Survival Preparedness Guide
Survival preparedness is all the same for any disaster aftermath. Being prepared is nothing more than providing that which you know your family needs to support survival for some period of time.
Natural disasters: Although often deadly and destructive, natural disasters tend to be short-term events; one to three days for the event itself and several to many days or weeks before relief arrives, commerce resumes and the victims can begin the recovery process.
Manmade disasters: Economic collapse, war or an EMP attack are much more deadly and destructive than natural disasters and their aftermaths can persist for months, years or even decades. Relief may not arrive until much too late, if at all, and may be available only to those who hold the “correct” political positions.
Disaster within a disaster: A major natural disaster strikes in the midst of a long manmade-aftermath, and due to the pre-existing situation, relief and resumption of commerce becomes even more unlikely.
Whether it’s as mundane as a hurricane, or as exotic as an EMP attack, being prepared does NOT guarantee survival, however, those who are prepared to survive at least the first year, stand a greater chance of surviving beyond that year, than those who either under-prepared or did not prepare at all.
Choosing to prepare your family for survival can be complex and expensive, but it can be simplified and made more affordable by following this guide.
If the air is contaminated with organic dust you will need NIOSH-Approved N95 disposable respirator masks, which are designed to filter at least 95% of airborne particles.
These masks are available at hardware stores, mass merchandise warehouses or online, for pennies per unit. They come with or without an exhale valve although the extra cost for the valve is well worth it.
They will fit all adults and all but the smallest children, who will require a bandana tied over the mask to prevent unfiltered air from being inhaled.
There is no way of knowing how many of these you will need per person but as with all survival preparedness, more is always better than less.
If the air is contaminated with noxious odors, vapors, solvents or other gasses, you will need an industrial type half-face or full-face respirator with NIOSH- Approved replaceable filer elements for organic vapors, acid gases, ammonia, methylamine or formaldehyde.
These respirators are available in small, medium and large sizes. The filter elements are interchangeable, long lasting and inexpensive for the benefits gained. The full-face type is recommended because of the eye and face protection offered.
This is not a wise place to economize. Buy as many of the disposable masks as your budget allows. Also purchase a replaceable element respirator and several replacement elements per respirator, for each member of your family.
Humans can live for days or even weeks without food but no one survives past 4 or 5 days without water. Living on very short rations, an “average” person can survive on one gallon of water, for replacement of normal activity loss, per day. At that drastically minimal rate a family of four will require 120 gallons of potable water to survive for 30 days.
“…Drinking, sanitation and hygiene constitute the basic human survival needs for water. These needs total about 50 liters (13.2 gallons) per person per day...” (1)
Including drinking, sanitation and hygiene that same family of four would require 1500+ gallons of potable water to survive for 30 days. Storing 120 individual gallons of water to meet subsistence-level needs is easily done, if that’s how you visualize your family surviving.
Storing 1500+ gallons, while making your family’s survival experience more pleasant, is problematic if you do not have the ability to replenish your water supply while off the National Electric Power Grid.
In most parts of continental USA, with the exception of the Southwest, rainfall is fairly regular, reliable and predictably sufficient to be the primary source for your family’s survival water self sufficiency. You will have to make a judgment call and decide how much storage capacity you will need to bridge dry spells.
The water stored in your tanks, or collected from any available source may appear clear, but is not safe to drink. Whether it’s rain, which fell on your roof, or water collected from any available source, it is contaminated with bird feces, insect detritus, decayed organic matter, chemicals and other pollutants. To make any water safe to drink it must first be treated or purified.
Treatment involves adding proportionately large amounts of Sodium Hypochlorite, (laundry bleach), (2) or chlorine iodine. This method should be reserved for emergency or occasional use only, because using these chemicals for long periods of time can be detrimental to your health. (3)
The best way to purify your available water, without treating it with harmful and foul tasting chemicals, is to process it through either; the SURVIVAL H2O Purifier™ or a Berkey® Gravity Feed Water Purifier, both of which make long term water self sufficiency an affordable reality.
Disasters can, and often do, force people to leave their homes. If you must leave your home for any reason you will need to carry, or be able to make, your own supply of safe, pure drinking water.
Without your own water your family will be forced to drink from unknown sources, which can lead to severe illness or worse. To make unknown water safe, it must be treated or purified. You know that chemical treatment is harmful so you will need Water Mobility Purifiers.
