US Nuclear Target Map. Do You Live in The Danger Zone?

Ever wondered if you live close to a potential nuclear target?Even if you live in a small town or rural area... don't think you are safe. Not all strategic targets are in heavily populated areas. Find out if your county is close to ground zero.


Category Archives for "Building"

How to Build an Awesome BBQ Rotisserie Pit for less than $250

Having barbecue at home is one the best ways for us to spend time with family and great friends while enjoying the best foods at the same time. If you have big family and network of friends you’ll definitely need what we are about to show you.

Click “Next” to see step-by-step instructions…


diy BBQ

diy BBQ


This awesome how to guide to build BBQ rotisserie pit will just suit you perfectly. This simple homesteading project is made of bricks and food-grade drum.

[tps_title]Here’s the video of how to do it (pics will be below the video)[/tps_title]



[tps_title]Pictures throughout the process:[/tps_title]

1) Large-Rotisserie-Pit-BBQ-3



[tps_title]Our top BBQ Pick[/tps_title]

BBQ Bible Buy Here



[tps_title]2) Step 2[/tps_title]



3) Large-Rotisserie-Pit-BBQ-5


[tps_title]Step 4[/tps_title]

4) Large-Rotisserie-Pit-BBQ-6


5) Large-Rotisserie-Pit-BBQ-7


6) Large-Rotisserie-Pit-BBQ-8



7) Large-Rotisserie-Pit-BBQ-9



8) Large-Rotisserie-Pit-BBQ-10


Photos Source:

Detailed instructions:


7 Things Nobody Tells You About Declaring You’re a Prepper

Preparing for a natural disaster by packing a bug-out bag, owning survival equipment and keeping your home stocked with food and water is par-for-the-course in some areas and downright strange in others.

For example, those who live in rural Maine know that snowfall can be measured in feet and that it’s foolish not to have alternative sources of heat and light if the power goes out, while those who live in milder climes such as Georgia or Arkansas may not give these considerations much thought.

The citizens of southern California may prepare for earthquakes, while those in Nebraska might not even think about it.

Preparing for the worst is a great idea, but declaring that you’re a prepper can bring about some interesting shifts in your life that no one may have told you were possibly going to happen.

Whether it’s a change in your interpersonal relationships, interest from law enforcement or even the threat of future danger, there are plenty of reasons to keep knowledge of your prepping limited to your closes friends and family.

7. You May Be Considered Paranoid.

According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, an average of 399 people were killed in the United States by natural disasters each year from 1980 to 2010.

That sounds like a very small amount of people. However, those impacted by natural disasters stands at almost 27 million. That’s nearly a tenth of the population, using 2010’s estimate of 309 million people.

natural disaster protection


If you have a one-in-ten chance of being impacted by a natural disaster in the next 30 years, shouldn’t you prepare for it?

Being aware of this fact and preparing for the possibility, however, is seen as paranoid by some. You may be laughed at or ostracized by some who are perfectly willing to take the risk of being caught unprepared.

Issues of personal safety and acceptable risk are deeply personal, and being outed as a prepper could draw scorn from those with a more cavalier outlook.

If that person is your boss, you may want to keep your disaster plan to yourself.

6. Others May Assume the Worst.

With the sensationalism of the media, many folks have only seen extreme preppers who are awaiting the end of the world. The National Geographic Channel highlights such people on their program Doomsday Preppers, and the average person may not realize that the vast majority of preppers do not go to such extremes.

Others may assume you have an enormous arsenal of guns and ammunition, five years of food and water and your own survivalist stockpile in an underground bunker in your yard!

Plenty of people are uncomfortable with that level of prepping and may subsequently feel uncomfortable about you and your plans. If you do decide to discuss it, be prepared to explain the scope of your prepping.

Most reasonable people would agree a bug-out bag and some supplies are a good idea, but you might need to go into detail if all the person has ever seen is the most extreme examples of prepping from the media.

5. Someone Might Call the Police.

In our hyper-aware society, people are pushed to be on the lookout for anyone who has the potential to be dangerous.

To some, preparing for a disaster means that you might know about a disaster ahead of everyone else, because you’re the cause of it.

