency medical situation or when carrying game, tarps can be improvised into makeshift sleds by tying the metal loops to poles. This allows reasonably large loads to be dragged over many types of terrain.


Tents

A tent is the ultimate in portable shelter.

It is lightweight, can be carried by one person along with other gear and can house several people. It can be used in any outdoor environment where other shelter may not be practical. It does not require fuel to move, can be set up almost anywhere and is fairly easy to camouflage.

When acquiring a tent it is important to consider the conditions you will be likely to face and how many people that are likely to be housed there. For that reason I am providing links to several varieties of tents, suitable for different purposes.

The first of these tents is a Taurus model. A good solid tent suitable for four people. Relatively compact at a little over 9 lbs. This one is tall enough to stand up in, which is an advantage for some people. There is a fair amount of space if you have a smaller group that you are traveling with.

It is a good idea to practice pitching your tent and re-assembling it so that you can set it up quickly if needed due to incoming weather or sudden nightfall. The first couple of times you pitch (set up) a tent it seems fairly complicated and you will probably need to follow instructions. After you do it a few times it will become second nature and you will be able to assemble it very quickly.

The next tent is the Eureka Assault Outfitter tent. This is a good all environment tent, whether in the mountains, forest, sand or snow. The green color makes it easier to blend in to forest or jungle environments. The design for this tent has military origins.
It is also a good idea to place a piece of sheeted plastic or a tarp underneath a tent, this will help in the event that the ground gets wet. You should look for a place that is sheltered by trees, if possible. In siting your tent you should look for a reasonably soft piece of ground and remove any rocks or other uncomfortable ground cover if possible. The most important thing is to make sure that it is not situated in a place where water will collect if it happens to rain.

A tent can be improvised using a tarp and rope or poles, however it is generally considered to be more comfortable to have an actual tent.

There are several varieties of tents available. This one is a Polaris mountaineering tent, suitable for two people in rugged conditions. This is a high end tent, but is lightweight at a little over two kilos and is designed to exacting specifications. This tent is high visibility yellow, which can be an advantage if you are in a remote area and desire to be spotted by aircraft. The polaris is a good choice for a tent to keep in your personal vehicle while you travel through areas such as mountain passes or the desert. It is designed to be resistant to wind shear and has rugged construction suitable for mountaineering or other similarly harsh environs. It can be snapped together in seconds, due to its engineering level and can be put almost anywhere. This tent is the sort of thing you take when mountain climbing, which means its good anywhere and everyhwere

If you are moving through the wilderness alone and need a lightweight tent that will help you maintain a very low profile, then this tent is a good solution. Designed with camouflage and creating a minimal silhouette in mind, this bivouac shelter will do the job. When the hills are crawling with mutant zombies and you have a lot of ground to cover then this is the perfect choice.

This last tent is truly a monster and the sort of thing you want if you have a ton of gear or a huge clan you are traveling with. Suitable for eight people (there are other even larger tents, but most of them have problems with wind shear or water accumulation). This is a good choice for a large expedition or if you have a large family.

Each of these models has advantages and disadvantages. Selection of a tent is highly situation dependent. It is always a good idea to pick up some extra tent stakes and rope to keep with your kit. It is definitely important to secure your tent properly. High winds can wreak havoc on a poorly secured tent. You should be careful to examine your setup and anticipate any place where water may pool either on top of or near your tent. You do not want to be caught in a sudden downpour and wake up in the middle of a lake with all of your clothing and supplies wet.

Regardless of which model you feel is best for you and your family, a tent is a must have piece of gear. When times are good, its nice to get out and enjoy the wilderness and re-attune to nature. It is an amazing mental reset and can bring a great deal of perspective to your life. If you are fortunate to live in an area where you can camp away from crowded campgrounds, even better. It is an enjoyable experience. When times are tough, those skills gained while camping will pay off.

If you are unfortunate enough to ever become caught up in a mega scale disaster and don’t want to find yourself in a refugee camp, or housed in a stadium with thousands of crazed people, you will be extremely pleased at this purchase.

A camping tent is an essential part of any contingency program. Think like a boy scout. Be prepared. Remember it is always better to be ready than to be caught flat footed and unprepared.


Water Filter

Water is more important than food. Without a clean and reliable water source you are not going to make it very far in the wilderness. You can live for an extended period of time without food, your life expectancy without water is only a few days.

It is strongly advised that one of the first things you acquire is a manually powered system to filter water, such as this one (sponsored link) Hyperflow Microsystem. The utility of this item exceeds almost any other item you can own.

Your body needs an intake of almost a half gallon of water a day to maintain maximum efficiency. Most people are accustomed to getting their intake from drinks such as coffee, milk and orange juice. In a survival situation you may have only the choice of a river, lake, pond, swamps or even mud-puddles to drink from. Many areas have extremely limited water sources.

In an urban environment, where there has been a general collapse, availability of water may be extremely limited. Large scale projects such as urban sewage and water distribution systems are likely to become non-functioning within a short period of time, following any significant catastrophe.

About the water purifier

Like all useful items, this has a very high TRADE VALUE. It can literally make the difference in life or death. It is capable of providing a gallon of potable drinking water from almost any source in a little over a minute. The filters are usable for 265 gallons. Thats enough water to supply one person for about 16 months. Additional filters can be used to supply more people or provide backups. This particular filter has many quality features and has won awards. It is capable of fitting directly on water bottles from the same supplier, or can be used to pour purified water into any container.

It is a compact 7.4 ounces so it is well worth the carrying weight.

Umbrella strollers

What is an umbrella stroller?

Umbrella strollers used to be fit only for quick errands and were made for older babies and toddlers. The new generations of umbrella strollers are compact, lightweight, often fully featured rides. Some recline for infants and even accept a car seat. Find the right umbrella stroller and it may be the only stroller you and your baby ever need. They are perfect for the parents who travel to and fro.

Types of umbrella strollers according to price

You will be happy to know that you would find quality umbrella strollers in a very attractive price. They are so convenient and not so costly. But if you want more luxuries for your baby, you can go for the expensive strollers. Here are the types of umbrella strollers according to the price range.

Low priced umbrella strollers

If you are suffering from some financial problems, you can go for low priced strollers for your baby and their price range visit around of $50. But don’t be fooled by exceedingly low price. Qualities also matters and look for the height. Many of them are not so tall which makes movement uncomfortable while posh. However, these strollers are typically rather small and extremely lightweight, which makes them easy to fold up and store.

Mid level priced umbrella strollers

You can also go for mid level umbrella strollers if you don’t want to invest a lot of money on baby strollers. Mid level are good and they varying from $50 to $100. These strollers will offer a bit more than the low budget version. They are overall better than low priced in the terms of design, comfortable and quality. If you want my opinion, I would say that you should go for mid-level. Because they are just perfect with their price and quality. They won’t disappoint you.

Expensive umbrella strollers

If you want something very attractive looking for exclusive features, then you can choose expensive umbrella strollers which are about more than $100. These strollers will come with many extra features that you may or may not need. When it comes to spending this much on a second stroller, it is very important to consider what you will be using it for the most. Many parents will find that the lower cost strollers are going to be perfect to meet their current needs in a second stroller.

What should you look for while buying umbrella strollers?

Now I’ll show you some rules and steps form where you can choose your umbrella stroller form this best umbrella strollers review.

Easy to use:

First of all, you will have to look for its using system. It has to be easy to use. It shouldn’t take a lot of space and has to be comfortable to scroll forward. Some strollers offer a one handed collapsing mechanism; this may be easier in theory than in practice at first, but doing it a few times in your living room before you actually take the baby out in it can help.

Weight

Umbrella strollers weight can be vary from nine pounds to up to twenty pounds. But the weight must be equivalent with its size and features. Many lightweight strollers have a carrying handle or strap, which can be a godsend. Pick and choose your extra features carefully; remember that portability is one of the main assets of an umbrella stroller, so don’t let your load get too heavy.

Dimensions

Think about the dimensions of the stroller. The dimension will make you comfy when you visit somewhere and good dimension will let you do your work flawlessly.

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How to choose the best LED Flashlights

LED flashlight is sure no longer a niche technology. Now, you can buy this kind of flashlight at almost any store, and many of the good ones are not even that expensive.

However, while LED flashlight nowadays has better quality than regular flashlight with common bulb, you must pay attention to the quality like you do when choosing other products.

What must be looked at when you are choosing an LED flashlight? Here are some:

Lumens

Basically, the lumen amounts determine the brightness level of your LED flashlight. The more lumens an LED flashlight has, the brighter it becomes, and of course the more expensive it will be. Therefore, choose wisely.

If you are buying one for indoor use, 10 lumens are enough. If your area often experiences blackouts or you are picking some for your 72-Hour survival kit, you might want to add another flashlight with larger amount of lumens (say, 100 to 300).

If you are often do outdoor activities such as hiking, perhaps you need flashlight with more than 300 lumens.

Operation

Most LED flashlights have on-off button on their rear parts, but you will also find some that have more traditional on-off switches.

Basically, it is all about convenience; which one is more convenient for your hand, than choose it. However, if you need a flashlight for activities that require tactical ability, such as a job as police officer, the ones with rear on-off button will be your advantage (common example is Maglite that is carried by many police officers in the US).

Batteries

Each battery type has different characteristic that determine your LED flashlight performance. Regular batteries such as AA and AAA are easy to get and last quite long, but you must buy the new ones every time. Rechargeable batteries are more expensive and last in shorter period than regular batteries, but you can save battery money in the future. If you only use batteries at home, you may want to buy rechargeable batteries. If you spend much time outdoor, buy regular LED flashlight and stock regular batteries.

SHTF preparedness: We prepped and prepared for a non-existent blizzard

winter_weather_preparedness2

Yesterday, our family busily prepared for a predicted major weather event. All the locals cancelled school, and residents were told to expect 8-20 inches of snow along with power outages and water shortages.

Because we are a family who invests in practical preparedness, we didn’t panic, we got to work.

Mondays are my regular grocery shopping days, so as planned I picked up our fresh foods: fruit, veggies, and meats.

I also picked up a turkey breast to roast and slice into sandwich meat, in case of a power outage. I also picked up 2 cases of water.

In past water shortages, our town has required residents to boil water due to the water line dipping too low.

With the promise of a water shortage AND a power outage, I opted for bottled water. We have a family of people, as well as dogs and rabbits to care for, and those priorities are a the top of our list.

At home while I filled water pitchers and tucked away our foodstuffs.

Rob plugged in all our electronic devices. Laptops, phones, even my Kindle reader. He also checked our flashlights, making sure they were all where they belonged and had fresh batteries.

I made sure our laundry was done and double checked everyone’s gloves/hats/scarves, and paired up snowsuits with coats. Rob made sure the snow shovels and snow thrower were all placed near the garage door for easy access.

With everything done, I prepared a few foods that could be eaten cold later, in case we lost power. I baked 2 loaves of my favorite sandwich bread, a couple of pizzas with Rob’s homemade New York style dough, and cookies.

We peeked out the windows this morning, expecting to see a winter wonderland.

But the blizzard never came.

The storm has been downgraded, and only a couple of inches are expected. We were surprised, and a bit disappointed. It has been a snow-poor winter, and we were hoping for some outdoor fun. We are also thankful to not be faced with multiple feet of snow, and for a full night’s rest, rather than a full night of snow throwing.

We are often asked if there is such a thing as being over-prepared.

Yes, there is!

Today, we are over-prepared. We don’t view this as a problem. When we prepare for an event that does not happen, our efforts do not go to waste. The food and water will keep and sustain us over the next several days.

We know our flashlights are up to par, and our electronic devices are fully charged for next use.

Instead of spending the day playing outside or shoveling, we plan to spend the day having a picnic/movie/game day in our toasty warm living room.

Over-preparing is having so large a stock pile that it is never appropriately rotated, and items expire and are wasted.

Over-preparing is a stock pile poorly managed or neglected that become infested with vermin, or is left to rust/wither or decompose. Over-preparing is sacrificing your present for your future.

Preparing does require sacrifice, but it does not require you to bankrupt yourself, or force you to live in a hoard.

Preparing is careful, intentional curating. A balance of the present *and* the future.

Winter preparedness: 10 fantastic winter survival tips

preparing your home for winter

I don’t know about you guys.

But its cold up in here.

We had our first ever sugar on snow, straight from our yard. We even managed to have enough of the right kind of snow to make an entire snowman family in the front yard. Our days have been uncharacteristically sunny and cold, and our town is decorated with icicles and frost bloom.

Our first winter here wasn’t nearly so poetic. The first snow left three feet. The second snow left another three feet. Over the course of the winter, we had so much snow our driveway was reduced to a thin, one lane path. My vehicle, a 2 wheel drive Expedition, hit a patch of ice and got stuck. In our driveway.

My neighbor nearly cracked a rib from laughter.

We sold my Expedition that spring.

Since that eventful year, we have taken steps towards eliminating that kind of mayhem. Not all our mayhem of course, but at least as much of the mayhem of the winter variety as we can manage.

Here are our top 10 picks for winter preparedness!

1. Stock your emergency kit.

We keep a vehicle emergency kit in the car at all times. This isn’t a portable bug out bag, instead its a kit meant to live in the car.

We recently upgraded our kit from a suitcase to an orange water cooler. This gives us a large container to store water, should we need to.

In this kit, I include items for all seasons. Extra sets of winter clothing (including boots, winter socks, mittens/gloves, coats) for each member of the family, along with extra heavy blankets.

I also add an extra ice scraper, a bag of rock salt, a bag of kitty litter or sand, and several packs of hand warmers.

2. Make your vehicle cold proof.

No matter what age your vehicle is, get it ready for winter weather. Check all your fluids, and get any work done that you have been putting off.

Change your wiper blades, brake rotors, and make sure you have a deicing agent in your washer fluid. Change your filters, and even clean out the car.

Nobody likes to be hip deep in snow, trying to clean out last week’s french fry boxes. Take the time to start your car with a few minutes to warm up, especially for older vehicles.

Be gentle to your engines, the weather is taking its toll. You should also invest in the best aftermarket brake rotors out there.

3. Invest in excellent cold weather gear.

Don’t waste your time on a winter coat, gloves, hat or any other winter wear that doesn’t do the job of keeping you warm.

A $20 coat of JCPenney that doesn’t keep you warm is a waste of your $20. Invest in the real deal.

We have had excellent results with Lands End and LL Bean for our daily life winter needs.

For more heavy duty needs, we have preferred Patagonia gear.

For boots, the same is true. When we first moved, in a fit of frugality, I choose a pair of snow boots from Payless and nearly landed myself a nice case of frostbite after a day out. Lesson learned. Kamik for the win.

Also, layer your winter gear. You’d be amazed how quickly you can break a sweat in zero degree weather.

4. Prepare for a power outage.

Winter is probably one of the worst times to experience a power outage. If possible, set yourself up with an alternative heat source.

Our home is all electric, so a power outage in winter is serious business, and means we have to leave the home for warmer shores.

Ideally, we would like to have a propane or oil based heat system as a back up. We have chosen not to do so because of our impending move, however it is high on our list when house hunting begins.

Make sure you have a stock of ready to eat foods, and water available to you as well.

5. Cold proof your home.

Get yourself a storm door.

Seal up any gaps or cracks, and apply a heat keeping film over your windows and unused doors. Close off any rooms you don’t frequent, so you can save the heat for the rooms that matter most.

If you want to preserve your floors, get a good sized rug and drip mat for wet boots. We even have old sheets that we lay out for the dogs to walk on after they come in, to avoid tracking in mud, snow and salt.

6. Check the weather report.

Winter is the most important time to watch the weather, and plan ahead.

Winter storms bring ice, heavy snow, and white out conditions. You do not want to be driving home in a white out with a trunk full of groceries. Trust a sister.

Check the weekly weather forecast each day and plan your trips accordingly. Even if the weather suggests flurries, be prepared for a full on heavy snow, just in case. Mother Nature is a finicky lady.

7. Stave off cabin fever

We don’t like to travel much in winter, due to the weather conditions and because we hate getting the truck crusted with corrosive salt. Add this to my new regime of challenges for money saving, and you have a recipe for cabin fever.

Come to this fight well armed.

The internet is full of ideas to keep the mind occupied.

We have been working on craft projects and playing the snow, reading up on prepping, teaching Little Lady to sew, and learning ways to start fires. We’ve also begun weekly “new recipe” night, which features either a recipe we’ve always wanted to try, or a camp fire recipe for wilderness readiness.

Hone your prepper skills and use the time to bond with your family.

8. Cold proof your pets

Because of the sheer depth of snow we receive, we have to shovel out a section of the yard for the girl to use as a potty spot.

We also have to take care to make sure the deck stairs are cleared of snow, and that there are no patches of packed snow or ice for the girls to slip on.

Take care as to what type of deicer you use on areas that pets frequent. Many are irritants to the skin, or could cause illness when ingested..

I also keep a handy stash of sweaters and coats for the girls, for when the cold becomes too much for them. We also lay out old sheets for them to clean their paws on as they enter the house, and I often use them to remove snow that gets caught between their toes.

9. Stock your medicine cabinet

Winter is the season for spreading germs.

Right now, our entire country is under a nasty flu epidemic. I for one, don’t intend to be dragging my miserable self to a drug store if our family gets sick.

Through couponing, I have managed to full stock our medicine chest with cold and flu meds for both adults and Little Lady. Some of these are even homeopathic!

10. Keep it clean

We are back to germs on this one. We have a policy when we are out. First, never touch your face. Second, always use sanitizer. Each time we get back into the car, we use sanitizing wipes or foam. And each time we come home, we wash our hands.

Cleanliness is your first defense against illness. I also make a habit of washing any clothing that is worn out, the same day we wear it. I’m not a huge germaphobe, but I’m no lover of the flu either!

What are some of your favorite tips for winter prepping?

Pakistan-India nuclear weapons rivalry brings US closer to the apocalypse

India and Pakistan nuclear weapon rivarly

Pakistan went nuclear in 1990.

Dr. A.Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistani nuclear program, has openly confessed on television to selling Pakistan’s nuclear technology to the highest bidders.

Some of his best customers were Libya and Iran. The huge gas centrifuge for enriching uranium at Natanz, Iran was obtained on the black market from Dr. Khan.

Kahn, who was an expert on centrifuges, used to steal them from the Dutch company Urenco in 1974.

China helped Khan smuggle out the nuclear materials, and then gave Pakistan the blueprints on how to build a nuclear weapon.

Khan openly orchestrated a major worldwide black market operation of selling nuclear secrets and equipment. He was a master smuggler. He even had a brochure which advertised “nuclear related products” for building nuclear weapons, including centrifuges for enriching uranium.

Abdul Qadeer Khan: The man who invented nukes in Pakistan
Abdul Qadeer Khan: The man who invented nukes in Pakistan

He made millions selling nuclear technology and equipment to Iran, North Korea, Libya, and others. Just to sweeten the deal, he threw in the blueprints for building a nuclear weapon that China gave to Pakistan. He even provided technical support if the customers needed help.

It is very likely that Khan even sold nuclear technology and equipment to terrorists. He was pardoned and patted on the back by the Pakistani government for his actions, and the people of Pakistan now regard him as a national hero. In fact, they call him “the father of the Islamic bomb.”

It is widely believed that Khan did not act alone.

The heavy security surrounding the nuclear installations makes it difficult to believe that he could have moved that equipment without the government’s awareness, or even their assistance. In fact, the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, was actually caught selling nuclear weapons technology to North Korea.

In December 2003, the US caught Pakistan selling nuclear materials, equipment, and blueprints to Libya.

If it wasn’t for Khan and the Pakistani government, Libya never would’ve gotten centrifuges for nuclear enrichment. If it wasn’t for Khan and the Pakistani government, Iran never would have gotten the nuclear program that they have today.

Thanks, Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Stockpile

Pakistan has enough material to build over 100 nuclear weapons, but no delivery system. North Korea has an advanced missile system, but no nuclear weapon. North Korea recently sold their missile technology to Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

Many of the Pakistani nuclear officials have hardcore Islamic views, and at least two of them met with Osama bin Laden before his death and discussed nuclear weapons, according to Matthew Bunn of Managing the Atom Project, Harvard University.

[Tweet “In a 2004 research poll, 65% Pakistanis said that they have a favorable view of Osama bin Laden.”]
  • A staggering 97% of Pakistan’s population are Muslims. One does not have to keep up with current events to understand that hardcore Muslims hate America.
  • In 1997, Pakistan detonated six nuclear weapons.
  • Pakistan has approximately 15 other nuclear warheads, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
  • Just before the 9/11 attacks, two Pakistani nuclear scientists discussed nuclear weapons with Osama bin Laden.

The stated objective of Al Qaeda is to “kill 4 million Americans, including 2 million children.” That is the number required to “balance the scales of justice” for all the bad things that America has done, according to Al Qaeda math.

They obviously cannot kill 4 million people by flying airplanes into buildings. The only way to accomplish their stated goal is to obtain and use nuclear weapons. That will likely be accomplished with the aid of Pakistan.

India’s nuclear weapons

india and pakistan nuclear weapons

Pakistan’s primary adversary, India, detonated its first nuclear weapon in 1974.

Not to be outdone by Pakistan’s six nuclear detonations in 1997, India detonated eight of their own in 1998. India has approximately 100 warheads and claims to have tested a hydrogen bomb.

Both Pakistan and India have more than enough ballistic missiles to carry those warheads, and probably start another world war in the process. This almost happened in the spring of 1990 when India and Pakistan had a major showdown which almost led to all-out nuclear war.

Syria has one of the largest surface-to-surface ballistic missile collections in the Middle East, and has the capacity to produce liquid-fueled Scud missiles, as well as solid-fuel missiles.

Terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda have access to nuclear bomb materials through a variety of terrorist-friendly sources including Iran and Pakistan. If they could gather about 60 pounds of enriched uranium to make one crude nuclear device, it would be relatively easy to sneak it across the porous borders of the United States.

That bomb would have about the same disastrous effects as the one dropped on Hiroshima. It would wipe out an area of nearly two miles across in a microsecond, and would begin dropping radioactive fallout almost immediately. If the terrorists chose New York City, for example, the bomb could easily kill a million people and turn the site into a radioactive wasteland.

It would be easy to smuggle highly enriched uranium (HEU) into the United States through these busy shipping ports.

If the HEU were hidden in a lead pipe with lead caps on each end, the radiation detectors at normal settings would have to be a couple of inches away to even detect it at all.

If the detectors were set to extremely high sensitivity, there are a variety of common goods which would continually cause them to give false alarms, including ceramics, ores, stones, biological materials, televisions, chemical products, kitty litter, and many others.

It doesn’t take much HEU to make a nuclear weapon- 25 grams, about the size of a grapefruit. So all a terrorist would have to do is place 25 grams of HEU in a lead pipe and hide it in a shipping container full of kitty litter. It may very well be that simple.

Iran can easily smuggle nuclear uranium into the US through these busy shipping ports

iran nuclear weapons

The Iranian government has a consistent record of lying at every opportunity, according to Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

They have been hiding a clandestine fledgling nuclear weapons program for twenty years and have lied about its existence year after year. Even now, when faced with irrefutable evidence, they continue to lie about their nuclear development.

It is much easier to build a nuclear bomb with uranium than plutonium, so uranium is much more likely to be the material of choice by terrorist countries, i.e. Iran.

Uranium is comparatively easy to mine in its natural form, U-238. The problem is that to build a bomb, you need U-235, a very rare isotope that has to be separated out of the U-238. Less than one percent of the uranium you pull out of the ground is U-235, and that makes it very difficult to purify, or enrich it. Enriching uranium is a daunting, technologically difficult problem.

Uranium enrichment

Unfortunately, Iran has solved this problem. They have built centrifuges that are used to separate the heavier U-238 from the U-235, thus enriching it to weapons grade uranium.

Iran frequently claims that they are merely enriching uranium to use in their nuclear power plants and for cancer treatment. That is total hogwash, because enriching uranium for power plants and for nuclear weapons is the same procedure, using the same centrifuges. It is a wonder that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can even say it with a straight face, since Iran has admitted to deceiving nuclear inspectors for 17 years.

For years the Islamic regime of Iran has been blatantly operating a uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But the Isfahan facility has now been eclipsed by two nuclear plants in central Iran, one in Arak and one in Natanz, which were disguised as “anti-desert erosion plants.” They are actually the heart of a secret nuclear weapons production program.

The Arak plant is a heavy water reactor which is being used for plutonium production. The uranium enrichment facility at Natanz site is a large gas centrifuge plant which is being used to produce weapons grade uranium. The Natanz site is a particular concern, because it has been in operation since 2006 and has nearly 8,000 working centrifuges.

iran nuclear weapons
The Natanz facility has been in operation since 2006 and has nearly 8,000 working centrifuges

The Natanz plant was built underground, like the new uranium enrichment facility near Fordo. The Fordo centrifuges are more efficient and are producing 20% enriched uranium, which is much easier to convert for weapons grade nuclear warheads.

Weapons grade uranium is 90% pure.

The Fordo centrifuge laboratory is basically a hardened tunnel deep underground, surrounded by air defense missile batteries. The facility is shielded from satellite surveillance and protected from airstrikes by 300 feet of solid rock. Fordo was a top secret installation in Iran until its discovery by intelligence sources in September 2009.

How many other secrets is Iran hiding?

Negotiating with Iran

In 2005, a new type of roadside mine was killing US and British soldiers serving in Iraq, even penetrating armored vehicles. It was discovered that these mines were manufactured exclusively in Iran.

President Bush sent a private warning to Iran to stop this behavior immediately. Iran rather boldly responded that they would stop killing our soldiers in Iraq if we would let them continue unabated with their nuclear enrichment program.

The counteroffer was ignored, and Iran made it clear that if it was attacked, Iranian allies in Iraq would keep killing our soldiers. President Ahmadinejad afterwards made a speech in which he declared that “nuclear power is our absolute right!”

Soon after, the British government refused to endorse American policy or any military action against Iran.

In 2006, the US offered Iran the unspeakably stupid concession of “centrifuges for research.” As we know, enriching uranium for bombs and for “research” is the same process. Ahmadinejad was initially against the proposal, suspecting a trap. The two sides came together in New York during the UN General Assembly.

Iran would agree to temporarily suspend enrichment, and the western powers would agree to temporarily suspend sanctions. But Ahmadinejad arrived in New York with much pomp and circumstance, announcing at the General Assembly that there would be absolutely no compromise. Iran proceeded with its uranium enrichment program, and the west proceeded with its laughable sanctions.

Bunker busters

In 1981, Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor to stop Saddam Hussein from developing nuclear weapons.

In 2007, Israeli forces took out a Syrian nuclear reactor. Israel officials have said that defense forces are already practicing for a strike on the Iranian plants. Israel purchased 500 special “bunker buster” bombs in September of 2004. But it is doubtful that even these specialized bombs can puncture the 300 feet of solid rock protecting the Iranian centrifuge labs at Fordo.

GBU-57BIn January 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon has requested a 30,000 pound bunker buster, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator.

This bomb is designed specifically to deploy against these Iranian centrifuge labs.

About $330 million has been spent on the project so far, and the Pentagon has requested an additional $82 million for improvements, because it is doubtful if the bomb in its current form would have any effect on the Fordo labs. They are simply too deep and well protected.

Delivery systems

Missiles of Iran
Missiles of Iran

Iran has also developed the missiles necessary to deliver their nuclear weapons. On January 2, 2012, Iran proudly announced that they had successfully test-fired two long range missiles in the Gulf.

Israel suspects that Iran now has a missile with a range of 6,000 miles- long enough to reach the United States.

On February 3, 2012 Iran launched a satellite into orbit which now circles the earth 15 times a day. The major concern is that the missile which carried the satellite into orbit, the Safir, could also be used as an intercontinental ballistic missile.

