Another week has rolled around and it is once again time for this week’s Survival Buzz. As always, I want to start off with my preps.
Since the beginning of the year, I have tried to focus on checking one major task off the to-do list each week. This week’s task was something I have been procrastinating about for a couple of months, namely performing a red-dye test on my Black Berkey filters. The rule of thumb recommendation is that this should be done every three to six months. That may be overkill but for us, it had been over a year. It was time.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Berkey, the red dye test is done to ensure that your black Berkey filters are doing their job. Here are instructions from BDS Sponsor, LPC Survival:
The easiest way to determine that the Black Berkey® Elements are still working properly is to add 1/4 to 1/2 tablespoon of RED food coloring (only red will work) in the top chamber and make sure the water collecting in the bottom chamber is clear and free of the food coloring.
It is best to place a glass under each Black Element in the empty bottom chamber so as to differentiate if one/more Black Berkeys are still working properly.
Anyway, my filters passed the test but then I had to remove them to scrub clean and perform a back flush. This removes the red flood coloring from the filter membranes. I delegated this job to Shelly who was anxious to try out our Black Berkey Primer, a gizmo that lets you prime your filters without the use of running water or faucet to provide adequate pressure. Instead, all you need is a bucket or pot of water.
How did it work? Shelly’s words:
This was soooooo easy. It only took a few minutes and I did not need three hands to get it right!
So there you have it. For less than $20 you can pick up the Black Berkey Primer that will work when there is not running water! Seems like a good prep to me. You can pick one up from the LPC Survival Store on Amazon or directly from the LPC Survival website.
Other preps? Not much else since I was mostly working this week so let’s move on to tips and announcements.
Update on the AeroGarden
Here is a picture from my AeroGarden, week 3.
All of the herb seeds have sprouted, but some are still snuggled under their dome Now I need to wait until they are big enough to prune which will encourage them to become bushy rather than tall.
Backdoor Survival Mail Bag and Tips
Andrea, a reader in Italy, needs your help:
I’ve read your article “6 Prepping Tips for the Mobility Challenged“.
As a wheelchair user I really appreciate it. I live in Italy and I’m actually designing, whit the help of a University in the US, a robotic wheelchair, based on a patent that I have written, to aid and sustain disable people and veterans in overcoming the difficulties that they face during their everyday life.
So I’d be happy to know which are, in your opinion, the most important features for a prepper’s wheelchair. That information could be an interesting inspiration for my project.
For example, I use a power wheelchair. I fear power shortages or black outs. Which could be a portable and easy way to recharge a wheelchair off the grid? I looked at solar panels but there aren’t portable devices powerful enough to recharge a wheelchair in short times.
I’d be glad to read from you soon. Prepper’s ideas can be very useful.
I know that some of you have successfully resolved some of your physical challenges. Do you have advice that I can pass on to Andrea?
Here is an excellent water barrel tip that just came in from Mark:
I built a small pallet for each water barrel, then put caster wheels on the bottom. Though it is heavy, I can move my water barrels around when I need to, and they are off the cement.
Karen has her own version of the letter to family and friends who indicate they will come mooch with you if the SHFT:
Dear Friend or Family Member,
You recently expressed an interest in joining my family if a disaster occurs.
Please know that you are welcome if you have a skill we need. Please let me know what your skills are. However, I am not planning on including you in my food storage prep, so if you would like to join us, please let me know, and I will email you the list of things you will need to accumulate to feed and clothe and protect yourself.
Bring these items with you in event of an emergency, and you will be welcome. If you choose not to help yourselves, or help us by collecting your own food, I will turn you away, whether I love you or not.
Sorry to be so mean about this, but I am concerned about my own family’s survival first and foremost. If you need help getting started, I will be happy to email you a list of reputable sites with helpful articles and how to suggestions.
This has shut up everyone I know, and even started a few towards prepping themselves.
At first I felt really bad about being mean, but the jokes were starting to get to me, and some people were trying very hard to make me feel stupid for my preps, so I got mean. The few who took me seriously and started prepping on their own have started to become my community, and I am teaching them what I learned, and some of them have taught me stuff I didn’t know. The haters have stopped teasing me, and now I rarely have to break out the letter.
