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When it comes to survival itself, if you are unfortunate enough to be caught in the bulls-eye of a localized disaster, you will have the hope (and probability) that others will be able to help, since the disaster will be somewhat localized. While everyone’s preparedness situation is unique with the constraints of risk tolerance, insight, and budget and time constraints, I do believe that a very good course of action (regardless of your risk tolerance) is to identify your existing skills and think about how your skills could be put to work in a post-disaster scenario. If you find that after self-examination your skills are not practical enough to deal with survival and life after a disaster (you will have to define your own disaster scenarios), then you really need to look into learning some skills which will assist you (and others) while supporting survival after TSHTF. Apart from the very basic necessities to survive (shelter, fire, water, food, security), assuming one has enough supplies to make it through a number of months from basic storage, the real long term survival will come from ones skills and ability to contribute to providing what you need to survive.
This really is not much different from what we do today (we work for currency), except it will be work at a more basic level, and one where perhaps paper currency will be worthless. For example, those who know how to successfully grow food, and those who know how to leverage the tools around them to build and repair things, and those who know the basic down-to-earth know-how skills of survival… ALL will be in high demand after TSHTF. Think ahead about leveraging the skills and know-how that you already have, in order to place yourself in a better position. Not many (hardly any) people will truly posses all of the skills necessary to live self-sufficient.
Do not fall into the trap of believing that if you simply buy enough survival preparedness supplies, that you will be all set. Depending upon how many unprepared folks die off in severe collapses, then dollars will have no initial value. As things calm down, and those with only supplies run out of supplies and their equipment breaks, then only those with more supplies and skills will make it.
Because of this, some preppers have intentionally thought of cheap trade items towards that purpose. YOU will be the doctor, trapper, hunter, fisherman, carpenter, engineer, farmer, electrician, mechanic, etc in a collapsed society. I’m no hunter, carpenter, mechanic, electrician, farmer, or have knowledge of other useful trades.
In a healthy community and without conflict, communal sharing of property and supplies, I guess that could work, but historically most people in history were generalists not specialists. Today you rely upon those specialists because of the exchange of money for their specialized services, or perhaps you’re underplaying your own responsibilities within that community.
In a true collapse, unless you have an extremely valuable skill like being a physician and one with medicine one hand, then most of us without skills are not needed. I encourage you to learn a valuable trade of some kind, or else what could you possibly have to barter post-collapse?
Are you thinking that in a world where there is no ability to replicate those kinds of supplies, that people out of kindness will use them up on your family, and do so out of kindness because those specialists today are kind now? The tough love of prepping is to get folks ready to commit resources, money, and time to educate their tribal members. Let me give you a practical example so you understand that I am not criticizing you, but only trying to help you understand. I know a person who traveled to a foreign country, and committed time,resources,education, and money towards that endeavor. That person provided no trade items, but rather had technical experience to benefit that community.
Everyone else provided either agricultural items in trade or provided services for those agricultural items.
Then I also have raised fish in a closed system using no mechanical filtration units, relying on plants as filtration. This is why tribes came to be, for their was strength in numbers and some division in labor. Even though there was a mini-Ice Age in North Europe and Scandanavia (beginning in 1350 and not ending completely until 1850 with severe periods in between), and even though is severely harmed harvests and firewood and technological growth, it didn’t stop these things. Yes, there will be no central electrical power, but anyone with minimal mechanical sense can use the alternator in a car to build a minor wind powered device to recharge the car battery. I foresee one of the most important tasks post-collapse is educating nonpreppers (who survive and have other essential skills). Science might take be placed on the back burner, but if you have someone with chemistry knowledge that can adapt, then all kinds of things can be made.
In the interim, there might not be any trades, and only the family members eeking out survival and based upon their supplies, seed, spirituality, and SKILLS. Due to the file size restrictions for the free site hosting, this document is broken into 12 segments: Parts A-L. I don’t argue that the government is looking for ways to decrease or even eliminate the ammo supply, but it is not rare at all now in my experience. I must live in a weird city, because rabbits are common around houses with back yards and parks in my area. Off The Grid Recipe: Hmong Squirrel Stew If SHTF squirrels could be your food of choice, this soup is easy to make and you can always substitute ingredients you can find in your stockpile or wild edibles. How to Make a Solar-Powered Battery Charger A recent group of storms blew through my area and left us, along with millions of other people and many of the businesses in my town, without power for several days. The post How to Make a Solar-Powered Battery Charger appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
How to Check Change for Coins with High Silver Content Silver has often been called “Poor Man’s Gold” because it is so much more affordable than gold. The post How to Check Change for Coins with High Silver Content appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
How To Build A Gypsy Wagon Trailer If you are looking to build a nice camper or off the grid tiny house, I think this how to build a gypsy wagon trailer is for you. The post ?How To Build A DIY Gypsy Wagon Trailer appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central. Trapping Urban Animals After a Disaster Setting a trap or snare is a good way to catch game if you have no weapons. The post Trapping Urban Animals After a Disaster appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
I think if its a shtf scenario, people will be exercising & burning alot more calories than normal. Since a number of people pasture livestock and are looking to build pasture and systems to feed from the bags and bales less, it’s eye-opening.
