The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 90

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jun 27, 2019
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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.

As you should know by now, we had a bit of internet and telephone crisis this last week.  As I write this, I currently have service that magically re-appeared in the middle of the night.  Will it last?  Who knows. What I will say is that I have taken copious notes and look forward to sharing my unplugged experience with you.

Blogging at the library

The public library has been my home this week

In spite of it all, yes, I did prep a little this week.  One of the most important things I did was to perform some routine maintenance on my black Berkey filters.  Here you see Shelly giving them a good scrubbing before putting them back inside my Royal Berkey.  Next was the red food color test.  If you have a Berkey, you know what I am talking about.  If not, watch for my article on the Royal Berkey and the Royal Berkey giveaway on November 21st.


I also had a chance to test some of my new essential oils from Spark Naturals.  I am thrilled with the health and wellness kit and delighted that much to my surprise, it came in a nice storage tin. I did a sniff test, using Rosemary EO as an example, not knowing how the comparison to my NOW Foods Essential Oilswould pan out.

What I found was that the Spark Naturals was quite a bit more woodsy smelling.  The other thing is that it was only after sniffing the Spark Naturals that I felt that the NOW product had a chemical smell.  Yes, it is pure essential oil but clearly, there must be something different in the manufacturing process.

Spark Naturals Health and Wellness Kit

I love the nifty tin my EOs came it.  Totally unexpected!

As I mentioned last week, the NOW products (and I have a lot of them) will be used in my DIY cleaning products and as backup.  They are perfectly good products and ideal for the budget minded.  If you want to try Spark Naturals, be sure to use the promo code BACKDOOR SURVIVAL to get a 10% discount on your entire order.

One of my Amazon “haul” items arrived this week.  The FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree LED Flashlight is amazing.  It has a lot of heft to it but is not heavy, probably because it only requires a single AA battery.  Size-wise, it is larger than the other flashlights in my EDC collection but it is the brightest by a long shot.

Gaye's Flashlights_1

One note:   It took 3 weeks to get here so if you are planning on purchasing a Mini Cree as a holiday gift or stocking stuffer, I suggest you do so soon.

Okay, enough of the sales pitch.  Let’s get going with the Sunday Survival Buzz.


A Parable of Disconnectedness:  What happens when the cell phones, land lines, and the Internet all go out at once?  This is as good a description as any – until I have time to write up my own thoughts, that is.

FDA to ban artery-clogging trans fats:  Without any support from greedy corporations, trans-fats will soon be history.  It is too bad that we can not say that about GMOs and GMO labeling.  As you probably heard, initiative 522 that would have required GMO labeling in Washington State was defeated this week.  See Big money helps defeat food labeling initiative, but fight not over.

Bank Of America Caught Refusing Mortgages To Women On Maternity Leave:  I gave up banking with the big guys a number of years back.  In this case, B of A was caught setting different refinancing rules for homeowners who were expecting a child.

IRS to Jail Woman Who Owes $0 in Taxes, Seeks Jury Nullification: All because she did not want to sign her tax return.  You have to read this one.

Over 150 million breached records from Adobe hack have surfaced online: A database of Adobe user data has turned up online at a website frequented by cyber criminals. When all is said and done, this may be the worst security blunder in history.  LastPass has set up an online tool to quickly find out if your email address is listed in the massive database.  Mine was – please check yours.  LastPass will help you reset your password if you were one of the victims.

Psychologist Deems Dad Unfit Parent For Not Feeding McDonald’s To 5-Yr-Old: You’d think that most parents would be applauded for not giving in to their kids’ demands for fast food, but a court-appointed psychologist in New York City (New York City?!?) has reportedly decided that one father is an unfit parent because he failed to feed his 5-year-old son’s craving for McDonald’s.

Expedia, United Blame Each Other For $200 Change Fee For Passenger Stuck In LAX During Shootout:  Talk about the unfriendly skies.  The recent tragic shootings at Los Angeles International put parts of one of the world’s largest airports on lockdown for several hours, resulting in rescheduled and canceled flights for many travelers.  But change fees directly related to canceled flights?  Greed at its best.  I always try to travel on Southwest to avoid this kind of thing.


