Simply enter your Name & Email below and click "Download Now" and we'll send you a FREE copy of our guide, Bug Out Bag Essentials. You'll learn what you need to have in your bug out bag and will be able to set up your first BOB after reading this.
Diversify your all-purpose flour to make it truly all purpose
If you are a prepper then the odds are you have a supply of grain somewhere in your food storage. You may have all-purpose flour stored up and even some self-rising flour. Still, you need to know how to create your own various flours and backing ingredients from scratch. Produce and baking ingredients may not be available in a survivalist situation. Where many overlook ingredient preparation skills, it is a vital part in being able to make and cook your own food. As bread is one of the cheapest foods to make (and yes I now there is little nutritional value in it), understanding how to make self-rising flour is important. Here is a step by step guide on how to make your own self-rising flour.
Step One: Get some grain seed
If you do not have wheat or nuts, you can generally find a supply at an orchard or a farmer’s market. As grain grows in an abundance (as of now) the seeds are relatively cheap. Wheat seeds have a light brown texture or a somewhat white appearance. You do not want to get dark or roasted seeds. If you do not want to use wheat you can substitute barley, oats, nuts, rye, corn, and such to make your flour. Keep in mind that for the best results wheat should be used as you are going to prepare the ingredients for a chemical reaction. ENSURE YOUR SEEDS ARE DRY. If you need to use a dehydrator to ensure that all the moisture is out of the seeds. It is better that you have a dry seed then to have anything wet. If using nuts, you will want to shell the nut. Keep in mind that certain nuts have a low shelf life and do not make good flour (such as walnuts) where other nuts are great for flour (such as almonds). Do a bit of research to see which choice is best for you.
Step Two: Grind it to a powder
The next step is to grind the seeds to a powder. You want to ensure that there are no big chunks of seed within the mixture. Personally, I use a food processor and put the setting to pulp. The flour should be nice and fluffy. If it looks like blue cheese or has a sandy feel to it you need to grind it more. As there is no liquid in the seed you should not have a paste. If your seeds do form a paste then you will need to remove the moisture from your remaining seeds and start over. Of course, you can always cheat and go to a health food store and they will usually grind it for you.
Step Three: Add Backing Powder
Backing powder is going to be the main substance that causes the flour to rise. However, you do not want to overdo it. The ratio is 1 and ½ teaspoon for every cup of flour that you have made. One pound of unground wheat will make about 4 cups of flour when ground. This would be the easiest way to add the baking soda as it would be a full 6 teaspoons.
Mix the contents in thoroughly. It is recommended that you put the flour and the baking powder into the food processor and hit the pulse button a few times. If you are making the flour in a wilderness situation then you will want to mix the flour until there are no visible signs of the powder in the flour.
Step Four: Add Salt
¼ of a teaspoon of salt is added to every cup. Again, it is better that you add salt on a pound (4 cups) as it makes the math a bit easier. You do not want to use salt that has thick grains such as rock salt, sea salt, kosher salt, or Epson (as that should never be used in cooking). Salts should consist of iodized table salt. Mix
Ensure that you package the flour in an area that cannot get moist. Air tight containers are best. Also, label the flour so that you do not get it mixed up with your all-purpose flour.
While your bread may consist of fruits and nuts, it is not advised that you add anything to your flour except that which is needed to convert it to self-rising flour. As you are setting up the flour to create a chemical reaction, you should not add spices and other ingredients to the mixture which could compromise the process. Save your dehydrated fruits, nuts, and spices for when you are ready to bake your bread and then follow the recipe.
Why should you make self-rising flour?
From a prepper’s perspective, it may be more beneficial to stock up on bags of self-rising flour than to make it. Yet, this is not necessarily true. You will need to use all-purpose flour for many occasions and will rarely need to have the self-rising flour. Salt and Baking Powder should already be a part of your food storage. Therefore, you should already have everything that you need in order to make the flour. Why buy something extra that will take up additional space on your shelves?
An additional benefit to making your own self-rising flour (or purchasing it) is that you will eliminate the need to store up on yeast. Granted, if you are planning on making wine you will need yeast, but for baking and other standard uses, the self-rising flour will work out just fine.
Financially making your own flour saves a ton of money. The average bag of all-purpose organic flour costs between $7 (for Gold Medal) to $54 (King Arthur Flour). Making your own all-purpose flour costs you about $2. Plus, making your own self-rising flour eliminates the dyes and the bleach used in commercial brands. Bottom line, you get a better product that last longer for cheaper.
Now this is pretty amazing. You’ll want to zoom ahead to the 1:30 mark in the video to see this and ignore the babble from the hosts, but you’ll LOVE what you see with these space looking pods.
What do you think of these?
Would you live in one? How about have it as an extra “guest bedroom”?
Photo Source: Rick McCharles Flickr
Becoming more knowledgeable about preppers and their lifestyle will reveal how beneficial they are to society as a whole.
They focus on an individual lifestyle and fight for everyone’s freedom. Freedom to preppers includes freedom from government dependence, so they keep resources available to them to ensure they can be self-sustainable.
