Water is important to any survival situation. We need it in our daily lives and even more so in a disaster scenario. Please enjoy this collection of infographics that highlight all of the wonderful benefits that our liquid friend provides us.
We’ve all seen those “survival” shows, claiming that one dude can wildly run around the woods, procuring all the necessities of sustenance through fashioning a makeshift spear from an old boat propeller and skewering a 10-point buck …but entertaining as that is, it just doesn’t work like that.
Securing meat sources is not one of those parts of bugout life you simply leave to chance “because we saw them do it on TV”, so thinking that we’ll be able to remain fat and happy only off an abundance of hares might not be productive. And, even if this were possible for the best of the backwoods experts, the rest of us need to consider the fact that we may not be that good. Being forced to learn such a craft during a survival situation is certainly not an optimal scenario.
However, even thinking that we’ll be able to make the tree line by the crack of dawn, carrying only ye olde’ Ruger 10/22, and taking home enough meals to feed the mobile homestead may probably be a disappointing fallacy, as well. Depending on where you live and how abundant game may be in your area, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to throw out all the stops in your quest to feed you and especially your loved ones.
This is why learning the ancient art, wilderness methods, and backwoods traditions of trapping should be one of your top priorities. That is, if you want to sustain yourself on more than just the MREs you brought along for the ride.
It should be said right off the bat that not every type of bugout bag requires a comprehensive trapping kit. In fact, you might even be doing more harm than good if you load up your 72-hour emergency bag with heavy traps, depending on your fitness level and skill.
The reason I would not ordinarily advocate bringing along a long-term trapping kit in your 72-hour bag is simply because of the philosophy behind the scenario. Your 72-hour bag is simply meant for a temporary survival situation, in which you are hoping to be found and rescued shortly thereafter. Carrying along a large trapping kit doesn’t make sense, and that weight would better serve you if it were replaced by medical supplies, food, and signaling options.
However, that’s not to say that a modestly small trapping kit isn’t worth the weight entirely. Though, snares are considered a ‘low-probability’ trap, meaning that it is unlikely you’ll snag Peter Rabbit with one…if you set 20, you might just snag his brother too.
The strength of using lightweight snares is that these traps are nothing but rigged metal wires or cables (depending on what cable-weight suits your strategy). This shouldn’t take up large amounts of space and won’t weigh you down. In addition, they can also be used for other applications.
In the event that you lose your cordage, snares would do just fine in a pinch. They can be great for making shelter, trip cords, hafting, and if you were good enough to bring only stainless steel containers, you can use snares to hang your water bottle over the fire for boiling and cooking.
The weakness of using snares is their tendency to serve as a ‘one-time-use-only’, kind of trap. If the wrong critter happens to wander into the snare, which was set to catch a meal half its size, then you can pretty much say goodbye to that setup. Especially in freezing temperature scenarios, snares can even become brittle. When that happens, all bets are off.
While snares are a great way to go in a short-term scenario, your long-term strategy should include substantially more trapping gear than that. Remember, even if you brought along 30 snares, depending on the kind of game wandering through your area (which isn’t always possible to know off the bat), you might tear up all your snares within a week.
One of my favorite kinds of traps is the Conibear, which is considered a ‘body grip’ trap. Fortunately for those of us who are lovers of the backwoods and of the creatures who dwell therein, Conibear traps offer one of the most humane methods of the craft, offering almost a total likelihood of instant dispatch for the critter. Simply put, it wanders into the trap, trips it, and our furry MRE wakes up in small game heaven.
In addition, these traps are considered a ‘high probability’ trap, meaning that if something wanders into it – well, then that critter’s goose is definitely cooked. Unlike snares, where the animal has a fairly high chance of escaping (or being taken by a hawk, who’s probably laughing all the way back to its nest), Conibear traps will kill instantly, and secure the animal until you come and harvest.
