Only days after being featured on the National Geographic TV Show Doomsday Preppers, a prepper from Tennessee named David Sarti has been declared Mentally Defective and his guns have been seized by the government. David became famous in the survival/prepper community for his Youtube videos back in 2007-2008. His videos sometimes ranged on the odd and quirky, but never Mentally Defective!
David has become a target for those in government who see preppers as a target. He is being made an example of what happens to preppers and we should not stand for this. Yes, Nat Geo’s show is made to make preppers look crazy. And no, I would never go on it myself. Every time I watch it I think how brave/crazy these people must be to go on national tv and show their preps to everyone and explain all their security plans in detail. Are they so caught up in being a star or “informing the sheeple” that they forget their own OPSEC?
I feel for David and I wish there was something I could do to reverse this ruling. It is not fair, it is wrong, he is being made an example and everyone who is a prepper should be very, very worried. Learn from this. Keep your preps under tight OPSEC or you may become the target of liberals and gun haters like David was.
Support David in what he does. He’s a good man. His video’s are informative and helpful. Subscribe to his Youtube channel and show your support.
No More Prepping For Me
So it’s time. You’re convinced. You know you need to prep…but where do you start? Beginning prepping is like a train. It’s har to get started but once it’s rolling it’s hard to quit! Everyone succesful at prepping has started from somewhere, and that somewhere is usually a bug out bag or maybe a victory garden. For most taking care of your basics is the best place to start, but before you can understand what bacis you will need you should consider the following.
How Long And What For
How long you prep for obviously affects what you stock, and how much of it you stock. So does your reason for prepping. Those getting ready for a economical collapse would have little use for a Faraday Cage, for example. Nor would prepping for a long term senerio with only a weeks worth of water do you much good.
All the things you could possibly prep for is so varied that it’s impossible to cover them all in this article. If you have a particular scenario in mind I recommend you read more about what others are doing to prepare for it and add the extra things you may need to a basic starter plan.
Thankfully determining how long you sould prepare is much easier (sorta). There are a lot of guidelines and well laid out plans for each timeframe. Here are the most popular ones.
72 hours – This is the start for most. Your best bet for any 72 hour event is a Bug Out Bag. Most start here and expand as needed.
2 weeks – At this point you basically want to make sure you have enough water and food to last over and above the contents of your BOB. Most natural disasters fall into this catagory.
1 month – Again, this is mostly more water and food over and above a BOB, but you should also include a way to Cook Your Food and Heat Your Home without power. Get foods that can be easily prepared with very little clean up.
6 months – Now you are into long-term preps. You will want to Build A Stockpile of food as well as Have Enough Water on hand for everyone. Also consider Becoming More Self-Sufficient in case whatever event you are planning for last longer than expected.
1+ years – This is when your best bet is to become self-sufficient and start a homestead. You can stock up on a year’s supply of food, and if you can’t buy any land or live you in a city then this is still your best bet…although I highly recommend you get out of any populated area quickly and Get To Your Bug-Out Location.
If you think you may go a 6 months or more in any sort of SHTF scenario you should sit down and consider all that is required to live a daily life, and the amazing amount of stuff you would need. It would be almost impossible for a single person to do it all. Consider talking to your friends about it and see if you can build a comunity of preppers who can rely on each other in dire times.
This is Part 1 of a Multi-Part Article. Stay Tuned for Part 2. I will link it here when it’s complete.
In part 2 we’ll cover one of the best places to start prepping – Food.
Many outdoor enthusiasts are familiar with primitive fire starting techniques such as the bow drill, hand spindle, fire saw, flint and steel and burning lens. However most are completly unaware of the Fire Piston. A single push of the piston with the hand is all that is required to instantaneous ignite tinder, making all the popular primitive fire starting techniques look…well, primitive. Plus, everyone who sees the fire piston in action is completely amazed and your bushcraft credibility shoots through the roof.
The Fire Piston represents a remarkable combination of primitive yet sophisticated technology. Similar to the modern diesel engine, its operating principle is compression. When molecules of air are forcefully compressed, they become hot. As the shaft of the fire piston is thrust into the cylinder, the air inside is compressed and raised to a temperature in excess of 800 degrees Farenheit (800F!) in a brief burst of energy.
