Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lessons Learned From the Homeless

Article by: Kevin Reeve

I’ve discovered that the people who happen to be homeless have some knowledge and experience that’s useful to learning to survive the “mean streets.” After many conversations with those living on the streets and quite a bit of observation time, I’ve come up with a list of lessons that are useful when evading danger and surviving in a Darwinian world. Here are 10 of my favorites.


Cities have abundant offerings if you know where to find them. There are places to get a free meal and opportunities to acquire resources for manufacturing gear and tools. Finding a soup kitchen or service that provides meals to the homeless is an educational experience. In America, anyone on the street who is asking for money for food is not necessarily in need of the money for food. “Ted,” a resident of the streets who became one resource for information, told me that there are free meals available at several private and government run soup kitchens in his area. One place in Santa Monica gives out bag lunches to anyone who comes by. Another shelter has indoor sit-down meals.

In a crunch, these can be useful for getting caloric needs met under normal conditions. If surviving on the streets, constructing a tool kit and gathering resources to make gear should be a high and ongoing priority. Being able to manufacture needed gear will require raw materials. “Dave,” another homeless mentor showed me an awesome shelter location in a field of tall grass. He had made a rocket stove out of discarded tin cans. His shelter was made from heavy waxed cardboard. He made a hammock from a piece of a tarp; it was ingenious and creative. It was very well hidden, rainproof and had a great stove and a decent bed. Alleys and dumpsters are sources for things of value to someone on the street. Most people would be surprised at how resource rich the city is for the “MacGyver-minded.”

Lock Picks

One of the most essential skills/tools for urban survival is a good lock pick set and the skills to use it. This gives you access to many places that may not otherwise be available. Students of mine once found refuge in an abandoned factory. The door was locked with a chain and padlock, which was picked and then reversed with the lock on the inside for security sake. Dumpsters in the city are often locked, making dumpster diving a challenge.

Being able to open the locks and access the contents of a dumpster is very helpful. “Ted” said he used lock picks routinely, but did not carry the picks with him because he was afraid of how that would look if he were to be stopped by police. He had them cached near his shelter, so he could used them to open a lock on a fence that allowed him access to his hidden shelter.

Police Interaction

Police spend a great deal of time dealing with homeless people who may be addicted to drugs and alcohol, or are mentally ill. Most of those interactions are not positive from the police officer’s perspective. Therefore, you can count on them eyeing anyone who does not appear to have a place to live with suspicion. Dave’s recommendation is to avoid placing yourself in a situation where interaction is possible.

Students have been rousted from sleep locations that were known to the police on more than one occasion. Not enough care was taken in hide selection. Once you are in this situation, you are at the mercy of their discretion in deciding what actions to take. Avoidance is the best policy. Not doing things that raise suspicion is the best strategy. Make a habit of mentally noting observers, cameras and good observation points without drawing attention to yourself and the movements of your head.

Food Is Tricky

Any homeless person going hungry is not taking advantage of the available resources. “Michael” gave one student a tour around Santa Monica, CA. He took him past a convenience store that places food in the dumpster that’s past the freshness standards for the store, but not food that is dangerously old. Michael showed him a dumpster behind a grocery store where less-than-fresh produce was discarded. Again, not spoiled, but not up to the store standard. He also found cans of food where the “Best if used by” date had passed. None of the cans were spoiled, they just could no longer be sold.

My teenage son once said that every time you open the fridge to look for something to eat, your standards for acceptable food drops. The same thing is true with missing meals. I would caution against lowering your standards unnecessarily. Under normal circumstances in America and other developed nations, there is abundant food available without having to resort to eating scraps from the garbage can. One student, who was a vegan, ate vegan food by raiding the dumpster behind a health food store. The dumpster was locked, but he gained access and found many healthy opportunities to eat.

