Category: Preparedness

How To Equip Your Car Or Motorhome For Survival

A familiar scene in any disaster movie is the mandatory evacuation. The protagonists hastily pack their bags and leap into a car, only to either get stuck in miles of dead traffic, or end up running into an obstacle in which they are totally unprepared to deal with.

But movies or not, disasters do happen. And it makes sense to prepare for them. In this guide, we will tell you exactly how to prepare your vehicle, and what vehicle to take, so that you are well equipped if the need to evacuate ever comes.

What vehicle to have

In an ideal situation, there would be a Marauder sitting in the garage, or some other type of military-grade vehicle. But for the purposes of this article, we are going to look at more down-to-Earth models.

According to research by Money Advice Service, the two safest cars to drive are the Skoda Octavia large family car and the Mercedes-Benz CLA small family car. These two cars are the most likely to withstand an impact, such as a head-on collision, and keep your family safe.

But for cars capable of off-road travel, then two very affordable cars that are able to handle muddy, water-logged roads and woodlands without getting stuck are the Dacia Duster and the SsangYong Tivoli, at least according to research from the car insurance firm Admiral.

All of these cars can accommodate a family of five. It would be worth considering all of them — or doing further research on other models — and then weighing up which is likely to be more important depending on your circumstances: collision safety or off-road worthiness.

Motorhomes are also a great choice because they provide living space and therefore can pretty much be a permanent home-away-from-home if the going gets really tough. Some of the best off-road motorhomes, at least according to research, are the Iveco Daily 4×4 and the Mitsubishi Delica D:5 Terrain campervan.

What tools to have

Now that you have the perfect (or near-perfect) vehicle, it is time to stock it up for a serious evacuation. Some absolute essentials include: a torch, a map, a battery charger to charge batteries through the car, a fuel can, drinking water, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, jump leads, at least one spare tyre and the correct tools to help with changing the tyres. Those should (hopefully) all be obvious. But I would recommend a plethora of other items that may really be vital uncertain circumstances that might not be so obvious. Including:

Pepper spray

• A high-vis warning vest

Gloves for handling tools and changing tyres

• A crowbar — if there’s ever a situation where you may be trapped inside the car, a crowbar will help you escape

Good boots for walking through fields and woodland

Warm blankets for sleeping and keeping warm at night

• A hatchet — if there is ever a felled tree or bramble covering your path, a hatchet will help you clear a way through

Tyre chains for driving over snow and ice (if you live, or are planning on heading to, an area that experiences heavy snowfall)

• And duct tape, because things fall apart

Another absolute must is a solar panel. There are lots of different types of solar panels and they all have their advantages and disadvantages, but mounted-roof panels and briefcase panels are the most practical, because they can be oriented to follow the sun. They are also easily portable; and can be folded away to prevent theft. Solar panels at the very least, are good for recharging phone and car batteries, and obviously have much greater uses too. (While we are on the topic, it will be immensely rewarding to learn how to achieve power self-sufficiency before the time for evacuation comes. Being energy self-sufficient is not as hard as it looks.)

What supplies to have

In addition to the right tools and vehicle, it is also necessary to stock up on some food supplies. This obviously does not include food that is likely to spoil or perish
after a few days, nor does it require stockpiling huge amounts of tinned food (which can be cumulatively heavy and impractical). If you can, it is best to have about two weeks’ worth of food to ration out to your family members — so you will want the food stocks to be as light as possible. In these respects, astronaut food is very practical. It often comes freeze-dried in light vacuum packs and modern developments have — much like aeroplane food as come on a long way — even made the food tasty as well as nutritious. Astronaut food is varied enough to include steak, spinach, cheese, and even ice cream.

Another simple tip to keep in mind is to have some energy bars — or even just plain old sugar — at hand for an energy boost at times where you might be tired or weary from long spells on the road or without rest. If you do have a motorhome or if space is less of an issue, then of course take a cooler and consider storing some perishables there. You can always eat them first, and cooled vegetables can last more than a week providing the weather isn’t very hot.

Where to go

A well-prepared evacuation is all well and good, but where is the best place to go during a time of crisis? The answer is: it depends on what type of crisis it is.

