Monthly Archives: March 2013

Eight Reasons Gas Will Hit $5 This Year

I found this article which I thought I would share. A little business technical at times but many good facts.

We all know as gas prices rise, so does the cost of everything else we use.


The price of gas is a widely covered news item these days. Oil prices have moved up from $75 a barrel in October of last year to more than $100 a barrel currently. And the trend continues to point toward even higher oil prices. Of course, along with the price of oil, gas prices have also risen, almost in lockstep.

The price of gasoline today is 10% higher than it was just two months ago. The average price for a gallon of regular is almost $3.62. Gas prices in January have been the highest ever recorded price for that month. Many economists and energy analysts believe a rise to $4 a gallon is inevitable. But their estimates could be grossly understated. Gas will reach $5 a gallon before the end of the year.

Two warring trends are pushing and pulling gas prices. On the one hand, Americans now drive less than at any time in the past 11 years. On the other hand, gasoline and oil inventories are at very low levels around the world, and traders believe that supply will tighten significantly. The fact that Americans drive much less will not offset an interruption of supply from the Middle East, a decision by refineries to charge more to turn oil into gasoline, or higher demand from emerging economies like China and India.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the major reasons that gas prices have risen in the past quarter and analyzed whether the causes will improve or worsen. We have estimated how much each factor could increase gas prices. Together, those increases would be enough to push gas prices up by another $1.50.

1. Strait of Hormuz

About 20% of the crude oil produced in the world is shipped through the Strait of Hormuz, and Iran has threatened to shut down shipping traffic through the Strait. At its narrowest, the passage is 30 miles wide, so there is a realistic case that a conflict could close it. Iran has already been isolated as a trade partner by U.S. and EU sanctions. The regime in the country has made a number of threats about what it might do if its “national interests” were threatened. If Iran follows through with its threats, the period the passage is closed could be very brief if the U.S. Navy, which has a carrier group in the region, moved to reopen the lane. But it is not clear that the American government would make that decision without the open support of allies or the United Nations. A closure of the passage, or any escalation that would make a closure more likely, will drive oil prices higher — and by extension, gasoline prices.

2. Iran

Iran contributes to a second problem in terms of global oil supply well beyond that of its ability to interrupt supply. Because of the embargo against the nation due to nuclear weapons violations, the U.S. has pressured large oil importers such as Japan to act to isolate Iran by cutting their imports. This puts Japan in a position in which it has to tap even tighter global supply. Japan apparently has agreed to cut its Iranian crude imports by 20%. But as the world’s third largest oil importer, Japan indeed will have to get its oil somewhere other than Iran — which will put more pressure on current production.

3. Refiners Likely to Raise Prices

Most of the oil refined on the east coast of the U.S. is Brent crude, a type of oil produced from the North Sea. The price of Brent — more than $124 a barrel — is almost $16 higher than the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the amount most people read about in the media. But because Brent has replaced WTI as the global price benchmark, U.S. refiners set prices for gasoline and other products as if Brent were the only grade of crude used. That allows refiners with access to cheaper WTI to make larger profits.

However, when the prices converge, as happened in the final two months of 2011, WTI refiners lose their edge — and their hefty profits. “Refiners were losing money in November and December. You can only lose money for so long,” John Felmy, chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute, recently said. Many large refineries are owned by public companies that do not have much appetite for posting ongoing losses. To avoid losses, refiners will have to increase gasoline prices.

4. Other Geopolitical Risks

Iran does not present the only geopolitical challenge to oil production. In Nigeria, which is the 14th largest producer of oil in the world, Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram has continued to attack Christian areas of the country. The Nigerian Army has reacted by attacking Islamists. Militants have continued to attack pipelines, apparently in a move to disrupt the government.

Meanwhile, there are concerns about supply even from Venezuela. Venezuela is the world’s 11th largest producer of crude. The regime there has been fairly stable under the 13-year reign of Hugo Chavez. But Chavez is due for a second cancer surgery later this month. The Miami Herald recently wrote that “some analysts question his [Chavez] ability to hold onto the presidency through the current election cycle.”

Other parts of the Middle East and Africa are also in turmoil. Analysts recently mentioned Bahrain, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria and Yemen as political flashpoints. “The world faces oil supply risks from a multitude of sources, not only in the Middle East but also in Africa. In our view, not since the late 1970s/early 1980s has there been such a serious threat to oil supply,” Soozhana Choi, Deutsche Bank’s head of Asia commodities research, said in a note to clients recently. All these flashpoints translate to further concerns about oil supply. And when oil supplies are tight, the price of oil — and gasoline — increases.

5. European Union Recession

For now, Greece has been bailed out again – a move that should buoy confidence in the region and encourage demand for oil. Even with the Greek bailout, however, the eurozone is not out of the woods as nations continue to implement austerity measures to protect against the risk of default on sovereign debt.

While some experts believe the risk of defaults in the region is overblown, several economies in the eurozone continue to be in trouble. According to a recent European Commission forecast, the eurozone GDP will contract 0.3 percent, driven in part by deep recessions in several southen EU nations, including Spain and Portugal.

