Friday, August 28, 2009

Guest Post: KPN - Breakfast

matthiasj - Kentucky Preppers Network

Keep in mind when planning your food storage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. To ensure you are awake, alert, and have plenty of energy it is important to eat a good breakfast every day. There are plenty of options of what to store in your food storage for breakfast. The problem with some options is a lot of them take a lot of time/energy to prepare; not to mention the cost. Here is a idea as an alternative to your regular breakfast and something you can rotate with your storage.

Quick Oats. Quick oats possess all the qualities of a great survival food. They're quick, easy, nutritious, filling, and cheap. Quick oats are purchasable at any major supermarket or grocery store and have a shelf life of at least 1 year. One can purchase a 2+ pound container of oats for around $3. The 2lb. container of oats has 30, 1/2 cup servings per container. 1 container is enough for 1 person for a whole month! 1/2 cup of oats is enough to fill up nearly anyone for hours. They are cholesterol free, sodium free, and have a good amount of protein, fiber, and potassium.

Now trust me, eating plain oats everyday for a month would be torture. But the good part is you can add nearly any combination of additives to the oats to increase taste, flavor and variety. Honey is the first additive, and something that should be added to each serving. Honey is a natural sweetener and is jam packed with nutrients that your body needs. A 6 pound bottle of natural honey at your local warehouse retail chain will run you around $10 and has 108 servings in 1 bottle. Honey will make the oats sweet and a lot more tastey and edible.

There are endless combination's of things you can add to your oats. Honey should be added to all servings of oats. I also add 1 tbsp of cinnamon powder for additional flavor. Breakfast is also a great time to get in some fruits and adding your dehydrated fruits to the oats will give you the variety you need to eat it nearly every morning. I've eaten oats with dried blueberries, dried apples, raisins, and dried banana chips. Quick oats and the for-mentioned dried fruits are all included in my 3 month supply and the money that you save on breakfast frees up funds to contribute to the other meals or other preparedness supplies.

Flea- Thanks Matt for filling my posting gap!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

1 More Week And Should Be Back To Normal

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Sorry for the lack of posts but there will be likely one more week with very few if any posts.

The contractors will be finishing up my house this week and I have a lot going on with work. I did graduate from college (Associates Degree) and I am taking a break before starting Bachelors.

Keep checking back but I would guess things should start to return to normalcy here next weekend.

Thanks for all your support and well wishes...means a lot.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fire and Flood, Some Pictures

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Well I figured I would share a few pics of my house from my dance with lightning. They ripped off part of the roof and redid it, we have all the utilities fixed properly not just patched so I could get by and they are starting sheet rocking tomorrow.

One thing I have learned is that if you have any expensive computer equipment or any other electronics spend the $20 and get a quality surge suppressor. Everything I had on a suppressor survived, the stuff that was plugged in to wall directly was toast.

 

The pipe you see on the right is the water pipe (black). It broke up near the ridge line and where the lightning hit. Water filled this wall and eventually leaked through the baseboard and filled most of the first floor.


Water collected in that ceiling corner they ripped out.


The entire roof line down the side of the house is burnt like that.


Here you can see a bit more of it.


This is just some of the nonsense you need to be involved with regarding flooding. Turbo fans and HUGE dehumidifiers.

All in all this experience has sucked. I won't sugar coat it and like I have said I don't wish this on anyone.

Close to $3,000 out of my pocket so far. FINALLY got the "emergency" $1,000 the insurance company sent. TOOK 10 days and they sent it Postal Service (Geez ever heard of FEDEX?)

Finally got the adjusters report, $16k in damage...

I do have faith in the working man though, every contractor that has set foot in my house has been fabulous.

...that is all.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekend Roudup Vol. 32

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Well, I am off another week with no pay this week. This is the 3rd out of 4 mandatory weeks off I must take.

We have utilities. Got hot water on Friday. HOPEFULLY they will begin repairing the damage to the house this week.

What a cluster...I don't wish this anyone and if it happens I pray you have a better insurance company than I do.

ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK ON BE A SURVIVOR:
Equipment Review: SOG Seal Pup Elite
How To Use A Map And A Compass Part I
How To Use A Map And A Compass Part II
How To Survive Being Pulled Over By The Police
30 More Tips That Will Save Your Life...Maybe

THE USUAL BUSINESS
If your are the "letter" type and want to send me some snail mail, you can do so using the address below:

R.F.
P.O. Box 51181
Summerville, SC 29485

Please also remember to support our sponsors:
Prepared Planet
Berkey Sales

Support Be A Survivor, Thanks!

...that is all.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quote Of The Day

By Flea - Be A Survivor

"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."

