The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 99

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Updated Feb 20, 2014 (Orig - Jan 12, 2014)



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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.

Although compared to the rest of the country, our weather has been an almost-tropical 35 degrees, the power went out a couple of nights ago.  Right on schedule, 15 seconds later, our 10KW generator kicked in and we were able to continue watching our movie and browse the internet.  Before going to bed, I had Shelly (the Survival Husband) go outside and manually shut down the genset.  There is no reason to run a whole house generator and burn fuel while you are sleeping.

Gayes Whole House Generator Jan 2014

While it is very convenient to have a whole house generator, if I were to do it again, I would purchase two of three small, portable generators instead.  The expense would have been a fraction of the cost (it was the installation that was outrageous) plus I would have had redundancy.  If you happen to covet a huge generator, please consider a less expensive alternative and instead, learn to lessen your dependence upon electricity.

I have a bunch of new goodies from Emergency Essentials, including a Goal Zero Nomad Solar Panel and another Kaito Voyager radio.  I plan to do some testing and will let you know how it all works out.

Emergency Essentials Haul

Another thing I did this week is sign up for the Spark Naturals Oils of the Month club.  I absolutely adore the health and wellness kit but now it is time to up my game and acquire larger, 15 ml bottles, one month at a time. The oil of the month for January is Peppermint.

And finally, this week we shut down the TiVo and decided that no cable was better than lousy cable.  That means that our local news (Seattle actually) comes from the internet as does anything and everything having to do with global and national news.  To balance things out, we added DVDs to our Netflix streaming account, get movies and TV shows from Amazon Prime and all kinds of current TV stuff Hulu Plus.

You might be asking what this has to do with prepping.  Those of you still saddled with $100+ monthly cable or satellite bills might want to run a test for a week or two to determine how well you would get along without traditional television.  I came up with a cost of $34.55 for the services we now have – cheap enough with more than enough entertainment options to last a lifetime.  You can try these services for a short period for free and see how it goes – you just might be surprised.

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


Gun Company turns down $15 million Contract from Obama Administration to Arm Pakistan:  The title of the article is self-explanatory.  It is good to see a company show an interest in doing the right this as opposed to doing the most lucrative thing.

How To Protect A Portable Radio From EMP: Now that I have two emergency radios, I plan to pack one up in this manner.  None of us knows for sure if it will work – or even if an EMP will strike in our lifetime – but that is what preparedness is all about.  We strive to be ready – just in case.

Half Of A Drug’s Power Comes From Thinking It Will Work: I just know I am going to drive you crazy with all of this health related stuff but more and more, being self-sufficient health and first-aid wise, is becoming a priority with my own personal preps.  This article makes me wonder about those E.O.s I love so much.  Do they work because I think they will work?  Nah.  They work.

Top 10 Proofs People Can Be Completely Manipulated Without Hypnosis:  Be sure to read this.  Number 1 is:  Any article listing the top 10 of anything will be widely read.

Favorite Preppers 🙂:  This is a jewel of a list from one of the members of my “Prepared Bloggers” Facebook group.  Be sure to check out the rest of Jamie’s website as well.  BTW, I host a Prepared Bloggers board on Pinterest.

A Few, Good Preparedness Quotes for Motivation: This is also from my group.  Jane is planning to come up with new quotes every week.  We all need a dose of motivation from time to time.  I know I do.

Inside Fukushima’s ghost towns:  Sadly, I don’t think the Fukushima refugees will ever be able to go home.

Grow Tomatoes from Seed: I am starting to think about spring gardening.  How about you?

Senator Ron Johnson Suing Over Obamacare Exemptions For Congress:  I can describe Obamacare in three words: What a Mess.  In the meantime, members of congress did not have their coverage canceled, premiums go up and benefits decline.

10 Household Items that have First Aid Uses:  I had way too much to share today but did not want to leave this one out.  It is from my friend Bernie Carr, the Apartment Prepper.


This came in from Dana R. in response to 12 Ways to Homestead in Place.  Inspirational!