The palm-sized device, constructed of metal or wood, is capable of instantly creating a burning ember with a single push of the piston. Because it creates ignition by compression, the fire piston is unaffected by water and will light dry tinder even after total submersion. A glowing ember is more lasting than an isolated flame, like the ones created from fire steel or magnesium, and unlike a flame it is made stronger by moving air. Open flames can easily be achieved with a fire piston in just a few second and with little more effort than lighting a match. Unlike other primitive methods, the fire piston can be used one-handed, requires minimal physical effort and it performs reliably even when soaking wet.
Modern survivalists often carry fire steel or magnesium in their kits as a means for making fire. These tools have become very popular as they are light-weight and effective in creating instant flame with certain tinders in perfect conditions. These modern methods have become so common that for many people they are the only methods known. However, an isolated flame can be a fragile thing and one adversely affected by the natural elements, as anyone who has attempted to light a campfire on a wet and windy day knows. Using a Fire Piston eliminates many of these problems.
As an outdoor tool, the Fire Piston is one of the best fire making tools out there. With a little practice its even possible to ignite a fire piston with one hand and its ability to perform under less than ideal circumstances makes it a strong consideration for inclusion in any modern survival kit.
How To Use A Fire Piston
As the global economy continues to tumble, many people across this great country are just now seeing the light and beginning to prepare. For many of these newcomers the question of where to begin is ever present, as well as how to afford all these new expenses. The very reason most newcomers want to prepare (economical troubles) make it difficult to buy the equipment necessary to be prepared, a catch 22. The solution is to start small, as small as $2.75 a day.
$2.75 can’t do much…in fact it’s hard to even buy a cup of coffee for $2.75 now! So how can you buy expensive gear and equipment for so little? Save it! You would be suprised how fast it adds up, and before you know it you can have a nice wad of cash to spend on your preps…with only $2.75 a day.
Let’s assume you save just $2.75 a day, or less than $20 a week. In a year you will have over $1,000 to put into your preps! $1,003.75 to be exact. So what can you do with your newly saved $1,000?
Here are my recommendations
Water ($50)– Minimum 1 gallon per-day
- Store it in bulk – gallons of spring/drinking water are easy to buy, but at $1.00 per gallon they can be expensive.
- Buy several 55 gallon plastic drums off craigslist (about $15 each) and fill them up. Don’t forget a hand pump too ($10)!
- Save soft drink containers, rinse them out and fill with tap water (less than $.05 a gallon), add 3-4 drops of unscented bleach and mark them with the date.
Food ($350)– 1,500 calories per day
- Purchase in quantity what you normally eat. A good idea would be to sit down with a notepad and pen and meal plan for two weeks.
- Remember that there may be no electricity so all food items in the meal plan have to come from the pantry, don’t forget a manual can opener too.
- Next – take that 2 week meal plan and make a list of all items and use that as your shopping list. If you are able to buy 2 of everything listed – that would be a one month supply.
- Do not forget cooking oil (essential fats) that you may need to complete your meal. Don’t forget about spices and other condiments.
- Ramen soup, rice, lintils, and beans are cheap and easy bulk foods.
- Powered milk, honey, and salt should also be on the list.
- Wheat is great, but is harder to find and requires a mill.
- Consider shelf life (aim for at least 1 year out).
- Buy store brands and buy on sale to maximize your available funds.
Light ($30) – Your light in shining darkness
- Pick up a few quality hand crank LED flashlights. [LED will give you long bulb life & super long batttery life]
- Buy a bunch of candles at the dollar store or local discount store, as well as some matches and lighters
- Pick up a hand crank LED lantern, oil lamp, or propane lantern. Your choice. Make sure your propane lantern can be supported without a 1lb bottle (you will be using an adapter hose instead). A simple metal hook, special stand or propane “tree” works well.
- Get extra alkaline batteries for your old flashlights if needed.
Medical/First Aid ($20)– Don’t forget the band-aids
- Make sure you are up to date on all prescriptions.