This way of life was normal, and even necessary for survival, only a few generations ago, yet modern thinking has shunned the entire notion of it.
A true prepper is an independent, free-thinking, innovative individual who devotes a good amount of time to stocking resources and acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to be self-sustainable.
They conserve resources and wealth in contrast to most modern people today.
Most importantly, they highlight valid arguments against the seemingly invincible modern way of life.
They have built an entire lifestyle revolving around having a stock of all necessary resources. If you are in need of some necessary or basic resource, then it is very likely your prepper friend already has the item.
Even in times of non-emergency having resources handy can be extremely helpful. For example, if a low-key storm happens to knock your power out then a prepper will likely have a generator or some strategy for continuing on with the day.
If you need a particular ingredient for dinner, there will be no trip to the store for that one item. Instead, it is probably already in your prepper’s stock room.
Preppers value a wide range of skills from planting gardens to building houses.
A good prepper has a strong knowledge base encompassing various skills that are useful in everyday life. From preparing meals from scratch to knowing the best fishing spots, the information a prepper acquires will prove to be helpful in the most unexpected ways.
Preppers are great partners because they are experts at cutting costs and reducing waste. Prepping strategy involves buying in bulk which will save money and leave you with plenty of spare resources.
Learning valuable skills, such as growing your own food or general car maintenance will also help reduce costs. By cutting wasteful spending and focusing on the future, you will have more money to save, invest, and prepare.
The prepping that is done to protect from an apocalypse situation can also be just the thing that helps you pull through losing your job, the death of a loved one, or unexpected major medical expenses.
These situations are extremely common and you should most certainly expect to deal with at least one of these challenges during your lifetime.
Despite how likely we are to experience these events, most people fail to prepare for these events and have extreme difficulty recovering financially. Having plans and resources available will help you through.
Most techniques that preppers use were actually historically necessary to survive not too long ago.
For example, in your grandmother’s early adulthood, she probably canned food for the winter, had guns in the house for protection, and may have even had a garden to help provide food.
Only a few generations ago people were much more independent and realistic about their needs. Back then it was not considered prepping, but living. Without planning for the future, you were doomed to fail.
The Democratic Party usually argues for social freedoms, whereas Republicans promote economic freedom. Survivalists and preppers fight for all around freedom.
This group has been ostracized by the media and government and labeled as outcasts, doom-seekers, and even domestic terrorists. They strive for less government dependence and have viewpoints more in line with our founding fathers versus the modern socialistic trend.
Obviously a preppers main goal is to prepare themselves for survival in the event of some catastrophe.
They make plans, store up stock, gather resources, and ensure their safety during any kind of natural disaster, economic collapse, or even total societal meltdown. Though it is much wiser to prepare for yourself, if some emergency does happen then you will know right where to turn.
Even if you yourself don’t have an emergency kit or supplies, having survivalists in your community greatly increases your chances of survival in a disaster situation.
The more preppers you have in your community the more likely your area can survive any disaster or economic collapse. Together a group of preppers provide the area with a variety of imperative survival skills, stocked resources for immediate needs, and of course the ingenuity needed to rebuild.
A skilled prepper has all of the necessary resources he needs to survive on his own, independent of any external situation. They have learned to become problem-solvers, innovative, and most importantly, self-reliant.
They generally live their lives without the desire or need to be told what to do, and love the individualism within others as well. They tend to favor freedom, socially and economically, and are rarely swayed by twisted politics.
Preppers and survivalists alike have the knowledge of what it really takes to survive in a completely different world.
Today’s modern human does not take into consideration how convenient and easy meeting our basic needs has become. Preppers, on the other hand, tend to appreciate resources, hard work, and luxury much more than the average person.
They generally shy away from the excessive consumption and waste culture we have created today. A person with a greater appreciation for everything in life is generally a happier person.
Preppers have been portrayed by the main media and government as loners and crazy doomsday-seekers, but they couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are numerous advantages that preppers provide to not only their community but also to the nation as a whole for fighting for our freedoms and independent lifestyles. There are countless ways you will fall in love with a prepper, these ten just top the list!
Source: The National Guard Flickr
We live in an age when an increasing number of people are relying on the government.
Reliance on the government does not just extend to social welfare programs; even middle class people are taking advantage of the ‘free’ public education and low cost health care insurance programs that their taxes fund.
However, there are a multitude of reasons that many of us insist on doing for ourselves. Here are the top nine.
Is anyone else concerned about increasing the scope of power that a small amount of oligarchs wields over us? Every day brings a new example of Big Government telling people what to do with their most intimate lives.
For example, in some states the government has done away with all exemptions for vaccination.
If you want your children in a public school or a state-funded hospital (and they’re all state-funded now), you have to let them decide how your children are raised. Rather than biting the hand that feeds you, stop taking the food.
Anyone who has been in the military or any government service can attest to the immense amount of paperwork needed for even the smallest decisions.
Committees of experts and a team of consultants are necessary to make a decision on what color of toilet paper to put in the restrooms.