Either way, deepening financial and economic trouble in Europe would drop demand for oil there. However, if leaders in the region can settle on mechanisms to protect nations with financial problems from default, national budgets will not be cut to extraordinarily low levels — levels that would otherwise kill both consumer demand and business demand for oil.

U.S. Economic Recovery

An improved U.S. economy means higher oil prices. U.S. GDP, employment and even housing have all staged unexpected improvements in recent months. Many economists now peg a 2012 GDP increase at more than 2%. The new White House budget assumes growth of 3% by 2013. An average of more than 100,000 jobs has been created in each of the past six months. And an extension of payroll tax cuts through the end of this year may further aid the employment recovery. An extension of unemployment benefits means that hundreds of thousands of American who would have no income, will have at least enough to consume basic goods and services. The argument that Americans now drive less is not a powerful one for gas and oil demand when a healthy economy also means more consumption of oil for business, petrochemicals and jet fuel. Demand for oil-based products across the entire economy will pick up with any recovery.

7. It Is Almost Summer

In the U.S., summer vacation driving has historically boosted demand for gasoline. Over the past three or so years, however, that boost has been small, if present at all. In 2011, U.S. traffic volume decreased year-over-year in every month except January and February. But that was last year. So long as the U.S. economy continues to improve, more drivers will be on the road this summer.

8. Supply Risk

In December 2011, OPEC members produced nearly 31 million barrels a day, cutting the cartel’s spare capacity capability from 3.18 million barrels per day to 2.85 million. Saudi Arabia accounts for 2.15 million of those daily barrels of spare capacity.

Whether this data is accurate is arguable. What is not arguable is that starting to pump the spare capacity will take time, which will not be very helpful in the event that the Strait of Hormuz is closed or some other geopolitical risk is realized.

Then there is Russia, the world’s first or second largest producer, depending on which day you look at the data. The OECD is counting on Russian production to make up for some of the short supplies and to grow by 1.4% to 10.72 million barrels a day in 2012. Russia grew its production by 1.2% in 2011. An additional gain of 17% in 2012 could signify that the OECD is hoping that Russian production can grow even more. There is no guarantee that Russia will deliver.

Supply from Canada, the U.S., Australia and Brazil is expected to rise in 2012, though North Sea production is expected to fall. The OECD estimates global demand in 2012 of 90 million barrels a day and global supply essentially equal to projected supply. Nothing about that state of affairs should lead anyone to a conclusion that prices will fall.

via: 247wallst

5 Ways to Keep Looters Away From YOUR Home

I`m sure you`ve seen this message “Looters will be shot” before on TV, or on the internet. Or maybe one of your neighbors has already written it on his house walls. But I wouldn`t suggest you do the same thing. And I`ll tell you why in just a moment.

But let`s see why this whole fuss about looters began in the first place. When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, a lot of people were forced to evacuate their homes and leave everything inside. But they never found them when they went back. And no, it wasn`t the storm. It was looters. They started walking around from house to house, guns in their hands, stealing money and valuables. And threatening or even injuring everyone who dared get in the way.

But they didn`t get to leave unpunished. By the time they finished their “rounds”, people organized a resistance group. They were armed and thirsty for vengeance. And they wanted the whole world to know it. So they got a spray paint and they wrote this message on a wall: “Looters will be shot“. And that`s how it all began.

After this incident, more and more people marked their own walls with way, hoping to protect their stockpile and their families. But here`s the thing: lotters not only loot for food, water and gas stoves. They also loot for guns. And that message written on your wall clearly states: “I`ve got guns, come and get them when I`m not home!” And you don`t want a bunch of violent criminals rummaging your home and scaring your kids, do you?

So here`s how you can keep looters far away from your house, with almost no risk at all:

1. Make your house look unappealing

That doesn`t mean you should trash your front yard, your windows and doors, as others advise. In fact, that`s another rookie mistake. An already trashed house makes an easy target (looters LOVE easy targets) and it may reveal hidden treasures others didn`t bother to look for.

So don`t start ruining your house, there`s no need for extreme measures. Just make it less appealing than your neighbors`. Yes, it`s very selfish and may sound mean, but that`s what it takes to keep your family safe and sound. So if your house stands out among the others, fix that. Make it look like it hasn`t been renovated in a long time, scratch the paint of the walls every here and there. And keep your valuables away from windows (your TV, your home office, expensive furniture etc).

2. Make it almost impossible for looters to break into your home

Keep looters far away from your front door by setting “obstacles” all around your front yard. Plant roses or other thorn bushes in front of your windows, so they can`t get close to you house. Avoid keeping tall bushes or trees in your garden, where looters can easily hide.

Next, check out if your door is protective enough. First thing you need to do: invest in a high-end bolt lock on your door. Not the kind your grandkids could break in less than a minute… I mean the kind you could easily use in a state prison.

When it comes to protecting your home, watch for the soft spots. If you`ve got big, fragile windows, cover them with a protective sheet. You can find it at any Walmart, it`s not expensive, but it will surely make the glass harder to break.

