Frank Bates Archive
As a middle school kid, I spent one of the scariest hours of my life lost in the woods. I wandered away from our family’s campsite and didn’t see another human being for the next 60 minutes. The only people more terrified than me were my parents, who split up and went in different directions calling my name until I heard them.
As my friend, Orrin M. Knutson, points out in his book, Survival 101: How to Bug Out and Survive the First 72 Hours, 150,000 people on average get lost in the woods and wilds overnight or longer annually in America. Even more are stranded or caught in natural disasters. Few are prepared and some of them don’t make it out alive.
For many American adults, the concept of retirement is scary. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take — right now — to help weather the storm and live as comfortably as possible during your retirement years. It’s a very basic, three-step plan.
One of the reasons that some people don’t bother thinking about or preparing for a disaster is because they believe they have enough money to get through it, no matter how bad it becomes. They’re used to drawing upon their wealth to take care of problems, so they assume that their finances will come to the rescue again if necessary.
But if we ever experience a total financial collapse — and some people believe the signs are pointing in that direction — no amount of money in the world will help. Any number of events could thrust North America into that horrific situation, including an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that could keep funds locked inside banks for weeks, months or, possibly, years.
One of the best ways to cut utility bills is by getting off the vulnerable electrical grid as much as possible. Regardless of whether you are able to do that, there are many additional steps you can take in order to reduce your power costs.
Gaining food independence is a big step in our overall effort to become self-reliant. Maintaining a good food supply is crucial to being able to both survive and thrive in a post-disaster society.
Growing your own food is one of the best ways to reach your goal in this area, but sometimes little critters can pose a big problem. A standard fence may keep rabbits, deer and other animals out of your garden; but an electric fence will probably be much more effective.
How serious a threat does flooding pose? Flash floods can bring walls of water from 10 to 20 feet high, a car can be carried away by just two feet of flood water and just a few inches of water from a flood can cause thousands of dollars in damages.
Have you ever seen the television commercials in which lines at a store’s checkout counters move briskly when customers are using the sponsor’s credit and debit cards, but slow down considerably when someone has the audacity to use cash? The implication is that if you don’t use the sponsor’s cards for your purchases, you’re an out-of-touch dweeb who inconveniences all those around you.
Those advertisements always rub me the wrong way because there are a number of reasons why cash can be preferable — including for budgeting purposes. But I’m guessing those commercials are even more offensive to victims of disasters such as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina and the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., last year.
If someone breaks into your home while you’re there, your window of opportunity for reacting effectively to protect yourself and your family will probably be very small. You have to make every second count in this situation, and you will be able to accomplish this only if you are fully prepared.
With gardening season rapidly approaching, we’re soon going to hear a lot about the importance of soil and how much of a difference the quality of soil can make in a plant’s growth. And it’s true; soil is important. But it’s not crucial for a plant’s growth like water is.
During the 1900s, scientists learned that the important mineral nutrients that are absorbed by plants come from water. Soil does act like a mineral nutrient reservoir in nature, but it is not required for plant growth. If we bring those essential mineral nutrients into a plant’s water supply through an artificial method, soil is not really needed for the plant’s growth at all! That’s what hydroponic gardening is all about.
People who are serious about preparedness and self-reliance are interested in more than a three-month or even a one-year supply of food and water. They want food independence in the form of heirloom seeds that they can both plant and store.