Building Your Own Shelter

Peter Larson, a Utah survivalist with a home and family, gave CNN a tour of his elaborate $65,000 bunker he built in the mountains in preparation for what he called “the last days.” There are even developers building luxury underground condos inside abandoned missile silos that stretch 175 feet underground, and cost upwards of $2 million per unit.

But you don’t have to break the bank to build an underground shelter that will keep you and the family safe in the event of nuclear holocaust, extinction-level meteorite impact and/or full-fledged police state oppression. All you need is a decent-sized backyard and the will to survive.

The Dig

You want your bunker to be a total secret, or known to exist by as few people as possible. When it hits the fan, and desperate neighbors are trying to escape nuclear radiation or government tyranny, the first place they will come knocking is your bunker. That said, try and be as discreet as possible when digging the hole. You can do it the old-fashioned way by hiring workers to dig with shovels, or have dig parties with friends who are guaranteed a spot in the bunker when it becomes necessary. A small excavator can be rented for as little as $50 per hour. The bunker should be 10 feet deep minimum, but for maximum protection from just about anything, go to at least 20 feet.

The Walls

Nukemap is an app that can simulate what would happen if a 100 megaton nuclear bomb was detonated in a given area. For instance, if one were dropped in New York City, nearly 8 million people would be instantly incinerated, while 4 million more would suffer serious injuries. The residual radiation from the bomb would linger anywhere from a few minutes to several years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Radiation Emergency Medical Management. The King County, Wash., Health Department recommends a concrete shield to protect yourself from gamma rays.

Get quotes from several concrete contractors who will also reinforce the walls with steel. The American Concrete Institute says that steel-reinforced concrete walls have 20 times the compressive strength (weight capacity) of normal concrete. This will not only come in handy if an initial nuclear blast is within a few miles of your bunker, but will serve as a near-impenetrable radiation shield. Make sure to leave small openings for an air filtration system, sewage elimination and even a spout to capture rain water for drinking.


The last major expense will be for supplies. Batteries, food and water are the items you will want the most. Remember you may not be able to leave the shelter for a year in the event of nuclear holocaust. The bare minimum amount of water humans need to survive is about 68 ounces (two liters) per day, according to Human Rights Watch. This means each person needs about 180 gallons of water to survive for a year. Contrarily, humans can survive for weeks without food. Dried (i.e. jerky) and canned foods are best, as they can be stored at room temperature and will stay edible for years. Firearms, ammunition, flashlights, matches, hygiene and first-aid supplies are the other essentials.

All the aforementioned can be done for less than $10,000, if you exercise due diligence.

What do you say when people think you’re crazy for being a Prepper?

We hear, all the time, we are crazy for preparing for hard times ahead. Many people believe because we live in the best country in the world nothing, as bad as we think, will ever happen here. When we disagree, they look at us like we grew two heads. They think we’re lunatics and need to be locked up in the looney bin. So, what do you say when people think you’re crazy for being a prepper? How can you get them to consider we might be right?

First, no amount of explanation can get through to the really stiff neck people who simply refuse to accept all the signs of decay in our country. For these people no amount of reasoning will persuade them. However, if you mention our fears concerning where our country is headed and the person seems to listen…you might be able to plant seeds of understanding by telling them what you believe and what you are doing to prepare.

Tell them about our loss of freedoms little by little through the years and the intrusion of the government into our daily lives. Ask them how we are supposed to sustain the increase of national debt and how long can we continue to over spend?  How long can a decreasing amount of working people support and increasing amount of people who don’t work and expect increased welfare and support? Never in the history of our country has there been more people collecting support from the government than those working and paying taxes. This alone can damage an already weak economy, much less all the other problems.

Next, we have a group of activists, raised in our country, who wish to bring us down to the level of third world countries. They believe Americans have too much and our lives are too cushy. They push the idea of equality for all people and put down the wealthy…even those who worked to build their businesses through hard work and fortitude. They want everyone in the world to live the same…except them of course. They want to rule the world from their lofty places and fancy mansions.