My place is pretty small, living on 1/2 of a duplex leaves me very little yard. The front has to be kept to a certain standard, so no growing corn or wheat there. I am fortunate that my side gets lots of sun and will be my new garden spot. But with little room I am incorporating “vertical gardening” as well as some traditional, container gardening. I have a small back yard where I want to place a small green house and heated chest to allow me a head start on some crops that I want to stagger the harvest over the growing season.

Next year I want to start bee husbandry, but we need to find out where the Japanese Hornets are coming from that we have seen over the last two summers. At least learn what can be done about relocating them or discourage them from killing my honey bees.

Making all my own soaps, cleaning supplies and candles has freed up some spaces under the sink and in the laundry room for my coming harvested jewels to be canned and saved for a “rainy” day (read prepper day) and next year honey.

I do not have a crawl space or any logical place to try and dig a root cellar and there is very little room in the back as it abuts a forested park area. If anyone has ideas to help this one, please let me know. All reasonable answers will be appreciated.

So all in all, not bad for a city girl turned prepper, huh!?!

Here is a hint from Kim:

One place my family and I have found free tanks is camp grounds. many people leave them by the dumpsters. some of them still have plenty of fuel still in them.


This weeks winner of “free food” from Survival Based is David R. Congratulations!  You have been notified by email with instructions for claiming your food kit.  Here is how David responded to the question: What is your prepping related resolution for 2014?

I committed to removing non-essentials from my life, like alcohol. They are unhealthy, habit-forming, and steal both time and money from the present and the future. I owe it to my wife, kids, and my future health and financial security to make better spending choices with my dollars.

This will allow me to better prep…physically, financially, and spiritually!

Don’t’ forget that Survival Based is offering free food for everyone.  Even if you were not the winner, you can score a free sample pouch of Southwest White Bean Chili.  All you need to do is fill out a form and Survival Based will send you a Mylar pouch containing a tasty, dehydrated meal, no strings attached.  Click here to check it out.

The winner of a copy of Living on the Edge: A Family’s Journey to Self-Sufficiency by FJ Bohan is Pogo.  Here is how the question “In 20 words or less, how do you define self-sufficiency?” was answered (in more than 20 words but that’s okay).

Self Sufficiency is not isolationism and is not the opposite of inter-dependence with other humans. It is being able to take care of your own needs and wants and that of your family and to be able to provide assistance or defense to others.

Graciously accepting assistance from others. trading skills or things you have created for the services and products you cannot do or manufacture. In other words, being a net giver and not a net taker or a parasite. That is on a horizontal level.

At the vertical level, I can never be self sufficient for my salvation, sanctification, growth, or living more and more like Jesus. I am entirely dependent on the Holy Spirit.

Coming up next?  A giveaway to win a LifeStraw Family plus a marathon of Backdoor Survival Book Festival articles. That’s right. A marathon.  Stay tuned!


This week I welcome back Buy Emergency Foods as a Backdoor Survival sponsor.  I am very excited to have Legacy foods in the lineup of products by BDS advertisers.  Their foods are GMO-free and they have all sorts of options for personal with special diets.

Phil Cox, the CEO, shares this special message with our readers.

I’m Phil Cox, founder and CEO of Legacy Foods Storage. We manufacture great tasting, high-quality food to help prepare individuals and families for any emergency – whether natural disasters or financial woes.

From the beginning, our goal has been to provide the best options available in emergency food storage. This means using the best ingredients, larger portions for your money, and best of all, food your family will enjoy eating. Check out our comparison chart to see how Legacy provides the best choice for your emergency and long-term storage needs.

As you’ll see, Legacy offers the largest serving size for every dollar in the industry, which means more calories and nutrition for your family. We also guarantee our food is certified GMO- and MSG-free, qualities important to the majority of our customers. In addition, we offer gluten-free selections that taste just as good as our traditional meals.

We also make it extremely easy to get started. We’ll help you calculate how much your family needs for any length of time, and even provide samples so you can ensure your family will enjoy the numerous meal options we offer.

All in all, we’re truly passionate about quality: quality food and quality service, all at a great price.

Please visit // or call 1-888-543-7345 to speak to a representative. I’ve authorized an additional 5 percent discount for all visitors. Just mention Backdoor Survival when you call, and we’ll activate the discount.