Don’t be surprised if a nervous neighbor or coworker calls the police.

As long as you have proper permits for firearms or building, prepping is not a crime.

Try not to be upset if this happens, as it occurs mostly due to fear and ignorance.

4. You May Become a Target for Thieves.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics states that there were over 7 million burglaries a year from 2003 to 2007.

While some home invasions are random, many are planned ahead of time with specific goals in mind. If someone knows you have a bug-out bag full of your critical documents, stealing the bag will allow them to steal your identity.

If you have firearms, they fetch good prices on the black market. For those who keep cash to use in case the electricity is interrupted, thieves will go to great lengths to get it. Be careful who you tell and what you divulge about your prepping.

3. You May Become a Community Leader.

Depending on your geographical location and the sensibilities of your neighbors, you may find yourself the go-to person for information and education about prepping.

For example, if you live in an area that experiences natural disasters quite frequently and you are always among the first to recover completely, your neighbors will want to know your ‘secrets.’

Just like everybody in town might know that David down the block is the go-to guy for mechanical issues and that his wife Sue is the town’s best seamstress, you could become known as the prepping source.

How you feel about this and how much you want to talk about prepping is entirely up to you.

2. People May Come to You in an Emergency.

Whether their power has gone out in a snow storm or a tornado has torn through town, those who know you are prepared may seek you out for assistance.

Depending on the size of the emergency and how much help is available, you may be inundated and overwhelmed with too many people.



For this reason alone, you may want to keep quiet about your prepping so that you have ample supplies for your close friends and family.

1. You May Be Invited to Join a Local Network.

As with any endeavor, there is usually strength in numbers. Other preppers in your area may want to get to know you, and you will need to decide if you want to interact with them.

Some more extreme preppers may only be interested in the survival and care of their families, while others include neighbors and local children into their plans. A lot depends on what your goal is.

Like-minded individuals can form a loose alliance that can invaluable in an emergency, so consider joining the prepper community.

Being a prepper encompasses a lot of ground. Whether you just want to be prepared for a natural disaster that could last a few days or you want to be ready for a doomsday scenario, deciding to declare yourself a prepper is a deeply personal decision.

All of these factors may play a part in that decision, and you should think carefully before you decide whether or not to discuss your preparedness with others.

Click here to watch Video

8 DIY Survival Projects Out of Plastic Bottles

Survival Projects Out of Plastic Bottles

Once you get started, reusing plastic bottles becomes second nature. Sure, you can use them for bulk storage, but survival usually comes down to food production. Here are eight ideas.

Handled Composter/Vermicomposter

milk jug

Nothing nourishes like worm-dirt. Nothing. Nature loads worm castings with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium, pretty much everything plants need to grow. An 80-20 mix of worm castings-to-soil maximizes plant growth.

On the other hand, one big worm bin can be more difficult to schedule and less manageable than a lot of small ones. In addition, compost bins can be pretty messy and loaded with infectious bugs you might not want getting on cuts, or breathing in. The solution is easy enough. Cut the tops off of milk jugs. Leave the handles on and poke some drainage holes in the bottom of each jug.

That way, you can start and harvest them sequentially as mini-bins as your livestock expands and you never have to get your hands dirty. A 1/8”-1/4” screen easily separates the worm castings from the worms and cocoons. A bottom row made the same way, but without the drain holes captures the valuable compost tea. Remember to wear a dust mask when handling compost. An aspergillus infection could wreck your whole survival plan.

Double Hanging Planter

Double Hanging Planter 1

These days, any garden shop carries hanging planters for about $20 apiece, but why spend money on something you can make for free? Cut the bottom off a 2-liter soda bottle or milk jug. Put the root mass of a seedling tomato or pepper plant through the center of a 4”x4” square piece of plastic wrap or sheeting, then slide that up through the neck of the jug. Spread out the plastic then fill the neck of the jug about half-full with some smooth pebbles. Fill to about three-quarters full with soil and compost and attach to a wall, fence, or post. Then fill it most of the way to the top. That leaves another planting space available on top. Don’t plant multiple tomatoes or peppers in one planter or none of them will produce, but lettuce and mustard will do fine for a double crop.

