The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 116

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jun 28, 2019

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

I would like to make a clarification in follow-up to last week’s disgruntled comment about my garden woes.

Hope in the form of a few greens

I actually do grow greens successfully on the little deck outside my office.  They thrive in that location even though it only gets morning sun.  Down on the patio or in my little garden, the critters and especially the deer, eat any and all tender greens..

Other critters (most likely the raccoons) have already dug up my cucumbers and the birds got to my peas.  The only thing left are my tomato plants that are in pots I can move around to catch the sun and a lone zucchini plant I started in a large Rubbermaid tub.

When I get back from Alaska, I am going to the nursery to pick up some herbs and flowers so at the very least, I will have something to enhance my purchased food plus something that is pretty to look at.

So I have not given up 100%.

I stepped up my long term food storage this week with a large order from Emergency Essentials.  Here is this weeks haul.

Emergency Essentials Haul May 2014

Included are the Baking Mixes Combo, Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes, and Freeze-Dried Cooked Bacon Bits.  The latter will probably be long gone before we have a real emergency since I see a big fat baked potato with all of the trimmings in my near future.

I also cooked up a big batch of pasta using 100% food storage: dried pasta (from the grocery), canned sauce, spices and herbs plus freeze-dried ground beef.  And just so you know, if you are just getting started with FD food, I highly recommend FD ground beef.  It works well in just about any recipe and is an excellent way to add protein to your meals.

cooking from food storage_3

And finally, I have two new oils to learn about and use from Spark Naturals: Geranium and Tangerine.  Perhaps in my diffuser?

SN Geranium and Tangerine_0

In addition to all of this shopping and cooking, I managed to install a new router and modem for my DSL network here at home.  Thank goodness I “lease” my gear from Century Tel.  That is not something I normal recommend but when it comes to DSL and broadband equipment, it is so worth it for good customer support (no finger pointing) plus, they sent the replacement gear to me at zero cost.

Okay, enough about me.  Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.


Here is this week’s reading list.  As always, there is something for everyone.

Here’s an Idea: For $37K, You Can Live in a Shipping Container

“For $37,000 you can live in what used to serve as a shipping container. Steve Harrigan reported today on a new out-of-the-box idea that could solve several problems at once. Florida-based New Generation Builders is taking old cargo shipping containers and retrofitting them into dwellings.”

Fukushima Operator TEPCO Rakes in $4.6B Profit

“The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has booked a US$4.3 billion annual net profit owing to an electricity rate hike and a massive government bailout following the 2011 disaster.”

6 Years After the Financial Crisis Hit, The Big Banks Are Still Committing Massive Crimes

“The “Great Recession” started in December 2007.  More than 6 years later, the big banks are committing more crimes than ever.  You Won’t Believe What They’ve Done …”

Bake Bread Like A Pioneer In Appalachia … With No Yeast

“There’s little or no salt in the recipe. No yeast, either. The bread rises because of bacteria in the potatoes or cornmeal and the flour that goes into the starter.  The taste is as distinctive as the recipe. Salt rising bread is dense and white, with a fine crumb and cheese-like flavor.”

Gaye’s Note:  This is on my must try list when I return from vacation.  Could this be the answer to baking bread without yeast?

16 Ways to Eat Dandelions

“Growing up, dandelions were always the enemy…”

10 Ways to Homestead on a Small Property

“The modern homesteading movement has done wonders to teach us how to homestead on a small property. Modern homesteaders are the pioneers of today, becoming experts in living on much less than a sprawling bunch of acres, as homesteaders of old did. We are becoming experts on how to effectively homestead right where we live. We are empowered when we learn how others are bringing their homesteading dreams to life in frugal, practical, doable-for-us ways.”

Moral Bankruptcy

“If you want to get some idea of the moral bankruptcy of our educational system, read an article in the May 4th issue of the New York Times Magazine titled, “The Tale of Two Schools.”  The article is not about moral bankruptcy. But it is itself an example of the moral bankruptcy behind the many failures of American education today.”

Do you know how to build a Faraday cage?

“Electromagnetic pulses occur at various frequencies depending on how they’re caused, and you need various strategies to protect your electronics.”


