When you own a firearm around kids, you NEED to take time to think about safety. There are no two ways about it, kids need to be kept safe. That doesn’t mean fear, however. And that doesn’t mean not owning a firearm. There are just a few things to teaching kids about gun safety that we will talk about.
1. Know the 4 rules of firearms
Rule #1 A firearm is always loaded.
“Always” means…ALWAYS. We taught our children to respect a firearm as loaded, even when we were cleaning it. Any firearm they look at is loaded and ready to shoot. So, it’s important they think on those terms and treat firearms with that respect.
People like this give responsible gun owners a bad name.
Rule #2 Never let your barrel point at anything you are not willing to destroy and take responsibility for destroying.
That is just another reason for rule #1, really and shows the consequences of not taking that seriously. Remember, you are 100% responsible for all shots fired, including those “unintentional” ones. Even at the range, you don’t point the firearm at anything you aren’t wanting to shoot at.
Rule #3 Know what’s behind your target.
Simply put, what’s behind that deer, that duck, that target? That’s the main reason we wear orange or neon colors when hunting. It’s a signal that you are there to other hunters and to not shoot that deer you are standing behind. Imagine if the shot went through the animal, or just above or below it and hit the target BEHIND the intended target. That could be tragic. Know what’s behind what you are shooting at.
In a well set up range there is no doubt that missed shots are not a problem
Rule #4 Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
This is very important, as accidents happen. If your finger isn’t on the trigger, the firearm isn’t going to go off. At the range, we teach our children that you don’t put your finger on the trigger until you have aimed, know what’s behind the target and taken a deep breath first. Taking a breath not only will steady the aim, it allows you to really see the target and have a better chance at hitting it the way you want to.
2. Keep it locked up and out of reach when not in use.
This is not only for their safety, it’s for those times when their friends are over. You can teach your kids to not touch a firearm without you present (as we have) but you can’t necessarily control how their friends will react. We use a trigger lock, store it in a locked cabinet and away from any ammunition.
3. Along those lines, we also chose not to make a firearm in the home a mysterious thing.
Our kids were part of our decision to own one, as well as part of the decision where to keep it stored. It made them less “curious” about the firearm, and less likely to want to play around with it. Of course, it’s still locked up when we are not at the range, and we go as a family often to practice.
Kids younger than 3 years old got ahold of guns and shot someone at least 59 times in 2015 according to The Washington Post
4. Practice with your kids at the range.
Often. We go at least bi-monthly to our local indoor range. Since we own a firearm, it’s not of any use to us unless we know how to use it properly. So, we practice. Our kids know how to load, aim and fire each firearm safely. My oldest son is actually a better shot than I am, and reminds me of that often, “An amateur will practice until they get it right, a professional will practice until they can’t get it wrong” is our mantra with firearms.
Practice at the range can be a fun activity for the whole family
5. Allow your kids to help you clean the firearms after use.
They will garner a respect for them, as well as learn more about safe handling. It’s our kids’ job to clean all the firearms after the range, with my husband and I being there to guide and help them. If they are going to use it, know about it, they need to know how to care for it. Check out the video below for some basic tips on cleaning firearms safely.
Keeping kids safe around firearms only requires you to use common sense and some basic standard measures. If you can’t follow them, then please don’t own one. Too many tragedies are caused by adults who didn’t follow the basic safety rules.
Do you have any tips for parents who want to educate their kids on proper gun use and safety? How did your parents teach you to be a responsible gun owner? Let us know in the Comments Section below, thanks!
About The Author
Heather Harris and her family live in Northern Indiana where they strive to raise 75% of their own food on their 1/5 acre. You can follow their crazy adventures at The Homesteading Hippy
Water is one of the essential elements of life. Without water, there is no survival. Ensuring you and your family have access to clean, drinkable water in the case of emergency or disaster should be at the top of your survival planning list. There are many ways to ensure access to clean drinking water in an emergency, one being long-term water storage. The most ideal situations for emergency long-term water storage are when you are planning on bugging-in or sheltering in-place and need to stock up or when trying to decide what supplies are needed for the bug-out location you’ll be evacuating to.