Hygiene Is Essential

One of the things observed in interaction with homeless people is that taking care of one’s body is often a low priority. Poor hygiene leads to complications later, like fungal infections, rashes and sores. I witnessed paramedics removing the socks of a homeless man and the top layer of his skin came off both feet. Another individual told me he refuses to go to shelters for fear of acquiring a drug resistant strain of Tuberculosis. Good hygiene is critical to good health and “crotch rot” is definitely something you want to avoid in any environment.

“Bob” was on the street simply because he had lost a job, gotten evicted and had nowhere else to go. A shelter wasn’t an option because he had a dog. Bob slept on the street every night, but other than that, you wouldn’t know he was homeless. He had a part time job and that allowed him to take better care of himself. He got up, groomed himself, went to work, came back to the street, where he foraged for food and then eventually went to sleep in a very original hide location. He washed in restrooms using a washcloth to take a sponge bath. He used deodorant, brushed his teeth and generally took care of his hygiene. He washed his clothes in a sink and line dried them. It was very hard to peg him as homeless.


Finding sources for water is straightforward. Finding water that is safe to drink may be a bit harder. I watched a homeless person lower his face into a fountain on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica and drink deeply. His system might handle that, but most of us wouldn’t fare well. Bob showed me a water faucet Sillcock Key he carried that allowed him to turn on faucets with the handles removed. This very small and inexpensive piece of gear became a part of my everyday carry.

Discarded water bottles make good canteens. After I drink a 32oz Gatorade, I save the bottle. Otherwise, I would have to sterilize any bottle I found.

Safety In Numbers

I require students of some classes to sleep in a group of three and have a watch during the night. In LA, it’s sufficiently dangerous to sleep on the street at night that many choose to wander the city at night and sleep during the day. There is a large amount of predation among the homeless population. Individuals outside the norms of society are often seen as easier targets and more isolated from assistance. We encountered a group of five guys who had formed a team. Every night, they met up and went together to an improvised shelter area. They did not keep watch, as they found it less necessary with the size of their group.

In the book Defiance, author Nachama Tec describes a Jewish refugee camp hidden in the forests of the Ukraine during WWII. To avoid being sent to German death or slave camps, three Bielsky brothers hid 1,200 Jews. They discovered in the process that their larger camp fared better than the other smaller ones, which tended to be overrun and struggled to provide necessities. The Bielsky camps benefited from economy of scale that succeeded in making survival and protection easier in their time and place. Anywhere in the world, the appearance of vulnerability invites aggression. Consider forming a small team to increase the odds of personal safety.

Cache Locations

Unless you want to be one of the homeless guys who pushes a shopping cart loaded with treasures, you’ll need to become an expert at caching your belongings. One team in a class spent the day gathering resources for their night in the city. They had cardboard, cans and food. They placed their supplies in a cache while they continued to gather. When they returned, all of their stuff, including the shopping cart was gone. They saw the cart later, with their collection, being pushed by another homeless guy. Their cache location was so obvious that every homeless person knew where to look.

“If it seems like a good cache location, someone else probably knows about it,” Ted explained. Ted showed the class members a perfect cache location, but it required them to pick a lock. He showed them several other locations, but explained that he had seen other people’s stuff in every one of them. Losing your gear because you were too lazy to secure it is a royal pain. Take the time.


One of the most important concepts is creating a secure shelter. I have seen some truly outstanding shelters. One class found a park with some great trees, lush with foliage for concealment and high branches. They made hammocks out of tarps and slung them 30 feet up in a tree. Of course, we had safety lines attached to the students so they couldn’t fall out of the trees, but these trees were a perfect clandestine location. The tarps were brown and blended in well and people infrequently look up.

One student found a great shelter on top of a utility shed next to a high rise. He was protected from view by trees and a parapet around the shed. Once in place, he was literally invisible. He had to climb a nearby tree to drop onto the rooftop, so no one else bothered him. It was the exception to the team of three rule because the location was so secure. Finding a secluded place to rest is not only essential to your security, it’s important for your health.

