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4 things you might not have thought about when prepping your home for a disaster

Editors note: Please welcome H. Davis to the site. H. Davis enjoys exploring the outdoors and loves reading up on new ways to prep his home (and car) for disasters. If you can’t find him online, you might be able to catch him at the gym or watching sports (Go, Broncos!). Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241

According to Eastern Kentucky University, an average of 139 million people are affected by natural disasters annually, and that number continues to grow given how unpredictable mother nature is. Disaster like earthquakes, hurricanes, and violent rotating columns of air we call tornadoes can rip a home to pieces in a matter of minutes.

That’s why it’s important to take necessary steps toward reducing your risk of injury by protecting your home. In return, you and your family will be safer, and your home will be ready to withstand the fight against those harsh weather conditions. Here are some steps to get started:

Create a Digital Cloud:

When the time comes to evacuate your home, there’s a good chance you might forget your computer along with your portable hard drive, which means the pictures you’ve captured over the years might never be seen again. To make matters worse, those important documents that contain financial information and social security records are also at risk of never being seen again – depending on the disaster. One way to ensure that you don’t risk losing any of your valuable documents is by storing copies of them on a cloud.

With that being said, if you are relying on the cloud, making sure you have some sort of digital home inventory is vital. Storing information on a cloud also gives you access to photos, videos, and other documents you might need for your insurance claim. As an added bonus, the cloud can be used as a communication tool as well. How? Well, some cloud software – like UCView and Enplug – comes equipped with digital signage – a critical response tool used for mass communication during emergency situations. This means users can contact someone if they’re stuck in the house, or to let close relatives know that they’re somewhere safe.
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Bugging out – Categories of 3

Bugging out represents a major disaster scenario, especially for me. I’d much rather bug in and “ride the disaster out” at home if at all possible. But I also understand not having plans for bugging out is a recipe for disaster. So I have created plans in the unfortunate event that I have to leave my home.

I have written several articles on the importance of having plans for bugging out. (There are links to those articles at the bottom of this page.) In the event of a disaster scenario, having bug out plans in place will help you to remain calm, and will make the whole process much more manageable. Let’s face it, if you are bugging out, it mean you are in a potential dangerous situation.

Part of my bug out plans involve where I am bugging out to, my intended bug out route, bug out communication plans, etc. I also have the items, equipment, gear, etc that I intend to take with me when bugging out. In a perfect world, all of that would go with me.

But we don’t live in a perfect world. And emergencies will NOT happen the way we plan.

I realize that an emergency situation could happen in which I would not be able to take all of the things with me that I wanted or planned. So I prioritized what I was grabbing, and what I was going to have to leave behind in the event that I have to bug out. I did this by breaking down my bug out items into 3 categories. I called this my Categories of 3s.

3 Seconds

The first category, as the name implies, is what I could take with me when I have to leave IMMEDIATELY! What can I grab in 3 seconds as I’m running out the door. I would not have time to grab my preps and gear. Instead I have to grab myself and my family and go! But I don’t want to leave empty-handed. So I include items from my EDC in this category.

Situations like a house fire, earthquake, etc come to mind. In this situation, I am running out the door with the clothing on my back and my EDC. (Click the link for more info on my EDC.) This could also include situations where I would have to bug out from work or some other location, and not be able to go home.

When developing my 3 Second plan, I first looked at what I would most likely be doing if I were at home and had to bug out. Let’s face it, we spend a majority of our time at home in bed asleep. (Americans average around 7 hours of sleep a night. That comes out to 2555 hours a year, or over 106 days a year in bed asleep!) So the probability of me being in bed and/or asleep if things go south while at home is high.
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4 Essential sleep tips during SHTF

Editor’s note: Please welcome Will M. to Planandprepared.com. William enjoys learning how health affects our bodies during tough conditions. This subject has been an interest of his since he was a little boy. In his free time, you will find him camping and reading non-fiction books.

The work of a prepper is never done. You always have to be focused on the idea that the world as we know it might end in a split second. You always have to make sure the BOB (Bug Out Bag) is properly stocked, the survival bunker has everything you may need in an emergency, and that, in the case of an apocalyptic event, you and your family will be able to get out-of-town safe and unharmed.

This takes constant effort, but it’s not just about the tools and items you may need. It’s also about the skills you have and the ones you should have so the learning process must be well-defined in your life. Not to mention that you have to carry on with your regular life as well!

With such a busy schedule, do you find time to get some shut-eye? Most people I know in this niche are a bit indifferent when it comes to sleep. The old saying ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ comes to mind many times. Still, according to specialists, sleep-deprived people expose themselves to a bunch of health and hazard risks that are not worth the extra hours of work you get in return.

During a SFTH situation, your health (for both the mind and the body) will be very important because medical service and needed medical supplies and medicine may not be accessible. Of course, you should have a very well-stocked first aid kit in your survival kit. It’s better to prevent illness and injury than to treat it.