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics for storing water long-term and examine the three options for long-term water storage.
In a crisis situation, having access to clean, drinkable water – and enough of it for your entire bug-out crew – will be key to surviving. Whether you plan on bugging-out or sheltering in-place, here are the key fundamentals you will need to know to ensure you’re storing water properly for the long-term and will have enough to last you through the crisis.
How Much Water To Store
According to the U.S. government, the ideal amount of water to have stored is one gallon per person, per day, for at least three days. The average person needs ¾ gallons of fluids for drinking each day and up to ¼ gallons for hygiene and sanitary purposes. If you’re located in a hot environment or have children, nursing mothers, or people that are ill in your bug-out crew, you will need to store more water. Following those guidelines, a family of four would need to store twelve gallons of water to ensure survival over three days. If you consider the amount you would need for any amount of time beyond that, you can see how quickly your water needs can add up.
Your long-term water storage should allow for at least 1 gallon per day for each member of the family.
Ultimately, the decision of how many days worth of water you decide to store for survival will be based on the type of emergency you are planning for. For instance, long-term water storage for an emergency expected to last a few days is quite simple, whereas planning for an extended period or stockpiling for a large group can get quite complicated. Before beginning to prepare your long-term water supply, take some time to consider how much you will need, for how many people, and for how long before getting started.
Storing Survival Water
The best place to keep your emergency water is in a cool, dry place. Basements are a great choice, although it is prudent to split your supplies up in different areas of your home in case one area becomes flooded, damaged, or otherwise unaccessible. A good practice is to ensure there is water stored in every closet of your home, or at least in one closet on each floor.
If you live in an area where flooding is a high risk, storing the majority of your water supply above ground is prudent.
Conversely, the basement is a safer place to store water in areas at high risk for tornadoes.
How Long Can Survival Water Be Stored
As long as the containers have been properly sanitized, water that has not been commercially bottled should be safe to drink for up to six months. Commercially bottled water will typically have a ‘use by date’ printed on the bottle that will provide guidance on how long it will be safe to drink.
Things To Be Aware Of
When choosing containers, avoid any plastic containers that are not safe for food or anything that contains BPA. Containers that have had fruit juice or milk in them should be avoided as fruit sugars and milk proteins can’t be fully cleaned out and create an ideal environment for bacteria growth when used for water storage. Plastic is a much preferable choice to glass as glass is heavy and can break. Water is also very heavy, make sure to use proper lifting technique, such as lifting at the knees, when transporting it.
Water purification tablets kill bacteria and viruses, and are especially important when harvesting water in nature. Click the image to view Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets on Amazon.
Three Options for Long-Term Water Storage
There are three options for proper long-term storage of water: buy pre-bottled water; collect and sterilize containers and fill them up; buy purpose-made containers and fill them up.
Buying Your Water Supply
Purchasing cases of bottled water is by far the easiest solution for building an emergency water supply, but also one of the most expensive. However, when employing this option, money can be saved by buying large, water-cooler sized jugs (although these can be quite heavy to carry around).
In terms of purchase options, they’re abundant. You can buy cases of bottled water at almost any local grocery store, Costco, or even HERE on Amazon. While simply purchasing bottled water is the easiest option, it’s also the most expensive and takes up the most space. If you need to buy a large supply, you’ll need to buy shelving to properly store your emergency water. If you stack bottled water too high, the lower cases can get crushed.
Bare Bones DIY Solution
Jugs like these can be sanitized and used as long-term water storage containers. Image credit Lisa Risager on flickr.