- Get a decent first aid kit – usually around $5.00 to $10.00 .
- Pick up extra supplies like band-aids, burn ointment, diarrhea medicine, pain killers, triple antibiotic, cold medicine, etc.
Household Supplies ($60)- For cleaning and sanitation
- Basic’s here. Dish soap, toilet paper, a few basic cleaning supplies, bleach.
- Get toiltries such as deodorant, shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer, shaving creme, and razors.
Self-Defense ($250)– Just as important as your supplies
- Think self defence and hunting when it comes to guns. 12 gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle.
- Check out the used gun selection at your local pawn and gun shops. Gun shows are a great place to shop too.
- You should be able to pick up used 12 gauged shotgun as well as some shells for around $150.
- Try to find a decent rimfire like the Ruger 10/22 along with a brick of ammunition for the other $100.
- Alternativly you can also spend your extra $100 on 12 gauge ammo and accessories.
Fuel ($90)– Extra gas & propane
- 10 gallons of gas + sta-bil treatment is running around $35.00 at the moment.
- Getting a 20-lb propane tank filled costs around $15.00.
- Buy an extra 20lb propane tank if you can.
- Buy a 20lb to 1lb adapter hose. They can be had for $15.
Heating & Cooking ($150) - Indoor & outdoor flame
- Buy an indoor-safe propane heater for warmth.
- Get a propane stove burner for cooking.
- Buy a camp grill if you have access to small twigs and leaves to help save your precious fuel.
- Blankets, blankets…….and more blankets. Emergency space blankets too!
- Stock up on gloves and thermal underwear.
- Already have a propane heater? Get more fuel.
Well – that’s our $1,000.00 dollars. Start saving your $2.75 a day and soon you’ll have your very own stockpile to fall back on during tough times.
Remember you can adjust this list to fit your situation. If you already has a gun, then spend that money somewhere else. If you live in the desert, buy more water and less heaters. You get the picture, the same goes for every other category.
So how would YOU spend $1000 in preps? Any thoughts? Comment below and help others.
Non-lethal weapons can be incredibly useful in long-term self-sufficiency scenarios. During SHTF (or just being off-grid and away from neighbors) can make you stand out like a sore thumb. When you’re out on your own and have no one else to watch your back, you need every advantage you can get. Non-lethal weapons can make the difference between being fully prepared and falling short.
Non-lethal weapons includes more than tasers and bean bag shells, in fact these types of weapons cover everything from detention and restraint items, rubber ammunition, and even practice weapons.
Here’s a quick run down of less than lethal items which can help give you the edge
- Zip ties
- Leg irons
- Heavy-duty plastic bags
- Duct tape
- Heavy-duty fishing line and four heavy-duty hooks
Non-lethal weapons and ammunition:
- Extendable baton
- Leather slapper
- Billy club
- Solid ABS practice sword
- Rubber pellet ammunition
- Smoke Grenade
- Marking rounds
- Foam bullets
Self defense items:
These items can come in handy when you need to keep someone restrained, defend yourself without killing your assailant, or you need an advantage that will let you escape the situation. One of my favorites is the ABS swords by Cold Steel, which can easily double as a weapon outside of the training ground. Training in any defensive situation is always crucial, so make sure you practice with all these weapons just like you would with a real gun or knife. Make sure you are comfortable with your chosen items before you trust your safety to them.
Many “less than lethal” items are outlawed in some states, so they are sometimes hard to find locally. If they are avaliable for purchase in your area then there is no better place to buy them than Amazon, or out-of-state gun shows may be your only bet. Make sure you check your local laws before buying.
Smoke cartridges have a low usability on their own, but several smoke bombs set off at once can make a difference by drastically cutting down visibility. I believe most of the survival/prepper community would rather avoid conflict than invade a compound so it may be best to stick with foam projectiles or beanbag rounds. An exception would be homemade smoke bombs which can be made in bulk.
