Survivalism: The Perfect Prepper House?

Guest article, by ‘NRP’…

Inside: The latest articles from the prepper/survivalist world

First a small introduction, I have been in the construction industry for well over 40 years, I’m a 4th generation “construction-dude”, and currently am working at a very successful company as Senior Estimator and Project Manager. I have personally/physically built my own homes (4 in total) over the past few decades and am now considering a 5th somewhere in “BFE” as it has been said. I also have been a “prepper” as far back as I can remember, even though it was not called that. I fully consider Prepping as a life-style and to be honest I would not have it any other way. I want to say that I’m not worried about a lot of what some fear mongering Blogs portray. As someone a LOT smarter than I once said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself”, if you prepare, then that’s all you can really do.

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Emotions, Ups and Downs; Yes you’ll be so dang excited about building a house/home you won’t sleep for weeks on end, THEN about 1 month into construction you’ll start saying “What the H#ll were we thinking?” I have seen it over and over again. Again, not to worry as long as you realize it WILL happen. And seriously I have seen way too many Divorces because of a home being built, NOT good; most importantly, plan, plan, plan and realize the “end game” you’re looking for in your new home.
Ok, on to the Nuts and Bolts.

First, Location, Location, Location. Yes I said it 3 times; location is one of the most important things in building your home. There are a LOT of things to take into consideration in choosing “where”. Are you retired, are you healthy, do you need to be close to a town/schools/hospital/… Do you need others to be close around for social/emergencies/home-help/… Or do you want/need to be 200 miles from the nearest light source? Do you want to be in the mountains, desert, wetlands, 10 feet of snow, and so on. Do you need to continue to work? Are you able to work the land (farming)? Do you feel you need to repel 500 Zombies? Can you relocate 2000 miles to pursue your “home”, do you have children you need to consider, other family?

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Finding the “perfect location” is all a matter of choice, my “location” may/probably would not be yours. Take time; look around, other states/countries. I know that my own search will take years, so at the age of 62, I’m already looking for that “retirement place”. Everyone wants that “perfect hunk of dirt” it IS out there, it may take you time to find it, but when you do, you will know.

Next, Utilities; now I’m going to have a lot of feedback on this, but my feeling is if you can hook to “power”, then do so. Solar is GREAT, do not misunderstand my thinking, and so is the idea of “I’m off-grid”, but I like the idea of having virtually unlimited power in my home (think 300-400 Amp service, big shop/garage, ‘guy thing’). I will be installing a Solar Battery-backup Grid-Tied System in my home. Why? Because I can “sell” the power back at 80% of what I pay for it, basically meaning I would have free use of the “Company’s” availability. And the fact if/when the grid goes down, ohhhhh well, I have my system in place.
I also feel the same with Water, if I can hook to a municipality great, again I will have a well/storage backup that will last a long time, if needed.
Sewer; Not where I plan on going, a Septic System is cheap to install.
Internet, Radios, Phone, TV, that’s all wireless or satellite now. I do like the idea of having a good Ham System set up for those “after days”.

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Lastly, Propane I love the long life of Propane, I hate buying it, but again this is a “home” not a 200’ underground bunker beneath Cheyenne Mountain. Make sure your thinking includes wood-stoves in your plans; I will go more into that in a later article.
Lastly for this segment, please check all of the Laws concerning construction, talk to the Building Dept., talk to the local EPA of local hazards (land-fills, underground water regulations and so forth), find the local sheriff and check on Gun Laws (and other laws) and ask him on his views. Go to the local Church, talk to neighbors and check on food-bank usage (ideas on number of homeless or poor in the area). Find out where the local airport is and their air patterns (a 747 flying overhead is quite the distraction). Also visit the proposed site/land a LOT of times during your visit, walk the land, get a feel for the soil, trust your “gut” and how you feel when there. Honestly, if you don’t get that “warm fuzzy” feeling when you visit the land, move on.
The next few articles will be more concerning the actual design and needs you may want in your/my home. Please feel free to comment, all ideas are welcome.


Ideas, Plans & Builders
First let me thank all of you for the nice reception of the first article. That’s one of the reasons I do like Ken’s Blog and the people that visit/comment. You always seem to have a positive outlook and are well informed.
So; “on with the show”…

It was not my intention to include this topic in my article, but a lot of comments on the first segment warranted this. With so much going on, read the news, I wanted to touch on this a little. Please remember these are my thoughts and not the “rule of law” or if you’re building the “survivalist bunker” 300’ underground.
I know a lot of you think of a house/home as an impenetrable structure, NOT so, I will guarantee there is not a building anywhere that someone with extended experience and a little time cannot get into. 99.99% of the homes, even most “survivalist homes”, will not withstand a 50CAL-AP, 400 invading “golden-hoard-Zombies”, a pound of C-4, or a well determined 40MM mortar round. Plus given a little time even an old-fart like me could either burn or wait you out. Point is building a “prepper” home is not about (in my opinion) being bullet proof, bomb proof, or anything proof, secure yes, impenetrable no.