Add the above problems to the fact, whether we want to accept it or not, there are people in our world who hate us and want our country to fall. They hate our free market system, our freedoms and most of all our faith. These people have vowed to destroy us and our way of life. Many of them already live in our country. We never know when they will decide it’s time to push their beliefs and begin our destruction.

Anything could tip the scales and bring devastation in our nation. If or when any major event happens, our country could totter. From there it wouldn’t take much to make it collapse. If that happens, even those of us who have prepared will have a difficult time. Those who have not will suffer greatly and many will die.

If people will listen at all, tell them your preparations. Most are practical things everyone can do to make themselves more independent. Share the idea of heirloom seeds, canning more of their own food and raising a vegetable garden. Having three to six months or more of food is a great start. It’s important to gather seeds, canning jars and lids, gardening needs, along with medical supplies, guns and ammo, etc. while we can.

Most of all, encourage them to prepare their hearts. We must come to realize we cannot help everyone. That in itself will be challenging. But knowing you may have to defend yourself from those who would steal your provisions will be very hard. However, it could make the difference between life and death for you and your family. You must be prepared to make the difficult decisions. Being a Prepper is challenging, but we are sure you’re up to the task.

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Faith and Preparedness

The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Be prepared.”  Be prepared for what, you might ask.  And the answer would be to be prepared for anything.  While this has long been the motto of the scouts, the idea goes back much further than this.  God wants us to be prepared as well.  And just as with the scouts, we should be prepared for anything.

Jesus often told parables – short stories with a point – in order to illustrate a particular idea that he was trying to convey.  Rather than just issue a command, he would communicate the idea in a story that was memorable.  In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of ten virgins who were awaiting the arrival of a groom.

Five of the virgins were prepared for a delay in the groom’s coming while the other five only thought of the moment and did not bring needed supplies in case things took longer than expected.  Each had what they needed for the moment – a lamp to light their way – but only the five wise virgins planned ahead for what may come later.

At midnight, the call came that the groom was coming and the virgins should get ready to go.  But only the five wise virgins had enough oil with them as they had brought extra in case of a delay.  The foolish virgins had to go in search of more oil and were not back in time for the arrival of the groom.  He took the five wise virgins into the wedding banquet and the unprepared ones were shut out.

Biblically speaking, this parable is about the return of Christ and how no one knows when it may be so every Christian should live their life prepared for it to happen at any time.  There is a broader application to this story however and it teaches us about preparedness.

We may think we know what may happen in our life.  We make plans based on our goals and what we anticipate will be required to meet those goals and we even may make contingencies if those goals don’t come to fruition as expected.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that Jesus taught us to do this as well.

Luke 14:28 says “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”  When you make those plans, you do so in faith that you’ll be able to complete the project.  As much as you plan, you also know that you cannot control every contingency.  There is a certain amount of faith that is involved with even the best laid plans.  You do your part and then trust God to handle the rest.

There’s also a broader issue of faith that comes into planning.  While we say that we should be prepared for anything, we know that’s technically impossible.  A healthy 30 year old does not make plans for a cancer diagnosis nor could anyone possibly plan how to deal with the loss of a child.  It is at this point that there can be no plan and the only thing left to cling to is faith.  Trials bring out the best and the worst in people.  While we plan in faith for as much as we can, when the unplannable occurs, we will only have faith to rely on.  These events will truly show the strength of one’s faith after all of the planning is accounted for.

How to Digitally Recover from a Natural Disaster

by Robyn Johnston

Typhoons, blizzards, wildfires, and now, devastating tornadoes have the U.S. focusing on the Midwest. It seems all too often that we hear about a natural disaster occurring one after the other. There are hundreds of resources available for preparing for these types of things: packing lists, emergency evacuation plans, food conservation and more. But today, our dependence on technology and all things digital is almost as vital as food and water (sadly).

So, how do you get yourself back on the grid after a catastrophe? Follow these tips and help yourself digitally recover from any disaster:

Solar Powered Chargers
Without electricity, personal electronics like cell phones have limited air time. Purchase a solar powered cell phone charger just in case. Even if cell towers go down, at least you’ll be charged and ready to go when service is restored.

