Home Preparedness

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Jesse
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Home Preparedness

Postby Jesse » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:46 am

I'd like to start a thread to focus on Home Preparedness. This involves defending against threats from many areas. One of the sites that does a great job of laying out preparatory ideas is http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs ... p/map.html. I tend to always link it to those who are new to the idea. Preparing your home does not just consist of preparing to deal with intruders although that's a decent part of it. You also have to deal with natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and worst of all the house fire which claims the most homes of all here in the USA.

1. You do need to make your home burglary/invader unfriendly by having strong doors/locks, clearing out cover close to your house, installing exterior lights, not leaving things outside to be easily stolen, securing exterior access to circuit breakers and power switches, maintaining cell phones and flashlights, possibly creating a strong room to retreat to, keeping weapons available and ready, and installing security systems of some sort.

2. You need to protect your wealth by documenting it (best done with a digital camera), backing up all your information on external hard drives or flash drives, and storing copies of digital information offsite in bank lock boxes or in the cloud. Friends of mine have had house fires and insurance will NOT reimburse you for items you cannot prove that you had or that you cannot prove the value of. Family pictures and keepsakes are not replaceable after a fire or theft. Digitize and copy.

3. You need fire alarms, co2 alarms, extinguishers, and exit plans. You need a Bug Out Bag (more on another thread) prepared for yourself and your family that will allow you to leave your home instantly and have a change of clothing, cell phone, keys, etc... available. Fires may start when you're in bed or showering. A very large number of fire fatalities occur with people who knew about the fire, but did not leave because they were dressing, grabbing vital things, calling 911 from INSIDE, or trying to organize an escape that should have been planned previously. Panic makes rational people do stupid things. Pre-planning allows you to make the right decisions ahead of time.

4. You need to know how to cut off your gas and/or have a tool ready to do so. You need to be aware of possible dangers around you: gas storage facilities, chemical plants, highway systems and other things that could have accidents that would cause you to have to leave quickly. You need to have plans in place to leave your house rapidly with whatever you need and maps/routes planned ahead of time. Katrina ended up causing a great deal of people to run at the last minute...unprepared, hungry, without gas in the car, without money to buy anything, after several days of watching the hurricane get closer on tv and the internet. A smart person had plenty of time to pack, drive, and find a hotel or family well out of the way to run to. It would have been easy to leave and then come back if problems didn't pan out. Deer in the headlights get smacked.

5. You need first aid kits at home and you need the training to use them and to know when to call 911. The Red Cross provides many very good courses. I highly recommend that you take their combined CPR/AED/First Aid course as a bare minimum. You can now take the majority of the class online and then easily schedule coming in to do the practical hands on section. I believe it cost $60 or so and it is invaluable.

6. You need to build up a stockpile of food, prescription medicines, contacts/glasses, etc... that will allow you to reasonably and comfortably live through service interruptions (storms, unrest, etc...). You also need to have alternate heating solutions for cold weather. It will never happen to you...until it does. Blizzards in the south shut down everything. Riots don't happen in America ever...Los Angeles should have disproved that. Watch the power go out by accident somewhere and you almost instantly have looting.

One of the best things to remember is a loose quote from the website I mentioned. Survival is possible for anyone with a halfway quick mind. It's also possible simply by chance for unprepared but lucky individuals. THRIVING on the other hand only happens to those who plan, prepare, and work.




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Jesse
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Re: Home Preparedness

Postby Jesse » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:41 am

There are people who are anticipating a complete breakdown. I am not however. If things do collapse, then I believe that the book http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Survival-M ... 537&sr=8-4 describes a lot more of what would actually happen. It's written by a man who lived through the economic collapse in Argentina.

It's worthwhile to say that assuming there was a complete economic collapse, you're insane to stay in this country. If you really thought it was going to happen, wouldn't you find a different place to live instead of building bunkers and stockpiling? I have no desire to live in a bunker.

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RevGunner
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Re: Home Preparedness

Postby RevGunner » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:19 pm

Good Stuff. I don't know what if anything will happen. But I agree with you I ain't living in a bunker. Here's another great link. It's a Blog written by a guy who lived in a city cut off from everything for a year during the Balkan wars in the early 90's. Great honest percpective on what it will be like if it does go bad.

