Saturday, January 30, 2010

Preparedness Bag Part 3 - Food & Water Kit

The next component of my Preparedness Bag is the Food & Water Kit.  If there is an emergency or disaster, having food and water that is easily accessible can determine if you live or die.  Having food and water even for a small emergency such as your car breaking down or the train getting stuck in the tunnel can make a difference both for your mental and physical health while you wait for the small emergency to get resolved.  Since I will be carrying my Preparedness Bag everyday I did not want to load it up with too much food. The more stuff I add the heavier my bag is becoming.   I have included the following food items in this kit:

1) Three (3) Chocolate Chip Clif Bars - I chose this brand because it tastes the best compared to other power/meal replacement bars I have tried.

2) Four (4) Snickers bar for a little energy boost

3) Chia Seed - When you run out of food, using Chia seed will give you energy and bolster your endurance when you need it most.  As you will see in the below photo, I'm running out of seeds and need to buy some more!  I bought mine from Big John at ApacheChia

As we all know food is not as important as water.  You can never have enough water.   Therefore, having water and being able to obtain clean drinking water is vital.  Of course water is heavy so I couldn't put too many bottles into my bag.  In regards to water, my kit contains the following:

1) Two (2) bottles of water

2) One (1) Emergency Purified Drinking Water pouch

3) One (1) bottle of Potable Aqua water purifying tablets - In an emergency or disaster, if my bottled water and pouch run out I will need to be able to purify water from questionable water sources such as the rivers or water fountains throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey.  These tablets are a must if you do not have a portable water purifier/filter.  Contaminated water can kill you.

4) One (1) two liter hydration bladder -  I added this item in case I needed to obtain water from a river, fountain or other source.  It packs small but holds a lot of water when needed.

5) Cheesecloth - if the water I'm obtaining from the river or other source has large particles I will use the cheesecloth to filter out the particles while filling up the bottles and bladder.

6) Two (2) Gatorade Propel powder - Not really needed but adds some flavor to the water and also provides some vitamins.

Since I live and work in a highly populated area, do I think I will ever need these items?  Most likely not but anything could happen and it is important to be prepared as best as one can be.  Just this week, the water filter in our office broke and was dispensing water with a bunch of unknown particles. If that was my only source of water in a disaster situation I would have been prepared to use my cheesecloth and water purifying tablets.

Live the Motto - Be Prepared!

Below are photos of my Food & Water Kit. 


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Growing your own food

Last summer was the first time I ever grew my own food using heirloom seeds.  I planted some Buttercrunch lettuce, Golden Bantam corn, snap peas, and bush beans in a 1200 sq. ft. section of my yard. I had some tomatoes and melons planted but those damn wild geese ate them. 

I recommend that everyone learn to garden as soon as possible.  Although it is not difficult there is a learning curve and only by experience can you learn the right way of growing crops.  You don't want to be in a situation where society collapses and you never even planted a seed.  Your crop could be lost and you could starve, especially if you did not store any food for emergencies. 

When I starting gardening I decided not to use traditional fertilizer or even organic fertilizer such as manure, blood or bone meal.  I also decided not to plow or turn over the soil. Instead I utilized Ruth Stout's permanent hay mulching system to provide the needed nutrients to the soil along with soybean meal.  I did apply some lime before I placed the hay onto the ground since New Jersey is known for its acidic soil.

Why am I gardening this way?  Of course its all about being prepared.  I'm preparing the soil now so I won't need any fertilizer, even soybean meal, in order to grow food. Rotting hay, mulch and other vegetation are natural fertilizers and in time your soil will become rich in the vital nutrients necessary to grow good vegetables and fruit.  What are you going to do when the collapse comes and you can't buy fertilizer or have access to manure?  Of course you can store up some fertilizer but I rather spend my money on storing food.  You may be asking where am I going to buy hay if there is a collapse?  That's easy.  Grow it yourself.  Instead of buying hay next year, I intend to grow some oats that I can use as a cover crop and as a mulch. 

There were some downsides to using a mulching system last year such as a large infiltration of slugs.  I think the reason it was so bad was because it rained almost every week last spring/summer.  So much rain along with mulch is a breeding ground for slugs.  Hopefully this year will be a little dryer.  I was able to control them but I had to buy a special product to kill the slugs.  The beer technique just was not enough although a lot of slugs did get drunk!

In addition, since I used heirloom seeds I was able to save some of the seeds from the Buttercrunch lettuce I planted.  Lettuce is easy to grow and saving the seed is just as easy.  This is one of the major reasons Big John sells heirloom seeds through his website Survivalist Seeds. If you don't have seeds, now is the time to buy from Big John.