If you just need to leave the city (or part of that city) then you can usually park up and rest in locations such as car parks, hospitals, and camp grounds — at least for the night. If you need to evacuate much further, or even escape, then consult your map for a sparsely populated area with a high-water table and dense woodland.
That way, you will be away from the ravages of the population, and should have access to some drinking water and game food. It will take some time to learn how to source the water and game, but at least the resources will be there.

This Author: Neil Wright is a writer and researcher. He has an interest in travel, science and the natural world, and has written extensively about how to
survive living off grid in the UK on his motorhome website.

5 Survival Things You Shouldn’t Compromise On

4x4 bug out vehicle

Ok, ok, so you might ask yourself: what can you compromise on when it comes to survival and preparedness? A lot of things, particularly when it comes to using everyday items to solve problems or when you’re solving redundancy issues. If you already have a veritable flashlight collection, it doesn’t matter if your 6th one is from a Maglite or some knock-off.

But some things you should never compromise on, because your life and the life of your family may depend on them. Let’s talk about those for a moment.

Clean Water

I know some people are tempted to drink water from a river that looks clean, but that doesn’t mean it’s full of bacteria. If shelter can be improvised, clean water cannot. Keep a water bottle in your bug out bag, one inside your car and always keep a portable water filter at hand. If you’re bugging in, you should think about additional ways to obtain it, such boiling it on a small propane stove (to kill bacteria) and even stock up on refills for those Brita water filters that remove some heavy metals.

Security

Imagine this: you’re speeding on the highway, anxious to get to your BOL when all of the sudden you’re stopped by a gang of thugs. What do you do?

We’ve seen this in Europe recently: the African and Middle-Eastern migrants that were forced to live in a camp near Calais, France, would constantly attack trucks and even a school bus at one point. Do you know what to do if that happens to you? Do you have the reaction time to defend your family, or will you freak out?

I think people are misled by “survival documentaries” where they depict bugging out as being a walk in the park. Maybe it will be, or maybe it won’t.

Just look at the atrocities happening to the migrants on their journey from the Middle East to Europe. Rape, starvation – those camps are anything but safe, and we’ve seen something similar during Katrina when average folks and thugs alike were all crammed in the Louisiana Superdome – eyewitnesses said it was horrible.

Freedom

Stories from migrant and FEMA camps are more than enough for us to realize that our freedom should not be compromised. It’s better to be out there in the woods than taken into detention camps where, in theory at least, you’ll be safer and have access to supplies.

During Katrina, it was only a matter of time until all the food they had there started to rot, (after they ran out of electricity). Supplies are never enough and, sanitation and hygiene are always a problem when large numbers of people are crammed together into tight places. Now, I’m not saying you should run around through the woods when there’s a hurricane, but if you do it right, no disaster should ever take you by surprise and cause you to share a room with thugs and rapists.

Your Bug Out Vehicle

Believe me, the LAST thing you want is to for it to stop working when you’re desperate to get to you your bug out location. Sure, you can always go on foot, but that could take days and will be exhausting, to say the least. Besides, when you’re in your car, it’s a little difficult for people to physically harm you.

That being said, you need a solid bug out vehicle that’s always equipped and always in good shape. One other thing you should do if you have the budget is bulletproof it. Things like using run-flat tires, installing bulletproof windows and even steel-plated armor for the exterior.

Weapons

Knives, guns, primitive weapons – all of these need to work flawlessly. With a little bit of research, you can find plenty of quality items at the right price. The Internet is full of scams but also of reviews on forums, blogs and on Amazon – real people sharing their experiences with every product.

Speaking of knives, one thing you should probably do is have two of them. A larger, bushcraft knife that you can rely on for rough tasks (including chopping wood) and a second, smaller one that you can keep as a back-up. Swedish company Mora makes very good carbon steel budget knives.

Final Word

I wish I had some memorable ending for this article, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you take survival and preparedness and that you never try to cut corners.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst is the thing that sums up well everything you read on this page, and what it means is, you should never cut corners when your life and the life of your family is at stake.

Sure, you may try to wing it with some aspects of survival, such as stockpiling less in favor of having the skills to acquire food and water, but some things are just too important not to do them right.

