Let’s pretend that as you are reading this the global markets are collapsing, a hurricane is coming your way, or NASA just informed the world that a sunspot is about to shut down the power grid for months (or a combination thereof).
If you are not prepared, what do you do?
Whether you’re bugging out with your bug-out bag or staying put with a well-thought-out, self-sufficient homestead plan, make sure you always have quick and easy access to the important documents in your life. Make at least two copies of the originals, and store them in different locations where they can be grabbed at a moment’s notice. It’s important to update these records often. Outdated information will help no one.
In the case of an emergency there are countless scenarios wherein you will need documents to prove that you are who you say you are and your claims are true and accurate. This is especially true when children are involved. If you can’t prove that you are their parent, today’s State and Federal security laws prohibit schools from releasing them to you, and medical facilities will not treat them. With that said, the following is a list of suggested documents to copy and keep together in one place for access upon a moment’s notice.
When, in the course of “human events,” it becomes evident that the “junk” has hit the fan, your medical, bug-out, vehicle and home kits need to work well and last through whatever life may throw at you.
The process of weeding out the “fluff” to get down to the meat and bones of a good product you can bet your life on (and your family’s lives) can be annoying at best and detrimental to your survival at worst. In an effort to show you some basic solutions to the challenge of selecting such important components of preparedness kits, Category Five has developed these helpful guidelines.
While many people romanticize the idea of social unrest or martial law as motivations for “bugging out,” the more likely event is that something like Hurricane Katrina or a forest fire will be your stimulus for actually leaving your home behind and hitting the road with your bug out bag (BOB). If you classify yourself as a “prepper,” then you may already have your BOB packed. However, you may not know that system redundancy is just as important in building your bag as it is in every other aspect of prepping.
When building your BOB, make sure you have particular items in multiple pockets and pouches, as well as retaining multiple versions of the same functionality. For example, instead of having one lighter in your front pocket and that’s it, make sure you also carry some waterproof matches in your medical kit, a ferrocerium rod and steel striker in your waterproof clothing bag, and a road flare in the side pocket of your bag. That way, if anything happens to any piece of equipment you have (i.e., submerged in water, stolen, dropped along the way), you will have diversified your reliance on any single part of your bag.
One of the advantages of having a preparedness plan is the opportunity to stockpile items that can be used in a barter economy. I have written many times that, at least for a while following an economic collapse, a barter economy will develop.
That is why I recommend having a large quantity of pre-1964 silver coins. They will be recognized as “money” because they look like the coins we are familiar with, but will also retain value because of their silver content.
Your family may be scattered to the four winds when an emergency strikes, and there’s a good possibility cellphones won’t work. It’s prudent to plan a meeting location to prepare for disaster. Of course, the first and most logical choice for a meeting place is the home. But, depending on the nature of the disaster, it might not be feasible to meet there.
Telling you what shoe to buy for your particular situation makes as much sense as telling you what car you should buy. There are too many variables — budget, environment, terrain, foot shape, etc. — to consider. But there are a few truths you should remember when choosing footwear for the survival scenario.
Shoes are vitally important because your feet may become your only mode of transportation if the grid or supply chain is taken down. If it happens, you’re going to spend a lot of time either working outdoors or hiking out of your area, and this is going to put a big strain on your shoes or boots.
Filipinos have found a new (and practically free) way to use an old source of light, and it’s something you can put into your survival playbook to provide light to a shelter if the electrical grid ever goes down. You can also use the method to provide light to an outbuilding that doesn’t have an electrical connection.
I sometimes close a column with a reminder to store water, food, guns, ammo and gold. Inevitably, that remark will spark a rejoinder pointing out the folly of preparedness.
Some people just don’t get it, and apparently no amount of “preaching” to them on the subject will get through. Boy Scouts, apparently, they aren’t. For them, normalcy bias (the belief that things will always be just like they are) is just too tough to overcome.
To prepare for a long-term situation in which your emergency stores are going to run out, you need to know how to hunt, gather and forage in your area.
For hunting you should have a .22-caliber rifle for shooting small game, a shotgun and a large caliber rifle like a .308 or a .30-06.