For this long-term water storage solution, you will need to collect plastic bottles, such as those used for soda. You will need to sanitize the bottles and fill them on your own, so this is the most time consuming of all the options, but also the most cost-effective. If you have some extra time and need to save money, this is the best option. Review the following instructions for properly sanitizing and filling your own long-term water storage containers:
1. Clean out your containers using soapy water, ensuring they are well-rinsed and all soap is removed.
2. Add one teaspoon of unscented household chlorine bleach to one quart of water.
3. Pour the solution into your containers and shake the bottles until the solution has touched all surfaces (make sure the cap is on while you’re doing this so that it gets sanitized as well).
4. Rinse out the sanitizing solution.
5. Fill your containers with tap water (only if the tap water has been commercially treated, such as a city’s water supply).
6. If you’re using non-treated or well water, add two drops of unscented household chlorine bleach to the water and let it stand 30 minutes before drinking.
7. Screw the caps tightly on your containers, being careful not to contaminate the insides with your fingers when closing.
8. Your emergency water storage containers should be able to store water for at least six months after being treated this way.
The Happy Compromise Solution
For someone needing a large volume of water and not wanting to deal with the hassles of sanitizing or storing dozens (maybe hundreds) of soda bottles, this is the ideal option. The happy compromise is the best option for storage with the least hassle. It involves buying purpose-made, food safe, water storage containers (check out the Water Brick, our personal favorite) and filling them with water yourself. While this option costs a bit more than the DIY solution, it costs much less than buying water bottles from the store.
The Water Brick is our preferred option for the following reasons:
● Holds 3.5 gallons, which is a large volume but not so much as to make them too heavy to carry
● There is a handle which makes them easy to carry
● Water Bricks are stackable and take up as little space as possible, making shelving unnecessary
● There is a large opening, making them much easier to clean than soda bottles
● The large opening also makes these containers viable for storing dry food, documents, or even ammo (try doing that with a soda bottle!)
● They are food grade and BPA-free
The time-saving features of this option come from the ease and speed of the sanitization process. Basically, you will purchase the appropriate amount of containers (Water Brick or otherwise), sanitize as above, fill them up, and forget about them! To illustrate the convenience of the sanitization process, consider that it would take seven standard two liter soda bottles to make up the same quantity as one Water Brick. Which process do you think is faster?
The interlocking design allows for greater stability when stacking multiple Water Bricks.
To make the process even easier on yourself or to avoid handling bleach, simply purchase water purification tablets or drops (such as these). However, the container will still need to be properly sanitized.
More Resources for Successful Long-Term Water Storage
If you’d like to learn more about preparing your long-term water supply for an emergency or disaster, check out these helpful resources:
Having access to clean, drinkable water (and lots of it) is something many of us living in first world countries take for granted. But in a crisis or emergency situation, finding safe drinking water will become a priority for everyone. When water stops running and stores sell out of water bottles, having a prepared supply of water on-hand at your bug-out or bug-in location will be an invaluable asset.
Whether you choose to buy your water ready-bottled or bottle your own, always remember that the most important factor is to ensure you have enough. Think carefully through how many people will potentially need to access the water (including pets, if applicable) and how long your supply will need to last. A little planning and forethought ahead of time can save much aggravation, and maybe even lives, down the line and ensure you have an effective long-term water storage solution.
Don’t forget to include pets in your long-term water storage plan, about 1 ounce of water per pound of your pet’s weight.
Do you have a water storage solution that you like, or know of an innovative way to purify your water supply? Let us know in the Comments Section below, thanks!
The gray man theory as a way of disappearing into the crowd so you can move unnoticed when disaster strikes. The idea is that you can conceal your preparedness by blending in with the crowd before or during an emergency.
While it is generally referred to as the ‘gray man theory,’ this theory can of course be applied to anyone, man or woman, of any age, who needs to blend into a crowd amidst a disastrous situation to conceal the fact that they have survival skills and/or are carrying tactical gear.
When you think of ‘blending in with the crowd’ it’s generally a negative, right?
Nobody wants to be just like everyone else, you want to be unique, to stand out – that is, until there’s an emergency and you’re the only one prepared. As a prudent prepper, you’ll be ready when disaster strikes but what will everyone around you be doing?
Panicking, most likely.