FOOD STORAGE, (Long-Term or Short-Term?):
The food you eat gets from the farm to your table, by moving from link to link along the “food supply chain,” which is a highly complex, delicately balanced and extremely fragile logistics system.
Any international or national event, which causes the breakage of one or more links of the chain will disrupt food deliveries to stores, leaving you with little or nothing to eat, and at the mercy of anyone with morsels to sell at extortionate prices.
To protect your family and to keep them well fed and healthy, you need to begin storing food now for later, when the food supply chain is disrupted and food is no longer available or affordable.
You know the size of your family and how much food they consume every month, so you already have data to use in deciding your food storage requirements, but keep in mind that more is always better than less.
The decision about how many months to prepare for is yours to make, and there is no “right” answer. There is no way of knowing how long any disaster aftermath will last, but being prepared for a short term 30-day natural disaster aftermath is a good place to start, until you wake up on the thirty-first day of a manmade aftermath. At that moment, you’re going to wish that you had made long-term survival preparations.
Surviving through a long term manmade aftermath means being able to make it through at least, the first, most dangerous and challenging year with some remaining food to use for barter; seeds and implements for a survival garden, guns and ammunition for hunting and defense and tools and plans for building the rest of your life.
Getting ready for that first year is going to take determination, planning, time and money. You’re going to be forced to decide which preparations you can make for yourself and then actually begin making them. You must also make buying decisions for the things you can’t make or which might be more cost effective to buy.
FOOD STORAGE, (Make or Buy?):
This is about getting you prepared to survive through the aftermath of a natural or manmade disaster. This is NOT about getting you involved in an expensive and time consuming new hobby called “Prepping.”
There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of websites (4) and blogs which go into infinitesimal detail about how many cups of some ingredient are needed to make “X’ quantity of something which then needs to be stored in some kind of container, for some period of time, before it’s even needed.
When you look at the amount of food your family will need for even three months, let alone the amount needed for a full year, the practicality of doing it yourself becomes highly problematic.
Not only would the cost of food, purchased piecemeal in small quantities be astronomical, when you add; energy costs for cooking, jars and containers for canning, purchase prices for dehydrator and vacuum packaging machinery and supplies, miscellaneous other kitchen equipment and the value of your time, it becomes apparent that doing it yourself is simply not cost effective.
Beyond the upside-down economics of DIY, there are the questions of durability, longevity and safety of home packaged foods over as few as 10-years. On the other hand, most professionally packaged long-term bulk foods have shelf lives up to 25-years, with per day costs for 3 servings of food for 4 adults or 2 adults and 4 children for 12 months as low as $1.50 per person.
Whether you make it your self or buy it, “More is better than less,” is true for a couple of reasons: First, you don’t want to see your family run out of food before relief arrives, commerce resumes or your first year survival garden is ready for harvest.
The second reason is that, along with ammunition and tobacco, there will be no commodity in greater demand for barter than food, especially if it’s packaged in small, unbreakable Mylar pouches. Those folks who had stockpiled gold, or have other hard goods you may need will be eager to trade handsomely for even a small amount of your good food.
In addition to having your own food you should be working in-community with like-minded neighbors who are also prepared; for aid, assistance and mutual defense. A large stockpile of food guarantees that your family will be in an advantageous position within any alliance you join.
HUNTING AND DEFENSE:
When you are actually in a survival situation, you will need weapons for defending your family and for providing fresh food.
There are fiscal and physical limits to how much you can make or buy and store. Even if you have enough provisions to survive the first year, how will you get through the next, and subsequent years?
Obviously, the answer is to supplement and replace your food storage by planting a Survival Garden and hunting for fresh meat.
At first, game will be relatively easy to spot and the stopping power of your ammunition will be key to your success. As time passes and game becomes more difficult to find, you will increasingly rely on the skills you had learned earlier and the long-range accuracy of your rifles.
After you have “dropped” a game animal, you may find yourself having to defend your prize from others, who will attempt to take it from you. These will be hard times and desperate people will need to be shown that you are able, and by your attitude that you are willing, to protect that which is yours.
Your stockpile of food and other survival gear will make you subject to attacks from bands of marauders who may well be neighbors who had refused to see or act upon that which was so clearly obvious to you.