Online Password Manager
Once you’ve restored an Internet connection, the last thing you want to do is play the password guessing game on all of your important accounts. Sign-up for a password manager subscription so you can access all of your records in a pinch. Store passwords for the accounts you would need in a disaster situation like: home insurance, auto insurance, bank accounts, investments, etc.

Utilize Cloud Storage
A natural disaster could wipe out your home, that means your computer too. Backup pictures, documents and files on a cloud storage service. That way, you can access your information from anywhere even without your hardware.

Satellite Communication
Telephone and Internet are imperative to communicating with friends, family, and emergency services. Internet that runs on an underground network, like cable or fiber-optic, has the potential to be damaged during some disasters like earthquakes or tornadoes. Secure a satellite internet or satellite phone connection and you’ve got a better chance of recovering communication quickly.

Handheld GPS
Debris or danger can block roadways. You may need to find an alternate route on the fly. Invest in a handheld GPS and keep it fully charged in case of an emergency. If you can, save important destinations like hospitals, highways, and fire stations.

It seems like getting wired back in might be the last thing you would worry about in the event of a natural disaster. Safety and health are obviously the most important concerns. But without personal technology – you’ll be more stranded than you might think. Think ahead, prepare your electronics and do some digital legwork beforehand to make for a speedy recovery.

How Technology Can Help in a Disaster
Satellite Internet
Is your most valuable information at risk in an emergency?
Share passwords securely with family in an emergency



Are You Keeping the Zombie Apocalypse in Mind when Remodeling Your Home?

by Scott Crompton

For most people, home security is a secondary thought after you already have the home. That’s because chances are you are buying a home and you don’t plan to ever make changes to it, so you are just adding on security after. However, it also is a secondary thought when it comes to remodeling that home. You might not realize it, but keeping that home secure can actually be incorporated into changes you make to foundations, or even just design. And all you have to do to remember this is to think of how effective your home will be as a safe house in a zombie apocalypse.

You might have heard of this before, since the CDC has been launching a campaign around it for a few years. But most of their emergency preparation methods focus specifically on creating a plan and supplying yourself. It hasn’t covered the area of how your home would hold up to terrorist attacks, tornadoes, hurricanes, pandemics, and more. But it is true; these are a lot of things to keep on mind when preparing your family and home. So even in the case of remodeling your home for the best security, keep the zombie apocalypse in mind because the things that will make your home safe against zombie attacks, will do the same for most other disasters, or even just something as simple, and terrifying as a burglary.

Your Access Points

Windows and Doors in your house are the first lines of defense, whether for zombies, a storm, or a burglar. Walls can be just as important, but you are less likely to be handling people specifically that will use a wall before using a window or door.

Visibility: If you end up remodeling areas that handle your windows or doors, consider obtaining different glass than you would normally expect. Tinted window glass or film and one-way mirror film is a great option that can completely cut off people being able to see in during the day time, but it will usually make you visible at night with lights on in the house. That isn’t a bad thing though, since lights on are likely to deter burglars (though there is no guarantee with zombies).

Enforcement: A staggering amount of homes get forced into through doors, especially the front ones. But it takes a bit more than just adding on another lock to the door, the weakest area of your door is where the door connects with the wall, at the hinges and the doorjamb. In most cases, reinforcing, adding, or replacing the deadbolt is more likely to solve most of your concerns. A good rule of thumb is that your deadbolt should extend far more than 1 inch out from the door and you shouldn’t be able to jiggle it. If either of those are the case, replace it with a longer and sturdier one, and it is something you can learn to do yourself too.

Sheltered Area

Not everyone can afford to add in a whole extra room that is solely devoted to being a panic room, or a bomb shelter. But you can make some improvements to current rooms in your house that will add more protection, and possibly in some cases turn a living room or office into a temporary panic room. It won’t ever be as great as a room devoted to a panic shelter, but it gives your family a place to go to be safer if needed.