It is usually recommended that you carry an assortment of #110, #120, and #220 Conibear traps, as each number indicates its size and spring-strength. The smaller #110’s are usually good for little critters, such as squirrels and rabbits, but the heftier #220’s will even snag a beaver. Strategize accordingly, but be aware that the bigger the trap, the harder it snaps, which increases your likelihood of broken fingers and lots of cussing–if handled carelessly, that is.
Also, bear in mind that if you bring along a trapping kit for sustained wilderness self-reliance, then you will need to be mentally and physically prepared to carry the additional weight. While the #110’s are a pound, and #220’s only weigh in at 2lbs, that weight can add up quickly.
In this glorious age of modern trapping methods and gear, we now have traps that are rather easy to set, will last two decades if maintained, and are far more reliable than in the olden days. Of course, we’ve all heard the legends of Davy Crockett-types, ramblin’ through the woods with a musket and moccasins–but even these guys trapped to survive and make a living.
Simply put, trapping offers the survivalist, backwoodsman, bushcrafter, and explorer the means by which to hunt… without being present. Set enough traps (the proper way of course), and you’ve increased your chances of harvesting meat from the land. Do this while hunting or fishing, and you’ve increased your chances even higher. If you don’t use traps and rely only on hunting, then you’ve left your survival to the hard chance that game will just so happen to blunder into your sights–within range–and present you with a somewhat clean shot.
By the way, it might also be worthy to mention: traps will kill silently. Food for thought.
The understanding behind trapping is that it’s based on the concept of residual returns through increasing your chances, elevating your probability of acquiring meat sources. The more traps you bring, the better your chances. If frontiersmen thought this was important, then it must have been. Of course, I’d trust a Davy Crockett over “survival dude” any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
[source] – American Preppers Network
Nobody wants to confront a major natural disaster. Yet some disasters – hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes, to name a few – come with warning signs, allowing for minor preparation and escape.
Earthquakes, on the other hand, happen immediately and with no warning. They are so all-consuming and widespread that you cannot jump in the car and escape them.
If you are in the impact zone, you will be affected. But the degree to which you are affected can be minimized. It all depends on how prepared you are for the quake. Preparation does take some time, but you will reap the benefits many times over in the event of a major earthquake.
Ordinary life immediately precedes an earthquake. You are washing the dishes, watching TV, doing homework, or putting on a helmet for a bike ride. Then you feel that initial jolt.
You may not realize it at first, thinking that it is something else – that someone dropped something heavy. Then you become aware of the noises, of chandeliers rattling, the house frame squeaking, glasses dropping and breaking, car alarms going off.
If you are indoors, items that are not secured – books, TVs, glassware, and lamps – will topple and fall. Hanging items will begin to swing. As these things are falling, you become aware that you might just become the victim of one of these falling things.
If you are outdoors, trees sway and water sloshes out of swimming pools.
The first jerk is followed by several more back-and-forth jerks. You may find it hard to stand.
Even though most earthquakes last only seconds – rarely more than thirty seconds – it will feel like forever.
Right after the shaking stops, the noise continues: dogs barking, people shouting, alarms ringing. Milder aftershocks continue for minutes or hours. Your electricity has probably gone out. Water may not be safe to drink, or water mains may be broken. Gas lines may erupt.
You have just experienced an earthquake measuring 7.0 or greater on the Richter scale.1
Unfortunately, no one can predict earthquakes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake, nor are any scientists expected to be able to do so in the foreseeable future.
The best that scientists can do is produce tables that calculate the probability that an earthquake may occur. The milder the earthquake, the greater the probability that it will occur within the next 30 years. More severe quakes measuring 7.0 or higher on the Richter scale – those truly life-altering, disastrous quakes – are less probable to happen.
For example, because Southern California already experiences quakes between 5 and 6 on the Richter scale about four times per year, there is a 100 percent chance of another quake of similar strength happening within the next 30 years. However, because major magnitude-7.5 quakes have happened about once every 87 years, Southern California has only a 36 percent chance of another one happening in the next 30 years.2
To help make your recovery from an earthquake safer and more comfortable, you should stock up your home with a set of essential preparedness items. Keep these items stored in a clean, dry place.3
Chances are good that your home is not prepared for an earthquake. While your house may seem solid and safe, it is likely not ready for the rigors of a magnitude-7.0 earthquake. Undertake these projects now for a safer home:4
Secure heaters to walls with metal straps. These bands can be purchased as part of a kit, available at home improvement stores.