Self-Watering Planter

sub irrigated

Hanging planters maximize space, but they use more water than growing in ground. Sub-irrigated or self-watering planters solve the water problem, but they cost a fortune at the garden shop. Luckily, they’re simple, too. To make one, measure upward 5” from the bottom of a 2-liter soda bottle and cut it straight across. The bottom of the bottle forms the reservoir. With a little wicking fabric to hold in the dirt, the top forms the planter. Two- 1”x4” strips of Pellon Thermolam inserted up through the neck of the bottle works great as a wick, but plain old burlap works fine, too. Remember to get the wick all the way to the bottom of the base to minimize the amount of watering. Use soil or a few pebbles to secure the wick in the top. Then fill with soil and set your seedlings. Although the planter is self-watering, it will still need to be watered every couple of weeks, or so.

Seed Starter

seed starter

A similar trick can be used to make a first-rate seed starter. Measure upward 5” from the bottom of a standard soda bottle and cut it straight across. Add some pea gravel to the base. Follow that with a circle of burlap as a wick and top it off with soil. Add water until you see it hit the top of the gravel. Then add your seeds. The top of the bottle makes a good greenhouse cover so your plants will be ready as soon as the weather warms up in spring.

Spring Seedling Cover

Spring Seedling Cover

If the plants from your seed starter are still small enough, its top can be used as a spring seedling cover. If they’ve gotten too big, the top of a 2-liter bottle can be used, instead. Either will protect your precious new plants from the elements by serving as a mini-greenhouse, or from common pests like birds, deer, or rabbits. Remember to lay down a ring of diatomaceous earth around the plants to deter slugs and other insect pests. They like the nice warm climate in your mini-greenhouse, too.



Now that you’ve mastered the idea that empty plastic bottles can be cut and chained together, consider a serious booster for your food production, a greenhouse. Using some PVC or HDPE, connectors, adhesive, and free bottles, a greenhouse like one of these is a snap (see link):

Plastic Bottle Greenhouses

Using free materials not only cuts the cost of increasing food production, but learning it comes with an added benefit. There’s no reason not to build directly with your plumbing. Why do the work twice?

Heat Sink


In addition to building with plumbing, water has the further advantage of being an incredible heat sink. Water stores 1 BTU/lb-degree F. If you have one pound of water and heat it from 50 degrees to 80 degrees you have stored 30 free BTUs. All of those empty water bottles can store free solar energy to heat your greenhouse, garage, or workshop. Old bicycle water bottle holders are ideal for fixing the bottles to a wall. Using distilled water avoids bacteria growth. Dark-colored bottles will store more heat. In a greenhouse, adding thermal mass means year-round food supply.

Cheap Heliostats


One thing about plastic bottles that seldom gets mentioned is that they reflect light just like a mirror. Add a little water and they downright sparkle. That can mean extra light for the shady side of the garden and a bigger harvest every fall. Rack mounted on bright-white painted plywood, they can even do double duty, as a heliostat during growing season, and as thermal mass to heat the house during the winter.

5 “Crazy Simple” Tips to Build Your Emergency Food Supply


Your emergency food supply is probably the most important part of prepping for a SHTF scenario. What many people do not understand is that even when you shop on an extremely bare-minimum budget, you can still manage to buy reserves to put into your supply. In order to better help our readers, we have put together a list of five “crazy simple” ways to efficiently boost your food supply.

5) Buy Something Extra Every Trip

We know that many of you actually live on a really tight budget especially with the economy that we live in. We know that you may think that it is difficult to even spare a few extra bucks for food storage, but it does not have to be so.

Canned vegetables and macaroni and cheese are typically very cheap, so buying even one or two of these can boost your supply.

If you go to the grocery store on a daily basis, buy a canned good to put in storage. If you go shopping once a week, designate only a few dollars to donate to your supply.

It does not seem like much, but in a month’s time, you can certainly see what good it does.

You should remember to try to get a variety of things, but always keep it in your budget.

4) Coupon Coupon Coupon


This may seem excessive, but the truth is that you can get many non-perishable items for less than you would pay for one item at full price.

