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10 Blackout-Proof Preps You Need To Get Through Extreme Weather Emergencies

This article was originally published by Tess Pennington at Ready Nutrition. 

Generally speaking, the American lifestyle is largely dependent upon the power grid. And when the grid goes down during the hottest times of the year, our eyes are opened to the need to have essential off-grid preps on hand to survive.

A sweltering heat wave that has enveloped most parts of California causing a surge of demand on the power grid. During the hottest part of the day on Friday, energy companies made the decision to start rolling blackouts – something that has not been done for 20 years.

The heat wave is ramping up this weekend, and some areas could reach triple-digit record highs, weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Belles said, adding that the temperatures are more typical of mid-summer than August.

An excessive heat warning was issued by the National Weather Service for Friday through Tuesday, and the combination of heat and wildfires prompted air quality warnings as well.

Ozone pollution in some areas reached levels Friday afternoon not seen in 10 years, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Gonzales said several different factors would play into whether the rolling blackouts continue.

“We’re dealing with weather, clouds, wildfires … these are quickly evolving situations, quickly changing,” she told the AP.

The situation will be evaluated on a day to day basis, she said.

Source

The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Many believed rolling blackouts were a thing of the past, but all that changed Friday when the lights went out on 350,000 thousand homes. Many were caught off guard and felt PG&E had not fully communicated the likelihood of this occurring. But the worst is yet to come as more rolling blackouts are planned for the coming week. Excessive heat warnings are forecasted through Wednesday for Central Valley, Delta, foothills, and mountains southwestern of Shasta County to western Colusa County.

With scorching temperatures forecasted in many parts of the country, it is important to know that certain preparedness items can provide safety and protection when you are off the grid during the hottest part of the year.

Heat map source

Priorities During a Blackout
  1. Safety concerns – Heat-related deaths are the number 1 weather-related killer in the United States. Therefore, when a rolling blackout occurs, make sure you find the coolest part of the home for the family to be in. Set up battery-operated box fans in essential rooms, provide flashlights if needed, drink lots of fluids, and monitor those who may be at risk for heat injuries. Here are some tips to stay cool during a rolling blackout. Many preparedness experts suggest always having at least a half a tank in gas and this is a perfect example why. If rolling blackouts last longer than intended and you are feeling that your health is becoming affected, go to your car and sit in the air conditioning to cool off.
  2. Securing food supply – The next priority is protecting your food supply during a power disruption. Keep in mind the season, and the geographic locale where you reside with regards to your food supply and food shopping. During a rolling blackout, minimize the opening of refrigerators and freezers. While most of your perishable food supply will keep for at least 24 more hours in the refrigerator be prepared to do what you can to save your food supply if your refrigerator and freezer cannot hold cold temperatures. As an added measure, add a thermometer to the refrigerator to monitor the temperature. If the temperatures start increasing above a certain point, plan to move the food into the freezer. In an article on the subject, Jeremiah Johnson makes some great suggestions on using up your perishable food supply.
  3. Protecting appliances from power surges – Generators are great to have around – especially if you find yourself in an off-grid situation! Those that are dependent on power for medical equipment are especially vulnerable during power outages. Portable or permanently installed standby generators provide a temporary source of power during emergency power outages. However, if you do not know how to use these tools properly, they can be dangerous. When plugging in appliances to generators pay careful attention to wattage allowed. Follow these safety tips to stay safe.

10 Blackout-Proof Preps You Need

If you have not done so already, take inventory of your light preparedness supplies, checking to see if batteries work and that you have extra supplies of batteries in case the blackout lasts longer than intended. Last year, I went through a similar circumstance and highlighted the preparedness items used and even the mistakes I made in my preparedness plans that needed to be improved on. Here is a list of the 10 essential blackout-proof supplies I used to get through my off-grid emergencies.

  1. Generator with gasoline
  2. Surge protector
  3. 2 battery-powered lanterns (for the communal areas in the home)
  4. Flashlights (1 for each family member)
  5. Battery-powered headlamp
  6. 24 Cyalume light sticks
  7. An assortment of candles
  8. Solar-powered battery charger
  9. Extra batteries
  10. Battery-powered fans 

Other alternative light considerations could be solar garden lights which can be charged outdoors and then brought in the evening to use.  Oil lamps are another lighting alternative and an added benefit to this is you can recycle used cooking oil or use rendered fat to power these. Also consider having a supply of long-burning candles, and solar-powered flashlights.