And last, but not least… get a big, mean-looking dog, like a Rottweiler or a pitbull. If trained well, you`ll have a wonderful companion that your family will love… and the most fierceful bodyguard you could ever have!

3. Keep your goodies away from curious eyes

I already mentioned keeping your valuables away from your windows, where passersby can see them (including expensive furniture, TV sets, DVD players, an audio system or other gadgets). But looters aren`t always the enemies coming from the outside.

In times of crisis, even your best neighbors can turn into looters. In a dog eat dog society, there`s not much room for friendly neighbors. So if you`re stockpiling, make sure you keep your supplies in a hidden place, where visitors can`t see them.

If you`ve got a storage room ( a pantry, a garage or an actual room you use to store your stockpile), keep it locked at all times and don`t leave the key in an obvious place. You can put the key in a top drawer or hide it behind a cupboard.

Ideally, you should also hide generators, bug-out bags, survival kits, weapons and the rest of your emergency “tools”. Looters don`t only steal food. They look for anything they can use or sell to buy what they need.

4. Don`t let people know you`re not home

If you go away for the weekend or on a holiday, make sure your home looks like you`re there 24/7. You don`t want people to sniff an unwatched bag of goodies in your house!

So here` s what you need to do: first of all, light up your house. Invest in a motion-sensor lighting system. They won`t be able to get in your house without getting in the spotlight as well.  You can use this type of lighting inside and outside your house, if you want to scare looters off before they even get to the front door.

If you leave home for more than three days, don`t leave mail piled up in your mailbox. It practically screams “I`m not home, so come on and break into my house!”  Ask a friend or a neighbor you trust to pick it up for you while you`re gone. It`s the safest option you`ve got.

If you`ve got a telephone, plug it out before you leave. If someone wants to know if you`re home, they`ll search for your phone number in Yellow Pages or on the Internet and call you to see if you answer or not.

And here`s the last Golden Rule to protect your home against looters and burglars:

5. If they do get inside, give them hell!

Let`s say you`re facing some really ambitious looters who really want to break into your home and your home only…

Can you imagine the hungry smirks on their faces when they get inside YOUR house? Well, this image should be motivating enough to give them the worst Scavenger’s hunt they`ve ever see in their life! Usually, looters only stick around for a few minutes, to avoid getting caught. So the longer it takes for them to find the goodies, the faster they decide to flee the place with whatever they find on hand.

So as a general rule, never keep your valuables on display. However, there are some things you can`t hide, so just etch your name and phone number on them. This will give them a hard time to sell your stuff.

Another thing: Keep your stockpile in a hidden place, perhaps covered by a curtain or behind a closet (or maybe IN a step-in closet!) Your stockpile is crucial to you and your family during a crisis, so protect it as well as you can. Put a big bolt lock on it and keep it undercover. As long as you`ve got food, water and a heating source, you`re good.

That`s about everything you should know about home defense during the crisis. If you follow these 5 Golden Rules, you can rest assure your home will be more secure than any other in your neighborhood. So have fun with the preparations and stay safe!

Via: myfamilysurvivalplan

Testing Your Emergency Plan

If you read my column regularly, you know the importance of an emergency plan as an integral component of your overall urban survival skills. Yes, it’s great if you keep a first aid kit, MRE and water on-hand, but unless you’ve mapped out how you plan to use your supplies, you’ll be a lot less effective in helping yourself, your family or your neighbors to get through a natural disaster or civil emergency. An emergency plan is vital, and testing that plan is equally critical.

When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast last week, we were within the projected path, giving us a chance to really test our emergency plan. We went through all the details that I’ve mentioned to you in previous blogs, and guess what? We found holes in our own emergency plan! Thankfully, we didn’t get hit by the storm directly, and this valuable experience has helped us identify the changes that needed to be made.

How concerned should you be about an emergency plan run-through? I’ll give you some examples of situations that people have found themselves in, and let you be the judge:

  • During a power outage, the homeowner retrieves a flashlights, only to discover that the batteries, which were stored inside the flashlight, have gone dead. (Tip: To keep batteries from discharging, don’t insert them into your flashlight until you need them.)
  • Emergency supplies were stored in different areas of the house, making it difficult to find them during a power outage, slowing evacuation.
  • The backup generator has been stored for years without being used, causing the fuel inside to spoil and making it impossible to start.
  • Critical emergency supplies were storied in the basement and were flooded before they could be used.

Testing your emergency plan doesn’t require you to wait for a massive storm. Simply set up scenarios that you could likely face in a real emergency. I’ll give you three possible drills you could test against your emergency plan, and think about others that match situations you could

  • High winds snap a tree branches, plunging your town into darkness. You need to be able to find your generator in the dark, get it started and run the appropriate extension cords to critical appliances.
  • A tanker truck crashes on a nearby road, emitting a toxic cloud. You need to have your go-bag (including food water, spare clothes, insurance papers, ID, prescriptions and any other items) and your family in the car within five minutes, ready to evacuate.
  • You’re alerted to a surprise snowstorm while at work. You need to plan out an effective route home, both by your normal route and by a secondary route in case the roads are clogged. You also need to contact all family members, arrange transportation home, and ensure that there’s enough food in the house to endure multiple days stuck inside.