Sorry for the long comment, and this might not work for everybody, but the people I sent this to all know me pretty well, and know what I’m like, so very few were actually offended.
As always, I will continue to pull gems from the comments so that everyone can learn from them!
The following two giveaways are currently accepting entries.
I am looking at my inbox and right now, I oh my gosh, I have so many questions to answer from the following giveaway that it may take weeks! I just KNEW that a 55 Gallon Water Barrel Kit would be high on everyone’s bucket list!
This second giveaway is for a wonderful book about gun safety; I sure would like to see more entries!
Remember, the deadline for all giveaway entries is 6:00 PM Pacific on Tuesdays.
In addition, all winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected. Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article. This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.
A Word About Rafflecopter
If the Rafflecopter is not working for you but is working for everyone else, there is very little I can do about it. The culprit is usually your device, your operating system (outdated) or a company firewall or other restrictive security feature. My suggestion is that you try a different computer.
I do not want to be a pill about it but please do not send me an email telling me I should dump Rafflecopter. Before using this tool (which, by the way, I pay for), it would take me up to an hour to select a giveaway winner. I would have to download the comments, put them in a spreadsheet, go to a random number generator, count the comments out, then verify the entry. With Rafflecopter, it takes about 3 minutes flat.
And that is all I am going to say about that.
I have been participating in the WonderMill Grain Mill Challenge and completed my third and final blog post on Friday. As a huge fan of easy peasy one-bowl breads, this week I posted my recipe for Buttermilk Quick Bread.
I happen to like making it with lots of cheddar cheese added. Although the recipe does not say so, I did use freeze dried cheddar which is really good stuff!
The Final Word
Some of the newer members of the Backdoor Survival reader community may not know that in addition to the blog, I still work as a specialized accountant in what is commonly called a “day job”. I have been trying to wind that down but with 20-year clients, that is not so easy.
This time of year, time becomes very precious, as you can imagine. That said, I want to get to some of those questions you are asking – there are some good ones. But for now, today I am going to take the day off because it is Shelly’s birthday. Three quarters of a century! Can you imagine? Love him to pieces!!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites! In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.
Spotlight Item: Black Berkey Primer Gizmo – Less than $20
Okay, that is my name for it. This device makes back-flushing a Black Berkey Filter a cinch. Following a disaster, when you are depending on your filters for clean water, you may not have running water. If you have a Berkey, you are going to want one of these inexpensive devices.
Bargain Bin: We have not heard much about Ebola lately but you can bet that the risk is still out there, not only for Ebola but for other deadly pathogens. Here are some sick room supplies to have on hand as a preventative measure in the event things get serious. Note that I am including a couple of amusements as well. See the article: Seven Facts You Should Know About Ebola.
3M N95 Particulate & Respirator Mask: This is an inexpensive mask that can be used in a variety of emergency situations. They come in a box of 20 and are NIOSH-certified. The molded cone design is fluid and splash resistant and will greatly reduces your exposure to airborne particles.
Moldex 2730 N100 Respirator Mask: Do not confuse P100 masks with the N100s. N100 is what you want since the P100’s are used to filter particulate only and not gasses and vapors. Note that if you are on the small side, you will need to order the smaller version which is the Moldex 2731.
Disposable Protective Coveralls: There are plenty to choose from. I purchased these DuPont White Tyvek Disposable Coveralls With Hood in a medium and it fit me okay with a bit of excess room left over. Shelly needs a large, definitely.
3M TEKK Protection Chemical Splash/Impact Goggle: I read a ton of reviews before settling on these. I was so impressed with both the fit and comfort that I ordered another pair to use as a spare. These are great and the price is right.
Spark Naturals Essential Oils: It is no secret that I prefer essential oils from Spark Naturals. They are well priced and of the highest therapeutic quality. You enjoy an additional 10% off all items, including sale items, when using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout. In addition, SN announces a discounted “Item of the Week” every Monday, and yes, the extra 10% discount will apply.
Ticket To Ride: This my favorite board game, bar none. Family friendly, you will spend hours in front of the fireplace playing Ticket to Ride with your favorite people. This is worth the splurge.
For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices. Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic. This month note the great sale prices two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.
Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are. All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.
Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!