In states of panic, people become desperate, and desperation can lead people to do whatever it takes to stay alive – at this point, you certainly don’t want to be singled out as the one person who is prepared for survival.
Why Use the Gray Man Theory?
There are lots of advantages to blending in with the crowd when disaster strikes.
For starters, by not drawing attention to yourself, you’ll be able to move more quickly and easily through the crowd without alerting others to the fact that you are prepared to handle the situation.
Also, by blending in and appearing to be among the unprepared, you are less likely to make yourself a target of those in desperation who may try and take your survival gear off you by force.
The gray man theory is really about protecting yourself and your family by concealing the fact that you are indeed prepared to survive in the face of disaster.
The Benefits of Being a Gray Man
In a true disaster situation, your primary objective will be to move yourself and your loved ones as quickly as possible to a safe place – be that your home or bug-out location.
In a disaster, everyone around you will have the same goal – get somewhere safe – but the majority will not have a sound plan in place, leading to frantic behavior and desperate attempts for survival.
In this situation, disappearing into the crowd and not drawing attention to yourself or your state of preparedness can greatly increase your chances of survival.
As most around you will be unprepared for disaster, you will no doubt feel the urge to help those in need. However, your number one priority needs to be your own survival and you should only help others if you can do so without endangering yourself.
By blending in, or becoming a gray man, you will be less likely to be approached by others seeking assistance and, more importantly, less likely to be targeted by opportunists looking to prey on those with the forethought to pack essential items for survival situations.
How To Be a Gray Man
The best way to not leave a lasting impression is to not leave any impression at all.
This is the concept behind the gray man theory and it sounds simple enough, but execution can be challenging.
In this guide we will cover the basic concept behind the gray man theory and provide some key tips and tricks for effectively making yourself ‘invisible’ in a disaster scenario.
Steps to Becoming a Gray Man (or Woman)
The ultimate goal of becoming a gray man or woman is to camouflage yourself into appearing as though you are just part of the crowd so as not to allow others to identify you as a potential gold mine of supplies or information. By exuding confidence and preparedness, you will draw in opportunists who will attempt to capitalize on your resourcefulness to the detriment of your own survival.
To conceal the fact that you are prepared with survival gear and skills from others, there are four key areas you will want to focus on: how you act, how you move, how you look, and how you carry your gear.
How You Act
The key to acting like a gray man is to appear average and non-threatening. Be careful about what you say and to whom you say it – being known as strongly antagonistic or too outspoken about your political beliefs can lead others to make assumptions about you and mark you as a prepared individual.
Maintain conversation topics within the norm of the group. If small talk seems to be the normal thing to do, engage with others so as not to draw attention to yourself.
While a good understanding of your surroundings is paramount in a disaster, be careful to play down any attempts to scan areas for escape routes or possible problems with security. This type of behavior will be noticed and lead people to question what it is you’re looking for, or worse, what it is you’re trying to protect.
One important skill to learn in adapting a gray man persona is how to maintain your privacy without appearing overly private or obviously standoffish. When speaking with others, keep eye contact to a minimum as someone is more likely to notice you if they look in your eyes. Even brief eye contact when passing on the street can form a connection, making you more memorable than those around you.
How You Move
Knowing the local landscape can be a tremendous advantage as the better you know local streets and landmarks, the better able you will be to navigate them and alter your route to avoid troublesome areas. When moving, appear as much as possible to go with the flow, walking with purpose but not urgency. Any rapid motion will draw attention to you and raise suspicions as to your motives.
When navigating a crowd, make gradual progress – cutting through a sea of people at sharp angles will draw attention to your movements and make you appear suspicious. Whether you are perceived by others as a savior or threat, either one can slow you down.
Unless it would impede your own safety, always appear to follow the herd. For instance, if everyone around you turns towards an explosive sound and gasps, join them. You don’t ever want to be the one person who is unaffected by an out-of-the-ordinary event.