Panhandling Sucks

One of the hardest things most homeless people report to us is the difficulty and futility of panhandling. It’s the only means of support for many of them, so they do it, but they don’t like it. To complete the experience and overcome a wide range of challenges and inhibitions, advanced class students are required to ask for money. One student described how this brought about a fundamental paradigm shift for him. Up until then, all of the activities in class seemed more or less just practical exercises.

However, getting to the point where he had to ask others for money was transformational for him. He learned empathy and understanding of the level of humiliation required to stand like a homeless person and ask strangers for money. That, he said, made everything very real. He struggled with the exercise, but he understood why it was important. It helps students appreciate that taking action and building survival skills is better than panhandling. The bottom line is, if you’re at the point where you have to panhandle, you’ve failed as a survivalist. You should be able to make it without money or do something in exchange for money (i.e. work.) Panhandling and being dependent on the charity of others is its own stressor.

The homeless who live on the street are survivors. They have acquired skills and strategies to stay alive in hostile environments. They can be a very valuable resource and we can learn from their successes and their failures. You’ll probably learn that you do not want to put yourself in a position to have to beg. Keep the initiative. Keep moving.

p/s: Kevin Reeve is the founder of onPoint Tactical, training professionals and select civilians in urban escape & evasion, urban survival, wilderness survival, tracking and scout skills. I’ve personally taken onPoint Tactical’s Urban Escape & Evasion class and highly recommend it as a resource!

credit: itstactical

The right to make a copy for personal use is part of most existing publishing agreements. This right is recognised as an important right for the author. Because the right is attached to the author and in most cases well defined, personal use won’t harm the publisher.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Prepare for Economic Crash

Once a severe financial crisis is evident, governments can close banks, restrict the amount of money that can be withdrawn and enact specific periods for withdrawal of money from banks and other institutions.

If you have money in a bank, you may be unable to withdraw that money for long periods. This happened in the United States in 1933 under the Emergency Banking Act. The above described would not be the only problem the average citizen could encounter once the government enacts certain rules, laws and regulations already on the books once the economy collapses.


Total breakdown of a national, regional or territorial economy and can be characterized as a severe version of an economic depression, which is where an economy is in complete distress for months, years or possibly even decades. The causes are numerous, and typically, many factors are at work that would cause an economic crash.

It does not happen overnight as one would assume because the word crash is bandied about, which would indicate a sudden occurrence. It is more a slow motion decline however.

The why, and when varies depending on whom you ask. The first inclination of many politicians and some so-called experts is to blame someone else for something that may or may not be happening, so getting a straight answer is impossible.

How Do You Prepare

Some are convinced that paper money will be worthless once a collapse occurs. If this is the case then material items will be the new currency, items such as tools, clothing, food products, clean water and skills that can be traded.

Unless the world is destroyed in one fail swoop, each individual as well as communities as a whole will still need things, all the things that paper money had previously allowed people to obtain and this includes paying for the services of others.

Whether you have cash or gold hoarded, for most there probably will not be anywhere to spend it during a collapse. The local grocery store will be shuttered and gas stations will be boarded up and other retails stores will be closed as well.

If things get better, then hoards of cash and gold would be a benefit, but who can afford to hoard cash or buy up gold or silver in any appreciable amounts “just in case” the economy collapses. The problem is the economy may collapse and no one notices it. It is a slow process, which may be upon us and no one is paying attention.

We have become used to high unemployment, the rising prices of consumer goods the rise of food and gas and people have been talking about inflation for years and civil unrest is becoming more common, and so the list of indicators has been with us for literally years and people just shrug.

Everyone has a solution, sell your car, pay off your mortgage, go off grid, pull your money out of the banks, build a bunker and hoard precious metals. Buy more guns and ammo and build a Faraday cage so your toaster and cell phone will work, even though after showing you how to build one they predict the grid will go down, there will not be any electricity.

Most of us live on grid versus living off the grid, and some advocate getting off the grid now. Leave the system, fortify your cabins and then in the same paragraph tell you to take on a second job to fund your off grid living and to get out of debt now as if going off grid would not cost a fortune now. If the entire financial system collapses as some predict who is worried about paying off a loan, and who is left that could collect from you anyway if it gets that bad.