I know one thing. Since I started reading it I buy the shit out of lighters. Canned goods are great too. There were women trading sex for can of corned beef hash.
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Jesse
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Re: Home Preparedness

Postby Jesse » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:20 pm

Better to buy a few refillable zippos and a lot of the liquid.

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RevGunner
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Re: Home Preparedness

Postby RevGunner » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:38 pm

Nah. You can never have enough Bics. Read down in the blog. The guy is tried and tested.

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Paladin
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Re: Home Preparedness

Postby Paladin » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:55 pm

Jesse wrote:There are people who are anticipating a complete breakdown. I am not however. If things do collapse, then I believe that the book http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Survival-M ... 537&sr=8-4 describes a lot more of what would actually happen. It's written by a man who lived through the economic collapse in Argentina.

It's worthwhile to say that assuming there was a complete economic collapse, you're insane to stay in this country. If you really thought it was going to happen, wouldn't you find a different place to live instead of building bunkers and stockpiling? I have no desire to live in a bunker.


A huge priority I haven't seen mentioned yet is a source of clean water. I live in high elevation desert where we get 300 days a year of sunshine, and I guide back-country mountainbike trips in the summer, and water is/has always been an issue--at times a very critical one.

I have enough "clean" water on my property to provide for 4 adults for at least a year, (food, drink, laundry, flushing) including watering the garden, and not counting catching rain or snow, that I'm also set up to do. I also have at least 3 reliable methods for purifying water, but my main choice will be my Berkey filter. We have one major river 5 miles away and the Snake River about 10 miles away, so I can envision cooperative, armed trips to re-fill water barrels if things get really bad for a long time.

But remember Calgacus' rule of 3's, 3 days without water and you're most likely dead.
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RevGunner
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Re: Home Preparedness

Postby RevGunner » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:38 am

Yes Water is huge. I live in town so no readily available ponds. I do keep 15 gallons of bottled water on Han at all times. Wofully lacking I know. I'm working on it.


One thing I know not to do is keep all my eggs in one basket. I have stuff out in my garage, and also in a storage unit. My go bag is in my jeep not my house. House burns down you need to get out now. I also stopped sleeping in the buff years ago for the same reason.

I saw a documentary years ago about a couple that lives in a cabin in Alaska. Totaly off the grid. They have a tent set up ready to move in in an instant. Since all lighting cooking etc. is done by fire the chances of their cabin burning down are good. Middle of the night they need a place to flee, temps are way below freezing they need shelter and heat now. If I move to te country that's what I'm setting up. It will be a building not a tent. But I ain't searching for shelter after a fire.

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Jesse
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Re: Home Preparedness

Postby Jesse » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:32 am

BTW, there is a vast difference between preparing for having to get out for a week or two, having the house burn down and having all your wealth/livelihood provided for and backed up, and preparing for society to fall apart. The last one of those really is not something I'd planned to address in this thread. It's possible. It's definitely happened before in other places. It could easily happen here in the USA and a number of people would argue that all the warning signs are there for it happening soon. Personally, I still think that going somewhere else is the best solution for that. There are survivalists who ostensibly say that they are preparing for 1 year, 5 years, 15 years etc..., but you'll usually find that they have made no provision for entertainment for that long, schooling for children for that long, communication for that long, etc.... They're planning to survive...not thrive. If you do worry about it happening, I believe there are much better courses of action. Think.

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RevGunner
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Re: Home Preparedness

Postby RevGunner » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:46 am

Yes there is a difference. What I was getting at was immediate action. "What am I going to do right now? Short term.

Documentation is another area I'm lax in. I have Christmas week off I should probably do that then.

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Jesse
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Re: Home Preparedness

Postby Jesse » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:19 am

If you're going to do the documentation, then I highly recommend that you check out the check lists on that web site that I linked. There were about 10 items that I would not have thought of including. Also, a cheap but probably adequate fire safe is about $20 at Wal-Mart. Also http://www.brothersoft.com/backup-maker-49938.html is the free backup program I use on my computers. I wanted it to back up to a jump drive that i could put in the fire safe. It's very customizable, storage is limited by the size of the jump drive you choose (which can be huge these days), and you have complete control over it. You could even set it up so you have one jump drive in the computer that backs up nightly, and another that backs up whenever you insert it. Keep the first there in case of hardware failure, and the second backed up in the fire safe in case of disaster. You can even set it up to only backup things that have changed which speeds it up tremendously.


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