If you have kids, you certainly don’t want to scare them with doomsday scenarios, but teaching them age-appropriate preparedness skills will make them better equipped to face the realities of life. Many stories have been told of children who saved the family from harm by knowing what to do in an emergency. And instilling your family members with the idea that you’re all a responsible for each other’s well-being is never a bad thing.

Be safe and stay alert,

By Thomas Sciacca

Via: myfamilysurvivalplan

How to create a panic room in your home

About a year ago, I started considering building a panic room for my family. I`d been interested in the subject for a couple of years and I became almost obsessed about the most space efficient panic room.

Took me a while to find all the information I needed (builders don`t want to reveal this kind of things, as their clients claim as much discretion about these secret safe havens as possible).

So finally, when I had everything I needed to start working on the panic room, I had to pick a room of the house for the transformation.

That`s right. You don`t need to build a new room from scratch in the middle of the house. You can just turn one of your already existing rooms: your bedroom, your living, even your bathroom (actually, this is one of the best ideas, since you`ve got running water and a toilet there).

Now, before I go further, let me just crash three myths about building a panic room in your home:

NO, you will not have to “sacrifice” a room. You can keep living there like nothing has changed.

NO, it will not look ugly. You can make many “invisible” tweaks or additions.

NO, you will not have to invest a ton of money and time in your panic room. In fact, it only takes a weekend or so to make the tweaks and load it with supplies.

So, choose a room you`d like to turn into a rock-solid safe haven and get down to business!

Here`s some of the things I`ve learned while working on my panic room (or while researching) that I believe would help you a lot:

1. Structure

If possible, choose a windowless room (or even a solid step-in closet). If you decided to transform your bedroom or living room, then you need to get shatterproof glass to replace the old windows. 

Make sure your walls don`t have any major cracks or holes. Also, you can cover your walls with all-sponge upholstery to make it sound proof. This way, attackers won`t hear you talkin with your family or on the phone. And you won`t hear any verbal aggression from their part.

Replace your old door with an outdoor type of door (metal, preferably). They`re much more resistant and you can put multiple locks on.

2. Security

First of all, you need an alarm system to let you know your house has been broken into. I know how expensive these things get, but how about a perfectly functional rudimentary system: put squealers on your doors and windows (they sound an alarm when someone breaks in). You can find them at Wal-Mart for about $25 (for your entire home).

Getting back to the panic room, you`ll want to put on more than one lock. The main one should be a keyless Grade 1 deadbolt lock. It`s practically unbreakable. Don`t forget to teach your kids or grandkids how it works, so they don`t lock themselves or someone else inside by accident.

Next on the list: security cameras. You can find entire 4-camera + split screen surveillance for $150 at SAMS Club. Look for the best offer and get a basic video surveillance system.

3. Communication

Permanently keep a phone in the panic room. If you`ve got weak or no signal at all, get a telephone line installed. You`ll need a way to communicate with the police or with your loved ones, so don`t miss this step.


If your room has a window you can simply use a generator for power. If it doesn’t have a window or any type of ventilation, a generator could be a real danger to you. You don’t want to get poisoned with carbon monoxide!

You can also use battery-powered or hand-cranked lights and phones. This is the quickest and most affordable solution. And given the fact that you won’t spend a lifetime in the panic room, you shouldn`t need anything sophisticated. Just a rudimentary back-up power source to get you through the danger. 


You have multiple options here, depending on how much you want to spend. You can settle for a portable toilet or you can choose separate plumbing and a septic tank. That means you’ll need a lot of water supplies in the room. One person needs roughly 1 gallon per day.


First of all you need non-perishable food and safe water supplies. Don`t forget to rotate!

Secondly, you should get a first-aid case with basic medication, depending on your family`s needs. 

Last, but not least, you need flashlights and extra batteries.

These are the basic items you should always keep in your panic room. But you can also get:

·         Warm and light clothes

·         Basic sanitation supplies

·         A radio – to stay informed on what happens outside

·         Blankets

·         Identification and other important documents

·         Duct tape

·         An extra pair of glasses – if you wear any

·         Cash and credit cards

·         Potassium-iodine tablets – in case of radiation sickness


If you use the panic room during a natural disaster such as a hurricane, weapons are not that important. But after the disaster is over and people start looting around for food and money, you might need to defend your home.

Also, you`ll need weapons in case a burglar breaks into your home, or even to prevent a terrorist attack on your family. I`m not saying you`re going to actually USE them. But you need to have them around, at least for intimidation.

Now, the first thing on your list should be pepper spray. Get them for all the kids and the ladies in your family. Teach them how to use it and show them where you keep them.

Then it`s up to you how far you want to go. You can get guns for every member of your family or you can install high-voltage stun devices on the floor. It all depends on your needs and your budget.