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It’s more about functionality and redundancies. Can it operate 100% off grid? Can it survive an Arctic Winter, a summer in the Sahara Desert, a Hurricane, or a collapsed economy and a 2 year long absence of outside “stuff”? What do you need/want your home to be, a concrete hole 300 feet underground or a place to actually live your life and enjoy what little life we have? Personally I want that view of the mountains and that lake knowing I can last that one more week/month/year on what I have. Do I want it to hold out that crack-head or a couple of thieves? Sure I do, but nothing will survive an ICBM at 300 feet overhead……JMHO.

Like any project there will be hundreds and hundreds of Ideas that have to be thought out, considered, modified, and/or tossed out. My suggestion when first considering a project of this magnitude is buying several 8.5X11 scratch/drafting pads and start writing everything down, and I do mean everything, from what type/color of roof you like to the placement of the kitchen sink. Make sketches and notes, what size you want the bed-rooms, how many bath-rooms, rough layout of the house, if you want a basement, it goes on and on. Reasoning for this exercise? You will be so overwhelmed at some point these “notes” will come in very very handy.
With this is mind, here are a few of my “ideas” for the NRP retirement home. Please remember this is a “Prepper’s” home, not a Survivalist Nuclear Resistant Bunker.

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1. No steps -I’m getting old and HATE steps. Getting to the basement might be a challenge
2. Metal “Standing Seam Roof”, great for rain water catchment and very wind resistant, 120 MPH minimal. Also most SSR’s are warranted for 30-40 years. Additionally I always take the “Code Roof Load”/Snow recommended load and double it for the support structure. I like a STRONG roof.
3. Framing will be a hybrid of Steel Structure and Metal Stud. I know some like “Concrete Walls” I will address that in a later article.
4. Exterior finishes, Depending on area of the home and esthetics I’m leaning towards a good thick Stucco or Brick/Block; both are somewhat fire resistant and are rather maintenance free. (Think Wild-fires)
5. Interior will probably be good old Drywall. It’s cheap, I would rather put money else places that need it. I will say that within the building/home I will be installing several sheets of “Level 5 Bullet Proofing” or Concrete Walls and very strong steel doors, A “safe room” if you want.
6. I suggest a full Basement, ½ will be “secret” with three hidden entrances, first a “drop hatch” from the safe-room, second a hidden entrance from the “other” basement, third an outside escape (tunnel) to the interior of an “out building” (garage/shed/shop).
7. Electrical and water, each of us has our thoughts, I want a Grid Tied Solar System with Battery Backup, if the land permits it, maybe a wind-generator. Also a water system that can filter out 99.9999% of everything, with a LOT of storage (5000 gallons min.), a well with at least 2 ways of pulling water.
8. Lasts thing I want to mention, Storage, lost and LOTS of storage. Including a “root cellar” accessible from the house and outside. Don’t forget the “security” doors on the outside. Also don’t forget the “hidden” storage for hiding “stuff” if the Feds do come a knocking.

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I could go on for 50 pages of my ideas; the point is you have to make your list of what you need/want. Look around at other houses, commercial-buildings, banks, etc. take pictures and take notes. Check out the net; thousands and thousands of house-plans are around to look at. Everything in your home is something you should choose, not someone else.

I draw my own plans, have for a long time, BUT most people can’t or don’t have the expertise. That’s where an Architect/Engineer comes in. The very first thing in finding an Arch is “can he keep his mouth SHUT!!?” You will be building a home that will have some “stuff” in it that’s “unusual”. Like bullet proofing/safe-room, like an escape tunnel, backups to backups, so-on. You will want to sign a contract that if he says a single word you can toss him in jail for 500 years and own everything he owns, period. There is no reason to be nice about that. Make dang sure he also understands that he will not be welcome if TSHTF. Make sure he understands these things before you present your ideas to him. Can you tell I have had a lot of experience with Arch’s? And yes, mostly good, but…….. OPSEC.
Next part of having plans drawn; present the Arch with exactly what you want, hence all the drawings/notes/photos. He works for you, do NOT let him toss in his ideas and disregard your wants, he should be able to make sure the “code issues” are covered, and the basics, again this is YOUR home, not his, do not let him alter what you’re wanting to build. FYI the Arch will NOT need to visit your home when being built, also write into the contract that he will destroy all of his paperwork regarding your house when the plans are finished.
Remember that the Building Dept. only needs a few things to look at, such as footings, framing, structural, plot plan, Life/Safety items, they do NOT need electrical and plumbing or a lot of other stuff, it’s none of their business. Instruct the Arch to only put on the “permit set” exactly what is needed for a permit and nothing more; then a “full set” for actual construction for you and the contractor. The less the .gov knows the better.

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Ok, now for the hard part, if you build yourself then no problem. But if hiring a general contractor, well, that’s an animal of a different color. You need to talk to every contractor in the book, literally, do your research, and ask to look at his tools (you can tell a lot about a person by the condition of his work tools). You MUST find someone that you can trust. Talk to him at least ten times (yes ten times), if he seems to get aggravated because of that, then move on.
Here is one for you, when talking to him, does he look you in the eyes, or look to the side? Are his hands sweaty when you shake his hand? Does he seem nervous? Judging human nature is difficult at times, but you have got to trust this person.
Again make sure you sign a “keep your mouth shut” contract. Also the “sub-contractors” he uses, make dang sure they understand the same things you beat up on the Arch/Builder about. Side note, if he/they ask for money “up front” walk away, FAST!!!!! I know a few contractors I would not trust with the time of day, let alone my money, in the same breath I know a lot of “good” contractors.