Non-lethal weapons will allow you to provide a first line of defense against intruders and at the same time will signal that you mean business but aren’t necessarily looking for a fight. However, think twice before using non-lethal projectiles…the last thing you want is people knowing where you are and that you are prepared. Nearly everyone may have regular ammo, but only those who are prepared (or lucky) will have non-lethal ammo.
Feeding chickens solely on pasture can be tricky, but isn’t impossible. Chickens can find their own feed, but each chicken needs a considerable amount of room. Chickens can’t eat what isn’t there, and the more chickens you have the less food there is for each chicken. You have to match the number chickens to your pasture size or they will die from poor health and starvation.
How It Was Done In The Old Days
In the old days people didn’t feed their hens at all. Much of the hen’s diet was provided by poor sanitation. People would throw their garbage out on the streets or around the outside of the house. The cows would spill grain. Manure was all over the place and was full of free lunch - maggots. Even with all this extra food the number of hens that could be kept healthy without supplemental feeding of grains was limited.
A farmer of the 1800′s might have kept a dozen hens and a rooster through the winter. The following spring the hens would hatch a brood of chicks, giving the farmer about 72 chicks plus the original hens and rooster made for 85 birds total. After the chicks had hatched the old rooster would be sold or eaten. Most of the young chickens and their mothers would be harvested in the fall. One new rooster and twelve young hens would be kept through the following winter, completing the cycle. By having 85 chickens during the summer and only 13 during the lean months of winter, the amount of grain needed for the chickens would be minimal.
This Always Meant Manlnutrition
A flock of 13 chickens could survive the winter on a small handful of grain, usually spilled by the farmer when feeding the cows. Add to that a bit of hay and whatever else they could find and they could get by. They would not be healthy, but they would live to see another summer. This winter diet would be nutritionally poor in vitamins and proteins. Because of this lean diet the hens would lay no eggs during the winter, but they would recover once spring started and the grass turned green again, and the cycle could repeat.
The More Chickens, The More Malnutrition
I’ve heard people say that you can only support 1-2 free range hens per acre, and others say they keep a dozen in a 10×10 coop. I think it depends on how much time you are willing to put into your chickens. If you’re willing to move them daily in a chicken tractor and buy (or grow) them a supplimental feed, then there’s no reason you can’t have a decent size flock.
Chickens are picky eaters as well. As your chickens begin to overpopulate your farm they first eat up the supply of high-calorie feeds such as seeds, then they move on to the supply of high-protein feeds such as bugs and clover. Finally, they exaust all the high-vitamin feeds such as green grass. It’s nearly impossible to tell what stage your forage is in, except for the last stages, when all the green plants disappear.
It Always Pays Off To Provide a Supplemental Diet
The increased production of eggs and larger hens always pays for the increased feed. The feed diet should be adjusted to reflect what the chickens can find as they forage. You can usually leave out vitamins (if they have greens) and proteins (if they have plenty of bugs or clover). In general, for the sustainable homesteader, grain may be all they need supplemented for the summer.
But enough dry summer days in a row browns the grass and makes it useless to the chickens, so this method has its risks. Also in the winter there will be no greens and very little bugs for them so they will need more suplemental grain. A store bought grain really works best here, but during a SHTF situation you may not have that luxery, so do what you can get to get them more grain. This is not ideal, and you may have to harvest a few cickens to make it work, but the bottom line is the flock will make it to the next spring.
If we can’t see what our chickens are eating it’s hard to determin what nutrients they are getting. Many of the things hens eat are so tiny that we can’t see them – tiny seeds, bugs, and worms. Fortunately for the homesteader, hens prefer fresh, natural feeds to processed chicken feed. They will eat their fill on natural foods before going to the store-bought feed whenever they have the chance. This makes it pretty easy to feed your chickens correctly, just follow the golden rule….
Offer your chickens as much chicken feed or homegrown grain as they want, and then let them eat however much pasture they want.
This will help to maximize production and save as much grain for the cows as possible. During hard times you can still get some eggs out of your flock without hurting your hens but you won’t get very many. Don’t plan your meals around fat chickens, plan them for the lean days and be happy with the excess during the summer.
