Category Archives: Prepping Scenarios

Why Shouldn’t I Depend On The Internet For Prepping?

I know this might sound really odd for someone who is blogging and producing YouTube videos about preparedness to say, but depending strictly on the internet is a game of chance for preppers and one we will regret if many of the disasters we are prepping for come to pass.

Why Shouldn’t I Depend on The Internet?

It’s Really Easy To Forget How Quickly We Can Lose These!

How often have we been right in the middle of the video on our laptops or trying to download a file and everything just stops? It’s almost a daily occurrence if we depend on wireless data connections and still fairly common if we are using a wired connection to a land line of some kind. These inconveniences can be aggravating, but we know it will start working again soon. All we have to do is reconnect or turn the router off and back on again. Problem solved, until it doesn’t work.

Much like all of the other infrastructure we take for granted, especially in highly developed countries, the internet is very susceptible to major catastrophes. Consider what it takes to actually use the internet. First you have to have a device with battery power or access to an outlet with power. You can probably get by with some solar charging for a little while, but when something gets the power lines, it can also get telecommunication lines as well, plus they all require power to operate too. No fear, you have wireless data service, but wait! The towers boosters are powered by electricity and that’s only if they are still standing after a massive disaster.

All of the problems mentioned in the paragraph above are potential issues in multiple scenarios, however there are even more issues with depending on the internet Consider countries such as North Korea where the government has blocked information and access to the internet to its citizens. I know I would hate to lose access to all my digitally stored knowledge because Uncle Sam flips the switch. Also there are issues that can damage electronics in general. Ever heard of an EMP? I’ll do a detailed post about them soon, but its basically a huge pulse of electromagnetic energy that can destroy electronic items. If you want to have a backup radio or other electronics survive a massive EMP, grab a Faraday bag or two by clicking the picture below. It’s also great to keep at least one of our digital storage devices in to protect the information stored on them.

I know that I recommend having a thumb drive with all of our documents and pictures on in my recent post on evacuation and that seems odd given my warnings here, however I am not worried about financial or insurance information if we are in a long term survival situation. The things we need to reference for daily survival don’t need to be just web based. We have become accustomed to asking “Siri” how much bleach to use to disinfect drinking water or what plants are edible. We are susceptible to taking our instant internet access to information for granted.

How Should I Store My Prepping Information?

There are a couple of reasonably good ways to keep up a library of knowledge with minimal chance of loss, however none are perfect. I’ll note here that the absolute best way to store our knowledge is in our memory, but this takes time and repetition of the material to remember. The best way to remember information is to use it in practical function on a regular basis. Forage for wild edibles each season. Distill and disinfect your own water on a regular basis. If you don’t have a garden, buy some fresh produce from the store or a farm stand and can some of it each harvest season. These are the ways we can retain the most information, however there’s not enough time in our days to mentally master all of the things we may need to know, so the following are backup and reference storage methods. If possible, we should try to have critical information stored both ways.

Digital Storage

I know I just mentioned the issues that are possible with electronics and internet based data, however if we plan ahead by storing a digital copy and some means to access the information in one of the EMP resistant bags or boxes like those I linked above, we have fast access to them as long as we can power the device on which they are read or stored. While few of us can swing the price of a laptop to leave in our safe in a Faraday Bag, most of us have at least one old smartphone that we have retired. Connect the the device to the internet via WiFi and download documents or use the scan or camera feature to take pictures of printed media for storage. Whatever device you choose should be able to be powered by a battery and should have a dedicated charging cord and 12 volt charging adapter stored in the bag with it. Click on the picture below for a multi function charging cord for your devices.

Storing Information in Written Form

There’s not much more reliable than the written word. We have knowledge that has been retained for centuries in libraries and archives and even further back if we consider hieroglyphics and cave paintings found throughout the world. Books do have a few drawbacks, however. When physical space is limited, books can be cumbersome to carry and do require a bit of care. I’d like to offer a couple of ideas to help streamline our physical prepping libraries to make sure we limit the exposure of our information to damage by water, fire, insects, or mold.