We look forward to helping you get started with your food storage needs.

P.S. Emergencies won’t wait for you to be prepared. Stay a step ahead of the unexpected and get started with your food storage today!

As with all of my sponsors, please pay them a visit and let them know you saw them on Backdoor Survival. Speaking of which, check out the Backdoor Survival Sponsors page and support the fine companies that allow me to keep Backdoor Survival free for everyone.


I have been fixing some longstanding bugs in the website design (from last July, no less).  To do so I had to pretty much start over from the ground up {groan} and this time I did the work myself.  The look and feel will be the same but now BDS will look a whole lot better on mobile devices plus, I hope it will be a bit more nimble speed wise.

What this all means is that there may be a few periods late at night where the site in “under maintenance”.  No need to panic; it is all routine and part of the process.


One of my resolutions for 2014 is to clear up the backlog of emails, product reviews, author interviews and giveaways that have accumulated these past couple of months.  How the heck did that happen? I have a lot of great stuff coming up and my posting schedule may be a bit more (or less) than usual, but it is all good stuff.  And besides?  Who is keeping track?  It is basic prepping, and putting one foot ahead of another as we make progress together, that counts.

Until, next time, remember to make every day a prep day!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

New:  Don’t forget to vote for me at Top Prepper Websites!  You can vote daily!

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.


Bargain Bin: For your discernment, here are some personal and BDS reader favorites and items from the current Amazon Top 10.  Most of these items you have seen before.  They are extremely popular, work well, and are low in cost.

I should mention that I LOVE my Mora knives and use them for everything in the kitchen!

FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp:  Here we go with another flashlight.  At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.55 with free shipping.  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.  I paid $12 for this knife last week and today it is $8.95 so I ordered another one.  It was worth $12 and of course is a steal at $8.95!

Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener: I wrote about this is in the article The Easy Way to Sharpen a Knife Without Spending a Lot of Money. It sharpens everything from pocket knives to kitchen blades. Very portable and easy to use.

SE BT20 9-Volt Battery Tester: I do not know anyone that is sorry they purchased or gifted an inexpensive battery tester.  Mine sits in my desk drawer and is used 3 or 4 times a week.

Alkaline Battery after recharging

Survivor Outdoor Fixed Blade Knife with Fire Starter:  This knife measures 7 inch long overall, has a full-tang stainless steel blade, is equipped with thick green cord-wrap handle, and has a nylon sheath plus a magnesium-alloy fire starter.  How does it work?  This is not a Kershaw, Gerber or other high quality blade.  On the other hand, the fire starter works great (better than great) and is worth the price entire set.

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival

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.

ZAQ Dew Aromatherapy Diffuser:  This essential oil diffuser uses water and essential oils to make make a mist of micro-particles and disperse them into the air. No heating or burning means the properties of the oil are not broken down.Low energy use. The really cool thing is that the light (which can be turned off) changes colors all by its own self.  Very soothing and I love it!


The Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club is the best value out there –  all oils are 15ml bottles – shipped out to you once a month (on the same date you ordered the product). The price is $US 15.99 a month and includes shipping and tax. This is a great way to collect oils at a discounted price.  Be sure to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.

Jan 2014 Peppermint Oil of the Month


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

Emergency Essential Order Jul 2013_03

Recent purchases from Emergency Essentials

I am thrilled to see that one of the specials this month is the Freeze-Dried Garden Vegetable Combo for $24.99 which is 42% off.  If you have never cooked with FD veggies, this assortment is perfect for getting started and for learning how to use these items in meal preparation.  The Super Supply of Freeze-Dried Fruit Combo is 33% off. 

New:  Gourmet Freeze-Dried Pet Food With Real Beef! I wonder if Tucker the Dog would like some of this?

These are just a few of the items that are on sale.  Click on this link for more:  Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials.


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.

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!



