Cutting Dependencies and Staying Away From the Herd

clock January 28, 2015 01:17 by author PrepperHelper

Contributed by: Gale Newell

Preppers are continually looking for new ways to improve their independence come the SHTF. We are constantly improving our preps, from evaluating the latest gadgets to learning new skills. But to really assert our independence we must start cutting our dependencies now. We can’t claim to be independent if we find ourselves still relying on the systems in this world that essentially keep us enslaved to it.

Independence doesn’t come naturally or easily. We live in a country where most systems are intertwined and dependent on one another. Most Americans are dependent on this country’s infrastructure to the point where they are totally lost during a crisis where the lights go out for a week or water becomes unavailable. That reality is not only frightening but also a shame when we consider our roots and the independent nature it took to establish our nation.

Our society is now controlled by those who want us to eagerly hand over our resources to them in return for easy solutions to our problems. We are no longer told to work hard for what we have. Instead, we are told to go easy on ourselves. We are brainwashed to believe that even though we can’t afford something, we deserve it.

Avoid Debt

Many Americans fall into this dependent thinking. On average, individuals in this country owe $7,000 in credit card debt. In essence, they have allowed themselves to become dependent on someone else for their financial needs. If you are one of the millions in this situation, start working now cut your financial dependency on easy credit. As Preppers, we can’t allow ourselves to blindly follow the herd mentality of most other Americans. It is no small wonder there are so many cash advance stores and title loan shops in every community.  If you find yourself deep in debt and don’t know what to do tap into your Prepper mentality and look to see what resources are available. It will take some discipline and may be a long slow trudge, but getting out of debt will free you up to use your resources for your enrichment, not someone else’s. 

Avoid Impulse Buying

We are all guilty of this. But the question is how often do we fall for it? Impulsive behavior can be deadly for a Prepper in the SHTF. It is best practice now to teach ourselves to identify these marketing ‘traps’ and develop the discipline to tell ourselves ‘no.’ Again, it is a waste of one of our current resources in addition to undermining the very discipline we will need to rely on during an extended crisis. If we think we must have everything that is tossed in front of us now, how long do we really think we’ll last when we have to get by on very little?

Avoid Buying for Convenience

Like all things enjoyed in moderation, going out to dinner isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. However, too many Americans have developed the habit of eating out nearly all the time. If we must rely on others to prepare a significant number of meals for us then how can we claim to be independent? And how will that dependence hamper our efforts to feed ourselves in the SHTF. Buying goods for convenience, especially food related items, is another dangerous practice for a Prepper.

Learning to cut our dependencies to these three traps will not only free up our money for needed resources but will help us develop the discipline and self-sufficiency we’ll rely on in the near future. During any future time of extended disaster or chaos, if we don’t have the mental discipline cultivated in the present it won’t matter how much preparations we have then.


This article is written by G.N. She has spent a career in the banking industry and became a serious Prepper when the economy collapsed in 2008. It was then she realized how fragile and intertwined many of the things we consider established really are.

TEOTWAWKI – Prepping for Disaster

clock September 17, 2014 23:22 by author PrepperHelper

Contributed by: Lukas Nicholson

Disasters are unpredictable. Preppers have tried predicting the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) but with, obviously, no success. Life continues on as usual. But one thing we do know is that it will come. We just won’t be able to predict when that might be or what the factors will be involved (economic collapse, devastating storm, nuclear strike, etc.). What can you do in such an ambiguous situation? Prepare. Prepare for anything. How can you go about doing this? Follow the framework about to be illustrated, and you’ll have a plan when shit hits the fan (SHTF).

 Keep it simple

You won’t know the specifics about what will shake down when SHTF. It could be a massive hurricane disaster off the coast of California or Florida destroying everything in its path, a nuclear attack on New York City causing an all-out nuclear war, or recurrent and untraceable terrorist attacks across the United States. The point is you’ve got no idea what the specifics of the situation will be. So, you can take general steps that will allow you to survive in many situations. Here are some of those:

·         At least 3 months of food (canned or dried) and fresh water stored

·         Fortified doors and windows

·         Heavy locking mechanisms on all POA (points of access)

·         Plan of action for the unit (group of associated survivors)

Necessary skills to learn 

Prepping without learning a few basic skills is like telling a city slicker to go out and till, plant, irrigate, and harvest a field of corn without teaching them how to first. Everyone should know how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), how to load and clean any weapons owned, and how to forage for food when resources run dry. Part of prepping is survival. You’d like to think you’ll never have to resort to any of these skills, but it is a possibility. Water is a necessity for survival, teach members of the unit how to decontaminate water and make it drinkable. These are only a few of the most necessary skills each member of the group must know for survival in any situation.