We all must learn to grow our own food in order to Be Prepared.  No matter how much food you have stored it will run out in a long term collapse if you do not learn to resupply it. 

Below are some photos of my 2009 garden:

I found a patch of wild blackberry growing on part of my property.

Snap peas

Buttercrunch lettuce


Buttercrunch lettuce in bolt

Seed pods from Buttercrunch lettuce

Harvested Buttercrunch lettuce seeds

Live the Motto - Be Prepared

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why am I preparing?

When I first started preparing one of my friends asked me, Do you think you really need all that food? Do you think it is going to get that bad? I think I gave a quick yes reply and that was it. I don't talk about my preps to my friend anymore but if she saw how much I have stored up now, she would think I was crazy. 

So why do I prepare for what's coming?  First I do believe a collapse is coming and I have always been taught to be prepared.  But not until about the summer of 2008 did I realize I really was not prepared for what is to come.  I'm not sure where it came from but being prepared is now a passion for me.  I actually enjoy preparing and being what is called a survivalist.  It feels good to be a survivalist, to grow your own food, to know that your family will not starve when times become hard.  Even if a total collapse never happens, you can still lose your job or have a major accident.  Having food, water and other essentials stored could allow you enough time to get back onto your feet without having to go into debt just to buy food for your family. 

If you are hesitating to start preparing I suggest you listen to Big John Lipscomb who can motivate almost anyone to start preparing.  Check him out his blog at and listen to his radio show on at 7-9 pm central time. 

Thanks for reading.

Live the Motto - Be Prepared

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Home Made Water Filter

Having a good water filter is one of the most important things in being prepared and surviving a major disaster.  Without clean water we could die or become very sick in a matter of days, as those in Haiti recently experienced.  I have both public water and a well on my property.  The well water is clean but it is not filtered at this time.  It's only used for irrigation on my small half acre farm.  So if there is a disaster and the public water system is contaminated or no longer working I need a way to filter my well water and other water sources. 

I was going to buy a Big Berkey Water Filter but I decided to make my own water filter. Money is a little tight and I just couldn't pay $250 for a complete Big Berkey.  I found a great website, St. Paul Mercantile, that includes the filters, the spigot, washers and instructions to make your own filter all for a good price.  I bought the $49 kit with the 10 inch Doulton Ceramic candle filter.  I got the kit yesterday, went to Ace and bought 2 buckets and a lid.  Took me about 20 minutes to put it together.  Eventually I will buy more 10 inch candles to add into the filter.  The filtering process is very slow so the more filters the faster the water will go through to the bottom bucket.  Click here for instructions on how to make the water filter.

Below are a few pictures of my Home Made Water Filter

Live The Motto - Be Prepared!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stay Alert - Be Prepared for anything

Part of being prepared is to also be alert for anything out of the ordinary.  I used to be a private investigator so I am always aware of anyone following me in their car.  Call me paranoid but I use to follow people and they did not have a clue.  So I'm driving home from the train station and I noticed a car with a couple teenagers in it driving slow on our major highway (2 lanes each way).  I pass this car on the right and then right after I pass the car they tried to speed up and pass in front of me but they could not since another car was turning left.  So I kept going, thinking nothing of it, and the car was about 150 yards behind me and behind other cars when I turned off the highway.  After I turned off I noticed that they followed.  I thought, this is normal, but I will keep my eye on them.  I then made another turn into the neighborhood where I live which is pretty much a densely wooded forest with a few houses.  Just so you know, this type of neighborhood is not the norm in New Jersey.  Most people live in the city or in suburban housing developments.

So the car then proceeded to follow me into my neighborhood.  I even slowed down to see if they would follow me and they did.  I thought this is still normal since I sometimes follow people from the highway into my neighborhood.  So instead of taking my normal route to my home I decided to see if this person was really following me.  I took a road that only a few people travel and is heavily wooded and has a fairly large chicken coop on the corner.  The road looks like a dead end when you approach but the road makes a sharp 90 degree left turn.  I thought if they were not following me then they would turn off or go another way.  But they didn't, they kept following me and after I made the sharp left turn they were still following me but as soon as they realized it was obvious that I could recognize that they were following me they stopped and turned off their headlights which made me laugh.  I then stopped at the stop sign up the street to see if they were going to continue following me but they did not.  Never saw the car again so I'm assuming they just turned around and went back the way they came into the neighborhood.

Luckily these were just some punk kids and were too scared to follow me any further into the forest! LOL.  I do not know what their intentions were.  They could have wanted to rob me when I pulled into my driveway.  Not that would have happened since I have an Akita guarding the property and several firearms always ready.  For a person who is unprepared and not alert this could have been a different outcome.