Bug-out (Evacuation) Plan – Ideas For Your Bug-out Task List

There have been tremendous amounts of disaster impacting the United States this past spring.  There have been wildfires in California and Colorado.  There have been severe droughts in the Midwest and Texas.    Oklahoma and Mississippi have been pounded by tornadoes.  A fertilizer plant explosion has level the town of West, Texas.  The Northeast was hit by a nor’easter.   And the plain states had a late winter blizzard.  California has had a very active earthquake cycle.  Hurricane season is just starting.   The need to have a bug-out bag and bug-out plan has been demonstrated by the world’s active cycle of climate change and plate tectonics shifts.  Every family should be ready to leave their home and relocate to a safer location, before or soon after a disaster occurs.  Every part of the United States is vulnerable to a natural or weather disaster.   This article discusses your bug-out plan.   I’ll save discussion about the contents of a bug-out bag to a different article.  A bug-out bag is also called a “72 hour bag” or a “retreat bag”.

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Your bug-out plan is just as important as having a bug out bag.   Few families have a bug out bag.  Fewer families have a bug out plan.   So we’ll discuss what components you might have in your bug-out plan (or bug out task list).  You should obviously customize your bug-out plan to your unique circumstances.  Where you live, what climate exists at your location, the local weather, and map of the local road network should all play into your bug-out planning.   If you have special health care needs, have limits on mobility, or people who reply upon you, these items should also factor into your bug-out plan.  Each member of your family should be evaluated for special consideration in your bug-out plan, based on age, mobility, health, dietary requirements, illnesses, injuries, or with other specialized needs.  Take my suggestions here as guidance on the type of subjects and topics that should exist in your bug-out plan.  But take the time to adjust and add to these times for your local circumstances and family requirements.

The basic question to answer, if there was an announcement to evacuate your neighborhood right at this moment, what would you do?
Have a pre-planned task list and checklist stuff to pack will buy you time to get your affairs in order.   Some bug-out situations require you to leave immediately, such as a train wreck with chemical leaks, nuclear power plant accident, leaking dam, flash flood, or wild-fire.  Some disasters give you a bit more time for packing, such as a hurricane alert, flooding alert, long-term electrical power outage, or announcement of tainted water.   You should prepare both for a rapid bug-out and a more planned bug-out.


A rapid bug-out is a requirement that you leave immediately.  There is no time to do anything, but get into your vehicle and start your retreat.   Your action in this situation is to grab some clothing, your valuable jewelry and bullion coins.  Grab your bug-out bag, and then go immediately.  Any lingering may put you at further risk.  During an evacuation announcement, the folks that don’t leave or leave late are who typically are injured and killed.   And those that leave late may sit in traffic for countless hours, not moving and wasting your fuel.   Once an evacuation has been announced, the rule should be to collect your family immediately and go quickly.
Something you should consider in an evacuation event, government agency tend to wait until the last moment to announce an evacuation.  I’d recommend that you monitor news closely, and consider leaving before an evacuation order is announced.   If you leave at the same time that thousands or millions of other people evacuate, you’ll be caught in a sea of people, likely sit in traffic jams for countless hours, and not find any fuel to refill your vehicle.  My personal rule for evacuations are: (1) be ready before everyone else, (2) leave before an evacuation is announced, (3) arrive at my retreat location well before the situation becomes urgent.   If a hurricane had a chance of coming over my home, I’m gone four hours before my neighbors even consider leaving.
The following is a recommended task list for your bug-out plan.  If you feel that you have time to conduct these tasks, your outcome from the disaster will be much better.   This task list is focused on evacuating in a vehicle.   If you are in a dire situation where you must bug-out only on foot, then the best you can do is a single backpack and perhaps a luggage roller back.   You must build into your bug-out plan your means of evacuation and how much can your reasonably take with you.  My family has a mini-van, so we can pack a lot of stuff by putting down the third row and strapping gear on the roof.  Your vehicle may have more or less space, so you’ll need to prioritize everything in your bug-out bag and your bug-out checklist.  The following task list is a list of my bug out task list.  Take what parts make sense to you, and customize your own bug-out task list.  I recommend that you have a document folder in your bug-out bag.  In addition to containing valuable documents, the document folder should contain your bug-out task list.  In the event of an emergency, the body is flooded with adrenaline.  Adrenaline has the tendency to limit the clarity of your thinking.   By having your task list printed and ready in your bug-out bag, then you are less likely to panic, and be able to immediately set about the efforts to evacuate in a well-organized manner.