  • Eliminate windows in that room. It doesn’t matter how sturdy your windows are, if you have some they are an easier entry point. Offices or libraries can be a great room choice for this since they mostly rely on artificial lighting anyway.
  • Reinforce the walls and floor that makes up the room. You can’t always get steel in place, since it’s expensive and probably not something you can install, but sturdy wood is still a great option, as most houses will only have wood studs that leave a large section in between studs made of easily damaged material.
  • Obtain a reinforced door for the entry door to the room. It doesn’t matter how bulky or frustrating the door might be, since you don’t have to have it closed except when using it as a sheltered area, so getting multiple locks with a door that’s not going to be easily kicked off hinges will go a long way.

Remember there are a number of other things you can work on to protect yourself. These are just a few improvements that can be made. You should still always keep your security in mind when improving your home. And there is more to protecting your home and preparing for disasters than just improvements to your home. Alarms, lights, animals, supplies and most of all a plan for when something goes wrong will keep you that much more in control of any situation, especially the dangerous or bad ones like a zombie apocalypse.


Home Security –

CDC Campaign –

Mirror Films –

Eye on the Tides: Climate Change Study Sends Shockwaves to Scientists Worldwide

A guest post by Jessica Watts

Global sea levels have risen by an estimated amount of between 10 and 20 cm in the last century. Even more worrying are the conclusions recently drawn by the National Geographic from a review of evidence gathered over the last 20 years. It’s suggested that the rate of change over that time is about double the average for the previous 80 years. It seems clear that the rate of change is accelerating.

What causes sea levels to rise?

The immediate causes of the rising levels are related to climate change, and they are believed to be twofold.

  • First, increasing surface temperatures have led to large areas of ice melting. Melting icebergs, like ice cubes in a glass of water, do not affect the overall volume of water. It’s the land-based ice which melts and slides into the sea that has a major effect, and it’s speeding up.
  • The other way climate change leads directly to rising sea levels is by the expansion of the water’s volume when it is heated. All materials increase in volume when their temperature goes up. Water is the same, and the vast area of the world’s oceans means that the effect is enormous.

The scientific consensus is that climate change and rising sea levels are naturally caused by the sun’s interaction with earth’s atmosphere. The process has been hampered due to pollution, but cleaner air in recent years is allowing the natural cycle to continue.
Nobody has the power to stop this process on their own, but we all bear a responsibility to do what we can. That includes looking at buying our fuel from greener sources, for example opting for an eco-tariff with your electricity supplier. Most electricity suppliers have green tariffs and they can often be used along with promotion codes in newly privatized areas.
What about the future?

It’s estimated that if all carbon emissions were to cease in 2016 (a practical impossibility) sea level would still rise by one meter by the end of the 21st century, because carbon lingers in the atmosphere. The changes we are seeing now are the result of activity years ago. It’s like turning round a tanker: the forward impetus continues long after the wheel has been turned.

So you can do what you can to reduce your own carbon foot-print, and vote for leaders who will act responsibly towards future generations, but a rise in temperatures and sea level is still inevitable. The human race will have to adapt to changing conditions.

The US East coast

Sea shores will be riskier habitats than they are now, with storms and surges being vastly more destructive. The rate at which sea level is rising along the East coast of the USA is four times the average global rate, probably because of the slowing of Atlantic currents.

Even a rise at the average global rate will be enough to transform the Texas coast-line by the end of the century. Galveston is visibly in danger now, and will be mostly under water by the end of the century with the one meter sea level rise which is conservatively predicted.

Author Bio:
Jessica Watts is a retired marine biologist and Houston native. An avid blogger, she likes to spread the word on protecting our oceans and planet by blogging online. Visit the Tara Energy in Houston website for more saving ideas.

Cold Weather Clothing / Layering

Cold Weather Clothing / Layering
1. Cotton Kills! What it actually does is trap moisture and is very poor at insulating.
2. Heat is lost from the body through exposed skin. This can be your head, neck, hands, or your legs if your one of those Viking types that wears shorts in the winter. Cover all exposed areas to maintain warmth.
3. Loose clothing in layers is good because it allows warm air to be trapped between the layers.
4. Stay dry! Although some materials will maintain a certain amount of insulating properties…your body will cool quicker when it is wet…up to 25 times quicker than dry.
5. In order for the body to be able to properly regulate temperature…you must be hydrated and fueled. This means you must drink plenty of water and eat snacks, even in a cold environment.