Hey what’s up?  There were no tips in the mail bag this week.


The following giveaways are still open and awaiting your entry.  Remember, winners are selected at random.  My giveaway questions are designed to make you think – nothing more.

Spring 2014 Book Festival: Survival Fiction from Steve Konkoly + Giveaway
Free Food Friday: An Interview With Legacy Food Storage + Giveaway


I am thrilled to announce that the winner of the Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness is Sue.  Here is the winning entry, chosen at random:

QuestionGiven the resources, where would you live to ensure your long term survival?

A.  I am all set the way things are – I am not going anywhere.
B.  I am staying in the same general area but moving to different home.
C.  I plan to get out of dodge and move to  ____________________  <fill in the blank>.

Answer:   A – Staying where I am!

I have not tallied all the responses yet but upon cursory review, I believe most BDS readers would stay put due to family,health or financial reasons.  Or, if they are lucky, they are already self-sufficient and living on a rural homestead.

The winner of the Cen-Tech from Harbor Freight is “George”.

Question:  You were just handed $100 to spend on prepping items.  What would you purchase?

Answer:  I think I would buy the Cen-Tech 5 in 1. Sounds like a great combination of useful devices.


A note about winners:  Winners of the giveaways are always informed by email plus they are announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz.  They have 48 hours to claim their prize from the time of the Sunday announcement.  We had two no-shows for the AquaPod Deluxe Kit.  Luckily, our 3 place winner checked in right away.  Congratulations Amanda!


Let’s give a Backdoor Survival welcome to our newest sponsor, Organized Prepper.

This family-owned business carries several brands of storage food, emergency kits, archery & crossbow supplies, solar kits, water systems, camping equipment, and all kinds of other prepping gear.  Shipping on orders over $50 is always free and you know how I love those free shipping deals!

They also have a pretty neat little blog, too.  As with all of my sponsors, please pay them a visit and let them know you saw them on Backdoor Survival.


This week I have been diffusing Zen Grounding Blend.  What is in it?  Single essential oils of Spruce, Rosewood, Blue Tansy and Frankincense have been blended together to promote clarity, calmness and an overall feeling of balance.

It smells lovely and is especially nice in a diffuser with a few drops of a citrus essential oil. I particularly like adding Wild Orange.

This blend helps everything, including blood cell function better but, mostly, it pulls me out of the daily doldrums and like magic, helps me feel like I have both feet on the ground and all is right with the world.  And that, as you know, can be tough for a Prepper!


Do you ever have a week that flew by and at the end of the week you felt like nothing got accomplished?  Don’t feel bad – it happens to all of us and especially to me.  ALL OF THE TIME!  Think of it this way:  you are in good company!

What about you – what did you do to prep this week?  Until next time, remember to make every day a prep day!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!  Did you know you can vote once a day?

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ and purchase my book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage from Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

The Backdoor Survival Bargain Bin

When it comes to protection from radiation, a few things should be on hand. Here are some ideas to get you started.  For more information, see Using Potassium Iodide Following a Nuclear Incident.

Home Health Physics:  Health Physics is the applied science of radiation exposure control, radioactive contamination control and environmental monitoring.  This little eBook offers methods of keeping your home safe during those times when radioactive fallout or contamination might be threatening your neighborhood. It written by Joy and and Randall Thompson and David Bear and is a free download.

iOSAT Potassium Iodide Tablets, 130 mg (14 Tablets):  These were backordered for weeks at a  highly inflated price-wise after Fukushima.  Be sure to get a package now for each family member.  The way these tabs work is that they fill the thyroid gland with potassium iodide, thus reducing the chance that harmful radioactive iodine will enter and cause sickness or cancer.

NukAlert: Radiation Detector/Monitor:The NukAlert is a personal radiation meter, monitor and alarm that will promptly warn you of the presence of dangerous levels of radiation.  It is designed to be attached to a key chain so that you can keep it with you at all times.

Ambient Weather WR-089 Compact Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio, Flashlight, Smart Phone Charger with Cables: This reasonably priced radio is popular with Backdoor Survival readers.