In movies, panic rooms can be quite elaborate. In reality, a panic room serves only one purpose: to protect you from different types of dangers. You’re not supposed to spend a lot of time there, but rather have a small, hidden place to hide until it’s safe to go out again.

Remember, you only have to cover the essentials: food, health and protection.

Good luck in building your own panic room.

Via: myfamilysurvivalplan, myfamilysurvivalplan

Passive Measures for Home Defense

Any type of emergency preparedness should take into account the need for home defense.

There are active measures you can use, such as guns for home defense, various less-lethal self-defense options, or a good-sized dog. But in this post, I’d like to review some of the passive measures that you can use to defend your home.

Nothing is 100% secure.

Good security offers layers of protection, with different degrees of effectiveness. For example, if you have a fence around your property, you don’t expect it to be impenetrable. But it does deter trespassers and present one of perhaps several obstacles to any robbery or home invasion.

So the measures suggested in this post are best used as a set. Several passive measures together increase the degree of safety. But all these measures put together cannot make your home totally secure. So these measures do not make active home defense unnecessary. You might still want to own a firearm (and/or a dog) for active home defense too.


For home security, I think the best fences are those you can see through easily, such as a chain-link fence. Being able to see a potential threat while it is still some distance away is advantageous.

If you have a solid wood fence, a criminal can approach your home unseen, getting as close as the fence might be. He can peer over the fence at intervals and move along its length, while you are unsuspecting. That is not what you want. Now I know that solid wood fences provide a privacy screen. But you are going to have to make some trade-offs for the sake of home security.

The fencing does not have to be 8 feet high with barbed wire. What we are aiming for here is a significant obstacle, not an impenetrable barrier.

On the other hand, a nice low white picket fence is not as useful.

Hedges provide a type of natural fencing. But they have much the same problem as a solid wood fence, they can be used by the bad guys for concealment.

Fencing, even minimal fencing like the proverbial white picket fence, MAY POSSIBLY give you a legal advantage if you need to use deadly force in self-defense.

Under Florida law, according to the book “Florida Firearms Law, Use & Ownership” (seventh edition, by Jon H. Gutmacher) –

If the culprit entered a fenced yard around your dwelling, this is called “curtilage”, and is also considered a part of your dwelling. Thus, the crime is a “forcible felony” once the culprit enters the fenced area. (Florida Firearms, p. 293).

However, if the perpetrator actually tries to attack you before any entry is made, and you are not within a structure or within curtilage when attacked — the use of deadly force becomes somewhat “iffy” unless they also appear to be armed. Why? Remember, deadly force is normally not lawful except to stop or prevent a forcible felony, or to prevent death or great bodily harm. (Florida Firearms, p. 291-292).

So if a confrontation and use of deadly force occurs within a fenced area next to your home, you MAY have a stronger case for the use of deadly force — at least in Florida — because the crime is then considered a forcible felony. But this does not mean you can shoot anyone who trespasses into a fenced area. And the laws on self-defense vary a great deal from one State to another. Some States require you to retreat if you are threatened, even from your own property or home. As always, know your local laws and follow them.

Open Spaces

This next consideration is somewhat the opposite of fencing. Open spaces don’t prevent anyone from trespassing, but they do allow you to see a threat at a distance. If you have thick hedges, you might want to prune them back, so that you can see anyone who might be on the other side. If you have thick brush in a corner of your property, you might want to remove it, or at least cut it back.

If you have a large property, it might be impractical or expensive to fence it all around. You might fence an area close to the house, and then use the opposite approach on the rest of the property, trying to keep clear sight lines in all directions.

Once you have clear sight lines, you might want some way to view possible threats at a distance: binoculars or even a moderately priced night vision device. I suppose you can use your rifle scope, but you might not want to point a rifle just to see what is out there.


Exterior lighting is useful for home defense. It prevents a trespasser from using the cover of darkness to do harm. Some exterior lights will turn on automatically, with a built-in motion detector.

This can function like an early warning system, alerting you to a possible danger. It might also scare away persons of ill will. At the very least, the exterior lighting allows you to see the nature of the threat, so as to respond based on knowledge.

A strong flashlight offers much the same benefits. You can scare off potential perpetrators, and see what type of threat you are up against. Also, if it is strong enough, the light can make it harder for the trespasser to see you, and easier for you to see him. Some super cool flashlights have enough weight and even a beveled edging, to function as an ad hoc self-defense tool also.


When the SHTF, the police might be overwhelmed and their response times might be much longer. Of course, you can and should call 911 when there is a police or other emergency.

But supposing that you are on your own, for one reason or another, a home alarm can still be useful. It alerts the neighbors to a threat. You might want to have a conversation with your neighbors, in advance, about mutual aid and defense. Sometimes there is safety in numbers.

A personal alarm can be useful if you have a large property, and some family members or kids might be out of shouting distance. Give the kids or the wife a personal alarm, that will emit a loud noise when activated. This type of alarm has a pull-pin, so that it is easy to activate, and makes a continuous loud noise. Shouting “help” is not nearly as loud as this type of 130 dB alarm. Vigilant makes a few different models, typically under $20.

