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Monthly Archives: September 2015

How Folks With Disabilities Should Prepare

Disability Preparedness

Preparation and planning should be part of everyone’s common sense lifestyle. A natural or man-induced emergency can happen at any time. More likely sooner than later.

Wheelchair Bugout

Wheelchair Bugout

If you and your family members are healthy and able-bodied, the prep and planning is difficult enough. But if you or someone in your household is burdened by any kind of disability, the task becomes much harder. There are many additional considerations and concerns to deal with.

Folks with disabilities may need to focus more diligently on their medications, prescribed medical equipment, specialized mobility devices, and even trained service animals. A lot of work.

The following is a short outline that may help in planning for your, or a relative’s, safer transition to safety in an emergency.

Bugging In May Be Your Best Bet

Many preppers are set to bug-in during less severe events, but are also ready to bug out if there is a total collapse or an event that warrants getting out of their home or the city. Unfortunately, this might not be an option for you if you or a loved one is disabled.

The option to bugout will depend on the severity of the disability, the level of preparedness you have achieved in terms of stocking up on medications and equipment, and the type of transportation to which you have access.

If you can get yourself set up for the requirements of the disability in a bugout location and have a way to get there, then you have a definite advantage. If not, the next best option is to have that setup ready at home.

Special Considerations

Medications

FYI, this section applies to anyone taking prescription meds, whether or not they are disabled … be sure to consult with your physician when it comes stockpiling any medications you take.

Make a list of all required medications, the doses, and when/how often to take each one. Keep this list along with copies of any prescriptions you have been given recently and your doctor’s contact information in your BOB [BugOut Bag] …

Pharmacies generally stock three days’ worth of prescription medication (sounds suspiciously like a grocery store, which only stocks three days of food on their shelves) and they are often a primary target for looting.

For this reason, you will have to plan ahead for events that will cause a disruption in the medicine supply chain.

First and foremost, you should always have on hand a minimum of 90- to 180-days’ worth of medications on hand.

This should be enough to get you through most events and should be relatively easy to obtain, particularly if you have a doctor you can trust. Just discuss having an extra supply of meds on hand and be honest with your doctor.

Equipment

Let’s discuss mobility equipment along with all other equipment here. First, let’s talk about mobility equipment. Be sure to:

  • Always maintain the equipment to ensure proper working condition.
  • Have a way to keep all batteries charged if electricity fails. A solar charger is a good option. Just be sure that you have a higher wattage charger or solar panel to ensure you can fully charge your batteries. A low wattage solar charger or panel will only maintain a charge or slow its drain.
  • Have a backup mobility device, if possible (extra canes, walkers, wheelchairs). It is wise to have a non-electric backup, such as a folding wheelchair. This is particularly important if you have to bugout at some point and the vehicle used cannot take a large piece of equipment. A folding wheelchair and similar folding equipment can fit in the trunk.
  • You should keep spare mobility equipment in a separate out building whenever possible, in case the primary equipment is damaged in some way.

If you need something like oxygen tanks or equipment designed to help with breathing or deliver medication, then like the meds themselves, discuss with your doctor about having an extra supply on hand.

You might not be able to stock up for many months, but even a month or two of extra and a rotation of supplies might keep you good to go for three to six months.

Transportation

It’s also important not to wait until the last minute to evacuate. It would be far better to move grandma to a safe location early on, such as a nice warm hotel room, than be stuck with her and the rest of the family in a lineup of traffic that isn’t moving when everyone else is trying to get out…

The best thing to do is make a plan … You might have a plan in your head and think the bugout will take an hour, only to find it there are kinks in the plan and it takes you four hours. Consider all the scenarios …

Plan, test your plan, alter your plan, and test it again. Repeat this until you have your plan down, you know precisely what you are doing, and it will go off without a hitch.