[FREE] 13-in-1 Paracord Survival Grenade

Firestarters, Fishing Equipment, Paracord, Knife and More - All Fitting Within the Palm of Your Hand

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Updated Feb 20, 2014
Published Jan 12, 2014

27 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 99”

  1. The 3 things I quit that have really added up was:
    1. Quitting smoking
    2. No Alcohol
    3. No cable

    I feel so much better and exercise and have learned that I really missed reading a good book!

    Thanks for another really great newsletter packed with useful information Gayle!

  2. I’m thinking of getting rid of cable as well, I just don’t actually watch it. I watch local news with half an ear. The TV is on all day long, I am the only one here, except on the weekends when my OTR truck driving husband is home and honestly about the only thing I could tell you at the end of the day is what the weatherman said….sometimes 🙂
    I have Amazon Prime, can use my neighbors (sister) Netflix. Yeah it needs to go. I could buy a lot more preps with that $75 a month.
    I have a question though, and if anyone can answer it thoughtfully with some real knowledge I would really appreciate it. My sisters son lives in Miami, they are convinced SHTF scenario will be economic (I tend to lean towards EMP myself) Anyway they are convinced that her son, daughter in law and 12 year old grandson will be able to get out of Miami and at least to here in SC if the economy collapses. I just don’t think that’s at all feasible? Id really like to hear your opinions.

    • LeAnn. I lived in the Miami area in the late 70’s when the power plant in Ft Peirce went down and left the southern half of Fl in the dark. Needless to say, it was chaos. No power equals no gasoline, no restaurants, no grocery stores. A lot of people I worked with didn’t even have enough gas to drive home. With either an EMP or an economy collapse, there will be no gasoline to get out of Dodge.
      I lived there for 18 months until I was able to financially get out. Convince your family there that Miami is no place to live even if the SHTF scenario is “only” a eco collapse.

    • LeAnn, I just checked googlemaps. During normal traffic, it’s an almost 9 hour drive, by the I-95. Going by other times when people have evacuated for hurricanes or other threats, the main route in time of disaster will be rolling parking lots. Your nephew may know alternative routes, if so, I’d be checking those out to see if any are viable and just how reasonable the hope of them making it to SC would be. People in great shape can expect to make about 10 miles a day…what kind of shape is this family to walk, if need be, 500+ miles? Remembering they will be in survival mode too. I agree with you, I would not consider it feasible unless they are used to camping and doing outdoors activities.

    • Hi LeAnn, I think the likeliest economic disruption scenario is intermittent supply line interruptions. Deliveries get made on time, then they don’t. Then they resume. Repeat. This could be brought on by serious inflation, along with the almost universal knee jerk reaction to impose wage and price controls. Another reasonable scenario is a serious melt down, similar to what we have seen the last several years only worse. That would play out over some time as companies lay off employees, close entirely, growing numbers are out of jobs, growing numbers living on government payments.

      Assuming they provide for gasoline, I think in either scenario people who decide to move to SC will have few problems doing so because there will be no panicked exodus.

      In an EMP event, however, I think anyone in Dade County is out of luck. Too big, too hot, too dry, too many panicking decent people, too many normally violent criminals loose. You can’t walk out because you can’t carry enough water, and there won’t be any supplies. Ditto bicycling, altho one might well get further. It does not take a lot of predators to rob the people who have some supplies.

      My Dad used to live on the Gulf Coast, in Naples, and the idea of walking out of there, especially during the summer, strikes me as a fantasy. Even walking at night to reduce heat and numbers of other people, there just is no fresh water to be found. Sure, there may be a lot of water in suburban swimming pools, but those are in back yards where they cannot be seen by passers by. If you can’t find it, it might as well not be there.

      I guess if I was going to try it I would want everyone to have a sturdy, comfortable bike with cargo capacity, a LifeStraw, and the group to have a Family size LifeStraw. Also tire repair kits and know how to use them, water bladders, lifeboat rations, basic first aid kit with moleskin, Betadine or equivalent, bandages, anti-biotic ointment, lotion to prevent chafing thighs, sun screen, and very little else to keep weight down. Also every member including the 12 year old with a very light rifle, a handgun for each adult, and the knowledge and willingness to use them.