We are now three to five generations removed from the rural life that helped make America great. We have migrated to big cities and left our self-sustained lives behind. These mega-cities have caused our general well-being to decline, with suicide rates increasing across the world. Crowded conditions and economic problems have led to rampant crime, pollution, and a dog-eat-dog mentality.
You will find that most of these tips will save you money and some will even save you time. The closer you get to true self-sufficiency you will save more and more money. Many find that the money saved alows them to cut down on overtime or even quit work altogether, allowing them to truely be free from the system and to become a homesteader. Saving money comes hand in hand with self-sufficiency and homesteading. Your labor is much cheaper than someone else’s and the money you save from gas and utility bills will go a long way towards paying down debts or buying more equipment for your homestead.
Here’s a list of 52 things you can do to become more self-sufficient. You would be one busy beaver, but you could even try doing one a week and in a year you will be closer to self-sufficiency than you ever thought possible. I recommend you learn the basics of your current project before moving on to the next.
- Plant your own vegetable garden.
- Change your own oil on your car or truck.
- Cut your own firewood.
- Collect and use rain water instead of municiple or well water.
- Supplement your house’s heating system with solar heating panels.
- Supplement your hot water needs with a solar water heater.
- Mulch your garden with local organic mulch instead of store bought products.
- Raise your own rabbits with worm beds underneath.
- Use home-made compost and free manure to enrich your garden’s soil.
- Grow non-hybrid vegetables and save the seeds for next year’s planting.
- Grow potatoes and save the fingerlings for next years planting.
- Use biointensive gardening techniques to grow lots of vegetables in small places.
- Build a greenhouse to extend your growing season.
- Build a root cellar (above or below ground) to store your harvest.
- Start a small orchard for a variety of fruits.
- Learn how to preserve food by canning.
- Raise bees to help pollination and for honey.
- Raise chickens for meat and eggs.
- Raise sheep for wool and meat.
- Raise goats or a dairy cow for dairy products.
- Preserve vegetables by sun drying them.
- Spin wool into yarn for making clothes.
- Make your own furniture out of tree branches.
- Preserve vegetables by freezing them.
- Grow herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes.
- Use edible wild plants to supplement one’s diet (Find a guide for your area first!).
- Use containers to grow vegetables in small places.
- Use chicken manure (composted) to help fertilize your garden.
- Use, use and reuse as much as possible before throwing away.
- Conserve electricity whenever possible.
- Tune-up your own car or truck.
- Sharpen your own tools.
- Build your own home or shed.
- Grow grapes for preserves or raisins or make your own wine.
- Build a pond and raise fish for food.
- Use solar and wind power to supplement your energy needs.
- Learn how to use a welder.
- Use clothes lines to dry clothes instead of a mechanical dryer.
- Grow grains to feed your own livestock.
- Grow alfalfa to return nitrogen to the soil.
- Use a generator for emergency and supplemental power.
- Dig or drive your own well.
- Bake your own bread.
- Do your own plumbing.
- Do your own electrical work.
- Run a small business from your home.
- Barter goods and services with your neighbors.
- Use a push mower instead of a gas or electric mower, or let the goats handle it.
- Use a bicycle (whenever possible) instead of a motorized vehicle.
- Make vegetables a large part of your diet.
- Make your own syrup from Maple trees as a sugar substitute.
- Supplement your diet by hunting game.
Today a friend asked me, ”How long should I boil my water?”. He’s a prepper and a smart guy, but it’s no suprise to me that he’s confused on such a seemingly simple topic. I frequently come upon bad advice on blogs, books and forums about boiling water for purification. It’s something we all need to learn too. Unless you have a treelimb stuck through your leg or a bear staring you down, having enough safe drinking water should be your number one concern.
Unless Your Water Is Toxic, Boiling Water is the Best Method
Boiling kills bacteria, viruses, protozoan’s, and parasites. It does NOT remove chemicals and toxins from the water. Suprisingly not many survivalists cover this side of the conversation. If you’re getting your water out of a perfect mountian stream, then boiling it is probably all you need to do. But if your water source is a large public or private lake or river that collects runoff from cities, then you need a chemical water filter. You’ve got to take the chemicals out of your water before you boil or you will just concentrate them.