Base Layer: A base layer is designed to ‘wick’ moisture away from the body where it can then evaporate. The base layer should be close fitting to allow proper wicking of moisture.
– Polyester, Polypropylene, and wool (merino)
Middle Layer: The middle layer should be an insulating layer. It can also be multiple layers of insulating materials depending on the weather conditions. They should be somewhat loose fitting to allow pockets of air to be trapped.
– Wool and Fleece are the most common insulating middle layers.
Outer Layer: This layer should be windproof and waterproof. The function of this layer is to protect you from the elements such as wind, rain and snow. This layer is designed to keep you and your other layers DRY.
– Waterproof, Waterproof Breathable (Gore-Tex)
Foot Layer: This is the most often overlooked layer of protection and possibly the most important. In a cold/wet weather environment you want to have a waterproof boot. If your feet get wet..its hell trying to get them dry again. I personally invest in a quality waterproof boot that is also insulated…because I don’t like me feet being cold.
Extremities Layer: A hat for your head. Choose one that will block the wind. A hat may look warm until a 20 mph wind is blowing cold air on your ears. Buy something of quality that is windproof and preferably insulated. Gloves- Different activities demand different products, but as a rule I like a waterproof insulated glove. Cold and wet hands are a major bummer. Socks – Polyester/Polypropylene for a base layer, wool for the outer layer. This not only wicks moisture away from your foot but the inner layer of sock will move inside the outer layer and helps prevent blisters while hiking. Scarf- protect your neck from the cold/wind.

Fleece – good insulator…even wet, dries quickly, absorbs little moisture, similar to wool…but lighter
Wool – good insulator when wet, transfers moisture well, feels warm even when significantly wet
Down – great warmth to weight ratio, can pack very small, very lightweight, loses insulating ability when wet, dries slowly, expensive
Synthetic – (Thinsulate, Primaloft) not as good warmth to weight ratio, absorbs little moisture, dries quickly, good insulator when wet, typically less expensive than down
Cotton – inexpensive, poor insulator…especially when wet, poor moisture transfer
Silk – is soft against the skin, good insulator, good moisture transfer. It is a natural product and can be a little expensive.
Waterproof – (plastic) typically used for raincoats, completely wind and waterproof, allows no moisture in or out. Some items have zippered underarms to allow release of moisture or condensation.
Waterproof Breathable – (Gore-Tex) also known as ‘Hard-Shell’ This material has a porous membrane that repels liquid water but allows water vapor to escape. Typically expensive.
Water Resistant – also known as ‘Soft-Shell’ This material typically has a water repellent coating. It is not completely waterproof. Soft shell jackets breathe well, are softer and more comfortable and typically much cheaper.
New products and technologies are constantly coming into the marketplace. Newer coatings and materials are making jackets more waterproof, more breathable, lighter and less expensive.
Jason E. Hill
No Joke! Survival
Preparations for the Average Family

I recently Co-Produced and Hosted a television show. The premiere is November 2nd @ 6pm (Mountain) and can be watched here every week at the same time:
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The Prepper Movement Isn’t New

Thanks to a few outspoken radicals, the prepper movement has been relegated to the league of irrational fanatics alongside children’s beauty pageant parents and obsessive hoarders. In reality, the majority of “doomsday preppers” are common-sense folks who take it upon themselves to protect their families from the tribulations of life. The movement isn’t a new phenomenon. Decades ago, citizens were much more self-reliant, and centuries ago, the self-sustainability of the prepper movement was simply the result of daily life. As modern Americans become more reliant on technology and less capable of completing the basic tasks required for living, it’s time for the true prepper movement to show its colors.

No fear-mongering here, just a refresher on the history and direction of the common-sense prepper movement.

Farmers: The Original Preppers

The idea of becoming self-reliant for food, shelter and healthcare might sound foreign to some, but it’s been the norm for most of human history. Consider early American farmers. These original preppers lived in remote fields and didn’t have the means to travel long distances in case of an emergency. That meant they had to maintain a sustainable lifestyle right where they were. Rather than driving to the mall, these early citizens made their own clothes. Without a grocery store in site, they relied on goats, dogs, pigs and chickens to hunt and eat. In that context, it makes sense why people would buy e-collars and train their dogs to hunt for food.