These people will at first approach you as friends, seeking your help and asking for food for their families. If you help them a little, they will come back for more, forcing you to choose between feeding their families or your own.
They will become resentful and enraged by your refusal of further assistance and they will conspire with others to take what they need.
Your best defense against such attacks is the alliance formed with like-minded, trusted and reliable neighbors.
A BASIC SURVIVAL ARSENAL:
If you are going to have only one gun, make it a semi-automatic or pump action 12-gauge shotgun. Imposing, persuasive and effective for hunting and defense as a 12 gauge can be, it is not by itself a survival arsenal.
To be properly prepared for hunting and to defend your home, family and survival preparedness supplies you will need to buy a complete arsenal including, if possible, at least one each of the following:
- A hunting rife, caliber .308 Winchester, with a telescopic sight.
- A semi-automatic rifle of either; the AR 10 or M1A type, caliber .308 Winchester (7.62mm NATO), with telescopic sight.
- A semi-automatic or pump action 12 or 20-gauge shotgun.
- A handgun of substantial caliber for every adult.
- A semi-automatic carbine, caliber .223 Remington, (5.56mm NATO), with a red dot sight.
- A bolt action or semi-automatic small game rifle, caliber .22LR with telescopic sight.
- Plentiful, ample and lots of ammunition for practice, training, hunting and actual defense, for each weapon.
- A crossbow, 150 to 180+ lb draw and dozens of bolts (arrows).
- A strong slingshot for every person over 10 years of age
Now, if you do not already know: LEARN HOW TO KEEP, STORE AND USE YOUR GUNS SAFELY!!! More important than simply having any gun is KNOWING HOW TO USE IT. It makes no difference what you have in your hands, if you miss the target.
You never need a gun until you need it, and then you damn well better be sure that you have the right gun and that you know how, and are willing, to use it.
MAKE YOUR STAND:
With the exception of hurricanes, most natural disasters will strike with little or no warning. Your family’s chances of surviving the immediate event are exactly the same, whether you have made aftermath survival preparations or not.
However, if you do have a rendezvous plan and aftermath survival gear, your family will be in much better condition to survive until relief arrives, services are restored and commerce resumes.
The five most important things to do in this situation are:
- Get everyone home. If your home isn’t accessible use a predetermined secondary location.
- Marshal your resources, retrieve your survival gear and know what you have.
- Stay alert to further natural threats and avoid dangers like downed power lines, broken gas lines or other event-caused hazards.
- Be wary of strangers and be helpful to friends without endangering your own survivability.
- Decide how to proceed and act upon your decision.
Natural disasters can be and often are devastating to an entire local area, while leaving surrounding regions with less severe, only minor or no damage at all. If you are forced to transit from your destroyed home to a less afflicted area, you will need mobility survival kits, (see below), and other mobility survival gear.
Manmade disasters develop over a period of months or years, and progress along historically predictable pathways. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of history and the ability to glean the kernels of truth buried deep within biased, agenda driven “news” reports, will be able to see manmade disasters coming.
You have historical perspective, the ability to read between the lines and the intelligence to plan for survival through what might be a long, dangerous and reformative manmade aftermath.
Before you can make your plan, you must decide where you’re going to make your stand.
Assessing Your Options:
Your decision must be based upon the conclusions you reach after conducting a clear-headed, in-depth assessment of the defensible sustainability of your primary residence and/or any optional fallback redoubt.
Your assessment must consider at least these factors:
- Is the physical site on high ground with dominant and clear lines of sight/fields of fire extending to all approaches?
- Is the building visible from nearby roads and if so, can it be made to appear poor and uninviting?
- Is there vegetation too dense for you to see into, which attackers could use to approach unseen?
- Are the roof and siding made of fireproof materials such as metal, tile, slate or a modern fire resistant composite?
- Are the outside walls impenetrable to small arms fire, (Brick, stucco over concrete block etc.), or can an interior secure room and firing positions be armored, by installing steel plate?
- Can the windows be covered with bullet resistant steel shutters with horizontal/vertical firing slits and are the areas to the sides and below the windows lined with steel?
- Is there a secure storage room(s) such as a basement or attached garage for warehousing bulk foods and other survival gear?
- Is the water wellhead located INSIDE the building or is there a rainwater cistern or tanks and installed or available water purification equipment?
- Are there solar panels and/or a diesel generator with a large capacity underground (#2 heating oil) tank?