      At that, I would have to be desperate to try making the trip. Depending on their situation of course, they may be better riding out the first weeks in place, then trying to bike out by night. A major EMP event anywhere would be really scary. In a place like Dade County, all the worse.

      I’m sorry to be a pill, but there are reasons no one lived in southern Florida before air conditioning and municipal water systems. Ditto Texas and the SW states. My nephew and family also live in Miami, and I am completely satisfied that in an EMP event they would not get out.

      One upside, though: EMPs come in different strengths. An EMP would not necessarily fry ALL electronics. Most of the novels posit worst possible case scenarios, which give a skewed view of what a real one might be like. It might be awful, or not all that bad. My wife experienced one in Hawaii in 1962, when the US conducted Starfish Prime. A 1.4 megaton bomb was exploded 250 miles up, 900 miles from Honolulu. Her parents took the kids to the roof to watch the fireball, and it knocked out a couple percent of the street lights in an era of more robust electronics than we have today.

      There is a good article at wikipedia if you are interested. Cue in “Starfish Prime”.

  3. LeAnn – I would say that a lot depends on their health. Also, they would need to be in good physical health. If they participate in bike marathons or distance running, then they may have a chance. If they are like most of the U.S. and sit watching television all day, then their chances go down. I would suggest they have a mountain or trail bicycle for each of them, then if anything happens where they cannot drive, they can bike out. They can get through areas on a bike where an auto would be at a standstill and it’s faster and easier than walking.

  4. Gaye,
    I bought a 3.5KW gasoline generator several years ago because the electricity in my area is not the most reliable. During the summer I was able to run my freezer, refrigerator, and a small window air conditioner (plus a couple of CFL lights) on it. The major problem is that when any of these appliances starts there is a much larger power drain, sometimes as much as three times normal power usage. To run all of those I would plug in the refrigerator, let it run for a minute or two, then plug in the freezer and let it run for a minute or two, then the air conditioner. That spaces the high power drain out over several minutes and does not trip the breaker on the generator. You might not think a small window air conditioner is much help in 90+ degree weather, but it can be a life saver for the elderly or very young.
    During the week with no power here in early January I used about $40 in gasoline, and that was running it early morning for a few hours and just after sunset for a few hours. Expensive electricity for keeping food from spoiling and giving light for a few hours before bedtime. But cheaper than replacing the food!

  5. LeAnn, your scenario is the worst. If you are right, it is unlikely they are going to make it. Even if they have an older vehicle that will run, others will want to take it. Although I do not know their capabilities, walking along roads will be very dangerous, I Highly doubt it. I suggest reading a very realistic novel, “Going Home” series. I am not familiar with the terrain, as I am in CA., but if there are trails and they have backpacking experience, with the right equipment, skills and preps, it is possible. People walked across the U.S., but that was before we got very soft.
    If there is an economic collapse, with the right preps it would be possible, but there would need to be a lot of prep work. Storing gas, food & water in route. Eliminating contact with people will be their success. Have a traveled route planned and driven with paper maps that are not on the main freeways. This is very important; it must be done immediately. If they aren’t in the 1st wave of exodus, the success rate diminishes.
    My wife and I have a 3-1/2 hour drive (Under normal conditions) WSHTF, that I am plotting and starting to take these routes so we are familiar with them. Taking the trip in day and night, as things look different. It will take longer to get there and more miles, but you will be moving. We have all sat on roads in just normal traffic. It will be far, far worse to the point it would be best to stay at home & lock’n load baby.
    In either case have a list of items they are going to take with them. This will shorten their departure time. Each person has their own and will need to know they will be leaving “All This” behind. That part seems to be harder for women. Emotions run deep.

  6. I have 3 types of backup generators, I have a 20kw whole house on propane. I installed it myself so I saved a ton of money. Being a disabled veteran I caught it on sale at Home Depot and saved an additional 10% using a veterans discount. Propane lasts forever. The same BTU’s you have in the tank now will be there 100 years from now. I also have backup generators that are portable. Gas to run just the essentials like the well and fridge/freezers in case I don’t want to run the big one just for that. I have 3 sources of wood burning heat in the house. One relies totally on electricity, a pellet stove. One uses electricity as an enhancement, a fireplace with insert. One uses no electricity and surprisingly is the best source, a Buck stove. I built a battery operated inverter to fire the pellet stove if needed. I have solar panels (available at camper RV stores and Tractor Supply) to recharge in a total grid down situation. For the well, I also have a hand pump just in case.