Photo of family canning their own food via Wikimedia Commons

Anyone who calls the prepper movement a new phenomenon isn’t familiar with history. The prepper movement is a return to the self-reliance that helped farmers and other citizens get through literal and figurative storms. You don’t need to shun modern culture to join the movement. All you need is the willingness to get your hands dirty and prepare for life’s common tribulations.

TV Preppers and the Lure of Fame

Much of the perception of the modern-day movement can be attributed to TV shows like Discovery’s “Doomsday Preppers,” which profiles the most extreme survivalists. Many of the shows subjects believe that the end of the world is imminent. Their rational tips and behaviors are overshadowed by ridiculous survival machines and loud-mouth hollering. These TV personalities may have a started out as rational preppers, but it’s clear that the promise of fame outweighs their desire to accurately represent the movement.

Photo by Nomadic Lass via Flickr

Fear-mongering preppers are grabbing headlines, too. profiled Scott Hunt, a prepper who is preparing for, among other things, a food shortage. “It would only take nine days of hunger for the women to begin prostituting themselves,” Hunt said. It’s the kind of outlandish claim that people remember, and when they remember it, they associate it with the prepper movement.

The Need for a Real Prepper Movement

Photo Of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, U.S. Navy Photo by Gary Nichols

The real prepper movement is far less irrational and far more practical. Millions of Americans wouldn’t know what to do in the face of a hurricane or tornado. Hurricane Katrina was a sobering example of how mother nature can ravage entire communities. Residents of New Orleans probably wish they had been more prepared to live without a grocery store for a few days. No one is blaming residents of New Orleans for their unpreparedness, but reasonable preppers hope to spread the word that a little planning can go a long way in the face of these disasters. With an accurate message, the prepper movement doesn’t seem so outlandish. As we continue to depend more on technology, the skills and principles that first-generation American farmers employed don’t have to become completely obsolete.



Hold onto Your Vision

By Donna J. Benson

It is easy in our times to lose hold of your vision of hard times ahead as weeks, months and years roll along. Many preppers give up or burn out thinking all their preparations are for nothing as things continue to hold together. Yet all the signs are here and getting worse…we are ripe for a fall…collapse could come any time. Believers and non-believers understand the path we are currently on is not sustainable. So we prepare.

As a Christian, I found a Bible verse that greatly encouraged me.

Habakkuk 2:1-4 (GW)
1 I will stand at my guard post. I will station myself on the wall. I will watch to see what he will say to me and what answer I will get to my complaint.
2 Then the LORD answered me, “Write the vision. Make it clear on tablets so that anyone can read it quickly.
3 The vision will still happen at the appointed time. It hurries toward its goal. It won’t be a lie. If it’s delayed, wait for it. It will certainly happen. It won’t be late.
4 “Look at the proud person. He is not right in himself. But the righteous person will live because of his faithfulness.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (GW)

16 Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval.
17 They equip God’s servants so that they are completely prepared to do good things.

These verses inspire us to stay the course. They tell us our vision will happen…we just need to continue to prepare…stay the course and it will come to pass. God has given this vision to too many people to ignore. They differs some, but all agree we are headed for collapse and major difficulties. Most point to food and gas shortages, rationing, starvation and eventual martial law as our country implodes. Or outside forces could invade our weakened country, the results are the same. The cities and metropolitan areas will be the hardest hit. Rural regions where many grow gardens and can year to year will have an easier time (as far as food goes).

So I add my voice of reinforcement. We must continue to gather supplies, seeds, and equipment. Anything we can do to bring our families to self-reliance needs to be done. Each day brings us closer to the end of our nation as we know it. Do what you can now and do not lose heart. Stay the course, don’t lose heart.


Duck Eggs

By cindy

One of our young ducks has started laying eggs. If the others would join her that would be great. However, today we enjoyed our first breakfast made with duck eggs. We both enjoyed the treat!

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