- Is there acreage available and suitable for planting a Survival Garden?
- Is there running water for laundry, crop irrigation and stock watering?
- Are there enough trees to supply firewood for heat and cooking?
- Are there neighbors with whom you can form mutual aid and defense alliances?
- Are there neighbors against whom you think/know you will be forced to defend?
- Is there a hidden doorway leading to a well-disguised escape route which can be used as a last resort?
There will be many more items to consider but in the end it will be your decision alone and only time will tell if you were right or wrong. This is survival and there are no guarantees.
The plan you make now may not work in whatever aftermath you find yourself actually dealing with. Your plan must adapt to reality because reality will not adapt to your plan.
This is not to say that you do not need a plan, but that your plan must have the durability to survive unforeseen challenges and the flexibility to capitalize on unexpected opportunities.
If the plan you had made is defeated and you are forced to abandon your position and “Go Mobile,” you will need a good, well thought-out Mobility Survival Kit, which you may either build yourself, or buy ready-made.
Buying ready-made probably makes more economic sense, but even the best ready-mades need some additional items to make them really complete. Supplementing a ready-made is still less expensive and much more convenient than buying all the individual components separately.
A Mobility Survival Kit:
Your Mobility Survival Kit should include food and equipment suitable to sustain one person for 14-days or two people for 7-days. Each person in your group should carry their own kit, tailored to suit the person’s age/size/gender.
The kits should be contained within good quality backpacks or wheeled duffel bags. The advantage of the wheeled duffel is that it allows the strongest member of the group to tow the duffel, as well as pack a large capacity backpack-type water carrier on his back.
Any Mobility Survival kit you purchase or build should include:
- Cook in the pouch; breakfast 14 servings, lunch/dinner 28 servings.
- 24 oz. Water filtration bottle.
- One gallon of water and water purification tablets.
- Battery-free dynamo type flashlight w/ AM/FM radio combo.
- Waterproof matches, 30-hour candle and 12-hour bright stick.
- Two Mylar sleeping bags, a two-person tube tent.
- Two ponchos w/ hoods and two 16-hour hand/body warmers.
- Portable Cooking Stove (including Fuel Tablets) .
- Steel fork, knife, & spoon chow kit and 16 oz steel cup.
- Pair of leather palm work gloves.
- Two NIOSH N95 dust masks.16-Function Swiss Army Style knife.
- 50 Feet nylon rope.
- Compact multi-function Shovel.
- Two hygiene kits (Toothbrush/paste, soap etc).
- Six pocketsize packets of tissues.
- Essentials first aid kit.
- 36-piece pocket first aid (bandage) kit.
- Note pad and pencil.
Additional Supplemental Items:
- A better quality, lightweight Survival Specific Tent suitable for the territory you will be crossing and the number of people in your group. Two 2-person tents are better than one 4-person tent.
- A better quality Sleeping Bag suitable for the territory you will be covering, for each person.
- Suitable clothing and sturdy lightweight hiking footwear.
- A Survival Specific handgun of common caliber, (to be carried openly), for each adult, with 100 rounds of ammunition.
- A 3000o Severe Weather steel/flint type Fire Starter.
- A pocket size waterproof plastic I. D. bag to be for each person.
These Mobility Survival Kits should be kept close at hand, or in a location where they will always be accessible to you at short notice.
This is presented as a guide to achieving a level of preparedness, which will enhance your chances of survival. It is neither a mandate of anything you must do, nor a prohibition against adding anything you want to add.
During the times when you will be thankful that you followed these, and other guidelines, the rules we live by now will have been suspended and there will be no one who will take care of you. In an instant, the age of self-reliance and American rugged individualism will have returned.
You will be prepared to survive and by your will, wits and determination you will survive if you Buy Survival Gear, Long Term Bulk Food Storage, Survival Kits and More.
(1) Survival Needs - human: http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/St-Ts/Survival-Needs.html#ixzz1iaPS94nU
(2) Household bleach for water purification: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Water-Quality-2463/2008/1/Water-Purification-2.htm
(3) Heath Canada: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/disinfect-desinfection-eng.php
(4) There is no better resource for non-commercial “Prepping” advice and information. If you want to do-it-yourself, this is the gateway to ALL the self-help instruction you will need:
© April 22, 2012 by; L. J. Lichterman