Reader Jim asks:

I have been trying for sometime to figure out if there is a need of a simple easy to use ethanol production still in the survival community – whether it be a complete start to finish system, a still alone or just plans.

Said another way, is there  an opportunity to develop and sell an ethanol production still within the survival and prepping  niche?  Okay readers, what do you think?  Leave a comment below if you have an opinion one way or another.

From JR, some hints on using wood and biomass while cooking outdoors:

1) A pair of garden pruners cuts up twigs very quickly and you can gain a pile of the stuff, cutting to your stoves’ exact size. Much faster than breaking it up by hand or stepping on it and twisting – pulling, etc.

2) If you are stuck with larger wood stock, a hammer can smash it down to splinters for convenient stove size. Yes, that IS loud. You can cover with jacket or other material to quiet that down somewhat. Bonus – material does not get thrown away, as material contains it. That is hard on the material.

3) A lot of campers use the last minutes of their hike gathering tinder as they near camp. Saves them a trip gathering it afterwards.

4) Small stoves heat faster when a wind screen or landscaping reduces the effects of wind. Pick your burn site with this in mind – it can save you some troubles later on.


I am thrilled to announce that “Kris” is the winner of a copy of Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse. You have been notified by email and have 72 hours to claim your winning book.

Here is how the question What is the biggest mistake you have made in your “Prepping” career? was answered:

My biggest mistake was to buy, buy, buy with money I couldn’t afford to spend and then not know what to do with all the “stuff” I bought. I let myself get overwhelmed and thought I had to have everything on everyone’s list without having a plan for myself.

If you missed the interview with James Wesley Rawles, you can read it here.


I am pleased to announce a couple of last minute additions to the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 4.0.  I realize that I hinted about these before but it is now official.  And yes, of course, I will be giving away a copy of each of these two books.

The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

A fully revised and updated edition of the bestselling, ground-breaking Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day—the revolutionary approach to bread-making.  Responding to their thousands of ardent fans, Jeff and Zoë returned to their test kitchens to whip up more delicious recipes.

They’ve also included a gluten-free chapter, forty all-new gorgeous color photos, and one hundred informative black-and-white how-to photos. They’ve made the “Tips and Techniques” and “Ingredients” chapters bigger and better than ever before, and included readers’ Frequently Asked Questions

This revised edition also includes more than thirty brand-new recipes for Beer-Cheese Bread, Crock-Pot Bread, Panini, Pretzel Buns, Apple-Stuffed French Toast, and many more. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread to fill a kitchen with warmth, eager appetites, and endless praise. Now, using Jeff and Zoë’s innovative technique, you can create bread that rivals those of the finest bakers in the world in just five minutes of active preparation time.

Authors:  Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François

Escaping Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)

When society ceases to exist, who can you trust?

After the collapse of the nation’s power grid, America is under martial law—and safety is an illusion. As violence erupts around him, Morgan Carter faces one of his most difficult decisions yet: whether to stay and defend his home, or move to a more isolated area, away from the prying eyes of the government. He and his family are hesitant to leave their beloved Lake County, but with increasingly suspicious activities happening in a nearby refugee camp, all signs point towards defecting. Morgan and his friends aren’t going to leave without a fight, though—and they’ll do anything to protect their freedoms.

Escaping Home describes the struggle to live in a world with no rules, and how, sometimes, the strength of family is the only thing that can pull you through.

Author:  A. American


Reminder: if you are interested in finding a past article on a specific topic, you can use the Search box on the right hand side or select SEARCH from the menu bar.


I just got off the phone with my pal George Ure.  He asked if I was relieved that I had some connectivity today.  My response was yes, but.  The “but” was that it was rather peaceful not to feel compelled to check email every hour and not to run to the computer to check on this or work on that.  I still had books to read, Shelly to talk to, and Tucker the dog to play with.

If this is a taste of things to come, I can deal with it.

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!

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be 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 Pinterest.