[Tweet “On February 3, 2012 Iran launched a satellite into orbit which now circles the earth 15 times a day. #SHTF”]

Mother of modern terrorism

Iran has been called the “mother of modern terrorism.” Since they took control of Iran in the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iranian Muslims have killed more Americans in terror attacks than anyone besides Al Qaeda.

The 911 Commission Report found clear links between Iran and Al Qaeda. Iran financially supports a variety of terrorist cells, most notably Hezbollah, which trained Al Qaeda operatives during the 1990’s.

Porter Goss, former CIA Director, believes that Iran is still harboring Al Qaeda fugitives today.

Terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda have access to nuclear bomb materials through a variety of terrorist-friendly sources including Iran and Pakistan.

If they could gather about 60 pounds of enriched uranium to make one crude nuclear device, it would be relatively easy to sneak it across the porous borders of the United States.

That bomb would have about the same disastrous effects as the one dropped on Hiroshima. It would wipe out an area of nearly two miles across in a microsecond, and would begin dropping radioactive fallout almost immediately. If the terrorists chose New York City, for example, the bomb could easily kill a million people and turn the site into a radioactive wasteland.

enough.boatIt would be easy to smuggle highly enriched uranium (HEU) into the United States through these busy shipping ports. If the HEU were hidden in a lead pipe with lead caps on each end, the radiation detectors at normal settings would have to be a couple of inches away to even detect it at all. If the detectors were set to extremely high sensitivity, there are a variety of common goods which would continually cause them to give false alarms, including ceramics, ores, stones, biological materials, televisions, chemical products, kitty litter, and many others.

It doesn’t take much HEU to make a nuclear weapon- 25 grams, about the size of a grapefruit. So all a terrorist would have to do is place 25 grams of HEU in a lead pipe and hide it in a shipping container full of kitty litter.

It may very well be that simple.

Diplomat: North Korea’s drug business finances its nuclear weapons program

The death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il in December of 2011 has only increased the uncertainty over who controls the nuclear weapons in North Korea.

Friends share

For years China has shared advanced missile and space technology with North Korea. North Korea now has a ballistic missile capable of reaching the US West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii, using the same missile guidance technology that President Clinton apparently assisted the Chinese in procuring from our national defense. (See Nuclear Weapons in China)

The North Koreans also have at least two plutonium-based nuclear weapons and probably more.

It is hard to know their precise capabilities because they are extremely secretive and uncooperative with other countries, especially the United Nations.

The UN Security Council has debated sanctions against North Korea for this clear breach of international agreements, but North Korea has said this would amount to a declaration of war. In its usual invertebrate fashion, the UN has opted to do nothing.

Morally bankrupt

North Korea is a major supplier of drugs and counterfeit US currency in today’s black market, and the money from these nefarious projects helps finance North Korea’s fledgling nuclear weapons program.

In fact, more than 50 North Koreans, including diplomats, have been arrested in more than 20 countries on drug-related charges.

According to Raphael Perl of the Congressional Research Service, “the North Korean state is a continuing criminal enterprise.”

Mr. Perl also said that North Korea’s drug business finances the costs of its nuclear program, and that the drug-smuggling methods are the same methods that will be employed to smuggle nuclear materials.

Now that they are well-practiced and adept at the smuggling routine, they will be very efficient at smuggling nuclear arms.

According to Matthew Bunn, Managing the Atom Project, Harvard University, “North Korea is a country that has a history of selling any weapon it had to anyone that would buy.”

They’ve sold missiles to Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and smaller arms to a whole host of other countries.

Jimmy Carter: The gift that keeps on giving

Jimmy carter in North KoreaWhile its people are dying by the hundreds of thousands from starvation and lack of heat in their homes, the North Korean government is pouring money into the development of nuclear weapons.

In 1994, former President Jimmy Carter and the Clinton administration reached an agreement with North Korea to stop all nuclear weapons development. In return, the US would give the starving North Korean people over one billion dollars in food and oil, and would construct two billion-dollar nuclear power plants to provide electricity.

The North Korean government promptly diverted the US donated food to the military and starved two million of their citizens to death.

In direct violation of their agreement, the North Koreans never stopped the development of nuclear weapons. In fact, thanks to Jimmy Carter and the Clinton administration, North Korea now has nuclear reactors with which they can easily manufacture plutonium. Because of this, North Korea is a much bigger threat today than they were before 1994.

In 1995, famine brought North Korea to its knees. The government of the secretive and enigmatic North Korea had to ask for international help as the famine continued to take its toll, eventually killing over three million of its people.

Once again, the United States and its allies gave billions of dollars in humanitarian aid to North Korea. The situation today is still desperate with poverty and famine, and the US still gives them humanitarian aid to ease the suffering of the people.

While we feed them, the North Korean people are told by their government that their plight is the fault of the United States, inciting their hatred and ill-will toward us.

True to form, North Korea never keeps its promises. In March 2012, North Korea once again agreed to “suspend nuclear activities” in exchange for 240,000 metric tons of food, compliments of the United States of America.

In 1985, North Korea signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. At the same time, it was developing long-range missile technology and building another reactor to enrich plutonium.

In 1992 North and South Korea agreed to the Joint Declaration for a Non-Nuclear Korean Peninsula. Even as they signed the document, the North Koreans were simultaneously working to develop plutonium nuclear reactors. They eventually achieved this with the help of Mr. Carter and Mr. Clinton.

Nuclear Technology

N. Korea's nuclear weapon technology
N. Korea’s nuclear weapon technology

North Korea is reported to have a uranium enrichment program in Pyongyang for making weapons grade nuclear material. Because of this, the United States finally stopped the free fuel oil shipments to North Korea in November of 2002.

In December of 2002, UN nuclear inspectors were expelled from North Korea, and the monitoring equipment at the Pyongyang nuclear reactor was deactivated.

In January 2003 the nuclear reactor was up and running, apparently for processing weapons grade nuclear materials. Days later, North Korea warned that it reserved the right to unleash a rain of fire on US forces in the region.

In April 2003, North Korea proudly proclaimed its reprocessing of thousands of nuclear fuel rods, converting them into weapons grade plutonium. It is suspected that using this technology, they have added an additional six nuclear weapons to the two already in their arsenal. US satellites are monitoring underground nuclear test sites in the mountains of North Korea.

In 2006 and 2009 they claim to have tested nuclear weapons. Some experts believe that the North Koreans experimented with nuclear fusion devices in 2010, which could provide a much higher yield.

US experts believe that the nuclear devices detonated with a low yield because they did not function properly. Fortunately, it is extremely difficult to build a plutonium-based bomb that is viable.

North Korea has formally withdrawn from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, they will permit no inspections, and they refuse to engage in any negotiations. Despite the 1994 agreement and all our continuing assistance to them, North Korea now boasts of having nuclear weapons that will reach the west coast of the United States. They are using this nuclear program to incite fear and gain concessions from America.

The plan is working. It has already gained them two billion dollars in food and oil and two nuclear reactors worth a billion dollars each, all compliments of the United States tax payer.

Terrorist state

Unifying the entire Korean peninsula under the communist whip is the goal of North Korea, and they will stop at nothing to achieve it.

As a nation they traditionally sponsor and use terrorism as part of the regular course of business.

Kim Jong II sent two North Korean terrorists to place a bomb on Korean Airlines Flight 858 in South Korea in 1987. All 115 people aboard were killed.

North Korea is now on the US State Department’s List of Terrorist States. The North Korean regime has made repeated threats, confrontations, and outright attacks, including incredibly bloody assassination attempts on South Korean government officials. In spite of this, South Korea continues to help North Korea. In 2004 alone, South Korea donated $256 million in humanitarian aid to North Korea.

DMZ Most volatile place on earth

The demilitarized zone, or DMZ, between North Korea and South Korea is the most heavily fortified border in the world, and has been called the most volatile place on earth. It is 151 miles of razor wire, landmines, tank-traps, and gun emplacements. In the neutral areas between North Korea and South Korea, it has become commonplace for North Korean soldiers to spit upon and viciously attack United States soldiers stationed there, trying to provoke a response which will lead to an all-out war.

And that is precisely what North Korea wants.

On April 7, 2004, the 33-page “Detailed Wartime Guidelines” was issued by the North Korean government.

The pamphlet contains anti-America propaganda and preaches about how the United States is strangling and destroying North Korea, and gives details on how to survive a war with the US. This mostly consists of evacuating to underground bunkers with weapons and food. It appears that they have forgotten the billions of dollars that the American taxpayer has given them over the years.

Countless North Korean incursions into the demilitarized zone between the two countries over the years have cost the lives of hundreds of United States and South Korean soldiers. In its usual spineless fashion the United Nations does nothing in response, and the brutal killing goes on.

The animosity and antagonistic attitude of North Korea toward America and its allies may prove to be our biggest international problem in the future. Not if, but when the North Korean Army crosses the DMZ in force again, the United States will automatically be drawn into the conflict.

We have 37,000 American troops stationed in South Korea, and we are committed to defend that country under the 1954 treaty. The Korean peninsula is likely to be the flashpoint from which World War III will erupt.

New Evidence: Bill Clinton might have sold nuclear weapon intelligence to China

china nuclear weapons
  • China tested its first atomic bomb in 1964 and has conducted 45 nuclear tests since then.
  • China tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile in 1980, and its first submarine-launched ballistic missile in 1982.

Seeking to improve its nuclear arsenal, China stole advanced nuclear weapon secrets from the United States during the 1990’s.

According to the Senate floor statement of US Senator James M. Inhofe on March 15, 1999, one of the most serious breaches of national security in our lifetime occurred when President Bill Clinton and his administration covered up the Chinese theft of our top secret nuclear weapons data.

Senator Inhofe has since said repeatedly that President Clinton covered up the theft of technology regarding the top secret W-88 thermonuclear warhead. This warhead has an explosive capacity ten times greater than the Hiroshima bomb.

China was also able to acquire advanced US missile guidance technology because President Clinton personally signed export control waivers in 1996 for two aerospace companies, Loral and Hughes, to transfer that technology to China under the guise of satellite technology.

Bill-ClintonIn a conspicuous coincidence, top executives from these two companies were among the largest campaign donors to Mr. Clinton.

The evidence suggests that Mr. Clinton basically sold our guidance technology to the Chinese.

In fact, the top contributors to Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992 were Chinese representatives. In 1996, defense contractors who were selling missile technology to China were at the top of the contributions list.

According to Senator Inhofe, “On May 7th, the Senate Intelligence Committee formally concluded that satellite waivers issued by the President had harmed national security by allowing the Chinese to improve their ICBM capabilities… The lost secrets include details about the neutron bomb, electromagnetic pulse weapons, re-entry vehicles, 50 years of information gathered from nuclear testing, every phase of nuclear design, space radar capabilities, and even the procedures to simulate nuclear testing with computers.”

China is now armed with over 450 warheads and, coupled with the guidance systems which they purchased through the Clinton administration, they can deliver those warheads to our front door with frightening accuracy.

In 1997 the Chinese had 18 American cities targeted with intercontinental ballistic missiles. It is unknown what that number is today.

Gen. Chi Haotian, the Chinese Defense Minister, said in 2000 that war with the United States “is inevitable; we cannot avoid it.”

If you think that nuclear war is no longer a significant threat looming on the horizon, ponder the General’s statement coupled with the newfound Chinese nuclear capability and accuracy.

Nuclear warheads delivery systems

In 1998 China bought the unfinished hull of an aircraft carrier from the collapsed Soviet Union. The completed vessel, 1,000 feet long and 122 feet wide, began sea trials in 2011.

China is also in the process of building a second aircraft carrier.

China nuclear weaponsIn July of 2004 China launched the first of a new class of ballistic missile submarines. These submarines carry the new JL-2 intercontinental missiles which have a range of 7,500 miles and can be launched underwater.

The new submarine has been under construction for years, and it will greatly benefit from stolen US nuclear warhead technology under the Clinton administration, according to a 1999 report by the House Select Committee on US National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China.

These new 094-class Chinese submarines will be able to hit targets anywhere in the United States using our own missile technology without ever leaving their own protected waters.

Strength vs weakness

And what is the response of the United States in the face of such threats?

President Obama is cutting over $1 trillion from the US defense budget over the next decade.

On January 5, 2012, Obama announced plans to drastically reduce the size of our Army and Marine Corps, while postponing missile defense programs and other national defense systems.

In the words of Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, “The world always has had, and will always have a leader. As America steps back, someone else will step forward.”

A nuclear attack from China will probably not come without warning. It will most likely come after several days or even weeks of deteriorating relations following some crisis-provoking incident. That is why it would be wise to keep a close watch on international news.

Our intelligence sources and modern satellites will detect signs of preparations for war in the hostile nation, i.e. urban evacuations, fueling of ICBM’s, and massing of troops along borders.

The main problem is that the news networks distort the facts to the point that they are unreliable. Their only interest is to create hysteria, not report the truth.

You will have to read closely between the lines and decide when it is time to prepare, and when it is time to go.

Those last days will be a crucial opportunity to make the last minute preparations for the shortages and economic hardship that will follow a nuclear strike.

What are Civilian MREs? Survival Food Storage

What is an MRE?

MRE’s, or ‘meals ready to eat’, are pre-cooked, vacuum sealed meals. They have been used by the United States military since 1980.

Each year the military feeds over 35 million MRE’s to its soldiers. Each 20 ounce meal contains 1300 calories. They are great for emergency preparedness.

MRE’s are also called retort foods because the food is sealed air-tight in a tri-laminate (three-layer) thermal pouch and then cooked in a huge pressure cooker called a retort.

Hot or cold

In 1993 a small chemical heater was introduced to MRE’s.

This heater allows soldiers to heat their food in the field and is now enclosed with each meal. To use the heater you simply remove the entree pouch from the box and insert it into the small heater bag.

Next you add about 1 ounce of water (clear instructions are provided with each MRE) to the level indicated by lines on the bag.

Each bag contains magnesium and iron dust. Adding water to the bag initiates a exothermic chemical reaction which oxidizes the metal dust and generates heat. The temperature in the bag rises to over 100 degrees F.

If you don’t have the chemical heater, just put the sealed food packet into boiling water for about five minutes to heat.

The tri-lamiate pouch is very durable and is unaffected by boiling.

Due to the method of cooking and packaging, MRE’s retain a high percentage of nutrition, texture, moisture, and color of the food. Most MRE’S have an excellent taste as well.

They are very handy in a disaster and each MRE comes in a pouch full of neat stuff: the entrée, a chemical heater, a powdered drink, crackers, a spread (peanut butter, jam, or cheese), a dessert such as M&M’s, Skittles, brownies, chewing gum, candmre packages come in great varietyy, hot sauce, toilet tissue, and other accessories.

The exact contents of the pouch will depend on which accessory packet is included.

Like your other disaster supplies, MRE’s should be stored properly in a cool place with your other emergency preparedness stuff.

The Wornick website states that MRE’s have a shelf life of three years when stored at 80 degrees F, and that cold storage can extend the shelf life.

After about 8 years stored at outside temperatures, the peanut butter and the cheese spreads begin to separate out into layers and the crackers and desserts get a little stale. The entrée is usually the last item to become inedible. None of this will be a problem if you will merely rotate them every three to four years and store them in a cool environment with your other emergency foods.

MRE’s are great for 72-hour kits and camping or hiking trips. Their composition of high energy foods, their convenience and their ease of use make MRE’s perfect for the short-term part of your emergency food storage plan.

Freeze-dried survival food

freezedried food

For advanced food storage in an emergency preparedness plan with less budget constraints, freeze-dried foods are by far the way to go.

Freeze-dried foods taste better and retain vitamins, nutrients, texture, and freshness better than canned goods or other types of dehydrated foods.

In addition, freeze-dried foods are very lightweight and space-saving, since they contain very little water.

Most freeze-dried supplies can be purchased on the internet and delivered to your door, ready for emergency storage.

Freeze-dried foods are superior because of the arduous freeze-drying process which they undergo. According to Tom Harris at howstuffworks.com:

The fundamental principle in freeze-drying is sublimation, the shift from a solid directly into a gas.

 

Just like evaporation, sublimation occurs when a molecule gains enough energy to break free from the molecules around it.

 

Water will sublime from a solid (ice) to a gas (vapor) when the molecules have enough energy to break free but the conditions aren’t right for a liquid to form.

Lyophilization

The freeze-drying process, or lyophilization, involves rapidly freezing the food as cold as -50 degrees F.

This is done to separate the water from the food tissue on a molecular level. The water is still there, it’s just separated out at this point.

Slight heat and lowered atmospheric pressure are then applied which converts the food’s water content directly into its gas form, or vapor.

The vapor is then drawn into another chamber using a vacuum, where it condenses onto a freezing coil.

This removes all the moisture from the air, thus preserving the food‘s integrity.

By removing the water, the bacterial action is delayed, and therefore the spoilage. The process continues for days as the food gradually dries. Once this is done, the food is sealed in an airtight package with an oxygen-absorber.

Freeze-dried food from Mountain House

Mountain House is the best brand, and has a wide variety of foods to choose from.

Choices include pasta dishes such as spaghetti, all kinds of vegetables, various meats, sea foods, desserts, etc.

Nitro-pak is also a good company with a wide variety of freeze-dried foods. You can buy individual meal packs or large sealed #10 cans, which are roughly one gallon in size. You get a lot more for your money with the #10 cans and they have a much longer shelf life, making them ideal for an emergency preparedness plan.

The smaller packs are handier for camping and backpacking.

How long does freeze-dried food last?

Freeze dried foods in an unopened #10 are reported to have a shelf life of 30 years if stored properly at cool temperatures, although some sources dispute this.

Preparation is easy; just add water and heat for 20-30 minutes.

Be advised: these dishes take a lot of water to reconstitute them. The wide variety of common dishes ensures that you should be able to pick items that you family will happily eat in times of stress.

Choose wisely

Some would say that another downside to freeze-dried foods is that they require water to cook, which may be in short supply during a disaster.

But if you don’t have ample water as part of your emergency food storage plan, your plan is doomed anyway.

As with home dehydrated foods, you should not rely exclusively on freeze-dried foods in your storage plan.

Instead, make them part of a well-rounded supply of canned goods and dried food such as pasta and beans.

Freeze-dried foods have the best nutrition, the longest storage life, the best taste, and they are familiar foods that we eat everyday which can be critical in a crisis.

Survival food storage: Health benefits of dehydrated food

dehydrated food benefits

Another possibility in emergency food storage is food dehydration. The concept is simple: just dry out the food because the decreased moisture level delays the action of bacteria and other things which cause food to spoil.

Buying an electric food dehydrator is the way to go, provided you don’t wait until the power grid crashes to get it out of the box. It takes a couple of trial runs to get the hang of it

The best food dehydrators are relatively inexpensive and come in all sizes with endless options.

Generally speaking, most people in preparing for an emergency will get the most enjoyment out of midsize models that will fit on a countertop. They are handier and more enjoyable than the largest ones.

How to use dehydrated food

 

dehydrating foodTo use the dehydrator, slice up the food into thin, uniform-sized pieces and lay them on the dehydrator shelves. The dehydrator circulates the warm air and dries the food out. Some foods require pretreatment such as ascorbic acid dipping solutions, water or steam blanching, or peeling.

A key to successfully dehydrating food for emergency preparedness is to use only prime cuts of meat and the freshest fruits and vegetables available.

To reconstitute the food during a crisis (rehydrating dehydrated food ), you simply soak it in water.

Some foods such as carrots, onions, and tomatoes tend to reconstitute better than others. Other foods do not need reconstituting at all.

Dried fruits and dried venison jerky make great dehydrated snacks.

The companies that make dehydrators want you to enjoy your new piece of machinery and they usually include a very good instruction booklet with complete directions and tips for success. But in case the manual is not enough, Food Storage For The Clueless by Clark and Kathryn Kidd is a very good book on the details of food dehydration.

Dehydrating food without a dehydrator

If you live in an arid climate, you can try air drying, but a lot of your food may spoil instead of drying. If temperatures are hot enough and humidity is low enough, you can dry your food in the sun.

You can also use your oven at home, but we do not recommend this. It can be a hazard to children since it involves leaving the oven door cracked. It also runs up your utilities bill and it can get hot in the house if you are running an oven during the summer months with the door ajar.

Foods that can be dehydrated

  • Fish can be dehydrated but it doesn’t keep well.
  • Pork should never be used for canning purposes because of the danger of contracting trichinosis. This is a condition caused by the ingestion of improperly cooked pork which contains tiny invisible cysts of the nematode worm Trichinella spiralis. Once in your small intestine, the larvae become adults in five to seven days. Each female will deposit up to 2,000 larvae which will enter the blood stream and be circulated to various skeletal muscles throughout the body. Once embedded in the muscles, the worms grow to an alarming size and the pain is excruciating. If untreated, trichinosis can be fatal.
  • Lean beef works much better for dehydration, and beef jerky can be combined with dried berries, nuts and other ingredients to make pemmican.
  • A favorite snack food to use a dehydrator for is venison jerky.

The instruction booklet that comes with your dehydrator will include several good marinade ideas, and it is important to let the meat soak overnight. There are also countless good marinade recipes and raw dehydrated food recipes available on the internet.

It has been said jokingly that properly cooked jerky can be sharpened and driven through a wooden plank.

Although that is perfect for emergency preparedness, most prefer jerky to be a bit more tender than that.

Making good jerky is a double-edged sword: the longer you dry it, the less water content it has and therefore the longer the shelf life.

At the same time, jerky that is dried until it is rock hard is less enjoyable to eat.

Extremely dry jerky can be used as a cooking ingredient. You will have to decide for yourself how long to dry it, but always follow the instructions for safety.

Most people do not cook the meat beforehand, but the USDA says that you definitely should. They recommend that any meat, fish, or poultry be cooked thoroughly before putting it in the dehydrator. For more advice on this, the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline is 1-800-535-4555.

How long does dehydrated food last?

Some sources claim that dehydrated food will keep indefinitely. This is doubtful.

Although jerky is a great disaster preparation food, dehydration does not remove all the water from the food, just most of it.

Dehydrating done at home removes about 85% of the moisture from food, while commercial dehydrating removes about 95%.

Since the food does retain a small amount of moisture, the bacteria and molds are not completely thwarted and will eventually spoil the food.

It is reasonable to expect properly dehydrated and stored fruits to keep for about three years, and dehydrated vegetables about five years if properly stored.

To extend its shelf-life, dehydrated food should be sealed in a zip lock bag after it cools, and then stored in a plastic or metal container in a cool dark place like the rest of your emergency supplies.

Advantages of dehydrating food at home

Food dehydration at home does have its advantages in an emergency preparedness plan.

  • It is easy to do
  • It can be a fun hobby
  • And it takes very little time once the food is all sliced up.
  • Dried food is very light and compact, since most food has a very high water composition in its normal state. That means dried food is easy to store and takes up very little room.
  • Fiber and calories are retained in dehydrated foods, and vitamin and mineral loss is negligible. Blanching the food before dehydration helps minimize the loss of vitamin A, but vitamin C loss will vary.
  • Dried foods require no refrigeration for emergency preparedness storage and are easy to cook with in a crisis.

It has been said that a disadvantage to dried foods is that water must sometimes be added to them, and in an emergency water might be in short supply.

Eating food in its dried form can also make you thirsty, which will require extra water during a crisis. That is why you should not rely exclusively on dehydrated foods in emergency preparedness plan. Instead make them part of a well-rounded supply of canned goods and dried food such as rice and beans

But remember this: if you don’t even have enough water to reconstitute dehydrated foods in a crisis, your emergency preparedness plan is doomed already.

Your water storage/procurement/treatment plan should provide enough water so that this is not an issue. If it is, then you need to rethink your entire disaster plan.

Buying dehydrated food at the store

commercial food dehydrator
Commercial food dehydrator

While food dehydration is popular at home, it is also done on a commercial basis. If you don’t want to take the time or trouble to dehydrate food for your emergency preparedness plan, you can buy it already prepared and packaged.

Commercial food dehydration is usually accomplished by slowly extracting most of the water from the food with low heat in a large kiln without actually cooking the food.

Once the food is dried, it is stored in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber.

An oxygen absorber is basically a small packet of a finely ground iron powder called iron oxide that chemically reacts with the oxygen in the container or package.

The iron oxide pellets use up the oxygen as the iron rusts, or oxidizes. No other gases are produced. When all the iron particles are used up, the chemical reaction and the oxygen absorbing stops. Oxygen absorbers can be purchased separately to use with home food storage too.

Sometimes the packages of food are flushed with inert gas to remove most of the oxygen. Bags of potato chips are a good example. Inert gases are used because they extend shelf life by depriving oxygen to bacteria and other agents which promote food spoilage.

Some examples of commercially dehydrated food include instant oatmeal, Hamburger Helper, gravy mixes, macaroni and cheese, etc. If the directions say “just add water”, it is probably dehydrated. Dehydrated food billed as “storage food” also tends to be more expensive.

Dehydrated soup

dehydrated soupDehydrated soup is great for an emergency preparedness plan. Dehydrated soup comes in a wide array of choices and can add much needed variety to an otherwise redundant disaster diet.

It is also a very useful ingredient in cooking many dishes. It can be nutritious and is good for the body’s hydration.

Dehydrated soups should figure prominently in your disaster food storage plan because they store well and they have such a wide range of uses.

Like any food preservation method, commercial dehydration has some disadvantages for emergency food storage.

The blanching process and the dehydrating heat causes the loss of some of the nutrients and the food may suffer a noticeable loss of taste and texture.

Studies performed by the United States Army and by NASA confirm that vitamins such as C and A are particularly susceptible to loss in the dehydrating process, as well as thiamine and niacin.

Since dehydrating food removes only moisture, fats and sugars remain in the food. These will break down over time and can cause the food to become rancid.

Additionally, dehydrated food that is stored too long is tough when it is reconstituted.

As with home-dehydrated foods, it is reasonable to expect properly dehydrated and stored fruits to keep for about three years, and dehydrated vegetables about five years.

Prepping 101: Home canning fruits and vegetables- Tips for preppers

preppers guide to home food canning

Commercially canned foods are packed in metal cans that are actually made of steel, with a tin coating on the outside as well as the inside. Intense heat is then applied to sterilize the food, killing most of the bacteria and enzymes that cause food spoilage. The heat also thoroughly cooks the food inside the can.

Contrary to popular belief, very few preservatives are used in canned foods. Sodium is added for flavor, not to extend the food’s shelf life.can of ranch style beans

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends store-bought canned foods for emergency preparedness because they store well and they do not require cooking, water, or special preparation.

Canned chili, for example, is packed with protein and carbohydrates and requires a minimum amount of time and fuel to prepare. It is a great emergency food, as are canned soups.

In a pinch, canned foods can even be heated with a candle or eaten cold.

The University of Illinois did an extensive study of 84 fresh, frozen, and canned foods. The study showed that the canned goods were equal to and occasionally better in nutrient levels that the other foods.

This is possible because canned foods go straight from the field to the canning processor, whereas fresh foods spend days traveling across the country and sitting for even more days in the produce section at the supermarket.

This extra time and exposure allows the vitamins and nutrients to degrade.

Canned food is also one of the least expensive parts of an emergency preparedness plan. Keep an inventory of the canned goods that you use in your house over a thirty-day period so that you will know what to add to your disaster food storage plan.

How long does canned food last?

Some sources say canned food should last seven years, while others say that the nutritional value begins to deteriorate after only six months.

For the purposes of our discussion, shelf life will refer to the amount of time a product will maintain most of its nutritional value, texture, and taste.

You can expect canned vegetables to have a shelf life of more than two years.

If purchased fresh and stored in a consistently cool room below 70 degrees, it is possible that canned vegetables will last up to five years, while canned fruits may last from two to four years.

Canned tomatoes, though, do not store well because their acidity causes premature corrosion of the cans in which they are stored. Canned baby food generally has a shelf life of roughly two years if stored properly.