Doors and Windows

There are a couple of different ways to secure the windows of your home. You can reinforcing windows with a security film. 3M and a few other companies make a thick plastic film that can be added to any windows to make them shatter resistant. The windows crack, but the plastic holds it together.

This type of film is used here in Florida to protect against hurricanes. But it also makes forced entry more difficult. It can be added to sliding glass doors as well.

Another way is to add hurricane shutters. These also add an additional layer of security.

You can put the shutters on any particular area of concern, like a sliding glass door or on any windows that offer easy access to your home. Then when the danger passes, you can remove and store them.

The doors of your home can be reinforced with a bar or with door lock reinforcements at the door jam. It is also worth considering whether you might want to replace a wooden door with a metal one, especially at a side or back entrance. Intruders prefer an entry point that is out of view from the street or from neighbors.

Doors that swing outward are of course more difficult (or impossible?) to kick in. The door hinges are then on the outside of the house, but they are difficult to remove without power tools. For a garage side door or a back door, you might want to consider installing a door that swings outward, and so cannot be kicked in.

– Thoreau editor from

Via: myfamilysurvivalplan

How Big a Backyard Would You Need to Live Off the Land?

It is an interesting question that comes up many times and in many ways.

Keep in mind that this Infographic is put out by a solar company, but still a great starting point for discussion.

I see a few things here:

They want you to “buy” corn.

I see nothing about rabbits for meat.

There are more but why not let me know your thoughts.

Let me know what you think and what may be missing.

via:  One Block Off the Grid

Guarding Your Health during the Crisis – Survival Medicine

When it comes to survival medicine, most people instinctively think of a wild setting, perhaps in the mountains, where people with broken legs try to fight off forest beasts.

And maybe a couple centuries ago, this would be very precise. But now, in the 21st century and in today`s economic climate, survival medicine should be more about keeping yourself healthy during the looming crisis.

Just think about it: this crisis could last for months or even years. People will have more trouble making money than ever before and it will difficult to keep your family well-fed and healthy. But you know that saying: where there`s a will, there`s a way.

For example, published a basic guide to maintaining health in disaster conditions:

Survival Health Tip #1: Drink plenty of water

This should be your top priority during a disaster or crisis. Dehydration is very tricky, it sets in without even feeling it and it affects the whole body. Even a 5 percent loss of body fluids can lead to thirst, irritability, nausea, and weakness.

So here`s what you can do to avoid dehydration:

Drink small amounts of water as often as you can, even when you`re not thristy. Just a sip or two every 15 minutes will do.

Replace the water you drink. This way, you`ll always have a spare stock of water in case you run out.

Drink water when eating.It helps your digestion and prevents your body from dehydrating.

Rationalize water. By this, I don`t mean drink less water than you need. You should simply avoid wasting water. Monitor how much water your family drinks every day and try to eliminate any excess.

Survival Health Tip #2:

Eat little, but often

You don`t need a big meal to fight off hunger. In fact, it`s better if you eat small amounts of food more often. The key here is variety. Your body needs both plant foods and animal foods, so it`s important to keep a good balance.

Try to eat more plant foods than meat, as they are healthier. However, eating meat is necessary, as it is more nourishing and produces more energy and heat.

– Eat nuts and seeds every day, as snacks. They`re high in protein and oils which give you lots of energy and help your body function normally.

Include roots, green vegetables, and plant food containing natural sugar
in your meals. They provide calories and carbohydrates that give the body natural energy.

Plant a small garden close to your house. This way, you`ll have fresh produce anytime you need it. Also, gardening is a very relaxing activity that will release you of all the stress any crisis brings.

Raise a few chicken, if you can. Eggs and meat will be hard to find and expensive during the crisis, so raising your own chicken can be the perfect solution.

Survival Health Tip #3: Keep your body clean at all times

This may seem like a no brainer, but in times of crisis, hygiene immediately drops two positions to water and food. These become top priorities, as they`re harder to obtain, so most efforts concentrate around keeping your family fed and hydrated.

But if you don`t respect proper hygiene, first, let me show you what measures you should take to prevent infections and other hygiene-related illnesses:

Wash your whole body with water and soap every single day. If you can`t take a daily shower, use a cloth and soapy water or even some Pampers wet wipes.

Brush your teeth twice a day. No exceptions. In times of crisis, it`s even more important to keep your teeth healthy, as good dentists are quite expensive. Also, if you`ve ever experienced toothaches, you know what a torture that is. And you know the pain doesn`t go away with just a painkiller. So avoid wasting money on tons of pills and pricey doctors by taking good care of your teeth.

Always keep your hands clean. Your hands carry billions of germs that you can easily ingest, so wash them after you`ve touched anything likely to carry germs. Also, keep your nails trimmed and clean and out of your mouth.

Via: myfamilysurvivalplan

The first aid kit – Survival Medicine

I`m no doctor or anything, but I believe it`s absolutely crucial to know the basics of emergency medicine. One day, your family might depend on your knowledge. And the little you know about it may just save your kids` life. 