Now, if we imagine a hypothetical scenario where the world is struggling to function without any of the known structures, without civilization, divided into factions and fighting for survival, it’s easy to understand the level of stress that dominates everyone.  So, if you can’t sleep now because you’re too busy, how will you sleep then?  Especially when it will seem almost impossible to get some shut-eye?

To get some pertinent information, I did some research among the people who had to accommodate to the war-zone lifestyle (soldiers, Marines, and other veterans). They all described a scenario similar to a survival situation. They passed on several useful tricks that will keep you healthy and rested even through an SHTF situation.
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Top 7 “Prepper” gifts for non-preppers

Chances are that as a prepper, you most likely have those family members or friends that you love and care about who are not completely on board with the idea of being prepared. Maybe they see preppers as “kooky”. Or maybe they just choose to live their life with their head buried in the sand, thinking nothing will ever happen to them. Whatever the reason, they are still a part of your life. So maybe you “prep” for them.

That’s what I did. I had a girlfriend who was a non-prepper. I built her a little “Go bag” and told her to keep it in her car trunk “just in case.” A month later, she used her bag during a tornado. After that, the “light went on” in her head so to speak. It had a big impact on her life, and she is now doing things to be more prepared.

Fortunately, she was receptive to the idea of having the bag. I prepped for her should the unfortunate happen, and it paid off. So maybe you would like to do the same for those people in your life.

But what if you have family/friends that are not as receptive as my girlfriend was? They may not like the idea of prepping, and any sort of “prepper” gift from you will be met with an eye roll and the obligatory “fake smile.”

Or maybe they just don’t know about prepping, and you are not sure how to bring it up. Either way, holiday gift giving might the perfect time to “prep for them”.

I tend to use holidays and birthdays as a way of helping to prepare the “non preppers” in my life. There are gifts out there that you can give them that will help them be more prepared should SHTF, but without having the “prepper stigma” they might attach to it.

I have given each of the following items below as gifts:
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6 things to consider when buying a rifle optic

From time to time I get emails asking about rifle optics. It’s a great question I enjoy discussing. To answer that question, there are several different factors that need to go into the decision-making process. I thought I’d take a look 6 factors that you need to consider when purchasing an optic for your rifle.

1. What type of rifle do you have? What’s the purpose of the rifle?

Because there are so many rifles out there that can serve multiple functions, you need to decide what the primary purpose of your rifle is. Is it for hunting? For self-defense? Truck gun?

Having the right optic on the right rifle for the right mission will be critical. A 1x reflex site won’t be very effective for hunting. Hence you won’t ever see one on a bolt-action rifle. On the flip side, a 3×15 scope is not your best choice for home defense and close quarter combat situations (CQB). Once you decide what your rifle’s primary function will be, then deciding what sort of optic you need becomes easier.

2. What reticle is right for you?

There are a wide range of reticles on the market these days. So when shopping for an optic, you should think about what reticle will best serve your needs.

Optics have grown from simple crosshairs to much more complex designs to meet user demands. Some optics will still have fairly simple patterns. Others offer more complex options to help with windage and elevation. Some of the higher end optics will have reticles that will aid with things such as bullet drop. (See video below)

You’ll need to consider whether you want hash marks for holdover or illumination in your reticle as well. A lot of this comes down to personal preference. So certainly review and test the various reticles on the market. Find the one you like and fits your needs before dropping your hard-earned cash on an optic.
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6 everyday things you can do to stay prepared

When it comes to being prepared, you will find so many great articles on things like bugging out, food and water storage, 72 hour kits, etc. All of it is very pertinent information. But often times, I see the little, everyday things that people can do to be more prepared get overlooked. While these things may not be as “sexy” as bug out bags and ammo storage, they can be just as crucial (if not more so).

So with that in mind, here are 6 things you can do every day to make you more prepared.

Always keep your phone charged.

In my 8 Lessons Learned from Disaster article, I mentioned an officer whose battery died while working in Moore, Oklahoma after a tornado, and was unable to communicate with anyone.

Imagine if you are caught in a quickly developing emergency, and your primary source of communication and up to the minute information is dying because your battery is not charged. Not smart!

Having knowledge about what is going on around you is vital to your ability to survive a disaster. Being able to communicate is equally important. With today’s technology, a smart phone allows you to do both.

When a tornado recently hit my area, I used my cell phone to live stream the weather, and to text my family to keep them apprised of the situation. During that storm, my phone battery had plenty of life in it should I have had to make a speedy exit. I stayed up to the minute with news and information during the entire storm.

Not only do I keep my cell phone charged, I have several ways of ensuring it stays charged. I keep a car charger in my truck and an extra wall charger in my EDC bag. I also have a Goal Zero solar panel charger and a hand crank emergency radio that will charge cell phones.

With today’s smart phones, a lot of the old myths about battery life no longer apply. You no longer need to let batteries drain all the way to zero before charging them. In fact, experts now say that if you let your lithium-ion batteries continually drain to 0%, they could become unstable.
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Preparedness tips from a veteran police officer
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