All of these foods may still be edible past these time frames, but the nutritional value will probably decrease.

What can go wrong?

Over time, it is reasonable to expect the cans to rust. Given enough time, this may allow tiny holes to form in the metal which can let contaminants in.

Canned foods are also adversely affected by temperatures over 100 degrees F. The higher the storage temperature, the shorter the shelf life. The best temperature for storing canned foods in an emergency supply is between 50 °F and 70 °F.

Cans should also be kept dry to prevent rusting, which shortens their shelf life as well.

The National Ag Safety Database says that:

Flood waters may carry silt, raw sewage, oil or chemical wastes.

 

Filth and disease-causing bacteria in flood water will contaminate food, making it unsafe to eat…

 

Commercially-canned foods are usually safe after being in flood waters if the metal can appears undamaged. But discard cans if they are rusty, creased, dented, crushed, bulging or have ends that spring in and out. The contents may be contaminated.

 

DO NOT TASTE.

 

All cans must be washed and sanitized before they are opened.

To sanitize the cans, remove the labels and wash them with a chlorine- or bleach-based solution.

Botulism

If a can is bulging, spews liquid when you open it, or doesn’t smell quite right, do not eat the contents.

Botulism is a deadly food poisoning caused by the nerve toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can sometimes be found in expired or improperly canned foods

It isn’t the botulism bacterium that kills you, it’s the toxin that it produces as it grows. The Center for Disease Control says that symptoms of botulism include double vision, blurred vision, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness.

These symptoms are due to the muscle paralysis caused by the botulism toxin, and usually begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. However, symptoms can occur as late as 10 days later.

How to can food at home

Home canning of fruit, vegetables, and even meat gives a unique sense of self-sufficiency, and many people even find canning to be their favorite hobby.

Other people feel that store-bought canned goods are so inexpensive that it just isn’t worth their time and effort to do home canning.

People who do their own canning, however, have a definite advantage simply because they know a potentially very valuable skill.

Home canning is actually done in mason jars. The idea is to kill the bacteria in the food with intense heat and deprivation of oxygen.

Pressures and times for canning different foods can vary greatly. Canning meat, for example, requires high pressures and different processing times than fruit or vegetables.

Most meat, vegetables, and other low-acid foods are canned in pressure cookers. The mason jars are sealed with vacuum canning lids and screw-tops and heated to 240 degrees F to kill botulism spores and other bacteria.

As altitude changes, so does the pressure and time required for the desired temperature. Refer to a good canning guide book for exact directions on the specific item you are canning. The book will also indicate expected shelf lives for various home canned foods.

Is home canning safe?

best canned foods Home canning is completely safe as long as you follow the directions.

The best places to get instructions on safe home canning are the county extension office and the US Department of Agriculture.

You should also purchase the Ball Blue Book wherever you buy your canning supplies.

Pressure cookers come in lots of different kinds and sizes, but they all come with directions. If you don’t follow those directions properly, Clostridium botulinum bacteria can grow in the jars, producing a deadly toxin which you cannot see, taste, or smell.

You won’t know it until it is too late.

This bacterium loves the high pH (low acid) and low oxygen atmosphere present in sealed canning jars of food such as vegetables, meat, fish, and poultry.

The Clostridium botulinum spores themselves are not so bad, because they are actually all around us. You unknowingly ingest them everyday and they are harmless.

The problem is that when they are allowed to grow into vegetative cells, they produce a deadly nerve toxin that causes botulism, and that will kill you.

That is why you have to follow the directions precisely; to make sure that the canning process kills the spores before they can grow to the stage where they produce the toxin. You can’t shave any time off any of the steps or take any other shortcuts. If you do, it could prove fatal.

Canning in jars can have some other disadvantages. Being glass, the jars are susceptible to breakage. They need to be stored in boxes to keep the light from sapping the nutrients from the food inside. Unboxed jars are hard to stack. Jars can be expensive and the weight is considerable. The process is long, tedious, and requires strict attention to detail.

Canning fruits at home

canning fruits at home

More acidic food items are canned with a boiling water canner (which is the best way to can food without a canner). This method is sometimes used for canning fruits and making jellies because they tend to require less processing time and lower temperatures to kill deadly bacteria in the food.

This is also the preferred method for canning tomatoes and pickling vegetables.

A boiling water canner is basically a big water cooker with a lid that does not use pressure, only hot water. It also has a removable rack inside to improve water circulation and to keep the jars from bumping together and breaking.

Canned goods in a jar should have a vacuum-tight seal after the canning process. If this seal is lost at any time during storage, or if the lid is bulging, the food should be thrown out. Be sure and write the canning date on the lid with a Sharpie marker.

Emergency water purification: 7 Tips for the thorough prepper

Generally speaking, you can go 30 days without food and 3 days without water. Solving your water problem should be at the top of your emergency preparedness plan.

It is important to understand that city water treatment plants depend on electricity, and you will eventually lose city water in an extended power outage as the generators run out of gas.

How to store water post SHTF

Water storage should be the most important part of your emergency preparedness plan. The absolute minimum amount of water that you should store is one gallon of water per person for every day of the emergency that you are preparing for.

Even though the average person only drinks about two quarts of water per day, you will quickly find in a disaster that cooking, cleaning, bathing, and personal hygiene uses a lot of water.

If you store freeze dried or dehydrated foods as part of your emergency preparations, you will need to store additional water for cooking these items. Keep in mind that dehydrated snacks also tend to make you thirsty.

storing water for emergencyIf you store bottled water for emergencies, buy it in plastic bottles. Don’t buy water in milk jug type containers and don’t store your water in used milk jugs for emergencies because they are biodegradable.

They will deteriorate and become brittle in less than a year, creating a mess in your storage room. Empty bottles of soda, Gatorade, and apple juice are good for storing emergency water, so start keeping those bottles instead of throwing them away. Clean them well with a diluted bleach solution of one part bleach to ten parts water. Don’t fill them up completely because they may freeze; leave at least one inch of air at the top.

Cleaning used soda bottles thoroughly is important because the taste and odor of the original contents can leach from the plastic into the water, ruining your disaster water storage.

In fact, be very cautious about storing emergency water in containers that were previously used. If they contained chemicals or poisons, those agents will also leach from the plastic into your water.

Don’t store emergency water in bleach bottles. The concentrated chlorine could leach from the plastic into the water, giving it a higher chlorine concentration than is considered safe.

Children could also confuse the bleach bottles with drinking water.

Water Barrels and Storage containers should be stored in a very dark environment because light encourages the growth of microorganisms.

You can buy 15, 30, or 55 gallon polyethylene food grade water barrels. They are a good investment and a great idea for emergency preparedness, but keep in mind that they are very heavy when full. One gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds, so never store big water containers in the attic.

You should also never store water near smelly items such as gas cans, fertilizer, etc. Plastic containers tend to “breathe,” taking odors around them.

Companies like Nitro-Pak.com sell water Barrels and storage containers in a variety of sizes and shapes. It is a good idea to have several of these stored in your garage, because with just a little warning of an impending crisis you can fill these with a good fresh, affordable supply of water.

If the crisis passes and you don’t use the water, you can pour it out and put the containers back in storage.

Emergency water supplies should be rotated every six months, according to FEMA.

Bottled water

Commercial bottled water is a great idea for disaster planning, provided you don’t get silly and buy the expensive name bottled water brands.

Cheap bottled water is just as good as expensive bottled water, and is usually bottled by the same companies. Some sources indicate that 25 percent of bottled water is actually tap water. Buying the cheapest brands means you can afford to store more of it. And there is a 25% chance that you are buying tap water anyway.

More sources

If it comes down to it, you can use the water already stored in your house in an emergency. Water stored in the plumbing can be accessed by turning on the highest water tap in the house and draining the water at the lowest one

If you have some warning of an impending disaster, be sure and fill up your bath tub, sinks, and as many water containers, picnic coolers, buckets, pans, and bowls as you can.

Water stored in the water heater can be used in an emergency, but turn the water heater electricity or gas source off first. To get the water out of the heater, turn off the intake valve and turn on a hot water tap. You can also use the melted ice cubes in your freezer.

  1. Water beds are a controversial source of emergency water because of the toxic chemicals present. You can best use this water for cleaning and hygiene, but don’t drink it.
  2. You can use water dipped from the flush tanks (not the bowls) of the toilets after boiling it, but only if no disinfectants or cleaners have been used in it.
  3. Toilet bowl water can be used for pets.
  4. Swimming pools and hot tubs are a good source of water for personal hygiene and cleaning but not drinking, due to the chemicals used in treatment and microorganisms that are present.
  5. The juice in canned vegetables and fruits is a good source of fluids in an emergency, but fruit juice will make you thirsty.

Carbonated beverages, coffee, and alcohol are not good to drink during a disaster if water is in short supply. Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body and increase the need for drinking water.

Purifying survival water

In an emergency situation it may also become necessary to purify and decontaminate surface water for drinking.

Common water carries a variety of bacteria which can make you deathly ill. A good survival water filter is an absolute must in your emergency preparedness plan.

commercial water filtersThere are a variety of commercial water filters on the market, and in this area you generally get what you pay for.

Our favorite is the Big Berkey model made by Berkey Water Purification and Filter Systems. They have a wide variety of large and small systems for any disaster budget.

We also recommend Mountain Safety Research (MSR), Katadyn, PUR, Sweetwater, and First-Need. Most of these systems use activated carbon or micro filtration, and some use both.

Before using any system you need to strain off any sediments which can clog the filters.

This is important because commercial water filters clog easily, since they are designed to filter out much smaller impurities.

To strain off the larger suspended particles, use a paper coffee filter, a clean pillow case, or a clean t-shirt as a pre-filter.

Some water filter systems use a two-stage filter system to solve this problem. The first filter catches the dirt particles and other items which would otherwise clog up the finer filter with tiny pores, and the second filter removes the tiny impurities such as parasites and in some cases bacteria.

To get longer life out of your filters, you still need to filter off the large particles first. You can test the water with a Water Test Kit.

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Using Clorox bleach to purify water

In an emergency you can also treat water with regular Clorox bleach that contains no soap, phosphates, or scents.

  1. Strain off the major impurities first.
  2. Add two to four drops of bleach per quart of water, or 8-16 drops per gallon.
  3. Use only bleach that has sodium hypochlorite as the active ingredient.
  4. Stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes to allow the chlorine enough time to kill the microorganisms.

Remember, chlorine is a poison, so don’t use more than these amounts. Bleach has a shelf life of about two years, so rotate it like your other disaster preparedness supplies.

Does boiling water purify it?

Boiling water for ten minutes usually makes it safe to drink, but also tends to make it taste very flat. This can be remedied by letting the water cool down and pouring it into a clean soda bottle and shaking it vigorously, or pouring it back and forth between two containers.

Adding powdered drinks like Kool-Aid can help too. Make sure these packets are included in your 72-hour kit.

Higher altitudes require longer boiling times, but a consistent temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit should kill all bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Boiling water requires very little equipment and know-how and will make water safe to drink, but it also has a major disadvantage. It requires a lot of fuel, which is usually in short supply in an emergency. For this reason, don’t count on boiling as your only water treatment method during a crisis.

Water purifying tablets

water purifying tabletsWater purification tablets use chlorine or iodine to treat water, but may have a harmful effect on people with undiagnosed liver or kidney disease.

They are also not readily available in most stores and have a shelf life of about five years.

After stirring the chlorine or iodine tablets into the water, let it set for forty-five minutes to allow enough time for purification.

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Tincture of iodine can be used for emergency water treatment. It sometimes gives water an odd odor and unpleasant taste, and people in a crisis want normal tasting and smelling water to drink. It is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing, or for people with thyroid issues. Overall, there are better emergency water treatment ideas than tincture of iodine.

You can ration food but you should never ration water. If you have it, drink it and find more.

 

These are the most important survival tools to stockpile for when SHTF

Proper survival tools and equipment can be the defining difference between a hard-fought struggle for survival, and surviving an emergency in relative comfort.

A good set of tools such as wrenches, sockets and screwdrivers is essential for repairing the things that invariably go wrong in a disaster.

Hand tools such as hammers, pliers, saws, pry bars, etc. are essential to have, and not just for emergencies. Household fuses are good to have in case some are blown due to power surges.

Here is our list of the most important tools and equipment for when SHTF.

#1 Handtools

The knife may be the most important survival tool known to man. Knives should be at the top of any tool list or any equipment list. A good chainsaw, an axe, and a splitting maul are essential for cutting downed limbs or even firewood in an emergency.

Be sure to have chainsaw gas, oil, chain sharpening files, and a spare chain on hand.

Have at least two shovels and two rolls of waterproof, plastic sheeting.

A variety of nails and screws would be good to have on hand, as these items may be very rare in a protracted crisis.

Fire extinguishers are a must, so have several readily available and make sure they are charged.

Tire plug kits are good to have in the garage, as well as a good quality hand pump for airing up that flat tire once you get it plugged.

A small compressor would be handy if you have a generator to power it when the electricity is off.

Another item that has a dozen uses around the house is the five gallon bucket. You should have several of these with sealable lids.

Large metal dish pans or tubs are nice for heating water to be used for washing dishes or even a few clothes if the disaster lasts several weeks.

It would also be nice to have some small rope or twine as it has a variety of uses, including clothes line.

Duct tape is a must-have in any emergency preparedness kit. You can use it for a temporary bandage, patch up a water hose or vacuum hose, patch a hole in vinyl siding, tape a broken window, repair a trash can, patch a hole in a tent, repair the Apollo 13 space module… you get the idea.

Stocking a number of propane bottles is a must, especially if you have both lanterns and camp stoves that use them.

Propane containers come in a variety of sizes, but the most common are the one lb., 20 lb., and the 30 lb. bottles. The one lb. is the handiest and easiest to use for lanterns and camp stoves. The 30 lb. tank may cost a bit more than the 20 lb. tank, but the rate of fuel consumption is notably more efficient and the tank will last a lot longer, saving you money in the long run.

#2 Generators

shtf power generatorsGenerators are a great source of electricity in a power outage but there are disadvantages.

  • First, they can be expensive.
  • Second, they are noisy. You may not want to advertise the fact that you have one.
  • Third, they require periodic maintenance, or they will be worthless to you when you need them.
  • Fourth, they usually require gasoline or diesel to run them, and they require large amounts of fuel to keep them going during an extended outage. This can be very bad news in an extended disaster and resultant fuel shortage.

Because of this, in an emergency they are usually only turned on for an hour or two in the morning, and again in the evening to keep the freezer and refrigerator cold.

It is possible to purchase generators which utilize other sources of fuel, i.e. propane, but they are prohibitively expensive.

Gasoline generators are the most common and most affordable, but diesel generators are more dependable, get better fuel “mileage”, and are usually better quality units.

If you decide to purchase an emergency generator, consult with an electrician to determine how big of a generator you actually need.

It is unwise to purchase a generator that is too large because of the increased rate of fuel consumption, a commodity which may be irreplaceable for some time.

Start your generator every month to keep the lines unclogged and the battery charged, if it is so equipped. Don’t store your generator with old gas in it and always keep a couple of spare spark plugs stored with it.

Never, ever run a generator in your house or even in your garage. The exhaust fumes will kill you before you realize it is happening. People die every winter because they believe it is okay to run a portable generator out in the garage or in the basement. Generators must be placed in well ventilated areas completely outside the home.

Read the owner’s manual carefully and follow all safety instructions.

You will need extension cords and power strips if you are going to use a portable generator. A generator transfer switch is required if you plan to hard wire your generator directly into your house power supply.

A transfer switch is a manual switch that isolates the generator, so that it can power your home but not accidentally send power out into the external power lines.

The transfer switch basically lets you select the source of electricity in your home: either the generator or the power company. It also lets you continue to use the electrical outlets in your home during a power outage instead of extension cords.

See an electrician about installing one of these for you. Do not attempt to install it yourself.

#3 Communication

shtf communication radiosLike electricity, most of us take telephones, television and radio equipment for granted. We are completely dependent on these items for information about current events and for staying in touch with our friends and relatives.

Unfortunately, Extreme acts of terrorism or nuclear strikes could disrupt all three of these mediums of communication, but you can take steps ahead of time to deal with that scenario.

Hand-held radios, such as those manufactured by Motorola, could come in very handy for communicating with family members at short distances.

If the disruption is fairly localized, a good quality battery operated AM/FM radio will do wonders for morale as well as give you access to important information.

If larger areas are affected, a battery operated shortwave radio might be called for. Both of these radios should be kept in steel containers for protection against the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) associated with nuclear blasts.

#4 Miscellaneous survival tools

important prepper toolsAluminum foil has a dozen uses in a disaster, besides all the things it can be used for in the kitchen. Be sure to stock several rolls in your emergency preparedness kit.

It can be used for scrubbing pots, as a heat reflector behind your stove or other heat source to help heat your home, as a light reflector behind your lantern, as a cooking pan or pie plate, as a funnel, and as a deflector cap to keep the UFO aliens from finding you. (Just kidding on that last one 🙂 )

  1. Paper towels, paper plates, and plastic silverware will cut down on water usage for washing dishes. Water might be hared to get in a disaster.
  2. Stock zip lock bags of various sizes to keep opened packages of food from spoiling. Trash bags have dozens of uses in an emergency so have several boxes on hand.
  3. Warm clothes, lots of blankets and a good sleeping bag for everyone should always be in your home or weekend get-away spot.
  4. Fuel is critical in an emergency. Unleaded gasoline is worth its weight in gold in a power outage, because it is always one of the first shortages felt.
  5. Fuel for heating your home and for cooking is a major consideration in emergency preparedness planning, and having some firewood on hand is a good idea in case you have to cook outside.
  6. If you drink coffee, you might consider a camp-fire-type coffee pot, or some way to make coffee with no electricity. You will probably be a lot less cranky if you can start the day with your morning coffee, and it is a very simple contingency to plan for ahead of time.

There are hundreds of other survival tools and equipment that would be nice to have in a crisis, but we are only discussing the basics for now.

Once you have the basics covered it will be fun and interesting to assemble more equipment as you go.

Don’t forget to lay in enough pet supplies for your dog. Not only will he be good for morale, but he is one of the best security systems that money can buy. Lastly, a tool that you absolutely cannot afford to forget is a manual can opener.

Think we missed something? Send us a comment and we will add it to the list.

What are the best barter items to stockpile for when SHTF?

shtf barter trade

In the beginning of a crisis (such as an economic collapse) and extended power outage, cash in small denominations is always king.

Stores only accept cash because the credit card machines aren’t working and they may not accept checks.

Since stores may or may not be able to make exact change, wise is the man who has saved small bills of various denominations.

However, in a disaster which causes an extended disruption of the food and supplies delivery system, you may have to trade goods with other people for things that you need.

At that point, cash may not be as desirable as certain necessities of living, or things that just make life easier. It would be prudent to put a few barter items back that are always in demand in emergencies.

#1 Coffee and cigarettes

Two of the absolute best barter items in extended SHTF scenarios are coffee and cigarettes. Another highly sought-after item will be whiskey.

whisky would make for good shtf barter trading item
Whisky would make for good shtf barter trading item

You may be able to trade these items for something that you badly need and did not include in shtf list of supplies ahead of time for whatever reason.

Gasoline is something so priceless in a protracted crisis that you may not want to trade it. If you do, trade it sparingly and only for something that you desperately need.

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#2 Chocolate

chocolate as a shtf barter item

Comfort foods will be in high demand in a disaster because no one will think them important enough to stock.

Chocolate candy bars will be highly prized in the shortages after the crisis, just as they were in the shortages of World War II. Spices and seasonings will be valuable commodities as well.

In the wake of Hurricane Charley in 2004 where electricity was out for weeks in some areas, charcoal briquettes for small cooking fires were highly sought after and practically non-existent.

Bic lighters, flashlights and batteries would also make good barter items.

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#3 Precious metals

One of the first things that people think of in terms of trade value are gold and silver coins.

While these are a good investment, most people know absolutely nothing about coins, and the fact that it is a “pre-1965” silver coin may not mean any thing to them in a crisis.

Survivors may also shy away from collecting coins for fear of being deceived as to their real value.

In times of crisis and shortage, people will want to trade for something more immediately useful and basic than coins. They will want fuel, coffee, cigarettes, food, tools, and medicine. You can’t eat coins in an emergency, and they don’t keep you warm.

#4 Ammo

best barter trade items in shtf

[Tweet “Do you really want to trade ammunition to people who can then shoot you with it? #SHTF PrepperTalk”]

It has been suggested that ammunition makes a good barter item in an protracted emergency. It will no doubt be in short supply and the demand will be high, which will make it a valuable commodity.

But stop for a moment and think:

Do you really want to trade ammunition to people who can then shoot you with it?

If you do trade ammunition, make sure it is only to people that you know very, very well.

Medical supplies will be in demand in a disaster, but you may need all that you have for yourself, especially if you are trading ammunition to strangers.

How to stay warm without electricity or gas when SHTF

staying warm without electricty

Once you have solved the water issue (Water Barrels and Storage) and started storing food for disasters, the next step in an emergency preparedness plan is to keep your home and your family warm in a crisis.

If you live in a warm climate year-round, heating your home may not be a big consideration. For most Americans, it is a concern, for at least part of the year.

A house full of food and bottled water is useless if it is so cold that you cannot stay in it. You must make sure that you have a safe back-up plan to heat your house in the winter if the power goes out.

Heat without electricity or gas

#1 Use gas wall heaters

Gas wall heatersWithout electricity, neither an electric furnace nor a gas furnace will work. A gas furnace still requires electricity to circulate the air in your house.

Gas wall heaters that utilize propane (stored in a tank in your yard) or natural gas (piped in from city gas lines) are a great idea, and make a great emergency system since they require no electricity to operate.

Except during the coldest times of the year, these gas wall heaters will efficiently heat your home for a fraction of what that furnace would cost you on a monthly basis, saving you hundreds of dollars. They are not vented and can be installed in any room except the bedroom.

#2 Heat with a kerosene heater

is it safe to use kerosene heaters indoorsPortable kerosene heaters can supply temporary emergency heat during a power outage, or they can be used to heat just one room.

The great thing about these heaters is that they can be used in the central living room area during the day, and moved to a bathroom or bedroom at night. This saves fuel and you don’t have to heat the entire house in a crisis.

Kerosene heaters can also share fuel with your kerosene lanterns.

Check local regulations to make sure kerosene heater usage is allowed in your neighborhood.

Kerosene heaters are reasonably safe as long as the user follows the manufacturer’s safety instructions. Use only 1-K kerosene, which is very refined.

At the same time, be careful about stockpiling too much kerosene in your emergency preparedness plans because it goes bad within a year.

Using any fuel other than kerosene in your heater may cause an explosion. Kerosene storage containers are blue, gasoline containers are red. Always store each fuel in the appropriate color container.

There is the potential for carbon monoxide build-up in small rooms with poor ventilation, and you may find the slight kerosene odor objectionable.

Operator error has resulted in a few home fires with kerosene heaters, so use common sense:

  1. Don’t use gasoline instead of kerosene
  2. Don’t attempt to refuel it while it is running
  3. And don’t refuel it indoors.

Check the wick about once a month and make sure the wick guide doesn’t have a tar build-up, which can interfere with the smooth operation of your heater.

#3 Wood-burning stoves

non electric heater wood burning stoveThe best emergency preparedness system to heat a house is undoubtedly a wood-burning stove.

The stove is relatively inexpensive, the fuel is inexpensive and readily available in most rural areas, and installation and operation of the stove are not difficult.

Once properly installed, a wood stove is totally independent of all other utilities and can save your bacon in a disaster which causes a power outage.

In an extended emergency you can also cook food and heat water on some of them as well. Make sure it is installed correctly and provide shielding to prevent children from getting burned.

What about a wood-burning fireplace?

non electric space heaters A wood-burning fireplace will do only if you have no other options.

Fireplaces are horribly fuel inefficient and they struggle to warm a house of any size when the temperatures really drop.

Remember that though a fireplace is aesthetically pleasing, it is still a dressed-up hole in the wall that lets precious heat escape up the chimney when not in use. Even when it is in use, 80-90% of the heat generated goes up the chimney.

That is a terrible price to pay for beauty.

If your emergency heat plan involves a fireplace, make sure that the chimney is clean and clear with no obstructions. You might want to consider a fireplace insert. They are more efficient, you can cook on some models, and they are worth the money.

You may even want to consider installing a set of propane-burning gas logs in your existing fireplace. The increase in efficiency and the reduction in heat loss will be profound.

Always equip your home with fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors. Always have lots of blankets and warm clothes on hand.

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How to develop a a solid disaster preparedness plan

shtf plan

Step #1 Make a checklist

The first step in a successful disaster preparedness plan is to write down specifically what type of disaster that you are preparing for.

What you need to prepare for may depend to some extent on your geographical area. People in Oklahoma have little to fear from hurricanes, while Florida residents should have them high on their list, especially after the decimating 2004 season.

People in northern New York State may be more concerned about blizzards which temporarily stop the resupply chain.

You may live near a nuclear power plant or a major US Air Force base. Do you need to prepare for a major riot, a terrorist attack, a nuclear assault, or an economic collapse?

Write down all the possible ramifications of the eminent emergency and how they would affect you.

#2 Decide on the timeline

Now that you have decided on a specific disaster and how it will affect you, the second step is to decide how long you think the crisis will last.

Do you want to have enough supplies on hand to last three months, six months, or more? Write down the possible threats to the supply chain and the length of time that you believe each would last.

Be specific.

#3 Numbers

The third step is to evaluate the number of people you are going to prepare for. Who will you be feeding? Will you have a spouse and children to look out for? What about grandma, or your younger sister? Will there be infants to provide formula and diapers for?

Write down everyone that you intend to provide for in an economic collapse and any special needs that they may have.

Now make a list of things that you can do to protect yourself against the unfolding events in the disaster you have chosen to prepare for. If you know what crisis you are preparing for and for how long, as well as the number of people involved, you can now make a list of action steps to take.

How much stored water will you need? Look at the food in your cabinet. What types of food and supplies will you need to get through the shortages? Will you stay put or head for a rural shelter?

If you know who you will have to feed and for how long, you can figure out how much and what types of food to stock up on.

Analyze your grocery buying habits and make a list of how much you will need of each food item to last for six months, or whatever time frame that you have chosen.

Make a written inventory of what is on your shelves right now, and what you buy on a regular basis. What specific food items does your family eat and exactly how much in a month’s time? Does any of your family members take special supplements such as berocca tablets?

A smart food storage plan is based on your family’s preferences. Buy what you know they like, and buy foods that are nutritionally balanced.

A little at a time

Once you have an idea of how much food and personal items your family uses in a month, then you have an idea of what and how much to buy for the amount of time you have chosen to prepare for.

The best thing is that you don’t have to buy it all at once.

One idea is to set aside a little money every week in your budget to be used only for disaster food storage. If you can spend an extra ten dollars on canned goods every time you go grocery shopping, you will soon have a good start on your emergency preparedness plan with very little time invested.

For every canned food item you buy to use today, buy another one for storage and write today’s date on it with a black felt-tipped pen. The following week you could pick up items such as rice, beans, and Kool-Aid, for example.

Once that particular item is on your shelf you can shop for bargains, which will also save you money.

Buying emergency preparedness items in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco will save you even more money.

Be sure and track your purchases in a notebook so that you don’t wind up with eighty cans of tuna fish and no mayonnaise. Remember to have nutrition and balance in your SHTF plan.

Morale

Not only food but other essentials such as soap, shampoo, razors, etc. are important to stock up on. A good example is toilet paper. It doesn’t seem that important, but just try doing without it for a month and you will realize its importance.

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Familiar food is an important part of the daily routine in a crisis. Comfort foods such as chocolate and various kinds of candy will do wonders for morale.

It is wise to include these items in your emergency preparations because they are irreplaceable in times of crisis and stress, and will improve everyone’s attitude.