If you need to break away from the crowd, try and make your exit alongside a small group of people, keeping enough distance so that they know you’re not with them but close enough that you don’t appear to be alone, which makes you appear less vulnerable.
When observing your surroundings, be as discreet as possible. Leverage your peripheral vision as well as decoy objects, such as a piece of paper, to give the impression your attention is focused on the object as you survey the area. If appropriate, wear reflective sunglasses that hide your eyes allowing you the freedom to scan rapidly without drawing attention.
If you need to engage in activities that will make noise and draw attention your way, try to take advantage of predictable noises to help mask the sound of any breaching you may need to do. Predictable noises include ‘white’ noises that people are accustomed to hearing and therefore raise little suspicion.
For instance, wait for a loud bus to pass before climbing into a dumpster or synchronize busting a window with a loud siren. If you need to get into a building, choose a door near a noisy HVAC condenser. These preparations may take a little bit of extra time to execute, but those few moments of patience will ensure your activities go unnoticed and may just save your life.
How You Look
It goes without saying that when trying to appear less prepared than you are, camo prints or other outwardly tactical-looking clothing are not the best choice, unless of course you are in a situation where that type of dress is the norm, such as a hunting trip.
While you don’t have to dress head-to-toe in gray, subtle color choices blend best into crowds and make it easier for you to move unnoticed.
Ideally, you will want to keep any tactical gear concealed. This means packing your pockets and bags strategically to allow for quick access to key items. Reflective objects and bright colors will draw visual attention so ensure items such as your knife are tucked inside your clothing or bag, not hanging from your belt.
Avoid having any reflective materials or highly visible colors on your clothing and accessories, as well as any large text or memorable insignia. Any focal points can draw attention to you and hinder your attempts to blend in.
If possible, carry an additional item with you that can change your look instantly, such as a hat, sunglasses, or jacket, as this can be quite helpful. If someone does happen to peg you as a target, you can use the item to slip under their radar as they scan for you in a crowd.
One last word of caution – be mindful of the way you smell. Yes, smell. Believe it or not, scent is a major memory trigger, so when trying to blend in, try not to have a noticeable scent about you.
How You Carry Your Gear and What You Carry
The simplest solution to carrying your gear unnoticed is to find a discreet every day carry bag that blends well with your typical daily routine. Backpacks and messenger bags commonly seen on commuters are good choices as these tend to be less obvious. You can also find pocketbooks with compartmentalized interiors that can make it quick and easy to access your gear.
Another good choice that lends itself well to blending is a jacket or vest with a streetwear outward appearance but hidden storage on the inside. Pants with pockets, especially cargo pants, are excellent for storing gear but may not be the most appropriate choice for some people such as people that work in an office with a formal dress code.
The gear you carry with you on a daily basis should also be discreet if you want to be a gray man. For example, for self-defense you may opt for a tactical pen or a discreet folding knife such as the Boker Subcom folding knife which can even double as a money clip.
A compact flashlight such as the Fenix E05 is so compact it can easily be carried on a keychain without attracting.
In the immediate aftermath of a disaster or in a post-apocalyptic scenario, the ability to conceal yourself as a gray man can be an extremely useful survival skill. The last thing you want is for all your time and effort put into prepping to be for naught by having your supplies taken off you by someone less prepared and more desperate.
To improve your gray man abilities, observe the way people dress and act as you go about your day – what stands out, what makes various people noticeable? This can help you hone in on the objects and behaviors that draw attention.
Combining this knowledge with the four key steps to becoming a gray man will put you well on your way to being able to ‘disappear’ into any crowd and increase your chances of survival when disaster strikes.
Do you have any thoughts on the gray man theory? Have you experienced a situation where you needed to conceal your preparedness? Let us know about your thoughts and experiences in the Comments, thanks!
Being a prepper has many great benefits, you have abundant food storage and supplies, you have a bug out bag ready for any situation and you have knowledge that could mean life and death when the SHTF.
But all of these things could make you a target to those close to you who see the abundance of supplies and knowledge you have.