Prepping with a Service Animal

If you or a disabled loved one has a service animal … It’s much the same as prepping for a pet, except your service animal is so much more important for your own safety and survival …

Since it is a service animal, he or she is already extremely well-trained, but you will need to ensure that training includes what to do in emergency situations, such as:

  • Providing protection
  • Being desensitized to strange noises and smells, such as the sound of gun fire and the smell of smoke
  • Providing additional services, such as pulling carts and carrying packs
  • Helping, rather than endangering you in a survival situation

Source:  For additional details, please review this important and well thought-out article by Karen Hendry in Survival Sullivan. She’s an “an urban prepper and rural wannabe”. And an excellent writer.

Image: Kevin Phillips

Magical Balance: Homesteading In A Modern World

Homesteading: More A Magical Dance

Homesteading in a modern world. Maybe not so much a magical balance as a magical dance. One shoe in the downtown office, the other boot in a blueberry patch. Very odd dance indeed. A dance not taught in any ballroom with patterned-feet spread across the floor.

But maybe there should be some kind of academic course. A program that forces you to learn safe canning one semester and small game skinning the next.

farmer in field on cell phone

Farmer Calling The Modern World

How else do you learn all the skills needed to be a self-sufficient homesteader when the modern world tugs so hard: the mortgage payments, the piles of family laundry next to the Maytag, the daily commute to your windowless workplace?

Well that’s where the balance comes in. Where your perseverance and determination kick in. You decide the what and the when, the what of homesteading and the when of the modern world … and you fit it all together because you want to, you need to. It’s magical.

You feed the chickens, and then you scoop up your daughter’s soccer team. You pay the electric bill with this week’s paycheck, and then cure meat in your home-made smoker. It can be done.

Here is one woman’s balancing act, both the challenges and rewards.

The Challenges

  • Deciding which aspects of homesteading will be useful to learn (and finding information on it).
  • Finding space to do the projects I want.
  • Coming up with the extra money to buy what I cannot build.
  • Finding people locally who have done or are doing what I want.
  • Living in such an isolated location.
  • Trying to integrate and balance things I have learned with the ‘modern world.’
  • Finding the time to put infrastructure into place to start/continue various project.

It is difficult to try and live in both worlds: both take so much time! It isn’t all frustrations, though. There are some things about being a modern homesteader that provide great advantages over doing everything the ‘old way.’ For example, I know how to wash clothes in a bucket but why do it unless you really have to? Learn the skill (because it is more than just tossing clothes in water and agitating them) and gain a new appreciation for it.

The Rewards (that make it all worth it)

  • Lower food bill and higher quality food
  • A mentality that allows me to be more flexible with the unexpected things in life
  • A much higher appreciation for the simplest things in life
  • Connections with new people and networking knowledge
  • Closer relationships with friends and family members. Instead of staring at screens, we are walking around outside picking berries. More meaningful interactions.
  • A deeper sense of belonging and my place in this world. Everyone chooses whether they are part of the natural world or above it (even though we are all part of it).
  • Freedom from the feeling that what I have isn’t ‘good enough.’
  • Having the rose-colored glasses removed and seeing the world through clearer eyes (both scary and wonderful at the same time).
  • Having far more control over our food!

It’s not easy to really pinpoint any one thing that makes it hard to try and live in both worlds. They are so far apart from each other not only in terms of time needed, but also in viewpoints of the world and your place in it.

But it can be done.

Source: The ever-practical and always hands-on Homestead Dreamer is methodically moving toward her dream of self-sufficiency.

Image: Håkon Fossmark From Stavanger,Norge

James Wesley Rawles Announces New Book

Land Of Promise

On this week’s Prepper Recon Podcast former military intelligence officer, James Wesley Rawles, announces his new book, Land of Promise.

Rawles, author of the Survival Blog, is probably responsible for the “prepper fiction” genre with his Patriot book series. And his ten years of survival articles places him at the forefront of preparedness.

assorted coins

The Value Of Nickels

In this Part 1 of a two-part interview, Rawles discusses the precarious global economy. He also offers some great prepper insights including:

  • How different markets work … and don’t work
  • Why you should hedge towards tangibles (silver, for example)
  • How much cash you should have on-hand, and where to keep it
  • Why a nickel is worth 8 cents
  • Poor man’s gold, poor man’s silver
  • Why you should “panic now and avoid the rush”
  • The importance of hard copies of manuals, recipes, and survival guides

Watch The Video Below

Listen and learn (or be reminded):

 

Part 2 of the interview is available next week.