Other say move out of the cities now, but mass migrations do not accomplish anything, because people will always migrate toward others, and toward areas where they can be fed and housed. Soon all you have are metropolitan areas that simply have relocated.

One question is why suffer now when you do not have to. Being prepared is not the same as living now as if things have collapsed around you already. It is merely being ready for when it does collapse.

Prepare but Do Not Panic

A poor economy causes widespread problems and each one can be a crisis in and of itself. Civil unrest, loss of electricity or energy that costs so much the average person cannot afford it. These are the problems caused by a slowing or collapsing economy.

Gasoline/energy may become so expensive you either have to walk to work or simply do not work anymore and heating your home will be financially impossible. Unemployment will rise, causing crimes to go up, because criminals will always be looking to take advantage.

Food will be in short supply, so your stockpiles will have to be replenished by growing your own food and raising livestock. All easier said than done, it all looks good on paper.

Articles by the thousands, tell you what you should do, and some do offer sound advice. Advice such as if your house is on fire put it out, like you would not know this already, but knowing and doing something about it, well you know the rest. You know what you have to do, but can the average person do it.

Who can sell their house or leave their apartment in the city and just take up country life, because cities will be death traps when the economy collapses. Who can pull all their money from the bank and stuff it in a mattress, and who has enough to make it worthwhile to hide cash around the home. A few hundred or even a few thousands will not help you much when the SHTF. Who can buy up gold and silver and hide it in a bunker in the backyard.

Advice is cheap, but actions speak louder than words. You know you need at least a 90-day supply of food and water in the home, but today many can barely afford to have a week’s worth for daily existence let alone any for an emergency. Pay off debt, get a second job, this is good advice, but can you and will you do this to help support what you know you need to do.

Now you know what you need to do, so in the coming segments let us talk about how to get there. How the average person can get there. No broad exclamations on selling your house, paying off your mortgage, or ditching the credit cards and head for the hills with your bug-out-bag. There will not be any doomsday predictions any fear mongering just the facts. Just common sense advice that can be followed or not. Some will be able to while others cannot or simply will not.

Prepping the right way is always hard work, it is slow work and often times if feels as nothing is being done at all, but every wall starts with one stone. That one stone does not make a wall, so you need to continue to lay stones, lay the foundation, because really what choice do you have.

Anyone can give advice, it is easy sometimes to see what needs to be done, but doing it is something all together different.

credit: prepareforshtf

The right to make a copy for personal use is part of most existing publishing agreements. This right is recognised as an important right for the author. Because the right is attached to the author and in most cases well defined, personal use won’t harm the publisher.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tips to Prepare for Hard Times

1.  Practice using less electricity – a lot less electricity

I just finished the audio book version of One Second After.  An EMP, coupled the the potential of a cyber attack, tell me that it is only prudent to get by with less reliance on the electrical grid.

For many, the problem of limited or non-existent electrical power can be mitigated by generators or solar power.  Generators are great as long as you have fuel and solar power will work if you have the money to set up a solar system plus, of course, an abundance of sun.

To me, the optimal solution is to try to get by with less electrical power.  That means less reliance on my two freezers full of food and more reliance on bulk foods and freeze-dried meals.  It also means lots of batteries and some wind-up devices.

2.  Maintain a survival library and a survival notebook

The time may come when your online resources may no longer be available.  Perhaps, as mentioned above, the grid may be down.  Or perhaps the internet will be censored with survival and preparedness sites blocked.  It could happen, you know.

Accumulate some preparedness books in print form and maintain your own survival notebook in a three ring binder.  Don’t overlook free resources that may be available from your local county or state emergency management department.

3.  Make learning a habit

Set aside a brief period each week to either learn a new skill or practice becoming more proficient at a skill you already possess.  Better yet, take some time – even a few minutes – each day to find a new trick or tip to add to your survival notebook.