Affix any kind of furniture that can tip over to a wall stud, using a metal L-brace or a nylon strap.
Attach ledge barriers along the edges of shelves to prevent items from sliding off and falling.
Attach flexible connections to allow appliances to shift without breaking their lines. As with the water heater, attach large gas appliances to the nearest wall.
Install clear or shaded safety film on windows. This will prevent glass from scattering across the floor.
Consult a contractor to install anchor bolts between the house framing and the foundation.
Attach reinforcing bars or metal straps to the chimney to prevent it from snapping and breaking off in the event of an earthquake.
Even though the earthquake may last only seconds, the aftermath may go on for days or weeks to come. Follow these fifteen steps, in this order:
Earthquakes are devastating events. Fortunately, you and your family can remain safe by following basic safety plans.
Source: Fix.com Blog
You would think that everyone would understand the obvious, adding a first aid kit to your survival planning and preps. But like many things this is one survival item often overlooked.
Whether it’s a natural disaster, car crash or a zombie outbreak, medical treatment will always be needed in an emergency situation.
We suggest that you consider having at least 3 different types of first aid kits:
While kit contents will vary, your basic kit should include at least the following:
The intermediate kit will include more of each of the above items, plus the following:
Your more extensive deluxe medical kit can be expected to include not only the above, but some or all of the following:
If you need access to prescription medicines, you should consider stocking up on them now and adding these:
Also, adding a medical encyclopedia with detail and instructions for basic surgical and other medical procedures would be good to have on hand. You might even invest in taking a First Aid training course at your local Junior College or continuing education center.
Year Zero Survival has a great selection of survival first aid kits for the home, car, and workplace. Now is the time to act, be prepared.
Weather can change dramatically and often quite suddenly too, causing severe destruction, injuries, and even fatalities. In the last few years especially, we have been witnessing increasingly violent weather phenomena. Fortunately, today’s improved weather services are often able to warn us of impending natural disasters well before they occur. This advance warning allows people to prepare themselves and their homes so that they can come out alive and safe.
In some cases, the best means of defense is to evacuate the area. This is often done when the scale of the disaster seems too tremendous to cope with. However, at other times people may not be able to evacuate, or during lesser emergencies, they may choose to stay at home and wait it out. In the latter situation, being properly prepared is essential. This means that at least some stages of preparation should be done well in advance, even before there is any warning about a natural disaster.
A key part of disaster safety is having a sufficient amount of supplies, as well as an emergency kit. A basic version is usually built to sustain each member of the household for a minimum of three days. The purpose of this is that people can very easily be trapped within a building without any signs of help for quite some time. A disaster kit typically includes a bountiful supply of water for drinking and cleaning, along with non-perishable canned or packaged foods, a can opener, a first aid kit, flashlights and batteries, cell phones and chargers, emergency phone numbers, and a radio. Other useful items to have are prescription medications, supplies for infants and pets, cash, matches, and personal hygiene items.
By creating this kit and packing it ahead of time, emergency preparation becomes much easier and quicker when a natural disaster is announced. It is equally important to have a predetermined action plan so that each person in the house knows exactly what to do when a disaster strikes. Without a proper action plan, people often tend to first panic, and then act illogically, which may put them directly in the path of danger. Examples of emergency plans include fire drills or deciding on an emergency meeting spot. At least two people in the household should be trained in CPR and know how to deliver first aid in case of medical emergencies. Learn more about home preparedness during natural disasters with some of these helpful resources.
It’s a harrowing statistic, but according to the National Weather Service, about 70 percent of winter weather-related fatalities occur in an automobile. You can bet many of those vehicle-related deaths began with someone simply leaving the house to run an errand, make a short trip to visit family or friends or take care of routine business. The weather turns unexpectedly bad, road conditions rapidly deteriorate and, suddenly, what was an ordinary drive becomes an overnight ordeal.