Have a camp stove or a crisis cooker and plenty of fuel to run it. Nothing boosts the morale of stressed people like a good hot meal and something hot to drink.

Another important aspect of an emergency preparedness plan is to stock up on things that keep the inhabitants happy and content during a disaster.

A good example of this would be to have coloring books and crayons for any small children who will be sharing your home or shelter during an emergency.

You will need plenty of board and card games, books, and toys for the older kids.

If your emergency plan for keeping the kids occupied during a crisis involves card or board games, start playing the games now because staying close to the ordinary routine is important, especially for kids.

Handheld electronic games will be a blessing in a disaster if you have enough batteries, so store a lot of batteries in the refrigerator to extend their life. Portable CD players will be also be a hit in an emergency.

  1. If you have an infant, stock up on diapers, formula, ointments, etc.
  2. Don’t overlook toiletries, personal hygiene items, feminine products, or specific medicinal needs of family members. The unpleasantness of doing without these items in an emergency is unnecessary and can be avoided entirely.
  3. You will also need good books to read, as well as anything else that will keep you entertained during the long hours of boredom that are associated with long power outages.
  4. Keeping emergency preparedness and how-to books in your home or shelter is a must, not only to while away the hours of boredom, but as a vital source of information that could save your life and the lives of your family.
  5. Instruction and how-to manuals are great, but after a while you will want some good fiction books too.
  6. Have at least one Holy Book handy.
  7. If your wife likes romance novels by a particular author, stock some of those on the shelf. Fiction books in general are a good idea in a crisis because you will tire of the how-to books after a while. After you have been cooped up for a while, novels provide a temporary but necessary mental escape.
  8. A musical instrument such as a guitar would do wonders to fill the hours of boredom. Be sure to stock extra guitar strings.
  9. Pens and paper pads are also good for boredom relief in an extended crisis.
  10. A good AM/FM radio is a must because music and information from the outside world will be critical for morale, provided the EMP of a nuclear strike has not disabled the stations. A Baygen hand cranked radio is nice to have when the power goes out and is a neat novelty. They are expensive, around $130, but they can turn an overnight power outage into a fun evening with the kids.

Space, the final frontier

SHTF Plan storageAnother consideration in emergency preparation is how much storage space do you have?

The ideal storage space for emergency supplies would be cool, dry, and dark. Basements make excellent storage spaces for emergency supplies because of the coolness, provided it is a dry basement and not prone to leaks or dampness.

Attics and garages are a poor choice for perishable emergency supplies because the heat will greatly reduce the shelf life of your food. These places are a great place to store paper items such as plates, glasses, toilet paper, etc.

The best storage spaces for emergency food are the spaces with the lowest and most consistent temperatures, ideally between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Failing that, most walk-in closets have shelves that make good storage space for disaster supplies, as well as coat closets.

To store non-food emergency items, mount shelves in your laundry room, or use easily assembled metal storage shelves.

Keep in mind that the heat and humidity of a clothes washer and dryer may shorten the shelf life of canned or dried foods stored in a laundry room.

The space under stairs and even under and behind furniture such as sofas and beds can accommodate a lot of food, as well as spare bedrooms and crawl spaces.

Cupboards and pantries tend to have a lot of wasted space, so rearrange their contents and utilize that space for emergency preparedness storage.

Be sure and do not store food in inconvenient, out-of-the-way places or you won’t use it, leading to eventual food spoilage and wasted money.

A good way to avoid this is to convert a hall closet or utility room into a pantry with shelves for emergency supplies.

Rule of threes

In his book, The Modern Survival Retreat, Ragnar Benson discusses the “Survivor’s Rule of Threes.”

Your system for procuring life’s most critical needs should be redundant in order to ensure that these needs are met.

  • For water, you should have the ability to collect rainwater, carry water from a pond or stream, and siphon from a well.
  • You should have three sources of food: stored emergency supplies, animals to raise, and a garden.
  • For emergency lighting, three good sources would be candles, kerosene lanterns, and flashlights.

These are just a few examples, but you get the idea.

Dress-rehearsals

Practice your emergency preparedness system to make sure it works. Turn the utilities off at your house for several days and prepare meals with only what you have.

Any holes in your SHTF plan will quickly surface, and this dress-rehearsal for disaster will give you priceless information for changes that need to be made to your emergency preparedness plan.

Other considerations

Don’t forget to store emergency cash.

In a protracted crisis, cash will eventually become worthless but in those first critical days of the disaster it will be king.

You should have at the very least a three month supply of cash in your home, enough to pay all the bills and buy whatever you forgot to stock ahead of time.

Do not put this cash in the bank because you will not have access to it in an emergency if the bank is closed.

Store it safely in your home and do not spend it on anything else

Do not store large bills

In a power outage, you may need small bills if the stores can’t make change, and they probably won’t accept credit cards or checks.

In your disaster preparation scenario, how mobile will you and your supplies have to be? Does your disaster plan call for staying put at home or bugging out to a remote shelter? To help you decide, read Bug Out or Stay Home In a Disaster.

If you don’t make emergency food storage a priority, it will never happen. Now that you know how to develop a disaster plan, YOU MUST START NOW.

Preparation, not desperation

Philip Hoag, in No Such Thing as Doomsday, says “some people worry, others prepare.”

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Preparation reduces the stress and anxiety of an emergency. It gives you an inner strength and emotional stability when others are panicking, and these can be priceless commodities.

Instead of sitting around worrying, use the planning stage now to imagine how you will react in various disasters, and imagine what supplies you will need for emergency preparedness. Then act. Follow through with your disaster plan.

Instead of living in helpless fear when the crisis hits, you will be in control with confidence. John Glenn once said, “The greatest antidote to worry, whether you’re getting ready for space flight or facing a problem of daily life, is preparation… the more you try to envision what might happen and what your best response and options are, the more you are able to allay your fears about the future.”

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How to prepare for an influenza pandemic

A Hypothetical Influenza Pandemic

Terrorists working in a bioweapons lab in Pakistan complete their work on a new strain of avian/bird flu, or H5N1. They have labored for 18 months to engineer an influenza virus that is easily passed from person to person.

Finally they have succeeded.

Twelve very excited martyrs with turbans are assembled and exposed to the virus.

Today, they will be responsible for the death of millions of innocent men, women, and children. They believe this will secure a place for them in heaven with dozens of virgins at their disposal. They could not be happier.

After exposure to the deadly virus, the twelve men board international flights for destinations such as London, Rome, New York, and Moscow. As the planes achieve cruising altitude, the infected men are already sneezing and coughing, spreading the H5N1 virus quickly to the other unsuspecting passengers.

As the flights land and the passengers board their connecting flights, each newly infected passenger infects 100 other passengers. The virus is spread globally in a matter of hours. Within 18 hours the twelve Islamists are dead, and twelve more infected martyrs are intentionally infecting the crowds at NFL football games across the United States.

In cities around the world, the hospitals begin to fill with sick people exhibiting flu-like symptoms: coughing, sneezing, runny nose.

influenza pandemicPeople begin to die en masse in the packed waiting rooms. As the antibiotic and vaccine supply is quickly exhausted, the new strain of virus is identified and research begins on a new vaccine.

The vaccine will take months to develop and produce. Soon the hospitals are overflowing with dying patients as the medical personnel also become sick and begin to die.

Many nurses and doctors stop going to work in an attempt to save their own families.

Rumors spread about the influenza virus, and so does the panic. The interstates surrounding major cities are clogged with people attempting to flee, but the traffic jams only help to propagate the disease.

Thousands die at their steering wheels, adding their vehicles to the vast roadblocks which stretch for miles in all directions.

People are now dying faster than they can be buried. Ice skating rinks are used as morgues. 38 hospitals nationwide are closed. Hotels in Philadephia and Washington, D.C., are seized and converted into makeshift hospitals. The National Guard is called up in Texas to preserve order at the few hospitals that are still open.

Four major newspapers receive letters from the terrorist organizations which are responsible for the disaster, detailing what they have done. The terrorists no longer want to keep it a secret, knowing that as the news spreads, so will the terror.

The virus continues to spread at a geometric rate. Texas closes its public schools and borders, but it is far too late. Eight other states follow suit within 24 hours.

Trade is suspended on the New York Stock Exchange. The supply system begins to fail and rumors of food shortages begin to circulate.

Panic buying ensues, which quickly degenerates into riots and looting. As the networks spread the news and the fear, the riots escalate. Stores in urban centers are picked clean, and then burned. National Guard, police, and fire department personnel stop going to work as they try to isolate their families from the disease and the anarchy.

influenza pandemicOver a period of 6 days, 85% of Los Angeles is burned to the ground. Philadelphia and Detroit suffer the same fate 2 days later. Inner city citizens ravage and destroy their own neighbourhood and homes.

Now in addition to being sick and hungry, they are homeless. Vaccine riots wipe out Atlanta. The only way out of the cities now is to walk or ride a bicycle. Bicycles change hands frequently as their riders are murdered.

The desperate hordes of people who stream from the cities out into the countryside on foot do not fare much better. Entire families die of starvation and exposure along the suburban roadsides. Countless other people lose their lives attempting to steal food and supplies.

The federal government bans public gatherings and declares martial law. Travel is banned and quarantines are enforced. Looters are shot on sight.

A federal laboratory in Maryland finally develops a vaccine and begins to mass produce it. One week later, terrorists in Washington, D.C. send forth more Islamic martyrs carrying a new strain of influenza virus. Since this virus has been intentionally mutated again, it is resistant to the newly developed vaccine. This greatly complicates the work of those who are trying to save the population, but the terrorists have an unanticipated problem; the global economy and transportation have collapsed. Millions have died. The only way to spread the disease now is by individuals, and isolated communities have erected barricades, shooting strangers on sight. The spread of the new wave of influenza is much slower.

Eventually the Islamic terrorist organizations are stamped out and the vaccines are distributed. Small communities of survivors band together and attempt to rebuild civilization. This will take many years because 75% of the global population has perished.

[Author’s note: a projected 75% mortality rate is actually quite low. The UN’s pandemic czar has warned that a terrorist-sponsored pandemic could cause the “virtual extinction of humankind.”]

How To Prepare For an Influenza Pandemic

A pandemic is an epidemic that spreads to several continents, usually involving a new strain of virus. While a smaller scale epidemic may sicken those with weak immune systems such as the very young or elderly, a pandemic is much less selective and much more virulent.

Understanding influenza

influenza pandemic subtypes

Plague and cholera pandemics have occurred several times in history, but the current pandemic concern is influenza.

[Tweet “A truly global influenza pandemic strikes every 30-50 years. #SHTF #PrepperTalk”]

In 1918, an influenza pandemic remembered as the “Spanish Flu” killed 30 million people. People would wake up and feel a bit feverish, then die before nightfall.

One of the frightening aspects of the 1918 influenza pandemic was that it struck down young, healthy adults who would have survived a normal flu outbreak. Equally troubling about the influenza virus is the speed with which it mutates, making vaccines extremely difficult to manufacture.

Symptoms and treatment

Influenza is spread by contact. Symptoms include fever, cough, lethargy, loss of appetite, headache, sore throat, runny nose, and joint pain.

Occasionally symptoms might include vomiting and diarrhoea. There is no effective cure for influenza.

Treatment consists of antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza.

Peramivir is another antiviral drug, but used only with hospitalized patients. Peramivir is an intravenous drug approved for use under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization. Treatment of antiviral drugs should be administered within 48 hours of onset of symptoms. The influenza virus is resistant to older flu drugs.

Swine flu (H1N1)

The H1N1 strain of the influenza virus has caused mild seasonal flu patterns since 1977 and was not a major concern until 2009.

However, In 2009 an unrelated and new strain of the H1N1 virus caused a global stir as it spread worldwide, affecting nearly every country. This new strain became known as “swine flu” because it first jumped to humans from live pigs as it mutated.

It is important to understand that the H1N1 pandemic is spread now from human to human, and not from pigs.

Most of the deaths since 2009 occurred in young, healthy adults, alarmingly similar to the 1918 influenza pandemic. Since the H1N1 pandemic now involves a new strain of virus, people have no immunity and thousands have died as a result.

[Tweet “The H1N1 pandemic is spread now from human to human, and not from pigs. #PrepperTalk”]

Avian influenza (“BIRD FLU”)

H5N1 is a relatively new strain of virus on the world stage. In some cases the virus has been contracted from infected poultry, and it is deadly.

Scientists worldwide are concerned because at some point it may mutate into a virus which can be transmitted from human to human. At that point the death toll will be staggering as the virus spreads quickly from person to person via intercontinental travel.

Red alert

The World Health Organization (WHO) closely monitors flu cases globally because the next influenza pandemic is a major concern. The WHO has a system of six phases to classify the pandemic threat condition:

  1. Phase 1: No influenza outbreaks.
  2. Phase 2: A new virus has been found in animals, but not humans.
  3. Phase 3: Humans have been infected by animal strains of virus, but the infection has not spread from person-to-person.
  4. Phase 4: Infection has spread on a limited basis from person-to-person, but only in a localized region.
  5. Phase 5: The virus is spreading quickly from person-to-person, but is limited to one area.
  6. Phase 6: The virus has spread worldwide in pandemic proportions.

Due to the H5N1 virus, we are now at Phase 3.

The virus can currently only infect humans who are exposed to sick birds. However, it cannot jump from human to human.

If it mutates further and can be transmitted from person-to-person, we will move quickly through the phases to Phase 6- pandemic.

What to expect in an influenza pandemic

According to the World Health Organization, the next pandemic will spread rapidly worldwide because of so much international travel.

Antibiotics and vaccines will quickly run out because the pandemic will involve a new virus. It will be months before new vaccines are available to combat the new strain of virus.

Hospitals will be overwhelmed with sick and dying patients. The shortage of medical personnel will become more pronounced as the virus spreads, adding to the death toll.

Terrorism and influenza

Officials are much less worried about a naturally occurring pandemic than the intentional spreading of influenza by Islamic terrorists. It is possible to “bio-engineer” the virus so that it spreads easily and quickly from person to person. One intentionally infected terrorist, probably carrying avian flu, could attend a football game or a NASCAR race, infecting thousands in a geometric progression.

A more likely terrorist plot would involve several infected Islamic martyrs boarding a dozen simultaneous international flights. The sneezing and coughing terrorists would infect the other passengers and spread the virus globally in a matter of hours.

Since the virus would be a new mutation, it would take months to synthesize a vaccine. The death toll would reach into the hundreds of millions. All international travel would be stopped as the borders were closed, but it would be far too late. Within 3 weeks, the supply system would grind to a halt. Panic buying and food shortages would follow immediately, along with riots and martial law.

Efforts to contain the pandemic would be hampered by the ongoing efforts of the terrorists to spread the virus. There is no shortage of Islamic martyrs. The UN’s drug czar has warned that this could be the “virtual extinction of mankind.”

How do I prepare for a pandemic

  1. Stay Healthy Now– Eat a healthy well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep. These three things will help keep your immune system strong. Don’t smoke and don’t overindulge in alcohol on a regular basis. Booze saps nutrients, which weakens the immune system.
  2. Avoid Sick People– Try to stay away from people who have flu-like symptoms as much as possible.
  3. Wash Your Hands– Influenza is spread by contact. Develop the habit of washing your hands several times a day with anti-bacterial soap and water, or alcohol-based hand cleaner that you can use at your desk or in your vehicle.
  4. Emergency Kit– Build an emergency kit in case you have to stay home for several days or, in a worst case scenario, leave home immediately. This kit should have all the essential items that you might need in a crisis: bottled water, canned foods, MRE’s, flashlights, batteries, medications, 1st Aid Kits, etc. You might purchase one or two 72-hour Survival Kits such as those available at Nitro-Pak.com and then add specific items that suit your needs.

A comprehensive emergency food storage plan for the thorough prepper

Good food is a critical part of morale, especially with people who are under a great deal of stress. Nobody understands this better than the United States Navy. United States submarine crews are under relentless stress while on duty, and they are the best fed soldiers in the world because morale is so vital.

To sensibly start a food storage plan, take notice of what your family likes to eat now. Make a list and keep track of everything you use in a two-month period.

The next time you go grocery shopping, simply buy a little extra of those items. You should not buy things for your storage plan that you wish your family would eat, because of its nutritional value for example.

[Tweet “Nutritional food is important, but only buy things that you family will actually eat. #Shtf”]

Be realistic in your buying habits. Food storage is a wise investment, but only if you eat what you store.

When storing groceries, buy only things that you know your family likes and will eat. The rule is ‘store foods that you eat and eat the foods that you store.’

During a crisis is not the time to crack open a five gallon bucket of hard grain and start feeding your family pearled barley mush if they are not used to it.

All your preparation will be worthless if your family would rather starve to death than eat the austere survival food that you have stored.

If you want to start stockpiling particular foods that are not in your diet at this time, start serving them occasionally now and get everybody used to them.

Find creative ways to cook items such as rice and beans, for example.

In stressful times people want foods they are familiar with and that they like. Rather than eat food that they don’t like or are not used to, people under stress will prefer to not eat at all, which ushers in new problems such as severe depression and sickness.

  1. Beverage items such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate packs, and Kool-Aid are a must for morale, and should last for several years if stored properly.
  2. Bouillon cubes are great seasonings for dishes such as soups and rice. They come in a variety of flavors such as chicken and beef and should keep for about three years.
  3. Granola bars and fruit bars will provide variety and should have a shelf life of about one year. The food will still be edible past this time frame, but the nutritional value may suffer.
  4. chocolate is important part of food storage and is of the most commonly overlooked parts of a well-stocked pantry is the comfort food section. Comfort food is something such as hard candy or chocolate whose main purpose is to be a morale-booster. This may not seem important to you now, but in very stressful times the psychological effect of these foods is hard to overestimate, especially with children. Chocolate has a shelf life of about two years.
  5. Canned fruits are a must, not only for morale but for quick energy.
  6. Another good suggestion is pop-tarts. They are very well sealed, can be heated easily, are tasty cold, and are handy on the go. They have a shelf life of well over a year if stored in a cool environment.
  7. Be sure to also include a wide variety of spices, especially salt and pepper. Granulated sugar has a shelf life of several years if you can prevent infestation. Jellies and jams only have a shelf life of one year because the sugar content breaks down over time. The food may still be edible past this time frame, but the nutritional value may suffer.

How to cook your stored food during a crisis is covered here.

Avoiding appetite fatigue

Most people don’t have enough variety in their stored foods. Some even feel that people will eat anything if they get hungry enough, and that variety is unnecessary.

That myopic view will doom a food storage plan to failure. It is a sure invitation to appetite fatigue, which is the preference to not eat at all rather than eat the same thing over and over again.

This malady is similar to the problem suffered by people under stress who will not eat food that they are unaccustomed to.

Children are especially susceptible to this problem, and will often rather starve than eat repetitive foods. This can all be avoided by simply storing a variety of basic foods and some comfort foods. A simple variety of flavorings and spices can make a crucial difference and should figure prominently in your planning.

Proteins

Dietary protein is essential because it contains amino acids which are used in the function of every cell in your body.

Canned tuna and salmon are perhaps the ultimate sources of protein in a home food storage program because of their protein concentration, long shelf life, widespread familiarity, good taste, and affordability.

Beef stew, canned hams, and Spam are also rich in protein. Spam has a nearly indefinite shelf life if properly stored. Canned meats and fish can have a shelf life of more than five years if stored at cool constant temperatures. The food may still be edible past this time frame, but the nutritional value will suffer.

Another excellent source of fat and protein is peanut butter. Creamy peanut butter will keep about three years if unopened and stored properly, while crunchy style has a shelf life of less than two years.

Once opened, peanut butter should be consumed in about four months. Peanut butter is a good comfort food to store because kids love it and it is very nutritious if you buy the leading brands.

Don’t buy the cheap brands of peanut butter because they sometimes process out the peanut oil and replace it with hydrogenated oils.

Forget powdered peanut butter because it is too grainy and it doesn’t taste good.

Nuts in general are good to store because they are high in fat and protein. Due to their high fat content, they must be protected from oxygen and heat like cooking oil. Unshelled nuts store better and have a longer shelf life than shelled nuts. They can theoretically be stored about five years, if you can provide an oxygen-free storage environment.

Survival garden

Another way to avoid appetite fatigue is to have a small garden.

A garden provides fresh nutritious vegetables and variety to your food storage plan. It also makes your food stash last longer, which can be critical.

There is something special about having your own garden, even if it is only a few vegetable plants in a flower bed.

Tomatoes, for example, that you have personally nurtured and raised will taste better than any you will buy in a store.

Be sure to use non-hybrid seeds, so the plants will produce seeds which you can use next year. Store the seeds in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life, which varies but is generally limited to two or three years if stored properly.

Best plants to grow in your survival garden ware tomatoes, onions, green beans, corn, cabbage, peas, carrots, squash, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

If possible, it is a good idea to raise your own fresh supply of meat, eggs and milk too.

Rabbits, chickens, and goats are the least amount of trouble, and require less space and food than larger animals. This will need to be a family decision, because in recruiting labor for the daily care of these animals you may meet stiff resistance which could quickly turn into open rebellion.

A more peaceful solution may be to store and rotate more canned meat. The Encyclopedia of Country Living, by Carla Emery, is a good book on self-sufficient living.

No meat? No problem

TVP, or textured vegetable protein, is a meat substitute that has become more popular in recent years. It is made from soybeans after the oil is extracted, and resembles ground meat in taste and texture when cooked.

It is easier to store long-term than ground beef. TVP is cheaper to buy than hamburger and is easier to prepare. It comes in flavors such as beef, chicken, barbeque, taco, sausage, pepperoni, etc.

You just simmer it in water for ten minutes, or simply add it to a recipe instead of meat. Bacon bits used in fresh salads are made of TVP. It has fiber and protein and can be eaten by vegetarians, thanks to its soybean origin.

Textured vegetable proteins make a great food storage item, but try it on your family in a few recipes before you buy up a basement full of it. While it does have protein, the quality is still not as good as that found in animal flesh. The taste is not very good and it is full of additives, which may affect the digestive tract. Under the right conditions it can have a shelf life of five years.

Cooking oil

During the shortages of World War II, two of the most valuable and most sought after items were chocolate and cooking oil.

Oil is worth the trouble to store, because cooking oil provides more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein, and in a crisis you may need all the calories you can get due to increased activity.

Cooking oil also makes food much easier to cook and easier to eat. The problem with storing cooking oil is that is goes rancid fairly quickly, being susceptible to light, heat, and air ruination. The most storage life you can expect to get out of cooking oil is about two and a half years, and that is only if you store it in a very cool place, preferably below 60 degrees.

The exception to this is hydrogenated shortening in metal cans, which may have a shelf life of fifteen years. Once opened, it will last about six months. Once it begins to darken it should no longer be used.

Olive oil also stores well. Cooking oil, like many other items, does much better when stored in a refrigerator.

Wheat

If you already grind your own wheat, you are far ahead of the curve and you have a big advantage. Wheat is the backbone for most food storage plans because it is very nutritious and affordable, it provides freshness and variety, and it has a staggering number of uses.

  1. The gluten found in wheat is a valuable protein.
  2. Wheat’s most common cooking form, flour, is used to make bread, pie crusts, crackers, pasta, pancakes, and a whole host of other items.
  3. Baking with wheat can be a very rewarding pastime, and there is no arguing that whole wheat bread is far more nutritious than the white bleached flour foods in our diet. White flour is stripped of its bran, germ, and nutrients, unlike unprocessed wheat flour. In fact, we would be healthier if we could dispense with vitamin-leached white flour products and use whole wheat instead in our normal daily routine.

But this is not about the normal daily routine. This is about emergency situations that are fraught with stress and tension. Very few people in a crisis will realistically learn to use a grain mill to crack wheat for cereal.

Even fewer will learn to grind their own flour, and learn to bake their own bread and pies if they are not doing so already.

Can you set up a grain mill right now with the proper settings to produce suitable flour textures for cooking, or for cereal? Can you prevent a grinder from gumming up and becoming useless?

In the middle of a crisis is no time to learn. If you are going to store buckets of whole wheat, you had better learn to use that grinder today, not tomorrow.

You will find that working a hand-cranked grain mill is a lot of work, and you may have to re-grind the same flour more than once. This can also get tiring, hot, and frustrating, since it may take over twenty minutes of hard work to hand-grind a pound of flour. Electric mills will be useless if the power is out.

Additionally, in a crisis situation cooking fuel may be a very prized commodity, and cooking these wheat products will require a lot of it.

You may also be sitting in a shelter or home that is sweltering hot, and a cooking fire would make it that much worse.

Solution?

Though they are slightly less nutritious than fresh wheat products, regular canned goods are already cooked. They can be eaten slightly warmed or cold, right out of the can.

A large amount of stored canned goods in your pantry can also give you time to gradually change over to wheat-based food in a more protracted event. This could be important, because unprocessed grains are likely to be one of the more common foods available in an actual famine. Slowly adding wheat products to your diet gives your digestive system time to acclimate to their harsh colonic effects.

Whole-grain products such as barley, buckwheat and rye are fine healthy products but you have to start using them now, not after the SHTF.

It is better to learn from your cooking mistakes now, when food is abundant and cheap. In a crisis, the learning curve is apt to be much steeper and much more critical.

Get a grinder today and try baking several dishes before spending your hard-earned money on a dozen buckets of wheat.

You also need to know if your family will eat the food, can tolerate the gluten, and if they will notice any calamitous digestive consequences.

Suddenly switching to a high-fiber diet can cause acute abdominal pain and severe diarrhea. Start slowly, until everyone’s systems get used to it.

Before incorporating stored wheat into your plan, you must firmly establish that your family can and will eat it. If that is the case, then buy a bunch of it, but store it in the whole-berry form and rotate it through your food system like everything else.

Some people love to bake using whole wheat and we salute them. They will reap the many benefits that wheat has to offer.

Don’t forget to stock a bunch of toilet paper. With a brand new whole-grain diet, you are going to need it.

Dairy products

There is also little mention of dairy products in this emergency food storage plan. Dairy products provide calcium, protein, and vitamins in our daily diet, but in the end you will probably throw out the cans of evaporated milk, the boxes of nonfat powdered milk, and the powdered eggs because they will most likely spoil long before they are used.

  • If you are going to include dried dairy products in your storage plan, you should be willing to rotate them and use them on a daily basis now, not just in a crisis.
  • If you insist on storing powdered milk because your kids are used to having milk daily, you had better start them on it now. The taste of powdered milk takes some getting used to.

The numbers on estimated shelf lives for dairy products vary considerably from source to source. Canned milk products have a shelf life of maybe one year if stored in a consistently cool room, but the cans must be turned frequently.

Some say that non-fat powdered milk will only last one year before losing all its nutritional value. Others say it will last for ten years if properly stored.

Under normal circumstances, it has been our experience that non-fat powdered milk will last about three years if stored under optimal conditions, and the taste even when it is fresh off the shelf is chalky at best.

That taste does not improve with time.

Fresh eggs are perhaps the best source of protein. Dehydrated eggs are also a good source of protein, but the chances of your actually using this product are slim as well. The shelf life of dehydrated eggs is about three years, and then they get thrown out with the powdered milk. Spend your money on something else, something that you will actually use instead of throwing it out.

Dietary supplements

A body that is under stress will have greater nutritional requirements, so vitamins are mandatory in a smart food storage plan.

The nutritional supplements should be stored in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life and rotated to keep them current.

Shelf life will vary according to ingredients, brand, and type. Hard tablets have the longest shelf life because they are least affected by moisture. Moisture and heat are a vitamin’s greatest threats to longevity. Most vitamins have expiration dates, so rotate them and use them daily now.

Vitamin C deficiency

Vitamin deficiency is not something that is likely to be a problem unless the crisis lasts more than a month or so.

