New to Prepping?
As I write this, Mother’s day almost here. And I thought what better time than to dive in and see what sort of preparedness gifts your mother might really love. (Or need.) So I asked my mother what sort of preparedness gifts she would want, and she sent me a list.
And even if it isn’t close to Mother’s day when you read this, these are still some great gift ideas for the mother in your life. Be it birthdays or holidays, here are some items she will find quite handy! They are “Mother approved!”
Solar Cooking for Home & Camping – a great cook book if you own a solar oven, box, or panel cooker. This book has all sorts of wonderful recipes; everything from side dishes and snacks, to soups and stews. It includes chilies, fish and seafood, casseroles, pasta, and baked goods. In addition to the recipes, it also contains instructions on building your own solar oven.
Summer is just around the corner. So for millions of Americans that means the beginning of “Beach” season. Whether they are headed to a lake, the ocean, or even a river, people love the water. It is a great vacation destination.
Though you might be on vacation, your preparedness should not be. The CDC reports over 3400 people a year drown in the US. Nine out of ten of those victims drown in inland waters, and had access to a flotation device but did not wear it. Why? A lack or preparedness and a lack of the use of safety equipment…..ie a life jacket.
Water Safety Equipment
There are 5 different types of flotation devices, with Type III life jacket being the most commonly worn. For simple outings on the water, where it is calm, these jackets do the trick. One thing to keep in mind is that they lack the ability to turn an unconscious person face up.
For longer outings in deeper waters, a Type I jacket is what I recommend. It can maintain buoyancy for much longer periods of time, and it will keep an unconscious person face up, preventing them from drowning.
Another device I would recommend for those on large bodies of water, (like an ocean), for long periods of time is an Aqualink Firefly. A waterproof strobe light that could help rescuers find you, especially at night. They also make one that sends out a radio distress beacon that can help rescuers pinpoint your location within a couple hundred meters.
Water Safety Skills and Knowledge
Your ability as a swimmer is one skill that many people either never consider, or vastly overestimate. Swimming in your backyard pool is not the same as emergency swimming at a lake or in the ocean. Your body will tire and fatigue much sooner than you think. So developing your swimming skill can be vitally important.
When it comes to prepping, I see so many get caught up in TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) scenarios. It is a popular topic amongst the “prepared”. But I don’t see near the number of topics toward natural disasters. Why? We are FAR more likely to experience a tornado or hurricane than an EMP attack.
Being prepared for those should just as important if not more so.
With all of the natural disasters in the news lately, I thought I would take some time to give an overview of five natural disasters, ie what they are, and ways that you can be prepared for them.
Watch vs Warning
If you have ever watched the weather on your news channel, you may have heard mention of a “storm watch” or a “storm warning” and wondered what the difference was. So before we jump into the disasters, I wanted make you aware of what a “Watch” is versus a “Warning.”
A watch, be it for a tornado, hurricane, or flood, means that the weather conditions are favorable for that type of activity. It has not started yet, and it may not even start. But you should be prepared to take precautions should the situation warrant.
A warning means that the expected disaster is expected, imminent, or may have already begun. Precautions should be taken IMMEDIATELY!
A watch means it MIGHT happen. A warning means it WILL OR IS ALREADY happening. Also keep in mind that a disaster can go from a “watch” to a “warning” in the blink of an eye. The tornado that hit Moore in May 2013 went from a “watch” to the destruction of the city in less than 15 minutes. So stay alert and informed!
Her initial question was:
I recently just bought a new pistol. I’ve shot it some and it’s a lot of fun. What sort of training do you recommend? – Prepper Pam
This was my response:
Congratulations! It is always fun when you purchase a new gun. I’m always excited when I shoot that very first round through it.
When it comes to firearms training, I would say train as often as you can. Make time if you have to. And not just range time. At home, I would practice (with your firearm unloaded of course) things like drawing it from where you carry it, (purse, concealed on hip, etc), sight alignment, trigger pull, etc. If your pistol has a safety, I would practice switching it off while drawing it. Practice those things all in conjunction.
Doctor Richard Schmidt wrote a book called Performance and Motor Control And Learning. In it, he states that it takes around 300-500 repetitions to develop a new motor pattern. However, once a bad or inadequate habit is already in place, it takes about 3,000-5,000 repetitions to erase and correct that bad motor pattern. (So train right the first time.)
When you go to the range, vary the length of your target from yourself. Shoot at 5 yards, 10 yards, and 15 yards for example. (Much longer ranges with a long gun of course.) Don’t lock yourself in to the same distance from your target every time.
As your experience grows, change things up. Give yourself time limits, ie 3 shots center mass from a holstered position in 3 seconds. Try to put a bit of pressure on yourself. If you ever find yourself in a life or death situation, your physiological reactions to the stressful event can alter the way you shoot, ie elevated heart rate, tunnel vision, etc. So putting a little bit of stress on your body now will begin to prepare you should that ever happen.
When you hear the word “Security” what word pops in your head? For some, they may think Paul Blart, Mall Cop. Others may think about the excruciatingly long lines at the airport. For preppers, I bet firearms are what spring to mind.
Nothing better than a Remington 870 shotgun for home security right?
While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with those answers, very few stop to think about security as a whole. There is more to a security plan than just a 12 gauge shotgun or Glock. Whether it is your home, your homestead, or a large company, security has three parts or stages. Each subsequent stage is predicated upon the previous stage.
When it comes to questionable or even illicit behavior, most humans tend to look at the risk versus reward aspects of their actions. Are the potential payoffs worth the possible hassles, headaches, and trouble?
All but the most psychologically warped individuals will try to weigh those factors in their heads before determining a course of action. The less the perceived reward, or the greater the risk for the bad guy, then the less the chance of bad guy(s) attempting to breach your security. That makes this the most important element of the three.
Why is deterrence the most important? Because if you can deter the bad guys, then you won’t need to rely on the other two elements.
If you are like me, you probably have people in your life that you love and care for who are not “prepared”. Either they do not believe in it, or they simply don’t do it. But for a multitude of reasons, you cannot simply write them out of your life. It might be a spouse, or a sister, or an adult child. So in some ways, maybe you are like me and prep for them “on the side”.
I have a girlfriend who seemingly understands the importance of being prepared for an emergency or disaster, but just cannot put it into practice. (I’m teaching her…so that’s a start.)
I decided, over the past year or two, that she and her son would be a part of my plans should we have a disaster, big or small. I began helping her become more prepared. In some ways, I started prepping for her.
When we sometimes go grocery shopping together, I have her buy a few extra cans of food, and a gallon of water. At the moment she has a 2-3 day supply of food and water. She also has an incredibly warm Teton sleeping bag. I gave her a hand cranked flashlight. As I mentioned in a previous article, for a beginner that’s a good start.
But I knew a good start wasn’t enough. If she was to be a part of my “long term” plans, I knew that I would have to help keep her going.
Began with a Plan
To start off with, the girlfriend and I sat down for a few minutes. We came up with a plan should she find herself in an emergency situation. If the situation was bad enough that calling 911 would be pointless, I told her the plan was simple, she and her son were to come to my house. (We also discussed a few different routes to take.) I have more than enough supplies to take care of her and her son, so if she could drive, she was not to worry about packing food or water.
I told her to grab warm, rugged clothing/blankets for her and her son. I have enough of everything else. But petite women’s’ clothing or clothing for a small child I do not have.