Bug-out Task List

(In suggested priority, highest priority first)
1#Your very first task is to get information.  For this reason, I recommend always having a battery operated radio.  And lots of extra batteries.  Batteries are the separating mechanism between modern conveniences and the Dark Age. Turn on the radio to local news/talk station, and listen closely while you are preparing for your evacuation.
2#If you don’t have your own vehicle, obtaining transportation is your most urgent need.  Listen to the news as to what guidance evacuees are given for public transportation.  Chances are you may need to walk to a pick-up location.  You may wish to consider talking to a friend or neighbor with a vehicle about riding with them.
3#If you are home-bound or infirmed, I’d have no problem dialing 911 (or whatever your local emergency number is) to asking for transport.   Local emergency management organizations may have a specific phone number to call to arrange pick-up for people with special needs.  Many towns and cities maintain lists of people who have special needs for an evacuation.  If you fall into this category, please investigate how you can subscribe to the local evacuees assistance list.  Shamefully, many of the deaths from Hurricane Katrina were elderly or bed-ridden, and had no means of escaping the flood waters.  If you have any special needs, definitely plan ahead for an evacuation.   Once an evacuation is announced, chaos will predominate.
4#Load your bug-out bag into your vehicle.  Copies of important documents should already exist in your bug-out bag, so I’ll not discuss in this article what important documents you should take with you.  The basic rule for your bug-out bag is it should contain everything you need to survive comfortable for 3 days.  If your vehicle has more room, increase your bug-out bag to 5 days of capability.  My bug out bag can provide for all my family’s needs for 7 days, perhaps longer if able to hunt, fish, or purchase food.   If you don’t have a vehicle, then you might scale down your bug-out bag to a backpack.  Part of my bug-out bag is contained in a large backpack, in case we need to start walking or must leave our vehicle.  Always have your bug out bag packed and ready to go, anytime of the year.  It is best to update and refresh your bug out at the beginning of each season, since each season will have specialized needs.  During the summer, you’ll want to include insect repellant and sun screen lotions.   In the winter, consider having hand warmers, extra blankets, spare gloves and hats, and long underwear as part of your bug out bag.  The way I structure my bug-out bag is the following:

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Package One – Stuff: Radios, first aid supplies, playing cards, knives, portable fishing gear, batteries, etc.  This is what most people think of as their bug-out bag.  My bug-out bag is as much a process as it is stuff to take with me.

Package Two – Food: Plastic tote bin with canned and dehydrated food

Package Three – Gather Items: A container to hold last-minute gather items, such as prescription medicines, gold and silver coins, personal care items, feminine hygiene items, etc.

Package Four – Tactical Kits: Guns, ammo, pepper spray, body armor, tactical gear

Package Five – Clothing: Each family member has their own backpack of three changes of clothing

Package Six – Camping Gear: My camping gear is pre-organized into tote bins

Package Seven – Water: As much water as I can fit into the vehicle.

5#If you have a baby or toddler children, your diaper bag should be considered as the bug-out bag for very young children.   Make sure you bring more diapers than you think you’ll need.   Running out of diapers is a frequent source of misery during an evacuation event.   I’d make packing as many diapers as you possibly can as a priority.  When my children were in diapers, I had clean diapers stashed everywhere, including truck of the vehicle, in my EDC kit, in a zip lock bag underneath the car seat, at grandma’s house, etc.   It is always better to breast feed.  But realize that not every mom/child partnership can breast feed.  Even if your wife can breast feed, bring along backups of formula and bottles.  If your wife becomes sick or injured, then you can continue to feed your child.    Your diaper bag should contain several sets of clothing and sleepwear, extra baby wipes, nail clippers, bum creams, several baby blankets, and several nursing blankets.  Include hat, mittens, and coat if you live in a colder region of the country.  It is very important that moms receive lots of fresh water and extra nutrient, if breast-feeding.  On many occasions while travel with a baby, infant Tylenol was invaluable.  Every couple of hours while traveling, stop and take your baby out of the car seat.  A bit of handling of your baby out of the car seat will aid digestion and prevent painful bubbles from building up in a baby’s digestive track.  When taking a long road trip with babies, I would stop at least every two hours for a diaper change.  A clean diaper makes the journey more comfortable for the entire family.   I was very proud about being able to produce a loud burp from the baby, after my wife finished nursing.  A good loud burp and a clean bum is the signal to start traveling again.