Even rain harvested from roofs or plastic lined depressions in the ground may contain some nasty chemicals. Rain can contain a multitude of dangerous chemicals, espeically if you live in or near (read 50+miles) an urban enviroment.
Assuming your water is chemical free, modern filtering devices and the chemical treatment of water are only substitutes for boiling water. The best part is, unlike most survival tecniques, we all know how to boil water and it requires no special tools. This means that boiling water is sustainable, unlike filters and chemical treatment. As long as you have a source of heat and a fireproof vessle of some sort you can boil water.
The Case For A Lid
Whatever pot you use to boil your water in, make sure it has a lid. Boiling water without a lid is a huge waste of resources. Not only is your water evaporating right before your eyes but you are wasting heat as well. Doing something as simple as placing a good fitting lid on your pot can cut the time it takes for your water to boil significantly. Pasteurizing water also works much better with a lid as it traps the heat inside the container for a much longer time.
Commonly Stated Water Boiling Times
I’ve heard so many different amounts of boiling times that it makes my head spin. It sees like most people spout facts based on personal choice with no scientific proof to back it up. Even different government and health organizations cannot agree on a correct time (what a suprise).
The most common stated water boiling times:
- “Boil water for 10 minutes” is what your mama probably told you
- “5-minutes of boiling” is also frequently thrown around
- “Boil the water for 20 minutes”. You gotta be kidding me?
- “A rolling boil for 1 minute”. Getting closer….
- “When at high altitudes you need to boil water for twice as long”. 40 mins?
So which of the above statements are actually true? None!
That’s right. Follow any of the above times and you will waste two of your biggest resources. Water and fuel. Wasting water to evaporation when you’re short on water to begin with is foolish. Whole forests have been cut down for firewood in order to boil drinking water. Weekend hikers and tough mountian men alike have used up the last of their precious fuel to boil water for crazy amounts of time. In a survival situation you cannot afford to waste valuable resources and energy like this
The Correct Water Boiling Time
The correct amount of time to boil water is a whopping 0 minutes. Thats right, zero minutes. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. Read below…
According to the Wilderness Medical Society, water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes. So in the time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point (212° F or 100° C) from 160° F (70° C), all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude.
What is not well known is that contaminated water can be pasteurized at temperatures well below boiling, just like milk, which is commonly pasteurized at 160°F (71°C)….
The truth is, with a water temperature of 160 to 165 degrees F (74 C) it takes just half an hour to pasteurize. At 185 degrees this is cut to just a few minutes and by the time water begins to boil at 212 F (100 C) the water is completly safe. I still like to let my water sit in the pot for a minute and cool a bit. This extra time gives the water a little bit longer to pasteurize.
So what about high altitudes? At high altitudes the time it takes for the water to reach a rolling boil and then cool means you can safely drink it. If you live above 2,000- 3,000 ft altitude make sure you let your water sit in the pot (with a lid on it) until it cools before drinking. If you’re making a tea or coffee make sure you let it sit and then reheat it to the desired temperature.
You don’t need a thermometer to measure water temperature either, just take your water to a full boil and then immediatly take it off the heat. Leave the lid on (you do have a lid don’t you?!) By the time it comes to a rolling boil you’ve wasted time, fuel, and water.
Creating a small first aid kit is simple and easy. Every home, kit, and vehicle should have it’s own basic first aid kit. You can make one yourself by using simple items that you can find at nearly any store. Using a quart or gallon size zipping storage bag. Label your bag. You can even add a piece of the reflective tape to make it easier to find if you drop it or are looking for it in a dark pack. Include the following items:
- Adhesive bandages: A few of each size will do. Pack mostly the 1″ since they work well for blisters. Bandages that are foam instead of fabric offer more protection for blisters and can still be used for other first aid.
- Antibiotic first aid ointment.
- Benadryl or other antihistamine: Emergencies are not a good time to have an allergic reaction.
- Epi-pen if you have been given one by your doctor for severe allergies. They’re usually willing to write prescriptions for several so you can keep several available.
