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. Continue reading “Book Review: When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes”

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. Continue reading “Our Tornado Closet”

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?
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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.
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The Bear Grylls Survival Knife and Adventures In Fire Making

Right now I smell like smoke and, as my husband keeps pointing out, I need to take a shower. That’s because I just came back from an afternoon spent in the back yard getting acquainted with my Bear Gryll’s Survival Knife. My husband got this for me about a month ago, as an early Christmas present, but today was the first time I found time to get out there and practice with it.
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Preparedness Goals for 2012

Happy new year, fellow preppers! At least, here’s hoping that it’s happy and all of our concern about the economy, et al, fails to pan out.

A new year is always a good time to take stock and set some goals, and Casa Prepper has plenty of goals for the coming year, not the least of which is simply to survive it. To that end, here are the things we’re working toward this year:

  • Getting in shape. While this goal makes the top of most people’s new year’s resolutions, for preppers it takes on a higher degree of importance, as being healthy and in good shape is a vital component of survival. After all, having a garage full of freeze-dried food and water won’t help you much if you’re unable to run for your life if need be, which I’m not sure I could do successfully at the moment. We also face the possibility of having to bug out on foot, hiking for miles over uncertain terrain while carrying many pounds of gear on our backs. And working on strength training so that I won’t be easily overpowered by “zombies” is also on my to do list.
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Disaster Preparedness For Beginners

This is not coming from a survival expert or a seasoned prepper. I myself am barely more than a beginner. Of course, living in Oklahoma, land of tornadoes, wild fires, intense heat and drought, devastating ice storms, large hail and now earthquakes, you generally grow up knowing to be at least somewhat prepared for disaster. But as far as seriously preparing to survive a true, out-of-the-ordinary SHTF scenario, my husband and I are just getting started.

One lesson I’ve learned is how overwhelming it can be, once you’ve made the decision to try to reasonably prepare as much as possible for every disaster, terrorist attack, zombie invasion or breakdown of society imaginable. Suddenly, you find yourself able to imagine a LOT that can go wrong, and it’s easy to become discouraged once you realize it’s simply not possible to prepare for every single possibility that you read about or that crosses your mind. There’s also a tendency to panic, to want to do everything possible to get ready NOW, even if it means running up a lot of debt or spending all of your savings to make sure there’s a year’s worth of food and water in your pantry. Just last week, my husband had to talk me down from wanting to sell our house immediately and move in with my mom out in the country and start a mini farm in her back yard.

Here are some steps I’ve learned to help mitigate the sense of panic and overwhelm.
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Why Prepare?

The world is a scary place, and so is Oklahoma. Living in Tornado Alley, you learn early on to be ready to take cover at a moment’s notice. Most people around here have their hidey-holes prepped with weather radios, flashlights and batteries and enough food and water and clothes to get them by if their home gets blown away.

Even so, I always took it for granted that if something happened, we’d get by. If I was ready to weather a tornado, then I guess I thought I was ready for anything. Then, in 2007, we had a devastating winter ice storm that blacked out a large portion of the state and left thousands of people stranded with no power, many for as long as several weeks. A lot of people died during that ordeal simply because they weren’t prepared and they turned to unsafe means of trying to stay warm, resulting in fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Continue reading “Why Prepare?”