So we’re going to go over the threats that are likely present to your survival preps right now, whether you live in the suburbs of Los Angeles or the rural dirt roads of Killeen, TX. There’s always someone that wants what you have, and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
Also we will take a glimpse into the future of the dangers that could be avoided. No one knows for certain how life will be once the SHTF, but we can make accurate assumptions based on what we know now.
Present Threats to Your Survival Preps
Threat #1 Neighbors
While this may not be a big concern if you live out in the sticks, if you live in the city you’ll have people within arms distance no matter where you turn. Which means that eyes will be on you and what you’re doing, whether with intent to get what you have or just out of curiosity.
Neighbors aren’t in themselves a bad thing, community is what we all desire and if you have the right community then great. Just know that if you let your community become aware of your survival preps, then you have put yourself on their list of “resources”, and they’ll likely come knocking your door down when it all goes down.
Ways You Can Avoid This
Unload your preps or more valuable supplies at night
Store survival preps away from your home in a bunker or storage unit
Convert nosy neighbors to helpers that assist you, this could be dangerous, but pay off in a big way
Threat #2 Isolation
It’s true that there’s safety in isolation, but that goes for the perpetrator as well.
If you do live in the rural areas then you will need to be on your guard more so than people living within the city. Not because there’s more people, but for the fact that there’s less people which can be witnesses.
Think about it, if someone were to get past your defenses and use mildly silenced weapons to take you and your family down in a blaze of gun fire at night, there probably wouldn’t be anyone to stop them or witness it.
Isolation may be a great defense, but it’s a double-edged sword.
Ways You Can Avoid This
Don’t go for complete isolation, a few densely wooded acres is enough to feel secluded
Establish relationships with those closest (geographically) to you and have nightly check ins. This can be an excuse to build lasting relationships to prevent cabin fever.
Threat #3 Burglars (Greedy Preppers)
This sounds like a pretty small factor to a prepper. I mean, you’re someone who’s got plenty of ammunition and know how to take care of a simple burglar. But as is the case in life, it’s not always that simple.
There are preppers in the community who would much rather take from those who’ve spent the time storing food and make plans, rather than do it themselves.
And unfortunately these people are a very real threat, mostly because you’re fighting an enemy who is reading from the same playbook as you essentially. Which means that you’ll need to get a little crafty in your defenses.
How To Avoid
Maintain a constant state of awareness as to who’s around your property or neighborhood. Whoever seems out of the norm should be documented, and if needed, approached with caution.
Don’t make your routines noticeable, this will make you an easy target because they can predict when you won’t be home and then take your stuff.
Threats After The Grid Goes Down
Threat #4 Marauders
Now don’t expect some greased up motorcycle riding bandits that wear tire clothes and have wild hair. That would make life too easy if all the bad guys were that easy to spot. No when the grid goes down we’ll all be cautious, and the marauders often more so to hide their intentions.
A marauder doesn’t always have to be someone who comes in guns blazing, a more biblical approach is what should be expected. They’ll appear weak and defenseless, left by their friends and starving alone. Then when you let your guard down they’ll take all you’ve got.
How To Avoid
Any new comers to your group should be extensively vetted for signs of untrustworthiness. It would be a good idea to have “morality tests” in place to find out the true colors of the new comer in situations where they feel no one’s watching.
Don’t accept newcomers to your group, this may be harsh but it will keep you safe. Be careful though, if you hurt someone’s feelings in a lawless world there’s not much to stop them from seeking an apology in the middle of the night…
Threat #5 Insurrections Within The Group
Let’s face it, no one will ever be the perfect leader, and there will always be someone who either thinks they can do it better or just wants the power. Either way, there are bound to be times when your leadership is questioned and the possibility of an insurrection emanates.
Now this decreases a bit if you’re traveling with family. The dynamics of a household that was brought up for this exact scenario will keep their cool a lot better than a suburban family that’s had all they’ve worked so hard for stripped away in a matter of days. It’s these people that will likely turn on each other in a desperate attempt to regain some sense of getting back to what was normalcy.