Specialization of labor

Each member of your “unit” should have a specialized skill they can bring to the table. One individual may have been a superb athlete with great eyesight; that individual could be designated as unit scout. A member of the unit that can fire a rifle with pinpoint precision can be designated as a soldier. A member that worked as a botanist “before the war” would be designated as chief forager and unit chemist for their knowledge in edible plants/nutritious roots. Designate individuals to the position most suitable for their skills and pre-disaster experience.

Emergency Protocol

When SHTF, each member of the unit will need a set of procedures they will unconsciously initiate. For example, each member can:  complete a brief threat analysis on a scale of 1-5, secure supplies, and relocate to the basement of the safe house for further strategic planning. From here inventory of supplies can be taken and the situation be further evaluated.  

If the safe house will not provide ample protection for the unit (hurricane, massive fire) each member must know the evacuation plan and the rendezvous point should the unit divide. The best rendezvous points are ones that can be seen with the naked eye such as a water tower, large tree at a well-known location, or otherwise.

As you can tell, communication is one of the most important aspects of prepping. Ensure each member of the unit is on the same page and understands each other’s specific role(s) and contributions. No man, woman, or child gets left behind. Family may be all you have left. Protect them with your life.

When SHTF, will you be ready?


Lukas Nicholson writes about home security and everything related to protecting your family and the ones you love. Check out some of his other work on home security systems and find out which is the best system for you. 

6 Ways To Prepare For A Natural Disaster

clock September 26, 2013 08:20 by author PrepperHelper

Contributed by Dirk Puckett from


Whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, flood or wildfire, natural disasters disrupt how people live, eat, sleep and stay safe. Natural disaster preparation consists of preparing a survival kit for each member of the family. Each survival kit should have enough supplies to supply everything you need to sustain you for 3 to 5 days.


You can prepare for a natural disaster by building up resources in these 7 areas:


1. Know the Risks

Understand the natural disaster possibilities in your area. If you live in the Midwest, explore survival guidelines for tornados, blizzards and flooding. If you live on the East coast, hurricanes should be part of your risk assessment plan. Once you know the potential for natural disasters in your area, you can better prepare to meet the specifics of each one.


1. Water

Humans cannot survive for more than a few days without clean drinking water. When a natural disaster strikes your area, you can’t guarantee that your tap water will be drinkable. It could be contaminated with a range of microbes, heavy metals, chemicals or sewage. Gather 1 gallon of water per person, per day.


2. Food

Assemble a supply of non-perishable food that you and your family will eat. Examples include canned food, cereal bars, trail mix, peanut butter and crackers and other meals that are ready to eat. Concentrate on high-calorie foods that have a long shelf life and make sure it’s food you like for a psychological boost during a stressful time.


3. Shelter

Consider the possibility that you won’t be able to stay in your home during a natural disaster. You can assemble what you need to shelter yourself, whether you use a tarp and some rope or pack a small tent. At the very least, include some thermal blankets in your survival kit as well as some rain ponchos that can double as a shelter if needed.


4. Health and Safety

Make sure your body stays safe and healthy in a natural disaster by including a complete first aid kit in your survival gear. Prescription medication, extra diapers for infants and a range of over-the-counter medications are other examples of supplies that will keep you and family members as healthy as possible.


5. Communication

In a natural disaster, regular communication can break down. You may not have access to TV and radio in a power outage, for example. Invest in a battery-powered radio and keep it tuned to the emergency band or local access station. Learn the basic evacuation plan for your town as well as the location for evacuation centers. Create a plan about where to meet up if family members get separated.


6. Money

In some natural disaster scenarios, you might still be able to purchase essentials you might need, such as gasoline. Keep some cash with you in your survival kit to use, especially when ATMs, credit cards and debit cards won’t work due to power outages.




Dirk Puckett enjoys writing about camping, outdoor adventures, self-sustaining practices and family emergency preparedness. For more survival kit tips, look into Daily Bread freeze dried food to supplement your family’s needs during a natural disaster.

Possible War and How it Affects your Prepping

clock September 1, 2013 10:48 by author PrepperHelper

Contributed by Christopher Parrett from LDS Avow


Fellow Preppers: 

Just moments ago I received notification that President Obama has submitted a formal request for Congressional Authorization to use Military Force in Syria.

With that in mind I offer up a few thoughts on preparedness for a war with Syria...


I'm not going to get into the who's right, who's wrong discussion...not gonna spend the time.

Oh, I've got my opinions, and I'm voicing them via my congress-critters. In the larger game, though, I think this die is unfortunately already cast. Like it or not, any President willing to ignore Congress 

Here, though...let's keep it simple. What's the rationale response to the situation developing before us?
What are the practical steps we can/should take, from a prepping perspective? 
    YES, keep your vehicle fuel tanks filled up as much as reasonably practicable.