I hope this helps some of you better prepare for off-grid events. Please check out The Prepper’s Blueprint and 52-Weeks to Preparedness for more information on preparing.

The post 10 Blackout-Proof Preps You Need To Get Through Extreme Weather Emergencies first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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What If Your Preparedness Plan Isn’t As Sound As You Think?

This article was originally published by Jeremiah Johnson at Tess Pennington’s Ready Nutrition on April 28, 2017. 

Consider this a “coaching” segment and some advice on how to follow a Thomas Hardy “Far from the Madding Crowd” mindset.  Look at the world situation right now.

North Korea is rattling the saber as the U.S. naval armada sails toward the area.  We just gave Syria a foretaste of what is to come with the Tomahawk strike.  Relations with Russia just hit a low point, and the President is not backing down on Syria and North Korea.  Chances are good that we’ll be involved in a war very shortly.  The possibility also exists that it could become a world war.

What does that mean to you, the Reader?  It means that you’re going to have to assess yourself and correctly determine whether you’re prepared for the times to come.

ARE YOU APPROPRIATELY PLANNING YOUR PREPARATIONS?

Part of that is to think outside of the box, to think differently in terms of planning and preparation.  Most everyone has the same type of mindset: “I’m going to acquire all kinds of supplies, practice hard, and when the time comes, I’ll be as ready as I can be.”

Did you ever stop and consider that everyone else has the same idea, to one degree or another?  Most people want to be “spoon-fed” everything, and the preparation is of the mindset that everything will be in place when disaster hits.  Most do not “war game” the situation realistically.  Everyone will have a rallying point of the closest park to hide.  The problem: everyone is thinking of that.  Everyone will take to the roads (Katrina was proof of that) if there’s advance warning.

THE ART OF DOING THE OPPOSITE OF THE MAJORITY

In preparedness, you must “take the road less traveled by,” to paraphrase Frost.  When the IHM (Incredible Human Mob) is running in one direction, the odds are good that you should not be in their midst.  The art of doing the opposite of the majority is one of the things that will keep you alive and intact.  The mob all runs to an area where there are limited supplies, such as food and water.  What do you think will happen next?  A singing of Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be an American” with Bic lighters aflame?  No, they’ll rip one another to shreds for the last bottles of water.

So, how do we compress thinking and acting differently from the majority into one short article?  In reality, we can’t.  What we can do here, however, are considered some possibilities.  Perhaps you and/or your family can sit down and brainstorm some other options for yourselves.  Let’s take it from a SHTF-scenario, shall we?

  1. Safe House: Occupied or Unoccupied – This will involve a retreat where you either can meet up with someone you trust (occupied) or go there with your family (unoccupied) and set up camp.  English Property Law does not necessarily apply.  Do you know of an abandoned barn or shed in a remote location?  Do you know of an abandoned cabin or a partially-ruined building somewhere?  If so, it might be good to preposition some supplies or even a cache there.  If you have someone who you can meet up with…well, you can assure a place for yourself to flee to and promise that person more…and a share of what you bring.  That will be for you to gauge as to whether or not to trust someone this much, as anyone can go bad in an instant.
  2. Move when they are stationary; Be stationary when they’re on the move: this will be a shock to your circadian rhythm. This step is necessary, however, to cut down on the “new friends” you may not want to “meet” along the way.  You and your family need to sleep in a covered and/or concealed location and post a guard…in shifts.  When it’s night, that’s the time to move and forage for food or supplies.
  3. Attractive to you? Attractive to them, too: Do you see a nice lake with a stream feeding into it in front of you?  Maybe a nice waterfall dropping into it?  A nice cleared area with a bunch of rocks and dead timber strewed about?  If it’s pleasing to your eye, it’ll be pleasing to another person’s eyes as well.  “Attractive” and “High Traffic” areas are almost synonymous.  Avoid what looks perfect, or you’ll bed down and have “guests” when (and if) you wake up.
  4. What you need, they need: This is the reason for a change in the time of activity. Did you find food?  Others will need it, and others will come.  You must bank on that.  Just because you’re “paranoid” does not mean that the world is not out to get you…or your supplies.  If you find a food supply and a water supply, you’ll have to either hide it in some way, share it, or defend it.  If you pick “option 2,” that doesn’t mean your altruistic qualities are held by those you share with.
  5. Path of Least Resistance: A happy trail right into the woods.  The part of the mountain without the boulders and stickers all over it to climb.  The open field to cross, as opposed to the woods filled with stickers and thorns.  Don’t you take that path, as others will take it also.