- Prescription medication to last a day or two in a well-labeled container. If your medication changes, you need to update your kit. Be very specific when labeling describe the pill (or whatever), the dose, and what it treats. Don’t forget an asthma inhaler if you are an asthmatic. You may be walking and air quality could be questionable.
- Pain killers, such as aspirin. Look in the travel/trial size section of stores for small bottles.
- Ace bandage: is great for rolled ankles or can be used to immobilize a limb.
- Latex or vinyl gloves (if you are allergic to latex) are a must. You could be around injured people or need to treat someone with your first aid kit.
- Anti-bacterial hand gel for cleaning up.
- Wash cloth or hand towel: can be used for clean up, wiping a sweaty brow or signaling.
- Find a travel/trial size of saline solution (or contact lens rewetting solution) and include it in your kit. Flushing eyes may be necessary for contact lens wearers or for anyone in dusty or polluted air. It can also be used to irrigate a wound.
- Assorted gauze or other first aid items. You can use additional quart or gallon size plastic storage bags to keep items dry and organized.
It’s getting close to the anniversary of 9/11 so I want to cover an important survival and preparedness topic that most of us overlook, I’m going to show you how to make a Work Emergency Bag (WEB) that you should store at work in the event of an emergency to keep you safe and prepared.. An emergency situation can happen at any time. It doesn’t matter where you are, you may be on your own and forced to improvise. Natural, terroristic, and man made disasters can force offices full of workers to evacuate. In big cities a disaster may also affect public transportation and congest the streets. Your workplace emergency kit should be in a single, easy-to-carry container in case you are evacuated from your workplace.
Discuss with your family what you may do in an emergency if they can’t reach you by cell phone and make sure you write down a list of emergency contact numbers. Evaluate where you work and how far you live from work. Coordinate with your trusted co-workers and exchange ideas for creating individual WEB’s ideal for your situation, urban area, and workplace.
Preparing Your Work Emergency Bag (WEB)
- Canvas Bookbag - Get a large, canvas, water resistant backpack with several compartments and padded shoulder straps. Attach a luggage tag with your name, address, and phone number.
- Water - Keep one gallon of water, preferably in a something easy to carry like a Camelbak or High Sierra Hydration Pack.
- Food - Your food stores should be simple and require no cooking. S.O.S. Food Bars taste great, are full of calories and nutrients, and store for up to 5 years. They’re cheap too!
- Flashlight - You need a small, powerful, and dependable flashlight. The Nebo Redline Tactical Flashlight With S.O.S Strobe fits the bill perfectly. It’s one of my favorite flashlights and is super tough! Also the American Red Cross Hand Crank Weather Radio with Flashlight and Cell Phone Charger is a great combo item that can provide you with light, information, and power in one little package.
- GloSticks - Having a couple of glow sticks is a nice extra in most kits, but it’s important to have them in a WEB. Gas leaks could be everywhere in an urban enviroment and using a flashlight or other electronic device could spark an explosion. Make sure you grab a few as you’ll need a new one every night. The 12 Hour Emergency Glow Sticks (4 Pack) are cheap, made for emergencies, and glow very brightly.
- Emergency Radio - Having a way to communicate to the outside world and keep up to date with what’s going on is vital in an emergency situation. The best emergency radios are hand crank and the best one I have seen is the American Red Cross Hand Crank Weather Radio I mentioned above. It’s really a little marvel.
- Emergency Blanket - Mylar sheets (a.k.a. space blankets, emergency blankets) are lightweight, waterproof and very thin. They come tightly packed (they come in insanely small boxes), and should be left in their original packaging until you need to use them. They’re very hard to refold once opened and you’ll end up just stuffing it in your pack.
- Whistle - A whistle will allow you to make noise for hours if you become trapped. Yelling for long periods of time will dry out your throat and force you to use up your water, if you have any. The higher pitch will also carry better than your voice. The Storm Safety Whistle (a.k.a. the worlds loudest whistle) is the way to go. At $5 and some change it’s no dollar store toy, but neither is your emergency kit.
