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Safe Drinking Water in an Emergency or Disaster

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Safe Drinking Water in an Emergency or Disaster

Nothing makes clearer the importance of water than a large disaster; clean, fresh water becomes more valuable than gold. It’s easy to forget that without water, we just can’t survive. Our bodies are 60 percent water, in fact for infants, water makes up about 80 percent of their body, so it is even more vital they have access to clean drinking water.

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Unfortunately, following large-scale disasters, it’s not unusual that water supplies may be cut off temporarily or be rendered unfit for consumption. Everyone should know the following tips about safe drinking water in emergency situations.

Preparedness is Everything

The advice comes over and over, but most people still are not ready when disaster hits. You must maintain a supply of clean drinking water someplace safe in your home. You can survive a week without food, if necessary, but even one or two days without water can be fatal.

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In terms of how much water is needed to be stored, you need to drink at least two quarts a day of water. Enough water for all the members of your family for at least a few days is a good idea. You can store water yourself in your own containers; anything glass, and clean, thoroughly washed plastic containers with caps work well. Seal water tightly in their containers and store them in someplace cool and dark in your home. Make sure to change new water regularly; once every six months.

Finding Safe Drinking Water

woman taking water from forest spring

If you do run out of water during an emergency, or are trapped somewhere without ready access to clean drinking water, you’ll need to know what’s safe to drink, and what isn’t.

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After a disaster, possible sources of safe drinking water in your home include the water from your hot water tank, the water from your toilet tank (not the bowl, but the water from your tank, but if it is chemical-free), and water trapped in your water pipes. Melt any ice cubes that you may have stored.

Avoid using water from waterbeds as drinking water, since they are treated with chemicals unsafe for drinking. You can use waterbed water for washing, though. Outside your home try to locate streams, rivers, lakes, or other sources of fresh water. Never drink floodwater; it is usually contaminated with bacteria and chemicals. Do save rainwater that may fall for drinking.

Purifying Water in an Emergency

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Modern Needs Ready Filter

If you cannot locating safe drinking water during an emergency, then any water you find that does not look clear, or which you believe may be contaminated, should be purified before drinking.

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The best and easiest way to purify water is by boiling. Disease-bearing microorganisms cannot survive in high temperatures. Boil the water for about one minute. For improved taste, pour the water back and forth from one clean container to another.

Pot water on the fire

If you’re unable to boil your water, treat it chemically before drinking. Household chlorine bleach can be used to treat your water. Use an eyedropper, to drop eight drops of bleach into each gallon of water to be treated.

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Make sure the chlorine you use lists hypochlorite as its only active ingredient; any extra chemicals or fragrances will only further contaminate the water. Stir the water and allow it to stand at least 30 minutes. When the water appears clear, it is likely safe to drink. If it is still murky or clouded, put in eight more drops and let stand another 30 minutes.

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Domestic Terrorists Target The American Power Grid

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Buckle up, prepared families. The threat to America’s power grid is closer and more pressing than you probably thought. The enemy this time isn’t an EMP blast or sophisticated cyberattackers backed by a hostile foreign power. Indeed, the most pressing threat to America’s power grid is much less exotic and closer to home – domestic terrorists are targeting the American power grid. 

What’s more, a critical breakdown in communication between law enforcement agencies and officials responsible for the security of the power infrastructure has left state and federal regulators largely uninformed about the true extent of these threats. 

The blind are leading the blind when it comes to protecting the national power grid against threats from domestic terrorists. What’s more, the power grid is likely much more fragile than you suspect. All of this underscores the need for you and your family to be ready for a massive blackout, perhaps only lasting days, but potentially lasting weeks or even years. 

According to energy regulators, a lack of comprehensive information is impeding efforts to safeguard the extensive electricity system of the nation. The problem is that there’s simply not enough data to ensure the grid is properly guarded against all threats, including domestic terrorists hellbent on crashing the grid for their own nefarious purposes. 

Statistics reveal a troubling trend with the national power grid. In the first half of the current year, utilities reported 94 physical and computerized threats or assaults on electric grid infrastructure to the Department of Energy. This is a significant spike from the 67 incidents reported during the same period in 2022. The country is on track to equal or surpass the previous year’s record of 164 major cyber and physical attacks.

All signs point to “we’re just getting started” rather than a troubling and disturbing trend that’s about to run its course. Indeed, the actual number of attacks might be higher than indicated by the Department of Energy’s data. Certain incidents reported to Homeland Security officials by utilities did not appear in the DOE data. The lack of a centralized agency maintaining a comprehensive record and the lack of automatic alerts from law enforcement investigating potential threats further contribute to the challenge.

Law enforcement officials attribute much of the rise in grid assaults to white nationalist and far-right extremists who use online forums to disseminate tactical advice on disrupting power systems, according to the FBI. Indeed, the far-right in America is well aware of the threat that the increasingly rickety American power grid represents. Younger members are increasingly concerned with ecological issues, making the average left-wing climate activist look like Bambi by comparison. 