Even if you’re not going to jump to the greenie wagon, the zones and sectors are just part of smart design. It looks at habits, where you go daily, weekly, and seasonally, and uses that information to develop a plan for where to put the most-needy items. You tailor your landscape to take advantage of some, buffer others, divert some, sequester things like water and sun, but maybe also to dry up one area or make the best decision for locating a serpentine undulating lake. Time to observe is good, especially when you can be doing stuff like cold frames near the house and container gardening while you’re at it. More than 80% of the American population lives in urban centers and some of those urban centers are huge! We planted hundreds of evergreen and deciduous trees around the property this spring, but keeping the seedlings watered has been a challenge.
A sophisticated piece of government-made malware, designed to do reconnaissance on energy grid’s system ahead of an eventual cyberattack on critical infrastructure, was found on a dark web hacking forum.
Our countryside is packed with wild foods and useful plants – if you know where to look!
This course assembles Friday evening for an initial safety brief at 7pm and finishes at approximately 4pm on the Sunday. It's a good idea to bring a camera on the foraging walk to record images of the plants we don't gather, although remember you've got to carry it all day! Your gathered ingredients along with some wild game will form a late lunch to be cooked over the embers back at camp. Lots of people combine this day course with our Deer in a Day to make a whole weekend of it, camping overnight in the woods.
Did I miss your favorite pioneer skill?  Milking a cow, making candy or soap?  What would you add to the list?
Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites! Not to take anything from your comments or skills of Mormons, but these were common skills of many people all over the world, skills all lost to most of us, lost skills that make us poorer. Whether the Pioneer Days celebrations have any old skill demonstrations really depends on who is in charge. However a wider ranging catastrophic disaster, although usually less probable, will affect far more people who will be caught in it when it occurs. It will take a group, a tribe, a community of people with a range of skills and abilities in order to stand a chance at survival. While having these supplies will definitely be a plus, the fact is that it will only get you so far… If the disaster is short enough and things recover, then that will have been okay.

Many more knew how to grow food,cook with basic’s ( that was all they had ) hunt,fish,build without power tools ect. Let’s say one was unbelievably wealthy with gold pieces in tiny amounts to trade for goods. Learning skills in a more intensive manner will save you money, is rewarding on its own, and increases your security. That person lived in a tiny rural village that had almost no technology and was largely tribal and secluded.
Some might provide artistic items, ethanol, travel for three days by horse to the nearest village, then onward for many days to the capitol. From history we know that even when there are collapses, they didn’t stay that way, but eventually things got more secure. Then one can power direct current devices and if one has an inverter then run minor alternating current devices for brief periods and based upon low amperage. Many mechanical prinicples will still be needed to raise water, to build devices to haul water, to pump water, etc.
The skills you learn aid the entire community IF you also possess leadership skills to organize the survivors and if you can make them into a cohesive force.
A teacher might be educating the children of survivors so that their parents might work in the fields or raise animals.
A single family will never survive, for even if they do well on their own, their children will desire to find partners and marry and produce offspring. In fact, it will take tremendous effort to get people to trust again and be willing to trade their services, for it might be that the person desiring their services won’t have trade items until harvest time.
Hired pickers at a farm will sometimes be placed in a cart in which they can face the ground somewhat comfortably and place the produce in containers on the side of the cart.
There will be an intense need for laborers and to grow a lot of food in a small place, probably using biodynamic intensive gardening techniques (see Chadwick).
The other three membership forms complement the Membership, Capability, Competency, Skill, Ability, Talent Matrix  and the matrix allows you track membership advancements. There are also squirrel, chipmunk, opposum, and other weird critters that you might not think of.
It combines the old-school look of a gypsy trailer with the modern amenities of a new camper. Don’t spend a lot of money on a canning jar vacuum sealer when you can make one yourself for half the cost, maybe free if you already have the parts. A trap is also valuable in situations where you do have a gun or air rifle, but the sound of shooting off a weapon must be avoided.