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.

Spotlight:  After a ton of research, I am now using essential oils from Spark Naturals for wellness purposes. There are a lot reasons one of which is there commitment to both quality and value.  Their raw materials are tested and authenticated to be of pharmaceutical grade purity. Unlike other companies, they are open about the fact that there is no official grading system that grades essential oils as A, B, C or Therapeutic grade. If you see a site that makes that claim, it is marketing hype and not fact.

If you are interested in rosemary essential oil, you can get it here.  Or, you can do what I did and purchase the health and wellness kit which includes all of my favorites.  Be sure to use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” to receive a 10% discount.

Bargain Bin: For your discernment, here are of my favorite items include items that are popular with BDS readers along with some items in the current Amazon Top 10.

Broken Web: The Coming Collapse of the Internet:  Remember my mentioning this book this book awhile back?  If you have not read it – and have not prepared for a collapse of he internet, you may want to reconsider in light of my experience this past week.  Read my review, The Coming Collapse of the Internet.

NOW Foods Essential Oils:  NOW essential oils are a good product at a budget price.  They are work especially well in DIY cleaning products and an their price point, you can use them generously.

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I now own six of these little gems. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.

FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp:  Here we go with another flashlight.    It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.

Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife.  It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

Magnesium Fire StarterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  This Campers’ Magnesium Emergency Fire Starter.

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor SurvivalUCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers:  The UCO Stormproof Match Kit is waterproof and holds 25 matches as well as spare strikers. The matches burn for around 15 seconds and are windproof, waterproof, and even continue burning underwater. An integrated striker is attached on the side of the match kit, and can be replaced when worn out.

2 Pack Survival Kit Can Opener, Military, P-51 ModelThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  These can openers makes great addition to any survival, fishing, hiking, or camping pack. They are lightweight and robust and they just work.

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

EE Steak

Recent purchases from Emergency Essentials

Two of the top sale items this month are the Freeze-Dried Diced Roast Beef Steak at $32.99 (32% off) and the Freeze-Dried Green Beans which are on sale for $10.99 (26% off) .

For a head start on your holiday gift giving, a dozen red emergency candles – including gift bags and bows – are on sale at $49.99 or 41% off.  These are great candles, even for non-emergency purposes.

These are just some f the items on sale this month at Emergency Essentials.  Click on the link below for more great deals from Emergency Essentials.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

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6 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 90”

  1. “Over 150 million breached records from Adobe hack have surfaced online: A database of Adobe user data has turned up online at a website frequented by cyber criminals. When all is said and done, this may be the worst security blunder in history. LastPass has set up an online tool to quickly find out if your email address is listed in the massive database. Mine was – please check yours. LastPass will help you reset your password if you were one of the victims. ” WOW thanks for posting this i had no idea i checked mine thankfully i wasnt hacked but iwill change my password regardless.

  2. Gaye, your cell, land line, and internet were all down at the same time? I am assuming you still had TV and radio that allowed you to be informed was to why you were in this predicament. I have a feeling the time is coming that these essentials, as well as TV and radio will all be down and not knowing what is causing all the trouble will cause lots of sheeple to go crazy. I sure am glad some red head, that lives on an island, put me onto a ham receiving radio. I think the lack of knowledge in a crises is going to be the killer.

  3. To answer your question, yes absolutely there is a need for a reasonably priced and moderate sized ethanol still for the market. Many new cars are set up to run ethanol or gas and several companies sell add on device for only a $200 to turn any gas car into ethanol or gas.

  4. I saw where the grid down emergency drill that you mention awhile back is scheduled for Nov. 13th & 14th and is called GridEX II.

  5. For the best oats EVER, roll your own. A hundred dollar roller, a thirty dollar fifty pound bag of whole oats, they last for years, and are fantastic uncooked, with or without peaches. Cleans the plaque from your blood vessels, might even add years to your life,,,

  6. Thanks so much for tip on Adobe hack. My name was on the list! Glad I found your site! You are now part of my favorites bookmark!!! I look forward to searching thru the rest of your site.


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