That might not sound very threatening to you – after all, how many far-right extremists are there attacking the power grid in, America? However, it’s important to understand just how fragile the American power grid is. There are over 10,000 high-powered transformers in the United States. However, crippling a mere eight of them would result in the entire power grid crashing coast to coast.

The power grid isn’t like your laptop which you just turn off and turn back on again when it crashes. It would take at least 18 months for replacement parts to appear, plus a significant amount of time to install them and get the grid going again. 

It’s estimated that in the first year of a grid-down scenario in the United States 90 percent of the American population would die

For those responsible for running and regulating electricity plants and power lines, understanding the nature of the threats is of paramount importance. An illustrative example is the case where suspects with neo-Nazi ties were charged with plotting to take down Baltimore’s power grid earlier this year. ‘

Maryland’s top utility regulator, Jason Stanek, discovered the scheme from news reports, not receiving any information from law enforcement before or after the news broke. The incident left regulators “caught flat-footed” and underscored the urgency of improving communication channels to enhance the security of the nation’s power grid.

How is your family preparing for the grid to go down? What steps are you taking to protect yourself and your family in such a scenario? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Financial Freedom: The Backbone of Prepping for the Future

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In the ever-shifting landscape of preparedness, financial independence emerges as a crucial pillar for preppers gearing up for uncertain times. In this guide tailored for the vigilant prepper community, we delve into the essential strategies to achieve and uphold financial freedom, a key component of ensuring self-reliance.

Understanding the Crucial Role of Financial Freedom

Financial independence stands as the bedrock of prepping, offering the means to secure resources, fortify assets, and navigate economic challenges. For preppers, attaining and sustaining financial freedom is not just a financial goal; it’s a proactive stance toward ensuring self-sufficiency.

A robust emergency fund serves as the initial line of defense against unforeseen expenses. Preppers are encouraged to amass three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a readily accessible account. This financial safety net ensures the ability to weather crises without compromising prepping efforts.

Strategic debt reduction is paramount for financial freedom. Developing a systematic plan to pay down high-interest debts, starting with the most burdensome, liberates resources for critical prepping initiatives.

Dependence on a single income source can be precarious. Preppers are advised to explore diversified income streams, such as investments, side businesses, or freelance opportunities. A varied income portfolio provides resilience against economic uncertainties.

Creating a realistic budget serves as the foundation of financial freedom. Tracking income, categorizing expenses, and identifying areas for potential savings ensures that resources are allocated efficiently, supporting both daily living and prepping goals.

In times of economic turbulence, precious metals like gold and silver act as a safeguard against inflation. Allocating a portion of the financial portfolio to tangible assets adds a layer of security and enhances overall financial resilience.

Knowledge is a powerful asset. Investing in financial education equips preppers to make informed decisions about investments, wealth preservation, and economic trends. A well-informed prepper is better positioned to navigate the complexities of the financial landscape.

Advanced Financial Strategies for Preppers

If you want to truly be prepared, you need to go beyond eliminating debt and start making your money work for you. That means investing in financial instruments as well as hard assets. For those seeking to elevate their financial preparedness, consider these advanced strategies:

Strategic real estate investments can provide both passive income and a tangible asset. Exploring opportunities to invest in properties aligns with prepping goals and can contribute to long-term financial stability.

Investing in self-sustainable ventures, such as homesteading, renewable energy sources, or small-scale agriculture, not only promotes self-reliance but also presents opportunities for income generation.

Protecting assets is crucial. Preppers are encouraged to consider establishing trusts, creating legal structures, and consulting with financial professionals to safeguard their wealth and prepping resources.

Safety Measures for Financial Freedom:

In the pursuit of financial freedom, security is paramount. Implement the following safety measures:

    • Regular Financial Audits: Conducting regular audits of the financial portfolio ensures alignment with prepping goals and allows for adaptation to changing economic conditions.

    • Security Protocols: Implementing robust security measures for financial assets, both digital and physical, safeguards against theft or unauthorized access.

    • Legal Consultation: Seeking legal advice ensures that financial strategies comply with local laws and regulations.

For preppers, achieving financial freedom is a proactive step toward ensuring self-reliance and preparedness. By strategically managing finances, reducing debt, diversifying income, and investing wisely, preppers can build a solid foundation for navigating the uncertainties of the future. Incorporate these financial strategies into your prepping roadmap, and embark on a journey toward true financial independence. 

In the world of preparedness, financial freedom is not just a goal; it’s a strategic imperative for those committed to securing their future. Stay vigilant, and stay prepared.

How are you securing your financial freedom? How important is this for you in the overall scheme of prepping? Leave a comment below.

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Winter Vehicle Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything Mother Nature Throws at You

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Traffic jam caused by heavy snowfall

It doesn’t matter if you want to be prepared for getting caught in a blizzard on the way home from work or you’re planning for a 500-mile bugout in your car: You need to have your vehicle prepared and ready for anything that mother nature is going to throw at you. 