You do not have to be an extreme couponer, but you should always keep an eye out for deals that are better than usual.

By doing this, you will be stocking up on your food supply, learn to purchase food at lower rates and even possibly cut back on your food costs so you can start getting more ammo and medical items.

3) Order Cases of Dehydrated Food

dehydrated food

When you get your yearly holiday bonus, a little bit of overtime or have a couple hundred dollars saved, you can always order a barrel or case of dehydrated food.

Some barrels could last a family of four for months at a time.

This is a cheap and useful alternative to basic foods that are typically bought from shopping centers.

The barrels and crates also take up way less space than tons of food stocked throughout your house.

2) Buy MREs


If you do not know what an MRE is, we will explain it.

An MRE is a government food package that has a full balanced meal inside.

The package also contains things like toilet paper, so that the person eating it is somewhat accommodated in other ways as well.

While some survivalists say that you should not keep these, they are a good alternative to having no food stored, they each have 1,200 calories and they provide a full balanced meal.

If you are uncomfortable with purchasing actual MREs, you can always try one of the many alternatives that have been surfacing over the years.

Click here to build food supplies for long term storage.

1) Save your Supply

When times get tough, finances get cut and cupboards get bare, do not eat your food supply.

In order to keep stocked up, you should learn to tough it out until you are certain that there is no other option than dipping into your supply.

By learning how to shop smart, stock and store and balance your money, you will be ensuring that your supply is only going to be used when it is absolutely necessary.

There are some situations that arise where one would be tempted to dip into the mass quantity of food that is stored, but it should not be done unless there is no other choice.

Keep in mind that we know that it is easier for some than it is for others to stock up on food items.

We also know that sometimes things like job loss, cut hours and other major disasters occur, but it should be known that while stocking up on your SHTF supply, you should also try to stock up your cupboards at home.

Buy plenty of non-perishables that can last you through the temporary emergencies so that you are able to keep your supply well-stocked and overflowing.

11 Must Read Books To Get You Off The Grid

This collection of books will provide you with tutorials on many aspects of the off-grid lifestyle that we’re all focused on building.

We have books included that teach you how to build your own eco-home, how to harvest water, how to generate your own power and even growing your own food.

In today’s day and age, many of us are planning on going off-grid, downsizing, homesteading, survival prepping or simply living a more “down to earth” lifestyle, it’s great to have access to information and tips from people who have already done it.

Check out the selection we include below. If you don’t want to spend money on the books, remember that the information on our site is free (we have more detailed courses that you’ll pay for as well).

(Note – Sovereign Survival is an Amazon Affiliate and makes a small commission on sales).

By clicking the image of the book, you’ll be re-directed to Amazon where you can purchase the book.

Earth-Sheltered Houses: How to Build an Affordable Underground Home

Earth-sheltered houses utilize thermal mass in order to create a low-impact dwelling. Written by a former contractor and founder of an eco-building school with 27 years experience. Rave reviews.

Earth Sheltered Houses

Click here to order 

Projects to Get You Off the Grid: Rain Barrels, Chicken Coops, and Solar Panels

144 pages, a collection of 20 tutorials from turning old windows into a greenhouse, building a chicken coop, making rainwater collectors and even making an algae bioreactor from water bottles!

Projects to get you off the grid

Click here to Order

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!

This book is another “cult classic” and teaches organic gardening, keeping livestock, preserving meats and fruits, and more.

The Backyard Homestead

Click here to Order

OFF THE GRID: Live in a Van, Truck, Trailer, or Motorhome

Author JJ Luna is an “interesting cat” as they might say here in California. He’s written other books about how to “disappear” and live as anonymously as possible (legally). This book is in some ways an extension of those ideas. You can save a ton of money by living in a vehicle – and he gives all kinds of ideas on how to do so effectively.

Off the grid live in a wan truck trailer or motorhome

Click here to Order

Harvesting H2O: A prepper’s guide to the collection, treatment, and storage of drinking water while living off the grid

If you’re really living “out there” you’ll find out that while you can go without solar if you have to, you’re really stuffed without water. This book contains tutorials on the dangers of wild water, purifying your own water, water filter construction, distillation, rainwater collection, water storage, drilling wells and more.

Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution

I like the “realness” of this book. This is “real world” modern RV survival for someone who doesn’t have a huge budget to buy a big tract of land in the wilderness. Awesome for the modern nomad or drifter who wants freedom from the steel grip of the big mortgage.

Dirt cheap survival retreat

 Click Here to Order

DIY Solar Projects: How to Put the Sun to Work in Your Home

All manner of solar projects from passive solar water heating through to photovoltaic systems, and plenty of simple innovations such as “thermosyphon” solar heat collectors and clever reflector projects that cost little and provide energy!

DIY Solar Projects how to put the sun to work in your home

Click Here to Order

DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner: 25 Ways to Build a Self-Reliant Lifestyle

All manner of projects including building a beehive, solar electricity, cold frame gardening, setting up a root cellar and more.

DIY Projects for the self sufficient homeowner

Click Here to Order

Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together

Forget GMOs for increased yields. Aquaponics is the answer, because it uses closed loop systems (make a note of this phrase, closed loop systems are going to become incredibly important in the years to come.) Aquaponics is an incredible way of creating what is effectively a maximum-yield “ecosystem” designed to produce healthy food. An essential topic for the “off-gridder”.

Aquaponic Gardening a step by step guide to raising vegetables and fish together

Click Here to Order

Earthship: How to Build Your Own, Vol. 1

The classic from Earthship pioneer Michael Reynolds. He has now created a whole series on this topic but this one is the original.

Earthship how to build your own

Click Here to Order

Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition

This book is a “cult classic” covering how things used to be done before power tools and modern “conveniences”. Essential stuff from dyeing your own wool with plant pigments through to raising chickens and building a log cabin.

Back to basics a complete guide to traditional skills

Click Here to Order

Would you recommend any other books?


Make your own Safe Room

Let’s face it, most of us aren’t rich enough to purchase one of those neat prefab safe rooms rated to survive F5 tornadoes and Anti tank missiles (I know, I’m exaggerating…) but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a certain room in the house that is our go to Safe Room in the event of natural disasters or home invasions. This article will deal mostly with home invasion, but many of the same principles go into a “storm shelter” room.

But wait, why would someone want to run and hide when a burglar breaks in the door? Isn’t that why we have guns? Why should we hide and let them take whatever they want? First off, yes, you may have the means of defeating the intruder. Multiple intruders? Intruders with the same equipment in hand that you have in your desk drawer?

Let me state clearly, I am not advocating pacifism or any such thing. I am a staunch supporter of Stand your Ground laws. But sometimes that’s not the best way. Let’s say your wife isn’t a “gun person”, she could lock herself in the safe room rather than try to operate a tool she has only a passing familiarity with. What if you leave your 13 y/o in charge of his siblings while you run to the store? Maybe ha can handle firearms, but does he have the confidence necessary to take control of the situation? Beyond that, do you want your child to experience taking a life at such a young age? If he gets his siblings into the safe room then (let me pause for emphasis) EVERYTHING outside that room is replaceable. The situation can run it’s course without loss of life or serious emotional damage. And remember, just ’cause you’ve locked yourself in, doesn’t mean you’re helpless. We’ll talk later about what to do when inside.

But let’s move on. Let me state something so that it is abundantly clear. No Safe Room is Un-Breachable. But there are a lot of things you can do to make it harder than it’s worth. We’re going to discuss how to turn an existing room into a safe room. These same principles can be applied to new construction, often to greater effect.

Location, location, location. Where you locate your room is the first decision you have to make, and it’s an intensely personal decision. If you’re looking for a weather-safe room, you definitely want to go for an interior room. If you want to have a way out (away from the people in the house) then you’re talking about an exterior room with another door or window. If you’re concerned with entry points as vulnerable points in your room, you may again want to have an interior room.  I cannot tell you where to have your safe room, only point out that it is a serious matter of consideration.

