70 Common Things That Go Wrong During a Disaster

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As recent as four years ago, when someone mentioned disaster preparedness, the nature and scope of the disaster was typically something caused by Mother Nature.  Sure, some consideration was given to man-made disasters and terrorism, but for the most part, it was a freak of nature that worried us the most.

These days, we worry about a whole lot more.  EMPs, solar flares, bio-terrorism, pandemics, nuclear war and more dominate the what-if landscape.  Add to that the possibility of a global famine or economic collapse and heck, we could spend all day and all night caught up in fear of the unknown. . . . Read More

Propane for Preppers – Part One

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Having sufficient fuel for cooking and heat following an emergency is always an concern for preppers.  If you are lucky, you live in a wooded area and have access to a wood burning stove as well as plenty of wood to feed the fire.  Most of us, though, turn to propane as our primary source of emergency heat and cooking fuel.

Alas, the only experience many folks have with propane is limited to the backyard barbecue and perhaps a Coleman lantern.  That tells me that if the stuff hit the fan, many of us would be lacking in the knowledge needed to use propane efficiently and safely. . . . Read More

12 Months of Prepping: Month Seven

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We have now passed the half way point and are entering month seven of getting prepared one month at a time.  By now you should be feeling secure in the knowledge that you are ready to beat the odds should a natural disaster or other disruptive event occur in your geographical area.

Having said that, you do not need a PhD in family preparedness to know that there are far more reasons to prepare than a calamitous disaster.  As the article Disasters 101 pointed out, the sudden loss of a job, illness, the death of a family member and a rash of other circumstances may require you to rely on emergency supplies to get by.  . . . Read More

How to Use Pool Shock to Purify Water

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If I were to ask how many of you store liquid bleach along with your other prepping supplies, I am certain that a good percentage of you would raise your hands.  Liquid bleach is a powerful disinfectant and sanitizer but did you know that there is something better?  Something with an almost indefinite shelf life that is inexpensive and takes almost no room to store?

That something is the chemical Calcium Hypochlorite most commonly known as Pool Shock.

I have known about Pool Shock for years but because it is not readily available in my area, I never took the time to search it out so I could stockpile some for my own emergency preps.  . . . Read More

Summer Survival Blast: WaterBrick Stackable Giveaway

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Here we go again with another awesome giveaway!  I have once again I got together with a group of my blogging colleagues to share this giveaway that is sponsored by Food For Health.  The “prize” is an 8-Pack of WaterBricks.

What the heck are WaterBricks?  A WaterBrick is a stackable water and food storage container that holds 3.5 Gallons of liquids or up to 27 pounds of dry food.  They are made of rugged, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and come with an with an easy grip comfort handle.

WaterBricks stack like bulk storage but are individually easy to move for Grab & Go taking your water where you need it. . . . Read More

Preparing to Hunker Down in Place

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For the past week, I have been giving a lot of consideration to what I would personally do if there was even the slightest hint of an Ebola pandemic in the United States.  You would think that the process I engage would be easy since I live on an island that is only accessible by ferry, private vessel, or small aircraft.  But, as with all things, preparedness, there are always unique circumstances that come into play in any disaster and a pandemic is no different.

The risk, as I see it, is that I live in a popular tourist destination.  . . . Read More

Survival Basics: 12 Tips for Families with Children

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As someone who is well past child-bearing age, I often tend to overlook the importance of addressing survival and preparedness strategies for families with young children. That being said, when it comes to children, three words come to mind:  safety, security, and comfort.

As adults, I believe it is our duty to introduce children to preparedness activities at a young age. This needs to be done in a fun, but serious manner, so as to avoid fear.   The last thing we want to do is introduce a boogie man when there is none! . . . Read More

12 Months of Prepping: Month Five

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For those that are new to prepping, time may appear to be your enemy.  You know the old cliché “I have so much to do and so little time”?  Well let me dispel the myth that prepping needs to be done all at once.  It doesn’t.