Ensuring your vehicle is winter-ready and having a well-packed winter emergency kit can make all the difference when facing these challenges. What’s more, the best place for your bugout bag is in your car. Why? Because if you have to shelter in place, you can just go out to your car. If you have to bug out well… you’re going to have to go to your car. 

Your car itself should also be ready to have to undertake a potentially arduous journey at a moment’s notice. Few things are going to be more frustrating and potentially terrifying than having to bug out and realizing that you forgot some minor, but important, part of getting your car ready to weather the winter roads. 

Winterize Your Vehicle

Your journey to safety, be it from work or away from a disaster affecting where you live is going to begin with properly winterizing your vehicle. For most people this is the type of thing they plan to do, never get around to doing and conveniently forget every year because “nothing ever happens.”

For the prepared family, however, this is an absolute must. You have to have your car ready to go at a moment’s notice because, as a prepper or survivalist, you know that just because it’s always been safe where you live doesn’t mean that it will be safe there tomorrow – or even in ten minutes. 

Here are some ways to get your vehicle ready for the winter:

  • Winterize Your Tires: Invest in winter tires. This will improve your traction and control on snow and ice. What’s more, these tires are designed for greater flexibility in colder temperatures. You don’t need to be escaping disaster for this to save your life.
  • Battery Inspection: Batteries are not fans of cold weather. Ensure it’s in good condition. Most chain auto supply stores will test your battery for free and do free installs on new batteries. You should always have a set of jumper cables or, even better, a jump box in the event that you need to bug out. 
  • Antifreeze and Coolant: Checking your antifreeze levels is something else you should just be doing anyway. In the winter months, it’s absolutely crucial. It takes two minutes and can save your car over the long run. 
  • Wiper Blades and Fluid: Winter is the perfect time to replace your blades. Change them out for something winter-specific and change out your wiper fluid for something that’s going to work during the winter months. 
  • Snow Chains or Traction Mats: For people who live in areas with heavy snowfall and high-grade roads, this might be the most important thing on our list. Keep your snow chains and traction mats in the trunk in case you need them to get through some seriously deep snow. 
  • Oil Change: Go get an oil change before the cold weather comes in. Ask if they have a lower-viscosity oil that can keep your engine well-lubricated during the colder temperatures. 
  • Engine Block Heater: An engine block heater in the trunk of your car can be a lifesaver. Even if it doesn’t save your life it can make your cold starts easier and also increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle – and who doesn’t want increased fuel efficiency? 

Winter Emergency Kit Essentials

Remember what we said about keeping your bugout bag in your car? That’s a great idea. But you should also have some basic emergency essentials in your car, even if you don’t have a bugout bag. You never know when you might even, say, break down and be stuck somewhere in the cold for potentially hours because you’re one of approximately 10,000 people who have called in about your winter breakdown. 

Here are some things that no car should be without during the winter months: 

  • Shovel: Keep a compact folding snow shovel in your trunk. You can use that to dig your way out of snowbanks or even just clear a path when needed.
  • Flashlight and Extra Batteries: A reliable flashlight, along with a spare set of batteries or three, can help you to navigate the outdoors if you have to abandon your car, or even signal for help. 
  • Blankets and Warm Clothing: If you take no other piece of advice from this article, you should listen to us here: You need to have extra blankets, warm gloves, hats, and jackets in the event that you are stuck inside your car for an extended period of time, can’t run the engine and need to stay warm. 
  • Non-Perishable Food and Water: Likewise, non-perishable food and water (preferably with high calories and high protein) can keep you fed and hydrated in the event that you end up stranded.
  • First-Aid Kit: A basic first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and essential medications is a must for any vehicle.
  • Fire-Starting Tools: You never know when you might have to start a fire. So keep some waterproof matches, lighters, and fire-starting materials in your car in the event that you find yourself needing a fire.
  • Basic Tools: A multi-tool, a knife, and some basic tools like a wrench or pliers can really come in handy if you break down. 
  • Sand or Kitty Litter: This is a little trick almost everyone who lives in a cold weather environment knows. Sand and kitty litter can give you the extra traction you need to get out of the snow if you find yourself stuck
  • Road Flares or Reflective Triangles: These can be extremely helpful in keeping you safe on the side of the road or, in an emergency, signaling assistance. 
  • Communication Devices: Always charge your cell phone in your car if you can. Keeping a two-war or CB radio can be another way for you to contact emergency services if you don’t have a cell phone or your phone dies. 

With just a little preparation and maintenance – some of which you should be doing anyway – your car will be ready to weather whatever the weather throws at it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a snowstorm on the way home from work or a total collapse of human civilization: your car will be ready to get you from point A to point B

What are some things we left out that you wouldn’t go without in your car? What’s the one item everyone serious about survival needs to keep in their car? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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