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6#For many reasons, carrying clean drinking water in your vehicle is important,  In case you are stranded with your vehicle, then you can wait for help a long time, provided you have enough drinking water.  Also, you might need water to mix baby formula.  Or you might be called upon to fill up the vehicle radiator or wind shield wiper blade fluids.   During the summer, you’ll need a lot more water to prevent dehydration and heat stroke.  My vehicles always carry three gallons of fresh water, plus a dozen 500ml bottles of drinking water.  During an evacuation event, I’ll toss in a case or two of bottled water into the vehicle.  Any spare room in the vehicle after I pack all the bug out packages is filled with more water.   Water is always the critical resource during a disaster.  You can go a couple of days or even several weeks without food.  But after three days without water, you are in big trouble.   My bug-out kit contain three ways to sterilize water for drinking: (1) Portable berkey water filter, (2) A couple bottles of water purification tablets, and (3) A quart bottle of pure bleach.
7#Put on comfortable walking shoes.  Hiking shoes or hiking boots, which are already broken in, are preferred for every family member, in case you must retreat on foot.   Take along winter boots, if you live in the colder areas of the country.   Included in my bug-out kits are spare shoe laces, superglue to make quick shoe repairs, and often a backup pair of shoes for each family member.
8#Grab and pack your prescription medicine, needed over-the-counter medicines, and any needed medical equipment which is needed on a daily basis.
9#I always keep a full, well stocked first aid kit in my vehicles.  If you don’t have a substantial first aid kit in your vehicle, then add to your packing list.  Your bug out bag should also contain a first aid kits (usually smaller in size) for a layer of redundancy.
10#Grab and pack a bag of clothing that is typical for the season you are in.  Three changes of clothing are likely enough.  How much clothing you pack depends on how much packing time you have and how much space you have in your vehicle.   Each family member has a backpack devoted to three changes of clothing, which are appropriate for the season.
11#Grab and pack a jacket, coat, and outer wear that is common for your climate.  Error on the side of too heavy a coat.  Each to shed layers.  Hard to add layers that don’t exist.
12#Grab and pack bedding.  Ideally, you should have an outdoor quality sleeping bag for each family member.  I find with my family that having your own, regular pillow for their sleeping comfort.  Extra blankets are recommended for the cold times of the year.  Always keep a couple spare blankets in the car, regardless.

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13#Grab and pack your camping equipment, in case you must make your own camp.  I have portable Coleman camp stove and small propane tanks to accompany it.  Also have the following items in my camping kite: portable camp chairs, camping cookware (pots, pans, tea kettle), heavy plastic dishes and eating utensils which are washable, ground tarp, 3 season tent large enough for our family (need to acquire a 4 season tent, but our winters are typically mild), portable tent fan powered by a rechargeable battery (it can be miserable to sleep in a tent when the outside temperature is 90 degrees F or higher), small camp axe, small camp shovel, small camp saw, portable camping toilet (which is a toilet seat that fits over a 10 gallon bucket, the 10 gallon bucket is packed with toilet paper), portable camp shower, empty food grade 10 gallon buckets (for use in hauling water or washing clothing), portable water filter, a liter of pure bleach (for water purification), canteens, drinking cups, cooking utensils, and mallet to pound in the tent stakes.   My camping kit is pre-packaged in plastic tote bins.  I merely need to load the tote bins into our vehicle.  It would take me under one minute to load my vehicle with our full camping kit.   Camping has been a lifelong hobby of mine.  And that hobby serves me well in a disaster situation.  I’d feel complete comfortable establishing a camp homestead in a forest – anytime of the year.

14#Grab and pack your bug-out firearms and an ample supply of ammunition for each firearm.  A pistol is recommended for every legal adult.   And a shotgun or rifle is recommended for every legal adult.   I also intend to carry a backup pistol.   My primary pistol is a modern, full-sized 9mm semi-automatic pistol.   My backup is a snubby .357mag revolver.  Lots of firearms experts recommend a 22LR rifle for bug-out situations.  It is not a bad recommendation, but I do something different.  Rather, my wife’s carry rifle is a Hi Point 9mm carbine (as I discussed in a recent blog posting).  The 9mm carbine can do just about everything a 22LR does, but is also an acceptable level of self-defense.  Yes, 357Mag, 40S&W, 45 ACP, 44Mag, .223Rem, 7.62×39, and .308Win are much better man stoppers.  But these calibers are too much for my wife to handle.  22LR is a very poor caliber for self-defense from 2 legged and 4 legged animals.   I can share ammo between my primary pistols and my wife’s carbine, thus less ammo to pack in a bug-out situation.  My carry rifle is one of the larger common calibers.   If you have a tactical kit with your firearms, that should get packed into your vehicle as well.   I keep a turnkey package of ammo, cleaning kit, lubricants, tools, and trigger locks inside of a plastic tool box.  The plastic tool box is thick and heavy-duty.  And I lock tool box with a pad lock to prevent access by children and potential thieves.  I have one of these tool boxes pre-packaged for each of our bug-out firearms.  If I need to leave my home quick, I merely grab the prepackaged tool box and my firearms, and immediately ready to roll within minutes.  (Teach your children to recognize and stay away from firearms.  You never know when your children will encounter a firearm.   A firearm can be tossed out the car window by a criminal.  Or a firearm could be left out in plain sight at a friend or neighbor’s home.  And children will curiously search drawers and closets.  There are two valid locations for a firearm to exist.  First is actively carrying it.  The second is locked away from children and mentally ill.  There should be no third location.)