Don’t think just because you don’t live in New England, the upper Midwest or the western mountains that something like this can’t happen to you. Even in areas where snow is a rare event, cars can slide off icy roads and become stranded in freezing weather, leaving passengers stuck right there with them. Here’s how to make it through a freezing night in your car and ride out events until help can arrive.
The first thing to do as winter approaches is be sure you have stored a few key items in your car. If you wait until you need them to try to round them up, it will be too late. Essential items to include in a winter survival kit, according to a combination of recommendations by Wisconsin Emergency Management’s Ready Wisconsin initiative and survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt’s OutdoorSafe website, include:
Other essential winter tools in severe weather country include jumper cables, the best small shovel, tire chains and rock salt, sand or kitty litter to provide added traction when stuck on a slick surface.
If you’re leaving for an extended trip, always check weather and road conditions before departing. If poor conditions are forecast, you may consider postponing your trip. Also, let others know when you are leaving, which way you will be traveling and when you should arrive at your destination so they can alert authorities and provide them with solid information to help in finding you should the need arise. Fill your car with fuel and make frequent stops to stretch, relax and refill your tank, never allowing it to get much below a half tank. Should you become stuck and need to spend the night in your car, the ample gas will allow you to start your car throughout the night and run the heat for short intervals.
First call for help if you can’t get your car unstuck. Don’t overexert yourself and don’t leave your car and begin walking for help. You stand a much better chance of being found if you remain with your car, which can also provide the best shelter from the elements. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety warns against running your car constantly. Instead, be sure the exhaust pipe is free from snow and roll down a window enough to vent the car and prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Run the car for short 15-20 minute intervals to warm up and then turn it back off, using blankets, a sleeping bag, hand warmers and the body heat of others in your car to stay warm. Eat snacks to keep nourished and read a book (another item Kummerfeldt recommends) until help arrives.
Heavy-duty plastic bags, like those meant for trash and yard debris, can be used in a surprisingly wide variety of ways to help ensure your survival during a disaster situation like an earthquake, hurricane, or even Zombie outbreak. These light-weight, extremely low cost, readily available, and incredibly versatile tools should be in every B.O.B. and Emergency kit.
We’ve listed a few of our favorite survival uses for plastic bags, but keep in mind that this everyday item is only limited by your imagination… and whether or not you happen to have a few on hand.
MEDICAL: While it might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a trash bag or yard debris bag; a clean, unused bag can be used for a wide variety of medical purposes.
Waterproof bandages – After applying the appropriate bandage to a wound, place a layer of plastic bag over the bandage to protect it from outside moisture and contamination. Secure the protective covering properly, and remove and change the bandage and covering as needed.
Fight hypothermia – The potentially deadly effects of hypothermia can be battled by utilizing a large plastic bag as a “hot box” or additional layer to trap heat next to the body. Simply cut a hole for your head (and arms if needed), and wear the bag as a pullover. You can also simply drape the bag over your body, as you might a survival blanket.
Cold Compress – Fill with snow, ice, or cold water. Fold or tie off bag and apply as needed.
Handle medical waste – Plastic bags can be utilized as gloves for handling medical waste and contaminates such as blood, organs, vomit, and fecal matter… though we’re not sure why you’d handle the last two, unless you’re cleaning up a mess. Check the bag for punctures and/or rips BEFORE you try them on as gloves.
Tourniquet – Like many other flexible materials, large plastic bags can be used as a makeshift tourniquet. While it wont be the best thing for long term use, it can make a world of difference for the short run… remember it’s all about surviving the moment, you can worry about the long-term later.
Sling – Plastic bags can be used to support and immobilize a broken or wounded arm.
WATER: Containers come in handy when you need to collect, transport, and/or treat water, but there’s even more that you can use them for when it comes to water.