  7. Gaye, congratulations on getting off cable. I had reduced mine to basic but was still spending $50/month and only watching about 2 hours a day. Then I bought an indoor antenna and cancelled cable.
    With the antenna I still get all the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS) plus a slew of local channels I didn’t know existed – and all in HD. One of them broadcasts older episodes of USA network shows, so I’m still able to watch some of my cable favorites (2 seasons behind the rest of the world). Two of the channels are just movies. Not the latest, but sometimes it’s fun to watch the old classics again. $100 well spent! I have FREE TV for life (or until they stop broadcasting).

    • I have thought about getting an antenna but we are quite a distance away from the Seattle broadcasting hub. Even so, I know of others that have had good luck receiving HD from long distances. For me (mostly Shelly since he is the household TV junkie) I think it is best to wean ourselves away from TV.

      Fortunately, our internet service is pretty fast ($50 per month) as long as the undersea cable is not severed as it was in November.

    • Gaye, I used to live on Whidbey. You have access to Canadian as well as US channels. I’m checking out one of those antennas which I know I won’t have as many channels as we did when we lived on Whidbey; but then that was 30 years ago and I can only imagine things have improved since then. Worth a check to see. My only problem is I’m hooked on CNN and Cspan which I can only get via internet for CNN and cable for Cspan. Even so, I keep looking to see how to cut the cable habit. I have limited basic cable. My cost is more for my internet with cable. Since I can’t find anything right now which is more economical while giving the speed, I’m sticking with cable. In your place, hmmmm

  8. Congrats on getting rid of cable. I would love to do the same, but it’s so super cheap when bundled with the internet, which is astronomically priced on its own (FiOS). We easily spend of $100 on the two of them, but I think the internet alone is $80 if we were to chuck the cable. Whatever. Because of this, though, we did the opposite—we scrapped Netflix streaming/DVD service, and because my son is a student, he gets Amazon Prime for $39 (which totally saves us on shipping and purchases because we don’t have to meet the $25 requirement for free shipping on Amazon) and we watch Hulu for free. Honestly though? I am not sure television is worth what we pay with all the crappy stuff that’s available. My mind is so free to think for itself when I don’t watch. Well, except maybe some Beverly Hillbillies, Little House, or Waltons every now and again (not that it’s all I watch, mind you, just sayin’). Anyway, all that to say, I totally get you.

    On another note, I would love a small generator. We had a power outage last night—walked in on it from being out of town—and it would have been cool to have backup. Even still, we were plenty prepared with flashlights, candles, and oil lamps if we needed them to figure out what was up and give us light for a while. Electricity came back on pretty quickly, but we would have been fine if we had to go without overnight. Go us! 🙂


    • I know what you mean about the bundling. The same thing applied when we lived in the Seattle area. The other gotcha in a landline which we do not have. Landline + internet is very cheap (say $75) while internet only is $50 or $60.

      The difference does not seem like much but the taxes (as hidden add-on costs) are horrible. No landline for us. Mostly we use Skype but we also have cell phones with plenty of minutes. Note I say cell phones – no data and no texting. Dumb phones LOL.

  9. We had our first power outage of the year here in the northeast this past week, and when I needed the big Gererac it wouldn’t start. Had to wait two hours for hubby to come home and pull start the thing. It does no good in a SHTF situation if the back ups aren’t in working order. I have learned my lesson, we have a woodstove to heat our log cabin, but it was so cold we need the oil furnace too.

    I would love to cancel the cable and get Amazon Prime, but hubby is hooked on hockey. Fortunately we have Apple TV too to watch IPad sites on the TV.

    • Our Generac is a on a program to run every Wednesday at 11AM for 5 minutes. I believe this is some type of test mode that was set up by the electrical contractor when it was installed. Perhaps this is something your husband can research? Or, if he is like Shelly, it will be lot quicker to do it yourself (the research, that is).