When it comes to preparedness, there is no reason to feel panicked and stressed into thinking you need to do everything all at once.  The reality is that time is actually your friend.  By taking things slow and easy, you add to your preps at a comfortable pace that does not burden your budget or your psyche.  . . . Read More

50 Questions To Ask the Non-Prepper

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I have become a bit discouraged by the number of other-wise intelligent people I meet that do not have a clue about preparedness.  Given that a natural disaster can happen to anyone at any time, and the fact that the MSM has been promoting 3 day kits for the past several years, I have to think “What Type of Sandbox are these people living in?”

Of course those of us in the know realize that a 3 day kit is the bare minimum requirement for survival following a disaster.  We also know that a natural disaster is only one type of threat.  . . . Read More

The Hurricane Ready Checklist

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June 1st officially marks the beginning of hurricane season. For those of you that live in hurricane country, this means it is time to review your hurricane readiness plan and to bring your hurricane related gear out of storage to make sure everything is in great working order.  This includes lanterns, generators, and emergency cooking provisions.

The following is a brief checklist of information to use both before and during a hurricane.  This is by no means all-inclusive but should serve as enough to get you started on your road to hurricane preparedness. . . . Read More

Is It Realistic to Grow Your Own Groceries?

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At one time or another, every prepper will ask him or herself:  could I become 100% self-reliant in terms of providing food for myself and my family?

Many will say, no, that is not possible. Heck, a couple of weeks ago I even mentioned that I was all but giving up on my food garden. I have very little space and only a few hours of direct sunlight a day coupled with a short growing season.  There are also critters that eat everything in sight.  What is left is a modest container garden on a small deck with herbs and greens as the definitive crop. . . . Read More

8 Tips for Storing Seeds for the Long Term

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Whether or not you currently have a food garden, practical wisdom says you should stash away some heirloom seeds for the long term.  If the time ever came when food was in short supply or overly expensive, your stored seeds could become a lifeline.  Stored seeds could be used in your own garden, in a community garden or even as tender in a barter situation.

This raises the question: what is the best way to store seeds for the long term?  This question is especially timely for me since I have a number of new, unused seed packets that need to be packed away somewhere besides my desk drawer. . . . Read More

The Five Myths of Water Storage

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For many, water becomes their very first prep.  By that I mean that steps are taken to either purchase a supply of bottled water, set up a water barrel, or locate a source of local water that can be filtered and purified for consumption.

I was no exception.  Water was my first major prepping purchase – before food storage, before a bug out bag, before first aid and trauma supplies, and before firearms.  My first major preparedness purchase was a 55 gallon water barrel.

Like many newbies, I made a mistake with this initial purchase.  . . . Read More

12 Months of Prepping: Month Four

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If you were to ask a stranger what they are doing to prepare, chances are they would indicate that  they have a few cans of extra food and some bottled water in their pantry along with a couple of spare flashlights.  To be honest, those are the things that most people think of when it comes to being prepared.

You and I both know that if there were a disaster right now, these folks, out of ignorance or naiveté, would be cut off from the outside world, totally dependent on first and second responders to help them with the most rudimentary basics in life.  . . . Read More

Fast Track Tip #7: Jump Start Your Path to Preparedness

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I never get tired of coaching Prepper Newbies.  Friend, relatives and strangers; it makes no matter.  I talk about family preparedness where ever I go to anyone who will listen.  It is not that I want to get preachy (well maybe just a little), but that by implementing a few basic steps, a person can become better prepared than 90% of his or her neighbors.

The way I see it, the more people that prepare – even with just the basics – the greater the likelihood that we all will recover unscathed from a short term disruptive event. . . . Read More

60 Emergency Supplies You Can Buy for a Buck

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Tax day is right around the corner and after agonizing over the tax preparation process, I have filed my return and don’t have to worry about it for another year.  The bad news is that I had to make a donation to our government to cover the taxes due.  The good news is that the government did not get a tax free loan from me this year.