Collection/Storage – Lining a trash can, hole in the ground, or other receptacle with a clean plastic bag makes the collection of rainwater safer than simply letting it fill into a potentially contaminated container. Plastic bags can also be used as scoops for collecting water from pools, streams, and other bodies of water.
Solar Still – Fully enclose the leafy green area of a tree branch, securing the plastic bag tightly at the opening. Let it sit in the sun for a few hours as the condensation builds within the bag . Carefully remove the bag when ready, and repeat the process as needed. This method doesn’t typically result in large amounts of liquid, but every little bit counts… especially during a survival situation.
Transport – Creating a sturdy double walled bag for transporting water can be done in just a few steps. Cut or tear open the sealed end of a plastic bag so you are left with a tube. Twist or tie a knot in the center of the bag so you are left with two open ends and a shape like an hourglass. Fold one side over the other and you’re left with a double walled water carrying device.
Filter/Purify – Water isn’t any good to you if it isn’t safe to drink, but a simple plastic bag can go a long way to making water potable. Learn other important tips and tricks for water filtration and purification here: H20 (Water).
Gravity Filter – Gravity filters are simple multi-layer systems that remove the majority of contaminates, and you can easily make one at home. Double wall a plastic bag as seen in the WATER: Transportation portion of this article. Cut a small “spout” hole into the lowest point possible, without destroying the integrity of the bag too much. Reinforce the spout with a bit of duct tape so it doesn’t split when filled. Next, place a coffee filter, bandana, or similar cloth or material for filtering inside the bag and up against the spout. Then carefully pack and layer the following materials into the lower portion of the bag: 2″-3″ finely crushed charcoal, 2″ fine sand, 1″ small stones, 1″fine sand, and 1″ moss, grass, or other porous material. Gently fill the bag with water, tie a knot into the top, hang it up, and allow it to do the job.
Solar Treatment / SODIS – This can be a fairly unpredictable method for treating water, especially during cloudy or winter weather, but when done properly, it can work like a charm. The SODIS method relies on the power of solar rays to purify water; this is only helpful if larger contaminates have first been removed with basic filtration methods like the one listed above. Utilizing a large plastic bag for this method should be a last resort, as not all bags are made from food grade materials. This method is only effective when using CLEAR plastic, tinted or colored materials will not work.
Solar Shower – Fill a darkly colored plastic bag with water, hang it above head height, let it sit in the sun for a bit to warm up, poke a couple of small holes in the bottom, and enjoy a nice warm shower.
FOOD: Collecting, capturing, and storing food can be difficult during a survival situation, but a trash bag can make the task a whole lot easier.
Collection – Whether you’re raiding the wilds, a nearby farm, or grocery store, containers come in handy… and that’s just what a trash bag is, a container. No matter what you find or where you find it, you’ll need a way to carry your collected goods.
Storage – Just like with water, lining a trash can, hole in the ground, or other receptacle with a clean plastic bag makes the storage of food much safer than placing it into a potentially contaminated or uncovered container. Plastic bags can be sealed by twisting the top and adding a bit of cordage, or simply by tying a knot in the top of the bag itself.
In addition to being a great lightweight container for food items, plastic bags can be tied and hung away from the ground and the prying hands of Zombies, other survivors, and wild animals. A well-sealed bag can offer the advantage of a longer shelf-life of some foods… as long as you store it in a cool dry place.
Trapping – Set them as netting for bugs and fish, or use them as sacks to quickly and more easily bag a bird, squirrel, or other small animal that lends itself to capture.
SHELTER: From additional security to being used as shelters themselves, heavy-duty plastic bags can be utilized in a number of ways when it comes to provide protection from the elements and the undead.
Tarp Tent – Just like an emergency blanket, poncho, or tarp, a plastic bag can be used to create basic Tarp Tent style shelters and protective covers. Cutting the bag down the length of one side, and slicing it along the bottom, can double the square feet of material available for your shelter or cover. Make sure to carry a bit of paracord with you to help when securing your shelter.
Tube Tent – Tear or cut open the sealed end of a large plastic bag, duct tape the tube to another bag, slide yourself inside, and rest well. The ambient heat from your body will build and help to keep your body warm… even in wet and windy weather.