How To Avoid
Start working with your family now to lay down the laws of how things will be, and set systems in place that provide justice within the group. As well there needs to be checks and balances, a dictatorship isn’t any fun.
Make a decision that if you bring strangers into your fold that they know that it’s your way or the highway.
Threat #6 The Governors
This is a Hollywood term given to people who might build a colony or safe haven that “rescues” travelers. But instead of rescuing them, they’re relieved of their lives and supplies for the good of the colony.
This idea was made popular in the tv show “The Walking Dead”. And to be honest it’s something that many have considered a negative likelihood for the post SHTF times. And you need to know how to deal with it so that you can properly take care of your family.
How To Avoid
Avoid going into situations like these all together, true there may be some camps that are good, but you only get one chance to make the wrong mistake.
If you stumble upon one of these camps take time to observe it from a distance, note if newcomers are made a part of the community or if just what they brought makes it to the community.
I hope this has been a learning experience for you, and while this is a pretty heavy and somewhat depressing subject to talk about, I’m glad that you’re taking the time to learn about the dangers we’re facing now and in the future! With this knowledge I hope you use it to guard your family closely.
If you liked this article, please feel free to come visit us as well over at survivethewild.net. Thank you, Chris for your generosity in letting us come and spend time with your amazing readers.
Do you discuss your prepping efforts with your neighbors and friends? How do you decide who to tell about your survival preps? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below, thanks!
Note: This article was contributed by Richard Beck from TheOutdoorsPro.com. Read more about him in the About The Author section below.
Within your lifetime, you may encounter many different kinds of situations where you will need to rely on your own survival preparedness. Therefore, it is essential that you have the skills to survive on your own. Some of these situations include snowstorms, earthquakes, EMPs, nuclear, and many others. Being prepared for these situations is the first important step in survival.
72-Hour Bug-Out Bag
The first thing that you will need is a 72-hour bug-out bag for each member of your family. This bag should be kept with the family member at all times. If you have a child, and you do not live extremely close to the school, then you need to leave it at a friend’s house very near the school.
As the name suggests, this bag will help the person survive during the first 72 hours. Even assuming that it is safe to go outside, the government and other charities have admitted that it will take them that long to get organized and on site.
There are numerous things that need to be in your bug-out bag, but the two most important things are food and water. While that may seem obvious, there are at least five other things that you should keep with you at all times.
Food and Water
Numerous governments around the world are stockpiling food. Imagine the very real scenario where you cannot go to the store and buy what you need. For example, you may be ordered to stay in your current location.
Even if you are brave enough to head out, if there is no electricity, you cannot buy gas to get you to the store nor will stores be able to get gas to transport groceries. Therefore, you need to be buying extra food until you have a year’s supply of food, A great place to start, however, is to develop 30 days worth of food.
While you can survive for a short time without food, although you may not want too, you cannot survive without water. Everyone needs to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day. Since you may need to be physically active during this period, you may need to drink even more water.
Additionally, if a survival situation occurs during the summer you will need more water. Water can be extremely heavy, therefore, you need to know where to find water including how to drain water from all pipes in your home and how to collect rainwater. You also need to learn how to purify water.
If you are used to running to the ATM to get money, they will not work when the electricity is down. As recently seen in Germany and Puerto Rico, you may not be able to get your money out of the bank or be able to get it out in very limited supplies.
Therefore, the modern survivalist needs to keep a minimum amount of cash on hand as you may be surprised what it buys you during a bug-out situation. Additionally, make sure to make a copy of all your important legal documents and keep them in a safe at home. During an emergency, you may have to prove who you are and that you belong in an area before you are even allowed to enter an area.
Communication is a survival essential whether you find yourself in an urban setting or in the outdoors. If you are starting to forget what it was like to live without a smartphone, or never knew, then stop for a moment and realize that during an extreme emergency, you may not be able to use any phones at all.