Consolidate Information: Most books contain much more non critical information than critical. By making a habit of photocopying sections of books with important information and clipping articles from magazines we can reduce the clutter and bulk of our information.

Print Online Information: Copyright laws exist to keep us from profiting off the works of others. I personally feel that by providing free access to the information on this blog via internet, that if you want to print off these articles for your personal use to store in a binder, you are welcome to. Some posts may have lots of technical information, where others may be a product review or broad discussion that really isn’t full of crucial information once a disaster has struck. Check other sites and message boards as well, but always verify that the information is legitimate before you trust your life and well being to it.

Paper Document Storage: Most of the research I have done on storing papers long term centers around storing a book collection. While protecting rare and valuable books is likely overkill for our storage needs, much of the advice is helpful. The enemies of paper are moisture, organisms, and mold. Getting paper wet obviously damages it. Rodents love paper because its easy for them to chew up for nesting material. Insects eat and nest on the paper and in the binding materials. High humidity can cause fungal growth on books. To limit these issues, store critical printed documents in plastic containers with some form of desiccant to remove the humidity. If you have a safe or vault that you can put in an area with a moderate temperature and humidity, placing the container inside can add an additional level of security from damage. You can also cache your information along with other supplies in waterproof storage tubes. These can be placed in multiple locations so you have several back up sources if your main storage location is damaged or compromised. Click the pictures below for desiccant material and waterproof storage tubes. Consider adding a thumb drive with your digital information in a Faraday bag to your caches as well!

Desiccant Packets:

Waterproof Storage Cache:

Books for Preppers

I will add book reviews on the site as I have an opportunity to read and review the information, but in the mean time, click the link below and take a look at the information contained in The Lost Ways book. You might find it useful and it’s a great deal!

Disclaimer: I am an Amazon affiliate and may make money off qualifying purchases.

What Should I Take if I Have To Evacuate?

What Should I Take if I Am Forced To Evacuate?

With hurricane season upon us in the eastern and southern United States and wildfires burning throughout the western states, the probability of evacuations in some areas is almost guaranteed. Don’t think, however, that we who aren’t on the coast or surrounded by dry forests or grasslands are immune to potential evacuations. Many other issues can force evacuations. Consider a train derailment with cars carrying some form of hazardous gas such as chlorine. What about a radiation leak from either a nuclear power plant, or radioactive material in transport? If we live near a road, railroad, or navigable body of water, we are subject to chemical exposure in the event of an accident. Another cause for evacuation is some form of civil unrest. While I have no objection to standing my ground, some times we have to realize that simple probability tells us that standing alone against an angry mob laying siege to our home is suicide and serves no purpose. We should all consider the possibility of an evacuation.

Why Should I Have An Evacuation Plan?

Evacuations are very similar to Bug Out situations with the exception that we often have a little more time to evacuate if we stay aware of the news and other surrounding factors. I mentioned this idea in my post on situational awareness that can be found here. Usually the cues are listed on the news and weather programs and can be readily heeded if we have a plan in place. Other times we need to have keen senses about the changes we see around us, both physical and societal.

Having a tested Evacuation Plan is much like trying our bug out bags on an overnight trip. We can adjust things based on the actual feedback we get from trying our our plans. Having an evacuation vehicle set up only to realize its impossible to load everything because of space or getting everything loaded and realizing that, while it fits, the weight of the load makes traveling unsafe is not what we want to learn with a wildfire bearing down on our home.

Evacuation Planning Considerations

Ideally, we could take everything we wanted to protect with us, however this is impossible. The good news is that there are more ways now than ever to help limit our loss should disaster strike while we are evacuated. The following are some items and ideas to consider for a solid evacuation plan. Take a look at my video below for a quick rundown of some of my personal thoughts on evacuation.