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15#I cannot stress enough that having your concealed carry license or permit is a very valuable resource during an evacuation.   Firearms are best carried concealed.  A visible firearm makes you a rich target for police and thieves.  During an emergency declaration, some police departments will confiscate firearms.  Long guns should notbe transported in a dedicate gun cases or tactical bags.  Such gun carrying packages will also be targets for police or thieves.  Having several tactical bags in the back of your vehicle will call attention to you.  Rather, transport your long guns in duffle bags or musical instrument cases.  Likely no one will challenge you, if you are carrying a guitar case.  Keep a trigger lock on your long guns, while transporting in duffle bag or musical instrument case.  My long guns will be packed under the camping equipment, under bags of clothing, under everything while being transported.  If someone looked into my vehicle, they would see a lot of family stuff, and nothing that looked like we were going to war.  During an evacuation, make any efforts not to stand out, not to call attention to you.   If you check into a public emergency shelter, expect your firearms to be confiscated.  I plan to avoid public emergency shelters for a variety of reasons, among which is the requirement to surrender your firearms.   If I happen to come upon a police road block and the police ask if I have any firearms, my plan is to state that I have “nothing to report” in my vehicle.   Or I might simply say no, as if not understanding the question.  If asked if my vehicle can be searched, my response will be a polite, respectful NO.  I’ll immediately assert my 4th amendment rights and 5thamendment rights, and then will keep my mouth shut.  If I told that I’ll be detained for not permitting the search, I am happy to wait that out.  And again, keep your mouth shut.  Make sure spouse/partner and adult members of your household understands this concept.  If you say no and your wife says yes, well the police only need one yes to search your vehicle.  As a law-abiding citizen, your only requirement to police is to identify yourself.   Some states require that you announce that you have a concealed carry license/permit to any police officer talking to you.   I plan to provide my driver’s license, concealed carry permit, and vehicle registration to any police officer.  Any questions asked of you should be deferred to your lawyer.   Say NOTHING to the police at this point.  Don’t try to explain yourself.  Don’t lie to the police.  Simply say nothing.  Keep your mouth shut!   A response to any police question should be, “With great respect to your duties, I must defer all questions to my attorney.  I will only talk to you in the presence of my attorney. I am invoking both my 4th and 5th amendment rights NOW.”  It is very important that you say that you are invoking your 5th amendment rights, since recent court cases have designated that this is the only way to secure your rights against self-incrimination.  If then the police continue to search my vehicle without my permission, then I’ll let my lawyer handle it later.  If you are polite, respectful, and well-manner, most likely the police will let you pass.   For backup self-defense weapons, I also have the following items: bear pepper spray (there are black bears where I go hiking), key chain sized pepper spray, a heavy 6D Maglite flashlight (as a striking self-defense weapon), and several knives.   Please don’t take of this article as recommendations for yourself.  Know your local and state laws.  Consider for yourself what self-defense weapons you will carry, if any.   If you have any questions about this topic, consult a licensed attorney.  I am not here to provide you with any advice or recommendations regarding firearms or legal issues, but merely sharing what my personal plans are, and having educational and entertainment discussion with you.   During an evacuation event, criminals are very active, thus you must be very vigilant against crime.   Rapes and robberies become much more frequent during an evacuation.   And police will mistakenly act upon instructions to confiscate weapons, so prepare for that as well.  The vast majority of police dedicated public servants, and all around good people.  Being respectful and polite, not swearing, not use a loud voice, saying calm and motionless, folding your hands across your chest — this goes a long way to getting well along with police.  Recognized that police will be under great stress during an evacuation event.  Don’t give them any cause for more stress

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If you have your own vehicle, the weight will typically not be an issue.  But if you are walking or getting a ride, it will be difficult to talk a large lot of silver coins.   Definitely take all your gold coins with you, since gold is a very dense form of wealth.  Don’t leave your gold or your valuable jewelry at home – in case you never return.

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18#Run around your home taking pictures of every room in your home.  This is very important.  Take pictures of all your valuables.  Take pictures inside your closets.  Take picture of electronics, furniture, and artwork. Take a picture of all improvements you have made to your home.   Take pictures of any item that cost more than $500.   Best to use a digital camera, so that you may immediately verify the quality of the pictures.  If your camera can record a date and time each picture was taken, turn on that feature.  And then take the camera with you.  By having a current record of your home’s contents, you may provide this to your insurance company.  If you need to make a claim against your homeowners/renters insurance, these pictures will be invaluable to establish your losses.
19#Turn off the utility connections to your home.   Turn off the main electrical breaker for the feed line into your home.  If your home relies upon a sump pump, then keep on the main breaker and breaker to the sump pump, but turn off other individual breakers.  Turn off the main connections for natural gas and water.  Also turn off your water heater. And turn over the water intake valve and natural gas intake valve to your water heater.  If your sewer line can be closed, do so also.   Expect sewers to back up into your home, if there is flooding.  Natural gas and water pipes may break, thus causing further damage.  After you turn off the main water valve coming into your home, run the faucets until the water stops flowing.  This will prevent pipes from freezing and bursting in the winter.  Upon your return home, let the water flow through your pipes for a solid 30 minutes to flush out the pipes.  Keep track if your local water provider is recommending that you sanitize water before consuming.

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20#Fill up your vehicle’s fuel tank with your stored fuel.  But don’t take a filled fuel container with you in your vehicle.  You are more likely than ever to be involved in an automobile accident, during a bug-out event.  A survival-able automobile accident can become a tragedy by carrying a filled fuel container.  Even at 35 MPH, a filled fuel can burst open during an accident.  You might survive a faction of a second a 50G forces from an accident, but don’t expect your fuel cans to survive those same forces.  Rather, just take an empty fuel container with you.  This allows you to walk or be driven to a gas station, if your vehicle runs out of fuel.  During an evacuation event, expect that gas stations will be sold out of empty fuel containers.  By keeping your vehicles continually filled at three-quarters or more (always!), this will provide you a likely amount of range needed to get out of the evacuation area.