Usually the first to appear is scurvy, which is caused by a deficiency of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Vitamin C is an antioxidant and is therefore thought to play a role in cancer prevention. It is essential for collagen formation, thus promoting wound healing.

Vitamin C builds the immune system and performs a wide variety of functions in the body. Typical symptoms of scurvy are swollen and bleeding gums and loose teeth. This is soon followed by weakness and large bruises that will not heal.

Cabbage, sour kraut, and citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C. The best way to store vitamin C is in its crystalline form, as pure ascorbic acid.

Vitamin A

It is unusual for a person to have a vitamin A deficiency because of the large amount stored in the liver of a normally healthy person.

However, in case it happens infants and children are generally affected first, usually after a period of several months.

The classic symptom of vitamin A deficiency is temporary night blindness, which can lead to permanent blindness if the deficiency is not corrected. The best sources for vitamin A include liver, eggs, milk, butter, carrots, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D

A vitamin D deficiency interferes with calcium absorption and causes a disease known as rickets. This affects children and causes inadequate mineralization in developing cartilage and newly formed bone, resulting in abnormalities in shape and structure of bones, especially the long bones.

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include soreness and tenderness, pallor, slight diarrhoea, enlargement of liver and spleen, and badly formed teeth.

The best sources for vitamin D are fish liver oils, eggs, fortified milk, and sunlight. The body uses the ultraviolet rays of the sun to synthesize vitamin D.

Niacin

Pellagra is a disease caused by a deficiency of niacin. Symptoms include dermatitis, ulcers, nausea, diarrhoea, memory loss, confusion, and delirium.

Sources for niacin include yeast, liver, organ meats, peanuts, and wheat germ.

Vitamin B1

Beriberi is a deficiency of vitamin B1, or thiamine. Symptoms include peripheral neuritis (pain) and heart disease. Thiamine sources include meat, nuts, eggs, beans, and vegetables.

Pernicious anemia is not likely to affect most people, because healthy individuals tend to have approximately a three year supply in their liver. It is also readily available in meat. Although there are others, these are the most likely vitamin deficiencies to be encountered by most people in a disaster.

  1. Have an ample store of multivitamins, vitamin C tablets, and children’s multivitamins on your shelf.
  2. Vitamins should be taken with meals on a daily basis.
  3. Breast-fed infants need vitamins D and A, and may require vitamin C supplements. For children and infants, simply crush half a multivitamin tablet into a fine powder and stir it into their food or drink. This is very important, because infants could begin to show vitamin A, C, and D deficiencies after only one month.
  4. Brief daily exposure to sunlight will assist in vitamin D production, but no more than ten minutes is recommended. Children’s vitamins may also be stored and administered in liquid or chewable form.
  5. Plan to store about seven pounds of table salt per person for a year’s supply. Not only is it important for flavor, but salt is critical for cell function, muscle function, maintenance of water balance, blood coagulation, and regulation of blood volume. If stored in a plastic or glass container, salt will store indefinitely and is unaffected by oxygen, heat, or light.

Honey

Sugar and honey are important sources of energy in an emergency. We are not going to engage here in the debate over whether or not these items are healthy. Our goal is to survive a disaster which may require a lot of stamina and energy. Sugar and honey can be very important for this.

White sugar is a concentrate which comes from processed cane or sugar beets. When stored properly it keeps indefinitely, although it may take on a yellow hue. This will not affect the taste or nutritional value.

Honey is sweeter than sugar and is markedly more expensive. Nectar gathered from different flowers accounts for different flavors and colors in honey.

The darker the honey, the stronger the flavor.

Sometimes commercial honey has water added to it and this hurts shelf life by allowing fermentation and mold. Pure honey still has some water in it but can be stored indefinitely in a cold environment. With time it will crystallize and darken, but properly stored honey will resume its original form when warmed up.

Glass jars of honey should be zealously covered from light which will change the color and the taste. Since honey is not sterile, it can cause botulism in infants less than one year old.

The Center For Disease Control web site says that “because honey can contain spores of Clostridium botulinum and this has been a source of infection for infants, children less than 12 months old should not be fed honey. Honey is safe for persons one year of age or older.”

Symptoms of botulism in infants include lethargy, constipation, a weak cry, and they feed poorly. Infant botulism is not usually fatal. We recommend that you store granulated sugar for infants instead of honey.

Sweet foods such as canned fruits are also a great source of energy, as well as pre-sweetened drink mix packets such as Kool-Aid or Tang.

Tang is a particularly good drink mix to store because it also has a lot of vitamin C. Children and infants have higher metabolisms and require higher energy foods, and in a crisis sugar can fill that niche.

Allergies and intolerances

A crisis would be a bad time to learn that a member of your group is intolerant to gluten or lactose, especially a child or a small infant.

  • The gluten found in unprocessed wheat sometimes causes an allergic reaction in some individuals.
  • Lactose is milk sugar and infants, as well as adults, are sometimes unable to digest it.

Unfortunately, gluten and lactose allergies can suddenly develop without warning, or they can build up over time. These ailments can also grow more severe in a food program that is dominated by these foods because some people aren’t aware they have a gluten or lactose allergy until it becomes a large part of their diet.

These allergies are another reason why you should incorporate these foods into your diet now if you plan to store them. Gluten and lactose intolerances are another reason that powdered dairy products and raw grains are not stressed in this food storage program.

Factors of food storage

Three microorganisms that you must guard against in food storage are bacteria, yeast, and molds.

  • In unopened canned goods, this problem is pretty much solved since the heat kills most of the harmful microbes during processing.
  • Placing food in the freezer will kill insect larvae but will not kill microorganisms. The freezing doesn’t kill microbes, it just stops them from growing.

Four other important factors that can shorten the storage life of food are condensation, oxygen, light, and pH.

Condensation is a problem because it is a vehicle for mold and mildew which can ruin your food. To help thwart condensation, keep your containers off the floor, especially concrete, and out of contact with exterior walls to avoid temperature differences.

With concrete floors, place slats of lumber under the food to prevent condensation inside the containers. If your basement floods occasionally, store the containers on shelves above the water line and store the canned goods on wood slats on the floor. They have a better chance of weathering the dampness, but the labels may peel off.

Oxygen is used by microorganisms such as bacteria that cause food to spoil. Oxygen-related damage to foods in new sealed packages is usually kept to a minimum because moisture-proof containers also tend to be air-tight.

If you are buying in bulk and storing in smaller packaged portions, you have three basic options for keeping the oxygen to a minimum: vacuum sealing, flushing with inert gas and chemical oxygen absorbers.

  1. Vacuum sealing can be performed with a commercial food sealer.
  2. Flushing with gas displaces the oxygen in the package, discouraging the growth of microorganisms which need the oxygen to thrive.
  3. Placing oxygen absorbers in the package does essentially the same thing.

Light might seem harmless, but it saps the nutrition and vitamins out of your food. Any type of container that light can get through is a problem. If you can’t keep your containers and jars in a dark room, then keep them completely covered up or closed up in cardboard boxes.

The single most important factor affecting the shelf life of food is temperature.

The importance of cool temperatures for food storage cannot be overstated.

[Tweet “Food should be stored in the coolest, darkest environment that you can possibly provide for it. #PrepperTalk”]

Storage temperatures should be less than 60 degrees, and around 40 degrees would be ideal. Consistent temperatures are important because temperature swings can cut the shelf life of your food in half.

Generally, you can also figure that every 20 degree increase in temperature will cost you 50% in food shelf life. For this reason garages and attics are terrible places to store food. Basements and cellars are strongly preferred for food storage because not only are they cool, but the temperature remains relatively constant.

A dry crawl space works well for the same reasons.

Rotation

homemade-rotating-can-rackYou should have a working system of rotation so that the food you purchase gets used before it expires.

One way to make the rotation of food much easier is to build self-feeding shelves in your pantry or closet. Self-feeding racks can be purchased online for reasonable prices.

Each shelf slants slightly toward the front, and has a small lip on it. Newly purchased cans of food are added to the back, gradually working their way forward as the food in front is used. This idea works better if you have easy access to the back of the shelves for stocking.

Perhaps you could design your own shelf that continuously feeds the cans, but fits up against the wall and does not require access to the back of the shelves.

With each trip to the store, simply add a few items to your reserve. If an item that you routinely buy is on sale at a great price, add a bunch of it to your inventory.

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Take a Sharpie marker and write the date of purchase on the top of the can or bag as you stock up. Always move the oldest items to the front of the shelf and use it first. Always put the new stuff toward the back.

Rotating your food is critical because it prevents throwing money away in the form of unused, expired goods

It also allows your family to get used to the types of foods you are storing, if you will incorporate them into your cooking.

Rotation is important not only to prevent food spoilage, but also to minimize the loss of nutritional value as the food ages.

Camping is a great time to introduce new foods that you are considering stockpiling, especially dehydrated foods because they don‘t require the hassle of a cooler and ice.

 

 

How to use your freezer to store survival food for up to 5 years

One of the best ways to impede the progress of food-spoiling bacteria is to freeze your survival food. This doesn’t kill the bacteria like heat does, but it slows it down to a near standstill.

A downside to a freezer can be its significant contribution to the monthly electric bill, so it pays to take a few steps to keep your freezer running as efficiently as possible.

  1. First, keep it in the basement or someplace cool so that it doesn’t have to work as hard in the summer. The carport or garage is not a good location choice for this reason.
  2. Second, keep it full of food. The less empty air there is to cool inside your freezer, the lower your electric bill will be. But keep in mind that a freezer that is packed too full won’t be as efficient because the air won’t circulate as easily.
  3. Third, keep several bags of ice and two-liter soda bottles filled with water in your freezer so there will be less empty air to cool. The soda bottles would also help your food stay frozen longer in a power outage, at which time they will provide a valuable source of clean drinking water.

In a power outage, a full freezer will keep food cool for up to two days, but only if it is left unopened.

You can extend the amount of time your frozen food will stay frozen by keeping the freezer door shut as much as possible and only opening it when you absolutely have to.

You can also wrap blankets around the freezer and around the refrigerator as additional insulation, using tape or ropes to hold the blankets in place.

If the power outage occurs in the winter, you can put the food in coolers and set it outside, as long as the outside temperature is below freezing. It is a good idea to have several large camping-type ice chests around the house, since they have a variety of uses.

Your refrigerator will probably not be a big issue after the power has been out for a week or more, because you won’t be able to buy anything to put in it. The refrigerated section of the stores will be empty.

Once the power comes back on, you can refreeze food that is less than 40 degrees, or still has ice crystals in it.

If there are no ice crystals, the food will have to be cooked and eaten.

Do not refreeze food that has thawed.

Fish and seafood tends to spoil very quickly, so they may be unsalvageable when other items can be refrozen.

If it looks like the power is going to be out for several days, you need to start cooking or dehydrating the foods in your refrigerator and freezer, because you will probably lose it to spoilage if you don’t.

If your cooking stove is electric, you will have to use your camp stove, grill, or dehydrator. Never use your grill indoors for safety reasons.

Survival generator

None of this will be as big of a problem if you have a working survival generator and the fuel to operate it.

Simply plug your freezer into the generator and run it for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. That should prevent the frozen food from thawing.

The money you would save in ruined food alone would pay for a good generator. Even if you can’t run the generator long enough to keep the food frozen, it may delay the food’s spoilage, giving you time to figure out a solution before the food goes bad.

The main drawback to a generator is the scarcity of fuel when you need it the most.

An even better idea is a gas-operated refrigerator. It runs unaffected when the power is out, keeps food better, and will probably last longer than an electrical refrigerator.

Long term food storage

Whereas home canning products can have a shelf life of up to five years, frozen food will only last a year or so before freezer burn begins to take its toll.

One thing you can do to help prolong your food’s shelf life in the freezer is to wrap it properly. That is very important. If you know how to use white freezer paper to properly wrap meat, then by all means do so.

The best bet, however, is to make a small investment in a vacuum sealer like those made by Foodsaver.

These units greatly extend the shelf life and freshness of frozen food. The price has come down dramatically in recent years and they are now very affordable. These nifty machines suck all the air out of a tough clear plastic bag, and then seal the food air-tight for freshness.

The bags come in several sizes, or you can buy the plastic on a roll and create a bag as large or as small as you want using the bag cutter on the machine.

The bags are waterproof, so the packaged food can be micro waved, frozen, or boiled. You could write the date on the package with a Sharpie pen, put it in the freezer, and be finished.

Vacuum packing systems can be used for meats, vegetables, soups, nearly anything, and the freshness retained is remarkable.

Important to remember

You must develop some reminder system to use the prepper food in your freezer or it will ruin. We are grieved at the thought of how much money we have thrown out the door in the form of freezer-burned food before we developed a reminder system.

Don’t let this happen to you.

Post a list on the refrigerator door of the contents of your freezer, and the date that each item was frozen.

Do something, anything to keep that frozen food from being out of sight, out of mind until it is time to throw it out.

Upright vs chest

chest freezerAnother thing you could do to help delay freezer burn is to buy a chest-type freezer and not an upright one.

Chest-type electric food freezers are better because when opened, the cold air stays at the bottom with a minimum of temperature fluctuation and air circulation.

Upright freezers let all the cold air out every time you open the door, making the motor work harder and running up your electric bill.

The increased air circulation also brings humidity inside the freezer, which is bad for the contents because it promotes freezer burn. Every time that door is opened, the life of the food inside is decreased.

The problem with chest freezers is that Murphy’s Law invariably rules. Whatever you need always seems to be on the bottom of the freezer. Sometimes it is easier to just cook something else than have to dig out the item you are looking for, then put all that stuff back in the freezer. As time goes by the stuff on the bottom eventually ruins and is thrown out.

A lot of items mentioned in this blog, from flashlight batteries to cooking oil, have much longer storage lives when kept cold. Having a second refrigerator would be a good idea and would save you money over the long haul, simply by extending the shelf life of items and preventing spoilage.

Which Survival Guns to Own? Read our detailed analysis and recommendations

Best survival Guns

During the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, Reginald Denny was forcibly pulled out of his truck and savagely beaten nearly to death.

The thugs then danced around his motionless body and victoriously flashed gang signs to the press helicopter circling overhead.

Vandals and looters pillaged and destroyed one business establishment after another.

The exceptions, however, were buildings where the armed owners were present.

CNN carried vivid, live images of importance of survival riflesKorean business owners armed with assault rifles, defending their property as vandals and looters went by their businesses and destroyed the ones on either side of them.

Without exception, the looters left the protected buildings alone. Those Koreans understood clearly that there was no police, no law, and no help on the way.

They knew that they were on their own and they stood their ground.

This is a potent example of how firearms sometimes make a very effective deterrent, and can even save your life without firing a shot.

The right shtf guns

You should always buy good quality firearms and buy specific firearms for specific tasks.

Firearms are nothing more than tools; you wouldn’t try to drive a nail with a screwdriver, so don’t try to defend your family with a .22 pistol.

One gun will not do it all.

Buy the right firearm for the right job.

Get some training from a qualified instructor, and practice at a shooting range until you are proficient with each of your survival guns.

Keep your survival rifles locked up when not in use and make sure that they are always out of reach of children. The best way to do this is to buy key-operated trigger locking devices for each firearm and store the keys in a separate location.

Which guns are best for home defense?

Ask 20 different firearm owners, and you will get some drastically different answers, as well as a sometimes very passionate defense of their choices.

For the purpose of our discussion, survival firearms have three purposes:

  1. The defense of your family
  2. The procurement of food
  3. And the pure enjoyment of target shooting.

What options do you have?

It is vital that you buy a gun that you enjoy shooting. If you don’t, it will lie unused in its case, and your proficiency with it will suffer. Learning to shoot well takes time, patience, and practice.

Here are different options to choose from:

#1 Survival handguns

best survival 22 handguns At least one .22 caliber pistol is a must. Ruger makes some of the best survival .22 pistols for the money. Most skilled marksmen began with a .22 caliber pistol.

A good medium-caliber pistol for self-defense is essential.

For a simple, easy to use, reliable, affordable survival weapon, it is hard to beat a Glock 9mm Smith & Wesson revolver semi-automatic handgun or a Smith & Weston .38 Special revolver.

Some experienced shooters cast aspersions on revolvers in favor of the more advanced semi-automatic pistols like the Colt or the Glock.

But we still maintain that a good revolver has its place in a gun collection, especially for the beginner.

A Smith & Wesson Model 66 .357 Magnum revolver is affordable, accurate, and dependable.

Since a .357 revolver also fires .38 Special ammunition, the Model 66 is the revolver we recommend for the beginner who is already proficient with a .22.

Compared to the .357 Magnum, .38 Special ammo is less expensive, has less recoil, and is more enjoyable to shoot for the novice.

More experienced shooters may prefer the .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

The Colt 1911A1 model .45 Automatic is a magnificent, dependable firearm and may be an experienced shooter’s first choice, but it has significant recoil and is expensive, both to purchase and to shoot.

All things considered, the Glock Model 17 and the Glock Model 19, both of which are 9mm, deserve some consideration.

Caliber choice for your defense handgun is very important. You must choose a caliber that is big enough to do the job, yet small enough for you to be comfortable with.

There is an old saying to the effect that you “would rather hit with a .22 than miss with a .45.” If you cannot shoot your firearm accurately, it will do you no good.

A 9mm handgun is less expensive, is lighter, recoil is less, and magazine capacity is higher in comparison with a .45 ACP.

Of course, in a gunfight, having a 9mm can get you killed.

The minimal stopping power of a 9mm means that your wounded assailant will probably live long enough to kill you before he dies.

The fact that he will die later of his wounds will be of little comfort to you.

best gun for home defenseThe .40 S&W caliber has better ballistics and better knock-down power than the 9mm, but less recoil and higher magazine capacity than the .45 auto.

It is the best of both worlds.

Keep in mind that in a crisis where ammunition is at a premium, .40 S&W ammo may be hard to find since it is not a predominantly popular caliber yet. In that case, you will want to stock extra .40 S&W ammo.

Best survival shotguns

single shot shotguns for survival

A 12-gauge shotgun is good for hunting and sometimes suitable for close range defense. It can be used for hunting large game, hunting small game (using shells with smaller shot size), shooting moving targets, and confronting multiple assailants within 20 yards.

The shotgun owes its versatility in part to the wide selection of shot shells that are available.

“Shot” refers to the pellets contained in each round. A #6 shot shell, for example, contains smaller pellets but more of them when compared to 00 buckshot.

Shells containing smaller shot size are better for shooting small game. Even smaller birdshot is better for upland bird hunting.

One round of 12 gauge 00 buckshot contains nine .33 caliber projectiles and is intended for large game and self-defense. 00 buckshot is also often selected for close combat gunfights.

A shotgun slug is one large lead projectile which basically turns your shotgun into a short-range rifle with a huge one-ounce bullet.

Pump action models made by Winchester and Mossberg are dependable, quality shotguns, but the Remington Model 870 is in a class of its own.

While some may disagree, the Remington 870 is generally accepted as the best survival shotgun for the money.

The Mossberg Model 500 is also a good choice. It is important to note that shotguns do not incorporate a firing pin safety. This means you should never leave a round in the chamber of a shotgun when in storage or on stand-by for emergency purposes.

Other recommended survival firearms

#1 The Springfield Armory M1A

Springfield Armory M1A is a .308The Springfield Armory M1A is a .308 (7.62mm) caliber semi-automatic rifle with supreme accuracy, range, and dependability.

The M1A is basically a semi-automatic, civilian version Springfield M1A rifle .308 (7.62mm)of the M14 combat rifle.

A direct descendant of the M1 Garand used in World War II, the M14 inherited many of the positive aspects which made the Garand so popular.

Unfortunately, the M14 did show some shortcomings in the jungles of Southeast Asia; it was too big and too heavy for jungle warfare, and was nearly impossible to control in full auto.

Still, many United States Marines were grieved to give up their M14′s when the newer M16 were issued in Viet Nam. The M14 was reliable, fast-loading, simple to operate, and nail-driving accurate at one thousand plus yards.

In the civilian market, the Springfield M1A has been a huge success. The jungle shortcomings are not a problem for the American shooters of today.

Bulk is not an issue when shooting targets, and control during full-auto fire is not an issue since the M1A is semi-automatic only. The .308 caliber is also very popular among target shooters and hunters.

If you are fortunate enough to get a National Match version of the M1A, you will enjoy numerous advanced features.

The National Match barrel is a 22″ stainless steel, air-gauged barrel with a 1:11 right-hand twist. The trigger is two-stage with a 4 1/2 lb. pull. The action is glass-bedded and the stock is a beautiful high-grade walnut.

The National Match sights have one-half m.o.a. windage and elevation adjustments.

In any variation, the Springfield M1A is a magnificent firearm and, as such, commands a premium price. It is worth every penny. If you can only have one large caliber rifle in your collection, get a Springfield M1A rifle.

#2 Colt AR-15

Colt AR-15 Survival ShotgunThe Colt AR-15 is a .223 (5.56mm) caliber rifle and is a good and reliable weapon, but is also expensive to purchase.

The price can vary greatly because there are many models available, but the older SP1 models (rifles whose serial numbers begin with ‘SP1’) are the most desirable because they are constructed with better workmanship and materials and are convertible to fully automatic fire.

The newer models have a steel block Colt AR-15 .223 machined into the lower receiver to prevent this conversion and are more cheaply made, but are more affordable.

All in all, the Colt AR-15 is a wonderful survival firearm: simple to use, very accurate, dependable, and a pure joy to shoot. If you are willing to pay the price, at around $800, you will love it.

Some AR-15 parts and all the magazines are interchangeable with the military M16, so extra parts and magazines are very common and inexpensive at gun shows and gun shops.

Ruger Mini 14As an alternative, the Ruger Mini-14 is less expensive, but less accurate.

It is more rugged than the AR-15 and functions better under sandy or muddy conditions.

Mini-14 parts, when you can find them, are expensive. The Chinese SKS 7.62×39 is a cheaper option.

In wilderness survival guns, you get what you pay for. We would much rather face an opponent with a Chinese SKS than one with a Springfield M1A.

Full auto survival guns

Semi-automatic so-called ‘assault rifles,’ generally speaking, are easy to operate, fun to shoot, reasonably accurate, and usually dependable.

We would advise against a fully automatic weapon for all but the most experienced shooters.

Even though they are a lot of fun to shoot, fully automatic guns are unbelievably expensive to purchase and they consume a horrendous amount of ammunition.

The ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) permit and paperwork to legally own what is known as a Class III firearm is a major paperwork hassle, costs $200, and can take up to a year before your application goes through.

You must have the approved ATF application in hand before you can legally possess a full auto firearm.

And don’t even think about buying a machine gun that does not have the proper stamps from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms division of the Department of the Treasury, United States Government.

It is not worth the risk.

The same goes for illegally altering semi-automatic rifles to shoot full-auto. That offense carries the same mandatory minimum of fifteen years in a federal penitentiary, even for a first-time offender.

Building your survival ammo stockpile

choosing the best survival ammoHow much ammo should you I stockpile for each gun?

That is another source of endless debate among gun enthusiasts, and it depends on the firearm ammunition and what type of disaster that you are planning for.

The .22 long rifle caliber is one of the most important calibers in your home defense because it is probably the most versatile. This caliber does very well in pistols and rifles alike, has countless uses, and is comparatively quiet.

Since .22 LR ammunition is also very inexpensive and has a long shelf life, it wouldn’t hurt to occasionally buy a brick (500 rounds) to stick back.

It also makes a great inexpensive gift. Ask your family to buy you a brick of .22 shells for Christmas and Father’s Day.

3,000 rounds of .22 ammunition is a bare minimum of what you should consider adequate because the .22 has so many uses. And since it stores well, it wouldn’t hurt to store more than that.

In larger caliber pistols such as the 9mm or .45 Automatic, you should have a bare minimum of 500 rounds stored per gun in your collection. That is not per caliber, but per firearm.

You should also have a good selection of specialized ammo in each caliber for self-defense. Some very good choices are the Cor-Bon jacketed hollow points and the Remington Golden Sabers.

winchester fail safe ammoA personal favorite is the Winchester Fail Safe jacketed hollow-point bullet, formerly known as the Black Talon.

This bullet has a lead core with a steel insert, and the copper-alloy nose has a notched hollow point cavity.

As the bullet penetrates the target, the nose expands with jagged “petals” that peel back. This slows the rate of the projectile, transfers energy from the bullet to the target, and inflicts an impressive amount of internal damage.

When it comes to the defense of your family, it should be your goal to inflict the maximum amount of internal damage possible on the intruder with the minimum number of shots fired.

Remember, you may get only one shot, and it had better count.

That is why ammunition such as the Winchester Fail Safe is necessary and desirable.

There are a wide variety of other bullet types on the market to choose from. Remember, the fate of your children may rest on the stopping power of the bullet you choose, so choose well.

You will need to experiment with several different types and see which ones your chosen firearm performs the most accurately with, and which ballistic loads you prefer to shoot.

For large caliber bolt-action rifles, 300 hundred rounds of ammo per bolt-action rifle should be sufficient, unless you had the wisdom and foresight to purchase a semi-automatic rifle of the same caliber.

A fine pair of choices in this situation would be a Springfield M1A and a Remington bolt-action Model 700VS, both chambered in .308 caliber.

If you have both a .308 semi-automatic and a .308 bolt gun, we would suggest storing a minimum of 1,000 rounds of .308 ammo.

The .223 caliber poses a special problem in the question of how much ammo to store. That is because you may have more than one gun to feed, and some of those guns may be semi-automatic.

Semi-automatic .223 rifles seem to have a voracious appetite for ammunition. This is probably because the operating action is easy, they are fun to shoot, they have very little recoil, and the ammo is relatively inexpensive. That all adds up to a caliber that will always seem to be in short supply on your shelf.

This brings up another attractive aspect of a .223 bolt-action rifle: it uses the same caliber ammo as the common Colt AR-15 and M16.

Older AR-15’s can also be purchased in 9mm or 7.62 calibers, but these are getting rare.

You should have a minimum of 500 rounds for your .223 bolt-action rifle, and no less than 2000 rounds of .223 ammo for each semi-automatic rifle.

Once you begin shooting your AR-15 and see how fast the ammo goes, you will see why these amounts are necessary.

Shotgun ammunitions

Shotgun ammunitions pose a problem of a different nature. They do not have a long shelf life because of the non-sealing nature of the shotgun shell which holds the powder and shot in place.

The ammos are subject to fouling over time from moisture in the air, so very special care must be taken to store shotgun shells in a dry, air-tight container such as an ammo can.

Be sure to include a desiccant and store the ammo away from outside walls and concrete floors, which may contribute to condensation.

If stored properly, a minimum of 250 rounds is recommended. Buy 00 buckshot for defense and hunting large game, and #6 squirrel and rabbit shot for small game.

All ammo should be rotated and replaced like food, but more especially shotgun shells, because they are so vulnerable to humidity and dampness in general.

Because of this vulnerability, it would be a better idea to store the individual shotgun ammunition components (powder, primers, shot, etc.) separately in airtight containers and load the shells as needed.

Storing ammunition is like storing food; keep it in a cool, dry place at a constant temperature.

  • Don’t store it in the attic because of the heat.
  • Don’t expose it to solvents or oils of any kind and don’t handle it unnecessarily because of the oils and salt produced by your skin.

Ammunition for a lot of the calibers we have discussed can be purchased in bulk, which will save you a fortune.

Ask around at gun shows or at gun shops for information about companies that will load quality ammo in bulk and ship it to you.

Try to keep the number of different calibers to a minimum. Having several guns that use the same ammo is not a luxury, it is a must. Maintenance is easier, buying ammunition is easier, and reloading ammo is much simpler. Avoid exotic calibers and stick to the basics.

By far the cheapest way to stock ammunition is to purchase the various components (bullets, powder, primers, hulls, etc.) and reload it yourself. Not only does it make shooting a lot cheaper, but ammo reloading is a fun, interesting, and rewarding hobby.