Entry points. Entry points are weak spots in your perimeter, since they are designed to, well, allow passage, so they will get the first and greatest attention. You should take a moment to go look closely at your door and frame. First off, most interior doors are hollow core doors. This means they have two sheets of ¼ inch plywood with dead air in between. This is not going to stand up to someone who is both determined, and has a strong kick. You should look into replacing it with a steel door (which are also hollow), or a solid wood door. Preferably out of something hard like Oak. The door to your safe room should have a peep hole. These can be purchased and installed with a relatively simple effort, or if you’re replacing the door, you may find one with it built in. If you’re installing it yourself, you may consider mounting it lower, so you can look through it while kneeling, or so your kids can look through it if you aren’t there. One other consideration is that (especially if you’re setting up for weather disasters) your door should definitely open INTO the room. If the storm leaves debris across the door you won’t be able to push it out. Opening into a room is pretty standard, so you likely won’t have to change anything.

Now let’s talk about the door frame. Most frames are a simple ¾ inch pine, which is a fairly soft wood. By the time you drill the hole for the bolt to fit into you’re talking about a very small amount of wood holding the door in place. A swift kick is all it really takes to tear out a door set up this way.

build a safe room

The striker plate can help add some strength to the door, but the standard screws that come with these things are only 1 inch long, and are only set into that little piece of ¾ inch wood, so they will probably pull out with that same kick. If you only make one modification to your safe room, do this; go to your local hardware store and get a box of 3 inch screws. Now go to your door and replace all the screws on your striker plates and hinges with the 3 inchers. This will anchor your strikers and hinges into the 2×4 stud behind the door frame, giving it a much beefier resistance to pull-outs. You should replace the hinge screws one at a time so you don’t risk getting your door out of alignment. They’re tricky to get back.

What about your locks? One thing you’ll notice about your dead-bolts is that they don’t (typically) stick out very far from the edge of the door, just seating in that ¾ piece of soft wood. Have you realized yet that every bit of your security rests on that little piece of scrap wood? You can get dead-bolts that have an extra long throw, again, seating into the studs behind the door frame. Or you can even get steel inserts that go into the wall that accept the bolt. These are not too complicated to install, just involved. It would be much better if you were able to put these in during new construction or a thorough remodel.

You can get dead-bolts in either keyed “one side” or keyed “both sides”. Keyed both sides is recommended for many home security applications, a burglar who breaks a door window can’t reach in and unlock it from the inside. However, these are a BAD idea for a safe room! If you’re trying to get away from an intruder in a hurry (they may even be chasing you down the hall!) you don’t want to have to fumble with a key. So leave these the typical keyed “one side”. And yes, in case you noticed, I am using plurals for a reason. To make your door really rock solid, you should have four dead-bolts. I recommend five actually. Put them in the four corners of your door, top, bottom, left, right, just keep them about 18 inches from the top/bottom edge. The fifth one? Right where it usually is. There are three reasons for this. One: Your door probably came pre-drilled for a standard dead-bolt (though not necessarily) and you’ll need to fill that hole with something anyways. Two: It gives an extra bit of protection right where the assailant is likely to plant their kicks. Three: Goes back to the scenario of locking up quick. It’s just instinctive to reach for the dead-bolt in it’s usual location. Get in and throw the main lock before your attacker gets there and it should hold him off long enough (if you’ve listened to the rest of this so far) to let you lock up tight.

Windows. Windows are typically seen as one of the weakest points of a home, despite the inherent dangers of climbing through broken glass. If you have a window in your safe room (that you aren’t keeping available as an exit) your best bet is to board it up. You could do bars, but then you’ll look like you live in Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela or something. If you are really concerned with appearances, get some window blinds and hang them inside the window frame instead of above it. Most blinds will have instructions for both. Close them up tight and it’ll cover almost all of what you’re doing to the window. You’ll have to remove any interior window trim. Get a good strong piece of plywood, maybe even paint the side towards the exterior if you want. Make sure it overlaps the window, I would recommend to the next stud. Not the one on each side of the frame, the next one. 16 inches should be the furthest you’ll have to look. Again using the 3 inch screws, anchor the tar out of that puppy, both around the edges and around the window sill. Now, you still only have a piece of plywood between you and them, maybe up to an inch. So you’ll need to reinforce it with 2×4’s, or even 2×6’s if you want overkill. I’d space them roughly 6 inches apart, running horizontally, placed edge on to the plywood. It would be easier to attach these before putting up the panel as a whole, screwed in from the exterior side.