Most will not be thinking outside of the box.  Most will see you and yours in a grid down/SHTF situation as their opportunity.  They will see your belongings as theirs.  For the greatest example of this, see the movie “The Time of the Wolf.”  The first five minutes of the movie tells it all…what happens to the family that packed it all up in a disaster (unspecified) and went to their retreat…that scenario is the “real deal.”  The movie is in French with English subtitles…adding to the horror of the situation.

The bottom line: you can’t expect to survive the disaster…and the mob that makes it through the “first gate” after the initial pandemonium…unless you think and do things differently from them.  Make no mistake about it: the time to prep is far from over.  You cannot trust your future and the welfare of your family in the hands of those who can enmesh us into a world war, and then…on your taxpayer dime…be whisked away to a mountain fortress replete with food, supplies, and an army to defend them.  You only have your wits and the guts to use them.  Stay in that good fight by thinking outside of the box.  JJ out!

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What Can Beginner & Seasoned Preppers Do During The Coronavirus Lockdown?

Boredom has set in for many in the United States, as the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic continues for most. As preppers, our goal should not be to watch others suffer and laugh at their misery because they failed to prepare.  Instead, we should be helping others also prepare so the mass panic of a pandemic will be minimal next time around. And during lockdown is a great time to start.

People are in tough enough situations such as losing their jobs and being forced to close their businesses. Because of the dramatic effect of the sacrifices many have been commanded to make, this situation has had the positive effect of creating more people who want to be prepared for possible catastrophes.

It’s hard to not jump on the bandwagon and tell people “I told you so,” but if you want to be secure in your preparedness, the best thing you can do is help others secure their own preps. If others have food, it’s less likely they’ll be willing to risk severe bodily harm to steal food from you.

So what can new and seasoned preppers do while locked down?

Start by doing an audit of your supplies.  This is completely free and won’t cost you a dime. If you are beginning, you may not have much to check.  If you are not new to prepping, make sure everything is in working order, and the food is still good. Make a list of things you need to add to your gear. Once you have a list of things you would like to add to your supplies, start looking if you have money to spare. If not, start researching what you’ll be paying for those items so you can save up.

Not many anticipated that people would wipe out toilet paper first filling their entire cart with so much that it would take them 5 years to use it all.  Obviously, that money could have been spent on better items, like personal hygiene and healthy foods to boost the immune system.  For those who don’t already have enough toilet paper, it has been a rough few weeks.  But there are other solutions.

Consider getting a bidet.  These are fairly inexpensive and could mean the toilet paper you have stored could be bartered in an emergency.

Please do not flush paper towels and baby wipes! A plumbing problem during a catastrophe like a pandemic could mean you are out the use of your toilet until things subside. If you have a septic tank, it’s terrible for those, and you could damage the sewage system causing more problems that could make your life hell on earth especially during a lockdown.

As you figure out what you need, the next step is to make a budget. Have a set amount that you can spend on preparedness each month.  Make sure you are prepping your finances too, because the economic toll this will take, especially those who own small businesses or who provided services, will be massive. Have an emergency fund with 3-6 months worth of expenses set aside.  Use it only for emergencies.

Lastly, start boosting up your supplies, or for those who already had what they needed before this lockdown arrived, replenish items.  If you used up your peanut butter to avoid going to the grocery store, get more. Here is a list of items currently available that I have recently purchased. Some I used up, others expired, and some are additions or upgrades:

Bulk Peanut Butter (Individual jars are fine, but this is a 9lb tub)

Laundry Detergent

Hydrogen Peroxide

Paracord

Bulk Chia Seeds

Dried Black Beans

Dried Vegetable Soup Mix

Suture Kit (a great book to use a resource is The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way)

An Edible Plant Book

Bulk Toilet Paper (In stock at the time of this writing)

Vaseline

Upgraded Vehicle First Aid Kit

Do your audit and figure out what you might need or want to add.  If you can envision using it, you should add it to your list to acquire. Remember, when it comes to prepping: It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it an not have it.