N100 Respirator Masks: You want the N100 respirator masks and not the less effective N95 masks.  These two were in great demand after Fukushima so if you did not pick up a pack or two then, get them now.  This Moldex 2730 is NIOSH certified to have a filter efficiency of 99.97% or greater against particulate aerosols free of oil.

RADSticker nuclear radiation exposure determining dosimeter:  The purpose of these stickers is to provide timely personal radiation exposure information in an event of an accident at a nuclear power plant or a nuclear or dirty bomb explosion. Low in cost, the RADSticker will help you determine whether you will need for medical treatment.

3M Duct Tape: Duct tape is an absolute necessity when sealing off a space to shelter in place.  For this purpose you want something better than the cheap stuff you get at the dollar store.

Emergency Air for Shelter-In-Place Preppers and Home Built Bunkers: Sheltering in place by sealing in a room is problematic at best since your supply of breathable air is limited. The system detailed in this book allows anyone to breathe safely while under threat and while following FEMA guidelines for sheltering-in-place.


Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.


The Baking Mixes Combo is currently on sale for for $51.99 or 29% off.  The selection in this combo pack includes Buttermilk Biscuit Mix, Wheat Bread Mix, White Bread and Scone Mix, Cornbread Muffin Mix, Buttermilk Pancake Mix, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix.

I have mentioned a number of times how much I really love the Provident Pantry Corn Muffin Mix and the Buttermilk Biscuit Mix.  Both of these are included in this combo pack.  Next up to the “to try” list are Brownies!

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials


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Best Food Types, Storage Methods and Exactly What to Buy

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Updated Jun 28, 2019

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18 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 116”

  1. Gaye – have you tried planting mint along with the other things? May help repel raccoons.
    You may want to do a search for plants that repel raccoons, or if you are not 100% sure it’s raccoons search for plants that repel pests.
    You may also find hints in compainion planting.

    • Jim – I did forget about the mint which grows so prolifically that I keep it in pots so it does not overrun my garden. I always keep a pot of mint under the bird feeder. The bonus is I always have plenty of mint for mojitos – or mo’s as my pal George calls them.

    • You might try mint leaves around your vegetables and see if that works. That way you don’t have the mint taking over the neighborhood! 🙂
      Not sure if mint oil would work, but maybe one of your readers do know. Perhaps the cheapest oil you can find, that you would never use in any of your salves.

    • You can go to your local barbershop / hairdresser and get the hair clippings to spread around your garden. This is supposed to help repel deer. I haven’t tried it myself but then I don’t have deer coming into my back yard either.

      When I worked for the Forest Service back in late 60’s early 70’s during summers while in college we used to spray the new trees that were planted with a deer and rabbit repellant. Don’t recall what it was and it may not be something you would want to use anyway. It didn’t stop them from eating the new growth right away but it tasted bad, so I was told, and the deer and rabbits learned to avoid eating the treated trees.

  2. Here is an easy no yeast bread recipe

    2 cups white flour
    Irish Bread

    1 1/2 cups what flour
    1/2 cup wheat germ (or any kind of bran)
    1/4-1/3 cup sugar (recipe called for 1/3 but I use less)
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 cups buttermilk

    Mix dry ingredients. Make a well and add buttermilk. Mix. Form into a round loaf. Cut a cross in the centre (not really necessary but an Irish tradition). Bake 1 hour at 350.

    I have been making this for a couple of years now. I tried it with powdered buttermilk last week and had to add a bit more flour. Next time I will not add all the reconstituted buttermilk at once.

    • Can you provide some alternates for the wheat germ. For example would oat bran – which I have on hand – work?

      I am going to try this.

    • Oat bran works well.

    • I will substitute flax germ for those extra omegas. 😉 Is this an adaption of Irish Soda Bread?

  3. My preps this week have been a continuation of some processes and a renewal of others. I have been working on getting myself and my nine year old son into better shape, so the exercise and better eating have been pushed.
    We are attempting to get more organic and natural things into our lives, so we have been using essential oils and things of that nature. I have seeds that I started inside of my house, so as they are getting ready, I am putting them out, with Marigolds, to discourage the deer, as I hear that they don’t like the scent. So far, I have parsley out, more things to follow. I planted things like peppermint, Lemon Balm, and Echinacea, because they are perennials, so it’s basically investing in the future.
    I am currently adding articles to my prepping binders. I have two of them. One is for helpful recipes (such as natural tick repellant), and the other is survival stuff, like security measures. One can never be armed with too much knowledge.