    YES, rotate and re-treat your stored gasoline.

    Especially if you're in a bug-out situation...make sure your vehicle is COMPLETELYchecked yourself or a GOOD mechanic. Follow your owner's manual for guidance. At a minimum: good tires, good fluids, good brakes.

    YES, if you have a Faraday is probably time to ensure you've got the right stuff stored in it.

    YES, buy some extra batteries. Then buy some more. Then, MORE YET. All sizes, but focus on the batteries that YOU need in YOUR electronics. Personally, I STRONGLY recommend Sanyo Eneloop batteries. You'll get something like 3,000 recharges out of the newer versions, compared to 500 or 600 for "normal" rechargeable batteries.

    YES, if you have some known shortages in your food storage time like the present to fix them. If nothing else, LOAD UP ON SPICES!

    YES, ensure you attend Church, attend to your duties, say your prayers, tend to your family, attend the Temple, etc. Stay right with the Lord.

    NOdon't head for the hills/retreats just yet...unless you're due a lot of vacation time, and can make a graceful return and exit. Be ready, spring-loaded even, for a rapid departure/bug-out...but don't do things to risk your job/livelihood. Not yet, anyway.

    NO, it isn't lost on me that there's a whole lot of Biblical predictions wrapped up around Syria and Iran and Israel, etc. If this is the time the Lord has chosen, then it will happen. If not, then it won't Don't lose sleep over it, you're going to need to be fresh to make good, timely decisions.

    You should already have your self-defense items prepped; if not, have a TV night for the family, clean and lube all your weapons, make sure they're fully operational. If you've been meaning to get some spare parts...this would be a very good time to do so. Sharpen your knives, if needed. Make sure to grab some good-quality cleaning supplies/gear, plus a GOOD-quality lube.

    Realize that if our nation does enter a crisis mode...some societal groups might see that as an opportunity to take advantage of the situation. Their intentions might range from settling old scores to opportunistic looting of either homes or stores. Be alert, be ready.

    YES, keep
up on your computers. If you haven't already, join the AVOW Alert system (see Christopher's various emails for info). And for the're probably justified in checking your smart phone every time a message comes in.

    I've said it in many fora over the years...but for most LDS preppers, they STILL have big gaps in their water filtering/treatment capabilities. Your five 55-gallon barrels are GREAT, but it isn't going to last NEARLY as long as you think it will. So, get a GOOD, high-quality water filter that doesn't require electricity to operate. Personally, I recommend and use the Katadyn POCKET Microfilter, which utlilizes a silver-impregnated ceramic cartridge. You can easily filter 13,000 gallons of water with a POCKET, just cleaning the ceramic filter occasional. . No, it isn't cheap. Yes, it is worth it. If you get a water filter with paper filter cartridges, get LOTS of spare cartridges. You're going to need them. The Church sells Seychelle water filters via Distribution Center...those are perfectly acceptable for about 98% of all scenarios (I'd prefer the POCKET, but YMMV). But, the Seychelle filters are a heck of a lot cheaper.

I'm skeptical anyone is going to start lobbing nukes around over Syria, so don't lose too much sleep over that. However, there could very well be a substantial conventional fight, involving multiple countries, which could lead to massive upheavals in markets and supply chains around the world. Be prepared to hunker down (if you're in a safe location), and QUIETLY prepare for a rapid exit if your situation/survival plans require it. 

If things get to the point where it looks like some crazy fool MIGHT start lobbing the big boomers in the Lord and in his Prophet. 

Enough said. I wish everyone the best in this potentially chaotic period. Earnestly prepare, but don't lose your common-sense, either

My Prepper Helper Tutorial 4 of 4 Entering Data

clock July 7, 2013 18:20 by author PrepperHelper


Entering Data

Navigating through the App to enter Data to include the Quantity, Packaging size and Expiration dates of each item.

You have the ability to enter multiple expiration dates for the same types of food.

You can assign multiple locations to each item so you will know where you have them stored and how much of each is at each location.

The Food Progress Bar will be at various locations throughout the App to show you how close you are to the goals you have set for amount of food needed.

Use the Feed Back Tab to the right of the screen to ask any questions, make any comments or make any suggestions.

My Prepper Helper Tutorial 3 of 4 Navigation/Adding Custom Items

clock July 7, 2013 18:18 by author PrepperHelper

Categories include:
First Aid

Main Categories are blue, Sub-Categories are red.
Meal Readiness bar show your progress towards your goals as you enter your quantities. There are bars for the overall App as well as each individual food type.