-George Bernard Shaw

...that is all.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Spidey Sense

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I remember watching the old Spiderman cartoon when I was a kid and hearing Spiderman talk about his “Spidey Sense” that warned him of danger before he encountered it. I remember wishing I had Spidey Sense, not to mention I would have love to been able to scale walls and shoot a web like substance from my wrists but I digress.

In reality many folks do have the small alarm bell that goes off in their head when something just doesn’t seem right. The trick is learning to recognize it and pay attention to it.

We have all been there, a situation that just didn’t feel right, a suspicious character, seeing someone doing something stupid and KNOWING something bad was going to happen. This is our natural “Spidey Sense” given to us by our maker to try and help us stay out of trouble.

When you get that feeling learn to recognize it and by all means act on it. Take control of the situation and if there is immediate danger for you or someone around you quickly get the situation under control and avert the pending crisis before something bad does happens.

You can help develop this skill by doing a few simple tasks.

Always be aware of your situation and surroundings. Don’t take anything for granted and pay close attention to what is going on around you. The more aware you are the more likely you will be able to recognize and avert a possible crisis.

Don’t be afraid to act on your feelings and either disarm the situation or walk away. Inaction will make you feel guilty if something does happen.

So to summarize:
1.) Pay attention to your situation and surroundings at all times.
2.) Act on any funny feelings you get to help keep bad things from happening
3.) Trust your instincts, as I said they were given to you for a reason, to help keep you out of danger.

Follow these simple steps to help develop your Spidey Sense…

...that is all.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cause I Gotta have Faith, Faith, Faith…

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I don't know why but I am feeling extremely philosophical as I write this post. I was raised with religion as part of my life but it certainly wasn't drilled into my head and I was given choices at select stages of my life on how I wanted to proceed going forward.

I think I have mentioned several times on the blog I am Catholic. I went to Catholic grammar school, Catholic High School (taught by brothers) and was even an altar boy in my younger days. I will be the first to admit there was a period in my life where I questioned my faith, even going as far to say I was an atheist. I grew out of all that doubt and rediscovered my faith.

I actually enjoyed learning about religion when I was growing up and my parents never forced anything on me. The decision to become an altar boy for example was all me.

I started to go to church every week again recently and have really started to feel much better about myself and my life. I CANNOT explain it, it certainly may not work for you, but I just have a peaceful feeling that I didn’t have before.

Please, stay with me, this is not a plea for you to convert to Christianity; unlike some folks I am keenly interested in the diverse beliefs of the religions of the world, as well as those who write off religions of all types as solace for weak minded fools (I disagree strongly with that BTW). I don’t consider my “brand” as the right way and everything else wrong. I have immense respect for people from all walks of life and those who have faith in SOMETHING.

That faith can be in nature or some other “higher power”, whatever your beliefs, it helps everyone to have faith in SOMETHING. I can tell you this; you will feel good about yourself if you place your faith in SOMETHING. Be wary about placing too much faith in any person as I don’t want you to be disappointed when (not if) they let you down. People are driven by ulterior motives and are fallible in every sense of the word.

Where one has to be careful is with regard to specific instances where religion is taken and warped by some fanatical group of people who think you should believe what they believe and nothing else. I would advise folks that any respectable religion preaches tolerance of other faiths and love for your fellow residents of this spinning sphere in space. Steer clear of anything that resembles hate speech.

One thing is for sure, if you and your family want to survive a SHTF event you better at least have faith in yourselves and your abilities. I constantly harp on the “survivor mentality”, having stone cold confidence in your ability to make it when it counts. This cannot be understated and I will continue to harp on it as long as I write this blog.

I would never force anything on anyone but I will tell you this, and this is MY OPINION; a life without faith in SOMETHING (not necessarily religion), is a life not lived to the fullest. If nothing else, have faith that you and your loved ones have what it takes to make it, no matter what the situation. If you do this you can only succeed…

...that is all.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Dehydration

By Flea - Be A Survivor

The weather this year has been warm in certain areas of the country where folks just aren’t used to that. I felt I should probably do a quick post on dehydration which can ruin your day very quickly if not addressed.

Put quite simple dehydration is losing more fluid and salts than you take in. As your body attempts to cool down using sweat, fluid is released and lost from your body. You need to replace that fluid by drinking on a regular basis or you will enter the early stages of dehydration.

You should drink whether you are thirsty or not when exerting yourself and sweating, by the time you “feel” thirst you are already in the beginning stages of dehydration.