I think alot of the side effects that most people have today eating wheat, won’t be as bad once theyare carrying 5 gallon buckets of water and hunting for fire wood.
That means that when the SHTF, a hell of a lot of people are going to be stuck in the cities, and chances are, you’re one of them. I’m thinking I need to develop a hydration solution before I go hog wild with a full-on Garden of Eden solution. On the other hand, if the disaster is truly a SHTF, then those supplies will run out, and you will only be left with your skills. That all presumes one knows basic gardening, digging a well, water purification, drip irrigation, urine as fertilizer, has heirloom seeds, plant identification, trapping skills, hunting by ranged attacks, butchering ability (mostly to field dress game), food preservation (mostly dehydration), etc. It’s highly likely that new leadership would encourage market days to facilitate trade again. Wealthy folks, especially without skills and supplies, may make some initial trades in dollars, then items of worth, then useful items of trade, and certain unscrupulous folks might consolidate those items hoping to use that new wealth for future trades. Otherwise even within the tribe, the loss of the medic would result in a severe hardship for the family. That leader told everyone that the person was their to help them learn new methods, and that would ultimately make life better for all of them. They might offer to purchase items for tribal members and transport them back and be paid for their efforts. Likewise, if the healer in a family got ill, then that person in a family could easily die. This requires community activities to identify skills and then find ways that those with skills can perform specialized labor. How long before the fat in your livestock is finally converted to rendered fat and then later soap and candles?
Otherwise you can easily pull the intrinsic back muscle which are the tiny pinky sized ones that get pulled from stooping over.
Anyway, while you might think this a waste of resources, you won’t have very many go to herbs for pain and inflammation relief, so making a cart like that is very helpful. These are recent examples of disasters that made your cell phone about as useful as a paper weight.#2. On this two day course you will live out in the woods, sleeping under a lightweight shelter and cooking over open fires.
Growing your own vegetables and fruits, knowing soil conditions, how to get water to your plants, extending your harvest season, and common garden pests will be vital to having a continuous food supply.  Check out The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers for some great old-time gardening tips. You may have other methods to cook your food available, like a solar oven or barbeque grill, but an open fire is the most primitive and one of the most common means of cooking in a grid down emergency.
Which plants in your area are safe to eat and what parts of them are edible?  A little foraging can add variety to your diet or even sustain life if there’s nothing else to eat. If the doctor’s not around, knowing which herbs to use and how to use them to treat common ailments like cough, fever, headache, etc.
Patching, fixing tears, altering hems and waistbands, or creating an entire new piece of clothing or bedding could help you stay warm and keep you from running around half naked. Doing so will both relieve conflict in some ways as well as being a safer source of supplies and as ways of learning the skillsets of survivors. Your mechanic may demonstrate old ways of winching like the Kochanski flip-flop winch method.
A pastor in the community might not have other survival skills, likewise a mechanic may not have hunting skills. Some of it is pro-con equally, and specific conditions decide what is good, bad, indifferent, and periodically not enough or too much. You will be shown how to identify edible and poisonous plants, learn which species are good for medicine, cordage, making fire, insect repellent, natural glues, soap and even dyes. Odds of Event Occurring '1 in' Per Lifetime or CenturyWhat Is Your Area at Risk For?  What Are the Odds?
I would rather have a bag of wheat (GMO or not) to eat in 6 -12months, than to not have anything. But chances are you will be in the city for at least some time before you leave and you might even stay there, depending on your situation.Now, regardless of where you are planning to bug in or out you will need to have a number of basic preps, such as food, water, and supplies. Urban survival does come with a number of challenges you won’t find outside of the cities, or that are magnified inside the cities, and you need to know how to handle these challenges. If a person doesnt know what they should be eating now, or know their body well enough to know what to avoid, they are probably gonna have a hard time either way.(and should store Tums or gasx! The key difference in the city is that if you live in an apartment or another type of rental, you might have to get creative on where to store your preps.
So, they would toss up a peach pit and scoop other pits from the floor and catch the pit tossed up. CB radiosHaving been part of the trucking industry, I would be remiss if I did not endorse CB radios.
These radios are simple to use and require no license; although, they have a limited range. If you manage to survive your six months or year without having anyone steal your preps and you have lived relatively comfortably, you will use it all up. The backup plan in this case is to know how to hunt, forage, and grow food and all of these things can be more challenging in a crowded urban setting.
Let’s take a look:HuntingUnless you are like Will Smith in I Am Legend, chances are you don’t have herds of deer running through the downtown center of your city. Hunting within the city limits will limit you to whatever you can find that usually lives in the city.