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21#A very difficult decision to confront is whether you take your pets with you.  In many disaster scenarios, it is simply not possible to take your pets.  When the levees burst in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, you had to focus on your own immediate survival.  If you attempt to rescue your pet also, the danger to yourself increases.   FEMA and Red Cross and other disaster response agencies have recently recognized the need to have pet care facilities at emergency shelters.  But many, most hotels and motels have strict limits on pets.    If you must leave your pet behind, I’d suggest that you lock them into a specific room, lay down lots of old newspaper to collect wastes, and put out a lot of dried food and lots of extra water.   Only in the most dire situations would I let the pets run free, such as an imminent forest fire.  If you can take your pets with you, then having a dedicated pet carrier is very helpful.  And bring your own pet food.  Don’t expect relief agencies to have any pet food.   Be prepared to dispose of animal wastes.   It is advisable to transition your pets to dry food.   Dry pet food is much easier transported and stored for longer periods of time.  Many survival food providers are now also providing long-term stored food for cats and dogs.

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22#Close and lock every window.   If you have time, remove portable air conditioners from windows.   Portable air conditioners create a point of vulnerability for your windows.  Close drapes and blinds over windows.   You want to prevent people from looking into your home, in case looters are coming through your neighborhood.
23#If you home is over a crawl space, rather than a basement, then close the air vents to the crawl space.  This will lessen the amount of water, smoke, or dust from entering the crawl space.  If there is a small door to the crawl space, put a lock on it.  Or secure it with hammer and nails.
24#If you have a shed, outbuilding or barn, then lock it before you leave.
25#Remove items in your yard, which may become debris or wind-blown.  This might reduce potential damage from wind or flooding.
26#Remove milk, cheeses, meats, and other food which will spoil from your refrigerator.  These will rot quickly and stink up the entire home, if you are away for a couple of weeks.  Just after two weeks without electricity, food store in a refrigerator will create a sanitary risk.  Accept that you’ll likely need to write off the contents of freezers and refrigerators.   Be prepared upon your return home to empty your freezer and refrigerator, and carefully sanitize both with diluted bleach.


27#Empty garbage cans, especially from the kitchen.  Trash will likely stink up your home, if you away for a week or more.
28#Take all your keys with you, including for the vehicles, motorcycles, RV’s, ATV’s, and riding mowers, which you are not taking away from your home.  If your home is damaged, expect that keys will be lost forever.  Don’t leave keys around for thieves to utilize.
29#If the potential damage is likely to result from water and flooding, then move valuable items to the 2nd or higher floor.   If the damage is likely to result from fire or wind, then move valuables to the lowest level in your home.   When you leave your home, you are very limited as to what you can pack and carry.  Therefore you must leave a lot of stuff at your home.  If you have time, start moving your valuable items to a safer spot in your home.  The items you may wish to move to safer spots in your home include: expensive area rugs (like Persian rugs), expensive furniture, clocks, art work, collectibles, physical pictures, televisions, stereo/audio equipment, electronics, firearms, files of old tax forms, receipts for major purchases, books, bedding, china/dishware, etc.  This is a time-consuming activity.  So you must use good judgment as to how much time you devote to this activity.   I’d suggest that you make a prioritized list of what items that you cannot pack for your bug-out.   Based on the type of disaster that is occurring, give yourself a specific time limit.  Work down your prioritized list and stop once your time limit has been reach.  Recognize that you can only do some much.

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30#Call your neighbors to check on them. Especially check on any elderly or disabled neighbors.  If you have time, offer to help pack their stuff.  An attempt to secure transportation for them.
31#If you have any remaining space in your vehicle, and have enough time, go back through your home looking for any valuables you can take with you.
32#Turn on the security system, lock the door, say goodbye to your home, and say a prayer.
Use your idle time while traveling or waiting.  As soon as you leave your house or while waiting to be picked up, use that time for the following tasks:
1#Call your homeowners or rental insurance agent to discuss if your home is covered by the pending event.  If not, attempt to add coverage immediately.  Put your insurance agent on alert that they may be called upon to file a future claim.   You can conduct this task once you start driving.
2#Make a reservation at a distanced motel/hotel, if you are not going to the home of a friend or family member.

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3#Start calling your family and close friends.  Let them know where you are going and what your plans are.
4#Plug in your mobile phone into a portable vehicle charger.   Always keep your mobile phone ready with a full charge.
5#Give everyone in the vehicle a snack to eat in the car.  It’s going to be a long, unpleasant day. Best to keep everyone’s energy levels high for the anticipated delays and inconveniences.   Make sure everyone is well hydrated.
6#If you happened to stop for a bathroom break or to fill the vehicle with fuel, use that time to load up on more snacks/food (including from vending machines).  Also, get more money from an ATM machine, if possible.
7#While you are driving away from the evacuation zone, if you get caught not moving in a long traffic jam, turn off your vehicle.  Make a conscious effort to minimize fuel usage.   Driving at, and not above speed limits, will also improve fuel economy.  You’ll need to nurse your fuel levels and strive to minimize fuel consumption.  It might be a long time until you can refuel your vehicle.
8#Attempt to learn about what plans your children’s schools are making for canceling or resuming classes.
9#Listen to the radio to get news updates, further guidance and instructions.
10#Give your children some toys, games, or movies to watch.  Keep them distracted, so that you can focus on the event at hand.