Common causes of dehydration (not related to sweating and physical exertion) are:
Diarrhea (very serious in infants and young children).
Excessive vomiting
Fever
Inadequate intake of fluids (you don’t even have to be physically active)

The symptoms of dehydration are:
Dry mouth
Tiredness
Thirst
Not urinating or urinating very dark fouls smelling urine (water dilutes urea)
Weakness
Delirium
Not sweating (VERY serious if you should be sweating)

If you are physically exerting yourself and you stop sweating you need to get to a doctor right away, you are most likely entering into heat stroke and you will die if you don’t get medical attention promptly. Not sweating means your body has shut down its last and best defense against over heating and no has NO WAY of cooling you going forward.

The best way to ensure this never happens to you is to not let it get out of hand in the first place. Drink plenty of water everyday to ensure your body is well hydrated. Learn to recognize when you are over doing it and immediately stop what you are doing, find a cools spot and drink some fluids to get your temperature regulated and your body rehydrated.

Pay attention to those around you as well and ensure they monitor the intake of their own fluids so you don’t end up have to play doctor in a very serious medical emergency. Lastly always keep an eye on children as they can easily forget to stay hydrated if you don’t remind them.

...that is all.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weekend Roundup Vol. 31

By Flea - Be A Survivor

The damage to the house should begin to get fixed starting next week, once the adjuster comes back with the estimate. This has been a real learning experience for us in many ways. You can prepare for disaster in many ways but EMOTIONALLY it is very hard to be prepared when a disaster happens to you. My neighbors have been great, offering us hot meals and a place to stay if needed. You really get a grasp on who you can count on when this stuff happens and I now know who my REAL friends are in the development where I live.

Once things quiet down I will give you the blow by blow details of how everything went down along with some pictures to. Luckily I was pretty far ahead with posting so you will have another week of scheduled posts coming up, I hope you enjoy them.

I apologize, I am also wrapping up my degree THIS WEEK and will have a lot more free time in the weeks to come. Geez, the Lord is testing me for sure...

ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK ON BE A SURVIVOR:
Be Prepared: Emergency Fund
Reading Its Not Just For Entertainment
How To Survive A Trip To The Airport
Book Review: Live Off The Land In The City And Country
HAM Radio, Get Your License - Communicate With The World

THE USUAL BUSINESS
If your are the "letter" type and want to send me some snail mail, you can do so using the address below:

R.F.
P.O. Box 51181
Summerville, SC 29485

Please also remember to support our sponsors:
Prepared Planet
Berkey Sales

Support Be A Survivor, Thanks!

...that is all.

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quote Of The Day

By Flea - Be A Survivor

"Look, I don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive you've got to flap your arms and legs, you've got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you're not alive."

- Mel Brooks

...that is all.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Prepping – Family And Friends

By Flea - Be A Survivor

It is funny, many people in my family have no idea I am a prepper and those that do think I am a little weird. The reason for this is simple we live in South Carolina and everyone else lives in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. If there were a true disaster there would be very little I could do for my family and very little they can do for us.

Truth be told, I like that situation because it makes it easier for me and my wife to prepare. Don’t get me wrong I preach preparedness to my family but none of them even know about this blog and that is one of the reasons I write under a pseudonym. I like the fact I can write about what I want to freely without scrutiny from “family”. I can’t save the world but I can do my best to protect my wife and myself.

What are you to do if you are a prepper and your family members are not; you can try your best to convince them that some preparations are in their best interest BUT you can’t get blood from a stone. If they won’t listen it is up to you whether you put back enough to cover their needs when they come running to your house when the SHTF begging for you to open the door. It is also up to whether you open the door.

It really depends on your relationship with your family. If you are a very close knit family I would imagine that the thought of NOT opening the door would never cross your mind, in my case I would keep the door shut for most folks. I am certainly not preaching to you either way but you need to consider that your preps will not go as far for each (non-believer) person that suddenly shows up on your doorstep.

The one thing I will say without hesitation and that is to be very careful who you bring up your preparations with in conversation. This goes back to simple OPSEC, the more people that know you have stuff, the more chance someone is going to want to come and take it from you when it all goes down. I never talk about specific preparations even with family. They know I am that guy who always seems to be prepared but to what extent I go no one knows. Once again I like it that way.

If you do decide to bring people into your “survival group” including family you do need to take stock in what they can provide to the group as a whole. Do they have lots of money they can spend on food, guns and ammo? Are they a doctor of medicine or dentistry? Can they fix things so fast that they make MacGyver look like Girl Scout? These are all things you need to evaluate for each member of the group.