So we all need to Be Prepared, not just physically and with material items, but also mentally.  We must be aware of the actions of others and understand the meaning of their actions.  A person's actions almost always reveals what they are going to do or intend to do before they do it. 

Live the Motto - Be Prepared

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Preparedness Bag Part 2 - Level 1 First Aid Kit

The next component of my Preparedness Bag is the Level 1 First Aid Kit to treat minor cuts, bleeding and other ailments.  I have bought several first aid kits but they never have everything you want or they are just too expensive.  So I decided to make my own basic kit which includes the things I most likely would need in case there are no paramedics or EMTs around.  Since I travel on the train everyday, it could take paramedics at least 10 minutes before they could get to the train station.  10 minutes is a long time especially with a life threatening emergency.  Every now and then there is a medical emergency on the train.  People have heart attacks, have motion sickness, vomit, there could be a fight on the train and a victim is injured and bleeding, etc.

If a medical emergency were to happen to someone sitting near me I want to Be Prepared to assist while the paramedics get to the station.  I also noticed that my office does not have an adequate first aid kit.  We only have regular band-aids in the office.  There are actually 3 other Eagle Scouts where I work but our office is still not prepared if someone has a life threatening medical emergency.  So here is a list of the items in my Level 1 First Aid Kit:

Various size Band-Aids
Butterfly Band-Aids
Several Gauze pads
Several Surgipads for bleeding
Several Kendall Telfa Antimicrobial Non-Adherent Dressings
Non-latex gloves
Cotton balls
Non-aspirin and aspirin
Antibiotic Ointment
Safety pins
Tape for dressings
Alcohol prep pads
Antiseptic Hand wipes
Electrolyte Tablets
Iodine prep pad
Paper bag for those about to vomit on the train (it's never any fun to sit on the train when someone vomits all over the seat and floor)

I also intend to include a couple of CPR shields so I will not hesitate to perform CPR on someone I do not know.  In addition, I will include some Celox or QuikClot for bleeding and possibly a couple suture kits once I take the time to learn some basic suturing. 

Here are a few pictures of my Level 1 First Aid Kit:

Live the Motto - Be Prepared


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Preparedness Bag Part 1 - Fire and Heat Kit

I work in downtown Philadelphia and I take the train from New Jersey to Philly everyday which is about a 25 minute trip covering 14.2 miles.  Until recently I never carried a bag to work.  I hated carrying a bag but I realized that getting caught without a BOB or Preparedness Bag was risking my life.  I am creating a new Preparedness Bag consisting of several components that take into account the fact that I will be traveling to an urban environment.  Some of the ideas are not mine but come from other survivalists.  I will try my best to give recognition to the person whose idea I borrowed :-)

The first component of the Preparedness Bag is the "Fire and Heat Kit".  Although I am traveling back and forth through an urban environment, you never know when you will need fire.  Unless I was forced to walk back to New Jersey I do not foresee using much fire in an emergency but it's there if I need it.  In the kit, I have steel wool, a 9 volt battery, dryer lint, matches, magnesium fire starter, and a lighter.  Not shown is my knife (which I carry on my person) that I use for the magnesium fire starter. 

In the winter it does get fairly cold here and staying warm is vital.  Sometimes I see other train passengers with just a windbreaker and a sweater on in 20 degree weather. If the train ever broke down and we needed to walk they would freeze their butt off.  So in addition to my winter apparel the kit includes two hand warmers and a body warmer which will keep me warm in vital areas for 10-12 hours, and a space blanket.  I also have an emergency heater which can be used in my car if I ever get stuck going to the train station or can be used in at my office if for some reason the office heater no longer works.  The emergency heater consists of a 1 quart paint can, a roll of toilet paper and rubbing alcohol.  I got this idea from USNERDOC on YouTube. See the below video. It works pretty good but make sure you do not leave it unattended.

Here are pictures of my Fire and Heat Kit which will be included in the Preparedness Bag:

Let me know if you have any other ideas for this kit.

Live The Motto - Be Prepared.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to Live the Motto - Be Prepared. For those of you who were a Boy Scout you know that the Scout motto is Be Prepared. It has been almost 18 years since I became an Eagle Scout and looking back it is now obvious that we were taught to live the motto. To live the motto is to be prepared for anything. You are to always be ready in mind and body and ready to face danger, if necessary, to help others. With the coming collapse of this nation it is important, now more than ever, to Be Prepared to survive, to protect yourself and your family, and, if necessary, to defend what little freedom we have left!

With this blog I hope to encourage others as I continue my journey to Be Prepared for what is coming.