Government employees spend their days in meetings and pushing papers, with very little actually getting done. Depending on a government program for any necessity means becoming yet another piece of paper on a desk somewhere.
Bureaucracy is expensive.
All of those paper pushers sit on government-funded chairs at government-funded desks writing on government-funded laptops and then take home government-funded paychecks.
Most tax dollars are spent on all of the people working in big shiny buildings before they ever reach the intended target.
Sure, a lot of us are paying taxes for these services we will never use.
However, it is usually impossible to avoid taxes. It is, however, possible to avoid becoming another drain on tax dollars.
When fewer people use government services, the government will have less of an excuse for its blatant waste of funds.
Hurricane Katrina is a fine example of the government being a day late and a dollar short.
People waited for Uncle Sam to dig them out of the wreckage left behind but no one came until the formerly world-renowned city of New Orleans was a cesspool of sewage, looters, and rotting bodies.
They’ve done little more than damage control since then; the waterfront has still not been rebuilt and many levees remain in such poor condition that another hurricane might cause the same situation.
You might as well send a check to the mafia every month; they probably have less overhead.
There are a few people who can successfully depend on the government, but they’re lobbyists and the cronies of our representatives.
Unless you can afford to pay off a few senators, the government cannot be relied upon.
Even worse, collectivist government programs are where some of the worst and most egregious corruption occurs.
Contractors for bridges and roads, for example, are chosen by who they know and how many minorities work in the back office while the well-connected CEO pockets millions.
When you rely on the government for anything at all, you are feeding the beast.
Anyone who thinks that the government cares about the people it claims to help needs a reality check.
The government doesn’t care about your kid or your grandma. Institutions are not people; they do not have a heart or emotions. Only people can care, and that’s why charity is best handled in our own homes and neighborhoods.
Don’t get too comfortable relying on the government to handle the distribution of aid and benefits.
Programs like Social Security are being driven into the ground and costing far more than the benefits paid–and far more than taxpayers can financially sustain.
The programs simply cannot continue to exist in their current form. Smart people don’t let themselves become dependent on aid that is, at best, temporary.
If you’ve ever seen a four-year-old feed the chickens or complete even the simplest chore, you have seen pride. Yet somehow our society beats this important human feeling out of us by adulthood.
We forget how good it feels to do things ourselves.
Refuse to let go of that simple joy.
Taking care of yourself and your own is sometimes difficult, sometimes a sacrifice, and always worth it.
Even the best and most hardworking people of our times have an odd sense of entitlement.
It’s easy to see how this develops.
Most Americans work hard and pay their fair share; it’s only right to expect something in return. However, there was a time when government dollars were not a fact of life.
People maintained their own roads, grew much of their food, and lived without carefully tracked and rationed public utilities we now take for granted.
I can run my life just fine without government assistance, so I will.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo Source: I-Beam Architecture And Design
To many people, building a bunker may seem like an extreme hobby.
That is before the weather turns and tornadoes develop.
The main reason why people build bunkers is to provide protection from tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as chemical and biological weapons.
Bunkers offer secure locations, especially in emergencies. The reasons for building a bunker determine its planning and construction.
The bottom of the bunker is required to be a safe distance from the water table to prevent flooding in the bunker.
Research local and federal building regulations to determine restrictions and permit requirements for your locality.
If you live in a rural area, you still need to consult local building codes to prevent problems with local authorities.
Dig a hole, which should be two feet deeper than the bunker container, a foot wider on three sides and four feet wider at the front of the container to allow room for the front door and entryway.
Fill the bottom of the hole with six inches of pea gravel.
Some people use fuel tanks as bunker containers.
These tanks can be used as bunker containers if they are cleared of dangerous fumes and toxins.
Cut a doorframe on the narrower side of the container then dig a hole near the door.
Make sure you leave enough space between the doorframe and the hole for the sump pump.
The sump pump is for removing excess water in case of flooding.
Once you cut the door frames, install pre-hung steel doors in the door frames.
Use a soldering gun to seal the top, bottom and sides of the door frames.
Create ventilation holes in the top of the container by cutting through the container and connecting air vents and a fan to the holes using nuts and lock washers.
Use soldering iron to seal off the edges.
This prevents water and dust from leaking into the bunker unit.
Use appropriate equipment such as a forklift, to lift the bunker container into the hole. Alternatively, hire a septic tank company to do this job for you.
Once the container is in the hole, drill two-inch holes into the sides of the container and insert electrical conduits and PVC pipes.
Use silicone caulking to seal the spaces between the pipes and the conduits.
The PVC and conduit lines will be used to connect the bunker to an electrical source and plumbing. Make sure the tops of the pipes are capped to avoid clogging.
The stairway can be made with plywood or concrete.
Plywood looks appealing.
However, concrete is more durable. The entryway or the area around the front of the stairway should be left open.
Cover the top of the container with dirt then sod or using corrugated metal.
Dirt and sod are more effective in “hiding” the bunker from view.
Corrugated metal helps prevent moisture from leaking into the bunker.