Make sure everyone can carrying their weight either with goods or services, no free loaders. You can even put the kids to work when needed as there are MANY things they can do if properly instructed and supervised. The larger the group the more that needs to be taken into consideration so size your group carefully. I honestly believe the perfect size is larger than 2 but less than 10 and that is entirely open to debate.

Family members should receive no special treatment. Work them just like everyone else. Work them HARDER if they called you and idiot for spending money on survivalist stuff pre-collapse. Karma is a bitch…

...that is all.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quick Update On The Fire And Flood

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Quick update:

We are in a hotel but I have gotten power back to my house. Gas, water and HVAC are still off.

The water pipe breaking actually put the fire out so I guess it was a good thing but water damage is like cancer.

Believe it or not I have a Internet, it is 100 degrees in my house as I type this. Will need to shutdown computer equipment to keep from overheating it.

Some lessons:

As expected insurance companies suck...no surprise there. They are as slow as molasses. I have been acting a general contractor getting the utilities and stuff fixed while the restoration company (who have been great) rip my first floor apart.

The water storage I had has been great for keeping everyone hydrated and I had enough to help flush toilets for the last several days.

If you don't have a generator...get one.

If you don't have flashlights (several) throughout your house...get them

Before disaster strikes get yourself a good electrician, plumber and HVAC company so you know who to call and don't have to scramble looking in the phone book.

More to come...eventually...scheduled posts for the next couple of days.

Consumerism

By Flea - Be A Survivor

People wasting money on stuff they do not need is certainly not a new phenomenon. It has been done for generations; excess is a way of life for those with lots of money. No one really needs a 7,500 sq ft house or 17 cars in their heated garage but people like to show they have made it to the big time.

The problem is when people want to show they have made it to the big time and they are still in the bush leagues.

What I mean is simple, living the good life by faking it. Let’s say you were making $35,000 a year at your job. You get a big promotion and get bumped up to $50,000. Woo-hoo, let the good times roll, all your money problems should be solved right? You were living pay check to pay check but you now have a theoretical $15,000 more dollars in your pocket, right? Umm…not so fast.

Most likely you were living at a $50,000 level when you were making $35,000 and now because you make $50,000 you will just have to spend more like a $70,000 a year earner. This is called living beyond your means and Americans have perfected it to a science. We buy crap that the Chinese make and buy it with reckless abandon.

Credit is how we do it and the government is just as guilty as the rest of us. The Chinese own this country and if you believe any different you have your head somewhere where your head should not be. We all live the lives of indentures servants, beholden to people like Bank of America and Wells Fargo to name just a few. Your debt never goes away either…

It is quite curious; if your creditor goes belly up someone is always there to assure you there will be an address to send your check to.

Listen I am a capitalist, it is the only system that works, I think that has been proven time and time again. The problem is we don’t know where to draw the line when spending money. Buying just what you NEED makes you every bit a capitalist as the guy who is on his 4th Ferrari. Yes you heard me right, buying only what you need with the occasional guilty pleasure thrown in, I mean we are all human beings for crying out loud.

I am not trying to be a party pooper here, seriously I am not but when I see a person driving a BMW when they should be driving a Honda Civic it makes me want to shake them violently. I had a friend who bought a Dodge Ram 3500, it cost him a ridiculous amount of money and his payments were like $600+ a month. The guys lived in a condo and never towed a damn thing in his life…he just wanted one! Then he would belly ache he couldn’t wait for payday because he was broke!

If you need a Dodge Ram 3500, be my guest, buy it…just make sure you make enough money to actually afford it.

If you have debt, just stop buying crap and start paying it off. Buy just the essentials to survive until your debt is gone. That is how you break the vicious cycle of consumerism that is plaguing the country and bringing us to the brink as a nation.

The best thing to get used to doing is pay cash, stop using credit cards and loans. When my wife and I want something we save and pay cash. The added benefit is that by the time you have saved the money you may have already decided you really don’t want or need what you were going to purchase anyway.

We want a boat in the worst way. We live right by Charleston harbor and there are two huge lakes a very short distance from me. We could easily finance the boat or pay cash from our emergency reserves; to the contrary we will do NEITHER of those. We will start a side savings account and place cash every payday in it until we can pay for the boat. We will have no new debt, our cash reserves will remain intact and we will be contributing to a successful capitalistic society.

If I can stress one thing in this post it is to pay cash and stop using credit. Remember that simple concept and you will be just fine.

...that is all.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Disaster Strikes

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Well I write about disaster and one has hit me and my family.

Lightning hit our house (direct hit) and caused a fire in the attic. The worst part was the direct hit took out our electrical system, ruptured a gas line and WORST of all ruptured a water line and my entire first floor is flooded.

Luckily no one was hurt, we are all OK.

