Chance favors the prepared!

Guest Post

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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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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The Three Best Ways to Feed Yourself in a Survival Scenario: Hint – It’s Not By Hunting

PlanandPrepared.com welcomes Ben Ayad to the site. Ben is an IT project manager and founder of a newbie blog called outdoorstime.com. Ben loves outdoors activities and the nature that God has created, as any human being does. He shares what he knows about outdoors and the passion of other outdoors’ lovers who pride themselves in living off the land for extended periods of time in wilderness settings across the US.

Stockpiling food will not do you any good if you are forced away from your home in sudden SHTF situation. So you better have thought of other ways to provide food for you and your party.

Many people assume that in the case of a natural disaster, all-out war or rampant spread of disease that they will just get their gun and automatically turn into good hunters to provide for themselves. For some that is true but for the majority of others it’s not realistic and there are better ways of providing for you and the other survivors in your group.

Why is a not a good idea to assume you can provide for yourself by hunting? First of all it’s not easy even for experienced hunters to consistently bag game. Also, in a SHTF situation the game may become just as scarce as people. Not only that but you will probably not have a limitless supply of ammo for your firearm and you may need it for personal security.

So how do you provide for the sustenance of your group members? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Foraging

One of the quickest ways to gather food in a survival scenario is by foraging. Mother Nature does a nice job of providing you with an abundance of food just about any place you go or get stranded.
Foraging fruits and vegetables may not be as tasty and filling as a big slab of venison cooked up just right but it’s healthy for you and there is plenty of stuff around if you know where to look.

The big problem with foraging is knowing where to look for food. Even when you think it’s not there it usually is. Sure some foods will jump out at you like vegetables that you see growing and fruit’ hanging on trees but a lot of edible stuff is much less obvious. That is why you need to educate yourself in order to survive better in a SHTF scenario.

How to better educate yourself about foraging?

You may not want to put the effort into this but quite frankly the only way you will be able to find the abundance of not so obvious food sources that are out there is to educate yourself. If nothing else, at least take the time to throw a paperback book on identifying food sources into your survival preparedness pack.
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6 Things You Should Throw in Your BOV’s Trunk When Bugging Out

One of the things less talked about in bug out scenarios is the things you will take with you. For some reason, many don’t put a lot of thought into this, even though leaving one’s valuables behind is hard to understand.

Sure, when you need to evacuate, you’ll have plenty of other things to worry about… but the things you pack with you should also be a priority.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about your bug out vehicle’s supplies that are there every day. I’m referring to the things you can throw into the extra space left in your trunk (or on the backseat), at the moment of evacuation (if there’s time, of course).

So, right now you may have items such as water, a flashlight and jumper cables, but, as you’re about to see, the things in the list below are well worth packing when the big one hits. Again, if there’s time, as speed is of the essence when bugging out.

#1. Documents (in Original)

Ok, so you probably have copies of your birth certificate and other documents stored on your phone and printed and laminated in your BOB, but what about the originals? These will still be more important than the copies you have, so taking them with you is important. You can’t keep them inside your car at all times, of course, which is why they have to be one of the first things you grab and throw in your BOV as you’re about to leave.

For more information on what type of documents you need, click the link here!

#2. Your Portable Garden

What’s a portable garden, you may ask? It sounds fancy but it’s nothing more than a collection of pots where you grow veggies such as potatoes and tomatoes. These are great because you can move them around in an emergency so, if you have to bug in, you can bring them inside.
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4 reasons you’re better prepared when you know archery

Editor’s note: Please welcome Dave from the archery site Targetcrazy.com. Dave has generously contributed an article on why skill with archery and bows should be a part of your preps!

James has kindly let me guest post on his site because I’d like to get you to think about archery. I love the sport and have since is was young, but even though the bow has been surpassed in many respects by the firearm, I think there are still a few compelling reasons to consider learning the skill and keeping a bow around your home.

Strength and Focus of Mind

Practicing archery requires a measure of physical strength. After all, even though the bow does a lot of the work, the bow gets its force from the draw of the archer. Draw weights in modern hunting bows can range up to 60 lbs. and a recurve bow requires you to HOLD that amount of force and aim. With no strength that is an impossible task.

You can certainly get a lighter draw weight bow, modern recurves such as the Samick Sage (click link for more details) come in a wide range of draw weights from 25lbs upto 60lbs and that weight can be changed by simply swapping out the limbs of the bow, but remember a lighter draw gives a less powerful shot.

In order to really develop skill as an archer requires training and strength in your back, arms and core. Couple strength with focus under the strain of aiming and you’ll see why an archer also needs a solid ability to tune out everything going on around him or her and really focus on a shot.

Neither of those skills, strength and focus of mind are a bad thing to have in your arsenal!
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Quick Tips to Survive these 4 Emergencies

Plenty of articles talk about how to make large supplies and other preparations for various emergencies. In what follows, I want to take a different approach: I’m going to give you nothing but quick, down-to-earth tips of what to do and what not to do when these 4 disasters strike.

Keep in mind that, although the advice itself sounds simple, taking action on it when everyone around you is panicking will be a huge challenge.

Surviving a Riot

We’ve all seen numerous riots spark in the United States as well as in Europe. Here’s some quick tips on what to do should you get trapped in social unrest:

  • Never move in the opposite direction of the rioters. You will stand out and they might pick you as a target, possibly dragging you along.
  • If you see tear gas, run as fast as possible. Everyone else will. Tear gas will make you throw up and impair your vision, maybe even get you arrested once after the cops handcuff you and put you to the ground.
  • Avoid wearing camo clothes, black hoodies and bandanas. Law enforcement might think you’re one of the rioters.
  • If you can’t find a way out, try to find a building to take cover in until everything calms down.
  • Walk instead of run.

Editor’s note: If you can avoid the area altogether, that might be your wisest course of action. Peaceful protesting is your right. But too many times in recent history we have seen protests and demonstrations turn violent. I would urge you to think long and hard before heading off to what could become a potential riot or chaotic situation.
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