Learn how to do it correctly and only reload at times when you have no distractions so that you can focus on what you are doing. Get a couple of reloading manuals and learn how to do it right. Ammunition reloading is like home canning- if you take short cuts, you will regret it in a most profound fashion.

Clips and magazines

Another question that frequently comes up is in regard to gun magazines, sometimes incorrectly referred to as ‘clips.’

A ‘clip’ is a strip of metal that holds ammo in a linear manner in preparation for loading into a magazine.

A magazine, on the other hand, is the part of a firearm which houses the ammunition before it is chambered, and may or may not be detachable.

You should have a minimum of six magazines per semi-automatic pistol, and 10 magazines per semi-automatic rifle.

Magazines are sometimes misplaced or lost in the field, so it is always best to have numerous spares.

20-round rifle magazines are the most reliable, but the 30-round mags are acceptable. Anything higher decreases reliability of the magazine spring-feeding mechanism.

Don’t leave your magazines stored full of ammo because it weakens the springs, which will affect reliability in feeding the ammo.

When loading, leave the magazine two rounds less than full. That helps decrease magazine jam-ups and increases reliability.

Daniel Boone

Do not have the illusion that you will hunt animals such as deer and turkey to feed your family in an extended crisis, living off the land like Daniel Boone.

These animals will disappear from the landscape overnight in a food shortage. If you think opening day of deer hunting season last year was crowded, wait until everyone’s kitchen cabinets are bare.

Remember, you will not be the only guy out there with best survival rifle and an empty belly.

How to Make a 72-Hour Survival Kit

72 hour bug out bag

FEMA recommends that each household prepare a disaster supplies kit that is ready to “grab and go” in case of an evacuation or an emergency such as a terrorist attack, a nuclear incident, a flood, or a chemical spill.

They recommend that this kit (bug out bag) have enough food, water, first aid supplies, tools and emergency supplies to last for three days or more.

Introducing the bug out bag

This bag is also known as a “bug out bag” or a G.O.O.D. bag (Get Out Of Dodge).

This emergency preparedness survival bag is important because if you have to evacuate during a disaster, it may be the only thing you have time to grab as you are leaving.

It may be the only source of food, water, and essentials that you have for a several days. The bag could save you a lot of anguish.

Since you may have to pull up and leave at a moment’s notice, having an emergency preparedness kit already together means you don’t have to think of everything on the spot as you are walking out the door.

It also means that you can be miles down the road while other people are still trying to figure out what to gather up. Sometimes in an emergency, seconds count.

While there are many things that would be nice to have, you must keep the contents of this emergency preparedness kit to a minimum.

You may want to have a bug-out kit for each member of the family to carry. That may increase how much stuff you can take, so make sure that your bug out vehicle will carry it all.

The hall closet, if you have one, is a good place to keep your emergency preparedness bag so that you can grab it as you head out the door.

Pre-packaged bug out bags for sale

Like with pre-packaged survival food, pre-packaged commercial 72 hour bags are less than ideal.

They have always have things in them that you do not need and will never use in an emergency, the quality of the goods may be substandard, and they don’t usually include items that suit your particular disaster preparations.

Instead, put your own emergency preparedness kit together. It is cheaper and will better suit your specific needs in a disaster.

You can use a duffel bag or any large canvas bag to hold the contents of your emergency kit, or you can use a five gallon plastic bucket with a good handle and a sealable lid.

A bucket with a lid can be an invaluable and irreplaceable tool in a disaster. You can use it to carry water or a hundred other things after you reach your destination.

You can also use it with a trash bag spread inside the bucket as a make-shift potty in a disaster.

This is one reason to make sure that your buckets have lids. Lids also keep the emergency preparedness kit together and intact, as well as making the bucket weather-resistant.

Prioritizing your 72-hours grab and go bag

Make a list of all the things you will need to take in your 72-hour kit. Then gather these items and lay them out in the floor, along with the number of buckets or packs that your family will be carrying, one per person.

Now is the time to see if you will be able to haul all the survival gear that you have selected in the emergency containers you have selected.

If not, you will have to make some choices. Be sure and put the lighter items in the buckets or packs which will be carried by the younger members of the family.

One of the first items you must plan for in an emergency is water. Water is heavy, weighing 8.34 pounds per gallon, but you must have it with you in any disaster.

Since the average person drinks two quarts of water per day, pack your emergency preparedness kit with bottled water accordingly and include a water purification filter and water purification tablets (read about water purification here).

A small container of unscented chlorine bleach would be good to have in your 72-hour kit for treating drinking water that you may find along the way.

MRE’S, canned chili, and canned stews are great for the best bug out bags because they require no refrigeration, are easy to heat up, and can be eaten without cooking in an emergency.

They are packed with protein and carbohydrates which you may need in a crisis. Other good choices for your 72-hour kit are peanut butter, granola bars, canned meats such as tuna, and dehydrated soup mixes.

Thirst-inducing supplies

The down side to packing items such as tuna in an emergency kit is that they make you thirsty, and water may be in short supply on your journey.

You could include a small backpacking stove in your 72-hour kit; the space and weight are negligible, and you might be amazed at what a hot meal will do for morale during a disaster.

Canned fruits and juices are good choices for emergency kits because they provide quick energy and, again, will do wonders for a person’s spirits in a crisis.

Just remember that these juices will also make you thirsty if water is in short supply, as often happens during a disaster.

Other good choices for emergency food include chocolate bars and candy.

Don’t forget to pack your disaster kit with a few salt tablets, some forks and spoons, one metal drinking cup per person, and baby food and diapers if applicable.

Above all, do not forget the can opener. In fact, pack a can opener in each emergency preparedness bucket or pack.

Staying warm

Pack some warm clothes, a stocking cap, extra underwear and socks, and good shoes in your disaster kit for each person.

If you have room in your bug out pack, take a sleeping bag or blanket for each person. If not, pack metallic emergency blankets or space blankets.

A set of rain gear for each person would be nice, if there is room in your emergency kit.

Rain ponchos are even better because a small candle held in your lap with your legs crossed can provide a lot of personal warmth under a poncho. Just be careful and don’t melt your poncho!

Include a bar of hand soap, a roll of toilet paper, wet towelettes, and feminine hygiene items in your 72-hour kit.

Bugging Out: The ultimate bug out shelter guide

choosing the best bug out location

People who have been raised in the city tend to fare better by staying in town during disasters.

However, if you are convinced that your dwelling will be untenable during a long term disaster such as an economic collapse, then maybe you should set up a remote bug out shelter.

Here are your options

Option #1: Old farmhouse

One option is to buy an old farmhouse out in the country to use as your emergency bug out location.

It might be a fun hobby to fix it up, and it might be the perfect place to wait out periods of rioting or economic collapse.

One of the best justifications for a retreat is that it can double as a weekend get-away that you can take the family to for memories that will last a lifetime. It can also be an excellent investment opportunity too.

Option #2: Mobile homes and campers

Another consideration for a survival shelter idea would be a mobile home.

As a bug out shelter, a mobile home has several advantages:

  1. It is already electrically wired
  2. Already plumbed
  3. Compactly organized
  4. And has all the conveniences of home.

You can move it in tomorrow, without having to build it yourself or wait for a contractor.

A mobile home also has some emergency preparedness disadvantages: maintenance can be high, quality is questionable, most are energy inefficient, and special care must be taken to prevent frozen/burst water pipes since it may not be used for extended periods during the winter.

New mobile homes are costly considering re-sale value, while pre-owned mobile homes are sometimes affordable.

Option #3: A motor home

bugout motorhome
Bug out motor home

A more versatile survival shelter plan is to have a motor home or camper that you use recreationally and that could also be taken to your shelter location in the event of an emergency.

Your bug out location could have such improvements as a septic tank, a cleared level spot for your motor home/camper, and parking space.

You could just pull in and hook up.

Both the mobile home and the camper have several advantages over building a new structure as a disaster shelter. They are much more affordable than a new house.

There are no building contractors to deal with. There are no building codes to worry about, and no bizarre appraisal hassles that usually accompany bank financing of new homes.

And installation is easy and immediate.

The camper has a few advantages over the mobile home when it comes to emergency preparedness. While mobile homes are usually roomier, it can be difficult to get service personnel to make house calls to remote locations when (not if) repairs or maintenance is needed later on.

With a camper, you can hook up to it with your vehicle and pull your camper to town for service. You can also pull your camper out and sell it when you are finished with it or want to upgrade, whereas a mobile home is more difficult to move and much more difficult to resell.

While a camper or mobile home would not provide much protection from a nuclear threat, they might provide a nice place to take your family in the event of widespread economic collapse and violence.

They would also provide some good family bonding time on the weekends, or a temporary emergency shelter while you work on a more permanent one.

Option #3 What if you are on a tight budget?

If money is tight, consider buying 4-5 acres of remote hunting land. Later you can build a 12×24 building for an affordable price, and a plain shell building gives you a place to stay while you are building more suitable emergency bug out house.

It also makes a nice place to spend the weekends away from the city. You could consider using a hunting lease as a temporary bug out home, but that would be a last resort.

If money is really tight, you might contact friends or family who live out in the country. If they have room for you and your family, you could make arrangements to store emergency food and other essentials at their home for use in a crisis.

You are much more likely to be welcomed if you are furnishing your own emergency supplies and making a contribution to the household, rather than being a burden.

Factors to consider when choosing a bug out location

good bug out locationThere are many considerations when choosing a shelter location. A primary consideration is accessible water, like a spring, creek, or well.

One of your first priorities when choosing such an emergency preparedness location is the availability of water.

A well, pond, or spring-fed stream should be near-by and readily accessible. If not, perhaps you could devise a catch system if you live in an area with sufficient rainfall.

You will certainly want redundant sources of water.

Water can be carried from a pond or stream, collected from rainfall, or siphoned from a well. Any surface water that is collected will obviously need to be purified before drinking.

The shelter should also have accessible firewood and soil capable of growing a garden.

You might consider a remotely located area with the least amount of traffic possible, preferably on a rough old dirt county road. A disadvantage to this remoteness is the increased vulnerability to thieves and vandals when you are not there.

Keep it secret

secret bug out location
Secrecy is key in constructing the perfect bug out shelter

Your shelter should definitely not be visible from the road. Perhaps trees, a winding driveway, or a small hill would be enough hide for your ‘vacation home,’ but it needs to be far enough off the road so that it isn’t worth the trouble to trespassers to walk to it.

Thieves and vandals will quickly figure out that you are not around very often if they can leisurely drive by and see the absence of activity.

Your driveway should be gated and locked. Another important reason to be invisible from the road is secrecy. The key to avoiding trouble during social unrest is to remain unseen.

The less people that know about your bug out spot, the less likely you are to get in a confrontation if conditions deteriorate.

Never forget that the same people who thought it was silly to prepare for disaster will kill you for what you have when they get desperate.

You cannot defend a shelter from a determined group of people, no matter how brilliant your defense plans are or how ‘defendable’ you think your spot is.

Attackers will find your shelter’s weak spot, and every shelter has at least one.

The only way to successfully defend a shelter is to prevent its discovery.

The best way to go about this is to pick an unnoticed parcel of woods, unobtrusively build a shelter, quietly stock it with a few provisions, and keep your mouth shut about it.

The keys to having the ultimate survival shelter are to be quiet and be unseen.

Otherwise, you may fight the traffic and road obstacles only to arrive at your well-stocked shelter and find it already occupied by determined squatters.

Some people feel that instead of being secretive about disaster preparation, you should encourage your neighbors to prepare with you.

That usually does not work. Instead, people choose not to prepare and will then count on you to feed them when the shortages start.

In some remote areas, the local residents will create obstacles on the dirt roads in the event of a temporary breakdown of law and order. Their intent will be to limit access to their area by vandals and roving gangs of looters by cutting trees across the roads and dynamiting key bridges.

The idea is to discourage random trouble-makers by creating a situation where they will have to walk.

Most people, especially thieves, will avoid walking very far and will simply drive elsewhere. Residents in the area of your shelter may have similar plans, so it would be wise to get there with some haste while the roads are unblocked.

Time and distance

Distance and travel routes between your shelter and your home must be carefully evaluated.

A shelter that you can’t reach will do you no good.

Too much distance, and therefore time, makes it proportionately less likely that you will be able to reach your shelter as the situation deteriorates. If the distance to your retreat is too great, it is also less likely that you will visit it on a regular basis for repairs and enjoyable weekend stays.

Some experts say that two to three hours travel time by vehicle should be the absolute maximum that you consider for your evacuation plan.

According to this theory, you should be able to get there on one tank of gas, because in a crisis there may be none available on the road.

Other experts say that your retreat needs to be more than one tank of gas away from a major metropolitan area. This is because the fleeing masses will leave town with at most one full tank of gas, and as the vehicles run dry the people will be on foot, desperate, and knocking on your door.

Ultimately, you will have to find the balance in time and distance that is right for you.

Heat

Another consideration for your shelter is how to heat it. The building should have a good wood stove.

Whatever the circumstances that you intend to retreat from, one common factor that you should plan on is being without electricity.

Old farm houses make good shelters because they are less expensive to purchase and tend to be built with at least some self–sufficiency in mind, i.e. water wells, root cellars, etc.

It is worth repeating that one of your first priorities when choosing a location is the availability of water. A well, pond, or spring-fed stream should be near-by and readily accessible.

Root cellars themselves make excellent shelters because the temperature is fairly constant, making it ideal for storing food. They are also easy to heat, and are usually cool in hot weather.

You can modify an existing root cellar or build your own, but make sure and pick a well-drained area. A root cellar is one of the cheapest options yet makes one of the best shelters.

Accommodations

family bug out shelterYour rural shelter should have enough room to comfortably lodge the number of people you intend to stay there, as well as food, water, and supplies, extra clothes, etc.

Keep in mind that you may have to take in and support a number of people that you are not presently counting on, especially if you have been proudly telling your preparation plans to your friends and neighbors.

Close friends and relatives, perhaps with young children, may show up and insist on being allowed to enter, so you had better be prepared to either turn them away by force or make room for them.

In the meantime

It is a bad idea to leave valuable supplies in an unoccupied building because of thieves.

ou might consider renting storage space in the nearest town for items which are not affected by heat such as cooking and lighting equipment, etc.

The problem is that a remote bug out home seldom has conveniently located storage businesses nearby, and over time rental fees can get expensive.

You may also run out of time to retrieve these items.

Here are a few storage tips for your SHTF stockpile.

Survival cache containers

Many people today have cache containers buried near their weekend getaways to solve this problem.

Guns, ammunition, coins, and other such items are among the most popular items for these buried caches.

survival cache containerAs containers, PVC pipe and metal army surplus ammo cans are hard to beat.

The biggest problem with both of these containers is heavy condensation inside the container while underground.

If you intend to cache any supplies, do a trial run first with desiccants and various methods of packing.

Guns and tools should be packed in cosmoline or grease, and ammo should be packed in waterproof plastic bags with desiccants.

Food vacuum sealers would be great for preparing ammo for storage, because the bags are airtight and waterproof. The vacuum sealed bags of ammo with desiccants could then be stored in the PVC or ammo cans and buried.

People who bury caches usually prefer to have several small ones scattered about instead of one big one. That way if one of them is found, all is not lost.

It would be wise to make a map of precisely where your caches are, since there is the possibility that several years from now you may not be able to find the precise spot where they are buried. This would also allow your family to find your caches if you are incapacitated or dead.

Early casualties

Amazingly, there are people who plan to leave their homes in a crisis and live in the public forest on whatever supplies they can take with them.

These people are doomed from the start. The woods are going to be full of other displaced individuals or gangs, and some of these people will not be very nice.

In the unlikely event that you survive the run-ins with other desperate refugees, it is unrealistic to believe that you can survive in the woods like Jeremiah Johnson for any length of time, especially in the winter.

Others believe that a nomadic traveling method is better.

They intend to constantly stay on the move in a van, camper, pick-up, etc. until things settle down.

These people have even less hope than the aforementioned forest people for several reasons.

In any national crisis, fuel will be one of the first and harshest shortages, severely constraining these would-be wanderers.

Additionally, there is no way a person can carry everything he will need in a vehicle. This will probably not be a problem, because in a situation of social anarchy, looters and wandering thugs will relieve this traveler of his vehicle, possessions, and probably his life ;-(

If you think this scenario is unlikely, consider the manner in which travelers and commuters were dragged from their vehicles and mercilessly beaten during the 1992 L.A. riots.

Transportation (Bug out route)

If your plan is to evacuate to a rural shelter, you had better anticipate the crisis deterioration and leave early enough to avoid the traffic problems.

ultimate bug out shelter
There is a possibility that your bug out route will be marred by chaos and pandemonium.

There is the possibility that your route will be blocked by traffic, riots, or the ramifications of the disaster you are escaping from. You should plan alternate routes for such scenarios.

The streets may be clogged with traffic to the point that walking may be the best alternative.

Bicycles also deal well with clogged streets, but they are slow and they can’t carry much gear.

Motorcycles can get through traffic, are faster, but still can’t carry much equipment or provisions. They also don’t require much fuel at a time when fuel may be in short supply.

None of this compensates for the danger posed by irrational vehicle drivers in a crisis who may have very little regard for the safety of motorcycle riders.

You also can’t haul a very big family on a motorcycle.

Try to keep your alternate bug out routes as short as possible.

You must have dependable transportation that will get you through difficult terrain and bad weather conditions.

You will need a vehicle that can carry the number of people in your family and the amount of gear that you are taking with you.

With this in mind, you should have a four-wheel drive heavy duty pickup or SUV, with good ground clearance.

You might consider an older model versus a new one.

Older bug out vehicles tend to be easier to service and maintain because they are less computerized and generally have simpler designs. They are also less likely to be affected by electromagnetic pulse in the wake of a nuclear explosion.

Diesel models have advantages and disadvantages.
  1. Diesel fuel may be more difficult to find in a crisis.
  2. Diesel fuel tends to gel when it gets really cold, requiring a chemical additive.
  3. Diesel engines are also more difficult to start in really cold temperatures.

However, diesel fuel has the advantage of containing more energy than gasoline, so diesel motors provide more power.

They also require less maintenance. But most importantly, Diesel fuel has the huge advantage of storing better and longer than gasoline. That may turn out to be a critical factor in a prolonged crisis where fuel is hard to find.

Keep all-terrain tires that are in good shape on your vehicle at all times, and always have at least a half tank of fuel.

Grab your 72-hour kit on the way out the door.

Bugging out vs staying home: What suits you the most

bugging out

If you live in an urban or even suburban area, one of the first and most important decisions you will face in a disaster is whether to relocate to an emergency retreat or stay at home.

If your family is not at risk from exposure to biological, chemical, or nuclear agents, you may be better off staying at home.

Urban people tend to fare better by staying in town during emergencies, on their own turf where street sense matters. Additionally, manufactured goods are more readily available in town, even in a crisis.

Contrariwise, people who are used to living in the country tend to have a better knowledge of farmland and woods and how to use these resources, including hunting, raising livestock, agriculture, gardening, etc.

If you have been raised in the city, it is a dangerous illusion to believe that you can suddenly flee the city during an emergency and thrive in a farming community.

Staying at a suburban home during a disaster has several advantages.

One advantage is the convenient access to grocery stores, hardware stores, gas pumps, etc.

Though these businesses will be of little use once the shortages are in full swing after the disaster, this access can be very convenient when building an emergency supply of food, water, and supplies beforehand.

For example, you can keep empty gas cans at home and go fill them at the first sign of disaster, instead of storing gasoline at your home. That way there is no messing with gas treatment chemicals and no rotating old containers full of gasoline.

Staying at home means you don’t have to worry about taking all those supplies with you in an emergency, and it means that you will be there to protect your property from looters.

It means you will have access to your own bed, blankets, tools, and all the comforts that make it a home during the crisis.

Staying close to your close friends

By staying put you also have the advantage of having friends and neighbors available in case you need help.

Staying in your home during an emergency can also be an advantage if urban distribution centers receive the first government relief shipments of food and medicines.

A huge advantage to stocking up your home with emergency supplies and staying put is that you will be at or near home when the balloon goes up.

The man going to a retreat may not be able to reach his destination while you are comfortable at home.

If you decide to attempt to travel in the period of chaos following a large-scale disaster, you may get trapped in the gridlock which will occur on the highways heading out of the cities.

You run the inherent risk of becoming another refugee on the road, stranded and separated from both your home and your rural shelter.

You may then find yourself at the mercy of the throngs of frightened and angry people that are sure to clog the highways.

For these reasons, staying at home may be the prudent thing to do in the event of a short-lived, localized emergency.

But what if there is a chemical or biological attack which puts your family at risk of exposure?

What if an economic collapse brings rioting and looting on a massive scale?

We have seen what happens in the aftermath of hurricanes such as Katrina.

We have seen the violent riots that ensue in larger cities when the home town basketball team wins a game.

The violent aftermath of an economic collapse or pandemic will be unprecedented.

Long term disruption of the food distribution system will result in empty shelves at the grocery store. When that happens, people will have no choice but to evacuate the cities as supplies run out.

bug out vs staying at homeRefugees will swamp the residential areas in an ever-widening circle as the crisis expands.

Suburban neighborhoods will be overwhelmed and swallowed up as the waves of scavengers spread from the inner city outward, essentially stripping the countryside as they go.

They are going to be looking for food, and they are going to be looking for drugs.

The veneer of civilization is thin.

If you are prepared with an emergency stock of food and supplies in your suburban home, you have to face the fact that in a crisis people will kill you for what you have.

Don’t wait until it is too late and then decide to become part of the fleeing masses who are hopelessly trapped on the interstate with an empty tank of gas.

Survival Book Review: ‘Alas, Babylon’

alas babylon summary

Review: ‘Alas, Babylon’

Genre: Fiction

RATING: 5 out of 5

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank, is the survival fictional story of a nuclear attack on America by the Soviet Union.

Set in Ft. Repose, Florida, the book follows the trials and tribulations of a group of people who are fortunate enough to live in an area with no exposure to nuclear blast or fallout

In fact, the nuclear aspect plays an almost insignificant part of this story.

This is about a small community, cut off from the rest of the nation, and their attempt to survive the shortages and chaos that ensues in the months following the attack.

Meet Randy Bragg

alas babylon summary
Still one of my best fictional survival books

Randy Bragg is a Ft. Repose resident and his brother Mark is a military intelligence officer.

When war becomes inevitable, Mark sends his family to live with Randy in Florida with a telegram that includes the phrase, “Alas, Babylon.” This was their pre-arranged code for imminent disaster, and the telegram gives Randy time to make some hasty preparations.

Alas, Babylon is clever and fascinating.

I first read this book in 1980 and have read it several times since then.

It is still one of my favorite books.

Amazingly, Alas, Babylon was originally published in 1959 and is still in print today. That is a testament to the quality of this book.

The fictional survival book focuses not only on how the people deal with the disaster, but also how they deal with each other in a time of great stress. Sometimes they band together to face the shortages and criminals; sometimes relationships come unraveled.

For the survival-minded prepper, there is much to be learned from this book: timeless lessons in preparation for the aftermath of disaster.

The beauty of this book is that these lessons are universal for almost any disaster preparation: economic collapse, pandemic, war, or any situation that causes long term shortages of food and electricity.

Even though EMP was unheard-of when this book was written, the preparations you could learn from Alas, Babylon would be particularly useful in the event of an electromagnetic pulse attack.

This is not the typical modern post-apocalyptic book, with more attention paid to gratuitous violence than quality writing.

If you can overlook the fact that the material is mildly dated, Alas, Babylon is an entertaining education of which skills and resources will be vital in the aftermath of a disaster.

It is a great book.

One Second After book review

william forstchen one second after

Review: ‘One Second After’

Genre: Fiction

RATING: 4 out of 5

Written in 2009, One Second After by William Forstchen is the fictional story of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States.

The book may be fiction but electromagnetic pulse is all too real.

EMP is created by the detonation of a high altitude nuclear device, and ruins practically anything electronic. Automobiles, airplanes, computers, phones- all will be worthless after an EMP attack.

The book focuses on a small town in North Carolina and how the inhabitants deal with the aftermath of the disaster.

The protagonist is John Matherson, a former U.S. Army Colonel.

One Second After follows him and the town’s inhabitants through the disaster as they realize that the electricity is not going to come back on.

With no television and no radio or phone communication, the citizens of Black Mountain are essentially cut off from the rest of the world and must fend for themselves.

The notable exception to their isolation is the nearby interstate which is a river of wandering people who were stranded when the EMP permanently disabled their vehicles.

Nearly every tool or convenience that uses electronics is ruined. The nation now lives in a world much like the 1800’s.

Money becomes worthless and a barter economy emerges. As the food and medicine runs out, there is hunger, desperation, and roving gangs of criminals. Refugees from the interstate and the larger cities threaten to wipe out what little resources are left.

Difficult choices

Some difficult choices must be made; some people will survive, but many will not.

This is a grim tale of survival, and is realistic to the point of being disturbing.

William Fortstchen did his homework

The dangers and scenarios illustrated in One Second After are an accurate window into what would happen to the United States in the event of an EMP attack, and what it would take to survive it.

The only reason that this book did not get a 5 out of 5 rating is because I did not like the emotional drama near the end.

Still, this is one of the best survival disaster books that I have read in a long time, and it reminds me of the book Alas, Babylon, by Pat Frank.

That is a very big compliment.

Building underground bomb shelters

If the extent of your preparedness for a nuclear blast or an electromagnetic pulse is total denial (“It’ll never happen”) and reliance on the government by default to take care of you, you had better think again.

If the unthinkable (SHTF) actually happens, the Office of Emergency Services (OES) will not be able to take care of you or your family.

They are the modern day version of the civil defense system. Their plan is to evacuate large cities, ship the city dwellers to smaller “host communities” and lodge them in local homes, presumably by force.

The plans for feeding, housing, and treating all these refugees are a mystery.

  • The government funding for these plans is tenuous if it even exists.
  • If you live in a large city and have no plan of your own, the plan is to ship you as a refugee to god-knows-where and feed you god-knows-how.
  • If you live in a small community, you may expect uninvited guests in your home, possibly at military gun-point.
  • If you don’t believe that, then go to your local courthouse and ask the Office of Emergency Services for the details on what they will actually do for you and your family after a nuclear strike.

When we called our local courthouse and asked for the OES Director, we discovered that he owns a paint store and apparently does OES work in his spare time.

When contacted, the paint store/OES gentleman was very courteous, but was not the depository of information that we had hoped for.

He told us that the OES plan in the aftermath of a nuclear strike is to basically relocate people from large cities to rural counties. When we asked how the government plans to house and feed these refugees, he referred us to the state office.

That conversation was over.

We then called the state Department of Emergency Management, as directed by the paint store/OES gentleman.

At the state level we were stonewalled with hesitant, vague answers and nebulous information.

We now realize that in all likelihood, our government has no organized or realistic evacuation plan for dealing with the survivors of a nuclear strike.

There is no plan.

But one thing is clear: you had better have your own self-sufficiency plan because if a nuclear attack occurs, you will be on your own for a while.

Factors to consider when building a bomb shelter

If you wish to prepare for the effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, you don’t necessarily have to build an elaborate concrete homemade underground shelters.

Under the right circumstances, a much simpler and more easily built structure might be all you need.

When determining what type of underground bomb shelter to build in order to deal with a nuclear explosion and/or its aftermath, you need to think about three things:

  1. Distance
  2. Time
  3. and shielding.

Distance matters

You will obviously want to be as far away from the explosion as possible. A fallout shelter should not be constructed too close to a potential nuclear exchange target, including major cities.

We personally would consider anything less than thirty miles too close, but some experts feel that a distance of ten to twenty miles is acceptable.