Whatever the case, this is the time of year that I am reminded that having blank checks and credit cards is not the same as having extra cash.  . . . Read More

11 Steps Toward Being Ordinary

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Blending in has a lot going for it, for as nice as it is to be known for your uniqueness, when it comes to prepping, less is more and being ordinary rocks.  Said another way, looking and acting the same as everyone else allows you to go unnoticed as you gather supplies and spend time honing your homesteading skills.

I like to call this “the pursuit of ordinary”.

OPSEC – Yes or No?

Maintaining OPSEC is an issue with many different “expert” opinions regarding how much OPSEC secrecy is really needed.  . . . Read More

Special Report: How to Survive a Mudslide

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As some of you know, I live in Washington State, not far as the crow flies from the recent mudslides that have claimed many lives.  Rescue personnel are still digging through the rubble to find victims and as of this moment 125 souls are still unaccounted for.

One of the reasons we prepare is so that we are ready to act and to survive following a natural disaster.  In this case, those in the immediate path of the mudslide were unable to get out of the way.  Many perished.  On the other hand, about four hours following the mudslide, those in the surrounding area were told to evacuate immediately. . . . Read More

The Healing Garden: 10 Herbs To Grow in the Survival Garden

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For many, the time has come to plan our summer gardens.  Given the overwhelming interest in recent articles about essential oils, I decided to revisit the topic of an herbal healing garden.  My interest is a bit self-serving in that I am in the process of rethinking my own garden and while I grow an abundance of rosemary,lavender and peppermint, this year will be an ideal time to replace some tired shrubs with plants that will work for me.  Healing herbs will fit the bill quote nicely.

Lavender Growing in My Own Garden

Herbs have been used for centuries to sooth and to heal.  . . . Read More

9 Tips for Buying Property With Little or No Money

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Many folks, whether Preppers or not, dream of having their own special patch of land where they can settle in, raise a family, grow a garden, and simply take joy in knowing that the earth they stand on is all theirs.  Whether you dream of homesteading as I do, or merely want to homestead in place, achieving that dream can seem daunting, if not impossible, if cash is short.

Today I hope to help you out make that dream come true with some tips for buying property when money is scarce.  . . . Read More

Will Solar Panels Survive an EMP?

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When in comes to all things solar, I am a novice.  I have a very basic set-up from Harbor Freight that is used for light duty power in my garage but other than that, I have a long way to go.  So when I was asked the question, “Will solar panels survive an EMP?” I was stumped.

First of all, no one really knows what will or will not survive a massive EMP such as the type in the hugely popular book, One Second After.  Second, and more to the point, I am not well versed on the technical side of electronics even though I am a techy nerdy type when in comes to computers. . . . Read More

Dealing with Poo After a Disaster

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Have you given any consideration of what you would do if your basic sanitation system was not available following a disaster?  As unpleasant as this might seem, not having a viable sewer or septic system – or even an outhouse – could pose a problem if you have not given it some thought a head of time.

A few years ago I wrote and article that included a very basic Earthquake and Natural Disaster Emergency Checklist. In response, a reader wrote:

For item “Check for sewage and water lines damage”, you wrote if the sewage line is suspected to be damaged, one should avoid using the toilet.

. . . Read More

The Myth of Expiration Dates on Prescription Meds

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In the aftermath of disaster, you evacuate your home with your family and your bug-out bag.  For one reason another, you overlooked swapping out your three year old medications and now are faced with a dilemma.  Are they still safe to use?

I am not a medical professional but everything that I have read says, yes, they are not only safe but that the expiration date printed or stamped on those bottles represent more of a CYA for the manufacturers than any thing else.

According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide:

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military.

. . . Read More

5 Days with No Power – When the Ice Hits the Fan

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One of the longtime, faithful readers of Backdoor Survival was without power for five days during the recent ice storm in Aiken County, South Carolina.  Sandra and her husband are preppers and have been for quite some time.  That said, she ran into some bumps during her experience, one she calls “when the Ice Hits the Fan”.

Sandra has graciously shared her experience and the experience of her family – what worked, what did not work and what needs improvement – so that we all can learn for it.  There are surprises here so sit down, grab some coffee and take notes.  . . . Read More