Some categories may have multiple pages that can be navigated through at the bottom of each page.

Entering custom items:
Click Add an item to this Category
Select the Location
Enter the Item Name
Enter a Description if you desire
Enter the Quantity
Enter the Size or Weight of the packaging
Select the unit of Measure
Click Save

My Prepper Helper Tutorial 2 of 4 Bug Out Bag

clock July 7, 2013 18:16 by author PrepperHelper

Using the 72 Hour Kit/ Bug Out Bag feature of My Prepper Helper.
Create Multiple Bug Out Bags
Entering Data in the App
Entering custom items
Alerts via email twice a year to check and change items.

My Prepper Helper tutorial 1 of 4 Introduction

clock July 7, 2013 18:12 by author PrepperHelper


This is an introduction to the My Prepper Helper Preparedness App.
A general orientation to acquaint the user to the capabilities of the app and the components.
Need for email.
Using the Food Calculator.
Setting up your locations of stored items.

Preparedness is NOT Just for TEOTWAWKI

clock June 1, 2013 08:59 by author PrepperHelper

So many people look at Preppers and think that we are crazy people that are preparing for the End of the World. While this may be true for many, the majority of Preppers are practical and prepare for many different kinds of disasters.


The last few weeks have really made me glad that I have supplies available. We have had tornados in TX, OK, KS, MS, IL and throughout the Midwest.


Today is the first day of Hurricane season. FEMA has warned that the predictions this year are for a very active season and urge residents of hurricane prone areas to have supplies ready, evacuation routes planned, and to prepare their families for when a storm may hit their area.


As I have been watching the news of the tornados over the last few weeks and they are showing so many people that were leaving their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, all I could think was “where are their Bug Out Bags”? If they all had their BOB’s handy they would at least have a change of clothes, some food for a few days, copies of their important legal documents, shelter, and the list goes on.  Something so simple and easy can make a huge difference when a disaster hits our homes. Being able to grab a backpack that I know has everything that I need to survive for a minimum of three days gives me and my family a great amount of peace.


While the government has put in place many disaster recovery plans, there is no possible way that they can provide the necessary supplies to take care of everyone that needs help. It is important that each family take the time to decide what they need for their household, get those supplies ready, then have them easily available in the event of evacuation. Sit down as a family and make a plan. Many times the family will not be together when a storm hits. Have a plan and location to meet up. Have a backup location and established times to wait before going to that backup location. Remember that cell phone service may either be out or busy with everyone else trying to reach their family members. If possible have other ways to reach each other. Practice your plans, meet up at your planned locations, drive your evacuation routes and have alternate routes in case your primary is blocked for some reason.


Make Get Home bags for each vehicle. These are similar to a Bug Out Bag bug with a little less stuff in them. They are designed to give you the supplies needed to get you from work, or wherever you may be, to home on foot. I know some people that keep their Bug Out Bag with them in their vehicles all the time. They are ready to go from wherever they may be.


Whatever you do, do something. Anything is better than nothing. Having even a small amount of supplies ready and available in the event of a disaster can make a huge difference for you and your family. Now is the time. If the recent storms are not enough to get you started then nothing will.


Plan, plan, plan then plan again, then have 10 contingencies for your plans.

A few Prepper's Pointers from OK Tornado

clock May 25, 2013 13:39 by author PrepperHelper

Contributed from an OK Prepper at LDSAVOW


We just went through the Oklahoma Tornado and learned a few things, some which were surprising:

(1) Storing all of your preparations at home may not be a good idea. Police prevented homeowners from returning to their homes EVEN IF they could prove that they were residents.
(2) Don't depend on phones or cell phones. We have all become comfortable with cell phones and being able to call whomever we want whenever we want. Cell phone towers went down, and what little coverage was available was reserved for emergency responders.
(3) Have a family "evacuation and meet" plan. Our family was spread out across 20 miles.
(4) Use real keys, not garage door openers. My SIL was stranded OUTSIDE of his home because he uses his garage door opener instead of a key. If you can't carry a key, at least hide one somewhere safe in your yard
(5) Have some preps in your car, particularly clothing. Daughter and SIL were both away from home and could not even pick up a change of clothing.
(6) Make sure you have phone numbers memorized, and that there is someone in another area with a LAND LINE that everyone can contact to relay and receive information.
(7) Be prepared to invite extras into your home. Glad we haven't down-sized yet - plenty of room to accommodate extra bodies for as long as necessary.

The Lord blessed my daughter and SIL. They were spared from total devastation by only a few hundred feet. But in all, stuff can be replaced, and grateful for their well-being and safety. We are blessed.


Plan, plan, plan then plan again, then have 10 Contingencies for your plans.