- PryBar - A prybar is a great tool for your kit and no WEB should be without one. Not only is it great for getting yourself out of a building, but it also makes a decent weapon against a would be assailant. The Big Ugly Emergency Combo gives you a prybar, hammer, and razor sharp axe all in one. A note here, there’s a cheapo chinese copy of the Big Ugly that you can find for about $5. Use it at your own risk, it’s a real work of crap and is known to snap very easily…the last thing you want your one and only prybar to do.
- Running Shoes And Socks - Most dress shoes are so uncomfortable it’s impossible to walk several miles in them. You could even end up with feet so blistered you simply could not walk any more. Don’t believe me? Try running a mile in them and see for yourself! Make sure you have some good athletic running shoes and socks in your bag ready to go or you’ll regret it later, don’t take this one for granted.
- First aid Kit - You can make your own first aid kit or buy a pre-packaged kit. A pre-made kit will usually cover a wide range of emergencies. The best thing to do is buy a pre-made first aid kit and then add to it with your own items.
- Poncho - A poncho is easy to carry and super light. Protecting yourself from getting wet is important and a poncho is all you need. Hypothermia can set in faster than you think and having wet clothes can be a death sentence in cold weather.
- Dust Mask - Make sure you pick up a pack of dust masks. As 9/11 proved there is ALOT of dust and smoke during most emergencies. A dust mask can protect your lungs from cancer causing particles such as abestos and also keep some smoke out too. The best masks form to fit your face and have a valve for breathing, such as the 3M Valved Dust Mask. You can also go for a full Civilian Gas Mask if you don’t mind the odd looks. I pack a full gas mask because I know those at Ground Zero would have given anything for a full mask. The odd looks by stranges mean nothing when the entire sky is grey with posionous dust and smoke.
- Maps - Ever tried walking miles home from work during a total SHTF moment? I bet not. Imagine for a moment your disoriented and in shock, and maybe hurt too. Everything is covered in grey dust (including road signs)…Can you remember to count how many roads there are or pick out any landmarks (which could have been destroyed too) until your next turn? If your work is in the city but your house is in suburbia, what if you have to get off the road and into the woods? Don’t count on your cell phone GPS working during an emergency. Not only could your providor be overwhelmed but an EMP or solar flare could render it useless. Pull up Google Maps and print out a map from your work back to your house. highlight the route and also note any important places, such as a hospital, police station, or some place where you can safely rest at night. If you can find a map of your building make a copy of it too, espeically any building with more than 5 floors.
- Cell Phone - You’ll probably have this on you already, just make sure it’s handy and charged.
- Cell Phone Charger - A dead cell phone is useless and luck always has it that it will be dead right when you need it. Plus a two day walk out of town can be enough to finish off your phone. The best cell phone charger works every time and can be used for more than charging a phone. Again the American Red Cross Hand Crank Weather Radio fits both these needs. Told ya it’s a real marvel.
- Money - Keep a few dollars in your WEB, about $20-50 in small bills. Make sure you hide your money in your bag somewhere. The cardboard bottom of your backpack is a great place. Fold your money up and tape it to the bottom of the cardboard, no one will think to look there.
- Moist Wipes - A pack of baby wipes works well. Make sure you don’t open them untill you need them or they will dry out.
- MultiTool Knife - You need a knife, don’t underestimate it’s uses. Getting a multitool instead of a tatical knife gives you a lot of options, like having a screwdriver and pliers. A good multitool can be expensive though, upwards of $150, but you can get a decent Leatherman (the creators of the multitool) for under $30 on Amazon that fits all your needs. This is another place where you wouldn’t want to buy a cheapo china-made version. You can put a good multitool through hell, but a chinese made one will bend or dull with just a few minutes use. Check out the Leatherman Pocket Multi-Tool with Leather Sheath for example.
- Extra Keys - Keep extra keys to your house and car in your kit. You should tape these to the same place you put your cash, the bottom of the hard coardboard piece in the bottom of your backpack. Make sure you don’t mark them in any way.
- Documents - Make sure you have some form of identification on you. Also grab any special papers or photos you may have at your desk.