Unfortunately, most Americans leave this subject to doctors and survival experts, assuming it`s just as difficult as going to med school or something. But here`s the thing: difficult or not, when your loved ones are in danger, you`d better know a thing or two about emergency medicine or you`ll just have to watch them suffer, helplessly.

So here`s what I’m going to do for you: I’ll write about the easiest life-savings techniques that you should know in case of a disaster or crisis.

We`re going to start with the first aid kit. 

Most survival websites, such as or recommend getting three different types of kits:

#1: The basic first aid kit

According to, it should contain:

  • Moleskin
  • Sterile pads (different sizes)
  • Sterile Gauze
  • Neosporin
  • Bandaids
  • Aspirin
  • First Aid Tape

You can put it in your car and/or in your bug-out bag. Make sure you have enough items for your whole family. If you have little children, put some sterile pads and bandaids in their packs, too, and teach them how to use them. However, don`t give them any pills or items that could hurt them (like scissors or first aid tape, which they can suffocate on).

#2: An intermediate kit

This one is for your home or for traveling and should contain:

  • Bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze pads
  • Iodine or similar prep pads
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Medical adhesive tape
  • Aspirin and/or non-aspirin pain relievers suggests you should also include the following:

  • Larger adhesive bandages (for larger wounds)
  • Smelling salts or ammonia inhalants (in case someone faints)
  • Ace-type bandages (for strains and sprains)
  • Rolls of gauze (in case you need to change bandages)
  • Antiseptic towelettes (to keep the wound clean)
  • Snake bite poison extractor (this one`s optional, but who knows when you might need it)
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers
  • Safety pins
  • Moleskin
  • Rubber (latex) gloves
  • Burn medication
  • Anti-itch treatment
  • Sun screen
  • Diarrhea medication
  • Eye drops
  • Basic first aid instructions (this one is definitely a MUST)

It is never bad to have this book onhand:  Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook .

Some of the above are optional. You may not find them crucial or they may be hard to find/expensive. You choose what your family needs the most and make your own customized kit. The more you include, the more worst case scenarios you cover.

#3: The advanced emergency kit

This one is crucial when someone is severely injured or ill, but you`ve got no access to a hospital. 

The advanced emergency kit should include the intermediate kit PLUS:

  • Special bandages, such as conforming, trauma, and field dressings
  • Rubbing alcohol for sterilization
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Betadine
  • Scissors
  • Forceps
  • Scalpels
  • Hemostats
  • Sterile sutures, in several sizes
  • Wound probe
  • Mouth-to-mouth shield
  • Instant hot pack
  • Instant cold pack
  • Prep pads
  • Eye pads
  • Sponges
  • Cotton balls
  • Burn treatments
  • Dental tools
  • Splint materials
  • In-depth first aid/surgical guide
  • Cold medication
  • Decongestant
  • Antihistamine
  • Colloidal silver
  • Broad spectrum antibiotic
  • Antibiotics for sinus infections, strep throat and other common “winter” ailments
  • Painkillers

Now, you may wonder what you`ll do with a forceps or a scalpel, but there two possible options:

1. You find a doctor who needs these instruments to do his job.

2. You have to BE an improvised doctor until you can find a hospital. In some cases, a superficial, amateur job can save a life.

One more thing about the advanced emergency kit: make a list with all the chronic illnesses you and your family members suffer from. Then add at least a 3-day supply of meds for each one of them.

Via: myfamilysurvivalplan

When Man Becomes Zombie

I must have watched this video about 10 times in a row. It terrifies me every single time, but I still watch it. I can`t help it. You don`t get to see people acting like starving wolves every day. It`s shocking, like an exotic disease that us, Americans, can only see on Discovery Channel. But the truth is… this has happened here, in USA, a million times. And it will happen more and more often, as soon as the food crisis ravages stores and supermarkets and food prices hit new records.

This is what happened in Haiti, after the 2010 earthquake, when trucks came loaded with food and started handing it out to hungry residents.

It`s not a matter of if, but of how soon? And I`ll show you exactly why.

It all started with an article I read on, “Zombie Entertainment: A Lesson in Cognitive Dissonance and the Red Pill”. Sounds very complicated, but the idea behind it is very simple: in extreme situations, people forget how to be people and become animals. Zombies, if you like, since it`s fashionable.

It`s a proven scientific fact: when confronted with uncomfortable, surprising situations, people are more likely to engage into immoral, violent behaviour. According to Kimberly Paxton, the author of the article, this is called “cognitive dissonance“, one of Dr. Festinger`s behavioral theories.

It can be described as a powerful mental discomfort when a person is caught between two opposite (or different) values: the reality that requires a behaviour society would normally reject… and his/her moral belief system.

Want to guess which one of these two completely vanishes? It`s the moral system, because it gets in the way of survival. Unconsciously, your mind blocks your principles, your values, your education… and unleashes an animalic behaviour that will help you survive. How scary is that? Imagine that, in half a second, everything you knew about yourself disappears and Dr. Jekyll suddenly turns to Mr. Hyde.