Amazon frequently offers free e-books on a variety of topics.  These books are typically only available for one to five days and are a great way to learn something new.  Sure, they may not be available if the power is out but if the goal is to learn from them, take notes and put what you learn into action now rather than later.

One of the most important things you can do now to prepare for a crisis or disaster is to always be learning. Side note: On most days I post a link of two to relevant free e-book over on my Facebook page.

Vertical Garden in Shoe Pockets

Try vertical gardening – you do not need a lot of space for herbs & greens

4.  Grow food

Growing your own food can be so rewarding that I just can not fathom even the smallest apartment dweller not growing at least a pot full of herbs on their window sill.

There is something magical about popping a few seeds in a pot and watching them sprout and grow into something that is actually edible. Beyond the window sill garden, there is the container garden, bucket garden, square foot garden, vertical garden, raised bed garden and the mini-farm.

No matter how difficult it may seem, check out some videos on YouTube or books from your local library and start growing some food this spring.

5.  Acknowledge that there will be fear and panic

Those of you that have experienced a disaster, poor health, job loss, or civil disobedience and war will understand that fear and panic are inevitable.  Realize that in the case of a disaster, there is not a darn thing you can do other than recover.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best.  A cliché, I know. But that is the truth. Other woes such as poor health, los of a job or a financial meltdown are a bit more difficult to deal with.  Questions such as how will you cope and how will you live will cross your mind as you stay up nights wondering what you could have done to mitigate the situation in the first place.

Acknowledge now that there will be fear and panic and realize this is WHY you prep.  Prepping is the insurance policy that will help see you through hard times.

6.  Embrace companionship and love

Not to get dopey, but life is more robust when you have someone to hug.  I like to say “hug the ones you love, and love the ones you hug.”

I would also like to suggest that you share a modest portion of your bounty with your less fortunate or elderly neighbors.  Life is precious and at the end of our time, it won’t be the fancy cars, the elaborate home, or the diamond rings that count. It is will the feeling of peace knowing that you have lived well with love in your soul and compassion in your heart.

7.  Maintain your faith

If you are a religious person, find comfort in your faith.  And if not, embrace your inner strength and have faith in yourself and in the miracle of your life.  Hold this faith near to your heart – when hard times come, it may be all that you have left.

As Conclusion

Coping skills when the SHTF will be easier said than done. Being realistic, it is difficult to predict what will happen and how we will react as individuals if and when we are faced with extremely hard times.  For whatever reason – a disaster or personal crisis – we will each have to deal with situations that are foreign and unpleasant.  Having the food, water, gear and the other tools of the prepping trade will help, but I can’t help but think that there are many other things that can be done now to prepare for the worst.

I encourage you to embrace the less tangible aspects of preparedness and consider events of the day a wake up call advising you to get on with life in the best and most human way possible.

Credit: backdoorsurvival

The right to make a copy for personal use is part of most existing publishing agreements. This right is recognised as an important right for the author. Because the right is attached to the author and in most cases well defined, personal use won’t harm the publisher.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Think as Beginner Prepper

Individuals and families new to prepping can easily become overwhelmed with the information out there, particularly information found on the Internet. You may have come across information on how to prepare for a doomsday scenario, government takeover, and how to hide yourself from black helicopters.

Prepping for most people is about self-reliance, being able to survive on your own, and not having to rely on local, state or federal officials in the short term during a disaster. Most people realize that government is not the solution to all problems, and will prepare with that in mind. Prepping is about surviving, protecting and feeding your family and not waiting in line for emergency rations and blankets to be handed out by others during a crisis.

You obviously cannot live as well during a crisis as you do during the course of a normal day. You have to realize however, that many of the tasks you perform during a normal day will still have to be accomplished during a crisis.

Focus on Reality

What exactly are you preparing for?

If you think, all you need is a massive cache of weapons and ammunition then you may very well go hungry during a crisis. You cannot get into a siege or bunker mentality. Meals need to be made, baths given, clothes will have to be laundered and you may have to begin work on alternative food and water sources.