I will be quite busy so I won't be online, I do have some posts scheduled so you guys will have stuff to read but do me a favor and keep us in your prayers.

Thanks!

Promoting Good Health

By Flea - Be A Survivor

There is an old saying that if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. This statement is true to the extent that if you’re sickly no amount of money or anything else for that matter will make you happy. Good health is the foundation your survival regimen should be based on.

Like any good house the foundation must be strong because if it isn’t the whole structure will come crashing down around you. Think of our bodies as a house or even a vehicle, take good care of it, perform your scheduled maintenance and there is no reason you can’t drive it 300,000 miles. Unless you are extremely unlucky (we all know the health nut that had a heart attack jogging at age 35 – not much you can do there) your body is the same way.

Don’t abuse your body, perform regular maintenance, exercise, eat “healty-ish” (I struggle, oh how I love food – especially the bad stuff) and you should still be fit as a mule when you die peacefully in your sleep at 95ish or so.

What are the big no-no’s?

Smoking, drinking, stress, drugs, promiscuity to name just a few will put you at risk. Too much of any one thing will most likely prove bad for you over the long haul. Hey we all have vices; I struggled with smoking for years…just try and keep them to a minimum. If you can do that you will have given yourself a fighting chance.

What can you do to keep yourself healthy?

Take a multi-vitamin once daily, most of us DO NOT eat a balanced diet and this will help with preventing and vitamin or mineral deficiencies in your body.

Exercise daily by doing around 20 minutes or so of a cardiovascular routine. Anything that gets you heart pumping and your arms and legs moving will suffice (walking, biking, tennis, swimming, etc.).

Try and keep the diet reasonable. Eat lots of veggies and fruit, nuts, chicken and fish. Try and keep the red meat and fried foods down to an occasionally treat if you can. I know how hard this one is trust me as I LOVE to eat.

Go for a yearly checkup to you doctor. Have them do a complete workup on your blood so you know if you have any issues with cholesterol or something like that. Prevention is key here; let the doctor look you over REALLY good.

MEN, I know this is a touchy subject BUT if you are over 40 that yearly checkup should include checking your prostate (yes, you and the doctor will be very good friends). Men should also make sure to check their testicles for any abnormalities or lumps often.

WOMEN should get their OBGYN tests done every year as well and make sure to check their breasts for lumps often, early detection is key with breast cancer.

Take care of your teeth! Not only are bad teeth painful BUT they can cause infections that are DIRECTLY linked to heart attack and stroke. Yes, not taking care of your teeth can kill you. So brush THREE times a day, floss at least once a day and visit your dentist TWICE a year for a checkup.

Lastly, everyone should chill out a bit. People get way to excited over things and that leads to stress. Stress can kill you faster than a bullet to the back of the head if you aren’t careful. Don’t let everything bother you and take things as they come in stride. Your mental well being will benefit and your body will appreciate it as well.

Health is the foundation your entire survival program should be built on. Do something to improve your health and start today!

...that is all.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Weekend Roundup Vol. 30

By Flea - Be A Survivor

My thanks to everyone who has helped this blog to grow everyday by leaps and bounds, much appreciated!

I am going to be reducing my posting frequency a bit as traffic has been kinda stagnant for the summer. I fully anticipate 3-4 new posts a week. Just not everyday as it has been. Plus that will give me the ability to throw up an occasional "on the fly" post when something strikes me.

ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK ON BE A SURVIVOR:
FRS/GMRS Radios
Emergency Vehicle Kit
My Little Cabin In The Woods
Camping: A Great Way To Practice
Book Review: Living Well On Practically Nothing

THE USUAL BUSINESS
PLEASE help us out! Spread the word, tell your friends and family about us.

If you are the "letter" type and want to send me some snail mail, you can do so using the address below:

R.F.
P.O. Box 51181
Summerville, SC 29485

Please also remember to support our sponsors:
Prepared Planet
Berkey Sales

Support Be A Survivor, Thanks!

...that is all.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Free Sample Dunkin Doughnuts Coffee

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Another free sample alert. This time for Dunkin Donuts coffee. Visit their website here and click on FREE SAMPLE at the top of the page.

Once again the wife and I both did this.

...that is all.

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Free Samples of Emergen-C

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I have done this, it is painless and FREE. You can throw these in your emergency bag to kill the flavor of any funky tasting (but treated please) water. My wife and I each signed up and got a sample.

Visit the Emergen-C website and click on "Free Samples" on the left hand side near the top.

...that is all.

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Quote Of The Day

By Flea - Be A Survivor

"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success."

- Dale Carnegie

...that is all.

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