      Generac customer support is pretty good – give them a call and perhaps they can help you.

    • Mine has the weekly test run too. Throws up a yellow warning light if it encounters a problem or when service is due. Take care of your stuff when you don’t need it and it will take care of you when you do. Learned that in the military (retired Infantry).

  10. Congratulations on getting rid of your cable. We did it two years ago when we noticed they had the same things on over an over. Plus we wanted to save money. We also use Netlfix,Hulu plus and Amazon Prime. I will never go back to cable or satellite. I have an antenna for local and find we don’t usually turn on the Tv until the evening anymore. Most of our friends don’t seem to understand how we could give up our cable. We try telling them we have more variety and choice this way, plus it’s cheaper! No luck though.

  11. Interesting in that everyone phrases the cost of TV in monthly figures. I always looked at the yearly cost. Even at $40 – $50 per month, that’s $480 – $600 a year just to watch TV!? I simply couldn’t get myself to do it.
    When they switched from analog broadcasts to digital broadcasts I didn’t get a digital antenna – I haven’t looked back – and I get a lot more done.
    They say TV rots your brain and you’re better off without it, however; I still rent an occasional DVD or pick up a cheap VHS at a yard sale now and then.

    I guess it depends upon what you (or your sister and her son) think an economic collapse is?
    A slow grind, or some kind of ‘poof’ overnight calamity similar to a hurricane where everyone flees at once?

    I imagine a slow to fast grind, with plenty of time to travel. YMMV? It’s difficult to picture an economic collapse all by itself being a ‘poof’ kind of event.

    I only know a little about Florida, but there’s no way in heck I’d want to hike, bike, or horseback ride my way out from the southern part of the state. It seems vastly different from much of the rest of the nation, especially the hills of California.

    Miami might be a crazy place to be, but the surrounding farming communities seemed like they might be half-way ok when SHTF. If they don’t move out of Miami (I was thinking about the woman in Panama from a few blog posts back) they could take up snorkeling, and learn how to harvest sea weed and crustaceans, and call that gardening? Maybe learn how to use a spear fishing gun? That might even work for those who are against other types of guns?
    Or, just simply encourage them to get out and meet a local farmer as part of a backup ‘staying put’ plan B?

    Are they rich enough to afford a small airplane, or a share in one? Or, hot air balloons? That could be one way to escape from Miami? It could be fun in the meantime, too.

  12. I live in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and cable isn’t even an option here. We only have satellite or antenna (which sometimes gives me one or two channels out of Knoxville). We were paying over $100 a month for a mid range satellite service and an additional $65 for an excellent 4G internet service from a local company. That was $165 plus taxes and whatever all those “little” additional use taxes are connected to the satellite account every month. Crazy!! Last month I discovered a device called Roku and decided to try it. For a one time payment of $59.99 the little device was shipped to my home, where I connected to my TV and now I’m able to watch anything that is streamed on the internet on my TV. Since trying it for a couple of weeks and seeing how well it works and all the free channel options (everything from Fox and Sky news, the Weather Channel, movie channels, YouTube, and the list goes on and on) I have now cancelled my satellite and can watch all the TV of interest to me on my wide screen, HD television and not chained to my computer. Of course, unless you have a good internet service it wouldn’t be an option. I sure like paying $65 a month rather than $165+ a month!! 🙂 By the way…I am in no way connected with whoever makes Roku, I simply am excited to share what I consider a good product an a way to save a bit of money. I also bought one for one of my kids who lives in Atlanta, and will be buying one for another one of my kids in Birmingham. Young people just starting their careers and want all the bells and whistles technology offers yet need to save money any way they can (that is if they plan on eating! lol)