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RE: Prepology 101

pre·pare
[pr??per]

VERB

  1. make (something) ready for use or consideration.
    “prepare a brief summary of the article”
    synonyms: make ready · get ready · put together · draw up ·

In a recent discussion Commander Zero asked what people did for Paratus this year. Personally I just happened to buy 30 pistol mags, 10 rifle mags and a spare BCG for my AR on that day. Zero asked if I knew something he didn’t. All I knew was that I had money and there was a pretty good sale. I don’t need those magazines today. Heck I might never need them, but making purchases like that now, when they are readily available and I have spare cash is insurance against a day when they are rare. 
Our friend Commander Zero did an excellent post recently that bears discussion. We prepare in advance for when bad times come. Even before I was a survivalist the concept that you save (like most kids I worked more in the summer) during the summer to have money during the winter when redneck manual labor jobs are few and far between. The $50 I put away instead of wasting is a couple tanks of gas. 
In terms of preparation we have two big variables resources and time. 
Resources vary to some degree as our lives ebb and flow individually as well as riding the waves of the economy. We have to use resources that are abundant (at least relatively) during the fat times to prepare for the lean times. You can’t very well put a thousand bucks into savings if you are flat broke, 2 months behind on bills and digging through the couch cushions for gas money. That money has to be saved while things are good. 
Time is more problematic because you can’t surge and catch up. Now way to compress a year worth of eating right and PT (or combatives, dry fire, etc) into a month. 
I’m not saying to do anything crazy, just to keep working and making slow consistent progress.
What am I working on?
-Finances. Stashing cash and shiny metals. 
-Fitness. Getting back to where I should be.
-Rounding out gun (and gun related) stuff. Not so much new acquisitions but the little stuff. Some sights for this gun, zero that new scope, buy the expensive belt I really need, etc. 
-Keep organizing systems.
Those things don’t totally occupy my life but they are a slow consistent part. A little money every paycheck and some work when I have time available. Slow and steady. The tortoise beats the hair. 
Time is constant and always limited. The thing is we can’t cheat it. Some things like fitness are slow cooker concepts. Unlike resources (especially if you make a lot) which can be surged to get a lot of stuff done in a short period of time doesn’t work that way. There isn’t a way to cram a year or 5 of eating right, PT, combatives and IDPA into a month. 

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Friday Free Form- Paratus, Glocks, Mags, Economics and Life

Today is Paratus if you celebrate it.

I had a Commander Zero week in terms of guns appearing for prices I just can’t pass up. Without going into details I am planning to stick with Gen 1-3 Glock 9mm’s.

Brownells has Magpul Glock 19 15 round mags 10/$119 which is a smoking deal! I have used them in John Mosbys Clandestine Carry Pistol class and IDPA. They are totally reliable and work just fine. If I recall John said minus one bad mag he liked them.

I also went ahead and ordered a spare complete BCG for  my AR-15. It happened to also be on sale.

The last week has been stupid expensive here. Not a week that can happen often but it went a long way in securing my supply of magazines.

In yesterdays post I hit on some points that merited expansion and repetition.

Economics- It is pretty likely that we will see some sort of economic downturn in the next couple years or so. Might be a good idea to take profits on some stocks that have run and put them elsewhere. Silver and gold are cheap right now. Paying off debt, especially high or variable interest debt, it always a good idea. Cash is pretty handy also.

The biggest thing I was getting at yesterday is that preparedness concerns shouldn’t run your life. In most cases (obviously not a 50th story apartment in Manhattan) you can get quite prepared without major life changes. You should move to a cabin in the woods because you want to live there for the fly fishing or whatever, not just because you are worried about some unlikely event. Live how you want to, with some emergency preparedness insurance, so that if things go more or less normally you won’t be disappointed.

Beyond that I need to schedule a range trip for the next week. Also work on some new goals. Organize some stuff and make a couple of lists.

What have you been up to?

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