Ground Cover – This one is as simple as it sounds, but it’s important too… especially when you’re sleeping in the wild. Keeping your body away from moisture and the cold of the ground can greatly increase your chances of survival.
Window Black Out – Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you have to look like you are. Blacking out your windows is an important step to ensuring you aren’t hassled by outsiders or spotted by Zombies in a post apocalyptic world. Covering your windows with black trash bags can keep the light from getting out, and you from being seen.
Quarantine – Duct tape and plastic bags can be used to create a fairly effective quarantine area, whether at home or in the field. Simply seal off an area with the bags and duct tape, and make sure it isn’t breached. You’ll need to fully cover any potential areas of transmission, such as heating vents, windows, doorways, etc.
GEAR/OTHER: Beyond water and food collection, medical assistance, and shelter; plastic trash bags can be utilized as a substitute for many types of gear.
Rain Poncho – The only downside to wearing a plastic bag as a rain poncho is that they don’t breathe. This means that while it will hold the rain and snow out, it will also hold your sweat in. Pay close attention to your body temperature and water-loss when wearing a non-permeable covering like this.
Gear Bag / Dry Bag– Twist the bag a few times just above the line of the gear inside. Fold the excess over top of the bag and carry it upside down. This should create a relatively water-tight seal that still allows for somewhat easy access to important gear and supplies.
Water-proof Boots/Gaiters – Applied over boots, and even bare or minimally covered feet, plastic bags make an excellent material for water-proofing and protection from the elements. They can also be wrapped around the shins or legs as makeshift gaiters for travel through swampy or other exceedingly wet areas.
Flotation Device – Filled with air and twisted shut, heavy-duty trash bags are extremely lightweight and buoyant. They can be used to assist in crossing deep water by simply being held onto, or they can be applied to a raft or other flotation device.
Sleeping Bag / Mattress – Similar to being used as a Tube Tent, large plastic bags make great sleeping bags when stuff with materials like leaves, fabric, stuffing, packing peanuts, etc. Fill the bag as full as possible and crawl in, or use it as a sleeping surface for the night. Not only will this method protect you from the cold, it will help to keep away potential contaminates as well.
Washing Machine – Placing garments into a plastic bag that has been partially filled with water and soap, can actually make a world of difference when attempting to get your clothes clean. Once everything is in there, just jostle it around, empty it out, rinse your clothing, and hang them to dry. Remember, proper hygiene can go a long way to keeping you alive.
Restroom – Sometimes the plumbing goes out, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to use the bathroom. Placed into a drained toilet or into a 5 gallon bucket, plastic bags can make dealing with waste, a much cleaner and easier process. These can also be used to line latrines when you’re worried about contaminating a nearby water source.
OTHER MISC USES: Creating smoke for signal fires, lashing, patches for clothing and other gear, And of course… collecting and removing refuse, among about a million other uses.
Because not all trash bags are made with the intent of heavy-duty use, it’s a good idea to grab a few construction grade bags from your local hardware store or garden center. Keep a few on hand in your Bug Out Bag and E-kits and utilize them as needed… though we hope you never have to.
RMA is the name of a category 5 hurricane, one of the worst hurricanes formed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2017. The last horrible hurricane of such intensity, experienced by the U.S in 2005, was when Katrina shook its coastal areas.
It started on the 30th of August 2017 and raged at 185 miles/per hour for 37 hours. It is recorded to be the longest and fiercest hurricane of the Atlantic Ocean.
Irma originated in the deep tropics near the islands of Cape Verde and quickly intensified.
Regions Affected by Hurricane Irma:
The most catastrophic damage caused by Irma as a category 5 hurricane was experienced by the following regions:
Overall Damage of this hurricane is calculated at more than $30 billion in 11 days. Some of the Catastrophes are mentioned below along with regions:
For more detailed facts and figures, check very comprehensive infographic produced by HuntingMark.com.
Irma Broke the Records:
This tropical hurricane broke many global records: