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.
Earlier this week I reorganized my Bug Out Bag and took an inventory of things I needed to swap out or add to since I last worked on my kit. Foremost, I swapped out those little daily packets of prescription meds I had made up with fresh stock. By accumulating extra meds a bit at a time, I now have enough for 24 days for both myself and the Survival Husband, Shelly.
There were a few things missing from my kit.
Most notably missing was some water purification tablets. Sure, I had my Berkey sport bottle but I wanted something that would allow me to purify more water more quickly. You might recall that early on I had packed away some bleach and a medicine dropper. All well and good but bleach has a shelf life and I did not want to take a chance on “dead” bleach just when I needed it most.
After doing a bit of research I settled on the Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets which, according to the Katadyn website, are the only EPA registered purification tablets on the market. It is also my understanding that the Micropur MP1 tabs have replaced iodine tabs in US military soldier’s kits.
But that is not all I did. I refilled the spray bottles for all of my DIY household cleaners – plus I tested some new ones. I continue to be amazed at how much hype there is for expensive ingredients in DIY cleaners when el-cheapo vinegar, baking soda, alcohol and pine cleaner can pretty much clean everything. Can you hear a rant coming? Let me reserve that for down the road after I fully test out the DIY laundry soap which I can finally make now that I tracked down some washing soda at a reasonable price. (But be warned, I do not have high hopes on this one. My DIY spot remover was a waste of time, effort and money.)
And finally, as I am writing this, I have a loaf of bread that was made with my fruit yeast sitting in the bread machine doing its thing. I will report on the outcome next week.
Live Storm Coverage
Almost every preparedness site is posting an article on storm readiness this weekend. I am taking a different approach since in this particular case, if you are not ready for Hurricane Sandy by now, it is too late. Instead, I am going to wait until the storm passes and hopefully help a passel of newbies become better prepared for the next winter storm. The motivation level, at that point, will be high.
In the meantime, I have travel buddies that live on the east coast of the US. As of yesterday, here is what they had to say:
We could have the most direct hit in Delaware or Delmarva (eastern shore Delaware-Maryland-Virginia) although the storm is expected to be intense from Norfolk to Boston & some adjoining states.
We are being told to be prepared for days without power and for severe flooding. We are supposed to have 3 days of storms (Sunday through Tuesday), inches of rain, a nor’easter, high winds, storm surge, coastal & tidal flooding, and tornados.
We are starting to charge up devices including Kindle Fires, iPad, iPods, & battery -operated TV now; checking flashlights; making sure we have enough gas for gas generator; battery-operated generator in order, etc. Tomorrow I’ll do laundry and fill the bathtub with water. More to pick up in the yard tomorrow. Some last minute groceries tomorrow.
So far no mandatory evacuation, but emergency operations started yesterday for Delaware and eastern shore Maryland. State of Emergency expected in both states.
Other friends are reporting that gas stations are out of fuel and grocery store shelves are empty. This, of course, is to be expected as we so well know.
For all of you in path of the storm or with friends and family on the East Coast – my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Survival News Bytes & Articles from Around the Web
Fukushima owner says plant may be leaking radiation into sea: Living here on the West Coast of the US and more specifically in a seaside village, this continues to trouble me on many fronts. First, of course, is the huge cover-up of the dangers of the Fukushima meltdown. Then there is the long-term damage to our marine environment and eco-system. And last, among other things, is the failure of our own domestic nuclear facilities to come forward with a credible plan for preventing such a disaster in our own country. Fear of a nuclear meltdown along with fear of radiation fallout following a nuclear war are high up on my list. I can prepare for almost anything else.
Fukushima fish contamination raises fears of ongoing radiation leak: Related to the article above. I now eat very little fish – mostly local caught – and no canned tuna other than the cans that were purchased within days of the Fukushima disaster.
‘Just trust us’ – NSA to privacy advocates in court: In Federal Court this week, the NSA said that the public should simply trust the government when they say they aren’t abusing any powers legally or illegally in place to engage in clandestine surveillance of each and every citizen. Give me a break!
Violent clashes erupt as Italy protests austerity: First Greece, then Spain, and now Italy. I fully anticipate the same in the US at some point, regardless of the election and regardless of individual politics. There is simply too much a divide between the have and have not’s and no money to go around. Well, let me rephrase that. The money that is available is oftentimes wasted on useless pork barrel projects and benefits that produce very little pay back in terms of jobs and a decent quality of life of the diminishing middle class.
News From our Sponsor:
As I mentioned, I wanted to add some Katadyn Micropur water tablets to my bug out bag. But holy moly – they seem to be in short supply. I did locate some at REI down in Bellevue (near Seattle) but that is a heck of a long drive plus an expensive ferry ride. Ultimately, I reached out to one of my sponsors, Extreme Food Storage, who has them in stock.
Anyway, if you want to see how they work, I found this video online:
While I was talking to Bryan, the owner of Extreme Food Storage (who by, the way is extremely accessible if you want to call him with questions), I mentioned that I am still looking for a source of green coffee beans that I can roast outdoors in my cast iron skillet over an open fire. I then want to grind them and brew delicious coffee totally off-grid like I did while traveling last month in Costa Rica. Let’s hope he finds some for me.
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.
Recommendations & Announcements
I have a couple of new websites to share with you this week. Both have been added to the Honorable Mention section of Recommended Sites.
The Final Word
I have been thinking lately – and again – about issuing a monthly newsletter. I am humbled that over a thousand of you have signed up for my periodic newsletter and yet am embarrassed that I have only sent out an announcement or two.
That is going to change although I am not quite sure where I am going to find the time. My problem – not yours. What do you think about the “Monthly Survival Buzz” of something else? Help me come up with a name and if I pick it, I just might send you a little reward.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Bargain Bin: If you are still concerned about nuclear mishaps (and you should be), you may want to consider getting yourself an early detection device. I own a NukAlert which quietly ticks along letting me know that it is ready to sound an alarm if a sever dose of radiation is headed my way.
Solar Battery Charger with USB Output: A solar charger is handy for keeping your rechargeable batteries going as well as your electronic gizmos. This charger can charge AA or AAA batteries using the provided USB cable or sun power via the solar panels. The USB output port can also charge cell phones, mp3 players, and other USB powered devices using the power from the AA or AAA batteries and your device’s existing USB charge cable. The XTG-SLRBC also features a AA/AAA battery tester that tells you if your primary or rechargeable AA/AAA battery is dead, weak, or good.
Vehicle Power Adapter micro-USB Rapid Rate Charger: The reviews for this charger are stellar. Not only that, at appears to be almost universal, working with almost any cell phone with a micro-USB adapter.
48 AA Batteries: You will often fine better deals on batteries on line than you will find at Costco. Know your prices and shop accordingly.
Crank-Up Radio: I own this model from Kaito Electronics It comes with all the features that you need in an emergency situation such as a multi-band AM/FM and shortwave radio, 7 NOAA weather channels, a five LED adjustable reading lamp, and a multi-function LED flashlight that can be used in both both a normal bright color mode and red color for emergency use. All of these features can be operated indefinitely without external power using a hand crank. There is a solar panel that charges the built-in batteries or you can use AA batteries or you can plug the radio into a USB device.