Walls are also a lot weaker than most people realize. All you have between the studs is usually two pieces of ½ inch drywall and 3 ½ inches of air. Pretty easy to penetrate, even with a fist, let alone a foot or shoulder.

...  One of my  nephews put their head through the wall when they were 10.  Not alot of resistance there...… One of my nephews put their head through the wall when they were 10. Not alot of resistance there…

There are two basic ways to “harden” the walls around your safe room. The first, easy way, is to cut a hole in your sheet-rock, probably from inside your room. Make a funnel of some sort and pour pea gravel into the voids between studs. Remember, studs have a standard spacing of 16” from center to center, with variables for intersecting walls, window/doors etc. You can discuss all day how high you should fill the walls, but just remember the basics to help you decide for yourself. One thing to consider obviously is cost. Filling the voids to six feet will require more gravel than say, waist high. Next consider how high you expect the attack to come. Most people face with the task of penetrating sheet-rock are going to kick it, and the typical front on kick is not going to rise far above their hips, or maybe chest. That’s where you need to be protected.

The second, more expensive way to harden your walls is similar to the first, but when you cut the hole I your wall, insert a 55 gallon bag so the opening is sticking out. This will limit how high you can make your re-enforcement, but you can go higher incrementally. Using a funnel as in the method above, pour wet cement into the bag. The bag will contain it so it doesn’t try to seep through gaps in your construction or through switch boxes etc. The cement hardens and viola, you have a cement wall around your safe room. Do be mindful in both these methods that you need to avoid over taxing the walls from the inside out. Especially with cement, doing it in increments will avoid this. Just wait till it hardens, and it won’t be exerting outward pressure so you can add more on top.

Now, what to do when you’re locked up good and tight? First thing, call for help. Keep a phone in your safe room. Land lines can be cut, and would be by serious home invaders. Cell phones can be left on the counter in a panicked rush, and one that you leave in the room is being paid for (hopefully) for nothing. You can get a cheep pre-paid phone, but remember, most such arrangements allow for your minutes to expire monthly, so you need to make sure it’s current or you may end up with a dial pad paper weight when you need to use it.

If you only plan on calling 911, you can store an unused phone. Some time ago there was an agreement made that any phone, on any carrier, even without a plan of any sort, can access any tower to dial 911. So take an old phone, or a cheap phone, and put it in there. Just bear in mind if you want to make any additional calls (“honey, stay at the store till I call you back”), it will not work for that.  Also be aware of battery life.  Even keeping it turned off, you should check it occasionally to make sure it won’t fail during a crisis.

Observe. Remember I said you need a peep hole in your door? Watch what’s going on in your house. Any detail you can see could be used to aid the authorities in finding the intruders. (They also help verify when someone on the other side says “It’s safe now, I’m Officer So-and-so, open up”)

Arm yourself. Keep a firearm of some sort in your safe room. I recommend something that makes a loud “Schuck-Schuck” sound. Nearly as effective as firing it. Besides the universally feared sound, it makes a great blast to discourage someone from having an interest in any hole they may have made. Just make sure you’re responsible with it. If you teach your kids how to run to the safe room before you teach them how to handle the gun, make sure they cannot access it.

All of the above steps can be taken piece by piece, individually, modified to suit your situation. As with anything, you will find a trade off when it comes to security vs. effort/cost. Only you will know what you should do, just please do something, even at the very least, plan. A good evacuation plan (even evac to a room INSIDE the house) and rehearsals is probably to biggest single improvement you can make.


DIY Pallet House

DIY wooden-house


A lot of homes builders pretend their final products are environmentally friendly, but a residence made entirely out of wooden pallets is exactly what you might end up with if you’re truly committed to having a low carbon footprint on the environment.

Be warned though, pallets should be treated before acting like walls. But they do a fine job as building structures nonetheless. 

I-Beam Architecture and Design shows you just how prototypes from the early 2000s have blended a complex design with an appealing aspect to form a beautiful home.

The pallets are being used to make the porch, the door, the walls and even the roof.