Personal Locator BeaconsIf all you need to do is transmit a signal, a PLB may be the best option. If you are able to make it to the outer edges of the city, you might have more game, such as wild turkeys and deer, but in general, your pickings will be slim. Plus, if you have been eating from your preps for a few months, a lot of these animals might already be hunted to low numbers.Having said this, these animals can keep you fed if need be, so you should have the weapons and tools you need to capture them.
Family Radio Service and Multi-Use Radio Service options are simple, but have a lot of the same limitations as CB radios. There are so many wild edible foods that grow within city limits, I guarantee you can go outside and find at least half-a-dozen wild edible plants within sight. Dandelions, purslane, violets, chicory, clover, thistle (wear gloves when harvesting), wild raspberries, and garlic mustard are examples.

Learn to identify these plants, when and how to harvest them, and how to prepare them.GrowingPlanting a garden is critical. Seeds should be a part of your preps, and as you are eating your months’ supply of stored food, you should have a garden started so that when your food is gone, you have something to harvest. If you have a well-concealed backyard, you might be okay, but you don’t want people to see the food you have growing. For this reason, you might want to start a hidden garden.Another option, which is ideal if you don’t have yard space or you live in an apartment, is to grow food via indoor gardening. You will hopefully have water stored away, but if the event that occurred lasts long enough or is permanent, then that water will run out just like the food will.Being in an urban center puts you in a unique situation because water might be harder to come by. You can’t drill a well, and even if you have access to a water way, such as a river, and have a way to purify the (and you should), you won’t be lugging it from the water source on a daily basis – it’s too heavy! Harvesting rainwater!Setting up a rainwater collection system is relatively easy if you own your own home or rent a house and it will provide you with all the water you need (unless you live in a drought-stricken area). Communication PlansIf you need to communicate with family or friends close by, having a plan is key.
There will be contaminants in the water regardless of the roofing material you use, although the safest oness are steel or glazed tiles, so no matter what your roof is made of, you will always need to filter and purify the water.For this reason, you should have a good water filtration system on hand.
You only need a rain barrel to collect the water and black is the best color because it will minimize the amount of sunlight that can penetrate it, in turn minimizing the growth of algae.
When collecting rainwater:Allow five minutes of runoff to escape before collecting the rainwater by using a first flush diverter.
Sound can accomplish the same thing.  Use whistle blows or horn blasts to communicate with people close enough to hear. These systems have been used for thousands of years.If you are in very close proximity, nonverbal communication can still be important. You can set up a tarp on an angle or with the center cut out so that the rainwater it collects will be funnelled into a large bucket. Without a balcony, you will have to set the tarp and bucket system on the ground somewhere outside the building, on the roof (if you have access), or try to collect it from the apartment building’s waterspouts. You will want to be sure you can contact your family and friends and ensure that everyone knows where everyone else is and where everyone should go. If you have a ham radio, that is great, but not everyone in your group will have access to one.
Walkie talkies are useful over short distances, but they might not work if you have a lot of buildings around you, which cut off a clear line of transmission for the signal.For this reason, you have to think of forms of communication that will allow you to send a message without the need for a conversation. There are many of these, such as:Using a marker or chalk to write words or draw symbols on the sidewalk, the back of a street sign, or anywhere else you can think of. The key with this is that you have a system of symbols or words your group has agreed on and that you have preselected locations at which to leave messages.You can use mirrors to reflect the sunlight and send a message.
A flashlight can also be used in the dark.Smoke signals sound older than the hills, and perhaps they are, but they are still useful. All you need is a grill with a cover or a blanket and you can burn paper and other material to produce smoke.Using some sort of noise maker is a great way to communicate over shorter distances. Whether you are using a plain whistle, a bird caller, an air horn, or a drum, you can determine a system of sounds to use to pass messages back and forth.Flares are a great way to let your people know where you are.
Just keep in mind that this method of communication isn’t as subtle as some of the others and you will be letting everyone else know where you are, as well. However, in a pinch, it’s a good way to communicate.Just remember, whatever system you use, make sure everyone connected to you, all of your family members and anyone who is part of your survival group, knows the system of communication. How difficult that is will depend on how bad the situation is as a whole and the size of the urban center in which you live. There are definitely some unique dangers that you might not find or that won’t be as bad outside the cities. Essentially, these dangers have to do largely with the dense population in urban centers, something that will ultimately cause increased danger in a variety of ways. Here are some dangers for which you need to be prepared when surviving in the city.Getting HomeUnless you work from home, homeschool your kids, and don’t go out much in general, one situation you are likely to run into when disaster strikes an urban center is being away from home at the time. For this reason, each person needs a get home bag (GHB) that contains the supplies that will keep them alive and help them get home safely. The GHB contains enough food and water to keep you going for a few hours, as well as a way to light a fire, a radio, and good walking shoes.SanitationSanitation is going to be a serious problem.
