Multi-passionate writer, author and solo-preneur

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Book Review: When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes

I originally posted this review in March of 2012. We’ve recently pulled this book out and started going through it again, mainly because it has a lot of good advice for staying warm in the event that all of these winter storms knock out our power. I stand by my original review — the info in this book really holds up. It would make a great Christmas gift for anyone on your list who might need some coaxing when it comes to adopting a preparedness mindset.

You might know Cody Lundin from The Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival. Or you might know him as that guy from Youtube with the sustainable underground house. But if you don’t know, Lundin is a survival instructor based in Arizona whose instruction focuses primarily on indigenous skills—in other words, surviving off the land the way the Native Americans used to do it.

But Lundin broadens his teaching focus for When All Hell Breaks Loose, his manual for urban survival in a SHTF situation. Whereas in his survival school Lundin primarily works with hikers, campers and other outdoor sports types who are at a greater risk of getting lost in the desert or wilderness for a stretch of days, his book is more concerned about long-term survival for the entire family, and it’s deliberately written in terms that even Grandma and Grandpa can understand.

How Not to Prepare for a Winter Storm (or, How to Safely Not Freeze to Death)

Prepping for a winter stormThe temperature outside is in the 40s as I write this, with afternoon highs expected to reach the 50s, but I’m preoccupied with thinking up ways to stay warm.

Why? Because we’re under a winter storm warning, with temperatures expected to plummet overnight, and a “wintery mix” arriving in the morning. In Oklahoma, “wintery mix” usually means lots and lots of ice, which usually means not being able to get the car out of the driveway. Sometimes, it also means power failures. 

Why We Prepare for Disaster

Because you can lose everything in under a minute.

More Survival On a Budget

PrepperGirl.com’s unexpectedly enforced hiatus must continue as the day job and other responsibilities continue to put me through the ringer, but don’t miss these great budget survival tips provided by commenter Grimm. Here’s a sample:

A cheap protein source is TVP (textured vegetable protein). It is dehydrated so it has a longer shelf life than most proteins like tuna or tofu. Since it has little to no flavor of its own you can add it to your other survival food without altering the taste but boosting the protein levels. $1 if you can buy it from the bulk dry goods at your local health food store.

A great way to build your BOB or GOOD bags with great items but staying in your limited budget is to buy your supplies one at a time and to shop around. Research can help you decide on the items you want and the average price range. Save if you have to to get quality items rather than dollar store crap.

Click here to read more. And thanks for the tips, Grimm!

Our Tornado Closet

Tornado season is here, and if you live in Tornado Alley like I do, that means it’s time to make sure your storm preps are ready.

We haven’t had any majorly severe storms in our area yet this year, thank goodness, but I haven’t let that keep me from getting our storm closet ready. Unfortunately, our house lacks a basement or cellar, and as much as I’d love to, we can’t afford to install a tornado shelter or safe room, so we have to make do with our bedroom closet and a lot of prayer.

Survival On a Budget

One question I see pop up from time to time in preparedness forums and comment threads is, “What can I do to prepare if I have a limited income?” Another variation of this question is, “So really, am I screwed?”

The problem with a lot of budget-conscious advice is that it always tends to assume that there is some luxury you can easily give up to help meet your goals. But what if you’ve already given up all the luxuries and you are already surviving on a diet of Top Ramen? Do you just plan on stockpiling as much ramen as possible and hope for the best?

Easy Survival Prep: Get Dressed

I’ve been a work-at-home freelancer for the last three years, and in that time I’ve developed a pretty bad habit: most days I rarely bother to get dressed unless I plan on leaving the house. This habit is common among most stay/work-at-home types I know, so much so that it makes me think that people who actually get dressed just to hang around the house all day only actually exist on TV. After all, getting to work in your PJs is part of the whole appeal of working at home, right?

Why We’re Preparing For Survival

1999 was a strange year. Nostradamus’s famed prophecy that the world would end at the end of the last century seemed like it might have some kind of truth in the dreaded Y2K bug that was sure to cripple computers on New Years Day 2000, when the computer clocks that were only programmed with two-digit dates rolled back to 00 and interpreting that as 1900, thereby crippling the grid and bringing about the end of the world as we know it.

Not-So-Obvious Survival Tips: Rotate Your Food Stash

I just had a can of Beanee Weenee for lunch that was over two years old. Since money has been tight lately (hasn’t it been for everybody?), we’ve been making our grocery budget stretch by dipping into our emergency stores, and it’s a good thing. Since making sure we had several weeks’ worth of canned goods on hand (a lesson we learned thanks to the 2007 ice storm that blanketed much of the midwest) shortly after we moved into our house three years ago, we haven’t touched that food ever since.

So here’s something that might not be obvious to everybody (as my over two-year-old lunch makes it plain that it wasn’t obvious to us): canned goods and other types of stored food don’t last forever. Most canned goods start losing both flavor and nutritional value after about two years. Much longer than that, and they can start to become unsafe to eat. That’s why it’s important to rotate your emergency stash.

My Every Day Carry Kit

Every Day Carry Purse KitI guess I’ve always had a tendency toward preparedness, even without giving it a lot of thought. I’ve always carried certain items in my purse that would help me tackle common, every day emergencies, such as headache medicine, Band-Aids, safety pins, Kleenex and an umbrella. I also usually keep a protein bar in my bag to help regulate my blood sugar (and keep me from becoming a cranky beyotch) when I am stuck out running errands between meals. So it wasn’t that big of a stretch, once I became more preparedness-minded, to convert my purse into an every day carry emergency kit.

So here, along with my wallet, cell phone and umbrella, is what’s in my purse at all times:

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