Evacuation Vehicle

If you have ever seen the movie “Dante’s Peak” with Pierce Brosnan, you likely remember the jacked up Chevy Suburban 4X4 that they forded the river in to escape the volcano. When bug out or evacuation vehicles come to mind, that one seems like it would be the best choice for the job but reliability and room are some of the key items we need to look for. Utilizing every driver in the family or group in a separate vehicle is a possibility to move as much to safety as possible, however, remember that the more vehicles we take, the more fuel expense we will incur. Another consideration no matter the vehicle or vehicles we chose, we will have to park them somewhere and hotels, motels, and any other place you might stop for a rest will be full of other evacuees as well. I have a few Ideas that might help simplify the process. You can also see some everyday vehicle preparedness ideas in my blog post here.

RV’s For Evacuation

While it might not be cost effective to purchase a recreational vehicle just for evacuation purposes, many of us have or have had some sort of travel trailer or motorhome. With careful planning, these can be very effective vehicles to use in an evacuation because you can use the space for both storage as well as temporary shelter when you are away. Packing the vehicle with items we want to evacuate with may crowd the interior, but we can usually find some other method of storage once we reach a safe destination for the bulk of the belongings. A mini storage unit or one of the portable sheds that can be delivered can house a lot of things while we use the RV for a place to live and the cost of a storage unit vs. the price of lodging in a motel is an amazing difference.

Enclosed Trailers For Evacuation

Much like a recreational vehicle, these trailers are enclosed from the weather and can be towed behind one of the family vehicles, however they aren’t set up to be used as shelter even though it’s still better than being out in the weather if you have to stay in it. The added benefit to enclosed cargo trailers is that we have open space and no furnishings to weave things into. These trailers are also much less expensive than an RV so keeping one on hand and maintained for emergency evacuation is much more financially feasible if you have no plans to use an RV for recreation.

One item of concern for any vehicle evacuation setup is making sure we can fit what we need to in the allotted space. It pays to do a test run whenever we have time and aren’t rushed to determine the best layout of the items in the vehicle. Once that is determined, we need to take several photos or draw a diagram of the layers of packing so we don’t have to try and remember the layout in a rush.

Using quality tarps and straps, we can make an open utility trailer fairly weather resistant, however its much more difficult to prevent theft. Click on the items below to take a closer look and see if you can use them to help you:

Evacuation Vehicle Safety

In an emergency, its easy to ignore safety, however when it comes to vehicles, we cant afford to overlook safe loading and handling. Just because we have cubic feet or inches to spare in a vehicle or trailer doesn’t mean we can fill it full of more things. loading back seats to the roof can lead to objects becoming projectiles in a hard stop or collision. Improperly loaded pickups, suv’s, and trailers can cause poor handling and lead to dangerous conditions on the road. The more things we want to evacuate with, the larger vehicle we will need to haul it safely.

Replacing Items Left Behind in an Evacuation

Most of us who have a permanent residence almost always collect much more stuff than we could ever move in one trip and likely wouldn’t have enough time to load it if we had the transportation available. With this in mind, it’s time for us to consider what we really must take with us and save vs. what has no sentimental value and we are willing to replace if it is destroyed. It is a personal decision and one that should be made as a household or family and we should consider how to transport and store anything we refuse to leave well ahead of time.

Photographing Belongings For Insurance Purposes

We live in an instant photograph age and have phones with cameras on them better than the ones used professionally by photographers fifteen years ago. With the help of this technology, we can catalog our belongings as proof to insurance companies if they are damaged while we are evacuated. A conversation with your insurance agent as to your policy limits is also important to consider when preparing for a potential loss.

Anther benefit of the digital age, as it pertains to evacuation and bugging out, is the availability of digital storage. We can scan thousands of pages of documents and photos to a single flash or thumb drive. Planning ahead and taking a few hours to scan and save our documents and photographs digitally can make them much less likely to be lost permanently in a fire or disaster. We should update and review these files on a regular basis and keep a copy of the files on a drive stored in the cloud or at another location such as a safe deposit box so we have a backup to our backup. Grab a multi pack of these by clicking the picture below:

Final Thoughts on Evacuation Prepping

Leaving our homes in an emergency is usually a trying and uncertain task, but some effort on our part before hand can limit the stress and potential loss involved. As with all other parts of prepping, this takes some planning and practice. Carving out a few hours to review and plan can make a difficult situation much more palatable if we ever find ourselves in one.

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and make money on qualifying purchases.