Something like this:


The classic Black Friday compilation. Starts off alright, people laughing and having fun, waiting to get in the store and buy lots of stuff they don`t need… and then… hell breaks loose. Men, women, children, elders… they all fight, bite, swear, yell and threaten each other. And all for a few useless items on sale. Can you imagine what these people would do if they had NO food, NO water and NO power?

They take over YOUR town.

New Orleans was kneed down by looters after Katrina had already ravaged the city. People who once were friends and neighbors started breaking into each other’s homes and looted like there was no tomorrow.

Right now, you might not be able to picture just how easy it is to turn from a respectable human being to an animal blinded by hate. But, as it has been proved over and over again for centuries… all it takes is a frantic mob, the feeling you`re under pressure and someone to start a fight or break a window… and there you go! Chaos sets in.

And it doesn`t even have to get that tragic for the fight to begin… People start acting like beasts the minute they`re pulled out of their comfort zone. And Hurricane Sandy showed us that, better than ever. Just look at what happens right here, in the U.S, when gas becomes rare and precious:



That was filmed about a month and a half ago. Not during Medieval times. Not for the movie Fight Club. And it`s not some candid camera kind of prank, either. It`s for real. Somewhere, at a gas station in New York, people were attacking each other like mad men, because they were frustrated from sitting in line for gas!

So why are we even surprised when we read something like…

“As the small amount of food ran out, the survivors debated whether they should eat the pilot (who had previously died from a head injury).

We thought about the pilot, I don’t know how to say it … to feed ourselves from him. We thought about this, but some people were not in agreement because the situation was already so extreme,” Suazo said.”

That sounds absolutely gruesome, doesn`t it? And it`s remarkably similar to that plane crash in 1972, when members of an Uruguayan rugby team actually fed on their friends and teammates to stay alive. When I first heard of this, many years ago, I was disgusted and couldn`t even imagine what kind of monsters would do that for their own survival. And then, in 2008, I read the news on the Chilean plane crash… and somehow, the picture became clearer.

I realised people will never be people when dealing with disasters or crises. Not ever! Not because humanity isn `t evolving, but because there`s a stronger urge deep down that takes over like a demon, to make sure we survive.

Unfortunately, this is a burden we have to bear. And, to keep it under the surface, we must prepare for the coming crisis, before we find ourselves losing control. There`s no need to fight the demon. You just have to lock it inside.

Via: myfamilysurvivalplan

How To Survive An Earthquake

I`m just going to go ahead and admit it: earthquakes terrify me! Every time I see one on the news, my hair stands up on my arm. I can`t help imagining what it`s like to get up in the middle of the night because your whole house is jumping up and down around you…

And the noise! The noise of furniture banging against the walls… plates, glasses and pots dinging in the kitchen… windows vibrating… and the voice of your frightened children crying for help. I got a cold shiver down my back just by writing this!

I tried to picture how I`d react if my house was just about to crash over me and my family… but I wasn`t very happy with the result. Just like most people, I`d probably freak out and do exactly what I shouldn`t: run down the stairs to get the kids and then go straight out the door and stop in front of the house, where approximately 100 things can fall on me, starting with the house walls and ending with the tree in my yard.

So what`s a man to do when he realises he`s not as prepared for a disaster as Bruce Willis? Well, I don`t know what you`d do… but I started researching earthquake survival like there was no tomorrow. Here`s a brief of what I found:

What you should do before an earthquake:

– Get informed! Read more articles, books or courses on earthquake survival. And watch some documentaries about the biggest earthquakes in history. You`ll notice a whole lot of deadly mistakes you can avoid.

Tell your family all about earthquake survival. Of course you`ll do everything to protect them if a disaster hits your area, but you`re not a superhero. There are times when you can`t reach your family to provide help. So help them help themselves. It`s the best thing you can do for your loved ones.

Bullet-proof your home. According to The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, here`s what you need to do to get a secure home, that won`t crash on you at the first shake.

  • Bolt bookshelves, water heaters and cabinets to wall studs.
  • Anchor things so they don`t move or fall during an earthquake.
  • Move cabinets and tall furniture to keep them from falling on you or other family members. Anchor them to studs in the wall with steel angle brackets.
  • Put heavy or breakable things on bottom shelves. You can even put “fences” or restraining wires to keep items from falling off open shelves.
  • Put child-proof or swing-hook latches on bathroom and kitchen cabinets.
  • Use screw-eyes or tongue-in-groove hangers to mount mirrors or pictures instead of hanging them on nails.
  • Be sure that ceiling fans and light fixtures are well anchored or have earthquake safety wiring.
  • Anchor computers, televisions, stereos and like items with heavy duty Velcro, at home and at work.
  • Strap your water heater to anchor it to wall studs.
  • Do not assume that anything is too heavy to move in an earthquake. When the ground is going up and down in waves, it bounces even the heaviest equipment into the air.

Enough survival techniques for today, hope you`ll start using them to protect your family against disasters. I`ll be back with more earthquake survival strategies next time, so make sure you don`t miss it! Might save your life one day.

Via: myfamilysurvivalplan