Fast-track your preparedness with a trailer

There is always concern as to whether or not a disaster or crisis will bring about the need to decide to either stay in place or leave to go somewhere else; the classic bug-in vs. bug-out scenario. Staying in place and riding out the situation is a decision that comes with its own set of potential consequences, but making the decision to “get out of dodge” is an entirely different situation. Such a determination is made typically because the danger of leaving is less than that of staying put.

Once the decision is made to leave, a number of steps have to be completed before all the doors on the vehicle close and it pulls out of the driveway. One of the steps in this sequence is packing up everything that you may need to not only leave, but also survive until you arrive at your destination (perhaps even longer). A great variance in the time required to pack up is what all is going and how it will be packed. I have seen standardized packing lists with details all the way down to what gets packed in a particular spot and families that practice packing their vehicle to get the time it takes down to the lowest they can.

Disaster intelligence for emergency preparedness

Actionable intelligence (intel) in the midst of disaster can be the difference between making the better or the worse choice in a difficult situation. Think about this scenario:

A traffic accident on the interstate near your home includes a tractor-trailer rig that is carrying hazardous materials and is now leaking chlorine gas. The wind suddenly shifts toward your neighborhood and local authorities mandate the evacuation of the neighborhood immediately. You are likely familiar with how to get in and out of your neighborhood, but do you know how you will get out if the two major paths are completely blocked?

Through the use of disaster intelligence, you have likely been able to ascertain that both main roads are completely bogged down and you will not reasonably be able to leave the neighborhood either of those ways. With other information that you have gathered in your intelligence collection efforts, there is probably at least one other route that you have identified as a way out, even if it is through someone’s yard.

Survive later by gardening now

There seems to be almost endless websites, books, lists, forums, etc. that focus on emergency preparedness and all of the areas that one should master to become “completely” prepared for disaster. When preparing to survive the end of the human race, there are some inherent problems with these resources; the first problem is that having a list won’t actually accomplish anything (action is required) and the second issue being that it is hard to master these areas, let alone gain familiarity and experience with all of them.

It is also difficult to maintain a balance in life when trying to live now, while also looking toward the future and the unknown things that may happen. I’d like to highlight the fact that we can only make our best guesses as to what may actually happen and that, because we don’t know what will or will not happen, it is best to start living now how we want to be living later. This is regardless of whether or not something terrible ever happens.

Building a DIY self-monitored security system

There are many commercial options available for security systems and recent tech innovations have brought us DIY security systems that you can purchase and install yourself. While this option is great for providing many people with peace of mind and a sense of security, there are two common factors among these systems; they all require a hard-wired power source and they all require some sort of monitoring service. These two areas typically result in the need to be dependent upon others for your security. This is not an ideal scenario. On top of that, these systems

Minimal fuss DIY security components

Luckily, along with the above-mentioned options, there are other security components that can be easily installed with minimal mechanical or technical knowledge required. The specific options that I will outline below are all designed to be run off of batteries (no power grid required) and typically are light, compact and highly portable.

Overcoming ‘analysis paralysis’ in emergency preparedness

The concept of analysis paralysis (the condition of being so caught up in the process of analyzing, or over-analyzing, a situation that no action is ever taken) was foreign to me until my time in the Army. It did not take long until I realized the type of disaster that can come from inaction could be far worse than taking the wrong action, particularly when it came to the time I spent in combat in the Middle East.

Once I was familiar with the concept, I learned that there are many times throughout history where analysis paralysis is addressed. My favorite example comes from Aesop’s fable of the Fox and the Cat, where the fox bragged about knowing many ways of escaping while the cat only knew of one. The fox and cat hear the hounds coming and the cat flees up a tree, the only way he knows, and the fox is so confused by the myriad of options he has thought of that he is caught by the hounds. Aesop concludes with the moral, “Better one safe way than a hundred on which you cannot reckon.”

24 tips for living in a world without emergency services

There are many things that I consider luxuries that we have the benefit of living with in a modern society. Things like electricity, running water, cell phones, air conditioning, etc. are nice, but society survived for thousands of years without them. If they all disappeared it would suck, but a good number of us would be able to find a way to function without them.

One of the things that is worth considering for your emergency preparedness planning is how you would cope without access to emergency services. There are a few reasons to give this some thought because emergency services could potentially disappear in a major series of disasters, they could be so tied up that they cannot meet demand or you could live in an area where you will ultimately end up not mattering as compared to the urban need for these services.

Finding your homestead

For as long as I can remember it has been my dream to have a piece of land to call my own. It’s the American dream, right?

It should be so simple, but on top of all the usual hurdles between me, my family and our forever home is the fact that I never wanted to settle for one tenth of an acre in the suburbs on a zero lot line.

My ultimate dream would be to own about 1,000 acres and become a cattle baron. However my financial circumstances, along with what my wife will tolerate, have significantly impacted what my reality will become and as I close one chapter of my life and move on to the next, we have set out to find our forever home and make it our homestead. As most would expect, the process has not been an easy one.