    • About the deer, any plant with fuzzy/furry leaves are great deterrents. Not sure the same holds true for ‘coons nor other critters.

  4. Well I have “decluttered” my closet(s). As I am planning on retiring in the near future, I won’t need ALL my business clothes. So took about 8 bags of things to the Goodwill(for their dressed for success program) and am sorting thru a lot more things to get rid of.

  5. Used shipping containers can make excellent low cost housing- FAR cheaper than $37,000. I suspect that price reflects making a very cheap container into something resembling a respectable manufactured house, and that is utterly unnecessary .

    Back in the 1980s a friend of ours was having some financial issues, and he made big improvements by buying a damaged refrigerated shipping container and living in it for over a year.

    The refrigerated containers are well insulated, and when they have enough damage to no longer be stackable, they come on the market cheaply. They are still plenty sturdy enough for housing. The double doors at one end open wide for access, light, and ventilation, and it takes no more than a SaberSaw to cut window and door openings. The insides are easy to keep clean.

    Several other people had containers near his, some of them multi-container assemblies with some used for storage, others for machine shops. Our friend did not have a built in stove: a table and a camp stove was more like it. He had a bed and some chairs. There was a communal water spigot and toilet (This was cheap housing, remember).

    Fashionable? No. Attractive suburban? No. “Respectable”? No. Cheap, clean, and comfortable? Definitely.

    Spending $35,000 to turn a shipping container into housing simply is not necessary. It would definitely be nicer than the cheapest possible, but shaving a few thousand off the cost of a used manufactured home is not the point for many: For them the point is collapsing the price to several thousand dollars to make something which is adequate. One can work up from there.

    Depending on where one lives, the basics would likely include tying it down, providing safe water, and a toilet/outhouse. In much of the country, heat would also be needed.

    The great trick with such cheap housing is to escape the net of respectability. As William Faulkner said in “The Wild Palms: “They used money against me while I was asleep because I was vulnerable in money. Then I waked up and rectified the money and I thought I had beat Them until that night when I found out They had used respectability on me and it was harder to beat than money. So I am vulnerable in neither money nor respectability now….”

    If one is able to escape that trap of respectability one can have a clean, safe, comfortable house/BOL for several thousand dollars instead of tens of thousands. That isn’t for every one, but for some, it may be just perfect.

    • Having explored the shipping container idea. I agree start basic. Remember these are shipping containers and not the same as you see big rig trucks hauling. These can rust so make sure to seal with good paint if it’s an issue where you live as it is here. The other thing is: do your research before buying. Don’t plan on burying these as bunkers because though they are sturdy, they aren’t built to have dirt piled on them. You see them stacked…they aren’t flat but on stacked frame to frame. Also, when/if you cut holes for windows and doors, do be careful…in doing so you are weakening the structural support of the container. Even with all this, I’m still considering one possibly two. My fave for now is the insulated reefer ones. 🙂

    • Everything I have read says they are definitely not designed for burying. Undamaged ones will take a great deal of weight on top if it is distributed as another shipping container would distribute it, (my guess is at the corners and specific points around the top rim) but not by piling on dirt, and not designed to withstand sidewall pressure.

      I haven’t looked at the engineering, but my guess is that they have frames of some sort, and those frames will take downward pressure, but between the frame members should be relatively weak.

      Even if used as storage sheds or machine shops, for some people they would provide a lot of secure space for relatively small outlay. They could also be used as bunk rooms or a small primary house/BOL/hunting&fishing cabin.

  6. I can’t claim personal experience beyond observing our friend’s many years ago, but there is plenty on the web.

    I do believe though that the key to really cheap conversions is to do almost no conversion at all: treat them like a big hard walled tent.

    • So what do you think of making one into a large faraday cage?

    • Hi Dee, I’m afraid someone else will have to answer that one. Faradays are outside my area of even passable knowledge.

    • LOL Mine too.

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