Prepare Your Mind For The Coming Crisis – Part 9 –

Mind Preparedness

Coping With Negative Feelings: Loneliness And Boredom

Today, I’d like to talk about two of the worst feelings in the world: loneliness and boredom. Now, we’ve all experienced each of these emotions at least one in our lives… and I’m sure you know just how awful they feel… how they get you down to point where you grow accustomed to the feeling and you just sink in it until someone in your family or one of your friends rings the alarm and tries to pull you out.

Take boredom for example. It’s the most common feeling we experience. In fact, it’s so common, we feel its presence every day. But here’s where it gets nasty: our daily dose of boredom comes and goes as easily as we want. Whenever we get bored, we can start another activity, something more entertaining.

In times of crisis, however, it’s not as simple to fight boredom. If a disaster happens and you’re stuck indoors, with almost nothing to do but basic survival activities… then boredom becomes a real, heavy burden. I mean it can literally drive you crazy.

But there are plenty of ways to keep it out of your home and enjoy every moment spent with your family or by yourself. Here are some of them:

Loneliness

If you’ve ever lived by yourself, you should be quite familiar with this feeling. Well, as unpleasant as it may be, you might have to deal with it again when the crisis hits.

You see, during disasters, people usually come together. They help each other go through the danger, they share losses and victories and bond like family. However, when there’s a long-term crisis (like the one waiting just around the corner), people tend to isolate themselves from the world. They get absorbed by their own problems that seem like they’re never going to end… and they get selfish.

Even your spouse and your kids will become less communicative. It’s just what harsh times do to people. But you can change that, by initiating communication with your family and friends.

• You can cook for your dear ones and invite them to dinner…

• Or you could ask for their helpwhen you’ve got a problem. They’re not going to say no, because they love you and want to help you out. You just need to tell them that they’re needed…

• Or simply sit down and talk about their problems. Offer some advice. It’s always welcome.

The bottom line here is: don’t isolate yourself like everyone else does. Don’t let problems ruin communication with your loved ones. Open up to them and ask for the same thing from their part. It may be harder at first, but they’ll come around.

Boredom

As I said before, boredom is a feeling we have to deal with almost daily. And when boredom sets in, what do we do? We immediately try to get rid of it. We break our routine even for 10 minutes, we go get a cup of coffee, or read the news, or whatever it takes to make us feel more entertained.

But what happens when we’re stuck indoors and there’s nothing to do? For example, if a disaster strikes and you’re out of power for a couple weeks… After you’re done repairing damages and get used to the situation, boredom will strike you like never before. And you’ll be surprised to see just how fast it gets installed.

I remember seeing some pictures of people sitting around in a refugee camp, after Katrina hit in 2005. Outside, houses were being torn to pieces, while people were playing cards inside. They were lying on blankets on the floor, playing cards and getting bored by the minute.

Waiting around for things to get better is actually the hardest part of dealing with a crisis, so here’s what you need to do to avoid boredom:

Write. Everyone dreams of writing the Great American Novel, so start writing yours. Ok, it doesn’t have to be the Great American Novel, but you can start with your memoirs. It’s refreshing and it makes you think back on the good moments of your life. Or simply write about the crisis and how you’re handling it. It might help other people some day.

Play. If you’ve got small kids or grandkids, play with them. Try to understand their games and get into their world. It will be fascinating, I promise you that. And you’ll get to spend quality time with your family.

Read. It’s never too late to start reading a book you’ve always wanted too read, but never had the time to. If you want to entertain your loved ones, as well, read it out loud. You can actually start a routine by reading 20 or 30 pages to them every day. This way, you’ll enjoy the book together.

Build. Find some scraps and start building something, like a bird house or a chair or whatever you like (depending on the materials you’ve found). It will take your mind off the crisis and give you a useful occupation. Let the kids in your family help you out. It will be more fun and they’ll learn a lot from the experience.

If you’ve got more suggestions on how to kill boredom during a crisis, please share it with me and the other readers in the comments section. I’d love to see your ideas!

And if you’d like to read more articles on survival topics, visit www.myfamilysurvivalplan.com.