Image: Diana Caballero

How Far Can You Carry Your Bug Out Pack

How Far Is Far?

This may be an unpleasant topic for some … but it shouldn’t be. If you’re planning for a SHTF scenario, you must consider just how far you can carry your bug out pack. How far on day one, on day five, on day “however long you need to”.

hikers on mountain

Carry Your Pack How Far?

Is that two miles (where does that get you?), or fifteen? Are you by yourself, or do you have family members with you, including sons and/or daughters and older parents? What are they carrying? How far can they go? How much water do you need, and how do you carry it …

There are at least six considerations that determine the “how far”:

  • The time of year and where you live now
  • Your footwear
  • How fit you (and your family) are
  • Your “We can’t take that with us” resolve
  • Nighttime security knowledge, and
  • Navigation skills

6 Considerations

1) The Season: I’m here to tell you that if you live anywhere, and I mean anywhere that significant snow falls, unless you have snow shoes and a sled you’re going to be A:  taking more than you would, say, in a warmer southern environment that has typically mild 30 degree “cold” nights and B: not going very far each day, or at all (depending on snow fall), you can count on that.

Now you’ve got the problem of wet clothing, getting it dry when you stop, setting up in very cold conditions and brother, let me tell you, you better know how to stay warm and keep the family warm!

2) Your Footwear: Have to be sturdy and good quality, as well as well-broken in. Goretex helps, so does sno-sealing leather (not suede) boots for keeping you dry. That means wearing them…a lot…preferably doing ruck walks.

You’ll find that during your ruck walks, the additional weight of up to half your body weight of defensive equipment, ruck, and water, you may well be attempting to carry 60% of your own weight.

The additional weight takes quite a toll on your feet, no matter how good the footwear happens to be. Read that to mean blisters and more blisters. Got good socks, about 6 pair per person?

3) Your Fitness Level: You’re not going to walk far, let alone if you have a spouse and children, without you and they being very, very fit. Some folks will say they have packs for everyone in their family. Great! How much can they carry? It’s size, strength and fitness level dependent …

If you’re serious about doing the ‘getting out on foot if we have to’ thing, you might want to start a serious PT regimen that includes strength, aerobic, and stamina exercises (meaning long walks with heavy packs for time (shoot for 17 minutes a mile) that eventually end up being 10 or more miles long.

Medical limitations come into play here, big time. Do you have at least 3 to 6 months of prescription meds you or others in your family are on available? Do they need refrigeration? What’s the backup plan on that?

4) Your ability to leave behind ‘snivel gear’. A tent? What for? All you need is a tarp shelter.   Keep the wind and rain off of you and the family. You’ll be fine. Tents are also very, very bad in regards to letting you see what’s around you.

Once inside, you’re blind. Think about that in relation to ‘marauders’ happening on your nice tent that holds your wife and children.

It’s not going to be big enough to put all your packs in, so they’ll be outside, ready to be loaded up by the marauders after they finish with you (that means you’re dead) and your family.

You don’t need pots and pans; you need a canteen cup (and possibly a lid). One per two people is fine …

5) Basic knowledge of security requirements for your night time or temporary, ‘lay up’. This means cover, concealment, site selection (where someone wouldn’t look), and finally, weapon use.

Getting in and out without leaving sign that you’re there. Got a 10X monocular or small set of binoculars? They come in mighty handy when checking a potential site out.

6) Navigation capability. Know how to read a map? Topographical or otherwise? Know how to follow a compass heading and account for local declination? GPS units are great; I have a couple. Don’t count on them if SHTF.

So your back up is good old fashioned map and compass navigation. Take a class. Really.

Have you selected at least 3 routes out of your present location and know how to change from one route to another if the one you’re taking is, for whatever reason, impassible?

Source:  Additional details and other important considerations are found on The Defensive Training Group site, a great resource. The info on toilet paper is great (really!).

Image: Skeeze

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