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There is nothing fun about an evacuation.  By being prepared with your bug-out checklist, you’ll increase your survivability and lessen the damage to your valuables.  I pray and hope you never need to evacuate.  I’ve had to do it once in my life.  It is a miserable experience I hope never to repeat.(source)

Self-Sufficiency Homesteading Skills: 10 Smart Ideas My Redneck Neighbor Taught Me


7 Ways To Use Turmeric
Turmeric has been in the spotlight for a while now, rightfully so, as it is one of the most incredible healing agents on the planet!  When I say Turmeric is incredible, it’s an understatement. This link here will blow you away.
According to FitLifeTV, he says that legend has it that, In ancient Indian text when they refer to gold, they actually mean Turmeric?
In the video below he will show you 7 different ways to use Turmeric to improve your health.

12 Natural Cold Remedies to Help You Feel Better

It’s that stuffy head, runny nose, nasty cold time of year.  Viruses run amok when the temperatures drop, so it’s the season to catch a cold.  As the old saying goes, a cold lasts a week, but 7 days if you treat it. You can’t do a whole lot to “cure” a cold, but there are quite a few ways to help make the symptoms more tolerable (and these natural cold remedies do not include a trip to the pharmacy).

Why pharmaceutical cold remedies should not be your first choice
While many people run to the drugstore at the first sign of a sniffle, it’s important to remember that sometimes the side effects can be worse than the symptoms you’re trying to treat.
Antihistamines are supposed to stop the watering eyes, runny noses and scratchy throats but result in severe drowsiness for most people.  Other common side effects are dizziness, headaches, dry mouth, dry eyes, and fatigue.
Decongestants (like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine) allege to reduce sinus congestion, but can also dangerously increase heart rates and blood pressure in some people.  Other side effects are Restlessness, insomnia, tremors, and anxiety.
Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), another common ingredient in cold and flu medicines, can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, especially in women ages 19-45.
For people who take  monoamine oxidase inhibitors or SSRI antidepressants, the above medication types can cause lethal interactions.
OTC Cough Medicine
Dextromethorphan, the most common active ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicine, can be deadly if the recommended dosage is exceeded.  As well, it is one of the most abused OTCs for those seeking a quick “high”.  Common side effects of dextromethorphan are drowsiness, nausea, confusion, and dizziness.  Expectorants and suppressants can cause either constipation or diarrhea.
Medicated Nasal Sprays
Over the counter medicated nasal sprays work quickly to open the nasal passages, but if they are used for more than 3-5 days in a row, they can result in more congestion than you had in the first place due to the “rebound effect” or rhinitis medicamentosa.  When this occurs, the swelling of the nasal passages can become permanent, requiring surgical intervention.

A collection of natural cold remedies
You can get relief without diving into the chemicals. Following, find links to DIY home remedies that you can make yourself, as well as links to homeopathic and herbal pre-made remedies.
We keep these remedies on hand, as well as the ingredients for making them. Viruses are normally short-lived at our home, or at least the intense part of the sickness.

Try a DIY Healing Vapor Rub. This one is simple to make, and if you keep some basic essential oils on hand, you most likely have everything you need already to whip this up. (I made this for my daughter recently and it was very soothing.)

A fragrant, steaming cup of herbal tea can make everything better. This article discusses the herbal teas you should have in your home arsenal, including several that will help soothe cold symptoms.

Breathe Free by Rootology contains a combination of 13 herbal  extracts, tested for purity and strength. This remedy reduces congestion, alleviates sinus pressure, and  relieves a runny nose.

Add a Eucalyptus Shower Bomb to a steamy shower. The moist, scented air will help the sufferer breathe more easily.

This Honey, Lemon, and Ginger cough syrup will not only relieve cough symptoms but also help to boost your immunity.

Fire cider is a traditional remedy that has been used for centuries. Unfortunately, it usually takes a few weeks to be ready. This easy recipe provides instant gratification (and relief).

Speaking of your immune system, this immune-boosting smoothie will help make your system powerful enough to fight off illness before it happens, or to battle a cold effectively if you already have one.

This is a guide to the different herbs you can use to make your own cough syrup based on your specific symptoms.

Studies show that when zinc comes into contact with the rhinovirus (the virus that causes colds)it can prevent replication, shortening the amount of time that the sufferer is ill. One study recommends one lozenge every two hours. Lozenges and syrups, as opposed to capsules, are the recommended treatment.

Nothing tastes better when you’re sick than soup made with homemade chicken or turkey broth. I can broth to be pulled out when the bugs strike our house. Here’s the recipe we use for the basis of our homemade soup. (Hint: the more garlic you add, the more healing power your soup will have.)

Taking large doses of Vitamin C is a fairly common practice, and studies show that it can be effective in reducing the duration of cold symptoms. This website offers several different Vitamin C protocols you c

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