If you live outside of the city, especially if you have a bit of land to work with, you can more easily dispose of or burn your household waste and find alternatives to a toilet.
What would you do with four to eight garbage bags full of trash, which includes a lot of rotting food? The next time you take out a gross, smelly bag of garbage, imagine what you would do if you had nowhere to take it.The same can be said if you couldn’t flush your toilet.
We went for three days before the city could send a crew to tap us into our neighbor’s water supply.
I had water stored away, so we were fine in that sense, but who wants to pour a 4-liter bottle of perfectly good spring water into a toilet to make it flush? Melting snow was an alternative, but not easy or terribly practical.Not being able to flush the toilet was a challenge.
Fortunately, I have a portable toilet on-hand, and since we still had trash pickup and a store at which I could purchase more bags for the toilet, we were fine. The waterways and streets would be full of waste, both household and human, which is a breeding ground for disease.
After the first few days of a disaster, you will find that even the most respectable, regular folks from your neighborhood will start to behave in ways they wouldn’t usually. In other words, don’t go telling every neighbor who walks their dog past your house what you have going on in there.When people are getting desperate, you need to blend in. If you go out and talk the way they talk, ask the same questions they ask, and act the way they act, they will be far less likely to suspect you have your prepping ducks in a row. You have to keep this up for as long as possible.Decide how you will deal with those nice neighbors when they figure out you just might have food and water because they will come knocking. We will discuss this in detail below.So when those neighbors and friends come knocking, you will need to decide whether to help them or turn them away. If you decide to help them, make it clear that they need to contribute to the group’s overall safety and survival, which might mean doing some things they find uncomfortable.
If you aren’t going to help them, then you need to turn them away and you need to be prepared to use force if necessary.However, you want to have as many allies as possible, especially in the city, so perhaps the best thing is to try to barter with these people. They must have something that is of use to you, even if it’s just manual labor, and you can trade for a bit of food or other barter items (stock up on these). It might be wise to just include a lot of extra rice and beans in your preps for situations like this. You will remain on the good side of these people, people you know are generally trustworthy, and this relationship will come in handy when you have to deal with the other kind of people – the real bad guys.The Real Bad GuysThese are the people that were iffy or downright dangerous before the SHTF. These are the people who weren’t mentally sound or who were gang members and really never cared about the regular population or the law.
These people are going to be more dangerous than ever once there is no law enforcement in place and these are not people with whom you can reason, barter, or make deals. They are going to come in guns blazing, probably literally, and take everything you have.When it comes to dealing with these bad guys, you need to be ready to defend your turf.
That means having weapons such as guns and ammo, crossbows, tasers, or anything else you feel you need and are comfortable with, and being trained and prepared to use them. You will also need good operational security, a solid defence plan, and to practice these until you have them down cold. You can all band together to fight off looters and marauders.You Get Trapped InsideAnother scenario that can easily happen inside the urban center is that you want to get out and you get trapped inside. Have heavy gloves, eye protection, an N95 respirator mask, and good solid shoes and clothing to keep your body as protected as possible.Keep from looking like a target by traveling in a group, keeping some sort of weapon on you for self-defence purposes, try to blend in as much as possible, and remain fully aware of what is going on around you at all times.Do not follow the mob of people forming around you! These will serve you better than a mob of uncontrolled people.The Need to ScavengeAt some point you might need to scavenge for resources in the city.
This is a lot more difficult in urban centers than it will be in rural areas because there are a lot of other desperate people out there doing the very same thing. The best chance you have is to know your area of the city well and stay off the beaten track. The more you can move through your environment without being seen, the better, because once you leave the relative safety of your home or bug-in location, you will be at much greater risk of being caught by someone or injured.Bring at least one weapon with you for protection and bring some sort of tool, such as a multi-tool or pry bar, with you so you can more easily access buildings that hold the precious resources you need. You can also check out this article on preparing an urban survival kit.Ultimately, surviving in a large urban center is not something that is easily done. Some would say it’s downright impossible, particularly the when it comes to the cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, that were crime-ridden prior to the collapse.If you are in a smaller town, then you might have a better time of it, at least for a while, but eventually you might have to move on. However, while you are in the city, if you can watch out for the things discussed above, then you will have a better chance of surviving in the city long enough to bug out.The post The Ultimate Urban Survival Guide appeared first on Survival Sullivan.

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