Home defense is part of preparing for a crisis, so it must be incorporated into your planning 

Prepping is about surviving by having emergency supplies on hand and having the tools, materials and above all the knowledge to obtain food and water if the crisis is for an extended period. You are prepping to survive without electricity, gas for heating and cooking and without water, all of which is usually supplied by your local municipalities.

Start Today

Focus on the basics of life, which are shelter, water and food. Do a little bit each day or week as you do your normal shopping. Your goal is to gather enough to survive a full seven days without, electricity, gas or water supply. Once you know, you have enough for one week, build up to 14 days and so on.

It is recommended that you use food grade plastic water barrels for long-term water storage. A family of four will need 28 gallons at a minimum for one week and this is just enough water for hydration and oral hygiene. That is 28 one-gallon containers on the shelves just for one week, so you can see storage will be a problem. Water barrels can be placed in the garage, basement and even in outbuildings. Past a week, you will need water for meal preparation, laundry and proper bathing for children and adults.

A family of four will need 12 cans of food daily. The recommended amount is one can of protein, one of fruits and one can of vegetables per person daily. Storage will become a problem once you start preparing for longer than a week. Look into dehydrate/freeze dried foods that take up less space and can be stored for long periods. Meals Ready to Eat is another option. Incorporate various types of foods and only stockpile foods you and your family will eat. There is no point in buying 1,200 pounds of freeze-dried spinach because it was on sale if no one will eat it.

Think Long Term

To survive any crisis you will need a shelter and a food and water source. You will of course have to be able to administer first aid, make repairs to your shelter and protect yourself and family as well. Once you have the basics secured, begin building your medical supplies and alternative heat sources such as bottled propane and wood if you have a fireplace/wood burning stove. Prepping is not just something you do for a few weeks and call it done.

Work on home defense in a rational manner. Large caches of weapons are not the answer because you can only fire one at a time anyways. Remember you are protecting your family and supplies against desperate people and looters for the most part. You are not preparing to repel an invading army. You as an individual or family cannot defend against a well-trained armed force so do not gather weapons and ammunition as if you need to. Be sensible and assess the threats realistically.

You should look into alternative water sources that you control, such as a dug or drilled well. Large bodies of water in the area can be utilized but you have to remember everyone else will have the same idea. Lakes, ponds and streams in your area will soon be public gathering places, and the water can become contaminated or even blocked off by local or federal officials for rationing. You must think in terms of “what if” so you can develop a backup plan.

Learn How to Keep Secrets

Bring your family and close friends in with you but do not announce to everyone else that you have a bunker buried full of gold, silver and ammunition. Letting everyone know that you are prepared for anything only makes you a target during a crisis.

Some people do stock up on gold and silver that can be used as currency, but remember if the financial market does collapse where will you go in the short term to trade your gold and silver and what will you trade it for, useless paper currency?

You would have to assume for it to have value that the market would recover at some point, which could be years. In the meantime, you will need food and water. Stockpile items that can be traded such as alcohol and tobacco products even if you do not use the products yourself.

The point is once again use common sense. What can you buy with gold and silver coins in the short term? Not many people will give up their food supply for a few coins, so if you are stockpiling metals to purchase food and water you may need to think it through some more. It makes sense to have gold and silver on hand to use when society does get back on its feet, but it may take years if there is a worldwide calamity.

Do not go into debt preparing, but gather a little at a time. There is much you can do that will cost you little and that is gaining knowledge. Investing in preparations today is an investment in your family’s survival in the future.

Credit: prepforshtf

The right to make a copy for personal use is part of most existing publishing agreements. This right is recognised as an important right for the author. Because the right is attached to the author and in most cases well defined, personal use won’t harm the publisher.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tips for the Beginner Prepper

1.  Take Baby Steps

Take a deep breath and get started.  Do not let your fear or lack of experience overwhelm you.  Step in to the mindset and just start.  There are lots of encouraging articles and blogs online (see Recommended Sites) in addition to this one to set you on your way.  And please, don’t let naysayers who are too lazy or too stupid tell you that it is not worth it.  Just zip you lips and carry on.

