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?
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.
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!
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!
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