A site that would permit the shelter being built into the side of a hill would be strongly preferred. Avoid areas that are downwind (east, generally speaking) of major cities, because these areas will receive much heavier doses of radioactive fallout.

You need time to stay indoors until the danger of radiation has dropped to an acceptable level. That means you need to have enough supplies stocked to enable you to wait it out.

Blast vs fallout bomb shelter

To properly prepare for a nuclear weapon detonation, you will want either a blast shelter or a fallout shelter.

These are very different structures, designed to give different types and different levels of protection.

Blast shelter

A blast shelter is designed to survive the initial blast of a nearby nuclear explosion, along with the associated pressure, radiation, heat and fire hazards.

It requires special construction and a properly built blast shelter will be expensive. If you live close enough to a strategic target to need a blast shelter, perhaps you should consider moving.

One option is the pre-made and pre-molded fiberglass shelter.

homemade underground shelters This is basically a huge egg-shaped shelter which is shipped to you complete.

When it arrives, you bury the entire shelter in the ground and access it through a ground level hatch-type door, somewhat like the conning tower on a submarine.

The top few inches of the command station is the only visible part of the structure above ground.

The blast cell is covered by roughly eight feet of dirt, which provides radiation shielding.

The shelter’s ventilation system utilizes filters for radioactive fallout, biological and chemical agents, and other contaminants.

12-volt deep cycle batteries run the various life support systems, purportedly for one month without recharging.

The built-in water tank is said to contain enough water for over one month. Capacity is said to be up to ten people. Living space is advertised to be around 1337 cubic feet with 72-100 inches of head room.

Toilets, sink, shower, water filters, water pumps, storage compartments, lighting, etc. are all included.

One of the key advantages is the convenience, ease and speed of installation.

Excavate a hole before the shelter arrives. The blast cell is then lifted off the trailer and set in the hole. After leveling, the hole is backfilled, leaving only a few inches of the entrance hatch above ground.

Another advantage of the blast cell is having all the systems pre-built into the unit: water, sewer, electric, storage, ventilation, radiation protection, blast protection, chemical warfare protection, etc.

The cell has a connector port incorporated into the design which allows you to have an underground connecting tunnel to your house or to another blast cell.

Unfortunately, the disadvantages of a blast cell are difficult to overcome.

  1. Blast cells are very expensive.
  2. Reputable dealers and information are difficult to find.
  3. The shelter is not very roomy, and privacy is lacking.
  4. Backfilling and crushed rock placement must be done very carefully.
  5. Having only one entrance hatch could very well mean that the shelter will become your tomb if the door is blocked from above by a fallen tree or a parked vehicle.
  6. The hatch can be padlocked when the shelter is not in use, but that means it can also be padlocked while you are inside it.

Newer models of blast cells now come with an emergency escape hatch built into the side of the entranceway tube.

This escape hatch is basically a cover that can be removed from inside the shelter so that you can dig your way through several feet of dirt to the surface.

Newer models also come with a hydraulic jack under the hatch to prevent the access door from being blocked from above.

Another problem with this type of shelter is the vulnerability posed by the air intake vent. If someone were determined to flush you from the shelter, it would be relatively easy to pump noxious chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia or gasoline down the vent. The installed NBC filters can only handle so much.

Proper installation will hopefully prevent the shelter from floating to the surface after heavy rains raise the water table. This has actually happened to ready-made shelters countless times, most notably to those in Texas after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Other options

Converting old fuel tanks into underground shelters is one option, and in the author’s opinion, a bad one.

Cutting into a used fuel tank with a cutting torch can get you blown up due to the ignition of residual fumes inside the tank.

That would solve your survival problems in a fraction of a second 🙂

A floor must be installed, and space is very limited. If backfilling is not done just right, the tank will settle and its shape will become distorted and dented.

Additionally, cleaning out a used fuel tank can be dreadful, and the residual smell of fuel can be difficult to remove entirely.

But opinions on this subject vary greatly.

One expert I consulted on this subject told me that he has cut doors into several old 1,000 gallon storage tanks without incident.

He favors old fuel tanks for underground shelters because they are “cheap and easy.” In his experience, these fuel tanks had no smell or dangerous fumes.

Steel culverts

steel culverts bomb sheltersAnother idea is to convert a steel culvert into an underground shelter, but this can be extremely expensive.

A steel culvert is not as prone to get dented because it is stronger, due to the corrugated ribs.

Backfilling still has to be done very carefully, but there is more room for error. A floor still has to be installed, and space is still limited.

A popular option is the concrete underground shelter. You can build it as large and as elaborate as your budget will allow. It can be roomy, sturdy, long-lasting, and gives top-notch protection.

If you can defeat the moisture problems associated with underground concrete structures, this is a great option. If not, you are going to have a dank, musty, depressing hole in the ground where most of your stuff gets ruined by moisture and/or humidity.

A concrete shelter requires steel reinforcement to support the concrete ceiling and the earth above it.

Size matters

The shelter must be big enough to accommodate the specific number of people who will be in it, along with all your supplies.

What will you do with family members and close friends who are knocking on the door once you are sealed inside?

You may ultimately have more people in your shelter than you think, so plan accordingly for extra space and extra provisions.

Your plan should generally allow about 20 square feet of floor space for each person, which includes enough space for food, water, supplies, and furnishings for that individual.

How to survive the worst nuclear fallout in history- A preppers definitive guide

how to survive a nuclear fallout

Many people believe that it is useless to attempt to survive an all-out nuclear strike because the blast will presumably kill everyone and turn the earth into a radioactive wasteland.

That is simply not true.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) states that in one week the radioactivity will retain only 10% of its radioactive strength.

Two weeks following the detonation, the radioactive fallout retains only 1% of its radioactivity.

The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have shown that survivors of nuclear radiation may only have an increased cancer risk of 15%.

Depending on your proximity to the blast and if you are downwind of it, it should be safe in as little as two weeks to begin going outdoors for an hour each day.

As more days pass, you could gradually spend more time outside.

Pregnant women and small children would need to remain sheltered for longer periods of time, and would especially need to avoid exposure to rain, since it will continue to wash radioactive particles out of the atmosphere for several months after the blast.

Generally speaking, the inhalation of fallout particles should not be one of our greatest concerns, since only the smallest fallout particles are small enough to be inhaled.

Since these tend to stay in the stratosphere longer, these tiny particles have lost much of their lethal dosage through radioactive decay by the time they reach the earth.

Radiation dosage would be increased on rainy days as radioactive particles still suspended high in the atmosphere are brought to the ground, but a greater concern would be exposure to gamma rays and beta particles in the initial hours after the explosion.

Radiation Exposure

The amount of radiation a body receives is expressed in terms of exposure and dose.

Different materials that receive the same exposure may not absorb the same amount of energy from the radiation, so a radiation absorbed dose, or rad, measures the amount of energy which a particular object absorbs, typically a human body.

A rem, or roentgen equivalent man, is the amount of radiation required to produce the same biological effect as one rad of high-penetration radiation, such as gamma rays.

With gamma and beta radiation, one rad of exposure results in one rem of dose.

The roentgen is an obsolete term which refers to the amount of radiation exposure equal to the quantity of ionizing radiation that will produce one electrostatic unit of electricity in one cubic centimeter of dry air at 0°C and standard atmospheric pressure.

The International System unit for radiation absorbed dose is the gray (Gy).

A gray is the absorption of one joule of radiation by one kilogram of tissue.

  • One gray equals 100 rad.
  • One sievert (Sv) equals 100 rem,
  • and one gray equals one sievert in whole body exposure.

In a healthy adult it takes a dose of 100-200 rem of radiation within a short period of time to produce radiation sickness.

The symptoms include:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Hair loss
  3. Fever
  4. Abdominal pain
  5. Diarrhea
  6. Skin burns and blisters.

400-500 rem within a few days is fatal. If a group of people were exposed to 400 rem over a short period of time, approximately half of them would die.

Ionizing Radiation

Ionizing radiation associated with a nuclear explosion has a greater effect on the cells in the body that actively divide: specifically the hair, intestines, bone marrow, and reproductive organs.

Symptoms of radiation poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin discoloration, and hair loss.

Radiation is often linked to leukemia, various types of cancer, infertility, and birth defects. This occurs because the ionizing radiation damages the DNA within the cells, and therefore their ability to control their rate of division. If the DNA damage occurs in the cells of the reproductive organs, these genetic mutations can be passed on to offspring.

Nuclear Winter

There is also a theory that the dust clouds from fallout and the smoke from bomb-initiated fires could block the sun’s rays from the earth, ushering in a “nuclear winter.”

Since this period of darkness and sub-freezing temperatures would presumably last for several months or even years, plants would eventually die, farm animals would die of starvation, and very few people would survive.

This myth was first purveyed on the public in 1982 by scientists such as Carl Sagan and was very useful in frightening the public into believing that it is absolutely useless to prepare to survive a nuclear strike.

The nuclear winter myth has since been refuted by such noted scientists as Starley L. Thompson and Stephen H. Schneider, authors of “Nuclear Winter Reappraised.”

Both of these fatalistic misconceptions held by some Americans are in sharp contrast to the attitudes of most foreign governments, some of which are continuing to make active preparations for surviving nuclear warfare.

Even the former Soviet Union is reported to have over 350 metric tons of grain stored securely in nuclear fallout shelters, most of which was purchased from the United States.

Milk & Steaks

Cows that live in fallout areas would produce iodine-contaminated milk from ingesting fallout-laden grass and water, so it should not be consumed for at least a month.

These animals would become ill and should not be eaten, but animals which appear unaffected in low fallout areas should be safe to eat.

The time after an EMP is not the time to eat your steak cooked medium rare. All meat in this situation should be thoroughly cooked all the way through.

Mammal organs and clams should not be eaten in radioactive areas because they will have a higher concentration of the contaminants.

Food and water that are exposed to fallout may be salvageable.

  • Carefully clean the fallout off the sealed containers and the food inside will be fine for consumption.
  • Fruits and vegetables can be washed thoroughly and peeled, making the slightly contaminated items safe to eat.
  • Water in covered reservoirs such as cisterns would be safe to drink. In fact, any food or water that is covered and dust-free should be considered safe to use.

Nuclear attack aftermath

Even though it would be possible to survive a thermonuclear strike, it would be a grim existence for a while.

Farmers would be unable to get fuel, fertilizer, repair parts for machinery, and other critical farming supplies.

They would be unable to gather the crops in the field, or to plant new ones. Even if they could, there would be no transportation system to take the food to the cities.

Food would rot on the vine as people in the urban areas starve.

Since a nuclear strike would target most major cities, most of our nation’s medical personnel and supplies would be lost within a matter of seconds.

As the drugs and food run out, riots and civil unrest would quickly follow, regardless of the radioactivity.

Sanitation and water systems, left unattended, would promptly fail, causing diseases which would spread at alarming speed.

Another less severe scenario that escapes most of our attention is the radiation fallout the United States would receive in the event of a nuclear war overseas that did not involve us.

We have already received barely perceptible fallout on several occasions from nuclear testing performed by the Chinese and the Soviets.

If an all-out nuclear war were fought in the Middle East or Asia, some of the fallout would certainly reach us across the Pacific Ocean on the prevailing west-to-east winds.

This fallout would be enough to render milk in the US unsafe to drink, devastating the dairy industry. This is only one example of the catastrophic economic consequences in the US.

The economic impact would unfortunately be compounded by the general public’s complete lack of preparation for the shortages which would be inevitable.

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)

electromagnetic pulse

EMP is a surge of high voltage produced by the detonation of a nuclear device in the upper atmosphere.

A warhead for this purpose would probably be detonated at an altitude of 200-300 miles, and would most likely be deployed from a pre-positioned hostile satellite or ship near the US coast.

The resulting burst of electricity would instantly and permanently ruin electrical circuits and microchips, completely disabling almost any electrical device that you can think of.

This would happen because the overpowering surge of electricity in the air would be collected by power lines and antennae and funneled into the electronic components.

It is theoretically possible that one well-placed air burst above Kansas would effectively knock out nearly all vehicles, airplanes, computers, electronic equipment, radio and television broadcasting stations nationwide, as well as the nation’s entire power grid.

Unfortunately, the power grid would be especially susceptible because the electrical lines would gather the voltage in the air, funnel it to the power stations, and blow up nearly every transformer in the grid. Replacing that many transformers alone would take years, since they are all made overseas.

Anything that uses electrical circuits and microchips would be instant junk. Trucks would stop running, and airplanes would fall from the sky.

Older vehicles which are less dependent on computer components may be less affected by EMP. Vehicles made before 1975 with ignitions which are not electronic may not be affected at all.

Almost anything with electrical circuits would be instantly useless if not encased in a hardened metal box, or “Faraday cage.”

Lightning on steroids

Electromagnetic pulse is stronger, faster, and briefer than lightning. The sudden surge of voltage is so great that surge protectors are useless against it, and even equipment that is turned off may be rendered useless.

In fact, most electronic equipment within several hundred miles of a high-altitude nuclear detonation would be affected to varying degrees.

According to the Federation of American Scientists, “The first recorded EMP incident accompanied a high-altitude nuclear test over the South Pacific and resulted in power system failures as far away as Hawaii.”

This was a result of the Starfish Prime nuclear test in space by the US in July of 1962. Street lights in Hawaii went out, burgalar alarms went off, telephone microwave communication links failed, etc.

That same year the Soviets conducted a series of similar high-altitude, high-yield tests which wreaked havoc on electrical systems, even in the vacuum-tubed world of 1962.

Note that The vacuum tubes of the 1960′s were very resistant to EMP; the microchips of today are not.

Today, electronics which microchips run virtually every system that you use to get through the day.

One well-placed nuclear warhead in the upper atmosphere will bring all those systems to a halt in a microsecond.

You won’t hear, see, or feel anything.

Suddenly your cell phone and your computer will go down, and your car will stop running.Shop The Best Deals on Ground Coffee at CoffeeForL

Final Vacation

That brings up an interesting question

What if you are vacationing in Las Vegas, along with hundreds of thousands of other people when the EMP strike occurs?

You won’t be able to leave, because the airplanes and cars will be permanently disabled. You will be stuck in a city that has to bring everything in using microchip technology, including water.

The electric bill to bring water to Las Vegas is $20-$30 million a year. It is a city surrounded by desert, with maybe two days of drinking water on hand.

After that, you will have to walk 30 miles in the heat to the nearest water source- Lake Mead.

Even if you survive that trek through the desert, what will you do then?

In an EMP strike, 92-95% of the inhabitants of Las Vegas will die from the desert heat and dehydration. Similar scenes with lower mortality rates will play out across the United States.

The case of Korea

In 2009 North Korea assembled a medium-range missile with a nuclear warhead capable of attacking South Korea.

That is alarming because South Korea has a vast power grid and is very dependant on electricity; North Korea is still a comparably primitive nation and would hardly be affected by the massive power outages resulting from the EMP destruction.

The blast would level the electronic playing field and make a good first strike weapon for the North Koreans.

The perfect crime

A country using an EMP burst against the US would not have to fear retaliation because the perpetrators would fire the missile near the US coast, sink the ship that served as the platform, and the warhead explosion at 300 miles high would effectively destroy all the evidence.

How is the US going to know who to retaliate against?

Will we even be able to?

It is likely that we would be very busy dealing with the immediate catastrophe that would ensue.

It would be the perfect crime, and Iran knows it.

Iran has written specifically about crippling the US with an EMP device, and is practicing missle launches in the Caspian Sea.

Welcome to 1880

The government is not working on fixing our vulnerability to this threat, because it’s a problem that can’t realistically be fixed.

The nation’s power grid is too fragile, too old, and too interconnected.

In essence, an EMP attack would instantly take us back to the 1800′s way of life. Automobiles would be rendered permanently useless, so the only mode of transportation would be bicycles and horses.

Farmers would have to go back to putting in crops with old fashioned horsepower.

If the grid fails, the food and water distribution system would collapse immediately. The trucking delivery system would stop instantly.

Millions would starve within days.

Anarchy, looting, and riots would be rampant. This would be a terrorist’s dream come true. All you can do is have an emergency preparedness plan to deal with the aftermath if it happens.

Are you prepared?

3 of the most lethal toxins that could be used in SHTF biological warfare

Ricin

Ricin is a lethal biological warfare agent. It is a deadly poison that is made from the waste left over from processing castor beans (castor bean poison ).

More specifically, it is made from the seeds found within the castor beans.

Ricin can be produced in a powder, pellet or liquid form, but a terrorist attack utilizing ricin would most likely involve an airborne sprayer-type delivery system so that the poison is inhaled.

If inhaled, ricin prevents cells from producing proteins and ultimately destroys the lung tissues. This causes difficulty breathing, coughing, fever, chest tightness, and leads to respiratory failure.

Injection of ricin has been utilized in assassinations, such as the murder of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov on September 11, 1978.

He was standing at a crowded bus stop in London when an unknown assassin in the crowd stabbed him in the leg with an umbrella which had been adapted to inject a poison ricin pellet under his skin.

He developed a high fever that evening, and held on for three miserable days before dying. Markov had been openly critical of the Bulgarian government on radio on several occasions, and they finally enlisted the help of the Russian KGB to eliminate the problem.

There is no treatment, drug, or antitoxin for ricin poisoning.

Ebola

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe, often-fatal disease caused by infection with Ebola virus, one of the most virulent viruses known.

It is a total nightmare because of the horrible, frightening effect it has on its victims.

Ebola is moderately infectious, but extremely lethal. It was named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized in 1976.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “the virus is one of two members of a family of RNA viruses called the Filoviridae.

The Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood and/or secretions of an infected person. Thus, the virus is often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with such secretions when caring for infected persons.

People can also be exposed to Ebola virus through contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with infected secretions.

The incubation period for Ebola ranges from 2 to 21 days. The onset of illness is abrupt and is characterized by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.

As the virus spreads to the major organs, intense systemic pain begins as the body tissue begins to basically liquefy. The blood vessels rupture and hemorrhage.

Copious bleeding internally and from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and other openings is followed by agonizing death from systemic shock and dropping blood pressure.

Ebola incites instant and total panic wherever it appears because of the horrible and brutal death that results.

This makes it of great interest to biochemical terrorists. There is no standard treatment for Ebola infection, only supportive hospital therapy to replace fluids. Some people do survive an Ebola infection, and it is not known why.

Ebola is fatal in 50-90% of cases.

Smallpox

Ebola is not as easy to transmit as smallpox.

Smallpox is caused by the virus Variola major, which is very contagious and very deadly. When the victim coughs or sneezes, the virus spreads to people in close proximity as they breath the airborne virus.

Smallpox is also spread by direct contact with infected bodily fluids or contaminated objects such as bedding or clothing.

The virus can survive for months in infected bedding, clothing, or even dust infected with smallpox pustules.

Tragically, Native American Indians were killed by the thousands during the 1800’s when settlers intentionally gave them smallpox-infected blankets.

Smallpox symptoms begin 10-14 days after exposure and initially consist of fever followed by a rash several days later.

The Variola virus replicates first in the lymph nodes, and later in the spleen and liver.

Before the Variola virus was eliminated (outside of labs) in 1977, it killed over 500 million people during the 20th century.

Two facilities, one in the US and one in the former Soviet Union, are supposedly the only labs to store the Variola major virus, ostensibly in case it was needed for a vaccine.

It is now known that the former Soviet Union did research to weaponize Variola major, combining it with the Ebola virus and equine encephalomyelitis to make even more potent bioweapons.

It is also well-known that the security of such weapons in the former Soviet Union is now in question.

Germ warfare scientists, possibly for hire, are also streaming out of Iraq since the Persian Gulf War, and out of South Africa since apartheid collapsed.

Since it has been eradicated, at least in nature, any cases of smallpox that appear will certainly be due to some form of attack. There is no treatment for smallpox, only vaccination.

Historically, smallpox has a fatality rate of 30%.

Terrorism and Tularemia: Don’t let ’em catch you off-guard

Tularemia, also known as “rabbit fever,” is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis.

It is usually carried by rabbits, ticks, and deer flies, but can be carried by many other animals as well.

Hunters and trappers are at a higher risk for this disease because of the potential for inhaling the bacteria while skinning the carcass.

Tularemia is also contracted from tick bites, eating infected animal meat that is undercooked, and from drinking water contaminated by an infected carcass.

How is Tularemia Transmitted

Tularemia is not spread directly from person to person.

Francisella tularensis is an intracellular bacterium, meaning that it is able to live as a parasite within host cells.

It primarily infects macrophages, which are a type of white blood cell. Since macrophages are an integral part of the immune system, this bacterium then spreads to multiple organ systems, including the lungs, liver, spleen, and lymphatic system.

Symptoms of Tularemia/deer fly fever symptoms

Symptoms may develop up to two weeks after infection, but 3-5 days is the typical timeframe.

Tularemia contracted by inhalation is much more dangerous than if contracted through skin contact.

Symptoms include:

  1. A fever
  2. Swollen lymph nodes
  3. Sore throat
  4. Difficulty breathing
  5. Chest pain
  6. Abdominal pain
  7. Diarrhea
  8. vomiting.

Ulcers (tularemia skin lesions) usually develop on the skin at the site of infection. More severe cases usually develop into pneumonia. Treatment consists of antibiotics, usually streptomycin or gentamicin.

Tularemia is one of the most infectious pathogenic bacteria known. In fact, the bacterium Francisella tularensis is renowned for causing infections among researchers in laboratories at the slightest opportunity.

This trait, combined with the fact that it works very well in aerosol sprayers, makes it a prime alternative for a terrorist with a crop duster or similar device.

A report from the World Health Organization projected a casualty rate of 250,000, including 19,000 deaths, if Francisella tularensis were sprayed on a city of five million people or more.

History

The Japanese used Francisella tularensis against the Chinese in World War II, as well as typhoid, smallpox, anthrax, glanders, cholera, and a long list of other agents.

The United States did research on it until 1970.

The Soviets have had a longstanding interest in tularemia and weaponized it extensively in their Biopreparat biological agent weapons program.

With that program in disarray after the Soviet collapse, the security of the stored Biopreparat weapons has come into question.

Who has those weapons now?

Preparing for the botulism Bioterrorism Attack: Preparedness is never overrated

Another bacterium which could be used as a biological weapon is Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism.

Like anthrax, botulinum bacteria form spores and go into a dormant phase when not in a host. Also like anthrax, botulinum bacteria do not kill you- it is the toxins which they produce as they are growing that can be fatal.

The Clostridium botulinum spores themselves are not so bad, because they are actually all around us. You unknowingly ingest them every day and they are harmless. The problem is that when they are allowed to grow into vegetative cells, they produce a deadly nerve toxin that causes botulism, and even tiny amounts of that toxin can kill you.

The botulinum toxin (Botox) is one of the strongest poisons on earth, 100,000 times stronger than Sarin nerve gas. One gram of botulinum poison could kill more than one million people if the delivery/dispersal system problem could be solved.

Problem solving

Unfortunately, certain nations which are hostile to the United States are working on solving that delivery problem.

There is now a man-made, respiratory version of what nature has provided.

The good news is that it is a prohibitively expensive and sophisticated process to weaponize the botulinum toxin.

Still, North Korea and Iran are experimenting with it, isolating the deadlier strains of the toxin-producing bacterium and coupling it with a compatible air spray delivery system.

Iran even used botulinum toxin in bombs during the Gulf War.

All strains of botulinum bacteria produce toxin, but some are much deadlier than others.

Symptoms of botulism

Botulism symptoms include:

  1. Double vision
  2. Blurred vision
  3. Slurred speech
  4. Difficulty swallowing
  5. Dry mouth
  6. And muscle weakness.

Later, the muscle-weakening effects move down the body, spreading to the other muscles.

The botulinum toxin kills by paralysis.

It does this by blocking the messages from the nerves to the muscles, rendering the muscles useless.

Since the botulinum toxin is a large molecule and cannot cross the blood-brain barrier of the brain, the victim stays awake and is mentally unimpaired as the paralysis spreads.

Death is usually caused by respiratory failure as the toxin overtakes the respiratory muscles and renders them useless.

Botulism treatment

Treatment consists of an antitoxin made from the blood of horses that have been exposed to the botulinum toxin.

However, the antitoxin only prevents further damage. It does not reverse any muscle paralysis that the botulinum toxin has already caused. After several weeks of treatment, however, the paralysis does slowly improve.

In the event of a sprayed biological agent attack, your best bet is to cover your mouth with a wet cloth, leave the area as fast as possible, and seek medical help immediately.

The antitoxin is available 24/7 through the Center For Disease Control.

Like anthrax, botulism is not contagious.

Preparing for an anthrax terror attack: The preppers definitive guide

Perhaps the most feared biological weapon at a terrorist’s disposal is the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, or anthrax.

Anthrax is a major concern because it is extremely deadly, stores easily, is relatively easy to synthesize, and can be delivered on a large scale killing large numbers of people.

The anthrax bacteria can only survive for 24 hours or less outside a host’s body. The problem with Bacillus anthracis is that it forms spores in this situation, which basically involves a dormant phase with a protective shell. These spores can lie dormant for centuries, then become active again once inside a host.

How does one contract anthrax?

Anthrax can be contracted from the air, from food, and through the skin.

If inhaled, initial symptoms are similar to the flu: coughing, headache, fever, chest discomfort, tiredness, and muscle aches.

Once in the lungs, the anthrax spores “wake up” and begin producing cell-damaging toxins which destroy lung tissue. The lungs then fill with fluids, which interferes with oxygenation of the blood.

From the lungs, the bacteria easily enter the blood stream and the infection then becomes systemic, which is usually fatal.

If contracted through food, usually in the form of tainted meat, initial symptoms resemble food poisoning: nausea, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, and sore throat.

Later, the abdominal pain worsens and abdominal swelling is noted, along with bloody diarrhea and an ulcerated tongue.

Ulcerations also form along the stomach and intestines where the bacteria spores make contact.

Just as with lung infections, the spores now become active and begin producing cell-damaging toxins which destroy gastrointestinal tissue before spreading to the rest of the body.

If the skin has been exposed to anthrax, it develops small sores that later turn ulcerous. The ulcers eventually develop a black scab in the center.

Inhaled anthrax bacteria is usually fatal, whereas anthrax from food is about 50% fatal and infection from skin is approximately 20% fatal.

Immediate antibiotic treatment is critical before the bacteria begin producing the deadly toxins. This is imperative because even though the drugs kill the bacteria, there is no stopping the fatal toxin once it is produced.

Anthrax is not contagious.

Terrorism & Plague

In its various forms, plague has killed over 200 million people worldwide.

There are three types of plague: bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic. They are all caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis.

Bubonic plague

In the fourteenth century, bubonic plague, also known as the “black death,” killed over 20 million people in Europe. Yersinia pestis was carried in the blood stream of black rats, and in the fleas that fed on them.

The human victims contracted the bacterial infection from fleas that had bitten infected mice and rats.

Today, bubonic plague is usually contracted this same way. Once inside the host, the Yersinia pestis bacteria replicate in the groin and axillary (arm pit) lymph nodes, causing swelling.

The bacteria then spread systemically. If the bacteria reach the lungs, pneumonic plague can result.

Symptoms begin within a week after exposure and death results within about three days of symptom onset if not treated with antibiotics.

Pneumonic plague

Pneumonic plague is also caused by Yersinia pestis. Infection is usually achieved through the lungs and it is a very contagious, airborne disease. For this reason, pneumonic plague is the form of Yersinia pestis that is most expected to be used in a terrorist attack.

Turning pneumonic plague into a weapon though, would be a prohibitively expensive and sophisticated process.

BIOPREPARAT

Very few laboratories have the technical knowledge or equipment to weaponize pneumonic plague, but Soviet laboratories have both.

Biopreparat, the largest biological and toxin weapons program in the world, is the Soviet biological weapons program.

At one time Biopreparat employed 32,000 scientists and staff. At various times, 60,000 to 70,000 Soviet scientists and technicians worked on bioweapons before the Soviet breakup.