There are a few designs that work well with this type of building creatively and with consideration toward the surrounding environment.

And if you’re already using pallets as furniture (bed, table etc.) what best medium to place them than a house made entirely out of pallets?

So, if you are about to build your own home, or are planning to do so in the next few years, take this option into consideration.

Have a closer look over this award winning homes made out of pallets and decide whether you are going to take the bold step into this direction.

pallet diy ideas

diy craft for homediy wood pallet projects


wood pallet projects


Photo Source: I-Beam Architecture And Design



Wood Plans Woodworking Carpentry Download


Top 10 Homesteading Blogs

Homesteading is quickly turning into a very popular lifestyle in these modern times.

Genuine homesteaders come from all backgrounds, ages, and family sizes.

They originate from every walk of life – from scientists to city-slickers to hippies.

They live on the tops of mountains, prairies, and even in cities. Homesteaders are known to be humble, sincere, and truly dedicated to their organic lifestyle.

Here are 10 inspiring homesteading blogs that offer a wealth of information about the authentic homesteading way of life – in no particular order:

1. Our One Acre Farm

Our One Acre Farm is a blog that offers advice on organic cooking and recipes, backyard farming principles, wildlife, wild edibles, and chicken habitat protocol. Other homesteading topics on the site include juicing and how to make homemade treats.

One Acre Farm

2. Little Mountain Haven

Little Mountain Haven is a great resource to learn about permaculture, eco-friendly gardening tips, mountain living, and how to parent on a homestead. Some homesteaders choose to experiment with permaculture and winter gardening in order to grow heirlooms that will help conserve seed genetic diversity.

Little Mountain Haven

3. Solar Homestead

This blog revolves around the concept of “going solar” and offers advice on a wide range of various energy saving resources such as off the grid electricity, wind and solar power, and energy saving appliances. Building and living off the grid is no easy task. Here you’ll find helpful information on these complex subjects along with information on aquaponics and how to raise chickens.

Solar Homestead

4. Voice from the Bush

This interesting blog offers advice to homesteaders on how to smoke meat, container gardening, wild foraging, and the teachings of ‘First Peoples from the Americas’ regarding honesty, bravery, respect, humility, truth, love, and wisdom.

Voice From The Bush

5. Earthworms and Marmalade

Topics from this fun blog include organic cooking and preserving, gardening tips, craftiness, and wholesome family traditions from two Texas sisters just learning and sharing their experience as they follow their journey of self-reliance.

Earthworms and Marmalade

6. The Backyard Farming Connection

Homesteading and backyard farming are a growing lifestyle for many people. They’re making the conscious decision to live in a more respectful manner with the earth through farming, crafting, gardening, and cooking.

The Backyard Farming Connection

7. Attainable Sustainable

Native cultures never seemed to have a problem with sustaining the natural ecological balance of nature. They cleverly used their resources on hand relative to their region and wasted nothing. This blog captures that forgotten spirit by talking about topics such as gardening, poultry, food preservation, DIY, and small changes that make a huge impact.

Attainable Sustainable

8. Urban Homestead

Urban Homestead is a ‘forward thinking’ blog about urban homesteading, simple living, biodiesel concepts, and information on a transformational Outreach Program.

Urban Homestead

9. Montana Homesteader

This is a blog to help people make the giant leap towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle on various subjects including garden planning, beekeeping, filleting fish, and solar energy. In other words, it shows people how to return to a simpler way of life.

Montana Homesteader

10. Mother Earth News

Mother Earth News is the quintessential homesteading blog. Topics include organic gardening, natural health, livestock, DIY, renewable energy, eco-friendly homes, green transportation, and general homesteading tips – a classic blog and guideline to clean, green living.

Mother Earth News

Living entirely off the grid is attainable, although not easy. And for those people who don’t have definite plans to live off the grid entirely, they’re still making a remarkable difference to both their communities and families with every step they take.

A few homesteaders embrace the latest innovative technology together with the old and attempt to put a unique spin on a traditional idea. They depend, to some extent, on the external world – perhaps for technology, schooling, groceries, or electricity. Many are adventure seekers and are simply willing to learn and progress.

What other Homesteading sites do you regularly visit?