Additionally, depending on the situation, most radio stations and most television stations may be off the air. You will still, however, need to receive information from the outside world such as how to take shelter, what happened, and what officials are recommending that you do about the situation. Therefore, everyone should have a hand-cranked AM/FM radio. If you live in North America, then use this radio to get information from the Emergency Broadcast Network.
Secondly, you should consider becoming a licensed ham radio operator and connecting with others in your area that are already a part of their emergency network. For over 100 years, the American Radio Relay League has been active in almost every disaster helping people get the information that they need the most. If you are not ready to fully participate as a ham radio operator, then at least get a good battery operated scanner and learn where they broadcast in your area.
Shelter in Place Vs. Bug Out Location
The next decision that you will need to decide is what your best bet is on location. There may be times when you have no choice, but to stay where you are at the moment. If that is your home, then you need to have supplies ready to create a quarantine room.
Many people are making the choice of moving permanently to a bug-out location. When choosing to buy property for a bug-out location, you need to consider which area is right for you. Many people are buying in remote mountain area because of the abundance of natural resources and the water supply.
Others are choosing to buy bug-out locations in the plains because food can more easily be grown there. Whichever decision you decide is right for your family, you need a comprehensive plan including knowing at least three routes to get there. While many people use GPS to get them everywhere, chances are in a survival situation, GPS is not going to work.
Therefore, you need to get maps of any area that you may be traveling through. While it is important to have great road maps, you may also need detailed topography maps because you may want to avoid the highways. If you decide to purchase a bug-out location, then it needs to be within one gas tank of your current location. Incidentally, you should already be filling up your car every night with a full tank of gas. For more bug-out vehicle tips, CLICK HERE.
If a disaster knocked out the electrical grid within the United States, experts say it would take at least a decade to rebuild that grid. Therefore, you are going to need to learn to rely on your own resources to create the power that you and your family needs.
There are at least eight different ways that you can generate energy at home or in your bug-out location. The one that is right for you depends on many different factors including what things you are likely to have present in your environment. Some common choices include solar, wind, water, and steam, but you cannot wait until after an emergency occurs to get started learning to harness these forms of electricity.
During an emergency, you may not be able to rely on emergency services to provide even the most basic levels of protection. Therefore, it is essential to know how to protect yourself and your family. The first step in doing this is deciding which method of self-protection is right for you. Remember that you may need to kill someone or be killed.
While a gun may not be the right choice for everyone, if it is the right choice for you, then there are many different choices including Mighty Barret and AK-47s down to 9 mm handguns. There are many advantages and disadvantages to each one, so make the choice that makes you the most comfortable.
Never purchase a weapon that you have not been properly trained to use. If you are likely to have children around, then make sure to teach them how to safely leave a firearm alone and how to tell someone when they see a firearm improperly stored.
In addition to protecting yourself, you may very well need to take care of your family’s medical needs. Again, remember that ambulances may not be operational and hospitals may not be a safe place to go. At a minimum, you may need to know how to control bleeding and treat wounds.
In order to prepare for survival, you need to build a great first aid kit. You also need to know how to treat more advanced injuries. Since medical care may be set back a long way during some survival situations, it is often best to study older medical guides and know what medicinal plants to grow and use.
If you are fascinated by this topic, then there are several forums that you can check out that have great information on them. They also make a great place to ask your questions and have them answered by people who have spent a long time coming to their opinions. These include:
It is not a question of if you will need survival skills, it is a case of when. Almost everyone will experience a survival situation at some time in their lifetime. Most will be caused by natural events like hurricanes, floods, snowstorms and fires. Others may be centered around man-made events caused by nuclear attacks or EMP events. The steps you take toward survival preparedness today will increase your chances of withstanding these events and rebuilding your life afterward.
About The Author
Richard Beck is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hiking, camping, bushcraft and many other activities in the wild. For more information about all things related to the outdoors check out TheOutdoorsPro.com.
Which aspects of survival preparedness do you find most challenging? What resources have you found most helpful? Share your experiences in the Comments section below, thanks!