  13. They are like most of Americans, a little overweight, in their 30’s living paycheck to paycheck. I think the bike suggestion is probably best if they are to get out, drive as far as they can, have BOB’s in the car and bikes strapped to the roof. Otherwise just get out of Miami and to a “safe” area that they need to scout out NOW. I have been in FL during a hurricane, and it was instant panic to get food, leaving shelves bare. My thoughts are that if people wake up, and the economy has collapsed overnight, there will be an immediate run, on grocery stores and the like. Gas stations would be out of gas pretty quickly. They have some work to do!
    Maybe its just wishful thinking on my sisters part, or they aren’t seeing the gravity of the situation that to many, is a real threat. My kids are in MI and MO, my son in MI will stand a good chance, he wont prep, but can get to his dads in a 70,000 pop town in a few hours. I am actually putting a bug out bag together for him for his birthday. I don’t know how they would do, but better together I hope. My daughter is in St. Louis. She has a husband, a baby, and no plan, because “mom, nothing is going to happen”…from her lips to Gods ears! I guess I feel that I have told my kids, and all of the people in my life that they need to prep for anything at all even just the loss of a job. Whether or not they do it is up to them, all I can do is pray at this point. Thanks for the input everyone, I appreciate it.

    • I have 2 Rokus. That is how I get Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus on my TV. Mine are the cheapest versions they offer and work just fine. If anyone is interested, I will post a link for you. (I will earn a small commission but what you pay is the same.)

    • Here is a link to the Roku: //

    • Thank you for this link for “Rokus”!! This is the perfect answer for us here. We absolutely cannot get satellite tv or cable. So when we get DSL…..pretty soon I hope, I will subscribe to this system. So neat.
      My current concern is ” Fukushima”. I”m looking for all information I can find on it and I know there are a couple of programs on tv that are having a series about it…..there is no tv here. My bandwidth will not allow the videos on my computer…..Star Band is not very ” cutting edge” to say the least.
      Thank you for all the information you gather for us……I learn everytime I come into your site!!

  14. Just discovered your site, and love it! Thank you for all the info you’ve given. I, too, have become an essential oil “junkie”, and peppermint is my go-to. works great for headaches.

  15. I have a slightly different take on prepping. I am not mechanical and being single, to buy things like generators and such just seems to set me up for when it breaks down for any reason, I’m having to figure alternatives. My prepping, therefore, skips over the mechanical/electrical and goes to the primitive/rustic. I know how to keep food cool and/or in root/spring cellars or their substitutes. I have camped so I know how to really go basic (though I hope not to have to since doing so while using a wheelchair is rough, I know I can because I have done so. I have even watched video on how things were done in England during WWII. Now I know how to refrigerate and slow cook using straw boxes and even to using pine boughs in place of straw since evergreens are abundant around here.
    As to cable, I value my internet, so I’m not giving up my cable, since I only have basic cable, I haven’t found anything less expensive. Roku? It’s a possibility, but currently, I can’t see the value when spread over several months, the plan which would work best for me, means a chunk of outlay first and that’s just not an option; though a possibility if I get a influx of $$ LOL
    As to an EMP……anyone ever thought—-if there is one, we could have several Fukushima instead of just one…think about it. Those plants run on electronics…with a stoppage, what’s going to keep those rods cooled down and how will they manage that? Just a thought.
    GAYE, I continue to appreciate your site. I have been to others where fear seems to be how/what they want their readers to feel in order to motivate. I realize that’s what many feel it takes. I’m just very appreciative of this site stating facts and allowing everyone to take the info and do whatever they choose to do w/o inciting fear. 🙂

  16. We live off the beaten path, but only 30 minutes from town. Last November there was a wind storm and we lost power for 5 days. Our house is wired so that a portable generator can be plugged in outside and runs power right to our electric panel. Very convenient and runs pretty much everything except we can’t have heat and hot water heater going at the same time (all electric/Geo thermal). When it is not convenient is when everyone has to go to work/school throughout the power outage. It is not safe to leave portable generator on when no one is home. So fridge and freezer warm up and house gets cold all day long. We come home and get everything running for a few hours, heat up the house and the water, take showers, turn it all off, go to bed. Get up start the generator get ready for work. Turn it off and start all over. Every day. For 5 days. And then 1 month later, an ice storm and you do it again for 4 more days. After living that, if we could afford a standby whole house unit, we would do it! That being said we were so fortunate to be able to stay in our home, people all over the state were at friends home and in hotels for a week.


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