2.  Keep to the Basics

Don’t worry about the long term.  When you are getting started plan for a 3 day emergency supply.  When you have more experience – and more confidence – you can expand to a 7 day, 30 day or even an annual emergency supply.  But for now?  Go easy on yourself and give yourself permission to start modestly.

This means water (one gallon per person per day), non-perishable food items, some first aid supplies, packets of prescription medications, and, if you have pets, some pet food.

3.  Gather Important Documents

Obtain copies of your drivers license, passport, marriage license, emergency contacts and medical history and keep them somewhere handy so you can grab and go if you have to.  These documents will assist rescue workers and first responders in identification and in providing you with adequate medical care, if needed. It also would not hurt to include some pictures of yourself with family members.  I like to store this information on a flash drive along with other information such as survival manuals, home inventories and such.

4.  Develop a Communications and Transportation Plan

If the SHTF and you are not at home, what then?  This is where a plan becomes important.  Make a plan that identifies how loved ones will connect with each other in the event there is a natural disaster or other crisis.  Come up with a meeting place, and if possible, run a drill or two so you become familiar with the process.

5.  Learn Basic Skills

This is my personal favorite because it involves having fun.  Learn to garden and grow some food.  Heck, anyone can learn to grow lettuce and potatoes!

Take up fishing or hunting.  Go camping and learn to build a fire and sleep outdoors.  Fire up the barbie and learn to bake bread, steam vegetables, and make pancakes on on open grill or fire.  The possibilities are endless plus, you can involve all members of your family while turning basic skill building in to a hobby.

6.  Determine the Most Likely Natural Event in Your Area

Every geographical area a pre-disposed to some type of emergency.  Do live in a hurricane zone?  Then that should be your focus.  The same thing applies to tornado, earthquake, flood, and wildfire areas.  Live in the city?  Perhaps you should prepare for gang violence and civil disobedience.  It is possible, you know.

If you think you are immune, go back and read Disasters 101: A list for those that think it will never happen to them.  This might change your mind.

7.  Plan for a Power Outage

Pick up some extra flashlights, batteries, candles and waterproof matches.  For starters, that is just dandy.  Later on, when you have the budget, you can purchase the more esoteric items such as an inverter or generator.

8.  Learn how to Shelter In Place

Who says you have to get out of dodge?  That alone may be one of the reasons you are putting off the prepping effort.  Except in extreme circumstances – which you still need to prepare for – you will want to hunker down in the comfort of your own home or apartment.  Make sure you have some plastic sheeting and duct tape available to seal out dust and toxic chemicals.

9.  Plan for Comfort Foods and Amusements

I have taken flak before on this and I will probably continue to be dissed forever on this subject.  But, when panic and fear set in, there is nothing like a bag of cookies, some mac and cheese from a box, a juicy paperback and, for kids of all ages, a snuggly teddy bear.  Add some playing cards, popcorn (which can be popped over an over fire), and a book of Sudoku and you are all set.  Well maybe a bottle of whiskey or vodka would be good too.

The moral of the story is to pack away a few things in the survival pantry that will make you feel better in spite of the chaos around you.

10.  Get to Know your Neighbors

Get to know your neighbors, or, if you live in a remote area, the folks in the surrounding community.  These are the folks that will watch your back and help you out if the SHTF and you are really in trouble.  And likewise, you should be inclined to help them out if they are worse off than you following a disaster.

I am not talking about giving assistance or handouts to free loaders.  No, I mean offering a hand to your friendly clerk at the post office, or a teacher at your children’s school, or the neighbor down the road who offers you fresh eggs when his chickens are over-producing.

Friendly and familiar faces will be a good thing when and if the destructive zombies start roaming around.  Just remember, life is a two way street.  The moral and right thing to do is help your neighbor in need.  You will be a better person for it.


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