It is widely feared that these underpaid Russian scientists who are now leaving the country in a mass exodus will sell their knowledge, technology, and even the toxins themselves to the highest bidder, including terrorists.

Many of these toxins such as anthrax, tularemia, smallpox, etc. are unaccounted for in the disarray and confusion of the Soviet breakup. Ironically, US grants helped fund Biopreparat in the 1990’s through diverted NASA funds.

The Soviets were also less than thorough in the disposal of their bioweapons.

A good example is their disastrous attempt to hide tons of canisters containing anthrax spores on the island of Vozrozhdeniye in the Aral Sea in 1988.

They made a haphazard effort to kill the spores with bleach before burying them.

They were not entirely successful, according to the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. This has been confirmed by Dr. Ken Alibek, the former deputy chief of Biopreparat.

The Soviets routinely tested various other agents such as smallpox, tularemia, typhus, brucellosis, glanders, and plague on the island as well.

Two rivers that feed the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, and it has now lost over half its size. Because of this shrinkage of the Aral Sea, the island is now readily accessible by land.

The connection between Sarin Gas, Aum Shinrikyo, Al Qaeda and the 9/11

Nerve agents (also called nerve gases) are the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical warfare agents. They are preferred military weapons because they are so deadly but decay quickly after initial use and become harmless.

Nerve agents are similar to insect pesticides known as “organophosphates.”

They work much like organophosphates and the types of harmful effects are very similar, but nerve agents are much more potent.

Nerve gases are usually liquid at room temperature.

Sarin Gas

Germany first developed sarin, one of the most noted nerve agents, in 1938 as a pesticide.

Sarin is clear, tasteless liquid that has no odor. It can evaporate into a gas, but it usually spreads slowly in this form.

Pure sarin gas is 26 times more deadly than cyanide. Symptoms include runny nose, watery eyes, small pinpoint pupils, blurred vision, drooling, sweating, chest tightness, nausea, and headache.

The gas would not be difficult to synthesize, but it would require massive amounts and the right weather conditions to be an effective terrorist weapon.

Treatment for sarin gas poisoning

Treatment for exposure to nerve agents such as sarin gas consists of a compound called atropine.

Some soldiers are issued kits that contain auto-injectors of atropine, pralidoxime chloride, and diazepam.

Pralidoxime chloride, also known as 2-PAM, blocks the effects of nerve gas.

Diazepam, or generic Valium, is normally given to patients in order to stop an active seizure, or to curb severe anxiety. It can also be used as a pre-treatment drug for nerve agent exposure, or at the onset of severe symptoms of nerve agent exposure.

Iraq and the Kurds

Nerve agents have never been deployed in warfare, except by the Iraqis in the Iraq/Iran War of 1980-88.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “Saddam Hussein used sarin on the Kurds in northern Iraq during a 1987-88 campaign known as the Anfal.”

It is also suspected that chemical warfare agents were used directly against United States soldiers in Iraq during the Gulf conflict, producing a set of symptoms now referred to as the “Gulf War Syndrome.”

The symptoms included digestive and respiratory problems, fatigue, and severe flu-like symptoms.

Some have postulated the theory that no coalition forces died from the chemical agents because the Iraqis wanted to wound our soldiers, not kill them, since wounded soldiers require more attention and resources than dead ones.

This is not a unique approach to warfare, and is reminiscent of the strategy behind the Viet Cong booby traps in the jungles of Southeast Asia, many of which were designed to inflict horrible wounds on US soldiers without killing them.

Aum Shinriyko

Impure sarin was used as a weapon in 1994 by the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo.

On June 27, refrigerated trucks with spraying mechanisms were driven to Matsumoto, targeting three judges who were set to hear a case against the group.

The plan was to keep the judges from hearing the case.

In the sarin attack that followed, seven people died and hundreds more were injured, including the three judges. The plan worked.

On March 20, 1995, five members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult boarded five different subway trains in Tokyo, each carrying an umbrella with a sharpened steel tip, multiple packages of sarin liquid, and a hypodermic syringe containing atropine sulfate.

The plan was to simultaneously release the gas in crowded subway cars on the different trains.

Like Muslim terrorists, these Aum Shinrikyo members considered murder a religious act, even a holy act, that would bring salvation and a heavenly reward.

They believed that capitalism and America are a source of decay and are enslaving the world, and it was up to the cult members to save the people from this evil influence.

They viewed the people on the trains as capitalistic puppets and instruments of wickedness.

Aum Shinrikyo members were methodically brainwashed using video tapes, sermons, LSD, electric shock therapy, torture, and low-voltage headsets which pass currents through the brain to “implant the correct thought patterns.”

In fact, the members of the cult consumed such massive amounts of LSD that the cult manufactured its own drugs in laboratories.

Aum Shinrikyo means “ all in the supreme truth.” At one time the Aum Shinrikyo cult had over 40,000 members and over one billion dollars in assets, mostly from donations and illegal activities.

They spent tens of millions of dollars on weapons programs, developing the capacity to produce 70 tons of sarin, enough to wipe out Tokyo’s population.

In six elaborate laboratories, they produced phosgene, cyanide, and the nerve agent VX.

They also developed biological weapons, including botulism and anthrax. They bought military hardware from poverty-stricken Russia, including a helicopter for spraying deadly chemicals, and made inquiries about buying nuclear weapons.

Subway Sarin attack

At precisely 8am that Monday morning, the five men placed the bags of sarin, wrapped in newspapers, on the floor of the subway cars and punctured them using the sharpened umbrella tips as they exited onto the platform.

The liquid leaked out and turned to gas, poisoning the unsuspecting commuters.

As the men individually headed for their pre-arranged post-attack rendezvous, one of them began to suffer nerve gas symptoms and injected himself with his atropine syringe.

Twelve people were killed in the Tokyo subways and 1,300 others were seriously injured. Thousands more had lesser injuries. Emergency services were overwhelmed. Hospitals were packed and crowded with the sick and dying victims.

Some of the sarin bags were ineffectively punctured by the men in their haste to get off the train, so the leakage and the effect on the commuters was limited, compared to what it could have been.

The sarin was also crudely manufactured. If the sarin had been properly refined, the death toll would have been in the thousands.

It later came to light that a less pious motive for the attack was involved. Aum Shinrikyo had learned that the cult headquarters was to be raided by the police, and the subway attack was supposed to sidetrack them, making them go after other targets.

In addition, the police headquarters was located next door to the attacked subway station, an added attraction. There was also the hope by the insane cult leader that the attack would be blamed on America, triggering a mutually destructive world war and leaving only the Aum Shinrikyo cult standing.

This time the plan failed.

Two days after the attack, 2,500 police officers raided 25 Aum Shinrikyo properties throughout Japan.

Chemicals, laboratory equipment, and documents were seized.

In the following months, over 500 raids were made against Aum Shinrikyo.

More than 50 children were taken into care, many of them still wearing the low-voltage brainwashing headsets. 400 people were arrested, along with the cult leader.

This was the first terrorist use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Aum Shinrikyo and Al Qaeda

The Tokyo subway attack bears an alarming resemblance to the attacks on America on September 11, 2001.

The Japanese underestimated Aum Shinrikyo, just as America underestimated Al Qaeda.

Both Aum Shinrikyo and al Qaeda hated and resented America. Both were extremely well-funded from donations and illegal activities. Both attacks targeted civilians, and both considered the murder of women and small children to be a holy act that would send them to heaven.

The ultimate preppers guide to biological disaster preparedness

Two of the most feared methods of terrorist attack are biological and chemical weapons. An attack using either of these will likely employ one of two strategies.

Scenario #1: Overt Biological Attack

The biochemical attack may be overt, such as a crop-duster spraying an agent such as anthrax over a NASCAR race crowd of spectators.

There are over 3,000 crop dusters in the United States and each plane can carry several hundred gallons of liquid.

After the 9/11 attacks, defensive measures were enacted to deter the use of crop dusters for spraying biological warfare agents on unsuspecting crowds or cities.

These measures include the installation of hidden kill switches and increased security on the planes. The nozzles on crop duster sprayers are specially adapted to spray large droplets that fall to the ground quickly, maximizing the application of the chemicals on the crops.

Farmers do not want the wind to blow the chemicals away before they reach the ground. This is the exact opposite of what a bioweapons terrorist needs.

A biochemical terrorist needs an aerosol spray that will float on the air for as long as possible, so that it has a higher chance of being inhaled by a victim.

Only when the bioweapon such as Tularemia finds it way into the lungs will it be effective, so it has to float in an invisible aerosol form as long as possible. A terrorist wanting to use a crop duster to spray bioweapons would need to alter the sprayer nozzles to form an aerosol spray.
The actual fatalities from such an action would probably be very few because spraying applications depend heavily on favorable weather conditions, and because extremely large amounts of the agent would be required for effectiveness.

In addition, such an obvious attack would garner an immediate and large-scale response for decontamination and treatment by the government, limiting the scope of the disease.

Thus, the true damage of such an attack would not be its fatalities, which would be comparatively few. The problem would be the response of the public at being attacked with such dreaded biological or chemical weapons.

The full-blown panic that would result would have a devastating effect on the nation’s morale and sense of safety.

The unrelenting media feeding frenzy that would ensue would only exacerbate the terror that would grip the masses, and there would be catastrophic economic consequences if people were afraid to leave their homes in the months that followed the attack.

This is the type of response that terrorists count on by definition, and the devastating economic repercussions could be far-reaching.

Scenario #2: Subtle Attack

A second possible scenario would not involve such an ostentatious display.

If the attackers decided to go for the mortality rate as well as the terror factor, a more subtle and slow-working plan would be initiated.

For instance, instead of flying over the same NASCAR crowd, the attack might consist of sending several terrorists intentionally infected with smallpox or plague to mix with the crowd, spreading the disease to hundreds of people.

The infected people from the sporting event would then return to their homes and spread the contagious disease nation-wide. This would almost certainly be a suicide mission for the infected terrorists, which they have proven that they are perfectly willing and capable of undertaking.

What about biological weapons?

Biological weapons, or bioweapons, are basically weapons that involve bacteria, viruses, or toxins. They are odorless, tasteless, and colorless.

Biological weapons are not hard to produce or deliver, and are inexpensive compared to chemical or nuclear weapons. The effectiveness of a biological weapon can be measured in terms of its lethality, ease in manufacturing, and infectivity.

The most likely biological weapons we will face at the hands of terrorists are anthrax, botulism, tularemia, plague, ricin, Ebola, and smallpox.

Chemical weapons

A chemical weapon is defined by NATO as a chemical substance that is intended for military use to kill, injure, or incapacitate people.

Chemical weapons are simply man-made poisons that are deployed in the form of vapors, liquids, or solids. They are usually odorless and tasteless, but are difficult to produce and deliver in lethal doses.

Chemical weapons are generally inexpensive to produce and can be delivered with missiles, bombs, aerial sprayers, and a whole host of other methods.

They are limited though, by the weather, wind, and their excessive bulk.

Chemical weapons can be made at home using chemicals that are readily available. There are approximately 70 different chemicals that would make suitable chemical weapons, but only a few are likely to be employed by terrorists.

The most likely chemical weapons we will face at the hands of terrorists are mustard gas, phosgene oxime, cyanide, chlorine, phosgene (not to be confused with phosgene oxime), and various nerve agents.

How to prep for a biochemical attack

NBC (nuclear, biologic, chemical) agents in general are difficult to prepare for. However, airtight masks, such as the N95 protective respiratory mask, and suits would have to be obtained, with special care not to purchase obsolete or defective ones.

That raises an interesting question:

How do you know if your new gas mask will actually work?

There is no guarantee that the expensive suit and mask that you paid dearly for will actually work as well as the nice salesman promised. That is assuming that you will even have time to get your NBC gear on when the attack starts.

United States Marines in basic training used to be told: “When you see your fellow Marines falling over in convulsions, you know it is too late to put your mask on.”

That axiom still applies.

By the time you have figured out that you need a gas mask, it is most likely too late. That assumes, of course, that you will have it with you every moment of every day, everywhere you go.

That is simply not feasible.

Since there are very few reliable biological or chemical warfare sensors in our society, it is likely that your first clue will be when the people around you develop watery eyes and start coughing, gasping, choking, and twitching violently. At that point, the gas mask in your closet at home will do you no good.

It may be noted that while these masks would have been handy for the survivors of the September 11 attacks to filter out the incredible amount of fine dust and airborne debris generated by the collapsing buildings, it is highly unlikely that anyone except emergency personnel would have been carrying one. For most people, it just isn’t feasible to carry an NBC mask everywhere they go.

Spend your money on something that is more likely to be used.

  1. NBC masks and suits are also incredibly hot and cumbersome. The suit must be airtight and the mask has to fit very snugly.
  2. They are extremely uncomfortable, which means you are less likely to wear them on a daily basis as you wait for the attack.
  3. The masks have specific activated carbon filters for the specific deployed agent. Visibility in the mask is extremely poor, and the lenses have a tendency to fog up.

Building an NBC shelter is not a viable option, for the same reasons. NBC shelters are also very expensive and very difficult to build properly.

The safe room

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, advises that the best way to prepare for a biological or chemical attack is to assemble a kit of duct tape, scissors, and plastic sheeting.

Choose an internal room, preferably with no windows, as the designated chemical safe room.

The basement is not a good place for your chemical safe room because most chemical warfare gas clouds have a tendency to settle into lower areas, since they are heavier than air.

The plastic sheeting should be pre-measured and cut for each door, window and vent in the safe room.

In the event of an attack, turn off all heating and air conditioning systems and seal your chosen chemical safe room with the duct tape and pre-measured and pre-cut plastic sheeting.

Ten square feet of floor space per person will provide enough air for five hours or more. Since chemical and biological agent applications tend to be of short duration, that should be a safe enough time period.

An even better idea would be to have an NBC air filtration system for your safe room (see Nuclear Shelters). But beware of carbon dioxide poisoning.

Having a food reserve and plenty of water will enable you to stay put and hopefully out of danger. You will need enough supplies to get through the quarantines and empty store shelves which will be caused by the disrupted food supply chain. Thus, general preparedness is the secret to successfully getting ready for a biological or chemical attack.

Away from home

If a biological or chemical attack utilizing an unknown agent occurs while you are away from home, cover your mouth and nose with a wet cloth such as a T-shirt or towel and immediately leave the area.

  • Move against the wind and up-hill as you evacuate. Against the wind is recommended because a sprayed agent will travel with the wind to a great extent.
  • Up-hill travel is recommended because most agents, either biological or chemical, tend to settle in lower areas. There are of course exceptions, such as cyanide, but cyanide dissipates and rises very quickly outdoors.
  • Try to take shallow breaths while in the affected area. Cover exposed skin and try to find shelter.
  • Monitor the television or radio stations, and if public-health officials tell you to stay put for a while, then do so until they say it is safe to move. The air may still be laden with deadly agents.
  • If it does not impede your escape, keep your eyes closed.
  • As soon as possible, remove clothes and rinse skin with as much water as possible. Place the contaminated clothing in a sealed, double trash bag.
  • Flush your eyes with water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as it is safe to go out.

Isolation

Terrorist attacks can involve chemical agents, commercial airliners, economic chaos, inciting panic, or disrupting the food supply system in a wide variety of ways.

The best way that you can prepare for such disruptions is to have some supplies on hand so that you can stay isolated from the threat and weather the storm until it blows over.

According to former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, “The race is on between our preparations and those of our adversaries. We are preparing for the possibility of a chemical or biological attack on American soil because we must. There is not a moment to lose.”

The best emergency lights and lighting for your survival stockpile

It is impossible to overstate how much we take electricity and light in our homes for granted. With a flick of the switch when we enter a room, we have light.

A wise person will plan ahead for the times when that light switch does not work. Emergency lights and lighting are an essential part of any emergency preparedness plan.

Emergency flashlights

The simplest and easiest source of light is the common flashlight. The purpose of the flashlight should be for use in finding and lighting your lanterns. In this way you save your flashlight batteries which are sure to be in high demand as the blackout days go by.

Your house should have several survival flashlights throughout your home, with many batteries to go with each one. You cannot have too many flashlight batteries.

Keep them in the back of your refrigerator to extend their storage life, but always rotate them, using the oldest ones first.

A commonly overlooked but necessary flashlight item to store with your flashlights is extra bulbs. They are easy to install and they are inexpensive.

Choosing an emergency flashlight

With flashlights, you always get what you pay for. Pay the extra money for the more expensive flashlights. When the lights go out you will be glad you did.

We have wasted countless dollars on cheap flashlights that didn’t work when we needed them, which is frustrating in a crisis to say the very least. We will not make that mistake again.

If you buy rechargeable batteries for your flashlights, you should consider a Solar Battery Charger. You can also choose to buy wind-up flashlights that work very well and solve the battery problem. The problem with wind-up flashlights is that they are a little more expensive.

Always keep a flashlight where it is easy to find in total darkness, because that is usually when you are looking for it. Locations such as nightstand, the top of the TV, and the top of the refrigerator are ideal.

Emergency light sticks

Another item we recommend is an emergency light stick (also commonly referred as glow sticks). It is a small plastic tube that is easily activated and emits a steady glowing light for up to 12 hours, then is discarded.

There is no heat associated with the light because the glow comes from a chemical reaction when hydrogen peroxide is mixed with a phenyl oxalate ester and a fluorescent dye.

The light stick merely holds the chemicals separate until you are ready to mix them together. To activate it, you just bend the stick. When you bend the stick a small glass vial inside containing the hydrogen peroxide snaps open, mixing the solutions together.

The resulting chemical reaction causes the fluorescent dye to emit light.

Putting them in a pan of hot water will make them glow very brightly, but this will shorten the life expectancy very significantly because it uses up the chemicals faster. If you cool the stick down, the reaction slows quite a bit and the light gets dim. This will make it last considerably longer.

Once the emergency light stick is activated, there is no stopping the chemical reaction or the light emission. If you want to save it for later, you can put it in the freezer. That won’t stop the reaction, but it will slow it down significantly.

You can buy them for less than two bucks apiece at a hardware store and they are worth every cent, especially if you have children. Power outages can sometimes frighten children, and glow sticks replace the scariness with something fun to do.

Glow sticks are also handy for use while hunting up the flashlights, batteries, and lanterns when the lights go out unexpectedly.

Emergency lighting tips

  1. Items like emergency light sticks, as well as candles and Bic lighters, are inexpensive and are good to have on hand to give to your neighbors when the lights go out.
  2. Matches are great, but butane lighters and trigger-type igniters are not as affected by humidity and moisture.
  3. Matches should be stored in airtight containers such as Mason jars to keep the humidity from ruining them. It would be a good idea to buy extra boxes of items such as these- they don‘t expire and they will eventually get used.
  4. Lamps, lanterns, and candles are great for emergency lighting, but use them inside your home or shelter with common sense. Houses are lost every year due to these open flame items getting knocked over or setting them too close to flammable materials such as curtains. The slight amounts of carbon monoxide they emit can cause headaches if they are used in small rooms with no ventilation, so in that instance use them sparingly.
  5. Bright red lips and faintness are signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. If this occurs, get outside in the fresh air immediately.

What about kerosene lamps?

Kerosene lamps are a good option too. You can buy good inexpensive ones at hardware stores, or stores such as Wal-Mart.

These lamps will burn either kerosene or lamp oil, and they put out about as much light as a 40-watt bulb.

Lamp oil is merely refined kerosene. It is not as smelly as kerosene and burns cleaner, but it costs a little more. The extra cost of lamp oil is well worth it, but make sure it is approved for use in your lamp.

We recommend buying several of these kerosene lanterns for your home, as well as extra globes and extra wicks.

Be careful when using kerosene lamps. The globe gets really hot while the lantern is in use, and they seem to break easily.

It never hurts to have some extra lamp oil in storage as well. A quart of kerosene or lamp oil in a regular kerosene lamp will give about 45 hours of light. At three hours per day, that is about two weeks, on one quart of fuel!

Aladdin kerosene oil lamps are very popular because of their dependability and the generous amount of light that they provide.

Aladdin oil lamps tend to be expensive, but they are totally worth it.

A gallon of kerosene in an Aladdin lamp will give 48 hours of light, with brightness roughly equivalent to that of a 60-watt light bulb.

However, the mantles are extremely delicate and have to be replaced often, so buy extras. You should also stock extra wicks and chimneys.

Emergency candles

Candles are a good choice; they are a cheap efficient source of light and can be used to heat small containers of food and water, making double use of the flame.

Emergency candles also have no expiration date- they last forever in storage.

Candles are relatively safe. If a candle gets knocked over, it tends to go out. If a gas or kerosene lantern gets knocked off a table, a house fire will be the likely and immediate result.

It is a great idea to store candles in the freezer because “frozen” candles do not drip as much and they burn slower, extending their usage.

Wax candles will do just fine in a crisis, but tallow candles are better. They last longer (longest burning candles), give off a brighter light, and they don’t give off as much smoke.

Emergency candles are a great idea because they have an indefinite shelf life, can burn for 120 hours, and give off strong light. This is another great item to have on hand to give to your neighbors in extended power outages.

Candles also give off enough heat to warm food and boil water. Since they are so inexpensive and so dependable, survival candles should be stored in large quantities in both your home and remote shelter.

N:B Decorative candles are not suitable for emergency purposes because they burn far too quickly.

Camping lanterns

Our favorite emergency lantern is the Coleman propane two-mantle lantern. Though the fuel doesn’t go as far as kerosene, the light emitted is much brighter.

Small one-pound bottles are clean and easy to use and can be interchangeably used with the propane cooking stove.

Additionally, A one-pound bottle will last about five hours if you moderate the intensity. With an accessory called a propane tree, you can use a 20 lb. bottle from your cooking grill to fuel your lantern and your propane camp stove at the same time, which is very nice when the power is out at mealtime.

Coleman lanterns put out a lot of light, almost equal to what you will get from a 200-watt bulb, and the heat which accompanies it can be welcome on a cool night.

You can also stockpile a large number of small or large propane bottles and store them indefinitely.

Coleman also makes a similar model that runs on white or unleaded gasoline, but the gas is messy and possibly dangerous if the fuel is spilled while refueling the lantern. It also doesn’t seem to burn as clean or as well, and the generator in the lantern clogs up and has to be replaced more often.

(The generator is a small tubular part in a lantern. It is a genuine pain in the ass to disassemble the lantern and change this part, especially in the dark.)

You also have to frequently pump air pressure into the fuel tank with a small plunger on the dual fuel model, which can be unhandy. White gas has to be rotated often or it goes bad so you cannot stockpile fuel for this lantern as easily as propane bottles.

A major advantage of the dual fuel lantern, though, is fuel availability, since it can utilize unleaded gas.

Another advantage is that a gallon of gas will give at least thirty hours of light. At three hours per day, one gallon of fuel will last at least ten days, if not more.

You will need to store a lot of mantles and a couple of extra globes for either model of Coleman lantern. The mantels are extremely delicate and have to be replaced often.

Be careful, the globe gets really hot while the lantern is in use. It is a good idea to have several different types of lighting equipment so that you are not solely dependent on any one system.

Cooking in a crisis: Do you need a crisis cooker?

In an extended power outage, one of the most valuable commodities is cooking and heating fuel.

Cooking during a disaster, without an electric or gas kitchen stove, is easy to do if you are prepared. For instance, if you use a wood stove or fireplace insert for heating purposes, it can easily double as a crisis cooker during an emergency.

To come up with an effective crisis cooker, you will need a good set of cast iron pots and pans.

Wood burning cookstoves

Wood burning cookstoves are getting harder to find, but they are very handy during a power outage. While the heat from a wood cookstove is welcome in the winter, it would be most unwelcome in hot weather.

Planning to cook with a generator as your only energy source during an emergency is not a good idea because of the expense and the probable scarcity of the fuel to run it. You may also not want the attention that a running generator will attract in an economic collapse.

What about campfires?

Cooking outdoors on an open fire is relatively safe and is a great way to spend time with your family before a disaster and its ramifications.

It is also a good way to learn how to cook on a campfire. Dig a small pit to build the fire in and stack rocks around the edges of it. Place an oven rack or metal grate on the rocks to hold a frying pan or cooking pot.

Again, you will need a good set of cast iron pots and pans for cooking on an open fire. This is a critical advantage of storing foods in metal cans. In an emergency, you can just open the can and place it on the grate or on a rock near the fire. Since the food is already cooked, simply warm it up and it is ready to eat, right out of the can if necessary.

Dutch Oven as a Crisis Cooker

You can also use a dutch oven, which is a heavy-duty cast iron pot with a matching lid. If you decide to purchase a dutch oven, be sure and get the lid handle, which is often sold as a separate accessory. It is well worth the extra couple of bucks because it is very handy.

Once a good bed of coals is established, dig a shallow hole about the diameter of your dutch oven, shovel a few hot coals into the hole, cover them with about an inch of ashes, and set your food-filled dutch oven in place.

Next, shovel about an inch of ashes onto the lid, add some hot coals, and cover them with a few more ashes as well. It will take practice to regulate the cooking times and temperature, and to avoid scorching the dutch oven contents.

The right time to start practicing your dutch oven expertise is now, not after an economic collapse. Robert L. Ririe has written several good books on the subject of dutch oven cooking, such as Let’s Cook Dutch and Doin’ Dutch Oven.

There are several other options for use as emergency cooking stoves: the propane grill, charcoal grill, sterno folding stoves, or camp stoves.

A propane, kerosene, or dual fuel Coleman stove can be brought inside and used for cooking in well-ventilated rooms, but should never be used to heat a room.

Never use an outdoor grill, either gas or charcoal, indoors for any reason. If an accidental fire doesn’t get you, the carbon monoxide certainly will.

Fuel Choices

An important choice in choosing the best emergency stove, especially for the aftermath of a disaster, is the type of fuel it burns.

Some people prefer the dual fuel model (such as the Coleman dual fuel stove) over the propane because the stove is a bit cheaper and the fuel is quite a bit cheaper. Like the lanterns, the dual fuel stove burns white gas or unleaded gas.

A down side is that you have to frequently pump air pressure into the fuel tank with a small plunger on the dual fuel stove, which can be unhandy in the stress of a crisis.

One gallon of fuel will cook at least 8-10 meals. Another major advantage of dual fuel camp stove is fuel availability.

However, our personal favorite emergency stove remains the propane model. The small one pound propane bottles are very convenient and handy, they aren’t nearly as messy as gasoline, they seem to burn cleaner, and they can be interchangeably used with the Coleman propane lanterns.

Interchangeability of fuel between cook stoves is not only convenient, but can be critical in a disaster.

With the proper fittings you can also use a 20 lb. bottle, like the one on your outdoor grill, to fuel your propane camp stove.

Additionally, you can stockpile propane bottles and store them indefinitely in your emergency preparations, which is a big advantage over dual fuel stoves.

We also feel that propane stoves are safer than white gas stoves because there is less chance of the fuel getting knocked over and catching fire to your home while you are refueling the stove. For this reason, refueling white gas stoves should always be done outside.

Important points to remember when choosing a survival stove

  1. Kerosene cook stoves are a good option for emergency planning because they work well, cost about the same price, and the fuel is easy to find, odorless, cheap, and efficient.
  2. Cooking on a camp stove outdoors is a lot easier if you have a small table, a stump, or something else to set it on. As always, follow safety instructions and have a fire extinguisher handy.
  3. Fuel should be stored some place other than your house because of the fire hazard posed, and because it can contaminate your food and water stores.
  4. Special attention should be paid to storing fuels in appropriate containers. Fuel is critical to your survival and in a shortage, it will be one of the first things to get scarce whether you live in town or in the country. It is hard to overstate the importance of storing fuel for warmth, lighting, and cooking.

We would like to hear your say. Which are your favorite portable stoves for emergencies? Leave us a comment below.